Thursday, May 26, 2016

Genre: Aerial Silks

Genre: Scarlet Coiled

A legend of an acrobat using silks in her routine date back to 1959 in a French Circus school, but the earliest elaborate presentation was by Cirque de Soleil in 1996, a show known as 'Quidam'. It's spread incredibly rapidly, the images it creates striking and powerful. Distorted Dreams made a set of four iconic poses for this month's Genre, two hanging high above a stage and two with gentle curls of fabric touching the ground. They're color change by touch through a spectrum of rich colors, and the pose and silks are on two different items - linked but editable - so that you can resize one without the other. I had to do some major editing on some, minor on others, and occasionally the fact that my arms and legs are roughly the same length worked against me - but not badly. The curves are very useful for hooking bodies in and giving them a sense of weight that is critical for these sorts of images to work. Second Life is a world without gravity; it can be applied, but it it ultimately unnecessary. This leads to a curious unreal quality to many acrobatic Second Life images. Distorted Dreams did a good job of giving these silks, and the bodies which hang from them, an appropriate sense of weight.

Genre: Sunset Descent

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LEA 11: What Is It to Fall?

Mourningstar: Let Go

The adorable abomination has graduated from pushing against tropes of cute and beautiful always being kind and good and into a trope of it's own. It's a high contrast, wide extremes combined in a single body and somehow co-existing. In many ways, it's the embodiment of chaos - evil wrapped up within an innocent shell. I'm a fan of high contrast, but I'm not sure there's much I can learn from this type of evil; it can only reflect for me my own limited perspective on evil. Cruelty I have some experience with - I have tasted the sweetness of schadenfreude - but my lived experience of evil is extremely limited. Even the cruelest people I have known have had within them a heart of suffering which sought to bring others under it's influence; less evil in the handlebar mustache and cackling sort, though it increases suffering none-the-less. I wonder sometimes if that is why people dislike good so much in narrative; good is seen as facile and shallow with depth reserved for anti-heroes and misunderstood geniuses. Good is also challenging to understand - how do you remain kind in the face of suffering? How do you wrestle with the full weight of your emotions without becoming cruel? These are questions far more difficult than simply combining bows and horns.

Mourningstar: Leaving the Nest

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Clawtooth Challenge

We Are All Just Walking Each Other Home - Ram Dass

Clawtooth: There's a Light
Clawtooth, Doolittle

Bubbles Clawtooth is walking his mother home; a role which falls to many of us, in our turn. In support of him, Cajsa Lilliehook issued a challenge (which Strawberry picked up!) to share a bunch of Clawtooth by Clawtooth hairs, to support him while his time is taken up by life instead of business.

Clawtooth: Angeles
Clawtooth, Angeles

Monday, May 16, 2016

Judgment, from the Self and Others

Pretty in Pink

How do we know how well we have done?

In the wake of another person questioning my qualifications to blog - specifically about them but the point is generalizable - I've been thinking a lot about the kind and quality of feedback people give, and the motivations we have for doing - or not doing - different things.

The focus of Second Life blogging in particular, but a lot of blogging/commentary in general as well, on being upbeat and positive is nothing new. In the business and journalism world, journalists who are critical of a product may well find their access reduced or eliminated by that company, and that sort of punishment for critique is more common than it is not - at least when the target of that critique is powerful. That's why people often target their ire and negativity for people with less power, whether it is social capital or control over access and products. I'll admit to often falling along these lines; rather than critique something I will simply not cover it or say nothing. Usually this is a fairly minor matter - one of the benefits of Second Life is it has very low stakes - but practiced habits become worn in.

Doffed Protection

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Squee: Victorian Era Candy Creation

The Sunday Squee is about things that make me happy and excited. From books to movies to television shows to podcasts, I'll highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me, magnifying both of our joy.

I ran across these via MetaFilter and quickly became entranced, both by the candies themselves and the aesthetic of creating them by hand. Lofty Pursuits is a geeky sweet shop in Florida which makes a wide variety of sweets using Victoria era mechanics and techniques - from hand pulling sugar to make it white, to using hand cranked machines to stamp out glorious drops of sugar. Above is a combination of the history of the fictional babelfish and the creation of sweet representations of that babelfish - along with info on the Vogon Poetry Contrast held in person and online. I love watching the sugar as it cools and becomes stange. Sugar is a Non-Newtonian Fluid, which means it has some of the properties of a solid even when it's liquid - much like glass, it oozes.

LEA 11: Lucifer Morningstar

Since long ago have I known you.
Those lives I remember and you do not.
Together we have seen the light of heaven and the sorrow of falling from grace...
The hollow echo of Hell and the agony of being apart from your beloved.
The truth beyond Heaven and Hell.
The spirit of man -- his run through the fire and his resurrection. 
from Lucifer's Halo by Joseph Michael Linsner

Mourningstar: Disembodied

I don't know when I first learned the story of Lucifer. By the time I remember thinking about the story it was a known commodity, the details existing independently of a source. My earliest opinions were not in line with the opinion I felt I should have. Lucifer should be feared, the adults said, and embraced, the youth said, but I was struck by a profound sense of pity. I couldn't imagine loving someone as much as the stories said Lucifer loved God before being cast away by that self-same figure for loving them too much. I wondered, in the simple thoughts of a child, if I could deliberately go to Hell and try to cheer him up. He must be sad, I thought, but I also thought Hell seemed like a terrifying and painful place and I wasn't sure I could or would endure such pain to try to comfort someone who might not even want that.

Mourningstar: A Loose Nest

Monday, May 9, 2016

Genre: Erté Inspired

Genre: Erté Inspired

Genre is winding down, only a day or two left before it closes, so make sure to swing by and pick up some gorgeous Belle Epoche goodies. I'm channeling Erté today, or I'm trying - he's a devilishly difficult artist to rise up to, but this gown by LouLou&Co seemed the perfect vector to try. It has gorgeous drape, in front and in back, which is a mark of Erté's style - arm drapes would have been even more awesome, but I have no idea how they could be rigged! The extremely low-cut back is a step up from Erté's suggestive standards, but I don't think he would have minded. The drape is perfect, however, skimming over the buttocks and along the side of the body to frame each curve. The texturing works well with the mesh, long lines accentuating the fabric folds while lace-like tendrils catch the fabric up at the waist and set the stage for a more demure ankle length skirt to offset the thoroughly scandalous décolletage. It's fully lined, which is important with a dress showing off this much skin, and rigged to fit standard sizes, fitmesh, Belleza, Maitreya, and SLink. The rigging is good - usual skirt breaks with crossed legs, but otherwise no clipping or over-stretching and the textures work well with movement.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fantasy Faire: Giant Deoridhe

The Golden Delta: Eye to Eye

The Fairelands has closed for another year. I may have a few more posts of the echoes of the Fairelands, but these are the last of my pictures of the sims themselves - taken as a small Colossi. Perhaps some year I will see if I can top ten meters, but I quite like my three meter form from Quixotic Dreams. I took advantage of it being Omega-compatible and added skin and eyes from .:Soul:. - one of the two skins available at We <3 RP. Shoes and hair were resized to fit - I just wish I could do the same thing with mesh clothing! Or rigged shoes, for that matter.

Malfience: DwarfinElveg s

Fantasy Faire in Review

Fairlands Junction: Pawn

I am very happy with how this year's Fantasy Faire went! While we enjoy the lingering days of the faire before they vanish into the mists, I thought I'd reflect on how this year went and explore the sims in both micro and macro.

The Golden Delta: Anubis

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fantasy Faire: Creations of the Golden Delta

Creations of The Golden Delta

I made this entire cute scene around the secret prize around Yoga Frogs from meadowWorks (The Golden Delta) - specifically around the secret rare prize of a yoga mat, which was the first prize I received! I couldn't resist a slew more of frogs to play with, and then moved on to the Tomb Traders Gotya (aka gacha) and managed to land uncommon and rare items, but not all the Canopic Jars - I'm in the market if you have duplicates! This ended up being a totally cute and unexpected side trip through what meadowWorks (The Golden Delta) has to offer, and a few of the items which made The Golden Delta incredible.