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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 'Thankful' time of year

It's that time of year again... the people in your life on FB stop constantly updating about their daily grievances and start updating about what they are thankful for.

I don't use FB much anymore. I check what other people are posting about and upload an occasional photo but that's about it. I do use it to update the FB page for the blog and my Etsy shop but honestly, I am FB'ed out. So I'll use the blog as a way to proclaim my thankfulness this year, mm'kay?

1) I am immensely thankful for my family:
~My husband is my best friend and I can tell him anything. He has been so helpful with getting my jewelry business going and even washes dishes. Now THAT'S a good man.
~My children are crazy weird, super smart, and so well behaved/polite. My life would be terribly boring without these 2 weirdos.
She had no idea about the photobombing

~I'm thankful for my mother. She drives me batty sometimes and we butt heads A LOT but she has always been there for me. No matter how bad I've screwed up or disappointed her in some way, she's always in my corner.

2) I'm terribly thankful that we moved down south back in May.
On Monday is got up near 70 degrees. In Minnesota, they've had a few weeks of temps that never got above 20. This year, my husband didn't get snow on his birthday which made both of us happy. I like southern winters, not upper Midwest winters. I like hoodies and cute boots, not being wrapped up like Randy from A Christmas Story.

3) I'm thankful to be back in my hometown.
It's so familiar to me and it's great to be near old friends. I get to see my nieces so much more. Watching them turn into young women and getting to see them perform in Color Guard has been so wonderful. They are growing up so fast. Too fast. I'm glad I can be here to be with them.

4) I'm thankful that I'm healthy. (Relatively.)
I wake up each morning and seem to have more stiffness and joints that hurt the older I get, but I'm still pretty healthy. And with a good heating pad, I can make my shoulder blades feel less like someone is twisting my muscles into pretzels. (Yup, heating pad is on as I type this.)

5) I'm thankful that I get the opportunity to try and make a go of my jewelry business.
I have 2 craft fairs coming up in the next two weeks and I'm nervous/really excited to show my wares to people. I truly believe in my product and I've put a lot of time and effort into making the best jewelry that I can make.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More new resin pendants in the shop!

Hello all!

How's the weather in your area? I swear, I moved  out of Minnesota back in May to avoid really cold weather, especially too early in winter. Hell, it's still FALL. But Mother Nature decided to show me a few flakes last night.
I hate her.

This weekend, we celebrated my husband's birthday with homemade baked ziti and cake.
My niece, Noodle, spent the night with us and was here to celebrate the birthday. After she passed out (do all teenagers poop out before midnight these days?), I managed to get a few more pendants made for the shop.

First up is a rainbow of beauty, inspired by The Wizard of Oz.
Black Oz, Not Kansas resin pendant: When I made polish, this was my bestseller. In the bottle, it didn't look like much. But painted on top of black? Yowza. It's a rainbow of glitters finished off with black to make the glitter glow. My mother loves this one in the sun. My niece wanted this pendant first out of the others I had when I asked. It's damn near impossible to photograph well.

Next is the pendant inspired by the movie Steel Magnolias. "My colors are Blush and Bashful, Momma!"
Dark pink 'Shelby' resin pendant: This pendant is one of two featuring my 'Shelby' mix. The pink on the back to finish this one off is darker than the other version, which I don't have photographed yet. There are two different pink glitters in various sizes suspended in this pendant.

This next one was me paying homage to the Rancho Carne Toros from the movie Bring It On! I usually don't like cheerleading movies and I only like the original featuring Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku.
Of course, this could absolutely be used on game day for any school that uses red, white, and black for its school colors. I think of the Georgia Bulldogs looking at this one.
Red 'Toro' resin pendant: Multiple sizes and shapes of red, white, and black glitter are suspended in this one and finished off with a pretty, transparent red. (For UGA fans, I did create a pendant this weekend using the same glitters but using silver on the back.... Silver britches, anyone? I just need to photograph it.)

That's all that I have for now. I have a few more new things but I need to sit down and photograph them. It's going to be difficult to photograph Ms. Peacock, my current favorite. Those pendants are finished off with shifting colors and they look so great.

Oh and be on the lookout for 'Abyss', Unda Da' Sea, and 'The Glades'. Color shifting glitters? Heck yeah!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New goodies in the Etsy shop!

Hello all!

Disclaimer: No polishes were harmed in the making of this jewelry. 

After what seems like a lifetime and a half of trial, error, research, and development, I finally have some finished resin pendants in my Etsy shop, Travelin' Chick Designs.

A couple of years ago, I made nail polish and sold it on Etsy. My indie brand was Red Carpet Lacquer and I sold a few polishes. I made polishes inspired by television shows and movies. I got out of it because it was a lot of hassle, too many inconsistencies with supplies, and there are some crazy people in the nail polish community.

When we moved, we moved a few boxes of nail polish making supplies, including glitter and pigments. I wondered several times what in the world I was going to do with all of that glitter.

Last year, I bought my first resin supplies. And after it came in, my husband and I talked about experimenting with the resin and the glitter and maybe making nail polish jewelry. I ended up tossing that idea into the trash due to the fact that there were already a lot of people smearing nail polish on the back of a glass cabochon and gluing it into a bezel.

But then I thought... if I could get the glitter suspended in the resin and use pigments/dyes to sort of recreate my polishes from scratch, that would be cool.
And then we decided to move. And I had to pack. And then I had to unpack. And then we were busy all summer so the resin jewelry idea got pushed to the back of my mind.

A few months ago, I finally got started. And I had a lot of nights that I thought I'd find something else to make because resin? It's fussy. Suspending glitter? Fussy. Water marbling a specific color theme onto resin for kids in a specific school? FUSSY.

But I finally got it all figured out and I LOVE the results.
Below are a few of the pendants that are all done and listed in the shop.

'Grifter' was inspired by a character named Sophie on the TNT show, Leverage.
Black 'Grifter' resin pendant: In the sun, this is stunning. It's full of holographic silver glitter and domed with solid back to show off the glitter. When I made the 'Grifter' polish, I almost always wore it over black.  Photographing it is difficult because it just doesn't capture the sparkle.
The chain is 17 inches but can be adjusted to 19 inches long.

Dark gray 'Grifter' resin pendant: It's the same glitter as the pendant above but it's domed with a dark gray, shimmery pigment. I never thought to put the polish on top of gray. I love the look. 
The chain is 17 inches and can be adjusted to 19 inches long.

Light gray 'Grifter' resin pendant: This is the same glitter in the pendants above with an even lighter gray pigment. Looking at all three in a row reminds me of gradient nails (some people call it ombre). This pendant is a circle but I can make it into a square as above or into an oval or rectangle.
Chain is 17 inches, can be adjusted to 19 inches long.


'JJ' was inspired by the character Penelope Garcia on my favorite show, Criminal Minds. Garcia wears a lot of crazy colored clothing and I decided to base a few polishes off her attire. This one came from the episode 'J.J.'.
Yellow 'JJ' resin pendant:Metallic yellow, navy blue, and black glitter make up the glitter mixture in this pendant. When I paired it with the bright yellow pigment, I was in heaven. This baby REALLY shines in the sun. It catches the light really well and it's hard to not notice it.
Chain is 17 inches, adjusts to 19 inches.

'Jones' was also inspired by clothing worn by Garcia on Criminal Minds. The name of the episode was called 'Jones' and introduced us to J.J.'s future husband, Will.
Blue 'Jones' resin pendant: Purple, pink, light blue, and a little bit of black makes up this glitter mixture. If you click the link to the old RCL blog above, you can see a macro shot of the glitter on my nails. This mixture is fun because it is versatile. I have several blues to use as the background on the pendant and several blue options.
Chain is 17 inches, adjusts to 19 inches.

Last, but never least... one of my most favorite polishes that I ever made/experimented with (and possibly the best swatching photos that I ever accomplished).

'Toula' was inspired by one of my favorite movies, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Blue was so big in the movie... bridesmaids dresses, invites, flags, and of course the Windex.
Blue 'Toula' resin pendant: There are several shades of blue glitter mixed with silver in this pendant. I plan to experiment with a darker background but I do have several different shades like this one.
Chain is 17 inches, adjusts to 19 inches.

All of the above pendants are now in the Etsy shop. I'll be adding more in the next week.
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 7, 2014

In between holidays mani

Halloween, and all of the nail art that goes along with it, is over for this year. And it's a little too early (to me) for Thanksgiving nails. It's WAY too early for Christmas nails (sad face). I finally took off my spiderweb mani today and tried out some new polishes.

Last month at the Nal Gals Meet-up, I managed to get my hands on the Pipe Dream Polish 'A Night in Vegas' neon cremes.

The neons are incredible. The formula is great, the colors are BRIGHT, they're black light reactive, and they water marble like a dream. April just did a restock and they sold out lightning fast (as usual) so getting your hands on some might take a little while. She's going to be low on restocks until after Christmas, I believe. But be patient. She has NO PLANS TO DISCONTINUE the neons.

Anyway.... check this out!

Left hand:

Aren't the colors gorgeous?

Colors used
All In
On the List
V.I.P. Pass 
Happy Hour

Left hand, with thumb: 

Right hand:

Right hand, with thumb:

If you have a chance, snag some neons from April at Pipe Dream Polish. But please remember to be patient. She's one person, not a robot. And she can only pump out so many bottles of polish at a time.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Our Halloween was cold and rainy, dagnabit

Last year, when we still lived in Minnesota, we were in Chattanooga during Halloween visiting family and going to a home football game, one away football game, and a band competition.

During that home game, it was 34 degrees, the competition being slightly better (warmer) the next night. But on Halloween, it was 72 degrees with a little sprinkling after the candy gathering.

This year? The year we live here? It bottomed out a bit and dropped into the 40's and of course, there was wind and rain. The twins had a football game and the band left early due to the sleet falling on them in the stands.

I would like to put the blame on the numerous Elsa's and Olaf's I saw on Halloween. I guess for those kids, it was more realistic if we were all frozen.

But as bad as it was here, it was worse up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where it was actually snowing. Poor kids. You know it sucked to have to wear full winter gear over the well-planned costumes.

Instead of hiking up and down the hills of our neighborhood, we went to a Halloween Block Party in Cleveland, TN. It has become a really popular event. They had food vendors, craft vendors, tons of people in costume,  music, and CANDY. The M&M/Mars company has a factory nearby and they hand out candy to everyone, not just the kids. But more about that in a minute.

I spent more time than I liked figuring out what to do with each kid's head. I tried the sock bun thing on Peanut and was ready to chuck the sock straight out the door. Never again. I tried a regular bun but the hair on that head seems to have tripled in thickness. Finally I achieved a bun that I could live with. Actually, I loved it. It reminded me of a cinnamon roll.

I already had her hair in a ponytail so I separated a piece out and twisted that around into a bun. I pinned it with bobby pins. The other section ended up too thick (geez with the hair!) so I split it into another piece and twisted that around as well, securing it with more bobby pins. I took that last piece and twisted it around the previous two pieces. I think we used 20 bobby pins to hold it into place. I made sure she KNEW that she better be careful with her head the rest of the day (the child is hell on her hair).

For Button, I wanted her hair half up. I decided to get my curling wand out and give her hair some body. She has really thick hair too but it's confused. Some of it's curly, some is wavy, and then there are a few strands that are almost stick straight. It wasn't hard to curl but MAN that took a little while. My hair would have been done 15 minutes in but she had about 3 times more hair. It took forever but she LOVED it.

Normally I would have run my fingers through it but since we weren't leaving right after I was done with it, I left it alone. Over the course of the next few hours, it relaxed a little on it's own and looked great.

Before we got them dressed, it started to rain. On Halloween. Nice joke, Mother Nature. Cold on Halloween is one thing but rain can ruin a costume. It was raining hard so we decided to get them dressed and drive up to Cleveland and see what the weather would do once we parked.

We made sure they had tights and sweats on under their dresses to help block the cold a little. And I was so thankful we chose dresses that didn't have to go over their heads.

 Ladies and gents, may I present a Diamond Fairy and a Candy Princess:


I loved their costumes. I painted Peanut's nails with China Glaze Glistening Snow (what I used in this mani) to match the sparkle on her dress and all of her jewels. Button's nails were neon Skittles to match the colors in her dress.

We had fun at the Block Party but the kids were not warm and the rain was irritating. (Yes, we had umbrellas.) After getting the candy from the M&M/Mars people we left and went to get warm clothes at home. You may be thinking "But that's not a lot of candy".

Sorry. Here's a pic of the candy haul. 

They gave EACH of us a bag full of 3 types of M&M's and Twix bars. My husband weighed the bags later that night.... 2 pounds of candy per bag! We came home with 8 pounds of M&M's and Twix candy bars. Not bad at all.

Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! Here's hoping next year will be a little warmer and dryer.