Best Henna Weekend ever! (long)

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Posted by Lauren on July 29, 2002 at 18:27:28:

No prictae gigs for almost a year, then all the sudden people start
to notice I'm here. Yay!
Saturday was a "Welcome to the World" party for a 3-week-old boy
whose mama I had decorated while pregnant with Alex's four-lizards
design. He looked just like a baby, only smaller. Three weeks, 7
pounds. Yikes! Anyway, I told them when booking the appointment
that I would need to bring the baby and they said, heck, bring the
whole crew, so husband, two kids, and me all went. There was
swimming and games and a huge amount of food, all of which
entertained the kid and husband. I set up shop at two but people
didn't start arriving until past four. After that, it was still all
very relaxed, outdoors under a tent with great music playing softly.
People really liked Spellstone, but I also got to do some fun
originals, and a couple people used the computer to get some pictures
of stuff they wanted. I did a frontal-view Wright Brothers
airplane. This was Not Easy but I think I did a creditable job. It
started to get dark as I was doing the last person and I realized
that I'd been there a really long time! When I went inside, it was
8pm and I think I did around 15 people in six hours. When they went
to pay me, I felt sorta guilty about charging my usual hourly rate
for such a relaxing day when my family was fed and entertained also,
but they insisted on paying me the whole rate for the whole time,
even the hours I was just sitting there drinking their soda. If they
feel that I enhanced their party that much just by sittin' around, I
suppose I should feel honored :) I don't know if I'll get any repeat
business out of it, but I did make some friends.
The second job was yesterday. This was for a bunch of middle-aged
women out in the expensive boonies of CT. The woman who was
scheduling it really went into detail, asking about sites with
ethinic recipes for the theme, getting info about henna to send to
the other women, and and making sure than my setup was going to be
adequate. Again, I told her when booking that the baby and I were a
package deal, and she had no problems with that. I planned 30
minutes extra on the hour drive to make sure we'd get there on time.
Lucky that, because I ended up taking an interstate East instead of
West and went about five exits before I realized. This in itself
would not be a big problem, but the van stalled in the middle of the
intersection and would restart but turn off as soon as it was put in
gear, and this took about half an hour to resolve. I finally got
back on the right way and headed off, then we hit traffic and as soon
as my foot was off the gas pedal, the van stalled again. Luckily
this was next to a breakdown lane so I could pull over and fuss with
it out of traffic. This took another 20 minutes. Also luckily I had
my husband's cell phone so I called and told them I'd be late. I
finally arrive forty minutes late to this gorgeous house in the
country. They had their garage hung with black drapery and tables
set up with really pretty decorative covers and placemats, plus gold
candles, flower centerpieces, and napkin holder party favors. Many of
the women were wearing indian-inspired clothing. The hostess had
made or bought tabouleh, spanakopita, feta cheese squares, and a
couple other food items, but the coolest thing was cherry tomatoes
stuffed with seasoned couscous. They offered me food and drink,
helped me set up my stuff, and swooped down en masse on the baby.
All the women were fortyish and all had breastfed at least two kids,
so not only were they happy to play with the baby (who was obligingly
smiley and gurgly) but they were totally relaxed about my feeding
him, too. They all has design sheets they'd printed out from the
Web, including several from this page and several by Shaon (they love
your work, by the way!) but once they saw HJBA and Spellstone, many
of them were enchanted all over again and changed their minds. All
of them wanted interesting stuff, some creating a new design from
pieces. I thought I'd removed the dragons page from HJBA but
apparently not... and one of them wanted one! ACK THAT IS JUST TOO
MUCH! Beautiful and it turned out great but took too long for that
party. One other lady wanted the same one but I talked her out of it
in the interest of time. While I hennaed, the hostess brought out
the main course of steak and chicken kebabs, falafel, kibbe, and
pita. After the henna and food were done, I pulled out my dance
scarves and taught them some middle-eastern dance moves. Some of
them just kept going for the "sex stuff" but many were really into
it. After I started telling them about the SCA and Renn faires and
stuff, they ended up going through my van to see what I had in there
leftover from last weekend's events, and they bought a few temari
balls and a CD, along with a henna kit and several sticks of
aftercare balm. I gave out a lot of cards- apparently the hostess
had had to turn people away, and everyone has friends who'd wanted to
come. This could turn into something big! I packed up, retrieved
the baby, and tried to turn around to leave, but of course the van
stalled in the middle of an intersection again for yet another 20
minutes. It finally restarted and I got home at almost 2am.
I am so jazzed about this whole thing! I've done so many events
where I went on the chance that someone would want my work, but to be
invited somewhere is terrific and way more fun, not to mention way
more lucrative. I feel like this is more than a hobby now. Not yet
a career, but I feel like I'm official.. real somehow. I'm very
proud of my work.


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