Second Life® is Turning 12! Join the Celebration!

Raznay Decosta SL12B Second Life

SL12B — or the Second Life® 12th Birthday — isn’t exactly news to anyone at this point.
Pretty much everyone has talked about it at one time or another over the last month. The talk has increased over the last few days as things start to go up a notch in anticipation of the event opening on Sunday 21st June 2015 at 12pm noon.

Just a reminder for those of us in the southern hemisphere it will be open early Monday morning. In fact, let’s be uber specific, 5am AEST on 22nd June will be 12pm SLT (PDT) 21st June.

Frustrations aside, the Second Life 12th Birthday is set to be amazing! By all accounts it will be bigger than previous years, but better? Well that’s up to you! The dreams are in the eyes of the beholder after all!
If that wasn’t an obvious lead in to the theme I’m not sure what is. This year the Second Life® birthday celebrations are centred around the theme What Dreams May Come.
This is a pretty broad theme and one that has definitely inspired a lot of different interpretations.

Raznay Decosta SL12B Second Life
The Welcome Station. He’s definitely welcoming don’t you think!?

By now you may have noticed my photo’s.
Sigh.
Most of the photo’s I was able to grab (aside from the last one) were taken at the welcome area. Partly because I was a little hung up on the ghost-esque train — it looks like Slimer from Ghostbusters and I’m not even sure if that was intentional but I love it and you should absolutely check it out if you’re even the tiniest bit geek — but mostly because my graphics card is giving up the ghost, pun intended, and copious amounts of tears ensued as I tried to snap more photo’s and couldn’t.

Raznay Decosta SL12B Welcome Area Second Life
The Welcome Station stairs. I fell in love with this view.

I did however, still make the most of my early access by jumping on the Pod Tour and learning about some of the exhibits, history of Second Life® and the venues at SL12B.
It’s a pretty nifty little tour and was set up by the original owner/creator, Yavanna Llanfair, of the first ever pods in Second Life®.
I’m pretty sure I just butchered that explanation so you’ll just have to go along and check it out for yourself.

Like everything in Second Life® it’s only as good as you deem it to be. Some things will not fit with your aesthetic while other things will sing you the song of its people. It’s entirely up to you how you perceive, enjoy, learn or grow from this experience.

SL12B Dreamitarium Second Life
The Dreamitarium (auditorium) where Ebbe Linden will be interviewed on Friday 26th June, 2015 at 1pm SLT (PDT), 6am (27/6/15) AEST. 

To keep up to dates with the news, events and talks that will be held at the Dreamitarium and the other venues around the place check out the official SL Community Celebration website.
Psst, all of the photo’s in this post link back to their site as well, just in case.

Raznay Decosta SL12B 1920's Berlin Project Second Life 1920’s Berlin Project at SL12B by Frau Jo Yardley (jo.yardley): 1920’s Berlin Project website

It was purely by accident that I stumbled into the 1920’s Berlin Project and found myself seated at this table.
You see, I was unceremoniously evicted from my comfy Pod Tour seat — thanks evil lag monster — and I was feeling a little hurt and rejected. So I thought I’d try to get my bearings and find my way back to Slimer the ghost train, since he seemed genuinely happy to see me (even if that was just to gobble me up).

Then I saw this gentleman sitting on a beach looking at photographs that were floating before him. All of the photographs together made up this one beautiful, yet sad, scene. It was exquisite. I thought I might sit down next to him — he isn’t real, don’t worry — and ponder the beauty of the people in these photographs.

So I right clicked and selected “sit”.
All good right?
Of course not! There wouldn’t be a story if it worked the way I expected it to!

Instead of sitting next to this man I found myself transported into the photograph, sitting at someone’s kitchen table. I sat there for a long while. Initially I was too shocked to move. I wasn’t expecting to be transported into something real like this. I wasn’t expecting to find myself face to face with the realities of life in 1920’s Berlin.

I began to feel anxious sitting there, like something terrible was going to happen. Perhaps I’d just be asked to leave? Or maybe some unidentified military personnel would barge into this tiny immaculate kitchen and destroy it?
Yes, I know it’s not that particular time in history, it’s pre-Nazi era, but I still had that sense of foreboding regardless.

This little kitchen, and my happy little accident in being here, transported me to another time. This exhibit does amazing things with the power of pixels. It moved me in a way I wasn’t sure I could be moved in Second Life®. For that I am so very grateful.

I won’t keep going because I have a lot more to explore before I start the next phase of my participation in SL12B: The Dreamy Hostess!

If you see me around please feel free to say hello! (I won’t always be working while I’m there! For those wondering why you’d have to say hello to a greeter).

.::Credits::.

Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara v3.4 — by Onyx LeShelle
Head: LeLutka Mesh Head – STELLA — Thora Charron
Skin: Glam Affair (Lelutka Heads) Avril Applier – Jamaica FR — by Aida Ewing
Hair: TRUTH HAIR Dasha –  variety — by Truth Hawks
Eyes: IKON VIP Group Gift – Field – March 2015 — by Ikon Innovia
Lashes: MC “Falsies” Mesh Alpha Lashes — by Freya Olivieri
Top: Maitreya Half Tucked Shirt – Blue — by Onyx LeShelle
Pants: coldLogic trouser – mazza – smoke — by coldLogic
Earrings: {Zaara} Sarayi hoops color — by Zaara Kohime
Necklace: {Zaara} karmuka necklace colored — by Zaara Kohime
Shoes: Ingenue :: Lacy Flats :: Navy — by Betty Doyle

Raznay Decosta SL12B Second Life Birthday

Top Five Favourite Things

Top Five Favourite ThingsPose: oOo Studio – Attachment (Couples Pose) — by Olaenka Chesnokov

Every so often I look at my inventory and wonder “what are the five things that I’d miss if Second Life® ate them?”

Occasionally I can answer that question and stick to only five items. Other times the list basically ends up being my entire inventory. In a peculiar way the latter is one of the ways I notice I’m having a bad day because I don’t want to part with anything as it’s all too important. The emotional bonds that tie me — to even pixel things — can be quite strong. This is usually the time I employ every trick in the book to self soothe, disconnect from the matrix internet for a little while and just get in touch with me again.

After watching the movie Leap Year last weekend with the Eidann I was spurred into action writing my Top Five Favourite Things. At least they’re my favourite things for this month. Okay, maybe this week. Fine! Maybe they’re just my favourite things for today!

  1. Maitreya Mesh Body Lara — totally not a surprise
  2. My office/blogger desk under the stairs in my little home
  3. MishMish My Desk Mailbox in Orchid — because this thing is adorable and every time I sit at my other desk my mailbox makes me smile! It’s a little piece of me in a corporate world
  4. Cheeky Pea ottoman — because pink is one of my favourite colours and I am totally on a Moroccan kick in both worlds and I love this so much I wish I had one in real life so I can sit on it and hand write my blogs!
  5. Sir Storm of Geddon — this little guy is my best friend. He’s always there, he always compliments my shoes and tells me I’m awesome. What’s not to love about this purrfect pixel kitty?!

Raznay
Pose: !bang poses – draw — by Luna Jubilee

And because I am awesome I thought I’d also add my Top Seven Favourite Things in Real Life. I mean, clearly I like to write lists so why not just go all out and add another list with two bonus favourites?!
It’s okay, I know you’ll thank me when you’ve read them all!

  1. Coffee!! — I wasn’t kidding when I wrote something about coffee in all of my profiles, everywhere. It even filtered into some of my real life profiles! Oops!
  2. Falling asleep listening to the rain — actual rain, not the rain that plays on my sleep cycle app. Although that rain works too when there’s no real rain!
  3. Compliments — both giving them and receiving them. As you’re probably well aware my interpersonal skills aren’t the greatest — Oh Em Gee Raz, no way! —  so when I actually notice something and mention how lovely someone looks, or take a moment to appreciate a nice thing someone has done, I feel almost human! While I do like getting compliments I’m not very good at receiving them. I usually end up responding with a compliment (which is apparently an okay thing to do) or kind of squirming in my chair until the awkward moment has passed.
  4. Kitty cuddles — if you have a cat then you know all to well how aloof they can be. When a cat loves you, and wants cuddles or belly rubs, you know you’re a very special human to them. I guess I just like being reminded that I’m a good human from time to time!
  5. Movie dates (at home) with the Eidann — we love spending time together and relaxing. I love curling up together and experiencing the wonders of Netflix Australia, which is still quite terrible — it doesn’t even have The Craft or Clueless! We usually end up watching a random movie in the hopes it might be interesting. Mostly we end up watching something really good, occasionally we end up with something horrible
  6. Makeup — I love makeup with a passion! I’d love to say I’ve got some talent applying it but I’d be totally lying! It doesn’t really matter because I enjoy learning new techniques and being introduced — via YouTube Makeup Guru videos usually — to new fascinating, and often hugely over priced, products. The joy is in the learning rather than the final result!
  7. Notebooks — the kind you write or draw in rather than the computer version. Like pens, I have an ever growing stash of notebooks that I can barely bring myself to use! They’re all too special — even the generic ones — for me to ruin with benign ideas or idle writing. They need to have an amazing purpose! I may even group particular pens with special notebooks…

Raznay Decosta
Ottoman Pose – Enlapped

That’s it! Two whole lists of my favourite things in Second Life® and real life! I suppose I could have added my penchant for lists, which is entirely new for me, but I felt that was a little too obvious!
What are some of your favourite things?
Let me know in the comments!

.::Credits::.

Raznay

Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara v3.4 — by Onyx LeShelle
Head: LeLutka Mesh Head – STELLA — Thora Charron
Skin: Glam Affair (Lelutka Heads) Avril Applier – Jamaica FR — by Aida Ewing
Hair: LeLutka Rochelle hair – SoySauce — Thora Charron
Eyes: IKON Charm Eyes – Evening — by Ikon Innovia
Lashes: *MC* “Falsies” Mesh Alpha Lashes — by Freya Olivieri
Shirt & Jumper Shorts: NYU – Jumper Shorts & Shirt (FLF Special) — by nyunyu kimono
Shoes: Ingenue :: Lacy Flats :: Navy — by Betty (betty.doyle)
Necklace: [MANDALA] Onliest – B – Necklace – All colors — by Kikunosuke Eel
Watch: [MANDALA] Billionaire – Fashionista (white) — by Kikunosuke Eel
Ring: Zaara : Trusha rings – onyx — by Zaara Kohime

Eidann

Hair: Damselfly Colin – Light Browns — by TOmmy Fairplay
Skin: Tableau Vivant Lucis Skin – Tone 05 — by Aida Ewing
Facial Hair: Entente Facial Hair B – Beard Deux
Eyes: OJOS AZUL GRIS MIOS — by ⓈⒶ Ⓜ (samuelx)
Shirt & Jacket: Howl – SUHA Loose jacket [BLACK] — by ᴇɴocʜ ᴛʏʟᴇʀ (worusaai)
Jeans: Entente Au Fait Jeans
Shoes: BALKANIK 2.0 – OPIUM – #Black — by ZlatanBLK Djannovic

.::Furniture::.
Floor Pillow: {what next} Charlotte Floor Cushion A – plain — by Winter Thorn
Wall Hanging: Wall Hangings: junk. sari wall hanging – one & two — by Tab Tatham
Couch: N4RS Bombay Sofa – PG Set — by alecat Breda
Coffee table and flowers: {what next} Charlotte Living Room – Set A — by Winter Thorn
Candles: Sway’s [Sadaf] Bench & Tray — by Sway Dench
Ottoman: :CP: Lotus Spa Tent Set (PG) — by Isla Gealach
Whitewashed screen: {theosophy} Wall Panel (Whitewash) — by Trace (trace.osterham)
Laptop: KoreTech MyBook Pro by kewlmonke Zepp
Desk Furniture and rug is a mix of {what next} Blogger’s Office Accessories, {what next} Isabelle Tulips and {what next} Novelle Study Set by Winter Thorn

.::Skybox::.
Glam Affair – Lorella Skybox — by Aida Ewing (May Collabor88)

What Inspired Me To Blog

What-Made-Me-Blog_001Today — 10th of June — is Ballpoint Pen Day!

I love pens, particularly my old trusty ballpoints. Pens are right up there on my list of All The Things I Must Own Lots Of with some of the other things being watches, makeup, bags, all the geek things and shoes.
I love ballpoint pens simply because I still hand write the majority of my blogs — and shopping lists, to-do lists and random thoughts — before I type them out. Yes, that may sound silly and essentially be a lot more work — you’re right, it is — but I have always loved physically writing something. My thoughts flow better through ink than type face.

What is Ballpoint Pen Day I hear you asking? Well I found the following explanation from the guys over at Weird Holiday:

Ballpoint Pen Day is celebrated on June 10th in honor of the Bíró brothers, László and György, who are credited with the invention of the ballpoint pen. On this day, in 1943, the Bíró brothers filed an application for the patent of the ballpoint pen with the European Patent Office. These early pens became the first commercial models of the ballpoint pen.

In honour of Ballpoint Pen Day I thought I’d answer the question “what inspired me to blog?”
Granted it’s a little stretch from talking about writing or listing my favourite pens for you, which I was very tempted to do. Since we now know that I handwrite my blogs prior to typing them I’m using that as my tenuous link to Ballpoint Pen Day!
Indeed, that link is so minimal we’d need an large hadron collider (LHC) to see it. And even then I suspect it would be as difficult to find as the Higgs Boson particle.
So let’s get on with it!

It’s a simple enough question on the surface: what inspired me to blog?

The answer is not really as simple because a lot of things have  happened that led to the final decision of “I want to write, a lot. I want to write often. I want my own Second Life® blog.”

I started blogging a long time ago. Over the years I’ve had numerous blogs outside of Second Life®, each one representing a different aspect of me at different times in my life.
I created a community for people with a particular mental illness.
I have delved into real life fashion blogging.
I’ve also posted my creative writing on old blogs and attempted writing fanfic, which was not my best hour!
My ongoing achievement, and one of my hardest, has been working with the Eidann on our podcast and the blog associated with it.

Recently I’ve started writing for a real life company with an HQ in Second Life®, which for someone like me, is beyond amazing. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned it a lot lately, it’s kind of a big deal for me. I’ll try to reign it in.

Then there’s RaznayDecosta.com. It has filled a hole I didn’t realise I had. It has shown me that I can be, and do, everything that I have always felt was unattainable. I can write in my voice without fear of rejection or negative rhetoric about my person. It is acceptable, here, for me to write honestly and authentically without fear of pissing someone off because I didn’t agree with their point of view or, simply, because I wrote honestly.

My blog also provides me anonymity. And while some see anonymity as hiding, I see it as a chance to spread my wings and jump off the highest branch. I’ll either learn to fly or I won’t.
The choice is entirely mine.

Why-I-Decided-To-Blog_001

So… The reason I started blogging here is complicated. In part, I reopened Second Life® because I needed to escape the overwhelmingly crushing grief that threatened to consume me.
I needed a virtual world full of people who have no idea what my real flesh was — okay, is — going through. I still need that, but the separation between the real and virtual worlds isn’t as neat and clearly defined as I’d like. While I’ve always known they can’t be separated — because no matter how hard I try I am the same person whether I am flesh or pixels — the absolute realisation came recently.

When I decided to open the Second Life® viewer Firestorm I gave myself one rule: I would not talk about the events that led me back to SL.
As I’m not ready to entirely break the solitary rule I set I’ll leave the reason I started blogging as is.

I didn’t know I was going to blog when I first came back. I assumed I’d just visit random places, obsessively shop and then get bored again and leave. No one would have been any the wiser and I would have taken what I needed — a break from reality — and would be back to “normal”, or as close to that unachievable label as possible.

Then I stumbled upon Strawberry Singh’s blog. That was the moment, the miraculous moment, everything changed, forever.

Initially I was searching for information on appliers because they were completely new to me and I just didn’t understand how they, or a mesh body, worked. As I read nearly a years worth of Strawberry’s posts I realised that this was exactly the way I could delve into everything I’ve always wanted to but was either too sick, too tired or just not motivated enough to do in the flesh (the latter referring to fashion blogging).

I also realised blogging would be a fantastic way to keep the grey matter — my brain — active and to really push me to not only find my voice, but to practice using it so I can work towards writing copy. Or writing in general because words are my thing; that one thing I am really good at.

So this is the part where I’d like to take a moment to thank Strawberry Singh for being that last beautiful piece of a puzzle I’ve been working on — unknowingly — for years! Thank you for being the inspiration I needed to do what I do best; write.

If you’re a writer of blogs or words on paper, and even if you’re not, I would love to know what your inspiration was — or would be — to start writing. Let me know in the comments!

.::Credits::.

Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara v3.3 — by Onyx LeShelle
Head: LeLutka Mesh Head – STELLA — Thora Charron
Skin: Glam Affair (Lelutka Heads) Avril Applier – Jamaica FR — by Aida Ewing
Hair: Maitreya Saar – Almond — by Onyx LeShelle
Eyes: IKON Charm Eyes – Evening — by Ikon Innovia
Lashes: *MC* “Falsies” Mesh Alpha Lashes — by Freya Olivieri
Ears: [MANDALA] UNISEX STEKING_EARS_Season 5 — by Kikunosuke Eel

.::Outfit::.
Top: tres blah – Cropped Sweatshirt – Sea — by Julliette Westerburg
Jeans: Maitreya Zipper-Skinny Jeans #4 — by Onyx LeShelle

.::Furniture::.
Desk Furniture and rug is a mix of {what next} Blogger’s Office Accessories, {what next} Isabelle Tulips and {what next} Novelle Study Set by Winter Thorn
Laptop: KoreTech MyBook Pro by kewlmonke Zepp
Couch and trunk: N4RS Bombay Sofa – PG Set — by alecat Breda
Ottoman and Carpet: :CP: Lotus Spa Tent Set (PG) — by Isla Gealach
Candles: Sway’s [Sadaf] Bench & Tray — by Sway Dench
Coffee table and flowers: {what next} Charlotte Living Room – Set A — by Winter Thorn
Whitewashed screen: {theosophy} Wall Panel (Whitewash) — by Trace (trace.osterham)

Maitreya Body Love

Maitreya-Body-Love_017

This may come as no surprise to you but I am totally, wholly and completely invested in the Maitreya Mesh Body Lara. Since I acquired my mesh body I have spent time actively seek out clothing, accessories and appliers for the Maitreya Body. If there aren’t any appliers for Maitreya my secondary option is Omega. You can learn more about the Omega Maitreya applier system here.

I have been known — rightly or wrongly — to entirely avoid stores that only create items for SLink, Belleza, TMP or other mesh bodies. Not because their products aren’t amazing — they’re usually so beautiful it hurts — but because they are amazing and I can’t wear them.
Mesh bodies are different so not all appliers and products are compatible between them, although standard sizing does make most things available for most (not all) mesh bodies. For instance, something made for SLink isn’t compatible with Maitreya. There are some exceptions to the rule so always — always — make sure you read the instructions!

I feel that I should be honest and tell you that I did cave and get two pairs of SLink AvEnhance hands for my Sailor Moon photoshoot.
I’ll be even more honest here; it was very difficult to part with that much money, — since we all know by now that I am not a well financed avatar — but until Maitreya gives us some various hand options I needed to use something. As a side note, I did try to use the Maitreya hands but they looked incredibly silly! Points for trying!?

My personal preference for hands remains with Maitreya as I like how they look on my pixels. I also like that my Maitreya hands appear to have a better size ratio and look better in photos, compared to my SLink hands. Granted, I haven’t done any tinkering or further reading on the SLink AvEnhance hands so it may be something I can fix. But we all know that I probably won’t do any further reading, I just don’t have the time. 

Maitreya-Body-Love_006

It might be worth mentioning that until this post I wasn’t sold on mesh heads. I purchased the Ever mesh head from LeLutka when I first came back to Second Life® and while I loved the clean lines and the general look of it, it just wasn’t me. That particular feeling is not uncommon among those of us who have been around a while and have spent years — quite literally — tweaking, perfecting and otherwise tinkering with our faces, and bodies.

Then I saw the Stella mesh head, also by LeLutka, and I fell in love. So I tried the demo. And I tried the demo for Karin too. That’s when I spent two days trying those two demos out. you bet I walked around Second Life® wearing demo heads! Okay, so that walking around mostly consisted of sitting around in my living room, playing dress up and cleaning up my inventory, again.
Eventually I settled on Stella — with the help of the Eidann — and I made the decision to wear the hell out of this head because, well, I spent all my linden to get it. Luckily, Ever Afterr is forever educating me in the ways of budget friendly (as in mostly free) shopping!

Maitreya-Body-Love_016

I’m really happy with my choice in Stella. It suits me really well and, while I’m not a fan of others having the exact same face as me, I love that the makeup customisation is nearly endless and that Glam Affair — and other skin shops — are creating beautiful skins with appliers for LeLutka mesh heads. So, the chances of someone looking exactly like me is pretty small! Yay!

Given my almost blind devotion to my Maitreya Mesh Body I have decided that I’m going to keep an eye out for Maitreya inclusive brands and begin making a list that I can use as a resource; my own Little Black Book for Maitreya Mesh Body. Edit: I did actually create this list which you can view here
I’m sure there are already hundreds of lists out there already but I’m both really fussy and too lazy to go and find them. I will also feature my finds in the Maitreya Body Love category and tag everything Maitreya for easier searching! If you know of some great places that have clothes, shoes and other accessories designed for, or with, Maitreya in mind please let me know in the comments!

Credits

Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara v3.3 — by Onyx LeShelle
Head: LeLutka Mesh Head – STELLA — Thora Charron
Skin: Glam Affair (Lelutka Heads) Avril Applier – Jamaica FR — by Aida Ewing — Available at Uber now
Hair including Jewel: TRUTH HAIR Ishya – variety — by Truth Hawks — Available at Uber now
Eyes: IKON  VIP Group Gift – March 2015 — by Ikon Innovia
Lashes: MC “Falsies” Mesh Alpha Lashes — by Freya Olivieri
Ears: [MANDALA] UNISEX STEKING_EARS_Season 5 — by Kikunosuke Eel

.::Clothes::.
Jumpsuit: DN Mesh: Acne Jumpsuit  w HUD — by beanster Potato
Shoes: Pure Poison – Amber Sandals — by Shaleene Kenin — Available at Uber now

.::Jewellery::.
Necklace and Bracelet: Zaara [Mesh] Atiriya set – amethyst — by Zaara Kohime
Ring: {montony} Collin Ring – Gold {white pearl} — by Mon Tony (tonyamilavskaya)

.::Poses::.
1st Pic: Sari-Sari – Female Pose K – k2 — by AbbyAnne
2nd Pic: Sari-Sari – Female Pose K – k3 — by AbbyAnne
3rd Pic: !bang Group Gift VIP 000-005 – VIP002 — by Luna Jubilee

.::Furniture::.
Wall Hangings: junk. sari wall hanging – one & two — by Tab Tatham — Available at Uber now
Lights: junk. ziad lantern – cobalt, magenta & mint — by Tab Tatham — Available at Uber now
Couch and trunk: N4RS Bombay Sofa – PG Set — by alecat Breda — Available at Uber now
Ottoman, Drinks and Carpet: :CP: Lotus Spa Tent Set (PG) — by Isla Gealach — Available at Uber now
Candles: Sway’s [Sadaf] Bench & Tray — by Sway Dench — Available at Uber now
Flowers: {what next} Charlotte Living Room – Set A — by Winter Thorn