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  1. One thing that is cool about the Kelly Bag (other than the extreme state of disbelief it elicits every time you see a price tag on one) is its name --- "<Insert Name> Bag". In this case it was my wife's birthday present and thus it's a "Suzy Bag". She'll never use it though and I knew that before making it. Too formal for her...I don't know what you call my wife's tastes. You would think that after 30 years of marriage I would have a handle on it. NOPE. I gave up a long time ago surprising her with handmade gifts and instead surprise myself with the occasional success on something that at first looks very difficult and then pass it off as a present. I don't care if she doesn't use it since all I'm going for is "It looks great!" anyway. Yes she would say that (and does) even if it doesn't look great. I have a cool wife. So it turns out that the hardest part of making a "Suzy Bag" is finding the hardware! Man, for a bag that is the envy of every newly rich Chinese female on the planet and is in such high demand that it has a robust and brazen online replica industry you would think that it would be so ubiquitous you could pick up a set at WalMart any time you felt like it including 4 am while pulling the all nighter, just hours before the deadline. FAT CHANCE! I searched every swinging bag hardware vendor I could find. NADA. I even contacted all 15 online counterfeit vendors to see if they would help a brutha out. They saw right through my birthday sob story. Why didn't I also ask them for counterfeit goods selling tips while I was it? Take a hike pal. If you're not in a hurry and the type that plans ahead, there's a sketchy Chinese vendor. I ordered a set because even though it's on the other side of the planet and the only shipping option is free China Post, well you order it regardless if it never shows up because it feels like you're moving the project forward and you've got someone to blame if it doesn't work out. You win either way. If you're lucky you'll find a one-off listing on ETSY. I got lucky and snagged the only one available in the finish I didn't want and from a vendor I actually begged to ship it after four days and nothing happening on her end. Yes, of course I checked with Ohio Bag, the vendor that disappoints with just about every visit...a time travel visit back to 1992 or heck even the 70s. I think the last time I placed an order with them they had just gotten the news about this interwebs thing and declared it a craze that wasn't going to last, but they'll give it a shot by putting their catalog online -- a catalog with pictures but no prices -- and a downloadable pricing booklet -- a booklet with prices but no pictures. Once you cross triangulated model numbers to pricing, then you called your order in to one of the customer service reps standing by to take your order. Reminds me of the mail order days, back when shopping was an adventure and you didn't mind it taking two months to receive your goods because by then you forgot you ordered anything and it was this big surprise when it showed up. Whatever. Here in the new good old days, fast and cheap and don't tell me no is the norm. Coming up this short on this hardware was both exasperating and ridiculous and I was running out of time. Even though I started this project four weeks prior to the wife's birthday, I'll be damned if I didn't find a way to put myself in a time crunch with just a handful of days and an all-nighter before her birthday. This was my third attempt on the bag, getting more skilled, creative, and anxious by the day. DAMMIT! Somebody out there somewhere has this hardware!!!! WHERE IS IT?!?!?! Then I had an AHA! moment. Ok, that's a lie. It was actually a DOH! moment. "What if..., I speculated, "What if it isn't called what I've been searching the interwebs for? " My mind began to pick up the logic breadcrumbs. " What if..." I further reasoned, "What if my search term was the equivalent of a ginormous Las Vegas style neon sign with blinking waterfall arrows synced to cascading letters that spelled out " COME AND SUE ME HERMES --I'M SELLING KELLY BAG HARDWARE FOR COUNTERFEITERS RIGHT HERE." Well, you would call it something other than "Kelly Bag Hardware" now wouldn't you? "Kelly Bag Hardware"??? God I'm an idiot. I headed straight for Ohio Bag but this time I was going to manually slog through ever swinging catalog item that it could be listed under: "Lock" (609 entries", "Clasp" (134 ), "Closure" (43), "Clip" 128", "Clamp (17), "Catch" (399), Hasp" (39), Latch" (383). If I have to, I'll search "Whatchacallit", "Thingamajig", "Dohickey"...even "Chingadero". I grabbed a beer and settled in for the long haul. And whataya know?!?!? Searched "Lock" and there it was on the very first page, fourth row. THANK YA JESUS! Their nod-nod, wink-wink term was "Turn Lock". Well, yeah, ok, sure...it's a turn lock. A turn lock with an EXTRAORDINARLY long protruding shaft. A turn lock that also comes with strap hardware just in case....oh, I dunno...like say, you might want to stack two straps on it?? Or you maybe you have flap hole in mind? Why wouldn't we throw some hardware in to cover that design idea.....ya know just on the off chance your own original and imaginative bag design calls for something like that. It got even better. Under "Customers Purchased" Section, there were four more sets! Polished chrome, double plated gold, triple plated gold, double plated nickel, plain gold. I was so excited and happy I bought one of each . Here's a couple model numbers: P-2908-GOLD and P-2908-NIC The hardware showed up the day before Suzy's birthday and with the all nighter I finished the bag and delivered just in time. "You made this?" <Geez...! A puff of steam rises from my head> "Yess-sss. Do you know what it is?" "A purse?" <Geez...!> "Of course it's a purse, Suz. Do you know what kind of purse it is?!?" "A croc purse?" <Up-all-night blank stare. A little more steam rises from my head.> "It looks great."
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