St. Patty’s Nails

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To be entirely honest, St. Patrick’s Day might be my least favorite holiday. First of all, it’s amatuer hour. All the asshats come out of the wood work and use it as a good excuse to drink beer with green food coloring until they’re urinating on the sidewalk and fighting in primordial herds. The professionals are nursing hangovers on your average Wednesday morning. So not only is this encouraging the average Joe to cower in their home base, but I have a couple pretty bad associations with the month of March that make me a little cranky. This year we had the one year anniversary of a friend’s death. This is also the month my father died and I got laid off at work at the same time. Funny enough, this time around I’m out of work again after 7 years.

But all the same, it’s not entirely awful. Some people I care about a lot have birthdays. The weather is getting a little better. And worst comes to worse, if I’m looking for a ray of sunshine, I can say I’m alive, I have a home, and food, and my cats are healthy too.

So I did a couple of loosely themed St. Patrick’s Day manicure. You won’t find shamrocks or leprechauns. But they are green… 

First I was inspired by this blog post talking about Spring trends: 

http://gothampolish.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-5-spring-2014-nail-polish-trends.html?m=1

Specifically, I was interested in the part about metallic green. Only I wasn’t interested in doing a Wintergreen color. I used a sampling of the metallic greens in my collection.

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I painted one nail white with the Essie on the far left, and used one of the nail tattoos, seen here:

 

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This is the outcome:

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Then I came up with another idea about a week later. This time I used a brighter green. I alternated patterns of dots and stripes created with the dotting tool on white and green, with one accent nail of loose glitter. 

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Saturday was the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Traditionally it’s also the day when everyone holes up in Market Square or stumbles around the South Side. Being that it was also March 15th, it coincided with the 19th annual Ides of March March. It’s a strange tradition to describe. The event is organized by Phat Man Dee. It first started when I was in high school, way back in a time called “The 90’s”. Maybe you remember from your high school English class that the Ides of March is in Julius Caesar. That’s the day he was assassinated, and he was warned by a bunch of creepy soothsayers. The march is a gathering of the unusual. Costumes are encouraged. Signs are carried. And we tromp up and down the main fare, warning passersby to beware the Ides of March… march. This year, I brought some new(er) friends with me. Since it was a Saturday, I actually got to dress up too. This photo is probably my favorite to surface so far. (Photo credit: Ray Gerard)

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I’m the unicorn in the zombie hoodie. This picture was the selfie I tried to take when we got off the bus.

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I managed to, for a brief period of time, successfully wear false eyelashes that I applied all by myself. (Well, I used this tweezer like applicator device I got at Sephora, but I’m totally taking credit.)

It was an absolute study in chaos, one I cannot sufficiently describe. And for the day, it was actually considered moderate by local standards. Still, aside from an attempted prop snatch and an testosterone fueled man throwing his shoulder into everyone, we all made it out unscathed. Tired and cranky, but unscathed. The evening was spent winding down with pizza and movies. A happy ending.

 

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Just peachy

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I know, I know. I need new nail polish like a hole in the head. I have been abstaining very well. But I do still look from time to time, and I saw this pretty vanilla/yellow that caught my eye. And the color’s name is “Unicorn”. C’mon, I’m only human…

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The inspiration for this mani was a combination of these two ideas.

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I’ve been ruminating over that 2nd image for a while. I like the idea of doing variations on a theme, with something different on each nail, but coming together in something like a color or texture, etc. I’ve been thinking about peach since I got the peach Nails Inc Feather Effects. I had tried it on it’s own:

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I felt like it would probably look better on top of another color, but I liked the confetti aspect of it. 

So with these factors in mind, I went through my colors and selected the new yellow, an orange, and a pinky peach. I decided I wanted the primary color to be the yellow, so I painted 3 nails with the Unicorn, and then one of each orange and the peach. I didn’t just want to have one nail with the Feather Effects, so I looked through my arsenal and found stickers, nail tattoos, and glitter.

For the index finger I used a sticker from the Hello Kitty set I got from Sephora:

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For the middle finger, I selected some floral stickers in the same color family from a set from the drug store that I’ve had for quite some time:

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On the ring finger, I tried the Feather Effects on top of the Unicorn. 

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And on the pinky, I decided to go with a chunky, loose, gold glitter from the Ciate set I got in December:

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Not to leave out the thumb, I decided to use a bigRuby nail tattoo from the “Hers” set (http://www.bigrubytattoos.com/collections/all-products/products/hers) because I liked the diamond design and it was in that peach color family that I was going for. 

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It’s still snowy and cold, here in Pittsburgh. But I’m happy with my hopeful, springy mani. Happy Mardi Gras, guys! Here’s to warmer days ahead!

 

winter

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Somewhere inside I think I’ll always be that girl that walked into a post at the mall, because she was staring at her new shoes. 

This “winter” (“Polar Vortex”?, “bombogenesis”?, “nor’easter”?, whatever…) is giving everyone the blues. Let’s face it, it’s exhausting just to pile on the layers and trudge from point A to point B. This weather seems to sap the lifeblood out of me, until my only desires are to sit in the dark and watch movies until it’s time to sleep. 

But we find small pleasures to make the hours go by, until the sun comes out again. Last night I tried out another new nail polish: Feather Effects by Nails Inc. The texture is a bit scratchy, and I had to use 3 coats to get the density pictured on Sephora, but I think it would be a cute top coat on the right color.

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This morning, I knew the temperatures would be in the negative before I even checked the weather. I decided to pull out the knit socks for isolation. I think the sock website I got these from is now defunct. But I love these ones. Maybe they are intended to be thigh highs on a much thinner woman, but they make up for it by being the same color as the Granny from Muppet Babies.

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Then, of course, there are my new shoes…

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I’m also wearing a new sweater, and to go with the loose knit and oatmeal color I thought I’d wear the glass necklace my friend brought back from Italy for me and the big bangle earrings from the Culture Shop to go all earthy boho all over this day. 

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So life carries on. I’ll while away the dark hours making art, reading books, watching movies, finishing projects, biding time until we can all crawl out of our shells and get into some real shenanigans. Until then find someone cute and funny to snuggle up to, and indulge in the nerdy obsession of your choice, and we’ll meet each other in the virtual realm until we’re ready for concerts, and picnics, and goings on. Be safe and stay warm. 

And Here Are The Nails

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So, after a quick scan I guess I really haven’t posted any nail stuff since June. It’s okay, I’d like to think my posts have content. But maybe you’ve missed the nail ideas. So I’ll post some now.

This is what I did tonight. I’ve never had any success with creating ombre with a sponge, so I’ll do it over the entire nails themselves.

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These are the colors I used. L to R: elf “Dark Navy”, Nailslicks “Starry Blue”, Sally Girl “Mean Streak”, Color Club “Insta-this”, Bon Bons

 

Thanksgiving day I had time before getting down to the business of eating. So I tried to do something festive without being over the top.

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The red is from Dots (no brand or color name), Essie “Marshmallow”, and Hello Kitty nails stickers from Sephora

Halloween was good this year. Since it was on a weekday, all the festivities were the weekend before. My costume was simple and 90% of it was either free or already in my closet.

Can you guess what it is?...

Can you guess what it is?…

I got the paint chips from the home improvement store. I already had the hoodie, shoes, skirt. I happened to find the socks at the Halloween store, when a friend pointed them out. Did you guess what it is yet?… 50 shades of grey! Ta-da! Okay, so I saw it on the internet. The only thing I hadn’t anticipated was the way the paint chips would crinkle up under a seat belt.

So in the same vein, I did a manicure to match.

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Earlier in the month, I went to a friend’s wedding. This was the manicure I went with.

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L to R: OPI "Caught With My Khakis Down", OPI "Metro Chic", and Essie "Sand Tropez"

L to R: OPI “Caught With My Khakis Down”, OPI “Metro Chic”, and Essie “Sand Tropez”

I created this one by painting the base color. Then I taped off at an angle, and used the secondary color, taping again at an opposite diagonal once that was dry for the third color. I alternated colors for base, 2nd, and 3rd. I think the color palette kind of had a fun poke at the bad color schemes of the late 80’s, with the graphic element to boot. Or at least that was my thought process.

Of course, if life was just successes, what would be learned? Here our hero learns that not everything you watch on the internet is for the amatuer. I saw a tutorial in which the artist picked out chunky glitter from a clear polish and created designs with it. It was labor intensive, and my results made it really not worth the effort.

Starting with a nude...

Starting with a nude…

 

Chunky glitter in clear base on foil, so you can (ideally) pick up the big glitter pieces with a toothpick.

Chunky glitter in clear base on foil, so you can (ideally) pick up the big glitter pieces with a toothpick.

first row

first row

2nd row

2nd row

3rd row, final product.

3rd row, final product.

Maybe practice makes perfect, and someday I’ll come up with something better using this technique….

I got some new texture polishes.

textured white and navy

textured white and navy

trying out variations with OPI's liquid sand. Glitter, crackle, plain, and then a regular gold.

trying out variations with OPI’s liquid sand. Glitter, crackle, plain, and then a regular gold.

I’m currently not terribly crazy about the texture polishes. I don’t really see much difference in them from some glitters. The white just reminded me of “way back when”, when I used to white out. 

To close out here’s a simple one with an accent nail. Nude and gold.

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And now, I feel like maybe I’ve brought everyone a little bit more up to speed. I hope the nail fanatics hadn’t lost faith that I would continue to do fun nails stuff. I guess I didn’t want to be a nail blogger only. I don’t know that I can do a blog devoted to just one topic. I love a variety of things. Now that winter is creeping in, I’m sure you’ll get to see more art work as we all become sequestered until the green starts to poke out of the ground again… Not to mention there is Christmas crafting to come! So stay tuned for all the good things…

 

Oh June…

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I’m sorry, dear reader, that I’ve neglected my promises to post every Monday. I hope you haven’t forgotten about me. I haven’t forgotten about you.

With the warmer weather has come softer edges. I still struggle with my dysthymia. But good omens seem to come on the breeze.

First there was a litter of 5 kittens born to Ms. Jean Paul Satre:

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This is the only one with a name and a definitive home thus far. Welcome Hugh Humpster Hefner!

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(Gratuitous kitten videos can be found here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVYofFuJkeA and here –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LVCohgZ_7A)

And it ‘s also Pride month. Celebrations of love abound. And being a Libra and a romantic at heart, I’m not one to miss out on celebrations or love, even if I’m celebrating someone else’s.

This is my faux girlfriend and I at the Pittsburgh Pride. She’s too adorable not to share my umbrella on a rainy day.

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There was also a porcupine (though I can neither confirm nor deny that it is in fact homosexual)…

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Pittsburgh also hosted it’s 8th annual Dyke and Trans March. I was fortunate to be invited to march with my friends right down Liberty Ave (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nElnAR5habM) , and break bread in Friendship Park with some wonderfully accepting humans.

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And by the way, the day of this march it was hot as…

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There were events and gatherings of a joyous nature…

A yard sale –

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I went to see Jay and Silent Bob’s Groovy Cartoon Movie at little one screen theater in Oakmont PA, called The Oaks. I was once again with Tina, my lovely faux date.

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(My favorite part of this photo is the quizzical photobomb of the gentleman behind us.)

Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes did their podcast. My photos aren’t great, but here’s a YouTube clip from the event…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C20s2TAbr3E

I took myself out on a date, one Friday night. We went out shopping, ate sushi, and then to a movie; and it was all okay.

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My friend had a going away potluck. I was so busy laughing and having a good time, I only managed one photo. However did that happen? Oh yeah, beer. Because no good story starts with eating a salad…

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And in case you were wondering, what color is she currently wearing? Well it just so happens to be Significant Other Color by OPI. One of the little things I picked up on my “date”.

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I really like the shimmery silver/gold lilac color. It is pretty sheer. I used 3 coats.

What might we have in store?

  • Making more inventory for the Art Car Show in September.
  • Making 20 postcards by the end of July, at the request of a friend.
  • Finishing those rewards. I swear I haven’t forgotten! It’s like a specter in the back of my mind. A man (and a woman) is only as good as his/her word, and I should keep put out or get out.. or something. If you haven’t gotten yours, you will.

There are a myriad of projects and bits and baubles. I am at no loss for unfinished things or grand schemes. But the reality of time is adding all of this on the “must do” list will only upset me and make me feel bad about my ability to be Wonder Woman. So I focus on the tangible goals and continue to try my best everyday. The days when I can taste success and the days when I’ve defeated myself before I’ve opened my eyes.

I hope I still have your loyalty and love. And just in case, I’ll share an intimate moment to regain your trust. This evening my roommate and I were laughing to tears at the image of receiving Ryan Reynolds as a Christmas present.. Like this kid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGmCaAEDxDU

What Have I Been Up To?

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In the land of nails, I’ve been playing with more of the Big Ruby nail tattoos. 

First I did a little bit of a pseudo punk theme. I chose a neon yellow and black stripe for most of the nails. For the accent nail, I did the chose the skull and crossbones from the His set. I used a matte top coat to finish it off. 

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The next time I painted my nails I wanted to use the rocket ship from the His pack. So I chose a white background. On the other nails I did grey and silver polka dots and I used a silver nail pen to augment the rocket ship on the index finger. 

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My third inspiration was the Om in the Juju set. I wanted to offset the light blue with a dark color, so I selected a dark plum. I decided to use the larger Om in the set, and put it on the thumb, to mix it up. On the remaining nails, I used the nail head technique to create little paw prints.

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I’ve also been trying to create some actual inventory to sell at the Art Car Show on Penn Ave in September. I have 6 boxes from the monthly Birchbox samples I’ve been getting. I thought I could use paints, and things I have stocked up, to recycle these boxes into something really cute. So far I’ve completed 2 of them.

The first box I decided to collage all these buttons I have saved up, or donated from friends. I painted the sides brown and brushed gold over top. Inside the box, I decoupaged pages from books. 

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The second box I wanted to have more of an old fashioned text feel to it. I decoupaged the lid with book pages and pained the bottom with stripes in black, white, and grey. Then I stamped the lid with typewriters, cameras, and typewriter letters.

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And most recently I augmented an existing print from an estate sale. My friend Eric left me this little gem of a print.

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Eric joked in his caption: “This way to the gay bar!” There was also a comment referring to the character at the wheel as Sal Mineo. I used Eric’s original caption on the repainted frame and added some tentacles and a mermaid tale to the background. Because haven’t we all wanted to add tentacles to every sea painting?… No? Just me? Okay then. 

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Mineo and Jesus are currently being displayed proudly in my bedroom. 

 

Dots

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This week I was inspired by a suggestion that you can create more precise polka dots with the head of a nail. I know, sounds so easy that you should have thought of it yourself, right?

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This comes from the Pinterest link that leads to this tutorial:

http://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-dotter-for-your-nails/

My first manicure came from one I saw online based off a dress. It was grey, with small gold and white dots. I added some nude to mine.

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I think the nude may have been to close of a shade to the grey.

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I didn’t do it intentionally, but it does match my softball t shirt for this season. We call ourselves “13 Shades of Gray”. And then I randomly acquired a grey lighter. Synchronicity strikes. 

Then this weekend, I was quite delighted to have a visit from my friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth is an artist who grew up in Pittsburgh, but moved to New Jersey during high school. She currently lives on the other side of Pennsylvania, but we keep in touch. 

Sunday there was a brief patch of warm sun on an otherwise 50 degree day. Elizabeth is an avid nail polish fan as well, so we thought it would be fun to make a cup of tea, sit on the back patio in the sun. She offered to paint my nails.

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The inspiration was 80’s glam rock. 

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We used a larger nail head for a bigger dot.

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It was a great visit. 

Now back to busy. Art All Night project to finish, and a lawn to manicure on Earth Day, oddly enough. Looking forward to sharing more with you soon!