Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oona Queen of the Fae Alter


Good morning, dear readers!  

I just need to set up my light box and then I'll start taking photos with it again.  It's been all packed up since I moved at the end of August, and I haven't gotten around to putting it together. :O I think I'll do that this morning.

In the meantime, here is an alter I finished yesterday:


She was really fun to paint! :D  There are several things that I want to change, but I had to say enough was enough, lest I work on it for a loooooong time.

Have a great day and hopefully I'll be back soon with better photos! :D

Toodleooooooo

-Ash

Friday, December 26, 2014

More MTG Alters

Good evening dear readers!

I'll have some more Lush reviews up soon but first I have to take some photos.  In the meantime, here are a few more alters I did on magic cards :D




Be back soon!

-Ash

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hello dear readers,

I hope that everyone has a safe, and happy Christmas! :D

The weather is really warm here right now (4 degrees Celsius and I live in Ottawa, Ontario), and we were having a thunderstorm! :O  So bizarre!  First thunderstorm I've ever experienced on Christmas Day.

Anyhoo, have a merry Christmas and I'll hopefully be back for more posts soon :D!

-Ash

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lush Northern Lights Bath Bomb Review

Good afternoon, lovelies!! :D

As the Christmas season is upon us and that glorious day is speeding towards ever closer, Lush has a plethora of wintertime goodies out to enjoy!

I think this year is a huge hit for them.  Not only do they have returning goodies like Rose Jam shower Gel and the ever classic Snow Fairy (in more than one incarnation!), but they have some new and wonderful innovations, like So White and Hot Toddy shower gels (the latter I will be reviewing soon!).

I hadn't had a chance to get to Lush in the longest time, but on Saturday I went on a trip to the not-so-local store to grab some gifts for some friends (one of whom is my best friend, my sister!).

It was a hectic day, as this Lush location is in a giant mall, and there were soooo many people all over the place.  I'm not the best in crowds, and I haven't been very well lately, but we soldered on and managed to snag some delightful finds.

My sister picked some things up for me as well, and the Northern Lights bath bomb was one of them.


This is such a lovely bath bomb!  The scent is a gorgeous floral aroma (jasmine and ylang-ylang), and the outside of the bath bomb is a lovely purple, studded with white stars.



Because we have a tendency to not want to wait until Christmas to give each other gifts, I got to use this now :D.  

Once in the water, it propels itself gently around the tub while spouting streams of gorgeous hues (purple, blue, yellow) and a few stars end up sprinkling the surface of the water.


I wish the camera on my phone let me take better photos.  This was more bright in person.


It looks like a face crab here from Half-Life! :D


Although my photos don't do it justice, the water turned a gorgeous purple.  It was softening on the skin, and although the bath bomb itself has a strong fragrance, it blended into the water and didn't become overpowering in the bathroom.

This made for a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing bath!  I would highly recommend this either as a treat for yourself, or as a gift to a loved one this season.

Take care and I'll be back with more Lush Christmas reviews soon!

-Ash

Monday, November 24, 2014

Doubling Season Alter

Good morning, lovelies!

A short while ago I worked on a Doubling Season for a friend, and here is how it turned out:


This was really fun to work on!  :D

My Doubling Season was in my Rhys edh deck, but then I decided to go mono-white token after the new commander sets came out, so it's now in my Sidisi zombie deck.  Muahahahah!

I hope you have a fantabulous day!

-Ash

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Busy Month of August, and then September, October, November...


Greetings, dear readers!

Sorry I've been gone so long; there have been a lot of things on my plate lately.

I planned on finishing this post back in August, but that didn't end up happening (and so the strange title of this post was created).

On the 5th of August I had my 29th birthday, and it was a seriously awesome day filled with serious awesomeness (seriously!). :D  A huge thank you to my family and friends!!!

I spent most of the afternoon at the game store I love to go to (a second home to me now), and I brought some rainbow cupcakes I made!

 (My hand looks REALLY red there for some reason :/)

However, these pale in comparison to the awesomeness of the cake I decorated for my Mom's birthday last month:


(Oh yeah!  Check out those awesome swirly-do's! XD)

On the 29th, I will be moving! :O  Dun dun duuuuuuuun!

My new place will be in town (right now I live in a very small community that basically has a corner store, a restaraunt, and a teeny-tiny library that is open only sometimes).  I'll be able to access everythinggggggg!!  I cannot drive, so this is a big draw for me.  I'll also be able to see my doctor more regularly, so that makes me happy! :D  I'll be quitting smoking and walking more, and generally trying to take better care of myself.  Huzzoo!!!

This week will include a lot of packing and organizing, which I am actually looking forward to!

I've also been working on more magic alters, but that has taken a back-seat more often than not due to health issues.

What else... OH!!!  I am FINALLY learning how to play D&D! :D

Check it!:


WOOHOOOOOO!!

I've been wanting to play D&D for a long time now.  I really like how they did version 5!

-----

Well sadly my bard never got far.  After moving, my stress levels have been all over the place, and I've been trying to cope with a lot of disassociation, paranoia, etc etc..  So I dropped out of my D&D group, but I hope to continue when I get better.  :)

I've been trying to keep up my altering projects, but that's gotten a lot more tough, especially when you are freaking out 98% of the time.

I've started some new meds and hopefully they will help out.  

I hope to post on here now often again, since it has been too long between posts!!

Take care and toodleooo!

-Ash

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Elesh Norn Alter

Good morning! :D

I hope that everyone is doing well.

Yesterday I was able to spend a few hours playing edh and tiny leaders with some friends, and while there I had the chance to take a few photos of an alter I did a couple of months ago:



YAY I finally have shots of it when it was finished!!  Woot!

In other awesome news, a friend of mine asked me if I had any plans for having more edh decks, and I replied that I was planning on making a Saffi Eriksdotter one (another friend altered a Saffi for me :D!!).  Well, for about ten minutes he was going through some cards, then handed me a stack of them.  I gave him the "questioning look" for a while, and then he mumbled "something about birthdays."  XD  EEEE! :'D  (My birthday is on tuesday, so he pretty much gave me most of an edh deck.)  I was doing the almost silent squeeing scream for a few minutes.  Gahhhh soooo much awesome!!

---

I also wanted to mention some information about the Tiny Leaders format, for those of you who haven't heard of it yet.

It is very similar to edh, but with a few differences:

-generally played one on one.

-your general (aka. 'tiny leader', and all other cards cannot have a converted mana cost over 3.  However, cards with X in their cost, like Entreat the Angels, will count X as 0.  Bwahahah!)

-50 card decks instead of 100

-25 life instead of 40

The rest of the rules are pretty much the same as edh.

Here is the official tiny leaders facebook group, and the tiny leaders blog.  Also, here is the tiny leaders subreddit.

It is a really fun format, and I really enjoy the challenge of building a solid deck with nothing costing over 3 mana.  I'm certainly no expert deck builder, but I do really enjoy it! :D

I really hope that this format sees more growth!!

---

I hope you have an awesome day! :D

Toodleooooooooo

-Ash



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Prime Speaker Zegana and M15 Pre-Release

Good morning!!

So!  This Friday I was able to attend my first MTG pre-release, and it was loads of fun.  I chose the white pack, and the promo card in it is Resolute Archangel:


The alternate art on this is gooooorgeous, and the word "snow" is in the flavour text, so I was all AHHH.  Not only that, but her effect is reeeallly nice.  That actually saved me in a round, because I allowed my opponent to smack my life total hard, and then I brought her out and reset it back to 20.  MUAHAHAHHA!!!

I didn't pull anything super amazing, but I do like the cards I got.  (One dude got 3(!!!) of the Souls...omg).

Unfortunately I am not that great of a magic player (YET!!  I have goals!), so I promptly lost after that (heheh).  But I still had a wonderful time with wonderful people, and my anxiety didn't act up too much, so that was fantastic.  I also wasn't trapped in a terrifying psychosis the whole night, so that was fantastic too.  Darn you mental illness ruining my fun!

I got home in the morning about 3 minutes to 10, so I finally fell asleep around half-past.  Ugh, I felt like I had a hangover for the rest of the day.  I am not as spry as I once was.  (It is amazing how the body changes in 10 short years!)

Today I have a commission to show that I did last week for someone, and it was really fun to do :D.



The client wanted Zegana to resemble to god cards that I paint, so I made her more space-y!!

Unfortunately my eyes (particularly the left one) have been having some issues lately, so I won't be painting as much as before until I get a chance to see my optometrist.  I also need new glasses.  *grumpy face*

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Toodleooooooo

-Ash

Thursday, July 10, 2014

More Space Lands!


Good evening, dear readers!

I've been painting a lot lately!!  Along with other types of cards, I've been trying to get more lands finished (and I hope to do more very soon!).

Here are some recent works:



I have a mountain land almost done but I need to put a few finishing touches on it.

There are sooo many cards that I want to paint, and I have so many ideas, but not enough time.  Grr!

Anyhoo, have a super awesome night!

-Ash

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another 4 Gods


Good morning, dear readers!

This morning I was able to finish another 4 god card alterations, and I like how they turned out (although I think Heliod's headgear could have looked a little less like horns... whoopsie!)


These take several hours to do each, but they are really fun to work on.

On another note, a lovely friend of mine came over yesterday to visit for the first time since she returned from Scotland.  She is so sweet; she bought me a souvenier unicorn mug (AW YEAH!!:D) and some amaaazing dark chocolate! :'D  In fact, I think I am going to go eat some right now! XD

I hope you have an awesome Wednesday, and toodleooOOOooOOoo!

-Ash :}

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Space Gods

Howdy do! :D

Whoopsie, it's been a bit since I last posted on here.

I've been pretty busy painting more commissions (YAY), which is serious fun, but a decent amount of work.

Recently I did a set of gods for a friend, and the last 4 I did were in a space-y style (similar to how Ephara looks in Ephara's Radiance, but honestly not intentional).  

It came about by my friend mentioning that he was hoping for a space-y background to Iroas (I love painting space stuff and this was right up my alley).  We were trying to think of ways to make it work, since Iroas' original art has him standing in the distance on a sunny day, so that adds a lot of diffusing to him and a completely different colour and light scheme than what would be necessary for a starry background.

So, I ended up darkening him, and adding more stars for the Nyx effect, and we both really liked how it turned out.  After that, I finished the other three gods in a similar style.

Here is how they turned out:


It was afterwards that I realised that it resembled the style of James Ryman's art on Ephara's Radiance (which is one of my favourite pieces!):


As you can see, James is LEAGUES ahead of me XD.  His work is beyond beautiful.  But sorry James, it truly wasn't intentional; I guess your awesome artwork stuck into my subconscious!

Right now I am working on another set of 4 gods, so I will post photos when I am done. :)

I hope to get better at painting space scenes, since our universe is truly beautiful and amazing!

Take care and toodleooooooooo!

-Ash ^_^

(Card names, characters, yadda yadda copywrite Wizards of the Coast.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Two Different Versions of Kruphix

Good afternoon, dear readers.

Recently I did two different Kruphix commissions.

I had a lot of fun with these!!  They forced me to work on landscape painting, which is something I need a LOT of practice with.

There are so many things I want to learn! I still stand by my opinion in the conversation I had with a couple of friends last week: it would be so cool to have the lifespan of an elf.  I wouldn't want to live forever on this world (no thanks, that is just too much!), but a few hundred years would be pretty sweet, and ample time to study more.

On to the alters!

Here is what Kruphix looks like normally:


And here are the two versions I worked on:


 
Sure there are things I would like to change, but I think that will be the case for every piece of art I do, ever XD.

The first alter I did was for someone who plays many formats of Magic, and so I needed to keep the card legal.

The second one is for someone who only plays elder dragon highlander, and so I could do whatever I wanted, covering the entire card.

Well, that is all for today, and I hope that you have a great one!

-Ash :}

(Names, logos, characters, etc., copywrite Wizards of the Coast.)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief Alter

Good afternoon!!

Here is another altered magic card that I painted, this time of Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief:


Here is what the card looks like normally:

(Names, characters, symbols, etc. copyrite Wizards of the Coast)

I wanted to keep her face looking similar to how it appears in the original (such gorgeous art!), but I also wanted to give her an oldschool rpg avatar look.

Here is another photo, of when I was still working on her:


The client wanted lots of blood, so I added that after.

I hope that you have a great weekend! :D

-Ash :}

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pharika Alteration - Extended Art


Good morning!
Another alter, this time of Pharika, God of Affliction:


And for reference, here is the original:

(Names, logos, characters, yadda yadda copyright Wizards of the Coast.)

She was really fun to paint.  I adore the colouring of the photo, especially the sky around her.  Unfortunately as one has to paint really thinly on the cards, it can compromise the structural integrity of the paint films, and a few spots of the sky lifted off as I was varnishing.  I was able to cover them up again, but I had to spend a bit re-mixing colours to match the areas.  

Seeing this now I would like to define the outline of the river, but what's done is done!

Toodleoo and have an amazing day!
-Ash :}

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Savra Alter

Good morning!

Just a quick post for today.

I have another alter I finished last week:

Savra, Queen of the Golgari.


For reference, here is what the card looked like to begin with:

(Characters, mana symbols, MTG etc. etc. copyright Wizards of the Coast)

She was fun to work on!! :D  

However, looking back at it now, I see that I would have liked to change the lanterns on the right, since they are not high enough!!  BLEARGH!!  Oh well, maybe I will steal her back one day and fix it up.  

I really hope to find some more tiny brushes, as they never seem quite small enough for what I want to do.  For some reason, almost all of the stores that sell them nearby have next to none in stock.  What the what!

Anyhoo, I hope that you are having a fantastic morning!

-Ash :}

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Basic Lands

Good morning, dear readers! :D

Recently I painted (acrylic) some basic lands for my edh deck, and I plan on doing many more.

Note: because of how much of the card is covered up, these are not legal in tournament play.  However, as I do not play in tournaments, I don't really care.  XD



The gold on there is a super-awesome gold leafing pen from Krylon, which I also used for some of the nail art I did in the past.  If you use it for nail art, be wary of top coat; you have to blob it on to not smudge the paint.

I think the pen retails for around $10 Can, and it really is so awesome to use.  I don't know what they use in it, but it really looks like gold leaf!

Have a super weekend! :D  (I'll be going to a Comic Con, wooo!!)

-Ash :}

Sunday, April 27, 2014

More MTG Altered Art

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I am back today with more Magic altered art.  :)

First off, may I share something?

I'm across the pond!!  WOOHOO!!

A huge thank you to Stuart Waddicor for the awesome mention in this awesome article!!! :D

Second, here are a couple more alters I worked on:



I hope you have an awesome day, and I'll be back with more paintings!

-Ashesela :}

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Altering MTG Cards

Good afternoon, dear readers! :D

Lately I have been pretty busy doing alteration artwork on Magic the Gathering cards.

Omg, it is SO FUN!!! :D

There are different options, ranging from adding small touches to the original artwork, extending the original artwork, and painting something completely new and original on the card.

Not only does this help me practice with painting, but it is really fun to customize cards (and it is a great way to make a few extra dollars or get cards from trading).

Here are some examples:

The Isochron Sceptre was one of my first alters, and so there is more messiness around the edges.
I really liked the original artwork and wanted to keep in line with that, but I wanted to change the colour scheme and a few other things:


The original is on the left, and my version is on the right.

This Whispersilk Cloak is also one of my first alters, and while I am not very skilled at painting fabric, I wanted to have fun with this card. I added some gold leaf to it as well:


As you can see these are both full alternate alterations.

An example of extended art that I did is this Karametra:


Here is a bigger photo of my alteration:


This is fantastic practice for me!!  Not only do I get to work on a small scale (I looove painting small!), but it is challanging for several reasons, it forces me to experiment with colour, and I end up painting things I never thought I would. :D

So if anyone is looking for a very rewarding and fun artsy hobby, I suggest giving this a try! :D

Have an amazing day, and I'll be back with more alters!!

-Ashesela

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Lush Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt Review (Lots of Photos!)

Good evening, dear readers!

I have another delicious Lush product up for review: the Golden Egg bath bomb melt!
(This was kindly sent to me for review :D).


(Yup, you read that right...it is a bath bomb and a bath melt all-in-one!)


Here is what Lush has to say about the Golden Egg:

"Creamy honey-toffee luxury

Your Easter egg hunt stops here! This spectacular new invention has combined a Bath Bomb and a Luxury Bath Melt to create (drumroll please…) the Bath Bomb Melt! The creamy, moisturizing cocoa butter exterior encases a fizzy Bath Bomb center, and the whole egg is dusted in a delicate golden luster. Even better? This new invention has the classic honey-toffee fragrance of our best-selling Honey I Washed The Kids soap. Wherever your Easter egg hunt begins, make sure it finishes with a Golden Egg bath!"

And here is the list of ingredients:
Sodium Bicarbonate , Citric Acid , Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao) , Laureth 4 , Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate) , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Fragrance , Sweet Wild Orange Oil (Citrus Dulcis) , Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia) ,Olive Oil (Olea europaea) , Cornflour (Zea mays) ,Lauryl Betaine , Amyl Cinnamal , Citronellol , Geraniol ,Lilial , *Linalool , *Limonene , Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides) , Yellow 5 Lake , Radiant Gold Lustre (Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides) , Gold Glimmer Lustre Golden Glitter (Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Iron Oxides, Silica)


First off, look at how beautiful this is!! :D

The is soooo sparkly!  But the sparkles are made out of mica (both iron oxides and synthetic fluorphlogopite, which is a synthetic material based on fluorine, silicate and aluminium), instead of the traditional glitters that many products use.  This means that it is much better for our environment as it is made from magnesium aluminium silicate sheets stuck together with potassium ions, vs. plastic (which never breaks down).

As this is a bath bomb within a bath melt, the outside of the egg is more soft and will melt if handled (so be careful!!).

This has a lovely Honey I Washed the Kids scent, but it is not at all overpowering when used in the bath.  :)

Time to watch it work!

 Zoom!
 Leaving a trail of sparkly goodness!

 The outer shell melting into the water.
 A pile of gorgeous golden/copper bliss!


 A few minutes in, and the bomb was still this big!! :O

 I love how there is a thin layer of foam over top.
 Lovely golden colour:

Wowee!!  This is a real beauty! :D

I asked my sister if she would like to try the Golden Egg out for me, and here are her thoughts:

Scent: Very lovely and not too strong; the classic sweet honey-toffee fragrance of Honey I Washed the Kids soap.

Water: Smooth (softened) and very sparkly.  While it shows some of the sparkles in the photos above, apparently there were so many more in the water, and they looked really beautiful! :D

Skin: Soft and moisturized, and not left with any greasy film.  Very slight HIWTK scent.

Other thoughts: when she came out of the bath, her skin had a lot of lovely mica scattered over it, and when she was telling me about her review in the kitchen, I could see the sparkles catching the light.

It looks really pretty, but do note that you will have a lot of mica on you, so if you are not a big fan of having a shimmer on your skin, you may want to give yourself an extra rinse or two with plain water before leaving the bath.

The time it took for the egg to vanish was around 10 minutes!!! :O  This is by far the longest I have ever seen a bath bomb/melt take to dissolve, so that is pretty awesome! :D

There was a lot of mica left in the bath after the water drained out, as our bath is very flat on the bottom and doesn't have a tilt to help facilitate drainage.  So, while the mica is easily washed away from the sides with water, it takes a bit for it to actually make it down the drain.  XD

She gives this two thumbs up (or a 10/10), and would definitely use it again!! :D

What are your thoughts on Lush's Easter collection this year?  I think that they have done a fantastic job, and I am really glad that I was able to try these awesome products out!! :D  I always look forward to their holiday collections, and seeing what they think up next.

Have a wonderful night!!

-Ashesela

Products I'm Really Enjoying Right Now

Good afternoon, dear readers! Today's post is about some of products that I've been enjoying lately!  Swatches (where applicable) ...