Whimsy is well in hand

Trimmed with fanciful fringe and crafted from whimsical fabrics, June Land's handbags have a fun, contemporary look that's eclectic without being too wild.


Not bad for a handbag designer who learned to sew only last year at the age of 41.

Land, who lives in Hunt Valley, carried the first handbag she made for herself -- a sage floral bucket bag with gingham lining -- to the mall and got lots of attention from other shoppers who wanted to know who made her distinctive bag.


So she started turning out more handbags and selling them at home parties, school fairs and flower shows.

The bags, which come in classic shapes, range in price from $58 for a 10-inch rectangular bag to $110. Her most popular bags for summer feature a black and white toile lined with lime green or a white bag printed with hot pink lips. Land also does custom orders.

"This has completely taken over -- I'm really having fun with it," said Land, a stay-at-home mother of two whose husband and children help her fashion her fashionable bags.

June Land's handbags are available at the Sporting Life of Baltimore in Greenspring Station in Lutherville (410-321-8806). Or you can buy them by contacting Land at

Take your wallet into the waves

It's no secret -- when men hit the beach, their wallets, car keys and cell phones usually get stashed in their shoes or under a beach towel.

This summer Speedo is shaking things up a bit with the introduction of a waterproof plastic wallet / pocket that allows the wearer to take his wallet in the water. Called the "Blocket Pocket," the insert has two zipper closures and a foldover Velcro flap. A detachable bungee cord hooks onto a loop sewn into the swimsuit pocket.

The Speedo Blocket Pocket is available in all 2003 men's and boy's watershorts. Speedo swimwear is available at sporting goods and department stores and at


Give everybody some lip

Deciding whether to lavish on the lip gloss and lipstick just got harder.

Imagine a cool box filled with 12 different lip glosses, in shades ranging from light pink and bronze to radiant red. It's not a dream. Lola Gloss Menagerie is a reality. The $45 kit features lip gloss made with mint, jojoba and green tea to nourish the lips, and vitamin E and beeswax to provide additional conditioning.

It's available at and select Sephora stores.

New twists on popular fragrances

Hoping to cash in on the popularity of already tried and true fragrances, a number of designers have recently released slightly new formulas of favorite scents.


Yves Saint Laurent has redone sassy Opium in a limited-edition summer scent. Think of it as spicy gone citrus and with its dark red and black packaging replaced with white linen weave. Opium Eau D'Ete costs $44 for 3.3 ounces.

And Ralph Lauren is getting into the act too by releasing Romance Tender Notes, which reportedly captures the "heart" or "tender notes" of the original sweet floral. The company says the scent is still delicate and floral but now has the added aroma of fruit. And yes, the clear bottle has been redone in pink glass. Ralph Lauren Romance Tender Notes costs $57.50 for 3.4 ounces.

Perhaps there are no new fragrances anymore, only new marketing ideas.