How to give old shoes a magical new lease of life

Three ways I’ve given old shoes a new lease of life…

1) The Rainbow Shoes

I don’t know if I’m ashamed or proud to admit that I have three pairs of identical Mary-Jane shoes from Schuh, in different colours. Red ones,  a present for my 19th birthday, to go with my Dorothy outfit. Black ones followed to go with an interview outfit, because they were SO DAMN COMFORTABLE but also looked good. And finally purple ones, a 21st present from my then-boyfriend.

I have now worn all three pairs so much that the straps have broken, the buttons have come off, they’ve all been reheeled at least three times and the leather is, well, completely buggered. No amount of polish is ever going to make them look good again.

So I took a leaf out of my own book (I’ve gone through phases of decorating shoes before) and decided to turn the black ones into rainbow shoes… using Decopatch papers.

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I finished them off with a couple of coats of glitter Mod Podge (because sparkly rainbows on your feet!) and when they were dry, a coat of satin spray varnish to get rid of the stickiness.

 

2) The Lace Effect Heel Shoes

I used a similar ploy very effectively years ago, in the hideous London job, when I was informed my favourite shoes weren’t smart enough any more because the heels were worn and scratched. Never one to be deterred by rude people, I spent an evening up to my elbows in sandpaper, Mod Podge and tissue and this was the result:

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These are now five years old (I did the heels three years ago), still worn regularly and have held up to all the abuse I regularly chuck at my high heeled shoes.

3) The Sparkly Shit Underneath Shoes

Yeah, that never took off as a brand name. But, back in 2012 when I still lived in the flat, I had a cheap pair of black-and-turquoise satin shoes that needed a bit of pep for a night out with friends. As you can’t really glitter glue or spray paint satin, I looked around my studio, spotted my bead stash… and the rest is history.

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These have sadly long since bitten the dust, but I plan to use the same technique on another pair of heels that need some love soon.

So now I never have boring feet!

With love and unicorns,

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Postbox: Blackbird in the Rowan Tree

I believe wholeheartedly in being able to manifest experiences and my life’s direction, but have always been a bit dubious about being able to manifest physical things I want into my life.

Happily, I have been proved wrong. Back in February, I was browsing the glorious Slightly Triangle gallery (mixed media art and illustration by the very talented Chloe Redfern) and found myself irresistibly drawn to her blackbird print.

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I wrote it on my wishlist at the front of my daybook, made a note to check her shop when I returned from holiday, and didn’t think any more about it.

Then, last week, I had a text from Chloe to say she’d put something in the post for me, but had forgotten to write a note with it, so please don’t be too surprised. (Though we met online over a decade ago, we have delighted in offline communication for our entire friendship and often send each other random presents, not necessarily anywhere near our birthdays).

And when the parcel arrived… it was the original Blackbird in the Rowan Tree piece, signed on the back and now taking pride of place on my mantelpiece.

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Isn’t he gorgeous?

I couldn’t have been more excited if I’d tried… and it was the most glorious surprise after a complicated and pesty week. And proof that sometimes the things you want most really do come to you – if you’re clear about what they are.

With love and unicorns,

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Choosing a talisman

After last week’s sneak peek of the talisman jewellery I’m currently making, I thought I’d share the locket that’s my own current favourite talisman, and how I came to choose it.

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From, and featuring an image by, one of my very favourite artists, Nicola Taylor, it shows her self portrait titled “Listen to the Colour of your Dreams”.

How to choose yours

A talisman should be a wearable reminder of something – a way to keep your dreams or wishes, hopes or beliefs, close to you. It should also be something that makes your heart sing – whether in colour, or style, or some kind of indefinable quality you can’t quite put your finger on.

Things to think about:

  • the colours that speak to your soul
  • words that have always meant something to you, whether in your mother tongue or another language
  • objects or animals (or both) you are drawn to
  • things people automatically associate you with
  • your dreams, aspirations and hopes – what could represent them?

(more…)

Postbox: Custom cats!

A few weeks ago, I spotted a post by my friend Chloe on her artist page on Facebook, of two hanging decorations which had been painted as portraits of cats.

After some excited squeeeee-ing and some emails backwards and forwards, my very own commission was in the works. It arrived last  Saturday – and look how gorgeous they are!!

The parcel:

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The decorations:

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Squee-inducing extras (I adore Chloe’s work, and one of her paintings has pride of place on my mantelpiece):

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And finally, Clover investigating her miniature self. Luna wouldn’t sit still long enough and has sharper claws, so I didn’t let her anywhere near her mini alter ego!

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Chloe is an artist specialising in mixed media illustration – her work makes me squee on a regular basis, and we are hoping to feature some of her prints in Ink Drops boxes later in the year.

You can find her at Slightly Triangle, and also on Etsy (so much gorgeousness there!) and if you want to commission your own pet portrait or custom work, you can get in touch with her via her website or her Etsy shop.

I haven’t decided quite where to hang them yet – they’re making themselves at home on my mantelpiece in the meantime 🙂

[lists] Wishlist Wednesday

There is an alarming amount of variety in my wishlist this week…

I’m lusting after a unicorn pencilcase (Pinterest will no longer let me embed pins – this is an ongoing issue since they changed their format, and it’s making me cross).

A converter for my fountain pen so I can use proper ink is on its way to me – so now I need to choose between inks. Decided on turquoise, now need to choose which one…

Also on the list – a pannier for Bluebell (both pretty and waterproof), the Dragon dictation software and a cake from Sponge.

What’s on your list?

The perfect reading chair…

I’m on something of a quest. You’ll know I’m on the move soon, and I’m so excited about having somewhere I’ve chosen by myself for the very first time. (I love the flat I’m leaving, but chose it for quite different reasons with one of my best friends when we moved in together nearly three years ago… so it’s time for a change!)

One of the things I’ve wanted for a long time is a reading nook… somewhere in my house that is in a warm spot, catches the sun when there is some, and is perfect for whiling away stretches of time with a really good book.

 

This is a papasan chair. I saw and fell in love with them in the Pier, years ago. They are comfy, quirky and absolutely bloody enormous.  Now the Pier is no longer in business and I  will finally have a conservatory, I am on the hunt for one – preferably a second hand one, as new they’re more money than I would like to spend on a chair!

In my parents’ house I love to tuck myself into the cushions on the window seats, with 11 foot high windows there’s always lots of light and sunshine and it’s really comfy.

However, in my searches for my own home I’ve come across some other gorgeous chairs for reading in.

A tub chair, like you often find on holiday, in a purple that would go with my colour scheme beautifully…

Source: homebase.co.uk via Carla on Pinterest

 

A colourful but not rounded enough (but possibly curlable-uppable-in) armchair:

Source: tesco.com via Carla on Pinterest

 

And a very pretty duck egg blue chair which I think would look gorgeous but probably not be comfortable enough.

 

Source: homebase.co.uk via Carla on Pinterest

 

Which do you think makes the best reading chair? Do you have a reading nook or a favourite spot in the house to curl up and read?

Gadget wishlist

While shopping for boring electrical stuff yesterday, I might have had a sneaky look at cameras, radios… and also landline phones, weirdly. I appear to be showing signs of being a proper adult. Meep. Anyway, on my wishlist are now these babies:

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cool cordless phone  orange phone

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Excuse the terrible photos – quick sneaky snaps on my phone while I was conscious I should be doing useful things instead! 🙂 If the orange one came in blue or purple… I think I’d have come home with it, £99 price tag or not. The Roberts radio is on my Christmas/birthday list. I ADORE it.