Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Show and Tell: Mermaids, Bubbles & Metallic Green Nail Art

Today is a nice nail day. 

Metallic greens in two colours and dotted nails to look like bubbles create a fantasy mermaid look from Under the Sea.
Perfect to Finish off this years Halloween look.



They are really simple to do and they look fab-u-lous, always a compliment bringer.
A few years ago I created a mermaid look for Halloween and these would have been perfect!



I don't have a tutorial on these Mermaid Nails, but here's a quick explanation.

_________________________

  • start with bare nicely rounded nails, I always imagine mermaid nails to be smooth and like paddles haha.
  • Add base coat.
  • Paint all nails in a metallic deep green, I used this one from Barry M (334 Teal) Don't paint the ring finger and the thumbs on each hand.
  • Paint ring fingers and thumbs in a  lighter metallic green I used this Italian 'Smalto' brand in the colour 'Tropical Jungle'
  • Using a sponge and the opposite colours to what you have on each nail, do a gradient effect.
  • Then on the ring and thumb finger put bubbles (dots) across the whole nail, if you do this in staggered lines you get the best cover.
Paint with a top coat and you done.
_________________________

And that's it!
 Super simple with gorgeous effects. You can always put a little gem at the base of every nail (Same place I have put a light green dot) 
This would really finish off the nails.

Now I'm going to give these babies a top coat and then off to work.

I shall probably make step by step tutorials when I am better at nail art.
But in the meantime tell me; what your fav' go-to nail inspiration is?


Hope you all have or have had a fabulous day wherever you are in the world!

Much Love
J4!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

My Learning-To-Drive Journey - Chapter Eight, Nine and Ten

Reversing, Turn In The Road, & Dual Carriageways

Hours: 10 & 11, 12 & 13, 14 &15


2 Hour Lessons x 3
Tuesday 2nd, Tuesday 9th, Tuesday 16th September 2014.



WOW I have been missing-in-action, it been a busy few weeks and I have been procrastinating on a lot of things, don't we all sometimes? 
_________________________

So where where we? Last time I was still a pretty bad driver. Now, I shall be ready to take my test around the end of October/November. Booking in the next 2/3 lessons, so the instructor says.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEB! =D


_________________________

Tuesday 2nd September Hours 10 & 11
Reversing around corners.


Driving from home again, on the main road to a different town, finally exploring! It so exciting and you can get places so fast! (typically I walk everywhere so its super slow and I'm limited to places I can go)

 The main part of today after we had arrived in the next town, was to do reversing round corners. So... after my horrendous steering reversing a straight line in my previous lesson. I was surprised to find I was good at some part of driving! I managed to fly through the driving-round-corners-backwards section on my tick list. 

A Reverse round a corner is used for turning round. 
If on a main road, turn into a side road then use a junction off one of those. Never reverse into a main road or reverse out from a junction.
Everyone will be taught differently, but this is how my instructor has taught me.
This is for a left hand reverse.
  • Pulling up on the left hand side of the road approximately 2 car lengths away from the junction. A drains width away from the kerb. (Don't forget your indicator!)
  • Checking all around start reversing until you can no longer see the kerb (at the corner of the junction) in your left wing mirror.
  • Pause, check all around again, perhaps throw a look over you shoulder now and then when you get good.
  • Start reversing again and turn the wheel one whole turn to the left.
  • Reverse until you can see the kerb in the left wing mirror.
  • Continue to be aware of what is around you, take a look over your shoulder.
  • Straighten up when turning the wheel to or from the kerb as you feel necessary using your left wing mirror to judge your distance (one drains width away).
  • End up around 2 cars distance from the junction. 
  • Change into first, pull away and use junction as normal.
All of this when super duper for me. The first time was prompted, my driving instructor went through the above instructions with me. Second time I failed as half way round my corner someone came from the junction I was reversing into. (any time a car is coming when you are in a manoeuvre remember to stop and allow the other driver to do what they want to do, its safer this way believe me)  That put me right off as they where not patient and they swerved round me. 
Third time. PERFECT. 
Fourth time - Harder corner PERFECT.
Fifth time (my instructor was adamant he would find a corner that was super hard and I would fail on.) PERFECTO! =D


Dang I am a natural!

(Gotta be good at something haven't I haha) 

_________________________


Tuesday 9th September Hours 12 & 13
3 Point Turns and Parallel Parking. 

Today was good, 3 point turns / Turn in the road (which is what they are called since you can do it in more than 3 moves, but in your test, you may get a minor for rubbish control of your vehicle if you do it in more moves, basically lol)

Also Parallel parking, which is great, it was good that my previous lesson involved my reversing round the corner because essentially its the same with less turning. Now that's called lesson planning haha.

A Reverse park, which is the other name for it, is something I've been finding particularly hard to put down in writing... I'll Give it a go.

(in the practical test there the examiner may or may not choose a time when there will be another car behind the yellow space. You still have to park as though there is one)


I have just pulled up to the side of this car and I would like to park in the yellow space behind it. I line my wing mirrors up with the front of the parked car to give myself time to do the manoeuvre.
Lining the wing mirrors of your care, up with the end of the parked car (in red)

Using your left back windows as a guide, reverse till you can see the parked cars back lights in the bottom left corner.
Start reversing till you can see the parked cars back lights in the bottom right corner of your back left window.
 One full turn to the left swings your bum in. Keep going diagonally towards the kerb. Till you think you are about there.

This triangle, highlighted in red in the below picture is an imaginary triangle.
 You will see this shrinking in the left wing mirror when you swing your wheel back to the right to get your nose in. 
The triangle is comprised of the kerb, and the left side of the car. It will slowly shrink becoming a squashed triangle as you get closer to the kerb. Since you may not be able to see the kerb as you swing in you use this as your guide to know how far to continue until you straighten up.


 You should finish up something like this. a good distance away from the kerb. Parked.

What we call 'Tyres and tarmac'
(literally you can see the tyres and about two finger widths of tarmac under the tyres of the car in front, unless you have super fat fingers tee-hee)
Shuffling into space, if you have done it perfectly you shouldn't need to shuffle
but if you have room you can straighten up and get closer.

Don't end up too far back, imagine you have a car behind you!


_________________________

Same day, another Manoeuvre.

Turn in the Road.

Turn in the road was easy peasy, it seems worrying because there is so much clutch control and gear work but it was simple :)

  • Start pulled up at the side of the road. The closer the better, more space to turn!
  • Check EVERYWHERE. Honestly things pop up from everywhere. Pedestrians, dodgy car drivers, and cyclists to name a few.
  • Gear 1, moving slowly turn steering wheel all the way to the right, till it locks, this is about 2 and a half turns?
  • Approaching the other side of the road slowly, do not touch the kerb. 
  • If the road has a slop (for drainage, what's this called again?) you'll feel it :)
  • As you approach where you'd like to stop take off some of your steering, this makes it easier to do the next bit.
  • A Good way to judge where the front of your car is, if its not a big nosed car, is to have the kerb running paralleled with your right wing mirror.
Showing the handy trick of wing mirror line ups.
  • Put car in reverse, continue backwards and turn steering wheel all the way to the left, go slowly giving yourself time to react and steer that car baby!
  • All this time you've been careful looking out for hazards right? ;)
  • Take the car back to where you want to be, do not hit the kerb. This is just judgement, it gets better over time.
  • As you get to the end of your reversing take off the steering a bit to help you out in the next bit.
  • Steering all the way to the right and you should make it, unless it really was a tight squeeze.
  • in which case just reverse and go again, you shouldn't need too much :)
That's it, I managed this second time round, third time round I started too far out in the road so I made it in 5 which would have been a minor in the practical exam.

_________________________


Tuesday 16th September Hours 14 & 15
Dual carriageways, Sliproads and BIG Roundabouts.

Oh My Gosh, I was sweating on this one!

Not trying to scare anyone but big busy roundabouts are nerve racking and I'd rather use my Flying Ford Anglia!

Giving way to the right is easy, but knowing where your lane is on the roundabout and where it goes to when there are no lanes painted!?! how?
I Shan't go into much on these large roundabout since they are the same as little one, you just have to pick your moment carefully, and not stall hahaha

Which I did,but the driving instructor was pretty impressed with my comeback as I was calmer than him! (really we weren't in any danger, I was still in the front of the que waiting to come out.) we got going again.


Slip roads and dual Carriage ways are easy just straighter and faster. Remember indicate early and use your mirrors a lot! Pull out where you can and plan your exit, don't go speeding to the end of a slip road and find you have no room to pull out!


So a few highlights of my lessons, good and bad:
  • Big roundabouts and going the national speed limit of 60MPH / 70MPH need some more confidence building.
  • I Must learn to pull closer to the kerb when I park, I think this stems from my first few lessons and killing the instructors wheels! (I'm just being a perfectionist)
  • Everything is almost signed off and my manoeuvres are exceptional!
  • I can book my test soon if my skills keep accelerating as they are! :)

So Excited that I Might hold my full driving license before my birthday!!

Next Lesson Friday 19th September 2014


Are you learning to drive? or are you taking your test soon?
Give me a shout and tell me how you're feeling. 


Still can't wait to get back in that car!

Much Love
(And please excuse my long absence, ill be back soon!)J4!

Monday, 1 September 2014

My Learning-To-Drive Journey - Chapter Seven

Pedestrian Crossings and Reversing

Hour 9


1 Hour Lesson
Friday 29th August 2014 

9:00AM

INSTRUCTOR "Short one today J4, lets sign off pedestrian crossings, and start learning to reverse! happy with that?"

"Ahhh scary idea reversing, but yes, lets do it"

_________________________


 Today I drove straight from home, finally came across a mini roundabout. Did lots of meeting traffic. Learnt pedestrian crossings and got that all signed off (common sense really!) and got my foot stuck under the clutch at a 'T' junction onto a main road WHAT?!? 


On my sheet today I got indication signed off completely along with pedestrian crossings.

One hour lessons are way too short in my opinion, didn't get to drive enough! 

_________________________


I actually drove from home today!

I still live at home with my parents. My mum was watching me out of the upstairs window hoping she would see me pull off. 

She did see me pull away however, didn't realise I was going to talk through a few things with the instructor before I went haha!


The day started at 9:00am I got in the drivers seat and we talked through pedestrian crossings getting nearly all his questions correct.  

(Apart from a fancy crossing called and equestrian crossing, which after I heard the name I knew it was for horses!)

_________________________

Pedestrian crossings.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeazy.

USE YOUR MIRRORS.
It is important to know what is behind you and how close it is, use your rear view frequently to judge weather it is safe to slow down.

PLAN YOUR APPROACH
Simplest thing ever. If the lights are on green what will you be expecting them to do? Go Red of course! so plan your approach and expect to stop.

Same for a Red light on approach. Expect it to change green (not so much that if it doesn't change you're zooming into a pedestrian or another car on t-junctions!


Sometimes you find yellow (orb) lights on traffic islands in the middle of the road, these are just to alert you to a possible crossing place for pedestrians.
Remember people can cross anywhere, so be on the lookout!

_________________________

ZEBRA CROSSING
White lines painted in rectangles across the road, these are marked with the typical 'persons-may-cross-here' yellow flashing orbs of light on poles.

You must give way when someone is waiting to cross, also when someone is already crossing. 

Do not wave people across it may not be clear. 

If someone is waiting you can make eye contact to let them know you have seen them.

_________________________

PELICAN CROSSING

Traffic lights and zigzag lines mark a pelican crossing.

These lights are activated by pedestrians via their button.

A flashing amber light after the red will appear, you may go proceed when the amber light shows if the crossing is clear and no one is waiting.

_________________________

PUFFIN CROSSINGS

Pretty much the same as the Pelican crossing. But smarter.

It can sense when a pedestrian is waiting, and also how long they are taking to cross. Therefore taking into account how long it should display a red light to traffic. It can also override the red light displayed to traffic if the pedestrian has already crossed.

Because this pedestrian crossing has the red and green man one the pedestrians side telling them when to go and stop there is no flashing amber light to the traffic, like a typical traffic light.

_________________________

PEGASUS / EQUESTRIAN CROSSING

A Crossing treated much the same as a toucan crossing but this crossing allows horse riders to cross too, with a higher button for them to press. 

Thinking about it, you should probably be cautious here, since a rider sits quite central on a horse, the horses head might be in the road by the time the rider reaches the button haha!

I Said to my instructor I had never seen this type of crossing before, he said he hadn't either, but you have to know it anyway, in case you are asked it in your practical driving exam. =)


_________________________

TOUCAN CROSSING.

JUST THINK TWO-CAN-CROSS.

So simple! pedestrians and cyclists are permitted to cross on these crossings. 
There is no flashing amber phase, just like the puffin crossings.


That's everything I can remember right now!
_________________________


The Lesson


So after pulling away (perfectly woo!) we started on our short drive to get to the first pedestrian crossing practise. 


This is where I got my foot stuck under the clutch pedal. 

Now I know why this happened. In the morning I couldn't find my driving shoes, so I was wearing different trainers, (kind of like converse's with the rubber toe) they don't give me much movement so I don't think I could feel the pedals too much and must have slipped off.

Either that or my clumsiness jumped in at the wrong time POO!


The pedestrian crossing I was going to travel across arrives right after a left hand turn from a 'T' Junction onto the main road. 
When pulling from this junction on the main road I got about half way pulled out,so I was committed and I got my foot stuck under the clutch pedal. Therefore failing at clutch control and stalling the car (DOH!)

I was quite safe, all the cars had been lined up at the lights so I was not in danger of being crashed into at speed. There was also the line of ready-to-pull-away cars in front of me so i couldn't have got anywhere fast and neither could the impatient ...(insert bad word of choice) ... behind me that honked his horn and swerved round me! 
(he nearly collided with the opposite traffic!)

So after I had stalled all the hoo-ha started

I was trying to rectify my failure, nice and calm trying to start my engine again. 
To start the engine on a Kia Rio 1.1 Diesel you have to put the clutch down.

"Where's my clutch gone?!? My clutch pedal is lost!"

INSTRUCTOR "I've got it for you, start your engine!... come on start your engine"

"IT WONT START. STOP PANICKING GIVE ME MY CLUTCH BACK 

YOU IDIOT AND THEN I CAN START MY ENGINE!"

(okay I was polite and didn't shout like that but my mind was shouting that at him haha)

"I'm ALIIIIVEEEEE" - and off we go 

Turns out the car wont start from a stall when he uses his dual control clutch.
Well at least he knows this now and someone else wont be in the same situation as I was!


After this little blip the lesson went okay, apart from my lack of steering skills in reverse!

__________________________

Reversing

Oh my goodness gracious me.
How can someone be so awful at steering?

Steering backwards is crazy, its supposed to be pretty normal compared to going forwards, but I just couldn't get the hang of it.

I remember having a little debate with my other half (who started learning to drive a few months before me and is ready for his test)

He was saying "You should be taught to reverse around the corner immediately otherwise the instructor is wasting your money and spinning the lessons out"

 I said "If I was my instructor I would definitely make me reverse backwards in a straight line first!"

He did do the latter and thank goodness he did. He gave me the exercise of controlling the cars speed in reverse with the clutch (this is easy my clutch control is like iv'e been driving for years apparently woo-hoo!) and then hug the kerb whilst in reverse, steering away approximately 2ft (1 Metre ish) and come back in again as though I was pulling up to park.

No, this car has a mind of it own and does not go the way you want it too.

Honest... it has a soul.


"If I go any closer to that kerb I will hit it."
INSTRUCTOR: "Your miles away J4 don't stress just relax and play with the car"


I spent about 20 minutes of my 1 hour lesson reversing.
I Think I need about 10 x that! haha 



So a few highlights of my lesson, good and bad:
  • Reversing speed, I'm good at but my steering is letting me down again!
  • Got foot stuck under the clutch pedal (that's what you get for loosing you driving shoes. DOH!)
  • My clutch control, gear changes and knowledge of the road is exemplary. (Minus the above point)
  • Meeting traffic skill and steering (forwards!) is better than ever.

You would not believe how fun driving is and I cannot wait to get back in the car!

Next Lesson 2nd August 2014
Back to 2 hours!


If you drive, did you or do you still find reversing difficult?
And is driving still fun when you know how to do it all? 


Can't wait to get back in that car!

Much Love
J4!