Saturday, May 2, 2009

Flowerbunny!

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Sumomo Kawashima of ~momo~ just released a set of tattoos. They come with leaf pasties, completely satisfying my inner chibi cartoon druid. Find them at her shop!

***Tattoo: ~momo~ flowerbunny tattoo and leaf pasties
***Pierce: ellabella Xerim's conundrum
***Outfit (shorts, gloves) part of the ~silentsparrow~ (lovebird) suzume
***Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Janelle in dark lime
***Skin: Curio Moonbeam [dark] april tulip 2

Getting shirty

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Schadenfreude came out with oxford shirts yesterday. Never one to do things by halves, Allegory created a shirt for men and women with tucked, untucked, messy and neat shirt tails on every conceivable level. Then, she made this shirt in roughly a billion colors (I didn't count, they fill up a whole wall at her shop). I'm wearing the sepia color today in all of the shirt tail options. Allegory's apparently coming out with ties to go with this, but mine for this outfit is from Bliensen + Maitai. I'm also wearing new hair from Little Bird, the super-adorable Olivia (I'd like to see how glowingly gorgeous Elusyve would look in this hair).

I'm going to celebrate May 2 by doing...more statistics, followed by SUSHI! Stick, carrot. Right?

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***Nails: Schadenfreude Copper Glitter Manicure
***Pierce: Ellabella Xerim's Conundrum
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) flare oxford in brown
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White - mourna autumn
***Pants: Studio Sidhe rough linen high top pants (safari)
***Shirt: Schadenfreude Oxford Shirt in sepia
***Hair: Tiny Bird Olivia - Hazelnut
***Tie: Bliensen + Maitai Tie Scavenger under collar version

Friday, May 1, 2009

How to photoshop stuff Achariya style

How to photoshop stuff the way Achariya does it (even if sometimes I suck).

This is a small tutorial that I just posted in Plurk, and thought I'd share in this blog. This list compiles two years' worth of playing around and learning things from various people, and I sincerely thank everyone for their wisdom.


(1) Photography. The first trick is to photograph your avatar against a bright color that you can select out. Bright green is a safe bet!

(1a) Make sure you photo at the biggest size you can. I use 1600x1200 cause it's all my macintosh will let me.

(1b) Use good lighting. I like Sunset, and then subtracting the red with Channel Mixer.

(2) In Photoshop, open up your pictures. Open a new blank document of the size you'd like (I like 1200x1200 square)

(3) SELECTING TIME. My hints for this come from hyasynth, Grady, Mourna, and Elysium

(3a) Go to the Select menu item, then down to Color Range. Choose all the color that you want out of your shot. I like a fuzziness of 6 so as not to choose anything in your avatar.

(3b) Then go to Select again and down to Inverse -- this chooses your avatar.

(3c) Then go to Select and feather, and make it small, 1 pixel -- this will make the line around your avatar not quite so fracking jagged

(4) COPY. Paste onto new untitled document.

(5) Background fun care of Mourna.

(5a) Choose two nice colors. She tends to go dark. Then use the gradient fill, and fill your background with a star or gradient in two colrs

(5b) Then make another layer over it and set the mode to overlay or lighten or multiply...

(5c) Pick a pretty brush, set the color to white, and paint some tasteful things onto that layer. Mourna does awesome stripes, but i can't.

(6) Putting a dropshadow behind your av, hints care of AnaLu.

(6a) Select your avatar image layer. Go down to the little f-in-a-circle on the layer palate, and play with stuff. Drop shadow is fun. So is outer glow. Play with distance and size...until you get something cool.

(7) Make yucky stuff around the edges of your avatar go away, hint care of Grady. Say your avatar still has a nimbus of another color, which mine did until Grady showed me The Way. Here's exactly what Grady typed to me:

(7a) once you have separated your figure into it''s own layer: select the layer with the figure in it, then: top menu bar / select / load selection / "layer # transparency / ok

(7b) then: top menu bar / select / modify / contract / enter a value of 1 or 2 (pixels)

(7c) then: top menu bar / select / inverse selection

(7d) then: top menu bar / edit / clear

This process will delete the the fringe that remains after you have separated your figure from it's coloured background. -- thank you Grady!

(8) Borders. Photoshop action hints are from Wimsy. Bless you, Wimsy !

(8a) See that history tab? There's one hidden behind it called 'actions' There's a little tiny arrow over to the side of actions. Click that, there are default photoshop frames in this menu.

(8b) Click on Frames to load it.

(8c) In Actions again, click the down arrow to expand the Frames list. There are lotsa frames to choose from. Pick one, then hit the run button to make that action go. Run is the arrow all the way down at the bottom of the action window.

(8d) Voila, a frame. Unless it snafus, which it sometimes does. But most of them work.

(9) Making pretty photo colors, hints care of Cajsa and Gidge and the other amazing people on that blog.

(9a) Okay, these talented women do it by using "filter --> flaming pear (which you can download at deviantart, I think) --> ghost" for a ghost layer over the image, and then they play with the lighting effects in the layer under that. however.

(9b) I just go to Image --> adjust --> channel mixer and play with balance. Since I take photos at sunset, I generally reduce the red, and up the blue and green, and play until I like it.

(10) Stuff you can download. You can download brushes and actions by searching for them in deviantart.

(11) Posting on the feed.

(11a) Go into your image URL (you know, the image tag) and SET border="0" to get rid of the ugly blue link line around your photo.

(11b) If you like centered photos, put center tags around them -- very easy html. Or learn your blogging program's language for centering photos. (I still haven't mastered Rezzables!)

(11c) If you use something wysiwyg like Wordpress, make sure you put a hard return under your images, or fuss with image settings so that words kern around them. It looks like shite when your images hang out haphazardly with words going every which way. Learn to play WITH your blogging tool, not despite it. :D

(12) Shots with a natural background...this will be an entirely different post. heh.

Many thanks to the people who taught me, and I hope they don't kill me for compiling and sharing their wisdom. People are sharing wisdom at the original plurk page, if you are curious.

Additional notes from Momo:
***Lighting: Caliah Lyon's presets
***Brush downloads: here and here.

Janelle

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Calico Ingmann Creations has just come out with an adorably messy updo, the Janelle. It's pinned back in a low bun with stray bits falling in a thick wave over the ears, but held back enough from the brow to show the eyes. One thing about Calico hair is that it's never thin -- Calico never skimps on the amount of hair she weaves into the 'do, making a thick and luxuriant pile upon one's head.

I love the shape of the hair especially -- untidy enough to beg for loosening. I'm wearing it with some of my favorite things, the ~silentsparrow~ Dominion dress in blood, the My Violent Heart jewelry set from Violet Voltaire, First Flower Cynar shoes, and the Fleur Allure China Mystique skin. I'm also continuing to play with Photoshop to avoid statistics. Shhh. (I made a special copyright stamp just for Runway purposes :/ .)

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***Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Janelle - Dark Blood
***Pierce: Ellabella tricog lip lovin'
***Earrings, necklace, dolly key: Violet Voltaire My Violent Heart
***Shoes: First Flower Cynar in black with color changing flower
***Dress: ~silentsparrow~ (blood) dominion dress
***Skin: Fleur Allure China Mystique 3

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rebellious and hopeful

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Menswear for women is so very posh. I like suits on Lauren Bacall and Katherine Hepburn, especially because they make legs look so very long. This suit by Rebel Hope buttons neatly to the neck and focuses on the sexiness of legs with the short flirty skirt, putting me in mind of the styles that Milla used to wear on her blog, the perfect nontraditional chic look for an upscale cabaret or a relaxed dance. Do read the notecard about the tails; I made my arse flat and the tails fit nicely, although I'd recommend a reasonably calm AO.

There's a men's version, and I totally dare Winter to pull it off. Not that I think Double-0-Winter would be dead sexy, no...

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***Nails: Schadenfreude silver glitter manicure
***Stockings: ~silentsparrow~ wrath suite stockings / katat0nik Strawberry Dream stockings in silver
***Pierce: FlipSide kitteh bell mouth piercing F11
***Hair: -Hiccup Nerd Swept (black)
***Earrings: Violet Voltaire Glitterati earrings in black
***Tuxedo: Rebel Hope RH Signature Ladies Mini Tuxedo in black and white
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Hyasynths in black

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wonder what we'd do without Photoshop?

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I've been playing hard with my photoshopping skillz these past few days. Mourna was kind enough to give me some tips about making neat backgrounds, but I was extremely frustrated about my extracting-image-from-background ability until Elysium Eilde messaged me (like some kind of IM angel) and said: ever heard about masking? Lo, masking makes a lot of difference, so does selecting with a slight feather. The line around my avatar is no longer quite so jagged! Sadly I can't do anything about image quality until I get a desktop (MacBooks can't take screenshots at larger than 1600x1200), but until then I think I'm pretty satisfied. Thanks, you two. Wanna split a first born child? ...Just kidding...

I'm wearing the pretty new dress by (Elate!) named Silvia, along with bits of feather from The Closet and hair from a place that gorgeous miss Suri pointed out, Liriope. The skin is a rather dramatic new creation from Tacky Star, and the gorgeously textured stockings and arm poofs are from ~silentsparrow~, yet more reasons why buying just one complete outfit can extend in so many creative ways.

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***Hat: TC in Shelter feather headpiece 01
***Necklace: TC in Shelter feather necklace
***Earrings: The Closet Feather Earrings
***Boots: 69 Knit Boots - Noir
***Gloves and arm poofs: ~silentsparrow~ serendipity dress
***Socks: from the ~silentsparrow~ toxine suite in cocoa
***Dress: (Elate!) Silvia (Chocolate)
***Hair: :Liriope: GLG black
***Skin: Tacky Star "Whitewash" skin!!

Typographic for the people

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I am a total geek, and the geek in me appreciates the wit of these tshirts from Gritty Kitty. ORLY? YA, RLY. Everyone needs a "Yo, that kern is TIGHT" tshirt. Aside from that, I'm playing with photoshop (thanks for the tips, Mourna, really wish I could photo at higher resolution), and hacking at statistics. Only one more week until the term ends, and I can't wait to get the rest of my life in order. It's time!

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***Armband: Bliensen and Maitai Armband Tailor
***Nails: Schadenfreude Copper Glitter Manicure
***Lip ring: Ellabella Garnet lovin' lip ring
***Jewelry set: Studio Sidhe Celtic Knotwork bracelet, neko collar and earrings
***Boots: 69 Antique Boots with neko bits sold separately
***Thermal undershirt: ~momo~ bunny thermal in banana
***Skin: Minajunk Live01 underline
***Hair: Hal*Hina [black] hair meirin
***Pants and apron: BettiePage BP* check pants/leaf
***Shirts: Gritty Kitty tshirts: Kern, ORLY, Ampersand

Wondergoth powers: Activate!

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This photo art is by Mourna, the dark Loli


A few weeks ago, Mourna and I had fun in contrasting orange and purple. Today we decided to play with black and white. The inspiration for these shots came from two Hal*Hina dresses, the "Simple Dress" in black and white. They have a cute drape of skirt and top that really begs to be accessorized.

The other inspiration for this series comes from my small obsession with the street shots from the Gothic Lolita Bible. I noticed one day that two girls dressed in the same (if differently styled) ensembles are really striking, taken together. I was curious about whether it would work in SL...

We took the rest of these photos at Mourna's lovely new home.

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Mourna:
skin ~ Nomine Sylvan White - disturbia moonstruck
eyes ~ (Miriel) Standard Eyes - Eclipse
lip piercing ~ .:ellabella:. Skully Lip Chains (mouth)
stockings ~ RoxSox Stockings - Gray ~ Curious Kitties
ears ~ Abyssal Ears: Fairy/Natural ~ Illusions
shoes ~ 69 Nightmare - black
hat ~ 69 Succubus Hat - black
frock ~ Hal*Hina [black] W0510*S
hair ~ Calico Ingmann Creations Emily - Midnight
Acha:
***Corset: Chaospire Inamorata underbust corset
***Shoes: 69 Nightmare - white
***Frock: Hal*Hina [white] W0510*S
***Pierce: ellabella Pretty Pearls upon your lips
***Tattoo: Alices Garden tattoo Macy
***Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Emily - Snow
***Hat: 69 Succubus Hat - Snow
***Skin: Nomine Sylvan China White - mourna black

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lost kitty

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Noam Sprocket of Gritty Kitty is hentai! Look at this collar with a devil tail, it's almost screaming "I'm a poor lost anime girl. Someone find me and feed me." And...various other things. I really love the wicked line of the chain, kinked and stiff as if it has a will of its own. (I'm sure I'll regret how I worded this at some point today.) I'm wearing a little Manticorps short shirt and jacket over a ~silentsparrow~ grimly skirt to help tell this collar's story; surely my avatar is up to no good!

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***Lip ring: ellabella tricog lip lovin'
***Stockings: from the ~silentsparrow~ (ash) maida set
***Skirt: ~silentsparrow~ (soot) grimly skirt
***Tattoo: Tramp Stamp What Else?
***Skin: MiaSnow DAHLIA - the tearful
***Hair: Hal*Hina (light brown) Josephine
***Shirt and shrug: EBT EBT-BDU Jean black half top
***Collar: Gritty Kitty Devil Collar

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Many Posts

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A lot of people I love (like Elusyve and Kiss Kiss and Fashion Diva) have been writing about So Many Styles of late, so I had to go shop. I quite loved the designs and brightness, but because some other talented betches wear color better than I do, I stuck to neutrals. This neat jacket is from this shop, as are the tights. I'm wearing them over Katat0nik's adorable little bloomers from her first anniversary dress.

Pls forgive the fail photoshopping, I'm just playing with different stuff so that I can learn more about photoshop. =)

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***Lip pierce: No Mercy Heartsie
***Jewelry: Violet Voltaire Love Like Blood set in Love
***Boots: Maitreya SoHo boots in black suede
***Hair: House of Munster Glitch in black and white
***Shirt: MichaMi Fearne
***Bloomers: from *katat0nik's* (black) ice cream party dress
***Tights: So Many Styles pattern tights in beige
***Coat: So Many Styles urban deco coat in beige
***Skin: Not for sale item that Mijn Boa gave me once.

Lazy Places sale!

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Weather is complicated. My husband and I discussed this fact tonight after turning on the air conditioner at 9 PM. "Shouldn't it be cool now, because there's no sun?" I asked. "No, because the sun helps create wind, and the wind is gone at night." "But what about windy nights?" ...

On a different topic entirely, there's a sale at Lazy Places going on right now until May 15th. This store is known for its super-amazing digiboots with paws and hooves, perfect footwear for the chimera in all of us. I'm wearing these with a little ruffle of a skirt by amerie's Naughty, worn over a shorts and gartered stocking set that is also new. The top is supremely versatile, another well-made design by MichaMi. (Turtlenecks: definitely Spring garb.)

Sadly Zinkhan hasn't been caught yet.

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***Lip ring: ellabella tricog lip lovin'
***Boots: Lazy Places Synth Boots - Black
***Ears, tail: Atomic Feline basic set in brown
***Skin: Den-dou ODEN-02 S v2
***Shirt: MichaMi Malina in black
***Skirt: amerie's Naughty ruffled skirt (black)
***Shorts with garter socks: amerie's Naughty studded pants with socks
***Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Harley in Dark Chocolate

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shot in the dark

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Yesterday, a professor at my university went a bit nuts and shot his ex-wife and two other people. When I say "a bit nuts," I think I'm still trying to process what this means. He was a normal guy with two young children -- his graduate student described him as nice, and had just played softball with him the week before. What would motivate him to turn from his tenure-track job, pick up a gun and shoot people? Considering that his ex-wife was involved, I ponder that it had to do with jealousy. Chilling thought: he left his children in his jeep while he mowed down their mother with bullets.

I have yet to figure out the switch to toggle inside that makes killing okay (this is probably a good thing). The army obviously knows how to turn on this switch -- I think it involves making another person inhuman so that you don't have to think about the impact that his or her death might have on their families. In the case of a murder out of jealousy, perhaps it isn't taking away humanity so much as getting to a point in one's head where death is the only proper punishment for the pain inside... Iunno. Deep thoughts for a Sunday, but it's better for me to comprehend why than to think that just anyone at my university could pick up a gun and go on a spree...

I'm wearing dark clothing by Blue Blood for a dark day...

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***Nails: Schadenfreude silver glitter manicure
***Earrings: Balderdash be still my dangling heart
***Shoes: Shooz slut pumps
***Lip: Flipside Kitteh bell mouth piercing
***Skin: Den-Dou Oiran skin Heidi
***Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Leah Dark Blood
***Outfit: Blue Blood Beckoning Female - Red