Shannon Fennell's Blog

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


Leave a comment

Wearable Arts Show this Saturday

I have entered a work in a Wearable Arts Show this coming Saturday.  It is part of Alberta Arts Days and there are masses of events and activities happening all over the province this week.  That photography project I was working on with Don Zwicker is also part of this and his photos are going to be in the gallery at the Centre for Creative Arts where the show is so I’ll get to see the final photos!  And soon after have copies to post.

Back to my piece… since I am a body painter my art is going to be on my model not worn by her!  Amy, mom’s aide, is an excellent belly dancer and she is going to dance wearing … well… pretty much just glitter.  Should be blinding!

I’ve been building props and pieces of costume for the last few weeks, and sewing the bodyguards’ skirts, making sporrans, etc.  I really love contact cement… I’ve never used it before this summer but that stuff is great!

There is glitter everywhere and I’ve been testing things on myself.  Like… glueing beads up my arm with different types of adhesives to see which is the best/longest lasting.  Testing how liquid latex affects different grain sizes of glitter or different fabrics and ribbons.

Testing which works/looks better – gold metallic acrylic craft paint or gold dimensional fabric paint?  Which gold matches the glitter better?

Will the white latex need two coats, three coats or four coats to be opaque?  Will two layers and glitter be enough cover? Will the holographic glitter hold all day?  Will the gold glitter hold to the latex or should I use body glue?

Should I paint sandal straps or just leave the slip-ons as is?

I’m covered in glitter right now with ribbon glued to my right hand with latex… just to see how long it will hold before starting to lift.

I love coloured duct tape.

Fun foam is a b*tch to work with.  It doesn’t stick to anything… or, I guess I should say, nothing sticks to it!  I had to pre-treat where I wanted to glue things by applying a layer of white glue, use my finger to smooth it out and let it dry, THEN I could glue things to it and they held.  But the glue had to soak in to create a surface for stuff to stick to.  Even contact cement doesn’t work on fun foam.  Dries out and comes apart like crystallizing caramel.

As part of my props I wanted to add a creature… I had actually decided not to when I spotted the PERFECT size and shape in one at the dollar store!!  When I got home I noticed it was one of those “growing” things that you put in water and it get 7 times bigger, then shrinks as it dries out again… oops.  So, experiment time… is acrylic craft paint wet enough to cause swelling?  And if it does, will it shrink back overnight so I can add another coat?  Good news… it didn’t swell!  Got it painted, and then the wonderful contact cement worked great to apply it!

I had to submit music for our presentation.  It is 2 minutes long which is about a minute and a half longer than most of the other people… well… I’ve got a performance piece, costumes, a bit of acting and belly dancing…

I think Amy is going to be a hot photo-op.  There are several photographers that will be there and I’ve had a couple say they will come and make sure to get GOOD shots for me of the glitter… it is tricky to get good shots of glitter.  You need extra light sources.

Amy will be here around 8 on Saturday… then I have to sketch out the design, get her sealed up to hold things in position, then start applying glitter in stages, latex, glitter, latex, glitter, latex, glitter…. then do her body make-up as we want to bronze her up a bit, then her make-up, then transport me, Amy, Mom, Kenisha, repair kit, costumes for the bodyguards, over to the Centre for 3 p.m., then get the guys into costume and make-up (they don’t know about the make-up yet but they do know about the costumes) and do a final run through so the guys will know what they are doing.

I’m really looking forward to this.

Then next weekend is when Mad Moose Mayhem opens, that show I’m in… I have two rehearsals this week and really should be off-book, then I think three more next week… then… OMG… paying audience!!!!

I’m not describing my design… but… here’s a hint… She’s considered the  most beautiful woman in antiquity.


21 Comments

Okay people, time for another contest!

With Halloween and Christmas both fast approaching I think the prize for this contest will be my Design Idea Sheets for Halloween, Christmas and Boy Designs.  Three 8.5″ x 11″ laminated sheets each containing sixteen photos of designs I have painted and use on my own displays – that is a total of 48 designs!  The sheets can be used just for inspiration or you can use them for display as is if you choose.

Total Value is $22.50 CAD plus shipping anywhere in the world.

Deadline will be Friday, October 7th at 6 p.m. Mountain Time – that’s two weeks to enter.  And I will make the draw shortly after that using a random generator. That way you should have them in plenty of time to use the Halloween sheet for your Halloween themed events.

Now… what am I going to make you do to enter to win these? Hmmm…

I think this time these will be the entry requirements:

1.  Post a comment on THIS blog post telling me why you would like this prize.  It has to be on this particular post to count. That is one entry.

2. If you haven’t already subscribed to this blog (and you really should you know!) do so.  Only new subscribers will be included. That will be one entry.

3. If haven’t already LIKED me on Facebook, then go and do that, and then come back to this post and tell me you LIKED me on Facebook (I will verify it for the drawing.)  It is easy – I even put a button on the right to take you right there! That will be one entry.

You can enter just one way, or all three ways, or two ways or…  Maximum number of entries from one person would be three – if you aren’t already a subscriber to my blog and don’t like me, yet.

Here are samples of designs from the Christmas sheet (the photos on the sheets are not watermarked but my copyright notice is on the sheet at the bottom):

I have other design sheets with other themes available too. You can check them out here.  I probably will use them too for prizes in another contest… amongst other things.

So… get entering!!  There are only two weeks left!!!


Leave a comment

Last outdoor event of the year

I typed this post on Saturday night… late… then accidentally hit a couple of keys and it all vanished.  I was too tired to re-type it then.  So I am going to give it a shot again … and save repeatedly!!

Saturday was my last outdoor event of the season at the Wembley Demolition Derby.  It was windy… really really windy!  I’m still red with windburn… and I was covered, and layered, hat, two hoodies, sunglasses, one hand with plastic glove as I had cut through my thumb.

I backed my RAV4 right into the shelter they provided to give mom and I a bit of a wind break… wasn’t all that effective but I think it did help.  I set mom up right behind it and then angled the table in front of her, tied surveyors tape along the sides of the canopy to prevent side entry, and was able to store things in the car that I would usually leave out.  No point in having half my kit sailing away in a gust of wind.

As they hadn’t set-up the shelter and table and chairs in advance I was a little late being ready, but there was a lull to start with so there was no one waiting.  We overheard several people saying that they had arrived late as last year it was really late starting.

We were close enough to hear the crashes in the arena and the loud rock music… but not close enough that we had trouble hearing ourselves.

Once the line formed it stayed steady for the five hours we were booked for and ended up turning people away as we ran out of time.  Painting a lot of the usual… Bat masks, skulls, butterflies, kittens and Dalmatians, t-rex.  I had one new one – a little guy hopped into my chair and told me he wanted to be a pumpkin, his mom exclaimed, “I though you wanted the bat mask?”  He giggled, and said “Bat Pumpkin”… so I said, I can do that!  So I did a pumpkin as if I was going to create a jack’0-lantern, but then did a bat mask over the eyes.   It turned out really nice – he was thrilled.  Of course… no camera!  LOL I will have to recreate it for a Halloween post.

One thing that was a little annoying was an older teen boy coming up to us and wanting to use OUR water supply to wash the cotton candy off his hands… he wasn’t even in line for face painting… I replied with a flat “No, we are using it.”… Some people!

Started packing up when the organizer arrived to pay me, said to keep the second weekend of September open for them for next year!

On the way off the field I pulled up to the porta-potties and helped mom into one… she was pretty sure she couldn’t wait to get home.  It is a bit awkward… I couldn’t get inside with her so I had the door banging on my behind while I assisted mom, and then shut it while she took care of things.

After I got her back into the car I walked over to one of the vendors – the Elephant Ears – just in case they still had some… The very nice man said “I make you one” and went and got some dough from his truck and made me one right there on the spot.  They were in the process of packing up too.   When he handed it to me I attempted to pay him (I was giving him a $10 for his trouble) but he refused to take payment!  What a nice man!!

I took it back to the car and using my trashed plastic table-cloth to completely cover mom, I handed it to her and started to drive home.  I really shouldn’t admit this but, we ate it on the way home.

We got home just as mom’s new casual aide, Kenisha, arrived for work.  I had to get out to the conference centre for my 7 p.m. shift.  We were serving a gala event out there.

I got mom into the house and turned her over to Kenisha, then got changed and got most of my stuff out of the car and headed out to the TEC Centre.  They had just finished the hors d’oeuvre and it was time to set-up the line for the appetizer.  It was quite an operation… and we were a well oiled machine! 🙂 We finished a lot earlier than Chef had predicted too which was great as I was able to be home before midnight.

I completely crashed yesterday… I had planned to work on my Wearable Art Show props.  I did one thing to them… and will work on them more tomorrow as it is another day off.

When I got home tonight I had to quickly paint on Amy for a photo shoot she was heading off to for that project I’m working on with Don Zwicker. Kenisha arrived as we were finishing up.  Amy and I both left then for our separate things.

I attended an artists’ meeting tonight for the Wearable Art Show – just a briefing and a tour of the facility showing us where we will be getting ready and the access to the show area.  I forgot to take my flash drive of music that Amy had downloaded for us.  Now I have to drop it off tomorrow.

I also am still learning my lines for the show I am in, Mad Moose Mayhem – have rehearsal tomorrow night.  Show is Oct 7 & 8.

I feel a bit stretched at the moment…


1 Comment

I’m… so… tired…

September is traditionally a slow month for me make-up/face painting wise.  This year I’m booked to paint at the Wembley Demolition Derby on the 17th for five hours.  That was/is it for bookings so far.

I worked Sunday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday.  Not something I’m used to… been a long time since I stayed up that late.

On Monday afternoon I got a call from a photographer who was desperately looking for someone to do SFX make-up for a shoot that evening (the artist she had booked cancelled due to illness).  At the time of the call I was scrubbing the upstairs toilet… so I grabbed the phone from mom when it rang and took the call while scrubbing… have to love speaker phones!

As I couldn’t leave mom and it was very late on a statutory holiday, I told her I could do it as long as she came to me.  So she booked for 7 p.m.  She told me that I’d probably get another call from another photographer doing a shoot who had the same artist booked for that afternoon.

Shortly after the other photographer called.  They were on location with three models, and dogs, and hair stylist, at a local club and really needed someone to go to them.  I explained I wasn’t able to.  Also, it was a calendar shoot for the SPCA and was volunteer.  I said I was sorry but I couldn’t be there but they were welcome to come to me as I was not that far away and that I would discount my rate by 50% as it was a charity project if they wanted my help.  She thanked me and said they would keep looking as they really needed someone there.

A little later she called back to say they would take me up on my offer as they were not able to find anyone.  So they brought over the first model before her hair was done, then brought over the other two later after their hair was done.  All were glamour pin-up style make-ups.  I really am looking forward to seeing the calendar!

Then the other photog and model came and I “beat up” the model – black eyes, bruising, scratches, blood and boot prints.  The boot prints were my idea at the last-minute… she was a victim of domestic homicide so I thought she probably got stomped, so I grabbed my winter boots, dusted the bottom with black powder and pressed it onto her shirt and arms… it worked great!!

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings I attend rehearsals for Mad Moose Mayhem for a couple of hours so have to arrange care for mom.

I’ve been trying to get in touch with the gal who worked for us as a casual care aide for mom. She had gone home from College for the summer and had said she would be willing to come back to look after mom in the Fall.  College started last week so we were hoping to hear from her – I’ve sent email and left a message on her cell.  So far haven’t got a response.

If I don’t hear from her this weekend I’m going to have to post an ad to hire another casual aide for the evenings and weekends.

I was laid off  July 22nd from my full-time job.  I was applying and getting interviews for full-time jobs but wasn’t getting them, so decided to try part-time.  I started a part-time office job on Aug 19th which is usually three days a week.  It wasn’t enough to cover household expenses so I accepted another casual job at a conference centre as concession/kitchen staff (that’s where I was working on Sunday night).

I worked Tuesday to Friday at the office, and today and tomorrow at the conference centre.  Then M-W-F at the office next week, and Tuesday and Thursday at the conference centre, Saturday is five hours of face painting, then out to the conference centre for a gala until god knows when… The chef told me I could work as many hours as I want next week as they are prepping for a massive gala.

I’ve put a big X through the 18th… I’ll need a day of rest.


Leave a comment

Autumn Rambling

So, it is September.   Kids are back in school.  Leaves are turning colour.  Nights are cooler and damper.  Flowers are starting to die off and the rhubarb’s gone limp.

My shoulder is actually feeling better (KNOCK ON WOOD) however the entire arm has been aching since last night.  I think filing is dangerous.

I know, technically, it isn’t Fall until September 22 but around here the trees have been changing colour for about a month.  We had frost yesterday morning in the low parts of the lawn and on the stumps around the Viking grave in the backyard.  The air is getting that musty smell and the leaves are falling and blowing down the road.

As of September 1st we now have curbside pick-up for recycling… now I just have to remember to buy the transparent blue bags to put the recyclables in.  They’ll take everything except glass and styrofoam so I’ll still need to take that over to the Eco Centre.  And I want to take the refundables there as they are donated to local charities every month.

I spent today getting some cleaning done, vacuuming up and downstairs, laundry, washing up kit and putting away stuff from the photo shoots last week.  Still have to get the bathrooms done, but it is a long weekend…

I’m pondering things too…

Like, does ANYONE like the smell of Axe?  I loathe it, everyone I know loathes it… why is it still around?  It is the most gawdawful smelling stuff… there was a twit at work who would lock himself in the washroom at the bakery (it was the only bathroom we had on that side of the building) and spray it even after being told not to, repeatedly… it was to cover the smell of the pot he was smoking… not the, you know, other smells.  He was terminated when they figured that out BTW.

And, why do we shed so much hair?  I swear I sweep up enough of mom’s aide’s hair to stuff a sofa on a weekly basis… and she still has a lush head of it.  Her hair is long and dark so it is everywhere in the house trapping the dust bunnies… mom and I have very short hair so it isn’t so obvious.  I have to empty my vacuum EACH time I use it as the hair clogs up the canister.  And, I have to pull long strands out out the laundry when I unload the dryer… how the hell does her hair get woven through our underwear????????

And, where are those flies coming from?  Every afternoon for a week (up until last Thursday) at about 3 p.m. flies were appearing in the house – those ones with the shiny green bodies.  They were heading for the screens on the bay window and were slow and groggy enough that I killed every damn one of them – about 20 per day, sometimes just grabbing them in a tissue, sometimes with the fly swatter.  All were full of eggs so made a bit of a mess when I splatted them on the screens… WHERE were they coming from???

And, why did I put my white fuzzy bathroom mat in with the green door mats?  Now my bathroom mat is a light olive-green…

And, I wonder if I will get enough apples off my tree to make an apple pie?  There were 31 (three different varieties) but one got knocked off during the photo shoot, so there are still 30 on the tree… one branch is nice sized yellow apples, one appears to be red crab apples, and the third branch is a size between the other two and getting a bit red at the moment.   The other two branches haven’t produced any fruit yet.  This tree is a 5-in-1.  The yellow apples are on the third year, and the other two are first year.  I’m hoping next year we’ll get all five varieties.

And… why is that spider staring at me…