Monday, September 30, 2013

Crumpet's 33DC- Tribal

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. I really just don't care for the standard "tribal" mani. Not only is it meaningless to me, but I really need things to have a bit more order to them if I'm going to wear/use them, and most tribal manis are all over the place with both color and pattern. Way too busy! So- thinking cap time. I finally went waaaay back in time, to the neolithic nomadic tribes. After all, everyone's lineage eventually ends up there! 

My nails are loosely inspired by cave paintings. I started with Wet N Wild Grays Anatomy, a purple-y grey duochrome, and did a Saran Wrap mani on top with Sinful Colors Black on Black. I then did another half Saran Wrap on top with Revlon Spirit. *Side note- I forgot how STUNNING Saran Wrap manis can be! I need to incorporate them more!* The stamping was done with Black on Black, QA plate 29 (bull), Red Angel plate RA-115 (tree), QA plate 15 (generic tribal design) and a Salon Express plate (turtle). I'm kinda meh about it in general, but I absolutely loved the base! You can still see it above the white :)

Be sure to check out the rest of the lovely ladies' labors in the InLinkz below :)

#31DC2013 Inspired by a Tutorial

Today's prompt was one of the easiest of the entire challenge. At least, as far as inspiration goes :) I knew immediately which tutorial I wanted to follow, as it's been on my "want to do" list for just about forever! It's definitely a popular one, but it's just so cute!  I chose to do these owls:

I wanted to do Fall themed owls, cuz . . . Fall! I love Autumn so much, seriously . . .sweaters and soup and pumpkin-y things, the smell of leaves, Halloween, and soup! The Crockpot was a gift from every almighty power that be, I swear! Onto my little owl budies: All of my eyes were done using dotting tools with Sinful Black on Black and Revlon Spirit. My beaks and feet were done with the same dotting tool and Wet N Wild Sunny Side Up. The rest:
Bases, L-R: Love My Nails Iced Copper, Essie Penny Talk, Pure Ice Iced Copper, Pure Ice Iced Merlot
Bodies (and belly spots), L-R: Sinful Colors Nirvana, Essie Smokin Hot, Sinful Colors In the Mist, NYC Plaza Plumberry
Bellies, L-R: same as the bases, only reversed

I am so incredibly over the top happy with the end result of these owls! I mean, how squee! My favorite is that copper-topped guy on my ring finger. I named him George :)

See which other tutorials inspired my fellow challenge participants in the InLinkz below, and by searching hashtag #31DC2013 on your favorite social media!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

#31DC2013 Inspired by the Supernatural

The supernatural . . . with Halloween (and Halloween challenges!) right around the corner, I didn't want to go with ghosts or vampires or anything like that. They will be done soon enough! So I was browsing around, searching for inspiration for another mani- the Honor Nails You Love prompt (which I'm treating as a recreate)- when I stumbled upon the perfect idea- in four places no less! Thanks go to More Nail PolishA Liquid BlogFedora Harp, and ErinZi's Nails for the inspiration!

While all of my lovely collaborators did this mani as butterfly wings, I took a slightly different spin- mine are fairy wings! See how shimmery, sparkly and magical they are? :) I've always wanted to do a butterfly wing mani, but I don't have a stamp with that design, so I kept putting it off. After seeing so many lovelies show up in the challenge, and after gaining confidence through the challenge, I decided to give it a go freehand. 

My bases are Orly Fowl Play (index and pinkie), Orly Ingenue (middle) and Hard Candy Beetle (ring). The designs were made with a tiny paintbrush and black and white cream polishes. 

See the magical duochrome-ness? Ingenue is especially stunning with it's pink-purple-copper shift, and I'm not really sure why I don't use it more! 

Check out the rest of the supernatural inspired manis in the InLinkz below and by searching hashtag #31DC2013 on your favorite social media!

Starling by HIT Polish- Clearing Out the Vault

Today's Vault post is Starling by HIT Polish- a clear base glitter topper featuring black, blue and purple glitters. This polish is no longer available in the HIT Polish shop , but if I recall correctly, was inspired by the creator's mother. Sweet :)

This is two coats of Starling, layered over NYC Battery Park Purple. Topped with Seche Vite, photos taken under a natural "daylight" bulb. 

This polish applied very well: no glitter fishing, no dragging, great distribution. And I've had nothing but great experiences with HIT Polish. 

Glitter toppers are not really my thing, and so this polish is up for grabs in my Blog Sale! Hop on over and check it out, along with TONS of other items!

*This polish was purchased with my own money, and all opinions are my own. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

#31DC2013 Inspired by a Flag

I really don't want to offend anyone, but I think most country's flag are kind of boring. The only thing I find inspiring about them is a possible color scheme, but a lot of flags use the same/similar colors! So I did an image search for flags, and came up with something so great, I can't believe I didn't think of it off the bat: The Jolly Roger!

That's right. If you're unaware, the Jolly Roger is your basic pirate flag :)

I started with Sinful Colors Black on Black and Revlon Spirit. I stamped using the opposite colors. The allover skulls are from Vivid Lacquer plate VL-001, and the other skulls are all from QA5.

Check out the InLinkz below (and search hashtag #31DC2013 on your favorite social media) to see which flags inspired all the other lovely ladies :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Favorites- Zoya Dree

Today marks the start of another of my new series: Favorites Friday! It won't necessarily be a weekly series, but it might be! We'll have to play it by ear. I've always focused this blog on Indies, with a side of nail art, but that doesn't mean that I don't have a huge stash of big brand polishes as well! And some days I just don't want to think about what I put on my nails, so I reach for some tried and true big brand favorites. No glitter, no special topcoats, just a few coats and done! 

First up for Favorites Friday is Zoya Dree. This was my very first ever experience with Zoya, purchased during some deal or another. All I truly recall is that I got 3 polishes for $10. Score! But look at that bottle there: there was some very odd separation going on in this polish, and I could not for the life of my get it to mix back up properly! It didn't affect the polishes abilities at all, but the bottle sure doesn't look great. 

Dree is a gorgeous, OD (olive drab, for you non military folks) green, that has a tendency to photograph more yellow that it truly is. The above photo is purely to show you the shine on this puppy: no topcoat! All photos show three coats, with NO TOPCOAT and it is just that shiny on its own. 

This photo (and the next) are far more true to color. Green is one of the largest color collections I have in my stash (neck and neck with purple), and I love pretty much all greens: bright, springy shimmers, deep hunter jellies, emerald glitter bombs and everything in between. But I grew up as an Army brat- my father served in the United States Army for 25 years, and I am so proud of him and his service to my country. If you don't support war, or any of the actions of the Higher Ups and the Military Brass, that's your call, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But supporting the troops is another matter entirely, and is something that I feel incredibly strongly about. These men (and women!) are willing to risk their lives to fight for the ideals of their country. (I am speaking strictly of US troops here, I realize some countries have mandatory inscription policies). Even if there is no threat at the time of their enlistment, there is no guarantee that there won't be in the near future. Give these proud soldiers something to fight for- you!  [/end political rant]

Here I've applied a matte topcoat- NYC In a Minute Matte Me Crazy. I generally hate the feeling of matte topcoats, but something about those military greens just screams for it! Overall- I absolutely LOVE this color. It's a perfect fall color! 

*All polishes were purchased with  my own money, and opinions are my own.

Crumpet's 33DC Tape Mani

I love the effect of striping tape, I really and truly do. But I very rarely have the patience to painstakingly apply it! I have wanted to do this particular mani for quite some time, so I finally bit the bullet and used it for today's prompt.

Meet the Laser Stripe mani! As seen many places, but most notably (for me) on ManicuratorThe Nailasaurus, and Nuthin But a Nail Thing

I started with a base of Sally Hansen Insta Dri Lightning, then did a sponge gradient using that, along with China Glaze Def Defying and Wet N Wild Teal Slowly and See. After taping off my lines, I went over them with China Glaze Near Dark (I'm trying to break out of my black habit!) with an accent nail of Sinful Colors Heavy Metal. I went over the top of the Near Dark nails with Sinful Colors Green Ocean for some sparkle. Loved the turnout, but I think I'd like to retry with a more colorful base. We'll see when the motivation for THAT hits!

Check out all the other tape manis in the InLinkz below :)

#31DC2013 Inspired by Artwork

If you're new to my blog, or only reading because of The Challenge (in which case you should totally follow me! It's easy- there's a little Bloglovin' box right over there on the right!), then you probably don't know that I come from a very, very crafty family. In addition to nail art, I also make nail polish, I knit and crochet, cook and bake like crazy, I've started making buttons (polymer clay, like clothing buttons) and anything else that occasionally catches my fancy. 

The one craft I never did pick up, but my mother is AMAZING at, it sewing. And her particular favorite type of sewing is quilting. We were hanging out at her house one day while she was making a quilt, out of the blue, for one of her goddaughter's friends' birthday. You know you're an obsessed crafter when you run out of people to make things for! The fabric above is the main focus fabric of the quilt she was making, and you can just see the ruler and rotary cutter there in the upper right hand corner- I made her stop trimming her edges so I could take a photo :)

I started with a base of Nina Ultra Pro Blue Blaze, and then painted on my pastel dots in a random spiral pattern (which I wish was more defined, but the feeling is still there) using Sinful Colors Pink Forever, LA Colors Shock, NYC High Line Green and Water Street Blue, and Sinful Colors Amethyst, plus mixing the colors together to create in-betweens. I topped the whole thing off with NYC In a Minute Matte Me Crazy topcoat. Cause, obviously, fabric isn't shiny! 

I've seen some glorious paintings and sculptures and other forms of high art out there, and I certainly respect those artists, as that is something that I absolutely could never do! But, having grown up in a family where everyone is involved in some sort of craft or another, at nearly all times, has given me an almost religious respect for craft artwork in all forms. What about you- any other craft hobbies? Scrapbooking, friendship bracelets, pottery- what's your poison?

Be sure to check out the rest of the amazing artwork below, and by searching hashtag #31DC2013 on your favorite social media!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

#31DC2013 Inspired by a Pattern

Inspired by a pattern, huh? I spent quite a bit of time on this one. I didn't want to chose a clothing item, as that would run into yesterday's post. I had a photo of a fabric pattern that my mom is working with, but I chose to save that one for Inspired by Artwork. I finally just searched Pinterest for "pattern" and came up with this lovely Preppy Plaid pattern. (Source)

I've never done plaid nails before, but I'm really working on stretching my creativity. On the rare occasions I do nail art outside of challenges, I tend to stick with dots, gradients or some rare, special occasion stamping.

I started with a base coat of Sinful Colors Pink Forever. I stamped on the basic plaid pattern using Revlon Speed Dry Spirit and Vivid Lacquer plate VL-001. I then drew over some of the white lines using Sinful Colors San Francisco (dark green, I swear it looked more opaque in person!), Exotic Green (light green) and Cream Pink. My freehand lines can still definitely use some work- I don't have the steadiest hands!- but overall, I'm quite pleased :)

Check out the rest of the patterned nails in the InLinkz below, and by searching for hashtag #31DC2013 on your favorite social media!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

E=MC2 by Elemental Styles: Clearing Out the Vault

My hiatus was completely unplanned. At least, it was only supposed to be a week or two! I had tons of swatches and photos sitting on my computer, tons of half-drafted posts, and tons of completed posts that have just been . . . sitting. So I decided to start a new series (one among many!) that will show off those polishes that, sadly, just got buried among a glut of other posts. I'm soo sorry, lovely polishes! But now you get the spotlight you so rightly deserve :) Many of the pictures are, as I said, old, and unfortunately suffer from my still-improving photography skills. The lighting will vary as well. I use an Ott-Lite setup now, but have only been doing so for a few months, so you'll get lots of outdoor pictures, some odd backgrounds, and possibly even- gasp! yellow incandescent lighting with flash!!

Elemental Styes is a now-defunct indie brand polish that took all of its inspiration from the Periodic Table of Elements. How cool is that? Granted, this one is inspired by Einstein and NOT the Table, but I think it's a worthy exception. 

E=MC2 is a pale grey jelly base with various sizes of black and white glitters scattered throughout. If I recall correctly, creator Whitney wanted something reminiscent of Einstein's hair. Probably something to bring this photo to mind:

Gotta love a mad, creative genius that still has a sense of humor :)

It's no secret that I absolutely love grey polish, and E=MC2 was one of my great polishes crushes right when I first entered the Polish World. Sadly, Whitney stated she was closing shop shortly after I got into the PW, and most of her stock was gone by the time my wallet would allow me to buy, but I WAS able to snag the last bottle of this beauty that she had listed! Score for me!

Application on this puppy was great. It's pretty loaded with glitter, so definitely wait between coats to [revent dragging. The base is opaque enough to be worn alone (I'm showing it at three coats, topped with Seche Vite), but can be layered over a similar color to conserve polish. You sacrifice some depth that way, but hey- this is a discontinue polish, we all do as we must!

All photos were taken outdoors in natural sunlight. 

*This polish was purchased with my own money, and all opinions are my own. 

Crumpet's 33DC- Most Used Color

'ello, loves! Today's prompt for the 33 Day Challenge was a bit of a head scratcher. My most oft used color(s), especially as I've been doing challenges for the past 25 days, are obviously black and white. More specifically, Sinful Colors Black on Black and Revlon Speed Dry Spirit. The general concensus is to exclude black and white, and go for the next most used color. Still tricky, as I tend to go thorugh phases, using the same polish a few times over a couple of weeks, and then not again for months. This is also especially true for challenges. But I finally settled on something that works. 

The polishes that I reach for most often (when not doing nail art) tend to be pinks and greys. So I chose my current favorites of each (Sinful Colors Pink Forever and NYC Sidewalkers) and accented them with my favorite black and white (as told above). I decided to go with a cloud mani, which I have never done before. It's not really my favorite look, but after almost a month of challenge prompts already, and three more to go, I really feel the need to stretch my creativity and go outside my comfort zone. I also wanted to figure out the technique myself, rather than Googling tutorials, as it seems like something that doesn't really need a tutorial!

There was a bit of a shaky start, as I used the polish brushes and it took a few tries to get the technique down. But by the time I got to these two fingers- BAM! Nailed it :) At least, I think I did. 

Be sure to check out all the lovely manis in the InLinkz below!

#31DC2013 Inspired by Fashion

I chose this skirt, found on Pinterest, to be my inspiration for today. I'm not really a skirt/dress wearing sort, but I would TOTALLY rock this skirt! 

I started with a base of Revlon Speed Dry Spirit, then waited for it to dry. I love the complex look of tape manis, but I DO hate waiting to be able to do them, when I have inspiration NOW! I taped of my diagonal lines with nail striping tape, then created the neon stripes using Sinful Colors 24/7 (pink), Rimmel Sunset Orange, LA Colors Flicker (yellow) and Sinful Colors Irish Green. Again, wait for it to dry. Then, more diagonal lines to create a deep V, painted over with Sinful Colors Black on Black. 

How do you feel about skirts in general? The maxi skirt? Or even this specific skirt? Be sure to check out the rest of the haute manicures in the InLinkz below, and by searching your favorite social media for hashtag #31DC2013. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

#31DC2013 Inspired by a Book

As with my Movie nails, I chose to do a book series, rather than a single book. This would have most likely happened no matter which franchise I chose, as I tend to prefer serialized books to one-offs. I've always been an avid reader, and I truly hate to see the story end, so I adore sweeping, epic fantasies that go on for 5,000 pages!

I chose the Song of Ice and Fire series, probably better known to some of you as Game of Thrones. I chose to represent the four major houses of Westeros (based on the official house banners displayed at Stark, Lannister, Targaryen and Baratheon), and I'll break it down for you again by nail, but all of the "heraldry" stamping at the tips was done with Red Angel plate RA-112 and that nail's stamping color.

Index- House Stark of Winterfell: Base Sinful Colors Cool Grey topped with Sally Hansen Polar Bare. Sigil is the Direwolf (I had to improvise- I think it's actually a bull!), stamped with China Glaze Immortal.
Middle- House Lannister of Casterly Rock: Base Sinful Colors This is It. Sigil: Lion (again, improvised with a cat), using Wet N Wild Red Red and QA15
Ring- House Targaryen of Dragonstone/now seatless and powerless. Base: Wet N Wild Red Red. Sigil: Three headed dragon (mine only has one!), stamped with Sinful Colors Black on Black and a Salon Express plate
Pinky- House Barratheon of Storm's End, currently the ruling house in Westeros. Base: Sally Hansen Lightning. Sigil:  a crowned stag. Only the crown is represented, with Sinful Colors Black on Black and Red Angel plate RA-119.

See what everyone else is reading and inspired by in the InLinkz below, and by searching your favorite social media for hashtag #31D2013.