Fall Fun Series: The End

fall-collage-again-again

Well, here we are, friends, right at the finish line of the Fall Fun Series, the casual blogging collective I joined up with at the beginning of September.  For the final prompt, we’ve been tasked with wrapping up our experience, and not just the series, but the Fall as a whole.

And mine?  Pretty darn fantastic, actually, because for the first time in many years, I felt compelled to engage with my favourite season.  In years past, I’d look around somewhere about the end of October and realize that without intending to, I had missed it all – the changing leaves, the beautiful, crisp temperatures, the spooky movies and cider and farmers’ markets. The past few years I haven’t even bothered putting up my much-loved Halloween Town, such has been my seasonal malaise (although truly, that’s more a function of the fact that it’s a total pain in the arse to store, assemble and display.)

But that all changed this year (not the Halloween Town thing; it’s still a total pain in my arse.)  And if that’s because of the series, then I’m so glad it happened, because I had a wonderful Fall, engaged in some very enjoyable activities and made a bunch of cool new blogger friends.  So what were some of the neat discoveries I made this Fall, the fun things I took part in?

For one, I apparently really like arranging my wax on cake plates.  I can’t help it; the cute little shapes look like wee pastries!

cake-stand-wax-collage

Then, for the first time in years, I pulled my beloved – but incredibly delicate – Nightmare Before Christmas musical snow globe off the shelf where it normally lives and cleaned it to within an inch of its life (a bit of maintenance I really need to attend to more often.)  The residents of Halloween Town now positively gleam!

nbc-collage

Speaking of, I put out MY Halloween Town for the first time in two or three years. Then at the end of the season, thanks to some lovely weather that made puttering around on my balcony not quite the windswept nightmare it normally is, I was able to very carefully box up my little lighted buildings and pack them snugly away for the winter where they won’t get dirty or damaged or worse.  Having the town out, blinking away creepily from the diningroom table, was such a pleasure this year, but I think I’m enjoying the sense of satisfaction that comes from an organizing job well done even more.

halloween-town-1

In the midst of the Fall Fun Series I also decided to participate in the annual 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, which turned out…totally fine.  I was expecting just complete blogging lunacy, but things worked out rather well, another little feat of organization I’m quite proud of. These Beetlejuice nails were my favourites of the challenge – actually, one of my favourite manicures, period.

beetlejuice-fingers

Outside of my nail art activities, I got a little crafty with it this Fall, mixing together a super easy – and very popular – pumpkin spice sugar scrub, and then a decidedly less popular take on Disney’s LeFou’s Brew, a frozen apple juice beverage topped with marshmallow foam so it looks like a sudsy flagon of ale (it was disgusting, full stop.  Turns out cold marshmallow is a big culinary no-no!)

Then, inspired by the enthusiasm of my Floridian blogging friends who never get to experience the beauty of a cold climate Fall, I made an effort to really appreciate the ever-changing riot of colour going off around me every day, including a stunning blue sky day trip to the Gatineau Hills for a little drive with my parents.

leaf-collage-again

I also melted an absolute ton of wax.  Apple wax, pumpkin wax, apple-pumpkin wax…and these are just the blends I thought to take a photo of!  On the plus side, my apartment smells divine.

super-wax-collage

Then in between the wax and the leaves and the undrinkable marshmallow beverages, I celebrated my 12th wedding anniversary, enjoyed a delicious seasonal bath and spent a fantastic morning out in the country with my husband visiting the little town I grew up in. It was a very good day.

north-gower-collage

And a very good challenge!  If the Fall Fun Series could be called a challenge, which in some respects, it very much was.  Abiding by a set blogging schedule is actually quite challenging, a delicate balancing act between generating content (also known as “living life”) and then writing about it.  It’s not for everybody, but I had a great time, and I’m thankful for the little motivational kick in the pants the series gave me to get out there and enjoy my city during my very favourite time of the year.  To next year’s series (except next time, maybe let’s try winter.  If I smell another apple or pumpkin-scented wax product, I’m gonna keel over!)

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31 Day Challenge Wrap-Up

31DC2015 Collage

Hmm, that should probably read “33 Day Challenge Wrap-Up,” because I was never, not once, on pace with the challenge themes, and as such, ended the whole thing two or maybe even three days beyond everyone else. I had a hard time motivating myself in the early days when the challenge prompts were overly broad (blue? dots? florals?) but I like to think I kicked it into high gear in the final two weeks, producing some of my favourite manicures ever, actually.

As always when I complete one of these month-long challenges, I like to look back on the past four weeks to see what I did right (fun new designs using a wealth of different techniques and tools), what I did wrong (um, pretty much never keeping pace with the challenge schedule) and what I can do differently next time (stop procrasturbating – intentional spelling mistake – and just do the damn blue, dotted, floral nails already!)

These are eight of my own designs (and one homage) that I think rocked this challenge. And why nine? Well, because nine photos make for a more visually pleasing collage, for one, and why not be all random when the original challenge is pretty random in itself (as in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge takes place every year in a month with only 30 days. Huh.) Enjoy!

1. Lacey, floral nails inspired by a Monique Lhullier dress for day 14’s theme of flowers.Floral Hand

2. Time rip nails inspired by the Stephen King novella, The Langoliers, for day 24’s theme of a book.Time Rip Front

3. A striped, Cheshire Cat manicure for day 21’s theme of inspired by a colour.CC Hand

4. A glittery, rainbow-on-rainbow jelly sandwich manicure for day nine’s theme of rainbow nails.Double Rainbow Hand

5. Attack the Block nails, featuring actual blue, glow-in-the-dark monster jaws, for day 23’s theme of inspired by a movie. Ratings!Attack the Block Collage

6. Another Alice in Wonderland-themed manicure, this one inspired by the Queen of Hearts’ preference for blood red roses for day one’s theme of red.PaintedRosesHand

7. Super detailed Halloween Town nails from The Nightmare Before Christmas for day 29’s theme of the supernatural.NBC Hand

8. A recreation of Chalkboard Nails’ delightfully adorable circus cookie dotticure for day 31’s theme of honouring nails you love.Circus Crackers Hand

9. Another watery water marble, this one featuring a little cucumber and mint accent nail, for day 20’s theme of a water marble.WMHand