Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fantasy Faire Teaser

Words To Live By

A dear friend of mine is really going all out for Fantasy Faire, and I got a glorious peek! I can't say categorically I'm responsible for the rainbows included, but really... having known me, who can resist adding rainbows to everything? :)

Fantasy Faire opens on April 23rd, and while we're waiting for the wonderful, the Fantasy Faire Blog is introducing everyone to the official sponsors, giving teasers for the sims, and asking for votes for the Faire King and Queen! Make sure to swing by for a taste of what's to come!

( 2015 Fantasy Faire )

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hearts are Irreplaceable


Everyone is entitled to their own sorrow. 

Hearts are not comparable, nor metric, with 
no form of measure because all of it is irreplaceable.

- RWBY White -

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Unknown Hunt Guide

Unknown Hunt Item

The Unknown Hunt is a rare thing these days - an event specifically aimed at raising notice about new stores in Second Life, and an excellent way to get a peek at what's new on the grid. It runs from April 9 - 30th and is only for stores which opened in the last year. I'm a huge fan of trying to make advertizing easier for new store owners, so I was right on board when I learned it was coming up!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Meme: What’s your Digits? – Take 5

What's Your Digits has been a project Berry has done for some time, a general review of the shapes everyone in her sphere uses. For all practical purposes, there's no need to change shapes, but external forces like mesh clothing and now mesh bodies has led to people changing bodies in response. I have two bodies I alternate between, depending on circumstances - my standard body, which has a belly, and my slim body, which doesn't. I also finally have a male shape I'm really happy with, on my alt Quatre, so I'll be showing him off for the first time, too.

I've done the challenge several times, in 2011, 2013, and 2014, mostly with very minor changes between them, and that remains true in 2015 - when I use the SLink mesh body, it fits on over my standard shape and just smooths it out a bit. I haven't yet taken to wearing it always, but I could see that happening in the future just for smoothness of joints. It sometimes is shown to poor effect with older poses, though, where my wrists or shoulders end up distended due to how the shape was made.

Monday Meme: What's Your Digits

  1. Do you currently own a mesh body? If so, do you wear it all the time or just once in a while? If not, skip to the fourth question. – I have the SLink body for Deoridhe and I don't foresee getting another one any time soon; they are pricy, and the effects I'm looking for - largely at the joints - are fairly universal across bodies. I like the manner of making parts of the body invisible as well; it makes it very useable for all but the most finicky outfits.

  2. What is your preferred mesh body available on the market right now?SLink Physique Body.

  3. Have you changed your shape since you started wearing the body? – I pretty much use the same shape - alternating between my preferred curvier body, and a small belly / larger rear one I use for revealing clothes so the edges match up.

  4. How do you feel about mesh bodies in general? – I like them, but I don't consider them critical.

  5. What is one thing you would request from designers when it comes to mesh bodies? – I would like smaller butted outfits and clothing. The current trend is for these massive hips and butts with no belly, and I just find it jarring.

I suppose in many ways I'm pretty conservative with my shape; it's one of the only things which remains consistent, and like my face I'm loathed to lose it. I prefer mesh bodies that let me keep it.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Squee: Less Than or Equal

Haven't Yet Lost My Head

I don't remember how I first heard about the Less Than Or Equal podcast, but I was hooked right away. Hosted by Aleen Simms, it is explicitly focused on increasing diversity in tech and geek communities. It began on June of 2014 and the first interview was with a figure I've mentioned before in my Isometric Sunday Squee, Brianna Wu. She's interviewed a number of fascinating geeks, like Greg Thomas, Kronda Adair, and Donna Prior, and the conversations are always wide ranging and interesting.

Episodes come out every Monday and have become an integral part of my commute, giving me interesting things to think about and which stay with me as the week goes on. Each episode page includes links to things discussed during the podcast, which makes it easy to follow up after I get home. I particularly like Simms' dedication to doing good and elevating voices which might not otherwise reach a wider audience! I love learning about things I might not otherwise be aware of, and Less Than Or Equal is a wonderful way to do so.

Bathing in Sparkles

Two Entwined

On the Edge of Falling

The second Charlie released the Dominic male skins in Drow shades, I knew I wanted to try my hand at couples poses. I'm not practiced in these sorts of pictures at all, either in setting them up or arranging things so that bodies don't go through bodies! I'm further hampered by a dedication to being both short in body and long in arms, and prior to very recently my male alt, poor Quatre, looked horrid.

All of that was fixed this week!

Well, I'm still short in body and long in arms, but the rest got modified around. I started with Quatre's shape, picking up the free set of base shapes from the marketplace and then making minor modifications until he looked more like the Quatre of my dreams - isn't he a hawty? His skin is, of course, the newest release from .:Soul:. in the lightest Drow shade - a gorgeously textured piece of loveliness with several different tattoo options for musculature - I'm showing athletic but there's also muscled, which is much more heavily demarked, and soft, which is very gentle and could work for fembois or androgynous figures as well; I've seen it on a female shape, and the effect is striking. It also comes with several stubble and brow options, nails, and appliers for a lot of bodyparts, like kissers, SLink hands and feet, and the Mesh Project. The .:Soul:. Uni ears I'm wearing came with a HUD which gave me all of the .:Soul:. skin tones, so that was incredibly easy to set up, and I used the human skin HUD to give myself lovely little ear tattoos - a fun bonus to the Uni ears. Deoridhe is also wearing a .:Soul:. Drow skin, in her case the Catalina in the darkest on offer - there is also a tone in between these two, but I thought the contrast of burnished silver and rich onyx was the most fun.

Come up to Me

Dressing my poor, neglected Quatre was also an experience, as I've never tried to dress a boy before! The shoes, at least, were easy; I knew FATEstep had just had a huge release, and that all of the shoes came with a ton of options - so Quatre ended up with some slick shoes that should do well by him in a wide variety of styles and outfits. They fit perfectly into pants, as I can now say from experience - I tried a ton of different pants from a ton of men's stores, trying for a mood and feel that worked, and I ended up at a store I don't think I've featured before, Lapointe and Bastchild. These leather pants were slick and tight without cutting into him too much, and they had a subtle style that I really appreciated. I wanted something belted in particular, since I knew I was going to make Quatre stay topless to show off his chest, but the zippers and gold accents were simply a bonus. For his hair I dug into my Arcade extras and found this male hair from Olive in the perfect shade of "I am a creature of the Underdark" white with a bit of curl and sass because he is secretly really Drizzt - unlike all those other fakers on the grid! His eyes are a fun set from Devae that I picked up at Christmas; I have a funny habit of picking up gifts on all my alts, and in this case it really paid off! I just wish I could control his eyes...

I hope you all enjoyed my foray into couples' poses and my attempt at dressing a man!

Don't Let Go

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Meme: Double Threat

Yay lists of questions! Strawberry is at it again, asking us tons of questions in sets of two for a Double Threat. I like these sorts of memes, where it gives me a few nuggets of thinking about things and a chance to show off some old pictures.

Mist and Spray

Two online screen names you’ve had: Deoridhe has literally been my online identity for coming on twenty years, which is sort of amazing when you think about it. Before Deoridhe, I was ever so briefly Aesdana. For a while, on Google+, my "name" was Deirdre Graves because I needed a G+ account for YouTube and they wouldn't accept Deoridhe; I've changed it to be more accurate since they dropped their stupid "real names" policy.

Two video games you’ve played:I played WoW for years and was even in a couple Raiding Guilds. I also play a lot of Civilization 5, with the Fall from Heaven II mod.

Two things you love about Second Life: Exploring the worlds other people create WITH THEIR MINDS has to be at the top of the list. Being completely goofy (right now, a bunch of friends and I are hanging out on voice, all dressed as Drow in honor of a friends' new skin release) with friends is another thing I enjoy.

Two things you’ve done in Second Life: I've built my own wearable lighting system which uses projections, meaning I can alter my lighting for photographs even in places I can't rez things. I've also built a giant house styled as a Christmas Tree Ornament.

Two things you still want to do in Second Life: I want to learn how to make clothing - I have so many dreams and so little time. I want to have an art show of some sort.

Black and White Setup

Two things you like about your Second Life avatar: I love my wings; they're such fun. I love that my shape is entirely unique and made by me.

Two of your Second Life Pet Peeves: The amount of focus people put on negative things - not just the negative things but complaining about the negative things; I can't count the number of times people have complained about stuff but put no effort into finding things that match what they say they want. Also, sims with no fly on!

Two things you did as a newb that you’re embarrassed of: I honestly can't think of anything - I was pretty boring as a newb. Probably the thing I should be embarrassed by, but which I find kind of funny, is my Alphabet Alts for turning over Lucky Chairs.

Two of your closest friends in Second Life: Rowan and Lerochelle Destiny.

Two of the most beloved things in your inventory: My wings from Deviance, which are everything I dreamed of in mesh wings, are a big one; I especially love the rares, which have additions to them. I also adore my rainbow eyes from De La Soul, which I've been wearing for years. 

Bathtub Blues

( More pictures here. )

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Squee: The Circle of Magic Series

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!

Blond woman looking up at the sun in front of some hollyhocks.

I have always been a fan of Tamora Pierce, but it didn't reach multiple re-read status until I picked up the first books of the Circle of Magic Quartet - one of two Quartets about four children coming into their own in a new world. It is an unexpectedly dark series, beginning with tragedy at the beginning of Sandry's Book (The Magic in the Weaving in the UK) and continues to be dark throughout the series, but the books are shorter than her other novels and deceptively simple. The first quartet covers the first year the children are together, when they are between ten and eleven. The second quartet covers the year after they spread out to explore the world, when they are around fourteen or fifteen, and begin to find their place within it. The third quartet covers when they are adults and trying to make their way through a world that often wants to use them; three have already been released with the final one due in 2015.

Blond woman in blue dress dancing in front of a fountain in a stone city square.

It's set in a fantasy realm with magic, but unlike the usual dark and dim forests with muttering mages Emlan is Mediterranean in climate and food and the magic is it's own thing, well layered and fascinating. It's a realm that depends on trade and is subsequently multi-cultural and prosperous - but Pierce doesn't forget that even in the most prosperous areas there are known and identifiable areas of want and pain. After the first quartet, which is set in Emlan for most of it, the locations become ever more widespread. What I like most is that they never fall into the usual fantasy tropes - each new location is interesting and unique, not a rehash of the same medieval tropes which haunt fantasy novels. Even when something European is the setting, the cultures it reflects are more interesting than rainy forests filled with elves and inns full of people about to go on quests.

Blond woman in a blue dress dancing up the stairs.

I also really recommend Mark Reads Emelan, which so far has reached Chapter 8 of the first book of the second quartet.

FATEstep Makes a Splash

FATEshoe Under Water

In his characteristic perfect overkill, Damien Fate started a new branch of his powerhouse of a store, FATEstep. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to handle it; there was, of course, always just filtering his sleek and astonishingly customizable shoes into my looks - and going forward that will be happening, but somehow I wanted to make a bigger splash given I had a folder full of shoes, and only some of them would fit my feet. I'll give a brief overview of the features, but please believe me when I say they're worth taking some time to explore the shoes that particularly appeal to you! Each come with additional socks you can wear, which I've never seen before in Second Life, offering a fantastic bonus both for these shoes and for other shoes you might want to slide over these charming foot additions. The women's shoes come set for both SLink and Maitreya feet. All of the shoes come in pairs of styles (check out the additional pictures for labels for each) with texture differences which add to the variety; in particular, the Nylon Chucks feature art from Nylon Pinkney, a wonderful SL artist and store owner in her own right.

The HUD for those chucks (shown below) is fairly representative of the amount of individualization available. The Part Selection highlights the parts of the shoes as you select them, and you can select multiple parts at once. The texture options vary from shoe to shoe, with some of the shoes having simple colors while others have patterns and pictures. Below that is both a tinting mechanism and a slew of extra features, which vary from actual parts of the shoe changing to the amount of shine available. Finally, at the very bottom is a series of presets you can save over as you come up with different styles you enjoy - a feature of FATE HUDs that I particularly appreciate.

FATEshoe Nylon Chucks HUD

Definitely swing by to FATE Island to try on some of these new shoes and walk the grid in style!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fit for a Princess: Sunlight in Moonlight

Out on a Balmy Evening

Fit for a Princess is back this month with some really cute looks some real deals - like this adorable dress from Baby Brat for under 50$L. There are four color options - the rather lovely gold I'm showing off, and three other pastel shades of orange, blue, and pink. I particularly liked the materials effect on the bodice, making it subtly seem to sparkle in the light. It's well rigged, and the spaghetti straps are delicate without getting too lost - one thing I love about rigged mesh is how spaghetti straps can finally look good! It's well rigged and fully lined, meaning there isn't a bad angle. I also found the invisilayer to be well made, without any gaps at the edges, though keep your panties handy! I paired it with the lovely Rosemarie set from Krystal in simple white diamond; the set has four parts, sold separately - a tiara and a necklace, which I show here, and additional earrings along with a hanging curve of jewels to hook up to the bodice of a gown to dress it up. She also has some lovely gowns set out along with a ring gacha and some lovely key necklaces in gold and silver. I like the size and shape of the tiara and necklace in particular, along with how they reflect each others shapes, creating a nice harmony in an outfit.

Slippery Rocks and Shiny Shoes

I added heels in a contrasting color from Bliensen + MaiTai. While often pastel on pastel can be a lot of fun, adding a richer hue at a single point can add some drama and make an outfit more interesting. I featured a limited edition version of these shoes for 21 Shoe, and the shape is just as much fun in a brighter shade! I still love the starburst of gold, and how lived-in the sheen of the leather is. The heel is very narrow, dressing up an otherwise simple spring gown to match my somewhat over-the-top jewelry choices. And in the same line as the elegant but simple effect of gown, jewelry, and shoes, I went with a sleek hairstyle with a little curl for interest - this gorgeous shoulder length style from Ploom with fun little tendrils and a row of curls along the back. I liked the bang-line in particular, how it flopped over the eyes without obscuring them - the kind of style which looks like you brushed your hair and went out, but which is cleverly held in place with several cans of hairspray or, in this case, clever rigging. I rounded out my look with some deceptively simple cosmetics from Wicked Peach - firstly a subtle combination of cream and red which stayed in the range of my gown while hinting at the contrasting color of my shoes, and secondly some sparkly nailpolish that remained more in the range of my jewelry and bodice - a bit of shine, but subtly so. The final touch was my lipstick from Mock, a creamy violet lipstick which caught the hue of my shoes but in a pastel shade to more closely hew with gown and jewels.

Perfect Princess Wave

There is a lot going on, but I think the final effect is breezy, elegant, and just a touch too expensive for you.