Lazy Sunday

It’s a lazy Sunday—nowhere to go, a cup of coffee, a newspaper, NPR on my iPad.

Lazy Sunday

On a morning like this, you can’t help but be happy for all you have. Swaffette Firefly sure makes me happy with this cozy but sexy robe. She has combined sculpty prims and system pieces in a skilled manner. Instead of giving us a frumpy torso prim, she uses the skirt layer to make the bottom of the robe and puts a sculpty belt on. She uses prims to make the cozy wrinkled sleeves.

Lazy Sunday

My guy (read: me as a boy) likes his cozy robe too. Swaffette manages what many don’t—she provides beautiful and useful fashions for both men and women. And a men’s robe looks like a man would wear it—it’s just as sexy on him as on her. These robes are no copy/transfer, so I can see buying a set and giving one to your sweetheart. Valentine’s is just around the corner ;)

Lazy Sunday

I got my skin from Al Vulo after seeing a similar on another avatar. I have gone back and forth about Al Vulo. There is something a little too much about it and I can’t put my finger on it—too much sheen, too much makeup, too much color? I chose this skin for its more subtle makeup and great eyebrows. Al Vulo’s almost there for me—almost.

Lazy Sunday

An American of the present day reading his Sunday newspaper in a state of lazy collapse is one of the most perfect symbols of the triumph of quantity over quality that the world has yet seen. ~ Irving Babbitt

On her:

Hair: >TRUTH< Eva – cranberry by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: al vulo- berta* natural 2 tan by Hlin Bluebird for al vulo

Robe with Slippers: sf design bathrobe red – hers by swaffette Firefly for sf design *

Newspaper: ILLClan Prop Shop – Newspaper by illclan Kristan for ILLClan Prop Shop

Coffee: Coffee with Steam by Dan Medici

On him (who Raven calls “the Old Spice guy”):

Skin: 04b Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+nobodyhair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for REDGRAVE

Shape: Sophistishapes – LLOYD bodyshape by Sophia Rossen for Sophistishapes (modified)

Robe with Slippers: sf design bathrobe teal  his by swaffette Firefly for sf design *

Go Packers!!!

Gracie and the Real Girl

I met Gracie Kendal when I first went to Tiphares. We have known each other for some time, and I would be lying if I said we were besties, but we certainly do like each other tons. I asked Gracie to provide a guest blog because she has done very specific work centered around her avatar. She wants me to mention that she is an artist—and she is—but her work is so much more than mere art. It’s an incredibly personal statement about her identity

Gracie Kendal is a woman who has been seeking her way in her first life using her second life as a mirror, a vessel for her identity, a means of growing both personally and artistically. Gracie, who is now an instructor in art, did her entire masters thesis using SL. She explored the embodiment of Gracie, her avatar self, to understand the embodiment of Kris, her human self. You can read more about Gracie.. and Kris.. at www.kristineschomaker.net and see pieces of her thesis at The Gracie Kendal Project.

Harper5

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

How can I be myself when I’m immersed in thousands of advertisements, TV shows and movies every day persuading, influencing, telling me who to be? How can I be myself when I am constantly being judged and criticized by family and friends for not living up to their expectations? How can I be myself when I don’t have control? Ralph Waldo Emerson was right, It will be my greatest accomplishment to be able to find myself amongst the constant barrage of “something else” out there. I wonder what Emerson would have thought about avatars. It is funny, creating this virtual representation of myself, this ideal figure, this avatar I control, I can be myself. Is she my doll? When I was a kid, I played with Barbies. I wanted to be a Barbie. Who didn’t? Now, I have become my own “doll” which I project my hopes, fears, passions and imagination on while I explore this amazing path of self exploration.

Harper1

Harper3

This is Gracie. Gracie is me. I am Gracie. Her clothes help define us. Her signature paint pants were given to her by a great friend who said, “OMG you have to have these.” As he said, “they’ll look much better on you, than me.” I laughed. The black t-shirt from Coco, is amazing. The detail in the wrinkling and seams help make it seem real and natural. Gracie’s shoes are the fabulous UBU PornStar Hi-Tops. I especially love the detail of the writing on the toes and the ability to change color and pattern. This outfit, that Gracie wears all the time, is also what I (Kris) wears in the real world most of the time; Jeans, a black V-neck tshirt and Converse. Gracie is me.

Harper4

In her 4 years of existence Gracie has had the same shape from Alady, and only one other skin. Her current skin from Redgrave helps show off her blue eyes and bright smile. Another signature to Gracie’s look is her Artilleri Rhinestone retro glasses. While I wear glasses in real life, I felt it was important for Gracie to also have some stylish artsy specs. Her nose ring and Kaj <3 bracelet were created by my great friend Jordan, owner of Jordans Jewelry. These are both representations of two amazing long time friends in SL. The only thing that Gracie changes a little more often is hair. I mean come on, with so many amazing hair stylists out there, you just have to. Right? Her current hair, is Truth Linda champagne. The one constant as far as hair goes, is that Gracie always stays blond. That is who Gracie is.

Harper6

Radiohead sang, “I don’t care if it hurts- I want to have control- I want a perfect body- I want a perfect soul.” With Gracie’s help, I am trying to find “my” control through “my” perfect body and “my” perfect soul. Whatever that is.

Hair: >TRUTH< Linda – champagne by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH<

Skin: O4B Moon Pale Skin / blue (light-brows) *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for REDGRAVE

Shape: AladyShapes68SlaveGirlCcup by Tracey Sassoon for ALady

Top: *COCO*_V-neckTee (black) by Cocoru Lemon for Coco

Pants: Painter Jeans created by Forseti Svarog (unknown where they came from)

Glasses: /artilleri/ Rhinestone Retro! BLACK by Antonia Marat for Artilleri

Nose Piercing: Jordan*s Diamond Nose Piercing by Jordan Morgenrote for Jordan’s Jewelry

Bracelet: Kaj <3 bracelet, blk cord (rs) by Jordan Morgenrote for Jordan’s Jewelry

Key: CFF- Heartwork Wind Up Key by Canolli Capalini for Capalini Fine Furnishings

Shoes: PornStar Hi-Tops MultiColor v2 by Coke Dreadlow for Urban Bomb Unit

Awareness

There are a lot of functions centered around “awareness” of this or that thing in SL lately. Personally, I’ve attended a number of these “awareness” events and am shocked at how little they do to actually make people aware other than putting it in their title (and, to be honest, I wonder if – in some cases –  it is a ploy to boost business by saying it is “for” something.) There is so much more to say than “be aware” and give it lip service. Let’s go beyond the virtual and get real about this.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s not about being aware that breast cancer exists—we know that. It’s about being aware about your risk, about treatments, about the need to fund research to help treat and eradicate it. (Meanwhile I will show some virtual breasts—I can’t skip the picture/review portion of this blog and perhaps it will catch people’s attention.. heh heh).

Skins, left to right, clockwise: L.Fauna {Lola . Tan 1} [Whisper] by Launa Fauna for L. Fauna; no.07 :: Demetris – Natural :: Beard 02 – Bald by Aeon Jiminy for no.07, [LeLutka]-LOLA_stan-makeup2(L Brows) by Minnu Palen for LeLutka; -Belleza- Elle Dark SK 4 by Tricky Boucher for Belleza

Here are some quick facts. (Please note I have linked all my sources—please check them. It’s important to think critically about what you read. I am not just shoving some “statistic” in a notecard without proper attribution to a credible source.)

  • Breast cancer happens substantially more in women than men. But.. it does occur in men.*
  • It is estimated that 207,090 women will be diagnosed with and 39,840 women will die of cancer of the breast in 2010* Death rates have been decreasing since 1991, however. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.*
  • Based on rates from 2005-2007, 12.15% of women born today will be diagnosed with cancer of the breast at some time during their lifetime.*
  • In 2010, there are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.*

&Bean – hounds of love LIGHT Rav  1  brow by Keiko Morigi for &Bean; []::Tuli::[] Audrey (tone 3/br) :: 07 by Tuli Asturias for Tuli; 04   Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+chesthair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave; :GP: Sundust [Dark] June-Pure 3 by Gala Phoenix for Curio

Wanna get even more real? I recently had my first mammogram. I did it on the instigation of my friend, Raven Pennyfeather, who knew that I was overdue for my first exam and whose father was recently (successfully) treated for breast cancer himself.

Since some of my readers may not have had this valuable exam, let me explain to you my experience. My breasts were each placed on a platform and pressed down by a clear PETG plastic paddle—gently and briefly. (I know so much about the paddle because in my former life I helped manufacture them.) The discomfort was temporary. Ripping off the little band-aids that were put on my nipples hurt the most. The woman who did the exam was fabulous—she has seen boobs all over on every age and size of woman and man. I felt no shame at all.

[ PXL] Daniel NAT Face00 Dark H by Hart Larsson for PXL; :: DUTCH TOUCH ::kEIra:: Olive – Dawn CL1 EBblack by Iki Ikarus for DUTCH TOUCH; *Sawode* Ada Umber Skin Makeup 1 by sanalyildiz Yalin for *Sawode*; Adam n Eve Skin – Marina t3 Delight by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve

I had put off getting it the exam done because I feared the discomfort and the embarrassment. And deep inside, I feared finding out something negative—my grandmother had breast cancer. It was very quick and easy and my test results were normal.

Many of you out in the metaverse are doing what I did—putting off this very important and easy exam. Why? I told you it’s not bad. (Really! It’s not!) The person doing it was very experienced and very helpful. And while my insurance paid for it, there are many places that offer this exam for free in the US. Not having insurance or the means to pay for one is NOT an excuse! Click here for more information about free mammograms in the US.

Pulse Skin Dance With Me-M1 by Lorac Farella for Pulse; -tb- {Light} DU Echo’s Meadow – Dark Thick Brows by Julliette Westerburg for tres blah; [dekade.] SKINS -Brooke 2- Sunkissed/Hair/L Brows/TDR by Kira Ahn for dekade; LaVie Mark Chin Beard Hair Base Normal by KaoZ Kobe for LaVie

I know the mammogram is not the sole means of detecting breast cancer. I do frequent self exams and also visit my doctor for an annual exam (while I get my annual pelvic exam and um, yeah.. I won’t be blogging THAT). I am also aware of my risk for developing breast cancer. Being female and past a certain age (*ahem*), it’s already increased. Do YOU know everything you need to know?

There is so much more to say that I can’t cover in this blog, but at least I put out something of substance and value. Want to know more? Click through on these links:

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Page

Mayo Clinic

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Stranger in a Strange Land

If you’re wondering if I know this good looking guy, I sure do. Bram Ellison has been a friend of mine for quite a while, and while his avatar’s attractive, it has more to do with his personality than how is avatar looks. Generous, kind, intelligent, and gentlemanly to a fault, Bram is the kind of guy you are honored to have in your friends list. It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eye ;)

“I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.” ~ Archibald Alexander Leach, aka Cary Grant

Stranger in a Strange Land

On September 19th, 2006, I logged in to Second Life for the very first time. Until the exact moment my avatar appeared I had never heard of a virtual world and had no idea I had just entered one. I thought I was signing up for an online class. Surprise!

Since part of the purpose of the guest blog is to talk about how we developed our persona, I thought you might want to know just how embryonic I began. I had never even been in a chat room! So the realization that all around me were 3D representations of real people talking and interacting in real time was a bit overwhelming. “Dude. You are sooo not in Kansas,” pretty much summed it up. But I decided to stick around to figure out where the heck I had landed and if there were flying monkeys involved. Turns out there were, and one of them was me.

 Stranger in a Strange Land

My first take on the place was that you weren’t supposed to be yourself at all, and I was shocked when people kept asking personal questions. I mean look at the name: “Second Life.” It practically screams, “Try something new!” So I set out to define who I wanted to be in my second life. That was too lofty a goal, so I settled for WHAT I wanted: a boat, and to not look like I was begging for bananas.

I got a small boat to live on and was a happy lil’ Jimmy Buffett-blaring simian for a while until I began to get handy with the shape tools. There are 77 selections in 9 categories and there’s a bit of work involved in getting to know and use them well. But you have to start someplace, and the person I picked to emulate for physical cues was Cary Grant. The man just oozed style, and the better I got at shaping the more I appreciated his taste and grace. I started paying more attention to clothes, skins, accessories, and hair. (I also found out you could buy shapes! Oh well.) But through all the Cary channeling, I always came home to the boat, beach, and Buffett.

Stranger in a Strange Land

What you are seeing in these pictures is my culmination of the two styles. Flick Carlucci took these photos at very cool sim called “Virtual Decay.” She’s got a great eye and is fun to work with. No matter what I wear from tux to tennis shoes, I’m all about the best possible design and texture. (Read, picky as hell.) I like simple classic colors and styles with a casual slant and the shirt/jacket combo and the jeans from AOHARU fit the bill nicely. The boots are my favorites from Jeepers Creepers. The shape is still my own creation and I think the Redgrave skin suits it well. The hair is from Truth and I totally dig it. Oh, the sweet Rickenbacker M330 guitar is from Nortique Guitars. Now here we are four years in. I’m still on a boat and I know who I am. Jimmy Cary Grant Buffett, aka Bram Ellison. Or maybe he’s me. ;)

Stranger in a Strange Land

We are the people our parents warned us about. ~ Jimmy Buffett

Hair: Elysium, espresso by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH<

Skin: Cruz, deep tan by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave

Eyes: Rainy Day by Pompeja Rossini for Damiani

Shape: Bram Ellison for Bram Ellison

Jacket with Shirt: Black with white shirt by machang Pichot for AOHARU

Jeans: Vintage dark by machang Pichot for AOHARU

Necklace: Stone Cross by JesseAitui Petion for AITUI

Tattoo: Northwest Spirit by JesseAitui Petion for AITUI

Boots: Oslo, black by Eponymous Trenchmouth for Jeepers Creepers

Guitar: Rickenbacker 330 Guitar by K1TTY Munro for Nortique Guitars

Photography by Flick Carlucci.

Photos taken at Virtual Decay.

Hair Ball

Customer: Waiter, there’s a hair in my soup!
Waiter: Shhhh.. not so loud or everyone’s gonna want rabbit stew!

Harper’s 10+ Tips for a happier Hair Fair (fight the lag!):

1. Remove all scripts (including AOs). (Result: reduces sim lag.)

2. Fly between tents so no one notices your waddle. (No one’s looking at you anyway.) (Result: reduces personal embarrassment and paranoia and gets you around faster.)

3. Wear system clothes only. (No you don’t have to be naked or looking like a freak.) (Result: reduces arc and ergo, client side lag.)

4. Barefoot is in these days–no shoes or prim feet ;) (Result: reduces arc/client side lag.)

5. Wear a skin with a hairbase and skip prim hair. (You won’t look bald.) (Result: reduces arc/client side lag.)

6. Get a bandanna and look stylin and Hair Fair fashionable. (Result: reduces arc/client side lag, makes you look fashionable, AND helps Wigs for Kids.)

7. Do not try on demos AT Hair Fair. Grab everything that intrigues you and take it home for trying on. You’ll just be frustrated standing around trying them on and waiting for them to rez. Besides, someone else is trying to get into the sim! Better yet, join the Hair Fair DEMO group and get all the demos from notices and try them on before you even go. (Result: reduces client side lag, potentially sim lag, and your frustration.)

8. Realize that they built the Hair Fair sims in tents (you’ll see what I mean when you get there) to decrease your exposure to new textures in your distant view. Walk through walls to get around–most are phantom–if you get lost or frustrated. (Result: reduces client-side lag.)

9. WAIT a few days and go later and enjoy leisurely, less-lag shopping. You’re not gonna die because you aren’t wearing that brand new hair from Maddox DuPont just yet. Believe me. (It’s open from September 4-19!) (Result: reduces sim lag.)

10. Do not lecture others on their arc, scripts, demoing habits, etc. Mind your own business and don’t be a drama queen. Besides, running that arc indicator thing increases YOUR personal lag. (Result: reduces your personal tension and adds to your and other’s personal shopping pleasure time.)

11. Read my blog starting Tuesday, August 7, when I will start previewing my favorite pieces. (Result: reduces personal shopping frustration and makes you look super fly!)

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Who said you can’t find decent hair in SL? The Hair Fair for 2010, which opens today, will prove anyone wrong. For once virtual hair will do more than just cover our virtual heads–it will support the creation of hair pieces for real children. All donations from the Hair Fair will be given to Wigs for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides wigs for children who have lost hair due to illness.

As part of the Hair Fair, the organizers asked creators and bloggers to make bandannas which can be worn throughout the fair to decrease arc. Proceeds from the sales of these bandannas will benefit Wigs for Kids. I have created two bandannas to be sold at the fair in the hopes that my small effort will help one child feel more comfortable after going through probably already traumatic illness. Please buy one! :D

The textures are completely mine (though I am hopeless with graphics programs); the sculpty was made by Damien Fate. It includes my personal stamp of approval ;)

Please feel moved to donate a small amount more by purchasing hair at this year’s Hair Fair from sponsored vendors or by donating directly. The creators participating have donated a considerable amount of this time for this cause and while they want you to purchase their creations, they also want you to donate generously as they have.

Bandannas: Hair Bandana–Harper Beresford–Men’s and Hair Bandana–Harper Beresford–Women’s, available exclusively at the Hair Fair in various locations on each of the four sims. TP here to get started: Hair Fair

Skins: LAQ ~ Julie – 02 [Peach] Glow skin (red hairbase) by Mallory Cowen for Laqroki and 04b Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+nobodyhair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave

Earrings: *Fyreworks* Diana Earrings in Seagreen by Harper Beresford for *Fyreworks*

P.S. Thank you again, Chatty, for conversion of the photos. You saved my bacon (mmm… bacon) once again!

Muscle

Is it wrong for a woman to confess that once in a while she likes a man with a little muscle?

Muscle

I walked around in this guy at the Shoe Fair and goodness, there are a few ladies who like muscle (you know who I am talking about, Delora, Solange, and Phoenix). Well it didn’t hurt that I had this tank from Dick Wiesel and leather pants from Avrele Guisse. Crocodile boots from swaffette Firefly made the look complete.

Muscle 

Part of the sexiness and a lot of the muscle comes from this outstanding skin from Emilia Redgrave. Not sure how she shows the veins in the arms so well or got the sheen on his skin so well, but goodness, he’s hot. And it’s all supported by a fine shape from Sophia Rossen (which I modified in the face to make it a little more structurally right).

Muscle

Finally, the hair.. goodness, the hair. This hair is made by Mirja Mills, the queen of wild fantasy hair. I realize this is panther hair, but dang it looks so fine on this man with the feathers and the beads. Then he gets the sunglasses from Guu Nishi, set on opaque, the toothpick from Aletta Milena and the obligatory gold chain, this one from my pal, SC Tracy.

Muscle

Men should be like coffee, hot sweet and strong” ~ Dutch Proverb quotes

Hair: SCHATTENREITER hair by Mirja Mills for Emo-tions *

Skin: 04   Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+chesthair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave

Shape: Sophistishapes – LLOYD bodyshape by Sophia Rossen for Sophistishapes (modified from original)

Top: :. WoE .: Dragon Tank (Grey) by Dick Wiesel for :. WoE .: *

Pants: Avrele Reble Mens Low Waist Leather Pants 121809 by Avrele Guisse for Avrele*

Sunglasses: HOC – Aviator style glasses #003 Male by Guu Nishi for HOC Industries

Tattoo: Dragon Wing by Ctarr Huszar for Beyond Tattoo

Chain: !Rfyre Roman Eagle Amulet Necklace by SC Tracy for RFyre *

Earring: Made by me :)

Toothpick: toothpick by Aletta Milena for Somethin’ in Your Mouth

Boots: sf design crocodile boots black – mens by swaffette Firefly for SF Design

New Yorker Passerby

There is an artist I have enjoyed following over the past few years since I found out about him. Jorge Colombo, who has since become famous for his iPhone New Yorker covers, was doing daily sketches of the people he saw out on the sidewalks of New York City every day that he called “The Dailies.” I was absolutely entranced because he seemed to capture their character so vividly in each sketch, from the tone of their skin to their expression, stance and details. You can see a few of them here but he has been doing them for 10 years. (He used to date stamp each one before it got put on his website.)

I realize that my foray into avatars that look substantially different me is a sort of Jorge Colombo deal where I want to honor the people who would inhabit these bodies, perhaps spark a bit of imagination about their lives, perhaps lend empathy. They are “character sketches” in a very virtual sense. And many of them are my fellow residents in SL.

New York Passersby

In this character sketch we see this gentleman, waiting to cross the street. His name could be Jorge.. or Dwayne.. or Hussein, depending on who his mother is and how she felt when she first saw his face. His sweater, made by potato beanster, shows a certain hipness. His drawstring cargo pants from swaffette firefly show practicality. His hi tops from Coke Dreadlow show a certain quirkiness (since they are orange) and his messenger bag from onakagoo Waco shows an artistic bent. He’s definitely a native New Yorker.

New York Passersby

You have to wonder what’s in the bag.. art supplies? School books? Graphic novels? As he gazes out from behind his sunglasses at the traffic, you can see he’s quite a handsome man. Perhaps it’s his modeling portfolio in that bag. Certainly the skin Emilia Redgrave has provided shows off his best attributes. He is a delicious man of color.

Kavar Cleanslate completes the look for our handsome city man with dreadlocks perfect for this man about town.

New York Passersby

“Every day I am a spy for two minutes – and every day I am after a different person.” ~ Jorge Colombo

Hair: Exile Andre cheyanne by Kavar Cleanslate for Exile

Skin: 04   Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+chesthair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave

Shape: Sophistishapes – LLOYD bodyshape by Sophia Rossen for Sophistishapes (modified from original)

Sweater: Ducknipple Tom Sweater by beanster Potato for Ducknipple

Pants: sf design cargo cutoffs stone mens by swaffette Firefly for SF Designs

Sunglasses: ROLE OPTIC SG-77 Escuda (male) by Rohal Schnyder for Role Optic *

Messenger Bag: ::: ArtMeter ::: bag S Orange by onakagoo Waco for ArtMeter(no longer available)

Earring: Made by me :)

Shoes: PornStar Hi-Tops MultiColor v2 by Coke Dreadlow for Urban Bomb Unit

Poses by Diesel Rogan of Diesel Works Animations *