Random Explores

I try to make it a habit to visit some of the places listed in the Showcase tab.  I’ve come across wonderful builds that way, and of course, I learn of others by reading lots of weblogs, too.  But yesterday I explored the “Showcase way” and visited two places:  Kingdom of Sand and Garden of Dreams. 

Here I am at Garden of Dreams, ironically enough, in a skybox demo:

Exploring a Skybox demo (odd as that seems) at Garden of Dreams

It’s probably just the way I look at things, but I have to say I don’t get the juxtaposition of skybox demos in a garden build.  It’s not that the skyboxes or the demos are bad.  They are, in fact, quite lovely.  It’s just that they (about 5 or 6 demos and other for-sale items) rather dominate the entrance, which I have to admit was a surprise.  (That and signs for “Garden of Dreams 1” and “Garden of Dreams 2” dominate the entrance.  I will have to go back there again to see what the distinction is between 1 and 2 because it wasn’t entirely clear in the signage.)  All of which leads me to say that I didn’t see much of the actual garden because I spent more time in the skybox demos…not because I’m in the market for one, but because I like to see how they are designed and decorated.  (The indoor pool in the demo above is a nice touch, I admit.)  Since I was being all Fae, I had hoped to find a wonderful, serene forest or water garden area in Garden of Dreams.  The name of the build certainly lends itself to that expectation…maybe it’s there and I just didn’t go deep enough into the build to find it. Instead, after looking at very lovely skybox demos, I pulled up the Showcase tab and tried another place.  This one, Kingdom of Sand.

Here I am, Faery of Arabia at the Kingdom of Sand:

Faery of Arabia at Kingdom of Sand

Wandering the desert there, yes, a bit confused.  Kingdom of Sand is role play (I’ve never roleplayed despite being inworld now for three years).  When I arrived at Kingdom of Sand, I tried to decipher rather obscure instructions in the greeting area.  The instructions attempted to direct first-time visitors like myself to follow signs (none of which fully conveyed their purpose) to find a room (within a large Marketplace area filled with nooks and crannies and hints at possible rooms) for an Explorer Hud among possible roleplay huds (none of which were found easily, aside from the for-pay roleplay hud…yes, serious roleplayers at Kingdom of Sand actually pay for the priviledge).  When I finally found the room (off to the side and which might have been more apparent to me if I hadn’t entered through the main doors into a vast sea of vendors…instant distraction!), I hunted around for several more minutes to find the free Explorer Hud (the vendor is a large standing vase), which gives a free three-day pass to explore the Kingdom.  Beyond the free three days I imagine the Kingdom will require the purchase of the serious roleplaying hud (I don’t know if this is true or not, but will have to return after the three days to see.)    So while the little bit that I saw was lovely, I did find it all just a touch confusing.  And ironically enough, the conversation I overheard from many of the role players centered on clubs to visit outside of the Kingdom and on FL activities, but that could have been a fluke or that could have been because my Explorer hud clearly indicated I wasn’t immersed in role play.

So two different builds, both a little confusing albeit both quite lovely from the very little bit that I saw.  I probably shouldn’t have posted this entry quite so soon, without a second visit to each place to see how the rest of the builds-experience reveal themselves.  But even with that little bit of a taste, it was a different enough experience for me when it comes to random exploring that I felt like sharing.  And too…I really like this Faery ensemble, head to toe.  So a great excuse to post pictures!

Alpha et Omega

Alpha et Omega is a “quadrillion light years away,” and when we explored this magnificent build a few days ago, we immediately felt transported to quite another time and place.   Gorgeous images of Alpha et Omega grace v wonderful friend’s Dale Innis’s flickr stream,  Ana Lutetia’s weblog,  and the Alpha et Omega flickr group.   

I revisited the build early the next night to try to snap a set of photos.  I was too absorbed in the experience the first time…and even the second time, but on the second visit I took my usual several minutes (plus hour) to try to capture even a small part of the incredibleness of this build.  

Even though my photos don’t do justice to this build, I couldn’t help but share them. The build has a signature that clearly presents itself.   Alpha et Omega is a wonderful juxtaposition of constant movement (designed with artful intention) and serenity on multiple levels:  from the monochromatic tone of the environment, the mesmerizing music stream to the gentle blending of distinctive shapes and forms that are everywhere the eye can see but that are somehow still so incredibly nonintrusive to the senses.  It’s an amazing balance of art and mood, form and  context.  Do visit.  If you enjoy the wonderful artistry in SecondLife, you’ll eagerly travel a quadrillion light years away early and often to Alpha et Omega.

Rose Flower

Although for many it’s still winter, the temperature is rising just a little.  The snow’s beginning to melt just a little.   Even the sun poked its head out from behind some clouds just a little.  Couldn’t say if it saw its own shadow.  But no matter how many weeks remain in winter, we can all have more than a little bit of spring right now thanks to Misteria Loon and her new creation “Rose Flower.” 

Take a look at this gorgeous vision of a gown from Misteria’s Pas De Deux label.

"Rose Flower" by Misteria Loon, creator of the Pas De Deux line of fashion

There are a few things to note about the artistry in this piece.  In Rose Flower, Misty’s design clearly intends to frame the beauty of every woman who wears it.  The neckline — dramatic yet exceedingly gentle — is an amazingly executed arrangement of billowy large pastel petals that flow gently and that exist purely to showcase the face.  Your gorgeous face is the center of this flower.  Your gorgeous face is the focal point in this entire gorgeous design.  And the amazing thing is that Misty manages to achieve this quite masterfully even though her design comes with a gazillion options.  Well, not literally a gazillion, but the generous layers she provides in each of her creations is just as amazing as her incredibly beautiful, whimsical creations. 

In Rose Flower, for example, the beautiful neckwear comes in two versions:  one version contains the neckwear by itself; another version contains incredible wings attached to the same gorgeous neckwear.  These wings are light and airy yet still command a presence.   Like so: 

Rose Flower by Misteria Loon creator of Pas De Deux fashion

I show the short skirt (mid-thigh) in the pictures above.  Misty also provides a side panel for each leg as add-ons to the short skirt should you want to intensify the imagery of petals (shown in the next photo, poofed out even a bit more due to the effect of transitioning between poses).  

"Rose Flower" by Misteria Loon creator of Pas De Deux fashion

For a much longer bloom, Rose Flower also comes in two gown versions:  one with a train that creates the illusion of a flower in bloom along the surface of the ground; and the other with a hemline that flows gently over the feet.  Although this gown is gorgeous on any parcel, Rose Flower, for me, is so incredibly ethereal that I had to take to the air to photograph it (which is why all the photos are in the sky):

"Rose Flower" from Pas De Deux fashion by Misteria Loon

You may have noticed that I now show the neckline sans the wing in these photos.  You may have noticed also the gently plunging back of the dress.  I love a gorgeous back on a dress just as much as I love a gorgeous front neckline.  I don’t understand why some designers ignore the back or view it as unimportant or a throw away.  If you want all eyes to be on you as you enter a room, you most assuredly want all eyes to remain on you as you walk and move through the room.  But I’m meticulous in my view of this because not only do I care about the front and the back, but I also care about the side views as well. 

Yes, I want 360 degrees of amazingness:

Rose Flower by Misteria Loon of Pas De Deux fashion

Which leads me full circle back to the point of Rose Flower…and back to what should always be the goal of any piece of fashion:  to showcase the wearer.  In this case, to showcase the gorgeous beautiful bloom of a woman.  In any and in all seasons.

Rose Flower utterly in bloom at Pas De Deux

Rose Flower by Misteria Loon from her Pas De Deux label at the Shengri La Marketplace