Monday, May 13, 2013

Jewelry Redux!

Hello again!

I need your help, please. I am in the contest I mentioned in my last post and public voting has begun. If you would be so kind as to repin and/or vote for my design, I would be very grateful! Of course, you can repin other designs you like, too :)

This is the contest link:

I am Nat M and this is my necklace:

I have been busy making pirate hats out of felt; stay tuned for manicures (coming soon?! lol)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I make Jewelry too! My necklace for an contest

I guess it is a not-so-hidden-secret that I also make jewelry and typically I keep it off of this blog but...

I am really proud of this one. :) (which I have frequented for about 7 or 8 years now) had a contest on their blog to win some beads they had gotten at the big Tucson bead show. Think of this bead show as the ComicCon of bead shows, haha. Anyhow, to win a $50 gift certificate, I have to submit my necklace into a contest and receive the most "Likes" on Facebook or shares on Pinterest. 

I think I will call it 
That Time in Old New Mexico

I lived in New Mexico for a year and found the desert inspiring and also sobering. 

I wanted to pay homage to not just the surface level or obvious imagery of the southwest but the every day and even hidden things that are taken for granted. The history of the southwest is also incredibly vivid and epic so I wanted to incorporate an historic photograph in this design.

My image is of a soldadera; she just kinda spoke to me. Women have the most interesting histories the world around, particularly in male-dominated cultures. Seeing photos of women holding guns and wearing bandoleros, standing straight and looking right at the camera---gives one chills! 

Things I used to make this necklace are as follows:

Soldadera photo under liquid transfer sculpey
Primo clovis point 2-to-1 link, painted with acrylic and varnished
sculpey Spanish mission style pendant and 3-to-1 link, painted and varnished
Jasper cylinders and roundelles
Small gunmetal freshwater pearls (won from
White and orange agate faceted rounds (won from
Large goldenrod ceramic disc beads
Mookaite briolette
Marbled plastic globe (won from
Metallic plastic ovals (won from
Black and white clay bead (won from
Seed beads
Copper wire in different gauges
Braided leather

Does it look like a Clovis point?! I hope so! This is where my archaeologist skills come in handy...

The less literal inspiration:
Setting sun and rising sun, new moon, insect larvae, wildflowers, shotgun pellets, copper, silicates, Mimbres pottery, churches, adobe, rosaries, snakes, Clovis points and Blackwater Draw (I'm an archaeologist!)

Closed slip knot toggle

Opened slip knot toggle

I wanted a unique toggle, as well. I was thinking of bolo ties and whips, all sorts of cattle and horse related paraphenlia...then I came up with this toggle: a braided leather slip knot. I didn't want it to be morbid (like if it were made of twine  and wrapped around the end) and I wanted to use more beads from the prize. It goes on really easy and stays there when it is tightened :D

What do you all think? Would you like to see posts on jewelry sometimes?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nude Party Tape Manicure

I did a really fast (and sloppy) tape mani the other day. I wanted to do some cute nude nail art and to use Cult Nails Happy Endings which I hadn't used yet. I think it turned out cute even though I had a huge chunk of glitter stuck into the polish of my index finger O_O

I thought it would look cool to have a nude that matched my skin pretty good and then add a spike of color up from the ends. I used Zoya Helen for the nude and Zoya Paloma (a jelly polish) for the triangle background. I then added Cult Nails Happy Endings to just the triangle.

It kinda looks like an updated 80s style design. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Freehand Ocean Waves

I had a little fun the other day. It was quite rainy so I decided to do some nail art.

No tape used, just freehand waves. That is why they look so bad, haha!

Base: Sally Hansen Barracuda
Second layer: China Glaze Flying High
Third Layer: China Glaze First Mate
Last Layer: Sinful Rainstorm

April showers bring May flowers :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stampicure of the Day: Contemporary Design

I felt like stamping last night but I wanted a subtle background and a high contrast element in it. 

I finally decided on China Glaze Exotic Encounters as a base with Pure Ice Magic as a background using Cheeky XL C. There were two similar designs, one with a swirl and one without so I used the swirl design on my ring finger. 

I added a black tree/branch design on over it using Konad Black.

I really like how it turned out.

Exotic Encounters is like a cross between a pthalo green and teal with some grey. 

It's a very adult contemporary design ;) I like it, not too busy or crazy this time :D

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fruity Franken Mani: Still Going Strong

I made this polish awhile back when I saw a Brazilian polish that is very similar on a blog. I had no access to buying it and DIYed it. I added more little glitters than the original but this was the general idea. I used copper and mint green hexes and kelly green mini glitters. It kinda looks like the Essence Fruity color Kiwi a Day (without the big glitters). Super spring-y!

Close up

I wish I remembered the brand and color of the inspiration polish! This is still going strong, though, after 3 days. I am about to go play putt-putt golf with the husband and it ends up that this is a super cute putt-putt mani :) It is also a BEAUTIFUL day out! I am very happy.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Why I Won't Be "Lighting it up Blue" for Autism "Awareness"

*gets up on soapbox*

Okay, I am ready. Last year, I could have written this post but I did not, choosing to keep my trap shut. This year is different. If I see another blue Autism "Awareness" mani in my news feed on Facebook, I am going to offload in a NOT very positive manner. So, before that happens, here are my reasons for NOT sporting an Autism "Awareness" mani:

First of all...
Awareness? Is autism the same thing as cancer or something? I think a lot of people know what it is now and I am not sure that awareness will do anything but further stigmatize people with autism. They are people, first and foremost. How about Acceptance? I am all for Autism Acceptance. I myself have a problem making eye contact with people I don't know and I would hate to be pitied or judged because I am awkward. I would rather people just accept me for who I am and not worry so much about me! I know I have been called weird and treated strangely by people for my entire life. This is how I empathize with autistic people. Some people can't understand that and it is long as you accept that there are other ways of existing. I, myself, cannot understand being able to walk up to people and start a conversation or even flirting. That is okay.

Curing autism? Not sure how that would ever work and not sure it would be an option for everyone. PLUS---did you ever think maybe there are autistic people (and other neuro-diverse people) who DON'T want to be cured? Have you heard the phrase "nothing about us without us"? Organizations that claim to be charities (like Autism Speaks, a horrid excuse for one) are often created purely for the benefit of parents who have a hard time dealing with their autistic children. It isn't easy to raise a child with a disability as an abled person and no one would argue with that---however, that child has a right to be who they are and treated like a human being, not thrown into truly scary and damaging "therapies" or treated like a non-entity. 

I don't want misconceptions out there about autism and people with autism. I want them to speak for themselves, or if they can't speak, to count on the support of others in their community and culture to do so for their well-being and benefit. Disabled people have their own culture and they deserve to be recognized, their views validated. 

Here are some resources I have used myself to learn about people with autism:

If you've supported organizations like Autism Speaks or Operation Rescue in the past, please reconsider your support going into the future. You can do more by spreading a message of acceptance and education rather than fear and misinformation. 

Note: If you are a parent or relative, or even close friend, with first-hand knowledge of autistic or neuro-diverse persons, please think of how they feel if you haven't before. It is never easy to be different and stressing the sacrifices and negative aspects of living with autistic people is damaging, not only to their self-worth, but to those autistic children yet to be raised by parents who believe it is the worst thing that could happen to their children. 

Thanks for letting me vent.

Here is my mani, a Solidarity Raised Fist with a franken I made:

Stampicure of the Day: Nude Sky

I think I have a bit of an obsession with layering metallic stamping over nudes :O

You be the judge!

Sorry for the blur, I didn't have my glasses on when checking the photos!

For my base, I used Essence Nude Glam in Cookies and Cream. I love this nude. It has bronzey metallic flakes in it that you can't really see in the photos. I stamped over it using Maybelline Bold Gold and Pure Ice Silver Mercedes using the Nailz Craze plate NC02. I have NC01 as well but I want them all O_O Darn low income :P

As you can see, I made a boo-boo on my ring finger here. The stamped image dried on the bottom before I could get it down, then it was put down in the wrong place! I was in too much of a rush I guess.

I also think that the lamp I have been using is too hot. It might be drying the images before I can get them down which is why there are so many missing parts to the stamping. I am thinking of buying a lamp that has a fluorescent bulb and a magnifying lens. It will help with beading, too :D

My other hand, which turned out better ><

I love the Nailz Craze plates. I just need to get the hang of stamping again, I have been too consumed by beading to bother. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NOTD: Windestine Girl With the Best Smile

It is a gorgeous early spring day here in Central Indiana! Time for some finger-jewels :)

I fished in my mini polish box the other day because I have neglected them, ultimately. I found a franken I had made, inspired by OPI Thanks a Wind-Million and Zoya Bevin (the latter of which I have now) which is slightly more blue than those two.

I added Windestine Girl with the Best Smile on top (just one layer). If you have never tried a Windestine polish, what are you thinking?!?! Seriously, Jeweled Sand is a Holy Grail Glitter. It is amazing. So is this one, which is similar to Jeweled Sand but with pink, purple, and light green glitter.

Windestine's small glitter mixes look AWESOME over greyed colors. 

BONUS: Photos of Windestine Jeweled Sand over RBL 360, taken in August!

RIP Big Almonds :(

Anyhow, I <3 Windestine so much. I really want to buy her new polish called Wish Upon A Star which is a charity polish for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This charity sent my husband and his family to DisneyWorld when he was little. His brother received a liver transplant at 5 months old. I think they do wonderful work, lifting kids out of the gloomy world of medical problems and giving parents peace, knowing their child can forget about their problems for a little bit and enjoy themselves. 

I am proud to be a Windestine customer. She has wonderful polish that applies perfectly. It is also very well designed and feminine. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Bounce Back! Freehand Nail Art

Hello all! I have photos again!

Sorry for the long delay. I had to fix my camera. It is all patched up now and I am ready to post some manis :))

I painted with acrylic paint for the first time (on my nails, that is) and I didn't really like it to be honest. Not sure how people can stand it! It gets so gunky and goopy. Not my cuppa tea.

Thumb: Sally Hansen Barracuda with carrot
Index: NYC Lavender Cupcake with bunny
Middle: NYX Pastel Pistachio with a chick
Ring: Bettina Gladiola with quail
Pinky: Bettina Orchidea with chocolate bunny

I had a great Easter (or Bunny-Chicken Day as I call it) with my family. I hope yours was great!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review: CrowsToes Orion - Pleiades Collection

Orion is a constellation that appears just above the horizon here in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months. CrowsToes nail polish is made by The Polished Crow and she discusses the Greek mythology story behind her collection here:

NOTE: I purchased this polish myself from with my own money!

Bottle shots

Orion the constellation has personal meaning to me. When I was growing up in San Diego, our family would sometimes take a trip to IHOP to eat breakfast for dinner. I always got the chocolate chip pancakes! When we were out doing this one night when I was around 10, we all went outside to wait for my mom who was using the restroom after eating. I looked up in the sky and I seriously thought I had just discovered a constellation (because I had never learned it). It was Orion but I saw the main rectangular shape with the "belted waist" and I called it the Hunter Daddy constellation because my dad was a hunter (gun AND bow). I was a bit of a daddy's girl at the time. When I found out later that week that I had not made it up myself, I was devastated---until I learned that it was named the Hunter, too! I was right about something at least :)

Onto the polish! 

This is a really sparkly multichrome that goes from a green-gold to green to blue. It is not a drastic multichrome like, say, Ludurana Show but it is noticeable. I am wearing it over black in all the photos. 

Wearing a multi or duochrome over black is the best way, in my opinion, to bring out the range of color. This polish is fairly sheer and I hate wasting multichrome so one layer of Wet n Wild Black Creme and one layer of Orion means I get to wear it many more times!

This photo shows how blue it can get. Open up the image in another window to see it better!

See, I have been on the hunt for a multi or duochrome polish that has a base color of green (hunter green in this instance) and changes easily in the light. I think I have found it, which makes me so happy! No diss intended but the shots of this polish on The Polished Crow were not promising.

Open this photo in another window to see the particle sizes and the changes in color better.

The bottle does that thing that a lot of duochromes in rounded bottles do; they appear to be a MUCH more complex multi-chrome. Don't be fooled, this one only has about 3 distinct colors as far as I can tell.

I added the constellation Orion to my ring finger using Sally Hansen Gold Chrome and Petites 24k Gold

Now, I compared it to the only other two greenish duo-multi-chromes I have; Scherer Chameleon in Fandango and MISSHA HGR01

Bottle Shots

Reverse order from the above photo

Correct order

Correct order

As you can see, the MISSHA is a more dramatic multichrome but it never gets to the deep golden or forest greens of the CrowsToes. Fandango really only has two colors and it is a muddied and sort of frosty color.

How would I rate this polish on a scale of 1-10?
Uniqueness: 10
Do you see many forest green-based multi OR duochromes out there?! No, seriously, if you know any more, tell me! This is very unique to me!

Formula: 10
Like other duochromes, it has a really smooth formula and applies rather sheer. It is opaque in 3 coats but I don't like to use that much. I recommend it over a black nail polish like I recommend most other duochromes :)

Payoff: 7
I am only saying 7 is not a dramatic duochrome. That may bug some people. The other polishes in this collection seem to be a lot more dramatic. I think it is probably because of the pigment used in making a green duochrome and the type of pigment used. Maybe one day, I will get my wish of a wicked awesome, super dramatic and flashy green-based multichrome!

ORION rates a 9 for me by those standards

I really like this polish a lot!

Again, this was purchased by me (Nat) using my own money! No one knew I was going to review this polish or asked me to :)