A couple of weeks ago Craig and I met some friends at a restaurant. While we were waiting for our food I started digging in my purse to find something, and as usual, it was hopeless. Frustrated, I started taking things out of my purse one at a time, and at some point I noticed that the conversation at the table had stopped. My husband and our friends were not only watching me, they started commenting on everything I pulled out of my purse. We had a good laugh. And though the purse-emptying didn’t last very long, its contents definitely took the conversation in some interesting directions.

Later I started thinking about how many times I’ve heard someone point to a woman’s purse and say, “What do you carry in that thing???” So I decided to find out. This is the first installment in what I hope will become a series. The Purse Project consists of my asking women, on the spot, if I can photograph what is in their purses. No time to clean it out; no time to remove random items. Just dump the contents out and let me take photos. Several awesome women agreed to my strange request, and the purse project was born. At one place, women were congregating around the person who was dumping out her purse, and there was lots of laughter and friendly chatter going on. I heard more than one person say, “This is so fun!” 

As you’ll soon see, both the contents and their orderliness differ wildly from person to person. Most random item? A dental mold. Never know when you're gonna need one.