Lyrical Blue Butterfly Bags.  What's That?  Bags That Sing? 

BagsHi all.   I'm Mandy as most of you know, and I run the site here at Mandy's Pages, and design and handcraft bags at Blue Butterfly Bags. Welcome to my page that brings a whole new idea to describing bags the tanka way. Why bags, you might ask.  And why tanka for bags?  The answer is plain and simple.  I write tanka.  I make bags.  And I intend to merge the two together to bring out lyrical bags.  Is there such a thing as lyrical bags?  (Smiles).  If there isn't, then let's invent them now: you and I together. 

I have always been passionate about bags.  Even when little, I used to get excited over a new bag or a simple zippered pencil pouch. There have been times when I've been amazed at the intricate bag shapes and craftsmanship in creating them, thinking that only well-trained professionals and designers could make exquisite bags.  I do not mean to be disrespectful to those who are professionals in this field, but with the right set of friends at the right time, I stumbled upon the skill of bag-making in 2013.  Many of you are familiar with my passion for making bags, and see images of my work from time to time.  In these four years, I've made a little over 200 bags as gifts and paid orders, and through it have learned about pattern making & designing, instruments and tools, and the names of various accessories that make up this wonderful and endearing craft. I even own an industrial machine to help me make those tough many layered denim, as well as, leather bags.  I do not call myself a professional or expert bag maker yet, but hope to be there some time in the future with God's grace.  "His grace is sufficient for me." 

Blue Butterfly Bags


In 2015 I gifted tanka poet, David Terelinck, with a tanka bag for being my mentor and friend. In reply he wrote me the following tanka.

stitched by hand

and oversewn with love

the time it takes 

in crafting and shaping

friendships that matter 


My bag prompted him to write this beautiful tanka, which I have treasured since. Thank you David. :)  It also got me thinking of how my bags could affect a person's mood or inspire their creative talent for tanka.  And yet again, why tanka?

If you've followed my posts for the past four years, you will know my love for tanka.  This Japanese form of poetry is to portray 'a little song' in just five lines: ie., to be lyrical.  It prompts one's imagination into its dreaming room, with untold stories that only the reader can interpret, either from personal experience or by putting oneself in the shoes of the poet.

When you see an image of a bag I've made, how would you interpret it in tanka?  How would your story unravel based on a simple bag image? Does it bring back a nostalgic or horrific memory? Does it make you think of a loved one who has gifted you a bag before? What does it prompt you to think?

My plan right now is to create an electronic journal called "Lyrical Blue Butterfly Bags".  From time to time, I will post images of the bags I have created. I invite poets to write tanka based on the image, and send them in to me (within a specific submission period). One tanka will be selected per image and you will be published here at Mandy's Pages for your contribution to the new electronic journal called "Lyrical Blue Butterfly Bags". 

Mandy's Pages has a variety of tanka literature and information on the right panel of this page. I specifically urge you to read the post: Enriching Your Tanka-Writing Experience: It's All About Quality, for those who are keen to know more.  

Apart from being published, you will also be given credit for describing a bag at the Blue Butterfly Bags website, (once it is up and running.)  If I am blown away by your tanka, I might even decide to name a bag after you. 

What do you think of my plan?  As always, feel free to write in your thoughts and suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

Stay tuned for the first bag image that I will post in a day or two. 

Image Credit: Inside of a Bag, by kissyface