Monday, 31 December 2007

Aphrodite's Serenity

It wasn't so long ago that I was commenting (ok, whinging) about the sometimes extortionate price some designers charge for their shoes in Second Life on another blog. I don't think you will be able to make the same complaint about the shoes I'm going to show you today, they are a mere L$150 a pair. Of sculptie shoes. And they aren't just cobbled together (geddit?) either. They are actually pretty damn good.


Aphrodite's Creations
Greyceful Dress (Apple) & Serenity Shoes (Light Green)

I've been a fan of Aphrodite Creations for a while now, since Winter Wonder was released, and met Aphrodite Outlander, the designer, when I visited the store to pick up a copy. She couldn't have been more kind or more helpful. I've since kept an eye out for any new releases, and snapped each of them up. So I was thrilled when she dropped me a pair of her newest release this morning, the Serenity Shoe.

Oftentimes I find that designers tend to be good at one thing and not so hot on another. Excellent clothes designers tend to be not so great when it comes to shoes, hats and so forth. So, I must admit, my expectations weren't high. I was very pleasantly surprised that this doesn't seem to be the case with Aphrodite. In fact, I'd go as far as to say, these shoes are on par with some of the well known & successful shoe designers in SL.


AC Serenity Shoe :: Colour Options

The Serenity Shoe comes in 11 jewel-toned colours that match perfectly with both her own clothing range and the colours other designers are using this season. At L$150 a pair, or L$1250 for the fatpack (almost 25% off!) you have absolutely no reason not to have the perfect footwear for your party frock this New Year! I'll certainly be wearing a pair!


Happy New Year Everyone!

What I'm Wearing ::
Skin :: Series 2 Female Skin ** Special Ed. ** :: DUTCH TOUCH :: (free)
Hair :: Calla Mistletoe Bleached Blondes (Wheat)
Eyelashes :: Cake - Bedroom Lashes - Tintable
Eyes :: Skin Deep real hazel eye SO
Nails :: Skin Within [SW] Creme Manicure
Dress (bottom picture) :: *Punch Drunk*Glam Rock Dress (Teal)
Necklace (Bottom picture) :: Swallowtail Tear Drop Chain necklace!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Hug-fest!

Yesterday saw the début of Random Calliope's newest design, The Amandote!, a truly sensual set of wearable art that celebrates self and one's own sexuality.

I was humbled to read that Random drew some inspiration for the design from his friendship with me and the times we've gone dancing. He is a dear friend and a truly beautiful person. I was also honoured to be involved in it's release - the event took place at my club, Popeye's. And what an event! For over two hours the hugging didn't cease - 1800+ hugs were given in that short time! It was a sight to behold. Slightly chaotic to host, I'll admit, but the love that filled the place was palpable.

One of the 18 different coloured sets of necklace, earrings, bracelet and ring is given away randomly (geddit!) when you recieve a hug from someone wearing the specially designed hugger, scripted by Desdemona Enfield. The hugger itself is a work of art, taking the form of a small red heart which attaches to the left pectoral region, buried deep within the chest, representing "trust, protection, giving, needing, taking." These are also freely available, so anyone may give away this wonderful gift.

Since the debut event I've not removed my Amandote! hugger, and have been randomly offering hugs to strangers in the vicinity of wherever I happen to be. And therein lays a tale. I, like many others, spend a few minutes each morning whizzing around the grid collecting the daily advent gifts from generous creators such as Nefaria Abel (Ivalde), Britneyj Crimson (Second Mirage) and Ninja Petion & Zoey Pinkdot of Digital Dragon Designs. There are many others that do similarly. My gift gathering has taken me a little longer these past two days though, as I have stopped at each location and sought out someone to hug, spreading the love this holiday season and leaving the gift Random has enabled. Reactions have been many and varied, but largely fall into two categories. Those who would never refuse a hug despite being slightly bemused even from a strange and potentially crazy woman (ok, not potentially, hehe). These folk tend to hug in return and are thrilled with the gift they receive. But the other half (and it is roughly half) look taken aback, if not slightly offended, at my simple "Hi X, may I give you a hug?" as if I might suddenly turn into an evil vampire and suck all their pixelated blood before selling their soul to the devil.

I could, of course, tell them in advance they will be rewarded for the simple act of warmth with gems which, if sold, would undoubtedly be worth thousands of Lindens. I'm sure they'd jump at the chance then, knowing the hug would be lucrative. But I feel it shouldn't be about the jewels per se, the reward is the received hug first and foremost, the shared moment of care, kindness, joy, honour, acceptance. So I don't, and won't, pre-warn. People will catch on, in time, and the pleasure I get from their glee when given the gift will perhaps be less, but for now it gives me joy. Maybe this will go some way towards softening hearts, teaching us that when we let people in, allow them to show us kindness and care, we are rewarded in ways as yet unseen.

So thank you Random. Not just for the jewellery, as magnificent as it is. Not just for your generosity, as boundless as it can be. But for the joy of giving that you have enabled. Your gift extends far past prims, past the hugger you have fashioned to reside within my avatars chest, right into my living, beating, loving heart.


Amandote! Huggers available from ::

Thursday, 20 December 2007

:: THE SOLSTICE SALSA :: The Amandote! Debut


Popeye's Beach Club is thrilled to announce that on Saturday 22nd Dec, 8am - 10am SLT, we will be hosting a special event ::THE SOLSTICE SALSA::

This event will see the debut of SL jewellery designer and artist, Random Calliope's newest design, the Amandote! The Amandote!, which comes in 18 colours, celebrates love of oneself as depicted by the dance, the Salsa. Sets of will be given away during the event by Random Calliope himself for the hefty price of....a HUG!

Dress in your finest Salsa dress and dance to music provided by our Live DJ, Gruran Solomon while you find out how Popeye's earned it's reputation as "The friendliest club in Second Life".


Popeye's Beach Club is a venue for the 2007 Winter Festival. Furries, Tiny's, BDSM, GBLT all welcome. Ice skating. Skoopf Vendor. Local shopping including Style Your Destiny, LaynieWear, Vintage Reproductions, and Evolution Creations & Mystics. Skydive SL.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Christmas Shopping Finds



As tired as you might be after spending a day shopping, the best bit just HAS to be getting home and delving into the myriads of shopping bags to try on your new purchases. With the plethora of gifts and goodies around in this pre-Christmas season it had been a while since I'd had a chance to do such, so it was with much glee that I sorted out my inventory this morning, regaining some of it's normally meticulous order and trying on items as I went.

One of the fun things about this is the sometimes bizarre combinations I end up wearing, with things go on as I get to them. Mismatched hair with mismatched skin, with an ill-fitting hat and mismatched shoes. It's at times like this that I'm happy none of my friends call round unannounced! However, every now and then this randomness creates a winner, and one such happy accident was how the outfit below was born.





The dress/jacket combo is from Cover Girl, a small boutique in a Japanese sim. I'd seen another outfit reviewed elsewhere and went to check it out, but fell in love with the jacket in this set - it looks so soft I can almost feel my fingers sinking into it's fluffiness. I'm not particularly a fan of white, or lace, but the layering on this dress works well. The tights in the centre picture are from another Cover Girl outfit, but they work well here. However I think I prefer the retro-geometry of Bijou's "Stocking E" in pink, shown in the images to the top & bottom .

It takes quite something to get me away from my trademark platinum blonde locks, but as I attached Calla's new "Christmas Rose" demo in Dark Mahogany I knew it was perfect for this. The white of the rose lifts the look, tying in colours and adding a little charm. I picked up the necklace and bracelet at another Japanese boutique, Untone. The earrings are from Shiny Things' Nighttime Gems set.

I couldn't decide which boots I preferred as each give it the look a slightly different vibe, so I've included three variations; the gorgeously funky Chunky Ribbon Boots from Shiny Things in white and pink, Armidi Gisaci Unisex Classic Moccas in red and PixelDolls' LunaViola Basic Boot. We are truly spoilt with the number of fabulous boots around at the moment.

The overall look puts me in mind of something you'd wear to meet your boyfriend's parents for the first time - cutesy girlishness with an underlying kick-ass attitude. Now I just need the boyfriend!

Meet My Daemon



The Golden Compass, the new film staring Nicole Kidman, speaks of a world where every person has an animal that represents their soul. You can find your own daemon by clicking here. Mine is apparently a Hare - modest, inquisitive, humble, competitive & responsible Could you take a few moments to confirm if this is accurate... or not. I'm not really sure about the modest bit (or the responsible bit come to that!).

Friday, 23 November 2007

Warm Fuzzy Feelings

Ever felt in the mood to sit outside in the wintry sun, the cold air softly biting at your cheeks as you drift off with your thoughts, filled with all sorts of unspoken inner yumminess? Well that's just the way I've been feeling these last few days, so I decided to wrap up warm and head out into the metaverse in search of solitude and serenity with which to indulge myself, whilst you yanks were busy over-indulging.


The Elven sims were one of the first sims I ever explored in SL, the many years I spent playing a high level elven enchantress on EQ never far from my heart, so a revisit was in order. Things change fast in this world, and what were (if I recall correctly) only 4 sims on my last visit has now grown to a small continent of fae/elven role-playing sims, many of which are currently blanketed in snow, adding to the romantic ambience of these nature-inspired lands. I was in my element, and the elements, as you can see from the pictures below.

Dreaming...

Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Feeling Small...

Watched


Oh, the outfit! Sorry, I drifted off with my thoughts there ;-)

Someone recently described me as having "giddy girlishness". Hmmm.... Whatever I think about that statement (/me rolls her eyes) it was the inspiration of this look, and fitted perfectly with my mood of feminine wistful happiness.

The coat, by the fabulous and fabulously named GRANDMA is warm and snuggly with a beautiful Chinoiserie-inspired pattern, perfectly aligned between system and prim layers. The sculptie sleeves needed tweaking a little for my shape, in fact I wondered if the cuffs on the jacket layer were perhaps a little too deep as the brown fur came almost to my elbow, but this is a minor quibble. It took me a while to decide what to wear on my lower half, trying and discarding over a dozen ideas, then finally plumping for the simplicity of PERSONA's woolen [sic] tights in pale blue. Ugg boots are a favourite of mine in RL, although I wear them without socks whenever possible so I can bury my toes in the soft sheepskin, exquisite! Eponymous Trenchmouth's SL reproduction, the "Ugh Boot" doesn't disappoint. The hair, with colour change hat, is Amber by ETD, perfect for chillier SL days, and the skin is the perfectly girlie Celestial/Astral Vogue skin in Amber from Deviant Nation. The look is finished with arguably the most perfect pearl earrings in SL, part of the Mama Harper range by Random Calliope - I adore them.




Monday, 19 November 2007

Toot Toot!

One of the drawbacks, I am realising, of doing this blog is that I am giving all my secrets away (damn), but I'd not be doing my job properly if I didn't talk about the fantastic crafted and incredibly humorous creations of Tooter Claxton.

Tooter's store isn't one that you come across by accident, and at first glance it's quite unassuming.... until it starts talking to you. Attention thus being grabbed, it is clear that this is no ordinary roadside (or in this case, railside) seller. Oh no. One clearly needs one's sense of humour fully intact and switched on.



Tooter sells avatars, and vehicles. Not a huge number of either, all lined up in vendors with huge animated images, floating text and prices blazing down at you. They take the form of magazines propped up on a rusty old newstand, outside a run-down gin-joint. It is as you zoom in that you realise they really are something not to be missed, especially as you do a double take at the prices (L$50-L$250 per avatar).

Extraordinary avatars call for extraordinary locations to be done true justice, I'm sure you will agree, so I took a little trip to a couple of my favourite sims, Tableau and Fluid, to flex my photographic muscles. I'm sure you will agree, it was worth the teleport-crash-teleport-crash cycle that ensued. I have selected a handful of avatars, ranging from the hilarious to the nauseating to give you a taster. Those of a nervous disposition should look away now.

Kicking us off is the hilarious "Your Aunt" who comes complete with iron and an ironing board typing animation. The severe beehive, hairy wrists and specs, complete with neck chain, are the perfect antidote to the plethora of barbie-esque beauties that swamp the grid.


"Why They Have To Add Wrinkles I'll Never Know..."

The "Bug" and the "Fly" are immaculately textured and truly quite grotesque - not for the squeamish! But aren't they great!


A Bug's Life


No Flies On Me

One of my favourites has to be the "Voodoo Doll", not least because of the fun I had getting the photo's. As I was taking these images two innocent explorers/bounty hunters chanced upon me and alone, silent and still as I was, adjusting my camera angle for that perfect shot, presumed I was part of the décor. You can imagine their reaction when I went "Boo!" :-D


"Boo!"

I'll not tell you who I imagined sticking pins into.... I'm sure it wasn't you.... *cough*


Once Tenshi Had Left It Was Safe To Get The Voodoo Doll BackOut

And with Thanksgiving only a few days away, I just HAD to show you the chook. This comes in two versions - fully feathered or the pre-prepared oven-ready plucked variety.


"Whaddaya mean, I'm plucked?"

After the discussions at Orange Island's Identity Summit last Friday, I'm left now wondering which of these fabulous avatars best represents my "brand". I'll leave you to make your own suggestions on that, but whichever of these you choose you can bet it would more than pay for itself were you to enter a themed avatar contest - but more on that in my next blog, "Skinkie's Guide to Winning" [working title] for all you party goers out there.

A Quick Note Re: Photographs

All snapshots used on this blog are, unless otherwise stated, taken by myself in-world and unedited other than cropping/resizing. This is intended to allow you to see how the outfit/costume/avatar really looks in-world.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Epic Snail of Doom-ness

Or, as I more affectionately like to call it, the "Snorse."

A couple of days ago as I teleported into Popeye's (the club I manage) I was confronted by the MOST bizarre and funny thing I've seen in a while! A couple of minutes schmoozing later and I had procured one for myself! What, you ask? I'll let the pictures do the talking.




Epic Snail of Doom-ness::Original

The "Epic Snail of Doom-ness" was made by Ian Everidge and is worn as an attachment to your tush. As you slime around the metaverse it emits a fabulous clip-clopping noise (which seems so much more bearable on this than in expensive shoes) and the occasional whinny of a contented pony. Even more fabulous is that it is fully modifyable, so you can recolour and re-texture to your little heart's content! I just had to make a purple version, and...well...it was screaming out to be Torley-fied, don't you agree?


Epic Snail of Doom-ness::Orchid and Watermelon Versions

OK, it isn't the most perfect bit of prim-work I've ever seen, and the texturing would make any fashonista worth her pixels squirm, but heck, it's fun! And isn't that what SL is about? I *LOVE* it!!!

And great news :: Ian has given me permission to give this away to blog readers for FREE! I've put an original out in a box at Popeye's together with the two recolours shown above, so tp over and pick yours up now!

What I'm wearing::
*Skin::Vogue Skin, Autumn No.3, Celestial Studios
*Hair::Maitreya, Mica-Blond Glow
*Coat::Long Mouton in brown, BareRose
*Skirt::Paper Couture, Libations skirt
*Scarf::artilleri, silky scarf, brown
*Boots::Nastasha Boots in Camel, Insolence

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Bollywood


One would expect that in a metaverse such as SL it would be easy to find attire from every continent of the Real World. Whilst western fashions to suit all tastes, from haute couture to guttersnipe grunge, can be widely found, you can find more Indian Sari shops in a single UK city street than the whole of the Grid. So dressing for a Bollywood-themed event wasn't as simple as it first seemed.

A search for "bollywood" seemed like a good place to start, especially when I quickly found a whole sim of that very name. Sadly, that initial promise soon waned as the sim, beautiful as it is, yielded only a freebie Gandhi outfit as far as clothing goes. Not *quite* the look I was going for. Bollywood is worth visiting for the atmosphere and Indian architecture though. Eventually I found two shops that looked promising - Mashooka Designs and Desi Beatz Apparel.

Desi Beatz comprises three small vendor spaces in a mini-mall surrounding a club of the same name, all owned by Sam1177 Alito - you really would be forgiven for missing it. But don't let the outward appearance put you off. The content on sale is excellent. All things for the Indian female can be found here, from bindi's (the little spots worn on the forehead by Hindi women) and mehendi (henna tattoo's), to beautifully coloured and textured shalwar, kurta (tunics), lehenga and saree. Some of the prim work isn't as great as it could be - the shoulder scarf for example don't fall correctly. But that is a minor fault. The prices are very reasonable, averaging L$300 for an outfit, L$40-100 per bindi.


Mashooka Designs has a much more upmarket feel to it, being a far larger store with western as well as Indian clothing and shoes. The range of clothing feels much larger as well, although this may be due to the clearer layout and labelling. I felt there was a western influence to some of the textures used by Aradhana Voight, Mashooka's designer, which may make the flattering styles more appealing to the masses, but wasn't so much what I was looking for. I still managed to spend far more than my weekly in-world wage there though!

Having decided on a lehenga from Desi Beatz Apparel for my Bollywood costume, I needed to find an appropriate skin. NOT an easy find. I eventually plumped for the Eros range from Nomine in the Ruddy complexion, which, with a little slider tweaking, provided the look I was after. My look was finished with Alexandra hair in Black from ETD, and plenty of gold bling for that Bollywood authenticity.

I loved my finished look and felt very much the Bollywood filmstar as I danced to bhangra music at tiny Indian club I stumbled across. Thank goodness my life doesn't have the drama Bollywood films do though!




*Skin::Nomine Eros Female - Ruddy - glitter [L$1000]
*Clothes::Desi Beatz Apparel - New Red Lehenga [L$300]
*Shoes::Goddess Heels - X3D - Digit Darkes [L$250]
*Hair::ETD Alexandra Black
*Eyes::Midnight Black by Orchid Dreams
*Bindi::DBA Brow Bindi 2 [L$100]
*Mehendi::Mashooka Designs Mehendi special {red} [L$85]
*Jewellery::Gold Bangles for both arms - Anita Angelus, Prim Princess::Elegant Gold Choker - Alyssa Bijoux Jewellery [L$189]::Double Hoop Earrings - Reminisce Jewelry [L$175 for three pairs]
*Manicure::TeteAPied Glitter Nails Pack in Gold

Monday, 12 November 2007

Welcome to The Dressing Up Box


Don't you just LOVE dressing up? I do. For a formal, a party, a themed event or just for the hell of it, Second Life allows you to be who you want when you want, from the tiniest microscopic fairy, through animals of all shapes and sizes, witches, wizards, robots, UFO's, cartoons and children's characters, to blobs of jelly and spinning orbs of light. Even in humanoid form, the vast quantity of fabulous content available allows a completely different look every day, if you so wish. And it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg [bad pun intended], although the adage "you get what you pay for" is often-times the case (but not always).

Since joining SL early this year I have worked at a club where themed costume events are the norm. Being a perfectionist, and a shopaholic, searching every corner, nook and cranny of the grid to put together the perfect costume has fast become a hobby I love. And, as they say "those that can, do. Those that can't, blog." Until I overcome my inherent laziness and learn to build I guess I'll stick with the latter, and hopefully someone, somewhere, will read.

I'd love to hear from you. Do you know someone who makes fantastic costumes or avatars? Have you got a favourite that everyone just HAS to know about? Let me know. I don't promise to review/include it, but I'll certainly take a look.