South Dakota. inspired.

This is one of the items in the silent auction at the Billie Sutton Grit for Governor event this Saturday, November 18th, in Burke, South Dakota.  The imagery of road, earth and sky are meant to give a sense of spaciousness like the prairie.  This bag has been sanded, ironed, hammered, painted and sanded again.  I like my work to look a little tattered, worn out and yet, still hanging in there.

I wanted this project to reflect my love of South Dakota and acknowledge the road ahead for the SUTTONforSD team.  This gubernatorial race requires a lot of heart, courage and grit.  I suspect there will be times when everyone is going to be a little tattered…and yet, somehow, still hanging in there.

The road to me is about leaving, coming home, exploring points unknown & so much more.  I never get tired of working with road imagery.  My creative inspiration for this bag came from Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo (who made a lot of her own wardrobe and accessories) and Calamity Jane (who wore a lot of men’s clothing).  These women had a lot of duality and refused to conform to social norms…talk about grit.


Billie Sutton is married to my niece, Kelsea Kenzy Sutton and grew up in my hometown.  He’s currently South Dakota’s State Senate Minority Leader (and the father of my brilliant & hilarious great-nephew, Liam).  This gubernatorial race is one to take notice of, regardless of where you live.  Please take some time to visit their campaign site.  The link is below.

Now, won’t election day 2018 be even more fun now that you’re paying attention to South Dakota Governor’s race? 

Go ahead, share the link, make a donation & really have some skin in the game.


Open Studio Saturday the 18th 2-5 pm

I’m moving out of my studio and I want to honor the 15+ years I’ve worked there with an informal (and last minute) open house.  Over the years my parties were known for two things, well, maybe three—art, noisy kids and peanut M & Ms.

There will be art, jewelry and  some accessories for sale and a few items simply for viewing that I’m unable to part with right now.  I can guarantee that this will be a very low key event.  Please just stop by and say hello if you’re out and about on Saturday.  I would love to see you even if just for a minute.  Please share this or bring a friend.

You can do a quick run through of my space, say hello, grab some M & Ms and browse through Deep 6 Goods that is just below me.  Joey’s shop has very cool stuff.  Here’s the link:

180 Flynn Ave • Burlington • Vermont• Saturday • 2-5pm

(back right corner toward the tall smokestack and up the green fire escape)

Half of all sales will be donated to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington, Vermont.

If I was invited to my own studio…


I would think it’s a co-op of about five different artists and I wouldn’t even know what to pay attention to.  No wonder when I get there I’m not always sure what I’m going to work on—I want to do it all and sometimes, unfortunately, that’s immobilizing.

I think at this stage of my life I am seeking a more direction.

I don’t want to get static or rigid, but good grief, I think there’s a space in between.

I’ve decided to take a few minutes, get quiet and see what I want to work on BEFORE I take off for my studio.  I’m hoping that simple act will get me more focused and deliberate.  I’ll let you know if it works…but I might forget and you may need to e-mail and ask me about how it turned out. It seems like this just might be a natural state of our world…but I want to fight it.  There are so many things to pay attention to that it’s overwhelming.  OK, off to the studio, but first, I want to check out that song, book, technique, read my e-mail, the news, oh there’s a video I bookmarked…aaaarrgggghhhh.



Maggie with red purse lillibridge dakota 1966 print sift magazine


photo IMG_0553








IMG_1153 091027_LisaLillibridge_4700 IMG_1435_2

Frida Kahlo inspired handbag. My steps included.







I spent an inordinate amount of time on this bag.  I’m thrilled that it turned out looking like a museum piece. It’s has structural integrity, but it looks like it should be handled with white gloves.  I think Frida Kahlo might’ve actually carried this.  I’m not sure which of my models for STRUT will be carrying this bag because it works with all four looks. I could do this type of design for days and neither need rest or nourishment.  I love when I’m in “flow” in my studio.  It’s a rare and unbelievably fulfilling time as an artist.

It was great to be in my studio today…

and I didn’t even turn NPR or music on all day.  I was so happy to be alone with my thoughts, a giant iced tea (thanks to my son) and all of my leathers, fabrics, trims, sewing machines and tools.  I wanted to start working on my accessories for the fashion show (STRUT) on September 12th, in Burlington, Vermont. I’m afraid this bag may be a little dark for the runway.  However, with the right styling it might just work.



My models really did STRUT their stuff.

lisa lillibridge dakota 1966 willa runway strut

willa close up  lillibridge dakota 1966 strut

lillibridge lillian runway dakota 1966 strut

Lillibridge dakota 1966 runway Lucy strut


lisa lillibridge STRUT maggie runway

Lisa Lillibridge maggie close up of bag and skirt

1G4A9782 2

Photos by Fritz Senftleber of Burlington, Vermont
Thanks Fritz. The photos turned our beautifully.


[teks-cher] Show IPA noun, verb, tex·tured, tex·tur·ing.
1.the visual and especially tactile quality of a surface: rough texture

Lillibridge, Dakota 1966, vinyl bag before

Lillibridge, Dakota 1966, vinyl bag after, texture

This was an experiment to give a thrifted vinyl clutch some new life. I haven’t decided if I will paint the bag. I think the effect is quite interesting. I do believe life is more interesting with some “rough texture”.

How I used the vintage curtain…

crewel bag, Lillibridge, Dakota 1966

I used the design of this remarkable flea market find to dictate the shape of the bag. I found a few vintage buttons this morning at the flea market that will serve as the closure. I can’t wait to carry this bag. I learned a lot on this one. I want to keep doing a lot more detail inside with the lining and I need to do it before I sew it in, but I get so excited about what I am doing I miss some steps. Sequencing and logic are not my strong suits. Happy Wednesday!

Merging My Design Interests



1. I collect handbags. 2. I carve onto wood. 3. I love to work with scavenged materials. I want to merge all of these these passions. My business partner, Maggie Pace helped me with a quick design of how we could incorporate the elements. I want to work with leather, wood, rivets and found objects. Here are a few experiments–sketches basically.