Ok...now here's the paintFX version. Different than the leather version in that you get subtle glow and size differences but I dig this one as well.
As cool as the particle version seems, I think I need to see it tweaked a bit more.
Anyway, I think we answered the original question.
Good thread, guys! Nice to see so many ways to achieve a solution.
"Terminat Bora Diem, Terminal Auctor opus."