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Ok so I havn't been around much or doing/submitting much in a good while now and I'm sure many are wondering whatever happen to me. Needless to say I've been rather busy and keeping local for the most part and have not done or even kept up with my stuff online.

However, things change from time to time and I'm keeping up a little better with 'some' of my online things. If your looking to get ahold of me and or keep in contact then feel free to pop over to my Facebook page and... well you should know the routine if your on there.

Facebook profile (Shawn Kaschafsky): www.facebook.com/profile.php?i…
ok, after nearly a year of working off and on Morph is finally ready... feel free to check it out and download this free windowblind.

Morph Windowblind: skoriginals.deviantart.com/art…
Morph Xion: skoriginals.deviantart.com/art…
Morph Wallpack: skoriginals.deviantart.com/art…
You know life has a funny way of forcing you to take a different look at it. Sometimes that look requires a complete rethinking of how you move forward in it. Over the last six months this has happen to me. This isn't the first time and I highly doubt it will be the last. Those of you who have known me over the last few years and enjoyed my skins and so forth have probably thought I have fallen off the face of the earth. I assure you I have not. Rather, I've been forced to rethink how to move forward. I have not been skinning, or doing much of any graphics as of late. A different direction has been called for.

Admittedly, I don't really mind either… meaning nothing personal to anyone or anything. In the beginning it was all in fun something fresh, challenging and new. I'm not sure when that changed but it mutated into something else… something more like a chore then something I enjoyed. My art has never been that and I didn't actually even realize it until my recent absence from it. On the flip side of all this I have started to feel the urge to do 'something'. What? I'm not sure. But, it is a feeling I've had before and I know what it is. Its a building up of a need to get an idea out, an image, to create a 'thing'. Is this good? Of course it is, after all I'm an artist and its what we do right? I've stepped away from my art on several occasions in the past and this always seems to happen. No matter what you can't stay away from it forever.

What to expect now… I've had a skin on the back burner I was working on as a 'Master Skin'. Recently I've reopened and reexamined it. It was nearly finished with only a small portion needing to be done. At this stage I'm thinking of finishing it off for Vista and checking some of the 'new stuff'… once done I'll release it as a free skin. Yes free… mostly because I've been away for awhile now but also because you great people deserve something… plus, if your anything like me you started all this for fun… and paying for a skin is ok but not paying for one is (in this crappy economy anyway) just that much more pleasing.

As for after that…. we'll see
Its been asked (and with reason) if I have stopped skinning. The short answer is no. I even have something I've been working on which was originally mocked up before my mothers passing and everything else.

This brings me to 'where am I at'?

It has not been an easy transition for me. The last four plus years I've spent pretty much completely invested in the care of my mother. Now, my entire world has been changed and the current state of affairs with the economy are also factoring in. Many unforeseen events have come about. For instance, I just sent off a letter to the state which wanted information on the estate at the time of death, a requirement by law but separate from previous dealings. Its a bit insane to say the least.

My emotional state is flip floppy. I go from highs to lows and haven't yet reached my typical middle ground where I'm usually not really either but still upbeat. I don't need encouragement and so forth... its just an 'adjustment period' and all I ask for is some understanding. Everyone has pretty much been that way and I thank you all.

Where to go from here?

Well, as I stated in the beginning, I am working on a new skin. It's slow going but its over 60% complete. I'd preview it but I don't feel ready to do so just yet. So far as future skins after this... thats still uncertain. I'll probably never completely give up skinning, that everyone can count on. I enjoy it and if given the chance to work for someone and do it as a full time thing I probably would. Thats the other aspect of things. My own financial situation has changed and depending on the next few weeks/months will determine just HOW MUCH involved in skinning I will be. Could be the difference in a skin(s) every 3-4 weeks and 3-4 month.

I'm still around, still 'keeping up' and still watching everything. So...
My mother (Rhonda A. Georgi) has passed on to a better place. Tonight (January 10th, 2009) at 6pm she went peacefully surrounded by her loving family. Looking back, a little while earlier she told us she was ready for bed. We believe this was her way of saying she was ready to go to sleep as she had not been expressing herself well. In her last few days she spent with her five grand kids, her daughter, her son-in-law and her son. She made peace with the lord and everybody she knew and had told everyone she loved them numerous times as well as us telling her.

She had asked us to have no regrets for anything and to not be sad. The regrets part is easy, we have none. The being sad is a little harder, we will try not be sad but there is still some hurting going on by all.

My mother was a great woman. Even though by most standards she was rather young (Born April 15th, 1949) she lived a full life and did and experienced many things most will never. She touched many peoples lives and I can't think of anyone who had ill will towards her. God was a large part of her life even if she was not the best at living in his light at all times. She was the type of woman who made you feel at home, one you could tell anything to and many within a short time referred to her as mom. She will be sorely missed.

No arrangements have been made yet as to what will be done next. Her wishes were to be cremated and we will follow through with those as well as all her other wishes.

In closing I personally would like to say a few things... Hug the ones you love, you don't know when the next time might be the last so make sure they know you care. Also, make amends with those you might have a problem with, life is too short to be filled with such things.

Thank you and may your days be long and filled with love.
Shawn Kaschafsky (Son)
Ok, so I am still very involved with whats going on with my family at the moment.

But, I am willing to also use this time to accept ideas on a new skin. So, if you have any ideas, thoughts, concepts etc etc that you would like to see in the form of a skin then by all means this is your opportunity to take advantage of a 'Master' skinner and see what comes of it. NOTHING is too little, too big, too lame, too complicated, too outrageous or too small and so forth. I would like to see everyone's thoughts.

That means if your reading this then make a comment. After all its your chance to see/get that skin you think you might want.  ---  Don't pass this up.. comment please!
As some of you know and more do not. I take care of my ailing mother. She has been a diabetic all her life and in recent years it has taken to basically destroying her body little by little. Through Diabetic Retinopathy it has made her legally blind, it has effected her mobility and continues to wreck havoc in various ways. I am her constant care giver, the alternative would be to put her in a home but I just never could see doing that. It is also one reason I moved a lot of the work I do in graphic design to online and GUI skinning.

You can read more and see updates on the situation at my main site skoriginals.net > skoriginals.net
Its now official, I have launched a new site under a new domain, skoriginals.net. My previous domain, skasch.com, was a bit obscure and a little odd. The move only made sense. I hope you enjoy the new site and stop by to give it a look.

skoriginals.net: skoriginals.net
Its out, its black, its bold and its just plain cool. The Wraith Master Skin and its free parts are out for everyone to enjoy. check out the links below to view and download.

Wraith Master skin: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith Xion Player: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith Dock Icon Set: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith Wallpack: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith Side Docks: wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk…
Wraith Tabbed Docks Set 1: wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk…
Wraith Tabbed Docks Set 2: wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk…
Wraith Tabbed Docks Set 3: wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk…
Wraith (DX) Weather: lovely62.deviantart.com/art/Wr…
Wraith Rainy: lovely62.deviantart.com/art/Wr…
Wraith Rightclick: wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk…
Wraith Rightclick 2: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith Rightclick 3: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith Logon XP: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith DX Dock: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith DX Dock Left: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith DX Double Docker: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…
Wraith IP: www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp…


Most of the links above lead to WinCustomize, check my gallery for the parts available here at DA.
I know its been awhile since my last release and I regret to inform that it might be a little longer as well. The reason being is I have other projects in the works (on my client side) that are taking precedent right now.

However... I do have 2 fantastic ideas in the works for future releases including the upcoming GUIs. So, be patient and keep a look out.

In the meantime, there are some great things coming out by some other skinners and I'm helping behind the scenes with a 'community' endeavor that everyone will be pleased about when it is reveled :D
What the hell is up with DA these days? Please by all means take a look at the current submissions for Windowblind Vista skins browse.deviantart.com/customiz… .
10 on the first page (yes almost 1/2) are mac clone skins, what the @$#&!!! Ok, mac looks nice but how original is this? Its not... lets clone an OS so I can make my OS look like another OS.. ugh. mac skins are plain, boring and very very unoriginal.

Even worse there are 4 Vista clones... how idiotic is that?  Let me make Vista look like Vista [rolls eyes].

What ever happen to individuality? creativity? uniqueness?

Some of the people creating these skins (and some of the ones I've seen in the past, not including the umpteen versions of the same skin by one skinner) are fantastic skinners. Please, do not get me wrong, some of these guys have some great skills but can't we get something that isn't like 20+ skins already out there and that isn't an OS clone?

</rant>
The huge site ExtremeTech ( www.extremetech.com ) recently did a review of Stardocks ObjectDesktop suite of programs..  thats not what I found cool. The 'Thumbnail' image for the article is a shot of Crystalline, yes.. my most recent master skin Crystalline ( wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk… ).

Now there isn't any credit given or mention of the skin but its unmistakably the skins preview screenshot... check it out here (you'll see the thumb in the upper left).   :)

Enhance Windows with Object Desktop 2008 by ExtremeTech: www.extremetech.com/article2/0…

Screenshot of article: skoriginals.deviantart.com/art…
Crystalline, a tribute to all non-skinners who wish they could make a skin.

This Master Skin is the brain-child of myself and a true non-skinner advocate of the community, BebiBulma. Together we have created a very usable interface with flair and a unique personality that takes the demands of the users above the desires of the skinner.

Crystalline features many substyles for your personal taste and recolors surprisingly well. One of a kind touches abound in the details and the animations are stunning. A must see to truly appreciate.

Just check out some of the reviews...

"amazing!! one of the best master skins!" -- Tycus

"I've been a stardock user for quite a few years, and this is the first master skin I felt I *had* to purchase..." -- Fungus

"Thank You SK not only for a great skin but, the wonderful tribute to us non-skinners." -- skybright

Check out the Crystalline master skin here: wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?sk…
Zubaz's "Ask a Master' Series has rolled its way around to and can now be seen/read at WinCustomize. Feel free to read up, comment and so forth.

A special thanks to Zubaz and WC for taking the time and everything else. :)

Check it out here: forums.wincustomize.com/310224
  • Listening to: Hey You ~ Pink Floyd
  • Drinking: Coffee
I'm not usually one to 'bash' another artist for thier 'art' but sometimes some things can cross the line. After reading about "Habacuc" and what he did as an installation I can say nothing but this sort of 'art' should not be acceptable.

You can see what I mean by watching the following video on You Tube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzFBD-…

However, the Gallery Director has released statements to the contrary of 'the outrage". You can see it here: www.artinfo.com/news/story/272…

and yet more on the subject....

"Guillermo Habacuc Vargas admits on his new created MySpace page, that he indeed killed the dog!" : guillermohabacucvargas.blogspo…

"The Guillermo Habacuc Vargas Hoax" : harmonicminor.com/2008/04/07/t…

"Outrage at 'starvation' of a stray dog for art" : arts.guardian.co.uk/art/news/s…

----------------------------------

Draw your own conclusions....  

If this was not a hoax, its sad and cruel.
If it WAS a hoax, is the whole act still art....
Exclusive content from my main site only, check the news post link below for all details. Enjoy!!

www.skasch.com/sk_originals/in…
A great little utility by greggman.com that allows you to view TGA (Targa) files in windows explorer for 2000, XP and (though not mentioned) does work in Vista as well. Do check this out if you are looking for this sort of thing.

greggman site: greggman.com/pages/thumbplug_t…

There is also downloads for simular support of .pic and .iff files
Congratulations go to zeolyte & basj who both tied for FIRST PLACE


zeolyte & basj will have the First & Second place prizes divided between them.

Thank you to everyone who entered, they are all awesome skins & now the community has the pleasure of downloading them.

We hope to continue to see you around Skinning.net in the future & also look forward to more great skins.

Download the awesome skins & please let the skinners know what you think.

www.skinning.net/nexus/plugins…
Skinning.net is proud to present our newest contest. In cooperation with Xion Audio Player and (it's author) Cliff Cawley we give you 'The Xion Skinning.net Contest'. Xion is possibly the easiest to skin and fastest growing skinable media player ever. Anyone who can make a PhotoShop file (there are programs that can create a .psd without the need for PhotoShop, including some free ones) can make a great looking player in no time with this amazing program.

The Rules.
* You must be a member of Skinning.net (joining is free with instant access).
* Each contestant can upload 2 skins maximum.
* The skin must contain all normal media player controls. These would include...
Play, Stop and Pause
Fast Forward and Rewind
Next and Previous Track
EQ and Playlist buttons
Volume control
Player can include more then these but the above are required.

* Skin must be uploaded to the 'Xion Contest' section at Skinning.net
* The skin must be "new" original (not uploaded to any other site)
* The skin can not be uploaded to another site until after the end of the contest.
* Uploading will take place anytime during the contest, from Sept. 4th to Sept. 24th

The judging will take place during the week after the upload deadline and a winner announced on Oct. 1st.

The Prizes
* 1st Place - $75 USD from Skinning.net and $75 from Xion - Totaling $150
* 2nd Place - $25 USD from Skinning.net and $25 from Xion - Totaling $50
Prize money from Skinning.net and Xion Audio Player will be paid out via PayPal or a money order if within the US, other arrangements will have to be made for outside the US if not paid through PayPal.

Be sure to get your skins ready and don't miss out on this contest.

You can check out the amazing Xion media player at Xion Home Page where you can download the program, read through a complete tutorial section and more.

Check out the full post here: www.skinning.net/nexus/news.ph…


*******************************************
**************  Update 9-16-07 ****************
*******************************************

8 days left in the contest, be sure you have yours ready and enter.

You can check out the current entries here: www.skinning.net/nexus/downloa…
Its in!!!  :)   Check out the "DA Dragon n Dagger" entry here skoriginals.deviantart.com/art…

Be sure to leave a comment and/or fav it to help show DA you like it (that is if you do).

Thanks and hope your day is going well.

*** Update 8/20 ***
The contest is now over and as promised this design/drawing is now being offered at my online shop. Check out the current/updated deviation here: skoriginals.deviantart.com/art…

and at my the shop here: www.cafepress.com/skoriginals/…