Last spring I was asked by a friend to decorate a small guesthouse which he keeps available for one of his friends who has an on-again / off-again relationship with Second Life. As it has been a while since we’ve last seen her, my friend asked me to make some moderate changes to the place, to make it more suitable as a pied-a-terre for a young guy.
(Studio Guesthouse Kinkardine Concepts)
I left the layout as it was and mostly concentrated on replacing the furniture and mixing up the colour palette by creating a new wallpaper. The new bed is luxuriously dressed yet not too fussy for this place and perfectly positioned to gaze out into nature on a lazy Sunday morning.
The openness of this studio does not make it very suitable to be filled with heavy furniture. Instead of a clunky wardrobe I will probably always prefer to use a clothing rack here. Artwork casually leaning against the wall accentuates the free-spirited character of this little house, while an elegant armchair gives you a place to sit and put on your socks or creepily watch whomever happens to be a sleep in the bed.
The other side of the studio with its double doors leading to the deck, is perfect for a small living room. The sofa and armchair offer enough seats for a couple of guests and have been arranged in such a way that there is a clear path from the bedroom to the outdoor area. An orange ombre carpet adds a warm splash of colour and a set of white washed shelves offer some room for books, pictures and those vases you got from a distant family member.
Let’s imagine that this place has superb double glazing and it can be used as a little winter hideaway as well as a summer retreat. The simple mid century fireplace is perfect for keeping the studio nice and toasty on those cold winter days and provides a strong focal point to this room without interfering with the flow. In the corner there’s just enough space for a comfortable wingback chair, making it the ideal little nook for reading or having a romantic cuddle in the warm glow of the burning wood.
A modern desk is placed by the large window for day dreaming, organising one’s life on social media and perhaps if need be, doing a bit of work.
A total of 125 prims were used here for the house, furniture, decor and potted plants on the deck. If you’re curious about the previous interior for this studio, take a look at the first Quasi Boho Chic Retreat.
On my first visit to aQua my mind was set on finding the Clef de Peau’s jumpsuit, but something else caught my eye that was worth a second visit. I switched from the NX-Nardcotix “David” body to Belleza’s “Jake” for this visit, because the item I was after was not going to fit on the David body. (You still with me?)
The tiny bits of fabric I was ogling earlier, were the “U-briefs” from Mind Carlberg. I thought the contrasting circles on the front and back were rather enticing and the little metal eyelets a nice touch. The colour pallet is understated, yet not dull and there are two versions exclusive to the aQua event. In the picture above I’m wearing the “hell” version, the other one is named… wait for it… heaven.
The crotch is rather modest, so those of you that like to be packing will have to pretend they’re tucking. There is an opaque set, as shown above and a semi transparent set. Both the exclusives are the extra sassy semi transparent version. A 4 colour fatpack is L$ 440, a single colour L$ 140 and the exclusives are L$ 280 each.
aQua is a new player in the Second Life commercial events arena. The organisers describe the venue as “the ultimate floating entertainment resort.” The layout lends itself well to wandering around at your leisure and taking in the views. Booths are seemingly casually arranged, making it feel less like a space that urges you to make purchases and more like somewhere you can relax and just hang out.
The number of empty booths made me wonder if this first round had been organised at very short notice or if the terms and conditions weren’t very interesting for the creators. I’m not really interested in finding out that kind of thing, I’d rather just stand here and ponder about the pros and cons of owning a yacht.
What definitely drew me to this place was an advert for something new that works with the NX-Nardcotix body and is showcased at aQua. I’m talking about a very nice fitting, hugging-in-all-the-right-places jumpsuit from Clef de Peau. It’s available in a wide range of colours, but when it comes to something that looks this specific I usually don’t go for more than one colour and definitely don’t get the fatpack. This time however I threw caution to the wind and got it in turquoise, white, sand and red. You only live once… Well o.k., you may have an alt or take a break from SL and come back… O.k., the saying doesn’t work in SL. Sue me!
Let’s wait and see if this event picks up a bit by the next round. Though there is a lack of products on offer, it definitely already is a more unique SL shopping experience than the usual boxy space with lots of booths. I’m looking forward to getting wet more often while I do my shopping… Wait, that sounded different in my head.
Earlier this month a notification popped up on my screen with a note card attached to it, telling me that The Gacha Garden was returning for its August 2017 round with more than 100 new gacha sets and 61 FREE GIFTS! I wasted no time and zipped over there like my pants were on fire and presumable the only means of putting them out was to be found at that place. Or maybe I was simply compensating for my recent shopping splurges by trying to score free goodies. So here are just some of the the gifts you can pick up at the magically whimsical Gacha Garden.
“I Love My House” frame from Irrie’s Dollhouse | “Stay Wild Moon Child” poster from BoWillow | “But first, coffee” sign from Little Llama | Decorative tin lantern from Velvet Whip | Vase with flowers from 22769 |Piece of driftwood with a buoy from Bee Designs.
You have until August 31st to indulge your gacha cravings and pick up the gifts.
I won’t beat around the bush (pun intended), one of my favourite underwear brands in Second Life is Noche. As a TMP boy since my early SL days, I soon experienced that the body from The Mesh Project was difficult to dress and at times it could be pretty testing. To paraphrase a couple of lines of the wonderful Toni Collette’s character from the movie In Her Shoes: “Clothes never look any good. Pixel food just makes you fatter (not really). Shoes always fit.” And so does anything from Noche! So it’s no wonder that I’m very happy that both the Metallic Thong and the Essential Jockstrap have now been updated for the Belleza Jake body, which is rapidly becoming a new favourite of mine… or not… maybe… I CAN’T CHOSE!
Carpe Noche and go grab your update at the Noche store now, just hit the redelivery terminal behind the counter. If you’ve bought the Essential Jockstrap a while ago, it might not be in the system, but I’m sure you’ll work out some proof of purchase solution with the designer (send him loads of dirty pictures)
RIGHT! Time to rustle up some freebies after all that spending. I cleaned up my notifications list, went through my groups and it also was particularly helpful that L’Homme Magazine just has a new issue out (ridiculously gorgeous as usual of course), which is always a good source for nice goodies. Keep in mind that the stores often need a bit of time to put the magazine’s group gifts out for us to get our greedy grabbers on. Let’s start with some store group gifts.
All shown on Signature mesh body and head
Left: An all-in-one (just one item to put on) suite from Gizza. Not a bad effort really. I like the half grey half black idea. Strangely the belt buckle pokes through the shirt a little.
Middle: Navy shorts with anchor pattern by Cold Ash. I’m definitely liking these and I recently got a bunch of their T-shirts which will go well with these shorts.
Right: A star spangled t-shirt by Ascend. I like the shape, the drape of the fabric, the details and the pattern, but I dislike the big Ascend logo on the back. It’s not really a gift if it forces you to advertise the brand.
Next up are some of the L’Homme Magazine readers group gifts
Left: A simple but very well made sage green t-shirt from Cold Ash. I’m loving the drape and shading and didn’t have to look too hard to find a pair of shorts to go with it.
Middle: I quickly switched to the Belleza body and Catwa head to show the “Zhao” Catwa applier from Stray Dog. I’m also using a slightly altered version of the body shape that comes along with the applier. Keep in mind that the gift only includes the applier for the Catwa mesh head. You will need to purchase the matching applier for the Signature or Belleza body from Stray Dog (L$ 490) in case you don’t have it yet.
If the sleeveless jacket catches your eye, you can go pick it up at Clef de Peau. I had some trouble getting this to work with the Signature body and my own shape, but it looks good on the Belleza body with the shape from Stray Dog.
Right: From Gizza you can get this t-shirt that seems to be popping up everywhere now. Two creators are showcasing it at MOM and a month ago I already found a version of it in a hunt. Having said that, I do think the chain and strap are very nice details and I won’t be throwing this t-shirt out anytime soon.
I kept using the combination of the Belleza body and Catwa head with that beautiful Eurasian look from Stray Dog to shoot pictures of some accessories you will also find among the L’Homme Magazine group gifts.
Left: A leather necklace with metal geometric pendant from [kunst]. Textures of leather and metal can be changed with a hud.
Middle: The “Owe” head tattoo by Bolson. It says head tattoo but I like that you can use this with your hair base and still see a lot of the tattoo.
Right: Another leather and metal geometric necklace from RealEvil Industries. There is no hud for this one, so what you see is what you get, but personally I feel this one makes more of a statement than the delicate one from Kunst, so I don’t feel like I got the same thing twice.
There are more freebies waiting in my inventory to be shown, but they are whatchamacallits and thingamabobs to use around the house, so I’ll make a little still life out of them for another post soon. Have fun chasing those gifts!
As promised I made another visit to the current round of Men Only Monthly and this time I went with my Signature body to increase the chances of finding stuff that would fit. It turns out that there was only one thing I still wanted from this month’s MOM and that was the “Adonis” speedo by Abrasive. The fatpack set me back 899 L$ but for that I got 24 colours which each individually can be applied to the waistband, the main fabric, the trim and the drawstring. I say that’s pretty fan-flipping-tastic. The number of combinations you can make with that is mind boggling. Below is a little taster of what is possible.
I’m going to do so much swimming! SOOO MUCH SWIMMING! I’ll be doing so much swimming you’ll say “enough with the swimming already, we can’t take it anymore.”
Of course the chances were very slim that I was going to leave the Mesh Body Addicts Fair with just some underwear. Mind you, Compared to some of you I am only a lightweight shopaholic. Sometimes I let the Linden dollars just burn a hole in my pocket and I leave empty handed. At other times I’m more inclined towards the “laissez les bon temps rouler” school of life and end up with an empty wallet. Seeing how this fair catered more for female avatars, I kept the spending reasonably modest after I got the underwear that lured me to the fair in the first place.
From the Riot booth I got these ripped “Emery” denim shorts (L$ 199) and tight fitting “Andrew” tank top (L$ 199). I’m wearing this on the “Jake” body from Belleza and as they are also at the fair I checked out their booth. I wasn’t really impressed with the linen shirt and trousers Belleza had on display, but I did grab a pair of “Andrei” sandals (L$ 195) in a nice warm chestnutty tone. This is a good example of how I will not automatically like everything a particular designer creates, while I may really like, nay, LOVE some of their work.
Legal Insanity came to the fair with the “Colter” rolled denim shorts (L$ 329) which are a bit longer and include a colour change hud for the belt and buckle. It’s a shame that the Legal Insanity booth looked rather empty with just one piece for male avatars and two for the ladies, because I rather like this brand.
Last but not least, because the eyes are the windows to our soul and other such melodramatic crap, I grabbed a GA.EG “Studioline” eye pack (L$ 340) on my way out of the fair. I wasn’t familiar with the way their eyes work and didn’t know that I had to pick up their “Ultimate” eyes to be able to use this pack. Perhaps the vendor for the actual eyes was at the fair as well and I simply didn’t notice it. The eyes are a free item however and I headed over to the GA.EG main store to pick them up. Installation was hassle free and the hud made it very easy to move the eyes into the correct position. I can see clearly now that the particle rain has gone, I can see all popsicles on my way with my brand new soulful eyes and I can start looking forward to the next blog post.
But why would I want to? So when I saw that there is such a thing as The Mesh Body Addicts Fair, I ditched my Mesh Body Addicts Anonymous meeting with a “see ya, wouldn’t wanna prim ya” and headed straight for that lag-ridden but oh-so-lovely sim full of booths with all those new mesh goodies. Apparently the fair is now in its third year, so by SL standards I was expecting it to have matured nicely in the course of those three years and overflowing with high quality items. I did like a lot of the things I saw even if many of them weren’t suitable for me.
NX-Nardcotix is launching a tank top and briefs for its male mesh body at this fair, so this is the perfect follow-up to my previous post. If you scroll down to that post, you will see that I did a lot of pulling and squeezing of unrigged and downright kinky underwear. If I had known that NX-Nardcotix was going to release a pair of tight fitting classic briefs MADE FOR THIS BODY only a couple of days later, I’m not sure I would have bothered. Oy vey! I need to keep my ear closer to the grape vine… but I prefer to just drink the wine and then go totally overboard by getting the full pack for L$ 2.800.
That price tag is a just a little bit over the top. Sure, 11 solid colours and 5 patterns is a lot, but I feel L$ 2.000 would have been a more acceptable price. Even more so if you know that these items will probably only work with one mesh body… Their own!
Below I have listed all the participants to the MBA fair. As you can see I’ve put them in three groups, but some of the ones that are listed under Female could in theory have been in the Male & Female group, if the participant hadn’t chosen not to show any male avatars with their products, thus missing an opportunity.
Male & Female:
Adam & Eve, Altamura, Avenge, Belleza, GA.EG, Identity, Image Essentials, Gabriel, Izzie’s, Legal Insanity, Logo, Lure, Slink, Swallow, Riot, Tease Me Boutique
7 Deadly S[k]ins, Alaska Metro, Aley’s, Ama, Arise, Asteria, Belze Bubble, Breathe, Dark Passions, Carol G, Cynful, Dafnis, Decoy, DE Designs, Deetalez, Elegance Body Language, Boutique, Decoy, DS’ELLES, Entice, Esode, Essenz, Entice, Fame Femme, FnH, Gaall, Genesislab, Gissa, Glitzz, Insanya, Empire, KC Couture, Kaithleen’s, Lakshmi, Le Fil Casse, LX Essentials, Maddict, Maitreya, Masoom Mimikri, Moz Designs, Muggle Born, N.core, Neve, Oceane, Pervette, Pink Pearl, Pumec, Rapture, Real Evil, Salt & Pepper, Scandalize, Slackgirl, Supernatural, Sys, The Annex, theSKINnery, Tonic, Tori’s Stylez, Veechi, Vinyl, Wicca’s Wardrobe, Wow Skins, YSSY, Zibska, ZOZ
Overall the product offer for male avatars is somewhat anaemic, but I did pick up a couple of nice goodies which I will be showing soon on another mesh body.
The Fair will run from 1 August 2017 to 21 August 2017, so relax, take your time, wait till it gets a little less busy… Who am I kidding, you’re already there, right?
When I first tested the NX-Nardcotix “David” mesh body I wasn’t quite sold on it. Partly it was the rushed marketing that rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t understand why a brand which already had lingerie for female avatars in their product range, hadn’t come up with a nice pair of undies to go with the release of their new male mesh body. While I appreciated the overall look of the body, I was also slightly disappointed that this was yet another mesh body without its own head. SL is so Sleepy Hollow!
Not long after the launch, NX-Nardcotix showcased the next release of David at Men Only Monthly and lo and behold, this time a nice pair of black swim trunks were thrown in to sweeten the deal. Also encouraging was the skin applier made for this body by VYC shown at MOM at the same time. For my personal taste the Catwa applier from VYC that matches this skin, is a little bit to slick and chiselled. I prefer something friendlier looking for every-day use, but from a creative point of view it’s a good thing to step out of that particular comfort zone.
This brings me to one of my pet peeves that is part and parcel of using a mesh body in SL: the neck seam. If you are already using a Catwa head, then you know that it has its own set of neck fixes for several brands of mesh bodies, but not yet for NX-Nardcotix. The body does come with its own neck fix which goes a long way to blur that very sharp seam, but this solution is far from perfect. Viewed from some angles, it visibly stands away from the body, because that is how these things work. From time to time it will appear as if you are wearing a collar, whenever you land at a sim with a particular windlight that makes the neck fix stand out instead of blend in. I also looked at this body in combination with my system head and found that using the neck tattoo that should have been matching, did not work at all. You will be better off using the neck fix even in that situation.
But enough with the negativity! Let us focus on the overall well defined musculature of this body and the wrists, knees and ankles which were clearly created with an eye for detail. The pectorals can be made large without becoming droopy and the shoulders are nicely rounded. Those of you that appreciate an ample posterior will be pleased to find that this body more than provides that. As a matter of fact, the derriere was toned down a little bit in the latest version because with the first one I demoed, I could have given any of the Kardashian girls a run for their money. With the butt size on 100%, my ass would have arrived at a sim 5 minutes later than the rest of me. Well I suppose that would have made it fashionably late.
Speaking of being fashionable, let us look at the wardrobe options for this body. If you have read my previous post about July’s Men Only Monthly, you will know that this body made the shopping experience rather challenging. But I went through my inventory and found some things that work.
Left: This knitted cardigan with leather collar by Gild rather tones down the muscular arms of my shape but doesn’t leave them looking entirely scrawny. It is well worth this small sacrifice in my opinion. The jeans by Body Factory featured at Men Only Monthly, are a near perfect fit and of course putting on Deadwool’s “Chase” sneakers was no problem at all, because I can simply hide my feet completely with the alpha hud.
Right: This oversized high collar coat by Gabriel is still available as a gift if you wear the L’Homme Magazine group tag and if you have a look around in the store you’ll find a black version of it available for sale. I’ve paired it with jeans by L&B Swear and boots from a gacha also at Gabriel.
Left: These dark khaki chinos from Gabriel slim my legs down somewhat (I guess I have been skipping legs-day at the gym), but the effect isn’t too severe. They go well with the very sharp looking “sneakers” from David Heather.
Right: It took some serious compromising of my shape to make this t-shirt and shorts combination from Deadwool work, because even though these two items were made to be worn together, if your butt is too big, the shorts’ fabric will poke through the hem of the t-shirt. I’m wearing the “Two-Plat” Sneakers from Semler in Signature size, which work fine with the feet alphad out.
Left: The Deadwool Peak Suit works very nicely with this body (and the Catwa head). Obviously most of your body will be alphad out when you wear a suit like this, but it is still a small blessing that my neck isn’t poking through the shirt collar. As this suit grows and shrinks with your body size, you can always increase the muscle mass to make your arms look more impressive once they’ve been hidden by the sleeves. The shoes are from Deadwool as well and work fine as long as you wear them with socks to bridge the gap where your ankle should be.
Right: This is what happens when you’ve been hanging out at home all day in just your L&B Swear jeans and make the last-minute decision to head out and grab your tweed vest and jacked from Hoorenbeek cause all your shirts are dirty. With the impressive collection of Deadwool’s “Chase” sneakers (well okay it’s a hud) you’ll always have a pair that matches your spontaneous outfits.
When it comes to underwear there isn’t what I would call an embarrassment of riches. There is very little room for error with these things so they pretty much need to be rigged for each specific body and none of the underwear creators seem to have picked up David yet. You can try altering your shape till something fits if you are willing to make that compromise. Another route you can take is to find unrigged mesh items which you then can move and stretch into place. Here are some examples of what you can use to keep David’s eggs in a basket to speak.
Left: A very daring colourful thong from Mat Kungler Atelier with tons of texture options and a somewhat mind boggling hud. This one is unrigged so I pulled and stretched till it fitted.
Middle: A modest pair of classic boxers with a little cat paw pattern from Vitamen which I was able to squeeze into with some shape alterations.
Right: A simple but fun pair of briefs by Baxter Colman, unrigged so you can freely resize and move them till they fit. If there would be more underwear available for this body, this one probably wouldn’t make the cut, but for now it’ll do.
A kinkier option is this sexy little unrigged number by Mat Kungler Atelier, with an exposed schlong and of course an explosion of textures and options. With the same hud that allows you to change the texture, you can also hide the penis which is actually included with this jock, but that just leaves an awkward gap. If you don’t like the included appendage, you can get creative with your own wiener, as I have done here. I would recommend you take a copy of your pecker first or you may find yourself perpetually pissing in your pretty face. You can make it a little more tame by wrapping a hoodie around your waist, which is also available at Mat Kungler Atelier.
That’s it for now with “David”, but I do have the vague intention to maybe try out some different skins at a later date. You can find some more technical information about the body on NX-Nardcotix website.