Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday Meme: Movie Character

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

Disturbed by Half-Remembered Dreams

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shadow Play - Tales of Urbanization in China

Shadow Play: Landing Point

Alpha is a challenge in Second Life.

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

Shadow Play: City on Fire

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

Shadow Play: Past Beyond

Sunday Squee: Fae Cream

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

Sunday Squee: Fae Cream

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 23, 2015

We Love RP: An Early Spring

Mad Hatter's Snacks

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

Bare Branches Give More Light

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

Cherries in the Snow

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

My Little Friend

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

Monday Meme: Sartorialist Challenge II

2015-01-23 Sar_001

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

2015-01-23 Sar_002

( More Sartorialist pictures here. )

Adore & Abhor Closing

Adore & Abhor's Last 50$L Friday

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

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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Inspiration Recreations: A Colorful Death

A Colorful Death

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

And then I saw these skulls.

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

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Childhood I Never Had

Its Blown Away

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

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

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

Gray Grass and Cracked Ground

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

21 Shoe: ieQED

21 Shoe: Slippery Snakeskin

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

21 Shoe: :{MV}:

21 Shoe: Left Hanging

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

LEA 29: Everything Falls Apart

Watermelon Repose

Mistero Hifeng has already opened his sim, LEA 29, for visitors. A collection of his unusual statuary, a striking combination of neutral colors and disintegrating forms, his figures walk quiet paths across the sim, group in increasing size, or even lie prone along multiple rims, framing in the edges between land and water. The effects are surreal, with sharp contrasts between figures and much that is distorted or dissolved - bent, twisted, caged and chained.

The More I Grip You...

Windlight has a powerful effect as well, since most of the statues are light or dark grey with a grey ground and reflective water; I ended up using many of the brighter windlights I normally avoid. The colors played out both over the surfaces and the depths beautifully, and oh so enjoyably. I really recommend going over and playing yourself - there are several more months, but why wait?

Leaping Dolphin Grief

21 Shoe: Sax Shepherd Designs

21 Shoe: Sole Dancer

This month for 21 Shoe I'm doing a set of enlarged shoe images with all of the shoes I can - in this case two unique colors for Sax Shepherd Designs in pink and blue, the style delicate and colorful. In addition to the two sole colors - changeable via HUD - there are eight options for the gems, and they can be textured all together or alternating. Up close you can really appreciate the details of the gems - how the settings alternate - and the fantastic shine of the sole. It's really fun using them as an environment in addition to footwear - either draped over the shoe like in my last post, or here strutting between them, mid-step. As a reminder - these will be on sale for just 24 hours on the twenty-first at Sax Shepherd Designs' mainstore.

Monday, January 19, 2015

21 Shoe: Bliensen + MaiTai

21 Shoe: Sartorial Pyramids

21 Shoe occurs every month for a single shining day - on the twenty-first in fact - an opportunity to pick up two unique shoes for the price of one from a variety of top shelf shoe stores. This year, Bliensen + MaiTai is doing a combination of flats and heels, both of them compatible with just about every foot in the book. I'm wearing the SLink flats version, in a brilliant red with the same starburst flower as the heels. The heels are a blast, thin heeled and rounded with a sheen to them that catches the light. They are truly lovely, and a lot of fun to play with! Make sure to swing by Bliensen + MaiTai on the 21st to pick them up.

The Whiskey Seems to be Working


Almost every day, there's something new to find at Nothing Endures but Change - Whiskey Monday's LEA sim where she leaves things up for all of us to take our own pictures. Usually I'm there at times she is not, sneaking into her detritus and posing with her walls, but today I happened to head there - expecting to find pylons over the ocean and actually finding a sandy landscape covered in scrub-grass and containing a single house, mid-tornado. A solitary Whiskey was lurking, and I snatched a couple of images while she wasn't looking.

Even if you aren't a photographer, this is a wonderful sim to try some self-expression! You can share those images in the Flickr group for the project, too, and see what other people have done.

The Whiskey Seems to be Working

Monday Meme: #SecondLifeProblems

#DeosSecondLifeProblems - Shopping Woes

Berry's at it again, this time inviting us to create a collection of #SecondLifeProblems to rival the #FirstWorldProblems which humorously plague the internet. She even helped make a T-Shirt! You can pick it up for 99$L on the Marketplace, simply use her naked image, or do something else entirely to represent these dreadful #SecondLifeProblems we all face! Being me, I had to add about 100x more rainbow.

I was inspired for my first one by an actual Second Life Problem! I ended up teleporting to the most recent collabor88 right before the grid started having major issues - in rapid succession my Linden Balance went negative, I discovered I couldn't teleport out, and word quickly passed that not only were log ins down but there was a rather disturbing "Fatal Error" response when one attempted to log in! I could have, of course, gone off and done something else, but instead I chatted in groups about how awful it was to be stuck at c88 surrounded by unicorns and rainbows, unable to purchase a single thing. Others come from similarly frustrating moments in Second Life, and I've also included a blank picture if you want to make your own #DeosSecondLifeProblems image!

#DeosSecondLifeProblems - Arm through the stomach

#DeosSecondLifeProblems - No fly zone

#DeosSecondLifeProblems - Body won't rez

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Genre: Rhapsody in Blue


This month's Genre is Celebratory, a Third Anniversary Party filled with shine and glamor and edged on all sides with a pretty ribbon of silly. As events go, it's one of the longer ones and inspires a cavalcade of unusual clothing and accessories. That sheer variety is on display all over this month's event - clothing crossing several ages, accessories for many different types of avatars, and some wonderful celebratory items to decorate homes and accentuate parties. Nowhere is this more obvious than this dress from Blue Blood, a fluffy confection that combines an elegant Mandarin collar with puffed lantern sleeves and bodice reminiscent of Fifties' cocktail dresses. It transitions smoothly into the wide, ruffled skirt, and the combination of the catch along the collar and the dividing line down the center of the dress adds interest. It comes with a fatpack of colors divided into light and dark, twelve options in all, and each of them combine two tones of color - a brighter, shiny half, and a slightly dull, leatheresque half. Clever use of materials adds to the sense of texture and shine on the dress, making the tentacles seem embossed into the surface as well as making each half seem like a different type of surface. In addition to my eternal favorite, tentacles, there is also a skyline version of the dress which you can see me wearing in my DDR post.

Reverse Modulation

Goth1c0 also blessed us with colorful fatpacks, offering up a wide variety of textures on these charming zippered heels with the platform base. Unlike a lot of fatpacks, where the different textures are color variations on a theme, these boots include this fun, blue embossed pattern, animal print, a fun spiderweb, and even some skulls and crossed bones - ten options in all - and four metal colors. The shapes of the openings are wonderfully fun, each zipper hanging free off to the side. I love the silver detailing along the base and the pipe-shaped heel with it's cute, rounded center. One of the things I love about the SLink high feet is that they offer up options for cut-out, boot style heels that show off the smooth foot beneath. The style of shoe also let me show off my fantastic nails to good effect - another Genre offering, this time from Sense-able Fashion. I chose one of the puzzle nails, an interlocking pattern of blues which seemed made for this overall look. There are two other sets, all of them brightly colored and fun, a valuable way to bring your celebrations all the way to your fingertips. And just in case you want to celebrate down to your marrow, The Stringer Mausoleum made an amazing set of starburst eyes in a variety of shades - each one eerie and pale, and yet somehow compelling. There is a wearable demo in gray in addition to the purchasable colors, and each comes with such incredible options - petite eyes, mesh eyes, legacy eyes, and a system layer - that even the pickiest eyeophile would be pleased.


Sunday Squee: Dance Dance Revolution

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

Sunday Squee: Dance Dance Revolution

I have loved Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) for years - since I was picking out games for my Playstation 2 and ran across it in the store. I love the heavy beated music, the squish of the dance pad, the cheesy encouragement from the announcer, the avatars dancing out of step with the music, and even the cheering crowds. For people who haven't played it, DDR is a video game played with your feet on a large pad - a plastic one you lay on the floor for the home version, and a heavy plastic dance pad like shown above in the arcades. You can also purchase the heavier version - and indeed I had one during my heyday - but the flimsy plastic is good enough for fun. There are four directional steps and stepping on the right one in time with the music is how you succeed at the game. There are more complicated things, like leaping to hit two directions at once, or landing and holding a step for a while, but moving in time with the music is the core of the game. You can also play against people, or with two pads lined up next to each other for more dramatic dances. Here's an example of one of my favorite songs on hard - there are three or four difficulty levels for each song - Dark Black Forest.

It may seem goofy at first - indeed all of my friends at the time made fun of me until they played it the first time - but it is an excellent game both alone and at parties. I just recently splurged on a bunch of new disks for the new year, and I'm in bliss learning all the new songs and steps!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Lotus Garden

Emboldened by the androgyny I was inspired to through Genre, I decided to give menswear a whirl with FATEwear's latest release - the Jordan jacket - and found it fit well and was a lot of fun, despite being rigged to the male instead of female frame! I was particularly pleased with the sleeve length, as it covered the wrist without clipping my hand, and the asymmetrical folds and wide spaced collar is wonderful. I very much like how thick the entire coat seems; the edges are all rounded and thick, even on the sleeve detailing. This gives a real sense of the weight and reality of the coat, making it's folds over my hips and gaping at the waist all the more realistic. I also like how the pocket is three dimensional instead of simply a texture on the fabric, and even the buttons are three dimensional - which makes some of the angled shots I took amazing. It's very well rigged through the body and to the legs, leading to an excellent fit even in more complicated pose. All of these are little details, but combined with the soft texture of the jacket - there are a variety of colors and event he option of a color-changing HUD with the fatpack - the jacket manages to straddle the border of Second Life and offline life beautifully.I have always loved FATEplay's female clothing, and FATEwear is equally impressive.

On Reflection...

With the masculine quality of the jacket, I decided to go ultra-femme in the rest of my look. I began with this corset from Rosal, part of a complicated set but equally impressive on it's own. She just re-released it with updated colors and I highly recommend it both as a set and as an individual piece. I went with the narrowest waist - unrealistic offline, and gorgeously easy online. The fit of the jacket demanded a pair of pants, and I found those in a pair of jeans from Decoy that I picked up during one of the sale events and squirreled away in my inventory for just such an occasion. They are hip huggers, leaving that fascinating band of flesh between hips and belly exposed. I almost ended the look topless - the jacket actually covered enough to preserve modesty - but I ended up deciding that was a little more risque than I preferred and I used an old favorite, a texture-top from G Field - to finish my outfit. The flower for the halter-top was too voluminous for the narrow opening at the top of my FATEwear jacket, though, so I substituted in an old prim collar from Plastik that has the distinction of not only being modify-ok, but also set up so the different bands around the collar can be tinted separately. The close fit of the collar also maintained the illusion of layers that I was going for, as it fit beautifully into the gaps left by the jacket.

Windmill Shadows

So far, my look was equal mixtures of casual masculine style with high fashion, ultra-femme touches, and I wanted to push the latter over the top with the remaining pieces of my style. First I went with an extravagant updo, the newest release from Ploom being released at The Kawaii Project. It is a whirl of braids and curls, editable mesh which meant I could shift the odd curl here or there out of my ears and make it a wonderful updo from every angle. I went with one of her candy hair textures, a wonderful blond with a fade of pink tips to echo the pink of my jacket. I also went with very dramatic cosmetics - a heavy, glamorous shadow around the eyes from .:Soul:. and dark black lips from MiaSnow. The goal was to maintain the predominance of black in my entire look, leaving the pink in only two places, and also to continue the thread of evening-wear despite my casual jeans. My nails were equally dramatic - a gorgeous pair from A:S:S on a black base with silvery sparkles set in a fade from the tips, like snow falling on a dark night and just barely catching the moonlight. The final touch, absolutely required to keep the styling over the top, are my sleek and delicate shoes from Lassitude & Ennui. One way to dress up jeans is through stylish shoes, and these do that job to perfection.

Into My Own Hands

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ghosts in the Attic

Ghosts in the Attic

The event creation.jp has just one more day before it ends; you can find gorgeous outfits like this gown from World's End Garden there. This dress has some of the best fur I've seen in Second Life mesh so far - it looks warm and soft without the jagged edges alpha occlusion errors that occurred historically. I also quite like the loose skirt with it's uneven fall, and while I don't usually wear snakeskin, I was convinced otherwise with the delicate texture of the bodice.

These rather moody pictures were taken at Whiskey Monday's LEA10; sadly I missed my chance to take pictures with the sea of origami cranes, but I had quite a powerful reaction to her partially disassembled house, and I think I captured some echoes of it in the three pictures I took with it. If I have time, I might go back with a brighter windlight; I'm really enjoying playing with what she leaves behind, though! Below the fold is a link to everything I've done so far - not much, but rather evocative. There's something about the manner Whiskey puts things together which inspires introspection.

I Have Trouble Letting Go

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dream a Little Dream


Oneword's "Dream" end on the fifteenth, disappearing like mist at awakening along with all of it's lovely items. I came to this event late - having gotten severely behind on my events! - but I'm very glad I took a few moments to pick up some of the evocative offerings. My dress, for example, is from Moon Amore and is a simple, lovely wrap dress with texture changing in the top and bottom. There are two packs to pick up - one light and the other dark - and each have variations on the deep cut bodice and high, flyaway skirt. I was drawn to the peaches and cream combination and really enjoyed the ruffled texturing of the skirt, which is lined inside as well. The skirt retexture does include the bits of cream below the waist, which makes mixing and matching the tops and bottoms a touch more complicated. My favorite effect on the whole dress was the back texture, though - a delicate wickerwork spiral and hanging beads on each side - reminiscent of an Ojibwe Dream Catcher without replicating it. My other Dreamy accessory is my eyeshadow - a lovely cream offered up by Wicked Peach in a set of several dual colored options. The colors are clear and bright without being overpowering, a wonderful complement to the delight of dreams.

Star Catchers

I rounded out my outfit with some lovely accessories, varying the intensity of the colors while trying to remain within a similar hue. My silvery snow crown from Bliensen + MaiTai calls up the cream of the bodice and my wings, a frosty counterpoint to the warmer oranges I'll add. I love the shape of it as well - arching up above the head with delicate snowflakes floating around each angled, sharp piece. My jewelry, a release from Maxi Gossamer at the Uber event, draws from the warmer edge of my iced peach outfit, a bright orange and softer, gold-edged peach set in silver - the silver a callback to all of the white I'm wearing as well. The heavy squares and circles also stand in contrast to the feather-light flow of my dress and the sharp triangles of my crown; I'm a fan of high contrasts in color and shape. While the colors of my jewelry might seem too bright in isolation, I echo them in my lovely Cila shoes set with stars. The shoe part is still a pale peach, but the star is gold incarnate and bright enough to balance out my bright jewelry. I love the anklet of stars connected to it as well, and the smooth transition from shoe to platform that makes the effect work. I finished my whole look with a casual, breezy updo from Ploom with loosely gathered loops of hair up in pigtails. The updo quality, with it's curving bangs, whispers of elegance even while the waves of hair over my shoulders laugh casually.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Meme: Sartorialist Challenge I

Ever interested in pushing us all off of our platforms and into the real grid, Strawberry gave us a Sartorialist Challenge, asking us all to find beautiful avatars in the wild, approach them, snap pictures and share them with the world on our blog. I had planned to eventually go to one of those social events, but I started by trying to catch up on my events - the holidays and illness conspired to put me behind - and while I was at the Totally Top Shelf event I ran across this charming doll named Tamarind Silverfall, decked out in her Collabor88 best!

Sartorialist Challenge: Tamarind Silverfall

I am an enormous fan of people who style the Coco Doll Avatar, especially when they go beyond the clothing made specifically for it and into more mainstream fashion. Silverfall does a gorgeous job here, adding delicate wings and a lovely dress and then finishing it off with masses of unicorn pastel accessories. It helped that her AO was also cute, with an easy flow which made taking pictures a lot of fun. I agree with Berry that this was a lot of fun, and I'll probably see if I can snap pictures of attractive avatars I spot in the wild in the future, too!

Sartorialist Challenge: Tamarind Silverfall

( More pictures here. )

Fit for a Princess: Thistledown Fae

Arising from the Snows

Fit for a Princess is having a quieter month, exhausted in the wake of a very busy December, but what's on hand is as gorgeous as ever. I've shown off this dress from Evie's Closet before in different shades, but the delicate texturing of the silver version is simply out of this world - from the pillowy pale velvet of the bodice, to the delicately hued shadows of the puff sleeves, all the way to the ribbon texture down the arms, it is utterly gorgeous. I had fun placing it in front of patterns of white and gray, seeing how the shades and shadows played over each other. One other thing I liked was the fit along the bodice and the arms; often, invisi-layers cut in over the breasts, leaving one with a cut-out triangle that makes extreme angles difficult to shoot, and the entire effect seems slightly off. Here, though, the edges are all thicker and textured over so that it is a smooth effect over the skin, a blessing for photographers. My one wish would have been for the effect to continue under the skirt, perhaps in the form of layers of ruffles or something of the like - or at least some fabric up to the knees, to make shoe shots possible. The ruffles of the skirt are wonderful, though, allowing for a variety of poses without ever stretching too far to make the texture seem stretched, or cutting to close and making the mesh buckle - a true balance in a challenging area.

Lines and Angles

My hair is a new release from BluPrintz with this charming crown worked into the style itself. It has some lovely detailing on the texture, giving forth almost a glow depending on how the light hits it, and I love the shape of the spires. The bang line is an unusual one for me to try, cutting rather lower than is my usual tendency; the severe line works in this case, though, drawing attention to my eyes in closeups and offering a hint of mystery from a distance. I'd love to see the flyaway bits done using mesh strands, but the fit on the head is excellent - loose enough to seem like a regal chignon but close enough to remain elegant. I love that it tucks neatly behind my ears - always a challenge with fae and updos!

The delicate ring on my finger is from Cae, and lives up to their usual unique and detail-rich style. It's a single pearl set into a ring of gems, the settings for the gems arching upward from the band in delicate swoops. The band itself is set with a row of gems on each side of the setting, and there is a HUD which can recolor pearl and gems alike, offering up a remarkable variety in a tiny package. As a bonus, the rings are sized both for the Second Life mesh hand and for the often narrower mesh hands that are all across the grid, now.  

Who, Me?

My necklace is actually won from a gacha at Fit for a Princess, a delicate snowflake pattern which I simply couldn't resist. There are tons of colors available for very few Linden, and I'm looking forward to gradually filling out my collection as the mood hits (and passing my extras out among my long-suffering friends). The chain the snowflake hangs from is actually woven from several silver strands, which makes it more textured and unique - a touch I appreciate!

A couple notable non-Fit for a Princess things - my gorgeously textured nails are from By Snow, and I picked them up ages ago. This is the chrome set, which offers up a white, silver and single color selection - in this case blue to match my gorgeous necklace. I love the circuitry patterned onto it and how that is layered over a French manicure. My wonderful poses are from Grafica, which has massively expanded his sets over the past year and sent out some wonderful group gifts. The sheer variety, from dance poses, to floating ones, to straightforward casual poses offer a lot of options for a photographer in the wild. One thing I appreciate in particular is how well he poses shoulders; with other stores they can become deformed and twisted, but that never happens with a Grafica pose.