Four Squares For Fashion

Inspired by Fashion. Huh. OK. But whose? I suppose I could have gotten one of those magazines from the check-out at the grocery store for the basis of the Design No. 25 in the #31DC2013 challenge. Or… I could be inspired by my own fashion. Cough, cough. Hmmm….opening one closet door, and then shutting it. Hmmm….staring into another closet at the clothes hanging there. Hmmm…maybe I’m not so fashionable. Oh. Oh! I know! I could be (and was) inspired by a fashion accessory!


I know, I know – most of us in the northern hemisphere would really, really like to not think about winter anymore. But, I hope you’ll forgive my wanting to show off this handmade scarf and read about my trying time creating a fashionable nail design to meet the challenge.

The way I interpreted the prompt was to create a nail design that IS fashionable as well as inspired by fashion. Therefore, I didn’t want to “just” stamp squares over all of my nails. So, I thought one common look is to have parts of the nail blocked off from the design. How was I going to accomplish this? I suppose I could have taped off the sides of my nails and tried to get the stamp image perfectly lined up with the area. Nope, I’m not that good at stamp placement (yet).


I briefly thought about free-handing the squares with a liner or detail nail art brush, but then dismissed that idea just because I wasn’t in that mood. So, back to stamping. The only plate I have (which I used) has nice squares for sure, a little larger than I wanted granted, but it would do. Oh – wait. This stamp design is for the inside of the squares instead of the outsides which is what I wanted to focus on to mimic the scarf.

Confused? I suppose I should show you the scarf, but I’m not brave enough to model it for you (sorry), except as a background here with my hand. If you are so inclined, you can find images and the pattern for this Gilded Mesh Scarf online. I’m told it is easy to make. Also, a crafty blogger, Heidi shows her versions in the post, Crocheted Mesh Scarf. My scarf was made for me with one of my favorite colors – fuchsia, and has lovely dimension and just the right amount of sparkle. And I had the perfect polish to show that! But…I had to find another polish to stamp the squares over it – leaving the outlines in the fuchsia color.


I typically wear this scarf with my winter coat that is pale blue. And, luckily I had a just-opaque-enough pale blue polish that would do the trick. Those that stamp can relate to the difficulties of stamping a lighter color over a darker color. Now… how to have just a vertical row of squares down the center of each nail (like they’re wearing a scarf, not a sweater)? I decided it was time to try the DIY stamp decals. Actually, this was my second attempt – the first one was a failure in execution, not just looks. So, after a couple nights’ sleepless scheming, yesterday morning I started making decals using the method of painting on a ziploc bag (or parchment paper – which is what I used). And again, I failed. I think I now know what I can do better in the future if I try again, and I’ll share once I have success. Third time is the charm, right?


After a break, in the afternoon I tried another technique of making the decals right on the stamper itself. It’s become a pretty popular method and you can find tutorials and videos on the web, so I won’t go in too much detail today (maybe after I’ve done it a few times and feel more comfortable, I’ll take pictures of the process). In the meantime, if you’re curious and want more info, leave a comment and I’ll point you in the right direction. 🙂 For these nails, it was a 3-step process to make the decals. First, I picked up the square design on my stamper with blue polish and left it there to dry (instead of stamping it on the nail or paper). Once dry, I painted the fuchsia color over it completely and let that to dry. Lastly, I painted a layer of top coat over the area, and again, waited for it to dry. I only have four stampers – so only four nails got done yesterday (no time for making more).


After removing the decals from the stampers with tweezers, I cut them down so that it was just the vertical stripe two-squares wide that you see. Getting the decals to lay flat on my very rounded nails was fun, not. Actually, the whole process, including my first round of failures, was good in that I learned a ton! I know I’m repeating myself and others, but these challenges are good for stepping out and learning new things – especially by making mistakes first. I’ve filled my notebook with ideas for next time that I think will help. (Yes, I’ll share if/when they do.)


So – what do you think? Even though my decals aren’t perfect, did I capture the idea of a scarf made of squares? Or, did I at least make an interesting, if not fashionable, nail design? I’m quite happy with them, mostly because I worked so hard to get here; but you might have a different opinion not seeing the behind-the-scenes. I also ran out of time with the pictures, but hopefully you can see how close the fuchsia polish matched the lovely scarf. Anyways – thanks for looking!!!

Polish Palette:

Polishes: (top) China Glaze – Santa Red My List, (bottom) Zoya – Blu
Stamping: plate PUEEN07

Inspiration Source(s):
My scarf, lovingly crocheted by my Mom. <3
And, the “31 Design Challenge” (more info in my previous post here)

courtesy of Chalkboard Nails

Thanks for visiting!!

Till next time,