Friday, July 31, 2015

Hare Polish "Desperately Seeking Blue Skies"

Happy weekend, darlings!  Blue skies are all around me today, so I'm wearing this joyful, optimistic lacquer for good luck while seeking a different kind of "blue sky"... a first house!  I didn't even know that is what realtors, or at least, my realtor, call(s) a "property with potential" until he mentioned casually it today.  The prophetic nature of that coincidence didn't quite pan out for today, but this is only the beginning so I'm hopeful for blue skies ahead yet :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WingDust Collections "Roads Untravelled"

Happy WingDust Wednesday, Twinklings!  (Didn't know this was a thing until just now but I'm pretty excited about it :D )  I'm back in the lower 48 with a few more untraveled Alaskan roads now traveled, and while it was all pretty flippin' fantastic, I gotta say, it's good to be home.  So now that I'm all vacation-ed out, I think it makes sense (??) that I feature all possible travel-themed indie polishes in this next sorta free but yet still busy week before I start my *big girl job*.  This darling one arrived in the mail while I was away, and the moment I clapped eyes on it I just couldn't resist wearing it first thing!

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Rhyming Dictionary "Álfhól", and other thoughts on Icelandic elves

Hello from the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska!  I kinda thought I would be writing posts about my travels as I am doing them but eh, unsurprisingly I become even more nonchalant about things like dates and times and schedules and aspirations in general while on holiday.  But then, would it be a vacation if you didn't let go a little bit??  Speaking of letting go, you might want to suspend belief for what's all about to happen because it is pretty unbelievably fantastical ;)

"Álfhól" is a waterfall cerulean blue awash with fine rainbow iridescent microflakie shimmer, and in particular a luminous golden gleam that glows like sunlight through falling turquoise waters.  The maker describes the flakies as "green, green-silver, gold, and yelow", though I also espy prismatic sparks of pale rose, sapphire, orchid and silver.  A finish that sparkles like an icicle-studded pool in the sun becomes a speckled sea flecked with metallic shards in the shade, the gold sheen haloed in a peridot nebula.

These swatches represent three coats of "Álfhól", though really the shimmer dazzles quite densely in two.  This polish dries moderately quickly and distributes with even opacity.  Such a dream!  So many thanks to my darling favorite Lacquer Slacker Liz for first alerting me to the promise of this collecion (and new-to-me brand!), and then also for reminding me to go get it once it had been released, which despite my supposed vigilance I had failed to track properly.  Not that I mind much now, though, now that I have half of this fabulous collection in my hoarding clutches, and the others in my sights!

"Álfhól" was released as part of the A Rhyming Dictionary Iceland-inspired collection of nine polishes this May 2015, and means "elf house" (generally of a small and wooden variety).  Elves have long played an essential role in Icelandic culture; at last
count, approximately 52% of Icelanders believe in húldufólk, or elfin peoples, of which there are a range of scales and species as taught at the Álfaskólinn (Elf School) in Rekjavik. This tends to strike a classically Western mindset as all a little silly, but the relationship between Icelanders and their elvish folklore is a genuine and beautiful one that has been sustained by a millenia surviving in a rugged, challenging, and primordial land. I myself visited- and dearly loved- Iceland several years ago, and I think I may have encountered the huldufolk myself, though I knew nothing of them at the time.

My mom, our tiny rental car, and I had just about bested the odds of a pitted and garbled gravel mountain path, stubbornly on our way up to see the Snæfellsjökull glacier. My mother's resolve had fizzled out by the first trail landing and so that is where we gave up and stopped, and though we were nowhere near the glacier I hopped out to see what was to be seen. I had only ambled a short way down the trail when it descended and opened out into a small mossy dell, with mist clinging to the ridge and the amphitheatre bowl ringed with specter-like boulders, hunched and huddled as if in audience. It was a hauntingly beautiful scene, and the moment I stepped into it I was beseiged by two sensations- one, of losing my breath in a physical manifestation of awe- and two, that instant and persistent feeling that I was being watched. It was not a menacing energy, per se, but the intuition that I had just stepped into a place beholden to a different Nature, to different powers and codes and forces, was a strong one, and one never steps lightly in such an unfamiliar territory. Into the eastern face of the tiny valley bore a cavern sheathed in basalt, and it was to this feature that of course I was drawn. With every step towards the cave, the concentration of ethereal energy seemed to increase, until at last my simple and fruitless attempt to peer into the unfathomable maw impressed me with such a thrill of foreboding that I turned and darted back to the mouth of the valley, turning my ankle in the process and yet delighting in the odd mischief of it all.

It was only when I returned to the trailhead that I bothered to read the signs there, and it was then that I learned the cave was not just any cave, but a singing cave- Songhellir, as it is called- and that it is referenced in the ancient Egils saga as a place where the hero spends a night, and hears the reverberating echoes of dwarves and other elfin folk singing deep within the earth (or so I do recall from that illuminating sign).  And it was not until days later that I first encountered the prevailing current of elvish affiliations still infused in modern Icelandic culture, when in an Akureyri bookshop we requested the most eccentric item on Iceland they might have, and were directed to a guide on the local energy concentrations and húldufólk settlements.  And it was still later, a year later to be precise, that I read up on Icelandic elf culture, and was finally able to summarily understand my holistic experience of wonderment and awe while visiting this primal land of fire and ice.  It is all very fascinating and certainly worth investigating further, though for me the long and short of it is this: the Icelandic belief in beings, energy spheres, and otherwise mythical worlds coincident with their own is part of what makes Icelanders such a conscientious people, for they are sensitive to the fact that they share this land with other creatures and so pay them great respect.  It is a beautiful way of thinking, and that the means is sweetly and quaintly rooted in ancient myth, folklore, and tradition, only makes it the more so.

The Hobbit House // Talkeetna, AK

I more or less wrote this entire post because I got to stay at this ^^^ adorable sod-roof log cabin in Talkeetna, Alaska, only a few days ago, and because of the way my mind works I knew that I *could not* stay at this place without wearing "Álfhól" for the occasion.  Known as the Hobbit House, it is definitely a unique and also surprisingly (relatively) inexpensive place to stay in the Denali region of Alaska.  While I would overall recommend it for its two outstanding qualities- price and personality- something that did surprise us was the fact that it is immediately bordered on one side by a strip parking lot leading right off from the highway, and on the front by the owner's flightseeing business, with a lawn where tourists tend to wander in from the highway from 7am to 11pm, checking out the information and looking at the beautiful lake and such, and also gawking at the cute little sod cabin where you are trying to have a nice (romantic) getaway.  Needless to say, not nearly as quaint, secluded, rustic, nor private as you might be led to believe from this cute picture I selectively took ;)

Well goodness, I do hope you love reminiscing because there was PLENTY of it to be had in this post!  I can only hope that you enjoyed my stories as much as I did reliving them.  I keep resolving to be less long-winded in my posts so that I can write more of them, and yet this was a little story that has been anxious to be given life for a long while now, so it does feel good to have finally recorded it.  And now, back to Alaska!

I mean, can you honestly blame me though?  :)

Have you ever had an otherwordly experience that nearly almost just maybe made you believe in (or at least seriously consider) the supernatural??

Marisa + Sprinklepuff

P.S. Apologies for incorrect (and by incorrect I mean nonexistent) punctuation on most of the Icelandic words in this post, including Alfhol itself, which should have an ascending accent over both vowels.  These words are of course spelled wrong entirely without their proper letters/punctuation, but my tablet apparently doesn't care about that at all, and since that is my tool of resort in this endeavor it makes the rules :(  Any strange or abnormal formatting I am also going to blame on this hapless tablet and my even more hapless un-ability to utilize it for on-the-road blogging purposes.  Oy.

UPDATE:  Now that I am laptop-equipped and punctuation-enabled, I have hopefully fixed most of the missing accents, so this post should read with a smidgen more accuracy!  Though considering that I speak maybe three words of Icelandic, take that with a grain of salt ;)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hare Polish "On the Road Again"

Hello darling Twinklings! I really am on the road again (or in the air, rather), and I thought it fitting that I am typing this particular post from the Seattle Airport en route to my summer holiday in Alaska!! And just in time, too; I'm in the mood for exploring :)

>> On the Road Again << 

"On the Road Again" is a nomad mauve crelly dusted with burnished copper shimmers, lacy white hex glitters, icy iridescent film glitter, and UCC flakies shifting from gilded bronze to mossy green, and on precious occasions to peacock blue. This muted balance of dusty lilac and vintage rose is quietly feminine, though the sun-drenched metallic and frost-sheathed crystalline elements evoke an unexpectedly intrepid nature- a delightful twist on an old classic. The result is an impressively versatile manicure that could sip sweet tea with a demure Southern belle, and then just as easily dance in the desert with a gypsy wanderer, festival music in the air and swaying feathers in her hair. Free-spirited and timeless, like an age-old daydream.

HARE lacquers are consistently of the highest caliber in terms of both composition and formula, and "On the Road Again" is no exception. This glitter crelly applied very evenly, and dried quickly (always a merciful and cherished quality in this restless soul's polishes). I used three coats in my swatches for full layered impact, though two layers were also quite satisfactory. The surface dries smooth and fairly glossy, necessitating only one layer of topcoat. I used my new summer favorite, Rainbow Honey "Twisted Ice Tea" scented topcoat, and loved its blissful synergy with this polish :)

"On the Road Again" debuted this spring 2015 as part of the Stir Crazy Collection. HARE Polish may be purchased at their Etsy shop or online etailer Llarowe. (Apologizes for the absence of helpful links; I am typing this on my tablet, and have not yet aspired the sophistication of inserting links on the Blogger app interface :/ At this time of writing, I am not even yet sure how to insert pics, but if you are reading this now then I have been successful in that particular endeavor and am doubtless very pleased with myself, teehee.)

Anyone else on the road again this summer??

Marisa + Sprinklepuff

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hare Polish "I'm Your National Anthem"

Happy Independence Day, American darlings, and a perfectly pleasant July fourth to all others!!  It is a good thing that I had this polish queued up for the occasion because beyond my blue-speckled red claws, nothing else about the day was particularly festive or patriotic.  In fact, like the rest of this month (as you may have noticed) it was for the most part downright lazy- but then, lake days should be!  I only just got back from the lake an hour ago, actually, so it's really remarkable and strange that I've chosen today of all days to pick up my blogging torch again, but hey- today's the day and the only one all year at that, so procrastinating is just going to have to wait.  ;)