One of the things I love best about Second Life, apart from playing pretty Kitty dress-up, is playing happy Kitty decorate…tee hee! Back in the mists of time, when I was a wee Kitty, my favourite toy was my dolls house. I adored it. My beloved Uncle Alan brought me some lights for it, and I used to get wallpaper and carpet offcuts to furnish it. I’d make little newspapers for the dolls to read, and truth be told, it was more fun arranging and re-arranging the furniture than it was actually playing once it was all in situ. Cut to the twenty first century, and I am the proud owner of a lovely virtual home, and I’ve filled it with beautiful wares from the very best Second Life designers. But for me, the nicest part about having a virtual home is that I can change my interiors, heck even my dwelling, upon a whim. If only real life were as much fun!
So you would be right to conclude that shopping for virtual furniture is wonderful retail therapy for this Kitty, particularly for big items such as sofas, beds, tables and chairs, but in my opinion it’s even more fun shopping for knick-knacks. Unless you live a really minimalistic existence in real life if you look around you now you should see paraphernalia galore. Go on, look up from the monitor-what do you see? In front of me I have a photograph, some crystals, a Maneki Neko, a pot of pencils, a lava lamp and a Dalek, how about you? Such bits and bobs are what makes a house a home and they express your personality too, so that’s why it’s crucial to add a few quality items to your home in Second Life to give it a realistic lived-in feel. Fortunately there are plenty of places that serve up home wares with which to decorate your dwelling, and I have just discovered a new one to add to my list, CROIRE.
I don’t get many review boxes dropped onto me these days, so it was with real glee that I opened the package from Croire, and I genuinely had no idea what to expect. It showed potential from the word go. First up, the goods aren’t packaged in crummy boxes..they’re packaged in what can only be described as a virtual art form as pictured below. See what I mean? Plus if you subscribe in store you get a free gift, a string of spinning stars, seen to the right of this picture.
It’s even colour change! After I’d finished spending a good few minutes clicking the pretty flower ( It’s a bit addictive, like popping bubble wrap) I opened it up and spied the goodies inside. Lucky ‘ol Kitty, I was in for a bit of fun! How best to describe Croire? Think of it as a mixed salad of eclectica , flavoured with a splash of quirky dressing and finished off with a drizzle of nostalgia. Plus the prices are very reasonable too, nothing in store costs more than L$200, which makes it super-bargainalicious in my book. So, onto the stuffs!! I LOVED the ‘My Favourite bands’ collage of posters as well as the ‘Game Board Cluster’. These are decorative items to throw on the floor or walls as you see fit and really liven up a space and are super low-prim. Such a simple thing, but it makes a huge difference. Continuing the gaming theme are a childhood gaming table and even a fab Twister board game, with three poses to make for a great photo opportunity with friends. A larger build is the family pool and bar. It’s a simple structure that’s delicately textured (perhaps a little too delicately?) but features two inflatables for relaxing on the water, and I can imagine the bar strewn with pizza boxes and beer bottles would make for a rather splendid party centrepiece. If you need some lighting to decorate the bar area, then why not try out the string lights; hearts, drops and stars that can be found in store too? Again, really simple items but they effectively break up a harsh space and turn it into something altogether more funky.
I also really liked the noticeboard that features spaces where you can upload your own photographs. There are a million and one notice boards to be had in SL, this one doesn’t quite edge out the competition but it’s a fair addition nonetheless. I liked the notes and the fact that it has coupons stuck onto the surface, and the frame is texture change, but features the same texture options as the other pieces in the Croire range….( Time to invest in some new textures methinks..)
OK, onto my favourite items, BUT first up is an honourable mention for the rabbit hutch, for all you mad, bad bunny addicts out there.
Alas, I don’t have a bunny..but would bunny be happy to be housed here? Well, yes if it’s budget bunny, because as you can see this is a simple structure that again features the same delicate wooden texturing as the pool and bar. It’s perfectly serviceable, and is colour-change but it would be nice to see more textures in the package; perhaps a choice of patterns for the roof and main build? That said, I absolutely love the carrot decoration and it kinda looks the part, making the hutch perfect for sticking in your virtual space and perhaps landscaping around. It’s not big either, so won’t take up much space, and if you don’t have a garden you can shove it in your house instead. But as much as it has benefits I can’t help thinking it could be a wee bit more…I dunno, exciting? I base this statement purely upon my evaluation of the creator, Emily Kastner’s, other items in particular the ‘Bachelor Crates’. These are just FULL of win-literally! These are brilliant little boxes of stuffs, the kind of things a fella would have stashed away in the confines of his flat or bedroom. There’s a choice of three, and each one features really great texturing and items depending upon your colour preference. For example, there’s a Ouija board in one of them, a lava lamp ( identical to my own!) in another and in the last one an Etch-A-Sketch! They also include a selection of classic albums and a stash of pornos! ( Amanda really digged these two, and pointed out that a few classic car magazines might make for a nice option in each crate. Perhaps the albums and magazines could be texture change too?)
I love these so much, I’m looking forward to the bachelorette crates…(hint!)
So having had a taste of all that Croire has to offer, what do I think? Well, I believe that it’s a brand which has LOTS of potential, showing great imagination and it could prove to be really popular. I love the crates, the posters and the lights, but in my opinion to really succeed and compete with other similar creators the products must benefit from more development. More textures are an absolute must.
I’m not overly concerned however, Emily has proved her worth as a creator with ideas by the packaging alone, let alone the contents, so I am sure Croire will go from strength to strength.
Go and visit the store upon the Albero sim and see what you think, and join the subscribo and buy the posters and the crates because they’re ace!
(PS-A note about the store itself. ALL the items mentioned here can be rezzed on-site for your evaluation..a brilliant idea, because you can physically see the quality of the items BEFORE you buy, and in my opinion that kind of attention to the needs of potential buyers, even though she isn’t charging much for her items, speaks volumes about Emily:)