Berry’s Blogger Challenges: First & Recent Challenge

PicMonkey Collage

Just taking a wee break from the Skin Fair 2015 posts to indulge in one of Berrycake‘s recent photo challenges, and chuff me it’s a bit of an eye-opener!

How much have I changed since 2007? How much has Second Life changed since 2007? SHEESH!! Confession time:this isn’t my first picture, but it is one from 2007 when the blog started. I wanted to feature something that included some similar colours to what I’m wearing in my more recent shot, but boy oh boy, we have textures and materials now! Look at the mesh tee; it’s creased and tied and looks practically realistic, whereas my frock back then has no definition at all. I mean, look at those cap sleeves *shudder*  Thing is, I thought I looked ruddy amazing! (Stop laughing at the back, how dare you!)

Some things never change though.  I still love my bobs and my eyeliner and my trinkets. I haven’t got such a wide mouth anymore, and although I’m a slim avatar I don’t suffer so badly with lollipop-head syndrome. I also had hands like plates of meat, I really did, and no manicures either.  HOW DID WE MANAGE BEFORE MESH?!! Having a better graphics card in my PC also helps but wow, it’s amazing how we’ve evolved as avatars.

It’s good to look back and see how much Kitty has grown. And here’s a thought, if I’ve changed this much in eight years, well, where will Second Life be in another eight?! YIKES!

If you want to see how much further Kitty has changed over the years feel free to rummage through the archives of this blog. You never know what you’ll find, you’ve been warned! 

Berry’s Memes: New Years Meme

My Angel Gabriel

New year, new Meme! Yes, time for one of the delectable Strawberry Singh’s Monday Memes.

This is the first one of 2014, so fittingly Berrycakes is asking us about our plans for the new year, but also asking us about how we feel about the one that we have just left behind. It’s got me thinking. Well, it’s actually got me following a train of thought that started with my last post, hence the picture of Jez above. I’ve decided that you’re going to see a lot more of Jezmond this year (whether he likes it or not!) Why? Because Second Life male fashion is just as captivating as female, and if there’s anything that 2013 proved it’s that there are just as many talented menswear designers out there as there are Womenswear designers.  (In fact menswear is almost eclipsing womens in terms of originality and great design, so I really hope to feature more of it on the blog, with Jez’s help, in 2014!)

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  I present to you my responses to the questions posed by Berry. If you’re tempted to join in you can participate in any of the memes/challenges that Berry has posted at any time. You’ll find them all under the  Blog Challenges category on her website, Strawberry Singh.Com

  • How did you spend New Year’s Eve?

I spent it at home with my pack; that’s my RL partner Phil (Jez), my cats Piu, Pud and Mylo and my dog, Indiana. We watched Hootenanny on BBC2 as is our yearly tradition, and got slowly drunk after a sumptuous beef rib dinner cooked by beloved himself!

  • Did you keep any New Years’ resolutions?

No, because I never made any to break in the first place, clever Kitty!   I haven’t made resolutions  for a long time because I think the problem with them is that people tend to make ones that are going to be incredibly hard to keep. For some reason we believe that setting difficult goals at this time of year is the right way to go about fulfilling them; when in actuality we’ve got it completely backwards. The last thing you want to do on a cold and stormy January night is eat a salad. No, you want a massive bowl of hot soup and crusty bread, washed down with gallons of mulled wine, so setting a dieting goal at this time of year is just a nonsense. If you want to set a goal in 2014, set one when the time is right for you , not just because of tradition!

  • What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? 

Real life was pretty steady for me this year and trundled along in its mundane way. Second Life’s been interesting in that I’ve achieved a lot with the blog in 2013. I’ve surpassed 165,000 hits on the blog, have over 200 blog-followers and that really does mean a great deal to me. I also blogged more events this year than I ever have before. I blogged Skin Fair 2013 which was a real high-point for me, but I’ve also blogged some other truly amazing events such as Gothmas By Gaslight and The Homes And Gardens Expo For RFL.  The whole point of blogging events is to arouse people’s interest enough to encourage them to visit so that the creators can make sales, and I really hope that I have in some small part contributed to their success this year. I’m an ardent supporter of the content creators we have in-world and nothing pleases me more than seeing hard work get rewarded. If I can publicise someone’s work on the blog and encourage a reader to go and check them out,and buy something then that’s my job done. And nothing makes me happier than that!

  • What was the best thing you bought?

In real life? That’s a tough question. I don’t have that much cash to splash around so I tend to be cautious when making personal purchases (cash goes much farther in Second Life!) so it has tended to be little treats that have given me the most pleasure. For example, with some money I was given for Christmas I bought myself a USB salt-lamp that sits on my desk and changes colour. It wasn’t even that expensive, but I have this weird fascination with things that change colour, or glitter and sparkle, you know like lava lamps and that kind of thing, so I’m pretty chuffed with it. I bought a necklace of the Gayer-Anderson Cat from The British Museum last time I visited (to match the earrings I bought the year before) and I’m rather keen on that too. Oh, and some really geeky tee-shirts have made me very happy this year as well! <chuckle>.

In Second Life the best purchase I made in 2013 was undoubtedly my Bazar Arizona House. Even though I’m living in a different style of dwelling at the moment, it’s the one that I will continue to hold dearest to my heart. It’s just perfect in so many ways (the only way it could be made any better is if Ria Bazarmade an Arizona 2.0 and made it bigger, or added another floor..*hint* My review post of it was so enthusiastic, and I got a lot of feedback about it that I got to know Ria and have reviewed a lot of her work since, and I have to be honest and say that she has become one of my favourite designers in-world. I’ve also gained a lot of pleasure in 2013 from seeing the development of Sienia Trevellion as a designer too. I’ve known Sienia since for a long-time and she has consistently crafted beautiful builds, clothing and artefacts throughout her SL design career but in 2013 she went stratospheric and made some of the most amazing items I’ve ever seen on the grid.  Her contributions to The Arcade have become legendary, and I can’t wait to see what she releases in 2014. It’s sure to be equally amazing!

  • What do you wish you’d done more of?  

I don’t honestly know. I have a great life ; I live with my fella and our pack of animals. I have a good real life job and friends and family whom I adore. Had I had money to spare I would have been able to accomplish more in the way of going out and travelling, but I’m happy with my lot and satisfied that I did what I could to make 2013 an acceptable year for me. It wasn’t great by a long shot, in fact it only really became fun later in the year, but it’s over and done with now. The past is just that.

  • What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating probably! I’ve become a little too tubby for my own liking in RL, and it’s time to get that in check. Not because I want to be a size zero or anything ridiculous like that, but for health reasons. I’ve noticed my back gets a wee bit more uncomfortable if I’m carrying a few too many extra pounds, so I need to pay attention to my body more.
In SL? Nothing. I keep away from drama as much as I can and I’m glad that I do because I’ve seen it cause so many issues for people, and so much hurt too. I don’t really have an opinion on what other people think of my SL persona or my blog, because my primary audience is, and always has been myself.  I blog because I enjoy it. The fact that people read my random thoughts and jottings is a fabulous bonus.

  • What was your favorite movie you watched this year?

Hmmm. I normally go to the movies a lot but had to keep an eye on the purse-strings in 2013, so I wasn’t able to see as many films as I liked. I missed ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ on the big-screen which is unheard of for me! But the movies that I did manage to see I really enjoyed, especially ‘Man Of Steel’ and ‘Iron Man 3’. (I do like my comic-book heroes!)

  • What did you do on your birthday in 2013?

It was my 40th this year, so I was treated to a trip to London and tickets to see ‘The Book Of Mormon’, as well as a couple of fantastic meals out in the city and some amazing presents. It was brilliant, I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday!

  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned.

I don’t think I learned it but I almost did. My Mum has always said that I am too trusting and that I “..make too much of people..”, and as much as I HATE to admit it she is of course correct. I have experienced a few reminders of that this year and have been let down by a few people. My problem is that I am a tad too trusting, and have 110% faith in people. I’ve thought about this for a long time though, and I confess that even though it causes me hurt on occasion I don’t want to change my personality and be cynical, or feel differently. So perhaps the life lesson is that I’ve learned to accept myself and understand aspects of my personality may leave me vulnerable and perhaps more prone to disappointment than the average Joe, but hey, that’s ok!

  • What does 2014 hold for you?

Who knows where the frog jumps? It’s Phil’s 40th this year, so I am looking forward to that. It’s also my Father’s 70th and my Mother’s 80th birthday too! This is proving to be slightly problematic in that I don’t have an unlimited source of funds with to work with, but I’ll try my best to ensure that they all have a great time on their special days. I am hoping for more fulfilling work challenges and I’d love a pay-rise, and also a ginger kitten!

In Second Life I’m looking forward to the big events like Skin Fair 2014, but I’m also looking forward to seeing fabulous new releases from my favourite designers, as well as discovering exciting newcomers too. I hope my writing and photography skills improve and that the blog continues to grow, after all I have so much fun with it.

But most of all I want to spend the year loved up with my pack and being loved, and giving it back ten-fold, every single day.
Here’s wishing you all a fabulous 2014! Allons-y!

Phil, Lisa and Indy

Berry’s Memes: Best & Worst Meme

Time for another Blogger Challenge !

I’ve not completed one of these for a while, and this was a nice one to have a think about.  Many thanks to the ever-fabulous Strawberry Singh for providing this Meme! 

What is the best thing about Second Life?

There’s so much! For me, it allows me to just switch my RL brain off and engage with the virtual world as Kitty for a while, so that means shopping, dressing up and taking photographs, decorating a virtual space and exploring amazing locations. I love it; I still find so much new stuff to enjoy after almost 7 years in the world!

Worst thing about Second Life? 

DRAMA. Causing a fuss about nothing and hiding behind a keyboard is one of my pet-hates in the virtual world that I call home.  As I said in my recent 1500th blog-post there needs to be a lot more love and a lot less hate in Second Life right now, and trust me when I say that drama, and those who cultivate it, are always best avoided.

What’s the best thing in my inventory?

You know, I don’t think I can choose just one thing because I have new favourites practically every day! I think this year has been all about the Bazar Arizona house for me, so that’s definitely one of the best things in my inventory, even though I’m not living in it at the moment. What, you didn’t know? Shock horror! (There’s a blog post coming soon about my change of dwelling, although truth be told I miss my Arizona house..)

What’s the worst thing in my inventory?  

It’s probably a gesture. Oh my, can you remember when gestures were a thing? They were so annoying! I’ve been to so many gigs in the past where gestures spoiled the sets because people just wouldn’t quit it with them, especially a silly whip-cracking sound and action that used to drive me insane.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned because of SL?

 I’ve learned lots of things through my involvement in Second Life actually! For example, I’ve learned how to use WordPress through my blogging, and basic photo improvement and enhancement for the images that I feature on my blog.  I’ve acquired basic building skills in the world too, and although I will never create masterpieces I know enough for my own needs and requirements. (In other words, I know how to make a box. YAY ME!) You know there are probably lots of skills that I’ve acquired over the years through my involvement in this mad environment that we call home, and I’ve never really thought about it until now.  Wow!

What’s the worst thing you learned because of SL?

The realisation that haters are gonna hate, real life or Second Life or both.

Unfortunately, some do it incredibly well in both lives, but I reserve a special kind of loathing for people who generate shit-storms in Second Life as you can probably tell.

What’s the best thing about blogging? 

The best thing for me is when people like a post that I have written and they care enough to share that with me. Also, I’ve received some lovely notecards over the years from content creators thanking me for featuring their work, and I treasure those.  Receiving a blogging package always gives me a buzz, that’s never gone away, and being selected to blog an event is especially rewarding, although it can be stressful too  because you desperately want to do a good job for the event and the people that selected you. But most of all I love it when I’m writing about something that I’ve found in world and I know it’s fabulous and really want everyone else to see how amazing it is. I get a real buzz from that; blogging is my equivalent of jumping up and down on the spot whilst pointing and shouting “Look! LOOK AT THIS THING!! Isn’t it AMAZING?!” I’m like a kid in a sweetie shop when I have my blog-happy on!

What is the worst thing about blogging?

For me, it’s missing self-imposed deadlines and being my own worst critic. I’m a typical Virgo when it comes to self-critique!

Then there’s the panic that sets in when you haven’t had time to blog, and the feeling of failure when I go through one of my ‘bloggers block’ periods, and sadly there have been a couple of those over the years.  Also, it really annoys me when  people assume that I make money from blogging! I’ve had a few people seriously believe that I am paid for this, and nothing could be further from the truth! Also, I dislike it when people assume that EVERYTHING you blog about has been gifted to me. This year (my sixth year of blogging) has been my most fruitful in terms of items received, BUT I would say compared to other bloggers I receive very little. But that’s not a complaint on my part; I am always grateful for anything I receive and always try my best to blog what I get, although of course that’s not always possible.  I don’t like approaching designers and asking for items to blog either; although I have done it a few times this year in response to being invited to do so.  To be frank, I’d far rather retain my autonomy, and the creator be paid for their amazing work.

Best thing to have with french toast? 

And here’s where I lose some of my allure….what’s french toast?

Is it like eggy bread?! Look, I’m Northern, we don’t have french toast! We have crumpets or toasted teacakes or toast and jam, we don’t have french toast around these ‘ere parts!

Worst thing to have with french toast?

Seeing as I’m not sure exactly what it is, I’m going to say the worst thing is probably….spam.  I don’t imagine spam would go down very well with it at all! (That is, if French toast is what I think it is..)

OOOH HANG ON!! Berry said: “..The twist is, the final question you need to change and make up your own best & worst that you want to share..”

Right, scratch the french toast answer. Let me try again:

Best thing in the world ever? 

TEA.

Worst thing in the world ever? 

NO TEA.

There you go, simples! Be sure to pop on over to Berry’s Blog to see all the other participant answers!

Berry’s Memes: SL Names

Makeup

This meme writing is like buses innit, you wait for ages then two come along at once!

This was a nice and quick one for me to do though, hence two for the price of one today. The picture accompanying this article has no relevance to the context of the post, it was just  a shot of my putting on my make-up in my bathroom. I was getting all glammed up because the Cosmetics Fair 2013 begins today..and as you can see, I’m rather partial to my eyeliner! Anyway, on with the meme! Thanks Berry!

  1. What’s your SL name? Kitty O’Toole.
  2. What made you choose this name? I’m obsessed with cats, so Kitty was a no-brainer for a first name really. When I joined SL there were only a few surnames to choose from. I wanted something a bit ‘windswept and interesting’, and for me O’Toole fit that bill.  It’s also the surname of one of the best actors of the modern age, Peter O’Toole. So for me, it had a brilliant heritage.
  3. What’s your SL nickname, or what do most people call you? (if applicable) Kitty, or Kit. It’s a nice short name so doesn’t really need to be abbreviated.
  4.  What’s your SL display name? Why do you choose to have one? (if applicable) Kittywitch. This is because the blog is called ‘Kittywitchin’, and also because of my RL spiritual beliefs, that transcend into SL.
  5.  Do you like your SL name? Very much so. Bonus fact, there’s an Irish traditional folk song about ‘Kitty O’Toole, the lily o’ sweet Tipperary’ which I had no clue about for a couple of years until I chanced upon a web page featuring it. ( I blogged about it in 2008, you can read the post here)
  6. If you could change your SL name, what would it be? I’m happy with it, but if I was a male avatar I would have to be called Barry Shitpeas. Just because.
  7. What’s the craziest/funniest SL name you’ve ever seen? Same as Berry’s, I have too seen AnnoyingJapaneseChild Dinosaur
  8. What’s the coolest (your favorite) SL name you’ve ever seen? I don’t think I have a particular favourite. I love that you see new and interesting names everyday, but I was always fond of Dellik Snoring, and Oolon Sputnik. They were pretty cool names (and nice people too!).  Actually, I do like my Dad’s, Leapylee Cliffhanger, chosen because his nickname was Leapy Lee after the singer. The dodgy surname was again from the time in SL when you couldn’t select something original.