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
It had to start with something, right? So basically, it came down to the fact that I just wanted to rawk something awful. Lots of coffee maybe. I don't know. Every once in a while I come onto SL with just WAYYY too much energy and I load the IPod with lots and lots of rawk. Then, naturally I attack my inventory, looking for just that right thing. Wow, look at that! Slick Leggings from Sn@tch and Ivey Deschanel. Awesome. Bring it on.
Hmmm... what else... well, okay, put on my Dark Drow skin from Snowflake, and of course THAT skin just goes so well with my neko ears and tail, which go awesome with the Kagami hairstyle (including cap) that I blogged the other day. Well, this outfit sort of builds itself, huh? Hmmm... what else? Ohhh, of course my fave belt at the moment which ALSO happens to be from Sn@tch, the Oblivion Bondage belt and then let's add the Evangeline choker and some bracers from Cipher. Hmmm, oh! Black Bolt halter from Renegade and let's go!!
Sn@tch's Slick leggings are just that, Slick. Slick sexy and slick cool. Love them, and ooo an excuse to put on my Dirty Ego shorts from Sn@tch too. Geez, there's actually a lot from there...
Ivey's new leggings are lovely, with some nice hand drawn details texturing the leather and zippers, and the prim flares are easy to mod.
So yah, Sn@tch rawks. Check it out.
Sn@tch Slick Leather Leggings and Oblivion Bondage Belt
Shelly Toonie of Moonshine Designs is a little bit obsessive. Of course, most of my favorite designers are, it's an occupational hazard maybe. I'm not talking about obsessive as in "pull-out-that-shoebox-of-pictures-of-your-ex-boyfriend-every-night" obsessive either. Noooo, I'm talking about obsessive "did-I-make-that-right-oh-god-I-should-totally-do-that-other-thing-I-wanted-to-try" obsessive.
Wow. That's a mouthful.
Anyway, on the occasions I've had the opportunity to chat with Shelly, she seemed perfectly normal. Underneath though, there's a little crazy.
It comes out in her work. When I found Moonshine Designs latest, Dulcet, in my inventory I thought "heyyy, this sounds really familiar." Hmmm, so I IM'd Shelly and yes, I wasn't imagining it. Ohhhh, but this is different, a reworking... ah! Two reworkings actually. Two updates on Dulcet, a previous Moonshine release and wow so many lovely ideas worked into it's two versions: Cross and Twist. Cross is a lovely cute peasant style top and skirt with Shelly's signature beautiful fishnet lace prim work and lovely texturing in the fabric. Twist takes a sexy two-tone halter and matches it with cute short pants. The awesome prim belt comes with Twist, but it works really well with Cross's skirt as well.
Anyway, a lovely reworking using some of Shelly's coolest tricks and an awesome addition to a consistently changing and growing line. Go if you haven't; go back if you have.
Ugh, my brain's been blocked lately. The whole thing. I'd call it 'writer's block' but that's not really appropriate. It's not that I didn't have anything to write about or anything. Well, actually, I don't usually start a post until I've done some photography, so maybe that's what the problem is. I mean, I've been having trouble getting photos done the last few days. I can't blame ALL of it on Second Life, but the truth is, it's been a horrible lagfest for me the last couple days (at least, I HOPE it's SL and NOT my computer). I still have to take a lot of the blame myself. I dunno, there's no shortage of stuff to blog, I just wasn't feeling it maybe.
I wasn't, that is, until I decided to pop over to Sadistic Hacker.
Now, here's the thing with me and hair in SL. I'm addicted. Hairs in SL are the first things to make me go spending irresponsibly and endlessly play with looks, colors, whatever. I have a few fave hairmakers, you've seen some of them featured here, and I like to pop by every once in a while to see if there's anything new up. Honestly, Sadistic Hacker doesn't have the largest selection yet, and I wasn't actually expecting to see anything new hanging on the wall. Then... oooo, Kagami!
I love hairs... I love hairs with hats. What bothers me most sometimes is that so many hairmakers will make the hair with the hat but not a version without it. What if you want to take your hat off I wonder?
Oh, too immersive? Whatever, call it a personal thing. In real life, hair isn't the same static thing it is in SL. It has a life of it's own, and we color it, style it, tie it back, make it straight, or adorn it however the mood goes. Of course, SL has all sorts of restrictions, not the least important of course is that it's not actually real, so we miss some of those fun (ha!) bits of RL translating into everyone's favorite metaverse. Hats, well, they're usually a pain, just because there's only X number of attachment points and how much patience do I honestly need to fit everything on perfectly?
Sadistic Hacker at least offers a few options. Kagami is a long, straight style that comes with a 'naked' version and and one with a lovely knitted cap. Oh yah, and it's texture change; the simple little menu gives you six texture options along with resizing script for the whole head or just individual prims. Kagami works well with or without the hat, and along with some standard colors there's some fun punky styles like black/purple. In short, awesome, cute and versatile... at least enough to pop me out of this funk I've been under the last couple days.
As promised, more Snow Rabbit skins, which I think is my new favorite for clean, cute and quite realistic styles.