Saturday, July 26, 2014

Arr Matey! A Dead Man's Mani - Inspired by Messy Mansion

Happy Saturday! I hope ya'll are doing something fun later today. I am celebrating a friend's birthday on a yacht tonight, so I know I'll be having fun later. But onto the nail art!

So today I have a mani to show you that I absolutely love. A few months ago, I discovered an Australian company called, Messy Mansion, which sells nail art supplies such as stamping polishes, stamping plates, stamping tools, and a few other bits and baubles. When I discovered that the owner of Messy Mansion had come out with a pirate plate, I knew I had to have it. I loved Messy Mansion's original design so much, that I decided to replicate it.

Let's get 17th century.

The design itself is pretty straight forward. I started with a neutral beige base, and once that dried, did some background stamping in light gold using the map image. Finally, I used some black stamping polish from Konad to add the bigger images.

The shine from the gold and the matte look from the black stamping polish really stuck out to me. I liked the look of the different finishes so I decided to skip a topcoat all together (this is not matted). 

And now a random little fun fact about myself. I am also a rare coin collector! So the actual hobby is called numismatics which is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, and paper money (according to Wikipedia). Because I was wearing a pirate mani, it seemed fitting to pose with one of my pirate coins!

The coin you see above/below is called a Spanish real, pronounced REE-AL (specifically a 2 real). While it is not specifically a "pirate coin" (i.e. medallion from the Pirates of the Caribbean lol), coins of this type were the most common silver coin of late sixteenth and seventeenth century Spain. Hence, a lot of these have been found in shipwrecks dating back to that time. In the modern day and age, the real has become associated with pirates and all their misdeeds. Although this one is not from a shipwreck, it is over 200 years old and  a very cool piece of history.

And of course who can talk about pirate stuff without referencing the Pirate of the Caribbean movies? So in the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean movie (At World's End), the characters keep referencing the 9 "pieces of 8". So, what does that mean exactly? Well, back in ye olden days, the Spanish dollar was also known as an  eight-real coin or the piece of eight. But why do they call it a "piece" of 8?

Well, here's your answer.

Antiquity Period Designs can explain it a little better than I can:

"Early coins, valued by their weight and metal content rather than at 'face value', could be broken into pieces to make change. The Spanish milled dollar was known as a piece of 8 because it was worth 8 reales; the expression '2 bits' to mean a quarter of a dollar comes from breaking the milled dollar into 8 'bits. "

So an 8 real coin was a complete coin, that could be broken into 8 pieces. Therefore, the entire thing was worth "8". And a "piece" of 8 was literally a piece of a coin, which could potentially be broken into 8. And now you know!

Hope you enjoyed today's history lesson!

Like what you see? Check out my other designs on pinterest!

Charming Charlie - Taupetastic (base)
Maybelline - Bold Gold
BM 414 - Ship wheel
MM 37 -  pirate skull, small ship, small cross bones, compass



  1. Your nails are fabulous! I love the map stamped in gold - actually I like all the color selections. It's a very cool mani!

    Thanks for the coin history! I found it very interesting. I've heard the phrases all my life (pieces of 8, 2 bits) but had no idea as to their meaning. Nice to finally know! Hope you have/had fun at the party!

  2. Thanks so much! It's a fun plate to mess around with! And I am glad I didn't bore you with my coin facts!