Shannon Fennell's Blog

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

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Playing catch-up

Sorry I’ve not posted as often as usual this month.  This has to be the longest gap I’ve had from post to post.  It has been quite a hectic month with lots of change, stress and time commitments.

First off was finding a new aide for mom.  The great one we hired in September to replace Amy had to quit due to medical reasons without notice, so there was a scramble to find a new full-time aide.  Luckily we found one and she is great!  She started on the 13th.  Our casual aide stepped in to cover some days and extra time while we got that all sorted out.

Secondly, my last day the old day-job was October 30th (the owner died in August and the heirs decided to shut down and turn over the property management to a management company) and I had to find another as, unfortunately, my market isn’t big enough to support my make-up business full-time and we have developed a fondness for groceries and heat.  I hadn’t secured a job as of the end of October so I was, as they say, “between jobs” for two weeks.  I’ve been  sending out resumes since we first found out about the company closing in early October.  I’ve had half a dozen interviews from about 35 resumes sent out.  And… only two of the places I interviewed at (to-date) have bothered to contact me post interview – one to say they chose someone else, the other to offer me a job…

I have several different skill sets and will work where there is work so… I am at Wal-Mart in Household Chemicals (that is paper towels, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.)  I was hired as part-time but will be working full-time hours starting next week.  Talk about busy!  Whew.  The Zellers here closed permanently on November 12th, and Target won’t be open until next Spring, so all those shoppers are now at Wal-Mart.

Thirdly, I’ve had lots of gigs this month.  I taught a full-day workshop for cosmetology teachers for their professional development day on November 12th.  It was a demonstration of theatrical, sfx and face painting and based on the returned class survey forms they all really enjoyed it.  I was also hired to paint “auction girls” for the local Festival of Trees gala.  There was a company Christmas party last Saturday with a crew of three painters which went very well, and the usual collection of birthday parties interspersed.  And a make-up test for CATS.

I took photos at the rehearsal of CATS – I painted one with face paint and one with cream make-up.  The cream make-up won the sweat test (which was expected) and the face paint failed big time.  There may be SOME cast that we can use face paint but I am not inclined to use it as it will look different and I want to have consistency to the look of the make-up.  Here are some shots of the rehearsal – you can see the make-up on two of the cast (face paint on the big guy and cream on the gal).

Fourthly, trying to get my Christmas baking done and get gifts packed up and shipped out!  I’m in some gift exchanges as well as the usual family stuff so have to get things out.  OMG… I just realized I missed the international deadline… D*MN.  The US deadline is December 10th which is what I was worrying about… but I completely forgot about the UK deadline.  [sigh] Well, it isn’t like the parcels get there by Christmas anyway… one year it didn’t get there until March 16th.

When I got in the car on Sunday to head out to a birthday I noticed a milestone on the odometer… I don’t often notice when I hit round numbers!  LOL  Oh and this was still in my HEATED garage… outside was more along the lines of MINUS 14C.

I painted myself up for the corporate Christmas party last weekend.  I used Grimas as the base and Wolfe white… the yellow wasn’t so obvious in person!

This snake I did really fast, maybe two minutes?  It was at the Christmas party and the boy had one of the other painters do a dragon on his other arm and wanted “something” that could fight the dragon… he was naming creatures from Harry Potter so I thought of big snakes… so I did this.  He was very happy.

One of the birthday parties I worked had a Madagascar 3 theme – only two of the girls asked for characters.  I had printed off some images to take for reference as I haven’t seen any of the movies, so I did have something to refer to – although the characters all had extreme expressions in the pictures I printed and I had to try to figure out things a bit.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out.

I was also very impressed with the cake – the mom had made cupcake “hamburgers” and sugar cookie “fries” which were absolutely perfect!  I took a couple of photos before I started painting… they really are the cutest and most realistic I’ve seen!

And here is the birthday lion with her burgers!

So that was my November.  I’ll try to stay on top of things in December… things should be a bit more normal and routine now that things have settled down.

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In Remembrance

A week today is Remembrance Day which falls on a Sunday this year.  I noticed that the poppies seemed to be out a lot earlier than I remember them being before.  The news anchors and politicians were all wearing them before Halloween.  As a child I seem to remember that they weren’t out until after Halloween.

The poppies are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to raise funds for veterans.  The bins are out at stores and other locations and you donate what you can and take one.  Apparently they raise $16 million from the poppy sales each year which averages out to less than 50 cents per person in Canada.

Now is the time to buy your poppy and wear it to honour the fallen, the surviving veterans and those in active service.

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Business Tips for Face Painters, Body Artists and Make-Up Artists #11 – Insurance

November 1st means it is time for the eleventh excerpt from my e-book The Business of Face Painting.  Of course, if you would like to get all the information included in my book right now you can find out how here.

The Business of Face Painting was published in September of 2009 and I am working on the final stages of the companion book The Art of Face Painting which we hope to have out sometime this year.

Protecting yourself and your family assests is something a business person must consider.  If you are in business and dealing with the public you are at risk of a claim against you for a variety of reasons.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Six of  The Business of Face Painting.



If you are planning to face paint as a business you should have personal liability insurance for your business.  This protects you against any claims made by others against you or your business for things such as damage caused by you or your staff (like stains on carpet, etc.) or for claims of personal damages such as reactions to products.  Not all insurance policies are the same so do a little research.

Decide what you need for coverage, how much you want to pay and then shop around to see what is available.  Personal liability coverage protects your personal assets and those of your family against claims made against your business operations.  If you do not have insurance there is the worst case possibility that you could be bankrupted should someone make a claim against you for damages and they win a court case.

Some painters feel that having liability insurance is not necessary, but, I personally believe that if you are dealing with the public and accepting payment for your services that you are putting yourself at risk so you need to protect yourself.  Once you have made the decision to start your business you need to think like a business person and protecting your personal assets from business claims is a major issue.

You can also insure your kit and equipment against theft and loss.  In most cases kit insurance has a deductible of $500 to $1000 so it is really to cover the complete loss of your kit due to theft or accident as replacing individual items is considerably less than the deductible.  But having your kit insured is worthwhile if you are transporting a large amount of supplies and equipment as it does not take much to make up $1000 worth of face paint and brushes – if someone picked up your kit box and walked away with it the cost to replace could easily be more than the deductible.

The cost of getting liability insurance is not excessive – $150 a year and up depending on the amount of coverage you want or need.

Some homeowners’ policies will let you add home based businesses to your coverage, make sure to inquire as sometimes operating a business in your home may invalidate all or a portion of your coverage if you don’t let your insurer know.

What are the risks you need insurance for?  Here are some examples:

  • Damage caused by you or your staff or equipment – such as spilling paint on a client’s white rugs or leaving water rings on wooden furniture or damage caused by your vehicle to lawns or structures…
  • Reactions to products applied by you onto people – rashes, itching, scarring in extreme cases.   Not usual, but possible…
  • Injury caused by you or your equipment – say you accidentally poke someone in the eye with a brush, a small child grabs the edge of your table and it topples over on them, your mirror breaks and cuts someone…
  • Claims against you or your staff for inappropriate behaviour…
  • Theft of your kit or loss in an accident or fire…

… these are possibilities that people could claim you are responsible for and your insurance should cover you for any legitimate claims and fight those that are not valid on your behalf.

Some large events and companies require you to produce a “certificate of insurance” for their event/organization.  This is a certificate that your insurance company issues naming the particular event as being covered under your liability insurance.  It provides proof that you have insurance and that the event has been specifically noted for any claims that might arise.

Insurance is a business cost and therefore a legitimate business expense for tax purposes so please cover your business and your personal assets against the risks.

© Shannon Fennell, 2009

with material from “Designs and Templates Volume 1” © November 2007

and “Designs and Templates Volume 2” © March 2008