Friday, September 28, 2007

The question came up recently as to why I am not included in the incredibly popular and very time-saving syndicate blog Fashion World of SL. Most bloggers who are members get a lot of traffic, because it gathers up the myriad designer and fashionista blogs all into one convenient location, so there's no need to open up 25 browser tabs, or get yourself an RSS reader just to make it through your blog roll. Well, there's a very simple answer why... Because I can't select which entries go through. For your own fashionable sake I have not unleashed the torrent upon the populous that would be my daily words! I update every day, and it'd practically become My Blog: The Return, with a bigger budget, more interludes and guest stars.

But... what I do say might be nice for you guys to know, because you enjoy my blathering and the little tidbits of news that might spring up and effect you and the speed with which you can get your hot little hands on the Pretties. Since you guys know you like reading my babble, I will keep writing it :)

A couple months back, I divulged in a couple of friends that I had a couple of dreams, a couple of aspirations.. a short list of landmarks that I wanted to reach as a Second Life content creator. These were things that I thought really put you on the map, showed you were a serious professional and put you into the mainstream of the fashion savvy, even if you catered to a niche as I do.

Here are the landmarks I felt at the time I needed to reach for, work towards, and aspire to, in ascending order:

1) Get Blogged - Absolutely number one, because it's the first one I needed to be introduced to the fashion world and get my name out there. I submitted my items tenaciously to Linden Lifestyles. Like most designers, I've come an incredibly long way from the items that were featured in that review, but if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have gotten the sort of encouragement I needed to actually start taking my business seriously. Getting blogged put my store on the map, even if it was only a street name and not a city.

2) Get Interviewed - I told my good friends that this in particular was something that I really wanted... I don't know, maybe it was my chance to pretend I was on The Tonight Show, or maybe fill out a survey that people would actually read the answers to. I just absolutely adore answering questions, doesn't necessarily matter what they're about, but it's just an enormous bonus if they're about something I love, like my work. I talk about my work endlessly to anyone that will listen... as... er... you well know.

The wonderful and ever encouraging Queenie Extraordinaire can say she was the first one to ever interview me; I'll be featured in the next issue of the Metaverse Messenger! Queenie, from way back, has always slipped my items into her blogging in a most flatteringly casual way, so that even when I felt like a very teeny fish in a big pond of publicity she would make me feel a bit more like a salmon.

3) Have a major, Non-Friend Designer Feature your Design in a Product Shot - Ok yes this one sounds a little bit too specific, and maybe something only I would want from all the things I could have. But I would be out shopping, like ya do, and there would be these pieces of jewelry that would just appear again and again in vendor pictures. A certain hat, or a hairstyle, that would circulate around the designers and fashion community. I wanted one of those items to be mine. I think like calls to like, and I have ended up being lucky enough to have a large percentage of my friends be fellow content creators... so having a designer whose work I adore and who isn't a close friend has become a rarity! A lot of these friends and I have a sort of free exchange, where we trade items, bounce ideas off of each other, give critiques and also end up using these items quite a bit in our vendor shots. This is why my dear beloved Munchflower didn't count for this, we're just too cuddly XD

So when Nicky Ree nabbed Gracile, and featured it in her absolutely perfectly synchronized release of her Swan Dream gowns, I had finally reached a goal that I had been quietly dreaming of for months. Nicky Ree is one of my all time favorite clothing designers, and I think she is definitely the designer of formal wear on Second Life... and while we've met we've just never really clicked into the "omg, you're awesome, flisted/IMolested" mindset. Being told that she was using my hat for her pictures was like... "oh gosh it's finally happened".

So you see? Dreams can come true ♥
4) Get Featured in Second Style - ......>.>

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wonderful News, and a big relief!

Carnivale is safe!

After speaking to the seller, and finding out that he was actually acting on behalf of Vanessa, I told him how important it was to me that Carnivale be the island that remained, and that it greatly effected my personal and financial well being. Today when I checked back on the auction (it's gone up to $202 from $5), a question was asked, and answered:

Q: Hello, can you tell me the names of the 5 sims, since the list there has more than 5 names? Many thanks (:
A: All Islands except Carnivale are up for sale and all islands can be moved and renamed (for 100 US with Linden)

I told the seller (the person acting on her behalf) that I wouldn't bother him with emails anymore... but gosh, if he's reading this, I just want to say:


Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. I know that he didn't actually have to, and that the sale could have continued, and I would have done my best to negotiate with the buyer or buy and sell the 4 sims myself. But I am just so grateful that he saw fit to let me keep my home.

This is a very grateful post... There was an absolute outpouring of love and support from you guys. When I logged on and was absolutely freaking out and panicking, you, my friends, were there with IM's offering me help and places to stay. Helyanwe offered me the use of her own home for the Masque, and Munchflower Zaius offered me a place on Nomine, and not to mention the people who were willing and ready to help me raise the money to save Carnivale. I feel incredibly lucky, loved, and humbled that I have such wonderful and generous friends... and I really want to say thank you. Just because I won't have need of your generousity doesn't mean that I don't greatly appreciate your offers of support. I can't believe that some people don't have faith in humanity... they obviously haven't met you.

Witchy Woman

Before I got that disturbing news below, I was about to blog my brand new witch's hats and halloween jewelry! It was about time some really nice quality sculpted witch's hats hit the market. I've named all of my hats after famous witches :)

I've been cackling and wearing this outfit around, and singing my own theme music to myself "dundunnananana, dunananana, duna! duna!" This one is pure fun, a tall, elegant witch's hat for absolutely anyone, and it's utterly timeless. Elphaba was the name that the author Gregory Maguire gave the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. It has a fun oversized brim and a very tall crown, and it's actually pretty historically accurate. It has a simple buckle that comes in silver or gold, with a hat band that comes in black, or white for tinting. But, for the modern witch who might not be into the deep and dark or cauldrons of newts, you might want to try this one:

Kiki was made in the tradition of adorable gothloli witches and their cute poofy dresses. This hat definitely says "I'm a witch by trade, but who says I can't be friendly?" The character of Kiki in Kiki's delivery service was a sweet, hard working and dedicated young witch, and while she didn't actually wear a witch's hat, I gave her one with a big fabulous bow on the back like the one she always wore on her head.

I also wanted to honor one of my very favorite witches, whom I've been a big fan of ever since I first read the first Harry Potter book: Minerva McGonagall.

Minerva to me, is a traditionalist with a bit of flair, she's conservative yet she's playful. I spruced up this fabulously floppy hat with a fan of cock feathers and a hat pin, which I created just for this hat. As you can see, it's adorable and perfect for halloween, and perfect for Minerva, who can turn into a cat! But.. once I'd made the pin, I realized I loved it too much to just keep it only to a pin on a hat... why don't I make matching jewelry?

I love this set, and I just wish that I could have Halloween jewelry as classy as this in real life, but nooo it's all flashing pumpkin heads and light up ghosts. The brooms especially are absolutely adorable, and make great earrings; they're a lot primmier than they need to be, but hey, I figured I'd splurge. I love the jewelry and the hat together, and you can match them to any outfit since they're both available in 5 metals (gold, copper, sterling, antiqued and tarnished).

It may seem early to some, but Halloween is even more fun in Second Life, since you really can dress up as ANYTHING! And I for one am really excited about it ^_^

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Big Scare

I was going to blog some new hats that I released last night, but I've just received the fright of my Second Life.

Someone was kind enough to send me an IM, asking me if it was true that Carnivale was for sale.


Apparently, right now, Carnivale, and the block of sims its a part of are all listed for sale on Ebay. A scam of course? There's a screenshot from Vanessa Noarlunga's account.

I'm absolutely terrified. I'm not sure if the fact that that I own the parcel will count for anything, but I also know that if I end up homeless, I can get new land, I can move. I love my home, and I love that I've been able to spread out and be a complete prim whore, but I also know that I can very easily do with less and I can rebuild somewhere else. What I'm most afraid of, is that Vanessa's account is being stolen without her even knowing, and at a time when she doesn't need any more stresses in her life. I'm scared that I don't have any way to warn her, that the money that she's invested and the time she's spent in Second Life is about to be completely gone. I'm especially scared that because of this, I might never see my friend again.

EDIT: I've since found out from someone speaking on her behalf that the sale is legitimate. The sims are being sold, and the seller was instructed to sell five of the six sims. My guess is that Vanessa intended for Carnivale to be the one that was left alone, but instead it's included in the block. I've tried letting the seller know, but I'm not sure if he will change the listing.

I'll be working on emergency plans, in case of a sudden change of venue for both Illusions and the Midnight Masquerade.

After having a talk with Munchflower, she's told me that in case I do suddenly end up homeless I have a spot on Nomine with her until I find my own land. She says her prim limits are at my disposal and that I can set up a venue for the Midnight Masque there if I need to. Needless to say, if you find Munch suddenly selling a couple of items that have sculpted prims, you know where they came from.

I realize that sometimes I just assume that everyone knows the wonderful story of how I got an entire sim to my onesies when I cater to a particular niche, and use all of my SL income towards my real life rent. Once upon a time, there was a little mask maker. I had just got my first land, put my store up, and started out seriously making masks and selling for a business sometime in December. I had been making them for about two months, and I had a modest collection that I was extremely proud of. I was used to a purchase here or there, a little ca-ching of lindens from someone who had wandered into my shop to buy for a masquerade, and I made maybe two thousand lindens a day. One day, I suddenly got a ca-ching... and another, and another, and another. I was getting paid over and over again as a lady named Vanessa Noarlunga bought every single thing in my shop. I IM'd her, absolutely delighted, and she told me that she had an extensive collection of masks in real life, and that she was so very happy to find someone taking mask making seriously. Soon after that, we became best friends, and she asked me to do commissions for her and paid me extremely generously. She told me that she was very wealthy in her first life, and worked in Hollywood as a production designer. She said she would love to buy a sim, and rent out half of it to me in exchange for masks and all other inventory that I created. Obviously, that arrangement was just out of this world amazing, and I couldn't believe it, and I was absolutely delighted. For a while I shared the sim with some of her friends who were a part of a Star Trek role playing community, and then she bought them their own. After that, the other half of the sim was abandoned, and she said that the island would be mine but Vanessa never officially gave the parcel to me. She disappeared for a while, and I sent her an email asking where she was, and that people were worried about her. An assistant of hers told me that she was in Europe, and that her daughter had been involved in a fatal accident. Since then, I've only been able to hope that she recovers with the help of her parents, and know that she has more friends than she knows.

So that's the story, I will be bidding on the block of sims if and when I can, and my mother says that she will donate funds to help me if. The auction has five days to go, and I really don't know what sort of numbers I'll be competing with for five sims... I do know that if I end up with the block of them, I actually probably could recover a bit with terraforming them and selling them. I'm also hoping that I might be able to deal with whoever does buy them, if not me, and possibly buy just Carnivale from them.

Wish me luck, or buy me boxes.


Not too long ago, I took a quick break from SL to take a trip down to the local Renaissance Faire to have some fun shopping and being all dressed up. I had a plan to ask an artist there whose work I quite admired her permission to render one of her designs in Second Life. It was a design that had captivated me with it's incredible grace, wonderful character, and just pure Fabulousness, and I longed to make my own interpretation of it.

This artist's name is Bonnie Trivizas, of "Fowl Play", a featherworks shop in which she sells beautiful hat pins, fans, and of course, her notorious, and infamous... Swan Hat:

Wearing a hat like this changes the way you walk. It gets you noticed, it makes heads turn, but most of all it makes you into a completely different person. The spirit of the hat takes over, and if you were the sort of person who sits on the curb and eats a cheeseburger, you suddenly become the sort of person who wears white lace gloves and takes tea at Fortnam and Mason's.

When I asked Bonnie, (who is most amiable and wonderfully whimsical), she couldn't believe that I thought that her hat would sell. "God, of course!" I told her, "It's FABULOUS!". I think part of her still didn't believe me, so I especially am asking everyone who wears it to take pictures of yourself, and post it in the *~*Illusions*~* pool on Flickr. I'll be sending the links to Bonnie so she can see people enjoying having a swan on their head! And not only that...

If you love this hat enough in Second Life... you can have it in your first, and for a very modest price at that for the work that goes into it. If you're interested and have a bit of spare cash, you can IM Bonnie yourself at She doesn't have her website yet, but she's an absolute peach and a pleasure to talk to!

Now... this hat was full of collaborations, not just with Bonnie but also with Jen Shikami of Seven's Selections, who has the most incredible wings... but she also was able to do commisioned feather textures for me. Not only did she make me a beautiful collection of flawlessly alpha'd feathers... she also did UV wrapped textures for my sculpted feathers, which is what allowed me to layer my feathers without any alpha flicker worries at all. She did incredible work, and now I can finally, truly, use feathers in my work. The entire reason I hadn't touched the wonderful world of plumage was a lack of perfect textures. Now that I have them... it opens so many doors.

Gracile turned out so beautifully, that it was blogged before it was actually released. Celebrity Trollop beat me to the punch when I made the "mistake" of sharing it with her in a fit of happy, giddy excitement when I was taking pictures. Her response was very flattering, and in her wonderful bubbly way she evilly coerced me into giving her everything I'm working on right now XD That witchy woman!! And witchy indeed as you'll see from the post! And you can thank her for the fact that I'm pushing up the release of some Halloween yummies quite radically :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Three 20L Goodies

Last night I set out that eye patch I gave to group members, and a plain satin blindfold that someone asked about in fashion emergency. I also repackaged Smokey and put it in the pretty vendors with options! All three of them are just 20L each, so they won't exactly put too much of a dent in your pocket.

I love the look of this, it looks so mysterious and it's just so simple! The sculpt is a "cloth wrap" that I did a while back, but it ended up fitting to the face really, really well. I also was playing with turning up the transparency, and you get the same effect with the mask that Kirsten Dunst was wearing in Marie Antoinette. I really like throwing it on at the last minute when I don't want to think about picking out my mask for the day.

Arrr, ye be a right scurvy seadog with that thar patch. Or, just your general rogue... I know technically eyepatches don't really follow that line or go down across the cheek, but let's just face it... it looks totally badass that way.

Here's Smokey again :) My all time top best seller, I cleaned up the rotations a teeny big and fit it to the forehead a bit tighter, but it's still the same product, same price, prettier package ^.^

These are just teasers to tie you over, I'm really excited about some delicious secret projects, but I don't have pictures, so they'll have to stay secret until I do XD

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mezzaluna and Solas

There's a particular design of mask that's always enchanted me, inspired me and mystified me. It's that asymmetrical sweep, coming down around the cheek and sweeping up into the hair, that I tried to convey in my primitive way in the Celestial Mask, way back when. Someone brought that mask back into my mind recently, asking about a "mate" for it... and I realized it was about time I made a pair of masks based loosely on the sun and the moon.

Solas is a glorious spiky sort of sun god mask, but he's a devil to fit with hair. You'll definitely need a hair that doesn't have bangs, let's put it that way. You can see a bit of my trying to play with designs in textures, this one was tricky for me! I even made myself a male shape especially so that I might experience the whole "being a man wearing one of my masks" thing, and I think you'll find this one will fit a lot better than my other ones, unless of course you have a larger than average nose o.o

But Solas is sadly merely a prelude compared to the one I'm really, really proud of... you had a preview of it, and now you can enjoy the finished version in all of it's elegant glory...

Walking into the store and having this staring at you first thing you see is quite an effect. I'm especially happy with the deep sweeping shading in the eyes that give it that smolderingly sexy mystique. The delicate chain just completes this beautiful line that encompasses the face, and I just can't stop wearing Noam Sprocket of Gritty Kitty's beautiful Needles hair style with it. It's far and away my favorite fauxhawk, and it balances out the curves beautifully. I'm very happy, and I think you folks are too, that I didn't stop with mediocrity :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

I've been working on a new way to texture my masks! I found that even though I can't really add detail on the sculpted mask itself, that doesn't mean that I can't add detail onto the model while it's still in Zbrush. I think I still prefer doing prim details; doing the detail work in Zbrush feels a little awkward and a bit more like drawing, which I'd rather do with a tablet.

Oh em gee, the truth comes out, poor Siyu has a MOUSE. Yes. And does everything with it. So stop bugging me to do clothing, it'll simply never happen while I am chained to this digital rodent tool.

However, some nice things have come from my playing with this, one design that I'm extremely happy with, and didn't end up taking pictures of, and another that I did take pictures of, that I'm still playing with ideas for detail work. However, the picture I ended up taking is just so High Fashion I had to share it with the world... it is, in the words of Tyra Banks, fierce.

When I take an awesome, beautiful, amazing and smoldering picture with a mask or an item of mine that just isn't done yet... I get torn in a couple of directions. I'm pretty much embarrassed of the item in question, and yet I can't resist the fact that I made it look so good on "digital film". So the way I'm compromising is by showing this to you, and only you, oh lovely reader of my blog, and not submitting it to Flickr. I will probably attempt to duplicate this picture with whatever the finished product ends up being.

Ok, so sometimes I forget that the problems I see so incredibly plainly and obviously aren't so obvious to many others. The reason that this mask will not be put out the way that it is, is the texture. The shading is beautiful, the part around the eyes is to die for, I love that heavy intense shading and the color is beautiful. Buuuut... the details on the forehead seem silly, and too simple, and seem to ask for more of the same in other parts. I couldn't figure out a way to make more of the same look good, so I'll probably be scrapping that in the end. I love the streak of lilac against the blue, but it blurred unexpectedly up at the top and didn't make the clean line I had hoped for. Ok, you got all that? It's not perfect yet, deal.

But it does sure make a perdy picture. Mmmmm...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arrr Maties!

So my RL engagement didn't keep me from throwing a Talk Like a Pirate party on my own time, and passing out a fun eye patch to the group and random grabbers from Fashion Consolidated Cafe. There was a friendly, tight turnout of fun folks who appreciated a good jig and a silly way to converse.

Arrr, above be the fair wench Lion Regent about to slaughter the lady Eos. Good thing Eos be lookin' her finest then!
Candy be the most fluent in that thar piratey speak. She proved us all be landlubbers and her the most nautical. Savvy?
Thor be lookin fine and gussied in a peg leg and a fine fezzered hat.
And finally that be me, and me l'il pirate angel Selos, sippin' her grog. Arrr, and ye see the pirate patch!

I did spin the finest piratey tunes I had in me cargo hold, and people did have a fine piratey time!

I did cut the party short though. Nor brought some news to my attention, that the 1-800 Flowers blog had finally been updated, almost a week after their original posted date for the results. I wasn't selected for any of the 5 prizes.

I don't consider myself a sore loser, and normally I can bow gracefully to defeat, a lack of recognition, or a polite dismissal. But I admit I was upset about this, and needed some time to escape and curl up with a pillow. I feel honestly that there wasn't another arrangement as beautiful as mine, and I realized the other pieces I recognized were made with the most love and care weren't selected either. Each piece I would have picked to be a winner was passed by, and the exact opposites were chosen. It might be something about being new to Second Life, particle and script awe does occur when you're new, but all I can say is that obviously the judges had values that just weren't in alignment with mine. I poured my heart into something incredibly beautiful, and I guess the creation will be its reward.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who gave me hugs and loves and happy feelings, and everyone who voted for my entry. I'd like to offer you a copy of the arrangement in thanks for supporting it, I know that to you guys, I won :) IM me in world or leave a comment here and I'll send one your way :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

I've acquired a strange obsession with sculpted ears. Only good things will come of it, and you have every reason to be excited! However it doesn't change that it is a bit odd for me to be working so hard on something thoroughly non-Halloween related when I should be getting ready for my store's equivalent of Christmas.

That being said, these are some really awesome ears. I did a first draft, and passed them around to friends, as well as doing a gorgeous photoshoot on Flickr with them, but there was a glitch in the mesh underneath the hair where the ear met skin that I just couldn't live with. So they went back into the workshop that is Zbrush, got re-tooled, and came out greatly improved. I took some tips from Selos Dae on the texture and tried to add a bit more depth to the shading on the new ones, and matched the tones by eye to popular skin tones ^_^ These... I am happy with!!


Yeah. Yeah I know. I'll put em out when I'm finished with skin tones XD And they'll have some friends. I realized folks who make elfin/fairy/drow ears don't get serious with variety, and just put out their interpretations. Well, you're looking at the smallest size (Pixie) in this picture, but there are Elfin ears and the absolutely enormous Drow ears. I'll be working on jewelry for them too :D Can you tell I'm really excited?

So why aren't I working on cobwebs, spider themed things and pumpkins? I just don't know, but at least you're obsessed with ears now too.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jewelry Expo Deliciousness!

I would like to start off with a public declaration of my admiration and love for Miriel Enfield. She's almost single-handedly completely organized, mediated, built, set up, and wrangled together the entire first annual Second Life Jewelry Exposition. And after the incredible amount of planning that's gone into it, it looks like it might have a record low as far as lag goes.

On a more personal note, Miriel is incredibly patient, sweet with customers, understanding with friends, and very open handed with the sort of tips that can completely change the way that one builds or even thinks about jewelry. She's been incredibly generous with me, not just by donating a prim chain to me so I would actually make jewelry, but by helping inspire me to love it again.

Admittedly, doing last minute variation work for the expo almost made me hate it again, but seeing how beautifully things have come out makes everything worth it. And so, Miriel, you crazy multi-talented busy body... you are my SL Wonder Woman. Cheers to Miriel!

Without more ado, I'd like to introduce you to some new designs:

These loverly pendants are all hung on Miriel's beautiful chain, and I found fit the mood of them nicely. The chain is a bit larger than most delicate pieces, to give a sort of gritty, heavier feel. I've always had a love of big, heavy pendants and a little dinky chain just won't do.

These two have sculpted neck pieces, for maximum "prim economy" and a graceful, smooth line. All five of these designs are available in 5 metal choices:

I'm actually extremely happy with my gold and copper, which is funny because I never wear either (and wouldn't ever wear either) in real life. But the colors are beautiful enough to make even me a bit of a convert!

Now... I promised you redesigns. I promised you a makeover. I promised you a revamping of the designs that my most loyal customers adored and loved. Are you ready to see the result of their Extreme Prim Makeover?



You'll really need to touch that picture to zoom in and make it larger. The filigree is so fine as to almost look like a lace texture. The earrings are now more modest and sweet studs, and the design is now exactly how I originally imagined it. Same for a couple of other familiar faces that have been given a lift.

Gothica now has a beautiful pair of filigree earrings that are understated yet very eye-catching, and all of them have that smooth, seamless line of the "chain" to draw that much more attention to the detail in the pendants. Not to mention that absolutely enormous rock on your chest! Long live the chunky jewelry. Vive les Rocks!

These designs are only available in silver, for the sake of my sanity. I'm willing to do custom metal textures upon request, to change these designs to gold or copper. I think you'll find these stones familiar, with the limit of ten I culled it down to mine and a few other's favorites, and some essential colors.

To finish this collection off, I am offering something that I know everyone will love... a FREEBIE!! In the tradition of Lassitude and Ennui and Alienbear, I decided to create a signature necklace:

I happily embrace the mask and rose as my signature, I think it truly embodies everything that Illusions stands for, as well as being an elegant and versatile piece of jewelry. I hope you enjoy wearing it around as much as I do :)

All of these designs except Entranced are currently available at the Jewelry Expo. My stall is number 33, and if you take that SLurl it should drop you right smack dab in it. Entranced and the freebie necklace are both available as a teaser and a treat in the main store :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm happy to announce that the items made my Nicky1 McMillan that were copies of my designs have been removed, and will never plague our lands again! And so we can go back to the happy world of everyone being paid for his or her own hard work :) Or at least I can.

It feels reeeally nice to be all set up for the Jewelry Expo. It's the thing that's been stressing me out for 2 and a half weeks, and it's all set now. I've been told I have one of the most eye-catching booths, hurray!! And it was fun being neighborly with a few of the other people in stalls near mine.

I'm really excited for you guys to finally see what I've been so busy with! So maybe I'll make an official release notice at midnight tonight for all of the jewelry designs being released at the expo :)

Sweetheart Cloche

Call it mandatory. A little thing I threw together very quickly, and made the mistake of passing to my dear friend and employee Candy Flanagan, is this sweet, adorable and incredibly classy, casual cloche.

Now, I know Candy loves my items, but normally she can show restraint. As a new writer at Appearance Mode, she just couldn't resist adding this little number to her blog post, and so she has forced this hat upon you, my adoring public. I was going to wait to release it, but I realize I probably wouldn't have (at least not for a while) if she hadn't pushed me to. It's only available in black and white, because the white felt works incredibly well with tinting, as does the sweet ribbon. The bow is sculpted, as is the cloche, and everything actually except for the flexi bits. I was hesitant to release this, because I couldn't quite find a way to make it fit to every hair. I realized in the end that this wasn't going to work out, that short styles vs long styles fit the head extremely differently, and the cloche by nature has to sit close to the skull. In this picture I'm wearing ETD's Maaliyah (modified), because it is just too darn cute. I've also made a demo available for this hat, something I might try for a little on a few new releases, just to see how it goes. I'd like some feedback on it, because it would be a lot of work, but people do seem to love demos. However, I'd like an idea of what people would like demos of most.

EDIT: All mentions of Candy in any sort of negative way are completely a joke XD I love her to pieces. But you can thank her for my releasing it at this point, is all :)

So anyhoo, this sweet little hat is truly a classic, and something I felt SL was lacking. One of my favorite hats in RL is a black fuzzy cloche, and so I have a special affection for 'em :) And now you can too ^_^

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Last night I fell asleep working on the jewelry for the expo, and when I woke up I was all curled up in my chair. Logging in again was like finding out I'd hired a mysterious personal assistant who had done a bunch of work for me for free. I found that all of this work I had woken up thinking I had to do had already been done! Sleepy me is a good worker, but I'm also concerned about possible problems that might stem from it. So, when you do end up paying the vendors and getting something odd like the wrong permissions, weird labeling or a vendor error, it was my assistant's fault!

But anyway, did a ton of boxes, vendor set up etc, and also some math. I found out that for my 3 redesigns of my jewelry with stones, with 10 stones each, 3 metals, 3 items per, 1 box and 2 permissions each, each of my "stoned designs" ends up as 240 objects O.o Needless to say I did some griping to the Fashion Consolidated Cafe, and needed some boosting and some loving from folks like Celebrity Trollop who patiently listened to my threats to throw my jewelry out the window and bury it in Silent Sparrow's sewer, and responded by saying that if I didn't make any more jewelry she'd cry.

I don't want to make Celebrity cry.

So there will be more jewelry after this release, because to tell the truth I'm not releasing everything that I've been working on all of this time. There are some pieces I never got to do versions for, just didn't prioritize, or that need final tweaks to be perfect. I even don't think I'll be able to do every piece I finished for the expo simply because of pixel/prim constraints. I'm really happy with my build for the expo! Candy Flanagan inspired me, and I came up with something extremely distinctive, unique, and eye-catching and perfect for my "brand". Best part, is that I follow every rule that poor Miriel has put in place to keep us lag free and shopping happy. Which are extensive, if you look, but let's just say simply that... this won't be another Hair Fair o.o

I'm looking forward to later today, the 1-800 Flowers contest winner is announced today, and I'm very very very excited. I'm about 80% sure that even if I didn't win 1st prize, I got a yummy consolation prize as one of the other finishers ^_^

More good news, I filed my DMCA reports today with SLX, OnRez and LL. Hopefully they'll respond quickly and find in my favor, and Nicky will realize that making something with your own prims can be theft just as much as using copy bot or a texture ripper. Something wonderful about Second Life is that it is so much easier to track merchandise that does violate copyrights. I keep getting images in my head of people on the street selling "Okley's" or "Ralexes" and the original designers can't be bothered or don't have the resources to track them down. In this little world I can find knock-offs and be protected as an original designer. Or other people can find them and actually tell me, and good will come of it.

In a way, we are living in a utopia. This world can be a heaven if we make it one. I feel incredibly lucky and fortunate that I can be the sole designer, retailer, marketer, and CEO of my own little company and make enough to make a living off of it, and be doing something that I love very dearly. Less than a year ago I was flunking classes I was paying too much for, thinking I was stupid and dreading a slow crawl towards a profession I might or might not succeed in. Every week I spend more than sixty hours in Second Life, and none of it feels like work. (Ok, well recently some of it has >.< (coughjewelryvariationscough). I love what I do, and an aesthetic sense I never thought would be worth anything except for my own enjoyment and creative release is being enjoyed and appreciated by hundreds of people every day. I just wish for the people who are in SL (or RL actually) only to make money, only to try to support themselves, or only to gain fame or infamy can someday experience the freedom and joy of your "work" becoming something that can only be called love. True expression, a calling of your heart, that is then followed by rewards. One of my favorite quotes: "Find a job that you love, and you will never work another day in your life, because every day will feel like playing".

*gets off the soapbox* Sorry if I got a little off topic, I'm a very satisfied tired. I'm going to bed now, and I'm going to sleep well, and when I wake up, hopefully I'll have a blue ribbon to stick in my store :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Some events transpired today that have made me want to talk about copyright law. There is a blessed, wonderful thing that exists for artists called copyright, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that I'd just like to take a moment and be grateful for. I'm about to copy and paste some things, I know they're wordy but I'll be adding my own comments.


"Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;

  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending

...It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright."

There are some limitations to the rule, it says that if there is a piece inspired or derived or a parody of the original work, if it is sufficiently different according to an impartial jury then it's off the hook. However, anything short of that, or anything to be distinct enough to be obviously a direct copy, is against the law.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it so that whatever online service might be hosting someone who is violating copyright law isn't held responsible for it, so long as they remove it as soon as it's been reported.

Yes there is sadly a reason why this came up. I suppose I should take it as a compliment, and as a sign of growing up as a little fledgling business into a business that can hop around and eat bugs, that I've had my first thief. My fiance is an addicted marketplace browser, and at first when he saw the thumbnail he thought that the person had used my items as part of their marketing shots. Instead, he found that the person had completely remade my designs with normal prims, including using designs from pieces from Madlax Stygian's popular Jester Silks. If the girls in the Fashion Consolidated Cafe could be considered a 3rd party jury, the "ruling" was passionately unanimous about who they sided with. These works were by no means "sufficiently different" to satisfy them. When confronted about the whole ordeal, the creator said that she had done absolutely nothing wrong, the designs were completely different, and that hers weren't made from sculpted prims. She repeated again and again that she had made the prims herself, and that she had worked very hard to make it herself. She seemed to completely miss the point that the design as an artistic work is my intellectual property. I have to say I don't get angry often, but I was actually shaking in real life. I am by no means a hot headed or emotional individual, in fact I can count the number of times I've been upset about anything this month on one hand, but this woman pushed me.

I believe it is in both of our best interests if she learns that she is indeed violating the law, and so tomorrow I will be faxing a DMCA report to LL and having her items removed. If she posts them again, she will be banned.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Midnight Masquerade

I would like to officially announce my next fabulous party ;) Yes, this is the little surprise I mentioned earlier!

You are cordially invited to a gothic Midnight Masquerade. The theme will be black and white formal with a dark twist for Halloween. As per usual, there will be the most fabulous people you've ever met there, along with unique and fun music and (hopefully) not much lag. The scavenger hunt was a little crazy last time, so I'll be doing it slightly differently ^_^ I'll be making a theme appropriate set of accessories for men and women and putting one piece in each hiding spot that you can purchase for 0L ^_^

Yes the invite does say that attendance will be limited o.o After the Midsummer Masquerade and people unfortunately not being able to get in, I've decided to create a group called "Illusions Midnight Masquerade 2007". Attendance will be closed at 50, and an entry fee to the group is set at 150L. The fees will all be added up into a big raffle ball, so if you buy an invite, you're already entered in the raffle to get your entry money back ^_^ Cool huh? This way everyone gets to have a bit of fun, I know who's serious about coming, and no one thinks that Siyu is a greedy geezer. Depending on "guest retention" (lol XD), I'll announce to Masqueraderie when a few people leave and I can remove the "group only" access to the Event Hall. So if you do want to come, and can't afford the group fee, you can join Masqueraderie for free and keep your eyes open.

As is tradition, I will be making two unique masks that will be unveiled as the prizes for the best male and female costume. Last time the costumes were just drop dead gorgeous, and just blow me out of the world amazing... yet somehow I have the feeling you guys are going to make me faint with fabulousness this time. As far as the costumes go... I'm going to put a loose prim limit on you guys that I ask you to kindly respect: I'd like you to keep your costumes to 175-250 prims, and to keep things like listening scripts and very scripty, laggy HUDs at home. AO's are fine, but no bling or color changers etc. Hopefully if we all pitch in, we can all have a relatively lag free night :)

This is of course a fun twist on the traditional Halloween party, and I did my best to try to pick a time that the most people would be able to show for. It's a little later than my usual 7-10, but I think it should work out alright for the European folks ^_^ (it's also on a Friday, so you can party hardy and then sleep in... oh luxury!)

Sound like fun? Oh hell yeah it does XD

Friday, October 26th, 10PM-2AM SLT
Illusions Event Hall, Carnivale
Black and White Formal Dress Required

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I took a much needed break from tinkering with jewelry today, and finished a very old commission, finally. As always, it never takes long once I finally get going on it. I'm also glad to know that a couple of you took my suggestion from my blog *wink wink* to bug me, and it really, really helps. I feel like I've got a slightly longer string for my very wildly blown kite of impulse. However, with that one commission completed, a random project started, and then another big project randomly mulled over, it's kind of obvious I'm still being tugged.

I'm being a little vague right now on my projects because I'm always worried that if I mention I'm going to do something, I'm probably not going to do it. Well not do it instantly, anyway. Yet I think it's pretty safe to share this one: In the spirit of the Harlequin set, I'm going to release a Witch's set for Halloween! I'm going to do my best to have unisex/male options, but it will, like most of my things, be bent in the feminine direction. There will be hats <3 style="font-style: italic;">is, after all, Candy. But we'll see won't we? Because I might just go and set out my first shapes for sale!

Speaking of adorable little pixies, I found myself lacking suitable ears. I bought a few, but I hated having to tint them, and something I'd tried way back when, the first thing that made me realize I needed to learn how to mirror prims (again, thank you Ziggy and Kala) was a little pair of elfin ears. I went back and made them completely again, because I've learned a lot about vertex tweaking since then, and did a beautiful texture on them and... oh they're perfect. They... are... perfect for my little pixie head. I somehow managed to match most basic skin colors (like pale, cream, bronzed and chocolate), and after lots of testing on five different skin designer's skin tones I'm pretty darned pleased with how they held up. I'll have to include a tintable gray and a white ear though, because I'll be a mongoose before I try doing every color under the unnatural sun of SL, lol.

So off that topic, I've been shmoozing some more lately. The delicious and delightful and ever so sweetly badass Queenie Extraordinaire blogged me again, and I've been spoiling her and tormenting her with my unreleased jewelry. She says it's torture because she keeps wanting to wear it with outfits she's blogging, but she can't, muaahahahaha. (I might just release them a day or two before the expo, just to save on lag for my loyal and devoted fans).

I also was talking to Kala Bijoux of Material Squirrel, I passed her a pair of simple sculpted wings and she was going to see if she could do a nifty texture on them! I also made a pact with Helyanwe Vindaloo (of Deviant Kitties, naturally) to be her sculpty bitch in exchange for hair for me to play with... That's a secret project though :) Being her sculpty bitch entails making cute little shapes for her so she doesn't have to bust her butt doin' em herself XD But yeah, Hely is putting together some really adorable things and my sculpts are gonna be a part of 'em :)

I'm just going to repeat my heads up:

I will be gone for the weekend from the 7th to the 10th, but there will be a happy surprise when I come back ^_^

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Phew... Today I re-did another harlequin item I've been working on, that should be coming out soon (zomg another hat yay!) But most of all, it's been all jewelry all day. So far, there are ten designs coming out, five with stones that will only be available in silver (three shades), and five sets without stones that'll be available in 5 metals. Why all the fives and tens... I'm not actually too sure, just came out that way. Let me just say... compared to this stuff, my old stuff was horrible worthless patootie that I shouldn't have charged anyone even one linden for. I'm glad I tore 'em off the walls because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to stand anyone buying them XD I probably would have shoved their money back at them and told them to delete the damn things. The new stuff is beautiful :)

Just a heads up, I'll be away on Wednesday, and then again for the whole weekend. I'll be back on Monday though, no fear!

I've officially teamed up with Ina Centaur to help her do historically accurate props for an in-world production of Hamlet. I'm free to resell 'em after I make 'em, so be expecting some Elizabethan goodness just in time for Elizabeth: The Golden Age! Yeah so what, I'm a sucker for gorgeous costume design, honestly who in this business isn't?

I haven't had much motivation/inspiration to work on customs (sorry guys =/) they're on my head though! Bugging me about them helps put the muses in my head, so if you're reading this and you have a long lost, mysterious custom you haven't heard anything from me about, leave a comment here or send me an IM, it might get me in the mood, who knows!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I've had a hankering to do something for Talk Like a Pirate day (on the 19th), for a good week and a half now, but I haven't wanted to announce anything formal, because it looks like I might have an RL engagement that day. I guess that just means I'll have to talk like a pirate in that mystic thing called a first life!

However, if I can get on, there will be much dancing aboard the Indigo Rose! So if you can, save the date, chances are I'll be able to make an appearance some time during the day... I just can't commit to a time.

In the top ten!!

So I figured it was time to check back on that little contest entry of mine! You know, the one for 1-800 Flowers? I'm in the top ten!! My lillies have climbed their way to stardom with the help of people who actually make real life arrangements for a real life living. Happiness <3 href="">here. ^_^

You can also go see all of the arrangements in world at their Academy of Second Learning counter here. Just a suggestion, it's on the mainland, so turn down your draw distance all the way, or else you'll be there all day waiting for things to rez O.o

From their blog:

"The hardest part was choosing 10 finalists - picking the winner is going to be nearly impossible. That’s where everyone else comes in - please email your vote for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes and your votes for two honorable mentions to"

The judges at 1-800 Flowers are the ones who decide in the end, rather than it being completely vote-based.. however the opinion of folks does count in the end. I'd like these fine folks to get the publicity they deserve, and I'd like to help, because I really don't think 1-800 Flowers has made too much of a big splash on their own in the community at large. They offered a serious prize in Lindens for creations, and they deserved serious contributions and competitors. I'd just like you guys, my precious readers, my lovely fans who find my babbling mildly to chuckle inducing-ly entertaining, to vote for who you think has the prettiest and most creative arrangement. I know it's by email, which isn't the most efficient or convenient way to go, so I have to butter you up a little in order for you to vote at all XD Only vote for me if you think I should win. They're taking votes until September 8th, and announcing winners on the 13th. If you're going to vote I suggest you just do it now while you're thinking about it :)