Another set of pictures wilting in the archives were of my Fourth of July manicure. For the holiday, I took a last minute trip to the Smoky Mountains and Nantahala River for some countryside views and relaxation along with a bit of outdoor activities.

I wanted to rejuvinate the classic red, white, and blue palette with a little bit of shimmer and flakie firework action.  The blue nails were Orly Royal Navy with two layers of China Glaze White Cap on top to serve as a play on the flag’s star field.  The red accent nail was China Glaze Ruby Pumps with Barielle Elle’s Spell on top for depth and fire.  I’m pretty sure I was rocking the high gloss Seche Vite top coat at this point in time as well.

Amusingly enough, the white cap polish had a deeper meaning as there were crests of swirling white on the river rapids…enough that they assisted in capsizing our small two person inflatable raft at the end of our river run.  I took these pictures after the incident while recovering from the adrenaline rush with an icy cold red, white, and blue themed American beer.  So the tipwear was probably a direct result of clawing at the upside-down raft that had flipped entirely on top of me while trying to assume a safe whitewater swimmers position to avoid getting bashed into rocks.  Considering there was minimal tipwear, I’m giving the polish performance a good grade.

I can’t say that I have ever really considered myself much of a “country girl,” but I have been out there before and I have really enjoyed my time there because there’s just a unique soul to the surroundings that I can appreciate.  This was outside of a quintessential river haunt, a shack called Pizza By the River which serves up some tasty pizza.  Most importantly, it serves it up where you can literally sit and eat it on the river rocks and wade your feet in the stream if you’d like.  They also have great little bonfires going in the evening as the river starts to kick up a thick mist on the surface.  Sometimes there seems to be banjo music drifting down the river as well that just makes the whole environment come together.



coral & turquoise

I realize crackle polishes have long since snuck their way back into popularity and are already wiggling their way out for new trends, so we’re not going to discuss how old these pictures are.  On the other hand, I’m always going to love this color combination and these pictures may revitalize my joy in creating crackle color combos.

One of the few crackle polishes I broke down and purchased was China Glaze’s Crushed Candy.  I figured a pale turquoise blue color would look interesting with a variety of colors.  It is subdued enough that it will pair well with other soft colors or more happily pop with bright or darker colors.

The first time I wore it, I paired it over OPI’s Color So Hot it Berns, a bright warm one-coater red that reminds me of the color of certain coral.  I’ve always loved a pale, turquoise-tinged blue with a bright orange-toned red since they are both bright but in different ways so that they highlight each other.  When I was making jewelry more frequently, I often gravitated to turquoise with coral or amber, and that’s what came to mind when I decided to match these colors up in the way of nail polish.  The crackle did its thing perfectly, and I ended up really enjoying the accents of chartreuse and ruddy brownish red of the plants I happened to find outside.  I was additionally amused by the similar naturally cracked pattern of the reddish leaves as well.


shimmering palisades.

The perfect blue-tinged grey is one of my favorite colors.  It can be a calming hue on its own with just enough color to keep it interesting, but it has the potential to be a particularly charming neutral posed next to a bright pop of color.  In the nail polish world, Nubar Palisade is the shade of blue-grey that I find myself drawn to.  Alone, it can be a beauty in a mere one coat.  I discovered how to make it really come alive with a top layer of China Glaze White Cap.  The glass flecks of White Cap shimmer from a clean white to a golden yellow that can reflect a peachy hue.  Layered over Palisade, the effect is reminiscent of the way sunlight reflects off of slightly restless water.  I am reminded of many drives on the bridge glancing over at the way the sun low in the sky shimmers on the lake when I observe this combination.

First, I played with playing with the combination against broken concrete showing the more subtle side of the shimmer and showcasing Palisade.


effortless emerald.

For my St. Patrick’s Day manicure, I wanted a nice emerald green with a little something extra.  I don’t have many greens for some reason, so I picked up Wet N Wild’s Sagreena the Teenage Witch while I was at the drugstore.  While I was pleased with the emerald green shimmer, I knew I wanted something a little more exciting to top it off with.  A few days later, I was scouring Sally’s clearance rack for fun and I came across a much reduced bottle of China Glaze’s Zombie Zest which I’ve always been curious about.  After purchasing it, I curiously tested a thin layer of it over the existing emerald green and I was thrilled at the result.  The eerie, murky green glass flecks of Zest added a meadow-reminiscent idyllic depth to the deep green base.

The featured sculpture is a vintage flower frog for flower arranging that I picked up at an antique store.  I love the color and the whimsical design of a nude woman riding a fish on stylized, cresting waves.  She’d probably be worth more if she weren’t broken, but alas, she was in such a condition when I purchased her.  It reminds me of the porcelain people in the Wizard of Oz who were afraid to run for fear of falling and breaking and never being the same due to the cracks the irrevocable damage would cause.  I happen to find her enchanting all the same.