December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

While I think of this blog as an outlet for myself, it is true that I enjoy knowing that there are some folks "out there" who read it from time to time. And, I am grateful for all of you - whether you silently stalk or frequently comment. Thank you for your support!



Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

Kimett

 


Update: As I mentioned recently on Google+ & Facebook, one of my nails suffered a bad break ... so along with the holidays (and life stuff), I'm taking a little break (Hah, hah!) from posting until I'm healed up enough. In the meantime, I'm vigorously applying nail treatment and intensifying my nail & cuticle care (apparently needed in winter - oops!). When my "shorties" are presentable - I'll post again.
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December 15, 2013

Snow Frosted Blue Half-Moons

In my Kolor Kave, snow is fun and happy. I don't think about the shoveling or cold, wet toes. In here, snowflakes are magnified and beautiful. So, I present: a pretty snowflake sitting on top of an icey-blue polish for my half-moon design, the 18th in the 31DC2013 challenge.


This nail design was very easy to do and required little nail-art experience. To make these, I could have easily stamped the snowflakes; instead, I tried water tattoo's for the first time. They were simple and fun. I hope you'll decide to follow along and find out how these cute nails were made and which of my favorite holiday movies these brought to life by them.
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December 6, 2013

Glitter Balloons

One of the many nuggets of wisdom that I have picked up from Mr. Kimett over the years is that the right tools make the project. And, so it makes sense that using the wrong tools will aid in the project's failure. These glitter balloon nails were a product of my stubbornness in using the wrong tools when, of course, I really know better. It's just that I get so excited...and the wild artist in me takes over all brain activity, throwing careful planning right out the window.


Can you see the balloons floating up to the ceiling? Those black squiggles are supposed to be the balloons' strings...(cough, cough). I hope you join me in capturing all of the fun things about these nails, bearing with me jotting down the things to remember not to do again, and ultimately seeing if this design was worthy of the #31DC2013 challenge.
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December 3, 2013

Tribal Style Beaded Design

The Masai Mara is a place forever etched in my memory from watching the movie, Out of Africa, many, many times. It is a beautiful place with breathtaking views and abundant wildlife. The Maasai tribe inhabit that area of Kenya and I found a beaded bracelet fashioned in their style to use as my inspiration for the 16th design in the #31DC2013.

While the national reservation in Kenya brings awe and wonder; my nails...well...let's say it was typical of one's first experience doing something new. Read on to see the bracelets and the details behind this nail design.


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November 25, 2013

Nail Care - 2013

I wanted to take a little time to record what I found works for me with regard to nail care. There is more than I originally could imagine involved "behind the scenes" to having healthy looking hands and polished fingernails. As I've previously mentioned, taking care of my nails (& hands) is not something I did until my lifestyle changed a few years ago. It's important to note, I've slowly worked up to the routine I currently use. I personally find it all worth it to show off my little canvases of fun! Find out all the details in this post.







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November 12, 2013

Flower Lattice Over Raspberry Parfait

The 15th design for the challenge was "Delicate Print". And, a simple and subtle design is just what the doctor ordered. (Keep reading to find out why.)


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November 9, 2013

Flowers: Warrior Woman Style

Adding a twist, I used the polish called Warrior Woman, by independent polish brand, Lucky 13 as the inspiration for the flower design (14th in #31DC2013). The polish is a tribute to the character Zoe Washburne of Joss Whedon's TV series, Firefly and movie, Serenity.  (If you don't know who Zoe is, there are some photos of her later in this post.) Nail polish and especially floral designs are NOT what people think of with Zoe. This fact made the design challenge-worthy and struck a personal chord; as anyone who's known me for most of my life would NOT think of polish on my nails either.






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November 7, 2013

Almost Abstract Giraffe Print

Animal Print was the 13th design prompt for the #31DC2013 and I chose to imitate the giraffe. My design came out short of what I had envisioned it to be; however, I did enjoy wearing it. They made me smile whenever I noticed my fingers typing, holding the TV remote, etc. And, in this post I include a few photos of the cutest giraffes - ever!





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November 4, 2013

Two-Toned Teal Stripes

Design #12 in the 31DC2013 was stripes. It was amazing how something so simple could result in my complete brain-freeze about what to do for this one. There are tons of stripe design options, and after too much time over-thinking about it; I eventually chose basic vertical stripes.






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October 23, 2013

The Dots Won!

Polka Dots: the 11th design of the 31DC2013 and the 1st one of the Patterns group. 

Revelation! I had no idea that making dots was so much fun! It was total play-time in the kolor-kave when doing these nails. My thoughts and preparations went completely out the window and dotting took over.




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October 20, 2013

Halloween Short

Taking a brief interruption from the 31DC2013 guides, I added some Halloween elements to the gradient from my previous post.


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October 16, 2013

Autumn Palette Gradients

Design 10 of 31DC2013: Gradient Nails

Yay! I have just finished the first third of the designs. Gradient nails was the last of the Color designs to complete.


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October 12, 2013

A Little Birdie Went "Oh Splat!"

Design #9 of 31DC2013 - Rainbow Nails

[No animals were harmed in the production of these nail designs. Really, I saw it fly away...]

There I was, minding my own business, enjoying the beautiful fall day, painting my nails...when I was startled by a loud thunk.Outside the window of my kolor-kave (aka, hobby room), is a berry tree that the birds were fighting over. And, one such bird bounced off of the window with a loud, Splat! Now - fortunately the window had a nice, new bouncy screen as it cushioned his blow and he flew away immediately.
 


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October 9, 2013

Metal Meets Matte

Design #8 of 31DC2013 - Metallic Nails

Without hesitation, I picked Essie's Mirror Metallics to show off on the metallic nails design. So, I thought I'd use a matte polish as the canvas and stamp with the shiny metallic colors - silver, gold & copper.





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October 7, 2013

OPI Black Spotted Here!



Design 7 of 31DC2013: B&W Nails

Another first here for Kimett. Black & white nails - without any other colors. This isn't particularly a complimentary color combo for fair skinned gals like me...despite that, my hands were feeling very chic that day. And, drum-roll please, the coveted (especially here in the US) - OPI Black Spotted polish made a debut on my nails!!





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October 6, 2013

The Polish That Started it All...

In my very post (click here to revisit it), I mentioned that there was one polish purchase that led me to become a polish-aholic (don't worry, I have it under control...isn't that what everyone says? LOL). So, how did I start down this path of nail polish collecting/painting/obsessing...?


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October 4, 2013

Purple Fire Flop

Design #6 of 31DC2013: Violet (Purple) Nails

While I love every color equally (no discrimination here)...there are those that I prefer not having on my nails. Purple is one of them. It isn't that I dislike the color and I do have a few purples to choose from in my polish collection. Yet, this day's nails were a flop. Maybe my purple-bias clouded my judgement and ultimately the success with this design? In future, I need to remember that I favor purple in smaller doses rather than covering the whole nail and every nail.

Everything started out OK in terms of applying the first layer of color (2 coats), a warm purple cream with a pretty blue shimmer.



I could cheat and tell you I stopped there. But I didn't. I wanted to use the amazing, spectacular, and magical liquid concoction from Cult Nails (another must have indie polish maker) called Seduction. It is in a word - beautiful. Just not on that day, on my nails. If you don't believe me, take a look at a couple other ladies' photos that do the polish justice, here and here.


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October 1, 2013

Into the Blue

Design 5 of 31DC2013: Blue Nails

Ocean waters are intriguing to me. Maybe it's because I am a big fan of blue hues, or perhaps it is a result of living and vacationing near the coastlines. No matter why, I love pictures of blue water - seas, oceans, etc. You'll see down below a picture I took in Washington that represents the blue-water-vision I was trying to evoke with these nails.


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September 27, 2013

Dark-Green Leaves Light-Green

Design 4 of 31DC2013 - Green Nails

It's not easy being green...unless you're green nail polish that is. Because that's one of the things I find the best about polish - all colors are fun. Even if they don't look particularly complimentary with your skin tone, one can still be rebellious and wear them anyway. If really worried, those colors can be worn just around the house, like fat-pants and fluffy slippers. LOL. 

Nail polish can be removed, no harm, no foul. And the bad colors are tucked away in the Melmer with all the other colors, so no one sees them if you don't want them to. Unless.....you're a crazy proud polish collector who's joined the bold people posting their adventures in nail painting like me recently, of course. Then...well, you show your love for every color and hope like heck that everyone only focuses on the awesome nails and ignores the skin tone around them. [Please.]



Aren't those flowers gorgeous? OK, so the nails are sorta secondary in this photo, but that's because they weren't the whole story that day. See...my Mom was visiting, and so, we did the whole "pick out the polish, try out design ideas, paint & stamp the nails, and play photography studio" together one morning. By the way, you will know when you have a devoted fan. Not only does that person do all of that with a smile while ignoring your annoying perfectionism (i.e., crankiness); but, she also gets excited about a nail polish color that she doesn't particularly like.

Or, maybe she's really just the unfortunate house-guest who is stuck being the unwitting accomplice to the color-crazed polish psycho and too afraid to say "no, I'm not interested in watching the paint dry". You can decide. But it's my story, so I'm going with the first version.


Back to the nails. This was a pretty metallic muted green base with a hunter green cream polish stamped with a delicate leafy print. I'm not sure what the plant is exactly - I've seen it used in terrestrial designs like mine but also as an aquatic plant too. Either way, it's pretty.



I chose to position the stamp so that the bottom was the tip of my nail having the plants grow up to my cuticle. In hindsight, I wish I had done it the other way around. How do I know this? Because I unintentionally placed it this way twice on my right hand and decided it looked better that way.

 Happy accident. Anyway... Mom went out and picked the flower props from our yard (yes, she got to escape for a bit while I top-coated these beauties), which were both appropriate for the design and fun! These pictures don't quite do the nails justice as my photography skills aren't up to the challenge of metallics yet, but we did nail-it on the green design challenge, if I do say so myself. Thanks, Mom. :)

Swatches below:


Materials Used

Rimmel: Rags to Riches (base)
Zoya: Hunter (stamp)
Mash: plate 50

Inspirations

Mom's creative visions of Green

"31 Design Challenge" (see my intro post here)
courtesy of Chalkboard Nails

Till next time,
Kimett
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September 25, 2013

A Wink and A Smile

Design 3 of 31DC2013 - Yellow Nails

Yellow is my favorite color on the color wheel. Yet, it is hard to find yellow nail polish with a decent formula, but this polish collector is up to the challenge *smile*wink*. For these nails I picked a bright yellow base polish with a silvery shimmer. Then, giving Mr. Kimett a few choices of colors to use for stamping, he chose black. After which picking the stamp design was a no-brainer.

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September 23, 2013

Outerspace Oranges and Peaches

Design 2 of 31DC2013 - Orange Nails


Thinking about the color orange - I thought of Leeloo (short for Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat). She is the "perfect being" in the sci-fi movie The Fifth Element, who along with Bruce Willis' character saves planet earth; and, she has the most awesome orange hair. Despite the indie polish maker Lilacquer isn't currently making polish, I was able to get my hands on most of the collection inspired by this movie. There is a great review of the polish collection here.

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September 16, 2013

Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers


Design 1 of 31DC2013 - Red Nails
Even though these nails don't represent a complicated or time consuming design, they were still a success. It's not always easy to find the right combination of polishes to layer so that they look good and don't detract from the beauty of the individual polishes as well. But, if I don't say so myself, these two colors together were capable of transporting someone to another place...oh, maybe say from Kansas to Oz. LOL




The top layer sparkle made me think of Dorothy's ruby red slippers. Although I don't remember clicking my heels, I did stare at my fingertips for longer than is socially acceptable.




In the bright light, the pink was stronger but in lower light, the red glowed from below. I should have put a second top coat on so that they didn't have a bumpy appearance, yet in real life they looked pretty smooth. And even though the top layer was full of glitter, they were a prize to remove (pun intended - see polish name below).



And a shot of the swatches of the two colors I used. The red cream is absolutely a dream and I am fond of a brighter tone than a classic red. I was very sad when Borghese stopped making nail polishes as I have been happy with the few I did get and loved their double brush.

Materials Used:
Borghese: Che Bella Red (red cream)
Nubar: Prize (magenta base with scattered holographic glitter)

Inspiration Sources:
Dorothy's ruby red slippers in the Wizard of Oz


"31 Design Challenge" (see my intro post here)


courtesy of Chalkboard Nails


Till next time, Kimett
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A guided start using 31DC2013

Rather than spend time pondering what colors & designs to put on my nails as I get going with this journal - I thought I'd look to those with more experience to guide me. While I don't know the complete history of the 31-Day Challenges, I did notice that this year's started up this month - timing IS everything. Now, the challenge is to do 31 nail designs in 31 days...but that's out of my ability. So, I'm choosing to use it as a guide for my first 31 entries [roughly - I may sneak in other things in between]. And, who knows, it may take me 6 months or so to get through it, but that's OK with me. 

So, I'm calling it the "31 Design Challenge". 

Courtesy of Chalkboard Nails
Sarah at Chalkboard Nails organized the challenge and for more information, please check it out HERE

Till next time,
Kimett
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September 9, 2013

Gumballs, Plus 2

One more practice post with some nails done previously this year.






These nails were so fun to wear. Even Mr. Kimett approved and he quickly named them, "Gumball Nails". There was something about these because two other guys, yes - guys, commented on them; and, no joke, also called them gumballs - huh! Anyway, I combined some new-to-me techniques into one look that was supposed to be my July 4th nails, but the colors I chose didn't stay true red & blue with this technique.
Materials Used
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear: White Out
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: Rapid Red
Milani: Botlting Blue
Inspiration Sources
Watercolor nails: too many to choose so here's one by Sarah on Chalkboard Nails
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This was another attempt at a skittlette nails. It shows that I am still learning how to best pick colors/finishes that compliment each other and flow together to make a more cohesive look. (I did this before Marta of Chit Chat Nails put out her informative Skittlette tutorial mentioned in the previous post.) I really liked the tulip stamping design (index & middle).
Materials Used
China Glaze: Aquadelic (index, middle & pinky) and Sweet Hook (thumb & ring)
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: Pronto Purple (stamping)
Sally Hansen HD: DVD (thumb & ring)
KB Shimmers: Don't Teal Anyone (pinky)
Bundle Monster: plate 306
Inspiration Sources
Skittlette: see above, another Marta tutorial here
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Sorry for the even worse photo, but these nails bring about memories of a recent day when Mr. Kimett and I received great news; hence it gets its place in my journal. I was looking to use a bright and a neutral color together; if I had a longer window of time when doing these I might have pulled it off better, maybe.
Materials Used
Zoya: Cho (thumb, index & pinky) and Kimber (middle & ring)
a-England: She Walks in Beauty (glitter added to each nail)
Inspiration Sources
2 accent nails is a popular design, here's a good one done by Nicole of Nail Polish Wars



Till next time - 
Kimett
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September 7, 2013

Never Say Never...

When asked if I was going to start my own blog showing my nail polish adventures, I said, "Nah, I don't want to do that." 

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It's been about a year since I answered that question and now have changed my mind ... why not? I'm having fun and it's been very therapeutic for me. And, it turns out, I would like to have a record of them and share with those who are interested. I have found from blog-stalking many talented nail-artists/bloggers that it is a fun and welcoming group of people and their enthusiasm is very catching. So here goes nothing.



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To kick this off (and practice uploading posts), my first entry shows some nails from earlier this year, specifically before I thought I'd be sharing, so please be gentle with me. (Photos are click-able if you dare see them larger.)


One thing I hope to document in this journal is producing photos that are more representative of the fun nails as I experienced them in real life. This seems to be a good photo to use as a starting point, shiny fingers & all, since it doesn't do the nails justice at all. But on to the nails, paisley designs intrigue me and I thought I was clever using a polish with fiery shimmer to poke through behind the stamped design.

Materials Used
Confetti: Masquerade Ball
 China Glaze: Poetic
Bundle Monster: plate BM-315

Inspiration Sources
Stamping GURU: Bregje at Oooh, Shinies!
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Yes, this was for Valentine's Day and it was my first time trying multi-colored stamping (index & middle) as well as mixing base colors in a skittlette fashion. I also remember being proud of using a detail brush with the designs as well.


Materials Used
Confetti: Purple Reigns (thumb & ring)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear: White Out (index & middle)
Nicole by OPI: OMB! (pinky)
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: Pronto Purple & Rapid Red (stamping, index & middle)
Konad: White (stamping & detail)
Mash: plates 28, 38 & 48



Inspiration Sources
 Skittlette creator: Marta of Chit Chat Nails, more info here

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These were done in honor of my Mom's 25th wedding anniversary with my stepDad. It was fun having a theme - and "giving" with a design. The theme called for a more formal style and I learned a lot of things from trying this out; such as next time to use a detail brush for tips rather than polish brush and to practice with striper brushes before painting on nail.


Materials Used
OPI: Don't Touch My Tutu
Essie: no place like chrome (stamping)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear: White Out (tips)
Borghese: Chroma (line)
Pueen: plate 22



Inspiration Sources
 I know there was such an inspiration, I hope to come back and edit the entry.

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More nails done in honor of someone else - my incredibly talented stepsister, Sarah. She worked really hard for several weeks as a conductor of an orchestra and it was on the concert day that I did these. The idea was to mimic synesthesia (seeing music as color) and the swirling motion of her hands bringing all of the sounds/colors together. While actually going to her critically acclaimed concert would have been a true highlight, I did have fun with these nails - and they had interesting looks depending on lighting and angles.

 Materials Used
Zoya: Zuza, Kimber & Elise
Sinful Colors: Courtney Orange*
Konad: White
Pueen: plate 13



Inspiration Sources
Debbie at The Crumpet: splodging extraordinare, example here

 *Courtney Orange was "the polish that started it all" a couple years ago, explanation worthy of it's own entry. Stay tuned.
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Till next time, 

Kimett

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