Using PVA Glue as a Nail Polish Base Coat

Did you know you can use PVA glue as a base coat before applying your regular nail polish?  No?  Well you do now!  I tried this out as one of my New Thing A Day challenges back in 2015 and I was really impressed with the results!

So why would you want to coat your nails in a layer of glue before you paint on your polish?  The answer is simple: to enable you to remove your nail polish without the need of any sort of nail polish remover.  The PVA glue dries to form a thin layer between your nail and your nail polish, which means when you want to remove your polish you can simply peel it off!

For this experiment, you will need a bottle of PVA glue (I had some Hobbycraft tacky glue which is the same thing as far as I can tell), a paintbrush with which to apply the glue, and a nail polish of your choice.

I began by painting on a thin layer of the PVA glue, and then let it dry.  It dried really quickly and became clear but left my nails oddly matte.

Next I applied a coat of nail polish and let that dry.

Once the nail polish had completely dried I picked at an edge of my nail and much to my surprise I was able to pull off the nail polish in pretty much one piece, leaving behind very little evidence of the nail polish, really only where I had painted with no glue underneath (I painted my nails very quickly and a little carelessly).

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I did not have the glue on my nails for more than 15 minutes in total but my nails felt absolutely fine and I could see no damage at all.

So if you know in advance you only want to wear nail polish for a short time and want to be able to remove it quickly and without the use of acetone or any other form of nail polish remover, then here’s something to try.  It certainly worked for me!

 

 

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Turning Old CDs into Art

My husband, Tim, and I decided to work as a team on a rather ambitious project for this day’s “try something new” challenge: to refurbish a mirror unit using old CDs.

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The idea had come from a friend who had tagged me in a post on Facebook showing various projects and artwork made using CDs, which I thought looked pretty impressive.

First of all we painted the wood of the mirror unit, having removed the mirror and all the fixings.  Whilst that was drying we cut up a selection of old and unwanted CDs.  We found that the re-recordable CDs and DVDs we had burned at home worked a lot better than the thicker and sturdier official album CDs.

Cutting CDs is easy enough but then you have to separate the thin metal layer from the plastic, and discard the plastic.  This was a little tricky and really quite time consuming.

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Once the acrylic paint had dried on the wood it was time to start gluing on the pieces of CDs in a mosaic pattern.  We used super glue and tweezers to do this.

This project took four hours in total from start to finish and I was sick to death of it after the first two hours but once I start a project I like to see it through… Tim is a real perfectionist and the bits he was doing looked about a hundred times better than the bits I was doing so we decided to combine our efforts so he cut and placed the pieces of CD and I glued them down…

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The unit looks really pretty on the two sides Tim was in charge of (and a horrible mess on the side I was originally in charge of ha ha)… One of our friends fell in love with the finished piece and asked us to give it to her, so we did, and it has been lovingly displayed in her home ever since 🙂

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Making a shallow dish out of clay

I have always been quite interested in the idea of trying my hand at pottery but thought it would be wise to start simple, so I bought some self-hardening clay to have a play with.

I always enjoyed browsing some of the many books which we had collected over the years all about arts and crafts, but had never actually attempted any of the suggested projects.  However, under the pressure of my New Year’s resolution to try out a new thing a day, I felt inspired to attempt a project using self-hardening clay to make a decorative shallow dish.

I rolled out the clay, cut it into the desired shape and laid it inside a shallow bowl to get the raised edges I wanted.  Once it had dried out overnight, I painted it with acrylics, dusted it all over with a generous sprinkling of glitter, used some epoxy glue to embellish the dish with some night stars blue sand sitara gemstone beads and then glazed it…

I HATED IT!

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The shape was all wrong, the colour was hideous and the glitter looked horrible.

I repainted it and I felt it looked a little better.  I had made it for a friend as one of her birthday gifts, so I wrapped it up and nervously handed it over, but thankfully she genuinely liked it, and for the past two years it has adorned her living room sideboard.  Phew!

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Whilst this project was not the roaring success I had hoped it would be, one day soon I shall make another attempt at using self-hardening clay… watch this space!

Brownies in a Jar – Edible Gifts!

Following on from discovering the benefits of making salads in a jar, I decided that (in the name of balanced eating lol) I should try making some brownies in a jar…

These were also inspired by The Domestic Geek – I am definitely a big fan!

I decided to attempt slight variations on the original recipes, and prepared three different brownie mixes (one plain, one with chocolate chunks and pecans, and one with walnuts), and it took just a few minutes to prepare each one.

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The idea is that when you want to bake your brownies, just tip the contents of the jar into a mixing bowl with some oil, vanilla extract and eggs, and pop into the oven.  So simple!

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The jars looked and smelled amazing, but of course the real test was how tasty the brownies would be once baked.  We were not sure how long the jars of brownie mix could be stored for so we baked one batch two days later, the second batch twelve days later (for ourselves) and the third batch nearly three weeks later (in another “something new” challenge).  Each batch was DELICIOUS!!!

These brownies in a jar are brilliant, and would make an ideal gift for a loved one with a sweet tooth!

BROWNIES WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS AND PECANS

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup dark cooking chocolate broken into pieces
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F or Gas Mark 4) and lightly oil a 9×9 inch baking dish.

Pour contents of jar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the following:

  • ½ cup of melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tsps of vanilla extract.

Mix well.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Serve hot… ideally with vanilla ice cream!