Friday, July 24, 2015

OPI's Tiffany Case, Liquid Sand

Let's just ignore the state of my cuticles and enjoy the shimmer and shine brought to you by this polish from OPI's Bond Girl Collection from way back in 2013!  I was very late to the texture bandwagon, and now I feel a little sad I didn't appreciate them more when they were more readily available.  I do have a couple Pixie Dust by Zoya, but I passed on most of the polishes from this collection numerous times, despite how beautiful they look in the bottle, because I didn't think I would like the liquid sand formula & feel.

Happily, I have discovered texture polishes can be a fun switch up from creams and give even more sparkle that glitters.  When my hair saloon discontinued Tiffany Case, I had to snap it up.  Didn't hurt that it was less than four bucks as well.  I'm really enjoying it, I thought I'd give it a quick wear for a beachy feel but I think it will be even better as a wintry Frozen mani.  It's reminds of Elsa's blue dress so much, I almost break out into "Let It Go," whenever I look down at it.

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Linking up the The Nail Files ♥


Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Disney Pocket Letter for Raya

Exchanging my first Pocket Letter was so much fun that I had to give another go.  Here is round two, this time with a Disney theme!  My swap partner Raya also works at the same scrapbook store at Kelli so it was also hand delivered.  I had so much fun going with all things Mickey, who is her favorite character.

{The Top Row}

A closer look at the dimensional Mickey sticker from my stash.  I used up scraps to make the scalloped circle and circle beneath him.  The dreams card is from a Simple Stories set and the Mickey head was made out of enamel dots.

On the middle row I included a card covered in washi tape.  I only have on Disney roll so I just searched my stash for coordinating rolls to add to it.  In the middle I hand cut some larger banners and layered a punched banner on top.  The little stickers are from a set I got at Disney World way back when.  The third slot has my swap partner's name.  I thought the black strip at the top of the red mimicked Mickey's shorts nicely.

On the bottom left I made a filler card with a Simple Stories sticker that I thought tied in nicely with the "dreams" card in the top row.  More little stickers from the sticker pack bought at the Magic Kingdom were added to finished it off.

This is my favorite part of the entire Pocket Letter.  I broke out my Fuse tool for the first time and sealed the shaker pocket shut.  Inside is a mix of sequins, seed beads, and handmade filler made out of punches.  I punched the stars and it's a little hard to tell, but the black buildings are actually of the Castle.  I got that years ago in Disneyland back before we even had kids and we were living in CA.

I'll share the awesome Pocket Letter Raya made me soon!


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nail Files with Zoya's Daisy

{Zoya's Daisy, Spring 2015}

Yellows are not my thing.  Mainly because my complexion means it's not very flattering on me.  So naturally, I'm always on the hunt for one that looks good.  The hunt is over, this is by far my most favorite yellow ever!

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Linking up with Jen and the other polish enthusiasts!  My mani doesn't in anyway compare with the awesome sea creature she made - so go over and be amazed!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Birchbox July 2015: Beachy & Bright

*Referral Link Included

I've already got my July Birchbox!  I came on the 6th, so really early.  I selected the curated box this month, so since those all have identical contents, perhaps that helps them get sent out quickly.  Doesn't the box really fit the theme "Beachy & Bright"?  I love hot pink and aqua ♥

Since I already knew what the contents were, I knew I'd be happy this month!  Here's a first look inside the box.

theBalm cosmetics Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush (full size, $21): theBalm always has really cute packaging, even for their samples!  It's been a little hit and miss with this company but I always enjoy samples from them, because the presentation is just too fun!  This color is on the darker side of bronzers that work for me and it's a little shimmery.  The color is just so so pretty, that while I'm a little pale to use it how it's intended, it's been a very flattering eye shadow shade.

stila stay all day liquid lipstick (set of 3, $20): Every subscriber got to try one of these, the only difference is which color.  I really wanted Bella, and probably would've been disappointed if I'd gotten another color.  Knowing that this was the shade coming in the curated box, made it all the easier to hit select.  Bonus is, it's really pretty, both the packaging and color.  I love berry shades all year round and this brighter shade is a perfect seasonal swap out for the darker wine shades I gravitate toward.

JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub, (full size, $38): I've used this twice so far and thought it worked really well.  Sometimes after using certain pore minimizers it feels like I have to work extra hard to get it all off.  The scrub felt gentle but effective.

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30, (full size, $42): I've received this before and used it up while in Texas for the week.  It kept me from getting sunburned and unlike regular sunscreens it didn't feel heavy or smell funny.  It was a great substitute for daily moisturizer.  While it' might not be super exciting, it's very useful and works well.

Oribe Apr├Ęs Beach Wave and Shine Spray, (full-size, $38): I love beach sprays and this is the time of the year they start to show up in subscription boxes, yay!  I just finished another sample from last year and am glad to have a new one to try.  It's been getting more humid and not worth the bother of straightening my hair, and this has been helping pump up my curls and volume.  Works nicely!

Sometimes getting a curated box leads to feeling less excited, since the element of surprise has been taken away.  However, this is a terrific box for me.  It's got a great range from skin care to color and even the perfect seasonal hair product.  Since I will review each of the five products and earn back a five dollars to spend in the Birchbox store, it means I got a great box for only $5!

As always, if you'd like to join me as a Birchbox subscriber, please consider using my referral link! I'd really appreciate it!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Pocket Letter™ for Kelli

Yesterday I shared the bright and colorful Pocket Letter™ my swap partner Kelli made for me.  Today, I have mine to share!    This is how I packaged mine all up, using a punched doily, some silk flowers, vintage millinery leaves, and satin ribbon.  I could add these extra flourishes because I didn't have to actually send it through the mail.

Before I get too into the sharing, if you're wondering what the heck Pocket Letter Pals™  are, I gave an short explanation of Pocket Letters in my last post.  I won't repeat myself here because the best resource for learning more about this phenomenon and getting lots of ideas, tips, and inspiration is from the creator of this concept Janette Lane.  Her links are below.

Facebook Group, it's private & you need to request to join

This is what I created.  It was a bit of a challenge for me because Kelli favors more of a shabby chic look than comes naturally to me.  I set out to incorporate a  vintage floral look with her favorite colors, pink and gold.  I think I succeeded pretty well and really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone.  It was great using up some of the pretties I've saved for years, like really gorgeous embossed K&Company paper as the background.

Here is a close of the top row.  The gold banner and pink butterflies are both punched out of a Die Cuts with a View Glitzy Pastels 6X6 paper pad.  Can't recommend that enough!  It's thin enough to easily punch and the glitter doesn't brush off the backing or fall off.  I purchased it when paper stacks were 40% off at Joann's so it was a very good purchase since I can make tons of custom die cuts and alphabets with it.

The rose sticker is from my stash and I used it along with a smaller layered rose sticker at the bottom so they would coordinate and help make the Pocket Letter cohesive even though I am using pieces and leftovers from many different scrapbook lines. The word definition is from a larger sticker, I cut out and notched the one I wanted to use, then used little Tim Holtz alphas to spell out "wish".  I felt this bit of black balanced out the darker key lock sticker placed at the bottom of the letter.

Now for a look at the how I incorporated Kelli's initials into the letter & personalized it just for her.  See that gold washi tape?  That wasn't originally supposed to be there.  When arranging the square letter Thickers I made a placement error and then ripped the label sticker when I tried to move them.  Nothing like layering to save the day!

The middle row came together the quickest.  I wrapped up some coordinating twine and decided to part with one of my horded Kate Spade gold bow paper clips, so I could add something really special.  On the far right are more vintage millinery leaves I got a few years ago at an antiques fair.  

One of my favorite parts of this Pocket Letter is my very first shaker pocket, filled with sequins and mini beads.  I thought Kelli might want to remove the sequins to use for projects so I closed the pocket with washi tape for now, but she has a Fuse Tool so if she can use that, if she'd prefer seal it permanently.  To finish it off, I staped a little Heidi Swapp transparency with "enjoy" in gold on top of the pocket.

For the bottom row I layered several bits and pieces to create a collage along the three pockets.  Elements are adhered to the paper inside the pockets and also right on top of the outside.  I repeated the banner, butterflies, rose sticker, and  a darker element from the top of the Pocket Letter here as well.

One of the few things a Pocket "Letter" wouldn't really be a Pocket Letter without is an actual letter from the sender to the recipient.  I had the perfect mini envelope to house mine in and finally figured out the perfect way to use the gold hand piece I won in a giveaway.  It added the perfect touch of extra special, I think.

Like Kelli did for me, I also included some fun goodies for her.  I raided my supplies for pink and gold and found some great stuff.  By coincidence, we also gave each other the very same Vanilla Caramel tea!

Many Pocket Letter Pals send each other things they've made, like the ribbon paper clip Kelli made for me.  I sent her one as well, some punched & stamped tabs, more butterflies, and a few one inch circles I stamped and then punched out.  It wasn't much but since this was my first time crafting a Pocket Letter it took me awhile to design and assemble it to the point where I thought it was just perfect.  I was stamping and punching these things right up until the time we had to leave to go deliver it!

Have you gotten into the world of Pocket Letter Pals?  I'd love to see what you've made!  Maybe we can even swap and be pals too ♥


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Pocket Letter™ from Kelli

Have you heard about Pocket Letter Pals™?  They are really popular with paper enthusiasts!  A twist on a traditional pen pal, it's a super fun way to use up all the bits and baubles crafters have left over after creating a scrapbook page or other project.  It's also fun to shop for goodies specifically for a Pocket Letter so even if you don't have a large stash to pull from, don't let that stop you from joining in!

Basically, you create a "letter" within a trading card protector.  You can fill each pocket with decorative paper, embellishments, and extra goodies.  Here is a handy guide with ideas for each one, but there really aren't any hard and fast "rules".  You can decorate the front, either within or on top of the pockets,  and add goodies as part of the front or on the back.  Or you can skip sending little extras entirely and focus on the design.  A lot of the pockets have a theme of some sort, that's usually agreed upon by the swappers.  You can learn more about this phenomenon and get lots of ideas, tips, and inspiration from the creator of this concept Janette Lane.  Her links are below.

Facebook Group, it's private & you need to request to join

I first heard of Pocket Letters on YouTube and quickly went to check out the Facebook group.  I'll admit to just admiring and gathering ideas for quite awhile.  I was a bit hesitant to start swapping because I already have a lot of scrappy projects I'm working on.  Then a couple weeks ago I was at my local scrapbook store and overheard some employees talking to another customer about them.

I joined in on the conversation and before I knew it, I had agreed to swap my very first Pocket Letter!  This is a nice way to ease into the process because I already sort of know my swap partner from seeing her at the store.  Plus I wouldn't have to worry about extra shipping charges, should my Pocket Letter end up being bulky and heavy, because we could simply swap at the store.  Perfect!

After discussing our likes and preferences, Kelli made this really fun and colorful Pocket Letter for me!  I just love it!  It's so bright and cheerful!

I just love all the fun details Kelli put into it.  This paper bow is so cool!  She also made me an embellished paper clip with aqua ribbon on a gold paper clip, eek - can't stand the cuteness!  You can spy it at the very bottom of the image above.  I'm torn between using it as a bookmark for my planner or keeping it just where it is.

She also MADE this awesome quilled camera!!!  It's my very favorite part!  I tried to photograph is from the side so you can see how dimensional it is.  It's just perfect attached to the Polaroid style frame that highlights the colorful sequin shaker pocket.  Love how the echo the shape of the polka dots on the paper.  There's also a really cool banner clipped with mini clothespins!

It's not a requirement, but many Pocket Letter Pals also send little goodies with their letters.  Kelli and I discussed the tea that Janette Lane suggests, it really does fit perfectly into the sleeves!  Kelli mentioned she had some yummy tea to include and that got me thinking...I had some that would be perfect too!  After all who doesn't like vanilla and caramel?  This is too funny but we ended up swapping the exact same flavor and brand of tea!

Besides the actual letter from Kelli, she included a fun little Currently list so I could get to know a little bit more about her.  She also gifted me little stickers and a die cut plus some more ribbon paperclips.  I thought these were really fun!  That yellow one with the stars {heart}.

She also sent me some washi tape, that I don't actually have!  I am super tempted to use it up, those polka dots!!!  I wanted to send her some but had thrown away all my extra clear sticker sheets, you know the backing stickers come on?  I sent her some twine instead but never thought to use a playing card!  That's a perfect fit and I like how it adds and extra layer and interest to the pockets.  I'm totally going to use that idea!

I'm so thrilled with the very first Pocket Letter I've received!  So much so that I've already agreed to swap a Disney themed one with another employee at the store.  Very excited for that because I just love Disney!  I will share the one I gave Kelli soon.  I hope she loves it as much as I love the one she made me!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Nail Files: Neons & Electric Nights

{OPI's Hotter Than You Pink with Let the Beat Drop by China Glaze on Top}

It feels like a long time since I've had a mani that I was excited enough about to share!  I kind of got out of the routine of wearing polish while on our trip to Texas last month.  I just didn't feel like dealing with taking all my supplies with me on an eleven day road trip.

But now that I'm getting back into the swing of things, can't let all my summer brights go to waste, right?  I'm wearing a OPI/China Glaze combo right now.  This hot pink topped with multi-sized neon orange, pink and fuchsia hexagonal glitters is so cute for summer!

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 I'm sharing this on Jen's Nail Files link up, so hop on over and check out of the other participants.  Jennie's got a super sweet ice cream cone & ice cream bar design!!! It's so cool!

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