The N’dali

The N'Dali

“The N’dali of the temperate forests and hills of Southern Peninsula of Melanasia are an independent tribe of traders and craftspeople. They are most noted for their fine metalwork and technology in working with exotic creature skins and feathers such as those of the phoenix and dragon. Their people are homogenous with genetic markers such as pale fine caucasian skin, thick dark black hair and most amazingly, golden eyes, which appear ubiquitously through the N’dali people but are known as a rare recessive gene across other populations.

The N'Dali

“As the culture is matrifocal, women enjoy a great degree of independence and power. Free of the pressures of typical patriarchal societies, both women and men flourish as leaders, artisans, nurturers and tradespeople. Some occupations weigh heavier towards one sex or the other but both sexes enjoy the opportunity to choose their vocation. Parenthood is shared, with all children taught the concept of n’dalia, or fidelity to social oneness and community. The people are, overall, very insular and communicate very reluctantly with others except in trade. It could be said that their cultural ethos is ‘G’sip a g’ringen’ or ‘Words are power.’

“As seen in Figures 1 and 2, the N’dali women’s garb is made entirely by local artisans. First, the top and skirt are sewn from treated dragonskin, which is created from a process of steps that range from the original hunt of dragons by specialized warriors to the butchering of dragons and curing of dragonskin by skilled craftspeople. The dragonskin is surprisingly light but flexible and protective—it can withstand high temperatures and resists puncturing. The collars and belt of their garments are fashioned by artisans trained via apprenticeship and are created by commission, showing the marks of their owners’ family seals-—in this case, the image of a goddess akin to Callisto on the belt.

The N'Dali

“Figure 3 shows us the face of a N’gali woman. With fine beautiful features, the N’dali’s caucasian skin is surprisingly resistant to the elements and heat. The skin provides for N’dali women a convenient canvas for personal expression. While the facial tattoos of many women accentuate their golden eyes and provide pure decoration, the tattoos on their arms tell metaphorical tales of very personal narratives and relationships (in the case of this woman, an homage to the master craftswoman who taught her dragonskin hunting and curing). The hair is arranged in a complex construction of loops and curls, reaching ever higher heights as wearers try to outdo each other to the astonishment and subsequent duplication of their peers. It could never be said a N’dali woman is not vain.”

The N'Dali

Excerpted from “Between the Dragon and Phoenix: the N’dali of Melanasia” by anthropologist Birgit Fredriksson-Denison.

Cultural artifacts provided by:

Hair: MrS – Hazardous –  Medium by MrSigmund Fride for MrS

Skin: :GP: Petal [Dark] Summer-Pebble 1 by Gala Phoenix for Curio *

Makeup: Adam n Eve Eye Tattoo Dragon Queen Gold by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Gold (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Outfit: Adam n Eve Clothes – Dragonskin – Purple by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *

Earrings: p.c; Oxidized Silver Hoop by Cora Lu for Paper Couture (modified)

Tattoos: AITUI TATTOO – Fire Fish Sleeves ::airbrushed:: by Jesseaitui Petion for AITUI

Shoes: ::: MOON ::: 1001 Nights Slippers COCOA by Moon Ling for ::: MOON :::

Something About You

Something About You

A sweet pop song from the 80s like Level 42’s “Something About You” reminds me of less troubled times (though we thought at the time that they were troubled). It deserves a sweet innocent little white outfit and an almost unreal, doll-like skin.

Something About You

This pretty Victorian undergarment-inspired look from Neferia Abel, part of her summer collection release, is a light and summery look for a sweet girl in SL. Neferia is incredibly skilled at combining evocative textures with perfectly employed prims to create a believable silhouette. Whites are hard to do but she pulls it off and makes it look light and breezy. A pretty necklace from Mouse Mimistrobell completes the look.

Something About You

LiLO Glom offers skins that are kind of… cartoony or sticky sweet. It’s a look many like to have so they can almost approach an anime style. The skin does not fit my shape very well but looked fantastic on a new shape from Freedom Parx, so I show it here. I don’t think it’s a bad combo, especially with one of Truth Hawks’ newest styles.

Something About You

“And it’s not so wrong; we’re only human after all…”

Hair: >TRUTH< Teshan  – honey by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: *JeSyLiLO*:::Lollipop:::*TanSkin*J12 by LiLO Glom for *JeSyLiLO* *

Shape: Freestyle Shapes – Cassie by Freedom Parx for Freestyle Shapes *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Hazel (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Outfit: -L`Abel-Country chic -Jessica white lace set by Neferia Abel for L`Abel *

Necklace: Dark Mouse Steeplechase Pearl Necklace – Gold by Mouse Mimistrobell for Dark Mouse *

Corsage: (CREAMSHOP) lily bangle (white) by SAZAE Yoshikawa for Creamshop (no LM available)

Shoes: p.c; overstated maryjane – oyster by Mare Lu for Paper Couture (no longer available)

Champagne

Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient Champagne.”  ~ Dorothy Parker

Champagne

Champagne—a heady, sparkling, rare—not unlike a romantic evening with a new someone special. This evening gown from Mami Jewell is the ideal dress for such an evening with its elegant lace bodice and smooth silk skirt. Mami makes the dress even more special with huge blossoming roses slung below the hips and trimmed with black lace. The dress moves gloriously.

Champagne

Someone whose taste I respect suggested I wear a light blonde hair with this dress. I chose Onyx LeShelle’s platinum blonde in an updo, which is striking with the dress and against Monicuzza Babenco’s lovely preview skin for Sole. My almost-retro jewelry is an older set from Cora Lu.

Champagne

“Champagne makes you feel like it’s Sunday and better days are just around the corner.” ~ Marlene Dietrich

Hair: Maitreya Siri – Platinum by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Skin: *YS & YS* Sole Reborn – EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW  4 TDR with *YS & YS* Sole Reborn LightBrows by Monicuzza Babenco for *YS & YS*

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Pale Clover Green (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Dress: -AZUL- Kathe/Champagne by Mami Jewell for -AZUL-

Jewelry: P.C; Antique Pearl Choker and P.C; Antique Pearl Earrings by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: (Shiny Things) Delphine pumps – sand by Fallingwater Cellardoor for (Shiny Things) *

Golden Treasure

I love putting together a totally fantastical look, one that is monochrome and stylized. There is no deep meaning behind this—just a satisfaction in finding a set of items that represent one of the hardest textures in SL to show–gold—in amazing ways.

Golden Treasure

I start with a swimsuit from monica Outlander’s early summer set of swimsuits and beachwear. The “Prue” is a great set—a bikini top with a thong and a nice little pareo to hide your bum. Monica has the sheen of the material and that bright golden color locked down perfectly. My shoes are great little prim toe shoes from Babette Ultsch that have a great gold texture (she also has a great silver pair).

Golden Treasure

My skin is the newest from Aida Ewing, a sunkissed beauty with a beautiful glow and sheen to the skin and lips and delectable make up. I really like this new set, which is being offered at the Skin and Shape Expo, because it shows a lot more depth and skill. Aida’s improving with each skin she makes and is starting to dominate the skin world. My golden brown hair is a Mirja Mills special color, which I love seeing because it’s so unique in SL. My earrings are grandiose affairs from Cora Lu’s newest line for Paper Couture and my luscious golden eyes are from Ikon Innovia.

Golden Treasure

Not all that blings is gold.

Hair: .:EMO-tions:. * ADORA * /naturals by Mirja Mills for .:EMO-tions:.* (modified)

Skin: -Glam Affair- Layla MedTan – D 02 by aida Ewing for –Glam Affair-, available at the Skin and Shape Expo *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Pale Gold (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Swimsuit: Miamai_Prue Gold by monica Outlander for Miamai *

Earrings: p.c; Studded Gold Circles by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: *KL* Sandals03g Nadia Inka01 by Babette Ultsch for Kitties Lair

The Puritan Ethic

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. ~ Theodore Isaac Rubin

The Puritan Ethic

You expected to see me in some pilgrim costume with that title? Nah! (Nor will I be doing an exegesis on Max Weber, my dear academic friends.)  The Puritan ethic comes down to working hard and having high expectations of oneself and others and high optimism for the results of that hard work. That’s why a business outfit like this is perfect for the holder of that ethic. Ivey Deschanel—her place is so dark, some of her clothes are so funky but really, she is good example of that ethic. She cranks out the goodness day after day, while improving her work and making her customers happy.

This cardigan and skirt (from two different sets from Ivey) are an example of how Ivey breaks out of the dark neko aesthetic I somehow always expect (I think is the decor of her store or something…) and comes up with elegant, well-designed and appealing fashion. I love the below-the-knee plaid skirt, the great argyle, well-shaded in the right areas, and the overall silhouette and simplicity. Ivey never over-relies on embellishments and instead rocks the system pieces til they sing.

The Puritan Ethic

Another rocking creator is Truth Hawks. A discussion tonight allowed me to remind people that Truth is keeps a constant flow of content, and that is what keeps people coming back and again and again. It’s not about marketing, about flash and dazzle and image. It’s about making quality content on a consistent basis. (Though I would personally argue that the head/face he uses to fit this stuff is too wide—I am always adjusting it slightly for Harper’s long thinner head.) I know he’s Australian (and not American puritan), but he really is a captain of industry in SL.

The Puritan Ethic

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. ~ Charles Kettering

Hair: >TRUTH< Paige – seaspray by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: []::Tuli::[] The Dressing Room :: Helena 02 by Tuli Asturias for Tuli *

Sweater: :::Sn@tch Fast Forward Sweater (Argyle Red-J)::: by Ivey Deschanel for Sn@tch *

Skirt: :::Sn@tch Madge Skirt (Black Tweed-S)::: by Ivey Deschanel for Sn@tch *

Glasses: HOC – Rectangle Framed Glasses #001 by Guu Nishi for HOC

Shoes: p.c; Suede Platform Pump Black by Cici Vonderheide for Paper Couture

A Spot of Pink

As the clocks fall forward (and we gain an hour of sleep), the skies will suddenly appear dark early in my part of the world. So a bright spot of pink on an outfit lends cheer and brilliance.

A Spot of Pink

Joy Laperrier and Magnifico Miggins have recently opened a lovely sim called Euphoria which contains some of the grid’s best shopping. Included with the shopping is a rewards program based on purchases made on the sim. Hit the minimums and you begin to feel the pleasure of being a valued customer by getting discounts on your purchases. This dress by Azure Electrictooth is an exclusive item on Euphoria sim. With its retro styling and beautiful satiny skirt, it’s definitely a must-have.

A Spot of Pink

I love this retro hair from Kin Keiko with this look. A girl wearing a dress like this doesn’t need something loose and sexy. She needs something just a tinge done up, a little uptight. My skin is from Kira Ahn’s line, which may still be on sale if you get there fast enough.

A Spot of Pink

I love the line of these pumps and the amazing textures. (Check the seam on the inner side of the shoe—now that’s accuracy.) Cici Vonderheide offers these absolutely drop dead platform pumps in a full compliment of colors. I love the contemporary shape.

A Spot of Pink

Pink perfection:

Hair: kin-Jennifer-[black] by Kin Keiko for Kin Keiko

Skin: [dekade.] SKINS BARDOT-Vivienne Tan /Dark Brows/Make Up 09 by Kira Ahn for [dekade.]

Outfit: Tee*fy Sophia Dress by Azure Electricteeth for Tee*fy, available exclusively at Euphoria *

Gloves: *+*JILL*+*ribbon gloves-Pink by Jill Lemon for *+*JILL*+* (no longer available)

Shoes: p.c; Suede Platform Pumps – Pink by Cici Vonderheide for Paper Couture

Lunchtime Shopping

Step back a second and think about your favorite shopping experiences in SL. They are usually a social thing—you go looking for a new dress for a party or a new skin. You gather landmarks from friends. You walk around stores admiring the ambience and the products. You try on an infinite number of hair demos to show your partner (who is infinitely patient, which is why s/he’s your partner). Shopping in SL is an event.

But… when you’re at work where you can’t log into Second Life, know you have two rez days celebrations to send gifts for, need a costume for one of the rez day parties (who decided an all-pink pajama party was needed?), and you have a long lunch hour stretching out in front of you.. where do you go? Marketplace. (And do NOT tell me you don’t surf the web at work—you’re reading this blog, after all!)

The new Marketplace went up for Second Life aficionados recently. The transition from XStreet to Marketplace can’t have been an easy one but it’s done. Lots of folks have complained, but honestly, I don’t understand everyone’s griping. There’s so much to like.

First, there is the clean interface, which removes all the “junk” from the listings and the opening page. You get big bold images with a pleasing color scheme that is integrated with the Second Life main page, letting you know that it all goes together and makes the sale of content become much more important. Making content king in SL has been one of my points of agitation—I have always thought LL needed to acknowledge the importance and value of content for the continued existence of SL, both financially and aesthetically. The new Marketplace does that.

Then you have that shopping cart, which I love. I *hated* having to go back and find my place after purchasing something in XStreet. Now I don’t have to. I can look at my cart and see exactly how much I am blowing… I mean, spending *cough* before I buy it all. I can decide right there who is getting gifts and who isn’t, ALL IN ONE PURCHASE without the fear of making an error. From a consumer standpoint it’s a win. And oh, oh.. you don’t have to run to a terminal anymore to deposit Linden. Thank goodness!

Finally you have the seller interface (yes, I sell on Marketplace so I am not talking out of my whatsit here). I checked out the process for entering a new item, and it seems quite streamlined and less clunky than the XStreet interface. They also have provided the opportunity to split sales, attach a pdf, enter an in-world slurl, a website, a video link, and link it to eight other associated products. Come on! What could a content maker possibly be unhappy about?! The time it takes re-editing to take advantage of all these goodies, I suppose, but that’s life. Deal. And hello, the website runs lickety split (unlike the old XStreet that took forever to update when you were editing a listing).

Lunchtime Shopping

So… I can’t NOT show an outfit here. This ensemble is the result of Marketplace browsing. Imagine you’re click, click, clicking away, browsing all the dresses and skins and shoes while you munch on your salad, and then you see this cute dress from Ava Lu, and it’s a must have. She has combined the funky colorful abstract pattern of the puffed sleeves with a sleek mini made of cheetah skin. It’s one large step beyond the typical mini.

Lunchtime Shopping

Then you look a little farther and Cora Lu has the perfect earrings and ring to go with the dress. The earrings, oversized and beautifully textured, compliment the updo from Truth Hawks, also found by click clicking. The skin.. well, you know.. I saw the set and had to have it.. this from Heather Beebe, who does beautiful subtle skins. (And the cleavage works for a dress like this.)

Lunchtime Shopping

And finally, the shoes.. these by Felicity Overlord with sculpted feet and toes and a very simple but easy-to-use hud that allows you to color your feet using the edit tool from SL directly on the hud and then clicking to transfer it to the foot.

Lunchtime Shopping

You log in that night. You have a complete outfit, you found some cute pink PJs, two gifts are scheduled to go out to friends, and you’re set to go.

Hair: >TRUTH< Midori – cocoa by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH<, available at the Marketplace *

Skin: [ROCKBERRY] Jules B light Dk Brows/Cleavage by Heather Beebe for Rockberry, available at the Marketplace *

Dress: p.c; White cheetah Mini by Ava Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Marketplace

Earrings: p.c; Oxidized Silver Hoops by Cora Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Marketplace

Ring: p.c;  Diamonds and Pearl Ring by Cora Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Marketplace

Shoes: *FO* Keira – Black Stilettos (Shoes with Sculpted Feet & Toes) by Felicity Overlord for Felicity Shoes, available at the Marketplace