Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rising From the Ashes

So far one everyone's favorite angel wings are the black, the white, and the phoenix. Candy hasn't been able to change out of them (she has an amazing outfit to match), Selos has changed her color scheme around them, and even I, who normally shy away from warm colors and hues just had to wear them around in this weather to give me that extra feeling of body heat. So hell, if I'm going to be wearing these wings, and I have nothing to math, let's make something to match 'em.

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, little beginner mask maker Siyu made a phoenix mask. This was almost exactly a year ago, and since then people have admired and loved it, even though it was a relic from an early era of a lack of knowledge about root prims or symmetry. It was even blogged by the infamous Swirly Cyclone. It now rests in peace in the retired design freebie box.

But like all phoenixes, it ended up rising from the ashes:

After I did the pictures for this, I wandered around all day in this outfit. I felt stunning, and apparently I was, because I got some very flattering compliments. There's a demo available for this mask, because I've just decided to keep doing them for each new mask I put out. Hopefully it will make people feel safer about making a decision for their costumes.

I've decided now, after lots of questions about where I get the outfits modeled, to start doing a "Recreating the Look" for my vendor shots. I haven't done it before because it takes time, and frankly, folks just didn't ask so I didn't think they cared. But more folks have been asking so I guess you do care :)

Recreating the Phoenix Mask look:

Dress: Irina Foil Gown by Last Call
Hair: Tribal Hawk in "Fire' by me
Skin: Lethe skin in "Umber" by Sin Skins
Eyes: Glowing Eyes "Orange Glow"by []TRAP[]
Accessories: Drow Ears in "Drk Gray" by myself
Angel Wings in "Phoenix True" by I....llusions (hahaha I'm a dork)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

An Ear by Any Other Name Would Still Hear as Well..

Back in May, when sculpties finally arrived, there were three things that I aspired to do, more than any other thing. The first was a full face mask, the Volto, which I was very happy to finally perfect not too long ago. The next was a simple mask form, the civetta and columbina, which was one of the very first things I made since I knew I'd be able to do it. Something I started, and worked on, and went through many drafts of, worked through mesh glitches and needing proper sculpt mirroring, went through draft upon draft of fit, size, shape, texture etc... were ears. I've already shown you a preview way back when, of the pixie ears, which hopefully whetted your appetite. One of the drafts made an appearance in a series of fairy pictures I posted on Flickr. But finally... these ears are now available to you.

There's been no modification of these pictures, even the Pixie ears, that's just how well they blend! They have textures which my friend and skinmeister Selos Dae went over with her mad highlighting skills. Together, we came up with a beautiful, silky smooth and seamless fleshy ear texture, that I could then change the hue of to match 9 natural skin tones and 9 Drow skin tones. Thanks to my extensive skin collection, I was able to provide a list of perfect or near perfect skin tone matches to both :)

For the Natural collection, (from lightest to darkest) these skin tones are:

Cream: Tete a Pied - Vivant "Cream", Deviant Kitties "China", Nomine "China White", Sin Skins "Whisp"

Blush: Nomine "Ultralight", Lovey "Strawberry Milk", Tete a Pied - Vivant "Blush"

Almond: Tete a Pied - Vivant "Almond", Cake - Jessica Series "Pearl", Adam and Eve - Grazia Line "Light"

Sunkissed: Tete a Pied - Vivant "Buff", Celestial Studios - Vogue Line "Pure", Minnu Model Skins "Fair", Naughty Designs - Zoe "Light"

Bronzed: Nomine "Light Med Tan", Nyte'N'Day "Tan"

Tan: Tete a Pied - Vivant "Bronze", Body Politik - Envision "Buff", Nomine "Dark Fawn", Naughty Designs - Dante "Tan"

Cocoa: Tete a Pied - Vivant "Chestnut", Deviant Kitties "Chocolate"

Chocolate: Nomine "Russet"

For the Drow collection, these skin makers are:

Blue Tones: Tete a Pied, Nomine

Purple Tones: Sin Skins, Nomine

Gray Tones: Deviant Kitties, []TRAP[]

There may be more that I'm unaware of, I can't say I researched every tone from every major skin designer. Yet these are the skin tones that I've bought or grabbed demos for and confirmed that they are an excellent if not perfect match. I'm also offering custom skin tone matching :) Grab a notecard in the store for more info, if you're interested!

They... have arrived.

The infamous they.

What have you seen and been tantalized with on Flickr, what have I teased and dangled before you and said "oh, I'm working on that" and then continued on silently, without update and with your chewing off your fingers hoping against hope that maybe today, maybe this would be the day they could be yours!!

Save those fingers dear, no more waiting... for they are here.

The beautiful, the tantalizing, the absolutely grueling to make and yet absolutely stunning fully prim, sculpted angel wings. At 80 prims each (160 together), any poorer computer system might wince at all of the sculpties, yet slog though the spheres dutifully to get to the beauty underneath.

As I've mentioned so many times, not too long ago I commissioned feathers from Jen Shikami. I wanted beautiful alpha feathers, and maybe a couple of textures for random sculpt feathers that would be thrown in as backing, not really that important... She IM'd me after she had been working on them and said "you know, I think I like these better than the alphas". Not being able to believe her, I tried them myself and sure enough... they were beautiful. Making alpha flicker a thing of the past, these beautiful sculpted feathers could be worn with alpha heavy hair, layered together endlessly and most of all... form beautiful wings. These have been a long time coming, I've loved wings and tried making wings for a long time, and after I got the feather textures I had to make it real. Thanks to Miriel Enfield, these are available much sooner, as she gave me the use of a mirroring script. I've never before used any building aids, yet the rotations were so irregular I was desperate for help. Modifying Jen's beautiful textures brought forth dazzling colors (10 in all), and encouraging words from the people who saw them and wore them kept me going. And so here they are, finally, available to you. They're sold in color packs, starting at 450 for the black and white pairs (2 positions, 2 sizes), 550 for the three Phoenix colors, 850 for the five color pack, and 1500 for all of them. As the picture says, they aren't scripted, but they are incredibly unique, beautiful, and most of all, attention getting. I couldn't go anywhere in these wings without being asked about them, and after giving them to a friend or two, I started having to request that they not wear them, as I was starting to feel very pressured by all of the IM's by folks who had inspected the wings, come to my store, and found them not for sale.

These might not flap as you soar around, or fold in when you land, or flutter gently... but they will look close enough to real that you want to bury your face in them, pet the feathers, and feel soft tickles when your lover embraces you in them. Feathered wings should have weight, depth, and heft, and should look like they could carry you across the heavens. By that definition, they are everything they should be.

Go forth and be beautiful, angelic, fiery, dark, or however you wish to fly.

The Midnight Masks

The Midnight Masquerade is over, and so I present you with the elegant and beautiful pair of Midnight Masks, Nacht and Nuit:

Both "nuit" (pronounced noo-ee) and "nacht" (nahkt) mean night, in French and German respectively. The Midnight Masquerade demanded an elegant, regal and commanding pair of masks for truly resplendant party-goers... with over 50 people having wanted to come to this party and having had 2 months to get ready, I had to have something worthy of them.

I'm very happy with Nacht as a male mask, and I think you guys out there will not be able to complain that I don't have any masculine masks. I finally have a proper male shape (thanks to Polly Pavlova) to fit Nacht to, however I'm not sure how it will fit with other male faces so I will be listening for feedback about him. The mask shape on this one has a more pronounced brow, as well as a larger nose, and should definitely have a much better fit than my other ones. It's stark, yet ornate, and stern yet romantic. I'm really proud and happy with how it turned out. But it's sadly overshadowed.

Oh with Nuit... where to begin. I'm having a love affair with this mask, but then again it makes me feel like Princess Amidala. But then it's so gorgeous. But then I can't wear it with too many hair styles... Such is the curse of the truly fabulous mask, hair choices become far slimmer, and so I suggest you have a rudimentary knowledge of modification when it comes to hair before you buy this mask. The detail and stunning effect of this mask is worth the work though, and it definitely as a powerful effect over one's avatar. If you'd like to try before you buy, that's actually possible, as I have demos out for these two beautiful masks, and I'm working towards having demos for more of them.

It really made me happy to make these, and with them and the beautiful feathers by Jen you can expect more, including hopefully some remakes of old classics, as well as just a new dazzling array of plumed masks. I'm really looking forward to them, especially now that I've just completed two very large projects.....

The Midnight Masquerade

The masks were donned, the sun went down, and an array of dazzling and macabre costumes made their way across the bridge to the event hall, where music, dancing and a raffle ball awaited them! Black and white banners hung from the vaulted ceiling, and gentlemen offered their hands to join their ladies in an elegant waltz.

The party was, as you can guess, incredible. Elegant people, some who had been working on their costumes since the party was announced, great music, and the new, grand venue all came together to form a very memorable experience. In case some people have bad memories though, I also put out souvenirs! Jen Shikami of Seven's Selections donated very generously a beautiful pair of black and white wings, and I added a simple and elegant plumed mask to a giftbox that was set out. It was extremely difficult to pick a costume contest winner, since I wasn't exaggerating when I said the outfits were dazzling...
Miriel Enfield in Silent Sparrow and the Raven mask...

Tiny tiny tiny Jen Shikami in her donated Midnight Wings and self made avatar and dress (zomg CUTE)
Noelani Lightfoot and Norathiel Silvera (in modified Oberon mask and Barerose)
Aneron Hanson in Wardrobe Trunk's Charlotte dress

In the end, Jaded Drake (who left a bit too quickly for me to nab a picture of him) and the gorgeous Caliah Lyon claimed the masks made especially for the masquerade. A matched set, Nacht and Nuit, which will be released shortly. Here is a teaser, with stunning Caliah in her winning outfit wearing the Nuit mask.

You can tell why she won O.o

Jen Shikami had fortune on her side, and was the winner of the 5000L raffle of entry fees. The party and sim were opened after midnight, to welcome the happy members of Masqueraderie who had been dying to get in. Or the ones who were just bored and up late.

The group was closed earlier today, with one last notice sent out thanking all who attended for a wonderful and enchanting night. And it certainly was :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

I swear, I really haven't abandoned you, especially on today, the day of my midnight masque. I've just been procrastinating posting, forcing myself to do things that are actually work and getting myself to make the pair of masks that will be the prizes for best dressed male and female. The female mask is absolutely gorgeous so far, incredibly regal and definitely fabulous in all senses of the word. The male mask is as of now, non-existent, so I know what I'll be doing a couple hours before the party! o.o

I'm really looking forward to it, it's sure to be sim-crashingly fun, the guest list has been full for weeks, and my guess is that there will be many people up past their bedtime.

In other non-party news, I did another interview (zomg another interview! I feel so famous!!) with Daphne and Tamara of "Going Broke with Daphne and Tamara" and this one is actually a voice podcast that we recorded on skype ^.^ So you can hear my melodious and overly emotive voice as I babble away like a hyperactive monkey on Red Bull.

Going Broke with Daphne and Tamara: Episode 11 "Master of Illusions"

It was an awful lot of fun, and I was completely tickled pink and giggly to talk to them, I think you can tell that we weren't bored by the periodic peals of laughter XD

In the entry, it says that I'm going to be making clothing soon... don't trust that too much ^^; clothing as in the "wearing it on your avi, covering yourself up" definition, yes. But clothing layers and traditional, normal, wear it on your skin clothing? God no and not in this decade. But I have been toying with ideas for fully prim outer wear and sort of "fabric accessories", so it's a bit more of an enhancement of the truth. Definitely not much is happening until I get out of my wiggly worm mentality*.

I'm just going to apologize, I know you guys probably mind too much but I do, for not posting as often as normal. I've felt guilty for not having a release for you guys, when I'm so close to having several, I keep feeling that I can surely put the entry off just one more day until ___ is done. I also have a tendency to escape from SL if it starts to overwhelm me, which hasn't exactly been helping my workload. So, sorry for being such a naughty procrastinator, I try to not to let it happen when it's something I really love and care about.

*Wiggly worm mentality meaning here that I try to do anything at all except work on what I'm supposed to. A classic form of procrastination, sometimes I can be extremely productive and efficient and achieve a lot during this mindset... just never what I was supposed to achieve.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

You just never realize how tired and drained you are from something until it's over, and you're asleep. There was a lot of cleaning to do around my apartment after I finished the sim, and my eyes have been hurting with some sinus congestion going on, so rather than get sick I decided to do some sleeping! However, I did manage to get on to continue working on the wings, and I've finished them spread and folded, sized for women. I also did colors as well, some basics and then some really kick ass gradients that I think will be really popular. I still need to size them for men, but at this point that's all I need to do before I release them. Not too much longer now!

Gah, I know the skulls were supposed to be released by now, I'm having some serious trouble getting the texture to wrap properly, and I haven't just dug in my heels and worked it through. I'll tell you what, if I can't manage to get them out the week before halloween, I'll put the hell set out for free and make eeeveryone happy :D But that's no reason to try and will me not to finish them :P

I did a really fun voice interview with Daphne Abernathy and Tamara Kirshner of "Going Broke with Daphne and Tamara". They're releasing it as a podcast, but you can hear an .mp3 when it's all done. They said probably next week. It was really great to just chat to them afterwards, we talked about really random fashion things and I got to hear a reaction to my giving surprises to someone for once!

Caliah Lyon also got me thinking about something so deliciously couture I don't want to jinx it by mentioning it here. *zips lip*

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One Year on SL

On Sunday, Kriket Pimpernel and I both shared our one year Second Life anniversaries! Happy Rezday to us! I threw a fabulous purple party last minute on the purple pirate ship the Indigo Rose.

Folks came and wore purple to celebrate, on clothes and as skin o.o! But since it was Kriket's rezday too, blue was allowed since that's her color. I suppose sharing a rezday makes us slisters! The cake was chocolate, and was oh so delicious and moist.

An incredible amount of things have changed this year for me, my career plans, my lifestyle, my drive and most especially my self esteem. I feel more confident, talented, and in control of my life than I ever have been, and I can thank the people that I've met and the customers who have appreciated my work for all of it. I can't believe I'm making a living now doing something I love this much.

The Deviant Kitties sim is open, and so I've been officially taking a bit of a break as I recuperate. I've been catching up on shopping, and it was really nice to do a bit of dj'ing and inventory sorting and SOCIALIZING (zomg talking to people) after my self imposed hermit-ness over working on the sim. There have been rave reviews, and Hely is still getting compliments on it, which make me giggle and be happy. As I like to say, lovin' creates the Makeyjuice that keeps the Siyumachine running. The wings are coming along well, and so are those ears I mentioned a while ago (remember those?) The skull has been driving me crazy, I can't get the textures to wrap properly so i need to give it a rest.

So much done in one year... and yet so much left to do!! Here's to one year, and may it be the first of many.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

After four days of work, the sim is for all intents and purposes done. The build is in place, things are all together, and if it opens tomorrow there will be nothing to be ashamed of. There are always more things to do though, those little things that make it feel lived in and those little spots that can be enhanced to be enchanting, or perfect photo opportunities.

Since the sim is complete, and since you are my beloved blog readers, you get a sneak peek at the new Deviant Kitties sim build.

Shots from the Labyrinth:

Pretty much all of the store area is actually underground, the hair being in an enormous cavern under the labyrinth and the skins down a tunnel in the center of the great tree. TRAP and D3volution are in the Spanish country house, and while the Pale Man's hall way isn't around yet, I've started working on it and creating textures, and there's more tunnels being dug. It's one of those unnecessary detail works that I enjoy so much, that we didn't find an actual use for. But after not being home in Carnivale for 4 days, I miss my flamenco music and my windchimes, and my golden stone buildings and pirate ship. But I'll be back, since I don't think I'll be able to stay away from this place...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update on the sim building... last night it was so late and I was pretty drained so I just crashed o.o But, I'd like to proudly say that had I made a big push to finish tonight I would have been able to finish the whole darn thing in just three days, which is an enormous bragging right. However, Hely's just told me she herself won't be ready till probably Saturday, so.... I have a whole other day.

This changes my schedule quite a bit!

Projected schedule for tonight:

Build, terraform, tree fill, finish architecture


G'night :D

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I was puttering along, working on the new wings, doing pretty things to them and making them better, and I was talking to Helyanwe Vindaloo of Deviant Kitties while I was at it. It turns out another part of the delay from her sim going back up was that the person she had hired to build it had up and quit, and when she tried hiring someone else they were going to charge her $2000 USD for it. Now I don't know how much a normal sim scaping is, but $2000USD is a hell of a lot of money. Hely was going to reluctantly continue on with her grungey city theme... but she dreamt of a dark fantasy land inspired by Pan's Labyrinth.

Ok, cutting to the chase...

I'm going to be very, very busy over the next two days. I probably will only answer emergency IM's or failed deliveries, and I'm afraid you'll have to wait longer for the wings. I'm building and simscaping the Deviant Kitties sim and damn... it's going to be beautiful. I've accomplished quite a lot on just this, the first day, and I'm only now heading to bed at 8am EST. Kriket, Candy and Selos have been keeping the Siyumachine stoked with Makeyjuice through their ever so inspiring flattery, suggestions and moral support, but there's only so long you can stoke the engine before it just dies and needs to be restarted.

So, that being said, good night :) More details and even possibly pictures tomorrow ^_^

Monday, October 8, 2007

Numero Four

I'm bouncing off of the walls right now, because Second Style just published their new issue. Why am I bouncing off the walls about this, aside from the squee-dom of having delicious costume ideas, new designer finds and fashion yumminess? Cause I'm IN IT!!!!

Iris Ophelia interviewed me not too long ago, and she took pretty pictures of me, and now it's all published in issue 12!! I even have a bunch of mentions of halloween maskyness!

Now you can go and read the issue and find out about how I came to SL and what makes me tick :D

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The UMB Hat and Flutteries

Aaand I'm back :) I've been back more and more but I believe I can say it officially now, the jonesing for Oblivion has ebbed and I can back to my normal (second) life now.

Yesterday I released a hat that caused a sensation amongst the ladies in Fashion Consolidated, a hat I named after the "unsinkable" Molly Brown.

Molly Brown (or Margaret Tobin) is perhaps one of the most well known survivors of the infamous Titanic. Her story was incredibly inspirational for women at the turn of the 20th century, as she kept a cool head in the disaster, calmed her fellow passengers, and even demanded that the women aboard her lifeboat were allowed to row as well as the men. She was a suffragette, an activist, and a philanthropist, and she used her fame from her survival to make great strides toward women's rights and raising money for the families of those who didn't make it.

When I first made this hat, I was going to call it a Mae West hat, because it was sassy and bold... yet it was much more classic Edwardian than 1920's saloon. So I asked Miriel for help naming it, and she gave me gold: Molly Brown!! It's the perfect name... a traditional Edwardian hat with boldness, flare and personality, for a lady who had the same. The hat's available in rich purple, bold red, pure white or soft mauve, and seems to go with pretty much anything you care to wear. Some of my friends who ended up with it were saying that it was Harajuku, gothic, French modern or what have you!

There is actually a demo available for this hat, which is something I'm going to start implementing for my more three-dimensional pieces. So there is now a demo for Gracile, and there will be a demo soon for Eliza's. All of these are pieces that really need to be seen "in the round", and pictures can only capture one or two sides.

Speaking of things that look best from all angles... I've been working on a secret project recently, something I've kept on the low down until my friend Iris got inspired and had to shoot a "teasers".... and then of course her pictures are just too gorgeous to NOT share with the entire world.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I've been out for a couple of days, because after the sim scare and the whole flowers thing, plus pressure I was putting on myself to get things out for October and Halloween, I realized I needed a break. When Second Life starts actually feeling like work, it's time for Siyu to take a breather. I've been answering offline IM's, and I've poked my head in for some work to do when inspired, but most of what I've been doing is recharging. I've been cleaning up the ol' apartment, and doing some adventuring elsewheres. I'm well aware I'm picking an odd time to do it, but I know I'll be back pretty quick... Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is awfully fun but I can't exactly make my own armor for my character!