Cinnamon Shoes and spice, and all things nice

Cinnamon shoes and spice and all things nice, 

that's what little girls are made of. 

I might not be much of a fashionista, but do I have a love affair with shoes. 

When you're wearing the perfect pair of shoes you feel more confident, you stand taller and you walk with more purpose. It's amazing how a simple change, like wearing one nice item, can completely change your perception of yourself and your life. 

Don't you think?

I spend most of my time in my studio with only my illustrations for company.  Since I don't want to get paint on any nice clothes, I throw on an old pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie (wearing the hood over my head helps me think when I'm stuck with a particularly difficult picture). 

It's inevitable that in the afternoon I'll leave my desk and run up the street for groceries.  I might dash on a bit of mascara, but I never bother to change into something more stylish.  

All I do is slip into a gorgeous pair of ballet flats, sling my handbag over my shoulder, and I feel like my look is put together.

It's the shoes, of course; they make all the difference. 

This particular pair was made by

Cinnamon Shoes, my cousin Frances's company

. Each pair of her shoes is classically tailored (or cobbled?) and handmade in South Africa with gorgeous local leathers. They're stylish, on trend, affordable, and so comfortable. 

The pair of ballet flats I'm wearing is called the


, named after my aunt. I just love the soft leather and the ostrich-shin detail on the toe.  I can wear them with anything. They even make my painting clothes look good! 

And... every time I think of ostriches and ballet in the same sentence I think of these graceful dancers from Disney's Fantasia. This watercolour is my favourite Disney preparatory sketch, it has such a delicate French Rococo feel, like a Fragonard painting. From

Fran's ballet flats

, to dancing ostriches, to France in the 18th century. I digress...  

{A stunning watercolour study for Disney's Fantasia movie, c. 1940}

Make sure you check out Fran's 

Spring/Summer 2013 collection

!  And, you can get 15% off if you give Fran a pair of gently worn children's shoes.  She will donate the shoes to the 

Nkhensanis kids orphanage

 in Johannesburg.

{I also really

love this pair


featured on the Elle South Africa blog


Do you have a pair of shoes that make you feel like you can conquer the world when you wear them? 

P.S.  I feel like I haven't been sharing enough drawings lately, so here's one a did a few years ago of the various shoes I saw at a private view in trendy Exmouth Market, London.