Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Cosmic" Manicure - Galaxy Inspired Nails

Scouring through the world of nail art on the internet, I stumbled across something called 'galaxy' nails. I've also seen it referred to as 'space', 'cosmic', and 'nebula' nails as well. I was intrigued by the idea and I liked a few of the results I found. So eventually... I had to take my own stab at it!

So I gathered up my tools... that's seven polishes total! Of course, base coat and top coat too, so make that nine? Haha. I started with a deep coloured base with some shimmer, and layered frost, sheer shimmer, black, and duochrome polishes on top. Of course, I had to finish it all off with a glittery polish, I used China Glaze's Shooting Star. And onto my results:

Ta-da? Aha, so my take on these nails were more "cosmic-ly abstract" (by accident) versus actually galactic. I am terrible at depicting space and nebula... and I ended up just mushing all the colours together. Oh wells! However, I was satisfied with the result. And surprisingly, it didn't take all that long to do. (:

I think since they are a bit flashy, this manicure would best be suited for shorter nail lengths... but that's just imo! ^^

Here it is with flash...

And a little blur to show the glimmers... ^__^;

What do you guys think? Like it? Don't like it? >w< Too glittery? Not glittery enough? Where are the nebula? Lol. Well anyway, a few weeks ago, I found some blank nail sets and I've been wanting to play with it. Since I ended up liking my cosmic manicure, I decided to paint them onto a set! And here it is:

This is a 22 piece set, fit for medium-small to small-petite hands. These are "active-length," so they are a bit short to suit the lifestyles of lower maintenance gals.

I'm offering this set for sale... is anyone interested? Of course, it's hand painted. It won't come with nail glue, unfortunately. ): But because of that, I'm offering it for $6.50 shipped within the U.S. Payment via paypal (which offers buyer protection!) with no extra fees. Let me know if you are interested. ^^

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strawberry Sandwich Cookies

This post may or may not be a few (or many) days late. Hehe. For this year's Valentine's day, I decided to bake for my close ones. Baking has always been an interest of mine, but being raised in an Asian family, that wasn't really something we had a lot of knowledge of or did! So I decided to venture onto the popular baking blog that is Bakerella, and found this super simple and easy recipe for Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies! It looked simple, delicious, and cute... so why not? I scoured all throughout my local grocery stores, but I couldn't come up with the main ingredient, red velvet cake mix, so I decided to substitute with strawberry! Because well... you know... it's pink! ^^

You can find the full recipe at Bakerella's blog, here, along with the complete instructions.

Balls of strawberry cookie dough placed onto the baking sheet...

I used one box Pillsbury's Strawberry Cake Mix to make the cookie dough. It came out quite pink and was very fragrant! A quick note, I borrowed my brother's 30mm camera lens for these shots... and I found it very hard to focus near! I must invest in a macro lens one day. Sorry for the wonky pictures! :P

I placed them into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit... look at them rising, spreading, and baking! Again, they were very fragrant... I could smell the strawberry leaking from every crevice of the oven.

Ta-da! Fresh out of the oven! I think they look quite darling. (: Another note... I had over melted the butter when making the dough (I had no patience to let the butter soften to room temp!), so I chilled the dough for half and hour. I ended up baking them for 3-4 minutes longer than the suggested time on Bakerella.

Now that I've baked the cookies, it's time for filling! I made the cream cheese filling on Bakerella's recipes, except with a little less powdered sugar... and hand-"whipped" because I don't own a mixer. ): Just used a large bowl and a spoon. My arms were tired after awhile... >W<~ No pictures of just the filling. It was much too horrid of an experience. ^^;

After compiling the sandwiches together, here's what I ended up with...

I sprinkled some red or pink sugar sprinkles onto the sides of the sandwiches in hopes of creating a cute Valentine's theme... (:

The yield for the recipe says 12 sandwiches, but I guess I made a little smaller and was able to churn out about 18. (Some were eaten before they could be photographed... haha!) I think it's better that you make them smaller anyway, as the sweetness could be overwhelming for some. Overall, my friends who received my goodies (I also make cupcakes and bought chocolate), seemed to enjoy all the treats. Even my mom liked it, and she's not one for sweets! I highly suggest trying out this recipe if you're new to baking, like me. It's almost foolproof, you can't mess up. And it tastes good! You could always use other cake mixes, and of course, these sandwich cookies don't need a special occasion to be made. ^^

Anyway, I hope you all had a good Valentine's Day, whether it be with your significant other, closest friends, or family!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Day Nail Art Ideas

Okay, so sometimes I like to make my nails seasonal. I know I'm not the only one, right? (Hopefully!!) Haha. :P So here are some Valentine's Day nail art ideas I came up with for you guys! I painted these kind of recklessly, and in a rush... so my work is shoddy. But here it is!

Are you ready for Valentine's Day?

Feel the Valentine spirit running through you yet? (:

And now for some closer up images...

Left to right: Polka Dots and Heart, Sweet Bow, Conversation Hearts

Polka Dots and Heart: Just paint your nails with a base colour, adding a polka dot pattern on top. Choose one polka dot to turn into a fabulous little heart for a more subtle Valentine's Day design.

Sweet Bow: Paint a basic bow shape with your ribbon colour, and line it with black. Add the pointed tips on the bow ends to raise the cute factor!

Conversation Hearts: Tired of pink and red for Valentine's Day? Try a cute purple pastel with different pastel coloured hearts. Write sweet messages with a thin sharpie and apply thick top coat so the sharpie doesn't smudge and run. So cute you'll want to eat them!

Left to right: Heart-gyle, Heart Scalloped Trim, All-over Heart Print

Heart-gyle: My Valentine's Day approach to the classic argyle pattern. Paint hearts while adding a dashed x over them.

Heart Scalloped Trim: Start as if you're doing a french manicure and add the bumps to recreate a scalloped trim. Add little hearts with the base colour on the scallops to complete your manicure. So sweet. (:

All-over Heart Print: Simple and cute. This is a pretty standard/run-of-the-mill design that works for any day... but especially for Valentine's day! Just start with a base colour, following with a contrasting colour for little hearts all over your nails.

I hope you guys enjoyed these ideas! Let me know if any of you try these designs out. I'd love to see them, and if you send me pictures, I'll add them to this post! (: