Friday, April 6, 2012

Water Marble - the transfer method

I have tried water marbling before, without success, as many, many nail polish enthusiasts have done. You watch the youtube videos, you read the blogs, and it looks so easy! They LIE! Not intentionally, of course. Every single blogger out there that I've read with a post on water marbling has filled it as full of hints, tips, and tricks that they can to help us poor normal schmucks out here, who don't have the time or the perseverance to try over and over and over again, how to learn from their mistakes.

What I'm going to do is show you what made the difference for me - not sticking my fingers in that mess of nail polish! :) One complaint I've heard over and over on the boards is that water marbling is such a waste - you make this big pretty swirl of polish, and it's only used for one finger. No more! I used the results of a single bowl of water marbling for an entire manicure!

First, a teaser of my pretties:

Second, a link to the blogger responsible (to my knowledge) for this breakthrough technique: More Nail Polish - "My take on dry water marbling" Do not ask me why she called it dry water marbling. To me, "dry" water marbling is what I did to create the pretty white/blue/silver swirls I did on my nails back in February (Marbled Waves post) using a technique I got from Robin Moses. The technique used in today's manicure, however, is more of a water marble transfer method, so unless someone else comes up with a better name to distinguish them, that's what I'm going to call it.

So how does the newly-titled "water marble transfer method" work? As MNP tells you (with pictures of the process, which I don't have, so check out her post...go ahead, I'll wait! ;) you start by making the prettiest swirls you can, cut a circle out of a thick plastic bag (regular zip bags are too flimsy, you need the freezer thickness for this), lay it on your marbling, and pick it back up. Let it dry, and voila, a water marble transfer! I notice now in looking over her post that she mentions a small detail that I left out that I will definitely remember next time I do this - leaving a "tab" on the plastic circle to pull it back out with! My first transfer was a bit of a MESS not having that! I managed with tweezers, but having a tab to hold onto would have made the whole process much easier.

Not knowing how well I'd succeed (or fail ;) at this transfer process, I set aside an evening to make water marble transfers around a week ago, rather than expecting to make pretties on my nails that evening. (Note to self: schedule time to re-do your nails afterwards anyway, even if it's a simple manicure, because you will get polish on them!) You want to see my results? ::rolling eyes:: And now you're saying, Ro, quit with the stupid questions and make with the pictures already! The rest of this post is picture-heavy, so here's the cut.

My first attempt. You want to know something else I figured out about this technique that makes it better than regular water marbling? Leaving aside the mess, the waste of polish, the difficulty of getting just the right design placed correctly on your's the BEST part! If you look at the underside of this design, it's not nearly as crisp, clean, or pretty! Because some of the polish here is actually on top of other polish...which makes sense when you think about it. But believe me, I was initially a little disappointed in what I was creating, because I saw such prettiness, but then I put the plastic on it, pulled it out...turned it over to lay it down on the paper towel to dry... My initial pictures of these transfers were disappointing. Until I went to show my daughter the next morning, and she picked one up and started turning it over and over to look at both sides, and a light bulb went on over my head! THIS is the "right" side of this design! The one you can see when looking into the cup! If you dip your nail into it, it's like putting on a shirt wrong-side out! Yes, you can still see the pattern of the shirt, and the pattern of the material, but it's not as pretty as it would be with the correct side facing outward! I think this is the source of so many bloggers' disappointments, when they pull their finger out and the design looks "muddied" for some reason? Yep, it's because they're now looking at the underside of their pattern instead of the top!

So, here are the transfers I created that evening:

And last, but never least, here's the one I used for today's manicure:

As you can see from the pictures, some of my attempts spread better than others. While I kept a few of the ones that weren't spreading properly because I have ideas for using them, I did figure out after just a few attempts why it had worked so well for two or three sets and then suddenly stopped. The air conditioner had kicked on. ::grin:: So yeah, if you're water marbling and it suddenly stops working? Look for something outside of your work tools to have changed. I turned off the AC for the rest of my work session and microwaved my water for a few seconds to bring it back up to room temperature, and got back to work. :)

The one thing I'm sorry about is that I failed to record what polishes I used on each of these water marble patterns. However, I still have a relatively small stash, so if you're curious about one of them, just ask, and I can probably figure out which polishes I used (worst case, I can narrow each color down to at most two polishes.)

And my gorgeous nails that I'm going to have such a hard time keeping my eyes off of at work today!

I put on underwear of Nubar Greener before applying these transfers - so those dark sections with gorgeous sparkle you see on my thumbs? Those are the areas that look clear on the transfer. They were done with Sinful Colors Call You Later, if I remember correctly.

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