Bedazzled or Shoe Glue Is Magical


When long-time model Fuzz Lennie told me she had begun designing for Zanze and had just produced her first dress, I had to see it. She has a great sense of style and exquisite focus on detail and I was eager to see what she was going to make. All I can say, is wow! if this is her first, I cannot wait for her second. This dress spoke to me on another level though, reminding me of one of my favorite gifts I gave for Christmas.

It was several years ago, back when I had my very first job in political organizing – working for the mission more than the money. My “discretionary income” was close to nil and in choosing between getting the NY Times of a telephone, I opted for the Times and walked two blocks to a convenience store for phone calls. So Christmas would have to be frugal and I would have to make gifts. Well, I grew up on frugal Christmases with homemade gifts, so that was no problem.



My best friend is a teacher and a shoe addict. She loves shoes like Carrie Bradshaw loves shoes, though she is more sensible and restrained in her spending. I decided that I would give her her very own pair of Ruby Red Slippers – or pumps to be more accurate. I went to Payless and bought a pair of bright red pumps. They were $7.00. Then I went to a local crafts store and bought a big spool of red bugle beads strung together. It was the biggest expense – around $15.00 and I bought two tubes of tennis shoe glue – which the clerk assured me would be both a strong adhesive and flexible. It was. It worked perfectly.



I carefully wrapped row after row after row of bugle beads around the shoes, gluing them in place with the shoe glue. It was December and raining and I had every window in the house wide open while I worked for hours in my winter coat – freezing in a haze of shoe glue fumes. Even with the windows open, I am certain that project fried more than a few brain cells. I can still get cross-eyed at the memory of it.


Christmas finally arrived and I met my friend and her husband for brunch at Chez What? a fabulous cafe whose loss is mourned by many. She opened her present and was stunned at the sight of the shoes. A woman at the next table sprang into action, grabbed them and held them up for inspection and offered her $250 for them on the spot. She refused of course. So the woman offered me $250 to make a pair for her, but even though they only cost me about $30 in materials and I was so broke I could not afford a telephone, I refused because I am sure I lost more than $250 in brain cells from the glue.


No bugle beads, but dazzling in their own way.

Besides the point was to give my friend a one-of-a-kind gift that was like no other. What is so amazing, though, is that 20 years later, she still has them and still wears them to special events like New Year’s Eve parties and fundraising galas and still gets women asking her where she got her shoes. That shoe glue! It may fry your brain and melt the finish on your table (alas!) but it works!




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2 thoughts on “Bedazzled or Shoe Glue Is Magical

  1. STARVED Magic

    ah what a beautiful memory for both you and your girlfriend, I would cherish a friendship like that as you have, and a friend that made me such a beautiful gift would forever make me smile.

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