Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wicked Faire 2011

Another faire over. I have to say, before it started, I was really torn. I've had so much going on with the day job, the family, the friends, the soap, the house... I was already kind of tired.  Plus, I was just sick last week, which wore me out. So as much as I look forward to faire, I was having a hard time getting geared up for it, exhausted as I was.

I was in a great mood once I was on the way, though.

Friday night is always slow, so I just had a few takers. One was a faire volunteer, my buddy Aiden, who actually has organized the faire vendors for several years.

Would you believe I forgot my camera the first night? I took out the battery to charge it overnight, and left the camera and battery on my nightstand. Oops! So that's why the photos aren't great; I had to resort to using my phone, which has a decent camera but it wasn't cooperating with the hotel lighting.

Anyway, I did get to do this cool Steampunk painting. She was wearing all black and had this awesome neon orange hair, so her guy suggested I include some orange. I love matching, so why not?

I so wish it was clearer!

During the rest of the night, in between hanging out with friends and catching up with everyone I hadn't seen in a year or so, I doodled on my own arm and got my hair braided.

The Saturday is the big faire day, when everything's happening. I had a lot more painting going on, wore my demon bat wings, and painted my face too.

Going in for a closeup...

I know the face paint and wings don't exactly scream "smiling face," but I look so much better when I smile. Besides, I was happy. I was having a really good time. So... the painting...

I had three staff members/volunteers come for painting on Saturday. One of the early paintings was on my friend Martha.

And then a request for just a few swirls.

One thing I love about Wicked Faire is that most of my models tell me, "whatever you think is good," like Oliver did.

Sometimes, though, I get a somewhat more specific request. This chick told me she likes to head for the darker side, is a fan of vampires and zombies, and found the painting I did on myself to be too tame for her. And then she let me run with it. She liked this.

Deciding what to do on this Mad Hatter was easy, once she asked me if I could do it. Like there was even a question!

And these Care Bears just wanted bear muzzles.

How cute are they?

Another cute couple were Thumbelina and her fiance. Loved them!

And then in the early evening, I got to do the body painting on Toni, a model I've painted several times, who just lets me do my thing. She's awesome.

And she's a nut.

And of course the requisite shot of the two of us together.

After we were done with the corset and wings, Toni took me and Eric down the hall to a party, where we got some kickin' sangria and I got to paint these two awesome people.

After a very long day (and night), I packed up and we went to watch a magic show before heading off back home for the night.

And then... today was day 3, the last day of Wicked Faire. I had another body painting lined up, an awesome model, Kiki. Not only did she come up with the idea of a peacock-themed painting, but she went out and bought peacock feathers, leaving her local craft store completely devoid of them. And she found ruffled underwear so it'd look "feathery," but could only find them in white... so she proceeded to buy fabric dye and dye them black! Now that's dedication.

I wanted to keep her "street legal" for the hotel, where just pasties were deemed insufficient, so I used pasties on her, then painted her, then used spirit gum to affix some of the feathers for the bra-top of her bodice.

And the finished product, which she loved.

And again, that requisite joint shot...

The best part was that she kept getting stopped for compliments and photos. Love it!

So... that was Wicked Faire 2011, from the perspective of me. I say it was a success all around.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prep Work

Next weekend, I face & body paint at an event called Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire.  I've been doing it for several years, but a few years ago, I got a wheeled cart so I could paint on the go and not miss shows I wanted to see, not miss shopping, not miss all the fun.  It works well.

It's also ugly.

So the first year, I suddenly thought last minute of getting a table skirt for it.  Of course by last minute I mean on the way to the event.  So I ended up with a dull blue plastic table skirt sold in the party section of the dollar store.

It was ugly too.  And very much not of the Renaissance.  Or Wicked, for that matter.

The second year I had the cart, which was last year, I didn't even bother.  I meant to make something, didn't find the time, and gave up.  Of course, I didn't have a sewing machine back then.  I went with my plain cart, which really doesn't go with the Renaissance theme.  It also doesn't go with the Wicked theme.  It's fairly un-thematic.  Just utilitarian.  And, you know, ugly.

And then in July, I got my sewing machine.  And in October, I won that Joann's gift card from Frugal With a Flourish, and I bought that awesome royal crushed velvet.  I also bought some 1/2" elastic.

So... today I cut my fabric and started to sew.  The cart is 87" around.  The height of it is perfect for 1/2 the width of the fabric, so I cut a 60" piece, and then cut it in half lengthwise.  I hemmed each short end for a nice finish.

Having the machine really makes life easier for stuff like this, and I got nice, even hems.

Each pack of elastic was 3.5 yards, so I needed to sew the better part of two of them together.

I stitched in two spots and went back and forth to make sure it's strong.  Last thing I need is the elastic breaking in the middle of a 3-day event.

I used the elastic to measure how far I needed to fold the fabric over at the top, and pinned it down, then sewed just outside the pins to give the elastic a little more room.

I designated the cut long end as the "top," since the other side was already finished, and could be a nice straight bottom without any alteration, while the top needed to be sewn down for the elastic to run through.

For anyone who's never done this before, a little trick... pin a safety pin to the end of your elastic.  It makes it much, much easier to pull through.

When I was running it through the second length of fabric, I had to make sure I wasn't going to pull it right out the other end, so I pinned the far end to the velvet to make it stay put.

Once both pieces were strung onto the elastic, I sewed together the open ends of elastic and tried it on the cart.  It looked good, but the velvet was heavier than I anticipated, and dragged down a bit.  To keep it lifted properly, I sewed a button in the front middle, where I wanted one of the splits in the fabric to be.

Then I sewed on a loop of embroidery thread, to the opposite side of the elastic, to be pulled across the top of the cart and hold the fabric up.

The way I set up my face paints, the thread won't interfere.  Just to make sure it's really stable, I also added buttons and loops of embroidery thread to the corners.

And voila!  The cart is ready for faire!

Much better.