Tuesday, 31 December 2013

All Ponied Up!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year after my looong hiatus (goodness I last posted back in June..!) - the reasons for which being, 1) we found, bought and moved into a new house, our VERY OWN and first ever place :D and 2) partly due to that but mostly for other reasons, I haven't been in Second Life.

Anyway, the Bean has become a huge My Little Pony fan and we found an online pony creator, so I made myself and thought I'd put it up here for posterity. Note the toothy smile and slit pupilled eye }:=8>

~ Alicorn Fledhyris Dragonfire ~

The program is http://www.dolldivine.com/mlp-fim-pony-creator.php if you want a go yourself - you can make a lot of ponies from the show too, but you have to download and import the cutie marks (Google images is your friend). You can't see mine very clearly but it's a stylised, flaming dragon head. Of course. (Creative Commons licence from http://tattoos-and-doodles.blogspot.co.uk.)

I might just be tempted to come back into SL to customise this avatar... I could use the Grendel's Nightmare for the base but it's a lot chunkier. If anyone knows of a moddable, graceful, full-quad horse/unicorn/pegasus avatar, especially one in mesh, please let me know!

Health and happiness to all my friends ^.^

Sunday, 23 June 2013

For the Hoard! May - Week 2 (Cascade)

Continuing with the May catch-up and all the other items I bought in week 2. Again, this will be a short post (for me) as I think the pictures have more stand-alone aesthetic appeal than telling a story, and I managed to get all the detail in relatively few shots. This time you can see the grass and trees of the same sandbox I used in the previous post. Clever, huh? ;)

My acquisitions this week are the Forgotten Cascade and Ruined Bench from Angelic Designs, Universa hair and Darkness eyes (last image only) from The Stringer Mausoleum, Angelus sword from Illusions and Nugget jewellery from Vintage Jewels. The only non-mesh item in the set is the hair. 

I'm really pleased with how this shot came together. I chose the skin and some free eyes to highlight the hair and this elegant evening gown because of the jewellery, but I still felt something was missing and rummaged through my wing collection to find this unusual set which really complements both the hair and sword with its futuristic and blade-like design. I ran through my poses in a similar manner and came across this Divinely Naughty (Angel 13) pose from Juicy, which is almost identical to the position of the statue on the Forgotten Cascade behind me!

PurpleMoon "Meryl" gown in black (with contrasting gloves and bodice wrap);
Angelic Designs new mesh "Ruined Bench" with large number of animated poses and "Forgotten Cascade" fountain sculpture in background.

Illusions new mesh sword "Angelus" with colour change options on blade, hilt and gems;
TSM "Universa" hair made for Aeva Heartsick event but still possibly available in mainstore;
Will's Wings/Niangao Ltd. "TechAlpha" wings (very old acquisition).

Amacci skin "Liane" in goth (silver tattoo 2) and free hairbase in snow;
DAMNED "Tribal" make up with pouty lips (the black eyeliner and lip shadow);
Free eyes whose creator SL was refusing to divulge but matched the colour scheme;
Vintage Jewels "Nugget" jewellery set (group gift).

TSM "Darkness" mesh eyes, which come in two packs, the warms (red, orange and yellow) and the cools (blues and greens) which I didn't buy. These, like the hair, were special editions for the Aeva Heartsick event but were made available in mainstore afterwards, possibly only for a limited period.

And, not that you can see them for the long skirt, I am wearing +DV8+ "Lust for Life" stiletto heels. The store has sadly closed.

Don't forget, if you just noticed this post, to check back a few as I have finally been able to post a batch of updates. Thank you for reading! <3

For the Hoard! May - Week 2 (mermaid reef)

(Recall that I already posted Week 1 in its proper time period, for once!)

This post is by way of an aperitif because I bought several things this week, but this item stands out from the others and I didn't want it to get lost amid a bunch of completely different photos.

[Alyah] Underwater Mermaid Reef

Angelic Designs has the brilliant strategy of releasing new creations during the 60 Linden Sunday weekend sales, which means I can pick things up I could not otherwise afford. In truth I'd have to avoid the store if she didn't do this, because I love her stuff so much! This weekend I found an addition to my mermaid collection - a beautiful mesh reef with seating poses around a sunken boat, designed especially for avatars with tails instead of legs. 

Everything you can see in the photo is part of the reef, except for the 'dead' trees* in the background. It comes complete with tropical fish rezzer, sea plants and reef fauna and is only 27 prims and mod/copy. I had bought a similar but much higher prim sculpted reef in the past, before mesh came out, and had always been a bit stuck for prim space to use it; so I pounced with delight on this 'upgrade'. I only wish I'd had it last year when I made this mermaid avatar for Coral in the 52 Weeks Colour Challenge.

*If anyone is interested, I set the reef up in my habitual sandbox which has grass and trees, not the best background for a coral reef! I set down a sandy floor prim and reduced the draw distance to a minimum, which created retreating tidal flats (since the horizon of your draw distance is always water, even when no water exists) and stripped the nearest trees of their leaves, as though they were salt poisoned sentinels caught by an encroaching sea. The windlight setting is Gwen's Light, with its lovely pale lavender and sea tones.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

For the Hoard! April - Weeks 3-4

Lady Fledhyris with the necklace in the living room!
Warning: running theme of spooky eyeballs @.@

I know, April was a long time ago - especially in the fast paced time-stream of Second Life! I've been incredibly busy in the real one, as we are buying a house - our first property so it's all very exciting and stressful! - and we've also had a run of beautiful weather which, in this country, you'd be mad not to take full advantage of as you never know if there'll be any more. So in the last three weeks I've barely been on the computer for fun, let alone blogging.

I doubled up two weeks of purchases because only the couch, plants and necklaces were from week 3 but everything went together nicely once I got the desk and picture frame. The Gothic Christmas skybox by Distorted Dreams, which I bought on sale last Christmas, was just the thing to show off the furniture; a snappy modern animal print dress does not exactly fit the Gothic theme, but think along the lines of modern young witch or vampire trying to fit into society - at least out of doors! With this in mind I chose a sunhat with a creepy twist, and the obsidian version of the winged necklace, which came in three colours - normally of course I would wear the gold. 

I think the top picture tells a kind of story, like a mystery tableau, or a scene from Clue. It was a dark and stormy night, and the old house creaked and groaned, covering the stealthy movements of the young witch as she made her way downstairs and into the drawing room. She went unerringly to the bureau under the big gilt picture frame on the back wall. Waiting for a crack of thunder, she slid open the drawers of the desk, but her caution was unnecessary; the well-turned wood glided smoothly in its tracks even after all this time. As she searched through the forgotten detritus of years, she felt the close scrutiny of watchful eyes. Glancing up, she smiled wryly; someone had placed a glass eyeball into the mouth of one of the carnivorous plants upon the desk. At last her fingers, rifling through the haphazard drifts of papers and odds and ends, grazed the thing she sought. An amulet of rare and secret power, it sent a surge of energy like electricity through her finger ends. She lifted it, entwining the leather thong about her fingers, and felt the essence of life blossom along the tracery of her nerves and veins, a cascade of emerald lightning heralding the spring. At a sudden sound, or perhaps her awareness heightened by the magic of the amulet, she turned, hand to her mouth in guilty surprise. The door to the room was open, a dark figure framed within against the light of the hallway beyond. She was discovered.

Cloud of Doom
I'm not completely happy with the way some of these pics turned out - I think I forgot to increase my graphics settings for some of them as they are very pixellated, which is why the above image is artfully blurred *g* I do like the pose though. I have a very Machiavellian look (sneaky and mysterious)! I spent forever trying to capture a shot with the lightning flash, which is random and intermittent and generally too fast for the SL camera to catch - which might be why I turned down the graphics, to speed up the viewer. The Doom Cloud Couch from !Weather or Not? has a good set of animated poses to choose from, and excellent realistic sound effects to go with the particle rain, and the lightning casts real light. I suppose some people might find it a gloomy piece of furniture but I love the rain and storms, so I find sitting on this couch very soothing - when I'm not trying to capture photographs!

In a dark, dark house in a dark, dark room in a dark, dark drawer...
This beautiful little mesh "Ambrosio" coffee table by Schadenfreude has drawers which slide in and out at a touch, so that you can actually put things in it (though of course you couldn't then close the drawers and expect the objects to move with them). I was very happy to snag this on a Fifty Linden Friday sale. The "Amore" baroque golden picture frame above is also mesh, a new item by Angelic Designs, whose store I plunder on a regular basis. The picture is of me, on the left, with a friend who had just bought one of the Grendel's Children dragons (an avatar I also possess). The frame is actually scripted to have a slideshow of images, if you want (or you can just take the script out to show one). It was a fortnight of thrifty purchases, as I bought almost all the items on sale - the couch and plants on Woeful Wednesday, the picture frame on $L60 Sunday, the flower pot necklace from a hunt and the dress from the Gypset Market. I had to be thrifty because by the end of the month I finally paid back my loan on the previous monty haul of Tekeli-li and bee fair jewellery!

Winged time
The amulet of life!
"Luisana" dress in black zebra by PurpleMoon - I love the hemline, something that just couldn't be done before mesh, and the reason I always favoured long skirts until now. The dress now comes in a wide range of patterns which you can purchase as a low deal fatpack on a HUD switcher rather than as individual items, once you have bought one dress at full price. I bought this dress on pre-release at a bargain price from the Gypset Market where PurpleMoon often showcases her new designs (Luisana is now only available at full price from the mainstore). That is not my spelling mistake, by the way. It's theirs.

Coincidentally, I purchased a black and white striped dress in real life this summer that has very similar lines to this, though the print is more linear than real zebra. That must be the first time SL has influenced my FL shopping impulse!

The winged eye necklace, "Winged Time" is a full price purchase from Needful Things, a new shop I discovered from looking at prizes on the April Flower Petal hunt. I matched the necklace with a pair of Egyptian styled wing ear piercings I got earlier this year from Cute Poison, though I'm not sure you can see them very clearly, and as you can see I'm wearing the White Widow "Fee" face tattoo I blogged with my bee queen, but in a different colour.

"Airhead" skin from GP (Curio) as worn in my previous Hoard post;
"Listen" hair by elikatira - fiery reds #10;
"Spider Eyes" in charcoal from Saturnine Dreams (marketplace listing only);
"Mizu-Hanabi" Gray prim nails by pulcino.

The 'amulet' again
The magical centrepiece of my little mystery story, this exquisite little flower pot necklace was in fact the hunt prize from Needful Things so I'm sorry, but it may no longer be available (unless it is released as a group gift). I loved their creations so much, I will definitely be coming back to make future purchases, it was one of those shops where I daren't look around because I want everything I see! I also paid the $L80 group membership fee, which was well worth it for the number of group gifts scattered around the store. I snagged a lot, too many to blog, but I can tell you now I have my eye on some [non-gift] antlers with mice and flower decked elven ears and a cute cat-chasing-mouse necklace, so Needful Things will likely feature in some more blog posts in the not too distant future.

I put in a second picture just to show it up close for the detail, because it's a beautiful little thing and a perfect example of how to entice people to your store by making high quality 'freebies' for hunts. I window shopped the Flower Petal Hunt and only went for two prizes; this one added a new store to my repertoire. Any creators who read my blog, take note!

The walls (or in this case the desk) have eyes...
These "Happy Plants" from Dell's Odd Shop come as a no-mod, no-copy single mesh item (weighing in at 10 LI), and the 'heads' twitch and peer about on a touch on/off script. I couldn't resist them after seeing them in the Woeful Wednesday sales listing, but there was little else I could stomach from the store. Dell's Odd Shop is a truly disturbing island of macabre genius, styled in the manner of Norman Bates gone down on his luck and renting out a trailer park instead of a motel. If you are a fan of slasher movie style horror then you really should check out this shop, for the atmosphere if nothing else; I would love to stage an adventure there for Sam and Dean Winchester. You could furnish an entire horror movie with grisly props but as I prefer my decor a touch more Gothic than Friday 13th, I grabbed the plants and beat a reluctantly admiring retreat. The long soil filled planter underneath the pots is not by this creator, incidentally, a friend made it and it just seemed a good idea to protect the wood of the desk underneath.

I seeee you!
Charlotte's sun hat from Schadenfreude, another (past) Fifty Linden Friday purchase. The hat occasioned much frustration in finding suitable hair. A major drawback to mesh hair is that you can't edit it to tuck away all the bits which stick out of your head gear. I wanted the hat, and I wanted mesh hair, so I persevered. This is why my inventory is so huge and my blog posts take so long :)

Zebra C Platforms
A zebra dress requires zebra shoes, and I really wanted to use this pair which I bought a long time ago from She's So Unusual Shoes, a delightful store which sold quirky and imaginative designs but could not compete with the new sculpt market and closed its doors long before mesh came on the fashion scene. Back in the day, I bought a lot of SSUS footwear, and at the time the builds were (in comparison with their peers) pretty good. Now, the basic prim builds could look sadly out of date or charmingly retrograde, depending on your perspective, but the main stumbling block to their suitability is no fault of the designer's or of the fashion zeitgeist: current graphics do not support invisiprims, and generic prim shoes use invisiprims to cover parts of the system foot. 

The 'modern' approach is to use an alpha mask, but these are incredibly fiddly to fix around the highly contoured detail of the feet, and most creators don't bother; they simply cut the foot off at the ankle or higher, because the shoes they were made for come complete with 'fake' feet which look infinitely better than the avatar default. I have not so far found a perfect foot mask that nips off the sole and heel without leaving ragged edges; I even tried to make my own, which is how I discovered how bloody difficult it is. I messed around for ages with these shoes because I really wanted to salvage them, and I'm pretty happy with the results, although I had to tweak a lot of the original prims to cover alpha gaps. Thank goodness the shoes were mod/copy, a handy feature that has been crowded out of many 'superior' sculpt and mesh builds. Of course the trade-off to being able to wear my retro platforms is that I'm stuck with the horrible default avatar toes; now I really wish someone would make sculpt or mesh toe-only add-ons for rescuing classic prim sandals!

Just as a note, in the top photo you can just see me wearing my butterfly bracelet, black/silver, by Ashley Dassin (full perms) - with of course my habitual solar and lunar armbands from L&E which are no longer available.

And thus conclude my Hoard listings for April! Phew! What a month, and 2 months behind in the blogging. Now I have May to catch up (don't forget I already posted the first week) but haven't bought much in June, because I have been so busy. I won't say 'watch this space' because updates won't be regular, but they will happen eventually!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

When Hair Attacks 2!

Some may remember my hairspear post of last year. Hair can be a funny thing in SL. Now it's gone on the offensive again!

I was in the early stages of putting together an outfit and trying on mesh hairstyles, for which an alpha mask is usually provided. This is why you can see through the top of my head.

I was extremely disconcerted to take off my hair at one point and discover that a pulsating blob of hair had apparently taken up residence inside my skull, like some kind of nesting alien parasite. You can't see the pulsating on a still shot, but pulsating it was. It was quite horrific, and not much tends to get past my 'ick' threshold. 

So what was really causing the hairbrain, given that a) avatars do not customarily possess brains of any description and b) it wasn't an alien possession (as I thankfully worked out)?


Okay - you know those bald caps/eyebrow shapers you have to wear and, if you're anything like me, probably end up wearing the same one for months at a time and forgetting about it? Since, as with eyes and skin, if you drag on a different outfit it won't take off a bald cap unless there is a different one in the outfit to replace it. If you tweak the settings, you'll find that you can grow a luxuriant head of non-prim, system hair on one of these things. It's pretty nasty looking, but it used to be a lot more common than now, in the days before decent creators kindly provided free, full avatars in the library and all over the marketplace. Most hair creators put the hair settings of the bald cap on zero, because they're only interested in the shape and colour of the eyebrows and don't want system hair messing up the prim styles.

Whoever made this eyebrow shaper (and it was marketed as such, not as a bald cap) did not switch the settings to zero. I would guess they played with the sliders until the hair disappeared from the model's head, and left it at that. The result is that a big 'tuffet' of hair was left like some kind of growth inside the skull, where normally you wouldn't see it. Eww! Everyone check your bald caps, at once, for tribble infestation!

As for the pulsating, I can only conjecture but I've noticed recently that system clothes (such as skirt layers) have an animated effect, as though rippling gently in the breeze. I'm not sure if this is an effect of the latest [Firestorm] viewer update or just that I'm noticing a) because I've updated, which makes people tend to notice things more because they are on the look-out for changes, or b) because in fact I hardly ever wear system skirts and so would not be likely to notice exactly when such a change occurred. But I wore a couple for the Colour Challenge last year and I didn't notice it then. I'm also convinced system skirts are fitting better, moulding themselves to the body in the way that mesh does, but maybe I just tried on a really well made skirt.

Anyway, it seems as though the rippling extends to hair as well as clothing. I tweaked my bald cap to grow more hair and it looked as though an alien was trying to break out of my head, with most unsettling bulging and wobbling going on. It was really very disturbing and would incline me even less to wearing system hair, were I not already 100% disinclined. But I urge you to try it, for a laugh.

I told a [furry] friend about this incident and it is hir joking response I have taken for my picture caption.

Or perhaps I have uncovered a deadly secret: Linden Labs are trying to control us through our bald caps!

Monday, 20 May 2013

For the Hoard! April - Week 2c - Summer Breezes

The final post to wrap up my week's purchases, with the few things that didn't fit into the previous categories but go rather well together and with my home on SL. Around the beginning of April I decided to do a spot of renovation (a common pastime) and created a sort of tropical island beach house in a giant floating martini glass. As you do! That is why there is an olive on the [cocktail] beach umbrella. It is very peaceful and summery up there, with nothing but the gentle sound of the surf and some eerie mermaid music on my Arcadia Asylum shell gramophone. And the occasional splash to announce a visitor dropping in! (Nice little early warning system...)

Finesmith made a run of limited edition mesh dresses for only L$55 - I think there were around 100 of each and there might still be some left, I was at her store over the weekend and the vendor was still there at any rate. I never used to wear short skirts in SL but I can't get enough of them now mesh is here. How could I pass up the opportunity for such a pretty, limited, low price dress from such a fine designer? The tipping factor was the carnelian jewellery which was included in the purchase. Each style of dress had a different style of beads, but I loved the chaotic splash of colour on this dress and the red jewels.

Dress: 'Mika' Dress1 from Finesmith

Boots: 'Secret' in nude from Elikatira (not an April purchase). I greedily bought the entire fatpack of 14 colours at a 75% discount sale, because it was impossible to choose and 75% off made it more like buying one pair at standard price! I swear there is something about shoes and the X chromosome... The best way to spot a man masquerading as a woman on SL is to ask about 'her' shoe collection. If it doesn't number in the thousands, they are likely faking. Unless they are a furry, or dragon, of course. Paws and claws - and hoofs - just don't fit in shoes!

Plushies: (Magic) Luck Dragon and (Rainbow) Uni-ee! from Silentsparrow*. She had just introduced the dragons, and while I was there I thought I ought to grab the uni as I keep eyeing Rudh's when I go to visit, and they can keep each other company. The unicorn's horn tip sparkles :)

Surfboard: I wanted something beachy and low-prim to add to the decor, and searched for surfboards on the marketplace. {What Next} have this gorgeous freebie, totally my colours, in a two-pack with a pink one. 1 prim, copy only.

I detached the Butterfly Kiss sail from an Egyptian Gold Feluka by illume Skallagrimson, who is as old as SL itself; a beautiful full-perms build I found hidden in my inventory from way back in 2006. If you want it, ask me for a copy! The fence is mesh, 1 prim for a full half-circle surrounding my parcel, and comes from the merhome shipwreck, a free build from the Arcadia Asylum Recovery Library which is something I still need to blog.

In case you hadn't heard, Silentsparrow and Schadenfreude have moved because their old community sim, TwoMoons Island, has unfortunately closed down - the proprietor MiaSnow is in a bit of a financial pickle and LL have blocked her account, so she has given up on SL :/ Hard times for business in SL, and although many stores weathered the initial depression, I'm getting the nasty feeling that I may see a lot of my old favourites fall by the wayside if the global economy doesn't improve. Well I am doing my bit, however small..! 

*(I only have the one lm, if it dumps you right outside Schadenfreude don't worry because trust me, Silentsparrow will not be far away!)

Close-up showing Mika jewellery and a little 'Spring Token' flower mouthie by Kre-ations for the April Flower Petal hunt (sorry this is now over but Kre-ations sells lots of lovely things you should check out!)

'Airhead' skin by GP (Curio), a really lovely skin which came as a Truth District Update Group gift; I didn't really pay attention at the time as I'm not generally one for human skins, but I thought I'd try it on with the dress and was really pleased with the look. This wasn't from April; I really have no idea when it came out! I believe Curio is back in business after that nasty copyright incident, so hurrah for her!

!lamb heart hair (honeycomb roots) - the (sole) group joining gift, from the subscribo at her store. Worn with an Amacci free tattoo hairbase.

Kunstkammer 'Bast' eyes II (fluoride) - store closed. I keep coming back to these eyes, every time I wear anything with a hint of pink or purple, and they look lovely with the eyeshadow on this skin.

Sitting inside my little beach house reading my new coffee table book (see below). Featuring
KOSH In Between Days house, spruced up with a paint job to brighten the walls; you can't see from here but each wall is a different colour. I went with pastels, unusual for me but they seemed to suit the bleached driftwood style of a summer beach house. Butterfly Kiss furniture by Angelic Designs, evil gatcha Tako cup of hot chocolate by Schadenfreude, rugs by Kate McLaglen (now running StoraxTree but these are ancient). I made the curtains. The picture, which is titled Dragon Moon - Where the Dragons Live, is a very old purchase from Demian Caldera, who creates for Dream Art & Design but I doubt you'd find it there (but who knows?) The tiny blue (summer) dragon perched on the chairback is also from Silentsparrow; he is meant to go on your head. Each dragon comes in large and tiny versions. Only the little dragon and the book (and my outfit) are April purchases.

Field Guide to Magical Creatures, a Silentsparrow and Schadenfreude collaboration. The original artwork (six creatures from the Harry Potter series) is by hyasynth of Silentsparrow. The book was comparatively expensive, costing an entire week's stipend, which normally I would only lay out on a dress; but the illustrations are gorgeous, the pages really turn as you can see from my motion capture, with a lovely smooth animation, and the whole thing is only 2 land impact. I'd had an eye on it for a while and since I had the money at the time, I decided to grab it while I was getting the plushies. It is a thoroughly lovely item and well worth its price. The pictures are of a Jarvey, a Kneazle (Hermione's cat), a flying seahorse (although where on earth did they feature in Potter?) a Unicorn, a Kelpie and a Hippogriff. If it had had a dragon, I would have bought it the day it was released with no questions asked!

I was playing about with the windlight settings and discovered this lovely and alien sunset called TOR SciFi Bluesunwarmed. I like how it limns the edges of objects in ultraviolet. The nautilus chair is another Arcadia Asylum build.

And thus concludes the mega hoard triple post purchasing spree of the second week of April! Phew!! At this rate I'm going to be posting one month behind on everything...

Sunday, 19 May 2013

WoW - Triplicats!

Just sneaking in a quick couple of shots to show off my Triplicats in World of Warcraft - three matched dark striped saber cats :)

I managed to complete enough quests for the night elves to be allowed a night elf riding mount - a nightsaber. Now I have mount, hunter pet (unique rare) and battlepet companion cub.

From behind

From in front

Look at Shadow Whisker, the cub, yawning. He's so cute! Both pets make random yawning animations (with sound) and growl if you click on them. As said before, the cub sleeps a lot. Looks like a little family, doesn't it :) WoW doesn't assign gender to most animals so there's no reason Shadowclaw can't be the mother. You can't name your mounts but I think I will call him Shadowcat in my head.

I'm now level 35 and have 20 pets; I only have room for 2 more before I'll have to start replacing them (I'll get a couple more slots later but not for a while and certainly not before I'll find more pets I want!) The other day I had a bit of a rare pet bonanza and got 2 spider queens (Queen Silith and Iriss the Widow), Quall the sapphire owl, Sparkwing the wind serpent, Feras (a shiny leopard) and Volux, a giant purple wasp. I'm after Tenok (a raptor) and a blue moth, not rare but to match another battlepet, and then I will have to start making Difficult Decisions.

In previous expansions, pets were quite individual and it probably made sense to limit hunters in how many they could keep or they would obtain significant battle advantages; now they all do pretty much the same thing and have only cosmetic differences, so I wish WoW would increase the number you can stable. They already raised it from 4 to 25 but THAT IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH! I plan on making more hunters, to spread out the pet acquisition across realms.

For the Hoard! April - Week 2b - Bee Fair

Continuing the record of my mammoth SL purchasing spree in April, which I have now decided to split into three posts as I bought so many things that week (first post on Tekeli-li jewellery here; there is a set in this one too).

So, Rudh casually mentioned that she had been to the Bee Faire. My reaction - at least internally, I may have been too excited to type - went something like:

As you will gather, I like bees. Not as much as dragons, by a long way, but still. They are cute and fuzzy and sunny and yellow and incredibly fascinating insects, whose worth both to the environment and the human economy has been considerably underestimated (to our cost, as the world is currently experiencing an alarming decline in honeybee numbers). In summary: BEES! So I immediately demanded a taxi to said faire, donned my Queen Bee outfit and spent another large chunk of Lindens.

The faire itself - titled Bees Through the Seasons - was beautifully set up, with all the shops in giant beehives in a flowering meadow and pretty bunting and (obviously) bees everywhere. The items on offer were delightful (as evidenced by the amount I bought) although a little pricey in some cases. It could really have done with a landmark and info provider, because I had no idea how long the fair would last and ended up missing the deadline for when blogging would help others to buy - after which further delay was irrelevant. So I hope items are still available in their respective stores, but if not, I'm sorry - blame the fair organisers, not me, for this one!

Actually it seems there was some sort of conspiracy not to promote any future trade, because only ONE of the four designers I bought from included a lm to their mainstore! Honestly, and people wonder why their business isn't flourishing...

My bee queen, treated to a (fourth) set of Tekeli-li jewellery, the 'Danae' collection. I am at the Hopscotch stall on their 'My Buzzy Friend' posing flower (which I didn't buy, but has several nice poses). Just to be clear, Tekeli-li was not at the fair; I just had to showcase this set here because it suited my bee queen so much.

Jewellery in detail (Danae headpiece, earrings, bracelets; bikini flexi-belt below). I didn't buy the necklace or bikini top as they were a little too heavily ornate for my liking; it's good that you can mix and match pieces from each collection, or buy the whole set at a discount. I think the design looks almost like stylised insects (bees, since I coloured it yellow). 

The little wings aren't part of the Danae headband, they belong to the bee outfit. The honeycomb necklace is from Bewildebeest, which sadly has closed. Note that I am wearing my Fae shape, I have elongated and enlarged the eyes for a more exotic appearance. The eyelashes were murder to mod-fit a second time!

Outside HANDverk, whose gorgeous ruffle parasol I could NOT resist; also the matching beehive jewellery (the parasol has a beehive pommel!) - this time in a slightly dressed down avatar, with 'Oh Honey!' striped tights, oozey honey mess layer & bees knees patches combo, 'bee on yer nose' pose & attachment all from Sugar Heart.

If you got the fatpack of tights you also got some prim bees to crawl up the honey spill, but they were flowered tights and I didn't like them. I was sort of sad I couldn't get the bees separately but pretty sure I can make my own out of something and at a distance they just looked like black specks anyway (or so I console myself! I was having to be very strict with my finances by this point).

Another gratuitously show-off pose, this one at Olive - I would have liked to have bought it but the fair ended by the time I could come back with more money. It shows my lovely boots, which were not bought with the outfit in mind but complement it perfectly. The black thing sticking up out of my rear and through my wings is not a tail, it is a stinger. I'm a bee fairy!

Look, I've got a bee on my nose! Close-up to show nose bee from Sugar Heart and beehive jewellery from HANDverk. The bee is a prop for a set of poses (including this one) showing various states of excitement over having - a bee on your nose! Really zooming in shows that the bee has a little daisy on its head ^.^

I just HAD to have this 'Peaceful Daisy' collection from Noodles - necklace, earrings and flower crown - but they were quite pricey and I later found the daisy wreath from Shar's Design (posted for May Week One, yes the posts are out of order, there was a lot to do!) and I'm sorry to say that I think the Shar's Design wreath is a much prettier build (and a great deal cheaper!) so if I'd found that first I might not have bought the wreath in this set. Still, at least it matches, and it is pretty. The peace pose is by Frooti.

Last but not least, is this glowing filigree bee necklace (with matching hair slides) by O.M.E.N. They had several designs and at L$88 were easily both the best and the cheapest item at the fair, in my view; Rudh bought me this one, and I had to show it in close-up for the amazing detail. I had to employ every ounce of self control I possess not to buy several others (because really, this was the best suited to me, and when would I ever find time to wear them all?) It is absolutely gorgeous, and if I had to have only one thing from the bee fair it would be this, so thank you sissypoo! x

I must mention that O.M.E.N. gets lots of Brownie points, not only for the best/most cost effective item but for actually including a lm to their mainstore, which the others neglected to do - I have linked everyone to all stores but I had to put in a bit of research to find the other lms! However, O.M.E.N. lose a few points due to making a box that, although gorgeous to look at, was practically unopenable - the jewellery is no copy, so the inventory transfer script didn't work and you couldn't edit-drag them out while wearing the box. I had to find a sandbox to rez and drag everything out manually, then go back to the faire. I think designers ought to beware of this no-copy transfer bug, because some people may be careless and delete a package, thinking it has unpacked when it hasn't.

I would say 'roll on summer' but I am scared. MOAR BEES @.@ Though bees seem to have more of a spring/summer combined feeling for me, and how they will even fit into a winter theme, when bees normally hibernate, I don't know! In any event, the organisers need to work on getting the word out, because I don't have the slightest clue about dates :P If I discover when the next one runs I'll let you know. If I'm not running hard in the opposite direction while my wallet screams blue murder...

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~: Store Links for Items :~

Jewellery: Danae by Tekeli-li
Beehive set and Ruffle Parasol by HANDverk
Peaceful Daisy set by Noodles
Spring Bee Gem ~ Silver Lily by O.M.E.N.

Sugar Heart - 'Oh honey!' Oozey honey mess, mixmeup BEE-eautiful spring tights (sheer ~ striped knees) Bees Knees patches & Bee on yer nose pose set

White~Widow face tattoo 'Fee' (butterflies) bought at Gypset Market

Other items purchased in 2008 and not likely to be on sale any more (but you never know!)

Fancy Fairy Queen Bee outfit incl. fur shrug, scripted flutter wings and winged crown
and 'Marilyn Sun' skin - orange lips

Kitties Lair 'Venice' boots in brown (tinted)

Deadly Nightshade Design Marmelade contacts

ETD 'Casual' hair - short, copper (store now known as [e] )

Grendel's Children Wasp Pet (on shoulder)

Antennae and sting by me (if you like them I'll be happy to give you a copy :)

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Friday, 10 May 2013

A non-SL post: My WoW pets

Don't worry, I am not going to bore you with hundreds of screenshots from World of Warcraft, no matter how pretty it looks - but I did want to share just a few things, to show you what I have been doing, since I only started playing the game last month even though my husband has been playing (on and off) as long as I've been in SL! A friend has already sent me a wreath with the note "another friend lost to Warcrack" *g*

I (and my WoW playing friends) have noticed very quickly that I am not your usual style of gamer. Most people try to level their characters up as quickly as possible, using guilds and dungeon raids to gain experience and ignoring all but the central character development quests. They seem to rush through the world, barely stopping to notice the beauty of their surroundings or enjoy the gentle humour of the storyline. Of course, by this time, most of my WoW friends have played several characters to high level and "seen it all before", and I am bringing fresh eyes to the game; but even so, inside one month of playing, I have discovered three things none of them knew before! (You can fish while sitting down; you can't use emotes, such as "sniff" while sitting; and sometimes your pet does not show up on the login screen...)

I'm playing a Worgen (werewolf) Hunter, which means I get to tame wild animals to fight by my side - well, more in front of me, keeping the enemy at bay while I shoot from a distance! - and there is also a system for all players, of any class, where you can obtain little companion pets which will fight each other but not join in regular combat. The whole battlepets system is remarkably similar to Pokemon. Although WoW is not allowed to use the phrase "Gotta catch em all!" that is certainly my goal, and extends to the larger hunter pets too, except that sadly you can't own more than 25 of those. I already have 11. Because of the sheer variety of creatures in WoW, I am having fun catching and matching up big and little pets of each type. So far I have paired two "nightsaber" tigers, two dinosaurs, two owls, and two cheetahs (not pictured).

Wollins and Hooty McWhoot
(staying carefully away from the big whirlwind...)


A night-elf NPC apparently kneeling to look at my cub!
Not sure if this is real interaction or coincidental placement.

My tiggers are special: Shadowclaw (I mistakenly named him Darkclaw and now need to get hold of a Certificate of Ownership to put it right) is the only one of his type in the whole game (which doesn't mean other players can't get him too, just that he is a recognisable named rare and not just any cat); a lighter coloured breed of tiger stalks his territory and they are as common as deer.

The matching Nightsaber Cub is a special battlepet you get by buying WoW trading cards, which I don't, so I got him off ebay. Once I manage to gain a high enough reputation with the Night Elves, which could take a while, I'll be able to get a third matching cat to ride on, so then I'll have triplicats! Shadow Whisker is a lazy little thing. Whenever I stop for more than a moment, he goes to sleep and then doesn't catch up with me for a while; and he has the cutest little snore! To get the cub in-world I had to buy the card on ebay, redeem a special code, then travel a looong way in-world to visit a trading goblin, and on the way I got a few more hunter pets - a white wolf, a cheetah and my raptor!

Reaperclaw and his Mini-me
My raptor King Reaperclaw is also a named - well not rare, since he's always in the same place for quests, but there are only 2 raptors in the game with his colouring. The other raptors in the area are purple. I had to tame King Reaperclaw on my own (you can't tame a new pet while one is at your side) while being chomped on by him and his two raptor minions AND an ornery giant bird, which thought it would get in on the action for no reason I can discern (they're usually neutral!) Fortunately I'm fairly tough and survived the experience, and then my tamed Reaperclaw turned on his own former minions. Heh. Nadir [my hubby] got me the little one, I don't know where from.

He also got me a little gold dragon which I have named Fledge (my character is Fledhyris). She is very special, she twirls and dances around in a trailing ribbon of light so that it is very hard to take pictures, and sometimes breathes out a fireball. One of her special battlepet abilities is to call down sunshine for an area effect of mass healing (this also helps the opposition so one has to be careful).

Fledge and I watching another maelstrom
(there are a lot of them, it's the storyline)

Fledge battling a rat!
The first week of every month is also carnival week, with a big fair that everyone can visit, which has rides and contests and special fair quests. Darkmoon Faire is neutral territory, with no fighting, and both Alliance and Horde factions visit together peaceably, though neither can understand the other when they talk (the game scrambles your typing). The factions are traditional, based on game history going back to pre-MMORPG days when we were at university. The Horde has Orcs, Trolls, Undead, Blood Elves, Tauren (minotaurs; Nadir is a Tauren, his main character, though he has many others) and Goblins. The Alliance has Humans, Worgen, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and a novel race called the Draenei.

Riding a dragon on the carousel

Stage-crashing a performance by the Tauren Chieftains
This band, composed of WoW staff, actually perform for real and have released four albums. They are Horde, with a Tauren on the drums up above, an Orc singer, a Night Elf (Sig Nicious ... get it? ;) on lead guitar, and Undead and Troll on backing guitars. They are a rock band (obviously) and their gig was punctuated by a hail of falling rocks, meteors and dust devils; a subtle play on Earth, Wind and Fire no doubt. I thought it would be fun to get up on stage and dance with them (it's a pre-recorded, not live, performance so I wasn't really disrupting anything).

You can also see a little boy standing near me; this week was Orphan Week where you undertake special quests to look after an orphaned child, showing them the sights and generally giving them a good time. I thought my orphan would love to see a rock concert but he doesn't look too impressed, does he; perhaps he finds the band scary and just wants to go home? After all, the Horde probably killed his parents... (Not a real child, I should add; he is an NPC, a computer generated non-player character. WoW is strictly a 12+ game.)

I should mention that my friends favour the Horde - Nadir himself had no Alliance characters until now - but I was stuck because I really wanted to play a Worgen and they're Allies, despite their fearsome appearance (I think they were trying to even things up for players who like being monsters). Nadir made a new Worgen (Nadyr) just to help me out if needed, because his Guild play on a different server; just to demonstrate the difference in gameplay (but also of course because he's so much more practised) he is now level 87 while I'm level 25, in the same amount of time. It stops levelling at 90. I've a way to go yet!

I could have joined Nadir's server but there was little point when I wasn't going to be in the same faction or Guild. I also didn't realise at the time that some of my friends DO have Allies and I could have joined their server. Oh well. Another friend has made a Worgen warrior on my server which he is levelling at the same rate as me, so eventually the three of us could visit a dungeon together, because you can't really fight in those alone successfully until you're too high a level for there to be much point. I don't fancy the thought of raiding with total strangers, which is the alternative option.

Finally, I will leave you with a funny image I took of another player who has got hold of some kind of illuminated helm; you can't see her face at all and she's lighting up the entire area around her! Remind anyone of facelights in SL?! You can just see the eyestalks of my pet in the bottom right corner.

WoW facelight!
Altogether (so far) I have Doggin the mastiff (the default starting pet for Worgen hunters, which you can't exchange); Socksey the fox; Rygna, a giant black widow spider (the first quest Boss I had to overcome; yes, I tamed her!); Bitey the crocodile; Peenchy the crab; Wollins the owl; Giltbristle, a golden boar; Ghostpaw the wolf; a cheetah I haven't named yet; Shadowclaw the nightsaber and Reaperclaw the raptor (his full name wouldn't fit). And I really wish these Zhevra could be tamed as pets - isn't he adorable?! (There's Ghostpaw, my wolf, and a glow fly battlepet I captured at Darkmoon Faire.) I have a great many more battlepets than hunter pets, because there is no limit on numbers, you just have to capture them in staged combat with your current battlepets...

Zhevra - a zebra unicorn!!!