Friday, March 25, 2011

Ol' Chuck Is Turning Over In His Grave!!

That would be "All Star" Chuck Taylor, you know the guy who's name is synonymous with Converse High Top Tennis Shoes. Oh yeah I have had a secret love affair with those hi-top bad boys since I was a kid.
Now mind you back then there were not a bazillion choices of super hi tech "athletic shoes" Oh no there was just tennis shoes. The guys wore converse hi-tops and us girls wore "keds". Yeaaah keds, those cute little white canvas tennies, so feminine and lady like... But definitely not cool!
So it was back in those early teen (everything embarrasses me) days when it was important to fit in that I became a closet hi-top chick. :) Course there was those glorious teen rebellious years when Mary Shaddle and I wore our enormously wide "bell bottom" jeans. You know (...well some of you know) when we split the outside seam  to the knee and pieced in some truly obnoxious print fabric to widen our jeans.
But with those "it can never be tooooo wide jeans we wore our, here to fore "worn only at home" converse hi-tops! Oh what heady rebellious freedom we lived those days! :) But all to soon came the responsible days of college, nursing school, working nurse, wife, mother and the responsible shoes that went along with those roles.
Ha but by the time I had little acorns to dress, Converse made little people hi-tops. And my 3 kids loved them. Could be cuz when they were taken to the store to buy their "fall-winter" shoes they were always steered over to the hi-tops and told they could have any color they wanted. ;) Then came the glorious couple of years when my "the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree" daughter decided she was going to wear 2 different colors of hi-tops at the same time. Oh be still my heart!! Can you imagine?? one of the other girls mom's asked me how I managed not to die of embarrassment when my daughter went to school dressed that way??? "Heck I only wish those colors came in Mom size!!" I replied. "That poor child, what an odd duck her mother is. No wonder she's the way she is" Like I said, "the acorn doesn't..."
Fast forward to 2011 Mazatlan, Mexico, I while drifting along in a cyber-stupor stumbled onto the Converse website. Oh my what fun I must have been there hours first gawking and then creating. Did you know that you can now customize your hi-tops?? It's true!! And not only that you can design them from the color of the shoe laces to the inner lining! Weeell when I found the Dr. Seuss fabrics I was sucked in hook line and sinker. I would love to show you the adorable hi-tops I created but alas the site won't let you copy and paste but I can give you a link to the Dr. Seuss fabric ones, and you can create your own.,,,,
I'm telling you those bad boys are going to be waiting for me when we get to the northlands in June! But, but... I'm an instant-gratification kinda girl. I want adorable hi-tops NOW!!! What is a girl to do, I ask you??? Well the answer is to go to the "sport shoe" store and buy a pair of Converse hi-tops. So off LW&I went, and I bought a pair of navy blue Chuck Taylor hi-tops. The perfect definition of Boring! But home we came and out came the fabric,the Super Seventy Seven adhesive spray,hole punch,glue,pins,tissue paper&pencil. And when the dust settled a few hours later these appeared out of the mist.
I traced patterns from the sides of the shoes onto tissue paper. Cut out the pieces of fabric, then sprayed the fabric pieces with spray adhesive. I didn't spray the shoes because I have never found a way to control the spray. So everything within a ten foot radius is always cover with stickup, including me!! Then I carefully lined up the fabric piece to the shoe and stuck them together. slowly, using my bone tool to burnish, and smooth out any trapped air as I went.
For the  heel strip and tongues I used a different print in the same color family.
I decided I'd leave the edges unfinished. Just a bit frayed around the edges sorta like their creator ;) To prevent them from continuing to fray I spread a thin line of "Stop Fraying" from Aleene's on all the edges. It also added another layer of stickup on the edges to help keep the fabric from lifting.
Notice the tongues? They are the same fabric but different stripes.
I used my multipurpose hole punch to punch the lacing holes into the new fabric,then dabbed a bit of stop fraying on them. For the final touch I glued a little piece of red flower trim across the toes, where the toe pad meets the fabric tongue.
There you have them. Admittedly they aren't "One Fish 2 Fish", the "Whos" or "The cat In The Hat" but pretty darn spiffy and a might "Springy" if I say so myself. I can't help but think that when Ol' Chuck quit spinning in his grave he was kicking himself for not thinking of them first! And I'm almost sure somewhere in the world Mary Shaddle is turning ten shades of green!! :)

Have a most audacious art filled day my Bloglandian playmates, no matter where in the world you are   p;)


stregata said...

These are most seriously awesome!!!! I am so fascinated - wish I was there to watch you do that, you amazing woman!

gretchen said...

I remember wanting a pair of those, too. So, no surprise both my girls wore them growing up. I tried to, but found out my feet just didn't like the very flat feel of chuck' just wasn't to be!
I do love the way you dressed these up!

pamq said...

Oh now those are downright awesome!!!

You will have to start doing the blog/foot thing-y now and taking photos of those smashing shoes wherever they go......

And you made me laugh with the bell bottoms! How did we walk in those things??? I had a pair that were tie-dyed, big panel inserts, AND ties going up the sides of the legs! And guess what?? My sweet Mom made them for me!!!!!!! She also made me a bright yellow Neru jacket with silver trim. Can you imagine?!?!

Boy, have I gotten tame in my old age.....................

Cindy said...

Pattie, only you could make your Converse high tops look this amazing! I've seen people doodle on theirs, not never alter them to this extent - so very pretty really! Brings back memories..I had a red pair in high school. :-)

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