My 23rd Birthday nails - the story of my life on my fingernails!

What you're seeing here is the result one day off work sick, three hours of nail painting and 23 years of my life in tiny, tiny pictures. Yep, I'm insane. I'm just glad that my headache didn't worsen while doing this and I only had one throat-destroying coughing fit!

Anyway, so these nails are quite special to me. I asked on Facebook a while ago for ideas for my birthday nails (I'm 23 today!) and someone suggested I should have each nail represent a few years of my life. Such a good idea - challenge accepted! 

Here's what I came up with:

I used about a million different nail polishes for this, and I wrote them all down for those who want to know - they're listed at the bottom of this post. I used black acrylic paint for the outlining - I bought some from Warehouse Stationery a while ago and had been dying to try it out. It was thin stuff, not the gunky stuff you get in a tube, and it was much easier to use! Normally I have to mix the thick stuff with water to make it the right consistency, but I could use this straight out of the container. It was also a little more forgiving; but there are both pros and cons to using acrylic paint. Maybe I'll do a post about it some time. 

Time to explain what's on each finger!

This nail represents the years 0-3. Naturally I can't remember most of it, but I do know that I loved Barney and Cinderella. Barney's poking his head up from the bottom of the nail and the glass slipper is Cinderella's. The cat in the corner is my first cat, Pedro, who my parents had before I was born and died when I was about 18. The big funny-looking creature on the right-hand side is my favourite toy of all time, Pinkdoggy. My Aunty gave him to me when I was born and he has absorbed many tears, withstood many cuddles and is still very special to me today. I took him to my work on the kid's "show and tell" day, and was surprisingly over-protective of him!

Naww, Pinkdoggy. I probably should note that naming things in a very unoriginal manner was kind of my trademark as a kid. A pink dog called Pinkdoggy, a black cat called Blackie, a Snoozem toy called Snoozem, a toy mouse called Micey, a toy bear called Berry... it's surprising my creative side ever came out!

Next I have the ages 4-6. I always loved The Wiggles! I've got a cool little
story to tell about them too - when I was about 10, my mum, little brother,
little sister and I got to have breakfast with two of The Wiggles! It was
Murray and Jeff, if I remember correctly. I was a bit too old for them at
this stage, but while pretending to be oh-so-cool and grown up I did think
it was pretty cool. Plus the food was nice :P.

When I was five, I started school. However, to graduate kindergarten I had
to show my kindy friends that I had school-girl knees - which from what
I remember meant you had bruises and bumps and dirt from running
around being a big kid. I still remember wearing my birthday hat made
out of cardboard and pulling up my leggings to show everyone that I was,
indeed, quite ready for school.

The next nail represents the ages 7-9. I was just a kid, really. I loved my
friends and family, I even enjoyed school. I had a great childhood.
Didn't enjoy the pre-teen/teenage years so much though! But we'll get
to that soon. On this nail I've depicted me dressing up as a pirate.
My mum's a great sewer (although you may not think that if you saw
her latest attempt at onesies!) and made heaps of costumes for us as
kids. Honestly, it was awesome. We had a whole room called
"the playroom" and all the neighbourhood kids would come over and
we'd play dress-ups for hours on end.

I grew up in the outskirts of town, and we had a couple of acres to run
around in. I always loved climbing trees, and was super stoked when
my parents designated me a tree of my own! Even today when I see that
tree I think of it as "my climbing tree." 

Now we're up to the ages 10-12. I'd always liked reading, but about
now I turned into a right little bookworm. My parents actually had
to limit me to just one *gasp* book a day because they were
worried about my social life. Meh, I didn't care about my social
life as long as I had the Secret Seven, Five Find-outers and the
Faraway tree. Oh Enid Blyton, how I loved you...

I also included a dictionary in here, although it's hard to see. I could
spell just about anything from a young age, it was an early obsession
of mine! I'm friends with a boy on facebook who was in my class
around this time and I remember he used to call me a "walking
dictionary." I quite liked that - funny what you remember! Anyway,
so yeah, this nail sums up my life around that time (and still now,
a bit). I was a bit of a nerd, but I loved it!

Wow, this is getting to be a wordy post. I bet no one's reading this
far down, haha. Finally, the pinky on this hand represents the ages
13-14; the first few years of high school. They sucked. I went
from a tiny country school to a town school 10 times the size with
kids that were so much wiser in the ways of the world than me
and I was a little bit lost. I still had friends, and I don't remember
being bullied (thank god) but it wasn't a great time, and I was most
definitely a geek. I didn't know who I was, where I was going, what
I thought, or who I wanted to be.
I'm glad I've had this experience though as I feel I would be missing
out on a huge part of reality if not. I've met people who can't
identify cliques or class systems in their own community, and I
find that so strange! Hurray for not being a cool kid!

Now for the right hand! I was glad I didn't screw this one up too much, considering I was painting with my non-dominant hand.

The next age I'm representing is 15-16. I found it hard to think of
something for this, as it was a kind of boring period where life just
kept carrying on. It was getting better though, and one of the
reasons why was blatantly because I lost a bit of weight. Over
one summer I lost about eight kilograms, and it made me feel a lot
more confident. I'd been a bit chubby since the age of 10 or so,
and losing those few kilos was a big part of my life, as superficial
as it sounds. I ended up putting on weight again in 2010 and
didn't lose it again until recently (and still have a little to go),
but while I love eating chocolate and lollies, I also love losing weight
and the empowering feeling it gives me when those numbers drop.

On a side note, I had McDonalds hotcakes for breakfast this

Around the age of 17 things got more exciting. I started going to a lot
of parties with my friends and really enjoyed myself. I never went
too crazy but it made me feel like I got the teenage experience and
I don't regret a thing :). I painted on KGBs as I have a child's taste
in everything and hate tasting any alcohol. It has to be masked with
heaps of sugar!

I made a lot more friends during this time and my best friends meant
a lot to me. While we're not all friends still today, I still have warm
memories of them and am glad I got to spent a big part of my life
giggling, gossiping and just having fun with them.

And of course, Bebo, before it was replaced by Facebook. Bebo was
awesome! Until suddenly it wasn't, haha.

Next came a wonderful, amazing time in my life, and one that
continues to this day. In 2009, when I was 18 years old, I met
and starting going out with Chris. He was the sweetest,
most genuine, kind and fun person I had ever met. He loved and
accepted me for who I was and has always treated me like a
princess. We came from very different backgrounds but we
are very similar people and over the last four and a bit years
we've been by each other's side through thick and thin, and most
importantly, we've grown together.

Ever since I met him, the bad days have been a little bit better
and the good days have been great :).

Moving on to the ages 19-21, I was at uni and studying all the time.
Ha, my BA did NOT help much with finding a job... but at least I
can post-grad in anything and only do an extra year. And I did learn
a lot and grow enormously as a person during this time. I had
some major personal struggles around then, too, but in hindsight
I'm glad I went through them as it's made me understand other
people's seemingly strange behaviour more, although I still have
a long way to go. People interest me so much, maybe I should
have studied psychology instead of the media!

Also, the two rings and kind of failed heart at the top represent Chris
and I getting married, which was in February 2012! And yup, I was
young, only 21, but it was the right thing for us :).

Lastly, there's 22, and moving on to 23! A huge part of
the last year has been my blog and my nail art. It's given
me a real sense of pride and belonging, and has given me
an outlet for my creative side that was lacking in the years
after high school. Creating a mini-artwork every few days
keeps me feeling like "me," and having so many awesome
followers makes it even better! Building my YouTube is
my next goal :).

In the bottom right-hand corner there are a few blocks -
they're kind of hard to see but they represent my current
job as a preschool reliever teacher. I'm considering
training, as I do enjoy it but am kind of torn between that
and my nail-related dreams, such as getting trained as a
technician and either opening my own salon or
teaching people nail art through YouTube, kind of like
Robin Moses.

Obviously, this only briefly sums up parts of my life, and there are huge chunks missed out. I could paint a very different story by choosing different memories! But overall I decided that these were the best choices for the nails as they are the memories that best summarise those eras.

By the way, I planned these nails! The more complicated ones I do, and this one definitely counted as that. Look at all of those blobs of polish! Which reminds me, I should list the polishes I used.

They were (deep breath):
China Glaze - Luxe and Lush
China Glaze - Grape Pop
China Glaze - Wicked Style
China Glaze - White on White
LA Colors Art Deco - Sky Blue
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Himalayan Blue
Revlon - Colada Fizz
Revlon - Grapefruit Fizz
Revlon - Metallic
Revlon - Emerald City
Lime Crime - Milky Ways
OPI - A Roll in the Hague
OPI - You Don't Know Jacques!
OPI - Green-wich Village
OPI - Russian Navy
Picture Polish - Wisteria
Essie - Mesmerised
Kleancolor - Catch Me
Orly - Cupcake
Orly - Gold? Name is gone.
Maybelline Color Show - Fierce N Tangy
Maybelline Color Show - Keep up the Flame
Maybelline Color Show - Audacious Asphalt

I should probably note that it's my mum's birthday today too - yep, I was born on her birthday. It's so weird, when I think about it... like what were the chances of that? But after 23 years I'm used to it. If I could choose, I'd have my own birthday though - it means I can spend the whole day being selfish and just thinking of me :P. Happy Birthday Mum!

And finally, this post is finished! I hope you like my ridiculously complicated nails and the ridiculously long story to go along with it! And yay, now I'm older! I won't be saying that in a few years though...

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  1. Happy Birthday to you and your mom! What a wonderful post to read! It's amazing reading briefly (I thought it was rather detailed!) the summaries of your life on each nails! Well done on these! Truly remarkable! :)

    Wish you and your mom a wonderful day with more beautiful memories to treasure! ♥

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked them! It's awesome to have such a great response to them after all that nail painting :P.

  2. Lovely idea... and all the stories behind it :)

  3. Happy birthday!

  4. OMGosh these are incredible! Happy 23rd Birthday!! I love Barney's head! And the nail polish thumb! :)

  5. Happy birthday to you both! Don't forget to change your 'about me' section to update your age! I have to say, I absolutely LOVED reading this post! It's lovely to read little stories of how you grew up and seeing how you have managed (fantastically) to translate that on to your nails! I was the same as you with spelling. I think the only thing I remember from being 9 is completing a 150 word spelling test and getting 149 out of 150 because I forgot the 'r' in through!

    Happy birthday again! I hope you have a fantastic day!

    1. I just did - thanks for the reminder, I probably wouldn't have for another month otherwise! And yay for spelling bee queens - although come to think of it, I don't think I've ever been to one of them. Damn, I would have aced it too! Thanks for your comment!

  6. I read it all!!! Fantastic effort and your planning sheet looks like the one I did!! Go Pinkdoggy - that's the best!

    1. Oh wow, good job! Haha yeah planning sheets are awesome. And I love my Pinkdoggy!

  7. I love this! All of the stories make me so happy for you and welcome to being old! ;D Happy birthday <33

    1. Thanks Sharra! Time to get some anti-wrinkle cream, I think.

  8. Awww..I think I teared up at some parts! I loved getting to know more about your life, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (: I'm so glad you found a lovely boyfriend(and husband) and yes, macdonalds' hotcakes are amazing. It's my favourite breakfast(when I do indulge for fast food for breakfast)

    It's amazing you could recreate everything out, especially on your dominant hand! <3

    Also, Happy Birthday to your mum and I hope both of you have an amazing time today (:

    1. Aw sweet! Thanks so much! Mmm yeah I could eat hotcakes all day, they're amazing with the syrup and butter and mmmm. Thanks for your lovely comment!

  9. Wow! I would cry if I were you when it's time to remove this! I love this post and I love your storynails :)

    1. Meh I don't get too sentimental about my nail art, I'm too excited to try out the next design! And thanks!

  10. love it, love it, love it <3
    happy birthday dear :D


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