Friday, June 23, 2023

Illusions @ the Second Life 20th Birthday Shop & Hop

Second Life is turning 20 this year. I remember a time in 2006 where I signed up for this odd not-a-game game, when people who had joined in 2003 seemed like they had been around for ages.  I marveled at the venerable last names like Thereian and Midnight.  I now get to be one of those dinosaurs I guess, figuratively and literally, as there are some really cool dinosaur avatars out there now.  There's actually only eight of us Suens left who show up in search (though I know there may be others with their profiles hidden).  It's pretty amazing to me that Second Life has grown and evolved so much in that time and not only stayed active but remained one of the largest virtual worlds out there.  I know I've put it aside for a long time but it's actually really cool that it's just been there still doing its thing, improving and advancing.

Since I missed out on Fantasy Faire, I felt like I should join in the celebration. Illusions is a part of the celebratory SL20B Shop and Hop, and everything at my stall is 20% off!  With my long term inactivity, I haven't exactly done any sales in a long time so enjoy it while it lasts!



You can find my stall on the Snowflake sim and I've put out a lot of great stuff.  I know my store's look is pretty dated but I'll get around to that eventually.   You can grab the new Curia masks for 20% off while Shop & Hop runs.  It goes until July 11th, so swing on by before then.

Illusions @ SL20B

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Civetta and Farafallina Curia

I'm happy to say that I did get a chance to do as I hoped, and have another Curia mask to share with you all. Two, in fact!

The Civetta Curia was the original partner to the Columbina Curia, and had the same issues with its construction that bothered me.  Despite that, it's been the "mascot" mask of my brand for many years, so I'm happy to replace it with this newer version.  Again, the geometry is much smoother and more efficient, the shapes a bit more defined, and I got rid of a central element I had been waffling back and forth over.  After six or seven years my blog banner could use a refresh, huh?

Speaking of refreshes, the Farafallina was the first mesh mask I released, in fact it was the first mesh item I ever released, way back in 2011.  I was just learning how to do things, and while the geometry was really not that bad, I had sort of goofed on the UV seams.  I decided to give it a refresh, give it the "basic mask collection" treatment, and update its color selection to match the other basic masks I have out right now.  I ended up adding in those metal textures after all.  Of course, if it's going to be a basic mask, it needed a fancier version.

The Farafallina is slimmer and more delicate than the Civetta, but they were similar enough shapes that it made adapting the pieces pretty simple.  This one has become a favorite to wear around.  I don't know if it has the surface area for the Barocco details but I like how this one turned out.

These are available now at my store on the Twilight and on the marketplace.


Civetta Curia: 295L

Farafallina Curia: 295L

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Curia... again

 When I first started getting comfortable with making mesh items one of the first masks I made was the Columbina Curia, a meditation on pretty, curly flourishes that I can't seem to get enough of.  I had fun designing and sculpting and tracing pretty swirls all over my new mesh masks.  Unfortunately, now that I am looking at all of my mesh items as a collection I realized it's a weak link.  As I took new pictures of my masks to update all of my vendors I just couldn't quite get myself to give the Civetta and Columbina Curia the same treatment.  At the time, I just didn't have the chops to do the concept justice, so I made some clumsy mistakes. 

With the new standardized basic shapes providing a potent platform for pretty permutations, I wanted to revisit the Curia.  I opened up some 10(!) year old files and threw my improved skill and experience at a new version to satisfy my insatiable perfectionism.

The new Columbina Curia uses the same base mask and color options as the basic Columbina, along with my six metal trim colors for the flourishes.  The geometry is smoother, the textures are silky smooth, and the mask is a single object now to make fitting much easier and more customizable to your avatar.

For comparison, here is the old version in the same color combo:

I won't pretend it's terrible, I can understand it still has some appeal.  Where I see the flaws, I know some people might see the charm.  The two versions are distinct enough from each other that the old version could be missed if I did away with it completely.  Because of this, I'm going to keep the old version for sale, but the vendors will not be updated to the new standard and the prices will be discounted.  

I think it's funny that in that original blog post I predicted that one day I would look back with the "facepalm of hindsight" at this mask.  Well, now that we have reached "one day" I will be more kind to myself, and recognize that it held up pretty well considering its age.  I just can't help but always want to strive for better.

Like the Barocco pieces, I plan on creating Curia versions of some of my other basic masks, starting with the Civetta and I'll see where I go from there.  

The new Columbina Curia is out now at my store on the Twilight and on the marketplace.

Columbina Curia: 295L

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Civetta and Civetta Barocco

 I can't explain how or why but in the past month I've had a bug, an itch, to fiddle with things on Second Life.  This hasn't happened to me in a long time and I've seized upon it in order to get some things done around here.  

It was long overdue that I update my mesh items to my "new" vendor system (from 2017 oh my god how was that six years ago?) and took a good look at my store inventory.  I got rid of some things that were still up at the Twilight that I think were truly obsolete and reduced the price on many older sculpted items.  I am still in the process of going through those and plan on reducing more items to reflect their vintage.  I was happy to see some things still look pretty good in this day and age of fancy bento stuff and newfangled animesh but I still felt like making some tweaks where I could.  

I've added some new colors to the Bauta, Mezza, and Columbina masks, and their Barocco counterparts.  I decided to add orange and brown, but since I can't leave well enough alone I also added more metallic options than just the gold and silver so they now have all of my six metal options too.   It makes for a very luscious effect and... oh... right... yeah, I made another one. 


I know, I know, another release?  Has it been a year already?  No, I just stayed up late every night after the baby fell asleep because I realized that I had never just released a simple mesh version of the Civetta mask.  There was the Civetta Curia, the Civetta Musica, but where was just the Civetta?  Gotta have those simple options.

"Civetta", the Italian word for owl, is a nod to the shape of the mask and how it frames the eyes.  What once was too simple to be exciting to my novelty starved brain is now totally in my lane for my current limited time budget.  It too got the extra color treatment, and now my simple masks all have the same metal and color options.  If I get a chance I might even update the Farafallina to have metal options.  Are you getting sick of the barocco masks yet? Maybe I'll do a version for that one too....

In any case, it's nice to work on things again.

Civetta Mask: 125L

Civetta Barocco Mask: 325L

Friday, April 21, 2023

Columbina and Columbina Barocco

As you can imagine, this past year has gone by in a blur of diaper changes and sleepless nights as I adjust to motherhood, as well as settling in to our new home.  Yet things have calmed down enough in the past month or so, that, with some help, I was able to make some time to make a new thing.

It's been a while, I had to blow the dust off of my programs and remember all of the hot keys.  I decided to do something easy and quick that would still be very satisfying.  Ever since mesh was released I kept saying to myself I'd make a run of simple, flexible, infinitely versatile basic mesh masks, but I kept putting them off to do more ambitious projects.  Since saying I'm feeling unambitious lately is an understatement, this was a good opportunity to do just that. 

Columbina is one of the classic characters from commedia dell'arte, her name meaning "little dove".  She often poses as a love interest and the only functional intellect on the stage.  The mask is elegant and characterized by the smooth line from nose to cheek and upswept sides. 

 I did warn everyone though that when I released the Mezza Barocco mask that I'd be using those pieces again.

Along with the Bauta Barocco, the Columbina Barocco offered a sumptuous way for me to capitalize on previous work done to make something new.  It was something that I was able to put together in the time that I had, generously donated by my mother as she kept my rambunctious offspring at bay. Along with this, I realized I had another quick and easy project I could release with a bit of spit and polish.

Another basic mask was hiding all along underneath that Mezza Barocco.  I cleaned up the textures a bit and added a gold and silver version, to match the others, and put that together as a simple, clean alternative.  Can never have enough options, and of course the more basic mask shapes the better.  Different shapes will look good on different faces!  As always they are all modifiable, I still leave them unrigged so you can stretch and reposition them to fit your avatar's face, as long as it's vaguely anthropomorphic.


While I had originally hoped to have these done in time to participate in Fantasy Faire, I decided to take the win of finishing anything at all.  These masks are now for sale on the marketplace and in my in-world location at the Twilight. 

Columbina: 115L

Columbina Barocco 325L

Mezza: 115L

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Spring update

 Hi there everybody, 

 I'm sorry to say that while each year I endeavor to crawl out from my hidey hole and suspend my hiatus to celebrate Fantasy Faire with all of you, I will not be participating this year.  As much as I would love to, some big real life changes have just occurred that preclude my having the time or energy to invest in it.  For one, my husband and I just moved into a new home last month, which was the culmination of months of work getting our former house packed and ready for sale.  For the other, we just had our first baby, born on April 2nd.  As you can imagine, it's enough of a task to try to get some sleep and take a shower, let alone unpack boxes and settle in, that making a beautiful thing to share with you for the faire was just not going to happen.  

Of course, I'm very happy for these changes in my life, so obviously I do not want you to worry about me.  Even if my first life is taking priority, I don't want you to think I've forgotten you.  I would still like to make something this year, even if it won't be happening this spring, and so I will aim for making something awesome and spooky for you all for Halloween.  In the meantime I will be attempting to steal naps and time to eat where I can.

Much love and happiness,


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Illusions @ Fantasy Faire 2021

It's certainly been a year, hasn't it?  I hope you and your loved ones have been staying safe, hiding inside, basking in the dim glow of LED screens staying entertained in quarantine.  Once again I have come out of my own hole in the ground in order to release something for Fantasy Faire: the one event in Second Life I simply can't bear to miss. 

Are you guys sick of masks yet?

Well, I guess I could always make "I Survived a Pandemic" T-shirts, but I get the feeling you guys might like a mask better.

The Vaporbecco is my interpretation of the popular steampunk vision of the Plague Doctor mask.  "Vaporbecco" literally means "steam beak" in (bad) Italian.  I wanted to model the brass goggles, the machined metal beak tip, and of course everyone's favorite steampunk motif: rivets.  In case you missed my old post about the Plague Doctor, the distinctive beak shaped mask was developed in the time of the black death.  They had the general  idea that being around sick people was a bad idea, but they believed that the reason was because of "bad air" or "malaise".  To protect themselves, doctors would clothe themselves in oiled robes and a mask stuffed with sweet smelling herbs.  Rather than having the herbs right up against their faces, they created the beak shape for a pocket, and thus we have the eerie bird-like silhouette of the Dottore Pestere.  For what was known about sickness at the time, it was a rather reasonably engineered piece of personal protective equipment.

Steampunk culture seems to have embraced the plague doctor, who might be seen seen as a tragic hero of a bygone era.  A plague doctor muddled through a harrowing time, using their best understanding of the science of disease, while protecting themselves as best they knew how.  You know, kinda like how we're doing right now.  

For RFL I've put out two unique colors not included with the original mask, for roughly half the price.  They still allow you to change the rivets and metal details, but not the mask itself. 

These will be available for sale on the Fantasy Faire sim of Tempest Bay, where you can find my store from April 22nd to May 9th.  It's sort of pirate themed so I've also put out a couple of my old pirate hats and the Niobium Alato mask from 2018.  I would love to have done more this year but truly real life is just kicking my butt.  This year has been so crazy in a lot of ways, and has certainly kept me busy.  As always I appreciate your patience, and I hope you enjoy this spooky and iconic mask in honor of the... (hopefully) unique experience that was 2020.  

Friday, April 24, 2020

Illusions @ Fantasy Faire 2020

 Oh hey there. 

With all that's going on in the world at the moment, I'm relieved and happy that Fantasy Faire is happening again this year.  With so many of us having to stay home and avoid gatherings, Second Life can provide a way for people to come together and socialize safely. It's also a celebration of the fantasy genre in Second Life as well as contributing to Relay for Life, so of course I crawled out of my hole once again to make a few pretty things.

It's been longer than I'd like to think about since I last released a Bauta, a classic Venetian mask that's long been a staple of Venetian Carnivale.  I'm long due for a new rendition. 

The Bauta has a unique shape that, when worn, actually changes and deepens the sound of your voice.  So if you're out and about and up to some discrete debauchery, not only does the mask disguise your face, but your voice as well.  Plus, you can drink wine while wearing it, which is a part of all good debauchery sessions.

But of course I can't do anything so plain without elevating it with my favorite thing: curls and swirls.  The Bauta Barocco might seem a bit familiar, because the Mezza Barocco is kind of its sibling. I've been wanting to use the library of pieces I made for that mask for a while, so this project was a way to do that.  I still intend to elevate a few more basic mask shapes with these details in the future, so you can expect more members of the family.... eventually.

Of course, for Fantasy Faire, one needs to have an item that donates the proceeds to Relay For Life, The Bauta Diamonte is a classic pattern often found on Bautas, evoking Arlecchino (or more often known as Harlequin).  I've also put out the Shikoba necklace from last year out for just 25L.

These items can be found at my Fantasy Faire stall on the gorgeous Zodiac sim.  It's such a treat to once again be on Alia Baroque's build, as he always does a gorgeous job and I find our respective styles complement each other beautifully.  I recommend exploring the entire sim, there are many details and picturesque views to enjoy.

See you there :)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Illusions @ Fantasy Faire 2019

If there's one thing that can bring me back to SL each year, it's Fantasy Faire.  Since I'm still lurking on the outskirts of productivity, I've got another lovely thing this year to thank you guys for your patience.

I knew I didn't want to miss the biggest fantasy event of the year, so when I was wondering what to make I thought about things I'd like to wear, both in real life and on SL.  I actually made a pretty cool feather shoulder piece in real life for a costume, and it turned out pretty well, but on Second Life things can be... well, so much more.

So I made the feather mantle I wish I could make in real life!  Hey, maybe some day I will, but in the meantime, Siyu will be rocking it and you can too.  It comes in fits appropriate for either or a masculine or feminine avatar, but it's unrigged and modifiable because these days there are so many specialized shapes I wanted to play it safe.  It's scripted to texture change with three ribbon colors and twelve colors of my new feathers.  I'm really enjoying the new textures and shapes and I'm looking forward to finding more projects for them.

Speaking of, when one of my friends saw the new feathers, he made a great suggestion for a simple pendant. 

Shikoba is my RFL gift this year, which means "feather" in Choktaw.  The feathers are scripted to change texture so you can have the full range of colors that are available on the mantle in the pendant.  Along with the pendant, due to a friendly reminder from a customer recently, I've decided to put out a couple of old RFL masks as well for 50L each (the Sparrow and Chickadee masks).

These are all available at my booth on Midas, the gorgeous Mediterranean inspired sim by Alia Baroque.  It's a privilege to be on one of his sims again, he always does such a beautiful job!

The Fantasy Faire runs from April 18th to May 5th, and if you love fantasy items and themes in Second Life, or you're just an aficionado of cool sims and creative builds, don't miss it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illusions @ Fantasy Faire 2018

Crazy how a year flies by yet again, huh? 

I haven't forgotten Second Life, but I definitely have been neglecting it.  I never officially quit or thought of myself as retired, though I guess that's effectively what happened.  However, I haven't given up on it or myself as a creator.  I'm wary of saying I'm going to be more active but it's something I'd like to do.

If anything could pull me back in world though, it's Fantasy Faire.  How am I supposed to miss the biggest fantasy event in Second Life? 

Despite my real life keeping me pretty busy (and so many video games I would rather be playing...) I made a lovely new thing for you guys.  One item a year, that's better than no items right?

When I showed my friends this necklace, multiple people said it kind of reminded them of a fairy, and someone said it especially reminded them of Navi from Zelda.  In honor of Navi, I've named this necklace "Fealuin", which is Quenya for "blue fairy".  Of course it's texture change, and on my fancy new vendor you can see all of the colors available right there.  This necklace also includes a slightly simpler version without the hanging chains on the sides because I know you guys love options.

I was at least true to my word (a year ago, lol) that I was going to swap vendor systems.  I've been working with the MG vendor system to convert a few items over.  Loyalty points will now be automatic and not require any use of a card, and demo items can be gotten directly from the vendor itself.  I can also offer automated redelivery now as well as a gifting, so I will be swapping over to selling items that are copy only.  The only issue is that I need to box up all of my items which has always been a bit annoying to me, but I'm trying to make it convenient for you guys by making the box an unpacking HUD that just needs to be worn once and gives you a folder automatically.

The new vending system does mean that your old loyalty points will no longer be valid.  Unfortunately there's no way that I can import your card information, the old system just didn't allow for that.  I stopped selling angel cards a year ago in anticipation of this but I know a lot of you guys are old school and probably still have your cards.  I don't have too much faith in my getting everything swapped over that quickly, so I just recommend using your balance in the next couple of months on something you might like. 

Anyway, another part of Fantasy Faire are items for RFL to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  This year, I felt rather colorful and so I've made Niobium versions of a couple old favorites.

These items are all available at my Fantasy Faire stall on Pools of Ethuil.  Come take a look!