Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Fingers

Raspberry Pi circuitry nails, for the major nerd in your life.

The major nerd in MY life (Mr. Finger Candy) has been messing about with the Raspberry Pi (basically a super stripped down, build-your-own-computer system) for years now. One Saturday morning three or four years ago I sleepily stumbled out to the livingroom to find my him gone, save for one tiny, computerized, rainbow-flashing display blipping away on the coffee table, repeatedly informing me that my husband was out procuring breakfast and would be back shortly.  It was super cute.  His nerdery is really quite adorable, even if three-quarters of the time I have no freaking idea what he’s talking about! 🙂

(Di)vision Street Wear

division-street-wear

Oof, showing my age with that reference to Vision Street Wear, an American skate footwear company founded in the late ’70s and popularized in the ’80s.  When I was about 11 or 12, only the coolest of the cool kids wore Vision Street Wear (also Chip and Pepper, Vuarnet, Sex Wax and Independent Trucks) and it will surprise absolutely no one to learn that I had a monstrously huge slow burn of a crush on the only floppy-haired boy in school to wear his Vision tees (swoon) whilst riding an actual skateboard (commence pre-teen delirium.)

Anyhow, bit of a tangent there on the origin of this post’s title, which actually arises from The Division, my husband’s favourite video game.  The title is a play on words on the Vision Street Wear name, although it’s also in reference to the design inspiration for these nails – a limited edition holiday sweater coveted by only THE most festive badasses in the game.  That the sweater comes festooned in tiny cats, candy canes and snowflakes is merely icing on the fruitcake.  But the bragging rights that result from simply owning the sweater?  Now, THOSE live on forever!  I once likened The Division to the Sims – a collector game where managing your inventory occupies more time than actual game play.  But I’m starting to think it might be more like a fashion game, given the amount of time Mr. Finger Candy and his online friends spend managing their virtual wardrobes.  Cher Horowitz spent less time picking out her school clothes, I swear.

But it’s a very cute sweater, and my husband is a pretty cute guy, so who was I to say no? Especially when the manicure turns out this well (a real surprise; holiday sweater designs have never been my thing.)  Stay warm out there, friends (real and virtual.)

Fall Fun Series: Halloween ’16

halloween-decor-collage

Coming at you dark and early this Halloween morn, friends, with best wishes for a spooktacular ‘Ween ’16.  As for me, I’ll be spending the day with Mr. Finger Candy as we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary!  Here’s a throwback to the big day.  I think we clean up pretty well. 🙂

us-wedding-1

And while we do have some plans, we’re both big time homebodies, and neither one of us is much for the grand anniversary show (if you don’t get married so you can spend your time binge-watching TV on the couch in your jammies together, you’re doing it wrong!) We’ll probably spend the day sticking close to home, where we’ll be surrounded by the creepy-cozy Halloween decorations I finally put up this past weekend.  Better late than never!

You’ve already met my Halloween town, a rundown, way-off-the-highway amusement park mostly populated by bats and skeletons.  It takes up the entire surface of my diningroom table, and compromises the bulk of my seasonal decorating.

halloween-town-1

Out in the kitchen we have two ceramic Jack-o-Lantern tealight “bags” that I’ve somehow managed not to destroy over 15-plus years of use, as well as a couple of lovely and thoughtful cards from sweet blogger friends.

decor-1

Down in the bathroom we have a cool wire tealight candelabra I purchased from Michael’s I-have-no-idea how long ago (if I don’t destroy them, I tend to hold on to my favourite possessions forever) and my Trick (and) Treat towels, which are actually tea towels and not hand towels – tell no one. 😉

candelabra-collage

bathroom-towels

In the second bedroom we have my Book of Spells, a large decorative tome (from Hallmark, I think) meant for holding Halloween sweets, although given the shelf life of Halloween treats around my house (non-existent), it’s doing far greater work safely holding the broken off bits and bobs of my Halloween town.

spell-book

Out in the diningroom we have a tombstone fit for a Terminator.  I just think it’s funny. The petrified catnip mice may disagree.

catnip-mice

And finally, out in the diningroom (but in this picture it’s in the kitchen) we have the newest addition to my Halloween haul, a devil kitty wax warmer from Yankee Candle that my husband bought for me a couple of months ago.  Sophia is her name, and in addition to her cute little devil tail and ears, she has a row of adorable little bat markings that run down her back.  Here Sophia is diligently melting my last chunk of Rosegirls’ Boo’s Spooky Castle, a blend of Boo Berry, Vanilla Crunch Donuts and Monster Cookie, and one of only two even remotely Halloween themed waxes in my collection (the other being another cereal blend, Strawberry Frankenberry.)

Yankee Halloween Kitty.png

And so there we have it, the Halloween decor here at Casa Finger Candy.  And now I’m off to enjoy my anniversary!  I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween, friends – may your candy hauls be back-achingly grand!

Everybody Polka! (31DC2016)

polka-dotted-pattern-fingers

Patterns recently came up to bat as day 26’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  I always have a bit of trouble with this prompt, as can’t anything be a pattern if you repeat it enough times?  So how does that make it any different than any of the other floral, striped, dotted and dashed designs I do every other day?  Am I overthinking this?  Pretty sure I’m overthinking this.

At first I thought about attempting a repeating pattern type of design, programmer-styles. You know, a pick-the-red-pill-pick-the-blue-pill-and-hop-on-in-to-the-Matrix sort of thing.  Then I thought about the aneurysm my husband would laugh himself into once he saw whatever horrendous code I had cobbled together on my nails, and I thought maybe I’d just do some polka dots instead (tightly packed polka dots, no less, and my index and pinkie fingers both beginning and ending with a holographic pink polish, so very nearly a repeating pattern!)

Actually, I’m not giving Mr. Finger Candy enough credit.  He’d undoubtedly be completely amused by my efforts, but also quite supportive – if I suddenly decided I wanted to start screwing around with his Raspberry Pi bidness, he’d be…seriously so turned on, probably! And if I could find a way to work some pigtails into there…but I’ve already said too much. 😉

Dressed Up, Ready to Roll (31DC2016)

ready-to-roll

Not that it would change a thing, but I married Mr. Finger Candy (12 years ago this Halloween!) without fully appreciating exactly how much of a nerd he truly is.  I mean, I knew, but I didn’t know, you know?  And not the pop culture-spewing, “I’d DIE for (insert fandom here)” kind of geek either.  Naw, he’s THIS type of nerd:

nerd

Okay, yes, there’s a handful of VHS tapes in there, as well as an inexplicable assortment of cassette tapes (The Cult?), Sims guidebooks and one very large coffee table book about Ottawa that I have space for nowhere else in the house, but the overwhelming majority of the real estate in that cupboard is occupied by RPG manuals, ranging from old school favourites like Earthdawn and Dungeons and Dragons (enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment thanks to Stranger Things) to newer entries like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG, which he bought shortly after we were married, so hey, it’s not like I’m not at least a little bit complicit in this madness.

But whatever makes him happy, and once upon a time, what made him very happy was Dungeons and Dragons.  I know the series – indeed, the entire realm of fantasy RPGs – took a big hit in the late ’80s and ’90s after a handful of violent crimes were committed supposedly with the game as their inspiration, but I’ve always found the entire idea – a choose-your-own-adventure-type game where you build a playable world from the graph paper up – to be a wonderfully creative one.  The sweet stories my husband tells of huddling around a paper-strewn table with his friends, quarreling with the DM, scratching out stats equations on graph paper and pounding back the Jolt Cola until three in the morning are utterly charming.  It makes me sad to think there were some people in his life (PARENTS, IT WAS TOTALLY HIS PARENTS) who couldn’t see the creativity and social engagement behind the “bad fantasy” label.  Flashlight Brown totally gets it.

And as weird as I think it is, I also get it, and so I put it on my nails, this time for day 16’s theme of geometrics in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  I also found a way to work in yet another nod to Stranger Things, this time a polyhedral design (nestled among an index and a pinkie finger’s worth of The Upside Down) referencing the 14 Will needed to roll, versus the 7 he did, which ultimately landed him in (cold, dark) water with that damn, dirty Demogorgon.  Hmm, so maybe Mr. Finger Candy’s parents were on to something…?  Just be careful what you roll, kids.

PlayStation

PS Nails

Don’t tell anyone, but one of the things I love most about Mr. Finger Candy is that he is an unabashed Sony fanboy.  This is a man I once watched break into a delighted happy dance in the middle of Best Buy because they had an unexpected shipment of impossible-to-find PS3s.  Our 3D TV is a Sony.  Our sound system is Sony. You can count the number of PlayStations and Vitas and PSPs (a whoozit?) we’ve owned in plurals.  I respect brand loyalty, and my husband’s got that in spades.

The flip-side to that devotion, of course, is that those consoles – today a PS3 and a PS4 – have very nearly achieved “other woman” status; they monopolize a lot of time and brain cells (his AND mine; I love my video games, too, although let’s not kid ourselves – the consoles are his.  I’m more of a PC gamer.)

Although these pink, framed-in PlayStation nails are clearly all about me, because I’m the one with the frosted pink controller.  His is red.  And white.  And blue, and about five in basic black (GTA is murder on the old thumb toggles.  And any innocent pedestrians standing around if I’m behind the virtual wheel.)

The Division

The Division Hand

I’ve been coming at you all hot and heavy lately with the quasi-serious metaphysical discussions.  Death, the afterlife, precognition – none of these are your usual topics of conversation in a nail blog.  So after that hopefully interesting diversion, let’s take a moment and go back to what we do best around here, nerd nails!

This manicure is for my husband, King of the Nerds (King of the Dipshits, in the parlance of Sixteen Candles.) As of some 325 playable hours ago, my husband became quite enamoured with Ubisoft’s latest Tom Clancy-branded video game, The Division.  In it, you run around a nearly deserted, pandemic-stricken New York City as one of a team of random badasses handing out supplies to ill stragglers whilst gunning down enemies and former allies-turned-enemies (also known as rogues; also also known as asshole 12-year-olds who just play video games to f**k shit up.)

Fans (Mr. Finger Candy included) will insist that they play this game because of its online tactical first person shooter open world RPG and blah diddy blah, blah, blah.  That’s the smokescreen they throw up to hide the real thing they love about this game – collecting. Oh yeah, The Division is a collector game all right.  Clothes, mostly (“I got a Sentry Call Backpack last night!” was the first thing my husband said to me this morning, by way of greeting) but also weaponry and parts of weaponry, and probably one day very soon some household/base items as well (the nesting instinct is strong among the agents of The Division.)  It’s the Sims if they offered a Post-Apocalyptic Stuff Pack.

Don’t say I don’t love you, man (never any question, particularly if you look back at that 325-hour number.)

The Division Fingers

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Wedding 1

I don’t often talk about my life on this blog without tying it to nail art in some way, but today I simply feel like tooting my own matrimonial horn, because it’s my 11th wedding anniversary! Today’s weather is very much like the weather we had the day of our wedding (cool, windy, sporadic rain), although Halloween fell on a Sunday the year we were married – purely from a party perspective, this year’s Saturday is obviously THE choice time.

But pleasantly enough – and I’ve spoken about this before in another wedding-related blog post with some TERRIBLE accompanying nails – it wasn’t the party part of our wedding that I enjoyed the most. Sure, I had a great time mingling, nibbling and dancing the night away with my family and friends in a gorgeously decorated old barn, but the ceremony itself is where I actually had the most (unanticipated) fun, suddenly becoming quite giddy at the prospect of marrying this terrific guy. Our vows were even fun, the two of us kind of winging it. And even though we made a number of personal changes to the standard, non-denominational ceremony in advance, neither one of us got that wound up about memorizing, well, anything or about “performing” in public – I chalk this up to his formative years spent in the theatre and mine spent in the ballet studio; we’re comfortable on a stage. And that comfort made for a fun experience – lots of banter and goofy smiles and the perfect certainty that comes with knowing that you got one of the great ones. That we should all be so lucky. 🙂

And so happy 11th anniversary to the man who puts the Mr. in Mr. Finger Candy. I’d marry you again in a heartbeat, my love, and not just because you’re easily-bought tech support. Well, mostly not. 😉

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Whale of a Tale

Stupid Whales

Gather round the old timer, friends, and listen to her spin a yarn as old as the seas themselves about ruined, nautical-themed nail art, misbehaving topcoat and, just to add abject insult to injury, a publishing platform that wishes to do no such thing.

First, this nail art is adorable, right? I am a huge sucker for horizontal stripes, particularly of the blue and navy variety, which match the pyjama pants that I am absolutely not wearing right now at four in the afternoon. I’ve also had these little whale-shaped nail vinyls for a while now, and I wanted to use them before the whale watching season is well and truly finished for the year. Owing to the striping tape and nail vinyls I used to achieve this look, these nails required a longer than usual drying period (polish tends to build up along the edges of tape and vinyls, which promptly gets swept down your nails if you go after it too quickly with your topcoat.) So I sat here all dainty-like for well over half an hour, my fingers fluttering gently off the edge of the coffee table for maximum drying power. Aaaannnnnnd it all went to shit the second I layered on my Seche Vite, which, when it’s working properly, is a nail artist’s greatest friend, sealing in, protecting and enhancing even the most basic of manicures. But mine wasn’t working today, and indeed, I believe I may have a bum bottle, because it really hasn’t been working ANY of the days, smudging, smearing and going the full goop a mere quarter of the way through the bottle. It’s a wicked pisser, nail art friends, as you are no doubt aware, to spend a good chunk of time on a manicure, only to have it ruined by the very thing you put on top of it to protect it! The expensive thing, I might add, which makes this whole smudgy debacle that much more infuriating. It’s also why there’s no thumbnail to this manicure – the Seche literally pulled the polish straight off my nails, even after half an hour of drying time. I’m actually quite baffled as to what happened here.

Then WordPress decided to be a dick. Sorry, got no other term for it – WP’s a dick. “Beep beep boop,” you say, as you hang there, refusing to publish? Holy cripes, could we BE more juvenile? It’s never bothered me before, mostly because I’ve never had to sit here for half an hour while WordPress vapour locks, but it’s seriously childish and unprofessional. I’d respect WP more if they displayed a simple error screen when problems crop up as opposed to the “Beep beep boop” not-a-progress-bar progress bar.

Thankfully Mr. Finger Candy is the next best thing to a technological wizard, and so he put his raging wife on the path of lowered blood pressure by forwarding me some very helpful links that had me up and publishing this post in next to no time. Still, I’m giving this win to Finger Candy Industries’ hard working IT department (said department consisting of one bemused husband and a half-asleep cat, both of whom are willing to work for Panera takeout) because WordPress itself was not much help.

Okay, done griping. Thanks for listening, and as always, feel free to chime in with your own (beauty) blogging issues. Misery loves company and all that jazz. 😉

Tools of the Trade

Rainbow Tools All

When it comes to my nails, I’m really not much of a gearhead. Here at Finger Candy HQ, we take a remarkably low key approach to the “stuff beyond the polish” – one pair of nippers, tweezers, a cuticle pusher and a single glass nail file compromise the entirety of my toolkit. More than that, though, what is there is not of the greatest quality – bits and pieces I cobbled together from cheapy gifted sets.

So when KB Shimmer recently released a gorgeous set of chromatic rainbow tools – nippers, two types of tweezers and a cuticle pusher – I jumped at the chance to round out my kit with some quality nail care implements that just so happen to be eight shades – literally! – of colour-shifting, chromatic goodness. Let’s take a closer look at some of these pretties, shall we?

Rainbow Nippers

A quality set of nippers – an implement that’s sort of a cross between pliers and scissors, meant to nip away hangnails and ragged cuticles – is, to my mind, the most important tool in any nail artist’s arsenal. This set has a solid, taut spring, excellent heft and a cutting edge so sharp, it could carry out open heart surgery on a gnat. Also, when I hold it just so, it looks like one of the terrifying underground cannibal critters from the seminal Vin Diesel film, Pitch Black (hush now, that movie is AWESOME.)

Rainbow Tweezers

KB also released two sets of tweezers, slanted tip and needle nose. I don’t have much use for needle nose tweezers, as I don’t do a lot of charm and other placement work, but given the size of my eyebrows, there will ALWAYS be work for slanted tip tweezers around my house. I also find slanted tips to be a little more sturdy than their needle nose counterparts. These rainbow tweezers are particularly nice, with a good, strong edge for picking up the tiniest of things.

Rainbow Cuticle Pusher

Finally, we have the implement my husband has been referring to as my “fancy new rainbow-plated murder weapon.” Like, for real – LOOK at this thing. It’s damn scary! And it doesn’t help matters when I hold it comme ca:

Rainbow Murder Weapon

This double-ended AND double-edged tool is a cuticle pusher on one end and a freakin’ ice pick on the other (I think it’s actually just a general cleaner-upper, but I can’t shake the feeling I just bought the REAL Mr. Pointy.) Fun to note: Despite these tools shipping from Canada to Canada (within the same province, actually), my package was opened, this item in particular, and inspected by the fine folks at Canada Post. I really hope they tried out the cuticle pusher, because it is a great one – it looks like it would be all sharp edges, but the rainbow-coated metal is nicely rounded and smooth.

You can find these three nail care tools and their absentee, needle nose friend on KB Shimmer’s site here, as well as through Harlow & Co. here.