Jamberry Nail Wraps: My Honest Review (including the disappointing part…)

Jamberry Nail Wraps: My Honest Review (including the disappointing part…)

Several weeks ago my facebook feed began to display images of fingernails. Friends around the country were enthusing about Jamberry – a US nail company about to launch in NZ.

As someone suffering the consequences of a childhood spent nail biting, my interest was piqued. I paint my nails from time to time and once even had acrylic nails. But these days I would never pay money to have my nails “done” at a salon. My polish usually chips within a day or two leaving me with messy nails that I then have to patch up or start again. I also hate waiting for nail polish to dry. Impatient personality = smeary nails. These Jamberry nail wraps seemed appealing – no drying time, no smudges or mess, lots of cool designs. Could they possibly redeem my weak, peeling, bendy nails in a cheaper and less smelly way than a salon manicure?  I found a consultant-to-be and requested my own sample. Here’s what I received from generous consultant, Louise, based in Christchurch:

Jamberry Sample CardJamberry encourages customers to take the “Seven Day Challenge,” applying a Jamberry nail wrap to one or more nails and painting the rest with your favourite nail polish. You then compare how well the two products withstand your daily life during the 7 days.

The wrap were quite easy to apply, needing a heat source to activate the adhesive (hairdryer is suggested), scissors, cuticle stick and nail file. The instructions warned that the wraps wouldn’t adhere well to cuticles and so I dutifully pushed my neglected ones back. The wraps flapped around a bit in the hairdryer and stuck to the tweezers I was using to hold them which was a bit awkward.  But in the end I really liked the way they looked on my nails! Really, really liked them – so much that I joined the fans posting images on facebook!

They lasted brilliantly compared to the nail polish I chose. Admittedly, that polish was cheap ol’ LA Colors brand so I’m not sure how much of a competition it was. I’m curious to try Jamberry’s own nail lacquer for comparison. I failed to take a picture on day 1 but below is an image of how my nails looked after 5 days. (2 coats of polish + a top coat vs the Jamberry wraps)

12068633_10153732369477835_2698358929506579725_oJamberry suggests that the wraps should last up to two weeks on fingers. After about ten days three of the samples had started lifting a little at the cuticle edge and sides. They still looked great and felt secure but my hair got caught in them when I tied it up. This bothered me a little.  I was able to reheat and stick them back down (youtube has hundreds of tutorials on this and every aspect of Jamberry nails!). One of the samples, however, lasted through 17 days of laundry, gardening, dishes, scrubbing the shower etc without coming unstuck at all. I was impressed. I went online and made a wishlist. I booked two parties. I started spreading the word!

Since then I have applied Jamberry samples to several other friend’s nails and am getting better at it. While Jamberry would love you to believe that it’s a quick job, I have found that it pays off to apply them carefully – with a good amount of heat and pressure. (While I haven’t actually timed it, I estimate that the Jamberries would be quicker than applying 2 coats of traditional nail polish and a top coat). There are lots of tutorials with different application methods using plastic bags, wheat bags etc but I couldn’t be bothered with such complexity! The hair dryer worked well although I can see that a Jamberry mini heater would be great for times when a quieter heat source is desirable! Another useful item was a plastic (rubber?) cuticle pusher which I bought at the Warehouse for about $2. This helped the wraps stick on really well. Jamberry include them as part of the application pack that you can buy.

I’m now on day seven of my second 7 Day Challenge and there is no sign that the Jamberries are shifting at all! I’m looking forward to moving on from samples and ordering several full sets now that I’m convinced of their quality.


However, in the midst of all this positivity I can’t help but feel that Jamberry is not making it easy for NZ customers to actually get hold of their product! Jamberry is a direct marketing company and the products are ordered online, through a consultant’s website and then shipped to the customer. This is where my disappointment kicks in. The shipping is a whopping great NZ$10.95 on orders less than NZ$72.99.  One sheet of wraps costs NZ$24. Shipping therefore adds 45% to the cost of a single sheet of wraps! Jamberry actively promotes their ongoing “Buy 3 Get 1 Free” offer which sees four sheets of wraps cost NZ$72 and is definitely better value.  But even then, a customer is still looking at adding nearly NZ$11 to ship their order. To qualify for free shipping you have to place a rather substantial NZ$216 order all at once! Personally, I think this is a real obstacle for people wanting to try them out.

I am currently putting together a bulk order in the hope that I  can help friends and family avoid the crazy shipping costs. This involves a bit of inconvenience – collecting money and distributing the wraps once they arrive. Customers should not have to act as “distributors” in order to save on shipping, nor should consultants, who are acting as marketers for the company, have to absorb these costs themselves in order to sell the product. I intend to take advantage of  B3G1 but the price of shipping means I am unlikely to “top up” with an extra sheet or two later on. I doubt I’ll buy any more until I am ready for another bulk order – in a year? Two years? Jamberry needs to revisit their shipping strategy if they are serious about repeat customers which will be vital in a smaller population market like NZ.

Shipping issues aside, I do love Jamberry nail wraps! They are durable, easy to apply and above all, beautiful! It’s amazing how a little bit of pretty can brighten my day! There are more than 300 different designs with something to suit many tastes and contexts – from the office to weddings – geometrics, florals, chevrons, solid colours, French tips, themed wraps…

1538904_10102694044425385_5359314908447413276_nMy 10 and 12 year old daughters love them, too, and have added most of the available designs to my wish list! They are both currently sporting 11 day old samples which are still stuck firmly on. At this age, they are ok with having their cuticles pushed back a bit for application. I’m not sure how that would go with younger girls but Jamberry do have a gorgeous range of Jamberry Juniors sized for girls 9 and under.  I’m hoping that there will be some young, hip girls to try them out at my home party!

Alicia, my wonderful Dunedin based Jamberry consultant, is doing an outstanding job of answering my questions, running fun, interactive parties (both in home and online), providing samples and promoting these great products as she launches her Jamberry business. I appreciate her positive, upbeat style, authenticity and honesty.  All the best with Jamberry, Alicia!

Now, as for me, I should try to tone down my Jamberry enthusiasm! Perhaps back to posting photos of children and birthday cakes…


Feedback needed!


There has been some interest in the little spend-save-give wallet I made Aila and I’m feeling quite inspired to incorporate them into Funfair’s humble offerings. I need some feedback, though on the type of closure to use or whether it even needs one!

So if  you would like to win one of these little “money skills” wallets for kids please pop over to Funfair on facebook and add your feedback to the examples in this album. 🙂 I’ll randomly draw a “liker” or “commenter” tomorrow night and make them a custom little wallet.









Aila wanted to do some sewing over the weekend. She loves old fashioned, whimsical things and imagined herself with needle and thread and quilting hoop gazing dreamily out the window. So we set out to make a “yo-yo” and predictably the reality was much more like “aw, Mum, it’s come unthreaded again!” (stomp, stomp) But she persevered and chose some additional fabric from the stash, including some very darling pink “Baby Heart” Fabric by Leicen that our Japanese friend, Maki had gifted a while ago.  I then set about making a wee wallet for her incorporating her yo-yo.


It has three zippered sections on the inside labelled “give,” “save,” and “spend.” This is how we encourage the girls to manage their pocket money.


The labels were my first attempt to print directly onto fabric myself using freezer paper as a stabilizer. I definitely need to fine tune this method (any hints? The fabric and paper buckled every time) but it was a good exercise in being thankful for a husband who is very patient and did not get phased when it actually looked like I had completely broken the printer.




Freya is next in line for a “give/save/spend” wallet. I’m wondering about making some for Funfair. Tell me, do you give your kids pocket money? Is this a system that you would encourage them to use?


Hi Again!


I’m in awe of people who write blogs – people who have relevant and insightful thoughts that they find the time to publish in cyberspace.  People who not only experience and engage with their families and communities but who have a gift for describing and interpreting their experiences in a way that is useful for building others up.  Regularly.  Consistently.  I think it’s fairly obvious from the fact that my last entry on this blog was two and a half years ago (!) that consistency is not one of my strengths.  I’d love to be able to confidently declare here and now that I shall, from now on, most definitely, “blog” relevantly, insightfully and consistently. But I can’t. So instead, I shall just share with you my latest little sewing project!

Nathan and I are currently taking turns attending a CAP Money Course. CAP (Christians Against Poverty) are a UK based charity which aims to give people tools to gain control of their money so they are able to give, save and spend according to their values and avoid (or climb out of) unmanageable, crippling debt. I particularly like that the course is built on the foundations of contentment and of good stewardship – being satisfied wherever we find ourselves and using the resources entrusted to us responsibly.

Anyway… one of the strategies of the CAP Money Course is very simple: Use cash. Initially, I thought this meant “avoid credit cards” but what is actually being encouraged is handling real cash – the way our mothers and grandmothers used to. Nathan’s 90 year old grandmother recalls allocating differing amounts of money to labelled baking powder tins as a way of keeping track of how much she had to spend on various necessities. For sure, when we lived in Japan 10 years ago we also did something similar. Every month we drew out one whole salary and divided it up among brown labelled envelopes which we kept on top of our fridge (what were we thinking??) Reflecting on this method I felt inspired to try something similar again here which is a little out of the ordinary in eft-pos majority NZ. I knew from experimenting with this last week that keeping one lump sum of cash in my wallet was too confusing and that brown paper envelopes were sure to get swallowed up with the latest (or last year’s) school permission slip or worse! What I needed this time was something, well…pretty.

This is what I came up with…


I made this “Cash Envelope Wallet” entirely from bits and pieces in my stash choosing sturdy table cloth, bark cloth and bedspread fabric for the sake of durability.

It has six separate zippered pockets to which I allocated six different categories, labelled with a sharpie on a replaceable fabric strip.





I lined each pocket to make it more durable but that does add a little bulk so I’m still undecided about whether I’ll do that next time.


There are also some compartments for all those credit and eftpos loyalty cards and a larger back pocket with pen holder.



It is held shut with an elastic loop and vintage button.



I took much inspiration from the many American crafters who make these kinds of wallets for the Dave Ramsey system but I made a few changes to suit a NZ context. Many of the US wallets had multiple compartments with no fastening and only one zippered pouch. I felt that with our $2 and $1 currency being coinage it was important to be able to keep change separately in the relevant envelope. I did alternate the zippered openings, though, to spread the bulk evenly.



This size easily accommodates NZ$5 to $50 notes. (I figured it would be a very rare occasion that I would carry around a $100 note!)

It was a really fun (if time-consuming) project and I can see how this will help me keep track of money more easily than my previous “swipe and pray” approach. I like how I can allocate things like swimming money for the kids each week and keep it aside rather than guessing whether or not the power bill has eaten that part of our budget! I like, too, that I can keep cards like my “Onecard” and “New World Coupon Saver” in the “Groceries” pouch which makes it much more likely that I will locate it at the right time rather than find it on the floor of the car after leaving the supermarket. (Someone refer me to a basic “stuff management” course next, please.)

It was a nice break from sewing clothes, actually and I’m wondering about writing a tutorial. Hmm…that could be a new challenge.

A lovely part of this project is that I’m sure Nana will heartily approve. I can’t wait to show her.


Photo Shoot


A friend stopped by today with her two lovely daughters which prompted a spontaneous photo shoot! Here are some of my favourite pics. The dresses are all available to be purchased here.

My Trial Separation From Facebook


My relationship with facebook is on rocky ground. What started as an innocent flirtation has morphed into something compelling and consuming. So. I have initiated a trial separation. It had to be me to make the first move. Facebook didn’t want to budge. Oh no. Facebook wasn’t going anywhere. The trouble was, until last Tuesday, neither was I. Our laptop sits open on the dining room table, connected and signed in, all day. And all those “quick checks” were adding up. They were adding up to a lot of unwashed dishes, a lot of unvaccumed carpet and a lot of last minute dashes to the supermarket at 5:30 because I had no idea what was for dinner. The problem was, facebook is interesting. I loved to know that my old school friend now living overseas had a new job; that the lovely-girl-I-worked-with-in-Japan also had a daughter called Freya; that so-and-so had posted a fascinating article about infant sleep controversies. Hit “like.” Hit “repost.” “Add comment.” Then, there was also the worrying stuff. A friend’s teenage son. Not so sure about all those “like” notifications coming through from his profile. Should I be worried about this? Did this require some kind of response? Somehow all this information seemed important. It demanded my attention and my attention, desperate for something new and exciting to focus on was only too happy to oblige. It all seems harmless enough, I know. Any for many I’m sure it is. But I, like a lot of people, struggle with moderation. That interesting article would stay in my mind and I would mull it over, hash it out, think-think-think about it for hours until it had sapped enough energy to render me useless for the actual, right-in-front-of-me issues, the realities of my little life. Stuff like talking to my husband. Some people can casually glance through an article and shelve it. Not me. I need to engage. I feel obliged to comment. And there’s only so much stuff that I can engage with.

I know this blog is called “funfaircrafts” and perhaps you have stumbled upon it expecting to read something about upcycled clothing or similar. Bear with me. Funfair is another casualty of my facebook relationship. One fabulous aspect of the great wide world of cyberspace I have discovered to my delight is that there are people out there just like me! I can spend hours discovering the blogs of other vintage fashion lovers, eco crafters, lacey doily collectors who are all just…so…inspiring! (and on facebook). So I decided to make a page for funfair. This seemed the way to go. Much quicker than blogging all the time and with a potentially much larger audience in a shorter space of time. Page made. Photos uploaded. Invitations (somewhat sheepishly) sent. Now to wait. A few minutes passed. A notification arrived! Someone had responded to my invitation and they “liked” me. They LIKED me! Soon complete strangers “liked” me. I double checked. No – we didn’t have any mutual friends!! Whee!! Must. Keep. Posting. It wasn’t long before I had discovered many other WAHM’s facebook pages. People making and selling really beautiful clothing. Creations more beautiful than mine. And cheaper! Oh my goodness! How did they do this so cheap? Why hadn’t I thought of that design? Then the dilemma: “if I hit “like” it’s going to show on my friend’s feeds that I “like” this other person’s page and then my “friend” might buy their stuff instead of mine but I really want to keep an eye on what they are making and where they are selling it.” Honestly, it was just getting ridiculous! Everytime an image of a ruffled nappy cover appeared on my newsfeed I would feel intimidated. I was becoming aware that my confidence in my own unique creativity was waning. (And I don’t even make ruffled nappy covers!) It’s not only moderation that I struggle with. It’s also comparing myself with others. The “business network” side to facebook was providing me with the perfect context to compare funfair, become discouraged and lose focus.

The worst part though, is this. I would get up early in the morning to spend time with God. It’s my favourite part of the day – the early morning, before anyone else is up and about. It feels almost sacred and I find my clearest thoughts and most feverent prayers in that time-space. But as I would sit down at the computer to do my Bible study (have been working through some excellent ones online) I would inevitably end up on facebook! The minutes would pass until I heard some little body stirring upstairs at which point I would hurriedly answer a couple of questions, throw up a quick prayer and start on the porridge. Throughout the day I was becoming aware of this phenomena emerging: Some event would transpire. Something like, say, ricies being spilt all over the floor. I looked for the next opportunity to update my facebook status and wait expectantly for my friends to respond. If something was on my mind I would put it on facebook and enjoy the “instant peer support” that seemed to follow. Facebook was becoming a kind of counsellor for me. Not good.

The thing is, in writing this post it’s difficult to decide which tense to use. The struggle for “moderation” makes me hesitant to cry “divorce.” It would be much easier, in a way, to say “no more facebook” than to tiptoe back and attempt a less wholehearted embrace. I do think there are things that we may need to totally eliminate from our lives. The danger comes when we allow that to make us feel safe and superior and when abstaining from certain things starts to define us. So I have to say that I’m not sure yet, whether or not facebook and I will get back together or whether our separation is permanent. I do feel that I need a little longer to straighten out my priorities. A few more sacred mornings. A few more hours spent with the precious people who are part of my here and now. A few more evenings spent on funfair without worrying about how my crafty peers are going about reinforcing the knees on boys pants.

In the meantime, please don’t be offended if I don’t comment on your facebook photos or join that group you have suggested. In the meantime find me here.

Treasure Hunting In Melbourne and Surrounds


My 1 week in Australia last month included a whole 3 ½ hours in Melbourne before heading out to Bendigo to spend as much time as possible snuggling my newborn nephew and two lovely nieces.
Fortunately, good advice from a Melbourne-born friend saw me head straight to the Fitzroy area of town – vintage/retro/handmade heaven!

First stop was the Rose Street Market – “Australia’s Premier Art and Design Market” where I wandered around and around and around again (just because I could – no kids with me – wheeeeee!)

Having borrowed a sensible grown up kind of bag from Steph and suddenly “needing” one of my very own I pounced on cybertart’s stall, a veritable candy store of modern illustrations turned into wearable art of the carrying kind. Melbourne designed, Melbourne made. The range of bag sizes and styles and choice of illustrations left me literally not able to decide! I had to go for a coffee (several times) before I finally decided on “Alice in her party dress” in a larger messenger bag style. A cool feature of these bags is the zip off illustrated panel. Yup, you can collect ‘em all and zip ‘em on according to your mood. So happy to have a sensible grown up bag of my own!

My other very very favourite stall was “Retro Print Revival.” Check out these amazing lamps made with stunning vintage/retro fabric. Ooooooh, the Holly Hobby one!

After the market I dashed up Brunswick Street, popping in and out of the many design and vintage stores along the street. Hunter Gatherer (274 Brunswick Street) is an initiative of the Brotherhood of St Lawrence and had a fabulous range of reasonably priced vintage pieces.

Somewhere between an op shop and a high end vintage store the carefully selected range of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing eliminates the need for rifling through racks of discarded pilled polar-fleece numbers to find a retro treasure. I picked up lovely orange wool cardy, as new – obviously “meant to be!”

Power walking on up the street I was so excited to stumble upon the legendary “Meet Me At Mikes” and browse for a few minutes. Looooved this Raggedy Ann and Andy clock!

The fun and games continued once I reached the Bendigo area and I have to mention the amazing Empire Line (upstairs 67 Vincent Street, Daylesford) again with an impressive array of retro treasures – clothing, accessories, and memorabilia.

The town has a number of design stores, especially with an eco focus where you’ll find everyday goods crafted creatively from all manner of materials such as recycled wooden chopsticks and car tyres.

Bendigo itself is home to bob boutique, Amazing Adventures in the Land of Bob, a weeny store with rather random opening hours and an excellent selection of “quality, cute and kooky, quaint and quirky products” – one off, limited edition and handmade.

I’ll finish now with a photo of the main reason for my happy travels, the gorgeous Wynton Alec Oldfield with proud Aunty Rach modelling the above mentioned orange cardy.

I still look good holding a newborn, no?

Fuel Breakfast Church’s Amazing Craft Fair


Well, am home from the Craft Fair, have unpacked, oggled at the lovely new things I received in “swaps,” found out that predictably my float doesn’t balance (can you believe I wanted to be an accountant when I was 12?) and now I just have to have a wee rave about how generous the folks involved with Fuel Breakfast Church are. Oh wow. Firstly, the table cost was just $10 (including the table!). That’s pretty darn reasonable and with the organisers just wanting to cover costs, intending any surplus to go to the TEAR Fund Christmas appeal, I thought that in itself was noble and lovely. But did it end there? No! The information sheet for vendors said “tea, coffee and light refreshments provided” which I took to mean, provided for “sale.” However, lunchtime came and every vendor was brought an individual plate full of delectable goodies for free! I tried to consume mine as delicately as possible behind my purple cork board of hair ties. Then orders were taken for the promised tea and coffee which was also dutifully delivered to us. Throughout the day the organisers mingled and I was asked “how’s the day going for you?” “is there anything you need right now?” OK, I thought. These people are cool. As Machiko remarked “usually by this time in the market I’m freezing and hungry, let alone having food and drink brought to me!”

A steady stream of the community from Fairfield and surrounds came through the doors. Enough people to create a lively atmosphere but not too many so as to be overwhelming. Each person left with a gourmet handmade truffle, tastefully wrapped, with a gift card which read “Here’s something Jesus said. ‘My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.'” Ha! That’s it! I knew Jesus had to be in on this somehow. I hold him in pretty high regard myself and I’m sure that this is the kind of event that he’d get involved with. Infact I can imagine Jesus slaving away until some late hour rolling truffles, just like Lucy and Sarah last night. He’s that kind of servant. The Fuel Breakfast Church people seem to be the “servie” types, too. I quizzed Lucy about the church’s intent in hosting this kind of event. After all, there was no sermon or altar call, so what was it all about? “We just wanted to do something for the community,” she said, “and provide a reasonably priced context for local crafters to sell their wares leading up to Christmas.” Apparently, being a “breakfast church” they’re a bit different (read “kid friendly”) so the market was an opportunity to let the community know about the church. Lucy says “My son Xavier has a muffin in his hand the whole time (during church)! There’s usually kids making noise and we welcome them. We tend to be quite interactive in our service, spending time talking in smaller groups about the topic for the day.” Sounds awesome!

I’ll finish my wee appreciative rave here and leave you with a couple of pics. A biiiiiiiig thank you to all those involved in organising the fair!

FunFair's wee stall with Lion-Man in foreground!

A humble headband for this gorgeous Bambi journal! Thanks Lara!

A humble headband for this gorgeous Bambi journal! Thanks Lara!

scrappykea.blogspot.com My favourite page!

Recent Happenings…


Hi there
It’s been quite some time since I updated the blog! Just thought I’d post some pics of stuff we’ve been up to in our family recently…

Miss A turned 4!

Miss A turned 4!

She requested a hedgehog cake!

She requested a hedgehog cake!

I upcycled a couple of jersies into this hoodie for Master F

I upcycled a couple of jersies into this hoodie for Master F

Miss F made these invites for her birthday tea party coming up soon!

Miss F made these invites for her birthday tea party coming up soon!

New cute and comfy hand felted room shoes from machikoniimi.com

New cute and comfy hand felted room shoes from machikoniimi.com

I made this top out of a tablecloth today

I made this top out of a tablecloth today

Possibly my favourite ever op shop find! An amazing bedspread for $1!

Possibly my favourite ever op shop find! An amazing bedspread for $1!

Here's a detail of the bedspread

Here's a detail of the bedspread

Looking forward to Craftfix tonight. I’m hoping to get some more shirt dresses underway!

FunFair at the Horizons Craft Show This Weekend!


Again, another belated blog post but I have been super busy getting ready for the Craft Show this weekend. It’s to be held at the Edgar Centre here in Dunedin on Sat 11 and Sun 12 of July from 10am to 4pm both days. Come along and drop by the stall. I’ll be sharing with the talented Jesseme of Lulabelle and Rebecca from Here It Is.

Here’s a wee preview of what you’ll find from FunFair…

I’ll have new “reversible wrap snap” dresses
Some great new pants of the ever popular “wide cuff” variety
Load of bibs
Oodles of headbands
A special offer on skirts
Arm warmers for grown ups

…and a new style “something” for summer 2009!