The Gift of Friendship

Gift From Jay

My awesome online buddy Jay of The Candle Enthusiast recently sent me this amazing, incredibly thoughtful gift, and I hardly know what to say – it’s almost as though every item was tailor-made for yours truly, or at the very least, carefully, carefully chosen.  You’d swear we actually know each other in the Really Real World! 😉  Jay would say I’m easy to shop for because I wear my pop culture obsessions right on my sleeve (sometimes more like tattooed across my forehead) but the sentiment remains – regardless of how very easy it is to decipher my likes, this is an outstanding gift, so wonderful and thoughtful.  Thanks again, Jay!

So in addition to a number of custom-blended wax melts, which predictably got smashed all to crap and back again at the hands of the postal service’s ever-so-loving touch, my package included a clamshell of Dapper Dachshunds’ scented wax in Uncle AC, a blend of smoky tobacco leaves, cherry wood, honey and vanilla.  I’ve been railing on for ages now about my fruitless search for a tobacco fragrance that reminds me of the pouches of cherry tobacco my grandfather used to keep rolled up in his breast cardigan pocket, and this is it, this is it, this is totally it!  I’m never going to be able to melt it; looks like this guy will be a “for nostalgic sniffing purposes only” kind of fragrance.

Another hit on the wax front were these Stranger Things-inspired waffle wax tarts from Bonjour Wax Co.  They smell like the phoniest of the phony syrups on any given IHOP table, but I adore them, and Stranger Things as well (might have loved season 2 just a bit more than season 1, if that’s even possible.)

Eggos

In addition to an adorable little Sally plush (which I’ve hung from a light switch in the diningroom, home to all my weird stuff) Jay also included some charming little kitty erasers, which I’ve been huffing because do you know the last time I smelled a rubber novelty eraser?!, and this absolutely stupendous Handbook for the Recently Diseased Deceased enamel pin.  I am SOOOO smitten; have been eyeing the prop Handbooks on Etsy for years now, but this is so much better because I can wear it!  I have already pinned it to the lapel of my winter coat.

Handbook

And finally, we have the find of all finds, Gravity Falls-inspired teas!  From Adagio Teas, these Gravitea (heh) Falls blends draw their inspiration from shooting star Mabel (top) and brooding emo goth dork Robbie (bottom.)  In addition to smelling just fantastic (particularly Robbie’s Blackberry Berry Blues) these teas are impeccably themed – Mabel’s rosehip-based blend contains candy sprinkles, a delightful little nod to Mabel Juice, an ultra high octane beverage of Mabel’s own devising that contains a handful of dinosaur figurines and which Grunkle Stan describes as tasting as though “coffee and nightmares had a baby.”  And Robbie’s dark fruit blend contains tiny, shriveled up berries, surely a nod to his shriveled up berry of a heart.  I just love them!  Love it all!  Thank you so much for this wonderful present, Jay!

Gravity Falls Teas

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Fall Fun Series II: Pinspiration

Fall Inspiration Board

Good morning, friends!  This Saturday’s prompt in the Fall Fun Series is to compose an inspiration board, a pictogram, a collage or even a simple list of the things that make our hearts sing every autumn.  For me, that means a heck of a lot of gazing at leaves, assembling my Halloween Town, wrestling my cat into goofy costumes and celebrating my wedding anniversary, among many other lovely autumnal things.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the Fall delights that always inspire my soul at this time of year.

Cats in Costumes Collage

Cats in costumes!  Here we have the Weeger as Eeyore, a bee, a centipede and a mylar shark, and our dear, late kitty Porky as Pooh Bear and a deadly little Mewback.  Porky was always deeply intolerant of the five to 10 minutes we would spend every year wrestling her into her costume and then chasing her around the apartment with a camera, but Weegie takes it with some degree of good measure (so long as we lavish her with soft food the second she’s wriggled out of whatever tummy-constricting costume we’ve managed to wrap around her pudge in the first place.)  We don’t have kids; please don’t judge!

Leaf Collage Again

Leaves!  Right outside my door, lining the Ottawa River, or out in the country, edging the highway, or up the Gatineau, where I go with my parents every year to tend my grandparents’ graves.  I’m so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a bounty of leafy beauty every year, it almost makes up for the following six months of snow and ice.  Almost.

stranger-manis-collage

Stranger Things!  The second season starts on October 27th, and I shall be indisposed until such time as I have finished watching it.  I really don’t like binge-watching things – loved parsing out the first season episodes bit by wonderful bit, actually – but I don’t believe any of us will be afforded the luxury of remaining spoiler-free this time around. It’s the best show I’ve ever seen (sorry, Buff) and I am so. unbelievably. excited!  A very dope anniversary present from our Netflix overlords.

Wedding Photo 1

Yes, a fine anniversary present indeed for these two (young, so young!) goobers, who are celebrating their lucky 13th.  My gosh, we are just babies in this photo (but dang if my boobs don’t look SLAMMIN’; bless you, corset gods.)

Halloween Town

My Halloween Town!  A rather large operation that sprawls across my moss-covered diningroom table every Fall.  I had briefly toyed with the idea of letting the town go fallow for the year – setting it up and lugging it out of storage is a major, major pain – but I know I’ll cave in the end.  Gotta let the residents of my spooky little town vent their haunts for the year, yes?

Scary Movie Collage

Scary movies and TV shows.  Although I must note that I haven’t possessed the stomach or temperament for major (or even minor) gore in a long, long time.  Nostalgic picks like the deeply silly Friday the 13th series or my favourite terrible horror movie, Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, are about as wild as I get now, and I’m perfectly content with that. Bring on the G and PG-rated spooks!

NBC Fall

Like The Nightmare Before Christmas, a charmingly creepy little stop motion movie that has a place in my heart and home year-round.  I spoke at some length last year about our snow globe, a wonderful wedding gift from friends.  This year we were fortunate enough to find another gorgeous collectible, an anniversary gift to ourselves that I will be positively gagging to share with you just as soon as it’s mounted to the wall!

Wax Header

And, of course, we can’t forget all the delicious smelly things that will be sweetly scenting my home this autumn.  This is a photo of last year’s bounty (with the exception of the scoopable, a pancakes-and-campfire scent, I melted through all of this and then some.) Looking forward to more cozy scents this year.  To the Fall!

Stranger Manis

stranger-manis-collage

For someone who is presently showing off the SIX Stranger Things manicures she did this year, I actually have very little to say on the subject that hasn’t already been said.  It was an absolute delight, and I’m looking forward to the second season with equal parts joy and trepidation – joy because the first season was utter perfection, replacing Buffy – guys, REPLACING BUFFY – as my favourite show, and trepidation because I worry about the “too much of a good thing” effect the Internet will have on subsequent seasons.  But me of little faith shall have to just wait and see what the second installment brings, and content myself with these Stranger manis in the meanwhile.  Work I’m very proud of this year, every last one of them. 🙂

The Flea and the Acrobat

the-flea-and-the-acrobat

Right Here

Stranger Things fingers

Eleven

eleven

Barb

stranger-barb

The Upside Down

The Upside Down

Rolling a 7

ready-to-roll

Eleven

eleven

Ha!  Okay, so this Stranger Things Eleven manicure, my predictive pick for Halloween 2016’s second most popular costume (I’ll post some nails inspired by what I think is going to be the most popular a little later on today) is proof positive that one should not mix middle-of-the-night insomnia and nail art.  Because poor Eleven looks goddamn terrifying here!  To say nothing of the odd lumps and bumps that didn’t look quite so lumpy or bumpy in the dim light of 2:30 a.m.  But mostly Eleven, who, in the worst crossover idea ever, kind of looks like Glenn on last week’s episode of The Walking Dead (speaking of, I’m calling it now – The Walking Dead gets cancelled in the midst of its (already-greenlit) eighth season.  Last week’s little stunt brought in tens of millions of viewers, but they won’t stay.  There’s only so much gratuitous torture porn people can handle on top of TWD’s unrelenting misery porn.  And the fact that it’s basically an unfunny Seinfeld. With zombies. Sorry, sorry, walkers!) Anyhow, my apologies for the accidental creeps on this one.  Maybe next time I save my detail work for the daylight hours?

Stranger Barb (31DC2016)

stranger-barb

It’s been at least a few days since I’ve done a Stranger Things manicure, and what better time to bust out the big Barb guns – Queen Barb of the Upside Down, destroyer of fun, patron saint of orange – than for day 21’s theme of a colour in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  And orange is completely the colour I associate with Buzzkill Barb – hair, stiff, high-necked plaid blouses, gunk coming out of her mouth when she’s first snatched by the Demogorgon and abducted to the Upside Down (per one of the innumerable pieces I’ve read about Stranger Things, that gunk was a mixture of oil, baby food and marmalade – literally more oranges for poor Barb, who might have lived had she not been the only person in history to nearly cut off her hand trying to shotgun a beer.  And also if she had just told her horny loser friends to kiss the very widest part of her mom jeans-covered ass and gone home to cry in her bedroom alone.  I vote for the latter, and I think in hindsight Barb probably would, too!)

Dressed Up, Ready to Roll (31DC2016)

ready-to-roll

Not that it would change a thing, but I married Mr. Finger Candy (12 years ago this Halloween!) without fully appreciating exactly how much of a nerd he truly is.  I mean, I knew, but I didn’t know, you know?  And not the pop culture-spewing, “I’d DIE for (insert fandom here)” kind of geek either.  Naw, he’s THIS type of nerd:

nerd

Okay, yes, there’s a handful of VHS tapes in there, as well as an inexplicable assortment of cassette tapes (The Cult?), Sims guidebooks and one very large coffee table book about Ottawa that I have space for nowhere else in the house, but the overwhelming majority of the real estate in that cupboard is occupied by RPG manuals, ranging from old school favourites like Earthdawn and Dungeons and Dragons (enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment thanks to Stranger Things) to newer entries like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG, which he bought shortly after we were married, so hey, it’s not like I’m not at least a little bit complicit in this madness.

But whatever makes him happy, and once upon a time, what made him very happy was Dungeons and Dragons.  I know the series – indeed, the entire realm of fantasy RPGs – took a big hit in the late ’80s and ’90s after a handful of violent crimes were committed supposedly with the game as their inspiration, but I’ve always found the entire idea – a choose-your-own-adventure-type game where you build a playable world from the graph paper up – to be a wonderfully creative one.  The sweet stories my husband tells of huddling around a paper-strewn table with his friends, quarreling with the DM, scratching out stats equations on graph paper and pounding back the Jolt Cola until three in the morning are utterly charming.  It makes me sad to think there were some people in his life (PARENTS, IT WAS TOTALLY HIS PARENTS) who couldn’t see the creativity and social engagement behind the “bad fantasy” label.  Flashlight Brown totally gets it.

And as weird as I think it is, I also get it, and so I put it on my nails, this time for day 16’s theme of geometrics in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  I also found a way to work in yet another nod to Stranger Things, this time a polyhedral design (nestled among an index and a pinkie finger’s worth of The Upside Down) referencing the 14 Will needed to roll, versus the 7 he did, which ultimately landed him in (cold, dark) water with that damn, dirty Demogorgon.  Hmm, so maybe Mr. Finger Candy’s parents were on to something…?  Just be careful what you roll, kids.

The Upside Down

The Upside Down

Great news from Netflix today that the much-beloved and gabbed-about Stranger Things will be coming back for a second season!  This is tremendous news for your friendly, totally obsessed neighbourhood nail blogger. I’m so pleased by this bounty of Stranger Things things, I’ve wanted to hug myself, all day long.  But really, I just want to find out what Steve’s hair got up to over its summer vacation, and whether it met up with Mr. Clarke’s mustache at all to, I dunno, have coffee and maybe discuss styling tips.  Team Steve’s Hair (and the dude who runs Steve’s hair; you may know him as Steve.)

So in celebration of this momentous announcement, here are some more Stranger Things-themed nails, this time a manicure inspired by the show’s dark, dank and kind of mucus-covered alt dimension, The Upside Down.

And if you’re wondering where my middle finger nail vanished to, that’s easy – the Demogorgon got it.  Damn slippery Demogorgon – gotta keep your eye on that one, mostly because he doesn’t have any!