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Glitter Glamper Progress: Furnace Removal & Shelf Cubby

As soon as I first set foot in the Glamper I knew that the furnace would end up having to come out. The doors on these vintage trailers are very small to begin with, and the original placement of this huge, old furnace impedes the entryway even more. Not to mention the safety issues…these furnaces are not as safe as what you might see in modern campers, as was evident by the burnt paneling I discovered upon it’s removal!

There were 3 big parts of this project:

  1. Removing the furnace, fan and thermostat pieces from inside the camper
  2. Removing the chimney through the roof and patching up the hole it left, and
  3. Turning the ugly hole in the wall into something functional and finished.

Removing the Furnace Inside

Here are some photos of the furnace before, during and after removal. This furnace is HEAVY, and it’s important to remember these things as keeping the weight evenly distributed is important in a trailer. However, I believe that some of the cabinetry I’ll be adding later as a work station will help replace the weight I removed here. As I’ve noted in earlier posts, I did hang on to this original furnace, should someone later want to return the trailer to all original. But for my purposes it needed to go. I plan to put in a new furnace at a later date…one that takes up less space and doesn’t have to vent out the roof. If we can ever avoid openings on the roof, that is a good thing! Openings are recipes for water damage!

Original furnace. As you can see, it takes up a few inches of an already small doorway.
After removing the outer shell of the furnace.
The hole left from removing the furnace unit.
Evidence of a little potential fire danger underneath the tape.
Inside the cabinet the furnace was mounted in.
Removing the fan that sat in the cabinet and blew through a vent that was installed in the cabinet door.

Removing the Chimney and Patching the Roof

Getting the furnace out of the camper was probably the easiest part. Next up was removing the metal shaft that goes up through the ceiling, removing the chimney from the roof, and then patching up the hole to prevent any leaks. It made me a little sad to remove the cute chimney from the roof, but it was probably a good call as leaving an open hole in the roof that doesn’t need to be there just leaves it vulnerable to future water damage. Again, I saved all of the original parts if we ever want them back!

In order to remove the whole metal lining of the shaft that goes up through the roof (sorry I have no clue the technical terms for this stuff, haha!), I had to pull it up and out through the roof. But before I could do that, I had to scrape and chisel off all the rubbery sealant the previous owners had covered the seams with.

The previous owners did a great job keeping the roof very well sealed up, and this is one of those spots you want to seal well! It was a lot of work to get the old stuff off and expose the screws. I figured I’d have to drill the screws out, but luckily I was able to scrape them clean enough to back all of them out with a screwdriver. Once that was done, I was able to slide the whole works up and out!

This inner pipe slid up and out, but I had to also remove this plate that surrounds it.
After uncovering all the screws, I was able to back them all out and remove the top plate.
Everything is out!

Okay, now that everything was out, it was time to seal up the gaping hole in the roof and the holes in the floor. Needless to say, this is a job to be done on a nice, dry day! Here are a few photos looking down, through the roof and the holes in the floor where gas and I believe condensation may have dripped out…

View from the roof, down into the cabinet where the furnace was
Holes in the floor from the furnace
I filled the floor holes with expandable foam spray and cut a piece of subfloor to cover them up.

The holes in the floor were pretty quick to patch up so I did that on the same day. Next I worked on the roof. We already had a roll of tin on hand, which would work to cover the hole. However, it was pretty big and I wanted to give it a little more structure under the tin. After all, if a branch is going to fall on this roof, Murphy’s law dictates that it would likely land right on this weak spot! I cut a piece of subfloor just for something rigid, applied some caulking around the hole, and smooshed the wood over it. Then I screwed the wood panel into the roof, and added more caulking around the edges of the wood, and where the edges of the tin patch would go. (photo below, left) Next, I laid on a piece of tin, smooshed it into the caulking, and screwed it in as well (below, center). Then I added yet another layer of caulking around the edges of the tin. Caulking is your friend!! Fill ALL THE HOLES!!

I let all this caulking dry for as long as it needed…I can’t recall if this next step was later that evening or the next day. but, you want to make sure something like this is allowed to dry well, before adding anything else that will block the air flow to it. Funny how I’m talking as if I’ve EVER done anything like this before or as if I have any clue what I’m doing…I’ll just add here that I’m really winging it with most of this stuff, haha! Anyway, back to filling alllll the holes….

Once all the caulking was super dry, I coated the whole works with some Flex Paste. I’m guessing this is the same or similar to whatever was already spread around the chimney that I removed to get to the screws (only white instead of black)…I went all out and just slathered the entire tin panel with the stuff. No water will be gettin’ in here! I’ll probably paint over this again at some point, but for now, you can’t see it at all from the ground, and the roof is water tight again!

Cleaning Up the Ugly Hole

Now that the roof was all good and sealed, it was time to go back inside and figure out what to do with the giant hole I just created in the cabinet where the furnace sat. My husband really wanted a solid grab bar to help get OUT of the Glamper, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to add that. With there being a hole now, I could set the grab bar back into the cabinet at an angle, so that it wouldn’t catch on people’s clothes or shrink the doorway like the furnace did. So, I decided to build a little shallow shelf cubby and incorporate the grab bar there.

The hole…
Cutting out the hole with my jigsaw
Hole more neatly trimmed

I started by cutting out some of the edges of the paneling with my jigsaw, so I’d have a clean, rectangular opening. I’m really just wingin’ it as I go here…

Figuring out where to put the handle and at what angle.
Removing the back panel, exposing the cabinet inside
Installing a new piece of birch for the back panel

Then I played around with the handle and figured out how I’d really make it solid, and at an angle so it wouldn’t protrude out into the doorway. Next, I cut out and removed the back panel that sat behind the furnace, opening it up to the cabinet behind. I still wanted to keep the storage cabinet, yet I wanted my grab bar to be inset, so I basically re-built the same size cavity in here…just made it look nicer and have more function. I cut a piece of 1/4″ birch plywood, and after installing a few smaller strips in the back to support it, I attached a new back to the shelf cubby.

I cut some more strips of birch and glued them on the right sides, which held the shelves in place.
The left side panel I sanded bevels on and cut out slots, so it would fit around the shelves and cover the grab bar supports.
I marked my grab bar support pieces with tape and a sharpie so I knew where to screw it in.

Next I added the shelves (above). I cut strips to cover the inner right side of the cubby, leaving spaces to catch the shelves between them so I wouldn’t need any hardware showing. I’ve really never built any kind of shelf before, and like I said, I made this up as I went along…but it turned out pretty good. Better than a burnt, jagged hole I guess, haha! Next I made the left side panel which was a bit more tricky. I had to bevel the back edges so it would sit tight with the back panel at an angle, and then had to cut out slots for the shelves. Overall I think it worked okay. You can see in the right photo above, I put tape on the door trim and marked with a sharpie where my supports were, so I’d know right where to screw in the grab bar.

The grab bar is something I picked up years ago in a little antique shop, just because I thought it was cool. I had no idea where it came from originally, or where I’d use it, but it turned out to be PERFECT for this! I then removed it so I could stain everything.

Staining stuff!

Next I stained everything. I learned that the sample swatches in the hardware store look NOTHING like the actual stain. Grr. I should have tested it on a piece of scrap first like the can says to do, but I’m not great at following instructions, haha! So, you can kinda tell the base boards here are a tad too dark. That’s where I started and said “nope!” At that point I ran back to the hardware store and bought a color called “traditional pecan.” That was a better match, so I finished off the inside of the cubby.

A few days later I made it back out to get some trim to finish it off. Yeah, it probably would have made more sense to do all this staining at once but I was figuring it out as I went, and didn’t know what I wanted to do…so after the cubby was all stained and clear coated, I cut the outer trim pieces, stained and clear coated them, and then added those.

Trim installed!
Yes, I know things will fall off the shelf. I’ll add some sort of rail.
Darn clamp left a black mark on my top trim piece. Maybe I’ll fix that.

I think it looks pretty good! Better than a hole for sure! I’m no furniture maker but I’m happy with how it turned out. Of course, with all things in a vintage trailer, the project is never really done… I realize that I can’t drive down the road with stuff on these shelves. I’m still thinking about what I want to do for some type of rail. Maybe clear plexi, maybe a wood rod stained to match, maybe something fancier…I’ll think about that. In the meantime it looks nice. When I do new floor tiles, that’ll fill in the gap on the bottom shelf as well. I also just have a hole up through the top for now…partly because I know we’re going to re-do all the electrical and it’ll make it easier to reach those switches. But I am also thinking about adding a light up in there. We shall see. If nothing else I’ll close that up with another piece of wood after we’re done with electrical stuff.

So there’s one of my big projects from the past month or so! More things are in the works, but with the temps dropping I probably won’t be able to do the flooring until spring. I want to make sure I have ideal temps for my adhesive to work. But I also know that I’m going to really miss the Glitter Glamper when I go park it for the winter in our friends’ barn, so you may see me pop in this winter with some other small projects! 😉

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Glitter Glamper Progress: Tin Ceiling Tiles!

It’s time to show you some more progress on the Glitter Glamper!

As I mentioned in my previous Glamper renovation posts, my goal with the Glamper is to make it what I need it to be, yet still preserve the original birch paneling inside. The birch inside the Glamper is in amazing vintage condition, however, it just makes for too dark of an environment for me to work in, which is the purpose of the glamper!

I special ordered some tin ceiling tiles from Menards, which took a few weeks to get. I didn’t want the cheaper glue-up tile, because I don’t want to damage the wood with a bunch of glue or foam tape. So, I went with real tin. I also couldn’t use your standard tin ceiling tile nails, because they would be too long, and likely could poke through the roof of the camper, which would be disastrous!! I also felt that shorter nails still probably wouldn’t cut it, being that this is a MOBILE ceiling that will be riding down the freeway, bumping as it goes, and I didn’t want the nails to work their way out. So, I decided on some small screws, just 1/4″ long, enough to catch the wood. If I ever want to go back to the original birch, I’ll have some small holes to putty, but that’s a lot better than paint!

The first thing you have to do with a ceiling like this is find the center of the trailer, and start from there. I measured the ceiling and marked the center with a piece of tape. My son helped me hold the first tile against the ceiling while I drilled tiny pilot holes through the tin and attached. From there I was able to complete the rest by myself.

Definitely the trickiest part!!
Hey! It looks like it did in my head!

I used my ruler, sharpie and tin snips to cut around cabinetry where needed. I highly recommend wearing gloves…I did not take my own advice and got quite a few cuts on my hands, but hey, no pain no gain, right? This spot shown above left with the exhaust fan/window and sink light fixture was the toughest for sure! I had to take apart the fan and the light partially, and cut around two cabinets, all in one piece. But, it turned out great!

To keep the feel of the canned ham shape, I wanted the ceiling tiles to continue down the front and rear curves to the floor.

I need to replace the birch below this window, then I’ll add tiles to the floor here too.
This part was too much of a bend for the tin tiles to handle. Kicking myself here because I forgot to align those bottom tiles with the center of the camper, so the line is off from the window…maybe I’ll swap those out…

In the rear of the camper, however, there is a curve that is just too tight for these tin tiles to bend. Even if I could get them to flex that much, the paint would chip off really bad. I found some plastic material that would make the curve to fill in that space, and while the pattern isn’t an exact match, I think it looks much better to continue the white field down to the floor. I might eventually do the same thing to line the tiny bathroom!

I still had a couple trim pieces cutting across the white above, so I covered that up with some adhesive backed silver glitter vinyl.

Cleaning up the edges of this in a curvy camper is tricky, because you can’t just bend crown moulding around the curves. I really just needed something decorative that was wide enough to cover the corners, so I ended up finding some 1/2″ diameter silver twisted cord online. It turned out great! The trailer originally has some vinyl piping all around the corners, so that’s what made me think of something fabric in nature.

One section of straight crown moulding worked here!

The back wall is the one place where I used a piece of actual trim, since it was a straight section. The rest was rope..glittery silver rope, of course!!

I first measured the entire length I would need, so I’d know to order 17 yards of trim. When it arrived I used a hot glue gun to attach it around the camper, taking care to keep the glue mostly on the tile and not on the wood, again, to preserve the original finish. (though hot glue peels right off the wood too if needed)

Aaah….that’s better. No more wood strips interrupting the flow of white from front to back!

The last little bit of tile that needed to go up was on the front wall, which I had held off on because there was no wall. I removed the original birch panel because it had some rot in the corners, and I had to access the dented corner to make some repairs. So, last week I picked up a sheet of 1/4″ birch plywood at Menards, measured and cut it to fit, installed it and stained it! Yes, I was going to cover it up with tin tiles anyway, but I still wanted to preserve that complete look of the original birch walls underneath. So, I did it right as if I were going to finish it with wood, and then added a few tiles. If I ever want to go back to original, I just have a few small holes to putty! Overall I think it turned out great! I achieved my goals of brightening up the space while preserving the original wood, and achieved the cohesive look of a continuous arch of white paneling from front to ceiling to back, keeping all the sides wood.

This was a big project and the tin tiles were crazy expensive. But, I am really happy with how it turned out in the end!! So many more projects to show you and more to start on, but I’ll leave it at this for now! Stay tuned for more!

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Christmas Body Paint 2020

For the past few years I’ve been doing a Christmas themed body paint on my oldest son for my business holiday cards! Yesterday I had the chance to paint Sam again for this year’s cards! He is always such a willing and awesome model! Here is a little collage of the past years…

This year I did a little time lapse video of the painting which you can find on my YouTube channel or on our learn page of tutorials!

Here’s a collage of the progress as well:

I have to say it felt really good to get my paints out again. I haven’t been doing much face painting since Covid, but have kept very busy lately on my newest project, which I’ll share with you here very soon!! In the meantime, enjoy the time lapse and start thinking about Christmas, winter and the holidays!! We are currently taking submissions for winter/holiday themed designs for the next issue of Wet Paint Magazine, so be sure to get those in asap for a chance to see your work in print!

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Summer Treat Tutorials!

Some kids are getting back to school but here in Minnesota we still stretch out summer vacation until Labor Day! In honor of those final weeks of summer we just want to remind you that there’s still time to enjoy summer treats with these fun tutorials!

The colorful dots in the background were created using double-loaded small, foam daubers! Just load, press and twist!
Finally the perfect design for my TAG Carnival Base Blender! I used my new “Ooh!” star stencil for this…I don’t carry them in my store YET, but as soon as Covid is done ravaging my business, Ooh! Stencils are on the top of my list of new products to add!!
  • Short Kabuki Stencil Brush
    $4.99
  • TAG Base Blenders
    $15.00
  • Wolfe Hydrocolor Makeup 90 gram
    $19.00

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Balloon Decor Project

Last week I did some balloon decor for my church, to help celebrate the first week of their kids’ services returning after quarantine! The balloons were designed to go with the graphics created for the coming month’s theme, specifically the words “Faith” and “Focus.” The graphics included colorful images of 3D glasses with halftone dots, so we had some fun with polka dot balloons! I also created a giant pair of 3D glasses using mylar 0’s, 7’s, and colored cellophane. It was super fun! I ordered a pack of 100 pairs of 3D glasses, and had my boys turn them into garlands using my Crop-A-Dile tool. Here are a few photos, and a time lapse video of the project going up!

My boys were great helpers! We built a couple columns in about 2 hours. I realized when I got there that I had accidentally ordered the dark blue balloons in 5″ diameter instead of 11″. Gah! So, I ran out to the nearest party shop to get more dark blue, while Sam stayed behind and kept filling the others to keep us on schedule. Thanks, Sam!

Here is a time lapse video of everything…scroll down for more pics!

Here we are hanging the 3D glasses “garland.” It worked great! We also dangled a few glasses from this across the room. On either side of this we hung red and blue crepe paper, lying against each other and twisted…which actually looked funky through real 3D glasses!

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NEW: “Bling-to-Go” DIY Body Bling Kits!

We are SUPER excited to show you our all new “Bling-to-Go” Do-it-Yourself Body Bling Kits!! They are the perfect way to celebrate virtually with your friends, or bling yourself out for a socially distant night on the town! Each kit includes a storage tin, complete instructions, skin-safe Pros-Aide body glue, and coordinating cosmetic glitter gel! Simply peel your bling off at the end of the day and store it in your tin to use again!

We have a variety of different options as far as designs go, from unicorn horns to mermaid tails and everything in between! However, every kit includes full color instructions, a 1ml vial of body glue with applicator, a 1ml container of Pixie Paint glitter gel, and your hand made bling piece of choice, all neatly packaged in a little tin for storage!

  • Bling-to-Go Premium Bling Cluster Kit
    $15.00
  • Bling-to-go Bling Cluster Kit
    $15.00
  • Bling-to-Go Mermaid Tail Kit
    $20.00
  • Bling-to-Go Monster Horn Kit
    $20.00
  • Bling-to-Go Unicorn Horn Kit
    $20.00

Our kits come complete with step by step instructions to get you started, and you can wear your bling cluster again and again! Loving the bling more than you thought you would? No worries…we have everything you need if you decide you’d like refills of your glitter gel and adhesive in the Glitter Glamper Shop!

Our handmade bling is even better when one of our talented “Glampette” artists brings it to your event and applies it along with their skilled makeup embellishments, and we can’t WAIT to get back out there and “Bring the Bing” to your celebrations! (Click here learn more about all of our in-person glittery offerings!) In the meantime, we hope that these Bling-to-go kits will help fill that sparkly void!

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Are You A Potato or an Egg?

Are you a potato, or an egg?

One of the best things about being my own boss, is that for the most part, I get to decide what I want to do, and when to do it. I can choose to take a gig or pass it on to someone else. I can decide to do more of what fills me up, and less of what doesn’t. Most self employed artists embrace and understand this, though when times get tough, we tend to forget some of our superpowers. Like we can choose to pick ourselves back up, or choose to wallow in self pity.

Lately I have seen so many of my fellow artists in one of two camps. One group is doing everything they can to remain positive, in the face of crippling financial hardship. They are using their newfound free time to do good and spread positivity, controlling what they can and letting go of what they can’t.

The other is curling up into a ball in their hole of despair, making comments like “well, I guess I’ll never paint again.” or “everything I’ve ever worked for is now completely worthless.”

I know that the state of the world is absolutely devastating to the core of us who rely on a thriving event industry for our bread & butter. My business of 25 years has come to a 100% screeching halt just like the rest of yours. What puts me into group #1, however, is that I have not given up my I’m-my-own-boss power. I am using it to not only decide whether to work in my pj’s today, but to decide that my circumstances don’t create my joy.

No, I’m not happy that I have no gigs in the foreseeable future. I am not happy that nobody else does either, and as a result nobody is ordering supplies from my shop. No, I’m not happy that my credit card debt is going to grow, and my income will not fund any family fun this summer. I’m not happy that my birthday was spent in quarantine. I’m not happy that my dad had a stroke right before the “stuff” hit the fan, and nobody is allowed to visit him in the hospital. I’m not happy, no, but I am joyful and that is what keeps me going.

I love this definition of happiness vs joy that I found via Google search:

Happiness may dwell on materialistic, worldly pleasure while joy is derived from soul satisfying, emotional well being.”

-diffen.com

What satisfies your soul? For me, it is absolutely my faith. I can’t imagine how people can get through things like this without it. For a lot of us, especially artists, it is also doing what we love to do…what we were created to do!

If you’re having trouble finding any positives in your current situation, try gratitude…yes…in ALL circumstances. Challenge yourself to find something to be thankful for every day. Sometimes a perspective shift is in order.

  • I’m thankful that I’m now forced to snuggle my boys & watch movies on my couch, while so many health care workers now can’t be close to or hug their own kids.
  • I’m thankful that I still have my talents, and can use them for so much more than my income.
  • I’m thankful that I don’t live in an abusive home
  • I’m thankful for Amazon, and my full cupboards.
  • I’m thankful for a home with multiple rooms, and a yard to play in.
  • I’m thankful for our health.
  • I’m thankful that I’m able to work from home.
  • I’m thankful for the technology that lets me see my family & friends’ faces and hear their voices.
  • I’m thankful for puzzles, perler beads and Neftlix.
  • I’m thankful that winter is on it’s way out.
  • I’m thankful for memes that make me giggle.
  • I’m thankful for our many parks that allow us to get outside while social distancing.

What are YOU doing?

“Well, I guess I’ll never paint again.” To this I say, why not? Sure, we face painters may move from painting on kids at parties to painting on practice heads, boards, and our own kids until this all passes. But the beautiful thing about painting is that you can do it anywhere! If the only reason you painted faces to begin with was to be paid at parties, it may not have been your calling after all. We don’t create our own circumstances, but our circumstances can reveal the person. Yes, even positive people are entitled to their own occasional pity party. But don’t let that be the new definition of you! Get your cry out and get back to creating!

You have control over whether you keep doing art or not. You now also have control over what you create, when and how you create it…no clients to satisfy, just yourself! Take advantage of that! I’ve seen artists sharing their huge, new design boards they’ve created this past week. I’ve seen artists painting designs to reflect their current struggles, depicting our current world through their eyes. I’ve seen artists sharing their gifts with others. Sewing masks. Decorating sidewalks. Making cards for the elderly.

What I’m Doing…

I can’t control the timing of when my income will return. But I can choose to make the most of this thing I ALWAYS seem to wish I had more of but money can’t buy: time!

The irony is not lost on me. So often I wish I had more TIME…the thing money can’t buy…because I’m so busy spending what time I do have trying to earn the money that can’t buy it, and spend what little extra time I have well. Now that we have no source of income, we find ourselves almost drowning in this elusive, priceless gift of time. Will we spend it well or waste it, only to long for it again when our work picks up?

For now I’m just taking it one day at a time. Having kids really helps because you HAVE to be positive for them. They are watching. All. The. Time. And learning from their parents how to react to tough situations. Right now we are on spring break, so I’m trying to let it be just that…a regular spring break with no strict schedules. They’ll get back to that soon enough when our district’s e-learning plans start. For now, they spend the week with mom, having fun and being creative, just less going out to movies & playgrounds…

Over the weekend I took advantage of the chance to give a little art lesson to my boys! Art imitates life, so I decided to do a still-life project with the subject being a roll of toilet paper!

Still life art lessons with Mom!

We are each creating 9 little pieces, using 9 different mediums, on little squares of paper that are exactly the same size as a sheet of TP! The boys learned about drawing cylinders, how ellipses change with perspective, how to shade, and use some fun tools they’ve never used!

We now have a puzzle table set up, which we’ve really never done. My boys are helping me cook more…

…we’ve gotten out our huge stash of perler beads and are creating a growing honeycomb art piece. My boys have even been helping me sort and organize my gem stash!!

As for my work, I’ve been able to start some projects that have been waiting on the back burner, like creating new stencils for my shop that are designed to be used with my new tutu bling, and painted tutus with 3D fairy wings! (Follow our Facebook page to find out when these stencils are available in the shop!) I’m remaining hopeful that the MN State Fair will happen, and preparing for the Glitter Glamper‘s 2nd year! And if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be super prepared for 2021!!

I’m also already working on the next issue of Wet Paint Magazine. Not because it will make me any money, because it has yet to make any profit for me…it’s purely something I create because I love to do it, and it’s mission is to uplift, inspire, and encourage my fellow artists…something we ALL need right now!

Will you let this change you for the better?

I was in a wonderful Zoom call with over 20 other artists around the country last week, put on by Lori Hurley. My favorite quote from the call was when Steve Klein said, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

The Big Question…

So, I ask you again…are you an egg or a potato? Will you choose to let your circumstances turn you into mush, or will you allow them to make you stronger than ever before? Whether you use your talents to uplift your family in quarantine, or your greater community, show the world what you’re made of! Your circumstances can’t take away your talent, or even your joy, if it comes from the right source! Stay strong painty friends! Hope and joy are just as contagious as fear! What are YOU choosing to spread?

What have YOU been doing to keep your sanity in quarantine? How are your kids keeping entertained? How are you using your art to spread hope and joy? Please share in the comments! We all could use some more ideas for the days and weeks to come!

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Use your DOWN time to UPlift: Flood your Friends’ Accounts with Positivity!

Hey entertainer friends! Let’s use our “down” time to “UPlift” our fellow small business owners! Chances are you’ve worked with many artists who have their own business. Let’s use this time we have to lift each other up by leaving positive reviews!! Not made up ones of course, but share your positive experiences working with or for your peers. Lets flood our social media and business listings with great reasons for people to hire each other, once this all blows over and people start planning events again!! I’m planning to go through this list of sites and find all my friends over the coming weeks and lift them up! Who’s with me? Please feel free to share this jpeg and include any links needed for some sites that require them for reviews! We got this!

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Coronavirus and Face Painting: Tips for Artists and Event Planners

Keeping the face painting process hygienic has always been an important concern for artists and parents alike, although it’s getting a lot more buzz lately on social media with the latest outbreak of Coronavirus.

Whether you are someone who is living in fear of contracting the virus, someone who thinks it’s all media hype, or are somewhere in between, is really irrelevant. The fact is that however real the risk is, and whether we personally react to it at all or not, it IS affecting our business as entertainers. I live in Minnesota and recently started hearing of artists having events cancelled due to Coronavirus, when we hadn’t even had a single confirmed case yet. A lot more of this is happening in other parts of the country, so it’s a topic worth discussing. I am no doctor or infectious disease expert, but here are my thoughts on this and any virus this time of year, as they pertain to our industry!

Advice for artists & entertainers

Several artists have asked me what my common sense opinion is on this current situation. I actually wrote about this topic 5 years ago, and it all still applies for artists today, and really every day. If you are a face painter, I highly recommend reading this post and evaluating your practices. Make any changes you feel are needed, and let your clients know what you are doing to prevent the spread of germs. Here are just a few simple ways you can help stop the spread of germs:

  • If you use sponges, use only one per child, whether they are disposable or you wash/sanitize them later, & don’t double-dip. (I avoid sponges almost entirely)
  • Don’t paint over lips with your brushes. There is no need; there are plenty of disposable lip application tools out there. (see my older blog post)
  • Keep your rinse water clean by changing it often. Use multiple basins to keep dirty water and fresh water separate.
  • Rinse your brushes well between kids. For an extra precaution, bring a little jar of 70% alcohol to swish them in between faces.
  • Use hand sanitizer between customers & wash hands well whenever possible.
  • Keep disinfectant wipes/sprays on hand to clean your equipment periodically.
  • Allow your paints to dry thoroughly between events.
  • Wash and sanitize all brushes, sponges, towels, etc between events.
  • Don’t paint over open wounds or on visibly sick kids.
  • For an extra precaution, wipe the area to be painted with 70% alcohol wipes before you begin. I already do this when attaching bling, so wiping a larger area is no big deal.
  • Do what you can to boost your own immune system with whatever healthy foods and supplements are available that you like!

Advice for event planners looking to hire entertainers

If you have hired a professional artist who takes hygiene seriously like I do, then I would venture to guess that kids are at greater risk interacting with each other waiting in line for painting, than they are sitting in my chair. Any time a large group of people gather in one place, the spread of germs is a given. However, here are a few things you might consider when lining up entertainment for your event:

  • Ask the artists you hire what their hygiene practices are. If anything is lacking or bothers you, ask them what they can do to alleviate your concerns.
  • Hire a real professional. Someone who’s livelihood depends on happy, healthy clients is way more likely to invest in sanitary practices and the expensive, FDA compliant products we use that contain antimicrobial properties.
  • Hire enough artists for your crowd size. Long lines means more bodies in close quarters. The quicker you can get kids through the line and back to the event, the less time they’ll be bunched up, potentially coughing on each other while they wait!
  • Provide hand sanitizer for your guests. If you are providing a volunteer line manager to help the kids form a line and choose designs, this is a great job for them!
  • If face painting still makes you or your guests really uneasy, try adding on something else that doesn’t involve touching the face, like balloon twisting or glitter tattoos. Or, request that your artist only paint on arms. Our bling bar is another great option that can be done with no brushes or sponges involved!
  • Know that we care. As artists we want all of your guests to have an awesome experience! And trust us, this is a subject we are concerned with all the time, not just during a widespread public outbreak. It is in our own best interest to keep things sanitary too! We drop ourselves right down into the center of crowds of kids on a regular basis. Kids cough and sneeze directly into our faces often, so we are always vigilant. We don’t like getting sick either, so you can rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep our stations healthy, for you AND ourselves! 😉

With any virus outbreak, you have to use your own judgement depending on your location and your own event’s setup. But, if you are an artist, I hope that this post has given you some ideas to step your sanitary practices up a notch. If you’re an event planner, I hope that this helps to ease your mind to know how hard we work any day of the year, not just cold & flu season, to keep your guests healthy and safe!

More Resources & Information

World Health Organization: The WHO has issued an event planning guide. Check it out here. It is meant to be read in conjunction with their Key Considerations for Public Health for Mass Gatherings.

The Center for Disease Control: The CDC has also issued a statement about mass gatherings as they relate to coronavirus.

They also have posted the best household cleaning recommendations for killing the virus here, and have a list of EPA approved products here.

Interactive Map: For an interactive map of the spread of coronavirus, check out this map by Johns Hopkins.

Got some of your own tips and tricks that I didn’t cover here or in my more extensive post on hygiene? Please feel free to comment and share!

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How to Paint Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Hey everyone! We’re just two weeks away from Christmas eve!! I don’t know about you but I’m swimming in Christmas events and loving painting all the fun holiday themed designs!! I’ve been getting such a great response for my quick Christmas painting videos, I thought I’d put together a video of one of my favorite Christmas cheek designs…Rudolph!

I like to have fun with this one…with the nose you can do red paint with red glitter. In the video I use red Liquid Bling! You can also use a red gemstone! Sometimes when I’m not totally slammed with a huge line, I will even use a google eye attached with Pros-Aide, which makes it extra fun. Now if you live in the Midwest like I do, where it’s -2 degrees as I type this, be sure to protect your Pros-Aide! If it freezes, it does NOT come back to life and becomes useless! I keep my Pros-Aide bottles in my purse this time of year so they always come with me!

You can watch the video here, or check it out with the others on my YouTube channel, here! Thanks for stopping by, and happy holiday painting!