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.

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Manatee Mani (31DC2014)

A Manatee ManiThe general consensus on water marbling, the aggravatingly hit-or-miss nail art technique, is that it sucks, so take pity on the poor nail artist in your life who is soldiering away at the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge right now, because today’s theme is water marbling. The hows and whys of its suckage are vast and varied (it’s messy, time consuming, wasteful and fussy) and unless you’re preternaturally gifted at the art of coaxing intricate designs out of nail polish floating on the surface of water, a crazy act in and of itself, nine times out of 10 you’re going to have major difficulty.

So recognizing my own limitations when it comes to water marbling, I decided to forgo the struggle and make what I knew was going to be a flawed effort work for me. I started off thinking that I’d like my water marble to indeed look quite watery. The free form nature of tides and waves is a perfect fit for my highly imprecise water marbling skills, and the occasional tiny bubble, the result of insufficiently “quiet” water (really), just adds to the underwater effect. Using similarly toned colours in a few different finishes (here I’ve got a turquoise-hued duochrome and a shimmery frost over a sea blue metallic) also made things easier, as the polishes almost bleed into one another, blurring any harsh edges or glaring imperfections. Finally, in keeping with my Disney mani sub-challenge, I chose a favourite water-based Disney attraction, The Living Seas at Epcot, to inspire a bit of nail art in the form of one deranged looking manatee on my ring finger. I also added one well camouflaged hidden Mickey somewhere amongst that watery looking water marble, just to keep things squarely on the right side of my Disneyfied, make-work-for-myself sub-challenge.

A word about The Living Seas, which since the last time I visited has been rebranded as The Seas with Nemo and Friends: It’s awesome, and one of the loveliest, coolest, quietest places in the whole park to unwind as you watch fat, farting manatees for an hour and a half, much like my husband and I did on our honeymoon. Burnt out from a solid week of theme parking and finding ourselves on the wrong side of the safety warnings on Mission to Mars (actually, that was just me; my husband was fine, but I came ever so close to having to use the on-ride vomit bag – a first), we weren’t up for much more than just sitting quietly before the floor-to-ceiling windows that looked into the manatee area, calmly watching one old, heavily scarred manatee and his buddy contentedly toot and float and otherwise act like the most adorable, gentle sweeethearts in the seas. It’s one of my favourite memories from our honeymoon, actually. That and the Night of the Banging Geckos, but that’s a perverted animal story for another time. 🙂