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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snowy Branches

What's prettier in the winter woods than snow-speckled leaves? How about beautifully bright red cardinal!

I thought this would be a nice design to round out the last design I'll probably have time to do before Christmas, and I think it's festive enough to help me remember the spirit of the holiday.

Not just that - this is my first  completely original design that includes more than just a color combination. No alterations from someone else's design, no copy from clip-art. I dunno about you, but I'm proud of me ;)

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Tis the Season

My baby brother graduates from Nursing school this weekend! I needed to do something to commemorate the occasion... but it's almost Christmas, and that needs attention, too.

Luckily for me, it's possible to do both - ribbons & bows, in his school colors. (design by Robin Moses)

Great job, Matthew! I'm so proud of you <3

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A (more playful) Merry Christmas

To quote Tim Minchin in my favorite Christmas song,

"I really like Christmas. It's sentimental I know, but I just really like it."

Seasonal designs are so fun, and so varied, it's almost impossible not to be able to find a design that says "Christmas" just the way you want it to. With a bit of inspiration and a bit of just playing around, I came up with five different designs today to work into a manicure sure to help with your very own Holly, Jolly Christmas.

I saw this gorgeous gold bow on green 'wrapping paper', and loved it! I free-handed this design, then went back to discover it's actually available as a stamp from Konad! *sigh* Well, for the future I'll know there's a quick easy way to reproduce this design. In the meantime, I think this shimmery bow is a fun & festive addition to the mix.

I think this one turned out as my favorite, and it was definitely the hardest to get a good picture of. Simple but fun, just a flocked tree with silver garland and a speckling of snow, I love the subtle but gorgeous way this turned out!

This crazy little guy did NOT want to focus for the camera. I'm assuming it's all due to his fantastic sparkliness. Just take my word for it that this little frozen man is Fabulous.

Simply Christmas. Bright red with a golden shimmer French tip, these would look gorgeous wrapped around a goblet of eggnog. Or ripping into wrapping paper ;)

A brighter background provides more "pop" to this Robin Moses design. My last post had this same theme atop a deep maroon, but it sure is more eye-catching against a shimmery royal purple. I can think of a person or two I'll likely be treating to this design in the near future ;}

And now that I'm in a Christmas-y mood, I'm betting this won't be the end. I'm thinking candy canes. And reindeer. Oh, and gotta have a Santa! Maybe an angel just to round things out. Or maybe...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sugar Plum Daydreams

Yet again, Robin Moses inspired a gorgeous design. Deep, rich purple with purple and golden filigree.

Love this color scheme! It makes for a gorgeous holiday look that's more restrained than bright red and green.

{I'm sure that those will come soon, though, for anyone wanting a bit more 'fun'}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas inspiration

Holly, and ribbons, and a festive bow, all across silvery-white swirls.

Swirls which, of course, don't show up for my camera. Oh well, they're gorgeous. Just take my word for it!

Ruby red, forest green, and shimmery silver across a snowy background definitely seem to invoke the spirit of the season.

Next up on these nails: Reindeer. Ten fingers = 9 reindeer + Santa. It'll be great!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bring on the Snow!

It has been a very, very dry year here in Texas. And while rain has been something to hope for, snow is a very rare occurrence even at the best of times.

Still, with Santa on his way before too much longer, it's worth hoping for! And just in case it doesn't fall out of the sky, I can just paint some on and get a chance to see it anyway.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving - in another part of the world

While brainstorming Thanksgiving nail designs - most of which featured turkeys - I came across this design from Anastacia in Korea (

There's a fall Thanksgiving / harvest / good times festival in cultures all across the world, not just the American version that gets so much attention. Probably because the dinner is so good!

I love the colors, and the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving and another country at the same time!

Random Trivia of the Day - for the first Thanksgiving, the Indians didn't just bring a turkey. Stuffing was definitely not on the menu. Popcorn was, though! Though as it was brought in already popped without butter or salt, cold, and carried inside a leather bag, I'm betting it wouldn't have posed much of a competition to Orville Reddenbacher.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sometimes, a great idea is somewhat lacking in execution

I saw a great flame design. And an awesome art project where fire was enhanced by the addition of holographic glitter.

Putting them together didn't quite end up as fantastic as I'd hoped, unfortunately...

Not so much a sparkly flame as a spiky smudge. I'm thinking this will require a do-over.

Proof to anyone reading who is new to Nail Art - it doesn't always work the first time. Don't give up on a good idea, though. You might be surprised the difference a second try can make.

Sometimes a change in application technique is all you need. For a fiery nail, this made all the difference in the world!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Everybody recognizes that iconic pink ribbon showing support for current and past patients of breast cancer.

October is all about breast cancer. We know that breast cancer is not something only experienced by women, that men can get it, too - but the focus here does seem to be on the ladies. I'm all for the "Save the Ta-Tas"

November has a different focus, and this one's all about the guys. Movember is a movement that started in Melbourne, Austrailia to raise awareness and support for prostate cancer. It encourages supporters to set aside the razor this month and grow a 'mo'.

Try as I might, I've failed to get a good crop of facial hair growing to show my support. In leiu of getting facial hair replacement treatments, I'll just resort to art.

Alright ladies, let's get behind this one! The guys support Save the Ta-Tas. This needs a slogan, too. Power to the Prostate? Somehow, that doesn't work quite as well. Ah, well. Someone will find the perfect catch phrase soon, I'm sure ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inspiration between sneezes

Dots, stripes, and glitter make glam. I spent a week periodically having inspirational design ideas - when there was enough of my brain working to get an idea through.

I'm just getting over a nasty cold I got to share with my hubby... Gotta say, spending time at home together with nowhere to go and nothing to do is a lot more enjoyable when it doesn't involve loads of Kleenex. Oh, well, at least it gave me time to be creative. No full manicures, but I did make some singles that turned out really cute!

 This is a really neat pebbled design, mostly in shades of silver and shimmery gray, but with touches of color for variety. It has a very slightly marbled texture - enough to be interesting, but not enough to catch on anything. Best of both worlds!

Inspired by a college dorm room design bean bag I saw somewhere. Hooray for retro!

My first attempt at a braided design - definite potential. It's also more than a bit of a pain to paint. I'm thinking this one's not going to be a regular design, and there's NO WAY I'll be able to paint it on myself with my left hand. 

Another example of a nail that looks great and an unfortunate job getting a good picture of it. Stripes of matte and glossy rich royal purple, with accent stripes of green. You can't tell me Maleficent wouldn't love these! ;)

And the crowning glory - here's the glitter & glam. Part shimmer, part glitter, delineation via stones. I think this could be a great every-nail look for a LOT of glitz & glam (I'm thinking New Year's Eve party), or as a ring-finger masterpiece against others that 'pop' a bit less for a slightly less "Look At Me" look. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bright, Rainbow Nails

And now that I've thought of that, I'm going to have to do some Rainbow Bright nails. Great...

Anyway! Yesterday I went to the time & effort of a nice design. Thanks go to Robin Moses yet again. She's my hero! *hugs self and grins moronically*

Anyway! again...  Here they are, a fantastic diagonal french with a floral theme. And they're just gorgeous, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm dreaming of a Christmas under 80°

It's probably different for you northern folks, but way down south we really are just starting to contemplate fall. Our Halloween costumes and yours are very different - kids in Maine can dress up as Eskimos. Down here, that'd result in a trip to the emergency room for heatstroke.

Now that I can start an Autumn mindset, it's hard to come up with much... as it's not actually cool enough yet. Maybe once the average temperature is below 75° I'll be able to start thinking snowflakes and skiing, but I just can't do it while sweating.

Christmas ideas? Snow and Santa? You must be kidding. But presents? That I can think about! :D

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's the Great Pedi, Charlie Brown!

Sometimes, a color is all you need to trigger a design that just has to be done. And I have a great idea for a future extrapolation on this theme. ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simply Spooky

Sometimes, it's just not necessary to spend a whole lot of time on your nails. Not when you can still get an awesome look using the polish effects you already have, made for simple and awesome application.

Sparkly orange base coat and a crackle overcoat make for a great Halloween look, in a 5-minute manicure. The crackle polish "look" isn't for everyone, but I think for Halloween especially it works fantastically well. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fashionable Calligraphy

I've been artistically inclined for years, and that trend was greatly pampered by the time I spent in making illuminated scrolls to pass out as awards while I was in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism)

And I get to thinking - I liked that. It's a classic, and gorgeous example of art. And now I like atypical but also gorgeous things to do with my nails.

Why did it take me so long to combine the two?

Western Calligraphy, meet 21st Century nails.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Final Frontier

Ok so I haven't been on many voyages lately, but as close as I am to NASA, doing nails like these may just be a benefit to my nail design enterprise.

Ok I was just nerdy and cheesy both. I don't know if I should be proud, or embarrassed! We'll go with proud, 'cause this solar-system design inspired by cutepolish is just out-of-this world!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin patch

This weekend I'll be at my family's Fall Festival, so I went looking for a great design to wear up that way. And unsurprisingly, Robin Moses saved the day again. pumpkin carving, pumpkin patch nails - and it's looking like I'll be packing up my mobile salon and doing nail design requests for family. 

Good times! If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get a margarita out of the deal ;) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My toes felt left out

All these Halloween designs kept getting given to fingernails, and there was a toe uprising. Ok, so maybe wiggling might be more accurate. It got the point across however, and I can now proudly present Halloween toes, too!

Frightening? Freaky? Or Fabulous? You decide.

In related news, yoga is really unnecessary if you spend time painting designs on your own toes.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day chock full of nail designs

Yesterday, I posted a design challenge from a friend. I carried on the Halloween theme, and then just kinda played a bit and came up with a few more. Very productive day in the design examples department!

The mummy was inspired by Dying4Chocolate's youtube video, the Haunted house shots were by ihaveacupcake, and the spider loosely by MissChevious

Then I went on to play with water marbling, and had a wild hare and made a back-to-school design while I was at it. Long day, but full of fun & color.
After getting some feedback on the earlier designs, I got a special request on a "fun" spider design, based on a picture a friend found online. This guy turned out really fun (and cute), if I do say so myself!

Jack-o-Lantern (by request)

So after a sarcastic comment about my failing to include a jack-o-lantern in my last Halloween-ish design, I noticed this one by the same youtube poster - IHaveACupcake

And it's every bit as cute as the last one, imho :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn to Halloween

Well the outside world may not realize there's a change of seasons, at least not in southern Texas, but a girl can dream. From fall nails, onward to creepy themes. Bats and haunted houses might just bring a chill to my spine. Now if only they'd bring a chill to the air as well!

I started with a pretty starry blue sky. Simple and not much to it, but pretty nonetheless. Then I stumbled across this design by IHaveACupcake and couldn't resist embellishing the starry skies I'd been sporting for a day already.

New meds are wearing me out so I'm asleep more than I'm awake, but when I'm awake in the coming months  I'll be trying to keep my nails in time with what Hallmark thinks the weather should be ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Busness Card!

My business cards came in! Aren't they pretty?

Now I can hand them out to... All my clients? All 5 or so of them :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Proud to be an Aggie

Just in case my Aggie ring wasn't enough to show school pride, I figured I'd remove any doubt.

On a related note, maroon is a somewhat difficult color to mix.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall Foliage

Today I did my Fall Foliage design as a full manicure today, instead of just the single nail I sent in to be part of the Nails Magazine design submission.

Not only does it look even better with a scattering of leaves used across the nails, but adding rhinestones in red, yellow, and pale green added a fantastic finishing sparkle. I love how these turned out!

Olive Drab with Aggie Accent

It may be cheating, but sometimes a simple stamp to put art on your nails is all you need to make people love 'em. The pharmacy tech at my neruologist's office thought these were fantastic.

I also realized that while my wedding ring shows up occasionally in pictures of my left hand, my Aggie ring doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves, so I got a shot of my right, today. And I must say, using a camera with your left hand is very, very awkward! But I manged to get a decent shot, so I guess anything's possible.

And I must say, olive drab with black filigree does go beautifully with an Aggie accent ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hoot needs common sense?

So I have my sourdough at close to finished and ready to shape, when the urge suddenly strikes me to paint a design I saw this morning. I get these urges. But they're not uncontrollable, I don't need therapy. Don't Judge Me!

... So anyway I meander over and paint an absolutely adorable little owl on my thumb. Well, I start to, at any rate. 'Cause right about the time I finish the third color and have big thick blobs of polish on my thumb for the eyes, the timer goes off. Fantastic. Luckily all I need to do is to move the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. I can do that one-handed, no problem!

Heh. For future reference, to anyone who is curious... you canNot, without practice, operate a tube of plastic wrap using the fingers of only one hand. And plastic wrap and wet nail-polish are do not play nicely.

So long story short, isn't this a cute little owl?

I think I'll name him 'Hindsight'. At any rate, by the time we finished him - again - I was about through with detail work. I had a pretty good color scheme going though, so I'm currently sporting an owl, and 9 leopard print nails.

I feel positively at one with nature. Not sure where in nature you find both tawny owls and leopards, but I'm right there.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Things to make you blue

Warning: the Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens work wonderfully. But... 
They're easy to use, and they have bright, vibrant colors. What could be wrong?

They stain. Changing my polish wiped off the base coat, and the polish, and the design, but not the stain. This picture's base coat is two coats of China Glaze's Heaven -- and if you look carefully at my middle finger, you can still see a faint purple/pink flower. That's what didn't come off with the rest of the polish :( But it's faint, and the blue ones take attention away from the ghost of a magenta flower. 

At least, I hope they do.

Also, I think they're cute. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Too much fun

I am loving having a whole bunch of tips to work on and play with nail art designs. It's just too easy to do a single nail and then change designs rather than doing the same thing ten times. And the ability to turn it upside down and backwards,  if  necessary, is nice too. I think most people tend to complain if you disloacate their fingers to get a better angle.

A white/white shimmer marble. Great subtle background! : Sally Hansen's Ink Splatter crackle polish : a Rockstar nail gradient. Going to have to perfect the glitter gradient process, this has serious potential!

Everybody loves plaid.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crossing my fingers

Tip samples are boxed up and ready to be sent to Nails Magazine and might end up in one of the upcoming issues. Here's hoping they like them :) .

Even if none end up being chosen, I think this was worth it. I got to be creative with a purpose in mind, and had a fantastic excuse to go ahead and buy a bunch of tips to have around. Now I can start keeping my designs, and they'll last longer on display somewhere than they ever can when they're actually on someone's fingers.


Got an e-mail back from the magazine editor, and she's planning on putting my designs into upcoming issues! Look for the Fall Foliage in November, the Holly in December, the snowflake in January and the icicles in February. I'm pumped! :D

Monday, August 29, 2011


In need of a display rack type stand to let your nail designs dry, but unwilling to drop the $25-$50 to buy a small one? Rice to the Rescue!

(Who bothers with a special glass to drink their whiskey, anyway? Or any glass at all, for that matter. The bottle works just fine.)

So I'm thinking this might just open up a whole new world of design fun, for me. These are being put together to send to Nails Magazine, where I may end up in an issue of this winter :D   But now that I've worked out the how-to-paint-on-nails that aren't attached to anyone, the possibilities are just ... well maybe not endless, but vastly increased!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Playing with Polish

Played nails today with my sister in law (to be) and her bff - with my brother looking on. He was very helpful grabbing the acetone and such. :)

We did some cute designs. The pictures weren't exactly fantastic.
Ok let's be honest, they weren't even close to fantastic. They're pretty much horrible pictures. But we had fun, and they're actually pretty darn cute.

I think these turned out the best of the lot. Blue skies with fluffy white clouds, and a solitary red balloon. What a happy summer scene!

Fun french manicure with a swoop of dots running down each nail. 

Gotta have stripes to offset all those spots. So we went zebra, of course. And it needed to match, also of course - so pink zebra it is!