Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bad news.....

I found out on Friday that my father had died. I'm not willing to go into details here, but I will say that it was a shock. He was deeply in debt, with no money coming in and none (that we can find) set a side for funeral expenses. My focus right not is on getting all the loose ends he left me tied up. I will not be posting here until life has settled back into routine.

To leave everyone with something polish related, here are pictures of my most recent challenge manis: metallic and galaxy (finally! This galaxy wore for most of the week).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 36: Tape mani

Sorry if the pics aren't as good as they usually are. These are taken with my camera phone instead of my usual camera. The phone was/is convenient (especially since i can just upload to picasa from my phone), and the quality seems ok on the phone's screen, but we'll see how they look here.

Not really a big fan of using tape for straight lines... I feel like i can do better and faster free hand. I do want to try using decorative scissors to cut the tape next time.
I used Julep Otto, Julep Delaunay (both Trina Turk colors) and Sinful Colors Rain Storm. Not really happy about the whole photoshop scandal, but Sinful makes some great basic colors with decent formulas. All of these were one careful coat!

Nail nubs again :( But the Nailtek is helping a lot!

Well, that's all for now. My "new normal" is working 6 day weeks.....While I may not find time to post, I do make time to paint my nails, sew and vent...just a bit less than before :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Week 34: "Bling" mani

Since week 33's galaxy nails chipped off before pictures (REALLY frustrating), here is week 34's bling mani.

I used one coat of Wet n'Wild Metallica and one coat of Sally Hansen's Showgirl Chic. Love how sparkly this polish is. These pictures kinda show how pretty this polish is, but you really need to see it for yourself.
Please forgive the bit of polish on the side of my ring finger...i'm still on my acetone strike lol.

Next week is "cupcake" themed, but i really don't feel like having cupcakes on my nails, let alone trying to draw a cupcake on my nails.....we'll see what i come up with.

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Anniversary Dress

This is the latest project me and my Pfaff 7570 have churned out. In less than a week, this dress went from dream to reality, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I started with Vogue 1086 and 2 1/2 yards of stretch satin (it has a nicer hand than the other satins I can get my hands on for a good price). I usually don't read reviews of patterns, but I'm so glad that I did with this (otherwise this would have been a disaster). The reviews said that the neckline was low, sizing was off (too big in most cases), and that it was near impossible to alter as you sew due to french seams. After some tissue fitting I decided to cut a size 16 (even though my measurements said to cut a much for vanity huh Vogue?) for everything but the yoke, which I cut at a 14. Yokes have a history of being to big on me and this was no exception.

I skipped the french seams so that I could fit as I sewed...honestly, I really didn't need to follow the pattern's written instructions, the pictures were all I needed. I had to raise the neckline about an 1 1/2 in.-2 in, and I cut down the yokes by about an inch on the shoulder edge, 5/8-3/4in on the neck edge. However the back was still gaping and bowing funny. So I had to overlap it more...I think it was a good 1 1/2in, maybe even felt like I needed to cut the smallest yoke I could lol!

I embroidered the yokes and the front waistband before I constructed everything. I loved how rich the tan thread looked with the teal fabric. One of my friends couldn't tell that the embroidery was skulls at first! I usually cut/tear my stabilizer away when I'm done stitching the design, but I used it as interfacing to make those pieces a little more "beefy". This gives some structure to an otherwise shifty/slippery fabric. The design is skull array from Urban Threads, my favorite embroidery site!

Overall, I love this dress, and had a great time wearing it. I think I need to make a casual version of this (now that I know what needs to be changed, construction should go easier).

Now to go soak in the tub until I'm prune-fingered!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's going to be a rough couple weeks....

I started a new job on Monday. While the work isn't incredibly hard (I'm a house keeper for a sorority), it does take a toll (especially all the stairs!). Pair that with still working my other job (we'll call that "retail slave") and I am tuckered out. I don't have a entire day off until next Monday at the earliest. I know....whine, whine, whine.

Again, I did the challenge of Galaxy nails....and failed to get a picture when it was fresh. Now it's chipped off (not a huge deal because I really didn't like it), and I have to re-do the challenge. Maybe the second time will turn out better? Here's hoping.

I also have some stuff I want to show you from my sewing room, but again I haven't made time to photograph, etc.

Ugh...I've gotta figure out this new routine so I can have my me time, and keep this from getting stale.

Until I get motivated!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Week 30 & 32: Marble Madness!

It's becoming more and more obvious that the real challenge in the 52 Week Challenge is NOT the nail's the posting! It's pretty easy to do the challenge and get the pictures, but it's not as easy to edit the pictures and write about it. With me starting a second job soon, I may get even more sporadic with posting. However I am still having fun with nails....I'm just not showing you guys as promptly!

Week 30 (which I did, didn't get pictures, then skipped and re-did) was water marbling. LOVE water marbling, even if I am marbling nubs. You can get some crazy intricate designs, and every nail is different.
This is using Julep Elizabeth, Isla, and Piper. I find it best to prep the nails with one coat of the lightest color in your marble....which isn't always white (but in this case it was lol).

Week 32 was needle marbling. Now this one I hadn't done before, but I've seen some cool designs around the web. I'm ok with how mine turned out, but I think that I could have done better. Maybe I needed another color? I'm not sure, but here's the pictures. You'll have to excuse the state of the my cuticles....I had to clean my turtle tank and these pictures where taken mid cleaning (I realized that the mani was slowly chipping off because of all the water and I needed pictures ASAP!)
The base is Orly Decades of Dysfunction marbled with Grave Mistake. I really like these 2 from the Dark Shadows collection and I'm regretting not getting the other 2!

Well that's all I have for now. Today is my wedding anniversary, so maybe there will be something special on my nails for that!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Week 31: Crackle mani

I know I skipped posting about Week 30's water marble (which I did! There's just no photo evidence), however I wanted to catch up to everyone else and post the crackle mani in a timely fashion.

This is Revlon Timeless topped with black crackle (can't tell which brand) and China Glaze Oxidized Aqua. This came out better than my other crackle mash up. A tip if you are going to try to layer crackles but don't want them cracking in the same spots, but a thin layer of topcoat over you previous crackle. Wait for it to dry, and then you can put your next layer on.

Unfortunately this mani didn't really dry for some crazy reason. It stayed gooey and dentable, and I ended up taking it off.

So maybe another water marble will happen soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 29: Rockstar mani

Late again! Seems to be my normal thing >.<

Anyway, I should have worn this to the Like a Storm/Saving Abel/Three Days Grace show I went to on the 14th. However that was such a busy weekend, there was no time for nails. However I did notice several of the lead singers had on black nail polish themselves! I must say, I think I like men rocking manly colors (like black, dark blue, gray, etc)......I brings the whole image together.

Anyway this is what I would wear as a rockstar.....well for shows. I don't think that I could wear anything 24/7/365!

This is one careful coat of Wet n'Wild black creme followed by Fergie Make Them Boys Go Loco. My left hand then got a coat of Revlon Scandalous, and another coat of Loco. My right hand got another coat of Loco, without the Scandalous. Stickers on the ring fingers and thumbs
While I liked the look of Scandalous and Loco together, I REALLY love 2 coats of Loco by itself.

You may have noticed that my nails aren't as neat or "photo ready" as they used to be. In an effort to help my nails grow and keep them out of chemicals, I am not doing the cleanup that most nail bloggers do. Keeping them out of the acetone has helped, and I'm trying Nailtek II as a base coat. I might experiment with soak off gel base and top coats, but that depends on how hard my new job is on my nails (ie: how many chemicals I'm exposed to).

Ok, now to do a water marble.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week 28: Gradient Mani

This is a repeat mani for me, however a first for you guys because I never got pictures of it the first time around >.<
Seems like the words "gradient" and "ombre" kinda look the same in the nail world. So this is my take on the gradient mani.
Thumb- China Glaze Kinetic Candy
Index- My franken
Middle- Sinful Colors Why Not
Ring- China Glaze Blue Year's Eve
Pinky- Essie Dive Bar
All- Studio M Covered in Diamonds
For being five different polishes, everything blended together really well!

Now to do my rockstar mani....hopefully I can get that loaded up closer to on time. I may have wore this at the right time, but I definitely posted this late!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Crackle Crazy!

After pitting matte vs. glossy in nail art, I went a little crackle crazy lol. I just got OPI Pink Friday and Super Bass Shatter and decided to use those together. Pink Friday as the base, a side swipe of black crackle, then a opposing side swipe of Super Bass.

I like it, but don't like it at the same time. I think it's how the crackles decided to crack that throws me off. Anyway, it was a fun experiment!
Until next time!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Matte vs. Glossy nail art

I found a great tutorial on Copy That Copy Cat in which she did black on black nail art (matte nails with shiny nail art) and knew that I had to copy that. I used China Glaze Stone Cold as the base and a black nail art striper because I wanted a little bit more contrast. For my accent nail I used a coat of Fergie's Make Them Boys go Loco.
Love! I wore it both matte and glossy with topcoat and loved it both ways. Definitely will have to repeat this one!
Later Gater!

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 New Fergie Nail Polishes!

Ok, saw these in the store and I just had to find the money to get them! Quite a few of this line of polishes are re-promotes of other Wet n' Wild/Spoiled polishes, however there were a couple unique ones.
The first one I'm going to show you is Flossy Flossy, a nice glitter coat with gold, rosy pink, green, blue, and purple (they are hard to see in the bottle and the mani I did). This might actually be a "work safe glitter" if there is such a thing lol! Here I layered one coat over Wet n' Wild's Steel the Spotlight (from their Chrome collection, though there is one like it in the Fergie collection).
Bottle shot...isn't it pretty?!

The other color I grabbed kills a major lemming of mine. Make Them Boys go Loco is different sizes of red glitter in a blackened base. From what I've seen, this is a re-promote of Spoiled's Ants in my Pants, and also dupes a much more expensive polish (possibly a Lippman? I don't remember). Only a bottle shot of this pretty....but it's on my list to wear next!

I have a feeling that this new line is going to be bad for my wallet! Until next time!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Week 27: 4th of July

I actually contemplating moving this mani to another week because I was not feeling red, white, and blue again. However I decided I had to give it the "old college try". The original theory was to use different effect polishes to spice things up.....and it didn't go as well as I had hoped.

The blue and white nails started off with 2 careful coats of Wet n' Wild White Cream, then a side swipe of Sally Hansen crackle in Distressed Denim. The red nails were supposed to have an awesome magnetic effect using Nabi Magnetic in Red. These were a horrible fail this time mainly because I tried to use the Nabi magnets instead of the better Icing ones. Also it's pretty hard to get the right coat consistency to pull the design. To try and cover up the fail (so not in the mood to redo them) I did a coat of China Glaze Snowglobe.

This ended up chipping really quickly and came off earlier today. I redid them all in the blue and white design. To me this feels sorta nautical and summery, and I'm really diggin it!

Until next time!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 26: Neon

My polish budget right now is sadly non-existent, so I had to make do with what I already have in my stash. I used the brightest color I have, Professional 10 Orange You Glad I Said Yes. This is 2 coats stamped with Sally Hansen Lightning. Actually I've been wanting to use this image for a while, just never had the right idea.
I only stamped the tips on most of my nails, and did the whole nail for my pinky. Yup, back down to nubbins....guess I need to take vitamins again to try and beef my nails up again.

Done with paid sewing for a little while...maybe I can get some more of this wardrobe put together!

Until next time!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Week 24 & 25: flag and pride

This may technically be cheating, but it did my flag and pride mani's together. It actually looked great together.
For the flag nails I used China Glaze Blue Years Eve, Sally Hansen Unbreakable Heart, stamped with Wet n'Wild white and a white striper for the stripes on the ring finger.

 For my rainbow thumbs I used:
 Red: Sally Hansen Unbreakable Heart
Orange: Professional 10 Orange You Glad I Said Yes
Yellow: Sally Hansen Lightning
Green: Julep Leah
Blue: China Glaze Blue Year's Eve
Purple: Sally Hansen Purple Pizzazz
When making the rainbow, I used the yellow as the base color, then did orange and green (because they build on yellow well), then red and blue, then purple.
All fingers got a coat of Sally Hansen Ice Queen to sparkle everything up!

Ok, now i'm officially caught up with my challenge manis. Still working on paid sewing work, but getting to the end of those projects too.

Until later!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week 23: Ombre mani

When I looked at the list before I started this mani, I noticed that ombre and gradient mani's were fairly close together. I looked what each one was, and came up with pretty much the same pictures for both......So I used the sponging method to do what I'm calling an ombre.
This mani used L.A. Colors in Splash, then sponged with China Glaze Blue Years Eve and Essie Dive Bar. Didn't turn out too bad honestly.

Before this look, I did do something different. I used 5 different blues and painted each finger a different color. It actually almost matched my new striped shirt! However that mani chipped off before I was able to get pictures of it.

Well I'm a bit behind now. I haven't even fathomed a flag mani and the Pride one is quickly approaching! Maybe I can combine the 2 somehow....
Until then!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The First of Many......

Ok, so I have the first two tops of my new wardrobe completed. They may not be perfect in every way, but I’m pretty pleased with them.

The first top I used as a wearable muslin for a pattern I originally wanted to cut out of silk (if you refer to the Original Wardrobe post, the silk piece is the white, blue and brown stripe at the top of the overall shot). I’m so glad that I decided NOT to cut the silk first. While I did a great sewing job (well, the best that I can do), I’m not happy with how it fits. I cut the right size, but it ended up feeling like a tent. So in the end, I did a bit of unorthodox fiddling to make it more….Lynnette.

Next, I cut a pattern I originally used in maternity sewing. Again, there was a lot of tweaking to the garment once it was done. It’s hard to tell on this fabric, but there are front pleats that the ties get sewn into. These had to be lengthened considerably to not only accommodate my boobs, but avoid being “maternity”. Then I took in almost 2” from the center back, and straightened up the side seams (which when I use this pattern again, I will do this before I cut). Not perfect alterations, but decent. I feel longer and leaner in this top than I usually do and that’s the ultimate goal. The only other change I might make is shortening the hem. I love a long top, but this is a bit too long (and I think it might have the maternity “dip” in the front).

What am I going to make next? I think I will tackle a pair of shorts in the bright blue solid to go with these. Or possibly a skirt of some sort. Well, after I finish the tops I have cut out for the hubby :).

Until later!

Week 22: Splatter mani

I’m not sure how to feel about this one. I like the colors used; I wanted something a bit edgy, but not over the top. My splatter mani is pretty subtle compared to a lot of ones out there. I’m not sure about the technique mainly.
First I didn’t have a little straw, so I took a regular straw squished it in half and taped it that way. It worked ok. I found that to get a good color pay off I had to dip the straw in the polish, and then hold my finger over the other end (like what you do with soda sometimes). If that still didn’t work, I then had to thin the polish a bit.

The base is Sally Hansen Black Diamonds, splattered with Wet n’Wild Metallica, Stay Outta My Bismuth (from their Chrome collection) and Chameleon Dreamer. I love the Chrome collection that Wet n’Wild has out now, and Stay Outta My Bismuth is great by itself (no pics, sorry!). However it only comes in a mini bottle! Chameleon Dreamer works so well in this combo because in some lights it looks silvery white, but in others it takes on a pinky hue.
Overall the mani looks nice and I love the colors I used. But I feel that it’s a lot of work for just a little bit of color pay off. Clean up wasn’t that bad….if you tape your nails first!

Well, hopefully this can get posted before the next challenge is due! Spooty internet on the fritz messes up my mojo!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poopy Internet.......

Leads to no posting :( I have "sew" much I want to show off too! The tech is supposed to fix it Friday, so here's hoping. In the meantime, I'm going to draft up the posts I want to have up and take the necessary pictures.

Here's hoping it's something easy for the tech to fix!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A new wardrobe for the new me

Let's face it: life is about change. Mine has been changing, but my wardrobe hasn't. I'm 25, married to a great man, and have given birth to a beautiful son. Why am I still dressing like I'm in highschool? Really, my wardrobe is the same now as it was then: jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, the occasional dress or skirt.

While it might have been ok then, now it feels like I never look put together.....I don't look like I'm an adult. Most of my clothing doesn't go together, and a lot of it doesn't fit my "mom bod" if you will. I don't need a lot of fancy clothes, nor do I need corporate casual (hello, I work retail and have that dress code down pat). I just need nice, everyday casual. There's no reason that I can't look nice even if it's just around the house.

This means sewing time! Here's a look at the colors, fabric and patterns I'm going to use.

 Red grouping
 Teal group
 Blue 1
Blue 2
The idea is to have a few cardi/jackets that work with multiple tops, have multiple tops work with a few skirts, and all the tops work with jeans. I'm not going to bother making jeans mainly because I can thrift them cheaper than I can buy the fabric most times. I do have some denim stashed that I plan to turn into shorts (hopefully 2 pairs if I cut it right!).
Not sure on which fabric goes with what patterns yet, but I do have a couple fabric pattern pairs in mind already. Now to get sewing!
(Edited to fix first picture 5/27/12)

Week 21: Fruit

At first I was a bit stumped as to how to use fruit as a theme. I really didn't want to use stamping plate. I really only have grapes and strawberries for stamping, but on top of that it feels like cheating to do so much stamping. So I came up with an abstract way to do cherries.
I used Sally Hansen Rapid Red, my black nail art striper and black nail art pen. Quick, easy, effective!
Up next, another sewing post!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Week 20: Bows

This is a cute theme! I don't have a stamping plate with bows on it, so I had to free hand it. The only ideas other than the stamping plate bow I could find was a string type bow on the side, so I tried to mimic that. I did my ring finger to look more like one of those strings tied around your know to help you remember something. You know, that never worked for me....I was always left wondering why I had string on my finger lol.
This is Julep Mandy with bows done with a black Sally Hansen nail art pen. Gosh I wish that I would have tried one of these before! They are soo easy to use.....when your polish is DRY. If it's remotely wet/tacky the pen will drag or do some funky resist thing. If that happened, I just waited a little bit and went over it again.
Mandy is kind of a weird color, and hard to capture. This is the way that it looks most of the time, however in some lights it's more orange instead of coral-ish.

My nails are doing a bit better, and have actually grown. Still trying to resist the urge to pick and peel my polish off....Doing better with it. This mani actually has lasted since Saturday night.

Well, off to sew a bit before bed. Until next time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Me and My Pfaff 7570....a Journey in perseverance

Time for something sewing related instead of polish (so for all my polish gals, I'll have something for you next post). I'm putting this out on the internet as a resource for others that want to use this machine. I know when I was first getting stated, I had quite a few questions that nobody seemed to know the answer to.

Recently I inherited my Grandmother's Pfaff 7570 embroidery machine complete with the embroidery unit and standard hoops (I think that they might have been sold separately once upon a time), software, cable to connect the sewing machine to the computer, a few design cards, and a blank design card. While I have all of this now, I didn't get it all at once. Many of the components were hiding in my Grandma's house. My Mom and I found the machine, embroidery unit, hoops and cards first; enough to get started and play.
The machine didn't look this pretty to start with. The old girl had sat the 10 years Grandma's been gone, a critter had stored food there, and a score of spiders had built webs (ok I may be exaggerating, but there was quite a bit to be cleaned up). Once cleaned and oiled though, the old girl sews and embroiders very well (and the tension is great still!).

The first question: When the original software and cable was found, could I use just that to write to my blank card? Or did I NEED to buy a compatible reader/writer box?
Answer: With the original software (PC Designer) and cable, a reader/writer box is unnecessary. However, if you are missing either the software or the cable, you are better off buying a compatible reader/writer box instead of trying to hunt down one (or both) of those. Occasionally they come up for sale on Ebay, but not often anymore.
The original software comes on floppies, so you need to either need a floppy drive (internal or external) or use a friends floppy drive to burn the files onto a CD.
The original cable comes with a 25 pin serial plug on one end and a unique connection on the other (which goes to the machine). On mine I have an adapter to make the 25 pin into a 9 pin serial (a more common connection).
Second question I had: Since my computer didn't have any serial ports, how am I going to connect this to my computer?
Answer: A serial port on a pc-card.

My laptop came with one of these slots that takes a credit card sized card that can have all sorts of things on there (like ports that may not have been built into your laptop, wifi cards, etc). When slid into my computer and the drivers installed, it acts just like a serial port that was built into the computer. Not exactly sleek, but it works great!

There ARE serial to USB adapters out there, and that would have been a simpler solution. However the one I tried didn't come with any drivers. This meant the computer saw the machine as a USB "thingy", and the software is old enough (1997) that it doesn't recognize USB "thingies"....only COM ports. If you find a USB adapter that comes with a driver CD, give it a shot.

So a short recap of what I learned in this process....If you have the following:
-The original software
-Cable to connect the sewing machine to the computer
-Floppy drive (or access to one)
-9 pin serial port (either built in, or a way to adapt to what you do have)
You can skip getting a reader/writer box. The original software with read only the Pfaff .pcs files, so if you have a lot of designs in other formats you will need a newer program to convert your designs in the right format.

I'm glad that I'm able to use this machine finally. It's been a long journey to get everything working together. I hope that this knowledge helps someone else that wants to use this machine to it's full potential..
Until next time!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 19: Floral

My nails have gotten pretty weak lately, so I'll be sticking to the challenge manis for a little while and not doing a whole lot in between.I've got to break the bad habit of peeling off the polish instead of removing it properly!

This nail art turned out kinda pretty. I started with 2 coats of Sinful Colors Social Ladder, a fairly sheer pinky/pearl shade. I like to use this as my "natural but better" shade. Then I stamped with Sally Hansen Plum Burst, China Glaze Sweet Hook and Kinetic Candy. The only thing I don't really like is that Sweet Hook is nearly invisible.
Nice and Girly!

In other news, I recently inherited my Grandma's Pfaff 7570 embroidery machine. I love sewing with this machine, and I've wanted an embroidery machine for a looong time so my focus has shifted a bit more to sewing. Soon I'll have a post up about all I've learned about this machine so that the information is out there for others (I wish that someone had posted this info for me when I was starting with this machine).

Until next time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gray by Gray days

This is in honor of all the gray days we've been having here lately. However, things are supposed to be getting warmer and sunnier!
This is 2 coats of Sally Hansen Gray by Gray, stamped with Orly Rage.

This turned out really pretty! Very proud of these nails! I happen to be holding the piece of silk that will one day be a top. I thought it went pretty well with this mani.
Until next time!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 18: Cartoon mani FAIL

I'll keep it simple. This week sucked for me. The only cartoon inspired thing I could come up with was the element symbols from Avatar the Last Airbender (great show by the way...check it out!). Well, it was a good concept, but I failed in the execution.

On the thumb I tried to do the arrow that's on Aang's I didn't even try to get color accurate pictures, and I don't remember the polishes.....I'm putting it up here so you guys don't think I'm trying to flake out!
Ugh, much better mani next post, I promise!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dotticure take 2

"Next time" came pretty quickly lol. I figured I had better get these pictures up while I was on here posting, instead of waiting. I wore this before my Earth Day mani, right after the other dotticure lol. This is the other color wave that I was torn between....I really like them both, and think that both turned out great!

This is Ulta For Bitten as the base, with dots of Julep Jodie, Hayden, and Mandy (and even mixed Mandy and Hayden together!) with CQ other words, a LOT of dotting!
Well since my nails are currently bare, I am going to get off the computer and paint them with something pretty!