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October Art Roundup: Cute Bats, Funny Monsters, & Wicked Beauties!

Friday, October 24, 2014

I hope you guys are ready for a LOT of amazing new geek art this month, because I, uh, kind of got carried away.  o.0


Let's kick things off with some Never Ending Story goodness:

 "Neverending" 8X12 print, $12

Those colors! YES.

I had a terrible time picking my favorites over at CocoMilla's Etsy store; there are WAY too many awesome choices:

Her watercolor prints start at $15 for 6X8 prints, and she has larger sizes available, too. Go see the rest; from Disney to gaming, she's got a little of everything!

Michael Banks of Suger Fueled makes adorably creepy big-eyed art, and even better, his ACEO prints are only $4!

He also has a huge selection of 8X12 prints for $12 each:

And since it IS October, how about this cutie from Sydey Hanson?
"Little Bat" 8X10 print, $12

Not quite as Halloweeny, but I'm totally smitten with Sydney's bumble bee:

"Bumblebee" 8X10 print, $12

D'awww. I'm actually terrified of anything that stings, but this guy I want to snuggle.

From Love Ashley Designs, a perfectly Wicked piece:
"Are You A Good Witch Or A Bad Witch?" 10X10 print, $25

Tempted to get this one for John, since he's forever singing "Popular." Which is hilarious.

Artist Wisesnail, aka Namecchan, has some amaaazing Guardians of the Galaxy prints:

WOW. And the 8X10s are only $15! (She has larger sizes, too.)

I'm also REALLY digging her Jim Moriarty:

7X10 print, $15

Love how the background looks like smokey flames!

Epbot reader Candace happens to be married to a Pixar animator, Victor Navone, and he generously donated this sweet Wall-E print for the give-away board:

The white surround is much larger than this, but that's all that would fit in my scanner. :) 

And speaking of the give-away board, here are some more of my new additions:

"I Am Who," by my buddy Charlie Thurston.
(You can buy it at the link for $10)

"Iron Giant Superman #1" by Matthew Waite

That's a mash-up of Iron Giant with the first Superman Comic, btw, which is brilliant if you know the movie.  Since Waite only sells at conventions, I picked this one up for the board. Check out the rest of his work over on DeviantArt or Tumblr.

From another of my good friends, Bianca Roman-Stumpff:


 (Groot is the new darling of Artist Alleys everywhere, and I am definitely not complaining.)

Most of Bianca's work still isn't available online (HINT HINT BIANCA), so she donated that one for the board!

She's also been churning out new Puff Monsters, which you *can* buy online through her Facebook page or sometimes her Etsy shop.

 The pumpkin one! Ah! And I ended up buying the blue & white one clapping in the middle.

Bianca also has a few prints available over on Society6, so you can check over there for more.

Remember Tampa Fanboy Expo, the convention last month where I fangirled over James Hance? Well, right next to him was Andrew "Drone" Cosson, and I FLIPPED over his baby Groot:

I've had this hanging in my office for over a month now, and I JUST NOW realized it looks like he's flipping us the bird. Which somehow makes him even cuter.

Andrew told me he'd just sold the companion Rocket Raccoon painting, and even worse, HE DIDN'T TAKE A PHOTO! Nooo!
So to console myself, I also bought these two original ink drawings from him:

Who else wants Andrew to make a Doctor Who coloring book now?

Andrew doesn't have a website or even an online portfolio, which is downright criminal. He directed me to his personal Facebook page, but I don't think he has everything there. I also can't believe he doesn't scan his original paintings to make prints! Arg! So Andrew, if you see this, please, GET THEE TO ETSY. Or Society6. Or DeviantArt. Or something.


Also at Tampa Fanboy, there was the delightful duo of Jennipho, who sculpts 3D sweetness like this:

... and Victoria, who paints & draws sweetness like this:

Her prints start at just $7!

John had to drag me away from their booth, since I kept going back to chat. They're both super friendly and uber talented, so definitely check out both sites!

And finally, since this is too perfect to show off right before Halloween, check out what John just got for his game room:


John says he either wants a picture of me in it, looking appropriately terrified, or a drawing of a uvula. I'm lobbying for the uvula.

The artist, Myrcury's Toybox, was at a local street show event here in Orlando last week, and we couldn't stop giggling over her tiny monster frames. Check out her Etsy shop for more, plus fun skull & monster eye hair clips, original art, and painted coffin boxes like these:

K, guys, that does it for this month's roundup! Now, you know the drill: comment below for a chance to win your choice of art from my Pinterest Art Give-Away Board! I'll ship anywhere, so international comments are welcome! (Last month I sent art to Africa and Australia. SO COOL. And expensive. But mostly cool.)

I'll announce my randomly-selected winner sometime next week. Happy commenting, everyone, and happy weekend!

Posted by Jen at 8:00 AM   |  454 comments  |   Labels: ,

How I Do Antiquing: Old Disney Toys!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some people go antiquing for the history or the treasure. I go for the toys.

Vintage Orange Bird & baby Donald!
Yes, they're filthy. But Donald is from 1984, was only a dollar, and c'mon, BABY DONALD. Orange Bird was $15, but he's kinda rare, and I love him. (I'm guessing he's also from the early 80s.)

Anyway, here's a quick tip: If you need to clean toys like Donald, which is soft & rubbery like a squeak toy, then grab one of these bad boys:

Yep, Magic Eraser works wonders at taking off old stains, crayon marks, and even pen ink from soft plastic. Check out the difference!

The blue pen line down the side of his face is completely gone!

Just be careful when scrubbing, since Magic Eraser *will* take the original paint off. It's basically a spongey form of sandpaper.

(And no, this isn't a sponsored post.)

Magic Eraser works well on harder surfaces, too, of course. Here's cleaned-up Orange Bird:

Did I mention he's a bank?

I'm debating touching up his paint, and possibly re-painting Donald all together. (Although those 80s pastels *are* kinda rockin'. Hee.)

I also picked up this tiny purse for $5, because the inside is ridiculously cool:

I'm a sucker for anything small with "hidden" compartments, and LOOK:

That circular screen pulls out to reveal a powder puff & powder compartment, and I guess the other sections were for lipstick and... money? Maybe? They're both suuuper tiny; the lipstick compartment is about 3/4 of the size of a Chapstick tube.

And THEN, there's another section under the mirror!


It doesn't look like the purse was ever used, but the exterior suede/velvet was crumbling off in my hands. I'm hoping to redo the whole thing, maybe make it usable for a steampunk outfit or something. [brain storming]

And finally, our big splurge: $30 for this amaaazing "Baseball Clock" that sold at the World's Fair during the 1930s:

Fun, right? I've never seen another clock like it! (It winds in the back.)

If you're ever looking for good/cheap antiquing here in central Florida, check out the Orange Tree Antique Mall (my favorite), or the Flea Market and outside areas at Renningers in Mt. Dora. (The inside vendors are too pricey for me, but it's still fun to look.)

Oh, and speaking of funky clocks, stay tuned....

'Cuz I'm working on one last Halloween thing. 

[evil grin]

Posted by Jen at 12:18 AM   |  28 comments  |   Labels: ,

A New Book Review? As You Wish!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Last week my sister-in-law surprised me with Cary Elwes' new Princess Bride memoir, As You Wish, and I zipped through it in 2 nights.

I've been looking forward to this read since I first heard about it months ago, so I was positively giddy cracking open the first page. I LOVE behind-the-scenes stories already, but throw in stories from one of my favorite movies of all time? SOLD!

Ok, so, let's start with the obvious: if you're as big a fan of The Princess Bride as I am, you're going to buy this book. And really, if you're that uber fan, you absolutely should.

For everyone else, though? Who may only have a passing interest in a movie they certainly like, but don't, say, quote daily & maybe even have "As You Wish" inscribed in a spouse's wedding ring? (WHAT.)

Well... for those folks, maybe not.

Don't get me wrong; there are some delightful tidbits in Elwes' book, stories that make the movie that much more magical in my eyes - but those tidbits are few and far between. Much of the book's 270 pages feels like filler, as Elwes gushes about how wonderful his co-stars are, how brilliant the director Rob Reiner is, and how blessed overall he feels to have been a part of this movie.

I'm relieved this isn't some grimy tell-all, of course, but after two hundred pages of everyone being wonderful and amazing, but very few personal stories to go along with all the gushing, you start to wonder if you're getting the whole truth. Or maybe we are getting the truth, but Elwes just didn't have enough material to properly fill out the book. Realistically, I think the "good stuff" could have been condensed down to 50 pages, and not felt rushed.

For example, Elwes spends 4 or 5 pages detailing the entire plot of The Princess Bride. Not just reminding us what happens in case it's been a while; actually explaining it as if we've never seen the movie... but still chose to read a book about it. (Ohhh... kaaaaay....)

I'm sad to say that, even as short as the book is, I ended up skimming several sections. Elwes drags out even the most interesting stories - trying to milk them for all their worth, I guess - and even then, I didn't feel like I was really getting an insider's scoop. It all felt a little too sanitized, too diplomatic, like he didn't want to reveal anything too interesting for fear of offending his co-stars. (There's a vague reference to Mandy Patinkin's competitive streak during fencing training, but no examples or details.)

In fact, the most interesting stories revolve around Andre the Giant, and I can't help but wonder if Elwes felt more free sharing those because Andre is no longer with us. (Or maybe because those stories are already so well-known?)

On the plus side, sprinkled throughout the book are quotes from the rest of the cast and crew, often recounting their own memories of the same events. Those breaks help give Elwes' memoir a more well-rounded feel, and while there were no big revelations, it was still a nice addition.

That's my spoiler-free review, but now, as a reward, I'm going to tell you a few of my favorite things I learned. Some (all?) of these were already on the internet, so it's possible they won't be spoilers at all! Still, if you'd rather wait and get your movie trivia from the book, then STOP HERE.

Ok, my #1 go-to trivia for the next time I need a good ice-breaker - because I go to at least one or two parties a year and hey, IT COULD HAPPEN - In this scene:

The one where Count Rugen hits Westley over the head with his sword? The scene used in the movie shows Christopher Guest (as Count Rugen) actually knocking Elwes unconscious.

Elwes woke up later in the ER, as they were stitching up his head. In Guest's defense, they didn't have a prop sword, so the heavy metal handle came down harder than he intended, plus Elwes *told* him to just go ahead and hit him.

And in this scene:


Watch how Westley gets up; see how he favors one leg? That's because Elwes had just broken his big toe riding Andre the Giant's 4-wheel ATV - I think the same day, even - and was in a huge amount of pain. 

Those are the only two injuries Elwes sustained the whole movie, and I guess it says something about me that I find those the most interesting. :D
On the funny side, for the scenes with Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, Elwes spoiled so many takes by laughing that they had to replace him for most of it with a prop dummy on the table:

Again, to be fair, *everyone* was spoiling takes by laughing, including the director. The only injury Mandy Patinkin received during the whole shoot was during this scene; he bruised a rib, trying to hold in his laughter. Ha!

And finally, the sweetest revelation for me:

Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) was terrified of heights, and though all the long shots in this scene were done with stuntmen, the close-ups were done on a 30-foot tall fake cliff set. He was apparently so distraught that they physically tied him to Andre, who told Shawn, "Don't worry, I'll take care of you." (FEELZ!!) After that, Shawn was able to do the scene.

There were a few other really fascinating bits about Shawn, but I'll leave those for the book.

So, what'd you think, guys? Any favorite parts I missed? Or did you already know all these from various BuzzFeed articles? :D ([shaking fist at sky] Curse you, Buzzfeeeeed!)

Posted by Jen at 3:44 PM   |  23 comments  |   Labels:

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