Loving Donna Flora

Loving Donna Flora

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ~  Anne Frank

Loving Donna Flora

The Love Donna Flora event is opening on July 25 and going to August 11 on one sim with over 130 designers. They are each donating at least one item with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the item going to Squinternet Larnia. Many are donating much more. Squinternet has had cancer that has metastisized to her bones and because of her current treatments, her income in SL—which is her personal living income–has decreased while her expenses have increased. Cajsa Lilliehook, concerned for Squinternet’s well being, organized this event.

I first ran across Squinternet Larnia’s work in a small shop in what I am guessing was late 2008. I remember I was impressed by the variety of fashion and the creativity of the creator. She seemed to build each outfit as its own creation—no separate colorations—and she employed broad use of vibrant textures in varying proportions and shapes. She clearly wanted to push SL to match her vision rather than developing a vision from what SL had in its toolbox. She was mostly successful in her work. Her clothing was unique and exciting.

I remember thinking that it must be an Italian creator, and I can’t figure out why I knew that. I suspect it was the daring use of print and the playful approach to design. I remember gleefully buying an outfit that was proportionally tweaked—there were big puffy sleeves and a slim silhouette with a bright crazy print, but it all worked. In SL in 2008, that was exciting—trust me. Not a lot of people were toying with “fashion” as much as just making avatar clothes.

The first time I showed Squinternet’s work in this blog, I photo’ed a beautiful dress of simply system pieces in 2009 (top, glitch, skirt). It was excellent work. The piece holds to this day. (I wore it as I show here and got a few compliments when I went out.) There are no seams, there is proportion in the texture with an elegant color palette and shape. The texture doesn’t deform terribly on wearing (the shoulder straps are STRAIGHT!) and the whole thing makes sense. It takes a whole lot of talent to make system pieces sexy. Squinternet did it.

Loving Donna Flora

Squinternet learned that she had a cancer that had metastasized sometime around the time I was organizing Fashion for Life in 2012. When she signed on for FFL, I had no idea she had cancer. I was contacted by a friend of hers and then her to explain the diagnosis, and of course, I was concerned. I had placed a store for her and, receiving an offer from Cajsa Lilliehook to set it up in Squinternet’s absence, let it become a gallery for photos of Squinternet’s work in SL.

I had two creators that year out due to cancer. One would call me tearfully on Skype, in pain and on heavy medication, to cry about missing out on Fashion for Life. The other, Squinternet, rallied, and ended up setting up her store (and donating funds from her creations), despite the great uncertainty in her life at the time and the medication-induced fatigue and confusion she was experiencing. Leaving both stores there, empty or not, was a tangible reminder to people why they were donating to the American Cancer Society. Squinternet could have kept the news to herself and just ducked out. She decided instead to throw her support behind the effort when she herself was suffering. (Let me note I have many pieces in my inventory that were donated by Squinternet to various charities including Fashion for Life and Hair Fair. This wasn’t the first time she had done this.)

The core truth behind all this, folks, is that Squinternet has been dealing with this a long time. She has been looking down the long dark tunnel of not knowing what is next for quite a while. This is not a sudden diagnosis. I am guessing anyone who has had cancer will tell you it’s not the pain–it’s the uncertainty and the dependence on others that really wears them down, including the financial uncertainty. I doubt that the Love Donna Flora event will cover Squinternet’s expenses from her cancer; chances are, however, it will put a dent in them and give her some peace of mind so she can put her energies to fighting the disease.

You may feel uncomfortable giving a donation to an individual you don’t know. And certainly there are many other creators in SL who have faced difficulties without the same sort of assistance. Both arguments can be made quite truthfully. However, consider that you are simply tipping Squinternet for her fine work on the grid, giving her a bonus for all these years of sticking with SL. Or maybe it’s just kick back for all the things she so generously donated herself.

Or look at it another way: the creators selling you their items are the ones deciding where their income is going. In this case, it’s being donated to Squinternet Larnia. That’s their choice. Enjoy the lovely things they are offering. Dig in and go shopping!

I would like to give kudos to Cajsa Lilliehook who personally organized Love Donna Flora. She has undertaken a Herculean task—I would know as well as anyone. It’s a tireless, thankless job with no compensation. Lots of people have a list of “shoulds”  and “great ideas” that turn out to be ridiculously time-consuming and ineffective. Many have unsolicited advice and criticisms to offer. And some just like to create drama or pull attention to themselves. It’s not fun. A big thanks goes to Cajsa for doing all this.

Loving Donna Flora

“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Hair: TRUTH HAIR Mina – LightBrowns04 by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: -Belleza- Ava Med TLC 3 by Tricky Boucher for -Belleza- *

Eyes: sa_SpringtimeEyes_Olivegold by Silverr Andel for Sterling Artistry

Dress: * Donna Flora * CELINE by Squinternet Larnia for Donna Flora

Necklace: ADELE necklace by Squinternet Larnia for Donna Flora

Ring: SQUARE ring onix by Squinternet Larnia for Donna Flora

Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual Left and Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual Right by Siddean Munro for Slink

Skin Applier: -Belleza- Slink Hands – Medium by Tricky Boucher for -Belleza-

Nail Applier: Nailed It – Metals Set by Giela Delpaso for Nailed It *

Shoes: [Gos] Eva Slingback – Colour Collection by Gospel Voom for Gos Boutique *

Poses by Rogan Diesel for DieselWorks Animations *

5 thoughts on “Loving Donna Flora

  1. A really lovely post Gidge, so beautifully written.
    I love how you touch on how Squinternet’s work made you feel the first time you encountered it, and also why you think this is a worthy event to attend.
    I also really like what you wrote about donating. One of the many blessings of Second Life, and one of the many reasons why I am so enthusiastic about it, is the philanthropy that goes on in a virtual world raising money for a real one. Thanks to Cajsa for bringing this to Second Life and let’s hope the funds raised help Squinternet in whatever way she needs the most.

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