Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 24
Wow. These teens in the henna class are just blowing me away! This last group of 12 kids was so into it and talented it was amazing! We even had one young man, only 12 years old who did the most intractie geometric glove Ive ever seen a kid do. Talk about patience and persistence! The librarian was great too. There was a factoid I was stumbling on and she went off and researched it while I taught (how cool is that!) In case youre wondering ….in the Jewish faith you can not be truly clean with a barrier between your skin and God, hence nail polish can not wadu with that layer of polish on your fingernails. Conversely, henna goes into your skin (top layers) is all natural and water can cleanse the skin directly so Mehndi can be worn by Jews in prayer…
Next stop on the Henna tour is Petaluma. Ive spoken to the librarian and she thinks we’ll have a good turn out and says the class is being reviewed very well (yay!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 22
FairyDust Faces was in Windsor this afternoon with a rockin bunch of kids. 13 in all including 2 boys. The work that came out of this group was stellar! As an added bonus they even laughed at my jokes. There were a few that were very studious and sketched out their entire design first and those that just went right ahead and put henna to skin. There was a set of 3 siblings that kept the class lively and giggling. The low point of the class was my camera died before any of the students had completed their masterpieces. The highlight of the class (other than the fabulous work) was there was a girl who wanted to know more about me, and my business who seemed so taken with the idea of henna and body art. She wanted to know if I had a store she could come shop and look at things (alas, no) I did direct her to the web site and if she emails I’ll make sure to point out some of the great forums. This young one I think has all the ear-markings of enthusiastic body artist!
June 21,
Goes down in history as Fathers Day and the day my computer died (play a funeral dirge here) Oh man what am I supposed to do without my forums, facebook and EMAIL!! Heck even my business phone and calendar are tied into my PC. Ive been reduced to cleaning my desk 

On a brighter side we went to the Pirate Festival in Novato today – and the question of ‘what ever happened to all the displaced local ren-faire people has been answered!! They’re all pirates now! I did a pretty good pirate face but was waaay under dressed. I saw friend Lena there browsing some super great costumes and had to stop by the Magikal Face Painting booth run by Kristin Scott. I believe Katherine Grillos was working just then (I think it was Katherine) and since she was so busy I just said I dropped by to say hi. But if you ever have the opportunity to see Magikal Face Painting in action go see them. Kristin does the BEST sweet-nothing eye look!
Now that my desk is clean and this entry written Im off to pack supplies for the next henna for teens class tomorrow afternoon, but first thing Im going down to our ISP to have our modem checked!!

henna class

June 20
Today I was in Guerneville teaching the second henna for teens class. We had a small turn out but it was fun. Two of the girls even stayed an extra half hour and when the one left she had an entire sleeve of henna! Im not sure if it was because I rewrote my lecture part or not but this group didn’t need any ‘hand holding’ and just went right at it! One thing I am noticing though is that teenage girls don’t laugh at my jokes…hmmmm

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 19
Private party this afternoon. Siena turned 4 today! Mom Sasha and I decided I should come a half hour into the party to give people time to show up…ehh heemmm, except the guests didn’t start to show up until 45 minutes into the party. So while I waited I painted the birthday girl, her mom, the moms best friend and anyone else I could catch. We did a nice hibiscus floral design down the friends shoulder…the kids started coming and then just didn’t stop!

The only bit of drama was my car completely emptied the coolant reservoir down their driveway when I showed up! I hosed it off and the wonderhub came out and switched cars with me while I was working, so alls well that ends well. Hes marvelous with mechanical things so I know he’ll figure out whats going on with it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Teen Henna Class

June 17
Yesterday was the first in my series of 10 henna classes for the Sonoma County Library system. Cloverdale is a pretty small place and we had 6 girls turn out. I was a little nervous as the librarian sat in on the entire thing – but she was very nice and chatty, so it added to the class. We went over what henna is, how it works and then practiced some basic strokes on paper. We moved on to connecting the design elements on hand templates and then graduated to the real stuff! The girls were very very hesitant to begin, and I’m wondering if I over stated how quickly the design would transfer. But after a little bit and one of the girls totally wiping off her design the resistance was broken and they really started getting into it. There was one however who needed no prodding. This young lady didn’t go for any of the traditional elements but at my suggestion did something she usually draws. She ended up with an entire dragon and forest scene on her left arm along with a wolf howling at the moon on the underside of her arm. Way to go! The last two girls to leave even did their feet; hearts, peace signs, and smiley faces….very cute. This class definitely taught ME a few things. Less talk, more work and the next time we do this (in 2 days from now) I will start the hands on section with a ;follow me’ design of a basic flower so the initial apprehension will be broken….more on that in a few days!!
June 15
Yesterday was one of the best days ever! I went and painted at the Novato Mothers Club annual picnic (interesting side note; we’ve worked for the Sonoma and Novato mothers clubs and have never been hired to do an event for either of the mothers clubs I have been on the board of or belong too…odd no?) In any event, there are 3 girls there to help me set up the tent, they continually ask if they can feed or water me and the kids are great. I really liked the moms (my kind of people!) and hope to get some calls from this group later. The day was capped off by a dad who must be running for a ‘super dad’ award as he carried TWO of my tent weights at once. I can barely drag one…hope he didn’t get a hernia! He then took the other two one of the moms had put on a dolly and tossed those in the van too…that was one strong guy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

really starting to catch up now!

June 14
Yesterday was the Health and Harmony Festival at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds. Ok the festival actually was 3 days, starting Friday and going until today. But I only painted yesterday (Saturday) Alison’s friend, Peri has a booth in the Goddess Grove and the idea had been to do some body painting and bring out the neons which are black light reflective for the big techno party last night. I was mildly surprised to see not only the 2 others I knew would be painting but another woman also set up shop with Peri’s group – apparently another friend was asked to play along. I was at the back of the queue and as each of the other painters had 2 customers to my ZERO I went scouting the rest of the grounds.

There was another face painter in the children’s area as well as a booth offering ‘free’ face painting. So I return to my last place position and get ‘lucky’ with 2 clients (whoot now I’m up $13 and its ‘only’ been an hour and a half) after more standing around a young lady comes up who does hair braiding she, it seems, is looking to trade spaces. Her space is ALL THE WAY across the grounds…so off I go again to check it out. When I find the right people (who did not exactly embody the ‘harmony’ ideal)) they say they are already doing face painting so no, I’m not welcome there either….so back I go to the Goddess Grove.

At this point it’s around 1:30pm and when I return there is ANOTHER face painter working in Peri’s area. Huuu, I sez to myself, this really isn’t working for me. I make my apologies to Peri explaining I think we’re a little overstaffed and pick up my supplies to find a new spot. I land along the walkway at a cross roads and promise myself to try it for an hour and if nothing good comes of it I will pack up and go home. After 20 minutes I have been asked where the bathroom is 4 times and directions to other places twice. I’m done in this spot!

As a last ditch effort I decide I need to approach the face painter in the children’s area – maybe he’s a business man and I can make a deal. When I arrive in the children’s area Diego is working with a troop of performers and not staffing his booth. Finally after 10 or so minutes I interrupt him and explain I’m a face painter without a country and ask if I could paint at his booth. He explains to me that usually he takes FIFTY percent!! But in my case he’ll go with thirty. Knowing I can go home or make 70% I accept the 30% fee. I set up shop and have an instant line.

Diego concludes his parade with his performers half an hour later and calls me into his tent (while I still have a huge line) asks me to count out and pay him his 30% “just so we’re on the same page”

He then proceeds to say ‘no waiting’ to the line and takes 5 kids in and sits them around himself on low stools. Diego’s way of painting is different from mine, in that he does several strokes on each face and moves down, like an assembly line. Often this means that each kid gets the same / similar look. Diego’s samples are mostly feathery multi-colored eye masks which he tailors to the child’s favorite color scheme. He does this by dipping a brush on some sort of water color (?) crayon –( and yes I mean a crayon as in small cylindrical thing).

About 10 minutes after he begins and my little friend Samantha has just reached my chair Diego calls out that there is a melt-down and I must take over a little girls design. I answer just as soon as I’m finished with Samantha I would be happy to do it Diego replies ‘NO, now’

What happens over the next 7-8 minutes is nothing short of a melodrama. The mother calling him various things including ‘talentless’ and him tying to give her the money back, changing his mind and saying ‘you’re paying me for what I did’, with her telling me how horrid he is, with him telling her, and then me, that if she didn’t apologize to him and the whole crowd that I would be told to go home as I wasn’t really supposed to be there anyway and concluding with him saying ‘this isn’t working’ and that most likely I should just leave. Meanwhile I’m just trying to duck and cover. I’ve never gotten in trouble for being too good before.

After she leaves and insists on tipping with a $5 -- as he doesn’t get a percentage of tips. Diego decides the answer is for me to move my set-up inside the tent – and to get rid of my photo board (no photo board! Doesn’t he know I can’t paint without my photo board!!) So Samantha’s mother helps me move my table into the tent and we begin anew.

It takes a full 2 hours for him to finally say ‘whew, that woman’s energy has finally left’ ….ah hhmmm.

Diego ducks in and out over the next couple of hours and we have a comfortable work environment. The next problem doesn’t arise until its 8 something getting dark and Roger wants to come pick me up. Diego has gone to dinner an hour earlier and never reappeared. I still need to cash out with him and have no idea where he is! And while I really don’t want to even touch the cash without him being there I am forced not only to break out his 30% but to leave it along with my card with the coordinator of the children’s area. (yes, I realize this is very risky) I leave with several hundred for the day. Diego’s cut total has been $141

Then this morning I get a call from him asking how I would like to settle up! Only to be followed by a second call an hour later confirming the receipt of the money….
So , was I better off having done this event or not? Should I have stayed in the goddess grove (where they apparently each made $100 a day)

Friday, June 19, 2009

second in catch-up line (did she say Ketchup?)

June 13
Last night I worked with Marti-Cate and the most awesome henna artist I’ve ever seen, Darcy V. The kids were great (Novato High) and chose a lot from the special henna sample book I put together. One design idea was complete synchronicity. I have a 007 (James bond) looking design and one of the boys asked for it to be 009 … as in the year of graduation and it made total sense! A combo of James Bond and their graduation year – perfect! I did that altered design on several boys. As the night wore on and they got wilder (and more random) I did the word DUDE on one guys back – to go with his friends ‘sweet’ done by Darcy and a palm tree and the Oakland A’s logo as well as astrological signs, a ‘mom’ heart and eyes over a nose and airbrushed lips…it was a long night, getting in at 3am but saw Franco from Family airbrush and got to work alongside Darcy – so it was a good night!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Catching up!

Sat June 6/Sun June 7

The last big Event coordinator festival until fall is this weekend. We're back down on Union Street and know the wind can be wicked bad. This festival is being billed as an 'art festival’ by the location and an 'eco festival' by the event company. I decided against doing a bunch of 'eco' faces as most of our young clients tend to go for the same thing – no matter the theme of the event. We did skull faces on boys at Easter and every festival we’ve been at… along with Spiderman, tigers, princess crowns and butterflies plus of course my favorite Gina Niemi inspired swirls and curls.

Update: the days were long and the booth was kept up overnight. I had Clementine and Liz strip the booth of anything that could be carried away – with the exception of a 2 gallon water container, which in the perverse nature of the universe, was taken during the night. So we re-set the entire booth this morning and had a good time.

The most notable things to come out of this weekend's events were the girls painted mustaches on each other and they were a HUGE hit!! Who woulda thunk. We sold maybe 10 mustaches painted on 20 something girls, a few pre-teen girls, and a couple of 20 something guys. My girls got so many comments and guys hitting on them because of their mustaches…however it was San Francisco ;)

The other notable thing was the paid security guard was a little overly officious and after letting in several cars, including Roger, then tried to bar Liz from bringing in the van. Roger ran down and had a 'discussion' with the guard which ended up in Roger taking the steering wheel from Liz and driving onto the grounds – as the security guard screamed at him and at the last minute threw himself on the mirror of the van. Then he started yelling that Roger had run over him and he called the cops on a 'hit and run'.

The cops showed up after several minutes (and several more cars coming onto the grounds) and ran Rogers license, spoke to the security guard and sent us on our way….while my kids all cowered in the back seat certain they were going to be fatherless as he would be taken off to the big house.

In the end it was a profitable weekend and we did some good work