Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Corvus II (the details)

Two weeks ago someone asked me if I still sold my raven mask. Of course then the gears start turning. It's been ages since I did an animal mask, and I realized I had solved some of the problems posed by a bird mask that had prevented me from making it sooner.

With alpha feathers to fluff it out, an alpha transition to the neck, and fine rings around the eyes, I had finally figured out how to make it less flat, keep my edges crisp, and how to make it blend into the avatar. I wasn't really happy with just doing a face mask for birds like I used to... the shape of the head is part of what makes birds so distinctive. Plus, hair just doesn't seem to fit once you have feathers.

So now, with essentially a bird's head... what would I possibly wear with this? An image came to me, and I had to sketch it down even though I was trying to fall asleep at the time.

I drew an elegant A-line gown, with an upraised wing sprouting from the shoulder. I imagined feathers climbing the arm and delicately falling from the skirt. I'm quite happy with the results, and though I went through innumerable drafts and versions, the result is truly something I'm proud of.

Yet... Corvus is a unisex mask. And most men will not relish the idea of wearing a gown. And so a looming challenge appeared. The gauntlet had been thrown down before me... I had to make something formal that a man could wear to accompany a woman wearing such a gown. A suit.

Compared to the suit, the dress took an instant and was over in a wink. When working on this, I longed to go back to the simplicity of cursing at skirt prims and getting the feathers crisp on the bodice. Of course I had to do a four piece suit, with formal pants, a vest, a jacket and a silk shirt, each layer posing a bigger challenge than the last. My muse is such a bitch, sometimes.

However, seeing the results, I have to thank her. I love the jacket, the feathered shoulders add some flamboyant whimsy, and the jabot (the tie) blends so well into the bottom of the mask that it almost looks like feathers. The silk shirt alone is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing I have right now. I've been wearing it with vests, corsets, as a man or woman, with skirts, with pants, you name it. I made sure to include as many layer options as possible, since I was going through the trouble of making all this I wanted to be sure people could wear it how they like.

Certain pieces are also available separately, if you would just like to buy the dress alone without the mask or other accessories, same for the suit. I also put the silk shirt out on its own. If you just like the accessories, you can nab those up without having to get the whole look.

The Corvus wrist cuff makes a beautifully gothic accessory on its own, and although I imagined it only on one wrist, I made a pair so that you had your options open.

However, my favorite are the wings. They aren't scripted, but in such a lovely black do they really need to be?

You'll want to try the demo for these, they have an elegant curve that doesn't show well in this picture. They also have just a few touches of flexi to add some movement.

This whole project has been one of those times when my muse just won't let go until she's had her way. A vision just unfolded that just had to be realized. So it was with the dress, then the suit, and finally the story. It's been a crazy series of all-nighters, aching wrists and hundreds in uploads... but worth it. I hope you love it as much as I do... enjoy ♥

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


There was once a crow, who lived in the woods near a road. She would sometimes follow travelers and see if they dropped food, or perhaps left an unattended piece of sparkly for her to add to her collection. One day, she saw a nobleman in fine clothes lead his horse mistakenly off the path. She followed above in the trees as he quickly became lost. She watched him as he tried to find his way back to the road, and she took pity on him. Alighting in front of him she cawed with her hoarse voice, and started to fly back towards the road.
He followed her as she flew from branch to branch, and before long he was leading his horse back onto packed dirt. He smiled kindly, and thanked her and offered some of the sweet bread he had with him. She took it happily and flew away.

She found herself thinking of the encounter and how kind the man had been to trust her and share his bread. She found herself daydreaming of perhaps meeting him again and taking his hand. She dreamed of him leading her in a graceful dance like flying on the ground.

Her thoughts were interrupted suddenly as she felt a net fall about her, she struggled but found herself trapped. She cried out in distress as she recognized the witch who lived nearby as her captor. The witch leaned in and said "I only need one of your lovely black feathers, dear, no harm will come to you". The crow was relieved, but it hardly seemed fair... she loved her feathers. "You can't just take it," she said, "you should offer me something in return." The witch was taken aback, but asked her what she might want. The crow thought quickly, and realized her chance. "Make me human, so that I may meet the nobleman who was kind to me and dance with him." The witch smiled in a way that made the crow's heart tighten, but she soon said "So be it. You may dance, but only with him, and you must not act like what you truly are or my spell will weaken. Do not take anything that sparkles, and do not eat other's food. If you do these things, my magic will not be able to keep you from returning to your true self".

The crow was delighted, and let the witch take the feather. She felt herself begin to change, her wings becoming smooth arms and her rough black feet becoming long graceful legs. Her beautiful feathers became an elegant gown, her tail its bustle. She reached up to touch her soft face, her hair, and smiled for the first time. Laughing with her now musical voice, she thanked the witch and ran to the road, to follow it to the nobleman's manor.

When she arrived, her fine clothes and dark beauty earned her entrance, for a party was underway. Dancers and colorfully dressed guests swirled about and she was entranced. Such colors, such jewels, and such food! The sights and sounds overwhelmed her, but she had her eye out for her nobleman. Across the room, he had noticed her in her dark dress, and he quickly made his way to her. He introduced himself and offered her wine. Afraid to turn down his kindness, she accepted and took a sip. She felt an itch at her arm, and looked down to find a few black feathers. He did not notice, and he offered her his hand to dance. This is what she had been hoping for, and as she danced it felt like flying. She laughed and grinned and the nobleman was enchanted.

He had been hoping to find a bride this night and he felt he might have found her. He needed his father's approval, and so when the song ended, he took her to introduce them. When he told his father she might be his bride, her heart leaped with joy. His father was happy to meet her, and invited her to dance. So close to what she wanted, she hoped that the magic would hold enough to allow her to perhaps garner his blessing. She took his hand to dance, but felt her shoulders ache as wings unfolded from her back. Fitting so well with her gown, a few guests admired the ingenuity of her costume.

Once their dance was ended, his father gave his blessing. The party came to a slow as the steward called for silence. Excited and nervous, she followed her nobleman to the end of the hall. He turned, knelt, and pulled something sparkly from his pocket. All at once she was elated and jubilant as she looked down at the beautiful, shining ring. She sobered as she realized the choice she had in front of her, she couldn't know how close she was to breaking the spell. She looked into his eyes, saw the sincerity and hope inside them, and felt herself reach out to accept it.

She felt her hair becoming feathers, the dress becoming her skin. She turned away quickly, tears in her eyes as she fled from the grand hall. A
s she ran she felt her legs growing shorter, her wings returning and so she flew.

The spell had been broken, and she had lost her chance to be with her nobleman. She flew back to the woods in despair.

The nobleman felt that there was something wrong, and went to follow her. A trail of black feathers led out and to the road, and he saddled his horse and rode to follow it. Riding into the night, he hoped to encounter her. As it was getting dark, he slowed his horse, and saw a light in the distance. Hoping to find his love, he rode up to the cottage of the witch.

The witch heard him, and came out to meet him as he approached in his finery, holding black feathers. He asked her if she had seen a beautiful woman pass, and the witch immediately knew what had happened. "Do you love her?" she asked.
"I was going to marry her, we were to spend our lives together." he replied. The witch nodded, and asked him what he would give to be with her, would he give up his fine clothes? His home? "Everything" was his answer. The witch smiled, and took one of the feathers he was holding. He felt himself shrinking, his arms lengthening, his skin prickling as feathers grew. And as he changed, he saw a familiar crow come swooping down to meet him, and he flew for the first time to dance with her in the sky.

Introducing Corvus, a hauntingly beautiful matched set of a mask, wings, gown and suit. More details to follow... but they are out now in the store :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I've been quietly working very hard on a complex multi-part project... my first since Hedera. And, like Hedera... I'm venturing into clothing again!!

Yes, yes, I know, dear lord the world is ending, the sky is falling, the seams are making my head hurt. But as I struggle to complete it, the more it comes together the more it reminds me of why I'm doing it.

I was inspired by a mask. An off hand comment made my brain click on and all of a sudden in a flurry I had made this beautiful mask. But, it's that sort of creation that demands to be fully realized in a complete vision, and so I've been working on a dress, accent accessories, and a three piece suit. It's a lot like something out of a fairy tale or a dream, or maybe a bad trip. My guy thought I was a bit nutty.

Now that I've piqued your interest, I'll just say it should be done soon, I'm working on the final accent which might be a bit tricky (hence why I've put it off 'till the end!), but it's worth the wait.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Introducing the Illusions Angel Card!

I'm very excited to say that today I'm finally introducing a new card system. The new Illusions Angel Card can be used as a gift card, letting you purchase "Angel Points" and give the card to friends, or... and here's the big or... you can earn Angel Points by purchasing things at Illusions.

Each Angel Point is equivalent to $1L that you can spend at the store, and every time you buy something it will give you %10 of the cost back as points! If you buy something for $500L, you'll get 50 Angel Points that you can use on whatever you like. If that's not enough to buy something that you want, you can buy extra points (in packs of 50, 100, 500, or 1000) to top off your card. Or, if you've bought everything you wanted, you can pass it to a friend and let them spend the points! The only items that aren't compatible with the card (won't give points and can't be bought with points) are the older items that have been banished to the back room.

It's incredibly simple to use, all you need to do is wear it, and the card will display how many points you currently have, and tell you how many points you earn from each purchase. And as soon as you want to cash in, just side click on a vendor, select "Use Card" and go through the menu system as normal. It will even refund your points if you cancel out of the menu!

You can get your own Angel Card absolutely free right here.

Unfortunately, since there is no way for me to track transactions made with the card, I can't offer replacements if it fails to deliver. However, I've made some changes to my vendors and it seems that they're much more stable now that they've been upgraded. Since the cards are run on scripts, and this is SL we're talking about here, I think it would be wise to only wear your Angel Card while you are on Carnivale. Take it off before you teleport or go to a laggy sim, because I can't guarantee that the points will not reset, and neither of us want that.

Aside from those caveats, I'm incredibly excited to introduce this system to you. It's my way of saying thank you for coming back, and for every single thing you buy. I hope you guys enjoy, and happy shopping :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Arnot, Aurelie, and new cheapies!

With my mind on other things, I forgot to mention that I put out a couple of releases for my opening last week. First up, I keep getting asked about the gift I put out for Jewelry Fair 2009. People who were lucky enough to nab it keep flaunting their luck in photos, in gorgeous outfits, matching it with everything and making people jealous. I also happen to really like it, and so I'm putting out Aurelie officially for just 90L. It has the same beautifully vibrant collection of stones as Orinthia and the Elessia set.

Arnot is a mask for the poor under-represented men. That's not to say that women can't wear it, but just for once it was made on a male base to accentuate male features. There are a lot of dramatic, simple, and elegant male mask designs out there and it was about time that I made one! It has the same color palette as the Adorno masks (Perorno, Mezzadorno etc) and I think you'll be hard pressed to find an outfit that it doesn't match.

With my beautiful new build, my old freebies (the 2007 signature necklace and the Obscurita masks) simply didn't seem to fit. The entire reason I remade the build was that I wanted it to reflect what I'm capable of (plus I was running a leetle low on space), and I feel like a store gift should reflect the sort of quality you can find inside. So I've put together a couple of new gifts
The imp mask is an old design, one of the first I ever made. I made some tweaks and neatened it up a bit to make it something worth wearing. What I'm really happy with is how my new signature necklace turned out. A couple of elegant swirls curl around one of my most elegant mask designs and turned it into something I'm very happy to keep near my virtual heart.

Since these are better than my old gifts, and nicer than any other gift I've had out on my store, I've made them 10L instead of 1 or 0. It also includes a truly beautiful gift box, which I'm happy to make available on its own along with the mask and necklace.
It makes a beautiful trinket to keep in your house, I know that's certainly what I'm doing. Keep an eye out for it on the table to your left when you're at the store, and grab yourself some goodies :)