inkheart

Dress Up Dollz

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There’s an absolutely lovely series of videos making the rounds called “What Second Life Means to Me”, in honor of the virtual world’s 12th birthday. Linden Lab has invited participants to share their videos, and it’s turning into a really heartwarming project thus far.

Having absolutely no machinma or video-making prowess of my own, I favor written words flavored by photos, and of late I’ve become absolutely enraptured with Second Life photography. I can easily spend hours multi-tasking my day away, working in one window and surreptitiously browsing Flickr in the other, delighted and awed by the picture shares of my fellow Second Life residents. And whilst exploring SL always remains close to my heart, and I plan to engage in much more of it soon, the allure of pixel pretties inspire something inside me that brings me right back to my youth.

Softness and Light
Please click for full size.

Fashion dolls were a spendy prospect when I was growing up, and in her wisdom, my mom noticed that I loved the Jem cartoons and figured a Jem doll was a perfect compromise. I loved that doll tremendously: she was larger than Barbie, both in height and proportions, which mirrored my own extra-leggy stature. She also had LED flashing earrings, that remarkably never stopped twinkling even if I left them going for days weeks months at a stretch. But she also fostered my creativity, because unlike Barbie, Jem didn’t have a bevy of outfits and accessories to her name. So I had to fashion them out of scraps of material, haphazard crocheting, and a whole lot of ingenuity.

In Second Life, we have exceptionally talented designers who – literally and figuratively – fashion amazing creations for the “dress up dolls” that are our virtual selves. And while engaging in the world of Second Life fashion is by no means necessary to have a rewarding and satisfying in-world experience, it’s something I personally really enjoy, and I feel blessed and honored to be part of the blogging community who also embrace and celebrate their love of pixel fashion. And here I’d like to give a special shout-out to Cherri Banks of Elysium Cabaret, who is so exceptionally lovely and generous. You helped me tremendously with figuring out appliers for my new and beloved mesh body, and I can’t thank you enough for your kindness! <3

Dress Up Doll
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My look today is wonderfully easy and effortless (thanks to Cherri’s applier tutelage!) and is top-to-toe db Dollz exclusives from the Ross Fair Event, which is gracing the grid through July 6th. I can’t tell you how lush and sexy my body feels in these jeans! And I’m absolutely thrilled to have learned about appliers, as one of the reasons why I initially hesitated to try a mesh body was because I’ve always loved system layer jeans and how perfectly they tuck into boots. So when I discovered that appliers work similarly to system layers, I was over the moon. Content creators, you are absolute geniuses!

Oh! And a quick note about my shoes: they’re made for Slink flat feet, but are unrigged so they work perfectly with my Maitreya feet as well. And who doesn’t love a great pair of sneaks to kick around in? Also want to mention that my hair is courtesy of Truth‘s wonderful L$50 sale, which was recently updated to include even more hair packs. I think the count is close to 200 styles being offered in the sale room (back of the in-world store), and I’m unsure of the end date so go-go-go before you miss out on the amazing deals!

Body
Body / Maitreya | Mesh Body – Lara v3.4
Skin / Birdy | Ali VIP Skin – Pure | Group Gift
Hair / Truth | Tashia – Blondes 05 (with hairbase) | L$50 Sale in-world
Eyes / InkHeart | Water Eyes – Vain | L$1 in-world
Eyeshadow / The Sugar Machine | Eye Highlight | Free on SL Marketplace
Lashes / ACD | Eye Lashes 8 | SL Marketplace
Lips / Bonita | Tinted Gloss – Strawberry Lips | SL Marketplace
Nails / alaskametro<3 | Metallic Pack – Desert/Gold | SL Marketplace

Style
Piercing / Diamante | Agony Facial Piercing | SL Frees & Offers Group Gift
Necklace / Beloved Jewelry | Gold Tear Drop Necklace | L$1 on SL Marketplace
* Ring / Secret Love | Gumballs Ring | SL Marketplace or in-world
* Top / db Dollz | Spring Top – 04 | Ross Fair Event (until July 6th)
* Pants / db Dollz | High Waist Jeans – Light | Ross Fair Event (until July 6th)
* Shoes / db Dollz | Spring Sneakers – Coral | Ross Fair Event (until July 6th)

Poses
Exposeur / 3.15 Gift – Pose 2 & 4 / L$1 on SL Marketplace

Location
Region / KC Couture
Set / Trompe Loeil – The Dreaming House

The Monster Mesh

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I have a lot of thoughts tumbling around in my head at the moment, with regards to mesh heads, mesh body parts, and the like. All pleasant thoughts, mind you — it’s more a matter of my own curiosity than anything. I owe many sincere thanks to the Mesh Body Addicts blog for their excellent “mesh bodies for newbies” guides, which have been very helpful for someone like myself who has barely mastered the art of alpha layering. Well, to be true, I owe them gratitude AND grumbles. I’m meant to be saving my precious pennies, girls. You’re not helping in that regard one bit! :)

Feeling a bit out of sorts and lost in my meandering, I poked around in Search to find a quiet beach to relax at for a while. Searching the word “beach” returns a significant number of results, so one trick if you’re looking for somewhere less populated is to sort by Traffic: High to Low and scroll way down the list until you find a place with a traffic number around or under 2000. You can certainly sort by Traffic: Low to High, but many of the places with 0 traffic will either be inaccessible or end up being parcels for rent. I also opted to filter out Adult regions, simply to narrow to results a bit.

As an aside: the way that traffic and region popularity is calculated in Second Life is quite fascinating (for a geek like me, at least!) There’s detailed information in the SL Knowledge Base, but to sum up, the number seen in Search listings and under the About Land tab is calculated by taking the total number of seconds spent on the parcel the previous day, dividing it by 60, and rounding it to the nearest whole minute. So that means that a location with a visitor volumetric of 2000 had a bit more than 30 cumulative minutes spent there by visitors the following day, which makes it a moderately low-traffic area by SL standards.

After I found a place that looked promising, I clicked “Show on Map” just to double-check that it was in fact a beachy area (sometimes people sneak popular keywords into their listings), as well as to determine how many other members were in the area. Regrettably I don’t recall where I ended up when I got this shot, but I was all by my lonesome — save a few spirited, jumping dolphins — so I was perfectly content. If I do happen to land there again, I’ll be sure to update with a SLURL!

Life's a Beach
Please click for full size.

Body
Skin / Lumae | Adore 4 Peach – Quirk | Group Gift
Hair / No.Match | No Milk – Rainbow | Group Gift
Eyes / Inkheart | Essential Eyes – Faithful | SL Marketplace
Lashes / VoodooMonkey | Mascara 6 | SL Marketplace
Eyeshadow / XCW Gift Eyeshadow – Green Blue | SL Marketplace
Freckles / SHOCK | Tintable Freckles | Group Gift
Lipstick / Alaska Metro | Light Lipgloss – Golden | SL Marketplace

Style
Earrings / Maxi Gossamer | Faylinn Flower Charm Earrings | Group Gift
Necklace / Pure Poison | Aileen Necklace | Group Gift
Piercing / Besom | New Age Septum Ring – Gold | Group Gift
Top / SMC | Cropped Blouse FTW | Lucky Board
Shorts / Blah Blah Blah | Carlie Summer Shorts | Midnight Mania Board
Sneakers / Rien Ne Va Plus | Camo Girly Style Sneakers | SL Marketplace

Poses
Pose Maniacs / Marcia 4 & Melanie 1 | SL Marketplace

I’m experimenting with how to notate when items are group gifts or giveaways; please let me know if you have any suggestions! I always appreciate when it pops out at you in a credits listing when an item is free, on sale, or a promo. You know me and my love for wonderful deals. <3

Speaking of deals, nearly everything in this look is either free or L$1! I’ve treated myself by joining several paid groups that I had been lusting over (primarily hair brands, because HAIR!) No.Match has a one-time joining fee of L$50, and they graciously keep their past group gifts out for new members to pick up. The retro-inspired “No Milk” hair is fantastic; I love the cascading ponytail and soft, pastel-rainbow hue. I’m fairly certain that the Blah Blah Blah shorts came from a Midnight Mania slap, but they have so many wonderful promos (MM, Lucky Boards, group gifts, weekly sales) that I’m not actually 100% sure. As Jedi Master Yoda might say: organize better, I must!

All of my accessories are group gifts (so many thank yous to all the generous designers!), and my sweet cropped top comes from SMC, which has an amazing assortment of Lucky Boards to stalk. Oh! And my hella cute sneaks are 100% compatible with system feet, which is more and more difficult to find these days. And they’re free! Happy days.

I’m off to continue pondering, considering, reflecting and ruminating on tackling the mesh monster. For me, I think a full body is the most appealing prospect, primarily because I imagine it will just look so lush in photographs. What do you love or loathe about your meshy bits n’ bobs? Please share your thoughts in the comments!