Thursday, October 19, 2017

Furry Fashion's Halloween Area

By Bixyl Shuftan

Furry Fashion is going all-out for Halloween. Besides being part of the "Quest Fur Cover" shopping hunt, they also have a special Halloween area above the sim. Besides the frightfully fun scenery, it also offers a Halloween Hunt with thirty items to find.

I had a few words with the owner of Furry Fashion, Amethysia (Amethyst Crystal), about their display. She told me, "Albright and I are both pagan and adore Halloween, witchcraft, etc. And we went to the occult shopping event a few months back and got the idea from buying way too much there, heh. Then she managed to get hold of a rare DRD mansion from a gacha that was just perfect as a witch house. And we just built around the house using it as the centrepiece. Over the years we've done everything fr a sim wide maze to a zombie game map to a asylum so we wanted something we hadn't done before. It's getting quite difficult to come up with new ideas after so many years.

"There's not only the witch house, but a skeleton basement (decorated by Klomonx), and a graveyard and a maze hidden under the basement. The hunt objects are red balloons - inspiration taken from the new "It" movie and encouragement from FF Admin I might add. And as usual QFC and Sim Merchants got offered free shops too for displaying their Halloween/fall products on top of the hunt. We'll be having a full weekend of Halloween parties in the Halloween area for the final October weekend."

Asking about the influence of the movie "It," Amethyst told me, "Yeah, 'It' is the new remake of the Stephen King movie. (I'm) not a clown fan myself, but several of the staff got hyped about it and when the suggestion of balloons was made for the hunt item, I was encouraged to use it, heh."

So what was the feedback from those who braved the area? "Most enjoy it," Amethyst answered, "Some say it's too scary, especially with windlight, heh. I plan to add extra prizes towards the end of the month as we get closer to Halloween too. Security have been doing shifts up there to make sure cheaters don't win. They've got to dress up in  Halloween avatars and outfits, and I think enjoy it." I asked what kind of Halloween avatars, and she pointed to the small avatar near me, "Rick behind you has been making Halloween stuff too. That's a mod he made that he's wearing right now. It's a Halloween pup version of the Crux. Rick's one of my staff leads." The pup's ears showed a definite Crux style, but the modded avatar was less strange and more cute in appearance, "He might even get me to wear it," Amethyst told me with a smile.

Amethyst reminded me as a business, Furry Fashion had multiple openings for jobs, "I've been pretty busy anyway. We're open for every position right now, and all staff are pitching in (smile). (It) always gets this way for Halloween. It's our favorite time of the year. I'll do a Xmas thing as expected, but Halloween is everything for me." Amethyst stated she wouldn't play Christmas music until well into December, "I was in catering, in a hotel kitchen, the same Xmas CD on repeat Oct to Jan., 7AM to Midnight every day..." One of Amethyst's staff spoke up, and that led to a conversation on the subject that lasted a few minutes.

Finally someone came over inquiring about where to find the Halloween area. Amethyst mentioned of the people doing the Halloween hunt, "we've had over 500 hunters so far." She offered to show me the place. Looking around, what I noticed the most was the darkness and fog, which gave the place an erie spooky air. There were various stalls, made to look like old buildings, where various merchants had their goods, outfits, avatar mods, and other goods.

There was also the witch house, which had a few cats and a "broom parking" area on the outside, in addition to a spooky cemetery next to it. One could open the door and to inside, looking among the rooms. Some rooms were stranger than others, one room full of books, another with ingredients, another with scrolls. Underneath was the cellar, which had a few skeletons and the entrance to the maze. I had my headphones on, and could hear various barks in the distance, screams, cries for help, and near the witch house cats meowing.

In places were various tombstones of the Furry Fashion staff. The first I noticed was Amethyst's: "I told you I was sick." I asked her about it, "Yeah, I let all staff pick their own graves, heh." She pointed to the one for Minty Melody: "Rainbow Overdose." Amethyst explained, "Minty is a unicorn in SL and rainbow addicted." She showed me a few others, which included, "should have gotten decaf." Amethyst grined, "I take no blame for the sayings, they all picked their own." She did say they tried to be fairly PG about their epitaths. Other than that, they all had a free hand with them.

Remember, there are 30 red balloons around the Halloween area to find, each with a free item. Looking around I found a number in less than a half hour. While many are just for women, some can be used by the guys. So visitors get some treats along with the tricks.

To get to the Halloween area, head to

Happy Halloween from Furry Fashion,

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, October 16, 2017

Celeste Cazenove, the Amusement Park Ride Builder

By Bixyl Shuftan

Nance Clowes, noted for being the head of the "Fun Rides and Amusement Parks" group, recently introduced me to someone known by some residents in Second Life not so much by her name but by her creations: Celeste Cazenove, "Meet CC, teh great amusement park ride maker," Nance had been testing out her latest rides, Celeste saying "It's not all completed yet, well mostly, maybe a little fine tuning."

"I sell them to park owners on marketplace mostly," Celeste told me, "I've been making rides for awhile now, and this is my thirtieth ride, so it's kinda special. It's also my first hanging coaster ride with Euro-Style sound." Nance giggled, " I laughed so hard when that sound came on. totally did not expect that."

Celeste went on to say, "I have a carnival I will put this out in when I am sure its done. I can give you (the) landmark to carnival if you wanna check out some of my other stuff. I recommend the Splash Falls and Crazy Birds especially. ... My next one will be a haunted one for Nance' sim." In the conversation that followed, Nace told us, "They recently re-opened the spookhouse ride at Coney Island. it was under 6 feet of water from storms. ... the irony of a spook house, being six feet under."

"Building rides was a natural outgrowth of my toy making days when I first started," Celeste told me, "I started making toys and fishing custom catches." "Celeste is kinda big in the fishing circles, I'm told," Nance spoke, "I still have fishing areas for 7Seas with over 1200 custom made catches people can fish up for free. Then I started making toys and selling them on Marketplace. " I asked her when she first started. She answered, "Eight years ago I started building, first making gestures, then building simple little fish that people could fish up. Then my catches got more elaborate and I learned to script them with new functions and abilities and animations."

Of the rides, "I started making carnival rides about two years ago, with smaller ones like a Pigs-Go-Round, a barnyard merry-go-round with piggies,  and a swinging ship that is still my best seller, Ships Ahoy, which is a classing swinging ship ride, but has pirate sounds and dead ghost pirates that pop out." I asked how popular the rides are. Nance told me, "most parks buy them on day one. the whole Fun Amusements Park group of 1100 love her stuff."

Celeste then offered, "Wanna see the ride before this one, last released? This one is for sale now and is in a lot of the major parks already." She then rezzed a ride over forty meters tall, "This one is called Splash Falls ,,, go up and touch that leaf in the air." This was a compact flume ride with a giant leaf instead of a log, which appeared in the water by touching a leaf near the entrance, "now sit on the leaf boat down there in the canal." After ten seconds, the leaf went a short distance, then was taken to the top of the ride. It then went down the flume, curving around every so often. It was a fun ride down to the ground, if a bit wet with the sprays of water here and there.

Another ride she showed me was "Crazy Birds." This ride was clearly inspired by the computer app game "Angry Birds." "All three of us can ride this one," Celeste told me. "It seats three," Nance told me, "but not all together, you'll see, tis *unique.*" The ride had three rezzers that when clicked on, a mechanical bird resembling the red bird in the game the attraction was based on appeared. All three of us rezzed a bird, hopped on it, and off we flew around for a minute, doing loops and other maneuvers. "It's a *trackless* coaster (laughter)!" Celeste commented. Nance joked, "Whats the count on this one again? 74% survival rate?"

Once we were done flipping the birds, Nance asked Celeste, "show him the Fun Squared one." Celeste did, "This one is a 'wild mouse' type of coaster, if you have tried those in real-life." As the ride took shape, I saw a familiar sight, the "lego" roller-coaster in the "Happiness Giant Rooms" when I dropped by in late June (link). Celeste told me yes, she did sell the owner one of these rides. Both Nance and I took a ride on this one. Unlike the previous rides, the car animated out avatars a bit, Celeste laughing and Nance a bit, "Haha, I love that animation with the arms up at the end (laughter)."

Of the next attraction, Celeste told us, "It's Halloween soon so I will let you ride this one." This was similar to the spinning teacup rides in some parts, but with an October 31st twist: cauldrons. It was the "Witches Brew." Celeste told us, "I made this for last Halloween, but I am gonna make one for Nance." "For ME?!" Nance asked. Celest giggled, "To put in your sim ... you know it will, eventually." "You best be gettin  to it. The Dark Park only holds so many Halloween rides."

Once the Witches Brew was put away, Celeste offered, "I have some funny ones like the Ferret Wheel I could show him, I like funny ones. ... a lot of people *only* buy my funny stuff." Celeste rezzed a kind ferris wheel, but with what resembled  six hamster wheels instead of cars. Nance grinned, "Oh this *will* look cute if you get Bixyl in it." And getting in, I was running around in the wheel on all fours like a ferret, of which my furry form with a snout and bushy tail had quite a reaction from Nance, "BWAHHWAWHHSAHAhahaaaa!"

After the Ferret Wheel was taken down, Nance told us she had to get back to her Haunted Mansion. Celeste told me, "Okay this is the last one, I promise, hee-hee!" She rezzed a one story building that took a few moments to take shape, with the words "Aqua Scape" on the side, with another one inside saying, "Holographic Sea Tour." "This one is a totally emersive one. People love this one. Some people like this one and hate everything else I make, ha-ha!" Sitting on the car, it was like going through a public aquarium, with sea grass, coral, fish, dolphins, and a giant squid and a killer whale. It was quite the ride.

After I got out from the Aqua Scape, Celeste told me, "I better run for now but feel free to visit my carnival at that landmark I gave ya if ya want!" She left and I made a brief visit to her park, which had a *lot* of rides. No doubt Celeste has been very busy and creative, and no doubt she will continue to be.

CC's Compact Carnival is located at  Thorstar (163/94/1507).

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

CATS at Theater On The Hill

By Gemma Cleanslate

I had my tissues out again Sunday at the Theater on the Hill.  The premiere of the musical , Cats, opened at 12:00. I have seen Cats in real life so many times, but love every minute of it and would go again. The cast at TOTH were dressed as real cat avatars, which is a little different. In real life shows they are humans made up beautifully to look like cats.  The dances and movements were choreographed so well to match the music. If you do not know the back story of Cats I recommend you visit the web to learn about it. This will give you the insight to what is going on.

There are many individual cats to meet in the show and the music leads you to understand each one. There are some very special ones that grab your heart. 

Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is set amongst a larger- than life junkyard playground and is alive with our favourite feline characters including Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy,

"Well, of all things i
Can it be really?
Yes! No! Ho! Hi! Oh, my eye!
My mind may be wandering, but I confess
I believe it is Old Deuteronomy!"

"Remark the woman
Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.
You see the border of her coat
Is torn and stained with sand,
And you see the corner of her eye
Twists like a crooked pin."

The music is delightful, fun in some places and so poignant in others. Every  time I see a performance it is almost like I have not seen it before, always surprises. There was a page in the theater handing out champagne, cookies, juice, soda and other goodies.

There will be several other opportunities to see the show. Do not miss it ! The TOTH will present it again next Sunday at 12pm and again on October 21 at 1 and perhaps again. Perhaps you will see me there! The music is so enticing and the movement of the cast only enhances it.

Oliver Elton is the person behind this show at the TOTH. All SL cats should come as well as the nekos and all furries and humans will love it even if they are not cat friendly. The usual ending to the story was not there but I did not miss it. Everything about this Second Life show is well worth a visit.  

Gemma Cleanslate