Tag Archives: Winnipeg

Getting My hands Dirty With Prosthetics

So you decide to write a blog and update it every 2 weeks, its going well at the beginning, even when things start to pile up and you get stressed, you stay committed and determined to get your blog out every 2 weeks because its fun and in a way even though it seems like a huge task its also very enjoyable…*deep breath*…and then some how life builds up on you so much that you are now 2 months behind schedule and the simple task has become this daunting thing that sits in the back of your mind at every turn reminding you you have not only ALL your other work to do but you have your blog! and photo shoots! and exams! and and and…some times you just have to tell your self “I’m doing this today, right now, even though I cant possibly finish it” then to your supersize your actually accomplishing the task and you think back and cant really recall why you didn’t do it sooner…

So its the beginning of September and we started our second last course at CMU, Prosthetics. This course is all about fabricating things that help visually create your character or help tell the story. So maybe your character gets beat up and you need some cuts, or you need some bullet hole wounds, maybe your character is an ogre and you need to totally redesign their face, well this is the place to be!

The very first thing we got to work on was a plate mould. You make the first half, which is essentially a chunk of cement with a flat surface, then you sculpt your design in clay on top. Then you pour more cement over top the whole thing, so the second half has a negative impression of your sculpt. After cleaning both sides you can pour gelatin in, lock the two sides together and voila you have a beautiful and inexpensive mould.

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For the remainder of the first week we were life casting our entire class. You start by putting alginate over the entire area, in this case we only life cast the face. Next you use plaster bandages over top, once those are dry you immediately take it off the person and start filling it with cement. The end result is an exact copy of the persons face.

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We also got to make some texture stamps from silicone.

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Over the long weekend I took some time to relax and explore the city.

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After getting my life cast it was time to start sculpting. I chose to do a demon type creature, inspiration from Diablo my favorite video game of all time….

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As you can see this was a lengthy process, once we finished sculpting it was time to make a cement mould of the sculpture so back to the lab we went!

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There was a lot of cleaning involved and it would be awhile before we saw the finished results…

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Here are some class mates and my instructor hard at work!

During the last weekend of September a friend and I went to see my first drag queen!! Of course we started with only the best, Bianca Del RIo!!

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She was in Toronto on tour with her ‘Roladex of Hate’ comedy routine, it was amazing! Then it was IMATS weekend!! IMATS is the International Makeup Artist Tradeshow, there are makeup demonstrations all day that range between beauty and creature makeups, there are hundreds of vendors and tons of discounts…so you can imagine I did a lot of shopping!

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This brings us to crunch time, we had about two weeks left to run foam latex in our moulds, prepare for the photo shoot, and plan our bonus photo shoots. This was the exact moment when I put every thing else in my life on hold…I decided for my bonus photo shoot I wanted to make a fallen angel…which would require me to sculpt some wounds and mould them and cast them but I had a lot of down time while the foam latex set up.

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My first foam latex run! And it didn’t turn out too bad!

Back then I didn’t realize how much extra work I was taking on. It seemed each time I had almost finished, one of my instructors would give some advice to make it better…but would set me back a little, then it set me back a lot…with a lot of hard work and extra hours I did manage to finish (the day before the photo shoot, lol). I am more than happy how it turned out and in some strange little way makes all that effort, sweat, stress, tears, and sleep deprivation all worth it.

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This was what I was trying to go for…

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And this was my journey until completion!

Nothing about the final two weeks was easy, but I managed to get it all done, and this was the results!

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My test paint ^

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Finished product ^

I almost forgot, some where in between every thing we also had to do a flat mould, similar to the plate mould, we had to sculpt different wounds and things, then make a mould. The idea is to make bondo transfers with this mould, you can find these at Halloween stores for sale, kind of like a temporary tattoo you peel the backing off and stick it down where ever you want. Stay tuned for the finished result of those…my class was a little behind schedule, we managed to get them moulded but not cast. Ive been meaning to find time to finish those…

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After all that I was rewarded with a trip home for the Thanksgiving weekend!! If i wasn’t so busy I would have noticed how desperately home sick I was. My mom took me to Cavalia, I had a huge turkey dinner, and finally got some down time to relax and enjoy my family!

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We have now started our finally course, Creature Design. I think I will leave that story,

Until next time,

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From Theatre to Film and Everything in Between

I promised an update after exams, I’m a little late but here it is! from theatre to film and every thing inbetween

We had had two weeks left of theatre, the first one we learnt old age, Chinese opera style looks, and distortion make up. At work I was asked to design a sandwich board with our latest promotion! 

The last week of theatre was a whirlwind of activity, but I made it out! We had to present a character we designed for our assigned plays and execute the make up in class. I had a drag queen from Priscilla Queen of the Desert.


We also had our photo shoots, this time around I wasn’t as stressed as the first time but it was still an intense day. Here is a lil peek at my look. 

We also had to do an animal make up in class, then we had our final exam, a written portion, and three timed theatre makeups…So glad its over! 

Over the weekend Natasha and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum to see the new Pompeii exhibit, it was a really good exhibit and totally worth checking out!


July 20th we started our film course, yay! I have been looking forward to this class since the beginning!! We spent the first week working on theory, continuity & script breakdown, airbrush, and the makeup techniques necessary for HD filming. We also got to do some male grooming and laying facial stubble. The second week was all about the decade looks, we already did the 1920’s – 1980’s in fashion but we learnt the different looks for film. I have to admit it was a little dry, especially since I want to get into the gory side of things.

Unfortunately on the 29th Natasha flew home, which left me a little lonely, “thankfully” I had an exam to study for to keep my mind occupied…Friday we had part 1 of 2 written exams…AND I had a flight home after class!! Cedric was so happy to see me! 

I got to spend time with quite a bit of my family and hang with my friends! Though 3 days really isn’t enough and before I knew it I was flying back to Toronto. Bobbi and I grabbed dinner and hung out once I arrived because the next day he flew to the East coast for the premiere of his show “Once You’ve Found It”!!

Our first  ‘special effects’ make up for film was sickness/drug abuser, today we did oldage stipple, and tomorrow we work on casualty makeup, so excited!


My focus this week is to work on my assignments, one of them is really cool, we get to create a disease where we design a 5 stage progression make up for it! Stay tuned for details!

Until next time,


Home And Back Again

I guess it’s been a crazy two weeks, let me take you back to the week of May 11…

For the first time since I had my accident I was back at work with training shifts. My boss is really understanding and only gives me two shifts a week, any more than that and I’d loose my mind trying to keep up with school. The perks are good though, a discount on all food/drinks/products and a weekly mark-out which is essentially free coffee!

This week we started working with our airbrush! It’s a lot of fun but a lot of work to clean…  

Thursday I woke up with a cold but nothing was going to stop me because for the long weekend I was flying home! For the last two weeks I had been counting down the days, Im surprised I even slept Thursday night what with the excitement and the cold…

I had permission to leave class early for my flight, I tried so hard to not look at the clock every 5 minutes and then before I knew it I was off to the airport. My friends picked me up and took me to the Olive Garden where my family had a table waiting for us. I should have been tired but it felt so great to be home! After dinner I cuddled my fur-ball animals until they no longer wanted my attention, and then I cuddled them more hahaha.

 
Saturday was a harder day, we drove out to Breton Lake where there was a memorial service for my step-mother. It was not the family reunion any of us wanted but I was happy to be there to support my father. It was a beautiful day, most of us even got sunburnt. 

 

That night I took some medicine for my cold, little did I know it was making me drowsy and I went to bed super early, I was pretty much asleep before I was even in my bed…

When I awoke…there was snow every where!   

I honestly don’t know why we live here…snow? in May?

I was content to hang out at home with my friends, away from the snow, we watched movies, played cards, there was even a big home cooked meal, which I desperately needed. All was good except for the shadow looming over every moment, my flight back to Toronto was quickly approaching and I was not ready to go.

I enjoyed every minute as much as I could and we even took my dad out to lunch before my flight. We went to the restaurant I used to work at so I got to see some of the great people I worked with…and some not great ones as well…The flight back to Toronto was smooth, as we came down for landing the flight attendant pointed out that there were fireworks going off all around the city that could be seen out our windows. What an interesting way to be welcomed back to the city! By the time I got home from the airport it was time for bed, the moment I walked in the door of my apartment I was homesick, as much as I enjoyed my trip home I knew it was going to make this next week difficult.   

 

In class on Tuesday we had a mature woman visit and be our model so we learnt a few different ways to apply makeup to an older crowd of people as well. Immediatley after school I was needed for Bobbi’s fundraiser. He created his own theatre company and is raising money to take his show to 3 east coast fringe festivals this summer. If your interested in donating this is his fundraising page, check it out if you have time! It was a 1920’s themed swing dance with a live band and a dance lesson if you’re swing dancing was a bit rusty, plus a sneak peak at his upcoming show!

https://fwyc.ca/campaigns/once-youve-found-it

  

It was another late night after the fundraiser but it was nice to be involved. The next day as fate would have it we learnt 1920’s style makeup lol, after class I had work, thankfully I was only on until 9:30 because I was in despereate need of groceries. Bobbi walked me and my groceries home that night, isnt he sweet?

Thursday in class we learnt 1930’s makeup and again after class I worked, luckily it was online training so basically I watch training videos all night. I had never been so thankful for Friday when it finally rolled around. The week was a whirlwind of activities and I really needed a break. In class we learned 1940’s and 1950’s make up, I think I had three makeup applications on my face that day…my skin really needed a break. After class I was able to relax a little and catch up on my assignements. 

Saturday I got alot of my house stuff done, I also went to the bank and had a little imprompto shopping, don’t worry I only bought one thing. It was a nice day so we meandered through the village before returning home. Now that I had less distractions I was feeling homesick again… I want to be here for classes but I really miss my family (choosen and biological). And that brings us to Sunday, Im done all my work so today I can do what ever it is I want…which might end up being some computer games and movies, what ever it takes to reset for next week which will hopfully be alot less busy than last week hahaha, seriosuly its nice to have down time.

Tips for Living With 6 People and 1 Water Heater!

1. Know everyone’s schedule. If you can shower before the others get up (which living in a basement apartment…you know when they are up) you get first dibs on the hot water.

2. Know your nearest exit. When the water suddenly changes from warm and relaxing to ice cold daggers of doom you need to know whcih corner of your tiny stall shower is safe from the flow of water.

3. Fight for what you want. Sometimes I find my self in a battle for the hot water, it seems that when there are multiple faucets going the last one to turn on gets the hot water….so if you keep turning your water hotter and hotter you get the hot water…just make sure #2 has been identified because when the other person gives up, you get all the hot water….

4. Lastly be adaptable, maybe today you wont get that steamy hot shower you want and thats ok!

Until next time,


A Week’s Worth

In the last week a lot has happened. First I had to sort and pack up all my belonging that would be accompanying me, I some what haphazardly sorted the most important things into boxes, plastic bins and duffle bags. I’m pretty sure I unpacked and repacked each box at least three times in order to maximize space.
   
 

Despite my incredibly organized nature, for this trip I took a back seat for making the travel arrangements. I think I was in denial about leaving for the longest time and thats why I had been so disorganized. When I realized we had still not booked any hotels 2 days before our departure I began to freak out…It took several hours and 2 people searching for vacancies but it happened. The hard part was finding a hotel for downtown Toronto, that had parking available…for less than my first born child…

The night before we departed was supposed to be a test pack to ensure every thing could fit in the van but people showed up late and with more bag and boxes than we had agreed upon so the test pack never happened and I had to leave a bunch of stuff behind. Most of it wont be missed, for the exception of my cat, Cedric. He is the centre of my universe and was my main support for leaving home but there was simply not enough room and I know he would have been uncomfortable so I felt it was best for his health to stay. I am devastated by it to say the least. I didn’t sleep very much that night, I usually don’t before travel, but that night was filled with doubt and second guessing my decisions. I had convinced my self that I was insane for choosing to leave my home, family, and friends, the only thing that was keeping me going was that I knew I had gone to far to turn back now.

  
Departure day. 

  
As fate would have it there was a mini blizzard of sorts which made leaving the city extremely difficult and dangerous. The highway to get to the boarder ended up being closed but we managed to find away around the barricade (smart right?). We drove incredibly slow and because it had been closed there were no other vehicles on the road. At the boarder we were pulled over and escorted inside, we waited an hour to be processed and released. While there the power went out 5 times and an alarm kept going off, it was an interesting experience. After the boarder it seemed to be smooth sailing, the weather cleared up and the roads were dry, I believe we did 11 hours of driving between three drivers. We stopped in Madison, Wisconsin for the night at the Howard Johnson hotel, for the price this was a nice hotel, the room included a mini fridge and a breakfast buffet.

  
Day two. After our continental breakfast we set out for another 10 hours of driving, the traffic picked up as we neared Chicago and we had to pay nearly $11 in toll roads. We thought it was going to be an uneventful journey for the remainder of the day but an hour from the Canadian boarder, almost on cue, the van started having issues with the brakes gripping the front tire…when we were not braking. We pulled over and could smell burning rubber but there was no other signs of the problem so we slowly made our way to the nearest town where we luckily found a garage with a mechanic on shift. They stopped what they were doing and immediatley saw us, I was so worried that they would tell us we would have to stay the night and wait until morning lol. The mechanic inspected the vehicle and in his opinion told us it was safe to drive and that it was the brand new calliper that had to be worn in (or some thing).

  
So we got back on the road and it only started doing it again while I was driving (lucky me). By 10pm we made it to our new apartment and were given the keys, we quickly unpacked the van and then headed for our hotel.

The next morning we promptly headed to IKEA for basic furniture (a bed and table) then to Walmart to stock the shelves! It was a long day of shopping. Afterwards we had dinner at my favourite Thai restaurant, Salad King, dessert at a frozen yogurt shop, Menchies, and then back to the hotel with a few cans from the LC where we chatted the night away.

   
 

By this point we hadn’t really set any thing up, we had just been shoving things into the apartment and leaving so on Saturday we took the morning to set up a little but then it was time for sight seeing as my friends that had driven me to Toronto only had two days left before heading back. 

  

We ended up touring the Brewery District and the St. Lawrence Market. We saved the best for last, for dinner we went to Medieval Times were you are served a meal that must be eaten with your hands while you are entertained with a live tournament of knights and horses! It was a little bit expensive ($60/person I think) but worth going to, we had a blast!

   
   

On Sunday we got the apartment a bit more organized.

   
   

Then we went to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, fantastic as always but again a bit expensive ($30/person).

  
I was going to take the group to the CN Tower but it is expensive (roughly $30/person) just to ride an elevator…so we took pictures in front of it for free and carried on to what I can only describe as my favourite meal of the week.

  
Scaddabush. We had so much food and some how we managed to eat it all too! We recovered from our food-coma’s at the hotel while we watched the season finale of The Walking Dead, not only was it awesome that I got to see the episode (because I don’t have cable) but it felt like I was at home since that is sort of a household tradition.

Monday, the day of dread. My two closest friends were heading back to Winnipeg and reality was sinking in, it was no longer a vacation in Toronto. I was now officially moved out, on my own, in my very first apartment. Surprisingly  though I managed to keep my emotions at normal levels and continue on with the day (which really goes to show how mature I have become…I think, maybe I’m still delusional lol). Later in the day I had an interview, I hate interviews, and I don’t think I did well… Afterwards we found a dollar store and picked up some things for the apartment and organized a bit more. I made dinner for my self, which turned out…edible but I sense cooking is going to be different now that I am not making for 4+ people.

  
After dinner the land lord came to talk to use about the garbage system here, which is alot more complex than in Winnipeg. There are three bins; blue, green, and grey. Blue is for recyclables and there is no limit or charge for how much you put in but is only collected once every 2 weeks. Green is for any organic materials and will be turned into composte and is collected every week (apparently residents can then use this for their gardens if they wish). Lastly, grey is for every thing else and is considered garbage, this is collected once every two weeks and you are billed on how much you use. The idea is to make a more sustainable system and reduce how much gets put in landfills, in my opinion I think this should be implemented every where, though it will take some getting used to what goes in each bin. Later in the evening my best friend came over and once again we chatted into the late hours of the night.

My new bed is going to take some time to get used to, and the people above us get up really early….but this morning we got the internet hooked up Yay! Im not entirely sure what to do with my self now but I think I will do some house cleaning today, it seems every thing needs a good scrub down, that should keep me busy for a while. That folks is one week’s worth.

Until next time.


Toronto Day 9: The End Of A Big City Adventure

 

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Today was a lazy kind of day, we slept in, took our time getting ready, I even spent some time writing the Niagara post. We only had one major thing on the Agenda today and that was the Royal Ontario Museum that had previously evaded us. It was our last day in Toronto so we had to see it today.

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After a leisurely lunch we walked over to the museum. Admission was included with our Toronto City Pass but we paid an additional charge to see the special exhibit; China, The Forbidden City. Unfortunately I couldn’t take photos so I have nothing to show. I will say that it was a pretty neat exhibit, though for $11 I was expecting to see a Terracotta Warrior.

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My advice to those of you who wish to visit this museum, give yourself an entire day to explore. We thought 3 hours would surely be enough time but it wasn’t. We were not able to take our time in each section of the museum and half way through we realized we had to prioritize the exhibits we wanted to see most. In the end we had skipped the majority of the second floor and one exhibit on two other floors. I was a big fan of the Egypt exhibit and learned a few things about their burial rituals.

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After a mandatory visit to the gift store we headed across the street for much needed coffee. Once we returned to the apartment Bobby went out to do laundry while I worked diligently on the blog post. It was about 8pm when we headed out for our last dinner in Toronto, my mother was very generous and offered to pay for us to return to Scaddabush (Love you!) and so we did!

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The food was just as perfect as the first time, we enjoyed our last evening in the big city and chatted the night away. Then we realized we hadn’t packed yet and our flights were first thing in the morning so we headed back home and gathered our things.

The next morning we got up at 6am (again I didn’t sleep much), it took a street car, one subway transfer, and an express bus to get to the airport. 2.5 hours later we were back in Winnipeg!! Thus concluding my adventure in the big city, I have a feeling I will be back in the near future though ; )

I hope that these accounts of my adventures have been either entertaining, informative, or at the least enjoyable. My goal has been to motivate people to get out and explore the world around them, far too often we spend all our time in one corner of the world, be free my pretties, take a chance, get lost, have an adventure!

Until the next time!