Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Butterfly Silk, Genie Gold, and Yellow Desmond Flashback

I felt all cocooned today, in my billowy outfit.
I proclaimed myself "a beautiful butterfly" to two of my coworkers, and flapped my "wings" at them. 

  • Silk kimono - Nancymac, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in September 2019, over my outrageous Urbanite ensemble at the Art Gallery
  • Sweater - Ellen Tracy, swap from Caro; last seen here in an outfit fail in April
  • Skirt - Dries Van Noten, consignment; last worn here in November 2019 with purpureus
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; last seen here in August 2019 with a fabulous striped dress

Vizzini was completely unimpressed with me this morning. 
"My block toy is more alluring, Woman."

We had a lovely sunny day today, and following my successful repair of the stains on these yellow shoes, I had to wear them with this wonderfully drapey silk kimono. 
There's more yellow, see?
I liked how the billowy silk went with my Genie skirt.
I have a thing for weird skirts. It's a thick woven gold lame (lah-MAY!) fabric, with a high waist and a bubble hem. Yes!

The stuff:
My shoes held up really well, although I don't do a ton of running around in the office these days. I did notice a few yellow wax flakes on the floor near my desk in the afternoon, though. But they still look pretty good for now.

Layered bling:
I am grooving on a flapper-ish vibe these days. Makes sense - it is the 20s, after all. 

  • Top chain - 2028, c. 1998
  • Glass/wire chain - Oscar & Libby's
  • Leaf necklace - Lisner, vintage 60s, Grandma J's
  • Leaf bracelet - Trifari, vintage 60s, thrifted
  • Gold/pearl bracelet - Trifari, vintage 60s, Mom's (I think)
  • Gold/amethyst ring - Frances Jewelers, c. 1965, Dad's
  • Crystal ring - Uffizi Gallery gift shop, Florence, Italy
  • Earrings - consignment

The top chain is in the giveaway pile now - all the gold colour has rubbed off. It wasn't expensive when I bought it more than 20 years ago at Eaton's. 

Hey, Vizzini, I'm going to do a flashback of all my yellow Big Presence Desmond shoes. What do you think of that? 
"Your shoes bore me."

Ready? Including today's outfit, I've worn these shoes 21 times! Not bad, considering I bought them for $70 via the Fluemarket (Fluevog hosts a buy/sell site within their site), purchased here in February 2016.

This is the first outfit I made with them, in February 2016. I picked out the yellow in the jacket's pattern.
You might not think that yellow shoes would be a good investment, but they are awesome as a pop of colour.

In March 2016.
 A black wool dress with an olive greenish obi, and green/yellow vintage jewelry.

There's that jacket again, in March 2016.
This time I paired them with a yellow sleeveless sweater that is not the same shade of yellow - my yellows rarely match. Don't care, close enough!

All tonally matchy with pastel yellow in May 2016.
 L hasn't changed a bit, but my hair is so short there (and that's my previous pair of purple glasses)!

I love this outfit - pink and yellow is an unexpected combo. This is also in May 2016.
When I buy patterns, I always look for colours that I can play with.

This is from May 2016, well before the "cold shoulder" blouses were a thing - this is a vintage 90s version.
I still have that pink leather skirt.

In July 2016 with a pussy-bow blouse.
I went through a phase of those blouses. The skirt is one I've had for a very long time...and you'll see it again soon.

There is a tiny bit of yellow in the pattern of this top (it's cranes, by the way).
 That's in July 2016 also.

Third time's the charm with this jacket.
 I'd been on the lookout for a yellow belt to go with the shoes, and there it is! This is in August 2016.

Pink and yellow makes another appearance in September 2016.
There's that yellow belt again.

And again! This is from May 2017 - the yellow shoes get packed away over fall/winter for 6 months.
You'll notice I often wear my yellow Bakelite vintage earrings and my giant yellow cuff with the belt/shoes.

Another pattern with some yellow in it - this is a vintage Etro dress, worn in June 2017.
The full yellow "set" of earrings/cuff/shoes are deployed there as well. A no-brainer!

I loved this dress, but I had to be at my most strict chocolate rationing to wear it.
That was in July 2017. I didn't wear the shoes again for a year! I just wore them less that summer for whatever reason.

For Pride Week in July 2018, I wore one of each of my waxed canvas shoes.
I'm a rainbow! Get it?

A repeat with this beautiful skirt, as promised, also in July 2018.
I have the formula down! Yellow belt!

There's the full yellow set, including jewelry, in September 2019.
 Yellow really cheers up taupe. There is a tiny bit of yellow in the blouse.

None of these yellows match exactly, but I can't imagine any other colour when the dress has a yellow hem.
That was in April 2019.

If you wear a yellow top, you have bookends of yellow.
That was in May 2019, a year ago.

There's today's kimono and a similar swath of necklaces, in July 2019.
 Another yellow top - this one's cashmere - knowing I have the shoes to match.

Variations on the first time 'round, but with all the yellow jewelry added.
That's the last time I wore these shoes, in August 2019. I'm down to $3.33 per wear - which I'm really happy with.

That was fun! Does that convince you that you need yellow shoes? I always have a substantial collection of yellow in my closet - it's my sunshine colour!
"And this is my sunshine, Woman, so move along."

I'm off tomorrow - enjoy your day, and I'll see you on Friday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Crayons to the Rescue! Fluevog Fixers

Hello! You might recall that when I unpacked my spring/summer clothes in my March closet swap-over (here), I was devastated to find that some colour had stained my orange and yellow waxed canvas Big Presence Desmonds (picture here). Ruined!

They'd already had quite a bit of wear and tear, just from wearing them - I'd talked to my local Victoria Fluevogologist Katie W. months ago (before the recent staining) about what to do to fix the various marks, scuffs and buff patterns that were marring the waxed fabric, and she suggested crayons. After all, it's a wax finish. I picked up a box of Crayolas ages ago with grand plans, which of course, I never got around to.

I've had the shoes and the crayons sitting out for nearly two months, and today I finally decided to bite the bullet and see if I could fix them, or at least make them presentable and wearable again. 
Above, the Before picture...

And below...
The After! They are again wearable - the yellow ones came out better, but they had less damage overall. The orange ones are...acceptable. 

So, wanna see what I did? Let's take a look at them again. I'm set up on my kitchen counter, with paper towels laid out, and my crayon colour selections chosen. 
I've circled two of the spots. Mental note for packing these up in September: wrap each shoe separately. 

 I dug into our crafting stash and found an unopened pack of nylon-bristled brushes. 
I made a mini double-boiler out of some steel measuring cups. Water in the bottom cup, inner burner on Low and the smaller cup floating.

I started with the yellow shoes, and chopped off a length of the yellow crayon with a steak knife. Klassy!
I chopped it finely, and transferred the wax to the cup with a cake/pie slicer thingy. 
I won it at Pampered Chef party years ago. I only use it for serving lasagna.

I stirred the wax with a wooden toothpick.
When it was all melted, I used the biggest brush and took a deep breath!

Some Before pictures. One of the spots on the toe of the left shoe.
The top of the right shoe also had spots.
Plus wear-and-tear along the side and toe.

The outside of the left shoe.
Some more wear spots. Not too bad.

I painted the wax on, gently heating the brush on the bottom of the top pan when it started getting clumpy.
A great colour match!

The inside of the right shoe.
I found that thin layers worked better.
It took a few layers to cover the orange spots.

The Before:
That colour went right down to the canvas - I could not scrape it off.

The right shoe Afters.
 Looks pretty good!
I gentle scraped at the edges of these raised areas with my fingernail to make it look more natural.
Some of the thicker areas cracked a bit when I did this.
The toe area of the right shoe, with all the spots covered up, pre-scraping

Remember, this is what it used to look like:
Not bad! I'm happy with that!

Now the orange pair. These pair have always been weird. The right shoe has always been a mess with much softer canvas, wear spots and colour rubbing off. 
The one obvious dark stain, but the other areas are heavily worn, with the wax rubbed off in places.

Same with the outside of the shoe.
 Even around the heels and the edges of the vamp.
The top of the right shoe is just nasty. I had to nearly "repaint" the entire thing in crayon wax.

The left shoe is nearly pristine in comparison.
 A few minor marks on the insides.
 And one big spot on the toe - the storage damage.

I mixed the light orange with the orange red crayon, with more of the lighter orange.
I used a bit too much of the dark orange. Ah well. Noted for next time, or when I do touch-ups.
I cleaned up between colours by wiping out the top cup with a paper towel and reheating it to get every bit of the yellow out. I washed the brush in the hot water of the bottom cup and wiped it down with a paper towel, repeating until it was clean.

After touching up the left orange shoe.
It's a bit noticeable on the toe where the spot was - I buffed that off with my fingernail. The wax on the sole came off easily.

Here's the Before again.
That's a solid cover job. 

From there I went back to the more problematic right shoe. After - you can see that the darker red is a bit streaky due to the thin layers I built up.
 The Before again:
And the inside:
 With the Before again:
They look fine from a distance, but are much more messy close-up:
I have a feeling this may crackle when I wear them.
But compared to what they looked like before...
I think they turned out rather well!

After "sanding" them down with my nail, I gave them a vigorous brushing with a soft toothbrush to remove any shininess and smooth down the edges of the wax "patches."
I thought a firmer bristle would cause more flaking. This ended up working quite well and gave them a soft buff.

Here's the comparison of the two orange shoes side by side. Not perfect, but fine for another season of wear.
This repair worked best on the yellow shoes, but I'm very pleased with how it covered many of the wear spots on both shoes, including the toes.

 And here we are, all ready for wearing again!
I'm feeling rather pleased with myself!

I went find Vizzini for some cuddles and validation.
"Do you mind, Woman? I'm napping here!"
So helpful.