Monday, January 31, 2011

Lumene- Make Impact

I realized last night that while I showed you how to apply water decals, I didn't tell anyone what that lovely polish was. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to send some love to Scandalously Polished, who happened to have a Twitter contest one night. I won, and was excited. I mean, hey, who doesn't love winning things, right?

She sent a phenomenal package of goodies, including this sweet polish by Lumene. I'm not sure where it's from, but it's absolutely lovely. It looks holo in some lights, and you can see it in the single-nail test I did. Really you can...

... can't you? Am I imagining it? *laughs* Who knows...but it certainly is beautiful. I'm not a big pinks person, but I wore this one for several days without complaint. I even got compliments from my mom on it!

Then again, she's more of a traditional-type polish person. I think purple's about as weird as she's gonna go. My rainbow nails tend to make her raise her eyebrows, and when I wear black, she says, "Blech!"

I enjoyed wearing this polish, and applied the water decals when the polish had been on for two or three days. You can see there was just a hint of tipwear, no chipping or anything. Overall, I like it a lot, and I can see me wearing this again when I have to act like a normal grown-up, instead of the overgrown fashion-addict I am on the inside!

So what do you think? Does pink suit me, or am I more of a lime green, rainbows and kooky colors sort of girl?

Ange is the greatest!! You should go subscribe to her page, right after you subscribe to mine! :D
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

OMG, do I have news for you!

I got the most interesting email this morning. Apparently, Born Pretty is having quite an interesting promotion at the moment. They're offering the cutest little stamping plate to their customers for free.

Now, I know. Most of the time, "free" means free with purchase, free when you buy a certain item or set of items. When I read the email, I thought it was a great idea, and wrote back asking for the special requirements. I got the surprise of my life!

Today, "free" means just that- free! So, since the special folks at Born Pretty have decided to give my readers a 10% discount just for reading my blog, why not take this time to order a little something to try them out? Add in the free customer appreciation gifts and you're getting one heck of a deal!

Wait, gifts? Yes... gifts, plural! First of all, you can get a nail art stamping plate that has nine cute patterns, including a butterfly, a cat, beautiful flowers, a set of grapes, jumping dolphins and best of all- Hello Kitty! I've wanted this plate for ages, and right now it's being sent  my way... and I absolutely cannot wait! But I did say gifts, plural...

You can also pick up this sweet rhinestone wheel, complete with twelve colors of rhinestones, 1800 pieces total. They come nicely organized in a rhinestone wheel so that they won't get mixed up, in case you're neurotic like me about the colors getting mixed together. I've been known to spend hours separating multiple colors of seed beads that accidentally got mixed together.

The good news is that you don't need to pick one or the other. Add both to your order if you're interested and you can expand your nail art options! But there's more...

Ok, so this one isn't nail art related. But I can't help it, I'm a sucker for cute little goodies, and this fits that description! As another "thank you" to their customers, the folks at Born Pretty are offering these sweet little LED flashlights. And, if you add my code into the comments (Laynie20) you'll also get a little sticker with my discount code on it instead of the sticker shown! This is the perfect little keychain flashlight, for those times when you need a bit of light to find something in your purse or write something down. I'm looking forward to getting mine!

So, if you've been considering getting any nail art goodies, this is a perfect time! How do you get these sweet freebies? It's easy- simply retweet the Born Pretty tweet shown here. While you're there, follow them, and you'll be the first to know about new things and promotions. Then you can use the code in the tweet to get your free goodies!

And while you're there, why not pick up a couple of other things, to show your appreciation for them! They're super-nice, as well as having great prices. It's the perfect time!

Til next time...

I will one day learn to incorporate stamped designs into my nail art. I will!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Viva la Nails Water Decals Make Getting a Gorgeous Manicure Easy!

I've been meaning to post this for ages, but I keep getting distracted. I'm bad about that... I'm totally scatterbrained! Seriously, y'all have no idea. Let me describe a typical experience for me...

Let's say I need to go to the bathroom. I get up, fully intending to go to the bathroom. But as I'm getting up, I think I may as refill my water bottle while I'm at it, so I grab my bottle and head for the kitchen. Once I get there, I think, "Hey, I'm kind of hungry, I should get a snack." I set my bottle down and go to the fridge, looking for something to nibble on. Then I remember I needed to throw a load of laundry on to wash, so I meander to the washing machine and start loading it, only to have to stop because my back is spasming too badly for me to continue. I hobble back to bed, only to realize as soon as I get prone that I still haven't gone to the bathroom, I now have nothing to drink, no snack, and the laundry still isn't washing!

.... and this is typical for me. :D

So...let's get back to the subject- ages ago, I sent off for the Viva la Nails sample pack, and I am so glad I did! It contained an absolutely lovely collection of goodies, including glitter, crushed shell, stickers and decals and stones... it was seriously awesome! I recently decided to try a set of water decals, since I'd never used them before. I was a little nervous about it, since it was new to me, but I figured hey, it's just nail polish, right?

The first thing I did was to gather everything I would need to do my nails. Since I was starting with already-painted nails, that involved getting a small dish of warm water (because I didn't want to dip my fingers into cold!), my tweezers (totally optional), the decals, and my scissors. Then I got comfortable. I had no idea how long this would take, and I wanted to be sure I wouldn't have to move halfway through because I wasn't comfortable.

I started out by cutting the sheet of decals into individual pieces. This makes it possible to soak each decal off individually, so that you don't end up making a huge mess. Trust me on this one. :D

Now, let me take a moment to discuss my setup. You may or may not know that I'm clumsy, but I am. I am incredibly clumsy, and I'm good at making a total mess without intending to. I don't do well with open containers of liquid- I drink from bottles with caps I can replace, instead of glasses, because I will almost always knock it over without meaning to. But how to handle this, since I need the open water?

I used a magnet. I have a nice supply of the small plastic medicine dosing cups that I use for mixing colors, holding beads or whatever I'm working with, or whatever small project I'm doing at the time. I placed this cup into a small metal coffee can and dropped the magnet into the cup, which held it firmly on the bottom of the can. After I put the water into the cup, the magnet ensured I didn't accidentally knock the cup over, and even if I did it would stay inside the can. It worked really well for me, even if it's slightly odd.

So, once I had my individual decals and my water, it was time to apply the decals. Since the decals are small, I decided to use my tweezers to hold each one as I wet it. I grasped the decal firmly by the edge with my tweezer, then sort of waved it around to make sure I had a good grasp on it. I was afraid I would drop it, or lose my grip or ... I don't know what I was worried about, really, I was just terrified I would destroy the decal somehow. Surely this couldn't be easy, right?

However... oddly enough, it was. Once I was content with my grip, I dunked the decal into the water and watched it. I could see the water soak into the paper, so I pulled it out again after a few second. I watched it a bit longer, and used my thumb and forefinger to see if I could slide the decal along the paper.

Once it slid freely, I scooted it off the edge of the paper. I didn't want to slip it completely off, in case it would fold up or collapse or something. I wasn't sure how well it would work, since the whole thing was new to me. But it slid easily on the backing paper and slipped to the edge of the paper nicely. I left it about half on and half off, just to be safe.

Once again using my tweezers, I grasped the edge of the decal to hopefully control it easier than with my pudgy fingertips. The tweezers worked wonderfully, giving me good control. Then it was just a matter of placing the decal...

Oddly enough I didn't get any photos of that. I can't imagine why... how hard can it be to photograph yourself applying a decal to one hand while holding it with the other? Oh wait... I only have the two hands... ok. That would be why. But moving on...

When the decal is first placed, the water underneath lets you slide it around the nail and place it. However, once it's smoothed down with your fingertip, it becomes stuck solidly. Once it's placed and dried, it's on. Then it's simply a matter of dunking and applying to the rest of the fingernails. Believe it or not, it took a whole five minutes or less to apply the decals and then top with a coat of China Glaze Fast Forward. Then it was simply a matter of taking a photo to show the final result!

So... my final opinion? I absolutely adore these, and want more. They're so delicate, so beautiful. I'm sold on these, and love the way their thin delicate lines accent the nail in ways I could never duplicate with a brush.

They also work beautifully as a base for decoration. You could easily add stones or polish over them. For example, you could add small strokes of color inside the petals, beside the leaves, and add a rhinestone at the flower center, or perhaps at the end of the vines. Instead of the end of the decoration, they can be a great start, and I can't wait to experiment more with these!

Unfortunately, that has to wait for a while. But that's ok... I have so many fun things to show you. I just need to find the time to get everything shown... I don't have enough hands!

So what do you think? Have you used water decals? Would you try them? Do you think they'd work better as the decoration, or as a start to paint over and embellish?

Til next time...

The water decals used in this post were provided by Viva la Nails for evaluation.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Love Born Pretty!

Ok, I have something superawesome to share. Several weeks ago, I found a cute little web store online called Born Pretty that had an interesting selection of nail art goodies with pretty nice prices. I sent them an email introducing myself, and we exchanged a few emails back and forth. The result? I got to pick a few goodies to have sent to me, to evaluate whether I thought this was a company I'd like to showcase.

See, I get emails pretty often from companies offering goods, this or that, but I don't want to showcase anything on the blog that I don't actually like, or wouldn't use myself. I respect you guys too much, and I don't wanna spam you with blogs about lowering your insurance rates or ... well, I think you know the sort of stuff I'm talking about. Besides, I don't think I could write about stuff I don't like!

So... back to Born Pretty. I'd gotten a bit worried because shipping took a long time. I was really eager to get my goodies, but they did get here, and they were packed incredibly well. When I opened the packet, my husband was laughing at me because I was squealing like a child. Guys, this stuff is SWEET!! I immediately hauled out my camera to photograph everything, even though I felt like a truc had run over me. (Yes, this was mid-fibro flare, so trust me... it took a lot of excitement for me to photo this stuff!)

The first item I pulled out was a packet of gold-plated false nails. I was absolutely drooling over the photo of these on the website. If you look at the photo on the website, they look absolutely stunning. However, they're listed as 24k gold electroplated, but they only cost 50 cents? Surely they couldn't look that pretty in real life... could they?

I looked at the box closely as I pulled it out. It's cute, with badly-translated English phrases on it. Still, the nails looked very interesting... I couldn't resist. I opened them before I pulled anything else out!

I am so happy with these. While my photos look a bit yellow, in reality these match my gold wedding band perfectly. They're so incredibly shiny you can see my reflection in them! I also dry-fit them to my nails, and they seem like they'd fit well.

I'm considering painting over these, doing an animal print (or combination of animal prints) over them. I think that could be delicious... let's see, right? :D

Next I pulled out the packet of nail brushes I got. Now, let me be honest here- I wasn't expecting a lot from these. I was hoping, but realized that for $2.55 these were likely to be kind of ... well, not so great.

Unfortunately, they seem to be exactly what I was expecting. I haven't used them yet, but I'm not expecting a lot. However, this isn't a bad thing. Consider this me taking one for the team... you know to pass up this set for one of the more expensive sets. I'll be trying more as time goes on, hoping to find one I'm happy with. You'll know as soon as I find some I love.

Next, I pulled out a rhinestone wheel- my first! If I was a bit disappointed with the brushes, this wheel more than made up for it. These are SWEET!

This wheel cost a whopping $3.33, and contains 1800 rhinestones in 12 colors. I was a bit worried that the rhinestones would have been able to shift around inside the wheel, so that they'd be mixed up. Thankfully, they're all nicely separated by color, and what a selection of colors!! I am one happy camper!

I put a few out on my paper just to show them. They're a good size, not teeny tiny but not so big as to be hard to use. I'm also really happy with the color selection... there are black stones, pink stones, a gorgeous lavender... so many colors to choose from! I'll definitely be using more stones in my designs now!

And finally, if you know me at all, you'll know I had to get some glitter. It was hard to choose, because there is an absolute TON of glitters to choose from. But when I saw these gold and silver rhombus-shaped glitters, I knew they had to be mine. $3.69 gives you both bottles, and I actually have no words to describe how amazing these two are. The holographic glitter reflects the colors of the rainbow, as do my favorite holo polishes, and the rhombus shapes are large and interesting.

One thing to be concerned about though- these are packaged in the same sort of vial that liquid medications are, like my son's insulin bottles. Opening them is not easy, and the metal rim surrounding the rubber stopper is sharp! If you're not careful, you can slice the crud out of your finger. Just be careful opening it, and you should be ok. If I can do it without needing stitches, you can too. :D

I couldn't resist pouring a bit of these out as well. Honestly... is this fabulous, or what?

Now that I've shown you the wonderful goodies I was sent, I get to share the good news! Not only are the prices at Born Pretty, the people there are super nice too! They're so nice that they're giving readers of my blog a 10% discount! Just use the code LAYNIE20 when you order- how cool is that? This code is only good through March 31, 2011, so be sure and order before it expires!

Oh, and if you order? Tell them Laynie says hi! :D

All items in this post were provided by Born Pretty for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pain Management Using Art

I'm sorry, guys. I know I haven't been updating much lately, and when I do, my posts have been a bit lackluster. I'm in the middle of one heck of a fibro flare, so doing much of anything is rough.

But I learned something a few days ago that has helped me immensely, so I want to pass it on to all of you. I've recently stumbled across an interesting drawing program called Zentangles, and they've done absolute wonders for my pain!

They're well-named. There's something zen-like in the repetition of the strokes, in adding color and shading and texture to make these drawings come to life. Unfortunately, while my pain recedes while I'm drawing, it tends to rush back as soon as I stop, so I've been drawing quite a bit over the last few days. I've pulled some of my better pieces to share with you all. Keep in mind how much time it takes to create these, and you get an idea of what my time has been like lately!

Also, I'm putting the majority of the pictures under a jump so I don't spam your feeds. Never say I don't love ya! Here's a taste of what you'll find under the jumplll
So, wanna see more? Come on in!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Secret Message Nail Art- an understated approach to nail art?

I am a bad, bad blogger. I took this shot several weeks ago and meant to share it, but then I got totally sidetracked. It's a good thing I'm not a doctor or an air traffic controller or something, else people would be dying while I wondered what it was I'd needed to do...

So, today's nail art is sort of backwards, in that you do the nail art first and then cover it up with your base coat. I know, it sounds totally bizarre, but look at the end result!

This was a super easy look, and it will absolutely make people look at your nails. I started with a base coat of solid white, just a cheapie 99 cent white polish from Love My Nails. It works well enough, although it tends to streak a bit on the first coat. Still, for 99 cents I'll deal.

Once that had dried a bit, I used my Art Deco black striper to draw vertical stripes down my nails fairly evenly spaced. This is a cute look on its own, but I had something else in mind. I'd noticed that the Sally Hansen Purple Diamond Nail Prisms dries very translucent, and I wanted to experiment with it.

Once the black and white had dried, I brushed a layer of Purple Diamond over the stripes and sat back to watch it dry. I wish I had video capabilities, because this is an absolutely gorgeous look. It's subtle enough to not look like you're wearing circus tent stripes on your nails, but it's still striped enough to make people wonder how you managed it. I can't wait to wear this one as a full manicure.

So what do you think- do you want to try some hidden nail art? Does it look interesting to you?

Can holographic polishes really be called understated? Who knows?
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

 Wow... I've actually managed to stay awake for more than three hours at a time! Siri is back to her independent, lovebucket self, and her tests all came back fine. I'm wondering if she got into something she shouldn't have. Unfortunately, there's no way to know, so we just have to watch her and hope for the best. But she's back to her old self, so I'm much less worried.

Also, since I've managed to be awake for more than a couple of hours I've got my nails painted and I've got a series of nail art nails in progress. I'm experimenting with a strict color scheme, and it's actually a lot of fun! We'll see how things come out... so far, I'm actually having fun!

I have to share something with you guys. I guess the stress of the last few days had me looking for ways to distract myself. I spent a heck of a long time on Instructables looking at things like how to make a wig like they wore in the musical Cats and how to make an embroidered felt hair clip. I looked at 9 things to stuff a baby into for Halloween, and laughed myself silly over it.

Then there are the online shopping sites. Oh man, it's probably a good thing I'm broke, because if not... well, I'd be broke from all the shopping sites! First off, Etsy... oh Etsy, how I love you! Hair thingies galore... an embroidered appliqued felt hedgehog barrette! Silk roses to clip into your hair! And as if that's not bad enough, my friend Din started sending me links to shoes and handbags... she's got a serious thing for marc by marc jacobs. When she sent me this link for marc jacobs handbags I'm not sure who squealed louder, me or her! These are so freaking sublime.

And see, I don't understand it. I'm a jeans and tee shirt girl. I wear my kitty shoes and a ponytail most of the year. What do I need with a bag like this? I carry lots of things... I couldn't put my art supplies and sketchbook in that bag! And yet...

... it's a thing of beauty, isn't it? It's probably a good thing I don't have money to spend right now. If I did, the neighbors might think I'm having an affair with the FedEx guy!

Til next time...

Wanna turn your girlfriend on? Show her this link... designer handbags are hot.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Quick Sirius Update

I am so tired. Apparently the doggy drama wore me out. I even ran from my mom's house to mine to get my address book so I could call my dad's cell phone. As a result, once we got home and calmed down, I absolutely collapsed.

I made it to my bed, but didn't manage to get completely undressed. Then I slept... and oh my goodness, did I sleep! The insomnia I've been fighting with for weeks was gone, thankfully. I slept from probably 11am until around 5pm, when I woke up long enough to eat a sandwich, drink a bottle of water, visit the restroom, and stagger back to the bedroom where I slept until around midnight. I woke up again, realized how achy I was, and asked my husband if he would take me to go walk. He said sure, get dressed and we'll go...

... and I promptly fell back asleep before I could get up and dressed. I woke up again around 3am when he came to bed and asked why we didn't go walk. He explained that I went back to sleep so he figured I needed the sleep more than the walk. I think he was right, since I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until around 7am the next morning, and spend most of that day sleeping!

I'm just now getting back to feeling somewhat awake, and I have no idea how much that's going to last. But I want you all to know how much my mom and I appreciate your thoughts and comments. Siri is acting more and more like herself, and the longer she goes without another seizure, the more relieved we all feel. She'll see the vet again tomorrow for bloodwork and probably to be spayed, and with any luck these seizures will be a very rare event.

Hopefully I'll be able to stay awake long enough to paint my nails soon!! As it is, they've been bare for three days now, and it feels weird! :D

Love y'all...
Wow... I had no idea I could sleep that much and STILL BE SLEEPY!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Think Good Thoughts For Us, Please?

This is a very quick post to apologize for the lack of content for today and the next few days, as well as to let you know what's going on. If you follow me on Facebook,you'll know what I'm talking about already. For those of you who don't, I'll explain briefly.

My husband and I live next door to my mom. Early this morning she woke us up, knocking hysterically on our door, sobbing that she thought her dog was dying. We immediately threw some clothes on and ran over to see what we could do, trying to get the story from her as we did. It seems that Sirius (so named because she's a black dog with a tiny pinpoint of white on her chest, so she's the dog star) was sleeping on the sofa this morning and had a seizure. When she came to she was disoriented and didn't know mom or the other dog Champagne, even though they're the best of friends and often snuggle together. Siri growled at mom and was acting as if she might bite her, so mom quickly closed her into the living room and ran to get us, leaving Champagne in the kitchen.

When we got to her house, I tried to calm my mom down while my husband went to check on the dog. He quickly came back saying she'd growled at him, but that she seemed more scared than aggressive. He got her favorite squeaky ball and tried again, and apparently the squeak of the ball cut through the cloudiness in her head, because she immediately snapped back to herself and ran to him for snuggles and reassurance. They came in to see us and she made the rounds, giving all of us (even Champagne) kisses and doggy hugs.

She still didn't seem herself, totally, though- she wasn't focused, and she seemed very hyper. Mom was terrified, I was terrified... I didn't realize it until I spoke with him afterward but even my husband was terrified. That's one thing I love about him- he's my rock, my calm stable point in times of chaos. He managed to keep us from running in circles without knowing what to do.

Anyway, it was a very long stressful morning, including a rushed trip to the local vet and a very long wait trying to keep Siri from losing her mind at the vet's office. She's not used to other people and other dogs, and she's had to be muzzled at the vet before. It went surprisingly well, though, and now we're waiting to see what happens next.

We don't know why she had the seizure, we don't know if it's a late-onset epilepsy or a reaction to something she's eaten. It could even be a uterine infection, because she hasn't been spayed or had puppies, so that could be the cause. We just don't KNOW, and that's pretty stressful for all of us. I expect to be spending a lot of time at mom's trying to help keep her sane over the next few days, and I don't think that's going to leave a lot of time for blogging and nail art. I'll see if I have some stuff in the In Progress folder to post, but things might be kind of quiet for the next few days.

I'm sure you guys will understand, and I'll let y'all know if we hear anything, good or bad. Just... if you can, send some good thoughts our way? For all of us, my mom and the dogs and everyone. We all love her a lot, and want her to be the healthy, adorable devious little muttley who makes us all smile.

Til next time.

Nothing much to disclose, other than I'm worried sick!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I am SUCH a slacker!

I have to apologize for something. I had uber plans for today, I was going to do a set of black and white nails with varying patterns, something fun to do, something to stretch my skills, and regardless of how it turned out, it'd be good. Sometimes the disastrous manicures are the most fun to write about!

Things started well. I got out my polishes, and I stuck a set of fake nails on bamboo skewers. I was totally ready to go, but then I checked email. In my email was a message from Nails Magazine's Nail Art Gallery, showing me all the recent activity on my photos, as well as currently popular designs. "Hmm... I'll just pop over and look at a couple of things," I thought to myself. "It won't take long. I'll have plenty of time to finish the blog stuff."

Yea. Right. I looked at a few designs, then found one that absolutely knocked my socks off. Guys, I don't even know what to say about this one. It's so interesting, it's so well done, and I didn't have a CLUE as to how to start it. I sat looking at it for a few minutes, and I bet you will too!

Once I realized there was a tutorial video, I immediately opened a new tab and headed to youtube. I was hoping it would be easy to find the tutorial, that maybe she'd only have a few videos to watch. I had a feeling her videos would be both interesting and educational, and if there were only a few I'd have more time to do my own thing.

Instead, I got to her youtube channel and realized she had a lot of videos. Like, 111 videos right now, and she uploads more every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They're all really good too, from what I could tell. I haven't watched them all, but I've watched enough that I'm having problems picking out a favorite, or one to suggest you watch as the best. However, I think the one that stands out the most is also the one with the most views. Robin has created a video showing how she paints a high-contrast black and white portrait of Marilyn Monroe on an accent finger, as well as a silhouette of Marilyn's iconic scene in "The Seven Year Itch." It's simply stunning.

As if that wasn't enough of a time-sucker, I then wandered over to Robin's Facebook page, where I found not just nail art photos (volume 1 and volume 2, among others), but canvases she's painted. I was right... she's got some serious skill with a paintbrush! I found myself really drawn to her art, and something about her paintings really drew me in. I spent entirely too long looking at everything, not counting the time we spent commenting back and forth. She's as nice a person as she is talented, so I just have to say that today's lack of a blog post is all her fault!

I strongly recommend you go to her page, friend/follow/subscribe to her, and tell her that I said it's all her fault I didn't have a blog for today, because her stuff was just too darned interesting. Afterward, you too can lose an entire evening's work while you oooh and aaah over her videos. :D

Why are elephants big and grey?
Because if they were small, white and round they'd be aspirins.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reader Feedback Part the First!

OMG, y'all, I got the best gift tonight! I saw that I'd gotten a Facebook comment, so I clicked over to see that one my my readers had left me a note and a photo. I can't lie. I got so excited I was actually applauding!

Tierney wrote:
your zebra nails inspired me so much I bought a nail pen & decided to try it out for myself!! I looooooooove zebra print!! Im really happy with the way it turned out, I def. need more practice. Thank you for your inspiration! :)
I was so excited I called my husband in to see, and then I immediately asked her if I could share this on the blog. Moments like this really make me feel like I'm connecting with people, and it really makes me feel like this blog is a positive thing. I can't even begin to tell y'all how much I appreciate each and every one of you- those who read, those who comment, those who subscribe and follow with GFC or my RSS feed. I just wanna hug you all!

So, keep an eye on this space. There will hopefully be Reader Feedback Part the Second, and the Third... etc.

Also, I've been feeling a strong urge to get back into animal prints. How would y'all feel about an animal print week, where I explore the things that can be done with them? If you don't say no, you may just be subjected to a week of crazy animal prints!

Til next time!

Sometimes I get so excited I burst into song. Sometimes this happens in public.
Sometimes it embarrasses me. Most of the time I sing anyway.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look for Color Club's New Alter Ego Collection

Woo! I'm so excited! I got a press release today announcing Color Club's new Alter Ego collection, a collection of fourteen shades that include sheers and opaques that look like they could be a lot of layering fun. Let's look at the press release, shall we?
Color Club lets you create high-fashion looks for every identity with Alter Ego, their latest collection of diverse, long-lasting lacquers!

Alter Ego’s consists of 12 shades! Go incognito with our opaque shades or rendezvous in full view with our sheers of Alter Ego ‘LIGHTS’ and ‘DARKS’!
Alter Ego’s ‘Reveal Your Mystery Collection’ 7 piece salon pack includes Get a Clue, Revealed, Incognito, Secret Rendezvous, Sheer Disguise, and Give Me a Hint shades plus Milky White Base Coat.

Their ‘Keep It Undercover Collection’ 7 piece salon pack includes Alter Ego, Secret Agent, Total Mystery, Alias, Ulterior Motive and Masquerading plus Vivid Top Coat.

So tell me, what do you think about this collection. Are you excited? What shades look interesting to you?

Images courtesy of the manufacturer or their PR firm.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Heart of Haiti- Rwandan Women Build Their Futures

I know my blog is usually pretty upbeat and silly, and I love to make myself the butt of the jokes. But tonight, I want to write about something a bit more special. I'd like to turn your attention to the Heart of Haiti collection at Macy's. If you've been reading this blog for very long at all, you'll know that I absolutely love color. Instead of painting my walls with vivid colors, I love having warm neutral walls to serve as the backdrop for colorful pieces- pillows, art for the walls, cute whatevers to display on shelves and mantles. I am all about color!

"Ok, Laynie, what's that got to do with Haiti?" I know you're wondering. Well, something happened a year ago that you might have heard about- an earthquake. I think y'all probably know what happened and why it was a bad thing, so I'll try not to get too sappy on ya. We're coming up on the one year anniversary of that earthquake, so I know you won't have a problem finding the details if you look.

Instead, I want to share with you the Heart of Haiti, a selection of handcrafted items made by the people of Haiti. Every piece you buy puts money into their pockets, helping them support themselves using their traditional crafts.  It's a win-win situation, because you're helping people who need it, and you get something beautiful for your home!

Let's look at some of my favorite items from the collection. For instance, this potholder and oven mitt. I love the vivid blues in them, and if you click the picture, you can actually see a name stitched into the top of the oven mitt! I love the idea of having a bit of someone's personality showing through in the piece. I'm not sure why, even, it just feels like there's a bit of connection between the person who brought this piece into existence and me, the person using it. It just makes me happy. :D

Then there's this bowl. Do you love this bowl?? Because I do! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this bowl! It's so bright, so cheerful, so fun! I want to pile it with fruit- apples and oranges and bananas, so that it can sit on my table and make me smile when I walk past! Or maybe I could find a use for it in my crafting area- put pretty supplies into it so they can be both useful and decorative! It's 8" x 5", so it's not giant, and it's only $16! I'm in love. There's also a watermelon bowl if that's more your style, but I can't get enough of that gorgeous yellow.

Finally, I have to share this candle holder with you. I know, it's not colorful. What can I say, I also like metal! Seriously, though, I love how organic this piece looks. I love the coral motif and the way the artist has used that motif to wrap around the candle. It's just very pleasing to my eye, and I'd love to have this in my home! I can imagine it lit, casting shadows on my table and wall...

Oh, sorry. I got lost in a happy daydream!¹  Whatever. Just go look at the stuff in the Macy's Heart of Haiti collection, and if you see something you like grab it. You'll be doing a bit of good for people who really need it.

¹  Wait, it's night, but I'm not asleep. Does that make it a night dream? Just a dream dream? Heck, I don't know.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wordles are fun...

I've been having such a fun time the last few days. I'm half sick again, and I'm blaming it on the weather. But I'm goofing off with craft supplies which always makes me happy. I haven't painted my nails in *gasp* a whole week! They're filed down to nubbins, and got totally destroyed with a bad experience with stick-on nails, but that's a story for another day. In the meantime, I'm having loads of fun crafting! But first, let me show you what this morning's web wanderings have inspired...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Get a FREE Model's Own Makeup Kit!

Hey y'all, are you into the Model's Own brand? Now's your chance to get a FREE makeup kit! Models Own, News of the World, and Fabulous Magazine have teamed up to give you a New Year's offer worth £24!

"That's great, Laynie, but how do I get it?" Easy... all you have to do is collect TWO tokens. One token will be available each week in the print edition of Fabulous (free in News of the Week) for three weeks only. Once you've gotten your two tokens, simply take them to a participating Tesco and get your freek makeup kit!

You'll receive liquid eyeliner, tweezers, an eyelash curler, mascara and eyeshadow, all in a cute make-up bag! Not a bad deal, don't you think? Once again, I wish I were in the UK! You can read more about it here!