Thursday, May 30, 2013

We will be going to see Depeche Mode live!!!!

My husband just bought 2 tickets as a gift to me for finishing my lab tech course.

We will have to wait until next January.  It is going to be a long wait, but I am looking forward to seeing them!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

First nail stamping attempt

The Konad order arrived on Tuesday, and yesterday I created my first design.  Here it is:

Left hand
Right hand
I did a French manicure (my first one too!) and then spiced it up a bit with the stamping.  These are the tools I used:
Unglax nail hardener as base coat 
Fashion Studio by Margaret Astor #245 Lotus White for the French tip

First I applied the base coat.  Then I painted the French tip.  When everything was dry I used the flowery lace strip for the nail tips, and added a flower on each nail - the big one for the thumb and the middle finger, the medium for the index and the ring finger, and the small for the pinkie.  Then I finished with the top coat.

When I show it in the lab today my coworkers loved it, they said that I seemed to have lace on my nails, and that it would look great as a manicure for a bride.  I do have a wedding to attend to in July; maybe the bride would like me to do her nails...

I know that it is a very simple design and it is far from perfect, but it made me happy to do my first stamping design.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A new hobby: Nail Art!

It is impossible to not peruse YouTube nail art videos and not get amazed at the nail design you can find there.  How creative are some people!

I began researching how to do nail art without having to be an artist with a mini brush (which I am definitely not!), and found out about nail stamping.  My interest for mermaids got me to this video, which I absolutely loved:

So obviously the first thing I did was to search for that stamping plate at the Mash Nails website.  When I found it and saw it was available I searched for tutorials on nail stamping (I highly recommend this one), and after I learnt a thing or two I placed my orders both at Mash and Konad.

Being unable to wait for them to arrive, I decided to try some simple nail design to keep me busy.  I visited a drugstore and bought a new set of nail files and 6 nail polishes from the new Margaret Astor collection, Fashion Studio.  I had at home some nail rhinestones - a long time ago I visited a local dollar store and they had some miniature glass bottles filled with them.  I bought the bottles to use in my miniature making and forgot about the rhinestones.  I never thought I would give them some use, and it was lucky I did not throw them out!

So, I chose one of the blue shades (#256, Electric Ocean).  I love this particular shade.  It reminds me of the skin color of Mistique, from the X-Men movies. You need two coats of this one.  Then I took the blue rhinestones and placed them on the side of my nails; 3 of them, in order big, small, big.  Then I applied the top coat.  How do you like the result?

Left hand
Right hand
If you notice, the pinky of the left hand looks a bit crowded, so in the right hand I put the rhinestones small, big, small, to give the nail a better look.  I like how they turned out.  I was so happy I forgot to clean my cuticles after finishing, but the natural light was fading and I wanted to take the pics.  Excuse the mess!

After having finished, it ocurred to me that maybe red rhinestones would have been better for contrast (as Mistique's hair is red), but I had in mind the mermaid-y look when I was working.  

I can't wait for the orders to arrive and start practicing the stamping!

Friday, May 3, 2013

H2O Just Add Water Crystal Necklaces

Following my interest for mermaids, I watched the third season of the Australian show H2O Just add water - I was unable to find seasons 1 and 2 in YouTube.  It was fun, and I can understand why so many young people like it.  I personally root for Bella - I think she is adorable!

I was surprised to see that the famous crystal necklaces were not really important until almost the end of the season.  I liked the design - I find it simple and enchanting for a Summer ensemble, so I hunted down for a crystal necklace of my own.

I found an official one, of course; for sale in the German H2O shop:

Picture from the H2O Shop
Just the same as the locket, it is obvious that it's just a toy for little girls: the "crystal" is plastic and the presentation is not suitable for everyday wear.

I am a big fan of Sterling Silver Art, but I do not think the season 3 necklaces Blue Crockatt sells are similar in any way to the ones featured in the show. UPDATE: Blue Crockatt now has available a crystal necklace made with an Swarovski bead, much more similar to the ones in the show than her previous ones.

I searched more, and I found a lot of sellers that were selling similar necklaces, inspired by those in the show.  You can find them in eBay, Amazon and Etsy.  I am sure that most of us search in those necklaces whataver it is we find attractive about them in relation to the ones in the show: the color, the shape of the bead, the cord from which it hangs... I decided that somebody else's vision was not enough for me, so I decided to create my own version.

I began by searching pictures of the episode in which the crystals came into matter (season 3, episode 21), and I found these (I think the third picture is from the last episode):

Despite what everyone says, I think that the 3 crystals look exactly the same.  No matter which mermaid you like the most, they all seem to have the same shape in their crystal.  That sorted out, I studied the color.  In the first 2 pictures, color seems aquamarine; in the last, color seems dark blue - maybe it just changes as the crystal is hit by the light.

Watching videos in YouTube about how to make these necklaces, I found out this one, in which the artist shares links of the crystals she uses.  Of course, who better maker of crystal beads than Swarovski? Of the 3 pieces recommended, I liked the De Art pendant (Cleo) and the Cosmic pendant (Bella).  When studying the pieces, I find that the Cosmic pendant is too bulky (see alternate views), so I decided to get the De Art pendant - it also seemed to me the most similar to the ones in the show.  After that, I went to eBay to find a seller near me, and I found it.  It is called Crystals and Silver, and they had in stock the De Art pendant in Aquamarine, size 24 mm.  I still was not sure about the color, so I perused for another crystal with a darker blue color, and I found the Wing pendant in Capri Blue (size 23 mm).  Even though the shape was not very similar to the one in the show, I really liked the color, so I ordered one of each, as I could not decide between them.

For a time, I considered a black cord to hang them around my neck, just as the mermaids do.  However, I thought it was a pity to ruin the look of a nice shiny Swarovski crystal with a black leather cord, and I decided to find an sterling silver bail to complete them, and wear them on a sterling silver chain - after all, I figure, the girls would like to wear them on a more adult setting when they grow up, as they will not be teenagers forever.  While looking for the crystals, I had found a seller that was selling these pendants with lovely and out-of-the-ordinary sterling silver bails.  I found the same bails just by chance on Etsy, in the shop Silver Details, owned by Joanna.  I ordered 2 without delay, and here are the finished crystals:

The one in the left is the De Art pendant, and the one in the middle is the Wing pendant.  The one in the right hanging from a cord is a substitute that I made so I could take it to the beach or the swimming pool, and do not fret about damaging or losing the prettier ones.  It is just a twisted blue glass bead with a black cord, and I can always make more like it in case of an accident.  I also made matching earrings with the glass beads, so I have a set!

Looking forward to wearing everything this Summer!