JEWELRY FAIR 2014: ‘Chianna’ by Earthstones

Earthstones Blurred

Here’s a preview of some of the astonishing goodies that you’ll find on sale at JEWELRY FAIR 2014, and it’s from one of the most well-known and respected  jewellery designers on the grid, Abraxxa Anatine, the genius creator behind the EARTHSTONES brand.

 You know, EARTHSTONES in a real Second Life success story. I can remember going there in 2007 to purchase jewelry, and you’ll find numerous examples of Abraxxa’s work on this blog. I have worn a LOT of EARTHSTONES jewellery (I’m sorry, I cannot type jewelry, I’m British and we just don’t spell it that way!) and I know I will continue to do so in the future because it is some of the most carefully crafted and beautifully designed that you’ll find anywhere upon the grid.  The fact that EARTHSTONES has been in-world for so many years (practically a lifetime by Second Life standards) should tell you all you need to know about the products on offer in store. Abraxxa produces an ever-expanding range of styles to suit every taste and budget, and every genre and Second Life sub-group can find something appealing in her store.

So what is it that makes Abraxxa’s work so good? How has she managed to stay in business where others have failed? Quite honestly, it’s the quality of her product. For a start, she creates the very best, most authentic looking crystals and minerals for necklaces, bracelets and earrings that I have ever seen in-world. The textures that she uses are so precise and detailed that it feels like you are gazing at that particular gemstone in real life. I own a LOT of gemstone items in-world, but it’s always the EARTHSTONES items that stand the test of time and that is because they look so true to life.  For example, when you gaze at a chunk of Labradorite or Tigers Eye in real life there’s an inherent luminescence to the stone, a shimmering aspect that makes the crystal come alive. Abraxxa can do that with crystals in Second Life too; she captures their allure and perfectly places that into our pixellated universe.  It’s an amazing talent.  She sets her crystal creations into intricate designs crafted from precious metals, and I’m pretty darn sure she adds a sprinkling of magical pixie  dust into the mix too, because the finished products are ALWAYS perfect.

The items I’m wearing in the picture above are a perfect example.  This is the Chianna set, in the ‘Burning Embers’ colourway,  comprising of  earrings and pendant necklace (there’s a short necklace as well) Every component of this is beautifully rendered, from the links and fastener upon the silver chain, to the perfectly executed spiral that hangs upon it and the crystals that  are strung underneath. This particular colourway features gems such as Tigers Eye and Carnelian to capture the fire of Fall, and is perfect for wearing on Autumn nights.  It’s statement jewellery of the highest calibre, but works equally well in both formal and casual settings. For example, this necklace would look fabulous worn over a chunky winter tunic with jeans and boots, but it also works when worn with a simple black cocktail dress. Awesome isn’t it?

You’ll find this terrific set, and other pieces at Jewelry Fair 2014. I’ll be featuring more wonderful items over the coming week, so stay tuned! 

Earthstones

Indian Summer

Zaara is one of those shops that I really should frequent more. It’s always a starter for ten when the sim a store is set upon is ravishing, and this one certainly is. It’s simple yet colourful, with beautiful architecture that perfectly evokes the ethnicity behind the label. Walk around and you’ll discover painted Asian elephants, sacred cows and a fabulous temple in honour of Ganesh.

The clothing available for purchase here is just above and beyond. It’s fabulous. For example, you can buy the the best (imho) scarves in Second Life here, featuring the most beautiful prints, as well as some absolutely stunning jewellery and accessories to complement. If like most avvies you have a ballet flat fixation, then check out the ‘Ilaida Modri’ flats in store here. They’re ravishing; an Asian twist on your typical plain flat shoe and they’re available in a jewel-like array of colours making them perfect for summer sunshine.

And seeing as we aren’t having a Summer in the UK, it’s a darn-good thing that I can enjoy one in Second Life, especially when I’m wearing one of the newly released ‘Ashima’ mesh blouses from Zaara. Deceptively simple in their styling, low cut and loose, with a cinched waist meaning that you can wear these babies with anything. Shorts, skirts, jeans…perfect. This particular style that I’m wearing is called ‘Acid’ and I must confess, the tie-dye appeals to the hippie in me:) Isn’t it just sublime? I love the colours and textures selected for all of these blouses, and you can choose from a fantastic selection of print or plain. The shape is cut brilliantly too, and all sizes included with your purchase cater to the standard sizing brigade. Mesh perfection really. Plain colours are L$225, patterns just L$250 a pop; fatpacks are available.

To further enhance my look I’m wearing a fabulous freebie necklace and earrings from Earthstones, which is still available in store free to Earthstones VIP group members. Now, if you aren’t a VIP group member then you’re a buffoon, because there’s a vast array of quality freebie jewellery that can be yours for a group fee of L$250. Membership also gets you into the exclusive members area; a plush skybox perfect for Second Life quiet time. (Not only that, you can buy previous VIP exclusives at a knock-down price should you wish to from this location)

On my noggin I’m wearing ‘Ashlee’, the latest release by the ‘God Of Hair’ aka Mr Truth Hawks. Now as all readers of Kittywitchin should know I’m a bob-fiend, and I still haven’t gotten over missing out on the freebie bob that Truth gave out last year (November I think it was. I’ve seen pictures, it’s a perfect bob. Don’t get me started…) Ahem. Anyway, anything that Mr Hawks releases that’s roughly bob-shaped gets me all in a tizzy, and that’s precisely what ‘Ashlee’ has done to me. This is a glorious, shaggy style. OK, it’s not quite a bob, more like one that’s being grown out actually, but it is perfectly styled with delicate movement and flexibility. I love the way that the strands of hair have been built around the crown into a gentle-side parting, and obviously you can’t see the back of this style on my picture but trust me, it’s shaped beautifully. Truth Hawks doesn’t do crap hair, it’s as simple as that. Not only that, but you get a bounty of hair in each pack. Purchase price is L$250 per pack which (usually) features five shades, but each pack also includes ‘root’ and ‘streaked’ versions of each colour, meaning you get shed-loads of incredibly versatile hair for your Linden.

Last but not least I’m wearing a skin by Gala phoenix’s ‘Curio’ label. This one is from her ‘Beach’ range and I think I purchased it last year. It’s typical Gala; in other words, skin perfection,but it’s a shame she’s having to pay such a heavy price for her artistic brilliance at the moment.

I really want to write a blog-post about the whole fiasco, but in all honesty I’m sure whatever I write won’t add anything new to a situation that’s already been covered countless times on better blogs than this one.

What I can say from the bottom of my heart is that I’ve never for a moment doubted Gala. I’ve always been a fervent supporter of her work, and it’s long been my considered opinion that she creates the best skins in Second Life. It’s painful to think that such a talented individual is suffering due to the actions of a ‘competitor’.

I always try to stay on the fence where Second Life dramas are concerned (purely because they are so frequent) as regular readers know, but on this issue I just can’t, because it’s so divisive and just didn’t need to happen. It’s plain wrong.

Anyway, I’m not going to elaborate further, merely point you in the way of some blogs (Salome’s posting is awesome hence my linking it here) and the SLUniverse forum (all 56 pages of it up to now) where you can read up on the whole story.

And once you’ve read about it, get your Lindens ready for a rather special fundraiser starting next week..I’ll write more about it nearer the time:)

 

Labradorite Kitty

So, as I look out of my window onto real life what do I see? Chuffing rotten grey skies and damp puddles and the kind of Monday weather that makes you hold the duvet tightly up to your neck and beg, scream and plead to not have to get out of bed in the morning. Alas, unlucky moo that I am, I’ve had to venture into the great outdoors and endure the cold drizzle which has put me into the foulest of foul moods,and only one thing can rectify it…SHINIES!
Did you know that each star-sign has a bird associated with it? Well, I’m a Virgo, and apparently our bird is the Magpie, which figures when you consider my previous statement. I do like my trinkets I do, if it sparkles and it shimmers then I’m there with my beady-eyed gaze, cooing in wonder at the loveliness on show.
One of the BEST places on the grid to discover wonderful things is at Earthstones. Imagine a mind, body and spirit shop scented with the musky smell of frankincense and you’re there! That’s the ambience that Abraxxa Anatine has imbued her virtual store with, and as a VERY regular customer I can vouch that she never fails to disappoint with her range of wonders and latest releases. Here’s something new, the ‘Knotty Beads’ which are quite lovely. No, these aren’t anything to do with Knotty Ash, diddy men or mad comedians with tickling sticks (Ken Dodd, comedy genius!), but twisted gemstone bead necklaces and earrings are the order of the day here. The styling is fairly traditional which means that these jewels work well with officewear and formal day wear but especially boho-inspired outfits. Of course I opted for my favourite stone, ‘Labradorite’, and this is where Abraxxa wins brownie points. I’m pretty sure I’ve bored you all with my Labradorite obsession before, so I won’t repeat myself, suffice to say that Abraxxa’s work really does do this stone justice. The thing about Labradorite is that it is such an unusual stone, and it resonates with a myriad of colours depending on the light shining upon it. It’s highly reflective when polished and upon first glance it seems to be a quite boring dull grey stone, but when the light catches, the magic happens! My own pieces at home demonstrate this beautifully…it flashes green, gold, violet and appears to glitter with flecks of bronze through to silver. Abraxxa manages to re-create it’s stunning beauty very well- of course you couldn’t match the stone’s beauty 100% but she certainly gives it a good go..the textures that she employs for all of her jewellery are absolutely top notch, and I wish I’d asked her when I saw her in world recently if she sources the textures herself. She did tell me that it (understandably) takes ages to create each piece; instead of colouring all the beads with the same texture, she rotates and rearranges so that each prim bead looks unique… So it follows that when you group all these beads together the result is truly stunning, and so it should be. This is obviously a labour of love, but the result is always constant- jewellery that is uber-realistic, wearable and hugely desirable…Alas, a trip to Earthstones is always a challenge for me- I can’t NOT buy something while I’m there so avoid at all costs if you’re uber skint because you’ll seriously depress yourself! Having said that, there are lovely freebies available and a lucky chair too, with some glorious presents secreted under the seats for you to win! While I was there I got lucky and came away with an absolutely stunning water feature that is now situated beside my front door. Many don’t seem to realise that Abraxxa makes other items as well as jewellery and there is a great range of gorgeous agate slice windchimes, incense bowls and stone fountains to enjoy. If you’re compiling your virtual Christmas list I heartily suggest that you ask for some Earthstone’s goodness and see if you get lucky when Santa pays a visit:) Click HERE for your crystal taxi!

More Halloween Hunts than you can shake your broomstick at!

Well, I’ve finished the mahoosive grid-wide ghosty hunt instigated by Vain Inc and  I thoroughly enjoyed it..but wait, there are more hunts! WEEE!

There’s one at Deviant Kitties for starters, and The Stringer Mausoleum has approx 85 colour-coded spooks for you to seek out:

White Ghost-Unisex gift
Blue Ghost-Mens Gift
Pink Ghost-Womens Gift
Gold Ghost-Special Gift
Black Ghost-Guest Designer Gift

The hunt will run until 1am SLT Nov.1st. It’s great to see some male orientated goodies included because my Dad has been grumbling…If you want to participate, use this link and make sure you collect a notecard from the starting point, because Helena could potentially be making additions to her list.  She’s also including her friends, such as Ivalde, in the mix so you’ll obviously need the TP listing to make sure that you don’t miss out! A word of warning though- they’re ruddy tiny so make sure you have your specs on!

There’s a ‘Yellow Diamonds Hunt ‘taking place at Jersey featuring stores ‘A Piece of Candy’ (10 diamonds), ‘Kat Kreations'( 2 diamonds)  and ‘Pima in Pieces'(1 diamond)  Also included is ‘Couture Chapeau’ (4 diamonds) on Bahati Islands and ‘Romance at Rory’s'( 5 diamonds) on Immintel

Search for pumpkins at Haven Designs and Sanctum Hair, on the island of Sanctum. You’ll find allsorts of nicies from hair to outfits inside.

***AND!!! STOP PRESS!!! I’m hearing that there are EVEN MORE hunts today ( Halloween) INCLUDING one at EARTHSTONES!!! ( Abraxxa Anatine’s stunning jewellery emporium)…..Happy Hunting!***