Friday, September 12, 2014

Crazy Crafty: This Little Piggy Went to Market

If we meet, I recommend against shaking my hand because there is no telling where my finger has been - up my nose is a far more probable placement than anywhere near the "pulse of the public."  I am the Anti-trend, a perpetual apostate to what's popular.  Rarely do I understand the latest fad; that is why, after finding an inexpensive, turtle-shaped, wicker purse in an out-of-the-way New Mexican antique mall several years ago, I was shocked to learn that the collecting craze for figural wicker purses was white hot!  Some of the more desirable vintage examples beg prices upwards of $450!  Inspired by the best in historical style, Kate Spade even created a line of wicker handbags shaped like everything from armadillos to elephants, apples, lemons, and Volkswagens!  Falling far below the designer-purse tax bracket, Mary would just have to be contented with a turtle.

wacky tacky figural wicker purse
The turtle purse in action
It seems the turtle only works with outfits of the most exotic variety.

When I saw a wicker planter in the shape of a pig at the thrift store, I knew that destiny had intervened.  I had found my next "Crazy Crafty" project and this little piggy was going to cry, "'Wee, wee, wee,' all the way home!"  It was purse-making time!

I forgot to take "before" pictures of the planter but, minus the weird
googly eyes, my pig and this pig were obviously from the same litter.
(Source - available on Etsy)

As with the pig above, my piggy planter looked a little worse for wear, desperately needing some emergency ear repair.  Even after ensuring the structural integrity, however, the pig still needed some work.  Unsatisfied with the dark stain applied at the wicker pig factory, I decided to freshen things up with a new paint job.  Would this be a literal exercise in putting lipstick on a pig?  I wondered.

I gave it a coat of off-white, thinking that simple was best.

Off-white?  Maybe I was finally onto something; maybe albinos would be the next big thing in the celebrity domesticated-pig-collecting market.  But staring into those soulless eye sockets, I realized that this was the sort of face that only a wicker sow could love; I needed to up the cuteness quotient.  Undeterred by the aggressive ear-posturing, I committed myself to painting a perky pink piglet, even if it did seem a little "on the snout."

My brother often chastises me for my typically-haphazard spray painting
technique.  After the first coat, I was afraid that I had taken this pig to slaughter!
  With all of the nooks and crannies inherent in wicker, I was extremely
conscious of coverage and careful to avoid drips; a few more coats of pink
lacquer and I was more tired of painting than I was convinced of my choice of hue.

With the paint job completed, I floundered when it came time to finish the purse.  I couldn't decide whether to simply add handles or to give the pig my usual basket purse treatment with a fabric upper and bamboo handles.  Once I decided on the fabric finish, I then anguished over the fabric selection.  What would it be - gingham, stripes, novelty print?!?!!  In the end, I might have done the porcine equivalent of "chickening out" by going completely monochromatic.

figural wicker purse
Pickles the Pink Piggy Purse!

Using a sturdy cotton and bamboo handles painted to match,
I made the modesty panels/handles for Pickles.

I trimmed the opening in miniature, pink, pom-pom fringe.

Apr├Ęs-makeover, I kind of like Pickles, right down to her curly pink tail.

wacky tacky figural wicker purse
And while she may not have the movie-star appeal of Babe,
Pickles sure looks a darn sight better than when I found her.

Between Pixie the Pink Pet Poodle and Pickles the Pink Piggy Purse, we are subconsciously building the wacky tacky pink pet menagerie!  Having successfully granted Pickles, a once-pitiful planter, a new lease on life, I am seriously considering expanding my wicker-pig-rescue efforts to full-time status...as long as they're all "Boogie Woogie" piggies!

"Boogie Woogie Piggy" - Doris Day with Les Brown

As disinterested as I am in the term "upcycling," I guess that's what this is.  Do you turn trash into treasure?  Do you like novelty handbags or do your prefer utilitarian purses?  Do you have any figural wicker in your purse collection?  Would you carry Pickles the Pink Piggy Purse?  As you ponder these things we just have one more thing to say...


"That's all, folks!"

Cheers!

Mr. Tiny

16 comments:

  1. I am amazed at your trash to treasure skills, mr tiny! You never cease to amaze! I love a tiny ball fringe and even better on a figural pig purse. Also, I didn't know these were on trend, but I'm on board for it

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    1. Thanks, Kimmie! Oh yeah, catch the figural wicker wave...but definitely go the DIY route!!!

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  2. I had no idea about these purses, I'm dying over that turtle. The posh pink pig project is a win, win, win.

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  3. I googled +1'd. Love your wacky tackiness and liberal use of pom poms ...

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    1. Hahaha!!! Thank you so much; I appreciate it!

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  4. So cool! I'm green over that turtle, but also I now want to try and DIY a wicker fish planter I have. You are so talented!! Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I remember your post on figural wicker bags. You must transform your fish! I can't wait to see it!

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  5. i want a wicker purse so bad! Eartha Kitsch has an amazing horse head one (of course she does!) and I have been on the lookout ever since i saw it ! your pig purse is so clever!

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    1. Thanks Rae! With your scouring skills, I know you'll be able to find a basket ready for transformation (waaaaay cheaper than the real deal)!

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  6. SO inspiring! I love Mary's jumpsuit in the top left photo (with the turtle bag)!

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    1. Thanks, Peter! I wish I could take credit for the jumpsuit (a lucky thrift score), but I did style the outfit!

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  7. Mr. Tiny, that pig is a delight! And an inspiration. I think I need to make a trip to my local thrift shop to look for novelty planters now.

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    1. Thanks, Moe!!! I hope you find a good one! Please post about it if you do a planter-to-purse makeover; I know your project will put my pig to shame!!!

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