Just Breathe…. Discussing Bloggers, Designers, and Sponsorship

Breathe

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)

First Temple 4

“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

BakaBoonlight

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

Aisling Art Nouveau 1536

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

Vetur Fegurð (MVW Iceland Gorgeousness)

It isn’t often that I have absolutely nothing to say about clothes buuut .. just look at this:

MVW Iceland Hagia L 600 ( This gown is even more stunning in high resolution. Check flickr. You won’t be disappointed.)

The gown: Tres Beau.

The jewelry: Chop Zuey.

Everything was custom made for this year’s Miss Virtual World pageant and even though I’m wearing Iceland’s gown and Turkey’s jewelry (my next post will feature Turkey’s gown with Iceland’s jewelry) the effect is just incredible. I used a soft, romantic hairstyle from [e] and IKON’s striking new Eternal Eyes in ‘Wave’ to complete this outfit. I still don’t know what else to say about it. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time..

… there was a young girl who loved fairy tales; they were the first stories she read to herself and the dreams she dreamed at night. Like many girls, she wanted to be a princess, find True Love, and live Happily Ever After.

As she grew older, she learned that the world was not exactly as it seemed in the stories she loved best. It was hard to dream about castles from a 2-bedroom apartment and gallant princes always seemed to be in short supply. She began to write stories instead, creating characters that were like her, but not her, and she made a point of finding happy endings for all of them. It wasn’t ideal but, gosh, she believed in them anyway.

Wonder 1 600 (This picture is even lovelier in higher resolution. Check my flickr, darn you! )

I’ll admit that I had other plans for this post (*gasp!*). It was going to be a cheerful, cheeky introduction to Awesome Breed Creations (ABC) horses where I depicted and discussed everything a curious outsider would want to know. I took pictures. I asked questions. I wore knee boots and jodhpurs and ran at a script count of one without looking like it. Then my friend Draco passed me some horses, these horses, and my well-laid plans flew out the window. Continue reading