Last spring, we visited the new "Shoe Carnival" added to a mall in Hastings to look for shoes for Graduation. As we were checking out, Chris and Mina spotted these tiny Converse Chuck Taylor baby shoes. He made me buy them for a beading project. Of course, since we had discussed me doing a project similar to this it wasn't much of an arm twisting.
This was one of those projects I spoke of earlier that I can "see" in my mind before I begin. I did some shopping to find what I would need. I wanted some leather to recover my basic black shoes to make them more authentic to the period. I found the perfect leather (which I have had tons of compliments on from those who viewed the project in progress) on the Etsy shop PeggySueAlso.
I am so glad I found the shop! Their leather is beautiful! I also really appreciated that the descriptions told the thickness of the leather so I would know if it would be flexible and thin enough to stitch through. The leather has rich colors and the paisley pattern shows up lovely with the gold detailing. I always go towards these rich colors when I work with Steampunk designs. Other things I purchased for the project are:
Mini Gears designed by Tim Holtz purchased from ArtiqueMixedMedia also on Etsy, the Brass Ox finish top hats, and crystal cup chain came from B'Sue Boutiques (they have awesome Steampunky treasures!), the antique brass finish clock winding keys designed by Tierracast came from Fusion Beads, and the various seed beads, fish leather (used to make the eyelid on the eye cabs) and the Wire Lace all came from Julie's Xpressions in Hastings. Though I love vintage clock and watch gears, I find that using the Tim Holtz versions are easier to design with. You can find them in the embellishment section of the scrapbooking department at craft stores.
|you can see the eyelet detail on the shoe without the shoestring|
When I finished the eyelets, I began beading on the shoes. I did all of my top edging first, followed by the application and embellishment of the eye/hat piece. At that point I wasn't sure what to add to the second side of the shoe.
Galvanized Lucite leaf from The Hole Bead Shop, more of the Tiny Gears, and 3 8 mm Swarovski rivolis in Bronze, Smoked Topaz, and Crystal Golden Shadow. Mostly, I winged it. I think it turned out well though, I added seed beads and a crystal button to embellish the gears. To finish off the design I added the winding key to the back and stitched a star design around it so that it looks like I inserted the key to wind the shoe. To apply the key, I used my handy tool again to punch a hole through the leather but not the shoe, so the key could be glued into the shoe and I could embellish the "keyhole". It was now time to glue on the cupchain. I usually stitch on cupchain so it stays put, but there was just no way to sew it that close to the sole. Once the cupchain was in place, I used the WireLace to make my shoestring. The color is more of a copper/rose gold color but looks very pink in the photos. I really am proud of this design! I still need to finish the second shoe and would like to figure out how to apply a propeller to the toes (also purchased through B'Sue Boutique).
I have the ultimate goal of submitting it to contests, but I have to get all of it complete first! So far the project has taken me about a month working nearly every evening on it. Thanks for stopping by for all of our Beading Back In Time Blog Hops this year! If you missed my other pieces, here they are!
Thanks to Sherri & Lindsay for including me in this great Hop Challenge