Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Eikthirnir

I love animal skulls. I think they have a very grisly appeal, with interesting lines, places for the eye to explore and complexity without being overwhelming.  One of my projects to practice mesh was to create a deer skull because of the complexity of the shape and simply how impractical it would have been to do nicely in sculpts. 



It lay around unfinished for a while, until my Halloween masquerade started to loom on my calendar.  It seemed like the perfect time to take it out, dust it off and finish it properly.  After I did the high definition version and settled on a final shape, I wanted to add a little something more.  Since my masquerade was themed for glowing in the dark, I had to add something that glowed!  I spent some time carefully decorating it and the antlers with some kickass tribal paint:



Eikthirnir (Eik├żyrnir) is the name of the stag that lived on top of Valhalla in Norse mythology, eating the leaves of Yggsdrasil.  It means "old thorny" and from its antlers all river waters were said to spring.  Maybe it's not the perfect name for a deer skull mask, but I've already used all of the cool genus names on antlers.  In any case, my paint designs don't feel completely out of place in my vision of an ancient Nordic deer skull.  The skull and the antlers are actually two separate pieces, so if you want you can simply wear the mask and match it with any of my other antlers (they might not meet up perfectly with the skull but that's where modifying is so helpful.

Eikthirnir comes in nine different skull colors, and the paint is a separate, tintable layer.  For my masquerade, I made it white and glowing, but you have complete freedom with it.  You can turn the transparency up to 100% if you like and just have the skull alone, or embrace it with a dramatic black that goes with everything.



If you're enamored with the antlers but the mask isn't necessarily for you, who would I be to deny you options?  These are one of my favorite pairs of antlers as of now, and again if you're not a fan of the paint, you can just turn it transparent.  I've been loving wearing these around.


The antlers include the same color palette of the Rusa antlers, with twelve colors including grayscales and a variety of natural-ish colors.  They look great with or without the paint and can scale down to tiny sizes if you have a teeny faun you want to be adorable.


Out now at the store

On the marketplace:  
Eikthirnir Antlers: 325L
Eikthirnir Mask and Antlers: 600L

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Luminous Masque 2013 (Aftermath)

The sun has dawned once more and the creatures of the dark have retreated.  Another marvelous masquerade has passed and I'm so thankful to those of you who came to join me and dance with me.





The company of dancers was a spectacle to behold, lighting up the darkened dance floor with their lambent lights.  Two dancers had to be chosen as the most effulgent of them all however, and so the vote was held.


After a very tense and close vote the winners of the costume contest were the radiant Kaelis Ember and effervescent Ran Garrigus.  The prize that you see them wearing is a new mask I've been working on, the skull of a deer adorned with luminous paint.  Normally I do a male and female version of the mask but that would involve one version not having antlers, and I just couldn't force myself to make that sacrifice!


My outfit for the masquerade, with modified pieces by Deviance, Ni.Ju, 
Schadenfreude, Gauze and ChaoticSpire
Don't worry, the mask will be for sale shortly, it needs to have some finishing touches put on and scripted before I'll be putting it out, but that won't be long!

It's been a hard year for me due to a lot of real life turmoil, but being able to escape for a while and enjoy the creativity and originality of your avatars and the joy of your company really did light up the dark.  Thank you so much for coming and I hope that if you missed this one, you might be able to make it to the next one. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Luminous Masque 2013

I've been in a dark place for a while now.  But if I'm in a dark place, I might as well make the most of it, right?

Light up the darkness with me this year at my Luminous Masque.  Everything that glows, illuminates, luminesces or incandesces is to be found and celebrated at the Illusions event hall on November 2nd, at 4pm SLT.


 Show the glow, and play with the contrast of light and dark.  Those who are the most radiant or effulgent will of course be rewarded with the promise of prizes, including goodies that I might bestow upon my favorite costumes and of course, the grand prize for the lucky pair who are voted the King and Queen of Lights.  A 1500L angel card and a new, unreleased mask made especially for the masquerade await you if you manage to claim the title!

Masks are of course required for a masquerade, but if you're short on Lindens fear not, the mask shown in the invitation will be provided as a free party favor for all attendees.  Despite surely wanting to look truly effervescent, when assembling your outfit please:

Check your Avatar Scripts

This info can be found in Place Profile->About Land->Script Info->My avatar. Check the list to see if there's any scripts you're wearing that you could delete from copiable items or remove, such as HUD's, resizers, invisiprims (switch to alphas!) etc. Your total script memory total should be as low as you can get it, under 100kb would be ideal.

Keep your prim count low

I just ask that you leave the extra fluttery petticoat layer at home, and not wear the 256 prim wings with your alpha flexi hair made of 180+ prims. Remember, you're going to be on a sim with a lot of other avatars.



It will be wonderful to see you again, or perhaps to meet you for the first time.  Perhaps together we can light up the dark.

Illusions Luminous Masquerade
November 2nd, 4pm SLT
Held at the Illusions Event Hall on Carnivale
Costume contest winners will be announced at 6pm SLT

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dreamcatcher Rusa Antlers

Ariel Lunark is a very patient person.  As I've slowed my progress in getting through my commissions, she's been very understanding in the delay.  Every project has been a struggle for me lately, and so having someone be kind enough to let me take the time I need is invaluable.

She commissioned a project that had occurred to me, but that I simply hadn't and probably wouldn't get around to.  I loved the idea, and she pushed me to take it in directions I might not have.


Dreamcatcher antlers are something I thought of when I did my Dreamcatcher Nivicola Horns, but I was ready to move on to different projects at the time and it never was a priority.  Ariel originally commissioned me to make a dream catcher for the Capreolinae antlers, but I had misgivings.  I gave it a go and they didn't look right at all, the prongs were getting in the way and the arch of the center wasn't right.  So I ended up making an entirely new set of antlers, similar to the Capreolinae but simpler, and of course made out of mesh.  Mesh is just perfect for antlers, and it's lovely to be able to make seamless angles without worrying about sculpts and textures lining up.  And of course, since the new antlers were made with a dream catcher in mind, it came together far better.

Where the cords hang down, I made sure to make them flexi as they add a nice movement along with the gently waving feathers as your AO moves.  The cords, beads, feathers and of course antlers themselves are all scripted with my usual menu system.  The cords and beads come in twelve and eleven colors respectively, the feathers in six, and the antlers come in twelve new colors.  I decided to play around with them a little in a way I haven't done for the other antlers.





The base of antlers is very often a very different texture from the rest of them, and to reflect that I made them darker and rougher.  To play with this contrast, I made a version of each texture with lighter tipped prongs and darker tipped prongs.  I expanded the natural colors too, for more variety.

If you're a purist at heart, you can of course buy the antlers separately and enjoy them without all that tangled cord dangling in your face!




Out now at the store

On the marketplace:  
Rusa Antlers: 325L
Dreamcatcher Rusa Antlers: 550L

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Apsara Wings

When Deoridhe Quandry approached me with her commission, it was one that I took a special delight in.  I've been looking forward to doing it since she first suggested it and it was a lot of fun to do.  You see, Deoridhe is a fairy, and she wanted a pair of mesh fairy wings.  My first thought was "really?", but then I realized it made perfect sense.  While flexi wings might have great movement, they don't have the same customization or opportunity for detail.  Mesh wings would actually be really fun to do...

She gave me creative control, and I'm just such a sucker for curlicues and flourishes.




Deoridhe suggested the name "Apsara", inspired by the Hindu divine spirits of air and dance.  The membrane I painted in Zbrush, just putting some light and shadow and a bit of shine on there, and then I overlaid a scaley texture to hopefully evoke that delicate insect feel. I love the living, silky feel it evokes, with just the right amount of shimmer.  I also took care to do a little trick that lets the mesh shrink down to tiny or petite size, so since they're modifiable you can easily fit these to your petite avatar.

There are twelve colors for the wing membrane, and my usual six metal colors for the curls.  They're unrigged and modifiable, so you can make the membrane somewhat transparent or glow or tint them.  The curls are separate, so you can even set the membrane entirely transparent and just wear the curls!



My friends Surreal and Chandra roped me into the Taste the Rainbow Hunt , so I made a special color of the wings with it in mind.  It's a rainbow themed hunt (obviously), so this color of the wings will be out in the hunt gift.  Since it turned out so well, I couldn't resist putting it in the sale version as well.



This is, of course, before I saw that Surreal had made rainbow wings her gift as well.  It's funny how sometimes things synchronize like that.  Not sure who came up with the idea first, so I guess you'll just have options!

Out now at the store

On the marketplace: 275L




Friday, July 5, 2013

Olokun Helm

Now that I'm finished with the Mystic Chains, I can finally shake off some of that frustration and get back to working through commissions.  Next one up is one designed by Darlingmonster Ember, who sent me a sketch of a concept she had in mind, and let me run with it.  She described a dark Mer helmet, a sort of unseelie headdress with tendrils and scales.

When she said Mer, my mind went to iridescence and the colors of abalone.  I wanted the tendrils to be a part of the helm, and while I tried the stone in the center, it didn't seem right with a half-mask. I added my own flare to it, giving it a polished, armor-like definition. 

Darlingmonster suggested we name it Olokun, for the West African goddess of the deep sea.  She's associated with the underworld, as the ruler of the sea floor where all dead sea creatures eventually lie, and rebirth and renewal, for those dead sea creatures become food for others.  She's depicted as a beautiful, black mermaid, and is known as the guardian of secrets.  For what was originally dreamt of as a mer helm, it seemed the perfect name.

In addition to the iridescent peacock colors shown in the picture, it also includes my usual palette of metal colors: copper, bronze, gold, and sterling, antiqued and tarnished silver.  You can also set the tendrils or the helm itself to be invisible, so if you'd like to simplify it you're free to do so.  There's also made a male version fit for classically masculine features, with a thicker brow and harsher cheekbones.  It's made to be worn with "half shaved" styles of hair,  such as Wasabi Pills' "Morgan" style, or no hair at all. 

Out now at the store: 150L
On the marketplace: 175L

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lunarian and Mystic Earrings

I know this is the moment you've been waiting for.  The release everyone who's bought my elf ears or eyeballed my elf ears has been eagerly/idly/passionately/rabidly longing for.  I have to say though, it's been hard won.

Let me tell you a tale of an item that was truly cursed, to the point that even now I wonder if it will jump from the vendor it's been neatly packed into and bite me.  It begins with a belligerent failure to upload, and ends with my having to reinstall Windows. 

First, I'll share with you what I'm talking about, which, despite having some special form of creator's post traumatic stress disorder from it, I have to still look objectively and realize it's beautiful.  Beautiful like a psychotic macaw trapped with you in an elevator, beautiful like an icicle falling from a roof onto your head, or perhaps a nuclear explosion.


 They look so innocent at this stage, so allow me to put what I've had to do to finish these into writing.  It may sound like griping, because it is, but at this point I feel that I've earned the right. 

For every set of earrings, I must make nine versions of it, each fit especially for the nine sets of elf ears.  For earrings and chains, I made six elements per style, totaling fifty four different objects I need to make.  That's okay, I put on a show and grind through them in Zbrush, perfecting the shapes and then giving them UV's, and finally bringing them into Blender to convert them into collada files.  I give them their material groupings, then start uploading them to Second Life.  Pixie, fairy, seelie, high elf, all work as expected and I work my way down the list until I hit the last set.  And, just as if I'd suddenly hit a monstrous pothole, this is where the axle breaks and all of my progress is halted.

Eight out of nine sets have uploaded fine, but the sylph earrings... for some reason I'm getting a persistent upload error.   So, I start dissecting it.  I've been uploading the earrings all together in a neat, easy to fit package but now I tear it apart.  I attempt to upload the chains in every which way I can think of, even individually.  The earrings upload fine, but now the chains are giving me a MAV Block missing error.  Some quick googling shows me that no one has a clue what this is.  Some more persistent googling finds me a possible solution: it's supposedly caused by material groups having a problematic amount of triangles.  Okay,  I'll add a cube to the mesh, make it tiny, and assign each face of the cube to a material on the chains.  Now, to try uploading it again to Second Life... no MAV Block error, but now it's giving me the generic error message again.  I ask my creator friends what might be causing it, some of them suggest it might be an issue with the physics shape.  I make myself a simple cube physics shape and try to upload it on to the beta grid.... and success!  Sweet, sweet relieving success, I'm so close, but too tired to go on, I'll take a break.

Coming back the next day, I log into the main grid and start to upload the earring sets.  They're working fine but the moment of truth comes... will the Sylph set work?  I browse to it, open up the file, calculate weights and fees, no error, hit upload and...

Second Life crashes.  Wow.  Okay, this is crazy.  Seriously?  Log back in, try again, upload and... crash.  Maybe I should re-install, maybe do a clean install to be sure.  I delete my Second Life client and start again with a freshly downloaded, up-to-date client.  I start it up, hit upload model, and for a second the browse window appears before it's suddenly replaced by the dreaded, vibrant blue and the finality of a Blue Screen of Death.  My computer has completely crashed, and has to be restarted.  I reboot, log back into Second Life, and try again.  Another Blue Screen of Death.  I follow the error message to see if I might be able to fix it, it's a BIOS error, but my BIOS doesn't allow me to configure the elements it says are the problem.

At this point, I'm desperate.  I'm thinking like a mad woman, if there's rot in the system DIG IT OUT.  BURN IT.  BURN IT ALL.  I back up my documents on my second disk, reboot from it and format C:.  I re-install Windows.  My C: drive is as clean and as pure as freshly fallen snow, and I get to work on re-installing things including Second Life.  At this point, it has to work, doesn't it?  I start up Second Life, I browse to the ears (that works!), I hit calculate weights and fees (that works too!) I hit upload and SL gives a weary cough and crashes to desktop again.  As I rant and rage to anyone that will listen, a kind soul suggests I try another viewer.  I download Firestorm, install it, run it, and what do you know.

It worked.

Now you might finally understand why there has been such a long delay in releases.  I still have more commissions to release and finish but this project has been so infuriating, so frustrating and so demoralizing I haven't had the heart or drive. I had motivation only through stubborn spite to throw myself against the solid steel, spiked wall of futility.  I've worked on challenging projects before that never seemed like they would end, as more and more would pile up on it so that finishing it seem a Sisyphean task but I've never had a project so beloved to wicked and malevolent tech gremlins as this one.  Honestly, the only thing that kept me coming back to it is knowing that I'd love it, and you'd love it, once it was done.  And that you guys probably would keep bugging me about it until I finished it.

So finally, now that you've read my rant, or skipped over it, I'll deliver the reveal I've held hostage.



The Mystic Chains are the spiritual successor to the Mystic Earring set from my first generation of ears.  Elegantly draped from posts, each ear style has their own set of four chains for each ear.  They're scripted to include my usual six metals, including sterling, antiqued and tarnished silver, and gold, copper and bronze.  They also have a nifty ability to have chains of your choice go invisible, so if you'd like to wear just a few of the chains, or two on one ear, three on the other, you can customize it without needing to fit individual chains.  If your ears have been made smaller or larger using the hud, you can just select the two earring objects and stretch them down to fit.

I was commissioned by Kaelis Ember to make a set of lunar themed earrings for the elf ears.  She described a set similar to the mystic ones featuring half moon earrings. 

The Lunarian earrings are also scripted to have six metals, to match the chains.  I wanted to make sure that these moon ones would look perfect with them.  To achieve that end, I built them together, so they work in harmony with each other.   When fit properly, the chains swoop gracefully through the loops, the posts line up and they don't clip through each other.  It's my intention that other, future earring sets I create will also line up with them to facilitate mixing and matching.  I want you to be able to customize your ears the way you want them!



Let me just say I'm relieved and happy that they're finally done, and I hope you enjoy them.

Individual styles out now at the store: 
Lunarian Earrings: 125L per pair
Mystic Chains: 275L per pair
Fatpack of all ear styles on the marketplace:
Lunarian Earrings: 750L
Mystic Chains:1650L

Sunday, May 12, 2013

French Hoods

Terry Toland approached me during my commission drive with a request for something more on the historical side than the fantastical.  She's been a long time customer and had a hankering to accessorize the look of Tudor nobility.


The Anna French Hood is inspired by the fashion that the young queen Anne Boleyn brought to England from France.  A veil or coif worn with a decorative clip to hold it in place became far more fashionable than the square "gable hoods" that were all the rage.  Despite her unfortunate fate, the hood caught on and was worn by most noble young ladies.  Pearls and ruffles and rich fabrics were typical decor for them, and some were even ornamented enough to be fit for a queen.

Katarin is the "deluxe" version, with dramatic stones set in the center and an outer trim with delicate pearl droplets at the ends.  Both hoods have full customization of course, and allow you to change the base color of the crown to twelve different colors, the ruffles have three options, and the inner and outer trim have six options each.  The stones come with the same selection of twelve colors as Nevina jewelry

Hopefully these will be the perfect addition to your historical garb or roleplay!

Out now at the store

And on the marketplace:

Anna French Hood: 195L
Katarin French Hood: 415L

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wrapped Cords for the Elf Ears!

BurningHeat Mikado was one of the first people to leap into action when I said I was in need of funds in April, not hesitating before she had sent me her $L.  She didn't even ask for anything in return, but I insisted that she decide on something for me to make for her.  She settled on something she'd wanted for ages.  Which a lot of people have been wanting for ages, and I've been putting off for far too long...

Accessories for my elf ears!  Specifically, wrapped cord similar to my Cord Wrap "jewelry" or my Dreamcatcher Nivicola horns.


 One of the reasons it's taken me almost a year to finally accessorize my ears is that it's a daunting task.  Coming up with a concept and design is the easy part, but finding a way to efficiently fit it to every style, adapt the design how it needs to to look its best, and then deal with how I'm going to script and texture all of them has been a challenge it's been all too easy for me to delay.  It's been on my docket of "big projects to do when I'm feeling up to it" for months.  Thankfully to BurningHeat, wrapped cords, while still tricky, are nowhere near as intimidating as chains, loops or other earring styles.

The wrapped cords, specifically, are available in every ear style, and each one is fit to correspond with the shape of each ear style.  There are twelve colors to choose from with my usual texture changing system, and I made each cord its own colorable area so you can mix and match and make color combinations.  While I could have cheated and gone the easy way of just mirroring one cord wrap onto the other side, I couldn't sacrifice aesthetics for convenience!  Unfortunately, this resulted in a whopping thirty six different cords to position and fit, so you can see why this sort of thing is daunting.

This is yet another completed commission as I work my way down the list.  Now that I've figured some things out about how to do the ear accessories, I'd like to, and will do, more.  But, priorities first, I must keep working on what I've been hired to work on!  Which means more eclectic and interesting releases first.

In the meantime, hopefully these will get you started on decking out your ears.

Individual styles out now at the store: 95L
 Fatpack of all ear styles on the marketplace: 600L

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Angelus Sword

Grant Kirax approached me earlier this month during my commissions drive, asking if I could make him a custom sword.  He showered me with concept photos, picking and mixing his favorite aspects of each until I came up with my own concept of how to integrate his ideas.

 He wanted an elegant great sword, with a winged crossguard and a wolf head pommel, and so this is what I put together:


 The carved wolf head, I decided, would be a custom pommel specific to his sword.  I wanted to keep the wing motif through-out, so I swapped out the wolf with one that matched the crossguard.

The Angelus sword is one of the first weapons I've ever done, and I get the feeling that now that it's out I will end up being coerced into making more. I haven't done weapons in the past, simply because I've had no desire to script them and a certain lack of inspiration for them, but this one turned out beautifully.  I may end up having to get inspired.

One thing that should be noted is that it's not combat scripted, or animated, but it is modifiable so you can add your own scripts or adjust its size to your avatar.

It has eight metal color options, including black, gunmetal, silver, gold, copper, bronze, and an aqua and a periwinkle color I've called ice and storm respectively.  It also shares the gem selection from the Nevina Jewelry.  The combinations are lucious and elegant, and make this sword perfect for both seraphim and fallen angels. 


Out now at the store
On the marketplace: 350L

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nevina Jewelry

Before I requested commissions, I was slowly plodding along with work on a new piece of jewelry.  Mesh is fantastic for jewelry, as it is for just about anything wearable.  However, the stones I've used in the past for my other jewelry seem a little outdated to me, so I decided to make an entirely new set.



I'm particularly proud of them, because unlike past jewelry stones I've made, I made them without any sort of leaning on Zbrush matcaps.  With my other stones, I would basically bake the texture of a Zbrush material and modify it, while in this case I started with a red circle, and after a lot of playing with gradients and blending layers, ended up with a gem.  

My friend doodles celtic knots, and he came up with one that I particularly liked.  I thought that with a few adaptations it'd make a really lovely pendant.


Nevina is gaelic for "worshipper of the saints", which I found fitting for a Celtic cross necklace.  It's unrigged for easy modification, and the pendant is a separate object so you can adjust the angle or size for a perfect fit.  On one hand, it seems like something from the middle ages, on the other, it's modern enough to be timeless. 

Currently available at my stall at the Fantasy Faire!   After the fair is over, they will be moved to the store on Carnivale and listed on the marketplace. 

Out now at the store
On the marketplace: 250L

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wolf, Lioness and the Wildwood

Now that Fantasy Faire is open, you might have spotted a couple of new masks there! As part of my commission spree, Dream Resistance hired me to do a set of three animal masks: a sparrow, a wolf, and a lioness. The sparrow is one of my RFL items this year, but the wolf and lioness, but the wolf and lioness are here to stay. She described the masks as made of leather, for a Game of Thrones roleplay. She wanted them primitively made half masks (rather than the full heads I'm so fond of doing). I found making them too primitive difficult because I just love details, but I think I nailed the rough leather look.

I've been playing with methods of layer blending and found a wonderful balance between color, shading, and roughness I think.  The Lioness mask comes in six colors: black (melanism!) , white (albinism!), ruddy, cream, brown, and golden, which is the one shown. 



If I'm honest, people have been asking for a wolf mask just like this for a while now.  I've started many attempts at them but for some reason simply could never get it looking like a proper wolf, or looking like anything passably decent at all.  Dream's commission gave me the final kick in the pants I needed to push on through my troubles and make it right.  I'm actually really pleased with how it came out.  The wolf has six colors as well: black, gray, brown, mottled (shown), cream and white.

Lastly is a mask that's a bit out of place in this line up.  It's actually a mask I started for my Halloween masquerade and never properly finished, because I hated how lack luster it was.  I liked the structure of it, but I simply couldn't get the texture right.  I gave it as the prize for the best male costume, but after that, didn't feel like facing the struggle to do it justice.  Scrambling for more releases for Fantasy Faire, it suddenly made the top of my list of projects I could finish.

Thank goodness I did, because looking at it now? Dayum.


The Wildwood mask is a rough hewn piece of wood, covered in fractured bark and yet alive with glowing power of the forest.  It has nine colors, with a tintable glow layer that you can customize to be any color.  It's not HUD controlled though, it's just modifiable with a separate object for the glow. You can get some really amazing effects combining different glow colors with the included colors for the mask.

These masks are currently only available at my stall at Fantasy Faire!   After the fair is over, they will be moved to the store on Carnivale and listed on the marketplace.  But don't miss the faire, if you only go to one expo all year, make it this one!

Illusions @ Fantasy Faire 2013



Once again, Fantasy Faire has come around, and this year Illusions can be found on the Evensong sim.  Fantasy Faire opens at 6am on Saturday, the 20th so come visit!

With all of the commissions I've been working on, I realize I probably should have worked on more things to completion rather than starting almost everything and ending up with most things 20%-60% done.  I think I was a bit too optimistic to think I could get multiple projects done by FF, so I'll be completing some more over the week that Fantasy Faire runs but more will probably be coming afterwards too.

I've put out a couple of new masks, but I'm going to start with my items for RFL.  Once again, Fantasy Faire is associated with Relay For Life in raising money for the American Cancer society, and we creators were asked to donate two items.

One of the commissions I accepted was one from Dream Resistance, who requested a trio of animal masks, all made to look as if they were made of leather.  One of the ones she requested was a sparrow, which seemed to me a perfect offering for RFL.

 

Since I'm such a fan of black and white, I decided to do another coloring of it for my second RFL mask.  I recolored it as a black-capped chickadee, a bird I remember from my childhood.



Both of them are available in the RFL vendors at my stall on Evensong for just a 100L donation to the American Cancer Society, but of course if you wish to give more, that's up to you!


Monday, April 8, 2013

If you follow my Plurk this may be old news, but I've found myself in a bit of a financial pickle.  I had a rather sizable bill arrive near the end of March which perfectly bit a chunk out of the money I had set aside for rent on my apartment.  Unfortunately, working on Second Life for a living, I live just barely within my means and so my savings go just as soon as they come.  I doubt my lack of activity had nothing to do with my current predicament, either.

I'm far too stubborn and aware of my own part in my situation to actually come out and ask for help, but what I could use is work.  Fantasy Faire is coming up and while I had my own list of things I had in mind to make,  I'm putting out the call to you.  If you have a bit of disposable income, or perhaps some lindens lying around, please hire me!  Is there something you've had in mind for a while that you'd like to see made?  Maybe you even sent me a suggestion ages ago, and I never got around to making it?  This is your chance to have it become real, or as real as Second Life gets.  I'm looking for around 10,000L-20,0000L per project, or less if it's a something small or simple.  Please, do contact me to talk about ideas, how you visualize your project and what your budget is and hopefully I can make you something.

Some people have already stepped forward and hired me, and I've made solid starts on three projects already, but I still need to raise about $200USD more and more is always better.  I've set up a double points sale at the store, so that all purchases made with an Angel Card from now until Friday evening will grant 20% of the value back as store credit.  If you already have everything you could want from the store and you insist on supporting me in your own, incredibly sweet, stubborn and generous way, maybe purchase a points pack or two and use those points later.  Consider it a loan, and every little bit really does add up.  Hell, that's how I make my living.


Update: I've made my goal!  Thank you so much to everyone who swung by the shop or ordered something or bought something on the marketplace, I'm now in the clear and should be good for another month.   Plus, I have so many goodies for Fantasy Faire now!  The double points sale will continue until Friday evening.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Curiata Jewelry

I realized that my motivation dry spell went a bit deeper than just a superficial lack of drive.  I think I've been dealing with depression and escapism and I'm only just coming out of it.  The Curiata was a bit of no-strings attached fun, a quick project that was beautiful and warmly received.  I got the urge to do more pieces like it!

Unfortunately, half way through working on it, I stumbled into a pit of complexity I simply wasn't able to handle.  I had fun modeling all of the delicate curlicues of the new pieces, but the UV's on items like that are absurd and challenging to do.  The colors from the original Curiata mask were done in a way that I wasn't anticipating having to match them, and so I had to meticulously recreate them.  When faced with the pit falls and challenges of a larger project (as there inevitably are) I simply couldn't handle them, and so I went back to escaping.

Eventually, a month after most of the actual work was done, I managed to struggle with myself to finally get over those hurdles.  I was feeling like nothing I did could be easy and consequence free, everything was a burden of tedious labor and nothing came easily.  But, I pushed myself through it knowing that in reality the hurdles are embarrassingly small, and it's silly of me to be putting so much emphasis and importance on them.


So, I'm finally releasing companion pieces to the Curiata mask, a set of jewelry that includes a collar, bracelets and earrings.

I've probably been looking at it too long to really appreciate the intricacy and elegance of them, since labors of love often become more labor than love, but that doesn't stop me being proud of them.  As you can see, I matched the Niobium color from the mask and it came out so well I used it for the ad.  It's so vibrant and colorful, the other colors seem almost dull in comparison.

Classic gold is classic for a reason though.


I'm grateful that everyone's been so patient with my lack of productivity, and I really do hope to be able to do more soon.  The Curiata jewelry set is currently available at the store and on the marketplace. 


Out now at the store
On the marketplace: 525L

Friday, January 11, 2013

Curiata

Since I still feel like I'm in my motivation dry spell, I decided to ask my friends for inspiration.  The ever helpful and lovely Evangeline Miles suggested I do something like laser cut masks .  One of the images clicked with me and I realized I could probably do something like that now with mesh.

It came a lot easier to me than I was expecting.  I sketched out some lovely curly prettiness in Zbrush, then followed the design in Blender to get my final geometry.  When I got it into Zbrush for sculpting, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it had worked!


 I might have gotten carried away, but I love the results.  Admittedly, it turned into something similar to the Columbina and Civetta Curia trim I did, which is why I gave it the name Curiata.

Unlike the Curia masks, this one has no "backing" which makes it more delicate and feminine.  For colors, I did my usual range of black, gray (silver) and white, and red through purple and pink.  I had eleven out of twelve colors after that though, so I decided to have fun with the last one.

Have you ever heard of Niobium?  If not, you might not have seen the beautiful and crazy colors that come out when it's anodized.  It's generally a gradient of purples and blues to cyan, but can sometimes have golds and pinks in it as well.  I thought I might have a bit of fun and include Niobium amongst my usual metal options.


I'm aiming to make more masks in the time leading up to Mardi Gras.  After all, it's only a month away!  I'll keep you guys updated on when the masquerade will be.  And of course, that'll be the perfect place to wear this one ;)


Out now at the store
On the marketplace: 315L