Reflections..or..Real talk, lets do it

So, lets just get this over with, shall we?

I’m Shyntae, I’m 29 and I have Multiple Sclerosis. I got diagnosed by the age of 25..ish, it was probably a few months before I turned 25, anywho, I had my entire life in front of me before I got the diagnosis. I only found out because I almost went blind in my left eye. I ignored the numbness of my left leg for months, thinking it was just a nerve in my neck messing up due to a previous whip-lash injury. Turns out it wasn’t. I had MS.

This crushed me. Seriously, I went home and crashed on my couch and cried for hours. This was just shy of a year of losing my father, my best friend in this world. I thought losing him would be the worst thing to happen to me in many, many years. Turns out it wasn’t..at all. The pain of that diagnosis..the confusion, the fear, the sheer panic I felt can not compare to anything else I have ever experienced..ever.

I was lucky..I think, as lucky as you can get with MS anywho. I have _the_ leading doctor of MS in Sweden, which is a good thing for me. But that also means he is very busy and can’t see me as much as I’d like to, nor talk to me to calm me down. The first meeting I had with him was basically “Oh, it could be MS, but nah, lets not say that for now, this could be a whole lot of other things, so don’t worry about it for now” and the second meeting with him going  “Yep, I’ts MS, lets get these tests done. I’m sure you suspected it by now..but lets just get it confirmed”. And they did..as they held me down..with a needle in my spine to get some fluids to confirm my diagnosis, as I tried to breathe through a pillow as my nurses tried to pet me soothingly.

I had to take a cab home from the hospital,  as a bus-ride was just too rough. I had to call my boyfriend home from work, so he could take care of me for the day, because I was just incapable of it. I just could’t. I stayed in a horizontal position, as ordered by my nurses, for the entire day. Seriously, lumbar punctures suck and they are scary as hell.

Those nurses…honestly, if it wasn’t for them I would have gone nuts by now. They have kept me calm, they have called me to make sure I was alright. They address me by name, because they do remember me, and whatever I told them. I can not give praise to them enough for what they have done for me, and I love them for it.

As for my doctor..well, as I said he is the leading doctor of MS in Sweden, so I am very grateful I have him, honestly, he is the best. He is just so very busy with all the meetings, with learning new things, all the seminars he goes too. I am lucky to have him, because it means I have a doctor who keeps on top on things..and the same goes for the nurses who works under him. They keep up to date on all the new meds, all the new discoveries concerning MS, everything I need to know, and they are all too happy to answer any and all questions I have.

So..the reason I brought this up?

Well, several reasons actually.

I’ve been meaning to talk  about this for a long while, it was just hard for me to find the words to get started, but a comment from Tyr on Plurk really set it off today (<3 Thank you, but I am not “The Boss” . I just deal with what I have to, every day. If I didn’t find the humor in this, Id be going crazy by now)

If I didn’t have a sense of humor, anything at all, to keep me from going crazy, the MS would have dragged me down years ago. Knowing I might just wake up tomorrow, unable to walk, or see, or feel some parts of my body? That is scary as hell, because it just might happen any day. But if I let this get to me, I might as well just lay down and die and give up. I will not give up to this.

I will not let MS get to me.

Sure, it is a diagnosis of a horrible, scary, disease, which might get me any day and cripple me. But I will not let it get to me. No way, no how.

As I sit here, the entire left side of my body twitching and turning as it wants to without any regards to me I say; Fuck you MS..I will not let you get me. You can not bring me down. I will continue to enjoy my life, my Second life, my store, the music I love, the people I love. The fact I can see, or walk, or feel. Whatever you want to take away from me, I will not let you, I will fight you tooth and nail and not fucking let you.

One of these days they will find a cure…and I will be alive to receive it…because we are not far from it.

Multiple Sclerosis is an ugly disease..a scary disease…but I, or anyone else suffering from it, will not let it get us down. We’ll take it..we’ll joke about it. We live with it, we know just how bad and how random it is and how it strikes, but we will never let it break our spirit.

Never.

With that said..I know I cry about it at times, because it is just so fucking unfair. Seriously, just as unfair as cancer, and several other diseases. This is something that will eventually kill me. But what can I do?

I can’t, so I’ll just enjoy my life for now.

Want to know what enrages me the most? It’s not the fact I have it. I can live with MS. I can live with the fact that one of these days I’ll be confined to a wheelchair..the thing that enrages me the most is that it is so random. It just strikes when it wants to. Wherever it feels it wants to strike. My best friend has it too. She got diagnosed just a month or two away from when I did, and right now, all I want to do is go outside and shout at the Universe “This isn’t fair. Just cut it out…stop it”

Fuck off from my friend, leave her alone. I love her so much I’d give up anything..but no, I can’t..because MS. Fuck you MS. I love her, leave her alone, let her live her life in happiness and peace, let her be the person she is meant to be. Take me instead, I can take it.

But it will not stop. Not yet. More and more people will get MS.

Until we find a cure.

We haven’t yet…but I am keeping my hopes up. We will…one of these day. I know it. I just hope it is before I am stuck to a wheelchair.

That is all.

 

Details on clothes and such, cause I’m sure you want it..despite this long and rambling post:

Skin: [Pink Fuel] Sora <Alabaster> – Natural (previous Futurewave)
Hair: Exile::Shine (The Arcade)
Eyes: .ID. Purple-Pink Flare (previous Arcade item) and PMD – Era Eyes – 4
Horns: :[Plastik]:- Living Light Horns
Collar: …::: Scrub :::… Like a Nun Collar (WCF 3)
Hands: Slink Female Feet (AvEnhance)
Nailpolish: PMD – Grimmur
Shirt: *Fishy Strawberry* New York Deep V (collabor88)
Pants: ISON – work it trousers (Collabor88)
Shoes: [L.Warwick] Ibis -Platform Heels- Noir

and the moonlight…

I feel like such a horrible person every time I blog something and I have forgotten to grab the credits for whoever did the poses. Seriously you guys! Poses are what makes our pictures come to life, to speak, to convey an emotion, and here I am being a sucky blogger forgetting to note down which poses I used. I apologize for this so very much and hope you will forgive me one of these days..all I can say I do believe at least one of these poses is from Diesel Works..the other..hm..might be Glitterati, might be Bang, might be Exposeur, as those are the ones I usually go for.

I also, in parts, blame my airheadedness as of late on being _very_ busy irl with helping out finishing up a cover for a band of some dear friends of mine. Yes, those are my hands (no judging, they are actually quite nice and small irl >.> The keys are just big)  I did model for that cover, as well as help, quite a lot in fact, to finish up the Photoshop work on that cover. Give it a click if you are even remotely interested in Black Metal or Death Metal. I do like it, and so far, the band has gotten some sweet feedback and reviews.

Now, enough about that and my RL, back to SL.

I was originally planning on blogging some other pictures today, as I’ve had those lying around on the harddrive for what feels like a week now..but meh, I kinda fell in love with this look, so here we are. Plus, I am notoriously lazy, and these pictures only took like 10 minutes to edit. And by edit I mean, add some blur to even out the reflection on the water. Seriously, LL? When are we going to get good reflections working? I know I can get decent enough, but that would require me to make my images waaay larger, and when I do that, I get the square bug. That square bug is getting old by now, and I mean Mesozoic-era old.

Skin: [Pink Fuel] Sora <Alabaster> – Special Edition (FutureWave – now closed event)
Hair: TRUTH HAIR Maisy – black & whites
Eyes: .ID. Flare / The Arcade / Purple-Pink (previous Arcade) and PMD – Era
Collar: :[Plastik]:-FLF- Morrigan Outfit
Dress: [ SAKIDE ] Satine Gown Red (Serafilms, until the 31:st)
Feet and hands: Slink AvEnhance
Nailpolish: PMD – Lined
Shoes: [L.Warwick] Ibis -Platform Heels- Noir

Valkyria

So, I finally had some spare time to sit down a fiddle around a bit more with that hair tutorial I mentioned in my previous post. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there I think, and this hair by Exile from the Arcade proved to be perfect to experiment on.

Now, onto some unedited pics for once. I only added a little blur to the first one, and adjusted colours on the other, but it’s pretty much as seen in SL. This armour and headband from this round of We <3 RolePlay together made a sort of Valkyrie look, in a fantasy kind of way, and I must say I like it.

Skin: [Pink Fuel] Sora <Alabaster> – Special Edition (Futurewave, now closed)
Hair: Exile::Rain or Shine: 6. Dark Blonde (The Arcade)
Eyes: PMD – Era (Futurewave, now closed)
Headband: =Kio= Rising Head Band – We <3 RP
Armour: PFC~War Kitten – We <3 RP
Necklace: Cobrahive – Beloved Thor
Feet and hands: Slink Avatar Enhancments
Shoes: Slink Lulu Stiletto (Addon) Black
Sword: [EZ] Wrath’s Conviction

It’s been a while…

…and it’s all my fault, I will admit that, for sure.

Sometimes you just need a break from things. Sometimes RL just keeps you so damned busy you can’t even get around to doing the things you really want to do online…and sometimes the creativity, the spontaneity, the freaking will to live just disappears. Sometimes it’s just all of the above, as it has been for me these last few months.

I’m back, kinda..I hope anyways. I have missed blogging so very, very much because I do really love it, it honestly keeps me happy and creative and pushes me to keep learning and to get better at what I do. I guess that’s why I did the tutorials in the first place. I love to learn new things, and I can spend hours and hours just looking at tutorials and speed-paintings on youtube, just soaking up new knowledge because it is just so fascinating to me. So for me, seeing how well my first tutorial went, I loved it…and it for sure made me happy to make more and more…and now..coming back to my blog and see my traffic just keep going, cause so many of you kept coming back for my tutorials? That was an awesome feeling, and really inspired me to keep going.

So here I am again, some of my inspiration and creativity returned, and now I really hope I will be able to hold on to it.

Also, let me just give a quick shout-out to understanding designers. I completely understand those of you who removed me during the time I did not blog, cause hey, it was most certainly justified, and I sure would have removed me if I hadn’t blogged in this long time..but for those who kept me around, I love you too <3 Really, I appreciate how understanding you are to those of us bloggers who just can not keep up and keep blogging daily..and in my case hell, even monthly. I feel bad about this, I really do, and I can only hope you guys can accept my apology and trust me when I say that now that I have some of my blogging-mojo back, I shall for sure try to get better at it.

This picture was something that just happened after I asked on Plurk for some places to find good poses. I did get a bunch of good suggestions on where to go, and I teleported all around the grid and bought poses here and there. Buut, since this is SL, I crashed hard once I got this single picture. Trust me *chuckles helplessly* I had lots of pictures planned, but once I crashed after I took this picture, I figured “Eeh, what the hell, it’s a good picture, and now I have lots of new poses to use in other posts..this will do” Then I saw Raineys tutorial linked on Plurk on how to draw hair in Photoshop. I’ve been meaning to learn how to make hair look decent, and her tutorial did teach me quite a bit, so I gave it a go here. Obviously, as you can see, I am far from as good as she is, but I tried..and I know the more I keep at it, the better I will get at it, so expect more edited pics from me.

I tried to not deviate too much from the original hairstyle, and I may have altered it slightly..but eh, it’s hard when it’s so many colours as it is here. I’ll keep at it..and I definitely recommend you to check it out too, if you like tutorials.

Speaking of tutorials, I have another in the making. I shot all the video bits, and even talked along with it to see how that goes, like I did with my older tutorials. Right now I am stuck editing it..we’ll see if I release it as is, or if I just cut and paste and make it all purdy and stuff and make a voice-over. Anywho, a new tutorial is coming for sure, this time on how to remove green-screen (or blue-screen, or whatever you prefer to shoot against)

Now, I know this was probably a bit too much honesty to read from some random fashion-blogger on SL, but meh, that’s how I roll. Id rather be honest and put it out there and say how it’s like then try and hide it behind “oh sorry guys, been busy, Im back now tho”. This time away from fashion-blogging did make me rethink the whole blogging thing though.

I think for now I am going to stick with blogging just for me..because I love to blog..because blogging makes me happy, and making new pictures is something I want to do. Maybe I’ll even learn to write in a way that makes sense..who knows what the future holds? Whatever comes, I am so looking forward to it.

Now..here is the credits to what I am wearing..finally *grins* I guess you are tired of the rambling by now. Worth noting however, I am wearing some things from Futurewave..I hope these things will show up at the mainstores of the creators eventually, but you never know with event exclusives.

Skin: [Pink Fuel] Sora <Alabaster> – Special Edition (Futurewave)
Hair: [LeLutka]-FERAH hair – Fades Natural
Eyes: Pin Me Down – Era ( set 2 and set 3)  (Futurewave)
Top: Chocolate Atelier – Celeste
Pants: [ SAKIDE ] Urban Outfit
Necklace: Cobrahive – Beloved Thor
Bracers:  [The Forge] Viking Bracers, (WornBronze)
Pose: oOo Studio (From the Adorn set)

Tutorial: Quick and easy edit for profile pictures.

Or close-ups, or just cause you feel like playing around in Photoshop a bit.

I used to do these kind of pictures a lot back when I started messing around with photography in SL, I did it as my own profile picture, for friends, for some clients..all that.

First off, I’ll post the finished image, then I’ll see if I can go step by step on how I did this.

Here is where my other tutorials comes in first. I have obviously fixed this picture up a lil bit before I started with the effects, in particular the Liquify tool.

Oh, and this will most probably looks best if you like the “darker” look, so you’ll need a picture shot against a black background and preferably darker or black hair..then again, it might look sweet with lighter hair too, I haven’t tried that.

  • First rule of this tutorial, don’t touch that original layer, no editing, no blending mode, no nothing. It is there for a reason. By lowering the opacity of the other layers, it makes them see-through, so basically, we see through those layers down to the original. The second rule is, there is no second rule, just have fun with it.
  • Duplicate your original image twice.
  • Create a new layer on top of all of your layers, and set the blending mode to Soft Light.
  • Grab a soft, large-ish brush and with a white colour, paint over all of your hair to make it brighter, then go ahead and hide this layer for now.
  • Go back down to your second layer, activate it, then go to Image – Adjustments – Desaturate. Now lower the opacity of this layer to about 50%
  • Now, go to the third layer, activate this, then go to Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur. The amount of blur you will need depends on the size of your image. I used a pretty big image, so about 3 was good for me, you just want to soften up the image a bit, make it a bit blurry. Then set the blending mode to Soft Light and lower the opacity a bit..this again will depend on you, how dark you would like it to be.
  • Back up to that top layer we hid before, activate this and the hair will show up bright and nice. Too bright even, so go ahead and lower the opacity til you get something to your liking.
  • Now to make the eyes show up more again, cause this picture is all about the eyes. Go down to the blurred layer, create a layer mask and make sure that it is selected. Then grab your brush, and paint over your eyes with a black colour, then do the same thing again with the black and white layer.
  • This step is optional, and only if you want the eyes to “pop” even more. Go back up to that top layer where we painted white over the hair, grab your brush again, make sure the colour is set to white and paint over the eyes. (Even more optional, create another layer, set to Soft Light and paint over with a colour of your choice, this can give some really sweet effects to your eyes).
  • aaaand done. Crop, save, play around even more with the opacity layers..hell, even go ahead and try what your image looks like with that black and white layer looks like with other blending modes..it’s all up to you now. Playing around is how you learn.

There we go. Quick and easy as I said it would be. These techniques can be useful on other images as well so keep them in mind if you are just starting out with editing.

I hope you enjoyed and maybe even learnt something <3 and do let me know if I made something unclear, or if you have an idea for something else I could do. My fingers are itching for more Photoshop after this long blogging-hiatus.

Did you miss me?

While I was gone? Yeah, no, I doubt that. In parts because Kinu picked up my slack and blogged some stuff while I wasn’t blogging. Awesome pictures at that <3 She is getting so good. But also in parts because, hey, why should you care about me, right? I’m just yet another fashion bloggers among hundreds. I don’t make anything to stand out. I’m not one of those top 5 most important bloggers. I know this. And to be quite honest, I am not striving for it either.

I love my followers, I really do. I blog for you guys..but mostly, I blog for myself. Blogging isn’t just that for me. I don’t just blog. I experiment, I try new things, I sit through hours and hours of tutorials to pic up on new things. Some of those new things I pick up on end up on the blog, sure, some of those new things I learned end up incorporated into my store and the creations I make there.

Sure, some pictures may be “boring” or “standard” fashion blogging. I recognize that, and to be honest, there is nothing wrong with that either. Some days I just want to show off what I am wearing, without spending an hour finding a fitting location for the outfit, then another hour finding the exact right pose, then another two to four hours in photoshop editing that picture…and you know what? That’s fine. I seriously admire bloggers who can blog every day, day in and day out, just doing good pictures with whatever they are wearing.

But now..I feel like that just isn’t enough. Not for me. I want to really pour myself into my images. Just really stuff my personality into them. If that means I will do less posts? So be it.

 

I can live with that. Hell, I can even live with doing some of those “standard” or “boring” posts, just to show off what I am wearing..cause seriously, some days I just want to show of what I am wearing, cause I am fucking hawt :> Simple as that.

So yeah, I guess what I am saying, from now on I shall try to put more “me” into my pictures..good or bad. Mostly bad I think, cause I’m not that interesting to start with :P

Be it just me rambling about my day irl, my emotions, the music I am listening to, what I did in SL or whatnot, I feel like just blogging about what I am wearing isn’t enough anymore. I want to evolve. Second Life has done so much for me over the years. I have been here for over seven years by now, closing in on eight, and I can’t see myself leaving any time soon.

In Second Life I really discovered the creative side in me. I discovered new music, I made new friends, it helped form my creative side…and that creative side is what keeps me blogging. If I can’t keep developing my creative side, I have no idea what I would do with myself, seriously. Setting up pictures and tinkering away with them in Photoshop is almost like therapy to me. I love it.

So, there you have it, ramblings from me. What I want to say with all of this I do not know yet. I might just start getting even more creative, which I’ve wanted to do for a long while now..I might just start talking more, opening up more…taking more creative pictures,,,do more tutorials to share what I’ve learnt. I dunno really, I just felt I had to say this..and this is part of the reason I haven’t blogged in a while. I over-think everything I do and say, it’s just part of my nature.

Whatever happens, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

 

aaand now for the credits of wtf Im wearing, which I guess is what you all are after, not my rambling.

Skin: Glam Affair – Candy skin – Europa 14 (The Arcade Gacha)
Hair: [LeLutka]-LIVELY hair/Dark Grayscale
Eyes: PMD – Erina (Released soon..somewhere <.> keep your eyes open *grins*)
Makeup: PMD – Darkside
Eyelashes: PMD – The skully lashes 1
Chest piercing: .:ellabella:. Ysandre Blogger Pack (We <3 RP)
Top: …::: Scrub :::… Just a Little Black Leather (Stalkerazzi)
Panties: [ SAKIDE ] Slide/Slide ‘em off Panties FU Black
Stockings: BAX Ornament Leggings Bands
Thigh highs/shoes: [ SAKIDE ] Willful Velvet Thighs&Pumps Black
Hands: Slink AvEnhance Hands Female (Updated..no seriously, go update if you havent already!)
Nail appliers: PMD – Black and White
Tattoo: ~Cannibelle~ Efa Tattoo (Most probably no longer available)

Manga

Manga

Manga

Click the images for bigger size and wider views <3
This is me being forgetful because i did those pictures 10 days ago.

★ BODY :

Skin : Glam Affair – Shanna ( Europa ) 11 @ Collabor88
Eyes : ~Tableau Vivant~ Galaxy eyes – Uranus
Hairs : (Chemistry) HAIR – Bubbles – Oceans
Ears :  [MANDALA] Steking EARS
Tattoo : :Little Pricks: Three Strikes

★ JEWELRY/ACCESSORIES :

Collar : Happy Undead – Charming Collar [vinyl black]
Horns : RO – Diable Band (past Group Gift)
Rings : .:* LOULOU&CO *:.
Nails : PMD for Slink Enhancement Fingernails
Piercings : [ni.Ju]ellabella

★ CLOTHING :

Bodysuit : Graves - G324 Paradox
Gloves : SiniStyle Taped Fist (Loose Hand – Forearm)
Legwarmers/Leggings : [ SAKIDE ] Willful Velvet Thighs&Pumps Black NEW
Boots : A&Y Deuz Boots Metallic

Poses : Del May