I’ve gone a little snowflake crazy this winter (and by “winter” I mean Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec… and it will continue until probably April…)

I’ve always done snowflake designs in the winter – when you have snow on the ground, typically, six months of the year it is a common motif.

I’ve usually done them freehand which can be a bit time-consuming, or done the cheater type with just flicks of the brush so they are more of a six pointed star.  This year I got smart – with inspiration from a friend (well, more like completely copied her idea with her help, I might add) I made stamps for snowflakes.

The actual reason for this was Frozen.

All of those little girls wanting “Frozen” or “Elsa” designs… which in face painting circles means a blue base and white swirls and snowflakes.  I was booked, back-to-back, in October for Frozen themed birthday parties… the snowflake stamp saved my life.


And we will NEVER mention “Olaf” again…. EVER!

My crew loves the snowflake stamps too!

Using the stamps also guarantees all snowflakes are PROPER snowflakes with SIX arms… not eight, not four, not ten… SIX!  As shown here in this gorgeous photo a friend and local photographer, Marilyn Grubb, took and captioned:


I got stuck in the rut myself when painting myself for jobs – it is just so easy.  Just vary the base colour, change the layout…





This is one of my winter masks with my “old” snowflakes – I’ve been doing it lots with the stamps instead.


And I have several different snowflake shapes – I just have the one in my stash that I paint myself with – I should probably change it out for some variety.






Yeah, I got that

Hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away.  Time flies when you’re busy.

We did the last Christmas party booking on Sunday – crew of four painters and one sanitization crew (that’s mom’s title to make her “official”).  Went well and I should be getting some photos from the organizer.

Got home, started coughing.  Long story short – home sick since Monday.  Really sick.  Can’t get out of bed or I’ll fall over sick.  Somebody get the Incredible Hulk off my chest because I can’t breathe sick.  Thought I was feeling better yesterday but was kept up most of the night by mom’s coughing, hacking and choking (I think I caught it from her – she’s starting week FOUR of it… or it could have been the dozen kids who have coughed in my face over the last few weekends.) I managed to sleep (once mom’s aide arrived I went back to bed) till noon but woke up feeling like death.

I am so glad that we managed to get through all the bookings before I got sick.  I have two weeks to get better before the next one.

It probably is just as well we haven’t left the house… it is pretty dangerous… we are surrounded…


by… SNOW SHARKS!!!!!!!

Also got the tree up with Alex’s (mom’s part time aide) help last week.  Here it is without lights…



And, with lights on…


The tree was originally pre-lit but all the wired on lights have died – it is ten years old.  We had added the blue lights years ago, and Alex and I added three new strings of white lights this year.  So 300 white lights added.  It looks really nice in the bay window.



December update… busy, busy, busy

I try to post at least a couple of times a month but this time of year is always an effort.  If I don’t plan ahead and schedule posts in advance it can be a few weeks before I get to it again.  Just too much going on.

Christmas party bookings start mid-November then run right up to Christmas up here.  Plus other bookings, theatre and the day-job keep me occupied.

I also had to hire a new full-time aide for mom – that is number six (yes, 6) this year for the full-time position.  Mom was really getting worried (crying about it) that people would think she was a horrible witch.  She isn’t.  First one left to start her own daycare, then the next agreed to work a shorter work week but only until summer, then decided to leave full-time earlier, replaced her with the part-time who took over full-time but she was only staying until August when she went off traveling with the boyfriend, next one seemed to be perfect, then after two months to the day gave notice due to health reasons (pre-existing), then the next one who when she took the position was walking to work moved to Clairmont without a vehicle or dependable ride – she quit at about a month and a half.  So then we hired the current one who seems to be working out well (after two weeks.)  She arrived here from New Brunswick on the Thursday, applied for the job Saturday evening, I contacted her, she came for an interview Sunday evening, and started on Monday.  Please please please… let this one stay for a good long time!

With the help of mom’s part-time aide, Alex, (who will have been with us a year in January!) we got the tree and minimum other stuff up this afternoon. This is really late to do this in our house.  But it almost didn’t get done as I am/was not in the mood to do it.  I had planned to attend auditions for a show today but it was rescheduled so we got the tree set up, I visited a friend in the hospital, got some groceries and then had to go to the theatre to do make-up for the show.

I had bought three new strings of lights (100 lights each!) to add to the tree this year.  Last year half the pre-wired on lights died so I needed to add more.  So Alex and I added all three new strings – it is really loaded up now!  Then we hung all our ornaments, I was telling Alex where they all came from and the stories about where we acquired some, etc.  We like to buy ornaments everywhere we travel so there are a lot of stories.  I’ve been to 25 different countries, mom to 24 (she hasn’t been to Belgium).  Didn’t realize how many until I counted them all up.  Oh… I think I missed a couple!  Might be closer to 26… I’ll have to check my list.

So here is the tree as it looks right now with the lights off.  Just a little tree on the bay window seat.


Looks like it will just be mom and I for Christmas – family who usually come for dinner moved to Edson so it is a bit too long a drive.  And friends who used to come got divorced and we’ve not kept in touch.  So, even though I’ve bought the turkey I’m not going to cook it for just mom and I.  Way too much food to deal with.  I might pick up one of those rolled turkey breasts just so we can have turkey.  It might actually be nice  not to spend two days prepping and cooking for a change.  I’ve been the Christmas cook for the family for, um, 30 years.  Every year.  Largest group was around 18, smallest was 5.

I’ve not even started my candy making.  I usually have it done and shipped off to friends by now.  I was sort of thinking I’d do some today, but ended up going out most of the afternoon.  I bought all the ingredients for everything – all sitting on the dining table… waiting for me to do something with them.

I’m going to be face painting on New Year’s Eve down at Muskoseepi Park for the First Footings Celebration.  First time I’ve worked on NYE.  I also have private appointments booked for Dec 31, Jan 1 & 2.

Then I will be doing the make-up for “House at Pooh Corner” at GPLT in January.  The last show of the run is a Sunday matinée, then on Monday is dress rehearsal for “Les Miserables”  which will be at the Douglas J. Cardinal Theatre at GPRC in February.

I’ll be face painting at Family Day at Muskoseepi Park with a crew and then again at the Timbits Jamboree the following weekend.

On November 9th my hot water tank decided to spew water in the basement… it was an $18 part in the overflow valve (the nice plumber who came replaced it, and charged $181)… I was left with a wet utility room and the hall outside the room.



Water soaked up the gyproc above the studs and out into the hallway, soaking the carpet and underlay.  I got everything dried out before the insurance adjuster showed up.  The carpet is dry but now stained brown.  She said she had booked a restoration company to come to assess the damage and estimate the costs, but it is now almost a month and no one has shown up.  I really want to put my basement back together.  No contents were damaged but the water made contact with interior and exterior walls.

I bought a nice poinsettia for my office at the day-job.  That’s it for my Christmas decorating at work.


Oh… during the next seven work days I will be doing shifts selling Cars For Christmas tickets at Prairie Mall.  This year Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau is one of the partner agencies in the lottery.  So if you are at the mall, we will be selling at the store (the old Buck or Two location across from Moxies)… they make great presents!!  I bought one myself the other day – and on the scratch portion I won $50!  So my ticket already paid for itself.

Well, that’s pretty much everything that’s been going on, and coming up.  I’ve got bookings tomorrow, Tuesday night and all next weekend for Christmas parties.  Here’s a shot of the face painting crew from one of the parties last weekend: Me, mom, Naomi and Joy. (You may recognize both Naomi and Joy – they model for me often.)

Encana Nov 29 crew



Halloween Update – Another contest winner!

One of my customers let me know today that he won Best Male Costume (at one club) and Sexiest Costume (at a different event)…

And he was wearing these…


6 inch heels!  And he wore them all night AND danced in them.  I couldn’t even stand in them!


My Annual Halloween Round-up

Another Halloween is over and done.  I am exhausted and so sore from standing and/or sitting for multiple hours over the last week.  This getting old thing really sucks.  Last night after a marathon 14 hours with only two 15 minute breaks, I had to take two Aleve and three Extra Strength Tylenol just to be able to sleep my legs and feet were so sore.

Then, after sleeping like the dead until the alarm went off this morning (as I had my first appointment at 8 a.m.), I awoke with my right arm completely numb… sigh… it isn’t completely back yet and it is after midnight now.

But enough about me… oh, wait… it is always about me.  Never-mind.

Here is a selection of work I’ve done over the last week or so for Halloween…

First, one of my regular customers – this year she won Scariest Costume at a local club!


And next a selection of Sugar Skulls and Skulls… the most popular request this year.  Last year was Zombies (remember? Check it out here to see last year’s photos), this year skulls.  I did quite a few more as well.

SugarSkull2014 Romneyskullblack Leachskull Skull2014

Then there were the kids… Frozen and Monster High top the list there!

Frozen1 MonsterHi2014

This next one was a first … My first bearded lady.


And the normal Halloween type stuff…

A Witch


A Face Peel…


A Creepy Jester…


The Joker… and some sort of Anime character he had on his phone (I have NO idea…)

Joker WTF 2014

And my only special effects requests this year.  They were dressing as “army zombies” (promised me a photo once they got into costume.)


This next was a mash-up – He called it The Angel of Death.


And this guy was hilarious… he wanted a Velociraptor so I narrowed the T-rex design and made sharper teeth. He seemed thrilled and was taking selfies of himself continually.  His friend was giggling about it.


And this was a copy of a design she found on the internet – pretty much exactly as that is what she wanted.


So that is some of what I’ve painted over the last week or so.

I also painted staff and Haunters at the Muskoseepi Halloween Spooktacular on the 25th, and at the Grande Prairie Museum’s “Stooks and Spooks” on the 29th – got my picture in the paper painting there (won’t get my hands on a copy till Monday.)




Tis the season

Ah, the smell of Halloween is in the air… rotting leaves, the hint of snow, burning leaves, the musty scent of winter clothes being pulled out…

Replacing the insoles in the winter boots… er… um… well, that isn’t all that pleasant.

Here are some ideas from my archives for Halloween.

Bats 2




I am, as they say, gobsmacked

This morning I checked my email, as I do every morning (as one does) and there was a message forwarded from my website contact page.  I assumed it would be an inquiry for a job as it usually is.

However… no, it started off:

Hi Shannon.
I was browsing the web and found your lovely blog.

Oh, how nice someone is complimenting me.  I do get message like this on occasion…  but then it continued

I am a face painter in the UK, I am currently building my online profile and was hoping you might be intersted in writing about me with a link to my site on your interesting blog! Here is a little onformation for you:

Um… er, what?  She goes on about herself and her upcoming tutorials and closed with

Thank you hope that’s OK and I’ll get in touch when I have started my tutorials.


Ah… right.  I don’t know who you are, I’ve never heard of you, never seen anything posted by you on Facebook anywhere that I know of, and yet you want ME to write about YOU and promote your currently non-existent tutorials to the world?

Did I miss something?

I checked her Facebook page – she only created it on September 14th of this year.  She has 16 likes.  Website is nicely done but pretty newish,  Work is mid-level – competent but nothing amazing or original.

What made her think I use my blog to promote random unknown painters and their search for fame and fortune?  This is my blog and, yes, it is about ME!

You would think that if she had looked at my “interesting blog” she might have noticed the type of content I post…

I share stuff, sure.  I do occasionally review new books, etc. but it isn’t done on someone’s request.  I chat about what I’ve been doing, show how I do it, post photos to share face and body painting work, theatre design and productions, bore you with  my everyday life and challenges, etc.

I have never used my blog to promote any products except those I actually use and like in context of really using them – like certain colours or brands of make-up, sponges, etc.

I drafted an email .. then deleted it.  I am not going to acknowledge her presumptuous request with a response.  If she happens to read my “lovely blog” again I think she’ll get the message.

I’m also curious if she’s been blasting this all over the place to other bloggers/face painters?  Is it a new approach to using social media that I’m missing?

I am still shaking my head over this one…


Here’s a picture so you have something nice to look at after reading my tirade – It’s time to get ready for Halloween!


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Shannon Fennell

Shannon Fennell

International Award Winnning Make-Up Artist, Face & Body Painter

I am a professional make-up artist with credits in film, television, theatre and editorial.  My face painting book YOUR FACE OR MINE was published in 2007 by Snazaroo USA Inc. is widely available worldwide and I offer a multitude of make-up related services and retail instructional products for face painters.

Some of my awards include 2005 International Face Painter of the Year, 2006 Winner of Fantasy Worldwide Face Painting Contest in Putte, Belgium, Second Place at the 2007 US Body Painting Festival, as well as over 50 other awards and prizes. 

I love creative projects and can do everything from wedding make-up to custom SFX appliances, large scale international sporting events to individual appointments at Halloween, birthday parties to trade shows.  No job too big or too small.


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