Writer’s Blog-err.. Writer’s Block Challenge!

We have ALL been here. Some of us more recently, some less so. Some more frequently, some only INfrequently.  Writer’s blog .. blog .. BLOCK (I keep typing ‘blog,’ wth) is a very real issue, even if you don’t write much to accompany your pictures, you may still find the thought of posting in your blog uninspiring.

My last post was February 25th. It’s May 19th. I think it’s fair to say that there’s a problem here.

So what do we do when life is busy, stressful, and generally not conducive to thoughtful introspection?

We find a new challenge, of course!

So here it is: My challenge to YOU, oh bloggers of SL, is to write a single blog post. I’m going to help you get through this in less than ten steps. Observe!

Writer's Block Challenge 512

Let’s give it a try, shall we?

3) Ursula1 600

4) Share your favourite thing about this outfit. Is it the clothing? A new hairstyle?

The first thing I heard about the Gos Ursula Wedges was that the pearl colour option is sweet, simple, and summery. These are three of my favourite words. :) Also, I love these shoes so much and have literally been wearing them every chance I get!

5) Why do you like this colour? These colours?

It’s probably obvious that I wear a lot of white. A ridiculous amount of white, really, but the reason for it is that I love simple clean lines. As someone who lives with chronic anxiety, white is a colour that calms me right down. It is pure and clean.

6) Are you accessorizing? If yes, why? If no, why not?

I am accessorizing very simply this time with a set of Earthstones Lora jewelry (sorry ladies, it was a gatcha thing). Just a touch of silver and white to complement the silver buckles on these amazing wedges. There is also a simple white ribbon at the bottom of this braid. It’s a nice touch, I think.

7) Why this pose?

This pose (Olive Juice – Does this skirt make my butt look big?) is delicate and feminine. It does not cause my legs to clip with this mesh dress AND one foot is firmly rooted on the floor, which makes the picture more believable. I believe it captures the mood of this outfit well as showcases the individual components.

8) How do you feel in this particular outfit?

I feel relaxed, comfortable and light as a feather, thank you!

THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE TO WRITE!

(Phew!)

9) Post your credits here (don’t forget your posemaker):

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
*YS&YS* – Ipnotic Eyes Ice
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce
Eye Candi Skin – Glow (Tattoo)

[e] Control – Blonde 01

*LpD* – *Atena* Dress White
[Gos] Ursula Wedge – Classic Collection – Pearl

EarthStones Lora Earrings – White Lace Agate Silver (Gatcha items, sorry!)
EarthStones Lora Necklace -White Lace Agate Silver  (Gatcha items, sorry!)

Pose: Olive Juice

Zero Lag Thirty ~ Blog Challenge and Part Two of Stylin’ Ain’t Easy

Hey everyone, and welcome to ‘Zero Lag Thirty,’ part two of my ‘Stylin’ Ain’t Easy’ blog series!

BLOGGERS: This is my next challenge for you! I want to see your best, least laggy outfit; help spread the word that Zero Lag can still look amazing. <3

Today we’re going to explore the challenge of trying to move around in Second Life. We’ve all fallen prey to the SL ‘Lag Monster’ and while sometimes the situation is completely out of our control, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.

So whether you’re scaling down (har har) to get ready for competitive racing like me or you’d just like to be able to cross the floor of your favourite club without rubberbanding, you might want to read on. Watch and learn, Grasshopper.

ZeroLag1 600 ( If you want to race with guys like these, you need to run lean and clean. )

Okay! So we’re going to talk about two things in this post: LAG (which we all haaate) and something called Mesh/Rendering Weight. Everyone knows about lag; it’s what happens when a sim is packed with avatars, all wearing scripty, primmy, flexi things. Sims can be laggy on their own if they’re full of vendors and scripted objects or if they haven’t been restarted in a while. So let’s make a resolution this year to dress responsibly for our own sake as well as our neighbours’.

~ SCRIPTS & LAG ~

Scripts:
In many ways, this is the easiest way to control our own contributions to sim lag. If your clothing has resizers in it or any kind of texture change option, it’s very likely there’s a script controlling this.

~ Since most clothing in SL is copy/mod now, I recommend making a copy of your favourite boots (I just typed ‘goots’ because I’m still in love with my Gos equestrian and hunter boots) and removing the resizer scripts via menu whenever possible. If something fits properly, there’s no reason to have these scripts active when you’re in-world. I employ this strategy for jewelry as well.

~ HUDs! We all use them. We all love them. We may not realize how badly they can lag us, though! Even your basic AO, something you wouldn’t dream of going without, may run upwards of 20 scripts (some of them WAY more than that). Using radar HUDS, Yus/Nuu or RLV anything, MystiTool, face animators, titlers, hug/kiss/dance/etc HUDS .. all of this contributes to script lag, even when they aren’t in use. So please, if you don’t think you’re going to use a particular HUD when you’re out and about, detach it!

I’ve been using the Firestorm AO for about a week now and I just love it! If your viewer has a big ‘AO’ button somewhere in the user interface, just try loading your favourite AO animations into it. Sure, it takes a few minutes (or longer if you’re me) but the difference is profound when you’re in a laggy environment. Try it. Love it.

~ Get a script counter scale! I have a scale (this one is free on the Marketplace) rezzed beside my default pose stand. Once I’ve made sure everything fits properly (we’ll cover this in another post, I swear!) I hop onto the scale to make sure I’m not being a scripty jerk. Anything under 3MB/3072K is excellent, but I challenge you to go lower, just to see how it feels.

Other Sources of Lag:
There are a LOT of them and some have absolutely nothing to do with your avatar. If you’d like to research this issue, I highly recommend having a look at ‘Massively’s Guide to Reducing Second Life Lag.’ It’s a fantastic article.

ZeroLag2 600 ( Even horses know that prims cause lag! )

~ MESH/RENDERING WEIGHT ~

Even when you’re running very few (or zero) scripts, your avatar can still contribute to sim lag. Your basic avatar, all your clothing and attachments, your goots (hehe) and jewelry, hair, and eyelashes may lag you up even more than your old script count!

~ To see avatar weights, open Me>Preferences… from the main menu. Under the Advanced tab, enable “Show Advanced Menu”. Back at the main menu, pick Advanced>Performance Tools>Show Draw Weight for Avatars. The number pops up over your head: green is good, red is not.

~ Every avatar on the grid has a base rendering cost of 1000. This covers your skin, hairbase, eyes, tattoo layers, and all of your system clothing. You can go ahead and call these ‘freebies.’ Use them at will; layer, play, and have loads of fun!

~ It’s too bad we all LOVE our attachments, isn’t it? The unfortunate truth is that anything you have to click to ‘wear’ or ‘add to outfit’ is going to increase your rendering weight and the primmier your attachments are, the more you’re going to lag (or your neighbours will) in a busy sim. Even your mesh items, although they tend to be lower in weight, will increase this number. Stealth Weight Offender: YOUR MESH EYELASHES!

Mesh/Rendering Weight Formulae:
I’m not going to list everything here because it’s ALL laid out on the Second Life Wiki (please read the article, it isn’t long) but I’m going to list some of the worst offenders in no particular order:

Flexi prims, shiny prims, glowy prims, alpha prims, particles, and light emitting prims.

If your clothes or attachments or whatever have one or more of these features, please check your rendering weight before you wail about being on a laggy sim.

I would never dream of telling you not to wear your favourite things (I certainly won’t stop wearing mine), but I think it’s important to consider your wardrobe choices when you’re visiting a high-traffic area (fashion shows, RP sims, busy clubs, SL events, etc). Count your attachments the way you might count calories:

“I can wear these beautiful goots today, but only if I wear system gloves instead of these scripty fingernails,” or

“Gee, I really love this flexi hairstyle – how about I go easy on the jewelry this time. No one can see my ears anyway.”

Dress responsibly, my dears, and I’ll have more tips to share with you very, very soon.

~ Portia ~

23933 Render Weight (orange/yellow), 0 scripts

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Mist
Miamai_XGen Makeup_Basic Lashes A Black – (Tattoo layer lashes, ftw!)
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-HAIRBASE Marilyn
[LeLutka]-BELLE pony – Marilyn

{Happy} Posh Wrap (Gray)
{Happy} Confidence Blouse (White)
jane.intrinsic.tank.wh cream [hi]
Loralai Michalski ~ Jockey Silks: Caramel & Tan Leather Pants
[Gos] Equestrian Boot – Black – (MY GOOTS!)

Loralai Michalski ~ Jockey Silks Riding Helmet: Black Rubber
Emery – Gloves #Black

Poses: Diesel Works
Horses: Awesome Breed Creations (Lipizzaner, Thoroughbred, Arabian)
Set: The Domineaux Effect ~ The Country Barn, Starmark Creations ~ Ranch V2,

Blogger Challenge: What’s Your Beauty Base Zero? (Part One ~ Stylin’ Ain’t Easy)

Blogging isn’t easy.

I’m not writing this post to complain, far from it, but I would like to highlight the amount of work stylists undertake when putting an outfit together. Blogging said outfits is another challenge (but gosh, I love it) because the purpose is to highlight clothing in a specific, and often individual, fashion. The blog posts we love best seem effortless and perfect; it looks like a snapshot right out of someone’s second life. In truth, I’m certain that it’s the result of hours of work from beginning to end and I appreciate this process SO much. Behind every blogger, you’ll likely find a thorough and thoughtful individual who is just in love with SL fashion and wants to share this fascination with the world. Like me. :)

So this is the first installment of what I’m calling my “Stylin’ Ain’t Easy” tribute to SL blogging. It’s not definitive but it is a peek at how I operate. The first step for me is what I have named my BB-0 (Beauty Base Zero); it’s a term I’ve pillaged from book two of The Hunger Games trilogy because the concept was dead on. It’s where you start, imagining your nails are perfect, your hair is tied back and you’re staring into a mirror, or your closet, wondering what the heck you’re going to wear today.

( Not the most exciting shot, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t link you. :) )

I use Firestorm so this is my default saved outfit (the first of dozens of others I’ve saved for whatever reason) and if you haven’t upgraded to a viewer that allows you to save your outfits, let me say that it’s worth the discomfort of learning a new UI just to have this functionality.* This outfit includes HUDs I use when taking pictures (listed below) but the important thing to note is that with everything here, I have all I need to start putting together any outfit I desire.

Here are just a few tips for creating your own BB-0:

~ Underwear: Odds are anything you’re putting on afterward will cover these but I have to say that after a few mesh alpha-layer-not-covering-my-bits blunders, I always make sure I’m wearing panties. Just saying.

~ Basic Makeup: I don’t wear much as a rule but when I’m styling I always consider extra tattoo layers at a later time. I’ve occasionally forgotten the basics, though, and had to go back and start pictures again because of this lack. Ugh.

~ Simple Eyelashes: You can always add or change these once you’ve decided on the basics of ‘casual vs. fancy.’ Minimal eyelashes gives you an idea of what you have to work with before you begin layering. I hope it doesn’t need to be said, but please do your best to make sure eyelashes fit your eyes properly. If you need help with this do not hesitate to IM me, day or night. <3

~ Hair: This may seem like a no-brainer but I like beginning with a style that’s pulled back from the neck. You can always change it later but it’s helpful to make sure your jewelry is positioned properly before you go about covering it up with your lovely locks. **

~ Hairbases: First of all, I use an eyebrow shaper as my basic SL-driven hairbase. It gives my face definition and is just another way to squeeze a bit more individuality into my avatar. Hairbase tattoo layers are also something I recommend; even if you can’t see it under your current hairstyle, there’s -nothing- worse than tp’ing into a sim bald. Nothing.

~ Basic Shape: I have three shapes I use regularly in SL. One for mesh (smaller bust), one for system skirts (narrower hips, smaller bum, and less in the thighs), and the basic every day shape. These are NOT fun to confuse pre-clothing.

~ Nails: As much as they disagree with poses, as laggy as they can be in busy places, I really do love the look of them. Remember to take off your glove base if you’re going to put on actual gloves, though. If you always start with these you’ll just work it into your routine.

I hope this is enough to get you started! Stay tuned for the next installment of “Stylin’ Ain’t Easy.”

EDIT: Bloggers, Fashionistas, and fancy people of SL – What’s YOUR Beauty Base Zero?

( Earrings? Makeup? Bring it on! )

~ Portia’s BB-o ~

Skin: Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
Shape: Portia’s Regular Shape
Hairbase 1: [PF] Eyebrow (Type 2)
Hairbase 2: Vanity hair base Platinium
Eyes: IKON Eternal Eyes – Pond (M)
Eyelashes: Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
Lips: ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

Hair: /Wasabi Pills/ Gloria Mesh Hair – Rye

Tank: *BOOM* Everyday Tank (cream) 1
Panties: *BOOM* Marin Ray culotte (creme)
Feet: Slink Mesh Feet XS (Rigged)

Nails: [PM]Sculpted Nails V2 – Size 20
Nail base: Candy nail Primnail Base (tintable)

Extra Stuff:
Remover SystemLashes *REDGRAVE*
AnyPose Expression HUD v1.0 (useful for eye positioning)
SERENADE Pose Stand Pro HUD v4.0 (handiest HUD ever!)

Pose: !bang

* We’ll talk a little more about viewer features I use in my SLife in a later post, so keep an eye out!
** A jewelry positioning tutorial will be available in part two of this series. Patience, Padawan.

Start-up music, just for you:

Love! ~ Mon Tissu Blogger Challenge (pt. 2)

I may be a total hippie for saying it, but there is nothing in this world as important to me as love. It doesn’t have to be the sort of True Love we read about, the sort rhapsodized in song and story (although gosh, it’s pretty freaking wonderful when you find it); it’s perfectly perfect to love your family and your cat, your best friends and your favourite pair of shoes. Love a moment in time, carry it around with you forever, and smile as you revisit it an hour, a day, or ten years later. Something I noticed this morning is the love that goes into the designs at {Mon Tissu}; the care and thought and attention to detail that -seems- obvious at first until you look closer and realize that it’s more than that. Look at the chair in this picture – it’s pretty, right? Now look at the pattern in my shoes and this gorgeous bag.

Realize how lovely and profound this is.

Feel the love, my lovelies.

Mhmm, the larger picture. <3

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Light Blue
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce
cheLLe – (eyeshadow) Dreamy (Under Eye 3)

!lamb. Oh Baby Doll (Mesh) – Fair

{mon tissu} Ruffled Shell (Sheer) / MESH ~ Pearl
{mon tissu} Lycia Lace Bandeau Bra ~ Peach
{mon tissu} Gauzy Skirt – Khaki
{mon tissu} Favorite Leather Flats ~ Floral

{mon tissu} Floral Disk Pendant – Gold
ZC : Patra silver bracelets
{mon tissu} Sophmore Satchel / Down Strap ~ Floral

Pose: [Glow]

Major Hangup ~ Mon Tissu Blogger Challenge (pt. 1)

AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

The larger pic is, of course, right here!

Is everyone as excited as I am about the Mon Tissu Blogger Search?! NO?! WHY THE HECK NOT?! If you haven’t heard about it, and I suppose it’s possible as the notice was released yesterday (it’s only Wednesday, right?) and there aren’t too many entries on flickr just yet, you need to have a peek and get your cameras .. and your closets .. ready! Find your favourite {Mon Tissu} digs; I’ve been in love with my yellow wool blend jacket and used Lou Lou jeans from the minute I saw them and it is an absolute pleasure to blog them now.  These pieces work with everything, haha, but in the spirit of this challenge, I had to wear them with my old Provence riding boots and a few other choice accessories. Embrace the challenge, my dears, and have FUN with it!

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Gray-Blue
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-SWISH-4in1-hair – Marilyn

{mon tissu} Wool Blend Jacket – Yellow
{mon tissu} So Boho Blouse – Cream
{mon tissu} Denim – Lou Lou ~ Used
{mon tissu} Provence Riding Boots ~ Gray
p.c Braided Finish Gloves

P.C; Reclining Feline Earrings
{mon tissu} Harlow Sunglasses / Sheer Lens ~ Peach
{mon tissu} Oui Necklace – Silver

Poses: !bang, D.Luxx

Pictures taken on the Mayfair sim, because why the heck not?

WoC #24 ~ Raspberry Glace

Maybe I’m just tired this weekend, but the idea of lounging around in sock feet, undies, and a comfortable cami was simply too heavenly to resist. In this picture you can see Truth’s new Leticia hair (lovely, lovely) and no, you won’t get to see any more of my underwear than this. I promise they’re very pretty, though, as is everything from *BOOM*. :D

( Click for a larger picture/moar pillows/ etc. )

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Deep Blue
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ skin pink

>TRUTH< Leticia – oasis

{mon tissu} Lycia Tank / Rigged Mesh ~ Rose
*BOOM* Vintage Floral Unders- Tea Rose
Maitreya Scrunched PrimSocks ColorSet 2

*League* Vintage Heart Earrings
W&B Enough of That Ring CREAM
[MAGIC NOOK] Vintage Watch Necklace (Kitty)
[PM]Sculpted Nails V2

Pose: Diesel Works

Props: Trompe Loeil – Zuma Hills Home

WoC #23 ~ Pistachio

This post represents yet another idea I’ve had rattling around in my head all week. As much as I enjoy simple styling sometimes it’s fun to head in another direction entirely. CHIC² has opened my eyes to quite a few new designers and I was SO happy to see something from {bilo} in just the shade I needed this week.

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Clover Green
:: Exodi :: Makeups – Eyelashes – Dramatic
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ skin pink

Bilo- Firdous Kurta – Lime
Zaara : Denim Capris *indigo*
[Gos] Pimp Your Pumps V2 – Point Ballet

.ploom. Ricki (streaked) – Blondes 1

BALACLAVA!! Roux Reader (green – narrow) ~ Available at The Mens Department
ZC : Indra painted stacked bangles *gold* L
ZC : Nizam Haath-phool (hand-jewel) R *silver-color stones*
ZC : Sarayi painted hoops *gold*

Pose: D.Luxx
Props: LISP – Sunshine Grass Rug, [ARIA] Hunter wall piece /Forever fly alone

Week 22 WoC ~ Cobalt

Have you ever put something together that just made you smile? Just a plain, pure, happy grin?

*Grins!*

I think these Boudoir red shoes were the first pair of SL heels that I truly fell in love with – I’ll show them off better in a later post, I’m sure, but it should suffice to say that, of the hundreds of articles in my clothing folder, they are still one of my favourite things to wear. Sissy Pessoa is another designer I enjoy and need to wear more often; I loveloveLOVE this dress! WOO!

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Utopia Eyes – Deep Cerulean
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
- Glam Affair - Make-up Layer 01
*BOOM* Pale Pucker Red

[e] Memoir – Blonde 01 (NEW, EEEE!)

Baiastice_Pois Satin-blue

BOUDOIR RED SHOE
(Yummy) Native Daydream Set
(Yummy) Portrait Necklace

Pose: D.Luxx

Week 21 WoC ~ Lemon Chiffon!

WOOHOO!!

I have never, EVER, been so excited to write a blog challenge entry as I am right here, right now. Forget that it’s my birthday week (*whispers* May 24th, I like smelly things and shiny things), forget that I practically live in the colour yellow, but this week is LEMON and I couldn’t be happier. I cook and bake in RL (a lot) and lemon is probably one of my top five favourite ingredients to use. I drink my water with lemon. G&T? Needs a bit of lemon. Favourite dessert? You guessed it, lemon pie.

Lemon is bright and beautiful but sometimes it needs a touch of sweetness, a bit of lightness, and that’s where the chiffon comes in. It’s a perfect blend of flavours and, in this case, a truly beautiful colour.

Since it’s my birthday week and I can do what I want ( :D ) I decided to turn this post into a veritable parade of Portia’s Favourite Things. Boats and water, wind and dappled shade; sheer clothing and my toes wiggling freely. *Swooooon!* This boat is a new pose prop from !bang and it’s SO MUCH FUN! Definitely swing by the mainshop and try the in-world demo if you haven’t already.

The dress is also one of my all-time faves and if you aren’t familiar with {Happy} you should probably head over there. Right now. No, it’s fine, I’ll wait.  ‘Breeze’ is a beautiful sheer dress but if you lean towards the PG (like me) you can absolutely wear a couple of extra layers for full coverage.

Simple, simple, simple. Wind and water, sun and shade; gorgeous eyes, a bit of jewelry and a touch of lip stain. Simple is better and small pleasures can make you happy.

Kitties always help, of course. :D

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Barely Tan
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
*BOOM* Pale Pucker Red

>TRUTH< Georgina – oasis

{Happy} Breeze (Champagne)

(Caroline’s Jewelry) Free as a Bird (gold)
Slink Barefeet Mesh Medium

Lady A – Emoter HUD (FREE!)

Prop: !bang – I’m on a boat
Kitties: Created by KittyCatS, bred by me!

Week 20 WoC – Deep Pink (OW, MY EYES!)

I love pink, I really do, but I absolutely could -not- bring myself to put a full-on nothing-but-pink outfit together this week. Instead, I’ve paired my new (and adored!) pencil skirt from e! with a sweet little sweater I found at {Happy} earlier this year. Kitty glasses from Gos and roller skates from [PM] make this outfit a ton of fun and of course, I’m rocking my favourite freebie emote hud from Lady A. Wooo!

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Light Blue
Cheap Makeup – Miss Priss Lipgloss 3
:: Exodi :: Makeups – Eyelashes – Dramatic

!lamb. Ruby (Mesh) – Creme

{Happy} Grace Blouse (White)
e! Marion Skirt (Cabaret)
*Fi-St* Lingerie – Soignee Nude Stockings
p.c Braided Finish Gloves

[Gos] Custom Eyewear v5.0b CATEYE
[PM] Roxy Rollers : White
((RIPE)) Roll The Dice – Hot Pink

Lady A – Emoter HUD

Poses: Diesel Works