*** SPECIAL SUMMER SALE on Lumiere starter kits Now just $11.95 ($3 off)!

Ameribag summer and winter closeup resized

Big initial MQuite a few years back, my wife, Erin, and I decided to save our shoulders and buy Ameribags, those backpack-like shoulder bags that distribute the weight of all the stuff that’s in them in some way so they don’t feel as heavy as they are. (I’m sure the manufacturers have a more succinct way of explaining the physiological benefit of their bags….)

It's my bag take 2 @ 72 dpiWe used them for a short while, and then they ended up in the back of the closet. Until I was hunting around one day for a bag to paint. Then I dragged out my black Ameribag and started playing with Lumiere paint and cosmetic sponges. I loved the results! And blogged about them.

That was two years ago, and despite using the bag daily, I am happy to report that it hasn’t even needed any touchups yet. My wardrobe — such as it is — needed some touchups, though. So I decided to get a new Ameribag bag for summer. (I had fallen in love with its lighter weight and abundance of pockets, both inner and outer, no matter its rather odd shape.).

Ameribag summer first round of painting resizedThis is the point at which Erin enters the story.”Do you want to paint my bag?” she offered. What a great idea! So she dug her bag out of the even-farther-back of her own closet, and offered it up on the altar of altered couture.

Oh boy, a new canvas to paint! I knew I wanted to do a multicolor sea-sponging effect, so I grabbed my big plastic tote (the kind of thing you use for lugging around cleaning supplies, but I put it to MUCH better use) of Lumiere paints, and started pulling out a lighter palette of colors.

Ameribag summer first round of painting-001First I needed a background for the sponging. I brushed on a coat of Metallic Bronze lightened with Pearl White. The paints I chose for the sponging on top in a series of light layers were Metallic Russet and Halo Pink Gold, both lightened with Pearl White, Copper, and Halo Violet Gold. The result was… a little blah. Not enough contrast, I think.

So I asked Destiny what to do. She suggested sponging on Citrine, which I did — along with Metallic Olive (just a little), Copper, full-strength Metallic Bronze and Halo Violet Gold. These last layers were very, very sparse, so lots of the colors underneath would show. (Click on the photo to see the colors better. Lumiere is so light-reflective, it’s hard to get a good photo of it!)

Ameribag summer collage resized

Now for the embellishments. I pulled out a wonderful piece of iridescent purple leather, a vintage watch face and some coppery crackle fabric trim I’d been saving for something special. I can’t stress enough the importance of buying something really special when you first see it — even if you are getting just a little bit of it. I’ve sat on that yard of shiny copper trim for at least five years!

I glued on the leather and fabric trims with The Ultimate and stitched on the watch face (using a tiny glass bead as the anchor on top) using smoke-colored Fireline and a leather needle strong enough to do the job, but thin enough to slide through the bead.

Ameribag summer after collage resized

Here’s the finished bag, which I am happily carrying with ALL my stuff stuffed into it.

Ameribag summer and winter resizedAnd here it is with its winter cousin. Don’t they make a lovely couple?

And don’t forget our SPECIAL SUMMER SALE ON Lumiere starter kits – Now just $11.95 ($3 off)! Nine different colors, enough paint to mix, match and sponge NINE pairs of shoes or three small- to medium-size bags.

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