On the Go Bags Blog Tour

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Hello, this is Lindsay Conner, guest posting for the On the Go Bags—15 Handmade Purses, Totes & Organizers blog tour! Janelle (MacKay) and I couldn't be more thrilled to be here.

I hope you don't mind if I share a little behind-the-scenes peek into our design process behind this book. Since I live in the United States and Janelle lives in Canada, we collaborated over e-mail and phone to work out the details of authoring a book with multiple contributors. On May 20, 2014, I wrote Janelle a little note to see if she'd like to contribute a project to my new book. My proposal was under review by Stash Books, and I wanted to make sure Janelle of Emmaline Bags could be one of the designers.

--- Lindsay: Hi Janelle, Hope you are doing well! I'm writing to see if you might be interested in working together on a project. I'm in the process of pitching another book to C&T, and I think you would be a perfect contributor.

Janelle: I am! I am! Holy cow... I threw enough hints at you! Ha ha! I can’t wait to hear about your vision and I am just honored and thrilled that you have considered me for a contributor! Let me know what direction you want me to go. YES!

Travel Toiletry Tote Prototype and Sketch for On the Go Bags

About three weeks later, I got the green light to move forward and start finding the book's contributors. But in the process of e-mailing Janelle, her enthusiasm for the whole project was infectious.

J: WOOHOO! Okay, that is awesome. I will get the brain thinking and get some ideas on paper. What kind of timeline do you have in mind? I have a travel sling bag (slings are secure and help you be hands free for luggage and kids) with a passport pocket accessible on the outside. Also, a picnic blanket that rolls up into a pouch, with laminate on the back, it stays in the car always. I can think of more. But those are the ones that have been kicking around up there already.

So I wrote her a somewhat crazy-sounding e-mail.

L: Janelle, I hope you don't think I'm crazy, but I've been mulling over an idea for the last couple weeks that I'd like for you to think over. Would you be interested in a larger role in this book project, like working with me as a co-author? I think we have different strengths that are complimentary, and we could share the workload and the byline, each contributing a few projects and working with the contributors to test their patterns and clarify the instructions to make them cohesive. If you are hesitant, don't shoot me down just yet! We can chat more about how it might work best. If you are definitely not interested in that big of a project, let me know if you might be willing to work with me on a freelance basis to help with the bags steps. I think that would be huge, and it would be a better book because of it! - Lindsay

<<<10 minutes later>>>

J: Umm Not hesitant. Yes, I would like to do that. It will be a big task, but I am really interested in doing the work. I am not sure I am very good at the actual writing blurbs, the conversation and making the whole thing flow. You are wonderful at that! I am not a writer, you are a writer. I would love to hear more about what kind of role you would like me to take.

L: GREAT! Write more later... going to the post office.

J: That’s where I am going, too....

Cart or Stroller Caddy by Veronica Lovvorn for On the Go Bags

We chatted about how we could best team up on the project, got our game plan together, and reached out to our contributors. Janelle wrote me:

J: I guess I will see how it works as it all plays out, and I’m okay with that. It’s a bit of an adventure, and I always love an adventure.

L: Me, too! It's like putting together a really awesome puzzle, but better, because it's something that wouldn't exist if you weren't steering the ship and making it happen.

Park Blanket fabric options and Illustration for On the Go Bags

There were some definite surprises along the way, like the time we had to cut almost four projects with our editor's suggestions, so the book didn't run too long. We had some materials sent to me in the US, so I could sew samples of the Park Blanket while Janelle worked on Illustrator how-tos of each step. That was no small task, and her skills came in so handy!

Best of all, we were there to give each other support (you can do this!) and much-needed feedback. Like the time I told Janelle I wanted to design a one-shoulder backpack, but then I started to doubt my vision. And then when I just couldn't figure it out, and almost threw in the towel...

Sporty Strap Pack Sketch and Sample for On the Go Bags

  L: I realized that one-shoulder backpacks are really not that popular, and maybe I should switch gears entirely and make another style of bag. I was trying to go all "different" and then realized maybe there's a reason people don't Pin them. Ergh...

J: Hi Lindsay, I do like the idea of the one-shoulder backpack and I have to say that it’s even better that they are not popular because you want things that aren’t over-done. It’s best if the book has new ideas! I think if your gut is telling you to do it and you, personally, like the idea, then you should still go for it. Sometimes, it’s your job to show people what they will like! Maybe they don’t like them, because they have never seen the style that LINDSAY makes! Having said that, I still don’t understand why I thought the large polka dot maternity babydoll lingerie would be sexy way back in 1992, I know better now.

Thanks for taking this behind-the-scenes peek at our book writing process! I hope you had a good laugh and were inspired to do something out of the ordinary.

Tuesday, Dec 1: Shannon Fabrics / Sew Sweetness Wednesday, Dec 2: Clover & Violet / Ann Kelle Thursday, Dec 3: Radiant Home Studio / Melly Sews Friday, Dec 4: Sew Caroline / Mia's Creations Saturday, Dec 5: ikat bag / imagine gnats Monday, Dec 7: sewVery / The Girl Inspired Tuesday, Dec 8: Stash Books / Fabric Mutt Wednesday, Dec 9: Pellon Thursday, Dec 10: Simple Simon and Co / Mrs. H Friday, Dec 11: Emmaline Bags / Lindsay Sews Monday, Dec 13: Sew, Mama, Sew

On the Go Bags (Dec. 2015, Stash Books)

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of  On the Go Bags? Click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway . Giveaway ends 12/15 at midnight EST, and we'll choose one random winner. US winner will receive a hard copy, and winner outside the US will receive an eBook.

Congratulations Ann D., winner of this giveaway! We hope you enjoy!

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