Ruby Friday

Ruby Friday Collage 1

You know, “Goooood-bye, Ru-bee Friday, who could hang a name on you?”  That’s how that Rolling Stones song goes, right? (massive joke here – my Boomer parents are hardcore Stones fans, particularly my mom, and have been since they were about 16 years old.  I’ve sent them off to Toronto on more than a couple of occasions to catch their shows, always with the vague fear that my mother’s head is just going to explode, simply from breathing the same air as the leathery, seemingly indestructible object of her lifelong lust, Keith Richards.  Anyhow, long joke short, I’m well versed in the Stones.  Also the Animals, the Kinks, the Traveling Wilburys, Bob Segar, bit of Springsteen – that’s the music I grew up with.  No wonder my taste in music skews so very rock.)

Anyhow, I may have gotten the day wrong on these ruby-esque nails, but whether it’s Tuesday or Friday, I think they’re still pretty dope.  I actually did this manicure last month for the nail art challenge I’ve been participating in on Instagram for the theme of gemstones.  I’ve been doing gemstone and stone-type nails for a little while now, actually had a few in reserve that I could have whipped out for just such an occasion, but I decided to try a little something different with this manicure, opting for a jelly sandwich mani wherein I layered sponged-on silver and glittery red polishes between thick, glossy coats of a vibrant, ruby red jelly.  It turned out to be a pretty good technique – I think these nails look like the cross-section of a cut gemstone, so pretty.  I think they look particularly nice in the matte finish – gems before they’ve hit the buffer ‘n’ polisher.

Ruby Friday 6

And they don’t look too bad in WAY SUPER UP CLOSE MACRO MODE either.  It’s always amazing the level of detail that shows up in a macro shot, huh?  By the way, NEVER turn a macro lens on, say, your skin.  You’ll walk away convinced that you’re desiccating on the spot.  Hey, just like our leathery man, Keef! (kidding, Mom, I’m kidding – c’mon, you know Keith’s gonna outlast us all.  And thank goodness – we’re going to need sweet riffs in the apocalypse.) 😉

Ruby Friday 3

 

Goodbye, My Girl

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It was the sight of the closed cupboard door that buckled my knees and sent me thudding to the ground.  I had thought it would be a glimpse of her empty bed, her untouched food dish, her abandoned catnip mouse, Miguel.  But it was that door.  Hours earlier I would have doubted its ability to even close in the first place – as the door to the little cupboard where we stored her litter box, it was always open at least the width of a paw-pull.  But no cat was ever going to crouch down and hook that door open again, and as that horrid realization sunk in, everything suddenly came over fuzzy and grey, and I swooned to the floor in an indelicate heap.  Lucky I didn’t break something.  Other than my heart, which feels like it has been damaged beyond all repair.

Our beloved kitty, Weegie, passed away Monday morning.  She was an old girl, very nearly 18, and after a terrible weekend in which we watched her formerly aging, but still sassy and spritely, condition inexplicably deteriorate by the hour, we took her to the vet, who confirmed our very worst fears – our sweet little girl had run out of steam, and we wouldn’t be bringing her home.  And we didn’t.

Now we are two heartbroken people aimlessly drifting through lives that, through great determination on Weegie’s part and a lot of indulgent acquiescence on ours, were all about her.  Think we’re coddling morons all you wish, she was the sweet, fuzzy, constantly meowing sun around which our planets orbited, and we didn’t want it any other way.

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Now it feels like the lights have gone out and everything has come over very, very cold.  Mostly it seems like some sort of switch has been flipped inside me, and absent the frequent sobbing fits, triggered by something as innocuous as the sight of one of her striped furs clinging to the edge of a blanket, I feel nothing.  This is probably my mind’s way of course correcting after a weekend spent in frantic, fretful, watchful mode, but it’s worrisome all the same.  Mr. Finger Candy is not faring much better.  We’re just…broken.  And incredibly lonely, even together in our grief.

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I want to talk about her.  I want to tell you the story of how we came to be her people (it involves a day playing hooky and $6 coffees.)  I want to share the photos I took of her strapped into 14 years’ worth of Halloween costumes (mylar shark for the win.)  And I want you to think me a coddling moron when I tell you we had a tumbler of ice cold water permanently stationed on our coffee table because she preferred to drink from human receptacles in the most inconvenient spots possible (“Oh man, I’ve eaten off that coffee table!” you might be thinking to yourself.  Yup, you sure did.  But I swear I Windex’d first.)

I want to honour her, but to do that, I need to start feeling anything other than cold, empty and alone.  Because all I’m feeling right now is the raw, immediate hurt, and even the sweet memories of her are too painful to bear.  But hopefully soon.  Miss you, little Weege.

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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.

Jolly Hollies

Holly Jolly

I mentioned some posts back that I’ve really been bitten by the Christmas bug this year.  And I have to say, I far prefer this kind of bug bite to the bah humbug variety that has regrettably plagued my Christmases for many years running.  I have a very small family, and we’re close, but our holiday celebrations are always deeply WASP-y affairs – tasteful decorations, sumptuous feast, many viewings of Love, Actually and Home Alone in which we yell profanities at Alan Rickman and count the number of felonies committed by Kevin McAllister, respectively.  And I really love those Christmases, tiny and weird though they may be (particularly the brunch and dinner parts; my mom is an ah-maze-ing cook) but they’ve become a bit predictable, and I think we’re all ready for a change.

So this year my husband and I are trying something new.  As such, I’ve really had to be on the ball with my holiday preparations, and my enjoyment of the season is truly all the better for it.  The tree is up!  And I didn’t electrocute myself this year, not even once.  My cards are written and ready to be mailed out, most of my gifts are purchased and Babes in Toyland has been watched.  And then just this past weekend my parents and I enjoyed a lovely and festive night out touring beautiful old homes done up for the holidays.  It’s been nice; I like actually engaging with the season instead of whining about how much I have to do until suddenly it’s Boxing Day and I realize I’ve done absolutely nothing.

And that goes for my nails as well – there’s always a mad rush in the final 10 days of the year to complete all those festive manicures I neglected through the other 21 days of December.  But not this year!  I’m on it, and digging on this multi-chromatic holly berry design.  Very merry.

Metallic Roses

Metallic Roses Again

New goal in life: Live long enough for it to be acceptable as an old woman to run around in an embroidered turquoise leisure suit bearing THIS print!

I assure you I did not intend for these nails to turn out quite this way, but this manicure is so terrifically 1970s. I almost feel like my paternal grandmother had a belted polyester leisure suit (with slightly flared pants) featuring an embroidered rose print.  That must be where I got the just-accidentally-fell-into-it inspiration for these nails.  Also, not for nothing, but if that’s true, nice one, Grandma – it’s a whole lot of look, and I totally love it!

Metallic Roses

 

 

Easter Weekend

Easter Header Photo

Loveliest of Easter weekends to you, friends.  Being not so religious, as well as hailing from the kind of small, WASP-y family that does things like vacations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my Easter weekends typically involve travel and a whole lot of outlet shopping.  Or they did when I was a kid; my mom and dad and I – “us is the flamily” – passing horse-drawn Amish buggies on the road, catching fireflies in the parking lot of the motel, buying ultra preppy oxblood penny loafers at the Bass outlet and scarfing endless plates of incredible fried chicken at the restaurant where the waitress didn’t even blink when I said I wanted mashed potatoes and gravy as all FOUR of my sides. Those were really great vacations. 🙂

But this Easter weekend I’m home, simply enjoying a few days off from what has so far been a rather busy April.  Quite a few social events and a new-ish exercise regimen that keeps me hoppin’ like a bunny.

Speaking of, here are a few items guaranteed to put a spring – and THE Spring – into the Easter Bunny’s bounce.  Remarkably, these are all things I pulled from around my apartment.  I didn’t have to go rummaging in seasonal storage for anything.  So when I was joking a month or so ago that it’s always Easter in my apartment, I guess I really wasn’t joking?!

My favourite speckled egg wreath makes another appearance here, alongside, on the left, some very cute little cracked egg votive candles, a neat stack of Peeps-scented wax tarts from Yankee Candle, an actual Peeps-shaped wax tart from The Bathing Garden in Keep Your Temper, and KB Shimmer’s Where My Peeps At, which is pure Easter in a bottle.

Easter Photo Left Side

Then over on the right we have a gigantic, three-part Chick ‘N’ Mix bath bomb from Lush (there’s a cute little bicarbonate bunny inside the huge chick), a speckled wax robin’s egg from The Bathing Garden in Blackberry Fudge, a clutch of pastel Reflections markers, a wee little ceramic cupcake perfect for hiding tiny treasures, another Peeps-shaped wax tart from The Bathing Garden in Looking Glass, two frosted sugar cookies from London, Ontario bakery A Couple of Squares and a large glass jar filled with a half dozen hand-painted cardboard eggs.  Hoppy Easter!

Easter Photo Right Side

Party Hearty

Mardis Gras Bottle

So it struck me today that on the cusp of my *cough*(inaudible)*cough* birthday, I’m about 1,000 times lamer than my 70-year-old parents, who are at this very moment partying at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  That’s WAY advanced party studies right there – they may as well be in Ibiza!  I’m chuckling at the imagery, but two of us are nibbling on powder-dusted beignets and roulez-ing le bon temps this evening and one of us is reheating last night’s broccoli mac and cheese and watching the final episode of Crazyhead, so who’s winning at life now?  (Possibly me; Crazyhead is wicked awesome.)

At least I’ll always have you, nails, this time a simple, but glittery, mani in some very Mardi Gras shades, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s There’s No Place Like Home, a green and gold glitter topper, over A England’s purple Crown of Thistles.

Mardis Gras Fingers