Archive for June, 2011

June 29, 2011

In These Shoes?

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, pale 11
Hair:  Exile;  Temptest, champagne
Shirt:  Utopia;  Ursula, 07
Pants:  G. Field;  Capri jeans, black
Shoes:  Slink;  Lulu, black

I don’t normally blog brand new items because there are a gazillion other bloggers that do that.  But just occasionally, there comes out an item that I must have and I must wear and then other factors convene and its like fate telling me I must blog it as well.  Such is the case with these new Lulu shoes from SLink.  I didn’t want to take them off, even when we’re tromping through a forest.

And the fate part?  I bought my second pair of Lulu’s Sunday before we went to Elegance Ballroom.  One of the singers sang “In These Shoes?” by Kirsty MacColl.  I liked the song and the next day I went to YouTube to find it and happened to notice in one of the comments that she had died.  Off to Google I went and found her very sad story and the injustice her death in Mexico received.

I don’t know if this is an official video or a fanvid, but it has good sound quality and you can enjoy the song:

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June 27, 2011

Finally Found: So Many Styles

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, pale 01
Hair:  Exile;  Caitrin, Vanilla roots
Dress:  So Many Styles;  Floral Tulip dress, blue
Shoes:  Pixel Mode;  Fae Wedge, Khaki
Necklace:  Miel;  Cue necklace
Bracelet:  Twisted & Spoiled;  ChiChi bangle

I actually first found So Many Styles a few weeks back when we did the “I Let My Boyfriend Dress Me” challenge.  Xan had chosen one of the skirts from there and I put it on my Places To Check Out list.

I was looking for something to wear Friday evening and went to my handy list.  After about an hour shopping there, I ended up with so many cute options to wear that I had trouble deciding on one.

The floral dress reminded me of some of the 80’s fashions I grew up with and it was a big hit with the boyfriend.

June 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Color Challenge: Mauve

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, pale 12
Hair:  Elikatira; Me, blonde 07
Dress & Wreath:  Caverna Obscura;  Gypsy Rose gown, mauve

I really had no idea what to use for Mauve this week.  So I headed to Marketplace, searched for Mauve and within a few pages came across this dress.  It immediately clicked with me and I’m sure there’s every shade of mauve, from light to dark, in this dress and wreath.

I had fun doing this setup and processing with this outfit, probably because its so far away from my usual style.

June 23, 2011

Living Under a Rock

So Xan and I went to see another one of Maximillion Kleene’s live performances the other day.  I’ve been a fan of his since his very first performance at the Hummingbird back in 2006.  To end his show this time, he does this incredible rap/performance of Jason Mraz’s Butterfly (which I’d never heard before), but I’m only halfway paying attention to it because I’ve spotted a woman wearing an amazing dress.  Turns out its someone from his management group who was nice enough in the midst of passing out group invites to tell me the creator…Zaara.  Zaara?  How did I miss this release???

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, pale 12
Hair:  Angel;  Alanis II, natural
Dress:  Zaara;  Svara dress, black
Shoes:  Donna Flora;  Milva, black/silver
Nails:  Pixel Mode;  Sculpted nails, V2 platinum edition
Jewelry:  VG Republic;  African Bangle & Uzuri; Noble bracelet

So I’ve apparently been living under a rock to miss both this Jason Mraz song and a Zaara dress.  Anyway, the dress comes in two different versions, the one shown above with the cutouts showing skin and another with another layer of contrasting material underneath.  Both are fabulous and I had a hard time trying to choose which to wear for the picture.

As you can see, I’m still playing with the SL shadows.  Practice, practice, practice.  Right?

Here’s an acoustic version of Butterfly I found you might enjoy:

Curl your upper lip up and let me look around
Ride your tongue along your bottom lip then bite down
And bend your back and ask those hips if I can touch
‘Cause they’re the perfect jumping off point
Getting closer to your butterfly

~Butterfly, Jason Mraz

June 21, 2011

Lost in the Shadows: A First Try With SL Shadows

Now that the new Firestorm viewer from Phoenix is in the public beta phase, I decided to try to play with shadows in SL.  I figured it would be good to try to acquaint myself with shadows on both viewers at the same time so I wouldn’t have any predetermined bias for one or the other.  (I had downloaded the Kirsten’s viewer a couple months ago, but could never seem to get it to work properly.)

Firestorm:  First thing I found out is that when I clicked to enable the shadows in Firestorm, I got a pop-up stating it wasn’t supported and I might crash.  I was feeling adventurous so I continued on.  I turned off all the “fancy” stuff in the Hardware options (like anti aliasing, anisotropic filtering, VBO stuff) to try to prevent the dreaded crash.

I hit apply and okay, looked around and didn’t see any shadows.  Things I found out:  You need a light source.  Duh.  I played around with trying to get a light to work indoors and using the projector settings and it didn’t seem to work.  Too advanced for me, so outside I went.   Next, some WL settings don’t show shadows.  Case in point, my favorite for taking pictures, CalWL.  Dammit!

So instead of trying out the 15 gazillion WL settings equipped in Firestorm, I downloaded Luna Jubiliee’s settings and installed the file.  Lo and Behold!  Shadows!  Well, sort of, depending on the position and direction of the sun.  Instead of trying to move the sun around, it was easier for me to just rotate my backdrop and pose stand until I got a nice shadow on the backdrop.  Also, I had to turn on the Ambient Occlusion toggle because the shadow was extremely pixilated.

So I got my shadow, but the face looked kinda blurry or soft.  I’m used to the very clean crisp images that the CalWL setting affords.  For me to be happy, I’ll have to see if I can find a nice middle-ground between the two.

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko pale 1
Hair:  Elikatira;  Me, blond 07
Jacket:  Cashmere;  Boudoir jacket, wine (The Fashion Garret)
Pants:  Zaara;  Ishaya velour slacks, espresso
Nails:  Mandala;  Takara nails, brown 20
Bracelets:  Mandala;  7Luck, brown A & B

So this was what I ended up with after a little editing.  I immediately noticed there’s a halo between the dark brown pants and the shadow, as if it was a bad cut/paste job.  Hrmm.  I’m not sure what caused that.  It may be all the hardware settings I turned off.  It may just be the way shadows are rendered.  Also, even with sharpening, it still looks very soft.  Not good.  I’ll really need to learn more about WL settings before using shadows on a regular basis.

SL Viewer 2:  I kept all the same settings that I used in the Firestorm experiment and only changed the background color so I could tell the difference between the viewers.

I used the same editing process, but on this viewer it seemed the shadows around the nose and mouth were a nightmare to try to smooth out (compared to the Firestorm viewer anyway).  It still looks very amateurish to my eye.  I also see a little bit of that halo effect around the pants here too.  Plus, you can see the juncture of any background repeats, even with a solid color.

For my first experience with shadows, it wasn’t too terrible.  I’m really going to need to learn more about creating WL settings to be able to come up with one I’m happy with when using shadows.  Until then, SL shadows is just another tool in my photography toolbox and not something I’d want to use on an everyday basis.  I’ve read a few tutorials, but if anyone has any tips or tricks for using shadows with either viewer, I’d love to learn!

June 20, 2011

Aria

Last month, I did a post called Aria Azul which featured an art installation at Originalia called Aria.  At the time, I had only used the the entrance as a backdrop, promising myself to go back and enjoy the full piece.  Xan and I made it back and went through it, taking pictures I intended to use on a full blog piece, but life and other items kept pushing it to the back of the line until now.

Aria isn’t just the visual pieces, but a full media experience as well, with both music and video enhancing the atmosphere.  Make sure you accept the Windlight setting recommendation when you enter and click on the sign to get a notecard with information from the artist.

Once you land at the teleport point, turn away from the art gallery and follow the path down and to the right.  Follow the signs to The Docks and Aria and just keep walking along the path through the wall at the other side of The Docks.

You can see other photos of Aria on my Flickr.

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June 18, 2011

52 Weeks of Color Challenge: Mahogany

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, pale 01
Hair:  Plume;  Broadway, golden
Dress:  Plastik;  Jaida dress, Mahogany

I’ve been sick this week and was uninspired by another brown-ish shade anyway, so this is truly the best I could manage.  Now I’m going back to being a drugged-up lump on my couch. 

June 17, 2011

The Forgotten City

While out exploring one night, I was to taken the The Forgotten City, filled with clockwork servants and exquisitely textured architecture.  We had a great time betting on the horseraces, taking the airship tour and just exploring the city at our leisure.

It seems like we came upon surprise after surprise at each turn through the warren-like streets.  There are also homes to rent in the Forgotten City, spacious and as beautifully textured as the rest of the city, at an extremely affordable price.  All in all, we spent a very enjoyable couple of hours there exploring and partaking in some of the activities.  I know I’ve added the LM to my folder of great places to take pictures as well.

June 14, 2011

Timeless Classics: Mimikri

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, pale 10
Hair:  Truth;  Sonya, champagne, streaked
Dress & Gloves:  Mimikri;  Diva
Shoes:  Donna Flora;  Milva, black & silver
Earrings:  LaGyo;  Moonlight earrings
Ring:  Rozoregalia;  Bouhachi set, ring
Bracelets:  Loulou & Co;  Enigma & Mandala;  Pearl Rain, onyx

There are a few clothing creators that truly understand fashion and know how to make items that will have lasting appeal and wearability.  One of these is the designer behind Mimikri.

I’m not sure of the actual creation date of this outfit or when it became available.  I do know that I acquired it almost exactly three years ago.  And after three years, its still in my inventory.  And not only is it still in my inventory, I still wear it, like I did here last Friday evening.

I have several pieces of Mimikri still in my inventory from around the same time that I do still wear.  I consider them well-crafted and classic.  With a little work of making a skirt-shape, the system skirt can still look fabulous.

June 11, 2011

52 Weeks of Color Challenge: Jade

Skin:  Belleza;  Aiko, medium 10
Eyes:  Leezu;  Deep Reflection Eyes, Turquoise, large
Lashes:  Redgrave;  #14, feather
Hair:  YunA’s;  # 38, platinum 01
Dress:  Utopia;  Frida, emerald, shirt C w/ shoulder caps and single scarf option
Jewelry:  Mandala;  Kabuki, silver phoenix

This week’s color was jade and while I know it comes in other shades that are just as beautiful, I decided to stick with the classic green that everyone seems to associate with that color.

I had some other photo series work in progress and kinda procrastinated doing my look and I am so glad I did so I could use this new gown from Utopia called Frida. It comes with five (yes, FIVE) different tops, two scarf options, shoulder caps, necklace and even a tiara!  It can go from looking like a classic slinky formal gown to an asian-influenced futuristic look.  I tried to go for a look somewhere in the middle of the two.

I kept with the general Asian feel and accessorized with Mandala’s newest set of bangles and nails, Kabuki in silver.  Though you can’t see them, I was wearing the Coquette shoes in silver from Indyra Originals.