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· The Weekend Blogger: A bit of randomness
· The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petals preliminary review
· Fashion Notes: FitFlop Review
· The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
· Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
· Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
· Just Notes: This, that and the other
· Fashion Notes: What I Want
· Fashion Notes: Shoegasm!
· A cool shoe site
· Here's something I'd like to try before I die...
· June 7, 2008 3:12 AM by Dain
· May 30, 2008 9:47 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 24, 2008 1:31 PM by Dain
· May 24, 2008 4:11 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 25, 2008 5:45 PM by Joy Rothke
· May 26, 2008 3:42 AM by Dain
· May 26, 2008 3:57 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 8:59 PM by Dain
· May 12, 2008 10:15 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 10:23 PM by Dain
· May 10, 2008 3:45 AM by Dain
· May 10, 2008 8:56 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 11, 2008 12:27 PM by Joy Rothke
· May 11, 2008 2:09 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· April 27, 2008 1:17 AM by Dain
· April 29, 2008 8:38 AM by Dain
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· December 20, 2007 12:40 PM by Colleen Shirazi
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The Weekend Blogger: A bit of randomness
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, June 08, 2008 11:55 PM (Eastern)
Sitting here in my newly Foot Petal'd shoes--the model at the bottom:
I ended up using both the Heavenly Heelz and Haute Heelz for this pair (the other two didn't need 'Petaling nearly as much). I'm glad I didn't stick the Haute Heelz, because for one shoe (apparently my feet aren't exactly the same), the Heavenly Heelz wouldn't have done it. The Haute Heel lifts your heel up a bit, which is good when you have a rubbing-at-back-of-heel thing...but I pushed the Haute Heel back more in this shoe, so it not only lifts slightly, but also covers the entire back-of-heel area (I jacked the Haute Heel up right under the Heavenly Heel).
I'm saving the Tip Toes...I could cut them up and use them for the other shoes--there's a slight heel issue with those...but the issue is not bandaid-worthy, so I have it in mind to try higher heels later on, and use the Tip Toes then.
Got to make some earrings and a pendant. The pendant is a carved lotus in a light green, slightly yellow stone (I don't remember now if it's prehnite or "green gold"). I made a bail for it on the jump-ring principle--jump rings use tension to work--my next phase will definitely involve soldering.
The earrings...I had the notion of making earrings to look like falling rain. So these use lengths of silver chain, watery green amethyst briolettes, and small faceted aquamarine drops.
Otherwise...mmm...I added another snap to my dress that had shrunk in the wash. The idea was to have at least two snaps placed horizontally, so the inner snap could take most of the stress, while the outer one functioned to cover the inner one. Still it's not a perfect solution, you're still working on an area where there isn't enough fabric (there isn't much extra in the side seams either, so that's out). Eventually it occurred to me to find the most minimizing bra in the closet and go with that. It looks to work, i.e., having a minimizing bra on hand isn't a bad idea.
I'll try to take photos of some of these things later on (I haven't photographed any of my newer jewelry).
The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petals preliminary review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, June 07, 2008 1:54 AM (Eastern)
My Foot Petals arrived in the mail today. It's best to buy them from the Foot Petals site itself since there are several coupons about (coughretailmenot.comcough). I didn't have time to truly trick out my hurtin' pumps, but I did attach the Heavenly Heelz, and started to play with the Haute Heelz and Tip Toez, erm, Toes (all in Buttercup, as I'm wary of the 'Petals potentially discoloring my stockings).
So far: the Heavenly Heelz have no doubt already paid for themselves. Mind you, these were pumps from hell when I first wore them. I have to walk two city blocks in the morning, the same at the end of my shift; and, in these shoes, this brief walk totaled my heels. Once the Heavenly Heelz were in place...it was like a different pair of shoes.
I'd bought the Haute Heelz on the idea I could cut them up and 'Petal some other shoes, but I tried them out as the bottom-of-heel pads they are, without sticking them...these feel really good. I mean they're only these thin pads, but somehow they genuinely cushion.
Still toying with the Tip Toes. These were the least dramatic of the three for me, because I've had more heel than ball-of-foot issues. The Tip Toes seem a bit trickier to position; with the two Heelz, there's only one way to put them in. I'd advise trying them without sticking for a while to see what works.
Fashion Notes: FitFlop Review
Posted by Joy Rothke, Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:05 PM (Eastern)
I admit I was skeptical--more than skeptical. How can flip-flops [excuse me, "FitFlops"] "tone and trim my legs while reducing strain on my feet, knees and back"? They look like conventional flip-flops. Can they be worth a rather steep $49.99 to $59.99?
I had to test these for myself, and received a pair from Fit Flop's PR rep a couple of weeks ago. I read all the enclosed data about how they were "biomechanically engineered" by a team of scientists at
But how do they feel--and would they work for me?
Except for a thicker than normal sole, they felt just like the flip-flops I'd been wearing all my life. I slipped on my new FitFlops and took my dog for an hour-long walk. They felt a bit stiff, and the thong between my toes rubbed a bit. FitFlops aficionados suggest you start slow, but I began wearing them all day, every day.
In the words of my 16-year-old niece, they are like, awesome. Are my calves and ass firmer? A bit, perhaps, but the best result for me is in my knees and hamstrings. I've had tight, aching hamstrings as long as I can remember, and nothing--including exercise, stretching, massage and various types of bodywork--has helped. My knees are almost 56 years old and creaky from osteoarthritis and loss of cartilage. I was used to them aching.
After a couple of weeks as a FitFlop wearer, my hamstrings don't ache any more and my knees ache a whole lot less. This result is enough for me to love these shoes.
According to podiatrists, FitFlops are not appropriate for people with flat feet or those who use orthotics. If you don't fall into either of those categories, give them a try. You'll be strengthening and toning your core muscles without even knowing it. FitFlops just may be the perfect summer shoe.
The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:08 AM (Eastern)
Do these things work? I still don't know, it being impossible to find a single package of Heavenly Heelz around here. I've given up buying them locally; I'm doomed to order online.
I have seen Tip Toes--the flower-shaped ball-of-foot pads--aplenty...and now, I'm beginning to recall the initial buzz about Foot Petals was for the Tip Toes. The claim was that these would make high-heeled shoes comfortable. Most Net reviews for these concede that was a bit of an exaggeration; the consensus appears they make high-heeled shoes wearable longer, say two to three hours.
Great, but my issue is with the backs of my heels. I did make it out to Berkeley today to try the toe-of-shoe pads...the lady was nice enough to give them to me to try out. They do help, but the heels are still an issue.
Oh, for the days of frantic Internet product reviews! Have you noticed there are fewer and fewer detailed reviews of things online? There's no money in it, granted, but now we're almost back at square one. I did find a review stating Heavenly Heelz made someone's pantyhose turn black. I'm assuming, or hoping, these were the Black Iris Heavenly Heelz only, so I'm planning to try the Buttercup shade myself.
And what about the Killer Kushionz? Someone said she tried the Killer Kushionz (I'm not making these names up, see for yourself) and didn't even need the Heavenly Heelz, which speaks well for the Killer Kushionz I suppose, but only adds to the confusion. None of these products is outright cheap, if you think about it. Killer Kushionz run $12.95 a pair, which certainly puts a bit of a dent in the price of your shoes.
Oh well, I will have worked out something before the (blessedly long) weekend is through. I will have sat down and ordered at least a pair of Buttercup Heavenly Heelz, even having to buy them online, which still seems wasteful, a delivery van trekking all the way out to my home, bearing a pair of U.S.-made pads to stick inside my shoes. Yet--what if they work? What if the shoes, which had felt fine in the shop, transform into the same wearing perfection as the other pair I'd bought? The same effortlessness as my old Cole Haans?
Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)
Contemplating trying my hand at a regular feature, titled--surprise!--"The Weekend Blogger." But let's see if I can produce something intelligible on a weekly basis, in the first place.
Shoes. I finally got some shoes, having no choice in the matter: my beloved Cole Haan woven shoes, which I've worn for...ten years? more, no doubt...finally commenced to spring a leak. The uppers are entirely woven, so it would be possible to mend them with E-6000 (or GS Hypo Cement, haven't worked out which would be better), and I haven't actually thrown them away. It would require time and patience to do the repair, and the shoes would need to dry the full 24 hours...I didn't have another pair of shoes on hand, so elected to shelve the project for now and just get some new shoes.
It's impossible to replace the Cole Haans. New Cole Haans, which don't seem nearly as nice as old Cole Haans, are in the nefarious $300 range, at which decent shoes begin these days. I realize our economy is a comedy, and our dollar is in the toilet, but if I wanted to pay $300 for shoes, I would buy U.S. made Cydwoqs--which I am still planning to do, as my next shoe purchase, along with Joy perfume and a Nars eyeshadow (single or duo); something quite neutral.
I ended up with the working-girl's kit--you get some reasonably priced leather shoes, and you stretch them with one of those wooden shoe forms. You don't need a specific stretching device; you can use a plain old wooden form (doesn't have to be your size either). You just have to be careful not to damage the shoes or over-stretch them.
Along with this, Foot Petals...I don't need them for one of the pairs I bought, but the other pair definitely need padding in the heel. I turned down numerous Dr. Scholls made-in-China heel pads because I wanted to try Foot Petals, but they're absurdly hard to find, particularly the heel pads. I found some of the ball-of-foot pads at Shoe Pavilion...on a side note, our local Shoe Pavilion has became a small Indian market, with inexpensive Indian tops and dresses...interesting...hmmm...I'm determined to try authentic Foot Petals, but I'm hoping to find them locally.
So I've been wearing these pre-stretched shoes, and looking for Foot Petals so I can wear the other pair. I'll have to admit they don't have the same pizazz as my old Cole Haans, but they'll do for now, and I've made at least the first pair ridiculously comfortable (they have a small wedge heel).
Skincare. Thinking of ditching Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream once it's used up. Its chief attraction was its exfoliating property, but the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth I've been employing is far superior at that. The Cleansing Cream is yet great as a moisturizing cleanser for oily skin, but then their Cleansing Milk is fine for that, and more economical. What sucks is the Cleansing Milk is bottled in glass, rendering it useless for the shower. I suppose I'll think of something when the time comes.
Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, May 12, 2008 12:00 AM (Eastern)
So...I had an interesting weekend, and I hope you did too.
I got this killer dress from a consignment shop. Quintessential late 80's/early 90's, new with tags, and fitted out with linebacker shoulder pads and little elastic "belt" in the back. A cool Indian design; this type of clothing had always been made in India before the apparel market began to drown in Chinese-made goods. The dress was fashioned entirely of a creamy ivory lace, with a built-in sheer dress underneath it.
Went home, snipped out the shoulder pads...the built-in sheer dress was attached to the lace overlay by the same stitching, so of course it came out. I'm sewing-challenged but have never minded mending, so I sewed it back together, and discovered a hole in the lace overlay (don't ask me how a new dress already had a hole in it). At first I wanted to do a fancy darning thing with ivory thread but ended up simply sewing the hole shut, as it showed less that way. With the genius of the dress design, the hole barely showed even when it was open (the bottom of the dress is an intricate design of pieces of lace sewn together to create a small froth).
While I was doing that, I found a hole in the built-in sheer dress, near the bottom in the side seam. It looked as if someone had cut a tag out using pinking shears. Jeesh! What's wrong with people. I sewed that one shut as well, and though the dress was clearly marked "dry clean only," I washed it in the machine (cold water, delicate cycle, Woolite). I can hardly wait to wear it, though I am pondering whether it's too ornate to wear to work.
Shoes...I trekked out to one of the shops around here that carries Cydwoqs, Rabat in Berkeley.
Hm. This was the first time I'd been to Rabat, and I'll have to admit I was disappointed. Instead of a wide selection of Cydwoqs, they had something like three kinds of the shoes, and maybe three or four kinds of the sandals. I wasn't interested in sandals; of the minute choice of shoes, they had Sprint, Force, and another which I don't recognize on the Cydwoq site.
Force was kind of neat. The model they had on the floor was the exact color I wanted...a brown so dark it looked black at first, so could be worn as a black shoe, or as a brown one.
But...if you expect someone to pay upward of $300 for shoes, you really should have more of a selection on hand. However you look at it, it's a lot of money. So I didn't buy.
The only other standout there was Salpy, another American-made shoe even spendier than the Cydwoqs, but with two amazing leathers...dark shoes with designs traced in gold.
I'll probably get out to Nordstrom next weekend, since I need the shoes now. I'm fairly sure Cydwoqs go on sale seasonally (I've seen their boots on sale online now), so it might be a matter of waiting for a better price.
Just Notes: This, that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 10, 2008 1:17 AM (Eastern)
Cydwoq's Horn shoe
I've decided against Jean Patou's Sublime. I tested it out again...it's odd. I've found, with perfumes, that you can seldom turn back the clock. A scent with which you were once so in love, can be like an old boyfriend where it was right at the time, but things have changed.
On the other hand, I still want Joy. And that's not a perfume I really liked that much, before, particularly. In my youth, it was the scent of a grown woman's pocketbook (they don't call them "pocketbooks" on the West Coast btw), the kind of woman whose hair was always done.
I'm still in search of shoes. Willing to give "cheap" shoes another shot, even though cheap is no longer, well, cheap. I mean shoes less than the $300 of my beloved Cydwoqs. Bleh. I know they're worth it, in the sense of not having to shop for shoes in the next ten years, in the sense they are, beyond doubt, well-made and comfortable. And, you could step on them, or your kids could step on them, and it would be fine. They could be rained on. (I don't wear suede shoes.) And they would be...marvellous.
Since I've never been a shoe gal, I never looked at other women's shoes until now, and realized how few shoes stand out. I never craved a lot of shoes, don't need variety (where I so do with jewelry), but it would be nice to somehow own these American-made, unusual shoes with--according to the blogs--excellent arch support. Cydwoq will custom-make shoes if you so desire (apparently they have something along the lines of 250 leathers to choose from). So color wouldn't be a problem.
Oh, I know, I'll end up at Nordstrom or some other dreary department store, and find a pump made in Spain or Italy, and end up buying that. My shoes are starting to fall apart now, after so many years of good service, so putting off shoe-shopping indefinitely is out of the picture. I know I should be glad I can afford a decent, if not shoe-gasmic, shoe, so I don't wish to end this post on a "Paris Hilton can't buy the Titanic" snivelling note. lol I'll let you guys know if I find anything.
Fashion Notes: What I Want
Posted by EZE, Saturday, April 26, 2008 11:23 PM (Eastern)
I truly love this sandal. It reminds me of the lines found in 90s minimalism. I think this shoe could easily have come out of that time, which is fine by me. That's my favorite period of fashion.
I love the lines. To use the obvious word, they are minimal in the best sense. Not a single line is wasted, and every one flatters the foot and the wearer. It could easily be worn with daytime shorts or a full-length, flowy gown.
Dictionary.com lists the definition of the word elegant as "displaying effortless beauty and simplicity in movement or execution." This is the definition of an elegant shoe.
It's also $540 at Barneys. Honestly, if I had the discretionary income, I would blow it on this shoe, that's how much I love it. That said, I would really be blowing it. Sandals simply don't last that long. To be fair, designer sandals may fare better if they really have superior construction and materials. But this shoe simply doesn't look sturdy, no matter who made it. It's essentially strips of leather on a leather-covered board.
I guess it's no great loss. Anything wrapped around my ankles only makes my legs look bigger than they are, and that's not very minimal, is it? Still, I'm not much of a shoe gal, and it takes something special to get me this pumped about them. So keep in mind, my birthday is in late November, and I am not above bribes and favoritism.
This beauteous picture was found at Barneys.com.
Fashion Notes: Shoegasm!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, April 03, 2008 3:09 PM (Eastern)
Shoes by Cydwoq
My initial thought was to dub this post "Fashion Notes: This shoe is like an onion. It makes you want to cry."
I'm not into the prevailing high heeled shoes. I wasn't when I was a teenager, when--until Sam & Libby emerged in the 80's, with their flat dress shoes--heels were de rigeur, unless you wanted to wear sneakers.
Neither can I wear the equally omnipresent ballet flats; I'm too old. It's a youthful look, best left to those yet within the Spring of their lives.
Neither is my personal shoegasm...and I have spent some days now, looking for shoes. The closest I've found online is a rather prosaic low-heeled pump made in Italy, retailing for $150.
But what I really want are Cydwoq's, which, by the way, are made in the U.S.A. These edge out my previous obsession (Cole Haan's hidden Nike Air pumps), if only because Cydwoq's shoes look unique.
Mr. Cydwoq is Rafi Balouzian, a shoe architect who in fact studied Interior Architecture and Environmental Design; you can see the architectural influence in the shoes. I grabbed six pairs that caught my eye for the above image, but some of the models are more outré than what I've got up there. They make boots too, and men's shoes.
A cool shoe site
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:45 PM (Eastern)
Can I admit I seldom indulge in shoe porn? I just never got into shoes? I own three pairs of shoes (not counting a pair of Okabashi sandals, which are handy for swimming). If I had my druthers, those three pairs would never wear out, so I'd never have to shop for shoes again.
All of that said, the only footwear that have caught my fancy lately are the Cole Haan Nike Air high heels, and some stuff on this site:
Here's something I'd like to try before I die...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, November 08, 2007 3:52 AM (Eastern)
"Fine calfskin pump with beautifully concealed NIKE AIR cushioning." By Cole Haan, in three heel heights.
Nike Air pumps? :D
Now if only Dr. Martens made something that looks a bit like this.