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

Catch-Up

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 Lynda.com.

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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Something New Springing Up!

The snow is continuing to melt on the Island of Livingtree in Second Life. The trees have shaken the last of the frost off their branches, and spread their twigs in the warm sunshine. The red maples are in full bloom, while the plum trees and the .. ummm.. Trees of Indeterminate Species are simply bare (but not in a way that could be construed as Broadly Offensive.) I'm expecting Spring Beauties to appear tomorrow, and perhaps Glory of the Snow and Snowdrops, as well (if I have time to do them.) :D

Something else has sprung up, too, behind the School. A brand new Circus Tent!

New Blue and White striped tent, with Red Maples in bloom behind it, and only a tiny bit of snow in the foreground.


(If you come to Livingtree, try touching the panels on the tent. You can raise and lower them.)

I think everyone will like what's going in there; but it will have to wait until after Valentine's day. (Mari is doing our Valentine's decorations, and what I've seen so far looks great!)

In other news, I'm working on several different long-term projects. One of them is another book for the Texture Library that will explain all about Channels in Photoshop; what they are, how to make any Alpha Channel you want (with sections on extracting images from backgrounds, and doing things like Stained Glass,) and why Alphas are the least of the things you can do using Channels!

I've gotten the first part (what they are) written and illustrated, and decided it was too handy not to put up on the Web as a tutorial. So I've done that. You can find it here, if you'd like to take a look at it.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Spring is coming to Livingtree!

We might still be facing weeks and weeks of snow in Michigan, but Spring is definitely coming to Livingtree, my island in Second Life.

Swans swimming in the river, with a Weeping Willow with yellow branches on the bank behind them.


In the last week (starting at Imbolc, or Feb. 2,) the snow has begun to melt, the ice that has encased the river for the last couple of months has vanished, and the swans and ducks have returned to their normal haunts.

The willow trees have gone from being ice-covered to being covered in the bright yellow branches that herald Spring.

And, starting yesterday, the Pussy Willows burst out in fuzzy gray catkins!

Picture of pussy willows, in front of a huge rock, with more pussy willows and a yellow weeping willow and pine trees in the background.


The Pussy Willows have always been a special harbinger of Spring for me, and I searched all over Second Life for some (using the New Search) but was unable to find any. So I've taken the plunge, and started to make botanicals in earnest. :D

There are six different Pussy Willow plants, scattered around the island (if you want to see them all in close proximity, head for the Mud or the Drums.)

Tomorrow, I'm going to put them in a six pack, as well, so that you can buy all six different plants if you want to! Individual Pussy Willows cost L$25, the six pack will be L$100, and there will also be an Estate Pack (four of each of the six, or 24 pussy willows altogether, for L$250) Mod/No Copy/Transfer, so you can make them whatever size you want them to be, or sell them with land, or use them in your Home-Building or Landscaping Business.

I made the Weeping Willows, too, but I don't think I'm ready to sell those yet. For one thing, there are only 3 of them, and for another, I think that there won't be much market for those, unless they are part of a tree that changes for each season. (And yes, since I had to figure out how to make trees efficiently, I do plan on making trees with touch-change for seasonal variation.)

If I'm wrong, and you would be interested in the yellow weeping willows, let me know!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Valentine Bear 2008

Well, between One Thing and Another it's later than I would have hoped. But I finally have the Limited Edition Valentine Bear out and ready to go in my stores all over Second Life.

Picture of Bear Sitting, and Bear Standing (from the back)


This time, she's holding a red satin "balloon" that says "I Love You" and wearing a red satin bow with hearts on it.

She's pure white, with a pink heart-shaped nose and pink paddy-paws, and has lavender eyes. I think she's a real cutie. Or maybe he is. (I've never been good at determining the gender of Teddy Bears. You'll have to do that yourself, for your own bear.)

Like all my other sculpted bears, you can use "Local" rotation to move her arms, legs, and head easily and naturally. But, for your convenience, I've included five variations of the bear in the pack. One is sitting, one is standing, and the other three have built in animations and positions for cuddling to your chest, or holding in your right or left hand.

Unlike the others, though, this one is a Limited Edition, and will only be sold until February 15th. After that, you'll never see this combination of colors and accessories again.

Mod/Copy/No Transfer (but there's a Gift Button on the Vendor, so you can buy one for that Special Someone.) L$150. Available now from all Kick the Can stores, including the main Kick the Can store on Livingtree (149, 130, 24) and from the Robin (Sojourner) Wood AV Store on Livingtree (104, 128, 24).

See you there, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Shopping Cart is Back Up!

I'm delighted to announce that the problems have all been fixed, and the shopping cart is once again fully operational.

And there was much rejoicing.

So, if you've been waiting to place an order, you don't have to wait any longer. And thanks, once again, for your patience.

Friday, February 01, 2008

More New Flannel Shirts!

I've finished five more flannel shirts, and they are up for sale now!

Picture of the Burgundy Plaid Shirt


As always, all the plaid matches perfectly on the front and back of the arm, and between the top and bottom of the jacket, so they are completely seamless (except where there would be seams on a real shirt.) They also have all the details you've come to expect; buttons on the cuffs and pockets, satin lining on the collar seam so it won't scratch your virtual neck, yokes in the back, and so on.

The Burgundy Plaid is shown above. In addition, you can choose Navy Windowpane, Neon Blue (sure to wake you up,) Newspaper (so-called because it's black and white, and read all over, sorry, sorry,) or November Plaid (because that's the month I designed the plaid.)

In addition, I've upgraded all the old flannel shirts, so they are now mod/copy/no transfer. This should give you much more flexibility in terms of saving tinted, sleeveless, or otherwise modified shirts, and putting them into Outfits for quick change. :D

While I was at it, I added the Buttoned Up but Untucked version that some of you have been asking for to all the old shirts as well.

So now, all the flannel shirts come in all six styles. (Tucked, with buttoned cuffs or rolled sleeves, Untucked with buttoned cuffs or rolled sleeves, and Untucked and Open with buttoned cuffs or rolled sleeves.) The Untucked versions are on the Jacket Layer, because they have to be. The Tucked versions are on the Jacket, Shirt and Undershirt layers, so that you have the maximum layering potential. If you're counting, that means that there are ten different versions of the shirt in the pack, which still costs only L$100. Now, that's Value!

On sale now, at the Robin (Sojourner) Wood AV Store at Livingtree (104, 128, 24).

See you there!