Advent Season - Day 2

Advent Day 2:

Left: Zacca's winter trees - Free at the shop on Swayland - 3 sets of various sizes.

Gabriel - long sleeved Black tee (group gift)

22769 - Black cords, Advent #2 (Really nice texture, prim cuffs)

Right: LaVie - Ringo Sweater with Touch Texture change collar.

Catch 'em quick!

Advent Season - Day 1

Tis the Season, and if you are clever and fast, you can catch some fantastic gifts from some of SL's best and brightest designers.

Advent Calendars in SL have been around as long as I have, longer, I'm sure. Sometimes the calendars are only for the members of a designers group, like La Vie's, but many of them are open to anyone who finds them. They are usually only available for a single 24 hour period, so you have to be quick and you may have to deal wit some wait and lag for the popular ones like Abraminations. Other designers, like Rfyre, will be offering special sales during the advent season.

Who does them every year changes, because any way you look at it, they are a lot of work for the designers and content creators even if they are giving away older designs done in new colors. Unlike a hunt, the designers have to come in every day and open a new gift and close down the previous one.

Abraminations has his up again this year and it's always fun: animation and toys, silly things to make you smile, and very cool gadgets. The December 1st gift is a trick skateboard (pictured above), wearable with a hud, that comes with 10 tricks and is controlled as easily as your avatar walking. It also comes with two pose prop boards for those perfect photo ops for every wannabe board jockey.

New on the advent field is 22769, our favorite edgy-fun creative team. Keeping with the spirit of the holidays, they offer their Holiday green shirt in two styles to match your mood. Are you feeling naughty (ripped tank) or nice (perfectly polite polo). It's a fun fun way to spice up your holidays.

(Left: La Vie''s Day 1 gift for the ladies: Oh, Dear Santa - Green Option. Right: Robbish's Christmas Voodoo shirt)

And don't forget the new MHOH is still going until the 20th of this month, with new stores getting added even now. The extra low jeans in the top left picture are your gift from >>Poison<<, Tres60 jeans - Xtra low. In the center, right, are BalAni's washed jeans w/loops.

Tis the season, for gifts and thanks, and for the next 24 days, we will have a lot to be thankful for.

Traveling the Silk Road

The Silk Road Hunt has been full of amazing things - beautiful, carefully made, wondrous things. Even if you have little interest in Asian influence, you might want to give this hunt some attention. at 100 participating stores, it's doable in a day, and while you won't come away with a whole new wardrobe, you may come away with a whole new lifestyle and some surprising aesthetic choices. Much of what is in the hunt is furniture, homes, sundries, landscaping pieces and garden structures and some brilliantly colored costume pieces, each of them carrying a little bit of history with them.

By and large the creators stayed in theme. Some names you may recognize, others not so much, but you may find yourself returning to them even after you've claimed you hunt prizes. (Click for larger views...)

Capallini's fine furnishings (left) may be familiar to you from the Steampunk hunts. Their usual focus is on the Victorian era, but for Silk Road, they offered up this beautifully detailed writing desk, complete with a touch set for writing and reading and multiple sits.

If you need some quiet time, time to recenter yourself, Prime (right) offers you this MeditaZen shrine and floor cushion. It comes with optional sound and burning incense and a floating lotus to help you focus.

Alma's Fantasy and Antiques (left) provides you with this amazing touch option kneeling desk, that allows you to work on your own calligraphy masterpiece at a touch. the rice paper can be made to appear in various state of completeness, and to save prims, you can clear it via menu with a touch.

The craftsmen at Haven (right) offer this pillar with banners and blue flame to help travelers along he silk road among other Asian themed gifts, and give you a mini hunt within the hunt as you follow the hints and gain a little history on the real Silk Road while looking for the multiple gifts offered by the merchants and citizens of Haven township.

From POST, (left) you can indulge in something a little more decadent when you pick up this authentic to the period Opium bed. It's a wide lounger with footstools, seats two, and is complete with a tray of opium paraphanelia and a seriously stunning worn silk brocade to cushion your weary body. This piece if furniture is a really amazing, full of surprising details (and not even frightening in the prim count.) I wouldn't mind having this in my own home (minus the drugs.) I freely admit I returned after the hunt and spent an insane amount of lindens at POST and redid and entire section of my land just to accommodate the amazing builds I found there.

From Dreamer Designs on the Bare Rose Sim, comes this low prim Asian bridge; baked textures, classic design with a separate invisible arch if you want to make it functional instead of decorative.

From Orquidea is this Silk lounger, with a zen sand garden base (not shown), the floral disaply in a traditional red vase and a separate attaching hand fan for those heated sultry days when the temperature rises and the only reasonable response is to be as quiet and still as possible.

Noctis offers a full bedroom set - Silk dreams, loaded with couples sleep animations, a carefully crafted duvet that can change from satin to silk, multiple color choice options for the pillows and linens on the bed. It comes complete with a changeable silk rug, two side tables with touch activated lamps, and a dressing screen. It also comes with (not pictured) a standing mirror and a double armed chaise lounge. (given that this is a complete set and a clever bit of craft --this set alone is worth the hunt.)

After all your travels, some sustenance is needed and Satu's Sushi, has a meal ready for you , complete with mackerel ngiri, a side of rice, dipping sauces and shareable chopsticks so you can split your meal with a friend.

I have more to share, but keep in mind that among the contributing creators are names that may be familiar to you: 22769, LNL, Yellow Jester, FallnAngel, and Robbish, to name a few.

Blatant Indulgent Vanity

Not much free here today, but maybe a couple of designers you might be willing to give some of your hard earned lindens too.

I've blogged before about the detail in the clothes from designer hiwinyu Fazuku of ::[ Mr.Poet]:: . The latest release of workshirts is no exception.

The look is layered and so are the sculpted necklines and cuffs, one on top of the other for the kind of look that makes the fabric look like you can reach out and touch it.

I am completely bowled over by the skill and artistry of hiwinyu's work. And given the level of detail, the cost is scarily reasonable.

::[ Mr.Poet ]::Work shirt Denim - $200L

Three shots here, just so you can see the details -- and even when you move (and I have a pretty constant movement AO) this shirt and jacket set holds together. Amazing.

Worn with this shirt are ripped jeans from Kobalt. Now jeans are generally not all that exciting. Let's face it, there's only so many pairs of jeans one avatar can wear in second life and if you are like me, you tend to find a pair and a designer you like and stick with them until you find another pair and another designer you like and so on. Well, I may have found that magic switch off.

I have to give a hat tip to Aida and M4ri1yn over at S.Luxury; who in addition to being one of SL's hottest couple, also have an amazing eye and taste for really good, new designers. Their latest fashion photo essay featured some of the works at Kobalt and I had to go check it out and was impressed with what I found.

$250L is about the top of what I will pay for a pair of jeans unless they come with multiple wear options. Kobalt managed to do that and gives you an unexpected but hot extra. Most of the jean I looked at came with two wear options, but the second wear is a blatantly sexy look, for the the hard core cruiser (and not a bad choice for an erotic dancer,) or for those nights when you want to give your partner an extra thrill.

To the left I have on Kobalt dirty tank top Moonlight ($110L), and Kobalt jean "2 styles- moonlight" ($250L). The basic style comes with cuffed pants and a well fitted prim bulge, but dig into the box a bit and you'll find and open version, complete with a well designed package for show and tell, and a hud to assist in matching your bonus package to your favorite skin. The look is sexy-hot, even if only for show (for more interactive genitals you will need to look elsewhere.)

To the right you'll get a hint of what kind of options you have with Kobalt's suki speedo blue ($200L) -the reveal here is a little less blatant but you get the idea. The speedo, like the jeans comes with 2 wear options -- in case you find yourself in more polite and less frisky company.

In case you need a little warm up before you strip down to the dirty and playful, you might want to stop by Brocade Tiger's new location and see what Lexi Vargas has been up to.

Lexi has been realigning his work to match his new logo "a style for every man," and you can find a wide array of options from street wear to the glam look of his newest offering, Dark Luster, in multiple color options. Luster is a neuvo-goth-glam look with a full coat, nice drape and movement to the coat skirt and adjustable chest chains. Clubbing or just dressing to impress and you can't go very wrong here, and he's currently running a sale. At $400L, Dark Luster is a pretty sweet deal.

He's also been working on some new lines so keep your eye on his Brocade Tiger blog.

Rounding out my latest indulgences is a gift from one of my favorite designers in SL, The Black Canary. Morrigan continues to impress and push his creativity. This fur trimmed cloak was a gift to his subscribo members and it's yet another example of what he's capable of. This comes with a hood option (not shown) and is unisex. It's a full double cloak, that moves amazingly well, the perfect outerwear for the cold night creeping up on us. Paired here with the pants from his Worthy Pearl set ($350L), it only reminds me I need to stop by his store and see what of his I don't yet have in my inventory.

And lest you think I've completely given up on free, I haven't, although most of what I am wearing is no longer free (That will teach you to miss those hunts, now won't it?) the skin is from LaVie, the Echo promo release with dragon tattoo that Pompeja offered before the full line release, and the Feather Necklace is from the MHOH4 hunt from Zenith. The hair is Army Crop from MADesigns (not free but not scary expensive either ), and the *Gemma* earrings are from Rozoregalia, from prior hunts.

MHOH4 - Skins, Shapes & Some favs

It ends tomorrow so if you've been putting it off like a pledge drive to the last minute, you have about 24 hours to get it done. This year offered a really nice array of skins and shapes to pick up, so if you really want a make over, the clever designers of MHOH4 have given you a lot to work with.
Left to Right: TrE uNiQuE-MHO4Shape-Heracles, ASKA Shape Zaku(3), Adlerblick Shapes - Riordan Shape (skin in all is Redgrave Emil)

Left to Right: Adrian Shape by BT, Goal Shape Maverick Design, Greg Shape for MHO4 CS Shapes for Men

Left to Right: R&B Shapes (Gift for MHOH), Miyoko Magic - Andy Shape, Pocket Mirrors Tito 2010 SHAPE

Left to Right: MHOH4 Shape it Up! LEE Male Shape, Sophistishapes - AARON, ~MS~ Victor Shape

Skin packs - Left to Right: Unique - Apolo M2 sem pelo barba queixo, Nikita Fride 2 skin-shapehi (Shape included), RICOCHET Tristan Dark (eye L clean shave bald)

As I said in my earlier post; everything I've found I'm liking a lot; below are some faves but by no means does it show everything I like.

Left: Bedlam - Leather Baggies & Boots, Pocket Mirrors - Xander Black Hair, Nikita Fride Piercing, Mustang Trading Post - Platade Noche bracelet, Bleisen & Mai Tai -Fire Walk With Me necklace
Center: Al Jamal Silks
Right: A:S:S - Jamie, Pocket Mirrors - Enzo Brick Hair, Nikita Fride Piercing

Left: Venus - My Guy Jeans Black, Atomic Bambi-OMAR-Sunblush skin. KOSH - Enigma neckalce
Right: Mashooka - Atomic Bambi-OMAR-Sunblush

MHOH4 - I love this hunt

Seriously. So much good stuff.

Audacity Hair - Dana (TAH Hunt - was still there as of the 23rd) Pretty sure it was meant for women but the messy loose braid and bandana, resizable worked really well with the new LaVie skin.

#25 Kumaki Style - Glasses with the simple style and flair Kumaki is known for.

# 2 Alphamale - Leather Jacket and Classic T-shirt & Jeans. Sturdy russet leather over a two tone tee and well worn jeans.

#48 Venus Fashions - Black High Top Sneakers. You can never go wrong with a pair of these. I like the loose laces.

#15 Culture Fine Jewelry for Men - Bravado Sport watch. Clean and easy to wear, finishes an outfit without rather than being the focus.

Skin is from LaVie - Echo member special (not free). I like the promo for this when I saw it and the actual product did not disappoint. It's interesting that this, relatively youthful skin came out the same week Redgrave's older, rugged King was released. No one can say SL's designers aren't giving us a range of choices!

# 7 Adjunct - Khaki Maroon Tipped Pants with belt for that edge between outright casual and a step below dressy.

# 4 *Fir* - Hartford Hoodie. I'm not really a huge fan of hoodies but I like this one with the stripes and the shoelace style ties.

# 1 MADesigns - Rebel Hair Brown - among their recent releases. There are actually three different styles in the gift along with eyes.

#10 Rozoregalia - Gemma Bracelets. Detailed on the close up, unobrusive in wearing, really nice work.

#107 Jeepers Shoes for Men Russet shoe. I really like these classic leather uppers with ties although it may be partly because of the effort it took to get them. The Jeepers hide for the gift was the work of an evil genius.

#163 Atomic Bambi - Omar skin - even tone, not quite ethnic, nice shading

Morning after the Day Before

Make Him Over 4 starts tomorrow, and I wanted to show some recent finds before that takes over my time and brain (not to mention my inventory).

After a long hiatus, the creative minds at Zanzo are trying to make it up to us: shirts eyes, new skins, they've been a busy bunch. This smart looking striped polo shirt came through as a gift this week, along with two pairs of eyes. Zanzo Le Classique Polo (Rochelais) is a double layered polo with rolled, buttoned sleeves and a prim lower shirt option to give you that loose fitting look so many of us prefer.

Paired with the shirt, I have on Fashion Bar Peppermint Blue's 3rd anniversary gift - Cell Frame Glasses in Midnight Blue, which are simple and sharp looking. There's a women's set in the gift as well. They come with a resizer and I really do like them better than most glasses I've paid for. Also from Peppermint Blue were the Paws Walker Tartan Blue Sneakers I'm wearing to go with F2H's September gift - Monday Jeans, available for free in their lobby.

Not to be outdone by anyone, 22769 has released more of their ethnic casual couture styles; on of which is their MHO4 Gift: Brown linen zebra pants & pink Comfisweater and for Festifall Fair: Fall kick off Leaves Vest & striped trouser.

Both outfits have that kind of funky fun casual look, but still with an edgy style. The striped pants, especially, are growing on me with each new version they release. And while Pink is not my first choice, ever, I have to admit mixing it with the brown makes it work for me pretty well. If they don't offer a unisex version of these, then there will be a complementary one for the ladies, so, take a jump over to 22769 tomorrow and take a chance on something a little off the wall, a little out of your comfort zone and a whole lot of fun.

The last thing isn't a freebie. The new Redgrave skin - King -- appeals to me on a lot of levels. It's got a truly different look from most skins -- older, mature male, a little rough around the edges without being a classic or historical warrior. I know in a few weeks, this skin will be everywhere, as Redgrave skins tend to be, but I think this one is worth taking a look at if you want to stand out among the other bad boys in SL. This skin is representative of the bad boy that makes it through to middle age and still has that sense of mischief, tempered by a lot of experience. There are two versions of the base skin, both tan. One with body hair and one without -- both come with multiple beard options. And then, there's the King FX skins, designed specifically for RPers. Roughs, scarred, bloodied and still standing. You can see it above in the Zanzo pictures for a close up of the face. Left is the full body version and Albertt Olkhovsky does a nice review and picture spread of it on his blog, Stylish Man.

Pictured: Redgrave Men: Tan Skin -King- /unshaved+base+bodyhair. A single iteration of a Redgrave skin runs $990L, Full packs are $2990L.

also pictured above is MADesigns Army Crop hair (also not free.)

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