Layla’s Flash Black, Plus Geocaching

I love  gimmick polishes.  Holos, duochromes, color shifting flakies, microglitter, glass flecks.  Basically, if it creates visual movement, I want it.  So of course I’ve been gobbling up holos left and right.  I was going to do a holo gradient but I just didn’t have the patience to make the finicky finish apply in an even transition between colors.  So here’s nothing but Layla’s Flash Black.

Flash Black 1

Layla’s Flash Black over Nfu Oh’s Aqua Base. No Hot Wheels this week because it was just too damn distracting.

Flash Black 2

Layla’s Flash Black over Nfu Oh’s Aqua Base.

Flash Black Gif

Layla’s Flash Black over Nfu Oh’s Aqua Base.

I knew I wanted to get photos in the sun, so I needed an excuse to get outside during the day.  I’ve been interested in geocaching, because it seems like a good low-cost way to get the kids outdoors.  If you’ve never heard of it, geocaching is a sort of real life treasure hunt using GPS locations of hidden items, or caches.  There are thousands of geocaches all over the world, and all you need is a GPS enabled device and a curious nature.  The idea is that you find the cache, record your visit in the log, perhaps swap out some items for the next person to find, and then log your find on the geocaching site so an ongoing record is kept of who found it.  I downloaded a geocaching app and decided to go out to see how well it worked.  I rarely find time to take a break but I was determined to get out and see the sun for once.

The app showed me a cache location in Piedmont Park, which is just about a block from where I work.  Perfect!

Midtown Atlanta

A view of Midtown Atlanta from the Piedmont Park area.

I put one headphone in my ear and listened to Jonsi and Alex’s Riceboy Sleeps.  Treasure hunting with this music in the background made me feel like I was playing a real world version of the game Myst.  Man, I loved that game.

I was on a mission, but of course, I had to pause and get a photo of my nails in the sun.

Holo Sun

Layla’s Flash Black in bright sunlight.

The iPhone app uses a combination of GPS and cell tower triangulation to locate you.  You can use your phone as a compass and it will swing the map around to show whether or not you’re going the right direction.  I can imagine that would be useful if you’re geocaching out in the wilderness, where there aren’t cross streets and signs.

Eventually my map led me to a lake in the middle of the park.  It was lovely.  I didn’t see the cache right away, although I knew from the description that it would be tiny.  Too tiny, in fact, to even keep a pen for the log.  I had to bring my own.  I’m not great at searching type games, so I knew my chances of finding it on my own were slim.

Piedmont Lake

A small lake at Piedmont Park. The cache was not on the dock.

The lake was just a bit smelly, in that green algae vegetation kind of way.  But the color was pretty.  I looked around the posts on the dock, since that’s where the GPS pin was located.  No dice.  I looked around the walkway that bordered the lake.  Still no dice.

Mustache Find

I was convinced this very proper stencil marked the cache location. Alas, it was not there.

Then I thought about my nails again.  Derp.

Holo Blur

Blurred photos show the intensity of the holo more realistically. For some reason sharp focus just disperses the effect that your eyes pick up just fine.

I finally checked the hint and it said it was underneath a block near a hardwood.  I checked all of the hardwoods in the area but found no blocks.  There was just one I couldn’t check, closest to the GPS marker, but a homeless man had set up camp and was sleeping.  I really didn’t feel like creeping around him.  You have to be aware of your surroundings when geocaching, and know when the risk of searching for the cache outweighs the reward.

This morning I decided to try another one.  The map showed me another geocache near the train station I travel through every day.  I decided to swing by and see if I could find it before work.  Once again I used the compass feature and it led me down around the block in a direction I’ve never gone, not in the four years I’ve worked here.  I came around the end of a small abandoned building with lovely wrought iron gate work out front, and there in front of me was a beautifully manicured little park.  I’ve worked about two blocks from this park all this time and never knew.  If nothing else, I can say that in 24 hours geocaching has gotten me out and motivated me to walk and it has shown me parts of this area I’d never seen before.

It’s a good thing I’ve got such a glass-half-full view on it, because I didn’t find this cache either.  I looked around quite a bit, underneath a lovely arbor and around the benches.  Once again I checked the hint and knew it would be here by this bench.  The hint instructed me to sit under the magnolia, the only one in the park, and look over my right shoulder.  I did so.  I saw nothing.  I crept back into the ivy and looked around a bit, but I was concerned about trampling through the bushes and getting my work clothes dirty.

Second Geocache

I know it was back there. I finally decided to check the hint and previous logs and I KNOW it was back there. But I didn’t want to climb through the ivy in my work clothes.

In the end I decided to just move along.  The geocaching entry also noted that the park is under observation and I was reluctant to have to explain myself to security.  Plus there was a lady sitting on the other side of the park who was giving me weird looks.  Probably because I was toting a rolling briefcase through the ivy.

Fountain 1

I enjoyed the lovely fountain in the park where the geocache was hidden.

I stood by the fountain for a moment, then made my way towards the other end of the park.  I found another water feature and was pretty pleased with my little morning diversion.  Amazing that I never knew any of this was here.

Fountain 2

I enjoyed this lovely water feature on my way in to work.

As I headed up the street towards work I passed a number of small eateries I hadn’t realized were so near, simply because I’ve made my walk all about speed and I never deviate from the shortest path between the train and my building.  I’m happy I gave myself a bit of extra time today to explore.

This weekend we’ll be taking the boys out to try to find a self-described “easy” geocache out in the suburbs near our home.  It was placed by a cub scout troop and it’s located at a nature preserve we’ve never visited before.  We may also participate in the “cache in, trash out” initiative where you bring a bag and pick up litter as you go.  I think there are lots of good lessons for the kids here, and it will be a good way to get outside and exercise.

Post Script: A quick note about my nails.  Typical of holos, the tips are already worn and chipped.  They were showing wear less than 24 hours after application.  I chalk this up to the fact that you can’t use a regular base coat or top coat with them.  They’re just more fragile and exposed.  Oh well, new mani tonight.


About Smapte

I crochet. I crochet a lot. My speciality is amigurumi dolls based on pop culture entertainment, such as LOST, Star Trek, Mad Men and Firefly. I also crochet beanie hats with food items on them such as pancakes, sushi, burgers, spaghetti, or whatever sounds hat-worthy. Visit me at or

Posted on May 25, 2012, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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