Wrapping Up a Story

While there is still so much more to share, I didn’t want to keep blabbering about the past weekend.  Hopefully, this post will cover the last lingering memories I feel compelled to share and tomorrow, I can write about something new.

To everyone at LoF with a themed camp – you were great!


I love watching the colorful facial hair walking around!


This was a sweet and refreshing surprise.



LOF13 - 13

I had the most relaxing, lackadaisical rest here.  From where I was sitting, I could people watch people climbing all over Freakeasy.  It was nice.

LOF13 - 15 We enjoyed this, but somehow missed going back for the other games.  I hope they are there next year!


Tick Town, thank you for making me laugh, and dance, and play fun games!


To Alisha, with the ball pit – I can’t believe how long it has been I hung out in one! Thank you for the idea, for the repose, for the conversation.

LOF13 - 4

Tramp Camp – The girls and I had an absolute blast.  We spent so much time bouncing and laughing and getting wet.  The girls couldn’t get enough of it.

LOF - 7

I could never remember the name of the island, and I’m sorry I missed the dance party, but it was fantastic utilizing it as a launch pad into the water.


To Junicorn Sparkles, thank you for the crafting!  I had a total ADD moment walking by your table.  I love the unicorn horn I made!  My daughter wore hers into my office on Monday; refused to take it off!


Syncidium, you made my weekend.  Thank you for letting me fly for a bit!

And lastly, on Friday, I brought out my face paints.  I was so inspired to work, and I loved the energy people were bringing into the gazebo.  I wish I had had more time to work, and I loved that people were asking if they could paint, too, and there was a big painting party.  I was stoked at the creativity bouncing around.  To those who let me paint, and gave me the freedom to paint whatever I wanted – Thank you!  Because of you, I think my abilities and confidence as an artist really took off!







I have a million ideas, and I can’t wait to implement them.  I want to pull out my paints again and go crazy.  I wish I had more time to see everything and talk to more people, but I’m grateful that the time I did have was spent around so many lovely, creative, and welcoming folks.

To the crew that put together Lakes of Fire – thank you! See you next year. 🙂

Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts

Today, I write to you exhausted but content.  I had a lovely weekend face painting at the 42nd annual (and my 3rd year!) Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts, which takes place less than a mile from my apartment.  This is one of my favorite places to work, and so far this year is the only big festival I plan on doing.


Ellette, of course, was the first to get painted.  I tend to make a rule with her that if I am painting her face, I get to decide what she looks like.


Saturday morning gave us rain, but it cleared up around 1.  The morning was slow enough for me that I could afford a little more detail and attention to patrons.


Whole families stopped by.


Last year, this girl had me paint her face as a daisy.  This year, she wanted a rose.  I’m excited to see what she wants next year.


My favorite requests are the ones that challenge me.  I am getting bored with butterflies, tigers, and dragons.  This girl wanted a mocking jay pin – a reference to something I completely forgot – one of those blah *games* blah shows or movies.


Sunday was father’s day, and I had a couple of “tattoo” pieces that celebrated Dad,


A rainbow tiger brigade came through.


And one of my favorite pieces of the weekend – a ballerina.  This young girl and I sat talking about what kind of pose the ballerina should do.  I like the way the silhouette turned out, rather than doing it in color.  I think it makes the piece more dramatic.

One of the things about this weekend that made it worth while is that many of the kids that waited so patiently in line were there because I had painted them last year, and/or the year before, and they love my work and energy.  It really touches my heart to have met so many families that look for me time and time again.  This is why I started doing what I do, why being a children’s entertainer and teacher is important to me, and why I am trying to pursue it as a full time gig.

To all the families and friends that stopped by, waited in line, poked their head in to say hello, and especially to the people who brought me food, water, and lemonade because I was constantly surrounded by kids and paint and couldn’t move – you made my weekend fantastic!  Thank you!!

This Is How I Know It’s Spring

My very first face-painting gig of the year.  It was outdoors and sunny.  It was a multi-birthday party Easter celebration in Kankakee, and I was very impressed with the level of the enthusiasm I encountered.  I always fully expect to be bombarded by the under-10-year-olds.  And I was, up until a certain point of the evening, when confetti filled eggs took precedence.  Then, I was bombarded by the 13-16 year olds who fell in love with the novelty of face and body painting, realizing how long it had been since they let themselves indulge in such a “childish” activity.




The usual designs like tigers and fairy makeup were about, and then two of the older girls wanted cheetah faces and that was the trend of the day.  I find it amusing how these trends take form, and what they are each time.  Butterfly faces or tigers or dragons.




The eyes on the eyelids is also a popular trick, which can be amusing and startling all at once.



I have begun putting together a completely new fairy outfit.  The wings are not the ones I want to use – I’m still deciding on a set for myself.


And my personal favorite of the day:


Now, I look forward at the upcoming season, wondering what adventures await me with the warm weather.

October Overload

That last week of October kind of kicked my butt.  The thought of writing a post entered my head every day, and my body rejected the notion of having to think.  Well, here’s your recap.  There were pie pumpkins (and pie, and there will be soup, and casserole and all sorts of other pumpkin goodies).


There were costumes.  Odin was Einstein (or Odeinstein, as I took to calling him).


Ellette was a cat.  I told her if she wanted my to do her makeup, she had to let me have fun with it.  She begrudgingly conceded.  Initially, she just wanted a nose and whiskers painted, and I convinced her this was better.


And there was trick-or-treating.  The people in this neighborhood get really in to it.  Loads of decorations, hundreds of kids – it’s wonderful.



And then October ended, NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month) began, and I have a short breather before the chaos of holidays and travel.

A Popcorn Festival

I was unsure of what this festival would be like when the vendor coordinator contacted me about joining the festivities.  Until that point, I had no idea where Valparaiso, Indiana was located, or why I would want to go there.  But I thought I would give it a shot, because some of these tiny shows turn out to be gems.

We got up at a ridiculous hour in the morning to be in Valparaiso (1.5 hours away) by 6:00 to set up.  We had to be up and operational by 7.  While we were setting up and trying not to let our tent blow away, I was quietly cursing myself for thinking it would be a good idea.  an under-caffeinated pixie is a cranky pixie indeed.  Once we were up, I walked away in search of hot coffee and orange juice, and the day began.

Last week, Odin and I put our heads together (sometimes we can do that and it doesn’t hurt) and came up with a new way of displaying my wings.  He had been making screens (read: room dividers) for the old roommie before we found out she was more than a little unstable and asked her to leave, so we talked about how to utilize these screens.  This is what we came up with:

There are two of them and they fold in half.  I have them tied to the tent in two places, and they hold a ton of wings.  By the end of the day, my very creative sister (you can see her behind the stand) had found ways to display a few more pairs.  The wings just slip into the slats – no tying necessary.  It made helping customers so easy.
The festival took a little while to get started, but then it was busy.  There were about 20,000 people there, and it took up 4×4 city blocks.  There was an ampitheatre nearby our location, and I could hear music throughout the day.  At the very end, I had asked someone what cover band this was that had been playing Rusted Root for the past two hours, and the person laughed at me and said “It actually is Rusted Root.”  I made my sister take Ellette to the last song because we have been listening to them in the car lately – Ellette calls them “that drumming band” and really enjoys their music.

Ellette had fun dressing up.  The condition was she had to stand outside of the shop and get people to come in.

There was face painting, of course, but nothing new for me.  I tried to get more unique things, but butterflies and tigers are ever popular.

I did one zombie and a variation on a dragon (he wanted it to match his dad’s tattoo).

And then my sister stepped in and did some painting when I was getting sore.  She’s pretty good, and had herself a line built up by the time I finished lunch.

There was a balloon artist who made an awesome unicorn.  I couldn’t resist.

And at the very end we met a kid on a unicycle and made him juggle – ’cause we’re dorks like that.  Unicycles are cool.

In all, it was a good day.  I think I may do it again next year, especially since now I have an idea of what is popular there.  Each location is different, and I never know if I have a market until halfway through the day.  It makes taking on new shows a risky business, but sometimes it is all worth it.

Pixie’s Last Stand

As you know, this past weekend held the 41st annual Custer’s Last Stand Street Fair here in Evanston.  This was my second year as a vendor, and I was mentally fully prepared for my endeavor.  Rebecca of The Complete Fool also had a booth, not far from mine.  Since she was arriving from Madison, she stayed at our house for the weekend.  It was wonderful having her over.  The fair seemed to really enjoy having her there, too.

For two days straight,  I was outside with a line of little girls and boys waiting (remarkably patiently for the median age being 6) to have their faces painted.  My mantra was time is money, and I am in desperate need of funds lately.  Not only that, but I did not want to disappoint any of the kids by saying “And that’s it!  I can’t paint anymore.”  So, with a Gypsy as my minion to fetch water, lemon ginger beer (non-alcoholic and life changing), and manage the shop while I was covered in paint and glitter, we made it work.  Everyone had a great time.  Once again, I was not able to leave my space, though, so I can not tell you what else was at the fair.  I also left my camera at home on Saturday, so you get one days pictures instead of both (which is a shame because there were some really awesome paint jobs on Saturday).

This little girl wanted to be a unicorn.  The nose could use a little work, but otherwise I am very proud with how it turned out.  This was my first full-face unicorn.

Here is a snow leopard.  I am surprised at how many new things I was asked for this year.  Mostly, I get the same old story – butterfly, cat, fish, heart, etc.  But here we have a unicorn, a snow leopard.  I was asked to do a full face raccoon (that little girl made my Saturday, she was awesome), even a zombie!

I must say, however, that a lot of the girls that wanted cats were creative with it.  Pink, purple, and blue cats were all the rage.

Overall, I think tiger faces were the most asked for.  I’ve gotten really good at them and can work very quickly, so I don’t mind so much.

Sunday night, we all collapsed after showering and when Monday dawned, no one wanted to move.  It took all of my effort to roll out of bed and go about getting ready for work.  My mind started racing with all of the things I have to do now, and I had to mentally shut off the brain.  I do not want to think about laundry, cleaning, or paperwork.  I do not want to make anything because I have to, but because I want to.  At least for Monday – I have three orders to fill.

Instead,  I started crocheting a roily – that is, a doily that is significantly enlarged so as to be a rug.

I’m on a size K hook, using two strands of this nasty acrylic yarn held double.  Last night, I finished round 12 of 26.  Hopefully, I will be done by the end of the week.  I am really hoping the blocking forces it to lie flat.  If this works, I am going to get some cotton and make another one.


This weekend the temperatures soared above 90* and it was humid.  My plans changed rapidly day by day and I spent every minute engrossed in something.

But Ellette was with her grandparents, Odin was in West Virginia, and the Roommate was working all weekend, which left me with a big empty house and a cat.  I was kind of bored, for the first time in a long time.

I don’t like being bored; it’s a waste of time.  I have so much that I need to and want to do.  Last week was so crazy, however, that this weekend I couldn’t imagine working on anything.  I finished the knitting portion of the afghan and I just need to weave in ends.  I started piecing together the chemise, realized the straps are too long, ripped it out, pulled back the straps, sewed it together again, realized the straps were still to long, decided to start sewing on buttons, sewed the buttons to the wrong side, but I have to pull the straps off anyway and there really isn’t a right or wrong side, so I put it down until my mind was better suited for it.

I have an order for rose headbands that I started working on, until I got bored of doing the same thing over and over and over again.

I tried sewing wings, but got angry when my bobbin kept tangling on me.

There are only two truly productive things I did this weekend.  Sunday, I had a pirate fairy facepainting gig:

(He’s a panther)

I don’t really have a picture of my full pirate fairy get up, but it was a nice change of pace from the vibrant green and floral I usually do.  Here I had layers of tattered skirts in black, red, and white, with red and black leather boots and black wings.  I had several gold and silver necklaces with coins on to accent.  It was fun.

This is the birthday girl, and the only good picture I have of the custom wings I made for her birthday.  She wanted rainbow wings, and that’s what she got.  The purple on the edge is full of glitter that shines in the sunlight – because pirates like sparkly things about as much as they like money.

When I got home on Sunday, and into Monday, I did buckle down and get some of my own work done – cleaning, knitting, wings, and tutus.  As it turns out, the spot underneath tutus is really cool on hot days.  Our cat spent several hours each day curled up there.

The next week is going to be crazy, and I apologize in advance for the repetitive posts (or lack of) involving layers of tulle, wings, and yarn.  (I mean really, this is a crafting blog – that stuff doesn’t belong here in large quantities).

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