Friday, October 31, 2014

Genre: Modern Femme

Image Description: Woman with purple and blue hair walking along the ledge outside a building with her eyes closed.

We're a little over halfway through Genre's Androgyny event, and the offerings remain glorious. What I particularly appreciated is that there were unisex offerings from the femme side of things as well as the butch; there is a tendency for androgyny to be boiled down to streamlined and on the butch end of things for everyone, and so I was thrilled to see some offerings on the more femme edge, while keeping simple, straightforward styles; even boys deserve bows. Apricot Paws offered up a dress with a wide range of boob options: from flat to enormous, which can work for all sorts of avatars: human or not, and all sorts of genders: male, female, and other. The dress is color change, both the main body of it and separately the narrow band of color around the waist with a sweet bow in back; I love the subtle nods to an obi-style belt on an otherwise contemporary dress. The front and back colors are different, with a seam line along the sides, offering up some variety coming and going. It's also a simple, slightly asymmetrical shape which is rigged well to the thighs, moving naturally without cutting at the midline between the legs. Now and then a curve might cut into the thigh a little, but outside of static poses it isn't too noticeable, and in those - for photography purposes - a little angle goes a long way. I paired it with a bolero from Peqe that I picked up at the last Genre event; I love the combination of the high color, loose curve from the neck down, and belle puffed sleeves. It fit nicely over Apricot Paws's dress, a valuable ability in a bit of outer-wear.

Image Description: Closeup of feet wearing dark brown boots with gold crosses on them, standing on a red carpet.

My dual colored hair from Alli & Ali offers up another perspective on androgyny - closer to the Gemini effect than the place where male melds into female and the line between becomes obscured. The style is short and sassy, with fluffy curls and a nice curve around the ears large enough to fit even my oversized ones! I especially like the sideburns, long enough to be boyish while short enough a woman could rock the style as well. Also on the masculine edge, I'm wearing boots from C L A Vv again, this time in a warmer shade of brown to complement the soft blacks of the rest of my look. I love their heavy, platform weight - especially in contrast to the brighter colors and pastels of the rest of my look. It knocks this back from "Deo is her usual feminine self" closer to the spectrum which encompasses androgyny. And finally, hanging around my neck and layering perfectly between my dress and bolero is this adorable crystal necklace from Souzou Eien. I love the style of the necklace itself, a narrow leather band that hangs high around the throat with a long, descending length above the chain - it sets it apart from other, wider-shaped necklaces, and makes it work better within the narrow teardrop of skin I'm flashing. It comes with a color-changing HUD as well, through a variety of pale shades perfect for the crystal-lover on the go.

Image Description: Woman with purple and blue hair standing on a stairway.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Lines Between Us

Large Currency

In July of 2011, Rebecca Watson talked about an experience she had at a conference. At the time, she didn't really identify as feminist. She mostly identified as an atheist and a skeptic, interested in all of that from a pop culture and communicative sort of way. Not a scientist, just a woman - a cool woman who called herself a Skepchick, along with a handful of other atheists and skeptics.
She talked about an experience where after listening to her talk all day, both professionally and personally, about how she didn't like being approached for anonymous sex - a man followed her into an elevator at 4am and asked her up to his room for coffee, a drink not normally drunk at 4am or in hotel rooms. She said, "Guys, don't do that," and then tried to give context by which that made her uncomfortable.

The flood of hate didn't start against her until a week later, when in a thread on the topic Robert Dawkins, a respected figure in the atheist not-really-a-movement-but-buy-our-books, took her to task by comparing Watson to a fictional Muslim woman he called "Muslima."

The whole thing would go down in history as "Elevatorgate", and shockingly more than three years later she and it still gets brought up, and she still gets hatemail, death threats, and rape threats over it.

Blithe Faerie is Blithe

In May of 2012, Anita Sarkeesian decided to start a kickstarter to support making more videos for her Feminist Frequency video series, this time specifically on video games. She asked for $6000 to make six videos, it was featured on the front page of kickstater, she got her money within 24 hours, she and many times her goal (with associated stretch goals) within the month.

She also got a flood of rape and death threats, including a video game which allowed you to "beat up" her image. Her public places on the internet were hacked, including her wikipedia entry. Among the rape and death threats was a growing portrayal of her as Jewish in the most anti-Semitic manner possible - very odd since she's actually Armenian.

She has been talking about the misogyny she received in several venues; now we know her public appearances were always accompanied by violent and credible death and bomb threats. She spoke every time, once the local police had secured the site, and only did not speak when the police told her they couldn't bar people with guns from being in her audience in Utah.

Running to the Bottle

In August of 2014, gamergate was launched to attack Zoe Quinn. Her alleged crime was sleeping with someone other than her boyfriend for positive game reviews; the person she allegedly slept with never reviewed her video game. Subsequently, another game designer named Brianna Wu (creator of Rev 60, an awesome iOS game) and Sarkeesian, among others, were added as targets.  The attacks on them, and many other women who rose to prominence in a variety of ways, is one of means by which women are dismissed from public life; it is a way of perpetuating an unequal and entirely gender-driven divide. It also affects many more people - women who rose to prominence in different environments but don't end up making the evening news because they aren't white, or they aren't cis gendered, or a thousand other characteristics and moments of chance.

What amazes and saddens me the most is how often these women are still blamed for the treatment they receive, even by self-identified allies. I have read people critique Sarkeesian for not going into a venue where people had guns because that was what the trolls wanted, so by definition they "win". So many of these women have been asked why they don't just stop doing what they are doing, as if that would end the hate. All of this focus on what the targets should do, and so little on what we and others can do to stop the ones actually causing the problem - the abusers and threateners. They, instead, get dismissed as children, or unemployed, or unable to have sex and thus inferior - all continuation of sexist denials of the humanity of men, even men who chose to terrorize women.

On the Arm

The lines between us are made by our own thoughts, and reinforced in committee.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Devil is in the Details

Image Description: Woman in short red dress standing in front of a boat.

Sometimes I want to bite people.

Image Description: Closeup of shoes in a dappled darkness with gargoyles as heels.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mystic Flow

Image Description: Shot of a woman in a long, flowing blue gown walking toward a bench and the ocean.

Mystic Realms is one of the ten million gazillion events going on, and it's quite a fun one - if a little confusing. I found by making a circle of the center area, then again outside the gates, I was able to cover the whole faire without getting too lost. There was much that was tempting along the way, but I resisted womanfully and picked up only a few things which really leapt off the shelves at me. Starting from my brief and shining coif of shorn locks, my hair is from KOY and is a featherlight short style with lovely layers and a simple, crested style. It is editable, and I think it would work well for men or women alike. My jewelry and shoes, which cover quite a range of me from top to bottom, are all from Eclectica and are both elegant and a great deal of fun. The shoes are a delightful stylized holly pattern with black and white textures laid on top - touch to try each one. I really like the heel shape as well, an angled heel which is pleasantly chunky next to the narrow slingback.

Image Description: Closeup of black and white shoes with a large, stylized flower on the toe.

My Eclectica jewelry is all in a leafy style, with the cutest pieces being the little rings which come along with the rest. The necklace is a torque style, and the crown is a simple front curve that easily slides into hairstyles. It also comes with a pair of single-leaf rings, which I think are adorable. It doesn't come with earrings, and so I paired it with a set of moon earrings from Bliensen + MaiTai - not available at the faire, though a lot of lovely things are there and her store is always worth a visit and the laying down of some Linden for pretties. I chose the copper earrings to offset the soft, icy blue of my winter leaves, and to work smoothly with my blue Peqe gown with a copper collar. I really had a hard time picking one of these smooth, ankle-length robes; all of the colors were glorious, and I really like the contrasting colors of the collars. Most enjoyably, the Eclectica torque fits smoothly around the outside of the collar and lays well on my chest. The dress itself is a lot of fun, and is adaptable to a lot of poses; I found it moved well even with poses where the feet are apart! The train itself was a lot of fun to fit into an image, and a few places you can see it kicked up, as if the fabric were light enough to rise the wind of my passing.

Image Description: Shot angled down over the top of the head of a blond woman standing waist deep in water; her face can be seen in the reflection of the water.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RMK Halloween Event - Recipe Attempts

Here is a list for the RMK Halloween Hunt, which owes it's basis to the SL Mame website in Japan which gave me a lot of the working and not working recipes. I added in information from a very handy notecard which was passed ot me, and so also owe a debt of gratitude to Azure Larimore Winterforce (kariritaisho) and Remmock Belarius Winterforce (remmock) who began it, and the additional individuals who added their herbs - Dev (devinvaughn), Ҩ愛樹Ҩ (aijyu), αятємιѕ αмєℓℓ (crackodactyl), Allegory Malaprop, Rui (honeyvanity), Miel Dyne (kaibib), and ѦĿMIGHϮYØ Oᴡʟ Kɪᴛᴛᴇɴ ໓ε ℒօɾէ・は (shiny.gothly). Allegory also did a more general hunt guide.

I have compiled a complete list of every possible combinations, excepting duplicates, in an attempt to standardize recipe hunting to a certain extent. Tested and failed recipes are in italics, successful ones are bolded and listed at the top with single-sue (so far) herbs in all-caps, and recipes with no mark-up haven't been tried and recorded yet. There are sixteen total ingredients, which makes for an enormous list of possible combinations.

Ingredients: angel-wing, beard-cat, bloody, candy, dead-rose, fragments, honey, mandrake, melody, moonlight, parasite, poison, royal, sparkling, spider-web, stardust

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hot Pink Glow

Sunglow and Shadow

Junbug has a gorgeous dress out as a group gift - a bit of Linden to join, but well worth it for this slick look. The mesh is well rigged for a variety or poses, and the fabric looks good under a variety of lights. As of now the two Fifty Linden Friday gowns are still up for sale, as well, and if you at all like unique, pretty gowns they would be a shame to miss!

Arrival at the Manor

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Genre: Sacred

Image Description: Shot of the back of someone in a suit with an ankle length skirt and heavy boots standing on a bridge.

I've never been accused of being particularly androgynous; if anything, I tend sharply toward the femme end of the spectrum, being a fan of skirts, frills, ribbons, and shiny jewels. That's part of what makes Genre so fun, though - offering up opportunities to go against the grain stylishly. One thing I particularly liked about what I've seen so far is that contrary to the tendency for "androgynous" to be most often translated to menswear for women, Genre offers up several types of womenswear for men, and some truly lovely clothing that meets in the middle - like this long skirted suit by A:S:S. It's available with and without boobs, and somehow manages to meld together feminine and masculine in both pieces - the narrow simplicity of the suit top complements slighter builds while the length of the skirt is reminiscent of robes worn as much by men as women, especially historically. I'm not normally a suit wearer, but this one tickles my fancy much more than I would have otherwise expected. I echoed the narrow tie in the earrings from claMberry, which feature silver findings (gold is also available) and long, thin ties. They're quite fun as an accessory, especially with an androgynous theme.

Image Description: Torso shot of a boyish woman in a suit with pale skin and hair on half her head.

I wanted relative simplicity for the rest of my look, and so focused immediately on this neutral, extremely pale skin from Even Tide. It's delicately shaded, and would work as well on a man's shape as a woman's; the body shading is delicate and lets the mesh shape do much of the work. It also comes with a selection of tattoo layers for different effects and shadows, but I wore it plain and it is lovely without a single addition. It doesn't come with appliers for any of the body add-ons, but I was able to match the skintone using SLink's basic utility. Even with the more feminine touch of my Mock lipstick, the effect is much more boyish than my usual. I wanted a similarly boyish hairstyle, and so went with The Stringer Mausoleum's wilted mohawk in a startling shade of white called, happily, "Unicorn." I love the jagged edges of it, and how it drapes beautifully over the temple. There are a bunch of other colors, but I found a certain glee in going white on white under the darkness of my severe suit. Speaking of severe, by far my clompiest accessory is these amazing boots from C L A Vv, in shiny patent leather. I adore the weight of them, and the angled shine. My poses are all suited for men or women, and are from Mien. They're fairly straightforward overall, with arms set wide enough to not cut into the body whether boob bedecked or otherwise!

Image Description: Close-up of a pair of boots under a long skirt walking towards a bonsai tree.

And finally, Schadenfreude not only released a treat bucket, but she released four - one of them as a special gift for members of the Silent Sparrow group and at the tail end of a lot of up and down stairs, because that store is a three dimensional labyrinth. If you aren't one of the lucky members, you can get a free brown and orange one at Schadenfreude's store as well, and if you're a member of that august group there's also a group-only bucket hidden somewhere around the elephant, but I love my red and blue carnival bucket so dearly! I also have it on good authority that katat0nik has a similarly individualized and fun bucket in melon shades for her group members, which means one can match trick or treat buckets with almost any look.

Image Description: Boyish woman in a suit with a long skirt walking down a path from a gazebo.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cities in the Mist

Image Description: Woman in purple, thigh-length dress standing in the middle of a run down city block with an unlit fire behind her.

My friend Charlie rebuild his sim recently, renamed it Lasting City, and it's a lot of fun. If you look closely, you can figure out where it was before the apocalypse.

In His Sights

Monday, October 13, 2014

Boho Culture Faire

Checking Down the Street

The Boho Culture Faire is going on right now, and for once I'm vaguely ahead of the event curve on this one. Good thing, too; one blessing the faire brought back was the civilized and inventory-enriching custom of free gifts in nearly every stall, and many of them are not only quite good, but include an image so you can easily pick and choose which suit your style and inclination. I ended up picking up these smart shoes, fitted to the SLink flat foot, from LaGeeny for a single linden. They are colorful, simple sandals with a cute bow on the ankle which fit beautifully - perfect for afternoons at the park. My RD Style romper, a sort of tank top and short combo which has become very popular in Second Life due to the heat this summer, is also one of the gifts for a single linden, and it's incredibly cute. I love the sealife texture, especially against the brown backdrop, and the shorts made it fun to pose with. Finally, my earrings from Bliensen + MaiTai, are available in her booth at the Boho Culture Faire, and the necklaces - lovely drippings of large jewels, are available from a gacha nearby.  The nice thing is, since the earrings are color-changing you can match them to any of the necklaces you win!


My hair is a fun and playful style from Ploom, and like usual I couldn't resist making it a rainbow of color. Melon also has a sister hair called Splayed, which is perfect for lying down if you want to keep the style contiguous; I really quite appreciate the opportunity, and ended up storing them together for photography purposes. I love the idea of having hairstyles that work in multiple poses, as if they were responding to gravity or wind. My lips are part of one of the large color packs from Adore & Abhor, and honestly I recommend anyone who wants a solid base for lip color to pick these up; they both work beautifully alone, and equally well layered under more transparent gloss textures. I love the lipline they give me, and how they accentuate the expression of my mouth. Finally, my nails are a release from Devae and are one of a bunch based off of her horn textures - all of them incredibly lovely. I love her fades in particular!

In Out of the Sun

The spot where I'm taking these pictures is new, and associated with a new website focused on covering events called Along with the website is an area with a wide number of group gifts and then a small tea room in the center - quite a lovely spot in the sky. It's more tightly packed than the usual Second Life location, which for photography purposes made it perfect - every inch had some lovely or entertaining bit, and there really weren't any bad angles. In addition, the website nicely puts the reoccurring events front and center. When you mouse over any of them, an orange screen pops up to give the rotation schedule, duration of event, and date of the next one. I love how the timing gets put front and center, since at this point I lose track of which is which and when they all start and end. The page for each event gives details and images of what's available, which is very useful. The coverage right now is fairly extensive, and there is contact information for individuals wanting to add their events to the mix. You can also apply to be a blogger for them, though it clearly isn't for the faint-hearted!

Grabbing a Snack

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bloody Gorgeous

Winds Rising Up

I've been playing around with my projectors, making a set from scratch with some added light on the face, since often I want that a little brighter than the surround. I'm not sure what I think about the pictures, but I'm having fun - I suppose that's what matters, right?

A Comfortable Grave

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sea Gold

Meet My Shadow

I've been spending a little time going through my folders, trying to clear things out a bit and make some room, metaphorically speaking. As I go, I've been having fun pulling together various looks or picking up a few more things, because how can I really live without increasing my inventory over time? Really. This look brings out a few older things - like my really fun hair from KOY with hair cascading over one shoulder. A lot of styles go for symmetry, so I always appreciate running across one which deviates from the norm. I also really like the even bangs in contrast - and the nice little vee on my forehead - very cute. Center parts can be very fun. It also gave me space to show off this awesome spiderweb mask from Bliensen + MaiTai, available in Pumpkin Town. It comes in a variety of metal shades and a fantastic glass which is tintable, which is how we achieved aqua web - I put the cute in creepy (wait, is there cute in creepy?). I love the shape of the web, and how it curves over the face so that it's easy to adjust it to fit even my plump cheeks! I also love that there is a choice for tinting; I have a tendency to gravitate toward more outre colors, and so being able to tint accessories makes me very happy.

Momentary Sweetness

My outfit is from G Field and is being sold at Each color can be purchased individually, but as always with G Field I go right for the fatpack and these fatpacks are competitively priced! The top and skirt are separate purchases but work gorgeously together, and I ended up storing them in my inventory together though I'm sure they'll get some single play as time goes on. The skirts are separate wear for each color, but the shirts come with a HUD which is color changing for the fatpack and also offers the most interesting variation - a loose and tucked in toggle for two different styles of sleeveless. I am particularly fond of the tucked in style, especially with the delicate textures of her skirts - check out that amazing gold detailing in the texture. I miss the old rose texture of her last highwasted skirts, which came out when prims were how we skirted, but I love the gold leaf flowers just as much, so my heart is very confused! These gorgeous, wire and metal wings I'm wearing are a group gift from Violent Seduction, which costs a little cash to join group-wise, but it's an excellent way to stay on top of releases - and one of those out very soon will work wonderfully with these wings, though of course I couldn't wait to show them off.


My final two accessories came colored to match my sea green G Field skirt, which was a blessing unlooked for. First, the shoes: long have I loved them, long have I lamented to outfit in matching grandeur until I saw the skirt and hope bloomed anew. Lassitude & Ennui make some of my favorite shoes, and these are a perfect example of why I love them so much; delicate form, delicious and crisp colors, and the most adorable buckles in the universe. They come with gold or silver metal - clearly here I'm using the gold so that it will echo the skirt. And finally, my perfect gleam of nails is from Adore & Abhor - one of her early releases for the Fit for a Princess event which can now be found in the store. This tone was a particular surprise, as I was expecting to have to go gold with my nails but it worked so perfectly with the sea-green shade and there's a touch of gold along the edge to carry the theme along.

On the Wrong Side

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Polychrome hits Kansas

Image Description: Faerie in a rainbow dress standing near a front desk in a hotel upon which sits a bell.

One of my favorite series from my childhood was the Oz stories - not just the first one made famous by a movie, the Wizard of Oz, but all of L. Frank Baum's original novels, which I devoured as a child. Rereading recently I was struck anew by Polychrome, the rainbow's daughter, who danced off of the bow of the spectrum and was abandoned on land - only to meet up with Dorothy as she traveled with Button Bright and the Shaggy Man back to the Land of Oz. The stories hold up to time only with the patina of nostalgia, but they remain one of the early series where girls ran the show, from ruling Fairy Kingdoms, being the wisest in the land, or being universally beloved. They gave me an early image of what adventure could be in a girl-centric world, and I've carried that dream into my adulthood relatively unchanged.

Image Description: Long distance view through a sunlit window of a brown-hued parlor with a faerie in a rainbow dress standing inside of it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rusting in the Swamps

Unexpected Journalist?

I've always loved the image of an abandoned doll.

There's something haunting, sweet, creepy, and profound in it for me - something which tugs at my heartstrings and makes me pause for a long moment, as if listening for the tinkle of classical music.

Look Into My Eyes

This face of the rusted doll comes courtesy of Fallen Gods, and went round-ear for the experience - the texture being too difficult to match effectively. It's a gorgeous skin, both for the base texture and for the delicate carvings laid on top of it. I particularly liked how it frames the face with delicate curls along the edge of the cheek; with my KOY hair, it looks like the fringe on the wig edges is simply continued in metal. Rust is a gently tumbled skin with a greenish-brown cast, and the sort of shadow-defining edges which really make it unique. Appliers can be bought separately, and if you've already gotten the Materica appliers HUD then just ask for a re-delivery at his store, and Rust shows up there like magic! Now to just convince someone to make ears and ear appliers... The wings I'm wearing are also from Fallen Gods, and were a freebie during the recent Clockwork Spiral event. I love his thematic add-ons deeply, and this is a really awesome melding of key and wings.

My FATE eyes are another awesome release, but no where near as new. When it came out I spent a great deal of time playing with all of the options and am really blown away by how unique these eyes can be. Firstly, the number of options is jaw-dropping - from tinting and adding additions to the sclera, to multiple layers for the iris, to additions on top like the circuitry I'm showing here. There are also multiple iris shapes, though I went with a round to match my clock-face rims, so you can be human, animal, or something completely alien. Each layer is tintable, which means the sky really is the limit, and the HUD comes with a selection of pre-sets to give you a sense of just how wide the variety is. It really has to be played with to appreciate - I firmly believe you could match just about any requirements with this single set of eyes.

In Place

My hair is a tight skullcap from KOY which isn't my usual, florid style but which works gorgeously with the rest of my look and is very well made. I love how he is using smaller bits of hair to add verisimilitude around challenging areas like bang-openings and along the nape of the neck - and how the bottom edge of the bangs is unified enough to look like a hairstyle, but has distinct edges and pieces so that it doesn't look too perfect. It's also good hat-and-tall-collar hair, which I think everyone needs in their inventory.

My outfit is a hodgepodge of different stores and times. The bulk of it is a series of editable gacha wins from Remarkable Oblivion, and you really don't want to know the lengths I went to get all but one piece of this particular gacha set. None of the pieces are rigged, which means they can be moved and resized around every body. I ended up scaling the top hat down to a fascinator size, but it and the collar would work as well on a man as they do on me, and with a similar level of Gothic panache. I love the oversized effect of the collar tips, and how they curve over the individual feathers twisting this way and that. The cage skirt is a lovely example of the type, complete with a variety of different bows which makes it seem less uniform and add some whimsy to it, and the garter is simply a fun touch for any look - I think a version should be added in blue for all of the Second Life Weddings out there!

My top a Spring Bunny hunt prize, from Ambrosia, and a lovely example of what quality can be found even from a free event. The checkerboard is very Alice through the Looking Glass, and I thought the shift in texture worked well with the remarkable stripes on Remarkable Oblivion's collar and skirt. It has a fantastic curve along the bust and is cut high on the hips so that a little metal peaks through along the waistband of the cage skirt, giving my whole look a burlesque edge I'm rather fond of. Under the cage skirt I added a set of very cute, rigged shorts from G Field, and then tinted them slightly gray in order to match up the blacks. I've been wearing these shorts on and off since they were released just after the advent of mesh, and they're as solid as they ever were.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sunshine and Rainbows

Evening Walk

Even in the light things in the world, there are always edges of darkness waiting for us to notice. And even in the dark things in the world, there are always slivers of light ready to slash across our awareness, given half the chance.

Torn in Two Directions