September 15, 2016

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Delicate Print

In 1917, two girls from Cottingley, England claimed to have photographed real fairies dancing in their garden and effectively created the first modern-day fandom. The photos were circulated all over the world and everyone from the average person on the street to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle argued over their authenticity. Fairy societies were created and their members met to discuss fairy life and how it related to the lives and spirituality of human beings. Although the girls finally admitted in the 1980s that the photographs had been faked, the Cottingley Fairies have had magazine articles, books, and even a movie (FairyTale: A True Story) written about them.

Fairies are almost always depicted as impossibly delicate creatures with gossamer wings and silky garments, so they seemed like the perfect subject for today's Delicate Print prompt - especially since the fans of fairies were some of the first 20th-century geeks. This design also gave me the chance to use some of the Espionage Cosmetics' Nailed It nail vinyls specifically created for geek girls.

My thumb, pointer, and pinkie are decorated with the "Faeries" nail vinyl collection from Espionage Cosmetics. Tiny little fairies fly across the nails and include a gold-to-orange gradient, swirling purple vines, and a touch of sparkle. The two accent nails use a base color of Essie Go Ginza with an offset French tip using Milani Sugar Cane glitter and violet rhinestones from Born Pretty.

I really enjoy the geek girl nail vinyls from Espionage Cosmetics and use them when I'm doing cosplay or any time I just feel like letting my geek flag fly. Do you like nail vinyls? Let's talk about why (or why not) or about yoru favorite brand in the comments. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.

September 14, 2016

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Flowers

If you've ever been afraid to make a suggestion or propose something new in a meeting, remember that a few years ago someone stood up and said, "Hey, let's create a video game where anthropomorphic plants fight legions of zombies." But if that visionary had never made this suggestion, the game Plants vs. Zombies wouldn't be the huge hit it is today.

Plants vs. Zombies was the first game my son wanted after he got his Xbox 360. I have to's fun, silly, and one of the few first-person-shooter games that's acceptable for younger gamers. While planning my 31-day challenge list, it seems like the perfect subject for today's "Flowers" prompt.

The design is based on the cover art on the Plants vs. Zombies package. I started with a French tip of bmc Lucky Green, highlighted with Revlon Entice. Using bmc Angelic White and Sunshine Yellow, I created the smaller flowers with a dotting tools. The sunflower uses the same color yellow with a center of Sally Hansen Quick Sand darkened with a drop of black polish. The zombie head and hand were made with L'Oreal Greycian Goddess.

Have you ever had a crazy idea you thought would be a popular game, movie, or TV show? Do you play Plants vs. Zombies or the offshoot game PvZ: Garden Warfare? Let's talk about it in the comments below. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Animal Print

One of the many frustrating aspects about living with fibromyalgia is that some days you simply don't have enough energy to complete your day. We call it "running out of spoons." Unfortunately, that's what happened to me yesterday. Between organizing a school fundraising event, working a full day, a doctor's appointment, and an hour drive to get prescriptions, I didn't have anything left to make my "Animal Prints" post for day 13 of the 31-day challenge. But today's a new day, so I'll be posting two designs to catch up.

ThunderCats was a 1980s cartoon show listed as one of the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows in 2009. Popular with kids and their parents, it featured the adventures of a group of catlike humanoid aliens who have to flee their dying planet and retreat to "Third Earth". At a time when children's cartoons were being criticized for being nothing more than 30-minute toy commercials, ThunderCats tried to teach children important lessons about loyalty and friendship. Many episodes feature their enemies, the Mutants of Plun-Darr, as they tried to steal the Sword of Omens from the Thundereans. Although a 2011 reboot of the series wasn't successful, the original still has a huge cult following.

To create my ThunderCat design, each finger was given a unique base color and specific detailing to represent different aspects of the show.

  • Thumb - Sinful Colors Blue Lucite, with the Sword of Omens hand drawn using Essie Jiggle Hi Jiggle Lo, bmc Iced Silver, a black Sharpie, and a red rhinestone from Born Pretty.
  • Pointer - Gradient of bmc Orange Peel and Wet 'n Wild Sun Settle Down and Bee-U-Tiful with hand drawn tiger stripes using bmc Noir Black. (Tygra)
  • Middle - Gradient of bmc Angelic White and L'Oreal Greycian Goddess with hand drawn white tiger stripes using bmc Noir Black. (Bengali)
  • Ring - Gradient of Pure Ice Shore Bet and Sally Hansen Quick Sand with stamped cheetah print using bmc Noir Black and a Born Pretty stamping plate. (Cheetara)
  • Pinkie - Base color of Sally Hansen Quick Sand with stamped paw prints using bmc Noir Black and a Born Pretty stamping plate. (WilyKit and WilyKat)
I'll be posting the design for today's Flowers theme a little later in the day. In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you were a fan of ThunderCats or some other 80s cartoon. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.

September 12, 2016

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Stripes

Whether you're a geek or not, computers are an essential part of your daily life. At work, at home, even in your car, the computer is everywhere. But for geeks, the influence of the computer goes even further. They are the driving force of our gaming systems, the machines many of us use to make our living, and the "wow" factor in science fiction movie special effects and high-end animation.

To pay tribute to the computer, I chose the Stripes challenge to recreate a circuit board nail design originally done by SmashleySparkles. While my stripe work still isn't as tight as I'd like it to be, I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

To get the textured plastic look, I started with Sally Hansen Peel Off Base Coat and sponged on a generic glitter as a base. I covered the glitter with the one-coat bmc polish Lucky Green. The circuit board lines were hand drawn with Sally Hansen Lickity Split Lime and highlighted with gold studs. The final step was adding an OPI matte top coat.

Do you have any technique secrets for drawing perfect stripes and lines? Please tell me about them in the comments. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.

September 11, 2016

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Polka Dots

A large dot gobbling up lines of small dots...seems like an ideal fit for today's Polka Dot theme. When I first saw this adorable Pac-Man design from Hannah Rox Nails, I knew I wanted to try to recreate one day and today's the day!

Pac-Man was one of the first video arcade games that many of us played. In the 1980s it seemed to be everywhere - not only in the arcades, but also in bars, airports, and even hotel lobbies. It's considered one of the most successful arcade games of all time, spawning merchandise, an animated series, home games, and a sequel (Ms. Pac-Man).

To recreate this Pac-Man design, I started with bmc Noir Black. Pac-Man is Sinful Colors Pull Over and he's gobbling up dots made from bmc Angelic White. The ghosts (Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde) are created with Essie Fiji, Sinful Colors Bright Lucite, bmc Sunshine Yellow, and Wet 'n Wild I Red a Good Book.

Did you grow up playing Pac-Man, either in an arcade or on your home gaming system? Let talk about it in the comments. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.

September 10, 2016

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Gradient

Every fan of Joss Whedon knows the One Great Truth of the Whedonverse: eventually, and usually more than once, Joss will break your heart. Buffy leaping from the tower, Tara gunned down by a madman, Penny hit by flying shrapnel, Angel...well, pretty much all the time. But our most painful and lasting heartbreak wasn't Joss' fault. Of course, I'm talking about the cancellation of Firefly.

Now considered one of the best and most original science fiction TV shows of all time, Firefly was cancelled by FOX after their mismanagement (bad night, weak lead-in, showing the first four episodes out of order) prevented the show from finding an audience quickly. By the time people realized how amazing the show was, it had already been pulled off their schedule and the final three episodes (out of a total 14) weren't even aired. Former FOX executive Preston Beckman (@maskedscheduler) has said the cancellation of Firefly may have been the single biggest mistake FOX TV ever made. The show's ever-increasing cult status, legions of fans (called "Browncoats") and a full-length theatrical movie would seem to prove him right.

To create this gradient tribute to Firefly, I used a mix of Revlon's French Toast and Fall Mood, combined with bmc's Sunshine Yellow and Orange Peel. My thumb has a circular gradient, while the others have a standard vertical gradient. The Firefly imagery represents:

  • Thumb - An approximation of the Chinese characters from their ship, the "Serenity" (Shaney stamping plate with Wet 'n Wild Ebony Hates Chris)
  • Pointer - Arabesque pattern representing the living quarters of companion Inara Serra (Born Pretty stamping plate with Wet 'n Wild Ebony Hates Chris)
  • Middle - dragon symbol of the Blue Sun star system, home to the Alliance capital city of Meridian and the doomed planet of Miranda (Born Pretty stamping plate with Sinful Colors Rain Storm)
  • Ring - a leaf on the wind...*sniff, sniff*...sorry, it just got dusty in here... (Born Pretty water decal)
  • Pinkie - 3-D metal and rivets of the ship (Espionage Cosmetics' Nailed It Steampunk nail vinyl)
I think I need to go binge watch Firefly for the umpteenth time. If you're a fan of the Whedonverse, let's talk about it in the comments. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.

September 9, 2016

31-Day Nail Challenge #31DC2016 - Geek Girl Theme - Rainbow

Like many parents, I screen the shows my son watches on television. But when I watched my first episode of Adventure Time - a show my child described as being about "a boy and his talking dog" - I couldn't have imagined how big a fan I would become of this strange, post-apocalyptic cartoon. Apparently other grown-ups had the same experience, since Adventure Time has as many adult fans as kids.

For today's Rainbow theme, I chose an Adventure Time character named Lady Rainicorn. A magical creature, she uses the light spectrum to fly, phase through matter, and change the color of anything she wants with her horn. For some unknown reason, the native language of her kind is Korean. She's very laid back, a loyal friend, and made a wonderful subject for today's challenge.

To create Lady, I started with the base polishes of OPI Alpine Snow on my fingers and Sinful Colors Blue Lucite on my thumb. The stripes were created with Wet n' Wild I Red a Good Book, Sinful Colors Pull Over, Revlon Entice, Wet n' Wild Sky Me Mine, and China Glaze Spontaneous. Her pink face is Essie Fiji and blonde mane is Wet n' Wild Bee-U-Tiful. Wow, that's a lot of color on just five fingers!

Are you an Adventure Time fan? If so, who's your favorite character? Let me know in the comments below. To see more nail challenge designs, look for the #31DC2016 tag, or browse through the In-Linkz posts below.