Shine On (or Becoming a Gracious Blogger)

Being the generally cynical, somewhat skeptical creature that I am and probably always will be, I’m always a touch suspicious when someone pays me a compliment clear out of the wild blue yonder.  It’s not that I think I’m undeserving (unless, you know, I’m actually undeserving) and it’s not that I have issues taking compliments (by all means, praise away!), it’s more like my overused BS detector goes into overdrive, a trait I could truly stand to lose.

So when Jacqui at Craftynail nominated me for the Shine On Award, a kind of blogger-on-blogger love fest highlighting favourite bloggers and their work, I initially balked and let the message linger in my inbox.  And it wasn’t that I wasn’t appreciative – very much so, Jacqui! – rather I questioned what possible utility someone might have in finding out seven random facts about me and seeing my first epic nail fail (two of the rules of Shine On Award Club, the first rule being you do not talk about Shine On Award Club.  Oh, crap…)

That cynicism has often served me well and kept me out of trouble, but just as often it’s kept me from engaging in the full spectrum of human emotions, most notably those requiring faith that someone isn’t trying to pull a fast one on me.  And you know what?  That’s just an unreasonably lame way to go through life.  No one likes the person who, for whatever reason, is too cool for school.  It’s the reason hipsters are the third favourite joke topic behind lawyers and three disparate people walking into a bar. 

Moreover, it’s just plain rude!  Someone has been kind enough to let me know they think my blog is A-OK, and I’m going to “Thanks, but no thanks” that?  No thanks to THAT.  As members of the blogging community (sub-specialty: nail blogging) we should be supportive of one another and celebrate each other’s successes (even as we politely ignore the inevitable and unfortunate lesser effort.)  We should be comfortable giving props to those bloggers that inspire us, and we should be equally adept at accepting compliments when someone has been kind enough to extend one in the first place. 

So in the spirit of not being a neurotic buzzkill, I will gladly accept Craftynail’s nomination, and offer my thanks both to her and to all the other bloggers in this friendly and welcoming community who inspire me every day to develop new skills, up my game and, most importantly, just get out there and BE.  Thank you!

Right; now that that mushy stuff is out of the way, on with the show!  First, seven facts you may not know about me (although if you’re a friend of mine in the “real world” you probably will know these things, because I tend to talk incessantly about that which I love):

1. I talk incessantly about that which I love.  This means into any given conversation, no matter the topic, I can shoehorn references to The Lost Boys, butter, cats and Disney World (sometimes all four.)

2. A few times a year I entertain a fun little fantasy where my husband and I blow off our lives, pack up our kitties and haul ass to Disney World, where he becomes an Imagineer and I get a job “toiling” in darkened, creepy, air conditioned splendor as a guide at the Haunted Mansion.

3. For three or four months in the spring of 2011 I experienced night terrors for the first – and hopefully last – time in my life.  I’d wake up night after night and leap out of bed, shrieking about creatures in our bedroom trying to kill us, and one extra disturbing evening I came to only to find myself standing in the front hall, eyes furiously affixed to the front door, arms up in a fight stance.  You may be glad to know they didn’t last (I certainly was!) and now I just suffer from your garden variety lack-of-sleep-by-cat.

4. My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this coming Halloween.  Getting married on October 31st – not as weird as you’d think.

5. In my advancing years, I have found that when it comes to the movies I watch and the books I read, I simply want to be entertained.  Comedies, dramadies and tried and true favourites are where it’s at; torture porn and ponderous, depressing meditations on the futility of the human condition need not apply.

6. My interest (and, if I may say so, adeptness) in nail art has come as a complete surprise to everyone who has ever known me, as I have never once shown any appreciable talent or interest in the visual arts.  Truly, I can’t draw for shit.  But put a detail brush in my hand and I’m suddenly off to the races.  It’s a sticky wicket, that’s for sure, but I ain’t going to question it.

7.  My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

Fascinating, right? 🙂 Now on to the nail fail, an exercise in humility, but also one in seeing exactly how far I feel I’ve come in just seven months.  It’s nicely encouraging.  I can say, however, that after completing these nails some months back, I was not so encouraged:

Are they mummies or rabid zebra in extreme close-up?

Are they mummies or rabid zebra in extreme close-up?

Seriously, what are those things?!  This is a glow in the dark mummy design I did around Halloween of last year, although I’m guessing that had I not told you those terrifying striped things are mummies, you’d be saying to yourself, “So…rabid zebra?  In extreme close-up?”  I’ve committed greater (and uglier) nail no-nos than this one, but this is a nicely embarrassing example of the time I just got it 100 percent wrong (and horrifyingly so – those mummy zebras look like the stuff nightmares are made of.)  Nail fail on all counts.

Finally, as a “condition” of accepting the Shine On Award, the recipient is to return the favour by nominating some of their favourite bloggers.  Many of the blogs I visit have been in existence now for some time, so a good number of these people may have already danced the Shine On hokey pokey.  With that in mind, I’ll simply extend my admiration for their blogs – mad props, all, and thank you for continuing to inspire.

1. Craftynail – There’s always lots of fun community-based things going on over at Craftynail, and Jacqui never fails to have a positive comment about my work (even the wonky, rabid zebra creatures.)

2. Eleobel’s Nails – Her swatches are so nice and tidy and she has THE nicest shaped nails.  My stubbies are envious.

3. EASYbAKED – Not a nail blog, but a beautifully photographed site full of adorable, rainbow-hued desserts.  I can attest to the inexplicable yumminess of her Froot Loop Pie recipe at least three times over.   

4. Vegan Claws – I’ve known Jo, the proprietress (?) of Vegan Claws, since high school, and I can say that in addition to being a pretty cool person, her commitment to seeking out cruelty-free, vegan nail products is beyond admirable and something I desperately need to put into practice in my own work.  Cats don’t need or want to wear nail polish; they just don’t. 😉

5. Wonderful Wolf – A nail blogger who’s not afraid to get in touch with the brighter end of the colour spectrum, her work is always super colourful and nicely detailed.

6. The Adorned Claw – Quickly becoming a stamping superpower.  I’m jealous, because much like drawing on anything but my nails, I can’t stamp for shit.

7. Majormakeupmadness – Fun makeup tutorials, and Hazel has beautiful eyes.

8. Polish Alcoholic – Super tidy and pretty swatches, with a heavy emphasis on swoon-worthy holos and hard-to-find picks.

9. Elektra King – A blogger after my nail art heart, Elektra King’s all about the major indie glitters and hardest-to-find imports.

10. Flight of Whimsy – A fun blog filled with tons of cool designs from both ends of the nail art spectrum, with plenty of colourful stops in between.

So here endth our incredibly long tale.  If you made it this far, congratulations!  You may want to rehydrate yourself after your epic journey – the line for water’s to the left.  And if you bailed out in the middle, well, I understand.  I tend to get a little long-winded, especially about that which I love. 😉 And oddly enough, I do indeed love nail art and blogging, two things that have brought me much joy these past seven or so months.  So if the “price” to pay for that is being complimented and then returning that compliment in kind, well, that’s still a pretty great (and awesomely fulfilling) deal.  For the final time, thank you, blogging community.  Manifesto done!

Sailor Moon, is that you?

Sailor Moon, is that you?

8 thoughts on “Shine On (or Becoming a Gracious Blogger)

  1. Haha, this is brilliant thanks! I feel bad, you have shamed me, as people have nominated me before for other awards and I have done the ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ thing, eeepp. Mainly because I think ‘who really cares to read silly stuff about me’ though, not for any other reason. And I don’t like the thought of putting pressure on another poor blogger to have to write something too! Maybe I’m just a big coward…

    • Shame not, as I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve gotten a couple of these nominations before, and really? They’re just blogger-on-blogger chain letters (thankfully, though, they’re not the “If you don’t send this letter to five people within the next three seconds your life’s going straight down the crapper” variety, but it’s pretty close, huh? 🙂 And you’re right, it is a lot of pressure to a) “accept” the things and not feel like a tool about it and b) expect someone else to play along. Which is of course why I didn’t play the game the way I was supposed to (send it to 15 people? I don’t even know 15 people!) and why I’m totally cool if other folks don’t feel like playing either. I just wanted to highlight some bloggers I like and their fun sites – it felt like time to pay some of the love I’ve gotten forward. 🙂

      • Yeah, that chain letter vibe sort of annoyed me a bit too, my reader gets a bit flooded by them every now and then. How does it start, that’s what I’d like to know! This discussion has really helped to know it’s okay to maybe say ‘thanks’ but maybe ‘no thanks’. I’ll go away and have a think about what to do, which might be nothing, but maybe that’s alright. I think it’s cool that you like my blog though, I like your nail designs too – they’re fun and the posts interesting!

  2. I didn’t know the awards existed hehe. And I agree, when (and if) someone ever leaves a comment I always think i’ll be spam or a BS filled comment. Is really amazing how big the nail community and I’m very familiar with the feeling that you put a lot of time and effort on your nails and post and it does nothing and gets nowhere but we all should just keep going. Each of us have our strengths and we do it for the love of nail art (and our crazy obsession with painting our nails more that we “should”)

    It was indeed a long post but I enjoyed it. Like a little slap-in-the-face/pep-talk that I needed.

    Love & Smiles, Jessi

    • Thank you for your comment – that’s so lovely to hear! It’s always nice to get compliments for the nail art part of things, but I love it when someone takes the time to read my (sometimes very long!) ramblings, and if they can enjoy them at the same time, well, so much the better. 🙂 Stop by again, hang around for a bit, and thank you again for your sweet words – it means a lot.

  3. Pingback: One Lovely Blog | Finger Candy

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