Disney Girl Challenge: Woah-o-oh, Vampirina!

Vampirina Collage 1

Well, would you look at that – actual nail art on this nail art blog!  However, owing to the fact that my brain now seems to be permanently stuck in Disney auto-pilot mode, you know there’s gots to be some House of the Mouse in here somewhere.

This is Vampirina.  She may be blue, with pointy teeth, but she’s just like you!  Or she’s like the three to six-year-olds who are her target television audience, where she has a cute namesake show about her family’s spooky adventures in Pennsylvania.  It’s a Disney Junior production, though fairly new, which means the kids haven’t quite lost their wee minds over Vampirina and her friends as much as they have over, say, Doc McStuffins or those weirdo PJ Masks critters.  Give it time; I feel like this one is going to be big.

I’m a good 35 years off Vampirina’s targeted age range, but I just find it utterly adorable.  Vampirina Hauntley’s a spooktacular little baby goth, and she’s the kind of thoughtful, self-possessed and totally normal kid anyone would be delighted to call their own.  That she’s a blue-skinned, pointy-toothed vampire from a strange country filled with unfamiliar customs is a metaphor for anybody who may think of themselves as an “other,” although the show doesn’t whap you over the head with its message of acceptance and friendship and understanding.  Or maybe it does and I’ve just been brainwashed after staring into Vampirina’s unmoving purple eyes for too long (my one complaint with the show – the animation is flat, although the rich colours and design of the show are straight out of a Tim Burton movie.)  It’s a terror-ifically delightful and non-irritating children’s show with a kind heart, a great message and a colourful gothic look, and I love it for it, child(-at-heart) or no.  Also, James Van Der Beek voices Vee’s father, Boris, Lauren Graham her mother, Oxana, and Wanda Sykes Vampirina’s 473-year-old gargoyle best friend, Gregoria.  It’s so insanely charming.

Vampirina 3

I nearly gave myself a case of the battys when we walked out of a ride on a recent trip to Hollywood Studios and Vampirina was right across the street holding a character meet-and-greet!  We jumped into line and didn’t feel the least bit weird about the fact that we were the only adults around. 🙂

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And oh my gosh, she was SO cute!  On the show, Vampirina plays guitar in a band with her human friends Poppy and Bridget.  The Ghoul Girls thrash out in Vampirina’s stone tower bedroom, and Vampirina’s all about those rawk fingers.  She actually got so excited here after we asked about her band that she nearly stuck her devil horns straight up Mr. Finger Candy’s nose!

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Is there something wrong with us that we’ll stand in line to meet real life plushie representations of fictional animated characters?  Yeah, probably!  But it’s a lot like Vampirina unlocking her inner ghoul – it feels good, so we’re doing it.  Family motto of the last 365 days, actually.  So glad we got to meet this cutie – one day it will probably pay off in cool-loser Aunt Sandra stories for some delighted six-year-olds. 😉

Vampirina Collage 2

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Sunflowers (31DC2016)

Sunflower Fingers Straight

Sunny yellow is day three’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, so in keeping with the unintentional pattern of floral manis that has popped up during the first two days of this challenge, I thought I’d continue with the fabulous florals and paint a flower that is synonymous in my mind with the colour yellow, the mighty, stalk-y sunflower.  Complete with a perfect white picket fence.

Red Roses (31DC2016)

Red Roses Fingers

Kicking off this year’s 31 Day Nail Art Challenge with day one’s theme of red.  The first day’s theme is actually always red.  All of the other themes are likewise identical year over year; for as long as this thing has been going on, the daily themes have remained steadfastly samey.  Technical term, that, samey.

There’s an awful lot of pink in this supposedly red-based manicure, though, is there not? But I suppose whether baby or raspberry, pink is an offshoot of the red family, so game on, 31DC2016, GAME. ON!

Disney Girl Challenge: Sally Shine

Sally Shine Hand

Here’s a random bit of Disney amusement park trivia for you: Sally Shine is the name of the little Shirley Temple-esque girl who becomes a permanent resident of the Twilight Zone on the Tower of Terror ride.  Or she was – word on the street is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is getting re-zoned AND de-Zone’d at some point in the near future, probably to make way for more Star Wars.  I loved The Force Awakens SO much more than I thought I was going to, and I’m all for Disney recouping their multi-billion dollar investment at the park level, but why does it have to come at the expense of such a beloved attraction?  I don’t want to be that grumpy old Disney nerd desperately clinging to the past and futzing on about the glory days of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (a dark ride Disney classic; innovative for the ’70s, but terribly dated as time wore on, and one of those ones that people fought to preserve) but I really hope this rumour turns out to be just that – a rumour.

But until Sally and her elevator mates truly do become permanent residents of the Twilight Zone, I’ll honour her, in colour and lightning-stricken black and white, on my nails, where I paint all the little things I love.  I particularly like how I split her face into colour and black and white, appropriate both for the 1930s, Old Hollywood setting of the ride, and the fate of Miss Shine herself, off somewhere in (*do do do dooooo*)…the Twilight Zone.

Sally Shine Thumb

Disney Girl Challenge: Alice

Alice in Wonderland

It’s all aces for Alice in this mani inspired by the Disney animated movie, Alice in Wonderland.  My preferred Alice is actually this super messed up version (but really, is there any other kind?) from 1985.  It was a two-part musical TV special filmed entirely on a set with all your favourite film stars of the 1980s and 1940s (Scott Baio! Carol Channing! Sammy Davis Jr.!  Ringo Starr!) and like all great adaptations of Alice, it was a total mindfu*k. I re-watched it the other evening, and aside from calling up some warm nostalgic feelings of anxiously awaiting its televised debut, I was reminded of how very inappropriate Alice in Wonderland is for its young audience.  I really don’t know how I wasn’t irrevocably damaged by the sight of a slobbery, puffy puppet Jabberwocky chasing a shrieking little blonde girl through a lightning-streaked warren of gnarled roots and…yeah, you know what?  That movie was just as scary the other night as it was when I was a kid! Damage done!  I think I’ll take this version instead.

Rip My Heart Out: A Then and Now Post

Fleshmaiden Hand

And now for a very different sort of Valentine’s Day manicure!  Years ago I was completely enamored with a video game called Alice: Madness Returns.  It was a very NSFW, possibly NSFL (Not Safe For Life), retelling of Alice in Wonderland, if Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale were chockablock with mutant baby dolls, Victorian era sanitariums and monsters who look like they were pulled apart and stitched back together again with pieces of other monsters.

My favourite thing about the game was Alice’s wardrobe, which leaned heavily towards the Gothic Lolita and was wonderfully, blessedly free of the all-tits-and-ass style favoured by other video game heroines.  Alice had something like 12 different costumes, including six downloadable-only outfits that gave her special powers, as all great outfits do.  Perk-wise, my favourite was the Caterpillar dress, which enabled Alice to shrink down to itty bitty insect size to creep through tiny keyholes.  But for my visual money, I always chose the original meat dress, Alice’s Fleshmaiden costume, an outfit that really looked like those inside-out monsters I was mentioning earlier.  Power-wise, the Fleshmaiden costume (ugh, that name, though) enabled Alice to slip effortlessly into Hysteria mode, a kind of abstract, black and white (and red) world that looked like that metallic taste you get in your mouth when you’re so angry, you kind of lose your hearing.  If the DLC items could be said to belong to any given level, the Fleshmaiden costume was the domain of Queensland, a meat and tendon and blood-soaked hellscape ruled by the Queen of Hearts.

My for-a-time obsession with Madness Returns happened to coincide with the earliest days of my all-the-time obsession with nail art, and indeed, I launched this very blog with those initial hesitant attempts.  So it felt quite fitting to revisit one of those designs for this Then and Now post that really puts the “anti” in anti-Valentine’s Day.  Anyhow, happy day to you, friends, no matter how you choose to acknowledge the day (although hopefully it doesn’t involve wearing your enemy’s heart on your lapel like a brooch.)

Fleshmaiden Fingers

The Snowflake Sweater

Snowflake Sweater Angle

After a season’s absence from the “competitive” nail art arena (like League of Legends, just with more acetone), Nail Polish Canada is back and once again playing host to this year’s Holiday Nail Art Challenge.  The first year I participated I did an icy snowflake pond manicure; this year I’m returning to form with this delicate snowflake design over a holographic, knit-type pattern.  It’s pretty, seasonally appropriate and, best of all, non-denominational – whatever your chosen flavour of holiday, you’ll look fly and festive in this cozy snowflake sweater.

Should you feel so inclined to vote for my contest creation, you can do so here, although there’s already quite a few entries that are way better than mine, so maybe vote for them instead?  It always irks me when these things – judged in stages, one of which is a simple tally of votes as opposed to an objective assessment of the actual nail art – come down to a popularity contest as opposed to the work itself.  But if this simple sweater nail art really moves you, well, hey, who am I to say anything but thank you for your support?  Enjoy all the wonderful entries, and best of luck to this year’s participants. 🙂

Snowflake Sweater Front