Some Christmas presents just take a little more work

Most likely this Christmas most guys bought their girlfriends a Christmas present, or two, or three. Going on the news that many retailers around Perth ran out of tablet devices and the more popular models of smartphones I suspect a lot of girlfriends got a new tablet or smartphone, or both, for Christmas.

r2d2heels-01I got my wife a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone so I did my bit for retail over Christmas. We haven’t managed to get it working yet. Needs a new ‘micro’ SIM. The old regular sized SIM won’t fit. My son offered to trim it down to fit the micro SIM slot using scissors, and assured me it would actually work, but I declined. So we are taking the four or five day path via Telstra to get a new micro SIM. Sigh!

But this posting is not about smartphones or SIMs. It is about my son and one of the presents he organised for his girlfriend for Xmas.

I have no idea how he found out about it but somehow he found out that there was a girl in Adelaide doing some art course at University that hand painted shoes to make a bit of extra loot. Her (very basic) business card says “custom designed, hand painted”.

Having found this out, probably via someone online from all the games he plays, he embarked on a project to get some heels painted with an R2D2 (from Star Wars) theme as a special Xmas surprise for his girlfriend.

So just to outline this project into its roll-ups (it’s okay, I am an IM Project Manager and I know what I am doing) this project outlines something like this:

  • Engage Service Provider (this is code for, tell the girl in Adelaide you really want her to do this for you before Xmas so you can give these shoes as a Xmas present).
  • Source the materials (code for, find the shoes needed and purchase them).
  • Deliver materials to Service Provider (code for, get the shoes from vendor to service provider).
  • Develop the Service Request and raise ticket to Service Provider (code for, describe what needs to be done, reach agreement on what needs to be done, and then get Service Provider to do it).
  • Have Service Provider dispatch final product.

ZU-Shoes-01The timeline from Go/NoGo (i.e., committing to execute the project) and delivery of the painted shoes in time for Xmas was three weeks. In this three weeks he had to find shoes he liked that he could be reasonably sure the girlfriend would like and that were also suitable for painting. Next to get them to the artist who then required time to paint them, give them suitable drying time, box them up, and get them to Kalamunda—in time for Xmas.

As an added handicap he had to do most of this while away working in a new job. Much of it had to be arranged via e-mail and SMS from a smartphone in a motel room.

After a couple of days of looking for the ‘right’ pair of shoes he chose ZU brand heels in the Dusk style, shown above. Plenty of space for painting.

After purchasing the shoes from ZU he got them delivered to Loren at ‘Beauty for the Geek’ so they could be painted. Now came the difficult work for Loren of fitting an R2D2 design onto the shoe. From what I gather there were a number of Photoshop examples exchanged before the final design was locked in.

All this time the Xmas day clock is ticking.

Well between them they made it. The custom one-of-a-kind hand-painted heels arrived in time for Xmas with a couple of days to spare.

Following are some pictures of the girlfriend unwrapping her surprise Xmas present.




The first ever try on . . .



Yep. The ankle straps need some more holes punched in them. I am sure my son will take care of that without any problems.

To finish off following are a couple of set-up pictures I took the next day.




‘Beauty for the Geek’ don’t have a Web site but if you want to find out more about custom hand-pained shoes you can check out their Facebook page by clicking on any of the last three pictures above.

All of the pictures above, plus some bonus extra pictures, have been posted in a larger size (mostly 1000y) and higher resolutions in the Abalook folder on my Smugmug site which can be found here. You will need a password to enter this site and the password is “brightblueheels”. Don’t forget hover over the picture and select Original  from the size options in order to see the pictures in their full size and resolution.