You can’t win if you don’t play!!!

I’m hoping you’ll take a few minutes to visit my new MoonSong Caves location – and while you’re there – enter the Flickr Photo contest! You can win great prizes including a $1000L gift certificate from Dark Mouse! You can teleport directly to MoonSong Caves by clicking this link – while you’re there, click on the subscriber for notices of more great stuff from all the designers there! You’ll find the current contest participants here on Flickr!


Good Sh*t

Hello out there! Life does have an awful habit of just moving on heh? How long can Mouse Mimistrobell remain in a snit anyways? Apparently not too long – although I am prone to instantaneous snittish-nish. Dark Mouse is still not in search in any meaningful way. Of course I confess I’ve not gone searching past page 15 of search results to see if Dark Mouse is there anywhere – too lazy I guess. I have tried different viewers (regular/kirsten/betas) etc. I get randoms IM’s from people telling me what I should do to fix it. Most are helpful – but realistically, I am feeling a wee bit targeted – paranoid, no? ;-). I am, like most everyone, more hopeful since the reinstatement of Philip Rosedale at the helm of Linden Lab. Not necessarily because I think he’ll do a better job – of that I remain unsure – the proof is in the pudding no?. But the replacement signals for me, an acknowledgement that all is not well in the state of Denmark and needs to change, so for that, I am grateful.

So I know I said I’d never do another hunt, but well I’m IN ONE! The Good Shit Hunt officially starts today and I encourage you to participate. Why? Because there’s lots of good shit that’s why! The starting point for the hunt is at the ever fabulous Reek!.

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today, and took a pic of myself at the oldest build in SL – The man statue. I hear a lot of people say that those who complain about the state of Denmark are afraid of the future, hate change, and are generally oldbies who lack skills – and are hurting SL by complaining. I say – talk to an oldbie sometime – because really the oldbies are the trailblazers – the ones who saw the excitement and potential of SL. And who in their hearts remain true to it.

Today I am wearing a fabulous new hairstyle for Stumblebum from Clawtooth. I was thinking – wouldn’t it be cool if you could have the bubbles from the demo all the time if you want? HEHE. I could totally get used to bubbling all the time. It could be a personality changer – hey feeling down? Bubble. Anywho, I’m also wearing the ‘faded’ skin from Fashionably Dead, the love affair continues. I should have bought the fat pack (insert plurk doh here). I’m sporting my own Good Shit hunt gift, the whimsy hair comb and bangles – they look fabu in Clawtooth’s hair! The top is a smexy and FREE confection from none other than the hilarious ms. steeplechase who is also in the Good Shit hunt! The capris are from Nyte & Day – another long term resident of SL. Finally free stilettos from In her shoes, which appear because of their extreme pinkesh-nesh.

Outfit Credits

Hair – Morning After (w/bangs) (Girl Next Door) – Clawtooth for Stumblebum

Skin – Morning Sun (Faded/Freckles) – Fashionably Dead

Eyes – Summer Storm – Poetic Color Eyes

Lashes – Natural Prim Lashes – La Sylphide

Jewelry – Whimsy Bangles & Hair Comb – Dark Mouse for the Good Shit Hunt

(Naner, naner you have to look for it!)

Top – Katarina Tank (Pink) – Hilarious for the Good Shit Hunt

(Naner, naner ditto, though Kess is a pushover so it’s easy to find.)

Jeans – Dark Wash Capris – Nyte & Day

Heels – Stiletto Pink – In her shoes

Poses are a variety from LAP and Cova

Have you given up?

In the last week or so, I decided that I needed to do something to jump start sales at my main store. Since the search bug has been in full effect, sales had dropped at my store significantly. I get no visits, teleports off my classifieds had fallen to zero. At first, I despaired. Then after a day or so of that AND a lot of hits on my blog, I thought well I have to push through this. I’d committed to several events in SL that I felt strongly about – Etheria, The Good Shit Hunt (which is almost here), and I had just opened new satelite stores in new locations. So I preceded to move forward with my original plans – promoting the event, working with my fellow jewelers, etc. Etheria was a success. I cannot begin to thank everyone involved – it was a joy and a reminder of the collaboration and creativity that exists in SL. All sales that I had the week of Etheria came from it and it alone. I attended Natalie’s memorial service, a reminder of the people in SL that I care about and log in for. But in any case, as of today, Dark Mouse still cannot be found using the ‘all’ tab in search and typing in the keyword, ‘jewelry.’

I could be depressed. Really I could. And at times, I wonder to myself, why not just give up? And the truth is, I know that I would miss it. I’m not the best designer in SL or the most skilled. But the joy of SL to me is that I ‘could’ be. Given time and effort on my part I can keep working at it. Learning more, improving, etc. Isn’t that what SL is all about?

So, I decided to try and do something. What could I do to improve the sales at my store try to change my luck and be found in search?

I took the following actions.

  • 1) I looked through my merchandise and determined what was older and that I should probably put on mark down. I held a sale. I advertised the sale to in all the options I have available (blog/groups/etc).
  • 2) I reviewed my key words in the store, and added the word “jewelry” to all my vendors as in, “dark mouse jewelry.” I changed up the key words in my land advertising and classified ads. I added new key words for some new stuff, like, “camisole.”
  • 3) I looked at my current classified advertising. I determined that I cannot afford to pay 300002L to put my store at the top of the heap, under the key word ‘jewelry.’ The top advertiser under that key word is paying $1097 USD at current LL exchange rates for that top spot and while I wonder how that is affordable, I cannot judge.
  • 4) I determined that I could pay to have my store appear in classifieds under the key words, ‘jewellery’ and ‘jewelery’, and upped my advertising ads there. I paid $1001L for ‘jewellery’ and $567L for ‘jewelery.’ If you search under ‘classifieds’ my store now appears under these categories. So I have to hope that people search this way. But to date, I’ve had 0 teleports from these ads.

    Regarding the actual problem and trying to solve it at the root.

  • 5) I’ve talked to the people in Live Chat at least 3 times to report my search issue because of I read in this blog post that it can be fixed if it is reported.
  • 6) I’ve created 2 support tickets originally in mid may. The origin dates for both these tickets is lost – LL determined that they would update the support system, and imported all old and new support tickets so that they now have the SAME import date of 6/14/2010. Neither of these tickets has been responded to or acknowledged.
  • 7) I searched for and have promoted the JIRA issue which identifies the possible bug that is affecting my store in search, and asked for everyone I know and don’t know to vote on it and bring it up in the rankings.

    So, what more can I do? Should I give up on my business in SL and just log in to see my friends? Have you given up? Do you just continue to log in and deal with the issues and problems, develop personal work arounds and don’t bother to use any of the options that LL says that they provide to us for remedies? I guess I do. But I think it’s a shame. Kesseret Steeplechase wrote a blog post about JIRA and how the top 5 bugs voted on by residents have been virtually ignored by LL. Of note to me is that the 2nd highest issue voted on by residents (customers) is assigned to Babbage Linden, who was laid off in the recent round of layoffs as far as I can tell. I am surprised that there are no comments on Kess’s post, though Kess tells me that it’s been viewed a lot. So many people care so much about Second Life, and yes, about Linden Lab. I think that after trying to utilize the options offered by LL for fixing their issues, and being virtually ignored, they have given up. I actually think that there is a fear almost if we complain too much we could hurt SL, and I’m certain that some people will feel this way about my post to draw attention to these issues. There’s nothing that we can do, so we just keep muddling through – removing attachments in high lag situations, accepting constant crashes of our viewers, wondering if group chat is still broken, using alternate viewers because they work better for our systems or building styles or 2.0 just baffles us. It worries me, this apathy. It should worry you too.

  • What’s Real

    At 10 a.m. I was forcefully reminded of what SL is really all about. I attended the memorial service for Natalie Defiant, who you may remember as the owner of Electric Jane’s, a talented, unique individual who an awful lot of people cared about, myself included. Natalie’s typist passed away in RL on June 9. Many knew her as various characters in SL, some of whom I never even knew about (I really am a hermit). What did a 45 year old mother of 3 and a 22 year old suffering from a debilitating disease have in common? Nothing. Not a thing. But we enjoyed each others company on occasion. It took Nat about a year to warm up to me – we finally bonded over a discussion of politics – we friended each other about a 18 months ago. That was her personality – but she had so many friends in SL and it allowed her a measure of interaction that she could never be afforded otherwise. At the service today, held in SL, this sums up what we all felt about her,

    “Our family would like to take this time to thank you all for being a part of her short life and for living within her heart. You are all great friends and she will forever be a part of you. Thank you! There comes a time when someone enters our lives unexpectedly…a person whose affect on us…leaves an indelible mark…Natalie was one of those people. Here, in SL, not only did she find the ability to be whomever she wanted, do whatever she wanted, she found a freedom she had never known. Throughout this journey she left pieces of her behind…from her amazing builds…her dry humor…to her profound wisdom…she touched us all. She was an unsung visionary who leaves behind a legacy to all those who had the opportunity to be a part of her life. We were given the gift of knowing this wondrous spirit….a spirit that hasnt died but lives on in us…and for this I will be forever thankful. I love you.”

    That’s what SL is about. “And in the end, the love we take will be equal to the love we make.” Don’t you forget it.

    bohemian overload

    So I wanted to blog more stuff from Etheria, but decided to keep mixing it up a bit – as in, not do the stuff that matches. I’ll get to everything somehow lol! Today I was feeling bohemian, which means my pixeldolls long skirt. Sorry I KNOW that I’ve blogged this skirt and that it’s 2 years old and that I don’t even KNOW if it’s available at Pixeldolls anymore, but I love it. It is and remains one of my favorite pieces – it always makes me feel good. I’ve paired it with the denial of autumn corset from Kyoot. I picked up the GField boots recently and really like them a lot. I’m wearing &Bean skin – which next to Fashionably Dead is in my current ‘go to’ skin folder. I’m wearing Caroline’s elegant and perfect Carlotta jewelry set for Etheria, and the Cassidy 2 hair from! You can get the Carlotta set exclusively from Etheria right now! That’s it for now!

    Outfit Credits

    Hair – Cassidy 2 (Thoughtful Brown) –

    Skin – Hounds of Love KOLTRAST LIGHT – &Bean

    Eyes – Autumn Early Frost – Poetic Color Eyes

    Lashes – Natural Prim Lashes – La Sylphide

    Jewelry – Carlotta Set – Caroline’s for Etheria

    Top – Denial of Autumn – Kyoot

    Skirt – Long Black Skirt – Pixeldolls

    Boots – Short Lace-Up Boots -Brown- GField

    Poses – A variety from –

    Poses are a variety from LAP

    More New Releases at Dark Mouse for Etheria

    Yes, yes there’s more. I do have a couple of new releases at Etheria. Please drop by! These are respectively, Chocolate Sparkles and Apples & Opals. Chocolate Sparkles is a lovely and dramatic medallion style necklace with a blue gem center stone with chocolate highlights. It comes in silver, gold and copper. Apples & Opals is a more delicate piece with delicious looking apples and opals as tiny accents. Here’s a teleport to Etheria!

    Just lovely things….

    I could be blogging all the fabulous collaborations from Etheria, but so many people are highlighting them, that I instead felt like just kickin back for a bit. I recently acquired some lovely stuff via 50L Fridays, sales, etc….I picked up the Brande 2 hair from the sale – love a good sale, and this hair feels so laid back. I paired it with the love of my life, the latest skins from Fashionably Dead, which I cannot get enough of. The top is the, “Ditsy Floral” from Treh Blah – love the name haha. Love the delicate shading on this top. The shorts are my first purchase from Young Urban, and unisex – I topped these shorts off with my own belt from Dark Mouse! I saw the ‘hoot bag’ at Gritty Kitty a few weeks ago and had to have. I’ve just been too busy to actually wear it! I treated myself to the Ginger Boots from Shiny Things. I love the casual feel of these boots – and the retro flowers. The texture work is outstanding. Finally I used a piece of jewelry that was given to me as a gift from Kess of KessKreations, the Olympia necklace. I love this piece. Not only because, like all of Kess’ pieces it’s incredibly versatile, but for the delicate touches (like the clasp at the back of the neck and the superb pearl texture). You can snag this piece at Etheria right now! That’s it for now!

    Outfit Credits

    Hair – Brande 2 (Thoughtful Brown) –

    Skin – Morning Sun (Faded/Freckles) – Fashionably Dead

    Eyes – Autumn Early Frost – Poetic Color Eyes

    Lashes – Natural Prim Lashes – La Sylphide

    Jewelry – Olympia Necklace – KessKreations for Etheria

    Top – Strapless Ditzy Floral Top – Treh Blah

    Shorts – Summer at English Bay – Young Urban

    Bag – Hoot Bag – Gritty Kitty

    Glasses – Skinny Framed – HOC

    Boots – Ginger Boots (Oil) – Shiny Things

    Poses are a variety from LAP

    Etheria – A dreamy collaboration

    About three months ago, I was chatting with my dear friend Kesseret Steeplechase, and discussing creativity and how we spend so much time bringing our ideas to life in Second Life. We were talking about clothing designers and jewelers and fashion in general – then Kess says to me, we should do a show! I said, we don’t do shows – we don’t have show skillz. She said – yes we can! And from that moment forward we decided to hold an ‘event.’ I told Kess that what I was really interested in was collaborating with clothing designers. Coming up with an idea – talking about it, bouncing ideas off one another. Then I said, but you know what would be really great? To have a designer design something to go with my jewelry, rather than me making something to go with their clothes.

    That’s when we decided to hold an event. Our goal was to be creative, pull off a great event and most of all have fun. We decided on asking three other jewelers to join us, and having them pick out and work with a designer they like. We both admire the work of Caroline Apollo (Caroline’s Jewelry), DarionMonkee Levitt (MONKEE) and Lola79 Heinrichs (Lolapop!) and invited them to join us. Not too long after this discussion with Kess, I had the privilege of being introduced to Sienia Trevellion of Lark. I had been admiring her designs from a far, and found that we shared an affinity for leaves and birds. About a month after meeting her, I asked her if she would work with me on Etheria, and I was thrilled when she said yes.

    I immediately got to work on a jewelry piece that had been in my head for a while. The idea was to create something that felt alive and magical – fae. I always envision fae as not quite controllable and even wild creatures of the wood. I imagine them to be distracted by shiny things and wearing decoration that would be by necessity, of the forest. The idea for the set I created came from there. The bracelets and earrings grew from the initial idea of the necklace. For me it’s a flowing, growing, ethereal piece that can be worn with high fashion, fae fashion and even casually. Sienia and I had a fabulous collaboration – we create in a similar manner – which is, we have an idea and we see where it takes us. I told her I envisioned a flowing dress – almost 70’s like, I recall telling her – I may have mentioned Stevie Nicks. Light, floating with an open neckline. She succeeded beyond my wildest imagination. It was a pleasure working with her, and I hope to do so again! I hope that you’ll join us at Etheria, where we will introduce our joint creations to the public!

    Etheria, a dreamy build that opens tomorrow, is the brainchild of Karizmah Avro, builder extraordinaire – who as a friend and collaborator I could not be more proud to work with! I’d also like to take a moment to thank not only all the jewelry designers involved in the show, but our clothing designers. Not only Sienia Trevellion, but Shelly Toonie of Moonshine Designs, Betty Doyle of Ingenue, Evangeline Miles of Evie’s Closet and Ghanima Uriza of Blue Blood. Everyone has given 110% and it shows! And last but not least I’d like to thank my good friend Jayde Cuthbertsson for the gracious use of her sim. Etheria opens to the public tomorrow, Sunday, June 13 at 3:00 p.m. SLT with a fashion show – hosted by Phaylen Fairchild, seating is limited by sim limits so please arrive early if you want in. If you miss the fashion show – Etheria opens formally to the public at 4:00 p.m. It will run till June 20, and all items at the show will only be found for sale exclusively there. The show will also feature random prizes! Just land in the sim and you’re bound to get one or two as all the jewelry designers will be giving them out. You don’t have to do anything! Just explore the sim, check out the designers collaborative works and other new releases and enjoy!

    Teleport to the Fashion Show – June 13 @ 3:00 p.m. SLT (Slurl will work when the show opens).

    Teleport to Etheria – June 13 @ 4:00 p.m. SLT (Slurl will work when the show opens).

    The picture is a sneak peak of a lovely gifty just waiting for you to show up and be randomly gifted.