~LIV-Glam everyday!!~

I honestly wasn’t planning on doing a post today…I am already backlogged with things that need to be accomplished… yesterday. However, all these commitments are exciting…I have my first fashion editorial client and I am muddling through all the details of starting a new business; more information on that coming up in about a week.

So to blow off a little steam, and to reward myself for learning how to create 3D text in CS6, I stopped by LIV-Glam to check out her fabulous weekly sale items.
~Styling~
Not only did I find this gorgeous Anikin Bodycon Dress for an absolute steal at 99L, but I also scored the furniture, pictures and accessories displayed behind me; also for the amazing price of only 99L for the whole set!  Wait!!  It doesn’t stop there…part of the LIV-Glam genius is that her items are sold as HUDs.  What that means is when you purchase an item it is delivered as a HUD…you wear/add the HUD and choose the size you will wear…then the item is delivered to your inventory for you to use.

NO MORE cluttering up your inventory with a gazillion different sizes of the same item, no more tediously deleting ALL the other sizes that usually come with your clothing purchase…you simply wear the HUD, select your size and wear the item once it is delivered to you.  Once you are finished wearing the outfit, you can simply delete it…and choose a new one from the HUD next time you want to wear the outfit.

Don’t detach that HUD just yet…because most of the LIV-Glam clothing comes with a plethora of pattern or color choices that you change via the HUD.  Once you are wearing the clothing items you can simply click on the pattern/color choice you want, on the HUD, and your clothing will recolor/re-pattern itself!  Brilliant!

Now, let’s do the math…I purchased this dress for 99L, a HUGE bargain for all this sexy in just one color, BUT the HUD comes loaded with 6 dress color presets and six belt color presets….hmmmm I think I just walked away with a few free dresses!

EVERY week LIV-Glam puts out several new designs priced between 55L-99L.  Her textures and designs are fun and fabulous and the customer service is off the charts.  I had a small vendor delivery issue and it was resolved in under 5 min…not to mention I was treated incredibly well by Aisha and Maven; thank you ladies <3<3.  It just doesn’t get better than this….or does it?
~Styling~
Notice the chair now has new fabric on it…well the Air De Paris set also is delivered as a HUD…where you can either choose to have items delivered to your inventory piece by piece or as a set.  So, if you choose to have it delivered as a set…it rezzes as a linked set.  You will need to choose the chair to be delivered individually, because they come with 10 fabric pattern presets which also gives you the added versatility of mixing and matching the chair back and seat pattern.

Other Ephemera


Skin:  Belleza

Eyes:      Ikon

Eyeliner:     LpD

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* 

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB::

Beauty Marks:  [:T:]

Hands:     Slink

Hair:  .:EMO-tions:.

Shoes:    [Diktator]

Wedding Ring Set:  CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELLRY

Agam Ring:     *TWISHEE*

Necklace and Earrings:     Indyra Originals

Shot at my personal studio using LUMIPro lighting and aDORKable Poses tweaked with Animare.

*Please also note that I am NOT a mainstream fashion blogger and I DO edit my pictures…please try demos before purchasing items.

~Love~

There are many in SL who vehemently insist that SL is SL and First Life is First Life and NEVER the twain shall meet. There are yet others who have managed to strike a balance between how much of the two worlds they allow to crossover. Then there are those, albeit rare, who find themselves completely immersing the two lives…my husband and I are two of those people.
Zenshi6

The man wearing the fabulous new mesh tuxedo from LAPOINTE & BASTCHILD is my wonderful husband Douglas Caldwell.  Neither one of us was particularly in search of a relationship in SL and neither one of us ever gave thought to any SL relationship transmuting to First Life….it just happened.  Our first meeting in SL was completely random and it was clear from that first connection that this relationship was going to be different.

First, we didn’t go through that whole “madly in love” phase…we were just immediately comfortable with one another; like friends who have known each other for years.  Communicating with one another was just a flow of easy conversation…and before we knew it we were living together in First Life as well.  We are approaching our one year anniversary and I cannot begin to explain how much his loving presence has changed SL and FL.

I can’t tell you that mixing SL and FL is good or bad…I only know that for us it has somehow just worked.  Every relationship is unique to the two people involved; regardless of which “world” or “life” it is built in.  What has worked for us is simplicity…we have always just been the same, beautifully flawed, human beings in both worlds.  Our avatars may not look like our First Life selves, but our hearts and our spirits have remained the same in both worlds.

I love you Mr. Caldwell.
Zenshi4

My hair is the fabulous Zoey (Saffron) from *Bliss Couture* and the stunning Harvest jewelry set is from CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELRY;  as is my Kismet wedding set.  My top is a classic “go to” wardrobe selection, Poet Shirt II (Cream), from ~Sassy!~ and my pants, Kay, are from MOLiCHiNO (Fabulous classic styles).

Other Ephemera

Skin:     Glam Affair

Eyes:      Ikon

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* 

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB::

Beauty Marks:  [:T:]

Boots:     SimiLar Quality Italian Ladies Shoes and Boots

Hands:     Slink

Poses:     aDORKable Poses

On Doug

Skin:     Belleza

Eyes:     FDM ALIVE EYES

Hair:     Calico Creations

Shoes:     Immerschon

Shot on location at Zenshi using LUMIPro HUD V3 Version 3.2 lighting.

*Please note that I am NOT a mainstream SL Fashion Blogger and that I DO edit my pictures…please try demos before purchasing items.

~Yasum…you too can LIV-Glam!!~

I finally had the chance to visit *LIV-Glam*, a few days ago, and I was NOT disappointed.  Despite the fact that I am a bit late in “discovering” Ms. Samantha S. Jones’ store…I am making up for the lost time with my *LIV-Glam* purchases!  The l ALEIDA l bo furjacket set I am wearing today is actually a free hunt item in her store…however, you will likely see more of her things on my blog; in the future.
~LIV-Glam~

The funky shoes are from Yasum Design and are called *Geisha Geta Punk*…and with good reason…they have a delicious twist from traditional geta with their tip toe design.  The detail and texture, of the shoe, is fabulous…my only wish is that the foot were a bit more refined and the HUD were easier to work…but that isn’t deterring me from wearing them to death; they are just so much fun to wear and build outfits around.  Oh, and they come in several different pattern/solid tone choices and are priced at a very reasonable 99Lfor the single or 499L for the fatpack of all seven designs.
Snapshot_027PS61
I’m also wearing yet another amazing hair, Looking, from [e]Elikatira is having a HUGE retirement sale and you can pick up a single color pack or the “essentials” pack for the incredible price of only 70L!!  No outfit is ever complete without something from CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELLRY.  In this instance, it is one of the gorgeous group gifts, Tabula Rasa (Necklace and earrings), the amazingly talented Belle Roussel generously blesses her members with. <3<3
Snapshot_013PM

Drop dead luminous eyes are from the Eternal Collection (Black/L) at Ikon.  Mr. Innovia…you have a new stalker!

Other Ephemera

Ring (on right hand):  *TWISHEE* (no longer available)

Wedding Ring Set:     CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELLRY

Skin:  Belleza

Eyeliner:     LpD

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* 

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB::

Beauty Marks:  [:T:]

Hands:     Slink

Poses:     aDORKable Poses

Full body and foot pics shot on location at Avenue Headquarters, using William Weaver’s phototools windlight Horizon Building Light preset and LUMIPro HUD V 3.2.  The headshot was captured in my personal studio aslo using LUMIPro V 3.2

*Please also note that I am NOT a mainstream fashion blogger and I DO edit my pictures…please try demos before purchasing items.

~Change~

It is always around this time of year that I become more reflective.  I start shifting things around the homestead, organizing my desktop, and assessing my avatar for updates.  Usually these updates are minor, but I will admit I look drastically different from my rez day on October 5, 2008.
Xiu Sing's

Yes..this is me…fresh off Welcome Island.  Well, actually, it is about a week out…by this time I had switched out my eyes to these neon aqua ones and attempted my first “editing” project by lengthening the back of my hair. Of course, I thought I looked pretty good, but it didn’t take long to notice that there were better options to change my look.  There have obviously been a multitude of changes in skin and tweaking my shape over the years…but I have always wanted to keep a “Eurasian” look for her.  It hasn’t been easy, and there have definitely been some mis-steps with skins, but I think I’ve finally found a skin that compliments the look I have been working toward.  The Belleza Aiko (Pale) skin looks just stunning on me!
~Change~

I have absolutely adored Belleza skin for ages…but kinda gave up on it as an option because it never really fit the look I was trying to achieve.  Having said this, the ONLY place I took my husband for skin was Belleza; it is simply flawless on him.

I know Aiko was released a while ago, but, as I said, I had given up on Belleza as a skin option; I don’t think Aiko was around when I stopped trying on the Belleza demos. I am so thrilled that I decided to take a random trip back to see what Tricky Boucher had created lately!  The moment I tried the Aiko demo on…I knew I had finally found THE skin for me…THE skin that took over four years to find!  It is simply the perfect Asian skin…rendered with a deft and talented hand; crafted with an eye for the true nuances that mark the subtle beauty of ethnic skin.  Thank you Mr. Boucher…my husband and I both adore our Belleza skins! <3<3
~Change~

My outfit today starts with the Amy top and Zoey pants from /erratic/.  I can’t effuse enough about how fabulous this shirt and these pants are!  The shirt has gorgeous draping…with the front loosely tucked in…the back is untucked but lies wonderfully against the pant. It isn’t easy to wear separate mesh pieces and have them “layer” over each other without issues….but this shirt works!  The pants fit like a glove and have a buttery soft texture to them…with attention to even the smallest detail; such as the pull tab and slider on the zippers.

I finished off my look with the gorgeous Sound hair from [e].  Elikatira is having a HUGE retirement sale (HURRY back with your gorgeous newness soon!!).  It isn’t easy trying to get into the store right now…but WELL worth it…so RUN!!!  My necklace is part of the latest release set, **Attar**, from +:+WTG+:+; found at the new round of Limited Bazaar.  My Bracelet is part of the Harvest set from CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELLRY, the Agam ring (no longer available), on my right hand, is from *TWISHEE*, and my adorable Beagle, named Bagel, is part of the Z Bag from ZOOBY’S.

Other Ephemera

Eyes:      Ikon

Eyeliner:     LpD

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* 

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB::

Beauty Marks:  [:T:]

Curved Wedges (Black):     [RA] RunAway

Hands:     Slink

Poses:     aDORKable Poses

Shot at my private studio using Scarlet Creative For William Weaver Art Gallery build using Lumipro lighting.

*Please also note that I am NOT a mainstream fashion blogger and I DO edit my pictures…please try demos before purchasing items.

~Embracing the Ice Queen Teaser~

I LOVE those moments when you are just chatting with someone and they say “Would you like to see my latest creation?”!!  Ummm…let me think about that…hell yes!  It is one of the many things I absolutely adore about Sascha Frangilli, owner/creator of Sascha’s Designs…only one, mind you, because she is simply one of the most fun, caring, creative and generous people I’ve met in SL.  She is just sooo spontaneous…and a conversation with her will leave you laughing till it hurts and loaded down with gifts of her incredible designs!!

So, even though it is not yet released, here is her latest creation…the Embrace IceQueen Christmas Gown.
Snapshot_012PM5

I am NOT doing this dress nearly the justice it deserves.  In the pic I am wearing only one of several skirt options (the grande skirt).  I am also wearing both the breast feather decoration and the shoulder feather decoration; each piece is individual so you can wear one decoration on just one side.  The feather head piece can be substituted with her amazing Halo; which is a large multipointed star that halos the back of the head and shoulders. There is also a ruffled collar piece if you do not want to wear the feather decorations.
Snapshot_017OM3

The hair is booN DES423 hair black with the booN gathered mid hairbase, the skin is – Jadis- Natural Clean (a) from Glam Affair and the gorgeous necklace and earring set is the Silvester set (white) from Alienbear Designs.
If you’d like to see the dress…I will be wearing it all weekend at the Weekend of Art & Fashion Event at The Beguiled Art Gallery & Studio…stop by and take a peek before it is released!

While you are wandering the grounds and admiring the art…you can also pick up two exclusive gowns from Sascha’s Designs…available ONLY at this event for the weekend!!

The Beguiled Art Gallery & Studio

The Other Details

Hands:     Slink Mesh rigged hands Elegant.

Eyeliner:     LpD  Prim Eyeliner (black)

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* Eyelashes- 11-Showgirl

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB:: (Beetlebones) Mesh Lashes V.01 (SLEB Black)

Beauty Marks:  [:T:] Beauty Marks tattoo layers (layer option 2) [:Tuli:]

Poses:     ADORKable Poses Sleek Dork Pack (pose modified using Animare)

Shot on location at the amazing Calas Galadhon!!

Me and my Zibska shadow…

I just scored this fabulous Plaisance dress from Zibska~Jewelry, Roots & Couture!  It was really tough to decide which outfit to purchase, because Zibska has some really creative…or, as she aptly describes it, punk nouveau designs.
Me and my shadow...
I absolutely love the geometric, three dimensional, hollow boxes with their gray scale harlequin design.  It makes me think…art and fashion meet science…just brilliant!  (click through the pics to see the detail of the dress)

I chose to accessorize the dress with the ethereal Glam Affair Roza Unamed skin, the fashion forward Just Design Mesh Creations Deviant Shoes, Tuty’s LIMBO Short Wet Hairstyle, and Mime Eyes from Dirty Cute-Ugly Duck (store is empty and eyes not currently available).
Me and my shadow...
William Weaver’s build 002 served as a perfect backdrop for the shoot and The Apple Spice Fighting Gravity Poses from Apple Spice, cStar Limited and AnTi-Social highlight the fabulous quirkiness of this dress.
Me and my shadow...I’ve been visiting the Lumipro blogspot to learn more about how to get the best usage out of my Lumipro HUD from Stefan Buscaylet.  So, on this shoot, I kept fiddling with the lights and found a way to make the shadows pop and become part of the focal point of the pics.

I know they aren’t perfect and I broke the rules…but I had a blast composing and taking the pics. My biggest disappointment with them is knowing how much I really need to learn more about using layering/masks so that I can get a better color balance to the pics.  The skin is wayyyy to bright here…despite adjusting the intensity, fall off, radius and color of the Lumipro lamp.

It’s all part of the journey and staying captivated.

The Other Details

Hands:     Slink Mesh rigged hands Elegant.

Eyeliner:     LpD  Prim Eyeliner (black)

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* Eyelashes- 11-Showgirl

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB:: (Beetlebones) Mesh Lashes V.01 (SLEB Black)

Beauty Marks:  [:T:] Beauty Marks tattoo layers (layer option 2) [:Tuli:]

Teeth:     PXL creations [ PXL ] OpenMouth PRO with HUD

Lips:     .:Glamorize:. Rival Black Combo Makeup

Learning as I go…

It’s been a few days since I posted because I was having major issues with trying to take high rez snaps in Firestorm…for almost a week.  I have no idea what the issue was and I tried the several suggestions that came via the SLU forums…to no avail.  So after the last major freeze then crash, while trying to enable shadows, I switched over to Niran’s Viewer.  I’d heard it was excellent for SL photography.  Still not sure about that…as it is a HUGE learning curve just trying to acquaint myself with the viewer set-up. (AND the sky preset windlight choices are far fewer in Niran’s).  For now I am bouncing between the two hoping to either resolve the love-hate relationship my video card is having with FS or to fully commit to Niran’s.

Anyway, on Monday I had shots (taken in Niran’s) all ready to post for a mash-up dress I’d composed out of two hunt items…but I couldn’t make up my mind which shots to edit/use and finally decided 99% of them were pure crap shots.  Soooo I decided to just start with editing the head shot I took to show the Glam Affair skin (from the WomenStuff Hunt) and the new group gift ChiChickie Iris hair.

This is a the first crop of the raw capture:
test niran's_006PM4

One thing led to another and this post morphed into showing the process and progress of how I am learning to edit my SL photography.  Let me qualify now…I KNOW I am NOT the best photographer…I KNOW I have a LOT to learn…and I KNOW that I make a lot of mistakes.  BUT, through all the mistakes, frustration, lack of editing software skills and pretty much self-teaching…I am enjoying discovering how I can approach SL photography in my own unique way.

First draft of editing…cropped it a bit tighter, rebuilt the crappy nose and tried to maintain the original texture of the skin:
test niran's_006PM3

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the end result…I’d messed up the lovely texture of the skin while trying to fix a few blemishes…which left it splotchy looking. I struggled with going further in editing the face.  After all, there is a point at which the skin no longer looks like the one you will buy.  If I were a fashion photographer and were highlighting the skin for you to run out and grab…I’d leave it as unedited as possible.  BUT, I am NOT a fashion blogger/photographer…I am just someone in SL who enjoys fashion, shopping, photography, art and exploring new places. So I have more creative leeway when it comes to how much I can edit my pics.

My “finished” pic:
Learning as I go...
It took me several hours to edit this pic (on and off…a girl has to sleep eventually)…and I’m sure that someone with mad PS skills could have done it in only minutes.  I did all the editing for this photo in Picmonkey…where I hunt and peck for things…make a LOT of mistakes and learn a great deal from those mistakes.  I break a lot of rules (mostly because I don’t know that I have until I do)…I don’t own PS (That’s a LOT of cash to lay out!), and my skills with Gimp are extremely limited (I can open it…does that count for anything?). I ask as many questions as I can (without trying to be a pest), take classes at Builders Brewery and study other SL photographers work.

In the end…EVERYTHING is open to individual interpretation, we all learn on our own curve and there is usually always more than one way to approach anything in life…including photography and editing.  I’ll continue to make mistakes to learn from and I welcome any help/constructive advice someone takes the time to give me.

Here are several resources that I tap into to try to continue to add new skills, learn and grow:

  • Builder’s Brewery often has excellent classes on photography from beginner to intermediate…check the schedule (online or inworld) for times and dates.
  • Youtube (just enter the search term for the tutorial you are interested in…e.g. “Photo Shop Tutorials”)
  • Strawberry Singh has fantastic tutorials on SL photography. I don’t know her personally, but I am thankful for her kind spirit in sharing what she does.  Study her work…she is fantastic!
  • Cajsa Lilliehook, from It’s Only Fashion, is very knowledgeable in fashion,  photography, blogging and marketing.  She generously shares that knowledge with her readers on the Tutorials & PSAs tab.
  • I belong to over 90 Flickr photography and fashion groups; where I can study fabulous SL photography and post my work for feedback.  If you go to my page, you will find a list of the groups I belong to.  Click on the group link to check it out and to join the group.  While you’re on my page…check out the people who are on my contact list…I am constantly adding people to that list…people who’s amazing work I have noticed and want to follow.  I add them as a contact so I can be alerted when they post new work.
  • In-world I have truly wonderful artist friends who patiently answer my questions.  I also attend in-world art exhibits; to study the work and to support the hardworking artists.
  • Finally, I recently became actively involved, in the SL art community, by organizing/hosting the upcoming Autumn Art Walk that will be running from November 17-Dec 15 at The Beguiled Art Gallery & Studio.

Art and Life are fleeting…stay captivated!  <3<3

Eyes:  Curio Tragic Eyes, Neptune (Large/Shine) (Prim eyes) Sadly not available at this time…HURRY back PLEASE Gala! <3<3

Eyeliner:     LpD  Prim Eyeliner (black)

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* Eyelashes- 11-Showgirl

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB:: (Beetlebones) Mesh Lashes V.01 (SLEB Black)

Beauty Marks:  [:T:] Beauty Marks tattoo layers (layer option 2) [:Tuli:]

Teeth: KIKI (Came with a skin I bought from them)