Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm Taking Some Time Off...

As some of you know, I've been really sick with a chest cold for the last few weeks. I'm so tired of coughing all the time that I'm seriously considering actually going to a doctor! (gasp!!1!)

So, because of that, and because being sick has put me waaaay behind on nearly everything, I'm going to be taking the next two weeks off, and trying my best to get really well, and to get all the things I need to catch up with caught up.

If I feel up to it, I'll keep you posted on what I'm doing while I recover; but if I don't, I'm not going to. Please understand. I love you all, but I have to get well.

Among other things, this means that I'm not going to be in SL™ except to take care of problems. If you are a Resident, and you need something from me, please send me an IM. Those go to my e-mail, so I'll be able to see that you need help, and I'll get in world as soon as I can to help you. But it might be a while.

This also means that the new class, which was supposed to run for the month of January, is going to be in February instead. It's going to be Intermediate Alpha Channels, and I'll teach you how to work with SL glass, including Stained Glass (among other things; it's not quite all nailed down yet.) With any luck, it'll be worth the wait.

So, that's where we stand.

Thanks for your understanding and support, and I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yule Log in Second Life®

With the Holidays fast approaching, it's time to light the Yule Log in SL™!

And I have just the log for you to light. :D

Picture of the Yule Log, with candles out and lit, and different colors picked for each candle.

The log is Blue Spruce, with 3 candles in black cups inserted into it, decorated with the traditional plaid bow with a round shiny red Christmas ball in it, and greens and white branches (with red and gold glitter) fixed behind the bow.

Each candle is scripted individually, so you can touch each one and get the menu that allows you to choose the color you want, light or extinguish it (Full Bright or Local Lights) or set it to Auto so that it will light itself at dusk, and extinguish itself at Dawn.

This means that you can have 3 different colors, or one candle that uses Local Lights, and 2 that are full bright, or only light the one in the middle, or any other combination you want!

All this, for only 12 prims!

No mod, no copy, but they are Transferable, and make great gifts.

Available now, from the Home and Garden Store on Livingtree (85, 128, 24). L$125, 12 Prims, NO Copy/No Mod/Yes Transfer

See you there!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Gift Boxes in Second Life®

The scripted gift box with Christmas paper is finished!


Like the other two scripted Gift Boxes I have, you have a choice of 11 wrapping paper designs, 11 bow colors, and 11 floating text colors, so you can wrap the present to your taste!

You can also set it so that it will open only for a specific person, on a specific day (or later) and you can set one message that is displayed in the floating text above the box, and another that the box will "say" when it opens and gives the person you specified all the presents that you've stored in its Contents.

When the day comes, and they click the gift, and choose to open it, the top flies off, the ribbon falls to the side, and the box plays a sound, while particles come shooting out of it. (The default sound is chimes playing "We wish you a Merry Christmas", and the default particles are snowflakes, but you can use your own sound and particles, simply by removing the Defaults from the Object Contents, and putting yours in there.)

You don't have to give the box to the person in order for them to open it, so you can keep it and reuse it for the next gift, or you can give it to them after the celebration, when it won't interfere with role playing.

The important thing is that you can put it under the tree, have your loved one open it, and not have the scary moment when you set it for sale for L$0, and hope the person it's meant for buys it before a swooper shows up and steals it all!

With this box, gift giving is fun, and secure; and it will give both copy and non-copy items, as long as they are Transferable.

The box is Mod/No Copy/Transfer, so you can put your own paper on it, too, if you like; or tint the paper that's there, as well as using the scripts. And, of course, you can add things to the Contents, which you kind of have to be able to do.

You cannot resize it, though, or it will break the box. I'm planning to have a larger box, and a smaller one, available soon.

For sale now, L$100, Mod/Transfer/No Copy from Kick the Can and the Home and Garden Store in Livingtree.

See you there!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Limited Edition Holiday Bear for SL™

For the last couple of years, I've made a Limited Sales Days bear in Second Life®, and I've made another one this year!

2008 Holiday Bear from the Vendor

It's actually been out for a couple of days now, but I've been so busy making things that I haven't had time to blog about making them!

This year, the bear is a Polar Bear.

Polar Bear habitat is shrinking so drastically due to global climate change that they were put on the "Threatened Species" list last May, which should give them some protection under the US Endangered Species Act. If you're interested in learning more, or helping the Polar Bears, you can go to the WWF site, or to Polar Bears International, both of which have a lot of information.

He's wearing a scarf with the year on it, and a border and design that I used for the mitts I knitted for Santa in Real Life. He also has a sculpted hat, with the same border, but on solid blue. There are flaps on the sides of the hat, to protect his cheeks, and they have snowflakes on them.

The bear himself is one of my Sculpted bears, and like the others, he's made so that you can easily pose his arms, legs, and head (just enable Local rotation, in the Build dialog; detailed instructions are on a Notecard packed with the Bear.)

Even though he's easy to pose, there are five bears in the pack, with poses that I've already made for you. One is sitting, one is standing, and there are three with Carry animations, so you can drag him along with you held in either your right or left hand, or you can cuddle him to your chest, and give him a squeeze every now and then.

The bears are copy/mod, so you can change the size, pose them, make them huge and put pose balls on them, put them in your bike basket and Link them to the bike, tint them, or generally play with them as much as you want, and not have to worry about accidentally ruining them.

However, they aren't Transfer, so you can't buy them, and then give them to someone else, or loan a friend your bear. (If you want to give them as a present, please use the Gift button on the vendors.)

They are available from now until the end of the year only; on Jan 1, 2009, they will be gone forever.

L$150, Copy/Mod/NO Transfer. Vendors are up in all Kick the Can stores, including the main Kick the Can store in Livingtree, and in the Robin (Sojourner) Wood AV Store also on Livingtree.

See you there!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

New Yuletime Tea Sets!

I've gotten 3 new virtual tea sets done, with Yuletide themes, for your Second Life® holiday decorating!

Interactive Tea Sets

The new designs include a Christmas Tree, a Christmas Sleigh (with Sanata, kids, and presents) and Snow Children (a Victorian boy and girl, dressed all in white and holding seasonal plants, against a backdrop of seasonal greens.)

These are like my other tea sets, but with different designs on the virtual china. And this time, if you touch the napkin, you'll get a menu that gives you your choice of 3 full linen sets (not just a recoloring) that have different embroidery on the napkin, and different place mats under the china.

If you, or anyone in the group the Tea Set is Set to, touches the tray, you can serve steaming hot tea, or clean all the dishes in a flash!

If anyone at all touches the plate of petit fours, they'll get their own plate, with 3 petit fours on it, and an animation so they can hold it.

Touch the Pot, and anyone will get an empty saucer to wear in their left hand, and a cup to wear in their right. Touch the cup, and a menu will appear with 12 varieties of tea to choose from. So you can sit or stand, and gracefully hold your saucer and sip tea.

All of them are on sale now, from the Vendor in the Home and Garden Store, or in the igloos set up on the River, while Livingtree has its Winter Festival!

Which, by the way, is going on now! I'll have more about that later.

Finally, if you've heard that the Lindens slapped me with a "Warning or Suspension of Service" notice last Sunday at 1 AM SL time, because they suddenly found the Kid Skin vendors which have been up for more than 2 years now, and which they approved a year ago, unacceptable, it is true.

The rule, when I was growing up, was "If it's flat, you don't have to cover it." But it seems that this is no longer true in SL™.

I'm appealing the "Warning or Suspension," not so I can put those vendor images back, but so I can get the Black Mark off my record. I'll have more about that when I know more.

In the meantime, the vendors are back, in the same places, but showing only the faces of the models. If you'd like to see a skin, please get a free demo from the pictures above the vendor, and examine it yourself, in a private place.

At the moment, I am planning to remain in SL. I have too many obligations to too many people there not to.

And for all those who have written or IMd me to show your support, I deeply appreciate it. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alpha Basics book in the Texture Library in SL™!

If you are a resident in Linden Labs' Second Life®, and you have ever wondered about Alpha Channels in Photoshop®, I finally have all the answers in a handy book form, in the Texture Library next to the Texture Tutorial in Livingtree.

Cover of the new book

The book is based on the lectures that I gave in October about Alpha Channel Basics, but it's expanded a bit, because I wasn't limited to an hour. :D

Inside, you'll find 36 pages of information explaining what an Alpha Channel is, why an RGBA image is 32 bits, how to make Alpha Channels in Adobe® Photoshop®, how to eliminate all trace of the dreaded "white halo", information about using .png instead, and when you might want to use .tga with a full alpha, instead of .png.

There are 40 colored images, and it was all laid out in Adobe® InDesign®, so it's like a real live book. Except, of course, you can have it in Second Life, where it's easy to refer to while you're working.

Come check it out! You can read it for free, and if you want to have a copy of your own to take away with you, it's only L$100. So you really can't lose!

Once again, you'll find it (along with the book about Making Gradients in Photoshop, and placing textures accurately Inside Hollow Prims) at the Texture Library.

See you there!

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Prize in the Kick the Can Lucky Chair!

In Second Life® you can find, scattered around the world, chairs that give you a prize if the first letter of your first name matches the one that the chair has randomly generated.

I have one at Kick the Can Main Store right inside the door.

From time to time, I change the prize in the chair, and I just changed it.

Picture of the chest, from two angles

From now until I change it again, if you sit in the chair when it's showing your letter, you'll receive a Treasure Chest. It's not big, and it's not bitsy. It's just the right size to hold a kid's treasures!

It's made of rough wood, with ornate iron corner protectors on all the corners, and iron banding, held in place with rivets. On the top is a Celtic knot design, burned into the wood. On the front is a plain brass latch, with a loop to put your lock into.

When you touch the chest, it opens to reveal a green interior with gold stars; but only if you are the Owner. Otherwise, it does nothing.

It's Modifiable, so you can put your treasures inside as actual prims. If you have mod/transfer privileges on them, you can even link them, so you can carry your box around, or move it from one shelf in your room to another, or tuck it under your bed, or take it into your Inventory, or whatever you like. When you pull it out and open it, your treasures will be intact. (There are full instructions in the Chest Contents, that tell you how to do this and other things.)

It's also Transferable, so you can tuck something special inside, in the contents, or as Prims, or both, and give it to someone you love.

However, you can't buy it. I hope to have other treasure chests; but this one will never be for sale. You can only get it from this Lucky Chair, and only until I replace it with something else.

So come soon, and try your luck!

Friday, November 07, 2008

All Season Maple Saplings in Second Life®

Are you a Second Life® resident with a home or store in world? Do you want to change your land as the seasons change in the Real World, but you're tired of having to take up all the trees for one season, and put down new trees for the next?

Then my new All-Season Trees are for you!

Image of all the trees

Put one of them out, touch it, and choose the season you want from the blue Menu. You can choose Bare, Bare branches covered with white lights, Snow covered branches with white lights, Snow covered branches, Early Spring, Spring, Summer, or Autumn.

Once you've chosen, Select the tree, go to Tools > Set scripts to not running in selection, and the scripts will become dormant, so they won't contribute at all to your sim overhead.

When the season changes, Select again, set the script to running, change the season, and turn it off.

Since these are Maple trees, in the spring they will drop "helicopters" and in the Autumn, they will drop colorful leaves.

The trees with lights are FullBright, but not actual Local Lights. However, since they are all Mod, you can set them to be Local Lights if you choose, and even set how much light they are giving.

At the moment, there are 5 Maple Saplings available, simply called Maple Sapling 1, Maple Sapling 2, Maple Sapling 3, Maple Sapling 4, and Maple Sapling 5,. Each one has its own unique coloring for Early Spring, Spring, and Autumn, and each also has its own shape, so even in Summer, or when the trees are bare, they won't look identical.

They are available now from the Robin Wood Home and Garden Store at Livingtree (85, 128, 24), behind the AV store. They come in several different packs, ranging from single trees at L$150, to packs of three (yellow or red) for L$375, a pack with all five colors for L$500, or the Estate Pack, with 3 of each (15 trees) for L$1250.

Since each one is really 8 trees in one, that's like getting a single tree for L$19 or less!

Come and check them out! Full size demos are at the store.

See you there!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Clothing 101 Lecture at Livingtree

The first of the Clothing 101 lectures in Second Life® tonight was a great success!

We had about 25 people in attendance, which was far more than I anticipated, as I showed people how to make clothing using the Appearance Dialog, explained what the Avatar UV Map is and how to use it to design clothing, and showed people about the problem areas.

I also gave out 3 handouts; one with a t-shirt, in tucked and untucked styles, in the section on making textures into clothing, the UV Map Suit, and a Test Suit.

It was a great audience; but I had only scheduled the class to run for an hour, and the first part, with the Appearance Dialog, took longer than I expected. So, sadly, there wasn't time to go into how to make wrinkles on clothing.

I explained this to everyone, offered to stay late and give that section, since it was in the listing, if anyone was interested in it. Several were, and seemed to enjoy it. But since there wasn't really time for it, I'm going to expand it a bit, and give that as its own lecture. At the moment, that series is planned for February 2009. (January is going to be Seamless Textures.)

So, next week, when I give the same lecture, I'll be skipping the part about Wrinkles, and instead briefly touching on the various Clothing Layers, and which ones overlap which. (Something which Immy reminded me that not everyone is familiar with. Thanks, Immy!)

If you missed it, and you'd like to attend, I'm going to be giving this one every Wednesday at 6 PM SL time, in the lecture area behind the Texture Tutorials.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Stuff for Halloween in SL™

I've been working to get all kinds of things ready for Second Life™ Halloween. But sadly I've also been fighting the flu, so I haven't been blogging the new stuff as much as I'd like.

Tonight, though, I'm a bit better, so here we go!

First off, the new Limited Edition 2008 Halloween Bear is out in my stores now.

Vendor Shot of a kid holding 3 teddy bears at once.

This year, the bear is built on the same easy to pose Sculpties as my other bears. He has black fur, with bright purple eyes, an orange muzzle and orange paddy paws. On his head is a sculpty Witches Hat with "Samhain 2008" in gold letters on the band.

Like the other bears, you get five bears in the pack. One sitting, one standing, one to cuddle to your chest, one you can hold in your right hand, and one to hold in your left. The last three have built-in animations. (In SL, we need animations to hold things, or do much of anything, really.)

Because it's Halloween, he's also holding a cute little Pumpkin Pail filled with Candy Corn. Trick or Treat!

His ribbon has a menu-driven color change script, like my other bears, but this one has special Halloween colors, not the usual set.

A special note about this bear; the hat has a broad brim, as Witches hats usually do. When I was making him, I didn't think about what that would look like when his arm was up for the left and right hand carry positions, or when he was cuddled.

But, of course, his raised hand went right through the brim, and the brim went right through a kid's chest, when he was being carried.

I fixed it, of course. But it means that really, there are four different sculpty hats; one for the standing and sitting bear, and different ones for each of the carry poses, so the brim folds around his arm (or a kid's chest) the way it would in RL.

Just thought you might find that interesting. :D

He's for sale now through Nov. 1, in the main Kick the Can Store and the Robin (Sojourner) Wood AV store on Livingtree. L$150. Mod/Copy/NO Transfer (but there's a gift button on the vendor.) Those two stores have demos you can play with. You can also buy the bear from any Kick the Can Store in world. You'll find it in the big Halloween Vendor, along with the other clothes and special things I have for Halloween.

I've also finished a slew of new t-shirts for the Holiday.

Panel showing each design on one of the four possible colors

There are five designs, on four different shirt colors (Black, Navy, Orange or Purple.) As always, they come as tucked in shirts on the Undershirt and Shirt layer, and untucked on the Jacket Layer.

On marbled fabric, with no seams on the arms, or other places there wouldn't be seams in a real shirt.

Only L$50, Mod/Copy/NO Transfer. Also in the Robin (Sojourner) Wood AV store, and in the Halloween Vendors in all Kick the Can Stores.

There's more coming out in the next few days, too; so check back soon!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Overalls for SL™ Girl Kids!

The overall outfit is now available in green, with embroidered bears!

Girl's Green Overalls

If you're a girl kid in Second Life™, this is one of the most flexible outfits you're going to find, with 17 different pieces in the pack!

You get overalls with prim straps that have 3 different pant lengths (shorts, long pants, and rolled pants with prim cuffs) and a cute flexi skirt. The pant lengths are really different, not just slider adjustments. The shorts have stitching along the hem, the rolled pants have tucked wrinkles around the knees, and the skirt has its own pair of Glitch Pants that have a fabric ribbon to match the skirt panels.

You also get two different shirts; a long sleeved striped t-shirt, and a blue short sleeved t-top with teddy bear fabric binding around the neck, and a keyhole and teddy-bear button in the back. Both shirts come "tucked in" on the Undershirt and Shirt layer, and "untucked" on the Jacket layer, so you can mix and match and layer them with other pants and skirts.

Finally, you get a pair of striped tights that match the long-sleeved T-shirt. Like the shirt, the stripes have no seams (although they do distort when you move, of course, since this is SL.) You'll find that the stripes run the way they would on real tights, too; they don't suddenly become vertical on the foot, like some striped stockings you'll find in world.

All the pieces are copy/mod, so you can tint them, shorten the sleeves on the T-shirt, turn the tights into knee socks or anklets, or do whatever else you like, while still keeping a copy intact. You can also set up your favorite combinations, and save them as outfits.

With these pieces, you can mix and match and wear a different combination every day for weeks! Not even counting what will happen when you mix and match with other outfits you already own. :D

All of this for only L$250. Available now from all Kick the Can stores, in the vendor with the other overalls.

NOTE: The Khaki Overalls and Halloween Overalls now have skirts as well! If you bought either of them, and would like the skirt, IM me, (Robin Sojourner,) and I'll drop one on you.

See you in Livingtree!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Have a Cunning Plan...

Hi Everyone! I'm sick today, so I'm not doing much at the moment, but I thought I'd take a minute and explain what The Plan is for the coming months.

I'm still working on learning CSS. It's going more slowly than I'd like, mostly because there is so much there to learn, and so much I'd like to do with my website. It seems like every time I do a "test page" I think, "Oh! But it would be so cool if... " and then I find out that there is a way to do that thing, and I have to learn that, too. I decided right away not to keep making pages that I just have to re-make. Instead, I'm going to plot out exactly what I want it all to do, and learn how to do all of that, and then make them.

Kind of hard, when I'm trrying to do so much other stuff too, but hey, that's what happens.

The real problem, at the moment, is that I still like my navigation thinges, and I can't figure out how to get all the same functionality without having them in a table with roll-overs and things. But I'll get there. (At the very worst, I'll keep the table for that, and update the rest of the site, which I have figured out. This is Transitional HTML for a reason. But I'd rather not do that.)

One of the things that I have decided is that I'm going to lose the "Links" section. Mostly because it's almost impossible to keep it up to date and working, and as far as I can tell, no one is really using it anyway.

So that's going to go, and in its place, I'm going to put a section for Fiber Arts, which is something that I'm very fond of. I've decided to start with Embroidery.

Towards that end, I've updated my embroidery digitizing software, and I'm going to start to get embroidery designs up on the site in the next few weeks, (I hope.) The Plan is to also upgrade the Shopping Cart, so there will be a Search Engine, which I badly need, and also the capability for people to instantly download the designs when they buy them. I know that I don't bother buying embroidery designs if I have to wait to get them, and I can't imagine that other people will want to wait, either.

Once I have that, I might have other things that you can buy and download right away. We'll have to see.

But, in the meantime, I hope to have some free designs up, so people can see the quality of my digitizing. I'm also going to see about putting them on some of the more popular embroidery sites, so that I can start earning some income with all of that.

If the embroidery goes well, I might add quilting stuff. We'll have to see.

So, there's still lots of work to do, but things are progressing, albeit slowly at the moment, and there is a Plan. :D

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Texure Lecture tonight in SL™

I'm going to be giving another lecture in Second Life™ tonight, at 6 PM SL time. It will be in the Lecture Area behind the Texture Tutorials, on Livingtree.

This week, I'm going to be starting with a discussion explaining how to make Seamless Textures in Photoshop. (This was requested last week, which is why it's first. People who know all about Alpha Channels can see that part, and don't have to sit through stuff they could probably teach themselves! :D )

After that, I'm going to explain what Alpha Channels are, what makes a 32 bit Targa 32 bits, what White Halos are, and how to avoid them.

Then, if the audience would like to see it, I'll show how to make a stained glass window in Photoshop. (This is the same bit that was shown in the "bonus" time last week, in case you had to leave early, and missed it.)

Finally, there will be a time for questions and answers, although that's likely to run over the allotted hour for the lecture.

It promises to be an informative hour and a bit! If you are interested in learning any of these things, I'll see you there!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Purple Overalls for Second Life Girls!

If you play a little girl in Second Life™, I have a real treat for you!

I've just finished a really cute set of overalls for little girls.

Picture of the Overalls in several different configurations, and from different angles

They are purple, and feature ice cream embroidery on the bib pocket, back pocket, and leg fronts; because what little girl doesn't like ice cream?

The overalls come in 3 lengths; long pants, shorts, and pants that are rolled to mid-calf with prim cuffs that show the ice-cream print fabric lining.

There's also an overall skirt, with matching glitch pants, for days when a little girl just feels like wearing a skirt. It hugs the body to just below the hips, and then widens out into a flexi-prim flare that swings when you walk.

Also included with the outfit is a matching long-sleeved T-shirt and tights, in ice-cream colors stripes. The stripes all match perfectly, with no visible seams at all (although, given the nature of the Avatar mesh, they do stretch and deform as you move.) Even the feet and ankles are made the way striped socks are made in RL, with cherry colored toes and heels, and stripes that match flawlessly all around the foot.

But wait! There's more! You also get a T-top; a shirt made from t-shirt material with a bias tape collar that buttons with an ice-cream-cone button in the back, above a key-hole opening.

Both tops are included on 3 different layers - tucked in for the shirt and undershirt layer, and untucked on the jacket layer, so you can wear the T-top over the T-shirt with the overalls, or wear either one alone, or mix and match them with your other outfits.

And, since everything in the package is Copy/Mod (no transfer) you can shorten the sleeves on the long-sleeved shirt, or make the tights into ankle socks, or tint any and all parts of it, and make dozens and dozens of outfits from just this one set!

Truly, one of the most versatile and fun outfits you're going to find, for little girls on a budget, and for little girls who just like mixing it up!

On sale now, at all Kick the Can locations, including the main store in Livingtree (149, 130, 24.) L$250 for all the pieces (six shirts, four pairs of pants, bib overall "jacket", tights top and bottom, prim overall straps, prim rolled cuffs and flexi-prim skirt.) Mod/Copy/NO Transfer.

See you there!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Texture Q&A

The first texture Question and Answer Session in Second Life™ is over, and I think it went reasonably well. :D

The first two questions were, of course, questions that I wasn't expecting and hadn't prepared for. But after that, we wound up doing about 1/3 of what I had ready. Which meant that we ran almost half an hour over the scheduled time. A number of people had to leave; but the ones who stayed all seemed to enjoy it.

I did learn a few things that I'm going to use for the next time.

For one thing, the Event drop point wasn't where the actual Event was, which caused some confusion. I think I'll put a TP thing out there, to take people to the Lecture Area. It's not very far, but you can't really see it from the drop point (the Texture Tutorials themselves are in the way.)

Mari is insisting that I put the Tip Jar where people can easily find it. So I guess I'll put one of those out, too.

And I believe that for the next session, I'll start with a more structured lesson, and then open it for other questions during the last 15 minutes.

The two questions I had really expected - "How do I make an Alpha Layer" and "How do I make clothes" weren't asked at all. Which means, I guess, that we didn't have any real beginners in the crowd.

Knowing that, I'm far more likely to do things like the section about Stained Glass (which I did use, and which is why I went over the time allotted) than things like the demonstration of White Halo, and how to avoid it. (Which I had ready, but didn't use.)

So, I'll be doing structured lessons most Wednesdays, I think, with Question and Answer sessions after the lesson. The plan is to have basically the same lesson every week for a month, and then move on to another one. That should not only give me plenty of time to prepare, but should allow everyone who wants to see a particular one the chance to do so.

After the month is over, I'll probably put that lesson into a book, or up on my website, or both.

We'll see how it goes.

But it was good to finally use the Lecture Area that I designed years ago, back when I was still in Benten, and never got a chance to build there. I've had it done for a year here, too; and now it's been used. :D

If you have any comments about what you'd like to see taught, or if you were there and noticed something else that I overlooked and would like to comment no it, I'd love to read them!

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Couple of Announcements

First, I've finished the hair for Second Life™ Kids that I hinted at a bit ago.

Picture of the hair- a French Braid - from several angles, in several colors

It comes in 13 colors (at the moment; more are planned) and each pack has 3 different styles. One style holds the end of the braid with a plain elastic band, one with a ribbon, and one with one of those holders that has two balls on it.

All of the fasteners are color-changing, with a menu that has 42 color choices. To change the band and bow, you simply touch the hair anywhere, and the menu comes up. To change the balls, you touch the one you want to change. This allows you to change them individually, so you can have two different colors.

The price of the hair is normally going to be L$250 for the three styles in one color. There are also packs of four colors, at a reduced price.

But, for this weekend, you can get them for L$50 off. (The sale was announced in world on Friday. Sorry that I'm a bit late with the blog post. If you tell me that you saw a reduced price on this blog, you can get the hair for L$50 off until Wednesday night.)

Speaking of Wednesday; I'm going to hold the first of the long-planned Lecture Series this Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 6 pm SL time. It will be at the Lecture Area behind the Texture Tutorial. (So, if any of you wondered what that build was about all this last year, that's it. :D )

This first one will be a Question and Answer session, to give me an idea of what kinds of things people would like to know about.

I'm preparing material about advanced Alpha Channel stuff, that will eventually be in a new SL Book called "Alphas; Basics and Beyond".

For this session, I've got stuff to show how to make a basic Alpha Channel from Layer Transparency in a multi-layer document. (A cupboard door, in this case.) I then go on to show how to add glass to the door, and easily make the "transparent" part of the Alppha semi-transparent. I finish up by showing how to add stained glass to the center opening, and how simple it is to give the different colors of glass different opacity values.

So, that's done and ready, if anyone asks a question about Alpha Channels (which I kind of imagine they will.)

I'm also prepared to explain why leaning to make a real Alpha Channel is worth it, even though it's so easy to just use .png. I don't have the images for that, but if all goes well, I'll be making them tomorrow, so I will.

And I've given some thought to what I'll say if I'm asked about how to make Clothing.

Other than that, though, I'm really going to have to wing it, like I have done for so long at SF cons over the years.

But I will get an idea of what people want to know, and whether or not it's possible to explain that in this kind of lecture.

If it goes well, I'll be doing them at other times of the day, for the people who live in Europe. And I'll probably put together some actual lectures, too, once I know which ones are likely to be well attended. (As opposed to the things that would be fun to talk about. :D: )

So, that's that!

Tomorrow, I'll be in Photoshop most of the day, working on images for the lecture, and I'll let you all know how Wednesday goes!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Vigil Candles for Second Life™

If you have a candlelight vigil planned in Second Life, I have just the candles for you!

These are beautiful, realistic candles with animations that allow you to hold them in either your right or your left hand.

4 boxes of candles, with a a closeup and distant shot of them in use. Legend says Adult Sized - Color Changing, Left and right hand animations included, transfer only - buy in packs.

If you are familiar with my candles, these have the same color changing menus, for both the candles and the Bobeche (paper collar). They also have the same menu choices for On, Off, Full Bright, Auto, or Auto Bright. However, they feature new, more realistic flames and just enough Glow to make them really stunning.

Transfer Only. (No Mod, No Copy.) Sold in packs, so you can distribute them, or as a single pair to wear yourself. Prices range from L$560 for a pack of 20 pairs (that's 40 candles, so it comes to L$14 apiece) to L$35 for a single pair.

You can pick a pack of 20, 10, 5 or 1 pair, or if you know exactly how many you are going to need and don't want extras, you can IM me for custom packs, at a sliding discount.

Demo and candles are available now in the Broom Closet at Livingtree (132, 160, 24), or check my Picks for a TP.

See you there!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Juice Tray for Kids, and Sneak Preview!

Well, it took a bit longer than I thought to post about the juice bottles, but here they are! (All this stuff is for Second Life™, of course.)

Picture of Juice Tray, with a kid drinking from a bottle, to show the drink animation

Perfect for parties, play-dates, school events, or anywhere that thirsty kids gather!

There are four bottles of juice on the tray; Apple, Apple-Cherry, Grape and Tomato. They are all sculpts, so the bottles are only a single prim each! When you touch one, you get an open bottle with a straw.

Wear it from your inventory, and you'll be able to drink out of it! (The animations are kid sized, so although adults (or bigger kids) can hold the bottle, the straw won't come to their mouths.)

If you touch the bottle while drinking, you'll hear the delightful sound made by blowing bubbles with your straw! Tons of fun for everyone!

The tray is 8 prims, No Mod, No Copy, Transfer Only. L$100. On sale now, from the main Kick the Can store, in Livingtree.

Come take a look, try a bottle of juice, and squeeze the last drop out of summer!

Also, if you look at the picture above, you can see the next thing I'm working on. (The vigil candles don't count; those are finished, except for the box.) But see that kid?

I'm going to be making ready-to-go Kid Avatars, for people who want to be able to just buy one complete, and not have to shop for shape, skin, eyes, hair, clothing, etc. That's a new shape, with skin, eyes, and clothing included. Also included is Prim Hair! Yep, I'm starting to do real Hair, since I couldn't think of any other way to include it. :D

The style you can see a bit of in the picture is called "Abby", and is a French Braid. I'm going to have it in a whole range of colors (not just the bright red you see here) and with any luck it will be out sometime this coming week.

I have Jury Duty on Wednesday, though, so I'm not sure what the week will be like. If I don't post again for a while, you'll know why! :D

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lots of New Things on the Horizon!

It's been a while since I posted, but that's because things have been so busy around here.

There's not much new stock out yet (just a script update, really) but there are lots of things in the pipeline, so with any luck, there will be several new posts this week!

First up, there are new updated light scripts for Second Life™.

Vendor Image of the Script with Box and Descriptive Text (Just says what the light does.)

This is an update of my script from last year. I've added several important features.

First and foremost, you can now set Glow for both the light bulb and the shades. (They are set independently, of course. They can even vary between bulbs and shades on the same lamp.)

The Menu that the end users gets has also been changed, with Full Bright and Auto Bright now added to the former "On, Off, and Auto" group. This will allow your users to have lamps that appear to be lit, but don't actually add to server load, or affect Local Lights.

The scripts are also more efficient "under the hood", so they should run more quickly and cause even less lag.

They are still just as easy to use, though. The Beta Testers were really surprised how quickly and simply they could build whatever lamps they could dream up!

For a full description, see the SL Forum Post that I wrote about them.

There's other stuff coming for SL as well. Vigil candles (that you can hold) should be out sometime this week, and I've decided to make ready-made Kid AVs, for those people who just want to be able to buy a box, and turn into a kid! More about that later. (But I will say that, if all goes well, I'll be making some things that people have been begging me for for years. :D )

I've also finished a set of Juice Bottles for kids. Those are done, so I should be able to post about them tomorrow.

I'm also working on low-prim tea sets, more kids clothing, and some other surprise things. So, if I can just stay well, and pull the time together, it should get fairly exciting around here, pretty soon!

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Toy Tea Sets for Second Life™ Kids!

If you play a kid who likes tea parties in Second Life, or if you're looking for a present for someone who does, you're going to love the newest release from Kick the Can!

It's a toy Tea Set to use with your dolls and teddy bears! (You can also get just the Teapot, if you don't have the budget or prims for the whole set. See below.)

Tea set in its box, and displayed for use. The text on the image says,

This beautiful set is exactly like the one for grown-ups, down to the elegant sculpted handles, and the Garden Rose pattern on the pieces. The only difference is that it's scaled down, for kids to play with.

There are 16 pieces in the set, but only 30 prims. If the owner touches the tray, the teapot will begin to steam gently, the teacups will fill with steaming tea, cream will materialize in the creamer, 3 full-size petit fours will magically appear on the luncheon plate, and the set will announce "Tea is Served." Touch it again, and all the food will vanish, leaving sparkling clean dishes.

Anyone can touch the teapot, and they'll be given a cup of tea to wear in their right hand, and an empty saucer to wear in their left.

Touching the cup will cause a menu to appear, giving a choice of 12 different "teas", including a water (very weak tea,) Orange Juice (since this is for kids, after all) an empty cup (traditional for doll's tea parties) and Pretend tea, which is a different color and transparency every time, because imagination is like that.

Anyone who touches the luncheon plate will get a plate of petit fours to hold in their left hand.

The whole set costs L$375 (less than the adult set, because it's just a toy, after all.)

For kids without the budget or prims for the whole set, the teapot is now available on its own!

It's a mere 3 prims, and only L$100. You can serve tea with it by touching the handle. When you do, it starts to steam. To stop it, touch the handle again. You can get the same cup and saucer by touching the belly of the pot, and the petit fours by touching the spout. So, really, it has all the functionality of the set, with one tenth the prims used!

Both are available now from the Kick the Can main store, and from all the other Kick the Can stores throughout the grid. (The Demo for the whole set is only at the Main Store in Livingtree.) See you there!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Colors for Picnic Tables!

Not everyone likes a redwood picnic table, and not all picnic tables are new; so I've made a couple of alternate versions of the Redwood table I made some time ago for Second Life™.

One has been painted bright, shining white,

White Picnic Table

and the other one has weathered to a soft gray.

White Picnic Table

(The kids shown in the pictures are Krystal Wrigglesworth, and Pygar Bu, by the way. In game, Krystal is one of my nieces, and Pygar is my nephew.)

The new tables, like the original redwood one, have changeable tablecloths. When the owner, or anyone in the group the tablecloth is set to, touches the cloth, a menu appears allowing them to choose one of 11 "Picnic Fun" designs, including one with six quilted placemats and a table runner, or no cloth at all.

Each bench seats 3, and men, women, kids, furries ... any human sized avatar at all can use the Sit targets that are right in the bench. (No pose balls!) Just click to sit, and then choose which of the built-in animations you'd like to use by holding down the Shift key, and tapping the left and right arrow keys.

There are five animations in the center section; eating with a knife and fork, eating with a spoon, sitting around for either men or women, or sitting with your back to the table, and your elbows resting on it. The end seats have two additional animations, straddling the bench facing either left or right, so you can sit on the bench, and talk to people who aren't sitting at the table at all! (The last three animations are custom, and can't be found in any other furniture in SL.)

No food is included, but it's easy to rez any food you happen to have, and dig in!

The tables are available now, from the Garden Accessories vendor (that's the same one with the Luminaria and Windchimes) in the Home and Garden Store, Livingtree (85, 128, 24). L$150. No Mod/No Copy/Transfer.

Come and play with the demo! See you there!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer Luminaria in Second Life®

Ahhh... Summertime. Time for long, lazy days that end with parties on the beach lasting far into the warm evenings. Well, at least it in a fantasy land, like Second Life®, where it never rains, and beaches are much more accessible. (At least for me.)

Summer Design Luminaria on a beach in SL

Luminaria, those paper bags with candles in them, make beautiful party decorations, softly lighting a path from one area to another. In Real Life, you can get the bags with cutouts for various "occasions."

I made a set with Winter cutouts last December, and now I have a set with Summer Designs, for summertime parties!

They are copyable, so you can Shift-Drag as many as you need to line your walks. They are also either 1 or 2 prims (your choice; both are in the pack) so you can line your walks without breaking your Prim Budget.

When the owner touches them, a menu appears that gives a choice of Design, Bag Color, Light Color, or State. Most of them lead to other menus that allow you to customize the bag to look just the way you'd like it to look.

There are 10 different Summertime designs, including 4 Tiki Designs, Sun, Moon, or more delicate cutouts with a Flamingo, Atoll, Spinnaker, or Seagulls. Or you can choose to have no design at all, if you prefer.

There are 25 bag colors, and 10 light colors (or you can choose to have the light color simply match the bag, which means that there are really more than 25 colors of light!)

For States, you can choose Fullbright, (which makes the bag glow as if the candle is lit, but doesn't actually affect Local Lighting,) Light (which does,) Auto Bright or Auto Light (which automatically switch to Fullbright or Light state at dusk, and off at dawn,) or Off (which not only turns off any lights or fullbright, but also changes the texture, so the bag looks like a plain paper bag, with a gray shadow of the design on it.)

All of this has been carefully scripted so that you can change the bag color without losing the design, or change the design without losing the bag color. It will even change the light color automatically as you change the bag color, of course, if that choice has been enabled. And it will keep the Light, Bright, or Off states through all of this. (You do have to reset the Auto state, since that one is the most processor-intensive, and it's easy to forget you have it running.)

This makes for a very flexible, lovely accent for your property. I think you'll enjoy them!

For sale now, from the Garden Accessories vendor in the Home and Garden Store, Livingtree (85, 128, 24). L$100. No Mod/Copy/No Transfer (but you can use the Gift Button on the vendor to buy them for someone else.)

Come and play with the demo, anyway, and see the designs! See you there!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Frozen Milkshakes on Sticks!

(Because "Fudgesicle" is taken.)

Also for SL®, because today marks the first day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I've come out with the Creamy Fudge version of the Primsicles.

Box of Primsicles, with kids eating them.

Like the Primsicles, these drip and slowly vanish, while an set of random animations allows you to eat them.

But, of course, they are a different shape, and so you eat them differently. When you eat a Primsicle Shake Pop, you take a bit first out of one side, then out of the other, and then from the middle, after which you eat it from all sides, so that it vanishes evenly after the first couple of bites.

And, naturally, they are different flavors. Since they are frozen milkshakes on a stick, when you touch the box you'll be served either Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Swirl (chocolate & white chocolate), Chocolate Malt, or Strawberry. Which one you get is random; but since there's an endless number in the box, you can keep trying until you get the flavor you really want.

The box is only one prim, so these are perfect to put out for all your summer parties!

L$150, from the Ice Cream freezer in the Party Tent, at Livingtree (209, 87, 24). (You'll find the Primsicles there too!)

See you there!

Picnic Tables!

I've been working mostly on stuff for Second Life® again, and have two things to blog about (because I skipped last week.) I'm going to put them in two posts, though.

First is a Picnic Table. I entered this in the Show & Tell last Sunday, and took third place.

Picnic Table, showing two of the animations, and swatches of the 11 tablecloths.

It's shaped like a traditional Picnic Table, with a tablecloth on it. But since this is SL, all you have to do is click the cloth, and you'll get a menu that lets you choose from 11 different designs that range from traditional picnic checks to stripes, lace, or a quilted table runner and six place mats. Or, if you'd prefer, you can choose not to have any tablecloth at all!

Since we can't control our own arms and legs in SL, I've also put six "sit targets" into the benches, three on each side. (That means that when you click on the bench, you'll find yourself sitting at the table, facing the way you should.) Each one has multiple animations built in, so you can eat with a knife and fork, or eat with a spoon. Or, if you're not hungry, you can sit and chat facing the table, straddling the bench, or sitting backwards and using the table as a backrest, so you can talk with people who aren't sharing the table with you.

All told, there are seven poses in each of the four end seats, and five in the center places. (They don't have the Straddle poses, since they don't work well in the middle.)

The benches are free-standing, so you can use the table without them, if you'd like to.

The 3 pieces (table and two benches) are all No Copy/No Mod/Yes Transfer, and you can buy the set for L$150. It's on sale now in the Home and Garden store at Livingtree (85, 128, 24). Look for it in the same vendor with the Luminaria and Windchimes.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Beat the SL® Heat with Primsicles!

Fun, cool, yummy frozen treats for those steamy days in SL! Perfect for eating on the beach, or snacking while watching the Summer Fireworks! (Don't forget, fireworks every Saturday evening, at Livingtree!)

Picture of the box, the Primsicles, and two kids gobbling them up, so you can see how they melt and drip.

The Primsicle itself is made from a Sculpted prim, with normal prims for the stick. They come in a delightful box, (All Virtual!) with all the things you'd expect on a box of real Popsicles®, but of course the design is totally original.

To get one, you touch the box. It'll give you a random, realistically textured Primsicle from the six flavors that are included (Berry, Cherry, Grape, Lemon, Lime, or Orange.) You can see the frost on them, and the colors are really "right."

To "eat" it, just Wear it from your inventory. Animations are included that randomly choose one of several ways to eat it, at random time intervals, so you look more like someone eating a Popsicle, and less like a wind-up toy going through mechanical motions. (How well the animations work will depend on the length of your avatar's arms. They were designed for kids, although everyone can enjoy them, of course.)

As you eat, the Primsicle will drip, and slowly vanish, until there is nothing left but a stained stick. (The color of the stain depends on the color of the Primsicle, just as it should.) The animations will release when it's gone, of course. No sense chewing on an empty stick!

Put the empty stick back in your inventory, and when it re-rezzes, it'll be new, and ready to eat again! If you put a half-eaten one away, and when you wear it again, it'll be half-eaten, so you won't miss a single delicious fruit-flavored bit.

You can get an unlimited number from the box, so you should be set for Primsicles for the whole summer!

On sale now, L$150, from the Party Tent behind Kick the Can, Livingtree (212, 85, 24).

See you there!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Teaset Re-Named

Since I made the "Mother's Day" china pattern tea set, I've been getting scattered requests from people asking me if they couldn't have it named something else, and I've been filling those as they came up.

But yesterday, when I got another one from someone who found it hard to kvetch with her girlfriends while the teacups chattering about her mother and saying "I told you so", I decided to go ahead and re-name it. (The teacups, of course, never said "I told you so" really. But they do tell you what kind of tea you'd chosen, as confirmation that it's all working, and when an object in Second Life® says something, it's listed by name. Which did include the phrase "Mother's Day". Which was enough. :D )

So, the tea set is now called "Garden Rose" in all vendors and demos, both at Livingtree and Del Sol.

If you find one that still has the old name, and you're the first to tell me about it, I'll give you a copy of the tea set to show you how grateful I am that you caught it.

And now everyone can buy one, without guilt. (Sorry, mothers of the world.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

New Make-Your-Own Greeting Card for SecondLife®

In Real Life, kids usually hand-make cards to give to their Dads on Father's Day, or their sisters on their birthday, or their Moms just to say "I Love You."

Some kids in Second Life do that, too; but the problem was that, although anyone can put a texture on a prim, it's another matter to make a card that opens, or plays a sound clip, or poofs out a shower of particles, or the other things that make cards special in Second Life®.

Well, now any kids can make a card with all that stuff, without needing to know how to write a single line of code!

You color the card, in your own Graphics program. (Or color it in Real Life, and scan it in.) You write the text, also in your graphics program. You add your own Sound Clip (or not, if you don't want one.) You find or make a texture for the particles that poof (or don't have any, if you're not a big particle fan.)

The card will be whatever you want it to be, made by your own hands, so you know that it'll be precious to the person you're giving it to, just like those hand-made cards are to Real Life family.

The Template is included, so putting it on the card in SL is a one-step process (instructions are included.) You don't have to worry about putting a different texture on each face, because the whole card uses just one Texture Sheet.

Delete the freebie bubble sound that's in the card for testing, and put any sound clip you want in there! Want to use a rude sound for your brother's birthday card, to make him laugh? You can do it! Want to use that "Apple of my Eye" sound clip that means so much to your Dad in his father's Day Card? You can do it!

Delete the freebie Dag's Bubble texture that's in the card, and put any texture you want in there, and it'll be used for the particles! Want the card to fill the air with pictures of your face, when it's opened? You can do it! Want to shower someone with their favorite cookie? You can do it!

This is your card, and you can make it be anything you want it to be!

Mod/No Copy/Transfer (so you can actually give it to the person it's for) L$75. On sale at Kick the Can, Livingtree (149, 130, 24) in the vendor with the Gift Boxes.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eight New Hawaiian Shirts for Second Life®

It's Memorial Day weekend in the States, and that means that it's officially Summertime!

In honor of the occasion, I've made eight new Hawaiian shirts, for people who "play" Second Life®.

Seven of them use the stunningly beautiful fabrics from Kona Bay (with permission, of course) so they are just gorgeous. The other one is a Piratey Shirt, and is just fun.)

The Lotus Black design is shown above. The other new designs are; Leaping Koi Black, Peony Pink, Oak Leaf Green, and Peacock Feathers in Blue, Green, and Pink. (I confess that I made up the Green colorway. But the Blue and Pink are real fabrics.)

As always, the shirts come with six different styles in the pack. Two tucked in (as Shirt and Undershirt, for maximum layering flexibility) and four untucked (as Jacket) both open and buttoned up, in two lengths each.

You won't find any seams on these, on the back of the arms, or between the jacket top and bottom, because I've remapped the AV and burned the textures onto the Linden maps. (Which means that they are perfect.) The only seams are where seams would be in real clothing.

These shirts have four buttons, open collars, yokes, short sleeves, and a patch pocket on the left front.

Copy/Mod/No Transfer, so you can tint them and style them as you like, without fear of ruining them (just pull out a new one.) If you'd like to buy one for someone else, please use the Gift button on the Vendor.

On sale now, L$50 for the pack with six shirts of the same design, from the Robin (Sojourner) Wood AV Store, Livingtree (104, 128, 24). See you there!

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Teddy Bears in Second Life®!

I just finished three new teddy bears! You can see them in the main Kick the Can store now.

The Panda Bear, in the three Carry animations

Here's the new Panda bear. I also made a Moon Bear* and an American Black Bear.

These are Sculpty Bears, and like the ones that have been out for some time they come with five bears in the pack. Two of them are for display (one is standing, and one is sitting) and three are for carrying around with you. (One for your right hand, one for your left, and one to cuddle to your chest and squeeze now and then.) The Carry bears all have animations built in, so all you have to do is Wear them.

All the bears have menus that let you pick from 12 colors for their bows, and all are Modifiable, and have been carefully made so they're easy to pose. You can also resize them, tint them, or do anything else you want to them. They're Copy, so if you mess one up, you can just rez another.

They aren't Transferable, though, so if you want to get one as a gift for someone, you'll have to use the Gift button on the vendor.

Available now, from the main Kick the Can store, Livingtree (149, 130, 24). Copy/Mod/NO Transfer. L$100.

(There's also a new Purple Panda in the Lucky Chair there! :D )

* 20% of the sale price for the Moon Bear goes to Moon Bear Rescue.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Show and Tell

Every Sunday, in the Lummerland sim, florenze Kerensky hosts a Show and Tell, with the kindest, most supportive audience on the grid.

It's open to everyone, and the first few people who ask for a slot get to show a new original piece to the group. (I think there are nine slots available, but it's a number, and I'm not good with numbers, so I'm not sure.) When all the pieces have been shown, everyone in attendance can vote on the piece that they think should win first, second, and third prize.

Mari and Pygar go to Show and Tell quite a lot, and yesterday they convinced me to go as well, and show the Tea Set I'm working on for the Mother's Day Tea that Mari is planning.

When you touch the tray, the cups and creamer fill, steam comes from the teapot, 3 petit fours appear on the luncheon plate and it says, "Tea is served." When you touch it again, it all goes away, leaving spotless dishes.

If you touch the teapot, it gives you a cup of tea to hold in your right hand, and an empty saucer to hold in your left. If you touch the plate, it gives you your own plate of petit fours.

I made it mostly out of sculpties, creating the original mesh in LightWave 3D®, and then moving to Modo to do the UV Map that allows it to be read into Second Life™ as a "sculpted prim", generate the .tga file that's actually uploaded into the world, and do the texturing. (I'd do all of it in Modo, but I'm still much more comfortable with LightWave, since that's what I used for so many years.)

I'm particularly pleased with the way the petit fours came out. Squarish things with smooth sides are quite difficult to make with Sculpties, and I was amazed that the dab of icing came out as well as it did!

Here's a closeup, just because I'm so tickled with them.

Here's another detail, so you can see the cup more easily.

The other things that were being shown yesterday at the Show and Tell ranged from a really neat bookshelf that allowed you to edit the books, stored them on the shelf, and then displayed them when they were touched, to an umbrella that opened, closed, and changed colors, to a sky-cube environment with cubic mapped photographs in it so you felt like you were really at that place.

Someone was showing a gadget that allowed you to not only see who was in your sim, and where they were, but showed you the sim itself mapped in 3D, let you know the approximate age of your visitors, and allowed you to use anti-griefing tools to deal with troublemakers.

There was also an enourmous building (more than 900 prims worth) on wheels, an Anime costume, and some hand-drawn eyes that someone was wearing.

Mari showed a really wonderful Hi-Bounce ball, that looks exactly like a red rubber playground ball, and bounces 15 or 20 meters into the air when you touch it. (Do not taunt Hi-Bounce Ball.) Someone there remarked that the box is wonderful, too, and it really is. She has it up on the Leaves from the Livingtree blog, if you're interested.

Anyway. Ummm... I won.

I was really surprised that I did, since I thought that the sim-rezzer thing would, and it was apparently really close. But people liked the tea set a lot, it seems.

So, ummm.. I just thought I'd share that.
The tea set isn't quite ready for sale yet. I need to make the different kinds of tea to go in the cup, so you can choose what you want to drink; but I'll be doing that tomorrow. At least, that's The Plan.

I'll post here when it's ready.

/me grins.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Jeans for Second Life™

I've had Good Jeans in Second Life for some time, but lately people have been asking if they could have them without the heavy embroidery on the back pockets.

Since I made some for myself like that (I didn't care for the embroidery with the Hawaiian shirts) I thought I'd go ahead and make them for everyone. After all, Hawaiian shirt season is coming up!

So I made a batch, in the same colors as the Good Jeans, called Plain Pocket Jeans.

RW Jeans - Good and Plain Pocket Modify/Copy/NO Transfer

While I was at it, I changed the Permissions on the Good Jeans to Modify/Copy/No Transfer, and put together Fat Packs with seven pairs of jeans in them for the price of five. The Fat Packs are the Blue, Black, or Light Blue jeans in all the thread colors, or seven different colors of jeans all with the Gold or White thread.

As always, the Jeans have no seams except where seams would be on real jeans, so you'll look as good from the side as you do from the front or back. Each pair of Jeans has both Pants and Underpants with the Jeans texture on it, so you can wear them tucked into boots, or layered with other clothing, with ease.

There's a new display, too.

I still need to put out the sign that says that you can have any combination of thread and jean color you'd like for L$150; but if you're reading this and you want a combo that isn't out, feel free to IM me and ask for it.

A few weeks ago I bought a Mannequin to show the clothing on (so I wouldn't have to tak all those dreaded Vendor Shots.) But when I tried to put my clothes on it, I found to my dismay that although it looked great with the vendor's clothes on it, mine don't match up at all on the wrists or ankles, and there are problems with the sides of the legs, too.

Personally, I wouldn't buy something from a vendor who shows really mismatched seams on a mannequin, along with a note that says, "Seams match on the real thing, I promise." So I decided not to put it out. Sigh.

Instead, I've put up an Almost Free pair of Jeans that go along with the Almost Free Hawaiian shirt. They are very blue, and have lime green stitching. You can buy them for L$1, and try them out to see if the Jeans are something that you'd like to have.

All of this goodness is available now, from my store in Livingtree. Jeans are L$50 for a pair, L$250 for a Fat Pack with seven pairs. Modify/Copy/NO Transfer.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New Nail Polish for Second Life

I just finished revamping all the nail polish I sell in Second Life to include a variation that will make the bottom of the avatar legs look like the inside of a pair of pants, when the AV is wearing pants, instead of showing the skin on those polygons. (This is necessary because we don't actually wear clothes in SL. We have textures that change our appearance, and our body mesh is also "pushed out" to make it look like we have pants that aren't clinging to our legs and things. But really, it's our ankles there. So unless we have some shading on another of the texture layers on our legs, it looks like our ankles, not the inside of a pair of pants.)

While I was at it, I made another whole collection, with 20 colors based on some popular nail polish colors for this Spring/Summer.

And I started a program that I've been meaning to put in place for some time, so that people who collect my nail polish can get a freebie for being such good customers! If you buy seven shades, you can trade in the seven proofs of purchase you get in each bag for any one color of your choice.

The Proofs of Purchase were the thing that was holding me up, because I wanted them to look like nail polish bottles. But last night the Grid was down for most of the night, and I was up, so I made the bottles. Today, when the grid finally came back on line, I tested them, and they worked just as I hoped they would!


They are made with a Sculpty; but it's actually two prims. One that's the shiny bottle surface, and a second one that has the top and the white lettering on it. This lets me have shine that doesn't obscure the words, and also allows me to change the color of the "nail polish" so that I don't have to upload a whole lot of textures. I'm quite pleased with them!

If you're in SL, please stop by and take a look!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Free Presents in Second Life

The last couple of weeks have been a bit full for me, what with one thing and another, so I haven't been doing much in Second Life.

However, today was more "normal," whatever that is, so I managed to finish some Gift Boxes for Kids that I've been working on for a while.

I didn't want to put old stuff that I wasn't going to sell anymore in the boxes. I mean, if it's not good enough to sell, it's not good enough to give people, either.

As I see it, there are two reasons to have freebies in your store. One is to advertise; to let people see the quality of the merchandise, without having to spend any Lindens. The other is to show appreciation to loyal customers.

Giving people rejects doesn't serve either purpose, IMHO. So I wanted all the stuff in the boxes to be new, and top quality.

Some of this was simple. I could work with existing templates, and make new colors. But (Spoiler Warning) I wanted to have some things, like boy's PJs and Flip-Flops, that I'd never made. I've made them both for girls, but not boys. So I had to design those, not just recolor or retexture them. Which took a bit longer. (That's why they weren't out last week.)

I also wanted to put bathing suits in the boxes, since it's getting to be that time of year, and we have lots of places to swim on the island. But I've never done bathing suits at all, and I really wanted to get the boxes out today. I ran out of time. So I'll put those in later.

The present boxes are out now, in the main Kick the Can store, in Livingtree. If you're an SL Kid, come and get yours! I think you'll like what you find inside.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Head Template with Eyelash Alpha

I keep getting people asking about the eyelashes in Second Life; specifically why, when they make a skin, are the eyelashes opaque disks of solid color, instead of being the normal eyelashes.

The answer is that you need to use an Alpha Channel, so that the skin texture is transparent where the divisions between the eyelashes are.

Someone today, though, pointed out that he's using Photoshop Elements, and can't simply paste an image into the Alpha Channel. So I've just posted a head "template" with the correct Alpha channel for eyelashes already in place. You can find it on my website at this link. The download will start as soon as you click (it's not a page, just a zipped file) so be warned.

I'll be putting the link to it on the appropriate page on my website later tonight.

Hope this helps!

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Wedding Gift Box

Another week has gone by, and I have another gift box for sale in Second Life. This time, it's for use at Weddings, Bridal Showers, and so on. (There are a lot of those things in SL, and they, too, are prime gift-giving occasions.)

Image of the Gift, both closed and open, with swatches of the 11 paper designs. Blurb says 'Scripted Gift Box! Mod/Transfer, 11 paper colors, 11 Box Colors, Sound & Particles, Menu System for Setup.'

It uses the same scripts as the Gold Star Gift Box in the last post, although it's a different box, so it's a different size, and the top comes off differently.

I spent several days designing gift wrap for weddings; but I'm pretty happy with it, (especially the Wedding Bells,) and I hope that other people like it too. When this box opens, it plays a few bars of Mendelssohn's Wedding March, and white roses from a vintage postcard explode from it. Very romantic. :D

Also in Second Life, spring has definitely come to my island. The cherry and plum trees are in full bloom all over the place, the ducklings and cygnets have hatched and are swimming around with their parents, and there are bluebells blooming here and there.

In Real Life, on the other hand, Spring here in Michigan is a bit slower; but it does look today like it might get here. It's almost 50 out, a good deal of the snow is gone, and some of the early bulbs are peeking out of the ground.

And there was much rejoicing.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Scripted Gift Box in Second Life

One of the things that people do a lot in Second Life is throw parties, frequently with gifts.

The problem has always been that the gifts had to be put into prims to be given. Nicely textured prims, made to look like wrapped packages, with more prims to look like ribbons and bows on the top, to be sure. But just prims.

Which meant, when the time came to give the gift, it had to be picked up, and dragged onto the other person, who then had to rez it in world again to actually open it, or it had to be sold to them for zero Linden Dollars, which meant there was a risk that someone else would buy it, for free, before the person who was supposed to get it could.

The scripts in this box change all of that, and they're really fun, too!

Image of the Gift, both closed and open, with swatches of the 11 paper designs. Blurb says 'Scripted Gift Box! Mod/Transfer, 11 paper colors, 11 Box Colors, Sound & Particles, Menu System for Setup. Tons of fun!'

Now, you can set the Gift to be given only to the specific person you name, on the date you say they can have it. Their name, a message, and the date are all displayed in Floating Text above the box, in one of 11 colors you can choose (or you can choose not to show it, if you're not fond of Floating Text.)

When the person named touches the box, on or after the date you've specified, they get a menu letting them open it, or wait a bit.

If they choose to open it, it really opens! The top slides off, the ribbons fall away, the gift tag lands next to the box, and at the same time a trumpet fanfare sounds, and gold stars explode from inside the box, while it says whatever message you've given it to say, in Open Chat.

While all this is going on, the box also offers all its contents to that person (except the scripts, sound and particle texture that make it work.) Even things that are no-copy! (This is a big deal in SL, since objects normally only give copyable stuff, and most of the things you can give people are no-copy.)

Then the box closes itself again, and the owner can pick it up, and use it for the next occasion.

As if that wasn't enough, the menus also allow you to choose from 11 preset paper designs, to mix and match with 11 different ribbon colors.

If none of them suit you, you can just use your own textures for the paper. The box is Modifiable, so you can retexture or resize it, or tint the ribbon any color you like. (You can also put something inside the box, and link it, so that the box doesn't look empty when it opens.)

There's a tag on the box that you can personalize, too. Or you could just remove it (or make it transparent) if you don't like it.

At the moment, there's just one design; Gold Star paper, in eleven colors, with a brilliant bow on the top. But I have lots more planned, now that I've gotten the scripts hammered out!

If you are a Resident of SL, you can see it in the Party Tent behind Kick the Can, on Livingtree Island. See my picks (Robin Sojourner) for a Teleport.

(Thanks to Eladon Galsworthy, who wrote the base script that makes the box open, and to Liandra Ceawlin, who gave me the script that lets it check the time, so it would open not just on the date set, but any time after that date, as well!)

See you there!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Striped Sets for Second Life

I just got some striped sets done for Second Life Women and Girls, in new Spring colors.

Girl with striped tights and top in two shades of green.

This is what it looks like on a kid (because the kids are cuter.) If you'd like to see it on an adult, I have that too.

There are eight colors combinations in the new set. If none of them suit you, you can also IM me in world, and I'll be happy to make whatever two color combination you want for L$200.

On a related note; one of the things that's been holding up production for the last... well, since I started making clothes in SL, really ... is taking the necessary shots to make the Vendors.

In the past, this has always been a process of setting up the shot, and then waiting for a minute or two (literally) for the clothing to rez in, blur out, and rez in again. (For those not familiar with the terms, the textures in SL aren't always visible. Sometimes, the thing you're looking at is just gray, and sometimes it has textures, but they are completely out of focus. As they load into the Client (your computer) they go through several steps of increasing focus, until they are sharp and clear. We call this "rezzing." Since there are three different texture areas on the Avatar, (head, upper body, and lower body) there are three different textures that need to rez. For some reason, though, they don't always stay rezzed. So stuff would go in and out of focus, and I'd have to wait for the moment when all three areas were in focus simultaneously to snap the picture.)

But now I have a new computer, and things rez in completely in the time it takes to choose the pose and angle! The series of shots for this outfit, with three usable images for each of eight outfits, would have taken several extremely frustrating hours before. This time, it took less than 45 minutes! So, yeah, it looks like the new machine is really going to boost my productivity.

Because, after all, a lot of the reason I haven't done more stuff is that the vendor shots were so tedious and time-consuming. Which, it seems, is no longer the case. :D

And there was much rejoicing.

Friday, February 29, 2008

New Kick the Can Store

Masquerade Island, where Kick the Can started in the Clown Town Mall, has been sold and is now Guardian Island. The good news is that Clown Town has been reborn as Tiny Tykes Mall, and is still host to Kids Stores. :D

The new mall is very bright, fresh, and fun, with more of a Cartoon theme. When I heard that was going to be the case, I was wary, because it's been done so badly in some places in SL. However, Love Brokken did a great job with it, and it's delightful!

My store is #34, on the corner.

Front of Store #34, Kick the Can.

(As always, click the picture for a larger one.)

It's all purple and teal, and the colors couldn't go better with my stock if Love had designed it with me in mind. :D

All the stuff that was in the old store in Clown Town is there, and there's more room in the new store than there was in the old. (There is more yet in my Main Store, but Main Stores are like that.)

If you'd like to see the new place, come to Guardian Island and click on #34 on the big board for a teleport. (Or just walk the half block to the store. :D)

See you there!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I've been a little slow about Blogging the stuff I've been doing. Okay, I've been a lot slow. :D

But over the last week I've gotten several things done. (I've also been sick, which is why I was slow, but I'm much better now.)

On Friday the 22, Marianne McCann had her second RezDay in Second Life. (That's the anniversary of the day when she first came into the "World".)

To celebrate, we opened the big tent behind the school. Yep, it's going to be for parties and things, and when it's not being used for an Event, it's going to have Party Things for sale.

I made her a cake. :D

Two Tier cake, with pink and yellow icing roses

It's one that I scripted, so when the owner touches it, she gets a menu that lets her light the candles, blow them out, or get a slice of cake. Everyone else just gets a slice.

I was particularly happy with the icing roses, which are single prim sculpties. It's not quite ready to sell yet, because I need to make the frosting leaves out of sculpties, too. Or make them part of the roses. The thing is, the roses are one prim each, but so are those leaves, so most of the prims in the cake are from leaves!

It looks really good when the lights are out, and the candles are lit, too. :D

Two Tier cake, with pink and yellow icing roses

Behind the cake, you can see a present. That's a new one, using a script that my friend Eleadon wrote. (We swapped some stuff, which is why I have it.) I need to tweak it just a bit more, but it's really great. You can set it to open for a specific person, and when they open it, it really opens, and there's a sound and a huge particle shower for a couple of seconds. And they get whatever is in the box.

So I'll have those for sale, along with the cakes, by the end of next week (I hope.)

I've also been working on Pussy Willows bunches, for putting in Vases, and some Vases to put them in. And new Striped Sets for kids. And I've been learning to knit, so that there will be some really, really nice sweaters in SL come fall. And I have a new computer that's being delivered this afternoon. (It's already at the UPS Store, but Michael has to bring it home.)

It's been a busy week. I'll blog more about the rest, including pictures, later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And now... CSS

I've been spending all my free time for a while learning more web skills, so I can update my website.

For the last few days, I've been studying CSS (Cascading Style Sheets; it's a Web Design thing,) using the excellent video tutorials at

Finally, I felt confident enough that I went ahead and updated the "News" page on the first page of my site. It was a real mess before; I won't go into it, but I'll say I wasn't proud of the code, but it did what I wanted it to do.

But now, it looks just like I want it to look, and it's real live CSS! It even validates and everything!

So I'm a Happy Camper. :D

Okay, this might not look like a big deal to anyone else, but it's going to bring my website into the Twenty-first Century. Until now, I've taken the Lazy Way and done all my pages in a WYSIWYG Website Editor. Several of them. Over the course of a decade. Which has some really nice points, but gah... the code that it's left me with! I think it's quite possible that the News page is the only one on my entire site that does validate. And it's not like I'm not capable of writing code. :D

So from now on, it's all going to be a lot better; especially if you're using a Screen Reader or something. Although it's probably going to take months to update the whole site.

Still, it needs doing, and it will be great to have it done.

In the meantime, if you guys want to see what can be done with CSS check out the CSS Zen Garden It's amazing.