Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ballet Bleu

Aplomb

Ever since I saw this barre from Stockholm & Llima at Romp (now available at her main store), I dreamed of how to do this picture set. The animations included several dances, each of them lovely, and the only question was how I was to create the most important thing - the mirror at the back of the practice room for this Prima Ballerina before the show. That took a little doing - and the shameless use of Whiskey Monday's Nothing Endure's But Change Sim, which was largely empty except for an enormous black tree (thanks Whiskey!). It also took combining Stockholm & Llima's barre with this amazing attic hideaway from Frogstar - a blessedly modify-ok structure that I stripped of it's outer casing in order to bend to my nefarious will. The final touch was using the mirror water setting but turning the Fog Density Exponent up to 10.0 so that the door and wall didn't show up at all. The final effect is of a quirky room with enormous windows and floor to ceiling mirrors along the entire back section of the wall. Up close, the illusion is perfect; from a distance, it looks something like this.

Both of the structures I irrevocably modified are lovely in and of their own right. The Ballet Barre Stockholm & Llima made is actually a BDSM tool as well as a lovely dance display - complete with ribbons coming from ceiling mounted brackets and the ability of a second person to take control. There are a variety of bondage animations, 14 M/f animations and 7 F/f animations. There are also some tinting options, and the entire barre is modify-ok, so the opportunities for customization are extensive. The Frogstar attic actually comes with a lovely surround set up for the lighting and large windows. It comes with three options - shabby clean, dirty, and bloody - and comes with and without baked lighting. I used the baked lighting and reinforced it with my windlight, which I think turned out well. It also comes in at only 9 land impact, which is stellar for a large skybox.

En Pointe

The other half of these pictures was initially inspired by the Zenith tutu and collar set, which I fell in love with on sight. It is the best mesh tutu I've seen to date, rigged well and with a charming and inventive style. I love the ribbon effect on the bodice, and the layers of skirt which each hang slightly separately. The collar is sold separately but matches perfectly, both in the heavy ruffles that stick out around my head (check out the open weave at the outer edges!) and in the gold balls rising up from the froth that echo the gold figures worked into the skirt. The collar is rigged to the head and shoulders, moving so that it continues to frame your head perfectly.

I wanted to keep the accessories simple and highlight the tutu, so the gold band on my Ploom hair, though instead of going for a simple bun, I went for dual poofs that add some interest both to the shape of my head and in terms of the gorgeous texture I chose (candy pack remains my favorite~!). The band is tintable, and I chose gold to continue the gold theme, and then reinforced it by selecting Sax Shepherd Designs' gold filigree wings instead of my usual butterfly solids - I think the effect is really striking! By far the hardest part of find were my pointe shoes. These lovely ones from *Etoile* which include the tintable foot, were the closest I found to traditional shoes; they are modify-ok, which meant I could select the pieces included in the shoe to tint it blue, and add a gold highlight in the small bow on the toe. As you can see below, the shape is perfect from the back and side, and since they fit on the ankle much like a boot does, there are no issues with the ankle moving in a distorted manner. Overall, I am thrilled with my first attempt at a Prima Ballerina - and I hope you all are, too!

Tours Chaînés Déboulés

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Meme: Second Life Made Me Learn


Dryad Reflection

Strawberry asks what Second Life made us learn, and I think this is an awesome question that can be very difficult to answer for those of us who didn't branch out into new ground when we came to Second Life. I was drawn to Second Life by promises of fashion that were more than rewarded, stuck around for discussions of philosophy which went as poorly as they tend to with me, spent some time roleplaying - something I have done elsewhere but which is so much more immersive in Second Life - and now am back to something I started on in early days on the internet, having a website and writing about what I think. In a lot of ways, Second Life has caused me to re-tread over the old ground of my late 1990's Cybernothing (Nothing is Cooler Just Because It's Cyber) website, when I hand-coded everything, including the graphical menu I made by hand (do you guys remember when that was The Thing?). These days, blogger is so much simpler - it does most of the coding, and I just focus on coding my posts and maybe the occasional flourish on my About page.

Delay

Google Hunting: One fun thing I have experienced, though, was learning about things in service to my blog posts. I like to talk about parts of clothing and styles when I can, but my knowledge base is fairly low. Likewise, my knowledge of history is fairly low. I had a ball during the 2013 Fashion/Relay for Life event when they based each sim off of a historical place, though, and put some effort into finding out about each and then writing both what I learned and my impression of the sims themselves. Likewise, with the 21 Shoe Event, I've had fun looking up parts of the shoe in order to make my commentary on them in particular more specific. For other styles of clothing, like what sometimes shows up at Genre, I've also looked up things like historical fashion - for example, during the Ancient Worlds month I looked into Egyptian, Greek, and Roman dress in order to contextualize the clothing made by Les Encantades and Luminary.

Self-Promotion: This is something I still struggle with on a couple of fronts, but I've definitely identified ways I feel comfortable seeking the attention of other people, like sending notecards and suchlike. Most recently I've been thinking about branding; overall I am a "Fashion" blog, but I also cover the arts, events, sims, hunts, and opinion - and I think it's the latter topics which set me apart from other blogs. I'm still thinking about ways of shifting the focus to that when a lot of the focus in the blogosphere in general bends us in a singular direction.

Organization: Especially with the advent of events, I've had to become extraordinarily organized (for me) in order to try to address things in a timely manner. Ironically, I suspect I'm more bothered by my tardiness than any of the individuals who kindly send me things to try out.

Perspective: I think all of the above challenges have driven me to define more clearly and completely my perspective on the world, as it exists exclusive to me. In this sense, this goes far beyond Second Life, but I can't ignore the powerful effect that writing these posts and maintaining this blog since 2011 has had on me.

Sweeping Gold

It's been really interesting to think about the changes since I logged in on August 2008, and who knows what changes are yet to come!

( More Monday Meme's here. )
( More pictures here. )

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Squee: Treet TV

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!

Elrick Merlin and his Army

Treet TV is a resource within Second Life that is nearly unique - an actual television station with multiple shows covering a wide variety of topics. The one I watch the most is probably Designing Worlds, which most recently interviewed three photographers, but has a history of telling funny stories in New Babbage, interviews with artists and creators, and explorations of major events like Second Life's Birthday Party and Fantasy Faire. They used to film it live; now there's a live showing of the show that usually the participants attend in order to answer questions from the audience.

Giant Snails

One of the funniest shows is the Giant Snail Races, where avatars dressed up as enormous snails go through mazes of increasing absurdity. There is a lot of being flung involved, and each of the snails is amazing in it's unique style. Currently, at LEA 4, there is an exhibit of different giant snails for all of us to enjoy. I love this celebration of eccentricity and silliness - surely something everyone needs in their lives.

MadPea: Gridwide Hunt - MiChiGaNs ShAcK I

For Hunters there is Happy Hunting, which covers all of the events across the grid and a lot of fun besides.

Riding the Hurricane

Sadly, most of the rest of the shows have vanished into the past, but they still exist on the Treet TV website if you want a window into the halcyon days of the past, all rosy colored. Many stores still open were covered by Angie Mornington on her show Fabulous Fashion, which ended in 2010, and I don't think the influences of Metaverse Arts can be understated, even though it ended in 2012. Whether you want some perspective on where we came form, or just to cheer on some Giant Snails. Treet TV is the place to go.

Mangrove Trees

( More Sunday Squee here. )

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vaguely Rageful and Slightly Blue

The Long View

I've been vaguely rageful and slightly blue lately, one of those challenging states where emotions exist less as discrete experiences and more as a miasma which tints everything just a little bit, but enough to add and edge to everything. It's very dissolution makes it difficult to pinpoint; it is like despair, but without despair's bite and hopelessness, fatalism without nihilism. It's not depression, but shares a zip code. However, there is a balm in the beautiful things of the world; a peace to be found in stepping into other peoples' worlds and other peoples' dreams. I think sometimes that's what brings me back to Second Life again and again - a chance to engage with the creations of other people which says so much more than any explanation could.

In A Cage

excerpt from Four Preludes On Playthings Of The Wind
by Carl Sandburg

'The past is a bucket of ashes.'

1

The woman named To-morrow
sits with a hairpin in her teeth
and takes her time
and does her hair the way she wants it
and fastens at last the last braid and coil
and puts the hairpin where it belongs
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
What of it? Let the dead be dead.


Lantern Glow

Friday, February 20, 2015

21 Shoe Fountain

21 Shoe Fountain

This is just a small preview of the shoes that will be available for only 24 hours on the 21st of February for the 21 Shoe Event. Each come in a set of two and there is a wonderful mix of style, color, and variety between all of the stores I've seen so far!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Simple Pleasures

Shadowed Branches

It's very undemocratic of me... but I! Love! Sekrits!

Sudden Glee

Monday, February 16, 2015

Genre: Dark Summoner

Welcome to my Playground

Genre's theme is the Dark Arts this round, and the inspiration covers a lot of ground - from traditional practices of Tarot and Demonology to popular fiction. It also gave me a chance to get in touch with shadow!Deo, who lurks in the places least seen and comes out... well, best to leave those considerations unspoken. My face is made up of a combination of things; layered underneath is the base tattoo from Spyralle, meant to go with a variety of forehead decorations - foreheads were popular this month! It's a webwork design you'll see more of in future posts, but I liked the effect of the lacy edges under my mask, an incredible creation from Eclectica. It's formed and textured like leather, ridged and edged very realistically with simple, smooth curling horns coming from the temples. I love the texturing on this in particular, from the gleam of the eyes to how each section captures the light. It looks sharp and wild, yet still retains it's mask-like quality, which I really appreciate. My jewelry is also from Eclectica, but isn't a release at Genre, and after this round of Genre is over, the mask will join the rest of Eclectica's creations at her store.

Baphomet is my Pal

My dress is from Wimey, and manages to somehow be both adorable and menacing - a Wimey special, in my experience. I am a sucker for outfits with snakes on them, and this one does not disappoint - with a python lovingly hugging waist and breast both. The snake part is textured with a dappled metallic effect, like beaten metal, while the corset top and skirt both have the heavy, thick quality of leather. I particularly like the embossed pattern on the bodice and how the bottom v of the bodice is more heavily creased, as if the wearer has sat a lot in it. The effect is a wearable garment, even though it's all leather. I added on some flash nails from Vengeful Threads, a field of red trees on a black background - certainly appropriate for the overall look and very slick. My shoes, in contrast, look like they were decoupaged from old Tarot cards - a fun and misty effect from Sense-able Fashions. The shoe shape itself is simple, a perfect base for the overlaying of brightly colored cards to really be shown at their best.

Step on Nails

The final touch to my demonic fashion is a curse from BluPrintz - swirling flames which can be connected by a series of particles to form stars of different numbers of points - from three to twelve. The options for colors are immense - there is a way to change both colors of the flames as well as the color of the links; I went with a dull, bloody red for the star, and left the points as bright orange and red flames. In addition to flames swirling behind, there is a second set included which swirls around the body perpendicular to it - rather like the magical effects of anime, or what happened last week when I summoned that... oh, well... nevermind. It's not important.It's definitely critical to make it to Genre before ...whatever happened last week catches up with us, though - remember, salt and circles, and try to make sure what you summon isn't on the same side of the barrier as you are.

Strike a Pose, and a Henchman

Monday Meme: Have You Ever ... in Second Life?

Strawberry brings us a light and cheerful meme this week - a fun game of Have You Ever for Second Life. I love these kinds of questions - and I'm adding a few of my own at the end for anyone who feels frisky to try on for size!

Tempting Fate
  1. Have you ever owned a sim in Second Life? – No

  2. Have you ever created content in Second Life? – Depends on what you mean; I made houses and fountains and my own photography lights, but I've never sold anything.

  3. Have you ever driven a vehicle in Second Life? – Yes, though I'm pretty bad at it. For a while a friend had a multi-level sim with roads and I practiced on the curves. I kind of miss the sim design for that alone!

  4. Have you ever gone sky diving in Second Life? – Yes, I did at one of the LEA sims, though I prefer free-falling.

  5. Have you ever played a sport in Second Life? – Nope

  6. Have you ever gone clubbing in Second Life? – Sometimes; there was a period of time I went every Friday, and for a while I hosted at a friend's bar.

  7. Have you ever fangirled/fanboyed someone in Second Life? – Very quietly. Sometimes they talk to me!!! One of my first objects of fangirling, katat0nik, is a friend now, which is kind of awesome.

  8. Have you ever taken a picture of your avatar in water in Second Life? – Tons of times. I love playing with the reflections and lights.

  9. Have you ever taken a picture of a sunset in Second Life? – Tons of times, though it's harder to make clothes show up well under a sunset!

  10. Have you ever taken a nude picture of your avatar in Second Life? – Only from behind, and only once; I actually prefer being more covered than not!

  11. Fishie Friends

  12. Have you ever dated in Second Life? – Nope, unless you could In Character, in which case only once and he simultaneously proposed marriage to me while cheating on me with someone else.
  13. Have you ever had or attended a wedding in Second Life? – Never on both; I've known a few people who got married, but I wasn't invited to weddings.

  14. Have you ever drank, smoked or taken drugs in Second Life? – Smoked and drank, yes. I don't think I've done drugs.

  15. Have you ever engaged in sexual activity in Second Life? – Oh yeah. For a while, I was IC specializing in threesomes (Deoridhe ICly has never been in a relationship where she wasn't the third).

  16. Have you ever been to Bukkake Bliss in Second Life? – Nope.

  17. Have you ever been to Sensual Stoneworks? - On an alt, yes.

  18. Have you ever felt emotionally moved by something in Second Life? - Absolutely!

  19. Have you ever griefed in Second Life? - No, but I've been on site for a griefing a few times.

  20. Have you ever made art in Second Life? - Not really - just taken pictures.

  21. Have you ever made a home in Second Life? - Yes, I have a Premium Home.
Broken Doll

( More favorites here. )

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Squee: Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms Series

Canal

I have been a fan of Mercedes Lackey literally since I was a teenager, picking up one of her first series out of order and on a whim in the halcyon days of a hazy past. In the last ten years or so she's started two new series, both inspired by and a critique of fairy tales. The one I'm focusing on today, the stories of the 500 Kingdoms, starts with The Fairy Godmother and wends its way through fairytale and myth both (the second book, One Good Knight, revolves mainly around the story of Andromeda) building up a complicated, interwoven series of stories. My two favorite stories are the third and fifth, Fortune's Fool and The Sleeping Beauty.

Vogue by the Wall

It's from the Russian-inspired Fortune's Fool that the inspiration for my dress came today - drawing in figures like Baba Yaga, the tales of poor Ivan, and even the Koschey the Deathless (who first appeared many books earlier) and combining in the slightest touch of further climes - Japan and the Arabian Deserts in particular - Fortune's Fool is a romp form beginning to end and includes one of my favorite romantic relationships of all time. If you love fairytales and mythologies, I cannot recommend this series enough. If you love adventure, magic, and happy endings, these will bring a lot of light to your life. I return to these books time and again when life seemed dark and difficult, and they never fail to brighten my day and my spirits.

Frightened of my Own Shadow


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fit for a Princess: Born of Snow

I'm a Cutie!


Fit for a Princess is about halfway through, and there are still lovely wintery and love related glitz and glamour for all of the most discerning princesses. My gorgeous gown is from Evie's Closet, and is one of my favorite styles from her - a sumptuous ballgown with silver accents. I'm an enormous fan of the tight corset sleeve down the forearm, shooting out of it's puffy clouds of white, and the textured quilting of the bodice with it's tiny center dots. The alpha layer is also well down, skimming low enough that my decolletage is perfect even from above.  Many other colors are available at Evie's Closet, but I love the white for it's simplicity. I paired it with a simple, purple-stoned snowflake necklace from Krystal, available in her gacha. I've been playing a few rounds each time I run into it and amassed quite a collection of jewelry. I liked the little touch of color against the pure white of my gown, and I reinforced that with incredibly bright hair from Ploom - in an incandescent combination of teal and purple - and a rich, dark lip from Pink Fuel. The nice thing about a large, simple gown is that it allows for significantly more variety in accessories - letting the accessories take center stage and acting as a canvas that is rendered all the more lovely by the contrast of negative space.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


These really fun, quirky poses are all from Fashiowl - each with it's own fitting prop. I love how they inspire to sillyness - from me singing into the "cute princess" popsicle, to blowing kisses across the snow. They come in a box that is it's own pose-with-prop, a fantastic arm owl. The final pose, shown below, is from a previous Fit for a Princess event, and is available at their main store. All of them are fun and interesting - both the poses and the props. I love the idea of little images on blackboards, each one a different fun or flirty message going out to anyone watching. Fashiowl specializes in emotive poses with props, from cheerful divers with cameras, to princesses kissing a hundred frogs in search of that elusive prince. Definitely check out not only the four popsicle poses on sale at Fit for a Princess, but also their wide variety of poses at their main store! I selected Cadenza as a spot for my pictures because if it's use of white and light colors, which would allow me to keep the bright hair and lips the central focus of my look and show off both through these various playful poses.

Summon Snow