tephra: (WTF? Friendly Hostility)
Or rather, when you thought it was safe for years.

I went into Payless to look at shoes today. Not because I actually needed a pair of shoes mind you, though I could use a pair of beige/bone/taupe/not too orange- medium or light brown low heels, but because I was feeling like I was dressed nice. I had an appointment that ended up only taking half an hour tops and getting a box of haircolor at Wal-Mart after that seemed a poor use of looking nice. So I went and sniffed things at Bath & Body (and everything was too sweet to consider actually putting on my body) and went into Payless.

Now, to fully understand what happened you have to know a couple things. One, I have always, always, had big feet, we're not talking "oh she needs a size 10" we're talking "we have nothing in the store that you get get your foot into, except this narrow rack of mens shoes". Two, I have lost a lot of weight over the past few years. Somewhere between 50 and 70 pounds, I don't know precisely because the scale only marked to 350 and I weighed more than that. People do not consider, and some do not believe, that you can and do "lose weight" from your feet. It's not just fat but fact that you aren't putting as much weight on them and they aren't spreading out as much when you stand. So I wander in, ask if they have any 12s or 13s and figure I will try on a couple of pairs of 13, wide if they have any, and find they do not fit and then go home.

Yeah. It didn't go that way.

I tried on at least half a dozen pairs, they all fit. Even the ankle strap sandals that zipped up the back of the heel! And I have the least delicate ankles you are likely to find. I made myself only buy the two cheapest pairs, some "nude" colored flats because I really could use some casual, and suitable for wear with skirts, shoes that aren't black, and some black suede wedges because I discovered last summer that my black heels that I wear with suits are now really freaking loose. The flats are size 13 and a bit loose but the 12s were a bit too snug. The wedges are 12W. I even walked around the store in those for a while to be sure they fit, they're actually a bit loose in the heel.

I am in a state of WTF.

If I weren't so used to being tight fisted with money I would have come home with at least the casual grey flats I also tried on if not the sandals. I haven't worn sandals in at least 20 years but those tempted me, even if my short little toes look kinda silly on display.

Payless is not safe for browsing anymore.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Thanks to this post by CraftyHippie on Craftster I now have a source for $5 casual summer shoes.

Most people have no occasion to be aware that those cheap White Stag shoes at WalMart often run up to size 12. I generally just check the bins of the Keds knock offs (with little luck) but the ones with the elastic gores frequently have at least a few pairs of 12s. Until I read the above linked post I never paid much attention to that since the elastic gore made them impossible to wear with my very high instep.

She's right, the gore comes right out clean with just a seam ripper.

Pity they never seem to have 12W shoes in those bins, but so far these seem comfortable enough with thin socks. :) And if they only last a summer, well they were only $5.

*contemplates the things she can do with a supply of cheap black, white, and sometimes navy, kakhi, or red, canvas shoes*
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
These are just too cool. (YouTube video)

Of course they are currently outrageously priced, and may fizzle out as a fad before they approach reasonable, but it's just nifty.

I am very curious about the last and the way the upper is constructed as well, that's a significant transformation from a 3.25" to a 1.5" heel and normally a high heel shoe has a fairly rigid upper. I think that fascinates me more than the folding heel.
tephra: (fangirl squee)
I bought shoes at Payless!

*sees all the blank stares*

Ah, allow me to rephrase, I bought women's shoes at Payless today.

Shockingly, I can wear some size 12 women's shoes (much like I can wear some size 10 men's shoes).

I discovered this last week when I tried on a pair of fake patent leather peep toe wedges. The foot goes in, and if the vamp were a bit lower, or a bit stretchier, they'd even be comfy.

Today I went in to see if they had anything new (they didn't) but the wedges were still there and I was wearing nylons today, so I tried them again. Both feet, even walked around a bit. Still a bit too tight so I put them back and tried on some other stuff I hadn't last week. I found some really nice "ballet slipper" style shoes with ribbons that tie around the ankles but again, vamp needed to be a bit lower or stretchier so I reluctantly put them back.

The saleswoman stopped by when I was trying out some really cute sneaker/sandal things and pondering buying them. And we chatted and I mentioned that I was surprised that I was fitting into 12s and that the peep toes were really cute and just so close to fitting....

"Those come in wide, do you want me to see if I can find a pair?"

OMG. "Yes, please!"

And they found a pair in the store in Roscommon and they will come on the next truck up sometime next week.

I bought a pair of shoes I don't need because I could, from a store, in my town, for $10.

[insert insane internal happy dances here]

So while she was hunting shoes for me I pondered the sneaker/sandal things. They were actually rather comfy. And cute. But white and baby blue? I put them aside while I looked to see what else I might try and, hey, there are the cute sneaker things in black! And they fit like the white ones!

I bought them (photo taken with my foot braced on the edge of my bed, pretty much shooting down my shin, so some distortions should be expected):
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


And, if the white ones are still there when I pick up the peep toes I might be tempted to get them too... but $25 is a lot easier to resist than $10.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Here's a site for wide calf boots for you! WideWidths.com

Argh, they have a "super wide" boot that with the elastic gore accounted for gets to 22"... *pulls the measuring tape snug* Dammit, 22.5"! *pout* Well, not like I have $140 for boots anyway.

They claim that a cobbler could expand the elastic gore... and if I only need one-half to one inch added that seems possible.... Still no money for it though. *sigh*

And since they had links to wide shoes I went looking at them. It's a bad sign when you click on the link for your size there are only two hits... and one of them is named "Token". :P

Time to get back to The Shoe Project.

Speaking of which, I know there are some creative and crafty sorts that have me friended, so I pose a problem for you:

The method I have for making shoe lasts is basically "fill shoes with plaster then rip them apart to get the plaster out". Which, while it makes me cringe to tear apart shoes that "fit", I am willing to do and have done before. The problem is that the next candidate for "last mold" is a pair of suede boots.

If anyone is gasping at the thought of destroying suede boots to make lasts, don't. They're electric blue, the suede on the right one in particular is of poor quality, and they never really fit properly because the heels weren't positioned quite right. And I wore them to death when electric blue suede ankle boots were marginally in fashion anyway.

The first problem is, well, they're suede and the foot portion at least is unlined. I can't see wet plaster and suede working well in combo no matter what I think up for a release agent.

The second problem is that the shaft is lined, with some sort of foam that is disintegrating under the very thin lining material.

I'd like to cast the whole thing, foot and shaft because they fit very closely to my ankle and about3 inches up the leg, making them ideal lasts not only for shoes but also ankle boots.

So, what I need is a way to use these boots as a mold that would ultimate result in bare plaster lasts. Anyone have some ideas? I don't think veggie oil is going to work for a mold release on these. :P

And for a related topic, I have finished lasts that I can't use because I can't find heels of the appropriate height and pitch. I do have one (and only one) of the original heels from the shoes I made the lasts from. It's made of some sort of plastic and I'd like to make a mold from it and cast some heels. I'd want to fill in the hollows in the center (which I'm sure were there to both make it lighter and save materials) because I know from experience that I will break down that sort of heel with my weight eventually. I can figure out how to do that and make the mold, but what do I cast the heels out of? It has to stand up to me walking on it, so it's got to be strong, but if it's too heavy it will make the shoe want to slide off the heel.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
This is mostly aimed at RedcatsUSA, owners of several plus size women's clothing companies (Lane Bryant catalog, Roaman's, Jessica London, Chadwicks, and Woman Within to name a few) but it applies to other companies as well.

So you are carrying clothing in sizes 14w to 34w or in one notable case, 44w. Awesome. However, I have a few questions for you.

Why do your tall sizes top out at 26w? Is there some unwritten law that says tall women can't be fat?

I, personally, straddle the line between "average" and "tall" so I thank you for increasing the inseam on "average" paints from 28 to 30 inches. Now I can find pants in my size that are just long enough (my inseam is 30.5") since apparently I'm too fat to be tall.

So you carry at least to size 34w... why are all your necklaces only 18" long then? I can't speak for all size 30w ladies but I need a necklace at least 22" to sit at "the hollow of my throat" (which is not at all hollow of course). The fit of a 22" necklace on me is about comparable to a 15" on "regular" sized woman. That 18" necklace should be more like 25" to sit properly on me.

Also, why are your bracelets just 7 to 7.5" and why do your rings stop at size 10? My bracelets are 8" for a snug fit and I have been known to get a "standard" anklet of 9" to wear as a bracelet. Oh, and my rings? The three I wear are size 10 (pinkie finger), 12 (ring finger), and 13 (thumb) on my left hand. Increase those sizes by 1 for my right hand. I'd love a ring for my index finger but the last I checked I needed a 15 for that.

I need a 9 for a toe ring.

Speaking of feet, why do most of your shoes stop at size 11 and why is the widest width you stock is a D/E? Here's another set of scary numbers for you, my shoe size? It's between a US13 and 14 in womens' shoes. I have never seen the width I need, but it's EEE/EEEE. I live in dread of needing to wear dress shoes. The last pair I bought cost me $70 and are reasonably comfortable but they had better last me a while since I haven't seen a pair in 13 "extra wide" that "cheap" since I bought them.1

And your "plus calf" boots? I haven't seen any with a calf larger than 20.5" at size 12, which didn't even come in "wide width". This one will terrify you, my calf? Is 23 inches when measured nude. If you know any woman that takes a Misses size 6, her waist and my calf are the same size.

My point is that it isn't just the bust, waist, and hip that get larger with larger sizes. Not all "plus size" women would be dainty little things if "they just lost some weight". I could lose 100 pounds and I would still be a large woman that would be frustrated by small bracelets and narrow shoes.

And I bet my shirts would still have sleeves that are too short.

[Edit to add: Why is this woman, and others like her, modeling clothes in your catalog? She doesn't look to be a size 14 to me. Give the woman a sandwich, she has no meat on her.]

1. And when did a 2" heel get downgraded to a "low heel"? It seems like 3" has become "standard" and 4 and 5" heels are scarily common. Are the women that wear these things fucking nuts? I'm sort of used to them in the shops that cater to transvestites but I'm seeing them at a lot at Shoewawa.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Yay! I have permission to put up the commission I just completed.

This is Kitten, the apparently somewhat troublesome muse of [livejournal.com profile] joisbishmyoga, who happens to be the author of my favorite Yu Yu Hakusho fanfic (it's a crossover with Harry Potter as well).

She's so sleek and elegant, for some reason I really want to rub her ears.

On the technical side, I tried some new shading tricks to hopefully suggest the texture of fur and hair better. Unfortunately it's only really visible at full size, but I think it worked well enough that I'll use it on future images. I also mixed the modified cell shading of her fur and hair with my usual soft shading on her dress to help distinguish the difference in texture. All in all she was very fun to draw and color. :)
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Finally, someone starts to get it.

Now if they would work on making them a bit bigger and much wider. If I still took a size 12 I'd probably be happy with the current selection in catalogs, unfortunately I take a 14. Very wide (EEEE, with an EE heel but there's no one making shoes on combination lasts these days).

My current favorite pair of shoes are actually a pair of black work boots, mens 13 extra wide. Good thing I like stompy boots. They're comfy, even with warm socks. :) Unfortunately they got cut (though thankfully not all the way through the material, they're still wearable) so I'll have to try to find replacements. :(

Unfortunately I will likely never own a pair of fashionable "off the shelf" womens boots that extend more than an inch or two above the ankle. "Plus calf" boots only fit a 20" calf at size 12, I don't think a size 14 (if it existed) would be anywhere close to the 24" calf I need (to wear over nylons/bare skin).

I really should get back into my home shoe making experiments once I get some extra cash.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Well this is closer to an Victorian Asian Industrial Goth anyway.

Lame pose, at least for the upper body. The plan is chrome vinyl pants, black leather boots, black vinyl corset, and I really don't know on the kimono and hair. That's assuming I even finish this one.

Obviously not what I was inking in my last post, but that's being kept secret a bit longer.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
It's an Asian Elizabethan Cyber Goth!

I was aiming for Industrial Asian-Victorian Cyber Goth but I missed. I probably should have gone for big boots rather than thigh high tabi, and opted for a Victorian era corset rather than an Elizabethan of course. Oh well, still kind of cool looking, though there's no way she could sit in any position remotely resembling "lady like" in that corset.

Pencils that I manipulated the heck out of in PSP with a half-arsed color job.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I colored the messy pencils of Alice. At this size the detail of the lace, fishnets, the playing card (the Queen of Hearts), and her mismatched eyes get lost. Bummer.

Yes, I do have a thing for red, purple, and black.

I'm almost tempted to change that black neck piece to a cravat.

And if I put this in my regular deviantART gallery I'll bump Nakyta off the front page. Drat. I'll just hold it for a few days I guess. Maybe I'll see all the flaws and put it in scraps then.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I'm liked the pencils so much I actually colored from the scanned pencils rather than inking. And it's all because of that skirt. I wanted to see how the pattern fill I had in mind would look, and then I just had to do the belt and boots, and then other leather, and before I knew it I had everything but the fur done.

I'm so impressed with myself. After a couple years of basically nothing my muse is back, and she's packing a bunch of new tricks. :)
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Whee! Colored art. :)

I call her Tala and he's Hew.

I'm still working on my monitor gamma. When I printed this the highlights in the blue leather were totally lost. Do they show up for you?
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Well, one rat anyway. I started drawing from the boots so the pose is very artificial and highly unlikely (the far leg should angle more into the page and the knee should be dropped so the center of mass is supported) but dang it, it's all about the boots anyway. :)

This was in my 'junk' sketchbook, which happens to be one of those 11 by 14 monstrosities, so there's another sketch on the same page. Just a random Hogwarts student in a movie style uniform, though she feels that slacks are far more practical than skirts for the modern witch.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
These boots are sex.

And while the style of these doesn't do much for me (or maybe it's the scrawny legs that aren't doing it) I have to admit they'd probably be dead sexy in snake print.  Though not if the photo quality were the same, those black velvet ones should have some sort of highlight on them if lit properly.

I'm saving that photo though, for the pose of the pink ones.

Of course all this boot obsession stirred up because I was trying to find something like these.  I get distracted sometimes.

I've always liked laced up boots, and thigh highs, but I'm more into the buckled up to there, lugged sole, stomp your face in, style of boot at the moment.

Like these, but with a lugged sole like a work boot (not the flat 'commando' sole seen elsewhere on the site).  Actually these aren't too bad as is, and not a bad price, works out to about $271 US for the largest size.

But what is it with the blasted platforms?  If I wore those last ones I'd be nearly 6'3"! (Assuming of course that I actually could wear them, not having scrawny legs.)

Come to think of it, I'm just into buckles lately.  Lots of black leather and shiny buckles.  Buckled boots, buckled corsets, long swoopy buckled coats (unbuckled), leather, leather, leather... better get my sketchbook, I think. ;>
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
It really sucks to be a woman with large feet.  Particularly if you have a thing for boots. 

You see, those sexy high heeled shoes they sell in sizes larger than 12 usually aren't made for women.  And it follows that the really sexy thigh high boots in sizes larger than 12 (heck, probably most of the 11s and 12s) are likewise not made for women.  Now for the shoes that's not much of a problem, though sometimes the ankle straps are a bit short (men tend to have more delicate ankles than women do for some bizarre reason), but with boots that go more than a couple inches up the leg it's a different story. Guys have stick legs, at least compared to the gals, particularly to gals that need shoes in sizes over 12 (I'd be inclined to say over 9 in reality).

Needless to say a site like this is a bit like finding water in the middle of a desert.... it just happens to be 100 feet below the ground.

[As an aside, it's funny as hell to go shopping in a store that specializes in high heels in large sizes. I'm often the only woman there.]

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