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Happy Belated Birthday, musicbitch! 
3rd-Jul-2009 06:23 pm
Late birthday greetings are late. *facepalm* I so wanted to be on time for once, but it was my weekly checkup day at the hospital yesterday and it got prolonged (as per usual) and when I finally got home I was so wiped out that I could barely tell my ass from my elbow. I just couldn't function. At all. And so I ended up being late with this post, and it sucks and I apologize for it.

Anyway. Happy belated birthday, Tammy! I hope you had a wonderful day filled with things that make you smile! *gives you a big-ass birthday hug*

I don't think I'll ever forget the day we spoke for the first time. You'd left me an absolutely lovely comment in which, amongst other things, you asked me if I could make a story banner for your fic Teardrops On My Guitar. It was such a huge OMGOMGOMG -moment for me. I was doing my wildest happydance, excited out of my head, and being absolutely terrified all at the same time. I kept reading your comment over and over again thinking: "This isn't real, this isn't real. It can't be, right? RIGHT?! Omg, I think it's real! Omgomg! Breathe, woman! BREATHE!" Lol. It was brilliant! You truly lit a fire under my ass by challenging me to venture outside my comfort zone! And it was a humongous honor to me, no question. Fanfic writers such as yourself have been my heroes for such a long time - I've always looked up to you and still do - and, for me, being asked to make a story art for a fic was and is the most ultimate compliment out there as far as fanart-making is concerned.

Since that unforgettable first encounter, I've come to learn that not only are you an awesome writer, but also a multitalented artist. It's absolutely mind-blowing, how you seem to be able to take any medium you want and make it your own. I mean, I can barely manage manipping while you make manips AND icons AND fanvids AND banners AND mood themes AND I'm probably forgetting something really important here, and it's a frickin' drop-jaw-gather-it-from-the-floor-replace-it-repeat festival around here every time I visit your journal. It's, like, you can do this, too!? Jfc! *is in awe of you*

And last but not least, you've been a wonderful friend to me. You've been there for me as I've struggled with my insecurities as a manipper, and you've been there for me as I've struggled with my RL issues. It's a blessing to have a person like you in my life, and I am honored to be able to call you a friend. You're wonderful and awesome and talented and you have a heart of gold, and I'm just so happy we've met! *hugs you tight*

I also have a wee gift for you. A Spuffy shaped one. Yup, I haz made a manip. And weirdly enough it turned out all lighthearted and playful and stuff nevermind that I've been feeling rather blue of late. But I did want to make a happy manip for you. That was my goal. Now I can only hope that there's a little bit of bite in it, too, on the side of the cottoncandiness. ;)

Btw, have I ever moaned about the insufferable hardness of manipping? I have? Several dozen times? Damn! Still, it's true. Manipping is so damn hard! One would think it cannot be that hard to blend one persons head to someone else's body, but it bloody is! And it only seems to get harder with time. I don't know if it's more a case of me getting more and more critical about my own stuff or my skills getting all rusty (or both), but I still feel as if I sucked like never before. Plus there's something wrong with my eyes. I just noticed it while making this manip. I can't make them focus properly. It's very annoying, slightly scary and hopefully temporary. Also, I almost died while trying to get the coloring work. I tried, like, a million different things on two different graphics programs, but nothing worked. The version you can see below is the only one that I could come up with that didn't make our heroes look as if they were suffering from a rather severe looking skin condition. *snorts* It's still not...well, it is what it is, and it's the thought that counts, right? And the thought was that I ♥ you and wanted to make you something pretty for your birthday. Hope you like it. :)

Click on the thumbnails to see them in full size. The one on the left still has its original background intact and the one on the right, er, hasn't.

The original manip without the color-craziness can be found here.

cake & candles [caleb]
3rd-Jul-2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, you are the most awesomest person ever! Is that a word? Well, it is now...lol! Those manips are utterly gorgeous, I can't get over how perfect they are, you are definitely not losing your touch. Thank you so much, and honestly, don't even worry about being a day late, I'm just honored that you were able to do this at all. Thanks muchly for the pretties and your kind words, which were seriously about to make me cry. *much love and big squishy hugs*
3rd-Jul-2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Awwwwww, you! *hugs you tight and refuses to let go* You're just so wonderful! You are the awesomest ever, I swear. ♥

This comment of yours totally made my day. It also made me all teary-eyed, but in a good way. And it made me smile through those tears and feel both utterly happy and extremely grateful to be alive. :')

I'm absolutely delighted to hear you like the manips! That's what really matters, after all. I was awfully anxious about posting them - hell, I still feel like I have no way to determine myself if they really work or really, really don't - but I trust your judgment, take your word for it and lose my anxiety and feel almost embarrassingly happy instead. Yay, yay, yayness! :D *high fives the air, squees out loud and smiles like a never before*

Thank you so very much for your kind, beautiful words! Thank you thank you thank you! You are amazing and wonderful and indeed the awesomest ever! *hearts you fiercely*
3rd-Jul-2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Hei sinä! Feeling better, or still drained?
You did good with the manip, as if you ever did bad...
I actually like the original manip the best, it´s the most natural. But if you like more sazzle, the one with crazy color backround is the best choise.
Please, remember NOT to push yourself with my header if you feel you´re not up for it, OK?
Love, Iina
3rd-Jul-2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Heippa hei! ;D

I'm still rather drained, to be honest. Then again, when aren't I. This is what my life is now, I guess. Being either drained or utterly drained. It's like just being alive, just living and breathing in this body of mine, has turned into an extreme sport of some sort. Add to that any other additional activity like spending the day at the hospital or whatever, and I'll end up feeling as if I'd been run over by a truck. Blah. :/

As for the manip, thank you so much - I'm delighted to hear you like it! Oh, you prefer the original one? Cool! I've actually only recently come to realize that there are people who like the uncolored and unpolished versions the best. That's why I've started to post the original manips on the side of the finished artworks (or whatever you want to call 'em), if possible. I love wild and sort of unconventional colors myself, but since it's not everyone's cup of tea and since I always try and make the original manip as "natural" looking as possible (skintone-wise and such) before I start seriously messing around with the colors, it kinda really makes sense to post the original ones, too. Even if the washed out, often brownish colors make me wrinkle my nose a bit. Like I said, I'm color-crazy. ;)

Aw, thanks for always being so considerate. I'm actually feeling (cautiously) optimistic about your header at the moment even though it still only exists inside of my head. I mean, I'm excited about the idea of making it, but I have to try and remember that my condition doesn't always allow me to do stuff no matter how much I wanted to. Nevertheless, there's still time and I really, really hope that I'll be able to make it happen. But I will not push myself too far because of it - cross my heart. *huggles*
(Deleted comment)
4th-Jul-2009 12:04 am (UTC)
Awww, you wonderful you! I've missed you! *hugs you tight*

I'm absolutely delighted to hear you think the manip turned out alright! Woohoo! :D *does the happydance of the mental kind*
Thank you so much for the kind words - they mean a great, great deal to me especially coming from you. I mean, I'm a big fan of yours. And damn proud of it, too! *g*

As for how I'm doing, everything is pretty much the same. My condition hasn't really changed, which could be taken as a good sign, I guess. I mean, at least I'm not getting worse (if not better either) in leaps anymore. I'm taking one day at a time, waiting and hoping for something to change. I feel so ready to take on whatever it is that'll come next. I know that the signs are not good and I know that I'm slowly but surely growing weaker as the time passes, but I still have bucket-fulls of hope left in my heart. In fact, I don't think I ever been quite as determined to make it through as I am now. So yeah, here I am, still hanging on. ;)

Oh, and your icon is totally made of awesome! ♥
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