Hello, my name is Barb Forrister and I am a fiber artist who creates nature scenes. I love birds and peacocks are one of my all time favorites. When Jamie and Sue contacted me about making a pair of shoes to donate, I thought I might carry on with my peacock series and transfer the idea to a pair of 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. These shoes were created for the 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 am
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 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.
Pictured above is my daughter, Julie Forrister modelling the shoes. I love the way these turned out and can't wait to try my hand at a more casual pair. How fun! I am hoping these shoes will find their Cinderella. To see more photos, I invite you to read more about it at http://www.barbforrister.com/kick-off-your-heels-with-peacock-high-heels . Thank you, Sue and Jamie for giving me a chance to play, have fun and contribute to such a wonderful cause!