Extra! Extra!

Black, White and RedAs the old riddle goes, what’s black and white and re(a)d all over? These nails! Newspapers, too, although there’s an institution desperately clinging to life, much like the joke I just made!

Week three’s prompt in the January N.A.I.L. Challenge was newspaper nails. One of the challenge hostesses, Craftynail, shut the theme down hard with her fabulous newspaper nails that used actual printed paper in a kind of reverse stamping/decal technique, something I’d like to try myself, but just not for this particular challenge. Instead I drew inspiration from that ancient groaner of a riddle, laying down a simple, but striking, black, white and red geometric mani that’s newspaper in essence, if not in practice. 😉

Rubber Duckie, I’m Awfully Fond of You (With an Assist from the Boogie Woogie Sheep)

Rubber DuckieHere’s a plucky little ducky manicure (I think the -ie suffix is reserved for Ernie’s yellow bath time pal and duckies, plural, as opposed to one individual ducky…and I may have already given this more thought than seems reasonable!) for week two’s theme of rubber duckies in January’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. Great song, although if we’re going to rank favourite Sesame Street ditties, my money’s on Ernie’s Dance Myself to Sleep song. Everybody sing it now! “And with the help of our friends, the Boogie Woogie Sheep, we’ll dance ourselves to sleep/We’re in our jammies!/We’ll dance ourselves to sleep/And thank you lambies!”

Aw hell, I can’t let this one go. I’ve never linked to a YouTube video before, one of my own or anybody else’s, but everybody needs to share in Bert’s incredulity when tap dancing sheep invade his bedroom and soft shoe his bed straight out the door so Ernie can get to sleep. Enjoy. 🙂

Chicken Marsala!

Chicken MarsalaWeek one’s challenge prompt in the Nail Art Ideas Linkup was marsala, Pantone’s recently-anointed colour of the year (that would be an earthy, brownish-red to all you philistines.) Being one to never let a horrible groaner of a pun go un-punned, I decided to combine the colour and the concept, adding some holographic chicken drumsticks to Contrary Polish’s “Okay, so it’s not quite marsala, but I swore off brick red makeup back in 1993, so close enough” Beach Blanket. Not quite genuine chicken marsala either (hey look, it’s perfectly good chicken and pasta you destroyed with cheap wine!) but yummy-looking all the same given that it’s nail polish. 😉Chicken Marsala Bottle

N.A.I.L.’d It

January 2015 NAILI realized the other day that I have lately been most remiss in contributing my lacquered designs to the Nail Art Ideas Linkup, a mostly informal monthly nail art challenge hosted by the fine ladies at Brijit’s Digits, Craftynail, Eeeek! Nail Polish! and Nail That Accent. I played along with the weekly themes – discovering all sorts of terrific blogs and bloggers in the process – for maybe half of 2014, and then not-so-mysteriously got waylaid by life and two super intensive, back-to-back 31-day challenges. So with my sails thoroughly deflated, I wound down the N.A.I.L. stuff, a decision I’ve regretted, as I’ve missed it very much.

So I’m back in the polished swing of things and quite naturally already a week and a smidge behind, because it is a day ending in Y. If you’d like to join in the fun, the weekly prompts can be completed and posted at any time during the month, and there’s no requirement that you participate every week. So please do stop on by and share your talents. There’s lots to be inspired by, and in turn, you might even find yourself doing some of the inspiring. 🙂

Frame It

Frame It

Filed under “better late than never,” these nails represent my fourth, and final, submission in the January N.A.I.L. Challenge. And yes, I realize it’s now February, which makes this tardy manicure quite apropos – I was sick for the majority of January and every single thing I did was ever so slightly behind schedule, so this mani should prove to be no exception. That the challenge is now closed is besides the point – I’m just glad to get these finished and finally complete something I set about to do this month (right, last month)!

The theme for the final week was border manis (highlighting the edges of your nails.) I chose to go with a framed look, a technique I haven’t done that often and which continues to vex me so. In fact, this is an exact re-do on a manicure I did many months ago and didn’t post out of embarrassment. But I’m pleased to see that these turned out better than expected and certainly better than their predecessors, so up on the blog they go!

Here I bordered my nails with my favourite black, China Glaze’s Liquid Leather, over top of China Glaze’s white-based rainbow glitter bomb, It’s a Trap-eze! Between the solid black outlining and the shimmery, multi-coloured glitter, I think they look quite cartoony.

Spearmint Luau

Spearamint Luau

Because the colours of this manicure are spearminty (also sort of pepperminty) and the little leaves make my ring finger and thumb look like they’re wearing teeny grass skirts. Aloha!

Mixed messages aside, these nails represent my entry in the third, long since past week of the January N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of opposites. The aim was to do something unusual, maybe a technique you’ve rarely tried or a colour you’ve never used, step outside your comfort zone a bit and hopefully discover a fun new nail art trick in the process.

With that in mind, I thought a mani studded with fimo cut-outs would apply, as I dislike the feel of “stuff” on my nails and therefore rarely use anything like studs or flowers or little spearmint leaves that actually look more like grass skirts!

Here I tacked a few fimo leaves (which really aren’t so bad after all) onto a manicure featuring two of my favourite polishes, Emily de Molly’s gorgeous teal glitter, Monet’s Garden, and Picture Polish’s perfect golden raspberry, Electric Dream.

Not Your Average Fun and Games

Not Your Average Fun and Games

In both Jeopardy-ese and Scrabblish, what’s the 10-point answer to “Where the heck have you been for the last two weeks?” Sick! Yes, indeed, I have been sick – dreadfully, wretchedly, “I’m so exhausted and over-medicated I can barely account for three of the past five days” sick. I blame the first January N.A.I.L. Challenge theme, of course, as it made me contemplate my own health and wellness so much, I jinxed myself into a two-week-long coughing fit I’m only really coming out of now. Okay, so I don’t remotely blame the challenge 😉 but I do blame myself for missing the second week’s theme, even if I did feel like the dog’s breakfast. I just couldn’t motivate in the direction of either my blog or my toolkit of polished goodies – it all felt like just too much work.

So I’m coming at the second week’s theme (inspired by Pinterest) a touch late, but slow and steady…takes more Tylenol Cold and Flu and falls into a five-hour stupor, if the past two weeks have been any indication!

One of my favourite nail bloggers is Alice from One Nail to Rule Them All, and one of her most popular designs – and a favourite of mine – is a Scrabble tile design spelling out the word “Love.” Her work is impeccable – highly detailed and so tidy! That might seem like an odd thing to get fussy about, but when you really get down to it, presentation is very nearly everything with nail art, isn’t it?

So here’s my interpretation of Alice’s loved up Scrabble nails, although I chose to keep it more in line with my state of mind – and health – of late. You polish that which you know, right? 😉

Eat Your Veggies

Eat Your Veggies

For week one of January’s N.A.I.L. Challenge, in which I have just declared myself a participant (gauntlet thrown, yard stomped, envelope maxed!), the theme is health and wellness, something we could all use a little – or a lot – more of. For me, health comes more in the form of everyday wellness: Is your life generally okay? Are you more or less happy? No one you love is suffering? Then you’re well. It isn’t glamorous, but it’s something we should all strive for – your everyday, regular old contentment. It can do wonders for the spirit.

But seeing as this is a nail art challenge and my style leans quite heavily towards the cartoony, my near-existential natterings weighing the perfect ratio of happiness to wellness may not be the most appropriate sub-subject choice.

So I went with vegetables! Because my personal health could use more vegetables, and I’ve been meaning to do some veggie-themed nails for ages now – this challenge just gave me a wonderful excuse to do so!

Fanning the Flames

Fanning the Flames

Inspiration comes in all sorts of unlikely shapes and sizes, but one thing I think we can all agree on is come January, inspiring thought is in relatively short supply. Oh sure, it’s the new year and you’ve got all sorts of sparkling fresh goals. You’re an unstoppable creative thinking machine! But you’re also exhausted and broke after the holidays and, if you’re anything like me, in a state of short-term hibernation designed to wait out the worst of the bummy winter weather. Not exactly conducive to getting the creative fires burning toasty warm.

So it was with great interest that I noted Crafty Nail‘s call for participants in January’s N.A.I.L. Challenge, a four-week, no-real-rules kind of project designed to bring together nail bloggers and nail art enthusiasts alike to share tips and tricks, make some new friends and hopefully walk away inspired and rejuvenated.

So it’s quite apropos that for the first week of the challenge, challenge creators Crafty Nail, Eeeek! Nail Polish and Brijit’s Digits have chosen the wide open theme of health and wellness. I say start with creative health – there’s time enough to do lunge squats and eat kale once your nails are done!

As always, the more the merrier, so should you care to contribute your own, go for it!