Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Best Moment Of My Second Life

The following post is written by Dandellion Kimban of "Living in the Metaverse" as part of the SL Bloggers Mix & Match Challenge. The topic was suggested by Crap Mariner.

There are nights in second life when the fake stars on our virtual sky are playing with us. Nothing can help that. Especially because we're not even aware something is happening.

Night we're recalling now was special itself. It was Human's birthday,so the two of us, in two different worlds, were heading for a nice intimate evening in club Reactor. We planned a quiet, calm and intimate night. No candle-lights, but cheese and wine for human and a new set of dancing anims for me. But...

He was sitting on the pillows in the corner, occasionally taking a draw from the water-pipe, goggles resting on his forehead. Cyberpunk kid. Looking in my direction. And while I was reading his profile he threw the first IM. I would politely end that conversation but Human pushed my back to the pillows and we started chatting. Soon enough he took my hand and teleported us to the sim I've never heard of before.

In the meanwhile, somewhere on the other end of the Grid, in the area with all those Orientation Islands, another Ruth came to life. She made a few clumsy steps, probably asked a question or two and headed forward into her second life. Knowing her now, she probably went to the nearest hair-shop. Sure that I couldn't care less for another noob in that moment, how could I know that few months later she will come and steal my heart.

My friendly celebration with Human turned to be a date with a cyberpunk guy. Date? Well, maybe. We were running around the streets of Suffugium. Shooting the trash bins, avoiding the police drones and sneaking in the Lex Neva's private rooms, deep behind the sewer system. We were two kids playing around. Liberated in exploring the dystopian sim. Entertained not by all the cool things around as much as by the joy of showing the discoveries to each other.

Months later, that Ruth will turn into glamour blond. We'll run all around the grid, getting our pleasure not in the cool things we find but in showing them to each other.

So, why am I telling you all this as the best moments of my second life? I spent days trying to isolate events that would be in the competition for "the best moment". And it wasn't working. It's not about things happening. It's even less about buildings and sims, clothes and hairs. It's about people we share our lives with. Those cyberpunks and those glam girls that show us the places and who use their hairs to seduce us... they are the magic that makes all those pixels come alive. They make the moments to be remembered.

The Great Post Swap!

Today is the day of reckoning for many of your favourite and some less well known (like me) SL Bloggers. Little over two weeks ago ArminasX Saiman of Second Effects together with Vint Falken put out a call to join the first ever annual Mix and Match Blog Carnival. In a moment of madness, I agreed.

Confused? You will be!

I submitted my suggested topic, one very close to my heart as an avid seeker of all things: "The do's and don't of hosting a treasure hunt in Second Life." However, after being thrown into the mix and tossed around a bit I was designated the topic suggested by ArminasX himself, "The Economics of Freebies" which has been published on Nightflower Blossom's blog, Nightflower Blossoming. Thanks Nightflower!

My topic has been assigned to Tempietto and will be published on the Avatrain blog by Chenin Anabuki.

And here, on The Dressing Up Box, I am thrilled to be welcoming guest author Dandellion Kimban who can normally be found Living in the Metaverse. Her assigned topic is "The Best Moment in Your SL" as suggested by Crap Mariner. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Below is a full list of the blogs participating in this challenge - have a nosey through a few of them. I've only read a few so far, but there's some fantastic stuff!

Alphonsus's Random Drivel

Unique Needs

Ari K

The News from BardHaven

Second Life

Second Life


Botgirl's Second Life Diary

Writing the Sonnet

Common Sensible

The blog of Danni- Christian Socialist Computer Addict

Dusan Writer's Metaverse

Eladrienne's Other Life

What is this crap?

Free Finds For Men

Gany's take on (any) life


Girl Wonder Speaks...About SL

Gwyn's Home

Harper's Bizarre

Her Royal Highness, Princess Ivory

Ingmann Design Group

Joonie's Journey


Wonderland Travels

One Girl | Two Worlds

Living in the Metaverse


Constructs of a Mind

My SLife on the D List



Tenth Life

The Poultry Report

Quirky Quaintly

Reading Radar

click heard round the world

Stories From Another Life

Samantha Speaks

Second Effects

The Shockwave Writer

SL Fashion Avengers

Socially Mundane

Second Stindberg

The Insane Life of Stuart Warf


The Dressing Up Box

The Winter Market

All Things Tiessa

Tiyuk's Second Life Adventures

What the Fug?

Wild Words

Metaversally Speaking


Second Life of My Dreams

Vint Falken

Writers in the (virtual) Sky

Aviatrix :: Zoe Connolly

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Geisha Art

I always enjoyed making art, right since back in high school, but I've never ever thought of myself as very good at it. Perhaps I compare too much or set my standards too high (ie. anything less than perfection is failure), but I was totally dumbstruck even back then when I got an A at "O" and then "A" level art. I just enjoyed doing it, making things, drawing people, sculpting. It very much went on the back-burner as I concentrated on my studies at university and then my career, just occasionally taking out a watercolour pad or sketchbook during time off. I suppose one of the reasons I specialised in medical imaging though was because I loved taking pictures. Getting the perfect angle, framing a shot and demonstrating what I wanted to show was a challenge I loved, as was interpreting 2D representations of 3D structures. But I never really thought of it as an extension of my artistic side until recently.

Like many people in Second Life, I was encouraged to try my hand at SL photography by Torley's tutorials. I had started to teach myself photo-editing techniques already, out of necessity mainly, to make posters for the SL club I owned but I was soon doing more than just basic posters. My love of dressing up and putting together costumes in SL, recreating looks such as that of the geisha (way before there were many geisha skins or accessories available) and bollywood, and finding great locations in which to photograph them was something that developed over time until early in 2008 I realised that it was something that gave me so much personal fulfilment I wanted to take it more seriously and spend more time concentrating on.

Soon after deciding this, and leaving the club, I started building - initially full sized sculptures, but quickly moving on to playing with tiny prims, loving the challenge of reproducing full sized works in a wearable form. This lead to me opening my store, ~flirt~, and to me concentrating more on making jewellery. However, I continued to take SL photographs and play with some post-processing, uploading my work to my Flickr account and putting a few of my favourite pictures on display in the store, but it's really been much more of a hobby than a serious pursuit, something for my own enjoyment rather than to show others.

I was therefore very much taken aback when I was approached some weeks ago by Chandra Vita, the Curator of Art of Amatsu Shima, an Okiya in Second Life, who had seen and fallen in love with my picture "Geisha's Gaze" and wanted to build an exhibition around it of geisha-related art. So much so that I didn't really believe her at first. In fact, not until I was asked for a biography and told that the exhibition was opening in less than 48 hours!

For me, in my jewellery design as much as in my photography, it is the making of the piece, the design process and creativity that is important, on a personal level, not the finished product or what other people think about it. It's somehow spiritual. Oftentimes I don't know at the start precisely what I am aiming for, or why, but as the process moves on it reveals itself, together with it's meaning, often a personal revelation or truth, deeper understanding of myself or of a situation. Of course, it thrills me when other people like what I make, when they want to buy and wear my jewellery, or hang my pictures in their homes, but that really is of secondary importance (hence what Peter calls my "crazy" pricing structure, and exactly why he is helping me with the business side of ~flirt~).

So I am incredibly flattered, very honoured and still somewhat surprised to have my work, "Geisha's Gaze" on display of the Aizen Festival and Art Walk Exhibition which opens today, July 31st, and would like to extend the invitation to you all to attend.

From the official invitation:
The geisha and students of Amatsu Shima Okiya cordially invite you to the Aizen Matsuri Festival and ArtWalk Exhibition

The event will begin at 6PM SLT, July 31, 2008 at Amatsu Shima landing point. A LM is attached to this invitation and poster. There we will hear a Keynote by our Okasan Suzanne Logan and hear of the significance of the festival from our Kenjasan Mariposa Upshaw, have music and dancing and perhaps other surprises in store for you.

A marvellous procession will take us from there, go through the shopping district of our community and ArtWalk Exhibition. Four extraordinary artists are showing their work here
on the theme: "Geisha in Art."

We will end in the pavilion where there will be less traditional music, dancing and door prizes. Guided tours will also be available of the art exhibition and other showings of art in our community.

Contact Chandra Vita if you have any questions.

Please join us for the culture and fun. We would all be honored by your attendance.

Despite it's late hour for me here in the UK, I am hoping to attend, and I look forward to seeing you there.

slurl to exhibition

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Exclusive Tiffany Series Jewellery for Relay For Life 2008

I am pleased to bring you the next pieces of The Tiffany Range, an exclusive "one-of-a-kind" set in Pink Diamond & Platinum which is being sold by silent auction at the DiS Momento RFL Benefit Auction in aid of Relay For Life 2008.

The Tiffany Stud Earring

Weighing in at a mere 126 prims each, the subtle design of the Tiffany Studs add class to any outfit. In spite of the number of prims, careful design and build technique has ensured that these gems won't lag you down, their combined Avatar Rendering Cost being only 62.
"Sophistication and class ooze from every twinkling gem"

The Tiffany Drop Earrings

Glittering diamonds set in the finest platinum fall in two strings from a large, rare Pink Diamond encircled by precision placed micro-prim diamonds to form an earring that few will surpass.
"Luxury, elegance, and decadent sexuality in equal measure."

The Tiffany Necklace

The simplest of the Tiffany necklaces but no less beautiful The Tiffany Necklace is hand-built for a perfect fit.
"Strings of naturally twinkling prim diamonds closely encircled her neck, the fine Pink Diamond coming to rest gently between her collarbones, highlighting her soft delicate skin, kissing her most sensitive of places"

The Tiffany Pendant

Using two attachment points (chest & spine) this exquisite piece boasts a combined weight of 346 prims, an ARC less than 50 and two pendant types, to suit shapes of all proportions.

"His finger trailed along the necklace's fluid line, moving down between the soft curve of her breasts, his eyes resting on the large pink gem as it rose and fell with each beat of her heart"

The Double Stranded Tiffany Necklace

The necklace of every woman's dreams, this 417 prim jewel should be worn to be seen in.
"The perfect wedding day gift for your bride, it's beauty can only be enhanced her own."

All pieces in the ~flirt~ Tiffany range have been hand-built for a perfect fit, with consideration for your in-world comfort by causing minimal lag (ARC less than80). Be the first to own a Tiffany set in an exclusive Pink Diamond & Platinum setting and help a cause which touches all of our lives, American Cancer Research, through Relay For Life 2008. The silent auction continues until noon on Tuesday 15th July at the Metro Models Agency in Second Life.

A full range of ~flirt~ Tiffany Jewellery will be available from the "Say I Do" Bridal Expo from Thursday 17th July.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

~flirt~ Relay For Life Tiffany Rings

Flirt is pleased to be offering four limited editions of The Tiffany Ring for Relay For Life 2008. Available at the ~flirt~ mainstore, all proceeds from the sale of these versions will go directly to RFL and American Cancer Research. Please give generously, thank you.

The Tiffany Ring :: RFL Platinum & Pink Diamond Ver.1

The Tiffany Ring :: RFL Platinum & Pink Diamond Ver.2

The Tiffany Ring :: RFL Platinum & Pink Diamond Ver.3

The Tiffany Ring :: RFL Platinum & Pink Diamond Ver.4

slurl to ~flirt~ mainstore

~flirt~ Tiffany Ring

The Tiffany Ring was designed for a dear friend of mine, JoshuaSteven Schism as an engagement ring for his now fiancée, Carly Corleone.

As we talked about the design it became clear that he wanted something out of the ordinary, something that she could show off and be proud of, something a bit different to the rings commonly available on the grid. He left the details to me. As I browsed the net for ideas and inspiration it becaome clear in my mind that I wanted to make something that was slightly ostentatious, something that, in the real world, would be coveted and way above the price bracket of average Joe's like Josh and I, but was still elegant and classy. Something in the vein of the classic Tiffany designs... and, well, diamonds are a girl's best friend! Of course, the design evolved during the creative process to become something unique, but in naming the final design I wanted to reflect the source of my inspiration, credit where credit is due, and the Tiffany Ring was born.

The Tiffany Ring :: Platinum & Diamond

Shortly after finishing the ring, after Carly had said "yes" to Josh, Linden Labs announced the introduction of Avatar Rendering Cost, initially on the Release Candidate viewer, but soon to hit the main viewer. At 178 tiny tortured prims, I feared that the lag caused by such a piece, measurable by everyone around the wearer, would be a major negative incentive to anyone wanting to wear the ring, myself included. After much research, experimentation, and learning about how ARC works, I was finally able to come up with a slightly modified design that had an ARC so low it could almost be ignored (see here for details of that process).

And so, I present to you, The Tiffany Ring. Comprising a single flawless 7.15 carat Linden precious gemstone surronded by double row of 75 melee diamonds set in platinum on a band shouldered by a further double row of diamonds, the ring is available with five central gemstones - Diamond, Ruby, Amethyst, Sapphire and Emerald. With an Avatar Rendering Cost of only 20-25 (minumum possible being 10, suggested avatar total being 500-1000) this ring is the perfect way to show a loved one just how much you care. Two rings are included in the box, fitted to the left and right hand respectively, and whilst sized for the average female hand size (20), it is fitted with a resize script to ensure the perfect fit for every shape. Priced at a very reasonable L$349 and available in-world now.

The Tiffany Ring :: Platinum & Ruby

The Tiffany Ring :: Platinum & Amethyst

The Tiffany Ring :: Platinum & Sapphire

The Tiffany Ring :: Platinum & Emerald

All ~flirt~ rings are available for gift-giving, either delivered directly to the recipient of your choice, or as a transfer-only version presented in a ring box which opens and closes for romantic proposals. Please contact me (Skinkie Winkler) in-world to arrange this.