EveryBody Deserves to be Happy!

EDTBH 1
Last week Lucie Bluebird did something amazing – she launched Project EveryBody. The project encourages us all to stop judging ourselves and others for how we choose to look in this virtual world (and out if it) – I highly recommend reading her interesting and thought-provoking posts.

For her first blogger challenge from this site, Lucie encourages us to be brave, to create a look we might usually have never dared to try – something that we might admire but is too far from our perception of our virtual selves or out of our comfort zone for us to have previously embraced.

It took me a good while to figure out what to do for this challenge as I think that I’m pretty flexible about what I blog and I genuinely am attracted to many different styles – it’s usually time that constrains me rather than willingness. Then I realised: Chiana has never had boobs. I’ve seen absolutely amazing avatars that have mesh breasts but, while admiring them, I never felt that the look was ‘for me.’ Initially I wasn’t sure how to go about making Chiana more busty – which implants to try and how easy they would be to fit – and then I remembered something that is gaining a lot of attention right now – the WowMeh fitted mesh body by Baby Ghosn (in-world store here, blog here). I hadn’t bought one earlier as I wasn’t convinced it would add that much to my general look but I read that it had recently been updated to work with breast sliders so I thought it might be perfect for this post.

The body itself is headless and works with SL shape sliders so it’s really easy to adjust and get your own unique look that’s a lot more flexible to what can be achieved with the standard avatar. It comes with a lot of nice features including a set of casual hands and flat feet (I also purchased the additional tiptoe feet) but you can, with a little effort, make it work with Slink attachments too. I had some difficulty with seams that didn’t show so much in my poses but that I wouldn’t be happy walking around with BUT I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to get everything ‘just right’ and it seems to me, and judging by feedback from others, that it should be possible. In any case, WowMeh is still a work in progress and updates are free so it will be interesting to see how the body develops and it’s a lot of fun watching more skin and clothing creators get on board.

EDTBH 2&3

(I think this is also the first time I’ve had my nipples out in this blog – so we’ll see what that does for site traffic πŸ˜‰ )

As I began playing with my shape to balance out my new mighty boobs I realised I didn’t want to stop there: I decided I would also utilise this challenge to be brave about something the real-life me has a lot of trouble with – reveling in a much curvier shape. My own body has grown so much over the years, for various reasons, but my self-love has never grown with it. I’ve denied myself so many fun activities just because I think I’d look idiotic doing them, always with the promise that I’ll do them ‘when I’m thin again’ and I never, ever, look at myself as being sexy even when people in my life have insisted that I am. So, you can imagine that the idea of being the centre of attention, on stage, flaunting my shape is pretty much the stuff of my nightmares. At the same time, I adore women that are comfortable enough in their own skins to not care what others may think and who just fucking own it! – I wanted to join their ranks, if only for one glorious virtual moment!

What really surprised me over the course of preparing this post is how much I’ve come to love this shape – I think it looks adorable. Obviously, it’s still pretty idealised – nothing sags or has stretch-marks – and I wouldn’t say it’s even particularly that fat – but it’s pretty large by SL standards and I’ve certainly been this size in real life and still felt like a whale which, when I look back now, is an awful lot of wasted time hating myself when I could have been out having fun and being happy.

Being larger in SL has its own challenges – getting anything with standard sizing to fit is obviously not likely to be possible but I’m already looking forward to seeing what other outfits I can put together. While I still can’t see this becoming my default ‘look,’ I think I’ll be using it a lot more than I expected to: I’m going to be taking Curvy Chiana out and about and maybe, just maybe, as she gets braver, I will too.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with the words of a woman who has much inspired the ‘real life’ me – the first time I heard it I cried with relief that there was someone out there brave enough to say these things, to challenge the ideas of ‘accepted beauty,’ and she started me on my own, admittedly shaky, journey to body acceptance.

Full credits follow the video and remember, whoever you are, whatever you look like in whatever world, you are beautiful.

Yes you are.

❀

Credits

Clothing
WowMeh Applier: ‘Bodysuit (Black)‘ – Hawt Spot ClothingL$25 (applier only)

Body
Hair: ‘Shimmer‘ – MagikaL$250 – Pack 1 (30 colours via HUD)
Skin (face and hands): β€˜Oceane (Ivory)β€˜ – Filthy – L$490 – discounted Fatpack
Skin (body): one of the basic tones included with the WowMeh body
Lipstick: ‘Lip Balm (Blood)‘ – AlyceL$90 – 20-colour pack
Lipshine: β€˜Diamond Lips Lip Gloss – Dark Midday Designs – L$1 – Dollarbie (Marketplace)
Eyes: β€˜Liquid Light Eyes (London Fog, w2)β€˜ – Mayfly – L$0 – Free Colour
Lashes: β€˜Tableau Lashesβ€˜ – Cheap Makeup – L$0 – Freebie (Marketplace)
Mesh Body: ‘WowMeh Headless Fitted Mesh Body‘ – WowMehL$899
Hands: β€˜AvEnhance Hands (Elegant)β€˜ – Slink – L$450 (wearing included basic nailpolish)
Feet: ‘TipToe Feet‘ – WowMehL$50 – Promo Price (wearing included basic nailpolish)
Shape: a heavily modified version of my usual shape

Decor
Stage: ‘Les Folies Vintage Sideshow‘ – POSTL$800 (includes much more than pictured)
Sign: ‘Big & Beautiful‘ – by Chiana Oh (not for sale)

Photo Tools
Pose (Main Pic): ‘Diamonds 1 (w/Swing)‘ – {NanTra}L$60 – 7 poses/1 prop ($60L Weekend Promo Price)*
(*hand & neck positions modified slightly with Animare)
Pose (Pic 2): ‘Diamonds 2 (mirror)‘ –Β {NanTra}L$60 – 7 poses/1 prop ($60L Weekend Promo Price)
Pose (Pic 3): ‘P.Y.T. 3‘ – ploomL$75 – 10-pose pack (Lazy Sunday Promo Price)
Facial Expressions: β€˜Expression HUD v1.0β€˜ – AnyPose – L$0 – Freebie
Facelight: β€˜Light Lab v1β€˜ – Color Lab – L$0 – Freebie (Marketplace)
Windlight Setting: ‘Silver‘ by StrawberrySingh.com
Editing: GIMP & PicMonkey

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My Secret Garden

My Secret Garden 1
It’s been a busy couple of weeks of updating my inventory and generally re-acclimatising myself so it’s taken a little more time than I planned to get another blog post out; I’m feeling much more ‘with it’ now so their frequency should increase – I certainly have a lot to share!

While I’ve been discovering lots of new (to me) places, I’ve also re-visited some old favourites. This beautiful hair, ‘Shine,‘ was recently released by Sabina Gully of Magika and, as soon as I saw it, it was a realΒ shut-up-and-take-my-money moment. I’ve always loved her style but I think she’s possibly outdone herself for sheer adorability with this one! Sabina’s colour packs are ridiculously generous, too – L$250 for 30 colours? Total bargain.

It’s also really good to see Filthy back in business: I remember the doors being closed some time before I took my blogging break so I was excited to find them again on my return. The skin I’m wearing here is a Group Gift (the group is free to join and there are a generous amount of gifts out) and I pretty much haven’t taken it off since I tried it on. I just think the face is so pretty; the only make-up enhancements I made were adding lashes and a little lip gloss so the subtle glow of the cheeks and gorgeous eyeshadow you can see are all part of the skin in its out-of-the bag state. Beautiful work!

..

Amongst the stores I hadn’t shopped at before are MOLiCHiNO, Violent Seduction and Lil Things. I discovered, thanks to Seraphim, that MOLiCHiNO are back in SL following their own break so I visited to see if I liked owner Aurelia Chauveau’s style (I did!) and take part in the contest Seraphim mentions. The contest has ended now but the VIP Group is still free to join until the end of the month and there are some lovely gifts out already. While I was there I picked up this sweet ‘Pixie Dress‘ – I love its cut and texture but my absolute favourite thing about it has to be the folds and shading.. that kind of detail is just so yummy!

The epically cute ‘Heart Heels‘ I’m wearing (detailed pic here) are by Iki Akiri of Violent Seduction and they are addons for the Slink Medium feet. I had to adjust these somewhat to fit – resize and reposition – I’m only mentioning this because there is no demo and it would be easy to have a wah-they-don’t-fit! moment when you put them on out of the box.. but it pays to remember that these fab shoes are totally modifiable (which is always a massive plus to me) and it took me all of two minutes to get them looking perfect on my footsies.

In looking for a necklace to finish off this outfit I stumbled across LillyRose Delicioso’s lil store ‘Lil Things‘ on the Marketplace. I stalked her profile, as I always do, and noticed she had a small in-world store next to The Little Bat so I hopped on over and picked up her lovely ‘Doe‘ necklace there – and I’m very happy with its sweet design.

These meshes are all the original designs of the respective people I’ve mentioned – so, if you shop in their stores, you are picking up some truly unique (as well as beautiful) items. The amount of talent in Second Life never ceases to amaze me and I know a lot of work goes into the things we buy for such small amounts of money. I’ve recently been trying to learn how to use Blender and the resulting headache it’s given me has cranked up my admiration even higher: you lovely designers are simply incredible!

..

Finally, I want to say a few words about the garden items I’ve picked up in order to showcase this outfit – I’m aware this post has become pretty long so I’m going to have to be fairly general – all were really inexpensive (some even free) and all are modifiable. The sakura tree comes with many lovely touch-driven options and the delightful walled garden has a working door and built-in sounds (you’re probably gonna see this in a LOT more posts!) If you are looking for similar items it would certainly be worth a peep at the credits and following the links to the Marketplace ads which give great detail on just what is included.

Scroll down for detailed credits.

I’m trying to better document everything I put in or use to edit a blog picture to be more precise and transparent so they are longer than usual but I’ve split them into sections that hopefully makes it easier for you to find the items you’re interested in.

I’m not going to go as far as detail exactly what I’m enabling in PhotoTools because mostly I just keep faffing around until it looks about right to me.. I’m still learning how best to use them for my particular set-up and I actually had quite a lot of trouble taking this close-up shot after I updated to the lastest version of Firestorm. I was going to talk more about that here but this post is already way too long, so I’m going to do a follow-up post showing some of the difficulties I had and what I did to resolve them for anyone that’s interested – not so much a tutorial as a.. I dunno.. learn-along?

Until then, ❀

My Secret Garden 2

Credits

Clothing
Dress: ‘Pixie Dress (Sky)‘ – MOLiCiNOL$229
Socks: ‘Cozy Socks (Blue Rose)‘ – LarkL$25 – Gacha (with Slink Applier)
Shoes: ‘Heart Heel (Peach)‘ – Violent SeductionL$300

Accessories
Necklace: ‘Doe (Bronze)‘ – Lil ThingsL$50

Body
Hair: ‘Shine‘ – MagikaL$250 – Pack 2 (30 colours via HUD)
Skin: ‘Group.Gift#6.2013 (Ivory)‘ – FilthyL$0 – Group Gift [Free to Join]
Lipshine: ‘Diamond Lips Lip GlossDark Midday DesignsL$1 – Dollarbie (Marketplace)
Eyes: ‘Deep Sky Eyes (London Fog, w2)‘ – MayflyL$0 – Free Colour
Lashes: ‘Eyelash 1‘ – StrawberrySingh.comL$50 – Pack of 5 (Marketplace)
Hands: ‘AvEnhance Hands (Gesture)‘ – SlinkL$450 (wearing included basic nails)
Feet: ‘AvEnhance Feet Female (Mid)‘ – SlinkL$675
Shape: β€˜Keriβ€˜ – Panda Punx – L$0 – Group Gift [Free to Join] (body slightly modified, more info here)

Decor
Deer: ‘Mythical White Stag and Doe‘ – Chaplin’s Landing CreationsL$50 (Marketplace)
Butterflies: ‘Butterflies (Pink B)‘ – aliriumL$0 – 4 colours/2 types, Group Gift [Free to Join]
Flowers: ‘Flowers (Pink & Cyan)‘ – Bubblez DesignL$0 – 4-colour pack, Group Gift [Free to Join]
Tree: ‘Cherry Blossom Sakura Tree v3.2‘ – The White Lotus L$50 (Marketplace)
Garden: ‘All Ivy Garden Wall‘ – Emma’sL$45 (Marketplace)

Photo Tools
Pose: ‘Devon05‘ – Admit One (@Seraphim HQ) – L$0 – Pack of 5, Seraphim Group Gift [Free to Join]
Eye Position: ‘Expression HUD v1.0‘ – AnyPoseL$0 – Freebie
Facelight: ‘Light Lab v1‘ – Color LabL$0 – Freebie (Marketplace)
Windlight Setting: ‘Juicy Loves You’ by JuicyBomb (available for download here)
Editing: GIMP & PicMonkey – contrast, spotlight and slight touching-up

Jumpin’ Puddles

220_001Nothing beats the bad-weather-blues like dressing up all colourful and having some fun!

❀

Hat: ‘Meow Hat‘ (colour/texture change) – NaturalL$50
Hair: ‘Sway My Way‘ – Exile (@Together for Sway) – L$200 – Naturals Mix Pack (Donation Item)
Skin: β€˜Dorayaki 1 (Snow)β€˜ – English Muffin – L$1,500 – NEW!*
Eyes: β€˜Deep Sky Eyes – London Fogβ€˜ (4 levels of whites) – Mayfly – L$0 – Free Colour
Scarf: ‘Layered Scarf (Teal)‘ – Viva la Glam (@Marketplace) – L$10 – 20-scarves pack
Top 1: β€˜Sheer Tank (Teal)β€˜ –Β Shabby Cat – L$99*
Top 2: ‘Long Vest (Quilt)‘ (mesh) – Wunderland (@FROST) – L$99*
Arm-warmers: ‘Knit ArmWarmer)‘ (colour/texture change) –Β NaturalL$50
Tights: ‘Minime Tights (Hearts/Pink)‘ – Dark Midday DesignsL$85 – 8 colour-pack + bonus flats
Boots: ‘Christmas Rain Boots‘ – Tentacio (@Perfect Wardrobe) – L$90 – 2-design pack*
Shape: β€˜Keriβ€˜ (modded) – Panda Punx – L$0– Past Group Gift (no longer available)

(*Review copies gratefully received! <3)

Come the Rain‘ prop and pose by WetCat (@Together for Sway, L$100, Donation Item)
Location: by Chiana Oh, Seasonal Shop

Getting Ready for Winter

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Lots more new stuff fromΒ Tentacio in this post – including items from quite a few of the hottest events! ❀

Hat and Mittens: ‘Ready to Winter‘ (mesh, colour-change glasses) – Tentacio (@XYRoom) – L$70NEW!*
Hair: ‘Hairpieces JOPE57 (Ash)‘ – booNL$10 – All-colour Pack
Skin: ‘Dorothy (Base, Burly)‘ – My Ugly DorothyL$999*
Eyes: β€˜Deep Sky Eyes – London Fogβ€˜ (4 levels of whites) – Mayfly – L$0 – Free Colour
Make-up: ‘Fallen Snow add-ons and Frost Burnt Cheek Blusher‘ – Dark Midday DesignsL$85NEW!
Scarf: ‘Ultimate Scarf (Crimson)‘ – Viva la Glam (@Marketplace) – L$10 – 20-scarves pack
Top: ‘Luvy Sweater (White)‘ (mesh) – TentacioL$100NEW!*
Jar: ‘Cookie Jar‘ – Tentacio (@Winter Fair) – L$0 – Freebie (also includes candy tongue)*
Leggings: ‘Winter Leggings (White)‘ – Tentacio (@Winter Fair) – L$70 – 2-pair pack*
Shoes: ‘My Wool Boots‘ (mesh) – Tentacio (@Fashion Quotes) – L$90NEW!*
Shape: β€˜Keriβ€˜ (modded) – Panda Punx – L$0– Past Group Gift (No longer available)

(*Review copies gratefully received <3)

AO pose by Kuso
In Flight‘ animated window by Awesome Blossom (@Marketplace. Also comes with stool and accessories, L$163)

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House of Cards

Still continuing with the Alice theme (sorta), I wanted to show you two very yummy group gifts (both free to join): this playing card dress from Dimbula Rose and an exquisite skin from Dark Midday Designs ❀

I’m also still playing with photo effects and textures – this is one I modded from the interwebs. I’m not getting it exactly the way I want it yet but practise makes perfect, right? πŸ˜‰

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend and that the weather is better where you are than it is here.. brr!

Dress: ‘Card Opi‘ – Dimbula RoseL$0 – Opening Group Gift [Free to Join]
Stockings: ‘Got Silk Stockings?‘ – Cilian’gel – L$0 – Freebie
Shoes: ‘Doll Ankle Boots(Grey)‘ – lassitude & ennui – L$250
Hair: ‘Princess A (Brown)‘ – Rosy Mood (@Savoir Hair) – L$
Skin: ‘Esther‘ – Dark Midday DesignsL$0 – Group Gift [Free to Join]
Eyes: ‘Glass Eyes (Indigo, M)‘ – Roly-Poly – L$70
Lashes: ‘Flicker Lashes (tintable)‘ – Candy Mountain (Marketplace) – L$15
Nails: ‘Wedding Gold‘ – FormanailsL$0 – Group LB* (10mins) [Free to Join]
(the Lucky Boards change – also available to buy for L$249)
Rings: β€˜Ribbon Ring (Black)’ – IZUMIYA – L$0 – Freebie
Doll Key: ‘Sweet Bird‘ – Needful ThingsL$0 – VIP Group Gift [L$80 to Join]
Shape: ‘Jelly‘ (modded) – Cupcakes (@FabFree) – L$0 – Freebie

Poses by Chus! (Prop-a-Dolly Gift, L$0)