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.
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.
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.)
With these shimmery floral nails satisfying day nine’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, I’m all caught up but for one prompt, yesterday’s call for patterns. I wanted to keep these nails simple, so I went with a tiny, dotted floral design and let the polishes I used here, Mentality’s blue shimmer-infused pink, Bash, and Smitten Polish’s purple (and blue and green and sometimes red) colour-shifter, You Saucy Minx, do all the heavy lifting. I love how the shimmer in both these polishes makes them look as though they glow from within, and depending on the angle of your hand and the quality of the light, like four different polishes at once. Cheers to keeping the rest of your Friday night fun and flowery, fingernail friends. 🙂
Another glitter polish from Whimsical Ideas by Pam takes centre stage in this melony mani, although the prompt I’m technically addressing here for day eight of the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge is V-shaped. That’s where the little slices of juicy-looking watermelon come in, which in turn inspired the choice of glitter I used here, Pam’s Wacky Watermelon. Very chicken/egg, I know. Deep, deep stuff. 😉
Button, button, who’s got the button? These dotty nails, which could have just as easily been in service of day six’s theme of polka dots, are actually my entry toward day five’s theme of colourful in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. Bouncing around all over the map on this one, indeed. I love that at a bit of a distance, these nails look like a gone-bananas leopard print, which, come to think of it, would also work quite nicely for this colourful prompt.
I actually have no idea what Dippin Dots taste or look like beyond plastic and plastic? They’re those little ice cream-oid frozen balls you can buy in the States, right? I’ve never consumed such an animal, although the concept sounds horrifyingly delightful, like frozen Fruity Pebbles (as in rainbow coloured and bearing a taste and texture not of this world.)
This dotted pond manicure is my entry towards day six’s theme of polka dots in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Challenge. You’d be correct in noting that I’m jumping around the board a little bit, tackling yesterday’s theme when I’ve yet to do either the day prior, or today’s! But such is the drama of a 31 day challenge, correct? Correct!
I very recently – as in 43 hours and 50 minutes ago, not that I’m counting – lost one of my two cats to old age. Her name was Porky, she was 22, and she was my best friend and companion for 15 of those much-indulged years. As I commented on my “Airing of the deceased pet grief” memorial post on Facebook – and as regular readers of this blog are all too aware – I am rarely at a loss for words. Give me the barest outline of a theme and I’ll find a way to build a conversation around it. But I can’t find the words to express how much I cared about that grumpy and demanding little bundle of fur, not because I don’t know what to say, but because I simply can’t force the words past the tears. It’s been nearly two days since she left me, and I’m not sure I’ve stopped crying once, even in my sleep. She’s all I think about.
So it was with the great promise of relief – relief to be thinking about anything else except her final moments, relief to be doing anything else except crying – that I thought I’d turn back to the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge I’ve been participating in and catch up on the three or so prompts that have passed me by while I’ve been crying. I thought something simple, like day four’s theme of black and gold, would be a great place to start, particularly when I remembered the pack of star-shaped nail vinyls I bought over the winter holidays and had yet to press into action. How much easier does it get than peel and stick and paint and rip? Even a grief-stricken basket case with hopelessly swollen eyes could manage that!
But I think we all know where this is going, right? Because this particular grief-stricken basket case with hopelessly swollen eyes could not get her nail vinyl mojo up and running, not even a little bit. Granted, this was the first time I was using nail vinyls, and I’m not exactly feeling on top of my A game in any way, but holy wow, were these vinyls, from a company called Nail Vinyls, a PAIN. For starters, the adhesive backing on the vinyls is incredibly strong and sticky. It’s imperative that you use a top coat like Seche Vite to harden up the surface of your nails before applying the vinyl, or else you’ll simply rip the polish straight off your nails. I’d also recommend using an opaque polish for all your vinyling needs; the gold micro glitter I used here, Orly’s Bling, was a touch too transparent and required multiple coats, which crept under the edges of the stars and muddled the overall design. In the final analysis, I ended up dabbing the gold polish onto my nails with a cosmetic sponge, which gave me more control and stopped that pesky bleeding edges business. Finally, after removing the vinyls – carefully, so carefully – I went over the little gold stars with a detail brush and a couple of extra coats of Bling to really enhance their sparkle.
I think nail vinyls might be one of those things you build up to – peel and stick and paint and rip they were NOT – but still, this manicure was a lot of work for something I had hoped wouldn’t tax my brain too much. Although on the flip side, fussing with temperamental nail vinyls for an hour and a half made me cease contemplating my grief for an hour and a half, and so I’m counting this one as a win.
This swirly manicure is coming at you a day late and a (silver) dollar short; I simply had no fuel in the nail art tank yesterday and needed a day’s respite. But now I’m back at it, and catching up to day three’s Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge theme of silver with one of my favourite nail art techniques, freehanded swirls. For these hypnotic-looking nails, I topped two coats of Essence’s Colour & Go in Chic Reloaded, a purple/green-tinged grey duochrome, with some random swirls in OPI’s silver foil My Signature is “DC”. I always think this type of allover design looks like nail wraps, although if you get close enough, you can see the little imperfections that make free-handed designs a little purer, in my totally biased estimation!