Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Colour Challenge 26 - Rust

Halfway there!

Wheee a fire colour at last! A fitting personal tribute for this milestone. I'm really proud of myself for getting this far on so many colours that I'm astonished I even own! I have a few orange things, but once I tried on these wings I knew I had to make a fairy and I knew just where to take my photos. This post is for my mum, who goes by the netname of Moth2fic and who loves fairies and butterflies, and has been so encouraging and appreciative of my posts even though she doesn't play Second Life. Sorry no story but the pictures tell their own story really. I will tender the first image to Siyu Suen of Illusion's exclusive Flickr group, Virtual Wings, and hope it gets in. She already accepted one of my Electric Indigo photos ^.^

I would also like to extend a rather short notice invitation to everyone who follows my blog, to join me on Saturday 30 June at midday SL time for a party at my new castle :) There will be a rollerdisco with glitterball effects, a banquet, and hopefully a fun hunt! IM me inworld (Fledhyris Proudhon) or drop a comment here and I'll send you the lm :)

8;8  The Fire Moth Fairy  8;8

Flutterby Greetings

Tending the Hatching Grounds
A Hatchling Emerges

Joining the Swarm

The Moth Queen

8;8  Credits  8;8

The colours matched when I was doing my wardrobe, I swear; I think it's this light setting, which pours a spotlight onto you from the front, making everything look brighter. But I had to stick with that gorgeous orange sky! Also there are plenty of deeper shades in the wings, hair and skin. I used the Spirit location before, for St Patrick's Day Blue - it's a fantastic sim, basically a mesh art installation, and there is so much to see there, so many different themes. I even found a rather macabre den of dragons eating people in very Bosch-like tones. The sensitive of soul take note if you're inspired to go wandering around there - stay out of caves! Incidentally there is a free mesh avatar available in the style of many of the sculptures around the sim, a sort of plant/dragonfly spirit.

Location: Spirit by claudia222 Jewel
Windlight: Sailor's Delight
Pose by Zzang ~ FlutterFairy 002 Anim ~ from Midnight Summer Dream event

Sin Skins Etheria ~ Umber
Rue Paint'd/Moth Tattoo ~ Phoenix/fresh
House of Ruin (now Rue) Gemstone Eyes ~ Quartz Orange/Jewel
PurpleMoon Fire Hair from Phoenix in Gold outfit
Antennae by me
Orange butterfly wings (scripted flap) by Caladreis Cannoli
Vlintuition Lian Bikini ~ Fire Poem
!BF! (Boing Fromage) Urban Bohemian Ankle Wrap Flats ~ Rust
Shiny Things Leaf Jewellery Set ~ Autumn

Monday, 18 June 2012

Colour Challenge 25 - Unmellow Yellow

~||~ Dancing Under Alien Skies ~||~

I'm keeping this one brief - I think a lot of people are put off by the length of my posts, even though some want more story to give them depth. I can't win! ;P Chirag Mehta calls this colour laser lemon, and it is a very acid hue, I didn't have much to match it even though yellow is one of my major colour groups. I've been wanting to do an exotic dancer for some time and when this avatar popped up in my 'yellow' inventory search it was perfect. Remember the poor Twi'lek dancing girl whom Jabba the Hutt throws to the Rancor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi? This avatar comes in blue, purple and yellow versions, with skin and jewelled lekku (the head tentacles). As always, the shape is my own. I wanted to make the background look like an alien planet and when I started trying shots between the gargoyles which surround my dance pit, there were so many good windlight choices I decided to run through a selection while keeping the same relative (animated) position. Hopefully the results are artistic and not monotonous; I culled them down to a quarter of the total photos taken. I am amused that one setting (Wild Palms) is an exact colour match; you can see where my border merges invisibly with the sky!

[TOR] Special Light Thru Veins


[TOR] Sunset Pale Incabon

[TOR] SciFi Orange Balm

Places Beach Cay

[TOR] SciFi Wild Palms

[TOR] Big Sun Eats Night

~||~ Outfit Credits ~||~

Burning Chrome Twi'lek skin and jewelled lekku (head tentacles)
Tekeli-li Koi avatar eyes
Taboo! Sunrise Slave Silks
Tekeli-li Medusa jewellery (necklace & armbands)
Kayliwulf FetishDoll latex go-go boots - dandelion
Gothic Demon Gargoyle Dance Pit
Zaius Creations dance pole (a very old one)

The location is my home parcel, still waiting for its castle, with the minimum draw distance.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Colour Challenge 24 - Raspberry Glace

~O~ Raspberry Glace ~ Pretty as a Fairy Princess ~O~

Late again, because oh my what a week! The colour itself wasn't the problem, as Katlien found some promotional ballgowns - they weren't really my style, but I looked hard at the pink one and thought it might work, so I yoinked it. Turned out that the darker shading on the bottom of the dress matches perfectly! As do the lighter ends on my hair, something I'd picked up recently as I'm on the lookout for mesh hair. With the dress and the hair, I decided to go all out and be the pinkest, prettiest fairy princess I could be - just to show I can! Rudh nearly fainted when she saw me, and my mother said 'that is very pretty, but so not you!' I like to run rings around the boxes ;)

Swinging Pretty
I already made use of a magnolia tree in the Deep Pink post, and I wanted to make this gentler and more fairytale-like, so I found a lovely starry evening setting with plenty of light for photography and this lovely watermelon sea (one of Torley's, obviously). My hubby said it reminded him of a scene from one of the Flower Fairy books, which makes me feel that a goal has been accomplished! Clearly, reading those books as a child rubbed off on me at least a little. Or else pink really is genetic and lurks in the mind of the most resolutely ungirlish!

Serene contemplation

~O~ I'm too pretty for the server! ~O~ 

(Anyone remember Right Said Fred?)

For the first time ever, because I'm not much of a cosmetics girl either iRL or iSL, I worked hard to put together some pretty makeup, and hoo boy did that cause problems. I kept having the most horrendous bakefail issues when I logged in - normally, I can just switch outfits and it is fixed, but this time, no matter what I did, my upper torso (chest, neck & arms) would show whatever layers I'd worn on the previous outfit - skin and clothes - producing some quite odd unmatched results! Eventually I worked through the Firestorm wiki guide to bakefail, which incidentally says DON'T clear your cache, this almost always leads to worse problems. I found out that there is a known issue (in Firestorm, I don't know about other clients) which can cause bakefail errors when you wear multiple tattoo layers. Now, I don't know how multiple FACE tattoos can cause issues with your BODY, but that certainly seemed to be the problem - I did what it said and took off all makeup layers; rebaked; then added the tattoos one by one, rebaking each time. That did the trick.

Too pretty for the servers!
I went to town on my head gear too, I know. Feather hairstick, side flower, flower circlet and tiara *g* They just looked so pretty!

~O~ Castles, castles, everywhere! ~O~

Once I'd got that sorted out, I went hunting for castles for my location shoot. The top result in search when you type 'castle' is a sim aptly named. I counted 13 castles within my usual draw distance of around 300m; there may well be more further out. I happily hunted around for backgrounds with pink in them and got lots of shots, including the ones on the swing above. More on the castles at the end of my post.

The princess in the tower
Wishing for her prince - or maybe a dragon? - to come and sweep her away...
I really like this castle. Even if it is pink.

Belle of the Ball
This shot makes me think of those debutante balls where you make a striking appearance before joining the party. The stairs had the exact shade of pink.

Stopping to smell the roses...
And reflecting on the old fairytale of Beauty and the Beast. Of course you know me well enough by now to realise that I probably wouldn't have screamed when I saw the beast - actually I would prefer a prince who was a monster of some kind :3 Not that I'm really looking, because I met my prince long ago iRL (and he's not any kind of monster!)

~O~ Item Credits ~O~

Location: Castle Q Castles
Windlight: Sky: *Starley* Settings 2 and Water: [TOR] Yung buk

Miamai 'Susan' Pink ballgown
Taboo Paris Roses ~shoes~ bought at the Pacific Fundraiser (colour change)

Taboo Paris Rose Shoes

Al Vulo! [Debbie] [Ohh Deer Chantilly] skin (May group gift)
Magika mesh hair 'Calm' - raspberry (store gift)
Tea Lane Concord eyes
Pink Glitter Wings by Meritum Lily of Faerytude (her very first wings)
Alady Island prim lashes
Skinthesis Linden Lash Killer avatar mask

The fateful makeup: birdy. color me: pinks eyeshadow
White~Widow petals tattoo ~ Travel for Fashion Limited ~ Pearl/Brown wo/eyeshadow
KOSH sweet lips: wine cream

Hair ornaments: Diamond Platinum Tiara (full perms) by Datura Fairchild
1890 Flexi Floozie Feather (mauve) by Shenlei Flasheart
Lavender hair flower by Lola Frederick
Waka & Yuki flower hairband

Ganked 'Bubbles Gold' necklace & bracelet
Lemania Indigo Precious Metal bracelets (left arm)
L&E Solar/Lunar arm rings
Tiny pink hearts particle emitter by Mecha Dinosaur

There were a few items - the tiara, the wings, the heart emitter - on which I did wonder if I'd hit overkill, but a princess needs her crown, a fairy needs her wings, and the hearts were very subtle. In the end I think they all added nicely to the overall effect.

~O~ Raspberry Glace 2011 ~O~

I think fate lined me up to go castle hunting - why otherwise would Katlien have found a princess dress and set me on the path for this photoshoot when I already have pictures of a raspberry pink outfit sitting in my vast hard-drive photo store? I was just looking through them for something today and found this set of pics I took last year, of the Purple Moon Anniversary Hunt outfit. I don't like sculpted skirts because they look stupid and wobbly when you move around in them, but they are gorgeous for modelling shots. (There needs to be a gliding walk animation for these kinds of dresses.) Anyway if I'd remembered this, I'd have used it, but I'm glad I got the chance to make the fairy princess because she is beautiful even if she is a walking case of bakefail! Clearly something about last year made for lower resolution photos, whether it was my client or my graphics card - it's a shame, because I certainly saw things more clearly on-screen at the time, but as in real life, the photos never come out so well as things look off-camera.


Blossom in Spring

Flower detail

PurpleMoon Anniversary Hunt Pink Spring Dress & accessories (July 2011)
(hunt prizes included hair, nails, jewellery & shoes)
Sin Skins Etheria Fae Golden
XCite! fangs
*aN* Pop Star Cat Eyes Sunny Yellow
Forest Floor cherry and apple trees in my Biodome sky station

~O~ Shout-out for Castle Q ~O~

The castles on this sim were really pretty but I wondered just what they were doing there, though it should have been obvious. Eventually I came to a central tp board and realised that OF COURSE! - this is a display sim and all the castles are for purchase! I had an idle look - I don't usually consider buildings of this size because they tend to be too highly primmed for my use, not being a sim owner or anything. I was amazed to find out that even the moderately large castles WOULD FIT ON MY LAND WITH ROOM TO SPARE!!! :D At this point I was well and truly hooked on finding myself a castle, because HELLO! Perfect home for a dragon in SL! The owner/builder Baron Q found me at this point, no doubt taking in my princess outfit and seeing an ideal customer, and proceeded to give me a very detailed and helpful tour of his castles, showing me extra points in their favour - not just low prim and excellent workmanship and textures, but interior walls which can be slid aside like partitions to make larger rooms, balconies/stairwells which can be blocked off, colour changing roofs and doors, and lifetime customer support including the possibility to upgrade to a bigger castle (but only if you get the trans. version). You can temp rez all of the castles at the display sites, but do watch out for explorers before you drop them to their virtual deaths! As a side note, there are very few sculpts employed in the building, and no mesh, making them fast to rez and visible to all SLers.

Now, I do still think these are lovely castles, very roomy and beautifully made, but I have a small confession to make, something that added to this post being so late. Upon telling my friends I was castle hunting, they took it upon themselves to find MORE castles, so that I would have the best possible choice. I spent half the week roaming the grid looking at castles! And found another that... well. I won't wax lyrical about it on this post as I'm sure it will get a post all to itself soon, but I have to say it just tips the scales on the previous lot (sorry, Baron Q!!) I do still like the Castle Q castles, very much - they are lighter and more spacious, much easier to live in for practical purposes - but they are more like pretty summer castles for a fairy princess (or perhaps a fairy dragon!) and not quite so dragonish. I will probably end up getting one anyway, so I can switch and enjoy both - I never like to live in the same house for very long - but for the moment, I think I'm going to get the Dragon Castle. Only problem was, that was too large for my current parcel! My partner, after seeing me sigh and gaze longingly at the screen all night, said he thought we could probably afford a slight raise in expenditure, with the result that I upgraded my land - fate clearly intends me to have a castle, because a parcel twice the size opened up for rent slap bang opposite, and I switched in a trice :)

Monday, 11 June 2012

When Hair Attacks...

My apologies to Wasabi Pills. The hairstyle is 'Maeve' and I actually really like it, and might end up buying it for my dryad avies. It's not their fault, and it's a problem common to all prim hair, particularly long ponytail styles - but incidents like this really make you appreciate mesh! I was looking for mesh demos when I found this, and I really like the WP hairstyles so they'll do good out of me in the end despite this joke.

To be fair, I was dancing - the hair didn't stick through me on a normal AO. But I love the way the combination of dance pose and hair-spear makes it look as though I've died! AAAARGH!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Colour Challenge 23 - Pistachio

This challenge continues to surprise me. Seeing this week's colour, I was not happy; I would have said that this class of green (Rudh described it very well as 'toxic snot') was one of my least favourite hues. Then I managed to put together a really cool avatar, found the most gorgeous sim for a photoshoot, and took what I think are my best pictures so far - it has certainly switched around my emotional perception of the colour! I will still, albeit affectionately, think of it as 'swamp ooze' however. There is a sort of story to this post, as the introduction to a character-avatar. Hope you enjoy :)

~O~ Legend of the Deep Ones ~O~

Greetings; or as my people say, "curl of the wave crest." I am Ya'nathli'ctukan, High Priestess of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. I know our language is difficult for human tongues, so you may think of me as Ya'na. You may have heard of our race, whose name translates simply as 'Deep Ones' or 'Dwellers of the Deep'. We bear a sorry burden of false tales and misunderstandings, such that it might be better if you have not heard our name before, and know only the wilder, stranger myths. We are the sirens and mermaids and selkies of your stories, only much of the detail belongs firmly within fairytale. We don't have fish-tails in place of limbs, and we don't dress up in animal skins to change our shape. That happens naturally, and gradually, with age. As you will see from my photographs, I am quite young still, only a decade shy of a century. Our elders stay below the waves and would not permit a photographic record, for good reason. Even in this "twenty first" century of enlightenment and science, much prejudice would attach to our appearance as we 'grow towards the Deep'. Then why, you might ask, do I come to you at all? Simply put, I feel that it is time for us to enter into the public consciousness, and to set straight the more egregious rumours concerning our kind. The earth grows ever smaller as humanity expands, both in numbers and in technological achievement. It is inevitable that some day, our worlds will meet. I would like that meeting to be a smooth and peaceful transition rather than a sudden and fateful collision. Judge us, please, not by the fireside shadow-play of your melodramatic yarn-spinners, but as I present myself, on behalf of my people, in simple and, I hope elegant truth.

Here you see me, Staff of Office in hand, as I tread the sacred ground of an ancient and revered temple of our people. These ruins, once a mighty and graceful underwater complex,  were cast up above the waves by successive volcanic activity, which rendered the region uninhabitable and forced my ancestors to flee to their current abode.

I stand upon a buttress and look out over the salty inlet of the sea, which eagerly attempts to reclaim that which the earth's beating heart has cast up out of its grasp. One day, the sea will prevail. She grinds as patiently and mercilessly as Time itself. To either side of the archway, you can see the robed Pilgrims, symbolic figures who represent the growth transition of our race from passable humans to... something else.

Here I have discovered an ancient altar, a place which brings mixed and weighty emotions. It is true that once, our kind did practise blood sacrifice to our gods; but those old ways are abhorrent to us now. We have advanced in moral reasoning just as you, our races intertwined in both genes and culture; for how many human religions once practised sacrificial murder, just as ours? Let us agree not to judge one another on the basis of our ancestors' mistakes. For me, this temple and this altar bring the same kind of fascination and rapport as it would to you to visit the ruined temples of the Incas or the Aztecs.

I pose beneath a broken, yet still beautiful 'rose' window that looks out onto another of the iconic Pilgrims, who decorate all our places of worship, guarding and guiding the faithful. Once this window gave onto an undersea landscape of waving corals and rainbow coloured fish, instead of the monotonous fecundity of dry land plant life. Yes yes, I know there is a skull by my feet, please do not be distracted by such archaeological details.

I leave the inner sanctum and return to the walls, where I stand a moment against the sky. The soft wind stirs my hair in the manner of the ocean currents which once threaded these cloisters. The ivy climbing the pillared blocks behind me is a poor mimic of the ocean flora of bygone days, which would have coloured the walls in a natural resplendence of every shape and hue, like living, fronded jewels.

A little pensive as I recall the lost beauty of this place, I turn to the camera, and to you. Am I really so ugly in your sight? I assure you that many of your race came willingly to intermarry and strengthen our bloodline. I do not say that history has not seen occasional kidnappings, or 'sacrificial' exchanges of human brides and grooms; but in the main, particularly here in our original homeland, the admixture of our kindreds was looked on with  complicit reverence by both sides. Would that such days could come again. The humanity in our blood grows thin as we are forced to be ever more secretive in our ways, and though the Elders of our race are populous, they are also sterile in their age. We need our younger, more human 'dry-breathers' to keep us from eventual stagnation. For while we cannot die, excepting by violence, no race can survive without the rejuvenating principle and fresh perspectives of its children.

A fitting place to ponder on the cycles of life and death, I stand upon a bulwark overlooking the ocean as it seethes around an abutment of volcanic rock. What the earth pushes forth, the sea wears away, in an endless and harmonious dance. Beside me hang skulls upon a pedestal; not trophies, nor macabre warnings to would-be malefactors, but hallowed relics - the preserved bones of former priests and priestesses of my order, killed by tragic accident or in battle. The larger skull is of a most venerable Elder, probably so grown towards the Deep that he would find it hard to move around above the water. Some day I, too, will grow and change so that my skull, were it to be removed, would look like this. Some day I, too, will  dive beneath the waves one final time, never to resurface; to spend the rest of my ageless existence in the gentle Deep, breathing water, the wind in sun-stippled leaves above my head but a fond and distant memory.

So, gentle reader, are you now reluctant or intrigued; horrified, or curious - both to know more, and to meet us - meet me! - in the living flesh? I hope I have illustrated our existence in a kinder light than hitherto has been the case. Please forgive my skimming over the details of our racial ageing process, as while quite natural, our Elders could be a little startling to the newly enlightened. Nothing is secret, or to be withheld, but for the sake of harmonious adjustment, let us introduce them once better acquainted. I bid you safe partings, and may the currents bear you to prosperity!

~O~ Credits ~O~

Location: Lost World - truly the most beautiful sim I've visited yet, there is always some extra detail to discover and the builds and textures are peerless; I could live here!
Windlight: Places Abracadabra2

Hair: Griddie 'Oy' in Lime - this incredible hair is in constant movement, lovely for photos
Skin & Eyes: Skinthesis 'True Mermaid' avatar - *sold currently for L$10* 
(full avatar includes shape (male & female), fins and tribal/fishing outfit, as pictured)
Outfit: Falln Kimono ~ Lime Dragonflies
ni.ju tintable claws
Pixel Puss clawed feet
Schadenfreude Mer-elf ears (not that you can see them under all that hair!)

I stumbled across the avatars while browsing other bloggers' favourites; I am indebted to ╬▓loomy Miles for her awesome picture, for the purchase heads-up, and for the location; and to MoonFallon for favouriting it in the first place. I only used the skin and eyes - although I did mod my face shape in line with the original avatar, to get that 'fishy' feel of large eyes and lips with receding nose and chin. I hope I still managed to keep her cute ;) The original avatars are awesomely cool, but I also wanted to look more traditionally pretty - partly just to kick over the old 'monsters are ugly' cliche and partly because Ya'na is dressed up to the nines in her religious robes and regalia. The figures in ╬▓loomy's post are probably every-day swamp hunters in their practical work gear. For the inquisitive, Ya'na's race is based on the early 20th century horror stories by H.P. Lovecraft and if you really want a peek at how the elder Deep Ones turn out after their slow transformation, check out my Shuttle Grey post. You can see why she's being coy ;)

Close detail of ornamentation
Left top to bottom: JASstore SeaSpirit Necklace *Octopus* (with animated water texture); Firefly hairpin by Ferryn MyriamIllusions Dragonfly hair comb
Centre: Tekeli-li Star Spawn Loremaster staff (retinted, has animated eyeball)
Right top to bottom: Skinthesis True Mermaid fish hook piercing; bewildebeest Booty Ring. 

The detail in this ring is astonishing but sadly, I realised that it's so tiny, you don't really notice it unless you zoom up close - and on a moving target, with the annoying tendency of the camera to move THROUGH prims (and avatars!) when you get close, I doubt anyone is going to go to the effort required. Still, it's beautiful and I love it ^.^

Just one more photo!

Windlight: Orac - Drawing underground comic
While I was looking for a suitable windlight setting, I came across this one, which put bizarre red highlights on a lot of the scenery (and Katlien's fur!) but really showed up the vividness of the lime [pistachio] green in my hair and outfit. I had a wonderful time doing this week's challenge, and I've discovered a new respect for an initially repugnant colour, as well as an amazing sim. Thank you Luna for inspiring my creativity! :)