Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Challenge Week 47: Animal Print!

This weeks 52 week challenge theme  is (as you can tell from the title) is animal print, and for once I had a lot of ideas about it!

I quite wanted to try freehand cheetah print nails, but I decided to go a little further out of my comfort zone and try a snakeskin pattern (which was also a lot easier because I could use a stamp!) in some brownish colours.

Bundlemonster plate 225 has been used by many, many people to create a similar look, and I've always liked the looks of them. I started off with 2 coats of Nails Inc. Basil Street. Then stamped once with e.l.f. Chocolate, then again (making sure I didn't place it in the same place as the Chocolate) with Beauty UK Olympic Bronze.

I wasn't too sure how it would come out or what I'd think of it (in fact I started off only painting my left hand because I thought I may take it all off immediately) but I really love it! I like the effect of the two colours stamped with the same image- and it does actually look pretty snake-like :)

Nails Inc. Basil Street, e.l.f. Chocolate and Beauty UK Olympic Bronze

I'd never buy a (fake) snakeskin bag, but it's a fun look for my nails!

What animal prints would you like on your nails?


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Challenge Week 46: Inspired by Artwork!

And the award for latest ever 52 week challenge post goes to...

Yep, I'm SO sorry I've been AWOL again for so long- it's been busier than I expected in the past couple of weeks; I've had family visiting, overtime at work and, a lot of paperwork to do for Brownies. Hope you've not missed me too much- I've missed you! And welcome to my new gfc followers (129 is a lot of people- thank you!!!)

Anyway, back to the challenge- this weeks theme is is inspired by artwork. I have to say I'm not the biggest art lover- I like to look at pretty things, and I find art galleries interesting, but ask me to name a famous painter and I'll most likely draw a total blank...

I thought about doing Van Gogh nails, because that IS an artist that I like (particularly after that Doctor Who episode- I could have done the exploding TARDIS painting!), but I thought I'd probably have more luck doing a simple design (artistic, I am not) and after a while Mondrian popped into my mind. He is famous for painting pretty simple compositions with black lines on a white background, filled in with only the three primary colours. Like this:

Peit Mondrian's Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow

So naturally I started off with a white base of Models Own Snow White, and added the black lines with my black LA Colours striper pen. Once that had properly dried I used three acrylic paints in Lemon Yellow, Crimson Red and Cobolt Blue- the closest to primary colours I have- to fill in random sections.

I really really like the way they turned out, in fact this is one of my all time favourites :) It was fun, it looks awesome (if I can say so myself) and it was actually rather easy!

LA Colours Art Deco Liner, Models Own Snow White and
Henkel & Watermann acrylics in Lemon Yellow, Crimson Red and Cobalt Blue.
 And as an added bonus for me, one of my friends (who studied art at uni) actually recognised them as Mondrian! I'm happy, and it was worth waiting until Friday for me to finally get the inspiration.

Next weeks theme is animal print, so I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something a lot sooner!!!

What kind of art inspires you?


Monday, 6 August 2012

Challenge Week 45: French Manicure

By the time you read this I'll be somewhere in Northamptonshire with 19 Brownies- and I'll probably be in the kitchen (basically my home for the week) but for once I've actually managed to organised myself enough this past weekend to get a 52 week challenge post up.

I spent my Saturday and Sunday running around like a crazy person, and I knew I'd never be able to sit still for long enough to paint my nails... plus my nails are really short right now that a french tip would look awful on them... so I volunteered my sister to do them on her own nails for me and thankfully she agreed :)

Amy (in true, lazy teenage style) didn't bother using a base coat- which I guess she doesn't really need as her nails are naturally very healthy looking (I hate her for it, I wish I knew her secret!)- and instead went straight in with the tip colour, which is a beautiful teal- no. 20 of my nail art pens- then just added a top coat at the end to give it a sheen, and seal the tips in.

She used the pen-nib end of the nail art pen, and the result is actually very neat (she didn't do any clean up at all on these either!) I love the colour too- and I think a 'funky french' is a lot more interesting than plain white tips; they'd be nice for those who want a little pop of colour without painting the whole nail :)

Isn't it cute! I'm rather jealous that my nails aren't long enough to pull this off yet, but I think I might try a coloured french tip look as soon as they are.

Once again I won't be able to post until Saturday at the earliest- I'm so sorry, especially as I've really enjoyed writing the past two posts (I wrote them on consecutive days, although this will be scheduled for Monday) but I really will be a lot less busy once I'm back so I'll see you soon!


p.s. I made my belated birthday cake this evening and it's AWESOME! I'll share a recipe asap :)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Birthday Cake Batter Fudge!!!

It's my birthday today (I feel old- I'm 24) and although I've spent rather a lot of it shopping for pack holiday (I spent £240 in asda this morning) I have actually had some time to make something :) I'll make my cake tomorrow as I'm taking it on pack holiday with me (for adults to share- we need something to keep us going!) but I wanted something fun, with sprinkles on for today too!

I found this recipe here a really long time ago, but I sort of forgot about it until Amy saw it on tumblr and started badgering me to make it! I decided that with all the sprinkles it was rather appropriate for a birthday, so I made it! It's SO good, and quite probably the easiest recipe I've ever posted! (no, really...!)

You will need:

397g (1 whole can) condensed milk
680g white chocolate
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
lots of sprinkles!

1) Place the condensed milk, white chocolate (broken into squares) and two extracts into a microwavable bowl.

2) Put the bowl in the microwave and heat (on high) for about 3 minutes until all the chocolate is melted. I melted mine in 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute, but I'm not even sure that was necessary!

3) Once the fudge is all melted, add the sprinkles (I didn't measure mine out- I just poured until it looked like enough, but I used about 1 and 1/4 of those tubes) and stir them in quickly (you don't want the colour of the sprinkles to leach out into the fudge!)

4) Pour it out into a (cling film) lined tray, cover in a layer of sprinkles (press them into the fudge so they stick properly) and leave it to cool completely.

5) Cut into squares, and enjoy!

Considering how stupidly easy it is to make, it's SOOOO yummy :) I only made 1/3 quantities (I didn't have enough chocolate) and it's almost all gone already! (about 5 hours later...)

By the way I discovered today that Kim Karath, who played Gretl in The Sound of Music- the character my blog is essentially named after- actually shares my birthday; what an awesome coincidence! :)


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Challenge Week 44: Blue! :)

First of all I must apologise for the lateness of this 52 week challenge post- I've had another super-busy with Pack Holiday preparation, and I've had a terrible cold (almost everyone at work has had it this week, it's been rubbish- especially when the weather has been this nice!) I actually painted my nails on Monday evening, but I took pictures and ran out of energy... and I've only just got around to it today :( I miss blogging, and I really don't want to accept that work and other busyness will stop me posting, though I think once I'm back from pack holiday I'll be a lot more free in the evenings :)

Anyway, ramble over- onto the nails! I love blue (one of my favourite colours, tied with purple and teal) and I've been looking forward to doing a pretty simple, open ended challenge themes- although I've love my water marbling and Harry Potter nails, but as I've generally only be painting my nails once a week I've not come up with my own nail art for weeks! :)

I decided on doing some stamping again, so I used a pale blue base coat (Revlon Blue Lagoon) and stamped with a darker blue (No7 Poolside Blue) the stamp is from Bundlemonster plate 222.

I think this pattern reminds me of an odd cross between swimming pool tiles (appropriate as the polish is Poolside Blue), and Elvish writing :)

I really like this pattern- it's so pretty I even stamped my other hand (with varying degrees of success...) and I've had to explain nail art stamps to several people at work who thought I'd actually painted it on myself!

Revlon Blue Lagoon and No7 Poolside Blue

What colour are you wearing on your nails right now? :)