Weather is today’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge (stop to marvel for a moment at the fact that I’m posting a mani on the same day as its actual prompt) and so I thought I’d take one lacquered tree through all four weather-laden seasons we experience around my province, with a special thumbnail nod to the weather we seemingly experience the most, crapass, icy cold precipitation.
Day 22’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge was star signs. As I’m an Aries, that clearly called for a manicure depicting…floating rams in space? Okay, sure, we’ll go with that! I also added my sign’s corresponding star cluster to my thumbnail. Cute? All (star) signs point to yes!
I went for an inked-on expression of l’amour for day 18’s theme of love in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. For these tatted up nails, I took inspiration from the lettering on those knuckle duster tattoos that, spread out across two hands, often read LOVE/HATE or PATI/ENCE or maybe KITT/YCAT. I filled in the lettering with the red, purple and grey glazes from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set, sheer polishes designed for maximum blendability. I then added a few tattoo-style roses to my thumb and outlined them in black for a stark, graphic look. Love this love!
Hmm, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? If only there were a more alliterative day, or two, on which we could consume our tacos! 😉
These yummy taco nails are my entry towards day 16’s theme of fast food in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. Tacos are one of my favourite take-out foods, and one I indulge in at least every few weeks (although if I’m being totally honest, the big draw for me when I’m dining down Mexico way are the chips and salsa; I swear, I could drink VATS of fresh salsa, I love it so much.) I don’t have a particularly great back story as to why one of the tacos is smiling and one is frowning. Perhaps Frowny Taco is dressed in fat free sour cream – that’d make me grumpy, too.
Having lost my dear old cat, Porky, to old age not two weeks ago, I initially wasn’t super keen on tackling a manicure to fit day 15’s theme of cats in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. I have lost pets before – my childhood Cocker Spaniel, Boo, my young adulthood cat, Puddin’, my goldfish, Fred – but none have hurt like this. She was just such a major part of my life for so very long – 15 of her 22 years – and there’s a weird part of me that doesn’t know how to be without her.
All that to say I’m not quite ready to put brush to nail to create a wonderous bit of nail art honouring my kitty. Or any kitty, really. 😦 So what better time to bust out some glittery kitten nail stickers to do all the heavy lifting for me? I bought these particular stickers through Daily Charme, and they’re adorable – the cutest little glittery cats, shooting stars and tantalizing fish bones. I’m typically not one to think there’s too much of something, particularly when that something is either holographic glitter or cats (or in this case, in the best of both worlds, BOTH) but with the holo base I used here, Enchanted Polish’s Instant Galaxy holographic topper over a plain black creme, I think there may be a touch too much going on. You can barely even see Darth Kitty hiding out there on my middle finger! It’s just a lot to process, what with the glimmering rainbows, hand-painted holographic stars and glittery kitties floating in space. Huh, didn’t think that’s a sentence you’d ever hear me say – too many glittery kitties floating in space? 😉
I’m a theme park nerd and Simpsons fan more or less in equal measure, and I’ve always taken great delight in the episodes where the Simpsons clan go to an amusement park, lampooning the genuinely magical, but ultimately financially-driven, nature of the Disneys and Universals of our world. I think the episode where the Simpsons fight off a roving band of murderous, off-program animatronics at Itchy & Scratchy Land might be my favourite theme park-inspired episode, but I also love – as do so many; it’s a classic for a reason – the 13th episode of season 4 in which Marge’s sister Selma takes the Simpsons kids to Duff Gardens, a Magic Kingdom-esque amusement park run by the Duff Beer Corporation. There’s all the usual Disney-type tropes at work here – endless parades, beleaguered costumed characters and “It’s a Duff World,” an “It’s a Small World” parody whose toxic waters bear hallucinogenic properties – although they also bring Sea World into the mix with the introduction of the Beerquarium, a suds-filled aquatic habitat filled with, apparently, “The World’s Happiest Fish!” Except they really don’t look so happy, listlessly circling the tank belching, groaning and trying not to vomit.
Anyhow, when day 14 of the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge called for the theme of fish, I decided to do a Simpsons-inspired manicure featuring the drunken fish of Duff Garden’s Beerquarium (although later in the episode a character references something called a Fermentarium, which has to be the same thing, right? I move to change the name to Fermentarium on the grounds that it’s much funnier.)
I did these nails using the very-appropriate-in-these-circumstances pond manicure technique, this time encasing the inebriated fish in multiple layers of an amber-hued jelly polish, Nfu Oh’s JS39, instead of Duff Beer. Not really sure which one might be less toxic.
The Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge took a turn for the literary on day 13 with the theme of books. Seeing as my favourite book, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, is wholly unsuitable as the basis for any kind of nail art (like, I can’t even imagine!) and having wanted to do some sweets-themed nail art for ages now, I decided to combine the two and drew inspiration from a favourite childhood novel, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, in particular a wonderful passage depicting little Laura Ingalls’ first Christmas in Kansas in the late 1800s. I adored this book as a child (once faked the severity of a legitimate illness so I could stay home two extra days and read the other books in the series!) and I LOVED the chapter entitled “Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus” in which Laura and her sister are treated to a magical Christmas by a kindhearted neighbour. The girls receive a number of charming, big-deal gifts for the time – a tin cup! a penny! – but my favourite were the little heart-shaped tea cakes dusted with sparkling white sugar.
I may have gone a bit overboard with the depiction of these particular sweets, however, because molasses, jam filling and refined white sugar anything, as I’ve shown here, were not yet common foodstuffs; super special ingredients for super special occasions only, as they were pricey and difficult to come by. But oh, those sparkling little cakes!
As a bit of an aside, I think it’s interesting how (as a child and now) I totally glossed over the many dangerous hardships that made up daily living at the time and focused entirely on the baked goods. Because what’s disease, exposure and nasty run-ins with the locals when you’ve got cake, amirite?
Watermelon, day 12’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, is a design I have done to death (actually, as recently as last week, when I did watermelon wedges for the prompt of V-shaped.) It’s a classic for a very good reason (also the first bit of nail art I ever did, just a little over two years ago.) But that doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten a bit tired of painting the juicy little buggers, and quite frankly, I thought I had run out of melony inspiration, especially in light of some of the awesomely creative designs already posted by the other challenge participants.
But it seems there might be a bit of fuel left in the tank, and so I decided to take the humble watermelon design in a totally different direction, deconstructing it and breaking it down into a series of stripes and dots featuring two of my favourite KB Shimmer glitter bombs, dark green Get Clover It and Hawaiian-Punch-for-your-nails, Belle of the Mall. I like the buttoned down details as set against the juiciest of my glitter jellies. Fun, simple and something just a tiny little bit different.
As we head into the second and a half week of the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, I thought I’d take stock of how well I’ve fared thus far – namely, not super well! Or at least not super timely. I’ve been a day or two off the pace right from the very beginning, although the rather traumatic passing of my beloved old kitty, Porky, last week really brought things to a screeching halt. Terribly hard to motivate when you can’t stop crying.
But as the sexy as hell Jeff Goldblum once said (I’m allowed to talk about the death of my cat in one breath and the hotness of Jeff Goldblum in the other because he was her human celebrity crush; Victor Garber was the other) “Life finds a way.” And life is indeed finding a way as Mr. Finger Candy and I, and our other kitty, Weegie, attempt to navigate this new, Porky-less normal that has been thrust upon us. I won’t lie, though, friends – losing a pet just fucking sucks.
Returning to my nail art, though, has been its own form of therapy, and I’m glad to have the challenge holding the thematic reins, because creative thinking right now? Is barely happening. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t tinker with the themes a bit, bending them to my particular skill set and interpretation, much as I did with these basic boughs, which are my entry towards day 11’s theme of leaves in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. Because boughs bear leaves (what did I tell you about this higher thinking stuff, hmm?)
“Woah,” said a friend as he dumped his coat on my bed during a grade 7 Halloween party, “Do you ever feel like you’re sleeping inside a cotton candy machine?” The answer to that was yes, of course, but a much-loved cotton candy machine draped in the finest pink and white pinstripes, dots, hearts, ticking stripes and cabbage roses Laura Ashley had to offer (which was surprisingly quite a bit; floral-printed textiles paired with dainty stripes and dots, the mainstay of the Laura Ashley look, were all the rage in decorating back then.) Now that I’m thinking back to it, gosh, did I ever love that bedroom! It was big and bright and airy, with blonde hardwood floors and an odd little closet with a vaulted ceiling that tapered down to a tiny little point that I always thought led to Wonderland, or perhaps Narnia. I also had a white wrought iron daybed (heaped in pink and white Laura Ashley bedding, of course) that fit into a little nook in the wall just so, and on the wall above my bed there was a felt hanging of my name that decorated every bedroom I had until high school. It was kind of the perfect girly girl’s room, and I adored it. An exceptional place to curl up with a good book and pass a most enjoyable childhood afternoon.
These nails are actually my entry toward’s day nine’s theme of a pattern in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, except instead of going with A pattern, I decided to go with MANY of them, in honour of my favouritest ever bedroom (including the felted “Sandra” hanging.)