Monday Meme: Surrealism

“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.”
– Salvador Dali

This week’s Monday Meme is a Surrealist Challenge.

Everyone knows Dali’s melting clocks (most famously used in The Persistence of Memory) and Magritte’s apple-faced The Son of Man (although I prefer his Time Transfixed), but the one thing that fascinated me about Dali was his common useage of the ‘cutout’ method, with all its connotations of seeing through or seeing into his subjects.

Whether it was his muse, Gala, painted looking at herself as an elegantly-pillared building, or an old man with a cupboard cut from his body, this technique was one for which I knew I had the exact  item in my inventory.

I picked up this Soul Window  from Kunstkammer (I believe it was a group gift, or similar freebie) back in 2009. Between that and the more recent headdress from Tableau Vivant (which fits the quote perfectly), this is far simpler than I would like, but I’m dog tired tonight. I may see if I can put together another surrealist look sometime soon. This, though, will suffice for now.

Click here for larger.

To close, a small anecdote. I visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow many years ago. At the top of a beautiful, massive wooden staircase that has been burnished to a deep shine by thousands of hands and feet over many decades of use, is a Dali painting. You walk up the stairs, and it confronts you as you’re looking up. It’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross. I’m not a particularly religious person, but seeing that rise above me as I walked up the stairs was something close to an experience. The painting is still at the gallery (although its position may have been moved; I went there sometime back in the mid-90s) and if you ever get the chance to see it, DO.

Skin: Red Sand – The Huntsman (metal) [ david.december ]

Hair: Wasabi Pills – Teeloh (night shadow) [ missallsunday.lemon ]

Headdress: Tableau Vivant – Breaking Apart [ m4r1lyn.magic ]

Eyes: Negaposi – Elfin Eyes (dark matter) [ durttrashdurt.zipper ]

Window: Kunstkammer – Soul Window [ nuala.shippe ] – no longer available

Memeception!

Oh my god, did I ever have fun with THIS one! ;-)

This week’s Monday Meme from Berry Singh is called ‘Memeception‘. I’ll let Berry explain the concept:

Meme instructions: Take a RL meme and bring it into SL. Or, if you prefer, create a new meme of yourself.

Mmmhm. As soon as I read this (right before work, so it was a long and frustrating day before I could get home and put my ideas into practice!) I knew exactly  which memes I would choose. First of all, this classic…

My interpretation:

And for my second one… you’ll have to brace yourselves. This has long been one of my favourite memes, but it’s going to be a bit icky…

brace…

brace…

brace…

ready…?

here it comes…

Bwahahaaaaaa! I knew  those old deformer animations would come in handy one day! XD

Thanks, Berry. This one was a blast ;-)

 

Dear Diary: All gatcha’d out

Dear Diary,

I have spent an insane  amount of money at the Arcade Gatcha today. I’ve been putting it off until the weekend, when I can log on in the early morning GMT (I figured it would be quieter then, and I was right; only 19 avatars present at the Arcade at that hour).

When I landed, I found this:

And, naturally, the last things to rez were the images of the prizes themselves, so I parked myself in an out-of-the-way corner and went to make breakfast. When I returned to the computer everything had rezzed and I was ready to spend.

And, by god, how I spent O.o

L$12,650

Holy shit. *koff*

Most of it was spent at Apple Fall (I’ve already blogged about how much I wanted everything in this set), Pilot (milk & cookies bar), Vespertine (autumn decor), Pixel Mode (spa bath set), Standby Inc. (coffee machines etc), Barnesworth Anubis (decorative wooden boxes), DECO (awesome ‘legends’ weapons), Art Dummy (beds and other furniture), MiaMai (cute plushie avatars), Half Deer (carved wooden animals & trees), Lark (imaginarium librarium), Baiastice (omg, the porcelain fairies!), Keke (homeopath medicine cabinet), and Trompe Loeil (I wanted every.single.lamp.dammit).

As you can see, I have what might be called a ‘weakness for decor’. What can I say? *rueful grin* I have a ton of duplicates, which will first be given to Daros, and then I might list the rest in a blog post here, for people to claim. I can’t join the trading group, as I’m maxed out on groups and don’t want to drop any.

I left after an hour, as I was experiencing godawful texture thrashing (if you don’t get that problem, be thankful; it drives me bonkers) and the sim was packed out by then. I was lucky to get out without my teleport failing. And, after all that spending, all I can say is: Holy shit, the creators who get into the Arcade must thank their lucky stars, because a whole month of L$ ringing in like that could set them up for the entire year!

In other news, the mini Lord of the Rings  ‘journey’ that we appear to be creating down on the ground in Jindalrae has now been increased by the addition of The Prancing Pony. For those of you (Philistines!) that haven’t read the series or seen the movies, The Prancing Pony is the tavern in Bree where the hobbits meet Strider. Since I had a Strider look already put together, and Daros had created a brilliant  little hobbit look, have a couple of pics:

“Excuse me, that man in the corner, who is he?”

“He’s one of them rangers. Dangerous folk they are — wandering the wilds. What his right name is I’ve never heard, but around here, he’s known as Strider.”

I’ve also been re-reading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando  this week, and it’s prompted a lot of thought about gender, identity, and expression in Second Life; particularly the scene where Orlando meets Shelmerdine, and each realises that the other began their lives as the opposite biological sex and woke up one day simply… changed. Expect a ‘thinky thoughts’ post on all of this sometime soon, once I’ve let it percolate for a bit.

I’ll close with two gorgeous fan-made compilations of scenes from Sally Potter’s lush movie adaptation of Orlando, starring the incomparable Tilda Swinton in the title role, and an utterly fabulous turn from Quentin Crisp as Elizabeth I, whose birthday (Elizabeth’s, not Quentin’s) – incidentally – it would have been yesterday. Again with the unwittingly-synchronicitous ponderings, Dagger!

And this, which – despite the audio being slightly out of sync – I have  to include, simply because, well… Billy Zane as a long-haired Shelmerdine. Be still, my throbbing… yeah ;-)

It’s written in the Wind(light) – The Windlight Settings meme

In this week’s Monday Meme, Berry is asking about Windlight settings.

Do you use windlight while taking pictures? If not, why not?
Always, because Default Midday is why facelights were invented in the first place!

When taking a closeup snapshot for a profile picture, which windlight preset do you use most often?
I began, like many others, with Caliah’s preset. Then, when I switched to the Phoenix viewer I also switched to the AnaLu Studio 5 preset that shipped with the viewer. Later, moving to Firestorm, I changed that to Nam’s Optimal Skin & Prim. These days I use (again, shipped with Firestorm) Annan Adored Optimal Skin (no shadows).

Which windlight presets do you use for full body portraits?
That depends on the mood I want to convey in the picture. If it’s just a standard ‘this is what this clothing looks like’ picture, I’ll use the same as for close-ups (Annan Adored Optimal Skin). But I tend to go for atmosphere a lot more often than realism these days, so I’ll go through tons  of setting to find the right one.

For instance, I wanted a strongly-shadowed monochromatic look to highlight a feathered neckpiece I’d bought (since everyone and their mother’s budgie had already blogged it, and I wanted to put a new twist on it). I used one of the Phototools ‘build’ presets (I think it was Build 007) that gives very strong light/dark contrast and deep shadows, then desaturated the image in Photoshop, pulled up the contrast a bit, and ended up with this:

Full size here.

Conversely, for the background image of the blog I used another Phototools preset Fashion Path Light 01, which gives a really great blue tone. The preset that I use also depends on whether I want shadows or not, as some presets look vastly different with Advanced Lighting enabled than they do without it.

Lastly, it’s even been known for me to change a look completely because, while clicking through presets, I’ve found one that’s made me think, “OMG, what this look really  needs is X and Y and this preset, and… YES!” XD

If you do landscape photography, which windlights do you use for that most often?
As with portraits, this depends on whether I want shadows or not. I’m fond of the Nacon’s Natural presets for specific times of day, as well as Phototools and sometimes Chic Aeon’s Places presets. If I want flares, I’ll go into Torley’s ‘Big Sun’ presets. I never stick to the same preset from one picture to the other, so I can’t say that I have any favourites!

That said, I tend to wander around with one of Nacon’s presets on. Usually one of the Day Mood ones, or Morning (a gorgeous salmon pink haze).

Do you have any tricks or tips that you could share for using Windlight effectively?
Get to know and love the Phototools widget in the Firestorm viewer. If you don’t use Firestorm, then Phototools is an amazing, multi-panel option for everything  you’d want to use in photography within Second Life. Currently, it only works for two specific skins within the Firestorm viewer (which now ships with it pre-installed, along with a ton of gorgeous Windlight presets).

At the moment, I don’t think there’s any way of obtaining just the presets alone, other than by installing Firestorm, or asking a Firestorm user to send you the XML files so you can install them into your viewer of choice. However, the Phototools website itself is invaluable  in other ways, as it has extensive tutorials on how to create your own presets.

As an aside, I’m shocked that the Linden viewer ships with so few presets. I just loaded my current LL viewer (used mainly to verify any issues I’m having with Firestorm, before I open a support ticket) and logged in briefly with an alt, just to screenshot the installed files. These are they:

I’m pretty certain that I installed the Caliah preset, just so I had a decent one for walking around in, other than default midday. Likewise, the My Sky Preset was me trying to see how the LL viewer handled creating new presets.

Last little tip (which works best for static images, rather than machinima) is that Nacon has also created different cloud types. These now ship with Firestorm, but you can install them in any other viewer. Info here.

Have you created any windlights that you would be willing to share with us?
I haven’t actually. Firestorm ships with so many pre-installed, I haven’t really needed to make any. I know that, back in our Phoenix days, Daros made some great ones, but whether either of us still has them as shareable XML files I’m not sure.

Dear Diary: It’s a day for cuddling

Dear Diary,

It’s a day for cuddling. It’s been a frustrating day, with a lot of packet loss issues that I’ve reported to my internet service provider. At times, webpages have taken over a minute to load, and trying to build anything in SL has just been a non-starter. And, when that happens on a day that you actually feel creative, it’s stifling and plain old bloody annoying.

Daros and I have been hard at work on the ground in Jindalrae. Since we won that big parcel of land recently, we decided to start building a few things down there. We often get random avatars just teleporting in, and before now there’s just been a couple of our homes rezzed there (mainly the big steampunk tower, and the MYST-based ‘Cleft’ that Daros dug into the ground. I thought I’d share some images of what we’ve been putting into the sim.

First up, on the Tor at the north end, Daros has rezzed and furnished The Looking Glass’s gorgeous Castle Ruins Lodge.

Looks fabulous in daylight, but even better in a dark, evening Windlight preset.

Further down, just below the Tor, I’ve rezzed another Looking Glass build: the Ancient Ruins.

In the middle of a stand of forest (Studio Skye’s Enchanted Tree Tunnel set) you’ll find a pool, and beyond that… something in a clearing.

It’s Senzafine’s ‘La Gitana’ Gypsy Musician Set.

To the right of this, an imposing gate (Botanical’s Japanese Torii Gate) rises above a set of steps that lead down to the new (as-yet-undecided!) land.

Across the way, a bridge leads to a house where a long-expected party is being arranged. (In other words, the most perfect replica of Bag End! It’s Nakama by Funatik.)

Inside, though, it’s oddly quiet. Mainly because we’ve not furnished it much! XD

Down in the Cleft, there’s a waterfall and pond, and strange lights circle around the tree.

Walk past the grain store (stop and pet Flame the cat!) and the library, past the open-air reading room and Atrus’s bedroom and you’ll find a tunnel.

At the end there’s a darkened cave entrance. Dare you go in?

*gives you a shove* Go on, ya wuss! Inside you’ll find an edited version of the Domicile Ruined Temple (made by moi).

Yep. Jindalrae’s starting to come together now.

Meanwhile, I’m snoozing blissfully on the couch, being cuddled by my gorgeous boy and listening to the storm on the Rainy Mood website.

European Son: The Exploring Second Life meme

Berry is shamelessly begging for new places to visit ;-)

Meme Instructions: Share 1 to 5 of your favorite places on the grid. I feel like exploring and discovering new places. Share places you think everyone should visit and also tell us why they are your favorites. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments!

Only 1 to 5? Hmf! I’m not stopping at five, nor am I differentiating between full locations and stores that look bloody awesome. Because I’m contrary like that :p

1: Venexia

This is built by the same people who made Kingdom of Sand and, like KoS, it’s a roleplay sim (although with less emphasis on capture roleplay). Daros and I have been roleplaying in Venexia for a couple of weeks now, and it’s a beautiful build.

Note: You’ll need to pick up a free explorer tag at the landing point in order to visit the sim. It’ll last for three days (if you want to go back after three days, discard that tag and pick up a new one). The roleplay is based around a world where vampires are the dominant species. The dress code (preferable, if you can manage it) is as follows:

– From a game play perspective the period is almost anything before industrial Victorian.
– We say this as we do not really want too drift to far into late Victorian steampunk look.
– Renaissance to 18th century could be good. Obviously the Masquerades of Venice can throw up many ideas. In Venexia it is like a permanent Carnival look. And Venetian Masks can be worn almost any time.
– What it definitely is not is contemporary or futuristic.
– No actual count Draculas please and sorry, no wings.
– Basically if the whole sim looked like a Gothic interpretation of Venetian fashion through the ages we would be well pleased.

2: Crtl Shift H

Home of the Empyreal Dreams art exhibits. These are several intensely-gorgeous animated exhibits wherein classic books and poetry come to life. Shown above is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (the swelling water in this is incredible). Another highlight is the Les Miserables build.

3: Adrian

This is a store build: home to JOMO Skins. I love this place. The entire sim is a water-enclosed Japanese castle.

4: Virtual Decay

Another store build, this is great for photoshoots when you want an urban build. Also, I love being able to just buy the stuff I’m admiring when I’m taking photos ;-)

NOTE: Virtual Decay does ask that, if you use the location for photoshoots only, you make a small donation. I think that’s only fair, to be honest. You can find the donation kiosk by the gas station.

5: Mythopoeia

Another store location, this time for The Curious Prim. I could wallow here for hours (and bankrupt myself in the process). Multiple amazing builds out back (I wish I could fly that brilliant little rocketship in the foreground!) which make for great photoshoot locations. I shot my Flat Rodvik Linden meme pic in the Roman bath here.

Aaaand, since I’m not going to stop at five…

6: Elven Mist

Home to Bentham Forest, by turns cute, spooky, and eye-gougingly-glowy. Bright textures, giant trippy mushrooms, trees with eyes, winding paths where the tree roots grow thick and get in your hair. Great place. Just wander and get deeper and deeper into the forest.

7: Furizona

Home to La Perla, Old Italy. My landmark will drop you off at this lovely little rooftop cafe. It’s a simple build, but I adore it. Just like being in Florence :-)

8: Bladerunner City

This is a massive, multi-level sim. You could spend days here and still not see it all (a bit like The Louvre). Next door is Bladerunner City 2, which is an art sim. Down on one of the lower levels of the first sim, you’ll find the familiar zapping-neon white dragon bar where Gaff first confronts Deckard in what is the greatest movie EVER.

9: Horizon Dream

Home to Marcus Inkpen’s beautifully-delapidated The Looking Glass. The stores have now moved, but the sim build is still there, and as amazing as ever (I really do need to check out the new stores landmark, though; they had a great hippie store tucked away down a side street, and I want to go back!). My favourite part of the main build is the ruined theatre. Check out the floating islands, too.

10: Night Whispers

Here’s a perfect little oddity for you. Home of the B&B Spiritual Supplies Store (and I don’t mean ‘spiritual’ in any conventional religious sense!) it’s a little bit of voodoo bayou in Second Life. I fucking love this little store, and poking around to find quirky goodies therein.

Bonus store coming up, not so much for its location as much as for what it sells…

11: Masan

Here’s a treasure trove, quite literally! Masan is home to Glimmer Moon. If you love spending Sunday afternoons poking around antique stores (I do!) then Glimmer Moon is right up your street. Hundreds of unique antiques, and two items on the porch are just L$1 each every time there’s a new release.

Finally, in the spirit of gorgeous places, and because I always seem to add something to Berry’s memes, here are some places that I’ve loved and lost :-(

Alchemy Immortalis/Ceangeal/Empress and Hierophant

I was going to add these three sims to the above list, and I was nigh-on heartbroken to find they don’t exist anymore. They were the places I used to go to when I wanted wild and windswept landscapes remeniscent of the Scottish Highlands. Gone, but never forgotten. Link to my Strider Flickr set shot there.

Cadeling Gardens

Once home to the BND (Bird Next Door) shop, this shallow-water sim had so many lovely spots for photo ops, deliberately placed by the builder. Such a shame that it’s gone.

S.I.C.49

Similar to the (still-existing) Kowloon, S.I.C.49 (aka: SICK) was an urban Japanese-themed sim. Great for Bladerunner-style roleplay before Bladerunner City really grew huge.

The Block

God, we’re going back some years here! The Block was the best collection of stores for its time. It was just like a small city block, perfectly-built for simply walking around while you shopped. This was where I discovered the great stores like Sinistyle, Mechanism and FORM that kick-started my love of fashion in SL. I used to go there almost every day just to wander around and feel like I was back in the big smoke.

Little Nepal

I can’t think that I was the only person who was So. Damn. Happy when the Yak & Yeti store came back inworld after a couple of years’ hiatus. Annapurna’s lovely free Indian clothing and jewellery store used to be on the restful Little Nepal sim. The store itself (seriously, if you love Indian-style jewellery and Nepalese furniture, you should visit; everything in the store is free) is currently on Desperado, but I miss the original Little Nepal sim.

La Reve

*sigh* It’s still there, but it’s been a private sim for years. Is there anyone who doesn’t miss La Reve? (And yes, that’s me with the ragged wings in the pic. Still one of my favourite shots I’ve ever taken in SL.)

Airship Outpost

That’s all I have of this amazing build: four old, old screenshots. Airship Outpost once hovered in the skies of Maggiore sim. It was one of the first jaw-droppingly original locations I visited in SL, waaay back in 2007, and I’ll never forget the sound of those old rotors thumping away.

And, finally, one art installation that was short-lived, but that I was privileged to experience: a collaboration between Eshi Otawara and Dizzy Banjo. I sat here for hours, just listening to the ambient music and watching the water and the swirling notes…

Everything Is A Tribute To Mozart

And, since I’m rockin’ the David Sylvian look here, I should give some credits:

Jacket: SF Design – Mesh Wool Overcoat (colour-change) [ swaffette.firefly ]

Pants: Just Because – MG Leisure Slacks [ annie.melson ]

Shirt: SF Design – White Shirt  [ swaffette.firefly ]

Shoes: Pixelfashion – Oxford Shoes (black) [ amandine.arai ]

Glasses: ZOOM – Aviator Classic (white gold) [ jonas.acanthus ]

Hair: Exile – Pulse (chardonnay) [ kavar.cleanslate ]

Cigarette: Hermony – Ultimate Cigarette [ hermanni.laville ]

Ring: Lapointe & Bastchild – Sugar Skull Ring (all diamond) [ paul.lapointe ]

Skin: KOOQLA – Gray (04) [ rocketta.haven ]

Large trunk: FANATIK – Vintage Travel Trunk (edited to be closed) [ funatik ]

Other luggage: POST – Vintage Luggage Set [ van.auster ]

Dear Diary: Weekend headaches suck

Dear Diary,

Weekend headaches suck. They really do. I’ve been nursing an absolute stonker between my eyebrows for the past couple of hours (so what do I do? Yep; I get online to bitch about it, while looking at a bright LCD monitor. Smart move, Skell). Painkillers and Pak Fah Yeow should help, though they both take a while to work.

The main reason why I’m waiting for this headache to abate is that I need all available braincells to box up, put out in the store, and write the Marketplace listing for my latest item. I wanted to put something out (so the world at large doesn’t think I’ve fallen down a big hole, because it’s been a while since I released Interessovat) so I took a look around the GB City build that I put together and realised I could sell some of the empty store shells. The first one out will be the Gorean Medieval store: a giant warehouse with grunged Japanese souko textures. I’ve renamed it Chew’s Warehouse, and if you know your movie references that one should be easy ;-)

Couple of teaser pics:

In other news, I’ve been freaking out over the quality of Apple Fall’s upcoming Arcade Gatcha items. Honestly, I swear I’m going to bankrupt myself trying to get everything that’s been teased on Flickr over the past week or so. So far, I want the reclaimed dresser (all variants), the backgammon board, the chair, the plants… um, basically everything. My wallet is doomed…

I’ve also been getting to grips with CasperVend. A few weeks back, I bought the massive fatpack of everything, and I’ve slowly been going through the options, figuring stuff out and getting items loaded into dropboxes. It’ll be a while yet before it goes live in the store (seriously, we’re probably talking around Christmas!) but once it does you’ll be able to gift items, redeliver, and also use a rezzer to see and walk around anything that catches your fancy.

Ugh. My brain is practically out for lunch. Here, have a couple of pics of me sitting in our office at GB City. I love this place (and yes, I’m blond today). I’m off to find something to eat, in the hope of poking said brain back into relatively-full functionality.

The SLife of I: Part 1

No, I’m not sharing a boat with a tiger. These are just a few random snapshots of my SLife in the past few weeks.

Firstly, Daros and I bought a huge plot of land at auction, on our home sim of Jindalrae. It had previously been the location of a big SL pregnancy clinic, and it had become something of a standing joke that – when I was sitting up in our big steampunk tower home waaaaay off to the east of the clinic – random female avatars would send me IMs, assuming that either: I owned the store and could tell them how much the triplets package was, or that I could… assist them in other, more intimate ways. Yeesh!

Incidentally, see those lines on the Linden water there? I have an ATI card (never again, trust me) and I see those damn things all the time unless I have shadows enabled. Anyone else get those? They drive me crazy, flickering and flashing away. Sometimes the water is green. And no, it’s not my system; it’s less than a year old, and is a custom-built, water-cooled gaming rig. The only thing I can think of is that I have a dodgy GPU (or that ATI just simply isn’t as good as NVIDIA, which I’ll be switching back to by the end of the year).

Seconds after we’d won the land (after a very tense half hour with a sniper bidding against us, which saw us put in a whopping bid that nobody in their right mind would try to surpass!) I had my arms full of very happy boyfriend :-)

VERY happy boyfriend! XD

And then, I logged in a few days ago and – no matter what I did – I kept floating. The best way I can describe it is that it was like the ghosts in the Sims 3 cemetery. Even when I walked, I floated. A relog fixed it, but it was odd as all hell.

Now, this young lady was standing at the base of our steampunk tower home. She was cuffed and chained and her Master kept poufing in and poufing out again, taking off her clothes and putting new ones on her. Interesting selection in her #RLV folder…

Thing is, he put this skirt (well really, it’s more like a belt) on her, and… uh… a friend of mine (*koff*) really wants to know where it’s from, so he can buy one. Can you help me him out?

Moving swiftly on… I should have added this to my ‘Packaging: You’re doing it right’  set on Flickr. Great packaging from Aitui:

An amazing dress spotted a few weeks ago at the final Zodiac event. I complimented the wearer, because her entire ensemble was awesome. She was a blogger, putting together an Alice-themed look.

Penutimately, a new ‘thing’ for the blog: Fashion Disasters In The Wild. We begin with a trip to Sn@tch last week to grab the Woeful Wednesday item, whereat I spotted this leggy lovely, wearing a tag that proclaimed her to be a ‘top model’. With un-matched, poorly-sized feet like that, honey, I sure as hell wouldn’t hire you. </bitch>

Lastly, the best moments are always the small, simple, perfect ones when you spend time with someone you love <3

 

The 42 SL Gropes… uh… Groups Challenge!

Dammit, Berry. Spoil my fun, why don’t you! :p (I got so excited, I even titled this post ‘43 Gropes’ instead of 42.)

Apparently, this meme isn’t about 42 gropes. And I had my boyfriend all ready to try it out, too! *pouts*

Berry asks the following:

Have you reached the 42 group limit?

Within about three days of it going live, yes! And I’m continually on that limit, which is why it’s so hard to decide which group to drop when I find a new one I really want to be in. Even if we had a 100 group allowance, it wouldn’t be enough! (I liken it to the female handbag/purse dilemma: the bigger it is, the more can be stuffed into it.)

Do you do a lot of group hopping to keep up with all the groups you want to stay a part of?

Sometimes; it depends. I’m still in some groups that I joined years ago, and it pains me to leave them – even though there have been no group notices for months – whenever I need a group slot.

What makes you want to join a group?

A variety of reasons. Group gifts, naturally, but also I (obviously!) need to be interested in what they have to offer. I hop through roleplay groups when I join/leave their sims (likewise any land groups, if I’m renting a home in the roleplay sim).

A lot of store VIP groups have a group fee which you have to pay to join. How do you feel about paying group fees?

I can understand groups charging a fee to keep spammers out (but only if that fee is fairly low). For higher fees, I expect something exclusive in return: either group gifts, discounts, pre-sale access, etc. I don’t mind paying to join a group, especially when they sell high-end items (skins etc). Considering the average price for a skin, something like L$250 to join a skin group that gives out three or five skins to group members every couple of months is worth it.

Name a few groups that you are a part of that you feel everyone should look into joining and share your reasons behind that.

Pure Poison – Fabulous jewellery (and, increasingly, clothing and other accessories). The owner is incredibly generous with group gifts. Currently, the group is L$100 to join, and well worth it. (An added bonus: all the jewellery is resizable and much of it works on male avatars, too.)

IKON VIP – Everyone and their alts should be in this one. Once a month the store puts out a gorgeous free pair of eyes for group members. Currently free to join.

LAMU Group – Home of Analee Balut and ShuShu. Free to join, and absolutely tons of exquisitely-textured clothing offered free in the store for group members (both male and female). I adore ALB’s texturing; it’s insanely good. Hover your cursor over everything and find the free wearable demos. Also, check out LAMU Town. It’s a stunning build, and – if you find the ShuShu store – there’s a load of free footwear, with similar amazing texturing.

Sn@tch VIP – Costs L$200 to join, but it’s the most fun group I’m in. Naughty, sassy, hilarious chat, and sometimes group gifts. This is probably the LAST group I would ever leave.

Gentlemen Bastards Update Group – Because we’re fucking awesome ;-) (Plus, if more people join then I’ll have to make more stuff. I need an incentive!)

Berry left out one other question that I think is rather important, so I’m adding that here:

What makes you LEAVE a group?

Incessant spam messages from the owner. I can’t stand it when a group that I originally joined for store updates begins to spam me with messages about the owner’s DJ gigs, for instance. Or they send out seven notices in five days, all for the same item. The thing that annoys me the most is when a group that I have paid a lot of money to join (in the hundreds of L$) starts spamming me with “vote for us in this SL awards thing” messages multiple times a day. I end up muting group notices for those ones and only checking once a week.

I shall now endeavour to get those 42 gropes in before bedtime, anyway. DAROOOOOOS! *chases after the boyfriend*

An afternoon in Paradise

I’ll put a spell on you; you’ll fall asleep.
I’ll put a spell on you,
and when I wake you I’ll be the first thing you see,
and you’ll realise that you love me.

I’ll let you into a secret. You don’t need to spend thousands of real life [insert your currency here] to have a holiday. You just need to spend L$15,000. (Or, if you were savvy and timely, you could’ve spent half that.)

This is Bali, the latest prefab by reBourne. For one day only (the day it was released) it was half price, both inworld and on Marketplace, as are all reBourne new releases. And oh god, what a glorious bargain that was. Who needs a holiday in RL when you’ve got this beauty rezzed in SL?

I’ve got the skybox version rezzed, because I love the scenery options, but it also comes with a ground version (no surround) and – even if you rez the skybox version with surround, you can switch it off. My favourite surround is Far, with its high tumbling waterfall and distant sunset. That’s the one I’m showing in these images. (Most of the house images are taken under Nam’s Optimal Skin & Prim Windlight preset, but the pics of me and Daros are taken under Nam’s Robots of Dawn preset – hence the golden glow.)

This place is paradise in a box. A beautiful, airy mesh house with open dining and bathing areas. It includes a pool with multiple swimming and inner tube animations, a hammock, loungers, couches… the list goes on.

This is the furnished house, but I’ve added a few touches from the new Genre event. In the image below, the two grinder wheels and the bowl of balls are from Shai at Genre.

There are built-in poses everywhere in this building. You won’t even be able to have a shower without your partner molesting you (as I can happily attest, and no, you’re not seeing the pictures of that!).

Lotus stone basin in the above image from Fuubutsu-Dou at Genre.

The bed (No Copy, so make sure you don’t lose it!) comes with a full set of animations (some gorgeous intimate cuddles as well as adult animations). Chinese armoire from Shai at Genre. Side tables by Mirage at Genre.

I added this lovely meditation set, from Roawenwood at Genre, to the other main room. Multiple meditation poses in the cushion, and a working (loud!) gong; this gives me a place to sit and contemplate, as I try to meditate twice a day (once on waking and once later in the day, before bed).

Another view of the bed.

The open-air bathing and spa area.

Ahhhh :-)

Even more ‘ahhhhh’ ;-)

Down a bit… right a bit… THERE! OMGyeeeeeahhhh *blissful whine*

reBourne inworld

Bali on Marketplace

Genre event: Eastern Asia theme