New Skybox, who dis?

EntranceAs regular readers will know I’ve been in love with and lived in my BARNESWORTH ANUBIS ‘NYC Apartment’ skybox for an incredibly long time. I’ve virtually resided in it for a good few years;  it was ‘Mi Casa’, and whenever I logged in-world I was immediately familiar with my surroundings, I felt comfortable with the layout and I felt no need to change.  Until I saw the TARTE ‘Primrose Skybox’ at January’s COLLABOR88.  As soon as I saw it I was compelled to have it, and have it I did with gusto! I don’t really know why it spoke to me, but I had been considering a change for a while and this was the kick-up-the-butt that I needed.  I’ve always enjoyed TARTE’s work, and this ‘Primrose Skybox’ is no exception. It’s a simple design, just four large rooms with excellent texture in each, with one of the main rooms featuring a rather splendid 3D design on the ceiling.  It was fancy but had a worn look to it, and I knew it would make a great residence. bedroomSo, yeah, I moved all my belongings from one skybox into the other. It felt a bit strange if I’m honest, and I was a bit sad, daft as it sounds. But it gave me the opportunity to have a tidy up and remove some elements that I wasn’t keen on in my existing abode and empowered me to add more to my surroundings too.   I’ve added tons of plants for a start, and a few new pets courtesy of JIAN’s ever extensive range of creations. I’ve even gone a bit pink! Pink is a colour I struggle with immensely, although I’m starting to be able to cope with it a little more as I’m getting older, and this new home gave me the opportunity to completely revamp my bedroom, using Gacha wins from NOMIaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa_001My living room and kitchen are pretty much the same, as I’m pretty content with them and have a severe lack of imagination when it comes to revamping their layouts, so I just lifted them from my old place and added them, nae bother. Of course, there are cats everywhere, and cat-related themes festoon the place, but what else would you expect from me? As virtual homes go I am really chuffed with it; I feel settled and I’ve always considered my skybox residence as my sanctuary.  Just logging in and virtually slobbing out fills me with a lot of happiness, which is what it’s all about really, isn’t it?aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa_004 (2)If I had to make some changes to the skybox I would have liked a texture change option for the floors and walls; although the textures used are lovely it would have been nice to have a few decorating choices.  I would also have liked an extra room to make into a dedicated bathroom too; I know these are things that some people do themselves but I’m not a creator and I’m not confident doing that kind of alteration myself. But all things considered, these are just minor quibbles; this place feels like home already and I am loving filling it with my junk and look forward to many happy hours spent here.

Kitty Things: How I love my skybox home

home_008As I’ve said before on these pages I find a lot of solace in my skybox.  There’s something very satisfying about logging in to my virtual home and finding all my familiar virtual stuff and things there waiting for me. It blows my mind to think that none of the furnishings, animals and ephemera it contains are physically real, they all live on a server somewhere, but with a splash of creator’s imagination and  a deftly applied texture my favourite comfy chair comes to life, along with all my favourite things proudly on display within.   I adore my skybox home, and although  I do seem to covet and collect skyboxes on a regular basis  I’ve never found it in my heart to replace it. The skybox that I live in is The New York Penthouse from Barnesworth Anubis. It’s my ‘Mary Poppins’ space: to me it’s practically perfect in every way.  That said, there are a few things I would love to see changed, so this  blog-post is going to serve as a wishlist of sorts just in case the creator, BARNESWORTH ANUBIS, happens to come across this post.  So forgive my flight of fancy dear reader and allow me to begin: Hey Mr. Anubis! If you ever decided to ‘upgrade’ this particular skybox design, I have some ideas that you may be interested in?   First up, although I love the open plan could you add a bedroom door? It does get a tad draughty and sometimes the light from the kitchen keeps me awake when Jez is making a midnight snack.   I know I could add a screen to cover the door, but it wouldn’t look quite as polished as if you did it. Same goes for the internal window feature; I actually quite like it but I could see that for some having a solid wall would be more useful.  I always love the floor textures that you  apply to your builds, they’re exemplary, and in my skybox the wooden floor looks especially amazing.  But the brickwork could perhaps do with appearing a tad sharper, especially when zoomed in.   I’d also like the option to have the space for a fireplace, but to be able to incorporate one of my choosing.  (I’m very  partial to the Cast Iron Fireplaces that Apple Fall has released recently and would love to be able to use one of those in my skybox..) Perhaps my biggest customer suggestion for this particular skybox is that I would LOVE another room. Perhaps the floorplan could be increased by removing some of the generous space that is available as you walk in? Or, and even better to my mind, is to add a staircase up to another floor. I’ll take that even further: I would have the staircase situated towards the end of the bedroom  leading up a level.  Even better than that? It would be a cast iron  spiral staircase too! (OOH can you imagine? I can!)home_006Back to (virtual) reality. Now, some of you are reading this I’ve no doubt and thinking, but Kitty, this is a MOD skybox, so why don’t you make these changes yourself? Simple answer? I don’t know how.  I can make rudimentary changes like adding textured panels but I don’t know how to ‘undo’ a build of this magnitude to create extra rooms etc.  Besides, even if I did it, my finished work would never have the panache that a BARNESWORTH ANUBIS build would have. I mean come on, I’d ruin it, and that simply will not do! So here’s a Kitty-plea: Barnesworth, should you happen to be reading this, PLEASE consider making a revised version of this skybox with some enhanced features and perhaps even the touches that I’ve highlighted here.  I know many people who would be incredibly happy if you did that, but most of all me, and I’d be the first in-line to throw the Lindens at you once it was on sale! Here’s hoping my dream becomes a reality.  But it doesn’t have to; sometimes the nice things about flights of fancy is that they’re just that.  After all, there’s a lot to be said for being careful what you wish for, I mean what if Barnesworth released a revised version of this skybox and I didn’t like it?! EEP! Keyhole_008But when it comes down to it, I’ve lived a long time in this skybox and I have no intention of leaving it.  It makes me incredibly happy every time I log in, and after all, that’s what life, real or virtual,  should be about.  With that at the forefront of my mind then, I shall go on living my Second Life  within the comfortable confines of my virtual abode.  Some people have wooded glens and open spaces as their sacred space; but mine is a bundle of pixels and polygons on a monitor that with a bit of magic turn into something wonderful that I absolutely adore.  home_004Barnesworth Anubis NYC apartment

Prim Count: Skybox  30 land impact prim equivalent [mesh item]

Foot Print size: Skybox: 18×27 meters
(with backdrop: 40×40 meters)

Height: about 8 meters, 20 with backdrop
Permissions:
prims: copy, modify, no transfer
Scripted Features: none

Kitty In The Kitchy!

Kitty in the kitchy

I wanted to take a step away from blogging about skins (I’ve written so much about skins recently that I have developed a twitch), but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to tell you about. As I mooched around my skybox thinking of a blog post to write, it suddenly struck me; let me share some details about my virtual home.  I love reading LOVE TO DECORATE so why not share my Kitty-space with my readers?

I’m going to share posts with you about my Skybox over the forthcoming few days.  I’ll tell you how it’s decorated and hopefully show you why I love it so. I’ve lived many different places,  but I always keep this skybox as my super-secret ‘Kitty Lair’. I’ve owned it for a number of years now and the place where it’s ‘moored’ is cheap for rent and out of the way up high in the clouds so that I am nice and secluded and never bothered by neighbours. I’ve lived on the ground until recently too, but I always come back to my skybox because it feels like home. The way this space is decorated and displayed is probably the most authentic representation of my real-life self within the virtual world that is my second home. I absolutely adore it.

The build itself is a BARNESWORTH ANUBIS creation, called ‘NYC Apartment Skybox’. It costs a cheap-as-chips L$400 ion the marketplace, and has a lovely low land-impact of just 30.  It’s incredibly roomy and open-plan which makes for lots of fun when decorating. I have loads of skyboxes in my inventory but this one suits me perfectly, and I always come back to it. My only wish would be for perhaps an extra couple of rooms (or even a second level) but that’s not something that I am in desperate need of, just a dream that I file under ‘Nice-to-have’. Like all Barnesworth’s builds,  it’s beautifully textured and the details are absolutely perfect. Oh, and because it’s a New York City apartment the view out of the windows is of the great city itself a place I will visit one day, but for now my skybox will have to suffice.

As you walk in the first thing you see is a large space with a kitchen clearly visible. Which is funny because the big tiled space is actually designated as a bathroom BUT for me it screamed out for a glorious kitchen and some suitably fancy decoration, which is just what I added. I have TWO favourite kitchens in Second Life. They are the BAZAR ‘Toronto Kitchen’ because of the modular options and ability to adapt it to many different designs, and this TROMPE LOEIL  ‘Retro’ number.  I’ve never had any issues fitting and adapting this to suit my needs. It’s absolutely perfect with a 1950’s feel and the animations that are incorporated make for some great photo opportunities.

Obviously, my thing is cats both in RL and SL. That’s no different in my skybox either, and as soon as you enter you’re surrounded by cats of every shape and size; some decorative, others who live with me. The kitchen space is no different, in fact,  I used the TROMPE LOEIL kitchen cabinets to house my precious SCHADENFREUDE Chibi Cats collection. There are also four FASHIONABLY DEAD cats mooching around in the space, but that’s because I keep my HALF DEER litter tray and food bowls here too.
The window above my kitchen cabinets lets in much-needed light to illuminate the area but is also the ideal spot to grow a few culinary herbs too! This is where my ORGANICA’Hanging Bamboo Herb Planter’ really comes into its own. At night,  the kitchen is illuminated by my ‘Addison’ chandeliers in Red by MUDHONEY. I love the shape and simplicity of these, and rather than just having one I decided to be super decadent and have four in my kitchen. Their colour brings the fiery red elements of the kitchen together perfectly and blends beautifully with my ‘Gerzzo’ chairs and table from THE LOFT which extend the retro vibe.

In the Kitchen

I decorate my kitchen according to the season; sometimes I have pots of warming soup boiling on the stove, or enormous pizzas bursting out of the box ready to be devoured. I use gacha prizes to decorate and bring the kitchen to life, and I’m rocking a pile of dirty dishes from HODGEPODGE next to my sink. My favourite Vice Jars from COMMONER have pride of place next to a brilliant animated BITTER VANILLA cutting board, which has a number of fruits, vegetables and breads available for selection. You’ll also spy a few items from NYLON PINKNEY (‘Sleepy Cat Pot’ in Red and CopyCat Art ‘Feed Me’ poster) along with a fabulous Industrial Baker’s Rack from SECOND SPACES that I’ve added a few pieces to. I have a great ‘Kitchen Element Sign’ in Red from CASITA opposite the most important part of the kitchen; the place where I make my frequent cups of tea and indulge in my favourite snack of hot, buttered toast. I love my ‘Gerzzo’ kettle (another THE LOFT creation)  and my TARTESSOS ARTS animated toaster which pops the toast out in a violent manner similar to the till in ‘Open All Hours’ (British comedy, utterly brilliant). My favourite thing in this corner has to be my LARK ‘Teafor2’ embroidery though; it’s just so perfectly done and looks so sweet in the corner.

I serve my tea from a BEACH STREET Tardis tea-pot into NOODLES Doctor Who style mugs, gazing over at my wall art. It’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ from IONIC, a very old acquisition which I retextured to fit in with the theme of my kitchen, and it just works perfectly.

Last but not least my virtual day is accompanied by a soundtrack of tunes belting out from my SOY Vintage Boom Box, stowed away in the corner out of harm’s way ( I got fed up of the cats jumping up and knocking it flying!) So there you have it, my virtual kitchen. It’s the centre of my home and I absolutely love it, so if you’ll excuse me I have a pile of dirty dishes to wash, kitties to feed and brews to be made. Fancy a cuppa?

Why not share the details of your Second Life home or specific rooms that you love?  I’ll feature the rest of my home over the forthcoming days..stay tuned!

Bazar Floria Dining (Avatar Blogger Crossfit Challenge(Entry 26 of 30))

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(Click on the picture to enlarge and have a closer look at the table layouts!)

I swear I’m not a one woman Bazar appreciation society, I really do, BUT when Ria Bazar Mavendorf keeps dropping awesome on the grid then I’m going to rave about it. 

A few weeks ago I blogged the Floria bedroom. I instantly fell in love with it, and it’s still laid out in my house looking awesome. I’ve added a few pieces to it to compliment but I can honestly say I’ve never been happier with my virtual sleepy-place.

So when Ria sent me a box called ‘Floria Dining Room’ I kind of had an inkling as to what the contents would be. If they were in keeping with the bedroom, then there would be romantic lines and feminine touches brought together with grace and class. I wasn’t wrong. 

Floria Dining has the same styling as the matching bedroom, and features a table, chairs, chandelier, dresser and a potted plant.  Like the bedroom before it the furniture is colour change, so you get TONS of options for your Lindens, although it has to be said that the pink and blue colour schemes that are included may well prove to be too much for some.  (They were for me, hence I haven’t photographed them!) I do get the feeling that they will go down very well with the Lolita crowd, and leaving the pastels to one side you still get plenty of colour options to play with including dark and light wood, black and white solid colour and complimentary striped colour schemes too.

The dresser is elegant and includes tableware and glasses.  The chandelier matches the sconces in the Floria Bedroom and is just the right height for an intimate dinner party setting.  The light can be turned off and on, and is also colour change too, a thoughtful touch.  The potted plant is, to be honest, a little disappointing.  The pot is great but the plant isn’t anything to write home about especially.  But that’s a minor quibble, because on the whole this is a quality dining set and that’s proven when you sit at the table to begin your feast.

The table can accommodate 2, 4 or 6 persons. It’s menu controlled, and you have a choice of tea and cake, wine or coffee. When you rez your selection the table comes to life and it’s a sight for sore eyes. It’s beautifully decorated with linens, cutlery, flowers and foodstuffs depending upon the setting.

Bazar_005

There are candles, and cheeses and oh my goodness you should see the chocolate cake!! It’s utterly resplendent, incredibly posh and luxurious and the whole ensemble works beautifully in both a formal home setting and a more modern environment.  I absolutely adore it, and the visual feast is enhanced by the animations that you can select from the chairs, and of course you’re automatically issued with cutlery, glasses and all the tableware you need to attach to your avatar and fully live the dinner party experience.

The’ Floria Dining Set’ proves yet again that Ria Bazar Mavendorf is a thoughtful designer because she always adds quality finishing touches to her furniture items, and each time she issues a new release it leaves me longing for more.

I’ve become so enamoured with the brand that I confess it’s made me greedy, but when creative work is consistently this good it’s to be expected. I’m wondering now if there are going to be further additions to the Floria series, such as a Living Room and Bathroom ,and if there are I can see them proving to be exceptionally popular with individuals whose taste in Second Life home furnishings is a little more classical than contemporary…

BUT as I said previously  it does work in a modern setting. For my pictures I actually rezzed my absolute favourite skybox, ‘Apartment C’ from Commoner.  This build is based upon Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from ‘Sex and the City’ and it’s a fabulous dwelling.  It is beautifully open plan, with kitchen and bathroom included, along with a closet to absolutely die for. (If you’re a fan of the show it’s a must have!) I rezzed the Floria Dining Room in the skybox, and just added a few cat prints in Barnesworth Anubis’s  fabulous ‘Four Frame Grid (Oak)’ et voila! A stunning look for formal dining in a casual setting, and I love it.  What do you think?

Click here to teleport to Bazar to experience Floria Dining for yourself!

STOP PRESS: There is indeed a kitchen too! WEEE!