Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2016 I SPY Boot

The first shoe I have to share for 2016 is what I'm calling the "I SPY" Boot.

Bit of background: I was inspired by the lovely, touching NOLA.com article Bejeweled Shoes Made With Love. If you haven't already read it, I really recommend it - it's beautiful, funny. and moving all at once. You can also see some more lovely pictures of one of these special shoes in this post on The Uptown Acorn.

My mother died a little less than 2 years ago, and I had a similar pile of not-valuable, not-that-sentimental, but can't-possibly-throw-away bits of jewelry and miscellany from my mother, her mother and her mother's mother. Crafting turns you into kind of a hoarder ("don't throw that away, I can totally glitter it and glue it on a SHOE! This necklace is broken, but maybe I can sew some of the pieces of it onto a costume!") and she had accrued an impressive little stash of earrings that had lost their mates and broken pins. After seeing the beautiful shoes in the links above, I decided to pool my little piles and make a few shoes in my mom's memory as well.

Looking at my accumulated bits and bobs, I figured I had about enough for two shoes (accounting for a little stretching with extra rhinestones, buttons and beads in my stash). I picked out two shoes with plenty of surface area and laid down a base of glitter in what was hands-down my mom's favorite color (a sort of wisteria-esque/dusty light purple) using the huge bottle of Recollections "orchid" she bought me when it went super on clearance. She was so excited she sent me a picture of the clearance sticker (we shared a love for a good bargain, especially when it came to craft supplies):

I used Martha Stewart "hematite" and "sterling" as well, because a lot of her jewelry bits were silver and had that slight antique tarnish to them, so I thought those colors would accent the shoe nicely.

Once I started laying out pieces, I found I could divide things pretty readily into more classic, traditional pieces and more wacky accessories. My mom was kinda like that - equal parts old-school Southern elegance and fun wackiness...somewhere between Steel Magnolias and the Magic School Bus (she was, among her many talents, a great teacher).

The classic Southern elegance shoe (where freshwater pearls, silver bits of jewelry, mother of pearl buttons, and stones live) is going pretty slowly, because I can't really work on it for long stretches without missing my mom especially terribly. There will be pictures of that one in progress later.

The wackier shoe went faster, since I filled in with a lot of miscellaneous stuff. I highly recommend everyone do a shoe like this - it's what knitters would call a "stash buster." All those little orphan rhinestones I couldn't throw out even though I didn't really have enough of them to do anything with - I just glued them on the boot! Crazy buttons, a broken watch, random pieces of jewelry, beads, a buckle from a shoe I cut up that I couldn't bear to throw away, charms leftover from a baby shower game I did about 5 years ago...all fodder for the boot!

I don't know about you, but we were super into the I Spy books when my sister and I were kids, and when my sister sent my son an I Spy-style Valentine's day card it clicked for me that this was shaping up to be an I SPY book, but in shoe form (more on I Spy books here and on Walter Wick's webpage).

When I figured that out, I got really crazy with stuff to add - a king cake baby, a doubloon, a  bottle cap, a mustache, a tassel, a doubloon, googly eyes, fake flowers, shells, a plastic crawfish, all sorts of buttons and rhinestones. Of course you can also find MUSES mini-tiles and "2016" in numbered beads. The feathers up top are from a boa that a friend caught at the Bacchus ball - the perfect shade of gray to coordinate with the colors I picked for the boot. If I had it to do over again, I might go with brighter and/or primary colors to really get the I SPY vibe going. I tried to keep the purple theme where possible (purple doubloon, a bottle cap from a Purple Haze, etc.)

I imagine this going to a mom with a ton of kids to entertain, who can play I Spy with them for breaks between parades. If the spirit moves me, maybe I'll even write up a little list of things to look for, a la the I Spy books to include in the bag with the shoe.

One side of the I SPY Boot - silver starfish, king cake baby, Abita beer cap, mustache, kitty cat face...
Back of the shoe - gold tassel, watch face, star button..,
Other side of the boot - MUSES tiles, doubloon, googly eyes, crawfish...
Front view of the boot
Another angle of the boot
Close up
Close up
One down (well, almost - I may fill in just a bit more with wee rhinestones, buttons and beads...the one problem with a shoe like this is knowing when to walk away), oh so many left to finish.Good thing the weather has finally warmed up here!!

No Monday Handmade Hall of Fame this week

Baby's teething (ouch), we drove back to Memphis yesterday (boo), and I have some editing to do for work this week.

Will resume next week!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Females are Strong as Hell!)

Are you watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix? Let me go ahead and be the fourteen-billionth person to tell you to watch it, especially if you loved 30 Rock. It's incredibly quotable and made for binge watching. The whole show is really fun, but I had to screen-cap and share my favorite moment. In episode 7 "Kimmy Goes to a Party," Kimmy's gay roommate Titus is giving her a makeover for a fancy dinner party after telling her:
"I knew this day would come. I must make you over. It is the pact between my kind and yours, and in exchange, you buy us brunch sometimes."
The whole sequence is inspired, but right at the beginning you see Titus make her a pair of sparkly gold shoes with spray adhesive and a huge glitter filled bucket:

Can you picture the props department having to go out and buy the 30 lbs of glitter it must've taken to fill that sucker? Seriously, there's like a month's rent's worth of glitter in this shot. I also love that it's labeled "HOUSEHOLD GLITTER" like this is just his go to everyday glitter, and there's totally other glitter for other purposes.
Of course, I know all the true shoe glitterers out there will catch this goof: a quick spritz of spray adhesive is NOT going to yield good coverage, Titus!
Dunking the shoe in the bucket
Glittering in progress
Shoes getting nice and sparkly
The finished product! 
Once she's all made over, Titus tells Kimmy she's going to be buying him brunch, and I have to agree.

Saint Joseph Shoe (late Throwback Thursday)

Yesterday was St. Joseph's day, and I love it when I happen to be in NOLA to visit the St. Joseph's altars. Yesterday we went to the altar at St. Dominic on Harrison and got our fava beans, cards, and fig cookies:

If I were a little better organized, this would've been a great Throwback Thursday yesterday, but let's all just pretend I'm on top of things like that...

A few years back, my friend was house hunting and it was a frustrating process, and she half-joked that she needed a St. Joseph statue to bury for luck with the move. I happened upon a great little statue for her, but thought it would up the mojo for her if it was a St. Joseph shoe (I'm not sure how that made sense to me, but it did at the time).

Here are some shots of the shoe:

Lettering said "Saint Joseph" on one side and "PRAY FOR US" on the other

Fava-bean-green sole (Recollections "pesto")

The shoe was Martha Stewart "brownstone" and Recollections "peacock" on the exterior, Martha Stewart "Florentine gold" for the heel and platform, Recollections "champagne" on the interior and Recollections "pesto" for the sole. The lettering was in puff paint before I was doing transferring. The edges were lined with gold sequin trim, the statue was affixed to the inside of the shoe, the toe was decorated with glittered fava beans and I attached some sprays of white lilies and pearls.

She did end up buying a house she loves. I'm not gonna say it was the shoe mojo because I think really she just worked really, really hard and persevered through an incredibly frustrating situation, but maybe it helped a little. It now lives in her little good mojo altar in that new house, an appropriate spot of honor for St. Joseph.

And for more St. Joseph shoe inspiration, check out Cari's awesome 2015 St. Joseph Bootie complete with glittery palm frond, lilies and medallion

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Quick updates! Instagram and a visit Gary's Arts, Craft and Needlework

I'm now on Instagram! If you're interested in following me, I'm GLITTER_ADDICT_NOLA. If you're mostly here for the pictures, that's obviously what my IG will be. Still learning the ropes, but I will probably post more WIP (works in progress) over there, and it's more likely things will show up on IG before my blog or Pinterest, because it's much easier to get pictures up. Excited to branch out into that!

I hadn't been in a very long time (at least 5 years, maybe longer), but we were in the neighborhood so I went to Gary's yesterday and couldn't get over how big their selection of craft supplies has gotten!!

Tons of great Mardi Gras supplies (I'm not ashamed to say I totally loaded up on King Cake babies)

Don't be fooled by this cute little rack of glitter - if you're a serious glitter addict, go find the big 1 lb jugs of the stuff in Aisle 2

THE PROMISED LAND!! I THINK I HEARD ANGELS SINGING!! Similar cost/quality as Oriental Trading glitter

In particular, they're now apparently carrying glitter by the pound for just a little over $1/ounce. Now, I know a 1 lb jug is a lot to work with, but it's a really great price (compare to my previous glitter pricing research here). If you're a New Orleans glitterer/crafter/DIY-er and haven't been to Gary's, I really recommend a visit. Everything is really reasonably priced, and the selection is tremendous for such a little space. It's a little overwhelming...allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in.

Between Gary's and Jefferson Variety and a new Michael's, New Orleaneans are really getting quite spoiled! I'm going to need to do an updated Glitter Rundown like I did last year to include Gary's 1 lb jugs of glitter and Kit Kraft bulk glitter. Stay tuned for that and a huge tutorial I'm working on getting up in the next week or two.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Handmade Hall of Fame - Brennan's Turtle Parade

A quick post today, because I'm having too much fun in New Orleans to slow down too much to blog! Super Sunday was amazing yesterday, and we had a great stroll down Magazine today.

I wanted to focus mostly on handmade throws, but I think I will occasionally allow myself to veer into non-Carnival territory, as long as it showcases NOLA's unique DIY talents. This week I wanted to post about the mini "floats" for the parade to celebrate the return of the turtles to the Brennan's courtyard, or what the articles have been calling "the Slowest Second Line on Earth."

The turles are named for sauces: the one male is Cocktail (his float featured a big glass full of shrimp cocktail), and the females are divided into "The Mothas" (named for the five French mother sauces: Bechamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomate and Veloute) and "the Othas" (Remoulade, Ravigote, Bordelaise and Mignonette). On Saturday, led by a police escort and tossing out green and turtle themed throws, the parade rolled down a green carpet to return the turtles to their home in the courtyard at Brennan's.

If you're taking a break from the gorgeous weather and hanging out indoors, go look at some of the articles to see pictures and videos of the decorated "floats" - they were reportedly prepared by families of Brennan's staff (I see a lot of kids in the pictures) and they're aesthetically somewhere between a wagon and a shoe-box float. What I really, really love is that each float reflects the name of its honored turtle rider: Mignonette's was delicate pink with pearls and oyster shells, Ravigote's featured a fresh-chopped-herb-invoking green trim, Tomate's was covered with gorgeous, sparkling glittered red tomatoes (possibly my favorite), Espagnole's had a decorated sombrero and Remoulade rode a golden airboat. So creative and looks like they had so much fun! The humans anyway...the turtles all look pretty nonplussed about the whole thing, though they do have their own Twitter account where they're a bit more effusive about the return home.


Now, if you'll excuse me...I've got to get ready for Happy Hour!

Starting on 2016 Shoes

Since I'm all caught up blogging 2015 shoes and the weather's a littler warmer, I can finally get cracking on 2016 shoes!

I have many, many shoes I'm trying to keep track of this year and a lot less mental bandwidth free to let them all rattle around, so I figured my usual wing it and see what happens approach wouldn't cut it. I've decided to implement a new organizational approach.

I took my "master list" and coverted it to this stack of index card. Each of these cards has a shoe idea on it - some specific and totally fleshed out in my mind, some a lot vaguer:

The cards are color coded: blue for shoes with specific recipients in mind, etc.

Then I went to my garage and organized my shoes by type (pumps, wedges, sandals, weird shapes, the handful of pairs of boots I bought in fits of courage) so I could assign cards faster. Then I matched up each card with a shoe:

Voila! Ready to glitter away. I can grab and work in little stretches without trying to remember which shoe I wanted to use for which idea and worrying about accidentally using up all my open toed wedges without proper planning. I still have unassigned cards, but I'm confident more shoes will come my way throughout the year. Here's some of my haul from my last trip to the Memphis half price Goodwill:

YASSS. Memphis Half Price Goodwill , you just get me.
I also visited my favorite source for shoes, Bloomin' Deals on Freret and got many, many pairs, including some baby shoes (that's going to be a first for me this year) and these technicolor lovelies:

Is this insane? Yeah, probably. But I'm a little insane about glittering shoes. So far I'm very excited about this plan.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015 Shoes Recap

Finally getting around to a post on my 2015 shoes! This year I was a little way less prolific in terms of shoes. For the first 4 months of being pregnant, I would pretty much come home from work, get in bed and only get out of bed to go be sick (sorry if that's TMI). After that, we were pretty occupied with moving, and after that - the baby showed up and my hands were very full (full of awesome, but full nonetheless).

With all that going on, I'm pretty proud that I got ANY shoes done at all, let alone 15. Truth be told, I've done more shoes in the last month than the entire last year. I also, for related reasons, did a truly awful job taking pictures of shoes this year. My phone (which used to be full of pictures of my cats, my shoes and food) is now all baby all the time! Somehow the time between shoes being finished and going to their forever homes just evaporated, and I now find myself without any real pictures to speak of for several of my 2015 shoes...as such, this is going to be a little patchworked together. Anyways,  in no particular order, here's a list of my 2015 shoes.

1) Flamingo Shoe
My friends who first introduced me to Muses shoes (a mother-daughter pair, Lynn and Shannon) are in the Flamingos, a subgroup of Muses women who all ride on one float together. When my sister rode in 2014, she was with the Flamingos. Check them out here: Muses Flamingos Facebook Page. Inspired by this shoe, I made this as a little homage to the Flamingos and as a present for those friends, some of the funnest, kindest smartest ladies I know. It's also worth noting Lynn is an exceptional decorator of shoes: some of her shoes are on my "Other People's Muses Shoes" board (look for Koplitz Collection 2014 in the caption), but her 2015 shoes were so stunning I'm devoting a whole board to them because I don't think she Pinterests and I want people to be able to fully appreciate the "dRK" shoes. The technical execution is flawless, and the color combinations are breathtaking. And that's not even going into the fact that she gets 60 done a year without breaking a sweat! I haven't got the pictures up quite yet, but the board link is here and I'll post a note here when I manage to get it together.

And if you need some encouragement, take a look at the shoes Lynn and I did the first year she rode here. Now, I think they came out great for the first attempt at it and I'm still very proud of us, but when you compare it to how far we've both progressed....well, I'll just say I hope it helps anyone frustrated by riding the learning curve right about now.

Here are a few so-so pictures I took before it was totally finished:

The face is Martha Stewart onyx and pale pink, the main body of the shoe is ArtMinds hot pink. Accented with hot pink sequin trim, black sequin trim, hot pink marabou and, of course, some nice big googly eyes. I added "Muses" and "2016" in black. Here's Shannon with the shoe:

2) Mr. Bingle - He's in the front row on the above picture. Making this shoe led to me finding out there was a Mr. Bingle fan group on Facebook (my shoe was posted, and a friend gave me a heads up), which I've certainly enjoyed and has given me some great inspiration for future shoes.

3) Merlin Rainbow

4) Ice Cream Sundae Shoe - one of the three that were auctioned at the Muses Twelfth Night event, I didn't get any great pictures of this one, but luckily the auction winner put a great picture up on Pinterest:

Via Pinterest user Sayde Faraday - so glad she posted this!
The bottom scoop of strawberry ice cream is Martha Stewar "kunzite." The chocolate sauce on that scoop is brown 3D puff paint with Martha Stewart "brownstone" glitter. The top scoop is Recollections "champagne" with Martha Stewart copper glitter for the caramel sauce. A little swirl of silicone caulk for a whipped cream dollop, plus a glittery red sphere cherry and multicolored bugle beads (glued on w/E6000) for sprinkles. The shoe is Martha Stewart "aquamarine" and white gold. I chose that shade of mint green to evoke the paint color of the Creole Creamery uptown. It also went really nicely with the aurora borealis rhinestones I decorated the strap and cup with (I have such a weakness for aurora borealis rhinestones). Muses is written in whipped cream white and 2015 is on the toe in strawberry pink. The trim along the edge of the strap is silver and iridescent to match the rhinestones, the lower edge is finished in silver sequins. Probably one of the best executed shoes I've ever done.

5) Shrimp Poboy Flip Flop - This one was also auctioned at the Muses Twelfth Night event. In addition to the pictures in that post, I found this one on Pinterest as well and it shows some of the details I didn't really capture well in my photographs so nicely: the hot-sauce-red "Muses" on the strap, the smear of mayo (or rather mynez) on the bottom, the chunkier glitter as breading on the shrimps. And I love how it seems to twinkle in its bag - the sparkliness can be so tough to photograph (I know other glitterers must struggle with this too):

Fried Shrimp Poboy Flip-Flop via Pinterest

My specs are pretty well detailed in the post I linked to, but I will add that I think packing peanuts would make an excellent substitute for handcrafted paper mache replicas (as suggested by Lynn) if you aren't a crazy person like me (see the Hollywood South shoe below for more on that).

6) Lucky Dog Cart Shoe

7) Steel Magnolias 2015 - Shelby's Wedding Bouquet

8) PJ's Cup Shoe

9) Hollywood South Popcorn Box

I owe the credit for this idea to Lynn who, when she saw the Shrimp Poboy shoe, asked if the fried shrimps were packing peanuts, which is brilliant. I had laboriously paper mache'd them when packing peanuts would've been just as good! It's one of those suggestions that's so obvious you feel silly when someone points it out. Anyways, I starting thinking about other things I could do with packing peanuts, and thought that, covered in a nice bright yellowish gold, they might look like buttery movie theater popcorn, and I could do a Hollywood South theme. I didn't really get pictures of the finished shoe, but do have some of the assembled box on the heel:

Boy, I am a truly terrible photographer. Anyways, you can see the finished shoe in the group shot at the top. The shoe was silver (for the silver screen) and black, with a little clapper on the front that said Muses 2015. I also used the platform on the shoe as a marquee and wrote in blue and red 3D lettering: "NOW PLAYING" on one side and "MUSES 3D" on the other. Black rhinestone polka dots gave the finished shoe a nice retro "classic Hollywood" vibe. I'm planning to make more popcorn shoes, so I'll document the process a little better this time (fingers crossed).

I also want to go ahead and share two other movies/popcorn Muses shoes I've found, in case you were feeling inspired to do your own:
10)  Mr, Okra Truck Shoe - the only one this year that went into my personal collection, but it doesn't have a year yet, so it may go to a new home in 2016.

11) Little Miss Muffin Shoe - back row, between the PJ's coffee cup. I had some pretty cream and gold  Little Miss Muffin ribbon from a baby shower gift, and since we're big fans of LMM (and "downtown Lakeview" as my mom used to call Harrison Ave.), I decided to do a shoe. I picked out shades that, to me, felt like they'd be at home in the store and went for a girly/pretty/embellished/but-totally-still-tasteful vibe on the decor (gold trim, a cluster of calico flowers and a big bow).

12) 2015 Hansen's Snobliz Shoe

13) Rainbow Snoball Shoe

14) Nectar Cream Defend New Orleans Snoball Shoe - blogged about it here, though I wound up adding "Defend New Orleans" to the cup (in ArtMinds magenta and Martha Stewart turquoise) to make it a little more visually interesting:
Defend New Orleans
Bagged up and ready to go to its new home!

15) City Park Flying Horses - another one I don't have great pictures of. I found a tube of wee plastic horses on clearance, and decided to do this shoe. The color scheme is to match the carousel (Martha Stewart "turquoise," "cotton candy," and "copper" with Recollections "champagne") and wee mirrored tiles to invoke the mirrors inside the carousel, including "MUSES" written in mirror tiles.

My husband drilled a hole through each horse (he would like co-credit for this shoe for his contribution) and I glued in wee dowels glittered with copper glitter and added a crystal bead to the top of each. Then I painstakingly glittered the horses and added teeny tiny rhinestones so they'd look like the horses in City Park. Here are some in process pictures of the horses:

Drying between coats in their little foam rack

In the end, I added the horses to the shoe (a cluster of three in the front, a cluster of three in the back) and added some little vintage-style banners saying "City Park Flying Horses" to emphasize the theme (the banners show up pretty nicely in the group picture above; it's in the front row middle-ish)

16) Proud to Kale it Home - the #kalegate shoe!

17) Golden Goddess - shown in early stages here, it got lettering before being thrown

18) Mermaid Seashell shoe - shown in early stages here, this one didn't get finished for 2015 so it'll be a 2016 throw,

19) Frozen shoe - shown in early stages  here, it got lettering and some more detail before being thrown.

Phew! That's it...all caught up, now on to posting 2016 shoes!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Beautiful page of lovely Muses shoe pictures

If you're looking for inspiration, check out these awesome pictures of Muses shoes: http://www.zeitgeistnola.com/shoes/

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Handmade Hall of Fame - Big Easy Roller Derby (BERG) Skate Wheels

Well, it's definitely helping keep me coming to the blog more regularly to have a weekly "feature," hopefully that will  also eventually train me to post more shoes, techniques, etc. The weather is finally at long last showing signs of improvement here, so hopefully new shoes to post for 2016 by the end of the week!

This week's installment of the Handmade Hall of Fame features the Big Easy Rollergirls (BERG) and  their decorated Skate Wheels throws.

In addition to being the official New Orleans all female, flat-track roller derby, the Big Easy Roller Girls can be seen playing the role of the bulls in the Neuva Orleans Running of the Bulls, and rolling (literally) in the Krewe of Muses parade. Like the Ladies Godiva, they do a really clever nod to the glittered shoe: decorated skate wheels.

Here are a few images of decorated skate wheels from the BERG Facebook page:

According to the Facebook page, these are Jamingos, Duckicorns and Skate Wheels. I love the wee horns and helmets...so much awesome (via the Big Easy Roller Girls Facebook Page)

Gold wheels with black lettering. Fabulous detail on the logo (via the Big Easy Roller Girls Facebook Page)

A nice stash of gold wheels including notes. I love personal touches like that, they remind you that a human put some serious TLC info whatever they just handed you (via the Big Easy Roller Girls Facebook Page)

Now, I am kinda in withdrawal right now, but seeing all that glitter in all those beautiful colors is seriously making my heart flutter right now. I want to reach out and play with it. (via the Big Easy Roller Girls Facebook Page)

And a few from the BERG Blog:
Chunky glitter with purple, green and gold tinsel. Beyond fabulous (via the Big Easy Roller Girls Blog)
Lots of very cool wheels here (via the Big Easy Roller Girls Blog)

Link Round-up:
Incidentally, I really like that article linked to above ("Could local one-of-a-kind throws catch on?"), since it articulated a feeling that a lot of people seem to be coming around to way ahead of the curve (seven years ago, in 2008):
"Somehow we've got to make more throws that are special. There should be fewer disposable, store-bought beads and more precious keepsakes like Zulu coconuts and Muses shoes."
The author calls this phenomenon "bead fatigue," which is a great term for that feeling like you'd rather catch one special thing than fill your whole trunk with more plastic beads.

Now to get back to my pot of red beans, which I'm attempting to make with smoked turkey and chicken andouille because I gave up red meat for lent (crossed fingers are appreciated). Have a great week!