Bell Jar Shoe Display

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I have been looking for further ways to display some of my most special shoes, I like to have my favourites around the house outside of my wardrobe and bookcase. Only problem is that they gather dust so I’d been looking for some huge bell-jars like this as a solution. The only ones I could find were super expensive so I was really surprised to see these handmade glass ones in Home Sense for ┬ú9.99. They had lots of different shapes from really tall cone shaped ones to little tiny ones. This was the first time I managed to pay another visit to the store since I went to the grand opening back in May. They had a winter theme going on this time with lots of lust worth home ware, it is definitely my favourite home store now – sorry Ikea. There is another new home store opened in the Triangle in Manchester, I can’t remember what it was called, but it has the most fabulous great big curtain tie-backs I’ve ever seen. Will try and sneak a pic next time I go in, they also had dramatic ornate mirrors. What I really need is something to display my jewellery in so that is my next treasure hunt.

Spur of the Moment Shoes Purchase!

Y3 shoes from TK Maxx

You know when you are just out browsing, just having a look, killing some time and all of a sudden you decide to buy something totally not your usual style just for the hell of it? Well that! I saw these super cool Y3 shoes, that’s the label by Adidas and Yoji Yamamoto and I had visions of myself all spots-luxe a bit Alexander Wang street sports cool! Obviously I get them home and realise I have absolutely nothing to go with these shoes – or are they trainers? But hey I do like a challenge, I’m thinking maybe the Wang blazer, slouchy t-shirt, tailored trouser possibly even a baseball cap…? I also have to mention how comfy they are, seriously the are actually like trainers, so soft and padded, why more heel’s don’t come with that I’ve no idea. They are almost bouncy!

What do you think, are they keepers?

My Vivienne Westwood Shoe Collection #2

As you all know I am pretty obsessed with Vivienne Westwood and last year I got all my shoes together to take a photo of them all. At the time I missed a couple of pairs off and I have also acquired some new ones and sent others to eBay. So here is a brand new updated collection photo. Last night on my Facebook page the shoe obsessing got a bit crazy and we also had the pleasure of seeing┬á my friends Lauran and Jen’s collections too, come on over to Facebook for a look! Also if you want to share your collections please do, we would love to see, no matter if they are Westwood or not. I keep saying I am going to do a photo of all my none VW shoes, but setting them all out like this take a full afternoon. I have so many from other brands but favourites include Chanel, Prada, D&G and Zara.

In the last photo there were 30 pair s and there are 33 in this one so not a huge difference. I got rid of a couple of pairs of the Melissa collaboration ones for being uncomfortable, they are a funny size some of them, even the ones in the same style can differ. The new additions are the vintage red heart  (first left second row), black patent Gillie (first left third row) and three-tongue (fourth left fourth row). All of which I still need to feature. I missed off the two elevators (seventh and eighth left fourth row) from the photo last time as I forgot about them, since I had them as book ends on my shelf!

Black patent Gold Label ‘3-Tongue’ shoes, Nymphs 2002 collection (the 3-tongue design was first seen in Witches 1983)

Red patent vintage heart buckle elevated heels, On Liberty 1994 collection

Black patent and studded Accessories Label shoes with heart and tassel ties

Designer Shoe Care & Repair

Since we are talking about shoes I thought I would take the chance to mention the best way to look after leather soled shoes like the Vivienne Westwood Gold Label shoes. The leather soles are fine as they are so long as you live in a dry climate or don’t go out in the rain. However I live in Manchester, UK which is the wettest place in the world (probably) so if I only wore my shoes when it was dry I hardy ever wear them! Instead I have rubber soles added to my shoe, this protects the leather from the wet and also give the shoe a better grip. I usually get this done before I even wear my shoes but didn’t think I would bother with my Roman 3-strap sandals since I was only going to be wearing sandals in the summer, same for my canvas Tracey trainers I wouldn’t wear those in the rain. Unfortunatley we have been having some freak weather here in the UK this summer and I got caught out in the rain in my Roman 3-strap, so regrettably I have an example to show you what happens if you do get leather soles wet.

Above you can see from the right leather soles worn in dry conditions, leather soles worn in wet conditions and leather soles protected with a rubber sole topper.

See what happens when you get the soles wet, the water is soaked up by the leather which makes the sole swell and it can start to crumble off. I am going to take these to my cobbler (Darren at Timpsons King Street should you be wondering) where I am sure he will be able to save them before they get any worse. If you have the rubber soles added prior to wear your shoes will last so much longer too, I find the leather soles can cause the structure of the shoe to alter with wear too as they are flexible and bend with wear. The rubber soles I have are about 3mm thick but you can have 1mm soles added too which are thinner and less visible but will need replacing sooner if you wear them a lot. I tend to wear my Gold Label shoes as my everyday shoes so choose to have the thicker ones. Either way you can’t notice them when they are being worn.

Having the Gold Label shoes reheeled is a a bit tricky as the thickness of the heel tip is a lot thinner than standard tips. The only place I could find in Manchester who can do a thinner tip is Jones the Boot Maker (King St West) but they have to send your shoes off so it can take two weeks. I haven’t need a reheel for about two year but am now due one on a couple of pairs so I will let you know what I can find out this time. I will go and ask at Timpsons and Cravens cobblers in case they have any thing new.

Since I am always harking on about how long quality shoes will last if you look after them, I thought I would show you a perfect example. Here is one of my oldest pairs of shoes the red Mary Jane’s. I have had them about 5/6 years. The black Mary Jane’s are brand new I’ve only worn them once since getting them earlier in the year. I have worn the red ones loads too, don’t think I have had them hidden away in a box! I think they only thing that gives the game away is the wear on the insole from wearing with bare feet and some dye from black socks getting caught in the rain. Another tip I would give for keep your shoes looking good is if they do get caught in the rain stuff the toe with tissue paper and reshape it so that they dry out into the right shape, without creases. I also keep a pack of leather wet wipes I have mentioned before handy, you can use them wet to clean leather and dry to buff. I tend to keep a dried out one in each of my shoe boxes and give my shoes a quick wipe before putting them away after each wear. I also keep the toes stuffed with tissue too to retain their shape – but then again I am a bit of a shoe geek!