Monday, 31 March 2014

Kiko Quick Dry - 834

A Kiko quick dry polish today, 834, which is a lovely duck egg blue with a subtle golden shimmer running through it.
Please exucse the crumb of chocolate brownie which somehow got stuck on the nail of my ring finger, by the time I realised I'd already top coated it and it was stuck.  Learn from my mistakes, don't eat while doing your nails!

Under bright lights this polish gives off a lovely shimmer glow.

The formula is a little thicker than standard Kiko polishes but does dry nice and fast, I still use a quick dry topcoat though to give an extra shine to my nails.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Models Own - Beetlejuice - Tropical Sun

An older polish today, which might be discontinued as I can't see it for sale on the Models Own web page anymore, Tropical Sun from the Beetlejuice Collection.
Beetlejuice polishes are supposed to be colour shifting duochromes but this polish isn't really, it's a peach with a golden shimmer but not a true duochrome, in my opinion.

It's a great shade for spring or summer, these pictures are three coats as it can be a little sheer.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Kiko 288

Another Kiko cream today, this time in a perfect Barbie pink shade.
I love 288, it's bright and girly and gorgeous without being too over the top, a really wearable pink shade.

The photo below, with flash, shows just how bright and Barbie like it looks in certain lights.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Kiko 324

Although this polish looks almost black it's actually a very dark chocolate brown shade.
As with almost all the Kiko creams it applies beautifully and is opaque in just two coats.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Gosh Frosted Sand - Purple

After the silver shade I had on the other day I remembered how much I liked these polishes so I decided to have another day of textured goodness from GOSH, this time in the purple colourway.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Gosh Frosted Sand - Silver

I've posted previously about the Gold and Purple version of this polish, since I liked them so much I decided to complete my collection with the silver version too.
Like the other polishes it applies brilliantly, smoothly and opaque in two coats.

It's a lovely bright sparkly silver shade despite it having a semi-matte finish.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Easy Paris - Neon Yellow

Another bright neon today, this time Easy Paris's yellow.
These pictures are two coats over a white base, the polish itself is too sheer to wear alone but over a white base it really pops.

It's hard to capture just how bright it is in real life, the picture below, before clean up - hence the mess, shows it about as true to life as my camera will allow.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Colour change yarn and a bit of knitting

I was tipped off recently that Pound Stretchers sometimes carry some interesting yarn so I decided to head along and check it out.  The tip off was correct and I came away with a few balls of this lovely Magic Aran colour change yarn.  You can just see on the left of the photo the picture on the band around the yarn which shows the effect when it's knitted up, sort of like stripes with a row of little purple flowers going across one of the stripes. 
I loved the colours and although crocheting didn't give the same effect as shown on the packaging I did quite like the look so I decided to make a baby blanket in double crochet; here's the swatch I did to begin with, you can see how the colours are forming fairly nice even stripes.

So I made a good long chain and started on my baby blanket, to begin with I loved how it was looking, each colour seemed to take up almost a row and it looked pretty good...

Unfortunately as I got further on the pattern started to pool oddly, all the lilac smudges which on the packaging made up the rows of little flowers were cramped up at one end of the blanket while the other end had all the blue, green and yellow yarn; not quite the effect I was hoping for.

I'm still not quite sure what to do with the blanket, I could carry on and see if it's better once it's the right size (you can see the pattern does seemed to have jumped over to the other side), maybe once it's larger the pattern won't look quite so wonky.  Or I could rip it out and start over; possibly doing smaller squares and then crocheting them together.
My indecision led me to the conclusion that this sort of yarn would be much better for knitting.  My gran taught me to knit when I was very young but I never mastered casting on, casting off or indeed the purl stitch, I could literally just do the knit stitch.  How hard could it be?  I can crochet relatively well after quite a short space of time so I figured knitting couldn't be much harder.
Not so...

Although I managed the cast on fine and I can sometimes do both knit and purl stitches now I seem to have a serious issue with creating extra stitches and also the ability to add in holes and weird loops.

While it's not disastrous for a first go there is definitely A LOT of room for improvement.  I'm finding it all rather frustrating though, especially since I could chuck the knitting needles to one side and go back to being relatively confident at crochet at any time.

I'm determined to give it another go and I've found some good You Tube videos which I think might help me work out where those extra stitches are coming from so expect another knitty update at some point in the future, hopefully the next attempt will be slightly better than this one!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Easy Paris - Neon Pink - Gel Look

I've posted about this polish before, when I wore it on it's own.  This time however was slightly different.  This time when I painted on the polish on it's own it was just a little too sheer to cover the staining on my nails, damn you blue and green HyperGels!!  So over the top of the original sheer manicure I added a coat of Cerise Shine, and then over the top of that I added another coat of the Neon Pink polish. 

As well as hiding the staining it really gave the polish a thick gel like look on my nails, the HyperGel polishes are thicker and that combined with the number of coats I ended up with (I would guess around 9 with top coats) meant that my nails really did look like a gel manicure.

 As for the colour, this flash shot shows it off best, it's such a super bright neon shade I love it.  As well as having a gel effect from the thickness of the polish the gelly like texture of the Easy Paris polish also meant that my nails had a lovely sheer jelly textured effect which I really liked.

I certainly wouldn't advise putting this many coats on normally but to fix a problem I think it worked quite well and I loved the look and colour I ended up with

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Models Own - HyperGels - Stamping

Way back when I first took delivery of the HyperGels I said that I was hoping they might stamp well, so I finally got around to try a few out and it turns out... they do!
I tested out 4 colours; Blue Glint, Coral Glaze, Turquoise Gloss and Cornflower Gleam.  The darker shades work really well but even the paler shade Cornflower Gleam holds it's own pretty well if you're looking for a subtle effect.

The texture of these polishes is great for stamping, thick and a bit gloopy means that they spread over the stamping plate well and go onto the nail pretty opaque.

The colours come out bright and bold on the most part and look really effective.  I think the other darker shades like the pink and red would also work well.  The nude, pale pink and lilac probably not so much so but like Cornflower gleam they would probably be good for a more subtle effect.
Overall I'm pretty pleased with how these work for stamping, it's hard to say without a side by side comparison but I think they might be a touch brighter and more opaque than some of the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shines which are favourites of mine for stamping with.
I feel a little comparison post coming on in the future...

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Join As You Go - Granny Square Blanket

I had some yarn left over from this blanket so I started making granny squares, as you can see here, obviously I didn't manage to get the blanket finished by Christmas as I hoped in that post but I am still plugging away at it, in fact this week I decided to start joining the squares up.  There were two main reasons for this; 1. I am fed up making squares and 2. I needed to see what size the blanket would be with the ones I do have (currently 28).
I decided to use a join as you go (although I have left my joining until near the end just to be awkward) method that I first tried out on this cushion, it worked fairly well there so I thought it might be a good technique to use for a larger project and so far, so good...

I've been using this video and this web page, along with the Attic 24 post on joining as you go, although I found that a bit confusing for some reason.  I'm still not 100% sure I am doing it right but I seem to be getting there and the squares are holding together. :)

Some of my joins are a bit messy, specifically in the middle bits where 4 squares join, but I'm hoping it won't be too noticeable once they are all joined together.

Next up, a border, although before I do that I might have to make a few more squares to get it to a decent size, either way I am quite excited to see how it turns out.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

W7 - Fluorescent Pink 2

I love my neon shades and I had to pick this one up when I saw it while I was away for the weekend recently, I'm pretty sure I don't have anything similar, this shade is not quite pink and not quite orange, it's a sort of neon coral colour, very pretty.
Try and ignore the shameful state of my cuticles and all the dry skin, winter is not being kind to me this year.  Application wise this polish is lovely to put on, it's smooth and slick and very easy to smooth out over the nail.  It's definitely a jelly like consistency though, these pictures are three coats and you can still see a hint of the staining on my nails, in fact, in real life it's actual a bit more obvious so this polish would probably benefit from a white base coat.

It was relatively fast drying and the finish is a nice squidgy, shiny look which you would expect from a jelly polish.  For a cheapy pick up from a market stall it's a pretty good buy this one!


Friday, 7 March 2014

Kiko 236

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Kiko 341

Monday, 3 March 2014

No 7 - Golden Palms

This is a Limited Edition polish from a little while back now, last summer maybe, or even the summer before, so unfortunately I don't think it's still available.
Golden Palms is a bronze based polish but in certain lights it has a sort of golden purple colour shift which make it really pretty and a bit more exciting than a flat bronze.

The formula isn't great, these pictures are 3 thick-ish coats and there are still patches where it looks quite thin, I forgive No7 for the thin formula though as this is a beautiful, glowy polish.

It changes to a much darker orange bronze when it's out of bright or direct light.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Rainbow Ripple

I last posted about this project back in mid November, not a huge amount has changed since then, I've just added a few more rows.  I sort of lost my crochet mojo for a little while and did absolutely nothing over the Christmas break or most of January.  I've started to get back into it a bit now so hopefully it shouldn't be too long before this blanket is close to being finished.
I'd say it's about half way through now, I've done two full rainbow repeats and I'm on to the third.  I think 4 full repeats might be enough for this blanket, although I might squeeze on a fifth depending on how much yarn I have left and how much I think it needs the extra length.

I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking although I'm still not sure about the colours, the dark stripes seem a bit out of place, I think I might have liked it better without them, although they do add a definite contrast.  I guess I'll just need to wait and see how I feel when it's finished!