Monday, December 22, 2014

Before & After: The Gift of the Magi

(Press sample)

Hello!

Every year I tell myself I'm gonna plan everything so that I'm not overwhelmed and running behind in the stretch leading up to Christmas, and here I am again, overwhelmed and running behind in the stretch leading up to Christmas. I'm sure I'm probably the only one, right? ;-) This year at least I know it couldn't be helped, with an unexpected two-week jury trial (I was called as a juror) coming early in December, right after my month-long National Novel Writing Month sprint in November. As I write that out, I'm frankly impressed I'm not further along and more overwhelmed!

Point is, I missed several challenges and need to hurry my tush up to get my last three holiday manicures out for you. Today's theme in my Stamp All Ten group is to make a manicure based on a holiday book or movie.

My favorite Christmas story has always been, and likely always will be, The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry. If you've never read it, I'll give you a short summary so the manicure will make sense, but I strongly recommend you read it for yourself first, because it has a surprise ending which I will ruin for you in the next paragraph. Seriously, go read it--it's free because it's in the public domain, and you can find it by clicking here. Then come back and check out the mani. :)

Okay, here is the SPOILER summary. The story is about a young  married couple, Della and Jim. They are like many of us, trying to make ends meet, and despite saving all year, Della doesn't have enough to buy Jim what she wants to buy him, a watch fob for his pocket watch, his most treasured possession. Filled with despair, she hits upon an idea; she'll sell her long, beautiful, beloved hair, hair that reaches past her knees, for the money to buy the fob. In the meantime, unbeknownst to her, Jim sells his watch to get the money to buy her a set of beautiful hair combs for her gift.

Why do I so deeply love a story that has such a sad twist? Because I don't think it's sad at all. I think the notion of two people loving each other so much that they're willing to give up the thing they value most in the world just to see a smile on the other person's face is the very essence of love. And love is supposed to be the essence of Christmas and the holiday season, isn't it? Through these two selfless acts they both truly live and learn that their love for each other is more valuable and beautiful than any material thing in the world could ever be. It's a story I've always tried to keep close in thought and action.

For my manicure, I started with Incoco Enigma, from their Double Take duochrome collection; the wine-to-olive-to-gold duochrome has a very vintage, Victorian feel to me that fits right with the story:


Incoco Enigma
Incoco Enigma


Incoco Enigma
Incoco Enigma


Incoco Enigma
Incoco Enigma


Enigma is also extremely sparkly in direct light:


Incoco Enigma
Incoco Enigma

I stamped coins and put rhinestones on my pinkie, and hearts on my ring finger; this is supposed to look like coins/jewels are turning into love, and symbolizes the importance of love over money.  On my ring finger I've stamped Jim's watch, and on my index finger I've stamped Della's flowing hair; I put a gold half-bead at the top of the watch where the fob would connect, and a flower rhinestone in Della's hair to symbolize the hair combs.

I stamped my designs on with Barry M Gold Foil; I used Cheeky, Bundle Monster, and Winstonia plates to make the collage, and then accented with rhinestones and a half gold bead.


Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest.

Everywhere, they are the wisest. They are the magi.


It's hard to do justice to something you love so much, but I feel like I've captured the essence and the message of the story and the season here. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Holiday hugs and loves,
M.


12 comments:

  1. Lovely nails for a lovely story! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember reading that in junior high or maybe high school. I love that story. I had forgotten the name. I will have to read it again because I want to remember why it is titled as it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great story. I fixed the link, so it works now if you want to read it! :)

      Delete
  3. Aww.. I think you did do it justice, especially with the nice little touches of rhinestones/beads for her hair & his watch.

    (btw, in your past few blog posts you either forgot to include some links or there's a glitch and they're not showing up..?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know! I'm not sure what happened with this one, but I've fixed it now. I found the other one you mentioned and I just forgot to put that one in...>.<

      Delete
  4. Awesome mani, loving the added rhinestones here and there. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A rhinestone or bead placed here or there can be just what the doctor ordered...:)

      Delete

Make my day--leave me a comment!