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Destiny and I have been painting and embellishing purses like mad to stock the booth we’ll have at this Saturday’s Day With Creative Women set for Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo. Some of the purses we work on are inexpensive and new, found on ebay or in thrift stores. Others are vintage classics, many of which come to me via the generosity of friends.

My friend Leanne McWaters has been a special source of special purses this year, owing to the passing of her loving, lively — and very stylish — mother, Vey. One of these purses was made of a gorgeous black fabric with a tightly rolled and ridged surface. You can see it  in the”before” photo below, and if anyone knows what it’s called, please let me know.

Dashes and dots before-1 at 72dpi

 Many of the purses that I revamp get a total paint job, but this fabric was too classy to cover up entirely. So I got out some favorite Lumiere colors and created a design that showcased the original surface rather than disguised it. (You did know, didn’t you, that the wonderful Lumiere paints you use on leather and faux leather work beautifully — and permanently — on fabric?)

I daubed the surface first with Crimson, applied using the bottom surface of a wedge-shaped makeup sponge (available in drug stores). This created the larger dashes. (Since I only used one light daubing of paint, the result was much pinker than Crimson usually produces.) Next I used Burnt Orange, applied with the edge of the broad side of the wedge.  Finally, I added squarish dots of Pearlescent Turquoise, dabbed on with a 1/4″ flat paintbrush. I didn’t plan where all these dots and dashes would go, I just used my eye.

Dashes and dots after-1 at 72dpi

For finishing touches, I painted alternating smaller dots of orange and turquoise on the handles and stitched on an embellishment I made from a big resin donut from Natural Touch Beads and an oversize button daubed with a little of the orange Lumiere. Here’s a closeup of the embellishment, which also gives you a good look at the fabric the purse is made of.

Dashes and dots after closeup at 72dpi

 I like to think that Leanne’s mom would approve of her revamped purse. She was a wonderful and warm character with a real zest for life, and I’m grateful to have “inherited” some of her class and style in the form of this elegant vintage purse.  I call it “Dots and Dashes.”

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