Friday, September 29, 2006

Photoshop CS Tip & Other stuff

Ok, have you heard of this "stamping a layer" thing in Photoshop CS??

If no, well, let me tell you about the beauty of this command.

Let's say you are working on several layers and you want to merge the layers and experiment with levels or make changes, but you don't really want to loose those layers as separate layers in case you need to make changes.

Now, you could make a copy of each of those layers and then merge them, but that's tedious.

Instead, use the Stamp Layer command. Have only the layers you want to duplicate as visible layers. Then hit control-alt-shift down at the same time, holding those down, hit e.

Magically you will get another layer with all the layers you have visible merged into that layer, but your old layers will still be there! Separate, not merged!

You'll have to forgive my bad explanation of this. I know this could be stated in a much more concise, clear manner. But I spent several hours out in the sun and my brain hurts. There's a post on the forum by Robin and this is explained by her, in those concise words you want.


I'm seriously rethinking my idea to limited edition Halloween wings. I started to run some numbers and I'd have to charge a ridiculous amount for the wings in order to make my time back, even excluding a profit. So I think I will do some Halloween things, just not with the exclusive tag. I'm working on some Halloween fashions now, with wings to follow. Weee!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And also . . .

And the other twist in my panties is the new land system . . . . now when you search for land for sale, it tells lists rentals on private sims. But there is really NO WAY to know if you are buying a chunk of someone else's sims. Some people have clear signs, but most just have land for sale. Usually if you pull up the map, you can tell it's an island sim. But I almost bought land on Anshe's Dreamland sim which is all residential without even knowing it.


Love thy Neighbor?

I'm throwing this out there to the few people who read this blog . . . anyone looking for shop space on a decent sim?

I am eyeballing several entire mainland sims and I want to buy one.

Now . . . 1) I can't really afford that teir, not to mention the $1,000+ it's going cost me and b) I haven't really outgrown my current space.

But I am soooooooo tired of my sim neighbors. I am sure they are nice people. But I am soooo tired of clubs and malls.

I moved into an empty sim and bought a chunk of land. One guy moved in next to me and opened up a club with lots of particle scripts and moving lights. We both expanded, buying up bits of land next to our main land. He expanded a mall and more games. I made more wings.

Another club opened up behind my land. But that changed hands and is now a 50s diner/mall/wedding spot. At least it is interesting and does not having lots of particle lights.

And yet another club has opened up now. This one a sex club and with lots of moving lights that go right through walls. It's just a big rectangle. This club could stay as empty as the other one or be a big sim drain filled with people so much that the sim av limit caps.

Do I want too much to NOT be surrounded by sex clubs??

I can move somewhere else . . . . or . . . stay where I am . . . or think really big and buy a whole sim.

Monday, September 25, 2006

More Angel Wings

2 new angel wing designs.

I'm really happy with this one as this is 100% hand drawn, a first for me in an angel wing (tho not in my other type of wings, many are hand drawn).

This is the last of the angel wings cause now I'm going to work on Halloween themed wings. I plan to do a limited edition line of wings. I thought I'd do something special this year cause October is my RL birthday month and I turn the big 3-0. I'm still working on designs and pricing, but we'll see what happens. That's in the works at any rate!

Credits: Skins by the amazing Munchflower Zaius.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Angel Wings

New angel wings. These are for the people who wanted really bright white angel wings. Here they are. I put them on full bright so people will see how angelic you are from a distant.

These wings were a real challenge cause I am in serious PMS mode. Nothing seemed right and everything seemed just slightly off. But I think they are good. I'll know in about 5 days.

I named them Mihr angel wings, cause some website said that Mihr is the Angel of September.

A List for Failure or Success

How to be typical (and probably not successful) in SL

Open up a generic club with a lot of particle scripts. Offer camping chairs and freebies. Don't have your club do anything different or original. Maybe host a few events but gradually lose interest and never do anything original with your club again. Let it sit on the sim and drain resources running your 10 gazillion particle scripts.

Open up a casino.

Sell items that almost anyone can make or find at Yadni's junkyard. Like pictures from obvious internet sources. Or shapes.

Shamelessly copy other people.

How to Conquer SL or at least carve out a little niche

Make something, maybe sell it. It doesn't have to be the most original thing ever. Plenty of people make clothes. The key is to dance or stumble along to your own tune. Don't try to make stuff to impress the bloggers. Make something that you want to. And yeah, it's a lot easier to say that than to actually practice it. I know this personally. Sometimes I feel pouty that I didn't get any PXP or other blogger coverage. It's ego. And ya know, some of the stuff that has been covered by bloggers, doesn't sell well. Things that have never been covered sell well. (And this is NOT to knock any of the bloggers who review stuff. I love 'em and I read their blogs slavishly.) Just go your own route and the fame will follow. Just don't expect it overnight.

Build something cool.

Ok, my brain is done with this for now. But there are more (in both categories) out there.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Snake Tattoo

New tattoos in the Japanese style of tattoos. Well, kinda. Works on guys and girls.

I think I'm back to wings after this. Or some outfits. Tattoos that are this complicated are not easy.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Customer Service Stuff

Seth Godin wrote a very excellent blog post on How to Deal with an Angry Customer.

Great advice.

I became a fan of Godin after reading his book on marketing, Purple Cow, which I HIGHLY recommend. It's not a dull business book, it's a very quick read and full of great ideas on how to make your business stand out.

And speaking of angry customers, Godin addresses this, but I'm going to say it again - Don't get angry back!! This is the most important thing and a mistake that so many people make. The nice thing about SL is that you don't have to maintain any happy facial expressions while dealing with the angry person. You don't even have need to regulate your voice. You just need to make sure you type nice.

Another thing that I've heard recently is "The customer is always right." I hate this phrase. It should be "The customer is often really wrong and misinformed, but I should still treat them with respect." I guess it's not as catchy. But really, as I think we all know, sometimes customers can be dead wrong about how your product works or what they were supposed to get. The key is to realize that you can't bend over backwards to make every customer happy. Sometimes you will not make that customer happy, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try really hard to please the customer. At least make them feel like you made an effort.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Like the Absinthe Fairy

New fairy wings at Material Squirrel Wings - these are translucent and very delicate fairy wings.

Skins by Munchflower Zaius
Hair by Kin Keiko

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pink & Green Anime Hero

Sometimes when I'm making wings, I get caught up in making a complete outfit. And it's weird, because I do this particularily with pink & green outfits. It's such a playful color combination. So this is what I came up with today.

Thanks to the Fashion Emergency group for help on finding the right shoes!

Wings - Absinthe will be coming out later today.

Skin - Munchflower Zaius - one from her new makeup line that isn't out yet, but will be worth waiting for, trust me.

Shoes - ZVZ Ultra Designs

Gloves - Curious Kitties

Hair - ETD (one of her sale hairs, I wish I'd bought more colors in this style)

Skirt - Janie Marlowe

Leaf outfit - Chaospire

Now I'm going to find a pink & green sidekick and we will vanquish all evil!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Special Remember & Hope Tattoos

First, the quick info bit - this is a commemorative tattoo that I'm releasing for a few days only in recognition of Sept.11. The tattoos are "freebies" - tho I don't like that term applied to this.

They are up in my shop for the taking and also on SLBoutique here.

Now the long story part:
Last night I was working on drawing (with real pen and paper) some tattoos while the TV played in the background. The tattoo subject matter was skulls and flames and stuff. Kinda dark stuff. Lots of September 11th stuff was on TV last night and I couldn't help watching some of it. And it felt wrong to be drawing skulls.

I messed around with a few tattoo designs of something heart related and something related to 9-11. Some way to do something meaningful to the moment.

But last night I put my pen down and wondered if people would think I was trying to exploit the event. Would people recognize this as a thoughtful tattoo or just see it as a blatant grab at attention? And did I even have the right to do something like this? Me, who lost no one in those horrific events. So I stopped.

But this morning I couldn't get the idea out of my head. I read blog stories about the Towers, looked at pictures in the NYTimes and I just had to create something.

So I started with a classic tattoo design and recolored it, and wrote "remember" on it. Then I decided I also needed one with hope written on it.

While I created these for myself for Sept 11, I hope they will serve as to commemorate other horrific events in peoples' lives. As a small reminder of events that have passed, but that we carry with us every day.

I am not trying to be political. I am not trying to exploit our heroes and victims. Rather, I just needed some cathartic relief and I created this and I share it with you.

*edit* I do hope this is done in the right spirit (as is my intention). I'd love comments here with
your thoughts.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

New Group Invite

So I decided to follow the herd and start a prroduct update group. The idea being that you, the vivacious Material Squirrel fan, will join the group and happily receive notices on new products, sales, and also an ocassional exclusive item I'll offer to the group only.

Of course, we'll see if this works. I don't know if people prefer to read the blog or just stick with the forums. Maybe people will run out of groups. 25 seems like a lot until every designer has such a group and no fashionista can belong to all of them.

So we'll see how it works.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Tattoos - *squeeeeee*

I am so excited about these new tattoos I'm working on. I was going to wait until I'd developed a few more designs, but I really really wanted to share these with people. More designs will be coming out soon - I really needed a break from wing designs, I was (and still am) burnt out on wing designs. I know the muse will come back, but while she's off sipping drinks with umbrellas and flirting with the cabana boy, I need something else to work on.

This design is inspired by vintage tattoos from the 50s and my love of bird imagery.

Available at my in world store and also:
Sl Boutique
Sl Exchange

Skin: Munchflower Zaius - from her yet to be released new makeup line. She gave me a sneak preview and wow, there are soooo many cool makeup options.

Hair: Rita Groshomme

Pants: Nevermore Studios

Pose: Little Rebel Designs - These were only 30L each!!!

This one is a bit more traditional in SL terms, but with a bit of a twist. I couldn't escape wings here either.

Available at my in world store and also:
Sl Boutique
Sl Exchange

Skin: Munchflower Zaius
Hair: ETD