Friday, 31 January 2014

Bellringing and boring nails

Yea my nails are plain and simple today. Nails Inc Eaton Square, am itty bitty mini from one of those 'pay so much get this free' sets. It's actually rather more pink than it looks in the pictures.
The reason for this (the plainness not the colour discrepancy, that's site to poor lighting and laziness) is two fold. One, I'm going away for a few days next week so am trying to get ahead with at least the challenge manis for the week. And two, ringing. Ringing ringing ringing. A lot of it. I'm busy revising furiously for a particular thing we're doing on Sunday. A particularly terrifying thing lol.
The thing with ringing is.... You never get to rest on your laurels. You start and they teach you the two strokes, hand (pull the fluffybit, rope goes up) and back (pull the ropey bit, rope comes down). Then they get you to do them together. Then you do it lots and lots roll you're reasonably reliable at doing it without causing chaos.
At this point you can go yippee o know how to ring a bell.
Then they add in a whole bunch of other bells. This complicates life cos you have to learn to for in with a rhythm and keep your Bell striking in the right place. At this point we're still just thinking of the physical act of moving the Bell, the bells simply ring in order from 1 to 8 (or however many the Tower has). Then they start yelling things. And this changes the order. So you happily ringing the forth Bell after the third Bell might suddenly find the fifth has butted in ahead. This means not only do you have to learn to change speeds, you have to think at the same time and try to keep up with the instructions and what order the bells are in.
Phew that was hard work. But hey, look I'm making pretty music now. I've mastered call changes.
Then we move into the world of plain hunt. Instead of being told what to do as you go along you have to learn and remember. There's not a huge amount to it, on five bells if you're ringing the 1 you ring over 2453 and then repeat. This has the effect of putting you in first place (where you start) second, third, forth, fifth. Then one more in fifth and back down, forth, third, second, lead (first place). And all the bells do pretty much the same but starting at different points.
So with a mad mixture of those two things you find you're gradually able to slot yourself into the right holes.
The next thing is they get all the other bells to do something different while you keep plain hunting. You do the same thing essentially, 1-5 and back but do it several more times and ring after different bells...bye bye 2453- you can cling to it for a while in that the order goes 2453 repeat, 3245 repeat, 5324 repeat and so on.... Then they call 'Bob' and even that goes out the window.
Eventually after much practice your a fairly competent treble (number one Bell) ringer.
So they chuck you 'inside' onto a different Bell and get you to do what the others have been doing while you've been happily plain hunting. It's similar. But very, very different also. It's plain hunt with twiddles. So you might start of ringing first, second, third, fourth but then hop back to third before continuing on to fourth and fifth. This is called a 3/4 up dodge and is one of many fun things one can throw into patterns we call 'methods'.
The simplest has just a 3/4 up dodge, a 3/4 down dodge (the opposite as the name implies), for behind (hang around in fifth place for four strokes) and seconds (ring twice in seconds place then go back to first place).
And now we know plain Bob.
But that's only the start. Then that mysterious 'Bob' reappears. And instead of doing what you've learnt so diligently every time someone yells it you do something entirely different. Well maybe not entirely but different enough. And then move to a different part of the pattern and continue from there.
Just as you've  desperately learnt all this in neat little lines and tables and think wow I can do a touch of plain Bob doubles that sounds clever they mess things up in new ways. They add in extra bells. Our they change the twiddles. They might change the rules for bobs.
So gradually you build up a repertoire of different patterns, aka methods.
Some of them are pretty difficult methods and you can be pretty pleased with yourself when you remember them right.
Sometimes you might be the one to yell the bobs at everyone else. And that's a whole new set of rules to learn.
But finally, the real kicker, the thing that is causing this long terror induced ramble: they introduce splicing. You sit and carefully learn several different methods. Then you chop them up at designated points. Then shuffle them and put them back together in an order specified by the conductor (that's the Bob yelling guy (my predictive text thinks that should be 'git', I'm saying nothing lol). And your brain leaks out of your ears.

And I love it. Not so much the terror I must confess but the general ringing thing. It's amazing. In fact I love it more than polish :p.

This of course is totally nonsensical. And thoroughly boring if you don't happen to be a ringer. And pretty boring if you do happen to be a ringer since you know it already lol.
But the really important thing about this post is this: it allowed me to procrastinate for a good twenty minutes ;-). Night. X

Thursday, 30 January 2014

GOT challenge- dots

Ah dots. I love dots. Most of the earliest nail arty things I did were dots (though admittedly this may be because I just had a handful of polish and some cocktail sticks to play with lol). I'm not, however, very creative with my dots. I don't seem to have the right eye for the beautiful asymmetric, swirly, multiple size and colour dotticures I see. I did want to do something different to my standard grid or flowers routine. So I Googled. And find this on Lucy's stash. Now mine is nowhere near as pristine as hers of course but I would like to practice the pattern again in future. I also hadn't realised how similar our colour schemes were, I chose the colours before the design, weird lol.
Anyway, speaking of colours, base is opi I have a herring problem which was another early tkmaxx purchase. Dots are maybelline winner takes all (that's right isn't it?), another of the animal trio that started it all and a 17 holo silver. The gold is pretty old, I kinda can't remember about the silver, I know it was my first holo if that helps lol.
Now time to struggle with green for next week lol. X

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Nail art weekly project- 1 clothing

Wow look nails! Lol. This is the first week of a weekly nail art challenge put together by Danni at gingerbread smiles.
As the title says the theme was clothing. Now I confess I'm not good with clothing, there's a reason I'm not a fashion blogger. Actually there are several but the main one is that I live in jeans, hoody, t shirt. I own a lot of dresses and I love them but they're effort.
They're also mainly chosen for the cut rather than the pattern so don't translate well to nails.
So I ventured into the land of pinterest. I picked a colour (purple, obviously) and added the word dress for no other reason than to limit the search to clothing lol. I finally settled on the ruffled ombre petticoat pictured. Partly just because I've been wanting to try a ruffle mani ever since reading chalkboard nails' tutorial. My base colour was pale pink for the petticoat's waistband bit, in the form of nails Inc South Molton Street. It's pretty much a French manicure polish but I wanted something pale.
Then I started from my nail tips with Essie sexy divide, sinful colours Let's talk, belle glamour (pass I forget the name), accessorize mineral violet, nails Inc Lowndes Square and finally nails Inc floral Street. The black is models own Black nail art pen/striper.
I'll admit I played it a little fast and loose with the colours, if I wasn't being lazy I would have picked a purple and mixed it with white and some it properly. But it's been a long day. So it doesn't look hugely like the original but I kinda don't mind it really. X

wreck this journal, a work in progress

I posted a while ago that I was gonna start playing with this. I figured, since I'm not posting today's nails, I'd document how far I've got. It might even prompt me to do a few more pages, I've been slacking :p.
I generally need no prompting to spill my drinks tbh lol.
Ok, so I got a bit childish with these two :p.
I had to post this one as instead of using the cone to drink water, as instructed, I was a rebel and used it to decant my Nelly polish Hehe.
Little annoyed at how carried away I got with the negative thoughts page, must do the positive one next.
And the contents of my pockets...I have very large pockets in my work uniform lol. And yes I had polish in my pocket but only cos I was taking it through to another room to use lol. There are a few more I've done but they're either half complete or hard/boring to photograph. Maybe I'll update again if I remember! X

Monday, 27 January 2014

The hitchhikers guide to....

...Katie land.
It's a weird place certainly. I don't really have anything interesting to share on the nail front right now so here's a glimpse into my life.

- I'm trying to start reading again. Atm it's hitchhikers guide I have some murder mysteries lined up plus Alice in wonderland. Definitely need to add some terry pratchett to the list too. I miss books.

- my life is dominated by ringing atm. Today we rang, tomorrow we ring. And Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is a day off... Before ringing in Saturday and Sunday lol. It's a good job I like ringing. And I really, really do like ringing.

- currently can't get enough of the crumpet. Also loving ohtofeelpretty (and it's awesome that she's started to do more nail stuff) the  agoraphobic fashionista and sassylittlenails particularly her monthly charity challenge which I really want to join in on when I find some inspiration.

- speaking of challenges in enjoying crumpets nail tarts' GOT challenge and this is also the first of five weekly challenges from gingerbread smiles .

- next week I go visit a friend in Nottingham :) so will probably be around less *everyone breathes a sigh of relief* lol.

- I finally organised my polishes.... again! We'll see how long it lasts this time.

- I feel like my mood is lifting away from depression. Which theoretically is a good thing. It's not that I like being depressed, if the choices were depression or happiness I know which I'd choose.... The problem is in my experience the choice is usually depression or anxiety. Not caring at all or caring too much. And not caring at all is easier.

- moving on. Third week of group therapy this week. I'll post about that at some point.

- and finally, I wore the last of my mystery bag polishes today. Glitter guilty, violet vixen. Which is far more beautiful than the pictures make it look.

You are now welcome to exit my world and return to normality. X

Sunday, 26 January 2014


Change, yes. Only a tiny little one. I changed my nails cos I broke one and one short straight tip looked silly. Problem is, whilst I love straight tips on I hate them on myself. They really don't suit me.
Still overall having shorter, straighter nails for a week or so is really not that big a deal. Except that it is. It's different and weird and it's put me in a strange mood all day.
Because I hate change and there is too much of it about lately and focusing on a tiny change is easier.

I do have a point.
Not liking change is a fairly common human trait. A large number of us like to be able to predict roughly how our day to day life will go and be prepared for it. It's safer.
When you're struggling with mental illness and it's hit or miss whether you can cope with the day anyway then the smallest change can mess everything up. Or seem to, it can mess everything in your head up anyway.
And then we're back to the post about the effect of little things.
Flipping out cos a friend is running half an hour late for lunch.
Crying because an appointment gets moved.
Panicking about a new brand of tomato ketchup.

New things, different things, things that require you to adapt your plans or your thinking. And that can be surprisingly hard work. When you feel like you can't trust your own brain to do right by you there's a lot of comfort to be found in regularity and reliability.
I'm not explaining myself very well tonight, sorry. I just mean forgive me if I'm disproportionately angry at you for changing our plans. Don't be too annoyed when buying Coke instead of Pepsi is treated as a heinous crime. And bear with me when I want to do something my way against all reason simply because that's what I always do.
And by me I mean anybody. Your daughter, your boyfriend, your great aunt, whoever. It's another of those frustrating 'but it makes sense in my head' things.
Oh and here are the offending nails. Hatehate. Lol. X

Ps. Polish is utopia the notebook.

Friday, 24 January 2014

iconic effect

Sorry for the uninspiring title...the polishes I have to show you are inspiring enough to comoensate though :). Without further rambling, for once: Malificent dragon This is the first one I HAD to wear when the package arrived. It's sort of purple (hence my being drawn to it) but a very, very red purple. Maybe plum, maybe wine, maybe somewhere in between....or maybe something entirely different I don't know I fail at colours. What I do know is it has a quite obscene amount of holo lol. I love holos but there's something specially magical about dark, ruch holos that makes me think of witches brew and magical smoke (you know the kinda people disappear in a puff of). It applied smoothly and cleanly and the pics were after two coats ans top coat. Hades More holo. Bright and vibrant this time, if the last one was witches and mystery this one is wizards robes and sorcery. Those are different honest...less deep brooding more flash showmanship. I read too much fantasy. This is a lovely bright (royal??) Blue, with, as I may have mentioned, half a tonne of holo.application was very much the same as the above and coverage was great. Two coats with top coat again in pics. Longest Night I'm wearing this one right now (yea this would be the one that missed it's photo op yesterday!). Slightly different to the other two this is a black base with tiny multicoloured glitter whuch catches the light every which way. I won't go off on one again but think dragons' caves and hoarded treasure. Strangely I found this easier to apply second time round, I dunno if it had time to settle or if I was just having a crap day before lol. But yea today I had no issues, and I can assure you removal is very easy ;). Actually this is true of all three but yea. Love these polishes and would have ordered more already if not fir the fact I'm trying to exercise restraint lol. X

Ps. Sorry for using the app again apparently blogger doesn't like my photos today. x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

GOT challenge- Blue

Ah another golden oldie. I found this one kinda hard simply because I couldn't remember which of my blues were oldest. I know this seventeen rock hard nail effects textured polish is old, as it was the first textured polish I bought and id never heard of textured polish then. Anyway it's not my favourite textured polish ever (it's kinda claggy though I do like the colour) so I figured I'd play with it. And my favourite thing ever to do with textured polishes is taping, I enjoy the contrast and the slightly 3d aspect. That meant finding a Blue to layer it over so I went trawling through old photos to see what cropped up earliest. Turned out to be this color club polish from a tkmaxx set, which I used with the seventeen polish in a mani very similar to this one in one of my very first blog posts. The last time I did criss cross and I rather liked the result but that was too much effort so I just slapped on a couple stripes Haha.
Don't forget to check out the inlinkz for amazing manis on the theme of Blue. were gonna get an extra post on iconic effect as I didn't past yesterday... But I, um, managed to remove the last of the polishes without taking pictures so I'll have to redo them tomorrow lol. X

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Another mindful moment

More as a reminder to myself than anything. Recently I have noticed anxiety creeping back into my life. And I'm not having it. So I need to get back into the positive mindful habits that I've let slide because my mood has been kinda low (anxiety decreases, mood drops, mood improves, anxiety increases... go figure lol).

Anyway, with this in mind I figured I'd choose a really simple one. It involves breathing. And most of us do that already, so:
- as always, sitin a comfortable position away from distractions
- close your eyes or let them settle without focusing on anything
- draw your attention to your breathing, you don't need to change it (though actually it's surprisingly hard not to!)
- start to count your breathes in 1, out 2, in 3 etc.
- when you get to ten stop and start again at one
- if you notice your attention has drifted and you've either stopped counting or have counted too high, don't worry just bring your attention gently back as soon as you realise
- after whatever period of time feels comfortable return to just feeling the sensations of breathing again before focusing back in on the world around you and opening your eyes

I'll be honest I can't remember where I heard this one. It may have been therapy or online or on one of the team billion different apps I've tried. So sorry I can't credit it to anyone.

There are several breathing based exercises, I like them because you can do them anywhere easily and subtly. This is nice if you want to use them to calm down outside of a specific meditation type session.
Similarly one of the simplest and most helpful technique I've been taught for those situations is 4-6 breathing. The name pretty much says it all; count to four as you breathe in, pause, count to six as you breathe out, pause, repeat.

Maybe I'll start posting these more often to prompt myself. If I do i'll try to include some different styles. I tend to stick more to observation type ones and steer away from visualisation and body scans and such. For no other reason than I get on better with that style, everyone is different.

In nail news, today I wore lemming polish perfect purple which came from the same mystery bag as moody blues. It's also scruffy looking because I'd worn it all day before I remembered to take pics lol. X

Ps. Yea my right hand was less battered than my left... But I struggle to take photos of it lol.

Blue Monday with too fancy lacquer

I hate when the blogger app eats my posts. It always seems to be when I forget to copy/save regularly lol.

Anyway today is allegedly the most miserable day of the year. Admittedly it was invented as a marketing gimmick by, I think, a travel company...I'm unsure of that detail. But still you've gotta admit this time of year is pretty miserable. It's cold and dark and not much is happening.
So in the spirit of the day I figured I wear Blue nails. And the laziest little bit of nail art ever lol.
The colour is too fancy lacquer moody blues. Coincidently this arrived this morning as part of a mystery bag that the lovely Claire is selling in her blog sale over at penny for them.
I haven't got much to say about it really other than it applies easily and it's beautiful. It's similar to tarastalons old Blue eyes which I also love...I think this is darker though, and has more grey in it. This is two coats but the only real reason for that is that I was being sloppy and missed bits lol it really is very opaque. Oh and did you notice the holo-ness?!
Ho hum, hope this monday hasn't been too blue for you! X

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Distraction techniques- No.1 an elephant

Ok so this is intended to be a series, of I remember.... which I rarely do lol.
There are many, many, many different distraction techniques... Everyone is different and will find different things helpful. This is a just a random series of things that help me, or others I know.
Of course there are also many things people wish to be distracted from. I tend to split them into three very broad categories though:
- impulsive thoughts- screaming head, destructive urges, the need to do something. Strong emotions. The sort you're supposed to sit with and ride out until they subside. Distraction techniques can help you get away from them and keep yourself busy till they do.
- compulsive thoughts- chattering head, insistent repetitive thoughts. Nagging insistence that doing *whatever* well fix everything. These tens to be more long haul but lower intensity. You're supposed to refuse to engage with these thoughts.... distraction techniques can help with this by occupying your brain. Even if the flights are still there after it gives you a reprieve for a while.
- things- life, reality, people, chores, stress, pressure, deadlines, responsibility. All those things that come with being human. Distraction techniques can give you the chance to 'take five' and regroup. Of course I'm not suggesting making life harder for yourself by spending two hours on a random activity of you have an essay due in in three but within reason...

I'm sure there are many more but I like neat categories and can shoehorn most of life into those ones lol. Mostly I tend to relate to the middle one.

Anyway, my first choice. Broadly speaking it's craft.  Specifically it's decopatch/decoupage. Just because I picked it up on a whim when I was in hobbycraft the other day, shopping for guides. Haven't done this sort of thing since I was a kid... But I love it cos it's full proof lol. I enjoy craft. And I like making things. Problem is I'm really not artistic in any way (my nails prove this lol). So I stick to crafts like this, beading, knotting and similar because I can follow instructions and get reasonable results. I try to be careful with arty crafty stuff cos anything too difficult will a). Not Be able to hold my attention and b). Lead to frustration with myself, feelings of failure and inadequacy and general dislike of myself. Which is not very productive lol. So I have a safe list of crafts. And they help. Particularly simple, repetitive but time consuming ones lol.
I'll try to remember to post another next week lol. X

Ps. Elephant! Little obsessed with those lol. He's not quite finished but nearly.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Winnie the pooh day :)

'Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think' AA. Milne.

There is a winnie the pooh day! Is anyone as excited about that idea as I am? Lol. Apparently it's AA Milne's birthday. And the quote is one of my favourites.
Of course special days are an excuse to do silly things to my nails. These are significantly scruffier than I was aiming for, I'm not great at brush with so not artistic lol. Anyway I did it on both hands and wore it out to guides anyway. The younger guides enjoyed it... The older guides are just used to me being mad and don't pay much attention anymore!
Little finger is eeyore's tail. Base is nails Inc the Southbank. Tail is opi I have a herring problem bow is nails Inc... um? Brompton place I think. Ring is supposed to be winnie's face in nails Inc Carnaby Street and black taxi. Middle is a piglet tail (kinda :s) with nails Inc Warwick avenue (base) and notting Hill Gate (tail). Index is Tigger stripes with nails Inc st James and black taxi again. Finally thumb is nails Inc Sheraton Street stamped with a rabbit in nails Inc Holland Park avenue. Ok yea it was late and I was running out of ideas (and motivation!) by that point.
You may have noticed im playing with my nails Inc winnings lol. I confess this is partly because it's the only part of my collection that's organised lol. Once I removed winnie I played with nails Inc more sensibly in the form of tate... which, despite the fact I have polish in every colour under the sun, is the exact colour that comes to mind when I think of painted nails lol. Was a mare to clean up/remove though, I looked like a murderer for a while lol. X