Monday, July 8, 2019

"Where have you Been?!" My Recent Adventure

I think some of my followers have been wondering this lately...Where have I been?! In May I had signed up for the Inspiration to Paint group on Facebook, thinking I'd have a month to participate before my boys got out of school and the summer rush hit me full on! Then a couple weeks into the month I got a call from the Minnesota State Fair.

I had applied a couple years ago for face painting, but despite having literally millions of attendees each summer, they are dead set against having any more than the one single booth by the kid rides. So last fall I submitted a new proposal for a new concept that came to me one night while lying in my camper bed one weekend: The Glitter Glamper! The concept was a cool, retro, vintage camper, gutted and turned into a glitter body art studio on wheels. Unicorn horns, gem cluster, festival glitter and even glitter beards were on the menu, with just a touch of paint to go along with them. I bought the URL, opened various social media accounts, created a Photoshopped rendering of the concept, bound it together in a glittery, diamond studded presentation booklet explaining the idea and shipped it off to the fair board for consideration, expecting to hear back someday, if I was lucky!

My State Fair "Glamplication"

My original concept rendering
glitter beard

unicorn horn
bling cluster and decolletage

I believe that normally folks find out in the dead of winter whether they've been selected to be a licensee for the following summer. Much to my surprise, I got the call in May as the fair began calling around their regular vendors to confirm, and found out that a few were not coming back, and I was offered a 20' x 10' corner stall! They were genuinely excited about the concept, and felt it would be perfect for the type of crowd that visits their newly remodeled "West End Marketplace!"

Our location in the West End Marketplace

So, realizing that the fair was only 3 months away and at least half of that was already packed with summer family fun, camping trips, leading crafts at my church's VBS and my other county fair, I literally dove right into design and production mode without looking back. I bowed out of the Inspiration to Paint group for the month (sorry guys!), ordered zillions and zillions of gems, and began my hunt, scouring the Twin Cities Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist adds for the pieces I needed for my booth.

Glamper Location for 2019! This front corner, and the stall next to it! (20'x10')

While my original concept was for a physical "glamper," the space I'll be given for the fair won't accommodate a camper. It's basically like an outdoor stall space but is nicer because it's a solid structure with lighting, electric, and doors that lock. The folks at the fair really liked my whole "glamper" branding, look & feel though, so my goal is to still achieve that without an actual camper. With my degree in Industrial Design and background as a retail display designer, this whole thing is definitely in my wheelhouse, so I've been loving the whole design process, albeit a fast & furious one!

I've been having a ton of fun but spending every last minute and dime prepping for the fair, so this is what has kept me SO busy lately! I can't wait to unveil the new "Glamper" setup this August! In the meantime, here are a few photos of my progress so far!

What's a fair booth without a photo op board?! Paul has a glitter beard and Babe has glittery horns!

Working on my overhead sign with light up electrically and mechanically inclined brother is working on wiring these up to a plug instead of 9 individual battery boxes and switches!

Bling making in progress...gummy bear bling!

My boys are great at sorting gems for me!

My youngest posing by the 12 foot banner that will hang in the back of the booth...the booth will essentially be like the campsite that the Glamper is in, rather than being inside a camper itself. Be prepared for grass, trees and wildlife! :-D

What's a "glampsite" without some Vintage lanterns?!

Staying cool in style

Yes, I've been making bling so much that I even have been sculpting unicorn horns while actually camping myself!

My table on any given day this summer...

Sweet antique barber chair for the booth! It weighs a TON! Thanks to my husband and good friend for helping get this thing OUT of the truck and into the garage! 
You can't go glamping without a bbq grill! This one has color changing lights inside, underneath clear gems!

Of course I'll be providing some sparkly new branded aprons and hats for my fellow artists!
Lanterns are a must for camping. Glittered lanterns are a must for GLAMPING!

Antique secretary desk as I purchased it...a bit broken. My carpenter dad fixed the fold-down desk for me!

Hutch after a facelift, before re-attaching the desk part! This will make a great work station that can close up and be out of the way when we have less artists!

My boys have been such great sports this summer as Mom spends so many hours out in the garage painting and building things, and driving all around the Twin Cities to pick up Craigslist finds for the booth!!
My 11 and 9 year old helping haul foam floor mats down 3 floors of an apartment building in Prior Lake last month! This was a long drive added to a long day while also leading crafts at my church's VBS, but my feet and my artists' feet will thank us for having these puppies tucked under the astroturf! 12 hours on concrete is hard on the feet!

We drove to Maple Grove to pick up these trees! My boys had to ride with them tickling their ears, but they got lunch at Jimmy John's out of the deal! Can't have a "glampsite" without some trees!!

When I saw this posting for FREE vintage, steel, 1950's cabinets on a curb just 5 minutes from my house, I had to swing by and check them out. My youngest Toby is totally my enabler, haha! He'll say, "Oh Mom, you HAVE to go to that garage sale if it says 'vintage/retro' in it!" Well when I got back in the car after inspecting these cabinets he said "Oh mom, I can tell you really want these. We can help you load them...I can fold the seat down!"
free cabinets on the curb
 It took me 3 or 4 trips I think to get all of these home, since I had two kids in the Jeep! But these were definitely dropped on the curb near me by God himself because they were just minutes from home and light enough for me to load! And did I mention...FREE?!
These needed a lot of love but were still totally functional. The lazy susan in our kitchen squeaks horribly, and my boys thought this one was SO nice because it is quiet, haha! It required a lot of scrubbing and cleaning. I'm sure there was dirt, oil and rust on these dating way back before I was born. I spent several days with a wire brush, steel wool and spray paint and got them looking gorgeous...some of these will serve as work stations in the booth while others will serve as storage space in the "back room." had me at RED and CHROME!
Let's just say that my basement, garage, and part of the living room has been taken over by pieces of the Glamper!! HUGE HUGE thanks to my wonderfully supportive husband for allowing me to basically take over his garage this summer! Okay, if one more person asks me where I'm going to store all this stuff, I just might scream...but right now I don't have time to think that far ahead. (which if you know me is crazy unlike me, I'm a MAJOR planner-ahead-er!) After the fair we will see if this stuff pays for itself, and if so, I'll search out storage options! Until then, I'll stay way outside of my comfort zone and build now, plan later! Haha!

This has been a massive undertaking so far in a short amount of time. I eat, sleep and breathe Glamper but have had such an outpouring of support from family and friends, it's been very humbling! I had dozens of artists step up wanting to help run the booth. Friends and family offering to watch our boys, help set up and tear down, help find random things I need for the booth, and offer to help in any way. My husband has helped lift crazy things and let me invade the garage and house. My dad has helped me repair and modify my furniture finds. My brother is working on lighting up my sign as we speak. My boys have not only run all over town with me gathering stuff and running errands, but help with many aspects of the booth, down to sorting gems and letting me paint glitter beards on them. My mom convinced her sweet neighbors (one of whom has a huge beard) to let me bling them out for photos. I even have fellow artists offering to donate their time to help me make bling clusters. What an awesome tribe we have here in the Twin Cities!! I SO hope and pray that this whole adventure turns out to be a worthwhile effort for all involved...or if nothing else, is FUN in the process!! The one thing I know is that we will all sparkle and shine in the process! I can't wait to see how it all turns out...hope to see you at the fair!

Want to keep up with the Glamper's adventures this summer? Follow us on social media! We're sure to be posting lots of fun photos throughout the fair! :-D

Monday, April 29, 2019

My Top 5 Favorite Brushes!

What's your favorite brush? It's a question that of course comes with as many answers as there are's a super personal preference. However, I thought I'd share my own personal preference with you today! Here are 5 of my current favorite brushes...

Loew-Cornell Round brushes are what I use for most of my painting. Take good care of your tips and you can do main color areas AND linework with ONE brush. I love the 7000 series brushes...they have been replaced with the new 7000C series, which are the same bristles but now a wood handle instead of acrylic.  I loved the acrylic because it doesn't expand and contract when wet, loosening the ferrule over time...but the bristles are really the most important thing. So I now use the 7000C series. A #0-#1 for outlining, and a #4-#5 is my main workhorse!! When I started out face painting I assumed sable bristles were the best, because they are real animal hair, and were the most expensive. However, with experience I learned that synthetic fibers work better for face painting...they hold up to the rigors of our work and they hold their shape the best!

TAG's #12 3/4" Flat Brush is my all time fave for one strokes!  The 3/4" width is designed to fit perfectly in one stroke cakes, and their length holds just the right amount of paint, and gives me enough room to flex and really load up the brush well.

Loew-Cornell Rake Fan brush is great for applying festival glitter and pixie paint, and I love it for painting textures like fur! (as seen in my Realism book) Unfortunately Loew-Cornell has discontinued this brush too, since being bought out by Newell corp, so I am on the hunt for a good replacement. I like this one because the bristles are really stiff and spread out, and the stiffness enables me to use it for stippling effects too.

Cameleon Blending Brush I use ALL the time when I'm doing anything realistic...specifically the small one. When I first got it I thought, "woah this thing is way too small!" But it's NOT! It's perfect for those realistic drop shadows that I paint under jewelry designs, masks, etc. when I really need good control, but a fluffy, poofy brush. (You'll see me using this in my Jewelry book) The larger one is great for blending too, and I use more in my larger body paintings.

Cameleon Petal Brush is awesome for those double dip flower petals!! I also use it to create any triangular or short teardrop shapes, water drops flying off of a shark, etc.

These are just a few of my faves...there are probably 5-10 others that I use often too, but these are probably my favorites to date. What are your favorite brushes? I may do another post with some of my others down the road! Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting! :-)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Paintings, Bling Bar and New Products Abound!

It's been a busy April already and it's only the 9th! I haven't posted in a little while so this is kindof a hodge-podge of randomness, but here's what I've been up to with Wet Paint Magazine, a painting contest, launching my new Bling Bar and some new products in the shop!

Wet Paint Magazine

The next issue of Wet Paint Magazine will be out early next month, so I'm working hard to wrap that up! Be sure to like and follow Wet Paint on Facebook to be alerted when the issue goes's going to be a GREAT issue!!

Contest Entries

I've also been having a blast participating in a daily painting contest for the St Louis Face & Body Art Convention...they give us 10 days worth of themes at a time and we have to post a pic in an album on their Facebook page. In the end they'll do a drawing from those who posted every day, for free admission. Not certain if I'll keep it up as I'm not certain that I can close up shop for a week to attend, but in the meantime I am enjoying the challenges! Here are a few entries...

theme: "New beginnings"

Theme: Stars

Theme: Batman

Theme: Transportation

Theme: St Louis
Bling Bar Launch

Last week was my first event using my full, new Bling Bar service! My painty friend Tina Carroll did glitter tattoos alongside me, while ran the bling bar, applying festival glitter, bling clusters and "narwhal horns" (it was an underwater theme) to the girls! It was a HUGE hit with a non-stop steady line...I blinged out about 85 girls in 3 hours!

I spend SO many hours making this "bling book" display! I wanted something that allowed the kids to flip through and choose their design without having to touch them all in the process, yet remove the one they want to hand to me on their turn. Every piece of bling is on it's own display card, tucked into a clear pocket.  So, the kids simply slip their card out and hand it to me when it's their turn, I remove the bling and keep the card. It also enables me to get a very accurate count of how many I've done, with the stack of cards at the end of the event! 

So many sparkly choices!!

New Product Additions

I've recently added a few new goodies to the shop as well! Here they are with some links...

For your bling cluster making endeavors, we now have a huge 20-pack of dimensional fabric paints!

20-pk Scribbles Fabric paints, $29.99

We've been carrying Foamies brand air dry clay for a while now, for making unicorn and monster horn bling. However, we've just added some Crayola Model Magic clay to our assortment as well! It's more expensive per ounce than Foamies, but this gives you a chance to purchase a bunch of colors to play with before deciding to purchase larger amounts. This pack comes with six 1/2 ounce packs in secondary colors. It includes 1 each of purple, orange, brown and green, and two packs of white.
6-pack Model Magic $7.99

If you're a balloon artist, you'll be happy to hear we now carry Hi-Float! Hi-float can make your helium balloons last up to 25 times longer! We have Hi-Float in a 16 ounce bottle, and it comes with a pump and instructions.
Hi-Float, pint with pump $19.00

Also in the balloon section, we've added to our assortment of nozzle-up Betallatex brand balloons, both metallic gold and silver!

Check out the shop today, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on our new product additions, and other important announcements! Happy painting!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How to Make Unicorn Horns for Face Painting

Three-dimensional unicorn horns are a fun way to really up your game!

Horns made of air dry clay, set in gem clusters made of glitter fabric paint and acrylic rhinestones

We've just put together a video to show you how to create your own! Find all the supplies you need to make horns AND gem clusters right here in our shop! Watch the video below, or via our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on our next one!


Here are a few pro tips for applying unicorn horns that are listed in the video:

- For the best results, clean the skin first with alcohol. (especially in sweaty environments or oily skin)
- While the original Pros-Aide is great for glitter tattoos that we want to last for days, we recommend the new Pros-Aide II for horns and gems. It adheres just as well, but breaks down more easily when cleaning, which makes it easier for parents to remove the residue when the horn is taken off!
- Apply your Pros-Aide II to both the gem cluster AND the skin. Allow it to dry, becoming clear and tacky to the touch, before attaching the horn to the skin.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!