Wednesday, November 5, 2014

An Image Transfer Manicure and review plus a bonus knitting update!

Hello All!

So, I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos on nail art during my spare time, frequently while I'm knitting. A technique that I've seen a lot of and thought would be cool to try is transferring images, or Newspaper Art, as I've seen it called.

Now, one of the reasons that I was really excited about this was because most of what I watched and read talked about how you could do this with ANY image, not just newspaper or comic strips. I'm really not good at freehand nail art, as much as I love looking at it. So, I thought this could be a cool alternative.

I searched Google for some cute images I liked, resized them with a very basic photo-shop-type program and printed them off on regular printer paper with my Canon Inkjet printer. The image I was most excited about was a minion from Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 doing Kung cute! I poured a little rubbing alcohol (90%) into a small measuring cup and prepared an acrylic nail tip with 2 coats of white creme polish. I test most of my water marbling colors and designs on acrylic nail tips first so I don't have to go through all that taping and clean-up until I have something I like.

Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. No matter what I did I could not get that little minion onto my nail tip. I tried soaking the piece of paper in the alcohol and then applying to the nail, I tried wetting my nail with alcohol and then putting the paper over it, I tried diluting my alcohol down with water to get closer to the 50-70% solution that the tutorials mentioned. After close to 2 and a half hours of tweaks like these, I thought, "Maybe it doesn't work on acrylic!" I thought I was on to something so I cleaned a nail of my previous mani, prepped it with base coat and white base color and tried again. It still wouldn't work!

I was really close to giving up at this point so I decided to take a break from that and I used the method of sticking a picture directly onto the nail and sealing it in with topcoat, like a stud or fimo.
 This worked and I think my nephew looks adorable as nail art! But, I'm not a huge fan of any embellishment that isn't flush with the nail because I do a lot of things with my hands and I'm afraid I'd constantly be knocking them off or something. I decided to give the image transfer one more try and only use a black and white image instead of colored this time. And guess what?? It worked! I have come to the conclusion, therefore, that the success of this technique depends not only on the solution percentage of the alcohol, but also on the formulation of your printer's ink. Something about the colored ink used in my printer, just did not work.

I went back and selected some new black and white images and prepped all my nails with a base coat and base color of white. I used Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White'. Then I thought that was a little plain so I added a single coat of Sinful Colors 'Let Me Go', which is a really sheer, iridescent polish that leans a little to purple.

I considered not even writing this post or sharing this manicure, since it wasn't exactly what I wanted or as good as I think it could have been if I were better with this technique. But then I decided, that at the end of the day, it's just nail polish and nail design and isn't the point to have fun with it? At least, that's a large part of why I got into nail art. Also, I've been up front with the fact that I am a nail art newbie. So, I'm not going to get everything right or perfect the first time I try it. And, if nothing else, at least I'll be able to look back at my beginning blunders one day, LOL. So, here they are!
Left hand

and the right hand

I finished with a top coat to add some shine and seal in the design. I know it's not a perfect look, but I hope you enjoyed anyway. If you have tried this technique and know of any tips or tricks, please share them in the comments and feel free to share your recreations on my Facebook page which is linked on the right. 
Bonus knitting update after the jump!

So, as I mentioned in my Knitting Project! post I was working on a pair of thigh highs or leggings for my little sister. The two legs are knitted individually and the finished product is less like a pair of pants or leggings and more like a pair of long legwarmers. I finished the first one. Unfortunately, I do not have pics because it was too long to capture by itself and my husband didn't want to model it for me (I don't know why, LOL). 

Now here is the weird thing. I realized, after I finished it of course, that there was no way it could fit. The pattern said each leg should be 36 inches long. Well, even my brother in law who is six foot two only has a 32 inch inseam. And my sister who I was knitting these for only has a 25 inch inseam. So, I put that project aside until I could talk to her and see if she even still wanted them (which she has assured me that she does, even if she has to fold the cuff or something). While I was waiting to talk to her, I started a new project that I wanted to share with you. 

This is the Summer Poncho from's 15 Free Cute Knitting Patterns for Every Season, which is a free ebook download with a link to the free pattern by itself. They recommend Bernat Satin yarn, which can be found here. I am using a less expensive indie brand of yarn but it is the same material and gauge as the recommended Bernat.
 I really don't like working on circular needles, just a personal preference, But there are too many stitches for the 'traditional' length of needle so I am using a 14 inch straight needle, pictured below.
This pattern in knitted in 2 halves and then sewn together to create two seams at the shoulders. I am about 15.5 inches along on my first half, though it's hard to see in the picture since I had it laid out so you could see the lacy pattern.

And that is it for now. I will update again as the project progresses. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share your current knitting projects on either my Facebook page or Pintrest Boards (links on the top right). 

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