[#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

 

[#658] You’re The One Who Holds The Stars

 

If you can hold the stars in place
You can hold my heart the same
Whenever I fall away
Whenever I start to break
So here I am, lifting up my heart
To the one who holds the stars

Skillet, ♫Stars (Film Version)♫

 

For the first time in the history of this blog I won’t be making one of my traditional Halloween posts, my last entry is probably to be considered my attempt at doing something for my favorite holiday. The past few months have brought about some struggles and challenges for me emotionally but the best thing for me is to figure out how to handle them my way and as much as I thought blogging would be one of them it just hasn’t been. In the time I’ve been mostly absent from creating posts and things I’ve just been trying to figure out what makes me happy and when I log in to take a photo and turn it into the blog I don’t consider it a chore like it was starting to become. I will probably slowly integrate being more regular but it’s potentially not going to happen til the first of the year (or so I hope). Bare with me those friends of this blog and of mine personally, your support has always helped carry me where I needed to be when I’ve needed it.

A lot of my past October posts were usually dark because it’s a spooky month and I revel in it but for this I just wanted to do something a bit more uplifting. I picked a song that has a good meaning behind it and can be viewed in many different ways and I found a backdrop that worked out perfectly to support my idea. Paparazzi’s “Starlit Staircase” is a beautiful backdrop that has a great ambience about it and was able to come across better than doing an outside night shot which often don’t turn out well for me.

My hair comes from the current round of Man Cave and is by lock&tuft. “Christopher” is a messy mid-length style that comes in many great tones which I chose a brown tone because my usual black would not have shown up well in the shadows of the dark staircase. It comes complete with hairbase for Catwa, Genus and LeLutka depending on what your preference in head choice is, you can tint it to match the color of your hair quite simply.

Session Skins is one of my favorite stores for skins and I’m happy to be wearing “Dante” for this post. This is the first time that I’ve worn one of their skins with Tone 03 in it and it is slightly more tanned then Tone 02 is but it’s still awesome. This one also caters to the more mature male avatar needs as it comes complete with eye wrinkles and forehead wrinkles then previous releases which is also very appealing because not everyone wants have their appearance be young (and that’s a plus because it shows depth).

Of course I also found myself wearing the flannel version of Deadwool’s “Hart Jacket” because Houndstooth. I felt like I needed that because it’s very much me and I’ve pretty much always styled myself the way I wanted to but when I start to get back on the horse it is going to be even more so how I operate. Focusing on trying to be more of a quality over quantity blogger and not completely burning myself out is what I’m working my way back to and I think I’ll get there even if it takes some time.

The last most important thing I want to impart is that you should take the time out of your day to tell someone what they mean to you even if it is just to say “you’re a cool person and glad to have you around” or “you make my life better just because you listen without question”. These are just the kind of things that may not seem like much but make a world full of difference. Give it a try and see how you feel afterwards and best of all it costs nothing.

 

We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names.
Nikita Gill

 

POSE: SVP – Bamwen Pose Pack

BACKDROP: Paparazzi (Store / MP) – Starlit Staircase

HAIR: lock&tuft (Store / MP) – Christopher @ Man CaveNEW
HEAD: LeLutka – Guy v3.4
SKIN: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Dante (Tone 03)

SUIT: Deadwool – Hart Suit (Flannel)

 

[#656] I Want To See You Shine

 

I wanna see you shine
I wanna see you go for the win
I wanna see you move
I wanna see you love your life again
For you

Cold, ♫Shine♫

 

I know that it has been a long while since I last posted but without going into really any detail, I’ll say that it was not something I planned on. From this point forward I’m going to just take things a day at a time and hopefully really get my appetite for creation back but it’s not something I can promise. Even just posting this today has had a little bit of struggle to it.

I wanted to at least see if I could bring myself to even post something and show a little love to Native Urban and Session Skins in the process and I hope I have not failed them as they’ve given me a wonderful opportunity to be able to showcase their work; even with me not cranking out things every day or every other day I am going to make sure that if there is any inspiration that comes I’ll make sure it shows up here and that it is the best it possibly can be.

Do I still love blogging? The answer is simply yes but sometimes life has a way of placing roadblocks up that deter you but eventually you get passed them and find a new normal…I’m not sure when I’ll find that new normal but I’m not going to force that either so anyone out there that’s shown me love and stuck with me since day one you have my loyalty always.

I’m going to encourage you to listen to the song that I’ve accompanied with this blog because it’s very meaningful and very beautiful and has helped pull a little bit of the magic I’ve lost out. Hope to see everyone again soon but until then look after yourselves and those you care about surrounding you.

 

POSE/BACKDROP: Salacity (Store / MP) – Window Seat Backdrop

HAT/HAIR: Session Skins (Store / MP) – Snapback Cap and Hair
HEAD: LAQ – Noelle
SKIN: LAQ – Ines (Tone 1.0)
BODY: Maitreya – Lara v4.1

TOP: Vinyl – Locked Out Tee / Black
LEGGINGS: Sn@tch – Hwasa Random Leggings
SHOES: Native Urban (Store / MP) – Reflection Sneakers (All Colors)