Some blogs don't need words, they just need a good video to tell a story. Here is the world premier release of my movie trailer, "Gina Mama's Big Buckle Gators". Press play and be sure you have your volume on for the full effect. Thank you to Birkenstock Attitudes for help with "costume design". I just love these Arizonas that I purchased from your store.
If this video made you giggle, then I did my job.
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Angelus Direct Glitterlites are Gina Mama’s “sole” mates!! Giltterlites can make your Birkenstocks gorgeous and glamorous. For a little less than $5.00, glitterlites can completely transform any of your Birkenstocks, even that old worn out pair in the back of your closet. All you need is a little creativity and imagination. What are Glitterlites? Well....you are just going to have to keep on reading to find out.
In a previous blog, Birkenstock Diva, I showed you how I completely transformed a pair of pink rivet Birkenstocks.
They turned into this:
Well, guess what? I had another pair of pink Gizehs, just like the ones above. Since I like all of my Birkenstocks to be unique, it took me few months to decide how I wanted to customize them.
Call me crazy, but this time, I took on the task of making ALL of the changes myself. I removed the soles and resoled them myself — at home! I applied the same steps, as I outlined in the Birkenstock Diva blog, to remove the soles. However, this time, I took extra precaution to prevent the toe post from melting. If the toe post melted, my back up plan was to send them to Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks for a total recraft. With a lot patience and a bit of luck, the toe posts did not melt!
After the soles were removed, I used Tarrago color cream to stain the uppers. By staining the leather prior to adhering on new soles, I was able to apply the color uniformly. This meant no gaps of pink peeking through where the footbed and sole connect.
Once the stain was dry, I carefully colored the white toe post black. I tried paint, but the paint chipped off. I tossed the paint aside and pulled out my secret weapon, a Mr. Sharpie. Mr. Sharpie worked like a champ and easily colored the white toe post black, to match the new black soles.
The final step was to glue on the black soles to the footbed. I used Barge All Purpose Cement Glue to adhere the soles to the footbed.
Clamps and rubber bands were used to apply pressure and help with adhesion. I let the glue dry for 24 hours and then I removed all the apparatuses.
The Gizehs looked so beautiful in red. The red made the rivets “pop”. Now, you would think that I would be satisfied just with this gorgeous red. But, I was not!! Something was missing.
The red was too dull and too matte for my liking. I needed some pizazz. But, what was missing?! Sparkle, shine, and shimmer…THAT was what these babies needed.
Where would I find a bottle of pizazz that included sparkle, shine, and shimmer? Allow me to introduce you to Giltterlites in Ruby Red.
This bottle contains one fluid ounce of pure magic. A bottle of Ruby Red Angelus Direct Glitterlites can turn any boring, dull pair of shoes into something charismatic. When I say Ruby Red, imagine Dorothy’s shoes from the Wizard of OZ.
We are not in Kansas anymore after applying Ruby Red Glitterlites to Birkenstocks. The red glitterlites transform any Birkenstock into something elegant and artistic. Think the Land of Oz magical. Ruby Red Glitterlites encompass all that greatness and uniqueness, into a little, one ounce bottle of leather paint.
My Birkenstocks went from this:
I love the Ruby Red Glitterlites so much that I used the same bottle of paint, to transform two other pairs of Birkenstocks!
The pair of Arizonas below was recrafted by Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks. I had purchased them on Poshmark for $20. I initially thought that I wanted the Arizonas to be black with black glitterlites. But, that was not satisfying enough for me. I decided to aim for that Stardust look that Birkenstock created a few years back. Only I wanted red “stardust” on black, something that Birkenstock has yet to produce (hint, hint).
This is what I created:
I love these and get numerous compliments every time that I wear them!! Interestingly, the final product turned out to be a mix between the Stardust effect and the new Iride Red that Birkenstock has released for Fall/Winter 2018.
Finally....my “Piece de Resistance”...are my brown Temaras. I bought the Temaras in black and really loved the look and the feel of the crisscross straps. I loved them so much, that I could not live without the brown ones too…..but, I never wore the brown. They were a little too dull for Gina Mama.
So, what’s a Birkenstock Diva to do?! Pull out some red leather paint and the bottle red glitterlites — that’s what!
For this customization, I followed the steps that I outlined in my blog, Bespoke Birkenstock. I primed the Temaras with one layer of white paint. Then I added two coats of chili pepper red paint from Angelus Direct. Finally, I applied three coats of Ruby Red glitterlites. And the final result were these spectacular Ruby Red Sparkly Temaras!!!
When I wear these Temaras, or any of my other customized Birkenstocks with red glitterlites, I feel like I am walking in a magical land. Like Dorothy, walking in the Land of Oz, in her Ruby Red slippers.
There is something to be said about having a unique pair Birkenstocks. Birkenstocks that no one else has and that no one else can get. It kind of makes me feel like a Diva.
But, I am no Diva at all. I am just a hard working woman/mom/wife with a creative edge. If my head gets too far up in the clouds with my artistic side, all I have to do is click my heels together three times and say, “there is no place like home”. This will transport me right back to reality. Right back home.
There is no place like home. And there is nothing like wearing a pair of customized Birkenstocks.
NOTE: For more suggestions on how to customize or paint Birkenstocks, click here.
Years ago, while I was exploring the myriad of narrow streets in Venice, I stumbled upon a window display of the most beautiful shoes that I have ever seen. It was the shop window of a Venetian shoemaker. The shop was located somewhere between the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. I could not tell you exactly where the store was, but I can recall, in great detail, each pair of shoes that I laid eyes on that day.
This particular cobbler designed handmade shoes. My husband encouraged me to consider meeting with the cobbler to have a pair custom made. After all, what better souvenir to bring home from Italy than a handmade pair of Italian leather shoes? The thought was enticing. Unfortunately, at the time, it was not in the budget.
Even though it has been years since I came across that shop in Venice, I have never forgotten it. Nor have I ever been able to shake the thought of owning a pair of custom made shoes out of my head. I have always thought that the next time I find myself in Venice, that I would seek out that cobbler and have a pair designed to meet my needs.
The good news is that I no longer have to travel to Venice to have a pair of shoes custom made.
I am thrilled with the pair of Birkenstocks Gizehs that you (Custom Made Birkenstocks) customized for me.
The gold crocodile print is stunningly unique. The Gizhes can easily be dressed up or dressed down. The gold and the pearl will go with everything. The best part is, after a few days, the Birkenstock footbed will form to my foot, just like a pair of handmade Italian shoes. Maybe even better because, after all, the footbeds are Birkenstock! Nothing beats a Birkenstock, in my humble opinion.
Thank you for my one of a kind Gold Crocodile Gizehs. Your craftsmanship, as always, is simply the finest. You have opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that I have when it comes to creating other custom Birkenstocks. I am not sure exactly what is next on my request list. But, once I narrow down the style, color, and pattern of what I want, I will be sure to give you a call!
NOTE: If you would like to contact Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks to discuss having him customize a pair of Birkenstocks for you, give him a call at 1-708-453-4900.
To see more of Michelangelo's craftsmanship, please read these blogs:
- Birkenstock Recrafts by Michelangelo
- Birkenstock Diva
- White Sole Birkenstocks
Once again, I opted to incorporate Birkenstocks as part of my Halloween Costume. Wearing comfortable Birkenstocks makes Trick-Or-Treating so much more fun.
This year, I busted out my high school cheerleading uniform to wear as a costume. After all, what better way to embarrass your kids at their school's parade, then to wear a "vintage" cheerleading outfit?
To complete the outfit, I added my kid's soccer socks. I feel like the red and white striped soccer socks helped modernize a 25+ year old uniform.
Who ever said that Gina Mama does not wear Socks with her 'Stocks? These photos are proof that I wear socks with Birkenstocks. Nothing wrong with wearing socks with Birkenstock high tops!!
NOTE: To read my blog on what I think about wearing socks with Birkenstocks, click here.
In the fashion of David Letterman’s famous 10 Top Lists, I bring to you Gina Mama’s “Top 10 Ways To You Know That You Are a Birkenstock Addict”. This list was created with the help of other Birkenstock fanatics that follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you to everyone who answered.
Without further ado……
Top 10 Ways To You Know That You Are a Birkenstock Addict
10. It is the only brand you wear, all year round, even during periods of inclement weather. Rain, sleet, or snow….you are sporting your Birks like a champ.
9. You spend more time figuring out which Birkenstocks you will wear each day and less time on your outfit. You might have so many pairs that selecting just one causes a bit of anxiety. In which case, you have to rotate your Birkenstocks during the day based on the activity.
8. You have a pair of “dress Birks” that you save for those special “formal” occasions.
My dress Birkenstocks
7. You preach the Gospel of "The Birkenstock Way" to every soul that crosses your path and try to convert them.
6. You customize your Birkenstocks to make them even better. For example, you turn boring brown Temaras into a pair of sparkly ruby red goodness. And you cannot comprehend the reason that Birkenstock never made this colorway in the first place!!!
5. You secretly convince yourself that wearing socks with Birkenstocks is fashionable, so that you can get away with wearing them when the temperature drops.
4. You have memorized your favorite cobbler’s phone number…in case of any and all Birkenstock emergencies.
3. Wearing non Birkenstock shoes hurt your feet.
2. In an effort to destash and make room for the new seasonal Birkenstocks, you list your rarely worn Birkenstocks on eBay, and break into a cold sweat and start to feel panicky that they might actually sell.
1. When you start your own webpage dedicated to all the reasons that you love Birkenstocks because your family has told you to stop talking about your Birks.
Are you a Birkenstock Addict? Shoot me a message. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one.