red_satin_doll: (Willow Tough Love post-impressionist)

My entries for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 18; many thanks to [ profile] starry_night for allowing me to submit this past the deadline; my computer has been crashing  continually the last few days. Not fun.  Thanks also to my fantastic beta-Muse [ profile] velvetwhip.


10 Themes
Full Body Black & White Plus One No Eyes Upside Down
First Appearance Nature Object Weakness Release
5 Category |PURPLE RAIN
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
~ Icons with blank space can be personalized upon request.
~ If you wish to personalize because you have PS and more font or fx options than I do, by all means please ask first.
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
Courtesy of the voters at Round 15 of [ profile] btvsats20in20, and the splendidly talented [ profile] tempertemper who outdid herself in her usual brilliant way. Thank you so much! I think my icons look the best they ever have in their lovely frames; the Light Texture and Close Crop icon really pop, and I can actually appreciate how nice the Category icons look as a set in ways I couldn't before. And I love the sly meta nod to the Category theme challenge (Silver and Gold) in the conception and execution.

Banner by tempertemper january 2016     Banner by tempertemper january 2016

Banner by tempertemper january 2016

This is why I enjoy winning because I get pretty pretty banners (and feedback and strokes); it's entirely pavlovian and I honestly don't care as much as I should. Even though I know it's probably childish of me. I really have never understood the folks who win at icontests and then don't ask for banners because they don't need them. You guys are better people than me, honestly. I'm shallow. Sue me.

And while I have your attention:

[ profile] slayerstillness 26 entries in Challenge 61, "Touch Me"; voting deadline Tuesday Feb 2.

[ profile] actress_ic has 28 entries in the very cool "vintage" theme of Challenge 111. Voting open until Thursday Feb 4.

red_satin_doll: (Ms Miller OOMOOS btvs S1)
Or, the evolution of my New Year's greetings:
1) Here's to a happy new year!
           2) It has to be better than last year?
3) Let's hope it doesn't suck.

On the other hand: Viola Davis is looking F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S on the cover of InStyle Magazine.  It had this cover by Jan Welters at the doctor's office instead of the newstand version; and it looks more like the cover of Vogue circa 1977 than InStyle. I normally wouldn't line the bottom of a birdcage with that rag, but DAMN, that photoshoot. That woman.
Moving on.......It's been a while since I did a good old-fashioned promo post isn't it? [ profile] fassy is starting an new icontest comm and is seeking a mod or two to help run it. (There is already one volunteer but I imagine back-up can't hurt. And for the record, I saw Star Wars (the original of course) in the theater back in 19-mumblety-something, so I am still not used to seeing the name "JJ Abrams" in the same sentence with Star Wars.(Given the nightmare f**kfest that was the "prequels", I think I can learn to deal.)

Speaking of icontests:

* [ profile] whedon_elite: Icons for Challenge 135, "Red Hair" are due Sunday, January 24th by 3 pm EST. Make sure to scroll down the page and check out
the fabulous entries already submitted by [ profile] harlequinss_s, [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] all_malocks, [ profile] dixon, [ profile] emmatheslayer and [ profile] sweet_lyri. And I do mean "fabulous"; everybody's brought their A-game. At least in this little corner of the world 2016 is off to a roaring start.

* [ profile] slayerstillness: Challenge 61, "Reach Out and Touch Somebody" open for entries now through Friday Jan 29 midnight at your time zone.

* [ profile] btvsats20in20: Voting is open for Round 15 NOW through Friday January 22nd. Be sure to cast your votes for THEMES, CATEGORY, and ARTIST'S CHOICE.

Make sure to click ALL the buttons before you're done, and if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask the mods. There are about -19-20 votes cast right now which is super but more would be great! I don't think we've ever hit at least 30 votes in a given round but I always think "ok this is the round..." (Back to the Optimist vs Realist conundrum and in my heart I always want the Optimist to win out.)

And because you've made it this far here are some lovely parting gifts: alts and extras from Round 15 plus new alts/ extras from Round 13. I also have a thinky thought or two along the way:


Round 13, "The Pack"

    1 - 3

      4 - 7

Crossovers with the movie "Possession" starring SMG.

Round 15: (Buffy-heavy at first. Of course. This is me, this is my brain on the Buffyverse.)
             8 - 14
            15 - 21

              22 - 28
After I cleaned the cap up I finally saw that the picture on locker behind Buffy is vintage comic book art, possibly a blow-/print of a Roy Lichtenstein piece, with the SDHS "Razorbacks" pennant covering the eyes of a pretty blonde woman in the picture. Meta commentary on the storyline or just an inside joke?  The fact that we see Cordy blindfolded later and no one can "see" Marcy Ross suggests either reading is possible. It seems to coincidental to be a, well, a coincidence.
         29 - 34

          35 - 40

        41 - 45
The flashbacks in the episode look great as screencaps but they're hard to work with; they're overlit as opposed to the rest of the early seasons material, which tends to be underlit.

      46 - 49
Also, I need to take some tutorials on working with skin tones for people of color, especially dark tones and not turn beautiful deep browns into weird shades of orange-red, or flat black. (We've just acquired PS btw, so I'm still fumbling along in ipiccy.)  #49: for the theme "green" I thought, well, I'll just tint the entire icon to go with the chalkboard behind her. Except that it doesn't look very good. Green skin? Usually associated with sickness or aliens? I should have known better. Plus, "black" skin reacts differently to tinting than "white" skin does.*
But it's the second association that bothers me. Our culture has a nearly long history of excluding black characters and actors from science fiction, horror and fantasy in literature, film and tv, except as background filler or literal "space aliens", demons and monsters. People of color as people just did not exist, with count-on-one-hand exceptions.

This may be changing now, I guess - slowly - but this is the reality I grew up with and "it's starting to get better" (by whatever yardstick you want to measure "better") doesn't undo decades of absence. So it just makes me uncomfortable, even if I don't "mean anything by it", I'd rather not go in that direction.**

*    I realize I'm still using phrases like "black" and "white" that were au courant when I was growing the 1970's and '80's.
** Using my personal comfort as the yardstick here is arguably problematic.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
~ Icons with blank space can be personalized upon request, they are not "bases". If you wish to personalize because you have PS and more font or fx options
   than I do, by all means ask.
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
So we made it to the flip side - Happy 2016, my friends!  May it be better than 2015.  (I say that every year. It never is better, but I always hope anyway.)

This was my "last hurrah" of 2015 (Good-bye old year, I won't miss you. At all.) and my first hurrah of 2016, for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15.
Plus a special treat for the Giles/Angel shippers in the house! (Anyone?)


10 Themes
Close Crop Red + White Pastel Surprise B&W + Quote
Provided Texture Green Hair Light Texture Peaceful
5 Category |SILVER & GOLD
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

For the first time ever, I attempted "slashy" Giles/Angle icons. Actually, this would be my first ever m/m slash-y* icons, period.  I'm surprised that Giles/Angel isn't more of a "thing". Somewhere in the world I am sure there's a website filled with G/A fic of the two of them screwing each other senseless, but I haven't come across it. Not that I want to, tbh.  (This may be a sign of the End of Days. Remember to pack a toothbrush.)
Enjoy - I think?

1 - 6

7 - 11

12 - 13

* I actually hate the words "slash" and "femmeslash". I know where they originate in this context but I think it's time to retire them. And yet, saying "my first gay male icons" doesn't quite sound right either.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.
red_satin_doll: (Vamp!Buffy Nightmares RSD)
My set for Round 14 of [ profile] btvsats20in20.
Beta'd by the fantabulous [ profile] velvetwhip
Thanks to [ profile] bangel_4e for allowing me a small extension due to illness.


10 Themes
Desperate In the Clouds Enemy Handwritten Nose Down
Negative Space Numbers Safe Circle Kiss*
5 Category |HORROR
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

* There was no "kiss" in the episode so I used the next best thing.

The Cordy icons were some of the most challenging and interesting to do, partly because I hadn't planned on making any Cordy icons when I started. Her fear is played entirely for laughs in the episode, hah-hah, vain, self-conscious, socially-aware girl is terrified of being a nerd on the chess team who wears frumpy clothes and has "ugly" hair. Hah hah.

Well, not so funny when you consider what the loss of social status would actually mean (as we will see in Season 3, when she's left isolated by both the Scoobies and the Cordettes); not so funny when you consider the fact that she's been raised in a culture where a woman's self-worth is traditionally rooted in the kind of husband she is able to "catch", and her appearance is her main tool or weapon in pursuit of a husband.

And not so funny when you consider the racial implications of how smooth, silky, manageable hair is prized over curly or "kinky" hair. The "right" kind of hair is the kind that you see in the shampoo adverts; the wong kind is anything else, regardless of your race or ethnicity, although it's identified non-whites. Which is why I myself, as a white female, didn't appreciate my own thick, curly mane until I was well into my 20's, because it was the "wrong kind of hair" and ergo, the implication that something was fundamentally wrong with me. (Also not funny - catching said mane on the button of a professor's peacoat on the bus during a field trip.)

The more I looked at the images of Cordy, the more I also realized how well her fears reflected or paralleled those of the other characters and fit into the episode; and so I wanted to have one of her and the one of Vamp!Buffy touching her own face in the Category set.

Most of the nightmares can be catagorized as Appearance or Performance, regardless of the gender of the dreamer. So Xander shows up nearly nude in class, Cordy has ugly hair and clothes that mark her as a social outcast, Buffy is turned into a vampire (appearance); Billy is beaten nearly to death for disapppointing his coach, Willow is forced onstage to sing an opera she doesn't know and can't make a sound, Buffy's mind goes blank during a test, and Giles mourns at the sight of Buffy's grave (performance). But these two catagories often overlap, and so Buffy's failure to kill the Master (performance) leads to her becoming a vampire (appearance.)

For the AC set I originally wanted to do all Vamp!Buffy, but that felt like it would have been sort of copy-catting [ profile] sweet_lyri's all-Buffy AC set.

Alts & Extras? But of course!

1 - 5

6 - 11
#11 was inspired by a comment I read at the AV Club Buffy rewatch three years ago: "Would you think I was weird if I said I think Joyce is kinda hot?"  And I thought, dude, I'd think you were were weird if you didn't think she was "hot". WTF? Because she's over the age of 30? GMAFB

12 - 16

17 - 21

22 - 25

26 - 31

32 - 37

  38 - 43

44 - 47 suitable for customization. The background of 46 47 puts me in mind of an AU plot where Buffy and Joyce are in Istanbul and Paris fighting monsters, having grand adventures and doing a little shopping along the way: The Incredible Summers Women World Tour. (Featuring Dawn as Watcher Junior, of course.)

  44 - 49

   50 - 55

56 - 60

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)

Thank you again to everyone who voted for my icons in Round 10 of [ profile] btvsats20in20!  My banners, a bit belatedly, with many thanks to
my wonderful betas [ profile] tempertemper and [ profile] velvetwhip for their thoughtful and generous feedback on both the banners and the icons:
Click images to see full-size:
Rd10finalRSDbannercharacters1.png   Rd10finalRSDbannercharacters2.png   Rd10finalRSDbannerthemes.png
Congratulations to winners [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] tempertemper, [ profile] killing_kurare, [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] snogged and [ profile] spikesredqueen! Check out their winning icons and awards banners in the thread here.

As with the banners I made for the last round of [ profile] slayerstillness, the base image is a photograph I took of daylilies at a local bank while waiting in line at the drive-through. I originally was going to do a fancier image with light effects and literally "gild the lily", until I came to my senses and realized simple was best. I love the summertime feel of the image, and how the colors coordinate suprisingly well with so many of the icons.

It should be noted that I all but threw multiple alts of the Faith and Joyce icons in [ profile] velvetwhip's lap and she, being the superb Muse that she is, singled out the versions I submitted. Take a look (NWS warning for one tiny icon of Darla's cleavage)


I loved making the Faith and Dru icons this round - they were so much fun to make.  (Admitedly, I have a weird sense of "fun".)

1 - 7

8 -14

  15 -21



Speaking of winning icons and banners, congratulations to the winners of [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 122 "Bright and Shiny" : [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] double_dutchess in her first go at WE correction: her first time competing in any icontest! Congratulations on the splendid icons ! And THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons and honored my Buffy icon with a Best Crop award! :D  Awards banners to come shortly, stay tuned!
red_satin_doll: (Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD)

Full set after the cut!

Kudos to: My extraordinary and marvelous Beta-Muse, [ profile] velvetwhip. WIthout whom this set would not exist, or at least be half as strong.
Special thanks to: [ profile] starry_night for extending the deadline for me and being so incredibly patient.

Willow/Center Crop Faith/Frame Buffy/XtremeCloseCrop Dawn/B/W+Color Joyce/Hope
Tara/Power Oz/Solid Background Angel/Lyrics Cordelia/Blue Spike/Negative Space
Giles/Text Fred/Hands Wesley/First Scene Anya/Hairporn Kendra/Beginning
Xander/Eyes Lorne/Last Scene Drusilla/Duplicate Darla/Faceless Monster/Dream

ETA: Cordy Icon Nominated Best Icon [ profile] wicked_awards 2015 - THANK YOU for the nomination!
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD)
But first a word from our sponsors: [ profile] starry_night has kindly extended the deadline for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 9 to Friday the 15 - and as usual, I'm the only person who hasn't submitted her stuff. *le sigh* (It's my job and the barometric pressure that gave me a massive headache and I can't find things because I had to move all my images...Excuses, I has 'em.)

But in the meantime do check out the wonderful entries from [ profile] sweet_lyri (The Prom), [ profile] halliwell (Spike), and [ profile] dark_x_huntress (Faith). Yes, this is a smallish grouping this time. Or, since the sign-ups truly are open the ENTIRE round, you could be all show-offy and smart-alecky and show up with a set of 20 you did literally overnight. I know there's someone out there who can pull that off.

"Helpless" banner (Giles, Buffy) by yours truly; click to view full-size.

I promised [ profile] kikimay I'd post all my entries from the last rounds of [ profile] slayerstillness and [ profile] whedon_elite in one place so here they be:

My entries for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 43, "Helpless": Thank you again to everyone who participated either as artist or voter!

          1 - 5

Awards Banners for me from [ profile] tempertemper: I know I posted these before but they're too magnificent not to show off again (click for full-size):

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015_siggieaddedbyrsd.png ss433rdplacebannerbytempertempermay2015.png   ss43mostcreativebannerbytempertempermay2015.png Icons are snaggable; banners are not - obviously.

My entries for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 116 "Springtime" :
  helpless0155icon1.1.png   entry springtime whedon elite challenge 116 for whedon elite challenge 116 springtime 6 - 9

1) This icon's title could be "Feel the Fear but do it anyway" . One of my personal favorites of this set. The texture looks like some sort of writing (but isn't) so there's a mystery to it, and I think the focus on her expression as it emerges from the shadows is really strong. I originally added text to it (#14) but my wise Muse thought it stronger without and she was right. #26 is the "base" image without the last texture layer.

2)  I didn't notice until after I made it that there's a slick of red blood on the underside of her hand. It's very un-showy and subtle compared to #1.  Buffy has been through a horrific experience and she's trying to tamp down her emotions when by rights I wouldn't blame her if she burned the joint down and walked away. She endures an awful lot of trauma and keeps marching, keeps forgiving and keeps fighting. Her expression is so poignant and all praise to Sarah for her marvelous performance.

3) I actually freaked myself out with this one and it's companions 20 - 22. BtVS' template was partly rooted in horror movies and Helpless is one of the most overtly horrifying episodes of the series, hence my borrowing of the phrase from the episode Hush. This icon highlights that but also the ways that the series fails in it's "feminism". Again, see [ profile] velvetwhip's fic Answering Prayers (aka "the best fic you're not reading right now but should.") Technically, I like the smoothness of this icon and the look of a handtinted photograph but I suspect it works better without the text (alt 22).

4) Winner, 3rd Place and Most Creative: Buffy's profile in the abandoned hotel as she looks around at the walls covered with polaroid images of Joyce was the single image I spent the most time with, alone and in combinations with other characters, the emphasize their interconnectedness: the top banner, entry 4, alts 10 - 13, & 16 - 21. (I have a thing for Sarah's oddly timeless profile.) I intended to enter 11 or 12 and changed my mind at the last minute. I'm pleased with the clarity of the smaller image of Buffy, which is hard for me to achieve, and I really like how the library books and the polaroids echo each other. I think that unifying element of pattern-making helped put this icon over the edge for me over the other variants.

5) Winner, First Place: My first first-place win at [ profile] slayerstillness and I hope I'm not sounding arrogant in repeating that but it makes me all kinds of happy, and thank you to everyone who voted for it!  I also mentioned in my prior post that the inspiration for this icon was entirely [ profile] clockwork_hart1's recent Buffy icons that combined soft color and light effects with shots of Buffy in motion.  This icon isn't as blurred as her's; I ended up sharpening the features of her face a bit to contrast with the whirl of hair. #23 is the more "naturalistic" version without the colored light leak effect; usually I go for subdued colors but Lucy's example inspired me to push the color. I'm surprised how well the icon turned out, given the darkness of the cap. There's the irony of the prettiness of it, of the "hairporn" and the direness of the situation, of Buffy's fear and desperation in that moment.

6) My personal favorite of my WE set; I wanted a Wiffy Helpless cap but couldn't get it to my satisfaction, see #32 below. I like the chalky flatness of 32 but I the clarity and sharpness aren't the best so I went with the closer crop.  As the theme of the round was springtime and I already had the flowers in #10  - 12 it seemed appropriate to hv

8) I finally made a Cordy icon!  See also 34 below. Not a lot to say about it, except that I was inspired by [ profile] kwritten's beautiful work especially her recent The Freshman Category set when I made this one and # 9. I'm not Cordy's nor Charisma Carpenter's biggest fan by any means; but that moment is one of Cordy's finest in BtVS; when a distraught Buffy asks for a ride home and her reply is "Sure". No questions asked. (Has anyone ever written fanfiction about that car ride home?  Has anyone ever speculated on what might have been said - or not?)

9) Winner, Mod's Choice. I wanted to play with this image because of the unusual cropping (that's the way Sarah's face is cropped in the screencap, as Buffy talks to Angel); I really didn't expect this to be the favorite of voters among my WE entries but thank you for the votes and feedback!  I worried that it would come off as "she slapped on a texture and called it a day" so I'm glad it doesn't come across like that.

Alts and extras:

10 -15

I call # 13 "The Needle and the Cross". I don't any of these need further explanation. I like the snarkiness of #15 but also the way the text actually looks as if it's part of Giles' sleeve.  If this is "a father's love" then somebody call Social Services. No wonder the poor girl has relationship issues.

  16 - 19

          20 - 26

27 - 31

My alts for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 116:

helpless0129wiffyicon1.1.png     32 - 36

red_satin_doll: (Dawn Thinky Thoughts)
Do your groove thang right HERE m'dears. 15 entries to choose from in the Angel Investigations prompt (images strictly from AtS.)

I voted kind of quickly for me (all things being relative) but I still had to sit a few moments and consider the icons in front of me, because something "unfolded" in me - or they unfolded before me, I'm not sure which. Perhaps a better way of putting it is that I had to take a moment to engage with them - a moment well worth taking.  (There's one icon in particular that I nearly overlooked, literally, until I looked again.)

It's impossible to overlook the female-centricity of these icons, dominated by Cordelia, Fred, Illyria...with Lorne as beloved gentleman-in-waiting to the queens. The fandom taking back the Buffyverse - all of it - for the women who form it's heart and it's very reason for being? The Patron Saint of Icons is greatly pleased with this and bids ye continue with this worthy endeavour.

BTW? None of them mine. (So not a crumb of self-pimage in sight. SO FAR.)

Deadline for voting is Tuesday July 22.

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