When I was asked to furnish and decorate a dining room in a mock Tudor house I pounced on the opportunity, as I hadn’t worked with that particular style before. Luckily I was allowed to go for a design scheme which has a Tudor feel to it, without having to stick to items that were true to the actual Tudor period, because I would have been hard pressed to find enough high quality mesh pieces that fit that description.
The heavy Casolare table from The Loft wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb in an actual Tudor house, but the accompanying draped chairs give this dining room an elegant modern touch without being too dainty. The place settings, table runner and candles also belong to the Casolare set and you can get the vase with roses from Ariskea’s Markeplace store. For the Persian rug I got busy with a full perm mesh rug, a picture of an antique rug and underlying normal and specular textures to make it pop. I didn’t have to think long about which chandelier I was going to use here, as the Classic Chandelier from Fancy Decor is a perfect fit for this room.
The owner of this home already made an excellent choice with the Apple Fall China Cabinet, which goes nicely with the Paris side table from ~Bazar~. A casual jug of Daffodils add a pop of colour while the fruit bowls and drinks tray with elder flower cordial suggest a healthy lifestyle (all from Apple Fall). The frame for the painting is from Fancy Decor and originally had a landscape in it (I think) but I’ve replaced it with a classic male nude.
This room needed something like the N4RS Bombe chest for storing silverware and table linens and as it’s the adult version, it adds a bit of spice to the space along with the sexy contemporary male nude paintings. Meanwhile the Birdcage Candles from Tartessos Arts cast a pleasing glow in this corner and the French Horn Planter from Dust Bunny was the perfect gacha item to add a touch of opulence to the scene.
This is not a very typical traditional dining room and it should not come as a surprise that it has a little cosy corner, which you might call a reading nook. However, the N4RS Dixon Wingback chair that lives in this corner is rather naughty, so I’m not sure that much reading will get done between dinner and hanky panky. The Recycled Ladder Bookshelf” from DaD DESIGN has a built-in light so it will be useful no matter what position you find yourself in. Should you for any reason find yourself on the floor at this side of the room then the Highland Hide Rug from The Loft is sure to offer some comfort. If you want to keep things PG, you can always nibble on a muffin and sip a cup of tea from Apple Fall which you will find waiting for you on a robust little side table from No Concept.
Like the ladder bookshelf, the Apple Fall Masculine Bar adds another rustic touch to the room. I stocked it with some nicely aged Dutchie wine so all I had to do was throw in the Roquefort Cheese Slate by Artisan Fantasy and I had myself a delightful wine and cheese evening. I admit that after all that, I still may have polished off a piece of the Apple Fall Fig & Blackberry Cake, because it was just so tempting. The frame and picture light are also from Apple Fall but I did replace the original artwork with somethings that’s in line with the male nude theme we’ve got going on in this dining room. To finish this corner and inject more formal atmosphere, I used Theory’s Chippendale Cabinet and Imari Bowl and Plates, but I replaced the texture of the cupboard doors at the bottom of this cabinet.
As I didn’t want to block the views of the garden or stop the daylight from coming in, I chose some low items to place by the windows:
I wasn’t sure at the start of this project where it was going to take me, but things started to get clear as soon as I tinted the wallpaper a rich dark red and found the dining table and chairs at The Loft. After that, filling in the gaps wasn’t difficult. I could have loaded the table, dresser and bar with more food and items, but there was a prim count to keep track off. I used a total of 132 prims, which isn’t too bad considering how much things there are to look at in this room. Right! And now time for some TV… Hmmm, an episode of The Tudors perhaps?
It’s time for a quicky, so just lay back, close your eyes and think of the motherland.
Left: Having recently purchased the EXMACHINA full avatar, I took another look at the Egoisme clothing line and was yet again baffled by the fact that much of their range bearing the “Exmachina” name wasn’t really made for this body. After trying on and discarding some items I eventually settled on a long t-shirt with a sexy diagonal zipper. I was able to make the fitmesh version work with some shape editing and paired it with the Broberry jeans and Chase sneakers from Deadwool.
Middle: From the current round of TMD I picked up a Tonktastic T-shirt and for something to combine it with I dove into my inventory and settled on the “Killer Pants” by Body Factory. To finish it off I simply changed the colours of the Deadwool sneakers.
Right: While I was at TMD I also picked up a new pair of chinos by Cold Ash and I then went over to the Cold Ash main store to see if they had something nice I could wear with them. I chose their “Sawyer” denim shirt as a suitable match and for shoes I went with the Deadwool “Dandy” shoes, by making the feet invisible and filling the tiny gap between the hem of the trousers and the top of the shoes with socks.
General impression: I tried on several items at TMD that simply don’t work with this body and I’m really missing some nice underwear options for it, so what the hell am I suppose to wear when I want to hang out at home and sing “today I don’t feel like doing anything”?
Egoisme first started wetting my appetite for their mesh bodies with an advert for the “bento ready” EXMACHINA Mesh Avatar in the L’Homme Magazine issue of November 2016. Apparently this body had already been in the works for a while at that point but I’m not sure if they were fully aware that it would take them another 10 months to get it ready for market and that meanwhile Belleza and NX-Nardcotix were going to beat them to the punch.
My usual landmark for Egoisme took me to some kind of Gothic castle. It turned out that this oversized construction was floating not very high above the Egoisme sim. Next to the vendors for the mesh body you will find a handy sign with teleport buttons to the apparel and skin departments down below. In my opinion it feels like a disjointed dysfunctional disassociated shopping experience and a school example of poor marketing.
There is a free version of the EXMACHINA body which is little more than a demo, because it doesn’t include any kind of hud, so what you see is exactly what you get and there are zero options. Let’s move on to the full version, which will set you back L$3990. For that money you get a mesh body with a mesh head attached to it, which does make it different from all the headless bodies I have stashed away up in the attic… eeehm… I mean safely stored in my inventory.
To my knowledge no 3rd party skins have been developed for this body yet so you will be stuck with one of the 4 skin tones included. Luckily I rather fancy one of the medium tones so I won’t moan too much about it for now. The package includes a pair of rigged eyes which for me fall in the category of “nice try but no cigar”. While we’re on the subject of dodgy execution, let’s say that there is a lot of room for improvement in the ears department. Then again, that seems a recurring issue with mesh heads, almost as if the creators aren’t listening to our input or aren’t hearing us (see what I did there). On the plus side: at least you can hide them with the hud.
The head is less responsive to the shape-editing sliders than for example the Catwa mesh heads and I was particularly unimpressed with how the eyes responded to my editing exercise. However, in my opinion the head is flexible enough to create a look that is quite different from the standard shape without looking freakish. The hud does not offer any options for eyebrows, freckles or makeup and you really need to pick up the free hairbase when you get the body, because it looks like that is the only one that will work for now.
Moving further down, I appreciate the musculature of this body. The pecs are well defined without being droopy, though perhaps the nipples could have been slightly less pointy. The upper- and lower arm ratio is better than that of some other mesh bodies and the elbows have been nicely worked out without taking it to the point that they collapse when you bend your arms. If you push the muscle slider to the max, the top of the biceps gets an angular appearance, so for those wanting a very big and muscular look… stick with the Aesthetic mesh body. I would describe the abs as dreamy but if that doesn’t sound masculine enough for your hetero normative ears, let’s just say they’re “woof”!
The legs are slightly problematic. Only the calves seem to respond to the leg muscle slider so you will be stuck with swimmer’s legs. Personally I don’t think this is a bad thing, but it is a limitation. What is a bad thing however, is the visible seam on the shins. I find this unacceptable! This fault is somewhat lost in the shadows in the pictures, but at times it was very visible. I can be positive about the backside though. The butt is a nice little bubble and while this bit of junk-in-da-trunk won’t be winning over anybody with a serious fetish for big butts, it does stand out proud and perky. You can of course make it much flatter, if such is your fancy. Move all the way down to the toes and you hit another bump in the road, because the feet don’t respond to the size slider. What’s up with that?
Right! Enough with the gratuitous nudity, it’s time to swap out the nasty ears with nice Mandala “Steking” mesh ears, pop in a pair of mesh eyes from Catwa, put on the “Haunting” hairstyle from Stealthic and take a look at some clothes for this body.
Left: Egoisme has been releasing several items under the Exmachina label for some time now. I mistakenly thought these would automatically fit this body, but the Exmachine jeans did not include a size made for it. The small size is an ok fit though, with some minor tweaks to my shape.
Middle: This shirt, suit trousers and shoes are all from Deadwool. Of course these weren’t made for the EXMACHINA avatar at all, but it wasn’t too much of a hassle to make it work. Tim Gunn would be proud.
Right: This jacket and trousers from Kauna work nicely too, as long as you’re willing to get your tweak on.
I hope that EXMACHINA and Egoisme will keep the updates and accessories coming for this body and perhaps make the hud a lot more user-friendly. For now I think I would give this one a score of a “soft” 7 out of 10.
The weather in Belgium has become quite fickle in this second week of my holiday. In the middle of a sudden very sunny spell you can find yourself in a freakishly local shower, just when you thought it was safe to remove your hoodie. I figured that if I was going to get wet in real life, I might as well head over to aQua in Second Life to see if that liquid little event has grown a bit since it’s previous edition.
After wandering around a bit, making a purchase and taking some pictures, I had a little rest in a club chair from Stockholm & Lima, which is kinda funny because I’ll be flying back to Stockholm at the end of this week… albeit not over Lima, unless the pilot makes some serious miscalculation. Enough jibber-jabbering! Lets take a closer look at some of the items our creative fellow SL residents are showcasing at this round of aQua.
Left: Sharp brought a pair of running shorts with a towel worn round the shoulders and a fitness/music technical thingamabob to go on your upper arm. If it weren’t for the towel this would be just another pair of running shorts, but as a set I rather liked this creation.
Middle: A pair of playfully spooky sneakers from Cult. I suppose this could be interpreted as a little wink to the upcoming Halloween season, because it will be here before you can say bubble bubble toil and trouble ten times fast.
Right: While the focus at aQua definitely isn’t on interior or decor, there are a couple of items on offer like this rustic set from Merak, which ties in nicely with the travel theme that seems to be the somewhat loose fil rouge for this edition of aQua.
Participants (in alphabetical order cause I’m a quasi pedantic nerdy lill’ bitch):
Bee Designs, Beusy, Cult, Diamandis, Doux, Gaia, Identity, Kenny Rolands, Krescendo, Lybra, MadPea, Mai Bilavio, Merak, Mesh India, Moda, Saga, Seven, Sharp, Stockholm & Lima.
Conclusion: There seem to be even less participants than last time and less unisex or male items. I know this event is still a bit wet behind the ears, but I was expecting more of this edition. Better luck next time aQua!
I’m enjoying a blissful couple of weeks off from work, spending time with friends and family and myself, leaving less time for Second Life blogging. Then again, Second Life is recreational, so of course I can squeeze in some SL time every now and again while I’m on holiday.
Shutterfield has a couple of rustic romantic outdoor creations that caught my attention. They’re currently on display at On9 but will of course be available from the Shutterfield main store once the event has ended.
While I was placing the Old Dock Ramp and Old Boat exactly where I wanted them, I got caught in heavy showers. My imagination allowed me to believe that it was the kind of rain that in the right company would be enjoyable and I remembered a scene from the 2005 movie Casanova… “Love? Love is something else. It’s the weather being good every day, because wind and rain are just another kind of good weather. That’s love.”
I think at some point in my life I must have been an old romantic at heart. Oy vey!
I spied with my little eye a little notification that Stray Dog’s applier for the Belleza’s “Jake” mesh body has been updated and it now recognises the body’s neck sheath. Even without the neck sheath skin matching wasn’t bad, but every bit of help is welcome and regular updates are better than a complete standstill (are you listening TMP?). Below is a side to side comparison of the applier in Tone #2 in region standard windlight at my Linden Home with zero editing, using the Belleza Jake body in combination with a Catwa mesh head.
As you can see it is still not a 100% perfect solution, but depending on the windlight the result can be pretty damn fine, so while I’m not exactly doing wild dances that would put the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest winner to shame, I am mildly chuffed with this update. Well done Stray Dog and well done with the overall sexiness of this applier in any case. Woof!
Notecard: “The Imaginarium has opened for its very first round! Filled with over 60 new gachas and unique exclusives, hundreds of deeply discounted items and dozens of gifts this event is sure to be one like no other!”
Landmark: The Imaginarium Event
I landed in the middle of what seemed to be a giant’s artist’s studio and half expected to hear a rumbling “fee fie foe fum…” but it turned out that there were only average sized people perusing the stands. Besides gacha sets, there were also plenty of items that could be bought in the good old direct way. There didn’t seem to be a specific theme for the items and it was a mix of clothing, hair, jewellery, decor and furniture. As usual male avatars were underrepresented and I’m not too sure about that claim of hundreds of deeply discounted items. Naturally I did not pick up any of the gifts for female avatars, so there could be some wee gems in there that I’m not aware off. I’ve lumped some bits and pieces together from the gift stash to take a picture and I’ rather charmed by the pineapple lamp and the cute little giraffe. There are worse ways to spend an hour or so in SL than by looking at cute stuff and getting freebies.
A while ago a friend told me that an acquaintance of a neighbour of the niece of his sister in law would be tapping me on the shoulder for some advice concerning the availability of suits for the Signature Gianni body. I rummaged through my wardrobe (underpants! so many underpants!) and looked at freebies as well as demos to put together some looks.
First let me get some technical information out of the way which for some of you will seem like I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs, but for others it may be an “aha!” moment (and then you’ll start humming the 80’s smash hit “Take On Me”). Please keep in mind that I’m just talking from experience here and I’m not fully aware of all the technical ins and outs.
Left: (Fitmesh) This Black Three-Piece Suit from Gabriel comes in a check and striped fabric with shorter and longer trouser legs (shorter version worn in this image). Depending on your usual butt-size, you may have to turn it down a little because this suit tends to exaggerate the derrière. Personally I also reduced my love handles, to create a sharper more tailored look. There seems to be a slight clipping issue in the neck area.
Middle: (Fitmesh) Switch things up with the Casual Blazer and the Original Chinos from Kalback. Perfect for a Starbucks date or casual Fridays at the job because sweetie, the sweatpants and crop top are not for work. NO! The jacket comes with a bunch of options for the shirt and t-shirt and the pair of chinos has several belts.
Right: (Standard Sizing) Get ready for autumn with this Grey-Black Suit complete with scarf from Gizza. It’s one of those all-in-on pieces and it’s a Group Gift at the moment.
Left: (Standard Sizing) If you like your legs lean and lanky, you may enjoy this silver 2BN Suit by Kauna. Without the alpha cuts I would be busting out of it at all sides and I noticed that my neck was poking through the collar every now and again.
Middle: (Standard Sizing & Fitmesh jeans) Here’s another sharp casual Friday option with the Ghoran blazer and shirt from FE Style and a pair of jeans from Deadwool. I always love it when I can get away with combining pieces from different creators.
Right: (Fitmesh) Whether you have an important meeting at work or you’re a guest at a high society wedding, you can’t go wrong with the Peak suit from Deadwool. You can even get a matching coat to arrive in truly fabulous style on cold evenings and of course everything is available in a range of colours.
Left: (Fitmesh) Let us stay with Deadwool for a little longer. There is a very snazzy and sharp tux version of the Peak suit that’s bound to make you the beau of the ball, if it weren’t for the fact that Deadwool is extremely popular among the suit-favoring crowd, so basically they’ll be lots of beaus to go round… Yay! The tux comes with its own hud with some colour options for the shirt, buttons, bow tie and pocket handkerchief.
Middle: (Standard Sizing) I’m not done with Deadwool yet! After all, they are dominating the suit baring community in SL. This is their aptly named Dandy suit. It’s not a perfect fit, as the Large version makes me look chunky but the Medium version clips on my wrists. However, I love the look of this suit and the extensive colour options for the tie, handkerchief and shirt, but I wish it was fitmesh.
Right: (Standard Sizing) I’m on the fence about this tweed suit from Hoorenbeek too. Much of what I said about the Dandy suit can be repeated here and while I do like the materials and the ribbon around the edge of the jacket, I think it could do with a big update.
Left: (Standard Sizing) The XIV Blazer, Trousers, Shirt and Vest can all be bought separately, allowing you to put together your own suit. Again, as it’s not fitmesh I do feel some displeasure with the shape, but overall it is a pretty sharp look. I went for a dark chocolate brown, but Kauna have some more extravagant colour options at their store.
Middle: (Signature size) A better option from Kauna for the Signature body is the more recently created UPCL Jacket & Jumper. The name doesn’t clearly mention it, but the package does include a pair of trousers. With the hud that comes with this outfit you can choose between a tan and a grey base colour which you then can tint, giving me this nice blue version.
Right: (Signature size) A little more flamboyant yet masculine is the Marc Jacket, combined with the Jack Cargo Pants by Ascend. In short: I love everything about this combination.
I’m sure there is more choice out there but I also feel there still is a gap in the market for well made interesting, edgy suits as well more classic designs.
Mesh body and mesh head by Signature.
Skin appliers by Stray Dog (note: the skin used on the mesh head is not currently available, but the body applier is).
Hair by Stealthic (black) and Burley (brown)
Sneakers and dress shoes by Deadwool.
Boots by Ascend.
Jockstrap by Noche.
Glam Closet (with altered textures for clothes) by Bazar.
Monday evening, 10:30 pm. It’s been a long day and I decided to brave the first-rush-lag of an event and get my kink on. That’s right, my ever so slightly slutty readers, Kinky Event has oiled (or lubed?) the hinges and has thrown its doors wide open again in a very welcoming gesture. Of course, as usual, it’s mostly the ladies that will be getting their kicks here. Or rather, they will be getting items out of which their partners most probably willget a kick too, so in a way there is something for everybody.
So I thought I’d have some fun with short first reaction comments on every participant this time, just because I’m feeling inspired, or is it enticed? I’ll be skipping some of the pictures though, because I think you should get your buxom behind over to Kinky Event before September 19th to check it all out for yourself and make sure you don’t miss out on this round.
After all that perusing I finally treated myself to the Noche crop top. I went for a combination of leather and sheer in red and black. It reminds me just a little bit of the Star Trek Next Generation uniforms so it tickles my nerd bone as well as my funny bone. Beam me up Scotty!
Weeks and months rush by, seeming to be in such a terrible hurry to get themselves behind me and yet days can have a tedious tendency to trudge, thus I find myself looking at the clock and calendar and realising that we are already about a week into a fresh round of Men Only Monthly and I haven’t even made ONE visit yet! Scandalous! Sure I have till 15th September, but who waits that long? I dusted off the good old TMP mesh body and head, put on one of my older wigs and whooshed over to The Men Only District. I thought it would be interesting to see how much support there still is for The Mesh Project’s body. So keep in mind that the comments below should all be seen in the light of the TMP body (no no, it’s not on full bright, it’s just a figure of speech).
I tried the hairstyle by Vango and found it lacking in the refinement we are currently seeing from other creators. On the plus side, the little hat is pretty sweet and some months ago I would have bought this.
The “Widower” tank top by [[Z:E:N]] was a black silky pleasure to slip into. I had to reduce the love handles on my shape to prevent clipping and I probably should tone down the muscle mass just to make sure, but I’m feeling all kinds of sexy in this.
FE Style brought a simple pair of shorts to this event, with a nice subtle pattern that doesn’t really show up in the navy version, which just happens to be the TMP demo. It’s clear that these will be more suitable for blokes with a flatter bum, because I kept busting the seams, even after reducing my butt size to 45.
Finding a bottom piece to wear with the sleeveless hoodie from Meva was a challenge. Every pair of jeans in my wardrobe I tried, was clipping and in the end only a skimpy pair of sweatpants (almost) worked. Perhaps you need to take a look at the rest of Meva’s collection to find something that really works with this top.
The layered “Jayden” top from Aitui is probably the kind of thing kids are wearing these days (oy vey, I’m getting old!) and the extra material and space at the bottom will make this easier to combine with whatever jeans and trousers you have in your wardrobe.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know I like my SL underwear (and if you haven’t been following it, why not?!) so I got a little bit excited at the booth of Loulou & Co, but felt disappointed at the sight of that very modest little bulge on their boxer briefs. Honey, if you’re going to design things for grown men, then please make them fully grown.
I would like to see some of the Etham pieces reworked with a little bit less extra space in the back. Everything looks comfortable and casual but the fabric stands away too far from my pixel butt, which is a shame because I do like the style and texturing of Etham’s collection and I did actually buy this jacket and t-shirt combination because I found it fitted better than usual.
The sweater from MG Men’s Store annoyingly kept clipping on my collar bone, which is a rare thing, cause with the TMP body it is often the back of the neck that’s causing the issues. I thought the alpha hud would blank out that part of the body, but apparently it doesn’t go up high enough to fix this.
Squeezing myself into Grabriel‘s skinny cotton pants required heavy duty use of the alpha hud and they made my legs look quite, well… skinny. However, these trousers are fit mesh. This means that after cranking up the leg muscles to 100%, my thighs looked slightly more chunky and I appeared to have calves again. I had to remove my feet to fit properly in the shoes, but at least there’s is no exposed ankle in this case, so it works.
The shirt with rolled up sleeves and a t-shirt from A&D works surprisingly well with the trousers from Gabriel and the texture hud for the fatpack is quite extensive. Interesting fact: sometimes when shirt collars are clipping on the neck of the TMP body, it can help to actually broaden the neck.
I am going to assume that the white jeans in the picture at Blank Line‘s booth work so well with this half tugged-in shirt because it is also available at their store (I’m guessing). A more marketing savvy person with any kind of understanding of cross-selling would at the very least mention this in a footnote on the poster. In any case I seemed to have clipping issues round the neck and shoulder again (see circle of shame).
The “Zeeba” sneakers from Native Urban did not include a TMP version, but the unrigged version was very easy to put on and adjust.
Last up is a pair of shorts by American Bazaar which didn’t really want to fit, even after some rather extensive shape editing. It’s a shame, because it looks like there are some cute textures in the hud and this was supposed to be a TMP version.
Participants: PM, Yasum Design, Soul, Vango, Ohëmo, The Oak, Petroff, XXY, Riot, Identity, Fli, 7 Mad Ravens, Secrets, Senses, Modern Clothing Co., [[Z:E:N]], FE Style, Meva, Grafica, Body Mod, Aitui, Loulou & Co, Hipster Style (by !BAAH!), Etham, Purple Poses, Real Evil, MG Men’s Store, Zoom, Lock & Tuft, Gabriel, Y-Ü, Animosity, Infinity, Cheeky, A&D Clothing, Volkstone, Unkwn, Mesange, Dappa, Avenge, Come Soon, Rebellion, Blank Line, Legal Insanity, Native Urban, American Bazaar.