Buy Once, Buy Well II

09/25/2015 § Leave a comment

I have been coveting this amazing lumbar pillow from The Citizenry.  If you don’t know about them, hop on over and take a look.  Not only do they carry amazing hand made goods from around the world, but they have a business model even The Pope would approve of.  (Disclaimer – I claim no religion, just really digging that guy right now.)  In their words “Country by country, we partner with master artisans, blending our modern style with their time-tested techniques…With fair trade standards, our artisan partners are given the best prices for their skills.”  The lumbar pillow is fairly priced at $195.  It is handwoven from naturally dyed sheep wool and takes 3 days to make by a fair trade cooperative of Zapotec women in Oaxaca.  3 days!!  Totally worth it, right?

the citizenry

Then today, I fall down the rabbit hole that is Instagram – and I find this pillow…

urban outfitters

…from Urban Outfitters.  For only $69.  “Imported.”  Which at first I was pretty excited about.  But then a return to our Ethos:  Buy Once, Buy Well.  I feel like we should also tack on Buy With Purpose.  The purpose in this case being to employ people who have honed their craft over generations and produce a spectacular product.  People who produce with care and love and deserved to get paid for a job bloody well done!  So I’m saving my coins and waiting to buy the amazing hand made lumbar pillow from The Citizenry.  And when I finally get it, I will love that pillow and I will feel good about my purchase.  More than a “oh wow!  That pillow looks amazing” way.  In that way you feel when someone makes you a cake from scratch, or knits you a scarf.  Or the way you feel when you have waited for something for so long and it’s finally yours and worth every second of the wait.  Wouldn’t it be great if every purchase felt like that?  Yep.  I’m pretty sure The Pope would agree.

In this 1966 photo released by the El Salvador School, Argentine seminarian Jorge Mario Bergoglio smiles for a portrait at the El Salvador school where he taught literature and psychology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bergoglio was elected pope on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, making him the first pope ever from the Americas.  Bergoglio, who was born in 1936, chose the name Pope Francis. (AP Photo/El Salvador School)



“If I were a young woman now…”

09/16/2015 § Leave a comment

Something to ponder as we begin another busy day.  What do we really want?  What do we really want to look back on?  How do we want to spend this one, short, lovely, life?






09/09/2015 § Leave a comment


  1. the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.
    synonyms: spirit, character, atmosphere, climate, mood, feeling, essence.


Buy Once, Buy Well.  This ethos is the backbone of everything we make and everything we are drawn to at Pennyroyal.  We celebrate craftsmanship.  We love hand made.  For me, personally, I would rather spend my money on one really lovely, well made, classic item than on a bunch of cheap goods I am only going to use or love for a minute or two.  Slow Fashion, my friends.

So, in that spirit, a series of blog posts on my favorite hand made, well made, Buy Once, Buy Well goods.

The Chiapas Net Bag

I found these lovely hand woven bags in Tulum on our last trip there.  They are traditional carrying bags from the highland Maya of Chiapas.


pennyroyal design netting bag

The fiber for these bags is from the Maguey plant – a member of the agave family.  The process is long and labor intensive and done entirely by hand.  The fibers are stripped from the plant using a machete and then rolled between the thigh and the palm of the hand and little by little, more is added to the length forming a tightly twisted cord.  The finished cord is netted into a super strong, expandable bag.  Each bag takes 3 months to make.  3 months!  They should cost a million dollars.  The ones I have are made using a smoked fiber, which gives it its lovely brown color and a slight smoky sent.


beautiful hands weaving


I use mine in combination with my Market Tote for the perfect non-disposable shopping bag combination.

pennyroyal design shopping bags


I hunted down a couple sources for these bags.  The General Store, and Beatrice Valensuela.

Until next time,


Road trip!

08/21/2015 § Leave a comment

Road trip!

You have to say that like a frat boy.  Loud and with glee.

Every year we take a trip to somewhere in the middle of nowhere.  This year we decided on Idaho and Montana.  The yearly trips are mandatory.  We need to get out and be surrounded by nature.  Surrounded by silence.  It hits the recharge button and makes us whole again.  It helps remind of us of what is important.  We get so caught up in the minutia of our daily lives that sometimes we forget to look at each other and say “hello.”  Which is just what we were able to do while we were away.  I got to cuddle with the kids – now 15 and 11! – in the back of the car for hours while we toured Yellowstone.  Their heads heavy with sleep on my shoulders and their minds quiet with the vastness outside the windows.

  I am 100% sure I need a house there.  A small old farm house on lots of acres with a creek and horses.  And my lovely little family.


Yellowstone 2


hiking in Montana


Yellowstone 4

MIA Project and Remodelista LA Market

11/07/2014 § Leave a comment

Remodelista LA Market

The MIA Project has been asked to attend the Los Angeles Remoldelista holiday market – and MIA was kind enough to ask me to make some bags for the show.  And naturally, I said “oh my goodness, YES!!!”  So if you are anywhere near LA on December 6th, do stop on by and take a peek at all the amazing artisans.  You can find all the information here.

New “about” page and other goodness.

07/19/2014 § Leave a comment

I have updated my “about” page.  I had enough people ask me about myself to feel the need to actually write it down.

You can also now find Pennyroyal Design bags at Mill Valley Mercantile in Mill Valley, and Virginia Carol in Healdsburg.  I am so incredibly happy have such amazing shops carry my bags it kind of blows me away.

I also wanted to introduce you to my favorite market bag combination.  With the plastic bag ban in Sonoma County just around the corner, it seemed like a good time to get together a stylish and functional way to get all your goods home.  I get a lot of compliments on my market bag combination!  It includes the Pennyroyal Design market tote, an Ambatalia furoshiki for all my soft fruit and veggies, and a hand crocheted and naturally dyed bag from Enhabiten that I added a leather strap to.  I plan on carrying the complete set in my shop soon.

favorite market bag comboEnjoy your weekend.  Get out side with someone you love and give them a big cuddle!


A peek inside the studio.

07/17/2014 § Leave a comment

I am a very lucky woman.  Not only do I have an amazing best friend, she also happens to be an incredible photographer.  She came over to my studio this week and took some studio shots and portraits.  Here is a little peek inside my work world.  My studio is not spotless.  It’s not even tidy most of the time.  It’s the old fireplace room in our home in Penngrove.  In this little space I make things I love.  And my little business is growing.  Biiiiiig smile.

The photographer’s name is Debbie Wilson.  You can see some of her work here.



studio portrait 9


studio 6


good chair

studio portrait 3

studio 2


my favorite spot


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