Open for business!

I am so happy to say that my Etsy shop is now open for business!

Everything I sell is handmade by me, so it will take a bit to get a lot of stock in there. I only have a handful of items right now, but I would LOVE to create custom items – purses, potholders, whatever you may dream of, I want to make into reality.

You can find my shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SmashCraftShop

Here’s my first custom order – two sets of car seat strap covers!

A few items I have up for sale:

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and my shop! I’d love to hear from you – what fabric and themes are popular this year? What ideas do you have that I could throw together for the shop?

Here’s my crafting companions – they supervise every stitch.

Smash

Galaxy Nails & Nail Vinyls

I guess every nail artist has their Achilles Heel, and mine is a gradient. I just am not skillful at making a smooth, colorful gradient that doesn’t look like a blob of random colors on a nail.

My intent was to use a gradient and nail vinyls to create an effect seen here in SimplyNailogical’s Pink round gradient round cyclone nail art tutorial. I used three shades of pink, one of which was a holo. I used Color Club’s Halo-Graphic, which came out a bit more gold than pink on the nail. Other colors I used in this gradient were “I’m Not A Ballerina” by Pretty Woman NYC and “Mod Square” by Essie. I tried to do the circular gradient described in the video, and this was what I got:

At least I had a plan to cover it with nail vinyl’s! I have to work on getting all the color on the edges; you can still see a lot of white peeking out.

I used random nail vinyl’s that I had in my nail tool kit, almost all from Twinkledt. I went over them with China Glaze Liquid Leather. I was happy with the result. I added a coat of Northern Lights Out the Door holo top coat, and a glossy top coat over that.

Here’s my nail station after doing this mani. So messy!

 

My next mani was one I’ve been wanting to try for ages, but never got around to it – galaxy nails! There’s a crapton of galaxy nail tutorials out there; the one I used was from SimplyNailogical (shocking, I know). I followed almost all her steps, except I only used acrylic paint for the stars painted on at the end – I used nail polish for the actual galaxy.

I grabbed several possible colors to use in this mani, and tested them out on my nail mat to see which colors worked well together:

I wound up using:

  • China Glaze Liquid Leather
  • Sinful Colors Starry Night
  • Ciate Chain Reaction
  • Klean Color Metallic Blue
  • SuperChic Laquer Own It!
  • Pretty Woman NYC I’m Not A Ballerina
  • Color Club French Tip

To start I put on a layer of China Glaze Liquid Leather, and a coat of Sinful Colors Starry Night. It has some pretty glitter in it, although it never looks as nice on the nail as it does in the bottle. I put it on top of Liquid Leather because the polish itself is very thin.

Here is the white polish that will make my galaxy pop:

I enjoyed doing this mani – it was fun to rip up my sponge and work with the colors of the galaxy. I based it with the purple polish, and then built up the two blue polishes on the edge. The SuperChic Laquer polish gave it some nice sparkle.

 

I went in and added some of the pink polish around the edges of the galaxy, but I don’t think I needed it. I also could have used some more blending with the purple/blue, but overall not bad for a first try.

I went in with white acrylic paint to do the stars. I used a dotting tool to do the smaller ones, but in retrospect I will skip that next time and just let a holo top coat provide the stars.

 

 

Here is my messy nail station after this mani:

For my first try, I’m happy with these galaxy nails. I plan to do this mani many more times until I get it perfect.

Thanks for reading!

Smash

Nail Mail – ILNP, Orchid, Pretty Woman

I picked up a few new shades of polish this week. ILNP.com sent me 25% off (if you leave items in your basket without paying, eventually a coupon will show up in your inbox), so I picked up three colors. This is my first order from ILNP, and I’m super excited to try them out.

I was shopping at HEB, and saw that they (at least my local store) are discontinuing the Orchid nail polish they sell. I only have one bottle of Orchid; a white shade that takes a few coats to be opaque. At $1.50 a bottle, I picked up two shades.

I ordered my ILNP package on December 31, it was shipped on January 2, and I received it on January 6. The packaging is nice, a basic black box with a tissue wrapped package inside:

The three colors I ordered:

  • Stopping Traffic – a red holographic shade from their 2016 Winter Collection
  • Black Orchid – a deep purple holographic shade
  • Birefringence – a mainly blue/purple but completely colorful Ultra-Chrome.

First up, let’s take a look at Stopping Traffic. I’m guilty of having more than my fair share of red nail polish, but I’m very low on the holo’s. This is a gorgeous, true red holographic polish that is stunning. It’s red like Santa’s jacket on rainbow fire.

 

I put on two coats, and a quick dry top coat to finish. Stopping Traffic is part of the 2016 Winter Collection – check out the whole collection here.

Next is Black Orchid – a dark purple, burgundy shade that is great for fall/winter. Easy to apply and opaque in two coats, I am loving this brand so far.

 

(As always, please forgive my messy cuticles. One day I’ll learn to be a real nail blogger with proper clean-up and photography skills!)

Last was Birefringence – the name represents the complexity of this polish. It looks blue/purple in the bottle, but this ultra-chrome gives off several different shades of color. It applied very easily – no streaks and minimal smell to the shade.

This shade is so cool because it can be blue or purple depending on what light you are in. Here in my kitchen, with florescent and natural light, you see a deep purple:

 

In my office with hardly any natural light, you get a more duller purple:

On my nails, also in my office, it’s the most gorgeous purple ever:

And outside, on an overcast day, you see a mix of blue and purple:

I am very happy with my first indie online nail polish purchase – I can already tell these shades will be in my regular rotation. I will most likely do some nail art with Stopping Traffic and Black Orchid; I think they’ll pair well together.

Moving over to department store polish, here are the shades I picked up from my local HEB. The first one looks like it’s the blue drug-store version of Birefringence – Lone Star Blue.

This one has a thin, streaky formula – I put on three coats before I was happy with the shade. It does have some blue/purple transformation going on, but not near as nice as the ILNP brand.

 

There is quite a bit of streakiness and uneven coverage:

Since they looked a bit similar, I did some comparisons between this one and Birefringence. Here they are side by side.

In fluorescent light:

In natural light:

One coat of Birefringence:

One coat of Lone Star Blue (you can see how thin one coat is):

Also from Orchid is a pink glitter shade called “He Loves Me . . . I Love Him Not!”

This one was opaque in two coats, and had some nice sparkle.

One last polish that came in this month’s Ipsy bag is “I’m Not A Ballerina” from Pretty Woman. I’d never heard of this brand before. I checked out their FAQ, and found they are vegan, 5-free, and cruelty-free, which is a total win.

I really liked this polish – it was super opaque, and I feel like I only put on two coats out of habit. I’m excited to pick up other colors from this brand and see how it performs in nail art.

Let me know your thoughts on these brands and colors! Thanks for reading.

Smash

NCLA cutepolish Collection

I was gifted a couple of NCLA polishes from the cutepolish collection – this was released in November 2016. I picked up the rest of the polishes to complete the set. Overall I was pretty pleased with these polishes, but you do have to love glitter to enjoy them.

You can watch Sandy talk about her collection here.

You can pick up these polishes (US only) here. Worldwide shoppers can pick them up here.

Here is the whole set:

I received Face Reveal and Gamer Girl for Christmas. I will tell you now that Gamer Girl is my favorite of the set. It’s a lovely green that looks amazing under a glossy top coat. I put on three coats and a coat of Seche Vite, and it came out amazing.

Face Reveal is a full of shiny gold glitters that I sponged on. I added a coat of Out The Door’s Northern Lights Holographic top Coat, and then a quick dry top coat. My nail was quite smooth after that, and I found the polish packed a lot of glitter punch.

I ordered Having A Polish Blast, Crystal Ball, I’ll See Ya Next Time, and Nail Vlogger from Target.com. I made the order on December 25, it shipped out on December 28, and I received it on December 30.

All of these polishes were topped with the Northern Lights holographic top coat, and finished with a quick dry top coat.

I wasn’t as pleased with these polishes as I was with the first two. First up I sponged on I’ll See Ya Next Time. No other color base, just a few coats of the polish. It is a very pretty blue, but I had a hard time getting it opaque on the nail. It just didn’t seem to settle onto the nail very well. It took three coats, and it just didn’t feel as smooth as the first two polishes.

Next up was Nail Vlogger. It is full of red glitters, with some larger blue/black glitter pieces. This one also had a hard time distributing properly on the nail, and I wasn’t happy with the frequency of the larger glitter pieces. You can see they’re pretty sparse on my nail. I sponged on three coats.

This polish does have some gorgeous shine, though, particularly with the holographic/glossy top coats.

I decided to apply the last two polishes over a color base instead of sponging them on. I started with Having A Polish Blast. This polish has a clear base, with holographic glitter and pink stars throughout. First I applied two coats of Essie’s Pink Diamond.

I chose to brush on the pink glitter – it’s a gorgeous polish, but I need to find a different base color. You can hardly see the stars. The holographic glitter is lovely.

Last up was Crystal Ball. It has several different sized holographic glitters. First I applied two coats of Sinful Colors Starry Night. (Sorry for the peeling skin here . . . my nail care routine definitely fell off during the holidays.)

I then brushed on one coat of Crystal Ball. I loved this glitter polish – it packed a ton of glitter into one coat, and it looks great over black.

Overall, even with a application issues, I’m happy with my purchase of this collection. Gamer Girl and Crystal Ball are my favorites, and I feel like I’ll get a lot of wear out of these. I’m looking forward to more experimenting with the collection. Let me know your thoughts on this NCLA cutepolish collaboration!

Smash

Christmas Nails

The holidays may have passed, but it’s never too late for holiday nails!

I didn’t do too many different nails this year – I was traveling a bit, and I wasn’t very inspired much by the nail designs I was seeing. I knew I wanted to do lots of sparkle and some Christmas trees.

Here are the videos that inspired my holiday manicures:

I got a great gift from a friend – the 2016 Ciate London Advent Calendar.

It came with 22 mini polishes, an emery board, and one full size polish. The colors are very pretty -lots of shimmer and sparkle. A few glitter top coats were included, as well as a couple of top and base coats.

I played around with some colors on the paper plate below:

For my first Christmas manicure, I went with candy cane stripes. I used striping and scotch tape for this one. I started with a white base – after I applied my base coat, I went in with Orchid’s Love at First White (a simple white creme).  I then added a coat of Klean Color Metallic White – it gave it a bit of shimmer.

After applying a quick dry top coat and letting it dry for 20 minutes, I went in with scotch tape, striping tape, and Essie’s A List to get the candy cane going. However 20 minutes was not enough time, as I pulled up the white polish on three of my nails. I didn’t have time to redo it all, so I wound up with three red nails, and two accent nails on one hand. So chic.

I went to bed leaving my right hand totally white, thoroughly disgusted. However, the next day I went in and tried the striping tape again on my right hand, and this time all my base polish stayed in place. I then added a couple coats of Out The Door Northern Lights Holographic Top Coat to get more sparkle in there. I really love this holographic top coat – I’m using it on many of my manicures lately.

See that blurry holographic goodness?

My next mani wasn’t so Christmasy – but I wore it for a Christmas party (sort of), so it counts. My derby league was having their End of Year Party (on my birthday, no less), and I wanted derby specific nails. I went with a blue base coat to represent my team colors, and used some nail vinyls created by my buddy Shiner Knock. They didn’t come out perfectly, but they still sparkled for the occasion.

I used Ciate London’s Pool Party as my base.

The nail vinyls were stars and roller skates, which I sponged on Ciate London’s Fortune Teller over.

I spent a few days wearing just one color (gasp!). Ciate London’s Chain Reaction:

Before we left for Louisiana, I decided it was time to get serious and do a real Christmas manicure. I think I used 13 different polishes (and a bunch of tools) to do what wound up being a pretty mediocre mani.

Here is the finished product:

Not even pretty rainbows could save this one.

For my right pinkie, I started with Essie’s No Place Like Chrome, and then topped it with Ciate London’s Risky Business.

The fiery orange Christmas tree was Orchid’s Love at First White with Sinful Colors On Fyre. The tree was topped with a little rhinestone (my first time ever using one!).

The tree that I attempted to freehand used Ciate London’s Pretty In Putty as the background, and Ciate London’s La Dolce Vita for the tree. I used a dotting tool with silver and gold to do the ornaments/topper.

Gorgeous, ain’t it?

For the solid red and gold nails, I used Ciate London’s Boudoir and ORLY’s Don’t Lasso Me Around.

I topped it all with the Northern Light’s holographic top coat. It wasn’t too bad for a first attempt, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I brought some polishes with me to Louisiana (of course). Our first night there, I sat down at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table with a slice of her butter pecan cake, and redid the entire thing.

I was MUCH happier with the end result:

My freehanded tree came out so much better! I took a picture as soon as I did it because I knew I’d fuck it up:

Here it is with ornaments:

I was also SO happy with the purple tree. I also took a picture of this one as soon as it was done, and I’m glad because I immediately smudged it.

That’s it for my Christmas nails! I hope your holidays were awesome!

Smash

Gifted Handbags!

A couple of months ago I made my first Vanessa Bag Crossbody Purse. I decided to make several more for Christmas gifts. I purchased some fabric from my local sewing shop, and some from fabric.com.  They would all be gifted around mid-December, so I decided to do all the steps at once – all of the cutting, then all of the sewing, etc. In all, I made five purses for Christmas gifts. I also cut out materials for one extra, and put on the interface/fleece for it. I then realized I had put on the material upside down … maybe I’ll make it as an extra for me, eventually.

For all of these purses, I used 973F fusible fleece, and 931TD fusible interfacing. The pattern can be found here.

Here’s what the stack of purse materials looks like:

The cat purse was created using fabric from my local sewing shop, Sew Crazy. I purchased some cheap zippers from Amazon; the pack didn’t have black so I went with a royal blue one.

The unicorn purse also used fabric from Sew Crazy. I wasn’t thrilled with the zipper color for this one, but it worked out.

 

The wiener dog fabric came from fabric.com. You can find it here.

I also got the math/science fabric from Fabric.com. You can get your hands on it here.

The final black bag fabric came from Wal-Mart. All of the fabrics are 100% cotton, but you can really feel the difference between the more expensive/cheaper fabrics. The fabric from my local sewing shop was $10/yard, while the Wal-Mart fabric was much cheaper. The Wal-Mart fabric is much stiffer and less pleasing to touch.

I made this purse last, and I feel it came out the best, construction wise, since I had made five before it. It was important that this one be fully black, so I purchased a black zipper for it.

sew

My next post will feature Christmas nails! It’s never too late for holiday nails, right??

Smash

Nail Recap

I’ve done several manicures over the past few weeks – some successful, and some not so much. Here’s the latest from the past few weeks.

Fall Leaves

This first mani is for fall – based off SimplyNailogical’s Teal holo colour-blocking over white tutorial. I absolutely love how this one came out. I was going for fall leaves, and it delivered.

Polish used:

  • Nail Envy Strengthener Base Coat
  • Orchid Love at First White
  • Klean Color Metallic Orange
  • Klean Color Metallic Yellow
  • Essie Wrapped in Rubies
  • Nuance Salma Hayek Dark Earth
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

You Lack the X-Factor

Here is a nice nail fail. I was going for a sweet, subtle reversed gradiant seen here in SimplyNailogical’s Fall toned holo reciprocal X round gradient nail art tutorial. I wound up looking like I was upset the X-Factor was cancelled.  Not even Northern Lights holo top coat could save this one.

 

Glitter!

After that I wanted something easy, so I just sponged on some glitters. My husband got me a collection of China Glaze glitters for our last anniversary, so I took the opportunity to test them out.

 

 

Polish Used (all China Glaze):

  • Ray-Diant
  • Full Spectrum
  • Prism
  • Polarized
  • Liquid Crystal
  • Optical Illusion

Vah Vah Gradient

I had to take a work trip to Connecticut to meet my boss, so I tried another one of Simply Nailogical’s designs.  This one was the Holo reciprocal-V gradient nail art. While these pictures are pretty messy, I did enjoy the final product.

Here they are with just the gradient, before applying nail vinyls:

And after nail vinyls applied and another gradient sponged on top:

I used these nail vinyls from TwinkledT.

Colors used:

  • Essie 784 – Aruba Blue
  • Color Club Blue Heaven

 

Color Blocking Tips … you should have tips for that

I wanted to use up some of my nail vinyls and striping tape, so I did a few random designs. This one here was my first real use of a Matte top coat – I loved it! You can see the mani with a glossy top coat on the left,and the matte top coat on the right. I used Revlon 790 Matte Top.

 

I was attempting to follow SimplyNailogical’s Colour block tips – Easy Nail art tutorial with my next mani, but I didn’t like how it was coming out. So one hand got the color blocks, while the other hand got random nail vinyl/striping tape crap.

First here is the mani before I applied the nail vinyls. The color is Essie 784 Aruba Blue – so pretty, but my bottle is pretty old and the formula was hard to work with.

 

 

 

Nail polish used:

  • Essie 784 Aruba Blue
  • Essie 897 No Place Like Chrome
  • Color Club Blue Heaven
  • Color Club Halo-Graphic
  • Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat

I Wanna Dot You Up

Taking a break from nail vinyls, I set out to reproduce a dotticure from this tutorial from (you guessed it) SimplyNailogical. She completed it as part of a mani swap with Kelli Marissa. Ihave a lot to learn about dotting tools and keeping a steady hand.

 

Colors used:

  • Adesse Brightening Base
  • China Glaze Liquid Leather
  • China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle
  • Essie 193 Pink Diamond
  • ORLY Color Blast Don’t Lasso Me Around
  • Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Revlon 790 Matte Top

 

We need to talk about your definition of the word “easy”

My final mani is a total nail fail. I saw Janelle Estep’s Easy “brushed” Leopard Print Nails and I knew I wanted to give it a go in the snow leopard colors.  I totally gave it a shot, and just missed the mark by a lot.

 

I think I didn’t wait long enough for my bottom layer of white to dry, and then had too much grey around my spots to spread properly. I also didn’t really space out my leopard spots proportionally. Maybe one day I’ll give this one another try.

I hope you enjoyed this nail recap! I’ve been doing a lot of crafting for Christmas gifts, and that post will be up after I give out some gifts. 🙂

 

Smash

More Halloween Nails!

The interwebs sure are full of lots of Halloween inspiration. I took a few tutorial videos and tried them out on my nails.

I did a few designs from these two cutepolish videos.  While they did most of their painting with nail polish, I did a nail polish base and used acrlyic paint for the rest. My bloody fingerprint nail came out pretty bad, but overall I was pleased. I really loved the graveyard and cat nails.

cutepolish Halloween Tutorial Video 1

cutepolish Halloween Tutorial Video 2

20161019_220715 20161019_220935

 

The second manicure came from a SimplyNailogical tutorial video. It took me forever to place all the striping tape, but overall I am in LOVE with how  it came out.

 

Colors I used

  • Sinful Colors Purple Kraze (Purple)
  • Klean Color Metallic Green (Green)
  • Sinful Colors On Fyre (Orange/Red)
  • China Glaze Liquid Leather (Black)

I followed the tutorial, putting on a base coat, a base color, and then sponging on a gradient. I used Bliss Kiss Simply Peel to keep my skin clean.

20161025_203415

After applying a quick dry base coat and letting it dry, I then put on more Simple Peel and the striping tape. This took the longest – cutting out the striping tape, then placing it properly, and then sponging on the gradient. It was totally worth the work!

20161025_220849

I am already getting sick of all the purple/orange I’m using on my nails. I haven’t used this much black in a while, either.  I am also working on other crafts – mainly purses, which I’m giving as Christmas gifts. I plan on showing those once the I get them done!

Smash

 

Halloween Nail Art

I’m loving all of the awesome Halloween nail art designs that come out around this time of year. I’m still a novice with nail art, so I didn’t try anything too complicated.

Walgreen’s had some really cute Halloween nail art stickers for $2 each (as well as a nice sale on Sinful Colors and other polishes), so I left $30 lighter than when  I went in.

20161015_201627

The first Halloween manicure I went for was pretty simple – paint random Halloween colors on each hand and stick a sticker on them. Here was my color selection:

20161011_194832

  • LixePop Electrix Energized Torch – Orange
  • Sinful Colors Purple Kraze – Purple
  • Sinful Colors On Fyre – Orange/Redish shimmer (I wound up not using this one in the manicure)
  • ORLY Color Blast Magic Mirror – Smoky grey
  • ORLY Color Blast Bring Me Her Heart – Red
  • China Glaze Liquid Leather – Black
  • Sinful Colors Innocent – Bright Green
  • Revlon Holographic Pearl – Holographic Glitter
  • Orchid Love at First White – White
  • Nail Envy Base Coast
  • Superchic Laquer Quick Dry-Ultra Gloss Top Coat

My method was easy – paint on a base coat, paint on 1-2 coats of color, then stick a sticker on top of that. Apply top coat.

On a couple of them, I did put Holographic Pearl on top to see what it would look like – it wound up being too much holo for the design, as it covered them up a bit.

20161011_211735 20161011_211714

20161011_211656 20161011_211639

The next design I went for was a red/black gradient. I used a tutorial from Kelli Marissa – you can check it out here. Polishes I used:

20161015_202217

20161015_201603

20161015_201644

  • Essie A List
  • ORLY Color Blast Bring Me Her Heart
  • China Glaze Liquid Leather (pictured is Sinful Colors Starry Night, which has some gorgeous glitter, but the polish itself was too thin for this gradient.)
  • OPI Nail Envy Base Coat
  • Out the Door Northern Lights Holographic Top Coast
  • Seche Vita Glossy Top Coat

To complete the gradient, first apply a base coat. I used OPI Nail Envy. I then applied the lightest color in my gradient – Essie A List. I’ve used this in my last three manicures; it’s such a pretty red.

20161015_201501

For easier clean-up, I apply Bliss Kiss Simply Peel to protect the skin around my nails. After that, I apply my three polishes to a make-up sponge, and sponge the gradient onto my nails. It takes 2-3 coats to be fully opaque.

20161015_202611

I stuck on a couple of Halloween nail stickers for a couple of accent nails. I had messed up a couple of nails with my gradient, so I used the stickers to try to cover that up. After that, I applied the Northern Lights Holographic Top Coat. You have to really shake this one up, but it gives a great subtle sparkle to any nail design. I finished it all off with Seche Vite.

20161016_104005

20161016_104025

I’ll probably do a couple more Halloween manicures before Halloween; there are so many cute ones out there! I may even try some freehand.

Smash

Vanessa Bag Crossbody Purse

My next project to share with you is the Vanessa Bag Crossbody Purse Pattern – you can find the pattern here on Craftsy.com. I am very new to sewing in general, and this is only the third bag I’ve never attempted. I’m planning on making a few of these purses for Christmas/Birthday gifts, so this first one was the “test purse.”

In my job as a data analyst, I have to be very attentive to my work to make sure I don’t miss anything that could cost my company money. I think my brain uses up all it’s processing power at work, leaving none for crafting, because boy, did I mess this one up. All I needed to do was pay attention to the directions.

The pattern is written pretty clearly, with many pictures to give you a visual representation (which is extremely helpful to me, had I actually looked at them). I got pretty far into the pattern – I had made my lining and outer shell of the purse, and needed to put the whole thing together and sew. When I tried this, my seams weren’t lining up properly – and the parts of the body that would line up with the straps weren’t either. I went back through all my steps to see what the problem was.

Here was the picture from the pattern of the main section you needed to cut for the purse:

img_2104

And here was one of my purse pieces:

20161006_144416

Notice any issues? I had cut it out BACKWARDS. I tinked back on any steps I had used this piece for. Unfortunately I had run out of the purple/star fabric I used for the outside of the purse. I headed out to the local fabric store nearby, and picked up some similar fabric – dark purple swirlies, but no stars. Since this was my “test purse” I wasn’t too worried as long as the fabric made sense together.

This fabric  I cut out correctly.

img_2103

I followed the rest of the pattern without a hitch. I did have some messy stitching with my seams – you can see here around the zipper and when I topstiched around the edge of the purse.

img_2105

img_2116

img_2117

One of my favorite parts of bag-making is “birthing” the purse. When you turn it inside out to show the pretty side of the bag. It’s just a fun process that make me think of aliens being born. I dunno why.

img_2112

img_2111

I had to pull the handles inside out for this bag, which I’d never done before. I had some trouble getting them all the way turned out, and wound up using a pen to help push it out. Pictured below is the not-quite-completely-turned-out handle.

img_2113

Here is the finished product. I’m very happy with it. I did feel like there were a couple of steps missing from the pattern, which I have reached out to the author about. All in all, I would recommend it, and I can’t wait to make more for gifts.

Smash