Monday, September 8, 2014

Under the Sea

Hi everyone!

So as I've mentioned before, Toot is taking ballet lessons and we've become quite the ballet family, by which I mean that I've become obsessed and my family very sweetly nod their heads as I go on and on and on...LOL. :P I thought I better educate myself on just what ballet is all about, it's history, the dancers, the choreographers, the ballets themselves, companies, etc. Of course, the allure for Toot is the future possibility of dancing "en pointe". She saw the older girls at the school in their pointe shoes and it was all over for her. lol

Pointe shoes have a short dance life and aren't "dance-able" for very long. Okay so what happens to all of those "dead" pointe shoes? I assumed that most dancers simply threw them away, which to a mixed media artist, is like a punch in the creative gut, am I right? lol So I started asking around the school and a couple of the older girls very sweetly gave me their "dead" pointe shoes...

That's right, time to upcycle, reuse, alter, whatever you want to call it! :D I started with one dead pointe shoe:

I decided to use the ballet, Ondine as my inspiration. (The story is about a water nymph that falls in love with a human.) So I wanted my shoe to reflect an underwater something that had been underwater for a long time and was rusty and all patina-ed (yes, it's a word) with sea life growing around.

I started by using a tutorial I found on the Art Anthology blog which uses a base of gauze (what a smart idea!) Only I didn't have the colors they listed so for the actual painting, I used a patina paint tutorial from Andy Skinner which I really loved. Actually, both tutorials are awesome so check them out!

Okay, so let's just skip to the good stuff! lol Here's my finished "Ondine" shoe:

Initially, I was going to use different styles of loose moss but that really would have been a complete mess. I got lucky and found some moss "ribbon" onto which I dabbed some of the bronze-y paint I had used on the shoe to make it blend a little more.

I used burlap ribbon, pearls and a couple of other strings and things for the "ties". And of course, had to add some seashells. :D

This was SO much fun to create! I offered it to Toot's ballet teacher who said she loved it so I'll count this one as a win. ;)

Have a great day!


  1. This is AMAZING!! WOW WOW WOW!!!!! Funny ... now that you mention it ... I go to different antique stores all the time, I see old boots, old shoes, old ice skates... every kind of footwear ever ... but I have never seen pointe shoes!!! Weird!!!! Maybe ballerina's aren't sentimental like we are ... *wink* :)

  2. Sooo creative and fun! I love it!!! and I'm sure Toot's teacher will enjoy it as well.

    ...or maybe they are super sentimental and keep them all in a secret chest somewhere! lol

  3. How lovely!

    I've always been fascinated by dance books and movies, even though I never took a single ballet class. It's just so beautiful :) One of my favorite (and falling apart from multiple reads) books is a little paperback called Golden Slippers about a teenage ballerina who gets a part in a dance movie (set in the 50s or so, so big deal back then), great YA coming-of-age story that can still be found in library editions.

    1. I'll have to look for that book! I love old books :D

  4. I danced for about ten years starting in my late teens, mostly jazz, not much ballet, but I love anything dance. These slippers are so beautiful and that is one lucky dance teacher to have them! I can see a whole wall of your altered slippers in that dance studio! (o;