Thursday, February 10, 2011

Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.--Iris Murdoch

"Age shouldn't affect you. It's just like the size of your shoes - they don't determine how you live your life! You're either marvellous or you're boring, regardless of your age. " --Steven Morrissey

I couldn't decide which shoe quote to start with tonight. But yeah, it's about shoes.

Probably somewhere within Craftster, I came across an posting about decoupaged, or Mod-Podged, shoes. I found out the woman who did them has a blog and she had a great entry there about her "new" Black Canary shoes. Her entry was from 2009 but I found it in June of last year. I've been meaning to make a pair of shoes for myself and I finally got around to it.

I didn't want to buy a brand new pair of shoes in case I ruined them, but I didn't have a pair that I could do anything to, since they are all in good shape. So I headed over to my local thrift store, Thrift Store USA, to see what goodies they had. I got lucky. They had a pair of black pleather pumps in my size for only $2.99. I really liked the idea of being able to upcycle an older pair of shoes, because even though these were in good shape, it didn't matter what they looked like. I don't have to buy new shoes to have new shoes.

They were actually a part of a flight attendant uniform line. I had already picked out five Spider-Man comics that I could willingly cut apart. What better way to enjoy my comics and Spidey than to wear them on my feet?

I was about to pop my Mod-Podge cherry, people. I think I am now addicted.

This is about half way through the process. I actually did not stick the images on all willy-nilly. I actually gave some thought to this. All of the images on the right shoe are looking to the left, and all of the images on the left shoe are looking to the right. Each shoe has a Mary Jane, a Peter Parker, an upside down Spidey on the back, talk balloons, and a title graphic on the front.

I think I did about five coats of Mod-Podge over the top of all the pieces when I was done. I even painted the heel and sole in blue to cover the scuffs. Then I did about four coats of clear over everything, sole and heel included.

OMG, do you see the greatest thing EVAR on the heel of the left shoe??? A little tiny cartoon Stan Lee!!!!
But I went one extra step. Who knows what poor woman wore these shoes for work, over countless states and countries. I was a little weirded out about putting my feet in those shoes. I pulled out the liner, traced around some thin cardboard with it and made some new liners with a black bandanna.

God, I can't wait to wear these to work tomorrow!!! And while I was looking through my comics, I realized I have enough Wonder Woman comics that I'm willing to cut up five more to make one more pair of shoes! I might end up needing a Mod-Podge intervention.

My Morning Drive To Work Today

The snow was surprising but no big deal, provided you weren't driving like an asshole today. But these were the two things that I saw that made me happy today.

"Save the ales." AWESOME bumper sticker!

I don't have a photo of the other thing that made me happy, but here's what it was. Tell me if this isn't like karma or something: I was driving east down the interstate today. A set of flashing blue lights on top of a trooper's car, going west, caught my eye. I had enough time to see who he was going after. Some moron, driving a big old Surburban-type vehicle, was completely oblivious to the trooper. The reason: ONLY the windshield on the vehicle had been cleared of snow. The rest of the windows were completely covered with snow. The truck looked like it had been poorly dug out of a snow bank. I was never so happy to see a trooper as I was this morning.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another New Hat

I tell ya, I think I need our niece to slow down on the growing! My sister said she's going to need another new hat pretty soon and I just finished one tonight.

This is Lion Brand's Child's Floppy Brim Hat. In order to see it, you'll need a Lion Brand user name and password. I made it out of almost two balls of Mochi Plus (#14294) and just a little bit of leftover Modea eyelash yarn from a few years ago. The Mochi Plus was the same yarn as the Gloves of Win from earlier this year. Can I just say it was good crafting karma tonight that I had exactly the right amount of yarn for this hat, without any pre-planning??!

This is a better picture of the original hat.
Lion Brand said this hat, made with chenille yarn (this pattern is a few years old, and the original yarn they designed the hat around has been discontinued) and a G sized hook will make a hat with a circumference of 19" and will fit a 6-9 year old child. Since my niece is much younger, I went with a finer yarn and a F sized hook. The plastic orchid came off a basket I already had. Lion Brand had a crocheted daisy or something, made in the same yarn, on their hat, but I thought I needed something non-crochet to go in the front to break it up a little bit.

I'm hoping Punxsutawney Phil was right and spring will be starting early this year. This will be a fun little hat to keep the sun off Eden's head.

A Blast From My Past

Last night while on a mad tear through our attic, looking for my college diploma, I came across three pictures I had drawn when I was in college. Out of everything I've ever drawn, they were the only ones I hung onto for some reason. They had stood the test of time well, tucked away in a plastic tote. Hell, they looked as good as the day I packed them away.

The movie, The Crow, came out in 1994 and I did this picture in 1995. I had a morbid need to see the movie when it came out, morbid in my opinion, because I really thought that movie should have been scrapped. I thought Brandon Lee's death should have been enough of a reason to not release it, or at the very least, not do any sequels.

That being said, I did love the movie. It was dark and grim and gritty and violent but I thought it spoke more about everlasting love (first and foremost) or love that can go no further when two people are separated by life and death, and revenge than about violence for the sake of it.

"(The Crow)...series was originally written by James O'Barr as a means of dealing with the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a drunk driver." So yeah, O'Barr has the everlasting love/life and death thing down, I'd say.

I remember working on this. It's on an odd-sized piece of matte, something that was leftover from a photography class I was taking. I'd sit in between my classes when I had a break, in the lobby of the Communication Arts building. It was always cold in there but it was quiet when classes where in session. The only things I didn't like about this was that his hand is too small, and I should have made the feather darker. I went with brown and black for the feather because I thought it needed the contrast against his hair. I drew it with markers and colored pencils.

Sabretooth was done in the same year, but he's just on a piece of paper ripped out from a long tossed out sketch pad. He's done out of markers and colored pencils too. I realized then I liked the color quality when I would color over marker ink with colored pencils.

I was long into the X-Men years before the movie ever came out in 2000. This was just part of an image of Sabretooth fighting Wolverine from a comic book. I remember working on this one at home in my bedroom, laying on the carpet sometimes, wishing I had talent enough to draw something realistic without looking at something. But I figured that being able to draw anything had to be somewhat of a talent.

I still think that way today. Everytime I've started a mural in my laundry room and I'm looking at pictures that I want to recreate, first I see the entire image. Then, when I start looking at it, it's like I can mentally break it down into angles and curves for each part of it. Sabretooth was no different. I look at him now, and I just know that I saw his teeth separately from the drool and saliva, and that was separate from his chin but they had to have the right amount of space between them and everything else on the page.

Sorry about the crappy picture quality tonight. I was in a hurry to take these because my cat kept trying to get in the way because she wasn't the center of my attention!

This picture of Spider-Woman has a little bit of an explanation behind it. Again, it was 1995. I feel like Sofia Petrillo from the Golden Girls all of a sudden..."Picture it. Iowa, 1995. A young beautiful college student has a dream. A geek dream in which she had powers far beyond the scope of mortal man."

Alright, I'm done.

So yeah, I had a dream, one of many, in which I was a superhero. I was Spider-Woman but my costume was different from the traditional red and yellow costume of Jessica Drew, the Spider-Woman I grew up with and always preferred.

I had organic web shooters, and my costume was almost entirely red, except for the yellow symbol on my stomach. It was spiked on the tops of the thigh-high boots, and even had spikes coming off the back of the elbows from the gloves. Those spikes continued up my arms past my shoulders. The top of the costume was a shrug and it went over a sleeveless top. The outfit was finished off with a gauzy web-like belt.

I didn't look like me though, in my dream, and with my art supplies at the time, I had a hard time conveying it. I had black hair with thin silver highlights throughout it, done in a thick wavy bob. And I was very tan, for some odd reason. Picture a tanned Dita Von Teese, but stacked and muscular. And BTW, I look NOTHING like Dita.

The dream itself is mostly forgotten, but I remember as much as I do today by seeing this image. For some reason, it really stuck with me at the time, and I felt like I had to draw it to get it out of my head. It's also on an odd-sized piece of matte, with markers and some regular pencil. The body pose is based on both the dream and an image of Vampirella (told you I was a geek) that I'd seen at the time.

So after all the tearing about the attic last night, I had a nice walk down memory lane that I was able to share. And I did find my diploma and I'm going to hang it up again so I don't lose it.