Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy gradient nail tutorial

I know I have been blogging every day lately, and for some reason I find that annoying. I haven't been feeling all that great the last few days though, so sitting here blogging at posting pictures has been keeping me entertained without doing anything that will make me want to go back to bed and wish my husband was home so I could whine to him about how my tummy hurts.

Today I thought I would give you all a nail tutorial for gradient nails. I've been seeing a lot of these looks done so I'm guessing it's the Hot New Thing. It's amazing I am doing it now since usually I wait a year or so before I am into the Hot New Thing. By then it's the Old Forgotten Thing and I'm running around acting like I have discovered something new. I wanted to show y'all how I did this mostly because all of the tutorial I see look like a professional make up artist did the work, nothing is flawed, everything is so easy. I'm a regular chick who tries things and wishes they turned out like the pro's, but usually ends up looking simply o.k. Like a real person did it. You wont see perfectly filed and shaped nails, beautifully trimmed cuticles or smoothly applied nail polish that is evenly spaced around the sides of my fingers and cuticle. I make a mess that I don't even clean up very well. "Whatever Teri, I'm a real person and I can do MUCH better than that!". I'm happy for you, really. I can't.

O.K. so lets begin. I did a 3 color gradient. Obviously you need at least 2 colors and can probably do many more, depending on how long your nails are. The colors I chose are:

Sinful Colors in "Rise and Shine"
Sinful Colors in "Midnight Blue"
Wet and Wild #424A or as I like to call it "Black"

Start with painting your nails with a base coat and the lightest color. Of course you can do a reverse gradient and start with the darkest, just make sure your lighter colors are very opaque and only need one coat or the color wont show up. If you have a problem with your light color not showing up very well paint your nails with white polish first. Let this layer dry.

To do the gradient effect you will need a sponge. It doesn't matter what type, using the one in the kitchen is fine, just know you wont be washing dishes with it again. I used a makeup sponge that come in packs of like 30. Your going to cut the sponge in half. 

Now take your other 2 colors (If you are only using 2 colors you will paint your nails with the lightest and still use it again to mix with the next darker color.) and pool a bit of polish from each on some waxed paper or something plastic, I used a sandwich baggie. Make sure they are touching. 

Take a toothpick and swirl these two colors together in the middle. I know I should have picked better colors to show this. 

Now press the cut side of your makeup sponge into the pretty polish pool. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure why the sponge needs to be cut. I'm sure there is a reason, maybe. Just make sure you have a large enough area to cover your nail. 

Lovely blurry photo...

Press this down on your nail with the lighter of the two colors on the bottom. Don't place the sponge all the way to the bottom of your nail or you will cover your light color. Now that I think about it you should probably pool the lighter color on your plastic, too. I didn't, for some reason I didn't think of it. Press down like you are stamping your nail and continue to stamp back and forth over your nail a few times. It will make a mess over your finger. 

Blurry AND dark photo! 

Right after you do this take your clear top coat and apply it to the nail while still wet. It will help blend the colors a bit more and smooth out any bumpiness the sponging might have caused. The first time I used my clear coat it bubbled up REALLY BAD. I did the rest with Seche Vite and painted over the bubbled nails with it, it covers them up and makes them look less noticeable. 

Once done you should end up with something like this, or hopefully better. 

Happy Painting! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lip tattoo review!

Remember when tattooing ones makeup on came out? I wanted to get my eyeliner done SO BAD. While most are probably regretting their decision to have their bright 80's makeup permanently fused to their face, I still think I wouldn't mind having my eyeliner done. I still wear the same black wing after all these years. Maybe I will change my mind when I'm 80 or so..

Never fear for now they are making temporary makeup tattoo's! The lip tattoo's intrigued me from the start. You can find a ton of different colors and designs. Words, hearts, stars, leopard print, it's seemingly endless. So I tried out a few. Here is my honest review.

First off I think my problem with them is my lips are shaped wrong or weird. I have a HUGE bottom lip, which despite some people's endless pursuit of puffy lips, I hate mine. My top lip is just...weird. Remember how Elvis would always raise one side of his top lip? I can do that so perfectly and in some pictures I'm doing it without even realizing it. Maybe I am related to Elvis, one of his illegitimate offspring. Hmm... my mom did LOVE Elvis. She said my dad reminded her of Elvis when she met him, something with his eyes. My dad did have awesome eyes, but I never thought of Elvis when looking at them. Then again I never lusted after Elvis like my mom did. Wait, how the heck did I get on the subject of Elvis? My lips, right...

The reason my lip shape comes into play is because you need to cut the lip tattoo's to fit your lips. I really have a problem with this. Bottom lip too big, top lip too...weird. Well, here is my review with a few different brands of tattoo's.

I'll start with Violent Lips. These are the best out of the 3 that I tried. While still hard for me to fit on my lips, they were the easiest. The ones I had are the glitter ones. VERY glittery, however they were hard as hell to get off. I've seen someone just peel them off in one big strip. Didn't work for me. I peeled and picked at them forever and then scrubbed the rest off with a wet cloth. I scrubbed hard too. They did however last most of the day till I tried to get them off. I did drink with them on and had no problem. I have not tried the regular ones, only the glitter, but I think I may try these again in the regular ones.

You can see where they didn't really fit. Easily fixed with lip liner. 

The next  photo, along with the one after, were taken in front of a window, so this is pretty much what they look like in natural light.

Next I tried "Fashionable Lips". I liked these second best of the 3.  I love this design and may wear them on the 4th. "Violent Lips" also has a design like this but I'm not sure I can find them in time. 

Sexy, right?

I didn't line my lips after applying these, so what you see is how they look without any touch up. My bottom lip looks larger than ever but I think it's because the angle of the camera when I took the picture, it's not really straight on. That's my story anyway. Maybe it's the stripes. These were easy to remove with a little makeup remover. 

I don't have that sexy passion mouth look. 

Lastly I had some "Hot Lips" tattoos. These come shaped just like the Violent Lips but are much much smaller. I got these because I liked the vampire design on them.  I really had to line my lips with black liner to touch these up. The design didn't show up really well either. They certainly didn't look like they did on the model when I bought them, not that I expected them to, but it would have been nice. 

 The first problem I had when cutting along the lines they provide on the back was I cut a lot of the fang design off. I should have been watching, but I trusted their placement of the lines they wanted you to cut. Once on, well, see for yourself. 

Well there ya go. Just a regular person review and not some makeup guru or company. I didn't get paid a thing and even had to buy my own product to review! Sheesh! I'd love to hear any experience with these others have had, so comment if you have anything to add! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dicro-ish glass pendant making

I am my own worse critic and I hate it. By now you are probably getting the hint that I love to create things. I don't consider myself an artist since most of my idea's started out as idea's of other people. I've recently tried to make jewelry using epoxy resin and some other sparkly things. One project I am very pleased with I  wont be showing or talking about due to the fact it's a Christmas present, and the recipient may read this,  so I will show the one I'm not so pleased with. These ARE fun to make, and that's what matters.

I found these great pendant tray castings on Ebay, sold in lots of either 5 or 10. I liked them for their size and the design on the back. Any casting tray will work or you can use resin molds for a free standing piece. You will have to drill a hole through it to attach a necklace or ring though.

I used a two step epoxy resin on these. I used Easy Cast brand. I can't make a comparison to other brands because I have never used a different kind. I will tell you it was easy to work with and did not have a strong smell. It hardly had any smell really. I of course held it up to my nose and took a big wiff, at which time there was an odor, but it didn't knock me out (I would tell you if it did.).

Mixing takes a little bit. You have to stir for two minutes, transfer to a new mixing cup and stir for an additional 2 minutes. They are serious about it needing to be mixed well. I didn't use a timer or even look at a clock, I just stirred till I felt I had stirred enough. I probably over stirred, but that can only be a plus, right?  After all that stirring, I added some black dye and stirred some more. I then filled my casting with a thin layer of the dyed resin, just enough to cover the bottom of the casting. I wanted to leave enough room to fill it some more.  

I let that dry over night. It doesn't need to be completely dry, just dry enough that it wont mix with your next layer. 

For the pretty colors I used Little Windows Dichro-ish Glass kit. It comes with the dye I used for these pieces which is a black powder with some black glitter in it, and some shiny, colorful papery stuff, kinda reminded me of velum paper. 

I chopped up some of the sheets into little pieces and sprinkled them on top of my castings. I wish I had used more and maybe cut them into different shapes. Most of mine are like triangles, I have a lot of pointy corners. Live and learn. I then mixed up another batch of resin but did not dye it. Pour that over the pretty pieces and let dry again. Keep an eye on them for a minute or so to make sure the flakes don't float to the top and stick out of the resin. I used a toothpick to push them back down. I still have a few small corners sticking up, but well, it's my first try!!

The instructions on the epoxy say it takes about 24- 48 hours to fully dry. If you don't mix it correctly it may never fully harden and in extreme cases will always stay sticky, tacky or soft. In my short experience it takes a lot longer than they say for it to fully dry, but maybe I'm not mixing it correctly. After I let these sit over night they were dry enough to pick up and touch, but will still leave a mark if you press your fingernail into the resin. 

In the end you get something pretty and unique. I'm not completely happy with mine no matter how many people tell me it looks great. I'm my own worse critic. I can always find something wrong with what I do and can always think of a different way to do something. At least that way I never run out of things to create. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Somewhere...across the sea...

Every other year or so someone in Jonathan's family rents a house on Edisto Island and we all go vacation together. This year my brother in law was the house renter. We stayed in a cute little house called "The Flamingo".

I used to know the story on this..but no longer. It's always there, just a bit different each time. 

We have always gone to Edisto Island. I really have no idea when that tradition started, but I do know why we stick to Edisto. If you have ever been there and been to the other islands around the area you know why, also. Edisto is simply quiet. There is not much there. There is a beach, a lot of rental houses, one hotel at the end of the island and one grocery store, The Piggly Wiggly of course, at the other end. There are a few restaurants and gift shops, but you are not going to find the mass tourist shops you might at other beaches. This is how we like it. While you will see plenty of people walking, fishing, biking, and on the beach you don't feel like you are in crowds.

Edisto is off the coast of South Carolina. I really feel like I belong there. I think I was always meant to live somewhere near the ocean in South Carolina. I can't explain, it's just something I know as soon as we get close to the coast. I'm sure in another life I was a southern belle here, living on a rich sea island cotton plantation. If I could live anywhere, I would seriously pick here to live. The plantation would be nice, too, as long as it was modern with central air and a pool.

This would be my driveway. 

We always have fun on the beach. This year Marley even got into it more and raced around after the kids in the waves. He usually runs from the surf as it comes in, but this year he got his whole body wet. It's fun to watch the kids play in the sand and water, trying not to think of sharks eating them or getting stuck in a rip tide, or jelly fish stinging them, or a wave knocking them down and dragging them under. Sounds fun doesn't it? O.k. so maybe it's just fun watching them bury each other in the sand. 

Karin practices her body burying skills. 

"Hey! Where did everyone go?"

The history of the area is amazing. There are still some standing ruins of houses, churches and other buildings as well as beautifully restored southern mansions and plantations. I love the grand mansions along the Battery in Charleston and the ornate churches with their old graveyards. As beautiful as they are I love the ruins even more. There is just something about the forgotten, crumbling buildings and graveyards that draws me in. 

Sheldon Church. Originally Prince Williams Parish in 1745, before America was America. 

St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease 1740

Sea Cloud Plantation ruins. Circa 1825 (On Edisto Island)

Even if we never return to Edisto Island again, I will always remember the great times our family has spent there from sitting on the beach in the middle of the night watching the lightning across the ocean, deep sea fishing, picking up sharks teeth along the beach, hoping our tent doesn't blow away when tropical storm Alex hit while we were camping on the beach, eating blue crab that we caught or fishing off the dock and catching a Skate (kind of Stingray). I could fill this page with hundreds of pictures I have taken in the years we have gone. I hope to get hundreds more. 

The one time I didn't go, this happens! 

Ocean puppy

ARRR! Dread Pirate Marley! 

Till next time... .

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So many crafts...

It's been awhile again since I have been here. I haven't forgotten you, loyal reader, I've just been lazy, I mean busy. And by loyal reader I mean my husband, who already knows everything I'm writing about before he reads it.

I have been rather crafty lately. The last thing I made I was really pleased with the way it came out. I'd love to post about it, but my latest crafts are also Christmas presents and I really never know who might be reading this. "But Teri! What if we want to make what you made for someone for someone else?". Sorry, y'all will just have to wait and I will have to be patient about showing every thing. Hmmmph. I should have something new to show soon, if it turns out right.

I did have some drama a few days ago. I sold my patriotic wreath that I made. DUN DUN DUN! No, sillies, that is not the drama. I sold the wreath but wanted to improve the stars instead of leaving the cut out mess I made I wanted something that looked nicer if I was going to give it to someone else. So I made a snap decision to go to Hobby Lobby and see what they had in the way of glittery stars. Off I went on my happy way, not even making it 1/4 of a mile when BAM! apartment dweller dude runs the stop sign coming out of his complex and hits me. I knew he wasn't stopping, I swerved and for a split second thought I dodged another one (A lot of the apartment dwellers run that stop sign). The loud BAM! mentioned above let me know I wasn't so lucky this time. To make this story short "I can't pull up my pants" apartment dweller  tried to say there was no way his giant Ford Escape made such a large dent and scratches on my little Eclipse. Once he called over his thug life friends to argue I got in the car, locked the doors and called 911 then Jonathan. My loverly husband dropped everything and came to my rescue before the popo could even show up. Before that Apartment Dweller tried to drive off till he noticed me taking a picture of his license plate. GO ME! By the time the cop came Apartment Dwellers girlfriend was on the scene. I guess she was the owner of the Escape. Once the cop told her since her boyfriend left the scene he was having her battering ram towed she morphed into "Irate Female" (the cop called her that..teehee). Looooonger story short, I got to leave with an incident number from the cop to give to my insurance and 3 other cops showed up to search the inside of the Escape battering ram. "I can't pull up my pants" showed back up so there was no towing of Irate Female's car. BUMMER! I don't know what kind of tickets he got or what's worse, if he had insurance. I'm just waiting for my insurance to review the police report and get back to me. WHY couldn't I be hit by some southern gentlemen who hypnotized me with his crystal blue eyes and deep southern drawl, offering me all his insurance information while he apologized on his knees and assuring me he will take care of everything at the same time making sure I was o.k., maybe offering me a Mint Julep (YUCK) or at least some Evian.. no, not me. I get "I dident do's that to yo car! Yo trippin'! Now looks at my boxers while I's drive off 'cause I can't pull up my pants!". O.k... so that might have been a little.. accurate.

All in all, the damage isn't THAT bad. It could have been easily taken care of with a little cooperation on Apartment Dwellers part. I'm a little freaked out by the fact he lives just a short distance from me, but hopefully he never learns I live so close.

Crafting is so much more fun than all this.