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Kathryn  Nail art and photography enthusiast ~ finally found the courage to start posting my own photos ~ so much to learn but enjoying the journey ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ˜Š

We enjoyed a brief spell of sunshine this afternoon so I managed to scramble for my camera and capture a few extra shots of my Narwhal nail art for the @clairestelle8challenge and show the holographic polishes as they are meant to be seen! (The slideshow includes images of all the other products used in my design). @aengland_official Symphony in Blue and Silver is a beautiful soft blue scattered holographic polish with the usual fabulous formula. If you're wondering how this compares with Captive Goddess, this is a clearer and lighter blue without the more complex aqua/green/purple colour shift of Captive Goddess. (The comparison bottle shots show the contrast between the two best in natural light). Symphony also stamps beautifully which I'm very excited about! ๐Ÿ’™

@colorsbyllarowe Chasing a Unicorn has a fine eggshell porcelain translucency with a beautiful soft linear holographic finish which you can just see in my photo. It looks so pretty and delicate with stamping over it. I did need two coats of the white base polish and one of the holographic top coat, but it has a very easy workable formula as well.
These are two beautiful polishes which really deserved a post of their own, as they are little show stoppers in their own right!

For the third @clairestelle8challenge July prompt, Unicorn: I have painted the Narwhal which I discovered through my (not very extensive!) research, ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜„ is one possible candidate for inspiring the unicorn mythology. The unicorn was known, among other things, for its rarity and its twisting magical horn. In addition to its rarity, I was fascinated to learn that the Narwhals single tusk has remarkable sensory powers enabling it gauge water temperature and salinity, likely helping it to navigate through the ocean depths. And if that ain't magical I don't know what is!
Of all the prompts, this is the one I was most looking forward to but also the one I struggled with the most. Anyway, after several false starts I remembered that I had I @colorsbyllarowe Chasing a Unicorn in my stash and then everything fell into place. I painted my little narwhal image with @aengland_official Symphony in Blue and Silver and applied it as a decal over the white holographic polish. I stamped the wave image from the @emilydemolly plate EDM04 using the same blue polish and finished with an accent of @gracefullnailpolish The White Rider on my pinky. The first photo is in natural light and the second with lighting to show the holo effect, although I definitely need more practice photographing these kind of polishes! It's the first time I've tried making decals and I did find that they were inclined to wrinkle a bit. Does anyone have any tips on how to settle it nice and flat onto the nail? If you do I'll be very interested to hear! #clairestelle8july ... Ooh I've just thought: I wonder if this could double up as a Unicorn/Nautical design? ๐Ÿฆ„โš“๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜„

Welcome to the Tropics! ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒดIn this design for the second @clairestelle8challenge July prompt: Tropical ~ I was inspired by the fabulous paintings of @colleenwilcoxart and this picture in particular (please swipe to see the collage). I found several inspiring images searching online, but when I saw Colleen's 'Paradise' painting with its beautiful vibrant stained glass feel, I was just itching to get it on my nails and that blew all the other ideas out of the water! I painted my homage to Paradise with acrylics over a white base as usual, and I soon discovered that at this scale I couldn't include as many of the detailed background elements from the original painting as I would have liked as they threatened to overwhelm the main images. So I prioritised on the hibiscus flower, the cheese plant leaf, the creamy plumeria flowers (my favourite bit) and the pink heliconia. I was rather frustrated that try as I might, I just couldn't fit that beautiful blue/pink swirl into the space on my middle nail, so I decided to make that the focus image on my thumbnail which made up for my earlier disappointment. (And it's now my other favourite!) ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚ It took me a couple of days (with rests) to complete this but it's making me feel so happy every time I look at my nails. And it's not surprising really ... because that's how the original artwork makes you feel! ๐Ÿ˜Š #clairestelle8july

In this design for the @clairestelle8challenge first July prompt I painted the ice cream nail art over a selection of @barrymcosmetics Gelly Polishes including: (left to right) Coconut, Huckleberry, Sugar Apple and Rosehip, with @chinaglazeofficial Sweet Hook on the pinky and a sprinkling of Fairy Dust over each colour. All these polish formulas are easy to work with. The gellies have a thinnish fluid texture and I needed 3 coats for full opacity, but their very forgiving texture allows you to easily work back over the wet polish and make corrections. Since I got into nail polish and discovered the Indie polish collections I have rather neglected the high street offerings, but I'm glad I made an exception for these gellies because they are now a much loved addition to my stash. ๐Ÿ’—
The China Glaze polish Sweet Hook is a particularly opaque finish and another beautiful texture which almost applies itself in two easy coats! Fairy Dust needs no description really ... I just love it for adding a little extra subtle sparkle! โœจ๐Ÿ’—โœจ Hands up, who else loves Fairy Dust? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜„ #clairestelle8july

This is my design for the first @clairestelle8challenge July prompt: Ice Cream/Popsicle ~ I have chosen a cute ice cream soft toy look inspired by several cuddly creations including these from @friendsofsocktopus (please swipe to see the collage) ~ This was the third idea I worked on for this prompt. I first thought I would try a raspberry ripple ice cream themed watermarble design (having never actually attempted watermarble before) ๐Ÿ™„ and the results were anything but pretty. It might just have passed as what is left on your plate after eating raspberry ripple ice cream, but that would be about the closest it gets! ๐Ÿ˜œ So ... new day ... new idea and these smiling little ices make me smile back every time I look at them! I think the chocolate one is my favourite because his features show up so nicely. I also painted a cute lollipop/popsicle on my thumb and because it made me feel so happy I did both hands. ๐Ÿ˜Š All painted with acrylics over a selection of @barrymcosmetics @chinaglazeofficial polishes which I'll list in my next post. #clairestelle8july

This is one of my favourite summer polishes @opi_products Elephantastic Pink ~ a beautiful bright watermelon pink with a slightly translucent quality giving it a gorgeous glass like depth. It does take 2-3 coats for good opacity but it flows beautifully onto the nail. It's perfect for pedicures and I love it so much I have to remind myself to ring the changes and get some pedi time out of the other lovely polishes in my collection! I actually created this flatlay photo sometime last year for the #OPIteapartysweepstakes Alice in Wonderland collection giveaway. It was only sometime after all the photo faffage and posting my image that I discovered firstly I needed to be a US resident to participate, and secondly I should have had a public account in order for it to be seen! ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜‚ #rookiemistake Oh well, it was a fun afternoon working on this and I thought it was worth posting again now as it's still my favourite pink! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ˜„ #opi #elephantasticpink #opinailpolish #opinail #opilove #opipolish #opicolor #opilover #opilovers #opiaddict

And finally, I'm posting the collage of all four entries for the @clairestelle8challenge ~ clockwise from the top right:
Bluebells ~ Where I Live
Musical Score ~ Hobby
Seasalt Scarf Print ~ Fashion
A Room With a View ~ Book/Movie (swipe option to see individual designs)

It's been a real pleasure to join in with this challenge and I loved working on each prompt. It was fun seeing what everyone else chose to do each week as well! Thank you Claire for thinking up such good ideas for us to work with! ๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ˜„ #clairestelle8june

This is my fourth entry for the @clairestelle8challenge prompt 'Inspired by a Book/Movie' ~ My choice is both a book and a movie: 'A Room With a View' written by EM Forster and the award winning Merchant Ivory film adaptation from 1985 with Helena Bonham Carter ~ This film holds a special place in my heart; it's a slow burn story full of subtle character psychology with a stellar cast, stunning scenery and a beautiful music score. The moment I've attempted to depict is the iconic scene on the hillside overlooking Florence when Lucy falls into the cornfield full of poppies and George comes to meet her. When Kiri te Kanawa hits that high note has to be one of the most romantic moments in cinema history ... [sigh] ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ˜Š ~ Back to the present moment: this is definitely the most intricate design I've ever attempted and I first re-watched some of @narmai 's nail art scenery video tutorials which were a big help in understanding how to build up the layers with acrylic paints to create a landscape. (Please swipe to see the collage with the inspiration photos I worked from). I then took about 649 photos trying to get one that didn't have any glare blowing out the details. There was a nice light this evening but the sun kept peeping through and playing havoc with the glossy topcoat! ๐Ÿ˜– So ... that's a wrap with my challenge entries! I'm so happy to have been able to take part for the first time and it's been super inspiring to see all the other entries as well. Speaking of which ... I'm now off to get a cuppa to relax and enjoy oohing at all the other entries! โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ˜„

This is my third entry for the @clairestelle8challenge prompt 'Inspired by Fashion' ~ My inspiration for this weeks prompt is this @seasaltcornwall Everyday Scarf in Kaye's Garden Salt print (please swipe to see the print collage). I am in love with pretty much every print @seasaltcornwall make so it was rather tricky to choose only one (I particularly like some of the Lino cut prints but they are super intricate so I'll save those for when I've had more practice). Anyway, Kaye's Garden Salt feels very appropriate on a hot summers day like today and as I painted it, I realised just how many layers of detail are in this pattern. I love its cheerful summer vibe and I think I will be keeping this on my nails for as long as possible! Happy ... happy ... happy ... ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜„ #clairestelle8june #seasaltartsclub

This is my second entry for the @clairestelle8challenge prompt 'Inspired by Your Job or Hobby' ~ I chose a musical theme as I am also a pianist and I painted these freehand with black acrylic paint over Rica Whiteout stamping polish. I did find myself questioning the wisdom of attempting to draw 5 equidistant parallel lines across multiple nails halfway through the job, ๐Ÿค”but I did only have to re-do two nails in the end! ๐Ÿ˜„ If you're also wondering how long nails and piano playing work together, then you are right to wonder! ๐ŸŽน๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป๐Ÿค” In fact my former piano teacher would have taken a pretty dim view of that combination also! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I spent many happy years learning, playing and even doing a little teaching, but several injuries have put my piano playing on the back seat for the present. It was a happy day though when I finally realised the possibilities of long nails and nail art, having sported shorties all my life! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’— Who was it who said something about doors closing, but windows opening? ๐Ÿ˜Š So with this design at least, I get the best of both worlds and still have a little music at my fingertips! ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ˜„ #clairestelle8june

This is my first entry for the @clairestelle8challenge 'Inspired by Where You Live' ~ We recently moved to a little village in the heart of Wales and were delighted to discover masses of bluebells in the woods and hills behind our new home. I have taken so many photos of them this spring, but for painting purposes none of mine were very good, so I drew these from a couple of @annabean1983 beautiful wildflower photos. I really enjoyed doing these, my first proper attempt with acrylic paints and I'm looking forward to more practice with them. I have to say I got myself in a bit of a pickle with this contest. I set up my first public account in order to join in and then in my excitement must have done something to annoy IG and it froze me out so I couldn't post this in time for the first prompt date. Really hoping it is still ok to post these, but either way it's been a fun experience and I loved painting and wearing these! ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š Excited to see everyone else's entries now. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜„#clairestelle8june

Delicate Floral Stamping ~ this is Nails Inc Brunswick Gardens stamped with a delicate floral spray pattern from the Bundle Monster Secret Garden plate BM-708 using Rica Whiteout stamping polish

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