One of the gifts I gave my sister at Christmas was a small leather bag that I made over. I had bought it in a charity shop as although it was a little stained and scruffy it was great leather. I took it home and I sat on the edge of the bath (to contain the dust you understand) and sanded it and sanded it until the whole thing had a rawer feeling. I then over some weeks painted an intricate pattern of different coloured scales onto it using acrylic paint. Then I sat back and considered it…. it looked good but not great. It was too much, fussy. Boo!
So I went back to the bath and sat on the edge sanding off the pattern I painted on. The cats would come and watch me with a puzzled look. I left some of the marks on the leather in as I think it looks good that way. Then finally when all the paint was off I painted the bottom half of the front flap sage green and left it at that – MUCH better.
The whole thing then got a good polish several times over, buffing it until it was shiny and felt waterproof. My sister seemed to really like it which is the main thing. The lesson I learned was to remember to try to keep things simple!