Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Child shoe designer

I've been roaming around other people's blogs today in an effort to avoid sorting out my paperwork. On one of them, that I reached somehow through the Folksy site, the author was showing off her favourite party shoes.

This reminded me of a time when one of my enthusiasms as a child was shoe designing. It was great fun and I think this period represents the start of my adult life as a designer. It must have been in the summer time because wearing Scholl sandals became very popular among the neighbouring adults. Having a look at their website just now made me giggle and frankly the designs haven't changed much. They are called exercise sandals.

Anyway I was much impressed with these items of footwear and since I was about 10 years old there wasn't any chance of me owning a pair I decided to make my own version-out of cardboard. My friend Susan, who lived in the same road and was a couple of years younger than me, and I laboured away drawing around the shape of our bare feet while standing on thick cardboard. Then we cut the shapes out and fashioned wide straps to keep them on which we must have glued underneath the cardboard soles. The best bit was when we decorated the straps with glitter and stuff thereby making far more interesting sandals than any grown-up was likely to own and hey presto we had our very own version of Scholl sandals. They would last a few days before they fell apart and then we'd make some more.

Susan's Dad thought we were completely mad and for some years afterwards I think it was the only thing he could remember about me but what he clearly didn't understand was how much fun it was making them and then re-making them when the old one's wore out. I wonder whatever happened to Susan and her Dad?


Linden said...

What a lovely childhood memory! I remember one Christmas a friend and I made decorations with little logs and bits of moss etc that we'd gathered and enhanced with gold and silver paint.

Amazing that Scholl are still going, they must have huge brand loyalty because you don't see them advertised!

MartaSzabo said...

Okay, this great piece reminds me to 2 things.
When I was 9 the grown-ups figured out why my feet hurt all the time, and one of the solutions was that I should wear these wierd things I'd never seen before called Dr. Scholl's. It was 1966 and mine were red. My mother bought me a pair & as it so happened this was also the moment when I was shipped off to boarding school in a new country, England. Never been to boarding school before, never lived in England before. My Dr. Scholl's were in my locker and I NEVER took them out. They would have looked far far too strange in my convent school boarding school down in Dorset in the days before even xerox machines let alone computers.
Second thing that Heather's piece reminds me of takes place 3 years later. Same school, 12 years old. My friends and I start making decorated paper wide bands of paper that we would thread our watchbands through so that for a day we'd have really jazzy colorful watchbands on our wrists.
Heather's cardboard sandals with glitter (we didn't think of glitter!) sound great!!

Heather said...

Oh Marta it would have been great to know what it's like to wear a pair of Dr Scholl's and to think you didn't take them out of your locker.