red_satin_doll: (Default)

Click on all images below to view full-size (They don't look at all right downsized. 'tis most distressing.) All artwork by me unless otherwise noted.


Gift from my amazing friend and a jewel of this fandom [ profile] spikesredqueen for my birthday (Feb 2015, not snaggable)


"Winged Buffy" banner, a gift from the fantastically talented and generous [ profile] comlodge, (June 2013, not snaggable)

*My LJ is Hugs Central (mostly.)  Appropriate and consensual ones, of course. Safety and fun are at a premium here, so play nice with one another. Leave the weapons at the door, wipe your feet on the mat, and help yourself to some tea and homemade cookies.
by any other name 700square any other name. (June 2014)

* Buffy is my Big Damn Hero and my #1 HBIC - because she's flawed and human and real. Because she loves deeply; she falls down but still fights, she grieves and endures, again and again. Because she breaks the rules and finds another way; because of her intelligence, intuition and wit. Because in watching her I identify with my own issues and strengths, and have a renewed appreciation for my mom as well.

* Because in talking about her with other fans, in telling my story through her, in voicing my truth, I discover that I'm not alone in my challenges, faults, and grief; that I don't have to be imprisoned by secrets and shame; and in sharing this, I can bring comfort to others. And because at the end of the day, Buffy gives me hope; and sometimes that's enough to make getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile. And because she is just so freakin' adorable, y'all.



Keep Her Safe (alt 1) (March 2015)

* I love intelligent discussion of , and appreciation for , the ladies of the verse and their complex interrelationships  at the core of the 'verse: mothers, sisters, mentors, students, friends, lovers, enemies, allies. The Buffyverse without it's women would be a cold, barren place:  ("that bright optimism that becomes a great, raw wound-red in The Body" - [ profile] the_royal_anna ). They bear witness to one another, the hurt one another when they don't mean to, they love even when it's difficult and painful to do so.

* And yes, this also includes Kennedy. No vitriol. No joke.  (Tara would not approve of the hate. A lot of the complaints I've seen about her are suspicously close to those lobbed at Buffy, btw.) Entitled? Yes. Arrogant? Uh-huh - and also loyal, courageous, stubborn and gentle. She's a "queer woman of color..that is allowed to be the hero."

* The Buffy & Tara friendship/connection is one of the most underappreciated aspects of the 'verse IMO. This WILL be rectified. I don't ship Buffy/Tara, but if that's what it takes to get fandom talking about them? A fangirl's gotta do what a fangirl's gotta do. (ETA 2014: I have seen the light of the true religion: Buffy/Tara shipping. I ship those girls so freakin' hard. Now say amen, somebody.)


My OTF/P (August 2014)

*In fact, let's just say "No bashing female characters, period." There's plenty of other places to do that, if that's your thing. The show's failures in terms of the depictions of women, of female sexuality, the lack of mature female characters, the massive fail in terms of race and class? Always up for intelligent, civil discussion and examination.
* OTOH, I do reserve the right to bitch about call out their shit criticize objectively analyze and take issue with certain whiny, self-absorbed males on the series and their collective patronizing jackassery. Don't get me wrong, I can understand them, sympathize with them, and so forth. Xander trying to be a "better man" than his father? Even when he gets it wrong? I heartily approve. (I'll still call him out on his shit, though.) It's simple math: Grow up, get real or go home. Also I welcome any and every opportunity to make fun of Angel.  Particularly when penguins are involved.  As well they should be.


I Walk Alone, another beautiful gift from [ profile] comlodge based on her FFL picspam series for Round 18 of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy.

* I 'ship Buffy&Spike S7 . Love in action is the hardest, most painful and most worthwhile work we can ever do - and IMO it trumps "true love" romantic fantasies every time. (That said, I fully support the right to ship Buffy with anyone you damn well please.) But he is not my central focus here. Nor are any of the men of the 'verse, except in terms of how they serve Buffy's story.  It turns out the protagonist of the "Buffyverse" is some gal named Buffy.  Weird, huh?
red_satin_doll: (Willow Tough Love post-impressionist)
Thank you VERY MUCH to everyone who voted in [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15!  I won Close Crop, Light Texture, and 3rd Place Category Set.  Congratulations to [ profile] crazycordy, [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] midnightisclose!

Congratulations to the winners at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 135 : [ profile] nadya149, [ profile] dixon, [ profile] harlequinss_s, [ profile] hermionesparkle, [ profile] heterodynes, [ profile] sweet_lyri; and for my Banner Maker's Choice Award, [ profile] teragramm.  Congratulations! The theme this round was "red heads", check out all the winning entries and banners HERE.

My entries for Challenge 135 after the cut. Fandoms: BtVS, Avengers (MCU). Many many many thanks, as always, to my beta-Muse [ profile] velvetwhip for her input:
willowTL380_icon1d4_rsd.png willowTough_Love_379icon1e_rsd.png willowtwothicon1a2b_we134_rsd.png blackwidownatashaicon2a1a_we134_rsd.png 1 - 4
Arranged roughly from most painterly/stylized to photographic/realistic.  I'm really pleased with how #1 and it's alts (below) turned out.  I layered several textures by [ profile] lookslikerain that give it the look of a post-impressionist oil pastel by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas or Toulouse-Latrec.

Alts and extras:
blackwidowscarletwitchicon1a_we134_rsd.png oafaicon1_we1332016rsd.png blackwidownatashaicon1b_we134_rsd.png 5 - 10
I couldn't resist stealing [ profile] teragramm's idea to make the Buffyverse ladies redheads. (Teragramm's are much superior, of course.)
Jan.png     blackwidowscarletwitchicon1_we134_rsd.png    11 - 15
  willowTL380_icon1a_rsd.png       16 - 20

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
1) For [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 60 vote for your favorite icon for the third place position.

BTW, did you vote at [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15 yet?  Good.  Now have you signed up for Round 16 yet?

2) And by the by, did you know that [ profile] dragonyphoenix posted the artwork she commissioned from me for her excellent Anya/Snap crossover fic, The Letters (84 Charing Cross Road)?  (TTH post here.) But you will have to read the story to find it because  it's intergrated into the text. And FYI, the actual text of the artworks is entirely her concept. I just followed marching orders.

At AO3 she also included a marvelous story banner by Restfield aka [ profile] rbfvid.

3) My friend [ profile] kerkevik_2014 has been writing up a storm - a very quiet storm that snuck up on me and took me entirely by surprise.  His latest is a Buffy/Faith fic, "Casablanca" (not to be confused with [ profile] shapinglight's fic) that is poignant and mournful and like all of his work is a prose-poem unlike anyone else's.

Last year I sort of asked him to write Buffy more often (actually I may have whined about it a little, but never mind that.)  He's come through while remaining true to himself in his own beautiful way.  This story is actually part of the birthday gift for [ profile] elisi, the 22'verse that includes stories of Spike and Illyri, Riley Finn, Xander and Buffy, etc. Also worth a look - a charming, gentle Tara, Dawn fic (post The-Gift): Like Seeing Your Very Own Self Looking Back at You.

See, not every post I put up is longer than the Constitution. Some are only as long as the Gettysburg Address. "Short and sweet" is a relative thing.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
And to celebrate a very special, generous, kind, supportive, incredibly talented person who is a dear friend, a superb beta-Muse and dedicated to her craft, cover art for [ profile] velvetwhip's fic, Civilian (Willow, Riley) plus icons.

She just posted the banner itself here along with links to other fabulous birthday presents she received. (Such as [ profile] angelskuuipo's fabulous Joyce/Angel fic "Hello From the Other Side" which has an absolutely brilliant "Why didn't I think of that? Why didn't anyone think of that?" premise that already has my imagining rewriting the entire canon to accomodate it. But I digress:)

Poster for Civilian v.1 (2016); shown full-size 650x500 pixels. Click image to go to [ profile] velvetwhip's story.
Final version cover art for Civilian by Velvetwhip made for her birthday Jan 14 2016 story link DO NOT TAKE

More banners and icons after the cut.
Icons here are snaggable, the posters are not.

Alt versions 2 & 3 (reduced, click for full-size)
v. 2 cover art for Civilian by Velvetwhip made for her birthday Jan 14 2016 story link DO NOT TAKE     v. 3 cover art for Civilian by Velvetwhip made for her birthday Jan 14 2016 story link DO NOT TAKE

Icons 4 10:
Riley Finn icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016 Riley Finn icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016 Riley Finn icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016 Riley Finn icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016 Riley Finn and Tara Maclay icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016 Tara Maclay icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016 Willow Rosenberg icon from cover art for Civilian btvs fanfiction by velvetwhip made Jan 13 2016

I've wanted to make a poster for this story ever since I read it in June 2014; a general concept came to mind but I lacked the know-how to make it come together. I made an icon for the story last spring for Gabrielle using the same photo of Blucas. I really love that picture so surprisingly that was the easy part of the poster. The hard part was - everything else. I always knew I wanted "ghostly" images of Buffy and Tara hovering around Riley and WIllow because Civilian is a metaphorical (not literal in Buffy's case) ghost story; Willow and Riley's lives have been affected and are still shaped by the memories of their past lovers. Riley is a bit more melancholy here than in the story itself but the image means to imply the Riley that's hinted at offscreen more than him in the present moment.

Finding the right photo of Aly was the single element that held this project up the longest.  The story takes place ten years after Chosen so I didn't want to use a photo from the series; I wanted something with gravitas as befitted the story and Willow's frame of mind, but I couldn't find one that had the right look for Aly and was of sufficient quality to work with. For someone with two major long-time tv series and several movies under her belt, she's incredibly hard to find photos for that fit the bill. I still haven't come across a fansite for her with a decent photo gallery. (Excluding sites like popSugar, etc.) She either tends to be photographed smiling or the few photos/screencaps I could find with the right mood were mediocre quality. The shot I ended up using is a cap from season 9 of HIMYM.

Resources: Photo of Marc Blucas via The Chosen Two (can also be found at Marc Blucas Source), photographer unknown. BtVS screencaps from Leave Me The White and Bloodqueen. Optical flares (light textures) on poster #3 by daWIIZ (Bessamer Azemi) on DeviantArt.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :) Posters 1-3 NOT snaggable.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
And for my very last fandom award and icon challenge of 2015 it's only fitting that the marvelous [ profile] tempertemper made the banner:

Banner by tempertemper for slayerstillness on LJ Dec 2015 - my last award of 2015

My Entries & Alts:

        1 - 5
My original intent was to only use caps amoung the examples Starry provided; it didn't quite end up that way. Nor did I recall planning on making them so consistent color-wise.  I did want to use unsual or rarely used caps as much as possible and I think I succeeded, especially with the two images from Where the Wild Things Are. The girlish pigtails bely the fact that she is someone who possesses a great deal of power and knowledge passed on by her mother and the women of her family. Tara's own power and knowledge are terribly underplayed after S4 and this is something I will never be happy about. Because it ends up being a double-whammy of the show's "issues with powerful women".

   6 - 12
If I could resubmit these, I'd switch out #6 for #5; the rest I'm satisfied with.

You know the drill:
~ 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: (Spuffy Hands Listening to Fear RSD)
Congratulations to the winners of [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 127 "Close Crop" [ profile] marishna, [ profile] everythingshiny, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] sandy_s!  WE has gone from strength to strength in terms of themes and this was no exception; artists responded to the challenge with a remarkable batch of entries.  I love close-cropped icons so this was a little bit of heaven getting to work with them for the banners. Many thanks to my remarkable Muse-Goddess [ profile] velvetwhip for her feedback:

Banners by yours truly, icons by their respective creators, 2015.  See the winners here and all the entries here.
More banners and my icons after the cut:

we127_1stplacebanner_marishna2.png we127_2ndplacebanner_everythingshiny2.png we127_bestcolorbanner_everythingshiny2.png we127_modschoicebanner_crazycordy.png qwe127_BMCbanner_sandy_s.png
Click on the images above to see the banner full-size.

I awarded Banner Maker's Choice to [ profile] sandy_s. I had a really tough time choosing among the entries for BMC but went with the FFL icon because of it's emotional intensity and focus, and the physicality of Buffy's tear and her skin.

For this banner I went back to the original photo of my landlord's yellow rose, cropped and altered it in ipiccy; added a reproduction antique wallpaper in the background because I liked the contrast between the genuine rose and the ones in the background (although even the real one looks astonishingly fake thanks to the softening and sepia filters.) I chose the color scheme in part because I thought it would compliment but not compete with the skin tones in the icons.

My entries - all icons snaggable, please credit:

Whedon Elite 127 Sept 2015 entry1 Whedon elite 127 sept 2015 entry2 whedon elite 127 sept 2015 entry3 1 - 3


parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.1a.png parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.7.png parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.3.png parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.4.png theyokofactortarashandicon3.2_RSD.png tarahandicon1.2.png 4 - 9

Because everyone else focused on faces I decided to close-crop hands instead. Hand symbolism in the Buffyverse is one of my favorite subjects, but instead of the handfastings in Hush and Chosen I chose less famous or at least less frequently iconned images: Buffy and Parker in Harsh Light of Day, Willow and Tara's Grave in Help and Tara/Willow in The Yoko Factor.

Of alts my favorite is #9 and I wanted to use that one but decided it wasn't a close enough crop. It's a great, understated moment, aside from the creepily voyeuristic "Spike's POV when he realizes the girls are lovers and figures out a way to get under their skin and upset them to help Adam" of it. Or maybe that's part of the point, because it parallels a similar moment in This Year's Girl where Faith watches Buffy play with Riley's hands and comes to a similar conclusion. Those two moments also make the arguement that W/T is every bit as "legitimate" a relationship as B/R. (Which was important to establish in the hetereosexual landscape of American television at the time.)

#9 is my favorite alt but I decided it wasn't a close enough crop for the theme. I like the contrast between Tara's strong looking hand and delicate embroidery on her blouse, and the softness of Willow's hair and sweater.  I also think that of the Buffy/Parker icons I might prefer alt #4 to my first entry, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz.

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: (Tara Purple Sensual Witch OOMM RSD)
My poster for The Relish Collection Series (aka "the Femalehusbandverse") (2015) especially "The Female Husband" made for [ profile] kerkevik_2014. This poster is an adaption of one I originally made for Ray as an unofficial banner (#8) for the [ profile] wicked_awards at his request. He asked me to make some banners for his own nominated stories and wished for something female-centric rather than the male-centric official nominee buttons. I'd been meaning to make a fic poster for that series for some time and Ray's "commission" gave me an excuse:

Teasers: therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.4warm_byRSD2015_750x365.png custom made nominee button at the request of ray jerk 2015 nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png

therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.4warm_byRSD2015_750x365.png 1

therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.1_byRSD2015_550x268.png 1-A

Nominee button custom made for Ray Kerk for Wicked Awards 2015 2
For his nomination, he used #3 at his journal. It's not in the style of the official buttons but I liked the way it came out. I then made myself a Fuffy-themed banner that I really like but again - not in the style of the official buttons so I've decided against using it. (The beautiful textures in both courtesy of [ profile] sweet_lyri.)

custom made nominee button at the request of ray jerk 2015   buffyfaiththechosentwo_crop3.4_goldengatebridge_600x450signed.png 3 - 4

nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.2final.png nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.3final.png   nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png 5 - 7
nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.2final.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.3final.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png 8 - 10

[ profile] angelus2hot gave me permission to make these but asked asked me to match the style and size of the official Angel and Lindsey ones made by [ profile] angelstoy. (I also had in mind the style and coloring of the SPN and X-Files buttons.) She gave me permission to use these buttons - and I'm happy to share but please remember these are not official site buttons.
Images of Eliza, Amber and Sarah from The Chosen Two Gallery.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Want? Take, have for personal use but please credit if used.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)

Deadline for nominations for the 12th Round of the [ profile] wicked_awards is August 31st - check out the list of fiction/art nominees and music video nominees.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy/Tara Dead Things Solace RSD)
Poster for "Who's That Girl" by [ profile] velvetwhip (2015). Gabrielle's splendid story is the first entry in Round One of [ profile] buffy_genfic mini-fic exchange, hosted by [ profile] kwritten. The story is based on a prompt from [ profile] aliceinkinkland: Inanimate Object: leather jacket. Three elements you'd like included: season six setting, Tara & Buffy friendship, blood as a metaphor for both death and life.
And of course, there are icons to go with:

whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_3.1.png whosethatgirliconforvelvetwhip_rsd2015_2.2.png whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_2.1.png   whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_6.1.png1 - 4

whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_4.2.png   whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_5.1.png whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_4.1.png   whosthatgirliocnRSD2015_1.1.png 5 - 9

The stitching overlay is from a photograph of black leather. I wanted an image of Buffy wearing Angel's jacket from S1, but I couldn't find a screencap that showed the jacket clearly or that conveyed the mood I wanted. Then I noticed that a shot in Teacher's Pet when she first receives it is echoed almost exactly in a shot in Wrecked. I was going to set them side by side on the poster but decided to layer the earlier screencaps atop the later one. The image of Buffy is now a bit more "illustrative" than photographic per se; she looks melancholy and elegant; I matched her features pretty well but there is still something slightly, almost imperceptively "off" that suits the story and Buffy's mindsetvery well. You'd have to really look to notice. It's Buffy but just slightly altered so that the image no longer belongs to any episode in particular.

teacherspet0185.jpg 6X10WREC2290.JPG
Click to enlarge. Teacher's Pet cap from Bloodqueen Gallery; Wrecked and Tabula Rasa (Tara) caps from Leave Me the White.
Tara was more difficult, simply because there are far fewer images of her. (Even searching for images from other movies and tv appearances turned up next to nada.) The red-pink around her throat and chest is from a light texture by [ profile] lookslikerain; and I like it in part because it subtly evokes her fate at the end of the season. I let her face emerge from deep shadows mostly to cover up that awful, awful you-gotta-be-kidding-me "hairstyle" they gave her in Tabula Rasa.

Alternative versions of the poster, including the two earlier rejected versions (click images to enlarge to full-size).
Textures by [ profile] lookslikerain and [ profile] colorfilter.

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.13500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8a500sq_RSD2015.png 10 - 11
ETA: Everyone calls #10 "the gold one" (L) including me, so "the gold one" is shall remain.  (As opposed to the official "mood indigo" version at top which Gabrielle herself chose. I love them both. Can you see my dilemma?)

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8b500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.11a500sq_RSD2015.png 12 - 13

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.12b500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10c500sq_RSD2015.png 14 - 15

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10f500sq_RSD2015.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10ee500sq_RSD2015.png 16 - 17

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10a500sq_RSD2015.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8c500sq_RSD2015.png 18 - 19

This first two versions of the poster design, using a photo of black leather as both the background and the primary texture. In theory it's nifty, in execution, annoying. The cross in #21 is from a design by a company called Affliction on one of their leather jackets. This was my first go at layer two versions of Buffy's face, and it's even more like a drawing than the final version. I tried the same with Tara in #21, layering shot from OAFA and Tabula Rasa, but it didn't look as interesting. Something was missing. Switching out Tara's profile from TR so that she seems to be looking at Buffy makes the composition more dynamic and suits Gabrielle's story better. "Seeing" - not merely looking but truly seeing and paying attentioon - is a very important theme in the story.

version 1 rejected fanfic poster for Who's That Girl by Velvetwhip Affliction cross variant, light textures by lookslikerain Version 2 second draft for Velvetwhip Buffy and Tara ten fanfic Who's That Girl 21 - 22

The Usual:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

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: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
Belated congratulations to the winners of [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 10, [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 48!  And awoefully belated THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons in both contests.

Banners will be forthcoming shortly for the winners of 20in20: [ profile] killing_kurare, [ profile] snogged, [ profile] spikesredqueen, [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] tempertemper, and [ profile] teragramm, with further apologies for the delay.


I didn't seem to realize until after I jumped in the task that this round consisted of 2 sets of 20, ergo 40 awards to be given out. And this just happens to be the round where everyone actually, finally, requested banners. (I could never understand why in previous rounds one, maybe two people would request banners. It's comforting to know I'm not the only banner hussy in the neighborhood anymore.)

So how did I do this round?  Better than I'd realized! Two winning theme icon:Power (Tara), and Last Scene (Lorne); and six character icons: Faith, Joyce, Oz, Anya, Kendra, and Lorne. Kudos as always go to [ profile] velvetwhip for being an incredible, indispensible Muse. There are times when I resist her advice or think, "But I like this one better..." and realize after the fact that no, she was right the first time, and if I've got half a brain I'll pay attention.

     1 - 5

  6 -7

My favorites of my set that didn't win this time? Probably Willow, Angel, Cordy, Giles and Drusilla. If Lorne has been my lucky charm this past month, Drusilla has been my newest obsession. Speaking of Dru.....

While I've been delayed with the Round 10 banners, the banners for Challenge 48 proved a bit easier to do. Congratulations to [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] teragramm and [ profile] debris4spike, who has returned after an extended absence and has been missed; and thank you to everyone who voted my Anya and Drusilla icons second place and most creative!


[ profile] feliciacraft mentioned to me the other day the dearth of pretty Anya icons, so I hope she finds this one to her liking:

SS48_2ndplacebannerRSD2015.png           SS48_mostcreativebanner_RSD2015.png

      8 -12
The Anya icon was probably the simplest icon of this set - the image was already so pretty it was just a matter of gilding the lily. The Dru icon was inspired by a conversation I had with [ profile] double_dutchess the other day about how the star texture by [ profile] whitebamboo in one of my IWRY alts for the last SS challenge looked like a "crown of thorns". The main image in the banners is a photo I took the other day; bright orange liliies seem very "summery" to me, and I thought that the colors would go nicely with the winning icons. Artwork by yours truly.


You know the drill, Baby Jane:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)
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)

Finally it's here (after two extensions graciously granted by [ profile] starry_night)!  My Season 5 (BtVS) set for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 9.

10 Themes
Half and Half Rotate 90 Frame Lemon & Lime Shocking
Blood Close Crop + Two Love Lips Group
5 Category |HUSH
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

Screencap Sources: Bloodqueen, Pretty as a Picture , Leave Me the White, SMG France. Wooden frame in Frame icon from Your Picture Frames. Texture in Cat 2 snagged from [ profile] teragramm.

MANY thanks to the wonderful [ profile] starry_night for extending the deadline (twice); and I cannot heap enough praise on my beta-Muse [ profile] velvetwhip for once again whipping me and this set into shape - her screenname is very apt because the "whipping" was a most gentle one but she provides what I need time and again. I nearly gave up on this round and three or four days ago I was ready to. That I didn't is due largely to her generous assistance, guidance, ideas, meta analysis, and encouragement to motivate me.

Alts & Extras:

1 - 7

8 -14


15 - 21

15 -21) Image from Buffy vs Dracula, this set is, appropriately, very German Expressionist cinema (Nosferatu, Pola Negri, etc.) Also, [ profile] kikimay asked me to post more close crops of Sarah's face so here you go.

The only guideline or focus I had going in to this was my usual: "Women of the Buffyverse".  I consciously focused on the ladies and very much wanted to make some decent icons of Joyce and Dawn, who have been difficult for me to icon for some reason. I also tried to use images from the show I haven't seen capped often or at all.  So for example, "Group" is the Maclays because I've seen a lot of icons of the opposite image, the Scoobies protecting Tara, from that episode. I've seen tons of Spike in FFL icons but precious few if any focused on Drusilla herself. And et cetera.

The relative absence of Willow here (in relation to her importance that season) isn't planned or meant as a snub of the character; I think because I've done a lot of Willow icons I ended up "giving her a break". I meant to make an icon of Glory, and also of Joyce and Dawn together but didn't get to those. I have meta thoughts about quite a few of these - the Drusilla one deserves it's own post  - but for now I'll let you folks and the images do the talking.

I am "borrowing" [ profile] starry_night's rules for my own artwork
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)
red_satin_doll: (Wiffy-Pop Popcorn RSD)
I've been woefully unable to produce anything new the past few days but fortunately I still have some hidden goodies to share. These are the banner versions of my "Family" icon for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 8. These images made me decide on Season 5 as my claim for Round 9 (and I have ONE - count 'em, ONE! - icon finished.  Um...yay?)

Click all to see full-size. You'll like, I hope?:

bwtdbannertext868x872byredsatindoll2015FINAL.png     buffywillowdawntaratoughlovespiralblendbannersignedbyrsd_873x576_april2015desaturatedsoftfinal.png  1 - 2

When I was working on my Family icon for the last round I happened to notice how nicely the images from Tough Love and Spiral happened to match up. Season 5 was all about Buffy, Willow, Tara and Dawn for me, so I loved the congruency and parallels here. At the very last I added Joyce's words to Buffy from Listening to Fear, which ties the image together visually, emotionally and thematically. (Joyce is so very underused throughout the entire series; ironic that her presence is more powerful in her absence after the Body.) It's a reminder of what tied all four of them together and bond them to each other - in blood and in bond.

I love the way Dawn and Tara's light brunette locks blend together as their hair falls past their shoulders; how Buffy's hand seems to be an extension of Willow's arm; the way red from the background of the Tough Love image glows like a spot of blood on the side of Dawn's head and Buffy's fingers (a happy accident for me), echoing Dawn's real wound, Tara's shirt, and Willow's hair.


3 My icon for Round 8; I made it after I cropped the large banner and realized it could just fit the icon format.  I can't decide which of the square banners below I like best - they each have their charms - , so I'll let you decide:

Click to see full-size:
toughlovespiratextlbanner1.1byrsd2015.png           tlspiralbanner1.5byrsd573.png 4 - 5

tlspiralbanner1.10byrsd573square.png 6


These image demonstrates how Season 5 complicated the roles of "heroes" and "damsels" (as it did so often); Tara was Glory's victim but also a hero, choosing to sacrifice herself, returning the favor Buffy and Dawn extended to her when they clamed her as their own ("Family"). Dawn enters the show as Buffy's damsel to be protected, yet defended her mother and fought the demon in "Listening to Fear", and was ready to throw herself from the Tower in Chosen until Buffy intervened. Conversely there are many times during that Season when Buffy and Willow, a powerful Slayer and Witch with years of experience fighting evil, are left to watch helplessly as people they love are harmed or die.

Yes, I got teary-eyes making these. I'd forgotten what Season 5 had been all about for me when I watched it: these four characters, my beloved girls, rag-tag heroes fighting against hopeless odds. The "femininity" and domesticity of Season 5, the sense of family; how happy I was to see Joyce get a bigger role onscreen and my hopes were ripped away. It was the season that my love for Buffy Summers became absolute; she passed from being a character I was interested in to being mine, a part of my heart.

I love all four of these girls fiercely - in part because of how fiercely they love each other. Not "perfectly", not in a LIttle-House-on-the-Prairie-Hallmark-card way; real, deep, messy "weird love".

All artwork here by me 2015; enjoy but do not hotlink, archive elsewhere without my permission, post to other sites or claim as your own.
red_satin_doll: (Dawn Summers is the Key - Normal Again)
Vote in Tiebreakers for Round 6 of [ profile] btvsats20in20. Make sure to vote in all three at the post; voting closes Friday January 23rd; which gives you at least a day to beat your friends out of the bushes and encourage them to vote.

[ profile] buffyversetop5 is officially closed this session, which means no more posts this round - but it's like a party where the kitchen is closed but there's tons of food and drink still overflowing the buffet table and another gallery wall you probably haven't seen yet. I got in four posts of wonderful fics and artwork recs - better late than never? - thank you to [ profile] yourlibrarian and [ profile] petzipellepingo for hosting such an incredible party twice a year.

Right now I'm enjoying three fics that you can expect to see on my Top 5 recs for next January - why not start early this time around?:

Answering Prayers by [ profile] velvetwhip (Joyce/Angel, early S3 AU) is a marvelous, funny, touching "deleted episode" that focuses on Joyce's personal journey as a Slayer's mom but also as a woman and a person in her own right as she tries to find answers to where her baby girl might have gone and finds more than she bargained for. Why aren't there thousands of such stories?  Why has Joyce been so overlooked in fandom?  I don't know but this fic feels like an oasis in the desert and just might become the story that future fan writers build off of and around when it comes to writing about her.  So far it's very PG (up to chapter 3 and no sex scenes) and I have no idea where Gabrielle is taking this. But I cannot wait to find out.

the kids are alright by [ profile] kwritten (Tara, Dawn, Buffy/Tara, S7-AU) the next segment in the B/T Finding a Balance 'verse, this one focuses on Tara's relationship with Dawn as surrogate parent, in a late seasons AU in which the women of the 'verse support and love one another, damaged children doing their best and somehow managing to keep the darkness at bay. I don't associate this author with "fluff" and this is - and it isn't. Again I ask, why aren't there a thousand fics about the Tara & Dawn relationship? This makes a lovely pairing with [ profile] brutti_ma_buoni's "The Real You".

Palimpset by [ profile] spuffy_luvr.[ profile] beer_good_foamy (Buffy/Spike - or is it, Buffy/William? - and Willow, AU S10 comics.) The link takes you to the epilogue, which has links to the previous four chapters. Think shades of "The Ballad of Randy and Joan" and [ profile] beer_good_foamy's "Building Character" but plottier, a wild ride with intricate issues of identity and agency roiling beneath the surface. I need to reread it before I can comment on the last two sections. It's incredibly subversive on several levels, not the least of which is the key role Willow  and the Willow/Buffy relationship plays here; their friendship is not the sidenote in a spuffy fic, it's absolutely central.  I've said this before: [ profile] spuffy_luvr is becoming a Willow author of note.
red_satin_doll: (Dawn & Buffy)

[ profile] kikimay paid me a great honor by chosing my Surprise/Listening to Fear blend icon (#19 in my last post) from my last set of alts as her new default icon. This is the second time she's snagged one of my "rejected" alts, so hello to the motivation to continue sharing.

These are the S6-7 alts for Round 5 of [ profile] btvsats20in20, with the exception of #1 (Tara from S5). BTW, the voting topped out at 24 participants - almost made it to my prophesied 25! The current voting polls are closed to new votes but [ profile] starry_night will be posting tiebreaker voting shortly for individual icons with sets.

FYI: [ profile] bangel_4e just posted the sign-up post for Round 6 and I'm already nervous and excited about it.  M'lady [ profile] snogged requested that I chose Season1 btvs as my claim and how could I refuse her?



Table generated using angelamaria's Icon Table Generator.
Icons by their own makers.

You know the drill right? Want, take, have, but give proper credit and feedback is always a lovely thing. Don't steal, hotlink or archive on other sites without my express consent beforehand, lest I set the Hounds of Hell upon you - and a hideous plague of boils. IF I'm in a really charitable mood.

#1 - alt of my #19 entry; one of the few times this round I went for the more complicated gussied-up version for my entry over the simpler one which shows off Amber's beauty to better effect and with less distraction. Explain to me what I was thinking when I made that decision, please?

#2-5 - the first icons I made for this round, when my primary ideas were: 1) OMWF, 2) "Dance Without Sleeping" by Melissa Etheridge - #3 was the only icon I kept that uses lyrics from that song; and 3) Buffy hairporn.  2-3 here are among my favorite things I made this round. These icons definitely helped me settle on the idea of a muted rainbow. I never got #5 to my liking - her hair looks fantastic whipping around in the cap but I couldn't quite capture the effect in the icon to my satisfaction. But hey, shiny!

#6-11 came from a screencap of a Dead Things outtake I found on thanks to [ profile] starry_night's rec.  (I don't recall ever seeing photos of this outtake before much less a clip online. Anyone?)  Sarah runs through a gamut of facial expressions in what can't be more than seconds, but that particular image just struck me as so pretty I had to make a go of it. I feel pretty comfortable calling these "Not Too Damn Shabby Considering the Source Material"; it's somewhat ironic that the thing missing in these icons is the definition of her nose, which is so distinct in the other icons. Without that, these could be of almost any generically pretty girl.  #11 was going to be an entry up until the last minute when I had the usual crisis of confidence re: lack of intergration of texture and image.

#12-18 I worked on these icons from the balcony scene in Dead Things right after the OMWF icons; I was originally going to stick to muted effects, and use the colors in the cap itself for my yellow icon, but it's obvious that this is where I went "astray". 12 was very nearly my "indigo" entry for the longest time.  I used my Goffe Street auditorium photos for the textures in 13, and a blown-up detail from one of my sweetheart's semi-abstract equine paintings for #14 for the scarred and "painted" effect on Buffy's face.  But my favorites in this set are again the simplest, 15 & 16.

I had fun at least, but I'm a little uncomfortable, in hindsight, with the fact that I was focused on the image itself, on Sarah's face (and her earring) as an objet d'art that I wanted to experiment with and make "pretty" ; and that I completely ignored or just plain forgot the actual context of this moment (which isn't pretty or pleasant at all). And isn't that, in essence, the definition of "pornography" - not in terms of fun, consentual adult "erotica" but in terms of "dehumanization"?


I've been known to do that a time or ten.

#19-21 From Lessons; these were among the only alts I made that were never contenders as final entries.  21 was a lot funnier in my head than in actual execution; too bad because this round is the first [ profile] btvsats20in20 set I submitted with no humorous icons. I think I felt the absence more keenly than the lack of greenery.  #19 was an accident: I added a dark blue background to the original cap then meant to erase a portion of it but my hand (or the mouse) slipped and I ended up with this pattern in the background; if I had tried to draw that on purpose I would have made a complete hash of it. I added some light leak filters and voila! Accidental-on purpose background effects. Interesting as opposed to good.

Nothing to say about 22 except I can see the influence of [ profile] tempertemper's recent Darla and W/T icons in the coloring (or lack therof). 23 is my #7 entry without text.  I really like the way this turned out although it's not a dynamic image per se; but I love the way her body emerges from (melts into?) the shadows.  This icon, and #2 & 7 of my entry set were actually cropped from a finished banner; I couldn't have achieved that exact look overwise.

red_satin_doll: (Dawn & Buffy)

The only theme for Round 5 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 is "Rainbow" and we were given a lot of latitude in terms of how were were allowed to interpret it.  As much as I love rich jewel-toned colors I went rather muted with these (in contrast to my Round 4 entries.) There was no real organizing principle beyond that.  I enjoyed working in a wide range of styles and trying my hand at new techniques, from simple crops to complicated blends.

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20


As I am running behind with this post (apologies to [ profile] starry_night and the other artists who got their work in on time), alts and extras will be posted separately. (And I have many, trust.)

(FYI: The two Willow icons are my favorites of the Willow/Vamp Willow icons I made. I should have made these all Buffy for continuity but I loved #1 & 4 just too damn much not to include them here. I wish I had really planned this better from the get-go and included more Buffyverse women.)
red_satin_doll: (Amber Benson as Ella)
By request and congratulations again to [ profile] spikesredqueen.  I'd never know she's rarely worked with images of Tara because she's done our Miss Maclay proud and then some.  So gorgeous, such a delight to spend time with (the lady and the icons.) Has Tara ever looked so pretty?



The first time I looked at that motion icon I just thought, "Pretty". Then I recognized the episode and that moment. I also thought, oddly enough, about The Gift and Willow's "blue sweater" that Joyce loved and she can't find; the connection had never occured to me before. I don't think it's accidental; that episode and the next draw on The Body as shorthand several times (Dawn finding Tara's body, the ambulance and bodybag.)

red_satin_doll: (Normal Again Buffy The Action of Death)
[ profile] btvsats20in20; Please vote in three TIEBREAKERS for Round 4 (Cat & AC placement and promo picture) and remember to vote in all three. (None of mine btw, so no vested interest here. Nor any kickback or payola deals for the pimpage. No money changin' hands. Not even brownies. I'd accept brownies. With or without nuts.)

Sign-ups for Round 5 "Rainbow Challenge" began today and will remain open throughout the round as always. This time there is no need to announce a claim but themes will be forthcoming; see the sign up post and this post for details.

The remaining Tara alts/extras from Round 3. It astonished me all over again how lovely Amber Benson is:
01 If someone wants to put text on this or play with it...I just can't be fussed, I like it as-is.

    Teasers for more icons behind the cut.....

I couldn't remember where I got the phrase for #3 until I looked again at [ profile] velvetwhip's userpics the other day; although I was vaguely aware of a debt to Barbara Krueger (and goodness knows how many graphic artists.) I had always wanted to do that combination of text overlay with out-of-focus close-up.



I had a lot of fun playing with this cap.  Really.  To other folks these might be old hat but to me they were something in the way of luminousity I'd never achieved in an image before. I didn't even notice until I was nearly finished with the set how the flame from the candle disappears into her hair but I love that it does. The trees in #13-15 & 23-25 are from a photo I took in my backyard.

15-18 You're not seeing all the deleted efforts. You're welcome!

Lessons learned: Save everything before I add text.  Apply the shine effect (21) after I save a textless version AND after I add text. I didn't. I wanted to add "Yoga is good for the body and soul". Couldn't scrunch it in, and the shine made it hard to read.

he resemblance of the trees to scars on Tara's face was one of those accidents that pleased me and completely freaked me out; unintentional in any case, and you can read into it what you like, or nothing at all. Be back before Dawn....


red_satin_doll: (Normal Again Buffy The Action of Death)
But first a word from our sponsor: voting in Round 4 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 closes tomorrow October 9th so vote now if you haven't and tell your friends - bang the drum for gorgeous icons at a great, fun community. They deserve to be seen and appreciated.

Two recent Buffy/Tara fics by [ profile] kwritten reminded me that I'd yet to post the alts and extras from my Tara claim for Round 3 of [ profile] btvsats20in20.

"Her Bark is Worse Than Her Bite" : AU S6/S7 (Buffy/Tara, Dawn) to fill my prompt "thunder/courage" and request for a flawed, human Tara. The monotonous weight as well as the comforts of "domesticity" and "women's work", of school, slaying, housework, of incomes and emotions stretched thin. Buffy tries to be there for Tara and Dawn and hold her family together in a fragile moment. "You hung the moon in the sky just for her."

"Finding a Balance" : AU S4, (Buffy/Tara, mentions of ensemble) Buffy tries to hold herself together in college, alone, when her friends go off to far-flung corners, and meets the person who can give her what she needs. And a girl with large brown eyes and soft blonde hair sits down next to her with a crooked smile and a latte, “I think you’re freaking everyone out.” This isn't intended as a prologue to Kelsey's "blurring the lines" series, but it fits that series beautifully but for one small change in previous BtL canon. Just the "rewrite" of Hush is achingly gorgeous, as is this entire story.

This is the fic that finally pushed me from "Buffy & Tara are my One True Friendship I don't really ship them but I'll take what I can get all the way into "Buffy and Tara are my OTP I want to live in this world right now". And also, fix-it fics?  I think I get it now, really get it; even if the things you and I want to fix are entirely different to one another. A 'verse where Buffy has a reliable source of support and love instead of fragile male egos to shore up even as her own self-esteem slowly crumbles? Riley who? Total fantasy. Of course it's seductive - and I want to live in it, if it's as beautiful, poetic, gossamer and densely layered as Kelsey's fics. Who doesn't want that for themselves?

Kelsey posted this around the time the marvelous [ profile] velvetwhip wrote "The Things You Find in Vending Machines" for me (S4 Buffy, Tara, gen); very different stories to Finding a Balance but both wonderfully true to the complexities of Buffy and Tara's personalities, and to Season 4's particular blend of humor and darkness. But I promised some artwork, and artwork you shall have:

01-02 Click for full-sized

Teasers for more posters and icons under the cut:     
03-04 Click for full-sized

This isn't the full set of alts but it's most of the posters/banners. But these images were the focus of my category set: Tara as the One Who Gives Comfort, specifically to other women: Buffy, Anya and Willow.  However I worried when I was done with my entries that I was falling into the trap I deplore, turning Tara into a stereotypical, all-knowing all-giving saint, the epitome of our cultural ideas about "femininity". Which is why I often ask for fic that depict Tara in a different light - flawed and fully human; the girl as capable of putting the lives at others at risk to protect herself (Family) as sacrificing her own life for the sake of a loved one (Tough Love). It's not that she doesn't have her failings on the show but they're downplayed; and in terms of receiving comfort from others, I have to turn to fan authors because the imagery is decidedly lacking. In [ profile] kwritten's stories, I get to have it both ways: Tara as one who gives and receives; and Buffy/Tara + Dawn OTF is pure comfort food for me right now.
    9a00a376-5c03-45c5-bfb3-c3028bd8b0d2_zps2b7d1ef7 05-06 Click for full size
  rd31edff291-5acb-4f9e-abd4-2a5490d75c69_zps9660c877 07-09
 These OTOH are already full-size, pretty much.


When I made these for Round 3 I was so thrilled because prior to, the best icons I'd been able to get from that scene in Dead Things were these (2013):  
That scene and that image in particular is so dark, in ways that aren't apparent watching the show; and not deeply, intensely dark in the way that some early seasons episodes are, ("Amends") where you can bump up the exposure and still get a nice image; but muted and flat. The only way I could figure out how to get something workable at that point, with my beginner knowledge of ipiccy, was to mask the image around the girls out (something else I was trying to teach myself that round.) Then add grunge effects to in effect go with the images flaws rather than try to fight against them.

Now? I am still marveling at the journey taken and not just seeing all the flaws and how much further to go ooh look, pretties!


When I look at these the phrase "it's always sudden" takes on another layer of meaning: suddenly and unexpectedly finding a friend, a source of comfort and experience. Then I remember the sound of gunshots and breaking glass a year down the road. It's always sudden.


The Tough Love icons in chronological order as they were made. I used a photograph my sweetie took this past year for the background layer on #33 and my final Fear entry; I wanted to emphasize the strength and nobility, the sculptural timelessness and monumental quality of Amber's face.



I'd orignally planned the Dead Things icon for my Category set, so I decided to use grunge effects in the other four icons for continuity and the meta reasoning that I was creating "artifacts" of lesbians and lesbian life, of the sort I'd never seen in decades of watching old movies, combing through dusty libraries, and collecting vintage photosgraphs in antique stores. (#42)   Except that idea sort of fell apart with these Willow/Tara images from the Body where I wanted to indulge in the soft glowing light between them, the way their skin looked like silk or carved of ivory. I fell a little in love with them all over again making these. I even considered making this scene the entire focus of my Category set and that might have worked better than what I settled on; there are certainly enough screencaps of Amber in that scene that I could have made it work. But I was too attached to the Buffy & Tara icons I'd already made.

Then I moved the Dead Things icon to Full Body theme instead of Category. My ways are inscrutable.


I really wanted to include that lovely image of Tara comforting Anya in my Category set; she is beyond lovely in it. But that icon was really so much darker than the other ones I used from The Body, so it works on its own but as part of the set not so much I think. Yes, that is the photograph of the trees in my backyard in #46 - again.

This is the last time I will ever attempt to use that photo of my landlord's rose as a layer in anything. Probably. (Maybe.) These don't quite work as I'd hoped but I do like the resemblance to the incised metal printing plates that you still might find in antique stores now and again.

You do know the drill, don't you? All snaggable, feedback is lovely, don't plagarize, hotlink or put on fanpop or other sites without my permission; want to change, edit, improve or play with any of these just check with me and show me what you've done.

red_satin_doll: (Buffy & Tara are My OTF)
PLEASE VOTE NOW in three tiebreaker votes for [ profile] slayerstillness challenge 30! Don't forget to vote and press the button for each tiebreaker individually. Unlike Sister Red here. I make the mistakes so you don't have to. You're welcome. (Most creative is an interesting, um, conundrum for me. I'll explain all when the votin's over.)

LOOK AT THE PREZZIE I GOT!! "The Things You Find in Vending Machines" a season 4 ficlet with my beloved Buffy Summers and Tara Maclay (gen, set immediately post New Moon Rising) from the superb [ profile] velvetwhip as, of all things, a surprise thank you for the banner I made her for her wonderous "Soft and Pink and Very Sad"!  THANK YOU so much. dear!  This one is on the humous side of Gabrielle's palette - Buffy and Tara have a brief, awkward conversation in the dorm hallway - but there's a wonderful complexity to it, as is true of Gabrielle's work.

As I've noted elsewhere on my journal and hereabouts in fandom, Tara's store of courage, strength and even self-confidence is overlooked and underplayed not just in fandom but on the series itself.  She pursued Willow in Hush, not the other way around, after all. I don't need the metaphor of monsters and Little Bads to recognize the courage that takes, and that it took for a young lesbian in the 1990's. (I know from experience.)  Of course, Buffy would recognize and respect that in Tara. And of course she would want the best for her beloved best friend Willow. Gabrielle NAILS all that right here in a very short scene. (And the last line, as you'd expect, is ACES.)

It also hints at something else as well: the stereotype cherished by some straight women and lesbians, that a lesbian relationship is inherently nicer than a hetereosexual one; that women together are kinder, sweeter, more understanding, etc. It's a pretty fantasy, and terribly untrue. But completely understandable that Buffy would view W/T through that lens. And Gabrielle doesn't make a deal of it, in fact you mightn't notice, but it's there, lying beneath the humor and that's the important thing.

THANK YOU so much Gabrielle, I'm truly honored!  (If I'd known the gift of a banner would lead to the gift of a fic I would have worked harder to learn how to make banners sooner!)

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