East Is Up

Wicked Witch 1

The second prompt in the nail art challenge I’m participating in over on Instagram is “Wicked Witches,” and who’s more wicked than…okay, so I was going to say the Wicked Witch of the East, but we don’t ever really get to know her, either in the Wizard of Oz or one of those interminable Wicked re-imaginings I can’t stand (the books; can’t speak to the stage productions.)

No, we don’t know much about the easternmost point of the witch compass, though we DO know that she had the flyest threads in the Merry Old Land of Oz – pun very much intended.  I’m totally on board with any babe badass enough to pair black-and-white striped hosiery with glittery red pumps.  Shame about the house business, though, and that footwear-thieving Dorothy.  Honestly, that’s how I would have written The Wizard of Oz – screw this avenging sister, Wicked Witch of the West business.  I’d have the broad rise up, brute force Dorothy’s sepia-toned shack off her bod like the friggin’ Hulk and then dump it directly on top of Miss Dorothy, her cabal of broken toys, AND the little dog, too.  Then I’d have her set fire to Oz (starting with the headquarters of the Lollipop Guild) with her Superman laser eyes.  The Wicked Witch of the West doesn’t factor into my story at all – you really don’t need someone on your team whose greatest nemesis is WATER.

Hmm, seems I’m feeling a bit witchy and twitchy myself today – just call me the Wicked Witch of the West End.  Well, at least I have the nails – and now also the glittery ruby slippers as well! – to pull it off.

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Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

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Because camouflage, get it?  Yeah, I know, that was bloody terrible, sorry – lazy camo humour should be beneath me! 😉

In a few days’ time this blog is going to be celebrating its sixth anniversary, and in all of that time, I have never once done camouflage nails.  Weeeellllll, proper camouflage nails – I *did* once do a manicure with overlapping pigs in camo-type colours, because why would I not?  But I’m following along with this nail art challenge over on Instagram, and the third prompt was for camouflage nails, so here we are – your basic green, green and beige camo print, perfect for keeping those fingernails protected and well hidden. 😉

Succulents, Not Succulent

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Well, trust me to take this floral manicure, which I did in service of the theme of succulents for a nail art challenge I’m doing on Instagram, and turn it into a discussion on Brooklyn 9-9.  Actually, I suspect I could turn just about any subject into a commentary on one of my favourite TV shows, I think about it just that often!

Anyhow, there’s this character named Charles Boyle, who’s played by Joe Lo Truglio, who you may remember as the creepy/skeezy/gross guy from any number of Judd Apatow movies (thinking of his character in Superbad here.)  I was definitely not a fan before seeing his work in Brooklyn 9-9, but as beige pants-loving, foodie cop Charles Boyle, he’s an utter delight.  No one loves fermenting mason jars of unidentifiable foodstuffs in their desk drawers more than Charles. 🙂

But Charles’s taste in food runs quite contrary to his ultra beige, Mervins-clad demeanor – Charles likes it weird, Charles likes it gross, and Charles probably likes it best if he kills it himself (he once fought off a rampaging turkey that had penned the squad into a bathroom with naught but a handily repurposed straightening iron.)  He also likes to discuss his foodie pursuits in THE most repulsive manner possible, always using the most descriptively disgusting language he can find – words like “moist” and “mouthfeel” and in one particularly nasty bit, the phrase “Oh, lucky you, you got the toenail!”  Long story short, don’t ask Charles Boyle to bring anything to the potluck, because it’ll definitely be offal.  Or worse.  And with its toenails still on!

At one point, another character submitted a list of words Charles was forbidden from uttering, and “succulent” was right at the top.  I get it, it conjures up the same sort of images in my mind as when I hear the word “moist” (which is apparently one of the most reviled words in the English language, didya know?)  To my mind, it suggests lush, almost juicy dampness.  Which, when I see it all written out like that, IS rather disgusting!

So it’s a real shame that succulents, the plant, have gotten swept up in the wellspring of negativity towards their name, because they’re so, so beautiful – such charming little plants with their heathered rainbow hues.  So I put them on my nails.  Hey, beats the heck out of trying to recreate one of Charles’s culinary nightmares!  You’re welcome. 😉

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Clueless About Plaid

Clueless

I did this manicure for the prompt of Back to School in a nail art challenge I’m following along with over on Instagram.  Come by and see me sometime – park_or_perish is my handle.

Having dabbled in Cher Horowitz’s fashion sensibilities for much of the mid-90s, particularly on the first day of grade 13 – come on, all those little velveteen dresses and stacked Steve Madden loafers were AWESOME! – Back to School to me always means Back to Clueless, a place – or is it a state of mind? – I’m never actually particularly far from anyways.  And what’s better than Cher’s yellow plaid outfit she chooses – or is it her computer that chooses? – to make her big entrance at school?  Ooh, Snickers. 😉

Disney Girl Challenge: Yzma

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Let’s kick this week off right, friends, with a manicure inspired by Yzma, the bad gal of Disney’s animated movie The Emperor’s New Groove, and a woman described by just about everyone who meets her as “scary beyond all reason.”  If only she could shake that pesky llama problem!  And that lever problem.  And that Kronk problem.

On paper, Yzma’s got the baddie goods.  As senior adviser to disinterested d-bag Emperor Kuzko – SO senior; Yzma’s age is never revealed, but her ’30s-style garb, nightly de-aging skin regimen and ultra pinched demeanor would suggest a woman in her late 70s – Yzma has all the power and precious little oversight.  But after an attempt to overthrow the teenage fun times emperor goes sideways (turns out the kid’s not so disinterested after all, though he’s still very much a d-bag) Yzma’s thrown out on her pointy ass.  With the help of her young, hot and devoted – but easily distracted – man servant, Kronk, Yzma then concocts a plan to poison the emperor and claim the throne for herself.

Except…you get what you pay for, and Yzma’s been cheaping out HARD.  Kronk is a sweet guy, a real go-with-the-flow type, and a total wiz in the kitchen (spinach puffs are his specialty) but Yzma treats him like crap, and you can’t help but think he’s not putting in his best effort under such working conditions.  Because every single one of their schemes goes badly, including Kuzko’s attempted poisoning, which results not in the emperor’s death, but in his being turned into a llama instead.  Yup, a llama.  Llama jokes abound in this thing; get on board or perish!

The rest of the movie concerns Kuzko’s attempts to end his state of enforced llama-ness, and Yzma’s attempts to just plain old end him, and it’s hilarious.  The Emperor’s New Groove is one of those Disney gems that flew way, way under the radar when it was released in 2000, and I can’t help but think that if people knew about its slapsticky, almost Monty Python-esque sense of humour, they’d be more receptive to its charms.  It’s a total goof of an animated film, but not necessarily a children’s film.  The humour here is actually quite sophisticated – fart jokes need not apply.  And with the voice talents of David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt (Yzma herself) and Patrick Warburton all doing their considerable things, it’s immensely charming.  It’s a comedy of errors.  With llamas!  Big recommendation on this one.

I usually do my character manicures with the character’s face on my thumb, but this mani went about as well as one of Yzma and Kronk’s plans, which is to say not at all.  I redid my thumb three times before finally settling on this all-finger design.  Let’s just say Yzma’s cadaver-esque snub nose and spiderweb lashes do not lend themselves particularly well to lacquered interpretation.  But her penchant for feathered and flared purple certainly does.  Wouldn’t be a Disney villain if she weren’t garbed in some shade of aubergine, I suppose. 😉

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Disney Girl Challenge: Bo Peep

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Bahahahahaha – or perhaps baaaaaa-hahahaha? – Bo Peep on my thumb here looks like a nun!  I maintain, I am utter crap at painting characters, they ALL come out looking like black market, carnival-grade nylon nightmares.  I do think her three-headed, one-body sheep are rather fetching, however.

And in case you’re curious as to this Disney Girl Challenge business, it’s an open-ended, super casual, non-challenge challenge I set for myself, oh, nearly six years ago now when I realized there were about nine billion female Disney characters out there that would make some really excellent nail art subjects.  Please click on the link above to check out a LOT of Disney girl power, lacquered styles. 🙂

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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.

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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