New goal in life: Live long enough for it to be acceptable as an old woman to run around in an embroidered turquoise leisure suit bearing THIS print!
I assure you I did not intend for these nails to turn out quite this way, but this manicure is so terrifically 1970s. I almost feel like my paternal grandmother had a belted polyester leisure suit (with slightly flared pants) featuring an embroidered rose print. That must be where I got the just-accidentally-fell-into-it inspiration for these nails. Also, not for nothing, but if that’s true, nice one, Grandma – it’s a whole lot of look, and I totally love it!
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!
This manicure started out life as a tribute to the fabulously frilly and floppy peony, my grandfather’s favourite flower, but somewhere along the line it morphed into your standard rose design. But hey, look, I discovered a new varietal – the Rosy Peony! Let’s hope these ones are slightly less ant-infested than traditional peonies, though.
The story of how I came by my tattoos (two basic black stars on each of my shoulders; nothing so vibrant as these colour-blended, tat-type nails, but I love them all the same) is a fun one.
Rather hungover from the former evening’s revelry, a multi-location mini-rager in honour of my 25th year of existence, and running off the perma-high that came from being merely within the same city limits as my new boyfriend (you know him today as Mr. Finger Candy), I met my 80-year-old grandmother for an early lunch (there is no other kind for grandma types, I think) at a cool downtown eatery. We ate fish and chips (surprisingly decent hangover food) and talked about boys, and afterwards we went prowling around the junkiest of the junk stores, my grandmother’s very favourite type of shopping. Somewhere in there she slipped me an envelope filled with birthday mad money, and before jauntily stepping onto the bus that would take her back home, she wished me a happy birthday and told me to do something silly with it.
I’m pretty sure she meant buy a bunch of clothes or makeup, but instead I turned right around and walked into the first tattoo parlour I found, a not-at-all-junky place I had spied on our walk to the junk store, and walked out four hours later with my first (and so far only) bits of body art. I love my stars intensely, but I think I love the memory of that day even more – it was a very good birthday.
Months later when I was shopping for my wedding dress I heard my grandmother say to my mom, as I twirled before them in a duchess silk ballgown, “What in god’s name are those things on her shoulders?!” Heh. 🙂
Matte floral nails never fail to remind me of one of those ornate, “Do not touch!” teacups your grandmother has on the top shelf of her china cabinet. Behind glass. And beside a commemorative decorative bell she and your grandfather received as a present at their 50th wedding anniversary party. At least that’s the ideal, right, to be so happy with your one and only, one day you’ll qualify for that decorative bell to place beside the “Company only!” teacup? I like to think that’s the ideal, at least. 🙂
There’s still two hours and 45 minutes left in my time zone on this Valentine’s Day thing, so I thought I’d take a moment to highlight the absolute bounty of pink, red and white manicures I completed in the run-up to the big day. First thing tomorrow, everyone’s focus will shift to St. Patrick’s Day, so best to get these hearts in while I still can! Xs and Os to you all – I hope your day was a happy one. 🙂
These were supposed to be just straight up Valentine’s Day roses, but when I finished this manicure, I realized I had created a pattern most reminiscent of those ungodly expensive Lilly Pulitzer dresses people shank each other over on eBay. I remember a year or two ago Lilly Pulitzer released a capsule collection with Target, and it sold out in stores and online within seconds. And everywhere across America, then-pointless line-ups of enraged, colourfully-attired women shrieked in fury. I jest because Lilly’s not my jam, and there’s not a thing on earth I want to purchase badly enough to take part in that kind of tomfoolery, but I’d be SO pissed if there was something I really wanted and instead it was nabbed in the first 10 seconds of store opening by some reseller who then turned around and jacked its price on eBay by 3000 percent. Not cool. But at least there’s always Lilly-inspired nail art – and a veritable bargain compared to the clothes!
Inspiration can come in many odd forms, including, in this case, printed on the side of a beautifully labelled, but otherwise wretched smelling, candle. Bath & Body Works’ Mocha Latte Swirl is the scented offender (coffee scents that aren’t actual coffee make me feel no bueno.) I’d never burn the thing, but I like to admire the really gorgeous job B&BW did on the label design – lots of arching laurels, blooming roses and delicate posies. Mocha Latte Swirl’s pink and cream-based design is particularly lovely as set off against the chocolate brown of the candle itself, and is actually one of my favourite colour combinations – anything that looks like neopolitan ice cream, right? 🙂
The 31 Day Challenge is starting at the beginning of the rainbow this year (and every year, as I’m discovering – the challenge prompts have not changed in at least three cycles) with the colour red. I went for a more thematic approach to day one’s prompt, eschewing the actual colour (there’s quite a bit of green in these supposedly red nails) in favour of an idea, specifically that of the Queen of Hearts’ preference for blood red roses, whether natural or of the painted variety. And matted, of course, because matte florals always look like gorgeous, vintage wallpaper, which is precisely the look I was going for.
“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.)