Shannon Fennell's Blog

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

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Another month bites the dust

As I typed the title of this post Freddy Mercury started to sing in my head…


then Weird Al jumped in… oh! he’s gonna sit by you…


Pardon me while I try to channel Barry Manilow for a minute to clear them out.




Okay… think that cleared it.

Her name was Lola… she was a showgirl…


Oh, crap…

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[big sigh]

Well… my tooth abscess has not cleared up… I’m on my second course of TWO different antibiotics and it is still swollen and … well, icky.   I’ve got an appointment to have the tooth pulled for December 15th but that’s another three weeks… not sure I’ll make it.  But my dental coverage kicks in on the 1st so I may have to try to get an emergency appointment.  As it is I will be calling my dentist’s office again in the morning as I am on the last of the antibiotics.

The day-job has asked me to work fulltime – I was working three days a week.  Which is fine but I actually was liking the weekdays off!  It gave me a chance to work on my own business and run errands, make appointments.  But knowing there will be more, and guaranteed, income is great.

Do you realize it is a month until Christmas Eve?

I got one of my Christmas gift exchange gifts sent off yesterday.  I’m in two other exchanges but they haven’t given out the names yet…  I love participating in exchanges!  It is fun getting things together to send people… and it is fun getting surprises in the mail too!

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The economy must be on the upswing

I’m not sure how the rest of the world measures economic recovery but from my perspective it is looking excellent!

I’ve always had a solid client base in the oil & gas field and in forestry… but when the economy went nuts a couple of years ago I noticed that a lot of the smaller companies weren’t holding their events or if they were, they were scaled back and cut out the extras – like me.

But this year, they are all booking/booked.  And I’ve picked up several new clients in the same industries for their family events.

I am now booked solid until Christmas.

Today was a day off (I do have them occasionally) so I made a bank run, took my mukluks and both directors chairs to the shoemaker (all need some repair and re-stitching), did some Christmas shopping for several gift exchanges I am involved in this year (used a $25 gift certificate I won for a “stuff” store from Q99 – love that radio station!), checked out a candy store (very cool – lost of retro candy!) and a toy store then stopped at an art store that is having a moving sale to get some brushes.

Came out of the last store to a blizzard that lasted as long as it took me to get to my car parked down the street.  Then drove through three blocks of freezing rain, then back into a blizzard… by the time I got home it was up to -8C and blue sky so I cleared the driveway.

I was disappointed in the stuff store that I had the gift certificate for… a few friends had raved about it.  I was pleased to have won the gift certificate as I otherwise would not have bothered to check it out.  As I needed to get $20 gifts for a work gift exchange I picked up a couple of items after wandering around the whole place twice.  NOT cheap and IMO overpriced but with $25 off I was pleased enough.


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And the Christmas Parties are starting

Seems like Christmas parties are getting earlier every year.  I’m pretty sure it is because of the venues around town being booked up so people just book when they are available, which is November.  I’m booked for quite a few but still have a couple of open dates between now and Christmas Day.

I’ve got my first company party this Friday.  I’m not expecting any Christmas requests…

I have a sheet of Christmas/seasonal designs that I add to my boards/book at this time of year in addition to my usual display photos.  I use my Christmas themed Design Idea Sheet (you can purchase this laminated and use it too!)

I have extra copies on hand for jobs where I have a crew working so we can all refer to it when the kids are stumped for ideas… not sure why this happens and my display has about 140 images to look at and choose from… but there ya go.  Kids are weird.

The snow started yesterday.  Cleared my driveway and walk twice already… I’ve been attempting to get someone booked to clear it for us as I just can’t manage it.  Being outside with mom in the house for that long is a problem as I can’t hear her call, AND… I suffer.  Last night, after clearing it with a push shovel, I woke up with horrible cramps in my upper thighs from kicking the shovel up to knock the snow off.

Tonight I finally got a guy booked and prepaid for four clearings.  We call him when we want it done.  I will see how that works.

In honour of the upcoming season I thought I would share a design of mine.  First time I painted this was on Cat Finlayson-Wilkins at the UK Face & Body Painting Convention in 2007.  I re-did it as a step-by-step in 2009 with a bunch of others for a magazine, but sent the others without submitting this.

It is a cute design… I like it.  Similar to the very popular Rudolph design, but in Moose form (more common in my part of the country than flying reindeer.)  It works well with the nostrils being the moose’s nostrils, and the whole nose being his head.

And I am particularly impressed by how I incorporated my eyebrow as his ruffled fur and the wrinkles under my eye as fur texture…  damn I’m good.  🙂

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In Remembrance

My Grandfather, Lionel Everard Fennell, died in Italy in the Second World War.  He is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetary in Salerno, Italy.

He was a Staff Sergeant in the Canadian Army.  He was 33 years old.  He left a wife and two small sons back home in Vancouver, BC.

I also served.  I was in the Canadian Armed Forces, 12 (Vancouver) Service Battalion in the late 1970s.  I was in a peace time army and only served in Canada with forays into the USA for training/war games.

On general military training – I’m dead centre (thinnest I ever was)

I’m the one with Rosanne Roseannadana’s hair

Being presented a commendation for something… it was a long time ago, I don’t remember what for.

I feel close to my grandfather although we never met… he died 17 years before I was born.  But I like to think the fact that we both served our countries ties us together.


I haf a toof ake

I’m not a happy person right now.

I had a root canal back at the end of June… it was painful at the time, more than the other two root canals I had over a decade ago.  The dentist gave me a script for Tylenol 3 for pain, which I used.  It took a couple of weeks for the pain to go away.  The hot/cold sensitivity was gone and for several weeks I was pain-free.

Then in August I started having sporadic pain in the tooth… biting was occasionally painful.  I would wake up with the tooth aching – apparently I clench my teeth.

As September came and went the tooth became steadily painful and chewing was getting problematic.

I had purchased my own medical/dental coverage that was effective Sept 1, but the dental isn’t effective until Dec 1.  So I was trying to tough it out until December.

Most of October I was in continual pain and started making soft food for our meals – casseroles, mashed turnips or pumpkin, mashed potatoes and sausage, hash browns…

But… last Wednesday I realized that my gum was very swollen around the tooth, particularly on the front – this is my back bottom left molar.  In order to get a look at it I got a tiny flashlight and stuck my finger in my cheek to pull it away from the gum and angle the flashlight so I could see it.  As I pulled my cheek out… the swelling burst… YUCK!

Crap crap crap….  hot salt water rinse… repeat.

First thing Thursday morning I phoned my dentist and they fit me in right away.  So I headed over.  He gave me a prescription for Amoxicillin and wanted to send me to Edmonton for a consult on the root canal – there were only two roots and most people have three and he thought he may have missed one.  At the time he did it he really looked for a third, even consulted text books.

Seeing as I don’t have dental coverage at the moment I declined going for consult and asked why not just pull it?  He said to get the antibiotics and go back to see him again today.

So today I woke up in the worst pain yet.. earache and sinus pain as well as the tooth being so painful I can’t close my jaw…

Saw the dentist this afternoon… the swelling is more than it was and still icky.  He gave me a prescription for a different antibiotic, metronidazole, and additional amoxicillin… and if I can’t hold on until December he will extract it in pieces… fun.  The reason to wait is for the infection to clear up as freezing may not take with the abscess…

I am not into having a tooth pulled without being chemically numbed.

I already had an appointment for Dec for a cleaning and checkup so we added on the extraction to that appointment… if I can last that long.

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5 Alarm Project… Final Photos

I have now got copies of the final images from Don Zwicker’s 5 Alarm Photo Project photos.  Don sent me a bunch of other shots too that he didn’t choose to use.  Some are really great shots which I may share in a later post.  For now, here are the final shots. All Photograph Rights Reserved by Don Zwicker

First theme was “Scenic” – this was taken at Sulphur Gate near Grande Cache, Alberta.  I did the make-up, prosthetics and hair.

Second theme was “Romance” – shot at a local spa.  I painted the heart.

Third theme was “High Fashion” – shot at a local cell tower.  I designed and made the costume and accessories, and did the hair, make-up and special effects.

Fourth theme was “Horror” – shot in my backyard!  I did the monster make-up and hair.  I also made the head Frank is holding years ago for the play “Dracula”.

The fifth theme I wasn’t able to assist with due to scheduling – trying to get models, photographers, assistants, etc. all arrive at a location at the same time has got to be the biggest headache on the planet!  Here is Don’s shot for it:

Fifth theme was “Movie” – Don went with The Aviator.

So those are the five final photos that were part of the show at the Centre for Creative Arts a month ago.

I really enjoyed the whole project and collaborating with Don on it.  And am really happy with the final product and having possession of the images too!