New happy shoes!

Last night I spent some time mixing up my fabric paints. I use the Derivan Matisse range of acrylic paints, and add a Fabric Medium to convert them to heat set, water-fast fabric paints. I also add an Iridescent Medium to make them sparkly and tweak the consistency with water and Acrylic Medium to get it all just right for painting shoes. And then mix a range of in-between colours so that I can paint the blends blue-teal-dark green-mid green-light green for example. 🙂 Mixing the teal from the blue and the dark green I use means the teal matches these two just right and all the colours harmonise. It’s a bit of a time consuming process though, and you need everything properly labelled and and a chart detailing what colours were mixed so that you can replicate the process when you need more. Man, does this cut down on the frustration factor later on when you’re trying to colour match that purple and can’t remember which pink or red or blue it contained and in what quantities. Preparation saves a  lot of fuss later!

It was also very soothing. I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself just sorting out my materials even though I didn’t get to any painting yesterday. Seeing all those lovely tubs of sparkly paint lined up on my art table and waiting for me just gave me a happy buzz and definitely capped off a stressful weekend in a good way.

Today, I got back to my shoes – did some humming and aahing about what colour to paint my cats on these… silver and black? yellow and orange? decided in the end on bronze and black, nice contrast to the teal without being garish. Aren’t they gorgeous! I love them!

I can’t wait to paint more! It’s quite fiddly, takes me several hours per pair from start to finish, and that’s not being too stressed about going over a line here or there. I don’t want them to look ‘factory finished’, I like a product that looks great but clearly hand made. That’s one of the things I love about bead embroidery – to my knowledge no one can yet do this on a machine. So whenever you see beads sewn to something, you know a person did that with needle and thread.

Look at all my lovely fabric paints!

The best part of all? After allowing these to dry and heat setting them, I then put them through a whole wash cycle in my washing machine, and nearly died waiting to find out how water fast they are… the result? Completely! Apart from being wet and crumpled, they looked the same coming out they did going in. The paint has held up completely. So no worries walking in the rain in these babies. I’m not promising anything about hot water because I’m thrifty and only ever wash my clothes in cold water. Plus by the time it’s raining hot rain you have bigger problems than the paint on your shoes!

I’ll shortly be putting up a new page that will tell you how to arrange buying a pair for yourself, once I’ve worked out the details. 🙂

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