Friday, September 26, 2014

NO MORE SORE OR SILLY FEET! How I Turned My Shoe Blues into Happy Feet

Have you ever been invited to dance but declined because you didn't have suitable shoes? Or maybe you accepted but felt awkward because your shoes fell off, hurt your feet, or just didn't look right with your outfit? I know how this feels, and I'm happy to tell you I've found a solution.

The next English Country Dance in Palmerston North (NZ) is on Saturday, 11th October, and in preparation for this, I'm offering 3 ladies the chance to make your feet happy and fabulous so you can trip the light fantastic with no regrets.

  • They're lined with leather or leatherette, meaning your feet can breathe, and they quickly mould to the shape of your foot.
  • They're soled with suede for slide without slipping.
  • They're so lightweight you'll hardly notice you're wearing them.
  • The narrow ankle strap provides elegant instep support.
  • The magic buckle allows speedy fastening and release of shoe straps.
  • They're remarkably cheap.

If you have size 39 feet (see shoe size chart), you have 2 styles to choose from. If you have size 38 feet, check out the snakeskin pair.  There are more photos and details below. You can order them now by emailing me and I'll mail them to you so you get a chance to wear them in before the dance. Or, if they haven't sold by Oct 11th, you can try them on before the dance and pay me for them there.


My feet are difficult to fit. They are narrow, have irregular length toes (second toe longer than big toe), and require arch support and good inner sole padding. I've tried so many types of shoes, but none have been quite right. I even researched custom-made shoes (expensive and unachievable for me).

For the last English Country Dance I was so desperate I tried tying my white leather pumps on with wide satin ribbon, mode a la ballet shoe. (That trick may work for some, but not those shoes.)

Then a fashion tip from a friend led me to an overseas online store that was offering everything I wanted in a shoe, including custom heel height, for an incredibly affordable price. The only thing I couldn't do was try on the shoes. How would I know if they were right for my complicated feet? Simple solution: order multiple sizes and styles, and sell off what doesn't work for my feet.

I ordered six pairs. One of those fits my feet. 1:6 is a unusually low ratio for me. I hope it's easier for you to find shoes that fit!

I wore my golden slippers around the house for an hour. Result: red dents and pain where my feet bent. Oh dear. I bolstered my courage and wore them again for an hour while teaching girls to waltz. But that time, no marks, no pain!

On the night of our bridal parade fundraiser, I wore them all evening (which included a waltz) and didn't think of my feet once. Except when people from old ladies to little girls exclaimed, "I LOVE your shoes!" When I got home after the show, I realized that I still had happy feet. That is the best dress shoe experience I've ever had!!!

And that's why I'm so excited about these shoes, why I'm delighted to give you the opportunity to have happy feet yourself. There are three styles and colours to choose from. First in, first served.

If you want them, email me now [ KyriellePublishing(at) ], or message me on Facebook.

With my best wishes for your own Happy Feet story!


Size 39 (see shoe size guide below), Heel Height 3.5cm, Upper Materials: Sparkling Glitter, Lining Materials: Leatherette, Outsole Materials: Real Leather.
Price: NZ$25 + $7 shipping (NZ only)

Size 39 (see shoe size guide below), Heel Height 5cm, real leather lining and outsole
Price: NZ$49 + $7 shipping (NZ only)

Size 38 (see shoe size guide below)
The heel and heel cup feature a bold snakeskin print in dark gold and black. The three main toe straps and the ankle strap are a burnt sienna, or coppery chocolate.
Heel Height 3.3cm, Upper & Lining Materials: Leatherette, Outsole Material: Real Leather
Price: NZ$59 + $7 shipping (NZ only)

Buy now. Email Narelle at KyriellePublishing(at), or message me on Facebook.


A size 39 shoe is
UK 6
AUS 7.5
JAP 24.5
The foot length is
9.5-9.6 inches or 24.1-24.5cm
The foot girth (around the widest part of the foot between pinky toe and joint of big toe) is
8.8-8.9 inches or 22.1-22.4 cm

A size 38 shoe is
USA 7.5
UK 5.5
JAP 24
The foot length is
9.3-9.4 inches or 23.6-24 cm
The foot girth (around the widest part of the foot between pinky toe and join of big toe) is
8.6-8.7 inches or 21.7-22 cm

You will need a sheet of paper, pencil, ruler, and measuring tape.

Step 1
Put a sheet of paper on the floor and place your bare foot flat on the paper. Hold the pencil upright against your foot and trace the outline of your foot. It is more accurate to measure while wearing the socks or stockings you will wear with the new shoes.

Step 2
Draw a straight line (parallel to the foot outline) at the back of the heel and again at the longest toe, and measure the distance between the two lines with your ruler. This is the length of your foot.

Step 3
To measure the girth of your foot, run your measuring tape around the widest part of your foot between the pinky toe and the joint of the big toe. Make sure your foot is flat on the paper.

Measure both feet, and select a shoe size that fits the longer, wider foot.

tags: women's child's sparkling glitter heels leather leatherette sandals modern latin ballroom pump with ankle strap buckle dance shoes

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spring Bridal Fling and a Leather Jacket

Here in New Zealand we're enjoying a patch of bursting springtime warmth, and this morning I went on an errand to town, feeling nifty in a monochromatic outfit topped with my thrifty faux-leather jacket. I was shopping for a bridal-looking gift bag.

I didn't find quite what I was looking for, but necessity does spark inspiration, and I came home eager to dig out the ribbons, paper, and glue gun for a shot at a pretty alternative to a bridal bouquet.

Why all this bridal talk? I'm involved in the local Girls' Brigade annual fundraiser for Operation Christmas Child, and IT'S A BRIDAL PARADE! I don't know how long it is since I first heard of such events and longed to attend...and then began to dream of participating. What's happening two days from now is that dream coming true.

I've spent the past four weeks in a whirl of organizing dresses, shoes, hair styles, music, and promotions. I stopped by here to say it's happening, and I hope you'll join in the fun via the photo album I've made public here.

At the parade rehearsal I wore "Bluebelle", a self-striped polyknit made for me last month by a friend. (Yes! Drapey knits can be modest!) I will be wearing an amazing (and modest) bridal gown on the night.

I found that the faux-leather jacket switched sweetly from daywear to evening wear. I'm happy to say I even have low-cost shoes to match (thanks to a friend going shopping for her wedding and sharing with me what she found).

Its ironic that when pondering my closet recently to judge whether its contents were earning their keep, I considered giving the jacket evacuation notice because I've only been able to wear it a couple of times since I bought it four years ago.

Then this week I wore it three days in a row, and I realized that all it needed was the right climate and the right dress to wear it with. Too warm for summer, not warm enough for winter, its an overlayer just right for sunny Spring days that are kept fresh by cool winds off the snow-combed ranges.

And do I love those handy jacket pockets...especially when wearing a dress that doesn't support convenient cavities.

Bridal hairstyle?...well, I'm still fiddling with that.

If you're in the Tararua this Wednesday evening, we hope you'll join us, 6:30pm at Knox Church, Dannevirke, for "Brides Through the Ages".

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dress Express: 3 steps to getting that "new dress" feeling


How do you feel when you get a new dress? Maybe like me, a little floaty and a lot smiley punctuated by extra twirls and peeks in the mirror?

When I got home from a church meeting, before I took off my outdoor layers, put on my apron, and put my hair up for the tasks of the day, I stopped to take some photos for you.

This dress is the result of me coming to an executive decision at the end of June, when I'd been back home after the fire for a few weeks.


I came to recognize three things.

1) I did not yet have the tools, space, and strength to sew for myself.
2) I was tired of making do with what I had.
3) I live frugally so I can pay for others to do what I can't, i.e. solve my problems. Result: I set out to find a local solution.*

*You may recall that two years ago I imported my Suzannah Solution from Australia to sew as many winter garments for me as she could manage in 18 days. I was desperate, she was available, God met my need.

Providentially, here in my own town I connected with an 80-something-year-old "Dorcas" who trained in tailoring and pattern drafting 60 years ago and has been sewing for community and missions ever since. Despite having a challenging remedial wedding dress situation on the go, she was willing to help me immediately.

I sketched what I wanted and discussed with her how we could make it work, and she did nearly everything following, including contributing some lining pieces from her own fabric stash. My replacement sewing machine arrived Thursday, August 21st , and I went to collect the dress the day after that. During the next week I acquainted myself with the new machine and put the finishing touches to the dress.

Bluebelle Bliss: the joy of a modest dress

Yes, a drapey knit fabric can look modest -- if it's gathered in the right places and appropriately lined!
Narelle is wearing:
  • "Bluebelle" Dress by Carol, self-striped polyester knit, lined with cotton knit(skirt) and miscellaneous polyester pieces (bodice)
  • Cotton Drill (Denim) Jacket from Ezibuy on clearance.
  • Suede Lace-Up Shoes, lined with lambs wool, handmade by Dannevirke's Cobbler Strong in the 1990s
  • Flip-brim "Charmagne" Cap by Narelle
  • Wool-blend Gloves from Victoria Hill
  • "Ivory Tower" Reversible Shoulder Bag by Narelle

Yes, I'm thankful to be prettily and elegantly clad, but just as much am I grateful for the opportunity to be invited into the home, life, and retrospectives of someone with such skill and experience.

She allowed me to explore and ask about her dedicated sewing space, a large closet in a spare bedroom, equipped with gown-length closet hanger poles at each end, fluorescent lighting above, vintage tailoring tools I've never heard of before (brilliant and desirable), a sturdy Husqvarna machine (only the second she has owned), and the sewing table her father commissioned a local carpenter to make for her over 60 years ago.

My Dress Express experience sparkled with her kindness and generosity.

I'm passionate about encouraging older women to share their knowledge and skills with those younger than they. It's foundational to why I run this blog. One of the things that drives me is my own need to know and learn. Another is that I recognize there are women and girls like me who want to know and learn, but who struggle to connect with or ask the women who can help.

I want to encourage you: if you have knowledge or a skill, find someone to share it with. Somewhere, there's a lady or a lassie longing to experience what you have to offer.

If you long to know or learn something in particular, I pray that you'll be led to connect with someone who can give you the answers. May you have the courage and tenacity to ask the questions that'll get her started in the sharing. God help you express your need so that you soon get to that "new dress" feeling--a little floaty and a lot smiley.

Here's to you and I learning to "dress express", and may we enjoy a lifetime of "new dress" adornment of lightness and joy.

Fiat lux!
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