Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

This post was originally a fleeting thought that almost didn’t see the light of day, thanks to some advice from my friend, Kenny Rogers:

You never count your winnings, while you’re sitting at the table.  There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealing’s done.

Essentially, I wasn’t going to say anything because I was afraid it would seem like I was gloating; however, I spied a victory post over on Sons Of Taurus’ blog and, after reading it, decided that he didn’t come off as offensive at all.  He was just thankful to have won, and mixed in a little good humor as well (in the form of a football-shaped baby).

So, that’s my plan here.  I first want to thank Pony Boy for holding a contest, and thank everyone who voted for my banner.  Also, congratulations to everyone who entered and those that won prizes. 

Next, I want to say that I never dreamed I’d win when I entered, because of my complete lack of ability in photoshop.  In fact, my first response to the contest was “Let me be the first to complain that your contest unfairly penalizes those of us without artistic talent.” And then, I proceeded to enter three banners in the contest.  Below are my entries and the thought process behind each:

Entry #1:

 

Dverning seemed like the sort of old-timer that would get a kick out of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference, and I couldn’t think of anything original that would work well for his site.  His site had kind of a retro-theme going on anyway, and I thought it might work out fairly well.  Granted, this was the best my photo-editing skills had to offer.  Also, note the pony in the corner of the banner which was promptly ostracized from the final judging!

Entry #2:

Sparkling ponies!  Oh, so pretty.  This is my favorite banner by a long shot, but he wasn’t keen on it for some reason…  Whatever, ponies rule!  Seriously though, I had already made an entry, and I was at the point where I was just screwing around.  I went to a http://mybannermaker.com and made a free banner (hence the weird text about hosting and such).  Since I couldn’t be bothered to try to peel that stuff out of the animated .gif file, I just left it in. 

Entry #3:

 

I made this entry because there didn’t seem to be a lot of traffic on his contest entry page.  I knew he’d get some good responses, but I didn’t want it to look like he didn’t many entires when it came to judging, so I figured I’d throw up a quick and dirty solution.  I used a couple of quick effects on PICASA (a free photo management program from Google) and again, assembled the banner at the “My Banner Maker” site.  The fonts and everything came out of there as well… though I cropped the automatically entered text before submitting.  Really, I knew this was a solid design, but not superbly executed.  I’ve seen so many site banners though, that I knew this would be the most popular option submitted.  Since Pony-boy is a great sculpter and a decent painter to boot, using one of his models seems the obvious choice.  So, while I knew it was a good solution, I figured someone with far more skill than I would’ve submitted something that would’ve blown it away.

The astute readers out there will note that all three of my entries somehow filtered onto his site.  And lucky for me, I snuck into the top three and actually won.  I’m actually shocked by that, and had no plans as to what I’d ask him to make.   

Being a gracious host, Pony-boy has offered to give prizes to each of the finalists: myself, Suneokun, and Mrs. Pony (maybe I’ll have what she’s having, eh Dverning?).  Congrats to both of them as well, as they had fantastic entries (both of which showed some real artistic talent, whereas my entry really rode to victory on someone else’s model). 

I suspect I’ll ask for some sort of Eldar Exodite figure, to go with my WIP models, but we’ll see if he’s really inspired to do up something else instead.  I’m easy.  Whatever we go with, I’ll be sure to post the finished product on my blog when it arrives.

So, the moral of this story is that, even if you don’t think you can win, you should try.  Look where it got me!

Chicken image from http://www.randomshirts.com.  My Little Ponies owned by Hasboro.

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5 comments on “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

  1. Congrats to you as well.As for the link, I'm sure there are tons of similar free programs online.Googling “free banner” (or something similar search term) will probably getyou a million hits or so. That was just the first one I came across.

  2. Thats pretty cool dude. Remember how we both won the senior t-shirt deal? I only won because I was convinced by my mother to “just submit SOMETHING!” Congrats! You've inspired me yet again.And the ponys…dude.

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