It seems that I’ve been away from the blog for so long that it has become infested with ghosts…pony-ghosts, no less!
As fitting as this may be for the day after Halloween, I really don’t think it is quite the right thing for a My Little Pony themed blog.
Luckily for me, comic artist/writer Tristan Jones sent the Ghostbusters around and they sent those pesky pony phantoms packing!
Ironically, I am actually breaking my long absence from the blog in order to inform you that I will be absent for a little while longer…sorry about that! I am currently taking part in NaNoWriMo and most of my free time will be taking up writing (technically I shouldn’t even be taking the time to make this post, but shhh…I won’t tell if you don’t!
See you all in December…or earlier if I give up on this crazy project!
Disclaimer: Fizzy and Sparkler were the very obliging models for the pony phantoms portrayed. No ponies passed on or were otherwise harmed in the making of this piece.
I’ve been off work for most of the week with a nasty headcold and have spent most of the time sleeping or lying on the couch staring blankly at the walls. I did, however, want to try and do something that was in some way inspired by Boogle the pony, an original character created by Bethany Van Scott, who I recently interviewed.
I kept thinking of Boogle’s clown-like attributes, and how I wanted to focus on these…but how? I am a big fan of Stephen King’s “It”, but I had only recently read the novel and watched the film, and as great as they were I was not really in the mood to revisit these again just yet. Thinking about “It” did, however, lead me to thinking of another creepy clown that I love, Mr Jelly from the BBC series “Psychoville”.
In particular, I remembered a particular scene in “Psychoville”, in which Mr. Jelly explained to his rival (and former surgeon) Mr. Jolly. about the tradition among clowns of registering one’s makeup by painting it on an egg.
I decided that making a Boogle-egg would be the perfect sick-day activity. Instead of basing the makeup on Boogle the pony, however, I based it on various photos Bethany has posted of herself in clown makeup very similar to her pony-sona.
It is likely that I could have done a slightly better job if I weren’t ill…and if I had a white egg rather than a brown one to start with…but I’m still pretty happy with the results. What do you guys think?
If you’re interested in learning more about the clown eggs, there’s an interesting and informative article on the National Clown Week website.
To see Bethany’s work, including images of Boogle (in both her pony and penanggalan/doll form), you can find her via her DeviantART page.
And now it’s back to bed for me…but not before I have another hot lemon drink.
It’s time for another interview and this time around my subject is the ever-delightful Bethany Van Scott! Bethany, known variously online as Penanggalan, Boogle, Vera, Bogmonster etc. is a Freelance artist living and working on the east coast of Florida. I’ve been a fan of Bethany’s vibrant, engaging and often haunting art for years now, and learning that she was a fellow admirer of My Little Ponies only increased my interest in Bethany and her work, and I could not have been more excited when she agreed to take part in this interview.
So please, join me as Bethany shares her own personal journey of ponies, art, dolls and monsters.
…wait, what was that last one?
When and how did you first become interested in My Little Ponies?
I remember playing with ponies as early as age 4, but they’ve been “around” me all my life. My Aunt bought me a plush Bowtie the day before I was born and put it in my crib to come home to. I still have her 🙂 You could say my cousin is who kept me interested, as we’d play ponies in the back room of her grandma’s house all the time.
Who is your favourite pony and why?
Sweet Stuff. I always loved her in the movie and episodes, she was so… well, sweet! And the pony itself has such pleasing colors.
What would you be like if you were a My Little Pony?
I do in fact have a pony persona, though she’s just the alternate version of my ball-jointed clown doll, Boogle.
She’s bubbly, adventurous and sweet, and I imagine she would be one of the most quirky and strange additions to the MLP herd. Her markings are KittyMonster’s eyes, a plush I made a long time ago that is very near and dear to me and one of Boogle’s closest friends.
Apart from My Little Ponies, who or what is your favourite fictional equine?
Starlight from Rainbow Brite would be up there!
What is your favourite generation of My Little Pony? What do you think of the other generations?
>1980’s. The others are good, but the originals are the most special to me.
Do you collect My Little Pony toys or other merchandise?
I have about 400 of the 80’s ponies, many of which are from my childhood. I also like a lot of the merchandise from that era.
Do you collect or covet any other toys?
I collect tons of other toys and have a lot from each that I’m missing/wanting! Mostly other 80’s girly toys like Yum Yums and Hooks, but also some newer toys such as Jurassic Park and Trash Pack.
Do you keep any of your childhood toys in your room/house now? What about new toys?
I have them scattered all around my house, but most of my pony collection is in my (very suitably pink) living room 🙂
Have you seen the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” cartoon and, if so, what do you think of it?
My boyfriend and I love it! I love the 80’s cartoons, but the newer one is a bit more gripping and well-written.
Your art strikes me as a mixture of the conventionally cute (ponies, fuzzy animals, girls etc.) and things which many people would consider creepy or “weird” (monsters, eyeballs, clowns etc.). What is your response to people who say that this combination is strange or jarring?
I’ve never actually had anyone describe it as jarring; only interesting or cool, which I appreciate. I have never been the type of person who easily fits in one genre or another; I like a vast number of things and very little creeps me out. I find beauty in and am fascinated by many things that people think negatively of, usually out of taboo or ingrained reasons. I always try to redefine the misunderstood and get people to see the alternate side of the things that disturb them.
What are the best and worst parts to you about being an artist?
Not sure how to answer this one… it’s hard to find a “bad side” to being an artist, since it’s my livelihood and something I enjoy immensely. I get frustrated with it a lot and feel stuck sometimes as I try to improve, but that’s every artist, I think.
I love monsters, but I had never heard of the Penanggalan before. Where do you do you go to learn so much about monsters and myths?
I read a lot about mythical creatures and one of my favorites are yokai/Japanese monsters and ghosts. I discovered the penanggalan years ago when reading about yokai as it’s frequently mentioned alongside yokai myths. It’s also easy to get trapped in wikipedia going from article to article and site to site.
I hear you have some rather unusual pets. Care to tell us about them?
I think most of my pets are pretty common, but then I am used to associating with all the communities for invertebrate/reptile enthusiasts, so to me, they seem common. I keep a variety of roaches in particular as they’re one of those misunderstood creatures as aforementioned. I think one of the best ways to really understand something is to study it yourself, and I’ve learned so much about them since keeping them. The vast majority of cockroaches are not at all like the ones that invade our homes. They vary greatly from species to species, and their biology is fascinating. They’ve helped people & the environment far more than they’ve hurt them, by being pollinators, helping farms by eating worse pests, providing nutrition to insect-eating creatures, and helping break down leaf litter on the ground. They even inspired a far superior artificial heart for humans.
Your various online galleries have lots of pictures of your clown character, Boogle, and even some of you in clown makeup. Have you ever performed as a clown?
I’m far too shy to perform as a clown, and I can just barely juggle and make some balloon animals thus far. I would like to start out by performing with puppets and perhaps work my way up to being comfortable in front of a group of people one day. I love to make people laugh and am pretty much an every-day clown, just not always in grease paint. : o )
If you want to see more of Bethany, her art and her collections, you can find her online at any of the following links:
– Tumblr: penanggalan.tumblr.com
– deviantART: penanggalan.deviantart.com
– Nabyn: penanggalan.nabyn.com
Every year the suburb of Belgrave holds a Lantern Parade to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This year some friends of mine who live in the are invited me to come out to visit then and stay to enjoy the festival…I naturally assumed that Firefly was included in the invite.
The parade was wonderful. Community members of all ages turned up in full force to warm hearts and light up the night with an impressive array of home-made lanterns. There were lanterns of all shapes, sizes an colours, from tin cans with shapes cut out of them and plastic bottles covered in crepe paper to an almost-life-sized viking ship (complete with child-vikings wearing light-up helmets) and a better-than-life-sized dalek…all glowing merrily in the winter evening.
It wasn’t just lanterns, either! The evening was full of fire twirlers and music…I did feel a little sorry for the belly-dancers, though, given how cold it was.
I intended to take lots of photos of the trip, only to discover when I arrived that:
A) I had forgotten my camera; and
B) I have no idea how to take effective photos of lights during the dark (Do you have any tips, readers? They would be greatly appreciated!)
Luckily I was able to find this picture of the Viking Ship Lantern online, courtesy of Yewenyi
I did manage to get one photo of Firefly with a lantern…
We all spent the rest of the night eating pizza and playing a quick, six hour game of Talisman. Talisman is a fantasy-themed board-game, which takes a notoriously long time to play, especially when you have six people playing, as we did. As it happened, after six hours of playing, with only a brief break to watch Black Caviar win her latest race, we didn’t get anywhere near finishing the game…
… although Baby Firefly was convinced she deserved the Crown of Power.
That’s all from me for now, but stay tuned! I have a very special post planned for tomorrow…
As I stated earlier, my boyfriend and I recently celebrated our five year anniversary. Evan may just have outdone himself this year in showing how sweet and thoughtful he is as a partner. Not only did he buy me a harmonica (I don’t play, but for years I’ve been saying that I’d love to learn), but he also made me this…
…Yep. That’s a hand-carved My Little Pony. How cute is it! Evan even carved the year and our initials on the base of of its hooves. This little fellow is roughly the size of a G1 Baby pony and was modeled after Baby Surprise. I have named him Baby Splinters.
In terms of going out to celebrate our anniversary we decided not to make any big plans. Our anniversary itself fell on a week night (right in the middle of the week, in fact!) and we had other plans for the following weekend, so we decided to have a quiet evening at home…or, at least, that’s what I thought we decided!
When I got home from work on the day of our anniversary Evan already had dinner ready for me. He then informed me that I had half an hour to eat the dinner before we “went out”. Despite my repeated inquiries and general poking in the ribs, Evan refused to tell me where we were going. He then proceeded to lead me on a baffling journey via tram and train until we finally wound up at The ABC television studios to watch the filming of Shaun Micallef’s new show, “Mad as Hell”!
I could not have been more surprised and delighted! I never really saw much of Shaun Micallef’s material before I started going out with Evan, but now we’re both huge fans. The best part of the night? Before the show Shaun Micallef actually wished Evan and I a happy anniversary!
Because we ended up having such a busy time on our anniversary and the weekend that followed it, this weekend just gone just stayed home and chilled out. I decided to relax in true, Heart Throb style with a long, frothy bubble bath.
Don’t mind the blood-red bubble bath mix! That was the result of my failed attempt to make a pink bath after reading a tutorial online. I was joined in my ablutions by this little fellow… a tiny rubber swan that I brought mack from my stay at the Langham in Hong Kong.
It’s been about a week since I returned from Hong Kong and is probably about time I posted some holiday snaps.
Unfortunately at least half of the photos are actually on my mother’s camera so I won’t be able to post them now. I’ll be visiting her in a couple of weeks, though, so I may update this post then with some more pics.
I was so excited about the holiday that I couldn’t sleep well for the last three nights before we left! On top of that our departure flight was so early that we had to be at the airport at 5am.
Even though I was ridiculously tired I think you can tell from the photo that I’m really excited. I kept trying to be calm and sensible but I couldn’t get over the fact that I was actually waiting for my very first overseas flight.
Bouquet was a lot more composed than I 😉
Getting my stamp at customs made the whole situation feel a bit more real to me.
It was at this point that I realised Bouquet already had her own Hong Kong stamp.
Our flight arrived in the late afternoon and it was early evening when we arrived at our hotel. I fell in love with the place as soon as I walked in the door. We stayed at the Langham and as soon as we walked in to that opulent foyer I literally whimpered. I’d never been to a 5 star hotel before and first impressions exceeded my expectations.
My mother and I were both pretty tired from our flight (and the lack of sleep the previous night) and we really didn’t feel up to going out so we decided to just get room service. Just something simple. A hamburger for me and a club sandwich for Mum…
The fanciest burger and sandwich I had ever seen. With coke in glass bottles served with lemon wedges. And free desserts. On a silver tray. Adorned with fresh orchids. :-O
All the food at the hotel was wonderful. As part of the package be bought we had breakfast included every day in the sumptuous Palm Court lounge area. Breakfast was a buffet of almost every type of breakfast food you could imagine…and then some! I think I had these barbeque pork buns almost every day.
My favourite part of the whole trip was simply looking around. Hong Kong was unlike anything I had experienced – the crowds, the signage, the huge buildings, the harbour views. There was so much competing for my attention that I often forgot to actually stop staring and take a photo! I did manage to take a photo of this weird window decal…
…as well as this awesome ad that really caught my eye.
Apparently this product was originally designed for horses, but is now marketed as a shampoo and conditioner for human hair as well ( and I do mean “as well”. The bottles have instuctions for both human and animal use). I was so taken by this ad that I became determined to purchase some Mane and Tail for myself. After much hunting my mother and I managed to find a bottle of the shampoo and the conditioner on our very last day. I think Bouquet approved.
In terms of general atmosphere, though, Hong Kong is definitely at it’s best at night time.
We didn’t spend the entire time in Hong Kong, though. One day of our holiday was spent on a guided bus tour of Macau. Despite my initial uncertainty about whether I would enjoy a guided tour, this actually turned out to be one of my favourite days of the entire trip! Our tour guide, Cisco, was amazing. He was informative, entertaining and very polite (he always offered his hand to tour members as we were disembarking from the bus).
Our first stop was this amazing statue. I believe it depicts some sort of sea goddess? Cisco stated that it is actually not a very good statue from a Feng Shui perspective because the lotus flower that the goddess is standing on should be open rather than closed and because she should be facing towards the sea with her back to the mountains (she is actually facing the other way)
We also drove past a lot of Casinos, including the irresistibly ostentatious Grand Lisbon, owned by Dr Ho – the wealthiest man in Macau.
We didn’t really visit any of the casino’s though, with the exception of the tour group all meeting up in the foyer of Jacki Chan casino before with left to get the ferry back to Hong Kong.
Most of our time in Macau was spent looking at architecture and statues, eating Portugese egg tarts, visiting churches and shrines and exploring the streets.
Unfortunately my camera batteries died early in the day in Macau, so I won’t be able to post any more photos until I get my mother’s camera.
If visiting Macau was one of my favourite days on my trip, visiting the Giant Buddha was my ABSOLUTE favourite day!
This was probably the hottest day we spent in Hong Kong, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment! We look a glass-bottomed cable car up to Ngong Ping village. It was delightful…but probably not so much if you don’t like heights.
The Buddha itself was impressive, although the 250 steps or so to get up to it weren’t so fun given this was the hottest day of our entire trip!
I thought the views from the top were spectacular. Nothing anyone told me before my trip prepared me for how beautiful Hong Kong was. So many green hills and misty skies. *sigh*
We also celebrated a couple of special occasions while we were in Hong Kong. The first of these was Mothers’ Day. The funny thing about Mothers’ Day was that this was the day out of our entire stay where Mum and I spent the most money…and we didn’t even leave the hotel! We had a day full of pampering, with full-body Swedish massages and facials. We topped it all off with a traditional English High Tea at the Langham’s Palm Court Lounge. High Tea consisted of…well, tea…and a three-tiered cake tray with sandwiches and savouries at the bottom and cakes and sweets on the other two layers. About half way through the proceedings a waitress came out with freshly-baked scones (plan and fruit), cream and home-made jam. In the end we couldn’t finish everything and we had our leftovers boxed up so we could take them back to our room.
The best thing about the whole trip was that I spent it with my mother. We had tossed the idea of taking an overseas holiday together for literally 10 years and it was exciting to finally go ahead and do it. My mother and I have always had a really close relationship. Sure, we fight from time to time (mostly it comes from being too similar!) but I’ve always been able to talk to my Mum about anything – both the bad things and the good. Thanks, Mum, for being so awesome.
The other special occasion that coincided with our trip was Mum’s birthday! We celebrated this with dinner at the T’ang Court restaurant. A two Michelin-starred restaurant conveniently located in, you guesses it, the Langham hotel! Dad one himself the title of greatest husband/father ever that night by calling ahead to the hotel and buying us each some cocktails to go with our meals – A lychee martini for starters (you have to try this! It’s the perfect accompaniment for a Chinese meal) and a peach and champagne cocktail at the end of the meal.
The meal itself was magnificent. We shared four small courses, which consisted of sautéed prawns and crab roe with golden-fried pork and crab meat puffs, crispy salty chicken, roast suckling pig and baked stuffed crab shell. The service was nothing short of spectacular. The waitress took time to help us select our meals and to explain to us what everything was. When she brought the meals out she always asked if I wanted to take a photo first (she saw me taking photos when we were first seated). Even the restaurant Manager came out a few times to wish Mum Happy Birthday and see if we were enjoying our meal. At the end of the meal the restaurant staff surprised us with a small birthday cake for Mum, courtesy of the Hotel, and some sweet lotus-paste buns.
Our final day in Hong Kong we had set aside for our visit to Hong Kong Disneyland…and when we got up in the morning it was pelting down! I was pretty miffed at first, as everyone kept coming up and telling us that it would be a miserable day to visit Disneyland and we shouldn’t go. As such we headed off to what was purportedly “The Happiest Place on Earth” with me in one of the biggest grumps imaginable.
It didn’t take very long after we arrived for my mood to improve, however. In fact, I started to get excited as soon as we got on the Disney Resort train line. How could I not get excited? The train had Mickey-Mouse shaped windows and overhead straps and was full of statues of Disney characters. We had a fun-filled day at Disneyland. In the end the rain worked to our advantage because the lines were much shorter than they would normally be. We got to have photos taken with a number of characters including Chip and Dale, Mickey and Minnie, and a very dashing Prince Philip (when I walked up to him I curtseyed and he tipped his cap to me *swoon*). We also saw some neat shows and went on a number of the rides. My Mum just about killed me after I dragged her onto Space Mountain. I think the Dumbo ride was probably more the right speed for the both of us.
By the end of our visit we were both exhausted and ready to go home…but now that we’ve been back for two weeks I’m ready to go back! Time to start saving again, I guess.