Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Call of the Wild - A Fantasy in Two Shoes

Virginia Spiegel here...

The concept for my entry in this fun fundraiser came after I made a comment on FB that I was sure my high heel shoes would have something to do with the outdoors.  A friends said she could just see me lugging my 50 lb. pack in high heels and pearls. I didn't know about that, but it made me think that maybe some wild creatures would like to dress up once in awhile.

In any case, I purchased my first pair of high heels in twenty years.  They are nice sturdy standard black pumps since I knew I would have a lot of "stuff" to add to them.

Just to be on the safe side, I coated the shoes inside and out with two coats of white gesso.  This is coat one.

The trees I had purchased had white bases. I mixed up a nice batch of green paint with a lot of black added and painted both the tree bases and the insides of the shoes.  

I had my fantasy concept of wildlife "putting on the ritz" in the wild, but I wasn't sure exactly how I would actually make it work with the shoes.  So I collected a bunch of stuff that looked like it might work.  The blue fabric was one I painted and monoprinted and ran from blue to green - perfect!  I was thinking pink for the bottom of the shoe, but a blue stenciled piece looked more "lake and forest" in the end.

To fit the contours of the shoes, the fabric was cut into many, many small pieces.  Here the heel is finished with the green fabric and the blue fabric is cut for the body of one shoe.  Gel medium was used for the adhesive.

Both shoes finished - whew! - and coated with several coats of gel medium to seal them.

I love the water-y feel of the fabric I found for the bottom of the shoe.  The fabric was painted and then stenciled using a cardboard coffee holder.  Again, many small pieces and several coats of gel medium to seal.  While I had the gel medium going, I adhered a green ribbon with a pine needle pattern in the inside of the shoe.  You can see a bit of it in the next photo.  I was pretty sure it would never show, but I liked knowing it was there.

Would it be a "Call of the Wild" shoe without a wolf?  I cut a piece of floral foam to fit, added a coat of  thick gel medium to the bottom and wedged it in the back of one of the shoes.  I was worried about the wolf being secure (What can I say? I am a belt and suspenders kind of person), so I made pins out of florist wire and pinned her feet down and added a coat of gel medium on top of the pins.  

I added purchased moss and bark from the river birch in my front yard.  The final fashion touch for the wolf:  A snazzy pink and black purse.

Ms. Bear (modeling a stylish pearl choker) was added to the front of the shoe.  I used E600 glue to secure the bear since she didn't need a florist foam support. Trees, moss, and bark finished out the habitat.  

"Call of the Wild" - Shoe #1.  Onward.

Shoe #2. The moose also is up on a foam support.  I bought many colors of Barbie shoes.  But since this was an elegant outing, I went with silver and aqua shoes. (And, yes, I know this must be a bull moose to have antlers, but work with me here on our little fantasy scene :).  It just wouldn't be the same without the antlers.)

Many of you know how much I love the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This was a way to reference the flora and fauna I've grown to know so well with a little wink of the eye.


  1. Big fan of the Boundary waters myself, loving these FUN shoes~! Love that touch of shoes on the antlers! ;-)

  2. Super fun concept! The shoes (and fashionable animals) look great.

  3. Oh my goodness that is so awesome! I love seeing how you put the shoes together and they are decked out so great. Really fun!!!

  4. Grand! I love it all. And I'm sure that moose is just holding those shoes for his lady friend, off camera, and too tired to keep walking in them.