Friday, August 13, 2021

Fancy Friday: Flapper-esque and Floralized Fluevogs, Flashbacked

Happy Friday the 13th, my friends! I hope you're all hugging your lucky black cats today! 

In this post, I have an outfit to share with you, plus I finally got around to customizing a pair of Fluevogs (with roses!) and we'll also have a little Flashback on that pair so you can enjoy some more old pics of me. 

Outfit time! I met up with my bestie from way back in the day, Janet, for dinner after work on Friday, so I wanted to look fancy for her. It's Fancy Friday! 
We're suffering through another heatwave, with temps going up to the mid-30s, AND we're getting haze from the forest fires on the mainland drifting down and obscuring things and affecting our air quality. The sun is an orange glowing ball and it feels rather apocalyptic out there! 

  • Dress - Bottega Venetta, thrifted; first worn here in April with lace under it
  • Shoes - Wonders, consignment; last seen here with a Hawaiian dress for a July Mom-Day adventure

This dress seemed like the perfect solution. When is a jammy dress NOT a good choice? Uh, like, never?
As I wore the dress without a camisole, I added another safety pin to the plunging neckline. KLASSY. 

I layered a vintage slip under it so that I'd sweat on the slip, not the dress. 
I also wore my little cotton petit-pants under it for thigh separation. 

I like this dress way more just worn on its own vs. with a top layered under it as I did its first outing, so as I'd suspected then, this will be a "depths of summer" dress. I'll be wearing a few of those in the near future. 
It was lovely and loose and flowy - if only it had pockets! 

Masked up - this is one of my first masks, bought way back in spring 2020.
A few people are trickling back into the office this week; my company is keeping the "masks on unless you're at your desk" rule, even though our province has eased up on mask-wearing. I'm happy that we are being extra-careful, as it's a gradual return to socializing for many of my colleagues, and wearing a mask helps us all get used to more people being around. Plus, cases are rising from the danged variant.

  • Mask - Mangos

I'm still wearing my mask whenever I go into a public indoor space (shops, restaurants, etc.), even if the stores don't require them. I'm just going to keep on doing what feels comfortable to me. 
I wore my sunnies for my walk to the office, but no coat (I'm sunblocked). The sunlight has an orange quality to it that is very eerie. 

The stuff: 
Comfy shoes for my stroll down to Fiamo for dinner after work with Janet. We had such a blast, catching up - we've been friends since 1980 and it always feels like no time has passed at all whenever we get together. 

Green bling: 
I love the flapper-esque lines of this dress, so added gobs of necklaces to enhance that. 

  • Chain/pendant - POLY, thrifted
  • Green glass bead necklace - vintage 60s, Mom's
  • Gold chain - vintage 80s, Grandma J's
  • Hinged enamel bangles - thrifted
  • Glass bangle - thrifted
  • Art Deco - Ripley & Gowan Co., vintage 1930s, vintage mall; purchased here for $35.00
  • Silver/aventurine ring - consignment
  • Brass/jade ring - vintage 70s, Mom's
  • Snake front/back earrings - Betsey Johnson, gift from L 
  • Collar clips - German, vintage 80s, Charmaine's; purchased here for $15.00

First wearings of my Art Deco bracelet and my vintage collar-clips. 

Going back a day... On Thursday, I ventured outside to do my groceries, hoping that the air wouldn't be too smoky, and that it would be cooler by the water for my Mental Health Walk. I was out of luck on both counts. Smoky and hot. 

So hot...
"I can barely rouse myself to bother you."

Poor Vizzini has been flopping everywhere, including on the kitchen and hall tile floors. 

When I did a Fluevog Flashback on my last post (here), and linked back to the Fluevog party where John Fluevog signed my shoes (here), it reminded me that I had yet to Zentangle/decorate them. So I did! 
I'll be showing you my process and the results on one shoe (for now), and then we'll have a Flashback on my funky outfits featuring them since they joined my wardrobe in 2011. 

I Drew On My Shoes

So, this is what I started with - the Listen Up O'Hara shoes that I got signed by John Fluevog. You can see the signature on the toe, and John in the act of signing them in the above pic. 
I viewed a tutorial for drawing henna roses (this one here, link 'cause I love, no sound needed) after I watched the third season of "Glow Up" on Netflix (a UK reality make-up competition show - I love it!). I'd looked at tattoo-style roses a few months ago, but the method is more complicated and intimidating, so when one of the make-up artists on the show did henna-inspired make-up, I thought it looked a bit easier. 

And this is what I ended up with after about four hours of work. 
I used a couple of permanent black skinny Zentangle markers (one thin, one thicker), and a red, a light green and a dark green marker from my art stash. I also ended up needing spray matte lacquer (which I fortunately already had). 

I freehanded all of it, and didn't really pre-plan. I followed along with the tutorial a couple of times on paper and looked up more images of roses and leaves to get a good "toolkit" of ideas, practiced a few of them (you can see my scribbles in the first pic), and then just went for it. I probably should have started somewhere less visible, but *shrug*. I did what I did.
My rosebud didn't turn out that well, but it's not a huge deal. Part of Zentangle's philosophy is that there are no mistakes. Just let it go and move on. 

I continued up the sides of the shoe. The ink took quite well on the bone-coloured leather. No smudging.
I spaced the roses apart in sections that felt right, and connected them with a thorny vine, interspersing bunches of leaves. 

Up around back of the heel. 
I didn't centre the rose there, as the buckles and tongues on the sides overshadowed it. 

The heel is moulded plastic and didn't take the permanent ink as well. It blurred a bit in places, and I had to be really careful how I held the shoe while I worked on it.
I wrapped the vine around the heel - there are two leaves on the inside of the bottom. When I do the other shoe, I'll put a layer of matte lacquer over the black ink to keep it from smudging and then add the colour over that and spray again to seal it. Lesson learned! 

Now onto the other side. 
I rotated the roses so that they weren't all facing the same direction. You can see a bit of the leaves I did on the heel there. 

Up the ankle. I avoided areas that would be covered by the tongues when the shoes are done up. 
I did a much smaller rose near the embossed "John Fluevog" signature, which you can faintly see there. 

I sat in the "cuddle bench" area so that I'd get lots of natural light from the window - it was far too hot on the deck to work there - and listened to the neighbouring seagull teenagers squawking at me. I also had cooking shows on in the background. 
"Hey, lady! Whatcha doing over there?"

Vizzini was keeping an eye on them too, while flopped behind me on the benches.

Before I finished all the roses, I thought I'd better  test out the marker colours to see how they worked. Relief! They looked great. I always approach "modification" projects with the attitude that it's okay if I f**k it up. But I didn't! 
You can see that I've used a thicker black marker to create shadows on the roses, and to add depth on the leaves. I originally drew all of the leaves with a smooth edge, but tried a jagged-edged leaf on this rose. It felt much riskier for messing up doing that free-hand, though, so I decided to add the jagged outline with the thicker pen later. 

I used my own rose arm tattoos as guidelines for colouring, leaving a thin "white" space to create curve and dimension on the petals. It really gives them that "tattoo" effect. 
I tested out the colouring for the leaves here too. I used the lighter green for the entire leaf, then did dark green down the centre and on one edge. Again, I used the leaves on my own tattoos to guide me. 

Happy with how it looked, I continued adding the thicker lines and shading to the original line work. 
So cool! I was getting excited by my own handiwork.

I did the heel all in one go, and then put the shoe into a plastic bag with just the heel hanging out and gave it a couple of light coats of matte lacquer spray.
It dries really fast, and I was really pleased with how well it worked in reining in the smudges. 

Vizzini lurked around behind me on the benches while I worked, until we got close to his dinner time.
"I'm feeling peckish - isn't it time for food, Woman?"

After he bashed me in the arm a few times, causing my pen to skitter off (grr), I fed him. 
"What? I'm just being affectionate!"

I chatted with Mom while I worked after that, and then my grocery delivery showed up - I finished the first shoe about an hour later. 
John's signature - oops, I see I missed colouring in some stem there! I'll have to fix that. 

Here's some views of the "finished" shoe, modeled with my hand. 
Seriously, I LOVE this. L said I could charge to customize people's shoes...or I should be a tattoo artist! 

The back: 
I am really happy with how it looks.

I left the straps and the platform bare. 
So here's the big question: Should I do something on the straps? On the platform? I thought of one of the Fluevog classic quotes, like, "Know You're Weird," "No, You're Weird", or "Unique Soles For Unique Souls." 

I kind of like the idea of "No/Know", "You're/You're" "Weird/Weird" with a word per strap, going down, in a Gothic-y type of font.
What would YOU do? I'd love to hear! 

Flashback time! 

Flashback: Listen Up O'Hara, Fluevog

L bought me these shoes on our very first trip to the Gastown Flagship Fluevog store (where John and the design team work) here in March 2011. This is in the days before I photographed everything that I bought, so I didn't reveal them until a couple of weeks later. 
This picture amuses me - I've hefted my leg up onto my current "stuff" table to photograph the shoe. 

The "Listen Up" is completely gone from the soles now. 
But it was pristine once! I'm pretty sure these were around $300 new, so let's go with that. The original Fluevog listing for them is here (link 'cause I love), and if you expand the reviews, you'll see mine at the bottom. 

Here's the debut of them in March 2011. I had just started at my current job and was dressing very wacky (for me at the time). That's an oatmeal (patooie!) cardigan over a silk scarf-print top, which I belted, with a cream corduroy pencil skirt and burgundy tights. Needless to say, only the shoes remain. 
I sent that silk top to Lorena from My Every Day Wear a few years later - she's one of my longest/oldest blogger friends! How funny that she just put up a post where she's wearing another item I sent her - check it out here

Another work outfit from June 2011.
Oh, gosh, I loved those silky satin pink/navy blue pajama pants so much! They were a Dots sample of Noa Noa, and I think I gave them to Caro. I still have the obi. 

I was very much getting into the steampunk look, here in November 2011.
I spy a teeny weeny Vizzini in the background getting up to no good - he was only 6 months old there! 

I included the shoes in my June 2012 capsule for my "30 For 30 For 12" year-long wardrobe challenge and wore them three times. This outfit still appeals to me - the sequined top very much had a "flapper-esque" vibe to it. 
Unfortunately, I grew out of it (and the satin pajama pants), and moved it along, like everything else in this ensemble.

This is a really pretty outfit - also from June 2012 - that I would wear today. I love the soft pinks here. 
I adored that mushroom-coloured skirt - I had it for several years before I got a Case of the Blergs over the dull shade and moved it along. I recall I wore this outfit to the dentist: Clothing as Armour! 

And last wearing of the shoes in June 2012 - it was an all-neutral capsule month, enlivened by coloured camisoles, accessories and tights. I had that cream blazer seen above and below for years before I found an upgrade in September 2012 (my Le Chateau brocade blazer - Flashback here). Always be upgrading! 
And my love for leopard skirts has not abated over the decade since I wore this. I've upgraded multiple times over the years from this cheaply-printed one. 

In July 2013 I wore the shoes with a blue dress and an obi Megan Mae made out of two of Ally's ties. 
I moved the obi and the dress along many years ago, but I still have that brooch and earrings!

Ooh, this is a fancy outfit, from November 2013. This was for the Unlimited Woman Awards, when my dear Winesday Women nominated me for the "Unlimited Stylish Woman" or something like that. I didn't win, but dammit, I looked fabulous! 
You might recognize all of my accessories, which I still still have. I passed the dress along to Yvonne and it looks amazing on her. 

I liked the above outfit so much, I wore a variation of it to my company's Christmas party in December 2013.
I changed it up with blue accoutrements instead of dark red. I no longer have the blue underskirt, but I still have that vintage leather belt. 

And then there's a gap in my wearing of the shoes - I'm not really sure why? Maybe it was the four-inch heels? This outfit was a total misfire from February 2015.
I tried to build the outfit around that coat (which I passed along to Caro), and it did not work. After that, the shoes languished high up in the "archive" area of my closet where I mostly forgot about them. 

And then in May 2019 I hauled them out again. I think I might have been stuck for what to wear with this striped Dries Van Noten skirt (which I still have). 
The thin black coat is still in my wardrobe too, but these shoes felt oh, so my feet were going to fracture. And as that's a risk for middle-aged women like me, I put them aside for good. 

Or so I thought! 

When we went to the Silver Style Party at the local Victoria Fluevog store in September 2019 (loads of pics here), I remembered these and thought, "Maybe if I wear them, I can ask John to sign them?"
I created an outfit to showcase the O'Haras, and of course, John did sign them! I wore a different pair of shoes to walk to and from the event, as even a few hours in these is just murder on my feet. 

Mathy stuff: That is only 12 outfits in 10 years, which is $33.25 per wear, not exactly a good average!

However, they remain in my personal Shoe Archive, and now that I'm motivated to finish decorating them, I think I'll craft up some sort of stuffed sock so that I can properly display my floralized Fluevogs, and show off my handiwork. And who knows? Maybe the Fluevog store will have another party and I can show off my custom shoes to John! 

Have you ever customized a piece of clothing or pair of shoes? How did it go?

And now, my friends, I'm off for the weekend! I hope you all stay safe and sound. 


  1. I am in awe of your work on those shoes! U truly have a gift. I would leave them exactly as is - they're perfect!!!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Chrissy! It was fun doing this.

  2. Your customisation is beyond amazing Sheila! L is right, you could make money from your skills :-). I think leave the straps….

    1. Thank you, Tat! As you saw in the next post, I did the straps. :)

  3. I can't even! Good morning Sheila, I can't even begin to describe the awe at your artistic talent!!! wow. Loved the pic of you getting your shoes signed. Loved the outfit today (yea for jammy dresses hmm that's what I'll wear today ) and so many in the flashback. Love those green vintage beads wow Sheila I am helping an old Auntie with a bit of a tea party today for her friends and my reward is to come back tonight and digest this post properly. Shazxx ps hope you can keep cool

    1. Hello, Shaz! Aw, thank you so much, my dear friend. I have such good memories of that party! I'm iffy on this particular jammy dress - I'm not sure it does much for me. I love those beads. I hope you enjoyed your tea party!

  4. The hand decorated shoe showcases your creativity, vision, skill and efforts most dramatically and to excellent effect! The vining of the roses is simply fabulous and I absolutely hope you find a way to share that with your Fluevog salespeople, who will likely hep pass it along to John. Indeed, I think your art enhances the shoe to the point that I would have tried it on in the store if that was the original, and would have walked past plain version.

    Yay for jammy dresses. You look delightfully comfortable, despite the heat! They are the *only* way to make it through a hot, humid summer's day - both for keeping cool and looking like something more than heat-frazzled (which is often how I look unless in a jammy dress!) Oof to the orange sun and haze Victoria is experiencing. We had that earlier in the summer as a result of the Oregon Bootleg fire that spewed its "goodies" eastward across the States all the way to the east coast. I hope the air has cleared by the time you read this comment. Robin said this was the first time this summer that people he knew with mitigating health issues truly suffered as a result of the air quality.

    LOL the only piece of clothing I can recall customizing is my favorite pair of bell bottom jeans from high school. I put patches on to protect the worn out knees and used a black or blue ballpoint pen to add doodles on the thighs.

    Here's to a manageable weekend in terms of weather, crafting the second shoe, and enjoying the creative process!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Laurie! It was really fun doing these - my poor hand/shoulder were so sore afterwards. I'll definitely take them into the store and show them off at some point. I love that they are now totally unique.

      Thank you - I agree. Jammy dresses are the best, although this one is a little on the "meh" side, I think. I'm so glad the haze and extra heat have passed over us now. What a terrifying world that now we have to deal with smoke haze as a season.

      Oh, nice! I always wanted to do that to a pair of jeans. :)

  5. Wow, very impressive shoe art!! When you mentioned the straps I pictured stripes or dots... Pattern mixing. I would be concerned if you wrote a quote or words: they would be too busy and take away from what you have done.

    1. Thank you, Cha Cha! I thought of doing a pattern with this, and as you probably saw, I did do words - I hope you like it. :)

  6. love your jammy dress! Bonus points for the pockets.
    You did an amazing job with painting roses on those beautiful and signed pair of heels. You could be a tatoo roses. This rose design is super awesome. I love the photo of you getting your shoes signed. 😀

    I can feel with you on the heat wave!

    1. It doesn't have pockets, Ivana - I wish it did!

      Thank you so much - I actually used markers/felt pens instead of paint. I love knowing how to do a rose now. Isn't that an awesome pic of me and John?

  7. I'm feeling for you having to suffer another heatwave and I guess the haze of those forest fires must make it even worse! You're looking more than ready to tackle the apocalypse in that gorgeous jammy dress, though. I'm also loving how you piled on the green bling!
    I loved scrolling through the shoes' flashback, and I'm totally in awe of how you transformed them into true works of art. I'm still in the process of picking up my jaw from the floor! I'm sure John Fluevog would be duly impressed! xxx

    1. I'm so relieved that the haze and heat are over now, Ann. Thank you - I love loading up the bling!

      I'm glad you liked what I did! I had so much fun turning my shoes into art.

  8. Wow - wow - just wow! Your creative and artistic skills are amazing! I love the vining roses - beautiful job. The shoes are fabulous just as they are with the straps plain but I think your vision of writing the script would be cool too. The vines remind me of the roses climbing over the castle in Sleeping Beauty. You just awakened your shoes - "Once upon a time in a faraway land, a beautiful girl was born to the king and queen. When the princess will touch spindle she'll not die but will instead fall into a deep sleep and will only be awakened with a kiss of a prince who loves her.”

    1. Thanks so much, Robyn! As you likely saw, I did do the script on them, and hope you like it. Ha, love it. They are Sleeping Beauty shoes!

  9. I like your dress and I know how bad the heatwaves can be when there's bushfire haze about, hope you're able to stay safe and breath freely. it got so bad here one year we had to stay inside - it was too thick outside and a short walk out to walk Cooper made us all unwell, the air quality was so bad :(

    I absolutely love what you did with the shoes - you definitely could do this professionally! the roses are beautiful and your design works so well with the shoes! :)

    1. Thank you, Mica! The heat plus the haze was just awful, although we have experienced worse, so I really shouldn't complain. Ugh, I can't imagine how scary and dangerous that was for you. Poor Cooper!

      Thank you so much, my dear friend!

  10. Very impressive work on the shoes! Of course you should be proud.

  11. Oh my gosh this is amazing, they look incredible. Sheila I did laugh out loud when you noted Vizzini "bonked" in Australia that word has a different meaning. Love your blog, your creativity is inspiring.

    1. Thank you, Lynette - I actually edited that and removed "bonked". :)

  12. O.M.G. You are amazing. I do hope that you share your art with the Fluevog people, as those shoes are just stunning. I am in awe.

  13. A wonderful tribute to already great shoes- agree with above- w o w all around! xocaro

  14. I am so impressed with how you decorated the shoe. I think it's absolutely amazing. You should leave it like that, it's perfect. I don't have any tattoos, but always wanted one. Just one. If I ever decide to get one or would look like this, on my under arm to my hand. With swallow s in it. I'm absolutely in love. Did I already mention that I love it....... lol

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! Lol, of course, I didn't leave them - I did the straps, but I am happy with how they turned out. Go for it! I love having tattoos!

  15. Those shoes are a work of absolute beauty, Mr Fluevog needs to give you a job, they're incredible, you clever thing!
    What a mare about those forest fires and dealing with that extreme weather.. You look cool and fabulous in that pretty dress though and I'm with you on the mask thing, they're no longer mandatory here but we chose to wear them indoors. I've noticed that a couple of our charity shops are giving discounts to mask wearers, I'm liking that!

    1. Thank you so much, Vix! Oh, pshaw, they are just a fun project. We're fortunate in that the haze and heat have both passed us now.

      Ooh, I would like a discount for wearing a mask!

  16. Creative, daring and fabulous! Love, love, love the artwork. I thought the shoes were pretty fantasic prior to the artwork, but after seeing the finished product they looked very plain indeed prior to. Great work!

    1. Aw, thank you, Nana! I'm really happy with how they turned out.

  17. Your shoes turned out so great! Amazing creativity. I actually really like the straps as-is.

    1. Thanks so much, Charlotte! I did end up decorating the straps.

  18. The shoes turned out so stinkin' COOL! I'd leave them as-is with the straps bear, personally, but if you change your mind down the road you already have a good plan.

    Also hooray for obi belt!

    1. I am glad you popped by to see your obi belt, Megan! :) Thank you so much re: the shoes - as a fellow artist, I respect your opinion. I hope you like what I did with the straps. :)

  19. Lovely flapper-esque dress and lovely Green jewellery (and collar clips!, so amazing!), so fabulous style. Sorry that you've been having fires around and a heatwave (so awful).
    And I've enjoyed your flashback and admired your talent to revamp these shoes, free-hand drawing on them!. They look professionally made, particularly the ivy around the heels, great tip on using some lacquer on this plastic surfaces. I think they look fab now, but your idea of adding some words on the straps looks really appealing too. I'm really enthusiastic about this Fabulous Revamp!.

    1. I liked this outfit, but the dress isn't doing anything for me, so off it goes to a new home. I love the clips! So cool.
      We're past the heat-wave now, and the haze has gone - we were lucky this year (so far!) to not get the haze like we have in years past.

      Thank you so much - I had an absolute blast doing this custom work on my shoes. I hope you liked the finished shoes - next post!

  20. I bow to your talent, Sheila. These shoes will be simply marvelous and a treasure to keep forever. I did customize a pair of jeans recently but it was in no way nearly as involved a process as you've done with these shoes.


    1. Aw, that's so sweet of you, Rena, thank you! If I wore jeans, I would probably customize them.

  21. Your shoes being signed by the shoe designer you adore is a big WOW.
    I love the outfit of June 2012 (as you can imagine). Gosh you were slim then. (Am I allowed to say this?)

    1. It's pretty cool to have had them signed, I agree.

      I was about 15 lbs lighter - it's okay to say that. :) I seem to have settled at my current weight as a happy place. It was very hard to maintain my weight when I was that much slimmer.

  22. Just WOW! You did an amazing pro job with those shoes. You could make money customizing shoes for people. I would be inclined to leave the straps blank so the focus is on the roses, but that's just MHO - although I see that some other commenters agree with me ;)

    1. Thanks so much, Shelley! I know, I could totally do that!

      As you saw, I did do the straps - against everyone else's advice, hee hee.

  23. Agreed big time about jammie dresses being amongst the best and most comfortable go-to pieces one can wear for countless occasions.

    You are an incredibly talented artist, my dear friend. My jaw will be on the ground for a long time to come over the breathtaking work you did with these shoes.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. They really are - although I decided not to keep this one (it just didn't fully ring my bell). Oh, thank you, Autumn, I so appreciate that, as you yourself are so incredibly artistic! I hope you liked my jacket and dress!


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.