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.
A previous post showed that my visit to Man Cave with the NX-Nardcotix mesh body was a bit of a bummer and ended in a bed which, come to think of it, was a happy ending after all. Determined to upon occasion champion one of the less popular mesh body’s in SL, I approached this round of The Mens Dept. with gritted teeth and a determination to come home with at least one new item of clothing. We’re now in the final week of the November round of TMD, so this was almost a last-minute power-shop, which is a speciality of mine in real life when it comes to grocery shopping. Of course there are a lot of clothes I could make work for this body, by extreme editing of my shape and making maximum use of the alpha hud, but the goal of this particular exercise was to find items for the NX-Nardcotix body which more or less respect my shape. I will spare you the disappointments and focus on the male fashion pieces I rather fancied.
I already had some winter wear items in my wardrobe from ::K:: and wasn’t at all surprised to find that they created another high quality tweed jacket complete with a warm sweater and shirt. A generous hud lets you choose from a range of colours for the knitwear and shirt, as well as a couple of button options. I am using the Signature version of this jacket and before I had blanked out the offending body parts with the alpha hud, it was very obvious that this jacket was not made for the NX-Nardcotix body, but all in all it’s a pretty pleasing fit.
Etham is one of the few brands that includes NX-Nardcotix versions in all of their latest creations. This jacket and hoodie combination is true to the sporty Etham style and fits the body quite well. Even if you only get one colour version, it still comes with several options for the hoodie. I was particularly pleased to see that these weren’t just plain colours but that there was also a nice camouflage pattern included in the hud and I appreciated the generous head space in the hood, allowing for a hairstyle of my choice… although a mohawk might prove a bit tricky.
Always uber stylish Gabriel came to TMD with a classic single-breasted coat, casually worn open to show a warm cardigan and t-shirt underneath. They brought along a pair of worn jeans, creating an overall slightly dishevelled but very comfortable look. As you can see, just like in the Alanis Morissette song, I’ve got one hand in my pocket. This means you need to blank out that hand. The slight problem with that where the NX-Nardcotix body is concerned, is that the fingernails are separate and even with the hands hidden, they are still visible. It is possible to tint or hide the fingernails via another tab in the body’s hud, but I was not able to hide them for one hand only, so the hand that remained visible with this coat had no finger nails. As you are always left with an indentation where the fingernails should be, from a distance it doesn’t look entirely strange, but it’s not ideal.
Of course you can wear the Gabriel jeans by themselves and I imagine they are made of perfectly distressed denim that feels super comfortable. Gabriel does not make NX-Nardcotix sized versions of their clothes, so I had to make do with the Signature version. To make the jeans fit I had to play around with my shape a bit, but for a very well-made item of clothing, I’m prepared to make a small compromise. Halfway happy is better than not happy at all.
Those of us who have popped on our Signature body lately, automatically got treated to yet another update. The Gianni body is now at version 4.4 and if you are nerdy enough to want to get into all the nitty gritty details of the update, you can take a look at the change log. The most notable change is the addition of auto alpha functionality for clothes and accessories. This means that if clothing creators care to pick up the auto alpha kit an work it into their new designs, we will be able to put on those clothes without ever touching the alpha hud, which sounds very easy-peasy. Meanwhile the current hud is already quite versatile. There used be a time that I craved the TMP body with a Signature-style hud. These days I think I’m just happy with the current version of the Gianni body as it is. Now I just keep my fingers crossed for those auto alpha clothes to hit the grid pretty soon.
One of the things I have come to enjoy doing with this blog is showing the possibilities of the free TMP mesh body in combination with the classic avatar head, a.k.a. system head. Partly because I realise that many people that are new to Second Life feel hesitant about spending money and others simply are on a tight entertainment budget. I understand that things become a bit scary when your cats start looking at your face with an unhealthy level of hunger in their eyes. At that point it’s probably wiser to go buy cat food rather than a mesh avatar. Another reason is that it makes me feel slightly mischievous, showing people how they can get more out of the free TMP body. Keep in mind that The Mesh Project hasn’t updated their body since they first launched the beta version about three years ago and it doesn’t look like they ever will update it. With the other choices we have today, I wouldn’t buy their L$ 5000 male mesh body, but I definitely do still think that the free body is a bit of cheap good-looking fun. For a more elaborate review of this free body, I refer to one of my older posts.
The skin you see on the body is one of its 30 built-in skin tones (No. 10) and for the system head I have used Ares by Akeruka. This system skin is a gift you can get by joining the Akeruka group, which costs L$ 150 at the moment. You will have to search for it in the Akeruka store, as the large poster for this gift is somewhat tucked away in a corner. For some the group joining fee may feel a bit hefty, but keep in mind that in the past half year, two new Akeruka male mesh heads have been offered as group gifts during the first two weeks after their release. Don’t forget to wear the TMP neck fader in the correct skin tone to create a nicely blended neckline.
The hairstyle is Itsuki by Argrace in almond tone. You can get a pack of 5 medium brown tones of this hairstyle for L$ 250.
For those moments that you just want to (and can!) hang out somewhere in your undies, you can go with the boxers that come for free with the body or splash out on a pair of Noche swim trunks for L$ 199. Total price for this look: L$ 599.
We have yet again reached the point where sadly I have to admit that except for underwear from various brands and all items from TMP’s own pricey clothing line, you cannot simply put clothes on this body without the skin poking through at all ends. But if you are wearing long sleeves, you can make good use of the mesh hands. Simply remove the body, the feet and the alpha layer, leaving on only the mesh hands; then use the alpha layer of a pair of gloves to hide your system hands. The seam on your underarm will be awful, but this will be hidden by the sleeves. You are now ready to put on some clothes, like the Tartan Denim Jacket from Fe Style. This is a previous hunt item and you can now buy it for L$ 10, just look for it at the reception desk. You can go a bit tartan crazy and combine the jacket with a pair of trousers that’s currently part of a group gift at Giz Seorn. The joining fee for this group is just L$ 50. This ensemble goes particularly well with a pair of boat shoes. For L$ 99 you can get a pair in 12 different colours from Roc, which is fabulous value for money. Total price for this look: L$ 559.
That’s my bit of penny pinching for today, but I might continue this “Easy on the budget and the eyes” series and I think it might be interesting to revisit the idea of the TMP body as “underwear model”. But now I want PIZZA!