Bestselling Author & Illustrator Jackie Morris Reveals What’s In Her Scaramanga Leather Saddlebag & Backpack

Bestselling Author & Illustrator Jackie Morris Reveals What’s In Her Scaramanga Leather Saddlebag & Backpack

posted in: Fashion, Leather Bags, Women | 12

I bought my first bag from Scaramanga a few years ago. We’ve travelled a long way together since then. For years I had searched for that elusive thing, ‘just the right bag’.
It needed to be just the right size, and shape to carry inside a book for writing, and maybe the book I am reading. The strap needed to be just the right length so that it was comfortable to carry.

I paint, I write. I paint in my studio, but when I write I wander the pathways on the land, and those inside my head, and I need something in which to carry pen and paper. So, my first Scaramanga bag, the 12 inch leather saddlebag, and though I have now and again been unfaithful, distracted by bright colours, or glitter, my Scaramanga bag is still my one true love when it comes to bags.

And we have worked together before, Scaramanga and I, to promote my books and their bags, side by side. It makes sense to me because the books are all written in books carried in their bags and somehow, well, bags and books just fit together.

Singed copies of East Of The Sun & The Wild Swans Scaramanga are giving away with a 12 inch saddlebag
Singed copies of East Of The Sun & The Wild Swans Scaramanga are giving away with a 12 inch saddlebag



So, I have drawn in and wrapped a couple of books, East of the Sun, West of the Moon and The Wild Swans, both written and illustrated by me. Scaramanga are putting them into a leather saddlebag and both will be given away. I’ve added some cards too, for good measure. Jackie’s books can be bought at Solva Mills.

And then I thought, well, what exactly do I carry in my bags? So I thought I would show you.

Jackie's two Scaramanga Leather Bag
Jackie’s two Scaramanga Leather Bag


The contents of Jackie's leather saddlebag
The contents of Jackie’s leather saddlebag


First the leather saddlebag:

Today there is my notebook for writing, posh, leather bound, with marbled endpapers, and a Waterman’s fountain pen.
There’s cartridges, for a Lamy pen and a Watermans, both black ink.
My phone, and earphones, not because I listen to music, but because I read on the train and was saying to my daughter how irritating it is that people talk to you when you are reading. “They don’t talk to people when they are listening to music,” I said. “ So,” said daughter, “put some earphones in. They will think you are listening to music.” Wise child.
There is the key to a friend’s house in Abergavenny.
My wallet.
A jigsaw, which usually gets given away to someone. 40 pieces, made from wood with one of my pictures on.
A small tin of business cards.
Some conte pastels ( even though I seldom use them)
Needlefelting tool, incase of emergency needlefelting (?!)
And last but not least, the bone of a seal ( flipperbone, smooth. Why, because you never know when you might need a seal’s bone).
( There are dog poo bags too, but I took them out of the photo)

The contents of Jackie's Leather backpack
The contents of Jackie’s leather backpack

And in the backpack?

At the moment it has;
Labels with string attached for leaving in places with strange notes or drawings on.
A bag, beautifully made for me by my friend June, that at the moment has badges in, but sometimes contains bears.
A pencil.
A Swiss Army knife.
A tag from Edinburgh Book Festival that states I am an author, incase I forget.
Some business cards.
An emergency needlefelting tool ( see above)
A small tag from Edinburgh, The Golden Hare Bookshop.
Rescue remedy.
Scaramanga’s business card.
My knitting ( a scarf for my mum for Christmas)
A copy of Sometimes a Wild God, signed by Tom Hirons and Rima Stains, because you never know when you might need some poetry.
A gold pencil.
And soon it will have a pad of watercolour paper, a Winsor and Newton series 7 no 4 brush, a small tin with The Cat and the Fiddle on that belonged once to my partner’s mum, in which there are just enough paints to paint a bear or a dragon, or a hare, and my pencil case, for I have to go to London, then Richmond, to paint in the Alligator’s MouthBookshop on Monday 14th Dec.

I am hoping by then I will have finished the book I am reading, because although it will fit in my bag, it’s a bit heavy.


So, what’s in your bag?


12 Responses

  1. Judith Eddington

    All the usual stuff. Hankies purse make up bag keys pens a haircut a watch

  2. Nancy Palmer

    What’s in my bag? Hmmmm…. A very small sketchbook. A tin, originally holding mints (which have been gobbled up or shared ’round) which now carries a few pans of watercolor and a tiny brush. 16 assorted pens and pencils (I counted). My phone, which holds messages, including my late father’s voice, so counts as a time-travel device. A playbill. My wallet. A novel by R.A. MacAvoy that is yellowed and tattered and so, so loved. A letter to a friend. A harp tuning key, and a packet of nasturtium seeds.

  3. In my bag? Paper – always paper, in various notebooks, two or three pens and a mini pencil (from last year’s diary). A diary. Some of my business cards, which say I’m a bookbinder and show photos of my books (just in case I need some!), plus a mini photo book, showing a few more books too. Wallet, coin-purse, phone, keys, inhaler, lip balm, paracetamol, emergency plaster. Then my sketchbook, for ideas, thoughts, plans and projects. Sometimes a parcel or two, to post off to a customer (parcel days make me smile!).
    I also have “Sometimes a Wild God” – it’s pretty good. In fact, you have reminded me that I bought three copies, to give as presents – thanks, I will go and find them!
    I think I may also need a copy of “Wild Swans” in my bigger bag, as it looks so beautiful. Something lovely to read while I’m waiting in the car, on my son’s sports and music nights!

  4. Liz Duffy

    My bag is a huge tan leather thing that used to be my (now 5 year old) baby daughter’s changing bag. It’s amazing amount of hidey holes, zipped bits, compartments and clip-on key holders make it ideal for my daily use! It all looks very tidy on the outside, but in fact holds: my trusty red leather Filofax, always a book, turquoise leather pencil case with everything I could ever envisage needing inside, Swiss card, phone & charger, glasses, tub of sugar-free gum, and stray hair ties in every bit. The leather nappy pouch is now my trusty makeup case and sits at the bottom with the basics and a good Chapstick.

  5. Mary arney

    I have a folder filled with various drawing papers, wallet, a couple diapers and wipes, an ancient iPad that is really only good for letting the wee beastie play some games or draw, a ball of string, some finger puppets made from pine cones, glue, and some stuff from the bottom of the bag. A chrochet hook, a coin purse filled with tea bags, a zip lock bag filled with some cloth pieces, wool, needles, thread, buttons, some interesting rocks, pens, pencils, crayons, & water color pencils. Travel first aid kit, blank cards to write notes to friends on the fly, a small tube of glue., my phone, tissues, 2 tiny plastic elephants, a small giraffe, a mouth guard and earplugs, a media player with books, music, audio books, and a couple movies on it…oh and two small flash lights. My keys have to live on the outside of my bag for obvious reasons via a carabiner clip, but they have company with my travel mug for tea and a magnifying glass because why not?

  6. Sue Hopkins

    My purse, phone, diary, packet of tissues, bottle of water, keys, woolly hat, insect repellant (?) , some driftwood and shells plus sand 😉 and an envelope with poppy seed heads in :D.

  7. I would love to have one of Jackie Morris; books in my bag! Currently I have some Buckin’ Bee lip gloss, my readers (cheapies from the drugstore) just in case I see something way too small to hold at arm’s length and still be able to see it to read it, my coupon codes written down for World Market shopping, cell phone, the usual cards in a wallet, and a small leather journal for sketching or writing in, along with a pen. And sometimes, there are dog treats when I have my comopanion with me!

  8. Mary Goodwin

    In my bag, I have: my zippered coin purse( which doubles as a credit card holder), a fold up hairbrush/mirror, lip balm, lipstick, 4 snap clips for my hair, an inhaler, a pill bottle, a extra pair of earrings, an inkpen, sticky notes, a small notebook, and miscellaneous receipts.

  9. In my bag I have my purse, a small purple moleskine notebook, a fountain pen, a biro and a pencil, a box of needle felting needles, some sheep fleece, small ball of knitting wool, some badges, business cards, lip salve, 3 pebbles, a silver bear, a silver hare, some turquoise beads from a broken necklace, a broken circular knitting needle, keys, pipe cleaners, kilt pin, phone charger, glass beads, hair ties, a polar bear, a conker, an acorn, two alder cones, a lot of fluff and crumbs, lots of receipts and a top hat for a weasel,

  10. My bag is a bit magical and Mary Poppins. I am a teacher you see, so first off there is usually chocolate or some sweets because they are helpful for cheering anyone of any age. There is stick glue for mending worksheeets and invisible extra patient and loving glue for broken hearts and dented confidence. There is a rainbow made of pens because it is waaaaay more fun to mark books in purple and pink and lime green than in red. There are smiley stickers and needles and thread for fixing costumes for the school production . There is always glitter because it works in a similar way to chocolate. There was a pack of fairy lights that were attached to the Wicked Witch’s dress, but they seem to have disappeared. What else? Raffles tickets, pen drives, hope n dreams oh and all the lovely weird stuff that kids leave lying around and you pick up to give back to them because you know they can ‘t manage without their favourite pen or hair tiggle thingy. Oh and the cool things that you come across like shiny acorns , beautiful leaves. Spare Duck food at one point. Sometimes there is a Weasus or a Tomten, if I remember an umbrella or a cardigan or scarf. Whatever I am reading will be in there and maybe some Lego … I need a bigger bag, maybe a suitcase or Husky train…,

  11. scaraadm

    Thanks to Manda and everyone else who has told us what’s in their bags.
    It’s only fair that Carl, Scaramanga’s owner, reveals what;s in his bag!
    I have a large leather Overlander and this evening it has: 16 inch laptop with power cable, various reports in plastic sleeves, a mini tape measure, pens, diary, leather journal, memory sticks, a half read copy of last Saturday’s Guardian (it usually takes me a week to get through it), a copy of Period Living magazine and an old cigarette tin that I use for business cards.

  12. Juliette

    I have a Scaramanga saddle bag, too – and mine, too, is the bag love of my life. I’ve had it for four years and used it most days, occasionally alternating with my Scaramanga 13 inch satchel with pocket and handle, 13 inch polished tan satchel, my 11 inch mini satchel, my large saddle bag or my micro satchel. As you can see, I adore Scaramanga bags – but the one I love most is my saddle bag. Over the years it has gained such a rich, antique-looking patina and the leather has softened and is now even more deliciously tactile than it was when it was new.

    As for what’s inside… Right now, there’s a William Morris print leather purse; a Scaramanga pencil case (containing a vintage Parker ball pen, a mirror from the National Gallery with the Rokeby Venus on it, a couple of Burt’s Bees lip balms, earphones for exactly the same reason as Jackie!, a small plastic frog, a conker picked up on a walk in Hyde Park several autumns ago, and an acorn from a walk in Prince’s Gardens, Edinburgh); a pair of grey cashmere gloves; a Scaramanga travel pass wallet containing my bus pass and old train tickets from special, past journeys; my keys, attached to a Scaramanga heart keyring; my phone; William Morris print diary; my Kindle; a small Scaramanga journal; and a postcard of Rossetti’s The Daydream. Every item is, of course, essential!

    I hope that me and my saddle bag have many, many more adventures ahead of us!

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