Shannon Fennell's Blog

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

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A new venture – Name Art

I am now taking commissions for one-of-a-kind hand created Name Art.  I find it very therapeutic to create these unique pieces and have a lot of fun coming up with the designs.

I set-up a Facebook business page yesterday for this new venture  Shannon Fennell Art. You can contact me about it via message from that page.

I can work on them at anytime and anywhere so it is a portable activity (and it fills the time spent sitting in waiting rooms.)

I can do work suitable for framing, postcards, invitations, birthday cards, announcements, certificates, gifts, signs… pretty much anything you might want a name done decoratively for.  And they can be shipped worldwide.

I use good quality artist’s paper and pens, felt pens, art markers, watercolour pens, pencil crayons, watercolour paints, pastels or a combination of more than one.  Depending on the theme certain methods are a better choice to create the desired results. If you would like the Name Art done in another medium contact me to discuss it as I may be able to tackle it!

I have decided on three levels/categories (I am still deciding on the terminology I want to use.)

The first category is “Freeform” in which the customer chooses one of six general themes:

  • Organic: will incorporate stylized forms of flowers, leaves, etc. in a flowing manner. See “Allison” for an example.
  • Sharp Edges: will incorporate angles, squares, and/or triangles, lines, etc.
  • Outer Space: will give the impression of stars, galaxies, planets, spaceships, etc., in a stylized manner.
  • Bubbles: will be predominately rounded shapes with shading, resembling bubbles.
  • Clouds: soft background giving the impression of clouds.
  • Swirls: Lots of swirls, curved lines, coils, flowing shapes.

And then they choose up to five colours to be used.  The rest is up to me – I start with the name based on the theme chosen, and the rest just happens!


The second level is “Specific Font/Letter Style” where the customer tells me the font or style of lettering they want used.  I can use a pre-existing font, copy something from a title, etc.  whatever is desired.  Again, they can choose up to five colours to be used.  The background will be done to highlight and compliment the font and name.  See “Colin” for an example of this level using a popular video game style of letter.

Specific Font

And the third category is “Fully Customized” where the customer tells me the font/lettering style and can specify the background and/or a border design, and/or the inclusion of a character or figure to be included in the design.  See “Justin” below for a sample of this level using a Star Wars like font and character as his choices.


Prices are based on size and complexity of the design.  If you would like more information on pricing check my Facebook page Shannon Fennell Art and message me for a price list.

If you are interested in something other than a name and with multiple words contact me to discuss.

All work is freehand – I don’t trace or transfer – so every single piece will be unique.

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A little rant about my pet peeves

Everyone has their own pet peeves.  I have several.  Um, actually, I have a lot depending on the day of the week or phase of the moon.  You know… the usual variables.

I am a list maker so I’m going to categorise some of mine by topic/theme.


WHY do people use fractions of items in recipes?

I’m not talking 1/4 teaspoon; I’m talking about 1/5 of an avocado for heaven’s sake! Who the hell would cut up an avocado to use only 1/5 of it?  Really?  You couldn’t manage to use ALL of it?

Or how about 1/2 a can of sweetened condensed milk?  I don’t know about you, but when I open one of those I only have one thing to make and what the heck am I supposed to do with the leftover half a can?

Or recipes that call for 3 egg yolks and 5 egg whites?  What’s up with that?  Either figure out how to use 5 egg yolks or cut it back to 3 egg whites.  How hard is that?

Or 1 tablespoon of diced onion?  Sure you can put the rest of the onion in the fridge or freezer to use later, but… I’d have just included the whole “small” onion in the recipe.

And for baking – why on earth would anyone want to use margarine?  BAKING… you know, sugar upon sugar, usually containing other sweets like chocolate and fruit… use butter or lard or shortening – REAL food.


Turn signals.  When did they become optional?  They are either not used at all or only turned on half-way through the turn.  I was under the impression they were for indicating your intention to turn, in advance.  Silly me.

Rolling stops.  A stop sign means STOP.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve just about been t-boned, or as a pedestrian, was just about clipped.  These same people complain and wail when they get a ticket for not stopping (a $275 ticket!)  My heart bleeds.

Tossing butts out the window. I can’t even describe the stupidity of this.  Given the fires we have had you would think anyone with a single brain cell would know how stupid this it, but, daily, I still see it happening.  That or flicking their ashes out the window instead of into an ashtray.

Make-Up Pricing

As a professional make-up artist I buy a lot of products.

Many “brands” buy their items from the same sources – private label companies.  You can order anything with your own name and logo on it: brushes, liner pencils, eye shadow, etc. You can buy their stock items or order custom colours or packaging. You then can create your own price point.

I recognize a lot of these products and the price variation is ridiculous.  Personally, I go with the lower prices on many items – price is no way to judge make-up quality.  It can be a factor (i.e. stuff made in China for example, which I try to avoid) but all being equal, I’ll go with price.

I was looking for individual/single false lashes – the store I was in had one store brand package left at about $8.  I asked the attendant if they had anymore.  She checked the drawer, but had none of that brand left.  So she went and checked two other brands… in the “designer” section… $20 for a Borghese package.  Keep in mind these are tiny individual fake eyelashes… why would I want to pay $12 more for the name brand?  So I just got the one package.

Things like moisturizers have a wide variety of pricing – essentially ALL contain the same ingredients, in slightly different proportions with different scents, etc. There is no point, in my opinion, in spending on the higher priced brands when a $10 or $20 brand will serve the same purpose.

Brushes are something that really annoy me.  I have literally HUNDREDS of brushes for face painting.  I refuse to buy face paint brand’s labelled brushes.  They source their brushes just like any other company would, and have them customed coloured and stamp their name on them.  If you look around an art/craft store you can find the same, and usually better, brushes.  I’ve also discovered sets of cake decorating brushes work excellently – a set of 7 for $14… can’t beat that.  Quality of brushes is often judged by price, particularly artist brushes, so this is often a “get what you pay for” item.

Trying to get a price without having to talk to a salesperson

I’m curious to find out what solar panels would cost to install on my house.  I just want a ballpark – I don’t really have any intention to do it in the short term.

Couldn’t find any pricing on the interwebs that could be figured out by a layperson.  I do NOT want to talk to a salesperson, I just want a general idea of costs.  So I filled out one of those “get a quote” things – that sends to local outlets (I used one before to get car insurance quotes – and didn’t have to talk to anyone.)  They keep contacting me wanting my phone number – I told them I prefer email.  I just want to know what the price range is and that I can answer questions by email.

Just give me an average cost for this city. Then I know what I need to aim for if I want to do it.  I know they want to push a sale, but I just want information.  I hate hard sales pitches.

Well, that made me feel better.  Here’s a photo of my clematis.

DSC02826 edited




Summer Beauty

My flowers are coming along nicely this summer.  My perennials are all back and transplants from this year are doing well.  The usual petunias are looking great and starting to put on some size.

In the Fall of 2014 I harvested hollyhock seeds from the flower beds of an old church – it had been converted to offices and I worked there at the time.  There were about six different colours and I collected seeds from all the plants, hoping for a variety.  Last year several plants grew, but stayed small and did not produce any blooms.  This year I have six good sized plants (and some smaller ones) and today I discovered my first bloom!

As far as I can tell only two of the plants have buds to this point.


My Prairie Mallows are prolific as always.  They are aggressive self-seeders so I remove a lot every year.  They really are pretty.


This bee thinks the Prairie Mallow are great too!


This patch of lilies started as one single plant in 2010 – I’ve started to divide them and plant in other parts of the beds.


These next two I need to research to find out what they are exactly – a friend gave me the plants out of her garden a month or so ago.  They are doing well!

My clematis are lush as usual, with the pots of petunias to complement them.


It is still early and the petunias in the beds will soon be spilling over the landscape ties.  I really love Wave Petunias.