Partridge in a Pear Tree – Episode 2

Those of you that have been around for a bit in Second Life, know that Christmas is a time that brings out the generosity in many creators and there are plenty of gifts to be found if you get off your glutenous ass and do some searching . One pretty easy peasy way to fill your treasure box is to make regular visits to Fox City…

Above you see the Noel Express Advent Calendar at Fox City.  Follow this calendar to collect all the gifts. You’ll find a free gift every two days at the participating stores. Each store has been allocated two days between 1 and 24 of December. Their gift will be available for free only during these two calendar days. After that, the participating store puts their gift under the shared region Christmas tree and there it will remain available at a discounted price until Christmas.

The first gift from the calendar at Fox City can be found at Bleich and it’s a rather wonderful pair of converse style sneakers in a Christmassy green with a candy cane striped trim and the typical Bleich tag.

Stay poised and makes sure you visit advent calendar sims daily and remember, Christmas isn’t about gifts… It’s about getting lots of free stuff!
Ho ho ho!

Partridge in a Pear Tree – Episode 1

Christmas in Second Life is a fabulous time for bargains and freebies. The holiday season often brings out the best in our creators and I imagine that most of the SL residents make an effort to join in with the festivities by ways of their outfit and/or decor. Rather than putting up a real Christmas tree, I wish I could just project Second Life onto white walls of a sparsely furnished room. It’s all just so colourful! I’ll be sharing some of the joy in the coming couple of weeks in pretty random blog posts, covering group gifts, advent calendars, hunts, Christmas shopping and whatever else I deem worth mentioning.

MadPea are back with their Christmas Calendar. For 500 L$ you get 25 items, which is bound to be good value for money. If you don’t like taking a risk, you can always wait till you’ve had a chance to see some more of the items before you make the purchase. The first item is a funny snowman Christmas countdown calendar with a carrot nose that moves along the dial as we get closer to D-day… or is it J-day.
Meva has an advent calendar for their group members. The group joining fee is 100 L$ and you need to show up each day to pick up the gift of the day or you’ll be losing out. I remember a lot of nice bracelets and a sexy tank top from last year’s Meva advent calendar. It’s worth the 100 L$ fee, if you’re in need of accessories and like their style.

If you want some silliness, you should check out the advent calendar at Abranimations. I’m not talking about the height of design here. You should expect things that are so wrong, they’re right. Take for example the Santa Rudolph Rider Avatar. If poor Rudy had anything to say about it, Santa would be on a diet.
7 Deadly S[k]ins always crank up their group joining fee to a whopping 1000 L$ just before they start off their advent calendar. If you like their skins but aren’t a group member, it possibly is worth the money to join, as you can expect a wide range of omega appliers and even system skins for both male and female avatars. I’m wearing the gift from the first box, the Tag skin on the Signature Gianni head. You will need to get the matching body applier, but chances are it will be in one of the other boxes. Make sure you go to the store every day to get the most out of it.
The Peace On Earth hunt has been a yearly event for quite some years now and counts over 100 contributors. I went over to Roawenwood to find their price.

That’s it for now. It’s time for me to roll myself in a duvet and go dream of snowy landscapes.

Akeruka’s male Deluxe heads are back

I’m happy to say that the Akeruka male Deluxe heads are back among the (second) living after having spent some time in limbo, due to what now looks like an unfounded copyright complaint. Rather than go on a rant about the perpetrators of this false accusation, I prefer to spend my time on playing with the Akeruka Leon head and sharing my results with you.

For this look I went with a skin from Akool, a creator I hadnever used before, and I’m having zero regrets. The Chris skin is a good fit for the Akeruka Leon head. I previously used this skin on the Exmachina Davide full avatar and it couldn’t really handle the fierce eyebrows. Leon is much better behaved with this skin, though of course the brow on this skin is quite strong. You can apply it without brows if you wish and a scattering of freckles is in included option too. For 899 L$ you get the Omega face applier as well as Omega, Belleza and Signature body appiers. I’m using the Signature Gianni body and everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be.

Credits

  • Akeruka Deluxe Leon mesh head
  • Akool Chris omega face applier, including Signature, Belleza and Omega body appliers
  • Signature Gianni mesh body
  • Shape is my own work
  • Mandala Season 5 Steking mesh ears
  • Stealthic Like Lust hair
  • Vokstone Craig facial hair
  • Noche Riley mesh u-briefs

Taking David to Men Only Monthly November/December 2018

The November / December round of the Men Only Monthly event started on 20th November and will run till 15th December. As so often before, I have made good use of the event for yet another one of my styling exercises with the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body. Let’s take a look at what I brought home.

Etham has a nice cardigan in their usual easy-going clean-cut style. If you want to find trousers and shoes to wear with it, the NX-Nardcotix Finlay cargos and Jude ankle boots are very suitable options. I recommend wearing the cardigan in TMP size and if you find it seems a bit tent-like in the back, you may want to decrease your butt size. Basically, I am telling you to suck. it. in.

Next I’m forgetting all about my real life climate (#climatechangedinial #alternativefacts) and I’m heading to Hades Love Island in new jogger jeans by Invictus. I have tried the Signature, TMP and Aesthetic size and all can be made to work by altering your shape in different ways. With the TMP size you need a big bum and a bit of a belly, with the Aesthetic size your legs needs to be muscular so the cuffs don’t cut into your ankles and with the Signature size it looks like you need to be overall a bit slimmer. It’s not a struggle free item as you can tell from this lengthy description, but I like the wrapped bandanna and drawstring details a lot.

Legal Insanity has a fabulous pair of overalls out at MOM this month. If you are wearing these overalls with the Jake, Gianni, Geralt, or Slink body you can go nipples-to-the-wind topless. Alas to make it work with David, you really do need the shirt. You will also need to lower your torso muscles if you don’t want your clavicles to cut into the shirt whenever you turn your head. Perhaps that makes this item more suitable for those that prefer a slimmer shape to begin with. The well crafted details on these overalls make up for its shortcomings. The accompanying hud with several colour options for the t-shirt, let’s you match it up with your shoes, like I did here with the Not So Bad Tom sneakers.

Next we’re plunging into deep winter with a warm down jacket by Hypnotik. There don’t seem to be any particular fitting issues with this one. The Gianni size works nicely and there’s a hud for the t-shirt colour. I’m combining this jacket with a pair of jeans by FE Style, adorned with straps and a pocket. This is one of the brands that include a Nardcotix size, so of course these jeans are a perfect fit. I’m wearing the NX-Nardcotix Gideon boots with this outfit, partly because it’s fun to wear bright red shoes in the snow, but also because these boots include a cut version that fits perfectly under the jeans.

You can also find the playful two-tone Zack hairstyle by Vango at MOM and if you’re partial to neatly kept facial hair, you should check out the Trimmed beard by Birth at the event. The skin I’m wearing is Benjamin by Birth and you can find it at their main store. It has it’s own optional hair base, which happens to work well with the Vango hair. The head I’ve used for this look is the Catwa Stanley bento mesh head.

This concludes the styling exercise of David @ MOM for this round, for now. Have fun shopping and making it all work.

Castor Cottage – Episode 2

In the previous episode we took a look at the outside of the Chillmark House by Brook Hill Living and went inside to snoop around for a bit, to see what kind of furnishings I used in one corner of the large entrance hall. This is the central hall of the house, flanked by a spacious kitchen on the right and an ample living room on the left. It isn’t so much an entrance hall as an extra reception room.

Castor House III blog

Moving on to another corner of the hall, you can see I used the Fancy Decor Striped Storage Bench and a large painting to almost mirror the first corner of the room. I tinted the cushions on the bench to match the room’s colour scheme, cause I’m fastidious that way. The frame is by Fancy Decor, but I replaced the artwork with “Summer Faun” by Carlos Barahona. Between the two windows you see  an elegant frame By Apple Fall that originally had a botanical study in it, but now is showing “Merab’s Beauty” by Mel Odom. Underneath that frame I placed a wooden trunk by Apple Fall. This originally has a simple somewhat tatty white cloth on it, which I re-textured with a rich fabric . The trunk offers a good spot for a plant, like the button fern by Vespertine.

Castor House IV blog

In the centre of the room I have placed a large round table, which comes with a round rug. It is by N4RS and has lots of naughty animations in it, cause the days that such things are limited to the bedroom are long behind us… Actually, I don’t think those days ever existed. Don’t get me started on the Victorians! They were well raunchy! Such a table of course needs a nice big centre piece such as the pink medinilla plant by Dust Bunny. The central light in this room comes from the Apple Fall Kingsbury Pendant Lamp.

Against the stair wall we see a chest of drawers by Anhelo, that almost could function as a desk and is a very typical piece for this kind of room. The books are part of this item and I’ve used a vase with beautifully romantic roses by Apple Fall and a table lamp by Thistle to fill the empty space.

Castor House V blog

An elegant grandfather clock flanked by a pair of beautifully crafted lyre chairs by Fancy Decor was just the kind of thing that wall needed.

Castor House VI blog

One corner has been decorated as a comfortable space for reading the newspaper or a book. Just imagine sinking into that old Apple Fall Oxford Wingback Chair with plenty of light to read by, either from the large window during the day or the Tromp Loeil Antique Floor Lamp when it gets dark. You’ve got the small Apple Fall Occasional Table for putting your cup of tea on and you’re nice an close to a little radiator by Floorplan & Brocante in case it’s getting a bit chilly outside. That wall would have looked empty without some artwork, so I used the frame from the Apple Fall botanical study again and found another painting by Mel Odom to fill it with. The large Ficus Rubber Plant by Vespertine ads a green touch to this corner.

Castor House VII blog

Now we bring the tour of this hall to a close with the final corner. Here you find a small bench by Shutter Field, which leaves enough room so you can open the cupboard door under the staircase, cause you’ve gotta stash Harry Potter somewhere, right? I’ve got a stack of books by Nutmeg and I’m gonna read them all! (yeah, right). There’s a rug by Artisan Fantasy to keep my feet warm and a little shelf with old pictures by Apple Fall to add some character. Finally the last much needed green touch is provided by a large ponytail palm by Soy.

That’s it for now. The tour will continue in the next episode. Don’t forget to tip your tour guide.

 

Another Fairy Day – Episode 2

Should fairy wings always be more insect like, or can they be feathered? Personally I think anything goes. Free your mind and the rest will follow! Which brings me to the fact that often you will need to look beyond the sales poster for some items, as they will only be shown on a female avatar. While I don’t dabble in cross dressing in real life, I’m also not one of those guys that start to hyperventilate if a clothing store doesn’t have a very clear division between the men’s and women’s department. Heaven forbid they should like something that wasn’t specifically made for them! The horror!

Another Fairy Day III blog

The Gorean set by Thirst, available at the November round of Romp till the 24th, is fancy full enough for a fairy look. You can leave of the armour for a softer appearance, though of course fairies can be tough warriors too. I particularly like the fur wrap around my waist, as it leaves my butt cheeks less exposed than if I’d just be wearing the leather “loin jock”. A wee bit of modesty is very becoming for a fairy and moreover, the fluffy fur helps to keep my buttocks warm in these chilly conditions. Right! And now I’m flying out of here!

Shown on Belleza Jake mesh body with Catwa Stanley head, Stray Dog Zack skin, Stealthic Hysteria hair and Mandala mesh ears. Wings by Blueberry. Picture taken at The Outer Garden.

Romp November 2018

There’s no use in beating around the trimmed bush, there is a lot of pixel rumpy pumpy going on in SL and even if the visuals of virtual coitus utterly fail to entice you and the very idea of moaning sweet nothings in your mike makes you vomit a little in your mouth, you may still appreciate the outfits made with only the smallest possible amount of fabric. For the ladies it usually comes down to a bra that’s like two delicate tissues held together with floss, and panties that slice your muffin top into a hamburger bun. For the gents, there is an assortment of thongs and jockstraps out there on the grid, but often when there’s an event that specialises in this kind of thing, there will be one male item against ten female items. I guess the male avatars don’t release the creative juices as much as the ladies.

Romp blog

One of these sexy events is called Romp and I think this is the first time I could be bothered to visit it. It started on 10th November and it was quiet during my visit today, so I have no complaints about lag. It will run until 24th November, so you still have plenty of time to go check it out. There’s a good mix of adult furniture, lots of lingerie and little dresses for the ladies and as predicted, just a couple of items for male avatars.

One of my sponsors, THIRST, has launched a new Gorean set at Romp, which was my main reason for visiting the event. I wanted to check out their display before committing to this set and I was NOT disappointed.

Running from Paradise blog

The Gorean set is rigged for the Belleza Jake body only and if you’re going to wear the hauberk, your body fat should not be over 10%. No, I’m not fat shaming, it is what it is. Speaking of things being what they are, I googled “hauberk” and this thing doesn’t come even close to what that is supposed look like, but I think I prefer Thirst’s interpretation. The “loin jock” comes in two sizes. There’s the modest “subtle” one and the more in-your-face “bold” one. Everything comes with a hud with several texture options for each item, so you can have lots of fun mixing and matching. Once Romp has finished, you can head over to the Thirst main store to grab this set.

Shown on Belleza Jake mesh body with Catwa Stanley head, Stray Dog Erwin skin, Stealthic Reach hair and Mandala mesh ears.

Castor Cottage – Episode 1

In the spring and summer of 2018 I was living my Second Life at a lovely house I’ve named Castor Cottage (Castor is the scientific name for beavers). A friend let me rent the grounds and house at a very competitive price and he wasn’t too fussy about prims. On top of that generosity, he has the added benefit of being quite adept at creating a pleasing landscape. For now he’s taking a sabbatical from virtual life and sadly that sweet corner of SL has gone “poof”, but I took plenty of pictures to help preserve the memories.

Castor House I blog

I have no idea where all the trees and plants came from, but I know you can get yourself some fluffy cows at Jian. The house is from Brook Hill Living and the hammock is a deconstructed version of one you can get from MadPea.

Now let’s head inside and take a look at the large entrance hall that runs straight through to the other side of the house and onto a nice deck.

Castor House II blog

The Brook Hill house allows you to change the wallpaper while keeping the shadows, but it is quite tricky to click the correct layer and even more so to line up patterns in the corners. Don’t bother trying to find this wallpaper anywhere on the grid or in Marketplace, as I usually look for patterns online. This corner of the entrance hall is right at the front door, so it makes sense to have the Fancy Decor Hasting Bench for something to sit on while you’re putting on your shoes. This type of bench would most probably offer storage space under the seat in real life, so it is perfect for hallways. For even more storage there is the Digs Albany Dresser which comes in a bunch of colours. To give the area a more realistic feel, one needs typical hallway items such as Fancy Decor rain boots, the Dusty Bunny old backpack from their Storybook Living gacha set and a cane stand from 8f8, which most probably is a gacha item I snatched up from Marketplace. As you will undoubtedly need somewhere to hang your coats, there’s a framed Irish blessing with hangers and a handy shopping bag from Chez Moi. Add the Apple Fall Pyracantha Berries in a Glazed Pot, the Brook Hill Living Tisburry box and a wallet with car keys from TA Concept and this area really starts to look lived in. Of course you will need a light source to see what you are doing and something like the antique wall sconce from a Schultz Bros. gacha set goes nicely over a dresser. Finally there’s a nice chunky piece of art. This frame by Apple Fall originally holds another nice classic landscape, but I enjoy looking around on the internet for suitable artwork to replace it with, in this case a piece by Swedish painter Richard Bergh entitled Swedish Summer Evening.

That’s it for now. There still is a lot of furniture to cover in this large entrance hall and I’ll be serving you the episodes for this series in bite size portions.

Exmachina Davide 5.0 – Episode 2

At the end of the previous post, we left Davide strutting his stuff in a colourful thong and I made a vague promise to show him with another skin the next time. I also mentioned that I have been seeing nipple displacement with all of the Omega appliers I tested on this body and that I was going to take a look at add-on mesh nipples as a solution for this. I tried and I failed. None of the nipples I looked at covered up the issue nicely without looking too big for my taste. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

ExMachina 5 - 2 blog

Personally I regard Davide’s face with this Chris skin by Akool as a definite winner. I do enjoy working with the underdogs among the mesh bodies and heads and like achieving a look that is quite different from the more popular mesh and skin combinations. The eyebrows on this skin are very heavy, but it comes with a no-brows version, which is what I used. That just leaves the pain of adding brows, a hair base and beard , with one knocking out the other till you have just about tried everything and are getting dangerously close to shouting at your screen. I got there in the end, but I’m not really sure how. Of course, with the luscious locks from Dura I have chosen for this look, I didn’t really need a hair base, but I like to know that it’s there. The skin does something weird to the nails, but you can apply the original nails from the body’s own hud and tint them to your liking.

Credits

  • Exmachina Davide avatar (L$ 3800)
  • Akool Chris Omega applier (L$ 1399, includes Omega, Signature and Belleza body applier)
  • Volkstone Craig facial hair (it was a hunt item, but check out their store for similar beards)
  • IDTTY Real eyebrows (L$ 250)
  • Dura B&G 81, fatpack #2 (L$ 300)
  • Boycott harry briefs (L$ 199)

Exmachina Davide 5.0

I checked up on the Exmachina avatar and discovered that there has been another update. We’re at version 5.0 now. For this version a button for the wardrobe system has been added to the main hud. This system allows you to save the changes you make in the alpha hud for each item of clothing, so that the next time you put it on, the item will be recognised and whatever body parts need to be blanked out will automatically disappear. According to the change log some minor bugs were fixed as well and the rigging of the face has been improved to better support animations.

Exmachina 5 - 1 blog

After struggling to put on a hair base, a pair of thicker eyebrows and a beard I managed to get this 5.0 version to look like the previous one. My experience of applying things like these to other mesh heads has been much smoother, even with the complicated Catwa heads. I’m really not sure how I got it to work in the end and that’s never a reassuring feeling, right?
Alas when it comes to underwear, nothing new has been rigged for this body lately and I have resorted to experimenting again with something unrigged like the Roco thong by Mat Kungler Atelier. It takes a lot of stretching and pulling to make this thong work and in the end it still isn’t a perfect fit, but at least it’s got a ton of texture options and a bulge that will bring tears to your eyes. It also has a built-in willy and if you want to be able to stretch the thong in individual directions, you need to click “edit linked” first and then click the thong. Once you’ve resized it to your liking, you can click the penis if needed an resize it separately. MK also has an interesting pair of “Adverse” boots, in Converse style. I’m wearing the TMP size, which seems to work nicely, with my feet and part of my legs made invisible of course.

I want to try some other skins on this avatar, but at the moment I am struggling to find something without nipple displacement. Perhaps I need to try separate add-on nipples as a stop gap solution… to be continued!

Credits