Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Retro Ornaments

   I was really torn this week on what design to paint for Christmas. I have seen some really cute Christmas/wintery bird fabrics, cards, and the like. But then I found some old ornaments that I really liked too! I got a free gel manicure a few days ago so I really wanted to choose something I really liked since it would last a lot longer than my own manicures do. I finally decided on the ornaments because I really really liked them and I could always paint the birds later as just a winter design instead of a Christmas one. So you'll probably see some birds in a few weeks!

    I really liked the shapes and potentially detailed designs I found in a lot of the 60's ornaments. I was inspired by this pin and this one, as well as somewhat by this fabric.

   I used a lot of acrylic paints this time. I bought a bunch of new paints and I wanted to see how much easier it would be than regular polish. And let me tell you, for the most part, it is infinitely easier! It doesn't dry up half so quickly as it set on my paint plate. It's not half so gloppy either. I'm not sure how often I'll use the acrylic paints, but they are nice and easy when I do use them!
   I have mostly Apple Barrel acrylic paints pretty much because they're the cheapest at JoAnn Fabric. There's nothing like convenience to get you to by one product over another! The colors I used were Regency Blue and Cardinal Crimson in the Apple Barrel brand and Rose Layette and Blanc d'Osier in the Folk Art brand. My base color was an OPI gel; maybe Did You 'ear About Van Gogh? I'm not 100% sure what color I picked... I also used my white Stripe Rite striper as well as Loreal New Money, Royally Reinvented, and Club Prive.

   I hope you all have an awesome Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Candy Cane

   I had my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday, so for once I'm blogging on time! On Sunday I had a large order in my Etsy that was needed by Christmas. Since I was getting my wisdom teeth out I needed to have them dome Monday night so they could get shipped Tuesday before my mom and I left. I didn't think I would have time to paint my own nails, but I somehow managed to snatch the time to! It's a really simple design and it's not done the way I usually would go about it, but it works!

   I made some candy cane striped nails this week. No one is really going to see them, since I'll be home pretty much all week, but who cares!

   I just used a striper (Stripe Rite Red) this time since I was in a hurry. The lines are a little wonky, but not too bad for trying to multi-task on my nails and a fake set! My base coat was Finger Paints Paper Maiche.

   Usually when I paint stripes I use tape. But I was in a hurry and didn't have time to let the white dry long enough. I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but I have to let my base coat dry for a long time (I usually wait about a day just to be safe) before I use tape, other wise the polish peels off with the paint!

In other news, I've finally started up a Facebook page for my blog/Etsy! I'm having trouble getting the icon onto my blog page where my other links are, but it should be up soon since I have so much time at home now! Here's the link for now: www.facebook.com/OnceUponNails

Have a great week! If I don't blog before Christmas, have a wonderful Christmas guys!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Long Overdue Update...

   I've made some more designs the past few weeks. I've had a fair amount of orders through my Etsy, so that combined with work and Christmas present wrapping has left me little time for blogging! :(
   I've finally painted the long-awaited (at least to me) Thanksgiving owls! I was super excited to finally get to paint them on my nails.

   How do you all like them? It was a lot harder to paint them on my nails. I have tiny fingers so it's sometimes difficult to paint a design on my own small nails when I've first painted them on larger fake nails! The Etsy set is available here, if you care to look, although it is a bit late in the season for Thanksgiving nails....

   And of course I had to paint my snowflake design on my nails. That design has become one of my favorites! If you care to look, they're in my Etsy here. I offer it in both red and blue.

   I was trying to think up a new Christmas design the other day and I came up with this idea:

   It's a Charlie Brown Christmas design! It didn't turn out quite like I hoped, but I'm still happy with it. I've got the pitiful tree, the other outrageously colored trees, Snoopy's decorated dog house, and Charlie Brown's shirt.

   For other news, I made a new Christmas card a few weeks back! I have to show it off, you know.

   It was inspired by some fabric I found at work. I'd been dying to do something with it, whether it be a card design or a nail design. I'll probably still do a nail design if I can manage it. We'll see....

   Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, once again I haven't been overly chatty. And I'm trying to muti-task, so that doesn't help!
   That's all the fun updates I have for now! Hopefully I'll be back with another post next week. Maybe. I'm supposed to be getting my wisdom teeth taken out next week so we'll see how much gets done; I might be too loopy to do much!

   Have a great week guys! Merry Christmas if I don't post again before then!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Few More Designs

   I didn't want to make my last post super long, so here are a few more designs I made. One design is actually fairly recent! We'll see how long that lasts...
   I did actually have something on my nails each week, they were just all quickie things that I slapped on so my nails weren't bare. One of them I ended up really liking!

   I had this glitter that I bought super cheap that I hadn't really found a good use for yet. I really like it paired with this China Glaze Recycle. (The glitter is China Glaze Scattered and Tattered. I'm not sure you can buy it any more though, because I bought it clearanced.) The only problem was that the glitter never came off! Whenever I was ready to take it off, everything came off but the glitter! It was crazy! I have no idea why... I even tried soaking it in the nail polish remover and it wouldn't come off. But it does look pretty!

   More recently, I recreated a design I have in my Etsy store. My goal is to paint all of the designs I have in my Esty on my nails so that there is a picture of the nails they will receive, what the design will look like on nails/hands, and then the sizing chart. My progress is super slow though. I keep getting distracted by other cool designs I see/think up!

   I really like my recreation. It's not a lot different (you can see the original here in my store). I really do try to keep it the same as the original listing for obvious reasons, but sometimes I just can't resist a small improvement. In this case, the improvement was on my thumb. I really liked the addition of the thinner lines and smaller dots. If I had thought of it sooner, I would have incorporated into at least two more of my nails. 

   I drew my inspiration somewhat from Mondrian. Ok, it was very inspired by him; somewhat reluctantly, but definitely based off his artwork. I'm not a huge fan of modern art. I think it's a little silly... Sorry if you love it, but I just can't! I really have to work at not being bitter towards modern artists because they make so much money off of a line on a canvas or dots on a canvas or streaks that are supposedly a woman or some emotion; all because they have the right connections and come up with some explanation that doesn't make sense at all. Then I'm over here making art that actually makes sense, whether it's my photography, nail art, even some of my scribbles and no one knows or cares beyond myself and my family/friends. I know that's not an entirely true statement, but it's how I feel sometimes. Not that I want to be rich and famous, but it would be nice if us artists that actually make something recognizable get a little attention. </rant>
    Now I know, my rant is not completely accurate, but sometimes modern art just makes me mad and brings me down....

   ANYWAYS... I obviously liked Mondrian enough to make a nail design that I actually really really like.  And I'll leave it at that. :)

   I hope you all have a fantastic week and to my US readers, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm sure I won't be back in the blogging world before then...

Halloween Part 2! ...that's super late

So, it's official. I'm a terrible blogger. I'd say I'll try to be better, but I might not be consistent again until next year. I've just been swamped with work, and lately, Christmas-ing. I haven't really done much of anything nail wise since the first week of November. You might not believe it, because I actually have a lot to show you all. I made up some new sets for my Etsy before I got swamped. Better late than never, I guess!

Here are my Halloween owls from Halloween week! I really really liked them. It was a lot harder to come up with owl costume ideas than I thought it would be. In the end I decided on a ghost, a pirate, a flapper, a Jedi, a nurse, and Ariel.

   Maybe one day I'll post a tutorial on how  I make my owls. We'll see...
   I made a ton of sets for my Etsy a few weeks ago. I will warn you though, I'm not going to be much of a 'talker' this post. I haven't had my brain about me at all this week...

   I finally made an ombre nail set! Sort of. I never can get the sponging method to work, so I made ombre stripes instead! It actually started before any of my Halloween designs with a cute Fall ombre stripe with scalloped edges. I'd love to show it to you, but I forgot to take pictures! :( It was something like this design from Nailed It. That's what inspired me to make this ombre design.

   As you can guess, I'm offering 4 different color options. I think the blue is my favorite, although they are all pretty nice. I think. You can find them here.
   I also made this set for my Etsy.

   I like this one a lot more than I thought I would. I made it so that there would be a set in my store that was trendy and cute but not too colorful or 'wild'. But I ended up really liking it! And, as I'm sure you can guess, this is another one with a color and design choice.
   I made another set that I thought I would love. I still like it, but not as much as I thought I would. I think it's because I couldn't make it look exactly like I wanted. It really is a bother being an occasional semi-perfectionist....

  Like I said, they're nice, just not what I envisioned. You can find them here!
  This set I actually made a month or so ago, I just never took a picture of them for some reason.... I'm really not sure why.

   These were inspired by some fabric I found at work (JoAnn Fabrics, here). I really liked it! Nice and fallish. Plus cute, somewhat trendy, and not too crazy!
   This next one is another that I ended up liking more than I thought I would. It's pretty simple, actually.

    I don't know which color scheme I like best... I like them both, but I think I might like the darker one slightly better. Maybe. You can find it here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween!! (Part 1)

   There's still about a week to go and I've already started my Halloween designs... I've decided to do two this year instead of just one. Last year I didn't really know what to choose, so I did a hodge podge of just about everything. Just because I can, I'll show you guys a picture of it! Hooray for nails!

  If I ever redid them, I'd change the background colors. Too much orange. Besides, when do you ever see a completely orange sky? For the time though, they were pretty good! Not that I think they're awful now or anything. I still like them a lot! Isn't that cat just so adorably scruffy?! I might have told you this before, but.... I love cats! I just can't help myself. And it's kind of hard to tell from the picture, but my left thumb was a witch's profile. I was inspired by this pin for Her Witchy-ness. I was inspired by lots of pins, actually. You can probably find most of them in the same board as the witch nails.

   Anyways, on to this year's first Halloween design! You've probably seen them before; I posted a set of fakes like them last week or the week before. I really really liked them (I bet you can guess why in a minute), so I knew I had to paint them on my nails this year!

   And yes, two pictures are a little unnecessary, but I just really liked the lighting and whatnot in the second. And it's more in focus. (The photographer side of me is coming out.) But the other one has my thumb in it so it has to be included you know...
   As you've probably guessed, I like them so much because they're cats! ...And the sponged fog looks cool too. I like this version so much better than my first attempt on the fake nails a few weeks ago. I definitely knew more of what I was doing this time around!
   I only used three colors for this design - white, grey, and black. I painted my nails with a white base coat, then with a makeup sponge I sponged on varying amounts of grey, black, and sometimes white until I got a fog pattern that I liked. Then with a striper I painted on the webs. (I tried to make them a lot thinner and neater than the first time, but my thumb was the only one that really turned out great.) Then I painted on the cat (I used a mix of a dotter and a smaller brush), using the striper again for the tail and eyes. After that I painted on a regular top coat and then a matte one.
   If you like, you can find the fakes for sale here in my Etsy store!

   That's about it for now... Halloween owls for next week!
   Have a great week/weekend guys!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dots and Feathers

  I don't really have a lot to show you guys today. I've got two designs, but they're both pretty simple. For the most part, anyway. I've actually had two designs on my fingers since I showed you all my leaf design, but they both were a little goofy looking. They didn't turn out at all like I wanted, and they were just slapped on so my nails weren't bare.
   For the last half of this week I've had a simple dot design on my nails. I like it for the most part, but it really only did like it was supposed to on one finger. I'm never good at purposefully random designs. Mine are either a mess or laid out and precise. I just can't do things like randomized dots. At least it doesn't seem like I can to me. Maybe that's just me being really picky again, who knows! Anyways, here's the design and you can judge for yourself.

   I've come to like it more each time I see it. It's a nice and easy (and quick!) manicure.

   I had a friend request some feather nails after she had seen them in one of my facebook albums.

    I hadn't made feather nails of any sort since I first tried them out a little over a year ago. I had been putting off posting them in my Etsy store because I was so apprehensive about it. When I did them on my own nails, I had to do touch ups every few days because a corner of the feather would try to peel off. They lasted a really long time (around two weeks or so), but I wasn't sure how customers would like having to put some clear polish on corners every now and then.

    And now that I've made some on fake nails, I'm even more worried! Apparently feathers don't like curved surfaces at all. My nails are fairly flat, but my fake nails are not. At all. It was such a chore getting those feathers to stick!
  I think over all they turned out pretty well. Feathers are just so cool on nails! I just really hope they last for her.

   That's about all of my updates for now! I'm off to do another quickie design on my fingers to last me until Monday or so when I put on my first Halloween design! I'm still undecided on whether or not I want to do owls or the cat first....

   Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Christmas Listings!

   I've been making a ton if new nail sets for my Etsy store! And I've already sold some! I've had 14 sales since I opened my shop a little over a year ago, but each new sale is just as exciting as the first! Or nearly so, anyway. I guess nothing beats the excitement of your first sale!
   I have mainly been focusing on Christmas nails since I'm a little late for the Halloween rush. ...But I couldn't resist painting two Fall/Halloween sets. They called to me and practically begged to be made! They might've bullied me a little...

   I hadn't planned on making this set at all. The others were pretty much all planned. And had been for a while. And been put off. And avoided. And put off again... These were very last minute and inspired by some ribbon my mom bought on a whim. I like the ribbon better, but the nails turned out fine! You can find these here in my store.

   This set is one of my favorites. I'm not convinced that the webs are right, but the cat and the fog (especially the fog) looked so nice I kind of over look them. For now. I did a ton of sponging for the background and it took me forever to be satisfied with the mix of greys, blacks, and whites. I'm so picky! I can't wait to do these on my own nails! My only dilemma is whether I should do these on Halloween week or the week before. I have some Halloween owls that I want to do too. You can find this set here in my store.

   This is the first of three Christmas sets I made up last week. I had done up one nail like this last Christmas in a Christmas montage of sorts. And I apparently used different thread. The thread I used for this one was such a mess! I'll definitely have to find something different if someone orders a set. You can find these here in my Etsy.

   You might have noticed that I have this problem with either loving or not loving every set I make. There usually isn't anything in between. These, I really like. A lot. I will definitely have to paint these on my own nails come winter! I saw two snowflake sets on Pinterest that I liked, but didn't really like on their own. So I combined them to make my own version! (You can see them here and here if you like.) You can find this set here in my store.

   I made these last year too. They are so cute! I love these too! (You can find a picture of my first version here if you want to see them. They don't really look any different.) Don't those penguins just look so cute all bundled up in scarves and muffs?! I'll stop now so I don't gush too much... You can find them here in my Etsy store.

And that's about it for now. I do actually have some more nails to show you guys, but I don't want to make the post too long. Besides, I haven't put my watermark and everything on there either. Because it takes so long to do that... Mostly I'm just tired and lazy!

Have a wonderful week guys! I should have more time to blog and create; at work the corporate people messed up our hours, so we had to have our hours cut a lot so I'll have a ton more free time this week and the next!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Photography!!

   As I mentioned in my last post, all of that talk about fall and photography really made me want to show you guys my recent pictures! No nails in this post, sorry... Just fall photography overload! I'll try not to get too carried away...

   Sunflowers are some of my favorite flowers. When I was younger my dad used o always plant a few in his vegetable garden. I was always so fascinated by how tall they grew and how big the flower was! We haven't had any for years (they yard at our new house was a mess and need a ton of help to make it flower-ready), but we were finally able to grow one this year!

   Last month I discovered these teeny tiny webs all over our front yard. I'm sure they're there all the time, but I never noticed them until I started taking our dog on his morning walk and saw the sun shining off of the dew drops. They were so small and fascinating!

   I had never noticed that goldenrods are pretty. I'm fairly allergic to them, so I had always steered clear of them. They grow all over the hill in my backyard, so I finally decided to take a few pictures of them and see what they really look like. I payed for it the next two days, but I learned that they are much prettier than the yellow blob I used to always see them as.

   Joe Pye weeds are very photogenic in the early fall when they are just beginning to bloom and the late afternoon sun in shining on them. I had always thought them interesting, funny little flowers, but they can actually be beautiful. this is probably one of my favorite shots I've ever taken. That says a lot, because I have taken a ton of pictures!

   My mom bought some chrysanthemums last month, and she sure picked out some pretty ones! I even think the pinks are pretty, and I'm not too fond of pink. Let's just say that the late afternoon light really looks good on them too.

   I think these used to be asters when they were blooming, but I honestly don't remember. I had never really thought much about flowers and things after they were dead until I got my camera. Then I realized that they can still be at least interesting, if not sometimes still beautiful. You might still think it looks like an ugly dead thing, which is fine. I like it though!

   Let me just say that this spider has mastered camouflage. I found him yesterday morning by accident. I didn't run into his web, luckily; my dog did. I saw the spider running quickly away. Later I came back out to take some pictures of him and even though I knew exactly where he was, it took me a while to find him! Same thing this morning. I was very glad he wasn't out to get me, because I would have been dead.

   These are so pretty! They're one of those flowers that have so many tiny blooms on them that you kind of gloss over it all and think that it's a pretty flower, but not much else. At least I always did. The dew was out in full force this morning, so I was busy running around taking pictures of wet things. I decided to give these guys a chance. Dew really becomes them! They are really pretty!

   That's it for now. If you want to check out some more of my photos, you can go to my deviant art or my photography Etsy store. My deviant art has pretty much everything. My Etsy does not... Some things I just can't see someone wanting to hang on their wall. Like spiders. Or snake skins. Or mushrooms.

Deviant Art: robertsphotography.deviantart.com
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/SarahEPhotography

Final Doll Challenge And Fall Nails

   I've finished up my doll series (for now). There are two more dolls, but I don't own them. If I can find some decent pictures, I'll probably make some nail designs from them. Probably. We'll see. I've been in a fall mood ever since the leaves started falling. Fall is kind of my favorite... I just had to do some fall designs!
   I have to go in chronological order, so here's my last doll design from forever ago. She's from India and has a pretty sari! Unfortunately, there wasn't a ton of embroidery or any other designs, so I kind of had to make some stuff up. It fits good enough though!

   You can't tell, but my nail color is actually pretty close to her sari color. It has a little more red, but not as much as it looks like in the picture. For some reason it kept getting blown out and I couldn't fix it. :( Other than the colors, not much else came from her dress... You could say that the little flower-y thing in the middle of my nails is based off her shorter necklace, but I didn't really plan it that way. It just kind of happened. And it's not really that close...

   Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE fall? It's definitely my favorite season! I had never been able to pick a favorite season, but now that I'm not in marching band, I've come to realize that fall is amazing. Before last year I had been busy with marching band during the fall, so all I really did was run around, sweat, toss some flags, sweat, perform, sweat... So I never really got to enjoy fall. I loved marching band, don't get me wrong, but I like being able to enjoy fall now! It's so pretty and the weather is PERFECT!
   So, as you can understand, I might be trying to make up for lost time. I have been out in the woods a ton this year, just soaking it all up. And taking a million pictures (they're all on my deviant art, if you want to check them out). And in honor of fall, I have made up my toes and fingers accordingly.
   My fingers are super simple right now, but I like them. I just poured a ton of orangey-yellow glitter on them. Apparently it's kind of Halloween-y (I've had 2 or 3 people at work compliment my Halloween nails), but it never really crossed my mind, I was so caught up in fall! Fall leaves was more what I had in mind. You can choose whichever makes you happy though!

(This picture isn't mine... I stole it from google)

   For my toes I made a pretty little flower design that's really not all that fall like except for the colors. Sort of. Mostly it just is because I'm in that fall mood.

   See, they're kind of fallish!

   Since I just talked about all of my fall pictures, that really made me want to show you guys some of my pictures... I don't want to make this post ridiculously long though, so I'll make a separate post.

   I hope you have a lovely weekend!