Sunday, 23 June 2013

Crumpet Chats to .... Adventures In Acetone

Hi Goddesses

Adventures In Acetone

Today it's the turn of a blogger, the lovely Jacki from Adventures in Acetone, who produced possibly one of my favourite manis ever - 

I die every time I see this.  So cute, so perfect.  Jacki is another member of the Digit-al Dozen, but she'll admit she doesn't do as much nail art as she used to, since she had her 2nd child nearly a year ago.  Hopefully as Owen grows older she'll have more time, because when Jacki does art, seriously, the angels sing.

As ever, we'll start with some of the older photos - we can all hope!

Blog: (2178 GFC Followers)
Instagram: (925 Followers)
Pinterest: (785 Followers)
Bloglovin: (560 Followers)

What’s your earliest polish memory
I remember that I wore a lot of sandals in high school so each morning I would change my toe nail polish to match my outfit! These days, however, I can go weeks with the same pedi color!
What was the polish that started it all for you
I wish I could tell you. I had a small collection for years that suddenly started growing once I was introduced to the nail polish blogger world. 

When did it go from enjoyment to full on polishaholic-ness / obsession
When my husband deployed with the US  Army for the second time, I found that I had a lot more free time on my hands(no pun intended LOL) so I started following nail art blogs and google-image searching for nail art. That's when I started my blog and joined some Facebook groups and it all spiraled from there. 
How many polishes do you own
I'm guessing over 500, I've lost track in the past few months and plan to re-count soon.

If there was a fire and you could save only one polish, what would it be
I'm sure I'd have a different answer to this each week. As of today, it is Rescue Beauty Lounge Aqua Lily. That is my newest love.

Which is your favourite brand and why
I am torn between OPI and Zoya on this question. They are the highest number of bottles in my collection and I love them both. OPI was my first love as they are always at the salons that I've been getting my mani and pedis since I was younger. Zoya keeps putting out these amazing colors and finishes and with their many promos I am able to add more polishes quickly to my stash.
Which brand do you own the most of
I've done a quick count, and I have 50 Zoya. OPI is a close second with 48.

As a polish wearer, what’s the best tip you’ve picked up along the way
Use quick dry top coat. I never knew it existed before! Every polish newbie tells me that they don't like doing their own nails because they always seem to bump them before they are dry. I love to spread the word to them about the magic of a quick dry top coat!
Do you also have a day job
I am a mom to a 5 year old girl, Hailey,  and a 10 month old boy, Owen. They are my full time job right now as well as my "housewife" status. I also work with DARE Colors making nail art tutorials for them when new collections come out.

When and why did you decide to start a blog
I decided to start a blog in summer of 2011. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan and I had so much fun doing nail art and following nail blogs that it seemed like a fun hobby to start. 
What was the goal for the blog – what did you want to achieve
My goal for the blog was just to have somewhere to put my nail pictures besides my personal Facebook photo album. I used to have a small family blog when my husband deployed for the first time in 2008 but I only had 5 followers. It was more for me to keep track of Hailey's milestones than for the readers. I felt like my nail blog would be the same way: a place for me to keep track and look back on with hardly anyone looking at it besides my family or close friends. 

Did you have an idea in your head of how successful you hoped it would be
I had no idea I would be blessed with this much of a following! Beyond any dream I could have had for it when I started.
Does the blog as it is now match your vision for it, or are there changes you want to make / has it ended up going in a totally different direction
I change the look of the blog occasionally so that part of the vision is different. But the content is where I want it to be and I don't see it going far from the path it is on right now. It started out as only nail art but I've added swatches along the way as well. 

How did you come up with the blog name
It's so funny, I actually did a Facebook status on my personal page when I was wanting to come up with a name and asked for ideas. It was about 12 hours and over 100 comments and my friend, Jamie's,  idea for Adventures In Acetone won my heart. 
Why do YOU think people read your blog
I think people read my blog for nail art and indie polish swatches. I get my most views and comments usually during the Digit-al Dozen Nail Art Weeks each month. 

Which social media platform is your fastest growing and why do you think that is / do you notice different trends across the different platforms
I have more followers on my blog's Facebook page than on the actual blog and I can understand because I find it much easier to keep up with new posts when they are popping up in my newsfeed. 

Tell me what you remember about your first post
Oh gosh, don't make me go look at my first post! Haha, those early pictures make me cringe sometimes. I do remember that I recreated a look that I loved on the Rebecca Likes Nails blog and was very proud of my gradient with a stamping design over top.

Do you remember the first post where you thought “yes, that’s a great post”
I don't remember a specific post. I do know, though, that when I participated in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge in September 2011, I did my best and most intricate nail art compared to anything else on my blog up until that point. I loved the different challenges and that really sparked my love for free hand nail art. 

Has your blog gone through phases / cycles that you can identify?
I'm not sure that I've seen phases on my blog that I could identify. When Owen was born 10 months ago, it definitely slowed down as far as the number of posts goes. I also had to cut back on my nail art because I just didn't have the time during nap time to do more nail art. So that was a change I noticed.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt
To not watch the follower numbers and to blog for myself and not anyone else. I don't want it to seem like a chore or burden and have to remember that if I love my nails and want to keep the polish on for a week, then the blog can wait for a new post when I've redone my nails. I want to enjoy what I do!

If you were starting your blog again, what tips would you give yourself
Watch the finger positions and hold the bottle in similar ways for each post. That's my biggest pet peeve from my earlier months, my photos aren't as uniform as they are now. I may be slightly OCD on that matter now. ;)
Which post are you proudest of
Wow, what a question! I'm coming up on my 2 year Blogiversary this summer so that is a LOT of posts to choose from. I can tell you of one particular manicure that I loved so much that I had it as the banner at the top of my blog for a long time. It was a gradient across all of my fingers using the entire Zoya Surf Collection with silver swirl stamping over top. I'm not sure I was most proud of it, but I sure loved wearing it!

Which post is your most popular

My most popular post is a flower water marble. It has had almost 33,000 page views since I wrote it a year ago. You can find that post here:

Where do you see the b log in a year
Hopefully with more nail art!

Do you feel you have a responsibility as a blogger?
I feel the responsibility as a blogger to tell the readers if there were issues with any polishes so they are aware before they spend their own money on them. 
How many hours a week go into your blog
I think that varies, depending on what I have going on with my family and life outside of the blog. My blog is a hobby and my family is my full time job so I don't want to get those mixed up. There are some nights that I can swatch a ton of polish I've been sent to review and it will take hours. Other times I have back logged photos from those swatching sessions so I may only have to spend 20 minutes a day writing up the post with those pictures. 

How “hard” do you work at improving your skills
I am always trying to think of new things to try out but I am pretty comfortable at where I am at right at this moment.
How do you stay motivated / inspired
That is definitely a hard thing sometimes. I tend to draw art inspired by the names of polish a lot or get ideas from other bloggers/google images/pinterest when I am really stuck. 

How do you plan your blogging schedule (if you do)
I really don't. I am only able to blog at night or during nap times for Owen so it's sporadic.
What frustrates you about being a blogger
I'm not sure anything frustrates me as a blogger. As long as I am remembered to blog for ME, then the comments(or lack of comments on a post) and follower numbers don't bother me. 

What do you wish you were better at? 
I wish I was better at camera settings and photoshop type editing when it comes to how the colors appear on the computer compared to how I saw them in person on my nails. I hate when they aren't color accurate.
What is your most popular social platform and why do you think that is?
As I said in a previous question, I have more followers on Facebook. However, I don't have as many comments on there as I do on my blog. BUT I really think I get more "repins" and pins on Pinterest than anything. Those seem to be the most emails I get on a daily basis. Pinterest is super fun and easy and it's all about the pictures! It's easier to browse that way!
Whose nails do you wish you had
Oh gosh, this is a good question! Im not sure I can pick. I will say, however, that I wish my nail corners wouldn't start to curl inward when they got longer. I envy those who can have long nails with the same width from cuticle to tip. I always end up filing mine down because it bothers me.
Whose blog do you wish you had
I don't think anyones because then it wouldn't be MY blog. I certainly love a lot of blogs and bloggers but they've all worked hard to be where they are at so I don't want their blog. I'd rather work hard enough at my own to try and get to their level.

Which blogger inspires you
Sarah from Chalkboard Nails! She is so great at nail art, her photos are amazing, and I always love how her blog looks. I wish I had the time to dedicate to the different social media platforms that she is able to do for more exposure. She is a real sweet heart as well!

Which polish brand do you wish you owned – indie
I love so many indie brands! But to own one, that is another question entirely. I've found myself buying many Elevation Polishes lately because there seems to be something for everyone and with each new collection I always want a couple more! Lulu has cremes, shimmers, glitters, etc, and I don't see how anyone wouldn't be able to find something that they love by Elevation Polish. I think it's really exciting to be part of a monthly Elevation Membership and also to have the chance to buy some one of a kinds or prototypes that never made it into full production. It's smart as a polish maker because people want what is hard to get and those are always sold SO fast. I love that all of the names of the polishes are of the mountains or places that Lulu has visited or climbed. That adds a personal feel to the brand. 
If you were the CEO of one of the major brands, what changes would you make
I would let Ulta accept coupons for OPI polish again. Haha, I'm kidding. Sorta.. Anyway, as we've seen lately, it seems some of the major brands are taking a tip or two from the Indie polish brands to go after what the consumers are wanting. There is a huge amount of people buying their own polish and doing their nails lately so they aren't just selling to salons anymore. I'd want to make sure I was making more interesting color and/or glitter combinations. More linear holographic polishes, and basically keeping up with the trends. 

What are you proudest of that you’ve achieved as a blogger / polish maker / e-tailer
Honestly, I am proud hearing my mom or husband(or any family and friends) tell me that they've told someone about my blog, nail art, or tutorials. This is a hobby but it's a little piece of me and to have the word spread means a lot.

You are great at drawing animals – are you generally good at drawing, or how did you learn to translate them to the nail?
Well thank you! I'm not very good drawing something that I haven't been looking at already. I am much better at looking through clip art and google images and then translating that onto a nail than trying to draw "from scratch" if that makes sense. A thing that I do when translating onto my nails is to look at the image as a collection of shapes and lines. That breaks it down into easier pieces and then I just do them one at a time!
You do a lot of great reviews for polish makers, how seriously do you take that commitment?
I take that commitment very seriously! I am honored to be trying out their creations and try to get the reviews done in a timely manner. I do, however, still want to enjoy when I have my nails painted and also switch up the blog content to include nail art in between all of the reviews. 

How do you fit your blogging around your children?  More importantly, how do you not get smudges or chips with children?
Haha!  It's all about the timing of when I do my nails and that magical ingredient-- quick dry top coat! I don't really get to do anything to my nails unless it's nap time or bedtime. Sometimes I will get up really early and get some nail stuff done before the kids get up. Other times, I'll stay up late to get reviews done. I definitely don't feel good about sitting on the computer or at my nail station most of the day when my kids are home. They are my first priority and the nails take the back seat. 

Tell us about Hailey and how she also loves to paint her nails
Oh, my sweet little nail polish lover in the making! Hailey just turned 5 and already has a big collection of mini nail polish bottles of her very own! She feels very special to have her own nail mail(I have really sweet nail buddies that will occasionally send her some minis that they don't want) and she likes to paint her own nails instead of have Mommy do them. She does her own forms of nail art as well. Some days, she will do her right hand one color and a completely different color on her left. Sometimes she will paint the right side of her nails one color and the left side of her nails another. She knows to get my nail mat(a placemat) out and set up her space so we won't get nail polish on the carpet or counter top. She loves requesting stamps as well. Hailey likes to have me take pictures of her nails when she is done and has the "hand pose" down already! I love that we can share this hobby together!
Do you ever get overwhelmed / struggle to find a balance?
Absolutely! I struggle in two ways. The first struggle is when I have a basket of things I have been sent and are waiting to be reviewed and then I get a new polish in the mail that I bought myself. I sometimes get a bunch of swatches done just so I can wear a color that I want to wear for me. Don't misunderstand, though, as I love reviewing and want to review all of these amazing polishes. I just struggle to find a balance of what I "should" be doing on my nails and sometimes what I "want" to do to my nails. Some days I just decide that it's a ME day and I leave some of the review things in the basket and put on what I want.  The second struggle is between my family and blogging. As I've said before, I don't like to blog or paint nails if my kids are wanting to hang out with me. I feel that way about my hubby as well. I don't want him to get the backseat compared to my blog once the kids go to bed, either. Although he is super supportive of my blog, I love spending time with him so some weeks I feel like it's either the blog or sleep. Coffee is a wonderful thing! 

Enjoy xx :)
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