Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Amazing Blogger! Sarah from Chalkboard Nails

I apologize, y'all. I know I haven't posted enough of my own stuff lately, what with the world sort of deciding it was "Beat Up On Laynie Season." Still, I'm hoping you will appreciate the goodies I'm finding while I'm not blogging.

Can you believe this is an actual photo of the GITD mani?
Speaking of? Holy WOW, Nicole from Nightly Nails shared a link on Twitter last night that was the proverbial rabbit down the rabbit hole for me. This awesome glow-in-the-dark manicure is done by Sarah at Chalkboard Nails, and something about her blog just absolutely sucked me in and I ended up reading the whole darn thing.

Granted, she's fairly new at this, but still! She's sassy, interesting, and she can capture images of nails that glow in the dark!! I had to keep looking, and I'm so glad I did!

Now this is my kinda mod!
For example, look at this manicure: bold and graphic, a mix of glossy and matte, of muted color and saturated color, and of dark and light. I love this, and I love the mix of color. Something about this just works for me!

Also? I like that her nails are a similar length to mine, because it means I might be able to do some of these looks too! Nothing against you girls with the super-long nails, but mine just won't do that. Heck, even with acrylics I managed to break 'em off! What can I say, I'm talented that way...

I love lilies, and I love this manicure version of them!
Then there's this... I love this interpretation of a lily. I've been known to do photography of flowers, and I've got a lily photo that is very similar to the one she used as inspiration, so it really made me happy.

I also really like the softness of the sponged color fading out into the white contrasted with the bold dots, and the green touch at the cuticle is a gorgeous touch. It is a brilliant interpretation of a lily, and I may have to try one of my own!

But the best piece... there aren't words. Really. Just look!

*gibbers nonsensically*

Do you SEE that?? I've tried to do this type of manicure before, and I've never succeeded. I have my skills, but this isn't one of them. This is absolutely breathtaking, and .... Eh, to heck with it. Just drool over the picture!! :D

And if you've read this far, I've got a treat for you. Sarah is giving away the entire Wet n Wild On The Prowl collection, so you should totally hop over and enter! Or don't, since I wouldn't mind getting my hands on that one myself! ;)

While you're at it? If you haven't doe so already, you should totally head over to Nightly Nails and check her out too, she's one of the nicest people I know! Tell her Laynie said hi if you do!

Thank you, Nicole, for sharing the tweet that introduced this blog to me!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Amazing miniature nail art!

My friends are so awesome. Moments ago, I got an IM from one of my best friends. She'd seen a bit of nail art that blew her away and reminded her of me. (Man, if only I could be HALF this good!! *laughs*) After talking with her for a few minutes and passing images back and forth, I knew I wanted to share these with you!

Please allow me to introduce to you Maya Pixelskaya. She describes herself thus:
I’m a videogame & art lover who decided to combine both passions in order to create unique products that have touched the hearts of retrogame fans around the world.

My work has been featured in numerous blogs and websites, as well as on design magazines. I also work in an animation studio while I’m still immersed in new projects.

Of course, all credit of the videogames and movies I inspire on goes to their creators; I only pay homage to them through my art. I hope you like it!
Onward to the nail art... this blows my mind. I wish there were clearer photos, but it's hard to photograph such tiny works! Also, keep in mind, she's not a nail enthusiast, so keep the cuticle comments to yourself please. She's aware her cuticles are dry and not the best, but this is about the art, not the nail care.

Street Fighter nail art, by Maya Pixelskaya.
 This is the image Misalynn sent me- a video game scenario with tiny little combatants beating the holy crud out of each other. Do you see the detail in this? Man, my first reaction was, "are you SERIOUS?? Is she painting these with a sewing pin??

In all honesty, I cannot imagine trying to paint this on a thumbnail. Too much fiddly detail, too much room to totally mess things up with a sudden twitch. But she has done a fabulous job of it!!

Then Misalynn linked me to her nail art gallery. Apparently, Maya does these little artworks before studying, then leaves them to dry while she studies, stuck at her table so she doesn't move around a lot. Interesting logic, although I think a bottle of Seche Vite might rock her world! ;) But let's see more art!

Movie-inspired nail art by Maya Pixelskaya.
The images in her nail art gallery are all inspired by films or video games, which I love. And no, I can't identify all of them... can you?

This one, though, was iconic for me even if I couldn't remember which film it came from. I had to search for quite a bit on google before I could pin down not just the movie, but the characters. (In case you want to know, it's here, although I won't spoil it if others want to remember on their own!)

The detail on this as well just blows my mind. So delicate, and yet it still captures the essence of the scene. Even the hair is suggested just so to fully set the scene. I'm absolutely blown away!

Nail art by Maya Pixelskaya.
One more image, and I'll leave you to go dig around in her galleries. Unfortunately, I'm not sure which film this is, but it doesn't even matter. You need to see this image full-size to really appreciate the amount of work that went into this one. The intensity of the flames, the subtle sparkle in the sky, all of it combines to produce a particularly moving image of destruction and sadness. So well done, I'm at a loss for words!

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I have, and if you have a few more minutes, definitely check out her other art! She works in various media- neckties, converse shoes, guitars... truly a multi-talented lady!

Have a great week, and be good til next we meet!

I love my friends!!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kiss Fall Giveaway!

Oooh, it's that time of year again- one of my favorite companies is giving away lots of goodies just because they can! Kiss Nails will be giving away 10 days of prizes ranging from press-on nail kits to hair straighteners, and lots of other goodies!

I won a package from them in the spring and was absolutely overjoyed- enough false lashes to require new storage! (Seriously, I got one set of every lash they make! GORGEOUS!!) They shipped quickly and the package came securely wrapped. It was so much fun! And now, it could be your turn!

The fine print- you have to enter daily, so that's a bit of a pain, but it's SO worth it! This is one of my top 5 favorite brands, and I frequently turn to Kiss products to achieve the looks I want. No, I don't get anything for promoting this giveaway, I just love the brand!

While you're there, don't forget to like Broadway Nails as well- same company, more great products to love! Also, you can find both Kiss and Broadway on Twitter so you can get all the latest details about new products and more giveaways!

Til next time!

I love Kiss Nails' Facebook page- it's fun!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amazing post- be gentle with each other!

Sometimes you read a blog post that just resonates with you. The Bloggess, one of the funniest people I've ever read, posted a link in her Sunday wrapup that left me absolutely speechless. This post is written by someone I've never read before, but she touched something in me.

I don't mean to bring the mood down, but I feel like this really needs to be read. Take the time to see what signs the people around us are wearing. I'm afraid my sign would need a couple of extra people to carry if I filled it all in, but rest assured I'm doing my best and working hard to get past this.

Most of all? Every one of you reading this helps me do it. I appreciate you all. :D

Thanks to the Bloggess for passing this link on.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How exactly do you explain it...

You know... I had an interesting conversation by email today. My mom was checking up on me, seeing how I'm doing with the knee of doom and all. Everything was going nicely til she asked the question.

It's not a rude question, or one people shouldn't ask. In fact, it's the logical question really:  So, what did you do to your knee?

The problem? I have absolutely no freaking idea what I did to trigger this round of fun. I simply woke up and my knee was swelling and painful. But how do you convey this to people?

See, I've run into this in the past. If I say I don't know, people think I'm lying to them because the story is just too juicy to share, or they think I was too drunk to remember what I did. I don't like either connotation, and saying I don't know is always followed by them pressing you to tell them what really happened.

If I tell them the truth- that years ago I had two arthroscopic surgeries on that knee, and that periodically it just decides it hates me, and that I woke up three weeks ago with my knee swollen, unstable, and painful- then they sort of zone out halfway through and I feel like I'm boring them silly, or that I'm going into entirely too much detail. Clearly that option is out of the question.

So why not come up with a great lie to describe what happened? I have a huge problem with that because I hate lying to people. Even little white lies make me uncomfortable, so I'd prefer to just not do it, even if it would make my life easier.

So I think I've found the answer tonight. My husband took me to WalMart because I've been stuck in the house for three weeks, other than the trip to the ER and a horrible trip to the post office to mail off a package. After the fourth or fifth person asked what happened to my knee, I simply shrugged and said, "I'm clumsy, what can I say?"

And what do you know? They accepted that answer as explanation enough, and let me get back to what I was doing. Who knew it'd be that simple?

I certainly didn't!

Image base provided by wikipedia commons..
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Passing the time on YouTube

Since I'm effectively housebound for the next... however long, I find myself watching a lot of YouTube. We don't have TV, so I don't get to watch things on network or cable unless they're online and I have the initiative to hunt them down. In other words,  don't watch much TV. :D

Thankfully, I have a son who likes to pass me interesting links to music and video. In the past few days, he's sent me both music and comedy, and I'm so very happy about it I just had to share it with everyone. This stuff is great!

First, let me introduce to you an absolutely amazing artist named Josie Charlwood. This was my first exposure to the art of "looping," which basically means recording small segments of either voice or instrument music piece by piece, overlaying them until you've got an entire song going. It's insane... I've got years of musical experience (both vocal and instrumental) and I still can't even begin to comprehend how you would do this live. It's magic, pure and simple.

The most amazing part of this, to me, isn't that she's a gifted vocalist, or that she's playing several instruments, or that she writes her own music or that she's running an assortment of computer/technical doodads. No... the amazing thing is that she is only 17 years old! This chick is going places, mark my words.

Then, there's the comedy. It's been said that I'm the perfect audience because I'll laugh at anything. It's true, I laugh easily and often. But there are times when a comedian connects with me in such a visceral way that I'm left heaving soundlessly, tears dripping down my face as I fight for breath, fight to control my bladder so I don't make a mess and embarrass myself further. My husband loves when I get to this point, because it's uncontrollable joy, contagious and unrestrained.

Dara O'Briain (oh-BREEan) is one of those comedians. Again, my son passed me the link and told me I had to watch him as soon as possible. I've learned that when my son says this, it's almost sure to be something I'll enjoy. I then proceeded to spend the next hour watching various clips, laughing my head off, and forgetting the pain both in my knee and everywhere else. It was magical, and crude, and hysterically funny, and I'm really glad I found this guy. He's better than narcotics for pain relief!

So, let me share with you the first video he sent, the one that had me laughing so hard I had to pause in the middle of it and hobble to the bathroom to prevent a horrible mess.Be aware that he uses a LOT of crude language, so if you're at work or around people who don't particularly want/need to be exposed to the F word, you might want to wait for another time to watch this.


Ah well, my husband is waiting for me to be ready to watch a DVD with him, so I think I'll close this for now. Keep smiling, if you can.

Til next time!
Ohh, how I want to get active again!! Come on, knee...HEAL!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seriously? Another injury?

Do you ever get the feeling your life is being written by a really bad sitcom writer? This is getting unbelievable, even for me.

When last I wrote, I'd just started feeling better after getting bronchitis, then strep. My relief didn't last long. I started getting what turned out to be a cold sore (my very first, whee!) within a couple of days of finishing the second round of antibiotics. My dad gave me Abreva, which did wonders for it. We were finally heading home after the storm, and I was looking forward to getting down to business with the blog.

Except it can't work that way, can it. No...that would be far to convenient. Instead, my left knee ended up swelling considerably, to the point I only had around 15-20 degrees of range of movement with it. Oh, and the joint was unstable, meaning that if I wasn't incredibly careful in how I moved, I would wind up feeling the joint separate partly, which is LOADS of fun. I couldn't stand to have my laptop desk on my lap, and I couldn't sit at the kitchen table with it. I was basically out of luck.

My brace has 3 bars immobilizing my knee, with
lots of velcro straps to hold everything in place. Fun.
I spent the week alternately icing and heating, taking ibuprofen for the inflammation and pain and trying not to cry when the joint would go wiggly. Getting around was just out of the question, and bathroom time was LOTS of fun. Then came the stomach pain.

Long story short, I am now in a leg brace from my hip almost to my ankle and told to put no weight on my leg for at least a week. I also have a referral to an orthopedist, although no appointment yet. We'll see how long it is before they have an opening.

Clearly, this has put a bit of a damper on the blog posting, since I can't really get around to take pictures and can't really do much nail stuff. I'm absolutely blown away by how much stuff has happened in the last two months, and keep in mind I haven't even written about it all. It's just insane, and frankly I'm ready to fire my scriptwriter if I could just find him!

So yea... I'm not going anywhere, and I have stuff I'm working on when I can. It's just kind of hard to get to the computer at the moment. Wish me luck, and cross your fingers this is a problem that can resolve on its own, or at least one that won't need surgery. Three surgeries on one knee is just too much, and I've already had two on it.

Come on now, this is getting ridiculous.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Twist and Shout, by Nail Fantasies

You know what? Storms are a pain in the butt. I live in an older mobile home (yay for not paying rent!), so we tend to evacuate when there's a tropical storm or larger coming. That means I'm posting this from my dad's house!

For the record, we're fine. The storm has come and ... well, sort of gone. It's been fairly uneventful, thankfully, and we even had a bit of good luck. Normally we park in the same spot every time we go to my dad's, but this time we parked close to the house. It's a good thing, because when we came out the next morning, there was an ENORMOUS limb right where we normally park our car! It would have been seriously unpleasant, and I'm glad it didn't happen!

We didn't even have to do without power, thanks to my dad's whole-house generator. We lost power sometime in the night last night, but his generator kicked right in and kept us fully-powered. This is where I plan to be for every storm in the future, as well.

But enough of that! I want to show you a lovely polish I got on sale. I've got a few Nail Fantasies brand polishes, and I love them all. This time I'm showing you Twist and Shout, a lovely lime green creme. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures until after I'd put a coat of glitter polish from Love My Nails on, and I absolutely cannot remember the name of that polish to save my life. I'll update this blog once we're back home again and I can check the name.

Still, you can see the color well in these shots. Twist and Shout is a beautiful creamy lime green that applies nicely. It's one of those colors that really called out to me when I saw it, especially considering it was only $0.50 (if I remember correctly, it might have been less).

As you can see, the glitter polish really does give this green more of a kick. It's an interesting combination of glitters, combining fine translucent opalescent microglitter with large round translucent opalescent glitter, larger translucent opalescent hex glitter and large rhombus holographic glitter. In short, it's absolutely stunning and can look very different from nail to nail.

In fact, the difference nail to nail can be seen either as a positive or a negative characteristic. Personally, I really like the varying looks. However, if you're someone who wants your manicured nails to look consistent overall, then you might find this frustrating. There's really no way to guarantee which shape glitters will show up on your nail that I'm aware of.

I guess you could pour some out into a small dish and try to fish out the bits using a brush or a fine-pointed tool of some sort. Still, that would seem like a waste of polish to me, and too much work. I'm fine with the more whimsical, varying application.

So- overall, I'm extremely happy with both of these polishes. The lime green is perfect both for general application and for nail art, and the glitter is versatile enough to be used as a layering polish or for frankening purposes. This could make some GORGEOUS frankened polish!

As for me? I think it's time for me to find a nap... I think I hear it stalking around in the bedroom. I bet I can totally incapacitate it!

Til next time!

Tropical storms are a pain in the butt.
See my disclosure statement for more information.