All I Want for Christmas is Some Toenail Art. . .

I saved the most bloggable gift from last night to tell you about today.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen references to my Uncle-in-Law’s “unusual” hobby of making his wife toenail art out of his toenail clippings. If not, you may want to go to the above link before continuing.

Anyway, when they moved to the beach earlier this year, Leo left some of his art medium behind in his desk drawer at work. Chris was cleaning his desk out, and ran across this priceless find:
So naturally, Chris seized the extremely rare opportunity to make LEO a piece of unforgettable art out of Leo’s own abandoned body parts. Now, these aren’t Grade A Angus Clippings, because they are fingernails, not toenails. But hey, art is art.

So Chris set up a studio in his workshop:
Bought some supplies and prepared them (which, by the way, I think will be the only time that my husband ever goes to Michael’s Arts and Crafts voluntarily):And being that my husband is immaculately thorough, actually divided the fingernails out and counted them, to ensure that his art was as symmetrical and planned out as possible.
Here was his engineering math:
(201 nails divided by 70 squares equals 2.87 nails / square)

So he then “randomly” drilled 1/16″ diameter holes, after estimating how many he needed:
Then set to work painstakingly mounting each nail with craft glue in its own hole, like little coarse hair plugs on a middle aged man.
Now I would like to say that he stayed completely sterile and was paranoid and careful about touching the nasty medium,
. . . but when I came down to check on him, he was building his masterpiece and eating skittles with the same hands.
He got all of the lovely nails in. The last few became difficult to work between their neighbors and had to be carefully threaded with needle nose pliers into their special new home.
And I’m telling you, some of these nails were a bit… well, um… they were toting some funk:
then a few coats of a nice latex spray paint, and the nails were left with a Sally Hansen Ultra Gloss finish:
Then finished off his masterpiece with a fully licensed collegiate collectible and coordinating tee:
So last night, Leo got to be surprised with the transformation of his abandoned clippings:
Straight from the heart!! Err. . . toes. . . or fingers. . . or desk drawer. . .
I know the question all my loyal readers are dying to ask, and No, you can’t get one. However, if you would like to commission a reproduction, all you have to do is collect several hundred of your own funky fingernails (or your Uncle’s funkier toenails), and give Chris a call.

Who eats or drinks before 10am?

Thank you all SO much for your kind words and prayers!!!

Weeeeell, I went to the doctor this morning, met with the doctor, he agreed it sounded like gall stones, then said, “let’s ultrasound it and see! . . . oh – you haven’t happened to eat or drink anything this morning, have you?”

Of course, being that I am a normal human being, and the fact it was 10am, I had in fact done both.

“I’m sorry – you’ll have to come back next week. You can’t eat or drink six hours before an ultrasound of your gall bladder, because any food or drink makes it shrink up.”

Would have been nice to have found out during my half an hour conversation with the appointment scheduler yesterday.

So I made another appointment, Monday at 9am, and then it will take a day or two to know the results after that. So sometime next week I should have an answer.


And until then, I will hope it doesn’t strike again!

Oh – and if it is gall stones, I am positive that Chris will want to keep them. He’ll add them to his collection of body parts: Ali’s belly button, and the bone that came out of my foot.

When he asked my surgeon for my foot bone before my second foot surgery, the surgeon said “Hmm. . . I’ll have to check the current hospital policy on removing body parts from the hospital.” But sure enough, after my surgery, Dr. K proudly delivered my foot bone to Chris, sealed in a plastic vial!! I have to admit, it was nice to get to see the evil little bone (that was actually much bigger than I expected) that had given me 13 months of pain, two surgeries, and 10 weeks on crutches.

Chris’ body part collection should have been a part of my quirks post!! Apparently Chris caught his uncle’s love for toenails, but took it to a whole new level.

But at least he’s not making Christmas presents out of them.


Toenail Art

Need a new hobby? Maybe a craft idea for VBS or Sunday School?


This has been a blog that many of my friends have requested, and since we are down at the beach this weekend at Kitty and Leo’s, it was the perfect time to take some good pictures and tell you about Toenail Art.


A little background: Kitty and Leo are Chris’ Aunt and Uncle (the ones that recently retired and moved to the beach permanently). We are very close to them as Chris has worked with them for many years (and I work from home with them). They don’t have kids other than us, and Ali is their beloved Grandbaby. This is the story of Leo’s creative method of showing Kitty his love for her.


It all started one Christmas as an innocent joke. Leo bought Kitty some gold earrings, and just to see what would happen, he attached a toenail to each one. Kitty thought they must be shark’s teeth or shells, and she thought that they were beautiful. She wore them all Christmas day before he ‘fessed up to the true nature of the bling on the earrings. Luckily for him, she thought it was hilarious, as did the rest of the family. (I personally find it hard to believe that Kitty didn’t recognize those toenails – I mean, this was pre-painting and pre-sculpting eras of toenail art, and they really kinda look like toenails to me).




Next Christmas, Kitty got a Santa Claus Christmas tree ornament. This one I find much more unassuming than the earrings. You wouldn’t even notice, unless you looked closely at the intricately painted pinwheel:
The next year got much more intricate. This sunflower has many toenail details, including the Ladybug, grass, eyes, smile, flower petals, and leaves. Leo saved those big old toenails all year to make this one!
Chris gave Leo a jar one Christmas that said “Toenails”. That jar sat in Leo’s office all year long collecting his art medium.


The last year (thus far) of the era of toenail art, Leo went all out. A whole beachscape – FIVE separate sculptures, with unbelievably intricate detail. THREE different species of crabs, beautiful beach reeds, and quite large (and very-uncomfortable-in-shoes-looking) palm leaves.


All of these beautiful creations can be seen in their curio cabinet in their living room.


My personal commentary: some of my friends who have happened to hear about the toenail art find it to be very strange. I’m not sure that I find it VERY strange.

Somewhat Strange? Ok, sure.

Unusual? Uh huh.

Unique? Obviously.

Creative? Definitely!

A great idea for laughs? for sure!

Cute and Romantic? Yes, I actually do think it is cute and romantic. I mean, think of how much Leo must have wanted to make that gold crab just perfect to let his toenails get that long!!

That’s love.

I personally love the sculptures. It is unique, personal, hilarious, and great conversation pieces! And, they really don’t gross me out (except maybe the earrings – being that they aren’t painted and lacquered, they are pretty toenail-like). Maybe it’s because I’ve always been hard to get to gross out, but hey – my opinion is, whatever keeps the romance alive, go for it!

…But Chris, please don’t start saving your boogers.


Editor’s note: Sequel posts to Toenail Art:
1. The Appraising of Toenail Art
2. Toenail Art Revenge – when my Husband made a piece of Toenail Art for Leo.