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...

~: :~

~: 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 :)

~: :~

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!!!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

For the Hoard! April - Week 2a - Tekeli-li

This week is the reason I am so behind with my April posts. I went a bit nuts and spent a whole month's savings, plus another week's stipend borrowed from Rudh, on two sales. That equates to a LOT of items, and a lot of outfit and photo preparation. I want to showcase them all but I don't want everyone's eyes to glaze over, so I'm splitting this week into two posts.

~: TEKELI-LI! :~

Prompting my purchasing rampage was the news that Tekeli-li, one of my favourite exotic stores, was having a downsizing sale. Now, it has to be said that I want just about everything he makes, so I have to try to be sensible. However, a 50% sale is like a candle to a moth; add in the fact that he said he would be retiring some "older stock" - but not which stock. (Cunning, eh?) I immediately bought up everything I'd had half an eye on which could conceivably go; including several sets of sculpted lanterns which I won't bother to blog because you can't get them now anyway (his furnishings range was a definite retiree and I half suspect he will remake them in mesh, which will be lower prim and thus more suitable to my small parcel, but oh well). 

Since this whole post is going to be about his creations, I may as well combine it with something I've wanted to do for a while, which is to showcase my favourite designers. His sim was gorgeous, very beautiful in an alien way, and I'm very sad to see it go; you can see a little of what it was like in my Colour Challenge: Patina post from last year. I don't know why he has scaled down, one would imagine sim costs, though when I IM'ed my regrets he replied that it wasn't so much that he was forced to give it up as that LL had given him the opportunity. Very Zen and mysterious. Almost immediately after his announcement, another favourite designer, Epic Toy Factory closed - rather abruptly! - for good, and I started having paranoid panic attacks that LL had done something heinous and forced out a wave of designers. I only recently discovered ETF and I'm really sad that it's gone, but I'm glad Tekeli-li remains, even if it's on a much smaller parcel.

I bought 4 whole sets of jewellery, as well as some other items, at the sale and will showcase three of them here (the fourth set is perfectly suited to the main theme of the next post). I love Tekeli-li creations for several reasons, and I think my purchases show why. They are beautiful and intricately made; they are versatile, because each piece has texture and colour change scripting, or you can mod them yourself if the default colours aren't quite to your liking; and they are exotic. Everything he makes is a work of art and perfect for any fantasy setting or roleplay, from the fae to the monstrous. His inspiration comes largely from SFF works, in particular the horror paradigm of H.P. Lovecraft; he has a special affinity for the undersea races; and George R. R. Martin's unfinished epic Game of Thrones (he has begun making mesh jewellery to represent the royal Houses of that world and his first set was kraken based, for House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands). Although many of the elements of his craft could be considered horrific, they are so stylised and intricate that they evoke admiration rather than repulsion. In any case, it is best to let the pieces speak for themselves, so here they are: three jewellery sets to complement three very different and (in two cases) unique avatars.

~: Orange Blossom Dryad :~

Jewellery and prim-kini ~ Flora ~ by Tekeli-li

Poses ~ Changes ~ by Ma Vie for the Attic (April)
Purchased on 30th April, the last day of that theme at the Attic but a Tuesday [pay day] and so technically the first purchasing week of May; yes, I posed for these shots long after I bought the jewellery! I had a lot to do. The poses may still be available at Ma Vie mainstore.

Wheee, I'm an orange tree!

Plucking fruit

Pensive - maybe thinking about the environment?
One of the things I LOVE about Tekeli-li is that his prim bikinis fit me perfectly. I only have to adjust them very slightly on the movement arrows. When I think of all the time and trouble I have taken in the past on very inferior quality primkinis..! (Not actually that much, because I just didn't bother.) I purchased this Flora set, the full jewellery (necklace, headpiece, earrings and bracelets) and bikini, as a treat for my dryad. 

The flower petals, butterfly wings, leaves and connecting metal parts all change colour separately, so you could make it any colour combination you wanted. It works by simple chat command and all pieces respond to the same command so you can change the whole set in a few lines; there is a notecard with a wide choice of colours. Because of the colour change versatility, you wouldn't want to descript the items, but Tekeli-li promises low lag scripts (though I probably wouldn't go changing things during a high traffic event!) Of course, as with all his items, the set is copy/mod so you can tinker happily if that is your thing; I must admit to being an inveterate tinker, there is hardly a thing I own that I haven't messed about with in some way, but his jewellery really doesn't need it. I did tint the flexisilks on the bikini orange to match (they are the only unscripted part). 

Obviously I went with orange to complement my skin, and then looked for somewhere lovely to take pictures. The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful public sim and I soon found orange trees to make my new floral dryad feel at home. For details on the rest of the dryad avatar, please see my Colour Challenge: Wales post.

~: Lionfish Mermaid :~

Jewellery ~ Eldritch ~ Tekeli-li (purchased at sale)

Helm/hair ~ Kraken ~ Tekeli-li (purchased at sale)

ni.ju tintable claws

Avatar ~ Lionfish Deep One (reddish female) ~ Tekeli-li 
Full avatar with shape (but I used my own), skin, eyes, all fin/spine parts shown, spear and net, fishy shoulder pet and swimming AO. Also comes with a very pretty but unscripted set of seashell jewellery, which I exchanged for the Eldritch set.

Hunter of the Deep

I'm amused that in my previous post I was all dressed in pink, and then I made a completely different avatar, all wild and monsterish, and it's STILL pink! Tekeli-li gave me the avatar a long time ago and she is just the model for the new hair and jewellery. I took these pictures at the Ordovician [prehistoric] reef beneath his shop, which used to be a satellite and is now his main store. 

The Eldritch jewellery set comprises necklace, bracelets, earrings and a headpiece (not worn due to the  Kraken helm). The angry looking little squids are actually representations of Great Cthulhu, and if you don't know who he is, that's probably for the best! The hairstyle has a stylised squid (kraken) helmet with colour change on the eyes, suckers, connective (here, copper) and central (here, black) metal parts. The tentacular 'hair' is scripted to writhe gently, although you can turn this off, and is available in several colour packs (not colour-change scripted); I purchased the Neutrals pack because the light grey lends itself to tinting, as I did here (told you I like tinkering!) It was quite fiddly to make sure all the hair was tinted and avoid changing the helmet, so if you can't be bothered, just pick the best colour pack to suit your needs. 

Apart from my own shape and the ni.ju claws, everything on this avatar is from Tekeli-li and 'as is' (except for tinting the hair) so it isn't particularly creative on my part, but I think it looks great and makes a very interesting and animalistic mermaid. 

~: Eater of Souls :~

Jewellery ~ Pnath ~ Tekeli-li
Bloodlight Daggers ~ Tekeli-li
Hair/horns ~ Efreet ~ Tekeli-li (previous purchase)
(see credits below for everything else).

Something wicked this way comes...

And like a thunderbolt she falls...

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!


I went to town on this avatar. I call it my Soul Eater, the dark version of my Shinigami (Death Spirit) from the Colour Challenge: Ghost White. Essentially the same creature, the Soul Eater specialises in taking the souls of the wicked, and consumes them. Note how the skin, eyes and mouth are the same on both avatars, though the Soul Eater's eye-teeth are bloody from devouring its prey. The eyes are based on the Corinthian, a [literal] nightmare of Neil Gaiman's creation in his Sandman graphic novels, one of my favourite works of fiction. I found the perfect gothic setting at the HQ for the Woeful Wednesday macabre sales collective, at Hobbs End (Woeful Wednesday, as you might expect, features a bunch of my favourite designers) and used one of the new Phototools windlight sky settings, Jessica Light 04, which shrouds everything at a distance in fog. I'm not too impressed with most of these new settings, which aren't a patch on the old standards, but I do like the fog effect.

The Pnath jewellery set was perfect for this avatar, though because of the cloak, you couldn't see the necklace. I enlarged it and set it around my waist as a girdle instead, and used a high posture collar with ankh detail from Rasetsukoku to set off the neckline. As usual with Tekeli-li jewellery, this set comprises bracelets, earrings and a headpiece as well. The eye in the middle of each piece moves around as though alive and watching! 

The hair, horns and hairpin knife (which I also used on the Shinigami, minus the horns) are a combined style called Efreet, very suitable to a demonic look. You could use a hairbase tattoo if you didn't want to look bald, or fit it to another hairstyle as I did with the Shinigami. The knife is scripted to draw/sheathe, switching between the hair dagger and a hand-held version. The two Bloodlight daggers at my waist are likewise scripted to draw (held in the hands) and sheathe, are mod so you can add your own weapon scripts, and have a lovely animated, flickering effect in the blade texture which of course would not show on a still photo. I don't fight in SL, but I do have a penchant for bladed weapons and have a collection of esoteric swords. These daggers make a very nice addition to the collection. All the items are shown with their default colours, which match the skin and outfit, but are colour change just like all Tekeli-li products.

In total I used items from 11 different stores to make this avatar, two of which unfortunately are no longer around. Besides Tekeli-li, the credits go to:-

Pose ~ Divinely Naughty angel pose set ~ Juicy
Skin ~ Fear (in goth) ~ Frick @Saint Helene
Eyes ~ "Corinthian" stained contacts ~ Nomine
Mouth ~ Shark Teeth ~ ContraptioN
Tongue ~ Forked tentacle tongue ~ DMMDI (store doesn't seem to exist anymore)
Outfit ~ Soul Eater Lady ~ Bare@Rose
Collar ~ Unseelie Collar ~ Rasetsukoku (hunt prize)
Feet ~ Harpy Myth Boots ~ Lazy Places (store doesn't seem to exist anymore)
Claws ~ Bloodsilver Talons ~ HEX - Get Nailed!
Wings ~ Aurora particle wings ~ by Coadey Concord (free, full perms)

The Aurora wings are absolutely mesmerising wings with around a dozen preset values in varying patterns and colours, but if you are confident you can tweak the values to create your own style. These were the first wings I ever bought on SL, for my [then main] alt account. They have since been released onto the marketplace for free, and I would be happy to give a set to anyone who wants them.

~: A final shout-out to this amazing designer :~

No more pictures! But at a rough count, including the aforementioned items, I have accumulated 14 jewellery sets including 3 matched bikinis; 15 hairstyles; 5 avatars (2 Starspawn, 3 Deep Ones of differing fish species); 2 monster sculptures, a throne, countless lanterns & various odds and ends! I think it's fair to say that Tekeli-li holds a good sized chunk of real estate in my inventory, and I used his hair and/or jewellery in several of my Colour Challenge posts last year:

Coral mermaid, Bright Turquoise Mystic Mog, Pistachio Deep One Elder Priestess (the Star Spawn staff had to make an appearance), Unmellow Yellow Twi'lek dancer, some earrings sneaked onto my Royal Blue Cyberpunk Angel, Ghost White Shinigami (as mentioned), and Tangelo Phoenix Dancer for the "Alluvium" abstract mesh set which is a newer and rather simpler (but still gorgeous) style - and pretty nearly all that I am wearing! ;)

Tekeli-li you are a fabulous, incomparably talented designer and I hope you never leave us. Thank you for the artistic joy your many builds have brought to me.

~: :~

...the nightmare, plastic column of fetid black iridescence, oozed tightly onward through its fifteen-foot sinus, gathering unholy speed and driving before it a spiral, rethickening cloud of pallid abyss vapor. It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train - a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and unforming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down on us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter. Still came that eldritch, mocking cry: 'Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!'
-- H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness (1936)

I am extremely cross with the studio execs for passing over Guillermo Del Toro's At The Mountains of Madness (based on the HP Lovecraft story which features Shoggoths and their endless "Tekeli-li!" chanting). This, according to rumour, was due partly to Prometheus bearing a certain superficial resemblance (hey; HP Lovecraft wrote in the early 1900s! Whose story should get priority?) and partly to Del Toro insisting it live up to an R rating; which is blatantly hypocritical [of the execs], since Prometheus is rated R. Frankly, if a horror film isn't an R one has to wonder if there is any point to it. I hope he does manage to make it at some point.

~: :~

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

For the Hoard! May, Week 1

Tis May 1st and Spring truly sprang upon us today with warm sunshine and birds singing. I logged into SL in order to finish off my April hoard posts (there's a lot still to do and I have been tardy due to having finally succumbed to World of Warcraft - which my husband has only been playing the entire time I've been on SL..). Of course what actually happened was that I went SHOPPING! And then because my purchases were so suitable for the day, and so that you (hopefully!) have a chance to get the limited edition items before they're gone, I thought I would publish ahead of schedule and leave the rest of April for later.

Today's purchases are Very Pink. Do not faint! I 'blame' the colour challenge for having shown me that I look good in this colour; but also the theme is cherry blossom, which I adore, and is one of the few legitimately pink things in the universe (candyfloss, flamingoes and kittens' noses are also allowed; and, I suppose, pigs). I also blame PurpleMoon, because they sent me to the limited edition sale at the Couturier's Docks on a fool's errand, their dress being the only item to have SOLD OUT already; but instead I picked up this divine Sakura [cherry blossom] jewellery set and yet more White Widow eyeshadow - of which I seem to be making quite a collection, without having once visited their store! PurpleMoon did not miss out, because I then went back to the main store and bought an unlimited new Meadow dress, having looked twice and realised that it also featured cherry blossom and was the perfect companion outfit. Here are the results.

~: May Day Cherry Blossom :~

Meadow dress by PurpleMoon

Pink Sakura jewellery by Pure Poison *ltd. ed.*

Flowers everywhere!
Asia eyeshadow by White Widow *lted. ed.*

Hail the rising sun!

Jewellery detail. Isn't it exquisite!

~: May Day Purchases :~

PurpleMoon Meadow Maxi dress (cool system where you can buy just one dress then HUD packs for different colours or patterns, to change without filling up your inventory. One dress on its own is really low priced). >MESH<

Pure Poison Pink Sakura Garden Jewelry Set (in gold and silver; also sold in White edition) from Couturier's Docks Asian Spring sale. >MESH<

White Widow 'Asia' eyeshadow (5 colours) from Couturier's Docks Asian Spring sale.

** Both the Sakura jewellery and eyeshadow are EXTREMELY LIMITED EDITION items; 50 in total, forever. They will be on sale at the Couturier's Docks until they are gone. There were quite a few of each left when I visited this morning...

~: Other Items :~

Shar's Design Maiden Daisy Wreath (tinted slightly) - a beautiful and faultless item for just L$19! There are tiny strawberries hidden in the daisies.

Gaia 'Mina' hair from The Attic (Changes edition, April 21-30). >MESH<

Poses from Ma Vie 'Changes' for The Attic (April 21-30).

I'm sorry, I don't know if the Attic items are limited or will still be available (but probably higher priced) in their home stores.

Photoshoot on Belphegor on a privately rented parcel adjacent to the sandbox I commonly use there (it is very quiet and low traffic). I spotted the cherry trees across the sandbox and went to investigate; they made a lovely backdrop for my new things, so thank you to the owner for not closing off their parcel! I didn't disturb the horse.

Windlight setting Nacon's Sweet Morning.