Sunday, September 23, 2012

Distant Memory

I'm always on the lookout for good deals on polish (and everything else too). I like to think it's because I'm a smart consumer and not because I'm cheap. =P So while at the drug store one day for something totally different, I picked up a bottle of "Spoiled by Wet n Wild" polish. It was $1.99, so there wasn't much to lose. Plus, this is the first cheap polish I've seen with the flat, tapered brush I fell in love with while trying out Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure.

I got Spoiled in "Distant Memory," which is a pretty teal in the bottle. It dries a little on the matte side, so I had to put a top coat on it.

No Top Coat

Inside, it looks like a bluer teal close to a peacock blue. But outside, it transforms into a teal on the greener side and is really beautiful. One of these days I'll actually think about taking pictures outside, but this one is definitely more stunning in the sun. Here's the picture with a top coat, which doesn't look that much different using an iPhone camera, but I promise it's like night and day in real life.

With Top Coat

Liquid Crystal

I'm playing a bit of catch up today... I grabbed some of the China Glaze polishes from Sally that have holographic glitter in them. I've been looking at them for a while now, but wasn't interested at $7 a pop. At $3.50 a bottle, I'm more interested. ;)

The first one I tried is Liquid Crystal, which is a light blue base with big pieces of glitter in it in every color under the sun (purple, blue, red, green, gold, and silver). The fine glitter in the polish is holographic, and depending on the light looks either purple or silver. Both looked pretty good, and I loved staring at it and moving my hands around to make it change color. Maybe I just have too much free time! In this picture (sorry for the lighting!), the holo glitter looks silver. I couldn't get a good picture of it looking purple on my phone...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quidditch Rings Square

Sorry I haven't been around much lately... I've been doing a ton of other things and haven't had much time to post. But I've been planning my Harry Potter Double Knit Blanket of Awesome, and I realized there were some key items missing from charts I could find online. One of these was the rings/goals from Quidditch, which I figured would be an easy one to figure out. So I spent a little time today charting out goal posts, and this is the result.

Update: This pattern is now published and available as a PDF on Ravelry.
Alternate versions of the chart not included in the final pattern are still included below.

Alternate Version 1: 45x65, 3 rows of border


Alternate version 2: 45x65, 5 rows of border on the sides and 6 rows on the top/bottom





Alternate version 2: 45x60, 5 rows of border on the sides and 6 rows on the top/bottom


Here is a picture of my finished double knit square:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

White on White

I've been so into the Olympics that I haven't posted that much recently. That and I haven't accomplished anything worth writing about! But I was scrolling through pictures on my phone and found something I had forgotten to blog about.

I painted my nails with China Glaze's White on White last week so awful results. First of all, I think Liquid Paper (as in correction fluid, white out, etc.) would have done a better job. White on White is watery and runny (my least favorite kind of polish to deal with), so I had to do 3 coats to get it looking good. Add that to the top coat and base coat (for a grand total of 5 coats), and I was done with nails for the day. Then I stuck my finger in something not 5 minutes after all of that and messed one up.... So I took it all off and gave up on White on White. Maybe it will be good for a French manicure one day, but I'm never painting my nails completely white with this again.

Here's a photo. Sorry for the yellow lighting, but I took this with no flash in a room with a sorry excuse for light bulbs.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Hermione's HBP Hat Take 3

I don't know if  you've noticed, but I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. It might be more accurate to say I'm a huge Hermione fan though! I made her cable and lace hat from the 6th movie for the third time over the last couple of days. This time, I made it grey (since that's the color it's supposed to be) and used bigger needles to make it bigger for my ginormous head. You might have guessed, but I love it!

The hat is made with cotton blend yarn so I really hope it won't stretch out much. It's the perfect size the way it is now. The others fit, but they weren't loose enough to be comfortable. I have enough yarn to make another with some left over, but I'm hoping to make matching fingerless gloves someday. I'm taking a break from knitting for a couple of days because I'm burnt out!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Thistle

I have been working on this Thistle Cap, and I don't like it. I don't know if it's the cheap yarn I'm using (Red Heart) or my brain messing up the pattern, but I hate it. And it looks so good in the pictures! I didn't do all the ribbing on the bottom and was going to opt for more pattern repeats, but I just finished it as is.






OMG, Blogger let me upload a horizontal picture!! =P Anyways, I've got 2 more hats to start and finish in 8.5 days for my OWL. I don't think I'll be able to do it since everything is so busy right now, but I'm going to try!

Purple Posy

I tried another one of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure a couple days ago, but forgot to post it! This one was also on clearance at Target, so I think the shade is being discontinued. It's called "Purple Posy" and it's a bright red-purple creme. I did 2 coats as recommended, but I still put a top coat on. I tried it without a base coat this time, so we will see how it works. I think Parrot might have lasted longer without either the base or top coat because the clear polish started chipping first. I'm guessing it was the base coat, so this is my little experiment to find out.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Parrot

Ok, I'll admit it... I am a sucker for a clearance bin. So when I saw some polishes on clearance at Target, I grabbed a couple. I liked this one so much that I went back and bought another in the same color. Plus a few more colors, of course!

This is a new brand for me... It's Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. The color is called "Parrot," but it reminds me more of a margarita than a bird. Green is one of my favorite colors, but I'm more partial to blue nail polish because honestly they make better shades in blue. But this green, oh man, this green... I love it! This is one of two greens ever that have gotten my seal of approval, so take note! And I think this one is seasonal/discontinued, so go snatch them up at Target while you still can!

So you've got that I love the color... But I also love the brush! It's thick and flat, so two swipes covers my bigger (thumb) nails and one covers the smaller ones. This can have a tendency to pool polish on the sides of the nail, but once I got used to it I was a pro. Another great thing is that the end of the brush is rounded, so the polish easily takes the shape it's supposed to at the base of your nail. It's great for me to have that idiot-proofed, because I suck at getting that rounded base and I'm too lazy to go back and fix it.

I did two coats as recommended, but I topped it with Seche Vite and used Seche Clear as a base. I know it says not to, but I've seen a lot of reviews where people tried to use it as written and it chipped like a mofo. I've been wearing it for a couple of days now and it still looks great minus the typical edge wear, so no problems here! This picture was taken when I only had one coat on, but you get the idea:

It probably looks more yellow to you than it does in real life. I promise.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

UNC Beanie Take 2

I made a UNC beanie for my aunt last month, and a work friend saw it and wanted one for herself. So I made another and *gasp* actually followed the pattern correctly this time. Now that I have done it the right way, I think I like the wrong way better. =P

Here they are side by side. The old (wrong) one is the bottom picture.




Frenzy

I picked up a cheap glitter polish for $1.99 at Target and broke it out yesterday. It's Sinful Colors in Frenzy, and I didn't have high hopes after hating their Irish Green with a passion. I like it though. Glitter is pretty straightforward, so I guess it's hard to mess that up unless you have big chunks or something. Frenzy is a blue and purple glitter that could almost pass for 4th of July red and blue at a distance. The glitter pieces are small, so they're not annoying (but it is harder to get a clean line).

Feast your eyes on Frenzy!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Emjoi Micro-Pedi

I've been subjected to a lot of QVC in my time (thanks mom and grandma), but I've never bought anything off of QVC until now. I caved and got an Emjoi Micro-Pedi, which is a battery-powered callus shaver. It came in 3 colors, but the blue had sold out. I grabbed the purple because white is boring! I love the color because it's girly but not bright. The best part is, these sell online for $40 but through QVC I got it for $29 (shipping included). QVC also has product videos for this one if you're curious.

I've been rough on my feet over the years. I've worn heels, gone barefoot on all kinds of surfaces, and scraped them all over. I've got some pretty hard and thick calluses, especially on my big toes. I tried a Ped Egg, but it made my feet rough since it was pretty much like running my heels over a cheese grater. Once I even tried clipping the bottoms of my feet with nail clippers (highly painful, don't try it at home kids!). Nothing really worked for me... Until now!

This thing clearly works because you see so much skin coming off while you're using it. Then you're left with baby-soft feet that look and feel better. I'm gradually filing them down just in case, because you can seriously hurt yourself if you take off too much. Still, after the first use I noticed a marked difference between the before and after. I wish I had taken photos of the results! (There are B&A pictures on their website if you're curious.) The machine is so simple to use, and you can rinse it off so it's not like you're using a dirty, gross product over and over.


Another awesome thing I just found out is that there will be an attachable manicure tool available in July. Could I love it even more??

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fast Track

I dipped back into my Hunger Games polishes tonight, and painted my nails with China Glaze's "Fast Track." I'm usually not one to go for anything in the beige family, but it's quite pretty. It's a translucent beige-y color with a gold shimmer. It looks good in a dark room and in brighter environments.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Irish Green

I hate having watery polish, and this one was the king. It's "Irish Green" by Sinful Colors, which in the bottle looks like the brightest, most obnoxious neon green I've been able to find. I was so excited to use it, so of course it sucks. =P

I rarely clean up my nails while I'm polishing them, but I had to with this stuff. It was either a) make a mess or b) do 15 coats. I opted for the mess because I'm impatient. This is what they looked like when I was done. Note that I cleaned them up while polishing and they still look like a mess!


As you can see, it's a bit translucent. I'd prefer a more opaque look without having to do multiple coats. This is probably 2-3 coats and I can still see through it. Another problem is that it's a great Kelly green inside, but is an acid, Rita Skeeter green in sunlight. It's maybe a little bit too 80s for me in the light.

The search for the perfect green continues...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Working on my Lotus Hat

I'm working on my Lotus hat today, which I've been putting off to do other things. I've done about 10-15 rows this morning, which is as much as I originally had before I stopped. The pattern calls for 3 pattern repeats (Chart A) for a short beanie, and I planned to do 4 because a lot of people on Ravelry recommended to do so. Now I'm thinking I might need to do 5 since my head is so big. I guess I'll play it by ear when I get there!

I wish I could make this horizontal!


For my OWL in HPKCHC, I'm making 8 hats in 3 months. I'm a bit behind, as we're halfway through the second month and I'm not even half done with my this, which is my fourth hat. So I need to speed it up!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Shower Together

I've been holding off on painting my nails since I've been doing interviews this week, but I missed them so they're newly painted a beautiful peacock blue. This is China Glaze's Shower Together, which is a medium peacock blue creme. I absolutely love this polish, and I think it's going to be added to my favorites list. I like it so much, I'm debating getting another one in case they stop making it.

Mini Slytherin Scarf

I've been working this month on a mini Slytherin scarf for Nox. I wanted to try out my pattern with US 6 needles since when I make it with US size 7 needles it's a bit big. It took me a while because I hate monotonous ribbing and I also hate weaving in ends. =P

Here's Nox modeling the scarf for me:


And here's a comparison of the two scarves:


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rainbow

I painted my nails the other day using China Glaze's Rainbow, which is an iridescent white polish. I was really hoping for a full rainbow of colors in the shimmer, but it ended up looking mostly pink to me. It's translucent, but I didn't have the time or want to spend the effort to see what it looked like with several coats.



I tried an anti-yellowing top coat underneath because I already had it on. It obviously wasn't intended to be used as a base coat. 8 out of 10 nails are chipped today, and I painted them late the night before last. Not a good track record! But I did use it for something it wasn't intended to be used for... Mea culpa.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Order of the Phoenix

I'm getting all caught up today! I've been doing Silver's Sock Class to make my first pair of socks. I'm using it for my Order of the Phoenix mission (2 month project) in HPKCHC. I'm using fingering weight yarn for the first time, and it's so small!! I feel like I'm going to break it. This is the first "real" pair of socks I will have made if I finish (since they are the first people-size socks I have attempted). I'm about 3.5" into the cuff on the first sock, which is just k2p2 ribbing... And I am so bored! I can only do a round or two at a time before putting it down. Blogging right now is serving as sock procrastination. =P

This is what they look like so far. Again, the colors are washed out. It's more of a forest green yarn. Wish me luck!!


Market Bag

I started a market bag yesterday, and I'm not sure how it will turn out in acrylic. We shall see! I'm making it in Red Heart Paddy Green, and I'm using Dark Orchid for the top and handle. I think it will be like Mardi Gras colors... Maybe I should do the band in gold and the handle in purple. We'll see when I get to the top!

Here's the bottom of the bag (sorry for the washed out colors):

Old-Style Ravenclaw Scarf

I finally finished my old style, big stripe Ravenclaw scarf (movie colors, not blue and bronze... Yuck!) yesterday. I like it because it's not obviously a Potter scarf... It's just blue and grey. Now I just have to wait for the 80-degree weather to go away so I can wear it!


Gryffindor Scarf is Coming Along...

I've been working on my Gryffindor scarf on and off throughout May, and I've decided to shelve it for now. I'm about 40% through it, but I've got more pressing things to knit for now. It's nice mindless knitting for TV time, but since most of the TV shows I watch aren't on right now, I can concentrate on more fun things to knit. Here's my progress so far:


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mini Sock Ornaments

I started working on tiny socks to use as Christmas tree ornaments a few days ago. The first one turned out great for a first shot, but the second has a hole on each side. Not sure what I did there. =P

The first sock I worked on is a bit bigger since I didn't bother counting rows and decided when to stop on a whim. It's in (movie) Ravenclaw colors with a toe in the contrasting color. The second is Gryffindor colors, and both the heel and toe are in the contrasting color. I think switching colors for the heel could be the culprit for the holes!

I have another picture that's better, but unfortunately Blogger decides to flip most of my landscape-oriented photos and I can't stand them being sideways.


Hermione's Godric's Hollow Hat

My latest finished hat is from a French pattern called Hermione's Deadly Hallows Hat. It is a version of the hat worn by Hermione during the Godric's Hollow scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The decreases were hard to understand, so I used another Ravelry user's notes to finish it. I love the hat! It's a meandering 2x2 rib, so it looks like a spiral going around the hat to the top. I finished this hat a few days ago, but forgot to post about it! Here's a picture of the finished hat:



I've been hard at work on my OWL for HPKCHC, and this was number 3 of 8 hats that I am supposed to complete by the end of July. I might be working at a slower pace soon because I'm planning on starting my first pair of socks in a few days using Silver's Sock Class. It's a scary thought!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Diva Bride

I was thinking about doing a French manicure tonight, but I got lazy and just left it pink. =P I used China Glaze's Diva Bride, which is a translucent pale creme. Then the TV distracted me and I stopped working on my nails. But here's a picture of the results:


Monday, May 14, 2012

UNC Beanie Take 1, Part 2

I finished my UNC beanie a couple of days ago, but I forgot to post about it! I made it long on accident, but I like the length even if it was just a smidge too long. If I made it as written, I bet it would have been too short. The top of the hat is boxy because there are four panels that decrease into the top of the hat. I tend to prefer hats that have 5 or 6 sets of decreases to make it look less boxy, but that's a personal preference and not a pattern problem. I'm going to make another for my aunt's co-worker, who saw it and already wants one! Here is my aunt modeling her new hat:



I'm going to try another Potter house hat pattern in Gryffindor colors soon to see which one I like better. It's a much lesser known pattern, but that doesn't mean it's worse!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blue Sparrow

I was painting my nails with China Glaze's "Blue Sparrow (Neon)" during a storm today (what's a girl to do when it's raining?), and was amazed at the transformation the polish made. It goes on shiny, glittery, bright blue... And then turns into a matte blue that reminds me of dead people fingernails. =P Nothing that a top coat won't fix, but I just thought it was weird. It's a really pretty color, but a bit messy as one coat is like blue glitter water. Forgive the messy nails in the photo. I haven't cleaned them up yet!


UNC Beanie Take 1, Part 1

I'm currently making a beanie in UNC colors for my aunt. I'm making both a medium and large so she can decide which one she likes the most, and have another for a friend in UNC territory. I'm using the Harry Potter House Beanie pattern because I want to try it out before I go buy more yarn in house colors. I'm using the last of my Gryffindor burgundy yarn to make another house beanie pattern, but there will be more on that when I start making it.

So here is the start of the UNC beanie... There's not much to it now, but I feel like I'll be able to finish it fairly soon.


Milanese Lace Wonkyness

I finished my Milanese Lace Topper last night, but I knew that it wasn't going to be perfection. I made the mistake of watching a lot of TV while working on this one, and it turned out looking OK on one side and looking like a train wreck on the other. So here's a picture of the least messed up side:


It looks all right, but not perfect. The other side will not be photographed because it's too embarrassing. =P I don't really like the yarn for a hat anyways since it's itchy and rough, so I'm not sad that it will end up in the frog pile. Maybe I'll make this one again with some other kind of yarn. The top is really pretty though...


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Butterflies

Today I needed a change, so I went for something that's totally not my normal thing. I picked up a clearance polish at Sally that was $3.99 on a whim, and I decided I'd use it today. It's an Orly polish in "Butterflies," which is a bright, almost hot pink. It's a bit translucent for my taste because I can see my nails through the 2.5 coats I put on (1 super thick and 1 regular).

Another reason I'm kinda "meh" about it is that I used it to follow a dark glitter polish. Those never quite come completely off, so I've got a blue glittery residue on my fingers and stuck in every little crack it could find on my nails. I bet I would like this one more if I hadn't used it in that sequence (and maybe if it wasn't hot pink =P).

It looks more orange on my computer...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Milanese Lace Topper

I've started an OWL (Ordinary Wizarding Level, for you non-Potter people) in the HP Knitting and Crochet House Cup, in which I plan to make 8 hats in 3 months. I haven't taken on something of this magnitude yet, so I'm excited for the challenge.

I decided to start with one of the more difficult hats I plan on making. It is a beautiful hat called Milanese Lace Topper. I'm making it using Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes yarn in a beautiful teal color called Calypso Heather. Unfortunately, the wool is irritating my hands and wrists like crazy. I have a feeling that I won't be wearing this hat any time in the future.

I also am angry at both the pattern and myself at the moment. I decided to go against my better instincts and go with the pattern for the brim, which is one row of k1p1 ribbing and 13 rows of stockinette. And guess what? It rolls up like a b$%&! So that was irritating me, the yarn made it worse, and then I spaced out somewhere near the end of the second pattern repeat and now one side looks like a mess. This hat is determined to fail spectacularly in every way...

The good side

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dorothy Who?

Tonight I tried Dorothy Who? by China Glaze, which I've had for a while but haven't had a chance to use yet. It's a blue with blue and silver glitter mixed in that reminds me a lot of Dorothy's dress in The Wizard of Oz. It's rough and driving me a little crazy because I didn't put a top coat on it. I have plans for it...

Ooooh.... Aaahhh....



I'm going to see The Avengers tonight, so I broke out another China Glaze glittery polish from the same collection called Ruby Pumps. I tried a Scotch tape manicure and "nailed it" because I didn't have the kind of tape I wanted. But it's saying on for the movie anyways...

This was the better hand =P

Gryffindor Scarf

I'm making another Gryffindor scarf. This is the old-style one from the first two movies with broad, even stripes. I made one in Ravenclaw colors, but I haven't blocked it and put fringe on it yet... This is my relaxation knitting because I don't have to worry about a pattern or anything. I just have to count rows when it looks like the stripe is long enough. I've only got two stripes so far (the second one isn't even complete), but I just started 2 days ago. Here was the progress picture I took last night:

Freaking made it sideways again.


My First Crochet Project

I still can't really crochet, but I made a single crochet dishcloth just to get the technique down. I think a double crochet washcloth may be in my future... I don't get those instructions yet. =P

So here it is... It's not pretty or special in any way, but I did it!! It has one weird edge, but the other 3 turned out OK.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Melonaid Epic Fail

So I made this dishcloth this morning off of a pattern on my iPad. Little did I know, but the pattern had a crucial error that hadn't been corrected. I guess this is what I get for not looking it up on Ravelry first:

It's supposed to be flat.
So May 1, failure is winning. ;) On to the next, hopefully more successful project...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Water Street Blue

I tried another cheap polish today and I am in love with it! It's another NYC In a New York Color Minute in a color called Water Street Blue. It's a vibrant, bright blue creme that I love to death. This and their High Line Green are my new favorite spring colors. The best part is... They cost $1.72 at Walmart.

The picture is a little lighter than the color looks inside, but you can still tell it's awesome.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Better be... Gryffindor!

I was Sorted into Gryffindor this morning! Rooooooooar!! I can't wait to get started on all the awesome activities including Marauder's Missions, Hallows Hunting, collecting Chocolate Frog Cards, and Horcrux Collecting. I don't even know what half of those are yet, but I'm still excited! They sound so cool...

I found out that I can rack up about 20 Chocolate Frog Cards for participating in break month stuff, so the madness begins!

Here's my new Gryffindor avatar... Or "robes" as they call them in HPKCHC.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow

I have a confession to make. Apparently I can't read, because I bought this polish because I thought the name was "Here Today... Aragorn Tomorrow." I snapped it up for the LOTR reference and the ranger green color. But OPI wasn't doing a Lord of the Rings polish, they were doing a Spanish collection.

The color looks black with no flash, so I had to use it to show that it's a really dark, almost black, green. The traditional park benches here are painted a similar color the call "Charleston green." The polish also isn't opaque when you put it on, so it's a 2- or 3-coater (which annoyed me since I didn't have much time to do it, so they're messed up).


Color swatches for the matte version of this polish online look awesome. I'm hoping to come across it in the future...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

East Village

This morning, I tried another cheapo polish: NYC in East Village. It looked like a gorgeous teal in the bottle, but man was I disappointed when I used it....

It went on in the thinnest layer I've ever seen and lightly tinted my nail. It was like looking at my nails underwater, minus the water. Which is cool I guess if that's what you're looking for, but if I spend that much time doing my nails I want it to be substantial. So instead of putting on 75 coats, I used what I lovingly call the "pile on" method. I pile on about 4 layers worth of polish and smooth it out as best I can, let it sit a while, and put a final coat on top (followed by a top coat, of course). This gets me through those super thin polishes without making me tear my hair out.

The only problem with this method is that is takes a lot longer to dry because the wet layer is super thick. Which normally wouldn't be a problem... But real life kind of got in the way and I messed them up (that's what I get for doing them in the morning). So I ended up taking it all off anyways, but I got a picture before I did.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Learning to Crochet

I started trying to learn to crochet a couple of days ago. I got two whole rows of single chain before I gave up and went back to working on my scarf... But I did it! See my pathetic little chain?


Gothic Lolita

I was so in love with Electric Beat that I decided to try another of China Glaze's Electropop collection -- Gothic Lolita. This one is a medium purple (reddish purple, not blue purple) with a hint of shimmer. I'm starting to realize that I like flat colors best, but I still like this one. It's not that different from NYC's Prince Street, just lighter and redder.


Also, I think I've been doing my nails a bit too much because they're starting to peel. So I put a little oil on them before the polish (and took it off before polishing of course!), and put on 2 coats of Gelous to (hopefully) harden them up a little.