Saturday, August 27, 2016

And so it begins..................again!

Well, after what seemed like an eternity, I return to the heady world of the blog. Mostly due to RL events, the details of which I will not go into, I rather lost touch with my blog and, to a lesser extent Second Life as well so it's about time I resurrected it.

What have I been doing for the last age? Well, lots of RL things, some good, some bad, changed jobs three times and hated all of them. I suppose working all over the world in different schools as I do, I was bound to come across the odd bad one, I just got three bad ones in a row. Ho hum, it happens I suppose.

Within SL, well much of a muchness really. I still seem to live on a runway which I absolutely adore, working with various great agencies, helping new and not-so-new designers show off their amazing creations, that's one part of SL that will never get old for me.

Some of you, the more venerable ones, will remember years ago I tried rather ham-fistedly to design. Well, if I am honest with myself, my skills, particularly with Photoshop were just not up to the standard required. So, like many do I imagine, I buried my snout in Youtube and found a few great videos on HOW PS actually works. As a RL biologist, even though I am organised, I am notoriously bad with reading instruction manuals, particularly the photoshop tome which seemed to be written in some ancient dialect of Alien. Well, it might as well have been due to the lack of sense it made to me. So back to Youtube it was and finally, the dense morass that was Photoshop finally started to make some modicum of sense.

After almost 6 years on my sim, my sister Shani and her wife Dina finally got me to move on a sim re-design. Well, they did everything, converting our very old marketplace into the most gorgeous beach, full off all sorts of places to go look, relax and generally chill out with the waves gently lapping at your feet. It really is so cool down there now. Eventually, I'll get around to building the forest I planned months ago, seeing as I paid a fortune for some gorgeous trees, I suppose I really should get round to doing it.

Lately, I've been working a lot on the runway, lots of shows, events and suchlike which is probably where I am happiest. I've never been particularly good at photography, I am always amazed how so many people make it look so effortless when I spend an hour finding a background and it still looks like a fingerpainting made by a 4 year old. Some have the eye I suppose!

I've always rather enjoyed doing the odd contest, but I don't do them to the exclusion of everything else. You can probably count on the fingers of one hand the contests I've entered in the last couple of years. So, when I saw the advert for Miss Virtual World appear, I thought it might be time to dust off the braincells and try again. I couldn't make the first audition, but the second I could. So I had a good root around in the heap I laughingly call my inventory and an idea began to take shape.

"Simple but striking" was my mantra for the styling. I wanted it to be clean, classical, simple but with an edge, you know that styling type we always want to get but never quite seem to make? In a recent show, I modelled a really unusual gown that was coloured metallic black, but the colour faded into a silvery white at the ends of the sleeves and down towards the hem of the skirt. I then remembered after a lot of thumping of my desk as I tried to find that "THING" to really make it pop, I'd used a really unusual skirt in a contest a while ago.

It was one of those "oh yeah" moments when I added it, it just worked. Here it is................

Everything just seemed to dovetail together, even the colours worked. Once I'd posed it and tested it out, it just worked.The audition itself was organised and a joy to be involved with, all I could do was to hope the judges liked it as much as I did.

You know what?

They did, so once again, I tread the hallowed boards of Miss Virtual World, again as Miss Cyprus.It's such an honour to be able, once again, to represent my home country, my tiny island at the end of the Mediterranean Sea. I was lucky enough to be Miss Virtual World Cyprus 2013 and that seems half a lifetime ago now. Amazingly after all this time, I am still friends with every one of the ladies with who I shared that turbulent time, except for the odd one or two who left SL.

I watched the videos from that year on Youtube, amazingly they are still there. Even after all this time, it stirred emotions which I remember so so vividly.

Clothes components

Skirt - Yulia - Finesmith
Gown - Couture Sorbet - White Room
Undershirt - Cage - AFI

Hair - Arwen Light Blonde - Truth

Jewellry - NES Onyx - Finesmith
               Imperial Malagasy Aurora Crown - Chop Zuey
Makeup used

Couture eyeliner no 1 - Glam Affair
Catwalk eyeliner Grey Beauty - BSD Design Studio
Lips - Dark Vibrant Red - Izzie's
Cedar medium blush - Amacci

Gloves - Sweet Tea Formal

Phew, even after being an SL model as long as I have (since Sept 2011 believe it or not), auditions are still a bit stressful, even if not quite as pant-knottingly panicky as they used to be, one of the advantages of being a dinosaur I suppose!

So, as this post is titled, it all begins again. But this time around, I wanted to do things a little differently. As in not run around like a very high headless chicken trying to do everything at once. I still remember from 2012 how I charged around thinking "gotta get it all done NOW NOW NOW". All that did was stress me out and make me very sweaty. So, much more relaxed, sit down, cup of coffee,, gently ease into the process.

That lasted all of one sandwich, then the panic started to creep up on me, giggling nastily into my ear. So I swapped the sandwich for a glass of wine and hey presto, the world came into much sharper focus. Granted, less sharply focused as time passed, but let's not get into petty details..............ahem.

Last week absolutely shot past, it seemed Monday and Saturday happened and someone pinched the intervening days. Today was one of the biggest days of any Miss Virtual World pageant, meeting the ladies with whom I would be sharing the experience.

So, rocking up at the meeting place, I wasn't expecting to know many people, well apart from Reign who I've worked with since 2011, actually she gave me my first ever modelling job and I am still with EVOLVE, her store. Anyway, I digress.................

Quite a few of the ladies I already knew, either because I had worked with them in the past, or we were friends from past experiences. Everyone seemed very friendly, approacheable...................I don't know why I was surprised at this, every contest I have ever done has been like this. I suppose it's just natural apprehension. Anyway, we were asked to style an outfit using at least 3 designers to create a look inspired by some of the Autumn/Winter trends for Autumn and Winter 2016.

After much faffing about, I decided one of the outfits was right down my street, being a coat, paired with a long skirt using a plain palette for the skirt and an ornate Chinese fabric for the coat. Being me, I reversed it, using a plain-ish coat and an ornate skirt which I made myself. See what you think ................

Coat : Prague Onyx - Ana Markova

Top - AFI

Skirt - KR Designs (made by me, yes me !)

Hair - Collision - Vanity Platinum

Belt and earrings - Missa Solamnis Creme - Chop Zuey

Shoes - Divine - Azoury

Eyes - Shine Black - !:Lybra:!
           Eyeliner 10 Neon Blue - BSD Design Studio
Lips - Dark Vibrant Red - Izzie's

Cheeks - Classic Blush Tattoo - Cedar Light - Amacci

Nails - Summertime Mani-pedi - Ghee

Again, just one of those styles that just sort of "happened". ever get those when you don't really have a clear idea of what you want and then you add one bit and it all crystallizes?

So, the good ship sails again off into the sunset of optimism. I've had people asking me "you already did MVW back in the day, why on earth would you do it again?. It's actually a fair question.............

I think it's not a simple one to answer, how do you quantify the unquantifiable? I think in my case, when I did MVW back in 2012, I really was a wide-eyed fawn, wobbly on her legs and completely unsure of who I was as a model and not at all certain I belonged there. Well, 4 years later, I still can't say I am entirely sure, but there are less doubts now than way back then when I was a new graduate from Miss Virtual World Academy. But, it did get me started on my journey. I went to a total of 10 different modelling schools and this is a point to look at for all the new models. 

Just because you graduate from one academy, don't think the world will just open up and give you everything you want. Nothing is for free as a wise person once said and it's very true. I quickly realised that and took every chance I could to further my education, learning from some of the very best in SL over the years. I still learn now, every single show I do, each show I go to watch, I always see something new or that is done in a different way.

So, as I head out into the choppy waters again, I still have the attitude I did when I was a wide-eyed, digest, learn and improve. I learned that from one of the best, Mimmi Boa who is a huge inspiration for me. She told me that years ago when I was about to take my final exam at her academy and it has stuck with me ever since.

As to the pageant itself, I have the following people to say a MASSIVE thank you to for agreeing to make things or to photograph things for me. They are :-

Formal and National Gown - Lyr!cal Bizarre
Jewellery - Chop Zuey - Belle Roussel
Poses - La BoS - Steele Sirnah
Photography - Euridice Qork
Shoes - Fashion by Shani - Shani Steampunk (my little sister!)

Thank you to all of the above, being a designer myself I know how big an ask it was to make special things for me and I am so grateful to all of you. Hopefully, I will do you all proud.

In closing this post, it's been ages since I blogged anything, that was RL getting in my face and being generally unpleasant. I do not pretend to be the most eloquent out there, as a RL scientist, I tend not to over-elaborate on things, OK, I am no artist!! But it's nice to put fingers to keys again, even if I had to cut my nails so as not to totally ruin my keyboard.

Here's to the journey !


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