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Updated Nail Polish Collection & Organization

I collect nail polish (in addition to sewing supplies) and like my fabric and patterns, I keep my collection well organized and easy to access. Somehow, in my mind I can justify having a giant collection (of anything really) as long as I keep it organized and am able to use it easily. Below I’ll show you how I add some newly acquired polishes to my collection.

I bought the following from CVS, most of which was on sale for $.69 each. We have (left-right) Wet & Wild Fergie in Take the Stage and Ferguson Crest Syrah. CQ in Vintage. JulieG in Bubble Bath. Wet and Wild Wild Shine in Tickled Pink, Lavender Creme, Blazed, Rain Check, Eggplant Frost, and Wild Card.
My entire collection is swatched onto nail wheels. I get the wheels from Sally Beauty Supply. I specifically use the Beauty Secrets nail wheels, because they stack very tightly. I’ve tried others that I bought on eBay slightly cheaper, but they don’t stack well and take up lots of room.  My collection is currently swatched on 45 wheels, with some empty spaces.

The numbers on the wheels are the groupings I’ve broken them down into. All glitters and texture polishes are group 11. I also have my gel polishes on a separate set of wheels (not shown here).  All the other polishes (creams, jellies, foils, metallic, etc) are on the rest of the wheels broken out my color groups.  Orange/yellow (2), Purple/Lilac/Lavender (3), Rose/earth colors, Metallics (6), Black/white/brown (7), Reds (8), Nude/beige/taupe (9), Pinks (10), Glitters/texture (11), Blue/green (12). Its pretty easy to see that blue is my favorite nail color.  :)

I will be adding my recent polish haul to my collection, using Blazed as an example.


First I label the back of an empty ‘slot’ on an Orange/yellow wheel. Adding the brand and the color name using a fine-point Sharpie.

Then I paint the swatch.  Every polish gets two generous coats. With the black writing on he back, its easy to tell which polishes are opaque vs. which will need more coats, or can be used with fewer coats in a jelly sandwich.

Here’s a picture where I’m adding all the polishes. I got the original idea for the swatching from a DandyNails video. I group them sitting on top of the appropriate color wheel, then write all the names. Then I can do a first pass of swatching each polish and by the time I’ve finished the last swatch, the first wheel is ready for the second coat.
Swatching all my new polishes.

Swatching all my new polishes.

After swatching all the polishes, I add a small numbered sticker to the bottle. The reason I add the sticiker is so if I pick a polish off the rack that I have never worn, I can refer back to the appropriate wheel group number to see what it looks like with 2 coats. Many of the polishes could easiely go in more than one color group, e.g. dark pink vs light red, or orange vs. brown, blue vs purple. I do realisse this is totally OCD by the way, but hey, its functional. :)

If I cant find super-small stickers I just get the smallest I can and cut them in half. Hooray for fine-point Sharpies.

Next I add the polishes to my spreadsheet. Yes, I have them in a spreadsheet. :) I added this step earlier this year, because I found I was starting to accidentally re-purchase polishes I already have. After I add them to the spreadsheet, I attached the spreadsheet to my ‘Polish Collection’ note in Evernote. I then have the full listing on my phone when I’m out at the store. I’m happy to say that I have only accidentally re-purchase 4 polishes. Ever.

See below for an example section of my spreadsheet. I list them by brand, line within the brand (e.g. CND’s shellac line), then by name, then number, then by type. Click on the picture of the spreadsheet if you want to download my full nail polish spreadsheet as of this haul in July 2013.

And of course I then add the polishes to my racks..if there is room. I recently added another rack for a total of 12. I probably have room for 2 more before I’m simply out of space. Each rack holds about 60 polishes, and are divided by the same color groups as the wheels, and are in rainbow order, not by brand. Honestly I don’t care what the brand is. If I hate a polish or brand I will simply get rid of it. Everything else is game, and I tend to decide what kind of color I want to wear, regardless of brand.
Full collection on wall racks

Full collection on wall racks

My polish racks hang  on the wall over my desk. They are quite beautiful to look at, and I often do.  :)  Below are closer pictures of the racks. I have no idea why I numbered these right to left instead of left to right. I guess because that’s the order I’ve been adding racks. The ones on the right are my first, building out going to the left. I have room for 2 more on the left side of my desk.

Racks 1 through 4 – (on the right hand wall) Mostly glitter and texture, with black, white and metallics on the upper left rack

Racks 5 through 8 – (the center set) Browns, taupes, nudes, roses, pinks reds, orange yellow and some green.

Racks 9 through 12 – (the left racks) Blue-greens, teals, blues, purply-blues, purple, lavender lilac, reddish purples like magentas. The lower left rack is gel polishes (Shellac, Gelish, Sensationail, Progel, plus the lowest row which is just regular base coats and nail treatments.

Thanks for reading. I hope you like my collection and please feel free to ask questions.

Great instructions on how to paint your nails correctly

Just couldn’t resist re-posting this.  Follow this link for very well done and precise instructions.

Brad Pearson Egg

This bead is about 1.3″ on the long axis. I made it during a class with Brad Pearson, who is an excellent teacher. Much larger than I normally work, but I really like how it came out.  This bead was made using Effetre soda-lime glass on a Nortel Minor Burner.

Lampwork Jewelry

My sister Jeanne made these beautiful pieces of jewelry. I think its more a testament to her jewelry making than my bead making though. She’s got a fantastic eye for combining things asymetrically, and managed to take a batch of wholly unremarkable beads and turn them into something beautiful.  All beads were made using a GTT Lynx torch.

Nail Polish Collection

Here’s my nail polish collection in all it’s glory. :)

Prior Polish Designs

Here’s a gallery of nail polish designs from the last year.  Let me know if you’d like to see a tutorial or description of any of them.

These are done with a combination of regular polish, striping polish, acrylic paints, Konad or Bundle Monster stamping plates, glitter, and fimo clay slices.  Two are from tutorials I saw on Youtube. Two are Sally Hansen Salon Effects ‘polish stickers’.  Most are my own design.  All were built on a base of either Shellac or Gelish UV cured nail polish, which makes the designs last a week or two.

Pinky Vines

On a pale pink base of Sensationail LED cured polish in Pink Chiffon I used a sponge to graduate the color to the slightly darker Sally Hansen Bubblegum Pink. The vines were painted with Stripe Rite striping color (no name) in an iridescent blue-green color. I bobbed the color on a pallet and used my own short striping brush as the one in the bottle is way too thick. Topcoat with Seche Vite.

I own three cured nail polish systems: Shellac, Gelish, and Sensationails.  The Sensationails are competitively priced and available at CVS.  They are very easy to apply, but harder to remove than either Shellac or Gelish.  I’ll do a review of the three systems sometime.

The insanity of diets

I’m a big fan of Matt Schifferle over at Red Delta Project.  He has a very no-nonsense approach to fitness and is a great resource for instructional videos on bodyweight exercise techniques. My opinion of Matt jumped even higher when I read this article by him: When Healthy Diets Attack!  In this article Matt has managed to sum up everything that is wrong with the way the marketing industry has taken over our food consumption, to the point where we don’t know how to eat anymore.  Don’t know how to eat?  Seriously, is there anything more fundamental to any living organism?

Read the article, you’ll be glad you did.  The analogy is long, but perfect.

Some people are realizing the insanity of this food-denial-obsessed culture.  See the Worst Celeb Diet Tricks to Avoid for an example of some of the insanity.

Miranda’s Capelet

Next in the series of designs that Miranda has requested is the rose capelet. (See also the Bunny Express Vest). This is another design that she saw in a Happy Happy Clover manga.

Here is the design drawing I found on my table.  It was followed by several others, but this one I think captured the sense of it best.  Basically it is a pink hooded capelet, with a cutwork lower hem and a rose and petal closure.  She also explained that the circles spread across the shoulders of the cape are ‘sparkles’.
Capelet design drawing

Capelet design drawing


  • Cape/capelet pattern (e.g. McCalls 4703)
  • Pink polar fleece
  • Green polar fleece scrap
  • Red polar fleece scrap (5″ square)
  • 1 pants fastener
  • Iridescent white sequins (approx 50)
  • Pink, red and green thread
  • Needle
  • Aleene’s tacky glue

I used McCalls 4703 for the pattern.  I used the short version of the pattern, but did not add the fur hem band.  Instead I added 2″ to the length of the cape to allow for the cutwork.  I used pink polarfleece for the cape, and red fleece for the rose and green polar fleece for the leaves.

McCalls 4703 Capelet pattern

McCalls 4703 Capelet pattern

I created  the scallops by folding the fronts into even quarters and the back into 8ths.  I marked the fold points and those marks are where I cutout between the scallops.  I made sure the high points of the scallops started at the center front and hit at the sides as well.  To create the cutwork I created a template for the cutout portion from a business card, then traced around it inside each scallop.  I stay stitched both the lower edge of the scallops and just outside the traced line for the cutouts.  I then cut them out just inside the stay stitching.  I had so much marking chalk on it by then that I put it through a quick cycle in the wash.  Good thing polar fleece dries fast because Miranda was hovering by then asking when it would be done.

Cutting the capelet scallops
Cutting the capelet scallops

To make the rose I used the pattern for felt flowers over at Crafted Sparrow.  I ended up using red sweatshirt fleece because I didnt have any red polarfleece on hand.  I’m sure either would work fine.

Capelet rose

For the leaves, I drew a pair of leaves with a space between them to mount the rose.  I cut that out of dark green polarfleece and used light green thread to stitch in the leaf’s vein pattern as well as to reinforce the center piece.

Capelet Leaf pattern
Capelet Leaf pattern

After stitching, I re-trimmed the edges to get rid of the fuzzy bits, then used fray check to reduce further fuzzing.  I reinforced the underside of the center piece with a small scrap of quilting cotton.

Caplet leaf reinforcement
Caplet leaf reinforcement

Next I cut off one of the leaves, close to the edge of the reinforcement patch (sorry forgot to capture a picture of this).  Then I sewed the hook portion of a pants clasp onto the underside of the reinforced portion of the leaf/rose assembly.  I sewed the loop portion of the clasp onto the upper side of the leaf-only side.  Then attached each side of the closure to each side of the cape at the neckline, making sure that the rose piece projected far enough past the edge of the front edge to be able to reach the loop.  See below for a closeup that should help explain this better.

Yes, I was lazy and used the dark green thread I had on the needle rather than changing to pink like I should have.  :)  I’m definitely aiming for speed here rather than a haute couture finish.

Capelet clasp attachment detail
Capelet clasp attachment detail

Next I attached the sequins scattered across the capelet.  I used iridescent white sequins as these seemed more snowy and sparkly to me.  Pink or gold would have worked nicely as well. Here’s the finished caplet, then a closeup of the closure.

Finished capelet
Finished capelet

Capelet closure detail closeup

Capelet closure detail closeup

Miranda’s Bunny Express Vest

Miranda frequently leaves little drawings around of designs she’d like me to make. I can tell its time to do something about it when she keeps showing me alternate views of the design. :) I can get a hint.
Here is a recent item I made for her that was inspired by her favorite manga Happy Happy Clover.

Clover and her friends have a delivery service called Bunny Express. Here is the official girl’s uniform for Bunny Express. The boys wear a very similar design, but it has sleeves.

Miranda's drawing of the vest

One of several ‘design drawings’ left in my sewing room

Here is the finished vest. Please excuse the rumpled appearance, but Miranda has been wearing it all day (and sleeping in most nights) for the last two weeks. Its nice to have my work appreciated.

Vest front
Front of the vest
Back picture of the bunny express vest

Back of the bunny express vest