Wednesday, June 29, 2011

At the Cottage Boutiques: Caverna Obscura

I've decided to do a blog based on each shop we have in our Enchanted market. This time I chose Elvina Ewing's Caverna Obscura fantasy fashion store. All of Elvina's designs are amazing, full of detail, imaginative, fun and beautiful. One thing I love about them is she has so many ways you can mix and match and wear several different outfits within one. The outfit I chose today is very versatile and lovely at the same time. It's made of durable and high quality off white leather and has all the "trimmings" so to speak, including the boots! Below I've pictured several different ways to put pieces together within this outfit, but definitely not ALL possibilities.

Clothes: Kahlan by Elvina Ewing of Caverna Obscura
Skin: DrLife Silk Girl Xian in Tan by Leena Ying
Hair: Early in Black 4 by Elika Tiramasu of Elikatira
Earrings: Ti'ana earrings by Abraxxa Anatine of Earthstones

Location: Enchanted of Elven Realm (crystal caverns)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

MRD: Must See Gallery

Urban, eclectic, stylish, grunge, and shabby chic are just a few words that come to mind after visiting Merlin Renfold's amazing gallery of artwork in Second Life. The overall setting and look of the gallery go perfectly with the art he displays. I teleported to the gallery location and landed close to the front door. Before I entered, I had to take in the scene surrounding me. Off in the distance were the beautiful lights of the big city. As my eyes moved from this to the land immediately around me, I saw a spotlight moving to and fro, an old-fashioned car out in the grass that had obviously not worked in ages, pieces of trash on the ground here and there, and a big trash bin in the corner. I looked directly in front of me and saw the large brick building that housed the MRD (Merlin Renfold Designs) gallery. Straight above me was the MRD logo sign, and stairs right below that. I proceeded to enter the gallery.

Please be sure and click each picture below to see it much larger, thus seeing the full effect :)

Upon entering, I could see the overall ambiance was perfect and went well with Merlin's many different styles of art. Other than the artwork, the gallery was a little on the dark side, which made the city lights outside glow through the windows with just the right amount of light. To the right was an old-fashioned projector that showed an old black and white cartoon up on the wall. Straight in front of me was a working, caged freight elevator. The floors were of dark wood and the walls a stained cream brick texture with rust effect. The only thing that was bright and colorful, which I know was the intention, was Merlin's exceptional art. All his different styles and themes of art contrasted so well with the entire ambiance of the gallery. It really looked great the way he had everything laid out just right along with the colors and style of the entire gallery.

Old film projector...and notice the city lights shining through the windows

Standing in the center of the upper floor with Merlin...notice how well his artwork contrasts with the entire ambiance of the gallery...great plan!

More city lights and notice the ceiling windows with a blue glow and discolored panes

"As for my style and art, I tend to just make it. I often listen to people and work out a plan in my head. You know, to keep it simple and offer choices"...Merlin Renfold

A mix of Merlin's artwork... I tried to choose a variety so you could see how unique and different each piece is in its own special way

Merlin has always loved art and been a creative, artistic person at a very young age. When he left school, he had achieved a grade A in Art and was actually the only student that had progressed as far as B. Computers and graphic design didn't come into the mix until later in life and Second Life had a major part in this. He said the many people he met and worked with in game were important factors during the learning process for this kind of art, and they are the ones that truly helped him meet his dreams and goals. Step inSide furniture store, which got its name from Yasmin Little (also Merlin's personal designer of MRD), was Merlin's first dream that was recognized, a business where he could put his creativity and imagination to work. The store is still in business and currently owned by Merlin's first business partner, Lany Jun. She's the one who designed Merlin's couches for the sitting area at MRD. Merlin would work on his ideas at a sandbox alot of the time and he said this is where he found his work grew and he was able to come up with new ideas. He also enjoyed the sandbox because he loves helping others and found it rewarding to help new players in Second Life develop their basic skills. In a way, this is how I met Merlin and how we became friends. He complimented one of my pictures in Flickr and asked ME how I achieved the effect (which was in the program). I was honored he would even ask me, as I felt his work was much better than mine. I always remember him saying we are all at a learning stage of some point and can learn from one another. It's so true, he's helped me a great deal with advice and tips on my pictures, and in the process, has become a wonderful friend. Overall, Merlin finds making pictures and owning the gallery both his forte, after all, nothing beats receiving a compliment from a customer for a job well done!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fantasy Art Focus: Yasmina Siamendes

Fairy Tale Forest

It's been a while since I've focused on a Second Life artist, and because recently I've discovered a wonderful fantasy artist whose work I love to follow, I decided it was time. I first saw Yasmina's work when I noticed she had done several pictures in Elven Realm and Elven Mist, my two sims. They were truly magical and beautiful and I really love the way she captured and brought out the best of both sims. Yasmina's work is amazing, and that goes for her ability to use colors and bring them out, lighting, composition, treatment and poses. She has the ability to play with all different "styles" when creating her art and has great talent doing anything from forest faes to modern landscapes. Overall, she has a knack for bringing out the magic in every picture and each and every one looks professionally done!

Yasmina comes from Germany and has been a member of Second Life for about four years now. She started out making quite a few friends and they would spend time in game chatting and dancing most of the time. She quickly got bored with this routine and wanted more, thus decided to become an elf and live in some of the beautiful forests of Second Life. Yasmina had always loved fantasy and thought the game was the perfect place to express this and live out her dreams of being a fantasy creature. She would take turns living in different forests, all the while still chatting and dancing while experiencing life in the woods. Again, she became bored with this and looked for more. She just happened to meet an exceptional photographer in Second Life named Alles Klaar while in the forest. Alles asked Yasmina to be her model for some photos, and Yasmina was happy to oblige....the rest is history. She started to become interested in photography within game herself and explored Flickr by looking at Alles' stream and several of the fantasy groups. Already having a background professionally in graphic art and design, Yasmina found that editing and using Photoshop became second hat. She started out doing unedited pictures, but wanted more. She wanted that creative and magical touch in her pictures, and you can definitely see that magic shining through in all her creations!

The first and second pictures posted are my personal favorites of Yasmina's work and both happen to be photographed at my sim, Enchanted of Elven Realm.

Colorful Fae - Anita Rakasta

Sad World

Forest Nightwandering


I asked Yasmina to tell me her own personal favorite pictures. She listed six total and I've posted them below with her MOST favorite first and so on. She stated it was funny because when she quickly worked on a picture and didn't spend much time on it, people tended to like those particular pictures the best. When she did spend alot of time editing one, those seemed to get less attention and not be as "faved" as the others. Overall, Yasmina likes the pictures she's done that have some kind of meaning behind them or statement to make.

I hope you enjoy Yasmina's pictures as much as I and many others do. I will have several of her masterpieces displayed at our gallery over Enchanted, so please stop by and visit! You can see many more of Yasmina's creations on her Flickr photostream:

Forest Nymph

Watersplash in the Elven Realm

Forces of Nature

Master of Magic Lights

Ocean Dream

Phoenix-Waterstart in Elven Realm

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Cottage Boutiques of Enchanted

As many of you may already know, we now have four amazing fantasy boutiques within the cottage at Enchanted of Elven Realm now. I plan to add one more, but would like it to be a designer that sells skins/fantasy accessories. Here are the shops we have now:

Caverna Obscura by Elvina Ewing
Deviance by Surreal LeShelle
Elvenbreath by Selina Forder
Studio Sidhe by Faery Sola

All the above focus mainly on fashion. Studio Sidhe focuses more on poses and pose props, although she also designs jewelry and fashions.

All are located at Enchanted of Elven Realm. Once you tp to the landing point, there is a tp door to the cottage right at the entrance :) Hope to see you there!

The Cottage at Enchanted

Deviance by Surreal LeShelle
Surreal specializes in lovely costumes and gorgeous gowns. For example, she carries a Snow White, Rose Red, Tinker Bell and Alice in Wonderland costume...all very well done!

Studio Sidhe by Faery Sola
Faery is the designer who created the wonderful unicorn pose prop you see out on Enchanted. She has several others the Snow White prop, the moon, and many others that are top quality.

Caverna Obscura by Elvina Ewing
Elvina is one of the masters at creating true fantasy style! She has all kinds of designs that are colorful, beautiful and whimsical. You can't appreciate her work until you see it!

Elvenbreath by Selina Forder
Selina is one of my favorite fantasy designers. Her fantasy wear is lovely, classic and sexy all in one!

Each and every designer is wonderful and top notch at what they do! If you come visit the boutiques, I know you won't be able to resist spending a few Lindens while you're there :P I know I can't, and now I'm really going to have some problems, they're too convenient! hehe