Thursday, October 8, 2015

Drop of Sky on the Earth

On the Brink of Disaster

My world has been full of changes in the past month. Within the span of three weeks - literally three weeks - I moved my house and my office, and everything is still up in the air and very much in flux. I keep losing things, dropping things, forgetting things - even more than usual. I've also been doing a lot of thinking about priorities and desires - sparked in part with spending more time roleplaying. My world is a very full one, these days, and I am very blessed. I'm not sure what roll the "type about things" part of my blog will retain, though. Although a lot of designers have said in other contexts that they value fashion bloggers who write about their creations, my experience has been that it is significantly less important - and also that it often doesn't add real value to the pictures unless it's the sort of in depth review I'm disinclined to make. I've enjoyed looking up and talking about different styles and suchlike, but the sort of breathless 'I love this' post may well be a thing of the past.

High Voltage

Monday, October 5, 2015

Genre: The Rainbow Zone

Image Description: Distance shot of a winged faerie sitting on the top of a stack of chairs with a ladder-perch of a crow in the foreground. The stack of chairs is on a checkerboard colored floor, and three paintings hand in front of a rainbow void to one side.

Any world can be created in Second Life, even a rainbow version of the Twilight Zone, and the furniture and sets available at Genre this month make creating your own land of improbable geometry both easy and fun. Personally, I started with an amazing chess-and-clocks base from Black Tulip, which is stuffed full of poses as well as personality. The combo of lines and curves make taking pictures from every angle a blast, and I adore the tip-toeing across the top edges of things in particular - it really makes it charming and fun. It comes in black and white but can be tinted to many colors and is easy to dress up if you want a less minimalist style. I'd love to see it with chess pieces in particular, or perhaps some giant clocks. The details I added were similarly surreal, though - 22769 ~ [bauwerk] has both a ladder to nowhere and a stack of chairs to nowhere in their offerings this Genre, and each have a ton of thoughtful, reflective, and silly poses.

Image Description: Mid-range shock of a winged faerie from behind; her hair is backwards on her head, and a mask, bubbles, and butterflies explode from where her face would be.

Sunday Squee: The Realm of Ozryn

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!

Image Description: Landscape image of a river running to a grate next to a statue of a blindfolded woman.

The Realm of Ozryn (website :: sim) is a unique world with a lovely mix of events and free roleplaying and a truly fascinating cast of characters. It's been ages since I was last hip-deep in roleplay, and I'm enjoying myself thoroughly as the fae candy maker Deoridhe who lived through into a futuristic era before falling foul of the cataclysmic mixing of time and space which made this unique realm. The tech level is medieval - not due to any lack of skill on the part of the residents, but rather due to the mechanistic influence of the Auditors, who arrive to remove any sort of technology, and the lives of anyone who tries to get in their way. It's a fascinating conceit, mixing people from all kinds of different eras and forcing them to abide within primitive circumstances, and I love having a character who is both entirely magic and can reference Buffy the Vampire Slayer in open roleplay.

Image Description: Gathering of people near a well. In the foreground, a dark skinned woman wearing mostly fishing nets next to a faerie in formal dress. In the background, an elf and two infernum on the porch of a store.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Genre: I Lava the 5th Dimension

Born from Heat

It's damnably difficult to find a volcano in Second Life! I spend a short while in the Amazon River area, but found the volcano there impossible to easily find; to be in this area one must wear a HUD which punishes you for camming to other areas, kills you if you follow rivers, and puts you in a cage if you take it off - all of which definitely impede any attempt to find a volcano three sims away! I ended up instead on Orwood Volcano, a Linden build which is complete with occasional events - spouts of flame into the sky, flying lava rocks - as well as the even glow of flowing lava. I love the Protected Land of the grid, all of them little frozen balls of art created ages ago by Linden employees. Sadly they didn't continue their builds, updating them as the tech of Second Life improved, but they are often still lovely areas and good for photography, leaning heavily on legacy textures and Linden trees. Expect to be able to get a lot out of your windlights, and to have to angle sharply to avoid surrounding buildings - de-rezzing them can also work well.

A Dimension Per Finger

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dancing Steps

Feather Wind

I had a ball with Cila's outfit from the Fantasy Gacha Carnival - and I love her gacha style; her rares are color based, and by and large the colors all work together pretty well. I've been running into more gacha like this, a little closer to the original idea of being inexpensive, fun items one didn't need to collect all of in order to enjoy the few one got. I ended up rounding out my collection a little with some purchases and even picked up a rare! Ah, the temptation to try to catch them all~

In Movement

China is a glorious watercolor sim which can be tinted every which way, and there is nothing quite like a rainbow sunset exploding in every direction. The sim is an ink impression of bamboo, clouds, birds, and a single building. A few items are thrown in - a chair, a television - but it's easy to focus on the simple lines of an ink painting reproduced in three dimensions; you walk here among stylized China, slipping between the lines both literally and figuratively.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Squee: New Home

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!

Wax Plant

Kitchen Color

Kitchen Papers

I moved for the first time in eight years, and I had seriously forgotten the toll it can take on one's life and mind. It's occupied me for the better part of a month and a half, and I'm only now getting my sea legs again - living a life only half made up of boxes, instead of entirely. I love the color it's brought into my life, though, and all of the little things, from being in a cooler location to having more space. I'm exhausted, still a bit overwhelmed, and slowly coming back to more of a life online than the odd Facebook Game.

Livingroom and Hall Colors

Bed Light


These pictures are a poor iPhone attempt at sharing some of the colors which surround me - all of which seem much more vivid and alive in person. I ended up doing a fade from room to room, shades of blue, green and purple all interacting harmoniously with a pure white trim on every other surface. I'm slowly filling in the pieces of my personality, adding shelves for knick knacks and holes for walls and storage items. Finding out how to live in a new space is always a challenge, but I think I'm up to it!

Guest Bedroom

Taddy Belly

( More Sunday Squee here. )

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Caught Unawares

Image Description: Spiral of red shoes falls upon a surprised looking woman in a green dress.

I didn't expect exactly what an effect moving would have on my spare time, but apparently it swallows it whole in a combination of boxes and anxiety! It's been almost a month since I posted and I've missed a ton of things - so sorry to everyone for evaporating without word - and I have another week or so before I can start settling into my new place. I feel rather like the would is falling in on me; at least in Second Life, that world can be made up of gorgeous shoes!

See you on the other side!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Genre: Bride of Hades

Lost in a Strange Underworld

The story of Persephone is a troubling one for modern people. A girl, daughter of a god, is desired by her Uncle Hades, who claims her without pausing to ask for her consent. Her mother grieves, drying out the world and making it so that nothing can grow until her daughter is returned. Her plan eventually works, but not until Persephone has eaten some of the food for the dead - in many cases it's implied Hades forced the food on her - and thus is doomed to the depths forever. A compromise is struck, though; for several months Persephone is with Hades based on the number of pomegranate seeds she's eaten, and the rest of the time she comes back to the surface once more - her mother celebrating through an explosion of bounty.

Modern readers often argue that Persephone must have consented in some manner, and the story has even been retold as the secret plot of a girl wanting to escape her overbearing mother. As a story of desire, incest, and the helplessness of women in a world full of people with more power and influence, however, it is a compelling story of loss and compromise for Persephone herself. Robbed of any reasonable choice to determine her destiny, she leverages what power she can to make a life for herself torn between the power of mother, and uncle. Who knows what secrets she holds in order to keep some part of herself for herself in a world dominated by her own family. In the past there were vast cults of people dedicated to each god, and I wonder what the ones who embraced the hard choices of Persephone would whisper to each other in the dark.

Finding One's Own Way

Fallen Gods' approach to the Underworld for this Genre is to embrace the pomegranates of Persephone, transforming them into a gorgeous tattoo which begins on the face and curves down ones torso. There is a matching Hades tattoo for men, this time representing the jagged break in the ground he used to abduct her. Both have a lot of versions included; Persephone comes colored and not, and with outlines in a variety of shades appropriate for any skin tone, and Hades comes in five different colors, all of them intense. Covering most of me with modesty befitting Persephone is this hair and veil combination from Anachron. The hair comes either rigged or not - I chose the not-rigged version so that I could fit the hair to match my rounded skull. The hair and veil are both tintable via a HUD, and the latter can be matched to the Greek-style dress Anachron made to match.

I added in a gorgeous mermaid dress from Fission, though, in order to make my personification of Persephone a bit more modern. It comes in four colors, the fabric behind the black mesh shifting into each shade while the black remains consistent. I tinted the gray a rich gold in order to make it match up more effectively with the rest of my accessories, and the effect is striking! Fission also lines the inside of their skirts and rounds the edges of the gown nicely, and it's well rigged despite the mermaid style being tricky around the knees. Finishing out my goldy dark look is a fantastic flowered halo from Souzou Eien. It's well placed, with a large ring and lovely gems tucked into the hearts of each flower. The final detail from Genre is a ring and necklace pair from Bliensen + MaiTai which are actual blinking eyes. It's startling the first few times you're not paying attention and something moves at your neck - definitely a creepy final effect.

Light Steps on Hard Metal

Two final points that add a lot to this look - my Glamistry heels are one of their older releases, but they are an amazing combination of straps and chains which are placed with exacting detail and tie in to a band down the arch of the foot. I love them for how brief they are, and for the double layered platform which jogs in under the sole of the shoe. Like all Glamistry shoes they are recolorable via a HUD, and after the initial color is purchase the others can be added via the HUD for a lower price. All of the colors are available for mixing and matching as well, which makes these some of the most versatile shoes on the grid.

I also couldn't do anything I do without the fantastic poses I buy from pose makers who are often under-appreciated. Grafica is one of my favorite stores, having a wide variety of styles and moods including a bunch of poses from both modern and historic dances. There are floating and leaping poses as well, which make picking what I'll be doing in a given image really a treat! Make sure to check out Grafica when you're looking for a way to move yourself into the best images and I'm sure you'll be happy.

Depths of Tartarus

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Squee: Spyralle

Lighthouse Duty

One of the people who does the most with textures is Kerryth Tarantal the creator of Spyralle, a clothing and furniture store filled to the brim with fractals. If you haven't run into fractals before, they're an amazing discovery of mathematics and also a natural phenomena - and offshoot of a tendency for nature to repeat patterns in both directions, smaller and larger. The roots of human understanding go back to the 17th century in the studies of recursion until the term was finally coined in the 1970s by Benoît Mandelbrot. He described them as "beautiful, damn hard, increasingly useful" but it wasn't until computers became ubiquitous that their true utility for creation was unlocked.

Down the Stairs

Critical in re-creating natural figures in digital worlds, fractals also can be colored and reproduced - and its this from that most people outside of mathematics, like myself, are familiar with. This is also the form that Tarantal makes use of in her creations, from coloring her chunky furniture and buildings to her boho-style clothing, and even on a wide variety of jewelry, masks, and fantastical accessories. The colors she uses are bright and clear, and she places the different swirling features beautifully on clothes and jewels alike. She seems to work mostly from the Mandelbrot and Julia sets with their amazing coils and curves rendered in stunning shades. I think I like the jewelry the best, the boundless glory of fractals somehow captured in rectangles and bands of brilliance. In all the many facets, though, Spyralle will continue to bring fractals to the grid, a truly unique style that everyone can enjoy.

Ready for Anything

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Realm of Ozryn

The roleplaying sim Realm of Ozryn (Website) is opening on Monday.

Realm of Ozryn: Allkin Crossing

The world is a mix of times and races, all drawn together by a traumatic event eighty years ago called the Chronophage. Now, in the wreckage of many ages and without the technology to ease their lives, a melange of people try to make their way through a dangerous, changeable world, haunted by mysterious figures called Auditors who remove any technology one might find or create. Left with medieval resources, even pampered creatures from the future must work cheek and jowl with their ancestors to grow enough food and build enough of a society for them to survive.

In the absence of technology, though, magic flourishes - both in the bodies of many a fantastical creature, and in the minds and hands of humans. By and large, if you can dream it you can be it - Angels, demons, fairies, elves, beast-kin and mermaids all co-exist mostly peacefully with humans, ruled by an upper council of Humans, Vampires and Celestials with representatives of the other races also attending and voting. Peace largely reigns, but there are always murmurings in the shadows as the different peoples jostle for power.

Realm of Ozryn: Sel'Therin

Character creation is simple and straightforward, with skills baked in for most races and provisions made for half-breeds. Rentals are available in many of the racial areas, from the hidden glens of the mers and Drow, to the sweeping heights of the elves and humans. There is one central town near to where the council meets, and a docks bustling with activity as ships come and go from the other nations in the world. Ozryn is a central location in the ocean, allowing for vast amounts of trade and making it a critical stopping point for ships traveling between the many islands on the planet. People are constantly coming and going, contributing to the ever-changing, energetic feel of the island.

There are also a variety of shops available for the entrepreneurial individual and can serve as a valuable entree into roleplay as well as an excuse to lurk in well-trafficked areas. Even the most marginalized need to manage to find food and shelter, though, whether through begging at the docks or serving some as-yet unidentified purpose underground. Others still might make their way as guides and travelers, learning the most hidden paths to untold wonders and smoothing the way between often antagonistic individuals. A favor can be as good as a handful of coin from the right person, and many races have long lives and longer memories.

Realm of Ozryn: The Keep

What will you find in the Realm of Ozryn?