M My second adventure with Steve Madden shoes (see my previous post about his hightops) went to the other end of the spectrum: I started with a pair of elegant and sexy suede heels in a loden green.

Steve before Now, I know better than to paint suede. A coat of leather paint will adhere just fine, but the shoe will lose its lovely soft texture and dappled look. So the shoe was going to stay green. That's when I remembered the chunky fluorite nuggets I had bought at a bead show last summer. They looked like little rocks with holes through the middle. I thought their rough texture would look wonderful against the suede.

But I wanted something to use with them as a centerpiece. Again, I was hunting for a real contrast. I decided on 20mm amethyst beads and used silver-plated beading wire to string them on. Wire-wrapped loops on RockCandyHeels Closeup-72dpithe ends gave me something to stitch them down with.

 I really liked how that came out, but with shoes, you always need to add something more, something beyond what you originally conceived. That's when the design really takes off. I looked at the shoes with their great "rock candy" stitched on and thought, What if the heels were an amethyst color too?

So I went to my favorite source for suede dye,, and ordered a bottle of Angelus brand suede dye for $3.50. Two coats later, the heels of these "new and improved" Steve Maddens were a wonderful deep purple. I named them Rock Candy Heels.

Note: I made a couple extra sets of the Rock Candy embellishments and they are available in my webstore, along with some in different colors. Click here. Rock Candy Heels After PAIR-72dpi

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