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-replac
e-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