Thursday, 29 November 2012

Experiments with nail art - part 2 plus bonus hair bling!


It's like coming back to a familiar place after being away from it for a while. November has been an extremely busy month and I hope to tell you all about it when I get the chance to catch my breath! It's been an amazing month and one of the most packed of the year.

But for now may I present you with my latest attempts at nail art (my latest favourite hobby), and I've put some bonus bling at the end of the post because it's just too sparkly to not blog about! Mmmmm sparkles.....

I think I called this one Star Crossed Night or something. It's really easy to do. Just paint your back ground colour. When the base layer is dry, put on randomly placed nail striping tape, and paint over with your glitter nail polish!

I think this is one of my favourites! This is from a couple of months ago when my nails were actually growing for the first time in year (due to a stay in hospital). They are a lovely length. I've used my favourite colour (OPI Big Apple Red), added some bling and painted just one nail with glorious glitter!

Leopard print. Red. Sparkles. Bling. YES! :D 

My Lovely Mum gave me these beautiful glass hearts which I will treasure forever. They also happened to match my nails perfectly. I should be a nail/finger/glass heart model! 


Blood tipped nails..... C'mon, they are scary right?

This was my first attempt at gradient nails, if you can't tell.

I refer to you to the fab Nuthin' But A Nail Thing blog for an awesome tutorial. Though I would say I don't think wetting the sponge worked for me. It kinda flaked and got stuck to my nails. Which was ok on this occasion for Halloween nails because a bit of texture added to the look. I'm sure the ghosts appreciated the effort I made when I went on my ghost hunting walk!

When you apply the polish with a sponge be prepared and allow time to clean up your nails afterwards!

This is my second attempt at gradient nails. I used a dry sponge this time. Plus I used more than one sponge - maybe about 4. As soon as one sponge got too 'clunky' with polish, I just used a fresh one. I also cut my sponges into smaller pieces, just to make them go a bit further, and so I'm not quite so wasteful. 

TIP: I paint my nails on Sunday night. It's a nice little chill out routine before the week ahead. Anyway, after my nails are dry (and I run my nails under cold water to make them set quicker), I rub hand cream (Nivea) around my nails and off I go to bed. The next morning when I have my shower, I gently use a nail scrub and the excess nail polish peels away. 

Of course you can just go around the nail with a cotton wool bud dipped in nail polish remover too! I guess my method is a bit lower maintenance. 

I got a bit carried away with my nail dotters for this one! 

I bought some bottles of glitter and decided to go for red/silver/blue combination. I did my base coat (as always), then whilst the red coat was wet I sprinkled over  the glitter. It looks better in real life than in the photograph; it's more eye catching in the light.

 And finally...... gold and red gradient. Before and after!

I promised you some hair bling. I see a theme here; sparkles, leopard print and red! I'm a bit annoyed with myself at the moment as I seem to have lost the red hair band already. 

Red blingy butterfly. I haven't worn this yet.  

This one is so sweet! I got it from a lovely vintage shop in Nottingham called Hopkins. I could have spent hours in there!

I think I was attracted to this hair decoration as I have a real-sized hat just like this! 

And my BFF surprised me when this gorgeous ring arrived in the post this week. I LOVE IT! Thank you Best Friend Forever In The Whole Wide World! 

Was that enough sparkles for one blog post? I hope so! 

Anyway, it hasn't been all work all the time this month. I'm about to dash out for a cocktail evening at a new venue in the city centre. If it's any good, I'll let you know! :) 

Say hello on twitter: @karenstrunks

Sunday, 4 November 2012

No.1 Traveller opens at Birmingham Airport

Last Monday afternoon made my way to Birmingham Airport with my passport in hand.

Some of the destinations I could have jetted off to...

I made my way to the the rendezvous point and handed over my passport, but I wasn't about to board a plane,  I was going to the opening of Birmingham Airport's sparkling brand new  No.1 Traveller lounge which promises travellers an up-scale pre-flight experience. 

I couldn't wait! 

Owly Images

At the entrance to the lounge guests are greeted with a wall of Rosemary.

Owly Images

Here's a panoramic view of just one part of the lounge. Behind me was the dining area and to my left a very well stocked bar.

This lounge is the largest within Birmingham Airport. The windows look out over the run way so you can chill out and watch the airport action as you wait for your flight.

And there is a mezzanine level too! One of the things I tend to naturally check out is the easy access to power supply and you will never be short of somewhere to charge your phone or laptop. They have power points on the walls, by the chairs, on the floor. Great planning there!

Want to get into work mode or have a meeting. Step into the office space! And if you want a more private area to have a meeting there is actually a meeting room you can use as well. 

  Owly Images

Part of the the dining area. Complimentary food and drink are included in the price of entry into the lounge. 

For example, at breakfast you can chose from a range of pastries, cereals, fruit salad and granola. 

At lunchtime there is salads and soups, bread, cheese, cakes, and fruit, and served all day are sausage or bacon rolls, poached egg pot and Welsh rarebit. I tried the fresh fruit salad and it was the freshest and nicest I have ever tasted, and I saw the bacon roll and poached egg pot being served and they looked amazing. 

And not forgetting that there are complimentary drinks too! Take your pick - tea, coffee, juices, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits! 

Set your laptop up and you are good to go with fast, free wifi included too. 

The bowler hats again, just because...they are bowler hat lamps!

Councillor Ken Hawkins, the Mayor of Solihull attended the official opening. The new lounge has created 20 new jobs for the area. 

It's not often a girl gets a chance to don this much bling, and Ken was kind enough to obliged. Just for a minute though!

It's hard to say what my favourite thing about the new lounge is. It's been so well designed. 

Would I go book into the lounge next time I catching a flight? Yes! In fact, what I think I might well do is arrive even earlier to the airport so I can enjoy spending longer in there - it's really that nice! 

The lounge is open to anyone. All you do is book the lounge online for £22.50 or pay £27.50 on the door. Note the dress code. I think it provides really good value for money too. If you are waiting at the airport you could easily spend the cost of entry to the lounge on food, drinks and magazines/papers etc. I'd say check into the lounge and really relax whilst you are waiting to jet off. The trouble is, you might get too comfy and miss your plane! :) 

No.1 Traveller website and twitter
Birmingham Airport website and twitter 

Say hello on twitter @karenstrunks

Friday, 2 November 2012

Ghost Hunting in Moseley Bog!

Warning: Only read this when it's daylight.

Hallowe'en!! Scary stuff right?

Well, not scary enough for me so I invited my friend Ben to go ghost hunting with me on Thursday night. That sounds like I was going to go ghost hunting anyway. I can assure you I was not! I'm not that daft.

Pre-ghost hunting preparations involved getting my kit ready and looking out of the window at the weather. It was bucketing down! Would that stop determined paranormal investigators? Not at all!

I joked with Ben that we would need pumpkin lanterns to light our way in the woods. He didn't have a pumpkin, but look at this apple carving! Very cute.

My 'kit' comprised of my compact camera, iPhone with the M2 Ghost Hunting app (stop sniggering at the back!), divining rods, and flip camera and 2 torches to light our way. I wore my flowery wellington boots. Oh, and I had painted my nails; tips blood dipped.

This was my first attempt at gradient nails. Not perfect, but I got away with imperfections due to the Halloween nature of them. Let's see how attempt no.2 goes!

Wrapped up against the elements, we walked the 5 minutes to Moseley Bog which is particularly known as a place that inspired JRR Tolkien whilst he was writing Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.

We stepped off the main road and through a muddy path that led the way into a field. We walked through and found another pathway which led to another field and then the tree lined paths narrowed and became a little more windy. Torches on, we tried to make a note of how many turns we had taken - imagine getting lost in the woods all night so close to home!

The rain was relentless and with the trees losing their leaves for winter, there was very little shelter about. We walked along the path with sheets of rain thundering all around us and found a tree that offered very little shelter really, but it was the best we were going to get!

I wrapped up my iPhone in a little bag and booted up the ghost app.

'Ring', it said. Ring! Lord of the Rings!! Tell me that's not a coincidence!

The radar that detects spirits was lighting up all around us.

Here's Ben. He holds the torch. His was better than mine.

These are Ben's misty pics. We figured out that the mist is just our breath in the cold air. What a disappointment! 

My divining rods. Nice nails!

No sense! Standing in the woods in the rain checking my ghost app for spirits! 

But check this out!! Lots of orbs which are raindrops caught in the cameras flash, but if you check the top left hand corner and tell me what you see!!

Do you see it?! Or rather, do you see....them?!

I must admit when I first saw them when I was checking the back of the camera, I was freaked out.

I enjoyed the haunted woods and didn't get too scared and I only screamed once when I thought Ben was walking behind me and I saw a black man-sized figure in front of me.

We popped to the local pub afterwards to come back to the land of the living and I enjoyed a 'spirit' and Ben had a 'whine'. Sorry. Don't blame me. That's Ben's joke.

Back to reality in the pub

Thank you Ben for being a great ghost hunter! I'll now make you an official member of the B13 Ghost Hunting Gang which I've just made up. Get in touch if you are made of tough stuff and would like to be part of the gang! ;)

Say Hello on twitter @karenstrunks

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