So here is the nail art which she loved so much, from Finger Food Nails:
However, given the length of her various nails, we decided to put the accents on her index and thumb rather than ring finger.
I discovered first that drawing a border on nails? WAY harder than it looks! We didn't take pictures of her right hand because I did that one first, and her left hand, which I did second, came out so much better. I apologize for the tip wear - it was raining the day we did the manicure, and I no longer take pictures inside my house because the lighting is horrible, so the pictures were taken after a day of hard work at the office! I would make it more of a priority to make a light box if it weren't that the lighting in my office at work is actually pretty good, so when I can't take pictures outside, I just do it on my lunch hour, but V works on the other side of campus from me. A bit inconvenient for her to come over for pictures at lunch! :)
We used KleanColor Military Green for all the green nails and the framing and outlining, and the white base for the accent nails was my new go-to white, Sinful Shine Wisp. I used China Glaze Solar Power (I think I did, anyway; I failed to record which colors I used, but I'm sure of all the others besides the base yellow) to fill in the leaves, and topped them with a thin swipe of Sinful Colors This Is It for that nice shimmer.
As seems to often be my problem, I go too big. I don't leave enough white space (literally white in this case, but it means the empty background space in an image) when I'm creating a manicure. These would have been better if done with my thinnest detail brush (I have one that I have cut down to only about three or four bristles) and smaller leaves, more spread out. I really like how delicate the leaves were in FingerFood's manicure, but that's an area where I continually strive for improvement. I've been doing this nail art hobby of mine for nearly a year and a half now (I did my first ever nail art on the Winter Solstice of 2011) and I've come a long way, but I've got a long way to go to what I'd like to be. But since it really is still just a hobby, and not an obsession, I don't actually spend a lot of time practising any of this stuff. I just like to do my nails. I'd get better at it faster, I'm sure, if I put the time and effort into practising my manicure designs on my swatching wheels until I'm completely happy with them before putting them on my fingers, but I usually just jump right into it! Which keeps it fun, but makes me glare when I post these close up pictures on a blog.
Still, it's a good record, and (I hope) inspiration to others out there who are having fun with it but not nearly as good as some of the amazing artists out there. If you look at too many of them, you can despair sometimes when you see your own work on your own hands. But having a record of my progress lets me and, I hope, others see just how far I've come over time. And if I can do it, anybody can do it!