Thursday, May 21, 2015

21 Shoe: Ingenue

Ingenue: 21 Shoe

Ingenue is breaking out the teal and tangerine this month, available for Maitreya and Slink feet, atop lightweight cork wedges with a demi-heel. I think my favorite park is the perfect Ingenue bow, though, right above the peep toe. The cork is wonderfully textured and naturalistic, which makes the fabric shoe seem light and airy - perfect for a summer evening. There is more contrast between cork and teal, but both colors are clean and bright, and would go well with a variety of casual looks. Slip them on under a pair of loose shorts or even a frilly frock and you can't go wrong!

Ingenue 21 Shoe

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Ingenue and pick up a pair!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

21 Shoe: Glamistry

Glamistry: 21 Shoe

This month, Glamistry is offering up two unique colors for her Anemuna heels, just recently released for Belleza, Maitreya, and SLink. The Glamistry shoe system is new to me, so I'm going to take a few minutes to lay it out - the initial shoe purchase is at one price, while subsequent colors are at another, lower price. They all get added to this amazing HUD which allows you to mix and match even if you've only bought a few colors. The Anemuna shoe, for example, has four faces to color - the main shoe, the cord tied around it, the sole of the shoe, and the metal detailing. How many of each you have depends on how many you purchase - and for 21 Shoe Glamistry is giving you the option of adding a bright yellow and a rich royal blue which can be worn all of a piece or mixed and matched to glorious effect. I love how high contrast the two colors on offer are, and so mixed them up in my pictures, but you can keep it singular if you want or even mix it up with other colors that you can purchase at Glamistry at the same time. I really love the versatility this system allows for - along with allowing one to try out a set of shoes in the singular, and add in other colors at a discount if one falls in love.

The shoes themselves are intricate and fun, bands and cords meeting and parting again to wrap snugly around the foot. The heel shape is straightforward and long, and the platform is stacked to dual layers with opportunities for coloring them in different colors. They have a fantastic edgy appeal that would jazz up any club they clack into.

Glamistry: 21 Shoe

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Glamistry and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: Bliensen + MaiTai

Bliensen + MaiTai: 21 Shoe

Bliensen + MaiTai is really knocking it out of the ballpark this month with a striking spiral-designed shoe in black and white or red. I love the curve over the foot, and the way the thin bands spread out and them come together again along the edges. Along the inner sole the bands are closer together; along the outside, they stretch all the way up to the arch. The heels themselves are thin and delicate with slightly wider cap ends and an equally narrow ankle strap. I just love the curve of leather over the foot - it is such a striking shape, two sets of curves meeting and parting in symphony.

Bliensen + MaiTai: 21 Shoe

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Bliensen + MaiTai and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: KC Couture

KC Couture: 21 Shoe

KC Couture has a couple of awesome shoes out this month, riffing off of the shades of black and denim blue, available for SLink, Maitreya, and Belleza feet. At first look it's a simple T-Strap with a single band across the toes. The ankle strap is actually a tear drop shape, with the rounded edge against the band up the heel. The sole and heel are both thick, heavy and solid enough to support an otherwise fragile design. The chain down the center mark and across the toe band with initials KC in the center bar. I love the color choices - one a dark black and the other a silvery blue which catches the light beautifully. I love how sleek they are in their simplicity - the teardrop motif in particular is striking - and these would work as well under a loose pair of jeans as paired with a gown.

KC Couture: 21 Shoe

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by KC Couture and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: YS & YS

YS & YS: 21 Shoe

Perfect for summer, YS & YS textured a pair of sunny sandals with tasty treats for SLink and Maitreya feet. Designed as cork heels that are almost wedges, the rest of the shoe is charmingly brief - a cross strap vamp and ankle straps which cross at the heel and latch with a large, oblong clasp by the Achilles tendon. I love the textures - from the strawberry on white of the red to the layered bananas over bananas over bananas of the yellow, the textures are bright and summery and the style is perfect for the beach. I can just see these with a flirty print dress and a wide brimmed hat at a garden party amongst the glitterati.

The animations I'm using in this picture and others are actually a free gift from Thirty Loop Animations - a glorious set of shoe-focused poses and stances that are perfect for photography. I really like how expressive and varying they are, from ones in full motion to gentle pauses on a pedestal. All of them are free if you're a member of the 21 Shoe group!

YS & YS: 21 Shoe

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by YS & YS and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: Lassitude & Ennui

Lassitude & Ennui: 21 Shoe

Lassitude & Ennui is offering up some sleek and gorgeous heels for SLink and Maitreya. A matching set of black and white, the large bow which curves high against the heel and falls almost to the base of the heel is color changeable between four colors - black, white, dark red, and lavender. The initial design is simple enough, a very high pump with a slight platform. The bow is a lovely sleek waterfall of color, though, rendered for a smooth fall and realistic hang. I love the color change, and like all Lassitude & Ennui shoes, these can be tinted. The pump and shoe are on different faces, so you can modify to your hearts' content!I especially appreciate this with a white shoe, since I can tint to match or contrast with just about anything.

My body and feet are all from SLink, the latest releases which work beautifully under the skin from Fallen Gods. It's an interesting effect - much smoother than the default mesh and helping to make close ups look more polished in a straightforward shot. Fallen Gods is matching his skin beautifully to the SLink shape, and included a ton of other appliers with his latest mermish release. The SLink applier is particularly nice - converting hands, feet, and body all with a single button.

Lassitude & Ennui: 21 Shoe

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Lassitude & Ennui and pick up a pair!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Genre (Anime): Scarlet Luck

Fire and Wood

I have a deep and abiding love for anime, the theme for this month's Genre. My actual favorites are the magical girl anime, where one or more girls - usually in the 12-16 range - get special powers to save the world. It is a powerful series of images at a time when girls are becoming women, stepping into a wider world, and dealing with all which that entails. My first favorite was Mysterious Thief Saint Tail, the story of a young acrobatic thief who steals form the criminal to bring justice into the world, pursued by someone who only slowly begins to see her in the chase. The eternal fan favorite was Sailor Moon, but I was always more of a Pretear or Wedding Peach sort - Pretear for it's complicated story of love and friendship, and Wedding Peach for the introductory speeches which won my heart.I've just recently tun into LaGrange, a combination of mecha and magical girls which makes me truly happy. On the twisted side of the genre, there is Princess Tutu, the story of a bird who becomes a girl who becomes a Ballet Magical Girl; it begins in a world of lightness and playfulness but rapidly evolves into a meditation on depression, pain, self-discovery, and the power of stories. And a celebration and critique of the entire genre is part of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the powerful tale of recursion, fate, and friendship.

All of these stories are about women with the will and power to change the world, but also about the challenges and glories of friendship between girls and women, and how we influence each other to grow and become better people. Sometimes, like with Pretear, the relationships between women are more tenuous, but most of the stories have a central theme of love and understanding primarily between women who may often work at cross purposes.

Light Dance

My outfit is in the style of magical girls, short and bubbly with plenty of ruffles and cuteness. I pulled largely from Genre this look but flavored it liberally with bits from katat0nik, who draws heavily from anime aesthetics. Her arm bands are one of my new favorite ways to accentuate an outfit, and I simply don't want to take my froggy cap off! I picked my eyes - gem style anime eyes from The Stringer Mausoleum - to match the bright blue froggy eyes of my cap. They come in a bunch of types and are fit for petites as well as full sized avatars; I'm wearing the mesh ones in these images. In true anime style, though, my eyes are almost completely hidden behind these astonishing bangs from the Kazama Store. I love the shape, and the cel shading, and the fact it is modify-ok so I could fit it to my fat head and around my enormous ears! It's all of a piece, so you can't resize individual parts, but since it's one piece you can make it wider without making it taller, which is almost as good! It comes in a bunch of colors from the naturalish to the entirely not, and would be especially perfect for an avatar more inspired by anime's artistic conventions than mine is.

Pretty much the rest of my outfit from shoes to collar are all from Faster Pussycat. There are very few ruffled skirts of this style and I really love the many layers and intricate curves. I also like the cut-out on the front of the scoop bodice and the delicate strings tied between them. The heels are entirely impractical - good things I have wings! - but that makes them a fun example of high, stylistic platforms. The polka dot detailing pulled the outfit together, and I really liked the skull touch - that and the rich shade of red round out what is otherwise a sweet and adorable outfit. The hint of death among the cute is definitely a recurring theme of anime and magical girl anime in particular. Under the cute and frills there are darker drives and painful experiences that gradually transform girls into women, if the girls survive the process. I accented my outfit's colors, and it's theme, with my nails, an elegant circle and stripe motif from Dark Passions, not available at Genre but definitely worth picking up oh its own. Referencing Ophelia and her destruction as a teenager, it seemed entirely appropriate.

Broad Strokes

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Squee: The Bloggess

The Sunday Squee is when I can talk about things that make me happy and excited. The main focus will be on different things people created, from books to movies to television shows to podcasts, and my effort will be to 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 so I can enjoy what you love!

Sunday Squee: Jazz Hands!

The Bloggess exists at the nexus of weird, enthusiastic, terrified, and terrifying - a one woman cyclone riding the roller coaster of life's experience in all of it's glory and mess. I love her because she is gigantically, gloriously imperfect in public, and that's something I admire so much even while I'm terrified to do it myself. She's a reminder that honesty is often a quicker route to beauty than artifice, and that there are so many different forms of bravery that it's important to not discount any of them. She's also a reminder that we only see the outsides of people, and their insides are more complex and glorious and mysterious than we could ever know. I love what she represents to me - a call to be honest, to respect the power I wield, to respect and love myself even in my weakness.

I don't remember when I first became aware of her - some time in 2011 when she engaged with a Public Relations Company that pitched her and then insulted her in an accidental "reply-all." This was one of the earlier demonstrations of personal influence's effect through Twitter, an example of the shift in balance between professional, money driven communications and individual, charisma driven communications. In many ways, interactions like this were what led mainstream media to plumb Twitter for content - people were much more engaged with what could be discovered from presumed individuals whom they trusted than a media which often seemed out of touch and indifferent. We're still seeing the cultural reactions to these sorts of individual and ideal driven interactions, and in many ways the stages are virtual - through Twitter and Tumblr and Instagram. This isn't some utopia of pure individuals bringing us together to achieve wonderful things - it is another reflection of the mob mentality which has always existed with large groups of people. Interestingly - the rise and fall of this sort of thing is all contained within the Bloggess' Demonstration of Relevance in response to the insult. She led a response from the large group of people who valued her, and then called for some breathing space at the end of it, all contained in a single post.

She had real respect for the degree of power contained in her influence, and I find that inspiring.

Sunday Squee: Hugs are Free

On the lighter side, one of my enduring favorites of her shenanigans was her quest to get a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper, a quest which both ended up being successful and ended with her becoming friends with Wil and his wife, both fans of shenanigans in general, and taking part in a calendar to raise money and save animals. She has a long history of slightly manic and entertaining interactions with celebrities like the creators of Portlandia and Nathan Fillion, as well as inspiring celebrities to take selfies holding things. Now and then she leaves notices for lost snakes and lost signs. She talks a lot about her experiences with advertising agencies, including ones where the people in question manage the weird beautifully and ones where they demonstrate they don't read the blogs they pitch to.

The weird is only hinted at in her rant about how she is the suspicious activity on her account - the purchase of the weird and taxidermied takes up a large part of her time and house. Then there is Beyonce the Metal Chicken, who remains to torment her husband and knock on various doors. The next year, she rented him a sloth. And then there are her many friends, like Totes McGoats, Copernicus the Homicidal Monkey, James Garfield (who does miracles), Beartrum Higglebottom, Juanita Weasel, and Jefferson Peabody. Rounding out the household are her pets: Rolly, Hunter S. Tomcat (who is the silent killer), Ferris Mewler (who out-vampires vampires), Blasphemy Scratchnsniff, and Dorthey Barker (who helped her heart heal). Pets memorialized in loving memory include Posey, Barnaby Jones Pickles, and Bubba.

She can also be inspiring, like when she talks about different kinds of bravery, anxiety, and depression, as well as managing your dreams when you're scared. She founded the Traveling Red Dress, which inspires all women to seek joy and self-acceptance. She's also written a couple books - Lets Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, and Furiously Happy.

I had a ball searching through her blog for nuggets of humor and brilliance; I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Gotta Be Free~!!!

LaVian&Co on Parade

LaVian&Co is having a special through May 20th - the group is free to join, and the immediate offerings are vast - an entire room of womens' clothing for all group members. I've been busily outfitting the Deoridhes as well as the Alphabet Alts, and you can see the beginnings of my haul here - arranged on a few of my closest alts. It's fun to see them all arranged here, from the center figures who all have roughly the same shape, to the more eclectic forms like Bizarre Lastchance the Unicorn and Gossamer Thistle the Harpy. I try for variety among the Alphabet Alts in particular, though even among the Deoridhes there is a Kirin. You can get a hint of the sheer variety above - from mini-skirts, to formal wear, to dressy slacks there's a little but of everything on offer at LaVian&Co.

Dilly Dolls Closeup

The shoes on the Main Deoridhe - Deoridhe Quandry - are also a special, though in this case an announcement of the return of Dilly Dolls in the form of one of her awesome Midnight Manias. These come out along with a bunch of purchases, but if you just want to get your feet wet - so to speak! - head over to Dilly Dolls' Main Store and click on the Midnight Mania. Together we can lock that baby down!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Echoes of Spires of Andolys

The Fairelands have faded, leaving behind sparkles in their wake. I had planned to do a post highlighting some of the offerings from each sim - in the absence of the lands, I'm going to share what might still be available within the creators stores and the stores themselves, so we can keep the connections between all of us strong until the Fairelands return.

Internal External

Surya, from Bite & Claw, somehow managed to escape the Fairlands before they vanished - a blessing for us all. Seven different colors are available at Bite & Claw's mainstore, though not the fern shade shown here which was lost when Spires of Andolys left us. I love this fascinating gown, though. I've always been a fan of multiple types of fabric joined to make interesting shapes, and the colored waistband and topskirt over the flowier kirtle is a lovely design that is enhanced by the combination of pale and dark fabrics. It makes me think of heavy satin set over silk, as the whole dress gleams gently in the light. It's well rigged; the poofs of silk pushing outwards even while the bands of satin hang in - a challenging effect to manage with Second Life rigging! The wraps is also well rigged for a more difficult area, stretching beautifully as arms rise while the base of each side hangs close to the hips. It only buckles when arms go too close to the body or behind the back - completely understandable given the challenges of rigging anything hanging between two areas of the body. One other detail I appreciated - the mesh folds over to the inside, making elegant shots of shoes much easier and smoothing out the edges from all angles. I know it adds to the rendering cost but I really appreciate the added detail.

Dress Shadows

My bracelet and ring are from Unrepentant, lovely openwork metal bands with blue gems worked into the design. Sadly, these vanished with the Fairelands, but Unrepentant has a store full of other metalwork - including some truly impressive masks and clothing - as well as a wide variety of well made furniture. The coiled shapes are reminiscent of vines caught in a moment of graceful stillness. I am an enormous fan of Bliensen + MaiTai's jewelry and shoes, and the Soleil set that appeared with the Fairlands is a good example of her precise, elegant work. I'm especially fond of the shoes she makes for the SLink flat feet, an often neglected shape; the ones I'm wearing are a good example of the jeweled effects she brings to all of her work. Her designs also draw heavily from nature, from Soleil's gems surrounded by a netting halo to the vines, leaves, and flowers which decorate her other lovely works at Bliensen + MaiTai's Mainstore.

Together we can keep the spirit of the Fantasy Faire alive~!