On a Sunny Sunday Morn

Arty

The blogging world is such an odd, circuitous little animal sometimes.  Case in point?  This manicure was inspired by a post a blogger friend, Sketchuniverse, posted to his art blog highlighting the beautiful work of another artist and blogger from Lucy’s Coloring Book.  It’s an M.C. Escher staircase of blog post appreciation!

I’m not sure I did Lucy’s design a ton of justice (please do click on the link above to check out her colourful, whimsical work) but I do love the bright, cram-every-surface-with-something approach to art, and indeed nail art.  These are fun and summery, and just a little weird and wacky – the perfect beauty note on which to end this summer weekend.  Hope you’re having a nice one, friends. 🙂

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Merry Manatees

Merry Manatees

Know what this is, friends?  A Sandra Lewrey original, and an early Christmas gift for my mom.  You’d never know I’m nearly 41 years old with art skills like these!

No surprise that “real” is not exactly my thing (you need look no further than my nail art designs for abundant evidence of that) but these manatees look like they were drawn by a four-year-old!  Which is appropriate, because I’m kind of feeling like a four-year-old.  Because tomorrow morning my husband and I are once again leaving on a jet plane for all places Disney World, straight through Christmas and a little bit beyond.

And I’m feeling only-child wretched about it.  Unbelievably excited, of course – oh my cats, we’re going to Disney for Christmas!!! – but also sad.  Have, in fact, here on the eve of our flights, been crying for the better part of the evening.  Before you (somewhat rightfully) declare me an epic wuss puss, allow me to say that I’m very close to my parents, and this will be the first Christmas in 40 years that we will not be together.  I’m trying to be mature about it, but I actually like hanging out with my parents, and as much fun as I KNOW Mr. Finger Candy and I going to have, I also know I’m going to miss them terribly.  Hence all the tears.  I’ve actually gone the full ham and we’re watching The Christmas Toy, a Jim Henson production of the late ’80s about an unlikely friendship between a stuffed tiger toy and a catnip mouse that makes me SOB from start to finish.

The quasi-joke among our family this holiday season is that my husband and I are ABANDONING them, AT CHRISTMAS.  Which we are.  Might as well own up to it!  So I made this painting for my mom of two manatees abandoning their family for the holidays.  I’m the one with the bow. 🙂

Happiest of Christmases, friends.  I will try to update this blog over the next week, but I’ve never blogged on the road before, and I’ve no idea what to expect.  Also, you know I’ll be back at you with a complete rundown of the entire experience, in exhaustive detail!  You’ll be begging me to stop telling you about the Star Wars fireworks and projection show at Hollywood Studios already.  But until then, the merriest of merrys to you and yours, and warmest of wishes for a wonderful holiday.

Nightmare in My Diningroom

Nightmare Collage

With Halloween – and my 13th wedding anniversary! – fast approaching, I thought it was time to show you the anniversary present my husband and I gave to ourselves, from ourselves.  And as it turns out, ourselves has great taste in anniversary gifts!

Halloween 4

This is a fully functioning Nightmare Before Christmas cuckoo clock we purchased from The Bradford Exchange, an online collectibles dealer based out of Canada.  Bradford have a number of fantastic Nightmare Before Christmas collectibles, including a Christmas Town clock that has me seriously contemplating the utility of two chiming cuckoo clocks in an 850-square-foot space, but it’s this Halloween Town beauty that really captured my heart.  I love the dusky, heathered jewel tones of the clock (the grapey purples, the rusty oranges, the blackened turquoises) and despite my mother’s polite protestations (“Are you really sure you want this hanging in the diningroom where everyone who goes anywhere in your house can see it?”) I did indeed want it hanging in the diningroom where everyone who goes anywhere in my house can see it, because I love it!  Love the way Zero pops out of the little door at the top, love the vaguely rusty snippet of “This is Halloween” that cranks out at the top of every hour, love Boogie’s crew hanging off the acorns at the bottom.  It’s the perfect anniversary gift for our lucky 13th.

nbc-collage

Plus it also looks pretty darn fabulous with our Nightmare Before Christmas snow globe, a delightful wedding gift from friends that lives year-round on our sideboard, which you can see from this photo is totally crooked.  The sideboard, that is.  Or maybe the floor, or the chair rail molding, or, most likely, some horrid combination of all three.  It’s a Nightmare Before Leveling!

Halloween 1

The ceramic Jack-o-Lantern bags and spooky candelabras are strictly seasonal, although you can be forgiven for thinking otherwise, particularly when we’ve got paintings like these hanging on one wall year-round.  Mr. Finger Candy gave me these little wooden plaques one year as a birthday gift – they were painted by artist Kristin Tercek, although I think there’s a good deal of Burtonian inspiration at work here.  You can also add these paintings to the list of things my mom hates about our diningroom!  Oh man, she really hates them (said with a good natured, yet malevolent, sort of glee.)  I, of course, think they’re adorably messed up – my favourite is melancholy sushi girl.  I love her ebi bonnet.

Halloween 5

That also pretty well encompasses the totality of my Halloween decorating for this year, if you can call decorating just leaving out the things you already have (or have recently procured.)  I typically set up MY Halloween Town – once again, in the diningroom – but I had to put it in temporary storage that is not quite so accessible at the moment.  So in lieu of dealing with that insanity, I thought I’d go small and simple this year.

But I’ll always, always show off this manicure, because it remains one of the best ones I’ve ever done.  Everything works in this design; I’ve never done an update because there is nothing to update – it was perfect the first time around. 🙂

Nightmare Great Hand

Saint(s) and Sinners

saint-bottle-1

Despite the fact that this gorgeous Zoya polish is the exact pink-tinged periwinkle of a perfect Bachelor Button, the name of Saint is an apt one – during the Renaissance period, these sorts of blues were reserved for paintings of only the highest ranking of biblical figures.  Blue pigment – particularly that of the cerulean or purple-leaning variety – was both expensive and exceedingly difficult to come by; as such, only your top tier saints were garbed in blue.  So there’s a fun little trick for picking out the important people in Renaissance paintings.  The things you learn in a day, right?

And what I learned today is that this polish, a very recent purchase from Nail Polish Canada’s Black Friday sale, is stupendous.  I adore polishes like Saint – clear, vibrant jellies infused with pink micro-shimmer.  The resulting look is quite oil slicky, with a deep purple streak that makes the polish look like it’s glowing from within.  One of my favourite polishes to use this effect is Girly Bits Cosmetics’ Dead Man’s Toe, a dark khaki creme that looks like queasiness in a bottle (and I mean that in the best possible way!) But Saint, with its pink-hued shimmer and glassy, periwinkle hue, is beauty divine, no caveat (or names that invoke cadavers.)

saint-fingers

Except here comes one small caveat.  Being a jelly, Saint wants to pull back from the edges of your nails, an effect that’s exacerbated by quick dry topcoats.  So when applying, run the polish (I used three light coats for this manicure) right up to the edges of your cuticles. By the time it’s dry, it will have shrunk a bit, leaving you with a nice little frame around the edges of your nails that hopefully won’t require too much cleanup.  Zero sinning.

saint-bottle-2

The Impression That I Get (31DC2016)

the-impression-that-i-get

Day 27’s always-daunting theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge was artwork, and so I thought I’d simply whip up these very Impressionistic nails – you know, just dash off my interpretation of one of the Masters hard at work (in this case Monet.)  Nuthin’ to it!

But actually, aside from a bit of a time and a lot of patience in wrangling about 15 different bottles of nail polish, these nails were not that difficult.  Best of all, I think they’re full-on Monets – all right at a distance, but a big old mess up close.  And considering the source on that bit of wisdom (Cher Horowitz of Clueless) I’m feeling quite positive about my first attempt at art forgery. 😉

Class Clown

Clown Hand

Not that I would ever confuse what I do with art-art, but most people, when they draw or sculpt or paint, develop a pretty distinctive style.  Lichtenstein had his pop art, Monet went through his Impressionist phase, Lisa Frank was all about candy-coloured laser unicorns.

As for me?  I like to think my manicures are competently designed, but let’s make no mistake here – I’ve got one style, and that style is CUTE.  It is neither within my purview, nor really my preferred wheelhouse, to venture into the realm of say, scary.  Which is actually where this manicure started, believe it or not – my sad sack attempt at a scary clown to hopefully freak out an online friend who shares my belief that all my polka dotted manicures look like clown pants.  So I thought I’d draw a clown to go WITH the pants, except he turned out all cute and charming and not at all like Pennywise or that big, slobbery guy from Zombieland, so who’s the joker now, huh?  Bah, dastardly cute fella.

Here’s a clown collage, not to be mistaken with a clown COLLEGE.  Wah-wah. 🙂

Clown Collage

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario 1

So 1 is the gold standard, 2 is the acid flashback, 3 is the one everyone loves, 4 (or World) is the one with Yoshi and then I stopped playing the Super Mario games.  But some things stick with you forever, and it was high time I gave the nail art treatment to one of my favourite childhood video game franchises (bested only by the Donkey Kong Country games, which are a nail art subject for another day!)

Super Mario 2