Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Freebies!

It was brought to my attention today that since the retirement sale, I have no freebie masks left! I still have my Victims of Perfectionism, but it turns out they're all hats and veils and such.

So it's about time that I made a mask especially for a freebie! I needed something plain yet unique, generic yet not that generic... and I needed a mask that would still have people want to buy a new one >.> (come on, I am a business woman).

So I made Obscurita! Which means "Darkness" in Italian, or "hidden". I've boxed it up on the freebie table, and it comes in black, white, male and female versions and with an informative notecard. I'm wearing the female version here (obviously :)~

I'm also wearing the absolutely fabulous Clockwork Edwardian gown by Curio Obscura. I have been oh so delighted to be wearing her stuff around (the Wicked hair in the last two posts), and her craftsmanship is utterly superb. It's lovely to pimp her stuff out any chance I get, as she's just starting out in SL business, but as a professional 3d modeler for a game company she's got a head start on quality. Plus, I just adore her sense of style.

You can pick up the Obscurita freebie masks at Carnivale on the freebie table!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The new issue of Second Style came out today, and that reminded me that I've been putting off creating an ad to run in it for ages. Second Style demands an extremely high resolution, so that all of my other promos were actually not eligible for the magazine! So to make an ad, I had to do a high resolution photo shoot especially for it, wearing items that I created. Which items, what pose, where etc all ended up in a convenient recipe for putting the darn thing off, despite the fact that I'm friends with both Celebrity and Iris who run the lovely thing.

So tonight I finally flashed on what the perfect picture would be, and with some struggling in qavimator to make my own pose, and about two hours in photoshop, I've come up with my ad that I'm thinking of running in the next issue:

Yes my avatar is... erm... nude. Although well hidden by strategic placement of various elements, when thinking up the picture I decided that I wanted absolutely no distractions from my items. I wanted the focus to be entirely on my avatar's eyes through the mask, and the softness of the wings, and the line from the shoulder blade up the neck. Although the mere fact that there are "no distractions" might be a distraction, I still feel like I've made it artful enough to get away from the "sex sells" approach to advertising. I could also be kidding myself. I'm still on the fence about it, honestly.

I definitely like the wings, and the Seraphim just goes along so well with them, I love everything except just the fact that Siyu's nude and it's going to be unavoidable that people look at that like "whoa, she's nude". I doubt it would have anywhere near the same effect if I wasn't trying to hide it so damn much. There are so many skin ads in Second Style that couldn't care less (boobies!), that I might be rather conspicuous in my modesty. Conspicuous in advertising can't be a bad thing though..... >.>

Thoughts? Feelings? I need some opinions on this. I've always toted my business as being utterly and blissfully PG rated with no sexual nuance in the slightest, so as modest as this is it's very racy for me. Some female comments would be preferred, because let's face it, men will never argue against attractive female nudity...

I might just scrap it as an advertisement and just call it art.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Harlequin of the Abyss

It's been a little while since I did a Flickr post to share some of my recent photography with you guys. I found myself looking at my christmas desktop and thinking... it's definitely time to change that. I just finished retouching some very fun photos and I felt I'd share :)

Mostly what started this photo shoot was this absolutely divinely absurd hairstyle. Honestly who couldn't love it? I feel like a DC Comics supervillain!
These were taken at The Abyss sim, which is beautifully made and even more stunningly apocalyptic using the Windlight viewer. The sky is so much more rich, and the lighting effects just perfect. You're welcome to take either of these as your desktop if you wish, they should fit any 1400X900 monitor :)

This bottom one is my absolute favorite. Best seen nice and big, so go ahead and click through to that picture and just enjoy it. I used minimal retouching in photoshop, just some dodging and burning to get some nice contrast and focus where I wanted it.

I'll return to your regularly scheduled releases soon, no worries. But a gal needs a break sometimes!

Skin: Pedrolina, one of Nomine's Pierrot skins
Gloves, Mask, Belt: Harlequin Set and Valkyrie Mask (edited), all by yours truly.
Jacket: Mina Jacket by Indyra Originals
Undershirt: Dynamic League in Silver White by Nicky Ree
Shirt: Black Catsuit top by Nicky Ree
Pants: Wendy Wild by Artlleri
Hair: Wicked (edited with custom texture) by something Curio Obscura (search Pandora Wrigglesworth)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Quintum Novembris

Remember remember, the 5th of November
The holiday Siyu forgot
Now I'm only teasin'
But I see no reason
Why this mask shouldn't be bought.

Yes! The most unanimously asked for mask, with about 10 out of 14 notecards asking for it specifically, who would I be to not deliver as promised? And naturally a matching hat, for the whole vigilante feel.

For those folks who haven't seen the popular film by The Matrix creators, V for Vendetta, Guy Fawkes is a English folk hero who attempted to blow up Parliament on the 5th of November, 1605. He is often said to be "the only man to ever enter Parliament with honorable intentions". As a part of "The Gunpowder Plot", he and his co-conspirators intended to assassinate James the 1st of England and most of the aristocracy, and bring an end to Protestant rule. Apart from the archaic politics involved, he has been immortalized in poems and song, as well as being considered one of the top one hundred greatest people in British history.

Normally I have a policy against making masks that are a part of a character, or pop culture, since I prefer my own original designs (plus, let's not forget, avoiding copyright violations). However, Guy Fawkes is such an outstanding person in English culture I felt I could take artistic licenses where I wished, and bring a very distinctive mask my own Siyulicious flava. Plus it's just so darn fun to walk around wearing it!!

Enjoy :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Out With the Old...

...and in with the new!

You guys definitely gave the retiring designs quite a grand send off, and to that I am extremely grateful. I have a wonderful collection of notecards that you guys have all sent me, and I've read them over. There were many masks that I had no idea people wanted to see again, and so my rather small list of masks I wanted to make again has pretty much tripled in length!

It was a delight to see some of my favorite designs on the list, especially when more than one person (and sometimes several people) wanted to see them again. Some of them definitely came up more often than others, however! I've decided I'll try to release these new masks over the next week (the simpler ones at least) in order of the most enthusiastically clamored for!

But before that:

For me, getting rid of those old masks is so utterly refreshing. It cuts away some of the dead weight of my work and allows me to revisit them in beautiful sculpted detail. Things that were shown an idealistic unskilled builder's hand a year ago, can be shown finally in the complete vision I originally had. A few of the masks that I was inspired to rebuild, literally the day I deleted the vendor at first, I have released tonight in celebration! Just for kicks, I'll let you guys see a side by side comparison:


There's really no comparison, is there?


Aaaaand a little bit of pixie dust... POOF! After:


I admit I never actually really minded the Cygnus in its original form. I made it when I had finally learned a thing or two about building, and I was playing with textures that I'd gotten from TRU. Yet I never was able to quite give it the extra polish I craved, and so with sculpts I finally have the mask I always dreamed of.

If you're wondering whatever happened to those gloriously outlandish head feathers, I've actually made them as a separate, free(!) add on. All you need to do is touch the button next to the demo and they're yours! That way, you can be demure and delicate, or you can spread your wings and knock people over with your fabulousness.

The last mask I released tonight doesn't actually have a "before" picture. I made it ages ago, and so to me it's still a retired design, however it never made it to the vendor. At the time I thought it was too similar to the Valkyrie and it just never was a priority. Now of course, I've been able to give it that twist of subtle difference that I wasn't able to before, and so now it's more than worthy of showing it's beautiful visage. Originally the "Enigma Noir", now simply:

(I've been wearing it around a lot :)~

Demos for all of these masks are available, and it's something I'm trying to do for each new release. I'll be setting time aside soon (I hope) to put out demos for the rest of the masks that are older. The idea of a demo mask being available for all my masks is now finally within my reach!

Coming Up Next: The mask almost unanimously voted for

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Retirement Sale

I've been eloquently convinced to have a change of heart. I'm sorry that I did something like that out of the blue, I was having an impulsive moment of "argh it's all f'ing CRAP!" and forgot that some people might still enjoy having a last chance to grab a few things that might not be as bad as I think they are. So I've put the vendor back up, with everything either 10L or 50L, and after the 20th they'll be gone completely. This also includes the retired designs freebie (not the Victims box).

I've put out a notecard mailbox, and I'd like for you guys to all pitch in with which designs you'll want to see resurrected! I'm compiling a list, and after asking Masqueraderie and you kindly commenters on the blog there are already some designs on it that I wasn't planning on making again. So don't be shy and miss out on seeing your favorite reborn!

I wasn't lying however that deleting the vendor would be a good thing for me, I've already completed the remade versions of seven masks already. But it wasn't a good thing for you and for that I'm sorry again. So don't miss your chance :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fresh Start

I stayed my hand long enough.

The impulse finally got the better of me.

I've deleted the old vendor completely, as well as the retired designs box. The new home to my oldest and pre-sculpted pieces is my inventory, and I will be remaking my favorites in the next couple of weeks. I knew that if I just kept the vendor up until I'd remade them, I never would. This will spur me into action and get me going!

I would like you to express your anger and outrage in the forms of comments expressing which masks you will miss the most, and which masks you had wanted to buy (maybe some day) had I not acted like a maniac.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mardi Gras Masque 2008

It's January... and of course that means my mask-centric mind flies straight to... Mardi Gras! How better to celebrate the anniversary of my first ever store based masque than another, bigger, better and more awesome one?

Yes, get ready and start planning your glitzy ritzy costumes now. I'm extremely excited about this one, as it is the masquerade holiday in the western hemisphere, and how, as a mask maker and party organizer could I not love that? Plus, as you can see by the invitation's picture, I've been working hard already on making a new variety of elegant and timeless masks.

So down to the details! If you are planning on coming, please join the "Illusions Mardi Gras Masque 2008" group that you can find in Search. The last group limit of 50 worked out extremely well, and again there will be an admission fee of 150L that will be entered in a raffle. Only members of this group will be able to enter Carnivale at 6pm on the 9th, and be eligible to compete in the costume contest and the raffle. Attendance will be opened probably at 9pm SLT and will be announced to the Masqueraderie.

Sadly I must impose rules about your costumes. I know, I know, it's blasphemy for one of the most audacious and sumptuous chances for costumes to be limited, yet lag is really not as fun as being able to talk and enjoy the music. So for the sake of all of our latencies, I kindly request that you follow these restrictions and pitch in against the ongoing battle of pings.

Please keep your prim attachments in total to 200 or less.
You can double check how close you are to the limit by using build, and holding down shift to click each item you're wearing. The build window will display the collected total of those prims.

Streamline your AO, or leave it at home
Nobody likes looking like a noob while being a wallflower. However, if you don't plan to dance, fill a veritably lag free, low prim ZHAOII with your two or three favorite stands. You don't need a walk or any other anim if you're not moving. Otherwise, just go without.

No particles, and no listening scripts
Turn that bling off, and make sure you don't have any items on you that respond to chat commands. Try to avoid scripted items at all if possible.

Sorry if I come off as all tyrant-y, but really I'm trying to help! If everyone pitches in and follows these, I'm pretty sure lag won't come and crash the party.

As per usual I shall be dj'ing and keeping the music coming, however late this may run! I will also be passing out Beads made by yours truly. Last year, I used trivia questions about Mardi Gras in order to determine who would get Beads, this time... I haven't decided yet :) I've been thinking of doing a "web scavenger hunt" using Google.

As always, there will be a costume contest, determined by vote, to vie for the title of King or Queen of Mardi Gras. Two unreleased themed masks will be awarded as the prizes, along with 1500L each. I will also have the 150L fee to join the Masque group raffled off to the members, the winner receiving 5000L!

There will also be a grab bag of party favors provided by me and any other of my designer friends who wish to contribute something. This will be available to anyone who attends the party, even if they miss the first hours.

Make sure you join the group early, do not put it off because you don't have a group slot. Spots will go surprisingly fast, and I will refuse to add a single soul more than 50. I will, however, have a waiting list just in case anyone leaves the group, which has happened before. There will still be hope to get in even if you hear about it too late.

Masks are required, but a freebie mask will be included in the party favors as always, so you don't need to worry if you're low on the dough. I am always amazed at the incredible costumes you guys come up with, and I know for a fact this party will be no exception. I'm positive that you will be able to work around those limitations and turn up looking exquisite, and I absolutely can't wait to see!

Illusions Mardi Gras Masquerade
Saturday, February 9th, 6PM SLT

Illusions Event Hall, Carnivale
(Join the "Illusions Mardi Gras Masque 2008" Group)
Formal Dress and Mask Required

Saturday, January 5, 2008

She's Back!

So today was the day that I decided to come back after my Christmas vacation! I feel extremely refreshed, and relaxed, and I feel inspired, which is obviously everything anyone could want from a vacation. I cleaned, I sat, I watched movies, I watched a bunch of seasons of America's Next Top Model, and in general did absolutely nothing productive. Luckily for you guys, that gets stops being refreshing after a while and starts getting boring!

I'm starting right away with a fire under my butt making plans for the Mardi Gras bash I'm going to throw, and I really want to make a special mask for the invitation picture. I'm wondering if you guys would prefer to celebrate "fat tuesday" on a weekend? I know my parties can go literally all night, so if you want consideration speak up, before I have the date set. Personally I'm leaning towards a small get together on the day itself, and then a big ol' party on that Saturday.

I hope you guys all had a very merry ambiguous December holiday, and a happy new years! I hope 2008 is seriously awesome for you, and even better than 2007 was.