Friday, 30 March 2012

DIY x gh0stparties nails are now on sale!

Head over to my wee website and check them out! Kate will be announcing the winners of her giveaway today too!

I have so much news from this week but I'll tell you allll about that later!xxx

Saturday, 24 March 2012

TRUE GUTS: Charity Nails for the NACC

I've been thinking about doing a set of nails to raise money for charity for a while, I know they may not raise a groundbreaking amount and I should probably run a marathon or something but I can't even make it up two flights of stairs, so this is my way of doing my bit.

I've decided to raise money for Crohns and Colitis UK (NACC). Inflammatory Bowel Disease (not to be confused with IBS) affects 1 in 250 people in the UK, with the two main types of being Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. Both are chronic conditions and between 9,000 and 18,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Most sufferers will trial endless medications, treatments and sometimes surgeries just to try and maintain a normal standard of living. With many experiencing unpleasant side effects. Symptoms can be debilitating and due to the nature of the disease, some keep quiet about their illness. There is no cure at the moment but charities like the NACC work to raise awareness and provide information about IBD, work to improve health services and provide support for sufferer's, their families and health professionals.

Click here for more information.

My boyfriend, Robbie, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease almost 8 years ago (long before I met him) and has had an ongoing battle with the illness since then. He's had some horrible times but through all the hospital visits/operations, periods of sickness and endless medications he's always stayed positive, which is really inspiring on days when most people would just give up.

Last year, Robbie raised money for the NACC by getting his thigh tattooed with a cartoon of his friend and fellow "crohnsie", Shaun, high-fiving the Queen. Shaun (an amazing photographer) had been chosen to take the first official photo of the Queen to go on display at the Scottish Parliament. Shaun Bailey (different guy) at Blue Blood in Manchester tattooed him for charity on the same day as the unveiling of the portrait and loads of people donated money.

Later in the year, our friends over at Abandon Ship Apparel, brought out a t-shirt to raise money for the NACC too. They used the phrase TRUE GUTS, which is the name of a really insightful Documentary made by Josh Golder (True Guts: Struggle and Triumph over Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) to raise awareness about IBD. The t-shirts were really successful and Richard even got TRUE GUTS tattooed on his fingers! You can read a lovely article about it all here:

So in-keeping with the tattoo theme, I decided to make a simple set of cute, wearable nails on baby pink with TRUE GUTS written on them in a traditional font. The thumbs have a subtle, silver glitter gradient on them and if the sets are well received then I'd love to do a whole colour range! I will be selling them on my online shop for £10 (+£2 p&p) and pledge to donate the whole £10 from each set sold - I'll keep you updated on my progress.

If you want to find out more about the NACC then please go to:

Watch the trailer for True Guts Documentary here.

From Me to You (with lots of love)

I don't know if you think it's cool to know where the things you buy come from, but I kind of think it is. DIY Nails is anything but a faceless brand and I pride myself on being really interactive with followers, customers and anyone who shows at least the slightest bit of interest in what I do, even if it does take me a while to reply sometimes (sorry!).

Your ready to wear, hand painted false nails come from a lovely little Scottish town called Stirling. It's roughly half-way between Glasgow and Edinburgh and is where the film Braveheart was set! William Wallace is from here don't y'know? We have a castle, a bridge, a monument and a Mcdonalds and a Topshop. I wish I was joking but I can genuinely hear bagpipes outside right now, the perks of living in the town centre on a Saturday! Here are some touristy pictures:

In the future I would definitely love a little office or a studio, but for the time being I'm working from my bedroom! With the magical art of furniture placement and my resourcing skills, I have managed to create a mini studio flat in one room, complete with living room, wardrobe/dressing area, DIY Nails HQ and sleeping area. Here is a photo of my wee work area:

My Frenchie Karl cushion is pretty awesome

When I'm not working elsewhere, I'm sitting here either trawling the internet for nail supplies and inspiration, writing my blog, fiddling about on my websites, replying to e-mails, buying things from eBay and reblogging like crazy on tumblr. I also like to spend a lot of time on Facebook talking to my BFF Emma.

This is a picture of Emma AND the castle

When I get Custom Nail Orders or make nails for photo shoots and fashion shows I just sit at my desk and paint them when needs be. But when it's time to stock up the shop, get started with some new styles or paint up wholesale orders for stockists - I make sure I have one whole day off to start with. I usually have my lovely nail-fairy/assistant Becki booked in for the day. She is the only person I really trust to paint your nails as is as much of a perfectionist as I am.

This is Becki and a horse. I actually stole this off her Facebook.

We tend to sit from 12pm-9pm with a wee break where we take the dog for a walk (I mix up Becki and Betty's names on a regular basis) and eat spaghetti hoops and waffles and later on we eat pizza. If I'm by myself,  I'll start at 8am and keep working until 10pm. So obviously I love the days when I have company! I usually aim for around 50-60 sets in that day. We sit on my couch and use every flat surface available to perch something on, the TV is just out of shot but it usually has Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Harry Potter on repeat.

See if you can spot Betty in there

The next day I usually have work so I get up early to topcoat each set and check all the nails. When I come home I pop them off their wee sticks one-by-one. file the tips and count them into their plastic packaging! I then print off all the inserts, cut them up (badly) and whack them in. I take photos, pop them all in a big box and update my shop. PHEWWWW! This bit of the process usually take around 4 hours. After that, I print off orders as they come, package up the styles and pop them off to my local Post Office in WH Smith. But not until I've stuck a cute sticker on the front of the packet so you know it's coming from me!

So that's it. I hope I haven't ruined the image you had in your head (Hello Kitty and friends painting nails in a magical pink garden that smells of sweets, duh). xxx


New additions to my wee shop!

I've been a busy bee in my nail cave this week! After all the lovely comments I received about the THUG LIFE and PUG LIFE nails I had painted for customers I decided they would make great wee additions to my online shop. After getting carried away with lettering I also decided to re-create the LOVE/HATE design you saw on Lynsay's super-talons!
You can buy these here!
You can buy these here
You can buy these here

I also painted up some Baby Pink Glitter Gradients with Crosses (a twist on an old favourite) and some glitter gradients with fangs! I sold a lot of the fang nails around Halloween but I didn't even think to stock them all the time until people started asking for them in the New Year!

You can buy these here
You can buy these here

As well as all these nails, I also painted up some more gh0stparties sets for the 30th of March. Remember the giveaway is still running for a few more days too! And lastly (phew!) some special nails for a charity that is very close to my heart, which you can read about here.

Any feedback would be amazing! It's always nice to know what you guys think about my nails and if you have any ideas then fire them at me!xxx

Sunday, 11 March 2012

I love doing Lynsay's nails

So she get's a blog post all of her own



Was pretty happy when Natalie said she wanted pug life nails yesterday! There are the perfect opposite to the THUG LIFE nails I painted on Emma a few weeks ago!

Or are you more of a WU-TANG kinda girl?

I loved doing these nails because they were a nice change from my usual girly bows and polka dots. Not that I don't love girly bows and polka dots.

Versace Style Nails!

I am actually so proud of myself for doing these!! Lynsay is one of my favourite clients, she always has the funniest stories from the time between getting her nails done and I love seeing what she's been buying every Saturday! I also love her because she has some SERIOUS talons and always has a clear idea of what she wants done. Yesterday she wanted Versace nails, it took me two hours. Mainly because I had to keep looking at pictures for inspiration. I'm always really weary of doing nails that are very "on trend" because I don't want to be too heavily influenced by all the other nail artists doing similar sets. I think I did ok though, what do you think?

I love Scratch Dollface but actually hadn't come across her Versace designs until we were looking for some inspo, they are ridiculously amazing! Just ook at these bad boys!

Scratch Dollface

Scratch Dollface

Isolated Heroes, Kirstin Kerr and Lou Clavé

Last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of working with these lovely ladies on a shoot. The whole day was filled with colour, stickers, pom poms, chains, hair, wigs, braids, henna, PILES of gold jewellery and gems everywhere! But what else would you expect when you're working with Isolated Heroes?!

(Kirstin Kerr)
(Kirstin Kerr)
(Kirstin Kerr)
I love working with Sam because I can really just do ANYTHING I want, it really was amazing to see everyone come together with the same vision and step into her "magic pony land brain" (as she so perfectly called it in her blog post about the shoot). And we just had so much fun! I created two nail sets for the day and wanted them to be really over the top. The first set were black with big, glittery, gold letters, IH for ISOLATED HEROES! I Stuck a big ying-yang button I found on one thumb and a big gold peace sign from a necklace on the other. The right hand had all the fingers connected by a chain and the left just had a chain running from the ring finger to the pinky (attached by a safety pin!). The second set was white and I used party confetti (smiley faces and baby bottles) and lovely iridescent gems to create a more feminine set. I connected the ring and pinkie fingers with a chain and attached some smiley faces to it. I really just wanted the sets to look thrown together, the whole theme of the shoot was so over the top that I just wanted it to look like Ruta and Stevie had done it themselves and stuck on anything they could find.

There was no make-up artist so like 8 of us pitched in and decorated Ruta ans Stevie with Henna (I'm sure Sam's AWA faces will replace traditional designs from now on), while Sam decorated their eyebrows with pom poms and Lou stuck smiley face stickers to Stevie's face as well as working her magic with some colourful wigs and hair pieces!

(Kirstin Kerr)
Athif showing us how Henna's really done! (Kirstin Kerr) 

Kirstin shot the most ridiculously beautiful photos I've ever seen. I can't wait to show you them but for now, here's a wee teaser!!

(Kirstin Kerr)

Oh and Betty came too!

(Kirstin Kerr)


Kirstin Kerr - Photographer, designer, illustrator and artist. An all-round, amazing and inspiring creative talent
Hair for Heroes by Lou Clavé - Queen of hair, wigs and colour, colour, COLOUR! Seriously the most amazing hairdresser around!