Mandalian Purse

About Me

I discovered antique purses in 1998.  My passion for beading, knitting and crochet led me to try my hand at knitting a beaded purse from an antique pattern book that I happened upon at a flea market.  Of course I then needed the perfect frame for my purse, and I was very disappointed with modern reproductions.  I purchased an antique jeweled frame off of ebay and struck up an email conversation with the seller, who wanted to know how I was going to use it.  Upon learning that I was making a beaded purse, she asked if I could restore one.  Thus I entered the world of antique purse collecting as a restorer.
hole in antique purse restored purse I developed my own technique for restoring holes in antique beaded purses.  I've always been a perfectionist, and a restoration should be an effort to restore an antique as close to its original condition as possible, not a quick fix to hide holes.  Too soon I found that many of the people who wanted to hire me to restore their purses only wanted that quick fix.  Frustrated by this, and also suffering from an injury to my arm from all of the restoring, I decided to stop restoring commercially.  I now only restore antique purses that I find myself.
In 1999 I developed this website to share my passion for making, restoring, preserving and collecting antique (and future antique!) beaded evening bags.  For people who want to make their own beaded purses I carry beaded knitted and crocheted purse patterns.  If you are interested in original beaded knitted bag patterns that are reminiscent of the vintage purses carried by the ladies of the 19th and early 20th centuries check out the patterns by Arhyonel Designs and Barbs Beaded Bags.  I also carry an ever expanding list of reproduction beaded purse patterns from 1899 - 1930.  I sell antique purse frames to give your creation that heirloom look.  For collectors, I sell antique beaded and mesh purses.  To be sold on my site a purse must be in excellent condition.  Any exceptions are always clearly stated.
I don't think I've found a craft yet that I haven't fallen in love with.  Some of my earliest memories are of my mother teaching me how to knit. Recently, I've returned to making jewelry and lampwork beads and decided to add those to Arhyonel Antiques' sister site Arhyonel Designs.  So many of the skills I use to make jewelry are the same ones used to restore antique purses.  Besides restoring, I love beading, knitting, crochet, kumihimo braiding, working with metal clay and copper, lampworking, enameling, and combining all of the above!

I also lead a very full life, with three children, a very supportive husband who built me my studio, three dogs and a thankfully very independent cat.  I enjoy traveling, scuba diving, hiking, reading and watching my youngest son upon the stage.

  Picture of me
Some of you may have noticed that there was a period of several years where there were few additions to my web site.  I continued to sell items during that time, just not add much to the web site.  I had a catastrophic crash of my computer system & backup, losing all of my inventory files, just as as my family was hit with some trying times. Knowing that it would take many weeks of intense work to recreate my inventory files I decided to focus on my family instead.  Now that those trials are behind us and my inventory files are finally rebuilt and backed up on the internet there should be a lot of exciting additions to come.