Shannon Fennell's Blog

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


But the brushes were on sale…

I’m adicted to brushes.  I can’t go into any art supply or craft store without buying brushes, even though I only stopped to see if they had [insert any product here except brushes]… this time I was looking for Punchinella (the waste strips from sequins) without any luck.

Unfortunately Michaels has American Painter brushes on for 40% off… oh dear.  I really didn’t NEED more brushes right now, but, well, they were on SALE!!

I bought two of each of #8, #6, #4, #2 rounds, #2 small liners (actually four of them), #2 script liners…

Seriously though, I need to cull my working kit’s brushes.  I have a bunch of #6 and 4s that are not performing properly anymore so to keep my aggravation levels down I need to switch them out for new brushes… but the kicker is that I already have a supply of new brushes on hand, I didn’t need more…

But they were on SALE!

BTW… does anyone have any copper punchinella????


A contest! Really? Yes, Really!!

I’ve decided to run a little contest in honour of me giving into the dark side and opening a business page on Facebook… I was very vocal about NOT ever ever ever joining Facebook.  What can I say, I caved  into pressure, the demon gin and tonic, and lots of nagging…

So to make amends to the universe I am going to give away a signed personalized (wow, are you thrilled or what?) copy of my book “Your Face or Mine” together with a copy of each of my Designs & Templates CDs,  Volume 1 & Volume 2, total retail value $45/CAD plus shipping and postage which will vary depending on what country the winner is in and whether Canada Post is on strike… you know, the usual.

Now… how can you win these fabulous (modesty is not my strong suit) prizes?

Step 1. Subscribe to my blog – it is easy.  Just check out the right side column and under that bald guy at the top there is a spot where you can enter your email to subscribe. That’s one entry.  If you would like TWO chances to win the draw, go to Step 2 for the “bonus entry.”

Step 2. BONUS ENTRY: Check out my Facebook business page and Like it (please, like me, really really like me….) That’s easy too.. just click on the link in the right side column to my Facebook page, then after you’ve been awed and amazed, post a comment on this post to let me know you Liked me, you really really liked me (sorry, I seem to be channeling Sally Field).  The comment has to be posted on this specific blog post to count.

That’s it.

If you already liked my FB page, just post a comment on here to let me know and you’ll be in the draw.  You have to let me know though or it won’t count.  All entrants must complete Step 1, Step 2 is optional.

None of the information provided will be shared with anyone for any reason.

The contest will be open until the August 31st at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Savings Time.  At that time a winner will be randomly chosen and notified (and asked to provide name and address so I can ship the prize to them, naturally.)  The winner will be announced on this blog, Facebook, my website, etc.

Please share the contest with your face painting friends and contacts!

P.S.  Those of you currently subscribed will be included in the draw!!  This time.

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What we did on our summer vacation

Are you ready for the slide show?  Grab a drink, sit back and enjoy… it won’t be as bad as your Aunt Muriel’s old style slide show of their six-week RV trip along the Trans Canada… in fact it isn’t really a slide show because I don’t know how to set them up, but I can post the photos!!  LOL

Due to mom’s stroke she is now hemiplegic (one side paralyzed) so, as flying in economy was out of the question for her, we went “Executive First”… the price when we booked was very low for first class… $1790 vs $799 for economy … we decided that the only way for us to get mom to the UK was in first class.  Since we were planning to stay with friends and visit instead of doing the expensive tourist thing we reasoned out that overall the cost of the trip wouldn’t be much different.  I checked the price again before we left and it was back up to around $7000!!  We must have booked during a sale or when the prices were still really low due to the economy.  In any case we rationalized it as mom needed the comfort and the trip was my 50th birthday present to myself.

As we started our trip in Grande Prairie we had to fly on a Dash-8 to Edmonton… no first class on a Dash-8.  And, as mom can’t walk up stairs she is coded as “CARRY ON”…. LOL that makes her a carry-on bag!!  ROTF

They strapped mom into a very narrow wheelchair with lots of straps and then two ground crew carried her up the steps of the plane, one at a time, then dragged her up the aisle (well, just to the second row – not the first because that is the emergency exit row) and I transferred her to her seat and buckled her in.

At Edmonton they had a “pope mobile” as they called it for unloading mom… they drove it up to the plane and then rolled her across the ramp into the little booth, and out the other side where the wheelchair and Air Canada staff person was waiting for her.

We had a several hour layover in Edmonton before our flight to London so our escort took us directly to the first class lounge… I like first class.  Free food, free drinks, free whatever you want!

And comfy chairs…

I should point out our luggage.  See those bags beside the chair?  The blue ones are ours – that’s all we had for both of us for over two weeks.  The grey bag was one we were returning to Anne & Jill as they left it behind on their last visit and all it had in it were things we were taking over to them – candy, books, etc.  So two carry-ons, three if you include mom!

We were sitting right over the departure gate for our flight, #56

When it was time to board one of the Air Canada agents came and got us (before they made any announcements) and wheeled mom down to the plane where they were waiting to carry her to her seat… there was enough room available to actually wheel the regular chair into the galley and since mom was in the very first middle seat I was able to transfer her right into her seat without her having to use the mini-chair.

The pods are really cool… you have your own touch screen tv, headphones, controls for the chair/bed, side table for drinks, tray table for meals, privacy… the only thing was the plane was HOT.  I ended up stripping down in the lavatory to a light cotton top… and I was still too hot.  Mom was fine.

On the flight over I was immediately behind mom… which was a bit awkward as with the privacy walls you can’t talk to each other… she’d wave her hand over the wall at me to get my attention, so I’d have to put my recliner down, put away the table, fold the tv away, unbuckle myself, get up and step forward to see what she wanted… TWICE, yes, TWO DIFFERENT times all she wanted to know was… WHAT WAS I WATCHING!?!?!?!??!?  ARGH!

On the way home we got the flight steward to see if the people at the front would change seats with us (we had #4 & 5 in the centre) as mom would be using the on-board wheelchair to get to the toilet several times and if we were at the front we wouldn’t disturb others.  The people were nice and we managed to get the centre front and right front which looked at each other… so I could see what mom wanted and sometimes hear her over the engines… sometimes.

They feed and water you constantly in first class… snacks, meals, drinks, more snacks, another meal… more drinks.  With a menu to choose from and all served on real dishes with real cutlery.

We arrived at Heathrow and had to wait to get off.  I won’t bore you with the details but the wheelchair assistance at Heathrow SUCKS!  It is a contract – not the airlines, a company has a contract to do ALL the wheelchair pushing.  And they are slow, park you in hallways and leave you there and complain about their jobs, and just plain awful.  A horrible experience.  And the airlines can do nothing about it… Long story short ….it took an hour and a half (even using the express lane at customs) to get from the plane to the main hall where Anne and Jill where waiting with their wheelchair for us.

At that point it was hugs all around then headed to Anne’s van for the drive to Plymouth.  We were on the A303 and the A30… drove right by Stonehenge (and on the way back too!)

We had a great relaxing vacation and visit… took several site seeing drives – out onto Dartmoor (didn’t see the Hound of The Baskervilles), all over Cornwall, over to Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park which was lovely, saw the Plymouth Museum, out to the Eden Project, to Looe, to Port Isaac, and to Par for lunch with some Cornish face painters on my actual birthday.  And several nice relaxing days just hanging about… and the weekend jaunt up to Gloucestershire (which is covered in my previous post about the Jam!)

On the day we took the drive to Port Issac we passed this old and picturesque Inn that served “Fresh Cream Teas All Day” so, of course, we had to stop… it was YUMMY!  The scones were fresh and hot from the oven with clotted cream, jam and tea.

The table with the umbrella is where we sat to have our cream tea.  The gardens were gorgeous and in bloom.

On my actual birthday we met up with a few of the Cornish face painters for lunch in Par (photo of the group is here). This is the remains of the cake Jenny’s daughter made for me… it was delicious!  I completely neglected to take a photo of it before demolishing it – it was beautifully decorated.

We went to Looe and mom had two ice cream cones and a Cornish pastie… which she really liked… a lot.  The shop where we stopped to have the pasties put all their pasties and pastries on sale at 5 p.m. for a pound each so Anne bought a bunch to take home and we had pasties for lunch another day… and mom gobbled hers up again!

The following photos are of Cornwall… please excuse the quality as I was taking them from the back seat of a moving van tearing up the road… and I have no idea exactly where or what I was taking photos of.  I just wanted to have photos showing the scenery and the unique things the British road system offers.  Like residential buildings right on the edge of the road, tunnels made out of trees, roundabouts, wrong way traffic….

Anne and Jill’s house is right on the waterfront – a development of townhouses and apartments as we would call them here – right beside the Tor Point Ferry slip.  We rode the ferry back and forth several times.

In this next photo you can see the top of Anne’s building just above the top of the ferry ramp at the far end of the ferry…  right about the roof of the car.

And my last photo … of the boats anchored near the ferry slip.

I completely forgot to take photos for most of this trip… which is a departure for me.  I usually would have hundreds of photos, but with having to push mom’s wheelchair and take care of her the camera was just left in the bag most of the time.  Anne took lots on her camera but forgot to give them to me on a flash drive before we left and I’m still waiting to get some via email.

We had a lovely time, really relaxing.  Mom did great, used her cane a lot and “walked” daily… her muscle tone in her weak leg improved massively with all the exercise.  Anne and Jill were superlative hostesses.

We started to plan their next visit over… a road trip through BC to Vancouver Island, Vancouver and points in between.  Probably 2013.  Time to start planning the itinerary!


Some recent work and vacation stories

As I’ve mentioned before (if you’ve been reading through my posts you would know that I have, of course, otherwise you wouldn’t know I’ve mentioned it before….) I rarely take photos while I’m working.  The only times I manage to end up with working photos of me or of work done in actual working conditions is when I have someone else with me to operate the camera.

While I was in the UK on vacation I had an opportunity to take some photos myself.  Anne and I spent a day painting on her patio, and then I got some photos of my Jam paintings I did for the fun competitions.

I have to say I had a great time at my first real Jam!  Got to check out other’s working kit set-ups which I don’t get to see often and play around with products and colours I don’t normally use.

First photos of stuff I painted on Anne’s patio.

This is a unicorn using a swipe of a rainbow cake for the mane…a very quick design.  Got the idea from someone on the US forum about using the split cake swiped for the mane.  Works really well.

Then Anne wanted me to paint a fairy… this what I came up with (heavy on the glitter!):

Then she wanted a one-stroke dragon… I showed her how I do them:

Then we had a discussion on how to do a fairy on the face… I winged it here (ha ha)… quite pleased with the design.  Anne wore it all day and out to dinner.

Then I took photos of the things I painted at the Jam in Gloucestershire.

First was The Stig challenge, which I won with this painting:

Not to be confused with my painting ON The Stig the night before at my birthday party – Some say… he came on the birthday cake:

Anne took a photo on her phone and emailed it to Top Gear on the spot… we haven`t heard anything from them.  Yet.

And another dragon, for the Dragon Challenge at the Jam – I won.  (I didn’t  win all the challenges, just two… There were challenges that I didn`t bother taking photos of cause I wasn’t happy with my paintings… no point in preserving something I wasn’t pleased with.)

This was my painting for the last challenge which was an Open Challenge – I did a western scene… it looked way better in person, lost something in the photo… Paintings on arms are frustrating to photograph!!

Here is one photo from the jam that is really priceless… Simon (Marshon on the UK FacePaintChat) painting flowers… awwwwww…

Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone!!!

It was wonderful to meet those that attended the workshop, my birthday party and the jam!!!  I had a great time and enjoyed it all immensely, so did mom.


I am now on Facebook

I know, I know… I was extremely vocal about NOT wanting to join Facebook.  I really was not interested in yet another site to monitor and update.  I am on multiple forums, have this blog, a website and other things that I work on daily already …. BUT… I was nagged into it by Anne. LOL

And I have been  noticing that many painters are no longer posting photos and other interesting things on the chats and forums but rather putting them on their Facebook pages.  Chats are getting full of comments about “saw that on your FB” or people saying they’ve put up photos on FB rather than on the chats or even on their webpages.  As I wasn’t on FB I couldn’t see anything unless the settings were wide open and public.  It was getting frustrating.

So, after spending two weeks staying with Anne in the UK, and the constant nagging, I finally set-up a business page on FB.  I’m still resisting setting up a personal one (for now as I should not put myself in another corner by saying never!)

I’ve added a link to my FB page on the right… check it out.  I’m still learning what I can do with it and figuring out how FB works so bear with me.  I still haven’t figured out how to “like” others… I hit the button but FB takes me to a sign in screen???

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Having a lovely time, glad I’m not there

We are almost finished our UK vacation… Having a great time seeing Cornwall and Devon, cream teas, fish & chips, face painting jams, lunches, presents and lots of visiting.  It is now Friday and we fly home on Sunday.  We’re going to drive up to Heathrow and stay at a hotel tomorrow night as traffic can be horrendous and we have to allow for the horrid wheelchair assistance (it took them almost an hour and a half to get us off the plane and through customs when we arrived!)

Here’s a photo from my birthday lunch in Par, Cornwall, this week

I’m in the middle in the purple top with the blue cheese sauce dripped all over it, mom is in the hat holding fresh made Cornish pasties in her lap  that were made by Sarah (the blonde standing on the right), my buddy Anne is standing on the left holding Bella, then Jenny and Mel, and Anne’s mom Jill is sitting beside me on the right.  It was a nice lunch visit with the Cornish face painters!!

On Tuesday Anne drove us to Port Issac which is the setting for the show Doc Martin… we drove through typical English country roads, then didn’t get out as there was no parking up top, so, Anne decided to drive DOWN the hill to the beach (the sign said that beach parking was closed so she interpreted that as there was access…) OMG, that was steep!  Then we were trapped on these teeny tiny streets full of tourists who would not get out of the way… well, they couldn’t as there wasn’t anywhere for them to go!  They were pressing up against buildings to allow us by!  We met other vehicles who had come down the opposite side so we were able to get around each other on the boat slip, and continue on up the hill on the other side!!

We decided to try to find an inn we had passed on the way there but the sat nav was trying to make us go the other way… I’ll post more about this when I can post the photos with it!!