It's my daughter's 17th birthday today (1st March but this site has a wierd time zone all of its own so it insists its still February) so that calls for some shoe painting! I said the shoe painting bug was creeping back over me. First the drawing...
This is the first socklet I ever made...ideas taken from a book by a man simply named Daniel. They had no real legs to speak of, but really long, unstuffed arms that could be folded to give attitude.
This was several years ago, and that first sock-led Christmas everyone in the family got a mini version of these, hugging a Quality Street. Since then I have experimented and come up with loads of different ways to mess about with socks and sewing... as you have no doubt noticed = )
Boring black socks + loads of left over white buttons that are too small to be used for eyes = pearly couple from Olde London Town....not King and Queen as they have nowhere near enough buttons to qualify for that honour...but in the future who knows?
Holidays always present a difficult situation: I can't go away without something to craft or I shall go mad....BUT how do I know what I will need seeing as I will be away from all my boxes of stuff and can't just nip back to get something?
So I made the pearly couple's socklet bodies and faces and went away with needle, cotton, stuffing and a mass of pearly buttons. Problem solved.
"When shall we three meet again...?" A bit of Shakespeare's witches to get us in the mood for a Melting Cauldron. This is a craft using UTEE: Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and a melting pot that turns it into a flexible goo.
I collected bottle tops (thanks to my husband for his selfless devotion to the cause!) and punched holes in the tops to attach jump rings. Then I filled them full of the kind of tiny junk I can't bear to get rid of and poured the UTEE over it. As it cooled it set hard, then when threaded, they made funky necklaces/ tags etc
Time for a close up or two...
They look kind of jewel-y and mysterious, like treasures underwater...
You know how I tend to say that the buttons dictate the personality?..well I was bought a lip button and, whatever face I tried it on, it looked wrong and ended up dominating the whole creature. So I started from the lips and worked my way out to a larger personality...The Sock Diva!
Here she is at a red carpet event. She has worked hard to get where she is today and endured many bad episodes in her life. Her best known song is...
"I WILL SURVIVE (and this time YOU will get stuffed!)."
What do you do when you find a carrot with a nose in your fridge? Make it into a Gangland Casino Boss of course! It's unconfirmed but I believe he only has one side to his moustache as a result of a particularly vicious fight in his youth where the other side had to be sacrificed to ensure escape...it has never grown since!
And once you get the taste for this vegetable embellishment...move on to Master Brocolli of the Brassica Dojo.
He is a vegetable of peace and wisdom who can teach you the ancient ways to combat sickness and fatigue using the path of wisdom
It's always handy to have a time machine laying about when you are an explorer... it makes for a rather wider choice of destination... so this is Jedediah, the Steam Punk Navigator and his Travelation Device.
So Christmas is well over and Spring is trying to break through the bleakness...so its time to create a new batch of socklets. My parents gave me some money for Christmas so, naturally, I spent it on socks and stuffing.
This is the lurid, half sewn pile of booty...
...and these are the first, shy gorgeous little creatures to be born from it.
This a photo of the first pair of shoes I ever painted, for my daughter, and she was both keen to wear them and wary of getting them dirty...a situation which leads to feet growing out of them before you have had all the fun they hold = (
Knowing her, they're still in a cupboard somewhere as childhood treasures.
Mind you, putting these on the blog had made me fancy doing some more...and they've got the blank ones going cheap in Primark...so you never know...?
Along with the Sonic the Hedgehog fascination (see yesterday's shoes) there's also a great love of Pikmin and all its characters and treasures...so inevitably there had to be Pikmin shoes!
Pikmin is the adventure of 2 tiny spacemen, and later their Mayor, to a planet rather like ours, where what is our rubbish is their valuable treasure...if only. I think the little coloured Pikmin who help them are rather like socklets.
These have also gone the way of all children's shoes: outgrown and filthy but were well loved.
Up in Camden market a few years ago I saw some hand-painted shoes for sale. They were at one of those little beach hut stalls near the railway bridge, where you can watch endless trains of chinese wagons entering the market stamped with wonderful lettering. The shoes were canvas ankle boot type and very detailed. I fancied a go and bought some cheap ones from Primark to paint up with characters my children liked. This is one of the resulting pairs...
And the side view.....
Of course they don't last long, either because they get filthy and worn or because the children's feet grow out of them quickly. I drew with pencil, then permanent marker and then painted with acrylics.
It probably depends if you are a comic book fan or attached to a comic book fan as to whether you will know who Cerebus the Aardvark is. This was made for my husband as a present a while ago from an old T shirt.
T shirts are great to sew as they are so stretchy and forgiving that when it came to making the cloak it didn't need an edge seam, cos T shirt fabric doesn't fray, so it's light and flowy. He also has a waistcoat for those off duty hours when he can kick-back and relax by the fire.
Jam jars are such lovely looking things, whatever they are filled with: jam, pens and pencils, odds and ends ...or dragons!
This is one of a range of different coloured Sculpey dragons I made to put in jam jars for a Christmas Fair. One lady bought 6 so she could give them to her nephews and neices and they could pretend they had just caught them while they were out dragon-hunting in their gardens. And here's another...
When we got caught in a heavy downpour in London and my daughter's shoes fell apart leaving her with soggy socks and an urgent need for new footwear...we went into a department store and discovered fruit socks!! Most pairs are still being worn (pineapple, watermelon and orange) but the apple socks went to the socklet department and this was the result.
The pips made perfect soulful eyes and the face is a little reminiscent of Animaniacs.
These were made for a stall at a Christmas fair to raise money for Disability Challengers and the National Autistic Society.
I called them 'shrunken sock-heads' and they were made with the left over toe ends from a lot of socks where I had used the long part to make long legs for other socklets. The toe end was stuffed and then gathered with a big button inside, which had a long piece of elastic tied through it already. Then I cut the left over sock ends into dreadlocks and added the eyes.
The resulting creatures can be used like the bat and ball game where the elastic keeps the head springing back at you. They were great fun to hit unsuspecting family members with = ) and very popular with the customers!