Koinobori…

So admittedly I had to google ‘japanese fish flag’ to find out what the proper name for these cute little wind socks were. Turns out, they’re not just decorative and actually help to celebrate ‘Childrens Day’ in Japan. Koinobori are displayed from April to early May, (appropriate timing for this nail design then) and each fish represents a different family member; the black and biggest is the father, the red is the mother and then the smaller fish traditionally starting with blue, then green, represent the children! Why carp? Well apparently carp symoblise strength and courage due to their ability to swim up streams and it is hoped that by flying these carp the children will grow up to be strong and healthy too. How interesting is that (Big thanks to wikipedia)!

It’s not my neatest stamping work, I was under a bit of time pressure so had to hash them out which was a shame as they deserved better. But they still look kinda cute! The largest koinobori image is from the Nee Jolie ‘Japan style’ plate that I’ve been addicted to lately, (sushi and blossom anyone?) whilst the smaller carp are from a Harunouta L002 plate  which I’ve reviewed previously.

koinobori

Spring Blossom…

So I purchased this stamping plate back in August, and it was most certainly bought because it was pretty: I mean cute, stereotypical Japanese images – who can resist! It is a great plate though, it has a lot of varied images and for $2.99 (price correct 31/3) it doesn’t break the bank either.

NeeJolie Japan Style Stamping Plate.JPG

SpringBlossom Nail Art

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

BornPrettyStore: Harunouta Plate L002

So today I tried out BornPrettyStore’s ‘Harunouta Stamping Plate L002‘, and boy is it a big one! It has over 36 images to use which is pretty darn impressive for one plate.

harunouta-stamping-plate-collage

How good does a new plate look! Immediately, and rather obviously, the idea came to do reverse stamping with the Kokeshi doll images so that’s what I did. The plate is smooth, the etchings are clear so I had no problem picking up the images.

ReverseStamping.JPGkokeshi-doll-harunouta-l002-plate

I had some slight smudging due to my top coat, grrr, but forgetting that the image lends itself perfectly to the reverse stamping/stamping decal technique! Next I decided to try out the blossom image. I had a little more trouble with this one, however I wasn’t sure wether it was due to the plate being new – sometimes they need a little bit of settling, or me not applying enough polish, or my stamper. However the image did pick up but can you see little sort of holes which became really obvious on my nails which was a shame. (Also, whoops at the smudged one and lack of extra pick up clean up!)

scraped-and-stamper-image

kokeshidoll-blossom-harunouta-l002

I decided to try again with the blossom image, but this time show a little versatility by creating a christmas design with a clearly not-so-christmassy plate! I again went with the reverse stamping/stamping decal technique. What do you think of my Poinsettia?

poinsettia-hanurouta-plate

Okay, so unfortunately the holes in the blossom still happened. Anyone any ideas as to why that happens? The plate looks really well etched and the kokeshi doll picked up just fine. I mean this is under major scrutiny, at a distance where any normal person would be looking at your nails it’s barely noticeable.

PoinsettiaNailArt.JPG

There’s so many great, usable images on this plate that I could have painted tonnes of designs! I hope I’ve managed to show you a few ideas on how to use it, and possibly inspired you on how to turn non-christmas related images into something with festive cheer.

If you fancy ordering the ‘Harunouta Stamping Plate L002‘ from BornPrettyStore, use my code AZYW10 to receive 10% off all full priced items in your basket and remember – free shipping!

AZYW10

kokeshi-dolls

BornPrettyStore: BP-80 Stamping Plate…

So I already own several BornPrettyStore stamping plates, as well some stampers/scrapers by them too, but today I have BP-80 Stamping Plate* to review! The plate includes some very pretty images and arrived in a little card pocket which is super handy if you don’t have a stamping plate holder as it will help protect the plate when not in use. As expected it comes with the protective blue film that all stamping plates seem to arrive with – for those new to stamping, and I’m not being patronising here, remember this needs to be removed before use.

BP80Plate
BP80Plate+Sleeve
BP80PlateProtectiveLayer
As you can see, the images are amazingly crisp and very well etched. I really couldn’t make my mind up as to what design I was going to feature, so I went a bit over-board. I used three different stamping techniques to create three different designs with four different images!

For the first, I used the reverse stamping technique with the larger bird and large lotus. I chose to use my clear stamper because you can see if you’ve missed parts or messed up the image by looking ‘through’ it. The image does look a little patchy, but I wasn’t too worried seeing as I was painting over it. I didn’t really take the time to properly break the plate in, as daft as it might sound I sometimes find stamping images pick up better after the 3rd or 4th time.

BirdImageClearStamper
BirdImageBP80ClearStamper2
I managed to smudge some of the detail (eye and neck feathers) when I was filling the image in but I’m sure you get the idea. I also feel that my pink base was way too bright, I was aiming for subtle but instead it’s ended up as a bright pink punch in the face!

ReverseStampingBP80BirdImage
ReverseStampingBP80BirdImage+Lotus
Secondly, I chose to do a multi-coloured scrape. The one where you blob on a few colours and then scrape over it a few times so the colours all mix up. I thought the cloud(?) image was perfect for this as it had a large enough engraved area for the colours to show. I think this kind of look would be great as a base, however maybe if I’d placed the image properly and covered my nail you could use it as a ‘full’ design. The polishes I used were not stamping polishes but this allowed for some layering, you can notice this more on my ring finger and in future I’d like to play about with that some more.

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BP80Multi-colouredStampingCloudImage
BP80Multi-colouredStampingCloudImageCloseUp
Last but not least I chose to use the doubling up technique;  you stamp the same image in two different colours almost on top of each other. This has only really become possible with the clear stampers, otherwise it could look a little messy. I chose red and black purely because those were the two stamping polishes I had and the daisy-esk image. Stamping polishes certainly make a difference and as does a well etched plate – I mean look how crisp those edges are! The third picture looks way more vibrant, but that’s due to there being a top coat applied, for some reason the stamping polishes apply a little matte.

BP80DoubleStampingFlowersPlate
BP80DoubleStampingflowers
BP80DoubleStampingFlowersCloseup
I hope that’s provided plenty of inspiration to get you going. Let me know if you order this plate (or already have it) and what you’d do with it.

Currently (13.05.2016) BornPrettyStore have BP-80 and a bunch of other stamping plates half price.  If you add anything to your basket that happens to be full price, use my code ‘AZYW10’ at the checkout to get 10% off those items. Are you still reading? You shouldn’t be, you should be shopping!

AZYW10

Safari Stamping…

So the photo on the left was actually in my ‘nail fail folder’. When I created it originally I didn’t have a proper stamping polish which is why the black is so washed out but I didn’t delete it outright because I saw potential in it’s over-all design.

However a few months back I ordered a bottle of Konad Stamping Polish from BornPrettyStore, and boy what a difference it made! It’s bold and punchy now so I’m finally happy to reveal it to the world. The animal print foil (review here), and the stamping plate (review here) are from BPS too. I have seriously used that plate a millionbilliongazillion times and would highly recommend if you’re going to get anything from BPS – get that!

SafariCollage2

Sweet Stuff…

So who didn’t get a whole heap of chocolate related gifts this Christmas?! I managed to fool myself into thinking that I’d have some self control and ‘ration’ myself day to day but I’ve basically gorged myself like a vampire in a blood bank. What’s worse is that there’s still loads more left to be eaten… It seemed fitting that I had something sweet on my nails too.

PoseWithPlate
I was gifted this nail stamp from my mum for Christmas. It’s made by a company called ‘Apharsec’ (which I’d never heard of before). The stamping ‘plate’ looked so different as it’s silicone and thick, I really wasn’t sure how to use it so I had to watch the ‘how to’ videos on their website.

Apharsec15
Apharsec15Plate
I understood it quick as it’s so simple and oh my goodness it’s great – there’s no scraper or stamping pad needed! Say what?… You apply the polish to the stamp, then smudge the excess off on a piece of paper, then press the stamp on to your nail. That’s it, done! You know how sometimes with the old stamp/scraper combo it can sometimes be patchy? Not with this bad boy.

PolishApplied
PolishSmudged
If there’s any untidiness around the image, you can just pick it off as it’s silicon!There’s another cool trick to do with it, but I’ve yet to try that out…

I wanted to include photos of the pink ombre stage as I’m now using liquid latex! It saves so much time on clean up plus the peel is so satisfying.

OmbreBeforeThePeel
PinktoPinkOmbre