Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Have to Show-off a Little

I wish I could tell that everything that I am wearing here was free, but it wasn't. I splurged a bit, and bought a dress and skin that I'd been contemplating for awhile. Combined with some pieces that I already had in my wardrobe...

The club Gothika in Cursed has a themed formal masked ball the last Wednesday of every month. Last night's theme was Desaturated, as in B & W movies. Dare Munro of Dare Designs even designs a special one-time use ballroom to fit the theme of the dance. For last night's event, he designed a lushious Art Deco inspired piece that made me feel like I was in a 1930's movie musical... all done up in black, white, and shades of gray.

Like I said, it was a masked event...

I wish I had taken some pictures in the build, but my computer was being fussy, and it was all I could do to keep from crashing every time I tried to turn around. As it was, I crashed four different times I think.

Like many clubs, Gothika had prizes for best costume for night's theme. And I am very happy, not to mention shocked, to say that I tied for best women's costume! My prize was a nice purse full of linden's which more than off-set the L$700 that I spent on the dress and skin.

Here are some more pictures of the entire ensemble...

Like I said, sometimes a girl just needs to show-off a little! And yes, that is a panda on my top hat!

Dress- Necrosis by Dare Designs in Dark Eternity- L$400 Love the skull lace!
Top Hat & Choker- Grim Bros. in Clematis Island- former Midnight Mania gifts
Skin- Mia Character by Rockberry in Sandybeach West- L$300 includes a freckled version
Boots- Bax Coen in Jiminy- L$690
Eyes- Poetic Colors in Strata- former free gift. There is a different color free there now
Hair- Juliette by Calico Ingmann in Calico Kitty- freebie or dollarbie gift from 2009 Hair Fair
Mask- Brand New Heaven by BareRose Tokyo in Bare Rose- was prize from the random gift giver there, I think
Pose- Torrid Wear- free product sample from DSN
Shape- my own made from a heavily modded Re shape by Eloh Eliot

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quinn Joined the Circus!

I've been continuing playing with Quinn... she is just such a blank slate! At this point, she can go in any direction with her look without carrying excess inventory from her past. It is kind of addicting working with a new avatar, sort of like that new car smell. :)

Grim Bros. has a couple of great items in their Midnight Mania gorilla (yes, you read that right!)... and Quinn got the one of the current prizes just this morning. It is called Heartbroken, and it is just the most adorable red dress! Actually, it is an entire outfit including two skirt options, a cute little top hat, and ballet slippers.

Upon putting it on, Quinn had this mad desire to join the circus! Off to Chanimations, to play with their wonderfully eclectic and sexy vintage poses and props...

Quinn arrives at the circus. Ta Da!

Where they set her immediately to work... taking care of the elephants...

Before long, her musical talent had gotten her a spot with the circus band...

But she still wasn't happy... heading out to think in the cold, crisp air, she decided that what she really wanted to be is a trapeze artist. Working up her courage, she offered to become Stephano's new partner. And after months of hard work and training, she attained her dream...

becoming a circus star!

Items worn:

Dress, hat, stockings, shoes- Grim Bros. at Clematis Island (heartbroken dress- current MM prize)
Hair- Truth Hair (Jess- freebie on wall)
Skin- Mother Goose's at Turpentine (Red Magoo- Red Packet Hunt Prize)
Shape- Cupcakes (Gift Bag 9- lucky cupcake/chair prize)
Eyes- Poetic Colors at Strata (Sunny Glade- Freebie for new players)
AO- Long Awkward Poses at Festivale (Free to new players)
Pose in snow- Striking Poses (Free gift at Fab Free Headquarters at Car Wash)

All other poses and props used- Chanimations at the deviousMind sim.

This is a really fun sim to explore and play around in. The poses, props, and costumes are all high quality, with a wonderfully vintage burlesque feel. There are several lucky chairs... well, one lucky chair, a lucky elephant, lucky table, pot-of-gold, and desk scattered throughout some of the stores there. Currently, you can win pieces of a Mardi Gras-inspired show girl outfit. Collect the pieces to complete the outfit. Quinn managed to grab a couple of pieces in the short while she was there.

The sim is rated adult, so you will want to be age verified and enable your search to include adult sims. It is a bit bawdy, but it is all in good fun, and really rather tastefully done. Think vintage Playboy, rather than Hustler. ;)

Go, and indulge your inner burlesque diva! Have fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

From Rough to Polished in Less Than a Half Hour!

Like some cars boast an acceleration speed of 0 to 60 in .00009 seconds (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point), I thought it would be fun to see just how fast I could take a fresh out of the box avatar, and get her looking acceptable without any spending any linden. So, without further fanfare... meet Quinn.

Ummm... yeah, she needs work. That hair, those clothes, that skin... what to tackle first...

The duck walk! I cannot stand the herky-jerky newbie walk, and since I am going to be mostly looking at Quinn's back while getting her outfitted, that walk has to go!

Fortunately, Long Awkward Pose (LAP) has a perfectly lovely AO (animation overrider) that is free to residents less than 30 days old. The LAP AO comes with several nice stands and will give your avi a girly, sexy walk.

So, after escaping Newbie Island (and I do mean escape! It wouldn't let Quinn teleport away... perhaps because she skipped the introduction. I had to come on with a second viewer and offer to teleport (tp) her to my position to get her out of there!) Anyway, once free, she headed over to LAP on the Festival sim.

There just inside the entrance was the prize!

There's one for men and one for women. Grabbing the female AO, Quinn put it on and immediately felt better.

This AO isn't boxed, so all you have to do is find it in your inventory (probably in the "objects" folder, right click on it, look for the drop down box that says "Attach to HUD". You will get a second drop down menu when you put your cursor on the "attach to HUD", and from there, just decide where you want the AO to be. I usually wear mine on the lower right, but this is just personal preference.

If it installed correctly, two buttons should appear... a green one with a white one just above it. If the lower button is white rather than green, you will have to click it on. You should see your avi's posture change, and when you move... no more duck walk! Yay!

Next up, I sent Quinn to get some new eyes. I know, seems an odd second choice, but I knew her third stop would be the most involved: clothes, skin, new shape, hair, and shoes, so I opted to go for the eyes at this point.

In my opinion, the best realistic eyes in all of Second Life are the ones from Poetic Colors in Strata. Searching Poetic Colors, Quinn found the landmark, and tp'd off. The landing point is a central gazebo, and by following the red arrow, she found the correct store (the other is a furniture store called Kusshon... nice items, but no good for use as eyes!)

Quinn picked up two eye colors here... First up, she stopped at the sandwich board standing just outside the store's entrance.

Like the sign says, these are just for new avatars, and are the same gorgeous green color that Annah wears.

Now, these eyes came boxed in a folder, so Quinn couldn't wear them until she got somewhere where she could unpack them. However, heading to the back of the store, she found another set of free eyes.

These eyes are available to everyone, and the color is changed every so often, so you will want to keep checking back to see what is new! You might even want to join the mailing list so you will know when the color is changed.

Since this second pair of eyes came already unpacked, Quinn was able to wear them right away.

Ok... next stop, and this is where Quinn shed her newbie looks forever...the FabFree Headquarters in the Car Wash. For some reason, this place doesn't come up in search very easily... if you search Fabfree and chose the Carwash listing, it will tp you in front of the 7 Deadly Sins store (looks exactly like a 7-11!). The headquarters are just beyond on street that runs behind, and to the left of that store. If it helps, the coordinates are (94, 217, 24).

The Fabfree Headquarters opened up in the fall of 2009, and it is an extremely valuable resource for all SL residents. However, for a new player, it is more like a lifesaver. There is also an inworld Fabfree chat group you might like to join, and a very helpful blog called Fabulously Free in Second Life, that showcases some of the best free finds that Second Life has to offer.

Walking inside the FabFree Headquarters can be overwhelming, and you might be tempted to grab everything in the store! However, I urge you to pace yourself... later on when you have to open all the boxes, and figure out what to do with all this new stuff that you've flooded your inventory with, you will wish you had listened to your Auntie Ury. Trust me on this... I learned hard way! lol Also, be aware that many of the signs don't show you the actual item you are getting... some do, however, lots don't.

Fortunately, Quinn is a smart girl, and she just grabbed a few items, saving untold inventory angst later.

The first item she went for was the Cupcakes gift. Cupcakes makes high quality skins and clothes, and this gift comes with a shape, a dress, some eyes, and a skin in a range of tones. And yes, in this case, what you see on the ad are the actual items you will be getting, except for the hair.

Since clothes and such are a matter of personal tastes, I can't really advise everything to pick-up from here. Choose a few items of clothing, shoes, hair, maybe some jewelry and a pose or two, then head out into the street, where you can unpack your treasures.

To unpack a boxed item (yes, that would be the item you tried to put on, and ended up with a box on your hand or perhaps engulfing your entire person), drag the item out of your inventory and place it on the ground. When it appears (rezzs), right click on it. A pie chart will appear. Select "open". A pop-up will now show you what your box contains. Click copy to inventory (possibly another pop-up will come up saying something about not being able to copy items... yeah, yeah, yeah, just hit yes, and it goes away), and you should see a new folder being created in your inventory. Now, you can wear that new dress! :)

In SL, it is considered bad manners to leave your opened boxes laying about, so don't forget to grab the box you rezzed out. To do that, right click the box again, this time select "take". The box should disappear from the ground, and be back in your inventory, possibly copying itself. You can delete the box (or boxes if it created a copy of itself) now. You have what you want out of them.

I know this sounds complicated, but it really isn't, and you will soon be ripping open your boxes and bags without a second thought. Now be aware, many places won't allow you to rezz objects out, or they might have a selected area where it is allowed. In the case of FabFree, you can't rezz things in the store itself, but if you go out to the street in front, you can.

Try your items on... if you like the item, great! If not, delete the item NOW!

Start organizing your clothes, shoes, skins, etc. into subfolders in your inventory. One of the biggest headaches of SL is inventory control... keeping your items in such a way that you can find what your are looking for when you want it. There have been times that I've worn the same outfit for days on end, simply because I didn't want to look in my out of control inventory! Inventories can be like that throw-everything-into-it-barely-getting-the-door-shut closet in your house that you have to tip-toe by for fear of the vibrations unleashing hell on earth. So, if you are a new player, start organizing now while it is still easy, and then keep at it! Again, learn by my mistakes. :)

Quinn grabbed just a handful of items that caught her eye, and headed out to unpack them. This was how she looked after her FabFree visit.

What a difference! While it may not be the most unique and individual avatar that ever walked in SL, Quinn doesn't look like she just fell off the turnip truck less than a half hour ago either. And not a single linden was spent!

But Quinn wasn't done. No longer embarassed by her newbie looks, she headed to Cupcakes mainstore.

After spending some time trying her luck with the lucky cupcake and lucky chairs there, she'd won several more skins and clothing items. Less than an hour after being born, Quinn had further refined her look and given herself more options.

She also swung by Truth at Truth Hair and picked up the free Jess Hair from there.

What Quinn is wearing in the final picture:
AO- Long Awkward Pose (for avis under 30 days old... at mainstore)
Eyes- Poetic Colors (at mainstore)
Shape, Skin, Dress- Cupcakes (won from lucky chairs & cupcake at mainstore)
Jewelry- U&R Dogs (at Fabfree Headquarters)
Hair- Truth (Jess fatpack free on wall at mainstore)

All items worn were free. These items current in the stores as of 2-17-10, but may change or disappear without notice.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Heartsick after Valentine's Day

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I really should have been wearing my Chanimations Showgirl Mardi Gras outfit, but I'm outside and there is snow on the ground! Much too cold for pasties and feathers. :)

Besides I wanted to show off the make-ups on some dollarbie skins from Heartsick, and it would be difficult to do that from behind a lovely feathered mask!

Annah mentioned some good free or nearly free sources for good quality skins, now I am adding Heartsick to that list.

Heartsick skins are little edgier than some of the others mentioned, but as you will see, some will work perfectly well for normal, everyday looks also.

Heartsick just moved to the ParaNoir sim, and their new location wasn't showing up on search as of yesterday, but hopefully that has changed.

All these dollarbie skins are available on a small table in the store. There's even a bag there for men! Several are fat-packs with skin tones ranging from ghostly pale to a warm brown. Many come with options for enhanced cleavage, eyebrows, and/or freckles. I'm wearing the 'Illusion' tone in most of the photos, which is the second palest in most of the bags.

Amor E Morte-Illusion: Her Ghost in the Fog

Illusion: Pretty in Pink This one would work perfectly well as an everyday skin!

Serenity-Illusion: Dark Shines Another possible everyday skin...maybe evening.

Illusion: Pure Morning Everyday? Definitely!

Frozen Skin This is just a single skin, but lovely for special looks! Buy the snowflake to get this one.

This one may or may not still be in the store. It was the hunt prize for the Tainted Love hunt. The hunt ended, but the shriveled heart was still there earlier this morning. The prize is for Ruby Lips in Aether (which is the palest skin-tone in some of the other packs). It is definitely a goth skin, but look at those pouty, glossy lips! And if the heart is still there, it is a freebie. There aren't many hiding places in the store, but look carefully. :)

This last skin is from [42] located on the Tropicana sim. It isn't free (though cheap at L$42), but it was one of the first skins I bought. I also loved how it looked with the new shape I am trying out. *[42] no longer seems to exist in-world or on Xstreet. My apologies for any disappointment.*

The shape is part of an avatar packet called Elf Girl by Miss. Murder. I bought it on XLstreet recently for L$50. I did mod the body a bit to suit my own tastes, but the face was far too cute to mess with. While I will most likely go back to my normal shape (it just looks like me!), I do love this new shape, and look forward to using it once in awhile. :)

Other items worn-
Pose by Long Awkward Pose (old hunt prize)
Hair by Tiny Bird (Kissy Kissy-not free)
Dress by Little Heaven (Valentine Lucky Board prize)
Eyes-Poetic Colors (current freebie eye gift)
Choker-Grim Bros. (past MM gorilla prize)

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Deadly Valentine

Hey all! Ury here...

Love is in the air, at least for those with someone to cuddle with. The rest of us will do our best not throw the next cupid we come across through a plate glass window.

However, shopping is a great balm for the love-lorn heart! Even better if that cute little dress is free... like this one!

This is the Valentine offering from Little Heaven. There are four lucky boards set up with this outfit in it, and they are set on five the boards change pretty fast even if there isn't a crowd around them. There were a number of people there when I got mine, so they changed even faster!

This is a complete, stockings, dress, frilly cuffs, even a hair bow (not shown). It is wonderfully detailed:

Cute little nail-pierced voodoo dolly hanging from the belt...

Lovely lace embellishments and a prim bodice attachment of buckles.

I'm not sure how long the dress will be available, perhaps only until Valentine's Day. So, if you want to add this cutie to your own wardrobe, I'd go sooner rather than later. :)

Poetic Colors just set out a free special Valentine edition eyes yesterday. I know, I know... more Poetic Colors... What can I say? I LOVE their eyes! The Valentine edition is a bi-colored iris (red and blue), and I know this is hard to see in the photo, but there is a glowing red heart in the pupil. These won't be around for long, so swing by the shop and pick-up your pair now!

Other items shown:

Grim Bros- Neck Protector Choker (MM gift-may still be there)
[42]- Goth Skin (not free- but less than L$50)
Soap Co.- Notty & Nice Hair (past hunt prize)
Pose is by Long Awkward Pose (past hunt prize)