Polkadotaroo!

Dots 1

Like most Ontario kids who were born in the 1970s and came of (childhood) age in the 1980s, I watched A LOT of The Polka Dot Door.  A production of TV Ontario (holy crap, when’s the last time you saw that name?) The Polka Dot Door was a children’s television show for the seven and under crowd that featured host-led songs and skits and play-acting, and this nutso recurring character by the name of the Polkaroo.  The conceit of the Polkaroo was that the male half of the girl-boy hosting duo would step out for a moment to perform some mundane errand – nip on down to the store for more apples, take out the trash, replace the broken round window in the actual polka dotted door.  Anything to get that guy out of there (toward the end of the show’s run, I remember thinking they had run out of things he just had to do right that very minute, because they were just, like, “Oh, him?  Um, he’s in the can!”)  Anyhow, a few moments after the male host stepped out the door, the Polkaroo magically appeared.  And the Polkaroo was pure nightmare fuel – weird, saggy, baggy plushie body, garish colours, inability to say anything other than “Polkaroo!”  I think he was supposed to be a polka dotted kangaroo, but I just thought he was tacky.

And also CLEARLY the dude half of the hosting team, because after the Polkaroo had blundered about for a bit, knocking things over, pissing off the female host and then learning an invaluable lesson about teamwork, he’d clear out and the male host would sweep back in, all “WhadidImiss?” and the music would hit this “wah-wahhhhhh” cue and the female host would look on in indulgent exasperation.

I really liked The Polka Dot Door – it was one of the better early childhood morality and socialization nudgers of the time – but the Polkaroo never sat well with me, I think because I knew I was being talked down to.  And just because it came with a little wink didn’t lessen the sting of feeling like adults were having one over on me.  Kids – they don’t like to be made to feel like dummies any more than you do!

Anyhow, these polka dotted nails, in a range of Fall-perfect holos, got me thinking about The Polka Dot Door, so that’s how we wound up with this post that has nothing to do with the manicure at hand (and on my hand.)  That a good enough tangent for ya?!  Tangentialicious!  And Polkaroo!

Dots 2

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Tutorial Time!

Marbled Dots Pic

This colourful marbled mani I did some weeks ago was so insanely easy, pretty and popular, it seemed a shame not to share my method.  Really, though, there’s nothing more complicated here than a simple dotticure sexed up by – wait for this revelation – dipping your dotting tool into TWO different polishes at once.  Sounds naughty, looks stupendous – like accidental, intricate marbling you actually intended to create!  And if you’ve ever tried to marble anything in nail art, then you know it’s a relentless pain in the arse, so any simplification is more than welcome.

First, begin by rounding up your tools.  For this manicure, I used just three lacquers, Enchanted Polish’s orchid pink Dope Jam, golden yellow House of the Rising Sun and dusty blue September 2015.  Marbled together, these polishes create cool new blended colours – blue and yellow makes green, yellow and pink produces orange, and pink and blue makes purple.  So no need to bust out your entire polish collection for this dotticure; just pink, yellow and blue will get the rainbow job done nicely.

Marbled Dots Bottle Collage

For this manicure, I used a small dotting tool I’ve had forever and these polish palette rings from Daily Charme I was gifted last Christmas.  I particularly like the paw print ring, which is why I’m sporting it in these tutorial pics.  It fits securely, but not snugly, and is well balanced so it doesn’t slide to either side of your finger mid-mani.

Polish Rings Collage

So having assembled your little arsenal, let’s get down to the criminally easy step-by-step.

Marbled Dots Tutorial Collage

Step 1: Paint your nails to opacity with a basic white creme.

Step 2: Once dry, slip on a polish palette ring and fill the tiny divots with your three chosen lacquers.  Should you not possess jewelry that doubles as a beauty tool, simply dot your polish out onto whatever surface you typically use as a palette.

Step 3: Take your dotting tool and dip it into one polish (say, the pink) and then another (this time the blue.)

Step 4: Dot onto your nails.  Two or three dots per nail should do it.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the yellow and blue polishes.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the pink and yellow polishes.

Step 7: Fill in any blank spots or gaps that are irking you for a more cohesive design.

Step 8: Once dry, top with a high gloss, quick dry top coat such as Seche Vite.  Then stand out in the sun and admire all your maybe-not-so-hard work!

Marbled Dots Sunshine

I’ve Lost My Marbles!

I've Lost My Marbles 1

News to no one.

But I may have found them again with this nifty, super effective manicure that was so criminally easy, I almost hesitate to tell you how I created that cool marbled effect, lest you think I’m a totally unimaginative sod (why, I never!)

But okay, here goes, a mini tutorial, for what it’s worth.

Step 1: Paint your nails to opacity with a basic white creme.

Step 2: Once dry, take a small dotting tool and, using just a pink creme, a pale blue creme and a yellow creme, dip it lightly first into one polish (say, the pink) and then another (this time the blue) and then dot onto your nails in a random fashion.  What you’ll be left with is a small marbled dot that’s a little pink, a little blue and a little purple combination of the two.

Step 3: Repeat with the pink and yellow polishes (which produce a pretty, coral-y orange) and the yellow and blue polishes (which, of course, produce green.)

Step 4: Top with a layer of high gloss topcoat such as Seche Vite.  Then sit back and marvel at this magnificent mani that took next to no work!  Marbles found.

I've Lost My Marbles 2

Celebration Nails

Celebration Nails

And what are we celebrating on this fine April Fool’s Day?  My impending fourth decade of existence, in a couple weeks’ time, and that’s unfortunately no joke.  Nobody likes getting older, except maybe six-year-olds. But tonight I’m going out with friends to celebrate in advance like adults, with roast beast by candlelight and something brown and bracing in a rocks glass.  Seeing as I need a pretty manicure for that (or would merely like one) I think these eye-catching, colour-shifting nails will suffice!

Hanging Chandelier

chandelier-nails

Ha!  This manicure was supposed to be ever so much more delicate than it actually turned out, and my little inverted dotted crowns (or whatever the heck those things are) on my two middle fingers wound up looking just like those slightly dusty stained glass chandeliers that hang over the tables in your dingier pool halls and bars.  Whoops.  At least the colour selection’s working here!  Although…the stained glass in those lamps is invariably some muted colour that shouldn’t be used in lighting, like red or brown or gold, right?  Better face facts – I apparently just wanted to do a manicure that looks like ugly, dusty lamps in places better left un-lit.  It was fated. 🙂

Very Violetta (31DC2016)

a-version-of-violetta

Well, here we are, at the very final prompt of the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, and despite my better efforts, I’m finishing up three days late!  Just like I do every year!  Except this year I didn’t have some insane final push where I had to complete seven manicures in two days – just the slow and steady certainty of being a day or two off the pace (owing to some unforeseen difficulties in the WiFi department.)

But I finished, just like I always do, and the final day’s theme – and for those of you keeping score at home, yes, there are 31 days of challenge prompts in a month with only 30 days – was to complete a manicure inspired by someone else’s work you admire.  For me, that’s nail artist and Instagram blogger Violetta Ter-Akopova. Violetta’s work is impeccable – tons of tiny dots in intricate patterns, and so, so precise.  Her manicures look like the beaded tops of tiny, stone-encrusted jewelry boxes.  And here’s my interpretation – a pastel jewelry box, fit for tiny treasures. 🙂