Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Ah, Halloween, my favorite holiday.

We were so busy this year with so many things that we actually skipped our annual Holiday party and instead made other plans.

I did, however, face paint at my usual Halloween gig, the Bergen County Cabbage Night Festival.  I love this event, and it's great for the kids.

My first model of the day was this adorable girl who wanted something scary and settled on an alien.

She was hanging around as I set up my table, and was the only one around, but once I painted her I was swamped for even longer than my scheduled three hours.

Some more girls who were into the scary faces (my personal favorites) were this zombie, vampire, and witch.

Some weren't into face painting, but were sure into the theme.  A new design for me that was hugely popular this year was my haunted house scene.  I did some on hands, some on faces.

And my first vampire hand painting.  I'm used to turning people into vampires, more than drawing them.  Still, a fair representation, I think.

And of course I had my usual butterflies, tigers, puppies, and this cute cheetah.

Plus, my first ever rocket request, which I then duplicated on this young man's brother.

This next design was a heck of a compromise.  The model wanted a flower, just a simple flower.  Her mom was pushing for a mardi gras mask.  So I suggested a flowered mardi gras mask!

Then there were these three teens who were so cool.  The first one saw the length of my line and chose to keep things moving for me, even though she'd waited for nearly two hours herself.  She requested just a cat nose and whiskers.  The second dubbed herself a comic book geek and requested a superhero mask, which was voted by the three as the "best superhero mask she'd ever gotten" and "sick" (a good thing in teenspeak).  The third wanted nerd glasses, tape and all.

I was so crazy busy painting, that I actually handed them my phone to take photos of each other for me!  I love how they all got into character with their paintings.

While that afternoon I was a Renaissance wench,

later that night, my husband Eric and I went to Forest of Fear, a haunt organized by the same group that does the NY Renaissance Festival across the street from the Faire grounds.  For that, I went as a zombie Alice in Wonderland, and Eric wore this terrific mask we bought him in New Orleans, with a black velvet cloak.

Today, I went trick or treating wtih my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.  My nephew, for his first Halloween, was Curious George, my brothe-in-law was the Man in the Yellow Hat, and my sister was the bunch of balloons in the sky.  I was a clown.

We do have one more Halloween event - we're going to Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor next Saturday.  I'll let you know how it was!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Crazy Weekend

Wow, it was a busy weekend!

On Saturday afternoon, I face painted for four hours at a Hemophila Rock Benefit in Clark, NJ, while two of my friends did airbrish tattoos, glitter tattoos, and yet more face painting.  We were so swamped and had such long lines, I couldn't get any photos at all.

On Sunday, I got up at 5:30 in the morning to be in Parsippany, NJ for the Heart Walk by 7:30 a.m.  Party City sponsored the face painting there, and I was working from 8 - 11:30 a.m.  Although I had a steady stream of models, I did manage to get in a few photos, like this creepy face, the hippo, and the bumblebee.


Then I went straight to a birthday party in Little Ferry, NJ.  It was a first birthday with a barnyard theme, and the mom did a great job with decorating.  The tables all had red and white checked tablecloths, and the balloons were black and white cow print and red.  Each kid got a straw hat and a cow print vest.  They didn't quite stick to the theme with face painting, young and old alike.  The painting theme for the party was primarily hand art.

As a result, I got to do this puppy and ladybug:

My very first full-body tiger:

Wow, working sideways, I didn't realize quite how big his head was.  And also my first ever whale request.  This one I love!

I think it's adorable, if I do say so myself!

Glen Rock Street Fair

Last weekend, I painted at the Glen Rock street fair.  We were actually allowed to share a booth between this business and our handmade soap (etc.) business, Reef Botanicals.  It really saved us on the cost of the booth.

I let Eric and our friend Kerry deal with the soap (and line managing for me), while I handled the face painting and temporary tattoos.

Holy crow, was I swamped!  From the beginning at 11 a.m. to after the end of the fair at 4 p.m., I painted and tattooed my littl heart out.  Because of that, I only had time for one photo, a dalmation, which by her dad's request, did not include the tongue I usually do on my puppies.

My back was really sore at the end of the day, but boy was it fun!  I love being busy like that.

I did notice an interesting but very smart thing that happened.  Throughout the day, it was all about the face painting and people generally ignored the temporary tattoos.  However, starting about an hour before the fair closed, parents started encouraging their kids to get glitter tattoos because they'd have to "wash the face paint off in three hours anyway."  The tattoos, though, last a few days, potentially up to a week.  Brilliant!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Glitter Tat Party

I was the guest of a 10-year-old and her 15 friends at their sleepover birthday party tonight.  She was dead set on having glitter tattoos at her party, and glitter tattoos I provided.  Like these.


Henna Flowers



Irish Sugar Skull

And some were getting in gear for Halloween, kids after my own heart.

Skull & Crossbones

Candy Corn

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids Need Leadership

I'll start by saying I'm not a parent.  I don't pretend to be able to tell you all how to do your job.  In fact, I watch my nephew just one day a week, and I see how hard it is, how tiring, and how wonderful - and he's only 8 months old!  He's not even running around yet, or talking.

So I get it, and I won't pretend to know more than you parents.

I do notice things, though. 

I consider my area as a face painter to be a "good manners" zone.  When I tell kids to refrain from leaning on my table, I expect them to listen.  I completely understand them forgetting, and know how tempting it is to lean - I'm a leaner myself.  So I'm not worried about those kids.  But I've had the occasional event where the kids set out to disobey, and purposely shake my table, which is a light aluminum camping table, just to be contrary.

I've seen kids try to cut in line and shove other kids around, and I'll quickly let them know that no one who misbehaves is eligible to be painted.

I tell kids who curse that they need to stop or they won't get painted.

My space, my rules.  And I refuse to reward bad behavior.

Apparently, despite my inexperience, I'm doing things right.  According to this article, parents really do need to be the boss.  I personally see that as extending to all adults in authority - teachers, coaches, and yes, face painters.  No, I'm not about to take over your job.  And I'm not about to tell you you're doing it wrong.  But the author of this article does seem to have some good thoughts on the subject.  The blog in general is a useful resource.  Hope it helps someone out there reading this.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Beautiful Day for a Birthday

This past Saturday, I painted at a joint birthday for two siblings, one 4 and one 8, who shared a birthday. They actually have four other siblings!  (More power to their parents!)

The family was great, and there were a ton of people there, attending in the park in Newark.  As I pulled up and parked my car, the dad and grandma setting up accidentally let go the bunch of balloons that was supposed to decorate, but luckily they got caught in a tree, so they still decorated the party... you just had to look up to see them.

I set up my stuff, and almost immediately got to work.  Adults, kids, everyone was into it, so I had a lot of work to do.  Some of the kids even got painted multiple times, like this pink kitty with flowered arms.

We decided on flowered arms with a pink background when she wanted both kitten paws and flowers on her arms.  So I explained that the kitten was walking through the garden, and you could see the pink paws through the flowers.

The birthday boy, age 4, chose a red Spiderman, so one of the other boys in line after him responded with a request for a black Spiderman.

And more variations on a theme... a pink puppy that later led to a standard brown one.

And the birthday girl, age 8, who was actually first on my line, got a cheetah, inspiring her friend to do the same.  There were very few duplicates at this party, which made it more fun for me, but this one allowed me to get this great shot of these two sassy cheetahs, double trouble if I ever saw it.

That's the birthday girl there on the left.  It was so atypical, that I only had one single butterfly!

Flowers were a hit that day, from this little rose princess, who specified that she wanted three flowers.

To the birthday kids' great grandma, who asked for a single rose.

And yes, I said great grandma.  How cool is that?

There were also the arm flowers (and butterflies) I did on this two-year-old and the face of flowers on one of the adults in the bunch.

Other adults asked for cheek art depicting their favorite things, like this stiletto heel and this hat, which matched the hat she was wearing.

I love it when I get to take a request and run with it, like this heart princess, who just asked for a simple heart.  When I suggested the princess, and then showed her the finished product, she was ecstatic.

On the other end of the spectrum, a skull request from a young man who graciously waited on line while on crutches, pretty much without complaint.

He also had the dubious talent of being able to roll his eyes back in his head.  While it freaks me out, it does make for a really nifty photo!

And somewhere in the middle of the road, a tiger and a zebra - my first zebra request in years!

And just look at that blue sky behind them!  They got so lucky with the weather for a large outdoor party, it was great.


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