What a hoot…

So this is the first time I’ve used this owl image, and I’m not sure why because it’s pretty darn cute! Don’t you agree? It’s a hehe plate and it includes the ‘hoo hoo’ and a few more owls in different styles.  I chose to use a matte top coat as I felt it matched the feel of the design better.

Owl stamping nail art.png

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I’m a what?…

So I do enjoy a bit of Harry Potter, and I bought this stamping plate in approximately May 2015. (I can’t pin point it exactly as I ordered it from ‘Alibaba’ along with some other plates, and that was the first month I used one of them).

I went for plain and simple as I was feeling a little lazy – scrape it, stamp it, seal it. Ta-da!

harrypotter-nail-art

Shrimp two ways…

So I really didn’t expect to be using my cooked shrimp stamping plate once let alone twice! At the weekend one of my work colleagues had their 50th birthday party, and everyone had to come wearing a silly hat/wig or have crazy hair as she is also a cancer survivor of 10 years. She asked for no birthday presents instead any money that we would have spent on one, was to be offered as a donation – how admirable is that. I chose to wear a shrimp hat, (which I already owned from one of my own fish themed birthday parties), and painted my nails to match of course!

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Goldfish Pond…

So I wasn’t in the mood for painting anything free-hand today so I cracked out my stamping folder and chose a pond themed plate by hehe. I have a few ‘ponds’ in my garden, just little container ones with plants only but they still attract plenty of wildlife! Last year I actually had a Dragonfly visit, I have no idea where it came from originally because there’s not any large bodies of water nearby.

To create this look I first of all stamped a water movement image in lighter blue on to my base colour, and it is pretty subtle so don’t worry if you didn’t spot it. I then tried to turn the fish into calico koi by splodging together orange, white and black polishes before scraping the excess off the image. The design was still looking a little plain so I then painted some water lilly pads and viola!

GoldfishPondNailArt

Shrimp Show…

So as you may or may not know I am an avid fishkeeper, this also includes the odd freshwater shrimp (nothing fancy just your usual). At the weekend, Scotland’s very first shrimp show was held so it was obvious I had to attend. It was actually in conjunction with a fish tabletop sale – think of a car boot-sale inside, on tables, for everything aquatic. I  actually picked up many a great bargain, but no fish as I was only in the market for tank decor, but anyway I’ve digressed. SHRIMP NAILS!

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Did anyone else eat those pink, foamy shrimps when they were younger? I swear that’s all I could smell whenever I looked at my thumbnail, it was so weird. I created these shrimps by using a hehe stamping plate, and using the ‘stamping decal/reverse stamping’ technique with my clear stamper from BornPrettyStore, it just makes it so much easier to see where you’re painting and where you’re placing.

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The Red Cat or The Blue Cat…

So what will you chose Neo?
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But seriously which do you prefer? Today was a day of experimenting with stamped decals. The plate itself is by he-he and also includes some Japanese fish flags, and babushkas.

hehe Lucky Cat Plate
I used my three different stampers – left is a clear jelly stamper from BPS, middle a stamper from Poundland, and right is a rectangular mallow stamper from BPS – as I was curious to see if they would affect the results. I used my Konad Black to stamp and they all turned out with mainly the same transfer. They all picked up well and I’ve put the slight smudges that are visible on the pink and white stamper down to myself not scraping the plate properly.

Stamper Collage
I then painted the backs of them with my white ‘nail paint’ (from my essential nails course) and a little bit of colour and then topcoated. Unforunately I managed to mess up my pink stamper by smudging it all over the joint so that cat was ‘put to sleep’ in a cotton pad of acetone.

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The clear stamper was excellent to use; I could see where I had potentially missed parts or unknowingly smudged bits as there’s nothing worse than turning over your freshly made decal after 5 minutes of waiting to see that you’ve smudged it and rendered it useless.

ViewThroughClearStamper
Seeing as all the stampers technically worked, I wouldn’t throw any of them out. The mallow stamper is great for longer, full nail designs that some plates have. Whilst the clear stamper is the perfect tool for creating decals or layering stamping patterns over each other. The pink stamper comes in handy I suppose as an extra.

As for red or blue? I personally prefer the blue cat.

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Fancy Filigree…

So I have to admit that I think this is a damn pretty mani! Usually I’m not too into this sort of style but for a night out around this time of year, I think it’s perfect. I used my Konad Black (which is my new love) for stamping the filigree pattern, and then added some studs that I picked up cheap (like 99p) from a shop called ‘Home Bargains’.

It was a hard one to photograph – the gold wasn’t shining, then it was shining too much and blah blah blah, the usual problems. Trust me, it’s pretty.

P.S The winds of change are blowing in my direction, stay tuned to see where they take me.

Fancy Filigree

BornPrettyStore: Metal Effect Butterflies…

So I was sent these super pretty ‘Metal Effect Butterfly Water Decals‘* from BornPrettyStore to try out. For a while they became an item I’d sit and look at and I’d want to use, but then wouldn’t because I was scared I’d mess up something so pretty. Today I decided to grab the butterfly by the antennae, and go for it. Fortunately because BornPrettyStore decals are a dream to use, they came out really nice! The below photo was taken with a flash, and as you can see they truly are ‘metal effect’ – look at that shine!

GoldButterflyDecalsFlash
I started off, as usual, by selecting what decal I wanted to use. This product contains 6 butterflies and as they are all the same size and quite large, I decided they were suitable for my ring and middle finger.

SelectingDecal
The next step was preparing my nail, I painted, stamped and top coated but with the decals being so decorative they would look stunning on a plain base colour. I then cut out my selected butterfly and gave it a 10 secondish bath in my little pot of water which I also use for water marbling. It’s hard to estimate how long they were really soaking for because 1) I never actually count how long they’ve been in and 2) I tend to take them out once the decal starts to slide off the backing anyway.

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Different people use different techniques to get the decal from the backing paper on to their nails. I tend not to remove it completely from the backing paper as I’m scared of them curling and sticking to itself. Therefore I take the backing paper and decal with my tweezers from the water to my nail, then use my finger to slide the decal in to place. Once I’m happy with it, I give it a slight dab with a tissue/kitchen roll/cotton pad whatever I’ve got to soak up any excess water. I’ve never had any issues with a BornPrettyStore decal not sticking!

SlidingDecalOff
I then top coated my decal, which I was seriously nervous about. In the past, I had some bad experience with top-coating ‘metal effect’ items (tattoos and foils mainly), it either made their colours run or completely disappear! I’m glad to say though, this was not the case with these decals –  LOOK HOW SHINY THEY STILL ARE!

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Of course that photo is with flash, so for shinyness comparison here’s one taken in natural daylight (Yup, there was actual daylight today unlike Wednesday when it was so dark I had to put lights on at like 1pm!).

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Aren’t they just gorgeous! I’m so glad I finally had the guts to use them.
Reasons why you should buy these decals;
– They are beautiful
– They are truly ‘metallic effect’ – such luster.
– They came off the backing paper without hassle.
– They were sticky enough to stick to my nails.
– The metallic effect didn’t freak out on being top coated.
– Did I mention that they’re beautiful and shiny?

Now that I’ve talked you in to buying these, head on over to BornPrettyStore where you’re more than likely to find other things to add to your basket. If any items happen to be full price, enter the code ‘AZYW10’ at the check-out to receive 10% off. P.S and remember free postage!

OMD3 – Day 15 Cat…

So I have a confession. It might come as a shock to some people, I could even lose some followers because of it – but please remain open minded, it takes a lot of courage for me to say it. Here it goes…. I don’t like domestic cats. Not because I’m allergic to them or because I had a bad cat experience, I dislike them a lot for many reasons but I wouldn’t want to start some sort of reader disgruntlement. It’s almost like discussing politics at a dinner party!

*I find nothing wrong with cutesy anime cats or cats on stationary and so on, or even big cats! Just the ones that hang about your house and you may class them as a ‘pet’.

For this design I used some ‘HeHe’ stamping plates, fortunately I actually have a whole cat themed one which is admittedly very cute! I tried the ‘reverse’ stamping method to enable me to colour in the cats eyes, mouth and fur and it is a little messy but still works right?!

OMD3 Day 15 Cat

Pink Lace…

So for this I used one of my stamping plates from ‘Hehe’. I’m still not great at stamping; I find achieving the correct positioning consistently quite hard and also the transfer – as it looks fine on the stamper but ends up with parts missing or patchy once put on my nails. Practice practice practice!

Pink Lace Stamping