Partridge in a Pear Tree – Episode 15

Here’s a blog series I can pick up right where I left off last year. The holiday season usually is a good time for finding some nice gifts all over the grid. From advent calendars, hunts to special group gifts, there is something for everyone. Well okay, maybe almost everyone. There’s just no pleasing some people!

A good place to start is Fameshed, to check out the newest creations from SL’s finest creators and to grab some of the gift boxes. The ladies are really being spoiled here, but there are some items for male avatars as well and some home decor bits and pieces. Make sure you’re wearing the Fameshed group tag. Joining this group is free.

Location: Puddlechurch

This sweater with a hooded bodywarmer by Gild is one of the gifts at Fameshed. Truth be told, I don’t like the obvious branding on the back. To me that says “well alright I’ll give you something for Christmas, but I’ll make you a walking advert while I’m at it”. But hey, real life brands do it all the time AND they make YOU pay for it. Congrats on your new Golce & Dabana sweatshirt, you douche! You probably paid more for it than the person who made it makes in a whole year, but bah humbug, right?!

Bed by Soy

If you were looking for a simple black pair of sweats, then Etham has just the gift for your at Fameshed.

A couple of gift boxes were non-functional during my visit so I’ll have to go to Fameshed again another time, but for now these two items are going to be it. 10 hour work days are difficult to combine with SL gift hunting. Oh well, at least I’m not Santa. Then again, he’s got an army of forced labour elves and gets to shout out to all the ho ho ho’s all the time. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Items are shown on the Belleza body with the Lelutka Guy mesh head (freckles and stubble included), Birth Ripley skin and Stealthic Narcotic hair, IDTTY “Real” eyebrows.

…and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeeeee! *hick*

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

But truth be told, I’m not that big on decorations. I keep them at a minimum in real life, with just some figurines, extra candles and twinkling stars hung in front of the windows. Those stars are nice though. In the dark they catch the light of the candles and for those very rare moments I’m actually at home during the day, they catch the low winter sun beautifully too.

Pose by Ruhe

Most of that decorating will be done wearing my pj’s, so that makes the Thirst VPL Sweats from the November JOCKD set a fitting choice in SL. Luckily putting up a Christmas tree is a lot less hassle in our virtual lives, but carefully choosing the ornaments and arranging them can easily become a fulltime job.

The Thirst VPL Sweats are rigged for the Belleza Jake and Legacy mesh bodies. I’m wearing them on the Belleza body with the Lelutka Guy mesh head (freckles and stubble included), Birth Ripley skin and Stealthic Narcotic hair, IDTTY “Real” eyebrows.

Decor & furniture: Heritage Christmas Tree by Apple Fall, Mid Century Fireplace with decor by Lisp Bazaar, Wallace (side) table, Dover Lamp and Concrete & Wood coffee table all by Fancy Decor, kitten on pillow by Jian.

It's Da BOM

Finally I’m getting around to taking another look at Bakes On Mesh. Some months ago I already played with it, using the beta SL viewer and a hud that could make any mesh body or head suitable for BOM. At that point I didn’t want to blog about it and while I still haven’t had that perfect experience with it so far, now I do have a result that’s worth sharing.

At some point I invested in the L$ 2000 “River” avatar by Aeros. I’m using the word “invested” quite loosely here, as I tend to regard whatever I purchase in SL as consumables. However, in SL terms L$ 2000 is a considerable amount for something that has been gathering dust in my inventory for quite a while, so it was worth the effort to check what it would look like on the Belleza Jake mesh body and Lelutka Andrea mesh head.

Poses by Cordeaux (except for shower scene)

To my surprise, it doesn’t look too bad. The face seems to line up nicely and the nipples haven’t slipped too much. The toes are gnarly though and the hands leave something to be desired, but I should point out that in the middle picture I forgot to switch on my fingernails. In conclusion I’d like to say that I would not recommend anybody to buy an Aeros avatar to use the skin on a mesh body, but if you have it in your inventory go take it for a spin. Aeros also has appliers for the Belleza body and Catwa mesh heads at L$ 1000 each, so if you like their skins that may be a better option.

The Belleza body has not yet been updated to BOM, but you can get a free hud for it. Just add it, click it and you’re BOM-ready. The Lelutka head has a Bakes on Mesh button in it’s hud on the “Essentials” tab. All you need to do is click that. Remember that you do NOT wear an alpha layer with BOM. Basically the skin you are wearing underneath the mesh body simultaneously is applied to the body and acts as an alpha. If you notice you’re going red, it probably means you are still wearing an alpha layer. After doing all that, the system eyes were popping out of my sockets, but I used an eyes only alpha layer to solve that issue. To help you get over any issues you may have, Strawberry Linden has a good demonstration video for BOM that’s worth checking out.

My facial hair and freckles all are part of the Aeros River avatar. It definitely is easier to pop on such details without the worry of layers cancelling each other out, a problem that is more common with appliers. The eyebrows are by Identity and I’ve used an Avi-Glam applier on the Lelutka eyes. My hair is “Reach” by Stealthic and I’m wearing the Noche singlet to cover my modesty… well mostly anyway.

And with that it’s BOM’s away! Cheerio.

Pretty In Pink 2

Did you know that pink doesn’t exist? From a scientific point of view we shouldn’t be able to see pink and apparently it’s a fictional colour. So basically when you find yourself seeing pink elephants, you shouldn’t just worry about the elephants but the fact that they are pink should be considered highly alarming. Oy vey! I feel an existential crisis coming on. It has something to do with the cones in our eyes, yada yada yada, lengthy scientific explanation etc. I’m sure I heard Stephen Fry talk about it on QI, or was Sandi Toksvig. I also picked up somewhere that we should be calling it minus green.

Luckily I have no problem actually seeing the colour previously known as pink. There has been some research into the effect of exposure to pink on human behaviour and apparently it makes you less aggressive. This lead to the idea for some sports clubs to give the dressing room for the visiting team a fresh coat of pink paint to make the competing team mellow. Now there’s a rule that both the dressing room for the home and away team must be painted in the same colour.

One of the two items in November’s JOCKD set by Thirst is the incredibly sexy Varsity Shorts, which are rigged for Belleza Jake and the Legacy body. The shorts go very well with the Thirst Crop Top Jersey, which you can wear with Belleza Jake or Signature Gianni (so basically this complete outfit would only work with Jake). The fatpack of the Kurtov sneakers by Versov has served me particularly well, as it has so many colours you can make these sneakers go with most outfits.

The guy in the background is wearing the Noche Singlet and the Kurtov Low sneakers by Versov. Cheeky tease!

I recently treated myself to the Lelutka Guy head and already tried it with the Birth Maverick skin. This time around I picked up the other applier Birth has created for this head. It’s called Ripley and it’s another drop dead gorgeous creation. You can play with the shape to your heart’s content if you don’t want to look like the posters at Birth. If you’re feeling less confident, then you can of course use the shape that comes with the skin as is. A little tip, if you’re going to edit that shape, make sure that as soon as you’ve made your first small change, you hit that SAFE AS button and give it another name. That way you don’t lose the original.

Credits

Namaste

To quote brilliant British stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe about starting to do yoga: “It’s given me a whole new language. My favourite new word is Namaste. It’s a very old word, it’s very sacred and it means the yoga has finished now.”

Tying my body into impossible knots in a room full of sweaty people isn’t my idea of a good time, but it sure can be enjoyable to watch my avatar stretch and meditate on a beach on what I imagine to be a perfect day. What is the use of SL if we don’t do things in this virtual world we would never do in real life?
I’m sure I should start wearing winter outfits to be more on point and realistic too, but instead I find myself still going out and about in the new Strapped Tank by Thirst, which is available at the current round of Romp till November 25th (after that it will be moved to the Thirst store). Often I’ll just wear it with underpants or the more socially acceptable Thirst Summer Vibes Jogger Shorts. One could say the entire outfit is thirsty and pleasantly lacking in fabric.

I have treated myself to a new head. There’s another thing you won’t be saying anytime soon in real life, unless perhaps if you’re a serial killer who keeps skulls as trophies. It’s the Guy mesh head by Lelutka and I’m wearing it with the new Maverick applier by Birth, made especially for Lelutka mesh heads. I don’t know what it looks like on the Lelutka Andrea head, but on Guy it looks drop dead gorgeous. This skin is currently on show at the Man Cave event till December 11th. After that you can check out the Birth store. In this case I combined the head with the Belleza Jake body and as I’m rather critical of the neck seam phenomenon in SL, I have to say that I was pleasant surprised with how unnoticeable it was in various windlights as I was going about my business.

The playfully messy hair is Adrian by Modulus and the radiant eyes are Solstice eyes by Avi Glam. I didn’t use mesh ears with this head cause I think it’s own ears are rather cute, especially because you can rotate them.

Right! Now leave me alone and let me soak up some sunshine. I had to wait till that other guy buggered off till I could claim this spot. Off you go, sashay away.

The NX-Nardcotix Size 2

In the previous post dedicated to the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body I took a closer look at what’s available in David’s own size, as a way to eliminate all the faffing with shape alterations to fit into other sizes. The NX-Nardcotix website has a list with developer brands. It’s not exactly a treasure trove, but it’s worth checking out.

This time I found the Zach Tank at Justice. The drawstrings and strap going from front to back makes this top go well with the Renkovh Jeans at FE Style. Don’t get over enthusiastic at either of the aforementioned stores, as far from all of their items include the Nardcotix size. DEMO first! The boots I’m wearing with this outfit are Cold Ash Chelsea boots. These aren’t rigged for David, but you can just hide your feet as there’s no gap between the boots and jeans.

For the next outfit I went back to faffing with the shape. The Lapointe & Bastchield Swear range has some beautifully executed pieces in it that withstood the test of time. As I have mentioned before when blogging about the NX-Nardcotix body, when it comes to jeans often the Aesthetic size is your best option. The L&B Moto jeans fit so well that there’s no glitching and you can wear them without a shirt. You may want to turn down your leg muscles a bit if your thighs look too chunky for your liking, but it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to make these jeans work for David. The same goes for the L&B Aviator leather jacket. Here you may want to turn up your torso muscles so your arms don’t look too thin. To finish the outfit off I went with the L&B Ranger boots. Sometimes it’s nice to get everything from one place, like last-minute Christmas present shopping at a late night petrol station shop.

If you are struggling with or simply enjoying a mild underwear addiction in SL, then this body probably isn’t for you. NX-Nardcotix did develop their own tank top and briefs for it, but apart from that choices are very slim. But hey, for those of you that prefer to go commando, I think this body has something to offer. He’s so flexible.

Oh The Weather Outside is Tanking…

But the fire is so delightful. That’s how the Christmas song goes, no? That doesn’t even rhyme! But you get the gist of it. It’s raining a lot here in Stockholm, meanwhile I’m receiving pictures from Canada showing a snow-covered Ottawa, so it’s safe to say that wearing a tank top in some parts of the world is very much an indoor thing right now. Though I do see some hardened Swedes go about their business wearing something with a plunging neckline. I guess if you’re going to spend all that time in the gym, you want to get some good use out of those titties.

If you’re in the market for a tank top that’s slightly different, Thirst has the sexy new Strapped Tank at the current round of Romp, till November 25th. After that it will be moved to the Thirst store.

The tank top has a quite interesting history, if you’re into that kind of nerdy fact stuff. At the Olympic Games of 1912 in Stockholm, women’s swimming was introduced. What we know as a tank top today looks a lot like the top part of the one-piece swimsuits they were wearing at the time.
While we now speak of a swimming pool, back then it was known as a swimming tank. Logic dictates that the outfits worn by the female swimmers were referred to as tank suits. All this time I always thought it was a military thing! See, the internet isn’t just for porn after all!

While of course you can wear the tank top with something a bit more, shall we say modest than the Thirst Infinity Jock (from the August 2019 JOCKD set), you’ll certainly get away with this outfit at Arteo Queer City II. For me this sim is proof that something can play a role in the seedy adult underbelly of SL without having to be an eyesore at all. Queer City has a dystopian feel and yet seems welcoming. It rather feels like people have made a home there and adapted to their situation by making the most of modern technology. It almost gives me hope for the future.

Items are shown on the Legacy mesh body with the Victor mesh head by Catwa, the Zack skin by Birth,  the B&G81 hair by Dura and mesh ears by L’etrê.

Welcome Winter

If money was absolutely no issue whatsoever, I would move to a place with a Goldilocks climate. The Channel Isles come to mind. I’ve spent a week on Jersey once and thoroughly enjoyed it. As I’m only afforded a modicum of freedom and won’t be leaving Stockholm anytime soon, I make a conscious effort to welcome the winter.

Icy pavements, fine snow being blown in my face by the kind of wind that could shave the eyebrows of a mosquito and the darkness (whispers:”the darkness”) are just a few of my pet peeves of this season. Oh the relief when I come in from the cold in a warm space! That almost makes up for it in an absurd delayed gratification kind of way. Candles, blankets and hot drinks don’t go all the way when it comes to warming the soul, but they sure take off the edge.

Of course we take all of that with us in SL and even the somewhat neglected old Linden Homes can become a cosy place to hang out in. There’s something therapeutic about creating a comfy daydream spot in this virtual world. Evidently your attire also should be suitable for the occasion. The new Thirst “Union” Suite is the perfect pair of jimjams for a totally self-indulgent session of laziness. The suite is fitted for the Belleza Jake and TMP Legacy mesh bodies and you can currently pick it up at EQUAL10 till December 9th. After that you’ll find it at the Thirst store.

And now the rest of the credits: Legacy mesh body, skin by Stray Dog, Victor mesh head by Catwa, Adrian hair by Modulus, mesh ears by L’etrê, beard applier by Birth.

Mid century fire place with decor by Lisp Bazaar, concrete and wood coffee table by Fancy Decor (group gift), Famous sofa and chairs by N4RS, sleeping corgi by Jian (group gift), pile of books by Floorplan (with texture change pillow), Box of cookies by What Next (I think that was part of a collection of autumn foods), warm cocoa by Dust Bunny (gacha), faux fur rug by Mori (no longer in SL), Big Bully candles in a box, Fancy Decor Wallace table. That’s it. Over and out.

Castor Cottage – Episode 4

Quite some time ago now -or so it seems- I was renting the spacious Chilmark House by Brook Hill Living exquisitely located on a lovely sim. I named my home Castor Cottage and spent a lot time decorating it in an eclectic but mostly classic style befitting a country home. In this fourth episode of the series about Castor Cottage I’ll shed a light on the living room.

It’s a very spacious living room, accommodating various areas for entertaining, relaxing or even, god forbid, working. There are some things to keep in mind as you look at the images. None of the artwork I’ve used can be purchased in SL. I prefer to upload images from (un)known artists for my own personal use. The same goes for wallpaper. I also tend to change textures on furniture every now and again. Don’t expect me to name every single nick-nack as I’d be having a nervous breakdown by the end of this post. Right, now let’s jump to it!

First I’ll focus on the main seating area. Two spacious Troubadour sofas by Loft & Aria offer seats for up to six people to have a lively conversation, kept warm by the roaring Hampton fireplace by N4RS (altered). The coffee table is also from the Troubadour series at Loft & Aria. Stay at that store if you want to find the orchids on the coffee table and the round metal vase with flowers on the classic console behind the sofa. If you fancy that console, then you need to head over to Fancy Decor. At Apple Fall you can find the stack of books with the pair of specs and the art frame with built-in light that you see on the fireplace. This is one of those examples were I replaced the artwork that came with the frame with a classic painting.

This is a more intimate corner of the living room and one of those little scenes that make it seem so nice to grow old with someone (in reality you just want them to stop breathing, but hey).
The chairs and chest are from the Fullwood collection at Apple Fall. Other items by Apple Fall in this scene are the leather moccasins, the art frame (replaced the artwork with a Dali), the crystal floor lamp and the tea set in the cabinet. The cabinet and the tulips you see on the chest are both by Ariskea. I definitely must mention the Fairy Bugs Wall Plates by Lisp Bazaar and the Old Time Radio, which you can purchase at the spooky Everwinter Postapocalyptic Theme Park. I adore the old tunes this radio plays.

The opposite corner houses a respectable library created with the Groves Modular Bookcase by Consigment. It comes with its own set of book inserts, but I remember snatching some books from another bookcase as well as some separate ones to fill all the shelves.
The Apple Fall Country Table and Bea Reading Chairs give me a space to handle more delicate books or a have an intelligent discussion with me, myself and I. The painting is The Violinist by Finnish artist Pekka Halonen set in a frame from an old Apple Fall gacha set which I wasn’t able to locate at their store. Very frustrating! I’ll just move on to the lovely Demi Lune table by Thistle underneath it, with a flower arrangement in a French horn (a gacha) by Dust Bunny and a fruit bowl by Loft & Aria… But why can’t I find the gacha sets at Apple Fall! *grumble*

This is were I really say “NO, I will not mention all the items in the cabinets, go find your own!” Apple Fall, Fancy Decor and Lucas Lameth are a few stores that come to mind to help you with that. I will tell you that this is the Apple Fall Mercantile bookshelf. The Secretary Desk by LAQ Decor comes complete with all the bits and pieces on it. Possibly a classic typewriter would have looked better on it, but this is 2019 so the MacBook V by Kunst is a more realistic option.

The awkward bit of wall between the two entrances to the living room is perfectly suitable for something like the Beverly sideboard by Schultz Bros. On it we see a box of peonies by Ariskea, the Potted Bromeliad and Wanderlust Book Planter (gacha) both by Dust Bunny and a potted Hyacinth by Lode Decor and I have no idea where they are hiding, so there’s no landmark. The frame is from the Apple Fall Verdant oil painting, but the artwork has been replaced with something by Kent Neffendorf.

Now we’re down to the last corner of the living room. Here I found a home for the lovely Amelie bookcase with decor by What Next with an ivy plante by Roiro. I used another Demi Lune table by Thistle here. On it you see the Woodland Dreams Head Planter by Dust Bunny and Ceramic Chubby Squirrel by Apple Fall. The frame is by Apple Fall as well, but the artwork is by Stefano Campitelli.

This concludes today’s tour. Sooner or later I’ll be taking you upstairs, wink wink, nudge nudge.
Cheerio!

Is Halloween ever really over in SL

Thirst was late to deliver the blogger pack for their The Fallen set and it wasn’t really possible to do anything with this before the sainted all hallows eve. Is Halloween ever truly over in SL though? Sure, the decor changes, but the spirit of dressing up is always present and I’m sure that this demonic set is something many could live with, whether they’re feeling horny or not.

The set consists of a sexy torn pair of briefs, horns, wings and a tail. It comes in 5 colours and is rigged for Belleza Jake and TMP Legacy mesh bodies.

After a two minute google “research” session on the subject of wearing disguises or masks, I landed on this quote by Canadian writer André Berthiaume: “We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” I can’t say I had ever heard of monsieur Berthiaume until now, but I know a good quote when I see one. I just hope I won’t end up having nightmares now about my skin coming of with a mask.

Thirst items shown using the Belleza Jake body with the Catwa Victor head, Erwin skin by Stray Dog (not available in store now) and Modulus Bailey hair. The mesh ears are by L’etrê.