Monday, January 30, 2012

Starlight Sculpture

Starlight is my pony OC (original character) and she graces the top of the blog for all to see. Starlight isn't my ponysona (a pony persona of myself) but she is the mascot of the blog so I figured it wouldn't be too long before I had some artwork made of her.

My friend HipsterDerpy (Eliza) has been making pony sculptures and her work has been on EquestriaDaily. She made me a lovely sculpture of Starlight last week and I've finally had a chance to sit down and photograph it.

The pony is painted a metallic blue I picked up on my trip to Ohio. And Starlight, being bigger than the G4 ponies watches over them from the top of the book case.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Everypony Project

I got an art table at Everfree! I have no idea how I'm getting there or who I'm staying with, but I've preregistered and I am guaranteed a table. If I'm lucky I might even get to sit next to the talented Starry Night and draw ponies for 3 days in a row.

Anyways to get me to tip top art shape, I'm going to draw ponies. A LOT of ponies. Something I have observed from watching other artists is that to see any real jump in improvement you need to draw almost, if not every day. Now, I think saying that I would draw every day might burn me out, but I'd like to draw more. So I've made a post on one of my pony forums saying I'm open for commissions and I'm going to work on a little project.

This is Cotton Candy. She is one of the first six my little ponies released by Hasbro in the 1980s. My goal is to draw each pony for as long as I can do the project without getting bored. In the end I hope to improve my art skills, and maybe I'll even have some pretty cool ATC cards to sell/trade at the convention.

Why am I starting with G1? Well, G4 ponies are released in "waves" as there isn't much of a defining "set theme" unlike G1 which had some unique pony sets released each year. I'm really interested in working with these sets, as they will all be different but have something to bring them together. That and I'm assuming g4 will be the highest in demand so if I draw them later my art skills will hopefully have improved!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blind Bags

Hasbro finally did something right!

I'm pretty sure I mentioned blind bag ponies earlier, but just to recap a blind bag pony is a small molded pony packaged in silver foil bag. Because the pony you are purchasing is unknown you are "blind" buying the pony. I actually really like the blind bag as it embraces the collectable aspect of ponies. The set comes with several different characters and special "sparkly" versions of some of the "mane" cast.

The annoying thing is that the blind bags have been available in places outside of the US for the last year and a half and every time I went into the toy store and saw a squinky or blind bag Disney figure I'd get more and more annoyed with Hasbro for not delivering the blind bag ponies.

Well this week there were several sightings of blind bag ponies in Walmarts across the US! Finally, finally we are getting the blind bags! Too bad I've stopped at 4 Walmarts and have not seen hide or hair of them.

To console myself I started customizing some of the ones I bought in the TRU (ToysRUs) BOGO sale. I've learned yellow is a really big pain in the butt to paint with. It has something with the pigments not dispersing well and requiring many layers for coverage.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Holiday Art

It's a little late in the season, but I have a story about the spirit of generosity that I would like to tell. Those who have been reading for a while have noticed that I participate in monthly ATC swaps on the MLParena hosted somepony named AmberMarie. Last month I thought it would be fun to send a PM (private message) to all of the participants except AmberMarie and ask them to draw an additional card and send it to her anonymously as a mysterious little thank you around the holidays.

The first 2 cards showed up and I was a little mad that people seem to have a hard time with the concept of anonymous. As a third and 4th card showed up AmberMarie had to deal with a sudden death in the family. I'm so glad that we, as a community were doing something nice when something really sad happened. I hope the little 3.5 x 2.5 pieces of art we sent brightened her day at a much needed time.

Even though the picture quality of these cards is less than what I would like (I didn't have a decent scanner so I took photos) I adore just looking at the yumyum I drew. She just seems extra special.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Autograph: Tara Strong

Today some brony friends and I went to Sacramento the meet Tara Strong, the voice of Twilight Sparkle on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. We were notified of the convention a few days ago and this weekend I sat and drew a Twilight Sparkle ATC that I wanted to have Tara autograph. I actually don't own any of the ATC cards I have drawn as I've always made them for others and sent them to their new owner so for me to draw art for myself was a new experience.

Sunday morning we left home around 8:30 for the trip to Sacramento. On our way we stopped at a few Walmarts and McDonald's in search of ponies. Sadly, none of the walmarts had blindbag ponies and one didn't have ponies or even any Hasbro products...

The drive was fun and easy but once at the convention and registered I noticed there was already a line for the autograph session that extended out the door. I was told there were over 400 people in line and it stretched from the autograph table out into the courtyard (cold and I was out there the better of 2.5 hours) and into the parking lot!
Finally, three hours later I got to see Tara, though I kept things very brief as there were so many people in line behind me.

I think this is the prize ATC in my collection at the moment. And you know what? I'm really proud of this one. I am almost happy with the background and I feel like the use of space is much more efficient than in my earlier ATCs. I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to meet another pony voice actor but I would like to eventually have a full set of the "mane" 6.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I love Wingers!

My very first pony I got as a child was a Summerwing pony named "High Flyer". I never liked the name and tweaked it so that she was a "he" named Firefly after the main character in the My Little Pony special. There is another set of butterfly-winged ponies called "Windywing ponies" but no one can ever keep the sets straight so they just get collectively called "wingers"

I love the butterfly-like wings these ponies have but they are some of the more expensive common ponies to replace, as the wings were often damaged. When I sold off all my ponies before moving to California, I kept this little guy as he is very special to me.
I've been considering looking for the other wingers, but with G4 around I feel like I don't want to be spending money like that.

Luckily for me zazzle released some "retro" pony designs right before Christmas and I saw this lovely winger binder. Ben was a sweetheart and got it for me for xmas/Hanukkah and now my pony ATC cards live inside the pony binder.I was a little worried about the quality as I don't exactly consider zazzle to have the best quality merchandise. (I worked in the printing business for over a year. I'm allowed to be picky!) Surprisingly the print looks really nice and I think the binder is worth the higher price tag considering it is covered with pony. My only gripe is that poor high flyer looks much pinker and girlier than I am used to imagining, though I don't think it is the print so much as the original box art. It's also made from a name brand binder and hopefully won't be falling apart on me.

Now I just need to do more swaps so I can get some more art to put in it.

PS. This is blog post# 50! This is about 45 more posts than I thought I would do, so a big thank you out there to everyone reading and commenting.

PPS. We're also pretty darn close to 5,000 views. I should do something special...

Monday, January 9, 2012


This post requires a little bit of background information. 1. I grew up on the shores of lake Erie. 2. My sense of geography leaves much to be desired.

My elementary school playground was actually just a guardrail and a cliff away from the lake. At that school there was a project the 5th graders worked on and displayed for the school each year. When asked the students all replied that they got their arts & crafts supplies from Pat Catan's. Well, to my untrained ear the words got smooshed together and I thought that there was another country in the middle of Lake Erie called "Pakitan". Eventually I figured out that Pat Catan's was actually just a rather large arts and crafts store a city away.

I miss Pat Catan's...

Okay, Berkeley has a Dick Blick and there is also a Michael's nearby, but I feel like neither have quite the selection of different art and craft supplies as my home store. Dick Blick seems to be geared more for a professional artist. A tube of paint there is $8 or so, and while I'm sure they are high quality acrylics half of the fun of customizing ponies is that there are so many fun and interesting color combinations.

Michael's carries the cheaper folk art brand paints that many customizers use, but I feel the prices there are not competitive. I bought a few colors to paint my G1>G4 Seashell pony, but I knew the prices were higher than they should be. The same brand in Ohio costs $1/tube for regular paints and $1.49 for metallics. Needless to say I stocked up on some art supplies when I was home visiting my parents.

Now to just start planning the ponies....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recording Session

A few days ago I made a little trip down to visit AppleCider and be a guest on the Bronyville podcast. I thought everypony might like to see a little bit of the behind the scenes.

Let's start out with a look at the equipment. I'm not going to pretend like I know what all of that stuff actually does, but we did a bunch of fiddling around and moving microphones in and such. Fashion Style (FS) Fluttershy came with me for some good luck.

In addition to being New Year's Eve it was also AppleCider's birthday so we had Indian takeout and StarryNight got him a surprise cake! As we were singing Happy Birthday one of the candles fell over and I was afraid it was going to fall and catch the carpet on fire. And for those listeners that were wondering he did blow out all of the candles in one go :)

And here is a picture of me, probably at the part where I was derping and not remembering the address of my own blog. HipsterDerpy's So Soft (SS) Paradise hopped up on the couch to provide some G1 love as well. AC & Chef Sandy did a very nice job of making me feel comfortable. I feel like it has been quite a while since I have laughed like that. One thing I wasn't expecting (and that I hope doesn't show up in the audio too much) is that I kept smacking my glasses into the microphone.

So yeah a big big thank you to Bronyville for having me on. It was a lot of fun and I hope somepony out there found it entertaining.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Price of Ponies

It was a very pony Christmas/Hanukkah for me. I was gifted Fashion Style (FS) Fluttershy, Ploomette, 2 pony t-shirts, a G1 binder for my ARC cards and a coloring book. After hearing about other fans that have parents that throw ponies away or kick their kids out of the house I suppose I am lucky that my family not only accepts my hobby but encourages it.

I feel like there has never been a time a pony for christmas would have been frowned upon. I remember asking Santa for ponies and getting ponies for Christmas as a little girl. I'm pretty sure I got some in 2003/2004 when the G3 line came out as well. However, I noticed something odd in the toy sections of all of the stores in Ohio...

Target, Toys R Us, and Kmart all had their basic ponies priced at $5.99! The Fashion style ponies were $14.99.

That's right. Ohio ponies cost MORE than California ponies. This is in a state where minimum wage is $7.25-7.40 (Small businesses pay $7.25).

I checked the price of ponies from Hasbro and they are at the standard $4.99. I don't think they hiked the prices right before the holidays either. It's weird because in the pony world we get so many mixed messages. Some members report ponies flying off the shelves and the sections being bare and other people say ponies are helping Hasbro make up losses from EasyBake Oven while other people say ponies aren't even a big deal to Hasbro and they get very little shelf space. If other states are selling at this higher price I wonder if it is hurting Hasbro sales? I'm sure there are multiple studies out there that show a parent will throw down $4.99 easier than $5.99. (I mean $4.99 is less than $5!)

Outside of the impact on Hasbro I wonder what the impact is on children receiving the toys for the holidays. Are parents shopping online and using the 20% off plus free shipping to score directly from Hasbro? Or are they simply buying fewer units due to cost? Or is there a difference at all?

All I know is as a collector and as someone who just loves the toys I hope to see them gain some footage in the toy section.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Trading Card List

4. Twilight Sparkle
5. Rarity x2
7. Sweetie Belle
9. Applebloom x2

Base Cards
3. Fluttershy
7. Spike
11. Scootaloo
12. Sweetie Belle
14. Shining Armor
15. Granny Smith
16. Cheerilee
20. The Cakes
22. The Wonderbolts
23. SS & DT
29. Golden & Lyra x2
34. Sea Serpent
36. Trixie
38. Winona
39. Opalescence
40. Angel
41. Gummy
42. Tank
43. Philomena
71. Iron Pony


Gold Cards