Big initial M Sometimes I create a shoe design just for the sake of going over the top. It’s good for my spirit to throw caution to the winds and come up with something that I’ll never wear in this lifetime — though maybe I will in the next!

I guess that’s one of the things I enjoy so much about DIY shoe and handbag design — it gives me a chance to let my imagination soar, invent whole new lives for the shoes and bags I play with, and envision a life where I would wear booties like these little beauties.

I bought these Steve Madden zebra-print booties a couple of years ago on sale. I knew I’d never wear them — high heels and I aren’t on speaking terms anymore — but I couldn’t resist them.

Zebra goes wild before @ 72 dpi Now, hair-on hide or fur is something you can’t paint. The hair would get all gummy. You could tint the white hair with transparent Pinata inks from Jacquard — in fact, Destiny and I contemplated tinting each white stripe a different color. But then I went to a couple of re-use stores and came home with multicolored chain (formerly a belt with the word ROCK spelled out in dangling fake-crystal-covered metal letters) and big triangular chrome washers.

I played around with the chain and the washers, and decided to hang the chain in swathes from the washers, which I would anchor with a spherical silver bead.

Zebra goes wild after side @ 72 dpi

Zebra goes wild after back @ 72 dpi

The chains are held together by a large split ring underneed the triangle. This is secured to the bootie with the same ultrastrong beading thread that I used to stitch the triangle and silver bead in place.

That was all I had been planning to do to this bootie. But I am not very good at putting away my “toys” and sitting on the craft table near where I had been working on this bootie was a cellophane bag with a lavish sprig of red velvet leaves.

Well, who wouldn’t be tempted to take a few of those out of the bag and hold them up to different parts of the boot to see how they”d look?

They looked fabulous (if I do say so myself….), so I glued them down using E6000. Still, it wasn’t quite enough. The leaves needed some sort of focal point.

Zebra goes wild after detail @ 72 dpi I went rooting around in my stash and found some little black iridescent-beaded appliques in the drawer labelled BLING. (Don’t let anyone tell you impulse shopping is all bad — without it, my stash would be pathetically thin!)

I glued the applique to the leaves using Fabri-Tac (my choice for gluing fabric to fabric) and the rest is zebra-bootie history.

I call this pair “Urban Zebra” and they are dedicated to Destiny, who will one day convince herself they fit and walk off into the urban sunset wearing them.

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