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A Valentine Treat

Brianna - Deep Love - Valentine Gown 2012

This dramatic recolor of the popular Brianna gown, called ‘Deep Love’ is just 25L this Valentine’s! This price will be in effect until the next regular release (possibly at the end of this week).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Back to Black

I suppose it’s been long enough since my last post, right?

Firstly, my Flickr pro account expired, and it’ll be a little while before I renew it, so if a ton of my pics seem missing, that’s why. But right now what I want to let you know about is Chic Management’s Back to Black event, and that I’m participating in it, offering a brand new, never before released gown, called Tranquil.

Tranquil - Gown - B2B - 2

I put a lot of thought into whether or not I’d include a notecard with the gowns outlining my own experiences with depression, but then I decided it would be better to put it on the blog, so anyone can read it if they want to, regardless of having purchased a gown or not.

During my teen years I battled with depression that was brought on in part by the stress of school, being bullied, and the stress of my home life. Between the three, I felt hopeless, useless, and worthless most of the time. There were many times when I thought I’d be better off dead, or that I should try to run away from my problems.

I talked to the school’s guidance counsellor ad nauseum, trying to seek solutions to my problems. Most of the offered advice included moving away from town and going back to a city I lived in as a child. Family members that had left town to return to the city reinforced this notion to me in phone calls and letters. I could see where this could be good advice, and sometimes I actually managed to convince myself that it was what I wanted, but in the end, that was false conviction and I always stayed here, knowing if I returned to the city, I still wouldn’t be happy.

I ended up trying antidepressants. The only thing they achieved was that I ended up sleeping most of the day, and wishing I was asleep the time I was awake – sleep became the escape from reality. However, this only went on for several days before I tossed the pills, knowing they wouldn’t, and couldn’t really help me.

The year I finished High School I started Second Life, and my business was born that summer, in 2007. SL served as another escape from reality, where I could look however I wanted, do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted. That led me to Medieval roleplay, ballrooms, forests, and countless stores. It led me to begin creating gowns and jewelry. I thought it made me happy. But in reality, it was a bandaid on a broken limb.

The beginnings of the turning point for me, when my depression ended and my life really, truly began, wasn’t until October, 2010. I’m placing the date here, because that’s where the events began that lead me to where I am today. Someone, who shall remain unnamed, came to our house (at that time, it was just my mother and I), and was verbally tearing apart a man from our town. They cried foul at the man’s behaviour in church the previous Sunday, about how ‘he shouldn’t have done that, he shouldn’t have said those things to that man of God’. This sparked my interest. I had become somewhat indifferent towards Christianity, and I’d previously grown wary of ‘that man of God’ because of his attitudes and behaviours.

Now, my spiritual life was a mess. I’d spent my teen years being depressed and many times trying to seek God, crying to Him, begging Him, feeling like I’d come really really close – but ultimately failing. I bounced back and forth between trying to please God and pleasing myself with my escapes from reality so much that I grew tired of trying. I now know the real culprits behind that failure, but that’s another topic for another time. Anyway, at the time I didn’t call myself a Christian anymore. I knew some scripture, but not much. But something inside me told me I needed to really get in touch with this man. He had enough faith in his convictions to stand up in front of many and speak his mind. That impressed me.

I searched for him on facebook, and sent him a friend request. After he accepted, I spent time observing him. During this time, I found myself convicted of my lukewarm attitude towards God. The seeking began again – in earnest. My bible started seeing a lot more use. I took more than a passing glance at devotionals. I researched things online. I acquired a collection of 8 movies about Jesus. I watched these movies one at a time, and then a while later, ended up watching them all in a marathon session.

I broke. It was finally brought home to me in a real way what Jesus did, and that He did it for -me-. Worthless, useless, hopeless (I thought) me. I was worth -dying- for. I went into a room alone and cried, begging God to forgive me of my sin, and to help me to change and live how He would want me to – not just for a week, but for life. I didn’t feel like I failed this time. I felt forgiven. I felt comforted after my tears. I felt peace – real, deep peace.

A song by Mark Lowery called ‘Make it Real’ became dear to my heart. I pasted some of it’s lyrics into my SL profile.

As for the man – Richard. I pretty much stayed quiet with regard to him until something he posted caught my eye – a screenshot of the Blizzard website showing the thumbnail links to their games. I couldn’t help but comment – and indeed this post garnered many comments, because he was bold enough to call it what it is in light of scripture. It’s Satanic. There are people who fail to see this, but he wasn’t one of them. While there are plenty of people who will defend their games, TV shows, music, etc, the fact remains that secular media does nothing to encourage Christianity or Christian values. Rather, much of it attacks both.

One clear way to show this is the massive anti-Christian sentiment that is in SL. I know full well that posting this won’t make me popular, but popularity isn’t what I’m after anymore. What I want to achieve here is to let anyone who is willing to read the whole post understand that my personal experience is as follows: My depression wasn’t cured by counselling, pills, or people. It was cured by Jesus Christ. My life now is happier than it’s ever been before, and I give God all the credit for it.

After my comment, I watched the thread for a while. I ended up messaging Richard, wanting to encourage him. What began was a long dialogue that led to both parties being encouraged and inspired. He gave me the link to his personal testimony. There was a mix mp3 of his testimony in music that was available for download on his page, so I downloaded it, and listened to it.

I’m going to try to keep this post from becoming a book and speed up my recounting of what happened. For a while I distanced myself from listening to a lot of secular music. I stopped listening to the radio. But I didn’t give it up entirely. I still listened to a handful of artists that I enjoyed because I liked their ‘catchy tunes’. This was actually hindering my spiritual growth, though, so I was given a much needed push to give it up, and I did.

Richard and I got together in the dating sense on March 10th. He gave a beautiful account of what happened at that time at our wedding, and it’s on video. We got married on July 16th, 2011.

The past 13 months have been a whirlwind of change for me, and in good ways. My faith in God is firmer than it’s ever been before. I’m glad I didn’t go back to the city. If I had, I’d have missed out on the wonderful man that I’m now married to. More importantly, I might have missed out on God. But I know I am exactly where He meant me to be. I’m more than content with that – I’m happy. And with this I’ll conclude, that hateful comments won’t be approved. 🙂

~Gabrielle~

Gabrielle

Gabrielle is the newest release from Kouse’s Sanctum. Reflecting Medieval and Rennaisance charm, it’s a gown that incorporates vibrant color with detailed gilt trim to create a lush look fit for a princess.

I’ve decided to make one version of it, the burgundy one, named ‘Wine’, only 99L for a limited time. So if you’d like to pick up a copy before the price matches the main release, do hurry. 🙂

Gabrielle Special Edition Ad

Also new, are the Shiloah jewelry sets, which include a necklace, tiara, and matching earrings. The sets are available in three metal choices, and are all gem change scripted.

Shiloah - Jewelry Set - Silver

Shiloah - Jewelry Set - Gold

Shiloah - Jewelry Set - Wrought Iron

You can find them at the main store.

~Bridal Sale~

Bridal Sale Poster

I’ll keep this post -very- short.

The Bridal sale begins July 9th, 2011, and will run until the 21st (though this is an estimation). More information can be found in the most recent Kouse’s Sanctum release note. Release notes can be obtained through either the in-world update group, or the Subscribe-O-Matic. Happy Shopping!

~Bethany~

Bethany Ruby

There’s one new release today, and that is Bethany. Available in seven colors, and in two different metallic trim colors (silver and gold), Bethany is an eight piece set with multiple ways to wear it. Two skirt types, one much larger for those who prefer the full, grand, ballroom look, and also a slimmer one, for those preferring a more sleek look.

Bethany Onyx

Bethany is every bit the role player’s gown, with very much a ‘princess’ theme. From the ruffles at the chest, the sleeves dripping with sheer fabric, to the basque waist, it is every bit feminine, and detailed. Even with that royal air, though, she can be worn by any lady, perhaps to a fancy ball, or other grand event. Whatever the occassion, if you’re looking for something unique and lovely – Bethany is something to consider.

Bethany Sapphire

Bethany gowns are available now, at Kouse’s Sanctum.

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~The Three Sisters~

Well, not really. But they are three very recent releases at Kouse’s Sanctum. Daniella, Marissa, and Devora are three gown sets that span time and style to bring something fresh and interesting to your virtual wardrobe.

Daniella uses jewel tones and lace to create an elegant, timeless look.

Daniella Emerald

Daniella - Ruby

Marissa combines old with new for a modern look that gives a polite, subtle nod to historical garb.

Marissa Lake Blue

Marissa - Snow

Devora incorporates vibrant color with antique beige and floral print to create something unique in an empire waisted gown.

Devora - Chocolate

Devora Amethyst

All can be found in a wide range of colors at the Kouse’s Sanctum main store.

Read the rest of this page »

~Naomi~

There’ve been several new releases at the Sanctum recently. One of which is Naomi, which you’ll see a bit of in this post.

Naomi - Ivory

It’s very much a lush, fairy-princess type of gown, full of ruffles and detailed patterns worked into the front lacing corset, and in the ribbon threaded onto the belt. A matching jeweled pendant sits at the centre of the belt’s front. The skirt is a very full, ballgown styled, with much emphasis on the flow of the primwork as it moves with you while you wear it.

Naomi - Periwinkle 1

While the original intention of ‘Naomi’ was to capture springtime pastels, it’s also been made available in deep jewel tones and in more muted hues for those who prefer more earthy colors.

Naomi - Onyx

Credit type things:

The jewelry used in these images is from the ‘Madame Royale’ set, which will be released at a later date. Hair is by Exile and Maitreya. I’ve also found use for some very sweet poses from Adore & Abhor which work very well with gowns, and are quite affordable. The eyes are from Banana Banshee by Rosemarie Indigo, and the skin is Sia from League.

Naomi - Blush

~Limited Editions~

Right now at the Sanctum, you can find four limited edition ‘remixed’ gowns. Each one draws two different styles together, to create something new. The catch is, only 30 of each of the four will ever be sold.

Mischa - Gown - Limited Edition

Mischa brings together the textures from Michelle, and some of the prim styling of Antonia…including elegant Enlightment era panniers and lacy sleeves.

Artemaith - Gown - Limited Edition

Artemaith brings together Artemis gown prim work with the textures from the Faith series.

Sophia - Gown - Limited Edition

Sophia brings together the Sophie gowns with the diaphanous skirt of the Naomi collection, and a new shoulder prim twist.

Selah - Gown - Limited Edition

The limited edition Selah brings together the textures of the recently released Selah gowns, and combines it seamlessly with the skirt and sleeve style of Jocelyn.

Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever, so if they catch your fancy, you can pick them up here, and they’re only $L300 each.

Pacific Crisis Fundraiser

Sophie - PCF Vendor Ad

Once again, the SL community is coming together to help raise funds for people in need. Over 400(!) brands from across the Grid are offering special items to assist victims of the March 11th earthquake/tsunami which affected Japan very seriously. Our collective thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this event.

That said, I’ve made a special version of the ‘Sophie’ gown for the Pacific Crisis Fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Americares, which will then find its way to those who need it most. For more information, you can read here.

Please consider visiting the venue and shopping. There are a lot of items from every possible field, and all of the money raised will go to people who really need it. You can teleport here.

~Fashion for Life~

It’s that time of year again! Relay for Life has begun in SL, and kicking it off is Fashion for Life, formerly known as the Relay for Life Clothing Fair. Once again, I’m honored to be a participant in this great event as a merchant. This year’s offerings from me are a mix of old, and new (previously unreleased items).

Michelle - Gown - Relay - Ad

The theme this year is ‘Beyond Black and White’. Keeping that in mind, my items this year aren’t all the standard purple. The Relay version of Michelle is an example of this, including black, white, and purple with silver trim altogether in one gown. This version of Michelle includes all the same pieces as a standard Michelle set.

Artemis - Gown - Relay - Ad

For those who enjoyed the Artemis gowns released at the end of last year, she makes another appearance in a rich, royal purple.

Jocelyn - Noir Combo - Fashion for Life - Ad

Jocelyn is something completely new. It’s a large set with many, many options for customizing the look, only some of which are shown in the ad. This version of the set, at only 400L, includes the black base gown with both knee length and full length skirts, and two colors of belt and apron to choose from.

Faith - Gown - Relay - Ad

Next is Faith, another brand new item. It’s a pretty, large skirted ball gown fit for a fairy princess, and I do hope you’ll enjoy it.

I decided this year, to also make some jewelry for the event. Initially I’d meant to only make a crown, but, an IM from the lovely Evangeline Miles nudging me for a full set made me choose to do exactly that…make a complete set. And so, it’s available either with just the crown (three versions included in each package, and they’re transfer for gifting) for 150L, or, for 400L, you can purchase the complete set with includes crowns, necklace, earrings, and bracelet.

Lilly - Crown - Ad

Also, there’s a gacha in which you can find the Shulamith earrings. There’s a total of six variations of the earrings. Each try at the gacha is just 25L, and as with the rest of the items, 100% of the proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

Shulamith Earrings Gacha Ad

You can find Kouse’s Sanctum at the Fashion for Life event on the Stieglitz sim. Click here to teleport.