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,

100 Posts and One Year Later

Even though I’ve missed ‘Something New’s first birthday (the original post was December 31st – what the heck was I thinking?!), I’m going to take a bit of license and write my 100th post as something of a retrospective.

It’s pretty incredible how many things can change in a year. Some of them are easy to see; while I’m still using the same skin, my shape has changed to reflect a softer, more womanly personality. I’ve switched to using lighter shades of blonde hair. The Rozena ‘kiss kiss’ lip tattoo is one of my staples now (the only time I’m without it is when I’m wearing big bold lipstick instead.) I have found amazing new stores, covered events, taken up blogger challenges and issued one of my own. I wrote a quiz that received more page views in 24 hours than I usually get in a week.

100 C 600 (Okay, so maybe it looks a little like a tv weight loss commercial. HA! )

Harder to notice are the ways I’ve changed inside. If you’ve followed my blog, you may have read that I battle emotional and mental illness (and I  am ALWAYS open about this). You’ve probably inferred that I have loved and lost. I have picked up the pieces many times this year and needed to soldier on. It’s been harder than I would have imagined but I’ve made it through. I’m stronger now.

My first post ever (link is here) said the following:

So yes, this is me. (Arguably) Doing what I do best. No, it isn’t anything to do with photography.

At all.

I do love looking pretty, though, and doing it in a way that suits me. I love spending time with my family and friends looking great and being silly. I love making a space interesting and inviting and planning for the future.

I hope to cover all these things in my blog and I’d dearly love to share my journey with you this year. Buckle up, kiddos, it’s going to be good times!

Honestly, it’s been mostly good times.

My first post was a little frivolous but through the months I’ve come to realize quite a lot about myself. I believe that a positive outlook is the only way to achieve real happiness.

I share things here to help you smile and feel as though you’re a little less alone. This is why every post is a little bit different, why every outfit I put together has some sort of contextual reason to be in this blog. This isn’t a catalogue of ‘looks’ to flip through in order to find the newest trends in SL fashion – there are plenty of those already.

This is me connecting with you, sharing an outlook that isn’t always pretty but, gosh, what is? The important thing is that we try.

So here’s to the beginning of a new year: it won’t be perfect; it may not always be fun, but I promise I’ll be right here the entire time, doing my best to connect, to be open, and to help you find your reason to smile.

100 L 600

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Pond
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

::Exile:: Sway My Way:Stefani

Maitreya Silk Neck-Tie Blouse S * Pure
JANE – wide leg pant.zooey.truffle
[Gos] Hunter Ankle Boot – Hazel -

Donna Flora ~ MARIA Set 1&2
[PM]Sculpted Nails V2

Pose: Diesel Works

There’s only one possible song to share here. Measure in love, honey.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

WOOOO!!!

So this post is a little late (what else is new? :D) but I’d like to wish you the very, very best in 2013. I hope your holidays went beautifully and that you spent a wonderful time with friends and family. I hope you gave every gift you wanted to share and received thoughtful gifts in turn. I hope you danced on New Year’s Eve, or at least watched the fireworks.

I hope you’re smiling now. :)

Be happy, honey, because this is going to be a fantastic year. Have hope. Look forward.

NYE - L 600( Bigger pics in flickr; don’t forget! )

How about we look forward to a year of nights out? Fancy parties aren’t just for the holidays and you do NOT have to spend a bunch to look amazing all year ’round. Use what you have (try typing ‘gloves’ in your inventory search bar, please just humour me here) because you bought it for a reason. Find new things to love; maybe it’ll be something like this beautiful (FREE! :O ) strapless mesh party dress from shine. Try using accessories that make a statement (ie. anything from Chop Zuey) and experiment with makeup in an environment where you -won’t- have to dry out your skin with soap and water.

TNY - C 600 ( I would have -never- put this together a year ago. )

We’ve all been thinking about our plans for the new year. Why not resolve to put a little extra TLC into your avatar this month and try something new?

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Pond (Fave. Colour. Ever.)
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 01 Femme
cheLLe – (eyeshadow) Big Night Out (Black)
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-ATHENA hair – Marilyn

shine by [ZD] NEW YEARS EVE PARTY DRESS ~ FREE until January 31 HERE

Chop Zuey ~ Night Mystery Gld Set
~Blacklace~ Tempest: Black lace Gloves

Pose: Diesel Works

 

Grey’s The Way!

“People think that everyone wears black in France; in fact they all wear grey.”
~ Jean Paul Gaultier

So, again, this is a post that got away from me. I had plans; everything was set in my mind, plotted to the last alpha layer. I was going to photograph shine’s Grey Collection in monochrome with vivid colour accents: bright red lips, stunning aquamarine eyes, verdant green foliage, and bold yellow gloves (you know how I love to play with gloves). When I signed in this morning, though, things came together differently.

I just love when outfits evolve on their own!

Grey Collection 1 600 ( This outfit is pure ‘shine;’ simple, comfortable, and still pretty stylish! )

Something you will notice, however, is that I kept each outfit very simple; after a month of shimmer, sparkle, and bright colour, it was refreshing to change gears this way. To ‘embrace the grey,’ as it were.

The best part about all of these, though? Only the ‘Grey Collection’ clothing is brand new – everything else was hiding in my inventory. :) You don’t have to spend to look great, my dears.

Grey Collection 2 600 ( Click here for a ride over to flickr, yay! )

Shine by [ZD] has really outdone itself with this collection, I must say, and even though the clothing will only be available until the end of January I’m hoping you’ll drop by the mainstore to take a look for yourself. It’s definitely worth the effort. <3

Grey Collection 3 600 ( I’m not sure what to call this look, but there’s a bigger picture of it on my flickr. Go see! )

So here you have it: clothes by shine, +grasp+, Paper Couture, and coldLogic; LeLutka and Exile hair; Amorous jewelry; Gos sunglasses. Shoes from four of my favourite shops: Ingenue, Maitreya, shine, and Gos. IKON eyes. Emery gloves. Great poses from Diesel Works and .. I think that’s about it!

Four outfits, similar in composition but pretty different in effect. You can do it too!

Grey Collection 4 600 ( This girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man. Where are you guys?! )

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Pond
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-ALICE hair – Marilyn

shine by [ZD] MESH KNIT JUMPER grey ~ GREY COLLECTION (until end of January)
shine by [ZD] MESH MAXISKIRT special Ed. grey ~ GREY COLLECTION (until end of January)
+grasp+ Crown Tank Top(White)
Maitreya Allure Socks – Black (from the Allure shoe pack)
Ingenue :: Ariane :: Noir

: Amorous : Granny’s Necklace

~

IKON Eternal Eyes – Mist

[LeLutka]-SWISH-4in1-hair – Marilyn

shine by [ZD] MESH SLIM MINIDRESS grey No. 1 ~ GREY COLLECTION (until end of January)
Maitreya Allure Tights – Black (from the Allure shoe pack)
Maitreya Gold * Allure-Tights Ivory

[Gos] – Custom Sunglasses v3.2 BUTTERFLY [model]
: Amorous : Heilig (Set)
-LMK- Medium leather gloves

~

IKON Eternal Eyes – Mist

[LeLutka]-CACHET hair – Marilyn

shine by [ZD] – GIRLS MESH LEATHERJACKET rocking grey ~ GREY COLLECTION (until end of January)
p.c; Lace Cut bustier (from the Lace Cut Ballerina dress)
shine by [ZD] HIGH WAIST SKIRT grey ~ GREY COLLECTION (until end of January)
p.c Braided Finish Stockings (from the Braided Finish outfit)
shine by [ZD] MESH ANKLE BOOTS black

: Amorous : Suki (Set)

~

IKON Eternal Eyes – Blue

::Exile:: Against the Music:Stefani

shine by [ZD] MOCK NECK TOP grey ~ GREY COLLECTION (until end of January)
coldLogic trouser – cooper.pepper
[Gos] Pimp Your Pumps V2 – Point Ballet

: Amorous : Tied (Cord)
Emery – Gloves #Black

Poses: Diesel Works
Photos taken at the shine & sharp by [ZD] mainstore!

A Holiday Quiz: What’s Your Formal Style?

It’s been a long month!

You have wrapped gifts and unwrapped others. You’ve baked, cooked, and eaten more than you wanted to. You shopped to the sound of Christmas carols and braved the colder weather, clutching packages to your chest with a smile on your face. Maybe you had to work today and maybe you’re still on vacation, but either way you have earned a break. Most of the insanity has passed and stretching ahead of you are a few glorious days of celebration without ribbons or bows; paper, plastic, or scotch tape. There will be parties, music, and dancing.

This is a quiz I’ve written, just for fun, to help narrow down the last, ever-important question you’ll be asking yourself in the coming days:

“There’s a party tonight – what the heck am I going to wear?”

So here it is!

Gowns - Holiday Collage

~ What’s Your Formal Style? ~

1) When you’re out, you want to:
A – Have a crazy fun time
B – Turn people to mush
C – Enjoy the venue
D – Shimmer for miles
E – See and be seen
F – Look fantastic
G – Two (or more) of the above

2) Your favourite colours to wear are:
A – Anything that makes a statement
B – Black, black, and black
C – Cream, green, and brown
D – Pink, purple, and white
E – Rich colours in any shade
F – Black, white, and red
G – Anything, so long as it’s appropriate

3) When you wear jewelry, it’s usually:
A – Attention-grabbing
B – Highly suggestive
C – I don’t wear jewelry
D – Sparkly and pretty
E – Ornate
F – Vintage
G – Simple and understated

4) Shoes:
A – The crazier the better
B – Sexy stilettos
C – Do I have to?
D – Shiny and pretty
E – Very detailed, even if no one sees them
F – Elegant, dahling
G – Depends on the outfit

5) Your favourite venues are:
A – Everywhere and anywhere
B – The best places to find men/women
C – Places to explore and listen to music
D – Anywhere with ballroom Dancing
E – Exclusive clubs
F – Burlesque shows
G – Two (or more) of the above

Easy, right?

If most of your answers are A’s, you’ll want to check my entry for The Dramatic Diva. 

Mostly B’s? Have a look at my post about The Femme Fatale.

If you found yourself answering ‘C’ the most, you may be a Nature Girl.

If you said ‘D’ more often than not, you’ll smile to see you’re The Pastel Princess.

Mostly E’s? You may be The Regal Lady.

If most of your answers are the letter ‘F,’ you can call yourself a Silver Screen Starlet.

If you had a hard time narrowing your answers down or said ‘G’ a few times, you may be a Simple Sophisticate.

Note: You’ll see many designers featured in more than one (and possibly every) post. This is partly to make the process easier for me (eight posts in one day is a ton, even if you ARE a superhero), but I also wanted to draw attention to the fact that you don’t NEED to drive yourself crazy shopping for things to wear this holiday season; you might have something you can use in your inventory right now!

I’d also, also like to ask you to pay special attention to the amazing Chop Zuey jewelry in the following posts; I’ve used several pieces from the new Miss Virtual World collection and, get this, other pieces are CZ holiday and group gifts. The other item that helped hugely in this post series is the Diesel Works polywall. Next time you need to take dozens of pictures of different outfits in a short amount of time, remember this amazing high-quality photography tool. :D

The Dramatic Diva

This isn’t a surprise to you, but if you answered mostly A’s in the above quiz, there’s a strong chance you’re a Dramatic Diva.

Gown - Diva C 600 ( I’m in LOVE with this picture. Check it at its full size here. )

Mostly A’s – The Daring Diva

You are the life of the party. Nothing makes you happier than to be in the middle of a crowd, doing your thing, and having a marvelous time. You’re probably a little wild (or maybe you just want to be), a little bit loud, and whether or not everyone loves your wacky antics, no one has ever accused you of being boring.

Fashion is just another form of artistic expression for you. You love bright, bold colours and none of your outfits are complete without some kind of rocking accessory.

Gown - Diva L 600

~ Daring in Red ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Verdigris
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 01 Femme
.Pekka. FLORA Lipstick Naturals (1)
.Pekka. Eyeliner w/ Red Eyeshadow

[LeLutka]-SALOME hair – Marilyn

:: PM :: Cao Gown in Red
HOC Industries – Platform Pump

Chop Zuey ~ Out Damned Spot! Rd Set ~ Holiday gift, omg! GO GET IT!
Chop Zuey ~ Shirobana Ring
v3 Tattoo – Outlaw (womens) DARK 2

Prop & Poses: Diesel Works

The Nature Girl

If your quiz results were mostly C’s, you might be a Nature Girl.

Gown - Nature C 600 ( Off to flickr with you! )

Mostly C’s – The Nature Girl

For you, dressing to go out is the means to an end. All the fuss of choosing gowns and shoes and jewelry and makeup and (ugh) hair, seems, well, like too much work. You enjoy looking good, but you don’t get excited about it the way other people do. You probably prefer your mesh feet over any shoes on the grid.

However much you enjoy clothing, you enjoy where you’re going even more. You may not accessorize as much as the Daring Diva but you love texture. If something looks soft, lush, and/or comfortable, you probably have it in six colours.

Gown - Nature L 600~ Natural Beauty ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Pond
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
.Pekka. KATHYA Eyes Make Up (green)
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-JOLIE_RM hair – Marilyn

:: PM :: Ninde Gown in Pearl

Slink Vintage 2-Strap Pumps Cream

Prop & Poses: Diesel Works

The Pastel Princess

If your quiz results tended to be D’s, you’re probably a Pastel Princess! Hooray!

Gown - Princess C 600 ( A prettier, shinier, BIGGER picture on my flickr. <3 )

Mostly D’s – The Pastel Princess

You are a hopeless romantic, sweet and caring, with a love of silk and sparkle. Gold, silver, jewels .. you use them to good effect in a way that practically screams “dance with me!”

You love skirts, dresses, and leap at the opportunity to go dancing. You probably own a tiara and at least one pair of fairy wings, even if you never wear them out.

Gown - Princess L 600

~ Princessy Pastel ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Blizzard
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
cheLLe – (eyeshadow) Undereye Shadows (Navy)
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

::Exile:: Like Lovers Do:Stefani

:: PM :: Ra Gown in Pearl
[PM] Baby T’s Plain 2.0 : Silver :

Chop Zuey ~ Wisteria Woke Me This Morning ~ NEW MVW Collection!
*BOOM* Dame Elbow Gloves (doll pink) ~ NEW!

Prop & Poses: Diesel Works

The Regal Lady

If most of your quiz results were E’s, you’re probably a Regal Lady. :D

Gown - Regal C 600 ( Mhmm, we’re going to flickr. Your chariot awaits, M’Lady.)

Mostly E’s – The Regal Lady

You are elite. While you may not go to the trouble of going places very often, when you do, the word “spectacular” describes your efforts to perfection. You know the best places to shop and realize that fashion is one of the most subtle forms of name dropping in the world. Not everyone speaks this silent language as well as you, but that doesn’t matter in the slightest.

You know the best places to shop. If your gown isn’t custom, you know the designer personally.

Gown - Regal L 600

~ The Upper Crust ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Sapphire
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 01 Femme
-Belleza- Eyeliner 4
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[[Loovus Dzevavor]] ~ Hair: Buzz! Blanc 2
[[Loovus Dzevavor]] ~ Hair: Buzz! Blanc 2 HB

-AZUL- Linda -Sapphire
HOC Industries - Platform Pumps

Chop Zuey ~ Madonna of the Chair Set ~ NEW MVW Release!
:: PM :: Marilyn in White Gloves

Prop & Poses: Diesel Works

The Silver Screen Starlet

If your quiz results were mostly F’s, you may want to look at this:

Gown - Starlet C 600( A wider shot is available on my flickr stream. Go peek! )

Mostly F’s – The Silver Screen Starlet

There was a time, not too long ago, when men wore fedoras and trenchcoats. Women wore jewels and heels and skirts. Things were made with better materials, lasted longer, and somehow also cost less. You are a throwback to those times.

Your clothes are feminine without being girly. You ooze sensuality without being overtly sexy. You have truly excellent underwear.

Gown - Starlet L 600

~ Ready for Your Closeup ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Pond
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
.Pekka. Vintage Mature Complete Makeup – Red COMPLETE

/Wasabi Pills/ Veronica Mesh Hair – Rye

[LeLutka]-MARIA dress/BLACK
[Gos] Pimp Your Pumps V2 – Point Court

Chop Zuey ~ Eilifu Set ~ NEW in the MVW Collection!
*BOOM* Dame Elbow Gloves (pure) ~ NEW!

Prop & Poses: Diesel Works