M monogramI have been on the road A LOT in the last six weeks, including the quilt show in Santa Clara that Destiny blogged about last week. So this weekend when we had reservations to pack up the car, this time for a camping trip, I pooped out at the last minute. Luckily, the weather was windy and chill so I didn’t get much argument from my camping partner.

Citrine Time before 72 dpi The wonderful result was that I stayed home and did TWO altered purses. After being on the road giving presentations about painting and embellishing shoes and purses, selling products, and teaching classes, it was a huge delight to use my own creativity again. Here’s the before of the first purse I did (I’ll save the second for another post). It’s a small shoulder bag — 6.5″ wide by 5.5″ high and has patches of embossing on the front. It’s new, though it came from a thrift store, and it’s manmade leather, though it looks like the real thing.

I started out by choosing colors for it: Lime, black, and white. There’s a color of Lumiere paint called Citrine which is a nice light spring green and it goes beautifully with our Peridot shade of glitter paint. With that palette decided, I started with the left-hand panel of embossing by brushing on Citrine paint and rubbing some of it off so the embossing would show up. Then I highlighted the embossing with black Neopaque paint, Citrine (full-strength), and Peridot glitter paint.  I did the same thing using on the upper right panel of embossing, this time using Pearlescent White for the undercoat.

Citrine Time Lighter 72 dpi

Next I rummaged through my stash and came up with some treasures The large central panel got painted and rubbed, then I glued down a black spiderweb-like ribbon (called Web Ribbon from Small Studio Productions). The lower panel got covered with some stretch green lace I picked up on a whim at a mill-end store in San Jose called Fabrics R Us.

The top left panel has three rows of big black satin cord stitched onto stretch velvet, but it doesn’t show up well in the photo. I added some black and white striped ribbon, a bar of Peridot glitter, and some tiny black-loop trim, patiently clamping and gluing when needed. The parts of the purse that remained black got a fresh coat of Neopaque black.

Final touches included:

  1. The wonderful old watch face I found at Kit Kraft in Los Angeles, a place with a phenomenal amount of craft stuff, a good portion of which (though not the watch faces) is on their website. I stitched down the watch face using a bead over the tiny hole in the center (where the clock hands were originally mounted) so as to create an anchor. Then I glued the face down to keep it from shifting around.
  2. The heavy gunmetal curb chain (22x15x2mm) I used to replace the narrow black strap originally on the bag. I got this chain at Fire Mountain Gems. They still have it, but in a smaller gauge.
  3. A large black rayon tassel, probably purchased at a fabric store.
  4. A coat of Future floor finish to seal and add shine to the whole production.

I’m not sure which was more fun: Playing with yummy colors, transforming a sow’s ear into a silk purse (as it were), or simply rummaging through my embarrassingly extensive stash! By the way, this purse is called Steampunk Time. It’s the first in a series I’ll be doing called Little Beauties, all of which will be for sale. Stay tuned!

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