I’ve never been one for white shoes or handbags, so my friends were dumbfounded when I brought this thing home from the local thrift store. Not only was it white, it was BIG and it was embossed with fake reptile scales and it totally DIDN’T look like anything but plastic.
Ah,I LOVE a challenge! Actually, what moved me to adopt this pathetic and rather dirty specimen of manmade leather was the fact that it had all that nice texture of the reptile scales. That plus the fact that it had disintincly marked off sections. I wanted to try color blocking the different sections then bringing up the texture of the scales by rubbing black over the paint. Here are some photos of the process.
The colors I chose were Lumiere’s Pearlescent Magenta, Halo Pink Gold and Pearlescent Turquoise. Both the pearlescent colors and the metallic colors in this line of paints look wonderful when darkened with the flat black paint from the related line of paints called Neopaque. Here’s what they look like painted on the faux reptile skin (AFTER I’d prepped the whole darn purse by rubbing gently with 100% acetone).
Next, I dipped a small rag in a puddle of Neopaque Black, rubbed it on each section (one at a time) and immediately rubbed some of it back off, so the original color would not be totally obscured.
Here’s a close up of the before and after showing the difference in how much more texture was “highlighted” by the addition of the black paint.
Now here’s the whole purse after being rubbed with the black paint.
Now I needed an embellishment to center in the top panel. I dug around in my embarrassingly large stash and came up with a metal washer from the hardware store and a small square sample of chain maille from a batch I’d ordered several years ago. I glittered the washer and dabbed some Staz-On alcohol-based ink on the chain maille.
I took photos of it for this blog, hung it from a hook in my studio and let it sit. Inside, I knew it wasn’t quite right. It took me a month or so before I was willing to admit that the glittery, dangly embellishment was not right for the rubbed-reptile look. But what to use instead? So, as I always do when I am stuck, I asked Destiny. She started rooting around in my embellishment stash and pulled out four components.
These were,from left, an Italian silver-tone button, a copper washer from the hardware store, a vintage-look Asian coin and a 55mm resin donut from Natural Touch Beads. When she stacked them all together, they looked like this. The choice of the aqua/turquoise resin donut was perfect: It echoed the Pearlescent Turquoise paint, while the copper washer echoed the Halo Pink Gold. The bronze of the Asian coin is barely visible below the copper washer, but it made a nice rim to the copper.
I decided to ignore the fact that it took Destiny about 96 seconds to pull these components out of my stash and stack them, while it had taken me 50 times that long to design the first (and failed) embellishment…
Anyway, overlooking this flaw of hers, I glued the parts together using E6000, glued on a dome button converted to the back using the same stuff, then stitched it in place. Here’s the final result.