Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Snow Queen is Lost in School

Strange Environs

The Xiasumi School Faire has only a few hours left - and sadly I didn't get much of a chance to take pictures on the very cute sim associated with all of the sales! I did pick up quite a lot of kimono, though, and some very tasty sushi (not shown). This lovely gown is revealing and sweet, with a bodice line reminiscent of a Korean chima, worn without the blouse-like jeogori, a style popularized in beautiful manghua like Bride of the Water God. I'm an enormous fan of the manghua and the art, so was drawn to the drama of this gown from Junbug immediately, though I went in more of a Snow Queen direction with it than any proper Korean Royalty. The bow of wings in the back are more reminiscent of a butterfly tie for a Japanese kimono, and the fall of the fabric reminded me of how an Indian sari often falls across the front - though the cause in that case is very different. The event itself is pure Japanese, though, from the build of the schools, to the rows of shoe lockers, to the decorations each class did for their hallway. One of the things I love about Second Life is that I can step inside of worlds created by people for themselves and people they know, and be inspired to know or, at least, to learn more. The regular reminder that the world is so much bigger than I can ever know, with subtleties I can never grasp, is both humbling and inspiring.

Hot Tea

The idea of a Snow Queen is, of course, much broader than Asia; I first met this frozen ideal of womanhood in Hans Christian Andersen's story of a young girl pursuing and saving a formerly ungrateful boy, and watched with no small amount of bemusement when Disney removed most of the women from the story and yet recast it as a story of sisterly love. To keep with the theme of white - the color of death in some places, purity in others - I selected a pure white ribbon collar from Boom as one of the sole accessories. It's color changing via a HUD, including this pure shade of white, and it's simplicity would work well in a variety of genres. My second accessory is from Mandala, a large and gorgeous corsage to be worn in the hair. It's large and fat, with a bright gold center and lovingly created petals each standing out on their own - no mean feat in Second Life! Finally the hair, in my traditional gold, is a recent release from Wasabi Pills. She's continuing the trend of using small, thin mesh tendrils instead of textures with semi-invisible strands, and I love how that works around the face and ears in particular - all very hard places to place hair, as there is a tendency for layers to overlap. She also tucked some loose bits in under the bun in back, as if it's been rather a long day and some tendrils are escaping! I love both the simplicity and the elegance of this look, and I'm so glad I had a chance to take some pictures in the Xiasumi school's gorgeous build.

New Friends

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

Image Description: Drow in a revealing teal and gold outfit walking up a set of stairs.

Seraphim is hosting a list of Black Friday Events with regular updates throughout the day - if you know someone having a sale point them that way! Under the featured list is a shorter list of people who need your Lindens! Strawberry Singh also made a call out for listings of Black Friday events on Plurk, which might cover some different ground!

Image Description: Close up of black feet with teal toenails wearing white, jeweled sandals.

One big Black Friday event I know about is at .:Soul:., one of my favorite stores. In addition to 50-25% off on some marked items, .:Soul:. is also releasing this amazing skin among a set of three Drow skins - all of them on sale for 50% off for this day only. I'm showing the darkest, Onyx, along with a sneak preview of ears which will finally be released during We RP in December. In addition to being a variety of really neat ear shapes, .:Soul:. has included some really neat, unique features (details here) - and the ears will be open to applications from other skin stores! Stay tuned for more details, and definitely go by to check out the new Catalina skins released recently, and the brand new Drow skins.

Image Description: Torso shot of a drow in a teal, white, and gold outfit, her hands folded in front of her waist.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fit for a Princess: Growth in Black and White

Image Description: Woman in a long, green gown standing in font of a piano with pages flying off of it.

I'm back with couple new pieces available at the Fit for a Princess event - which I highly recommend you check out, as it's wrapping up in the coming days! The gown, an elegant shape with interestingly cut sleeves and fascinating bodice detailing, is from Enchantment! and comes in a variety of colors besides this rich green with it's satiny kirtle. The sleeves are short but full with a scalloped edge which looks interesting from every angle - a real bonus in a world of cuff sleeves. The deep V neckline contrasts nicely with the otherwise conservative look. The corset itself is heavy and solid, with large ribbons holding it together down the front and a fun, spiky edge along the bottom to add some interest. It's also well rigged, staying close to the legs but not splitting with wider leg stances, and the textures work well with the movement of the mesh through a variety of poses. Speaking of textures - it is fully lined, something which I appreciate as a blogger given to somewhat extreme angles; I was never in the position of having to shift perspective to cover up invisible insides, which I really appreciated! I paired it with BluPrintz's necklace again, this time in a dark brown wood to pair nicely with the bodice shade. The reflective quality of the stone can be clearly seen in my pictures, offering up some nice verisimilitude in addition to chunky adornment. I love the shape and hang of it in particular; it falls so nicely over the collarbone.

Image Description: WOman in a green gown standing before a bare thicket of branches.

My hair is from Wasabi Pills, a lovely swath of curls and wisps which is delightful. It has a fantastic brown line in particular, the hair curling up and over in a waterfall of waves. One of the wonderful things mesh hair gave us were these fantastic details of tiny wisps of hair curling out from the whole - not only does it guard against the ever-present and unfixable alpha occlusion error, but it also is simply lovely and detailed. The curves are also wonderful, especially where they fall over the breasts in loose and realistic waves, and the cut of the hair works well with crowns and flower bands, like the one from Persefona (sold at the Seelie Court Event) which I indulged in. The twists of branches around the brow is very realistic and lovely, and I adore the leaves attached to it. The leaves floating around the head are an attachment, and are fantastic for a sense of motion. Autumn, winter, and other shades of leaves are also available, so you can match yourself to the season more successfully than I have.

This entire look was inspired by a sense of young growth cut off in an untimely manner, something which has been occupying my mind over the past few weeks. There are so many young people who leave this world long before they should, so many wonderful people whose potential is cut short. Who knows what futures we are doing without due to the murder of the young.

Image Description: Torso shot of a woman in a green gown in front of a tilted lighthouse.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I Don't Know Whether to Weep or Burn the World Down

I don't know whether to weep or to burn the world down.

"But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity." - Martin Luther King, Jr., March 1968

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gacha Thoughts

Gateway Grasses

I first ran into gacha on Japanese language sims as a fun diversion. Usually costs weren't more than 30$L, and it was fun variations on a single theme - a bunch of popsicles, or a bunch of flowers - with one or two rares that were mildly harder to get but which were only slightly more interesting than the regulars. I would go to these gacha festivals with friends, each of us spending Linden wildly and giving away our extras with blithe indifference. It would end with everyone wearing what they had won and taking goofy pictures, giggling the whole while.

At some point, gacha left the Japanese language sims and moved into more general sims, and with that the tenor of the gacha changed. The prices increased - now it is not unusual to see gacha for 75$L or even 100$L - and the uniformality of the prizes dropped. Rares became not only harder to get, but critical pieces to outfits or desirable display cases, and after about a year the ultra-rare made it's inevitable appearance. Commons became accessories and add-ons to the valuable rare main pieces, and people began putting thousands of linden into a single gacha machine to try to get a desired item. The side-effect of more and more difficult to attain rares then kicked in, leaving people with incomplete outfits or accessory sets.

Caught Up

With the rise in costs, the rise of the secondary market came; people had spent so much that they wanted to recoup their losses by selling the commons and any extra or unwanted rares they might have. Prices went up again - some rares going for 500$L to 1000$L. The culture of giving away, of sharing, died before it ever had a chance in this new market.  From the creators' perspective, it was hard to see other people making more off of selling their items than the creator made; from the perspective of the consumer, having fifty accessories and one main outfit - the entirety costing more than simply purchasing an outfit or fatpack might - left them feeling used and disgruntled. Discontent rose on both sides, bolstered by the reluctance of individuals in Second Life to talk about anything negative or render any critique except anonymously.

Personally, I've put in place several rules. I never pay for a gacha where there's an outfit unless one version of all of the pieces is a common - it's simply not worth it to me. I consciously only expect to get commons, so if the only things available that I like are rares, I don't pay in at all. And most of the time, I stop playing as soon as I get a double common, which usually is between three and five plays, sometimes more. The exceptions are places where otherwise I'd be inclined to purchase a fatpack - in which case I keep going a while longer and then hit the yard sales. I give away my extras to people I think will like them, or consolidate them on an alt for spreading among my many alts. Now and then, if I end up with double rares, I will try to trade them for other rares of the same set - I've had some luck with this and met some lovely people. Overall, though, I'm increasingly reluctant to play into gacha even while I admire the gorgeous creations being funneled through them. It's a conundrum, to be sure!

Through the Doorway

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Genre: Apocalyptic Sunday

Image Description: Figure in a tan duster with gold wings looking down into a town.

I have become, by way of accident, a tertiary fan of various works. I couldn't read more than the first half of A Game of Thrones, and have little to no interest in the television show, but I adore retellings of it - mostly about the quirky women who run the world - and the items inspired by it. Likewise, my love for apocalyptic matters is largely second or third removed, and often in the form of something I can wear.

Enter Genre.

The apocalypse is an often dark and gritty place, but sartorial glory can be found even there, and Genre is bringing that this time around.

First my hairstyle from Adoness is a rooster-comb of hair over a shaved base with patterns shorn in the length.I'm using the white hairbase tinted a soft gold and despite it not being my usual style at all, I rather like the effect; it feels a bit like I'm dragging out the Androgyny genre with my manliest look yet!

Image Description: Close up of a woman's face over a gas mask; she has spiky hair, shaved on one side.

When I saw the clothing available for this round of Genre, I was powerfully reminded of the anime and manga series Trigun, and it's goofy main character Vash the Stampede - a humanoid natural disaster. Vash is one of those interesting, multifaceted characters who strides across stories and into the hearts and imaginations of those who encounter him. My trench coat might not be crimson, nor bullet-scarred, but it is a lovely offering from 14 FL OZ, fit to hold off the stinging sand in any post-apocalyptic wasteland and to impress even my enemies. It comes with a tank top, a pair of shorts and boots I'm not showing, but which are similarly well made. I love the design of this - the wide V at the top with the answering V to show off lets, boots, and whatever might be used as prosthesis in the hereafter. I'm wearing the jacket entirely without an invisible layer, though one is included, and I'd imagine it would work well over mesh as well as over the textured top and jeans I'm wearing in this picture - that makes it wonderfully useful in terms of outwear wear for a variety of looks - even ones out of the desert! Speaking of prosthetics, I simply couldn't resist the lure of a do-it-yourself stick leg made up of a bat and several extraneous weapons - or used to hold those weapons? - attached around the edges. This Death Row Designs special comes with a boot for the off leg, which I'm wearing here as well. It comes in two pieces and is modifiable, which means there's a lot of room for making it larger or smaller as needed. I find it incredibly charming - quirky and fun and dangerous.

Image Description: Closeup of a peg leg made out of a baseball bat with a variety of saw blades and an axe connected to it.

With all of this flash and style showing up in my clothes and person, I needed truly over-the-top accessories. My eyes are decorated with two different effects - firstly a simple shadow from #adored which tints around the eyes, and then a facial tattoo lining under the eyes, from NOX. The latter has a lovely feathery effect over my cheeks. The combination is striking but subtle, and a little bit of color in an otherwise brown and tan presentation - a hope of things to come. A similar tint is in the gas mask from :{MV}:, though that is largely black. I like that it's little hints of hope hidden amongst an otherwise unremarkable look - that seems to fit well into both the post apocalyptic genre, and the western genres I'm referencing here. I finished the whole look off with a gold and black flask from Squishy Fluff, which seemed necessary since the end of the world would drive one to drink! It's editable, which is nice since I was able to resize the band to fit around my trench-coated arm. The final touch of verisimilitude were these dirty nails from A:S:S with a variety of hues to match anyone's skins. One can wash one's hands, but somehow a little cruft always seems to lurk beneath the nails!

Image Description: Bust shot of a woman wearing a gas mask in front of an adobe style building.

Friday, November 21, 2014

21 Shoe - November

21 Shoe - November

I have dreamed of getting this picture taken in time for ages. 21 Shoe is a single day event, which means it's nearly impossible to blog right away - especially since the 21st is usually a working day! Today I rushed home and splurged entirely too much Linden on a cornucopia of amazing shoes, and then tipped them all over my platform for a fun picture. All of these shoes are unique to this event and won't be sold again.

On the farthest left is a pair of angled and artistic wedges from [sYs]. The wedge part is cut out in levels, and it comes with a variety of options in red, straw, black, and gold. Tucked behind them are a variable pair from Hopscotch. The purple boots with the cutout back and toe are simply lovely, and the cage metal shoe is a fun addition to a growing pile of cage shoes in my inventory - I love the chunky heel. Tucked behind them are a pair of matching style shoes from Ingenue in unique shades of lipstick and teal; the bows on the toes are particularly nice, being of the flat and solid sort. Up front in the center are a pair of houndstooth shoes from Sax Shepherd Designs, one in a heel and the other a flat. Like most of his designs, they are color change via a HUD, this time in black and white and black and red options.

In the true center are amazing shoes from Lassitude & Ennui. I'm wearing a pink variety of her Obsession sandals, a recent release that are now set up to fit both a standard mesh body and a SLink body. Next to them is a white and pink version of her Nevermore heels, which really make me crave that in a wide variety of pale shades for when I'm feeling angelic. To the right and in front is a truly disparate set of shoes from Bliensen + MaiTai - a strappy red set of heels, and a cute cherry and houndstooth themed sandal pump. Finally, tucked in the back in all their glory, are a pair of red, white, and black shoes from Miamai. I love the pattern and texture on both of these shoes; it makes them fun and adds to the unique shape of each.

There are only a few hours left to this wonderful event, so make sure to swing by the stores and pick up the ones which tickle your fancy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Well Rounded Education

Image Description: Woman in a red dress with a white blouse running along a pink brick path.

Junbug is taking part in Do it in a Dress (her donations page is here), an Australian campaign to finance girls going to school in Sierra Leone. One hundred percent of the proceeds for her schoolgirl dresses are going to the cause - and already over $700 has been raised, sending two girls to school. We have until the 7th of December, and I'm sure we can reach three, maybe even funding for four girls! If you end up taking pictures in her lovely gowns, feel free to drop them by the Flickr Group she made for the campaign! They are gorgeous gowns and a wonderful opportunity.

Image Description: Woman in a red dress with a white blouse standing against the gray wall of an auditorium.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Last Minute

Image Description: A woman in profile wearing a blue dress, facing a TARDIS, with a tilted Washington Monument in the background.

Two brief notes on sales.

Firstly, Has Been's six year anniversary is almost over, so you just have a fraction of a moment to get all of her fantastic inventory ON SALE. Run! Run! Run!

Secondly, !bang is having a sale for all group members (sorry, the group is currently closed). I was able to fill out my inventory, picking up a bunch of poses I missed!

Both of these events end today, the 15th, so there isn't a moment to waste!

Image Description: Close up of a woman in a blue dress with dramatic rainbow eyeshadow, standing in front of a blue police box.

Thinking a lot about envy and greed today, about how we decide who and what is important, and about how we value and don't value ourselves. Very little of it is fit for public consumption. I'm really valuing some friends I have, though - one of whom chatted with me for a while and left me feeling much more cheerful, and the other of which gave me a TARDIS so I might have more time to accomplish things.

Now and then I wonder what kind of person I am. I suppose one way to judge that is on the quality of my friends.

Image Description: Woman in a blue dress hopping down a stone bridge toward a TARDIS.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Image Description: Woman in a short dress standing in front of a bright moon.

I'm feeling full of hate today. It's not a specific hate, with names and lists and vague fantasies of unlikely meteor crashes, but more of a general aura of hate, like a hate hamster ball I'm rolling around in, knocking into everything. Like wrath cookies sandwiched together with a sweet disdain buttercream and rolled carefully in "you all suck" chocolate chips. I could analyze it, picking apart the sandwich and identifying the origin of each piece in exhausting detail, but I hate everything too much. Instead I'm going to glower at you all vaguely from the shadows, basking in loathing.

Image Description: Woman with an expression of contempt, her hands up over her eyes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Bare Face Challenge

Bare Face Challenge

I was challenged by Berry to do the SL Bare Face Challenge on Flickr - and it seemed like a lot of fun! It was started by Genkai Tesla as a fun way to show people without lashes, cosmetics, etc... and without photoshopping afterwards. I used my sim's default lighting, just to make it fun, and tool a longer picture of my platform in case people were curious - I'm always curious about other peoples' platforms! Ironically, this outfit was what finally tipped me over the edge to buying the SLink body - both the dress and the shoes fit it better than the SL basic mesh body, and so I caved. My one sadness is that my Folly Rainbow Sheen isn't a tattoo on the body.... yet. I've worn it without taking it off for months now.

Whoever wants to do this can! If you're inspired by me, I'd love it if you shared in the comments!

Me and My Platform

Go Mine Shaft!! Hunt Guide


On Hakoniwa there is a new mine shaft hunt/game for everyone to play.  It is a whole lot of fun, with easy to get prizes and an engaging storyline; I really had a ball. The post below the cut is incredibly long and organized with How to Skill Up first, then Stand Alone Quests and finally the Main Plotline. I struggled with how to organize this, and this was the closest I could come to a sensible way to do so. I hope it isn't too confusing!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dream in Red

Image Description: Woman in a long gown standing in front of a large, red head.

I was last at The Sea of Cubic Dreams a few months ago when it was in shades of black and blue - but for the horror of Halloween they redid the sim in shades of red, with some added items of terror - at least for trees! I'd been updating my LEA Information for the blog, and the outfit I'd put on matched the feeling of the sim perfectly. Of course, no plan is seamless; in this case I had two of the best wrinkles show up! My friend Katat0nik, who doesn't get out as much as she should, happened to come by while I was there, and we spent a pleasurable half hour or so figuring out how to sit on cubes, and then knocking each other through the sky - frequently loosing our avatars and giggling like loons! At the same time, the person who pointed her in the direction of my sim contacted me, and we had a lovely chat while I went flying through the sky, trying for an attractive angle.

Image Description: Woman standing on a cube in front of many other floating cubes.

The way it works is - while you're sitting, you can move the cubs near yourself to knock into you and your friends - I really recommend trying it on and trying to take pictures. It was fun with two of us, but I bet with a half dozen or dozen it would be a total blast! I uploaded several directly to Flickr before Kat left me alone and bereft to finish my photoshoot. I think the pictures turned out well, and are an interesting contrast to my previous visit. Let me know if you're going, and we can play together!

Image Description: Woman in a formal gown standing on a cube which is tipping over, leaving her diagonally lying with her head in the bottom right corner.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fit for a Princess: Flowers with a Metallic Tang

Image Description: Woman in a short, pink dress staring up at rusty, rounded buildings.

I am a huge fan of Cica Ghost's whimsical worlds, and her newest creation, Little Town, is a pleasurable romp of hills, dales, blinking buildings, floating beds, and a fun car to drive! It seems to me to be a spiritual successor of her Rust - one in which what was rusting has become overgrown with plants and life. It's been really neat to watch how she's changed over her different builds, and seeing what has stayed the same. Her sense of playfulness is probably what I appreciate most - a lot of art in general tends to become all but leaden with meaning and implication, but Cica's builds always make me want to frisk and play like a kid. This one is nicely interactive, too, with flying cages, floating beds, and the cars - if you sit in one you can drive it around!

My skin is an absolutely new release from .:Soul:., the image rebranding of De La Soul - maker of my eyes as well. I went with a slightly darker shade of Frappe in Catalina, as if I'd gotten some sun. The skin texturing is soft, and the lips are very sweet. I also quite like the knees and cheeks - both can be problem areas, but the texturing is smooth and naturalistic. This skin is individualizable to the extreme - including brows and no brows versions, and brows in many colors including a white, tintable one. Pixie-cut style hairbases are also included in all of these colors, offering a soft hairline for stubborn hairstyles. There are several breast shadings, and also a 'soft belly' shading for larger and plumper avatars. It comes with a ton of appliers - including Lush, LOLAs, Loud Mouth, and Slink - for no additional cost. And then, as if to tempts us all, he includes a series of cosmetics to go over the skin, most of them applicable to any skin shade. I'm wearing the rainbow lips and rainbow eyeliner because of course I am - they are for me, after all! There are pink, purple, autumn, and spring sets, among others. The sheer volume of things included fair take my breath away, and all of it packaged in HUD-style unpackers with a tree growing on them. Who could ask for more?

Image Description: Woman in a pink dress holding a bouquet and wearing flowers and a crown lying on the edge of a stone platform in front of a pink hued sea and sky.

My outfit this time was entirely driven by the Nomi dress - which was the first thing from Fit for a Princess that I put on, and which stole my heart completely. I really loved the combination of a heavy sweater dress with a hem of creamy lace. The sleeves are long, which is only a problem if you look where my palm cuts through the fabric. I think they work perfectly with the short skirt, though, all ending at about the same level, which allows for a playful sense of consistency. The collar is very high, which means the majority of skin showing is thigh and down - which allows for a sense of innocence and sweetness; more skin showing would have made it seem much more adult. I selected a more restrained shade from the number Nomi made available in the fatpack, a peach and pink design with little flowers, and kept the lace white instead of going with the black that was also available. I wanted to keep that playful sense in the rest of my look, and I really lucked out with the single hair available at Fit for a Princess this month - this adorable bow updo from Sweet Thing. It also is a slightly more mature version of cute, with the slicked back sides and the restrained size of the bow; larger and the whole look might have tipped over into childish, which is always the risk with looks like this. It had been pink tips on blond when I put it on, and I liked the effect so much I left it that way - however the blond set comes with a number of shades, both solid gold and with a variety of different tips.

All of the poses are also Fit for a Princess releases - this time from Sweet Sacrifice. I love the playfulness of them, which worked well with my overall look, and they all worked really well with the often finicky Second Life body. Even in the lying down pose, the shoulder isn't distorted or bent - quite an accomplishment and a sign of a good pose-maker! The inclusion of lying, sitting, and standing poses also allowed for a broader variety in images.

The rest of my accessories I aimed toward mature with. Firstly, I selected a slim tiara from Apple & Eve, with a strong shape that curved well over my brow in a simple gold shade to match up with the yellowish-peach of my outfit. I wanted to keep the entire look warm. The simplicity of the tiara keeps this elegant - something with more frills and gems might tilt the entire look immature. Green was then brought into the look through the addition of these adorable pink flowers from NSP Florals which came in a hair ornament and in an enormous bouquet. The green is a warm rather than cool green, which was important to me overall. Another lucky stroke was with the necklace from BluPrintz, with it's very high and simple shape. I went with white to echo the ring of lace at the bottom of my dress - a sort of visual echo - and then I tried several shades on the stone before settling on green. It's a cooler green, but it's also quite small, so I hoped the bit of chill wouldn't be too discordant. One thing I like to do when I'm covering an event, as opposed to just making a look or working with things from a specific store, is use as much as I can from that event while still making it all look good. In this case, I managed to combine things from six different stores at this round of Fit for a Princess without it seeming forced or inappropriate, and so I was very happy.

Image Description: Closeup of feet wearing green sandals with spiky pink flowers on the toes.

I rounded out my look with shoes from outside of Fit for a Princess, however, from Bliensen + MaiTai. I have loved the Dahlia shoes for a while, but the combination of sleek and flowery was difficult to match harmoniously with a full look. In this case, however, they were perfect. The smooth, simple curves of the shoe contrasts nicely with the sweet and spiky flower. I went with the green shoes with a soft pink flower, and then selected the shoes separately (something I was able to do because the shoes were modify ok - thank you!) and tinted them with a very strong yellow to bring the green more in line with the yellow-green of the flowers. While the stone in my BluPrintz necklace was small enough to not overset the overall warmth of my look, I feared the green of the shoe was large enough to upset the balance; being able to tint saved the shoes for me in this particular look, and it's something one can use to combine items from different stores which might otherwise be too differently shaded to work together. This is one of those tricks I sometimes wish I could teach budding fashionistas as they begin the difficult task of matching and contrasting colors in their outfits.

Image Description: Woman in a pink dress sitting on the ground, one hand held up as if asking for help to stand up.

Friday, November 7, 2014

How NOT to Get Your Links on my Blog

Image Description: Well lit woman in a teal dress in front of the sihouette of a bridge with a windmill at the end.

I am always amazed at what people will put on other people's blogs.

On my fashion-centric posts, I'll occasionally land a comment, and I like to catch them early and send in a thank you since they're almost always from creators, but this time apparently someone felt the need to let me know he's boycotting me, and get in a few links to his blog - and his AOL profile - at the same time.

I'm not a huge fan of being peoples' link farms, and so I delete with prejudice (mark as spam) but I thought you good people of my blog who love the drama would like to know the quality of men I drive to comment.

Image Description: WOman in a teal dress with rainbow hair floating in front of the bottom part of a lighthouse.

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

Here's the hysterical part of this comment - he clearly believes he is an intelligent man, however his commenting on my blog implies strongly otherwise. He is capable of using grammar, which is a relief, but he is seemingly incapable of assessing actual events in the world most of us share, which is depressing (for him). The decision to not form a relationship with a person who mistreats one is rational, however generalizing to at least 158.6 million people indicates neither a sense of proportion, nor scientific or logical cognitive ability. Combine this with complaining to an identified feminist on her home turf, and I'm afraid the balance is tipping toward him not meeting the "must be at least this smart to converse" standard.

Image Description: Woman with rainbow hair and a teal outfit floating in midair before a mushroom shaped home on an island.

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

Let's start applying this to me, and then generalize - just for fun! I am definitely immature; a decent fart joke can usually get me going, and some of my favorite jokes are of the "How do you know an elephant is in your refrigerator*" variety - so mea culpa. Not willing to take the selfish, though; that's just foolish-talk. I have my arrogant moments, right now for instance, but in general arrogance would get in the way of me doing my job or liking myself, so I tend to avoid it unless the targets come to me and ask for feedback ever so nicely, as this gentleman did.

Self-centered is one of those terms that is functionally meaningless, as by definition most of us know our own narrow perspective and perhaps the perspectives others let us share now and then. Comparing levels of self-centeredness often says as much about the assessor as the subject. In terms of mentally unstable, I'd argue I'm actually the opposite - able to weather the instability of others with a certain amount of grace and flow with my own typical moodiness with understanding, of not poise.

I'm hella irresponsible, though. Hand me a pile of paperwork that needs to be done, one or two pages will get done and the rest will be a nest for me and my cat. Me and paperwork does not get along. I'm also a whole lot more chaste than I'd prefer! It's been years, and semi-frequently bits of me try to jump in the unchasteness wagon without success. I really need to get back to working on that again... life has been busy, though!

As for generalizing... he's talking about 158.6 million people, all of them humans; generalization is highly irresponsible and, dare I say it, disgusting~!

Image Description: Close up of legs in teal and white heels in front of a wooden fence with hearts carved into the slats.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.


He appears in the final paragraph to get lost - or perhaps phrase his invitation to his den of wisdom poorly, so I'm afraid I have to remove 0.25 points of grammar based on general unintelligibility. Remember, ladies and gentlemen, communicating clearly is the hallmark of good grammar!

I also feel the need to point out that boycotting half of the human population is troubling on the face of it - both for the equating of that many people with a product or service (which might be boycotted in the traditional sense of the word) and because he commented on my blog, and thus is not boycotting US women at all! I really hope he practices his boycotting so that he can boycott me more successfully. Good luck American man! I hope you succeed in your dreams.

Just as a side note, though, you should avoid hospitals, sports, computers, schools, science, religion, food, the arts, places of business, and this blog as all of them involve with or are supported by women. Good luck!

Image Description: Woman in teal dress with rainbow hair in a dive in front of a blue and teal building.

*Footprints in the butter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

White Egypt

Image Description: Woman in a black and white outfit with scarab accessories standing in front of an apple shop.

Pixicat is having a retirement sale, which gave me a chance to pick up a few things I hadn't before, including this wonderful dress which comes in several texture styles, all of them recolorable. A number of other things I've already show off in the past are also on sale, and I really encourage you to go! Pixicat's style is elegant but edgy, sometimes the edge like the metal bodice and spikes of the dress above, other times it's interesting cut outs and lacing, and still other times its elaborate embellishment as home in a 1700s French Court as anywhere else. Always it is vividly itself. This dress drew me in particular because of the heavy, shiny metal of the bodice and how it wove into the softer leather and fabric pieces. One thing that mesh has given us is elaborate halter-tops, and this one is no exception, with the band passing through an O ring to hold the dress up (the band can also be festooned with silver spikes).

I'm a huge fan of hard/soft contrasts - I think it's part of why I like fades so much, with their extremes and the smooth transition between. In this case I went with shades only; something in the lack of color appealed to me, and I tried to stick to stark blacks and whites so that the spots of vivid color would stand out even more. I also decided to match shade and height as much as I could, or at least work in some alteration of shade, and thus on the white end of my skirt I've placed bright white shoes, and on the dark end I've alternated a black staff with white wings. The shoes are from Miseria, and I picked them up at a completely different event paired with a completely different outfit, but it was with some glee that I saw how well they fit the outfit here. I  wanted a very simple shoe with an elegant line and a substantial shape - in this case the extreme height of the shoe with it's narrow heel and the straight and simple curve of the toe and platform of the shoe combine well with what I was hoping would be an upper class but industrial look. 

Image Description: Woman's feet, wearing white platform heels, in front of a Japanese style bamboo fountain.

My hair and accessories, in contrast, draw from an entirely different well - in this case a wink and nod at ancient Egyptian culture. The Fantasy Gacha Carnival jewelry and staff from Sax Shepherd Designs came first, and I spent some time trying to figure out the colors I would choose. I only had three color choices for the scarab, and so I settled on this Lapis Lazuri shade which reminded me of long distance images of the earth. A few moments of research on color significance in Egyptian art told me that green was associated with life and the river, and blue was associated with spirit and gods, and that seemed like it contrasted nicely with the theme of purity and death invoked by my white/black base. I've been feeling the pull of opposing forces in my life - the rise of optimism and the fall of failure - and the idea that there might be a greater purpose and a hope for rebirth appealed. I wanted to make the staff and jewelry seem of a piece, so that dictated the scarab design even though I had more choices for scarab on the staff. What I struggled with most, color wise, was the sun ball the scarab is pushing - I briefly toyed with it being yellow, but adding another color muddled things rather than solidified them; in contrast with the staff for my A Spot of Blue look, likely due to there already being blue and green in the mix, rather than a single hue of pink. Color combination can make or break a look.

I settled on this lovely shade of white to green, which helped to decide the colors of my hair - a new purchase from Taketomi. I actually saw a completely different hairstyle on a blog and went to seek out the store it came from, which triggered a shopping spree. I had looked up some images of Egyptian style hair, though I wanted to stay within my range of usually-blond, and I wanted it to be more modern; Egyptian hair tends to be tightly curled or braided with elaborate headdresses; I went for a smoother silhouette but wanted to include some thing braids and a bit of fluff. One thing I like most about this style was the locks of hair tucked back over the shoulder, which gives it some movement. The second I saw that Taketomi included a blond to green fade, I knew that had to be what I used, and I think it gives a callback to the sun stone both of my scarabs are pushing without being too obvious. My final, definitely obvious touch was adding the eyeliner from Zed Sensations which is outright taken from popular media inspired by Egypt and usually rendered, as they are here, on the bodies of white people. I paired it with a soft crimson splash from Mock, one of her recent group gifts given out during a flurry of conversation; I really encourage people who like naturalistic and subtle cosmetics to join the group and never look back.

Image Description: Woman in a black and white dress standing in front of a cute, open-in-the-front cabin set over a lake.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Spot of Blue

The Fantasy Gacha Carnival opens on November 4th (in just a few hours!) and remains open until the end of the month. Sadly, long before that The Trace will close on the fifth, so head by to enjoy it while we still have it.

Image Description: Woman in a pink bloomer outfit standing in a wooden building.

The outfit I'm wearing from Cila will be released there - and almost everything I'm wearing is a common, which should entice those of you who normally avoid clothing gacha due to the difficulty in getting needed pieces to complete the look. The rares are the red corset piece (not shown) and the staff with the enormous blue stone. You can also mix and match between the colors, as they're in complementary shades of red and pink, and use the same decoration pieces. I kept to one shade for the full effect, though! It can be worn with and without the jacket, offering up varying levels of the theme, which is layers of scale skilfully rendered and colored. If you approach them from the side, you can see it isn't just a texture pattern, but rather looks like layers of cut and sewn fabric have been layered over each other. It's also all fitmesh, which led to interesting effects with my stomach in particular - Deoridhe's mesh form has a belly, which is extremely rare in Second Life, and enough saddlebags to smooth out the line from hip to waist. In the past, this has led to a problem with fitmesh because the mesh ends up rippling unattractively around those areas. With this mesh, however, I really liked the effect of a bowling out forward, and it made the bloomer sides look cute under the curve of the corset.

Image Description: Arms outstretched, woman stands in front of some fall trees, holding a staff in her right hand.

Recently, a few people expressed a desire to hear bloggers talk more about our styling choices and reasons for combining things as we did - and I thought I'd make a few notes here, since this is a very simple look. I wanted to center and highlight Cila's outfit, which is unusual and cute, and I used all of the pieces which didn't overlap, choosing a single color so that I could keep my shading mostly monochromatic with the single drama point of the blue ball in the staff. The high neckline of the jacket discouraged jewelry, and I decided to leave it off altogether. I wanted a cute hairstyle to complement the look where the hair would have bits of the same pink as the outfit, and I settled on Ploom's recent release, which comes with adorable headbands. Hair color was easy - the pink matched perfectly - and the only thing I struggled with there was how to tint the ears; as you can see I settled on the dominant shade of the look, white.

Image Description: Woman holding a staff and standing upright in front of a hill with trees turning read on it.

The cosmetics and nail polish was where I spent the most time - both in trying to match the slightly cool, matte pink and in the question of whether I wanted a second (or third) spot of bright blue. I ended up settling on a matte pink eyeliner from cheLLE (closed) - one of my go-to eyeliners because of the brightness of the color and the solidity of the shade - and layered two lipsticks, a matte shade from Damned to set the tone, and a gloss from Mock to finish it off. Ironically, the final effect is to make them vanish all but entirely except in closeup; in this case I wanted that, though for other looks or when I'm highlighting the cosmetics the focus will shift. Finally, I picked through nails I hadn't tried yet for something that had the right warm pink-white I wanted, trying on a bunch of different shades of pink and white until finally selecting a pearlescent shade from Frogstar. Like the cosmetics on my face, the ultimate goal for this look was to have the nails fade into the background in concert with the outfit, and I think this shade - a gold edged nailbed with a white french manicure - accomplished that well.

Image Description: Closeup of a woman mostly submerged in water looking into the camera.

There's a part of me that always feels bad when I select a creator's work in order to fade into the background, harmonized with the main theme of the look I'm trying to make. That is part of making a look instead of just combining disparate elements, though - some must play a supporting role to the others, or it's chaos.

MadPea: Blood Letters - Guide

Unlike previous games and stories, Blood Letters is adult in theme - which in practice means that it involves sex as well as violence - and is rolling out gradually as time goes on. Because of this, I'll be adding to this post as days go by rather than waiting until the end for one complete guide. There is also a prize guide (nsfw), many of the prizes in theme with the game. 

I usually don't show very graphic violence or sexual content, and that will continue to be the case for images in this post - bare rear ends are as explicit as the images will become. However, the text is explicit and you should consider everything below the cut to be unsafe for work. If you dislike violent sex, I actually recommend you pass on this hunt unless you really want some of the prizes. It starts out graphic and gets worse from there, with the violence and the erotic language combined across the board. The individual apartments are lovely, though.

Like in all my guides, my commentary will be in italics.

You begin in the Detective's Office at R3volt, where the HUD can be purchased for 400$L. The HUD will ask for permission to teleport you; feel free to give it permission. It will ask again any time you re-wear it or relog. Like most MadPea HUDs, you can minimize it. 

Image Description: Shot of the front of an office building with chess pieces in the window and a sign reading 'Blood Letters' on the right.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pumpkin Girl

Image Description: Orange girl with orange hair and orange dress standing in a pumpkin patch.

Antielle has a number of lovely outfits set out as group gifts, and even more for sale. The skin is a new one from De La Soul, semi-rebranded ,:Soul:., styled for the creator's daughter, who hopefully will learn to love her curves. I'm curvy for a Second Life avatar, and I certainly love these curves on me. There are only 32 of this very special edition, and group members get 50% off, so do your best to get your hands on Creamsickle Catalina before there are none left!

Image Description: Orange girl standing in front of an eating horse.