A Personal Choice (OMD2)

Hawaiian Ham BottleThe final day’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge was personal style (well, signature style), and what’s more personal than nail polish you made yourself? I would never consider myself an indie polish maker, more an acetone dabbler (just not that kind of dabbler – please don’t come and arrest me, meth-watch programs.) I make polishes for my friends and family and, of course, for myself when I’ve got something in mind that just doesn’t exist in either real or online life. That’s how I wound up with this polish, my first foray into make-yer-own and a favourite amongst a becoming-difficult-to-contain stash. Her name’s Hawaiian Ham, and she’s a mix of rose, chocolate, red, yellow and copper hex glitters in an ultra sheer pink base. Why Hawaiian Ham? Because the glitter mix I cobbled together reminded me of one of those frightening 1950s-type ham dishes covered in pineapple and maraschino cherries (which would be called Happy Ham Surprise or something equally un-descriptive) and hams are damn funny. That’s just good comedy there.

For this manicure, I topped a cream soda-esque gradient (fitting, seeing as I used two of the colours from OPI’s Coca Cola collection) with one coat of the Ham. Glitter topper aside, pink and cream are two of my favourite colours to decorate with (our first bedroom was this gorgeous, warm, rest-inducing rose pink), so I suppose this manicure does qualify as personal style, for my home at the very least.Hawaiian Ham

The Beave (OMD2)

The Beave

Day 29’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge was national pride, which is a fitting one for me seeing as in the past week, I’ve crossed four provinces in this true north strong and free, eventually landing on Canada’s smallest provincial landmass, Prince Edward Island. PEI is gorgeous – green and verdant, with a whiff of saltwater in the air and beautiful, rolling fields of red earth stretching for as far as the eye can see (although not stretching that far, as PEI at its very widest point is only 140 miles across.)

But sadly for me and these nails, which draw inspiration from one of Canada’s more iconic, tree-biting critters, there are no beavers on the Island. Or if there are, I certainly haven’t seen them. But do you know what there are in droves? Foxes. Slim, rust-coloured foxes with bushy tails and prancing gaits that lounge around the backyard like dogs on a hot summer day. Except they move like cats and seem weirdly unperturbed by the presence of humans (of course, I just found out that one of the neighbours has been feeding them weiners, so no wonder they’re just this side of domesticated. I’d hang around any place that was throwing free processed meat at me, too!) It’s bad enough that while I was outside snapping this photo, taking advantage of the early morning natural light, I kept throwing glances over my shoulder to make sure Mr. Fox wasn’t sneaking up to take a bite out of my hide.

But I don’t know how to draw a fox, and so I went with this beave-tastic design instead (although one could argue that I also don’t know how to draw a beaver, particularly that one on my ring finger that looks like a dog with conjunctivitis.)

All Hallows Bride (OMD2)

All Hallows Bride

I was married on Halloween, so I am perhaps not the person to consult on all things traditionally bridal. Not that our wedding was some ultra gothed-out, be-costumed free-for-all, mind you. It was actually quite traditional (you know, apart from the goat sacrifice we scheduled between cocktails and appetizers.) 😉

So when I saw that day 28’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge was bridal, I knew I’d have to stay true to the person I was on that day nearly 10 years ago and painted what I know.

With that in mind, here I’ve shown a couple of nails’ worth of my dress, a gorgeous embroidered gown with a corset that I was so tightly strapped into, I actually started having breathing problems towards the end of the night (prior to that it had been quite comfortable and obviously insanely supportive – plus my boobs looked fabulous! – but somewhere around midnight it decided enough was enough and tried to kill me. I remember my friends laying me out on a couch in an adjoining room like a side of beef, trying to relieve the pressure on my chest. It was ridiculously stupid and funny and one of my favourite memories of that day.)

On my index finger, I’ve shown a version of the purple satin dresses my girlfriends wore as they had my back (my fourth attendant, one of my oldest friends, wore a tux, because he’s a dude and classy like that, although he probably would have looked pretty great in that dress, too.)

The candy corns on my ring finger represent the little Halloween loot bags we passed out as favours (trust me, no one wants an engraved candle with your names on it; ply your guests with mini chocolate bars instead), and the iconic curly cliff from The Nightmare Before Christmas draws inspiration from our Jack and Sally cake toppers.

But having said all sorts of good things about my wedding reception (and I haven’t even discussed the food, Thanksgiving-type fare with a heavy emphasis on yum), I’d just like to point out that my very favourite part of my wedding day was the ceremony itself. It was warm and touching and spontaneous (especially the part where we had to move the site itself inside due to rain), and my husband and I, both being goofy show-offs, had a lot of fun making moony eyes at each other and playing up the spectacle of it all. And then I got to marry my best friend! As the great Ice Cube might say, it was a good day. 🙂Us

Rainbow Roses (OMD2)

Rainbow Roses

Everything I know about rainbow roses can be encompassed by one hopelessly optimistic Pin that assures me that multi-coloured roses are but a snip, dye and a half-day wait away. But like most things that are born of a delusional evening spent perusing the DIY and craft boards on Pinterest, I have taken this one with a grain of salt and have yet to actually try the technique myself.

And let’s not even get started on purchasing rainbow roses. A trusted local florist should be able to do them, but it’ll be treated as a custom order and they will be pricey. And I know that major online florists like FTD and Teleflora also offer arrangements of rainbow roses, but from everything I’ve ever read about them, their products and services are worryingly hit or miss, and you’ll still be paying major dollars. All for a bunch of white roses tweaked with food dye! So the lesson to be learned here is maybe I should try that Pin after all? Please somebody remind me to wear gloves, though, or I’ll be sporting rainbow-hued palms until September.

These are nails I did for day 25’s theme of roses in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge. I’ve gone back to this rose well a few times now (all of my rose designs come out looking like blobby little rose-oids), this time painting a garden’s worth of rainbow beauties along the edge of my nails against a stark white background perfect for highlighting multi-coloured detail work.

You Can’t Close the Beaches! (OMD2)

You Can't Close the Beaches!

You don’t have the authority to close the beaches! Tourism dollars, island communities, blah diddy blah blah bla — oh cripes, did we mention the shark? Really, it’s no biggie – he only eats every second or third fisherman, and failing that, your kids and pets and Sunday roasts. Pretty much business as usual around Amity Island.

For today’s theme of nautical in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge – the first time I have actually been able to say that as opposed to the day number, because I have been annoyingly off the pace from the very beginning – I have clearly taken great inspiration from a favourite movie and nail art subject, Jaws. More specifically, I attempted to recreate the mayor’s outstanding grey seersucker blazer dotted with tiny embroidered anchors, with my own bloody and naughty-cal touch.

Judging from the look of things, dude, I think you should have closed the beaches.

I Hate Nature! (OMD2)

I Hate Nature!

Day 26’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge was the outdoors, and because I’m really not all that fond of the great outdoors (I’m pretty much an indoor kitty), I went in a slightly different direction and took inspiration from a favourite movie character whose philosophy about the out of doors is very much in alignment with mine, Chunk from the Goonies.

Don’t laugh; the Goonies is good moviein’. You whippersnappers today would be so lucky to find a beloved childhood movie 1/10th as wonderful as the Goonies (and while I’m in old person lecturing mode, pull up your damn pants and get off my lawn!) I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I spent perched in front of the television as a kid, while Chunk and Mouth and Mikey and Data rode their bikes through Astoria and discovered the legend of One Eyed Willy (don’t you dare laugh!) and battled an octopus, but only in some edited for TV versions (it’s seriously so weird – the first time I saw the octopus battle scene I wondered if I was either hallucinating it right then or had somehow blocked it out the other 8,654 times I had seen the movie.)

But getting back to the challenge at hand, these nails are inspired by Chunk, who escapes the clutches of the Fratellis and is tasked with running through the woods to the road to get help. Chunk’s probably the last person who should be trusted with this very important task, and he proves his worthlessness (for the moment; Chunk’s the big hero in the end) by running directly to a car driven by one of the Fratelli brothers, but not before he cuts through the woods, bitching up a storm about how much he hates nature. I feel ya, kid – nature isn’t my thing either.

I like to think these nails convey Chunk’s general feelings towards the outdoors (although according to my interpretation, he dislikes pigs, trees and butterflies), while highlighting Chunk’s best feature, his all polyester uniform of a Hawaiian shirt and plaid pants (actually, the guy who played Chunk, a guy by the name of Jeff Cohen, told a cute little anecdote on one of the DVD commentaries about how, as a self-described fat kid actor, some directors had put him in eye assaultingly bad Hawaiian print shirts while others had put him in too-tight plaid pants, but never had a director had the creative chutzpah to combine the two before Richard Donner. It was cute.)

Parrot Talk (OMD2)

Parrot TalkParrot fish, that is, and my pick for day 21’s theme of animal print in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge. And yes, I realize that fish are not animals in the strictest, most sciencey meaning of the term, but here’s my basic criteria for determining whether something is an animal: Is it a small relation of a larger critter that we adopt into our families and house in our homes? Then it’s an animal. So fish totally count, according to my highly technical definition. The parrot print stays!

Grape Scott! (OMD2)

Grape Scott!In my head I’m picturing Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown storming around his lab, yanking out clumps of his hair and gobbling nonsense about how the DeLorean’s in the shop, so how’s he supposed to get back to 1955 to save Marty from making out with his mom? (Mega bonus points if you just read that in Lloyd-as-Doc’s clipped, rapid fire cadence.)

That, of course, makes me think about the old Back to the Future Ride at Universal Studios Florida, a ride simulator favourite of mine that opened in 1991 and only closed in 2007 to make way for the park’s Simpsons and Harry Potter expansions. It was the coolest ride, but my favourite part (besides making it to the shaded, indoor portion of the line) was this little instructional video that played prior to boarding advising you of all the things thou shalt not do or be while travelling via DeLorean to the past to save humanity from the idiot clutches of Biff Tanner, such as pregnant, of poor spinal health, in the midst of a heart attack or consuming a chili cheese dog. All of these scenarios were played for laughs by a family of featureless crash test dummies, and I could ALWAYS be counted on to bray like a jackass when the safety advisor prepping us to cross the space-time continuum commented that while in transit, there was to be no smoking, drinking or eating, while a dummy in the background sat on the ride clutching a giant sandwich in one hand and a smouldering butt in the other. Bless your snark, Universal. It’s truly what differentiates you from Disney.

Wait, how did I get here? What did I come here to talk about again? Oh, right, my nails! I KNEW this blog was more than just a roundabout way for me to talk about my favourite stuff – occasionally there’s nail art, too! It’s just far too easy for me to get distracted by the stupid puns I make. Like this one time…

Okay, I’ll stop! I’m reining it in! These great grape nails, which just touched off a fire storm of nostalgic reminiscing, are my entry in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge for day 24’s theme of fruit. I have done so many fruit-themed manis (the two first manicures I ever did were watermelons and then strawberries), but I’ve never gone grape, until now. And while I’m not sure how much those purple blobs on my index finger actually resemble grapes, I love these rich colours together, particularly the way the purple jelly (OH MY GOD, GRAPE JELLY, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ONLY GETTING THAT NOW, I’M LOSING MY TOUCH) highlights the magenta flecks in the green glitter polish. Just grape stuff. 😉

Blackbird (OMD2)

BlackbirdDay 22’s theme of feathers in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge felt like a welcome palette cleanser after last week’s barrage of difficult (Ikat? Glitter placement? Negative space? What madness is this?) Feather designs are relatively easy ones, and best of all, even if your brush work is less than exemplary, it really works with the mani, because a little roughness keeps them looking real. Seriously, don’t let it ruffle your feathers. (*groan*)

Negative Nelly (OMD2)

Negative NellyNegative space nails – a manicure in which areas of your nail are left bare or a design is cut into the polish itself – represent *the* trendy nail art technique of the moment. This is probably because it creates a super cool effect (so long as you don’t mind bits of your bare, stained, chipped and gouged nails being exposed to the judgemental eyes of the world), but also because it’s indisputably HARD, and nail art enthusiasts are nothing but a group up to an annoyingly difficult challenge.

Speaking of challenges, these nails, my second attempt at a negative space mani, represent my entry in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge for day 23’s theme of negative space. Yet for all my tough talk about how difficult and time consuming they can be, it was probably the easiest-going manicure I’ve done in months. Isn’t that always the way? You fret about the hard ones and slack on the easy stuff, only to discover that you rock at the advanced difficulty, but have somehow forgotten how to use a dotting tool.

For these negative heart nails, I used a favourite glitter polish, KB Shimmer’s Make My Gray, for a pop of colour, adding Bourjois’s watermelon-hued Rose Imaginaire to my index and ring fingers. Once dry, I softened up the polish I wanted to erase by dipping a detail brush in acetone and marking out the little hearts. Then, using the pointed edge of an orangewood stick, I carved out the hearts, scraping up any excess polish as I went. Finally, I cleaned up the smudges left behind in the bare areas with a detail brush dipped in acetone, sealing the whole thing in with a coat of Seche Vite to smooth down any lumps and bumps.

It goes without saying that the next time I try a negative space mani, it will be a crapfest of epic proportions, but for now I’ll revel in the unexpected easiness of these nails – negative space nails with virtually no negatives!Negative Nelly Sun