As a teenage boy I walked a rather unconventional educational path from home economics to child care. I vividly remember the course in which I got to draw little floor plans for living spaces and put together mood boards. As a grownup I would occasionally attempt to build a house out of bits of cardboard, but never got around to actually get proper model building materials. Naturally I took to home decorating in Second Life as a duck to water and started showing more interest in real life architecture.
Fallingwater is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 and is regarded as one of his masterpieces. I stumbled across a house in Second Life that was inspired by this original piece of real life architecture and was asked to decorate the main living room and bedroom. When a virtual house has a tangible counterpart, I like to do some research before I start throwing in furniture. I started bingeing on videos and reading material about both the house and the architect. It turns out that Mr Wright’s life at times was a bit of a roller coaster. He designed Fallingwater when he was already 68 and it kicked off what is regarded as the third and final phase of his career in which he among others also designed the Guggenheim museum. It has me quietly hoping that I myself may find new interesting avenues to discover and plenty of inspiration later on in life, though I realise I should live in the here and now.
The Shoji Falling Water house in Second Life isn’t a detailed replica, but rather an impressionist version of Falingwater with strong Japanese influences. The living room is a sprawling space with plenty of potential for entertaining. Frank Lloyd Wright had a thing for “Cherokee red”, in fact all the wood in this house should actually be steel painted in that colour. I used it as one of the main colours for the couches, in combination with cream and a touch of happy orange. The simple geometric patterns of the rugs are inspired by mid century modernism, as is much of the furniture I have found for this house. Many of the pieces in this scene can be found at The Loft and the cream coloured couch is from N4RS. Note that the red couches in the distance are actually beige ones which were easily tinted to fit in.
There’s a corner in this living room that was perfect for a small office. Originally the staircase was completely open and a bit of a health hazard. I created a wall of wooden vertical beams and furnished this space with a console, desk and chair from the Dover gacha set at Fancy Decor and used plenty of bits and bobs to dress the scene. This left ample space for a nice big plant from Dust Bunny, to make sure the place gets some much needed oxygen, especially on those days it is too cold to crack open a window.
If you buy this house from Marketplace, it will come with an indoor zen garden. The owner ripped this out and uses the space for a dining area, which makes much more sense. I found a suitable dresser, table and chairs which come with a wide range of upholstery choices at The Loft, but the tall stand on the left is inspired by the kind of furniture Frank Lloyd Wright himself designed. You can find a range of pieces in this style at Mission Home Store.
At the entrance to this part of the house, the original stairs and wooden beams looked somewhat strange, so I cleaned up the look with a new staircase and another wall made of vertical beams and used an interesting chest by Theory for storing gloves, mittens, scarves, shoes and whatever else one keeps in a hallway. The colourful Tiffany-style wall sconces are also from Theory and cast a warm welcoming glow over this area. In the corner you’ll find a comfortable chair from Aria, which I tinted to keep it in line with my colour scheme.
In the bedroom upstairs I created a generous dressing area by combining a wardrobe with casual clothes and sliding doors from Eli Baily with my self-made wardrobe, filled with clothes I took from the also very nice “Glam” closet from ~Bazar~. Perhaps I will get around to making furniture from scratch at some point, but at the moment I rather like “frankensteining” this kind of thing.
For a bed I wanted something with straight lines and just enough bedding material to make it look inviting and luxurious but nothing too fluffy and definitely not messy. I found what I was looking for at Aria and filled the remaining open space with two simple dressers from Newchurch. You can’t get this dresser as a separate item, but I’m sure I’ll make use of the rest of that bedroom set sooner or later.
Sadly the owner has decided to pull away from Second Life a little and will be giving up his sim shortly. Last week I was emptying the rooms and it made me a bit sad, which would suggest an emotional attachment or maybe I just don’t like seeing good things coming to an end while so many awful things in the world seem endless. At least I have the pictures and I had hours of fun putting it all together and the rest as they say, is history.
Possibly I have mentioned this before, but I do not appreciate monopolies. Take the Swedish state monopoly on the sale of alcohol for example. It probably does a lot of good keeping widespread alcoholism at bay, but I just don’t like all the power being in one camp. The same goes for mesh bodies in Second Life. I sure do like the Signature body and appreciate the rising star of the Belleza body, but I feel that while the NX-Nardcotix “David” mesh body is one of the underdogs, it has its own merits and deserves a chance in the limelight. I realise that with each body that is added to the mix, fashion creators will have to do more work to adjust their pieces to the particular nooks and crannies of these bodies while logically it doesn’t really increase their income potential. But I persevere and bravely go where probably some Davids have gone before, to this months TMD!
First up is this jacket from Lenox. It includes a t-shirt with a colour hud, so even if you only get the jacket in one colour you can still play with the look, or you can wear it without the t-shirt and show more skin. There’s no Nardcotix size for this, but the Signature version works quite well.
The sneakers are by Versov and yet again I found myself using the Signature version. They’re not a perfect fit, but thankfully the alpha cuts on the body are in just the right place. For most shoes it is a challenge to find a pair of trousers that will work with them without clipping issues. On top of that, it’s also a bit of a kerfuffle to find a pair of jeans that will fit nicely in the waist and buttocks area of the Nardcotix body. In this case though, the jacket and t-shirt will cover up some of the problem areas and I was able to make this work with a pair of Kalback high cuff jeans which were released several months ago. These jeans come with an add-on in the shape of boxer shorts and a belt, which isn’t very suitable for good old David here, but it’s not like you need them with this outfit.
The Chronokit down jacket doesn’t come in particular versions, so I guess it is supposed to be a one-size-fits-all kind of thing and as it happens, it does fit the Nardcotix body rather nicely. I believe that even on single colour versions you can change the fur trim and buttons, but I splashed out on the fatpack in this case, cause you only live once, even if this is Second Life.
Since this is clearly a winter coat, I got myself a pair of sturdy boots from Fame Homme to go with it. These were quite the challenge to combine with trousers or jeans and in the end I went with a pair of cargo trousers by Ascend available at their main store. Again, these don’t work perfectly with this body, but the problem areas are more than covered up by the coat and because they are rolled up, there is no clipping with the boots whatsoever.
Occasionally you’ll find a reasonably priced item where the creator hasn’t bothered with individual colour versions and just threw in a generous colour hud as standard. This classic cardigan by ILLI is a great example of that. You can apply one colour to the whole cardigan or pick a contrasting colour for the trim. I love its quasi plunging neckline and knitted textured. In the absence of a Nardcotix version, I worked with the TMP version this time. For the jeans and sneakers I went with Deadwool.
I’ve used the TMP version of their Broberry jeans and though the top is covered by the cardigan, I played with my shape a bit to make the jeans fit almost perfectly. For their sneakers there’s an unrigged version you can play with till they fit.
This coat from Gabriel comes complete with a hoodie, black leather gloves and a scarf. It includes a hud with some options for the hoodie and scarf and you can even put your hands in the pockets. In this case the entire body is covered, so there’s no need to actually wear your mesh body, I’m just wearing the alpha layer and my mesh head. One of the options of this coat is to take off the scarf and in that case you will have to wear your body because ideally you probably will want a neck instead of your head floating in empty space, then again if that’s the look you are going for, just do it. As for the size of the coat, I think the Belleza version was the most well behaved one. I completed the look with a pair of chinos and boots from the “Sexy Riders Set” gacha at Gabriel.
Etham came to TMD with a somewhat predictable jacket and t-shirt combo in their recognisable style. Okay, so perhaps that wasn’t the most enthusiastic sounding introduction, but I do rather like this simple design. However, I’m a bit puzzled that Etham didn’t include a Nardcotix size for this. They have been doing so for their other releases for a while now, but perhaps they’ve lost interest in this body, which is a shame. On the other hand, the TMP version seems to be working rather nicely. As with any Etham design, if you want it to balloon a little less, you need to decrease your tummy and butt and love handles. In other words: hit the gym!
The current round of TMD runs till the end of January.
Shopping therapy isn’t really therapy, it’s more like a sugar rush with zero nutritional value for your brain or the rest of your body, for that matter. Nevertheless, every now and again I like to indulge in a shopping spree and as I’m severely allergic to New Year’s resolutions, I threw caution to the wind and paid a late night visit to Men Only Monthly. I was wearing the Signature body and the world was my oyster… Well, that particular corner of this virtual world anyway. Truth be told, I don’t really like those slippery little bastards. Mind you, they DO have great nutritional value, but I digress…
As it turned out, it was a rather tame shopping spree. Not many items were calling out to me and I didn’t really hear the all too familiar “buy me, buy me” at MOM this month. Possibly some items were shouting in a foreign language, the way people tend to do when you don’t understand them and they very much mistakenly think that if they start shouting, you will miraculously comprehend their language. The two items that did catch my attention, were the New York dungarees by Yassum and the Dagon hair by Tableau Vivant.
The hairstyle can be worn combed to the left or the right and even includes hairbases. The dungarees unfortunately only are available for the Signature body, but come in several colours and are perfect for those of us that appreciate a bit of butt cleavage. They combine very nicely with the group gift V-3 Trainers from Vale Koer and seeing how there’s no joining fee for this group, these trainers are a very nice freebie, especially because they include an amazing hud that lets you pick different colours for sections of the shoes, which makes for more combination possibilities than I care to calculate.
I’m wearing the Signature mesh body and head with the Kenichi skin from Stray Dog, which is one of the few skins they have that will work with this head. I like my Catwa head too, but I don’t like monopolies or lack of diversity and I think it would be great to see some more Signature or Omega appliers.
The original eyebrows with this skin are very heavy, but there’s a no-brows version included and I’m using this with the Real Eyebrows from Identity. As often, the ears are from Mandale and as always, the shape is my own.
Do you see what I see? Dead avis walking around like regular avis? No! I see freebies! Sure, I just finished a hunt and there were some trinkets and treasures in that, but there is something to be said for a freebie that doesn’t need to be hunted down. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be quick to go get these before they vanish into thin Second Life air. Hey, I said you won’t have to hunt for them, I didn’t say you could move at a glacial pace.
Get yourself a nice Nordic sweater from E.Storm, you don’t even need to be a group member. And to keep your head warm you can pick up this year’s winter gift from Argrace. This beanie hairstyle comes with a hud with plenty of colour options for both hair and beanie.
One of the many joys of SL is that travel takes no time at all and from winter wonderland it’s just a short TP to a much milder climate, perfect for showing off this simple black t-shirt with rolled-up sleeves from Justice at this year’s edition of SL’s anual Holiday Shop & Hop event.
Race over to Vale Koer to get yourself their Christmas group gift. You only have until January the 3rd do so and it would be a shame to miss out on these fabulously detailed red high top sneakers. I don’t know what this Vale Koer guy is on, but I wont some! Must be all that fresh Estonian winter air.
We’re not even halfway through this winter yet, but I’m already looking forward to ditching the winter coat for just a sweater. Etham is giving away this simple one at the Shop & Hop event. Tip: make your butt, belly, love handels and saddle bags small when you’re wearing an Etham sweater and it will look much better.
L&B Swear is also at Shop & Hop and has a nice bracelet and necklace for you. There are a lot more gifts to grab at this event as well as items at reduced prices from around 60 creators of fashion, furniture, hair, make-up, trinkets and thingamabobs. You’d better hurry, cause this particular bit of shopping fun will come to a screeching halt on January 1st.
Finally! I finished the Peace On Earth Hunt. There are no more wearable items to show as far as I’m concerned, but I have been working on a little Christmas scene with the best bits and bobs from this hunt. Unfortunately there isn’t much time left to find all this treasure or to enjoy it, for that matter. Unless of course if you are one of those people that leave out the Christmas decorations all year long. Of course you could just store them in your inventory till next year, by then some of the items will be charming SL vintage.
Let me help you along a little by listing most of the items in this picture, complete with landmarks to the stores. Remember that you are looking for globes in this hunt and at each location you’ll find an example globe in a more obvious place with the POE poster that will give you a hint for finding the real thing.
I used the Mulberry lodge with snow from LISP Bazaar, which turned out to be the perfect choice for creating a little Christmas hideaway. All what’s missing now is a freakin’ partridge in a pear tree.
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas everybody! I really can’t be bothered to go over the list of other nice holidays I should be wishing you. Just have a good time with too much food, family and friends and perhaps try to carry over some of that good will and cheer to the next year, okay? Meanwhile I’ve been getting through the Peace On Earth hunt bit by bit. It’s not that those globes are particularly well hidden, it’s rather the list of landmarks that seems to be never ending, much like the list of things that people want me to do in my real life job, but that’s a different nag and bitch story I’ll keep for another time, like Valentines Day. So here’s a closer look at another couple of items I found.
There’s a somewhat peculiar, though I suppose seasonal tattoo from Facade which says “Snow” on one thigh and “Bunny” on the other one. I wasn’t sure what to do with that, so I tried to make sense of it somehow.
The other items I see fit to showcase are much more sensible, like for example this subtle striped v-neck sweater from Ashbury.
And there’s this purplelicious hoodie from Horr. I think it makes my chest look a bit too big and rounded, but I like the front pocket and hood draw strings and I’ve always been fond of purple.
I’ll finish of with this Santa Squad shirt from Dark Water Designs, which is a stylish understated bit of fun, perfect for those days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when you’ve lost all track of time and have no idea what is expected of you.
Now hurry hurry hurry my lovelies, the end is near! The Peace On Earth Hunt will be over as this year closes and we all rush (drunk) head first into 2018. Such fun!
Let’s get something out of the way first: bah humbug! Now to continue with a more positive attitude, let me say that around this time of the year I have a slightly elevated tolerance for items that haven’t exactly been created to the very highest SL standard or with an extraordinary eye for detail. Undoubtedly this will result in a greater number of items from the Peace on Earth hunt lingering somewhat longer in my inventory than those of a similar quality I have found in hunts at another time of the year. After all, it’s Christmas! It’s baby J’s birthday!
Some things will actually even get to leave the old inventory in the positive sense (i.e. not via trash). Take this Bad Santa outfit from Zed Designz for example. The vest is a bit rough around the edges and the fur trim is less realistic than what we’ve been seeing in SL lately, but the print on the back is nicely done and I like the snug fit of the red trousers and open shirt. It makes me feel all “Ho Ho Ho” but also “are you feeling lucky, punk?” I’m so conflicted!
Apparently the Peace On Earth hunt has been around for what I like to call donkey’s years. The list of contributors counts a very scary 297 landmarks and a preliminary investigation has shown that many of these will be of no use to me, but even when I know a store only caters for female avatars, sometimes it’s fun to have a quick look around anyway, especially if the sim is nice. For details of where to start, a list of hints and more background information about this most classic of hunts, I refer to the Peace On Earth website.
One of the stops on the peaceful hunt trail is Taox Tattoo & Cloth. I’m not used to wearing tattoos in SL, but i like the intricate design like this one. It really looks like something that’s come together over a period of time, as if each tattoo has a meaning and you didn’t just walk into a parlour one day, shouting “ink me god damn it”, but gradually reached a nice level of coverage.
I have started putting together a little homely Christmas scene with some of the items I have found and as soon as I have enough decoration items and/or furniture that I deem worthy of being shown, I’ll post a follow up.
O.k. so Christmas is over-hyped and New Year’s Eve is just bloody weird because it’s celebrating the passing of time. Nothing is reset, there is no fresh start, we don’t even start a new season for goodness sake. At the stroke of midnight everything will be as good or as shitty as it was the second before. For some reason it seems to be socially awkward to admit you’ll be alone for the holidays, yet the fact that you can feel lonely on every other day of the year seems to mean fuck all to most people. Hell, even those that look at bit worried when you tell them that you’ll just be home, watching the telly, won’t be inviting you to join their family Christmas diner. Bah humbug!
Having said that, this is a great time for goodies, gifts, freebies and prizes galore in Second Life and an even better time for having friends who can ask you questions like “Do you know Meva?” I didn’t, but I do now! They have an advent calendar for their group members and there’s no joining fee. I’m not sure if all the gifts are meant to stay in the calendar till the end, but I was able to get the ones for December 1, 2, 4 and 5. Only No. 3 seemed to be a dud. I got a couple of necklaces and a snazzy hipster cap. I wonder though if something can be hipster AND snazzy? I don’t know the rules! HA! Like I care about rules. Bah humbug! Last but not least there’s a tank top for the Signature body and I just love how it crawls up a bit on one side.
The weather outside is frightful, but inside it’s quite delightful. While I’m toasting my hiny by the fire, I’m wondering where I left the rest of my clothes. I have no closet space in this house!
Creating an affordable (arguably) good-looking avatar in SL is the frugal yin to my spending yang. The free TMP male mesh body remains my go-to base for these little exercises. As always, for a more elaborate review of this free body, I refer to one of my older posts.
I’ll just quickly repeat here that most clothes won’t work with this body, but if you are going to wear long sleeves, then you can use the hands separately. When you put on the complete body, you will be using what’s called an “alpha layer” to make the entire underlying “system body” invisible. If you are only going to use the hands, you will need to find yourself an alpha layer that covers just your system hands and wrists. Usually you will find this with a pair of gloves. There will be gap on your arm, but like I said: long sleeves!
Have fun putting it all together. There are some more interesting freebies at Egoisme en plenty of similarly priced one-colour hairstyles at Dura to chose from.