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TWE FUN STUFF: Festive Footwear for 2015

Festive Footwwear 2015/UGG

By Pamela Burke/December 30, 2014

We couldn’t resist our annual visit to a fashion square again just before the New Year Rings Out the Old Shoes and Rings in the New. Were there new shapes and colors to be had? And, are the towering stilettos still holding their own? A trip to Nordstrom gave us some clues.

We soon would find out that anything goes now, particularly if it’s in silver or has a cozy lining.

And, it’s an added plus if it has a touch of sparkly like this UGG Australia “Azalea Charm” boot above. In this year’s edition, we’re seeing bits of flashy glimmer on the side initials. And, don’t they look warm and inviting!

Michael Kors jewelled shoes at Nordstrom

But if it’s glimmer and fancy you are after, feast your eyes on these Michael Kors “Jayden Espadrille Wedgies” with crystal  embellishments. They come in silver and gold as you can see.

The bejewelled look gives them an air of elegance that could make any outfit shine.

If you are intending to spend a night on the town, these below might do. This Sam Edelman”Hampton” sandal has that same silvery look but in a snakeskin print with emerald-cut crystals AND a back zip.  If you are up for a 4 1/2 inch stiletto, these could fit the bill.

Sam Edelman "Hampton" Snakesskin Print Caged Sandal/Nordstrom

If this silver-grey stylish look is not for you, and you’d like something that would pop and be a reminder that spring is coming, feast your eye on these laced-up, open-toe Daylitte pumps by Steve Madden.  They kept motioning us back to take another glance. With their bright palette of pinks and blues AND the zip entry in the back, they had no equal.

Daylitte zipper lace up pink fabric shoe in Nordstrom

If you’re not looking for a fancy night out but just something comfy but with a little pizazz, view these Steve Madden “Resolvve Sneaker Boots” that cost under $100.  They’re jazzy and look as if they could be worn to a ballgame, for a long walk, or give a frock a splash of fancy.

Steve Madden resolvve silver boot with zipper

We leave you with this “Classic Short Sparkles” UGG that always catches our eye. In fact, we featured it in last year’s survey.  We just spied it again, and the good news is that it’s now on sale.

Red Glittery UGG at Nordstrom

The color is still sensational and the price recommends it. It’s down from $189 to $127. Now that’s the way to start the New Year! Everything old can truly be new again.

Happy 2015! Find a favorite pair of shoes, fancy or comfy, and celebrate!


Happy Holidays from The Women’s Eye!

Happy Holidays from The Women’s Eye! 

Thank you for your support this year, for your great ideas,
and for your efforts to make this world a better place.

Happy Holidays from The Women's Eye: Pamela Burke with her dog, Toni, and Stacey Gualandi with her dogs, Wally and Bobo

We wish you the very best, and a happy and healthy holiday season.

Pamela, Stacey, Cheryl and The Women’s Eye Team 

TWE FUN STUFF: Artist Kathy Ross Mixes Media With Wonder And Whimsy

Artist Kathy Ross Mixed Media Artist/Photo from Kathy to TWE

Artist Kathy Ross with “Tin Head” sculpture/Photo: Marvin Carlson

By Pamela Burke/October 15, 2014

Every once in a while a piece of art like the one above will stop me in my tracks.  We at TWE are art lovers, and, as you might have guessed, are particularly fond of whimsical pieces that make you chuckle and wonder. One such artist caught our eye at the Sausalito Art Festival this year.

“Ideas come from the river. Ideas come from other ideas. Here’s how it works: a) Get an idea. b) Water it.”  Kathy Ross

Kathy Ross calls herself a mixed media sculptor. To get an idea of just how mixed her media is, think cereal boxes, wooden coasters, tons of maps, cookie tins, broken jewelry, zippers, noodles from the swimming pool and mountains of found objects.

We just had to find out how Kathy comes up with these indescribably delightful pieces…  [Read more…]

TWE FUN STUFF: Spring Style with Orange Polka Dots and Zebras

Peach top with polka dots and zebra/Anthropologie 3/14

By Pamela Burke/March 26, 2014

“The color orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.”

We call it a shopping blitz. All of a sudden we want a fix of fashion and to find out if there are new creations that will wow us; what colors are the newest rage; and whether there is a unique piece of clothing that will cause the wallet to open.

Peach Top/AnthropologieToday’s blitz was at one of our favorite stores, Anthropologie, where we know we will usually find something that speaks to us.

Screaming from a distance was the sweet white shirt with orange polka dots and zebra that you see above.

There was just something about the design and the way the zebra appeared nonchalantly among the dots. We knew we had to have it.

As we looked around the store, we noticed the shades of peach and orange popping out everywhere. Are these the new colors of spring?  From jackets to shorts to books to pottery, you couldn’t miss the bright citrus colors.

Take a look at the nifty orange jacket with front zip pockets above. There was something cozy, soft and casual about it that was very alluring.

Could it be worn over that zebra with dots top?  Hmmm. 

Orange Dress/Anthropologie

Not that far away lurked a silky orange shift, again soft and flowing.

The wonder of Anthropologie is that in addition to its nifty clothes, it has an eclectic collection of eye-catching items from all over the world.

A jeweled clutch in peach was particularly stylish, which was right next to a book that fit in to the decor perfectly.
Grace Coddington Book--Anthropologie



I’d been meaning to get Grace Coddington’s Grace, A Memoir for months now (orange cover).

It’s the story of the model-turned-editor of Vogue who became an international icon.

She would be a fascinating interview for TWE and would certainly understand the wonder of color.

 We can’t close our quick survey without mentioning the faux hot air balloons in the window, fitting in perfectly with the spring atmosphere inside. From top to bottom, this store has an aura of creativity that we just love. And, of course, now we can’t live without the new palette we’ve been introduced to. Vive l’orange!

Anthropologie's balloonsHot air balloon display by Shane Majors, Display Coordinator, Anthropologie-Scottsdale

Oh, and that peachy purse

Peach Purse/Anthropologie


FUN STUFF: Eye-Popping Footwear for the Holidays

Pink Sequin Australian UGGS

UGG Australia ‘Classic Short Sparkle’ Boot

Story and Photos By Pamela Burke/December 20, 2013

It’s been too long since our last holiday shoe survey so we needed to crawl the mall in search of this season’s trends in fancy footwear. Would it be shoes with sparkles? Towering heels? No heels? What about flats? After a few hours perusing the stores, we can confidently say all of the above.

One style did seem to dominate. There were UGGs galore. Just look at this array at Dillards!

Plain, fancy, suede, gold, silver, with and without shimmering sequins…every possible style was on display.


The UGGs above just holler “try me on.” They all looked soooo cozy and warm for those snowy days. We salivated most for the “Bailey Bow” boots in purple reign as its called, shown below at Nordstrom with matching ribbons in the back. Now that’s stylin’!

Christmas Shoe in Nordstrom 2013

UGG Australia ‘Bailey Bow’ Boot

As we wandered, we were hoping we could find something less boot-like and more partyish. Then we digressed and spied some fancy slippers that looked all soft and snugly.  Seems like you don’t have to go to a party to feel like the bell of the ball. Take a look at these “Quinn” Ballet Slippers from Michael Kors.

Ballet Slipper Michael Kors Nordstrom 2013

Michael Kors ‘Quinn’ Ballet Slippers

For those of you in warmer climates who are looking for a little bling in a flip-flop and for possible party wear, we ogled these “Cha Cha” FitFlop low wedge knockouts in passion fruit, bronze and black.

It’s your standard casual flipflop but all gussied up. 

If you really want to be comfortable and aren’t looking for the towering heel, these might just fit the bill for dressy occasions and not.

FitFlop Cha Cha Sandal Nordstrom 2013 Holiday

Pink FitFLop Cha Cha Sandal 2013

Now if you’re wanting something a bit higher, really higher—a fancy shoe on six-inch stilts—we found one that might delight. For sheer glamour and simple elegance, it’s Shiekh’s rhinestone-encrusted tower with gold-tone sole and wrapped heel.

Shiekh 6 inch holiday heel 2013

Shiekh Six-Inch Stepping Out Shoe

And last but not least we did spot one rather sporty shoe that stood out in the crowd. You might not wear a pair to a fancy soiree (or maybe you would) but they also could be just the ticket for a shopping tour or athletic outing.

Behold this sassy sneaker below by Michael Kors!

It’s a pretty fancy “urban” high-top with side zipper and chain-link laces and definitely eye-popping in the fire engine red.

Michael Kors sneaker at Dillards, 2013 Holiday

Michael Kors Urban High Top

We began our survey with a bold boot and end now with a shiny sneaker…these two took the prize for pizazz and just pure fun! Have you seen any shoes that made you smile, salivate or just plain stare? If so, send us a photo at thewomenseye (at) gmail (dot) com. We’re always looking for showstopping design!


TWE FUN STUFF: The Wacky Basketry of Fiber Artist Emily Dvorin

Emily Dvorin, sculptural fiber artist

UPDATE 9/18/16: We ran into Emily at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival with loads of new baskets. Look at the one she was working on made out of coffee pods! This woman is soooo creative!

Emily Dvorin, basket weaver/Photo: P. Burke

By Pamela Burke/October 2, 2013

When I think of baskets—and I’ve always loved them—I think of the wonderfully woven, deep containers that you can put anywhere and stuff anything into.  Recently TWE ran into objects that were called baskets but that added a new perspective to the definition.


“Big Fat Hairy Deal”

We found these non-traditional containers at the Mill Valley Art Festival in northern California. Using materials from the hardware store, cable ties and other found objects, scuptural fiber artist Emily Dvorin has fashioned the most whimsical and imaginative art pieces.  She claims almost anything can be used to make them.  Think curlers, paintbrushes, wooden spools, plastic forks, tees, and whatever else is in the kitchen sink.

Emily says she’s trying to change the definition of the word basket.  They are “transordinary” vessels she engineers with color and texture.  She also loves the unexpected ingredients she finds to make them.  Take a look below at what she fashioned with brightly colored pencils, adding a few neon cable ties for support, a little bit of sass and voilá!


“Caught Doing Good”

And what about those toy parts lying around the house accomplishing nothing? These can be priceless materials for a new arrangement. Below she’s taken plastic leftovers and structured yet another colorful piece of quirky art.  Recognize any of these items?


“Well Loved”

People don’t seem to know what to make out of her objet as they are so far beyond the concept of what we know as baskets. Some may call this a craft rather than art.  Emily’s response: “I dance on the cusp of fine art and fine craft.”

Emily obviously loves junk and thinks we take for granted what we throw away. Shaping these odds and ends into something new and fabulous is her challenge.  In case you think some of these designs are wacky, she does teach a course called “Wacky Basketry.”


“Frizzle Frazzle”

Whatever genre these creations are, we love their artistry and spunk. So as you peer at your surroundings, take a longer look and see what might work as a reassembled object. Emily makes good use of vegetable bags and toothbrushes—simple items whose life can be short. And don’t forget to eyeball musical instruments.  She once created a basket using felt hammers from a piano.

Feast your eyes on “Spun,” one of Emily’s favorite pieces, made with slinkies and cable ties. If you look closely you’ll see the precompressed springs that formally brought great joy as they maneuvered  down steps.  Bravo to Emily for coming up with such an imaginative use of a classic child’s toy! Take a look at more of her fun creations here.

Emily Dvorin's sculptural basketry, SPUN


Basket photos by Pamela Burke; remaining photos from Emily Dvorin



Fascinators and Dress Paintings at the Sausalito Art Festival


Fancy Fascinator by Jax Hatz

By Pamela Burke/September 1, 2013

TWITTER: @SausartFestival

It was a beautiful day for an art fair, clear blue skies with white puffy clouds over the San Francisco Bay. TWE makes it a point to stop by Sausalito this time of year to see what their annual art festival has in store.

An eclectic variety of everything you could call art was visible–from giant sculptures of bronze dogs and female figures to glorious splashes of color on canvas and metal in the shape of high heels. 

But what was particularly EYE-catching were the fascinating hats and “dress paintings” created from vintage clothing. And you know how TWE loves hats and unique fashion!

Jax Hatz by Jacqueline "Jax" Ryan

Jacqueline “Jax” Ryan, Milliner

Lines were gathering at the Jax Hatz booth even though you would hardly think you’d find such finery here amongst the oils and acrylics.  A multitude of stylish hats were on display and leaving with their new owners.

But the ones that stole the show were the fascinators. These “wearable art” creations with their fancy toppings were the topic of conversation.

We think of them as chapeaux for British royals but women were ready to perch them on their heads with great gusto today.

Jacqueline “Jax” Ryan is the San Francisco milliner responsible for this amazing assortment of headgear. As she said, “Hats are my passion and it’s a good thing I’m making them and not buying them.”

Jax Hatz at Sausalito Art Fair, 2013

Fascinators of all colors and styles by Jax Hatz

“Jax” is a fifth generation San Franciscan and, as a child, went on shopping trips with her grandmother to buy Easter outfits matched with, of course, the perfect bonnet.  At 12, she designed her first JAX o HATZ and she’s been hatting ever since.

She claims all of the hats she’s created would reach the entire span of the Golden Gate Bridge and that with each comes its own fascinating story. 

Two that TWE particularly admired are adorned with butterfly and apples.  We call this flair with a capital F.


You’re probably wondering how vintage clothing fits into this fine northern California event. Once again our EYE was stopped by a vision of dresses fixed onto canvasses in a most splashy way. We ran into Kathrine Allen-Coleman and was introduced to “dress painting.”

Kathrine Allen-Coleman, dress painter and mixed media artist at the Sausalito Art Fair, 2013

Kathrine Allen-Coleman, Dress Painter and Mixed Media Artist

In the 1990’s this mixed media artist wanted to know if she could attach a dress to a canvas and create a painting to which oils could be added over the textures.

This art of “dress painting” evolved. She now combines new elements such as photographs and embroidery to her creations.

The dresses we saw were displayed on canvas with the addition of linoleum block prints and acrylic paint.   Here is a selection of her special talent.


One of our favorites is this delightful new work, “Chatterbox.” Megaphones and “blah-blahs” are incorporated into the design. What an interesting use of an adorable child’s dress! As we would say, “Repurposing at it’s finest.”

Chatterbox mixed media piece by Kathrine Allen-Coleman

“Chatterbox” by Kathrine Allen Coleman

Thanks to “Jax” and Katrine for sharing their ingenious creations. It’s time to head to our closets to see what we might turn into a wonderful piece of art to wear or not to wear. That is the question!

Sausalito Art Fair/2013

View from the Art Festival to the Bay/Photo: Sausalito Art Festival

Photos: Pamela Burke



FUN STUFF: Fourth of July Pumps, Platforms and Sneakers

Fourth of July Party Pump American Flag Stiletto

Let the fireworks begin!

It’s time to celebrate the Fourth of July once again with fun and fancy patriotic-colored footwear.  This party pump above is a platform stiletto and is about as independent in style as it gets.

We’re not sure just how tall the heel is but it appears to be at least 4 inches. The price is not too high, though, if you are in the mood for a stilt-like look. We’ve seen it as low as $37.43!

Grand bold flag sneakers at modcloth

If it’s just simple tennis shoes you are searching for and want to have the holiday look, you may be interested in these Grand Bold Flag Sneakers.  Above all, they do look like they would give your feet a nice break and get you to where you are going with style and ease.

American Flag wedgie

And for your wedgie lovers, you may think you haven’t spotted just the patriotic shoe for you.


We came across this little number that we think is also bold and special.  The ahoy-platform as it’s called, climbs 2.75 inches and the wedge 6. See what you think although we read (and see) that these may not be the easiest to walk on.

If you’re looking for pure comfort, our vote would be the Uncle Sam sneakers.

Enjoy your Fourth!


By The TWE Shoe Patrol/June 30, 2013