The Snowflake Sweater

Snowflake Sweater Angle

After a season’s absence from the “competitive” nail art arena (like League of Legends, just with more acetone), Nail Polish Canada is back and once again playing host to this year’s Holiday Nail Art Challenge.  The first year I participated I did an icy snowflake pond manicure; this year I’m returning to form with this delicate snowflake design over a holographic, knit-type pattern.  It’s pretty, seasonally appropriate and, best of all, non-denominational – whatever your chosen flavour of holiday, you’ll look fly and festive in this cozy snowflake sweater.

Should you feel so inclined to vote for my contest creation, you can do so here, although there’s already quite a few entries that are way better than mine, so maybe vote for them instead?  It always irks me when these things – judged in stages, one of which is a simple tally of votes as opposed to an objective assessment of the actual nail art – come down to a popularity contest as opposed to the work itself.  But if this simple sweater nail art really moves you, well, hey, who am I to say anything but thank you for your support?  Enjoy all the wonderful entries, and best of luck to this year’s participants. 🙂

Snowflake Sweater Front



Disney Girl Challenge: Mabel Pines

Mabel Pines Hand

A few years ago I spent a number of months suffering from insomnia, night terrors and, in one extra startling incident, my first (and so far only) episode of sleepwalking. It was an odd year. And although there were a number of early morning hours where I sat in the dark, wide awake, contemplating creating a hotter, sexier, more imaginary version of myself to go out into the world and reclaim my manhood through random acts of anarchy (that’s how that movie went, right?) I mostly just watched a lot of television, stared at a lot of blogs and listened to a lot of music by myself in the dark.

One of the TV shows I found myself watching one bleary-eyed Saturday morning ’round about the cartooning hour was Gravity Falls, a not-quite-Disney-ish Disney cartoon about twin siblings, Mabel and Dipper Pines, and the summer they spend in Gravity Falls, Oregon with their weirdo Uncle Stan. Stan runs an oddities shop/museum called the Mystery Shack, which is quite fitting, as Gravity Falls, site of many a supernatural happening, is most likely haunted, and the weird things need a central spot on which to congregate. Call it the Gravity Falls Hell Mouth.

I did an Adventure Time manicure last week in which I said I have a hard time getting on board with the show because it makes me feel kind of dumb, like I’m not cool enough to get the joke. Gravity Falls, perhaps being a Disney property, but most likely just because its humour doesn’t skew that way, does not suffer from that problem – it’s FUNNY, with just a touch of that manic, winking cartoon humour most reminiscent of Animaniacs or SpongeBob.

And a huge part of the show’s charm is Mabel, a super upbeat, cute animal-and-boy crazy 12-year-old with a fondness for printed turtleneck sweaters. I think Mabel’s awesome – she’s convinced her summer in Gravity Falls will bring her her first epic romance, and when she’s not thinking about boys or making plans for Summerween, which is exactly what you think it is, she’s reenacting Tarantino-esque tableaus with her pet pig, Waddles, and wearing an endless assortment of adorable, multi-coloured turtlenecks. Here I’ve shown four of her cutest sweaters, but there have got to be at least another 20 back in the Mystery Shack’s closet – girlfriend has a seriously enviable wardrobe for a 12-year-old.

Mabel Pines Fingers

Bored Now

Bored NowDespite the fact that it went off the air over 12 years ago, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains one of my all time favourite television shows. I lived and breathed for all things Buffy a decade or so ago, and I’ve tried to maintain that fangirl spark with frequent rerun and marathon trips back to the vamp-infested town of Sunnydale. Although – *voice drops to a furtive whisper* – I don’t believe it has held up particularly well to the advancement of technology (nothing highlights Buffy’s sometimes Ed Wood-esque approach to set design and fight scene editing like a 50 inch television) or, in my case at least, the slow march of time. I’m just not the same person I was when Buffy first began airing 20 years ago, and the show’s black-and-white approach to the good and evil that lurks in the heart of man (and woman, and demon) can be juvenile and simplistic (seriously, Buffy, tell me ONE MORE TIME about how there are no grey areas and it’s your job to kill evil things…except the cute ones you’re boning.)

Woah, tangent! But to bring it around to a love fest again, one thing I’ve never grown tired of with Buffy is this little cluster of episodes in the third season that centre around an alternative Buffyverse where Sunnydale is a round-the-clock vampire playground, Buffy is a dispassionate rogue warrior and her two best friends, Xander and Willow, are murderous vampires. Those episodes introduce the alt world character of Evil Willow, who makes her way to present day (and place) Sunnydale in order to cause some mayhem in one of my favourite Buffy episodes, Doppelgangland. When Evil Willow and Good Willow (?) eventually meet up, it’s pretty spectacular. It turns out they share a few similarities (“And I think I’m kind of gay!”) but even more differences (dietary preferences, I’m thinking), although none so glaring as their individual taste in clothes. Evil Willow’s a real black leather jumpsuit kind of gal, whereas Good Willow (still having trouble with that whole “good” part given what goes down later on) is all about knit beanies, overalls and fuzzy pink sweaters festooned with embroidered daisies and butterflies.

So in honour of the two sides of Willow Rosenberg (or at least the two sides of her closet), here is a manicure inspired by her sartorial choices in Doppelgangland (and for the record, I like the furry pink sweater! It looks like a chenille bedspread my grandmother used to have. I can’t say the same for anything Evil Willow wears. That button-up leather catsuit looks binding. And sweaty!)

The Christmas Sweater

The Christmas Sweater

In my favourite Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Ellen Griswold, family matriarch and the only thing standing between her husband Clark and certain death, wears the most amazing black cashmere sweater printed with little white snowflakes and red hearts. I loved that sweater when I was a kid and I continue to love it now; it certainly feels like something ModCloth might come through for me on!

Here I took the black and white and red theme and turned it a bit on its head, adding some wintery design details to three coats of my favourite new base, OPI’s My Vampire is Buff. I then topped the whole thing off with Essie’s Matte About You, which I regrettably applied a touch too early, resulting in a bit of smudging. Or I *meant* to do that and those are tiny pulls in the “fabric” of the “sweater”…yeah, okay, we’ll go with that. 😉