Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday: Work in Progress - Red Beans and Rice Shoe

No posts here in a while, I'm focusing on getting ready for Halloween (the biggest day of the year at the children's hospital where I do biomedical research). But rest assured I have been mentally cooking up some more shoes that I can't wait to make and share here.

Here's a shoe I'm working on, the Red Beans & Rice Shoe! It isn't really quite done, but since the posting has been sparse (and it's a Monday!) I thought I'd share it unfinished.

The interior is Recollections "champage." The wedge got coated in Elmer's glue, then covered in rice (working in batches around the shoe). After the wedge was totally rice-covered, it got a coating of Mod Podge and white glitter (ArtMinds stackable). The back of the shoe is Martha Stewart "emerald" to match the camellia leaves and invoke a little parsley garnish. I did the straps in a blend of reds and copper, then glued on individual red beans.

The back on the shoe is decorated with a spray of red camellias, in homage to the iconic Camellia Brand:

I'll update again when it finished with trim/touch-ups/lettering!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Logos of New Orleans Test

BuzzFeed's Logos of New Orleans Test

By my count, I've used 14 out of the 40 somewhere on a shoe :)

Work in Progress - White Alligator Loafer

I bought a pair of high heeled loafers and eventually came to the idea that the shape would work for an alligator shoe. I made the first alligator loafer with bright green glitters and googly eyes. Then I was thinking for the next loafer an even more New Orleanian 'gator would have to be a white alligator, complete with blue eyes. 

It's not finished yet, but here's the in progress White Alligator Loafer:

The white glitter is many, many, many coats of ArtMinds. The blue interior, heel and eyes are Recollections "peacock." The nostrils, lip and scales are "white mist" iridescent 3D puff paint.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Miss America Show Us Your Shoes

I saw an article on about the Miss America Show Us Your Shoes Parade. The article (which features "Hey Muses!" in the title) describes how the contestants displayed shoes decorated to thematically represent their states. I pulled up a few more articles (on this year, and others), and OH MY GOODNESS, SO MUCH ADORABLE. 

Check them out here and here. Also, I'm doing a Pinterest board devoted specifically to these shoes if you want to see my "research."

By my count, 165 days until another pretty big "Show Us Your Shoes" parade...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sirens Float Inspired Shoe

The catching up continues!

I posted a little research on some of the signature Muses floats I was planning to do as shoes in this post. So far, I've done a few green, blue and silver shoes (here and here) and a bathtub float inspired shoe. Last but not least, here's a Sirens float inspired shoe:

The Sirens float was introduced in 2013 (as described in this article) and depicts "a trio of topless mythological temptresses at the bow." I can't wait to see it in person in 2014, I loved looking over everyone's pictures and videos. The Sirens' hair and skin are various shades of purple and blue, which I tried to match to different glitters, including Martha Stewart "amethyst," "aquamarine," "lapis lazuli" and "blue topaz" and the dark purple is Recollections "muse."

I put a border of thick lavender sequin trim along the sides and a single strand of lavender sequin trim along the bottom edge. To represent the fabulous purple octopus hairdo on the Siren front and center, I attached a big two tone ribbon cluster on the top of the shoe that resembles the color scheme of the tentacles on the float:

Because the Sirens are wearing gold jewelry and they're surrounded by shipwrecked treasure, I wanted to do some gold accents. I lined the front stripes with gold sequin trim, and decorated the sides with gold nautical charms. I put some little white shells that I'd added some white glitter to on the front.
Little gold nautical charms along the side of the shoe: fish, shells, anchor, ship's wheel, sea horse and starfish

A pair of little white seashells on the front of the shoe (I also added a golden seashell, but that was after I took the pictures)
For the first swing at it, I'm pretty happy. I plan to do more Mermaid/Siren shoes (my research board is here). If I do another Sirens float-themed shoe, I think I'll go for a more overall blue color scheme (since the float looks more blue at night) and try to incorporate more shipwreck-ness (maybe along the lines of this AMAZING pirate Muses shoe), including some pearls, rope, fishnet and more shells.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Red and Teal Heel and Pink, Green and Silver Peep Toe

Since these are both pretty basic Muses shoes (just pretty colors, no theme or NOLA-specific-references to speak of), I thought I'd combine them into one post to try and catch up a little.

First up, a red and teal high heel! I really like the shape of the one, because the shoe flips back a little at the top, creating a cool little collar effect. I also love red and teal as a color combo. The teal is Recollections "peacock" and the red is Recollections "cherry." I thought black accents would look chic, so the sole is black Recollections and the edges are lined in black sequin trim. On the front is a shiny red heart on a base of fluffy black marabou.

The second shoe is in Lily Pulitzer's favorite color combo, pink and lime green! The neon pink is leftover from the set I used on the 1980's shoe and the lime green is Martha Stewart. The silver interior and sole are Recollections "bling." I lined the edges with a mirrored silver sequin trim, and accented the foot with some hot pink marabou. On the back of the shoe is a pink and green polka dot daisy from Michael's with green glitter in the center to match the shoe's heel and border.

More Saints Shoes!

It's that time again....WHO DAT?

I finished the first Saints shoe of the year back in July (black and gold with a little football in a black feather marabou nest), and now have another two black and gold shoes ready for 2014:

The first is a sandal in Recollections black glitter with pale gold glitter (Recollections "champagne"). There's gold sequin trim around the edges on the shoe's back and across the foot and the thicker squiggly gold brain trim around the lower edge. The sole is dark purple (Recollection "muse"). I like the effect of a puff of feathers on the back of a shoe, so I broke down and bought a black and gold feather boa on Amazon to chop into bits for Saints shoes. I attach boa with hot glue rather than E6000, and just live with the stringy bits and risk of burning. The little black and gold sequin fleur-de-lis applique is from Jefferson Variety (I just realized haven't been to JV since April...I have got to get back there soon).

The second is also Recollections black glitter, but with a brassier, brighter gold interior and heel (Tulip brand glitter). The top edge and peep toe are lined with an alternating black and gold sequin trim from Jefferson Variety. The bottom edge is lined with gold sequin trim from the huge 24 yard role I bought from Amazon. I love that trim, incidentally...24 yards for $15 isn't a bad price. I find a 5 yard roll will cover ~3 shoes (depending on how crazy you go with the sequins), and the gold goes with just about everything, so I seem to be using it constantly.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Update!

I started this "blog" as an online notebook where I could keep track of my notes, ideas, links, research, finished shoes and WIPs. Based on the comments I've been getting here, on Pinterest and through the grapevine, it would seem a few other glittered shoes enthusiasts and/or glitter fans are finding their way here from time to time as well! I had no idea that would be so exciting, but I'm loving the idea of other Muses fans sharing in my addiction over the internet, especially since I'm not living in NOLA at the moment (working on shoes and watching Steel Magnolias are my go-to for homesickness, which strikes often). Welcome and thanks for visiting! If you have questions, I am happy to answer them.

Not much shoe glittering this weekend, but I did do a little stocking up:

1) Two pairs of shoes at the Memphis Half-Price Goodwill. This is my new favorite shoe source, the prices are unbeatable and the competition for skyscraper heels much less intense than in NOLA (sorry, y'all).

2) My second order of Oriental Trading glitters arrived! I have described my enthusiasm for Oriental Trading glitter before, but the purple and green are especially good and I ran out of them pretty fast (for me). Below are the Fall Glitter Assortment (top) and the Halloween Assortment (bottom). To be fair, if you live close to Jefferson Variety, that probably fulfills your glitter needs better than anything else could hope to (and oh, how I envy you). Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit I'm not as wild about the pale orange that comes in BOTH of these assortments, and am going to have to think of how to use up so much of it (another Louisiana Citrus? Abita Satsuma?). Still, I can't regret that Fall Glitter Assortment because in my eyes it might as well be renamed the "Hot Sauces of Louisiana Assortment." That's all I think of when I look at it. The Halloween Assortment, as I've mentioned previously, includes a great bright purple and bright green and black for Who Dat-ing (though, again, full disclosure, I feel I must warn you that Tulip, Martha Stewart and Recollections all make more sparkly black glitters)

3) Sunday I took a trip to Michael's to pick up some more red glitter (Recollections "cherry") because I was out (I recently picked up the ArtMinds red, which is great, but a little dark and I wanted more bright red on hand). I also brought in my Tiffany bag (my mom and sister bought me a necklace when I defended my PhD thesis) to try to match the glitters for a Tiffany Shoe that I'm mulling over. I eventually settled on mixing Martha Stewart "wintergreen" and Recollections "frost" (shown below with the bag) in like a 2:1 ratio. I will update on my progress. Those two are both pretty sheer, so I'm going to have to do an opaque teal base coat (like this shoe) or start with a white shoe (which I always keep an eye out for).

Halloween decor was 30% off on Sunday, so I picked up a few things: the black feathers and purple glitter balls spray and the two glittery skulls. I typically like to wait until holiday crafting supplies go more intensely on sale after the actual holiday in question because stretching the bargain limits for Muses shoes is part of the fun.* But there's also a balance to strike in terms of getting the best stuff before it sells out. That line exists in a different place for every person, for me it was these three things 30%, bubbles with a 40% off coupon a while back, and I'll wait and see on the rest. These are likely destined for a voodoo shoe or two. Lastly, there were some rhinestone trim rolls in with the cheap 5 yard sequin rolls in the $1 bins up front, so I got those in lime green, purple and blue.

*In Gumbo Tales, the author quotes another cookbook author's explanation of gumbo as "rendered palatable more as a result of care in their preparation, than any great skill of expertise, outlay in the selection of materials." This quote makes me think about how Muses shoes are essentially the gumbo of Mardi Gras throws. You make a Muses shoe like you'd make gumbo, not by spending a lot of money on ingredients or cooking lessons, but by taking your time and putting all your love into it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Second Rose Shoe

This is another riff on the heel-as-the-stem-of-a-flower shoe concept. Here's the post on the first rose shoe, for comparison (and of course the artichoke shoe works on the same principle).

The main difference are that this one is one's a little darker hued, and I fully glittered the petals before decorating the shoe (rather than highlighting with glitter after assembly):

These rose petals (and the red plastic heart on the front) were, I believe, from an old Valentine's Day wreath that we got on sale and disassembled for parts. The hot pink of the petals and foot straps is Recollections "Janelle." The iridescent dark green interior and "stem" are Jefferson Variety. The sole is Tulip gold and the edges are lined with gold sequins.

Back of the shoe, showing the rose with its stem

Hot Pink, Teal and Violet Low Boot

This is the first of a pair of neat suede ankle boots I picked up, done in bright pink, blue and violet, with a cluster of sparkly pansies:

This is another shoe entirely done in Recollections. The exterior teal is a mix of Recollections "peacock" with a little iridescent blue Tulip mixed in for extra dimension. The heel and sash-like border around the ankle are hot pink (Recollections "Janelle"). The sole and the "2014" are purple (Recollections "Muse"). The interior is Recollections "bling." 

Purple and hot pink sequin trim line the edges, and there's a cluster of violet pansies that I fancied up/musified with some glitter and rhinestones. The sole is covered with hot pink rhinestones, a la diamonds on the soles of her shoes.

This picture shows how the sequin-edged hot pink border wraps around. I'm planning to write "MUSES" in the interior (the silver space shown here)

Swirly purple glitter "2014" on the front

Purple sole covered with pink rhinestones

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oyster Shoe

I posted some oyster research back in April, and won't rehash it all here, but suffice it to say the oyster is such a NOLA symbol, I definitely wanted to break into some oyster shoes this year.

The main hold up was that I didn't really know how to properly prep oyster shells for crafting...I scoured the internet, but wasn't really turning up much that I had complete confidence in. Lucky, lucky me, though, because a friend of mine is a Bearded Oyster, and kindly shared tips. As a result I was able to prepare a nice little stash of gorgeous shells for shoes.

Here's the first Oyster Shoe for 2014 (I hope/expect more to follow): 

The exterior is a dark gray Martha Stewart (hematite). The interior is black and silver mixed together for a night sky effect (Recollections for the black, Tulip for the silver). The heel is silver (Recollections "bling") and the sole is Recollections black. The shoe is trimmed with pearly iridescent sequin trim along the bottom edge, silver trim around the top edge, a little puff of silver boa with iridescent tinsel in it and two oyster shells touched up with a little iridescent paint and pearls.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blue Dog Shoe

While experimenting with transfers, I made this glittery little Blue Dog, and decided he would be cute on a Muses shoe:

The colors I picked out for the Blue Dog are Martha Stewart "lapis lazuli" and Recollections "marine."

The main exterior of the shoe is Recollections "peacock" and the interior is Recollections "bling." The heel and platform are Recollections "marine" and the sole is gold, but I don't recall which specific glitter I used.

I lined the edges with gold sequin trim, framed the Blue Dog with a little ring of yellow and blue feathers and attached it to the front of the shoe.

Mardi Gras Patchwork Wedge

Can't have too many purple, green and gold Muses shoes!

This is one of the wedges I picked up in Baltimore. The gold glitter is Tulip, the green is Oriental Trading and the purple is Recollections. The hot pink sole is ArtMinds, so its quite the celebration - all the glitter brands were invited except Martha Stewart.

The edges are trimmed with hot pink sequins and gold trim. There's a big puff of purple boa on the back accented with a cluster of three doubloons:

Hot pink sole

Doubloons at the base of the feathers

With flash - shows how sparkly it is!