Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

cold, contractors and christmas party

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What I wore to the party

Yesterday we painted at the largest corporate Christmas party I have booked every year.  It is for forestry giant’s local employees and is always a great (huge!) event. 

We go with three painters and the system they have devised for the line is fantastic!  I’ve done this event for…umm… maybe 7 years now, and last year the organizers came up with a system for the line. 

They have “dads” doing shifts with a roll of numbered tickets and a microphone.  The kids go get tickets when they arrive, and then go off and participate in all the many different activities available… then, the dads call 4-5 numbers at a time to come and get painted.  There are chairs for the waiting few to sit on, out of our way, and it moves along briskly!  

This year, for the first time, we finished ON TIME!  Usually we do at least 30 minutes overtime, sometimes an hour, to get everyone painted (which they pay for!) but this year was great! 

We are the most popular activity at the party – always have been.  And we are already booked for next year. 

There were fewer people than normal – but it was -44C out and the people with diesel trucks (which is most people here!) couldn’t get them running so some people didn’t make it.  And I noticed too that the babies and younger kids that usually were present, weren’t.  So I assumed parents decided it wasn’t worth taking a baby out in this sort of weather. 

It was soooo freakin’ cold… it burned!  Getting the RAV4 loaded and unloaded was really painful! 

I also “test drove” the Snazaroo Pro-Palette 54 at this gig.  I got it from another painter (we traded stuff!) as I had wanted to try one but didn’t see the need to buy one (wouldn’t fit in my kit for one thing!) 

It arrived Friday so I emptied it of the containers of paint it came with, washed the tray, then removed all the paints from their plastic containers and then spent three hours filling up the tray the way I wanted… adding in some extra colours (other brands!) and arranging them the way I wanted. 

Filled up MY WAY!

I have to say… I am not thrilled.  The plastic is flimsy – just lifting this up off the counter once I filled it cause it to break along the edge… and I lifted it up gently with both hands!  The stress of the amount of paint I added obviously is too much for it. 

It was too big to fit in my kit and I didn’t want to slide it into my trolley on its side as I was afraid it would break even more on pressure points. 

We ended up carrying it by itself, separately!  My two assistants used it for the job and then afterwards I asked them what they thought of it.   1) They liked having 54 colours in front of them 2) they didn’t like the small holes as it was really hard to load a sponge (they are used to using the 18ml cakes.) 

I laid it on the backseat to transport it… and the clear plastic lid kept slipping off! 

The cost of this style of Pro-Palette is $60 USD – and that is empty!  If you buy it filled (48 of the 2ml colours and 6 of the 30ml) it is $160 USD. 

I am VERY glad that I did not purchase this (for money!) … I will also not be using it for gigs.  It will stay in my studio and it will be handy (all those colours in one tray will take up less room on my table) and as I won’t be moving it around it may last for a while. 

It would be better if made of a heavier plastic or if it was filled with some sort of light stabilizing material in the back… and for $60 I think it should come that way. 

I have always used the Snazaroo Jumbo Palettes – the blue plastic trays that have 8 holes for the 18ml cakes.  And I really like them… 

They seem to be a heavier plastic –  but not sure if it is, it may just be because they are smaller and not under so much stress.  The jumbo palettes I am using are 8 years old – a couple of chips out of the corners, and a few small cracks, but they are still holding up great.  I load them up with all the brands I use and they are convenient AND fit perfectly in my toolbox. 

Oh yeah… the weather.  I mentioned it was -44C yesterday (did you know that -40C and -40F are the same?) and we have a “Wind Chill Warning” in effect – basically exposed skin will freeze in 5 minutes. 


The forecast is for this to continue through Wednesday… but based on our experience, these Arctic weather systems are really strong and always stick around longer than they say they will! 

And… update on the renovations.  The flooring is done!  And what we can see of it, it looks awesome… but we can’t see much of it yet. 

Today the contractors are starting to install all the new doors.  Then, they will do the base boards and crown moulding. 

They promised to have it all done… by Christmas!!  Please, please, please… 

This morning… the contractor hasn’t arrived (his crew is here working … crew = guy named Jerome) because his diesel is not starting… He will get here when he can get it warmed up and started. 

I had to get up at 6:30 to get the RAV4 out of the garage, so they could set up their tools again… and had to open the hood to try to find the block heater cord!  Luckily I remembered to look before opening the garage door!  I have never had to plug-in before with this RAV4.  Took some time to find it.  It was wrapped around something down inside –  and everything is black in there… don’t know why they don’t colour the cords so you can see it when you’re looking for it. 

I pulled it out and shut the hood then pulled out of the garage… OMG… IT WAS COLD!!!!  I had to then plug the cord into the extension cord (it is a special one for cold!) and into the house… but I could not get the plug all the way in… and it was too cold to stand there trying to force it in! 

I did put on my coat to do all this but was wearing my pyjamas and slippers – with socks!  But OMG… tomorrow I am getting dressed first and putting on all the winter gear! 

I am working this afternoon and have to park a couple blocks away… I will be wearing my snow suit, mukluks and will have no exposed skin!!


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