Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There was a recent story in the recent news—a UFO was spotted in China a couple of weeks ago. After watching the movie E.T. as a kid, I have always asked myself the question of whether or not life exists elsewhere in the universe; however, it has always been a stalemate.
So here are my arguments on why I cannot come up with a conclusion…
POSITION 1: UFOs Are Real
1) The universe is bigger than any of us can possibly imagine. NASA recently released a new photo of the entire galaxy using the latest and greatest technology, enabling them to take a picture 5 billion light years away. It would be selfish to think humans are the only inhabitants.
2) There are some really incredible Alien movies that make me want to believe there’s other life out there. I could go on forever on rants about these movies, but I will keep it short and say that my top three are The Abyss, Signs and Contact.
3) True TV. If you have ever been in “zombie” mode late at night and cannot sleep you have probably seen these shows. They are actual home videos of un-ordinary objects in the sky.
POSITION 2: UFOs Are Phony
1) If they were real, there would be some hard evidence! The True TV shows always get debunked by science.
2) The government would have told us by now if Area 51 was real. Trusting the government may be a challenge for some of us to grasp, but over the course of 50 years, someone would have leaked some juicy evidence by now, right?
3) Simple faith—God only created earth.
4) If the Aliens traveled light years to get here, they would do more than just a fly over. They would leave some sort of scientific footprint.
So…what do you believe?
And what are your favorite sci-fi movies that have aliens?
For all of you who not seen the UFO recently spotted in China here is the link for the news report.
Friday, May 28, 2010
LOST was truly an original show. When it first aired in September 2004, I was engrossed from the first night. I’m really glad they decided to do a re-cap show about the entire saga before the actual finale, because there were many things I had forgotten over the years.
One of the best features of the re-cap? Seeing the characters in their first season. Many of those actors were unknown or little known in the United States, other than Matthew Fox (Party of Five, anyone?). They all embraced their roles and totally evolved them into the characters we loved, hated, cried with and cheered for through all of the happenings on that bizarre island. In the finale, we see those fully evolved characters come together in love, which made for a great ending. My favorite moment involved Sun and Jin in the hospital with Juliette confirming their pregnancy. I also really enjoyed the emotional reunion between Charlie and Claire.
While the show was really about the characters, you can’t have a discussion about the show without contemplating all of the mysteries brought forth in the first few seasons. Like the polar bears in season 1. The numbers in season 2. And, of course, the Others. For a long time, I wondered if the island represented Purgatory. And while that may be true, I also think that perhaps the “flash sideways” was Purgatory. I’m also not sure why the candidates were identified by numbers in the first place. If anyone knows that answer, please feel free to share it with me!
For sure, I will miss the show. It was a unique concept that will be challenging to duplicate. It was intriguing, sometimes frustrating, but it was a great hour of television every week. I suppose, given my unanswered questions, I will happily remain forever “lost.”
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Many of you might remember the 1981 original Clash of the Titans film, which by today’s standards is pretty crude as far as special effects are concerned. The jerky stop-action sequences with its monsters will make younger moviegoers chuckle today; however, the movie did have the one-and-only Sir Lawrence Olivier as Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. And Ursula Andress—“the original Bond Girl”—starred as Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The movie tells the story of Perseus, who is sent on a quest to destroy the evil Medusa, a snake-headed creature able to turn men to stone with her horrifying gaze. Along the way he tames Pegasus, the beautiful winged horse, and he must rescue his love, Andromeda, from the horrible fate of having to marry a monster. If you saw the original film, it’s not hard to imagine why someone would want to remake it, although the original is a lot of fun to watch, and it’s safe to have your kids watch, too. Here’s an image of the original movie poster:
Greek mythology is rich with good stories and demons, quests and valiant heroes. It’s true that the story of Perseus isn’t as well known as the story of Hercules or even Jason, but it’s equally as interesting.
The flashy 2010 film version of this story promises to be a visual spectacle, complete with CGI script animation and all the bells and whistles. Sam Worthington from Avatar is now Perseus in this modern version. The trailers sure look impressive! We’re always game for a great fantasy film!
Here’s the bigger question—was a remake necessary? It’s like having one of your favorite high school or college tunes be remade by a modern band. Yes, the words are the same, and yes, the equipment used to produce the song is probably far superior, but somehow the magic of the original has been lost. When we checked IMDb to see how people rated the film, we noticed that men over 45 gave it the lowest marks. Not a surprise, given that it’s those folks who probably have a sentimental spot in their hearts for the original.
Then again, the remake could be fantastic! If you do go to see it, enjoy it. And if you still have a place in your heart for the original, then watch this remake with the same open mind you had when you saw the original. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Until next time…
Thursday, March 25, 2010
For those of you scratching your heads, Rob is Robert Pattinson, the British actor who plays Edward Cullen, the lead vampire in the “Twilight” movies. With a cult-like following, Edward has stolen the heart of just about every teen-aged girl around the globe. Well, we would like to prove that the Rob-session stretches to a demographic far beyond the tween and teen crowd. In our office, grown women are absolutely swept away by the character of Edward and the physical being of Rob. In fact, he is everywhere…
For those of us who are taller in the office (I’m 5’8”), you need only stand up and scan the cube maze to get a glimpse of Rob. We have not one but TWO life-sized cut-outs of Rob in the office. They move around from cube to cube, depending on what is going on in the office and who might be visiting the offices on any given day. Some of those here who are stricken with the Rob-session keep it well hidden from the general public, so when we have visitors, the life-sized cutouts move!
Bet you didn’t know Edward was also a Yankees fan!
That’s the "Twilight" Edward, but we also have the “New Moon” Edward in life-sized silhouette…
Sorry for the darkness of that previous photo. I pulled Edward out of this person’s office and got a little better photo…
There are also numerous calendars, so a new image of Edward can be stared at every month! This person has multiple calendars in her office, because why stop at one when you can have two? There are also lots of photos and clips from magazines that hang on display all over the office.
Sometimes a calendar just isn’t big enough, so there are posters, too. We have a lot of Edward around here. Here are two posters that just about everyone sees every day. They are in prominent places around the office.
Some have dedicated their cube walls to Edward Cullen, like this person…
Yes, people around here are ROB-SESSED. Aside from all of the images, these folks are really knowledgeable about the man. They know everything about him! Just walk into the kitchen around lunch time and you’re bound to hear the latest Rob gossip.
It just goes to show that our collections here at Hamilton can and do go beyond our wonderful products! Now if we could only make Edward figurines…
We’ll write more soon!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
And this year I got to go. Little Me, Ruby! See, I am fortunate to have some very kind human friends who like to travel. Before this weekend, I had never left my hometown and boy I was excited to make my first road trip. We got up early Saturday morning and drove down to Orlando in hopes of seeing some of my sister fairies, meet new friends, and may be find a little romance.
From costumes and celebrities to models, magic and more the MegaCon show has it all. We walked down the hall of the Orlando Convention Center and through the doors and might as well have stepped into another galaxy. My journey through MegaCon lasted most of the day and we met some awesome new friends. The walls were lined with memorabilia and every gizmo and gadget from your favorite show, comic, and film. In short . . . I loved it and highly recommend you do not pass the opportunity to attend next year’s MegaCon in 2011 as I will be there too! Enjoy the pictures I have posted here and share with me some of your own pictures and stories from MegaCon 2010.
When we were waiting in line to purchase our admission tickets, we met “Primative American” as he likes to be called.
My first stop was to see my Jasmine sisters. It was great to have a family reunion and we even got some shopping in at the same time.
Go Speed Racer! How cool this was. He even let me sit in his real Mach 5 Speed Racer!
This is Stanley Morrison. He is an extremely talented dragon artist. I love his artwork.
Caution Lego train crossing!
I even got to meet R2D2! We were doing the moon walk together when R2D2 had a sudden short circuit. I went flying across the room and was not the most graceful fairy when I landed.
I am okay, just a broken leg. Who wants to be the first one to sign my cast?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Here at Hamilton Fantasy, some of us thought it was important to share its beginnings and share some of the attractions attendees can expect to discover at this year’s show. So without further delay, here is a brief history lesson…
Megacon was first held in 1993. It has always been held in Orlando, and what was once a small local event has grown into one of the larger conventions in the United States. Different groups have controlled and operated the event over the years. In 1999, James Breibiel sold the event to CrossGen Comics, who assumed control of the show beginning with the 2000 event. CrossGen hired a former school teacher, Beth Widera, to run the event. At that time, Megacon had a clear CrossGen bias and was heavily focused on its own content, which experts believed negatively impacted the show’s ability to draw a wide range of industry talent. In 2003, the company ran into serious financial troubles involving freelancer payments and put Megacon up for sale. It was Beth Widera who came to the rescue, buying Megacon for an undisclosed sum. She has owned and operated the event ever since, smartly growing the event and garnering attention from publishers throughout the industry.
This year, some notable celebrities will be making appearances at the show. James Hong, from The Day the Earth Stood Still, will be available for photos and will sign autographs. For fans of the Back to the Future series of movies, both Lea Thompson and Claudia Wells will be at the show. Trekkies will surely not want to miss Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in the original Star Trek series. And for the Star Wars lovers out there, plan on catching a glimpse of Jeremy Bulloch, who played the iconic Boba Fett, and Peter Mayhew, who was the man behind Chewbacca! For a full list of media guests, click here.
Comic book fans and collectors who visit the show this year will be treated to a line up of great artists behind so many famous books. There are too many to list, so click here for a full listing.
Now we realize some of you may be traveling to Megacon for other reasons. Maybe you’re hoping to see Jasmine Becket-Griffith—she will be there painting, of course! Maybe you love the fanfare and seeing all the people who come in costume. Trust us, there will be plenty of good people-watching at this show! To make sure you all don’t miss anything, we found a great Top 10 at About.com. Check it out…
The Top 10 Things To Do At A Comic Book Convention
Enjoy the convention this year…we certainly will. We’ll post some photos next week on Facebook, and we’d love to see yours, too!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tim Burton’s sometimes unconventional approach to film is sure to be a great fit for this classic yet peculiar tale by Lewis Carroll. In this story, Alice returns to Wonderland as a more mature 19-year old and finds herself on a mission to defeat the evil Red Queen. You may have seen the trailers, or, at the very least, seen that strange maniacal face of Johnny Depp in full makeup as the Mad Hatter!
To celebrate the premiere of this film, we found some interesting trivia on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website, which we have posted here.
• Actress Mia Wasikowska beat out several candidates for the role of Alice, including Amanda Seyfried and Lindsay Lohan, who lobbied for the role.
• This film marks the 7th time Johnny Depp has worked under the direction of Tim Burton and the 6th time for Helena Bonham Carter.
• This marks the 3rd time Michael Gough has come out of retirement to appear in a film by Tim Burton. This also marks his 5th film under Burton's direction.
• Despite the fact that there have been many other Alice in Wonderland films, Tim Burton have said that he never felt a emotional connection to it and always thought it was a series of some girl wondering around from one crazy character to another. So with this, he attempted to create a framework, an emotional grounding, which he felt he never really had seen in any version before. Tim said that was the challenge for him - to make Alice feel like a story as opposed to a series of events.
• Tim Burton and Johnny Depp worked hard to give the Mad Hatter more depth and presence than in past portrayals. In fact, the pair swapped sketches and themes for the character prior to creating this new version.
• In the trailer, it is visible that the Mad Hatter has mismatched pupils. The right one is dilated and the left one is not. Medically speaking, that implies serious brain injury.
• Helena Bonham Carter stated on a February 17, 2010 "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (2005) show that two weeks before its premiere, Tim Burton was still working on the movie.
Click here to enjoy more trivia for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Here at The Hamilton Collection, we recently had the opportunity to sit down with acclaimed artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith to learn more about the inspirations and passions behind her work. Widely regarded as one of the contemporary masters of fantasy art, she continues to attract adoring fans who love her paintings of wide-eyed fairies and mystical characters. Few may realize, though, just how accessible she really is. Driven to paint, she is also driven to respond to her growing fan base and prides herself on answering all of her fans’ emails. At shows, she can be found painting and stopping to talk to anyone who wants to talk to her about her work.
On this sunny afternoon in Florida—her home state—Jasmine is comfortably curled up in our lounge. Her friendly gaze is calm and puts everyone at ease. Dressed in jeans, sneakers and a fitted tie-dyed tee, her thin frame is set off by her alabaster skin and raven-black hair that flows long and loose, much like the hair on her fairies in her paintings. Sitting at her side is Matt, her devoted husband and manager.
Hamilton: What first inspired you to paint?
JBG: I started painting when I was little, about 4 years old. I was inspired by fairytale books as a child—Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Alice in Wonderland. At 5, I was going door-to-door to sell my paintings.
Hamilton: Where do you go now and what do you do to continue to be inspired?
JBG: I travel a lot—Asia for pop culture, Europe for history and classical elements. I like nature—hiking, nature trails—it’s relaxing and inspiring.
Hamilton: Fairies have been hot for a while now. Do you think this trend will continue? What do you see as the next big trend in fantasy art, and will you follow that trend or stay true to your fairies?
JBG: Fairies will always be popular. I think Fantasy and Science Fiction will always be popular. I see Steampunk gaining in popularity as well as mermaids. I also think we’ll see more fine arts and high fantasy with some classical influences.
Hamilton: How do you find the energy to paint as much as you do?
JBG: Painting is my favorite thing to do! I’m a passionate, compulsive painter. I feel incomplete without painting, and I never leave a painting unfinished. I paint a new painting each day.
Hamilton: A painting a day?! So, when it’s time for you to break away from painting and relax, where do you like to go? What do you like to do?
JBG: I love to travel, so I do that a lot—Europe, Mexico, Japan…I also love cruises. I love music, too.
Hamilton: Are there periods in history that fascinate you?
JBG: I’m fascinated by dinosaurs, prehistoric times. I am drawn to the Rococo era, too—the time of Marie Antoinette.
Hamilton: Are your fairies ever based on actual people? Are there people in your life that deeply inspire your work, and if they do, why?
JBG: Yes, family inspired me—my sisters, niece and nephews. I also do some private commissions, so those have their own inspirations. The history I have with people inspired me.
Hamilton: What are some of the things your fans tell you they most admire about your paintings?
JBG: Definitely the eyes. They also like the color palettes I’ve used, and they like the historical reference or the mythical story and elements I’ve chosen. They like the cute-yet-creepy dark feeling they get from my work. My fairies are tough.
Hamilton: Your fan base continues to grow, and your fans really love your work. So can you share with us the highest price ever paid for one of your original paintings?
JBG: A non-commissioned painting once sold for $5,100.00 on eBay.
Hamilton: Are you mostly self-taught or did you have formal training in painting?
JBG: I’m self-taught. I made money in college painting.
Hamilton: In your “Faces of Faeries” series, each fairy conveys such a different emotion. What was the inspiration behind this series and what are you trying to convey to admirers of your art?
JBG: This series allows me to experiment with faces and different ethnic looks. I’m also exploring different shapes—it’s fun and experimental.
Hamilton: On a more personal note, how did you meet your husband, Matt?
JBG: We met on the Internet while we were both in high school.
Hamilton: What are your top 5 favorite paintings you have created?
JBG: Marie Masquerade, Alice at the Spanish Court, Snow White and Animal Friends, Mermaid with the Golden Dragon, Befriending an Alligator, Dinosaur Friends—that one is of my imaginary friend as a child.
Hamilton: Will you share with us a typical day in the life of Jasmine Becket-Griffith?
JBG: I’m up at 6:00 a.m., and I work out. I shower, eat, and then I start painting. I break for lunch and I’m back to painting. I complete a painting each day, so when it’s done, I take time to scan my work and post it to my site. Then I have dinner with Matt, watch a movie and go to bed.
Hamilton: Let’s play a word association game. When we say a word, you say the first thing that comes to mind.
Fairy Tale: Snow White
Disney Character: Mr. Toad
Song: “Birdie Hop” by Syd Barrett
Hamilton: One last question, Jasmine…what is your favorite figurine inspired by your art?
JBG: I have a few favorites…the “Raven” figurine, the “Vampire” series, the Mermaid figurine and Alice.
Note: Some of Jasmine’s favorites have only been released on a very limited quantity! Stay tuned for future updates about these exciting new releases!
One thing is for sure—Jasmine is not only extremely talented, she is also hard-working and dedicated to her art. Finishing a painting each day, attending shows and giving her devoted fans lots of her attention keeps her busy. It’s what also endears her to so many. We think it’s the secret to her success!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
China utilizes both the western and the traditional lunar calendars. The western calendar is for every day use while the lunar calendar is used for setting the date for traditional festivities.
The traditional Chinese calendar is based on the moons cycle, which is why Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year. It starts with the first new moon in China; therefore, it can begin any time between January 21st and February 20th. The range of festivities celebrating Chinese New Year lasts for fifteen days.
There is a revolving cycle of twelve animals, each one representing a year. The animals included in this list are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. February 14, 2010 will mark a new year in the traditional Chinese calendar and will be represented by the tiger.
Many people find it fun to look up their birth year and discover the animal that represents their birth year. Click here to find out which animal represents your birth year and tell us in the comments below!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
In the East—Benevolent Creatures
Asian cultures view dragons as large snake-like creatures with a benevolent, or friendly, nature. Dragons in Asia are associated with water, and they are also believed to be able to take on a human form. The Chinese culture so strongly believes in the dragon’s generosity that they made a five-clawed dragon the symbol for their emperors. Dragons are also a recurring theme in Chinese folk lore, and they are a common sight at Chinese festivals.
Here at Hamilton, we have researched these Eastern beliefs to create dragons that embody the traditional beliefs about Asian dragons. Here is an image of an Eastern-inspired dragon we created called “Dragon of Good Fortune.”
In the West—Malevolent Demons
Contrary to the beliefs about dragons in the East, the European views of dragons are quite different. Dragons have historically been described as bat-winged, reptile-like creatures with an elongated tail. Westerners have also typically viewed dragons as fire breathing, malevolent creatures who are earth dwellers—residing in an underground lair or cave. It’s also worth noting that while Western dragons have wings, their Eastern counterparts typically don’t.
Below is an image of a Western inspired dragon we created called “Youngblood.” This is an enormously popular dragon—a definite customer favorite!
(Youngblood is still available and you can click here if you wish to add it to your collection.)
Whether you favor the benevolent, mystical dragons of the East or the fire-breathing demons of the West, The Hamilton Collection has a range of beautifully detailed collectibles that meticulously capture the beauty and mystery of these legendary creatures.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Few people are able to watch a painting be created before their very eyes. But Jasmine has graciously shared her process with us through this series of images. Now we’re thrilled to be able to share these images with you!
First, Jasmine starts with an outline layout of the composition. In the second image, you can see she has refined some of the detail in the foreground characters.
In the third image, you can see that Jasmine has started underpainting the background. When you look at the next image, you’ll see the cemetery in the background is complete. Here Jasmine has also started underpainting the light on the fairy’s and jack-o’-lantern’s faces.
Now you can see that Jasmine has begun layering in colors and shading on the fairy and jack-o’-lantern. In the next image, notice how she has refined the fairy’s face and added color to her lips and eyes. Jasmine’s signature look is really starting to emerge. She has also applied color to the fairy’s dress.
Further along in the process, Jasmine has added detail to the fairy’s dress and wings, and she has also given the jack-o’-lantern an underpainting glow. In the next image, she contrasts another shade of yellow on the jack-o’-lantern to provide a feel of illumination. She also has added the final highlights of detail to the fairy’s hair and wings.
Finally—the finished work of art! This is the final digital version of Jasmine’s Halloween Twilight painting. Absolutely amazing!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tattoos continue to become more popular—some major art galleries even hold exhibitions of tattoo art. To most anyone who has one or admires them, the people who create these intricate designs are artists, indeed.
Today we’ve gathered a collection of images of tattoos inspired by Jasmine’s art, and we’ve also included the painting that inspired the tattoo so you can see for yourself just how detailed they can be. The likeness is amazing!
Here are a few of the tattoo designs:
Jasmine has received over 500 pictures of her art featured as tattoos from her fans. You can find all of the images at http://www.strangeling.com/fairytattoos.html.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
This week we would like to shine a spotlight on Jasmines current top paintings. We hope you enjoy these images and her comments on them.
Snow White and Her Animal Friends — is one of my best. I'm very proud of this one. I can't stop staring at her! The most recent installment in my Fairy Tales series, it shows a slightly gothic Snow White sitting in a forest glade with some cuddly critters—a raccoon, some bunnies, a baby deer, a squirrel, and a chipmunk!
Lute and Lyre — A beautiful painting indeed. Lush and gorgeous. Two nymphs in a dark lovely wood—twin muses with their respective instruments.
Pink Lightning! — She is a striking one (no pun intended!). Brilliant pink lightning flashes in the storm clouds surrounding her…big eyes crackling with energy. Her pink and blonde hair is swirling in the wind. I love this painting!
Marie Masquerade — most likely inspired by my recent artist retreat to France. Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen, dressed with her over-the-top glory with her sailing ship hair adornment…magnificent hairstyle, lush makeup and her not-very-concealing masquerade mask! I love this painting; it really looks awesome in person. Her big eyes gleam out of the gloom. It really is lovely.
Friday, January 8, 2010
In this new year and new decade, we have a little insight to share on something new you will soon see on your Jasmine Becket-Griffith collectibles. Each collection will feature a specially-designed remarque composed of Jasmine’s initials to create the main icon of the collection. This remarque will be featured on the bottom stamp of each figurine.
Used to authenticate a work of art, this special symbol was first introduced in the early-19th century. Today, it is your assurance from
Here is a preview of the remarque from our Jasmine Becket-Griffith Legend of the Fairy Dragon Riders Collection. Look closely, and you’ll see her initials actually create the unique design of this “dragon.”Wishing you all a "fairy" magical 2010!