I’ve always thought that I would love to live by the sea. There was a vague dream of saving up and retiring early to open a B&B somewhere on the coast – any coast really – but life is what happens in between plans. Over the years I have figured out that it’s not really about owning things but that life is for rent. I have realised that if you don’t exactly get to live your dream it never goes stale either. The silver lining is that you will never experience that anticlimax of having arrived at the final destination and thinking: “this is nice… NEEEEEXT!”
Regularly renting a modest cottage somewhere near the sea will go a long way to scratch that itch and keep the dream fresh. Second Life is perfect for recreating those dreams in virtual reality and escaping from the little rut you may find yourself in after a long day at work. Of course I’m not saying it is a satisfying replacement for the real thing, but at least it can help you get in a more relaxed mood and it doesn’t involve actual travelling. You can find a sweet little studio by the beach, enjoy the sunset and the soothing song of the crashing waves and the wind blowing through the dunes. Create a little comfortable nest for yourself out on the deck with a sofa, some old fur rugs and an outdoor fireplace to keep the cold at bay, when the nights start creeping up on you as summer nears its end. Most important of all, you should be with someone you really like.
Shutterfield will be showcasing the Coastal Sofa and Outdoor Fireplace at Shiny Shabby coming September. You can get their Garden Path and Garden Torches at the current round of On9, which runs till the end of August. If you like the whole outdoor/indoor vibe, you should check out Shutterfield’s main store.
The Man Cave event is now in its second edition and I’m a little relieved to find that it has not exploded from the manageable size it was in its first edition to another one of those huge beasts among the commercial events.
Participants: le primitif, Isuka, Vrsion, TonkTastic Industries/Hermony, Stray Dog, Identity, Onvair, Volkstone, Sync’d, Drot, Gutchi, NX-Nardcotix, Vexiin, Codex, Zoom, Shoeminati, Modulus, mind carlberg, MadPea, 220 ml, Speakeasy, Noir, Krescendo, 22769, Etham, Dappa, Fancy Decor, Sabotage, Kalback, Hxnor. That’s 30 creators in all, for those of you that get a tiny bit excited in the nether region over a bunch of numbers.
My first order of the day at this event was to take care of my little pet project, i.e. getting clothes for the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body. The creator of this body is participating in this event and is showcasing a new pair of shorts, specifically created for David, which of course means that they fit beautifully and make the most of this body’s ass-ets (pun intended). A single colour is L$ 250 and the 9-colour fatpack is L$ 1600.
I also got myself a bit of scruff from Volkstone. The beard is part applier (Catwa & Omega) and part tintable prim. Getting the prim part right was a bit of a kerfuffle, but I think that was mostly just me being pedantic. The price tag for this beard is L$ 345.
With a swish and flick of my magic wand, or just a click of the mouse, I switched to the Signature mesh body & head to broaden my range of shopping options. I snatched up a cute striped t-shirt from TonkTastic meets Hermony ($ 290). There are different sets available each with a mix of 12 colours and prints for L$ 2000 per set. This t-shirt also works for Aesthetic, Belleza, Slink and TMP mesh bodies as well as the classic avatar. Here my little shopping spree ended and now I have demos to delete and stuff to organise cause this inventory isn’t going to keep itself clean.
Just imagine someone flicking the switch on an oversized light beam, sending the TMD logo high up in the air and calling for all us crazy-ass SL fashionistas to congregate and cause serious lag at yet another monthly commercial event and the scene loaded with super hero pop culture references is set. Of course I don’t have a batty cave or a super car or a secret identity (do alts count?) nor do I have Michael Caine doddering around at my place, being my man servant. I just have a hunger for new stuff and an eagerness to take on the challenge of finding wearable items for the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body. The Mens Department event runs monthly from the 5th till the end of the month, so it was quite easy to get in at this time of the month.
I like it when a demo can be unpacked without having to rez a box on the ground or when the demo items land in your inventory ready to be worn. It means you don’t have to go home to put things on. The first thing I tried on right there and then at TMD (hence the DEMO markings) and which actually fitted with some help of the alpha hud, was a “blouson” jacket with a long t-shirt with side slits and a hood combined with a pair of layered pants with a geometric pattern. I imagine I’ll be seeing this outfit from Scars around on the grid quite at bit. The t-shirt was also available separately but wasn’t suitable for the David body.
Vale Koer has a new pair of sneakers and in a twist of annoying real life realisme, the demo box contained the right shoe only. I liked the shape, the detailing and the range of available colours but I’m not a fan of overly branded pieces. With the big fat VALE on my right foot and equally large KOER on my left foot, I would forever be marching to the tune of this brand and it would eventually drive me crazy (well, crazier).
Gizza brought a pop of colour to the event with their newest range of suits. Except for my hands and a small area of my neck, this suit completely covered the mesh body and dictated my shape. For my personal taste the back looked too boxy and the overall effect was just a little bit too cartoon-like, but I can see how some people might actually appreciate that style.
Stealthic is slowly expanding their range of hairstyles for men and are helping us to get ready for autumn with this boyish beany look. I recommend making your ears quite small (mine are at 40 in this shot) so you can make the beany fit tightly and avoid an awkward looking gap. I dived in my wardrobe and pulled out a sweater from Etham to complete the casual look.
As the focus for this visit to The Mens Department was yet another effort to expand the wardrobe for the David mesh body, it is only fitting that I finish this post by showing off the sandals NX-Nardcotix has created especially for this body. I was looking for some breezy footwear to go with the jumpsuits I got for this body some time last week. Mission accomplished! Always nice to finish a shopping trip on a high note.
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.”