Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

[sticky post] These Are A Few of My (Fanart) Resources

This post will be updated frequently.  I'm including some examples when possible because a picture is worth a thousand words.

UPDATED 21 August 2015:
[Links, pretty pictures, and more!]

colorfilter - Their big 40 pack of icon textures (download link at Facebook here) is still the one I use most often and I haven't begun to scratch the surface of the hundreds of textures within. Also check out the pack of larger 800x600 textures. You can also find the sets posted individually on their journal. I've posted a few more examples of my icons using these textures in the comment thread here.



texturize - (Many thanks toteragramm for rec'ing this community) One-stop shopping for anyone interested in creating and sharing textures. Be sure to read the comm's very informative "Bible" (guidelines) before posting or snagging. Most of the artists post links back to their graphics journals or to Deviant Art. Some of my favorite member-artists:

lookslikerain at soaked. I've used more of their textures than anyone's except colorfilter's:

      icon for fanfic Ipseity by spuffy luvr 2015     15-21

jordannamorgan at wolfbane_icons

scoobyatemysnax at burnedbreads - includes tutorials.


FRAMEs & BORDERs for use - Flickr image sharing group

Victorian Frame Company

slayerstillness has a list of Screencap Resources for BtVS and AtS, including all the ones I use most frequently; if you know of any not on the list, send the links to starry_night. Some of my favorites from the list:
   * Pretty as a Picture complete screencaps for BtVS and AtS plus promo photos for Buffy
   * Bloodqueen also has all seven seasons of BtVS complete
   * Leave Me the White - Spuffy-centric so no S1 or S3 caps and the remaining seasons are incomplete; but the best quality caps of the series
      I've found. (S2 is the most complete with 14 episodes capped.) Includes Dailies for Smashed and Dead Things. S7 is spread out over
      three albums including two Miscellaneous albums. Also Veronica Mars caps for all three seasons.

* The British Library offers over one million royalty-free digitized images from their vast archives going back to the 17th century.

Wiffy-Pop Popcorn RSD

My Corner of Buffyverse Fandom and Welcome To It

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 spikesredqueen for my birthday (Feb 2015, not snaggable)


"Winged Buffy" banner, a gift from the fantastically talented and generous comlodge, (June 2013, not snaggable)
[Step into my parlour....]

* My LJ is Hugs Central. (Mostly.) Appropriate and consensual ones, of course. Safety and fun are at a premium here, so play nice with each other. 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" - 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 comlodge based on her FFL picspam series for Round 18 of 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?

Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Poster Art: "All Ye Who Enter" for aadler; and banners for Slayerstillness #50

My artwork for velvetwhip's Answering Prayers led to a request by aadler for a poster for his story All Ye Who Enter.
version 2 as requested by the author August 2015

All Ye Who Enter (2015)  Click poster for full-size image, then to go here to aadler's story. Read the story. I can wait.
Commentary below the cut -
[why do they make the chalk blue now]
*Mild Spoilers below - did you read the fic first?*
Unlike the poster for AP, this one came out very different to my original concepts - and probably for the better. I wanted an image of Dru less obviously her, more mysterious, but the S32 promo images are excellent quality and absolutely swoon-worthy. I layered one of my photographs from a bonfire the summer over her twice as the background.

The screencaps were of far lesser quality and merging images of very different quality together into a cohesive whole was the biggest challenge.

ETA: I thought about redoing this poster to deepen the shadows, as in the earlier drafts of this image.  But that would make it look more like the AP poster and I wanted to differentiate them. The lighter contrast of this image helps to mask the differences in image quality especially re: the cap of Joyce; at least that was my conscious motivation. It wasn't until after I finished it and sent it to aadler, then saw it on his journal, that I realized that the relative lightness or haziness of the image reminded me of the apartment fire my sweetie and I had in 2013, and how my vision slowly filled with smoke until it became difficult to see.

The image of Angelus I think is from Passion - or Phases - it really doesn't matter.  I didn't want to use a well-known shot of him from a particular moment in the series and this fit the bill.  The burning wood in the lower left corner is from another of my bonfire photos that I used as a foreground texture to mask the edges between the figures, and it happened to fall over Angelus' coat in a really interesting way.

The photo of Joyce is from Gingerbread near the end of the episode - ironically, the scene where Buffy and Willow are nearly burnt to death at the stake. I assumed the image is not well-known but her expression of shock and horror was perfect for my needs. I wanted very much to emphasize the horror of the situation without turning Joyce into a quivering damsel, to suggest some of the strength and dignity and determination that carriers her through the story. A tall order for just one little image. I erased out the MOO badge on her blouse, which I changed to a lavender color from the original earth-tones.

The image of Buffy is from Ted, when she's sitting on her front steps thinking she's killed Ted; the stairs inside the house are just visible behind her.  It doesn't represent a moment in the actual story. Drusilla imagines Buffy as a hardened warrior and I was going to use a image from The Wish but Wishverse!Buffy looks rather silly in that thick black eyemake-up so I tried to evoke a moment that isn't in the story but what I imagined in-between the spaces. I cut the image around her roughly, dropped it in and it fell into place perfectly.

I originally wasn't going to put Buffy in the poster; unlike Answering Prayers, she's not actually a character in the story but as with AP she's a presence despite - or because of? - her absence, the Buffy-shaped-hole that everything else revolves around. Which makes sense to my mind - this is the Buffyverse after all, and even if she's not the protagonist of the story, she is the Buffy-shaped-force that everyone else revolves around, the reason why everyone in the story does what they do.

And the women are the most important thing in All Ye, as in BtVS; Angelus is just a puppet on their stage even if imagines himself the puppet-master.

Speaking of the women of the Buffyverse, congratulations to the winners of slayerstillness Challenge 50 "Willow": sweet_lyri, tempertemper, and debris4spike!  And as banner maker my BMC this round went to teragramm for her iconic (and adorable) icon of WIllow from the Body. Check out all my banners here.

Many and I do mean MANY thanks to velvetwhip for her feedback on these banners.

All artwork here by me, 2015, except for teragramm's icon. Do not snag, steal, alter, hotlink or post to another website, archive or journal without my express prior permission. In other words, look but don't touch.
Tara Purple Sensual Witch OOMM RSD

Poster Art: The Relish Collection by Kerkevik_2014 and unofficial Wicked nomination buttons

My poster for The Relish Collection Series (aka "the Femalehusbandverse") (2015) especially "The Female Husband" made for kerkevik_2014. This poster is an adaption of one I originally made for Ray as an unofficial banner (#8) for the 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 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

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 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 wicked_awards is August 31st - check out the list of fiction/art nominees and music video nominees.
Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

Belated Gratitude to the Members of Elysian Fields and Unbelated Birthday Wishes for Feliciacraft

* A VERY belated THANK YOU to the unknown person(s) who nominated and then selected me as "Reviewer of the Month" for August 2015 at Elysian Fields! I'm still astonished and have no idea how that all happens (and I confess I feel something of a fraud for the honor, not having reviewed as frequently this month) but THANK YOU THANK YOU! It's a very kind welcome to the community.

ETA: And congratulations to spuffy_luvr for being voted Author of the Month! Getting to be Reviewer of the Month as the same month as a dear friend and one of my favorite writers and person to share thinky-thoughts with? Is VERY cool.

* And a VERY un-belated actually on-time HAPPY BIRTHDAY to feliciacraft! She had kind words for my Round 11 Joyce and Buffy icons the other day, so I thought she might appreciate this pretty thing. Enjoy your special day, week and month, Felicia!

Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Much to see and much to can I make it easier for you?

Voting posts are now up for Round 11 at btvsats20in20; deadline to vote is August 22nd:


You know what to do, Sweet Baby Jane. There are only four artists to choose from this round. Should make things easier, no? No. No, it does not.

Not that I mean to influence the vote because that would be wrong but - how on earth is the Inside theme a three-way tie? How is emmatheslayer's killing_kurare's*  brilliant interpretation of the theme not leading the pack?

Just sayin'.

*And this is what I get for posting at 4:30 something in the morning -  thank you emmatheslayer for pointing out my futz-up!
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

My Entries for btvsats20in20 Round 11: " Surprise / Innocence "

My set for Round 11 of btvsats20in20:

As always, kudos and praise for my fabulous beta-Muse velvetwhip, for her ceaseless and generous encouragement, support and inspiration. And big THANK YOU to starry_night for once again extending the deadline.


[Happy Birthday Buffy....]

10 Themes
Vulnerable Battle Pink + White Dress Up Scenery
Obscured Pattern Strong Vampire Inside
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

Some alts and extras:

           1 - 6

          7 - 12

          13 - 17

      18 - 22

       23 - 27

        28 - 32

      33 - 36

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :) Do not take banner #1 for personal use without asking myself or spuffy_luvr.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)

Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Banners and Icons for Slayerstillness, Whedon Elite + Willow character poster for Ipseity

banner by tempertemper my edit1 with signature and date added august 2015     we123_modschoicebanner_rsd1.2.png 1 - 2
The gorgeousslayerstillness banner was made by tempertemper; I adore how well it echoes my icon stylistically, and the boldness of her font choices. Not only am I far more limited in that regard I'm also far more timid. whedon_elite banner by yours' truly; image of Elisha Dushku on The Chosen Two gallery, (photographer unknown).

Feast your eyes on the winning entries and banners at both comms here and here respectively. My own entries:
[Icons, banners and musings right behind Door Numero Uno]
    3 - 7
Challenge 49 at slayerstillness was "white decoration"; the textures on icons 3 - 6 are all by the lookslikerain. I swear that the the bars on icon #6 looked white-ish (off-white) to me - until I actually sent the set to starry_night and - oops. oh. damn.

If icon #5 reminds you of the Willow character poster I made for Ipseity by spuffy_luvr, it should. ;-)  The symbols on the left hand side are glyphs created by Laurel Cannon.

. Poster 2 for Ipseity by Spuffy Luvr Willow variant 8

A tsunami of alts (once again, all textures except on the Joyce icons by lookslikerain). I particularly like the texture on #9 :

    9 - 11

          12 - 16

            17 - 22

      23 - 26
Quote on #24 from the gorgeous short story "Grave Daughter" by Nightmarish on A03. I really wanted that quote in my entry icon but I wasn't happy with the clarity/resolution of the text and I tried a couple of different fonts.

The whedon_elite challenge was - well, a challenge; I had already made some lovely framed icons of Faith for Round 10 of btvsats20in20 and didn't feel like I really had much else to say at the moment. For whatever reason Faith doesn't inspire me, visually or thematically, the way Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Joyce, Tara and now, Lorne, do. (Giles is the other fella I am starting to get comfortable with in terms of making icons - I hope.) Hence the shortage of alt versions. You're welcome.
       27 - 32


I am really happy with my banners for the round however. I wasn't sure what photo to use at first but I liked this one partly because of the white light in the upper-right corner; it provided a space to fit the icons without having to take the separate step of place them in a frame of give them a shadow to make them pop.The photo was black and white and I toyed with cropping it and just letting it be, but I felt like that would almost be too derivative of tempertemper's banner. So I started adding the color, toyed with sharpening and softening filters, and the added an additional layer to the lower left side - a photograph of lights (carlights?) in the darkness I took last year, set to Lighten or Screen.

I particularly like how the Light Use banner for sweet_lyri turned out because those shades of pink and red are hard to match.  I wasn't really trying for exact matches anyway but simply to coordinate nicely. The BMC banner for teragramm was the first one I made and I was happy with it right off the bat, no need for remakes. The yellow, orange and green tone banners were much harder by comparison. The banner for everythingshiny's first place winner was probably the hardest in that regard.
we123_bestightusebanner_sweet_lyri1.2.png       we123_BMCbanner_teragramm1.2.jpg 33 - 34
A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :) Do not take banner #1 for personal use without asking myself or spuffy_luvr.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Happy Birthday Spikesredqueen!

Since today is spikesredqueen's actual birthday and I am actually NOT belated, for once, AND I've never made Willow/Faith * fantart, I thought I'd take a crack at something for her. Happy birthday Marie!

I've got the Power (Willow, Faith, 2015) Click for full-size image

*(whats the smushname for that pairing? Fillow? Fallow? Waith? Wiith?)
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Sister Bonding Via Road Trip: Art for "Show You the World" by Aliceinkinkland (Buffy, Dawn)

Poster for aliceinkinkland's "Show You the World" for buffy_genfic Round One "Buffy's Stuff  (2015), inspired by spuffy_luvr's prompt: Joyce’s Jeep, a road trip, car trouble, and muggle hitchhikers, and didn’t want vamp!Buffy or angst without some measure of hope.
[Because I don’t introduce you to enough things that want to murder you]

Unlike velvetwhip and spuffy_luvr's stories this round, I didn't read Alice's story until yesterday when she posted it to the comm but I knew as soon as I read it that I'd want to make artwork for it. Summers sister bonding is my jam. Call it corny and nonsensical but I loved it when Buffy and Dawn fought side by side in Grave; when S7 began I was looking forward to more Summers Sister screentime and the season started promisingly enough in Lessons but Dawn was soon shunted off to the side. Alas.
For once there are no alt versions (fancy that) because the final product turned out pretty much the way I envisioned it. I knew I wanted an open road in the daytime, with "Joyce's jeep" seen in the distance, lines from a map fading as they melted into the sky, and the "ghost images" of Buffy and Dawn above. I wanted this to be different to my two previous posters, for "Who's That Girl" and "Come Out Come Out"; something light, fun, reminiscent of a movie poster.

For once I used a stock image for the road instead of one of my own photos; but I did photograph a close-up of a map I have at home and expanded it over the base image. I couldn't find a map of the west coast in my house so I pulled out one of...South Carolina. I gave it a warm, golden tonality to try to evoke the look of the open road to Sunnydale in Becoming and Chosen. There are no images of Joyce's jeep at a distance on a desert road or highway; the jeep here is one I digitally masked from a separate stock photograph and layered here. I made sure to feather the edges of the mask so that there would be some shadows from the jeep on the road itself; I think it looks fairly convincing.. Warm-tone filters give the entire poster a sunny but also slightly faded look.

The image of Dawn in Help is from Leave Me the White; the cap of Buffy in Him is from the sadly-defunct Broken Screencaps. Finding images of the girls that conveyed the right tone, especially Dawn, was the hardest part of the projects. The story takes place during the summer between S6 - 7, and possesses a lovely sense of humor and whimsy interlaced with heartbreakingly rendered observations about the trauma Buffy and Dawn are trying to push through and get over with the help of no one but themselves and each other to rely on.
The image of Dawn isn't perfect perhaps but it had the advantage of not being a well-known image (Help is an underrated episode IMO but then the entire first half of S7 is highly underrated) and I prefer to work with lesser-known caps when I can. Plus she's smiling, god love her and you can actually tell that yes, her eyes are blue. The image of Buffy from Him is probably better known simply by virtue of the sunglasses she wears. But I simply liked that image of her and I loved the breezy California-girl sophistication.

Thank you kwritten for hosting this commuity dedicated to gen fics for us to enjoy! Check out the masterlist of fics for this round here.  Sign ups for Round Two for Willow Rosenberg will begin August 15th, until then, the next four days are a "free for all" period for more fics and artwork dedicated to the Round One theme. Also check out Kelsey's opinion poll.
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Swing & Swish: Poster art for "Come Out, Come Out" by Spuffy_luvr for Gen Mini-Fic Exchange

My second contribution to Round One, "Buffy's Stuff" of buffy_genfic is artwork for spuffy_luvr's story "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are" (gen, Buffy; S6 post-Gone).

Many thanks to velvetwhip for her superb feedback on these:

Click banners #1 -7 below for full-size images:
1) buffyskateficposter1.2_byRSDforspuffyluvr900x720.png
"Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are" version 1  (2015)

Are there variant versions? Is the Pope Italian Polish German male? Of course there are variants:  (not including the ones I absolutely refuse to post. Your eyeballs will thank me later.)

Teasers:   buffyskateficposter5.cemetaryblend_byRSDforspuffyluvr_800x640signed.png SLskatericonRSDAug2015_1.2.png

The story is a response to kwritten's prompt: Inanimate object: Scrunchie/hair tie...S6 short hair era, flickering streetlights, long walks. In "Come Out...." , Buffy tries to connect again to her past, to the girl she once was, the little girl who dreamed of being a figure skater before cheerleading and boys and then slaying took over her life, via a most unlikely object: a "scrunchie" that Joyce made eons ago to go with one of her skating costumes. At the same time she's trying to convince herself that she's not the same girl, that she's moving forward and making a "fresh start" ("Daisy-fresh Buffy....fresh from the grave.")
I wanted to incorporate an image of Buffy circa Gone or DMP in the banner but couldn't make one quite work right. The silhouette from What's My Line pulls double-duty: it evokes the younger Buffy but is also meant to echo a moment in the story where Buffy reaches for the hair ornament after it falls from her pocket.

     2) buffyfskateficposter4.1_byRSDfor spuffyluvr_8550x608.png           3) buffyskateficposter5.cemetaryblend_byRSDforspuffyluvr_800x640signed.png

#2 is actually the first version of the banner I made. Since it's the central object in the story I figured out that I wanted to use it to "frame" an image of Buffy skating and found one that had a large enough center space. In the story the scrunchie is made of hot pink fabric printed with bears "cavorting across" it. The scrunchie, the bears "printed" on it, and the bears in the background are three separate layers. I changed the orientation of the fabric when I added it to the background so it wouldn't look like I'd plunked it down once over the entire banner and called it a day. I wanted the "print" to look authentic. I also added a tight canvas weave texture from ipiccy to make it look even more like a real fabric. Poster #1 has an additional plush pile fabric texture added for the soft grey lines and to help blur the background pattern a little.

I could have stopped there but I felt it needed something more. #2 is a cute image but it isn't evocative of anything; it has layers in the literal sense of the image but no emotional layers, no complexity. Most of the story takes place in a cemetary while Buffy is on routine patrol and is reflective of Buffy's mindset at that moment.  So I went back to a wider version, added the large image of Buffy from What's My Line, and layered a shot from CWDP's cemetary to fill in the Buffy-shaped silhouette and create a sense of atmosphere and emotion. Then I cut around the large obelisk headstone from the same shot and added that to the right side, to balance the poster visually.

The images of a cemetary in #1 and the posters below is from Conversations with Dead People. For #3 I layered and blended cemetary shots from CWPD with an image from Forever (right side of the poster).I'm pleased with how seamlessly the two blended together but of course I'm using the image of Buffy and of the scrunchie to mask any "joins". I like the softness and deep blue tones of #3 quite a bit but it feels as though something is missing that would pull it all together.

The loopy font in 1 - 3 was meant to look like cursive Buffy might have written, something somewhat feminine. I switched fonts to something slightly more elegant for the variant below:

If you click  4 - 7 to see them full-size (they're rather large) - did you spot where I added my "signature stamp"?

4) buffyskateficposter6.7_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned.png   5) buffyskateficposter6.10_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned.png

Confession: I love this version and all most of it's variants, I truly do. Same image of Buffy skating and the scunchy but without the cemetary shots replacing the bears in the background; the large image of Buffy is from Doublemeat Palace and the way her face fit into the contours of the fabric band was pure serendipity. (And yes my ongoing love affair with Sarah's face continues unabated. kikimay will understand.)

6) buffyskateficposter6.9_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned    7) buffyskateficposter6.6_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned.png

So what's the problem? They're not right for spuffy_luvr's story. They don't imply the moments of lightness, humor  and strange whimsy in "Come Out Come Out...." They're more of piece with the poster I did for velvetwhip's offering . Possibly a Bergman film - but not this story. And I highly doubt that anyone is going to remix "Come Out..." or that there will ever again be a need for a poster that includes Buffy, ice skating, a cemetary, and a bear-print scrunchie. Though I've been proven wrong before.

I still love this one, though. And it's simple enough that I was able to get a icons out of it; posters 1-3 are  to complicated image-wise to make good icons without being entirely reworked.

8) SLskatericonRSDAug2015_1.2.png9)   SLskatericonRSDAug2015_1.1a.png

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :) Do not take banner #1 for personal use without asking myself or spuffy_luvr.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
Buffy/Tara Dead Things Solace RSD

She isn't that girl anymore: Art for "Who's That Girl" by Velvetwhip for Gen Mini-Fic Exchange

Poster for "Who's That Girl" by velvetwhip (2015). Gabrielle's splendid story is the first entry in Round One of buffy_genfic mini-fic exchange, hosted by kwritten. The story is based on a prompt from 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:

[Once upon a time there was a brave and bright eyed Slayer....]

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 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 lookslikerain and 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 :)

Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

My banners plus extras for btvsats20in20

Thank you again to everyone who voted for my icons in Round 10 of btvsats20in20!  My banners, a bit belatedly, with many thanks to
my wonderful betas tempertemper and 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 sweet_lyri, tempertemper, killing_kurare, teragramm, snogged and spikesredqueen! Check out their winning icons and awards banners in the thread here.

As with the banners I made for the last round of 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 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 whedon_elite Challenge 122 "Bright and Shiny" : teragramm, sweet_lyri and 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!
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* Vote NOW at whedon_elite  Challenge 122 "Bright and Shiny" for your top 3 icons plus best color and crop out of 19 lovelies.

Challenge 123 "Faith" already has 10 lovely entries by teragramm, emmatheslayer and everythingshiny to enjoy; deadline for the latest challenge is August 9th, 3pm EST.

* Don't forget that the deadline for slayerstillness Challenge 49 "White Decoration" is this Friday the 31st, midnight at your time zone.
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

And I have been remiss:

Belated congratulations to the winners of btvsats20in20 Round 10, 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: killing_kurare, snogged, spikesredqueen, sweet_lyri, tempertemper, and teragramm, with further apologies for the delay.


[Here be icons.....]

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 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 sweet_lyri, teragramm and 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!


feliciacraft mentioned to me the other day the dearth of pretty Anya icons, so I hope she finds this one to her liking:
[More banners and icons in gallery #2]

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 double_dutchess the other day about how the star texture by 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 :)
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What I've Been Up to Lately: Banners for Whedon Elite Challenge 121

Congratulations to teragramm, sweet_lyri and emmatheslayer for their winning entries in whedon_elite Challenge 121! Teragramm's 2nd place/Best Color winner is a particular favorite of mine; I've seen a lot of icons of that scene in After Life and that shot in particular, but never one that looks exactly like this. The granular details and the coloring are especially delicate and subtle.

Teasers for artwork after the cut: we121_1stplacebanner350x324_RSD_1.5a.png we121_2ndplacebestcolorbanner_rsd2015_350x324_1.2.png WE121_3rdplacebannerrsd_sweetlyri350x324.png   WE121_modschoicebannerbyRSD_350x324.png

[The gallery is this way....]

The theme for Challenge 121 was "Negative space + Two (and only two) figures + one dominant color" so I tried to play on that with the awards banners, and match the couplings in the icons in my banners. (The majority of entries and winners are shippy.) I fudged a litlte on Emmatheslayer's banner: I'm not sure if that's Xander walking in the far background in her Mod's Choice icon, but all three icons in her set featured Buiffy & Xander and in any case, I associate Xander with that scene in Life Serial so strongly that I assumed it was him.

Even thougjh whedon_elite covers the entire "Jossverse" I'm amused by the fact that the entries and the winning icons are so Buffy-centric, with the exception of Teragramm's Sprusilla icon.

For last round I relied entirely on my own photographs for the banner textures but this time I mixed up my own photo textures with found textures; the textures in the Sprusilla and Bangel banners are by sweet_lyri.  The Spuffy image for Teragramm's banner is a promotional photo from S2 but I really like how it parallels and unintentionally foreshadows  S6.

we121_1stplacebanner350x324_RSD_1.5a.png   we121_2ndplacebestcolorbanner_rsd2015_350x324_1.2.png

WE121_3rdplacebannerrsd_sweetlyri350x324.png   WE121_modschoicebannerbyRSD_350x324.png

I did not plan to make the Sprusilla and Spuffy banners darker than the Bangel and Bander ones, and since I don't ship Bangel and Bander there is no judgement regarding the ships themselves intended.  In fact, one of my favorite things about the Bangel poster is how both Buffy and Angel seem to dissolve in the light; Buffy especially is all but a shadow; and the texture by sweet_lyri subtly divides the image and comes between them.

Entries for Challenge 122,  "Bright and Shiny"  are due Sunday July 26th at 3pm EST.  There are 15 wonderful entries so far but more are welcome.

Joyce/Angel btvs  Fairy Tales RSD

What I've Been Up to Lately: Artwork for Velvetwhip's Jangel Fanfics

Final poster art for Answering Prayers by velvetwhip
Teasers for more artwork after the cut:  
[Not for the first time today she wonders: How did I become… this?]

I've praised this author's work and this particular story before, but I won't pass up another opportunity. Ever since I entered Buffyverse fandom I've wondered at the absolute dearth of Joyce-fic out there. A huge number of fans - and authors - are women of a certain age and mothers, after all. And fanfiction is designed to explore what goes ignored, overlooked or forgotten in canon. This story fills a huge need and I hope will inspire other writers.

The project sat on the back burner a bit longer than I'd intended. I've had the basic composition in my head for months; making sketches in my notebook, however crude, really does help me remember my intentions. This is pretty close to what I first imagined; the biggest difference from sketch to poster is that I wanted a shadowy "ghost image" of Buffy walking away from home in Becoming, or sitting on her bed in the dingy apartment in Anne. But neither image worked quite the way I'd intended.

Technically this was my third go at the poster for this story. " Version 2"  (b & c below) was a lot more complicated, busy, bright and overstuffed with details (layers! layers! layers!). velvetwhip preferred the more subdued version, and her feedback inspired me go back and try to pare back down to the basics. I realized I'd gotten enamoured of playing with the images and effects and had forgotten the story itself. In theory every detail in V.2 has a meta point but it's all too much.

I also realized I needed something closer to a square-ish shape to fit Gabrielle's journal format. Version 2a-b below features a "flame" texture I got from sweet_lyri and she is not to blamed for the fact that I went overboard.

The thing about poster art for me is that, I want the recipient to love it; I want them to feel that it's an absolute perfect fit for their work because the point of me making a poster is to honor their prose and encourage people to want to read it. And yes, I absolutely realize that's kind of selfish and egotistical on my part, but I like to think of it as a "win-win" situation all 'round.

Which is to say, if I ever make an artwork for you, Gentle Author, and you don't love it with your heart and soul, be honest and tell me and if I can't rework it, I'll let you know.
2a)   2b)
For the final version (#1 above), I removed the texture, cropped it differently, and used a different texture altogether - a photograph of a bonfire in our front yard I'd snapped the night. I expanded it on low opacity in Layers mode, stretching and moving it about. Somehow a curve of flame fitted against Joyce's cheekbone so I left it there; then I added a second layer of the same photo but smaller, to fill the space in the lower left around Joyce's chin and conceal the edges around Angel's hand.

Half the task of making banners is covering up the joins, I swear.

The flames have a meta purpose in the image though; Angel has just returned froma literal Hell (this story takes place the summer between S2 and S3); but Joyce is in an emotional Hell which she knows is partly of her own making; in discovering Angel at the mansion she takes a headlong dive into her daughter's world in astonishing ways.

Below is what I call "Version 1". This was the image I turned into an icon for Gabrielle a few months back, because she'd asked for one for Christmas; and which I've reworked slightly to make into a poster for her story "We Tell Each Other Fairy Tales". The problem is that I don't think it really fit that story, which is mournful, angsty and angry. It's Jangel but it's not "shippy" in a traditional way, and this poster uses the fantasy image of Joyce that Xander had in his head from Restless.

So there's a mismatch here between an image that caters to romantic tropes and the prose which is anything but a traditional romance. velvetwhip twists, deconstructs, slyly exposes and gleefully smashes all manner or romance tropes in her work. And she does it with incredible elegance and perceptiveness.
That image of Joyce from Restless was a bitch to work with btw, as are most caps of Joyce from the series, poorly-lit and unfocused. So not my best work but a good exercise. I actually think this one looks better in the icon version I made for Gabrielle. Speaking of:

    4 - 7

And again I am borrowing starry_night's succinct rules regarding my own arwork:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

ETA: Nominated for Best Banner, wicked_awards 2015 - THANK YOU for the nomination!

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What I've been up to lately: Fiction Poster & Icons for Spuffy_Luvr's Ipseity

Poster and icon to go with.
Click poster for direct link tospuffy_luvr's fic Ipseity on EF, or here for the story on A03.  She was kind enough to thank me on her own journal (dig the cool new layout). Also check out the other banner for the story made by pfeifferpack, which is a gorgeous, gorgeous thing.

More icons and thinky-thoughts after the cut:

I made the icon first by downsizing the image of Buffy that I'd cropped, ligntened, etc and layered two icon-sized textures by lookslikerain from their aptly named "When the Wheels Fall Off" icon texture set over it.

    1 - 3

Then I went back to the 310sq crop of the screencap image in Layer Mode and expanded or "upsized" just the second "ladder" filter to fit over it.  You almost always want to go the opposite direction in sizing, but it worked here with some sharpening and bloom/softening filters to balance the other out. I think in Photoshop you'd use a single "unsharp" mask to achieve the same effect?

More alts of the icon:
      4 - 6

It would be easy to overstuff the image and I originally wanted to add the images of other characters on the right hand side, a la one of Jo Chen's wonderful cover illustrations for the S8 comics. But I don't have the skill (or the patience, frankly) to made the faces of other characters work at the size I needed.  So I subsituted the text, which is the central mystery of the story to most of the other characters around Buffy; and also is a nod to S4's "Who Are You" which, like Ipseity, deals with questions of identity and how the people around Buffy Summers shape their identities in response to her; and how they perceive her according to their needs and in response to the masks she wears.

Sometimes I want a banner to tell a story but with this poster I wanted to imply or impart a flavor of the author's story without giving away the goods. Frankly the story is so complex and twisty I don't think I really could give away anything. Her story has me wondering at every turn what's going to happen next (and so far? I haven't been able to predict a thing.) She twists, deconstructs, and/or slyly smashes any number of tropes which are not exclusive to Spuffy fic; but if you're looking for the same-old, same-old Spuffy schmoop/porn/fluff, don't go here. If you're looking for an actual story, by all means hop on over immediately.

I'm borrowing starry_night's succinct rules regarding my own arwork:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

Wiffy-Pop Popcorn RSD

The Buffy Gen-Fic Exchange ROUND 1 POLL IS OPEN!

buffy_genfic ROUND 1 is up and running thanks to the marvelous kwritten for creating space for gen Buffyverse fanfiction to thrive. Click on the Round 1 Poll to select which of four characters will be the central focus this round: Buffy, Willow, Xander of Giles.*

Click image to go directly to buffy_genfic
Vote now if you want to make a selection because  the sign-up sheet will be posted on Friday the 17th - along with information for an art option (!!)  this round. (Sign ups will then close and assignments mailed out on the 20th.) So even if you don't plan on writing - even if you only plan on reading  - participation is of the good. We decide what we want to see and read.

For anyone new to the term, what IS gen-fic? Simply put, fic that doesn't have shipping (sex/romance) as it's focus. This comm is dedicated to all the "other" relationships in the Buffyverse (and the wider Whdeonverse) that are central to the 'verse.

* Given that the 10th annual summer_of_giles Festival is happening right now as well, I'd assume all the Gilesian energy is headed in that direction at the moment. As should you, once you've voted in the gen-fic poll - AND cast your vote for the FINAL btvsats20in20 Round 10 tiebreaker.
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The Dream She Can't Remember : Icons and Banners for Slayerstillness #47 (IWRY)

It all connects to the dream, the real dream – the one she can’t remember well enough, the one she wishes she could just let go of and forget. She doesn’t know how and she doesn’t know why, but it’s sitting there, salt and bitter on the tip of a tongue that can’t tell the truth to the people who need to hear it…a tongue that rises in songs of bitterness and numbness and a longing for what she left behind – for a place from which she was torn, bleeding from wounds no one but her can see.
Gabrielle's story is my favorite IWRY fiction, ever. The passage above should tell you why. It might also give you an idea as to why I dislike the episode  And yet, I'm fascinated by the notion that the repeated violations of Buffy's mind - Angel taking away one set of memories, the monks inserting another in S5 - contribute to Buffy's mental illness, to her  trauma, depression and grief in later seasons, simply in terms of altering her brain's neurological pathways.

Which is to say that I very nearly didn't make any icons for slayerstillness Challenge 47 - and I'm honestly stunned by the outcome of the round.

Congratulations to muirthemne and tempertemper for their wonderful winning entries this round and THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons and thank you also tempertemper for the lovely, swoon-worthy banners! I love the contrasts of "glamour" and grit in these banners; the light leaks and the disintergrating font contrast against one another in much the same way the chain-link fence sets off the dolled-up Sarah. (And kudos to you for signing your work, babe!)

    ss47banner02byTT2015.png   ss47bannerbestcropbyTT2015.png

    ss47bannerbestcolorbyTT2015.png     ss47bannermostcreativebyTT2015.png

    1 - 4
      5 - 7

         8 - 12
My personal favorite is #5, and it was very close to being an entry instead of #1.

I really wanted to make at least one icon of he Oracles, because I think they look like rejects from a high school production of "Satyricon: The Musical!" I'm sort of disappointed with myself that I didn't but I wasn't inspired by any of the screencaps of them I looked at.

I honestly thought the awards would be pretty evenly spread out this round because there were so many lovely ones to choose from. I assumed muirthemne's set didn't dominate. I didn't know who made them - or any of the entries - I just knew they were elegant, autumnal, and suffused with emotion. Her 3rd place Angel icon was my first place choice, and her Mod's Choice and Banner Maker's Choicer wins are well and truly deserved. tempertemper's Cordy lightbulb icon, the other Mod's Choice winner, was my Most Creative choice; any icon that can make me chuckle every time I look at it deserves bonus points.

Don't forget to enter Challenge 48 "Five Faces"; deadline is midnight on Friday the 17th.

Texture Resource Credits:
#1 - colorfilter;
#3, 11 -  whitebamboo;
#5, 9, 10 - lookslikerain;
IWRY Screencaps
from Pretty as a Picture

Want? Take, have!  But proper credit a must; do not claim as your own, hotlink, post to or any other archives or websites without my express permission first.

Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

Banners for Whedon Elite Challenge 120

But first thank you for everyone for the hugs, support and good wishes regarding my recent job loss, you guys are truly amazing.

Thank you to the voters who awarded my Riley and Lorne icons 2nd and 3rd place (tied with shameless666) at Whedon Elite Challenge 120. Congratulatioms to fassy, entwashian, sweet_lyri, shameless666 and starry_night on your winning entries this round!

Those were my two favorite icons for this round; ironic, as I rarely do male characters. Also, I'm not Riley's biggest fan and I haven't watched Lorne for more than a few minutes on AtS. So I was surprised and pleased that they won. Yes, Virginia, it is possible to make fanart of characters you don't like or are barely familiar with.

Click all images to see full-size:

WE120_2ndplacebannerbyrsdFINAL.png       WE120_thirdplacebannerRSDLorneFINAL.png

Banners and base photographs by yours truly. Many thanks to my incredible Beta-Muse velvetwhip. More banner images affter the cut

Teasers: we120_firstplacebannerbyrsd2015_FINAL.png we120_shameless6663rdplacebestcompbanner_FINAL.jpg we120_bestcolorbannerwithicon1.2FINAL.png


we120_firstplacebannerbyrsd2015_FINAL.png     we120_shameless6663rdplacebestcompbanner_FINAL.jpg

we120_bestcropbannerwithicon1.2FINAL.png     we120_bestcolorbannerwithicon1.2FINAL.png


 I had no idea what I wanted to do for the banners until I came across a close-up photo I'd taken two years ago of the bark on the locust tree in our front yard. The color and pattern of it faintly resembled army fatigues as well as the colors of fassy's first place icon and the patterns on Connor's sweater.  So I used it for the base of both her banner and my Riley one; all the other banners have different base images but they are all photographs me or my sweetie have taken in the past couple of years. I decided to stick with the nature imagery all the way through.

The River banner differs slightly in that the base image is a photograph of a wooden bowl my sweetie made several years ago when she did woodturning for a time. It's probably nearly 20 years old but the grain still shows up beautifully in the sunlight. I like how the woodgrain across River's face in the banner reminds me of Maori or "tribal" tattoos.

For the Lorne banner I wanted to use the sunset photo to the mournful tone of the icon and specifically his last line in the series, "Good night, folks."

For shameless666's banner, I knew I wanted flowers in the base image to go with the icon but I didn't have photographs of daisies. A couple of months ago I waved bunches of lilacs in front of my Nikon Coolpix camera to get blur and motion effects; the green from the leaves was simiilar to the color of the icon once I adjusted the image slightly, and Skye's face emerged dramatically when I layered it with a PR image.

I would not mind if the mods repeated did a round-robin challenge like this again because it really stretched and challenged me, alongside Round 10 of btvsats20in20, to try new things.  BTW, deadline for Challenge 121 is Sunday July 12, 3pm EST - and only seven icons by two artists have been entered thus far.

And speaking of btvsats20in20 HAVE YOU VOTED YET FOR THEMES AND CHARACTERS? HAVE YOU TOLD YOUR FRIENDS TO VOTE?  Because as it stands this moment starry_night is going to be stuck with a bunch of two and three way ties and the entire process will be drawn out.
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

So guess who wrote a LONG post promoting Slayerstillness & btvsats20in20 and it GOT DELETED?

                                                                                           I hate when that happens.
[WE HAVE THINGS TO DISCUSS, KIDS]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. kikimay would have been proud of me.

ANYHOO - GO VOTE. Like, right away for 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 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.
Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

VOTE NOW AT ROUND 10 OF BTVSATS20IN20! (Who needs a preamble, we've got art!)

VOTE HERE AND NOW AT btvsats20in20 Round 10: THEMES & CHARACTERS .

Remember that each post has 20 choices for you to make. You will in essence be voting on each icon twice (or not, as the case may be.) Last round we had four participants, this time it's eight. (Count 'em! Eight!) Last round I also waited until the last minute to really and truly promote it which is inexplicable (and inexcusable) given the amount of time and care that goes into making the entries. This round, I intended to promote early and often.

Also inexcusable and inexplicable? I never showed off the lovely awards banners starry_night made for me, nor did I properly thank her and everyone who came out to vote in Round 9. So herewith, the banners (click to view full-size):

  Banner by starry_night May 2015   Banner by starry_night May 2015
starry_night knows what I like, and I love the Summers women, oh I do indeed. These banners are so pretty, soft and feminine; you'd never know that the context of both of these is sacrifice, death and grief.  More images after the cut:


In terms of Joyce especially this was a "transitional" round for me. Up to this point I'd not done any icons of Joyce alive successfully, only as a body, a ghost, an absence; even if she was alive, her face was out of the frame (6-10 below from Round 5.) I made one last try at the "Buffy & her dead mother" theme ("Shocking") but also two of Joyce from Blood Ties (Category 1 & AC1): alive, warm, a bit careworn and worried for her daughters. I've been wanting to for ages, inspired by debris4spike's Joyce icons that captured her elegance and beauty; but I couldn't quite "grasp" her somehow, not until this round.

Banner by starry_night May 2015     Banner by starry_night May 2015

Banner by starry_night May 2015   Banner by starry_night May 2015

Banner by starry_night May 2015   Banner by starry_night May 2015

I really hesitated about the "Shocking" icon. iconsoleander did such beautiful, heartrending iconsfor The Gift (particularly her Category set) in Round 2 last July and I still had those in mind as examples I couldn't hope to improve upon. But I also had in mind the Buffy & (dead) Joyce icons I made for Challenge 37 of slayerstillness back in December (1-5). As I recall I was mourning a friend here on LJ who I thought had died 0 then discovered they hadn't, setting off another round of mourning of a different sort.

  1 - 6

  7 - 12

I think I may prefer the SS ones aesthetically, but I've gotten this award and more to the point, I'm making icons of Joyce as a living person, I'm reading velvetwhip's gorgeous Answering Prayers, and I am done - for a while at least - the "dead Joyce" theme.

I also hesitated about the Drusilla one for very different reasons. One of course is the very disturbing, phallic imagery, but also the layers of victimhood that form the subtext of this icon. This image captures, to my mind, a lot of the sickness and depravity that Dru has been both a victim and perpetrator of.Vampires are victims, are violated - with the possible exception of Ford in Lie to Me, what vampire in the Buffyverse "agreed" to be killed and turned with anything approaching full knowledge and consent? And Drusilla, sadly, was the one most horribly victimized of the  Buffyverse "Fang Gang"; in this shot the tables are turned and she is a victimizer, licking the blood of the dead Slayer Xin Rong off of Spike's finger - and so death, violation, perverse sexuality are interwoven and repeated from person to person, from generation to generation.
"Best Love" was perhaps the biggest surprise of all the ones I won here because it was the simplest Icon I made, the one that had no special effects and I said, oh well, it's not great but it's something, throw it in. No one will look at it. (There's at least one of those in every single round, at least for me. Anyone else?)

Banners by starry_night, do not steal, deface, claim as your own, repost to or any other archives/sites without express permisson of the artist.
Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

More Oddments and Endments: Seriously, I won a thing? No, really??

*First Things FIrst (and now a word from our sponsor): kwritten has a poll over at multi_genfic regarding Round 5 (the theme: Superheros) and a special query trying to gauge interest in a Buffyverse gen-fic community - separate from multi_genfic? A continued part of the comm? Don't change a thing? Weigh in with your thoughts and interest level.

* THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons in Challenge 120 of whedon_elite - my Riley icon won second place and my Lorne icon tied third (with shameless666)! WOW! I honestly did not see that coming. Those are my two favorite icons from that round, so I'm thrilled that it was those two.This is the first time I've "placed" at WE, so much joy in my little part of the world. Congratulations to all the winners of this round fassy, shameless666, entwashian, sweet_lyri and starry_night! Banners forthcoming soon.

* THANK YOU to the voters in slayerstillness Challenge 46 and to starry_night and tempertemper for the Mod's Choice and Banner Maker's Choice Awards! I'm well and truly astonished by the fact that these are the two "weirdest" of my entry set, the ones I was certain nobody would like except myself (and my darling, amazing, astonishing Muse, velvetwhip) ergo, "Oh what the hell, why not?"

Banners by tempertemper
Banner by Tempertemper June 2015 Banner by Tempertemper June2015

* Finally -  THANK YOU to whoever (whomever?) nominated me for "Best Reviewer" at Elysian Fields!  I'm really floored by that - in part because I don't see myself as "part of the community" but spuffy_luvr encouraged me to sign up, so I like to dip in and out, check out fics, carefully back out when I see the tropes a'coming and say nice things when I see folks writing stuff that should be encouraged.

Speaking of spuffy_luvr, she's up to Chapter Nine in Ipseity, her Seasonal Spuffy offering; if you read it at SS, make sure you re-read Chapter Two as she went a bit deeper into Buffy's mindset than in the original version. I love the surprising emotional depths, the sly and subtle callbacks to canon, and the fairness and compassion for all the characters. (She even made me appreciate Andrew (!) and I generally loathe the character.)
Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

btvsats20in20 ROUND 10 SPECIAL


Full set after the cut!

[Spoiler (click to open)]

Kudos to: My extraordinary and marvelous Beta-Muse, velvetwhip. WIthout whom this set would not exist, or at least be half as strong.
Special thanks to: 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 wicked_awards 2015 - THANK YOU for the nomination!
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

Oddments and Endments: Let's Just Cut to the Chase Here

 Voting up NOW for two icontests that usually announce winners fairly quickly so head on over without delay:

1) otherworldlyric Challenge 204.  Nine terrific entries using the Spice Girls' song "Wannabe". Not that you'd know that from the elegance of the entries.

Entries for Challenge 205, Cher's "Believe" due July 3, midnight.  (Remember Kathy in "Living Conditions"? Yep, it's that song. And hey, I know everyone made fun of Kathy's love for that song but - I liked it, ok?  And I still like it. Yeah I said it.  But, I digress...)

2) whedon_elite Challenge 120. Votes to be counted later today or tormorrow 'cause fassy does not waste time, y'all. I might have mentioned this one previously; it was an amazingly fun challenge to particiapte in. 40 entries to choose from, which is the most outside of a 20in20 I've had to vote for at one time, and believe me I could cast that ballot five times and come up with completely different choices each time.

Challenge 121's guidelines are up now, and it's back to the normal type of challenge; deadline is July 12 at 3pm EST.

And now that you've voted, here's some treats for playing along, but first an apology: I am sorely belated in congratulating fassy and sweet_lyri for their truly gorgeous winning entries in round 119! Check out the winners and award banners here, and the full slate of entries here. Because of the small number of entries there is only 1st, 2nd and 3rd plus Mod's Choice.


[The gallery is here, you know the way]

The background image for these banners is a photo I took last year of a bare tree branch in a local cove; I layered the image over itself to multiply the brances and fill the space. If you look at the full-size versions you can just see the cricket on the right side of the image. That cricket probably made the photograph for me.

I only entered one icon for this round: "Buffy Blue" (#1) - but of course I have alts. You know me, right?  And yes, I'm still playing with the fabulous images of SMG from Greg Gorman's S5 promo shoot, with no apologies.

    1 - 5

6 -9

The challenge was "Color Coded" - match the first letter in a character's name with the first letter of a color. So it could have been simple, as here, "Buffy Blue", or I could have gone more complicated, ie "Buffy / Boston University Red" (yes, that is actually a color. I looked on Wiki. There are tons of colors listed there and people get paid just to name these things? I want in on that gig.)

I went with 1 because it has one dominant color, easy-peasy; but I also love the "ghostly" quality of #2-3. Very meta in terms of the end of the end of S5 - beginning S6. These remind me of an antique etching or pen and ink drawing, and in fact the color of #5 was directly inspired by the color of walnut ink.  I hope kikimay will approve of the warm-tone variations.

As often as always, my fondest appreciation to velvetwhip, the bestest Muse a girl could ask for.

Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

I Walk Alone (but not without friends - A Gift from Comlodge)

When the incredibly talented and generous comlodge put out an open offer to personalize the FFL picspam banner set she made for Round 18 of seasonal_spuffy, I asked if she could put the top two close up images of James' and Sarah's faces into one banner, perhaps with a ghost image of the two of them on the back porch step in the center? And could she please keep that pretty watercolor blue at the top, and that nifty framing device?  She could, she did, and did she ever. Behold the glory:
I Walk Alone variation by the Goddess comlodge (2015), personalized for me.  Click to view full-size and appreciate the fine details; it really needs to be seen full-size.

You can see all of the banners and icons she made me below the cut, here in my scrapbook album - or better yet, check out the originals at comlodge's journal here and here, leave her feedback about beautiful they are, request your own personalized version if you like, and tell her that I sent you.

[More artwork by Comlodge inside...]

This is my favorite version of the several alts she made for me and I've added this below the cut on my Welcome Post, where the Winged Buffy she made me exactly two years ago also holds pride of place. (Has it been two years, already? Surely not.) But I certainly might switch it out with any of the other, equally beautiful alts. Each one has slight differences to the other and I love all of them.

Thank goodness she came out to play for this round of seasonal_spuffy, which would have been poorer without her contributions. She captured so much of what I love about these two characters, as indvidiuals and together.

1 - 4 banners, click to see full-size
  562991_original.jpg   562782_original.jpg   562662_original.jpg     555162_original.jpg

5 - 9 icons
  554611_original.jpg   554411_original.jpg   icon by comlodge for me June 2015     552277_original.jpg   551960_original.jpg

All artwork in this post courtesy of comlodge, 2015; do not steal, deface, claim as your own, hotlink, or archive to other websites (Fanpop, etc) without the artist's express consent.
Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD

Tiebreakers! Gotta love 'em!

* Or not, actually. But anyway - Break these ties pretty please at slayerstillness Challenge 46 - Second/Third place and Best Color.

I adore at least one of the icons currently in the running for Best Color but they're both lovely and I don't want to play favorites or hurt anyone's feelings.

* whedon_elite has kept me hopping the last couple of days and that's been a good thing - I normally overthink icons to the nth degree, and this round robin session (Challenge 120) has really pushed me to make icons quickly, no overthinking, - I have to respond fast, before anyone else does - and do so with characters I wouldn't normally icon: Rlley, Giles, Cordy, Faith, and Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) from Age of Ultron (a movie I havent' seen and have no intention to, to be entirely honest); plus Drusilla . And those are just my entries, which only scratch the surface.  (Voting on this round is going to be a pleasant nightmare *lol*.)  I've thrown out the Buffybot for someone else to icon as the next post and no one has responded, but the challenge is open until June 28th, so I certainly hope someone will.

This special round is a great way to dip your toes in the water if you've been wanting to enter an icontest challenge but were intimidated by the 5 or 20 entries needed in most other comms, so I hope someone who hasn't joined the fun yet will do so. And I hope someone answers the Buffybot challenge because she's such a fascinating character (see this tumblr meta for proof.)
Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD

The Only Road I've Ever Known

* You still have time to vote in slayerstillness Challenge 46! Or at least I think you do. As long as you don't see a "Voting closed" post from starry_night in the voting threads, you can still cast your ballots. 14 fantastic entries - a couple of which just might be mine. (Guess which ones?)  And a couple of which aren't mine, but I wish to holy heck I had made them. (Guess which ones?)

* Entries for Challenge 204 at otherworldlyric are due midnight June 26th. Speaking of OWL, thank you to everyone who voted my Becoming icon third place in Challenge 203! Congratulations to chic_c and xclaire_delunex for their lovely winning entries this round; and thank you dragonydreams for the wonderful banner! OWL was the very first icontest comm I ever participated in when I entered Challenge 162 last February but the last time I entered was Challenge 178 one year ago; so this feels like a homecoming.

June 2015 banner by dragonydreams
The Becoming icon is my favorite of the three I entered so I'm very pleased voters liked it as well. My indirect inspiration for the color scheme was early 20th century postcards, valentines, book and periodical cover illustrations. #2, the Becoming/Chosen blend, was an experiement in layering and #3, from Chosen, was just a bit of fun for me.

  1 - 3

Alts / Extras after the cut:

[Welcome to my gallery....]

My favorites here are 4 & 6. I nearly submitted #7 instead of #3 - I love the dual images of Buffy and the softness of the larger image that belies her steely resolve, but I wasn't sure the image was entirely "legible" and the text isn't well intergrated. I was trying to suggest a street sign and in fact, "Lonely Street" is applied over a screenshot of the Sunnydale sign at the end of Becoming, but I don't think it translates the way I wanted.

  4 - 9

    10 - 13

  14 - 16