Succulents, Not Succulent

Succulents 2

Well, trust me to take this floral manicure, which I did in service of the theme of succulents for a nail art challenge I’m doing on Instagram, and turn it into a discussion on Brooklyn 9-9.  Actually, I suspect I could turn just about any subject into a commentary on one of my favourite TV shows, I think about it just that often!

Anyhow, there’s this character named Charles Boyle, who’s played by Joe Lo Truglio, who you may remember as the creepy/skeezy/gross guy from any number of Judd Apatow movies (thinking of his character in Superbad here.)  I was definitely not a fan before seeing his work in Brooklyn 9-9, but as beige pants-loving, foodie cop Charles Boyle, he’s an utter delight.  No one loves fermenting mason jars of unidentifiable foodstuffs in their desk drawers more than Charles. 🙂

But Charles’s taste in food runs quite contrary to his ultra beige, Mervins-clad demeanor – Charles likes it weird, Charles likes it gross, and Charles probably likes it best if he kills it himself (he once fought off a rampaging turkey that had penned the squad into a bathroom with naught but a handily repurposed straightening iron.)  He also likes to discuss his foodie pursuits in THE most repulsive manner possible, always using the most descriptively disgusting language he can find – words like “moist” and “mouthfeel” and in one particularly nasty bit, the phrase “Oh, lucky you, you got the toenail!”  Long story short, don’t ask Charles Boyle to bring anything to the potluck, because it’ll definitely be offal.  Or worse.  And with its toenails still on!

At one point, another character submitted a list of words Charles was forbidden from uttering, and “succulent” was right at the top.  I get it, it conjures up the same sort of images in my mind as when I hear the word “moist” (which is apparently one of the most reviled words in the English language, didya know?)  To my mind, it suggests lush, almost juicy dampness.  Which, when I see it all written out like that, IS rather disgusting!

So it’s a real shame that succulents, the plant, have gotten swept up in the wellspring of negativity towards their name, because they’re so, so beautiful – such charming little plants with their heathered rainbow hues.  So I put them on my nails.  Hey, beats the heck out of trying to recreate one of Charles’s culinary nightmares!  You’re welcome. 😉

Succulents 1

Nailed It!

Nailed It 2

There is a show on television – you may have seen it, but I haven’t – called Nailed It! wherein hopeless home bakers seek redemption and cash through a reality TV-style baking competition.  It’s hosted by Nicole Byer, who I DO know from Brooklyn 9-9 as delightful car thief Doug Judy’s baby sister, Trudy Judy (“baby” nothin’ – Trudy Judy takes care of her own business, you simple little barn animal!)  Anyhow, I always see the show’s title and think it’s actually some sort of nail art competition, which definitely falls on the not-so-edible side of things (though apparently so too do most of the baked goods produced by the contestants, hey-oh!)

I’m not sure there’s much of an audience for a show about both baking and nail art, but if there were, this manicure, which was inspired by a gorgeous cake I saw on Instagram, would certainly land me a spot on at least, like, the first two episodes. 😉

Nailed It 1

LOVE these nails, gigantic, unwieldy golden charms and all.  If I had any complaints, it would be that the roses are not quite red enough (how very “Off with their heads!” does THAT sound?) and the gold not quite yellow enough.  I used a frosted, almost icy-looking gold here, whereas the original cake used a lush marigold yellow that I far prefer.  Just in general, these nails read far more “edgy tea set” than bitchin’ Queen of Hearts cake, but I love them all the same.

Nailed It 3

Blue China

China Roses 1

Sort of?  You know, like those ubiquitous blue and white Chinese vases you see anyplace anyone wants to add a touch of “Asian fusion influence”?  Or maybe Wedgewood, another type of blue and white china (English-made, that one.)  Hmm, or perhaps a cross between the two.  Basically, I don’t know what I’m looking at here.

Except for some pretty fly floral nails!  I’m so pleased with how this manicure turned out, particularly as I only used three polishes, a neutral beige base, a dusty pale blue, and that stupendous indigo creme, Londontown‘s Lakur polish in Iconic.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t find nail polish to be the easiest artistic medium to work with – it wants to dry out so quickly, I never feel like I have enough time to putter about, mix up my paints, try new techniques.  But I’ve been attempting to use my nail polish more like acrylic paints these days, and that’s how these lovely nails came about.  I particularly love the sweet little variegated petals on the roses, which were the result of dipping my detail brush first into the pale blue polish and then into the dark blue polish, before brushing the whole pretty, swirly mess onto my nails.  Feels a little more undone than my usual, and a lot more natural, too (you know, if blue roses existed outside of a giant plastic bucket filled with three dozen white roses and a metric ton of blue food colouring!)

China Roses 2

The Walkways of Pandora

walkways of pandora collage 2

Still on about Avatar – The World of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, only this time I’m bringing you a couple of nail art looks inspired by the ground in what is colloquially known as Pandora.  Yup, the ground, the terrain, the surface on which you walk.  Whichever term you’d prefer, Pandora’s vibrantly spattered, glow-in-the-dark walkways are dope!

walkways of pandora collage 1

For this manicure, I used the plastic wrap technique, which I believe my blogging friend Altercontroldelight calls a “smoosh mani.”  Basically, you – or at least I – paint a bit of polish onto a wadded up ball of plastic wrap and then dab it onto your nails, creating a marbleized sort of look that’s much more natural and random than using a cosmetic sponge.  Easy peasy and simply perfect for the wild walkways of Pandora.  For these nails, I used A England’s turquoise Whispering Waves and Enchanted Polish’s grass green Lost Boy over A England’s steel grey Wuthering Heights.

walkways of pandora 1

They also glow in the dark!  Or they should glow in the dark.  The polish, a jelly-based multi-coater I received in my stocking this year, couldn’t quite hold its own against these darker base colours, but damn if it’s not doing just fine on its glowy own.

walkways of pandora collage 3

And then because I can’t ever leave well enough alone, and why am I just going to let an excellent base like this sit unadorned, I free-handed an assortment of flora onto my nails in the lush, almost alien colours that remind me of Pandora – The World of Avatar in the very first place.

walkways of pandora 2 with flowers

These tidy little flowers are perhaps a bit too done in comparison with Pandora’s wild, colourful riot of Imagineered blossoms, but the rave-after-dark spirit is still there. 😉

Dumbass. Also Ooh, Pretty Ring!

Beaded Ring 2

I’m quite glad I did this manicure, inspired by an old beaded ring I recently dug out of jewelry box purgatory, earlier in the week, before I suffered one of those dumbass injuries that smarts like the dickens, leads to the temporary uselessness of at least a couple of limbs and leaves you rightfully questioning the life decisions that led up to this moment.  Like the decision to try to brute force my refrigerator out of its nook without realizing that it was quite firmly caught on something.  Or the decision, once I noted that it was quite firmly caught on something, to try to HULK it up and over the obstruction, like I was The Rock’s friggin’ weenie Canadian cousin or something.  I think you can see where this is going.

Which would be straight on through to Dumbass Injury Land, where I’m now sitting in quite uncomfortable forearm agony.  Yes, my FOREARMS.  Two days on and I still can’t register any sensation in my hands, wrists or forearms other than pain.  I can’t form a tight fist without sort of feeling like I’m about to pass out.  Typing this has proven to be a rather exquisite form of torture!

Anyhow, super glad I got this one done before I succumbed to my own idiocy.  Seriously kids, don’t try to dead lift your large appliances; it will not end well.

Right, so this manicure was inspired by this ring I bought, oh, 20 or so years ago from a designer who worked and sold out of the Byward Market Building in Ottawa, Ontario.  I add that detail because I cannot remember her name and I don’t believe she’s even working out of Ottawa any more; her booth in the Market Building disappeared many years ago (but if anyone knows of her name, please hit me up!)  I’ve actually got quite a few of her pieces, and they’re all weird, colourful and maybe just a little bit too much.  Wait till you see the beaded choker I’ll hopefully be able to show to you in a few days’ time once any sensation other than pain has returned to my forearms.  Until then, as always, nail art!

Beaded Ring 1

 

This Floral Bower My Prison

Bower 1

Hmm, may have mangled the title of that poem a bit.  I’m thinking, of course, of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, which he wrote in — ha, for half a second I was about to write “1997” but nope, this one dropped in 1797.  I studied this poem in university under a wonderful professor who approached the poetry of the Victorian era like a lesson in modern celebrity gossip.  In particular, I loved her take on Coleridge and This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, in which Coleridge, a Romance poet and philosopher afflicted with a debilitating hunchback, hangs back at home, morosely wandering about the titular lime tree bower, while his more able-bodied friends head out for an afternoon excursion in the country.

Physical limitations aside, Coleridge’s internal monologue is so unbelievably Eeyore-esque.  That he’s the better poet, the more reasoned, thoughtful and compassionate man than his close frenemy, the likewise talented but undeniably gorgeous and immensely popular William Wordsworth, is totally besides the point – that surely because of his unfortunate physical affliction and what just HAS to be his own searing unpopularity, he’s been once again relegated to the kids’ table while Wordsworth gallivants across the countryside like a Victorian era rock star.  It’s actually quite emo.  You really feel for the man; can’t have been easy being the socially maladjusted bestie to the guy everyone wanted to be and/or shag.

These are not lime bowers.  Boughs?  Are bowers boughs that have been arranged into the shape of a, um, bower?  I feel like we may have gone a bit snake-eating-its-own-tail here.  They’re boughs.  Of flowers.  Not bowers. 😉

Bower 2

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism

Neon roses.  Neon leopard spots.  The formerly white, now neon inside of your parents’ washing machine that time you tried at-home tie dyeing (holy crap, weren’t they pissed?!)  I have no idea what this manicure is supposed to be!  But I do know this has quickly become one of my favourite non-technique techniques – just grab a whole pile of bright colours and go abstractedly buck wild.  Happy weekends, y’all, I hope they’re as delightfully fun and random as this mani.