Friday, August 27, 2010


So! What's the 1st book you ever read that completely seized you?

From the moment you started reading you couldn't put it down. And, when you were finished you wanted to go straight from the last page back to the first because you couldn't bear for it to end? What made you want to read that book in the first place? Did someone tell you about it? Maybe you heard a great review or everyone was talking about it and you were just plain curious?

Well, that's sorta how my love affair with the Bible began. I fell in love with the Writer - you might say - and I just flat couldn't get enough of Him. Please don't assume there is some holier-than-thou motive here, like the Miss America contestant that proclaims world peace as her most fervent desire when we're all thinkin' she really just wants to say whatever will get her that crown! LOL. When I say I have a love affair with the Bible, I mean it truly is my favorite book and, try as I might, I can't seem to put it down. If you really knew me, you'd know that is absolutely true. Just ask my friends who probably get tired of hearing me talk about it! LOL. It has - for lack of a better word - SEIZED me! And, I've never been the same.

I personally think it's the perfect book! For MEN we have a book that tells them exactly what they need to know - it doesn't make them guess. Even though the directions aren't always completely clear, they know you'll get to where they're going, and have a few adventures along the way. It's biographical, autobigraphical and historical... and it tells the truth! They don't have to guess what the writer's thinkin' or what's expected of them. It has action and adventure, war, fighting, intense brotherhood and loyalty, and great romance. It's full of heroes with heroines to save, battles to win, justice and righteousness to pursue, and it somehow makes them believe they are just the one to do it!

For WOMEN it's a book that tells us just how the Hero feels about us in words and actions...just reading it makes us feel part of something important. Like the beautiful Heroine of a great adventure novel, the Hero is always looking out for her, always rushing in on His white horse to save the day and rescue His bride. It has great romance, emotion and singing. And handsome, brave men like David who write beautiful poetry AND kill the giant. It has beautiful, exquisite women like Esther who change the course of history with her beauty and her brains. And, don't even get me started on the "Song of Solomon..."

Plainly speaking, it's an AWESOME book. It is God's Words and I just can't get enough of hearing His voice thru the pages.

So I was thinkin': so many of my friends have been seized by the "TWILIGHT" series for much of the same reasons: the Hero of the tale is so in love with the girl that He will move heaven and earth to protect her and be with her; the sound of His voice and His eloquent speech melt their hearts and give them hope for just a glimpse of something that lovely. Frankly, I haven' read it, for no particular reason except that I'm pretty much ruined for any other book. LOL I do have the 1st two in my book shelf but their time hasn't come yet. But I have wondered what it would look like if we all got hooked on the BIBLE the way so many millions are hooked on "TWILIGHT"?

Simply put: What would happen if the Bible entered The "Twilight" Zone? What if everyone was talking about and reading the Bible with the same enthusiasm and interest as the "Twilight" readers. That's what I call: Entering the "Twilight" Zone. And to think it all started because a young woman had a dream and then set out to put it down on paper. Hearing the story of how and why she wrote the book just adds to our desire to share it with her.

Well, reading the Bible is like that for me and I want to share it with you! If you're up for a challenge, read Psalm 119 in the Old Testament. It's this beautiful love letter about God's Word and how much the writer loves it and craves it. (I think King David wrote it but there are varying opinions there. The only thing that matters is it is fabulous!)

Psalm 119: 18-19 says "Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word. I am but a pilgrim here on earth: how I need a map - and your commands are my chart and guide. I long for your instructions more than I can tell."

I love to pray this one simple sentence before I read: "Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word." Works every time.

I hope you'll dive in today - maybe start with Psalm 119 - and just experience the pure, simple pleasure of reading the Bible.

On that note I want to welcome you to the "Twilight" Zone. Prepare to be seized!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Make mine "Fancy" please! All New Luxurious PBTs.

I'm so excited about my new "Fancy" PBTs and I couldn't wait to share them. I've been working on them for the past few weeks and I have to say I'm so in love with this new look. It's wonderful to have the opportunity to work with these beautiful fabrics that feel so luscious and luxurious to the touch. I hope you like them too!

In addition to the luxurious fabrics, these "Fancy" PBTs feature a roomy 4-pocket panel inside plus a single pocket that's perfect for your Cellphone, keys or Blackberry. And, to carry the luxurious feel one more step I've added delightful little feet on the bottom to help you keep it clean. I've been carrying mine (see "I made myself a new PBT!" post)for a few weeks now as my go-to Handbag and also as a Bible Tote when I needed a little extra room.

I'm going to be uploading them to my Etsy store this week, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak. If you have a second, I would love to hear what you think.

Stay tuned for more "Fancy" PBTs to come. Have a great day.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I've always lived my life "by the book." I'm a rule follower and I find great comfort in that. Funny thing this is, since I've decided to live my life according to God's Book, I've never been more of a renegade, rebel and all out rule-breaker in my entire least according to the world's rule book.

I love God's Word. I want to know it and study it and teach it, and live it till the day I die. My dream for Penny Bennett Totes is to encourage everyone I can to "Grab Life by the Book" - God's Book - and live it with passion, abandon, joy, courage and power. I want us to get it out of the bookshelf and into our lives. Mark Twain said the definition of a Classic is "a book people praise but nobody reads." Funny but true, no? Wouldn't you sometimes just prefer to see the movie. LOL. Me too!

But, what if you read this book review in the paper or in a magazine?

"This Book is full of living power, sharper than the sharpest dagger cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires, and exposing us for who we really are. This Book accomplishes everything the Writer intended and is changing the lives of everyone who reads it!"

Come on, now! Wouldn't you go straight to Barnes and Noble to get that book? And, then everyone would be reading it and talking about it, and it'd be the Oprah Book Club Selection and then.... well you know what happens from there. LOL.

Well, this "review" is exactly what the Bible says about the power of God's Word in Isaiah 55 and Hebrews 4. (my paraphrase) It's an awesome book! It's God's Word, His plans, His story, His law! His Love! In Deuteronomy 6 God says "And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. Tie them on your finger, wear them on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house!"

I remember the first time I came across these scriptures after I started diving into the Bible, I thought "man He ain't kiddin'. I think He wants me to read this book." LOL. I've been in love ever since.

I led a Bible Study at church called "Grab Life by the Book" where I simply wanted to tear down the walls of intimidation, or fear or disinterest - or whatever holds us back - and encourage people to face their fear, take the dive and experience the pure joy of reading God's beautiful Word. I wanted to inspire us to not settle for sound-bytes and cliff notes, but allow ourselves to really dive in deep and "grab life by the Book".

I thought it would be fun to revisit that class thru the pages of my blog so here it is: Part 1 of "Grab Life by the Book". I don't know how many parts we're talkin', I'm just gonna go where it leads me. But, I'm determined that the Bible is one "Classic" I will not only praise but actually read! I hope you'll join me and tell all your friends to join you! So grab your Bible - and your sense of adventure - and just take your dive. See where it takes you! It's an amazing ride and I gaurantee (or rather He does!) you won't regret it.

And away we go!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Elvis? 33 Years? Really?

I know, I know. I'm a southern girl so it's kind of a rule. I LOVE Elvis. I'm not one to travel to Mempis every year to light a candle, or take a trek to Graceland just to see the house one more time. And, frankly some of the movies were just bad. But, I loved him somethin' awful when I was a kid and it just stuck! I admit I still can get very excited when I see him or even hear his voice. I dreamed of playing the piano in his band but he died before I got the chance.

Still makes me sad that someone with so much promise, so much talent, charisma, generosity and obvious good looks could get so lost. He was beautiful and truly gifted in many ways. And! I got to see him live in person twice! $5 seats. Can you imagine? I was 13 and I can still hear myself screaming. He overwhelmed me to say the least.

So, to all the Elvis fans out there...if you're listening...wasn't he awesome!? I feel your pain. Truly I do. I'm gonna go eat some ice cream with peanut butter on it in his honor and be grateful for all the precious memories he gave me. I'll have a bite for you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Can't get enough of Polka Dots!

I've sold quite of few small Bible Totes with this fabulous polka dot fabric, but never made it in a Large Tote. I got a custom request for one and just love how it turned out. Thought you might like to see it.

Hey! Did you know that tomorrow's Friday? Yeahhhhhhh. Have a fabulous weekend.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I made myself a New PBT!

A friend asked me to make her a new PBT and inspired a design idea. I've been toying with it a bit over the past 6 months but never got around to it. Her special request was just what I needed to get me goin'. Don't know if she likes it yet but I love it!! It's the same width as my Large tote with changes to the height and strap length, as well as a few minor adjustments to the outside.

This fabric is a remnant I found a few years ago that I just couldn't decide what to do with because of the large pattern. I'm thrilled that it found it's way to this new look. I didn't add pockets to the outside because I didn't want anything to interfere with that gorgeous pattern. I love the creamy color scheme too.

I'm so excited to take this one to church on Sunday and see what my friend thinks of it. I'm wracking my brain to think of the perfect outfit to show it off! I'm like a kid for some reason with this one. I just love it!

I hope you like it too 'cause I'm seriously planning to add this to my line of PBTs. So, stay tuned. You will see more of this little baby!

Thanks for letting me share it with you.

P.S. I made that white button up many moons ago when I was a few sizes smaller...and then I quit smoking. LOL. I love it so much and couldn't bear to part with it so I decided to use it as decoration. Love it in my white room!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

50 Days to 50!

Today marks 50 days before my 50th Birthday. I'm gonna ponder that while I go about my day. I have no problem admitting my age, or getting older or embracing this time in my life. It's a glorious time in my life...long awaited and hard earned. I do, however, like most people, have trouble believing it's already here! I feel like I'm a teenager...though I'd never wanna do that again!!

Anywho...just wanted to mark the moment. And, I'm gonna celebrate every moment of it.

2 Etsy Treasuries in 1 Day! Color me happy!!

Can you believe it? My PBTs were featured in 2 different Etsy treasuries today. What joy?

Check this one out! It's "Pretty in Pink". Delightful! and I'm so proud to be part of it.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PBT Featured in an Etsy Treasury!!

I found out this morning that my "Flip-Flops" Bible tote was featured in a Treasury by a fellow Etsy seller. It's always a treat to be chosen for a Treasury and I'm honored.

It's a really fun one. Check it out!