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

...by 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 'ship Buffy&Spike S7 . Love in action is the hardest, most painful and most worthwhile work we can ever do - and 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 Dejected - Ted RSD

Last call: entries needed for Whedon Elite Challenge 117

Deadline is Sunday May 3rd, 3pm EST for "The Summers' Home" challenge. Only two folks have entered thus far so more icons would be welcome. It would be a shame if the challenge were scotched due to lack of participation because....*ponders*....

.....because I've started on the banners and they're going to be awesome and it would be a horrible shame if all that effort went to waste, that's why. You wouldn't want that to happen do you? No, of course not. I didn't think so. And one of those banners just might end up being yours' and who doesn't like pretty banners?

FYI: I am not a "banner whore". I am a "banner hussy". Whores do it for money; hussies do it for free.
Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD

btvsats20in20 ROUND 9: BtVS Season 5

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


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

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

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

Alts & Extras:

1 - 7

8 -14


15 - 21

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

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

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

I am "borrowing" starry_night's rules for my own artwork
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)
Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD

"If I were at full slayer strength": My Helpless icons and alts for Slayerstillness & Whedon Elite

But first a word from our sponsors: starry_night has kindly extended the deadline for btvsats20in20 Round 9 to Friday the 15 - and as usual, I'm the only person who hasn't submitted her stuff. *le sigh* (It's my job and the barometric pressure that gave me a massive headache and I can't find things because I had to move all my images...Excuses, I has 'em.)

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

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

I promised kikimay I'd post all my entries from the last rounds of slayerstillness and whedon_elite in one place so here they be:
[If I were at full Slayer strength....]
My entries for slayerstillness Challenge 43, "Helpless": Thank you again to everyone who participated either as artist or voter!

          1 - 5

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

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

My entries for whedon_elite Challenge 116 "Springtime" :
      6 - 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alts and extras:

10 -15

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

  16 - 19

          20 - 26

27 - 31

My alts for whedon_elite Challenge 116:

      32 - 36

Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD

I owe a certain beta-Muse thanks and praise to the Heavens...

...for her time, feedback, ideas, generosity, patience, gentle wit, marvelous penetrating insights and for her keen Eye (intangible, unexplanable, indispensible) and above all, for helping guide me to my very first 1st place award (!!) as well as 3rd place and Most Creative honors at slayerstillness Challenge 43; as well as a Mod's Choice's Award at whedon_elite Challenge 116.

That particular beta-Muse would be named velvetwhip, of course; and I dare say she will deny her fabulousness; don't believe her for a second if she does. I've been beta for my friends who are writers for years, but this time I've gotten to be on the other side of the give-and-take and it's a rich and and fulfilling working relationship.

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015.png       ss43mostcreativebannerbytempertempermay2015.png       WE116modschoicefinalbannerbyRSDmay2015_v2.png Teasers for awards banners inside.

[Come inside and see the wonders!]

And it's an entirely mutual one; I've been "special pencil" for her marvelous Joyce-centric fic Answering Prayers, set in the summer between S2 & 3, and our many discussions on Buffy, Joyce and Giles during that period no doubt provided additional inspiratiion for my Helpless artwork. I love the cross-currents between us as two artists in different but complimentary media.

Congratulations to sweet_lyritempertemper , and starry_night  - three of my favorite fan artists and wonderful people, they are all well-represented in my userpic gallery - for their wins at slayerstillness and whedon_elite. And may we have a big round of applause for tempertemper's phenomenal banners?  I just about died of happiness when I saw these:

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015.png     ss433rdplacebannerbytempertempermay2015.png

Two of my goals for the year: Win first place at slayerstillness - check. (Best Color, I've got my sights on you.) Earn more awards banners made by other artists by which i mostly mean tempertemper - double check. And these are simply beyond perfect aren't they? Artwork like this makes me wonder why there aren't awards categories for "Best Awards Banner" because these truly are works of art.

The direct inspiration for my first place winner was clockwork_hart1's gorgeous Buffy S4 icons (#11-12) and her experimentation with light, blurs and motion. For the other icon I started with Buffy's profile in the hotel room where Kralik has taped multiple polaroids of Joyce, then did multiple versions layering her with Giles, Joyce and Kralik, inside her silhouette but ended up chosing this one. I really like how the patterns of the library books and the polaroids echo one another, sublty hinting at and reinforcing the connection between the two.


Banners by tempertemper. (Now if only I can get her and other banner makers to remember to sign their work...)

I stayed with Helpless for my whedon_elite entries when I finished the SS set and realized there were other images I still wanted to play with.  Thank you fassy for the Mod's Choice honor! The specific inspiration for this icon and my Cordy one were kwritten's Artist Choice set for Round 7 of btvsats20in20, "The Freshman (Buffy)" although I've admired her way with delicate layers and textures for three years. Once again velvetwhip deserves a thunderous round of applause for her beta-Muse-ings:


Banner by yours truly; check out the banners for starry_night and sweet_lyri here.  The base image is a photo I took a couple of afternoons ago of daffodils in my yard because they especially suited the "Springtime" theme of the challenge.

Tara Family golden glow xlittledreams

Having any fun yet? My entries for Whedon Elite Challenge 115

My entries for Round 115 of whedon_elite, "Blondes Have More Fun".  Congratulations (rather belatedly) to the winners fassy, rua1412, xlittledreams and sweet_lyri!  I'm fond of several of the icons from that round but decided to snag xlittledreams' warm and softly glowing Tara "Family" icon for myself *points to userpic*.

Link to winners banners for that round. One of the nifty things about being the "official banner maker" for WE is that I can prepare in advance. I found a photograph of a woman's blond hair spread out fantastically around her (I suspect digital altering was at play) and used that for the base; I like the contrast of the somewhat rough antique wood frame around the fine silken hair. (Click images for full-size)


My own entries for that round:

[Enter the gallery - you know the way....]

      1 - 4

All the times I love playing with Buffy hairporn - but leave it to me to de-emphasize her blondeness for this challenge. Which no doubt cost me dearly in the voting (why do I do things like that to myself?) For some reason I decided that that fact of Buffy's blonde hair is a given whether or not we can see her hair in the image (I'm stubborn); but I wanted to deconstruct the challenge theme as well. "Blondes have more fun" - when I think about Buffy during her seven years in Sunnydale, "fun" is not much in evidence in her life.

And perhaps any "fun" she had prior to that was something of a mask for the deep unhappiness within her family: We're going to look like a normal happy family and have fun even it if kills us. The few things she took genuine pleasure in were slowly sheared away - her dad taking her to the Ice Show, for instance. (Was she ever able to look at a bouquet of flowers again without thinking of the day she found Joyce's body? Am I overthinking the subject of Buffy Anne Summers?)

I'm less than thrilled with #1 - I realize the use of the inverted portion is a bit unsophisticated and passe. I do like the brick wall texture behind her and yes that is an added texture; the original cap didn't offer much detail. I like that 2 reminds me of a 1970's record album cover art, but that I also managed to preserve the tears in her eyes and her shocked expression.

3 is my one-person campaign to turn the entire Buffyverse into a series of ancient, crumbling frescos or decaying manuscripts. The texture makes the icon look like it's being peeled away from the way, suffering rot and decay (in reverse of that moment in Bargaining when her decayed corpse is reanimated.

4 Has nothing to do with the other three, as I actually went for conventional pretttiness for once, but with a twist. This image is from Tough Love; I wanted an icon of Buffy and Willow (whom she is trying to prevent from attack Glory) but couldn't get both of them in the image to my satisfaction. I focused on Buffy's profile and added the blue coloring and at least two textures, water drops and the spiral in the foreground, plus some glowy-ness. I imagined Buffy as something of a water-sprite here but my wonderous beta velvetwhip said it reminded her of Illyria. Many many thanks as always for her generous feedback and critiques.


5 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

Someday Buffy dear, I will stop torturing you for my own twisted pleasure. (I am a sick little puppy.)

  21 - 25

I actually like 24 - 25; there's something almost "Klimt-ian" in the textures and gold coloring to me.

26  Yes, that is a reference to Florence Welch's song "Rabbit Heart"; the lyrics have all sorts of crazy-perfect applicability for both Buffy and Willow in The Gift and in Bargaining.

Don't forget to cast your votes in Challenge 116. (Only 12 people have voted thus far.) And then enter Challenge 117. I love the theme of this one, "The Summers Home". Sense of place is incredibly important to the Buffyverse; fans talk about whether they love the library or the Magic Box best, but the Summers residence is the heart of the series for me.

And FYI - the voting post for Challenge 43 of slayerstillness appears to still be open if you can slide your vote in last-minute. If you've already done so, kudos and thank you!
Effie Trinket Eyelash Close up Catching

Spring is in the Air: Your fan art Town Cryer, Saturday Edition

Recently tempertemper said she was taking a page from my book and promoted icontest voting specifically otherworldlyric and slayerstillness. I have to admit I had already stolen that book from velvetwhip, who tirelessly promotes fandom activity of all sorts; but I'm very glad to be part of the chain. Shall we call it a library book and simply pass it around?

tempertemper also made a wonderful point about supporting icon/art communities that I think can't be said often enough. There are so many people in this fandom and so few voting at art competitions. As a visual artist I of course vote at fiction contests but I think writers oftentimes feel shy or uncertain about voting in art contests. Maybe a grade school teacher made a cruel remark about one's abilities. Maybe one has heard one too many "experts" insist that you have to have a particular sort of education in order to be able to "understand" art. This really shouldn't be so - art belongs to everyone and we all live, breathe, take in visual images every day. We are all incredibly sophisticated and well-educated simply by dint of exposure.

So in that spirit, here are some worthy art challenges in need of your vote:

Banner by moi for character20n20
[Come inside....]

**   slayerstillness Challenge 43 "Helpless" Wonderful work and one of my favorite buffyverse episodes - how do the entries end up so often looking go great and of a piece with one another as a group? I'm side-eyeing at least one or two in a "I don't know who made this but back off because I WANT this one" kind of way. *lol*

** otherworldlyric Challenge 200  "Working for the Weekend" I really have to thank tempertemper for bringing this one back to my attention. Some of my first awards were in this comm but I have not participated in a while, and have been very remiss in terms of voting and promoting it.  This comm is also one of the most overlooked in terms of participation overall, which is a shame.

** whedon_elite Challenge 116 "Spring Time" My love of the sepias and desaturated tones is well-known but it's nice to try something different and really welcome springtime in bright, light tones;  the really interesting challenge is to come up with something "pretty and light" that also carries emotional weight. It's been a long, hard winter this year, hasn't it?

Finally, speaking of springtime, congratulations to all the winners of  Round 68 of character20n20. setentpet asked meto make banners for those who had requested it: roseemrys, punk4life1315 and spikesredqueen, and the gorgeous clear, springtime colors and the change of season inspired the colors and design of my banners. I indulged myself in a tie for Banner Maker's Choice: spikesredqueen and x_lostinthesun. Check them out here.  I used a photograph I took in 2013 of roses in my landlord's yard as the base.

punk4life3rdplacecatsetbanner_byRSD_2015.png     BMCtie_x_lostinthesun_byRSD2015.png     BMC1of2_SRQbanner350x319byRSD2015.png

Wiffy-Pop Popcorn RSD

Keep Her Safe (Buffy, Willow, Tara, Dawn artwork from Round 8 btvs20in20)

I've been woefully unable to produce anything new the past few days but fortunately I still have some hidden goodies to share. These are the banner versions of my "Family" icon for btvsats20in20 Round 8. These images made me decide on Season 5 as my claim for Round 9 (and I have ONE - count 'em, ONE! - icon finished.  Um...yay?)

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

bwtdbannertext868x872byredsatindoll2015FINAL.png     buffywillowdawntaratoughlovespiralblendbannersignedbyrsd_873x576_april2015desaturatedsoftfinal.png  1 - 2

[MORE images in the gallery this way...]

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

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


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

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

tlspiralbanner1.10byrsd573square.png 6


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

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

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

All artwork here by me 2015; enjoy but do not hotlink, archive elsewhere without my permission, post to other sites or claim as your own.
Wiffy-Pop Popcorn RSD


And THANK YOU tempertemper for the lovely banner to go with my First Place/Food Theme award from btvsats20in20 Round 8!

Banner by tempertemper April 2015
Check out the rest of her wonderful banners for spikesredqueen, sweet_lyri and teragramm here. (Her "grey" theme banner for SRQ is especially clever IMO.) As well as the entire winners slate for the round, lncluding starry_night and rua1412. Congratulations to all the worthy winners this round!
I'm very happy this icon won Best in Show because I have rarely worked harder or longer on an icon to get the image clear and keep the frame around it - sometimes trying to make an icon out of a banner can be a bit of a nightmare.

ETA: Many many thanks to the truly generous velvetwhip for being my beta-Muse when I made this icon and the entire set - for not letting me give up and giving me motivation to keep going, for eyeballing my work, offering feedback and truly constructive critiicism. Every artist should be so fortunate.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

More Fun than the Law Allows?

* ENTRIES for Whedon Elite: icons for Challenge 115 "Blondes Have More Fun" are due today, Sunday the 19th at 3pm EST. The folks at WE don't mess around with deadlines, Gentle Reader, so last chance to get cracking. Do also take a look at the 16 wonderful entries already submitted; the easiest way to do this is simply to scroll down the main page as not everyone incldues the challenge tag in their posts.

* ENTRIES for slayerstillness Challenge 43 "Helpless" (the episode) OTOH are not due until midnight on Friday April 19th. Which feels like a ways away - until it doesn't. If i submit anything I will most likely follow my usual pattern: procrastinate now, regret it later. Don't be like me, Gentle Reader; profit from my mistakes. But by all means do give it a go; Helpless is one of my all-time favorite episodes.

Speaking of slayerstillness, thank you starry_night for the Mod's Choice honors in Challenges 41 and 42, and for allowing me to make the banners for these round.  Many thanks to the wonderful, supremely generous velvetwhip for being the bestest Muse a gal could ever ask for:

ss41modschoice1of2redsatindollfinal.png            ss42_modschoice1of2byrsdapril2015_375sqFINAL.png

Check out all the banners and the marvelous winning entries by rua1412, sweet_lyri and tempertemper here and here.

All artwork above by your's truly, 2015; do not hotlink or archive on other websites without my permission.
ETA: Right-hand banner: Photograph of SMG courtesy of Nocturnal Light Image Gallery; photographer unknown.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Another tiebreaker vote? Yes, yes indeed.

Please cast your vote and break a tie for Most Creative icon in slayerstillness Challenge 42, "Out of Character."  Only two wonderful artworks you need to choose from this time, thank goodness.

Not five like the last round of SS, or at the current round of btvsats20in20. The latter is open until April 16th, and thank you so much to everyone who already cast their votes! So many beautiful things to choose from.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Here be tiebreakers and challenges a'plenty.

Click for full size image :

A present for three of my Muses: velvetwhip, snogged and kikimay
Always the Hours (Buffy/Willow, STSP) 2015 by yours truly.
Do not alter or repost without permission.

[As I was saying about tiebreakers....]

* Here be tiebreaker voting for Round 8 of btvsats20in20. Four in all, including a five-way for 2nd place category icon, so make sure you cast your vote in all four, unless your's is one of the nominated entries. (What is it with this corner of fandom and five-ways lately? Is this something I should consult my copy of Freud about?)

* Cast your votes in slayerstillness Challenge 42, "Out of Character"; deadline tomorrow April 14th.  Then when you're done check out the newly-posted master list of past challenges and suggest new ideas in the comments thread. Entries for Challenge 43, "Helpless" (dedicated to one of my favorite episodes) are due Friday April 24th. I don't imagine I'll improve upon the heartbreaking Helpless icon I snagged from teragramm (2014) but I'm game to try.
"Sorrow" theme icon by teragramm for btvsats20in20 Round 2, 2014. Isn't it gorgeous?

* And speaking of teragramm,  I was about to mention that there was still time to vote in seasonal_spuffy banner challenge for Round 18. (teragramm happens to be a moderator for the comm...and that just might be the worst segueway I've ever written, but here we are anyway.) Except it's on British time and so the voting is now closed and the winner is banner # 3 by kazzy_cee.  Congratulations!

I'll post my own entries (6 - 12) plus extra icons here shortly but I want to give a shout-out to comlodge's lovely Banner #5.  It's elegant yet warm, the layering is sophisticated and it tells a complete and satisfying story. I adore the way she has different scenes interlaced but especially Buffy's hand grasping the Scythe placed just beyond the image of Buffy and Spike lying in bed together, as if Buffy were simply reaching out from where she is laying. I also love how the artist included the circle of Buffy, Faith and the Potentials dripping the blood from their hands over the Hellmouth, reminding me that it's all connected, one of the central themes of Season 7 to my mind.

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Congratulations to the Winnners of this round of the Willowy Goodness Awards!

What it says on the tin - but the tin doesn't say it all. Several folks I am tremendously proud to call friends are amoung this years winners: Gabrielle (velvetwhip), snogged, spikesredqueen, rua1412, dragonyphoenix, snickfic, snowpuppies, brutti_ma_buoni, punch_kicker15. I am so proud and pleased to not only call these folks my friends, but to know that good work is being recognized and honored. It gives one hope. Congratulations to all the winners and a big round of applause to dragonydreams for running the awards year-in, year-out.

Any of of the stories on the winners and nominee list by the abovenamed authors would be well worth your time. Yes, yes I am biased: velvetwhip's "Civilian" and "In The Shadow of the Dead", snowpuppies "Memory" and "Try", punch_kicker15's "Truly Missed the Boat" , brutti_ma_buoni's "A Half-Formed Thing", snogged's "Passion (Rules Us All)", and...well I'll leave you to discover your own personal favorites. Don't forget to check out the nominees list as well!

Most of these categories were difficult to vote in (I had a few favorites, of course) but few more so than the art category ("Best Photo Manipulation or Layout".)  How in the WORLD to choose between spikesredqueen's heartbreaking WIld at Heart - Animal Way and rua1412's lush, wildly sensual Willow/Angel banner? I came very close to asking dragonydreams "Do you allow tie votes, pretty please? Can't I chose both?"
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Because LJ was wonky the last time I tried to post this - my banners for Round 6 of btvsats20in20

I meant to include these in my last post in celebration of the fact that bangel_4e has kindly extended the voting deadline of btvsats20in20 Round 8 until tomorrow (Sunday the 12th), and LJ simply would not let me. So let me try this again:

banner by me, 2015          banner by me 2015           banner by me 2015    
Banners above and icons therein by your's truly, 2015. Image of Alyson Hannigan courtesy of The Chosen Two.com Gallery. Click images to enjoy full size. All banners in this post by me, icons by their respective creators. If you wish to share please credit and enjoy. Don't rip off my stuff or post it on some other site without my permission, capisci?
What follows is much verbiage and more banner images; forewarned is forearmed:


Yes, that was 3 (4?) months ago. It feels like both a forever-ago and just yesterday that I was ready to throw up my hands and drop out, and the wise and wonderful velvetwhip provided the gentle encouragement I needed to keep going. And where would I be the last 6 months or so without her? Mired in a puddle of my own hopeless, frustrated tears, that's where. And tempertemper was likewise a phenomenal beta-muse for when I was making the banners.

Full disclosure: when my babies don't perform well in competition I weep and wail and wonder "Why not? I don't get it." When they do well and are honored as they were in Round 6, I wonder "Why? Other folks' stuff is so much better. I don't get it." Starry's Harmony set, in particular, nearly caused me throw in the towel; it's just so damn gorgeously pretty and I loved how in lieu of actual holiday episodes for Harmony she created a gorgeous sparkle-y holiday feel with superb use of textures. So you, Gentle Reader & Voter, cannot win for losing.

I wish I could credit the photographer of the image of Aly because it's a fanartist's absolute dream of a photo to play with; besides being an attractive image the clarity and image resolution are stunning. There is absolutely no "meta" aspects or intellectual thought to these three banners except "Ooh, pretty! Why haven't I seen this image used in other fanarts before?" and "How do I set the icons and text across it without looking like snot is dripping out of her nose?"  I originally used the other half of her face for the banners and had to redo them because greenish text and a large icon dropping out of someone's nostril is not an attractive look. Profit from my experience, Gentle Reader.

The normal ettiquette with 20in20 awards banners is apparently to make them only for folks who request them. I decided to throw convention to the wind: banners for everyone, barkeep! Which was essentially my excuse to play around and try to stretch myself a bit in terms of techniques. For instance, I discovered accidentally that if I had two images the exact same size, one with text, icons, etc and one without, I could layer them in texture mode and "transfer" whatever visual elements I wanted from one to the other without having to everything all over again from scratch.

I made the Willow banners last of all; the first one I made was for sweet_lyri's second place Bangel category icon. She hadn't requested it yet so that was pure playtime for me. I found a promo photo I liked and decided to go with promo photos for all of the other banners as well, all of them from The Chosen Two Gallery.  This banner is probably the first traditionally romantic, unironic Bangel fanart I've made; I took the "Christmas/ magical snow" context of the icon and extended it to the entire banner. It was a bit of a puzzle at first how to do that - Sarah's wearing a strapless dress and the photo was clearly NOT set in wintertime, but by cooling the color tones with a blue-ish "waterdrop" texture, a second "lace stripe wallpaper" texture a snowflake frame for the icon and a snowflake "paintbrush for the outer border, I think I got a reasonable approximation.

I was going to leave Sarah's skin tone a touch warmer to emphasize Buffy's humanity in contrast to Angel's non-human status but decided it just detracted attention from the icon itself. (Since that round I have become a huge fan of sweet_lyri's work; check out my userpic gallery for confirmation or better yet, go directly to her Round 8 Dawn set.)
banner made by me January 2015
tempertemper's had an interesting genesis in a Jangel icon I was attempting to make for velvetwhip's extremely awesome fic Answering Prayers.  Take a promo image of David for btvs (or ats), cut it out and place on dark background, add a starscape/universe texture and one of my own cloudscape photographs to cover the edges of the mask and voila! Again, no meta statement re:Angel going on except - whatever you want to read into it. Angel as an immortal creature yadda yadda bitty blah and all that jazz. I was a little puzzled at first how to do a banner for all of her very worthy Themes winners, six in all So I decided to treat them as if they were a "set".  I suppose if I'd tried harder I could have put all of her winning entries onto one banner. All the awards banners I'd seen up to that point kept the icons at their original size; I didn't know that you could reduce them to fit the banner. (Since then I've seen banners at other 20in20 comms where they actually do size the icons down.)

Her Reason icon is a thing of GENIUS, y'all - it never fails to make me smile. And her Category set is another fantastically clever solution to the problem of creating a "holiday" category set.  To my mind it's not only more clever, it's wittier and more inventive than my set because I had a holiday, ready-made, to work from; she had to create one from whole cloth.
FINAL_v1_AngelthemesbannerfortempertemperJan2015byredsatindoll_zps48a9ea45       FINALtempertemperCatgeorysetbanner_byredsatindoll_Jan2015       FINALv2_tempertemperACsetbanner_byredsatindoll_Jan2015
I already mentioned that starry_night's Harmony set nearly caused me to quit Round 6 before I'd even made a single icon because they were simply so beautiful and accomplished and I knew I couldn't come within a mile of them. (I still can't, IMO.) That it took much hand-holding from velvetwhip to get me to complete mine?  Starry's icons are so gorgeous and elegant, I wanted the banners to suit them - and I kept coming up with images of Mercedes McNab showing lots of skin that looked like they were meant for men's magazines. Now I am all for a woman's right to display her own body as she chooses but that wasn't the look I had in mind for the banners. The image I found on The Chosen Two was a rare exception, very restrained and classical, almost "Renaissance".

It needed a little something extra though and my landlord's yellow rose set to difference/subtract/invert (one of the three, I don't recall which) to turn it black like Mercedes' dress was just the thing. Never underestimate just how handy a casual outdoor snap you've taken can be. I tried to keep the rest of the color scheme as close to the various shades of pink/mauve/purple found in the icons as possible. All of these icons are lovely and her Category set is a knock-out; I snagged her 3rd place Category icon because I simply had to have it.
Harmonybannerv3.1_starrynightthemesACwinners_byredsatindollJan2015             finalbannerstarry_nightcategorywinnersbtvsats20in20rd6Jan2015_byredsatindoll_v3

The Spuffy banner for oh_cheezit's wonderful AC set from "Sleeper", an episode I love, was the last one I made aside from the Willow banners and in some ways the most difficult. I came into this fandom an S7 Spuffy shipper and by the time I'd made these banners, "Spuffy" had become an uncomfortable and even painful place rather than a comfort zone. I found it difficult to re-access my original love and enthusiasm for the pairing and perhaps this banner was above all else an attempt to reclaim my love for them on my terms. (I very nearly didn't make this one at all.) I was going for the sense of Buffy as the sun, as moral compass, a guiding presence to him in her life and in death but also, perhaps, a ghost or memory. My first try (below right) is very pretty and the icons pop but something's missing I think, it lacks overall unity and is a bit bland.

I cropped Sarah's face closer on the second try, pushed the blue-green color from the photo of James in the "crypt" and didn't notice until after I'd layered them that the roots in the crypts intermingled nicely with Sarah's hair so that they seemed intertwined. The image of James was actually of rather poor quality in some respects and I had to do a lot of blending around his face; it ended up more washed out than I wanted. I made several tries at the font colors with this one and never got it quite right; her name in particular looks too bright too me now. I'm still not sure that the banner doesn't overwhelm rather than compliment the icons. The final version is on the left and the alt is to the right:

banner by me Feb 2015 version 3 FINAL           banner by me Feb 2015 version 1
I arranged the icon set a little differently to the other banners because for some reason they wouldn't line up in an exact line. When I staggered them a bit I thought it created a nice sense of both dimension and movement that I think suits the icons. There is a very cinematic feeling to this set; oh_cheezit alternated long, medium and close-up shots like an expert cinematographer, but always with an emphasis on the varied emotions of the scene and Sarah and James' wonderfully expressive faces.

So that's my story and I'm sticking too it - what say you, Gentle Reader?

And apropos of nothing: I'm watching Episode 1, season 1 of the Rockford Files, "Backlash of the Hunter: Part 1."  (Circa 1974)I haven't watched this show in decades (my mom was a huge James Garner fan back in the day.) Eleven minutes into the episode and we were just getting our first glimpse at the protagonist, Jim Rockford. There's such a leisurely quality to the storytelling that feels absolutely foreign today. And it's still the BEST OPENING CREDITS SEQUENCE AND THEME SONG EVAH.

My sweetheart said at the end of the episode "I don't think I want to watch that very often." Me? I'm thinking OMG James Garner is funny, charming, adorable and handsome in a rugged lived-in way and what happened to real leading men like him? And I do mean MEN, not the boys fobbed off on us nowadays. MOAR please.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

A Welcome Reprieve: Voting Deadline EXTENDED on Round 8 of btvsats20in20!

A.k.a. "Someday Sister Red will figure out how to write titles that aren't completely redundant to the content of the post or something to that effect"

After much time, effort and headache, bangel_4e has resolved the Photobucket wonkiness that kept some Round 8 icons from appearing properly and has graciously extended the voting deadline until  Sunday April 12th. So if you haven't voted yet or want to double check your votes you have time to so.  (Also one more day to tell your friends.) Thank you muchly bangel_4e for the extension!

Remember there are three voting polls: Themes, Category and Artist's Choice.

And don't forget to follow the links to the artists' original posts and offer effusive words of love. If you're snagging for personal use, let the artist know, it's always nice to hear that someone wants to use your icons. We make them to be used not just looked at.   A lot of time and effort are spent on these beauties but as visual artists we don't tend to talk about that (in comparison to writers talking about their craft) so they all seems to pop out magically and instantaneously. So the craft of making an icon or banner isn't properly valued and neither, I think, is the artwork itself.

Now goest thou and vote!
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

It only seems random at first: Gen Mini Ficathon, Slayerstillness, 20in20 & Seasonal Spuffy (!!)

kwritten has started a  multi-fandom Gen Mini-Ficathon exchange to create safe space to emphasize friendships rather than romance in fanfiction. Contribute a banner or nominate five fandoms for round 1 you'd like to contribute fic for here; and be sure to check out the rules.
banner by your's truly, 2015
slayerstillness Challenge 41 "Motion" needs your help to break two tiebreakers . Including - dig this - a five-way.  (There's a salacious double entendre in there somewhere and if I weren't so muzzy-headed I'd be typing it right now.) Voting until Wednesday evening or until the ties are well and truly broken.  I love how the overall entry field has a very unified and of a piece feel to it, especially in the muted coloring and the lovely rose-apricot shades.

btvsats20in20 voting is open for two more days on Round 8; be sure to vote for Themes, Category and Artist's Choice sets. If you see a lot of missing icons and blank spaces when you go to vote please refresh your browser; apparently Livejournal is being more than a bit wonky right now. And finally...

seasonal_spuffy Go VOTE for your favorite banner for Round 18; then check out the schedule for this round. All days have been claimed but free for all days are just that if you didn't have a chance to sign up.  Many thanks to the mods rebcake and gillo for putting this round together.
NOT QUITE FULL DISCLOSURE: I may *ahem* have submitted a thing or two for consideration. I still can't believe I actually submitted something to seasonal_spuffy. No one is more shocked than I am, trust.

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Buffy & Willow in Wonderland Artwork

Firstly: A joyous Easter to all my friends who celebrate the holiday!

As I don't have any easter rabbits lying about, here's a decidedly different sort of bunny. My Mono+Text icon for Round 8 of btvsats20in20 started as a banner when I had intended to go with an overall "Buffyverse in Wonderland" theme for my Wiffy set. Several variations, actually, but this one is my favorite, dedicated to the lovely velvetwhip, kikimay, snogged, and to all the Alice in Wonderland and/or Wiffy fans in the house:

Teaser: wiffyAIWbannerbyredsatindoll2015v1.png

[Curiouser and curiouser.....]

  Click images to enlarge:


Prophecy Girls in Wonderland, Season1, (2015)
Original White Rabbit Illustration by Sir John Tenniel for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

Prophecy Girls in Wonderland, Season5 (2015)
Original Alice in Wonderland Artwork by Harry Roundtree, 1928

All artwork by your's truly; do not steal, hotlink or post on fanpop or other archives.

Please don't forget to cast your votes in Round 8 of btvsats20in20 for Themes, Category Sets and Artist's Choice Sets, then sign up to join the fun in Round 9.  And for heaven's sake if you haven't visited the artists' individual journals to check out the sets in their original context and give feedback, please do so. Awards are great but feedback is coin of the realm; and the icons often look very different in their original sets than when they're sitting cheek to jowl with the work of other artists (and vice-versa).

If you have done any or all of the above, thank you!

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

It's all over but for the voting' : btvsats20in20 ROUND 8

I promised this round I would do a better job of pimping all along the way. I haven't kept my promise. RL got in the way (or I let it get in the way) *le sigh*

But enough of that! Vote NOW for your favorite icons in Round 8 of btvsats20in20, and thank you VERY much to bangel_4e for moderating this round and doing a splendid job of it:

Wiffy-Pop! Popcorn, (March 2015, 299 pixels square)
Credit if you wish to share and do not steal or hotlink

THEMES: 10 in all which means you must hit the Vote button ten times. Going all the way to the bottom and hitting it once won't do. I know, I've tried. Profit from my mistakes, Gentle Reader.

CATEGORY (MOVIES) and ARTIST'S CHOICE: Select 1) your three favorite sets AND 2) your six favorite individiual icons in both; order of preference doesn't matter.

Voting deadline is April 10th.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

My banners for Whedon Elite Challenge 113

Congratulations to fassy, rua1412 and sietepecados on their gorgeous entries!

Banners after the cut:

3rdplacetierua1412banner533x338_byrsd_WErd113_final.png (Teaser)

[This way to the gallery.....]





The theme was "concealed" - a face had to be concealed by an object (hand, hair, etc), and I extended the theme with one of the final images from "Anne", when Buffy's face is half-revealed as Joyce opens the front door. The plain space of the door was a perfect field for text, but I added a woodgrain texture and let part of it cover Buffy's face as well, so she's concealed twice-over in the image. The woodgrain on her face looks more like a torn piece of gauze curtain.

I think I'm getting faster at these -  I knocked them out in a night; the hardest part was not the textures or the text but the frames around the icons themselves. I wanted a touch of "elegance" in the frames and font style to contrast the coarse woodgrain.

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

btvsats20in20 ROUND 8: "Wiffy" (Buffy Summers & Willow Rosenberg)

ETA: My entries for Round 8 of btvsats20in20. I forgot to link back to the comm when I posted this last night/this morning, sorry!

I had initially meant to stick to a "Buffyverse in Wonderland" theme but my guiding inspiration this round turned out to be the Pop Art theme and the Category theme "movie genres". My Category icons were inspired more by movie posters than by the films themselves.

MANY kudos, kisses and roses to my wonderous Muse, velvetwhip for all her help, ideas, support and inspiration. I can't begin to thank her adequately.



10 Themes
Pop Art Family Food Grey* Duplicate
Name Stolen Claim Wild Monochrome+Text Evil
5 Category |MOVIES
Cat 1 Sci-Fi Thriller Cat 2 Romantic Comedy Cat 3 Bergman Drama Cat 4 Slapstick Comedy Cat 5 Indie Prestige Drama
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

One of my goals this round was to include images from all seven seasons of the series. I don't ship "Wiffy"  (or "Billow", take your pick) sexually / romantically - but if it's a choice between that and hatin' on the ladies, I'll chose the love. (It's astonishing to me how often fans of one character hate on the other.) I certainly "ship" their friendship - the most important friendship in the Buffyverse - something fierce.

* The look of my "Grey" icon was inspired by spikesredqueen's gorgeous entry in her Lorne set.

"Stolen Claim" can be considered "Chosen" or "Bangel", works either way.

Some alts, not including banner versions:

    1 - 4
4 was almost my Stolen Claim entry; I went back and forth on that one a lot.  I don't do many romantically het shippy icons so I'm pleased with how it turned out.

  5 - 9

10 - 14
I loved making these "movie posters". For the "prestige drama" I wanted to include text from the movie "The Hours" (Always the years, always the love, always the hours) but couldn't get it as I wanted. I like #5 just as much as my Cat 1 icon for the clarity of Buffy's face, but the entry version is more "atmospheric".

  15 -18
My Evil icon could have fit very nicely into the movie genre set as "Horror film" (think schlocky 1980's slasher flick VHS graphic art.) "Dark Willow" seemed too obvious a direction to go for the Evil theme.

  19 -24

   25 -29
I couldn't resist making a personalized icon for beer_good_foamy, who wrote the best-evah meta essay in praise of Beer Bad.

30 - 36

37 - 43

No, you don't need this many alts of this image, but that's ok - I do.

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Awards Banners for Whedon Elite Challenge 112

Congratulations again to the winners of whedon_elite Challenge 112 "Illyria" sietepecados, rua1412, starry_night and hsapiens; the winning entries were a uniformly beautiful set that took full advantage of the inherent glamour and drama of the character. Your awards banners are HERE at the winners post.


FINAL_1stplacesietepecadosbyredsatindoll_WE112    FINAL_2ndplacerua1412byredsatindoll_WE112   FINAL_3rdplacesietepecadosbyredsatindoll_WE112

FINAL_bestcolorstarry_nightbyredsatindoll_WE112   FINAL_bestcropstarry_nightbyredsatindoll_WE112   FINAL_modschoicehsapiensbyredsatindoll_WE112
Deadline for Challenge 113 "Concealed" is Sunday March 22, 3pm EST; in the meantime please check out the knock-out entries by rua1412 and fassy here and here.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Winners of Whedon Elite and Slayerstillness

* Congratulations to the winners of whedon_elite Round 112 for your gorgeous Illyria icons: sietepecados, rua1412, starry_night, and hsapiens!  Winners banners are forthcoming; in the meantime, check out the entries for Round 113 "Concealed" or submit a few of your own.

*Speaking of banners, the banners for slayerstillness Challenge 39 "Love is in the Air" winning entries are HERE: Congratulations to rua1412, teragramm, tempertemper, sweet_lyri and kwritten; thank you to starry_night for the Mod's Choice award!

[Gallery THIS WAY beneath the cut]


My choice for Banner Maker's Choice Award was tempertemper's Bangel icon:


See my rationale for my choice and the rest of the banners here.  Deadline for Challenge 40 "Primary Colors" is Friday March 13.

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Deadline to submit your entries to whedon_elite Challenge 112  "Illyria" is Sunday March 8th, 3pm EST. Fifteen gorgeous icons from rua1412, starry_night, hsapiens, sietepecados and julie_izumi have been submitted but to quote Starry, more are always welcome. (The post by sietepecados doesn't seem to have been tagged correctly, so here it is; the others can be found in the previous link above.)

Personally, as banner-maker for the comm *, I'm thankful that starry_night had an Illyria challenge at slayerstillness back in October/November because it forced me to gather material for a character I had no familiarity with; so this time, I've got lots to work with and I'm ahead of the game, banners-wise.

Here are the banners (and some icons) I've made thus far for whedon_elite: suprisebecomingbangelloveiconjan2015_byredsatindoll tWotW_summerswomenflashbackicon1 (teasers)

[Banner and icon gallery this way:]

Challenge 109 winners 1st and 3rd place for starry_night,  2nd place for rua1412 and Mod's Choice for yours truly:



The background texture is the same one that I used for my Summers Family icon, expanded, rotated the composition, played with colors. sharpness etc adjusted to personalize each icon. I actually wasn't exactly color-matching the backgrounds; I glanced at the icons and then played around with the designs without directly looking at the icons again. Font colors were coordinated but not necessarily matched exactly. rua1412's name is a different font to the other usernames because her's just looked bad in that font (instead of rua1412 it looked like rual412).

My icons for that round: suprisebecomingbangelloveiconjan2015_byredsatindolltWotW_summerswomenflashbackicon1toughlovethelovericon 01-03

1) I FINALLY made a tragic/romantic Bangel icon! Thank god that's out of the way *lmao* I actually like this one quite a bit.
2) My beloved Summers women in The Weight of the World. The texture I used created a painterly effect and I kept trying to put my finger on whose work it reminded me of until I realized it was rua1412's.
3) The less said the better.

Challenge 110 winners: hsapiens stunning entries hit a home run with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (tie) so I treated her entries as a "set" on one banner (click images for full-size):


Cutting around the outer edge of that gold frame was exactly as hard as it looks. *lol*  The challenge was "emerald green" so I found a photograph of an emerald on the internet, then made it look like an antique postcard or illustration with grunge filters and various effects. This allowed the icons to "pop" without competing with a bright stone in the background. The gold frame was a last-minute addition; I was amused by the idea of the valuable emerald's image "deconstructed" and made to look like something old and worn and of little value (old postcard) then popping that into a fancy museum-quality frame. As always, the text was the most difficult aspect; when I'm designing a banner I tend to forget that value changes in the image are going to cause me headaches down the road.

I posted my own entries and alts here last month.

Challenge 111 Winners tiptoetwirl, hsapiens and rua1412. The theme was analogous colors (colors next to one another on the color wheel). For the banners I went with the colors opposite those of the icons on the color wheel and used the icons themselves as the banners because I loved their compositions. Tiptoe and rua's designs were very simple and elegant; hsapiens Spike icon was the most detailed and complicated and thus challenging to work with; that icon already featured Courier font so I stayed with that for my own text.


No icons from yours truly for that round.

Don't forget to enter challenge 112 and good luck! And even if you're not entering please don't forget to vote.

* I got the assignment because I shamelessly begged politely asked the mods and fassy and setentpet most graciously allowed me to take the gig.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

The Winners of Round 7 have been announced! Plus, new fic from Kwritten....

Whilst real life keeps me suitably occupied for all but the quickest posts:

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of 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 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* - killing_kurare's Cold as Ice icon, spikesredqueen's Buffy/Willow icon *points to userpic* and kwritten's masterful entire AC would receive mentions.)

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.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow


I just discovered that I once again have a mysterious benefactor who has gifted me with additional userpic space for an entire year - THANK YOU THANK YOU and hot damn!

Yes, I was trying to be all philosophical the other day when my temporary package expired the other day that I didn't need all those extra icons. Oh phooey.  Fact is, I LOVED having those extra icons. I was addicted to trotting them out, to having a gallery where I could show off the work of more artists alongside my own. Having room for not one but three Summers women icons (five if you count my Buffy & Dawn icons), for whatever had most recently won an award or I just happened to like best at the moment.

So a goodly number of those 60+ icons i jettisoned the other day can come back to Mama, asap.  I also have a "shopping list" that includes bangel_4e and kwritten's icons, hsapiens and many other amazing fan artists. How many folks can I fit into one gallery?
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

btvsats20in20: Won't you break some ties for Round 7? Plus Slayerstillness pimpage and love

But first a word from our (other) sponsor:
[This way to the lovefest....]

Thank you everyone who voted in Challenge 37 of slayerstillness and THANK YOU starry_night for the Mods' Choice Award! Congratulations rua1412, tempertemper, teragramm, sweet_lyri and kwritten for your wins this round - this was the most fun I've had in a round in a long time. 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 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 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 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.)

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

I'll be mostly AWOL due to RL stuff this coming week but in the meanwhile....

1) Deadline to VOTE in 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 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 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.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

I never did say a proper thank you...(and special presents from Spikesredqueen and teragramm)

To everyone who wished me Happy Birthday last week THANK YOU so very much!

(and thanks to LJ's lousy non-existent notification system I am still discovering birthday presents and wishes.)  If I've missed saying thank you please forgive me, I'm working on catching up.  I've worked more hours at work this month and been well nigh exhausted, which also explains my lack of posts.

Two gifts in particular I wanted to show off to everyone:

[This way to the artwork inside the gallery]

spikesredqueen asked me the other day what I'd like for my birthday and my eloquent response was along the lines of "um, I don't know" - so knowing my love of the buffyverse ladies, she made me this beautiful Buffy/Faith/Willow banner! (Try making a smushname out of that.) Isn't it sexy and ethereal, elegant and scrumptious?   It makes me wish I were a fic writer because it feels like the inspiration for a post-series 'verse, a Witch and two Slayers, powerful, strong-willed women saving the world and having incredible adventures.

Speaking of sexy, ethereal and elegant:


teragramm made this incredible addition to my Winged Buffy collection. Once again I'm awe of how skillfull the artistry is here, how delicate and how beautifully these two banners belong together.  Teragramm's choice of text very much evokes memories of Buffy throughout the seasons for me, an "ordinary" girl who is really quite extraordinary in ways she herself can't begin to see; an Everywoman who takes on the weight of the world time and again.

Artwork by their respective creators do NOT snag, steal or archive without their express permission.

Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

A Tiebreaker at Slayerstillness

Vote for third place in Challenge 38 HERE. Voting open 24 hours or until tie is broken; and right now, the vote is at 5 and 5 even.

Oddly enough, I'm not even fussed about how my own entries are going to do. I made one I really like, a couple that needed a couple more minutes work to be really special, and at least one (if not more) that I should have reconsidered, and the rest are in-between.  I just want to know who made a certain icon so I can indulge in some quality snaggage.
Buffy Joyce IWMTLY The Body Glow

Timing is everything (challenge vote at whedon_elite and slayerstillness)

Yes I am back - to my last-minute-Lucy ways:

Voting deadlines TODAY at whedon_elite #110 "Emerald Green" and   slayerstillness Challenge 38 "In the Beginning".

ETA: The winning entries have been announced at whedon_elite and it's a sweep: congratulations hsapiens!

And thank you to everyone who voted for my entries : becoming green iconv2for whedonelite110Jan2015 willowiconwhedonelitefinalsharpenbyredsatindoll2015 1-2


willowiconlightsbyredsatindollfinalsharpen2015 willowfaniconwarmcolorssharpenedinipiccyfinalbyredsatindoll2015 willowgreeneyeiconsharpened becomingemeraldiconforwhedonelite110_1 3-6

Even if the voting is closed, just check out the marvelous entries.  (This is one of the unfortunate things about icontests - some of my favorite icons last year were not award winners, but it's easy for them to be unfairly forgotten if folks don't see them.)

You still have plenty of time to enter the next challenges:

whedon_elite "Analogous Colors" (colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel),  and  slayerstillness "Love is in the Air" challenge for icons with "couples" - including non-canon pairings! Can I get an amen, someone? Some of the loveliest fanart I've seen has been devoted to non-canon pairings; I think the lack of preexisting material forces fanartists to be more creative in putting images together.