30 May 2009


Here is another version of Simplicity 4599. I made this skirt last year at the end of the summer and up until now I neither wore it nor posted about it. So, it was past due to introduce this garment to the world!

Originally, I had planned on making BWOF 4/07 - 104 (the line drawing can be seen to the right), but when I made a muslin of this skirt, it was obvious that it was not going to happen. The front and back are cut from the same pattern piece, which is laid on the the fabric with the fold at centre front and centre back. This puts the bias portion of the fabric at the side seams. This is not a good thing. When the skirt is sewn up, most of the fabric hangs right at the side of the body, over the hip. Now, if you have small hips and need a multitude of bulk there, then this is the pattern for you. If, however, you are like me and nature has already provided ample padding in that area, run away from this pattern or risk looking like a pommel horse. So, out came Simplicity 4599 and I never looked back.

The top (BWOF 5/08 - 103) however, was a new pattern for me and it required a few small tweaks. Like many of the other seamstresses that have made this top, I extended the front at the hem so my stomach would be covered and I raised the neckline - both alterations make this a work friendly top. I got several comments on this top when I wore it to school - the "bow" on the front elevates this top from plain old T-shirt to something a bit more interesting and sophisticated.

The skirt fabric, a medium weight cotton pique, was purchased from Sawyer Brook and the wide-ribbed knit top fabric is from Fabric Mart.

So, here I am, heading out the door for another long day in the trenches. Thankfully, the last day of classes is June 16th. Final exams start on June 17th and my marks are due June 23rd. Graduation is June 24th and my last day of work is June 26th. Then it's 9.5 weeks of work free bliss...ahh...

29 May 2009

Just Hangin' Around

The other day when I went into my costume jewelery drawer to accessorize an outfit, I was appalled. All my necklaces had somehow interlaced and become one large mass of stringy, claspy, beady horror. What is a neat freak to do in a situation like this? Organize, that's what!

I immediately formulated a plan and set out for my local Canadian Tire in search of 3M hooks. Armed with 12 of these babies, I got busy setting up the inside of my armoire door. Here is the fab result. Now it's easy to see all the necklaces and in the morning when I'm in a hurry and need a bit of neck enhancement, finding the perfect piece is simple. Pretty darn good, if I say so myself! As you can see, Simon is understandably amazed with my jewelery organizing skills.

The best part is that the armoire door was not harmed in the making of this jewelry display, as the hooks are completely removable.

28 May 2009


This is another Simplicity 4599 that I made several years ago. And believe me, if you looked on the inside you could tell - the seam finish is atrocious, but the outside looks reasonable, so I still wear it. Does anyone else ever look back on earlier creations and cringe at the quality?

The fabric is a cotton pique, purchased at Fabricland, my local chain fabric store. The fabric has a white background with teal, purple, lime and black dots, so there are a bunch of different colours that can be worn with this skirt. Unfortunately in this picture, I went a bit boring with a white rib knit tank top and a black RTW cropped cardigan. I was in a hurry to get out the door that day - I had professional development meetings all day long.

27 May 2009

The Taming of the Shoe

The last few months I have really been on the look out for shoes that fit the following criteria:

1. Comfort - Last summer I blew out my feet when we were in England. I estimate I walked close to 219 520 km while we were there (okay, maybe not quite that many km, but it was definitely a lot!) and since then I can't wear the crazy high heels I could in the past. So, I am having to replace many of the shoes in my wardrobe with more comfy options. I have found that as long as the shoe is well-cushioned, I can usually wear up to a 3" heel without discomfort.

2. Style - In the past, it was often necessary to sacrifice style for comfort. These days, designers are realizing that their clientele want the best of both worlds. Thank goodness because I refuse to run around in ugly shoes - it's nice not to have to sacrifice vanity for practicality!

3. Affordability - I cannot in all good conscience pay $500 and up for a pair of shoes (although you know if I ever win the lottery, I will be building a massive shoe closet and filling it with Louboutins, Choos, Blahniks and everything else that catches my eye). I try my best to keep my shoe purchases under $150 per pair. Admittedly this is still a decent chunk of change but I have learned that discount prices usually equals cheap, ill-fitting shoes.

So, when I was on the hunt for some new sandals, I made a stop at the Naturalizer store. Back in the day, Naturalizer was the brand that only grandmas would wear (and not the stylish kind of grandmas, rather the support hose, house dress wearing kind). Things have changed; Naturalizer now carries a fabulous selection of fashionable shoes. I am particularly enamoured of their N5 line, which works well for my foot. I tried on a bunch of shoes and I managed to snag four new pairs, as well as a great handbag. So far, I have worn the flat Mary Janes and both pairs of flat sandals all day long and they are heavenly!

26 May 2009

20th Reunion Scoop

Okay, so my 20th high school reunion was last Saturday night. Prior to the event I did have some trepidation:

Would I recognize everyone?
Would I remember names?
Would I look better or worse than all of my friends?
Would the jerk that I dated in grade 11 show up and say something stupid?*

Well, I needn't have given all these concerns much thought. After chatting with a few people, I quickly came to realize that everyone there felt pretty much the same way.

Many of the girls from high school looked just like I remembered them - in many cases right down to their hairstyles. I have to admit, it always amuses me when I see women that can't seem to let go of their glory days, the time in their lives when they perceived themselves to be the most attractive. Especially when that time is the 80s. Do they seriously think that huge, permed hair or (heaven help me) feathered hair is still attractive after all these years? Ladies, it is way past time to move on and embrace a new aesthetic. Way, way, way past time. Seriously.

The men on the other hand were a more diverse lot. Many looked similar to how they looked in high school, but most were quite different. The biggest differences were in those that had lost major amounts of hair, had gained major amounts of weight or had a growth spurt after high school. I think because boys hit puberty later, they are more likely than girls to still be changing after graduation, so they are less recognizable.

The overwhelming thing I noticed though, was that the basic personality that each person had at age 18 is still the same personality they have today. Some traits, like being the loud, obnoxious rich kid, had intensified to an almost comical level. Other traits, like shyness, was tempered a bit, but not gone. Those with a good sense of humour are still funny and the airheads are still flakes. For the most part, who you are in your late teens seems to be who you will be for the rest of your life. Even to the point, that most people still use the same hand gestures and facial expressions when speaking.

Over the course of the evening, I was asked several questions over and over again: Isn't it weird teaching with the teachers that taught you? Will you and the other play people get up and sing a song? Will you and the rest of the cheerleaders get up and do a cheer? My answers were simple: 'It was at first, but not any more', 'no' and 'hell no'.

In terms of how I measured up against the other women there, I think I fared pretty well. I was in better shape than some and had less wrinkles than many. I was better dressed than most. I was told that I get an award for looking the most like I did in high school, while not looking like I was stuck in a style time warp. I think cutting off 18" of permed hair and becoming a red head was what put me over the edge. The picture to the left was taken just after graduation and you can see me in all my teenage glory (sorry for the blurriness of the picture, it's a photo of a photo - no digital back then you know). Also, I was the only one there who doesn't have children (except for one other gal that when asked about her family status, responded that she couldn't afford kids because she was too busy supporting a string of ex-husbands - as you can imagine, I was rendered speechless and then changed the subject).

All in all, it was a pleasant evening of catching up, sharing a few laughs and reminiscing. Some of these people I hope to never see again in my life (hello, rich annoying guy) and others I will try to stay in touch with more so than in the past (all my close high school girlfriends).

ETA: I was asked what I wore to the reunion. Oops! I meant to post that. I pulled out a dress from a couple of years back. I was a bit more dressy than most, but not glaringly so. I actually got a bunch of compliments on the dress and inquiries as to where I bought it. Of course I proudly announced that I made it. The picture is of me with a few friends.

*The ex-boyfriend didn't show up, so I dodged a bullet on that front. Whew!

25 May 2009

Lacquer Lundi

I have been asked for a 20th high school reunion report and I am in the process of writing the post, so stay tuned...

Now on to the pretties:

China Glaze - Spin Me Round
- purchased at Head2Toe Beauty for $ 3.29 US

Spin Me Round, from China Glaze's Kaleidoscope collection, would be a great polish for the woman looking for something conservative office friendly (as it's pretty sedate and neutral indoors) with a twist (it is holographic in natural light). It is a light peachy bronze base with holographic micro glitter.

It goes on like a dream - not too thick, not too thin - just the perfect consistency. Unfortunately, as with most holo polishes, it has to be worn without a top coat (top coats seem to severely diminish the holographic nature of the polish), so tip wear and chipping is an issue. I only wore this polish for one day as I cannot stand when my manicure isn't perfect. With that said, I still really liked this polish.

Sally Hansen Salon - Forsythia

- purchased at Shoppers for $ 5.49 CDN

This polish is from the Spring 2009 limited edition Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen Salon collection. Forsythia is a light yellow shimmer that reminds me of Dijon mustard. I know not everyone is jumping on the yellow polish bandwagon and there seems to be two main camps - love or loathe it. I, however, knew I had to have Forsythia the minute I saw it, as I have become downright smitten with yellow nail polish.

This polish went on fairly smoothly - I've had better, but I've also had worse. It took three coats to cover and remove all streakiness, but that is typical of a yellow nail polish. I only wore it for one day as it didn't match my outfit for Prom, but in that time I had minimal tip wear and no chipping.

China Glaze - Orange Marmalade

- purchased at Head2Toe Beauty for $ 2.99 US

Juicy orange. That is what comes to mind when wearing this polish. Orange Marmalade is another glass flecked beauty from the Summer Days collection for Summer 2009. I love orange and I love glimmer, so this polish could not be any more perfect in my opinion.

This polish is super easy to apply and is nicely opaque in two coats. It does have some wear issues though - after less than 24 hours I had some tip wear (not enough to make me redo my mani, but it would be nice if it held up a bit better).

I donned this polish to finish off my Prom outfit this year and I got a bunch of compliments on it. Here is a picture of me with a colleague - you can't see the polish but you can see the dress that I wore it with (some of you may remember this dress from two summers ago).

Misa - Toxic Seduction
- purchased at Head2Toe Beauty for $ 3.00 US

The colour of Toxic Seduction (from Misa's Poisoned Passion collection) is a deep, intense forest green, with an almost metallic shimmer. It reminds me of car paint - I totally would drive a cute little Mercedes SLK350 painted in this colour!

The Misa polish formulation is exquisite - it glides on flawlessly, covers in two thin coats and looks amazing on the nail. After trying a few Misa polishes lately, I am a believer - I just wish it was easier to get my hands on them (I can only seem to find US online sources). My only complaint is with dry time - it seems to take a bit longer than many of my other polishes, even with a quick dry top coat.

23 May 2009

1989 Was a Very Good Year, But So is 2009

So, tonight is my 20 year high school reunion and I am surprisingly calm. I mean, c'mon, it is the first time I have seen most of these people since graduation and who wants to show up looking like hell? All in all, I really should be a lot more nervous. People tell me that I look good for my age, but there's nothing like a reunion to make you wonder if it's actually true.*

I enjoyed high school - I got great marks, I was involved (cheerleading, plays, band, clubs - I had school spirt galore), I had plenty of friends (and a few boyfriends ;) ) and I was popular enough that I don't have a single mean girl story to share. It was a wonderful time in my life. However, I don't ever want to turn back the clock.

Now before I go on, there is something you should all know - I teach at the high school from which I graduated. I know, the irony is delicious - the woman that says she doesn't want to go back to high school actually does so every work week. But, I'll stick to being the teacher over being the student any day.)

I am perfectly content where I am right now, thank you very much. I find that far too many people feel that they peaked in high school and they spend the rest of their lives trying to relive the elusive glory days. I, on the other hand, have no desire to be 16 years of age ever again. Too much angst, too much drama, too much everything. So, hopefully this evening I'll enjoy a few laughs, share a few stories, but avoid that wistfulness that so many people get when talking about the past.

*So, wish me luck that I'm skinnier, less wrinkly and better dressed than at least half of the women there...

21 May 2009

What's Your Colour?

I have always loved taking quizzes - especially the ones that offer some insight into my personality. In that vein, I recently attended a professional development meeting where we were to determine our colour (either blue, gold, orange or green). I am a gold (with green my next strongest colour). The characteristics* for a gold person are spot on:


Golds are the backbone of society. "Good as gold," they are loyal, hard working, responsible, and dependable. They are clean, neat, well organized, and punctual. They take pride in their families, their homes, civic duties, work, and upholding traditions. They keep good records, pay their bills on time, and are financially prudent ("A penny saved is a penny earned."). Golds are natural leaders. Because they are so conventional, Golds may become rigid, habit-bound, and set in their ways. They don’t like sudden change, mess, or confusion, and become agitated with other people’s tardiness or sloppiness. Golds may find it difficult not to judge others harshly and they sometimes take life, and themselves, too seriously.

People who don’t accommodate Golds very well may accuse them of being boring, stuck in a rut, uncompromising, critical, or "control freaks."

You will likely find bright Golds in professions which require responsibility, precision, and order (military, law, accounting, engineering, record keeping), or volunteering in traditional organizations such as scouting or youth sports. They enjoy running things and often take management roles, where they will give their utmost and tend to every detail.

Famous Golds: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Colin Powell, country singer Clint Black, the fictional Mr. Banks in "Mary Poppins," TV’s Judge Judy.

Okay, so what if I'm an inflexible, controlling neat freak - you got a problem with that???

What colour are you?

* for more info on the color characteristics, see here, here and here.

20 May 2009


Often as seamstresses, I think we worry that if we make the same pattern over and over again people will notice and think that we're kinda goofy. Well, I have worn all the Simplicity 4599 skirts that I have been posting lately over the last week and a half and no one has said a word. Believe me, if my students had noticed the repetition, they would say something - teenagers have little to no tact.

I think we forget that the general public doesn't dissect an outfit, piece by piece, seam by seam, like a seamstress would. The typically person on the street sees an outfit as a whole - the overall impression of the colours and style lines are noticed, not the technical aspects. I truly believe I could get away with having around 10 patterns total (including all skirts, pants, dresses, tops and jackets) and no one would be the wiser. Change up the fabric and embellishments, and presto, a full wardrobe with minimum futzing. But, as my stash of over 500 patterns will attest to, I like buying patterns if for no other reason than to dream of the possibilities.

So, dear reader, how do you do it? Do you have a few TNT patterns that you squeeze for all they are worth? Or do you flit from pattern to pattern, always looking for the next great thing? Or do you have a mix, combining the best of both worlds?

To finish this post up, I've included another version of Simplicity 4599, in a lightweight cotton swiss dot. I absolutely adore the print on this fabric - it has so many of my favourite colours to wear. The white rib knit tank top is Kwik Sew 2948 and the brown knit cardigan is RTW.

19 May 2009


I believe it was last summer that I spotted this skirt (pun totally intended!) in the Boden catalogue and fell deeply in love with it. However, I was not deeply in love with the price (especially when I figured out the price with exchange and shipping - to get it through my front door would have cost over $150 CDN - ouch). Well, like any money wise (read as cheap) seamstress I figured I could make my own version, that fit much better, for a whole heck of a lot less. Not to mention, I wanted my skirt to be shorter (nothing stumpifies a short gal like a super long skirt) and have a slightly more flattering shape.

Enter Simplicity 4599 (my beloved TNT pattern - check out my other versions from the last few days) and a couple of linen remnants. I had some medium weight white linen left over from another project, so it became the body of the skirt. Another lighter weight beige linen was used for the yoke and the spot embellishments. The skirt also has a full separate lining, made from a lighweight silk/cotton blend woven.

To create the spots, I cut out three different sized circles and randomly placed them around the hem of the skirt, fiddling with them until I had an aesthetically pleasing layout. Each circle was attached tot the skirt by eight lines of sewing that went across the diameter of the circle, overlapping at the centre. Rather than back stitching at the circle's edges, I pulled the thread through to the back and hand tied each one - this took close to forever, but I think it was worth it, as I like the clean look of each circle. The edges of each circle were left raw and hopefully they will rough up nicely after a few washings.

After the skirt was complete, I realized that I needed a top to go with it. I decided to make BWOF 2/08 - 123. The fabric is a lightweight knit that matches the colour of the spots dead on. I didn't bother with the tie around the neck, as I liked the droopy front look and I thought it would look cute worn over a camisole.

Here I am, after a full day of work and an appointment, so pardon the "I've worn this for 12 hours already" look.

In the end, I have to say I actually like my version of the skirt better - it's customized to exactly what I wanted.

Once again, stay tuned for more fabulous TNT skirt love - I have a few more versions to share with y'all.

18 May 2009

Lacquer Lundi

Ever since I was a child I have been drawn to sparkly things - glitter...sequins...diamonds. If it twinkles and catches light, I'm mesmerized and intrigued. So, this week is Glitter Week here at HZC. Every selection of polish I have to show you contains the glittery good stuff. Fair warning though, removing these polishes is a royal pain in the arse. Be prepared to use a ton of remover (and trust me, stick to pure acetone for this - non-acetone removers won't cut it) and a bucket of patience. I typically saturate a a small square of felt in remover and hold it on the nail for a count of 100 or so. This helps to loosen the grip that the glitter has on the nail. At this point, sometimes I get lucky and the glitter slides off. More often than not, I'm unlucky and I have to scrub (and swear) until it finally releases its strangle hold on my tips.

On to the pretties:

China Glaze - Ruby Pumps
- purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $2.00 CDN

Let me start by saying that I am not normally a huge fan of red nail polish. I think it's too boring and expected - I tend to go for less traditional colours. With that said, I love this polish - it is probably one of my all-time favourites. It's not just any old red - it's a deep blood red jelly base jam-packed with red glitter and it is positively sublime.

Ruby Pumps glides on smoothly and since it is so well pigmented, it covers in two coats. It wore well for the four days that I had it on (for a gal that likes to change polish every day or two, wearing this for four full days means that I really liked this polish). I got several positive comments on this polish from my female colleagues, so it apparently strikes a nerve with many women.

I'm thinking it would be excellent for a holiday themed manicure - Valentine's Day and Christmas spring immediately to mind.

Color Club - Object of Envy
- purchased from Head2Toe Beauty for $2.50 US

Object of Envy is part of the Color Club Vixen Collection, which consists of seven glitter polishes. Of course, I was drawn to the green one like a moth to a flame.

This polish has a colourless base packed with emerald green glitter, which unfortunately on the nail does not become opaque even with four coats. Had I placed it over another opaque polish, I would have been much happier with the results. However, this is not a fault of the polish, but rather a lack of foresight on my part.

That said, this polish applies like a dream and it really is quite stunning in the sunlight. I wore it on a day that I was outside a lot and it is dazzling when the sun hits it.

This is another great choice for a holiday themed mani - you too could be a super sexy leprechaun. Erin go bragh!

Wet n Wild Wild Shine - Frosted Fuchsia, Sparkled & Kaleidoscope

- purchased at WalMart for $1.47 CDN

I used three polishes for this manicure - Frosted Fuchsia for the base, Sparkled on the index and ring fingers and Kaleidoscope on the thumb, middle and pinkies. Bottle shots of the three polishes are at right (in the same order they are mentioned).

I really wanted to like these polishes - the colours are cool and they're inexpensive. Unfortunately, the reality is that they are just plain cheap. So here's the good, the bad and the ugly (in that order):

Sparkled is a interesting dusty pink glitter in a colourless base. The formula is good (not too thick or too thin) and it allows for the deposit of a fair amount of glitter on the nail. A decent polish for the price.

The formula of Frosted Fuchsia is a lesson in dichotomy. It is wonderfully pigmented so that it covers in one single coat and the colour was quite pretty which are positives. However, the formula is slightly gloppy and the brush was awful (it was attached to the lid at an angle, rather than straight, so it was difficult to manipulate) which are negatives.

Kaleidoscope was so promising in the bottle - a colourless base, peppered with silvery glitter that reflects the colours of the rainbow. However, that's where the honeymoon ends. The glitter goes on the nail haphazardly - chunky in some areas, thin or non-existent in others. And forget about trying to move the glitter around on the nail for better coverage - it pulls and wrinkles due to the thick formula. Lastly, the brush is horrible - puffy and wonky and blech.

The wear on this polish stinks too. Less than 24 hours after application, it was flaking off in huge chips. I have a few other Wet n Wild polishes in my stash yet to be tried, but unless they impress me beyond reason, I won't be wasting my money on this brand any longer.

BB Couture - Sea of Cortez

- purchased from overallbeauty.com for $8 US

Sea of Cortez is another one of my favourites. It is a medium teal jelly base packed with light green micro glitter. On the nail it is deep and rich and luscious. It is one of the most unique colours that I own.

This polish glides on nicely and is easy to move around on the nail. However, it does require several coats to build up the opacity - I chose to do four coats, although I could have stopped at three. I just like the extra depth of colour provided by that fourth coat. My only real complaint with this polish is it's drying time. Even with a fast dry top coat, the polish was still a bit dentable an hour later. (Technically, this polish is supposed to be a "4-in-1 Formula: Base coat, top coat, nail strengthener and color in one bottle." However, I never go without a separate base coat and fast drying top coat, so perhaps the long drying time is not the polishes fault, but rather a casualty of my routine.)

This polish held up well, with only minor tip wear and no chipping after two days.

13 May 2009


I'm back with the other Simplicity 4599 skirt made from the Harvest Weave suiting purchased from Vogue Fabrics. This skirt was constructed exactly the same way as the other one - same pattern, same underlining, same great result.

The skirt made up part of the outfit I wore to work today. The white rib knit tank top is Kwik Sew 2948 and the knit tie-front cardigan is RTW.

I actually have several more versions of this skirt to show you, so stay tuned.

12 May 2009

How do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways...1...

I love the skirt from Simplicity 4599, an out of print wardrobe pattern. It is my favourite skirt of all time. You could say that it rocks my world. It has a lovely flowy A-line shape, falling from a waist hugging yoke. I have made this skirt at least 8 times, with many more versions to follow.

So when I was looking to create couple of quick, elegant and flattering skirts for the transition from winter into spring, I turned to S4599 and two lovely suiting fabrics that I purchased from Vogue Fabrics a while back. To the right, you can see the Theobroma and Harvest Weave suitings (as an aside, I love that Vogue Fabrics names their fabrics and creates a little story to go along with them in their swatch club). Both fabrics were a bit lightweight and a touch see-through, so I underlined each skirt with a toffee coloured silk gauze that I purchased from Timmel fabrics. The gauze not only beefed up the suiting fabric, but it also provided an interior to which the hems and seam allowances could be hand-tacked (leaving no unsightly stitch marks on the front of the garment).

Here I am on my way out the door this morning, heading off to work. I am wearing the skirt made of the Theobroma suiting (I will post about the other skirt as soon as I wear it). My top is a former dress that got the chop. I love the concept of a bias cut dress, however my arse does not. I decided I wasn't comfortable with how the bias fabric highlighted my ample rear, so I shortened the dress into a top because I still loved the fabric.

I took this photo with my new wireless remote control. I am still fiddling with it, but I seem to be getting the hang of it. Although my husband is more than happy to take pictures of me, it's nice that I can do my own when required.

Finally, I wanted to answer a few questions from the comments on the last few posts:

kiltsnquilts writes, "i am curious to know about your stats in the side bar - particularly the money earned and money spent bit - do you also find time to sew for others? Do you mind me asking? Or have you given yourself a budget and that is your tally?"
The tally I have in the right margin is related to my New Year's Resolution. In an effort to get off my duff more this year, I decided that for every hour I spend exercising, I earn $10 to spend on my hobby. If I don't exercise, I don't buy fabric and the like.

gwensews asks, "You were concerned about the polish which had no ingredients listed. If you wear base coat--does it matter what the polish contains that you wear on top? I am thinking the colored polish doesn't touch the nails. ????"
I must admit that I am only minimally concerned about the nastier ingredients in nail polish. However, I figure with all the "healthier" (big 3 free) polishes out there, why spend money on ones that could cause health issues. I do think you're right though, applying a less healthy polish over a base coat would lessen the health impacts, but I find that big 3 free products don't tend to play nice with big 3 full products, so I just avoid the whole problem and only buy the big 3 free stuff.

Maggie writes, "Shannon, just wondering if you try to coordinate your polish with your outfits?"
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, but I do more than I don't. Did ya follow that? It really just depends on my mood and the amount of time I have for a manicure. My toes tend to stay one colour for a couple of weeks before a change, so I gravitate toward neutral colours for pedicures (although my neutrals are not everyone's neutrals - my toes are navy right now as I prefer dark colours on my toes - black, navy, dark purple). For my fingers, I switch things up every 1 to 3 days, so I can't always coordinate my clothes and my polish, but I try to as often as I can. I actually have a girl in my class that checks my nails each day and loves it when my nails match my clothes.

11 May 2009

Laquer Lundi

I tried out a couple of new (to me) polish brands this week - Essie and GOSH. Being a collector at heart (have you seen my fabric stash stats?), I always love a fresh conquest. Just recently I found some nifty olive metallic polish at a local dollar store - I almost bought it until I noticed it had no ingredient listing. Heaven only knows what was in it. Fearing the worst - heck, it could have contained every carcinogen and mutagen known to science - I left it on the shelf. Sometimes being a chemist can really take the fun out of things!

On to the pretties:

Essie - Mesmerize

- purchased at Trade Secrets for $9.99 CDN

This is the first Essie polish that I have used. Typically Essie polishes do not interest me - it seems like most of the collection offered by my local source is various shades of pink (blech!) which are more girly than I can handle. Lately, however, Essie has come out with some amazing, fashion-forward colours - blues and greens and neons that are more up my alley. I spotted Mesmerize at a local Trade Secret and I knew I had to try it and I have to say if the formula is this good for the rest of the Essie polishes, I may be a convert.

This polish slid on easily and covered beautifully in two coats. It held up well for the three days that I wore it, with only minor tip wear. My only complaint is with the brush - it is miniscule - I prefer a wider, more substantial brush for a quicker, less brush stroke-y application.

This colour truly is mesmerizing. I have several blues in my stash, but nothing quite like this one. I even got a compliment from a 20-something woman from a local spa - she said (and I quote), "Woah, that colour is, like, freakin' amazing!" I think that means she liked it too.

BB Couture - Tangerine Scream
- purchased from overallbeauty.com for $8 US

I love a good bright orange polish and Tangerine Scream certainly fits the bill. This polish is certainly not for the wallflower - it basically grabs all passersby around the throats and demands to be gazed upon.

Tangerine Scream went on streaky at first, but became completely opaque with a second coat. I wish I could say that it wore like iron, but it was chippy within 24 hours. So on a scale of 1 to ten, colour gets a 9, application gets a 6 and wear gets a 4 - all in all, okay but not stellar.

If you don't want to pay BB Couture prices, but still want this type of colour, look for China Glaze's Japanese Koi (scroll down in this post to see a swatch).

GOSH - Wild Lilac

- purchased at Shoppers for $6.00 CDN

I had seen GOSH cosmetics at my local Shoppers Drug Mart over the years, but sadly the offerings had never included nail polish. The other day, I noticed a Tropical Passion display for Summer 2009 that had three pretty polishes. I picked up Wild Lilac and Peachy.

The Wild Lilac formula is good. The polish went onto the nail easily, however it was very streaky for the first coat. The second coat essentially evened it all out, but a third coat probably would have been ideal to eliminate all the bald spots. I had minor tip wear and no chipping over the two days that I wore this polish. Not bad for a "cheap" drug store polish!

Unfortunately, trying to get colour accurate pictures of this polish was impossible. I have included a flash (above) and a non-flash (to the right) picture, but neither fully captures the Wild Lilac colour. In real life, it is a darker, more dusty purple and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Lightening
- purchased at Zehrs (local grocery store) for $5.99 CDN

First off, let me get one thing straight - Lightening is SH's spelling, not mine. I'm not sure what the deal is with this name. Did they mean the name to be "Lightning", as in a discharge of electrical energy normally associated with a storm. Or were they actually going for "Lightening", which means to make less heavy (not likely), to make lighter in colour (maybe) or other things I don't want to think about (um, yuck). I guess we'll never know.

Grammar aside, this is a great colour - fun, bright and full of super summery goodness. However, excellent colour comes at a price - this yellow (like all the other yellow polishes I've ever tried) goes on streaky, streaky, streaky. Even after two carefully applied coats (I typically only need one coat with these SH Insta-Dri polishes), I still have streaks. Alas, I think I'm more aware of the streaks than anyone else - my husband thought the colour was cool and didn't say a thing about the streaks. So, I have decided to just adore the colour and get over the application issues.

10 May 2009

It Was Only a Matter of Time...

I haven't purchased any fabric since December of last year. At first, I thought I might go a little bit insane without my fabric fix, but as time passed (and the tremors subsided and the sweating lessened and the...okay, you get the idea), I found that I was quite content with the amount of fabric that I owned. I became complacent and smug - I am the master (mistress?) of my fabric, not the other way around.

Well, what is it they say about pride coming before the fall?

Needless to say, I fell off the wagon.* It's not my fault though. I blame Fabric Mart. Beautiful spring/summer fabrics...silk, cotton, linen...20% off sale...sheesh, I didn't stand a chance. So, here's a pictorial view of my shame:

Feel free to revel in my 35 yards of debauchery! And if you want share in this fabric bounty, hurry up, you only have until the end of the day tomorrow to get 20% off.

ETA: Bummer! I was just informed that the fabric with the pink, purple and green applique flowers on the border is sold out, so I won't be getting any of it (and of course, that fabric was the original reason why I placed the order). Dang it, I hate when that happens!

* ...and landed on Carolyn!