Here is the painting I did for dad’s Christmas present. You can click on the picture to see it a bit bigger. It has all sorts of elements (past and present) from our cottage. Little funny things from all the years we spent building.

It’s pretty large, 16″x20″ I think? Acrylics on canvas.

I started to hate it a bit when I was painting because I was struggling with painting something that is in a FORREST and also on a huge CLIFF, but dad calls it folk art style and really seems to love it. He’s shown it to everyone that has come over, so that makes me feel pretty good. I’m glad it ended up turning out ok.

I’m having a nice lazy morning after two action packed days in a row.

On Friday I was really really tired. I had a third bad insomnia night in a row. Anyway we were having people over so I spent the day tidying up a bit, and preparing food for 11 people. I made butter chicken, and saag aloo (potatoes with spinach), and Rosemarie made cheesecake, and Kate made an enormous salad. I think everyone enjoyed the meal.

After dinner we started our gingerbread houses. My family and the Monnon’s family have a big tradition of decorating gingerbread houses together. We must have been doing it for maybe 8 years? This year we had Rose and I, Natasha and her bf Richard, Sam (Eric’s gf), and Callum (Kate’s son).

We also set up the computer so we could Skype with Bill and Suzanne who are down in Florida. They saved their gingerbread house to decorate at the same time with us and we left the cameras on for an hour! It was really neat that they could almost be there with us.

This years gingerbread houses were pretty epic. Jane brought over all of her extra candy and we just had so much it was ridiculous. I covered every surface of my gingerbread house and so did everyone else, and we still had bags and bags of candy left on the table. We ate so much candy we all felt sick, and people even got hiccups. It was like we were drunk on candy. It’s three days later and I still haven’t touched my gingerbread house because I STILL feel like I never want to eat candy again! AND I REALLY LIKE CANDY!

The finished products were so good. We were all very creative this year!!

I made a board games house. Can you recognize it?? I hope so!

I tried to make the other side like Carcassonne, but it’s a little more abstract.

Rose also made an epic nerdy gingerbread house. She made a rock climbing wall!!! She says those are the real knots and everything. She also marked out a couple different routes. I love it!!

Nerdy sisters.

I water marbled my nails last weekend during a break from schoolwork. I did rainbow colours this time and am quite pleased with how they turned out. I kinda need a brighter green though, I think.

I won’t be buying any though because I officially signed up for skeleton club. Scott and I discussed it a lot and decided that this is a pretty neat opportunity that may not come up again and in the long run what difference is a few hundred dollars going to make. In ten years I would regret not doing it more than regret spending the money, I think. Anyway so now I am on ultra-budget.

Of possible interest: My water marbling tutorial.

The first skeleton trip is next next weekend. :D I am iksidid.

Remember my last update where I said it was super dark outside and therefore super dark inside? Well, 3 minutes after posting it actually became SUNNY! Scott rushed to put his bamboo plant in the sun and I rushed around taking pictures of some parts of our house.

I don’t have time to post all the pictures now but I have prepared one of my desk area and one of my new painting series that I finished in those two weeks I had off before school started.

My work area. New desk, Craigslist chair, new computer, new printer, new desk lamp! Lucky me!!

I think we hung the paintings slightly too high. Oh well, too late now.

Do you like my paintings? I am pretty pleased with them! I especially like the middle one, because I only used red, yellow, and blue paint and mixed all the other shades. It was kind of mathematical!

I like rainbows. Also evidenced (is that a word???) by my latest nails.

I find it reallllllly hard to put my hands the right way when I use my webcam. SO confusing!! I had to get Scott to come press the button. Oh and my pinky looks blue but it’s purple in real life. I promise I know my rainbow order.

OK I really must get to my homework now. I had a EUREKA moment at school today with a classmate and need to get pen on paper before I forget. (It’s a question about elastic collisions of alpha particles and a gold nucleus, in case you were curious.

While many of you may not care whatsoever about nail polish, water marbling has been the number one search query for people winding up on my blog from Google, so there must be some kind of demand!

I water marbled my nails last weekend and took a bunch of pictures so that I could have a go at writing up a tutorial, including some of the tips and tricks I have picked up during my VAST EXPERIENCE (3 times).

Let’s get started.


  • A cup/container you don’t care about. It will get nail polish remnants all over it. I use a sour cream container.
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Lots of toothpicks
  • Q-Tips
  • Nail polish remover/cotton pads
  • Base coat (optional). I use a base coat because my nails got kinda mushy a while ago. Gross.
  • Top coat (optional). For a top coat I highly recommend Seche Vite. You can put it on when the nail polish is still wet and it dries everything up super fast. Plus it’s really nice and shiny.
  • White nail polish. I use Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On (#300). It is kinda gloopy but it’s good enough that you only need to do one coat, plus it only costs $3.49. I forgot it in the picture so I Photoshopped it in for you guys. I DO NOT recommend Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Polar Bare (#120) because it is expensive and it’s really thin and sucky.
  • Lots of other colours of nail polish. Up to you how many you choose and what colours. All the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear ones I have work really well for water marbling, plus like I said they are cheap. When they go on sale next I am going to buy every colour!!! Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure colours seem to work well. Sparkly/shimmery nail polishes do NOT work as well, and neither did those Wet n’ Wild ones in the picture that I got for 44 cents. Other than that I haven’t tried anything else. Feel free to let me know what works or doesn’t work for you.


1. Put on your base coat. Optional.

2. Paint your nails white. It is not super important to get perfect coverage, but you want a nice white blank surface so that the relatively thin layers of coloured nail polish show up nice and bright. I do one coat with my Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On.

3. Mask the skin around your nails. *This is just the way I do it and it’s not even that great. If you have a better method PLEASE LET ME KNOW* First I put one piece of masking tape from side to side on my finger. Get it as close to the sides of your nail as possible and as tucked up underneath your fingernail as possible. With the shape of my fingers this is not that possible. Then use a second piece of tape to wrap around your finger tightly to secure everything down. Put that strip right up to the base of your fingernail. I usually mask one hand at a time.

4. Time for the fun part!! Fill your container up with water (lukewarm! not too hot, not too cold). Then drip nail polish onto the surface of the water. Once the drop hits the surface of the water it will spread out really quickly. That is what you want. If any of your drips do NOT spread out that means the surface of your water is too dirty and it will not work out. Time to clean it up and/or refresh your cup of water. Anyway back to dripping. I usually drip two drops of the same colour in a row because I like my colours nice and vibrant.

5. After your first colour, drip some more, so you end up with a colourful target-like coating on the top of the water like in the above picture.

6. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the nail polish around until it makes neat patterns. This will take some practice. The area in the green circle above is the kind of swirling that you want–nice and smooth and clean. The area in the red circle is what you DO NOT WANT–the nail polish has bunched up and gone cruddy. This will look ugly on your nails. You also have to work fairly quickly because the longer you wait the more it bunches up. Ah but you are only going to dip your finger in one or two spots so it’s ok if one part gets bunched up, you can still use the other parts!!

Sorry for the next three blurry pictures. I need a third arm.

7. Dip your nails in the exact part of the swirly pattern that you like the most. I struggle to do more than one nail at a time like other people do so I often just do one at a time. I like to approach the water verrrry slowly and precisely with my face really close so I can see that my nail is actually going where I want. Once it’s in though put it right in. DO NOT let your finger come out of the water!! DO NOT let your finger touch the bottom of the container.

8. Wait a minute with your finger submerged in the water for the nail polish on the surface to dry up a bit. Using your other hand pick up all the extra nail polish on the surface of the water with a toothpick.

9. When all the nail polish is picked up, you can take your fingers out of the water! Admire your work!! (Ignore all the nail polish on your skin.)

10. I suggest waiting a minute, THEN gently and very carefully removing the masking tape. Ugh so many times I have messed my nail up in this step, so annoying.

11. I wait another minute or two and then do a quick coating of Seche Vite top coat. Man I love that stuff.

12. Repeat steps 3 to 11 for you other hand!!!!!

13. Later, when the nail polish is totally dry, I start to remove all the nail polish on my skin. You can do this with q-tips or orange sticks and nail polish remover but I am not a big fan of using that drying stuff on my skin so I usually just have a shower. I find that between washing my hair and gently scrubbing at my fingers under the shower-head I am able to get most of the extra polish off.

DONE! Voila!

This process definitely takes some time and practice, especially if you mess a nail up and have to start right from step 1 again, like I do so many times, but I think it’s worth it! I love how interesting each nail can end up, and how smooth and nice it looks. People often comment on my nails when they are like this and think they are stick on nails!