Over the past couple of months I've had some interesting email from other women who love to "do shoes." I thought I'd take this week to show you some of the cool things they've done. In some cases, they even sent "before" and "in progress" shots.
Julie sent a series of photos showing the paint job she did on a pair of Ecco shoes that were quite comfy, but never got worn because they were a light golden tan color. They are made of Nubuck, which takes Lumiere quite well.
Because the soles and eyelets on the shoe were tan, Julie decided to do an animal print. She chose leopard and sent along a photo she used for inspiration.
Below are the finished shoes. I love the contrast between the smooth texture of the painted spots and the matte surface of the Nubuck. The only glitch Julie ran into was that when she went to seal the shoes with Future, it left some dark spots on the unpainted Nubuck.
Yes, it's best to apply Future only to painted areas. Or you can skip it altogether if you don't want a shiny finish. (The manufacturer of Lumiere does recommend sealing with Future, but my experience is the paint adheres just fine without it, as long as I prep the shoes properly before I paint.)
Julie took this setback in exactly the right spirit. About the dark spots she said, "These weren't new shoes to begin with, so it just gives them a little more character."
Next are some really fun sandals from the prolific Sandy, who is now painting custom shoes for friends and other clients. She did these last summer and I'm glad to finally have a chance to show them to you. She used Citrine and a mix of Burnt Orange and Halo Pink Gold. On the footbed she painted tiny footprints -- with red toenails.
"Then I strung the beads on wire and then wired the whole thing to the shoe," Sandy wrote. "The middle just screamed for a gold sun and orange crystal to top it off. The little flowers are material which I pasted on. I wanted these to look like a throwback from the '60's, and that's what they feel like to me."
Here is a progression of before, during and after photos sent by Nadia, who's from Canada. She said reading our blog inspired her to design her own wedding shoes. "With supplies and everything, it cost me less than twenty dollars. I was quite pleased with that!!"
When I saw that Nadia had painted her shoes Crimson, I asked her what color her wedding dress was. Her answer? "Actually my dress is white, but I wanted a hint of colour and shoes sounded perfect!" I think they'll be a saucy -- and sassy -- surprise peeking out from under her white gown!
"I, too, am an artist of many media. I was inspired to do this because of two things. 1) I'm a certifiable shoe freak. My friends call me Imelda. I have a 3-shoe-month zappos.com habit. 2) I recently bought a purse from zappos.com from a line called "Anushka" which is Coach quality, but painted. Look them up, you're going to LOVE them. Put art, shoes and purse-painting together and TADA. I'm having a great time.
"Thanks for the encouragement. I have some other ideas up my sleeve...I'll keep you posted, and THANKS for the introduction into a new field of artistic expression."
I'm the one who should be saying thanks -- to all the talented women who have taken up their brushes and beads and baubles and shared the beautiful results with us!