This week has been fairly slow for me in terms of knitting, sewing and reading. Mostly, I’ve been playing around with nail blogs (a bit more on that later). But I think I’ve come to a system now that gives me time for everything I like to do, if not just a bit slow on the progress!
First, I’ve been adding a pattern repeat here and there on my shawl. I finished the center quite a bit ago (I think I posted about that already), but it’s slow process for the outter circle since I really have to pay attention to the pattern. Not that it’s hard, but there is one row where I wrap the yarn around the needle three times before knitting each stitch, and then the next row I take them off the needle to unwind the wraps, and then do a cable. This is what lets the section be larger on one side so it will fit around the circle.
Also, every other row has me knitting three together, and I need to pay attention to be sure I do that in the right spot. Either which way, I’m pleased at the progress I am making.
I’ve also been working on a set of arm warmers for my younger daughter. I have finished one, and I’m half way through with the other one. I honestly think I’m going to finish it during the Oscars tomorrow night since I don’t sit still well to watch television, but I love watching the Oscars and it keeps me happy to keep my hands busy while doing so!
As for books, I did finish one by Joyce Carol Oats, “Mudwoman.” While I love the way she writes, I wasn’t thrilled with the book. I’m also reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” with my book group at work. We do so over a few months, so it’s a slow read. But I am really enjoying the book.
And of course, what has been taking more of my time, manicures! I’ve done three since my last post. I’ll just post the pictures and note what polish I used. Then I’ll make my overall observations!
For this one I used two coats of OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know, and tipped it with Hit Polish Patina. This is one of the first indie polishes I bought, and I really liked the way this manicure turned out (and lasted witih minimal touch ups).
Next, I did another brown manicure (trying to stay in the winter themed colors).
For this one I used China Glaze Ingrid for the base (two coats), and did my ring finger in three coats of Cirque French Roast. I then did dots of opposite colors at the base of each nail. It was very subtle, but looked really pretty – especially in the sun. Unfortunately the manicure did not last that long. The whole polish on my ring finger peeled off (and I’m not sure where. I think the gym. . .). I have to say, I was so excited to get the Cirque nail polish after seeing it on other blogs, and I wasn’t dissapointed. I will be using this beautiful color again!
Last, I just finished trying a gradient tutorial.
After taking the pictures, I can see that I need to clean up by my cuticles better! That’s okay, I will do that (next time BEFORE I take pictures). For this one I used two coats of L’Oreal Walk on the Beach. Then I put that polish and Wet ‘n Wild Fergie LA Pride on a sponge and tried to do a gradient. I don’t think it turned out quite like I wanted. But this is my first try. I believe that if you want to do something well, you need to practice. I did finish this manicure with another gradient technique. For the glitter I put just a little bit of Milani Lavender on the brush and pulled it down 2/3’s the nail (some larger glitter came down, I have to work on that not happening). Then I came back and did a little more of the larger glitter at the top. Overall it’s not quite what I was thinking it would be, but I’m not unhappy. I may change it tomorrow, but it’s staying on for tonight and my outings tomorrow!
My thoughts on my progress so far. . . When I first started back doing my nails, I was frustrated because the polish wasn’t drying and I would end up with sheet prints on my nails. Not only that, I thought I had to do just pale pinks. Well, I got over that last part (obviously from my pictures) and I did some research and found the Seche Vite fast drying top coat. It leaves my nails shiny and no imprints in the morning! But I did find that sometimes my nail polish peels. Back to the research. The next thing I found said that first, you need a good base coat. I’ve been using the Seche Clear Coat base coat (I bought it at Ulta thinking it was the top coat), but I didn’t find that received good reviews. Today I bought the Essie First Base Coat and used that. Hopefully that will work better. The second thing I found out is that you need to put the Seche Vite on when the nail polish is still tacky. I was waiting for it to dry fully. So, I did that this time as well. The other thing I found is that you shouldn’t use a fast drying top coat when applying it a day after the actual manicure to make it last. So I have the Sally Hansen Double Duty that I will try with this manicure (if I keep it past tomorrow). I’m enjoying what I’m learning, but more important I find myself smiling at my nails throughout the day when I look down and see a pretty color 🙂 I think that is a nice benefit of taking the time to do my nails.
I’m also thinking ahead for my manicures. I already bought a beautiful butterfly yellow polish from Glitter Daze called “You Give Me Butterflies.” It’s so pretty and happy. It will be the polish I use for my first day of Spring manicure! I also ordered “Get Clove It,” from KB Shimmer for St. Patrick’s Day. I haven’t received it yet (but it’s shipped), but it looks so wonderful that I’m sure it will be great for that day (and a few more)! Last, I have been thinking about my birthday (in just over two weeks). I saw this manicure on the Life in Color Blog, and knew I wanted to do a martini glass stamp for my birthday! I’ve been wanting to try stamping anyhow, and this is a good push. I couldn’t find the nail plate she used (even though she noted the number), but I think that is due to me being so new to this. I ended up emailing her and she was so wonderful to email me back quickly and give me a link to purchase the stamping plate (and a few tips on how to do it as well). I now have that (and a stamper) on order. It’s due to be delivered before my birthday, so hopefully I’m able to do some kind of martini stamp, with maybe a light purple background (I really like purple)!
That’s it for this post. I’ll just leave it with a picture of a wonderful bottle of beer I had last week. This was a limited supply release, and a coworker bought a 6-pack and traded to those of us who appreciate beer. I bought her a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin ale (not easy to find a lot around here). I think it was worth the trade, and luckily she did as well!