Ah geez it's been a long time since I fired up the old blogger account and tapped away my insignificant insights on the SL fashion scene. I COULD go into a long story about this and that and all that stuff that's kept me away, but basically that would be BORING and useless and all that.
We'll just say RL is sometimes just full of distractions and honestly, I just haven't had the energy. There, that's about it.
ANYWAY... I knew I had to send out a holiday greeting to y'all out there in the world and thank goodness I've found some lovely xmas-sy themed goodies to share with ya!
Hmmm... what's THIS I found in my stocking (ok, yes, I sneak peaks at my presents)?
Well, there's the lovely twisted Cool Schmool ears and Frostical piercings from ElfPyre... really fun with their icicle primminess and ohhh, THIS is cool, the ears only have ONE attach point. Yup, you like your fae? Wellll, me too, and I've got some pretty cool ears in my inventory, but Daarc Dagger's attach to JUST ONE EAR. Specifically, the right one, which make them a snap to put on and leaves room for any other attachments you might want to play around with. The jagged frosties are sooo cool and I especially love the metal tips on the ears if you're looking for a little darkness in your midnight clear....
The dress is from Exxess Designs and mmmmm... well, definitely for you if you're going for the top of that 'naughty' list. Very VERY short, but sooo shmexxey and the prim work on the boots and fur hem is really awesome. I've been a huge fan of Exxess for a long time and this latest does NOT disappoint. Oh, and did I mention it's a dollarbie? No? Well, it IS, so you've really got no excuse.
Anyway, back to RL... some last minute wrapping and all that good stuff and I really have to find my Santa Hat...I know it's SOMEWHERE in the back of my closet and I really have to find it because my boyfriend's coming over and he... well... whatever..
Whether you've been naughty or nice, or even if your PLANNING on being one or the other have a happy happy holiday.
Oh, this is just awesome... and something new to love from Moonshine Design and Shelly Toonie.
Fracture... one of Shelly's latest (that's just ONE of Shelly's latest, there's been TONS of new stuff hitting the racks of Moonshine lately) and most definitely one of my favorite new tops. With a very sexy cut and some really nice detailing in the fabric, Fracture is a hot, very versatile look that works as a casual punky top or part of something maybe a little more gothic. Oh, seriously, just ask the werewolves that sort of surrounded me the other day while I explored Bentham Forest(oh, the sweetest creatures you'll ever meet, believe me).
There's two versions of the top, one with the lovely sun design and one without... it's a nice top that looks gorgeous both ways, but for me personally I love the design version.
Shelly continues to make some really nice and current designs that are still so very Moonshine. I love an artist with a voice of their own, and if you're looking for an interesting, eclectic, and very well made line of versatile looks, then Moonshine Design definitely deserves your time.
Oh, geez it's so good to be back, and just in time for Halloween too!
That was really bothering me when I was sick, ugh. Seriously, how could I miss one of my favorite holidays, especially in my favorite of favorite virtual worlds.
Of course, to talk about Gauze's latest releases, I first need to share a bit about the Deader Than You Tour. It's sort of a hunt, kinda, but with a little twist. With contributors like Sn@tch and Nomine, as well as designers like DV8, Silent Sparrow, Otaku, of COURSE Gauze, and many more.... Basically, you follow the tour, purchase something that catches your eye, collect the bats and trade them in for new coolness from some of the more awesome gothic and dark designers in SL.
Anyway, so Yukio Ida of Gauze is of course there, and his contribution to the hunt is this lovely Ageha skin. Ageha means "swallowtail butterfly" in Japanese, and this really haunting skin features some interesting detail work in the makeup that evokes this very eastern image. There's two options for this skin, one with lip makeup and one without basically, but the most important thing is that IT'S ONLY AVAILABLE DURING THE TOUR. Now, Yukio Ida has been doing some really beautiful stuff with his latest skin releases, so if you're interested in collection some gorgeous pieces from Yuki's fantastic portfolio, I'd definitely explore the tour. Oh, and then there's Nephra!
Gauze has a small but slowly growing hair section that you simply must check out, but his latest, Nephra, is available for FREE right now (jus' til November 1st tho')in Yuki's in a special Halloween color pack... Um, I'm not going to give away any exact locations, but there's definitely blood involved.
Nephra is a maddening, messy, flexi pigtail look that absolutely completed today's look. Yuki really does lovely work on his hair, from the texturing to it's natural movement, and not to mention the really fantastic styles he's managed to create.
Anyway, this being the time of treats, you should definitely treat yourself to these goodies from Gauze.
Okay, so I've been really sick. Ugh, maybe not H1N1 sick, but sick yus... Haven't even logged into SL for a WEEK! Actually, I HAD to log in coz I had a tier payment due (xoxoxo to patient and understanding landlords!!) Well, that PLUS I mean, well, honestly, the blogs a little dusty.
I'll spare all the gory sicko details, but I will say that couches are really boring places, at least when you're awake and trying to focus on reruns of Friends through an antihistamine fog. Yay for long naps and fuzzy bathrobes. Yay for room mates that make chicken soup and boil water for hot tea.
I don't know, maybe it WAS the horrible Swine Flu... I didn't go to the doctor tho' to find out. I KNOW I KNOW, totally irresponsible of me, BUT, seriously, I HATE doctors. No one can ever hit my veins right when they draw blood, it's always cold there... whatever, so yus I have a laundry list of reasons WHY I didn't go.
Whatever, it's all pretty much over I think. The thing that REALLY bothered me though was all the outfits backing up for me to share with you. Seriously, between semi-blackouts and catching up on Californication there was that little voice in my head saying 'geeeez, ya really need to get bloggin' girl!'
So here I am, catching up, and first on the list is two outfits from Boingo. Bezo Abrazo and Cobra, specifically. Yes, they've been out for a couple weeks now at least but I really wanted to show these to you. Jeela Juran of Boingo has really done some lovely work lately, especially with this awesome distressed leather texture she's created. If I'd had more time, and this was a novella length blog, I could really go deeper into the giant number of variations you can create with both outfits, with different tops and layers as well as skirt options or pants. These are really sexxxy looks with a real fantasy feel.
More than that, Jeela has an interesting eye for lines and design, making these not only very interesting to look at, but truly original offerings. These are a LOT of fun, seriously, and the lovely leather texturing I think goes a little above some of the other leather out there.
Ohh... it's Fall already. Will I miss the Summer? definitely... I mean, I really DO love the sun.
BUT, let's look on the bright...er... dark side shall we? Ok, so OBVIOUSLY we've got Halloween coming up, my most favoritist of holiday's. Ohh, and yus, shorter days means LONGER NIGHTS, so there's plenty of time to let your dark side out to play.
Goth, Vamp, Demon, were-whatever... your time is NOW! And I've been hunting around SL for that perfect evening look. One of my new fave skins I grabbed from Den-Dou, and it's perfect for ohhhh, midnight snacks.
I have a few Den-Dou skins, and I've been really happy with the skin-maker so far. Denchu Dench's skins walk that line between very very detailed and realistic and something a bit more... almost painted I guess. Definition of hand drawn, I know, but still the effect is something almost anime. The result is a skin line that is both otherworldly and very real at the same time.
Oh, my fave part of her Vampire skins is the bloody bloody just fed options. Of course, the pack contains skins from 'Dawn' to 'Dusk', so you can pretty much follow this vampiress' story from the hunt to feeding time. YUM!
So, GO! Seriously, Halloween is just around the corner... or every day I suppose... depending on your, um, tastes.
Not that it was really all that great, I mean, the weather here's been really awful. Weatherwise, it could have really been a LOT warmer... seriously. It's felt a little like Autumn for a week already, sooo, just a little depressing.
Of course, Fall has a special place in my heart too. There's Halloween of course! And as much as I LOVE the sun, there's something special about long long crisp nights, with that cool brush of leaves moving against each other. It's spooky and beautiful all at once... so naturally I've been in a sort of 'dark' mood lately.
Perfect timing then to share Morrigan Denimore's 'Ephemeral' from The Black Canary. Another gorgeous primmy look from Morrigan, with some VERY lovely work in the ruffles and textures. Ephemeral was originally TBC's submission for Black Swan, but it's now available to YOU at his new shop location in Necrosis Noctis.
Ephemeral comes complete with skirt, bustle, high collar, stockings, garter and a cute hat (umm... not shown). It's a cinch to mod too, now that Morrigan has started adding that menu driven editing option that seems to be pretty much all over lately. Personally, I love the feature, and it really allows for serious customization especially for some of TBC's more androgynous designs.
So, definitely go and check this out, and DEFINITELY explore Necrosis Noctis if you haven't been there before. There's a LOT of new shops and the feel is definitely gothic.
Summer's not over people! I mean, it's STILL warm out right? It's still good weather for some sun on your shoulders! I know, I know, all the stores have out their candy displays and Halloween themed outfits. I haven't seen a costume aisle yet anywhere thank gawd though.
Don't get me wrong; I LOVE Halloween. I LOVE the Fall. But while it's still warm out, well, let's look at two new looks from Moonshine Designs perfect for a backyard party or a day in the city. Okay, well technically FOUR actually. Beckon and Winsome come in two different skirt options, appropriately named I and II.
Of course, it's Shelly's eye for color and excellent textures that I love most about these looks. The designs are really fun as always, but will you look at that bow on Beckon? Moonshine Designs features some really lovely primwork on all of Shelly's outfits, and she really works to keep her releases fresh and different.
So, I'd pop over there STAT for some really gorgeous designs with a fun, summery feel.
[Sort of a disclaimer here: Last week I posted a review of these totally lovely Sachara Elven ears and erroneously credited them to Faery Sola instead of SLink designer Siddean Munro. While I've never really claimed to be any sort of journalist, I absolutely SHOULD be able to get facts straight. So, apologies were sent round after the error was pointed out, all is well, and this is a repost with all info up to date.]
I've been all about ears lately. I mean, I've always had a little thing for fae fashion and accessories in SL, but lately it's just been nuts. I've been picking out hairs that I know will fit around prim ears, looking for cool weird eyes and basically hanging around in every wooded magical sim I can find. It's a thing, definitely; only the most recent in my long string of obsessions that pretty much define my SL experience. Call it short attention span or whatever, SL is mostly just a series of 'Aha!' moments for me and the latest and most awesome 'Aha!' is Siddean Munro's Sachara Elven Ears from SLink.
These are my first SLink pieces, so I'll definitely need to go back to Siddean's shop to see what else is there, and I really don't have anything to compare these to; so let me just try to distill the basics in a few key points:
1. Lovely shape and texture options. It's the shape options that first struck me. Each pack comes multiple fae styles, from long to 'outy' to short to pointy. One pack, and multiple options to really customize your look. That little fold and whirl in your ear is textured on nicely, which avoids that sometimes 'too smooth' look that some elven ears have.
2. JEWELRY! Okay, so not the first jewelry I've seen on fae ears, BUT, still very lovely. There can be some sizing editing issues, most specifically with the nose-ring version shown above; but, I have sort of a tiny AV and it may have just been me. They're not impossible to edit at all though, and with a little patience moving a few prims around they fit perfectly.
3. Okay, the third thing really can't be put into just one bullet point, mostly because it sort of involves point two too, so let's talk about customization.
Each set of Siddean's ears comes with a HUD customization tool that is one of the most in-depth I've seen ever. Okay, so the basic customization is all there, you can change gem and metal colors on the jewelry with a simple click, we've seen that before, and even skin tones can be changes with some presets that Siddean has loaded into the HUD. BUT, customization doesn't stop there! This is so cool. There's a notecard included that walks you through matching the Sachara ears to whatever skin tone you're wearing at the time. YES, there's com boxes to click or unclick in preferences while you're doing it, and it might take a little time if you're not familiar 100% with options available to you in the viewer. With a little patience though, you can match your ear skin tone directly to the skin you're in, no matter who the designer. Once you've loaded the skin, you can save it to your HUD as well to be a one-click option for future wears.
Love it love it love it.
I didn't see them at the SLink main store, but you can find these featured at Studio Sidhe here.
So, I managed to accidentally permanently delete a good portion of my inventory.
I thought I'd be smart, sort of clean everything out in bits and pieces. So, to start, I sorted by the word 'demo' and just started sweeping through. Lots of 'shift' then click sort of thing. Apparently, some of my folders must have been caught up in everything coz now they're just gone.
So NOW I have to go to all the designers I bought stuff from and ask for them to replace them.
HA. No, I'm just kidding. This one's on me I guess, just being stupid.
ANYWAY, luckily, something that was NOT deleted was Belladonna Mureaux's Charmant dress from Nightshade Designs. Nightshade has been one of my fave goth shops in SL for a while, and once you see Bella's well made skins, hairs and most definitely her darkish sexy designs I think you'll know why.
Charmont is one of Bella's latest, and I think you can snap this up in her riotvend at her mainshop in Necrosis still. Simple, yes, but with little lovely touches in the fabric textures to give these cute lolita styles just the right touch of realism and substance. I really love this look, with its muted shades and lace edges... so cute.
Anyway, I've got to get back to see how much damage I've done to my inventory. You should head over to Nightshade in the meantime. We might even run into each other whilst I scramble to replace a few things.
Every once in a while someone pipes up with that whole phrase about 'if you can't find it in Second Life just make it yourself..' which is great, sure, but not terribly realistic for a lot of us. For me, well, I know I could probably learn a lot of the tools and tricks that go into making cool stuff, but I just don't have the $$ for all those software programs and whatever that it takes to actually build something. I'm a consumer, plain and simple, and until something else changes, well, that's pretty much the way it will be.
So, those of us who can't build...well... we hope. Hope feels like the right word. Those little wish lists we keep in the back of our minds. All those items in our inventory that make us go 'AWESOME... now I just need to find something like...'. It can be frustrating sometimes, maybe you find a hair designer with perfect textures and really nice construction but ugh, just not the style you were looking for. Maybe you find a little shop full of gorgeous clothes but 'full' just means 3 or 4 outfits. We want MORE! It's the nature of the beast, the curse of consumerism. We sit at our keyboard staring intently, trying to telepathically (or sometimes just dropping a card in the suggestion box) send our wish list to that designer, that builder... whoever.
Usually it's an exercise in frustration. Usually we just have to adapt our wishes a little bit, maybe accept the fact that we can't always get what we want and all that. Sometimes though, sometimes our little telepathic daggers hit the mark...
Okay, so I can't take ALL the responsibility for Yukio Ida releasing more skins from his Shiva release.
Um.. honestly, actually I guess I can't take any credit at all, BUT, well, I'm very happy.
We first saw Shiva at the Harajukubox Skin Fair a few weeks back. There were just two tones then, and Yukio hinted that there might be more on the way, but I had no idea how soon. Cue Jedi Mind Trick. Ahhh, 5 new tones released for Shiva, and since the HBox fair skins aren't available to the public anymore, these are an awesome opportunity to grab some of Yuki's best skin work ever.
Covered with weirdly gorgeous tattoos, Shiva features new bases from Gauze that are really lovely, and hold up well under scrutiny. I've always loved Yukio's design style, and while I think his clothes have always reflected his talent and creativity, I know skins can be challenging and his latest I think truly put him in a higher level for interesting, bizarre, beautiful and artistic design in Second Life.
To sum up:
1. Shiva~awesome skins from one of the most interesting and creative designers in SL.
2. Telepathy~maybe it works.
Now of course the problem is that when you really really wish for something and you finally get it... well, for me that just makes me want MORE.
Coz I'm spoiled.
So, the rest of you go check out [Gauze], I'm going to drink some more coffee and practice mind control.
Oh, and by the way... you MUST check out Truthseeker Young's 'Voices:Orion's Arm' art installation at Extropia Odyssey... it's absolutely gorgeous and not a horrible way to spend some time in Second Life...
I think, sometimes, change is good. I mean, it's ALWAYS good, mostly. Okay, maybe not ALL the time, change isn't always good, I take back what I said before. Well, not the FIRST thing, because that's got 'sometimes' in it... so yah, sometimes change IS good.
It's good when you decide you need it, anyway, and I think I've needed to change a few things in my SL. It's important to keep the whole experience, um, stimulating, right? Of course, having had the chance to meet and feature some of the best talent in SL keeps everything pretty positive here at Purely Visual. Still, sometimes you've got to just go and do something. For me, well, it was all about land.
I think I have a rez-day coming up, maybe that's the thing, I don't know. Anyway, I've gone pretty much my whole SLife without actually owning any property and lately it's been something I wanted to do. I'm not going to go through the whole process I went through, searching land, looking for good prices and do-able prim counts. You've done it, I'm sure, so why bore you. Shopping for a house was pretty much the same thing anyway. The important thing was budget... I mean, I wasn't going to try to set up some sim-wide fashion zone or anything, nope. Starting small. I needed a house big enough to maybe set up a studio and just hang out or whatever.
Blah blah... so I found a good, inexpensive house from Damani. Pretty simple, some locks, security... little tricks like that. It was pretty close to what I was looking for, so I grabbed it.
And then I trashed it.
See? Before and After.
It started with the textures. I like putting together mashup textures, I've used them sometimes for some of my photo shoots. Anyway, I'd just seen Torley Linden's tutorial on uploading transparent textures when I suddenly realized I wanted to make some windows...
Yah, those 5 pane weird things are my first... then I made the clear glass brick (colorful or no) for some floors and doors. All the textures I used I made myself in Gimp, although the floor is a brush I lifted from DeviantArt. In the end it ended up like wandering around in one of my own photographs. I have to apologize to Damani designer Damanios Thetan for trashing the house though.... Sorry. It's not you, it's me.
BUT, on the other hand, it's a lot of fun... and a change, a good one, for me anyway.
Anyway, maybe I'll have a housewarming party or something. If you happen to be where I was, and maybe looking for some land... well, stop by Damani and check out what they've got for houses too. Oh, or cats... or weather... or furniture...
Oh, you'd never really know it, it's not too much different from any of my other blog posts. Scroll through the history, there's a tone, a theme; it's all connected. No, this post won't look too different from what you've seen before, but it still took two weeks to do.
Honestly, the photography. I couldn't take a decent pic to save my life.
Soooo frustrating. Ugh. It wasn't the clothes, it wasn't the skins or hair. There was always just something, well, off about everything over the last few weeks.
Super frustrating actually, because it's the picture taking that's pretty much my favorite part of Second Life lately. I can't book a vacation and head out to the airport to go places like Bryn Oh's Immersiva or Baron Grayson' Crucible sims. I don't have an album on a bookshelf from my time lounging on beaches while dragons fly overhead anyplace in Real Life. No, it's all in Second Life. All of it. It's like some dream place in a children's book where it's so real to them but the boring grownups don't believe in it at all. I love having photos of those dreams, I love the fact that Second Life has some places and is populated by designers who can add to my little imaginary fantasy. So, that makes picture taking pretty important. More than that, it's how I try to share cool stuff I've found inworld with all of you. Sometimes, apparently, my brain just won't cooperate with that. Maybe I needed a break. I mean, I DID stop by a few clubs and listen to some awesome music. On the other hand, I spent a ridiculous amount of $L and spent who knows how long constantly changing hairs and whatever. Well, let's just call it a vacation and leave it at that (Wow, so THAT puts a scary thought in my head. How do you take a vacation from a fantasy world? Third Life. Whoa.)
There are a ton of pictures from the last few weeks, stuff I wanted to put on the blog but ended up just deleting at the last minute. Some of it I still have, maybe I'll play with them later, make some screensavers or posters or something. It was an epic struggle, fighting with sliders, changing facelights or removing them altogether, messing with the sun.
Then, the other day, for absolutely no reason I can find... well, it all came together.
Okay, so what was I struggling to share? Well, lots, but the first thing I want to share with you is this simple, sexy and gorgeous top from Moonshine Designs. Shelly Toonie's 'Basic Tanks', well. Ok, I have a serious issue with the name here. 'Basic'? Hmmm, well, call them basic if you want, but they're anything but boring.
I've always loved the texture work Shelly does with fabrics, and while her new tanks might not have any patterns or designs, the texturing is really very gorgeous. The simple wrinkles and folds where the fabric 'stretches' is really nicely done, and subtle while still adding enough to make these a lot of fun to look at (if you're like me and obsessively zoom into fabrics to see how far they go. I'm sure there's a disorder name for it. Whatever.). Oh? and Sexy? YUS, VERRY. With sheer options for each tank, you can show as much or as little as you'd like or just add an interesting accent to another outfit. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.
Moonshine Designs Basics Tank Marigold http://slurl.com/secondlife/Imogen/186/128/2
You ever have one of those times where you feel like you're hiding out but you're not actually?
There's a lot of life, and when you add a Second one to your First, well, commitments can be weird. Seriously, take Purely Visual for example. I love it, it's pretty much my reason for enjoying Second Life. Oh, yes, I mean, there's friends and all that, but everything: fashion, friendships, styles, looks ideas, it all filters through this blog eventually.
So it's tough sometimes when I can't actually get here to blog, or get the time in Second Life to do photos, or even keep myself from being distracted long enough by some random sim or shop or LM to do either. in the meantime, days go by without a blog post, review items get dusty in my folder, and that little pearl of guilt starts to grow deep inside (justified or not).
The big news since my last post was the Harajukubox Skin Faire this past weekend. A lovely little skin showcase featuring blog faves like Gauze and Trap. I'm sure you went, at least, I HOPE you went. It's over. i actually got the chance to spend some time there this weekend, and it was really nice. It's smaller than events like Hair Fair and I think a little more intimate. You don't get the chance often to look at skins from different creators side by side, and Harajukubox really provides that unique opportunity.
And oh what lovely goodness Yukio Ida brought the the Fair. Gauze and Illuminati creator Yukio Ida has always had a skin line in his shop, ranging from neko to Visual Kei. It's his most recent creations though that really shine, and I think these are the best I've seen.
Actually, I did get a sneak peak of some new bases he had done a month or so back, so I did have a sneaking suspicion that there was going to be something really cool in the works. Wow these are awesome. I got to try 3 skins: Shiva, a skin fair exclusive but simply gorgeously weird tattooed skin in a light Creator or darker Destroyer tones. Not available post fair but still I'm sure a nice indication of things to come. Then there's Lamia and Glitterdust: both slightly more traditional skins with colorful makeups and some of the nicest body shading I've seen from Illuminati. These are really lovely skins with some interesting makeup choices and a range of tones from very pale to a richer tanned glow. Each tone has 2 different makeup choices as well, making these easy to coordinate with your favorite magical mystical look...
Anyway, loving these, and looking forward to this new direction from designer Yukio Ida.
I think I just have to stop looking for things in Second Life. Well, not things, I mean, then what would I write about? No, I guess what I mean is I have to stop looking for specific things in SL.
Of course, that won't really work either. See, the problem is I can't seem to find what I'm looking for most of the time in SL. Grr, this is hard to explain. Ok, so I actually CAN find what I'm looking for in SL MOST of the time, it's just that I don't know that's what I'm really looking for until I find it. So, I HAVE to look for the specifics, I guess, even though usually I'm doomed not to find them.
Clear? Read it again, it took ME a couple times to get through it. Ugh.
To sum up: I have to look for something I really want even while knowing that it's not going to happen but something else wonderful might. I can't skip the first step though, coz then the whatever other thing I find becomes that first thing and wow we just keep going around, don't we...
So it started like this. I was logged in and I remembered this awesome feathery coat I bought a long long time ago. What's that designer doing now? I asked myself. So I went through and found the profile and got an LM for a new shop she had and, well... lovely, but nothing really hooked me. Hmmm... but NOW I had feathers on the brain.
Feathers became wings became me popping through Search using different terms and landing here:
Wow, gorgeous angel wings with a little difference. The lovely feathers each move beautifully, and, unlike your traditional wings flowing from your shoulders, Beliria Lumley's wings, from Beliria Lumley Designs 'natch, attach along the arms, making for a lovely silhouette and and avoiding those embarassing angelic moments when you accidentally whap! some poor passerby in the head with your wing tip. These are simply gorgeous, and I'm so happy I didn't find what I was originally looking for and I managed to run across what I was really looking for in the first place.
Really fun, and a shop I hope to share more from in the future.
I spend a lot of time making pictures in Second Life. If you've read the blog before you might have checked out my flickr stream. Yah, most of it's blog related, lots of fashion shots and backgrounds... but, I like to just play too. Actually, I spend a lot of time just playing with photos, lots of time. Enough time, actually, to get an odd remark from a friend every once in a while like 'sounds like work to me' or 'are you getting paid for all this?' and blah blah.
Hmm... well, so the photography might be making me a little anti social, but I'm always curious about what sorts of things we can make in SL. Work? Yes, but it's all about that 'flow' thing. Paid? Heh... well, apart from the odd profile pic request and even some advertising I'm not exactly what you'd call 'professional'. Actually, sometimes I just like to scroll back to some of my older pictures in the stream and see what I've learned. It doesn't HAVE to be about money or whatever, it's just fun. I'm hardly the only one doing it anyway, Flickr is an absolute treasure of beautiful images from and inspired by Second Life.
Now, think about your favorite designer. I'll bet they're not at the same level they were a year ago or six months or maybe even weeks (depending on when their epiphany hit). Nope, odds are they're much better. They've grown, or at least they've found new ways to make that thing in their head come to life in Second Life.
Of course, there's always commerce with designers. I mean, they're in business, right? Even with that though, I think there is still that love of making something new, trying a new trick and experimenting. For someone like me? Honestly, it's a hobby. For a good designer, it's an art and a profession.
Which brings us to Keishii Roo.
I've always been a fan of Goth1c0, Keishii's gothic twist on fashion ranges from the lolita-esque skirt and look to some things a little more punk. Everything so very Goth1c0 and so very sexy and fun. So I know sort of what to expect when I TP there or visit Keishii Roo's blog. I have to say though, Kei's latest, Giger leather pants and The Bitch mini dress, are my absolute faves from the shop. There are some similarities in the textures on both of these actually, but used to create two very cool looks that remain very distinct from each other.
Kei's Giger leather pants are schmexxy, and the alienish texturing on the legs give these a really awesome, stitched look. What can I say about The Bitch? Oh, so sexy and scandalous, with patterns that really make this an..umm... interesting and fun minidress with a lovely, satiny feel. Each are available in a range of colors, and you definitely need to see these up close.
Anyway, my new faves from a designer who isn't afraid to experiment. Good business? Maybe, but I think the attention to detail and interesting ideas reveal an artist still working to get those little pictures out of their head.
Oh, I know, I chatter on all the time about how much I love summer. The sun, sometimes a vacation maybe... warm weather.
Well, at least that's what I look forward to. Summer's gotten off to a sort of weird start where I am. We had some real heat followed by temperatures in the 60's (um, that's fahrenheit by the way) and just a lot of rain lately. Ugh. Of course, that's the real thing about Second Life... can't make it to the beach? Well, just teleport to one!
VERY useful for the winter, but it works just as well for those sometimes un-ideal days that make up just another summer in the midwest.
So, it was perfect timing when I found out about Fab.Pony's latest releases: swimsuits! Tatianna Faulkes' Fab.Pony has just come out with a very sexy, cute and colorful line of bikinis. If you've never been to Fab.Pony, Tatianna's designs are a lovely collection of retro-eighties chic and bright colors. I've always loved Tatianna's taste in patterns and colors, 'vibrant' I think is the word I'm looking for.
Anyway, today we're looking at Fab.Pony's Zebra, Elika and Wild Child bikinis. It's always the little touches that I think make a look come together, and Tatianna has added some fun primmy accents like tassels and rings. Another nice thing is to find a bikini in SL that isn't a g-string. Elika comes with a still sexy boy short for the bottom, and it's a nice reminder that coverage can be fun and sexy too (hint hint).
Fun, and just in time for those little SL retreats we all sometimes need.
I'd say 'baggage', but there's all kinds of negative stuff that goes along with that word. Nope, I like bag better. Handbag, magic bag, baggies filled with questionable substances... they're all much better than 'baggage'. Anyway, the bag I'm talking about isn't even real, I'm going for more of the 'metaphorical container of your imagination' type of bag.
Mine's a mess. Occupational hazard maybe. Maybe just part of the whole attention span thing. Maybe I'm dizzy from the heat. Whatever.
I'm sure it's mix of RL and SL, because what we find and love in Second Life is still seen through our own personal filters and ideas. So, when a designer puts something up you like, well, most likely you have a totally different reason for loving that piece than the creator does. Oh, you both landed in the same place, that's the way I look at it, but you have your own route.
Hmmm, soo, my route's been a little crazy lately. Not crazy bad, just, a little hectic. Fun, but just a little bit shy of frantic.
So, it starts a little while ago with a post I did on Elfpyre Productions 'Drude' Ears and skins. LOVED the Drude ears... had to look up a little history on Drudes on Wikipedia (yes. I know. Hardly the most reputable source for research, but seriously, it's not like I was writing my dissertation on it. Anyway, Germanic witches... cursed people and possessed them I think. I didn't take notes. Either way, it was funny, because I'd just started watching Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere series. Actually, there are no Drudes there, BUT, it has some lovely accents and a really cool story full of magic and lovely accents. Oh, and the accents were lovely.
(Ohhhh, new dream sim! Someone should totally do a 'London Below' sim. Wait, actually, I haven't even searched to see if there IS one in Second Life. Note to self: do that.)
So, yes, Neverwhere. So, no drudes at all, but, it kept me in a magical mood whenever I found myself thinking about it, and usually before I logged in too.
I loved photographing the Drude ears, and they were such a simple but original twist on some of the fae styles in SL, I wanted to feature them again. Lucky! Yes, Daarc Dagger has just released some new pierced versions of her Drude ears. These are really original, and the touch script color change feature lets you match with any of Elfpyre skin tones, along with a few that haven't been released yet.
So, anyway. Check your bag to see what you can bring into Second Life, even if it's just a different point of view. I'm going to hunt for London Below.
So I had a conversation the other day about the sometime lack of diversity in design in Second Life.
Well, it actually started as a conversation about Hair Fair, and hair styles, and then just style in general. I think the basic thing is that most of the time Second Life isn't anything like what I expected it to be when I first decided to rez and explore our favorite metaverse. I mean, YES there's some amazing things going on in SL, and that's what usually inspires me to share on the blog. On the other hand, well... let's just call it 'user error'.
It's not always 'bad' designs either, I"m not trying to be an uber-critic or anything. Usually though it's that some designs are just plain, well, boring. I guess, in the end, I always thought there'd be more space ships or something. This IS a world of the imagination after all, right?
I think Cutea Benelli of Grim Bros gets that too. I'm not sure if she came to Second Life looking for space ships, but she definitely came here looking for something; and what she couldn't find, she made. So, on the one hand, you have a designer making victorian and steampunk designs for the discerning SLifer (possibly ALSO hunting space ships)... on the other hand, oh my god, these are insane! YES, I'll bang my art hammer again. YES I think this is another lovely example of the 'story' in SL. YES Cutea's Bone Mesh Dress is possibly one of the weirdest and definitely one of the coolest outfits in my inventory right now. This is definitely art as fashion. Call it 'virtual wearable sculpture' or something, although that's kind of a mouthful. Whatever, maybe just wearable sculpture.
This is a really well-made dress, though this might not be your first choice for that pool party this weekend. Lots of primmy goodness, and the dirty, rusty metal feel is a lovely touch. From the steampunky wired spine to the really cool prim skirt it really is all about the details, and I think Cutea's designs are really gorgeous examples of the absolutely not boring potential of Second Life. I mean, LOOK at the details, just look. I'll wait. There are 3 different options for the hat, and there's also a skirt layer that I didn't use for these pics, I think it works either way.
This is really awesome, and if you're getting burned out on the same old stuff from shop to shop... well, maybe take some time to visit Grim Bros.
Oh good grief I have no idea where to start with today's post. Yes this is Trap's Ghost Hakama, the sort of spiritual sibling to Gauze's Ishiko Kimono I mentioned the other day. Yes this is another lovely release from Selos Dae, a designer with a sensibility that lives someplace between mystic dream worlds and gorgeous nightmares. Yes this is another showing from Trap, a shop that just could never put out too much in my opinion, a shop I watch impatiently and obsessively for the next bit of awesomeness to bear the Trap name.
Simply, I'm in love with Ghost Hakama.
You know how I'm always rambling on about stories and settings and all that? Well, the truth is, it's never a project with Selos' designs. As soon as I put GH on, well, I knew the scene exactly. I knew I needed ghostly mists and shadows. I knew which poses to try. It was simple. Actually, it usually is with pretty much anything I've seen from Trap. Selos makes it easy to find the story I guess, I don't know how to better explain it.
I have a secret passion lately for prim fur, not sure why... it doesn't really go with my whole summer obsession, but I guess things like that really don't matter in SL when you get down to it. The fur trim on the sleeves and collar give the open top coat a lovely silhouette, and the textures along both the coat and primmy pants are just lovely. Nomine's Heretic Vampire skin seemed to go well with it, a gorgeous, grotesque and sexy skin that fits nicely in the misty, dark atmosphere of Baron Grayson's Templum de Obscurum sim. I know Nomine's been a source of some lovely goth and dark designs in SL for a while, but I've only recently started really playing there and I can't wait to see more.
As in, do YOU have a favorite sound, if I wasn't being clear before. A sound, you know... not like a whole song or anything, but a noise. Honestly, it's not something I spend a whole lot of time thinking about, but Moonshine's new releases kind of got me thinking.
Crush and Posh. Posh and Crush... Shelly dropped these just in the last week or two and they're awesome. We'll get to that. First, we'll talk about 'shhh'.
Oh, should we be whispering now? Shhhh... as in Crushhhh and Poshhh. Yah, I got the folder and once I started cropping the pics and everything I found myself mentally reminding myself which one was which. So basically the little voice in my head was saying 'posshhhh... crushhh' over and over and I ended up mostly fixating on the 'shhh' sound (oh, have I not mentioned before how easily distracted I am? sheesh!). As in the shhh in the middle of Moonshine or the shhh at the beginning of Shelly. It's a nice sound, not too far from the noise we make maybe when we're trying to describe an ocean or something. Heyyy... there's a 'shh' there too!
Okay, well, I didn't mean this to be some kind of paranoid fantasy about language, but there might be something to it.
ANYWAY... Posh and Crush, Crush and Posh; two of Shelly's latest and definitely two of her cutest. Between Posh's matching skirt and vest to Crush's cute off the shoulder top with 3 different ways to wear it I can't possibly pick a fave now. Moonshine's styles seem to live comfortably somewhere between boho summer cute and sexy punky glam. Shelly Toonie's primwork is gorgeous as usual, and I've always loved her work with lace netting and layered skirts and Posh does not disappoint. The textured fabrics are really nicely done and oh wow the cut is just awesome as usual. It's summer after all, and it's the season of shoulders bared and browning in the sunshine. Not only that, I finally FINALLY got around to buying some Nomine skins, and the pedrolina skin I thought went well with my new hair from RocX. RocX doesn't have a huge selection yet, but I'll be keeping an eye out definitely for new stuff from this awesome punky SL shop.
I'm not lazy. Seriously, not lazy. This whole thing lately of the infrequent random posts, it's not from laziness or malaise or whatever else that might be.
First of all, Summer's finally here. My reason for being, my favorite time of year. I love the green and the sun. I love all that summer stuff that goes with it: night time walks with friends, maybe an afternoon on the patio risking melanoma under the sun. Distracting, yes... but it's a love. Honestly, I'd leave Second Life altogether during the summer if it weren't for the fact that I'm always a least a few minutes from thinking about this beautiful other world and my friends and the artists who frequent it.
See, I'm not an 'either/or' person. Oh, I might be able to lean one way more often than the other sometimes, but I can't just leave either world totally behind.
Yukio Ida's Ishiko Kimono is a lovely example of why I just can't hang up the old blog for the summer. Seriously. So not only is this just another gorgeous Japanese inspired look from Yuki, it's the result of the inspiration and collaboration that just makes SL so fascinating to me. Inspired by Aemilia Case's hairstyle of the same name, and a 'sister' design to Selos Dae's Ghost Hakama , Ishiko is a strange, ghostly and gorgeous addition to the Gauze catalog. It's really lovely, and Yuki has included a notecard regarding geisha AOs which is really lovely, especially if you want to really get the full effect of this exotic look.
So, yah, really happy to have gotten the chance to see this.
Fave song from So You Think You Can Dance last night!
Ok. The Post. So my latest obsession has been shadow viewers. Hence the absence. Hence the lack of posts.
I love blogging, I love writing. I love the tapping of the keyboard while I bop to my IPod. So why would I choose to force my poor computer through endless reloggings and grrring in frustration as, well, they just won't work for me.
It's not the viewers, actually, I love Kirsten Cinquetti's 'S17'. Sadly, I guess my graphics card can't actually handle shadows, but I still think it's a gorgeous viewer for photos. I'd heard some good things about Boy Lane, but it just didn't work for me. So, maybe there's a new graphics card on my wishlist for Xmas, but until then I may just have to learn to live without shadows in SL.
Actually, different viewers bring up something else I've been thinking about. Photography. Specifically, SL photography. Even more specifically, SL photography and blogging. I think I've learned a lot since I first rezzed. Oh, you know... changing time of day, antialiasing (that's 12 points Scrabblers!), screen resolution. When I shoot an outfit for the blog, I do try to maximize (or should that be 'Ultra-ize'?) settings to really feature the item or items at their maximum potential. Except for some cropping and framing I do outside, everything happens in SL.
I love a lot of my pics, sometimes they just work. Of course, I can get a little obsessive, spending who knows how much time exploring Flickr like a drooling fangirl staring at the really gorgeous compositions that can come from SL and learning a little more each time about tools I could use. Shadow viewers are the latest, and there's been a lot of stuff popping up on Plurk lately too to get my interest.
Ohhh, and that's not even ALL. Nooo. It was also Morrigan Denimore's Temperance, the latest from his shop The Black Canary. A little j-rock, a little Victorian, Morrigan's designs always make me think of dark cobblestone alleys somehow set in a cyberpunk Tokyo dystopia. I needed shadows... I had to have them, I mean, The Black Canary just screams shadows. So for 3 days.... I'm totally serious, 3 days I loaded and reloaded, grrred and ignored the slowly cooling cup of coffee on the counter trying to find a good shadow viewer. Well, the Bad news is I don't think my computer can actually handle real shadows in SL right now. The GOOD news is, Kirsten's viewer is still very nice and I've got a few pictures with it and I'll be playing with it more I'm sure.
Temperance? Gorgeous. I did have to take a little time to mod it a bit, Morrigan's designs are intended to be unisex and so sometimes fitting is necessary. Still though, it's worth the effort, Morrigan's prim ruffles and chain bobs are really nicely done, and while my AO sometimes pushed a primmy part or two through my virtual body, the Temperance's effect is still very dramatic. A lovely addition to The Black Canary's catalog.
Oh, epilogue I guess. The top two photos were taken with the latest LL viewer. This one is my Kirsten viewer experiment.
Well, for the long answer, go here. Otherwise, it's a demon from German Mythology... part of the Wild Hunt... lives in dreams. Ohhhhh.... Wait a minute, Second Life is a dream, isn't it? And who can't say they've run into a demon or two, something from mythology or legend here in everyone's favorite shared virtual dreamworld?
It starts with the question because it started with the ears, actually. Elfpyre Productions' Daarc Dagger left me a little present and they are her 'Drude Ears'. These are really lovely, and the scripted color change feature allows you to match them with any of Daarc's newest skins. Oh? did I not mention the skins? Okay, well, I'll get to that in a second.
So I've got this hat. Gorgeous. See it in the top picture? Yah, really nice, isn't it? I got it from Cipher not too long ago and I've been playing with it on and off ever since. See, it needed ears. Hats and neko or elven ears can be a little weird sometimes. They ALWAYS cut through somewhere and sometimes it looks awesome while others not so much. I was doing ok, I mean, I've got these great neko ears from a bunch of different places, but I wasn't 100% on it. Not that I HAVE to have ears with the hat, I mean, just look at it, but sometimes I get a picture in my head and I just have to do something to get it out, which usually means hours spent attaching and detaching from my horribly disorganized inventory so I can see if it really works. Anyway, where we ended up is a pretty awesome place, I think, and my Cipher hat now has friends in my inventory. Okay, tangent over. Back to the skins. 'Hard at work.' That's Daarc. Well, maybe not NOW, but that's probably just because she's just finished a massive redesign on some of her skins and I'm lucky enough to be able to share them with you. Daarc's bright, insane makeups have always been some of my faves in SL, and Elfpyre's updated hand drawn skins still feature her bizarre sensibilities. The shading on the bodies is really nicely done, with an almost animated feel to them. Daarc's skins aren't what you might call photorealistic, but I don't think that's the point. Elfpyre's skins and accessories play safely in the land of the fantastic, and they work there. Ok, 'safe' maybe isn't the right word, but there's a comfort there. These are fantastic skins for a fantasy world, and Daarc I think has created some really lovely additions to the dream.
Also also also, before I forget. I've been spending a lot of time at Groll Inn, Groll Greggan's gorgeous build in La Cuesta. It's really beautiful, and it reminds me of something like Arthur and the Invisibles or Labyrinth. There's a bit of Groll's sculpture behind me in the first pic, and the inn and island are both built so well.
You can visit Groll Inn here. Worn: ElfPyre Productions MoonGlow=Taste the F*#$ing Rainbow! RosePetal=Back Stab DawnMist=Requiem for Ruina Drude Ears
You know those little pop up surveys that show up every once in a while when you're about to log in? The ones where they ask if your Second Life experience is getting better and all that? Do you ever respond?
I do, every once in a while. There's no real criteria for when I decide to or not, sort of a random boredom response maybe that just creeps up on me every so often. Usually lately I've been saying 'yes' actually, not like last year when my computer ran SL at a horribly slow pace that made me want to just give up. A lot of the time though, I'm pretty zen about the little hiccups that sometimes slow me down in SL and make every session a collection of relogs and 'brb's.
The real truth is, SL is getting better for me, but not necessarily because of whatever the latest LL upgrade (although, technically, I guess it has to be connected). Nope, SL just seems to be getting closer every day to the potential I hoped I'd find when I first rezzed. Basically, it's just easier to find really nice quality designs here. Sims, skins, clothes or accessories, maybe it's the tools have gotten better or the designers are learning new tricks, but I'm finding real new beauty in SL almost every day I log in lately.
Hmmm... example? Okay, here's some new skins from Tyr Rozenblum's Tyranny Designs.
Skin shopping, well, I'm really weird about it. For one, I've got a short short list of skin makers I love and follow and pretty much wear day to day when I'm just being me. It's hard to explore skins: they can get a little expensive, and I swear to god I've been to skin shops and tried on skins that looked gorgeous in the shop but started looking a little off once I left. I don't even know if that's possible, really. It could just be me. It could be my monitor or how much coffee I had to drink that day. Still, I'm always on the watch for new and interesting skins, centering my chi and arming myself to go out and spend some time just tping and playing with demos. Tyr Rozenblum's Tyranny Designs is a lovely little shop nestled on Abandoned Isle. Skins, clothes and accessories line the walls, and let me tell you about the skins.
Awesome. Absolutely lovely bright and sexy makeups really got me at first look, but the bodies themselves hold up under scrutiny as well. Tyr released some new skins this week, and I wanted to share a few with you. Foam, Booberry and Melon Baller all come in a range of tones (1-5 I'm pretty sure...) with fun makeups ranging from super-sexy to just plain cute. The color palates are so vibrant, I just can't take my eyes off them.
I'm so happy to have found Tyranny, and I can't wait to see what's next.
So, another shop from my huge AO expedition last week. Yeah, so basically another example either how cool it is to find something when you're looking for something else entirely or just more proof that I have like no attention span whatsoever.
Whatever, let history be the judge.
In the meantime, look at THIS. So, not to be confused with Kallisti Burns' cutting edge hair shop Discord Designs, Discord is designer Orange Meili's contribution to fashion and art in Second Life. Orange's creations range from boho-punk to elven armor and the hand drawn textures and bright colors are absolutely gorgeous. There's some lovely prim work too, from the really well done buckles on the belt and ruffles that make up Fu Dan to the simply fun boots with scripted texture change features.
I actually bought some armor too... well, it was gorgeous and the details are amazing. I have some more thoughts on that but maybe a followup, yes?
So, wow.. oh! and that's not even all! Discord's mainstore location in Nightmare City is just crazy too! Really really beautiful build with lasers and steampunk architecture. Well, maybe not steampunk... something industrial anyway. So gorgeous and mysterious.
So yah, definitely go, and don't forget to really explore, there's deals and vendors around every twisty corner.
Outfit/Boots Discord Fu Dan Pink Set Soku Hi Boots