Miss Argentina

Miss Argentina Hand

Coming at you this gloomy Sunday afternoon with another manicure inspired by the movie Beetlejuice, this time a super bright and graphic design honouring Miss Argentina, the droll, turquoise-skinned receptionist who mans the check-in desk in the Waiting Room of the Dead.  The totally inappropriate joke (for any time but the 1980s, apparently) is that Miss Argentina, still garbed in her hot pink competition gown and sash and bearing two nasty-looking slashes on her wrists, is doomed to an eternity of bureaucratic civil service on account of what she terms her “little accident” – seems in the Beetlejuice world, if you check out early by your own hand, you’re condemning yourself to an afterlife of mind-numbingly stupid government work.  It’s all pretty crass, but that was the 1980s for you.

Crassness aside, I love Miss Argentina – she’s overworked and profoundly bored, but also sassy and so. completely. over. it.  And for a former beauty queen, it’s also important to note that she’s gorgeous. Turquoise and hot pink?  That’s one of my favourite colour combinations!  Here, check this out – this is Molly Tinkerpuff (and her cat, Stray) a Sim I created back in 2013 and modeled after Miss Argentina.


But let’s talk about this mani for a quick second.  I love it.  Like, loveity-love-love it.  I’m sort of gobsmacked at how well it actually turned out, particularly the scroll work and the lettering in Miss Argentina’s sash.  I also love how crisp and precise the outlining work is – it lends the whole thing a very comic book/tattoo kind of vibe.  Neat!

Miss Argentina Fingers

The Sims

Sims HandWhile I’d never classify myself as a gamer per se, casting my mind back to important and not-so important events in my life, I realize games have ALWAYS been there. Waiting for the gigantic, claw-footed bathtub to fill in the 100-year-old farmhouse I grew up in? Fire up a game of Q-Bert. Attending a new school and looking for something fun to do with newly-made friends? Bond over the supreme aggravation that is Super Mario 2 (the All Acid Trip Edition.) At a party with a bunch of drunken jerks who think you can’t whup their butts at Donkey Kong Country? WHUP THEIR BUTTS AT DONKEY KONG COUNTRY! Then discover the Sims in your late 20s and cease all productive activity for roughly the next year and a half.

Ahhh, those early, halcyon days of Sims discovery; what a precious time between a girl and her PC. As I mentioned, I didn’t come by the Sims until my late 20s, when, accompanying my husband on trips to the local gaming emporium, I’d inevitably drift over to the PC section, where colourful boxes bearing decorations and housewares and furnishings for tiny little simu-people beckoned me with their possibilities. That was actually the Sims 2, at that time the latest, priciest release; a bit of an investment in the unknown, in other words. And so Mr. Finger Candy set me up with an inexpensive edition of the complete collection of Sims 1 games as a bit of a test, which I must have passed with flying colours, because you couldn’t tear me away from my laptop for the next 36 hours, and then for about the next two years after that. I eventually went on to RULE the Sims 2, creating a gigantic, custom desert town filled to the brim with kooks and other weirdos, and then the Sims 3, where I’ve been playing the same family of turquoise-skinned fairies for the past two years.

But first came the Sims 1 and a bit of a fun story. When I first began playing the Sims, I had no idea how the mechanics of the game actually worked. I rather incorrectly thought it was a Tamagotchi-type of setup – you set the parameters of their lives and personalities, give them a home and the rest just does itself. So I noodled around for a bit, creating a disparate family of an elder, tweed-covered librarian by the name of Fusty Pants, a young boy in short pants named Nigel and a lady of the evening named Taystee. They had a combined 20,000 Simoleans between them, which I sunk into a 20,000 Simolean house that had no table, TV, sofa or beds. Then, leaving the game up and running on my computer, I went out to the livingroom to watch a two-hour movie with my husband.

I think we can all guess where this went, right? When I returned to Fusty and Co., I walked in on pure chaos. With no beds or a sofa on which to catch a nap, Fusty, Nigel and Taystee were forced to simply pass out on the front lawn or, in Taystee’s case, in a pile of fly-covered garbage in front of the empty refrigerator. Because they were all such exhausted, starving, filthy nutcases, Fusty ceased going to work at the library and was fired, Taystee starved to death and wee little Nigel was taken away by the social worker. How do you say “Reset” in Simlish again?!

These nails are inspired by the Sims’ logo, and Plumbobs, the little green diamonds that float above their heads as mood indicators. Well, green if your Sim is in a good mood. Red if they’re Fusty, Taystee and Nigel. 😉

The Resourceful Gamer

Clash of Clans HandCalling all Clash of Clanners! Mr. Finger Candy, who is a level 118 Clasher, is in need of a new clan, having outgrown the once-benevolent, now-trigger happy gang of weirdos he presently lords over. All interested parties should report to the comment section of this blog post. I gather reaching level 118 is something impressive? You know what else is impressive? How he managed to cajole me into doing another manicure inspired by his odd little “casual” gaming obsession, when I’ve yet to do even one manicure inspired by my not-remotely-casual gaming obsession, the Sims. How is this fair? The things we do for love, folks. Like these nails, which highlight the resources, or collectibles, one has to amass during the game (from index to pinkie, elixir, gold coins, dark elixir and gems), plus a little shout-out to his admittedly pretty impressive ranking.

Clash of Clans

Clash of ClansMr. Finger Candy, have I told you lately that I love you? Because if I haven’t, then these nails honouring your supremely aggravating and socially-debilitating “casual game” obsession, Clash of Clans, say more than those three little words ever could.

Yes, folks, these are the things we do to maintain a happy marriage, even if those things are finally caving and whipping up a set of nails inspired by a game that a) you’ve never once played yourself (trust me, the stories about dark ether and hog riders and wizard towers alone paint a pretty vivid picture) and b) sort of drives you insane because it’s time-consuming, expensive and turns your husband into a muttering nutball who can only speak in gems and thinks dragons are actual currency! All right, so we’re still a long way off from DEFCON 1 on the Crazy Gamer Scale, but you guys, he’s some sort of grand poobah high wizard-type (he’s a clan leader, actually) and despite being pretty vehemently opposed to carrying mobile devices (we’re some of the only people we know that don’t have cell phones) he’s freaking CHAINED to a gifted Samsung device these days commanding troops and deploying traps and gifting his little simu-army dragons and witches and whatever else gets all the other Clashers excited in the pants, which judging from the comments on his page – “Best leader ever!” – is pretty much everything.

And if it sounds like I’m being all snobby, yes, I totally am, but I’m also pretty indulgent about this stuff (some may say too indulgent) because hey, I’ve so been there, done that. I seem to recall an entire lost week about seven years ago when I first discovered the Sims (“Oh hi, sweetie, just let me get up and I’ll make you some coffee to take to work.” “Uh, I just got home from work. Wait, how long have you been sitting there?”) Bottom line: So long as he keeps his in-game currency spending down and doesn’t command his troops while we’re out doing social things, it’s cool. He works hard, and if he wants to play hard like the big geeky weirdo I know and love, that’s fine with me. Besides, it’s led to some pretty sweet nail art!

This manicure is for you, sweetie. I hope you like.


When I’m not flooding my nails with noxious chemicals, one of my favourite things to with my spare time is to play the Sims.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that the Sims and I have a most contentious relationship.  I’ll build and design and lord over my simu-peeps every evening as I watch TV for days or weeks on end, and then suddenly I’ll ignore it for six months straight.  There is no real rhyme or reason (although the Sims’ INSANE system requirements combined with my computer’s often taxed-to-the-max capabilities frequently sends me running for the hills; it’s just too discouraging to build, say, an entire mini-amusement park, only to have it completely wiped out during a game crash.)

But one of the hallmarks of a Simmer is that we never know when to say die, which is why we load up our woefully inadequate computers with enough software to launch a rocket into space, which is how I came to be in possession of the Sims 3 Pets expansion pack long after I had sworn off all Simming for good.  Oh right, another thing about Simmers?  We’re unrepentant liars when it comes to bowing out of our favourite game – somehow, despite all the glitches and screw-ups, it ALWAYS finds a way to lure us back in.  It’s a lot like crack that way.

And so the Sims lured me back in with the promise of simu-cats and pixel-pups and, for the first time in Sim history, horses!  But because my Sims are never normal – they’re nearly always ultra high achieving supernatural types – my girl couldn’t possibly have a normal horse, and so she adopted herself a unicorn.  Thunder the Unicorn, as she’s called, did not start out life as a rainbow-hued quadruped.  When my fairy Sim, Molly, found her, she was a dusty kind of black colour.  In other words, the very antithesis of a unicorn.  But a hop, skip and an adoption away, the secrets of unicorn design were unlocked and Thunder came into her own.  I think she looks a bit like an overgrown My Little Pony, but way cooler because she can – and will – kick people.

Here I took Simspiration from Thunder’s fetching makeover and did a manicure in her completely-made-up honour.  Now if only we could teach my Sim – usually a smart girl, but jeez! – which end of the unicorn is which and we’ll be all set!

Totally Sort of Maybe Off Topic

The Floating Cupcake

Tonight I thought I’d go slightly off script and talk about another just-this-side-of-not-quite-being-a-hobby hobby of mine, Sim building. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about playing the Sims (the Sims 3 specifically, although I dabbled extensively to obsessively in the Sims 2.) Ordering around little simu-people tends to get old fast, and there’s only so many generations of Sims you can “breed” without things becoming a bit incestuously dicey for all parties involved.

So I concentrate my efforts on my favourite part of the game, Sim building, or the art of taxing the ever living shit out of your computer’s minimum requirements while you recreate, in painstaking detail, Disney World’s Haunted Mansion (complete with changing portraits, of course; go grandiose or go home.)

In a lot of ways, I feel like my affinity for nail art and my love of absurdly large and complicated Sim building projects spring from the same recently discovered well of creativity, to say nothing of the fact they’re visual art-based talents no one, myself included, ever thought I possessed.

Plus I really, really love designing and decorating both simulated houses and my nails in candy coated food designs, which is where this fun building project comes into play. Behold the Floating Cupcake, an outsized houseboat for the water-loving sailor Sim in your virtual life. Featuring an open concept design, rooftop pool and three floors’ worth of gracious rooms decorated in the most saccharine of furnishings and fixtures, she’s an awesome sight sailing down the simu-river, not to mention one of the greatest, and most fun, building projects I’ve ever embarked upon. And so I share with you a few photos from the life and times of the Cupcake, a game design I’m suddenly thinking might make excellent inspiration for a bit of crossover interest nail art… Frosted CupcakeA Girl and Her Sno Cone (and Cats)