cosmopolitan

Book of the Month

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The always lush and inspiring Elysion played host to my chic look today, although I have to confess that this little library was the third picture-capturing location I tried within the region, as there were some rather … ardent couples who decided to take up residence nearby when I was photographing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! No, the sensual energy was distracting in the most appealing way. But I do get flustered easily, so I found a quiet perch in a lovely loft and set about getting my picture done.

One of the things I’ve really come to love about regions with rez-enabled is that I’m able to use pose balls for exact positioning, and the Lyrium Beach Pose Collection not only comes with a super handy HUD, but the pose balls are also included for maximum versatility, which is brilliant and so thoughtful. Some wonderful finds from the current rounds of Kustom9, Shiny Shabby, and Cosmopolitan completed the look. Have you visited all the June events that are wrapping up by month’s end? I’m so far behind! But it’s been a beautiful month, and I can’t wait to greet July with arms open wide. I hope June has been wonderful for you too! ♡

Book of the Month
Please click for full size.

“feel the stroke of your paintbrush,
my blank sheet of paper
I’m your book of the month,
read the fine print later …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Izzie’s Freckles – Body Freckles II (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink Appliers & System Layers)
Mandala Ears – Steking Ears Season 5
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Hypnotic Eyes (Goldenrod) *
Entwined Hair – Olivia (Naturals HUD)

Style & Pose

Mai Bilavio Jewelry – Zodiac Chain Gemini (Gold v1) New Release @ Kustom9, through July 10th
Murray Dress – Mimi Dress (Onyx) New Release @ Shiny Shabby, through July 15th *
Ricielli Shoes – Kyra High Heels (for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & TMP) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, thru July 3rd *
Lyrium Pose – Beach 26 (from the Beach Pose Collection with HUD) New Release *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Elysion
🎧 Sounds: Lovage – Book of the Month

Luxe Gold

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I had initially written an anguished post about the events that unfolded on Sunday morning in Orlando, but after reading it several times, I realized it just made me feel even sadder and more helpless. So instead, I’m going to publish the post that I had originally scheduled for this morning, and ask that if your heart is aching as mine has been to offer some kind of assistance to the victims and their families, please consider donating to the Pulse Victims Fund on GoFundMe, or visit this post on Strawberry Singh’s blog where she has graciously outlined various ways people can help. My heart, my thoughts, and all my love goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy. My dearest hope when we begin to rebuild and heal is that we can all unite around a common desire for peace, acceptance, respect, and equality. We won’t get there in a day, but in the words of Lao Tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

***

There are only two days left to sign up for the June round of the Luxe Box (sign-ups close at 11:59pm SLT on June 14th), and I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts. I’m featuring one of the lovely items that came in May’s box, the Verna Dress by Tee*fy, which I really adore. It’s a simple design done exceptionally well, and I think that really exemplifies much of what we found in the inaugural Luxe Box. Nothing too fancy or thematic; just high quality, beautiful, easy-to-wear clothing with a value far beyond the initial sign-up cost of L$1000. (The box also contained a number of wonderful non-clothing items, but I will always personally get the most use out of wearables, so that’s what I’m focusing on where the value is concerned.)

The June round of the Luxe Box is L$1500, which means it increased in price by 50% over last month. Predictably, this caused some irritation amongst people in the Blueberry group, and I ended up turning off instant messaging in the group settings, because I just didn’t wish to see the complaints go further. The wonderful collective of designers behind the Luxe Box are happy to accept constructive comments and feedback; this actually led to a few designers graciously sending out updated items with more color options last month. But complaints over the unknown contents of the box prior to joining the group, and of course the cost to the end user, could have only been frustrating and discouraging for the designers and organizers to deal with. After all, potential consumers of the Luxe Box will assign value in different ways, and here is my mode of thinking:

I really adore the brand Blueberry, and if I had the funds, I would very likely buy and frequently wear about 75% of the items in their store. At Blueberry, fatpacks for newly-released items typically sell for around L$1299, and they are one of the brands that I believe have confirmed that they plan on providing full fatpacks in their Luxe Box offerings. So if there’s a 75% chance that the item that Blueberry includes in the Luxe Box is something I would happily buy for L$1299, then at the current purchase cost of L$1500, I’m only spending L$201 more for 11 additional items from the other participating designers, many of which are also brands I love. Sold!

If you’re new to the concept of the Luxe Box, or you’re still pondering whether to join for the next round, that would be my recommendation for assessing the value if you’re unsure about the cost. You might have a different favorite brand from the line-up (and you can always find out which designers are participating in the next round on the Luxe Box website), so use that favorite designer of yours as a jumping off point. But most importantly, have fun with it; remember that much of the delight in the subscription box model is the surprise factor, and the allure of the unknown. And it won’t be for everybody; just like I rarely play gachas, some people aren’t particularly keen on winding up with inventory items they may never use.

But there’s also terrific news for those who prefer to wait and see what a box contained: all previously-released Luxe Boxes are available to purchase at the in-world location beginning on the 1st of every month. You must join the Luxe Box group to be able to purchase them, and they will cost L$2000 above and beyond the group joining fee. (Ex: If you’re interested in purchasing the May 2016 box, you will need to join the June Luxe Box group for L$1500, visit the in-world boutique, and purchase the May box for L$2000.) It’s clearly much more economical to just join the group each month and get the box at its lowest going rate, but if you happen to miss one, I think it’s brilliant that this second-chance option is being provided.

So are you going to be receiving the June Luxe Box? What did you think of the May offerings? I’d love to know your thoughts! ♡

Luxe Gold
Please click for full size.

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Izzie’s Freckles – Body Freckles II (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink Appliers & System Layers)
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Hypnotic Eyes (Forest) New Release *
Rezology Hair – May Rose *

Style & Pose

Paper Arrow Jewelry – Leaf Necklace (Gold)
Tee*fy Dress – Verna Simple Dress (White) New Release for Luxe Box May 2016
Ricielli Shoes – Wendy High Heels (for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & TMP) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, through June 18th *
Label Motion Pose – Take a Break Pose 4

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Blithe
🎧 Sounds: Young Collective – Luxe Gold

Cool on Your Island

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Inspiration is such a fickle mistress and curious thing. I’ve been longing to take a picture of this sublime TETRA dress for days now, but the right mood and moment had been alluding me. First it was going to be a cheeky tribute to my RL brother. We have been passing each-other like ships in the night in Second Life for years now, and when we finally found each-other in world at the same time the other day, I was wearing this look. He surveyed me silently and skeptically for a few moments, and then declared that I looked like I had a uni-brow (my head had not fully rezzed, I imagine?) and that my boobs were too big. Classic! My brother, everyone: the consummate ladies man. ;)

I’ve been listening to a lot of Radiohead lately, owing to their lush and brilliant new album, and I started to feel some motivation stirred by one of their earliest songs and my longtime favorites, “Fake Plastic Trees”. But just as the title of the song suggests, my inspiration felt feigned and insincere, like it was trying too hard to be something it was not. And then the always-wonderful Serene Footman went and wrote an incredibly timely post about how seeing Jeff Buckley (my favorite male musician) perform live had informed Thom Yorke’s vocals on “Fake Plastic Trees” – the purest expression of true inspiration – and I felt the notion of that picture and post wash away from me like sand being gently lapped from the shore.

Ultimately though, it was the beautiful Portia Pexington whose comment on my last post was so poignant and perfect, and finally set me on the right course. “Write the posts you’d like to read,” she wrote. So simple and succinct, and so beautifully wise. Just a few minutes later, when the song “Cool On Your Island” made its presence in my meandering, everything-from-your-library Spotify playlist, I finally felt like I’d found the picture I wanted to take. And then remembering that the song was one of the first ones I taught myself to play on the piano so many years ago, when the hopeful ginger dreamer thought she might grow up to be the next Tori Amos one day … It became like a love song to myself.

“I’m much stronger than you know.
Sometimes, I’m not afraid to let it show.
When will you wake up?
I want you more than the stars and the sun.
But I can take only so much
cool on your island …”

Cool on Your Island
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Ears // Steking Ears Season 5 by Mandala
Lashes // FATELashes v2.0 by Damien Fate
Hair // Sheena (Red HUD) by LeLutka Group Gift
* Eyes // Hypnotic Eyes (Honey) by Avi-Glam for Cosmopolitan, through June 4th New Release

Style

Dress // Gradient Bandage Dress (Maitreya Fatpack) by TETRA
Shoes // Caty Wedges (Maitreya High) by KC Couture

Poses, Destination & Inspiration

Poses // Carola Pose 3 and Carrie Pose 3 by Label Motion
Location // Green Story
Song Spark // Tori Amos – Cool On Your Island

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

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Happy new week, dear friends! I know the usual mood is to be grumbly about the weekend’s passing, or to have “a case of the Mondays”, as they say. But I’ve just been so jubilant and merry these last few days, that the dawning of another lovely week full of promise and possibilities is something to look forward to. I know, I know – I sound like one part Snow White, and another part a very dedicated MDMA-enthusiast or similar! But honestly and truly, I’m not intoxicated, a Disney princess, or an intoxicated Disney princess (although that sounds like an absolute blast!) I’m just really, really enjoying being back in Second Life again. It’s so good to be home. ♡

Another thing that finds me so happy is the discovery that familiar sights and sims are still in-world and open for visiting and exploration. One of those favorites for me is The Trace Too, a gorgeous beachside sim with such a lovely vibe and peaceful ambiance. It was the perfect locale for my pictures as I enjoyed my return visit, and paid quiet homage to places that had left the grid, perhaps never to be seen again. But this fluidity of our virtual world has a certain grace to it, not unlike a beautiful dancer: you become captivated by the sights, but in order to keep from being in stasis, a sense of vitality and motion can be essential.

I’m getting a little esoteric and poetic, and it’s probably the lack of sleep playing with my thoughts, but as much as I appreciate and adore sims that are “institutions” on the grid, I also appreciate the new iterations that rise from the ashes, or the new inspirations that make the grid a constantly evolving place. But while there are some days when I’m mesmerized and magnetized to discovering new places, there are others when I just want to set adrift on blissful memories of the past …

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
* Hair // Convolution by Rezology
* Eyes // Ardent Eyes (Aqua v2) by Avi-Glam for Cosmopolitan, through May 21st
* Tattoo // Madi Tattoo (Black) by Aurica Store for Fair Play, through May 27th

Style

Jewelry // Aditya Headchains (Fatpack) by ECCO for Thrift Shop, through May 30th
Top // Dalena Laced Crop Top (Fatpack) by Blueberry
Skirt // Lise Skirt (Coral) by Miss Chelsea for Uber, through May 22nd

Pose & Destination

* Pose // Brenda Poses (#6 and #1) by Label Motion New Release!
Location // The Trace Too

Song Spark

PM Dawn – Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

Watch the Spring in All Its Plumage

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When I wrote about The Lexi Project last year, which was a collaborative fundraising effort for Lexi Zelin of AngelRED Couture, I marveled with awe and delight over the number of designers and residents to who came together to offer emotional and financial support to one of our own. And this year, it’s the lovely and wonderful Cajsa Lilliehook who was inspired to start a Blogger Challenge in honor of Bubbles Clawtooth, the designer behind beloved hair brand Clawtooth in Second Life.

Bubbles’ mother has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a heartbreaking neurological condition that attacks the nerve cells, weakening muscles and voluntary physical functions. (My grandfather had ALS when my mom was a teenager; from hearing her personal experiences with this condition, my heart truly goes out to Bubbles and his family.) Bubbles has been dedicating many tireless hours to his mother’s care, so to honor and pay tribute to him, Cajsa called upon Second Life’s blogging community to visit Clawtooth and purchase hairstyles to feature in our blogs to help bolster Bubbles’ spirit and to give his brand some very well-deserved recognition. Answering the call straight away was Strawberry Singh, who helped to broaden the audience for Cajsa’s challenge, and after delightedly spending time trying on a wealth of Clawtooth hairstyle demos yesterday (there are truly so many gorgeous styles), I’m honored to make a heartfelt contribution post of my own.

Watch the Spring in All Its Plumage
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Ears // Steking Ears Season 5 by Mandala
Hair // Beach Babe (Essentials HUD) by Clawtooth
* Eyes // Ardent Eyes (Sky v2) by Avi-Glam for Cosmopolitan, through May 21st

Style

Jewelry // The Swallow Necklaces (Gold) by Amala
Top // Fleetwood Top (Maitreya Fatpack) by Azuchi+Vinyl for Uber, through May 22nd
Jeans // Mia Jeans (Maitreya Fatpack) by Blueberry
Shoes // Hanna Wedges (Maitreya Mid in Camel) by REIGN

Pose & Destination

Pose // Stand 545 by !Bang Poses
Location // Baja Cove

My post title and picture are inspired by the song “You’re Beautiful” by Mojave 3, and it has a special meaning not only for the caring and wistful lyrics, but also because I first heard it on a mix CD (oh gosh, remember those?) made for me by the dear friend who first introduced me to Second Life, and who went on to be a long-time content creator himself. Things always seem to come full-circle in our virtual world, and with a the support of friends, fellow designers, and customers surrounding him, it’s Cajsa’s hope that we can lift Bubbles’ spirit with our gestures of care and solidarity.

So whether you’re a blogger or Flickr photographer, or you’re simply a kindhearted soul who enjoys residing in the virtual world, please do visit Clawtooth and try on some gorgeous hairstyles. And while I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting you, I’m sending so many warm and supportive thoughts your way, Bubbles. Thank you so much for all that you do. ♡