woolen hats in Legian
not-so-common livestock in Indonesia

That’s why I love Asia – you never know what is around the corner! While this does sound rather pathetic tapping into the sticky pot of clichés, it certainly is true. Take those delightful and only slightly grimy and faded crocheted specimen of head-gear – where but in tropical Asia would you find this kind of merchandise so invitingly – and hopefully!? presented for your sweaty approval? On this specific day back in February, nothing was further on my mind than adding to the temperature by donning one of those fetching and heat preserving caps – no matter how seductively they were smiling at me. I politely smiled back, agreed to take their photo and kept making my way towards the little shoe workshop where Echem was about to reveal the very first set of the sample range….Drums! Trumpets! Anxiety! Ahh! Maybe sitting down and having a little something to calm those nerves…

Marlene Kranz enjoying another tea cosy moment in Seminyak
Having another tea doily moment in Seminyak

I am dedicating this photo to my friend Patrick in Sydney with whom I share a love-hate relationship of doilies, I believe…there is a certain fascination about an article so utterly … mmhh … intriguing? Could this word possibly embrace all those conflicting emotions and stifling memories so brutally dragged into the open when being confronted with a tea pot covered in some man-made ruffles? And snuffles? And rosettes and other flowery bits? How utterly un-Asian it appears to me (I could be totally wrong, of course!!), and that makes half of the charm – for those moments when all I want is to leave the invigorating world of Asian smell, pace and record-braking assemblies of humans on wheels behind me for that little oasis of calm and quiet…and a nice cup of tea. And yes, I know a true doily lives on a dusty couch over there in great Britain, and the tea pot cover is only a distant relative – anyone remembers those toilet paper beautifier? Maybe with Barbies crocheted into? Yes? YESSSS!!!!!!!!! I think I need another pot of tea…

Sydney boys March 2011
Patrick and Finn and those shoes in Sydney...March 2011

It’s about time to drag this blog back to shoe-land…so no crocheted item in above photo, but a black and red prototype of Kranz shoes…which are now officially morphing into the new brand….to be revealed very soon! I have applied for Trademark – somehow this step made it all that bit more official and “grown-up” – and is a very important part of making it all happen.

Since coming back from my last trip, I have been busy with technical drawings – sending shoe emails over the ocean – shamelessly using the Google dictionary and hoping my little forays into the Indonesian language will provide some understanding besides utter amusement or confusion…Tali adalah 25cm panjang dengan rumbai sebuah! Exactly. So let’s all be clear that those straps are 25cm long with a nice tassel at the end…

Ideal Husband shoe range designed by Marlene Kranz
Echem and Marlene working on sample range...red rocks! February 2012

First samples emerging amongst the chaos…meet Echem, the talented shoe maker from Java. While on the lookout for someone who understands my passion for beautiful handmade shoes, he came recommended…he knows that a shoe takes time to make. You rush it, the shoes will tell! Unfortunately, in our modern times mass production is everywhere, so my goal was to find someone who has the skills and expertise to take on my limited edition range of theatrical shoes…which ultimately will make me happy! And ultimately all you women out there who might be on the lookout for something different…timeless…intriguing…(in the non-doily kind of way!)…and comfortable….

Marlene Kranz - red Dorknob shoes
Not-so-classical Derby balancing on door knob heels...

About to pack that suitcase again – throw in those buckles, some silver thread – Apakah anda memiliki benang perak di Bali? Do you have silver thread in Bali? Apparently not – so making sure Echem can play with some unusual bits and pieces when trialing more sample shoes…2 more days, and those helpful moped drivers will subtly (?) offering their service again – and again – and again….Transsporttt? Taxxxi? Looking forward…and leaving you with someone else looking downward…

Cat and Dog
Bruno observing digital Bali dogs
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