Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Once Upon a Thread Inspired Shoes

One of my favorite bloggers, Katy from No Big Dill, did an ingenious series of projects inspired by children's books. And she set the bar high with her first posting, a jacket inspired by Harold and the Purple Crayon. Seriously, mad genius. You need to check it out here.

I was mulling it over one night and wondering what book I would choose if I were to try a project like that. My family loves reading. My grandfather would read three books at one time, and the women in my family all share his love of books. Now, in my own little family, books are a treasured way to spend time together. But, of all the books that I love, what one book would stand out enough to inspire a project?

Well, my second son, Monkey Boy, who usually doesn't have time to settle in for a book was suddenly obsessed with the book Are You My Mother? The copy we have is the one my mother used to read to us. It's battered and torn and utterly perfect. And it's one of the books I distinctly remember my Mom reading to us, over and over.

My Mom would give characters voices when she read. She would make the story come to life. I remember that about this book. I also remember being so very frustrated visually by all of the brown and lack of color in this book. I hated brown. So the mother bird's polka dotted kerchief became a beacon for me. I was so drawn to it because it was the one pretty thing in the pages and pages of brown. I know, I was a strange child.

Ah, the Snort.
Monkey Boy's favorite part.
As a mother now, I just love this.
This was it. And I knew exactly what to do. It had to start with the mother bird's kerchief. And I am pretty sure this book is where I got my love for the combination of red and turquoise. And feathers, there had to be feathers.

Are You My Mother Mary Janes
I had a beautiful dress that was always too tight in the arm's. It was, however, a perfect match for this project. And a leather jacket I have been using for soles was the absolute perfect little brown bird shade for the feathers. But, how to make them? So super simple. I forgot to photograph it, but I can tell you.

Cut out your feather shape in the leather, then sew it onto a larger square of vinyl by sewing straight down the middle. Then cut out the feather shape again and snip a few places along the sides. The "feathers" will curl naturally, have body and just look plain adorable. I promise.

My baby bird.
They turned out so bright and cheery. It almost seems like her feet have wings, and in a way I bet she does. One day all three of my little birds will fly from the nest. That's why I have been obsessed with their feet from day one of my eldest son's life. Their feet tell me how far they will travel from my side. Tiny little baby feet? Safe in my hands while I nurse them. Chubby little toddler feet? Learning to walk then run on their own, but they don't travel far and always come back. The bigger those little feet get, the farther they roam. Until one day they take flight.

What books were your favorites growing up?

Tip Junkie handmade projects


k a t y said...

These are darling, Susan! I especially love the feathers :)

Krystine Stephenson said...

I loved that book too! I love those shoes, that are so dang cute! You should do a tutorial, they are adorable!