Monday, September 26, 2011

Gearing up for Anime Weekend Atlanta

This year an unprecedented number of people are traveling with me to AWA, and these are all people I'd trust to watch my table while I step away. I thought that this year I might actually set foot out of Artist Alley--something I've never actually done before at AWA. =O Keep an eye out; this might just be a sign of the apocalypse.

AWA posted a rough spreadsheet of the con schedule. While perusing it, I got the crazy idea that I'd post a list of panels I'd like to maybe attend. In the process of compiling said list, I discovered that there were actually quite a few events I wanted to go to. XD I guess that's what happen when I pay attention to what's happening at a convention. So, without further rambling, on to the list.

The Engineer Guy - Two part molds: I have no idea what this might be about, but since I'm interested in learning more about molding for cosplay and this might be about that subject, it's on the list.

Sewing 101 with GSTQ Fashions: This sounds like a basic sewing class, but GSTQ does some really amazing work. Also, being a self-taught "seamstress" it might be nice to learn how to sew something the right way.

Ladies of Leather w/ GSTQ: Another GSTQ panel. Seriously GSTQ is a brilliant seamstress.

Turning Tricks in Photoshop for Fun and Profit: Not sure exactly what this panel involves, but I'm always open to learning new stuff about Photoshop, since this is the program I use for most of my art.

Translating Art into Cosplay: No description, but it includes art and cosplay. It sounds like something I'd like.

Retro Sailor Moon: It's Sailor Moon. Do I really need to say any more?

How to Make Your Own Plushie Mascot: I've always wanted to learn how to make plushies.

ACEO & Art Trading Cards Workshop: This is an aspect of the art world that I've heard of but don't know much about.

Sociology in Cosplay: No description, but I like cosplay.

Inking Workshop: Standard art workshop, but I'm always open to learning new things, which considering that I've never taken an art class or had any official training... I stand to learn even from the basics.

Running a Cosplay Business: I did this once, and creating manga and art isn't too far off (this is what I'm doing now). I'd be interested in hearing from someone else who has tried this.

Indie Manga: I'm hoping this is more of a how-to-publish vs. a what's-out-there panel. Since there are no descriptions with the online schedule, I'll just have to wait to the convention to find out.

Cosplay Start to Finish: Ezio Auditore: So, I don't own an Xbox or Xbox 360. I've never played Assassin's Creed, any version. You might be wondering what this panel is doing on the list. This panel is going to be run by Fev, a cosplayer whom I greatly respect. She does some amazing leatherwork and is an awesome propmaker.

Legality of Cosplay and Fan Art: This is a hot topic for a lot of conventions, especially in Artist Alley, and since I draw a lot of Fanart right now, I think this panel would be worth attending.

Wig Styling with GSTQ Fashions: A 3rd GSTQ panel... with 3 of them here, I might just make it to one of them. Plus, I stink at styling wigs.

Cosplay Science: Dunno, but sounds spiffy.

Clearly there is no way I could attend all of these panels, especially since half of them overlap with each other, so I'll want to narrow down my list significantly once I get to the convention. I also don't want to leave my table to my husband or friends for the entire convention. That would be more than a little inconsiderate. This list is a start, though. We'll have to see where it goes from here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Team Haberkorn!

A few months ago, I was contacted by a young lady who said she was working with Todd Haberkorn to organize a fanclub for Todd. If anyone remembers the super secret project I mentioned a few times in August, this is the project. She wanted me to design badges just for the club. I'll get into that a bit later.

For those of you who might be wondering who Todd Haberkorn is, and why anyone might want to be a part of his fanclub, Todd is one of the top voice actors for FUNimation. He is responsible for roles like Death the Kid from Soul Eater, Italy from Hetalia, Ling from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Hikaru from Ouran High School Host Club. He's voiced a lot more characters than just these, but that's to give you a sampling of his work. If you want to read more about Todd, feel free to check out his Wikipedia page or his listing on IMDB. You can also find more on the Team Website:

Needless to say, I was very excited to be asked to help with this project. I was asked to draw a chibi of Yamato, who happens to be the first lead character voiced by Todd. I made the design into a badge, which will be available to purchase (actual badge does not have the T.H. watermark on it) at all of Todd's signings for $5. A portion of the proceeds from this will go to the Acadiana Humane Society; in fact, a portion of all money Team Haberkorn brings in, including funds from memberships, will go to Acadiana Humane Society, a no-kill animal shelter in Louisiana. I am also told that the Yamato badges will eventually be available from the Haberdashery, an online shop for Todd Haberkorn related merchandise. If you're at all interested in any of Todd's work, the membership is actually a really good price, since you get a T-shirt, button, lanyard, and a few other goodies, along with access to a weekly podcast that Todd produces. This was a fun project to work on, and I look forward to doing more for Team Haberkorn.

Side Note: I wasn't paid, bribed, or even asked to write this post. I just wanted to share some of my personal enthusiasm for this project. ^_^

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Works in Progress No. 3, Vol 7.

This week is going to be a fairly large update. I've been busy working on art stuff over the last week. I'm still trying to get all the zodiac stuff finished for AWA, which means it needs to be finished by this weekend so I can have time to get everything printed and all the badges laminated before the convention.

So, what's been done since last Wednesday's post on the zodiacs? Well all the partially finished print-sized zodiacs from last Wednesday are finished--that's Pisces, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Libra, and Taurus. I've also finished Cancer. Virgo has been drawn, inked, and colored, and I've started to shade him. Now on to the badge-sized chibi-zodiacs. Aquarius is finished. I have drawn, inked, colored, and half shaded Gemini and Aries. Capricorn and Pisces have been drawn and inked. Leo has been drawn. This leaves 6 chibi-badge-sized zodiacs that I haven't started yet. Can I finish this by this weekend? Maybe. I hope so. There have been some late nights, and I'm sure there will be a few more.

There has also been some progress on my crochet projects. I finished the Pikachu from last week. I finished the Halloween mini-kitty from last week. I've also started working on a new Kirby, since I sold out of those at Otakon. My goal is to have at least one of each plushie design by AWA--this means I need to finish Kirby and then make an Umbreon and White Mokona.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Normality: Panda-Style

Today, I thought I might share what a normal day in this house looks like. Now this is something like what our schedule looks like:
6-7am: Get up. Breakfast. Morning chores.
9am: School, with lunch break
2pm: Clean up school.
2:30pm: Art time.
5:00pm: Walk at the park.
6:00pm: Dinner, evening chores, personal project time
8:00pm: Kids get to watch a movie or we play a board game as a family
9:00pm: Staggered bed times.

It's fair to say, that we very rarely follow that schedule. On days when Shaun has to work, the 6am "drag our butts out of bed" time is non-negotiable given the 2.5 hour commute and the fact that he has a 9:25 class to teach. Morning chores will happen on a good day--this includes making beds, general cleaning, writing my blog, balancing the checkbook and paying bills, and other types of household maintenance. Usually the general cleaning only actually happens when we get a call for a showing for the house because I'm not that organized in the morning, and somehow, most mornings, 9:00 rolls around and I haven't done a fraction of what I'm supposed to have done.

Then, we get the 9:00 start school time. Most days my kids aren't even out of bed, and I can't honestly blame them. I'm not a morning person; I never have been. Given the choice, I'd probably still be in bed too. Even if they're up, starting at 9 would also require me to be conscious and organized enough to know what we're working on today. By the time we get everyone together and ready to start, it's usually close to 10. We hack through some school work, and usually give up by 11-11:30 for an early lunch. After lunch right now is more independent study style work for the kids, and I've been jumping straight into artwork, lesson planning, grading, or whatever needs to be worked on. I'd worry about the kids' education, but Ty and Luke are both testing in the top 10% of their age-group, so I think they're fine.

This week I'll probably just go into artwork right after lunch, in a mad attempt to get the zodiacs done. In fact, I'll probably keep working on that through dinner and past my bedtime. If it's not raining, we may still go to the park. The weather people are calling for rain all this week, but they've been known to be wrong. The kids will be happy to watch movies in the evening all week, since that is really the only TV time they get. We don't have cable--not a "better-than-thou" kind of thing; we're just too cheap for it, and honestly most of the shows we might want to watch never came on when we were around to watch. Plus it's a huge distraction. Distraction is the same reason we're letting our WoW accounts go.

That all sounds like a nice, relaxing, go-with-the-flow kind of day. Except, into that mix, you've got to add the fact that we have a 4 year old, 8 year old, and a 10 year old, all boys. That guarantees at least a few incidents each day between rough housing, general sibling fighting, and good old boredom, which seems to come around no matter how much they have to keep them occupied. We also have four cats aged 11 yrs, 10 yrs, 4 yrs, and 5 months. The little one is into everything and bothers everyone (cat and human alike)--as I'm writing this, Kisa is trying to climb the kitchen wall (literally). The 10 yr-old cat, Bunny, is a klutz. She's a toothpick, but she still manages to knock everything off of every surface she walks over, from bookshelves and cabinets to side tables and dressers, which contributes to the general clutter created by a homeschooled family of 5. In general, any two (or more) of the cats will be chasing each other through the house leaving destruction in their wake--usually it's one of the younger two that starts this. Most days our house functions at a level of somewhat managed chaos. The rest of the time, it just goes downhill from there (as I type this now, Kisa is running off with one of my husband's dress shirts for work; I'm not even sure I want to know how she got it out of the closet). Today is looking like it might be one of those less well managed days. While writing this blog, I've had to stop about a half dozen times to get Kisa off the counter or out of something (including keeping her from eating my seam ripper). I won't make judgment yet; it's only 8:20 a.m.. There's time for it to improve, although considering how it's starting, and the kids aren't even all out of bed yet...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pre-Con Stress: AWA 2011 Edition

I've spent the last week somehow convinced in my head that AWA is next week. It's not. It's the week after that. Still, the feeling that the convention is looming over my head like a ginormous dark cloud has lead to an increased sense of paranoia. I keep waking up in the middle of the night, dreaming about weird and usually bad things happening at the convention, or just this overwhelming feeling that I'm forgetting something really important, but that really important thing is stalking me; it's in the dark shadows out there somewhere just waiting to catch me unawares and then devour me whole... or maybe slowly and painfully.

This is what I call "Pre-Con Stress." I get some variation of it before every convention. I'm sure a lot of AWA's stress comes from the fact that I really, really, really want to get the zodiacs done before the convention... all of them... both the print and badge versions. Why? Because I will feel really bad if someone's sign gets left out. D= I feel sad when someone goes up and says where's my sign? Normally that's in context of, "I didn't have room to put them all up on the display, but you can look in this notebook here and see all of them." But, what if I had to answer, "I'm sorry I didn't have time to get your sign finished before the convention." It may be a perfectly reasonable statement; honestly I've only had one month to get all 12 print and 12 badge designs finished, and now I'm down to a week and a half to finish 6 prints and 12 badges. @_@ Still, I can imagine my customer looking disappointed, and I really hate that. It makes me feel bad inside. Nine times out of ten, even if I have the finished product there, they wouldn't buy it anyways. I really hate leaving anyone disappointed though, and the zodiac set is one of those where it really needs to be finished if I want to avoid that feeling.

Then, there's also the tarot deck... wait didn't I say that process was over a couple of weeks ago? Wasn't I just waiting for the cards to be delivered? Yes, and yes, sort of. The deck part is finished and they're already in my hands (they came almost a week earlier than I expected them), but I want to have a little booklet or something to go with each deck that gives a master list of characters and series, maybe a little bit about each card, and stuff like that. Does anyone know how many books I've tried to self print before? I'll tell you. None. So, I'm still working on the writing, well mostly waiting on my husband to get free time to help me write because he is an infinitely better writer than I am, and the layout and design, not to mention trying to figure out how to make it print the way I want it to, then cutting out all the pages, arranging them, and stapling them together. I may just end up printing on one big sheet that gets folded up to fit in the deck box. XD That's my back-up plan, because I'm determined to have these things ready by AWA.

I think all that's enough to warrant extreme stress. Do I think all this can be finished? I'm having strong doubts. I know the zodiac prints will be done--they're half done and the other half is in progress. The zodiac badges... that's a vastly different story. A lot depends on how soon I get the rest of the prints finished--if the prints are finished today or tomorrow, the badges stand a chance. If not, the chances diminish significantly. The mini-book for the tarot deck? I'll have something done, even if it's not the book I'd had in mind. I kind of wish I could outsource that one, but there really isn't time. I put it off for a while because I wasn't sure what the card dimensions would be, or if there would even be a deck. Even after the order went through, I don't think it really sunk in that the tarot set was really going to be a deck of cards until last night when I opened the box and pulled the wrapping off one of the decks to look through it. You're welcome to take bets on what you think I'll finish, and keep an eye out for next week's WIP posts for the next 2 weeks to see what happens and what doesn't.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Works in Progress No. 2, Vol. 7

There's a lot to post here this week. First up, I've finished 4 of the new Zodiacs, which is really just the second half of the original set. You can see both versions here of Aquarius, Gemini, Capricorn, and Leo. After that, I have updates to 5 more Zodiacs. Libra has been inked. Pisces is nearly finished; he just needs a background. Sagittarius has been drawn, inked and flat colored. Scorpio has been drawn and inked. Taurus has been drawn, inked, and flat colored. It's been a busy week. I'm hoping that the rest of the print zodiacs here will be finished by my WIP for next week. Finally, I finished the purple kitty mini-plushie. Pikachu is almost finished; I just need to make his red cheeks and sew on his mouth. Lastly, I've started a black kitty mini-plushie. I'm going to give it orange eyes for a Halloween theme. I'm considering making an orange kitty mini-plushie with black ears, tail, and eyes to go with the one I'm working on right now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Adventures of Team Sidequest, Vol. 1

Since I spent most of my weekend enjoying the antics of my awesome D&D group, Team Sidequest, I thought I'd spend today's blog retelling some of Saturday's adventure which happened to involve chasing a rather long sidequest that didn't have much to do with the main plot. I'm going to try writing this as a journal-style narrative from my character's point of view, so we'll see how that goes. My character is a Buddhist Monk elf runt (4'2" tall, about even with the halfling and gnome) who is always hungry. She carries a small arsenal of dual wielded weapons. I think they're hidden in the sleeves of her monk robes, and since this is an anime-themed game, I think that's more than reasonable. =P Basic synopsis up till now: We are in Ravenloft chasing a kidnapped little girl with weird blue tattoos on her back and facing down a series of Egyptian-themed mini-gods who are part of the kidnapping scheme. Added into the mix is a horde of modified zombies that come out only in the day time. We've defeated the pig god and the bat god, and there are supposedly 10 more. Anyways, hope you enjoy this. =)

We are in a small trade town just on the other side of the gorge where we defeated the bat-god. It's kind of dull, and the food's not all that great. Sinedentas [dragonborn avenger, basically Toothless] just got an orange kitten. Jim [half orc samurai] got word that a group of priests were seen with a little girl heading toward some port town. I hope the food there is better.

We waited till dusk to leave town since the zombies here don't come out at night. We're crossing a desert right now. It's very dull, and there's no food. I'm so hungry.

I got the best meal ever last night! Near the edge of the desert we encountered a dwarf and his daughter, who happens to be an elf--she was amazing; she could eat without even removing her ninja mask. =O When we found the dwarf he was just off the road hollering. Although that wasn't too unusual, since dwarfs yell a lot normally, Jim and Treviac [blind teifling wizard, with Tyresius, an owl familiar] wanted to investigate. Whatever. I'm glad they did because it turned out that the dwarf, whose name was Gregor, I think, was being attacked by what he called a bullette. It was this giant thing that would bury itself in the sand and jump out and try and eat people. =D We dispatched it, and the best part: Gregor was a great chef. With some help pulling apart the bullette's crunchy exterior we carved it up and cooked it in malt liquor. As a bonus we found a not-yet-digested lamb in the bulette's stomach and Gregor made it into a tasty stew. There's nothing like a full stomach; I find it very enlightening.

The town we are in today is more interesting than the last town, but the people here are not so nice. I sat in the town square famished for 2 hours, and no one was willing to offer food to the poor starving elf girl. T_T It looks like we're going to be here a few days while we wait for the next ferry to come in. On the plus side, Ralph [half-orc martial artist] got a temporary job hunting for river crocodiles. That was fun, and I got some croc stew out of it. =D It was an easy job too; he just had to get in the water and thrash about for a bit, and then poof, a crocodile would pop up and the fishermen with us would spear it.

Later in the evening, the rest of our traveling group came by and said that Sinedentas had gotten word of a temple not far from here that they were going to check out. I was full of croc stew, so I saw no reason to stick around. Ralph and I joined up with everyone else.

It's almost dawn, but we're finally here. I'm hungry again. As usual, no one brought any food. Meh. Guess we'll go look around the place.

So the temple ended up being more interesting than it looked. There were four sections branching off from the central chamber, each with an elemental theme. First we went down the water side. It was really cold down there and we got into a battle with a ton of weird fish people. I passed out half way through the battle; I was so hungry, I couldn't really focus on the things. Kira (gnome cleric) said I almost drowned. That's possible since the room was pretty much a giant cavern lake. I don't really remember much of anything, although I dreamed that I'd visited the Eternal Emperor and he gave me a great banquet. It was sad waking up from that dream, but on the plus side, when I woke up, all the fishy people were dead, and since they were more fish than people, I saw no reason why I couldn't cook a couple of them up for a snack.

We took the fire section next. It was guarded by a great fire elemental, but Ralph booted it in the head. The elemental made a o.O face, like it had never received such a powerful boot to the head before, which it probably hadn't. I don't think most people try kicking fire elementals in the face, if that's what you could really call it. The earth section had a gorgon. I really wanted to climb up on it's back and use this pressure point power I have to immobilize something--kind of like acupuncture, only more useful. It would have looked really cool, but the gorgon wouldn't stay still long enough. It was dead before I could catch up to it. Sadly, neither the fire elemental nor the gorgon were edible. I was starting to get hungry again. In the air section, Treviac found an air archon and negotiated a way to send it back to its plain of existence. That was easy, and I don't think I could have eaten the archon anyways.

Each section had a key. In the water section, the key was held by a man encased in ice floating in the middle of the lake. We melted the ice to get to it, but unfortunately we melted the key too. Using a ritual Kira determined that if we could collect the water from the ice key, it'd still work. We had plenty of empty waterskins so that wasn't a problem. The fire and earth keys were pretty simple. The air key was interesting; it was essentially incorporeal, so we couldn't pick it up. Treviac sucked it into his mouth and spit it into a bottle. I wonder what it tasted like?

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when we got to the temple Sinedentas's kitten couldn't come in the temple. She said she was leaving it near the entrance so it'd be safe, but it turned out that it really could not enter because the temple was warded against it. It also turned out that the kitten could talk and had told Sinedentas that it was really a 20,000 year old gold dragon and was cursed to look like a kitten. So, this was really why Sinedentas had told us to come to this temple. The kitten told us that we needed to use the keys to access an artifact that would change her back into a dragon. Although most everyone was a little grumpy at not being told the real reason we'd run through the temple, the kitten was so adorable that it was hard to stay angry at it for long--except for Kuroshi [human goth/emo/creepy magic girl] who claimed it was a horrific abomination and needed to die.

When we went to use the keys, a ghost of a pretty young lady appeared--the same one that had appeared a week or so ago while we were camped out. Interestingly enough, there were statues and frescos in the temple that looked like her. She kept waving her hands around--telling us that this was something we shouldn't do. The kitten said that she was the King's wife in life and that she was the one responsible for trapping her in a kitten form, so of course she wouldn't want us to get the artifact. Since pretty much every temple we've been to since arriving in this world has been evil, and one even tried to sacrifice us, really, why would we trust the ghost lady? So, we recovered the artifact, which was an ornate dagger. Kira said it was evil, and I guess she'd know, but that made sense since the temple was evil, so we gave it to the cat, except she wasn't really a cat, but she wasn't a gold dragon either; she was Bastet, one of the twelve (now ten) mini-gods here. We tried attacking her, but that didn't go over so well. She was a lot stronger and faster than the other two gods we'd faced before. We settled for snatching the dagger from her and returning it to the temple, which she conveniently still couldn't enter. Boy was she pissed at us. She summoned a swarm of cats to come into the temple after us, and by swarm I mean thousands upon thousands of cats. We retreated to the giant lake. The cats wouldn't follow us into the lake--good thing because I think they would have eaten us. We did eventually find an alternative exit via an outlet where the water from the lake washed into another cave. Long story short, we pissed off a nasty god--although we at least kept her from keeping the artifact--and discovered that the ghost lady was possibly on our side (the enemy of our enemy is our friend), but otherwise didn't accomplish anything useful. I'm still hungry, and we haven't gotten any closer to finding the kidnapped girl.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kung Fu Makes Everything Better

This Friday's blog is brought to you by all thing's kung fu. I think martial arts is awesome. I've always wanted to take lessons for martial arts in some form or another--I'm not picky. My parents weren't too in to that idea, and I took ballet lessons instead for most of my early life--not that I'm complaining; I liked dance. I just wanted kung fu lessons too. I can only blame my parents though for the earlier years. Now I'm older, and I still haven't gotten around to taking lessons. That's my fault. XD One of these days I'll change that. Maybe I'll find a place where I can sign the whole family up once Logan gets a little bit older and capable of better following directions.

Considering how awesome I consider kung fu to be, it's no surprise that Forbidden Kingdom ranks up there as one of my favorite movies. Seriously, it's Jackie Chan and Jet Li. How could a movie with such a pair of awesome kung fu artists not be great? This was one of the few movies I actually went to the movie theater to see, and the only reason I really wanted to watch it was to see the inevitable battle between Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The movie did not disappoint. I got awesome kung fu scenes; the story line and dialogue were also fun. Next to Lord of the Rings, it's one of my favorite movies to stick in when I'm working on the more tedious and mindless parts of cosplay or art projects. Another good martial arts movie is Kung Fu Hustle. If you can't tell, my favorites do tend to be the ones that don't try to take themselves seriously.

This also ties in with one of my favorite additions to Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. (No, this really wasn't an excuse to fangasm more about how much I love FMA). With the addition of the Xing Characters, Ling, May Chang, Lan Fan, and Fu, FMA got more than a little bit better. =P For realz, kung fu makes everything better. So do zombies for that matter, and FMA: Brotherhood added those too, but that's something for another blog. Not only did FMA add straight-up martial arts with Ling and his pair of ninja bodyguards, they combined martial arts and alchemy with May Chang's alchehestry (or however you spell it) techniques. *squee* Okay, I'm going to stop now.

In short, I really enjoy a good martial arts show. It appears in many, although not all, of my favorite movies and anime. You can see homages to that in the fact that I have three martial arts based designs in the character archetype set: the Ninja, the Wise Master, and the Drunken Master. I'm planning to do a few more archetypes; maybe I'll work in a few more with kung fu themes. I might even do a Forbidden Kingdom bookmark set. How awesome would that be?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Works in Progress No. 1, Vol. 7

This week, I got some work done on the new Zodiac set. Aquarius is finished except for her background. Capricorn has a flat layer of color. Gemini is finished except for her background. Leo has a little bit of shading left, and then he'll need a background too. The badly photographed sketch near the bottom is Libra. He's just a rough sketch right now, but I've got the general design down--he was inspired by Elrond and the guards in Lothlorien--I had LotR on the brain since I've spent a good bit of time in the last week watching it. XD I have all the pieces of the purple mini-kitty finished and ready to assemble. I also made a crochet pink and white lady bug for my niece's first birthday--considering I have 3 boys and up until last year, just 2 nephews, it's been really nice having a little girl to make stuff for.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall Projects

Back at the end of June, I posted a Summer Projects post highlighting what I planned on working on over the summer. I thought, since we're moving into Fall now, it would be a good idea to revisit that post. Today, I'm going to look over what I'd planned to get done, what I actually got done, and discuss a little of my plans for the Fall.

First, let's look at what I'd planned. I wanted to have the new Zodiac set finished for art. This Zodiac set was going to be the compliment to the one I finished for Anime Weekend Atlanta last year. The first set featured six guys and six girls, and the second set was going to do girl versions for the six guys and guy versions for the six girls. My goal was to have the new Zodiac prints and their chibi badge counterparts finished by Otakon. I also wanted to stock up on my inventory of fanart plushie designs for Otakon: Pikachu, Umbreon, Kirby, Black Mokona, White Mokona, and Moogle. Along with those I wanted to make some bunny and kitty mini-plushies.

Now, let's see how things actually went. Getting the Zodiacs finished by Otakon did not happen. In fact, the only progress made before Otakon was taking the Aries sketch featured on the Summer Projects post and inking it. In my defense, we lost most of July to moving. Most of August was taken up with commission projects and family events, and it's only been in the last week or so that I've really been able to get back on track with things. So, Zodiacs... fell far short of my goal. I did manage to get a decent number of plushies made before Otakon. I boosted my fanart inventory and had three each of the bunny and kitty mini-plushies. So, plushies... goal achieved!

So, what's on for the Fall? The short answer: lots of cool stuff! For art, I will finally have Anime Tarot card decks (these are now available for preorder from my Etsy shop) for Anime Weekend Atlanta and Anime USA. I am going to keep working on the Zodiacs. My new goal is to get them finished by AWA; it'll be tough, but I think it's doable. Last year, I made my set of Sailor Moon Harem bookmarks because they were asking artists to put together something to match the convention theme: Arabian Nights. This year's theme is military, so I'm going to be doing a new set of Sailor Moon bookmarks, this time with a mecha pilot design. I'm thinking about making it a yearly thing to design a new set of Sailor Moon bookmarks for AUSA to go with their theme. Sailor Moon is just so much fun to play with; the characters really lend themselves to this kind of re-designing. That's my minimum goal. I'd also like to see some of my other in-progress bookmark sets (World of Warcraft, The Guild, and Dragonlance) get finished by AUSA--AWA is later this month, so I think I'll be doing well to get the Zodiacs done for that. Outside of that, Soul Eater and Full Metal Alchemist are high on my list of series I want to do massive bookmark sets for, but those might have to be a project for next season.

That covers art. For plushies, I'd had it in my head that I might be able to do some more new plushie designs, but I think I'll be doing good to just restock my inventory again since I sold out of pretty much everything at Otakon--not that I'm complaining. ;-) I think I'll play this one by ear. I'd like to work on some new designs, but I'm not going to get too excited about that idea. For other crafts, we're still hoping to debut the decorative props for AWA and I'm going to finish up the last of the charm designs plus replace those that sold at Otakon. Maybe by AWA I'll have a good way of displaying my charms. Finally, I'm still trying to get Suzaku and Euphemia cosplays finished for AWA for my husband and I. It's a low priority item, but I'm still holding out some hope that I can get those finished.

That about sums up my plans for the Fall. Chances are, it's entirely unreasonable, but it'll be interesting to see how things go. Look for a Winter follow-up to this post in early December.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Obssess Much?

Have you ever known someone who was so much of a fan of something that they knew most everything about it? They are the kind of fan who absorbs not just the movie or book, but they also consume all supplemental material such as commentaries, reviews, fanart, fanfics, and so on. On top of that, they collect merchandising and even participate in various personal expressions of fandom where possible, such as cosplay, drawing fanart, or writing fanfiction.

I know some fans like this--my cousin happens to be this kind of fan for the shows My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Psych, Doctor Who, and several others. Well, I happen to be this kind of fan too, although I'm usually fairly picky about what gets added to my list. I can think of only two anime that are on this list: Full Metal Alchemist (that should be obvious though if you've been reading my blog) and Code Geass. There are plenty of animes that I love and enjoy, but those are the two that will turn me into a hyper, excited, giggly fangirl. There are a few books that I am a fan of as well. First, I absolutely adore the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends trilogies written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I will obsess over my two favorite characters: Raistlin and Sturm, although not together; I really dislike slash art and fics. Also a good read by the same pair of authors is Rose of the Prophet; I'm only moderately less obsessed with that trilogy. Moving away from M. Weis and T. Hickman, I am also a fan of the Lord of the Rings and most anything Tolkienish.

Those are the big titles for me for anime and books. Movies are a little bit more complicated. There are five movies that I tend to pick up when I need background noise or something to watch while working on tedious handsewing on cosplays. At the very top of that list is the Lord of the Rings--I am the obsessed fan who watches the extended versions of the movies every month or so has listened to all the commentaries at least twice, and watched all the extra disc footage at least twice as well. I currently stalk news sites and twitter feeds for updates on production of the Hobbit. Following behind Lord of the Rings is A&E's Pride and Prejudice, Enchanted, Tangled, and The Forbidden Kingdom. Beyond this my fandom in movies is fairly mild; I tend to stalk actors more than movies. My current top actor list consists of Colin Firth (<3333), Geoffrey Rush, and Karl Urban. Obviously I loved the King's Speech, felt that Pirates 2 would have been better with more Barbossa screen time, and have thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek, R.E.D. and any other movie I've caught Karl Urban in.

This post was inspired by the fact that I spent two evenings earlier this week watching The Lord of the Rings yet again. Last week I was watching the cast commentary--I'm about part way through the first disc of the Two Towers on that, so I'll probably be spending much of the next couple of weeks eating through the rest of the cast commentary and maybe the director commentary and also possibly selections of the extra production footage while I buckle down to do some binge working for Anime Weekend Atlanta. Obsess much? XD

What kinds of movies, books, animes, etc. make you go crazy?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Works in Progress No. 5, Vol. 6

I'm numbering this with the August WIPs since it was supposed to go out last night. >_< Obviously, that didn't happen. I'm not one of those bloggers who stockpiles entries; maybe I should, but that would require organization and planning, and neither of those are something I'm really good at. That said, my mornings have been given over to chores and taking care of the kids' school stuff (I homeschool), and blogging got shifted to the late afternoon and evenings. That clearly hasn't been working given the number of late entries and the number of entries posted late in the evening. I'm going to rearrange my mornings a bit so these get posted on the day they're supposed to be posted on.

Moving on, let's see what's been accomplished in the last week. First off, I finished Aries, the girl twin to the Aries I finished for AWA last year. I've had her mostly finished for a while, hence why she hasn't shown up in any of the weekly WIP posts; this week though, I finally sat down and finished her.
 I've been spending most of my time working on the Zodiac set. The sketch of Pisces I posted 2 weeks ago has been inked. Capricorn has also been inked. The Aquarius I had inked last week is colored and almost finished. I need to finish adding shading and a background, but she'll be done in maybe another hour worth of work (I'm probably wrong about this--I almost always severely underestimate time). I have also sketched and inked Gemini and Leo, and Gemini has a flat layer of color on her. So, I've been busy. 

Lastly, I've gotten a little bit of crocheting done. That ball of yarn and circle I posted a couple of weeks ago is now looking a lot more like a Pikachu. I've also redesigned how I make his ears, and I really like the result. I also have a purple kitty mini-plushie in the works, but Kisa has once again carried it off. =P Maybe I'll have pics of that one next week. XD