Now that the frost has settled, the time has come for winter designs to take over the grid. Evie's Closet has released Iseult, a regal ballgown that is suitable for icy galas. I've styled myself as a snow fairy to complement the chilly textures of this design. The Celebrian crown and necklace are fitting accessories for anyone seeking that ice princess look.
There are more releases in Evie's Closet to see and hopefully I can put in the time to show them all to you!
As the frost sets in, showers of flakes blanket the air in whiteness known as snow blindness. No matter where you look, you are met with a colorless atmosphere that is both calming and disturbing in its starkness. It's only fitting to wear something that suits such a mood.
Icicles spring forth from the eyes in the form of the Bethlehem lashes, courtesy of no. 7. Paired with a pure snowy skin and matching hair, it fits the regal gown from Innuendo called Icy Snow. Golden filigree decorates the sheer portion of the bodice as the corset pours into a romantic skirt made of feathery fur. Elegant poses from Poseway complete this fairy tale look straight from a winter wonderland.
These gorgeous creations are courtesy of designers discovered at the Finesmith Break the Ice event. I personally thank all the designers and bloggers for being wonderful participants, and I hope everyone made new connections.
In case I don't post before the holiday season is over, I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus, and Happy New Year! And Bah Humbug for all the Scrooges and Grinches out there!
The sound of snow crunching beneath one's feet signals winter has arrived. With a cold snap in the air, puffs of breath turn into crystallized clouds. This darkly romantic concept is the inspiration for my Finesmith Muse 2014 event called BREAK THE ICE.
In the U.S. we have something called "icebreakers" for parties. An icebreaker gets guests to engage in conversation and relax around each other. It promotes networking and socialization among strangers, which is what makes such events fun. Finesmith BREAK THE ICE aims to do the same by introducing designers and bloggers to each other.
Set in an icy tundra, I hope everyone involved will warm up to new connections as they embark on this arctic adventure.
Apologies for taking so long to follow up on my K-pop series, but there are so many artists to cover. I had a tough time choosing who would be my next inspiration, but once this person came out with her debut singles, it was easy. I'm talking about YG's monster rookie, Lee Hi.
She may have an adorably, sweet face but her style is not like that other solo artists. She has a soft, soulful voice that is reminiscent of Adele and Duffy. Although her song It's Over displayed her aegyo side, she returned to the mature sound that suits her vocal range in her latest release Rose. As cute as the video for It's Over was, I couldn't resist the dramatic poetry of Rose and decided to style based off of that.
The theme is, of course, roses in the video, which is perfect for spring. I added a cute parasol from Boudoir as a whimsical touch, and even wore lilac eyes to match her contacts from the video. The parasol was a creative addition on my part, but I think I got pretty close to her style.
I am a HUGE fan of Lee Hi and can't wait to see what else this talented teen has in store.
Yes, there is a special reason for this blog title, and it is related to Fantasy Faire. The organizers have decided to allow one more day for everyone to come and buy the fine wares there! That means it ends on April 29th. Now before anyone gets all kinds of crazy and breaks their piggy banks, please be aware of two things: 1) Some merchants may have missed the notice so try not to freak out if a couple of shops vanish a day ahead of the new deadline. 2) Because of time zones, some merchants may still pack up their stores early on Monday since not everyone understands how to follow Second Life time. They could also want to clean up ahead of schedule due to real life time constraints so please be understanding regardless of the situation. Remember this event has been going on for over a week. Procrastinators, consider yourselves warned!
Now that you can breathe a bit easier with an extra shopping day, let's get on with my final post for Fantasy Faire. It is with a sad heart that I post this since the faire is always fun and exciting. I will definitely miss the gorgeous sims as they are my favorite part of the faire. I also feel terrible not being able to blog everything given to me, but I will try harder next year if I get more time!
Living the FantaSea has a lovely new mer tail called Carpe Oceanus. It's got warrior appeal in purple chainmail with a leather halter top. A shoulder guard and gauntlet protect your right arm while a dagger is strapped to your left one. It also comes with a mermaid AO so you can get swimming right away.
If you prefer something you can wear as a human, then there is the Synjari outfit from Paper Moon. The bohemian print in pastel tones is ideal for spring. It comes with beautiful rings in shiny opal colors. I styled it with the Pulsing Heart earrings from The Golden Thorn, and the Ginko mask from Falconrose. The earrings glow brightly in the light while the mask frames the face in soft fabric and is embellished with pearls and silver ginko leaves. I also used the Erika hair from Wasabi Pills and Musa poses as seen in the previous post. This picture was taken in the extravagant Lotus Valley Dream sim, which showcases the ethereal beauty of Asia.
Remember you only have a couple days left so hurry before these items and the gorgeous sims vanish into the mists once again!
Magnificat: Living the FantaSea, Musa, Wasabi Pills
We all deal with pain and loss in our own way. Some handle it negatively while others do their best to power through life's struggles. When I see some of the stories and photos that the Fantasy Faire merchants have revealed regarding their personal connections with cancer, it touches my heart. What truly moves me though is seeing how each person has selflessly contributed their talents in the name of finding a cure for this disease. With each post I am reminded just how compassionate people are despite some of the things they have been through. To each of you who have put so much work into all of this for Fantasy Faire...thank you.
Ok enough mush, let's get on with more Relay for Life items! After all, you probably want to know what's available there, right? And since it is for cancer research, you can feel a little less guilty about going broke because it's all for a great cause. I have several things to showcase this time so get out your pen and paper or just bookmark this page as a reference.
First up is the Pea Mermaid outfit from TempT. Peacock feathers fan out from all directions in a colorful display against the deep turquoise tail. I am wearing it with the Arkasia skin and the top of the Vandariel outfit from ThePlastik, which complement the rich tones of this outfit beautifully. Also the fabulous Sunburst hair is from Emo-tions and comes with the lovely circlet attached. The pose and orb came from Living the FantaSea.
Next up we have another gorgeous gown from Evie's Closet called Kie. The strapless wonder features a sweetheart neckline and an ethereal skirt with flowers cascading down. I styled it with the Wasabi PillsErika hair for a regal touch. The Sharon eyeshadow and Celtic nails came from Musa. The Gown pose used in the full body shot is also from Musa. I accessorized my ensemble with the RFL Magic Staff from Yabusaka, which comes full perm for building purposes. One other thing to note is that the sim I took these pictures in is called Magnificat and it is breathtaking so visit there to take wonderful pictures before the faire ends on April 28.
In order to make shopping easier, I'll provide links to each of the sims for all of the merchants mentioned.
Magnificat: Evie's Closet, Wasabi Pills, Living the FantaSea, Musa, Yabusaka
It's only been a couple of days since Fantasy Faire opened and already over 3 million lindens have been raised for cancer research! I am so proud to be part of a team that has worked this hard for a cause that is personal for many of us.
As I mentioned in my last post, there are MANY things to blog about for Fantasy Faire. Today I am presenting a couple more RFL items available there.
The first is the Peyrton avatar from Wilds of Organica, whose booth is located in the Dragonspire sim, an awe-inspiring cave filled with glowing gems. This avatar is a hybrid of an impala and an eagle and looks pretty spectacular in flight. It comes with an AO that has custom animations and gestures. I photographed Peyrton in the sim called Evensong Woods, a wintery forest with shops set up on wooden bridges.
The next item is a new mesh petite avatar called Virtue from Skinthesis. There are special makeup editions for sale at RFL so be sure to check them out! Also there are some new wings called Maple Fae Wings, which are seen here, and available in both big and petite sizes so fairies of all shapes can enjoy their flights in style. The booth for Skinthesis is located in the Magnificat sim. (Side note: The outfit is a new release from Evie's Closet, located in the same sim at Fantasy Faire.)
Thank you again for reading and please do support Fantasy Faire and Relay for Life by attending this great event and making donations!
That's right, Fantasy Faire has returned for its 5th year to once again bring us magic and love in support of Relay for Life. If you have never been to Fantasy Faire before, this is definitely the year to go! This year boasts a hearty 10 sims, each with its own special enchantment that will charm visitors of all realms. Although the main attractions usually appeal more to roleplayers, there is plenty of room for all to enjoy this spectacular event. Even if shopping isn't your forte, the sims are a photographer's dream come true so it's still worth a look.
I will showcase various RFL items available from some of the many merchants there. I highly encourage you visit every sim to take in all the wonder this event has to offer. To give you a taste of what's there, I took a few photos in a couple of the lands.
Evie's Closet has quite a plethora of offerings this year. One of her recent releases called Dyisi has been recolored into a passionate red to symbolize the undying heart of all those who continue to battle cancer. It is an ideal outfit for anyone who is a satyr since the hot pants are hoof-friendly. If you prefer a more human appearance, never fear because there are also a pair of matching boots to complete the look. This photo was taken in Crimson Fields, a dark fantasy sim awash in a blanket of red flowers with ominous rock towers overlooking everything.
Another creation from Evie's Closet called Flora, caters to the smallest avatars ever to grace the grid, petites. In particular, the one shown here is called Puff and features a dandelion fluff for the skirt. The pretty pixie look is completed with a headband of sweet dandelion blooms. This is another photo taken on location in the sim called Lumenaria, a colorful town with a picturesque park and festive decor hanging from the shops. (Side note: The wings pictured came from another outfit called Eden. They are NOT included with Flora.)
Also making a splash this year is FateWEAR with Rochon. This is a well-crafted gown with a celtic belt buckle and bell sleeves. Pair it with tights for a modest look or go for a truly medieval vibe by forgoing undergarments altogether. (I do not recommend flaunting the panty-free style if you roleplay in a pg sim. You could possibly make fairies blush with your unexpected exposure.)
Evie's Closet is located on the Magnificat sim and FateWEAR is in Titan's Hollow. By the way, the pathway in Titan's Hollow is transparent so if you do buy Rochon, remember my warning about going commando.
I'll post more pics of more RFL items throughout the week Fantasy Faire is open. It closes on April 28th so don't procrastinate!
Spring is believed to be the season of renewal. It's a time to revamp your style, career or even your love life. What I love most about spring is how it inspires one to reunite with nature, at least in Second Life. In real life, I suffer from allergies so the stereotypical romance of blossoms in the park are nothing short of a nightmare for my sinuses. Thankfully in a virtual environment, one can enjoy a quiet bike ride without sneezing her head off.
Nothing makes me happier than fishing through my inventory to break out all my fun toys that make SL more enjoyable. I had been eyeing the bicycles from what next for the longest time and when a sale on them popped up months ago; I bought one immediately. I love the animations and ease of travel. I also love that it is a wearable vehicle so I can ride it in no-rez sims. There are various styles but I chose the Camden because it suits my personality best, especially with a bottle of wine and baguette in the basket. A picnic in the park after a refreshing bike ride is my idea of a perfect spring day. All I need is a good book or maybe even some live music playing and life couldn't be any better.
Ever find something so gorgeous that you find yourself unable to process a simple thought? That is exactly what happened when I received samples of the new Spring/Summer collection from House of Torn. Her clothes compliment fuller shapes for a sensuous feeling that celebrates figures that are not stick thin. I'm modeling the Tara dress, which is a duo-toned minidress with a strapless sweetheart neckline and hip-flattering peplum. This is only a taste of what she has to offer and it's available now at AVENUE for their Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Week.
Also, if the dazzling hat and jewelry catch your eye, they are new releases called Maniko and Shameless from Finesmith Jewelry. The Shameless earrings come as separates but consider buying the full set complete with a beaded necklace/choker combo and bracelet included.
Well it happened. I turned 5 in SL years. It's strange to think that 5 years ago I created this account out of curiosity and mild desperation. I say the latter because at the time I thought I could network my way to a new real life job through Second Life. I was also a bit lonely since I had no one to talk to during the day as I looked for work. It was just me in my quiet apartment, isolated for the first time in 3 years. I didn't think I'd have a hard time enduring the solace, but I became depressed when things started looking bleak.
I hung out in a few chat rooms to connect with people, but the conversations were either vapid or sparse most times. Chat trolls would interrupt a good flow with their endless spam of porn sites. Random strangers would ask me for my age, sex and location before bombing me with a dicktacular pic of themselves engaged in lewd behavior. When I did finally make a decent connection with someone, I'd soon find out that person was some 12 year old, which was enough to make me consider cancelling the internet altogether. Eventually I did make a friend who wasn't jailbait, and we talked about our shared interest in anime.
Before I made my Second Life account, I asked my friend if he had heard of it. He had in fact and even made an account once with his girlfriend but left because she didn't have any fun there. It wasn't much to go on so I allowed my instincts to lead and went ahead to create my own anyway. My friend joined me the next day and we finally "met" each other in pixel form. It was a strange meeting but a fun one nonetheless.
I spent the next couple of weeks exploring the virtual world of SL, picking up random freebies while trying to figure out how to network my way to some real life work. I found Careerbuilder.com's sim and did some camping there while perusing their job site. It disappointed me later to learn that it was all but abandoned by the company for the most part since no actual Careerbuilder employees ever logged in. I was ready to quit out of frustration and loneliness until I came across a curious little notecard with landmarks to places of interest. Mind you this was long before the Destination Guide so finding places to explore took more effort back then. The place I chose was called Elf Circle.
Upon rezzing there, I was warmly greeted by roleplayers dressed as all kinds of creatures. They kindly gifted me with clothes and explained things there. I was so touched by their friendliness that I frequented their drum circle regularly. Soon I joined their group and became a greeter and guardian for them.
A couple years later I got curious enough to explore another fantasy I couldn't experience in reality: modeling. I gave myself 3 months to get into an agency and if I failed, I'd return to just being a simple fairy. I finally landed myself in Xi Lu Phu Modeling Agency, owned by my friend Xi Zane, who was kind enough to give me a scholarship to her academy to help me get started. I worked steady for 2 years and ended up in various competitions. I started this blog and a Flickr stream. I became a personal assistant to Vikeejeah Xevion, Miss Ebony International 2013 and the creator of Loovus Dzevavor. I represented Canada in Miss Virtual World 2013. I got to become a hamster. Laugh all you want, it's the little joys in life I appreciate most. If reincarnation exists, I'm returning as a hamster.
I hope the next year will find me gaining real life employment again. I'm not looking for love at this point; it's just not a priority. If it happens, it happens. I'd like to return to writing or editing in some capacity outside of Second Life. I'm also interested in learning Japanese and Korean so I can possibly enter a field as a translator. I just know I don't want my biggest achievement in life to be "I was a virtual beauty queen." I have yet to figure out what I'll be, but I know I don't want all my dreams to be virtual ones. I'd like some of them to become real.
Some colors only look good during certain seasons, but the color red is not one of them. It looks great on everyone all year round, no matter what the current trends in fashion may be. I was feeling a little red-roactive and embraced the nostalgia of 50's Americana but with modern appeal. It took me a while to find complementary shades of this passionate hue, but I think I got it right. I debated which color of this MichaMi dress to get because part of me is tired of wearing black all the time, but then I remembered a certain kpop bias of mine likes both red and black and that's how I styled this. I think I'm finally starting to get some of my mojo back.
Just a simple post today. I'm not ill so never fret. I felt like keeping things laid back and chill by embracing the pastel colors spring. There's something magical about feeling the light breeze through your window as buds slowly bloom into flowers. Everything feels fresh and renewed, leaving me with a sense of rejuvenation. Wearing pink allows me to embrace my femininity and open up to the possibility of perhaps finding a new love. Hummingbird accessories from LaGyo as well as an antique camera from Teefy summon up my current state of mind.
Hello again, my quiet readers behind the screen. I'm thankful that you took time out to read this. You may notice that I'm unusually calm. That's because I possibly have a latent hangover. No worries, I'll live.
As I promised, I'm blogging my final post regarding Miss Virtual World 2013. After this, I hope to talk very little about it, and once you hear my thoughts, you will understand why.
Remember how I described it as an awkward sorority/secret society? I still stand by that comparison. Throughout the competition, many questions came up repeatedly. Why was I doing this? Why did I choose Canada? How was I doing in the competition? I had answers to only two of those.
I entered this to represent not only myself, but also be a face for all avatars of color who sometimes hide their true identities inworld for fear of ridicule. As appalling as it may seem, there are some who still think it's ok to say very hurtful, racist remarks or portray women of color in an unflattering light. We were seen as the "tokens of exoticism," as if we were some kind of rare dish served only during particular seasons of trendiness. I have mixed feelings on that because while I'm flattered to be viewed as unique, I don't like to be thought of as a passing trend. I have never viewed my race as a fashion trend because offline I am black. No one is coming up to me, stroking my skin as if I was some kind of purse and going, "Oh my, aren't you a brave one for looking like that." That is a good thing since my knee-jerk reaction might be to slap the person. I was born black; it wasn't a choice but I'm not ashamed to be who I am. That is what I wanted to represent, the confident black woman who knows who she is in both worlds.
Regarding my choice of Canada as a country, this is something that was already in my head from over a year ago when I first auditioned for Miss Virtual World 2012. I didn't make it that year but as inspiration, I created tags for myself with possible countries I could represent. One of those was Canada. I have gained friends from all over the globe in SL and many are from Canada. They are the kindest people I know of and I asked one of my closest Canadian friends how she would feel about me, an American, representing her country. You see, I wasn't about to just pick any country and disregard the culture or its people out of sheer ignorance. I educated myself. I googled facts about Canada. I asked friends from there what I could do to showcase the spirit of their nation in the best light. From the compliments I have received, I think I did a fair enough job as Miss Virtual Canada 2013, even if I didn't place in the Top 12.
Now...let's talk about that part. I know many have been curious as to my story behind the scenes. As I stated in my previous blog posts for MVW, many things transpired that didn't add up, which includes the secret scoring system. Some may defend the organization and say, "I'm sure they had good reasons for not publicizing the scores because some girls would be hurt if they didn't perform well." Here's the rub there: We are all models in Second Life. We entered this knowing full well over half of us would be disappointed in not placing high. That said, we were also hoping to gain some knowledge as to how to improve as stylists through feedback. I'm sure some were not shy in asking inner circles of that organization what they could do better, but in the interest of fair play in competition, I chose to interact as little with anyone associated with the pageant more than necessary. This is because I didn't want anyone to question my final standings and accuse me of kissing ass for a higher score. I know some have already gotten this reputation and I'll admit I saw some behavior that seemed like forced friendliness more than genuine kindness. I'll be fair and surmise that it could have also been nervous ticks from shy ladies who merely wanted to do their best. Everyone put in a great deal of effort and that is commendable. I only wish more focus was put on the ladies instead of the drama over copybotters and griefers.
I wasn't surprised not to be in the Top 12. It wasn't because I thought I did that poorly; I just knew in my gut that it wouldn't work out that way. I was surprised by some who were selected, especially the new friends I made. I was happy that their efforts did not go overlooked since many didn't place high in the beginning challenges. What did knock me on my ass even more was the final results. I'm not going to beat a dead and rotting horse here. I didn't agree with the judges. I fancied someone far better as the winner, especially since in my opinion she would've been an exemplary MVW and role model for future models. She still is a fabulous model and I've told her as much privately. She won't be hurting for work so I take comfort in that.
As for the winner, I'll give some advice instead of congratulations. It doesn't matter that you are portraying a race far different from your real one. What does matter is how you approach that culture and its people. You'll have to work harder for respect, especially given the controversy surrounding you. If you think respect comes instantaneously because you slap a title on your head and say, "hey I'm repping all you black people because nobody else is," well then you have many things to learn. It's especially disrespectful to read those particular comments from you in articles in which you speak as if you are some kind of savior for those of us who are successful black models and have always been so without the aid of a title. Respect is earned through actions, not a title. You also can't get angry at every criticism and fight back with the same level of vitriol that is far beneath the title of MVW. I'd expect that kind of sophomoric response from a spoiled teen who was just announced as Prom Queen to a room full of boos. If you expected everyone to be on board with the results, you were far more naive than I was. As the winner, you should expect both good and bad responses. You should also listen carefully to when you are given constructive criticism and use that to grow. A title means nothing if you take a superficial approach to representing what it is. This is about as much support as you'll get from me personally. I'm going to leave it at that. I've said what I wanted to say on the matter and have left some groups and agencies because I felt offended that people could be racially insensitive in supporting stereotypes that only burden real women of color in both worlds. For those of you who have been considerate in asking for my opinion before doing things that could be viewed as offensive to my race, I thank you kindly. The world would be better off if more people did that.
I will still model as much as I can. I am way behind on blogging because I need to get my mojo back. I do wish to thank my sponsors once again for being so supportive throughout the competition. Thank you Evangeline Miles for my breathtaking national costume. It brought tears to my eyes and a song to my heart. Thank you Monica Outlander for being so patient in working with my fickle nature to produce a fabulous formal gown. I only wish the announcer hadn't butchered the description I wrote for it during finals because I meant every word of it. Thank you Vikeejeah Xevion for styling my beautiful hair. Your contribution meant so much as a close friend and I appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to help me. Thank you Yula Finesmith for giving me jewelry to complete my look. I know you felt terrible about not being able to complete a set for my gowns but I'm still grateful nonetheless. Thank you Latrelly Flux for being my vigilant photographer who didn't go crazy when I threw last minute deadlines at her. Thank you Angeli Optera for coming in for my final challenge shoot when I needed someone desperately. Thank you Rabia Baxton for offering to photograph me without being asked. Thank you so much Clem Velinov for being gracious enough to bless me with one of your gorgeous photos. I'm so lucky to be photographed by you. Thank you Elf Circle, Godivas, Dreams, Greatest Love Group, Shay's Stalkers, Chiaroscuro, and everyone else who has been cheering me on the entire time. That includes you too, my faithful readers!
Please continue supporting me and I'll work harder to match the love that has been given to me. I love you all!
Bikini: Zaara (exclusive color from RFL 2011, not available)
So...yeah, we'll get back to the MVW results at another time because many things happened over the course of several weeks. I won't bore you with details except to say that I needed some rest for the sake of my sanity. And before anyone does the "oh it's just a contest thing," please stop. I was not offline because of that. There are much bigger things to cry over, such as having a dear SL friend of 4 years suddenly pass away. Now you know, and yes, most of the mourning has been done. Thank you all for your well-wishes.
Like I said, 2013 has started off a bit bumpy. My heart was still aching along with my brain because many questions without answers kept me up at all hours. In the course of a couple of weeks, before 2012 had even ended, I lost friends and faith in human decency. I didn't understand people. I didn't understand God. Nothing made any sense to me except for one thing. Logically this one thing shouldn't have made any sense since it wasn't even in a language I spoke, but it did. This thing was K-pop.
I wasn't like most who got into the scene only after Gangham Style blew up globally. My friend Xi was the one who first introduced me to it with a group called 2NE1. She showed me their music video for "I Am the Best." I wasn't blown away initially. I thought the video was cool but at the time, there was nothing striking to me about it.
Fast forward to a couple months later, when Psy's pony dance had caught on like a case of pink eye at a slumber party, and Xi showed me another video. This one was from a group called Big Bang. I fell in love, and like my whirlwind romance with anime and manga, I melted into an abyss of creative bliss. The music held depth, regardless of whether it was meant to be light or dark in theme. From the slick fashion to the sharp choreography, these too-perfect-to-be-human idols brought me out of my funk.
2NE1 is now my favorite female K-pop group; you could even call me a Blackjack (the name of their fans). They are each powerhouses in their own right with combined abilities that make the group what it is. These women don't cater to the aegyo or cutesy side of K-pop (unless you count Lollipop), and unlike some American singers, they are not about sliding down stripper poles or licking their dancers for attention either. They have genuine skills as a group that don't require them to sell out to gain fame. They wear Jeremy Scott, Givenchy, and Balmain, and they do it in a way that doesn't make fans feel alienated.
For my first post of the K-pop Chronicles, I have chosen 2NE1's maknae (the youngest member in Korean groups), Minzy. She may be tiny but dynamite comes in small packages, and she packs heat into all her dance moves. Her style is also nothing to be ignored for its punky edge mixed with high fashion badassness. I don't think I did her style justice, but since I am low on lindens, I came up with what I could.
Look forward to more of these themed posts in 2013 as I take inspiration from music, movies and literature for my styles.