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April 27, 2009
Circus girl, part deux

Here's Zoe's trapeze performance at the March of Dimes walk in Balboa Park this weekend. She trains with Aerial Revolution Acadamie . I uploaded some other videos on YouTube, if you want more...

02:48 PM | Comments (3)
April 16, 2009
more on shoes

I've had some questions on the shoe painting process. You can look for advice on the web, that's what I did. And do follow the shoe link below, because they are all totally inspiring. But here's the Reader's Digest Condensed version:

1. CHOOSE SHOES: Painting canvas sneakers is like, uh, painting on canvas. Leather or pleather shoes is what we're using here. Choose shoes that are stiff, rather than soft, or work with the natural places the shoe moves. The paint WILL crack there. Smooth shoes are going to be easier to manage than those with lots of gee-gaws.

CLEAN: Remove dirt, oils, polish from shoes. Give them a wipe down with acetone (finger nail polish remover, which isn't really acetone anymore...).

2: SCUFF: Paint adheres better when the surface has some "tooth". Go over the shoes with fine grade sand paper. Then wipe them off again.

3: PRIME: I simply used watered down white paint. A couple of layers. Gesso is another possibility. Like anything else, taking time with the prep work pays off later.

4: PAINT: I used run-of-the-mill acrylic paints. Quality probably makes a difference. We'll see. Build up layers of paint rather than glopping it all on at one go.

5: DRY: If you're me, you stick them in the oven to speed things up (it's not ON).

6: SHELLAC: I used clear acrylic spray, but there may be sturdier choices. The paint's waterproof, but something to protect the surface from scuffing and such.

02:40 PM
new things

So I'm waiting for the book to arrive... sometime in the next month, clearly, I'll see it, and so will all of you. Since Wiley prints in the U.S. of A., there isn't that "advance copy" business where a couple of boxes of books arrive way ahead of things and the rest travel on that proverbial slow boat from China. They'll print it, and then it'll ship out, pretty much to all of us at once.

In the meantime, I've been knitting a lot. Surprisingly so. I haven't had so much time to knit whatever I was moved to in a while. I've got a couple of projects that I'm finishing up for release -- a project for Julie Turjoman's Brave New Knits. This was actually a pattern in a holding pattern, all it needed, literally, was finishing. So yesterday I wuve in a bunch of ends. Today I finished off a knit for a Stitch Cooperative project. Still needs to be blocked and finished, but still, nice to be checking things off. In totally extra-curricular knitting, I've been working on several things, just for fun . Leo's slippers still need to be finished up and felted. There have been a couple of funny hats and scarves in there... And I decided to really do some self indulgent knitting over Spring Break. I succumbed to peer pressure and cast on a February Lady sweater. In Malabrigo, seen above. Very wearable, I think, and even for adventurous beginners, I think, a pleasant knit.

And, oh, yeah... I finished painting my shoes.


12:51 AM | Comments (3)
April 1, 2009
my shoes are primed


So after seeing some hand-painted shoes, I've been thinking for a long time that this is something to try... and today, I primed. These are some old shoes that I love, but they're really scuffed up. Still going strong.

These will definitely end up a beginner project... simple color blocks, likely. Like Willie Wonka's saddle shoes, I'm thinking.

But if you want to be totally inspired, look at these. Lane, by the way, will custom paint your shoes for you...

07:07 PM | Comments (3)
put on your thinking slipper


Leo's finally worn through the bottom of his first pair of felted slippers, and it's getting to be awkward for me to, you know, BE a knitter with those holey things on his feet. So after dragging my feet for longer than I should have, I finally cast on... and bound off the first slipper less than 24 hours later, without trying to hard. Why did I put it off for so long? Anyway, I got the second one on the needles immediately... Hopefully, I'll manage to keep the blinders on long enough to finish.

07:01 PM