Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hooray for the Red White and Blue!

This year is screaming by! Can you believe that it will be the Fourth of July in just a few short days? Me neither.

In the spirit of fun I suggested having a Fourth of July nail challenge to the Painted Ladies group on Ravelry. Ashley of I Enjoy Being a Girl graciously agreed to sponsor the event complete with a winner takes all prize. Fun Fun!!

Honestly, I can't count how many times I removed and reapplied polish to settle on the look I have now. I actually started going for something a lot more difficult. (Epic fail there for a beginner) then finally pared it down to the basics.

The challenge allows you to submit as many different looks as you like but I don't know if I'll have the fortitude to try another look on myself...maybe the daughter. But here it is.

Used: Orly 'Platinum' (white), Pure Ice 'Celestial' topped with 'Strapless' (blue), Sinful Colors 'Merlot' (red) and Stripe Rite Silver.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Toys!!!

Look what I got!!

Nail Stamping Plates & Pearls

The wheel contains pastel pearls and some other pretty embellishments. The plates are Faux-nads ie not the Konad stamping system but is the same concept. I've been playing around with them a little and I may invest in the special polish just to see if it's all that they say it is.

They're just. So. Fun!! Be prepared for a few Faux-nadicures. :D

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Update for June 27th

So, here's the low down on the down low.

Yesterday we had our first bbq of the year. Invited a lot of people, some were great and told use straight up that they couldn't make it, others didn't say anything at all and some said "great, we'll be there". So you know how many people showed up? (We were planing on 15 to 18 people) THREE! I kid you not. Of the people that didn't show only two bothered to let me know. I can't believe the rudeness of people for not even giving us the common courtesy of letting us know they wouldn't make it.
I mean really, how hard would it be to do a quick face book text, phone text even, I don't require phone calls or excuses, just don't make me go out and spend a lot of money on food that no one is going to be here to eat. *Fuming*

To bring the glass to half full, we're having Lewis' wonderful chili burgers for dinner, there's sweet tea in the fridge and I discovered that brats when cooked with onions and dos equis are really good. We have enough root beer and vanilla ice cream to make root beer floats for a month, oh and there's a lovely glass of fruity, red sangria sitting on the table with me at the moment, to me it's a deep red glass of sunshine.

In other news, I'm now a moderator on Ravelry for the Proud to be 12 Inches group. If you knit or crochet come by! I'm currently working on color themes to be voted on by the members. I like the idea of themes because I'm not picking out colors, rather asking what people think of in relation to the theme and letting their creative energy flow.
We're offering three options per month for the members to vote on. July is a done deal (pinks and purples). So for August so far I have a picnic theme. Did you know that in August there are three picnic related national holidays? Watermelon Day is the 3rd, S'mores Day is the 10th and Marshmallow Toasting Day is the 30th. Yummy!
My second option is Days of Summer (I always think of dark blues and greens with bright yellow). I'm still working on the third option. Suggestions?

As I type (very carefully mind you) I'm working on a new manicure which will be super cute I hope. It's got a bit more pink than I'm used to wearing but I actually tried it on my toes last week and it turned out pretty good. It's fun for me to try to achieve a look and figure out the best way to do it via trial and error. That way I can duplicate it easily should I choose to do it again.
Since I rarely do my fingers and toes the same way I'm still trying to figure out how do do my pedicure. I've been working on a look with peacock feathers but I don't think it will work for my squat, wittle toe nails. First things first though and a good soak, exfoliate and moisturize is in order. Summer is rather rough on my feet since I seldom wear shoes. I should be kinder to my feet.

Well I think that's about it for now. Nothing more to report. I'm off to accomplish the next step in my manicure. Ciao and blessed be.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Meet Duncan

I thought I'd mix things up a bit. I've done posts about food, and nails, I think it's time for a pet post.
This is my boy Duncan. He is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a breed that is known to be a favorite of the Queen of England and since I shan't be hobnobbing with the Queen Mother anytime soon he is my solitary link to royalty.
He's taking a quick break from playing fetch with the beloved boyfriend. His sister Baby got a hold of his $.99 tennis ball and chewed it almost beyond recognition. Good thing they're cheap.
Duncan is a rescue, we adopted him from Best Friends on Tour. Not a lot was known about his history other than the original owners got him as a puppy then chained him up in the backyard and ignored him for the next four years. As a result the poor boy is beyond needy and has some OCD issues.
After the passing of my Rotti Baron, Duncan stepped up as alpha male, a role he had been lusting after from the get go. Baby ignores him for the most part but Darwin (both of whom you shall meet at later times) loves to fawn over him.
Duncan is the primary work out for our vacuum. I don't know how he can shed as much hair as he does and not be bald. The dark green carpet in our bedroom is seldom without a dense cover of white.
In addition to fetch, Duncan likes walks in moderation, liver treats, peanut butter and long naps. He also enjoys licking (his OCD) and petting himself with your feet.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Man-icure

Well, pedicure actually, but man-icure was a much catchier title.

Lewis, the beloved boyfriend actually loves it when I give him pedicures. He finds them very relaxing (he's actually fallen asleep on me a few times.) The good ones go the full nine yards, the soak, sloughing cream, lotion, the works. But if he's looking a little shoddy I'm not above a quick and dirty.
One of the things that I love about him is the fact that he's got no problem with me putting a lick of polish on his toes. He actually thinks it's pretty cool and will get involved in the color selection to the point that I've gotten polish with him specifically in mind.
Metallic gold polish with gold glitter was the most flamboyant we've gotten, usually we stay in the dark colors, blues, black/grays and some greens.
Since my success with Alayssa's cheetah nails I've been wanting to try some different looks using the same technique. Lewis was kind enough to be my guinea pig and here are the results.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kiss me not

I'm hard pressed to say that I like my natural nails. The biggest issue being the fact that the middle and ring finger of my right hand were slammed in a door in my college years and after the trauma have never grown properly since.
I used to love going and getting my nails done. Usually always a basic french manicure because that's what I could get away with in uniform (I'm a traditional reservist in the Air Force and was active duty for three years). Now that I'm currently unemployed I have the opportunity and the time to have more fun with my nails but obviously not nearly the amount of money I would like. I have treated myself here and there with a new polish but that's been the extent of it.
I have really wanted to do something with my middle finger on my right hand. It's the worst, growing about an eighth of and inch and then separating into two layers that quickly get grime between the layers that I can't clean no matter the scrubbing and of course, the overall weakening it causes the nail. I usually just end up keeping it cut almost to the quick.
Browsing about YouTube nail tutorials gave me the idea that I could get a cheap-o acrylic nail kit and fix my nail so it is stronger and give it the length of my other nails. So off I trundled to Walmart. I brought home the Kiss acrylic kit which for fifteen dollars seemed very comprehensive. It contains white and natural tips as well as nail forms (which is what I used). A masking formula to make the acrylic liquid smell like green apples, the powder and primer, nail glue, the brush, a buff block, dappen dish, a nail file and a manicure stick.
The instructions were easy to follow but I quickly learned that the pro's make it look much easier than it really is. I managed to get my first ball of acrylic ok but it did not want to flatten down to the nail so I ended up with a big shelf that needed a LOT of filing (actually ended up using my dremel tool). Eventually I got a reasonable nail applied and applied my base coat and painted my nail.
Here is where something happened that I wasn't expecting. I didn't see it happen, it was hidden from sight until I took a cotton ball soaked in polish remover to my nails. Any nail tech could have told me it was inevitable. When you use cheap materials you get what you pay for and I got a nasty, ugly yellow nail. It wasn't just a superficial yellow that I could file off, but a deep, through the whole nail smokers yellow nail.
As nice as getting everything in a convenient kit was, I can't say I'd recommend it. I personally would much rather just go to Sally's and pay for the individual items knowing that I'd be getting a quality product.
I do like having a "real" nail though, so until I can afford that trip to Sally's, the nail is staying on but is well covered with several coats of polish.

How I did Cheetah Nails (a tutorial)

I'm more than a little proud on how Alayssa's cheetah nails turned out. So I can remember how I did them, I decided to do a tutorial of sorts.
Here are all of the supplies I used except for the base coat (Orly) that somehow didn't make it into the pic.

Allrighty then, let's begin. After I applied a base coat (Orly) I painted the entire nail yellow (Pure Ice 'Unzip Me') with two coats and let dry.
Then I took a makeup sponge and painted a corner with gold (Orly 'Glitz') then gently tapped it onto the top half of the nail to blend.
Using the same sponge method I took a copper color (Cover Girl Boundless Color 'Perfect Penny') and blended it onto just the tip. This finishes the main coat of your cheetah, now to move onto the spots.

Using a brown (China Glaze 'Unplugged) I just dotted irregular spots onto the nail making sure to vary the sizes and not make it too even

Then, using black acrylic paint and my dotting tool I added the black outline on the spots as well as a few "blank" spots. For the most part I did three irregular outlines around each spot, I feel this gives it a more realistic look. Make sure you let the paint dry before you apply the topcoat otherwise you'll get smudging.

And here is the finished product. Don't forget to use a good topcoat (Orly) I used two coats, the first I applied with a light touch to keep from smearing the acrylic paint and the latter just to smooth things out and give a more finished appearance.
Clean up any oopsies with a q'tip dipped in acetone (I forgot that step for the picture) and the inner animal is out!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

To Nail or Not to Nail

I've been on You Tube looking at nail art tutorials and thinking I should get serious about my long time plan of going to school to become a nail tech. My only hangup would be the pedicures. Something about handling a perfect strangers feet just doesn't (shudder) appeal.
Until I decide, I'm playing with nail designs, here is one that I just finished on Alayssa. Cheetah nails. Meeeooowwww!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happiness Is

Bright green toe nails with yellow sunflowers.


Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm feeling less than stellar today, I think it may be that headache from yesterday that keeps sending out little reminders that it's still there.
Aside from making waffles for brunch I haven't accomplished much of anything. I did make a most wonderful berry syrup to go on the waffles though.
Lewis and I have spent a lovely evening watching Dr. Who while I treated myself to a root beer float. I really should limit my dairy intake but I just couldn't help myself. There is just something about creamy root beer.
I did my toes and nails. Since I have my military weekend I've kept the nails nice and boring, but the toe nails... I have blue pinky toes, then green, then purple, bright pink and last but not least, bright orange big toes. I love having bright and happy toes during the spring and summer. Even more so in the winter. I had to do a few to many coats of orange though, it's taking forever to dry. I'm hoping I won't wake up with sheet prints.