Grid Expectations

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kouse’s cyrenia

Kouse’s Sanctum has a gown out named Cyrenia, and when I saw the gowns I was particularly drawn to the jewel-toned ones. Kouse has actually made the Cyrenia in fifteen colors (amethyst, blush, champagne, dawn, forest, ice, lilac, magenta, midnight, midnight gold, mint, ruby, ocean, sapphire, snow) but I’m just going to feature three colors in this post: amethyst, magenta, and ruby.

Here’s the amethyst version:

cyrenia amethyst

This is the magenta version. I wanted to show the movement of the gown, too:

cyrenia magenta

My favorite color is a deep, rich red, or an almost blood-red, and Kouse captured that with her ruby version of the Cyrenia gown:

cyrenia ruby

Included with every gown is a jeweled veil. The gems are actually scripted so that you can change the gem texture; in the image below I’ve showcased the amethyst, citrine, sapphire, zoicite (you can click on the images to view larger versions on my flickrstream):

cyrenia veil gems

Here’s the entire list of gem textures that the veils come with: amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, canary, citrine, diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire, zoicite, and onyx.  Please note, the veils are no modify but you can reposition them.  I chose to wear my September hair from Laqroki to go with the veils, since the long parted bangs show off the forehead area nicely, and the long, flowing length of the style goes nicely with the romantic feel of the gowns.

I wanted to take my pics in a location appropriate for this kind of dress, so I’d headed to the Taure Ru sim.  Ends up you can’t really see Taure Ru in my pics, lol, because of the way I ended up cropping them.  Oh, well!  If you haven’t been there, though, you should pay a visit!  It’s pretty 🙂  Just be sure to read their rules for visiting and dress appropriately; the rules are not a long read nor are they difficult to adhere to.

Other credits…
Skin – Laqroki Kira
Hair – Laqroki September
Eyes – Exodi Twilight

August 11, 2009 Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

new hair at Laqroki!

Laqroki has released three new hairstyles 😀  These hairstyles are meant to be worn with skins that have hairbases painted onto the skullcap area of the skin texture; this creates a realistic hairline at the edges of the prim hair. (Click on the images to view larger versions on my flickr stream.)

new hair at laqroki

1) Claudia
2) Tasha
3) Kira II

Here’s a quick list of skins at Laqroki that come with this hairbase option: Tess, Imani, Kira, Kat, Tasha, and Claudia. I’m wearing the exotic-looking Claudia skin on the left and right, and a cute freckled version of the Tasha skin in the middle.

While taking these shots, I was reminded again of just how absolutely scrumptious the new lingerie at Blowpop is! So much so, I decided I needed to document these pretties on my blog. This is the Yvette set in Nude. I included a back view because I love the delicate and sheer look of the panties. 😀

blowpop yvette nude front blowpop yvette nude back

Annyka Bekkers, the owner of Blowpop, happens to be on my Plurk timeline, too… and I just saw her post pics of yet more delicious lingerie, so heads up!  Yum yum :p

While I was shooting my pics I saw my little pose chair from the *.:Mon amie-goer:.* group and also remembered I’d wanted to share this, too:

mon amie friends pose chair

Gogo had actually blogged this sweet little chair from Tuli Asturias back in May. (Follow that link to see a complete set of shots showing off all the poses.) If you missed getting it back then, well now you’ve got another chance to get it! Tuli has generously done a repeat release of the chair in the group notices. You have a limited amount of time to obtain it; SL group notices run a course of 14 days, if I recall correctly. Just go to Search, hit the Groups tab, and type Mon Amie in the search field and it should be the first hit in the search results.

Other credits…
Body Shape – Mela’s Yadira
Eyes – Exodi Zbilja

July 23, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Furniture, Hair | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

look of the day: the jilted bride

I love my Jasmin skins from Laqroki. I don’t wear these skins all the time, but they are among my all-time favorites, and today I felt like putting on my Jasmin skin with the streaky mascara.

SL fashion has never been about being “hip” or “fierce” or “making a statement” for me; it’s all about letting your imagination run wild, and playing at using your avatar’s appearance to tell a visual story. Kind of like when you’re four years old and putting on that pretty pink princess costume and tiara. 😀 When I studied my avi’s streaked eye makeup, I decided she needed a reason for looking as if she’d done some crying.  I recalled a recent discussion with some friends during which I’d admitted to having a lot of wedding gowns in my inventory. Voila! The Jilted Bride, hehe.

Look of the Day:  2009-07-18 Look of the Day:  2009-07-18

Look of the Day:  2009-07-18

Out of all the gowns I own, this one from Last Call is probably my favorite.  I felt that the loose updo with it’s nicely placed tendrils falling here and there, worked great with this look.  It’s the Luna style from Truth.  I actually own the blonde pack of that hair, but since my skin’s brows are a dark brown I tinted the hair to look a bit darker.  (Please note, tinting does not always work nicely; textures will lose a bit of “shine” when you do this.  Also, always make a backup of your hair before you play with tinting.)

Look of the Day:  The Jilted Bride

I also wanted my av to have an expression that would befit her streaked mascara, so I edited my shape to give her a subtly sad look.  (I’ve posted about how to edit your shape for subtle expressions here.)

By the way, if you’re on Flickr and have some images that feature Last Call clothing, don’t forget to add them to the Last Call by Dazzle Haute Couture flickr group.  🙂

Skin – Laqroki Jasmin
Hair – Truth Luna
Gown – Last Call Josephine
Eyes – Exodi Zbilja

July 19, 2009 Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

reBourne dojo, koi pond, and asian house

When I first heard about the new dojo prefab now available at reBourne this morning, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I simply thought, oh a dojo? Cool. Then I actually visited the sim where reBourne is located, and it’s more than just cool; the dojo and house make for a serene, tranquil getaway spot that I wish I could have in real life. Here’s a short video I put together that gives you a glimpse:

(Vimeo has slightly better video quality.)

The textures are superb. The details on the lanterns, shoji screens, and tatami mats are perfect, imo. As for the various wood surfaces, bamboo, and roof tiles? Their beauty is in their realism. These aren’t perfectly shiny and symmetrical surfaces; rather, they’ve been made to look a bit weathered and aged. I often find that builds that strive after a sort of “minimal” and “clean lines” kind of look end up feeling a bit cold, but the dojo’s textures and lighting all pulls together very nicely so that the entire build is imbued with a peaceful and inviting warmth.

Clicking on the images will take you to my flickr page where larger versions reside:

reBourne dojo reBourne dojo - katana stand & batsudan reBourne dojo - oni painting reBourne dojo - tea table & zabuton

You can tell that Danny Bourne put thought, care, and research into the build. I loved the oni paintings that are at both of the scripted sliding door entrances, as well as the white silk brocade on the zabuton cushions at the tea table; the brocade pattern features cranes and sakura blossoms. One detail that I really appreciated about the zabutons is that they’re not textured identically, adding even more realism to the feel of the build. There are more zabuton placed outside in front of the dojo, making it a perfect place to sit with a friend and enjoy their company while viewing whatever SL scenery you might put there. It’s a great spot to put down a sakura tree or two.

reBourne koi pond reBourne - dojo, koi pond, house

Nestled between the dojo and the rustic house is the koi pond. It features small wooden footbridge, several koi fish, lotus blossoms and lily pads, as well as some short and tall grasses.  I’ve included both day and night shots so that you can see the lighting at work in a darker setting.

reBourne asian house2 reBourne asian house

The house is small and simple, basically made up of two split-level rooms. In the main room is a batsudan (shrine) that is identical to the one below the katana stand in the dojo, except this one is larger. There are a lot of windows which have bamboo blinds that are scripted to go up and down when you click them. In the secondary room is a simple wooden furo (bath) that sits on a stone floor; it features a pleasant lounging pose for couples.

Here are some of the specs for the builds:
Dojo – 386 prims (including furniture), 25m X 20m footprint
Koi Pond – 94 prims, 14m X 6m footprint
Asian House – about 160 prims, about 20m X 20m footprint

Visit reBourne to see the dojo, koi pond, and house for yourself!

posing at reBourne

Other credits…
Kimono – Aoharu group gift (visit Aoharu to see other kimonos, there is a 50% off sale until 7/20)
Hair & hair ornament – old freebie
Kimono AO – Bushidou
Skin – Redgrave Sakura
Body Shape – Mela’s Sae
Eyes – Exodi Twilight

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Machinima, Prefab | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

sexy rolled up sweaters from bare rose

See, this is what I love about Bare Rose. In addition to being damn cheap, you can get all sorts of different looks out of what June Dion has to offer. Yesterday’s foray into scary sexy was fun, hehe, but I was in the mood for a more mainstream look this morning.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring!  😀

rolled up sweater

Bare Rose has these great little rolled up sweaters with sculpted attachments. As usual, everything’s modifiable and no copy, so you can edit to fit but exercise care while doing so. There’s four sculpt attachments altogether: two for the parts that are rolled up around your arms, one for the turtleneck, and one more for the part that is rolled up around the chest, just above the breasts. Editing was super easy; the only adjustments I had to make was to reposition the neck prim slightly and to lower the collar slider on the jacket layer.

sexy rolled up sweaters from bare rose

For less than L$200, you get the sweater in a whopping six colors: black, blue, green, red, purple, and pink. Since they’re transferable, you can share with your alts! :p I’ve only shown black, blue, red, and green in my pics. It should be noted, these don’t come with shirt for placing under the sweater… you need to find something in your inventory to go under. Or you can give everyone a peep show :p

Credits:
Skin – Laqroki Claudia
Hair – Truth Grazia
Eyes – Exodi Zbilja
Body Shape & Earrings – Mela’s Curvy Yadira & candy corn earrings
Tank Top – Celestial Studios
Jeans – Armidi Grace

July 7, 2009 Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

subtle facial expressions

(Note:  you can click on all of the images for this post to bring up larger versions on my flickr page.)

About 99.9% of the time, I run my avatar around with a neutral expression on her face. When I’m taking snapshots, I’ll sometimes hit the Emote function in my MystiTool to get her to crack a big smile or some other fun facial animation:

SL facial animations

You can take the whole facial animation thing a step further with London Spengler’s Pandora FACE 2.0, which basically allows you to play two SL facial expressions at the same time, making for all sorts of possible combinations.

As much as I adore the facial animations that are available in SL, sometimes they’re a tad cartoonish for my purposes.  Just the other day, as I was setting up a picture of my av at a beach sim (Mori Pwani sim, my Plurk friend Lissa Pinion has now got me hooked on playing on the waves there) I realized I wanted my avatar to have a subtle, Mona Lisa-ish smile to go along with the looking-over-her-shoulder-at-the-camera pose.  To accomplish that, I decided to create variations on my avatar’s face shape and these are some of the results I got:

subtle expressions via slidersWhile working on editing my shape, I recalled talking with an SL photographer about a year ago on the subject of getting more facial expressions beyond the ones already built into SL.  Perhaps editing my face shape seemed like an obvious answer to me because I work with shapes a lot for my store, but it was something that had not occurred to him to try.

So, I figured I’d write about it on my blog, and share what sliders I edited to create my subtle facial expressions.  ^_^

To create my avatar’s melancholy expression, these are the sliders I edited:

Shape…
Eyes > Eye Opening:  slightly wider
Eyes > Outer Eye Corner: slightly more down
Mouth > Lip Width:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Mouth Corner:  corner down

Your eyebrows are also an important part of creating a facial expression.   (To edit your eyebrow shape, you must go into Edit Appearance > Hair > Eyebrows.)   These are the slider adjustments I made for my melancholy emote:

System Hair…
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Height:  slightly higher
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Points:  smoother

For my avatar’s stern expression, these are the slider edits I made:

Shape…
Eyes >   Eye Opening:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Lip Width:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Lip Ratio:  slightly more lower lip
Mouth > Mouth Corner:  slightly more corner down

System Hair…
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Height:  lower (i.e., I went from 77 to 92)
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Arc:  slightly less arced

For my avatar’s subtle grin, I made these slider adjustments:

Shape…
Eyes > Eye Opening:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Lip Width:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Mouth Corner:  slightly more corner up
Mouth > Lip Ratio:  slightly more lower lip
Chin > Jaw Jut:  very slightly more underbite

System Hair…
no changes

Those are only three examples, but that should give you a pretty good idea of what sliders you’d want to touch when editing your own shape for creating more subtle expressions.  (As a side note, it is for reasons like this that I stopped selling No Modify shapes in my shop.  Modify shapes ftw!)

While I was working on my shape edits, I was conversing with Gogo.  I asked her, “If you could order up new facial animations from Linden Lab, what would you ask for?”  A couple of the things that ended up on our list of emotes we’d like to see were a slight parting of the lips, and a pout.  I learned from our discussion that one way to accomplish the slight parting of lips effect is to enable Slow Motion animations in the Advanced menu, then hit the smile emote and try to catch your avatar in a snapshot right as the animation starts.  This can end up involving a lot of repeat attempts as you try to capture the right moment of the animation.

The SL client now has a lip sync function built in for Voice users, so this gives us even more options now.  ^_^  Using Voice, lip sync, and my edited expression shapes, here are some of the results I came up with:

shape plus lipsync

My favorites are the pouts with the slightly parted lips, hehe.  My friend Vivi told me that lip sync should be on by default for people using the 1.23 official viewer.  If you’re using an older viewer, you will need to go into your Advanced menu to turn that function on:

enable lip sync

Okay, so how exactly did I use Voice/lip sync to get those shots? Simple:  after enabling the lip sync function and wearing my newly edited expression shapes/brows, I put Weezer on my WinAmp player and parked the microphone next to the speaker, lol.   The music over the mic caused my avatar’s speech animations to start up, and I was able to capture quite a few interesting results.  That’s pretty much it!  Perhaps one day some clever scripter will be able to come up with a HUD that takes advantage of all the possible mouth animations that lip sync utilizes, making this even more easy to accomplish…

P.s.  On an entirely unrelated note, I am really digging this new Anna hair that I’ve bought from LeLutka.  It kind of reminds me of the way your hair will look after you’ve spent the day at the beach ❤

Credits:
Skin – Laqroki Kira
Hair – LeLutka Anna
Eyes – Exodi Twilight Anger
Hair flower – G-Field Hibiscus crystal pink

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hibiscus and lily

Wow, I haven’t touched this blog in literally half a year.  Where does the time go???

I finally got a new machine and Second Life has turned into this amazing, gorgeous new world and has basically renewed my ❤ for it.  Ask any of my friends and I’m sure they will attest that all I ever said to them for the first few days after getting my new hardware was “OMGGGGGGGGG EVERYTHING LOOKS AWESOME”.  And it SO does.  I took some comparison pics:

for comparison another comparison shot

Seeing SL like this has also renewed my desire to go out shopping, ha. Everything just looks tons better — shoes, clothes, hair, jewelry. So I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve decided to revisit my blog; I have pretties I want to document!

I’m from Hawaii, so I’m always tickled when I find Hawaiiana in Second Life.  I recently spotted a Bare Rose hula girl outfit on Tori Heart’s blog; I haven’t had a chance to go look at that yet but I will.  ^_^  Gogo also told me about a sale going on at the Yabu sim and I was delighted to see some amazing hibiscus flower sculpts at G-Field.  I picked up the yellow hibiscus because that is Hawaii’s state flower, and I also picked up the crystal pink hibiscus.  (The crystal pink one was 1L at the time I grabbed it, I’m not sure if it’s still that price.)  They’re modifyable so you can resize them; I had to resize them because they were huge.  Be careful when you modify, though, because these are no copy/trans.  You can click the images to see bigger versions on my Flickr.

G-Field yellow hibiscus G-Field crystal pink hibiscus

I also recently got the lily hair clip from Caroline’s Jewelry.  It’s copyable and no mod but comes with a resize script, and it’s also incredibly lifelike and pretty.

Caroline's Lily hair clip

Credits:

Skin – Laqroki Kira
Eyes – Exodi Twilight Anger
Hair – LeLutka Venessa (or Vanessa? Folder says one thing but all the hair objects say another lol)
Flower vase in the comparison images – Morantique

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment