Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday Meme: Movie Character

I love Berry's ideas, even when she steals my absolute favorite movie. Her Monday Meme this week is to dress up as a movie character and take some pictures - and she chose Sarah in my adored Sarah dress to do so. She also convinced Winter to dress up as Jareth, which almost makes up for it. My twelfth and thirteenth years, I watched Labyrinth obsessively; so obsessively that I can still say the lines along with the characters as the movie goes on, and I don't think I've seen it in a year or two. It takes up vast psychological space, both in terms of who I'm attracted to (yes, cosmetics are hawt on a guy!) and in terms of my love for bildungsroman for women.

Disturbed by Half-Remembered Dreams

That same year there was another movie that didn't take up quite the same amount of space in terms of my romantic focus, but in retrospect I think affected my moral compass far more profoundly. Labyrinth is essentially a self-indulgent movie; the greater theme is becoming less selfish and learning to focus more on others, but the content is girls having adventures - a genre I still adore. The Last Unicorn, by contrast, is about imperfect answers and unexpected courage - it's about how often what draws us into doing what's right is not the noble ideal but rather the messy moment. It also contains a set of lines which haunt me, and which remain profoundly alive within me, though explaining why would take a million words and you might still not understand at the end.
"You must never run from anything immortal. It attracts their attention." Her voice was gentle, and without pity. "Never run," she said. "Walk slowly, and pretend to be thinking about something else. Sing a song, say a poem, do your tricks, but walk slowly and she may not follow."'
It makes me cry every time, watching the movie reading the book, even just thinking about the end - The Last Unicorn lives inside of me as surely as anything might.
'"The others have gone," she said. "They are scattered to the woods they came from, no two together, and men will not catch sight of them much more easily than if they were still in the sea. I will go back to my forest too, but I do not know if I will live contentedly there, or anywhere. I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet. I am full of tears and hunger and the fear of death, though I cannot weep, and I want for nothing, and I cannot die. I am not like the others now, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, but I do, I regret."

Schmendrick hid his face like a child, though he was a great magician. "I am sorry, I am sorry," he mumbled into his wrist. "I have done you evil, as Nikos did to the other unicorn, with the same good will, and I can no more undo it than he could. Mommy Fortuna and King Haggard and the Red Bull together were kinder to you than I."

But she answered him gently, saying, "My people are in the world again. No sorrow will live in me as long as that joy-save one, and I thank you for that, too. Farewell, good magician. I will try to go home."'
I Will Try To Go Home

I found and fell in love with this image of Amalthea and herself woven together on a thousand pins; I believe the artist is Crystal[something]Twilight on Deviant Art, but I couldn't find the image on Deviant Art to credit the artist properly.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shadow Play - Tales of Urbanization in China

Shadow Play: Landing Point

Alpha is a challenge in Second Life.

This actually isn't so much a Second Life problem as an alpha channel problem; when placed close together in a three dimensional environment like Second Life, there are problems determining which of the transparent images are in front and which are behind, leading to inversions of images. The most common way to handle it is to move things father apart; the second most common way is to change your angle of view, changing the distance between things.

Shadow Play: City on Fire

Honour pointed me toward a fantastic art piece by Lily Jun (a shared account for three artists) that makes use of alpha in a unique way - and which you could even say takes advantage of some of these alpha occlusion errors as you move past images. Layered levels of varying transparency, as you move different things show up and vanish as you move past the images. Experiencing the way the layers move against each other is wonderful, and can't be captured in still images, so do take some time to stop by. Some of the images are hidden behind others, so also take to the air and head up a bit to see the city floating in the sky, moving gently.

Shadow Play: Past Beyond

Sunday Squee: Fae Cream

The Sunday Squee is when I can talk about things that make me happy and excited. The main focus will be on different things people created, from books to movies to television shows to podcasts, and my effort will be to highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me so I can enjoy what you love!

Sunday Squee: Fae Cream

I have a favorite drink which is, as near as I can tell from endless internet searches, entirely unique. It's origins are in the "orgasm" line of mixed drinks, but over time I've modified it and today I've decided to name it the Fae Cream - in honor of it's delicacy, uniqueness, and vaguely referencing its origin.

1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Amaretto
Fill the rest of the glass with milk or cream

For a strong drink, pick a small glass; for a weak drink, pick a large glass; for drinking it endlessly, pre-mix equal parts of the three liquors and store in a bottle - I recommend the charmingly square Disarono Amaretto Bottle. You can also heat up the milk and add the liquor to it after the fact, making a nice nightcap.

Let me know if you have a chance to try it - it's absolutely my favorite drink!

Friday, January 23, 2015

We Love RP: An Early Spring

Mad Hatter's Snacks

We Love RP is open for a little while longer, until the end of the month, and the items in the offing are truly remarkable. The first look I pulled together was this one, of a petal fairy with lacy leaf boots and one of the most ornate hairstyles I've worn in a while! The hair is from Calico, and is characteristic for both her eye for detail and her unique style. I have loved her hair for years, and I'm thrilled to see her create rigged mesh with such aplomb. The multiple braids are adorable, and I love the layers of curls falling back from the crown of the head. One touch that sets her hair apart is the streaks system, where a subset of hairs (here shown in red) can be changed to any number of colors using a special, additional HUD. I love these kinds of touches, especially in hair this ornate! There is a flexy add-on as well that I'm not taking advantage of here, but which looks lovely while dancing.

Bare Branches Give More Light

The outfit is from Evie's Closet, another old favorite of mine who has made the transition to rigged mesh beautifully. This is layered chiffon with different textures combining beautifully, and overall the sense of the underside of rose petals. I love the touch at the strap ends of having it be a pale gold, like the tiny connections of petal to stem, and the delicate straps are simply perfect. I also like the ragged edges of each layer and how they seem to crumble here and there. I've not seen much in the "wearing flowers" line since mesh became a thing, and I'm so glad to see it re-emerging here, and so well. I wouldn't be surprised to see these petal dresses on the backs of every fairy on the grid within a month or so - and it's available in a ton of other colors! In fact, I may well have to head back to fill out my collection; pink isn't enough when there's purple and blue to hunt for!

Cherries in the Snow

My final We Love RP is from Lassitude & Ennui - these amazing boots, as ragged and uneven as if they were sewn from bits of leaf for the legs of a flower fairy. They are made for flat feet and fit well over both regular mesh and SLink mesh legs; I'm wearing SLink mesh legs here. I love that the weaving up the side is uneven; as I've talked about in the past, it is far easier to make regular and perfect things in a virtual world, and takes extra effort to make things uneven or jagged. The bunching and ties here show an incredible amount of word and attention to detail, fabric buckling naturally over strings that pull up the sides and bows which look hurriedly done by a very busy woman! It all combines to wonderful effect, right down to only some of the points at the top standing tall, while others bend over under their own weight. Amazing verisimilitude, and care that really caught my attention.

My Little Friend

Make sure to swing by We Love RP before the month is over, for these wonders and so many more!

Monday Meme: Sartorialist Challenge II

2015-01-23 Sar_001

A while ago, Strawberry gave us a Sartorialist Challenge, asking us all to find beautiful avatars in the wild, approach them, snap pictures and share them with the world on our blog. I enjoyed my first attempt so much that when I saw the lovely Quynh Nakatani while I was picking up Wasabi Pills' 50$L Hair that I couldn't resist doing another post on the wild fashionistas and fashionistos on the grid! What caught my eye at first was her Blue Blood Lolita gown - one I own myself! - and the cute horns, wings, and tail all conspired to charm me. Her AO was adorable as well, with the cutest leans and swings! I hope you enjoy seeing her as well, even if you only get a couple static shots. The grid is full of so many unique and wonderful avatars; I'm so much enjoying this excuse to share them!

2015-01-23 Sar_002

( More Sartorialist pictures here. )

Adore & Abhor Closing

Adore & Abhor's Last 50$L Friday

I was sad to hear that Adore & Abhor, a store I've loved for a long while, is temporarily closing in world because it's amazing creators, Airedine Poe and Sileny Noel, have both become so busy offline. I've even heard rumors that Sileny might have some offline clothes for us! They have out a truly amazing 50$L Friday offering - their last for a while - containing both of the outfits the Deoridhes are wearing. I've separated them into Adore - worn by Deoridhe Starr, who has the SLink add-ons and so could show off those lovely accessories - and Abhor - worn by Deoridhe Placebo, who doesn't mind letting it all hang out but hasn't been indulged with a SLink set yet.

There will also be a 50% off sale, so watch this space for news. We only have a month left to enjoy everything they've made inworld, and while some of it will be migrating to the Marketplace, a few things - gacha for example - won't be. Let's send them off in style!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Inspiration Recreations: A Colorful Death

A Colorful Death

Arora Zanzibar introduces a new, monthly blogger challenge called Inspiration Recreations, where one attempts to capture the essential nature of an existing image within Second Life. I was on the fence as to which I wanted to do - I was drawn to the simplest images, but they seemed to be so straightforward out carry out that they also seemed like a cop out.

And then I saw these skulls.

It's a little bit of a variation on the theme, but I think I'm thoroughly in love with it.

I'll be working on my own version of some of the others as time goes on, but I think as beginnings go this is a good one!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Childhood I Never Had

Its Blown Away

My childhood is a series of vivid memories in isolation, woven into a net of vague knowledge and a sense of time passing. It's less sepia toned and more like vivid bright spots rising out of the darkness that swallows most of my past. I have a sense of the childhood and adolescence that should be - a hundred different should bes in a hundred different stories, all of them different. I thought of some of those stories, the dry stories that stick in the back of your throat, while I wandered around Whiskey Monday's latest build on Nothing Endures But Change. The ground is parched and dry, the tall grass gray golden from the sun; you can almost taste the dust in the air and the grit which clings to everything, shading it all grey and brown - the sepia so unlike my vivid, technicolor remembrances. It draws me to other memories, though; the fictional memories which remain so powerfully in my mind, and which I revisit now and then, looking for changes in myself. Dorothy grew up in a gray world much like the one Whiskey has built here, a farmland of a single color with everything bleached much the same.

Riding the Hurricane
"When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.
When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a somber gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at.
Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke.
It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little back dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly."
Sepia Toned Single Room

I love that book dearly, and all the ones who followed it from L. Frank Baum's charming, dreamy, self-indulgent pen writing novels for girls who love adventures. There's a lot to point out now in what he made, the flaws in the blatantly imperialistic mores, the disturbing images of married life which show up now and then, but the cast of characters can't be beaten and they thrive in my mind like old friends, as vivid as anyone I met outside of the pages of a book. I always wanted to be Ozma, the gentle and commanding ruler of Oz who was so beloved that she was served willingly. I loved her sense of morals, expressed more bluntly when she was Tip but still just as clear when she travels to the kingdoms of the Gillikins in order to stop a war between neighbors. In many profound ways, the world which grew out of Baum's gray house filled with gray people in a gray landscape inspired my deepest morals, my ideals of peace and prosperity for all, and my belief that sufficient kindness can overcome all ills. It is an idealism to be sure, an oddly gray and sepia one in the roots, but my brightest, youngest self lives in hope and a memory of a world which is made of magic.

Gray Grass and Cracked Ground

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

21 Shoe: ieQED

21 Shoe: Slippery Snakeskin

In only an hour and a half until the twenty-first of January begins, and with it the first 21 Shoe of the year! I've had a lot of fun having a sneak peek at the one day exclusives, including this amazing pair of snakeskin shoes from ieQED - one in the pale yellow and white of an albino royal python - my favorite snake, for the record - and the other in the striking red, black, and white of the milk snake - the kinder cousin of the venomous and reclusive coral snake. The textures one these shoes are sumptuous, standing up even to being enlarged so much, and practically glow with color. I also really like the shape - both for the shoe, and for the shoe being a snake shoe; the toes seem somewhat blunted and rounded like the nose of a snake, and the stiletto heel is simply elegant. There isn't much time to wait for going to ieQED to pick up these amazing shoes, so get your pocketbook ready!

21 Shoe: :{MV}:

21 Shoe: Left Hanging

The race toward 21 Shoe continues apace, as does my fun with enlarging shoes to ludicrous sizes and :{MV}: gave me the fun of not just enormous shoes, but also quite lovely, dangly ties to play with. There are two color options for the vamp - the pale blush enlarged, and the smaller brown I'm wearing. Both combine stiletto heels and a tall platform with the delicate lacing and the jeweled rivets holding it in place. The shoes come linked and rigged for a perfect fit over SLink high feet, but in a glorious happenstance they are also modify-ok and editable separately, which means I was able to overlap them and hang them from the same garden hanger. I had gotten the idea from thinking about whether I wanted to lay them down or not, and I have to admit I adore the effect! And once I got them knocking together, the idea of posing perched and wrapped through the ties was too much to resist. Definitely make sure to stop by :{MV}: after midnight to pick up these lovely shoes, both exclusive to the event and two for one!