Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tabula non rasa

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Yesterday I spent some time at the Tableau sim opening. I ran into Allegory, Apatia, Toast, Dice, and a host of other people, all huddled into the middle of a dream souk. I really loved the old Tableau build, but I am not disappointed by this one -- it's a dream on a high cliff full of nooks and crannies and secret oubliettes, and shops seem secondary to the joy of building something neat.

When I was there, people began to wax nostalgic. Mo Money pondered how long she'd been in SL, and how different it seemed. She said something interesting...I guess it's not a perspective I have, because I only began a year and a half ago. "SL wasn't originally just about the money," Mo said. "I've watched people make a lot of money. It's really changed them, and changed SL."

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I tried to imagine a non-commercial SL and...couldn't. I guess this is sad, but (considering that I started a business recently) I can see how money has changed me too. I always figured that I'd "won" Second Life when I reached the point in blogging where people interact with me in-world and in-blog about what I've posted. Lately, I've been thinking of my writing in terms of money, but I've also been struggling to keep it authentic (which means that people probably skim this crap, which I can't blame anyone for). Money is important, though. Without it, how can people afford to spend so much time in SL? The debate continues in my head.

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It's interesting to think of life -- Second as well as First -- in terms of money. Why am I engaging in research anyway? Sure it's for the pure joy of knowledge, but it's also to pad my research resume and get me a job. Perhaps there is a common language that crosses worlds. Money feeds us all...

*

And *cough* talking about fashion for a moment, I'm in new hair from Deviant Kitties, a new soft and warm shrug (named shruggie) from ~silentsparrow~ that I want to download onto my RL body now, the cute lolita Lyll outfit from from Blue Blood, and new flats from roodieNoodie (i.e. Newdoll, the most expensive girl on the auction block).

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***Eyes: Den-Dou Glance Eyes /Umber
***Lip rings: Deviant Kitties N+I
***Stockings: Random from my inventory :p
***Skin: Fleur Allure China Mystique 3
***Shrug: ~silentsparrow~ (ash) shruggie
***Dress: Blue Blood Lyll dress
***Hair: Deviant Kitties Discordia - Silver
***Shoes: roodieNoodie Paisley Flats

Friday, February 27, 2009

Posemaker Challenge - Long, Awkward Pose

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Posemaker challenge...

Earlier today, Zaara laughed at me for having moobs when she saw Boy Acha in her new Isis shirt. Luckily, the real set for boys is coming out in approximately ten days (she says), so consider this a preview with a small boob-shading bonus. You can see the lovely, filmy shirt in more detail in the large size of this photo. *cough* Anyway, here I am in the only male pose set that I use, the ones by Long Awkward Pose.

In short, Dove Swanson's poses make even an effete crossdressing kittyboy like me look manly, even with a tail swishing between my legs. Some of her poses are bobble-headed for use in Animation Overrides, and some are priority 4 so that you can use them for modeling. On one fine occasion I was stuck up on a model stand full of crap freebies, and had the luck of donning a [LAP] pose that neatly erased the crap one beneath. Saved by [LAP]!

The poses all have hilarious names, including one called "cocked" which I'm SURE refers to the position of the hip, and not Lawless's "coin purse." Right, Dove?

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***Poses by Long Awkward Pose: Tie Adjust, Cocked, Back step, Flex, Model Fancy, Try Harder
***Gloves: Sprawl Shove Gloves (flora)
***Pierce: Ellabella Skully Lip Chains w/ madonna
***Scarf: Muism crinkle scarf / silver
***Boots: Zero Number Long Boots Black
***Bracelet: Studio Sidhe Men's Celtic Knotwork Leather Cuff
***Skin: Den-Dou Boys Kabuki/Jiro
***Ears, tail: Atomic Kitty Black Wolf Set
***Hair: Philotic Energy Billie in Black
***Pants: Zaara Ishaya Velour slacks *black*
***Shirt: Zaara Isis shirt *white*

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Victorianna boutique, post 5

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There might've been a few too many cute outfits to choose from for my last post of five, so I just wore them all. Three designers that I love have little outlets here. It always makes me smile to see people's outlet stores -- sometimes the tides of time have swept them a little to the past, and I remember back to when a particular item was released.

I'd been meaning to purchase this dress from Silver Rose for quite some time, and was overjoyed to see it here. It's a beautifully textured tutu that comes in several dark brocade colors, and is one of the more affordable pieces from Silver Rose. ~silentsparrow's~ Coppelia is fluffy tulle goodness, and Draconic Kiss's Bound Heart is a perfect example of Draconic's mastery of prims. Draconic makes some of the fluffiest skirts in all SL.

I've come to my end of three posts about Victorianna Boutique. It was nice to post in lolita after posting as a boi -- back to my pink roots.

[Research] Today I was barely in SL. I like the way in which Plurk helps to extend the conversations within SL to a space outside of it. Plurk feels a lot like a ton of tiny topic-specific chatrooms, and when you have a number of friends from SL watching you plurk, it feels as if you're interacting in-world even when you aren't. I'm not sure what this says about Second Life literacy. Perhaps that our online and offline realities aren't bounded and contained, but instead that they are mutable and permeable, and that people we associate with different contexts (like SL or LJ or Plurk) exist outside of them too, of course. More collapsing of boundaries...more fluidity of literacy between media. [End research]

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***Outfits: (Found at the Victorianna Boutique)
Red and black striped - Draconic Kiss Bound Heart
Aqua tutu - ~silentsparrow~ coppelia in (sea)
Feathery tutu - Silver Rose Designs Princess Krahae (Claret)
***Hat: Wretched Dollies Pinkie - Black Hat (Found at the Victorianna Boutique)
***Hair: Historic Heroines Miss Woodhouse in crystal blonde (Found at the Victorianna Boutique)
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White Mourna Black
***Pierce: ellabella Garnet lovin' lip rings
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Chunky Ribbon Boots - pink
***Sekrit hidden katat0nik undershirt is not yet for sale. It's the Snow Bunny outfit shirt on the undershirt layer, begged for by yours truly cause it's so versatile :p

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Victorianna boutique, post 4

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The other day, I thought to myself: If SL goes away due to complete company fail, what would remain? I can't take my gorgeous wardrobe off-world, and although I can keep friends in Plurk, how long would we hang out if we don't have anything in common any more? But then I thought of William Gibson and Neil Stephenson and took heart. SL isn't a temporary phenomenon, it's the beginning of a movement to virtually collapse space so that we are all neighbors in the blink of a teleport.

I think I got all postapocalyptic because of a dream I had last night, in which America's economic situation had gotten so bad that my family was wandering the streets starving, and I had to contemplate slaying Alba to keep her from dying slowly of hunger. Anyway, it could just be the stress of the semester wearing on me. My wise aunt Nancy once said that you are everything in your dreams...so that if you dream of hunger, you are the hunger. What does it mean? I think for me, I just fear letting my family down.

This blog post is the fourth in the Victorianna Boutique series, one left to go. I got lazy and photographed in-world, but I quite love my outfit and hair. The hair for these posts has mostly been the delicate updos from Cornelia Rothschild's Historical Heroines shop. If you've seen her around the grid, you know that she always wears an awesome doll key. I'm wearing one here in her honor.

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***Jewelry: Violet Voltaire Doll key and necklace from the Black Hearts Screwed set (found at the Victorianna Boutique, or if not, at Violet's main shop at Muse)
***Hair: Historical Heroines Miss Giry in Fireplace Red (found at the Victorianna Boutique)
***Outfit: Grim Dolls Skullies dress (found at the Victorianna Boutique)
***Boots: Redgrave Girls' Biker Boots Black
***Tattoo: EtchD Sin's Henna
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White - mourna autumn

Posemaker Challenge - AnaLu

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Posemaker challenge...

When I just got started blogging, I simply used my AO for photography. Then hyasynth said: Erm, you should get a few more poses, k? She was very wise. The first store that I hit up was Luth, and got every single one of the Classy and Innocent poses. I still use those elegant poses today! After my blogging evolved a bit, the second place I went to was AnaLu's pose shop.

I realized while not crediting her the other day that I probably use AnaLu's poses most nowadays. This is because AnaLu is a fashion blogger, and knows the kinds of poses that work best with clothing. They all have little twists - a raised arm, peace sign, cocky tilt to the head - but they have nice steady torsos, leg positions that can support a skirt prim, and a good dollop of poise. It's shocking how fundamental poses are to outfits -- the wrong pose can immediately make an outfit look like shite. AnaLu's poses have making clothing look good down to a science.

I knew when picking AnaLu for this post that I'd be ignoring a host of other posemakers that I use regularly as well. Boi Ach uses Long Awkward Pose almost exclusively, so I'll be doing boi-me-in-LAP next. For charmingly offbeat, I like Lotta and Skanks R Us, as well as a few dollarbie Japanese pose shops. Then, if I'm carrying anything, it's Luth's handbag AO, or Torridwear's paraplu. Ah, poses. Now that you've gotten me started, not sure I can stop... I can't wait to see other people's posts!

The bottom picture is an extreme close-up because of freckles! This is a new release by Cheeky Girls -- freckles on every clothing layer. I love this overlay of chest freckles with the Nomine Mourna Autumn skin.

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***Poses: -AnaLu- *fresh poses*, numbers 347, 337, 376, 375, 347
***Freckles: Cheeky Girl Freckles
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White - mourna autumn
***Necklace: Handmaidens Rosary Ring Choker
***Shoes: J's Goth BeltBoots
***Shirt: Chaospire Shadowmuse Vest
***Pants: GothiCatz Blackout from the set
***Hair: H2L Shun2 Silver
***Pierce: FlipSide Kitteh Bell mouth piercing set F11

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Victorianna boutique, post 3

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This is my third post in Stuff from Victorianna Boutique, and on top of that, I'm not myself -! I'm photographing in a stunning shape by Ellabella -- the Bella shape. The face is elfin and pointy-chinned and adorable, and the rest of the body is so well-balanced that it's going to give my usual shape (from Boneflower Designs) a run for its money. Ellantha made this shape to roleplay a teen, and she did such a good job that I begged her to sell it (for my own nefarious reasons -- I wanted it for my OWN). She's selling it for just 350L. There's another shape in her shop, a tiny fairy, that I might get with next week's money. :p

The shape seemed to suit lolita perfectly. The Mourna skin in purple by Nomine suits the mouth very nicely, and the hair (Historical Heroines found at Victorianna Boutique) frames the high cheekbones very well.

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And guess what? Inspired by my own complete fail at crediting posemakers (because I take so many photos I never remember who made what pose), I have another challenge.

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***Earrings: Violet Voltaire My Violent Heart Earrings (found in Victorianna Boutique)
***Hair: Historical Heroines Miss Doolittle - Coal Black (found in Victorianna Boutique)
***Outfit Wretched Dollies EGL Fancy Feets (found in Victorianna Boutique)
***Shoes: 69 MoccasinBoots NeigeBlanc
***Tattoo: Alexitimia Tattoo suicide butterfly heart
***Shape: ellabella Bella herself shape
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White Mourna Purple Sans
***Pierce: No Mercy Skeleton Head Piercing

Fashionable Relay Challenge!

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We interrupt five days of Lolita for a Fashionable Relay Challenge Post!

How lucky am I to get handed the baton on Mardi Gras? It gave me the perfect excuse to put on Alicia Mureaux’s crotchless pants! She looks marvelous and completely rocker in those, so I decided to find a different aesthetic entirely. I went for a Mardi Gras masque look, set off by Schadenfreude's free beads (if people click them, they get their own!), and a free mask from Illusions (when you are there, do look around for other amazing masks for tonight).

Back to the pants. I think I'll keep them on all day long, especially because they set off my large collection of *katat0nik* ruffle panties perfectly. (Do you ever have this problem? You have awesome undies and no way to show them off? These pants seem like a great solution, if you have the balls for it.)

I admit to being in love with this hair from The Stringer Mausoleum. The burnished reds set off my Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple, represented by my skin (MiaSnow skin for only 50L!) and outfit. *cough* Okay, I apologize for the outfit bits that come from sets, such as the shirt from PixelDoll's BonBon dress and the tails from ~silentsparrow's~ Valerian suit, but both outfits are well worth owning, and I tried to mitigate those by using free items too.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez, everyone! My husband's making Jambalaya tonight in honor of his cajun roots. My background photos were taken at The Big Easy sim, which is a recreation of New Orleans for the purpose of charitable donations for the hurricane destruction. Visit it here!

After me is Miss Kallisti Burns. I wish you luck, and I'm sorry you can't wear these amazing pants.

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***Pants: (worn by Alicia) Oh Lala Leather & Lace, Black Leather Skull Chaps
***Gloves: Fleur Gloves Long Emerald
***Pierce: FlipSide FF10 Pierce
***Earrings: Lassitude and Ennui Medea in gold and crystal
***Socks: amerie's Naughty LoC_Socks Green
***Shoes: First Flower Hoya Strapped in Ruby
***Shirt: from (PixelDolls) BonBon set
***Corset: Schadenfreude from the Noir Revenant set
***Panties: *katat0nik* (red) heart ruffle panties
***Hair: The Stringer Mausoleum *TSM* Shadow Keeper - Red Shine
***Tails: ~silentsparrow~ from the (ash) Valerian Suit
***Necklace: Schadenfreude Mardi Gras Beads -- Store freebie!
***Skin: MiaSnow Goldess Skin -- 50L skin!
***Mask: Illusions Peacock Mask, store freebie

Monday, February 23, 2009

Victorianna boutique, post 2

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I taught, and haz no brain left. Here are more items from Victorianna Castle (hair, outfit shoes), along with a gorgeous bloody skin from Nomine's Mourna line.

Watch out if you see me in-world, I am after braaaaaaaains tonight.

***Wristcuffs: Kurotsubaki group gift form last year
***Shoes: Draconic Kiss Double Stra MaryJane (found at Victorianna)
***Earrings: Violet Voltaire Glitterati Earrings in black (found at Victorianna)
***Outfit: theBunker lolita masako (found at Victorianna)
***Hair: Historical Heroines -- Miss Liddell -- Crystal Blonde (found at Victorianna)
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White - Mourna Red (sans)
***Poses: Torridwear Paraplu AO with brolly

Victorianna boutique, post 1

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When I first started Second Life, I did a search for Gothic Lolita clothing. One of the top hits was the Victorianna Boutique. I went to check it out and felt quite stunned by the stark white pokiness of the build. It's a little girl's princess dream, white minarets and spires dancing in the sky, wide balconies overlooking waterfalls, rooms for dancing and rooms for a royal court. The whole place seemed to invite roleplay...

The boutique is full of fluffiness. Knee-length frocks that bell out from the waist, stockings with lace garters, bodices that are sometimes corseted and often frilled. The colors range from Sweet Lolita (LicoLico has a presence here) to Elegant Gothic Lolita to Gothic, and the range of stores is quite commendable. For the next five posts I'll be focusing on stuff from this shop.

Along with it, I'll be wearing Nomine's new Mourna skin. I spotted it on Mourna over here at this post, and thought to myself that I absolutely had to have those skins. Damn that gorgeous Mourna in gorgeous skins, emptying my pockets again.

Last night I took part in a Second Life baby shower for a RL pair of twins (a few photos are over here in my Flickr stream). I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially trying to fit the things we could do in Second Life to the theme of 'baby shower.' The usual traditions of a baby shower don't involve quite so much dancing, but dancing is an SL tradition, and DJ Jhurzen Ketsugo did a lovely job. Hethr also spent some time bashing a pinata made by Violet and Lalita, and the result was that we all got to pick up cute little baby bottles with drinking animations. It was quite adorable, and we ended up giving Hethr a nice RL present at the end of it, with many thanks to everyone who donated Lindens, time and creativity.

[Research] It was fascinating to see how we cobbled together a hybrid of offline and online practices for this particular event. To keep conversation flowing, I used questions related to babies and children and child-rearing. I called these 'meme' questions, because they resemble the ones found in Facebook or LJ memes. Lalita took exception to this. "That isn't a meme," he objected. "Memes are viral content." I did mean them in the sense of viral content, but more as a metaphor -- questions that resemble the kinds of things that become viral content. We have a meeting set to haggle out the definition. [End research]

***Hat: Illusions Sabrina top hat
***Lip ring: *No Mercy* Lip Piercing
***Necklace: Handmaidens Rosary Ring Pendant
***Shoes: Periquita Mary Squares
***Eyes: Den-Dou gothly eyes light brown
***Kitteh: Illusions group gift Valentine's Kitty 2009
***Hair: Crimson + Clover Lolli Black
***Skin: Nomine Mourna Autumn
***Dress: Kuroi Hane Misa Dress - Victorianna Mall

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Samedi Gras

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Last night I blinked when I got a notice for a Mardi Gras party at Illusions. "Oh damn," I thought to myself, completely unprepared. I threw on an outfit and went, appearing in a room full of gorgeous people. Why is it that I have an enormous wardrobe and am always flailing around at the last minute for an outfit? At any rate I danced in a corner quietly changing -- quietly, of course, until people noticed and called me out. "Nice moobs," Selos snerked while I was between genders. I finally settled upon a green merman in drag. My gorgeous dance partner is Mourna Biziou, decked out in a very fancy loin cloth (I loved her outfit!).

It was a gorgeous event, of course, and a few half-rezzed inadequate photos are sitting around my Flickr account. Had I had my act together, I would've worn the above outfit and looked a bit more like a man for a change!

***Pierce: Ellabella Skully lip chains w/ madonna
***Earring: Schadenfreude random rusty rings
***Tux: Rebel Hope Designs Branson Tuxedo Dark Slate
***Skin: Boneflower Designs Whispers of Night Deathly M (Lost Dusk Stalker)
***Shoes: Mako Magellan Black & White Wing Tip Shoes
***Beads and mask: *~* Illusions mardi gras goodies 2009
***Hair: The Stringer Mausoleum for Rezzables *TSM* Kamenwati - red shine (tattoo)