Disney Girl Challenge: Woah-o-oh, Vampirina!

Vampirina Collage 1

Well, would you look at that – actual nail art on this nail art blog!  However, owing to the fact that my brain now seems to be permanently stuck in Disney auto-pilot mode, you know there’s gots to be some House of the Mouse in here somewhere.

This is Vampirina.  She may be blue, with pointy teeth, but she’s just like you!  Or she’s like the three to six-year-olds who are her target television audience, where she has a cute namesake show about her family’s spooky adventures in Pennsylvania.  It’s a Disney Junior production, though fairly new, which means the kids haven’t quite lost their wee minds over Vampirina and her friends as much as they have over, say, Doc McStuffins or those weirdo PJ Masks critters.  Give it time; I feel like this one is going to be big.

I’m a good 35 years off Vampirina’s targeted age range, but I just find it utterly adorable.  Vampirina Hauntley’s a spooktacular little baby goth, and she’s the kind of thoughtful, self-possessed and totally normal kid anyone would be delighted to call their own.  That she’s a blue-skinned, pointy-toothed vampire from a strange country filled with unfamiliar customs is a metaphor for anybody who may think of themselves as an “other,” although the show doesn’t whap you over the head with its message of acceptance and friendship and understanding.  Or maybe it does and I’ve just been brainwashed after staring into Vampirina’s unmoving purple eyes for too long (my one complaint with the show – the animation is flat, although the rich colours and design of the show are straight out of a Tim Burton movie.)  It’s a terror-ifically delightful and non-irritating children’s show with a kind heart, a great message and a colourful gothic look, and I love it for it, child(-at-heart) or no.  Also, James Van Der Beek voices Vee’s father, Boris, Lauren Graham her mother, Oxana, and Wanda Sykes Vampirina’s 473-year-old gargoyle best friend, Gregoria.  It’s so insanely charming.

Vampirina 3

I nearly gave myself a case of the battys when we walked out of a ride on a recent trip to Hollywood Studios and Vampirina was right across the street holding a character meet-and-greet!  We jumped into line and didn’t feel the least bit weird about the fact that we were the only adults around. 🙂

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And oh my gosh, she was SO cute!  On the show, Vampirina plays guitar in a band with her human friends Poppy and Bridget.  The Ghoul Girls thrash out in Vampirina’s stone tower bedroom, and Vampirina’s all about those rawk fingers.  She actually got so excited here after we asked about her band that she nearly stuck her devil horns straight up Mr. Finger Candy’s nose!

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Is there something wrong with us that we’ll stand in line to meet real life plushie representations of fictional animated characters?  Yeah, probably!  But it’s a lot like Vampirina unlocking her inner ghoul – it feels good, so we’re doing it.  Family motto of the last 365 days, actually.  So glad we got to meet this cutie – one day it will probably pay off in cool-loser Aunt Sandra stories for some delighted six-year-olds. 😉

Vampirina Collage 2

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Disney Girl Challenge: Oh Look, Another Glorious Morning

Hocus Pocus Collage 2

…Makes me sick!  As Winifred Sanderson of Hocus Pocus might say, here represented in tiny lacquered form alongside her witchy sisters, toady Mary and nitwit Sarah.

I am a late, late convert to the Cult of Hocus Pocus, much to the chagrin of a number of friends (hi, Jessica!) who swore up and down that I’d absolutely adore it.  Except the first time I really sat down and attempted to watch it early last Fall, I couldn’t; it was goofy, shrill and shrieky in a way that just doesn’t ring my chimes.

Then we went to Disney World to celebrate our Halloween anniversary, and that’s where we both fell in love with Hocus Pocus.  At this time of year ’round the parks, particularly the Magic Kingdom, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the reach of this movie.  Disney has leaned into their also-also ran Halloween hit (the first being The Nightmare Before Christmas) in a big, big way, creating an entire stage show – the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – around Winnie, Mary and Sarah Sanderson, complete with a raucous, audience-“hypnotizing” version of I’ve Put a Spell on You.  It probably doesn’t need to be said that there’s also an absolute ton of merchandise available.

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The thing that nabbed us, though, was a 24-hour Hocus Pocus marathon that ran on Halloween itself.  It was one of those things we just sort of absorbed via exhausted osmosis – too tired to even reach a hand over to change the channel on the remote, we lay there, collapsed on our beds, and gave ourselves over to the Sandersons.  Compounding our confusion somewhat was the fact that over that weekend, we were seldom in our room, out pounding the theme park pavement from dusk till dawn instead.  So we’d return to our resort room just in time to catch wildly out-of-order snippets of fake cops, dead man’s chungs, flattened cats, the chocolate-covered finger of a man named Clark and mortal busboys.  Having never seen the movie from start to finish, it was a complete mindf**k, like wandering into somebody else’s Hocus Pocus-tinged acid trip.  It was really so much more engaging – if not utterly confusing – that way!

And so after that, Hocus Pocus just became one of “those movies” – a film you love more because of the events that happened around it, and less because of the actual movie itself (which, over many repeated viewings – linear ones, too! – has really endeared itself to me.)  On our most recent Labour Day trip, the “too exhausted to change the channel” pick was Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (a nearly necessary bit of gratuitous violence and snarky Justin Long to balance out the relentlessly saccharine sweetness of a day spent at the Magic Kingdom; I love the place, but Disney truly has precious little edge.)  Pretty sure we’ve watched it a dozen times since returning home, because it conjures up sweet, pleasantly exhausted memories of our great trip.

Hocus Pocus Collage 3

Just like Hocus Pocus!  You guys already know that when I really like something, I put it on my nails, and the Sandersons have proven to be no exception.  I’ve also added these manicures to my casual, year-to-year Disney Girl Challenge, wherein I attempt to do a manicure for every Disney character bearing two X chromosomes.  In hindsight, I probably should have added Dani and Allison to the list, but I thought I’d start with the main draws.  Besides, do the Sandersons look like reasonable women who like to share?  No, not particularly!  But I’m sharing, because I’m not a witch…or am I? 😉

A Multitude of Mermaids

Closing out the long weekend for us Canadians and kicking off the work week for the rest of you fine folks with this little video I made for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!, of one of my favourite rides at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid!  As my husband has pointed out, my affection for this new-ish attraction is fairly unsurprising given that it’s essentially the Haunted Mansion, themed to the Little Mermaid (they share a similar ride profile, right down to the Doom Buggies/Clam Shells that usher you through the ride (don’t forget to pull down your sand bar, wah-waaaahhhhh) and the bats/stingrays printed on the moving walkway at the end of the ride.)

And while I was dinglehopper-deep in fond memories of Journey of the Little Mermaid, I thought it would be fun to round up the many, many mermaid manis I have done over the years, including a number of ever-evolving Little Mermaid manicures honouring our girl, Ariel.  Gosh, some of my earlier stuff was dod-gy!  That’s one of the very nice things about dabbling about in a visual medium – when your talents evolve (and they absolutely will, with enough practice) you’ll really be able to see how very much you’ve improved.  It’s great (mermaid) motivation. 🙂

Chillin’ Like a Villain: Poor Unfortunate Souls

Ursula Ears Collage 2

Because baddies need ear love, too!  Kicking off the week here at Finger Candy by highlighting showing off these stupendous Ursula mouse ears I recently purchased from Etsy vendor Mouseket Ears Bowtique.  They are THE coolest ears I’ve ever seen, and I can already tell you that when I wear them on our upcoming trip to Disney at Halloween (or perhaps even before then…) I won’t be able to take three steps without somebody excitedly asking where I nabbed ’em.  And you just know I had to do a matching mani to go along with this beautiful headband, as well as a rather cadaverous-looking (but no doubt Ursula-approved) lip.

Ursula 1

Mouse ears, or Minnie ear headbands, as they’re often called, are a relatively new thing in my life.  I’ve always admired all of the people bombing around the parks in an ever-changing assortment of mouse ear’d headpieces, but as a lifelong sufferer of both random headaches and nuclear migraines, anything that put pressure on any part of my head (see also toques, soft headbands, some baseball hats, helmets, goggles, etc.) was pretty well off limits.  But (*knock on wood*) that no longer seems to be quite the issue it used to be, and now it’s a frickin’ ear-a-palooza!  These Ursula ears (and an accompanying order-mate I’ll proudly show off in another couple of days) are actually my fourth pair.

Minnie ear headbands come in two varieties, official Disney styles, like these Sally ears I purchased at Hollywood Studios last year, or indie, like my beloved new Ursula ears.  The Disney Parks ears are great, nicely made and not too pricey, but mass, mass produced – you will absolutely see these ears adorning the heads of another 20,000 of your newest and bestest theme park buddies.  But if you’re looking for something a little different, ears that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd, or perhaps even a custom creation, you can’t go wrong with Etsy.

Ursula Collage 1

And I’m now so pleased to report that you can’t go wrong with Mouseket Ears Bowtique.  These ears are just so beautiful in every sense of the word – sturdy and comfortably weighty, like they won’t just topple off your head in the slightest breeze, and so, so gorgeous!  The attention to detail (that fish bone quill on the back!) is incredible.  And with a nice little bit of padding in the band, in addition to well balanced details atop the band, they’re also unexpectedly comfortable.  I’m completely smitten. 🙂 And not for nothing, but the thought of running around with Triton’s ill-gotten crown atop my noggin, nestled between those searching, glittery tentacles, is quite tantalizing.  Think I can’t rule the seas?  Watch me, T!  And also please watch this blog in the coming days for that second pair of ears, which I may be even more excited about than these (spoiler: He uses antlers in all of his DE-CO-RA-TING!)

Eyes Closed

Rock the Dots

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I saw that Minnie Mouse received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the other day!  Good on her; you know she’s the brains behind the whole “Mickey ‘n” situation, and someone’s got to wrangle whatever the hell Goofy is. 🙂

I really like how this manicure turned out, particularly Minnie herself over on my thumb.  Typically my attempts at cartoon or animated characters are, appropriately enough, comically laughable – horribly misshapen, off-brand nightmare fuel.  But Minnie looks pretty decent, so I’ll take it!

Rock the Dots Collage

Ears to You

Ears to Us, Eh! Ears

Or ears to me!  Or would it be ears for me?  At the very least they were purchased by me.  And usually only worn by me, although I’m clearly not opposed to sharing.

Ears to Us, Eh!

I was on-property at our resort, the Port Orleans Riverside, approximately seven minutes before I had snapped up this glittery Vintage Minnie headband.  I’ve always, always wanted to buy a set of mouse ears, but headbands and I have historically been no bueno – they pinch the sides of my skull in a way that provokes instant headaches in this already headache-prone person.  But I was on a mouse ears mission, and I could not say no to this vintage-style set, with its shimmery, sequined polka dots and ultra trendy rose gold bow.  Also the cute little flower that sproings off the middle at a charmingly daffy angle.

Mouse Ears

But did they hurt?  Actually, no, they didn’t.  I didn’t get a single headache from either set of ears I purchased (the others being the Sally ears my husband is sporting in the picture above.)  Toward the late afternoon I’d begin to feel a little tenderness behind my ears, but nothing unmanageable, and no headaches!  I credit the ample padding in the band.  And also a lot of mind over migraine matter, because I really wanted these ears!  As did everyone else; they had just hit the resort shops, but had not yet been released to the parks.  Over the first couple of days of our vacation I was stopped by probably two dozen people asking where I got them.  Yup, that’s right, you’re in the presence of mouse ears greatness!  Impressed yet? 😉

And as always when I’m charmed by something, I put it on my nails!  To mimic the sequins on these ears, I used two glittery textured polishes, OPI’s blue Get Your Number and Nicole by OPI’s pink Candy is Dandy.  Super cute.

Ears to You, Eh! Nails

Disney Girl Challenge: Madame Leota (31DC2016)

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For non-Disneyphiles, Madame Leota is the spirit of a deceased clairvoyant who lives in the Haunted Mansion.  She’s remarkably chatty, dramatically intoning all sorts of wisdom from beyond the corporeal realm, although she don’t get around much – Madame Leota is naught but a head in a crystal ball.  Which made these nails for day 29’s theme of the supernatural in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge sort of difficult; how do you create a design around a character who’s really a supernatural paperweight resting on a fringed, velvet tablecloth?  Well, you start by painting an adorable, smirking Madame Leota on your thumb, as she’s not much for smiling.  Then you add her velvet-flocked tablecloth (one does want a hint of colour, after all) and the musical instruments that dance across the walls of her seance room.

Once when I was a kid the ride stopped for about 10 minutes right in front of Madame Leota’s crystal ball, and I started conjuring up all sorts of delightful fantasies about how my parents and I – and just the three of us – would be forced to live out the remainder of our days in the Haunted Mansion.  I was, of course, totally okay with that plan – it was like my greatest dream was actually coming true!  No doubt my parents, who had been sitting there for 10 long, dark minutes listening to Madame Leota drone on and on about “regions beyond” were less enamored.  So it’s just as well that the ride started back up again and we moved on (only to disembark, and then immediately line up for another go-round; my parents let me be a weird kid sometimes.)