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Carver County Fair 2015 Recap

Last week I tucked my 18th county fair under my belt…this being my 3rd year at Carver County Fair!  2015 was a great year and I thoroughly enjoyed painting so many adorable faces!!! If you’re coming to this post via my Pinterest pin on cheek art, scroll down for a bunch more! If you’re interested in learning to do simple, quick cheek art yourself, be sure to check out my book, “Classic Carnival Cheek Art! We also have package deals for those new to face painting that include everything you need to get started, and an awesome page of FREE learning resources!

Setting up the booth…
The fair starts on Wednesday, and this year I loaded up my booth and boys and we set up Tuesday morning.

All packed in and heading to the fair!
The boys are just excited to play games on my iPod and iPad while I set up. You can tell they never play video games in our house, only on trips and in waiting rooms, ha! But they were thoroughly entertained! I keep telling them someday they’ll be taller than me and will have big muscles to help Mommy load and unload my booth!
The booth all set up and running! This was taken on the last day when my hubby and boys came to visit me!  I always want my booth looking as sharp on the last day as it does the first.  I do a lot of cleaning every night and when I have time between paintings!
This is the view when walking into the building of where I work.

New this year…
I had a totally new setup this year with my chairs. I now do most of my parties standing up with kids in this tall director’s chair! However, my back and feet wouldn’t be able to take multiple 12 hour days standing up.  So, I decided to bring along my hydraulic stool that I use when I do belly paintings. It worked great! The kids got to sit up high and feel like royalty, and I had the option to sit or stand depending on how I felt and how tall the kids were.

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 Photo prop boards were a new and fun addition this year! My new photo props fit nicely on the little fabric shelf under the director’s chair, and I’d pull them out whenever someone had a face that fit with the board…

Say cheese!!
Me trying out the county fair board!
A popular ice princess design!! A few booths down they had cardboard cutouts of Anna, Elsa and Olaf to take photos by too which was fun for the kids!
Just chillin’ with Tippy the cow…

(If you’re interested in adding fun photo prop boards to your own gigs, I have the files for purchase to print your own set!)

  • Photo Prop Board Print File - HALLOWEEN
    Photo Prop Board Print File – HALLOWEEN
  • Photo Prop Board Print File - CHRISTMAS
    Photo Prop Board Print File – CHRISTMAS
  • Photo Prop Board Print File - PRINCESS
    Photo Prop Board Print File – PRINCESS
  • Photo Prop Board Print File - FANTASY
    Photo Prop Board Print File – FANTASY
  • Photo Prop Board Print File - ADVENTURE
    Photo Prop Board Print File – ADVENTURE
  • Photo Prop Board Print File - SPRING
    Photo Prop Board Print File – SPRING

Also new this year was this small safety information sheet I had out on the table, educating parents on what to watch out for when allowing their children to be painted.  It’s really shocking how many events offer free face painting that is not face paint at all, but tempera, acrylic, and other unsafe craft paints & glitter.   Click here for my in-depth article on why “non-toxic” paint is NOT safe for skin. I had so many parents thank me for this information!

There was another person painting at the fair this year with questionable paints in jars,  and more than once I was asked by the parent to wipe it off and paint something else before they even saw this flyer.  Unfortunately whatever it was stained badly. Safe face paints can stain too, depending on your body chemistry and the colors of the paint.  Some brands’ blues and greens stain more, etc. You can see my analysis of what professional brands stain the most/least here.  If you ever have this happen, at least if it is face paint, try applying a little lotion to the skin. Wait 20-30 minutes and then try washing again.  Usually this helps to release the paint. Do NOT ever clean face paint off with baby wipes! They have been known to cause awful reactions on kids’ faces no matter what type of paint is used.  I tell people to remove with a gentle soap and water.  The best way is to lather it up with liquid soap (BEFORE getting it wet), loosen up the paint, and then rinse with water.  This is the best way to prevent staining during removal.

Anyway, back to the fair…

Also new this year was basically my entire paint kit.  My kit changes frequently but this year it grew so much, I’ve outgrown my countertop! Time to make a few modifications for next year!

My boys sent little stuffed dogs with me each day at the fair to keep me company in my booth. 🙂

A few of the designs I did this year… Cheek art still remains one of the most requested forms of painting for me.  And, being one of the very few artists in the Twin Cities who is faster at cheeks than full faces, I still am able to do them and offer them for less than full faces.  However, in general, most painters prefer doing full faces as cheek art requires a lot of precision in a small space with little to no room for error, which takes longer.  For now, I’ll keep offering it as people love it and I’m convinced it can be just as awesome!! It also works well at the fair when kids faces are often carrying the remnants of all that good, greasy, sticky fair food!! 😉  I paint a LOT of arms, too.  Sometimes kids ask for their hands.  Usually I then suggest just above their wrist…that way they can still wash hands after petting the animals and eating cotton candy without losing their artwork.  But, I’ve been doing a lot of full face, half face, and eye designs these past few years and they are very popular!

These two friends wanted to split a design, literally!
Gotta love it when someone dares their friends to get painted, and they actually go through with it!
My mom painted at the booth on Thursday so I could visit with my boys!
Thursday  night we had a storm roll through and were told we could close up early! These are the days I love being in a building, versus a tent outside!
My little man Sam wanted me to paint Mercy Watson the pig on his arm! 🙂

My Arm Designs…
Every year I paint elaborate things on my own arm.  I love doing this in between customers, or when there is a lull in business during the day.  However, being that this was my busiest fair in my history of doing fairs, with 4 out of 5 of the days being record breakers, I didn’t have as much time to paint myself.  Here are a few things I did though, some quick and some not so quick…

Quick roses, done with Global Hobart.  Love that cake!
This was my most detailed arm design for this year…Inside Out! Love that movie!!
Closeup of “Sadness” and “Anger”
Closeup of Disgust and Joy…
I did this little design to go along with the henna I had already done on my hand!

 Big thanks to all of you who stopped by my booth this year and made it my best year ever! See you in 2016!!

Me and Toby taking a lunch break

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