Big white purse before resized

Big initial MI’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.

Big white purse paint chips-6 resized 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).

Big white purse interim resized

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.

Big white purse closeup paint before resized Big white purse closeup paint after resized

Now here’s the whole purse after being rubbed with the black paint.

Big white purse after no emb resized

Dome button converter Big white purse closeup 1st emb resized

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.

Then I glued a dome button converter from Fire Mountain Gems to the back of the washer using E6000 so I’d have little loops to use in stitching it to the purse.  Here’s what it looks like as a whole.

Big white purse 1st emb resized

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.

Big white purse new emb PARTS resized Big white purse new emb assembled resizedThese 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.

Big white purse after FINAL resized I am finally satisified with it. It’s still large, but it no longer looks like a white elephant — or a white whale, for that matter. All it needs now is a name. Any ideas?


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