What the… Gatcha!?

Is it just me, or has this fad just grown wings and taken off? Is this ruining the shoppers experience? Is this a good way to frustrate shoppers? When did it become ‘reasonable’ to pay an unknown amount of Linden for an item? Or is it really the best thing since sliced bread?

To be honest, normally gachas don’t bother me. I only play a machine if I really, REALLY like an item and then I only try a few times and move on. I know people find them to be a lot of fun and it can be. A fantastic thing about a gacha machine is, creators need be so much more creative and deliver a really good quality product for customers to want to play their machine.

Another reason I like gatchas is that it’s the way I do my Christmas and birthday shopping for my SL family. I buy things during the year, I know they would like and when the time comes I can give them a prezzy to unwrap. It makes it so much more personal than sending them a giftcard and something from Marketplace.

The down side for me though, two years ago one of my favorite creators made a Christmas tree for a December gacha and to this day, I love that tree more than any other tree that I have seen in SL. Since then I have been playing the gacha (at the Arcade) and randomly when I go to the store and I have NEVER managed to win that tree!

Ultimately, I think it is up to the consumer to play them or not. I do think you need self control not to spend 30k Linden per machine and if you do, you have a bigger problem.

And after all of the above, I think I will forever be that girl with her face pressed against the window, longingly looking from the outside at my favorite Christmas tree.. I may never own.

Every wall has a frame//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This is what I’m excited about!

The other day, I thought that I prefer fall (autumn for me) to spring. The reason is that fall is still warm enough to do most summer activities, promising that it will be cold soon… but not yet, so enjoy last warm days before the nice cuddly days start. The colors are also amazing.

But I just realized there are one more reason. That’s when America and Europe start staying indoors and come back to Second Life again. The last few weeks, so many of my old friends returned to Second Life. It is really wonderful to see them again. All the catch-ups and the ‘what have you been up to the last few months’. Friendships rekindled as if there have never been a break.

For me though, it is spring, but winter is fighting to keep its grip. The days are longer, brighter but the cold wind keeps reminding us that winter is just not ready to let us go yet. So I’ll be around a little bit longer, to make sure my friends do too.

Touch my soul and hold it tight//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Look who’s back!

I have taken a bit of a break from blogging and to be honest I thought that the break would be a lot longer, but goodness, I never thought I’d miss it so much. In the beginning I was nervous, blogging has been part of my life for almost three years. It gave me a purpose.

As I said so many times before, blogging started for me because I loved taking pictures. Fashion blogging for me certainly changed my picture taking style. I learn to take better, brighter and clearer pictures, but I feel that it has also limited my creativity as I always had to take pictures for you guys to actually see what I’m wearing.

It did something else. I applied to blog events and that also changed my dress style. I was “forced” to wear what I was given, make it my own. Although I would never want to change it for the world and would probably do it again if I had my blogging career over, it was definitely time for me to take a break.

You know what I have learned while I was taking a break? I’ve learned that I still don’t enjoy hanging out in Second Life clubs more than just little bits at a time. I’ve learned that I started blogging because I am not a social person. Blogging was not keeping me away from being social.

Something that I did enjoy, taking my time to put an outfit together, without being pushed for time. And the thing I enjoyed the mostest of all, actually wearing that outfit for days, because I love it to much to change.

I have still been active with my photography, but I think it’s time to start blogging again – mostly because I can never find anything my inventory and I have to look at my credits for the name to do an inventory search…

So guys… like it or not, I’m back! With randomness!


Week… bloody, week

I had the best weekend, which is now only a distant memory. I went skiing with friends (yes it’s still winter) although we have been having the most amazing days and the coldest nights. Ohh I also want to mention that I saw the first blossoms on the trees this morning! New life! Soon everything will come out of their winter slumber and nature will be buzzing again.

But, yeah, back at work and another bloody week… well if you take it literally, it’s not really that bad.

The pic below just happened. I saw the cutest shades from DirtyStories and the hair from ArGrace. Then I wanted a kind of grungy background but not too much, because apart from the blackness, I felt quite the flower child – not that you can see it on this pic, but I’m wearing a few roses!. The romper is from DRIFT and the rest of my accessories is also from DirtyStories. I really love her range.

Much love!

Week... bloody week

Tutorial: How to make your avatar pop

This is my first tutorial in Photoshop and I’m actually a bit nervous. I’m not doing it in a video, but if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

From years of fashion blogging I liked to make my avatar stand out when I take a picture but I got really bored with the same wall background. But sometimes my avatar just blended into a more busier one and you never really notice her fashion. Sooo if you have the same problem. I have a really subtle but effective way to make it pop.

The picture below is not totally raw, I have already liquified the parts that was a bit jaggard and blended the neck where there was a bit of a line.

 Tutorial 5

1. Firstly, duplicate your layer. (CTR + J).

Tutorial 1

2. Change your layer mode to “Vivid Light”. This should make your picture really dark.

Tutorial 2

3.Then go to Filter > Other >High Pass. Play around with the Radius slider. This will make your image much more defined. Take care not to make the radius too high, since it’s a second life picture, it is already a cartoon and if it’s too high it may appear cartoonish. We don’t want it to be too strong. In my case I decided on 1.8. Three is about the maximum I normally go. The trick is to just define it, so if you turn off the layer, by clicking on the eye icon, you can see the difference.

Tutorial 3

4. Then click on Alt and your layer mask button.

Tutorial 4

5. Use your paint brush tool to paint the color white over the parts you want to highlight in the image. In this case I’m painting over the eyes of my avatar and the sides of her nose as well as her arms and stomach parts. Again this is really just a very subtle way of drawing attention to the part of the picture which you want to be a bit brighter. If you turn the layer off and on, you will see that it is just a little brighter, subtle but enough for it to stand out. Suddenly, when you look at the picture for the first time, you don’t see the back ground first.

You can play around with it until it’s to your liking. I just find this is a really soft (?) way of doing it and to still looks natural.

Below is the final picture. I added my signature and a border.

Tutorial: Make it pop

Much love!

Explore your heart out

I always loved photography and to explore. I have 100s and 100s of pictures since I started. I joined Koinup and just loved sharing them. But then I got into blogging and starting doing events and that lead to sponsors and soon all I did was log on, blog, log off. The whole cyber world and creativity of amazing sims for years and years passed me by without noticing, but recently, I stopped and I started exploring again. So the last two pictures I posted, was all somewhere on the grid.

The one below is a sim that has the most amazing fields and flowers and shabby equipment with pretty chairs and decor. As I continued exploring I found a door that lead into a cave and I found this amazing dark space with all the glistering lights and sparkly trees. I could not resist. The picture is a little dark, but the idea was to show the lights. It was really a hidden treasure. Go visit Tillicum Island and see for yourself. Explore your heart out, you never know what you might find.

Much love!


Ballade vir ‘n enkeling

I recently read a book in Afrikaans that I really loved. It was one of those books that was just impossible to put down. I make a point of alternating the language of the books I read.

Me being an eternal romantic, I really wanted to share this with you. Apologies in advance if the translation is not perfect. Also this was not a romantic book, but one about a guy that went missing and how the search for him life tangles, murder, revenge, etc. So here goes:

“What do you love about me, she asked him. ‘Your feet, specially without shoes, when you lift it shyly against the other while you stand.. Your hands when your randomly play with your fingers… your hair that always smell like fresh apples. Your lips that almost never wear lipstick.. purely because it doesn’t need it and when I kiss it doesn’t taste fake.’ He touches her ear with his lips and whispers.. ‘and your ears, because you always hear what I say and know that I mean it’

I think the last part was what really hit me. I think everyone wants to be heard, but it’s special when someone you love really hears what you have to say.

On another note, I was looking for a scene to take my next picture when I read in Caity Tobias‘ blog about the {Imeka} mainstore sim called Apple Island. Nati Williams sure did a great job with decorating and I just had to take a pic there.

I’m wearing a dress from Valentina E, shoes from REIGN and hair from Besom.

Ballade vir 'n Enkeling