label motion

For Me This Is Heaven

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There is so much to be said for recognizing when you’re not as happy as you could be, and then thoughtfully guiding the wheel in a new direction to gently correct the course.

I was a late driver for several reasons: lack of funds to buy a car, lack of time to properly learn (my parents worked long hours and my school had no driver education class), but most notably, the day my mom gave me my first taste of being in the driver’s seat, we were navigating a normally quiet neighborhood that was suddenly besieged by every manner of emergency vehicle imaginable. It turns out, I had unknowingly driven right into a domestic hostage situation. The experience shook me up so badly, I felt the anxiety rise like a diaphanous, ever-present ghost whenever I got behind the wheel thereafter. It wasn’t until I was nearly 21 that I got my license (needfully; my mom firmly believed that children shouldn’t live at home past 21, and I was summarily kicked out). For the first several weeks, I drove like a frightened bird, white-knuckling the wheel with a death grip, so alert that I felt like my synapses might ignite. Then one day I picked up my best friend to go to see a film, and he saw the stricken look of anxiety on my face. “Screw the movie,” he said. He buckled his seat belt, slipped a mix I’d made him into the CD player, and said: “Let’s drive.”

That day was the first one that I ever really listened to music whilst driving, and with Sam inching the volume ever-upward and singing lustily in the seat next to me, I finally began to relax and enjoy myself. After that day, my driving was emboldened; I went for longer distances to visit friends and see interesting, heretofore unexplored sights. And I discovered that one of my favorite pastimes was just driving for long stretches of time with no particular destination: windows down, music up high, wind whipping and plaiting my hair, and my soulfully singing voice my only companion as the miles stretched ever onward.

These last several days, where SL blogging is concerned, I feel like I’ve really started to tear the map and begin plotting my new course. I’ve always said that I’m a writer first and a photographer second, and a fashion blogger/stylist … well, I feel no shame in admitting that those are a distant third. I love our virtual world’s designers and brands, they inspire me daily and I’m ever in awe of all they accomplish. But celebrating fashion to its fullest isn’t truly wear my heart lies. For those gracious and understanding designers who don’t mind, or may even appreciate, that I’ll hopefully be showing their wares in more poetically-motivated pictures going forward, I’m tremendously grateful. And for those who prefer the more classic fashion blogs and photos, I understand completely, with great respect and appreciation. But to find the route to my most genuine happiness, I’m longing to do as Robert Frost bade, and take the road less traveled by. And with any luck, that will make all the difference. ♡


Please click for full size.

“And the mindless comfort grows,
When I’m alone with my great plans
And this is what she says gets her through it:
‘If I don’t let myself be happy now, then when?
If not now, when?‘”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Avi-Glam Eyes – Elysian Eyes (Basil) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, through July 16th *
Opale Hair – Gisele (Red Pack) New Release @ Dreamful, through July 22nd *
Nanika Tattoo – Zara (in White for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & Omega) New Release @ On9, through July 28th *

Style & Pose

Kunglers Jewelry – Sampaguita Earrings (Rose) New Release @ On9, through July 28th *
Ricielli Top – Lily Minitop (Desert) New Release @ Shiny Shabby, through July 15th *
Label Motion Pose – Brenda Pose 2 *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Bay Reborn
🎧 Sounds: Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven

Saving Us a Riot

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I’ve been having trouble with inspiration these last few days, but not in the way you might expect. Rather than feeling the well run dry, it’s been brimming with ideas, full-to-overflowing with notions for pictures that I’d like to explore … but what I’m finding, more and more, is that my photographic interests are running much more toward artistic endeavors, and further from those that are more apropos for blogging. This has created an interesting schism in my thinking, because I really do enjoy styling and blogging with a fashion focus. Yet at the same time, I find myself so awe-inspired and intoxicated by the passion that drives my more artistically-motivated friends on Flickr.

So in an effort to be kind to myself and ease the gentle tug-of-war inside my head, I decided that I was just going to forget about blogging for the time and take a picture motivated by the song that had been haunting my thoughts. Music is such a deeply moving inspirational spark for me, and amongst the hundreds of songs in my “SL Soundtrack” playlist, this one had been playing in my mind like a mantra. As it happens, the lyrics were more poignant that I had expected, given the friendly riot that my conflicting thoughts had inspired. And even more fortuitously, two of the items I had intended to blog fit the mood just perfectly. I don’t anticipate this will happen all the time (though it would be lovely!) but I took advantage of the wonderful happenstance and really enjoyed that I could finally try something more moody and thoughtful in nature.


Please click for full size.

“there’s a lullaby, saving us a riot
giving back the time, stilling my desire
she knows it’s mad, the snow’s come back
the rose unburned, the page unturned …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Ardent Eyes (Fjord v2) *
Murray Hair – Amanda (Dark Blondes HUD) New Release @ The Crystal Heart Festival, through July 28th *

Style & Pose

Faenzo Top – Wool Sweater (Pearl) New Release @ The Crystal Heart Festival, through July 28th *
Label Motion Pose – Brenda Pose 1 *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Golden Wood
🎧 Sounds: Phoria – Saving Us a Riot

Going forward, though … well, it’s like my lovely and beautiful friend Portia wrote about so eloquently in her recent blog post: being driven by the creative process is what leads to the most fulfilling and worthwhile results. And as I mentioned the other day, my enjoyment of Second Life increases exponentially for every moment that I take to actually enjoy it: spending time, or just having lovely conversations, with kindred spirits; exploring the amazing depth and breadth of destinations that exist on the grid; listening to live music, or grooving to streaming tunes at a favorite region; meeting people, watching people, taking sneaky photographs to send as gifts … and always, always, exploring new ideas for pictures of my own. That is where my heart lies lately, and it’s where I would like to gratefully make my home. ♡

Into the Mystic

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Do you ever have those moments in life where it feels like your karmic balance has reached its peak, and wonderful people, experiences, and happenstances begin flowing in? That’s the best way I can describe these last few weeks, really since right around my birthday, which is especially poignant and profound, considering the passing of the baton from one year to the next is often cause for strife or worrisome self-reflection. But no, not this year. I’m feeling uplifted and energized, awoken and alive, as though wildfires have been stirred from the quiet ashes that had been slumbering and smoldering inside. It’s all sounds very poetic and romanticized, I know, but sometimes those are the only words that speak to my heart. Perhaps better borrowed from the lush lyrics of Van Morrison, I feel like the world has on a mission to “rock [my] gypsy soul”, and now I’m on the most magnificent flow I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing for a long, long time. ♡

Into the Mystic
Please click for full size.

“Hark now, hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea, and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Inkheart Eyes – Astral Eyes (Garden) for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hunt, through July 21st *
Elua Hair – Daria (Browns HUD)
Nanika Tattoo – Anika (in White for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, Omega & System Layers) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *

Style & Pose

SlackGirl Jewelry – Farah Earrings New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Mimikri Swimsuit – Joli Leather Bikini (Nude) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
AlaskaMetro<3 Anklets – Jess Fringed Anklets (Metallics Pack) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Label Motion Pose – Iggy Pose 4 New Release @ Tres Chic, through July 5th *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Trace Too
🎧 Sounds: Van Morrison – Into the Mystic

I also want to take a moment to thank the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in Second Life since I returned in late April. Some were friendships rekindled and renewed from last year, while others are newly formed, and all are so incredibly dear to me. I mentioned to a friend that I had been making an especial effort to get out and enjoy the grid, and she noted with some regret that she needfully finds herself spending so much time in her skybubble taking photographs and writing, sorting inventory and getting organized, in order to stay atop her blogging commitments. I know this tendency so well that the words felt as though they had been pulled from my own experience.

But for my own enjoyment and well-being, and after such an encouraging response to what I wrote weeks ago about the anxieties of making new connections, I’ve come to the realization that for me to genuinely and sincerely express appreciation for the virtual world, I need to get out there and experience it. It may mean blogging with slightly less frequency, or getting a bit further behind on keeping up with Flickr, but after such an extraordinary month and a half back in Second Life, I don’t want to risk those impassioned inner fires burning out once more. Even if that means something so simple as being folded in a relaxing pose on a kindred spirit’s boat, my heart bestirred by the sound of the waves and the gaze upon a beautiful vista, it still makes me feel feel as though I were soaring.

“And when that foghorn blows,
I will be coming home …”

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

End of Line

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Happiest of Sundays, dear ones! I’m tip-tappin’ my fingers like they’re on fire to try to get this up in the wee hours of the morning, as my parents are visiting today and I, well … may or may not have left the cleaning and sundry until the very last minute. Procrastinator: who, me? Well yes, yes indeedy. But technically isn’t it their fault since I’m the lovable and faultless offspring? Yes, that works for me quite nicely! ♡

When I put on the Khloe dress by Ricielli, I loved the iridescent, deep blue-violet-silver color that really shone with materials enabled. It gave me a bit of a futuristic vibe, so I went to a place I’ve been meaning to visit for years but never have: Insilico! There are several regions under the Insilico banner, so I chose the North one at random and only made it about 20 feet from the landing zone. (Story of my life lately!) This picture was kind of a quick edit and perhaps my not my finest work, but we’re always our own harshest critics, hey? I still love the spacey vibe, and I definitely plan to visit again and explore further. And if you’re jonesing for a mood-setting tune to go with this pic, the heart-thumping “End of Line” by Daft Punk from the TRON: Legacy soundtrack was my inspiration.

End of Line
Please click for full size.

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Mandala Ears – Steking Ears Season 5
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Ardent Eyes (Periwinkle v1) New Release *
Rezology Hair – Sine 2 *
Aurica Store Tattoo – Nori (Maitreya, Slink, TMP & Omega appliers) New Release @ BodyFy, through June 24th *

Style & Pose

Ricielli Dress – Khloe (in Dark Iridescent for Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya & Isis, Slink Original & Hourglass, and Standard Sizes) New Release @ The Chapter Four, through June 21st *
Ricielli Shoes – Alyssa High Heels (for Belleza, Maitreya, Slink, and TMP) New Release *
Lyrium Pose (Left) – By Myself *
Label Motion Pose (Right) – Carola Pose 3

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Insilico North
🎧 Sounds: Daft Punk – End of Line