Writing from Destin, Florida:
Copyright 2015 by Gidge Uriza.
Gidge Uriza sums it up rather nicely in her article at Its Only Fashion, which I link to for today’s big reblog. Hair Fair every year gives us a chance to stock up on wigs for our already ready-to-explode Inventories, and I’m on of the thousands of avatars who loves to go there, fight the crowds when needed, and purchase what strikes my fancy. But, if I could get in world today, I’d try to remember to take off my hair and wear some kind of bandanna — because Hair Fair every year is also to support and remember the kids who don’t have the beauty, luxury — or necessity — of hair in even Real Life.
Wigs for Kids exists for the purpose of supplying hair to children who, for various medical reasons, have little or no hair. We as adults feel it when we have a “bad hair day,” and those of us who have undergone chemotherapy know how embarrassed we feel when we start having to cover our heads as the tufts of hair are falling out. Children feel it even more, though; they’re at a stage of development where image is so much more important, where teasing can be cuttingly cruel, or where they just want to look like the others around them. We remember these little ones on the final day of every Hair Fair by wearing a bandanna instead of the “hair” we normally sport.
Wigs for Kids helps these children reclaim their self-esteem. But it ain’t cheap, not by a long shot. The mission page at WfK tells us that each wig is custom designed, handmade from human hair, and the average cost is $1,800. That’s U. S. dollars, people, not lindens. You can gather from this that the organization needs all the help it can get, but in two different forms, not just one.
The obvious one is what Hair Fair is for. If you haven’t been there yet, today is your last chance for the year; go find something that makes you look ravishing when you aren’t wearing your bandanna — you did get one of those, too, right? They’re available in every Fair sim in a special shop, for donations of 50 or 100 lindens, chump change. But buy some wigs for Second Life, and help by your purchase to buy some wigs for the kids. Large numbers of the vendors will dedicate at least a percentage to Wigs for Kids from every purchase, and some of the designers sign over all their sales from the vendors during this fortnight to the cause. Be generous, please. And, if you somehow miss Hair Fair, or just decide not to go (silly girls and boys!), go to their site and give a direct donation.
But another way to help is to donate hair. That’s a roger, RL hair. Like I said above, the kids’ wigs are 100% human hair, no synthetics. You have to get the hair somewhere. The Web site also has an aid to finding a salon that will help harvest tails of hair from donors — a minimum of 12 straight inches; pull curly hair straight to be sure — for sending in to the organization. You can find the details here. My own family has done this in the past when we’ve had the length, and hope to again in the future.
It’s not a hairy thing to help out here; indeed, the good work here can only grow in length. (Sorry, that’s the best I can do writing fast here. Any road, please help out. And remember Hair Fair next year as well!)
Writing from Destin, Florida —
The family is off on its annual outing in Destin. I took along an Ethernet cable this time so I might be able to get in world on my laptop, but I can’t seem to get a connection; so I’ll be reblogging things without too much in the way of photos until about Tuesday or Wednesday next week. I always try to bring you the best, though, so stay tuned to this blog!
First up is a piece from Gidge Uriza at Its Only Fashion. She reminds us there’s only a few more days left to this year’s Hair Fair, so you’d better get in while you have a chance to stock up at the Grid’s Home of Hair and Heart this year. Remember that many of your purchases will be at least split with Wigs for Kids to help that group supply wigs for children who have lost their hair for various medical reasons. This charity is almost as popular as the various Relay for Life functions, and is often well-stocked with Residents for the first few days. Now’s the time to work your way around, before it sinks beneath the waves for another year!
Gidge is wearing in her photos one of the hairstyles available at the Fair, from Olive, along with a dress from this month’s Collabor88 which, if you are interested in it, you should be sure to pick up the demo on first! Gidge mentions what she is wearing is fitted to the Belleza mesh body, so don’t spend more than a linden to be sure that you can wear what you want. See photos at Gidge’s article.
Looking for something fresh on your computer desktop? Have you thought of all those hundreds of Second Life photos you’ve been accumulating since you first learned how to use the snapshot camera? If you have a graphics editor, and your photos are large enough to work with, there should be no great problem, and the process is very easy to do. Here’s a tutorial for relative newcomers to photo editing, and can be used for RL photos as well as Second Life.
1. I’ve used GIMP in the past because it’s free, but I much prefer Paint Shop Pro; this was the program I started out with long ago, so I’m most comfortable with its controls and function names. Any photo editor that can do resize/resample and crop is fine; the key is that you have a large enough photo to work with in the first place. It must be equal to, or exceed, the screen size of your monitor in both dimensions for you to create a non-fuzzy wallpaper. I routinely shoot my work at 4000 pixels width, so this is almost never a problem. So the first thing to do, of course, is to choose which one you want to edit, and load up your photo into your editor. Then copy the entire image, paste it into the editor as a new image, and close the original. You’ll make all your changes on the copy, and have the original to fall back on if you make a goof.
2. My screen is 1920 x 1080 pixels, or approximately 16:9 ratio. I choose Resize in Paint Shop Pro (your editor may call it Resample; they’re the same effect, though resampling usually gives better quality). Your first focus is on the smaller of the two dimensions. I almost always shoot a custom screen size with the Snapshot tool in whichever SL client I’m using, which works out (by keeping the dimensions constrained in the Snapshot function in the client) to 4000 pixels wide by 2119 pixels high. The height is the smaller — it usually will be — and this is what I will alter with the Resize. In the Pixel Dimensions section of the toolbox, I change 2119 to 1080, my actual screen height, and click OK.
3. Now that I have the height established, I need to crop the photo down to the correct width. If I don’t, and leave it as it is, the image will spill off the right side of the screen. If I try to avoid that by using settings like Fit in Windows 8 in the wallpaper area, the picture will scrunch and look…strange. If it’s too short, the Stretch function will also make the end product look peculiar. So I must do a final crop to get the correct width of 1920 across. After deciding what I can lop off, I click on the Crop tool (it will usually look like the tool icon in the left sidebar on this photo), and stretch the grid that produces to cover the entire photo up and down. (Remember, we want that full height as well!) In photographing in world, I usually try to emphasize one side or another for this purpose during the shoot, as well as to follow the Rule of Thirds that many photographers, SL and RL, say improves composition of a photo tremendously. As an example of the Rule, see the next photo, from my last Hair Fair article:
Here, I’ve already resized the photo of me, which I shot with myself at an offset from the center of the photo as well — to specifically help the editing side along for this purpose. I’ve selected the grid subfunction of the Crop tool, because it breaks the crop panel up for me into thirds, with guide lines to aid me in the positioning of the composition so that I’m on one or the other of the “third” splits of the photo. (For wallpaper of modeling photos, I normally place myself on the right, since all of my desktop icons snap to the left of the screen.) I adjust the size to the width of 1920, then move it with the mouse so that my body is splitting the grid line as evenly as possible; this puts me square on the mark, and draws first attention of the viewer — the “eye” of the viewer — to me. I approve the position, after checking the dimensions in the upper toolbars, by clicking the check mark on the small toolbar you see on the photo, or by double clicking inside the grid, and the areas outside the grid are cut off, leaving me with the finished size.
The same would be done with the landscape photo above. A good crop site, if you have enough width to choose from, would perhaps place the upper left crosshair over the mansion door, or as close to it as possible, emphasizing the entrance and its stairway and drawing the viewer’s eye more rapidly to that location. For followers of the Rule, the crosshair intersections are “power points,” and greatly desired.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to use the Rule of Thirds; you can have everything centered if you wish, or not worry about anything but size. There is some debate over whether the Rule is truly valid, and it can be as much a personal call as anything — what looks good to you? I, myself, use the Rule in wide shots, especially when I’m modeling and want to show the entire outfit I’m wearing. But I’ll ignore the Rule when I feel it’s justified; and, if I’m cropping in for a closeup, then I’m obviously going to be central to the photo. It all depends on the moment and the need, and experience will tell you what works best for your situation.
In any case, you’ve cropped your shot to the proper size now. You did check your dimensions before accepting the crop, right? You didn’t??? Hopefully you worked on a copy, and haven’t saved over the original! Backup with control-Z if you can, or shut the bad copy and make a new copy, and start again.
4. All that’s left is to sign your work, if you choose, and save it. Then you can share it with other Residents via the usual platforms, such as Facebook, SLSN, Plurk, Twitter, or, especially, Flickr.
There are plenty of wallpaper groups on Flickr, but only one I’ve found specifically for Second Life, and it’s rather inactive. Time to join and fatten that collection up, eh? I submit my own wallpaper to it, but I also add them to the group 16:9 Widescreen Creativity, and nobody has given me the Dickens about adding virtual-world photographs and fashion shots yet. If you do add to such a group, make sure it’s appropriate to the subject, or general, and that it’s meant for the size of wallpaper you’ll be submitting. Throwing 1920 wallpaper on a 1024×768 group doesn’t work, and contributes to screen envy and flamage. It’s also polite (and helps drive hits) to add a tag to your photo with the size. Remember to put it inside double quotes, so that Flickr doesn’t split it up! And, of course, if you do share your wallpaper this way, make sure that it’s set for sharing, so that people can download it! Locking a wallpaper with an “All Rights Reserved” copyright (a) defeats the purpose, and (b) can be circumvented with a little knowledge of how to use the browser, or with other tools. (That’s how I’ve added some winners’ photos to the Oscar Fashion Photo Contest winner articles over the years.) Far better to be generous, and put it up under Creative Commons.
Hopefully you’ll share some of your work with other Residents, and with the world!
If you want something that looks futuristic, two places to go to are sYs and Zibska. With careful choices, the avant-garde selection of clothes at sYs will fill the bill quite nicely, while still be wearable day-to-day around the Grid. And Zibska…well, most of Zib Scaggs’ wigs and makeup are definitely on the rising side of the fashion curve — as in “attaining escape velocity.”
Here’s a nice mix of goodies for your consideration, including one of Zibska’s new hairstyles available at Hair Fair 2015. As for the outfit, the Hesiod pants are constructed of Neoprene — wetsuit rubber, in other words, and nicely fitting, with a button fly. The pants are paired in the set with mid-sleeved crop tops in luxuriant materials. And these sandals have heels that I love:
I’d hate walking on these for a long term in RL, but they’re magnificent in Second Life.
The focus for now, of course, is Hair Fair. We move to Zibska, then, and her Titan style, one of five available. It comes with a box of hairbases; considering some of the scripted colors available, you’ll want it. I went conservative in this case, and stuck with blonde. And how does one get your hair wound up into a pair of chain-link strands? Don’t ask me, man; all I know is that it looks great! I added on Zibska eyeshadow, which may or may not still be available, as Zib staged a clearance recently, and my usual (not available) Liquid Glaze liner. Not a bad look overall for someone who is off duty on a space station!
- Skin: Glam Affair Cleo (America – Clean B)
- Eyes: Sterling Artistry Jeweled Eyes (brightblue)
- Hair: Zibska Titan (available at Hair Fair 2015)
- Attachments: Slink hands (Casual) and feet (High); StrawberrySingh.com Broken Ankle Fix – Ankle Lock v2.0
- Nails: La Boheme Industrial Steel mani/pedi
- Outfit: sYs Hesiod shirt (blue) and neoprene pants (black) (separates)
- Shoes: sYs Opyum wedges (black/gold, SLink)
- Earrings: Dahlinks Stage and Screen diamond and gold studs
- Makeup: Zibska Ire (Red); *BOOM* Liquid Glaze (lashed Lime; no longer available); Buzzeri Gem lipstick (Tigers Eye)
Hair Fair is among us again, and the crowds should have eased a little by now. I, however, was one of the foolish, uh, brave ones who plunged into the thick of things on the first night and worked my way, walk or cam, through all four sims. I came up with several items, among which is what I have on my head now, from sYs.
…When at dawn she sighs, and like an infant to the window
Turns grave eyes craving light, released from dreams,
Beautiful she looks, like a white water-lily
Bursting out of bud in havens of the streams.
When from bed she rises clothed from neck to ankle
In her long nightgown sweet as boughs of May,
Beautiful she looks, like a tall garden lily
Pure from the night, and splendid for the day….
If I’m going to be wearing fresh hair, I might as well be wearing fresh clothes, and so I dropped into Junbug. Their region has a large pond in the middle with a board walkway circling it. There is a great supply of water lilies and waterweed there, which gave me the idea to look up a poem involving lilies.
…When her mother tends her before the laughing mirror,
Tying up her laces, looping up her hair,
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded,
More love should I have, and much less care.
When her mother tends her before the lighted mirror,
Loosening her laces, combing down her curls,
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded,
I should miss but one for many boys and girls….
A concern: I wish I could remove the pin in the wig which you see here, at least at times. A minor objection, but I hope Systi will consider making this “disappearable” in future.
…Cool was the woodside; cool as her white dairy
Keeping sweet the cream-pan; and there the boys from school,
Cricketing below, rushed brown and red with sunshine;
O the dark translucence of the deep-eyed cool!
Spying from the farm, herself she fetched a pitcher
Full of milk, and tilted for each in turn the beak.
Then a little fellow, mouth up and on tiptoe,
Said, “I will kiss you”: she laughed and leaned her cheek….
Excerpts from “Love in the Valley,” by George Meredith (taken out of order)
- Skin: Glam Affair Cleo (America – Clean B)
- Hair: sYs Micha (currently available at Hair Fair 2015)
- Eyes: Sterling Artistry Jeweled Eyes (brightblue)
- Nails: ZOZ Summer 2015 French Polish (currently available at Fashiontropic)
- Attachments: SLink hands (Casual) and feet (High)
- Gown: Junbug Tomoe-San (Earth)
- Shoes: R.icielli Thayla High Heels (Fuschia)
- Jewelry: Dahlinks Stage and Screen diamond and gold stud earrings; Maxi Gossamer Valentina cross necklace (short size)
- Makeup: Buzzeri Gem Lips (Tigers Eye); *BOOM* Liquid Glaze (lashed Silver); SlackGirl 90s – 2 (shade 1)