Sunday, January 13, 2019

Happy Self-Promotion Sunday!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Self-Promotion Sunday! Before we begin, I wanted to let everyone know a major event coming up: a self-imposed hiatus. This will NOT be happening UNTIL MARCH! This is because I am coming to the end of my graduate program, and my comprehensive exam will be happening until about the 1st or 2nd of April. While I will do a few posts, there will be very little that will be new. This is going to become VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE! Honestly, this is like the culmination of 2 years worth of work, and I do not want to mess this up.

But in the meantime, I am starting to try and do a few more digital pieces, as well as pieces that do not require any sanding. It's too cold, people! I can't be outside sanding down pieces I have sculpted. So, custom sculptures are on a bit of hiatus as well.

Here's what I HAVE been working on. First up is a new digital piece, which will go up on the Fan Forge soon (hopefully to be picked up) as well as my Redbubble soon. A Kirin and Nirik piece, with a bit of yin-yang to it:

 Now, I am also working on some mini Bling Bag pieces, which will be turned into necklaces. These are some Wonderbolt and Shadowbolt Rainbow Dashes, which are just about done! I can't wait to see how these look when I make them into necklaces!

Also, just finished up this little commission, which looks really cute! First time in a while I have done any sort of traditional piece and I love it! It's super sparkly, not just cause of the gems, but I did use some metallic watercolor. This picture was the best I could get, but it really doesn't do it justice!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Fluttershy Friday, Ornament Style!

Hello and Happy Fluttershy Friday! I have a new Flutters to join the army, which brings me up to 115 total! Holy cow, this is becoming insane! I am hoping I am able to keep up with it all! So, first up, I got another blind bag Fluttershy, I think from the first wave:

Next, is another Fluttershy from a fast food store! Now, I honestly have never seen this one, but it was up for sale in one of my forums on FB. The seller said it was from a Burger King. Now, I honestly would not know, because I do not frequent BK. Never been a fan, and in all honestly, I've been slowly trying to cut down on the fast food in general. But apparently, it's true, as I found out here on MLP Merch. She's bigger than my McDonald's ones, as you can see from the second photo, and while I appreciate the show accuracy, I do wish she had some sort of brushable feature:

But, not every one of these is figurines! I had a Fluttershy ornament for a little while, which I didn't originally count as part of the 100, because it wasn't a toy, and I had solely been focused on toys or plushies, with the exception being one of my Flutterbats. So, I guess you can say I caved and got some of the other Flutter ornaments I had been missing out on.  I got the one on the right first, so middle and left are new for me:

That's all for today! Come back on Sunday to see if there's anything new for Self-Promotion Sunday!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Movie "Mule" Monday!

Welcome to Movie Review Monday! Not a lot seen lately, but I did get a chance to see "The Mule" so let's see what it was like!!!

"The Mule" (director: Clint Eastwood)


So, I caved and saw this with my boyfriend, because he has seen a lot of movies I wanted to lately (plus I have been bugging him about moving in), and based on the preview, I was a bit scared to check it out. The previews made it seem like it was very much your typical druggie movie. And yet, it was SOO far from that that I left feeling...confused.

For those of you who need a bit of background, Clint Eastwood (who both directed and starred in this movie) took a very true story and turned it into this movie. This movie was inspired by Leo Sharp, who REALLY WAS a mule for the Cartel! And the dude was 90-years-old! Eastwood plays Earl Stone, a seriously "set-in-his-ways" old man from the Korean War (thank you for your service), who has NO filter! Seriously, some of the things said were truly cringe worthy. No, seriously, even I was feeling uncomfortable! It's like when you have that really old relative who doesn't know right from wrong. Now granted, within all that cringe worthy dialogue, there was some good banter, so it wasn't completely terrible.

Eastwood's character basically is trying to make up for his ways on putting his work first before his family, and there were a few times I felt I could relate--and if you had any of that happen, you definitely felt it too. Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper's character is doing his best to try and do right by his family, in a way that sounds weirdly familiar to Eastwood's situation...and he ends up giving Cooper a warning to not follow in his shoes. But, he also does the same thing with Ignacio Serricchio, who plays Julio, Eastwood's initial handler. In fact, Serricchio and Eastwood start getting close before things go haywire.

In the end, my biggest complaint was twofold: that everything felt like it was building up towards something, and it didn't; and that Eastwood's character tried to start a relationship with Serricchio's character then tried to carry it over to Cooper's when Serricchio gets sucked back into the cartel. Is this a worthy movie to see? Sure, but wait to rent it. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Happy Self-Promotion Sunday!!!

Hello everyone and welcome to Self-Promotion Sunday!!! I hope everyone is having a good new year so far. I am hitting the point where I am probably going to take a short break from figurines for a while and focus more on a few digital pieces I have been wanting to do, especially since I have my graduate program reaching towards the finish line in the next few months. So I wanted to give everyone a heads up about that happening. In the meantime, I've got three new pieces to showcase, so how about we check them out?

First up, I am super happy with how this new Dr. Who figure came out! Maybe I should look into doing some mini Weeping Angles in the coming weeks. So, this is another new piece of artwork to my Dr. Who art repertoire:

Next up, thank GOD these are done! I have been in a love/hate relationship with these two! The Kirin Queen has been giving me nothing but issues with the tail, and Autumn Blaze has just been a bit of a pain by way of painting.

They will be up soon on Etsy! Come back tomorrow for my newest movie review!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Fluttershy Friday!!! Check out the Collection!

Welcome to an all new Fluttershy Friday! Sorry it's a bit late, just got back from seeing "The Mule" (check for the review on Monday!) I have a few new, smaller Flutters to add to the collection: 3 new blind bags, which to an extent, I am not sure why I never did a lot of the blind bags in the first place. Probably because many of them were pretty much the same, minus glitter or neon. So, now we have 108, 109, and 110! Check them out below.

So first up, here are the newest Flutters for the army!

Also, like I said, I did a bit of rearranging of the Flutters. Before, I had the Flutters like this:

With these two all by their lonesome!:

Now, I did a bit of rearranging. I put the sleeping Flutters up top, where there was a bit of room. My 100th Flutter is now with many of the other plushies, and Flutterbat by WhiteDove has a friend (it was too big to join the rest)!:

I am looking for more Flutters, so if you know of any that you think might be missing, please let me know!!! Come back on Sunday, and check out the latest pieces who are done!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Welcome to the New Year WIPW!

Welcome to the new year, everyone! It's the first Work In Progress Wednesday (WIPW) of 2019!!! Let's take a look at what's in the works, shall we?

So, let's start with a few basic projects. First up, I FINALLY figured out what to make this Flash Sentry into...10th Gen Doctor Who! My favorite! David Tennant was awesome in this role!

Next up, these are FINALLY in better shape than where they were some time ago: Autumn Blaze and the Kirin Queen, both of which have been giving me trouble on the tail. They finally worked out, though!

Next up, these blind bags were giving me trouble on what to make them into. I honestly hate getting some of the blind bag figurines, and now, finally, I figured out something to turn them into! This is where they are at right now:

I also got a commission recently! It's been a while since I've done a hand painted piece for a commission, so I am not counting when I made the hand painted cards for the MLP swaps I took part in. But this one is pretty elaborate! It's just waiting on a few more crystals to complete it:

Next up, here's a small sneak peak at some big projects I am working on: one will be personal, two will be for charity auctions (hopefully one will be for the last BronyCon!) All I can say is, these are definitely taking a lot of effort and time! So, who wants to guess what I am making?:

Come back on Friday for some new Fluttershys!!!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Mary, Mary, Aquaman and Cheney (Movie Monday New Year's Eve Edition!!)

We have quite a few movies to review this week! Let's get it started, shall we?

"Mary, Queen of Scots" (director: Josie Rourke)

I have always been a fan of movies about queens: "Elizabeth," "Elizabeth the Golden Age," "The Queen," you name it. So when I saw the previews for this movie, I was hyped. And I’m sorry I was. The film is meant to chronicle the 1569 conflict between the two cousin monarchs of the time, who both were trying to rule to the best of their ability, but were basically ruled by the men who surrounded them. However, the potential that this movie has to be majestic is unfortunately like Mary’s reign: curtailed at every turn.

Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots and Margot Robbie as her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, are both magnificent in their respective roles. Saoirse commands the screen as Mary Stuart, with a force and passion that I’m sure only another queen could understand, taking her mistakes in stride, insisting on what is rightfully hers, and showing a spine that her half-brother does not. Even Margot does justice to the portrayal of Elizabeth, the queen who decided to be married to her country, for what little time she is on the screen. However, it is the script that rules this movie and not in a good way: beautiful acting by the two leads is overshadowed by a script that seems half baked. The entire time is focused on trying to get Mary to come to heel to Elizabeth through means of marriage and control from her Protestant half-brother, all the while Mary tries to assert herself as the dominant monarch while trying to be respectful of her cousin. Honestly, the back and forth about who is in the right about who should rule over England and Scotland reminded me of quarrels between siblings over who got the last slice of cake, while indulgent nannies looked on in the form of the privy council members. I became bored to the point where I found myself thinking of the silly Saoirse song from SNL: “it’s Saoirse with an r not Saoirse with an...”

"Mary Poppins Returns" (director: Rob Marshall)

Mary is back! Well, sort of. This was probably not the best thing to go see after waking up at 4am and having no sleep the night before, but there was “no time like today” to go see it. 

This was a very “eh” movie, with the key mistake being trying to make everything feel like it was a counterpart to some other song from the original. Emily Blunt blows back into the lives of the Banks family as the one and only Mary Poppins (although many will agree that while she does a very good job, she had very little to work with by way of a script and she is no Julie Andrews). Lin Manuel, while a great writer of song and verse but not of speaking with a London accent, attempts to steal the show in a forced love story between him and the now grown up Jane Banks, who is helping grown up Michael deal with the aftermath of his wife’s death and the inevitable foreclosure of the family home. The romance never amounts to anything so there’s no point, as if the writers are trying to make something happen that was supposed to occur in the first movie. The ending feels very Deus ex machina, as Disney movies tend to do, the answer coming in on a kite in more ways than one.
The hand drawn graphics, meant to pay homage not just to Disney's heritage but what was revolutionary at the time of the original, now just feel underwhelming. The music numbers feel like they are trying to make up for lack of script that can’t make up its mind about which plot to follow, complete with lamp lighter number that is a mirror image of the chimney sweep number from the original. Overall, in trying to breathe new life to a classic, Disney should take a lesson from Mary and “leave when another door opens.”

"Aquaman" (director: James Wan)

We all know that Warner Brothers has struggled to keep up with the juggernaut that is Marvel/Disney when it comes to movies. In fact, there have been very few times have I even cared to see a DC movie in theaters, the last being "Wonder Woman," when it seemed DC may have actually done something RIGHT and then they screwed themselves by rushing "Justice League." And now we get another origin story in the form of "Aquaman," aka Arthur Curry, aka hot Jason Momoa, and just like "Wonder Woman," this does not disappoint.

The film starts with learning about how Arthur came to be, and Nicole Kidman kicking some SERIOUS ass! Then we get to the meat of the story—proving Arthur is the one true king, which honestly makes the whole thing feel like the legend of the sword in the stone. And after basically a treasure hunt and a random bad guy in the form of Black Manta (in the comics he’s one of the major foes of Aquaman), it might as well be. After pulling the sword from the stone—I mean trident from the hands of the first king of Atlantis, it’s back to stop his half-brother Orm from becoming Ocean Master (which honestly is a title I’d like to have). 

Unlike "Wonder Woman," which felt more gritty and faded in its cinematography (which is exactly what was called for), the visuals in "Aquaman" are bright and bold. You could almost call this the DC version of "Black Panther" when it comes to looks—"Black Panther" was stunning on land, "Aquaman" is stunning under the sea. There are some great one liners, and the acting of both Momoa and counterpart Amber Heard is fantastic, giving us the beginnings of their future as a couple. While I may not go back and see this movie twice more like I did with "Wonder Woman," "Aquaman" definitely has picked up some of the DC slack.

"Vice" (director: Adam McKay)

Christian Bale brings a surprise to the table for winter movies—playing former VP Dick Cheney in the new movie "Vice." To say that this movie is not thought provoking would be a gross miscalculation; indeed the director Adam McKay brings the same attitude to the film as he brought to "The Big Short," with little intervals throughout to help explain the things that the average person doesn’t know (my personal favorite being when Alfred Monila comes in as a waiter and explaining different ways to get around the torture laws). But this is a more somber note. And just like in "The Big Short," Bale delivers—this time, though, his performance (and transformation) are scary in the reality check they deliver to the viewing audience. Even the beginning of the movie warns us that “they did their f***ing best” in trying to show what VP Cheney did while in office. With Amy Adams backing him as Lynne Cheney, Bale powerhouses through the years that Cheney basically silently climbed up the politically ladder, becoming president in all but name, the perfect puppet master. And the hard part is that you start to WANT to have sympathy for him, especially when you hear his initial “line in concrete” on going against his younger daughter Mary’s lifestyle of being gay and then the ending monologue directed to the viewer where he defends his actions. And when you hear it laid out as he does, it’s only the cold reality of facts that show up afterward that make you ask the question: “Was this really for the good of the country?”

Steve Carrell is definitely a figure to watch in this movie as he portrays Don Rumsfeld, and while Sam Rockwell did not physically transform into former president Bush, the mannerism is still there, which makes him more believable. And make sure you stay for a bit after the initial credits! "Vice" is definitely not one to miss.

Happy Self-Promotion Sunday!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Self-Promotion Sunday! Before we begin, I wanted to let everyone know a major event coming up: a self-imposed hia...