Friday, May 31, 2013

More shoe Madness

More darling shoes.  I am telling you...  these things are addictive to make.  I like to make the fancy ones, probably because that is what I fantasize about wearing the most.  I filmed some tutorials about how to make them, giving tips and tricks I learned in the process.  I tried all day to upload it, and it didn't work.  So that will be posted another day, when I can figure out how to edit is and condense it so you tube will let me upload it.  In the meantime, you can print the pattern I posted here with modified vamps, and using the soles and heels of the die cut, can make yourself some darling shoes!

These are all the backless and flat style shoes.  Modifying the fronts is fairly simple.  Making them backless is easy.  Just leave the backs off.  The same goes for peep toes.  Just cut the toe off.  Some I made as flats, some as high heeled backless.  These are more contemporary, and I find I like the more vintage looking ones better, but my daughter and her friends like these best.

This little pink sandal was a bit more complicated because of the papers, (too flimsy) and the straps.  I still love the way it came out anyway.  I didn't embellish it, because I thought they were cute the way they were.

The Ballet flats were more difficult because of the rounded toe.  The points are difficult to round out and I need to perfect this a bit more, so I didn't add that pattern in yet.  That will be on another day.

 I wanted to make some wedding themed ones as well, I think they make cute shower gifts for a bride, or on top of a package inside a big tulle bow.

Here are the patterns I have modified so far.  This is an exact scan of the patterns for the vamps.  Stretch it to fit 8 1/2 x 11 paper.  Try playing with them a bit and see if there is one you prefer.  I like the one with more material to work with, (the higher one) it gives you more possibilities for decorating afterward.  On the ballet flat, you need to make sure you score them well first around the toe box with an embossing stylus before you try to round them off.

Please be sure to come back and post links to your own paper shoes.  I have a paper shoe board on Pinterest and I am always looking for more examples to pin.  So check me out there too!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Paper Shoe Addiction

 When I was young and wore 5 inch heels, I had a shoe addiction.  I had a pair in every color and wore them all the time.  After having my 2nd child, I put them away and never really went back.  I have a few pair of heels, for various dress up purposes, ( that don't happen too often anyway...) all in black... A pair for business, a pair for formal occasions, a sexy strappy sandal, and leather flats.  That is it on the shoe front these days... I am usually in tennies or flip flops...  BUT... I have not outgrown my shoe addiction... Now I just make them out of paper.

I went to meet up with my art pals in San Francisco last Sunday and my friend Michele brought a die cut machine that had the Brenda Walton shoe die in it...  We cut a bunch, and decorated some.  I came home and immediately dug into my paper stash to find all those gorgeous papers I bought at Stampers Warehouse a bazillion years ago in my scrapbooking days.  I managed to unearth a few ribbon and tulle trims from my black hole of a garage,  and made these little shoes...  Let me warn you it is addictive...  You can get the die here, or at you local scrapbook store.  I made all of these shoes with the one die. I thought of keeping one of the punched sheets to use at home as a template (since I don't have the die) but  forgot and threw them away.  So I traced the pieces onto cardboard and made a pattern.  Then I set down and cut them all out.

You need 2 sided paper if you want a print on the inside of the shoe.  I made my own 2 sided paper.  I took cardstock and put spray adhesive on the back and smoothed gift wrap and tissue on the glue.  Sometimes, I used a patterned paper and adhered it to plain cardstock and then used a thin paper on the back.  the dimensions of the die are 6x8 inches if you want to cut it down.  You can get 2 pairs of shoes out of a 12x12 cardstock when cut by hand.  When you use the diecut machine and cut the paper down, you get one pair per sheet. I am finding that giftwrap peels away with spray adhesive.  So I have been gluing it down with matte mod podge and it is working perfectly.  Just place it under something heavy to keep it from curling.  I have also glued brocade fabrics on to the cardstock.  You may need to pass it through the die cut machine twice to get a clean cut, I did have parts where the fabric wasn't cut by the die.  These turn out beautifully.  The fabric gives it a richness and depth that you can't always get with paper.  I did use some flocked and textured papers as well.  The textured papers don't adhere with the spray glue I used, so I did the Mod Podge thing again.  A Xyron machine would be perfect for this as well.

I Modified the top of the shoe by changing the vamp and toe box a little.  I wanted very old fashioned looking shoes, so I used the high vamp, a cutaway style, a square and rounded toe.  I will post the modified patterns next week so you can download them.  I won't be posting the actual die pattern for copyright reasons.

So next I will be making strappy sandals, ballet shoes, and peep toes...  I will try different heel ideas too.  The possibilities are endless.

Check back next week when I break down how to construct the shoes, and how I made the modifications to get different looks.  I will attempt to make a video tutorial and post it in the next couple of weeks. I've never done it before, but I am going to give it a shot...

These shoes will be going up for sale in my ETSY shop soon.  They will come packaged in a custom made box, and make a great gift for any female with a shoe fettish.  I will be using my favorites as Christmas Ornaments this year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wildlife in the garden

have a huge backyard.  Our house sits on a 3/4 acre lot that borders a creek and open space.  We have all kinds of wildlife in the yard that wander up from the creek.  This makes gardening difficult, as a lot of the critters tear up the plants.  Appreciating the nature and the animals wars with us wanting to have a garden of our own that we can enjoy in the summer months.

I found a chicken coop on Craigslist for free.  We will be putting that together and getting some laying hens for organic eggs.  Paskie says we will eat the chickens too once they stop laying, but I want no part of that...  I can't eat a pet.  That is also why I am thankful we are in the city limits and not allowed to have other livestock like pigs, goats and such...  I would like to have them, I just don't want to eat them... I'd rather go to whole foods and get them already packaged.

This is a flock of turkeys that hang out in the neighborhood.  They fly on the roof and then forage in our yard for food.  They are huge.  4 males and 5 females.  It is mating season so I am hoping to see babies soon...  It is a little weird to go out in your backyard and see a giant turkey on the patio chair.  Kind of feels surreal.  I love our house...  I love being her in the hills of Martinez.  I look forward to planting the garden and will share our efforts as they come about.  Here is the garden bed area... all ready to begin planting.  we will need to build the beds, and a frame for the compost bin in the next few weeks as well...  to get our little farm started.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'm Baaaaack!

Well, that was more than a 2 week sabbatical!  With so many things going on, I really felt it was important to scale back on the computer time for a while to give my arms a break.  I have been absent from Facebook and Pinterest as well for the most part.  Restricting myself to checking email on my phone once a day, and Facebook and Pinterest about once a week.

This time of reflection has helped me to get more focus on the things I want to be doing in the future, primarily Jewelry and teaching.  I am learning to let things go that don't really serve a purpose in my life, and focus more on the things that matter.  This is a difficult process, shedding the old self and transforming into someone new can be very painful.  There have been a lot of tears through the process, but it is all leading me toward the life I want to be living.  I am grateful for the love and support of my family during this time.  Especially my husband and daughter, who are here with me every day in the thick of it, seeing the raw parts, the ugly mess, and the newer happier person emerging as a result.

It all started with a deep depression that occured after the holidays and lingered until recently.  I took some time to read Louis Hay's Heal Your Body book, and looked up every physical ailment I had.   Wouldn't you know that almost everything I had wrong with me translated to not feeling safe.  In not creating safety for myself, my body was manifesting illness to tell me that I wasn't safe.  I wrote down all the affirmations, and have been saying them every day, and guess what?  The illnesses are going away.  Little by little the symptoms are leaving, and some of the issues have gone completely.  I do still have some actual issues I need to address with a doctor, but I find it really amazing that by changing the attitude you have, you can heal many symptoms.  I am focusing on healing and putting a lot of time and energy into healing my life... All the parts I have neglected are getting better.  Day by day I am stronger, happier, more focused and passionate about where I am headed.

To recap the first trimester of the year:  We settled in to the new house, made a few trips to the OC for work, doctors appointments and visiting friends.  Paskie has been traveling a lot for work, and I have been restricted to what I can do with my arms, due to a continuing and prolonged work injury from 3 years ago.  I am able to make jewelry, and have been very busy with that.  This year I made a resolution, no, more like a promise to myself that I would send in some of my work to magazines.  I was so happy when I was contacted by Jewelry Affaire and Bead Style magazines to publish some of my jewelry pieces.  Watch for the summer issue of Jewelry Affair and the September issue of Bead Style to see what I have been up to.  Once the article is published, I can post pictures of the pieces I sent in.

I will be adding a lot of things to my ETSY shop in the upcoming weeks, and pinning them to Pinterest, so look for me there as well.

The highlight of the first trimester by far was a visit with my soul sister Danita Raulerson, who came to stay for 3 weeks in March.  We did a quick tour of California starting with So Cal, OC, Hollywood, Los Angeles, San Diego and moving north to Santa Barbara, Solvang, Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and then San Francisco, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Bay Area.  One particularly great day was when we drove up to Big Trees state park to see the giant Sequoias.  We found this one huge tree that had a little space in it that you could lean back against and it felt like the tree was hugging you.  We both spent some time there, letting the tree hug us.  It is amazing... tree hugging.  If you pay attention, you can feel the energy of the tree.,  It resonates with a deep earth energy that is present in all of us.  If you allow yourself, you can actually feel your body get more grounded and you can feel your energy start to match that of the tree.  Whenever I feel unbalanced or sad, I go hug a tree.  Lean into it...  really let the emotions out... and I ALWAYS feel better afterward.  Danita was having back pain and experienced none after hugging the tree.  I felt a sense of calm and euphoria that lasted for days after.

Three weeks was still not enough time, although I am sure she was happy to go home and see her family, she was deeply missed here by her California kin.  I am looking forward to getting together with her again in the next year for an art week at the beach in Florida.

My plan is to post once a week for the next few months as I get back into blogging mode.  I will be posting more DIY craft ideas, as well as jewelry, and flea market finds.  So stay tuned for some fun ideas in the coming weeks.