Most people assume that I got into this DIY shoe-design thing because I've always been a shoe person. You know, someone who loves shoes, owns tons of them, follows the designers, etc. That's not actually true.
I like shoes, but what I really love is discovering new things and telling other people about them. When I first discovered a brand of paint that would adhere to leather (Lumiere), I spent the next couple of years teaching myself what one could (and couldn't) do to shoes by way of painting, embellishing, and even changing their basic structure (like adding or removing ankle straps). Then I started teaching others. And that's been a huge pleasure for me.
One of the reasons I enjoy teaching so much is that I LOVE IT when my students do things I've never thought of, or come up with designs or color combinations that never crossed my mind. It doesn't make me feel stupid or envious or backward. It makes me feel proud!
On that note, I want to share with you some shoes -- and the process of how they were created -- that were done by Deb Cashatt, who took my class at the American Sewing Guild group in Gold Country (just west of Sacramento).
Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki's quilt "Just(ice) in Time?"
which is included in Lark Books' recently published 500 Art Quilts.
Deb is half of the zany pair who call themselves "Pixeladies." She and Kris Sazaki have a wonderful business turning photos, images, and texts into quilts, scarves, yardage, and other works of fabric art for their customers. Deb did several projects during the day-long class she attended, including getting started on the shoes I'm going to tell you about here.
She began by painting a pair of plain pumps Crimson, then she discussed with me how to glue on miniature magnetic words around the top edge of the shoe (also called "the collar"). I told her that if she just glued the magnets straight onto the leather, they would pop off when the shoe bent as she walked.
Then she came up with an idea that worked. She cut a piece of black elastic long enough to go around the collar. She carefully placed her ultra-tiny Magnetic Poetry words onto the elastic and glued them temporarily in place. Then she ran the elastic, words and all, through her sewing machine, using a zig-zag stitch and clear thread.
When Deb wrote to tell me about the solution she'd come up with, I asked if the zig zag was set to stitch over the magnetic words or through them. Deb wrote back, "The machine went right through the words. It did leave holes, but I consider that a design element!"
Her final step was to glue the elastic strip to the shoe, using wooden clothes pins to hold the elastic in place until the glue dried.
I love how these turned out! Thank you, Deb, for sharing your creative journey -- and sending along these great photos.
P.S. Deb's shoes bring to mind some boots that Destiny did when we first started collaborating. She too wanted to use Magnetic Poetry words as embellishments. We decided to puncture each one with an awl, thread a split ring into it, then attach the split ring to some chain she was using on the boot.
Take a look -- and join me in shouting, "HURRAH FOR CREATIVE WOMEN!!"