The past couple weeks have been a blur of activity. The day job has been offering its share of surprises as a round of downsizing swept through our part of the business world. I'm still standing, but with a freshly increased set of duties.
My band just performed a well-received set of two Elton John albums at a local Chicago music venue. We put both Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across the Water on that stage, and while I think our performances by themselves would have made for a fine show, we augmented our lineup by hiring a trio of string players to deliver the orchestra parts that made those records memorable. (Surf over to YouTube.com and take a listen to "Tiny Dancer" or "Levon" to hear what I'm talking about.) It was a golden night for those of us in the band, and we're still buzzing from the satisfaction of a performance well done. And still coming down from all the effort and planning that it took to pull it together.
And then there are all the little projects and errands and responsibilities that got pushed to the side with all the mayhem and excitement that's been taking place, and in the aftermath of the band's performance, I used a lot of my spare time getting quite a few of those taken care of. From such essentials as finally taking my Toyota in for routine repairs and maintenance (we're talking four figures here—ouch!) to totally minor chores such as winnowing down the documents and folders on my desktop from over 700 to just over 300 to totally selfish indulgences along the lines of finally making those Green Tea Cookies I've been craving to try since April (and which turned out to be quite yummy), I've been occupied non-stop.
But what's this? A break in the action? Needless to say, I'm pouncing on it. Tomorrow's the start of another workweek. And my major weekend projects have been accomplished successfully (not the least of which was meeting with my musical collaborator in my band to chart out the albums we plan to feature over the next 12 months) so I can relax a little. Why not take a moment to share some thoughts about shoes and the way they make the world go 'round?
Come to think of it, it was my desktop cleanup this morning that inspired this blog post. I ran across all sorts of images I'd downloaded or acquired but never did anything with, I thought they'd make a perfect assortment of pictures to assemble here.
So let's get to it. Before job duties come calling or creative passions capture my attention and lure me elsewhere. There are cool shoes to wear, damnit! And I want to help you do just that!
I Love Bed|Stü
There are only a handful of shoe makers that have been able to consistently delight us wood-soled footwear lovers season after season. Bed|Stü, I'm happy to say, is one of them. I think I must have a half-dozen of their styles on my shelves, and I know my partner in shoe lust, Melissa, has at least two or three herself. I love their shoes. And I love the pictures they use to model and to sell them.
Ha! I'm so easily swayed by a memorable marketing image. The e-blast above that featured the Ghent inspired me to wear my own pair to work the next day. Life is too short for ordinary shoes.
Swedish Hasbeens Now Are
Well, the sale info for the Flora clog sandal is still current on the Swedish Hasbeens website (seriously, anything by Swedish Hasbeens that goes for under a hundred bucks is worth a look),...
..., but whatever promotion accompanied the image below is now months in the past, I'm afraid. No matter. It's a cute outfit for a pair of clog boots.
No. 6 Also Stopped by My Inbox
My apologies if this one is a repeat. I should have posted it last December when it first arrived in my e-mail. And while I can't find any evidence that I ever shared it with you, I wouldn't say that my search for a previous appearance was particularly exhaustive. I love the way their stylist paired up an "outside of the box" pair of clog boots with an "outside of the box" outfit. Win/win!
No Further Information Available
I saw this pair of studded booties on the web back at the beginning of June. But I didn't take any notes. So now, not only can I not tell you who made them, I don't even know where the image came from. Well, if you've lusted after shoes as long as I have, you've realized that some styles are fated only to be glimpsed from afar.
Calling on the Wisdom of the Web
I received a request for help locating a pair of clogs in a pony hair style similar to the ones in these photos. Any suggestions?
I directed the person making the inquiry to Devich Holzschuherzeugung, an Austrian clog maker whom I recalled worked with this material.
But if you can think of a good resource for clogs of the hirsute variety, please speak up!
Oh, and those Green Tea Cookies? They turned out AMAZING! The recipe I worked with is one I found on the blog of The Blissful Baker...who in turn had created her cookies from a Cappucino Cookie recipe posted by Joy the Baker. Melissa and I have been committing ourselves to eating healthier this year and so we're finding ways to revise the treats we love to reduce the sugar and flour they contain. The essential ingredient to Green Tea Cookies is the intensely flavored matcha green tea powder. If you want to attempt this snack, you'll have to make a trip to your health food store or Asian market. I then used only a cup of flour (instead of 2-1/4 cups) and supplemented it with a cup of almond flour. And where the recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups of sugar, I used only a 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup of Splenda sugar substitute. It's a revelation how much more flavorful sweet foods can be when the amount of sugar is reduced. The cookies were a success. Both Melissa and I have found ourselves wandering by the kitchen two or three times this evening for "just one more."
As a matter of fact, I think I'll help myself to another one now.