Friday, February 15, 2013

Kick Off Your Heels with Peacock High Heels

I'm back. Been playing in the studio these last couple of weeks decorating a pair of 5 inch high heels. Have to say, I had never done this before and now I am wondering why not?!!!! What a blast and I love the way they turned out. Late last year, Sue Bleiweiss and Jamie Fingal contacted me to ask if I might be interested in making a pair of shoes for Kick Off Your Heels fundraiser to benefit the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California. What a great cause! I have been wanting to try this for some time so I was
  happy to be on board. These shoes started off as a black pair of patent leather, designer 5 inch heels by Jessica Simpson. I really wanted them to be wearable so comfort was a big issue in deciding which shoes to start off with plus I loved the cutout of the inner arch. I next began by lightly scuffing the shoes with a super fine 400 grit piece of sandpaper to make them amenable for painting. They were painted with white textile paint by ProChem. This stage was definitely not the fun part as it took several coats of paint to cover the black entirely.
Once done, I pencilled in my design. Next, I gave them a wash of Celestial Alchemy interference paint by Stewart Gill. The idea here was to get a very light background color. In retrospect, I should have waited for this stage to pencil in my design as it was somewhat difficult to see once  the wash was applied. Next came the fun part; the decorative painting. I used a very fine brush and started painting the feathers with Silks Acrylic Glaze in a delicious array of colors including Ginger Peach, Rich Cobalt, Boysenberry, Mallard Green and Pretty Peridot. Wow, just naming those colors makes my mouth water. 
Once the feathers were completely painted, I continued with the peacock's head, crown and back in a variety of Stewart Gill and Setacolor paints. Next, the underside arches of the sole were painted a Venetian Gold color and the heels were embellished with a deep cobalt blue glitter applied with Modge Podge. I have to say, I was reticent about the glitter as it tends to come off and make a mess but this method worked beautifully! Finally, I decided I needed to add a little bit of my own 3 dimensional aspect to these shoes but in a subtle way. After all, I still wanted them to be wearable. Hence a fringed feather was painted and attached to the outside of the top of the heel to complete the shoes. They were then sprayed with several coats of clear gloss protective finish.
I love the way these turned out and can't wait to try my hand at a more casual pair of shoes. How fun! I am hoping these shoes will find their Cinderella. Please take a moment to chime in and offer comments. I would love to hear from you! To find out more about how you can help with this cause, please visit .


Anonymous said...

These shoes are beautiful, Barb! Although I could never wear 5" heels! When you take on a casual pair of shoes I'd love to watch you work. Sounds like a blast.

Barb Forrister said...

Thanks, Diana! I am so with you! My days of wearing 5 inch heels are long gone. I much prefer comfort. Can't wait to make a pair for myself! You know you are always welcome to come hang out!

Marti said...

The peacock faces on the front, the heels, the flower - they really are gorgeous. I have always been in awe of women who can wear this type of heel, me...a two inch heel is stretching it!

Barb Forrister said...

Marti, thank you for for your kind words. I know exactly how you feel. I have such a small arch that there is no way I could wear these shoes. Though when I see these on my daughter, I am totally in awe! Hoping these find their way to their Cinderella to raise money for research on women's heart disease. Such a great cause!