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March newsletter: better late than never

Well, well, well... A whole week into April and look who's finally ready to talk about March.

In my defense, I make it a personal rule to not "internet" on April 1st because I struggle to separate jokes from reality as it is. Secondly! I have spent the following days (and nights) relentlessly updating my listings to accommodate the new 3D printed eyes and all of their variations... because I decided to do a lot of variations. 

Feast your eyes

a collage of 3D printed fursuit eyes in multiple colours as they are being made, and photographed

credit where its due, my 3D printer did most of the hard work, I just did a lot of painting and tedious, monotonous tasks, mostly at my computer... but here we have lots of nice new follow me style eyes in a choice of colours, with nice shiny new listings that are clearer to understand. I've also updated all of my bundle listings for the new eyes.

A bright and colourful collage of my new fursuit eyes in all of their colours and variations.

For future development, I have experimented with a few different kinds of eyes over the past few months, like inverted follow me eyes, see through domes for kemono eyes, UV colours, and some of them have been an absolute failure learning experience but I don't intend to stop. I will be working on upgrades for these eyes like eye lids, and maybe give domes a shot again, add some more colours, who knows, maybe things will get really weird and I'll make some snail eye stalks with periscopes in them or something, and design a snail-sona called Shelly... she likes lettuce. 

Ongoing projects:

I have learned to not set myself time expectations on one project whilst also veering towards an entirely new project. I have had time to sit and work on the new mask sculpts, I wasn't quite happy with the overall shape as I started detailing, so I went back a stage and started to build up more of the shape, so the detailing is still to be done.

early shape of the cat like mask sculpt in clay

Here is a glimpse of the progress on the khajiit as I'm building the shape back up, trying to make it look less domestic, adding more exaggerated large cat features, these will be refined back down as the detailing commences, hopefully bringing out the bold personality I'm looking for. I know its in there somewhere. 

Speaking of refining details, the wolf commission is in the finalising stage as I shave down the fur, and detail around the mouth and nose. He features two zippers at each side of the head for the wearer to get the head on easily with glasses whilst keeping a form fit.

Progress on my black wolf fursuit head commission. the wolfs head is fully furred and shaved, ready for the final details

collage of photos of the black wolf commission, showing details inside the mouth and also the red light up eyes

The receiver for the LED controller works well without any interference whilst being hidden in the ear, so it should be nice and easy for the wearer to switch colours and blinking patterns even when they're all dressed up. On the inside, I've been painstakingly hand sewing leather tabs into the cheeks where the moving jaw mechanism is, to protect the fur from wear. It just needs a good brush and clean to get all the loose fur off before trying on. 

Next projects

3D printed ears

I used to sell ears a while ago using recycled materials from my head bases, however I don't produce as much waste from bases any more, which is great, but also I had to stop selling ears.

At least until I made Manokit ears as part of a customer request for a bundle, which I now sell in my shop as a normal product.

I would like to get them back up on the menu along side the manokit ears because ears are a nice and simple way to create and animal illusion for all kinds of costume projects. So it's something I'll be working on in the background for a while... though there is every chance that it will end up like the eyes and I'll just throw myself right into overhauling my store for them.

Etsy fee increase 

I mentioned this dawning a month or so ago, but since then the etsy community has been talking about "strike" action over the increase of fees and decrease in quality of service. even though I have my own store, I do still rely a lot on etsy sales coming in, otherwise I would have outright left them a year ago, but despite this, I have considered being one of the thousands of sellers switching their store to vacation mode over next week. Will it change anything? I don't know, probably not, but the more people that do it, the more likely it will be to get peoples attention. So from the 11th to the 18th of April, my etsy store will be closed to new orders, I will still fulfill standing orders as normal, and my website will also be open for orders as usual.

Let there be Bees

To end on the best note ever, I just wanted to share a thing that's more related to my conservation work rather than workshop stuff as I am currently working on ways to blend the two, but that's not really a thing to talk about just yet.

what I am going to talk about is that I'm really excited that its the time of year the Bees are back, and Having worked with a few conservation charities now, it's well known among all those groups how much I love bees because I will talk about them for hours given the chance. So, when it came up that a couple of these groups wanted to start their own Bee surveys on site, I was really happy that they turned to me to train up some volunteers on how to ID the fuzzy beans in the field. All of this data will be used to help the local bee population thrive, and also give me an excuse to spend more time with bees, so overall its a win win.