red_satin_doll: (Default)

Please stay safe!

Everyone be good to one another and I don't mean in a "pretend to be nice to each other's face while you're screaming inside" kind of way.  (IF someone is screaming in your face, however, do what you need to do to take care of yourself.)

I plan on attending the Sister march in Rhode Island as I can't go to D.C. (my fault for waiting too long to make up my mind. But Providence is cool.)

I haven't been able to write partly because of my part time seasonal job and partly because - I haven't known where to begin (rage, grief, etc.) And not just because of Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and George Michael. (At some point I'll talk about that stuff too.)

With all the news about Russia lately and it's ownership of LJ and it's ties to the incoming adminstration that I've blithely ignored until recently,* I've copied my LJ posts over to my Dreamwidth account. But I haven't mastered formatting over there (mostly, how to do cut tags properly. So I've got these long threads over there and it's still a mess.)

Crossposted to LiveJournal:
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: (Max Max Furiosa b/w anguish blend)
Trying to teach myself PS CC is sometimes fun and sometimes sends me screaming into the night. As in last night, trying to correct a photograph of a rose I wanted to have printed and just muffing it up horribly. *le sigh*

The various "sharpen" functions are ones I have not mastered yet at all.  I'm sure I'll love it when I master it but I'm at that stage I was when I transitioned from Photobucket to ipiccy a couple of years ago: "I just want to do this, I just want my little slider bar back, where is the eraser so I can selectively apply this effect?" etc etc etc.  That said I do LOVELOVEOVE the fun effects with fonts - especially drop shadows, contouring and glow effects.

This morning I had a little more luck inmproving contrast, brightness, color, warmth etc on a photo I took yesterday of flowers behind the garage, but it still feels like I'm in the "beginner's luck" stage. I didn't even attempt to sharpen either of these, btw. Baby steps, baby steps.....

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Has to Do This beer_good_foamy)
                                                                                           I hate when that happens.
Yup, that would be me. I don't know why. Started it yesterday, almost had it finished: rocking the vote, promoting art comms, and plenty of my icons, entries, alts and extras plus links AND a mini-meta about Drusilla. It was a thing of beauty. [ profile] kikimay would have been proud of me.

ANYHOO - GO VOTE. Like, right away for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 47 because the deadline is midnight tonight Tuesday July7. I won'y lie to you - I had a hellavua time voting because the entries are so much of a piece with one another in terms of quality, etc. This happens a lot at SS - the icons look terrific together. But maybe y'all are more decisive than I am. If it were up to me there'd be no voting, just showing off and sharing. Ergo nothing would get done because competitions - and deadlines - are great motivators.

And GO VOTE in [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 10 Characters AND Themes. Make sure you click all 10 choices in each post. Because it's fun, because the artwork is lovely to look at and deserves all kinds of love; because there's only 21-22 votes cast in both polls and I think we can top it off at a record 30 (color me ambitious). And, because I said so. What the heck, if you're staring at my post right now you either have nothing better to do, or you have a great many things to do but are avoiding, so you might as well spend your time wisely. Deadline is Thursday July 9th.

And finally, I was let go from my job a week ago Monday - sloppily, shabbily and unprofessionally, I might add - and I'm not exactly reeling still but I'm trying to deal. It was unfair and utterly stupid. I'm trying not to let the rage and depression get to me. Being able to pay bills and rent again - on time - was super-duper. Damn it. I'm gonna miss that. And I miss some people I didn't get a chance to say good-bye to.

Not that I'm trying to arose your sympathy or anything but damn it.....
I really hate when that happens.
red_satin_doll: (Lovers Walk Buffy and Willow Pink)
Whilst real life keeps me suitably occupied for all but the quickest posts:

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 7! I love the spread of names this time especially in Themes winners, there's no one dominating. I like that - a lot. And why not? There were so many beautiful icons and so many things that still had to be bypassed. Special congrats to [ profile] halliwell on her first win in this comm!

(If I were going to be banner maker this round and had banner makers choices amoung things that didn't win awards - which I must regretfully decline *sniffle* - [ profile] killing_kurare's Cold as Ice icon, [ profile] spikesredqueen's Buffy/Willow icon *points to userpic* and [ profile] kwritten's masterful entire AC would receive mentions.)

[ profile] kwritten has a new Bara fic "no lies, no apologies" (with her own artwork) inspired by our recent conversations re: tropes in Buffy/Tara shipping and it's become something else entirely - an examination of the price of being a "good girl", of the ugly truths behind that mask, how "selflessness" becomes a sort of badge of pride, about girls from abusive, broken families not making one another whole, not magicially healing one another but reaching towards moments of solace.

Kelsey has been writing Bara fic since her blurring the lines series but I honestly think - if she'll forgive me for saying - she is now hitting her stride in her depictions of Tara as a complete and full-blooded, satisfyingly complex character. I claim this fic as a birthday present - because I said so, that's why - but I really hope everyone reads it, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
red_satin_doll: (Willow & Buffy Hug - Primeval)
But first a word from our (other) sponsor:

Thank you everyone who voted in Challenge 37 of [ profile] slayerstillness and THANK YOU [ profile] starry_night for the Mods' Choice Award! Congratulations [ profile] rua1412, [ profile] tempertemper, [ profile] teragramm, [ profile] sweet_lyri and [ profile] kwritten for your wins this round - this was the most fun I've had in a round in a long time. [ profile] kwritten hit the nail on the head as to why this was such a great round in her usual incisive, penetrating way.

Thank you also [ profile] starry_night for taking over the banner-making duties this round; this is the second round I've had to pass on it. Y'all know I'm a banner-makin' fool, so if i decline the job, real life has gotten in the way really and for true.  When the banners for this set are available I'll show them off along with the banners I earned for Round 37 & 38.

But until then - deadine for Challenge 40, "Primary Colors" is Friday, February 13.


What it says on the tin: Please cast your votes HERE to help break ties in Category Set and Category Icon Placement, AC Set and AC Icon Placement for Round 7 of [ profile] btvsats20in20.  So many pretty things, so hard to choose, so many things I want to snag... *ahem*

As many folks have voted already as voted in the main polls - 17, to be exact - but more votes are definitely needed and welcome.  Especially considering the fact that AC Icon placement is, in the tiebreaker voting, tied again.  (I would actually be cool with this myself - they're both gorgeous icons. But apparently, ties must be broken and it only takes one vote.) Deadline to vote is Thursday March 5.

This round I let RL get in the way of pimping it properly, for which I apologize; next round I promise to do a better job.
Getting an early start therefore: Sign up for Round 8 here; themes for the round are posted here - and one of my favorite icons from my own Round 4 Normal Again set is used as an example of the "Pop Art" theme, thus fulfillng one of my Personal Fandom Ambitions (TM) for 2015!  (Seriously, I have a list.)

FYI - Don't try to compliment [ profile] bangel_4e on the gorgeous Spike/Dru banner for this round because she'll get all modest on ya. I already tried it. (To those of us who don't know how to get that look, it's a big freakin' deal.)

red_satin_doll: (Willow & Buffy Hug - Primeval)
1) Deadline to VOTE in [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 39 "Love is in the Air" is Monday March 2 and there are 26 super icons to pick from, so please vote and show your love.  (Did you ever notice people don't leave comments much in icontest challenge threads. Why not?  I'd LOVE to see more feedback and reactions beyond voting, because I've learned - you can't give everything your vote even if you love everything.)

This round is about "couples", canon and non-canon and I LOVE the range of these icons:  Wiffy, Bara (*incoherent screams of joy*), Fred/Gunn, Xander/Cordy, Cangel, Willow/Oz, Willow/Tara, Darla/Angelus, and - yes, even Bangel and Spuffy. Request to [ profile] starry_night: Can we do that prompt again?  Because this was fun and I feel like I was just getting warmed up. I've dubbed 2015 The Year of Unconventional/Overlooked Buffyverse Pairings and it's great to see so many other people thinking outside the usual boxes.

2) Deadline to vote for Round 7 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 is Tuesday March 3: THEMES, CATEGORY Sets (Chain Reaction) and Artist's Choice Sets . Be sure not to miss any.  I have been terribly behind due to RL stuff and haven't pimped this round properly, but the icons this set are absolutely amazing and wonderful works of art, so be sure to also check out the individual sets at the creators' journals and leave feedback.

I have a major RL thing this week so I'll be mostly away and out of town, and quite preoccupied with it, but I'll try to check in as I can. So please forgive me if I don't reply back immediately, and send my sweetie and I good thoughts.
red_satin_doll: (Fred Burkle Blue)
HERE at [ profile] ficamix, inspired by Megan's own artwork. I can't say I'm entirely pleased but I hope it would have pleased her.

Please visit the "virtual memorial" created by [ profile] velvetwhip and [ profile] angelus2hot and share your thoughts, feelings and memories if you haven't had a chance already. The door is always open and a nice cuppa will always be waiting there.


Click to go to memorial post; icon by me from Megan's original artwork and made with her permission.
red_satin_doll: (Fred Burkle Blue)
HERE on the [ profile] ficamix community. Originally a site created by [ profile] dragonyphoenix to keep Megan entertained during her illness with gifts from friends, it is now a place for all of us who knew and loved (and were sometimes were driven 'round the bend by) Megan to share our memories, our grief; further gifts of prose and art inspired by and dedicated to her.

Thank you so much to [ profile] angelus2hot for the gorgeous memorial banner and [ profile] velvetwhip for her stunning prose; and thanks again to [ profile] dragonyphoenix for making this possible.. The memorial went up on Sunday but there is no "time limit" to it, no need to worry about being late to the wake; and no need to worry about eloquence or brilliance. Don't have art or a fic? Just want to say you miss her, or howl at the moon because you can't find the words? Or have a funny memory you want to share? Please come. The more we share our grief, the more we are able to give comfort to one another and feel a little less alone.

Reading other people's stories and memories gives each of us a fuller measure of what an incredible woman she was.

Banner by [ profile] angelus2hot - click image to see original at [ profile] ficamix Virtual Memorial for Megan.
red_satin_doll: (Willow & Buffy - Best Friends)
Voting for Round 1 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 is up NOW until June 16th; there are separate posts for the 10 Themes, Category (black/white), and Artist's Choice.

And sign-ups are already being accepted for Round 2 so grab your claim!

Kudos to [ profile] bangel_4e for all their hard work, for creating this comm and for making it all look great! And I forgot to thank [ profile] clockwork_hart1 in my entries post for taking the time to explain how to make a collage in ipiccy so I could do the blending icons. I'd never done that before because Photobucket doesn't have that capability.

So go and vote for your favorites, the best of the best if such decisions can be made. What is "best" really? I used to whine and complain when I had 9 - 30 entries to chose from? I had NO IDEA how good I had it. Oh to be so young and innocent again (as I was last week...)

It's a trade off: on the one hand I've LOVED giving and getting feedback beforehand. Showing off more of my work, knowing who made what and learning from y'all how stuff is done is marvelous and energizing. Artists NEED audiences, even an audience of one. And vice versa.

And artists need a community of other artists to learn and grow. I've seen how not having that, how being a lone wolf, has been harmful to my sweetheart's growth as an artist. It stunts her if anything - hence the need to go to NYC last October and attend the Armory Show and expose herself to work she'd never seen before.

OTOH, it makes it a little harder to vote, if anything - I feel that nagging sense of "oh I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings". Which, oddly enough, I don't feel when I vote in or judge fic contests. Perhaps because it feels as if the "fic writing community" is larger than the "visual arts community (icon makers)" in this fandom, although that may just be my perception and limited scope of aquaintance. IDK.

And now I understand why you can't see the voting results in other icontests I've participated in. I thought it would be nifty? I'm re-thinking that stance. I'm feeling nervous all over again. And a little sick. Ok, I was feeling sick before thanks to a life-changing event involving sudden loss of income leading to numbness and depression but also nausea - which makes it sound like I'm fishing for pity votes or somesuch nonsense and really not. (Does that make it sound like I'm fishing for pity votes? Oh god I hope not. Somebody slap me upside the head. Or even better, hug me - hugs are of the good!)

Anyhoo - thank you everyone for your support, encouragement and feedback. Seriously, you folks have kept me from curling up in a very small ball in the corner (because it's impossible to sit at the desk and type in a fetal position.)

As [ profile] velvetwhip would agree, this is what fandom is all about: not about endless wars and intercene skirmishes, not about "my HBIC/MANPIRE is better than your HBIC/MANPIRE" but about friendship. And sharing. And porn. And fun. And hairporn. And endless creativity. And Winged!Buffy/Vamp!Willow porn (ok that last one might just be me...It doesn't exist yet, but someday!)
red_satin_doll: (Smile)
** [ profile] starry_night just posted a tiebreaker post for Most Creative icon for [ profile] slayerstillness Round 24. Voting will be up for 24 hours or until the tie is broken. And as it happens, these are two super-fantastic entries out of an amazing field of icons. THESE ICONS - THIS ROUND - GAH!  They are all, to borrow a phrase from the lovely [ profile] velvetwhip, awesomesauce in a jar.  And then some. I kind of love tiebreakers. Chose between two items instead ten/twenty/thirty/howevermany? I can handle that. Most of the time. Sometimes. Sorta-kinda.

** A reminder from [ profile] dragonydreams that the deadline for entries in [ profile] otherworldlyric challenge 172 is midnight Friday May 23 and that she could still use some more entries in that challenge. I'm sort of surprised because I thought people would be all over the prompt song this time, until I remember that for a lot of folks it's finals time. Thank you [ profile] eilowyn for reminding me that world still exists. (Now get back to the books, sweetie.)  Which means those of us who have reliable computer acces (tiny percentage of the world's population) and are not in college/sick and dying of malaria and malnutrition/hiking in the Andes/performing at Carnegie Hall/fighting in a war of independence from 50 years of oppression need to pick up the slack.

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)   7) 8)

More icons and other anti-nostalgia ahead )
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
What it says on the tin: voting is up now for 10 terrific entries in the latest [ profile] btvs_hush challenge 273 (Becoming).  The deadline for voting is Sunday the 25th, 8pm EST (North America); but if you're reading this right post you might as well go ahead and take another minute to vote right now because if you're anything like me you'll tell yourself you'll do it later, get totally distracted with ten different fanfics (shiny!) work projects and the deadline will slip right by before you know it.

Unless you're organized and have a terrific memory ergo, not like me in any way whatsoever. Lucky you.

While I'm here I might as well take the opportunity to trot out the icons I made for [ profile] btvs_hush challenge # 257 last August.  My timing was spectacularly horrible. True story: I entered three icons for Challenge C, "blades" on August 14th because it seemed like a really fun idea; who doesn't love the Buffyverse women cracking out weapons of destruction? (Or maybe that's just me.)

1) 2) 3)

Then August 19th my sweetie's bedroom went up in flames. Neither one of us died (the good news).

WInners were announced on September 1st: delicately beautiful icons by [ profile] xclaire_delunex and [ profile] rua1412 of horrible moments in Tough Love.

I wasn't really disappointed. Just tired, stressed out, living for two weeks in a tent in our front yard (that I pitched myself I will have you know), bandaging my sweetie's burned hand and foot, trying hard not to have flashbacks or at least not be too upset by them, and dealing with incredible back and leg pain because I retraumatized an injury that had not yet healed from the prior November and totally wasting that epidural I had in March which hurt like hell all by itself....

Add to all that the embarrasment of trying to answer (or dodge) everyone's queries about the fire, and the knowledge that I nearly killed my ladylove. She nearly died because of me, because of a stupid freak spark that turned the mattress into a firebomb. That knowledge is something I will live with for the rest of my life. She was frightened, hysterical, trying to fight an unbeatable fire when the sensible thing to do would be run away; I was begging her to leave the bedroom and had to drag her out with an assist from my landlord just as the firetrucks arrived. She nearly died and I did that. I'm sorry about the property damage, Mr Landlord, I truly am; but your walls and floorboards pale in comparison to her life. To anyone's life. That's on me.


But enough of that....Now I look at these entries and think, meh, I wouldn't have voted for me either. Especially now that I'm trying to improve my icon and image making skilz and can barely stand to look at some things I did even a few months ago. Or even a week ago. Now that I've had a chance to use the sharpening tool in I'm embarrassed by the fuzziness and lack of clarity of #1 & 3.

I still kind of fancy #2 though; I'd seen icons of Willow with her "bag of knives" in Glory's apartment many times, but I wanted to focus just on the knives themselves, and increased brightness and saturation to give it an incongruously bright and cheerful Technicolor or cartoon effect.  Some alternate efforts I didn't enter, including images from Spiral, which I think I love more than fandom does generally, the hokiness of the Knights Who Say Key notwithstanding; Anne icons and my first effort at Joyce in School Hard which is pretty horrible. But, hey, shiny red ax! Bright blue window!

I wasn't thinkng at the time about the parallels/echoes between Joyce protecting Buffy in School Hard, and Buffy protecting Dawn in Spiral; it's just one of those things that's there, whether I'm conscious of it or not, and lies at the base of why I love those Summers women. Fighting, protecting, to the point death and beyond - I get that.

4) 5) 6) 7) 8)

*As always - want? Take, have - with proper credit please! And also, letting me know is not necessary but totally cool*
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
......and my first "official" act in fandom was to:

[Poll #1965322][Poll #1965322]

And the correct answer is....

#5! Yup, a massive, massive fail on my part.  Actually, all of the choices represent a massive fail on my part, except for the last choice for which I DO NOT APOLOGIZE.
(She was mentioning how a character in her new novel has an opportunity to mindwipe the memories of another and doesn't because he respects her too much and it's not what she would want. Also, she just began watching btvs S1 at my urging and is NOT impressed with Angel or Xander. At all.) I actually spent hours making icons for [ profile] slayerstillness challenge #22 "A Room Full of Emptiness" (Negative Space)" ("Ooh, I can do this one!"); hours dithering over which to chose before deciding to actually ask my beta [ profile] wickedbish for help; and then failed to send him the link to the Photobucket folder so he could actually see the icons. By the time I figured out my mistake, it was too late to enter the challenge. (And I'm a little pissed at myself, because I think I made some good icons and really enjoyed getting back into the creative flow for the first time in weeks.)

But at least I manage to vote as the deadline isn't until tomorrow (midnight your time) hence still time to vote and pimp it - so there's a penance, at least.

And entries are being accepted for the latest challenge #23 (deadline Friday) so there's lots o' time left to enter. Yup, lots o' time....

The only fail more massive is #4 - I have NOT gotten around to congratulating all the winners of the Willowy Goodness Awards, including [ profile] velvetwhip, [ profile] snogged, [ profile] foxstarreh, [ profile] clockwork_hart1, [ profile] tiny_white_hats, and snowpuppies amoung others. Congratulations to all the winners (by which I include "Runners Up" aka the silver and bronze medalists). I actually did vote in that one too and cheese on a cracker did you folks make it painfully hard to choose!

ETA:  ALL credit to the amazing [ profile] eilowyn for urging me to watch Orphan Black, which I'd never heard of until she mentioned it.

red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)

I didn't enter this round because of general busy-ness-ness the last week (and being in NY and et cetera) but I just voted - so please do go vote for your favorite entries in this round because there are so fantastically lovely entries. I love the delicacy of this set overall.

Did I mention I'm back from NYC, btw? I'm baaaaaaaaacccccccckkkkkk.......

There will be fluffy stories this week, m'dears.

And if I get my act together, a Buffy & Joyce meta inspired by [ profile] comlodge's beautiful School Hard/Chosen banner:

(You know I'm not at my home computer when I'm reduced to typing out the  addys.)

red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
Tomorrow my sweetie and I are going to NYC - she wants to see the 100th Armory Show on the Westside; stay two nights at the Pod 39 Hotel; then we'll hopefully go to Chinatown, and then Friday spend the day at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. including the Elizabeth Sackler Gallery of Feminist Art on the 4th floor featuring Judy Chicago's installation The Dinner Party (1982) which I've always wanted to see. (Never mind the concept of a separate gallery for "feminist" art as opposed to the presumably "regular" art. Baby steps, baby steps, bitty blah.)  I wll have many things to report, hopefully.

Then when I come back we are packing and (supposedly) moving back into the old apartment; the renovation is nearly done!  We saw it the other day - my sweetie's bedroom has been totally redone, new walls, flooring, windows, new moldings everywhere, paint and light fixtures, etc. they even took up two layers of ugly old linoleum and black glue in the kitchen to expose the original wood flooring. Beautiful job.

Which also means we'll finally be getting away from the people below us in the apartment we're in now and its worth anything just for that because SWEET MOTHER OF MOSES THESE PEOPLE DO NOT SHUT UP EVER. *ugh*

Ergo, if I don't get back to you anytime immediately or post a lot the next couple of weeks, you know why. I'll try to keep up with the macros, icons and suchlike - that shouldn't be hard, I've got 600 or so buffyverse icons sitting in my Photobucket. No lie.

In the meantime, [ profile] eilowyn said not long ago that she loved "fluffy stories" about my sweetie and I; which of course meant I stopped telling them. ("But - we're not fluffy people, we argue a lot!" my brain protested.) Just like when someone paid for me to have a free account and [ profile] velvetwhip said she looked forward to a "tsunami of polls" and I said "Me too!"  And then have done maybe two since then. Or when my mom asked "What do you want for Christmas?" and I said "I don't know." EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I absolutely shut down. (My sweetie gets the same damn answer to the same question btw. My brain hasn't changed in 40-plus years.)

But last week we were in one of those big-box retail stores, the kind we drag ourselves into because we really need something and even then only upon pain of death, and I told her I felt a little light-headed. I think y'all know I have epilepsy and it's pretty well controlled on medication but those sorts of stores are not good for me: too brightly light, buzzing light fixtures, too much noise, too much sensory overload, etc.

So I said to my sweetie "Keep talking."

"Oh NO, don't you go letting your mind wander off!" (Having a seizure feels at first like you're going into a spell or trance, like a daydream.)

"That's why I need you to keep talking, because it helps ground me and keep focused on where I am. We talk, you annoy the hell out of me, I want to strangle you, it keeps me grounded. See how that works?"

She laughed.

And all I could think right was how much I love this woman, and how lucky was (am) to have her in my life after all these years.

Which is a good thing, because an hour or so later we wanted to strangle each other again.

Love isn't ribbons and bows, kids.
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
And this is where I pretend I'm such a mature, blase adult about such things - oh, screw that. I won third place in [ profile] otherworldlyric icontest #163!

(But also, I won? Like, SRSLY??)

Thank you to everyone who voted! And congratulations to the other winners in this challenge, [ profile] chic_c and [ profile] spikesredqueen!

I had a hard time voting this round (as per usual) because there were so many lovely things to pick from. Two of the ones I voted for are in fandoms I'm not familiar with, so I had no idea who the characters were, I just thought they were wonderful icons. And I even voted for a Spike icon - I'm as shocked as you are!  Then immediately after I hit the submit vote button I thought "Oh, no wait, but there's that other one too....Can I vote again?"

You know me. Given my druthers, I don't wanna enumerate them. I just wanna enjoy. *sigh*

Of course, a thousand THANK YOUS go to my agent, my manager, my stylist beta [ profile] wickedbish (Ryan); he specifically mentioned that Fading Away Fast icon as one of his favorites and I don't think I would have submitted it otherwise. I liked the icon very much - I loved the concept of it when I thought it up - but I wasn't entirely happy with the execution. (I wanted the effect of a more gradual fade on the colors on each word in the text.)  I knew right away that I wanted to submit #11 and #15 (below) but I wasn't sure about a third choice.

ETA: OH DEAR, I forgot to thank [ profile] comlodge for her very kind encouragments to me re: talking about the process of making these and the stories behind them; in essence, she's "given me permission" to open Pandora's box. (Thank you sweetie - I hope you don't regret it later!)

Here are my three entries, numbered according to the challenge number assignments:

1) 11) 15)

These represent two of my favorite episodes in the entire series; I made the Prophecy Girl icons first.  #15 is probably one of my favorites of all the ones I've ever made. I really wanted the double-image of Buffy in front of the mirror as well as her reflection and was really happy with what I got. And I love that the font looks like graffiti scrawled it on the glass. This time around I was consciously trying to experiment with fonts I hadn't used before.

Have I mentioned before that PG is the first masterpiece YOU MUST WATCH THIS episode of the series? (Although I will ALWAYS argue that one needs to watch the season in it's entirety as well. Especially Nightmares and Angel.) That Sarah never fails to bring me to tears when I watch it? And Tony as Giles, standing in the library utterly useless despite all his efforts and intentions, just as Buffy accuses him of being...ugh. Heartbreaking.

 #11 is a farther distance than usual for me (I tend towards close-up shots) but something about that distance visually emphasized Buffy's isolation in that moment, the lonely struggle with and against her own mind. I also loved the diagonal light and shadow lines on the wall; diagonals and asymmetrical compostions have alwayts appealed to me in art nouveau and Japanese woodcuts. The shadow offered a perfect canvas for the lettering and, again, the effect of graffiti on the wall.

Here's the remaining icons I made for that challenge, vaguely-sorta-kinda-not-exactly in the order I made them. Or something like that:

2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

Please. Explain to me again why Sarah NEVER won an Emmy or any major award for playing Buffy, aside from that "Performances in _______ (fill in the blank) genre programs aren't deserving of serious awards love" b.s.

  8) 9) 10) 12) 13) 14)

#10 was the other one Ryan suggested for my third choice, and I love how the "deer in headlights" effect emphasizes Buffy's struggle ("traps for your mind"). But I almost submitted #5 as my third choice. I LOVE that one, perhaps for similar reasons that I love the PG one. I used the same font, but with small caps, for a graffiti effect that came out much better than I'd expected; it looks like Buffy has childishly, desperately, scribbled the words on the wall and then dropped the crayon in frustration or resignation.  But I also almost went with #7 (or 8 or 9) because OH GOD HER EXPRESSION THAT FACE I HAVE NO WORDS FOR THIS MOMENT just total incoherence.
16) 17)

#16 - 17 OTOH are "meh" in comparison although I swear I did try my best. I do like the look of a vintage book illustration in #16; as with #11 it's a more distant shot than I often use but I think I got the mood of the moment. I actually am pleased with the way I caught Faith's expression in #17, from Touched, thanks to lots of adjustments in brightness and contrast (the source screencap is so dark). You can almost hear her panting here. I even like the detail of her fist in the lower corner, sort of a visual punctuation mark. There's something almost stupidly mechanical in this mano-a-mano confrontation between Spike and Faith in Touched, this power struggle that didn't have to happen. And I absolutely adore that entire scene and this moment especially, fighting over Buffy and about her (they're both warriors, it's what they both do best) when it is so obvious that they both care about her very deeply: "Where is she?" / "I don't know!"

Those crazy kids - god help me, I love them.

Speaking of love - I really wanted to make one with Joyce in Normal Again, but ran out of time and energy: "Your father and I have all the faith in the world in you."

Oh dear. Buffy has to go into a hallucinatory state to find the emotional comfort and support she needs in that moment - and the person who provides it is her mother. Of course it is. How can anyone watch this episode, never mind the entire series, and think that Joyce isn't the most important person in Buffy's life? Of course it's Joyce - not Giles or Hank, nor any of her friends or lovers. Not even Dawn can get through to her this time the way she did in Bargaining/After Life. Just as in season 7's Bring on the Night, the First appears to Buffy wearing Joyce's face, because no one could unsettle Buffy so deeply. It HAD to be Joyce.

LIkewise, it had to be Joyce in CWDP; Dawn fights as a warrior and magician with everything she's got, and is cut to ribbons far worse than Xander was in Grave, in order to save and protect her mother. Summers Blood is truly the blood of champions.

And whether NormalAgain!Joyce is a "bloody figment" hardly matters in this moment. Is this what the real Joyce would have said in the situation, or what Buffy would have wanted her to say? A bit of both I suspect.

Now I have a bit of a personal confession, so feel free to skip this if you're not so much into the person stuff:

I suspect that part of the reason I'm drawn to Normal Again is because when I was a teenager I was certain I was going to become mentally ill and locked away at some point in my life - is that a teenage angst thing or a "me" thing? And as an adult dealing with depression I've discovered that, yes, it is something you do battle with. Sometimes it IS a war, and you have to fight to stay alive.  And sometimes it's just a friggin' slog.  So, I identify.

I have no idea why I had this fear years before before my mother revealed a secret to me: that my father had taken his own life when I was about three years old and my brothers even younger,  not an accident as she'd always claimed. (In the interest of our protection, I know. How do you explain that to three small children?  My mother was in her early 20's when that happened; I was 3, one of my brothers 2 and the other a toddler. How do you explain that, ever?)

And it was at least another five years in addition to that before I learned that his brother had also taken his life, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters I never even knew about. My grandfather came for a rare visit after a trip from Alaska, and said my cousin had seen my picture in his wallet and asked Who was that pretty girl? My response:

"I have a cousin in Alaska?"

And another one in the midwest, as it turned out - both with spouses/partners and growing children of their own. Somehow I knew that my dad had a brother, but in the absence of information assumed he died in a war or something years ago. Like John Kennedy's older brother in the biography I'd read as a kid. Apparently that's what a child's mind will do - fill the vacuum with whatever bits they can find lying around. Perhaps not unlike the way Buffy assumes that her parents' divorce is a result of her father's disappointment in her; her brain fills the vacuum of polite silence and careful phrases that she wants to believe but can't entirely.

And here's a thought that just popped in my head: That there IS a reason why the theme of well-meaning adults hiding or keeping information from their children "for their own good" in the series resonates so deeply with me. *ponders this*

Families - you can't live with them....
red_satin_doll: (Tara Does Not Approve)
What the title says, basically. ("That she refers to herself in the third person is especially troublesome - psychiatric help is recommend".)

I'm typing this on my honey' s iPod and I honestly don't know how the rest of the world manages with these things. (Note to self - schedule that overdue eye exam.). How are we NOT be becoming a world of blind people, stooped and hunched over like Chinese rug makers at their looms?

Bifocal lenses ahoy.

Also. I am left handed but can type on this fractionally better with my right hand.  There's something about the design that feels as though it's meant to be held that way because the designers presumed such. (I am not making this up btw - I had to get rid of a vegetable peeler for that reason, and I'm slightly ambidextrous to start.)

More proof that lefties are discriminated against when it comes to product design and engineering!   ("Subject displays increasing signs of an anxiety and paranoia....")

And why are the symbols upon which my Internet life depends - * < > _ =  , et cetera located three keyboards deep? What about MY needs?

On the upside (have to look for that, right?) there are also symbol for pounds and euros = £ and € respectively. Also a ¥ symbol. Whatever the heck that is.

My downstairs/down the hall neighbors argue very loudly quite a lot. Right now in fact. They sound like my mom and stepdad #1 when I was a little, burying my head beneath the bedcovers to block them out. It never worked. Living  in houses or flats with just one neighbor really spoiled me.

Now I know why The Powers That Be invented radios and gramaphones.
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
Or rather it would ensue if I wasn't so freaking exhausted. But it's sent off and done. (the contents list was actually my partner's thing that were destroyed in the fire and covered by her renters' insurance, but I was doing the work on it while she goes off and earns a paycheck, bless her.)

I know I didn't get everything on their but they only pay so many anyway and there just comes a point where I couldn't. COULDN'T get it all on there.

My sweetie just called and said we'd go out to dinner to celebrate, yay. And I'm still in my pajamas.

In other news: way way behind on fic, vid and other recs for y'all, so I plan to resume after the weekend.

The second honeymoon we were enjoying in this apartment of my partner and I sleeping together (in a double bed) for the first time in years has ended already: I snore and it wakes her up too often and then she's tired at work. I admit I cried a little. So it's back to separate beds for us. I'm on an inflatable this time in our erstwhile office, which feels like I'm a visitor here. The upside is I'm in the room with the laptop and can stay on after she goes to sleep - given the fact that I stay up very late reading fanfic, that probably isn't such a good thing after all! And, I miss the cuddling. I love her, I do, but god I'm human. We hadn't cuddled every morning like that in almost ten years. It does a number on a girl.

And I miss the comfort brand new down mattress and pretty duvet cover, a rare luxury (and necessity) for us. I know there are millions of people in the world who don't have a bed to sleep on and I keep reminding myself of that!  But, only human here.
red_satin_doll: (Chosen One - purple)
A few days ago I had 599 messages in my inbox - some dating to last year that I WANT to respond to and never will.

Because today I have 667. HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? I'm putting off really important tasks, will piss off my partner at some point (who works her ass off at an actual job), I have to walk my ass down the street for a doctor's appointment - and am loving EVERY minute of it.

FYI: the folks who played along with my icon meme post the other day have posted their own answers on their journals. Be kind and check out their wonderful answers.
red_satin_doll: (Get it Done)
Good news: The cable guys came today and hooked up our internet service; we only had two days to wait. So now we're connected again, yay! I hope to be on again more often here - I've missed being here and getting to play. I need the release more than ever.

I just sketched out a rough draft for a post-series Buffy & Faith (and/or Buffy/Faith) fic the other day; I haven't ever written fic about the two of them before allthough I've got plenty of meta notes.  (It's occured to me I should start looking for a beta, and realize for all my experience being one, I have no idea how to ask for one.)

After the housefire, the crying jag, etc I've been thinking about Buffy post-series in ways I hadn't before: What's it like to have your entire world turned upside-down? To lose your home, the things you own, silly stuff that in some ways had come to define you? (Everyone thought I was crazy because I was thrilled that my childhood stuffed koala bear survived intact.) To have to remake-redefine yourself again because the patterns of your life, based on the habits built around the things you owned, the house you lived in, are suddenly no longer there anymore?

I'm familiar with the concept of displacement because I've been moved around many times since my dad died when I was about three yrs old: Mom remarried, then later divorced (and we left the house in the middle of the night); she bought a house and then another later; I went away to college, met my sweetie, moved and moved again. But this housefire is different - we've moved to another apartment but on the same property, we're still sorting through the damaged and destroyed things, betwixt and between if you will. I've tossed out books and antique photos I loved; I can't find anything in this new apartment because it's all still in boxes and bags; I set something down and five minutes later forget where. I did "detail work" today, lining kitchen cabinets, more cleaning and scrubbing of course, trying to find places for things. I'm not a great with organizational skills.  There's no sense of familiarity or rhythms to the way we live yet.

The only thing that feels familiar is the way my sweetie and I communicate - or don't as the case may be. We argue and snipe at each other but we did that before anyway, so nothing new. She says I'm loud, I'm yelling, I'm hyper, etc; I say she's controlling and bossy and is also hyper but doesn't see it. The thing I notice now more than ever is that she says every single thing that comes into her mind. I'm not kidding - it's a constant stream-of-consciousness conversation, and I have to suss out when she's talking aloud to herself and when she's talking to me and expects a response. That's nothing new either but it's more intense now, I think.

The week has been crazy, chaotic - horrible rains on the day we were moving most of our stuff and still a ton left to go. I admit I cursed the deities I don't currently believe in, just for good measure: "Really, God? REALLY? I know you have a sense of humor and all that, and I mean this with all due respect but - Fuck you. Don't take that the wrong way or anything."

But the tarp I'd put up over the tent (all by myself, I'll have you know) withstood the rains and is still standing. *pats self on back*  So there's that at least.

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