Big initial MApologies for being out of touch lately — I was preparing for a big class for the American Sewing Guild in Riverside, CA, as well as keeping my “day job” editing clients happy. The class was last weekend and I’m now back home and caught up on things like laundry, dishes and email. Now, to share the wealth!

DSC04421 @ 72 dpiFirst, I want to honor Jacquina (at left), who brought a lovely lavendar faux suede bag to paint — then announced that she didn’t know what to do with it because, she said, “I’m not creative.” Next thing I know, she has picked out a fabulous length of wide metallic trim and is holding it over the lavendar. This brought out shades of green in the trim (which had just looked brown to me before it was laid on top of the lavendar).

I suggested Jacquina might want to sponge the bag so as to leave some of the lavendar showing, and I pulled out a paint chip of a color that’s violet with a little gold in it (Lumiere’s Halo Violet Gold). The next thing I know, Jaquina  has selected three other colors to use with it — and they look perfect! I tell her she’s going to have to change her “press release” — she certainly IS creative!

Gwyn Frost @ 72 dpi

This is a simple pair of Payless flats that Gwyn painted so they transitioned from a rich gold-orange at the toe, through burnt orange at the sides and into a deeper crimson-orange tone at the heel. She did this using smart color choices and plenty of patience when dabbing and lightly stoking in the paint to make the transitions. I love how these look!

Betty Renck @ 72 dpi

Here is another pair of color-transition shoes, this time going from Pearl Blue on the toes to Grape on the top and back half of the booties. Betty painted these and finished them off with bead-and-pearl embellishments that she placed just “north” of the line where the boot will bend when she walks. That way, she didn’t have to stitch down the embellishments to keep them from popping off. Instead, she glued them with The Ultimate. I think they came out beautifully.

Darcy 1 @ 72 dpiDarcy took a pair of plain Mary Jane style comfort sandals and gave them a racy coat of Crimson. Then she added tiny Pearl White polka dots in specific areas marked off by the original stitching on the shoe, as if she were doing color blocking. We all smiled when we saw how cute these turned out!

Cool comfort shoes @ 72 dpi

Annell sandals @ 72 dpiSea-sponging was a popular technique at this class, and a subtle example of how it was used is shown above. On this pair of lace-ups, Christina used light sponging on the toe and back as part of a color-blocking scheme. What you can’t see is that the tongue of the shoe is painted green. There was much discussion about what color the laces should eventually be, green was the winner. Lumiere was used to paint those, too.

Another version of sea sponging, at right, was done by Annell on a pair of simple sandals. She chose a colorful array of Lumiere paints — blue, purple, crimson and one of the golds. The result was rich and eye-pleasing.

Barbara baker @ 72 dpiHere’s an example of a simple embellished shoe painted in Old Brass (I think) with the heels (sorry, the photo doesn’t show them) painted a contrasting dark brown. These were done by Barbara. One of the things that makes this shoe special is the placement of the embellishment. It extends up over where the foot will be so as to change the shape of the front opening and add interest. Adds a nice touch!

Last of all is a pair of gorgeous wedge sandals painted by a young woman named Amber. She had no questions, asked no advice, just sat down and painted them in luscious colors. She even invented the color-collage treatment on the t-straps and ankle straps without consultation or coaching. (I love young people — they just go ahead and DO things!) I will let the pictures of her wedges speak for themselves.

Amber 1 @ 72 dpi

Amber 2 closeup @ 72 dpi Amber 3 closeup @ 72 dpiI wish I’d had the time and presence of mind to photograph ALL the shoes and bags done in the class — they were all amazing!

Next week I’ll share with you some fabulous shoes — and a pair of bridal cowboy boots — sent in by our fans around the world, including a mixed media artisan  from Australia whose motto is IMELDA, EAT YOUR HEART OUT!

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