Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday WIP - Sort of

I'd taken a break from posting WIP stuff on Wednesdays so I thought today might be a good time to get back to those. I thought it might be nice to post pictures of some of the stuff I talked about working on last week--like my mini-amigurumi and the new set of Zodiacs... Well, that's not going to happen as planned. We left early this morning to go to Raleigh to pick up my husband's dissertation (the big hard-bound print copy of it) from NC State. On the way, I stopped by the closest printer to my house (about an hour away) to drop off files so they can get me a quote for the anime tarot deck. Hopefully they can handle it and it won't be horrible and expensive. We also ran some errands around Raleigh. On the way home the air conditioning in the car broke, and after a long and exceptionally warm trip, I'm exhausted. So, I will not be finding my camera, taking pictures, and posting anything super detailed here tonight. =P

Don't worry. I'm still going to post something. =D I'm going to post stuff for upcoming cosplay projects. I know I told myself I was going to take a good long break from cosplay after Animazement. Apparently that meant I was going to be inspired to work on even more cosplay. =P First up: AWA is holding a formal ball with a mecha pilot theme. This got me to thinking. I know it's been fairly obvious that I'm obsessed with Full Metal Alchemist, but it is a lesser know fact that I am also obsessed with Code Geass, which happens to feature lots of ornate costumes and mecha. I've been wanting to cosplay C.C. (make my husband cosplay Lelouch), but given the theme of the ball, I thought Suzaku would be more appropriate for this event, and if my husband goes as Suzaku, then I could go as Euphemia. As if I'm not enough of a glutton for punishment just for trying to cosplay anything designed by Clamp, I found a really gorgeous art book picture while looking for references (see the bottom of this blog). The end result is, I'm going to try and make the art book version of the costumes for Suzaku and Euphemia (I actually really want C.C.'s dress too from this picture).

AWA is the end of September; I've got some time, so it just might happen. Now, come mid-October, a pair of good friends of ours is getting married at the NC Renaissance Festival in Charlotte, NC, and we're required to come in costume if we wish to attend the wedding (no problem right, I love dressing up). This means that I need to make costumes for myself and my husband, and I promised my good friend Melissa (yes, the same good friend whose Azula costume I forgot on our living room couch for Animazement) I'd make her a costume too. XD Costume count's up to 5 now.

Alright, so I've also decided that not only am I going to break my vow to never ever make a dress (fancy or otherwise) that was all (or even mostly) white with Euphemia, I'm going to remake my Twilight Princess Zelda costume for Magfest. Thankfully Magfest is not until early January 2012. I'm not sure how sane I'll be by then considering I have a lot to prepare with my art tables for Otakon, AWA, AUSA, and Magfest. I am wondering if making these costumes is really a great idea, but I really really want to, especially for the Code Geass ones--it's so perfect for the theme, and I've always wanted to attend one of the formal events at one of the conventions I go to. So, anyways. Look forward to updates on how these projects are going--I'm really psyched about them right now. =D I'm going to close with the art book picture that I'm basing the Code Geass costume set on.
Yes I know the pic is a little big for the blog here, but aren't the costumes gorgeous? 
I'm making Euphemia's, but I'd love to have a dress like C.C.'s as well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

FMA on Etsy

If you can't tell, I really like FMA, and I really enjoyed watching Brotherhood. That should be fairly obvious considering this is now the 3rd blog post on this subject. I thought it would be fun to share some of the neat creative things anime fans on Etsy have made for FMA. I was a little saddened by the large number of people who just printed official art screenshots put it on a t-shirt or keychain or whatever. I don't want to jump into the debate over fanart--I appreciate seeing fanart of my favorite characters on Etsy and in Artist Alleys, but I prefer fanart where I can see an artist's unique style and interpretation of a character. So anyways, onto a sampling of some of my favorites from what I found.

If you're interested in checking out the big treasury, you can here.

Credit for the code for the mini-treasury goes to Autumn2May. Find out how to make your own mini-treasury on her blog.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Projects

Wednesday I posted a preview of all the fun ideas I've got floating around in my head for art and plushies. If anyone didn't read it, I would appreciate it if you would. I've got so many projects and sets I want to work on; I would love some feedback on anything that looks interesting to you--when it boils down to it, I draw what I like, but I'm always open to suggestions, recommendations or direction from others. So, anyways, onto today's topic. After the really crazy "list" from Wednesday, I thought I'd highlight what projects I'm actually planning on working on for the rest of June and July.

WIP photo of the new Aries
First up is the new Zodiacs. The new set will match the current set of Western Zodiacs.`What I'm going to be doing is drawing the companion character for the one I've already drawn. For example, yesterday I drew the new Aries; this one is a girl version designed to complement the guy version I drew with the first set. She'll have the same background, a similar color scheme, and some elements from the first version since they are supposed to be connected. I'll also be drawing chibi versions of these new Zodiacs for badges, just like I did for the first set. ^_^ I'm drawing the the new Zodiac set for a couple of reasons. For one, it's fun to design the characters for them. For another, some of the designs are going to appeal more to girls or guys, but not both--clear examples are Virgo and Leo for girls and Scorpio for guys. I always felt kind of bad for the guy Leos and Virgos that came up and were a little crestfallen that I'd drawn them as very feminine girls. So, this new set is partly to offer alternatives for those guys that don't want to be a southern belle (not that I blame them there). =P Anyways, this is what I will be drawing for the next few weeks--I'm hoping I'll get all 12 of the new Zodiacs finished along with their chibi counterparts by Otakon in late July, but that might be a bit optimistic. I think I can definitely get them done by Anime Weekend Atlanta--the end of September.

Since I'm a chronic multi-tasker (for better or for worse), I like having multiple projects going at the same time, so I'm also working on some crochet plushies. Since I'm getting ready for a bunch of conventions over the next couple of months, I'm working on building up my inventory of the plushie designs I've already finished: Pikachu, Umbreon, Kirby, Black Mokona, White Mokona, and Moogle. Although there are a lot of new designs I'd love to tackle, I'm trying to stay focused and keep things simple. (Yeah right... nothing's ever simple in my life). I'm making mini-amigurumi bunnies and kitties right now--why? Because I like cats, and I got the bunny idea from the Umbreons I made--I was thinking how cute it would be to have a bunny plushie since when I get the eyes and ears on (before the legs and tail and rings), it looks kind of like a bunny. I've been enjoying the chance to work with different colors of yarn that I don't really get to do with the fanart plushies. I've finished a "Peppermint Swirl" color theme, and I'm working on a pretty yellow right now. I think I'm going to give the yellow bunny blue eyes and the yellow kitty green eyes. =)
Mini-Bunnies and Mini-Kitties--the body for each is about 2" in diameter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coming Soon to an Anime Con Near You

After posting such brilliant prose Monday, I was really hard-pressed to come up with a topic for today that could really live up to the standards I set. XD I've been posting about a lot of random topics lately, especially just stuff going on in my life. Since this blog is really supposed to be what's going on with my art studio, I thought it'd be nice to write a blog post on that subject. =D (About time I got back on topic, right?) So, what I'm going to do in this post is give a little bit of a preview of what I'm planning on working on in the next couple of months. Some of it's stuff that will definitely happen; some of it's stuff that might happen with in the next year or two; some of it may just end up forgotten or set on the back-burner for an indefinite period of time. If there's something that strikes your fancy that you'd really love to see me finish, then by all means point it out to me--that increases the likelihood of it actually getting done.

Now, I do a lot of different things for my table, so to give this post a little bit of organization, I'm going to break the projects down by type--mainly art and plushies right now, and I might break the art down into bookmarks and other stuff. Let's start with the plushies. Since a lot of my upcoming conventions have strict rules on fanart vs. original art design ratios allowed on the table, I will be spending much of the next couple of months focusing on my original art designs. First up in the plushie world is going to be a variety of mini-amigurumis. These will be smaller than my Pikachus, Mokonas and such; they will be cheaper in price (because they're smaller and a little bit easier to make) and will come in a variety of color combinations. I'd also like to work out a design for a kitsune/fox mini-amigurumi, but I'm going to try and stay focused and finish the kitties and bunnies first. I'd also like to see a panda plushie completed--I think this one will have to be bigger, maybe about the size as my normal plushies. So that's what I've got bouncing around my head right now for original design plushies. For fanart plushies, the list is extensive. XD I want to do a Miyazaki themed set (Yakul, JiJi, a Soot Ball, Totoro, etc.), plus a couple more Pokemon (Plusel, Minun, Espeon, Mudkip?, for sure), and some other random ones like P-chan from Ranma 1/2. I've also gotten a request for a Chocobo (which I think would be fun to do). On top of all that, I'd love to do an Eastern Zodiac themed set of animal plushies (based loosely on Fruits Basket). Think I've got enough on my plate?

Let's move on to art. Let's start with the "other stuff" first and leave the bookmarks for last. Near the top of my list--I will probably be spending July working on these--is the other half of the Western Zodiac set. When I put together the set I have now, I'd intended to do two of each zodiac design--one guy and one girl. I did not have time to do that many drawings when I started working on it for AWA last year, so I had to settle with doing half of them--I did 6 guys and 6 girls. So, now I plan to finish that set. =) I also want to draw some more archetypes (I love these guys)--I want to do 14 more so I have a total of 42 (that's such a great number). I have a couple in mind, but I'm still debating on what character types to do for most of them. I also want to do some themed archetype badges--like classic D&D character classes or the Real Roleplayer-Twink-Loony-Real Men set. I've got lots of fun ideas here. On top of all this, I'd love to do some mythological sets or fantasy creature sets.

Last, but not least (definitely not least--this is where a lot of my fangirl obsessiveness is going to be focused), bookmarks... Currently in progress, I have sets of World of Warcraft, Dragonlance, and The Guild bookmarks in progress. I also "want" to do sets for Final Fantasy I, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X (X-2), XII, and XIII, Kingdom Hearts, Soul Eater, Full Metal Alchemist (*squee*), Hetalia, Black Butler, Firefly, Marvel/DC characters, Slayers, and the list could go on for a while. This is definitely one of those places where, if you'd really like to see it finished, tell me, or it could end up at the bottom of a very long list.

So yeah... that's what I've got planned, roughly. My "To-Do" list is always growing and changing--kind of like a mutant bacterial parasite that threatens to eat my life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Being Sick Sucks II

I'm not feeling good and I'm in a lot of pain. Today has been not so good. I'll try and post something after the my doctor appointment tomorrow. If not, I'll see everyone for Wednesday's post. ^_^

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Am So Drawing FMA Bookmarks

Over the last couple of days I have been attempting to finish watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I just finished Disc 5, and I have 3 more discs in my possession left to watch. The last two don't come out until July, so I'll either have to wait for those, or succumb to the temptation to watch it illegally online somewhere. XD So far, I am in fangirl heaven. I love (mostly) what they've done with the story and the characters. In this blog, I'm going to try and highlight some of the cool and new aspects of Brotherhood without giving away too many spoilers (I hope).

First of all, Brotherhood follows the manga's storyline, at least that's what I've been told by someone whom I'd consider to be a credible source. I'm not going to say the original anime's story was bad--in fact, I'm going to try to not to offer any kind of comparative judgment here; I honestly think both are good. Anyways, some highlights of things that make Brotherhoods story different: 1) The homunculuses (homunculi?) are different, or at least made differently--I think this is cool because it makes it so they can add new twists and unexpected turns to the plot. 2) The motivations behind the villain(s)--keep in mind I haven't finished the series yet--are different, therefore their schemes and plans lead to new plot developments, and old events from the original FMA story that make it into Brotherhood are altered. 3) The plot of Brotherhood (at least in my opinion) is less Elric-centric. I'm not saying this is good or bad, but the plot in Brotherhood is bigger than the Elric's goals and motivations, which were the central focus of the original FMA. Personally, I love that FMA: Brotherhood is different from the original FMA. I'm glad it's not a literal remake of the first with the same characters and plot. Brotherhood's plot has a lot of new and exciting twists that keep me on the edge of my seat; it recaptures a lot of the excitement I experienced watching the first.

I'd also like to highlight another aspect of Brotherhood that I've enjoyed. Brotherhood includes the original cast that I grew to know and love in the original FMA, but it also adds a lot of cool new faces to its character lineup plus gives some older characters either more of a role or different roles within the story. Brotherhood introduces the countries that border Amestra, the country in which most of FMA takes place. In particular, we get to meet two characters from Xing. My favorite was May Chang--she's cute, adorable, uses healing alchemy (under a different name), and has a pet dwarf panda; how could I not love her? The panda alone would be enough to endear me, not to mention my attraction toward priest and healer classes in most games. I also liked Ling with his pair of ninja lackeys. These two made an excellent edition to FMA (adding kung-fu to anything makes it better right?) XD I just got introduced to Olivier Mira Armstrong--Alex Louis Armstrong's older sister--and I have high hopes that she will be just as awesome as her brother.

I don't want to say much more--I don't want to give too much away because you should go watch this anime. =D I will say that as soon as I finish beefing up the original design art side of my art table, I am definitely drawing an epic FMA bookmark set which will probably include at least 20 bookmarks. FMA is still filled with a lot of awesome characters; I'm not sure I could honestly narrow it down to a smaller set because there are just too many characters that I like. I'll stop now before I go too far into my fangirlish side. In conclusion FMA: Brotherhood is excellent; go watch it if you haven't. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why Am I Here When I'm on Vacation?

So, I'm at the beach right now--we're at a house my in-laws rented at Oak Island, NC. When I left, I thought I'd take a bit of a vacation from networking, Etsy, my work, and all that stuff. Ok, so I packed a lot of yarn and some drawing paper, but that's just in case I get inspired with a new design, and face it I just like playing with yarn (maybe I'm part cat). Needless to say that has not happened, although it might be a bit easier if they didn't have internet here. On the plus side of that, I'm happy to be typing this blog from my laptop rather than from my phone.

This leads to the question: why the heck am I still on the computer, still checking Etsy, still chatting on social network sites, and still working on stuff for my shop/art tables? The quick and easy answer is that this is really what I do for fun, and I don't honestly need to come to the beach for a vacation--we're here because my in-laws love the beach, we get to spend time with them, and the kids love it. I could take it or leave it--personally I'd leave it. XD My ideal vacation would be at a ski resort.

Also, it's worth asking: technically I've brought my work with me, but can it really be called work when I have so much fun doing it? Face it, this is what I love to do. It would be more punishment to have to put it down for any length of time. Sometimes I take days off to avoid burn-out, but I could also call that research, since I tend to spend those days watching anime, reading manga or "real" books, or playing video games. I think I'd be hard-pressed to find a better job. =P

Monday, June 13, 2011

4 Things Not to Do When Packing

Today I was supposed to pack for the beach--we're going to be at Oak Island near South Port on the southern tip of the NC coastline through Friday. My husband's parents rent a beach house there every year--in fact, it's the same house, and we stay in the same room, every year. Not that I'm complaining. It's awesome that they share their vacation with us because we're way too broke to afford our own. =P Since my husband had a night class to teach at one of his university's satellite campuses. I was planning on hanging out hat the in-law's house (which happens to be 5 minutes from said satellite campus) and typing today's blog--a little later than usual, but better than nothing. While discussing what I might write today's blog post on, we were going through the standard "Oh, I forgot ____" side conversation. We always forget stuff, and in this case, we got to add stuff that I haven't gotten around to unpacking yet from our move last year and I couldn't find--like beach towels. So, I'm also supposed to run to Target while my husband is in class to pick up some of the more important forgotten or missing items--like sun screen.

Then we thought... Hmm, maybe I should make a blog about how we pack--in other words how not to pack since we obviously are missing out on something.

#1: Let the elementary age kids pack their own bags. Generally this isn't a really bad idea--they're happy they get to help, but inevitably we're usually missing something, like underwear, socks, pajamas or some combination thereof. I haven't checked Ty and Luke's bags yet, so I'm currently blissfully unaware of what's missing there this year.

#2: Use a packing list. Again, in theory this is supposed to be a good thing, right? Perhaps I should also add that I only reference the list half the time, pack a lot of stuff that's not on the list and neglect to get at least a small chunk of what's on the list. Why do I do this? I don't know honestly. For some reason I get extra scatterbrained when it comes time to pack and it's getting worse as I get older.

#3: Start loading bags into the car before everything is packed. In theory this is not a bad thing; in fact, it might even be a good thing. Of course that might also assume that we're following our packing list and checking things off as they get packed. Hahahaha... yeah that's funny.

#4: Pack my entire craft room (or at least try to). For some reason, I always get super optimistic about crafting--usually cross-stitch or crochet--when it comes time to go on vacation. It may sound like I'm taking my work with me, and I guess if you want to be technical about it, I am. But, this is what I really love to do with my time (along with reading and playing video games). So, I found myself this morning looking at a huge pile of yarn trying to decide which ones I really wanted to take with me--the primary obstacle to taking all of them was that there simply wasn't room in the car. Chances are, I won't even need half of what I did pack, but I tend to operate under the rule that if I think about packing it and don't then I will end up regretting it sometime during the trip. This is a no-no because honestly it's not necessary, and on top of that, it's highly distracting which leads to neglecting the packing list.

So that's my analysis of what I do while packing that fails. =P You'd think after 10 years of this, I'd learn something. XD

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Summer: I'm on Break Right?

Lazy summer mornings... are temporal anomalies. I honestly believe they're urban legends. My kids are out of school--yesterday was their last day, and since they're returning to homeschool (they have the same opinion of mornings as I do, although for the record that is not the only reason we homeschool) yesterday was supposed to be the last morning we ever had to be up before 7am, or 8am, or 9am, or... you get the idea. Instead, this morning my 4-year old decided we were getting up at 6:30. >_< My 10 year old made a gallant go of sleeping in, but wild craziness involving a 4 year old jumping on his bed ended that by 7:45.

To be fair, my 4-year old, Logan, isn't the only reason we end up getting up earlier than we would like. Sometimes it's the cats. Sometimes it's insomnia. Sometimes it's just plain "I'm awake" for no reason. Now, I could turn this blog into a huge rant as to why I hate mornings, but anyone who watches me on Twitter knows I don't like mornings, so I don't really need to say it again. Besides, as my husband put it, maybe mornings aren't so bad really. We have to get up at some point even if we don't like it. We could lay around in bed all day, but then we'd be cats. =P

So, sleeping in doesn't work so well. I'm, at least, on break right? My next convention isn't until the end of July. It's still June. Except, that's still only about 6-7 weeks away. On top of that, the next convention is Otakon. Otakon draws in more than 20,000 people now. I've never had an Artist Alley table at a convention as large as this one. That means I should probably prepare more stuff for my table. That means I need to make more plushies, and I should maybe draw more bookmarks, and wouldn't be cool if I could get those What Would badges and Archetype badges I had in mind doing finished in time for the convention... *Goes back to Otakon site and re-reads through the artist alley policies.* Oh, they want a 50/50 split between fanart and original art items. *Starts calculating.* If I take the whole tarot card set that's 78 cards, and if they count prints and badges as separate items then that's 156 pieces of fanart right there, and that's not even including the What Would set; that's 24 more fanart pieces. How much original art do I have now? How many more plushies can I make between now and then? I wonder how they will count my husband's chain mail jewelry designs? So maybe I won't be making new bookmarks. Maybe I should leave the ones I have at home; it would free up table space. Oh, that might be good, since my table helpers won't be around to help; I need to pack stuff so my husband and I can haul everything there in one trip. And oh yeah, the kids are coming back to homeschool, I should probably plan some lessons for when school starts in early July. @_@ ........

Conclusion: Summer Break is just an Illusion

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kisa's Story

Back in mid-May I posted a blog on our New Neighbors--a pair of kittens that had moved into the bush beside our back porch. They were adorable. I wanted to keep them, but my husband and I both agreed we really couldn't take both of them, and it would be good to try to keep them together. Our plan, at that time, was to try and find a home for both of them and in the mean time they could be our porch kitties--we'd feed them, and the mama kitty (and maybe hopefully eventually catch her and get her spayed), and spend time with them outside. For a week or so, things seemed to be going well. The kittens moved between the bush next to our porch and the bushes near our neighbor's porch--it was quieter over there, but our bush was more sheltered + we had food.

That plan failed, however. About 2 weeks after the first blog post about the kittens, we found out that they had both ended up on the underside of our neighbor's truck--usually parked because he only drives it about once a month to haul stuff. He had driven about 30 minutes away to cut some lady's grass, and he'd found one of the kittens playing under his truck when he went to load the lawn mower back up. He picked it up and brought it back; he let it loose back where it used to stay by his porch. At that point, we assumed we'd never see either kitten again--although we have no proof that the other kitten is permanently gone, the odds are not good for it. That was a Monday afternoon. We were sad and regretted a little not keeping them both anyways, even though we already have 3 cats and questioned how responsible it would be to take 2 more and whether we could effectively care for them. So, we formed a new plan; I honestly believe it was divine intervention that the one kitten managed to survive a 30 minute ride on the underside of a pick-up truck. My husband said if we ever saw that kitten again, we would take her.

Well a couple days later, on Thursday morning as we were loading the kids up to take them to school, we saw the kitten. She was sitting under the truck (yes the same one that she went for a ride on) mewling pitifully. I went to the edge of our yard, crouched down and called to her; she came and jumped into my lap. I picked her up, and she started purring loudly and snuggling close. I was determined to hold Shaun to his word; the kitten rode with us to drop the boys off at school. Then we came back got a cat carrier, and took her to the vets to get checked for feline leukemia, get dewormed, defleaed, and other things. She had to live in our bathroom for a little while because she had an upper-respiratory infection that could make our other cats sick, but thankfully she was otherwise healthy. She spent the first weekend at my aunt's house since we were at Animazement. It took us until the Wednesday after Animazement to name her--we went through a ton of names; some of the ones we considered included Luna, Sabrina, Mint, Sybil, Phoenix, Lemur (briefly since all our other cats are named after other rodent-ish animals), Shiva, and Imoen. Kisa was the name that seemed to suit her most.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Anime Tarot: The End of a Journey

First Tarot Card ever finished.
Anyone who's been by my tables over the last couple of years will know that the Anime Tarot set is one of the staples on my table. The concept for the set was born in April 2008. The 22 Major Arcana card set premiered at Anime USA in November 2008. Since then, I've gotten a lot of people asking when I'm going to finish the set, and each time I've had to say, maybe next year, with every intention of having finished it by the next year. But, because of life and other things, the actual date for completion of the set kept getting pushed back.

Life things included my husband's last year in NCSU's doctoral program during which he wrote one of the longest most complex theses on record--he studied immersion theory in video games. His thesis challenged existing academic theory on the subject and supplied his own model for understanding immersion. I digress now--if you want to know more on this subject, I can always get him to guest write a blog on it. =P Then there was the process of defending that dissertation, graduating, finding new work, moving, adjusting to a lot of new life changes that came with all of that.

Most recent completed - Wow can you see the difference?
Other things that delayed the completion of the Anime Tarot set included Anime Weekend Atlanta, my husband's Anime RPG book project, and plain old burn-out. Conventions all have different policies regarding fanart; Anime Weekend Atlanta currently has an 80/20 policy--my table has to consist of 80% original art and 20% fanart. Considering there are 78 cards in the finished Anime Tarot set, even with only part of it finished, that's a lot of original art to have to come up with. As it is, this year, I will not have the Anime Tarot set at the convention as prints or badges; I will (if all goes well) have it as a single deck of cards (1 item =D). So, for 2009 and 2010 I had to take time off during the summer and early fall to focus attention on drawing original art or risk being asked to leave AWA's artist alley. I won't say I'm complaining--I actually enjoyed the chance to take a break and draw some other stuff. I won't go into my husband's Anime RPG book--that was a stressful couple of months of binge drawing to meet the print deadline. I'll admit there was also a couple of weeks to a month or so that I didn't draw anything (like after Magfest 2011--I'd just finished almost 60 pieces of art for the Anime RPG book, plus finished the 12 print/badge Would Would ___ Do? set all in less than 6 weeks).

King and Queen of Wands. The end of an adventure.
Anyways, after a lot of various delays, the Anime Tarot set is finally coming to a close. I have sitting on my desk now the partially inked Queen of Wands and the sketch for the King of Wands. Once these two are finished, the set is officially finished. It's really weird looking at those 2 and trying to comprehend what their completion actually means. For the first time since 2008 there will not be more tarot cards on my list of things to do. It's one of those projects that was so big and was taking so long to get finished that there were times where I really wondered if I'd ever actually see the end of it. It's been a long journey; it's been fun. I don't think I could say I'd ever want to do it again though. XD

Friday, June 3, 2011

Animazement Artist Alley Loot

Today's blog is to show off all the awesome art I got from Animazement's Artist Alley. =)

I'm going to start with the buttons. My good friend, Melissa, bought the top two for me. The first one is China from Hetalia--he's a guy with long hair and a panda, what's not to love? The second is Mai from Avatar: the Last Airbender--she got the trio of bad girls, Azula for herself, since she was supposed to have been cosplaying Azula, Ty Lee for my cousin, who was cosplaying Ty Lee, and Mai for me since I was cosplaying Mai. Sunday I went back and got the bottom two buttons + an Aang. I gave the Aang to my other cousin who was at AZ and cosplaying Aang. The Zuko is for my husband, and the Iroh is for our friend who was cosplaying Iroh, but he left the convention before I could get the button to him. So, it'll just hang out on the yarn braid here (made for me by Ty) until our next D&D game.

Next up is this amazing print of Terra from Final Fantasy VI. I loved the coloring especially, but the whole print is just plain awesome. I had to take it home with me. XD I'm thinking the artist was just trying to get rid of these prints since she was selling them for only $1. Honestly it's worth a lot more in my opinion. I also bought a key chain from her table. It had Lina on one side and Gourry on the other. <3 Slayers!!! There aren't any pictures of the key chain because it's attached to the car keys which are in my husband's pocket. XD I really liked this artist; she had tons of non-mainstream stuff.

Dumb flash on the camera wouldn't function properly this morning... During our wanderings of artist alley, Ty made sure we found every artist selling Pokemon stuff. This one had a set of bookmarks to go with the various Eevee evolutions. She was out of my favorites, but Ty liked the water one, and the fire one is one of my runner up favorites, so I picked out the set of 3. The water one will go to Ty, the electric to my mom, and I'll either keep the fire one or give it to Luke. I want to laminate these so they're usable without risking tearing them up--this is why I laminate all of my bookmarks in really thick plastic.

This artist had a lot of cool Sailor Moon stuff, and it was tough to narrow down which prints I wanted to buy. With the chibi Sailor Moon set, I got all of the inner scouts, so I didn't have to pick which one I liked the most. =D I got the Ouran Host Club print because 1) they were on special if you got 2, and 2) I've been more than a little obsessed with Ouran High School Host Club lately. XD I really liked these chibis though; they pretty much nailed the cast and their personalities.

Finally, I got 2 badges and 2 magnets from Mystcloud (the one artist I actually have a gallery address for). I got the Sailor Venus because she's one of my favorites--love the color orange (purple's my second favorite color, but it's on my sites because purple goes better with a Gothic Panda than orange). The Nekozawa badge and Kyoya magnet go with my Ouran High School Host Club obsession. Kyoya's my favorite host, and Nekozawa is just plain awesome. The James magnet was for my kids to go on our fridge--they're all obsessed with Pokemon. The camera would not cooperate with getting pictures of these. Flash on: there's a glare. *fail* Flash off: the camera won't focus. I'm posting 3 picutres, 1 with flash, 1 without flash that's almost not half bad, and 1 without flash that reflects what pictures taken indoors without a flash usually look like. XD
Flash: Horrible glare on Nekozawa.

Almost not bad; Sailor Venus and James are ok at least.

This is what my camera normally does w/ no flash.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Animazement: Sunday

Sunday was great. It helped that Shaun was mostly over being sick--I'd say he was up to about 70%. I packed the room up. We took a load of stuff to the car, then Shaun took Luke and Logan back to the room to rest and watch cartoons while Ty and I went and wandered Artist's Alley. It was still early though and a lot of artists hadn't set up yet. Neither the Dealer's Room nor the Video Game Room had opened yet either. I think I can safely say the highlights for most any convention for Ty are 1-Video Game Room, 2-Artist Alley, and 3-Dealer's Room, in that order.

We went back to the room for a early lunch--since we had to have the room vacated before noon. After a quick lunch of instant macaroni and cheese and ramen (coffee maker meals--good stuff for conventions), we took our last load of stuff to the car. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea we did (taking stuff down to their cars). The elevators were a madhouse. We decided to try the stairs. Well the stairs closest to our room dead-ended at the bottom at a locked door; we had to go back up to the 3rd floor to find an entrance into the rest of the hotel. We wandered the 3rd floor until we found another staircase; this one dumped us outside at valet parking--not quite where we wanted to be, but closer. We hauled everything around to the hotel main entrance, then took an elevator down to the parking deck, loaded the car, and returned to enjoy the rest of the convention.

First stop on Sunday was the Dealer's Room. I usually don't buy stuff here--I just don't find stuff that I really want. Maybe "could afford" would be more accurate than "really want" since there are boxed sets of several anime I'd love to get my hands on. I did buy stuff this year. =D I found this great game shop booth--it turns out he's been there for the last several years at AZ + at AUSA. I go to both and usually take at least one tour of the dealer's room, but apparently I'm oblivious because I've missed him the last couple of years. Anyways, I picked up a card game there from the same guys who made the "We Didn't Playtest This" card game we spent Saturday night playing. I got "Whack a Catgirl." It looks like a fun convention game; it makes fun of the more annoying aspects of tweenage fangirls. I also picked up a spiffy set of new dice for D&D. They had so many pretty shinies (i.e. Dice sets) it was really tough to choose just one set. They'll be at Otakon and AUSA though, so I may just have to get some more then.
After the Dealer's Room, we wandered around for a bit and hung out with our friends before everyone started to leave and go their own way--we had to stay later because my Beholder Plushie got enough bids to go to the big auction event today (AZ has auction items for display in the Art Show room and people can put bids on a piece of paper near the items; if the item reaches 5 bids, it goes to the Sunday auction event where it goes up on display and people I guess shout bids in a more traditional style auction--I've never actually gone to that event though, so dunno). After most everyone (we knew) had gone, Shaun took Luke to an advanced origami panel while I took Ty and Logan around for another trip (or three) around the Artist Alley. I got some awesome stuff, and Ty spent all his money in AA (I'm so proud of him for supporting other artists <3). I'll probably put what I got in another blog post. I also want to see if I can find links to galleries for the artists I bought stuff from. =) So after blowing all our spending money plus some in the Artist Alley, I went to stand in line for about 30 minutes to pick up the cash from the auction sale of the Beholder--it did much better than I had expected. Shaun thinks a couple of game stores were trying to get it to display in their shop. I'm happy though because it was such a pain to make. I have one more that I'll put up for auction somewhere, but that's it. The yarn was horrible to work with, and I will never ever ever make a plushie from that yarn again. XD It was doubly good because I'd spent our parking money in Artist Alley (oops...).

So that was AZ. We left after I got my cash, picked up our kitten (finally settled on calling her Kisa yesterday), and made the long (not really, it just felt like it) hot (it was definitely this, no clouds and no AC....) car trip back home. Funny side thing: Monday morning I had an email from the staff lady in charge of the Art Show. On Sunday they'd held a drawing for 3 free badges to AZ 2012--I'd looked when I picked up the cash for my beholder, but they hadn't matched my tickets. Apparently though, the person who'd won the 3rd free badge never showed, so they'd held another drawing and pulled my ticket. =D I'm very excited about that--it also means that we're definitely going back for AZ 2012.