Ms. Bathtub

Musings from Carye Bye of Portland, Ore.

My Photo
Location: Portland, Ore., United States

I may be Ms. Bathtub, but I hardly ever take baths.. I do shower that is, so don't worry!

I am the director of the Bathtub Art Museum and also run my own printing card & novelties business under the name Red Bat Press. I live in the great bike fun-friendly city of Portland.

I'm always up for a good adventure; however anything goes here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I was Vanna

What a night - I was blonde with shimmery gold eyelids and long (fake) lashes, wearing a perfect custom-fitted midnight blue ball gown with gold sparkly leaf & flower accents.

My only job was to be pretty and to hold my arms out with flair during the live auction. It was the first WASTE-NOT art auction at the Tazo Tea warehouse in the Produce Row district in SE Portland. SCRAP (School & Community Resource Action Project) was one of the local do-good non-profits the auction would benefit, and when one of the co-directors Joanna Dyer asked me to be a Vanna. I said, YES!

Of course all the real work would happen before the Saturday night affair on March 4th. Lucky for me, Kate Maresh signed on to be my personal stylist, committing to make my dress from scrap from SCRAP, do my makeup and let me borrow her blonde wig for the night...


Meanwhile the Vanna pool grew to 4 Vannas: Joanna, Ayleen, Carol & I. In fact a beauty competition brokeout amongst us - Who would come up with the best Vanna ensemble - Ayleen had won a free MaryKay makeover; Carol was working on an outfit that was "more Price as Right", and I heard rumors about a dress that Joanna had made out of an inflatable alligator, but than scrapped it after realizing it was too hot and unbreathable to wear. On my end of town, Kate magically turned scrappy fabric pieces into a fabulous fitted sleeveless 50s dress with poofy crinoline underneath (without a pattern!). The best example of reuse in the outfit were the shimmery pantyhose knee-highs that hung off the shoulder and waist as accents.


On the night of the event I arrived at Kate's house, late, sweaty from biking across town, I quickly jumped into the shower, "Five minutes only" Kate called out, and soon we began Operation Beauty Makeover. Earlier that day, Kate had fixed up "my hair" (the blonde wig) into a french twist with gold leaves -- so all there was to do was make-uping and wig applying before dressing. And of course all that takes more time than you think. Kate has a background in theatre, so lucky for me, she had a whole case of excellent stage makeup that would last all night. As she applied thick layers of makeup to my face, she reminded me that I must under no circumstances go to bed without wiping the make-up off or it will be pimple-city on my face. For the first time, I wore fake eyelashes and I loved the dramatic gold sparkle eye shadow Kate applied to my lids. While making me up, Kate explained and passed on wisdom of beauty techniques. The best advice she gave me is how to put on a wig properly. Instead of pulling my hair back into a ponytail, I had to pin down my hair into little curls with two bobby pins each - not one, she repeated, you must always use two pins. Once my hair was pinned down (not a bad look really on its own!), my new hair-do was set on and also pinned in place. As Kate pushed the pins in and they scraped my scalp, she reminded me that BEAUTY IS PAIN. Ah the clock with ticking, our Monte Carlo Ride was waiting - I wanted to bike, but with the wig, makeup, and dress, it was too much. So we quickly finished up, I got dressed and off to event we sped.


The warehouse was gorgeously transformed for this affair. Art hung in 1/3 of the space. A Buffet table sat between the silent auction and live auction/table area. Kegs and Ice sat in beautiful claw-foot bathtubs waiting to be guzzeled down. I was surprised how many artists I knew in the art show (Justin Scrappers, Mary Tapogna, Janet Julien to name a few) - for some reason I thought the art they were soliciting was from the top well-known regional artists (i.e. people I don't know). Slowly one by one the other Vannas arrived. At one point the volunteer coordinator attempted to switch me from 'vanna' to a ‘spotter’ during the auction, I protested that I didn't have my glasses - and besides I didn't spend three days getting ready for this to be a spotter. I was to be Vanna, and that was that. The 4 Vannas gathered to get ready for our show-time for the Live Auction. I thought we’d be on stage (would I trip?), but instead the live auction art was to stay put to the side of the stage. Our job would be simply to gather around the piece being auctioned off, so people could see what they were bidding on. Vanna #1 was Joanna - she wore a slinky green strapless, a giant bag made out of Tazo tea wrappers on her shoulder, hot black boots graced her feet, and top it off she wore a blonde long wig - she looked like Donnatella Versace! Vanna #2, Ayleen, had made her own skin-showing zipper dress in black and red - and told us her sad story of her MaryKay makeover gone wrong - the lady wasn't allowed to touch her face, so Ayleen had to apply all her own makeup and there was nothing glamorous in her kits. Vanna #3 was me, and Vanna #4 was Carol who made a truly scrappy colorful outfit that would look great between Bob Barker and a jetski on the Price is Right. Her see-through vinyl skirt filled with cds, paint swatch suspenders, purple tights, and shuttlecock/cd hat were amazing. She ended up being pulled into the role of spotter, but didn’t seem to mind. We loved posing for photos, and the live auction was a lot of fun. When I finally got home - my make-up and hair still looked good - and then the tedious take-down began. I must have taken 30 bobby pins out of my hair, and scrubbing all that makeup took a lot of elbow grease. Ah it was fun being Vanna, but I'm glad it was a one-time experience as I'm a get-up-and-go kind of gal!

See the photographic VISUALS of the night!


Post a Comment

<< Home