Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘trees’

Dear Deer

I absolutely love this manicure! I had been wanting to use this scene from one of my favorite stamping plates for a while, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. This works so well though! A land-to-sky gradient with jelly-filled purple mountains. Cute AND appropriate 🙂

~ Neon pastel green: KBShimmer – Lime All Right
~ Neon teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden
~ Periwinkle: L’oreal – Royalty Reinvented
~ Purple jelly: Zoya – Katherine
~ Pink Jelly: Zoya – Paloma
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: Maniology x Clairestelle8 – M035

Honestly I can’t tell which animal I like best: the deer or the squirrel! It is a comically oversized squirrel, but that just means that it is MUCH CLOSER (perhaps close enough for my puppy to catch it :-p). I hope you enjoyed this as much as I do!

Tree Shadowed Galaxies

I wanted to make a galaxy manicure, but I also wanted to do trees in front of it, inspired by @piontkowaa but with color. The end result looks more like purple clouds but is still stunning!

My base is two coats of Black Magic by ILNP, which is appropriately named. I have been searching for YEARS for as close to a true-black holographic polish as I can find. I own two black shard/scattered holo polishes, which are nice but look more like they have silver shards in them. In contrast, this is clearly holographic and I love it! I think I will get a lot of wear out of this polish. It isn’t the most holo-y, but for such a dark color and for covering well in two coats, it is worth it for sure.

~ Black holo: ILNP – Black Magic
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Light purple: Zoya – Abby
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Dark purple: Formula X – Ignition
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

I love the stamps on Moyra Picturesque, but I feel like part of the plate just isn’t etched quite as well! Which makes it a pain to work with. Oh well, still pretty! Also, sorry about only two posts this week, I have been taking nearly nightly naps on the sofa with our dog, instead of getting any actual work done when I get home! I would feel bad about that, but it is so soothing that its hard to. Hope you enjoyed!

Purple Moonrise

I really wanted to add a howling wolf to this manicure and I just could not figure out how or where! Next time. This design was inspired by @iamdeliasnails who was in turn initially inspired by @teenynails. I love the nail art community. I made a bright pink to light purple gradient, and stamped over the tips with purple and then black polish. Voila! Fairly easy and yet quite pretty.

~ Light purple: Essie – Full Steam Ahead
~ Light pink: Zoya – Tobey
~ Bright pink: Zoya – Kelsey
~ Bright purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

Does anyone have any advice on how to incorporate a wolf stamp and not make it look ridiculous next time I do something like this? If I did it in white (or light purple) it would stand out too much, but the whole thing is already black! If I did the trees in grey the wolf could be black, but that would be difficult to accomplish and still difficult to see most likely. Ugh.

Red Maple Trees

I decided to make an all-stamping counterpart to my plum trees freehand design. All my friends agreed that the actual leaves portion of this manicure (which is 100% stamped, but using at least 3 layers per tree, usually 5-6) looks better, but that my shadow depth trees made the other manicure :-p. So now I need to re-do this with shadow trees!

~ Grey holo: Cadillacquer – Odette
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Dark red: OPI – Visions of Love
~ Gold glitter: Emily de Molly – Chasing Gold
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

I honestly meant to look up why some trees bloom in the snow (it was plum trees that inspired this initially) because that seems odd. Stay tuned for more winter-themed manicures and more christmas designs as we get closer to the end of the month!

Relaxing Sunset

This was easy and beautiful! I made a neon/pastel sunset gradient and then stamped using three dark cremes to achieve the purple (hammock), blue (water) and green (trees) that I wanted. Voila! Honestly the pictures do not do this justice, the orange-pink neon was almost glowing it was so bright.

~ Orange neon: KBShimmer – Papaya Don’t Preach
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Lael
~ Dark green: Sinful Colors – Last Chance
~ Dark blue: Zoya – Ryan
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

I am posting this because it was 75 degrees out today! Which is just nuts for DECEMBER. I have no idea what the weather thinks it is doing. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed! Monday starts the series of winter-appropriate nails (even if it stays weirdly warm out)!

Layers of Trees by Night

This design was inspired by @nailqueenie. It did not come out perfect (I think I need more tree stamps) but I like it anyway! I also love the little wolf I added to the front. I painted these in summer but they are very wintery, so here you go!

~ Dark blue: Zoya – Ibiza
~ Holo: Color Club – Harp On It
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 090, EdM – 07

I don’t know that I have really ever stamped the same design three times on each nail…I have a few more scenery plates than when I painted these over the summer (partially in response to painting these actually) so I want to try this concept again but with trees from different plates! gasp Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

Haunting Purple

I could not decide what manicures to do for halloween. I felt like everything was either already done, overdone in general, too hard, or too easy. Then I found a bunch of purple gradient creepy mansion manicures and I was sold. The unifying theme was the beautiful purple gradients and the spooky setting, so off I went! My resulting manicure is 50% stamped and 50% freehand.

~ Light purple: Zoya – Abby
~ Purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Lael
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: UC – Lovely Leaves 02, BM – 213, 223, 305

Happy Halloween, and I hope you enjoyed! No candy corn manicures this year, maybe I will throw some in next year. Who knows. Now on to fall, and random dead things, yay!

Rocky Desert Sunset

This was inspired by @nails4cocktails who as it turns out was inspired by @snh001. Yes, I went down an inspiration rabbit hole (and i am not ashamed!). At some point I will try to aim more for snh001’s original idea and do blue mountains, but I need to get more liquid latex first, I am out and this would be near-impossible to do with tape!

~ Purple: Formula X – Ignition
~ Hot pink: Zoya – Kelsey
~ Pink: L’oreal – Orange You Jealous
~ Orange: KBShimmer – Papaya Don’t Preach
~ Yellow: Revlon – Electric
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 122, BM – XL204

This concludes the 31 day challenge of 2021, with honor nails you love. I participated in almost half of the challenges (14 out of 31) continuing with my M-W-F posting schedule. I am pretty darn proud of myself altogether, and will likely make a collage (if I have time) of the posts that I’ve made. Hope you enjoyed!

Rainbow Sunset

I adore this design. I will probably try to do something similar again with a different foreground because this was awesome. I was inspired by @alittlegreenpolishbottle who took her inspiration from a watercolor by @artbysinch. I actually went and watched the making of the watercolor to have an inkling of how to paint this. I had intended to start with a black background, sponge on white, and then sponge (neon) color over the white…but the idea was watercolor! So instead I started with a white base, loosely sponged on some very bright colors, and then added the black for the sky. The last step was the foreground (mountains and trees) and the white/grey highlights in the mountains. It took a few hours but I think it was worth it!

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Holo glitter: China Glaze – Fairy Dust
~ Pink: Zoya – Morgan
~ Orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Yellow: WOW – #301
~ Green: KBShimmer – Race Against Slime
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Indigo: Zoya – Danielle
~ Violet: Zoya – Margo

Honestly, I think picking bright colors/neons for the sunset was really what made this. It would not have worked nearly as well with more muted tones. Next time I will try for a few more fingers like my ring finger, the transition between the green/blue and the orange/pink/purple looks epic! I am posting this today in particular because I can think of no better nail art I’ve made in the past year that fits “inspired by art” the way this one does for the 31 day challenge. Enjoy!

Plum Trees in the Snow

Happy first day of the 2021 31 Day Challenge! Today’s challenge is Red, and I actually made TWO designs and posted my favorite. This was actually loosely inspired by a scene from a Chinese period drama (the whole show is like 65 episodes long and an hour each episode, but Netflix has a shortened version that is 6 hours long and pretty darn awesome). Anyway. Red trees in the snow! These are completely freehand and I am rather pleased with myself. I think the most impressive part is the shadow of the trees in the background, which I made by dry-brushing on three different shades of grey using a fan brush. It was pretty quick and came out incredible! I then added the white snow ground, the black trees, and of course the red (and gold) leaves.

~White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Light grey: Formula X – Delightful
~ Grey: Zoya – Dove
~ Dark grey: WOW – #333
~ Darkest grey: Zoya – Evvie
~ Neon red: Emily de Molly – LE 199
~ Red: Pure Ice – Siren
~ Dark red: OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)
~ Gold: Zoya – Ziv

For the rest of this month you guys will be treated to a compilation of mostly freehand nail art, including some of my favorite from the past 12 months that I saved specifically to use in the 31 Day Challenge. Stay tuned!

Pink Dot Blossoms

I wanted to create some simpler cherry blossom-esque nails, and decided to do this design! I started with an angled pink gradient, added some shimmer, then made branches and added my dot blossoms. In retrospect, I liked the design better without the white dots (they are too stark in contrast to the other colors) and would likely not have tried to loosely color gradient the dots (darker near the start of the branch and paler near the end). I think a random dot assortment would have been prettier!

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Shimmer: ILNP – The Magician
~ Light pink: Zoya – Jordan
~ Pink: Zoya – Sandy
~ Hot pink: Zoya – Morgan
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea

Honestly, I am just glad that I am finally getting around to posting a bunch of floral nails before spring ends! What should I switch to for summer, water nails? And does that mean water marble or nails that look like water? Who knows! 🙂

Frozen Forest

This ended up being a surprisingly stunning manicure! I was so excited to use the layers on this scenery plate, and then ended up a bit disappointed when they were not very well etched. I think next time I will have to try darker shades rather than trying to stamp with light shades over a dark background. That said, it came out pretty! Although, to be fair, everything over ILNP Downpour ends up pretty :-p

~ Blue holo: ILNP – Downpour
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Light blue: Zoya – Blu
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 122

The stamping plate, Nicole Diary 122, as stated has some stunning designs, but the one I got was just not etched well enough to use with most of my polishes on their own. Yes, I do not use stamping polish. That said, you guys can tell I stamp a LOT and this plate it just too shallow! I almost want to buy another copy from the Born Pretty Store and hope that it is better etched. The designs are lovely. Anyway, hope you enjoyed! 

Haunted Sunset

This is one of the best designs I have made in a while, and it was for Halloween! Oh well, still worth it :-p. I saw these beautiful nails by @nails4cocktails and I just knew I had to recreate them! Sadly, I own none of the stamps that she does so it took me a lot longer to freehand everything, but it was very rewarding! I need to remember to do more freehand…when I have more time. These came out awesome and they only took a few (~2) hours!

~ Yellow: KBShimmer – Orange you Glad I Didn’t Say Banana?|
~ Teal: Zoya – Rocky
~ Purple: Zoya – Danielle
~ Blue: Zoya – Ryan
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Yellow jelly: Esmalta da Kelly – Yellow Soap Bubbles
~ Holo glitter: Wet n’ Wild – Kaleidoscope 

Anyway, happy Halloween! I hope you all have safe and socially distant plans for tomorrow night, and that everyone gets to enjoy both candy AND not catching the plague :-p.

Leaves on Stumps

You guys. When I made this I saw so proud of myself for layered stamping (this was last year) and now looking at it, it is way too busy and just NO. Also, my stamps are almost see-through and this whole thing is a mess. So you only get one photo…my indoor photos look like I forgot to add top coat and I am not forcing those images on you! Anyway, to make this overly complicated manicure I decided to use two different wood stump stamps that I had never touched. One as it turns out is negative space and the other is…positive space? Standard? Who knows. I didn’t like how it looked with just the wood grain, so I added fall leaves and then dots because I cannot leave well enough alone! 

~ Light brown: Zoya – Chantal
~ Brown: Zoya – Flynn
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Darkest brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Red: OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)
~ Orange: ULTA – Sun of a Gun
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment 
~ Stamps: Whats Up Nails – B005, Moyra – 32 Nature, UC – Lovely Leaves 2 

Anyway, sorry about this mess. I have some prettier leaf-themed manicures coming up, I promise! 

Evergreen Forest

Happy green day! This is a â€¦.very green manicure. Possibly the greenest manicure I’ve ever made. It was also fun! I wanted to try making an evergreen forest disappearing into the mist, and honestly it worked. Partially I didn’t think I could cover darker greens with lighter greens (so the light ones went to the back) but I also think the effect is pretty cool!

The base color here was one of my newer purchases, Lime All Right by KBShimmer. This is two coats of Lime All Right, which as it turns out is a bright semi-pastel neon green. I wanted more of a standard light green, but I am not going to say no to a pastel neon! It can join my orange and yellow 🙂 It was surprisingly easy to use for a neon (none of that thick application that others get).

~ Light green: KBShimmer – Lime All Right
~ Green: Zoya – Josie
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Darkest green: Sinful Colors – Last Chance
~ Gold: Zoya – Tomoko
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 090

I added a golden sun at the end just for some more variety. What do you guys think? Forest achievement? Hope you all enjoyed! 

Autumn Canopy

More fall! This was one basically just an excuse to make a whole bunch of dots. And we all know how much I love dots! The design was inspired by Snacks on Rotation although mine are much darker since I don’t have a gradient leaf stamp!


~ Brown holo: Darling Diva – Brown Diamond
~ Brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Dark red: OPI – Visions of Love
~ Red: OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)
~ Dark orange: Essie – Playing Koi
~ Orange: ULTA – Sun of a Gun
~ Red shimmer: ILNP – The Magician
~ Stamp: EdM – 07


Hope you enjoyed! Happy fall weather, and pumpkin spice everything if you are into that!

Misty Forest

This mani came out better than I had hoped, but I made a crucial error…I forgot to check that my nails were even before I started! If you are ever going to paint a scene across your tips, be sure that one of them isn’t crooked (sorry 4th finger, I’m looking at you).


Regardless, this was quite fun! I wanted to do something spooky, and I realized that I had yet to use an EdM stamping plate that I picked up a while ago! Unfortunately, the plate is not etched really deeply, so although the images pick up fine, they are not incredibly dark (to be fair, I used regular polish for this…my black stamping polish finally ran out).


I ended up double stamping some of the trees, the fox, and little bits of grass, which is how I got the grey-and-black difference. I quite like it! I am also glad I went with another EdM polish for the background. 🙂


~ Purple-grey glitter: Emily de Molly – Shadow on the Moon
~ Purple-grey: Sinful Colors – Muse
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: EdM – 07


A few more fall-themed and Halloween-themed manis coming up! Most make a little more sense than this, but misty and creepy forest is totally a Halloween thing! Hope you enjoyed.

Palm Lake Sunset

This mani came out both quite good and quite terribly! I had a particular design in mind which I realized was NOT going to work after I put down the base color…so I switched it up!


The one I ended up going with was inspired by Christabell Nails. That being said, you can very clearly see that she was trying to do a sunset reflection over water, and I think you can only tell with mine cause I’m telling you! Yes. That is supposed to be water below the sun.


I started this with yet another new polish (I really need to impose a no-buy!). Shown here is two thin coats of Playing Koi by Essie. I got this on a whim because I had seen it two or three times and I decided I really did need a very dark orange…and I’m honestly glad! It’s much darker than my current “dark” orange and it is a really cool color. Somewhere between orange and brown, with a lot of red thrown in.



I am not going to list all the colors that I used, because I changed what I was doing with this mani halfway through and re-gradiented over an already half-done gradient (how does this still look ok??). That is also why the finish is so darn uneven…It looked much better in person. Whoops!


I do regret adding the clouds…I just thought the sky looked a little empty. Now it looks a bit diseased? Live and learn.

Cold Winds

I wanted to do some bare trees in the winter…with a sunset-like color changing background. Ta-da! I just need to remind myself never to paint trees again. It takes too darn long!


The base color is a triple-color thermal polish called Winds of Change by Bow Polish. Winds of Change is a complicated polish: it is a light blue-grey when warm, a magenta when medium-cold, and a dark purple when cold. It has a nice smattering of holo shards in it as well. The polish takes 3 coats to be opaque in its lightest color (the warm blue-grey), and dries matte without top coat. All my images are with top coat. I really like all three of the colors it turns to…although it is warm enough in my apartment that I had to keep dunking my fingers in cold water to show the shift!


I ended up taking a LOT of photos. I’ve tried to include ones that show the full range of colors…either with all three on the nail, or at least the darker two (since the blue is visible in almost every photo). Sometimes my warming-up nails after I dunked them in cold water looked really goofy (they warmed in a radial pattern from the middle of my nail…so the trees looked like they were growing into a vortex).


I do wish I had left more of Winds of Change showing…I certainly will next time! I like the trees, but they ended a bit denser than I planned. Also, in retrospect, I should have posted these before the snow passed, since it is now spring time and these are snowy trees!

~ Blue/Purple thermal: Bow – Winds of Change
~ Black: Wet n’ Wild – Black Creme
~ White: Wet n’ Wild – French White Creme


Hope you enjoyed! Friday’s mani is much simpler, I promise!

Holly and Branches

This is by far not the end of my winter and christmas manis…this is just the last one I got done ahead of time to be able to post 😀


These were also the nails I submitted to the Nail Art Canada holiday nail art challenge, but I lost the link somehow so I didn’t get them posted until one day before the contest closed. As a result, I didn’t win, but I did somehow make top 5 for the people-who-submitted-to-vote (let’s see how that one goes!), but thanks to all of you who voted anyway!


I put these together using stamping decals for the holly and simple stamps with dots added for the branches nails. Overall quite easy!


~ Bright green: Darling Diva – Green Diamond
~ Dark green: Sinful Colors – Last Chance
~ Dark green glitter: Butter London – Jack the Lad
~ Red: Zoya – Isla
~ Stamps: BM – 302, BP – 43


Hope you enjoyed, and merry almost-Christmas!

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