After publishing the previous post I pretty much jumped straight into the deep end for a second look with the Akeruka Advanced M03 mesh head. You know the saying, “once you go black you don’t go back?” That doesn’t quite hold true for me, but I do enjoy putting together a black avatar and I hope people have found this ethnic diversity helpful.
The Birth Ozias skin was made for darker skin tones and I love the freckles/birthmarks that are part of it. This handsome devil fits beautifully on the Akeruka Advanced M03 mesh head and I really played with the shape quite a bit to make it different from the previous look. I went for a pointier chin, a rounder face, wider nose and fuller lips and I’m happy with how this turned out. I’ve shopped around for new dreads and settled for something from Camo, cause they specialise in dreads and do a pretty good job.
Besides heads and looks, another thing I like to experiment with, is combining jeans or any other kind of trousers with underwear. Being able to combine anything from two different makers in SL is a small triumph, but succeeding to do this in the underwear department is a frekking godsend. What really helps is that Noche includes a size 0 bulge with many of their underwear items. In this case it means that the Noche Noah jockstrap fits nicely under the Legal Insanity Wrynn denims, leaving a teasing little gap to accentuate your butt cleavage. It’s very much a love it or hate it thing, though whenever people say that, I can’t help but think that there probably are an awful lot of people who don’t really care either way. Surely some people just kinda like marmite? But I digress, so let’s get back to our garments. At the front the jockstrap just lightly pokes through the waistband of the jeans, but the belt covers up that issue. These days with clothing items that have a reasonably well behaved built-in auto-hide function, which works with your body’s hud to hide any bits of your mesh body that might poke through the clothing item, you’ll find it quite easy to change from jeans and jockstrap to just jockstrap. Your leggs will quickly reappear as you strip off the jeans. Simply save it as two different outfits and gracefully get undressed, as you follow it up with a third (naked) “outfit”. For the jockstrap only outfit, you probably will want to switch over to something with a larger bulge, or not. It’s none of my business what you’re working with down there.
When Akeruka announced that they were having a flash sales for their newest M03 mesh head I pounced on that like a cat on eeehm… whatever cats really like to pounce on. Mice? Unsuspecting birds? Your bare feet as you walk past just as unsuspecting as that poor (now dead) bird? Of course as you are reading this now, it’s no use rushing off to Akeruka trying to catch this flash sale, because it has flashed by already. You’ve missed it. But lets focus on how nice it looks and also on how, at its full price of L$3900 it definitely isn’t the most expensive mesh head on the grid.
I experimented with a square-jawed look this time and I beefed up the shape a bit more than usual, going for that all American jock type. When you open up the box with this head (oh, that sounds creepy), you’ll notice it contains two versions. One uses the standard SL UV map and the other one uses the same UV map as Lelutka Evolution mesh heads, which means there’s a good chance that any skin for such a Lelutka mesh head, will work nicely with the Akeruka Advanced mesh head. I’m using a skin by Stray Dog made for Lelutka and as you can see, everything appears to be were it should be, without any awkward shadows anywhere. I can even use the skin with its own eyebrows. It’s rather interesting how on some heads the particular skin I’ve used looks quite Asian (intentionally so) and on other heads this is totally lost. That’s Second Life™ for you though, any combination of mesh parts, skins and shapes has the potential to give you a completely different outcome. I freakin’ love it!
How many of you look back at their start in Second Life and find it hard to believe that so much time has gone by. I don’t keep a close eye on my rezz day, heck I’ve even forgotten my real life birthday once or twice. I know it’s getting near though. June 17th 2016. Bloody hell! Five years! Has it really been five years already since I was trying to work my way out of that place where you practice walking, running and jumping? But part of me is also thinking, has it “only” been five years. I wish I had a better grasp on time. I wish I could slow it down when I’m enjoying myself and speed it up just enough when the day is dragging itself along, so that I still get to learn whatever lesson that day has to teach me, but ever so slightly more quickly, thank you very much! What I do have, is a rewind button. Well, kind of anyway. It’s just my memories and a bunch of old outfits. So maybe it’s more like a flashback button? For today’s episode of Clearing Out The Wardrobe I’m going back to 2016. Ah, what a year! Wait, wasn’t that the year so many famous people died to the point that people were blaming the actual year for it. Little did they know what 20/21 had in the gacha stall for us.
I was heavily into the TMP Deluxe mesh body and head back then, even though there was only so much one could do with the head. This was the pre-bento era and mesh heads didn’t respond (much) to shape sliders, but I preferred the smooth lines over the sharp edges of the system head, even if it was at the cost of some individuality. I was wearing the Legal Insanity Summer Tank quite often with the L&B Swear Classic Moto jeans and Ranger boots those days. The skin was one of TMP’s own and the hair was by Exile.
For the new look I used Legacy Meshbody, as that of course is the successor of the TMP Deluxe body. “Meshbody” is what the call themselves these days as a company and they no longer have their own mesh heads (that company name will become problematic if they ever do make one again), but Lelutka Evolution mesh heads are a very good match with the Legacy Meshbody, leaving your neck seam virtually invisible.
I hadn’t visited Exile in a very long time and was pleasantly surprised with the style, quality and price point of their Knox hair. For less than L$400 you get a rather snazzy hair cut in fat pack edition with hair bases included. I like how it helped me to slightly recapture that old look. For the rest of the details, I’ll leave you with the usual list of credits. Then all what’s left to do for me, is delete the old outfit, because I still have a ridiculous number of those hanging around.
I wonder when fond nostalgic feelings for the 80’s and its questionable style choices took over from our collective sense of shame for that decade. The Netflix series Stranger Things may have played a small part in that, although the makers probably already sensed that humanity needed a story that was set in the 80’s. It was such an innocent time, but that is what every generation says about their childhood. Mind you, if anyone ever is going to look back at the past five years or so as an “innocent” time, I dread to think what kind of future they will be living in. But there shall be no more dread in this blog post, only a bold splash of colour and a bit of spandex that leaves little to the imagination.
If you want to jump into the 80’s and also satiate your craving for gachas, then you should check out Noche’s Champion Gacha at The Epiphany, which is one of the more high end gacha events in Second Life™. If you’re not a fan of the gacha system, you can also just smack down a lump sum of Linden dough and buy yourself the fatpack. Noche’s designer does a good job listing what’s in this gacha set in his Flickr post, which saves me from repeating it all like a silly parrot. (Polly wants a cracker!)
This gacha set was inspired by an 80’s aerobics competition and it not only includes an outfit and sweatbands but also a virtual representation of a real life stage used for the 1988 US National Aerobic Championship. Now all you need is some synchronised aerobic moves and you’re set up for hours of fun with your sporty SL friends. For the setting of my shoot I went for something I found at Backdrop City, which pretty much screamed 80’s too. I mean, you’ll be hard pressed to find a stack of those fat TVs these days and even harder pressed trying to stack our modern day flat screens. Coincidentally this backdrop happens to be a gacha item too, but not at the current round of Epiphany. It’s from the Retrowave Gacha by Amitomo. I wasn’t familiar with this creator, but I felt right at home at their store, wearing my Noche Champion outfit. The place is a bright pastels extravaganza. I think I shall be having colourful dreams this night.
I think we have finally come to the end of my tour of Castor Cottage, the (for me) huge house I decorated way back when I still did a bit of socialising in Second Life™. These days I tend to keep to myself and I also seem to have lost “voice” somewhere along the way and haven’t been able to get it back. It’s not that I can’t enjoy a nice chat on the tippie-typie thingy (a.k.a. keyboard), it’s just that I haven’t got the energy to invest in (new) people. Anyhoo, this is meant to be the final leg of the tour of the Chilmark House by Brook Hill Living, not a session of me delving into the pros and cons of socialising in SL. So no more dilly dallying, let’s take a look at what I called the guest suite (see, I really was being sociable, I had a suite for guests!).
I think I was running out of prims at this point, or possibly out of patience, or maybe I didn’t want to over burden the sim, so I kept this guest suite very uncluttered. Throughout this house I used an interesting mix of wall papers, which I found by just looking for real life samples online and turning them into seamless patterns when necessary. The Meadow bed and Maurice side table by Lisp Bazaar look quite at home in the country setting of this house. The Judy lamp by MudHoney works well as a light to read a book by and when my guests need something to sit on to gracefully put on their socks and avoid that clumsy one-footed hopping around, they can use the leather strapped trunk by Apple Fall. The art is by Dali, but the frame is from the Apple Fall botanical study.
Of course I couldn’t call this a suite if my guests did have something else to sit on than their bed. Opposite the sleeping area, there’s this cosy corner with the Nutmeg Chesterfield sofa (a group gift, which I can’t find at that their store now), made even cosier with the “Sunday Morning” throw pillows by Aria. The coffee table doesn’t seem to be in my inventory, which makes me suspect that this item was rezzed by my “land lord”. He constantly was spurring me on to finish this decorating project by rezzing things for me to look at (and reject). The Apple Fall Blue Bell painted closet fits nicely against that narrow bitt of wall between the windows and offers a place to put some flowers on. The box with roses and vase with meadow flowers both are by Apple Fall, as are the decorative bed warmers on the wall above the closet. Again the artwork is something I’ve picked up from the internet.
No guest suite would be complete without a little work area. The desk from the Inspired Space set by Serenity Style looks simple, but it has doors and drawers that open, so my guests can keep their work space clutter free for however long they are staying (hopefully no longer than it takes for fish to rot). I think that desk was part of a Decocrate set and I can’t really find it at the Serenity Style store.The chair is from another Decocrate set by Sari Sari and I couldn’t find that either. The idea of the Decrocrate subscription boxes was that items were going to be exclusive to the boxes for some time. Once boxes were retired, the designers were free to put the items up at their store, but I think some of them didn’t do that. These days a new Decocrate only comes out a couple of times a years instead of each month. I’m shedding some light on the work space with the golden Task Lamp by The Loft (and Aria) which you actually can find at the store (oh look, a useful credit!). Of course I couldn’t leave that other big wall empty, so I placed the Tarte DIY entryway table there (it kinda is an entryway because the door leads to the spacious terras). Obviously one can’t just put a table out there without putting anything on it, deuh! So what we have here is the lovely Seaglass lamp (gacha) by Lucas Lameth and Apple Fall white iris. The carriage clock with books is also by Apple Fall, but it’s a gacha item you’ll only find in Marketplace these days.
In hotels the storage space often is disappointing. No guest of mine shall be lacking in space to properly unpack and neatly put away their clothes for the duration of their stay (seriously though, are you moving in or something? *nervous giggles*). The Modular Wardrobe by Consignment really helped me deliver on that promise. My Little Glowing Boyfriend by Bauwerk is their to make sure my guests can see what they’re doing while they’re getting dressed… so what’s their excuse for looking such a mess?
Obviously I absolutely cannot have a guest suite without an ensuite. I imagine this part of the house has been modernised at a later stage and instead of putting in a classic bathtub, I’ve opted for the sleek N4RS Wet Man Shower. Guests will find an ample supply of floofie towels in the Apple Fall Noel cabinet and some more towels are already waiting for them on a little Nutmeg wooden stool for immediate use. Because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mixing utilitarian sleek design with a more rustic style, I installed the Apple Fall Lange washtand and hung up the Dutchie antique mirror. Et voilà, there’s your ensuite.
And with that and a bit of gratuitous nudity (hey! it’s called “Wet Man Shower”, okay!?) we have come to the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed this episode and you can find previous episodes by using the search at the bottom of my blog.
I’ve got this feeling that I would rather enjoy being somewhere far away from everything for a little while. Glamping seems rather attractive at the moment. In Second Life™ I wandered around a bit at The Hollow, a temporary sim that’s only open until April 20th. It’s the Dust Bunny Wanderlust Hedera Caravan I found there that set me on this day dreaming path.
I’ve even given my attire some thought in that daydream. Because it’s not full-on camping, I think I can get away with something that is comfortable and casual without being the kind of thing you see at stores that sell tents. While I’m at it, I’ll imagine slightly warmer weather too than what I’m currently living with in reality. The Will outfit by Noche does the trick for me. Noche’s designer got inspired by Taylor Swift’s video for her song Willow and he did a great job on the details in this outfit. As usual the fatpack is almost flowing over with colour options, so I spent some time mixing and matching to my heart’s content, until I settled on greens and browns that suit my imaginary green surroundings.
And while I’ll allow my mind to drift off into this meandering daydream, I’ll leave you with the…
I just collected the update of the Akeruka Advanced M01 male mesh head. The current version is 3.5 and I never picked up the version that came in between this one and the first one. I guess there have been some subtle changes to the rigging, which explains why my shapes for it are looking slightly weird now (no mister director, I am NOT ready for my close up!). Oh well, I do love a little update project! I won’t give you a full list of credits at the end of this post, but I’ll leave some hints along the way.
For my Tim shape, the skin I used was Evan by Birth for Catwa mesh heads and it still works but I can’t make the eyebrows look quite right. The good news is that the skin includes a browless version and the head comes with built-in HD eyebrow options. The great thing about these is that, on top of being able to change the appearance of the eyebrows by editing your eyebrows shape, the hud for the Akeruka Advanced head allows you to move the brows up and down and closer to each other or indeed further apart. Eve the size (meaning the width) of the eyebrows can be adjusted. I absolutely adore these little personalisation options. My Tim look now has considerably heavier eyebrows than it had before, but I kinda like it. The hair is by Wings and the eyes are by Avi-Glam, applied to the rigged eyes that come with the head. Make sure you wear the alpha that hides system eyes and you’ll need the Omega relay for Akeruka to be able to apply the texture on the eyes. I’m using a facial stubble that comes with the skin and the HD beard that comes with the head on top of that. The body is Legacy Meshbody.
The next shape I had to update is Joshua. For this one I used the Birth skin named Dagger for Catwa mesh heads in a dark skin tone (#7) and again I went for the browless skin combined with the built-in HD eyebrows of the Akeruka head. It’s starting to look like this is going to be my preferred solution, until someone creates more skins that have been made for the Akeruka Advanced heads. The dreads are by Camo and the hoodie is from Noche. The body is Belleza Jake.
For my Connor shape I used the Stray Dog Jay for Catwa mesh heads with… you guessed it, the Akeruka brows. The hair is by Stealthic. The beard is part of the skin (version without beard is included) and the body hair is one of the options that comes with the Stray Dog body skin. The body is the free Classic Meshbody. I use this shape with Legacy Meshbody without making changes. The butt is a bit more voluptuous in that case, but I don’t mind that at all.
Last but not least, here’s my Rickard shape. This look used to be made with the Stray Dog skin that came with the head but these days, the 3.5 version of the Akeruka Advanced M01 is being shipped without any skins at all. On the one hand that feels odd and on the other hand, most people don’t want to walk around with the standard look anyway. So now I’m using the Stray Dog Erwin skin for Catwa heads, browless with the head’s HD brows. The hair is by Modulus and the body is Belleza Jake.
Note: When I first got the update, there was an issue with the offset of eye lashes. I raised the issue in the AK group chat and after a bit of back and forth discussion with SlackGirl, their customer service rep, the issue was brought to the attention of the creator, KAOZ. He had to go run an errand (actually, he needed to go get diapers for his baby girl… nice to get a bit of insight in the private life of mesh head creator eh?) but he got on the issue soon after and a new version was available for download via the redelivery terminal that same day. The only thing that slightly annoyed me with this experience, was how I had to jump to some hoops to show that it was I myself who was doing something wrong. I guess they haven’t got the time to check first who you are before they start treating you like a noob.
As you can see, I’ve used skins that were originally made for Catwa heads for all of these looks. Odly, I feel that they worked better on the first version of this head. Perhaps the knowledge that this version uses the SL UV map will help me to find other better fitting skins. Having said that, the result with the skins made for Catwa is already much better than what I was able to achieve with Akeruka heads from previous generations. Things can only get better… Oh, I feel a song coming on!
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t really get into role playing in Second Life™. How does one go about it? Do you just sit there, having pretend (chat) conversations, making it up as you go along for hours at a time? I imagine it’s a rather popular thing for those that are into fantasy avatars. Luckily I don’t let my lack of enthusiasm for role playing stop me from occasionally putting together a fantastic fairy look. Most sims won’t mind if you show up wearings wings and pointy ears anyway, they don’t even need to have a fantasy theme. Whenever someone does take offence or if you’re breaking some covenants, they can always let you know, or be complete self-righteous pricks about it and ban you without warning. But hey, at least you’ll be flying away from that sim in style.
Sometimes an outfit starts with a particular item and then I build my colour scheme around it. The Easter themed headband by Bauhause Movement, which I got from a hunt a couple of years ago, is a good example of that. I’ve picked up the turquoise of the eggs with the texture of the harness and then paired this with a loincloth in simple white. Arguably the arm and wrist bands are more of a Roman thing, but the bit of bling ads another touch of festiveness to this look, don’t you think?
Before we take a closer look at the deets for the outfit, we should have a whatchamacallit moment… Mindfulness! That’s the word I was looking for! Lost Unicorn is a good sim for that kind of thing and you can easily wander around and explore it without having to engage into any kind of role playing adventure. For me the sim has a relaxing ethereal feel to it, especially if I allow their film music stream to play. You’ll run into other fairies, dragons, unicorns and other magical creatures here, so who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend. Meh, people overrated. I’ll just chat up a unicorn. Wait! Isn’t that role play kind of thing? How did this happen!
Naturally, if you are a “devout” catholic, Easter is a very meaningful time for you. For the rest of us it’s just an excuse to eat way more chocolate than we should and have a couple of days off from work, if you’re lucky enough to live in a country where you get one or two bank holidays for this. I definitely belong in that second group. With Belgium being my birth country, I’m practically obliged to eat chocolate on a professional level, although Belgian chocolate is far less easy to find in Stockholm than for example the Swiss brand Lindt. Oh well, when in Rome…
This isn’t exactly the kind of outfit I’d advice for a family friendly activity, such as an egg hunt, but it definitely is suitable for an adult easter themed party. Noche has given their Evan Harness the latex treatment, so now there’s a version that goes perfectly with their Ayo Jockstrap. One of the nice things about that jockstrap is that with the fatpack you can choose a different colour for the crotch and straps which adds another dimension to the colour coordinating fun. I’ve picked up the pink of the jockstrap with the latex gloves and in some of the details of my boots. The Cox Kinky Bunny leather mask definitely finishes this outfit, but it’s a shame I can’t find it in Marketplace or the Cox store. I’m going to assume I got this from a hunt somewhere once upon a time, or I have been sleepwalk purchasing again. Altogether I’d say I look naughty and nice like sugar and spice and I’m on my way to becoming a type two diabetic.