Monday, August 30, 2021

Tiger, Pink Leather and Boots; Plus Snake Jacket Art Part I

Happy Monday, folks! Today's outfit features a new-to-me item plus a couple of older favourites, and I have a sneak peek to share of the start of my next art project! 

I've been eyeing this ensemble in my closet for a while - it's the last bit of Mental Health Outfit Planning from several weeks back. Time to wear it! 
I built it around this lovely tiger-print linen top, pairing it with a bold bright pink leather. Yes, I'm wearing boots, and yes, it's still August. 

  • Shirt - Jones New York, consignment; purchased here for $24.00
  • Skirt - Evan Davies, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here in August 2021 with my optic cardi
  • Boots - Rockport, thrifted; last seen here in April with a spring green dress
  • Welsh cape (below) - vintage 60s, Dafydd Snowden,thrifted; last worn here (3rd outfit) in June

I really like the fit and cut of this top - it will go well with many of my solid bottoms. 
My pink leather skirt is getting its annual outing - this is its 17th wearing (Flashback here).
The skirt is quite high-waisted, so I added this leather/metal belt over the shirt to define the waist a bit more. 
I have nylons on, just because I don't like bare feet in boots. 

Masked up - pink for matchy-matchy! 
I saw six people in the office today!

  • Mask - by Mom

Outerwear returns! It's cold enough at night now that it's chilly in the mornings. 
I found myself wanting gloves on my walk to work. 

The stuff: 
With September just around the corner, we're officially into the "shoulder season" - it's not quite full-on summer, but it's too warm and bright to be fall. And autumn is still three weeks away! 

Twisted bling:
I chose bold gold to match the blouse's buttons, and browns to go with the boots. 

  • Celluloid snake cuff - vintage 1920s, antique shop, Sidney, purchased here for $60.00
  • Brown bangles - vintage, Lazy Susan's
  • Chain bracelet - thrifted
  • Earrings - Biko, consignment
  • Wooden ring - Dots
  • Bronze Brutalist ring - vintage 70s, vintage mall
  • Belt (not shown) - Club Monaco, thrifted; purchased here for $12.00

I added the belt after I took the "bling" picture. 

Snake Jacket Art Project, Part I

On Sunday afternoon, L and I have the lovely habit of reading while we listen to music. It's become a wonderfully relaxing and soothing part of our weekend. Instead of my book, I decided to delve into my next art project this week: my tan leather jacket, which I plan on covering in snake, skull and roses motifs. 

I'm a methodical person, so I started by gathering my supplies. 
The jacket, a variety of felt-tipped pens, scissors for cutting off the loops and buttons, and a bunch of printed design inspirations from the interwebz. Those pictures are for the main design on the back (that's a clip-art design - it's not a copyright infringement). 

Here's the jacket all stripped down - buttons removed from the front. I'll sew the replacement glass buttons on last, as I don't want them to get chipped or dinged.
And buttons and loops removed from the sleeves. 

The holes from the thread remain. 
But the loops disappeared pretty well into the seams. I'll be drawing over all of this section eventually. 

Learning my lesson from the Fluevog Shoe Art Project (end result here), I used the buttons to test all of my pens. Not all ink is created the same, nor are all leathers. 
The top line and number is the pen that I used on my Fluevogs, a Micron; the bottom line and designation is from my Staedtler permanent marker. 

I did a smudge test on all of the different kinds and colours - only the Staedtler didn't smudge or rub off with water. 
I also did tests with the spray lacquer and the coloured markers. I discovered that I had to spray the leather very lightly with lacquer in order for the coloured markers to stick, and I'll also have to spray over each colour to keep them from smudging. Or, I could always go buy more pens...

Fortunately, the lacquer didn't hurt or stain the leather when I tested it on the buttons, so I gave the entire jacket a light spray and then let it air on the deck with all the windows open (and doors shut, phew, it was stinky!).

I also tested my gold pens on the leather. 
These are the pens I used when I worked at Christmas House (1986-1997) to write on Christmas decorations for people. I mostly did "Victoria, B.C." in calligraphy, but sometimes customers' names. It's a liquid gold ink (you can also get these in silver).

No smudging - but I reminded myself to give any gold pen-work time to dry before handling it.
It looks good over black. Nice. I have Grand Plans for this!

Once I realized that most of my pens would just rub off with water, I sketched out the design on the back of the jacket with a grey felt-tipped marker. 
After my first attempt turned out crooked, I "erased" it with a damp paper towel, and drew vertical and horizontal lines to keep the drawing centered. You can see one of the lines going through the nose on my second attempt.

There's no going back now - permanent ink is going on it! 
Just a very basic black outline of the main sections: the skull, the snake and its coils, and circles for where the roses would go. 

I erased my sketching after I got the main lines in, then started working on the roses first, as some of them overlap the snake and skull. I didn't like the snake's head or pattern in the main inspiration picture, so I copied a different head from another image. 
I did the same flowers as I did on my shoes, and did the connecting leaves and thorns again. I changed up the large leaf design slightly. 

I filled in the scale pattern on the snake - this will be further elaborated on with a Zentangle-ish pattern and shading. 
That's about four hours of work, and my hand needed a rest after that. It's got a long way to go still, but I'm really excited. As NFL football season starts soon, I'll likely work on the jacket while I watch the games. It's better than sitting like a lump. 

Speaking of lumps...

Vizzini, aren't you excited by my new project?
"I can't believe you kept me off my deck for an hour, Woman!"

Silly bub, I can't have you inhaling that stinky spray! Besides, you were sleeping on the laundry most of the afternoon. 
"Oh, that's true. The warm t-shirts called to me."

Oh, to be a cat.


  1. Your jacket looks amazing! I love that design no wonder it took you 4 hours - its' so beautiful and intricate! I can't wait to see the finished look :)

    1. Thanks so much, Mica! It's very detailed work, but I find it very relaxing. This section is only the beginning - I plan to do nearly the entire jacket!

  2. I have to say that your work is so very creative and imaginative, I suspect that it requires a very steady hand!
    I'm defo looking forward to seeing how things progress.


    1. Thank you so much, Paul. Yes, a steady hand - that's why my hands ache after.

  3. I love the eighties feel to your outfit. The zebra shirt is fabulous and it looks great paired with that eighties skirt. I love the vintage sixties cape as well. Such a pretty outfit altogether. Your new art project is very interesting and pretty. The skull and snake design on your jacket look great so far. I cannot wait to see it finished. I like the addition of flowers, they look so precise. The snake looks amazing. You must have gotten that feel for details from doing zentangles and zendesigns.

    1. I am an 80s girl at heart, Ivana! I love the shirt with the bright pink. Isn't the cape amazing? Thank you!

      I am really enjoying doing this - I work on it off and on. I have that flower design in my brain now, so I felt "safe" doing that on the jacket. Yes, the Zentangle really helps, both with patterns, the calmness and the reminder that mistakes are part of the process.

    2. I started doing embroidery again, I think in some way it is similar, it can be very enjoyable and relaxing, especially when I work on it from time to time and without any pressure.

    3. Yes, it's very similar, Ivana, and has that same focus needed. It lets my brain go off on vacation while I work on it.

  4. What a stunning look! The tiger print top is gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing the finished results of your snake art jacket.

    1. Thank you, Lovely - isn't it the perfect tiger print? I have a long way to go on this still!

  5. During my teaching years I always insisted summer was summer till the fall equinox. :) Now that I am retired, like you I have begun to consider the wearing of boots. It’s still too warm here, but next week we travel to Belgium to visit our other son, and I am fairly certain boots will be in my suitcase! In any case, I like the balance of your outfit - the color, pattern and shapes. Very appealing!

    Holy mackerel, your jacket art is outstanding! Your attention to preparation and testing of markers is impressive; I admire your patience and thoroughness, as well as your steady hand. As Ivana Split alluded, your zentangles have primed you for your shoe and clothing art. Have you given any thought to where/how you will sign your name to the jacket?

    Your Sunday reading and music time with L makes me smile. Fred and I do that in the evenings, though not always with music. It’s soothing to each be off in our own books while being together in physical space.

    Here’s to your artistry!

    1. I completely concur, Laurie, which is why I do my closet swap-over at the end of September/early October. I've always viewed Sept/Oct and Mar/Apr as the shoulder seasons, where you can do transition looks like I've done here with boots.

      How exciting you're going to Belgium! Wow! Yes, you'll want to bring boots - it rains there a lot.

      Well, thank you! I am having so much fun doing it. It's very calming and lets my brain go for a wander, which I always need. I won't sign my name until I'm done, but good thought. Maybe I should make a record inside it? Or just a funky signature somewhere hidden? Ooh, choices!

      L and I usually watch TV on "school nights" and read in bed together before falling asleep. This is a nice time for us both to get big chunks of our books read. I so agree - it's lovely to be together reading.

      Thank you, my dear friend!

  6. Oh Vizzini, I'm in awe of your mother's talents! That jacket is going to be incredible, I love it.
    Always good to see the Welsh tapestry cape - there's four on our festival rails to tempt the hip kids! xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Vix! I am so stoked about this piece, like, I want to work on it constantly! It's so much fun to do.

      I bet they will go quickly - good money-makers for you! I love this one - it's so gorgeous.

  7. What a great outfit! Love the tiger top with the awesome pink leather skirt and cape. Your jacket is going to be amazingly cool!! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished creation.

    1. Thank you, Cheryene! I really liked this outfit too.

      I'm so excited about the jacket! It still has a long way to go...and this back part is only the beginning!

  8. Hi,

    I love the leather skirt : very elegant and sexy.

    Many hugs, xxx

  9. How amazing to be that talented. Hi Sheila, I have to echo everyone else and say how cool the jacket will be. You look fab in today's outfit, yes boot weather nearly here too I reckon. the fit of the top is fantastic and I love the gold belt. The fact that pieces of your bling echo each other with their twists is a testament to your eye for detail! Vizzini cute as ever. Shazxx

    1. Shaz, you are too kind and generous, my dear. Thank you! I'm really enjoying working on it - it's a very happy place for me.

      Thanks - I love boots and it's fun to mix them into a more traditionally fall-ish outfit. You spotted the twists, hooray! I totally intended that - good eye!

      Vizzini sends purrs!

  10. I love that tiger print top and the entire outfit it commanded- Spot on. (Stripe on?) ("Dad joke" groans abound, I know.)!
    I am afraid that this year I am trying to clutch onto the last vestiges of summer; hence as much as I liked seeing the boots and felt they were perfect for your outfit, I am freaked out by boots right now! Even though it has been uber hot around here lately and we now have a bit of a breather with it ONLY being in the 80's (roughly 27C). I am enjoying the pleasant summer weather, and I'd love to squeeze in a bit more enjoyment before fall flounces it's delightful self around me.
    BUT your jacket project is AMAZING. You are undeniably *incredibly* talented, and I can't wait to see your next steps. Stunning. Yay!

    1. Thank you so much, Rita, and lol to the dad jokes! I'm grinning!

      I know, boots already? But I enjoy dressing in the "shoulder" seasons just for that reason - it's fun to mix up fall and summer stuff. And we still have 3 weeks of summer to go, so don't despair.

      Oh, thank you! I'm very critical of myself (I'm a perfectionist), so this jacket is a lesson to me in patience, forgiveness and letting go of my own inner critic.

  11. Oh, what a fabulous outfit, Sheila! Why ever did you wait so long to wear it? The tiger print blouse looks stunning teamed with your pink leather skirt and those boots. I have to confess that I can't wait to wear boots again, and I've got a feeling it won't be long either. And ooh, your lovely Welsh wool cape is getting another outing!
    That jacket is going to be awesome, Sheila, I'm so envious of your talent ... and daring! xxx

    1. The shirt looked too tight, Ann, and I wasn't feeling that it would fit. When I tried it on again it did (albeit with a safety pin at the "boob button"). Honest truth! I loved this outfit and felt great it in it, but this was the right time to wear it because it would have been too hot to wear it with boots earlier. It all works out.

      Yay for getting into outerwear season again!

      Thank you - yes, daring is a big part of it. It terrifies me that I will make a mistake, but Zentangling has taught me that "there are no mistakes". It's a good mental health exercise for me.

  12. Gosh Sheila, you would be a great tattoo artist! That will become a jacket that so many would want! Fabulous.

    1. I don't think I want to go that route, Nancy, but nice to know I have the ability, although I'm nowhere as good as a real ink artist. Thank you!

  13. Oh, I’m excited to see your jacket on completion.
    You are very artistic and talented. That jacket will be transformed. x

    1. It's definitely a lot of fun, Phyl - I'm excited too!

      Aw, thank you!

  14. Lovely tiger-print top and totally agree that it looks fab with a solid colour!, particularly with this hot pink skirt!. It's amazing that you're wearing boots and a cape, I'm still in sandals (even if it's chilly in the mornings). But so great to see this fabulous cape again, it's stunning! and you rock it!
    And I'm admiring your work on this jacket, you're really talented!, love the way you gathered your supplies, tested your markers and sketched first, really great tips on starting any work. I always test paint on a hidden corner, same when dying clothes!.
    Your design is looking totally Amazing And Fabulous!.

    1. Thanks so much - I know, boots already! The weather has suddenly decided to drop to our usual early fall temps, but at least it's still nice out!

      I appreciate that, as I know you're crafty too. I'm glad I took the time to plan. Thank you!

  15. Seeing you wear boots this time of year made me check the temperature in your area. It's comfortable (70F). We're 15 degrees hotter right now which deters us from wearing boots.

    1. We are definitely verging into boot weather, Ally! Yikes, that's hot!

  16. Oh wow, you are such an artist. And your outfit is Va-Va-Voom.

  17. Your art skills are off-the-charts! I really mean that. It's truly lovely and such a privilege to see your process and to witness exciting new life being breathed into the garments and shoes you are opting to revamp in this way.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thank you, Autumn! It's really been a good practice for my Mental Health, and I'm rewarded with a cool jacket!

  18. That jacket is going to look amazing! I can't wait to see how it looks.

    1. The back panel is finished now - I can't decide if I want to do the sleeves next or the edges/lapels.


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