Theme of the Month: September Sapphire and Asters

Weeeeeeee! I painted my nails finally! Yippee!! It’s thrilling to be back at it again after a unexpected break. And, I have a bit of catching up to do…so, yes, I know it’s already November…but, hopefully you’ll take a trip back in time to celebrate (belatedly) those Birthdays in September.

September: Birthstone – Sapphire / Birth Flower – Aster

As exciting as it was to get back in the saddle…I found myself incredibly rusty and clumsy. I almost didn’t share these with you, but if I took the time to re-do them…I’m afraid it will be Christmas before I get through my Fall Birthday designs!

Even as I write this, I’m still channeling Sam’s encouraged mantra: “Done is Better than Perfect!!” (from her post on The Nailasaurus).

This has been a really fun design to wear, I’ve enjoyed both the simplicity and the little bits of things I did for depth of color.

To make the blue sapphire nails, I used two polishes, layering a couple coats of a blue jelly polish over one coat of a shimmering blue metallic polish. This gave these nails just the fiery blue color and the glassy surface feel of sapphires.

The aster nails were done with a little bit of freehand (stems & leaves) with stamping decals on top (flowers). I started with an amazing off-white cream called Birthday Suit (how appropriate to use it for a Birthday design – yes?!!) handmade by Shaneka, the genius creator of Polish My Life polishes.Β  Having very fair skin it’s so nice to use a creamy color like this as opposed to a stark white polish. I also used another of her polishes, Money Tree, to brush on the stems and leaves (abstractly). If you’re looking for polishes with amazing formulas and great color selections, I hope you check out her site!

Now for the flowers…I didn’t have a full nail stamp design that I felt looked like any asters I’d seen before, so I used a single stamp image multiple times on the decal. Trying for some variety, I layered a jelly polish and then a creme when coloring in the petals of the flowers. It’s not a visible effect, other than it gave me the color I was looking for to accent the cranberry red stamping (outline of the flowers). A small bit of yellow in the center helps make these cheery just like their inspiration.

I had only attempted stamping decals once before…and I can’t say that I’ve mastered the technique yet. Thankfully, my polish pal and blogger, Karolyn, was by my side from 2,200 miles away texting me tips and answering questions the day I made the decals. Thank you, dear friend!! Two of the tips she gave me that were most helpful were: 1) using a regular top-coat (not a quick-dry) and 2) and to apply the decal to a dry nail (using the same topcoat on top to adhere it in place).

For this design, I could have simply stamped each nail three or four times and then colored in the center and petals on top. However, the decals gave me a little better control over the placement of the overall design on each nail. I’m looking forward to making more decals soon! It’s a great way for me to break-up the time of doing a design into smaller chunks of time. I made these decals 2 days before I applied them which made completing the design pretty quick.

Design Details:

  1. Milani ~ Bolting Blue
  2. Orly ~ Royal Navy
  3. Polish My Life ~ Birthday Suit
  4. China Glaze ~ Red-y & Willing
  5. Zoya ~ Paloma
  6. Zoya ~ Penelope
  7. Polish My Life ~ Money TreeΒ 
  8. O.P.I. ~ I Just Can’t Copeacabana
  9. MASH stamp plate 60
    dotting tool, tiny art store paint brush – See more at:
    Miscellaneous: dotting tool, craft store brush 18/0
    dotting tool, tiny art store paint brush – See more at:
    dotting tool, tiny art store paint brush – See more at:

Inspiration Sources:


Photo Sources:

So – what do think? Did you enjoy your ride back through time? Any September babies reading this? If so, please know I wish(ed) you lots of great celebrations and hugs!!

Till next time,

  • This turned out terrific Kim! I love the contrast of the sapphire blue with the red flowers! And I am honored to have been able to help with the decals from 2.200 miles away. They look great and adding accent leaves and stems on top was the perfect finishing touch! I am thrilled to have you back in the saddle and don’t see “rusty” here at all! Looking forward to October and November!! <3

    • Awe, thanks so much!! Glad you liked them. I liked the color choices too – and I better have after imagining this design in my head/paper for so long! LOL Thanks for being so supportive and encouraging!! xo xo

  • CurlyGirl66

    I am always in awe of your creativity and am so pleased that you have found a medium with which to express yourself. These were beautiful!

  • CurlyGirl66

    (GRRRRRRR….I wasn’t done with my comment.) I also loved the touch of nostalgia that was part of your inspiration and I could better appreciate the fine details in the asters through your post. September birthdays should feel honored by your tribute!

    • Thank you so much!! This was one of those nail art designs that looked just as good in photos (if not a bit better to see the detail) as it did in person – which isn’t all that common. I’m glad you got to see them both ways! And, you’ve been a big inspiration in this hobby and my creativity – so an even bigger Thank You for that too! πŸ™‚

  • Gorgeous!! I love those flowers especially!

  • Absolutely adorable. The colors are work so well together and I love those flowers!

    • Thank you very much, Ali! Despite my struggling with the decals, they came out OK. Phew! LOL πŸ™‚

  • Gorgeous!

    • Why, thank you so much Catherine!! πŸ™‚ Glad you stopped by!

  • Eva

    So pretty! I love your ‘design details’ picture πŸ™‚

    • Eva, I am so sorry it took me this long to reply! But….your comment (and Bloglovin’ follow) makes me very happy!! Thank you so much for the feedback on my design details feature, I am having fun with them and you all get to see my quirky side while getting the “boring” info out there. πŸ˜‰ It’s always encouraging to hear people like what you’re doing – Thank You so much!!

      • Eva

        Thanks for your reply! πŸ™‚