Thursday, March 5, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - Q is for Quirky

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello, hello lovelies!!! Another Thursday A-Z Challenge post. Today's post is Q for Quirky. Quirky being something odd, peculiar, and strange. I know some of the ladies had trouble finding quirky inspiration but even from the start my mind went immediately to the Mad Hatter and then expanded to all of Alice in Wonderland. What's quirkier than that??


It's such a bizarre mismatched mani, and I used a little of everything to create these nails. It's a lot of handpainting with acrylic paints with a little help from stamping and a vinyl.


We're All Mad Here on my thumb was created with the help of a vinyl. I removed the letters from the vinyl, leaving a stencil behind, that I painted over with white. I think the small amount of smudging adds to the overall effect. :)

The index and pinky nail both use a base of Spellbound Nails Upelkuchen (from my Eat, Drink, and Be Alice Duo - can be purchased separately as well). Both the tipping, spilling tea cups and the 'Eat Me' tag were handpainted. 

I used the jumbled clock stamp (BP-39) that I received for review from the Born Pretty Store on my middle finger. If you read last week's post you'll remember that I said it would work perfectly for an Alice in Wonderland mani! ;)

And last but not least I used let's paint Moscow and her much better 'painting the roses red' mani as inspiration for my ring nail. I started with a base of Spellbound Nails Buckingham Gardens (this looks a good deal darker in my pictures than in person) and painted the roses with white, red, and black acryic, adding the leaves with various shades of green.


I think this is my most favorite mani in a long, long, LONG time! I could not be happier!!

What do you think? Is this mani quirky enough to fit the challenge? Let me know in the comments and don't forget to check out the manis from the other lovely artists in this challenge below. :)

Until next time,
Ashley

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - P is for Pale

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello lovelies! This week's A-Z challenge was P for Pale. I took a little leeway ... okay a lot of leeway with this week's challenge. Instead of going with pale or pastel polishes I went deep and dark and used 'pale as death' as my inspiration.



I've been calling this mani Your Number's Up in my head since I couldn't resist using the jumbled number stamp that was on the stamping plate too.



Being honest I almost didn't want to stamp over this. I started with a two coat base of Vintage Gray [Petites Color Fever] and then used some saran wrap to smudge on acrylic paint in White, Black, Pewter Gray, and Khaki. I topped it with a coat of my very own Fairy Dust like holographic topper, Spellbound Nails Holo Back Girl.



I received this stamping plate (BP-39) from the Born Pretty Store as a nice addition to a review package (review coming soon) and it couldn't have come at a better time! This skull stamp was seriously the hardest thing to stamp EVER! And it had nothing to do with the stamp itself and everything to do with having such a dark base. The stamp was really great with such clean lines that are deep enough to give you a perfect stamp! My problem came with not having anything opaque enough to stamp over the dark base. I wanted neon green but surprise surprise that didn't work. I went through nearly my entire polish collection trying to find a polish that would show up - one that wasn't white because I always use white!! I finally used an undiluted metallic that I sometimes use to mix polish, but it worked perfectly!



This mani was so sparkly and shiny in person! And I'm already dreaming of an Alice in Wonderland mani with that jumbled number stamp. If you'd like to try the stamp for yourself you can find it on the Born Pretty Store website here. As of today (2/27) it is on sale for $0.99! If you do decide to place an order you can use my promo code SBN10K31 for 10% off. This code is good on full price items only though so if you're just picking up this stamping plate while it's on sale it will tell you the code is invalid ... but can you really shop at BPS and not fill your cart with goodies? Seriously, don't even try to tell me I'm the only one who does this because I won't believe it!!

Be sure to check out the other Pale manis below, and have a good weekend!

Until next time,
Ashley

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Born Pretty Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - O is for Old

Hello again lovelies! You saw New yesterday and what's New without Old? You may recognize this from a long ago post. Seriously, the design I'm redoing today is such an old, old design. I did it the year I started my blog so my nails and my style of art have really changed since then.



Not only is it an old design redone ... it's a vintage design!!! Double the old!



I think the matte mani has a more victorian feel to it but it's really pretty shiny!


Between 2012 and now I seem to have forgotten how to draw roses. I struggled like crazy to get them to look even this nice. And I've discovered a terrible horror with my polish collection - I don't have a minty mint!!! I actually had to custom mix the color I used and it's far too blue for my minty tastes. But overall I'm actually very happy with this design.


Oh how very far I've come in 3 years. Here is the original design and my new ... and improved design? I don't know. Which is your favorite?

Until next time,
Ashley


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - N is for New

Hello lovelies and welcome to another A-Z Weekly Challenge post ... yep it's really, really late. New was supposed to be posted last Thursday. I did the design, got pictures but never actually found time to go through them and get them ready for posting so you'll have two A-Z posts this week - today's and tomorrow's. :)



Today's post is for N which is for New. This isn't technically a new technique for me as I've done a watermarble before and attempted it another time or two but what is new about it is that it actually worked this time!



I started with two coats of a basic white on my nails, taped around my fingers, and then started making my designs with Wet n Wild [Candy-licious], Wet n Wild [On a Trip], and the basic white again. I had originally intented to use pink, purple, and blue but the blue refused to spread out once it touched the water so I defaulted to white and I think it's perfect! So glad the blue didn't work!!



My first few fingers took the brunt of my learning curve. I didn't do enough designs, I couldn't gauge correctly where to stick my fingers to pick up the best design and ended up getting the tail-end of them. It was a comedy act ... right up until I spilled the whole bowl of water plus already made marble right into my lap, all over the chair, and the floor while trying to do my right hand. Thankfully I'd already gotten these pictures because the designs were slightly ruined by polish splatters during cleanup. So yeah, that was a new experience too. :( But long after the memories and panic fade I shall forever have the pictures of my first successful watermarble and that's something to treasure.

Until next time have a peek at what everyone else came up with for this challenge,
Ashley


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - M is for Multi-Coloured

Hello lovelies! Another week and another challenge post. This week is M for Multi-Coloured. I'm sorry Charlie (Pocket Money Polishes) but you Brits kill me every time you put U's in words where they don't belong lol. <3


This week I tried something new for me. I used acrylic paint. It's much different sponging on acrylic paint than it is sponging on nail polish.



I apologize for the quality but I snapped this with my phone. This is my new work station. It's just one of those collapsible dinner trays/stands you can pick up at Walmart. I even picked up a brand new file since I started doing my nails more often; it's a Revlon Shape 'N' Buff. From base coat to top coat I used: Revlon Colorstay (the original, not the new gel base), a plain white polish, Apple Barrel acrylic in Purple Iris, Lime Tree, Jack-O-Lantern, and Bright Magenta, and then finished with Seche Vite top coat. Also shown is the eyeshadow applicators I use as sponges for manis like this.



Like I said, sponging acrylic paint is much different than sponging nail polish. My eyeshadow applicator usually leaves a nice dimply textured pattern behind but the texture of acrylic seems to be wetter and thinner and left these really cool almost brush strokes instead. I'm oddly reminded of a child's crayon scribblings.



I used a plain white polish under it all to really make the bright colors I picked pop. I'm actually really loving this mani ... though I almost wish I had kept this on a little longer and stamped something childish over it to really complete the kid's scribbles idea.

Check out the other great Multi-Coloured manis done for this challenge below.


Until next time,
Ashley

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A-Z Weekly Challenge - L is for Lines

*Some products were sent to me for testing and review, completely complimentary, from Barielle. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A post? A real post? I know it's been forever, and I really apologize. I hate saying it, but I always thought a little badly about bloggers who started making nail polish and suddenly disappeared from the blogging community, but I totally get it now. Running a business is insanely hard. Having a life while running a business is next to impossible. Blogging (a job in itself) while juggling getting a new business on its feet and real life? Impossible, or simply so much extra, stressful work that most never even try after the initial rush.



But things are finally settling into place for me. I'm still super busy, but I finally feel like Spellbound Nails the business is easing into a rhythm and life is slotting into the open areas of this. After a year of the only polish on my nails being something that got there accidentally while mixing I'm finally finding time to do my nails at least once a week. They usually don't last more than a day ... a few hours depending on how many orders I have to get mixed and shipped, but that's more than I thought would ever happen this time last year. So I'm going to try my best to share my nails with you again. I'm not going to promise quality pictures every time. Sometimes the best you'll get is a quick picture snapped on my phone, but I hope you'll enjoy them all the same.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

DIY Macro Lens

I'm sure we've all seen the wonders of macro photos on social media and blogs - especially the magic of macro photos with a cell phone. How do they do it?? Attachable macro lenses. I became obsessed with getting one for Christmas. I searched and searched and found two that I thought I might like to ask for ... until I realized that they couldn't be used with a case!! I'm clumsy and constantly dropping my phone. This would NOT end well! One said it might not even work with a screen protector (really??) and the other had a specially made case but said case wouldn't fit my phone. The iphone 5c seems to be the unicorn of phones ... or maybe just the ugly duckling - nothing works with it. I thought my dreams of having pretty macro photos was going down the drain until I wondered if I could just make my own.


It may not be perfect but I did it! And I am going to show you how.


What You Need
*depending on your phone's camera size you may need a smaller or larger hole punch and cabochon.
Heavy Card Stock
Scissors
Epoxy (Etsy)
1/2" Hole Punch (Amazon)
16mm Cabochon (Etsy)
Pen (not shown)