Thursday, January 29, 2009

Opar - The Meadow

The Meadow

The meadow at Opar is a celebration of color. The meadow is overflowing with wildflowers in full bloom and tall grasses

Pretty Place for Pretty Girls



Tall grasses edging the sea

Kaja Lurra enjoying a walk through the wild flowers

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cheesecake Mariko

Legs at Sunset

This week's slice of cheesecake to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year . Yesterday began the celebration of Chinese New Year. Its the Year of the Ox. The ox is one the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac rotating on a 12 year cycle. The ox is strong, hardworking, and a sign of prosperity. People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They do have fierce tempers; but, they provide stable and warm homes for their family. And what better place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Second Life than in China Town. Wonderful displays, a free lucky red new year's dress, and firecrackers. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Everybody.

Red Chinese New Year Dress

Fireworks and Firecrackers

Fireworks Display

Grand Finale

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Opar - The Beginning

Its about time I begin telling everyone about Opar, my personal estate in Second Life. Opar is a homestead sim (formerly an open sim) which I acquired last August and began developing. A homestead sim has 65,536 sq meters of land and 3750 prims, the basic building units in virtual worlds. Last summer, I was shown a marvelous Italianate style villa discovered by my friend Leesa called the Southpoint Yacht Club, copies of which were being offered by its builder. It was an award winning design. I fell in love with its impressive courtyard, with its fountains and covered arches, and with the many patios and lounge areas. The villa was a virtual garden filled with hanging and potted plants. I could see possiblities as a club for entertaining friends, as well as a personal residence.

Selina and Me (in red hair) - Girl Talk on the Villa Patio
The villa is huge and sprawling, and its footprint alone would require almost 1/4 sim. If I wanted this villa, I would have to become a major landowner. About this time, I was given a tour of Kajaland, an open sim owned by Kaja Lurra of Sweden. I never spent a more delightful time in Second Life. Kajaland was modeled on the Swedish countryside with wonderously textured green meadows, rolling hills and highlands, ancient trees, and a surprising wheatfield. Kajaland was a visual delight and a joy to walk or explore on horseback. I was inspired.

Natural Splendor at Opar
I was now determined to have my own sim. Being from Hawaii, I could have easily planned a tropical landscape, as it was a motif with which I am most familiar. But I decided that the sim must be temperate with birches, pines, and oaks being the dominant trees. I wanted high steep mountains overlooking the sea and interior waterways. I would have a cold fiord with a towering waterfall, forests, and fields of wild flowers. There would be walking and riding paths and, around every bend, something delightful. Most of all I wanted to achieve grand panoramic views of nature.

Earliest picture: with Erin Kinkade on a barren Opar

I made arrangements with a real estate company to have an open sim created for me. It would be named Opar. In our family library, my father had a collection of adventure novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs which he had read as a boy. And, as a young 12 year old girl, I buried myself in these books and, through their magic, trod the martian plains of Barsoom, faced prehistoric monsters at the earth's core, and explored lost cities in the jungles of Africa with Tarzan of the Apes. Strange as it may seem, my love of great literature was ignited by those juvenile pulp novels. First among the lost African cities was Opar, a forgotten outpost of the sunken empire of Atlantis. Opar was inhabited by frightful men and beautiful women and ruled by a high priestess queen, La. La was dark, savage, and regal. Her great love was the Lord of the Jungle; but it was a tragic unrequited love. I identified with Queen La and not with the blonde from Baltimore, Jane. So my kingdom in Second Life must be named Opar.

The Villa at Sunset

I purchased a copy of the villa, and my dear friend Naiya erected it on Opar and greatly expanded its building. I was also aided in setting up the villa by two of the best master builders in all Second Life, Annabelle Babii and Adrian Harbinger. To achieve the topography that I wanted for Opar, I obtained the terraforming services of Kaja of Kajaland. But first, I had to evict two tenants. Jaysun and Erin Kinkaid, my best friend at the time, erected beach houses at the far end of Opar in an area that became known as Squatter's Point. There they held wild parties and would set out in a monster power boat on pirating expeditions.


Dark, Savage, and Regal Queen of Opar


Today, Opar is pretty much complete, and I have largely achieved my vision for it (but I wish that I had more prims). Visitors to Opar arrive at the magnificient Italianate Villa where they can dance and dine under the stars. Sweeping natural vistas serve as backdrops to meetings of friends in the villa's patios, verandas, courtyards and formal rose garden. Visitors relaxing and conversing around the villa's fireplace will be delighted with a grand view of Opar's fiord and towering waterfall. Beyond the villa, visitors can explore Opar's scenic splendors - a wild flower meadow, a wild shore where the ocean churns and waves crash, a Hidden Forest of fairy oaks, and foggy paths leading up into the mountains. Future posts on Opar will highlight a different area of Opar. I think you will see that this is a very special place.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Mariko Magic - Lady Thera and Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh Spring Blossoms at Lady Thera's

Les Irises (1889) by Vincent Van Gogh
Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, Klimt, Pollack, Miro, Warhol. We do so love the arts, especially the great painters. So we should not be surprised to find that they have inspired great fashion. To find such art inspired dress designs, take a trip to Manitova Italia and visit Lady Thera's Art & Fashion. I spent a fascinating hour there viewing well displayed reproductions of famous paintings and delighting at the marvelous outfits they inspired. My delight was enhanced by having the fortune of meeting Thera Taureg, the owner of Lady Thera's and the designer of its creations. Thera is Italian and from Brazil, and you can imagine the friendly outgoing personality that results from that fusion of backgrounds. She personally modeled for me a number of outfits from her collection as we chatted. I found it difficult to choose among them and difficult to resist them. So I ended up going on a spending spree and purchased four outfits. I depleted my monthly spending allowance; but, I did acquire magic. So it was worth it.
Today's post will focus on one of my favorites among the Lady Thera's creations - Vincent Van Gogh Spring Blossoms. Thera makes textures from great paintings and then uses her talents to create fashion magic with them. Blossoms is inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's Les Irises. Les Irises was painted in the garden of the asylum at St. Remy, in the south of France, in May 1889. Van Gogh, suffering terribly from what is believed to be schizophrenia, committed himself to the asylum and was painting at a feverish pace as he believed it would restore his well being. His paintings during this period, which include Starry Nights and Les Irises, are considered his greatest work. Les Irises is on display in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

This outfit is stunning. Van Gogh had a marvelous color palette which is on display in this dress. The details incorporating Les Irises are exquisite. Click on the pictures to enlarge them and see the details. The oufit consists of a double prim super flexy skirt, blossom jacket, gloves, under shirt, and under pants. Best of all, it is topped by a beautiful textured hat (capello). Spring blossoms is suitable for strolling uptown or clubbing in the evening. It shows off best against rich plush backdrops. Its movements on the dance floor are incredibly sexy. This outfit just flows. It sells for $990L. Costly, yes; but, you are getting a work of art.

The details are exquisite

Very flattering to your figure and incredibly sexy

Thera Taureg, owner of Lady Thera and fashion designer extraordinaire
Pictures taken at Opar and Wiseguys Social Club
.Lady Thera's Art and Fashion:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In the Tall Grass

I put in a new wild flower/wild grass meadow at Opar. Mowgli immediately went to his natural element - the tall grass. I ventured in the grass very carefully as he is a wild tiger after all. But he has the disposition of a kitty cat even when stalking in the meadow. Just don't be mistaken for a mouse by this playful kitty...or dinner.

Mowgli and Nathan Hale are the best of friends.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

There is a tiger stalking Opar. But don't be alarmed. It's my pet tiger, Mowgli. He's very gentle, like a kitty cat, and well fed.
.Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
.In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
.And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
.What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
- William Blake (1757-1827)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cheesecake Mariko

Wild Flowers at Opar

Serving up a sweet serving of cheesecake and an outtake.

Not all pictures turn out the way you want..

Crystal Chandelier at Bijou

In my last fashion posting, I mentioned that if you are shopping at Bijou, you shouldn't miss the magnificent crystal chandelier over their main staircase. As you can see, its worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post 6 Grrrl: Tuesday Bekkers

Post 6 Grrrl pictures of Tuesday

Tuesday's spread in the Second Life Herald just came out. Bunny's pictures captured Tuesday in at her most whimsical. A great as the pictures are, the highlight of this Post 6 Grrrl feature is Tuesday's commentary. Unlike the vapid, bubblehead observations of previous Post 6 Grrrls, this commentary captures something very real and the feelings that are expressed will truly touch you. It's the real Tuesday and a fine piece of writing.
The Post 6 Grrrl featuring Tuesday:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mariko Magic: Fashion from Bijou and Hair from Zero Style

Mariko Magic is the Fashion Feature of my blog, and today is my inaugural post. In this feature, I will present outfits and styles that create magic. I'll feature only the very best and provide information about these fashions and the stores in which they can be found. These are fashions that I have personally purchased and have entered my wardrobe.
I purchased this number at Bijou, at their main store in Bijouaholic. It's a new creation called 'Gig'. Click and enlarge the picture to see the quality of this dress. I love the details of the cloth and its folds, and how it drapes and flatters one's figure. The short skirt sweeps up in the back to give you a great look from behind. A broad black leather and coiled metal belt provides a finishing accent. I'm wearing the gold outfit. It also comes in khaki, beige, black, purple, aquablue, and yellow. It sells for $270L. To find this outfit, you must go up the stairway to the store's second floor where they display new fashions. Be sure to catch a look at the wonderful crystal chandelier gracing the stairway. It is gigantic.
The hair I am wearing is from Zero Style a store that specializes in Japanese style hair. The style I have is called 'Dana'. It is flexi hair and comes from the Dana brunette collection. The color is Dark Cherry. The Dana brunette collection sells for $300L. Don't be put off by the display pictures at Zero Style with the all too young looking models. Yes, many of these hair styles are too schoolgirl (what do you expect from Japan). But there are some sophisticated style hair to be found here.
The picture was taken in China Town sim.

Jaysun on Horseback

Jaysun riding at Opar

I just love this picture of Jaysun on horseback with his horse at a gallop and had to post it. Jay is from Wyoming. I suppose he's a cowboy as well as an architect. He knows horses.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pleasant Evening at Leesa's Beach Party

The party was well attended.

Maryjane Muggins, Birthday Girl

Hostess Leesa Donner and Friend Trenton Swain

Awww Trish and Rocko

Wearing my Freebie Icing Night Mist Dress

I just returned from a pleasant birthday party hosted by Leesa Donner for her real life friend, Maryjane Muggins. Many friends and acquaintances were there from Open Latte. I was especially happy to chat with Eurogeek Deutsch as I had not seen him in a long while. The event was held at Leesa's lovely beach property, and the decorations and setting were marvelously executed by the hostess. Couples were dancing on the beach and cuddling. I danced an ill synchronized salsa with Tuesday. Later everyone (except those cuddling) played Truth Ball. Luckily, I was asked only softball questions: 'Have you ever made an fool of yourself in front of someone you wanted to impress?' (OMG yes. Who hasn't) and 'What is your favorite Disney movie (Little Mermaid). Being with so many nice people and so many friends gave me a warm glow. Happy Birthday Maryjane and Thank You Leesa for a most enjoyable evening.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Nathan Hale, My Christmas Horse

Nathan Hale's first ride at Opar
Jaysun gave his Christmas present to me this evening. It was the most wonderful gift that I ever received in Second Life - a tall, powerful, dark gray beauty of a horse. I named him Nathan Hale after the Revolutionary War hero because he is courageous, gallant, and loyal. We took Nathan out for a ride at Opar and he was steady but eager. He is a marvelous horse, and Opar looked even lovelier from horseback. Thank you ever so much Jay.