Trash Day: shoes

I’ve been peevish and cranky and egregiously non-productive for much of the past week. Until today, it’s been too hot for (my) comfort, and I hadn’t slept well because of it. On top of that, I’ve had one hell of a time dealing with computer- and communications-related nonsense this week. Never mind what Mercury is actually doing; it’s in serious retrograde here at LOLCat Manor (and I say this as someone who thinks astrology is bullshit).

I’m absolutely certain I took a “Before” photo of the shoes I used for today’s Trash Day project, but it’s nowhere to be found. I have in-progress and finished shots, but I’m missing that first pic of the shoes in all their scuzzy glory.

To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure I took another pic of them months ago, when I first got the idea to do something creative with them, but I can’t find that picture, either. I suspect it’s on the other computer–which is downstairs, is not turned on, and doesn’t have a modem so I can’t easily upload the pic even if I have it. And I’m bone-tired, and nobody’s reading this anyway, so screw it.

However, if you are reading this (you poor dear!), imagine a pair of unadorned ladies’ slides from Eddie Bauer, manufactured at the dawn of this century. In their original state, they were a celery-green nubuck suede that went from zero to filthy in about three wearings, and thus ended up relegated to “around the house” status.

Fast-forward several summers. The shoes now look like absolute hell–far too gross to donate to Goodwill. But they’re well-nigh indestructible. They simply won’t fall apart, so I can’t throw them away with a clear conscience. What to do?

Paint them, of course. Having nothing to lose, and suspecting that shoe-painting could be the ideal way to deal with other sad-yet-serviceable footwear, I broke out the acrylics and went at them.

Let me tell you this: nubuck suede loves acrylic paint. Loves. It. After two layers of gray base coat, the shoes already looked much better. Almost presentable, in fact. I could have simply painted them a favorite solid color and left it at that–and I probably should have. But I got it in my heat-addled and sleep-deprived brain to attempt something really colorful and weird–just because.

I had a vague image in my head of what I wanted, so I roughed in a design in various shades of gray, then started applying color:

And after far more futzing around with them than I’d actually planned on (story of my creative life, I tell you), they got to this point before I called it a day:

Verdict? Too many colors. If I don’t simply paint them over in a solid color or simple stripes, I’ll at least mitigate the clown factor. That these shoes are already size-10 gunboats, and are even bigger-looking due to the thick soles and squarish toes, means they went straight into Bozo territory at the start and never came back. And as much as I love color, these won’t actually work with anything in my wardrobe. So they’ll remain around-the-house shoes until I figure out a way to declowntaminate them, or else repaint them entirely.

However, I do think paint could be a great solution for some of my older and/or dowdier leather shoes. So I will definitely conduct further experiments in shoe-painting (and I swear the next attempt will yield far less cracked-out results).

2 thoughts on “Trash Day: shoes

  1. Hey Magical Realist, I’m sorry this comment has nothing to do with your post, didnt know how else to contact you. You own The Yes Project on wordpress, I noticed it never quite took off. Would you consider transferring ownership of the URL to me? my email:

  2. I was wondering if you ever thought of adjusting the page layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could add a little more in the way of content so people could connect to it better. You have got an awful lot of text for only having one or two photographs. Maybe you can space it out better?

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