Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Little Things: Blackhawks Bridesmaid Gift

For my girls' gifts, I wanted to do something personal and crafty.  Enter Artful Designs in my town, which is a paint your own pottery and ceramics place, or any place like it near your town.  I love painting pottery, and it had been a long time since I was able to do it.  My mother and I decided to go together, and I sketched things out and painted details, while she painted large sections for me.  I wanted to get something that all of my bridesmaids could use, so I settled on travel coffee mugs.  They all drink tea or coffee, and putting something personal would make it even better.

One of my bridesmaids is a HUGE Blackhawks fan, so a Hawks mug was truly the only answer for her.  I painted the detail of "Commit to the Indian" with a small brush, then sketched out the feathers and passed it on to my mom to paint the black and the base of the feathers.  I then used their smaller writing bottles to go over "Commit to the Indian" again, drew the lines on the feathers, and wrote "Bridesmaid 8.4.12" on the bottom of the mug.  One week later, it was ready for pickup after firing.

In coming days, I will post the other 5 bridesmaid gifts, as well as the ringbearer and flowergirl presents.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Long time, no see...

I had so much crafting to do for the wedding, that everything else fell by the wayside.  Now that it's done, in the next few weeks I'll be sharing stories and pictures from the wedding, then get back to my regular nails and school posts.
To tide you over until I can post more, here is the story of the Dome of Silence.

That thing on my head is the Dome of Silence.  It's becoming a running joke in my family for almost 10 years Before my cousin Jamie got married, we had a family fun night that included paper footballs and a cookir container.  There were some adult beverages involved, so someone decided we needed to protect our heads...with the cookie container.  It ended up being called the Dome of Silence by the end of the night.  Someone joked that Jamie should wear it as her wedding.  My cousin Carlea took it home and added a paper crown on the top, then gifted it to Jamie at her wedding.  Jamie kept it, and, 7 years later, decorated it with flowers and gifted it to Carlea at her wedding reception.  2 years later, Carlea gifted it to me after adding ribbon on top.  We were able to confuse the heck out of both my bridesmaids and my photgrapher, and I was able to be reminded how much I love my family (after a couple of years of family drama made that hard to recall at times)...we're unabashedly weird!!

The dome is also the gift I was most worried about getting back, since I hadn't seen it after we took pictures with it, and it kind of looks like it could be garbage  Pretty garbage, but still garbage.  No ended up in the gift pile!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Exciting times ahead

I've been a bit busy the past few weeks preparing for two exciting things coming up... I also had shellac on, so no new nails to post up.
The first exciting thing is of course my upcoming wedding (omg a little over a month and still all of the things.) The second (and the reason I'll again be gone for a week) is that I am heading out to the National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA) as the delegate for my school's teacher union. I will join 9000 other educators in our nation's Capitol over the 4th of July. As an early service teacher this is a big opportunity for me and I'm hoping to have some beautiful pictures and stories when I get back.
Also be on the lookout for the headband and clips I made for the 4th.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stash or Trash: Julep Kylie (magnetic)

I received Kylie in my Julep Maven box.  It looks like a frosty deep mauve in the bottle, and that's what the polish looks like when you first paint it on your nails.  I did 2 thin coats and let them dry, then did one generous coat on each nail one by one, then used the magnet.  It was sheer after one thin coat, and opaque after a 2nd, but I wanted a deeper color, and that's what I got with 3 coats.  I also held the magnet at an angle, instead of having the stripes straight on.

A comment first on Julep bottles - their bottles are tall thin rectangular bottles.  This makes for a very precarious paint job - it's very easy to tip the bottle over, so I end up holding it in a bit of an awkward manner between my pointer finger and thumb.  Also, if not received through the Julep Maven program, these polishes are darn expensive at $18 a bottle.  I don't find too much special about the polish to justify that high a price.  OPI runs between $8-$9 a bottle, and I much prefer their formula, color selection, bottle, and brush.

I don't think I'm sold on this whole "magnetic" thing.  My hands are just barely steady enough to almost competently paint my nails, but even the slightest tremor when you're holding the magnet super close to your finger is enough to screw this up.  For this reason, a couple of nails have a 4th coat.  Plus, Julep's magnet doesn't have a lip on it as a guide.  Also...I don't know if it was how close I held the magnet, the magnet, or the polish, but I can feel the texture from the peaks of color. There is a slight raise where the magnet pulled the iron in the polish, like the iron was trying to climb out of the paint.

This looks OK, but it was a pain to do.  After I was done, I still had to wait almost an hour to put top coat on, and even then some of the design got a bit smeared.  I don't like sitting like a glass princess for that long.  I like to slap on my fast dry, and get going after 10 minutes or so.  Add that to the fact that I'm not crazy about the color or the bottle, and this one ends up in the trash for me.  (Ok, you caught me.  The giveaway/trade with friends pile.  I don't throw things away.)

The pictures are actually from my second day of wear, and it's grown on me a bit.  The wavy stripes look neat. still doesn't make up for how tedious this polish is to use.

And a few more pictures to try to catch the angles and how the design turned out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stash or Trash: OPI DS Extravagance

In the can see the little speckles that light up in the sun
In the sun...blurry, but you can see the beautiful shine

I love this polish.  I've actually worn it many times before.  When the sun isn't on it, it's a very classy wine polish.  But when the light hits....oooooh boy shiny.  I sit and stare at my fingers when I have this one on.  This was two coats, and it wears like iron.  Of course this is a stash for me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Birthday Manicure

Sorry for the horrible horrible picture...although it does give you a view of my two lovely rings.  My engagement ring is on the left, and my grandmother's Navajo silver ring is on the right.
The base is 2 coats of OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It!  I don't find it to be terribly unique, but I do really love both the color and the brilliant shine it gives.  It covers in two coats.  However, I used a thick layer of basecoat and it still stained my nails like crazy.
I topped Swimsuit...Nailed it! with Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday.  If wearing multicolored glitter on your birthday is wrong, I don't want to be right.  I really do love that polish.  It gives a fun kick of sparkle and color.

Both of these colors are stash for me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wedding I Spy Reception Game

As you've read previously in my Summer Bucket List: Wedding Edition, I have already had some of my I Spy games printed.  I went through Vistaprint e-mails when they offered free Rack Cards.  The Rack Cards come in packs of 50, and you are responsible for shipping.

The mock up I made on the site looked like this:

To get the different texts and colors, I had to make each line a separate text box.  I played around with order and sizes until I liked what I saw.  Luckily, I don't have to do all of the playing around again, since Vistaprint saves your previous designs in your portfolio.

I received the printed product ahead of schedule.  The rack cards are shiny and a nice quality, thick paper.  I also forgot until I received it that I chose to have a simple black and white graphic printed on the back.  To see how it turned out and my inspiration links, hit the jump!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vistaprint Is My Friend (or, How I Got My Wedding Invites on the Cheap)

I have gotten many a thing from Vistaprint for both my wedding and classroom.  Classroom printing projects can come at a later date, for today is about all of the things I got for my wedding from Vistaprint.

First, a caution:  Be careful about checking extra boxes on this site.  Check and double check that you are not opting into monthly services.  I have had no problems with this, but the internet abounds with complaints of getting charged monthly for something from Vistaprint.

And now, a tip: Buy something cheap there first.  My first purchase was custom return address labels.  Once I bought that single thing, I started getting offers about once a week.  Sometimes they are 40-60% off, but quite a few times so far, I have gotten offers for free things.  That is how I printed out my invites (oversized postcards), RSVP cards (postcards), wedding website inserts (business cards), and picture website business cards.  I also watched Groupon and bought a $17 for $70 worth of goods offer, which is how I got my I Spy games (rack cards) and thank you postcards.  I ordered a few other free things in the mix.  The print quality is generally very high.  The things I have printed have always come out clear and in accurate colors.

The total I've spent for all of the following, shipping and product cost, is just under $140.  The majority of that was in shipping.

I'll post in the next few days with actual photos of what I've gotten from there (haven't had time to remove our personal information!)  But, for now, here are picture from the online mockups at vistaprint.  Hit the jump to check them out!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Wedding DIY Edition

I saw this "summer bucket list" idea on Miss Kindergarten for school.  Lucky me!  I get two big projects this summer!  I get married August 4, so I have plenty of to-do's for that, and I go back to school later in August to a different classroom and level to teach, so I have plenty of to-do's for that.  The first "summer bucket list"/to-do list that I have is my wedding one.  I'm doing a lot of DIY for the wedding, so I have just over two months to do...well, a lot of things.  Thanks to Pinterest, I have tutorials for many of them.  As I complete these, I'll post and add links to them.

(sorry, had to take this down for a bit to fix the links, but now they should all be fixed)

Here is my overview of wedding to-do's and DIY's for summer, with deadlines:
  • Stamp invite envelopes and send them: By June 1
  • Bridesmaid's wedding shower: June 2
  • Create veil using mom's veil: By June 6
  • Make ring pillow and decorate flower girl basket: June 11
  • Send bridesmaid's shower thank you's: By June 15
  • Aunt's shower: June 16
  • Finish decorating cake toppers (either dinosaur or panda bear salt shakers): June 20
  • Send aunt's shower thank you's: by June 26
  • Gone in Washington DC for NEA RA: June 27 through July 6
  • Second dress fitting: July 7
  • Work out some kind of toasting flute: by July 9
  • Guestbook set up: by July 11
  • Finish ceremony and send it off to Piper: July 12
  • Bachelorette Party: July 14
  • Programs: July 16
  • Card box: July 18
  • 3rd and hopefully final fitting: July 20
  • Start table numbers/favors/escort cards: July 21
  • Seating chart: July 22
  • Finish and practice vows: July 23
  • Sometime over summer: printing more I Spy, vow gag, all of the fabric flowers in the world, prettified hangers, bridesmaid gifts, gift for the groom, parent gifts, centerpieces

After the jump, see pictures of project inspirations with links to my pins.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stash or Trash: OPI Designer de Better

This is OPI's Designer de Better from the Muppets collection. I got a mani/pedi with my mom the other day, and I chose a polish I already own so I can do touch-ups. But now I'm annoyed because it chipped after 2 I'm just going to take it off. My toes (Cuckoo for this Color) thankfully haven't chipped.
However, the fault is not with the polish. I've worn this before and had it last almost a week (which is amazing with how hard I am on my nails!).
I really like this polish. It's a great mostly silver foil with flecks of bronze, which I didn't quite catch on my picture. It's very festive and shiny without being entirely obnoxious. I'll try for a better picture later (read: not one done on Instagram with my phone). It goes on very smooth, and removal isn't terrible. It is very easy to get nice, thin coats. When I paint it myself, I do 2 or 3 thin coats for coverage.

Once I find my own bottle of this in my monster of a collection, it's definitely stash for me.

Watch this space....

I'll be using this blog as I go through my nail polish stash, partially as a reference for me.
I'm a 6th-8th grade special education teacher, and I enjoy painting my nails as my moment of zen some days. I don't claim to be awesome at it, or even very neat with it, and teaching is a bit rough on your hands, with all the papers and hand sanitizer. My swatches probably won't be all that pretty, but they'll let me have a reference back to my collection. This will also help me clean out the closet of polish and other beauty items.
I just thought "Teacher Talons" was a cute name...I don't really have talons. They're more on the side of nubbins.