Monday, April 20, 2015

21 Shoe: Kokoia

21 Shoe: Kokoia

Cross strap heels are the name of the game for Kokoia's monthly deal, heavy black counter, heel, and vamp for both of the shoes. The vamp is lined with the pattern for the shoe, a pattern which is echoed in the thick bands which form the cross strap and flat strap along the bridge of the foot, holding it to almost impossible heights. Animal print makes up these patterns, one pair a lovely leopard spot and the other a striking zebra stripe. I love that the very heavy bands are echoed more narrowly on the vamp - it adds a lovely elegance to the shoe. I also like the zipper up the heel in silver, and the silver flaps holding the elastic on the inside of the foot. The shoes are fitted for Maitreya, SLink, and The Mesh Project, giving you a lot of options!

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Kokoia and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: N-Core

21 Shoe: N-Core

Every now and then, shoes made almost entirely of lace are needed, and this month N-Core is offering up not only a pair of black lace shoes, but a second pair of starkest white! Both of them are sling-back, open-toed shoes with a moderate platform and a nicely high heel of a solid color. The shape is particularly nice, with a heavy ribbon edge that outlines smooth curves from the widest point at the toe, to the narrow thread at the heel. The heel has a tiny cap at the base in the contrasting color of the sole and the insole - both the black and the white have the same base. The shoes are made for the highest feet of Belleza, Maitreya, N-core, SLink, and The Mesh Project; a fantastic variety!

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by N-Core and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: Ingenue

21 Shoe: Ingenue

Ingenue is getting in touch with the sweet side of shoes with this pair of charming, fruit decorated pumps in two tones - a simple color on the toe, counter and heel, and a pattern on the body. The pattern is a playful pattern of stylized fruit over a polka dot background, giving them a young and playful air which contrasts nicely with the otherwise sleek, adult shape of the shoe. The polka dots continue on the insole, under the logo for the store. I love the addition of thread marks along the edges, making these shoes seem highly realistic even up close and enlarged! They fit for the high version of Belleza, Maitreya, and SLink and are editable, so you may be able to fit them even for other feet. These are perfect for sweet and fresh summer looks in the clear pastels so common on the grid.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Ingenue and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: Bliensen + MaiTai

21 Shoe: Bliensen + MaiTai

This month, Bliensen + MaiTai is offering up a pair of open-toed pumps, each with their own specific styling against a sleek form. The shoes themselves are reassuringly heavy and slick, with the vamp stretched down over the slight platform of the sole and the rich red of the interior stretched just a little around the edges of the shoe to create a narrow, distinctive edge. The heel is quite high - they are built for the highest foot shape for Belleza, Maitreya, The Mesh Project, and SLink. The Belleza version are even unrigged, so you can see if you can fit them for other feet as well! The shoes on the left are the Marina version, and in addition to a jaunty combination of blue and red they also sport an anchor detail that hangs in it's silver glory over the side of the foot. The option on the right is call Stingray and has a lovely sheen to it over the gold, bumpy texture of the shoe.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Bliensen + MaiTai and pick up a pair!

Fantasy Faire: I Remember

The Fairelands are stirring, taking new shapes, woven from dreams and imagination to shift closer to our reality. It is time to remember the past forms, the six Fairelands before the ones that will emerge in two weeks. Time to remember the forms you have taken, the adventures you’ve had, the moments that took your breath away.
I've been blogging Fantasy Faire since 2011, and each year the amount I've wanted to do has increased simply because I love the Fairelands and the spirit everyone brings to it so much. It was literally my first experience blogging anything official, the first time I applied to anything, and I was an extreme neophyte - but I had such fun! 2011 also started my trend of making a post for every sim in the Fairelands, something which I've continued to this day, and I wanted to highlight some of my favorite sims over the years, forcing myself to pick just one a year! Such torment!

Man On Fire!

2011 was the beginning, and the sim which took my breath away the first time - the one which cemented my desire to cover the whole event - was Dark Mirage.The style was 1001 Arabian Nights rendered in shades of red and gray, and it simply took my breath away. Believe me when I say my pictures captured only the barest hint of the full effect - I was much more of a neophyte photographer, and it still manages to leap off of the page. One of the amazing things about this build was how it combined enormous, overwhelming builds like the centerpiece with much smaller builds, like the floating rooms which I only discovered had places to relax inside of them as the Faire was ending! Truly and astonishing world created for visitors and vendors alike, and one of my favorite builds from The Looking Glass of all time.

Floating Islands

2012 I began to feel like I had my sea legs; I knew what to expect and what to do, but the sims retained their powers to delight. It was also the beginnings of petites and the first year I blogged with bodies not my own. Nu Orne was the sim which took my breath away, with it's combination of glowing, changing lights and dark shadows. I had known of Cerridwen's Cauldron before seeing Nu Orne, but this sim really brought home to me how powerful and magical her creations were on an epic scale.

2013-05-01 Landscaping_007

2013 brought me real comfort in the Fairelands - which if you know anything of fairy tales is the time when darkness comes. I felt for the first time as if I really belonged, as if I were a welcome member even if I was a very minor fae in the way of things. It also introduced me to one of Fallen Gods' most subtle builds, Magnificat. Alia always does romantic styles, in the original sense of the word, and Magificat combined that build sense with water and land in a way which took my breath away. I spent long periods of time absently watching the boats come and go through the city, dreaming of Venice. The build itself inspired a short story I wrote for Fantasy Faire, which won the PrimPerfect contest and left me entirely verklempt - The Red Sail. I loved this sim with a depth and fervor I'm not sure I can express, and I was grieved when it vanished into the mists.

2013 was also the year which cemented my love for MadPea through the hunt that they did for the Faire that year, The Key of Hope (part 1, part 2). Charming, inspirational, and a whole lot of fun, it also helped to settle me into the style of blogging I use for MadPea hunts - the up close shots of hunt objects, for example, and the inclusion of the full story for posterity.

Steps in Half Circles

In utter irony after 2013, 2014 was the first year I wasn't a member of the Fantasy Faire official team, which limited my access to the Fairlands. By now I felt dedicated, though, and I was determined to do as much as I could! Medhir Woods stands out to me as one of my favorite sims this year, especially the central build in front of Solarium, with the gathering-spot leading out onto water, and the Gazebo with the glorious view. For the first time, I told a story as I went from sim to sim - the story of a lost fae in an ever-changing world. Medhir Woods was the solemn conjunction of many different types of autumn, and it exemplifies to me the inevitable changes which occur as we grow in knowledge and experience.

There was another hunt this year telling a story of the Fairlands which will continue this year! Called the Palace of Tears (part 1, part 2), it added audio and video to the mix, which was a lot of fun. The first part was literally about proving your worth to Old Fimbleby, while the second involved similar levels of puzzle madness! Based on reports from AviewTV's interview with Sonia Marmurek, the technical issues which plagued me that year have been more than addressed, an excellent example of how the Fantasy Faire becomes better every year!

Taunting the Pigeons

And now I'm back at the Faire! With all my strengths and weaknesses, all my foibles and fancies, I'm hoping to bring all of me into the Fairlands again to explore and be delighted. I hope you'll join me!

21 Shoe: Essenz

21 Shoe: Essenz

Essenz has created a much more buckled down riff on the t-strap heel, starting with a high platform base and then combining a quite thick band at the ankle with a very narrow one mid foot, and holding them all together with an intermediately sized upper that is in a single piece with the ankle strap. I especially like how the shoe is designed with grommets and a supporting band for the secondary strap at the arch of the foot. The profile form the side is nicely curved with an elegant feel to it, and the vamp is bat-winged and tucked inside the sides of the shoe, leaving a nice open toe. The colors, a muted yellow and a soft peach, are exclusive for this event. They're rigged and uneditable, set up for both the SLink and Maitreya high feet. Also include is a HUD to change the colors of the hardwear between gold and silver, and the sole between peach and black.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Essenz and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: YS & YS

21 Shoe: YS & YS

YS & YS offer up some deliciously strappy shoes this month, a combination of a t-strap and a vamp made up of more, even thinner straps that have been fanned out from the center point along the edge of the shoe, caught between the sole and the platform.  The pale shade has a delicate fabric texture up close, realistic enough that one feels one could reach out to the screen and feel it. At a distance, it offers a lovely softness to the edges of shadow and light. The other shoe has a platform is wooden instead of covered, a pale shade that works very well with the white or patterned white and black shoes. I particularly appreciate how uneven the pattern is - reminiscent of  polka dots but without the hard edges - jumping the straps and giving a sensation of movement on a static form. Both shoes are shaped for the SLink high feet, shown here, or the Maitreya high feet; they're rigged and uneditable.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available for the price of a single pair of shoes. I encourage you to swing by YS & YS and pick up a pair!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

21 Shoe: Eclectica

21 Shoe: Eclectica

Eclectica has a glorious pair of strappy heels ready for 21 Shoe this month, full of sparkles and life. Fit for the SLink High Foot, they're a simple design - slim ankle straps gathering at a medallion above the Achilles tendon and echoed in bat wing vamps with a peep toe, also surmounted by a medallion. And because she loves us, Tiffy has also included the medallion in a ring that can be worn on either hand, and resized as needed. It's a simple eight sided figure of a star inside of an octagon, the points of the star creating wide sided arrows pointing to their heart. I also quite like the layers of the shoe, how the straps slip out from between sole and the insole. The verisimilitude is continued in the buckle of the strap and the belt tip, both of them simple but well made. The heel part has a subtle taper inward then a flaring base - one of my favorite heel designs offline. The shine is the most fun of this design, though, catching the light beautifully through judicious use of materials. I love seeing how materials can bring glitter to life in Second Life, and I look forward to sparkling my way around the grid in these gorgeous shoes.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes and matching rings will be available - all for the price of a single pair of shoes. I encourage you to swing by Eclectica and pick up a pair!

Sunday Squee: Good Eats

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!

Single Frame Stories: Pot

Alton Brown's Good Eats is one of my favorite shows, especially now that more and more of it is making it's way onto Netflix so I can enjoy food geekery in the comfort of my own home.For everyone who hasn't run across it, Brown serves up not just recipes but lectures on the history of food, theories about how different dishes or drinks came about, and explanations of the science of different food practices. He's opinionated, entertaining, and won my heart when he said McGuyver was his Patron Saint. The show is no longer in production, but there are sixteen seasons of episodes and they remain useful and fun.

Each show is centered around some sort of theme - often a type of food, like popcorn or coffee or peanuts, but sometimes a theme like his cocktail episodes, which often jump from drink to drink without much of a thru-line. One of the hallmarks of his style is the use of simple props and the roping in of his staff to play various roles - like his poor, put upon camera man who keeps ending up being a dentist. The end result is not only some recipes to try, but a real improvement in knowledge about food, what cooking does, and what good practices are in the kitchen. Plus, he's just a lot of fun too look - and what other cooking show has a cultural anthropologist stop by semi-regularly?

Deoridhe of the Silver Hand

The Genre theme this month is Rockabilly, and the creators have gone all out. Please believe than I can only show a fraction of the wonders available to you; there is more than I could possibly show off, though I'm going to do my very best. Rockabilly is not my typical style, but I'm quite enjoying the blast from the past and dressing it up in my own indomitable manner!

Called from Behind

For this first look, I started with this fun overall dress from Distorted Dreams in black and gray - setting the color palette and the style early. It is very slim cut in the waist and hips with a wide flowing hem edge that is rigged to the legs. I especially like the large folds of fabric, which means the skirt has a natural effect no matter how you're posed. The shirt has a plunging v neckline with tiny buttons along one side of it; it's cut low enough that the faintest hint of bra can be seen through, which I thought was a really sexy effect. The suspenders, ended with tiny bows, are separate from the shirt, which means in profile you get the lovely curve of them a short ways from the curve of the shirt. To continue the dense black styling, I added a set of cat's eye sunglasses from BluPrintz, finished with a lovely curve of pale gems. The reflections in the glass are particularly fun, light and dark capturing the effect of reflections in a world without them. They inspired me in a musical direction, which made the microphone-topped headband from Sad Harlequin particularly apropos. I'm wearing the genre-exclusive set with the black and white polka dots, but there are also bows and headbands in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and microphones in silver, copper, and gold in addition to the black I chose.

Crystal Lights

The plunging neckline of my Distorted Dreams dress highlights the lovely scattering of freckles on the Lumae skin I'm wearing. There are more freckles on my cheeks and limbs, and the skin itself has well defined lights and shadows, especially along the collarbone.  The red lips are also included in the skin - and you can get the skin in a variety of shades from the quite pale I chose here to a quite dark brown. It comes with a ton of appliers, Omega - including for petites, The Mesh Project, SLink, and Maitreya for the whole bodies, and then add-ons including AMD Bump, Loud Mouth, Nyam Nyam, Sweetlips, and Kissers. It's available with and without the freckles, too, but I quite like them in this case - they're well placed and add a nice counterpoint to my pale skin and very red lips. The red lips defined the accent color I chose - I had considered going with a strictly black and gray effect, but the splash of red inspired me to select black and red accessories like the cherry-drenched shoes and nails from Bliensen + MaiTai. The nails themselves are simple, a single pair of cherries on a dense background, and the shoes are a charming pair of bowed heels reminiscent of the fifties, though the contrasting colors and the wide swath of fabric from the sole to the top of the foot give them a lovely elegance.

Cherry Stones

Once I was mostly settled on my look, pulling largely from Genre offerings, I added a couple of rares I lucked into from the TAG event. A combination gacha event and grid-wide journey, you can pick up the TAG Hud for free in front of the big top - you'll have to walk along a wall to get there, but once you know what you're looking for, it's pretty easy to find. Once you are wearing the HUD (click the menu permissions to let it teleport you), walk into the big top and up to the stage to trigger your HUD to populate with all of the stops across the grid, and then click "spin"to start your journey. You'll be taken on a random tramp to different stores where you can click the sign and check out the gachas - in this case I poured Linden into C L A Vv and .aisling. - and try to land some wonders.

C L A Vv has a gacha full of mechanical, glowing things and quite unexpectedly I landed the rare coupon which can be turned in once the Coupon Room is unlocked by visiting all of the stores. To my complete glee, it was a set of mechanical wings to match with the mechanical insect and arachnid pets I'd already collected! .aisling. was somewhat more straightforward, offering a bunch of metal feet in lots of colors, including everything from flat to on one's toes. The rare coupon in this case - I have to admit I spent more than I should have to get it, but oh how I wanted them - brings a matching set of metal gloves. They are all wearable on a single limb, and I was reminded when I put the hand on of the story of Nuada of the Silver Hand. He lost his Kingdom when he was no longer perfect, and returned again to rule when his hand was restored from silver to flesh. This hand is color changeable by HUD, so I was able to make hand and roses a rich silver while echoing my outfit in black chains and red berries. I don't often manage .aisling. rares, but I'm very glad I did in this case - I think it really adds something to the overall look!

Out of Sight of the Maddening Crowds