Groove is in the Heart (31DC2016)


Yeah, I’d best be getting my groove on seeing as I’m now three days behind on the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, owing to what should have been some totally foreseeable technical difficulties (the installation of higher speed Internet to my apartment, and when does that ever go smoothly?  Never, which is why I was without a connection for a day and a half, which in Internet time is equivalent to 73 very long years.)

All blogging dramatics aside, these nails are my entry towards day 22’s theme of a song in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  Groove is in the Heart, by early ’90s club band Deee-Lite, is one of those musical ear worms you either love or hate.  I fall into the latter category; it’s fun, but so gimmicky, and despite my husband’s protestations – he LOVES them like he loves the B-52s, another band with a similar retro vibe – it’s the very essence of a one hit wonder, and all those slide whistles start making me feel super twitchy after a bit.  But it has inspired some pretty cool nail art, so we shall call this one a win. 🙂

Stranger Barb (31DC2016)


It’s been at least a few days since I’ve done a Stranger Things manicure, and what better time to bust out the big Barb guns – Queen Barb of the Upside Down, destroyer of fun, patron saint of orange – than for day 21’s theme of a colour in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  And orange is completely the colour I associate with Buzzkill Barb – hair, stiff, high-necked plaid blouses, gunk coming out of her mouth when she’s first snatched by the Demogorgon and abducted to the Upside Down (per one of the innumerable pieces I’ve read about Stranger Things, that gunk was a mixture of oil, baby food and marmalade – literally more oranges for poor Barb, who might have lived had she not been the only person in history to nearly cut off her hand trying to shotgun a beer.  And also if she had just told her horny loser friends to kiss the very widest part of her mom jeans-covered ass and gone home to cry in her bedroom alone.  I vote for the latter, and I think in hindsight Barb probably would, too!)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (31DC2016)


Water marbling was the order of the day for yesterday’s entry in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  My approach when it comes to water marbling, bane of just about every nail artist’s existence, is to just…not!  I try to avoid it at all costs, save and except this one day in September, specifically for this challenge.  And when I do finally bite the bullet and muddle through, I try to choose a design that’s already a bit watery and diffuse, so that way when I inevitably screw up, it almost looks like I meant to do it on purpose.  Sneaky, sneaky, but I’ll take whatever advantage I can get over stupid old water marbling, it’s just such a pain in my arse!

The last two years of the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge I’ve done watery-looking water marbles full of shimmery, turquoise-on-turquoise bends and waves.  This year I thought I’d add a little something to that water in the form of a beverage that I bet a lot of people would say is just as important to their functioning as water, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte.  I used to worship at the altar of the PSL, but in recent years as I’ve found my palette edging more and more towards stronger, sharper and more bitter flavours, drinking a pumpkin spice latte leaves me feeling like I’ve just gargled with honey (and brushed my teeth with whipped cream; PSLs make my teeth feel SO furry!)

It’s not a pumpkin spice latte, but today I’m enjoying my coffee – black, sugar – in this fun Fall throwback, one of a set of matching Starbucks thermoses my husband and I bought the first year we were together.  Which would make this particular thermos nearly 14 years old.  Which means I’m drinking a hot beverage out of 14 year old plastic.  And here I was worrying about all the sugar in a PSL!  Right, so I’m most likely poisoning myself – dumping out my coffee now – but how cute is this glow-in-the-dark skeleton thermos? So cute!


And it’s even cuter – and better protected; some of these early Starbucks thermoses can get a bit warm to the touch – when it’s dressed in this adorable little handmade cozy my blogging friend Amanda of Thrifty Polished made for all of the participants in the Fall Fun Series.  So super cute and wonderfully thoughtful – thanks again, Amanda!


Moons Over Tatooine (31DC2016)


It never ceases to amaze me the interesting, mostly unknown paths my adventures in nail art have led me down.  Tonight, for instance, I found myself consulting Wikipedia on the possible existence of two moons on the Star Wars planet of Tatooine.  I was curious as to whether it had two moons to match its two suns (and also whether I could use it as the inspiration for this silhouetted manicure for day 18’s theme of half moons in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.)  Turns out it actually has three, although the third rotates into Tatooine’s orbit so infrequently, it technically functions as another planet.  So there you go, your fictional astronomy lesson for the day. 😉

Cotton Pyjamas (31DC2016)


Because I can’t put tiny flowers in petite pastels over a soft pink base without thinking that I’ve just designed the most perfect pair of embroidered cotton pyjamas.  You know, the ones you find hanging on a padded hanger in a general store in a small, touristy town alongside other quilted, bejeweled and cinnamon-scented wax products crafted by local artisans.  And they’re always, like, $79 a pair, but you shell out anyway, because who doesn’t love crisp cotton pyjamas dotted with intricate embroidery?  Not this gal, which is why I’ve owned approximately a dozen pairs of such pyjamas over the course of my lifetime (nighties included.)  It’s also why I painted this manicure for day 15’s theme of a delicate print in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  Just getting two birds stoned at once here. 😉

My Little Mod Garden (31DC2016)


Day 14’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge was flowers.  As you may remember, I did nearly an entire week’s worth of floral manis the first week of the challenge, so I’ve kind of got the flower thing covered.  Here’s a collage of the first six day’s worth of themes, corresponding to my versions of various red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet flowers.


So like the apples of the other day, I may now be a bit flower’d out.  That’s why I think these floral nails look more like the design on a fabulous Mod dress from the 1960s, or perhaps even a wildly chic sofa (except back then, and especially in Canada, it would have been called a chesterfield.  And how friggin’ weird is that word anyways?!  Chesterfield *snicker snicker*)

Parrotfish (31DC2016)


Day 13’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge called for an animal print, which I naturally interpreted as a fish print, because I’m tired of leopards and zebras and tigers, and I’ve been meaning to redo an earlier parrotfish design of mine for ages now.  And yes, I realize parrotfish – or fish of any description – are not animals in the sense most likely contemplated by the challenge theme, but when there’s a critter this gorgeous and colourful bombing around the world, its exact taxonomy really amounts to a hill of beans now, doesn’t it? And that’s a lesson I think we could all stand to learn, on land or by sea, fish or fowl (but especially the foul.)

These very detailed nails look a bit more stylized than the average parrotfish, though, whose heads and bodies are covered in abstract markings.  But the colourful spirit is the same; parrotfish are some of the prettiest peacocks in the sea with their shimmery turquoise scales and fuchsia, jade green, orange, yellow and cobalt markings, and these nails are not too far off colour-wise from the actual fish.  Beautiful!

Fashionably Striped (31DC2016)


For last year’s theme of fashion in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge I did a manicure inspired by the gorgeous Naeem Khan gown actress Ellie Kemper wore to the 2015 Emmy’s. Studded with intricate beading, the solid stripes and chevrons of the super slinky, very retro gown glimmered with sequins in shades of dusky blue, plummy purple, shimmery nude, rusty orange and bubblegum pink.  The dress itself was gorgeous and Ellie, of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, looked like a stone cold fox (an adorable, super floofy fox, maybe; Ellie Kemper is like a human ray of sunshine and I have a hard time associating her with anything other than cute, cute, CUTE!)

But my favourite part of that particular outfit was, hands down, its terrifically unique colour combination. Really, stormy blue, dark purple, light pink, rusty orange and nude should not be colours that work beautifully in tandem, and yet here we are!  But I wasn’t hugely fond of the job I did on last year’s manicure – lining up all those chevrons, horizontals and verticals without the aid of striping tape was a pain, and the end result was kind of sloppy.

But with my free-handed striping game now so much better than it was this time last year, I thought I’d take another run at the Naeem Khan gown, this time in a series of bold vertical stripes for day 12’s theme of – yup, you guessed it – stripes.  Final verdict?  MUCH better – kind of like the striped pattern on an amazing pair of pjs from the 1970s – and still my vote for the coolest, most unique colour combination you’ll find in fashion or nail art!


Dot, Dot, Dot… (31DC2016)


I completed this manicure for day 11’s theme of polka dots in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge earlier on the 11th, but sat on it until the clock struck midnight on September 12th.  With no judgement towards those who do/did, it’s my personal policy on days of great tragedy, whether they happened 15 years ago or 15 hours ago, to go radio silent.  My brain is a perpetual beehive motion machine under the best of circumstances, and when I’m overloaded with sadness and fear – or even just the memory of sadness and fear – I prefer to stay in that weird little buzzing place and sort through the wreckage on my own.  Blogging and nail art are generally not compatible with that kind of frame of mind, and so I stay respectfully silent.

But I’m posting now at just a few minutes after midnight on the 12th because I didn’t want to lose the fabulous momentum I’ve managed to build up over the course of my participation in two different blogging challenges this month.  As in I’ve been completely on the pace, a feat I have never once managed in any of the challenges I’ve participated in in my three years of blogging.  I have no idea why that is, but it’s an odd little bug in my programming that seems to have sorted itself out with this most recent round of challenges, and I really didn’t want to fall behind.  But now we’re nicely back on track! Onward ho.