[#672] When The Music Plays

 

And when the music plays
And when the words are
Touched with sorrow
When the music plays
I hear the sound
I had to follow
Once upon a time

Your Wildest Dreams, ♫The Moody Blues♫

 

Quite a bit of time has past since my last entry (at least close to a month by my count). The holidays came and went and as many I know tend to say I “survived” them but one of the things that I thought I would end up getting back to after the new year was creating more posts. I think though the best way to go about it is to post when I feel like I have something valuable to take a photo of. Though sometimes it will be just to make sure that I am able to keep up with deadlines (not the end of the world for me personally as I am usually good about it even at last minute). What I’m also finding out is that pushing myself to reach a certain amount of posts in such a time frame really throws me in a space in my head that tends to trail off where I don’t have the desire to take photos.

2020 is going to be a year full of taking photos that are not just posting for deadlines though. They are going to be taken when I want to take them and that gives me the best chance to really enjoy doing it. Also I have to tell myself too that it is okay for me to have other interests and things that I like to do that aren’t necessarily in-world.  Happiness is all that you make it, right?

On the topic of Bakes On Mesh (BOM), I will have to say that I’m still getting used to it. Most of the stores I favor haven’t explored it much yet other than Session Skins. The appliers that have been released have only been for female avatars but since I am able to blog both genders (still surprised at how much I’ve grown to like the challenge), I am putting it to as good of use as I can.

Sage is the skin that I’m currently wearing in Tone 00b. One of the things I also like with the new releases from Session is that they offer two different body types to their body skins. Adding the full figured option is something that’s been desired by ladies for a long time and allows for curvier shapes to look great too. Mole options are also provided by way of tattoo layers and that helps for everyone to think less about how to get their favorite makeups on without sacrificing something because they apply to the same layers (it’s a thing of the past now).

Lapointe & Bastchild’s most recent women’s in-store release is the Bianca Sweater. This bare shoulder look comes with lots of options via an affordable Fatpack and like all of those released by the store, they have extra options you cannot get by purchasing single colors; it’s an incentive that is practical. There are 36 regular colors along with 8 special winter themed colors. This would definitely be one of my picks for essential cold weather apparel.

The sweater is compatible with Belleza (Freya and Isis), Maitreya (Lara) and SLink Hourglass mesh bodies (all version have built in alpha hiding).

Honorable mention for this post includes the Papparazi “Opinion” backdrop as well as Truth’s “Eternity” Hair Fatpack that is currently available to VIP group members. I am not entirely sure for how long it will be there for but I would certainly check it out for any member of the group. That’s what members paid to be a part of so why not take advantage? Every color you could think of and two different styles with mirrored versions is great and would love to see other stores do something similar (especially male ones so us guys have more options as well).

I certainly hope everyone had an excellent finish to 2019 and I’ll certainly be back again soon to share more of the things I love from my favorite stores. Be well until then!

 

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
Oscar Wilde

 

BACKDROP: Paparazzi – Opinion

POSE: SAPA – Pose 66 @ AnthemNEW

HAIR: Truth – Eternity (Fatpack) ✦ VIP Gift
HEAD: Genus Project – Classic Face W001
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Sage Fullbody (Tone 00b)
BODY: Maitreya – Lara v4.1

SWEATER: L&B Swear (Store / MP) – Bianca Sweater (Fatpack)

 

[#668] Sparks

 

But I promise you this
I’ll always look out for you
Yeah that’s what I’ll do

Sparks, ♫Coldplay♫

 

My mind sometimes is filled with so much information that I don’t always remember if I’ve been to a location for a photo. This is the case with The Four Seasons sim, which is where this particular photo took place. I have been to most of the places that I know of or browsed through guides so lucky for me that I was having a conversation with Brenna and told me to check this place out. It’s a really great place not only for pics but also to explore and you can join the group at a small cost ($50L is all) to be able to rezz props.

I think when it has come to creating winter and holiday themed photos, I am getting better at it then I have been in previous years. Ideas are not always tucked away and can happen on the spot much like how this arrangement happened. I had the look and pose I wanted but the last bit that I needed was how I was going to implement the right surroundings; as I wandered around I found a tree clearing with a snow sculpture of a dog made of snow.

Who can say no to a cute snow doggo? Apparently not even me.

Elephante Poses has been around a long time as far as Second Life grid standards apply (even so much as taking a break for a while). I really thought that when I saw the ad vendor for the “Shine” set that it was very manageable to make it work. The set has 6 different poses that activate when you attach the sparkler to yourself. The vibe I was feeling when I was working on the environmental part of the scene was evening time so that I could use a facelight (the only time that I personally feel is acceptable) to have that illuminating feel from the sparkler.

The lighting along with a little of depth of field thrown in set the stage for what I consider an intimate setting. If I hadn’t already picked the song I wanted to use to play off of the situation in the scene, the second choice would have been “Silent Night” which also would have made sense. The logic of it is that it would have had that Christmas movie feeling to it where either a single person or a choir would sing (usually with candles) and it would visually be immaculate.

There’s absolutely no regrets with how this turned out though and it gives me the opportunity to use that song for another blog entry either this year or in the future.

 

Every moment contains a spark of eternity.
Elie Wiesel

 

Photo taken @ The Four Seasons

POSE: Elephante Poses – Shine @ Pose FairNEW

HAIR: Olive – The Nin
HEAD: Genus Project – Classic Face W001
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Yvette (Tone 01)
BODY: Maitreya – Lara v4.1

OUTFIT: Insomnia Angel – Houndstooth Ouji Lolita RARE ✦ Gacha

 

[#665] Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

 

It’s a wonderful feeling
Feel the love in the room
From the floor to the ceiling
It’s that time of year
Christmas time is here

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, ♫N’Sync♫

 

One of the toughest things for me when it comes to the task of pairing blogs up with songs (especially this time of year) is trying to remember what I’ve done and what I haven’t. Like I have to be careful with songs revolving around winter and the holidays as there are the ones that are such classics and are easy to remember but once you’ve broken past that barrier then you’re scraping the barrel for ones that fit your mood/theme. I’ve been also going through some of the more modern songs and that’s when I decided it was time to go back but not too far back to when JT and his guys were younger and put out this infectious holiday tune.

Pose Fair is well under way now and I’m seeing so many good photos and representations from fellow event bloggers as well as those who have gone to the event to pick up their favorites and put them in their creations. It’s a wonderful thing to see and personally I hope it inspires each and every one of us because to me that’s what creativity is all about…to see what we can take from our brains and put onto digital canvas in this particular case.

Ax Poses has a bevy of exclusives for this round and I had a hard time choosing between them as I found their “Beautiful” pose to be something that could be made into a sweet moment. Though the sweet pets that make up the “My Christmas Gift” won the day for me as I couldn’t resist the playful kitty and their wrapped gift and the puppy with a Santa Hat. These props are included with the pose and the pose can be unlinked from the props to help adjust for varying avatars.

Let me be the first to admit that I haven’t really been all the up to date on how the new (although technically old) “Bakes On Mesh” stuff works and last night I ended up putting myself smack into the middle of it so that I could blog the “Yvette” skin by Session Skins. It employs the Bakes On Mesh tech and considering that this is a product for women I was becoming frustrated trying to get it to work. I had to ask around and finally was able to get directed in the right direction to the things that would make it work and once I got the hang of it, the experience wasn’t entirely horrible and could be handy in the future even if at the beginning I thought it was a pain in the rear (frustration can set in easy sometimes).

“Yvette” comes in two different tone options (01 and 02 which I took the lightest between them). This is also a full body skin so it came in two different body styles (skinny and chubby) along with the tattoo add-ons that can give you moles or take away the original eyebrows so you can wear your own. I did in fact go with the moles because I liked how they looked but I left the eyebrows after testing the tattoo to remove them and it wasn’t for me personally. I also can see why people are moving towards BOM because of the amount of tattoos that you can wear on the body (some upwards of 62 from what I’ve been told) which is highly useful for makeups and as well as tattoos.

I have to admit I think it’ll take me quite a bit of time to get used to this new system but like any other new thing in Second Life, I’ll adapt to it just fine. We all were all on that ship when new mesh items were coming out over the past few years as well as when Bento itself released not that long ago. To me it’s just one step towards making things more realistic.

 

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.
Bob Hope

 

POSE: Ax Poses – My Christmas Gift @ Pose FairNEW

HAIR: elua – Miss Hair ✦ Gacha
HEAD: Genus Project – Classic Face W001
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Yvette (Tone 01)
BODY: Maitreya – Lara v4.1

TOP: AlterEgo – Chelsea Sweater
LEGGINGS: Blueberry – Poppy Leggings – Cream
SHOES: Blueberry – FLF 7/19 – Shoes Pack

 

[#662] Messing With My Head

 

When you said it was real, guess I really did believe you
Did you fake how you feel when we parked down by the river that night? That night?
That night when we fogged up the windows in your best friend’s car
‘Cause we couldn’t leave the windows down in December

Good Things Fall Apart, ♫Illenium (feat. Jon Bellion)♫

When I was brainstorming for this post I was trying to think of what I wanted to pair it with song wise. Right now I feel it’s too early personally to start using Holiday/Christmas songs even though I’ve seen other photographers and bloggers use them in their work. So what I’ve decided to do (and hopefully I will stick with this) is to take a song that I have in my Rock Band library. Sure I’m guessing there are some that will read this and ask themselves “Wait that’s still around?” The answer is yes, it’s still around and I still enjoy it even if I’m only partaking in two of the instruments out of the four available to currently play with the Rock Band 4/Rock Band Rivals configuration.

“Good Things Fall Apart” is one of the more recent additions to the game as downloadable content and after hearing it on the radio, I couldn’t get it out of my head so I waited for the right time to use it. The fact that it makes a reference to the month of December was another significant part of choosing it. With the look, pose and now inspiration set I descended upon The Bay, a sim I’d not been to in ages and it also has a winter look for it which coincides with the theme for Pose Fair.

Speaking of Pose Fair, I have watched SVP Poses go from a relative unknown to thriving very highly within the posing community. I know a little bit about Sony V, the owner and creator for the store as a fellow member of the LumiPRO group. It’s nice to see other photographers (or bloggers) get into doing things outside of that and as I said in the previous post without poses the prospect of photography (and blogging) would be vastly different.

The Prox Pack contains 5 bento poses that is a mix of upright standing and slight leaning poses with both hands doing a sort of a double pointing gesture. This set can be yours when the winter edition of Pose Fair starts this weekend on the 7th of December.

Cold-Ash made a double release last month at TMD that I didn’t get back in time for but I am making up for that now. The “Raphael Shirt” and “Alessio Trousers” appeal to my formal nature (which seems I cater to more than usual lately). The shirt itself has two versions of it that give you the option to have it buttoned up with a tie as you can see in my photo and also a version without the tie that is partially unbuttoned. I would imagine that kind of styling might get noticed a bit more. Raphael also has a high and low waist variation (of which the latter can be used with the Alessio trousers.) The FATPACK HUD boasts 10 colors for the shirt and 32 different tie options

With two different cuff options and an included belt option, the Alessio trousers are the perfect compliment to the Raphael shirt or just about any dress shirt you may have in your virtual closet. The FATPACK has 15 fabric colors for the pant and 6 for the belt leather (if you decide to wear the belt of course). My attire might not entirely match the scenery of the photo but I’ve told myself more or less that I wasn’t outside long enough to get cold.

Both these articles of clothing are compatible with both Belleza (Jake) and Signature (Gianni) mesh body types.

 

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
Anne Bradstreet

 

Photo taken @ The Bay

POSE: SVP – Prox Pack @ Pose Fair (12/07) ✦ NEW

HAIR: Stealthic – Atlas (Variety)
HEAD: LeLutka – Guy v3.4
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Tom (Tone 02)

SHIRT & TIE: Cold-Ash (Store / MP) – Raphael Shirt
TROUSERS: Cold-Ash (Store / MP) – Alessio Trousers
SHOES: Deadwool – Oxford Shoes

 

[#661] Love Like Winter

 

Warn your warmth to turn away,
Here it’s December,
Everyday.
Press your lips to the sculptures,
And surely you’ll stay.

AFI, ♫Love Like Winter♫

 

Sometimes I never really know what to write when I do these blogs. What kind of info do I want to share and what I do share is it too much or not enough? Perhaps it is simply just trial and error and hopefully by the end of things you at least know what I’m wearing or what others are wearing that I might photograph and where it can be purchased. My goal is to make a visually interesting photo to go along with the items I’ve tasked myself with sharing and if at least one person (whether it is male items or female items now as well) takes a taxi because I’ve helped them make an informed decision then I’m happy.

Without going into any cheesy Game Of Thrones mantras (Winter Is Coming…no no it’s already here) I had to take a long hard look at what my future was as it relates to blogging and the blogging of events. While it’s great to be able to have all these different things at my disposal, I have to think about the cost of it is not only time wise by creativity wise. Pose Fair is one of my favorite events for the simple fact that without poses blogging would be quite dull and our virtual selves would look like we had sticks up our bums.

Because of the fact that I was dealing with things in my real life I was unable to participate in the last two rounds. The latest round begins on December 7th and when it came time to choose between doing it and walking away permanently, I chose to see if this was the thing that helped me and not only healed some of parts of me that hurt and also would inspire me creatively. I’ll be the first to say that winter and Christmas themes are not something I’ve dealt with exceptionally in the past but I will say that I’m looking at it from a challenge standpoint and I am up for it.

Thank you to Ruby for having faith in me to allow me to be a permanent fixture in her event, it’s a an honor for me to be a part of all of this.

The first store that I’ve chosen to blog is WetCat, I’ve always loved the poses from this store and I realize that it’s one of insanely popular ones that will get a ton of coverage for the event (which is warranted no doubt). The “Last Christmas” pose set just really spoke to me creatively and I ended up on the popular and now winterized version of Luanes World (I’ll hopefully be blogging this store as well for the event). The set comes with a frozen heart (or one made of snow) prop and 6 different poses each with mirrors of the pose and prop.

When the event opens on the 7th, I expect this to be a huge hit with pose enthusiasts but also be sure to check out “Heat” which is another Pose Fair Exclusive for this winter round.

One of the best times of the year for sales in the SL community is around Thanksgiving where stores much like in the real world hold Black Friday sales and for savings on things like mesh bento heads and bodies this is the time to really strike and get those coveted items at a steep discount. I found out that the Genus Project was having a sale on their bento heads and knowing that I could put it to use with skins made by Session Skins that I’d be able to maximize blogging female items when I feel more creative or need to fill a hole.

I’ve been wanting to blog the Session Skins Genus products for quite a while and have a stockpile of ideas that I squirreled away for when the time was right (and also when I actually had a Genus face to work with). I’m still learning on how to use the head as it is a bit different from the other brands that I have at my disposal but I think it won’t be too much of a problem to be able to dive into the ideas. So for this particular photo, I’m wearing the “Sara” skin which is a Tone 02 (much like the male ones I blog to keep it consistent in a sense?) It comes with a brow version and a non-brow version so it gives you a choice as sometimes consumers seem to like their own brows (personally I feel that is hit or miss but that’s me).

My wife had just hit up The Arcade and played some machines and tossed me some hairs from the L’etre/Doux machine (which the one I chose hit the mark style wise). It was a good thing she was around as I was putting this look together because we really do make a great team even when she’s not making me look good in photos. She also directed me to ISON where I picked up the sweater (it was a Saturday Sale item) so my entire wardrobe was budget friendly which if you haven’t yet looked into Saturday Sale or Happy Weekend, they are a great addition to the institution of Fifty Linden Friday. For the guys there is also Manly Weekend which has items from great designers at a low price of $50L’s.

 

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.
John Burroughs

 

Photo taken @ Luane’s World

POSE: WetCat Poses – Last Christmas @ Pose Fair (12/07) ✦ NEW

HAT/HAIR: DOUX – Beanie Babe Hairstyle [Variety] @ The ArcadeNEW
HEAD: Genus Project – Classic Face W001
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Sara (Tone 02)
BODY: Maitreya – Lara v4.1

TOP: ISON – Cropped Turtleneck Sweater (Taupe)
JEANS: Blueberry – Power Play Jeans – Denim – Gray

 

[#660] Over My Head

 

Second guessing, I’m so stressed
Success is an empty lie
So what’s the point if that’s our purpose
On Earth by design?

Over My Head, ♫Judah & The Lion♫

 

This post in a way is redundant in the fact that I’m doing a fall scene yet where I’m from we maybe had like a weeks worth if that of actual fall. It’s just before Thanksgiving and it’s more winter than anything but that is the unpredictability of it. Anyway, I found some inspiration venturing around sims that are found on the Blogger and Vlogger Network’s list of rezzable sims. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a fall background and in the same vein I was also not looking for a winter one but would have made it work if I’d found one. I really liked the colors that Pegasoi had as I roamed around and stumbled upon a bench with a very nice looking home as a nice backdrop (even though it’s not a backdrop in the SL sense of the matter).

One of the hairs that lock&tuft released while I was on my sabbatical/hiatus (not sure what I really want to call it at this juncture) is called “Groom”. I’m not sure if that’s a reference to say a wedding groom or just that it’s a well groomed style. My mind sometimes tends to try and make rhyme or reason for things even if there may not be any intended meaning behind something. I really like that it comes with both a normal style and a messy one so that conceivably I could wear the normal version at the beginning of the day and by the end have on the messy one before I log out to show that I’ve potentially been up to no good, right?

Somewhere in between the time of me being away from the blogging world and now, Tori Torricelli offered to their VIP group members the “Cormac Scarf & Sweater” for free as well as one to gift a family member or friend. I thought this was one of the coolest things for a store to do and I had grabbed mine (it was at TMD when the offer was available) and have been sitting on it for a bit of time until I thought that it would work for this particular blog photo session. It’s perfect for a fall day jaunt without feeling like your virtual self would come down with some kind of illness (yes I’m aware it’s not possible but work with me here). The scarf and sweater both have HUDs (this is for the Fatpack version) with many different styles to choose from and I went through several before I decided on what you see in the photo. This is by no means my usual pallet but I wanted to try something different and that worked with the colors that were around me.

I am quite happy with the results and maybe this is a good sign of things to come.

 

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
Stanley Horowitz

 

Photo taken @ Pegasoi

POSE: WRONG – Sit Static Male Poses 42

HAIR: lock&tuft (Store / MP) – Groom (Messy)
HEAD: LeLutka – Guy v3.4
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Tom (Tone 03)

SCARF & SWEATER: Tori Torricelli – Cormac Scarf & Sweater
JEANS: Deadwool – Kojima Jeans

 

[#659] Memories Bring Back You

 

Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back
Memories bring back you

Memories, ♫Maroon 5♫

 

The strength it’s taken me to do this post was something I was unsure of ever happening. Those who know me have undoubtedly been aware of my absence from blogging and or social media and there’s been a very valid reason. In September, my reality suffered a tremendous loss and while I don’t want to go into details as it’s not something I’m comfortable with but I wanted to make sure that when the time was right for me that I’d find a way to work it out through virtual artistry.

I’ve prided myself on the ability to be creative but lately it just hasn’t been there and it’s taken me away from the virtual side of things. My passion for it has been lacking and I don’t want to put anything less than 100% when I’m able to do it, otherwise it shows and if I can tell then I’m pretty darn sure that others can see it too.

While I’ve been away and dealing with the situation, some really excellent clothing has come out that I’ve wanted to promote and show because of how much I love it. Lapointe & Bastchild has been around for a long time and when it comes to their loyalty to their customers (as well as their bloggers) they rank among the top of any brand. They take the time to listen to the people that purchase and wear their clothing and even take the time to refresh some of the items by adjusting some of bugs for how it fits with a certain body or add a new body to the list of those that are asked to be added (within reason because creation of these things take a lot of time and effort to a degree that a lot of us fail to realize). The denim version of the “Ranger Shirt” was given an upgrade with some tweaks to some of the mesh bodies that have also made updates and with that the patterns have been given a refresh too. Long sleeve shirt on top of short ones are one of my favorite types of clothing so to see this update was a welcome one for me.

I might have missed it’s initial release at TMD in September but believe me when I say that the “Havoc Jeans” are everything. With three different types: Reg, Rolled and Tapered (which come in handy with different boot styles) and the ability to wear a pocket chain (also a feature that would make others beside myself shout “take my money!”) these jeans are a huge contender for the Heavyweight Champion in the male jeans market. For those who may have recently picked up the leather pants version of “Havoc” (which I will be showcasing hopefully soonish) that are currently at the November round of TMD, the key fob from it also works with the jeans and vice-versa with the chain. Lots of great features that are interchangeable between both releases. Please keep in mind that to get the chain and key fob are only available with the FATPACK version of both “Havoc” styles. If you have purchased a single color of either product, I believe that you can contact the store manager or the creators to upgrade to FATPACKs so you can get the bonus add-ons. It’s well worth it from my vantage point as someone who loves these kind of jeans/pants.

Compatibility for the “Ranger Shirt” and “Havoc Jeans” include: Belleza Jake, Signature (Geralt & Gianni) and SLink Physique (with an alpha for the SLink Redux version).

One thing I want to say that I feel is important is I know that we spend a lot of time focusing on things that may seem super important to us and tend to look past those that should be important. Look closer to those details because there will be a time that you’ll wish you’d paid more attention to them and will grow to regret it. Everyone’s situation is different and that is understandable but I think that we’ve all got people that mean a great deal to us and we should show them that because then neither you or they will ever have to question the importance they play.

I’m trying my best to not make this a downer post as that is not my intention, however, there have been many people I know virtually that have recently gone through something similar in their lives so this is not so much entirely for me as it is for them as well because we all are finding our ways to cope. The days, months and years to come will forever be changed but with all the love and support from those around us, it may never every bit of the hurt inside away but it will at least help us heal to some degree.

 

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Thomas Campbell

 

POSE: Come Soon Poses – The Club

BACKDROP: Come Soon Poses – Friday Night 04

Brennan’s Look

HEAD: LeLutka – Guy v3.4
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Tom (Tone 02)

SHIRT: L&B Swear (Store / MP) – Ranger Shirt / Denim (Fatpack) ✦ Updated
JEANS: L&B Swear (Store / MP) – Havoc Jeans (Fatpack)

Mike’s Look

HAIR: Stealthic – Atlas
HEAD: Catwa – Daniel v3.2
SKIN: Stray Dog – Joaquin (Tone 03)
MUSTACHE: Magnificent – DanielHipster Stache & Beard Medium
BEARD: TheSkinnery – Jason Facial Hair
BODY: Signature – Gianni v4.8
TATTOOS: Speakeasy – Storm

SHIRT: Ink Me – Jacob Shirt @ Christmas Lane
PANTS: Cheerno Sado – RopePants @ The Men JailNEW