Orange Painted Shoes

Back to the painted shoes….

Sorry, I took this picture in low light.

I had another pair of shoes I bought at the Goodwill. Old Navy shoes, brand new and soft grey, covered in yellow dots. I wasn’t fond of the ankle straps but that was a minor issue. I wore them once and surprisingly, well to me, they just didn’t work. They just weren’t flattering.

I decided that they must be painted. Since  the shoes were not leather maybe canvas? synthetic?, I needed something to cover the yellow dots that shone thru the area that I test painted. I used gesso, the painter’s primer. I covered both shoes with the gesso, waited a full week (man, I’m lazy!) and then painted the shoe a vermilion red/orange color. I thought I sealed it with the matte version of Mod Podge. I thought.  The surface looks great but I’m a hard heel striker when I walk. The color around the heel has started to chip. I plan on redoing it with another few coats.

So much better looking!

I have some other shoe projects that I’ll be posting soon. Have a splendid weekend!


Red Painted Shoes

Why am I obsessed with painting my shoes? It’s like I see a pair of shoes and then will decide that I don’t like the color and then I’ll have to tweak them.

It all started with a pair of shoes from Target. Little ballet flats, so cheap that they looked completely worn down after one wearing. I bought three pairs before knowing that they were such poor quality. One of the pair was supposed to be a really nice shade of grey. They turned out to be so shiny and patent leather-like that I couldn’t conceive of wearing them in that state. I painted them black, using the paint I had on hand: 3-D paint by tulip and some shitty acrylic craft paint. It worked out some sort of way because the 3-D paint gave the craft paint a nice gloss while dulling the patent leather look and the craft paint made the the 3-D paint last longer and it helped extend the  life of the shoes. The surface hardly showed any wear and tear. I only tossed them when I  finally wore the soles down to nothing. They still looked good.

Since then, I’ve painted other shoes. Red, blue, black, orange (how I did the orange ones, coming soon) and I came close to falling into the glitter shoe fad but I abstained.

Aren’t we so cute and perfect?

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when we were in a Gap’s outlet store. I see the perfect pair of high heeled espadrille sandals on a mannequin. Even though they were a lot higher than I normally wear (I normally never wear anything with a raised heel. Flats forever, yo!), I looked all over the whole store for them. I wanted them bad and I couldn’t find a single pair like the one on display. Resigned, I went to the register to pay out and the salesperson asked if I found everything ok. I said no, I wanted the mannequin’s shoes and didn’t see a pair. To make a long story short, the pair on the mannequin were the last in the store and they were my size and they sold them to me for only 11 bucks! Hells yeah!

The only thing…they were white. Now listen, I’m not saying everyone with big feet looks ridiculous wearing white shoes but I’m saying that I look ridiculous wearing white shoes. I’m short with big feet. I look like an escapee from Ringling Bros when I wear white shoes and/or sneakers. Just stick a red nose on me and call it a day.

Wear us and ye shall suffer! Suffer!

So the white shoes…I decided to paint them red with a bottle of fabric paint. Turned out so cute! I boldly wore them to work. For nine hours. All day I felt so tall and pretty! I could look above my cubicle wall without trying! It was so great. And then for the next five days, my back hurt so much I could barely sit, lie down or bend at the waist. They’re like torture shoes. But at least I looked cute, right!

Jewelry making is hard

Lord, lord, lord I don’t know why I thought working with copper was going to be not as hard as I thought. Now, I’m not saying I thought it was easy. Quite the contrary. I knew it was gonna be hard, just not this hard.

So I got it in my head I was gonna make this really cool necklace. Y’all saw the post I did for it right? Let’s just say it looked nothing like what I wanted. So then I took some smaller gauged wire and tried to make a ring, something similar to this: While it looked okay for someone playing around, it still looked terrible. No where near as cute as the rings that I saw. Getting the copper to bend in the way that I want it and then cutting the wire and crimping it while using my giant man hands is just something I was not made to do.

Second attempt: I then took some wire and wrapped it around a bottle stopper because it was the closest to my ring size and I don’t have a ring mandrel.  I’m not a serious jewelry maker. I don’t want to invest good money on something like a ring mandrel that I’m only gonna use once in a while.Working with what I got.

I curled the ends into a little spiral to close out the ends and to make it cute. I’ve worn it a few times and I kind of like it. If this works out, everyone in my immediate family is getting copper jewelry for Christmas.

No Knead Pizza Dough

Y’all, I really want to make my own bread. I have tried and failed more times than I care to admit. I can make a mean pizza dough but an actual loaf of bread? Not so much…

A few years ago, I came across the all new rage! No Knead Bread. Put the ingredients together and let it sit for umpty kabillion hours and it will knead itself! Just pop it in the oven and it will walk out, cut itself in slices and melt in your mouth! Okay, so I’m exaggerating a wee bit but not by much.

My first attempt at no knead bread looked like this:

It smelled incredible and look at the inside! So pretty!

It tasted like pure ass. Doughy and completely unflavorful. Taking a bite of it felt like eating pre-chewed food. I followed the directions to a ‘t’ and even let it overcook but was not successful.

The second time I tried a slightly different take on recipe. I used a dutch oven, followed the recipe and after baking, the loaf had a beautiful baked hue but it was stuck to the pot. it almost like a tasty blond charcoal briquette.  Delicious yet hard as rock. Great, another failure.

I had given up until a few weeks ago, I saw this recipe at Serious Eats. No knead pizza dough for some sort of vegetable-topped pizza? Don’t mind if I do!  Since the recipe was from Jim LaHey himself, the guru of the no knead bread revolution, I figured, okay, let’s try this failure again!

My No Knead Pizza Dough. Isn't it lovely?

Y’all, it totally worked. The dough was chewy but crisp and had an amazing char. I, again, followed the directions, which included letting the dough rise for 18 hours. I did not knead even once. I also used a piping hot pizza stone to get the char. I sliced up some asparagus as a topping and it was really, really good. The boy even liked it!

Not a great picture but you get the idea.

I think I might even be willing to try my hand at his bread recipe. Will it be three times a charm or three strikes you’re out? With my luck, let’s hope I don’t burn up the oven. LOL.

Things I Like/Things I Don’t Like 4/6/12

Painted Staples! Hells yeah! I paint staples when I’m bored at work. I saw a tutorial for that a million years ago and thought it was cute and super easy.  You just take a colored Sharpie and color your staples. The light colored Sharpies don’t work as well, so stick to the really deep colors. And that’s it. Frivolous and pointless? Yep! does it make people freak out when they notice? Yep! Does it make me happy to see a little bit of color on a serious document? Oh yes, yes and yes!

Now it’s time for TIL/TIDL! I haven’t done one in a while.

Things I like:

  • What’s that? Could it be the sun shining outside? We’ll have a sunny day for the Easter egg hunt tomorrow? Sweet!
  • Maxi dresses and maxi skirts. I simply can’t get enough of them.
  • Making my own Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwiches using a muffin tin! Instructions to follow soon.
  • And of course, colored staples!

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Saying tennies, sunnies, bennies, vacay. I don’t know why it’s becoming popular to say those words instead of tennis shoes, sunglasses, benefits and vacation. It just sounds weird.
  • Feeling weepy. Cried at the movies. Cried while writing last night’s post. Cried while reading something online. Cried when a friend gave me a thank you note today.  And no, I’m not pregnant. WTF?

Humble Reader, I hope you have a splendid weekend and if you celebrate Easter, Happy Easter to you, too!


Making a Cooper Ring

Copper. Cooper. It's still wearable.

Okay, this is gonna sound pretentious as hell but it’s the truth. When the Husband and I honeymooned in Paris a kabillion years ago, we went to the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, that famous flea market. At the entrance of the market was a man selling handmade copper jewelry. At that time in our life, I hadn’t been actively studying French so I could only say a few words. But this man, thankfully, spoke English, with a heavy African accent. He looks at me and says, “These are made of cooper.” I say, “Oh, copper!” He says, “No, they are COOPER! COOPER!” My eyes widened and I said, “Okay, cooper!”  I picked out one necklace for myself and one for my mom, paid and went on my merry way. When I returned a couple of years later with my mom, I looked all over that market for that man but as with life, things change and people move on. He was nowhere to be found. He lives in a corner of my mind as an amusing anecdote. Cooper!

I’ve been seeing all sorts of killer handmade jewelry on the internet, made with some interesting materials. I saw that someone did this ring, made of a glass bead and copper wiring. I had to make one!

Yeah, about that, “ring that I just had to make!” Being as I have never made a ring with wire and that I didn’t even have the right tools hardly deterred me. I ended up buying some copper wiring at Lowe’s. It was much cheaper than the craft store and the local hardware store didn’t carry any wire that I could use. A few months ago, I bought a giant vase of costume jewelry at Goodwill, intending to take apart some of the pieces to use for other crafts. One of the necklaces is made of the most beautiful glass beads, individually. Together, it looked like clown vomit, a unholy mixture of color. I popped off one of the beads and measured off about maybe a foot (or two feet) of wire? I wrapped it around and came up with a wearable ring (see above). Not nearly as nice as the tutorial. I’d love to practice a little more and try to make something a little more polished but, eh, **shrugs shoulders**, it’ll do for now. I’ll be rocking this COOPER! ring for a while.

Ugly Name Tag

I hate you name tag! This is about as janky as it gets.

Ugh. We have to wear name tags at work. I hate having some rando at work come up to me, look at my badge and start using my name like we’re BFF. It’s okay that you know my name but don’t pretend like we’re friends when I don’t know you. Especially when I don’t know your name. Unwelcome familiarity. Unfortunately, it is what it is.

Anywho, when you’re hired at my place of employment, they print up your ID card and hand you a lariat to clip it to and for you to wear around your neck. Some people like it others don’t. I like to clip my work keys on the lariat. I’m a forgetful person. I thought if I clip the keys to the ID, I’ll never forget them. Yeah, good in theory, not in practice. I’ve only forgotten my badge twice (yeah me!) but the clip broke within a few weeks and the hole on the ID card to string the lariat thru broke shortly afterwards. I then bought a cheap plastic  ID badge holder to slip the ID through. That broke after a month. I was using packing tape to hold it together.

So, we’re at a recycle place here in town and it dawns on me…what about a luggage tag? It’s meant to take a beating, right? They had hard plastic luggage tags for a dime! I also had some pretty pieces of scrap wallpaper. I’m thinking, “what if I glue the wallpaper to the back of the luggage tag and string the lariat thru and voilà! indestructible name tag. If only life were so simple…

First off, in order to prep the plastic for the glue, I had to clean it off. Water got underneath the soft plastic window, where you can see the ID. It was adhered so tight to the hard plastic backing, I had to stick my size 00 knitting needles inside to dry out. The knitting needles promptly rusted, leaving dusty little lines inside that I can’t clean.

Secondly, the Mod Podge glue, despite the instruction saying the opposite, did not work on the hard plastic back.The wallpaper peeled off after drying overnight. Tried a different glue with similar results. Most people would have given up but I am an idiot. I then found some old address labels, struck them on the back of the plastic and then put the damn glue on top of the label and then stuck the damn wallpaper on the glue. Peeled off after a few days of drying, leaving behind bits of the back of the wallpaper. The labels are stuck for life.

Instead of giving up and buying a nice rubber badge from Office Depot like a sensible-minded person would, I then proceed to paint little branches with red blossom-like blobs on the back of the tag, while spilling paint on my favorite jeans. I shellacked the hell out painted picture with Mod Podge, which finally works for something.

Once it dries, I notice that if I put my ID in the front plastic, I cannot get it out. The tag is too long and my ID is too short. I proceed to use a razor to cut a hole out of the plastic so that I can easily remove my ID when needed. It is a raggedy jagged edged hole that will cut your fingers, but with caution I should be able to slide my ID out. Yeah it works!

But the lariat has a hard plastic ring on the end that doesn’t come apart. I can slip the ID in the luggage tag, but I can’t put the tag on the lariat ring. Finally, I find a key ring small enough to fit in the lariat ring and small enough that my ID can slide over it when I need to pop it out. Two months later, my coworkers finally notice my name tag. I died a little on the inside.