red_satin_doll: (Buffy Destructive  rocket launcher Innoc)

So when I was perusing the list of nominees for Round 13 of [ profile] wicked_awards the other day I completely forgot that my Mr Gordo icon for  [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 147 was also nominated in the Best Icon category.  And boy do I feel embarrassed because anyone who knows me knows I love me some Mr Gordo. Thank you [ profile] freecat15 for noticing my oversight and THANK YOU again to whomever nominated it!
red_satin_doll: (Willow Tough Love post-impressionist)
And while you're looking at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 143 (deadline May 15), check out the entries that have been submitted so far by [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] emmatheslayer, and [ profile] lookslikerain here, here and here respectively. Everyone is bringing their A-game.

I hope to get something submitted but I'm helping get ready for my sweetie's upcoming exhibition so I may not be able to. Real life gets in the way and all  that jazz. Speaking of which, I apologize for being behind on finishing awards banners for Challenge 142, and also for [ profile] episodes20in20 Round 5. They are in the works.  In the meantime congratulations to Challenge 142 winners [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] nmcil12 and [ profile] emmatheslayer (whose technique and artistry are growing by leaps and bounds lately, if I may say so.) And congratulations to Round 5 winners [ profile] crucified, [ profile] gabby227, and [ profile] sandy79!

Last but not least THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons at [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 17 and THANK YOU to [ profile] tempertemper for the gorgeous little gems of the awards banners she made us! Congratulations to the other winners [ profile] crazycordy, [ profile] vanishingspirit, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] debris4spike!

red_satin_doll: (Kendra the Vampire Slayer What's My Line)
[ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 17 last chance to weigh on on three tiebreakers.

[ profile] whedon_elite still has some ties for Full body challenge 141 so VOTE here if you haven't cast your ballot already. Speaking of [ profile] whedon_elite, a few days ago I moped that I missed the "flowery" challenge over at [ profile] slayerstillness but WE challenge 142 is giving us a second chance at the theme.
red_satin_doll: (Kendra the Vampire Slayer What's My Line)
Yes, there are ties that need to be broken at [ profile] whedon_elite but  [ profile] setentpet has cleverly decided not to reveal what they are. She's simply requesting more people vote at the original post, which only heightens the suspense in my opinion.  Well played, indeed. Now goest thou and vote. ASAP.

Speaking of voting, only 13 ballots have been cast at Round 16 of [ profile] btvsats20in20, which is kind of sad. Do you understand what that means? Never mind the long hours spent slaving over a hot stove in front of a computer making icons, that means only 13 or so people have appreciated [ profile] bangel_4e's super-adorable Lorne banners for the round, and that just ain't right!

 So I'll make it easy for you to join in the fun:   THEMES       CATEGORY ICONS & SETS   ARTISTS' CHOICE ICONS & SETS

BTW, the rules forbid me from promoting my own work so I wouldn't and won't. However there is nothing to technically forbid me from saying that Set #1 in the AC sets deserves more looks than it's gotten. And I don't know the artist all that well beyond a few exchanges here on LJ and I won't even say their name. I just think it's a nifty set. And this is NOT to take anything away from any of the other wonderful sets. The rest of the competition?  I'm pretty cool with so far. I'd always like to do better than I'm doing but hopefully that will just push me to improve. (Once again I feel I've hit that "brick wall" stage of things. Or maybe I just keep running into different parts of the same damn wall.)

Weirdly enough, I am actually allowed to promote my own work when it comes to voting for Viewer's Choice at the [ profile] rwsawards but I really haven't because...I like my own poster for "Closure" and am thrilled that it was nominated, but [ profile] boiiko and Restfield's (aka [ profile] rbfvid) entries deserve to be in the lead. Both of those posters are the total package in terms of aesthetic and technical merit.

I have no opinion to offfer on the Reader's Choice section - there is a list of terrific work, many by people I know, love and respect, and really not a bad one in the bunch. So you're on your own there. But do vote while you have the time. It takes but a minute.
red_satin_doll: (Kendra the Vampire Slayer RSD)
Breaking news: Congratulations to the winners of [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 136: [ profile] harlequinss_s, [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] nmcil12, [ profile] teragramm and [ profile] emmatheslayer!  And THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons for giving my Robin & Nikki Wood Most Creative (tied with [ profile] harlequinss_s's lovely Willow icon). Of my four entries that icon is the one I have the most feelings about in terms of me trying to express my anger at the way Nikki and Robin's relationship was portrayed/sidelined/given short shrift in the series. I have feelings about this issue, which I'll explain once I have some pretty awards banners for the round to show off.

In the meantime, here are some pretty banners from [ profile] tempertemper for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 61. Thank you for voting my icons 2nd place and Most Creative!

banner by tempertemper feb 2016   banner by tempertemper feb 2016

I love how the neutral background makes the icons really pop. I confess I didn't really appreciate [ profile] teragramm's Wesley/Lilah icon until I saw it on TT's banner. Check out the rest of the winners and banners here.  My entries:

ozseason4handkissicon1b3a_rsd2016.png EntropyKiss_icon2a_sharp_we134_rsd.png EntropyKiss_icon1c1_sharp_we134_rsd.png badgirlsdanceicon1a.png consesquenceswiffyhugicon1c_rsd.png 1 - 5

As per usual, 1 & 2 are not the ones I would have picked to be winners. Those were the two I looked at and thought "oh crap, I wish I could do better than that. Ah, nobody will give those two a second glance."  Especially since I rarely icon W/O & W/T. And I just adore the old-fashionedness of Oz's gesture.

Re: the Buffy & Willow icon, I went back and forth between #5 & 14 for the longest time (ie an hour or so) because I love the retro coloring of 14, especially the blue/white curtain in the background. (The pattern is a texture by [ profile] lookslikerain. Thank goodness for the off-white curtains in the screencap.)
ozseason4handkissicon1a2_rsd2016.png EntropyKiss_icon1c_sharp_we134_rsd.png 6 - 11
12 - 14

Somewhat off-topic and spreading out my 15 minutes of fame past tolerable limits: I am very amused by the fact that excerpts of my conversation with buffy comics cover artist Steve Morris on DeviantArt re: his cover for S10.24  has shown up on both Slayalive and Buffyboards. My conversations with him have turned me into a fan btw; he always answers any questions or comments I've had and is a delight to talk to about the process of making covers, his inspirations etc.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
Anyone who knows [ profile] teragramm knows what a wonderful, talented artist and supportive, all around nice person she is, and so the news that she's been named the new mod at [ profile] whedon_elite is very happy news because I can't think of anyone better!  Let's join [ profile] setentpet in giving [ profile] teragramm our best wishes!

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)
....because HERE be 3 tiebreakers for Round 15 of [ profile] btvsats20in20. And we all know how [ profile] feliciacraft feels about tiebreaker voting but darn it, it's a happening thing and if it leads to more of her brilliantly satirical stanzas I make no apologies.

And HERE be voting for Challenge 135 "Red Heads" of [ profile] whedon_elite; 33 - count' em, 33! - gorgeous icons to choose from for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Best Crop, Best Color and Most Creative.  Most rounds of WE lately haven't gotten enough entries to warrent the full voting slate; this time everyone came out to play and they brought their A-game.

Voting is such sweet sorrow.

And totally off-topic:

* I've read Buffy comic S10 #23 and overall I quite enjoyed it.  I may at some point even choose to discuss it.

* Things I didn't know I needed in life until I saw them: I came across two Orphan Black/Buffy videos today on YouTube by Orphan Crack:
  -- Orphan Black credits Buffy-style by Orphan Crack; spoilers for all three seasons.
      I love how the credits list the characters rather than the actors. (Although it would be funny to see "tatiana maslany" repeated)
  -- Orphan Black + Buffy musical episode sets the OB characters into the episode "Once More With Feeling", specifically the number "I've got a
     feeling" and it works suprisingly well. The biggest giggle is Felix being assigned Xander's lines.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
Banner for [ profile] lookslikerain, [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 134 "Levels"; and banner for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 60.  Thank you to everyone who voted my icon Most Creative! [ profile] sweet_lyri won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, Best Crop and Best Color; [ profile] crazycordy and [ profile] tempertemper earned Mod's Choice and [ profile] teragramm was awarded the oh-so-prestigous* Banner Maker's Choice for her witty and fierce Dawn icon:

Teaser: ss60_redsatindoll_banner400x300_mostcreative_RSD.png

we134_banner2lookslikerain350sq_final_rsd.png     ss60_redsatindoll_banner400x300_mostcreative_RSD.png 1 - 2

#1 - Lens and optical flare light effects by daWiiZ on DeviantArt. The challenge this round was "levels" so I layered two or three light textures over one another, then created the repeat in ipiccy's collage setting. I also wanted a background that would suit the outer space setting of [ profile] lookslikerain's Firefly/Serenity icons.

#2 - The base image of torn paper and the grunge overlay are by AmaranthusCaudatus on DeviantArt.  Thank you [ profile] teragramm for the link to this resource!

*Who am I making fun of here? Myself, obviously.

Header banners for [ profile] females20in20. [ profile] mylengrave requested banners from members so that she can switch out a new one every month:

Teaser: OB-BethIMG_females20in20banner990x300_jan2016_RSD.png

All banners 990x300, click to view full-size.

OB-BethIMG_females20in20banner990x300_jan2016_RSD.png     punk-rose-alisonbriebanner_990x300_v1c_RSD.png 3 - 4
Tatiany Maslany, Alison Brie and Sarah-MIchelle Gellar
Jan.png     smgvintagebannerforactressic990x300_v1d_RSD.png 5 - 6
smgvintagebannerforactressic990x300_v2e_RSD.png     smgvintagebannerforactressic990x300_v2b_RSD.png 7 - 8


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 please ask first.
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.

Next projects on my plate:  icons for [ profile] whedon_elite, [ profile] slayerstillness and [ profile] actress_ic;
                                           fiction posters for [ profile] velvetwhip, [ profile] kerkevik_2014 and [ profile] dragonyphoenix
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: (The Pack Possession Crossover Poster RSD)
Congratulations [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] entwashian, and [ profile] harlequinss_s on your wins in [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 129! Snag your banners here .

Final_1stplacecatsetbanner_SRQ.png FinalBMCv2_gabby227.png
Congratulations [ profile] spikesredqueen, [ profile] starry_night, [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] crazycordy and [ profile] tempertemper on your wins at Round 13 of [ profile] btvsats20in20!  Banners here in the comments thread including my BMC to [ profile] gabby227's oh-so-elegant Cordy icon. BMC was a really tough choice this time around because there were so many I would have loved to honor: [ profile] starry_night's Wesley Icon, which I've already snagged, her Darla and her AC4 icons; [ profile] sweet_lyri's clever Crossover icon, [ profile] tempertemper's Cat 3 Amends icon, [ profile] crazycordy's Sepia+Profile icon (that theme was one of my favorites overall). So many beautiful things this round.

And if I didn't single out [ profile] spikesredqueen just now, it's because I'm well pleased that her icons were richly rewarded; her Category and AC sets in particular just rocked.

All banners by yours truly, icons by their respective artists. The background of the WE banner is based on a photograph I took in Old Lyme, CT a couple of weeks ago; I wanted the bright colors to contrast against the dark icons.  The background of the 20in20 banners is a photograph by Susan Murphy from her art studio blog that I adjusted, adding addtional grunge textures to it for a warmer overall look. I love framing effects but I also love the back sides of frames and pictures; I like to see how things are made. I wanted to subvert the normal expectation of a pretty frame by showing off the beauty of the flawed backside. The font is meant to appear to have been printed on the paper except for the artists' names; I imagined a space there that someone filled with a big fat marker or paint brush.
red_satin_doll: (The Pack Possession Crossover Poster RSD)
aka I have been falling down on the job again - BADLY.

Time to get my groove back in gear. (Or something like that.)

[ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 13: Today, Nov 1 is the LAST DAY* to vote for Artists Choice sets and icons, Category (White Decoration) sets and icons, and Themes icons. Don't forget to press ALL of the little vote buttons.

Today (around 3pm) is also the last day to submit your icons to [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 129 "Dark Villains".

*Excluding the inevitable tiebreaker votes.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy OMWF Sing XCU RSD)


Click images below for full size or check out all the banners here. All banners by yours truly, 2015; icons by their respective artists.

we128_1stplacebanner_fassyFINAL.png we128_2ndplacetie_bannersweetlyriFINAL.png

The background image is from a photo I took this past weekend, when the clouds came down to meet the earth.

            sandy_s_we128_20237_900.gif Banner Maker's Choice: Beneath You animated icon by [ profile] sandy_s As it turns out, ipiccy does not
                                                preserve the animation when I insert the icon as a layer, so the banner loses the full effect, alas. *pouts*

Most times, BMC is a tough choice for me but not this round.  THIS is a motion picture in miniature, the meat of the entire episode, of Buffy and Spike in S7, summed up in just a few images. It's evocative, emotional, tells a story, and is also beautifully made with rich deep blacks and a range of velvety grey tones.

Above all else it reminds me what fascinated and troubled me about those two characters, why I loved them when it was me myself and experiencing their arc three years ago; before I became aware of fandom and controversies and the did-she's/didn't she's.  In other words, it's about love.  (And bonus points from this Buffy-fan, it doesn't exclude her in order to prioritize him.)

If this is Sandy's warm-up act for [ profile] seasonal_spuffy, then bring it on, I say.

My entries: All these images are from the Pack; screencaps mostly from Bloodqueen and (The Xander icon is almost certainly from Screencapped.)
1 - 3

4 - 7

Speaking of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy, have you voted for your favorite banner for Round 19 yet? And if not, why not?  (Unless you don't ship the pairing, in which case, carry on.)
FYI I'll be away from the computer for the next 4 - 5 days so I won't be around to keep reminding you; ergo, mark it on your calender, kids, and I'll see you around the bend.

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: (Spuffy Hands Listening to Fear RSD)
For which there is no good excuse - especially since I'll be away from the 'puter from Wednesday night onward. And there is much to see, much to do, much to promote! So let's get cracking:

Banner by Tempertemper Oct 2015
Banner by [ profile] tempertemper Oct 2015

First off, THANK YOU very much to the voters at [ profile] slayerstillness for awarding my Buffy/DMP icon Best Crop in Round 54 and thank you [ profile] tempertemper for the pretty pretty banner to go with! And congratulations to [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] crazycordy and [ profile] emmatheslayer for your wins this round!  The theme was "Roy G Biv" and we could submit up to 7 entries, one for each color of the rainbow (hence TT's clever banner design. As per usual I love her font choices here.)

My entries 1 - 7.  I was delighted when both 6 and 7 vied with one another in the Best Crop tiebreaker, but genuinely surprised that 7 led by a 2-1 margin. I would have voted for the vamp!Buffy icon myself.  Shows you what I know.

[ profile] whedon_elite: Vote for the best of the best out of 32 entries in Challenge 128 "Shades of Grey". Never mind that I haven't voted yet because I'm still making up my mind. (Did I mention there were 32 entries?) I've had a love affair with black and white photography going back decades, so this challenge is particularly pleasing to me - and what a stellar array of entries! (32, count 'em, 32.) Deadline for voting is sometime tomorrow (10/20) so don't delay on this one.


[ profile] seasonal_spuffy: The banner poll for Round 18, celebrating the comm's 10th Anniversary, is up! (10 years? Can you dig that?) 16 wonderous entries to choose from. Oh such pretty, pretty things to choose from....! Fortunately you have about a week before the poll is up per [ profile] teragramm - and can we have a big round of applause for her work on the comm as the Ambassador of Art? But that said, don't wait around until the last minute and then find yourself out of the loop, ok?  (Did I mention it's the 10th Anniversary?)

This banner poll makes me wish there were a friendly, comfy forum where folks could get together and talk about the banners or about making fanart in general - how they were made, the artists' thought processes, the thought processes of voters and constructive critiques. I'm genuinely curious about all of these things and I love to learn from other people. But I know that's difficult to impossible because - 1) I know from personal experience that giving and receiving constructive criticism is a tricksy thing and too few people are versed in the art; leading to the 2) ugly, ugly implosions 3) potential for hurt feelings all around, and finally  4) a lot of our reactions to visual arts are emotional, not intellectual, and fall along the lines of "...but I know what I like."

Thoughts, Gentle Reader?


[ profile] btvsats20in20: Deadline for Round 13 is extended to Thursday, Oct 22. So if you have a last-minute jones to jump in, here's your chance. This is a very good thing because [ profile] bangel_4e is back in the game and I wanna see her Buffy claim - and [ profile] spikesredqueen's Willow claim. (For once I don't need an extension because I actually finished before the deadline - I think that's a first for me? Never mind that I pulled a few all-nighters *does exhausted happy dance*)


If you haven't already voted in the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards, you have until October 31st to do so! The list of nominees is long and illustrious and I WOULD NOT wait until the last minute if I were you.

And far be it from me to tell anyone what to vote for but I am more than happy to make suggestions and thus make your life easier (all of the below are safe for general audiences). The below list doesn't reflect everything I voted for by any means; these are simply some of my favorites.

Answering Prayers - [ profile] velvetwhip (Gabrielle) If you haven't discovered this story yet, you really do owe it to yourself.
Ipseity and Proud Trophies - [ profile] spuffy_luvr
The Girls in Question - TigerDragon (AO3)
The Sound You Found For Me - [ profile] punch_kicker15
red turns into green turns into yellow - lionheartedgirl (AO3)
In a Corner of My Soul - [ profile] dragonyphoenix
Beautiful Butterflies - [ profile] kikimay
Flight Patterns - [ profile] eurydice72
Giles and the Mountain - [ profile] rebcake
Undertow - faithtastic (AO3)
Somewhere Hot and Sharp and Shimmering - [ profile] aliceinkinkland
Tricks are for Magicians - [ profile] snogged

And now that you've immersed to overflowing in drama & angst here's some pure, unadulterated comedic fun:
Dirty Deeds - Imrryr (AO3)
blindr dot com, or, the importance of coconut-milk lattes to long-term success - antennapedia (AO3) I don't know this author, I don't ship B/G but this AU take is NOT to be missed.

Pretty much anything by the above-named authors, and also [ profile] brutti_ma_buoni, [ profile] rahirah, [ profile] the_moonmoth and [ profile] feliciacraft. My apologies to anyone I've overlooked or forgotten here.

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: (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: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
So last week I was making award banners for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 53 - and then this happened:

  Nightmares banner sept 2015 if you want this for a Xander fic please let me know 1)
Title: Why So Serious, Kid? (Nightmares) 2015
Characters: Xander Harris and the Evil Clown
Size: 706x469
All images 706x469 click for full-size:

        Darker version of previous banner alt 2 of previous banner with tagline from The Dark Knight 2 - 3)
I prefer the brighter version myself but in any case I realized (and my lovely beta confirmed) that it was too showy to be a proper awards banner and would only overwhelm the icons it was meant to highlight and honor. So I went with another design but I'd love to see this used for a fanfiction poster. I don't know of any Xander Nightmares fics off the top of my head but I confess I don't read a lot of Xander fic.  So if anyone knows of a story or any author would like to claim this, let me know and I can personalize it to suit.

Per [ profile] velvetwhip's rec I asked [ profile] sparrow2000 if she'd be interested; she graciously declined as she hadn't written anything that this would go with, but am I now reading her fic Cracks in the World. (Her prose is amazing.) Perhaps [ profile] lusciousxander or [ profile] aadler? [ profile] eurydice72? Suggestions, anyone?

Alt # 3) I made a version with the tag line from the movie The Dark Knight because I couldn't resist.

Screencaps: Buffy the Vampire Slayer HD/Blu-Ray, Bloodqueen
"Frame": PSDgraphics

And now a word from our sponsors: LAST CHANCE to cast your vote at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 127 Close Crop. This is yet another "yes I voted but can I vote again a time or five?"  Because the icons submitted are an amazing, gorgeous, evocative set as a whole. Deciding what I don't like is a helluva lot easier than picking "bests".

Then check out the rules for Challenge 128 "Shades of Grey" (oh yes, please.)
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
Entries for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 127 "Close Crop" due Sunday October 4th 3pm EST.  There are 25 gorgeous entries so far, but more are always welcome. And in case you're wondering, the icons do not have to be close-ups of faces, although the examples and most of the entries are; they can be close-ups of anything.

Entries for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 54 "Roy G Biv" due Friday Oct 9th midnight at your respective timezones. According to [ profile] starry_night there are 21 entries so far but again, the more the merrier!

Entries for [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Round 19 Banner competition due Sunday Oct 11 midnight PST. The theme this 10th anniversary round is "Look Both Ways".

Entries for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 13 due Monday Oct 19 midnight at your time zone. Sign ups are open until then; themes posted here.

And finally - the brilliant beyond belief* [ profile] clockwork_hart1 created a "multi-fandom" Gods and Monsters ficathon and I'm calling it ongoing because there are tons of great prompts and new ones being added constantly; so fill a prompt with a fic or artwork, and check out the works of art on the masterlist.

Gods & Monsters ficathon
[click on the picture]

If you don't believe my "brilliant beyond belief" description then please read her Buffyverse/Doctor Who crossover fic (death) for my birthday. Dawn is the Tardis. Dawn slides under and then there are hands on her chest and water spilling up her throat and for a moment Dawn is as big as the room and spreading further outward, as far as she can reach. (I fear Lucy might think I haven't read it because I didn't comment but oh goodness, I have. Or rather I didn't read it, I made it part of my life because her prose slides under my skin as easily as Dawn submerges herself beneath the water.)  If "I'm not familiar with fandom X" is worrying to you, don't let it put you off; I haven't seen any of the new Who series myself although I'm vaguely aware of the players. (Seven and Ace were my Doctor and companion, when I was in college and introduced to the series.)
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
We have a veritable TSUNAMI of icontest challenge votes (Listed in order of urgency, more or less):

1) [ profile] slayerstillness Tiebreaker for Third Place icon in Challenge 52, PART 2. Yes, part 2. No, I didn't pimp part 1. My bad.  It's been whittled down from part 1 to three icons competing. [ profile] starry_night said And if it’s still not broken after this one, I’ll just call it and post winners anyway :) Personally I think it's cute and it's an honor to be considered good enough to compete with and hold my own with artists I admire and who are far more experienced. (What? If you voted already you'd know that I had to beg out as a nominee. So if this a surprise, you clearly haven't voted yet and need to do so. Or you're one of those people who are disciplined enough to not check out who else voted in which case, I aspire.)

For some reason I thought tiebreaker voting was unusual, or more usual lately until I check out the history of the comm and saw that tiebreaker voting is the rule rather than the exception going all  the way back to Challenge # 4. Personally my favorite icons that round were the Mod's Choice winners by [ profile] teragramm and [ profile] tempertemper; and [ profile] moriwen1's icon of Angel with a cobalt blue mug. But I didn't know about the comm back then so I didn't get a say. Boo-hoo.
Icons by [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] tempertemper, and [ profile] moriwen1, April 2013.

2) [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge #126 "Weapon of Choice"  Vote for Top Three, Best Color and Best Crop amoung 17 dynamic entries. Full disclosure, this one probably does have a runaway winner. (I should know, I voted for it. You'll see what I mean.) But everything else? Totally up for grabs.

3) [ profile] btvsats20in20 The big kahuna in my icontest world and the reason I don't compete in any other 20in20 comm. Those of you who participate in more than one? You have MY RESPECT. For those of you who are newbies, there are three posts:
THEMES -TEN separate icons to vote for, and remember you have to press the "vote" button ten times, not once to cover all your choices.
CATEGORY SET - Choose your top 3 sets, and top six individual icons.
ARTIST'S CHOICE SET - Ditto. This always ends up being harder than I expect. You'd think after a year I'd know to expect that?
And btw, if I didn't vote for your icon? I apologize. I probably wanted to. Especially the Category sets - I wanted to vote for my favorite 12 icons. At least.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
Thank you to everyone who voted my Buffy icon "Best Crop" at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 125 and congratulations to [ profile] marishna, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] teragramm!  The theme for this round was "Muted Coloring" - more banners and icons, including Banner Maker's Choice Award, after the cut:

Reminder: Entries for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge #126 "Weapon of Choice" are due Sept 20th.

The last round of [ profile] slayerstillness I was agog over [ profile] teragramm's icons especially her Helpless entry; this time around [ profile] marishna's Buffy and Willow icons blew me away.  The color and shine of Willow's hair in her first place winner alone is indescribably beautiful, as are the peach, ecru and blue tones in the Helpless icon. How does she achieve that perfect balance of softness and clarity?

BMC goes to [ profile] sweet_lyri's Chosen icon; the first time I saw it it, I thought Buffy looked like she was standing in front of a bisected mirror.  Getting those images to line up perfectly is harder than it looks (I know, I tried); and the dark texture in the foreground echoes the dusty setting and makes the dirt on her skin seem palpable; I can almost feel the grittiness of it.

See the rest of the winning icons and banners for [ profile] marishna, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] teragramm here.
we125_firstplacemarishna2_rsd.png   we125_BMCsweetlyri_rsd.png

Banners and background photograph of daisies by your's truly; photograph taken at Wilcox Park in Westerly Rhode Island, 2015.
Icons by their respective makers.

My entries:
PDVD_033_BYicon1.2_rsd_zpsbmjmqkra.png~original.png doublemeatpalace0700_icon2.2.png sphereglow8buffyicon1.5_rsd2015.png buffy613_478_PAAP_icon1.2a.png 1 - 4
My personal favorite of my set is #1. But I also had a ridiculous amount of fun playing with #3 - see alts below for occular confirmation.
buffydmpicon3.3.png buffydmpicon3.2.png doublemeatpalace0700_icon2.1.png buffy613_478_PAAP_icon1.2.png 5 - 8

sphereglow8buffyicon1.2_rsd2015.png sphereglow8buffyicon1.3_rsd2015.png sphereglow8buffyicon1.4a_rsd2015.png sphereglow8buffyicon1.6e_patronsaint_rsd2015.png sphereglow8buffyicon1.6g_patronsaint_rsd2015.png 9 - 13
True Champions of Buffy Summers (TM) will appreciate #12 - 13 (I'm looking at you, [ profile] kikimay and [ profile] clockwork_hart1)

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 and feedback is coin of the realm; leave a little and make an artist's day.  :)
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
But first a word from our sponsor: Cast your votes for the top three icons plus Best Crop and Color NOW if you haven't already at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 125, "Muted Coloring.". There are 20 lovely icons to choose from, and only ten votes cast so far so more are definitely welcome! Now back to our program:

THANK YOU for voting my Angel and Drusilla icon "Best Crop" at [ profile] slayerstillness!  And congratulations to [ profile] teragramm and [ profile] tempertemper for their beautiful winning entries!  I was tickled to see everything I voted for on the winner's slate. Not that I need anyone else to vet my choices, but I like seeing these things go as they should. Nevermind that there wasn't a bad icon in the bunch.

Check out the complete set of winning icons here - I love reading [ profile] starry_night's reasoning for her Mod's Choice Awards; then see all the awards banners here. I didn't choose a BMC this round because it simply didn't feel necessary (go the the banners post and all will be explained.)

SS51_bestcolorRSD_350x272.png             trumpetflowerbanner350x272modschoiceteragramm1.4.png
I adore [ profile] teragramm's Helpless icon. Truly, madly, deeply.

[ profile] killing_kurare's wonderful set for Round 11 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 inspired my Daddy's Home icon; I actually had the phrase in mind from the episode Ted and thought about making a Ted/Joyce icon to match but didn't have time.  The "flame" texture is by [ profile] pensnest, which I found via [ profile] colorfilter's journal, set on Lighten or Screen.

Banners by your's truly, icons by their respective artists. For the background image I cropped a photograph of a trumpet flower in our yard that I took this afternoon, pointing my Nikon Coolpix upward on macro setting to keep the blossom in focus and the sunlight-dappled trees in the background blurred. This accounts for the natural "bokeh" effect in the lower portion. I wanted to capture the elegant simplicity of the flower; it's texture and form remind me of a parasol made of the most gossamer silk, it's edges billowing slightly in the breeze.

The gold frame around the icons is meant to be a punning reference to the phrase "gilding the lily". The flower isn't a lily but the phrase became my mantra anyway when making these banners. What I had in front of me was already beautiful - the flower, the icons - so don't overwhelm, overwork or overdo.

My entries (1 - 4) and alts:

innoccenciconpaperwhite1.3a.png Buffy_2x13_Surprise_246_crop1_icon1.1.png   buffygilesfirstdateicon2.2a_rsd2015_SS50.png   Buffy_2x14_Innocence_038_crop1_icon1.1.png   1 - 4

InnocenceHD_762545Sanstitre1_HDicon3.1.png innoccenciconpaperwhite1.3.png innoccenciconpaperwhite1.1.png   innoccenciconpaperwhite1.3c.png 5 - 8
I suddenly realized that I've never seen a smushname for Angelus-Drusilla. "Dangel" perhaps? "Drangel"? "Drungel"?

buffygilesfirstdateicon2.1.png   buffygilesfirstdateicon2.4.png   buffygiles71firstdateicon1.1.png   buffygilesfirstdateicon1.2.png   buffygilesfirstdateicon1.3.png 9 - 13

Now that I'm looking at these again I'm sort of kicking myself for not entering 12-13. I think I was bothered by the fact that I couldn't get the area around Giles' mouth right with that one. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have let it bother me so much because I like the color and luminousity of it otherwise, especially on the right side of the image.  Textures in #3 and 12 - 13 a combination of textures by [ profile] colorfilter and [ profile] lookslikerain.

The father/daughter icons (Angelus-Dru and Giles-Buffy) were obviously the ones I lavished the most attention on; which is contrary to my usual habit of focusing almost exclusively on the women; but I do seem to have this "thing" about surrogate (not biological) fathers and daughters (BtVS, Doctor Who, Moulin Rouge).  My father died when I was three and I had two abusive, shitty stepfathers after that. Analyze away, Dr. Freud.

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 and feedback is coin of the realm; leave a little and make an artist's day.  :)

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