My boots may not be the sexy, pointy-heeled kind that Nancy Sinatra wore in 1966, but they are very practical and also slightly too big for me so I can comfortably wear two pairs of tights and three pairs of socks underneath. Yes, it’s that cold in Cape Town this winter, I’ve never had to wear as many layers as I am now since I moved here 35 years ago. Last night I decided they were boring and, since I have surrounded myself with beads in the last few weeks, I felt sure I could come up with some kind of boot jewellery.
A lobster clasp, some colourful beads and 15 minutes later…
These are cheap boots. I also have a pair in black, as well as some handmade sheepskin-lined boots in turquoise and red leather (for my inner hippy), but one day – when my ship comes in (or even a raft, I’d settle for a plain wooden raft right now) – I’ll buy something smart in leather. I did splurge a couple of weeks ago on a pair of short boots from the UK that caught my magpie eye on Facebook marketplace – someone in Cape Town had asked her friend to get them for her on her travels (pre-covid) but then found they were too big so they are literally unworn. I’ve only worn them once so far, but I don’t keep them in the wardrobe: they occupy an empty spot under my desk where I can catch sight of them every now and then. I’ve updated my will so that whoever gets to deal with the arrangements will see that it is my wish to be buried in them.
I have “a thing” about wearing shoes/boots that are a single colour, but these babies caught me unawares and I stood no chance against temptation. Maybe my personal style is changing, as I get older? I’ll be 60 in three months’ time, perhaps I’m about to turn into a butterfly?
To end with, some gratuitous pictures of three things in the garden right now – a strelitzia about to open itself up, pockets of snowdrops, and some mutant lemons. It’s hard to tell from the photo but some of these weirdos are over 14cm long.
Yesterday I got my hands on a pair of stunning knee-length black leather Nine Wests, and for an excellent price. Man, are they nice. And flat. I can only wear flats now, because the old feet and legs won’t rise to the occasion any more (they’re very cross with me because I abused them in my 20s with too much wearing of platforms and/or kitten heels, so now they’re fighting back.)
Only problem is – and I’ve had this before with boots – the calves aren’t wide enough for my legs and I can’t get the zips up all the way. NO – WAIT, dammit! Let me look at this from another angle – the boots have been cut extremely badly, designed by people who don’t have real women in mind. The problem thus lies with them, not me.
I must put these boots right. I must unpick them down the back seam until they slip like butter over my calves.
I must insert a v-shaped piece of black corduroy and hold it in place with staples.
I must stitch down over the leather through the corduroy close to the edge (one needs an industrial sewing machine to do this), and trim the loose bits . I must dab black fabric paint over the stitching because I was too impatient to change the reel from cream to black.
And finally, I must stick a bit of black lace over the raw edges of the leather where I sliced it open, using fabric glue, to complete the job. I must peg it all in place to dry nice and smooth (the glue becomes colourless as it dries).
And there you have it – how not to take shit from boot designers :-)
Boots – purple – with fringy bits – on sale – what’s not to love?
But I felt they needed more. As one does. I got busy with glitter glue, shell buttons, shiny thread, gold and silver fabric paint, and my glue gun.
I’m undecided about the outcome. It’s possible that more glitter is required. Or beads. Yes, they need beads. Maybe even glitter beads. But even as they are, they’re just the sort of thing to wear guaranteed to repulse one’s offspring.
For months I have been promising myself a pair of decent leather boots for winter 2012. Yesterday afternoon, banging away on a very dull project at work, I suddenly realised that it’s the end of March already – being a size 6, like almost every other woman in the western world, means that my size in new ranges is sold out fastest. Time to move my ass. Shake a leg, as it were.
Did just that. Flew to Cavendish as the clock struck 5, found a parking right outside (that never happens, right?), blazed through 3 shoe shops like a possessed person, and found My Boots in the fourth. Perfect heel, perfect colour, just the right number of buckles. And costing R600 less than I had expected to pay, what a win!
Wait – this is my craft blog – why am I rambling on about boots? Oh yes, because on my way out of the mall, flushed and tired yet triumphant, I spotted the refurbished semi-yarn-bombed dustbins. Clever, I thought to myself, a subtle way of getting consumers to think about winter approaching and all the warm cosy stuff they’re going to need. Either that or more skinny legwarmers than they know what to do with!