Life, Love, and Queen Anne’s Lace

There’s something undeniably special about Spring, isn’t there?

Living where I do, it is always such a relief to feel the return of warmer weather as it’s often cold and/or snowy for half the year! After all the slush and sleet, the winter sicknesses, thick socks, and bulky coats, it’s lovely to be able to step outside and see leaves on the trees again and flowers beginning to bloom.

The Witch.png

This picture didn’t turn out exactly the way I’d intended at first – it was supposed to be all moody, atmospheric, and vaguely sinister (I’m working on a witch avatar for the Mhirdrun sim opening May 13th! :O) but … the flowers were just too pretty to leave out and then the lighting was all wrong so I made it daytime and then, well, you see where I ended up. 😉 Not that I’m complaining.

It’s hard to believe that We ❤ Role Play will celebrate it’s FIFTH ANNIVERSARY this month; harder to believe that it’s been five years since so many of us crowded into those first two or three wooden huts, gaping in wonder at what A Certain Elf was able to put together for the RP community such a long time ago. Some things have changed since then (miss you, Elfy <3) but the feeling is still there for me. Every round is special. Every round has something that warms my heart and fires my imagination. Maybe I don’t post as much as I’d like these days but, man, I am just as thrilled to get down to We

We❤ Role Play Opens May 4th at 1pm SLT and Closes May 31st, 2017.
~ Be sure to look for birthday gifts on-sim and thank the fantastic staff and designers that work so hard to ensure that We y is one of the best events SL has to offer! ~

~ Credits ~

Skin Appliers: Lara Hurley-Diana Rose Pale *Catwa Appliers* ~ Lara Hurley
Head: CATWA HEAD Catya ~ Catwa Clip
Ears: [MANDALA]STEKING_EARS_Season5 ~ Kikonosuke Eel
Eyes: \//. Koko Eyes {Moon} ~ Druunah Esharham ~ NEW @ We ❤ RP (until April 30th, 2017)
Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara ~ Onyx LeShelle

Hair: Exile::Blown Away ~ Kavar Cleanslate

Dress: .ET. Mia Creme & Beige ~ leelfantterrible ~ NEW @ We ❤ RP (until May 31st, 2017)

Earrings: .a. Circe Earrings-RARE ~ Gacha Item ~ Druunah Esharham
Bracelets: .a. Circe Forearm-RARE ~ Gacha Item ~ Druunah Esharham
Ring: SPELL : Luna Ring {gold} ~ Gacha Item ~ Iakua Arriaga

Pose: *PosESioN* Malicia 3 ~ Dahriel

Rocks: :Fanatik Architecture: Lofoten ~ Kendra Zaurak
Flowers 1: Heart – WILDFLOWERS – Buttercups ~ Lilith Heart ~ NEW @ FaMESHed (until May 27th)
Flowers 2: Heart – Wild Flowers – Quenn Ann’s Lace ~ Lilith Heart
Flowers 3: Heart – Wild Flowers – Campion – Blue ~ Lilith Heart

We <3 Winter

I’ve been thinking about time a great deal lately. About the way my life has been changing and how much I wish I was able to hold onto some parts of my past, carrying them, along with all the wonderful newness, into the future with me.

Winter We Heart.png

I didn’t realize exactly how important photography was to me until I didn’t have the time for it any longer. It was a lack that I sensed in the back of my mind most days but as there wasn’t much I could do about it, I set my jaw and carried on as best I could. I became used to it. I almost gave up blogging altogether.

But then previews for the new round of We ❤ Role Play started showing up in my notices and I realized that I have such an attachment to this event. I remember the first ever round of We ❤ RP and, like many other SLers, I’ve watched it grow to become one of the best monthly events anywhere. I am proud of it and of all the people, past and present, that have worked so hard to coordinate some of the most talented designers and, month after month, bring such beauty and imagination into Second Life. In some small way, I feel as if it’s my event, which is ridiculous, but true.

Maybe winter is the time of year for nostalgia, for reminiscence, and that’s all right. All I know now is that, even after crashing about twenty times today, I wasn’t going to let this shot get away from me. I’ve missed taking photographs as much as I’ve missed styling and writing about things that matter.

In other words: I can’t quit you, We ❤. You mean too much to me.

We❤ Role Play Opens at 1pm, December 4th and Closes December 31st, 2016.

~ Credits ~

Skin Appliers: Lara Hurley-Diana Rose Pale *Catwa Appliers* ~ Lara Hurley ~ New @ Uber (until December 23rd)
Head: CATWA HEAD Annie ~ Catwa Clip
Eyes: IKON Hope Eyes – Quicksilver ~ Ikon Innovia
Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara ~ Onyx LeShelle
Mesh Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands – Elegant1 ~ Siddean Munro
Nail Appliers: [LB French Soft] *Slink & Omega* Manicure ~ Santana Lumiere

Hair: MINA & EF – Harmony – Blonds ~ Mina Nakamura & Empyreanforge ~ New @ FaMESHed (until December 27th)

Dress: *Sweet Kajira*Neus Fitted Dress & Foulard Blue Maitreya ~ Bronte Denja ~ NEW @ We ❤ Role Play (until December 31st)

Necklace: *Sweet Kajira*Neus Fitted Necklace ~ Bronte Denja ~ NEW GIFT @ We ❤ Role Play (until December 31st)
Ring: (Yummy) Snowflake Rings – Marquise – Diamond RARE ~ Polyester Partridge ~ Gacha Item ~ NEW @ The Arcade (until December 31st)

Pose: *PosESioN* Ivyana 7 ~ Dahriel

Trees: Heart – Wildwood – Ancient Hawthorn – Lilith Heart ~ New @ FaMESHed (until December 27th)
Grass: LB_Grass{Winter} ~ Cari McKeenanSnow: [PM]Pixel Mode – Snow Forms ~ Tya Fallingbridge ~ New @ FaMESHed (until December 27th)
Sim Surround: Y.B -sim surround landscape Dolina pine snow ~ Yony Bing

Just Breathe…. Discussing Bloggers, Designers, and Sponsorship

It’s been an emotional day.

Even now, I’m not sure what I’m going to write or how I’m going to begin. There are a few things I’d like to discuss in this post but I want to approach them gently, as gently as possible, anyway.

I was removed from one of my blogger groups this afternoon. No warning, no offlines, no “hey, Portia, I noticed you haven’t posted in a while” or even a “thanks for doing what you did but we need to keep our roster super-active,” kind of message. There was nothing and, I’m not going to lie, I took it hard as I have been covering this brand unofficially for many years. I’m still taking it hard, trying to get through the night by reminding myself to breathe through the ache in my throat and the stinging in the corners of my eyes.

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It’s been hard for me to find the time to blog this month. All of us get busy and sometimes I’m jealous of the fact that many of the bloggers I admire find the time to post regularly, even frequently, when it’s been so hard for me to carve out a few hours to sit down and work on a picture. That’s what it is for me: hours. The picture you see above, which I love, took about three hours from start to finish, maybe a little longer because I had to reinstall Photoshop (thank you, Life). This post will take another hour to write because I’m not interested in posting a picture and credits. I won’t do it. It breaks my heart a little bit to think that if I’d just bent a little bit on that ‘rule’ of mine in the past, Mask and Mien could be doing better than it is now. I wouldn’t have let one of my favourite people in SL down the way I did. Continue reading

These First Few Steps (Story Post)

“Have you ever felt like maybe, just maybe, there are things each of us are -meant- to do?

I’m not talking about the regular stuff: grow up, get that degree, find a career that pays (bonus points for personal fulfillment); family, kids, house .. win at Life! Or .. I’m not -only- talking about the regular stuff. What about the real existential-level destiny-with-a-capital-dee ‘born to BE someone’ schtick that we all secretly hope to have? Some mystical lottery jackpot we don’t even have to pay to play?

Do you believe in Fate? In Luck?

I didn’t, not for a long time. Not until they decided to come and kick me in the ass, anyway.

Doesn’t make sense yet? Don’t worry, I’ll get to it in good time.”

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A temple beneath the sand.

Continue reading

In The Beginning….

In the beginning there was an Idea.

Just a small one, the tiniest inkling of a concept that teased around the edge of my awareness for weeks. Months, really. Every styling, every blog post would leave me with a sense of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ depending on this indefinite sensation. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do about it at the time, having no idea why I felt the way I did.

I know that I write a fair bit about inspiration and how it applies to styling in Second Life, how we can pull from experiences both in-world and in the real world to form a concept that is relevant to NOW. Sometimes we hit the mark and sometimes, uhm, we do not. The point is that we think about what we do .. and why we do it.

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I blog because I love styling and taking pictures. Over the last eight months or so I’ve been working harder on these images, taking more time in-world to build sets that appeal to me and then in Photoshop to add focus and definition. I feel like it’s paid off and this makes me very happy. My grandmother was a painter and in some small way I feel closer to her when I’m creating art of my own. There’s a very large part of me that’s a storyteller too, however, and sometimes the images themselves aren’t enough. Continue reading

Dancing in the Moonlight: An April Co-Blog Experience

Wow, halfway through the month already and I can’t quite believe where the time has gone! What I can believe, though, is how often I say things just like this, meaning them with all my heart every single time, and how I should not be surprised by this – not even a little bit – but I am. Every. Single. Time.

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One of the few benefits to living under a perpetual (and yes, self-imposed) time crunch, however, is that I make a point of evaluating what’s really important -which pictures need to happen; which posts must be written. Which thoughts and ideas are so beautiful they all but demand a chance to be made manifest or, more simply said:

I love what I do. I wish I could do it more often. Continue reading

Stories, Role Play, and Styling

With every new round of We ❤ Role Play, I find myself inspired. It doesn’t matter what my week looked like beforehand, how tired or frazzled or mentally drained Real Life has left me; when I see those first previews rolling in on The Blogging Elf and the We ❤ Role Play website, I start to get very, very excited.

It isn’t that I don’t feel this way about modern releases because, really, I do. Sometimes the inspiration comes from something I’ve had in my inventory for years and all it takes is me remembering that it’s a thing I’ve always loved. Sometimes it’s a pair of earrings or a new hairstyle (I have a lot of these) but I will say that, without question, role play styling is my absolute favourite.

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“But Portia,” you might say, furrowing your brow in confusion, “‘role play’ is such a broad term. Modern RP is a thing many people enjoy!” Which is true, of course, and here is where I’m going to share something that I’ve come to understand over many years of reading, writing, and storytelling: Continue reading

What Language Do You Hear in Your Dreams? ~ Aisling Preview for Fantasy Gacha Carnival

Blogging can be a long and time-consuming process.

Not every time, of course; sometimes we’re just lucky and a concept crystallizes quickly; sometimes a picture lines up just right on the first try and our computer cooperates long enough to process the shadows we like, the colours we want, within moments of bumping ourselves up to ultra graphics and the realm of maximum avatar and object detail. Not always, but when it happens it’s nice.

At one point or another, though, I find myself becoming thoughtful; wondering why things are the way they are, both in my styling and sometimes on a much broader scale. This almost always happens at one of the ‘fine tuning’ stages of blogging – either editing prims or camming around my avatar to get that minute change of angle that’s the difference between a great shot and one I’m going to want to take again. Usually, though, it’s when I’m in Photoshop adjusting my picture, layer by layer, a few pixels at a time because really, really, I just love what I’m doing that much. And I’m grateful to be able to do it.

Aisling Irish Word for Dream 3072 Poster

Continue reading