Friday, 11 October 2019

Alternative Alternate Birthflower Ponies

I've been working on this set on and off over the last year, and finally finished them this summer.  I quite like painting realistic flower symbols on ponies, so I thought this would be a fun project.

I looked at lists of birth flowers, because I thought it would be fun to also bring in a few different flowers from those Hasbro chose to use on the original Birthflower ponies.

These are all McD G3 Happy Meal ponies.  I went through my piles of these and picked out the ones with the nicest hair.  Their original symbols were removed and their new symbols and eyes painted on.  So without further ado, say hello to:
January - Carnation
February - Violet
March - Daffodil
April - Sweet Pea
May - Lily of the Valley
June - Rose
July - Water Lily
August - Poppy
September - Morning Glory
October - Cosmos
November - Chrysanthemum
December - Poinsettia


Friday, 27 September 2019

Space Maple

At this year's Canadian Extravaganza, I contributed two new Maple customs ponies to the Maple Army.  This blog, I'm introducing Space Maple.
Space Maple started out as a Core 7 Pinkie Pie, fully repainted.  It's been quite a while since I've made a space themed custom, but this one was specially requested.  Unlike my previous space themed ponies, I did not paint a specific nebula on her, rather I just freehanded her paint job.
Space Maple has one blue maple leaf-shaped nebula on her flank, and a space shuttle on her shoulder.  Naturally, the shuttle bay doors are open so you can see the Canadarm at work.
Her hair is Dollyhair Black Magick, with a streak of custom-dyed gradient hair (left over from previous custom Moonrise's mane).
I had wanted to add more maple leaves to her, either in extra nebulae or constellations, but when I tried I found it started to look a bit goofy.  That is why her Maple identity is a bit more subtle.  I do think she's quite pretty, however.


Friday, 13 September 2019

Paint Splatter Maple

At this year's Canadian Extravaganza, I contributed two new Maple customs ponies to the Maple Army.  This blog, I'm introducing Paint Splatter Maple.
This Maple started off as a Cotton Candy.  I painted her maple leaves with white glue, using a similar technique as was used on Rainbow Daydream (see previous post) - in fact, Maple was my tester pony for Rainbow Daydream.
I then painted the mulitcolour splatters all over Maple, highlighting the glue maple leaves, but also with plenty of splatters elsewhere (she's a true artist).  The glue was removed to show the leaf outlines and she was sealed.
Her hair is a combination of Dollyhair Water Nixie, Peaches and Cream, Electric Banana, Passionfruit, Bobby Blue, Sour Apple Martini, Sour Grapes, Bubblegum, and Pussycat, with braids in both mane and tail.

She's a cute, fun, simple custom and I quite like how she turned out.


Friday, 30 August 2019

Rainbow Daydream

Rainbow Daydream was my MLP Fair original custom contest entry for 2019, and also one of my favourite customs to date.  I tried a new technique with her, which was great fun, and which I'll definitely be using again.  I don't usually include a lot of progress pictures when I blog about my customs, but in this case I think it's worth doing.

Rainbow Daydream started life as a G3 Styling Rarity.  I started out by painting her face, neck, back, and down her legs white. Over this I painted the pastel rainbow colours that would become her symbols and sealing this paint job.  Then came the fun part: drawing on her symbols with white glue.
Yes, white glue.  Over the course of six sittings I painted glue symbols over all her pastel painted areas.  It took six sittings because a pony is not flat, and wet glue runs.
Once the glue symbols were finally done, I painted the rest of the pony a combination of dark blues and purples.  I had hoped that this darker gradient would be an interesting contrast to the pastel gradients, but a lot of the darker detail was lost behind the pastels.
Finally, I started carefully picking off the white glue to reveal her symbols.  This step alone took about three hours.  Eventually, all her symbols were revealed (and only two minor touch-ups needed!) and the whole paint job sealed.
Her hair was added as the last step, and I decided to do a yarn rehair on her.  This is the first time I've done a yarn rehair on a pony, but somehow it seemed like the correct choice for her look.  I combed out the yarn to give her a fluffier appearance (but not a perfume puff appearance).

I couldn't be happier with how she turned out, and with her second place finish at the Fair.  She received many compliments at the Fair and afterward as well.


Friday, 16 August 2019

Canadian Collectors Extravaganza - 2019 Edition

Just two weeks after this year's US MLP Fair was the Canadian pony con in Montreal.  Naturally, we headed off with the car full of ponies.
This was the second year of the con, and it has grown from last year.  Even though the weather took a turn for the wet midday, there were attendees arriving throughout the day.  There were also activities throughout the day, including bingo, paint-a-pony, guess the number of accessories in a jar, and trivia.
Some of the Paint-a-Pony entries
There were also treats including some beautiful cookies provided by one of the attendees, and a pizza lunch provided by the con staff.
Too pretty to eat!
We had great fun again this year, sold well, bought several things, and went home with the car slightly less full than when we'd arrived. My custom pony Moonrise won first prize in the Custom contest, and I also contributed two new Maple custom ponies to the Maple display (more on those later).
As a one-day con it was over far too quickly, but highly enjoyable (and there was a dinner afterward, to prolong the fun). I can't wait until next year.  You can find more pictures from the day here.


Sunday, 4 August 2019

MLP Fair 2019

Pony Fair!

This year the Fair was in Tampa, and for a change Roomy and I did something smart and flew down instead of driving for two days straight.  Although I'm not a great fan of flying, I'm glad we did, as it meant we actually had energy for the con.  And I managed not to overbuy, so we didn't have to ship anything home!
International Display (Spain and Macau)
Once again it was a fun filled weekend, full of friends, ponies, and interesting panels (and shopping!).  I particularly enjoyed the panel on Takara Ponies (which only made me want them more).  There was also a great international MLP display.  The always interesting Kirk Hindman and Stefanie Eskander, both toy designers for Hasbro (among others), gave some really interesting panels, as well as spending the better part of both days just chatting with collectors.
2nd place in Parade of Booths
Costume Contest Entries

All the contest entries really went above and beyond this year.  There were fewer entries than in past years, but the ones that were there were really phenomenal.  I was particularly fond of the Toys R Us themed booth decoration.  My custom entry Rainbow Daydream came away with a second place ribbon (more on her in an upcoming post).
Rainbow Daydream, 2nd place in Original Custom Category

Kirk talking with collectors

Amazing entries by Fire Helix, Roogna, and Soulcookies in the Handicraft Contest
Yes, the con was smaller again than its heyday a few years ago, but it had the feel of  some of the earlier cons, when the fandom was smaller (as it's again becoming) and nearly everyone knew each other.  I love the intimate feel of those days, and I enjoy having that experience again, provided that there are enough participants to keep the con afloat.  If you haven't been yet, try to go next year.  It's a great experience as well as a great way to meet other collectors in person.
Group Photo

More pictures can be found here.


Saturday, 20 July 2019

More con prep or, why didn't I do some of this earlier?

Next weekend is the MLP Fair in Tampa Bay, two weeks after that is the MLP Collector Extravaganza in Montreal.
That means that in a week I'll be in a room surrounded by two of my favourite things: friends and ponies.  And two weeks after that I'll be in another room surrounded by two of my favourite things: friends and ponies (and French!)

That also means that the next week is going to be filled with panic, and packing, and ponies (oh my!)
It's at this time of year that I always wonder "why didn't I do more of this earlier?"  It's not like I didn't know I was going to these cons back in...well last summer.  Why aren't my sales ponies organized and priced?  Why aren't my contest entries done?  Why did I think it was a good idea to work right up until the day before we leave?  (Answer to the last one: in April when I booked my vacation it seemed like a better idea to have more vacation during and after the cons to play with ponies than beforehand for prep.  Spoiler alert: that will seem like a great idea again as of Friday morning.)
We're also flying to the MLP Fair this year rather than driving.  This is nice because I won't be spending a week of my vacation driving there and back.  This is less nice because I don't have a car to fill with purchases (what?!?!) and will either have to fit everything into my luggage or mail it home.  This year I will be focusing on small purchases (I say this now...)  However Montreal is only a couple of hours away and, rest assured, we will be arriving with a VERY FULL car (should've gotten two tables...didn't), and probably leaving with a VERY FULL car (hopefully of new things).

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Gotta go.  Con prep.