Hattress: A Then and Now Post

HattressAt the end of September 2013 just as I was really starting to get into nail art and blogging, I assigned myself a week-long mini challenge in which I did a manicure representing every dress worn by Alice in the beautiful, but exceptionally demented, video game Alice: Madness Returns. I had just platinumed the game (yes, I used “platinum” as a verb – it means I got all the trophies or completed everything in the game there was to complete or, alternately, explored every backwards-facing, viscera-covered nook and cranny and indiscriminately laid waste to an entire Wonderland of enslaved nightmare creatures with an assortment of weaponry last put into use at the Tower of London) and Alice’s at times vibrant, at more times blood-soaked world seemed like a natural fit. Girlfriend’s got a wardrobe, too, in addition to a Vorpal Blade, so it was a nice little fait accompli.

One of Alice’s outfits I tackled was a downloadable only costume called The Hattress. Modelled after the bondage gear-meets-straight jacket suit the Mad Hatter wears in Madness Returns, it features odd little Steampunk touches (actually, when Alice wears this costume, the irises of her eyes change into spinning, copper-coloured cogs), sickly green tights and an improbably large, black and white checked top hat bearing the symbol for Mercury, or the element that put the Mad in the Hatter.

I remember really liking these nails at the time and thinking that they represented a nice turning point in my work, particularly the checkerboard pattern of the Hattress’ hat, but being so new to the nail art game, I always knew I could do better. So it’s fortunate that I’ve had the chance to do just that with this updated mani that takes elements of that first design and tidies them up a bit. The change isn’t too dramatic, which is nice in and of itself – it means I couldn’t have gotten it too wrong the first time around – but everything just looks so much tidier and more deliberate. The difference a year and change of practice makes, right?Hattress Old

Spinning Teacups

Spinning Teacups

Should you find yourself in the highly enviable position of visiting the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, tread carefully around the ride on which this design is based, the iconic Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Tea Party. A spinning teacup ride, it’s the single most nausea-inducing attraction across four GIANT theme parks, and the destroyer of more than a couple of post-spin afternoons (no ride, with the exception of Epcot’s Mission to Mars, has ever made me want to toss my Mickey-shaped ice cream bar more.)

But over the years and visits I’ve come to work out a nearly foolproof method for riding the teacups at maximum spinning speed without tossing anything, a little wisdom I’ll drop on all you noobs who would prefer not to be seen vomiting into a teacup-adjacent trashcan while a bunch of children look on – simply lock eyes with your spinning partner, crank the cup’s wheel as hard as you can and never. look. away. It’s the looking to the side (or down or up) that’ll do you in, to say nothing of closing your eyes (don’t do that either.) Just look fixedly (and sort of cross-eyed, I won’t lie) at the person directly across from you and don’t look away until you have safely disembarked the ride, remembering to gather up your children and your belongings as you leave.

This is the advice I had for my husband when we rode the cups during his first visit to Disney World on our honeymoon. Spectators lined up along the edges of the ride no doubt saw two slightly deranged, possibly too-old-for-this weirdos cranking their teacup’s wheel faster than it could keep up and staring dementedly at each other. I’m proud to say those demented weirdos were us. 🙂