Morning Making All Things New

This is basically how I start my day lately. I sit quietly, have my coffee and some kind of breakfast [not usually cookies, though], and flip through whatever random magazine came in the mail. I will admit that as soon as I wake up, I grab my phone and check email, plurk, and facebook while I’m still in bed, but as soon as I’m actually up, I spend at least half an hour or so without any electronics. It’s just one of those things that makes me feel a little bit calmer when starting my day.

Morning Making All Things New

And calm is pretty necessary now that we have four kids! *laughs* Last night all of the kids were with us and at one point, Aldwyn asked me, “Do you realize there are three conversations going on at once?” Yep! And it was pretty awesome!

Abby has always been the kind to be playing around with her look. She loves to try out different skins and shapes. Birdy has recently gotten a lot more into fashion and hair. They’re my baby fashionistas in training! I’d almost feel sorry for Rory because they seem determined to drag her along with them, but she seems down for it. So I guess…well, if you’re going to invite us anywhere, give us advance warning, because we’re going to take a while getting dressed!

I have spent far too long today doing other things and I have somewhere to be in 3 hours, so I better go. Even in my first life, it takes a while for me to decide what to wear and how to do my hair and makeup. Wherever you go, there you are, I guess. *laughs*

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Six Whole Years

I’ve been a fashion blogger for over 6 years now. The 6th anniversary of my fashion blog came and went last week. I don’t usually celebrate it. I know several bloggers who make a big deal about their blog anniversaries – parties, free gifts, etc., but I’ve never felt the need. As much as I love it, I don’t find it to be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

Six Whole Years

I never set out to be a fashion blogger. On my old avatar, I was kinda getting started doing it before I left. I had a great mentor as far as blogging goes and I still do many of the things she taught me back then. [Like, you know, actually WRITING about things and not just showing a pic and credits.]

When I started this blog, fashion was so so far from my mind. I wanted to just write about my SLife, the things I did, the things I saw, the people I talked to. But as I gained a bit of popularity [lifestyle blogs were bigger back in 2008-09], people started sending me things to blog. I am still not quite sure why. I wasn’t on any feeds and this wasn’t a fashion blog and I’m not particularly fashionable. Also? My pictures suuuuuuucked. SUUUUUUUCKED!!!

I mean, they still kinda suck, but they suck a lot less these days.

But after a while, I felt bad about blogging things on a non-fashion blog that wasn’t on any feeds. So I opened a second blog in 2009. I highly suggest you do not go looking for the first post. It ain’t pretty. And my friends back then obviously weren’t loyal because I was as skinny and orange as they come and no one told me. Rude.

After 6 years of doing this, I feel like I know the ins and outs of blogging. There are things that I see the newer bloggers do that make me shake my head and roll my eyes. Like then they don’t write anything. When they don’t credit properly. When you look at their pics and you haven’t the slightest clue what they’re showing. When they’re constantly naked for no reason. When they say that they’re “accepting sponsors.” When they call people “sponsors.”

But it’s the same with designers, too. The ones with the crazy blogging rules, especially when they haven’t earned the right to have crazy blogging rules. The ones who act like their store is the ONLY store. The ones who behave like because they gave you $2 worth of items, they own your entire soul. I shake my head and roll my eyes at them, too. And refuse to blog them.

But I also realize that blogging is not static and maybe by this point, I’m a dinosaur with my actual love of writing and my belief that you should put SLurls and not call people sponsors. There’s room for all in the blogosphere, even the naked people. [Although I prefer not to see their boobs more than I see my own.]

Six years is a long time to do anything, especially in Second Life. But I do love it. I love when I get accepted to events or someone contacts me to blog their items. I love putting things together and taking pictures. I would not do this if I did not love it. Who knows… maybe I’ll even do it another year. 🙂

Day 159 – Need some chopsticks with that ramen hair.

Yesterday was a hard day for me, so when Aldwyn got on last night, he asked me if I wanted to get dressed up and go dancing. I said sure, because we haven’t gotten to go out much recently, and then I spent the next 30 minutes finding the right outfit. We were going to see if people still go to Phat’s, which used to be pretty popular back in the day.

He looked handsome in his mesh suit. I looked elegant in my new mesh dress. We hopped on over and then realized that my hunt for the perfect outfit was pretty meaningless because this was the dress code.

I don't want to be a jerk, but...

Okay, okay. I get it. Not everyone likes mesh gowns for dancing. There’s still something kind of fun about watching your flexi gown twirl. I get that.

But going to Phat’s was truly like walking back into at least 5 years ago. SO MUCH FLEXI. So many very very old dresses. So many shoes that were made of pure prims, no sculpts at all. There was bling! There were heart poofers! And the hairs! So many ramen noodle hairs!

Put some sriracha on that

Day 159 - Need some chopsticks with that ramen hair

I don’t keep the crosshair things on in SL because they annoy me, and because I don’t care who is looking at me, but Aldwyn said that when we walked in, a ton of people were checking me out. Maybe they wondered why my gown wasn’t flying all over the place. Maybe they wanted to see why my hair looked nice. I really don’t know.

Being in the group that we’re in, we’re very used to everyone looking beautiful pretty much 99% of the time. We are around wonderful creators and excellent stylists a lot. Our friends look amazing because they read/write fashion blogs and shop in nice places. It’s really hard to look bad when you fill your inventory with gorgeous items, you know? So when we do step away from our group and go somewhere else, I’m always amazed at how many people in SL are still living with these very old items, and seem to LIKE it. Part of me has to wonder what exactly folks are fighting for here. I see creators fighting to learn Maya. I see people fighting for a mesh deformer. Why fight that hard when some of these folks are still wearing shoes that look like this?

Oh dat shoe

[No, I have no idea why it was floating. Both of us saw it, so I know it wasn’t just on my screen.]

We were laughing at some of the outfits, but I told Aldwyn that maybe these people are having more fun than the rest of us. They get dressed up in their big crazy formal gowns, put on their twirly flexi hair, and they go OUT. They dance and laugh and talk to people. Most of our group stay up on platforms and we just talk on plurk about how we’d like more friends but we’re all shy.

So really? Who is truly living their Second Life? I’m starting to think it’s not us.

Day 16 – Well, that isn’t inspirational!!

As I mentioned on plurk earlier, I’m in a fashion funk. Nothing excites me enough to blog it. Hell, nothing really excites me enough to change my outfit very often. And while I get the whole “It’s your blog, blog when you want” thing, it’s more than that. I get review copies on occasion, but rarely full outfits, and while I might want to review a certain piece, the act of putting a whole LOOK together has been really really really really difficult for me lately.

Aldwyn said he thought we should go to some fashion places so maybe I could get inspired.

Day 16 - Well this isn't inspirational!

He’s so totally fired.

Thank God he’s cute or I’d be getting divorced tonight.

The fashion funk remains, though. I think I might need to find some new-to-me stores to shop at or something. Do you guys know any stores that maybe I might not know that I would like?

Plain and dumb

The month is almost over, and wow…what a hell of a month. lol Getting used to married life, finding out things that I wish I hadn’t had to find out… But it’s been a balance of bad and good, I guess.

Thinking about stuff

So now that things are settling down for the most part, it’s time for me to get back to doing more for the style blog. But there’s a problem.

I have no style.

I was going through a fashionista crisis yesterday trying to figure out something to blog. Al, sadly for him, came in in the middle of my crisis. He tried to calm me down, but mostly all I got out of it is that my blog is more of the “ready to wear, off the rack” sort rather than the magazine type fashion that I admire in other blogs. He says I don’t accessorize as much as other bloggers, which I agree with. But in my offline life, I don’t accessorize much either. I wear the same couple of rings and occasionally I put earrings in or wear a necklace, but that’s about it. So it’s not easy for me to know what goes together in SL. I know what I DON’T like. I know what looks BAD. But I can’t figure out how to put things together to look good. I probably also need to really get ruthless with my inventory and see what it is I have, because honestly, I don’t know most of the time anymore.

We ended up going shopping a bit last night. He’s in need of new clothes and I just needed to get some ideas of what I want my style to be. Because truly? I don’t know anymore. I like what I like, but I don’t have a set style. At least, not one that I can think of a name for.

Blah. #secondlifegirlproblems

What do you guys think? Can you label my style? Do you think I even actually have one? I’m not asking for compliments or to have my ego stroked, please don’t think that. I just wonder once in a while about why I have a style blog. I love – LOVE – to promote things that I like, and I guess that’s the main reason I have the blog. But I don’t want to just be taking up blog space looking plain and dumb. Does that make sense?

Oh hell. I guess if I didn’t want to take up blog space looking plain and dumb, this blog would have gone away years ago! LOL

It’s a nice day, so I think I am going to go out and blow the dust off.

When left to myself…

You know, I love being a fashion blogger. I really do. I try really really hard to showcase items in the best possible way and I hope against hope that the people that I blog like it. I mean, I’ve got some creator friends. I know some of them groan when certain bloggers do their stuff. Not to say that they’re any less appreciative of the publicity, but of course they’d rather their items be shown off in a nice picture. Because of this, I work really hard to get a nice shot. I am by no means the best photographer in SL. Not. At. All. I seem to be at least on average with people, so that works for me!

But I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the BEST fashion sense. I know what looks WRONG. I watch fashion shows, I read magazines, and I have eyes. I can tell you right away if colors are clashing or if something just looks off. However, when it comes to putting together my own outfits, it can take me a long time! I save pretty much all the outfits I make for the blog so I can have something to easily throw on. It’s not uncommon for me to stay in the same outfit for 2 days after I’ve blogged it simply because I don’t know what else to put on. I know. Worse fashionista ever. :-p

Last night while the grid was rushing over to the Pacific Crisis Fundraiser, I decided to go check out Fashion For Life. Oh man, what gorgeous items are there! I found myself in a sim with the most amazing Asian inspired clothing, big fluffy doll dresses, kimono, just…oh my god. It was incredible. I didn’t buy any of the dresses because I’m trying really hard to only get things that I know I will wear since my inventory is SUCH a mess, but oh…I was tempted.

I did buy stuff, though. I picked up hair, I picked up boots, I picked up jewelery and a statue. I was putting things on as I was shopping [I like to wear new things right away.] and when I came home to put my statue out, I laughed, because my outfit was just rockin’.

I went to FFL!

This is the kind of outfit I end up wearing when I’m alone. Complete with the carrot riding bunny that flies around me in a circle.

At least it’s all for a good cause. Right? Right??

That’s what YOU think!

I haven’t had a really good opinion piece in a while, but a blog post was brought to my attention today and a quote from it made me roll my eyes.

“So while I understand that a lot of designers refrain from giving out review copies, we bloggers rarerly blog things we have to pay for.”

So. Not. True.

I would gather that in most of my style posts, I’ve paid for at least 80% of what I’m wearing. It takes money to become a blogger, something that most people starting out fail to realize. Unless you’re blogging nothing but freebies, it takes money. It is such a horrible misconception that bloggers have their Second Lives basically paid for. Sure, there are some bloggers that get a ton of review copies – but those ones are few and far between.

Now I’ll admit that I’m fairly lucky. I’ve made friends with some pretty kickass creators, and I get things for free here and there. Other lists that I’ve managed to get on, it’s because I have bought things in the past from that store [you’re delusional if you think creators don’t check that] and I’ve blogged items from there before.

But, for the most part, I spend a GREAT deal of money financing my hobby. Yes, hobby. Fashion blogging is not a job for me. None of the creators I blog pay me except in thank yous and sometimes in free items. If there is something I think I’d like to blog and I’m not on that creator’s blogger list, I buy it. If it means that I sometimes show the same item a few times in different posts, hey, that’s just how it is. I do not ask for review copies. I’m the one who chose to be a fashion blogger, so it’s up to me to finance that. Any free items I’m given, whether from a friend or from someone who happens to like my blog, I am grateful for.

This quote from this blog bothered me because I see how hard my creator friends work. And I also see how they choose how a blogger gets their items. Some take the somewhat easier route of passing blogger copies to a blogger group and hope that someone blogs them. Others have a delivery system that sends to a list of people that they like. And some others still do it by hand, passing out to bloggers that they like. Almost always, with the exception of the group givers, they choose bloggers who have either blogged their items before, or who have at least shopped in the store before.

YES. SHOPPED. As in “Oh hi, you spent the money to buy something from me.” They are 10 times more likely to give to a blogger who requests a review copy if that blogger has shopped with them before.

Because you know, we see how it goes. We see the bloggers who believe that having a blog means they can ask for the whole store.

Honey, it so doesn’t mean that at all.

You can’t have a blog that has no posts and yet ask for fatpacks of items from stores that you’ve never shopped at before. Yes, we all start somewhere, but usually we start by opening our wallets.

So, Ms. “Bloggers only blog what they’re given” Ma’am. You are desperately, completely wrong in your statement. Maybe YOU only blog free items you’re given, but the rest of us are shopping, and I’ll take a guess that our blogs will be around longer because of it.