January 2010 FAE Art Challenge

*this entry is crossposted from my current blog the art and tree chatter of aquariann*

The Fantasy Artists of Etsy have begun monthly art challenges, thanks to the brilliance of Carapace. This year each challenge revolves around the name of each month's full Moon. The names date back to the Native Americans, who gave names to the Moons to keep track of seasons. According to the Farmer's Almanac, "Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January's full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule."

I drew an ACEO for the occasion, using this adorable Wolf Stretch stock photo by kittystock as a reference. And you know me, I couldn't resist adding wings to him. The rest of the images are the other amazing creations by fellow members. Scroll below for links to each Etsy listing.

FAE Challenge - January 2010
Star Stretch magnet by aquariann
Wolf Hunter necklace by AthenasArmoury
Mother Moon at Dawn necklace by ErtheFae
Snow White Wolves Dance by Carapace
Talisman of Minas Ithil pendant by mermaidencreations
Crocheted Wolf Ears by merigreenleaf

FaerieCon 2009

*this entry is crossposted from my current blog the art and tree chatter of aquariann*

Last Sunday, Justin drove us to the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn for FaerieCon. We arrived around noon and stopped for lunch at Wegmans. It was the first time I'd been and am jealous we don't have one closer. What a neat supermarket! Then Justin helped me put on the wonderful crocheted ears I bought from the lovely Meri of Elfling Creations and off we went to the convention.

FaerieCon 2009There were so many whimsical sights to behold, as I hope you can tell by my collage! Most of my photos were taken during the costume contest. Storyteller Mark Lewis was the announcer. I was won over as soon as he admitted he did three of the voices for the Pirates of Caribbean ride. But wow, the costumes were stunning! As were so many of the vendors' creations. Handmade corsets, bustle skirts, steampunk goggles and wings galore - one day I will make more of you mine! As finances are, the only purchased thing I took home that wasn't a gift was a pale blue and silver hip scarf for me to shake at belly dance class.

I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the booth of fellow Delawarean and Fantasy Artists of Etsy member, Sarah of Toadsools N Treestump. She's the cutie in the hat to the left of the FaerieCon sign and I. Her art dolls are even more adorable in person! As usual, I was nervous to approach someone I'd never met in person before, but she was super friendly. I also got to see the very talented and sweet Giovanna Adams, whom I met for the first time at last year's FaerieCon.

I still haven't made it to a faerie ball, but there's always next year! I would love to be able to have a booth and experience the whole weekend, but I'm not sure I could sell enough work to cover the costs. A girl can dream, right?

Love will steer the stars.

February has been a busy month for me! Sunday, the 8th was my birthday so there was much celebrating to be done. Justin cooked a delicious dinner of caesar salad with homemade croutons and steak with hollandaise sauce, mixed some mean pomegranate cranberry martini's and took me dancing with several of my friends that Saturday. So uhm ... Sunday I did a lot of napping. Hey, I'm getting old! Luckily, my hangover was conquered by dinner time, so we went to Saketumi with my parents. It was my first time there and it was amazing! We shared crab wontons, calamari and rock shrimp as appetizers. Then I devoured three sushi rolls - shrimp tempura, boston and sweet potato tempura - with a little help from Justin, as I stole one of his BBQ bacon wrapped scallops skewers. Then we went back to my parent's house for strawberry shortcake. And Justin had bought me a petite chocolate decadence cake, so we had that for breakfast the next day! In the last two weeks, I also had two more yummy birthday dinners with Justin's parents and a friend that couldn't make it out dancing. Besides all that wonderful food and company, I received two Dance Dance Revolution games and Wall-E for PS2, money, gift cards, sparkly necklace, beach bag, stationery, glass photo frame, love bug stuffed animal, cookies, and more.

I am so spoiled rotten! As you can see to the left, Justin bought me roses for Valentine's Day again. I went to Candy Kitchen last week with the intention of buying him gummy bears - and ended up walking out with chocolate honeycombs, chocolate-covered Oreo's, and truffles, too. So the ape and candy are from me. Check out the Nintendo ? Block I stuffed the Oreo's into!! I cut it out and folded it myself, using a pattern from Cubeecraft.com. Justin stumbledUpon that website a few months ago and knew I would appreciate it as much as him, as we're both big dorks. It has so many pop culture designs - I hope to try a more complicated one next time, like Gir or Jack Skellington. I just need to find my exact-o knife first. I'm afraid a goblin may have stolen it for its shiny blade. Maybe I can trade it for one of those dark chocolate champagne truffles? Yeah, better just take advantage of a Michael's coupon and go buy a new one.

Anyway. Hope everyone's lives have been filled with as much love and chocolate as mine!

There's only splendor for the sight.

I think my little tree turned out fabulously for only putting it up five days before Christmas. We were going to set up Justin's full size one again, but time must have bounced through a black hole because suddenly it's already three days AFTER Christmas!!

Christmas Eve was nice. I got off work relatively early, then went home to relax with Justin. We opened up the presents from our parents, which among other wondrous kitchen goodies and gift cards, included the glasses and vodka for a delicious orange cranberry martini. We went to bed fairly early, as he had to leave by 8am to head to Baltimore.

Christmas is the one day I don't mind getting up early anyway - I couldn't wait to exchange gifts with Justin, as neither one of us had any idea what the other had chosen. He absolutely loved the Darth Vader sculpture from Metal Park that I bought him in New York City. I was thrilled with The Nightmare Before Christmas Collector's Edition DVD he got me, as I was bound to wear my VHS copy out soon! And I'm still in awe of his other present to me - Uncanny X-Men 266, 267 and Annual 14 comics! They include the first appearance and cameo of Gambit. *swoon*

After that, I headed to my parent's house where we ate blueberry muffins and opened our mountain of presents. I didn't ask for anything specific this year, but mom did an awesome job, as usual. I got sparkly socks, clothes and jewelry, bellydancing kit with zills, LightScribe DVDs and Vampyre: The Terrifying Lost Journal of Dr. Cornelius Van Helsing. Mom got Sonic:Unleashed for PS3, so we played that for a few hours. We also watched her new copy of The Dark Knight. And ate way too much ham and broccoli casserole, of course. Yet another marvelous Christmas, filled with magic and glitter. Yay!

Smurf along with me.

Last Saturday I traveled to New York City! Every year, my mom's work organizes a day trip where the bus drops everyone off around Rockefeller Center and lets them roam free for about eight hours. My dad had to work at the last moment, but my friend WizB was able to come instead. We had a blast!

We did a ton of walking - across three avenues and twenty streets - and went to several amazing stores. The only souvenir I bought for myself was a tiny Smurf dressed as The Reaper, that of course, I had to share here. What a cutie! I suppose it's a good thing F A O Schwartz didn't have the whole Halloween set in stock, or I may have had to splurge. Ah well, maybe Santa will deliver them from eBay! Anyway, as astounding as the floors of toys and giant piano in F A O Schwartz was, it did not compare to the Toys R Us in Times Square with its very own ferris wheel inside! It also has larger than life statues hanging from the ceiling, including one of Superman holding back a truck that I had to send a cell picture of to the boyfriend. Oooh, speaking of him, Nintendo World was neat, too, and I wish he could have seen it! I want a Wii sooo bad now! They also had a few museum cases with vintage Nintendo systems and history in them, which was interesting. I didn't know Nintendo started out as a playing card company back in 1889!

We of course went into stores I can't afford - Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany's, Sephora, etc. ... but it was fun just gawking over all the expensive items and decorations. We also ducked into a couple of ritzy stores just to get out of the cold, and those sales people were a bit intimidating. I'm not sure that I'd shop at those places even if I had the money to burn.

We also walked to The Pond at Bryant Park, which I was excited to see in person because of the Project Runway finales there at Fashion Week. They have Holiday Shops set up for the season in these whimsical structures that can be seen on their blog. If I lived in NYC, I would definitely look into being a vendor there. There were some very talented crafters! I even bought an awesome present for Justin from one of the shops, but I have to keep those details on the down low until after Christmas.

It was such a wonderful experience full of eye candy; I hope I get to go back to NYC soon. I haven't seen a Broadway show in years, and am still desperate to see Wicked. If only it weren't so expensive and stressful to travel there in a car!

Happy Halloween!

Just rolling up to wish everyone a happy Halloween! Hope you're enjoying the day as much as I am thus far.

I didn't think my Green Fairy costume would be very comfortable at work, so I went as a biker chic instead, complete with a skull cap and tattoo sleeves! Then I went to my parents for lunch and borrowed my dad's bike to take a few pictures. I'm sure there'll be plenty more pictures to come, as I still have two parties and two costumes to go this weekend!

FaerieCon 2008

Saturday my parents and I woke up super early and made the almost three hour trek to Philadelphia for FaerieCon! It was ... stunning. I walked through the door to the convention center hall and just stared. Never before have I seen so many enchanting people and treasures in one place. Magic even emanated from the concrete floors!

I am eternally grateful to Rebecca Dixon of Up from the Ashes for sending me tickets. She is one of my fellow Fantasy Artists of Etsy, and the first Etsyian I didn't already know that I have gotten to meet in person. She's incredibly lovely and cute - I look forward to seeing her again at faerie events in the future. I have been ogling her fairy finery for months, and it was even more amazing in person. She must be very patient to make designs that intricate. I bought a pair of her gorgeous handmade wings.

It was exciting seeing a lot of other famous fantasy artists in person for the first time. I bought an awesome Pirate Fairy figurine and two pinback buttons from Jasmine Becket-Griffith. I also mustered up the courage to introduce myself to two LiveJournal friends, Giovanna Adams (and her lovely friend, Sara) and Ash Evans. They are both very sweet, talented artists. I babble a bit when I'm nervous, so I hope I didn't come off as too much of a dork!

There were so many photographs I missed taking because I was just too entranced, but I did manage to take enough for another photo collage. Click on it to see it full size.

The border is made of pictures I took from the Faerie Fashion Show. I was a few rows back and my camera didn't like that. I had to lighten the pictures an insane amount and that sucked out all the color, but it actually made kind of a cool effect. That's my mom and I to the left, standing by the sign. Giovanna and I are in the middle, and Becky and I are to the right. The other fairies in the middle are ones my dad happened to catch while I was busy drooling over everything else.

I definitely hope to return next year, and maybe even attend one of the masquerade balls with Justin. He wasn't able to get out of work this time. Anyone know any spells to charm bosses?

Baltimore Comic-Con 2008

Yesterday I went to the Baltimore Comic-Con and had my first comic book convention experience! I've wanted to go to one for a few years, and was not disappointed. It was amazing. My optic nerves definitely got overloaded with all the awesome visuals. I have never seen so many comics in one place, except maybe in my dreams.

Yes, I admit it, I'm a big nerd! I bought NINETY-SEVEN comics yesterday. Granted, most of them were out of the $1 and 2/$1 bins, so I don't feel too guilty. I filled in a few of my Uncanny X-Men and X-Men holes, so that was fantastic. I also picked up a few of The Grimm Fairy Tales by Zenescope Entertainment that are a bit harder to find in my area. It has quickly become one of my favorite series, and I was absolutely thrilled that Zenescope had their own booth! They gave me a free issue of Beyond Wonderland #0 Cover B that I will certainly treasure. They even have a catalog and a website where I can order the comics directly ... which could prove quite dangerous! Most of their other titles look quite enticing, too. I am so going to run out of room in my closet to store all of my comics.

I also wandered through Artist's Alley, and tried not to drool on other artists' work. It's amazing there's so much talent out there in the world! I picked up a bunch of business cards and will be visiting as many websites as I can. I hope I find some blogs about their experience. If I drew more fan art and wasn't quite so shy, I could see myself having a table there. It is so neat to see an artist drawing in person, but I would never be able to offer sketching commissions right on the spot. That seems like so much pressure! Of course, it takes me so long to finish a piece because I'm my own worst critic. Artists come in all shapes and sizes, I suppose.

Justin had a great time, too. He even picked up a copy of Wolverine #1, which was an awesome find for his collection. He's been a comic fan far longer than I, and the amount of information he has stored in his mind is just incredible. He really is my Superman. I was exhausted after 6 hours on our feet, but he was the one that had to drive us three hours to and back from Baltimore in one day. The only regret was that we weren't able to go both days, and actually have the time to attend panels and stand in line for autographs. There's always next year, though! We're hoping to go to some others, as well. Anybody have any east coast convention suggestions?