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A Thrilling Halloween on the North Shore

WOW - We had a great Halloween, hope you all did too. I think it was my first Halloween that I really got into the spirit and hammed things up big time. Being from the UK means we seriously lag behind North America and Canada when it comes to the holidays! Most of you will know that I'm a bit of an extrovert and go out of my way to shock and amuse. Much to the dismay of my boys! I had planned a secret costume but didn't have time to do a practise run through before the day so winged it based on the research I had done before hand. I was Michael Jackson for the night... Full on, Smooth Criminal, wrecked nose, back from the grave MJ. If I do say so myself - nailed it! I got so many compliments and double takes that night, I knew I had done him justice. It was my ultimate tribute to the King of Pop. May he rest in peace.

Once I was made up, I then had to go to my private clients to get them ready for the big night. I was so glad Halloween fell on a Saturday as I was able to fit more people in. I painted a racoon, ventriloquist's dummy, Tribal Jack Sparrow, black eyes, vampires and zombies. I was able to get back in time to make up my two oldest boys and pop some HUGE false eyelashes on my neighbours daughter for her doll outfit and we were off out to spook the neighbourhood. Again my husband managed to get out of partaking in the festivities...his loss and for the second year in a row, my youngest had the flu and couldn't go trick or treating with his brothers. Check out the pics from the night in the gallery. I'll be posting all the images of the Michael Jackson study in a gallery of its own too.




Safety First!


Happy Halloween from Melanie Dawn!

Don't forget to be safe this Halloween:

* Encourage your kids to wear face paint and not masks as it hinders their peripheral vision leading to trips or falls. Be especially careful when crossing roads.

* Use only safe, FDA compliant face paints and not 'dollar store' or acrylic paints. These can be damaging to the skin, cause burning, inflammation and irritation not to mention that it is very hard to remove without causing discomfort. I use a Professional, water-based make-up called Snazaroo which can be bought from Party Bazaar and Michaels. I've used it for 15+ years and never had a reaction or complaint : "the worlds safest and easiest to use face paint!" Check out their website for more info on paint safety.

* Do not Trick or Treat houses that are not decorated or do not have their porch lights on. The residents might not celebrate Halloween and we should respect their wishes.

* Inspect your kid's loot bags before they consume anything!

and  ALWAYS accompany your kids when they're out Trick or Treating, making sure they are aware of stranger danger and NEVER to enter the homes they are visiting.




Catch up - now that Fall is upon us

So, I just thought I'd fill you in on what's been going on in September. I've did some very interesting events and also had some visitors staying with us from Wales, UK for a couple of weeks so things have been a bit busy. I'm on my own in the house though now so I will take this chance to write while it's quiet!

At the start of the month I was asked to do my first Little Lady Spa Party! Four 12 year old girls, nails, make-up and feather boas! Lots of fun! I had a ball as I am surrounded 24/7 by trucks, pokemon and soccer boots usually! It was a great group of girls and they had fun getting dolled up - some wearing make-up for the first time. I'm a firm believer in natural products and value for money so I invested in the new line of make-up by Joe Fresh, available at Canadian Superstore. I have been blown away by it's quality. I first heard about it from John Hennessy, NOBASURA's Creative Director and International Make Up Artist from Vancouver whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the IMATS in Vancouver in April this year. He raved about it and I had to try it for myself as I couldn't believe that cheap make-up would be worthy of acclaim. WOW - I now wear the light foundation everyday and the cream blush too! Fantastic also for young girls wanting to experiment with make-up in an inexpensive way. I will write a Joe Fresh haul blog soon. Anyway, we were all happy with the results and I made some new friends too!

I then was booked to paint for Western Stevedoring at the Party at the Pier on Roch Pier by Lonsdale Quay on the North Shore. The weather was bad but we thought it would brighten up. It did for a bit but then the wind picked up something terrible. We ended up holding on for dear life as the wind whipped around us threatening to blow away the tents! The sky was black and it was decided that we would finish painting 3 hours early. I was painting alongside a talented fellow painter called Dana. I lost some sponges but it was all good fun. Cold, wet fun!

This past weekend I was booked to paint at my boy's school Carnival. Sherwood Park Elementary, Dollarton. I was really nervous! It was the first time since moving to Canada that I had painted on a large scale in front of people that know me. But it went very smoothly, I set up my table, chairs and umbrella and was charging two tickets per face (pre-paid tickets organised by the school) and there was also a huge bouncy house, airbrush tattooing and the usual carnival fare. I have no idea how many children I painted but it was solid painting for 3 hours, each face taking 3 to 5 minutes! I was told the face painting and the tattooing were the most popular attractions that night. At the end the night as the light was fading I had parents using the light from their cell phones to illuminate the faces of their children so that I could see! I'm sure it was very funny to watch. It was all a great success and I've been unofficially booked for every event the school ever has I think! As a result of that one gig I have been "the talk of the town" so says the owner of Honey Doughnuts And Goodies in Deep Cove! My poster will be up on display there this week.

That was Friday, on Saturday I was painting at the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre 10th Anniversary Celebration. That was a really nice job. I painted for 4 hours whilst families and volunteers came and enjoyed the day with food and an amazing jazz band. There were stickers, badges and whistles for the kids too. I painted some staff members of the centre and even a couple of very lovely bikers - Mary and Phil were off to Stanley Park and the Aquarium for a birthday treat as it had been Mary's birthday. They (Mary) wanted matching butterflies! Such a nice couple and so enthusiastic - even Phil liked his design once I had finished! I hope you had a great day. I had a fab time even if it was very windy and a bit chilly - thanks for the use of the fleece! 

Phew! sorry for rambling on...I'll try and post more regularly from now on. Things are going really well as a result of my Summer activities and I hope to have more news for you soon. Thanks for your continued support!

I love my job! Busy days and all!

On Saturday I had two jobs to go to that required me to be in two very different locations and lots of driving.

First off, I had been invited to paint at the Hatch Company picnic held at the farm at the University of British Columbia. I must say, the setting was beautiful and the weather amazing. I had never been to that area before so it was a new experience for me. Pacific Spirit Park is stunning! I shall definitely be taking the boys there soon for hiking and biking! The farm is open to the public and has a market garden and shop onsite for pick-your-own fruit and veg. We were outside in a field and the weather was warm enough for the kids to use the fantastic paddling pool the company had set up. There was a BBQ and tents set up for families, volleyball and even an inflatable horse race! The atmosphere was so relaxed and friendly and that translated in my paintings. I really had fun with the kids painting my usual designs but also had a chance to paint some old favourites (Tahitian Sunset) and some totally new ones too. A little boy of 3 was waiting very patiently to be painted and kept saying "Superwhy". I had no idea who 'Superwhy' was or what he looked like and was worried that I wouldn't be able to give him what he wanted as no-one else really knew either. His mum said that it was like a green superhero eye mask but I really wanted to see an image before I painted, to make sure that he would recognise it. So...I get out my handy dandy iPhone and do a google image search for Superwhy right there, in the middle of the field (I love my iPhone!) and here's what I found! I was able to re-create the simple design and he was so pleased. His eyes lit up and that really made my day. His mum and Grandma appreciated it too I think. I also painted a few teenage girls which was nice as I had time to really elaborate and embellish each design to make them unique - even a tribal tattoo on a girls shoulder. I'm just sorry I didn't take more photos for you!

Then it was on to a mall in Richmond. Again, a place I'd never been to (so far in my Canadian travels), to paint at a little girl's 4th birthday party inside the Fun4kidz playzone in the Aberdeen Centre Mall. WOW! I have never seen such a huge mall before, I didn't really take it in from the outside but, wow! It's huge and like what I imagine a mall in Japan or Hong Kong would be like. I really felt like I was in another country and a bit out of place with my costume and painted face! After I had parked, eaten some much needed lunch (at 4pm and I hadn't eaten since breakfast!) I went in search of the washrooms (again, very much needed!) to clean my brushes and sponges from earlier and touch up my face which had melted a bit. I also had time to grab a coffee with Sylvia (the balloon lady) who was also working at the party (we make a great team!)

The little girl had invited 20+ friends, their parents and some neighbours so it was a jam packed venue. But the atmosphere was jovial, relaxed and friendly and they all had a great time. I felt very welcomed and included which means so much. The hosts insisted that I eat and the owner, William of Fun4kidz, kept Sylvia and I hydrated with bottles of water throughout the evening. At one point I got up and painted an Uncle as Batman as it was his birthday too and I walked around painting flowers on grandmothers! All in all, the hosts were very happy and had a great time as well as the kids. How do I know? I got a hug from the little girl's dad! Thanks Sylvia for all your hardwork - the balloon decoration was awesome!!!

I had an exhausting day but a very memorable one. I gave out lots of business cards and met many lovely faces. Needless to say, I picked up a bottle of red at 9pm that night and was pleased I had a free Sunday the next day. Talk soon x

Garden Party in the Rain!

Well, yesterday was my first experience of painting in the rain. It wasn't that bad as I had remembered my umbrella and the hosts provided a tent for the kids to queue up in so we didn't get too wet! It also cleared up to show a little bit of sunshine half way though which was very welcome. The party was in the garden and the theme was Puppies! It was really nice and everyone was happy with their puppy dog face. As you can see, I mostly painted Dalmatians as that was what the birthday girl chose but I gave her a variation on the design that she insisted no-one was allowed to copy. All the black splotches were heart shaped. She loved it. There were a few brown spaniels and even a couple of colourful fancy dog faces. I even painted one girl as a cat and she insisted that she be chased by all the puppies! Needless to say, the party was a success even if the weather was less than optimum. I painted myself with a heart eye design. Talk soon with news of Augusts acitivites ;-)