Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Walking From the Fire

Close your eyes now time for dreams,
Death is never what it seems.
Did the things you thought you should,
All the things they said were good.

All your faith in ancient ways,
Leaves you trapped inside a maze.
Take the lives of those you need,
Sow the death then reap the seed.
Reap the seed.

In Two Directions

Born an angel, heaven sent,
Falls from grace are never elegant.
Stars will drop out of the sky,
The moon will sadly watch the roses die.

In vain,
Lost, no gain,
But you're not taking me.

You can't have my life,
I'm not your sacrifice.
You can try, but I'm free,
And you won't conquer me.


Sacrifice - RWBY Volume 2

Monday, March 30, 2015

When Life Gives You Apples... Run

Apple Landing
Looking at various myths, legends and fairy tales, apple seems to be pretty misfortunate for a woman. When an apple appears in a story, you know that something will go bad. From Eve, thru Greek mythology to Snow White there was always a catch with an apple. It is beautiful, delicious, tempting, seductive. A Perfect disguise for all bad that can come. I use it as a symbol for the monstrosities that woman too often dont recognise as such in its early stages. This installation is about domestic violence and eating disorders, on first sight two very different things, but violence against someone and violence against oneself are the same thing, a violence.

High Fashion

Rebeca Bashly always does amazing, evocative builds with layered meanings and complicated shapes. Her latest build, about violence against women both external and internal, is no exception. When Life Gives You Apples... Run. The beginning of everything is inside of a mostly eaten green apple that gleams as if made of metallic dreams. The path weaves in and out of the apple, through mall doorways and over invisible paths - an unnerving effect, to be sure. At the heart of the apple, caught up in a seed, is two entwined bodies ravaged by starvation, the skin rippled to show the bones underneath. Above and below are teleports to the two sky-builds, one called "Home Sweet Home" and the other called "Doll House". Both offer up images that are at once familiar and unreal, in a world where domestic violence is experienced by 20 people every minute and where the ribs of starving women are photoshopped out of images of models. This is a world most of us find it difficult to look at long, but the images are haunting.

Home Sweet Home

Heart Breaking
It was a night like every other night. I was listening to stories that i have heard million times before. I felt them crawling up my earlobes like ants...i was smiling inside, you'll never get in.. i was looking with my eyes shut... there was nothing i havent seen before... i was there and i was away... but i was there... i was there.. and rhythm of my heart was changing now. It started pounding harder...and harder..with every beat i felt it was growing inside my chest... i felt it was outgrowing me... and i was amazed... watching it slowly fill the room...with every beat it got stronger and louder...it spilled into the next room... than in the kitchen... bathroom... my heart filled whole house and was still getting bigger... thru the deafening noise of my heart beats i heard  cracking of the walls of the house... windows and doors blowing away... and whole house was shred into pieces in one heart beat... it was the most beautiful thing i have never seen.

Seeds of Pain

It is difficult to put into words the full effect of moving through these images. The use of color - green, red, hot pink - somehow makes it seem stylized even though everything is incredibly detailed and textured. One of the qualities of having an avatar in a virtual world and experiencing three dimensional virtual art is how present it seems, how it takes up your entire view and focus, how moving through it changes how it looks form every angle. It is often equally static to two dimensional art, but even then not always - the heart in Home Sweet Home moves, beating it's way through the shell of the house it was trapped in, and the laundry line of models spins endlessly in front of the Doll House, somehow embodying the hopelessness of women as clothing racks. The overwhelming nature of it, the effect of movement and light and shadow, can only be hinted at through the window of two dimensional photography.

Doll House

Sweet Tooth
once upon a time there were two sisters. They were building a doll house together. Ana and Mia worked on their doll house day and night, often not sleeping at all. It was their priority,nothing else was important as this. It was so beautiful, and so glamorous that they decided to make a fashion show. Ana and Mia fashion show. It was a huge success. Girls worldwide wanted to be just like them. Ana and Mia became heroines...

Paper for Breakfast

Monday Meme: Mean Comments

I've Met Amoeba More Intelligent than You

It's interesting how peoples' attention will often dovetail. Berry just put together a meme about making online spaces kinder and more compassionate; I've been trying to shift my own focus away from focusing on what I dislike and toward focusing on what I like with my Sunday Squee. I have spent a lot of time and attention developing my critical faculties for a variety of reasons, but I found myself struggling with how to love problematic things in a world full of problematic things.

One of the sources of aggression against others is internal pain; to focus on the failings of others is to give us surcease from our own suffering. Another source of aggression is insecurity, a need to take up space and thus show that one exists and is powerful; this is one of the more common motivations for online trolling and abuse of strangers who represent things one dislikes. Ironically, using aggression to alleviate pain is part of a cycle of increasing pain, as each person who is a target then has their own burden to try to relieve - and all too often it is through taking it out on someone else. Stopping this self-reinforcing cycle without letting those with actual power off the hook for it is one of the central struggles of most Social Justice movements, either overtly or covertly.

The worlds we make with each other online are mirrors of the worlds we live in offline.

  1. Have you ever been subjected to mean comments online by strangers? If not, then skip to question #5. – I've received a death threat - not a plausible one, but still - and had an individual dedicated to insulting me while I was a moderator on Gaia Online. The ones which hurt the most were from people I considered friends, though. One of the first people I met in Second Life went on to outright say I should seek psychiatric help and/or I was less intelligent than he thought I was because I was religious, and so it was obvious I was mentally ill/stupid. He dressed it up in nicer words, but it's what he thought and meant. To be that profoundly dismissed and insulted by someone whom you liked and trusted is incredibly painful.

  2. How did you respond to them? – In the case of the threat, I documented it and emailed the details to the safety contact for Gaia Moderators. In the case of the insulting gentleman, I got to ban him hundreds of times, so that was actually kind of fun. In the case of the ex-friend, I disengaged and he earned a prefix on his description, but he never really seemed to grasp how profoundly he insulted me, and I'm not sure how to put that sort of thing into words he could hear. From his perspective I was simply wrong, and if I was smarter/saner I would agree with him.

  3. How did they make you feel? – The threat was scary, but I expected it and knew what to do. The insulter I just found annoying, especially since Gaia doesn't delete accounts, so the account he made named "Deoridhe is a cunt" remains on there and shows up if you search for "Deoridhe" on the website - several users contacted me about it when they saw it, not realizing the account survived barely a half hour. I feel similarly about other strangers who have insulted me; slightly annoyed and very dismissive. The third... well.... it was a reminder that some atheist, intellectual men who value rationality more than connection will not only be cruel but will not acknowledge the cruelty they inflict on others, something which has been highlighted for me in particular during the last four years of concerted, aggressive, cruel abuse of prominent women online. There is a type. I try to avoid having them in my life.

  4. Can you share some of the mean comments you’ve received and your thoughts on them? – I've had very few recently. My online persona is specifically geared to discourage insults; I've been at this a while! The only one on this blog I actually made a blog post about called "How NOT to Get Your Links on my Blog". My "How NOT to..." series could be seen as a response to mean comments, or it could be seen as a source of me making mean comments, so in a way it exists at the nexus of this discussion. I don't consider the people I'm documenting the interaction with to be the audience for those posts, which I suspect shifts my judgement of them. Another experience I had was last night, while taking pictures for my RWBY Squee, when two individuals on the sim I was on walked up to me while I was editing pictures, started calling me a "rainbow fairy fag" and started physically pushing me. I might actually pull the local chat to send to the sim owners, but at the time I checked their profiles (one very new, other older, both in groups that implied a liking for annoying others), thought about the likelihood of them doing anything other than dismissing what I would say, and decided to ignore them; within ten minutes they had walked away. I find them contemptible, I often find bigots contemptible, but I can't say they hurt my feelings in any way. 

  5. Have you ever ridiculed or negatively commented on someone else’s work, actions or personality with the intention to hurt them? – For the purpose of hurting someone, no. For my own amusement, as a form of analysis, as a way of trying to communicate about relational issues, as a way to comment on issues of Social Justice, yes. Aside from the "for my own amusement" I consider most of these semi-defensible (the negative comments, not the ridicule), but one of the flaws of critique is how quickly it can become a snake eating it's own tail, twisted around until one is reflexively dismissive. Having seen what that leads to in other people, I'm trying to mitigate the effects as much as I can while continuing to look critically at the world around me as well as myself. I've found shifting my emphasis towards things I love, toward critique in the context of love, has helped find a different way to engage in critique while still trying to hold on to the innate value each person has.
I See Through You

( More pictures here. )

Sunday Squee: RWBY

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!


I adore Remnant, and most specifically the teams RWBY, JNPR, and CFVY, all of whom are part of the fantastical, Rule of Cool world of RWBY. Originally a web series, RWBY is now available on DVD (with commentaries by the creators) and streaming on Netflix, while remaining available to everyone in both it's original form, and with every additional sort of thing one could ask for, all from the production company, Rooster Teeth. The main series is a total of four hours, but the supplementary material will keep you busy much longer. RWBY was the brain child of Monty Oum, who left us too soon (he died the day after RWBY was released on Netflix, which was where I found out about it), and it's titular set of four girls are each distinct, amazing, and completely awesome. The art style is highly stylized watercolor, the plots never let reality get in the way of a good story, and the violence is my favorite sort - set to music and cartoonishly enormous. The world is tech and magic heavy, with an emphasis on individuality and dark portents. Like our world, everyone has a dark secret. Unlike our world, everyone has an Aura which protects them from damage, and a Semblance, which augments their abilities in some unique and personality-consistent manner. It should come as no surprise that this is a world where Original Characters flourish, and that is a phenomena fully supported by the RWBY creators.

The main characters are refreshingly individualized, both in nature and abilities, and a lot of attention is put to making those individuals meet, conflict, and work together in ways that emphasize their value as individuals. Team RWBY is made up of Ruby Rose (vanguard, tactically brilliant, relentless, and enthusiastic) and her partner Weiss Schnee (mage, most motivated, exacting, and isolated) along with her older sister Yang Xiao Long (bruiser, deceptively simple, impulsive and loving) and her partner Black Belladonna (thief, best researcher, solitary and idealistic). Each character has their own perspective, their own reasons for doing what they do, they often disagree and when they do it's vehemently. One of the things I liked most about the episodes so far is how successfully it encompasses opposites while setting up circumstances for those opposites to exist in relationship with each other. This tendency is continued in team JNPR, which sets into opposition innocence and skill, loquaciousness and simplicity, and then sets it loose on the world. Unlike RWBY, JNPR is gender balanced (all-girl RWBY is balanced by all-boy CDNL, which gets less attention in the series so far).


One of the major influences in RWBY is the music; all of it is plot-relevant, and often the fight scenes become set-pieces of their own set to music. All four of the intros are essentially fights set to music, each of them addressing central aspects of the history and story of the main protagonists. Ruby herself starts the ball rolling in episode 1, when she takes on one of the antagonists and his goons. The fight starts with This Will Be the Day, one of several songs that address Ruby's essential nature, and then has its own instrumental score that draws from several other themes - including Red Like Roses; what I like most about the use of This Will Be the Day is how the volume of it changes given the action on screen, making it seem more like a natural part of the environment. The first when the teams central form up for the first time halfway through season one, fighting a Deathstalker and a Nevermore, set to one of my favorite of the series' songs, Red Like Roses Part II. Then there is the entirely epic Food Fight that starts off Season two; it's not set to a song, but the instrumental music is epic. Also in Season 2 is one of the better examples of the growth of Team RWBY since the beginning of the show, when all four (plus, briefly, a couple friends) work together to take down another single, much larger opponent in a mechanized suit. It starts with instrumental from the rest of the season, but picks up a song for a more mature team, Die, once the tide of the battle turns. Finally, One of the better team introductions is to team CFVY, seen briefly earlier but really introduced by their jaw dropping fight scene at the end of season 2, set to Caffeine. I fully admit to watching this one over and over again, just as a pick-me-up.

There are also fun fan-made responses to the series, like the Recaps by Matt the Mammoth Rider which add in all kinds of details that might otherwise be missed. There's an entire Wikia where people discuss and speculate about the series, and a few people - there are always a few - cosplay as Cardin the bully. The conversation between creators and fans is a thoroughly contemporary one, where fan created things become added to the cannon. For example, Velvet, who initially was meant to be a one-time, background character, became a fan favorite and it was fans who designed a costume for her. Another example is the game, Grimm Eclipse, which began as a fan-made project but was picked up by Rooster Teeth; there was a pre-release this time last year, but no word on the final release date.

Off Center

There are also some truly lovely and inspiring words spoken through the series, some of which I'm going to share here.  
"For it is in passing that we achieve immortality, through this we become a paragon of virtue and glory to rise above all. Infinite in distance and unbound by death, I release your soul, and by my shoulder, protect thee."
"Being a team leader isn't just a title you carry into battle, but a badge you wear constantly. If you're not always performing at your absolute best, then what reason do you give others to follow you? You've been burdened with a daunting responsibility... I advise you take some time, to think about how you will uphold it."
"I've been blessed with incredible talents and opportunities. I'm constantly surrounded by love, and praise... But when you're placed on a pedestal like that for so long, you become separated from the people that put you there in the first place."
In the spirit of RWBY, I went ahead and created my own Original Character. Monty had released the naming rules for characters, so Deoridhe wouldn't work - not even remotely close to a color - but I reached back to my Irish inspiration again, combined it with my favorite color, and created Tuar Ceatha. The words together translate to "rainbow" in Irish, with the added bonus that "Tuar" has possible roots in túar (dung) or túaraid (omen, merit). I might be full of shit, or I could have profound insight - up to you to figure out which! I don't have a team yet, as I haven't hit ground and clapped eyes on someone, but I had a lot of fun thinking about the kind of ancient weapon + gun I would like to use, and settled on my spear Bifröst, a double-bladed spear which separates into either a spear and knife combo, or a handgun and a sniper rifle.

Suddenly Shy

( More Sunday Squee here. )

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Burning Equinox

Burning Equinox: 15

I have very little experience with Burning Man, either within or without Second Life, but I figured I'd check out the weekend Burning Man event for the Equinox and snap a few pictures. There are events all the way through Sunday, many of them musical, and a number of artistic displays scattered around the area. I had fun playing with angles and trying to get clean shots - everything is rather tumbled upon each other in a pleasantly mixed up manner.

Burning Equinox: 9

There's a calendar, a list of exhibits, and several reviews (1, 2) pointing the way. I hope you get a chance to visit this event before it ends at 9pm SLT on Sunday, the 29th.

Burning Equinox: 1

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Monday Meme: Avatar Transformation


Approximately ten thousand hundred ages ago (like, three weeks), Strawberry challenged us to Transform our Avatar so we'd be nearly unrecognizable. It happened after a series of rough weeks, when I was finally getting a little breathing room, and seemed like a bridge too far for me at the time. I wasn't even sure what it could mean. Overall, I tend to present as a bright, bouncy, happy fae, but it would be foolishness to deny my darker side, or that my darker side had come out in my pictures many, many times before. One of the reasons I identify in Second Life as specifically a rainbow fae is because rainbows can encompass everything and nothing; they are darkness, light, transparency, rain, sun, and everything in between. They form at the nexus of apparent opposites, and are as transient and fleeting as a soap bubble. These days I conceal my darkness from most people, having learned from experience that it's usually not appreciated, but it comes out regularly in my pictures - and nine times out of ten, if there's a short or something enigmatic with poetry, it was a rough week.

A Withering Gaze

I like to move between Genres, which is part of why the Genre event appeals to me so much. Each month, new vistas open to explore and I'm pushed to embody things I wouldn't naturally gravitate towards, often within them finding beauty unguessed at. I may be fanciful and fun, but I'm also fickle and flighty and forgetful; I am often kind, but I have my cruel side and there are times I take glee in that cruelty. I like to think my knives are pointed and well earned, but I'm the first to admit that every armed person likely feels the same. I can be a Queen, "Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me, and despair!" Unlike Galadriel, I have no idea if I will diminish and go into the West and remain Deoridhe - mere mortals don't get the same exclamation points approving of their lives well lived. I do know that now and then I walk into a Genre and are completely nonplussed, baffled by how I could in any way fit into the theme of the month. And thus we find within the happenstance of Genre an unexpected change to examine a road so not taken that it's track has vanished under decades of leaves, and upon that road to find the transformation Strawberry asked for.

Up Against the Wall

( More Monday Meme's here. )

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reset Button

Triune Trees

That audible snap you heard was the universe returning to it's natural state now that I'm back in a pretty dress. Hope it didn't give you a headache!

Out to Sea

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Genre: Rebel Yell

This is a bit of a departure from my usual look.

Looking for Trouble

The theme for Genre this month is Sons of Genre, and Bikers have taken over. This is the biggest break from my style that I've ever done; the Apocalypse and Dark Magic both brought out the power of Dark Deo, but I still managed something clean cut and even a little sweet or Medieval at times. This time... there is no sweet left. There is no cute, no giggle, not even the shine of gossamer wings outside of the flash of rainbow on my Noctis biker goggles. Available alone or combined with a wide variety of scary helmets (we'll see if I can work any of THEM into a look!) the rainbow lenses are only one of the five options, and the goggle section itself has three metal designs. The goggles are also editable, which means if you want to fit the strap to a finicky bald head, like I did, it's totally easy.

My spikes and eyeshadow (the latter a little concealed, I'll admit!) are both from The Stringer Mausoleum, whose style seems oddly perfect for this intersection of grimy reality and dangerous fantasy. The spiky head is also editable so I could make sure the flat part of each spike fit nicely to my skull, and the effect is striking - if distinctly non-Deoish. There are five other colors besides this metallic blue, for all of your "HEADPETTERS BEWARE!" needs. And finally, tucked over my Rosal corset neck (not available at Genre) is a thick chain necklace from Painfully Divine, which looks both divine and somewhat painful! I love how heavy it is, each link easily as wide as two fingers, and the curve around the neck is perfect - especially over a particularly thin neck. It's available in three dark and heavy colors, but I'd love to also see it shined up and in even more shades - it walks a line between decorative and substantial that I find quite appealing.


Continuing the theme of "not your average Deo," even my wings have been traded in by the cutest bit of my ensemble - this backpack from Distorted Dreams. I tremble to call it cute - I am a scary biker chick who eats glass for breakfast! - but it really is adorable, and would work as well on the back of a schoolgirl as it does as the wings of a terrifying creature like myself! It is also editable - I'm sensing a theme here! - which means the sometimes irritating shoulder pieces can be changed to fit an outfit or a pose; a blessing for backpacks! My final accessory in an outfit which seems to be more accessory than outfit is a pair of terrifying skull-wing rings from Eclectica. There are two color sets available, one the darker rough-and-tumble shades and the other slightly brighter, as if maybe there could be a happy ending once the enemies are put in the ground - or at least a hardcore drive off a cliff! The black outline on them gives an almost comic-book feel, the edges sharp enough to cut.

All of my accessories combine to support the jeans-and-chaps and tank top combo from The Annex. I'm used to seeing flowing dresses and ruffles from them, so this brief and somewhat hardcore offering is eye opening - and one of the reasons why Genre can be such fun. The tank is embellished with a loosely laced opening in the front and the sizes would fit a whole range of avatars on Second Life. I ended up combining the large top and the extra small pants to pull off my usual hourglass shape; one advantage to a two piece look like this is that it allows for a wider variety in body shapes. The Jeans and chaps are amazing, and one of my favorite bits of clothing available at this event. The hip fit is very low, which isn't even close to my usual style, but which works with this outfit, and the added layer of leather over the legs and bucked around the waist draws a lot of attention to some of my nicer features while still seeming realistic. The added large buckles down the sides, and the stud detailing of the belt, makes this seem like something a Scary Momma would wear when out on a ride - though I'll admit the white bodystocking from Reasonable Desires and all of the corsetry from Rosal (neither available at Genre) is a tad less realistic. Although this is a lot less skin than I often show, it feels like it's a lot more due to what skin is shown off and how - I think I pulled off dangerously sexy pretty well, even if I do say so myself!

Adults Only

Monday Meme: Me, Myself and I

See The Fucks I Don't Give

Strawberry is letting us off easy this week, with a few sentences to finish and some lovely art on her part. I'm going to make this equally quick and sweet - it's been a very long week.

I am… cranky

I want… a clean house.

I have… anime

I wish… for more time.

I hate… starting work tomorrow.

I fear… I'm wasting my time.

I search… for some reassurance.

I wonder… whether anyone notices.

I regret… my temper and moods.

I never… seem to grow up.

I always… seem to go in the same circles, over and over again.

I usually… don't follow through on my plans.

I dance… in my own clothes.

I sing… whenever I can.

I often… worry ineffectually.

I sometimes… wish I could be someone else.

I need… more discipline.

I cry… at almost everything.

I should… shower and go to bed.

I love… my adorable cat, Tadeus.

Blood Moon Rising

( More Monday Meme's here. )

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Squee: Isometric Podcast

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!


Isometric is Greek in origin, and means "equal in measure". Although the term itself is likely foreign to a lot of people, it's place is everywhere in our environment and in many of the games we play, laying out a grid upon which we can build worlds. It was a mostly alien word to me, even though one of my favorite Facebook games was on an isometric grid, until the podcast Isometric - one of my favorite podcasts. Loosely centered around gaming, Isometric has four component parts which make it unique.
  • The originator and center of chaos around which the podcast rotates, Brianna Wu, the co-founder and CEO Giant Spacecat, which released the awesome video game Revolution 60, available on iOS and coming soon to a computer near you. In the wake of the success of Isometric, Wu began a second, all female podcast called Rocket which focuses on geek culture in general. She brings the unique perspective of a developer, as well as her activist and journalistic history to the table. Her opinions are clear and unambiguous, but more than any of the other hosts she's shown a willingness to rethink her opinions and change her mind based on a solid argument or additional information on a topic.

  • The "voice" of "reason", Steve Lubitz, who usually does the introductions and is often the most grounded of the hosts. Father of three, Steve brings both a man's and a father's perspective to the table, as well as the perspective of someone who is a longtime fan of games without ever being part of the professional gaming world.

  • The giggle and purveyor of Hand Turkeys is Georgia Dow, a psychoanalyst, Senior Editor and writer at Mobile Nations, as well as a participant in another podcast, Vector. Dow brings a psychological perspective to the table, as well as the perspective of someone who would lurk in the grasses, waiting for hours for the moment to strike. She also brings the silly, and the mustaches. She was supposed to be the sweetest and most gentle, but now we're not that sure.

  • The hardcore gamer of the group is Maddy Myers, who is also a professional games journalist, Assistant Games editor at Paste Magazine, and Samus* in a hysterical video series. She is most outspoken about her changing perspective on being a woman in gaming, and on feminism and femininity in general.
Main House - End of Arabian Event

The first episode is a must-listen, and you will be able to figure out pretty quickly if it's the podcast for you! The thing which amazes me is that the first episode is essentially the first time everyone is meeting each other for the first time - Wu pulled everyone together and the chemistry and fun was immediate. What I like most about Isometric is how it sounds like a bunch of friends I'm getting to know just chatting about gaming. Serious and silly melt together almost seamlessly, each of them balancing out the other. Several episodes after Isometric began, a massive misogynistic backlash against women in gaming began, and Isometric offered up a unique perspective on ground zero of the fallout. It also is simply fun; when I've had a hard day, or I'm feeling down, I'll often cue up one of the recent episodes to listen and giggle along. There's even a video of their first public appearance together at PAX East, complete with panda hats, mustaches, games involving plushies, and hilarity. I hope you will love them as much as I do - so please check them out!


*For people who may not know, Samus is the main character of the Metroid series of games.

( More Sunday Squee here. )

Friday, March 20, 2015

21 Shoe: N-core

21 Shoe: N-core

I love the use of snakeskin twisted around black and white leather that is part of N-core's offering for this 21 Shoe event, fitted for Belleza High, Maitreya High, N-core Xtreme, SLink High, and TMP Ouch feet. The skin color is similar the common rat snake, a mottled combination of browns on cream which is simply lovely. The shoes come with black and white ribbon, but pretty much everything else about them is texture change via a slick HUD. The platform, for example, can be changed between the color of the shoe - black or white - and a sunny sort of cork base. The inner and outer soles can also be color changed between beige, tan, and black with an added red for the inner base, if you want that splash of color. And finally, the large metal pieces holding the ribbon together can be tinted between gold or silver, for the final touch of sparkle. I love the open weave-work design of these shoes, and the fun touches of snakeskin which remain classy thanks to the solid base behind them. I particularly like how N-core placed a narrow band of snakeskin along the edge of the platform shoe; it's such a subtle touch, but it ties the whole look together.

At midnight, the 21 Shoe event begins at all of the various stores of the event, each one offering up two shoes for the price of one - in many cases, shoes which will not be available ever again. If you join the group, you'll not only get a notice at midnight but you can also pick up the awesome group gift from Sax Shepherd Designs - and get into the group for free as well!

21 Shoe: YS & YS

21 Shoe: YS & YS

YS & YS has brought us a glory of cream and pink for this month's 21 Shoe. Both shoes are round-toed, open fronted heels with lovely gold bands across the front of the foot - a fantastic touch. I love how uneven the front bands are, slightly off from each other or angled a little to one or the other side as if pressing against the flesh of the front of my foot, and the curve of leather for the vamp wraps around and then under the platform. One final, charming touch is the zipper up the heel. It even has YS & YS embossed on the metal of the zipper tongue! The shoes themselves are fit for the SLink high feet as well as the Maitreya Lara body and the Belleza Venus high feet style - meaning that almost any feet you have will work with these charming platform heels.

The 21st is a little less than 24 hours away, so get your pocketbooks ready for a day of two-for-one value and gorgeous shoes!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

21 Shoe Event: House of Rain

21 Shoe: House of Rain

House of Rain have created some amazingly intricate shoes, using a petal badge both without a backing and with to mimic the shape of a lace chain boot while leaving space for gorgeous feet to shine through. This sneak preview on what I hope will be an extensive collection (rumors say it will be color changeable via HUD!) offers two exclusive color combinations - gray and silver, and red and gold - shaped for the SLink Mid foot. You can see the gleam and soft texturing of materials layered into the shoes, and the wonderful curving shape of the heel. I enlarged the gray and silver so you could get a sense of the delicacy of texturing, and wore the red and gold for that splash of blood red color! There is a matching set of jewelry at House of Rain's Main Store, as well as a song, which is much more than one usually gets with a pair of shoes. The jewelry set includes a necklace, earrings, and a pair of bracelets all with the same petal-and-ring motif, and you can find them inside the northern room of the store, along the southern wall.

Remember, these go on sale on the 21st at House of Rain's Main Store, so mark Saturday down on your calendar!

21 Shoe Event: Sax Shepherd Designs

21 Shoe Giantess (Sax Shepherd Designs)

The second I thought of this idea - I knew I had to do it! Actually managing too was much harder, and I ended up working around my no-modify hands and feet by posing in front of a giant image of said hands and feet (and completely deforming a pose!), but in the end I'm hugely pleased with how it turned out! Clearly, this fashionable Giantess has discovered a thieving faerie in her kitchen, and is doing what is necessary!

The anklets are the freebie from Sax Shepherd Designs for 21 Shoe this month, a bonus which will be continuing monthly as the event progresses. Sax sets the bar high - including anklets for both feet which are color changeable between twelve gem colors and three metals. The heart can be changed to a different color from the round gems as well, allowing for accent colors. You get this gift by joining the group - free until the end of the month! - and looking into the past notices; it's already there. There is literally no downside to this.

I paired his anklets with his shoes for this month, a set of stylish platforms in varying shades of grey, purple, and blue. The platform can be set either gray or purple, the gems and rivets can be changed between six options - with the color choices being purple or blue plus black, gold, and silver - and the rings and buckles also can be colored black, gold, or silver. The included HUD is full of a ton of options, and I showed only a shadow of them in the image above. The only constant is the black straps, which offer a nice base for all of these other options. There is a shoe base included which you need to use, since this is a platform shoe and so higher than the standard high shoe. He also included an ankle lock so your feet don't end up overly bent by the various animations you'll encounter across the grid.  This is definitely a lot of bang for your buck from Sax Shepherd Designs.

Remember, it's only available for a day on the 21st of March - so be ready!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Alpha and my Omega, and All that was Ever Mine

Landing Point Surprise

It's been a rough year so far, and I can feel how it's affecting what I do - making every step and every moment of focus more of a challenge. I've also been thinking a lot about Canary Beck's words for [SL] Blogger Support on why someone should make a niche for themselves and the challenge I have with making any sort of niche which would show up on a list of Second Life blogs. In the terms of Second Life blogs, my blog would seem to be a fashion blog - and women's fashion in particular. I view it as more of a personal travelog that includes some details on what I like and why, but I can't deny that one of the things which drew me to Second Life was the opportunity to create unique and beautiful outfits for a mostly-static avatar of myself. I think part of why I bristle so much to be included in the masses is because I'd like to think there's something which sets me apart, even while being afraid that nothing does - and as such I find it impossible to respond to what she says in any sort of measured way; it's all snippy hand-wave and airy defensiveness. I'm reminded of a dynamic I experienced a while ago, early on in my receiving items from creators to blog, when I would write about my mixed feelings about that and confuse one of the creators who was sending me things! I am, if nothing, a giver of mixed messages and a writer of mixed blogposts. Consider this a uncentered splurch of feeling to my blog, expressing some mix of tension, fear, annoyance, and general malaise - it has been a very conflicted year, and we're only three months in.

The new Omega Point sim fit my mood very well, being lovely and natural where one lands with gorgeous shadows cast by the trees, and rapidly descending into a nightmare of blood, lightening, and the depths under the earth where all fear to tread. This is an updated sim in much the same spirit as the old one - the color palette is very similar but the build is much more detailed and economical, and the texturing is more naturalistic. I also really liked the huge maze of passages under the ground, found by following not-at-all-subtle giant teal arrows down into the ground. Around the entrance to the depths and within those depths there is a fun combination of primitive and futuristic, wild and violent animals goring bodies next to piles of manufactured steel supply crates; durt passageways that give way to malfunctioning doorways of light. I am a fan of high contrast, and Omega Point is centered around the meeting point of dirt and steel, all of it bathed in blood.

A Short, Sharp Shock

I centered my look around my hair from Wasabi Pills, currently on sale at FaMESHed, a versatile style that can be aged up or down depending on dress and accessories; in this setting it felt rather like the business woman, taken aback by the land she is unceremoniously dropped into. FaMESHed is much more sleek and professional than my usual trend, but I've been trying to find the challenges within all of the events going on within the grid, and I felt I was up to the challenge. The Wasabi Pills hair on sale there this month is a high ponytail that drapes over one shoulder and can be styled a number of different ways. The asymmetric nature combined with the heavy fringe can play very young, especially when combined with an adorable headband like this one from Dream Things that's currently being sold at Fit for a Princess. The blossoms on my headband are color changing, and it's natural enough to work in non-royal contexts and on adult heads. I played up the youthfulness by adding in this group gift from .:Soul:., a rainbow cupcake styled on my actual platform and given out to try to cheer everyone up in the face of a very challenging year - Charlie is always so sweet to me! Combined with more mature clothing with a simple silhouette, though, these childlike touches at whimsy and charm without seeming underaged, and the Wasabi Pills style adds a touch of elegance with the simple flow of hair over one shoulder - one of the more formal qualities of the hair style.

Glory of the Light

One of the nice things about a sheath dress is that it can be dressed up or down, professional or casual, and while this dress from Valentina E. Couture, also at FaMESHed, flirts with the risque by showing a bit of lace along the low bodice line, adding in a jacket buttoned high would do a lot to turn it from slinky evening wear to stunning professionalism where the lace hints at a naughty side without being too sexy. The three tone tartan caught my attention as well, the pattern standing out but remaining more simple than a complicated or starkly colored tartan might. By limiting the color palette, Valentina made it much more versatile and set the dress up to be paired with a lot of different accessories. My absolute favorite touch is in the mesh, though. Look at the line along the upper thigh - a shape often seen on offline dresses. It looks like a texture added for verisimilitude, but it's actually cut into the mesh in such a way that the dress bends at the thigh in an incredibly realistic manner. This is often a tricky area where the bend can look rubbery, but with the addition of this curving inward to a bend at the upper thigh and some clever rigging, this dress looks wonderfully natural as you move. I would have never though of it, and now I don't want a sheath dress without it!

I reinforced the "classy" read of this outfit and balanced out my more playful accessories with this lovely necklace and earring set from Ariskea. It was the necklace which caught my attention - I'm a sucker for wire wrapped around stones, and these dual-colored stones were particularly striking, with the blue catching the darker blue in the dress while the pink bridged some of the distance between outfit and headband. I echoed this combination of peachy-pink and steel-blue in my shoes from Eclectica, available at her Main Store. They are texture changing, so I combined steel blue on the main shoe with touches of pink and black trim - echoing the main look both in the sleep shape of the shoe, and also in the ornate swirls of the pattern, which capture the swirls of my jewelry. The ultimate effect is a classy date look with hints of playfulness and whimsy, sleeking out my style without losing the essence of a silly faerie who loves rainbows.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Meme: Perception of Second Life

A Girl in Selidor

This week Strawberry challenges us to make a video and reflect on how we view Second Life. The former is actually something I've been trying to accomplish for a while - a lot of the art in Second Life is more interactive than static, which makes simple photographs insufficient for capturing what it's like to explore the worlds made by other people. I've made a few abortive attempts to make videos in the past, but this is the first one I'm sharing with other people - so I hope you enjoy!

I clearly need to work on my audio!

I tried to use my little bluetooth headset, but I couldn't figure out how to increase the volume. If anyone has any tips or tricks, I'd appreciate it!

For video, I tried FRAPS (which I've failed at in the past and even the few tutorials I checked out didn't help this time), Jing (the video was extremely choppy), and finally Snagit (which I have on a 15 day trial). Both of the latter two required you to sign up for some reason - in the latter case most likely to enforce that fifteen days, and neither allowed one to pre-emptively opt out of whatever mailings they're now going to send to me. I found both Jing and Snagit to be incredibly intuitive, though, which is many marks above Fraps. Jing has a very cool "hit ctrl to maintain a 3:4 aspect ratio" feature I found while scanning the tutorials, but I was able to approximate that on Snagit using the actual numbers (1000 x 750). If the video quality on Jing had been good I would have stayed with it in a heartbeat, but it was simply too choppy to work with and while Snagit let me save my video in mp4 format, Jing enforced fps, which I couldn't play on my computer. Snagit also has editing capability, which I didn't play with here but which I might in the future once I have the cash to upgrade and the time to play around some more.
  1. What is your perception of Second Life? – Second Life is a world created at the intersections of peoples' dreams, where their best and worst aspects can be free to fly - and where people can meet who never would offline. I think it's a reflection of who we are in all of our variety, and I find the chosen narrowing of worlds that so many people engage in even in Second Life to be fascinating - in a world where we can make anything, it is astonishing how often we remake the world we know, only slightly bent by our own preconceptions.

  2. Do you feel the portrayal or reputation Second Life seems to have in the mainstream media is justified? – I think that Second Life's sheer diversity can be its own enemy. This is a world made up of dreams both dark and light, and trying to represent that to the mainstream world is a unique challenge; people will be attracted to what is dark within themselves, or want to represent Second Life to make various decided upon points, which further shapes how Second Life is perceived. I wish more of the art done in-world was shared with the world at large, both the "official" art by people who call themselves artists, and the commercial art in the form of clothing, accessories, and world items made for the purpose of building homes and sims. I also wish there was a higher profile for the ways in which Second Life can serve as a mirror for us to understand ourselves. The degree of permission and control we have in world is nearly unparalleled, and so often that seems to be missed most of all.

  3. Do you talk about your Second Life with your real life friends and family? – I have talked about it with a few offline friends, and I tell my mother everything, but by and large people aren't really interested. Everyone has a lot going on in their own lives; following a blog or listening to me rant about clothing and art is rather low on their lists.

  4. What is your most favorite thing to do in Second Life? – I love to explore. The moments when I feel the most immersed is when I'm draw into a world someone else has created and exploring it with my full attention. I hope figuring out how to record in Second Life in the way I'm comfortable with will get me going on a project I've been wanting to do for a while - a video recording of various at sims to the music of Second Life musicians.

Mirror Orrey

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Squee: Bryn Oh

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!

Wing Spread

I don't remember when I first became aware that art was a thing in Second Life, but I know Bryn Oh was very close to the beginning. There is a wistfulness to her work which really captured my imagination - a way in which what she creates in Second Life is more distressed and bent than the usual creations. There is a weight of reality that somehow makes everything all the more surreal in world. The use of sound, shadow, and the focus on creating things which could only be created in Second Life - like an environment which could kill you, or where you could walk on the ceiling - adds to the immersive quality of Bryn's art and makes it something which keeps drawing me back in, over and over again.


When she first began in Second Life, she kept her offline and online art very separate - although they doubtlessly informed each other. In the last few years she's experimented more with what it means for things to be virtual, trying to bridge the gap between offline and online art, offline and online art galleries. She's also worked to raise the profile of artists within Second Life and is one of the people who runs the Linden Endowment for the Arts, which I featured on a previous Sunday Squee. I hunted through my history of photography at her various art events, and while I still feel like I'm missing a few, below is a fairly comprehensive view at how I've interacted with her art over time. This quality of interaction, the way I can insert myself into a narrative as an expression of my own art/photography, seems to be part of the dialogue of art which can be made much more immediate and conversational in virtual worlds than in other contexts - as much because the artistic creations themselves are protected from damage or vandalism as anything else.

Learning to Fly

Singularity of Kimiko: A Girl, a Shadow, and a Singularity;Walkthrough; Spotlight Vingettes.

Lighthouse of Alexandria: Relay for Life.

Further Along the Path: Review, Paths and Pilings.

A Rusted Development: Review.

The Path: Littlest Deo.

Virginia Alone: Images.

Family Unit: Drifts.

Light and Gravity: Review.

Standby: Indigo

Anna's Many Murders: Images, More Images.

Immersiva: Electric Blue, Eggplant, Wenge, Silver, In Teal.

Sudden Death

( More Sunday Squee here. )

Color in our World

Inside and Out

Sparkys is a new build by Romy Nayar on the MetaLES sim, and it offers both a glorious blank slate, and the opportunity to paint the world around you manifest within the world itself.You are given colors to pain the world with using mouselook, and from there you can transform a white canvas of light and dark in any manner you wish. You can accomplish a similar effect using windlight; a white and gray set of shapes and textures offer up a wonderful chance to really explore color as it is manifest in virtual light. The entire idea of painting the world virtually, so that others can see it in a context beyond pictures I put on my Flickr, has a resonance within and beyond this world, though. We very often see the world through our own lens, notice the things which are of significance to us and disregard the rest, paint a shared world in our own colors - but we are also painted by the world and by the assumptions and significances of other people. To a certain extent, we can control our own projections - though even those are often unconscious and unexamined - but we have no control at all over the projections of others or the decisions they make based on those projections.

A few recent events - some personal and some not - have gotten me thinking about the various aspects of projection and reputation in Second Life. Beyond what we create, reputation is central in a virtual world; it determines a lot of things - who will be included in events, who will collaborate with whom - and like reputation in offline contexts, it often travels outside of our knowledge and without any recourse on our part to ameliorate it. I suspect a review several years ago will mean I never again officially blog for an event I very much enjoy, but I'm unsure even whom to contact to ask if this is the case, and the very uncertainty introduces it's own sensitivity and impulse to obsess. I cannot control it, so the impulse to focus on it is overwhelming. I suspect people dislike me, I believe it is unwarranted, and so I want to scream from the hilltops "like me, please!" in such a way that people won't dislike me for the simple act of demonstrating my fear that they do. This is the irony of acquaintanceship in the world at large - part of how one becomes desirable is being cool, not desperate, so those who might need relationship most, people who feel isolated and alone, are most likely to alienate the people they just met. A reputation that one is clingy and demanding can spread even if one is unaware of it.

First Platform

Reputation can serve a purpose within social groups; individuals who harm others or who are unreliable can gain a reputation, and thus new people can be forewarned about them; I saw that in play in a recent event, where one who had taken advantage of many others was systemically isolated from the event in order to minimize any damage they could do to it; lets call him Petrucio. From Petrucio's perspective, though, imagine the knowledge that opinions about him were being passed outside of his knowledge, and that harm caused by him was being minimized even while he thought he had done no harm. I am reasonably certain Petrucio is both unaware of the damage he does and that he does damage, but I cannot simultaneously help putting myself in his role and thinking back on my own experiences, where how people react to me seems sharply at odds with who I think I am. Which of our opinions should be privileged, given what we see is bent by our own assumptions and projections?

A lot of virtual ink is spilled about "drama", but in the end drama is largely about these disconnects between who we view ourselves and those we love as, and how those who don't know or like us think of us. Drama is about how we present ourselves and how other people react to it - and as such it is simultaneously pointless and the most important thing in the world. It is the result of strong emotions, of an attachment to things and people which inspire strong reactions. In a very real way, we are made by our relationships with other people - who we are as people plays out within our social connections with other people, and how people react to us changes who we are and what we share with others. Part of why I love drama is because I love knowing what people hold most sacred, what they will react most strongly to, and you find that out in the places where drama lives. My eternal hypocrisy in this area is the degree to which I exercise control over my own reactions, and the diplomacy of my responses in almost every context; sometimes I wonder who I would be if I didn't care what other people think, and then I remember that who I am is all but built around what other people think and why.

Waving Goodbye

We color our worlds with who we are, and the world colors us back.