Perfectly imperfect

So, there’s a new club opening Sunday called Altitude. Actually, it’s more of a destination venue than a club. It’s designed for live music performances, which is really cool and something I used to enjoy a lot of in SL (before I became a platform dweller 😛 ) In honor of the grand opening, Valentina E. Couture has made this sexy outfit as a launch gift! This outfit will only be available during the big debut event, from 12 pm to 5 pm SLT Sunday, September 13th! So don’t miss out… take the opportunity to go check out a new venue AND snag an awesome gift at the same time. Oh, and my adorable shoes are from fri.day, for the new Collabor88. This month’s witchy theme has been super popular, and it may still take a few tries to get in, but oh my, it is worth the effort once you do.

Living Room Star

Now, please bear with me while I get personal. And wordy.

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful. ~Amy Bloom

I love that quote. I think we live in a world that encourages this quest for flawlessness and perfection, and no matter how perfectly that foundation covers your “flaws,” they still exist. Not to mention, the most beautiful parts of ourselves aren’t the parts that show on the outside. Who we are as individuals isn’t contingent upon our skin being perfect, a number on the scale, the size of our pants or any other external thing. It’s about our personalities, and this is where true beauty lies. And even then, we’re still not perfect. No one is… and the quest for it just tends to leave us feeling inferior, self-conscious, empty and frustrated.

In Second Life, it’s possible to be physically “perfect,” whatever “perfection” might look like to us personally. And actually, it’s hard to NOT be perfect in some respects. Most skins are flawless, gorgeous works of art. And not that I don’t appreciate that, because I do. I appreciate beauty, in all of its forms. But sometimes I find myself wanting SL to be a little… more realistic. A little less perfect. Last year, I went from being a (smallish) medium in standard sizing to a very lush large. It was a big change. Most of you will have noticed that the size difference from medium to large is quite a jump. Much more pronounced than the difference from small to medium. When mesh first came out I was between a small and medium and I went smaller. The idea of making my avatar larger was so… distressing. And I didn’t want to admit that to myself, let alone to anyone else. But it’s true.

I’ve struggled with a RL eating disorder and body acceptance pretty much my entire life. I was a fat kid, a fat teen and I’m a fat adult. And I say “fat” merely as a descriptor, but oh it’s such a loaded word. It shouldn’t be, anymore than saying “I’m tall” or “I have brown eyes.” But our culture abhors fat, and strives to do everything to eradicate it where possible. I decided I wanted my SL shape to be fuller figured. I still wouldn’t call my av “fat,” but comparatively speaking she is… particularly in the blogging/fashion world of SL, where it seems most people tend to be thinner. In reality, even though to me, a (real life) person of a comparable size isn’t “fat,” I suspect that if you went by the (useless) BMI charts the woman in question would be considered “overweight,” if not “obese.” But size is relative, in some respects, and what is “thin” or “fat” varies depending on perspective, too. I have never and will never be that person who goes into any store and easily finds clothes that fit, perfectly, without trouble. Though it may seem strange I’d want to relive that experience in Second Life, I have worked very hard on eating disorder recovery and body acceptance in real life, and it occurred to me last year that my avatar being so close to a societally idealized shape was not a healthy thing for me. It should be noted that Lucie’s build is really nothing like my RL one, but it still feels more true to myself. It was a matter of finding the balance between fantasy and reality that wouldn’t messing with my head… but I still often wished for a fuller face.

Enter Mallory Cowen, the talented creator behind LAQ, who has recently introduced skins that are exactly what I’ve been craving in my SL. Particularly Elise, which I’m wearing below. Elise comes with a “built in” double chin. There’s a tattoo layer for a “simple” chin, too, for those who love the skin but don’t want a double chin. Her features are fuller and I just love this skin so much. You can also buy the double chin tattoo separately for use with other LAQ skins (and you may be able to match them to other brands, but I’d demo first, to be sure). My cute fortune cookie necklace is a new release from Cae for The Mix, and which you can grab at the Mainstore.

Perfectly Imperfect

It struck me as I photographed this skin, trying to find a light that didn’t minimize the double chin, how… counter-intuitive that is, how even now, with all the work I’ve done to accept myself as I am today, I’d probably cringe if lighting made my double chin seem even more pronounced. I would immediately recognize what I was doing, and shut down the negative self-talk. But it would probably still happen, particularly on a bad day. But that’s what I mean… no one is perfect. We all have our problems and flaws, and trying to deny that or trying to “erase” them, well… for me, at least, that’s like trying to erase a part of who I really am. And that’s just not something I am willing to do anymore.

I applaud Mallory for her work. It’s something I think SL really needed, and it’s going to be great for RPers (she did several more mature skins, too). Check out the LAQ blog for more pics, and I plan to blog some of her other newer skins, too! I look forward to seeing what she does next.

~Lucie

Credits
Fashion:
SLink: Physique mesh body
LAQ: Elise skin – tone 1.5 w/smoky eyeshadow tattoo
Magika: Itch hair – Hud 1
Buzzeri: Duo eyes – Molten
Valentina E. Couture: Altitude Ensemble Altitude Opening Gift
Cae: Fortune necklace The Mix
SLink: Casual mesh hands, High feet
fri.day: Samantha booties – ghost Collabor88
Repose: Red pose & prop 01

Decor:

Jian: Lyle Console Record Player
floorplan: scattered sheet music, guitar bookcase
Lisp: Persimmon Grand Piano – Noir
TeddyJr: Dorene store building (in the apartment above the store)

When it rains, it pours…

I’ve never really understood the cliche “when it rains, it pours” because, well, sometimes when it rains, it just drizzles! Regardless, you’ll be perfectly set for rainy days if you have this adorable mudroom Second Spaces has out for The Home Show! I’m using one of Lark’s Home Show items here, the lovely rug. I thought, this rug is a good one to hide muddy footprints, with the lovely browns and the gorgeous pattern. Functional design, we call this! My home is Alouette’s Home Show release The Cordelia, which is so cute and you simply must go see.

Mudroom

Once you’ve cleaned up from dancing in puddles, you can venture into the cozy kitchen. I removed one of the doors in the Cordelia to turn it into an open room that would serve as a kitchen. Of course, I’ve seen kitchens with doors before, and a nice feature of this house is the doors stay open unless you close them, so you could leave the door on, too. My kitchen is by Follow Us for The Home Show, and includes a well stocked fridge and lots of fun poses. The pretty green hutch you can see on the right side is Second Spaces other Home Show release.

Comfy Kitchen

All that playing in the rain is bound to stir up an appetite. Fortunately, the sun’s come out just in time to light up the lovely dining table, which is the Lethbridge from Organica (and makes me want to watch Doctor Who, and if you get that reference, major geek points to you!), and is also a new release for The Home Show.

Ready for dinner

Be sure to stop by The Home Show before it’s over at the end of the month. I will have more to show you from there soon!

~Lucie

Credits
All pics:
Alouette: The Cordelia House The Home Show

Pic 1:
Second Spaces: Max Mudroom – Tan The Home Show
Lark: Desert Yoga Rug 2 The Home Show

Pic 2:
Follow US: Cottage kitchen & fridge The Home Show
Bazar: Toronto – Living room rug The Home Show
Second Spaces: Lillian Hutch – green The Home Show
Cheeky Pea: Roux Coffee Station & Shelf
What Next: Spring Clean Gacha – Kitchen Broom & Mop Deco (former Arcade item)

Pic 3:
Organica: Lethbridge Set – Coalesced The Home Show
Cheeky Pea: Roux Coffee Station & Shelf
What Next: Spring Clean Gacha – Kitchen Broom & Mop Deco, Spring Clean Bucket – Cream, Housekeepers Box Decor – Green (former Arcade items)
Bazar: Toronto – Living room rug The Home Show
Kalopsia: Clock – Mountain Painted – gacha The Home Show
LISP: Dolly Laundry Room – Red
Botanical: Aspen trees
Rustica: SkyMoon environment

Homeward Bound

It’s been a while since I did a home blog post, so I have a few pics to share. I’m not feeling very chatty tonight… shocking, I know! So, I’m just gonna give ya the goods.

This beautiful bed from Kuro was for The Theme Park’s Vintage Romance edition, which comes to an end tomorrow at 11:59 pm SLT. I checked with Luana, though, and this will be available in her mainstore soon, too!

Vintage Dreams

I’ve blogged these recycled theater chairs from Junk before, but I just adore them, so I incorporated them into my living room again.

Bright Ideas

This is the loft space in the Trompe Loeil Sparrow Hill Lodge for Collabor88 for January. You have just a few days to go grab it (and lots of other goodies) at its discounted price. I wanted to make an artist’s loft.

The Artist's Loft

This new living room set from Sway’s comes in two color palettes, warm & cool. Plus, there’s a special Valentine’s Day version at a newer event called The Collage, so check that out, too. This is the cool version.

By the fire

~Lucie

Credits

Pic 1:
Kuro: Vintage Dreams bed & lamp
Cheeky Pea: Bridge’s Dresser
Pixel Mode: Crono Chair – white, Flower Wire Floor Lamp
Junk: Wanda magazine table – oak
floorplan: open heart book

Pic 2:
Cheeky Pea: Big Bang Periodic Table Wall Art
Junk: Recycled Theater Chairs – vintage, Arrow shelf – wood, Pulley Light
Llorisen: Papy clock shelves w/books – ash

Pic 3:
Cheeky Pea: Painter’s Armchair
Vespertine: Crafty working table, artistic supplies
Second Spaces: Craft Room stamps, papers, ribbons, punches, paints, crafts on the go (former Arcade items, now in mainstore)
What Next: Florence shelf w/drawers – arty
Apple Fall: Paint can, Canvas rack – painted
LISP: Paint Me A Picture Easel 2

Pic 4:
Cheeky Pea: Crail Bookcase – Chalk
Sway’s: Caroline living room – cool

My Bungalow: Part 2

If you missed part 1 of this blog post, you can find it here. The Barnesworth Anubis Carraway Bungalow is so gorgeous, and because of how big it is I knew I’d need to break this down into two posts. So, without further ado, here is the final part. As always, please click through to Flickr and hover over the pics to see where each item is from. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

This house has two bathrooms. I left the upstairs bathroom as it is when you buy the house, so you can see what the bathrooms look like if you’d rather not retexture. However, in the downstairs bathroom I did a lot of tinting/retexturing. I call the upstairs bath the “rustic bath” because I decorated it with more old fashioned feeling furnishings, as you can see here.

The Rustic Bathroom

For the downstairs bathroom, I wanted a sense of luxury. So, while it still has a bit of a vintage feel (I tend to like vintage/rustic in home design/decor), it also has lots of lush amenities.

Where Dreams Happen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. I don’t know how true that is, but in SL I do love to have one! Here are some pics of the cozy kitchen I put together.

Kitchen Comforts

Bake ALL the things

The Carraway Bungalow has four bedrooms. I only photographed two. One of them was designed as a den, and the other as a guest room. Below is a collage of the den.

The Gathering Place

The guest room wound up being my favorite room in the house, and after that I struggled with what was going to be the master bedroom for weeks. I finally decided to just stop so I could blog everything else and transition to my autumn home. Here are the pics of the guest room.

Guest Room Collage

I had to make sure my KittyCatS made an appearance, so tucked into the nooks and crannies of this adorable cupboard bed from fri.day you will notice Meowzers and tiny Strawberry Milk.

Where cats rule

Finally, this spot was my absolute favorite in the entire house… it’s also a part of what I designed as the guest room, and I will end my blog post with this pic.

Corner For Rainy Days & Dreams

If you’re looking for a versatile home that is suitable for a family, I definitely recommend checking this one out. It’s a winner!

~Lucie

My Bungalow: Part 1

I fell in love with the Barnesworth Anubis Carraway Bungalow that was part of Collabor88 in August. It’s a big house, so it took me a while to decorate it! I have a LOT of pics for this house, so I decided to break it down into two posts.

I modified this house a good bit, in terms of textures. Some of the walls I just tinted, and some I used wallpaper on. Unlike some mesh houses, that was possible with this one. It took some trial and error, but it was a lot of fun to do. I like customizing houses, so that they feel more “me.” I never used to do this, but my BFF Rosa got me hooked, and now I love it.

So, here are the pics… or at least the first batch. I’ll try to keep my comments to a minimum. As always, please click through the pics to see them bigger in Flickr. You’ll also find notes on each pic with where each item is from. If I missed something (I hope not!) or you want more info, feel free to ask in the comments here or on Flickr, or IM me in world.

Autumn Daze

Porch

I have to say this… the Carraway comes with several gorgeous built in cabinets and shelves. The best part? They are all functional, meaning they open!

Mantle

I wanted to particularly point out the adorable Friends artwork seen in this next collage because it is an item from Sway’s for the current round of The Arcade, and you only have a few more days to go try to win it!

It's the little things

Live comfortably

This college shows the dining room built in, which I photographed with some doors open, so you could get a better idea for what I mean about what an awesome detail this is.

And everyone was invited

The second post will be coming soon, so keep an eye out for it!

~Lucie

Dragonfly Cottage

When I saw Eku Zhong of Culprit posting WIP pics of the Dragonfly Cottage, I knew I would need it. You can see her pics here. It’s a perfect summer home. I love the colors, and the gorgeous texture work. Eku also included the texture maps so people can modify to make their own. I’m utterly clueless about these things, but I thought it was a really cool feature for those of you who are able to do this.

This post is going to be pic intensive, so I am not going to talk much. I’ll mostly just share the pics. As always, you can click through to Flickr to see notes on each image for the items featured. If you want to know something specific, please don’t hesitate to comment here or on the Flickr link.

To decorate the living room, I took advantage of the recent fri.day/fri.home 50% off sale. Oh, and I have to point out that lamp. It’s from a brand new store, encore. Isn’t adorable?

Dragonfly Living Room

Dragonfly Fireplace

I love anything tea related… in RL or SL! So I had to have this cabinet from floorplan!

Tea Time

My kitchen features the Salty Dogs & Mermaids kitchen from LISP and the dining set is LAQ Decor. I love the dining set because you get tons of colors, and you can choose from a wide variety of table settings, too.

Dragonfly Kitchen & Dining

The sun porch has such a beautiful tile floor, and the colors are gorgeous with the teal/greens of the walls and outside. The rug is from encore.

Dragonfly Sun Porch

The cottage has a wrap around deck that rocks!

Dragonfly Deck

The large upstairs loft has a balcony. One thing I especially like about this house is that the doors stay open unless you close them. I wish more houses did this, especially ones that are perfect for warmer weather.

Goodnight Moon

This sewing machine from Kuro makes me nostalgic. My mom had an antique sewing machine in RL when I was a little girl. I used to push the pedal (and then get yelled at when I got caught). The rug in this pic is from encore, too. I feel SL has a shortage of good rugs, especially ones you can resize, so the rugs from encore really made me happy!

All Sewn Up

This bed from Cheeky Pea is just adorable. I’m kind of obsessed with beds in SL, and this is one of my favorites ever.

Dragonfly Bedroom

Finally, this gorgeous table is from Senzafine. It’s inspired by Tolkien, and the detail on it is utterly spectacular. My picture frame from What Next has a shot of my youngest SL sister, Isley. The calendar from Cheeky Pea is set to August 31st because that’s Isley’s RL birthday. 🙂

Again, if you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask, here or on Flickr! I love comments.

Well, I’m off to decorate my next house… stay tuned.

~Lucie

Seeing Double

So my BFF Rosa & I decided it would be fun to dress up as (nearly) identical twins. I am not going to tell you who is whom! You can guess. 😛

Best Friends

Guess Who

Aren’t we cute and summery? And yes, this post is uncharacteristically short for me.

~Lucie

PS. Consider this a sneak peek of my new house… the Dragonfly Cottage from Culprit

Credits
Skin: Izzie’s – Asia – Medium w/brown shadow and gold liner
Eyes: IKON – Ascension – Nymph
Hair: Truth – Lavinia – Pumpkin Pie
Top: Miel – Playa Top – Solid Bright
Skirt: Drift – Summer Skirt – Tangerine Sky
Shoes: Maitreya Gold – Flip Flops – Lucid (Av on viewer’s left), Gos Boutique Bare feet w/flip flops white (av on viewer’s right) both wearing Maitreya Flip Flops Dragonfly anklets
Poses: Embody – Stand in 3 (left), Stand In 5 (right)

There’s no place like home!

A while ago, I promised to show you more of what has become my favorite ever home in SL. This Lodge from Zacca has such a dreamy quality to it, and yet I can absolutely imagine a home like this existing in the real world. It makes me think of something you’d find in some old little village in the UK. I admit, this house was a challenge for me to decorate. I was fortunate that one of my friends told me about Dysfunctional Dolly Designs, which helped me keep some of the”old world meets new” vibe I wanted. This is the front of the house. My tulips are from Organica and I love how detailed they are.

Zacca Lodge

This next pic features a couple of items from the current round of FaMESHed. The hair from Exile combined with the adorable shoes from LaRoo inspired a look that made me think of Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz. I love heels with socks, and I fell hard for these shoes. I had a really hard time debating a color, but ultimately went with one of the florals because it’s (nearly) summer and I wanted something summery! The odds are very high you’ll see these shoes again in a darker shade come autumn. My skirt is from DCNY and the top is from Coco, which was a “new to me” store. My look isn’t exactly identical to Dorothy’s, but rather just overall inspired by that.

This ain't Kansas...

Here’s a close up collage, of both the LaRoo shoes and the adorable Greymoon bag I’m holding. There are multiple colors and styles, and they are in a gacha, so you’ll have to try your luck to see which one you get! I’m wearing one of the Rares. It features art from Alice In Wonderland. Given all the recent hoopla over copyright and IP infringement, let me say first hand that the designer is a dear friend who researched thoroughly to make sure she was using art that is no longer under copyright. These bags are so cute, and they fit my mood. Maybe it may seem odd to mix Alice In Wonderland with something sort of Oz-ish, but I’ve been watching a lot of Once Upon A Time recently… so it felt perfectly fine to me!

No Place Like Home

Oh, and since my skin is one the new Pink Fuel Harley skins for The Arcade, I had to take a close up shot of it. I still need to go try to win the rare!

Pink Fuel Harley *Arcade*

Now, back to the house… you’ve seen the outside. Let me show you inside. This is what you see when you open the front door… this gorgeous window with the build in daybed (complete with poses) that looks out on the courtyard.

Zacca Window

My living room is decorated primarily with items from LISP. As always, you can click through on any of these pics and hover for notes on where each item comes from. If you want any specifics, just ask me!

Zacca Living Room

This house has two rooms, one of which I made a kitchen. Here are a few pics of that. I have to comment on the dining set because I coveted this set for months… and I finally caved and got it because nothing I had was right for this kitchen (or so I convinced myself). It’s from LAQ Decor and you get a bunch of colors. The table has rezzers and a ton of options for what to have out (if anything). There’s even a funky timer setting called Auto Clear, so you can have it set to de-rezz on its own!

Dining Area

Kitchen 2

Kitchen 1

The other of the two rooms I made into the bedroom, with space for reading and writing because I can’t not have books and pads or typewriters, even in a virtual world!

Bedroom

The typewriter in this collage pic is from Floorplan, and it’s one of the items you can snag at The Arcade. This is the rare floral version.

Bedroom Collage

If you’re looking for an unusual house, this is definitely one worth checking out. I am so in love with it that I’m having a bit of a tough time breaking it all down. I rarely stay attached to houses once I’ve decorated and photographed them, but this one is something pretty darn special.

~Lucie

Fashion Credits:
Skin: Pink Fuel – Harley 06 (The Arcade)
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Fantasia
Eyes: IKON – Destiny – Nymph
Hair: Exile – Hold On Loosely – Dark Reds
Top: Coco – Cropped Sweater – Pearl Grey w/lace collar
Skirt: DCNY – A-Line Skirt – Basic Grey
Shoes: LaRoo – Ellie – Yellow Floral (FaMESHed)
Bag: Greymoon – Alice Manuscript – Striped – Rare (The Thrift Shop)
Pose: Embody – Stand Out 5

Sand & Sea Expo

I wanted to tell you about a fun event happening this weekend called the Sand & Sea Expo. There are a lot of awesome items available related to fun in the summer sun, and there’s also a Beachcomber event that allows you the chance to win free prizes! You’re looking for purple shells. Hit them wen you find ’em and see if you’re a winner!

I think my favorite thing about this event is that the organizers are using teleport boards! When you tp into the event, just look for these boards. They are also scattered throughout the event, making it much easier to get around. I really wish more events would do this, though I think I understand the rationale behind a fixed landing point. However, it’s often frustrating when an event is laggy due to the inevitable crowds, and I think it would be beneficial for events, especially shorter ones like this, if they did a teleport board instead.

Sand & Sea Expo

There are so many great exhibitors at this event, and it’s a lot of fun to wander around. There are two sims, including an underwater area. But my poor deprived avatar lives in the sky… on a landlocked platform, just like how in RL I live in a landlocked state. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, with some help from the Lisp Serenity Springs hot tub set, and a comfy beach blanket and umbrella from set from What Next, I created my own improvised beach well inland (and upland?)! To keep away unwanted visitors, I donned my ANA Sharkfin headband.

Landlocked

After basking in the sun lazily for a while, I had a need to cool off! While my “pool” can be a hot tub, I didn’t need to turn on the heat on this hot summer day, so I just hopped on in. But not alone. No, I took my adorable shoulder “pet” from KittyCatS… he wants to surf, but first his eye caught something off in the distance, so we’re looking at it. Probably a relative of mine. It’s hard training cats that birds aren’t prey, lemme tell you. My adorable bikini is from Callie Cline… I loved the cut of the bottom especially, and this teal color was perfect to get me in the faux beachy mood!

Look!

Speaking of Callie Cline & KittyCatS, be sure you stop by their space at the Sand & Sea Expo. It’s so freakin’ cute I could barely stand it. Here are a few raw shots I took while there. I only cropped these, so otherwise what you see is what you get.

basking

Hula Cats

With so many great vendors, you’ll wish this event was going to be around longer! But it ends on May 5th, so hurry up and head on over before it’s nothing more than a memory of days at the beach!

Beach Entrance

Underwater Entrance

~Lucie

Credits
Skin: Al Vulo – Arya – Black – Milk
Hair: Wasabi Pills – Gloria – Rouge (tinted)
Eyes: IKON – Lucid – Light Brown
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Fantasia
Bikini: Callie Cline – Wrap Bikini – Water*
Feet: Gos Boutique – Arched
Shoulder Pet: KittyCatS – Surf Cat! – Pandie Ebony & Ivory*
Headband: ANA – Sharkfin Headband*
Beach blanket: What Next – Reserved Beach Towel & Parasol set*
Hot Tub: Lisp – Serenity Springs hot tub set*
Bike decor: What Next – Boardwalk Bicycle Rezzer – Girl Bike Decor*
Platform: Inverse – Sky Platform

*Denotes items available at the Sand & Sea Expo