Monday, 18 August 2014

Diary of an International Nail Artist - Australia so far….

So I am currently in the land down under, and the first part of my tour is behind us, I have to say I have been super excited by the response here of the 'making trends work' class, it seems the Australasia Nail Techs love the quick, easy and oh so effect nail designs, and of course my super exciting solutions to productive nail art. Using the nail art pen, having fun with the pigments and the gel paints have saved us all a heap of time and effort.

I took the long flight from London to Perth landing mid morning giving me enough time for a brisk look around and some dinner before bed. Pia Williams a total scream and the girl who hosted this leg of the tour, greeted me at the gates with a little 'Perth' goodie bag and of course Tracey Boyle. It was great to see Tracey again in real life, it had been a whole year.  That said with the age of technology…Skype and FB means she is never too far away. She is the back bone of the tour, our Be Creative distributor here for Australia, Tracey manages to arrange every last detail of the trip, with the help of her nail fairies…..! I must not forget the 2 bottles of champagne and box of choccys left in our room from the girls! this trip is going to a good one I think.
 Thankfully the next day was a day off, and we got to see the sunny sites, apparently we where lucky….visiting the beach and a quick stop off at the shops to buy some light weight trousers (Tracey told me it was winter here and cold!!!!!) I was all set to be a tourist for the day. Nudist beach visits, and a $20 bill for water, I was wondering what else was in store, then Pia took us to Prison!!!!!!! really?
It was a blast, and the three of us 'bad girls' lasted until 9pm…flopping into bed exhausted. That's just how we roll.
Bad Girls 
 The first class of any tour is always slightly nerve racking, all the prep, pouring over lesson plans and thinking up the designs finally come to life in front of 15 eager nail techs expecting an awful lot….and there I am at the front of the class with a raging cold! Arghhhhhhhhhhh seriously? Voice was barely there , can you overdosed on honey and lemon?
I think I won them over, the designs where perfect and just as I promised, quick and effective, easy and enticing. You should have seen their faces when I gave them just 10 mins to practise the first design. Well why not…….you only get 10 mins in the salon to do all ten!

Perth Class
 Illness aside this was a great start to the tour and the next day we where flying out to Melbourne. But before we caught the flight we had a quick stop off at the Orly distributor…..and a 3 hour Orly class. Goodness I love my job.
Orly Perth
 Landing in Melbourne was quite a shock from the heat we had enjoyed in Perth, cold and wet we where collected by Australia's own Tess Hellier, we where both eternally grateful, thank you. It was late and we needed our beds, well past 9pm after all. Starving hungry, I was so happy to see a beautiful platter of cheeses and fruit, thank you Sue Hollands…it was very welcome…along with the bottle of wine or 2. How did you know? I am loving the way each hotel room has Sam Biddle goodies in the room…I think I might send out a list before every tip….no blue m&m please!!!!!
Thank you Sue Holland
So day 2 kicked off bang at 9am, we had 9 nails to cover after all and had to be out of the hall by 4pm to catch our next flight. Now I am going to be honest with you here, I was not overly impressed with Melbourne last year, but this year made up for it, every one on the class was so welcoming and excited about the designs and the applications. I so enjoyed the Melbourne nail crew, and made a mental note to come back for longer next time, after all I need to visit that neighbours set, now that my secrets out.  So some of you might have seen the whole 'gathering in a circle' exercise I do at the end of the day….and you know what…I am not going to explain my self, you want to find out what we are doing, your just going to have to book onto a class with me. Trust me you will giggle. 
Thankfully we where travelling back in time, so when we landed in Brisbane, it wasn't too late, time was on our side, but food was limited on our journey from Melbourne and as I am on this paleo eating regime… is not so easy to grab my self a bite when travelling, never fear though….I know Rebecca Manz would come to by rescue. Literally every time I see her she feeds me with some tasty goodies. I have a feeling I bring our her maternal instinct? Having spent two whole days cooking,  she presented me with the best home cooked dish ever, pork and sweet potato….Oh my I could have kissed her….but thought that might have been too weird. Restored….we had a another couple of glasses (bottles) of pink….what is going on I seem to have a reputation I can't shake!  Bed and what should have been bright and early for a mammoth day and a half of teaching……but with a frantic knocking on the door by Rebecca…it seemed jet lag finally caught up with us. Its amazing how quick you can get ready in the morning when motivated!

Brisbane was the smallest class and a great respite, loved the girls here, loud and chatty they where beautifully relaxing. I also had another Orly evening class, where we chatted gel polish and saved the nail world.

I think the next day was the worst part of the whole trip, with a 4am start we headed out to the airport in the dark….checked in for the first flight and raced to the gate….and waited….and waited….and waited. …..apparently the plane had a maintenance issue….what! Change of plane please….forget about fixing it! 5 hours later I took these whilst sitting on the plane for a further 40 minutes whilst they decided if they could sign the paper work….all the while Tracey was snoozing in the back! Guess who was chirpy and chatty when we eventually landed in New Zealand. Damn that was half a days sight seeing stolen from me!

Penny from Monaco nails  is our Be Creative Distributor in New Zealand, and she certainly did us proud, the weather was a let down, but I will let that pass, as she made up for it with a selection of Paleo goodies including CAKES, and the best room of the trip. A double bed each, electric blanket!!!!!!!yes ELECTRIC BLANKETS! OMG its cold here, and did I mention the stack of Paleo goodies.
Penny thought of everything
I am not going to go on about the food….but Penny did put in a lot of effort with her restaurant selection….no menu re arranging necessary, thank you I am very grateful. 
The biggest class yet, it seemed the seats where filling up right until the last minute, with the very last one taken up the night before. 21 is bigger than I like, but New Zealand apparently don't get too many internationals visit, in fact I think Penny is the first to bring one out, those New Zealand girls are starved and hungry for everything nail related. The class was amazing, those Kiwi techs know their stuff, the practise sessions although quick where timed perfectly.

Because of the big class Tracey and Penny also helped out with the practise sessions, so everyone had someone to help them if needed, Tracey was banned from watching the demo's….she could have quoted them word for word after listening to me in four different city's….she kept stealing my punch lines!!!!! She was tied up with a gag at the back and was only let out to play when the girls had practical sessions. We had a beautiful day touring Auckland and then playing nails before catching our flight back to Sydney…big sigh! end of round one.

So here I am in Sydney, preparing for the second part of the tour, we have a intensive design class for 2 days in Sydney CBD, totally different from the first leg workshops, which will include some salon designs…maybe a little more advanced, 3D and fantasy and some extra special treats. It is always going to be a class packed with nails and very little down time….so those attending be prepared to work your arses off. You will defiantly get your moneys worth when you come on a Sam Biddle class.

Working out the details of part 2
Then it is the Expo….to be asked to be head Judge each year is such an honour, and work along side Tracey who organises the whole competition. Working with the other international judges and my friends is going to be great this year. Leah Light from new Zealand, MaeLing Parrish, USA, Alisha Romano, USA and Jai Harvey, Australia.  We also have Alex Fox, Editor of Scratch UK, Scratch United Arab Emirates and Organiser for Nail Olympia for the last 10 years, joining us.  This competition is now Nail Olympia Australia's and is an exciting time for the competition circuit here in Australia, watch this space.
I shall be back with the send part of this diary entry, when I am home in the UK…..keep looking out for the photo's popping up on Facebook in the mean time.

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