Because every end-of-the-week should start with cake, should it not? Even if it’s of the totally inedible and wildly impractical (ugh, those little Fimo berries) lacquered variety. Also, this is my second cake-inspired manicure in the last five days – think I should add something sweet to my weekend shopping list? 😉
Uh, yes, please! Heaven knows the weather has been more daiquiri than hot toddy around here lately, but as long as the snow wishes to remain a holdout, I shan’t complain. So let’s order up a couple of them frosted (and straight-up) frozen delights and see this extended summer out in style. 🙂
I’m preparing for a great Saturday night just lounging around at home with my fella – Indian takeaway in the kitchen, Stranger Things on the TV for the I’ve-lost-count time and this sweet strawberry manicure adorning my fingertips.
Facebook recently informed me that three years ago I combined motivation and some not-long-simmering interest in nail art, and out the other side came about 1,500 manicures, and indeed this very blog. Self congrats aside, for all of the people who have ever been kind enough to comment that I’m quite good at nail art, and they could never turn out, say, strawberries as fine as mine, YOU CAN. It just takes a bit of practice and a whole lot of patience. Because you’ve seen where I started out, right? I mean, check out these lumpy berries! Sloppy work, terrible photography, and did you even know I had a right hand? 😉
Point being, we all start the things we eventually go on to be good or great at from a place of pure suck. Nothing sexier to be done about it than just keep moving forward and aim to improve, but that’s just good life advice, period.
Now off to my Stranger Indian Food Things. 😉
When I was a kid my parents and I lived in a small rural town where our church – one of two in the entire 3,000-person village – acted as the
social hub for the upward and, in my church’s case at least, agriculturally mobile. My church engaged in its fair share of social and fundraising events, and the organizers, people like my mom, took pains to ensure that any goods or services they needed were sourced locally. So in between all the church clean-a-thons (Murphy’s Oil Soap, you are a weird animal indeed) and leaf-raking parties, there were all manner of corn suppers and apple festivals to take advantage of the fantastic local produce.
Then every summer just as the strawberries reached the height of juicy perfection, the church would put on the strawberry social, a kind of one-night-only pop-up restaurant in the elementary school gym that only served strawberry shortcake, tea and coffee. I loved the strawberry social, not only because it brought the entire town together for one berry-fuelled night of small town gossip (I keep saying “entire” like it was some bustling metropolis; going from one end of the town to the other by car took maybe 45 seconds, max) but because I got to work as a waitress for the evening. Being chosen as a waitress for the social was nothing to sniff at! If you managed to land one of the coveted positions, you had to be quick on your feet and capable of lugging brimming plates of whipped cream-topped berries to all of your neighbours, including the two old duffers who were collectively known as Delmer. You had to take drink orders and try not to scald yourself on giant carafes of coffee, all while periodically dancing into the gym’s adjoining kitchen to sneak spoonfuls of tart strawberry sauce bubbling away on the stove. One year the Delmers gave me a sweet little tip, and another year the lead organizer, a lovely local woman and family friend, stopped by days after the social to hand-deliver a note and a little trinket thanking me for all my hard work at the event. It was my first experience with such a gracious and well mannered gesture, and I’ve never forgotten how special she made little eight-year-old me feel just for doing my job. Those are actually some of my favourite childhood memories. 🙂
And so I was thinking about the strawberry social the other day when it occurred to me that while I may no longer be slinging the berries, they obviously provide a great deal of inspiration in my current incarnation as a dabbling nail artist, because I have done A LOT of strawberry-themed manis, as this little gallery in honour of the mighty berry (in some of its more popular incarnations) bears out.
A soft, delicate, almost heathered take on a traditional strawberry nail art design. The vintage part is in reference to the dusky-toned polishes I used, not vintage berries. Because vintage berries are really just old berries, either rotten or petrified, and neither sound particularly edible! Best to confine all vintage-looking fruitstuffs to your nails as opposed to your tummy.
Or almost strawberry season, I should say. Here in my neck of the Canadian woods we’re still a few weeks away from the big berry blitz, so until then I’ll have to content myself with this juicy-looking, strawberry-inspired manicure. Strawberry nail art is always popular, no matter the season (a berry design was the second bit of nail art I ever attempted), but I like to think my blingy berries are a step apart thanks to the gorgeous, sparkling polish I used here, KB Shimmer’s Belle of the Mall. In fact, the idea for this simple berry design came from Belle of the Mall itself, which I once compared to the colour of sparkling strawberries. All it needs is a bit of topping off with a tiny green topper, and voila, strawberry season, at least on your nails. 😉
I’ve always thought the base polish I used for these nails, Polish Me Silly’s Sizzling Sunset, looks a bit like strawberry-banana yogurt. In the bottle, the pale yellow-to-warm pink thermal polish really does resemble some of Yoplait’s finest, though I now feel the need to add the hopefully unnecessary warning that one should not, under any circumstances, ingest said polish. Simply admire from a safe distance, folks. 😉
With that PSA out of the way, I’ll turn to this manicure, a strawberry and banana design that obviously drew heavy inspiration from my belief in the yogurtness of this very non-yogurt polish. It’s a fun design, with the added bonus being that with thermal colour changers, you can mess around a bit with various temperatures (as I did!) to create different cool effects. Here’s Sizzling Sunset as a backdrop to my wee berries and bananas in its warm state (with apologies for the dewy paws; you have to move fast if you’d like to capture the colour changing fun.)
And here is Sizzling Sunset in its cool state. I love how the fine gold and orange glitter really pops against the pink polish.
Finally, here’s a little from column A, a little from column B. Accent nails but a few drops of ice water away.
I did this design months ago when my nails were both longer (subjective, I realize, when your nails are as short as mine) and I was apparently enamoured with super high gloss jelly polishes. Geez Louise, these things are practically blinding! I’ve always been a sucker for fruit-based designs (my first and second attempts at nail art were watermelons and indeed, strawberries) so it seemed like a done deal to “dip” a favourite fruit design in some juicy jelly polish to create little lacquered chocolate-dipped strawberries.
I didn’t have a lot of Strawberry Shortcake toys when I was a child, favouring Barbies and My Little Ponies above all else, but I always loved Miss Shortcake herself. And what’s there not to love? She smells great, wears an adorably dorky hat and counts a pink and white spotted kitty as her best friend. That’s girl toy pay dirt right there!
It’s probably wise to not get me started on the recent thinnification of Strawberry Shortcake, however. Actually, call it a de-dorkening. It’s like the focus groups for today’s modern children just flat out rejected Strawberry’s old look – sturdy, redheaded fruit geek in a too-frouffy embroidered dress her mom probably picked out for her – in favour of replacing it with Strawberry Shortcake, junior fashionista. I mean, have you seen what she looks like nowadays? Her hair is hot pink and sleek under an adorable strawberry baseball cap. She’s gained two and a half feet in height and lost at least half her body weight. Her babydoll dress stops about an inch down from her butt. Even her cat was put on a diet! Tell me, what kind of world do we live in where an animated cat can’t even have a few pounds on its strawberry-scented frame?! A world gone mad, that’s what!!!
See, I told you this was a path we shouldn’t have started down! I also have a lot of thoughts on the sexification of My Little Ponies, but that’s a dismaying argument for another day (and another post.)