Shawn L. Bird

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dreaming of socks January 26, 2013

Filed under: fun — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:17 pm
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Back when I was in teacher training, my Faculty Associate (university liaison person) was Debbie.  Debbie got up every morning and sewed before she headed to work.  Because she made her own cool garments, she invested in interesting shoes and socks.  I had a pair of Debbie-style striped shoes I wore until they fell apart, and I still have some fancy, colourful trouser socks purchased on her inspiration back in those days, now getting over stretched and holey, and desperately in need of replacement.  Unfortunately finding great socks can be a challenge.

My mother also sews, and also loves great shoes.  When we moved her, she had 8 closets of clothes, and well over a hundred shoes- mostly pumps.  She wasn’t quite as adventurous in her shoe choices, but then, she’s a very classical dresser- à la Chanel.  She has lots of fancy hose, but offers no suggestions on wonderful socks.

I used to make my own clothes, and still collect fabric and patterns with the intention of sewing, but with an uncooperative serger (it was recently ‘repaired’ without any change in its proclivity to eat needles and break thread), and a cold basement sewing zone, I don’t do as much sewing as I should, especially not in the middle of winter, when I’m supposed to be writing novels in my ‘spare’ time.

When weight fluctuates, shoes and socks still fit (unless something truly dramatic happens) but while finding shoes has been relatively simple effort, I have not found a local or internet source for awesome socks worthy of my Fluevogs.

Recently, I was looking at blogs for some inspiration on other ways to wear my Libby Smith boots, and that search led me to The Fashionable Bureaucrat.  Megan lives all the way across Canada in Nova Scotia and she blogs photos of her ensembles.  She has some interesting tights she orders from Sock Dreams in Portland, Oregon.  With a store name like that, obviously I had to check them out and wow! it is sock NIRVANA over there!  I just sent in my first order, and I’m looking forward to adding funky socks to the daily dressing here in the Shuswap.  After poking around Sock Dreams, I discovered Sock It to Me, also located in Portland.  What is it with Portland that they get TWO amazing sock stores, while the rest of North America goes without?

There is sock hope!  (You’ll see that shipping is free in the US.  With orders under $50 you can ship with USPS First Class International Parcel for $8, which isn’t so bad taxes and exchange rate considered!).


Pilgrimage to Fluevog Gastown October 27, 2012

I discovered Vancouver’s Fluevog shoes just in the last year or so, and ever since I have been developing a collection of gorgeous shoes.  Fluevogs are very well made, beautifully designed, unique and interesting shoes.  I’m discovering that there is definitely a Fluevogian attitude that celebrates creativity.  People who wear ‘Vogs are people I enjoy meeting.

I have purchased all my ‘Vogs online, either through or eBay, but I dreamed of the day that I would be able to make a pilgrimage to the flagship, original store in Gastown.

When I went to Surrey for SIWC2012, I took the opportunity.  I parked Sheila the Bug at the hotel, and took the bus and Skytrain into Gastown.  55 minutes X 2 trips in order to spend a few minutes in a store that had originally been a car park.  It’s all glass front and roof, and log slices artfully display the most brilliant shoes on the planet in the abundant natural light.

Red and purple Fluevog K2s

I had two shoe styles that I wanted to try on.  The first was  the new Elizabeths with the ball and claw heel that mimics Chippendale style furniture.  So cool!  Unfortunately, the Elizabeths rubbed in a bad place, so I will have to wait for future shoes coming out with this amazing heel.

The second shoes were the K2s.  I have worn similar shoes (in boring black) and had them until they fell apart. I know Oxfords are a great, every day style shoe for me.  The K2s were a perfect fit, soft leather, fun vibrant colour combination, great heel height, and eye-catching, as well.  My kind of shoe!  They were an easy, “Yes!” and into the lovely paper bag they went.

After my shoe purchase, I headed across the road to The Coffee Bar to have dinner with Citieguy Paul Schellenberg who is a local impresario.  Paul and I were Rotary Exchange students together years ago.  He went to Belgium when I went to Finland.  It’s been quite a few years, and it’s fun to see where we’ve taken the skills we developed as exchange students!  It turns out that The Coffee Bar is a favourite haunt of my son, who works for 49th Parallel Roasteries,  which supplies the coffee that is served there.  The cashier raved about how wonderful my son is, and  I told them to tell him that they’d met his mother. <g>  Nothing like embarrassing your kid, right?

The visit with Paul was all too short, because I had a big night ahead of me!  The lovely Fluevog paper bag dissolved on the way back to the hotel, in the humidity of  the miserable rain, but nothing could wash away my enthusiasm!  I put my new shoes onto my feet and headed off to Chapters at Strawberry Hill to meet authors JJ Lee, Michael Slade, CC Humphreys, Mary Balogh, Jack Whyte, and Diana Gabaldon.

Like the finance minister wearing new shoes to present a new budget, my new Fluevogs set the tone for a weekend of creativity, exhuberance, and promise.  I was introduced to a lot of wonderful people who had to stop to ask me about my various shoes.  I wore Fluevog Bellevue Pearl Harts to the 1920s dinner for perfect vintage style.  My Fluevog Ice Blue Macchiatos made the SIWC Facebook page, and at dinner one evening, I was asked to come meet a table of ladies all wearing unique Fluevog shoes. Author CC Humphreys complimented my shoes, and pointed out that he, too, was weaving ‘Vogs!  The people at SIWC are clearly MY PEOPLE! <g>

Of course, besides helping to meet amazing new people, the best thing about having distinctive shoes, is that whenever I wear these awesome K2s, I will remember that I was wearing them when I met my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon!  <g>  It will remind me of her writing advice and generous spirit.

Creative shoes.  Creative people.  Creative spirit.  Creative life.


Fluevog addiction August 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:53 pm
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It is no surprise to any of the regular readers of this blog that I’m very fond of beautiful shoes.  I inherited this penchant from my mother, who had a huge shoe collection while I was growing up (and still does, though unfortunately, not my size!).  In the last year or so, I discovered the shoes of Vancouver designer John Fluevog.  The designs are fun and interesting, and they are well made and very comfortable.  Most of my Fluevog collection is shown in Auntie Bright’s Pinterest board.    (Except the Prepare Scout clogs/mules which are not Auntie Bright’s style, but are mine. 🙂  Proof that she’s not exactly like me, no matter what my friends claim).

This lady in Winnipeg, however, leaves me in the dust, and I am rather jealous of her one of a kind samples!  🙂   The way I’m going, I may just have this many eventually.  So far, I have a mere seven pairs of Vogs, but check out Rebecca Harasym’s huge collection of wearable Fluevog art!  My husband is going to quake in his un-Fluevogian boots when he sees this!  🙂  If she started collecting in 2006, it looks like she averaged something like 20 pair each year…  With shoes running $150 to $200 a pair, and boots in the $350 to $400 range, this collection is probably worth $20-30,000.


grey boots February 27, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:29 am
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As promised in the “Narrative of the Grey Boot Quest,” here are my awesome, amazing, brilliant, gorgeous, comfortable, and dazzling grey boots.  My Fluevog Logans are posing with OJ the standard poodle, who has boots, but they aren’t nearly as cool as these.  He’s so jealous he can’t even look at them.


When I put the boots on for the first time and saw this stamped inside, I knew they were fated to be a writer’s boots.  Well, fated to be THIS writer’s boots.  “Words said in faith change lives.”  How true that is.  Saying words in faith can change your own life, let alone how the words impact those hearing them.  These boots are empowering.  I feel like I can change the world when I lace them up. (and up.  and up.  and up.  These are not the footwear for days when you’re running late for work!).

It may be shallow to get so much delight out of footwear, and I know that this particular passion causes heads to shake, but it is truly a simple joy to wear art, and if you’re going to wear art, your feet are as good a location as any!  People find satisfaction in different ways.  I don’t understand people who drink or smoke away their money, with nothing to show for their hard earned efforts except cancerous growths or nasty odours.  Shoes are a very benign addiction in the greater scheme of things!  One can also luck out, and inherit.  My mother shares this addiction, and a shoe size.  I am still wearing some shoes that I wore in high school, several decades later, so I don’t feel very guilty.  I wear my artistic addictions with pride.  😀


The narrative of the Grey Boot Quest January 29, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:45 am
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I stroll the mall, and check all routes

in search of perfect, tall, grey boots.

Store by store I search them all

On tidy shelves and crowded stalls.

I search the net in desperate state

At The Boots await!

The perfect shape.  The perfect heel.

The shade of grey, that’s dove not steel.

Alas, at five hundred bucks with tax,

My happy heart’s cleaved with an ax.

I check the site from time to time

To see if cost has dropped a dime.

But one sad day, the boots were gone

My face grew sad, my mouth was drawn.


The Grey Boot Quest began once more

Fruitless, I wandered store to store,

Til a clearance ad came to my in box

and now I can enfold my socks.

My Fluevog Logan boots, were on sale

A happy ending to the tale!

A single pair was in my size,

I quickly clicked, ready to BUY.

Soon from the store in Montreal

My boots will travel, pushed and hauled.

The first miracle was an end to the quest

The Second Miracle Logans are the best!

A week from now, or maybe two,

I’ll pose in those grey boots for you!




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