Just to forewarn anyone who might think this leadup is going to something inspiring or moving or dramatic: this blog entry is going to be about nailpolish.

Here’s a thing about how I handle New Years: I don’t really make resolutions. My basic theory is that if there’s something I want to change, I probably just… will, when I’m ready to, and if I’m not ready to yet, all resolving to do it will do is make me feel like a failure when I don’t do it. But my general goal is to feel like I’ve made some sort of forward motion throughout the year, so that when it comes to late December, I don’t feel like I’ve been stagnant in the last 12 months. Forward motion doesn’t need to mean huge changes, just that I don’t feel like I’ve basically wasted my time. Here are some things I did last year that I think are worth noting, life-wise:

+ Attended to a writing workshop and shared my novel with other people. This was intimidating, but awesome!

+ Spoke on two panels at WisCon – one on love triangles in young adult novels and the other about magical girlhood, ie, fantasy aimed at little girls. These were both awesome. Too bad I never got around to blogging about them. Whoopsie.

+ Was significantly more social than I’ve been since… ever. I am a huge introvert who lives largely inside my own head, and I’m generally comfortable with that; however, I often forget that I actually do like being social as long as I have plenty of time alone to recharge after. Figuring out my limits and boundaries with social interaction: a pretty cool thing.

+ Took a significant and awesome promotion at work.

+ Learned to paint my nails.

Yes, that last one is worth noting, on several levels.

One: I have been a nail-biter for years, and painting them has helped me break that habit. My nails now regularly get long enough that I have to file them.

Two: Nearly all of my hobbies involve being on the computer in some way — writing, blogging, staring mindlessly at my tumblr dash. Plus I work online all day. I wanted to find something to do to occupy my time away from my monitor and the internet. Not that I don’t love the internet. I LOVE THE INTERNET. But I also have wrist pain and my eyes sometimes need a rest. Nail painting takes concentration. Especially because…

Three: I graduated to nail art. Mostly simple nail art, but still! And this is the real reason I’m writing about it, because, as silly as it is, it’s a very big deal for me. I am a perfectionist with zero artistic talent, which means every time I artify my nails I have to take deep breaths and overcome the instinct that tells me THIS IS TERRIBLE, EVERYONE WILL SEE YOUR MEDIOCRE NAILS AND LAUGH AT YOU, TAKE IT ALL OFF NOW BEFORE YOU EMBARRASS YOURSELF.

But it turns out people don’t actually do that. Not even so much because most people are not enormous jerks (though mostly they are not), but because I am my own worst critic and most people’s reactions are closer to hey, cool! than anything else.

Also it turns out that even if you are, like me, not at all artistic, you can get better with practice if you don’t give up just because you started out mediocre. My nursery school class put on a play to that effect, back in 1987. I wasa frog that didn’t know how to ribbit yet. Apparently it just took a really long time for that lesson to start sinking in.

Anyway. Under the cut are some pictures of nail polish.

First Attempt at Dotting
My very first attempt at nail art, autumnal colors done with toothpicks.
Floral Nails
I’ve only done florals once (they were based on this tutorial: http://www.nail-art-101.com/floral_nail_art.html). They were super cute. This was a pretty early attempt – now that I’ve got more practice, I’ll have to give it another try.
Gradient Nails
I love the way gradient nails look, but am not very good at doing them. This one was sort of a cheat, based off this tutorial: http://blognailedit.blogspot.com/2012/08/bleeding-blue.html. I loved the way it looked on my nails.
Halloween Nails
I was so proud of this one! One of the few I didn’t use a tutorial for. I used tape for the black and orange, and freehanded the spiderweb.
Confetti Dots
I definitely got better at polka dots. They’re based off this tutorial: http://www.chalkboardnails.com/2012/10/blue-and-pink-gradient-dots-tutorial.html
World AIDS Day Nails
One of the few designs I tried with no tutorial! (The polish had already come off my pointer by the time I thought to photograph it.) That’s freehanded red ribbon on my ring finger and a freehanded glob on my thumb (North American on one hand; Africa on the other).
Neon Dots
And finally, these awesome nails (from this tutorial: http://blognailedit.blogspot.com/2012/02/take-on-dots.html). They were so rad and turned out so well. The first set I actually had strangers comment on. I loooooved them.

Happy New Year!

2 thoughts on “New Year Nailpolish

  • January 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Those nails look great! Extra props for just starting out and making them look that great (I would have never guessed you just started out). Just wait until you can’t go into the store without buying a new shade. I hate to burst your bubble but you are artistic! Just being a writer makes you so! Think you have more talent for painting nails (and maybe other things) than you give yourself credit for!

  • January 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Aww, thank you so much. 🙂 I suppose writing is still artistic, but it doesn’t feel like it very much to me (which is a completely arbitrary standard, I know). But I’m having a really good time playing with my nails, which is probably what counts!


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