May 26, 2017

Friday Faves Vol. 4

This incredibly realistic pancake purse!

This gorgeous DIY paper daisy photo backdrop!

This tomato & ricotta tart looks equally delicious and beautiful!

A post shared by The Dodo (@thedodo) on
This adorable video of adopted special needs goats!

This Zak! Designs camping collection, featuring a vintage camper coffee mug!

This article about HBO's new documentary Mommy Dead & Dearest - have you watched yet?

This untouched Frank Lloyd Wright house, which is now for sale!

This cute set of vintage strawberry canisters!

This soon-to-be-released Golden Girls version of Clue!

This quick tutorial about making your own DIY pressed glitter!

Have you seen anything cool lately?

May 18, 2017

Nail Art Hack: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens

Nail art is the trend that keeps on trending. I'm totally cool with that, since I've been doodling all over my nails since, like, fourth grade, and have no plans to stop. All that practice has afforded me a certain skill level, but sometimes it still feels like too much time and effort for such a short-lived "work of art."

Sometimes you just want something easier. A nail art hack, perhaps?

Enter Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens. These pens come with either a round or fine tip, and allow you to more easily draw all kinds of designs on your nails. They feel almost like a paint marker, but the product inside is distinctly nail polish-esque. 

One major difference, though - these don't have that classic nail polish stink, which is a major plus. When I draw intricate designs with typical nail polish, I sometimes feel woozy by the end from all the time and polish it takes. 

This might be due to the pen's water-based formula, which is also what makes these so easy to use. Say you draw what was supposed to be a cute puppy face on your thumb nail, but it actually ends up looking more like a deceased raccoon - just wipe the design off (byyyye, poor lil raccoon!) with a wet cotton pad/ball/swab and start again! It won't interrupt the base nail polish, either. Nice!

To fully test these lil' guys out, I first painted each of my nails a different color, following a rainbow pattern. This way, you can see what the nail art pens look like over light colors and dark colors. To be honest, I kind of wanted to just stop here because I liked the plain rainbow look so much!

Alas, I bravely soldiered on. Before you begin, give the pen a good shake and push the tip onto some scrap paper or a paper towel a few times to get the polish flowing. Once you start drawing you'll see that enough product comes out to draw an opaque design, but generally not so much that it gets runny.

Some nails were just screaming for specific designs, like the pink nail becoming a watermelon, and the red nail becoming a ladybug. On others, I just chose the color I thought would work best functionally and aesthetically, then made up a design on the spot. That worked out mostly well, but please don't look too closely at either of my pinky nails

Here's a simple idea: use a white nail art pen to draw a stripe near the free edge of your nail. Follow that stripe with a green nail art pen, drawing outside of the white stripe. Add some black dots for seeds and you've got super simple, yet adorable nail art!

Here's my final result! For just kinda messing around, I was really impressed with these. Some work better than others, but I love that some brighter colors, like pink, could draw over some darker colors and still be vibrant. 

The most important part: You MUST finish these with a top coat! This is not a drill, people! If you don't, the pen may wash or wear off very easily. Top coats: don't leave home without 'em.

Nothing is perfect, though (except you!) 

I found the pearlescent white to be too liquid, and difficult to use for that reason, though that may just be my tube.

The biggest flaw was unfortunately with the violet pen, which sucks because it's so damn pretty! I painted over orange and the violet later paled and bled a bit (seen below left) and over light blue, and the violet wore off in places (below right).

I'll definitely be reaching for these again. If you want to dip your toe (errr, fingertip?) into the nail art pen game, I suggest picking up a black one since it's so versatile, and just playing around with it. I honestly feel like you'll love it! PSA: If you buy at the drugstore remember to use a coupon! Always. ♥

p.s. these would be great for French manicures, too!

Have you ever tried these nail art pens? What's your biggest challenge with nail art? Have you seen any cool nail art designs lately? Share 'em!

May 12, 2017

Friday Faves Vol. 3

Here's what's been catching my eye lately:

This super fun collection of novelty purses

This amazing pastel rainbow hair

This interesting and atmospheric moon light

These adorable little snail and caterpillar snacks!

This insanely cute "newborn" photo shoot of this kitten!

This slideshow of the ideal lips throughout history from the Ming Dynasty to Kim Kardashian is a great reminder that beauty standards are just as subjective as they are ever-changing, so do whatever you want literally all the time.☺

This sleek midcentury modern coffee table would be a great pop of color!

These kitschy vintage sewing patterns for junk food pillows

This retro Orla Kiely floral canister needs to be in my kitchen ASAP, plz

These custom pet photo pillows would make an amazing gift!

What fun stuff have you seen lately?

May 3, 2017

Etsy Shop of the Month: Lou Taylor Studio

In addition to running my own etsy shop, I love window shopping (and real shopping, duh) at other etsy shops. That got me thinking that it might make sense to feature cool etsy sellers on this site, since handmade items and pretty things are kind of the lifeblood around here. Plus, who doesn't want to look at fun, new stuff? Sometimes you find great things you just have to share!

For the first ever Etsy Shop of the Month feature, I present Lou Taylor Studio, whose beautiful acrylic jewelry is both sleek and cheeky. The clean lines and simple shapes meld well with the kitschy attitude and pop culture sensibilities. Honestly, it's just pure fun!

Something really cool about Lou Taylor's designs? Many start out as intricate papercuts, like the Frida Kahlo paper art seen below, before being transformed into acrylic jewelry, art prints or even silk scarves. This process gives the pieces a unique style, and shows the intricacy of the details.

This Frida Kahlo paper art later became a necklace and a brooch!

Hand brooch in production, as all the little pieces are glued together.

Lou lists her creative inspirations as color, pattern and vintage fashion illustrations from the 1950s and 1960s, and professes her love for vintage Vogue and Harpers Bazaar covers from the 1920s, which really shows.

Have you ever seen Lou's work before? What's your favorite piece? Got an etsy shop you'd like to see in a future feature? Let me know!

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