Hint: Hit the "$$$" tag to find out how much various items cost and where to buy them. Questions or Comments? Reach me at sj.1996@yahoo.com
Updated: Solar Color Dust Swatches Parts 1 & 2 complete.
I'm bored with the appearance of my blog already, it's time for change (apparently when I have time to actually make the changes). New color scheme I think, different graphic and font for the header. Yes, sometimes I have a short attention span and bore easily.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

16 Days and Counting

I have a little countdown on my Facebook page but entertaining and time consuming graphics need a home. The inspection was good, repairs have been made, the appraisal has taken place. 16 days and counting... -MK

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Housing Update... and shoes.

While I wait for my mailman (I like my mailman and he'll be the only thing I miss about living here) to deliver the shoes mentioned in the title of this entry, I thought I'd give a brief-er update on my house.

This is what our agent called "quiet time", time where paperwork is being filed and is processing and there's nothing left for us to do at the moment but wait. Waiting is a killer, I'm eager to get moving.

My house had it's inspection and passed well enough that our agent said it was the cleanest report she'd seen in a while. The was nothing found that was a deal-breaker and the seller agreed to fix a few of the other minor things such as a broken window. The USDA appraisal will be scheduled, no problem according to the inspector because they mainly want to verify there's a house at the address and that its not falling down, they'll be in and out in 15 minutes. Our closing is set for April 30th so the next two months will be spent packing, moving, cleaning this place, transferring the kids, cats and utilities, changing our address and notifying whomever has to be notified. We're breaking our lease by one month and the penalty is paying for the rest of the lease, the manager stuck to that and would not waive it even though we've been here 8 years. Hubby was surprised by that but I was not.

Now I did mention that I was waiting on a pair of shoes... Charming Charlie, a local shop, sells clothing, shoes and purses but their real eye-catcher is all the jewelry, arranged in sections by color so my sister and I stop by there when we're out together. They also have an online store which is where I found these, on sale, marked down to $19.99 from $35.00. That nice big chunky heel means I can actually walk in them and not risk breaking an ankle.

That pair has kicked off a new shoe obsession so in my idle time, I've been online window shopping for shoes on ebay. I've seen a lot of pairs I'd like to buy including those below. Flashy yes but colorful.

Of course while browsing shoes, I've found plenty of ugly pairs too and created The Hall of Ugly Shoes album on my Facebook page, worth a giggle or two if you have the time.

Around here, the weather is looking pretty nice, I hope the rest of you get the chance to enjoy a pretty Saturday and do something fun... -MK

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Step Closer to Home

A housing update and a rant.

I'm pleased to report "my" house has gone from "active" to "pending" and the Open House has been cancelled. The next step is to have the home inspection done which I've scheduled for Wednesday. Our real estate agent won't be there, says inspectors don't like the agent being there and in any case she does not need to be because he will contact the listing agency to get into the house. I chose the same company, Five Star Home Inspections, (they serve parts of Ohio and Kentucky) that we used in 2008 so I'm confident that the report will be thorough and we should be meeting up the next day to go over it. 

I've been feeding my father little bits of info about the house and the process, hoping that that will ease him into the idea but why I care or am even bothering I don't know because he had been trying to discourage me and hasn't been the least bit happy for us like everyone else seems to be. My immediate family, hubby's family and coworkers are happy for us, strangers from my blog are happy for us but not my father.

My father has come up with a whole host of different reasons we should not do this, some of which I'd already considered myself and others like “you should buy a house that appreciates in value” and “another place I can't get into” and “don't trust your husbands boss (who is a fantastic carpenter by the way) to come over and help you fix things” and on and on and on. Don't trust the agent. Don't trust the house or the bank. Don't trust a USDA government loan. Don't expect the co. hubby works for and manages to be in business long enough to pay off the house even though they've been in the business of audio/video computers for over 25 years. Don't trust hubby's ability to work that long. Don't trust the seller either because both the seller and the agent will go out of their way to cover things up about the house. I should get a dog because robberies happen in houses, not apartments. When I reminded him I own a .38 revolver, he just replied that I had no bullets for it and hubby wouldn't want to spend the money on them- I should've reminded him that while he gave me the gun, he refused to even give me the bullets that were already in it. I suppose I'm just supposed to clobber them with it? I've also heard how the town we're moving to is “far away”, 45 minutes while in reality, its 30 minutes away, the same drive hubby makes every day twice a day, 5 days a week to go to work.

I showed him every picture of the house, the nice brick outside, the nice finished basement with ceramic tile- Dad doesn't even have a completely finished basement anymore- and he wouldn't even say the house looked nice.

I've tried to emphasize all the positive points of moving including how the boys will have their own rooms and we'll have so much more space... Even how now Dad could come to my house and visit me instead of having to be visited at his own house... and all he could say to that was how he wasn't spending the whole f***ing day in a manual wheelchair. Seriously??? I know the manual chair is less than comfortable but I didn't say spend the whole day in it and I would think he'd want to see the place his daughter and grandchildren will be living in.

And yet, when I tell him it will be better to live in a house and maybe own the thing one day than to be paying rent and throwing money in a hole, he says he told me we should've been looking to buy a house a long time ago. I guess he forgot that 8 years ago when we almost bought a house, he threw a fit, 3 years ago when I talked about it again it was a disaster and last October, that he made me an offer for a down payment and immediately took the offer back, all because I'd been “bitching, pissing and moaning”. 

I live 5 minutes away now and he is making me glad it's about to grow to 30 minutes. In closing, if you're doing both what you need to do and have to do and you're going about it right, don't let other people poo-poo on your decision to buy a house. -MK

Friday, March 21, 2014


Providing both the USDA appraisal and my home inspection goes well, this is my house. I have a house, I can't believe I'm saying that. The seller didn't budge a bit on price but I don't think I mind very much right now... -MK

House Hunting

This is an update on my house hunting progress for those of you that are interested in how it goes. On my last post, To be... or not to be my house? out of 70 views to date, I received 4 responses, something I find disheartening, a possible sign that maybe there weren't a lot of home owners in that group. Or this just isn't a topic with a lot of interest in the nail polish world which is fine, I figure if it's not interesting to you, you just won't read it.

The responses I did get confirmed my feelings on the matter, to take my time looking around and to make an offer if I found one I felt strongly about so we made an offer on a nice brick ranch house on Wednesday with an asking price of $114,900. That's exactly what this seller wants, not a penny less and is not budging much. Apparently asking the seller to pay the closing costs is not unusual and hubby did, offering $110,000 and all closing costs; that amount was a bit higher than I would've have offered but he wanted to show that we were serious (he also left little room for negotiation and showed his eagerness which I thought was a mistake). The offer was immediately rejected and countered with $114,900 and $3500 of the closing costs and she would replace the hot water heater. We never asked her to replace it but she offered to pretty quick so I think she knew it leaked and was hoping no one would notice. Hubby's counter was that the only way she was getting full price was if she paid all the closing costs, $5000, and we're still waiting to find out if she accepts or not. Again, I wouldn't have offered that much, my offer would've been $112,000.

I don't appreciate the seller playing hardball which is what I consider this- I mean, who the hell pays the asking price? While I'm contrary and my inclination is to walk away and keep looking, hubby really wants the house and is hanging in there. There's an open house on Monday and I think, if she rejects our last offer, she'll be hoping the open house will bring in bigger offers even though it's been on the market just shy of two months and we've been the only people to go see the house.

That's the current progress. We should know today whether we can officially call it "our house", the seller has two more hours to decide. -MK

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To be... or not to be my house?

Do I have any readers that have bought a house and have some experience with the process? My hubby and I have been looking at houses again (we did so in 2008 and late last year as well) but we don't quite see eye to eye on some things and it would be nice if I had some outside, objective opinions. The people in my real life that have bought a house in the past are not available; my sister is in no frame of mind to be hearing about house shopping, my mother let my step father deal with everything including picking the house and the most knowledgeable of all, my father, tends to get a nasty about our buying a house so he is not an option. I'm not looking for anyone to help solve the disagreements my hubby and I are having but I would like to know how other people went through the process of deciding it was the time to buy one, shopping around and deciding to purchase a particular home.

In 2008 when we'd looked at houses, we almost bought one but I am eternally grateful it fell through. I'm a stay at home mom so our income for a mid/late-20s couple with two young kids was on the lower side back then and we were only approved for $90,000. For $90,000 and no down payment around here, that means a house probably needs work and the one we almost purchased was no exception but it needed more than cosmetic work. I'd been smart enough to have an home inspection done and the house failed miserably outside of the fact it had black mold so we elected to back out of the offer- it was a bank owned foreclosure and due to the mold would not have passed USDA inspection for our USDA Rural Housing loan.

From start to finish the whole thing was a nightmare and soured me on buying a house, something I'd thought was supposed to be exciting not anxiety-inducing, but I learned a lot from the experience. The biggest lesson was not to let the real estate agent and mortgage broker railroad you and mine did-  I'd merely wanted information about a property and in a very short period of time it had snowballed and I found myself almost buying a house I didn't want. I also learned to be picky and take my time choosing a house I intend to be in the rest of my life and to avoid the majority of foreclosed homes- they are often not in the best condition and their background make me sad; I don't really want to be the person who buys the dream home someone else lost.

Late last year we'd checked out a handful of houses in the $90,000-$110,000 range and while the selection had improved, I found reasons to reject them because none of them "spoke" to me. One house was somewhat appealing with its screened in porch (always wanted one of those) and the biggest in size to date- 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and full finished basement but instinct told me there were bigger issues we weren't seeing. Before I saw it a second time, a real estate company bought the house, updated it and relisted for $144,000, out of our price range but that's ok because I've found one I like much better.

This is where the disagreement between my hubby and I comes in: we both agree the house is great and could be "the one" but while I feel the need to go see every option available to us before making a decision, he wants to make an offer right now before someone else does. We haven't yet come to an agreement but as a compromise, he agreed to go see the other houses and I'm going to go see that one again. I think the right house will speak to me, move me, linger in my mind and this one certainly has.

So that's my back story on house hunting, what is yours? Did you have any helpful guidance during the hunt or stumble through the process? How many houses did you see before picking the one you did and why did you pick it? I'm always full of questions about this so please indulge me =)


Friday, March 14, 2014

Solar Color Dust Swatches Part 2

This is part 2 to my review of Solar Color Dust's Chameleon pigments I purchased in January. This will be another long post full of pictures covering the remaining 11- the pigments on paper, dry on finger tips ala TKB Trading, and finally, the polishes swatched on black nails and white nails, photographed many times to capture the color shift- the right lighting made a lot of difference for that.

The pigments you'll see today are: Gold/Blue Violet (603), Blue/Green (611), Red/Green (592), Red/Blue Green (606), Cyan/Blue/Purple/Red (599), Orange/Blue (609), Violet/Blue Green (612), Red/Blue Violet (610), Blue/Purple/Red/Orange (600), Orange Yellow/Violet Blue (601), Indigo/Purple/Red/Orange (596).

Here's your teaser pic again. Although you cannot see all those numbers, the nail sticks are in numerical order from right to left.

As a reminder, the numbers in parentheses correspond to that number polish in my franken book and are there because the pigment names are far too long to write on any label.

The picture below is of the pigments on paper- captured on double-sided tape and sealed with another piece of transparent tape. Unlike just looking at pigment dry, this has the effect of smoothing the surface and bringing out interference colors. This set was photographed with a combination of Ottlite and daylight.

I like finger shots, its always interesting to see how different pigments look in dry form but the color play doesn't always display well this way. This time the pigments are not in number order but in a loose color order, as much of one as is possible anyway.

Gold/Kelly/Green/Blue (595) & Blue Violet/Olive (607) seen in Part 1... and Gold/Blue Violet (603) and Blue/Green (611) 

Red/Green (592), Red/Blue Green (606), Cyan/Blue/Purple/Red (599), Orange/Blue (609) 

Violet/Blue Green (612), Red/Blue Violet (610), Blue/Purple/Red/Orange (600), Orange Yellow/Violet Blue (601)

Indigo/Purple/Red/Orange (596)

The bottle shot of the last 11 pigments used in polish.

Here the polishes are done over a white (closer to a natural color, really). You can see these are quite pigmented and look different over white, particularly striking are the colored powders. Photographed under the Ottlite & partial daylight.

Red/Blue Violet (610), Violet/Blue Green (612), Orange/Blue (609), Cyan/Blue/Purple/Red (599), Red/Blue Green (606), Red/Green (592)

Blue/Green (611), Gold/Blue Violet (603), Indigo/Purple/Red/Orange (596), Orange Yellow/Violet Blue (601), Blue/Purple/Red/Orange (600)

Because the angle you view a duochrome changes the color, I also photographed them in pairs, a more direct perspective.

Gold/Blue Violet (603) & Blue/Green (611)

Red/Green (592) & Red/Blue Green (606)

Cyan/Blue/Purple/Red (599) & Orange/Blue (609). The bumps in 609 are a reflection of my painting and apparently, a not-quite-clean bottle... or I dropped it while wet, also entirely possible.

Violet/Blue Green (612) & Red/Blue Violet (610)

Blue/Purple/Red/Orange (600) & Orange Yellow/Violet Blue (601) 

Indigo/Purple/Red/Orange (596)

But of course, as is true with most duochromes, the real beauty comes out when they are layered over black. First I'll show you a side shot of each pigment and after, composition shots to show off the color transition. Individual pictures here photographed in daylight, pairs with a combination of Ottlite and daylight.

Gold/Blue Violet (603)

Blue/Green (611)

611 & 603 

Red/Green (592)

Red/Blue Green (606)

592 & 606

Cyan/Blue/Purple/Red (599)

Orange/Blue (609)

599 & 609

Violet/Blue Green (612)

Red/Blue Violet (610)

612 & 610

Blue/Purple/Red/Orange (600)

Orange Yellow/Violet Blue (601) 

600 & 601

Indigo/Purple/Red/Orange (596)

596, photographed alone again but under the same lighting as the other side-angle pairs above.

Just like Part 1, the composition photos are broken into 4 columns for each set of nails- there was enough color variation depending on the lighting used that I included them all; it wouldn't really be an accurate presentation without including them all. Each comp has 4 columns, each column is one type of lighting. I can't remember the exact lighting for the first column, I didn't leave myself a note but it was afternoon. Column 2 is a combination of Ottlite and daylight. Column 3 is afternoon daylight. Column 4 is night time and under the Ottlite.

Gold/Blue Violet (603) & Blue/Green (611)

Red/Green (592) & Red/Blue Green (606)

Cyan/Blue/Purple/Red (599) & Orange/Blue (609)

Violet/Blue Green (612) & Red/Blue Violet (610) 

Blue/Purple/Red/Orange (600) & Orange Yellow/Violet Blue (601) 

Indigo/Purple/Red/Orange (596)

I haven't yet tried to mix these pigments up with other colors so that they don't have to be layered over black and without diminishing the color transition but I assume it's possible.

If you haven't already, check out Solar Color Dust Chameleons: Part 1. -MK