Genus

I’ve been a little bit lazy with posting lately but I have something new to share. A few days ago, Genus released a version of their Strong head as a free group gift. It’s not the full version (though I’ve yet to discover which features are missing). I picked it up because when I was shopping for my first female head, it was one that I had on my shortlist, and I only didn’t get it because a couple of the male skins I was wearing at the time didn’t really work well with it.

Now that I’m wearing different skins, I like it much better. Naturally I turned it to BOM immediately. This first one is with my regular Flamboyant skin:

Genus Strong with Flamboyant Stacy

Next, with Pink Fuel:

Genus Strong with Pink Fuel Morgana

I think I like it okay so far but I’m undecided whether I like it better than Catwa Margeaux or not. There are a couple of things that irritate me; the ears don’t go pointy with the sliders like Catwa’s do, so if I want elf ears I have to go back to third-party ears. And the rigged eyes are too small and too deep-set, but I solved that by wearing the unrigged Catwa eyes instead. On the plus side, it looks good with most of my current skins, including the male ones from Plastik, and even the animations aren’t as bad as some people said they are.

I’m still tweaking the shape daily, but I think apart from the eyes, it’s more like my original male head (Catwa Justin) than Margeaux is. The mouth shape is definitely closer. So my plan is to wear only the Genus for a week or so, then switch back to Margeaux and see how I feel about that change. Either I’ll go “yuk” and switch back to Genus, or I’ll sigh wistfully and realise how much I missed it.

Also, two weeks on from getting the Lucybody Vania, I am still torn between that and Maitreya, mainly because of the arm thing, so I am still switching from one to the other. It’s a real shame that Vania doesn’t come with an alpha hud like Atena does. On the other hand, at the rate I’m evolving my avatar, I’ll probably have actual boobs sooner or later, in which case I can just go back to Maitreya (or Atena) and use the DK mod as before.

So here are a couple of pics I did on Monday, with Genus.

Phoenix Queen
Phoenix Queen

This dress, along with the gloves and crown, is “Jaina” from Arwen’s Creations. Presumably named after Jaina Proudmoore from World of Warcraft; there’s a lovely version in Alliance colours of blue and gold. I like the red though, it reminds me of something a Blood Elf would wear. The hair is Artemis by Doux and the skin is Flamboyant Jade. The awesome bento wings are by Murder of Ravens. These are by far my favourite bento bird/angel wings in SL, and I’ve tried demos of them all.

And just a quick RL update, I am now working from home full-time, and really enjoying it. So much so that I may not ever want to go back into the office at all! My family and I are all safe and well, although some of us are starting to go a little stir-crazy and I cannot wait for pubs and restaurants to start opening again.

Mother of Dragons

I’m happy to report that I am fully recovered from the virus; symptoms lasted just four days and I am cleared to return to work tomorrow; I work in a critical industry (though possibly not a critical department) so for now I am returning to work tomorrow, but who knows what the situation may be next week.

Meanwhile, Grev gifted me this fabulously sexy outfit from Folly; it’s called Mother of Dragons, so I just had to take one of my scaly pets out for a stroll around Chiaroscuro.

You might notice that I appear to have two hands; the reason for this somewhat long-winded. A couple of weeks ago I won the Atena mesh body from Lucybody in their Midnight Mania (It’s still there, btw, so if you fancy it, head on over). Whilst I was in the store I noticed that they also have two flat-chested bodies, so I demoed those too.

Natasha is a completely flat-chested body most closely resembling the V-Tech, but Vania is a little different; she has very slight breasts, still basically flat but kind of puffy and looking like they are just “growing”. There didn’t seem much point buying one that was basically the same as what I already have, so Vania is the one I bought, and it’s what I am wearing in the pics above. Like Atena and Natasha, it fits Maitreya clothes and Slink shoes; it also fits some clothes made for V-Tech, although in most cases I have to alpha out the nipples. It’s BOM only and relies on system layers as there’s no alpha hud at all.

And therein lies the rub. While the body is close enough to Maitreya that my DK mod for my arm will fit, there is no way to alpha out only one arm on this body. I could be missing both arms, or neither, but it’s not possible to be missing only one. So I am torn now, and still undecided which way I’m going to go. I really love the shape of the Vania body, and it’s a significantly lower complexity when you factor in the Maitreya/V-Tech combination. Having two complete arms is just weird, but I really don’t wanna lose the other one as well.

Funny how something so new has the same old drawbacks from years ago.

There was one other drawback too; there is hardly any nail polish available for Lucybody. However, I also picked up the developer kit and have taught myself to make nail polish appliers, so I am busy churning those out in a variety of colours as and when I need them. I’ve already got two packs up for sale in my store, but more will follow.

So it looks like my avatar is transitioning. How ironic.

Tarot Project – The Empress

This project has stalled a little but it’s back today with The Empress. She represents growth, fertility and the natural world. She is Gaia, a mother, a nurturer, a creator. She reminds us to take care of ourselves as well as others; a valuable message in these difficult times.

Hair by Doux. Dress by Arwen’s Creations. Deer by Jian.

Lockdown

I was sent home from work yesterday having developed symptoms of Covid-19. Got home to find my partner also has the symptoms too. So now we are both on lockdown.

I feel okay though, not even particularly ill; I have the fever and the cough, though both are pretty mild and it doesn’t feel any worse than a regular cold. My partner doesn’t seem to be suffering much at all so far. We have plenty of food in stock, and cold/flu remedies.

The whole situation is very surreal.

Up To No Good

Loitering with intent?

I present to you, Dame Matilda Luminos, a dame in the theatrical sense of the word rather than the aristocratic. Dame Matilda is a woman (and I use the term loosely) of dubious repute and of many disguises, and it is rumoured that she was formerly known by the name of Matthew, though she vehemently denies such an allegation.

On this particular occasion, a Saturday afternoon in mid-January, Dame Matilda was sighted strolling alone in the vicinity of Hawkeswood, for a purpose that we may only speculate. She was observed near to the bridge that leads north into Blandings Haven, where she loitered for some time beneath a willow tree. Perhaps waiting for someone? We shall never know whom, nor shall we know the purpose of the mechanical wings she wore, for no other person was seen and Dame Matilda herself remains tight-lipped about her motives. She was, no doubt, Up To No Good.

Jacket and shirt from Tainted Love. Skirt comes from a very old Victorian gown no longer available. Hair by Magika. Glasses by Dirty Princess. Wings from Rezology.

Biker Chick

Skin is Flamboyant Sweet’s Stacey on Catwa Margeaux. Hair is Magika (Sage), Jacket with included tanktop from L&B S’wear, leather pants from Bang Bang, boots from Nominal, prosthetic arm from Omnis. Eye makeup is Promise from Booty’s Beauty, lipstick is Just Because from Glamorize. Elf ears with BoM by Gubbinz (yeah, that’s me).

Shot on location at Hard Rock Garage with Black Dragon.

Gubbinz Bakes on Mesh elf ears.

Avatar for L$75 challenge

Inspired by another user on the official SL forum, I decided to put together an avatar on a budget – for L$75 or less.

So I set myself a few rules. 

  • Must include mesh body, head and hair.
  • Must include at least one set of makeup.
  • Must include at least one casual outfit, one formal outfit, plus lingerie and swimwear.
  • Group gifts allowed if the group is free to join.
  • Hunt gifts and other temporary gifts not allowed – Item must be at its permanent price.

And here’s what I ended up with:

Here’s the deets:

  • Skin – LAQ Natasha (BoM) – Group gift in mainstore – Free
  • Sahara Head 2 (BoM) – L$29
  • Body – RuthToo – plus the extras pack for the high feet (BoM) – Free
  • Shape – Included with the Sahara head, with my own modifications.
  • There was a big gap between the head and neck, which I fixed by using a neck extender intended for furry avatars. In this case it’s not extending the neck, just filling the gaps. This is from  Apricot Paws (BoM) – Free
  • Eyes – Library starter avatar, Monty – Free
  • Lashes – Oceane – Free 
  • Hair – Truth Kyoko and Truth Astra, Gift in mainstore, both Free
  • Hair (Formal outfit) – Exile Instant CrushL$1
  • Eyeshadow – Xena Style (BoM) –  L$1
  • Lipstick – Ottilie (BoM) – L$1
  • Lingerie – Sharodie’s (BoM) –  Free 
  • Bikini – Seren’s (BoM) –  Free 
  • Casual outfit, Jeans – Jellyroll (Best fit – Belleza Venus) – L$1 
  • Casual outfit, T-shirt – Jellyroll (Best fit – Standard) – L$1
  • Casual outfit, Sneakers – Furtacor (Maitreya fit) – L$5 (I am totally in love with these)
  • Formal outfit, Dress – Free Dove store (Best fit – Fitmesh M) – Free but I have had this a while and it may not be still available
  • Formal outfit, Shoes – Shey (Maitreya fit)-  L$5 
  • Formal outfit, Jewelry – LazuriL$1

Total spend – L$45 – so I still have another L$30 to spare for a few more outfits. I’d probably want to add a sexy clubwear outfit, a fantasy outfit and a winter casual outfit, but by this stage I was all worn out.

I ran up against an issue with using alpha layers on the RuthToo body, specifically that some layers turned other parts of the body semi-transparent. This was fixed by changing the body from Alpha Blend to Alpha Mask, with a cut-off of 1. This also solved the problem of hair strands making the body behind it go invisible. I did the same on the head too.

Dining Alone

The invitation was cryptic. “Come alone,” it said, “The Mansion, 7.30pm. A table will be waiting for you. Faithfully yours, an admirer.”

The Mansion?” I thought to myself. “That’s a very upmarket place, I’d better look my best for this.” I settled on an elegant but understated floor length ivory satin dress by The Beautiful Ones (Judith), a garnet necklace by Footpaw (Shaelena Sparkle), got my hair done at Magika (Freya), and arrived as one should, ten minutes later than the appointed time. Alone, as instructed.

A handsome young waiter showed me to my table but there was no sign of my date. I drank champagne while I waited but by 8pm there was no sign of my mysterious date, and I was hungry, so I decided to order anyway.

Have I been stood up?

By the time my dessert arrived, I had given up hope of my date arriving at all, but the handsome waiter was distracting enough as I watched him working, attending to each guest with grace and efficiency. I finally caught his attention to ask for the check. “There’s no need, ma’am,” he replied. “Your meal has already been paid for.”

“Perhaps I should have ordered a second bottle of champagne,” I joked. I left the waiter a generous tip, more than I would have left had I needed to pay for my meal myself.

As I stood up to leave, I spotted a small envelope on the table beside my empty wine glass. Curious, I opened it and pulled out a note, written in the same hand as the invitation.

Thank you,” was all it said.

Author’s Point

Author’s Point is a dramatic, photogenic region that somehow seems to encompass spring, summer and autumn all together. It’s spread around a series of rocky outcrops rising from a wild sea, and is truly beautiful. So I fired up Black Dragon and took a little trip there.

Jacket is by Hilly Haalan, jeans from Jellyroll, shoes from Shey, hair is Magika Saga (again!).

The more I use Black Dragon, the more and more impressed I am with it. It’s a steep learning curve but the more I play around with it, the more I discover. And it’s really no laggier than Firestorm. The only thing I miss in it is a built-in AO; if it had that, I’d be using it fulltime.