3 Sep 2010

now that ben and I are back stateside for a bit, and conveniently up in conway visiting his family, we decided to go re-visit our venue, as we were having trouble remembering what it looked like.

we didn't go inside (they might figure out we weren't staying there then, just wandering around taking a million photographs like crazy people), but got some good shots of the exterior and started building some ideas on how this whole ceremony thing might go down.

also, was nice to see how it will look in september, instead of february or april.
upshot, no snow on the ground in september!

view of the outdoor ceremony site from the entrance to the inn.
another view. note the awesome giant chess board.
ceremony location direction #1.
ceremony location direction #2. (part a)
ceremony location direction #2. (part b)
what happens to your chess pieces when you play me. they get knocked down!

so if it is sunny, it will be quite nice.

let's just hope it's not this hot...

guests will be fainting from heat stroke right and left.

remember the shoes that alicia and I both coveted, found out they were waaaaaay beyond the provisions of our bank accounts and then alicia found a diy tutorial to make your own online?

well, I finally got around to giving them a go.

(and now posting it. two weeks later. trans-atlantic moving will warp your timeline like that.)

the shoes!

found at a charity shop for £3. they were a half size too small, but that was ok cause they weren't going to fit into my shoved in till the seams burst luggage anyways. the modge podge and glitter were both found at an art shop.

so, following these steps, designer footware on the cheap was attempted.

the glitter mixed into the modge podge. I just dumped the entire pot of glitter into the whole jar of modge podge, but if I attempt this again, I think I will up the ratio of glitter to modge podge. 
the area covered by glitter per sponge blot will increase and I think this will lower the number of coats necessary for even displacement.

using a cheap sponge bought at the grocery store, I dabbed on the modge podge/glitter mixture until the entire shoe was covered. the shoes were already a blue-teal color, so I didn't have to give them a base coat of paint to match the glitter color. 
which is fortunate. 
as even just keeping the glitter away from the furniture/floor/ceiling was hard enough. lord knows what kind of damage I could have done with a can of spray paint. would have kissed that security deposit goodbye, that's for sure.

one shoe done, one on stand-by.

both shoes with a first coat applied. 

first coat after drying. (forgive the slightly fuzzy photograph. the natural light was fading at this point and the flash, well, flashes are evil.)

second coat.

after the second coat. getting there, but there are still spots with no glitter. and as maximum glitter is the end goal here, much much more was obviously needed.

(one without flash for good measure)

the finished product. 
this is, I believe, after 4 or 5 coats of modge podge and glitter. as I was saying, with a higher concentration of glitter I think you could get that down to 3 coats.
as a disclaimer, the glitter coating on the shoes ended up a bit...bumpy. the final coat was done one night towards the end of our last week in london and in the midst of the most epic packing battle ever seen by man. that day we had tackled the kitchen. 
refrigerator cleaned out, excess food eaten or given away, dishes sorted.
this only left our liquor cabinet.
you don't leave half a bottle of scotch and half a bottle of gin un-drunken. (un-drank? un-drunken.)
you just don't.
and, as you all know, after a couple of scotches MORE. IS. BETTER!
thus, a lot of modge podge and glitter went into that last coat.
careful and even application?
that was thrown out after scotch numero due.
however, the previous coats had been dabbed on with a tad more consideration and were smooth and purdy after drying. so it can be done quite easily.
the moral of the story?
don't drink and modge podge.

with the exception of the mishaps of the final coat, the transformation of the shoes actually worked quite well. I never wore them about to test the durability of the glitter coating (as they were a bit too small and we were flying across the atlantic ocean with all the worldly possessions we could squeeze into 4 suitcases the next day) but I bent them, flexed them and banged them around a bit to no immediate or obvious adverse effect.

so, if you want awesomely glittery shoes, but are unable or unwilling to forgo food and shelter for a month to get them?
make your own!!

just leave the drinking till after the glittering.

note: as I knew these shoes would not be worn by anybody post glitter-ectomy, I was not overly careful with keeping the bottom or inside of the shoes clean and looking nice. for tips on how to do this the correct way, see the tutorial I followed. she lays very clearly out how to prevent glitter/spray paint creepage. I also didn't bother with painting the soles of the shoes red, as I was not going for an exact replica of said designer shoes. I just wanted sparkly shoes.