Of Summer and days

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When I started blogging waaaay back, just after the wheel was invented, I tried very hard to create decor scenes. Or scenes or whatever you want to call them. It meant patiently placing every single item in a precise spot, because if you labour under the illusion that those stunning decorating pictures ‘just happen’, you are sorely mistaken.

After hours of painstakingly fiddling around with 10, 20, 30 or more objects there usually was one thing missing. Or at least I used to think so, and that set me off on a hunt for that one special item that would make the picture complete and perfect.

And still, my pictures looked like crap compared to those who are in my not so humble opinion absolute masters when it comes to decor pictures. Then I discovered close-ups and a bit later I started to use and place decor items in different ways. The rest is history.

I still consider myself a mediocre ‘full scene’ photographer but today, inspired by the items you see in the above picture I figured I would at least try. I also had the good fortune to once again have a very good friend giving me the encouragement I needed not to trash the raw shot but use it.

And while I was editing the picture I started to realize something; I have not spent hours setting this up, I did not feel the need to find that last special item that would make it ‘perfect’. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes a bit of time to rez and place stuff, that is just how SL is, but it was easy! It was actually fun because as always whole stories unfolded while my scene grew. I won’t bore you to tears with the stories, but I think it is safe to say, I have finally learned to work with the things I was planning to use and leave it at that.

Well, hand me my big-girl panties!

So, in a way, I am rather proud of this picture. It is yet another marker in the SL journey and perhaps, who knows, I will eventually even become a half-decent blogger. Now that is a scary thought.

Anyhoo, enough of my introspection. The stuff you see on the picture comes from two designers. Nutmeg and Skye.

Since I have mixed and matched a few releases I urge you to go over to the Nutmeg main store where the new releases are on full display. That way you can see for yourself how bloody beautiful they are. While you are doing that, take a moment and zoom in on random details to see the quality of the textures and all the intricate little details. It is so worth it.

While at the Nutmeg main store, you will find information, per set, at what events you can buy the sets or separate items.

While you do have your walking shoes on, do not forget to hop over the Studio Skye sim(s) where you can see the beaches I used (hardly visible but what else is new lol) and the grasses and bushes.

Well, look at me in my big-girl panties. A picture, some ramblings, product information, bloody hell, I hope I am not becoming a good blogger because let’s face it, that would be so dull.

Toodles.

Of Old and Older

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‘Tis been a while, hasn’t it? Well nice to see you, see you in 3 months? Or perhaps sooner if the muses of ramblings visit me.

One of those muses came to me and left me rather speechless, as a figure of speech. The muse I am talking about came to me in the form of an old battered bicycle. Now, being Dutch I have a thing for those peddling machines. When I grew up, a lot of kids were proudly showing off their brand new shiny bicycles. But they never held any kind of sway over me. I prefer mine old and with just enough rust to make them truly special.

His and Hers Bicycles from Nutmeg are once more a perfect release. The details both in design and textures are breathtaking.

Perhaps you wonder about the lack of close-ups. Perhaps you wonder about the lack of black- and white, perhaps, perhaps. After having discarded numerous shots I taken, tore down sets for this picture that could have easily doubled as a sim build and eventually found ‘it’ in this simple scene.

A deck that has seen better times, a small boat that is barely floating with beautiful rotted wood, the right pose (part of the bicycle) and here we are. A picture.

About the deck, an item I remember waiting rather impatiently for, a release from Alex Bader – Skye (see the deck in-world here on the Skye Sim.) is yet another gem that is perfect. Low LI, high LoD and for once not the rather dull brownish colours but a happy mismatch of said colours and varieties of wear and tear. Perfect.

I suck at landscaping Mostly because I am very impatient and to properly landscape takes time. I am more of the wham, bam, thank you erm… deck? and get on with it.

Now you have your homework, do yourself a favour and check these items out. It’s worth it. Just follow the breadcrumbs (aka clickety-click on the links and off you go).

Toodles.

Of Exhaustion and Disarray

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I greatly respect those who week after week make beautiful pictures and create scenes to show off this or that or all of it. Some scenes are so gorgeous and inspired they are in my not so humble opinion, art.

By now you all know I am, at best, a bad, bad blogger. My pictures usually end up having a totally different focus and feel, then that what I tried to frame, once I am done with the post processing and the cropping. But my pictures usually tell a story or relay a mood and I like to think I am not half bad in doing that.

The bed from Nutmeg, part of the Disarray Set release, is everything I wanted in a bed unless I am in a very girly mood because then I want this exact bed with a cast iron or metal frame and for the times I am in a modern mood I still want this exact bed with a modern frame. (hint, wink, wink, nudge nudge cough etc).

In other words, this bed is it. It is also how my bed in Life 1.0 usually looks unless I am in a very tidy mood, which happens about twice a year. The colours are absolutely stunning be it you are in a light mood or a dark mood or something in between. The textures have a depth and sharpness that left yours truly drooling.

As so often happens when I truly like something, I have a hard time capturing it. Because how do you capture a feeling? How do you capture a vibe or an emotion? So after a lot of ‘looking for the right angle’ late last night, this suddenly happened. And it was the perfect capture of how I felt at that moment in time.

It goes far beyond the bed. I am still trying to build a sim, yeah I know it is a standing joke by now amongst my friends. It is taking so long because none of the builds I set up relayed the mood and vibe I want to achieve. Or try to achieve. Not.Even.Close.

It is exhausting having all these ideas jumble around in your head and well the rest is almost history as I let my avatar flop down, lit up a fag and called it a day letting exhaustion and disarray rule.

Now a lot of words so here are the dirty deeds:

Nutmeg. Disarray Set, now available at Shiny Shabby

RKKN. Eva’s Set (shirt only) now available at Shiny Shabby

RKKN. Colorblock Sneakers now available at Belle

One last remark: The pose in the picture is NOT part of the menu. Why not I hear some sceptics mutter. Because I am a bad blogger remember…

Pose (slightly altered the right hand) used is from the Campina set by Ana Poses

Now sod off and do your duties!

Toodles.

Of Goggles and Chaises

131 goggles and chaises

That I am a ‘bad’ blogger is well known, at least to those who pay attention and this picture is no exception. I set out to show some of the RKKN goodies that have been released and then pair them with the chaise released a while back by Nutmeg.

You’ll need to visit both stores I’m afraid if you want a good look at the shirt I am wearing, which is part of the Avalon release. A rather epic release with the robotic arm (and legs had I been wearing the trousers which I am not). The chaise I am artfully draped on is of course from Nutmeg.

Do yourself a favour and hop over to Nutmeg and RKKN (REKA Holdings) and check both items out. And oh, while you are there don’t forget to check out the goggles which are also from RKKN.

I won’t bore you with the usual drivel about quality because I do not mind being a bad blogger. I do mind being a boring one. So, shopping assignments distributed, let’s talk about stuff I have been doing besides trying to learn Affinity.

A wee trip to Mexico, visiting the stunning Basilica de Guadalupe which blew me away and experiments with watercolours, oil- and acrylic paints with varying successes. Besides the creative endeavours, I have decided to start making my own bread. Which leads to flour settling in every nook and cranny in my apartment and that in turn leads me to clean a lot. As you can see, more than enough to do.

And in between, I am still building, which by now has become a standing joke and I think there are actual bets out on whether or not I will open the sim ever again. The jury is still out.

I am still trying to juggle my more demanding schedule and finding time for SL so, for now, I ask you, my 1.5 readers, bear with me.

Toodles

Of the SoulCollector’s Asylum

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I am stuck. Stuck with building and although I have many ideas, some good, some horrible, I just can’t get it right. It is the old problem, too many different ideas. But there is hope.

Hope in the form of truly spectacular releases from Nomad. Only today I got my greedy hands on the Asylum stuff, which is a gacha. Now those of you who know me a bit know I bloody despise gacha’s for decor stuff, but there is very good news. Nomad trades them in. And does this very graciously. It is truly a breath of fresh air to encounter a designer who not only creates gorgeous things but is also friendly and nice.

The Asylum release consists of many items but the building and the fence and gate are my absolute favorites. They are bloody gorgeous. Everything adds up and is perfectly textured and made.

Do yourself a favor and hop over to the Noman Mainstore and check out the latest releases.

The cape.. or hooded cape, I have no better word for it, is from Cinphul. Now it is a public secret that I have a soft spot for darker themed pictures and this release, combined with the Asylum from Nomad was for me the reason to quit trying to create a sim and instead try to create a half decent picture.

Be aware though: My picture might be half decent but both releases mentioned in this rather meager epos are not. They are top notch.

Toodles.

the story is sad, yet thrilling. After her mother left them, her father became her whole world. He loved his daughter. Loved, past tense as the story truly begins on that fatal night when he ran out, half mad with fear, to find a physician as his darling daughter had fallen sick. Halfway on his mission a well-aimed truncheon knocked him down, mistakenly thinking he was a murderer on the run. Whilst all that was sorted and he was proven innocent, his life as he knew it was over. He never recovered and after loving neighbors and a distant Aunt relayed the tragic story to the little girl, she didn’t either. 

Ever since that fatal night, she never spoke again and while she fully recovered physically, her mind seemed to have taken refuge in bittersweet memories.

Each night a soft, eerie wailing could be heard as she moaned and whimpered for her beloved father. It was not long until she became the youngest ever resident of the darkest place in town. The Asylum.

I am getting way ahead of myself if I tell you that every since her tiny pale foot crossed the threshold and she heard the gates creak, shutting behind her, that slowly but surely the town changed.  One can only imagine the horrors the once so bright and happy girl must have suffered inside. Her passing on should have been a release, her soul finally free to join her beloved father but somehow that didn’t happen… 

to be continued. Perhaps…

 

 

Of Sneakers and Panties

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Nutmeg and RKKN have rapidly earned a place amongst the best designers on the grid. Now before I delve into that, and before you think I am totally biased, pull up a chair and allow me to explain as to why I think so.

When I first started to get interested in decorating I spent a LOT of money buying crap. I had no idea of the differences in quality. Over the years I have become very critical when it comes to decorating items and where I buy my items. For those wondering, yes I buy almost everything myself.

As for clothes, when I started it was even worse. Mesh was brand new and the products were… well new too. I vividly remember seeing a shirt and coat combo on a blog and I loved that style so much. I bought both, put it on, only to discover that in the back the shirt broke through the coat and that there was no way to fix that. I also remember how bloody angry I was.  I learned a valuable lesson that instant and from there on out, I became critical, perhaps even overly critical.

I spend tons of time standing in stores, inspecting designs, scrutinizing textures and bakes and shadows and fuck knows what else. Some designers must have thought I was just another homeless bum, whiling away time. I was not, I was learning and I still am.

My SL is usually on minimal settings, midday light and trust me, it’s not flattering. Everything I see has to be good in those low settings. I flat out refuse to fiddle with LOD settings, windlights or what more. I don’t care if its decor, skins, or clothes if it doesn’t look good on low settings I will not touch it.

Does this make me an expert? I have no idea if it does. I know what I like and what I don’t like as many of you do. Spending most of my time in SL building sims and decorating and the rest of my time comparing products and trying to find new ones, I think I might have gained a wee bit of insight.

Expert or not, I am exceptionally critical and should a new resident of SL find their way to my blog, they will find no bad decor items or broken mesh clothes or skins that look like you just escaped from a science experiment.

Now with this said: “Nutmeg and RKKN have rapidly earned a place amongst the best designers on the grid.”

Based on the above, based on my experience, I dare say that. I dare say they are amongst the best designers. The products might not be your style, but the quality is among the best you will find in SL.

toodles

Nutmeg – Old Wooden Boat

RKKN – Remi’s outfit and RKKN – Annan’s Sweatpants & Panties

 

Of Languages and Tongues

tongue portrait

First things first; A mini-rant;

One of the things I love most about blogging is that you have an obligation to do the best work you can with the product the designer releases. Now that sounds simple and in many ways it is. Rezz, fiddle with angle and windlight and presto you have a picture. That is the bare minimum of the ‘job’.

Like many others, I have always taken a slightly different approach. I try to go where the item takes me. I see it as a challenge to make the best work I can without compromising the fun, the originality or the artistic side of this all.

Many feel that bloggers compromise the artistic value of a picture but let’s get a grip on this, shall we? If all of us making pics in SL, were such savants, we wouldn’t be in SL now, would we? We would be lauded with expositions, have busy photography schedules and clients to woo in first life. This is a blanket statement and there are obviously exceptions. So all of you who have your precious clubs on Flickr and curators of collections in SL, get over yourself, just as much as you high and mighty bloggers should get over yourself. Most of you are not so good really, but you churn out pictures like clockwork, and most of the time, you have not changed style the last 2 years, and have an audience so the designers love you.

Now with that out of the way:

tongue laying

Cinphul made a chair, which comes with beautiful RK-poses. This chair is a hate-it or love-it situation I think. You either are absolutely in love with the shape or it’s not your thing. For those who like to have a sculpture of a giant tongue, there is a 5-meter statue version of it in your package as well. And only 5 land impact.

As I have said many times before, I am a bad blogger and this picture is no exception. When I saw the chair at first the top picture is what immediately popped into my head. That’s another thing I love about SL and blogging. There are all these amazing items and you get to use them how you see fit. Not perse how the designer intended it.

Working on my long-tongued lady, I couldn’t help thinking about the chair some more and another picture was born. Whatever you think of my pictures, do yourself a favor and hop over and check it out, if only to shake your head wearily or to admire how it’s made or just so you can say, you sat on a tongue.

Toodles

Of Grand Piano’s and choices..

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..or the lack there of that is, but let’s start with the beginning shall we?

Nutmegs latest release is once more a feast for the eyes. Now bear with me, since you come all this way, you might as well stay the course.

A feast for the eyes because once more the textures are stunning. Yeah yeah, I know. I am repeating myself. And I do so without apologies as the texturing of this latest release is just one reason to get it.

Now you all know I am a texture nut but my madness doesn’t stop there. I am also an absolute lover of black & white photography and lately, of greenish- and gold tones. So when I was working the shots I took, I ended up with 2 completely different styles which I both love.

The black & white one is an almost raw shot, but it doesn’t do justice, to the textures and so I took some close ups too. This one obviously not in black & white. I usually decide on one or the other but this time I could not choose. Nor could a friend when I showed them so here we are. One Grand Piano, two pictures.

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Now if you are not a fan of piano’s, then still do yourself a favor and check out the rest of the set. There is a stool, which comes in two varieties in one buy. Then there are the music sheets and the metronome. It is well worth a few minutes of your time, to hop over to Shiny Shabby and check it out.

Toodles

Of Romanov’s and paintings

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For those who undertook the journey and landed here, thank you for your time and effort. I can easily see how people would think ‘oh dearie me, there she goes again, another Nutmeg release, another puff piece’.

It’s hard to ignore things that are not only beautifully made and textured, but things that appear at a moment in time that is very opportune, namely me reading about the exact time in history the release is referring to.   For the record; Reading is understated. Devouring everything I can get my grubby hands on, is a better description.

The books I am devouring are not so much about the people, but about how they lived. Both the poor and the rich. I have to be honest, the naked opulence and splendor of that time, if you had the money and status, is unparalleled. The richness of the textures, the fabrics, the colors, the unbridled grandness I can’t wait to one day see the remains of it with my own eyes.

And there it was, the lastest Nutmeg release – Romanov’s Garden Set  – in all its splendor.

There was another surprise in it; a tray that can be stacked with wonderful little things. I have often wished for a decent tray in SL. Yes, yes I know they are out there, but not the ones that I wished for. Now that wish has come true. Of course, you can hardly see it. I have to stay true to myself and crop the picture in a way that makes the object I wish to ramble about the most, almost disappear.

You know the drill. Feast your eyes here or hop over to Shiny Shabby to admire it in the flesh.

Toodles.

PS; the title, Of Romanov’s and Paintings; The painting part is to be continued. It’s bedtime, after a rather ‘opulent’ day.