The Power of Darkness




Darkness lies in the corners of each soul -- without it there can be no light.



We claim it in totality ---


Or we offer it to others --


And in that decision we choose who has the power in our lives -- in our world.



Visit the Ballroom at Imagine Plus>>

Style Notes:
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Hair: .:[ Tiny Bird ]:. Kissy Kissy - Stein Silver
Skin: []::Tuli::[] Hope (goth) 03
Clothing: hO wEAr Mystic of the Realm (parts of a complete outfit)
Shoes: BAX Prestige in black
Accessories: NLA


Some items may be gifts, prizes or simply no longer available. If you are having trouble locating a particular item, feel free to send me a message in world or add comment here on the blog and I will do my best to answer your questions.




Download my Windlight settings for this locale HERE.


Backstory: Imagine plus is home to several art installations including the huge (HUGE) lady that some of you may have seen in the feeds and photo groups. This castle floats at 4000 meters, but you can easily TP down to the entry area and explore further. I'll be doing just that sometime in the near future.

Secrets of the Sand





Throughout the night of endless stars
I saw as in a dream
Arising from the swirling sands
The towers of lost Ireem....... *

The city rises from the land, stones made from sand, no division -- they meld into one another.

Click on any thumbnail for a larger picture.


I walk into the desert, the warm sands cradling my feet. The dry winds caress my arms and brush silk against my legs. I am one with the dust of centuries.


The smells of spice, smoke and camel flow to me on the wind. Familiar, they comfort me.


Sea laps against precious wooden docks, its coolness bringing relief from the long day of heat. The skies turn pink in warning.


I find safety within the city walls and wait impatiently for the storm to subside. I yearn for the open spaces of the desert.




Style Notes:
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Hair: *SHOP SEU* --kurukuru hair Long brown
Skin: []::Tuli::[] Hope (sunkissed/br) avenue
Clothing: Roawenwood Midice (Mixture of Silks and Kirtle sets)
Shoes:
Accessories: from Midice set


Some items may be gifts, prizes or simply no longer available. If you are having trouble locating a particular item, feel free to send me a message in world or add comment here on the blog and I will do my best to answer your questions.




Download my Windlight settings for this locale HERE.


Backstory:

I have not ventured into RP in SL(R), but I will say that some of the most impressively designed locales are ones built on a story. As long as I have a visitor tag and a costume, I am comfortable. After all, I am an explorer and chronicler.


At home in the desert, I reveled in the dunes and the stones, the marketplace and the ruins. Most of the women I saw were dressed in warrior mode. I have several outfits in that theme, but I wanted to feel the warm breezes on my skin, the silk against my legs. I played the lute for a time and now have one as my very own.

I visited the Kingdom of Sand as it was preparing to move to a new sim. You will need to visit very soon (by 11pm it seems) if you wish to see this location.

If you would like to learn more about RP at the Kingdom of Sand, you can read their blog. Please remember to wear a visitor tag. Pick one up at the TP point. Free costumes are available for both men and women at the entrance, then TP down to the sands.


* poem from the informational notecard - Kingdom of Sand.

Windlight Settings

Hard to believe but it has been five years since I made all the "Places" Windlights that are now in many third party viewers. I had been thinking of putting up more settings -- especially ones that works well with materials (normal and specular maps).

Here are two for a starting point.

MOSP - Cloudless
MOSP- Sound Stage Shadows





July 29, 2011: Added a machinima video on Windlight settings for shadows.


 

End of December 2009 edit:  As promised, I have grouped all my Windlight settings used in the Places posts in 2009 and put them in a zip file. You can download them here at MediaFire. 

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Torley visited my pages the other day with an invitation to add my Windlight settings to the SL(R) Wiki. In doing so I found instructions for installing and using Windlight settings that may be helpful to you.

I am currently using the Emerald viewer, so here is my short version of how to add presets to your existing files. You can also rename and delete presets in the same area if you are of the semi techie persuasion.

For my Windlight single settings found near the bullseye in most of my PLACES posts :

  • Download the xml file and remember where you put it. Oftentimes the Desktop is the default. Find the listing of your sky preset files. These are typically in a path like this: "C:\Program Files\GreenLife Emerald Viewer\app_settings\windlight\skies"

  • So, look for your viewer name under Program Files and then follow the path. If you are having difficulties locating the skies directory, you could search for one of the included sky names like Pirate. Assuming you don't have a lot of walk the plank info on your computer, that should get you the path fairly easily *wink*.

  • Copy and paste the new xml preset file into that folder and you are set. It is always a good idea to make a BACKUP of the skies folder and put it in a safe place (like your backup directory) before making changes.

If you are in doubt about these steps, I suggest you work with Torley's instructions first until you feel more confident :D.

Enjoy.

Darkness


Light; there is little. Only illuminated windows in distant towers of humanity. I stay in the darkness -- watchful, aware, alert. Welcome to our possible future.

Click on any thumbnail for a larger picture.

For shape, skin and freebie info, check the Backstory at the end of this post.



The city is both enemy and friend -- tracking my footsteps, offering its dark recesses as shelter. Only when the city is asleep am I free to roam.



Marked, I wander the metallic alleyways in search of comrades.



Solitary and lonely, shadows are my only friends, yearning my ever present emotion.

Visit Hanger Luquides and its neighbor RedStormCorp.


Style Notes:
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Hair: Exile Fastball eclipse
Skin:GeEs Design - Skin - Marlin Drow - 04
Shape: Shape It Up! Lioness
Eyes: Curio Tragic Eyes Ice Blue (No Shine) Medium
Clothing: Phoenix Design BLACK Equestrienne (short term freebie on the wall)
Shoes: BAX Prestige Boots Black
Accessories: Phoenix Design Raveness armbands, earrings, shoulderpads



Backstory:

This is my post for the Skin and Shape Fair :D. I applied as a media person before my change of direction and before I knew there would be over 60 bloggers in the group. So, I am guessing you don't really care about seeing me in Skin A, B, C in all the available tints, tones and shades *wink*. Still, I like to keep my agreements.

INSTEAD, I've decided to show you a specialty (blogger gift) skin from GeEs Design. It is Drow, hence the grayness. The skin has a lovely eye tattoo that adds mystery. I find it quite lovely.

I decided to take a big plunge and aim for a shape that would show off this skin. Mine was OK , but shapes are a part of the fair. After trying about 30, I found the folder from Shape It Up! and the Lioness model was my choice. This woman is both strong and beautiful, capable in a harsh world. Honestly, most all the Shape It Up models were pleasing to me. Does that mean they are BEST? Only for me :D. Shapes and skins are about as personal as we get in our virtual worlds, and what works for one person can easily be scorned by another. That's why we have demos.


Curio sent out a humongous (really) pack of eyes to the fair bloggers and I find these icy blue ones go very well with the cool tones of the skin. The eyes come in three sizes which is SO great. I am wearing medium.

These are my personal picks from our samples.

I took several liberties with this shoot. I am in a cyber world, in a Drow body with Equestrian garb. Forgive me; I had things to report and this post seemed a good vehicle. The shirt, jacket and pants are free until the 29th I believe at Phoenix-Firefall. Find them on the wall with the other black Equestrian items. There is a small yellow FREE sign on the vendor. You can win a great belt or satchel in the lucky chairs to go along with the pieces. There are tons of accessories to purchase on the wall.

The poses used here are from one of two AOs currently in the ANA_Mations main shop lucky chair. This is the version for guys; there is another ballerina version for gals. Girls can obviously use the male version if it fits their mood. There has been a good sized watch there for the last couple of days.





Elemental Arts



Two sims; one theme. In a pastoral English countryside, on the edge of time, the elements converge and earth magic reigns.

Click any thumbnail for a larger photo.



Wander down well-rutted dirt roads, stand amidst ancient stones, hold watch for the sun with patient sheep -- remember your ancient roots.



Thatched roof cottages welcome you with arbors and wildflowers, but the rolling hills and open sky beckon with a siren's song you cannot ignore.


The elements are close at hand here. Rain plummets the coastal hills and lightening strikes between heartbeats. The earth will not be denied.



We cannot rule the elements, but we can be their willing mistress -- walking the hills in quiet earthsong. Remembering.

Visit Alchemy Immortalis and its neighbor Empress and Hierophant >>


Style Notes:
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Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Arianna - Light Auburn
Skin: []::Tuli::[] Hope (ivory) 01 (PU)
Clothing: !RFyre Bytterwynds II Tan Leather (there are many pieces in the set)
Shoes: Angry Monkey Villagers Boot (patched)
Accessories: come with Bytterwynds set


Some items may be gifts, prizes or simply no longer available. If you are having trouble locating a particular item, feel free to send me a message in world or add comment here on the blog and I will do my best to answer your questions.




Download my Windlight settings for this locale HERE.


Backstory: There is shopping within the cottages. Home furnishings as well as some lovely wildflowers are available. A bed and breakfast establishment is in the building stages.

RFD America Morn



Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob'ly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities


From "Small Town", a song written by John Cougar Mellencamp off his 1985 album Scarecrow.


click any thumbnail for a larger photo

Water wheels, covered bridges, street lamps and telephone wires -- it's homey here. A quiet sleepy town that could have been lost in the 50s or 60s. A trestle meets the sky marking the edge of this rural escape.

T Town is the perfect middle America farming community. It may not exist in the real world, but it does in ours. The corn grows high; sunflowers edge the roadways; wooden windmills turn slowly in the light breeze.


A stream flows through the park on the edge of town. Flowers give way to stone bridges and damp earth.


Traffic is light this early in the morning. Strolling is easy on the dirt roads that lead out into farmlands.


The town itself is picturesque, complete with soda shop, wine bistro and visitors center. It is a place many of us dream of revisiting.

T Town >>


Style Notes:
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Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Arianna - Light Auburn
Skin: []::Tuli::[] Hope (fair/br) tequila
Clothing: Young Urban Orange Hoodie, Maitreya ArmWarmer - Bistre, LaynieWear (now Tea Lane) Basic Jeans Chocolate, Surf Couture - I'm A Little Bit Country Top
Shoes: Yabusaka Halloween Boots (modded)
Accessories: primOptic Monza glasses


Some items may be gifts, prizes or simply no longer available. If you are having trouble locating a particular item, feel free to send me a message in world or add comment here on the blog and I will do my best to answer your questions.




Download my Windlight settings for this locale HERE.


Backstory: RFD stands for Rural Free Delivery in postal terms.

There are two fishing areas here. I'm not sure what's biting, but the atmosphere is both peaceful and contemplative.

Time Runs Backwards Here




Embryo wasn't my find, but it seemed like a perfect starting point for my new path. I saw a post from Anemysk [glow] yesterday, journeyed over and left myself there for the day. Do our avatars soak up the essence of a place even as we, the typists go through our mundane lives -- working and sleeping and forgetting them? Sometimes it seems that way.

As always, click any thumbnail for a larger version.



There are many sides to Embryo. Dusky and sensual, the haunting golden mist rises from the endless expanse of water. Solid ground is elusive.



Time stands still here. The water flows endlessly onward as the hands of time move backwards. Black chairs litter the marsh like discarded desires. A quiet place, one made for contemplation I suspect. There are so many layers of mystery here, one could spend a day or a lifetime in discovery.



Breaking away from old constraints and outmoded rules, we can see the past for what it truly is -- sometimes beautiful, sometimes sad, often only a glimpse of what was really happening.



Stillness melds into the night and the warm glow of the basket orbs light the ancient trees.



There is shopping here, but it is so well disguised that you will have to look for it. Skyboxes and furniture vendors line the walls of a small shack.



Patterns reign at Embryo. Textures layer atop textures, old wood and denuded trees add to the motif. A small skybox comes with tree, light and desk. The bed is optional.

You can see a wondrous video of the sim here. Choose HD (high definition) if your bandwidth and computer will run it for you. Enjoy!

Style Notes:
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Hair: Magika Hair - Curl - Blonde D
Skin: []::Tuli::[] Hope (fair/br) tequila
Clothing: ^^Moulliez White Capris, KAO - white ruffle dress shirt (top shirt shown, Chikka Design cuteness Dress top (as cami)
Shoes: Ammies GIft Bag Sandals beach tan and pink
Accessories: * Pretties by JB * Moxie - Hues of Brown Bangles


Some items may be gifts, prizes or simply no longer available. If you are having trouble locating a particular item, feel free to send me a message in world or add comment here on the blog and I will do my best to answer your questions.




Download my Windlight settings for this locale HERE.


Backstory: Interestingly, I had no idea that there were cricket sounds in the sim when I wrote my postcard text; it simply seemed that they would belong here. And indeed, they are.

A New Path

A philosopher once told me that I am one of the fastest processor types in existence. I'm not exactly sure what that meant, but I do make decisions in seconds of clarity and turn directions without looking back.

I still need a bit of pondering time, but I think I have a new plan. Photography has always been my first love. Somewhere amidst the joy of taking pictures, I got caught up in climbing the blogging ladder. That's not a bad thing, but along with that comes politics. Imagined debts pile up; you discover more than you want to know. I still love fashion and creativity of all kinds, but I learned yesterday that a sense of place is what I care about most in my virtual world.

So, I'll be packing up a ruck sack and heading off for some adventures. When I find a place that speaks to me, I'll do a shoot. It will of course include fashion, and I will add fashion notes, but I hope the posts will no longer be "ads". I also hope to lose that energy along the way. I'll let the feeling of the place determine the outfit and not my "to be blogged" folder.

So check back now and again or watch for some of my postcards on the feeds. Until then, take care.

PS: I have one promise to fulfill still from that old path, but I'll try and sneak it in so you won't notice :D

What I'm Seeing

First off, thanks to all the people who added there comments to my Creativity post. Extra thanks to the folks that sent me personal IMs of support. I appreciate that.

I'm not exactly sure what my future will bring. I doubt I will give up blogging. But, honestly, 1000 plus posts is a lot. I have treated most of my posts as jobs, trying to help the designers by featuring their work. It was both a learning experience and an enjoyable exercise. I've met some wonderful people along the way, helped make a few superstars, lent a helping hand to some new kids on the block filled with creativity. I have loved it.

But, maybe it is time to make way for the next generation of bloggers. Once you get near the top of the mountain, the view sometimes changes; and that is what I am feeling.

I'll be here and I'll still be taking lovely photos; at least that is what my senses tell me. But I don't plan on looking at this as an unpaid job. I still applaud creativity and will definitely highlight it when I find it. But I am not going to wake up in the morning wondering "what will I feature today".

It's been a good journey. Now it is time for a slightly different path.

Thanks to all my fans. I hope you can make it though morning coffee (or evening wine) without a new post from Chic. There may be one, but there are no longer any promises :D.

Take care.


PS. My title --which I definitely segued away from -- referred to the slow down of posts on the feeds. I'm not sure what that is about, but it has been going on for awhile. So perhaps, it's not just me feeling this energy.

Sometimes we simply need to rethink our position.

Sunrise


Crossroads, we reach them most often when we aren't ready. Not knowing which direction is the best, we choose somewhat blindly hoping for the best. And if we choose not to choose, that is also a choice.

Stepping back a bit is what I needed and so I spent some time by the water drinking in memories of times when there were no choices to be made.


My new flower child wreath lifted my mood. With both glow and particles I was surrounded in the flow of the Universe, where Peace and Love was all that mattered. Vicarious Lee's Wildthings is the maker of the Flowerchild Wreath in Teal and Yellow. Thank you.

Click any picture for a larger version.


Style notes:

Skirt and bandeau: *BOOM* Rhapsody -raggedy ann-
Bangles: bluemoon bangle set (group only freebie ) Silent Sparrow
Tattoos: KANIVAL TATTOO

Poses by LAP.

Kunstkammer




Time for newness in my world and a change of pace. I'm going to show you some of my favorite shops and places and tell you a bit about them. First up .: Kunstkammer Architechtural and Metaphysical Salvage :. . And WHY are they first? Because I loved the freebie earrings from the Jewelry Fair and never got around to featuring them. So this works -- even if a little late.

Kunstkammer is an eclectic store that exists at the intersection of Indie Goth and Shabby Witch. With a selection that ranges from jewelry to eyes to surreal skyboxes to charming home decor and more, you're sure to find something unique.


Need a pet raincloud? How about a Haunted House Kit? A vintage light bulb string? Well this is the place. I fell in love with Kunstkammer during the Vain Kissed hunt; the weirdness of it all makes me smile.



click for larger photos

Sale items can be found right inside the door to the left. The spooky mushrooms with particles are a group gift. The clover ground cover is one of two versions you can buy from the trunk for only a buck.


Late for sure, but here are the gift earrings from the fair :D. Hope you picked them up.

Be sure and look for the Pumpkin in the Freaky Fall hunt while you are visiting. It includes eyes, poses and poseballs and a great dark particle fog for the upcoming holiday.

Style notes (all previously featured items) : Jeans and tank by WoE, sweater by [Miseria], hair by Tiny Bird, Skin by Dutch Touch, tattoos by Kanival.

Shuz! Gals and Guys


Just a quickie post to let you know there is a lucky board watch going on for these boots. They come in two colors, red-bean and black with two top heights. The shoe part is click resize and the tops are manual mod. Wonder got them to fit his big bod, but did mention that the tops were tricky. So be sure and have copies if you are going to be enlarging those tops.


I like the black ones best myself. Lots of folks a watching and as they are mostly Japanese, the common Western letters go unclaimed. So that works :D. I didn't get my own pair, but I TPed four friends in and by now they know the drill. Posing is mandatory *wink*. So zip on over to Amaama and watch for your letter to come up. I suggest staying outside and camming in as it is very crowded.

Creativity?

Where does creativity begin? How much input is needed before an item is "yours"? Do people care if a design was not actually made by the designer?

All these questions have been flowing around in my head today.

I have unpacked -- and blogged in many instances -- a lot of clothes lately that were obviously made from the same template. It took me awhile for this to sink in, but eventually I saw the pattern. I asked my blogger sisters and I was assured that "yes, you can buy anything on Xstreet". Yes, it is legal and psd (Photoshop active files ) are sold just like sculpty files these days.

Who knew? Not I.

So now I am at a crossroads of sorts. Do I keep featuring designs that are built on the work of some ghost designer? Someone who has made a template, sold it as full perms and let the masses go forth and create on their work?

Honestly? I'm having a bit of a problem with that. I know this is a gray area, and that there will be many opinions -- both pro and con -- for using templates to create "new" designs. It's legal, and most likely accepted, but is it a good thing?

I think about the designers who were here at the beginning -- or at least long before I arrived. , Chip Midnight, Torrid Midnight, Fallingwater Cellardoor -- I'm sure the list is a long one. I am guessing they worked from scratch, finding their own way, pushing the boundaries, turning pixels into wearables. There is something that bothers me deep inside about slapping a texture in a layer of a template and calling it a new design.

Now, I know that isn't always the case. Oftentimes there are rips and logos, wrinkles and patches added, but sometimes it is simply pasting in a texture into layer number 7. Where does creativity begin? Is simply pasting in a pattern enough to call a design original?

I don't have an answer, but I am thinking that I won't be featuring any obvious template work on my blog in the future. It is a personal decision. And if that means I will have less to blog? Well that's my choice too I guess.

I can understand the reason people use templates. Ease for one. Speed. But what happened to making items for the world that we envisioned? What happened to the simple joy of creativity? Most likely it has been replace with pragmatism. And that, I also understand. People need to pay the rent. Sales are slow. If it comes down to staying using templates or closing -- I'll vote for staying.

But still there is a shadow looming over the practice. Would downsizing accomplish the same thing? Could designers give up there sims, half sims, quarter sims and go back to their roots? In doing that would they discover the joy they had in the beginning when they were creating simply for beauty and for themselves?

I don't know the answers, but I wonder.

Hope


By now I imagine you have heard the sad tale of copybots in the Rebel Hope sims. We were encouraged by a blogger sister to highlight some of the wonderful work of Rebel Hope. I knew that Sami had been a long time fan, so I invited her over. She wore a vintage gown which still looks lovely. This was in a time before sculpties; Sami will be celebrating three years next week. Congrats hon!

You can click the photo above to see a larger picture.


Since it is her gown and her story, I'll let her tell it:

I'd met a king. I was so excited. I was fairly new to SL then and didn't really get that anyone could be a king, all you needed was an outfit and a castle. Naive or not, I needed a ball gown fit for a royal gathering. There was really only one place to go back then, Rebel Hope. I found this lovely gown and fell in love with it. It was dauntingly expensive for my meager budget, but I splurged and never regretted.

I was lovely at the ball even if that is only my memory. I had many compliments -- even from the king. I wore the gown many places for many months before abandoning my dancing days and getting to work.

It was a pleasure to take the gown out of mothballs and revisit those times. I don't know Rebel Hope, but I have always admired her. So this small tribute is for her.



Sami is wearing the new gift skin from Amacci. Hair from Calico Ingmann. Her bird friend is a coal tit from Spiky-Haired Dragon.

Slap it Hard



For those of you that missed the skirts at Phoenix-Firefall, the prize is even better now; you get a choice of tops including one with bare breasts and one very covered.




Click for larger photos


Xia won hers the hard way on the lucky chairs, but all you need to do is get your buddies over and slap that board. I was there last night, but it was too late to let you know -- so today is the day. Xia is also wearing the Black Equestrian Belt . Amazingly the medium size is a perfect fit, so even if you are a tiny person, the small should fit you. The belt is manual mod.

The belt is NOT a part of the MM prize. You can win it in the chairs in back or purchase it of course. I think there is also a black purse that Benicia won, but don't quote me on that. The belt is really outstanding as is all of Phoenix-Firefall prim work, so it is certainly worth the cost of either time or money :D.

The MM board is here in the skins area. Walk straight into the shop and the sign is on the back of the wall that faces you. The four lucky chairs are in the back around a pillar.

Good luck!

The Dark Side


The most popular SL(R) holiday will be coming up in the not too distant future. If you haven't lived through an October at Phil's Place, you are in for a treat. I'm not using the "H" word yet, but I did spend a lot of time hunting today. Many of the current grid-wides are themed in that October direction. Again, sadly, I have little to show. There were lots of undead and past dead type gear, but my October holiday get ups are not about decaying flesh and the like :D.

Of my many hunting and gathering finds of the day, I would like to show you two favorites. Yes, you got the subtext there *wink*. The first is a hat that is almost as tall as I am.


click for larger photos

-=FORSAKEN's=- Mad Hatters Nightmare Decked to the 9's prize is from the Macabre Hunt. Chocked full of glorious details, it is a sure attention getter. It is so cluttered (the good kind) in intricacies, you need to see it for yourself for full appreciation mode to kick in. I used my hat hair from sd design (hope you picked that up) and was even able to LOWER the hat more on my head. Yeah.



My second super detailed item deserving kudos is this thigh belt called A Small Cutting ?. It hales from LOULOU&CO. The antique scissors are lovely and there is a slightly bloody pocket watch around the other side. Look for the apple from the Macabre Hunt for this one too.

See the last two posts for clothes and skin credits.

Poses by LAP.