Friday, June 22, 2012

Salon Effects

Now I'm sure all of you ladies have heard of or seen Sally Hansen's Salon Effects, yes? I've always wanted to try them, they have such pretty patterns and look like they would work out great! But, they are pretty expensive, and I didn't want to spend ten bucks on something that I wasn't even sure was going to work. Now to all my bargain hunters out there, I'm sure you know where to find the great clearance deals in Target? I love checking those hidden little endcaps full of items on clearance, usually perfectly good and nothing wrong with them! For those that don't know what I'm talking about, try this the next time you shop at Target. Go to the endcaps of aisles that are furthest from the 'main' path of the store. Usually you can find a clearance shelf full of great deals!

I managed to find the Salon Effects for less than three dollars on one of those endcaps! All of them were the same pattern, I believe it's called 'checker out'. It wasn't my top choice of patterns, but I bought it because it was a great way to see if these things actually work before shelling out ten bucks for one.

And they do! It took some getting used to when it came to applying them. It comes with 16 strips of polish, a cuticle stick and a file with different textures for different uses. The instructions are really simple and easy to follow, it's actually keeping my hand steady that was the hardest thing!

It's been almost two days and they are holding up pretty well. I didn't have a regular top coat nail polish, but I did have 'hard as nails' nail strengthener. I applied one of coat that, and it seemed to kinda...melt the polish strip in a way, like it re-activated the polish almost before drying and I believe it helped it form to my nail. I've come to love them, and now I'm really excited to get the other patterns!

Have you ever used the Salon Effects? Which one and how did it work for you?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Handmade 'Smash' Book / Art Journal

Has anyone seen the Smash books lately? I just saw them for the first time in a Target, and was fascinated and so inspired by them. If you haven't seen them, check out the video below to get an idea of what it is! As much as I really wanted to buy the Smash book, I fought the temptation because I had literally just made my own art journal about a week before hand. I was inspired from tons of pictures on Pinterest, but since seeing the Smash brand, I've become even more inspired! I ended up buying one of the Smash sticks, it's a hot pink ink pen on one end, with a glue stick on the other! This is perfect for on the go, and comes in different colors.

Anyways, I made my own Art Journal / "Smash" book not too long ago. It's about time I showed the step by step process of it!

First, I took a simple old spiral sketchbook that had been sitting around my room. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture of it at this stage. After that, I glued a couple pages to the cover and covered it with gesso. Then I took a ziploc bag and filled it with gesso, snipped off a corner and then squeezed the gesso onto the cover in a scale like pattern. I used cardboard to help shape some of the gesso.

It took overnight for the cover and gesso to dry. The important thing is that you shouldn't move it! Or else the gesso will slide around and turn into a mess. The gesso does crack, but I used some spackling medium to fill the cracks.

Once the gesso was completely dry, I gave it a coat of Mod Podge to make sure it wouldn't keep cracking. Then I watered down some acrylic paints and created layers of colors before coating it with brown. It turned out beautiful and took on the appearance of wood. (I was going for leather, but the wood look was pretty amazing too!)

It took several layers to fill in all the cracks of the gesso, but after the paint dried I dusted sections of the book with silver and gold dust. The silver went over the scaley portion of the book in the top right corner, I was aiming for the look of dragon scales. Then I covered the dusted parts with mod podge to seal them in.

Almost finished! Just time for some finishing touches. I added a few semi-precious stones and mardi-gras necklace using mod-podge. I also took a leather cord  and began to wrap it around each and every spiral.

The last thing I did was take some of the remaining leather cord, a piece of scrap gold metal and feathers and created a book mark. I absolutely loved the outcome!

It turned out gorgeous, and I love that it is completely 'me' and no one else has anything quite like it!

I hope to get some pictures of my first entries. My goal is to enter something into this every day, it's so much fun and calming that I don't think it will be a problem. I think it will actually help me during all the stress of moving and finding a job.

So tell me, have you made your own art/smash journal? Tell me about it! And if you're thinking about creating your own, my tip to you is to have FUN! Make it completely yours, and don't be afraid to expirement with it!

Fast Forward to Life

It's a shame how neglected I've let this blog become! But there has been so many things that have happened to me, I don't even know where to begin! I've got to start somewhere though, so here it goes!

  • Created a Commercial - When I took a video art class, I was chosen to create a commercial for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra that was due to show on local Brighthouse networks back in January. I loved it!
  • Crossed off some things from my bucket list!  Now this was one of the amazing things about my last semester of college. I  was comissioned to paint a 5ft by 8ft World War II mural. I took a German class and learned so much (unfortunately, I have very little ways to practice so I'm sure I'll forget it in another month!) I created a music video for a band called In Arcane Twilight. I'm sure there has been more I've done, I just need to really take a look at the list again.
(A still shot of the music video, it was stop-motion)
  • Graduated College! With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at that! It was bittersweet, and life afterwards has not been entirely peachy. It's two months later and I'm still looking for a job, despite daily searchings and applying to anything I believe I can handle. I'll keep everyone posted on what happens in the job department.
(Roo-roo and I getting ready for graduation!)
  • Preparing to Move Out - This has been one of the most stressful things I've been preparing for, moving out of my parent's house and officially living with my boyfriend and his roommate. I'm so lucky that he has been my rock through all of this, and he truly makes everything easier for me. If anyone has some good tips for us, please share!

Well, that sums up the major events that have happened/will happen in the near future. With so many things happening, I've felt like I've nearly lost my mind a couple times. For a long time, I didn't do anything even remotely creative after graduation for almost 2 months, and it really began to affect me. After looking on pinterest for some inspiration, I came across the idea of art journaling.  I got straight to work! My next post will be all about my process of making my homemade art journal/ "Smash" book!