Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Stamping Plate Swatchbook

Hey Everyone!!! I have been a major slacker lately. My nails all broke and peeled and are pretty short and nubby right now. I was discouraged. I finally put a gel mani on them to help them grow and stop breaking. Working at the kennel isn't easy on them but I know that wasn't the reason they were breaking. Peelies and damage is not my friend. I have also been working on making an Etsy site with my polish jewelry so I have been focused on that too. Too many projects too little time. 

Today I am going to do a post about my stamping swatch book. I am way behind on this bad boy right now so I foresee a catch up day in my future...maybe two or three actually. There are two reasons I keep a swatch book for my plate images. The first reason is it is a whole lot easier to flip through a binder full of sheets of paper than it is to flip through all of my different stamping plates. The second reason is that I learned the hard way to swatch my plates to make sure they stamp well. I had ordered Bundle Monster's CYO set and Holiday set at the same time. Since it was around the holidays I started using the holiday plates first and put the CYO on the back burner. When I started seeing buzz about people having issues with their CYO plates I tested mine and found that the majority of the images were not picking up. I went through quite a mission trying to get them to replace the set because of the time frame and their stance that they usually do not have to replace the entire set. When I was forced to swatch every image I realized that a swatch book would have saved me a lot of time and headache. I try to swatch all my new plates fairly soon after receiving them so that I don't fall behind and I can make sure the plates are properly etched and will stamp.

I know, I know, by now you just want to see the pictures.

I use a regular binder, though I think I need a bigger one at this point, and clear page sheets for all the pages. I have each brand separated. I don't have divider tabs for each brand yet. I am not sure if I want to go that route or not so right now I just have a few dividers randomly thrown in there. They came with the binder so I left them.

My set up for each brand consists of the brand sheet which usually has their logo and name. 

Next I put a picture of the plates that I copied and printed from online. Sometimes it helps to see the plate and sometimes I don't even look at these pages. As my binder gets bigger and heavier I question the need for these pages. I know a lot of people use just these pages or scans of the plates for their books.

Personally I would rather see what the image actually stamps like rather than what the plate looks like. I use cheap black polish and stamp each image out. I made some template pages with boxes so that I could keep track of which plate the images came from and to keep everything organized.

I have basic templates then just revised them a little depending on what the plate needs.

I love the MoYou images with their characters. 

The plates that give me the most headache are the scenic plates or the plates that have full images across them. I have a few MoYou, Dashica, Marianne and knockoff plates like this. Before I got my Creative or super huge stamper I would try and stamp them in little sections so I could see the different images but still keep them sort of together.

I am still working on how I stamp them but now with bigger stamper heads out there it is a little easier to pick up more of the image at once. 

I love being able to open my book and browse through it to see what images I have. 

I always have issues imagining reverse images like the flowers and hearts images on the Vivid Lacquer plates. I can do ok with the open white ones but the black ones I can just not picture. Having them stamped together on the sheet makes it a lot easier for me to picture what my mani will look like and how much polish you are going to see if I use the black image compared to the open one. I hope that made sense, it did in my mind.

I am contemplating scanning all my pages to make a digital database where I can sort by holiday or image so I have that additional option to be able to look for hearts and get all the images at once. I was also contemplating printing them out by theme or image and adding that section to my book as well. That will be a ton of work so we will see if  I get to that point.

That's all for now :)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wrestlemania Nails

Hey Everyone!!! Happy Friday! I love Friday. I don't have much planned for the weekend but I am hoping to work on some new polish jewelry pieces. Other than that I have nothing. It is a pretty boring week. Today is take your child to work day, however, mine is finally at the age where he would rather go to school because he knows he won't be doing anything there. Ah how I miss little ones. 

Today's mani is something I did at the end of last month for Wrestlemania. We watch it every year and this year I remembered I have a plate with the logo and so I had to do a mani for it.

For the base I went with a simple black and gold gradient. We were watching the Hall of Fame ceremony when I did this mani so I was thinking fancy with the black and gold I guess.

 I did a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black then kind of dabbed the gold on. I probably should have used a sponge for a better effect but I couldn't remember where I had put them and I was too lazy to go find them. The gold is Milani Milan from their Fierce Foil Collection. I really love the look of this gold for some reason. It is kind of a flakey glitter which makes it fun to use for gradients.

I used Fab Ur Nails plate FUN 11 for the image. I have had this plate for quite awhile and never remember that this image is on there. I used Konad White stamping polish with Mundo De Unas Reddish. I love how this mani came out and even C showed more interest in it than his usual half paying attention nod.

That's all for now :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Nails

Hey Everyone!!! I hope everyone who celebrates had a nice Easter, Passover and whatever else you celebrated this past weekend. We didn't do much but it was a nice relaxing weekend with good food. I only managed to do one Easter mani this year. I have no idea why but I was just not feeling the festive Easter spirit and I was lazy. At least the one mani I did do was cute. 

I started the mani off with a 3 coat base of Wet N Wild in Wear Skinny Jeans. This is from their Silver Lake Collection. The collection is supposed to be Hipster cool but the display makes it look like a throwback to the 1990's 90210 cool era. I absolutely love these colors though and pretty much acquired all of them except the pink one. 

I used Sinful Flight to See which is more of an opalescent top coat to stamp the chevron pattern. I used Bundle Monster plate BM-423 from the 2013 Create Your Own set. The chevrons were nice and subtle which I liked.

For the bunny and carrot I used MoYou London Princess 09. I used various other polishes to color in and put some glitter on the images. 

I really liked this mani and kept it on for a couple of days but that is where the Easter stopped. I spent most of the weekend with naked nails which is just unheard of. I had a few breaks too which damned my spirits. I hate when my nails grow and bit then all break. It happens all the time so I am somewhat used to it but I still hate it.

That's all for now :)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Autism Awareness Mani

Hey Everyone!!! I keep thinking today is Friday only to be disappointed to realize it is only Thursday. It has also been very aggravating like a typical Monday. I blame the almost full moon. 

Today is April 2nd which is Autism Awareness Day. I actually wore this mani yesterday since April is Autism Awareness Month and today I have a different, non stamped, blue mani on. I have always known there is a lot of differing opinions on autism and the causes but yesterday was the first time I realized there are many people against the whole blue/puzzle piece Autism Awareness movement. Without getting into that whole ordeal and drama or the politics of the campaign and agendas I want to post my blue mani to support Autism Awareness. I know several ladies with autistic children and my son goes to school with a few kids with autism. I think awareness is always a good thing and helps to promote understanding and compassion.

For this mani I used a base of China Glaze I Sea the Point. I absolutely love this blue but I also find very few blues that I don't love so I am a bit bias.  

When I was searching my swatch book for images to use I could not find any puzzle pieces. I have no idea why because I know I have a few different images. I finally found this one and it was late and I was tired so I decided to just do a simple mani with the single puzzle piece. I actually loved how simple it looked.

I used the puzzle piece from plate Pueen 32 from the Love Elements Collection. To stamp I used Mundo de Unas Turquoise. The image was on the end of the plate and I was having some issues with not picking up extra polish, did I mention I was tired, so the images didn't come out as good as they should have. I think it looked kind of cool that they were sort of worn looking though. 

That's all for now :) 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

Hey Everyone!! Last day of March, last St. Patrick's Day green mani. This is the mani I actually wore on St. Patrick's Day. I loved it, so much fun.

We went to lunch the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day and they gave me this Guinness bead necklace. I will take most anything if it is free and decided that it would be a nice festive prop for these pictures. I don't actually drink Guinness, or anything alcoholic really, but it was green.

For the base of this mani I used Smitten Polish Not Your Mama's Easter Grass and Milani Milan as a gradient. 

I had to have some gold in with my green and Milan is a great gold foil like polish. I loved the gradient base and I usually don't love gold.

This mani was so glowy and I wish I had thought to take a picture of just the base.

I used MoYou London plate Festive 21 for the images.

For some reason I didn't grab the tiny shamrocks correctly and they didn't come out perfect but they were still cute. I love this plate and highly recommend it for all your Irish and St. Patrick's Day stamping needs. Had it arrived earlier I would have done more manis with it but MoYou released it so close to the holiday that by the time it arrived I only had a couple days left to play. It is probably better that way seeing as I am still posting St. Patrick's Day going into April. Who knows how many more manis I would have to post had I gotten that plate sooner. 

That's all for now :)

Shore Enuff Shamrockin'

Hey Everyone! March is coming to an end. I can't believe we are already heading into April. Where does the time go? I am going to quickly and neatly wrap up March with a couple of posts of the two St. Patrick's Day manis I hadn't posted yet. Hopefully Easter nails will be more timely. 

This one could technically be considered Spring though since the glitter is flower glitter and not shamrock or four leaf clover glitter.

I used three coats of China Glaze Shore Enuff for the base of this mani. I absolutely love how bright it is.

I put one coat of the dark version of Sinful Colors Shamrockin on top. This one is the same as the light version with the addition of little dark green glitter. 

I think I might prefer this version but I am not sure yet. It is definitely a fun polish no matter what. I absolutely love that Sinful Colors used shaped glitter this year. 

That's all for now :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Orly Fresh with a Leprechaun

Hey Everyone. I think I need a nap. I am suddenly sleepy. It is pretty slow at work so that doesn't help all that much. At least it is almost Friday!

I am still catching up from St. Patrick's Day so today is another green mani. 

For this mani I used a base of Orly Fresh. I love this green. It is bright and squishy and so fun. I used three coats for this mani.

To stamp I used Mundo de Unas #19 Bronze and Sinful Colors black polish.The black wasn't thick enough to be dark enough over the Bronze but I couldn't get my placement right to double stamp it. 

You can see in the picture above where I tried to double stamp the Leprechaun. 

I used Messy Mansion plate MM04 for the designs on this mani. It was fun and festive but I think my nails are a little too small for the knot work to show really nicely. 

That's all for now :)