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).