Birthday Shoes

It was my Aunty's birthday the weekend Andy and I went to Reykjavik, she loves handmade things so I thought what's better than making her some handmade shoes for her birthday? My aunts style is very relaxed and figured from shoes i've seen her wear I would have to design something that would securely hold her feet into the shoes. So initially I designed a shoe with one ankle strap and in brown suede, from recollection many of her shoes were in this tone (because its a colour that matches her wardrobe) I figured she could probably wear them to work for important meetings if she needed too or for nights out. As always practice makes perfect so I took pictures of the progress as I went along. These are by far my best attempt, there's still lots of room for improvement, mainly making sure I keep the uppers as clean as possible, glue is used in most stages of the process and with some leathers you have a little leeway especially with patent leathers to remove glue if it finds it way on the uppers, however with suede its almost impossible unless left completely alone and removed once dry. (the glue comes off better when it's dry, rubbing the glue off when its wet stains the leather and its impossible to get this stain out) The positives however was that I managed to get the tension right on the stitching for the uppers, the lasting process was faster and overall the whole process was a lot quicker, mostly because each stage felt more natural in progression. Here is a quick video of the whole process!

Zara high heel boots - DIY (upcycle)

I bought these boots about 2 years ago, in fact I bought two pairs of the same boots from Zara simply because (as I mentioned in Mondays post) I find it so difficult to find boots to fit my ankles. Its safe to say these boots have had their time, I wear them practically everywhere because they are comfy have a thick enough heel to wear them for the day - I just can't let go of them UNTIL I find a new pair. My search however for new boots however has been less than fruitful. So I thought hmmm I work with leather and shoes all the time there must be something I can do to bring them back to life. I assessed my boot situation and figured that with a bit of the right polish and a little touch up with the right leather at the front they could look as good as new. I figured that I also wouldn't be the only person with this problem, so I took pictures along the way. Heres how I did it...


I found some leather I had laying around from my mountain of leather that I've collected over the last year - I chose something quite thick to brave the wear and tear. I decided where the boot needed a cover up - the leather at the front of my boots had worn away so I decided that would be the best place to start. I measured the width and length I'd need to cover and cut the leather accordingly.


I wanted a curved finish on the ends of the piece of leather so that when they are placed on the shoe the overall look felt whole, to do this I marked half way through the piece which was approximately 3cm along and then I marked 1 centimetre from the end. From the one centimetre mark I drew a curved line to the  bottom corner. I then cut this with a clicking knife. (a craft knife works just as well) I then folded this over at the centre mark to make sure I have the same curve on the other half. Remember to make a second one for the other shoe!


Using the centre marks on the two pieces of leather, with a silver pen lightly draw around the leather pieces on the shoe, so you know where they are going to be placed and where you need to put the shoe glue. This particular glue is used especially for shoes and is a contact adhesive so remember to glue both surfaces to get a solid bond. Before sticking them together, leave both surfaces to dry for 10 minutes so that they can get tacky, then just simply attach the leather to the shoe using the silver markings you made earlier to guide them into the right place.

...and there done, a clean with a suede brush and polish will finish them off perfectly!

Reykjavik - Iceland

For my birthday my boyfriend treated me to a trip to Reykjavik to see the Northern lights or as I have learned the Aurora Borealis (such a pretty name). He had my birthday (day) all planned and my gift from him was presented in a number of envelopes with small clues. Originally the first envelope had a piece of paper with a typed message that said we are off too.....the Highlands...and as I flipped it open it said Scotland. I was hyped and figured this culminated from all the conversations we had about trying to see more of whats on our doorstep. The next day along with all the great presents my family had given me Andy presented me with another envelope and by this point thought it was all too much for a girl/woman (not sure how to refer to myself anymore) to be receiving at 27. I opened the envelope and pulled out another piece of paper that was folded in three. As I opened it I read we are going to the highlands (I was thinking yes I already know that) in Reykjavik Iceland and Icelandic króna came tumbling out. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I mean I would have been over the moon going to Scotland but this was amazing - my boy did good! (ha) With only a month to prepare for this very exciting but FREEZING trip the next free weekend we had together we decided to head straight to North Face where we picked out suitable coats, I obviously took extra thermals and some ski pants. Before we knew it we were boarding our flight at Gatwick with our North Face jackets in tow (they were an absolute god send). We arrived at the hotel around half 1 in the morning and it was absolutely stunning, Scandinavian design at its very best and amongst all of it we were most impressed by the bathroom tiles - in fact the whole place was just bloody amazing!

We had a lot planned and couldn't wait to get going. We had a long first day, which is where we got to see most of what Reykjavik had to offer. Heading out at 8:30am we saw the Geyser, the Langjökull Glacier where we got to drive snow mobiles and finally the Gullfoss, which means the Golden waterfall. It was a great day (I think the photos and videos do them the most justice - which are below) and we eventually headed back to the hotel where we decided food was next on the agenda, we searched and decided on Sushi Samba, where the fish was exquisite. We got talking to the staff and they suggested heading to some bars before going to B5 the nightclub in the centre of Reykjavik. So impressed with the crowd and music we easily put it up there with some of the best nights out we've had. Of all the countries I have travelled to Iceland had by far the most beautiful people i'd ever seen, so tall, great hair and amazing features Andy I couldn't stop people watching and pointing out the lookers girls and boys a like! It was our first late night out in a long while so decided to stumbled back to the hotel at 3:30am dreading our 7am wake up call for the coach to collect us for the Blue Lagoon.

The morning wasn't as bad as we thought it might be considering our lack of sleep, the coach journey to the Blue Lagoon allowed us to catch up on some well needed sleep, and the Blue Lagoon it self was so relaxing and surprisingly warmer than I thought it would be. We slapped the silica on to our faces that they provided you with as a natural face mask and RELAXED. The site was beautiful, and as you wandered through the water there would be patches of extremely hot water - it was then that you realise how mind blowing it is that this was all so hot naturally! We headed back to Reykjavik centre around noon where we were on the hunt for food..again. We found a great restaurant that served Gluten Free food (perfect for the boyfriend) and we scoffed our faces before we headed out to see what else Reykjavik had to offer. We spent the rest of the day roaming the streets, going into various boutique shops with lots of lovely little things of the Scandinavian design persuasion. I loved everything! We headed back to the hotel to prepare ourself for the pièce de résistance - the Northern Lights Tour. We had a partial sighting of them on our plane journey in so we were positive for a second sighting, constantly checking the cloud coverage. Our coach was just comfy enough for the 6 hour search for the Aurora Borealis, and we had an extremely endearing tour guide that gave an intermittent commentary with facts and figures along our journey that wowed us. We eventually spotted the northern lights late into the evening and it was worth the searching. It was stunning, however (annoyingly)  it was impossible to capture the light through a professional camera - as the age old story goes it was all about a mental capture of the moment - a total experience.

We got back to the hotel stoked that we managed to see the lights and prepared ourselves for our journey back to London.

ALL photography by my boyfriend unless they look shoddy - they'll be mine! ha!

Day 1

Day 2