Childlike Wonder

There is something afoot in  Drowsy. A not too well hidden village awaits those young at heart. If you visited the holiday market last year, you may remember where to find the magical village. This year you need to use some simple adventure gaming skills to enter. Once you find the tiny cottage and the colorfully wrapped presents, do a bit of exploring in the snowy land of glow.



Along with a pile of obvious presents there are numerous objects set to buy for $0. Keep exploring. Not only will you find surprises around every corner, there are goodies hidden where you would never expect. I am sure I missed a few, but I had a great time.



My one bit of newness for the day is this snowy skin from Tuli. The new Claire skin can be found at The Dressing Room's New Year Party event.  A very pretty, soft and delicate pale skin with snowflake "glitter", it is perfect for our remaining days of winter.   I am wearing some old favorite snowy eyelashes, but the skin has dark eyeliner with  wings at the corners and looks very nice without lashes -- a plus for shadow photography. 

These photos were taken without shadows as the beautiful colors and effects of Drowsy were lost in that mode. I am definitely enjoying my shadow play, though. It is getting easier and I am crashing less often so server codes must be improving. A big thank you  LL for that; a great present for the new year.




Style Notes: 

Hair: fri. - Dylan - Jaded Blond
Skin: [:T:] Claire / fair / li :: TDR Newyear 2011 LE
Clothing: sf design camo hooded jacket womens - white Jacket; [Miseria] Delirium Jeans - Coal ; e! Daringly Sweater (Blush)
Shoes: A-BOMB Courtney Boots
Accessories:

Poses by: Ks2cool, LAP

LAST DAYS $3 to $25 - All Jewelry



Just a reminder that Baubles will be closing in a few days. If your casual jewelry box needs a bit of refreshing, pick up items starting at $3.  ALL jewelry is priced at 75% or LOWER than their original price. Some items will be available on the marketplace but not at discount prices.

Thanks to all the folks who have visited and purchased. I enjoyed the process; it is just time to move on to something new.

While you are here, be sure and look UP to find the Peace On Earth hunt item.

OTR - Everwind


I spent the afternoon in the fantasy land of Everwind. Many would say that we are always in a land of imagination when we explore Second Life. In some ways that is certainly true, but the gap between everyday fantasy and the storybook experience broadens once you have immersed yourself within the two sim role play complex.


I have visited a good number of role play sims and shown you many of them. Some have left me wanting more, but not Everwind. Where some builds are showing their longevity, quietly sliding into obscurity with old textures and outmoded builds, this destination boasts never-ending, high quality details.


I hiked the hills and dales -- often losing my way and retracing old paths. Along the way I fell into the sea and found that it was as wonderfully rendered as the snow laden forests. I headed for a sign far ahead, hoping to find my way back to dry land. Instead, I delved deeper into the mysterious waters and found this harp.


Floating high above the land is the home of the dragons. Man may be able to journey there, but today it was only my camera that caught the fading light of a lovely day.

Pick up your mandatory explorer backpack and a copy of the sim rules before venturing down to sea level. You do not need to be in costume to visit, but it is certainly more fun. The backpack itself is quite cute. I dispensed with it for a few seconds each time I took my photos. Floating text, shadows and screenshots do not play well together.








Style Notes: 

Hair: KOSH- FANNY FROM THE TREE (CHESTNUT. BLOND TIPPED)
Skin:[]::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room :: Gina 04;  Ibanez Ltd Edition Natural Eyes (prim)- Brown
Clothing: Little Heaven Sexy_Herb_Hunt_Melissa_SPorange (still available on the lucky boards)


Poses by:Everglow and LOTTA

OTR - Barbee


That popular, new, achromatic photography hot spot is -- Barbee.


Richly detailed with ample doses of glow, this intimate outdoor space offers an abundance of photo opportunities.  There is mood, but while the lack of color could tend toward the depressing side, I found it calming. The narrow warren walkways invite you to explore and discover their secrets. Hidden pockets of color and constant flowing water remind you that even this world is more than shades of gray.





Many thanks to Villemo Inglewood for sharing the location. She may not have been the first to discover the peaceful tones of Barbee, but she was my informant *wink*.


Style Notes: 

Hair: Amacci Hair Paula ~ Dark Wine Tipped Black
Skin: []::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room :: Gina 04
Clothing: Prim & Pixel  Lara jacket; Total Betty *Dainty* SILVER  Cami Top  (NLA); [CheerNo] ListPANTS Pants
Shoes:
Accessories: Maitreya  Leather Belt - Black ; .: Acid & Mala Creations :. Wired Set

Poses by:LAP

OTR - Gulf of Lime


Things are fairly quiet on the new release front so it seemed like a perfect time to visit some of my dusty landmarks and bookmarks, places I had planned to visit or just dropped by and never explored. No new releases or great freebie fines I'm afraid, just vistas; I am On The Road once again.


This is the Gulf of Lime, a marshy, pastoral area of quiet and accepting decay. It is peaceful here. The distant birdsong accompanies my thoughts.


Not far away, the sleepy and snow covered hamlet of Dimrill Dale welcome visitors to its wintry world.







Style Notes: 

Hair: !!Calico Ingmann Creations!! Tracy blood
Skin: []::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room :: Gina 04
Clothing: [LeLutka]-MATUSALEN jacket; [[[ SWANSONG ]]] Timeless Jeans (Sunset); PARADISIS Cold Kiss : Sweater brown; KOSH- CASSIOPEIA VEST WINE
Shoes: MIEL HAI BOOTS - RED


Poses by:Amacci

On The Bridge


I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the snow this year. Perhaps it is because there has been no real life snow to gaze at and deal with, perhaps it is simply the absence of color that presents a perfect backdrop for many photos. Whatever the draw, I will be sorry to see it go. The snows begin to melt in Winterfell soon. I remember that it was Spring when I moved in last year in February. In November there were only patches of snow so I suspect the reverse will happen as we move through January.


I journeyed over to the Winterfell Harbor bridge this morning. I see it from my windows but have never visited -- or at least I don't remember the details. When I turned on shadows to take my photos, I was amazed to find full avatar shadows; something I have seen only one other time. The server codes changed this weekend causing me to wonder if they are an integral part of the equation. One would suspect so. Time and observation will reveal the answer.


It is a quiet time of year in both worlds. Holidays are winding down, energies are often depleted and rest is called for.  So I plan to spend my time taking photos in the snow and learning more about shadows, post processing tricks to cope with the inherent problems and how to get the best out of my system and viewer. Along the way there will be newness to share.

Today's is a very cute sweater (actually a dress but with plenty of layers to make tucking in a possibility). It was a weekend gift from BOOM. Still up when I checked this morning; find it by the entrance on a vendor board. One of the prim pieces is missing but by making a copy of one arm, you can attach the new piece to the other arm and you are set. I alerted the designer so this may be fixed as time allows. The sweater is very cute, not red or green (yeah) and has the word "Flaky" on the front which I love and which now and then is appropriate. Note: Replacement version with missing sleeve seem to be going out to previous purchasers. :D


My bold earrings and flashy purse are part of a new dollarbie out at  [ glow ] studio. Find them in a hanging vendor in the center of one of the rooms.  A set of bracelets comes in the pack. The purse is see through and quite smashing in a Las Vegas style. Fun!




Style Notes: 

Hair: ::Inorite:: Jacks ~ Hit the Bottle, Baby (old)
Skin: []::Tuli::[] Jade (tone 4/li) :: 01a; Leel Makeup v3.2 blue
Clothing: *BOOM* Call Me Baby -Flakey; PARADISIS Streets : Pants White
Shoes: A-BOMB Chic wedges
Accessories: [ glow ] studio KOS Gold Earrings and purse; INDI - Belt white

Poses by:Amacci w purse hold

Going Green


I had plans for my 52 Color Challenge GREEN post, but when I found this breathtaking mask under the tree at Fallen Gods I tossed them aside.  I had saved this striking skin from a hunt awhile back, hoping to have an occasion to use it. And the lime hair from Amacci's crazy hair color sales went perfectly.



There isn't much else to my outfit *wink*, but I wanted a color coordinating spot for my photos.


The leather Jack O' the Green mask is from Falconrose Masks. The are virtual translations of real life masks made by the designer.

The skin is by  Skinthesis and is called The Holly & The Ivy. A male version was included in the hunt MOWH gift.


Pose by BehaviorBody








Delinquent


I took these photos yesterday, so my news is no longer timely and many of you already know about this lovely backpack gift from Modd.G. But I loved the photos and they were fun if challenging to take, so even though tardy, here they are.


The backpack is beautifully sculpted. Since it is non scripted it may not work well with your AO. Still,  it is a gorgeous photo prop and a very thoughtful present. Find the vendor on the wall near the entrance of the shop.


Other preview items include punkish hair from Anaphora (AVDC coal hunt) and textured leggings from the Spirit Store (new).




Click on any small photo for a high rez version.


Style Notes: 

Hair: [Anaphora]_Bro_Bole med brown
Skin:[]::Tuli::[] Jade (tone 5/bl) :: 08a
Clothing: REBEL track jacket grey women; {SMS} Longsleeve Tee Brown; Spirit Store - Vulkan leggings v.2

Accessories: Modd.G 2010XmasGift Dave Rucksack (Girls); beer from The Julia Collection (Mad Pea hunt item - over)

Poses by:LAP

Blue Mist Morn

It is a cool blue morning. Sun shines to break the chill. Calmness reigns.


I did a bit of hunting last night. Happily I did well. Not only do I have things to show you, I have other items to save for later posts. I was purposefully on the AVCD hunt (black bag of coal) And of course I found a few other hunt prizes along the way while missing some of the ones I was after. That is how it usually works for me. So, my extremely cute top is from Ducknipple on the CH hunt (santa hat).



This hair is just one of several nice styles on the bag of coal hunt. It comes from Shag. There is another style in the pack and four colors in all.  The snowy pines in the background are only two prim. They are mod-copy  and very nicely textured. Green and brown (dead) trees are also in the pack. Pick them up at ZombiePopcorn.  My necklace is from GAUGED as a ADVC hunt item. Unfortunately it doesn't photograph well with shadows on.


And here is a hot tip: Don't miss picking up a great (ladies) AO from Body Language by Sweet Lovely Cute. It is free for three days. It is filled with some clever and realistic animations and a nice walk. While I am not in the "animated" AO camp, this is a great one and a lovely gift.




Click on any small photo for a high rez version.


Style Notes: 

Hair: [Shag] - Hard Candy - toffee
Skin: []::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room :: Gina 04
Clothing: Ducknipple Spek - Blue plaid; =^^= MIAO Jasper Rosie Felted Denim Skirt (tinted);; GLAM tintable tights (NLA)
Shoes: A-BOMB Maria belted blue
Accessories: GUAGED Diamond necklace

Poses by: Body Language AO

Drama!


Only the good kind.

This lovely collar was a gift from Wasabi Pills left under the tree at Rebel X. I recognized the style immediately as I had been admiring a new release. I was going to write on the blog, but comments were not open. So, thanks to serendipity and the generosity of the designer, I get to offer praise here.


My cuffs and open skirt are from recent Advent gifts at MysticHope. Older items filled the slots of the outfit. I journeyed over to Standby and somehow (not easily) managed to get up in the clouds. The sim has changed mightily in the last few weeks or my memories are skewed.  I had difficulty getting anywhere I wanted to go  (sigh). But this worked and that's what matters.


It has been a less than stellar day for the typist in the real world. An update from RealPlayer fried the DVD watching options. Two hours of reinstalling, restore points, optional players etc. garnered zero progress. So that leaves a less than full screen media experience. Luckily DVDs are not the main source of entertainment in this house. Now I find the car is sickly. Mercury is in retrograde, but it also seems extremely unhappy. Ah well. In the VIRTUAL world, it was a good day. And that definitely counts.

I love the look and I love the drama and I love that fact that I don't need to be "me" all the time -- even virtually.






Click on any small photo for a high rez version.


Style Notes: 

Hair: *TSM* Thrush - Darknight(1); Amacci Hairbase Tattoo - Black Coal
Skin: hO wEAr sydney vamp 6
Clothing: MysticHope Blood Princess Forearm and Greed Halfskirt Black; **Firefall** --LE-- Marquise ;
Shoes: BAX Prestige Boots Black Leather
Accessories: /Wasabi Pills/ Metal Collar - FEMALE [Chest]

Poses by:LAP from the Stick'em Up Pose Set

Christmas Colors

 I am not a huge fan of bright red and holiday green, but give me some muted tones and I am a happy gal. I loved the leggings I featured yesterday from Rebel Xravaganza, so when I received a notecard from the designer mentioning that there were even more gifts under the tree at the main shop? Well I was there. I hadn't visited the store in a long while; it was good to return. I especially loved the colorful  fantasy flowers. A little of this, a little of that. Fun.

This sweater and the leggings are some of the gifts under the tree. The sweater includes a muffler top section which while cute is also a bit too big in the bosoms for tomboy me. I had to smile when I put it on and gained a couple of bra sizes.  I suspect it would work well for most gals.

As the season ends you can remove  the tree motif sweater bottom leaving a stylish wearable for any time of the year. There is another present under the tree that I love. A few designer friends have dropped off gifts, you see. I had been admiring a new release from that shop (not telling until tomorrow) and was thrilled to find something of a similar design as a gift. I'll be showing you an outfit based on the piece soon *wink*. Think drama.


Something that does fit into the holiday theme of the day is this cute sled from Moonstruck. I am pretty sure it was one of the gifts I garnered at Fallen Gods yesterday. It has a cute animation for sledding and it is drivable. I had a difficult time getting it to go (not very mechanical) but after I shift copied the sled out on the sandbox all was well. I am guessing the script needed to be reset. Even if you never use it in transportation mode, it is a cutie.


Look at me go!




Click on any small photo for a high rez version.


Style Notes: 

Hair: ::Inorite:: Jacks ~ Last Cup of Coffee
Skin: []::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room :: Gina 04
Clothing: !* Rebel -X- *! Leggings - Wool - GREEN; !* Rebel -X- *! YUKI Sweater - Xmas 2010 ; PARADISIS Cold Kiss : Sweater top brown
Shoes: Bang Bang - Stingray leather gaiter booties - red
Accessories: Dark Mouse Stain Glass Greens Earring (today's gift under the tree)

Poses by: LAP and the sled

Why We Blog

This started out as a comment to this post. It grew into so many words that I decided to post here and link back. And it is something we all need to think about.

***********************************************

I understand your frustration with the post mentioned. I do agree that none of us can speak for ALL of us. In retrospect I find that I did that the other evening on a post about why we blog. The reasons listed were of course MY reasons and I know they are not the impetus for all bloggers. Still I suspect very few people were upset at my lofty prose.

Anyway, while I absolutely agree with your pro tip at the end, I would like to point out that after more than 1800 fashion and design posts of improving quality and thousands of hours of effort taking those pretty pictures, that "I" seldom buy anything. I consider myself "serious" in your words; I think most folks would. So equating money spent by the blogger with the quality of the blog is perhaps not fair.Some faulty logic seems in play.

We each blog in our own way. Some folks spend countess hours hunting in order to have things to show -- sometimes not such great things from my point of view but it is again, JUST MY POINT OF VIEW. They may love what they have found.

Agreed. Bloggers that continuously ask designers for free samples (and then often never blog them -- this from some designers I know) definitely give the group as a whole a bad name.  In the beginning I had to work very hard to find items to feature. I was in the "not spending money" camp. Some folks really can't afford to spend RL dollars on virtual clothes and props. They can spend their TIME because to them it is free.

Nowadays I get a lot of review items. Life is easier in some ways. A year ago it would bother me that I didn't feature all I was given. Now I do my very best to show things that I admire, new or small shops that no one has heard of and that show promise, the designers who I have formed some sort of friendship with over time. I don't feature everything from everyone. I try to offer a fairly broad spectrum of styles within my own personal comfort zone.

I actually show about 10 - 20 percent of the items that come to me. I also do my homework, read the feeds giving others credit for finds when I use them. I hunt and I gather, and occasionally I actually do buy something for myself. It is rarely in the clothing line.

My inventory is a tidy 20K which is pretty light for a three year old fashion blogger AND content creator *wink*. I am definitely not into blogging for The Stuff.

So it is important for all of us to remember that we are coming from our OWN point of view and that there are as many other ways to look at our self proclaimed jobs as there are bloggers.


Eureka - Cool Shadows



This is almost better than a RL "good hair day". I finally have cool shadows and sharp focus with a little depth of field thrown in for good measure. If you can be cool with blood red hair and a super bright goldenrod sweater,  I am guessing you can be cool in anything *wink*. (This updated photo has been airbrushed to erase white alpha lines. To solve this problem you can photograph against solid walls.) See the original photo at the bottom of this post.



This is a completely unretouched screenshot. No desaturation needed.

This is the same shot with only a small amount of diffuse glow added.

So it can be done using Imprudence (1.4). It can be done on an older computer (mine is pushing four years and wasn't that spiffy to start with). It simply CAN be done. It took me a very long time to get here even though I understood Windlight well. I refined the settings a bit at a time over many days, slowly moving toward the effect I wanted.

Now we know.

And to the viewer who wrote the other day about shadows across the face, I am not going over to the dark side. I just wanted to show the effect in the most dramatic way I could :D.



After a comment by a reader I replaced the original top photo with a more finished one. The only changes are some slight airbrushing at the edges of hair. The thin white lines do appear sometimes -- even on body parts such as hands.

There  is an alpha issue and will hopefully be fixed in the future. Using prim eyes might be a better idea also. I will give that a try soon. Still I am thrilled to have accomplished this :D. This is the originally published lead photo. Click for a larger view.

COLOR!


Up today for your pleasure, a new skin release from *JeSyLiLO* and three nice gifts.

The new Asin skin from *JeSyLiLO* has an exotic look. Still young and vulnerable but with a hint of mystery. Each skin comes in a set of sixteen options including blush - no blush, hairline, matte or shiny and bust enhancements. This is the dark version of the skin.

My earrings are from { Zeery }  at Rue D'Antibies Chirstmas gift tree (see yesterday's post). There are several colors in the set. This choice pulled the outfit together. Yeah!

You might remember this sweater from BOOM. It was a very popular item during Goldenrod Week in the 52 colors challenge. It is bright and fun and comes with and without shoulder button accents. Plenty of layers means you can add just a BIT of this brilliant hue if you are on the shy side. My beautifully shaded comfy leggings are one of two sets from !* Rebel -X- *!. Find them under the gift tree at  Fallen Gods. (Thanks to Momo for this tip).


Just for today, you can pick up this cute little home -- completely furnished from buttons as part of the H & S Village 12 Days of dollarbies.  It is copy only but the furnishings are separate from the house. Perfect for a new resident, the complete set weighs in at 90 prims (20 for the empty house). So even on a small plot you would have a few prims for personal momentos and for unpacking. There are additional decor objects not shown in these photos. The over-sized chair  has a menu with various poses and adjustments. It appears to hold two avatars.




Click on any small photo for a high rez version.


Style Notes: 

Hair: .:::GARAGE:::.hair-004/Cherry
Skin: *JeSyLiLO*:::Asin:::*DarkSkin*J3(Makeup)* ( Matte )
Clothing: !* Rebel -X- *! Leggings - Wool - RED -; *BOOM* +4 Warmth Thermal - Goldenrod

Accessories: Cube Cloth Earrings [] Dragons Breath

Poses by:LAP, aDORKable

Longevity and Lust

It seems that I already had a post entitled "Longevity". With over 1800 entries in the can it isn't easy to come up with new titles. I am thrilled to still be here. I am happy that "I" am still happy blogging.  And I am pleased to be on numerous content creator's lists.

It didn't happen overnight. If I logged the hours expended in RL dollars I would be a very rich gal.  But what we do here in our virtual world has little to do with the corporeal one.  We work. We create. We struggle though technical problems in an attempt to do our thing, to take a small place amidst the masses of our universe. It doesn't matter that it isnt' real -- that we don't get a paycheck at the end of the week, we still strive for acceptance in a vast sea of want-to-bes. What matters when the cards are counted is that we enjoy what we are doing.

Hopefully we help some folks along the way. We enable our virtual world to grow, expand and evolve. 
And end the end that is enough reward.

And where does that "lust" come in? Well, we strive each day to be better with more dramatic photos and more compelling prose. We aim for the stars and when we don't quite make it, pick ourselves up and keep on going. Because in the end, that is what we really want to do.

We are in integral part of the virtual fashion industry.

We are bloggers.

White on White

Later in the day I had time to unpack my gifts from Rue D'Antibies mentioned in the previous post. While there were plenty of lovely things, this trio seemed meant for each other. So here is a photo of just three of the presents at the Christmas Market. 

The wall art is from UrbanizeD and is color change. The giant snowflakes can become many different color duos to coordinate with your decor. There are four wall decals in all with four sizes represented. They are no copy, so if you want a wall or two full of snowflakes, pick up an extra set.

The lovely vase of roses is a gift from Le Royaume d'O and my outfit including hat hales from Fellini Couture.


A big thanks to the designer and shop owner at Rue D'Antibies who made our holidays brighter with their generosity.




Click on any small photo for a high rez version.


Style Notes: 

Hair: .:::GARAGE:::.hair-004/Cherry(Resized)
Skin: []::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room LE :: Gina 01
Clothing: Fellini Couture - white roses


Poses by:EverGlow