Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning 2009!

It's that time again, when my critical eye turns upon the walls of my store and I begin to feel the urge to cull things from the herd. I feel the need to dispose of things that I was never that proud of in the first place, things that don't sell well, or things that are just plain old.

The rose collection was one of the very first things I made with sculpts, and for two years they were a joy to me. But now I want to move on, I'm going back and scripting older items like my necklaces and I realized... I don't think these are worth scripting. I'd rather have new items to play with! Same for some of my early hats, like the Sabrina and Harajuku top hats. Oddly, even despite my new top hats the Victorian still sells well, and I think I can live with it sticking around, but the other two? No. I will, however, reduce the price on the Victorian to reflect its age and venerable standing.

The sculpted hair styles... well... they were a whim. The mustaches are still too much fun to get rid of and so they're sticking around, but styles like the Sweep and the Bowl are just plain not well made, and I can say that because I made them. They're probably the shoddiest, half-assed stuff I have in my store, made as a joke, and although the joke was funny, the joke is now old. I'd rather clear them out so that any future, serious attempt at hair that I make won't be tainted by those things. They have their place with costumes and they're certainly unique, but hopefully any other hair I make will be unique too.

Anyway, go check them out :) They'll be around until May 20th, at that time they'll be locked up in my inventory forever. Everything is laid out in front of the store, out on the lawn for the pickin's.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Khimar Wrap

I'm back! My connection is stable once more, and so I was able to finally log in and finish what I had started. I'm very excited to share this, it was a headache inducing experience but very well worth it.

Draping cloth is something that takes only a moment to create out in the real world, but is a challenge to artists who try to render it in any medium. I love covering myself in as much draping, flowing cloth as the temperature allows and I've always wanted my avatar to reflect that more.

"Khimar" means roughly a head scarf or veil in Arabic, and although it's more modernly associated with full body wraps and longer garments I felt I might still be able to get away with calling it this*. I went for a very middle eastern look for it, but that's entirely optional, as the head band/wrap or "agal" is a separate piece from the hood and can be worn with or without it. The mask is separate too, in case you just want a hood with the cowl. In fact, all the pieces can be worn alone or in any combination that you like!

*Anyone who might be better in the know is welcome to correct me, as I'm just a Westerner with access Google and Wikipedia :)~)

Every piece changes independantly, so if you want to experiment with having a black hood and a blue mask, or a black agal with a red hood, go for it! Create any random color scheme you like, but only on the purchased version; the demo combines the three head pieces so that you're not covered in little hovering demo boxes.

The hood is pretty incompatible with hair, but a lot of hair stores (such as ETD) sell just bangs as an add-on to their hair styles, and I think that would work well with this if you simply MUST have a few lingering locks. Speaking of, this is perfect for expositions or sales or fashion shows where you need to keep an eye on your prim limit, but still want to look fashionable. All in all, wearing all the pieces, it only adds up to eight prims! Aaaah the miracle of sculpts!

Here's where it was a pain in the ass though... for eight prims I needed to do seven unique textures, and do those seven unique textures in twelve different unique colors. Whereas normally I can be a bit of a cheapskate and use as few as two or three unique textures on an item, or creatively re-use textures on similar prims (like recently my hat bands) I ended up doing over a hundred uploads for this item's textures alone! And that's not counting troubleshooting sculpts! It was a devil getting all of the textures and colors to look right together, from 2d into 3d. But the good part of this is that everything looks deliciously silky. Looking at the results, I definitely feel like it was all worth it.

I also think I know what you're thinking... CLOAKS! The thought (obviously) occurred to me too, and I'm planning on it. I should even be able to re-use pieces of this wrap, but there's certainly going to be enough original material on any cloaks I make to make it worthwhile to buy both.

The wrap is currently available at the main store for 450L, and with this release, I've lowered the price of the old Assassin's Guise to only 175L as a sort of budget version. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For the past week and a half or so, I've been suffering from random and intermittent internet outages that effectively remove me from being in-world. I'm never sure when the internet is going to cut out, or for how long. The times that I've tried logging in, all I've ended up being able to do is lose IM's from people. More technicians are coming by tomorrow, they've already been around to restore our dial tone and to poke it with sticks, but we keep needing to call. You know that the internet has truly become an addiction and a habit when you lose connection and think "what's the phone number for my ISP? I should google it"

So now I'm on a sort of forced hiatus, and I'm spending it tidying my apartment, playing Sid Meir's Pirates, and watching Pushing Daisies on DVD. As much as I enjoy having a vacation, I don't enjoy the timing, as I was working on something really fabulous that I'm very excited about. Hopefully I'll be able to get back in action, but until then I guess I'll continue being the dashing scourge of the Spanish Main :p

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vendor Updates

I've been working on updating and scripting older items like a few of my jewelry sets or masks like Le Fleur. I was sitting on them, tucking them away into my inventory so that I could unveil them grandly in my new store on my rebuilt sim, but I realized that wasn't a good enough reason to delay such convenience. I'm also replacing older vendor scripts with a newer update from Miriel which passes folders, and eliminates the need for boxes as well as other handy features.

I've been consolidating fatpacks and deleting old color versions in my inventory, and good grief! Such progress in lowering my count, I must have deleted thousands of versions of my various items. It's also been a great chance to walk down memory lane and review pieces that I still feel good about, or pieces I can't stand looking at and wish to remove from the grid entirely.

I'm trying very hard not to remove or retire anything well-loved that I haven't remade already, which is why everything is still out. I do plan on doing a "Spring Cleaning" sale, which is starting to become an annual thing!

Work on the sim is still going slow but steady, the whole hat spree thing with the top hats and fedoras etc kept me busy and distracted, but it was a welcome break. I'm back to working and fiddling with my model, figuring out the layout for the residential towers and tweaking my textures.

This is a picture looking up at what will be the store, and the entrance to the Arab market. If you want to swing by the SW of Carnivale to check it out, you're welcome to :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The People cry out for fedora-ness, and who am I to argue with you guys? It certainly was a slightly different endeavor, and I had no idea when I started just how much a tiny crimp in a brim could add or subtract so much character. I actually slaved over these, giving them the proper sweep, swagger, fit, character and distinction. My fiance can attest, he says he "now knows the meaning of a perfectionist" because of the way I treated these hats!

So here are the fruits of my labor.

Sinatra was famous for wearing a "stingy brim" straw fedora set slightly back on his head, but I took a bit of liberty because I love felt... and didn't want to do a whole new set of straw textures for this. An honest to goodness Panama hat and a porkpie still might be in the works, but don't hold your breath (or hold me to it...).

One of the most famous and classic images that make me instantly think of a fedora, is Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. I only saw the film once, I'm not a big fan of romantic dramas, but I certainly had the image of him smoking a cigarette in a trenchcoat and a swanky hat full of savoir faire. But the reason for the brain stickiness was mostly the swanky hat... I can't resist a good costume accessory! But even Humphrey Bogart is not as famous or notorious or as well known for fedora-wearing as...

Indiana Jones! Man, this one was a challenge. The problem with having a hat so well known and so iconic is having to get it exactly right. But I feel I finally eliminated just the right kinks and flaws to make it really his. In any other color though? It's a versatile hat for the rough and tumble type in a gritty bar or maybe the erudite fashionista in New York. Speaking of...

From my childhood, not sure I'd even call this a fedora, but I would certainly call it a floppy hat full of win. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? used to be one of my favorite shows as a kid. I would rush home to watch it and then yell at the kids who didn't know where Madagascar was. And I think the real reason everyone wanted to track her down was to ask her about fashion tips, 'cause that lady had style. I don't know how she could hide from people so thoroughly while wearing a bright red fabulous hat and trenchcoat, but I guess that's just how awesome she was. Obviously you're not limited to red, I just couldn't resist it for the picture!

Last but not least, I was running out of fedora icons and I wanted to have the more modern, trendy short brimmed fedora honored in my collection. "Timberlake" didn't seem like a very appetizing option, so after googling a bit I found that Vince Lombardi, the legendary American football coach was never seen without one just like this. Perfect! I hope I'm not tarnishing his memory by making it bright blue and wearing it with a purple mack.

All of these delicious and delightful pieces of millinery are available at my store now for 175L (due to their serious blows to my sanity through not behaving properly when I wanted them to just look done already)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Disaster Relief

I was able to get in touch with SLEMA (Second Life Emergency Management Agency), and although it took all day, we managed to restore the original sea level and evict the sea born "shoppers" from the store. Now, I need to clean up the kelp and seaweed from the floors and wring out the drapes and sweep up the drift wood. But I have to say I was starting to get really attached to our piscean visitors. But being around them for so long... I feel changed some how. Like I'll never be the same, even though things have gone back to normal. I wonder why that is?....

Ah well, I guess we'll never know.

(the fins are texture change on touch, and available through the Masqueraderie group notices :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth

Oh god I can't believe it!

The Linden Sea rose twenty meters in the past couple of days, some sort of heat wave melted almost all of the glaciers on Cloudmont! The Snowland region is now the Mudland region! Mainland Warming is really happening, I didn't believe it for myself but...

Now it's too late!!

My sim is completely flooded, this is not just a spring melt, it's a whole flood. And I don't even have insurance out on it. The raise in the sea level brought with it a whole menagerie of animals to add to the damage, I don't have any idea where to start cleaning up.

I can't believe it... that crazy old notecard really might have been on to something.

The flipsing swish ones fly from below
to rise on the harlequin day
to answer the calls of those who came before
they will have their day in the halls of stone

The flipsing swish ones must be the new denizens of my store.

And the "harlequin day" must be a reference to today, April Fool's day. I bet the penguins from last year would love this place now, but they must be so sad that their arctic home is now a mudpit. It looks like they'll "have their day in the halls of stone" until the water level lowers or I can start draining the place. At least the good news is Gerald the local giant sea turtle is giving free rides at his leisure.

Aschen Memory gets an informal tour of the store

Does anyone know the phone number of FEMA?