Monday, February 28, 2011

Design a Day - Day 12 (Earthy Grey)


Break, break, break,
On thy gray stones, O sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't reinvent the wheel for the Design a Day today. Today's boots are a grey version of our Callista boots. I can't wait for you to see these in manufactured form! Anyway, the boots have a mix of fun grey print with mod, dandelion graphic detail. The base of the boot is a faux grey suede. Both fabrics have a slight olive hue to the grey, which is why the boots look complete when paired with the little brown wood buttons and textured brown velvet detailing inside. I have one pair, available here.

In addition, I have two fun and super, super easy grey-themed DIY projects. First, I love this adorable wrap sweater and detail around the neck--so fun and modern. Also, check out these chalkboard win bottles. I have used chalk board spray paint a number of times--so easy! These little bottles would be great table centers to write special message or the menu du jour... you know, if I actually cooked any more!

Here is another photo of the Callista boots paired with some pine cones...

Finally, check out this lovely DIY little wreath! What a brilliant idea! It's simply torn linen or cotton, threaded through a bent coat hanger. Fantastic!

Happy Monday!
Sorry this post is so late, Mia and I are both under the weather today!
Sunday, February 27, 2011

Design a Day - Day 11 (Juliana)

photo credits: Decor8 and Brown and Button

Confession: I have mixed feelings about pink. On the one hand, it is the quintessential and consequently trite color for little girls. I think life is more fun when it's lived thinking beyond convention. I am not saying to forgo convention just for the sake of it--but rather that we shouldn't let it limit what we consider to be possibilities. So, in a way, I don't like pink because there is so much out there for little girls. Then again, my little girl loves pink. And it's such a soft, gentle, feminine color, that I love her in it.

So, I was making these boots with fabric strewn about, and Mia was really adamant to incorporate pink. So, there you have it! Little leather boots with a touch of girlie pink.

These little boots are called Juliana. I have one pair, available here. They are made of tan suede, top lined with taupe damask fabric. They have the typical Joyfolie spat, and a trio of little flowers. These same boots would be great with yellow flowers or red... or a mix of colors, even.

Here are a few more pink photos. Pink Paris by Francoise Rachez.

Ruffles and lace photo from Polyvore, pink bedding and mobile from Pottery Barn kids,
ruffled laundry bag from Urban Outfitters.

Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose
From out night's gray and cloudy sheath;
Softly and still it grows and grows,
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.

Susan Coolidge

Design a Day - Day 10 (Hazel)


I hope you are having a lovely weekend! I am catching up on my Design a Days. First, we have a new bootie. They are made from reclaimed warm grey suede. The suede has very subtle silver flecks, and they feature a little shell button. They would be perfect with the adorable little top below. And I also love this brilliant little book mobile made from a vintage French history book.

The booties are called Hazel. Only one pair, available here.
Friday, February 25, 2011

Falling Garden and My Girl

Bed Head. I love her.

But she has been clinging to me all day. It's been one of those days where more than 5 feet betwixt us has been unacceptable by her standards. At the moment she is hugging my left arm and kissing it up and down as I finger peck with my right hand. Sweet, yes, but long day indeed. Running a business and simultaneously caring for my children is both blissful and maniacal. Always both.

I will leave you this fantastical image, called the Falling Garden. This is a church in Venice where visitors can lay on their backs, stare at the garden and pray, while the garden "does their thinking for them." Yes, I think I need one of those.

Needless to say, Design a Day will be a two-fer tomorrow. Have a lovely weekend.
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Design a Day - Day 9 (Amelia)


"The only people for me are the mad ones,
the ones who are mad to live,
mad to talk, mad to be saved,
desirous of everything at the same time,
the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing,
but burn, burn,burn,
like fabulous
yellow roman candles exploding across the sky..."
-Jack Kerouac

Perhaps you may not know that the name Joyfolie was born out of the French word, "folie" for madness/frenzy. I didn't realize how apropos this name would be! Children {especially toddlers!} are a joyful madness in their own right. But even the creative passion that fuels Joyfolie is the same... a crazy type of joy. The problem with passion is that it is, by definition, excessive--and excess can be hard to live with. It all needs to be tempered by faith and family, but that isn't always easy. Creativity and beauty... can be like a drug. This morning I woke up with images of boots and patterned fabric flashing across my mind like images on a projector screen. And I felt a little crazy and frustrated... because I don't have a means to produce my own fabric. And I don't like having good ideas that I can't create... at least, not in the immediate.

On to today's design, it is inspired by the hope of spring, just like these flowers...

Similarly, today's shoes have a cluster of vibrant colors on a backdrop of textured canary yellow.

They are called Amelia. I had an Amelia shoe before that was very similar, but I brought it back with a cuffed peep toe bootie, like the Sabre. This style of shoe looks so cute on! They are perfect paired with leggings and short dresses. I was going to take a photo of them on Mia, but grey clouds rolled in.

These shoes were also inspired by the lovely yellow light in the photo on the left {how I wear my hair most days!} and these happy little tags.

Here is one more photo of the Amelia. I'm so sorry, but I am not selling these today. I accidentally damaged one of them, and I didn't have time to remake them before an afternoon appointment. However, keep in mind that the very best designs will be manufactured. For more about the Design a Day concept and when we will have launch or shoe inventory, click here.

One last thought, check out this adorable DIY button project! How perfect for personalizing your child's room, or for a lovely and affordable handmade shower gift!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Design a Day - Day 8 (Reese)

I wanted to title this "For the Modern Folks" but that would been too long. Regardless, these shoes have those people in mind. Not too girlie, no flower! But I love them, all the same. I have to say, they are much cuter in person, so you can get the full effect of the pattern. They are the perfect shade of coral, that looks red in some lights and orange in others. It has a dusty under tone and great texture to the fabric.

What does your little gal wear with this? Well, anything but coral. Put her in cropped little jeans, white ruffled shirt and a soft and light little blue scarf {like those ones with the pom poms.} Or pair these with grey or yellow!

In keeping with the coral theme... I love this adorable little print on Etsy.

And for those of you up North, where February drags on as though the promise of spring would never come, I have this sunshine-y orange photo as a reminder. It won't be long, and baby can wear her coral little peep toes and mom can coordinate with... well, something like this!
Happy Wednesday!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Design a Day - Day 7 (Gaia)

artichoke photo from Flickr

There is something striking about the color combination of lime and fuschia. Drawn for the photo above, today's shoes have a similar color pairing....

They are made from bright pistachio colored satin with a lace dot overlay. The insole is hand-dyed organic canvas.

The lace lends the shoes delightful texture, almost like a swiss dot. The rumpled bow is asymmetrical.

These shoes would be perfect with textured tights, like below. But green is such a neutral color, these shoes could be paired with just about anything! They are called Gaia, available here.

Who knows what tomorrow may bring! For more about Design a Day and ordering our shoes, click here.
Monday, February 21, 2011

Design a Day - Day 6 (Mya)

This is probably the plainest shoe you will ever see from me... that's always been my mantra, make something that people will notice, which usually mean a lot of pattern and color. So, sometimes I stay away from something too neutral... a little brown shoe gets lost in the sea of little brown shoes, simply because they are so very wearable. So, I hope that while these are practical, they are still a little different from the boring old brown shoe. They have little ties that can be worn laced high or low.

The little cream blooms have lovely texture and hand singed little green leaves. And the neutral pallet means they will go with anything, either dressed up or down. They are called Mya, and you can find them here. I have made this style of shoe before, but in a peep toe. You can see this type of shoe worn in this listing.

I imagine these shoes are being perfect for a garden party {like the one from House Beautiful below}... or even in the winter with textured pointelle tights.
Sunday, February 20, 2011


"Do the thing you fear the most
and the death of fear is certain."
~Mark Twain

The weather has been beautiful here. There was perfect, golden light this afternoon. I was feeling inspired and wanted to take pictures of my children. Neither of them were compliant--at all! Every time I wrapped the scarf around Mia, she threw it on the floor. Stinker! So, I turned the camera on myself. In the past three years, I probably have 2 photos of myself. I always admire photographers who have enough courage to do self-portraiture, but have been chicken about it myself. One of my friends, Wendee, is a writer and blogger for animal planet. I was surprised when she confessed she used to have a fear of flying. {I mean, this gal has gone everywhere for her work, from Australia to Africa to a month long boat trip on the Bering Sea.} Anyway, she shared this quote by Mark Twain, and I was inspired to give self-portraiture a go. I love photography, and I hope it's something I can pursue more in the future. {Maybe I can find a skilled photographer willing to trade shoes for free attendance to a photography workshop!} Anyway, here are my photos....

Green scarf is Anthropologie circa summer 2010, the shirt is thrifted. This photo was taken by Aidan {6 yrs old}, who insisted he take a picture. I was telling him where to find the button, when he snapped this {he, he}. The images are processed with the lovely miss Shana's Florabella actions.

What about you, do you fear anything big or small, that you can step out and conquer?

What is "Design a Day"?


I decided it would be helpful to do a post on the "Design a Day" concept, since I get daily questions. This will be an easy way to answer them at once. The idea behind a Design is Day is that I will design a new pair of shoes every day for 30 days. There are several reasons that I decided to do this. You know the adage, "practice makes perfect." Well, as Joyfolie is ready to round a corner out of handmade and into firm-soled manufactured shoes {up to toddler size 13} I thought it was an appropriate time to exercise/hone my designs. Additionally, Joyfolie was keeping a relatively low profile up until a few weeks ago. Practically overnight, we went from a few hundred people to ten thousand people exposed to our brand. Our previous routine of offering a dozen pairs of handmade shoes weekly was breaking down, when I had over a thousand people logging onto our site to purchase only a handful of shoes. I was concerned that people would get frustrated, and I am well aware that quite a few people already are.

Design a day is my attempt to also keep people's interest, as we are so near to selling thousands of firm-soled shoes. Each pair of shoes for Design a Day is one-of-a-kind, and I do sell that one pair. Each is unique and handmade personally by me. At the end of the 30 days of designs, I will have the best designs sent off to be mass produced. It is also the plan that at the end of the 30 days, we will be ready for customers to pre-order our shoes. Here are a few more Q&A's in bullet form, for those who want to get an answer at a cursory glance:

Do you sell Design a Day shoes?
Yes, but it is only one pair. The best designs will be sent off to be manufactured at the end of 30 days.

So, are all your shoes sold out?
I'm sorry, but the answer is yes. Please understand, when I started promoting, I had no idea we would grow so quickly. I thought it would take a few months for us to grow our exposure. Had I know it would have gone quite so fast, I might have waited.

When will manufactured shoes be available?
I will offer them for purchase/pre-order at the end of the 30 days. Will it be exactly the day when Design a Day hits day 30--I can't say for certain. I promise you it will be close; within roughly a week or so.

What designs will be available for pre-order? Will they be Design a Day shoes?
No, they will not be Design a Day shoes. I already have 6 designs {most of which are posted at} and I will pick from a few of those for the pre-orders. My daughter has been wearing samples of these shoes for a few weeks now. I will announce those styles soon.

Will you make larger sizes?
Yes, our manufactured shoes will be available up to at least toddler size 13. Sorry, no boys shoes just yet.


I hope this answers some of your questions. Please keep in mind that I am not a business major, and I'm not a millionaire! This company manifested out of a hobby. Running Joyfolie is both exciting and sometimes even scary. I will be growing our inventory as quickly as I feel comfortable... starting with a few designs to start and adding more from there. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comments! Thank you! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Design a Day - Day 5 (Silver Moire)

The weather in Houston was perfect today at a comfortable 75 degrees and sunny. Robert and I took the kids into the city and had lunch al fresco at a little cafe. Afterward, Robert was patient enough to let me swing by a fabric store before we left for home. I had about five minutes to take a photo before the sun set. It's a general rule that you need good light for good photos, so I am sorry I didn't get more/better photos of today's shoes. They are very similar to the Piper shoes, but in a beautiful moiré silver with little fleur de lis. They have soft and sheer slate-colored torn satin bows and a cluster of sequins at the center. They are called Levia; I have one pair, available here. I love the idea of these little flats with distressed skinny jeans {oh, yes, they make them for toddlers--Mia has a pair} and a sweet little ruffled grey top. That's probably my favorite combination, something dressy paired with something casual... like a beautiful sparkly chandelier over a beat up, rustic farm house table. Love that.

Anyway, if mom wants to coordinate, she could pick up this adorable little ensemble by Nicole Miller.
Just a reminder that all Design-a-Day shoes are one of a kind, but I will have the best designs manufactured. Also, at the end of the 30 days, we will be ready for pre-orders for our manufactured shoes! Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Design a Day - Day 4 (Ida)

I feel a little like a cheater today. These are a new style of shoe, but really the same design as these just in a different colorway. I hope you don't mind the colloquialism, but the Design a Day idea is kicking my butt! I over-think it every time.

But, I do enjoy these shoes. There is something 1950's vintage about this print, especially when paired with red. It makes me think of big poofy skirts and bright red lips. I find the little t-straps fun and girlie. They are called Ida. There is one pair available here. Just a reminder, that the best designs at the end of 30 days I will send off to have manufactured in firm-soled shoes up to toddler size 13. I will also find a way that people can leave feedback and help me make my final selection.

Nicole took Mia to Target to pick up some business supplies and give me an hour to work without interruption. Mia insisted she buy these vases, for the red flowers she picked that are blooming in our backyard. I love her. She has such a sweet disposition.

Here are Mia's new vases, although this one, she said, was for me.

And along the lines of vintage red, I adore this little shrug and the dress it's worn with.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Design a Day - Day 3 (Saidi)

As mentioned, I am designing a new pair of shoes a day for 30 days. Today's shoes are off the beaten path of typical Joyfolie fair... I had a really tough time focusing this afternoon. I usually think of designs in a smattering of a dozen and landing on one was frustrating today. {Anyone know this feeling?} Anyway, the shoes have reclaimed faux tan suede and leather striping detail. They have a mix of color and pattern.... something about them seems equestrian to me, though I have no idea why.

I have one pair, in size 6, available here. If you like a mixture of color and pattern, you should visit Lovely Clusters for vintage and handmade selections grouped by color, like the one below.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Design a Day - Day 2 (Pink PomPoms)


In case you are just joining the Joyfolie blog, I am designing one pair of shoes a day for 30 days. The very best I will send off to my manufacturer. Lots of creative fun! So, on to today's shoes....

Dusty rose, sparkly pom poms--whimsy and sweetness all in one! I love the shade of pink for these shoes which have a slight coral hue. They are one-of-a-kind, available here. I have one more idea for a pair of pom pom shoes, so I will revisit this idea toward the end of the 30 days.

Along the lines of softness and whimsy, I love these little bird calendars by JooJoo.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Design a Day - Day 1 (Confetti)


Today marks Day 1 of a Design a Day. I said I would design one new pair of shoes a day for a month. This is a pretty big time commitment, but lots of fun! Speaking of fun, these little ruffled t-straps have lots of it! They feature a soft little bow in the perfect shade of peridot, but the print has all kinds of colors, lilac to grey to dusty teal. Only one pair in size 6. Available here. What do you wear it with... stop by JCrew for the suggestion below. I picked up lots of great fabric and other goodies. Can't wait for tomorrow! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Photo Folie - Blue Valentine

Love is All There Is by A Life Through The Lens, String of Heart by Awakes,
Love Doily by Awakes, On the Wings of Love by Alice W

Happy Valentine's Day! Why not ring it in with a Photo Folie? Rather than only one photo, today's Photo Folie uses a combination of four images to create today's shoes. I also like that they take a slightly different Valentine's hue than expected. I enjoy both: the timeliness of convention, and the breaking of tradition. Even better when mixed together!

So, today's little shoes are made from dusty blue fabric with touches of pink, cream, and rust. Vibrant blush flower is made from snips of ruffled satin and bits of green felt for leaves. Such a happy little pair of shoes! They would be even better with tiny textured knee socks!

Also, I am afraid that some of you might be getting frustrated trying to snatch a pair of handmade shoes, when our exposure grew so quickly these past few weeks. So, I plan on no longer offering handmade, but taking the entire month to design: a new pair of shoes a day! I will sell the single pairs, but the ones that are the best, I will replicate and send off to be manufactured. So, that is the plan, barring any unforeseen business changes! Keep in mind, I am a creative soul with two kiddos, so it won't surprise me if I miss one here or there, and end up doing two pairs in one day. Anyway, it should be fun!

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.



Happy Valentine's Day!


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