To Orb Or Not To Orb, That Is The Question…

winter wALK_001

And it’s a question that I’ve never had to ask myself, until now.
In all my years of being a Second Life resident (almost 8 years now, eeep!), I’ve never been especially harassed by trespassers at my various abodes. Sure, a few times I’ve rezzed into my home-space and found someone enjoying my furniture and epic decorating skills (obviously!), but it’s never troubled me enough to want to inflict ban lines (urgh) on my neighbours, or invest in a security device. The prompt for this change of opinion occurred two nights ago. I logged in at my new residence, a beautiful Brownstone that I recently took ownership of in the delightful Sunshine Mist community. I had coveted these residences from afar, because I particularly love Harlow Heslop’s epic landscaping skills, so when one became available I jumped at the opportunity to rent. I wanted to feel a sense of community, especially as we enter the Holiday season, and the idea of having neighbours again appealled to me. As I write I’m still busily moving my stuff (read: cats) into the property, and it’s fabulous fun.

I’m incredibly fussy when it comes to virtual home-making, it has to be *just* right (I’m a Virgo, ’nuff said) so I’m having a grand-old time making the space feel like home. All the pleasure, with none of the pain (Although fitting virtual curtains is a challenge and a half, let me tell you! )I find decorating virtual houses exceptionally relaxing after a long, hard day in teh real world, and I take great pleasure from it, as I’m sure regular readers can tell. One of my favourite toys as a child was my doll’s house, and I think my love for that has somehow relocated into the virtual world. It’s incredibly relaxing decorating from behind a keyboard, and there are some absolutely amazing items in Second Life that you can decorate with ( I relish my daily read of LTD!).   and, for me, it’s chill out time. Behind the screen in real life I’m enjoying a brew and listening to music,on-screen I’m moving a wardrobe or changing the colour of the cushions at the touch of a button. It’s bliss, it really is, and it makes me so happy.

So I was a little rattled when my home was, for want of a better phrase, intruded upon.  I logged in, and as soon as I did I realised someone was in the house. At this point I wasn’t concerned, and soon identified that my visitor was sat on my kitchen sofa, drinking a cup of tea. I wandered down the steps and into the kitchen-space, and as I did so the rather well-dressed intruder jumped to her feet. Now, at this point I wasn’t angry, nor was I considering making a fuss. I was (if anything), curious, and had things progressed a different way I’d have sat next to her on said sofa and poured her another cup. She was no newbie, not by the way she was dressed, that’s for sure. She was sporting a quality skin, and a retro look; in other words, the kind of look that would take time to perfect. Yet, according to her account, she was three days old?!

If my name was Alice, I would have probably said, “Curiouser and curiouser!” but it’s not, it’s Kitty.

I actually saved the chat-log, but I’m not going to name names, because I think I was dealing with an alt.Not only that, but an alt who either didn’t have English as a first language, or who was actually taking the piss, and not in a funny way. (All spelling appears as it did in-world. Comments afterwards are obviously mine:) 

[10:42] Kitty Otoole: Hello:)
[10:42] XXXXX: Hi do you live here?
[10:42] XXXXX: Cause I move hear alredy (Really? So that’s why the house was empty when I moved in..)
[10:43] Kitty Otoole: Hi, yes, moved in yesterday
[10:43] XXXXX: so can you go please not saying in a bad way  (I’m glad she wasn’t saying it in a bad way because, you know, I might have taken offence…)
[10:43] Kitty Otoole: Oh! Did Harlow Know? ( At this point, gullible Kitty that I am, I thought there had been a genuine mistake. That thought lasted a nanosecond..)
[10:43] XXXXX: yes (Fib! Fibby fib-fib!)
[10:43] Kitty Otoole: Oh ( I’m realising this is definitely a fib)
[10:43] XXXXX: So please.. (Detecting odd sense of desperation..)
[10:44] Kitty Otoole: Well I’d better have a word with her, so I can get my money back ( I put this out there because obviously I had paid rent upfront, and my mysterious visitor had not..)
[10:44] XXXXX: well ok (Ooh! Seems almost legit!)
[10:44] XXXXX: bye (RUDE)
[10:44] Kitty Otoole: You’d better return all my stuff as well (Bear in mind here peeps, she’s sat enjoying a rather lovely BAZAR kitchen, along with all my accessories, some epic NYLON PINKNEY artwork and a few cats. As well as a cup of tea.)
[10:44] XXXXX: no plaese (Eh?)
[10:44] XXXXX: i dont know were to live (No, but you know where to shop judging by that outfit/hairstyle/skin..)
[10:45] XXXXX: so can we live together tham (Hmm, how do I put this? NOPE.)
[10:45] XXXXX: please (A minute ago you were telling me to go, now you’re asking if you can stay?!)
At this point, I lost the plot. I don’t normally, I’m usually very easy-going and wouldn’t hurt a fly. However, I was feeling played here, and a tad pissed off. Had I not been tired and grumpy I might NOT have done this, and I’m NOT proud of it….
[10:45] Kitty Otoole: Go and find your own place like everyone else does.
[10:45] Second Life: Avatar ejected.

And that was the end of that. Two minutes of banter before I ban-hammered.

And you know what? I felt SO GUILTY. Did I over react? I mean this is a virtual world after all, so does it really matter that much?

winter wALK_002

Well, actually, yes it does. I’ve paid rent, bought furniture and invested in the Second Life economy. Had my intruder been a genuine newb I would have perhaps offered some advice about the best way to interact in Second Life (As I poured another cup of tea and offered them a biscuit of course. I’m nothing if not a cordial host!) But my visitor was, quite obviously, not being genuine with me.

Perhaps I’m just too trusting, and perhaps I assume incorrectly that everyone thinks the same as I do, that it IS possible to cultivate respect for fellow virtual citizens, just like your real life peers. But you know, this has started me questioning my own judgement, and now, for the first time in my virtual life, I’m considering installing a security device. And I really don’t like that thought at all. I’m having a virtual-existential crisis here guys!

Thing is, I LOVE seeing how people have decorated their virtual abodes, and I enjoy nothing more than wandering a sim and drooling over the interior ideas I spy around every corner but I set myself hard and fast rules. I always check if someone is in their home before I cam-in, and I NEVER go into a property uninvited. (Probably the only trait I share with a vampire!) But perhaps even that is too much, and I’m no better than my uninvited house-guest?

I get that Second Life can be daunting to a new member, and it can be expensive and alienating as well as welcoming and exciting, but just because this is a world of pixels and polygons it doesn’t mean we have to leave our manners at the log-in screen. 

So the question remains, leave my house as is knowing that people will be able to enjoy it when I’m not around (something I’ve never had a problem with before), or do I hit the marketplace, and buy a security orb?

 Readers, how do you feel about your virtual home? What do you think, am I over-reacting, or is this actually an issue that deserves more consideration? 

THE HOME SHOW 2014 – THE TANTALISING TORONTO LIVINGROOM AND BATHROOM

The TORONTO sets have been, I’m sure, a roaring success for Ria Bazar. Every single one has been an astonishing release, and none more so than the TORONTO BATHROOM and LIVING ROOM, at THE HOME SHOW 2014. Of course there’s a house to match the sets so you can have a fabulous, complete look from top to bottom, but I’ve found that these pieces work extremely well in a skybox setting, and because they’re mesh and prim-light they’re a perfect choice for a Linden Home with their ridiculous 250 prim limit. (Would it hurt to make it 500 Linden Lab, WOULD IT?)

ImageSo what can I tell you about them? I always wax-lyrical about Ria’s work upon these pages, and I ain’t about to change, especially when you consider how awesome these latest releases are. The living room is fresh and funky and works beautifully in both male and female abodes.  When I visited THE HOME SHOW the sets were proving exceptionally popular. (There was constantly a crowd checking the displays out which was great to see, but a bugger for taking photos! However in the end I got a few snaps to share, and then I want to show you what I’ve done with them in my skybox)

The strength of the whole TORONTO collection has always been the industrial chic elements combined with classic lines and modern yet tasteful accessories. This is amplified in the living room, with a statement sofa (colour-change, natch) that can be used with or without a decorative throw, and two metal chairs. One of them is available with a cushion which you’d need, as I imagine that it would be a bit uncomfortable upon the old derrière if you didn’t use one! There’s a very stylish leather pouffe to compliment, along with an epic combination of a standard lamp that is reminiscent in styling of a builders hand-held lamp, and a very striking main fitting that looks a bit like a spider! These elements are tied together by some beautifully decorated bookcases, a plant, a globe and some great photo frames ready to fill with your fave snaps. As always the accessories are just as fabulous as the main pieces and I really rate the wire candle-sticks and world-map that bring the suite together. It’s perfect to use on its own, or to add to, which is what I’ve done in my skybox below…

ImageThe TORONTO BATHROOM carries the factory vibe even further and a word to all Steampunk aficionados, you will need this in your life. The metal finish adorning all the key pieces can be colour changed to suit your needs, and the lighting echoes that in the living room; functional yet completely on-trend. The emphasis on metal textures and pipe-work, along with the wire accessory baskets, traditional stamped signs and brilliantly executed accessories make this an absolute winner, and that’s before you even consider the animations and rezzable props that can be applied.

ImageIt never ceases to amaze me how many extras that Ria fits into her furniture sets at no extra cost. They are always incredibly useful for scene-setting and you can make some gorgeous photographs with them, or use them to just enjoy spending time with your loved one. The TORONTO BATHROOM has to be my absolute favourite yet; it’s just so imaginative and will work in so many modern spaces, lofts and skyboxes. It’s absolutely made of win. And of course you can style these items in a myriad of ways, and you’re guaranteed a satisfying result. This is how I’ve done my bathroom, isn’t it glorious?

Bathroom_003

The reason I feature BAZAR so frequently on these pages is because Ria excites me so much as a designer. The work she produces consistently offers fabulous quality and value for money.  From the classical stylings of the FLORIA range to her fantastic residences, Ria has provided something for everyone in her collection, and I’ll awlways be proud to feature her on my pages.

 You can visit her in-world store by clicking HERE, her marketplace HERE or check out these two TORONTO releases at THE HOME SHOW 2014. Here’s looking forward to her next release, I wonder what it will be?

Splish Splash Kitty’s Taking a bath!

Floria vintage(Click on each shot for a bigger and better look!)

As all of my regular readers know I’m a huge fan of Ria Bazar-Mavendorf’s work. I’ve been blogging Ria’s items now for well over a year, and each release is consistently awesome, with fabulous builds, textures and innovative features carefully blended to create some of the best furniture in the virtual world.  The ‘Floria’ series has been a particular delight, combining elegant textures and fabrics together in a classical style with a gentle, modern twist, and the latest addition to the collection is no exception. The Floria Bathroom is one of the most extravagant bathrooms experiences you can have in Second Life and comes complete with mesh components full of options that will help you to engineer the perfect bathroom for your virtual home. Like all of the Floria range the bathroom is texture change so the units can be altered to whatever finish you see fit with the same wood characteristics and colours that were previously used in the range.

This makes it an especially nice choice for en-suite bathrooms, particularly if you already have the Floria Bedroom.

Floria Bathroom 1(Just a couple  of the colour options you can choose from..)

The quality is of course paramount, and the selection of accessories chosen for the set is rather brilliant too. There are matching sink units, with a mirror and accessories for him and her. There’s a decorative shelving unit which is ideal to place above the pedestal, especially because it features an air-freshener! There’s even a loo-brush and a toilet paper holder too. All the fixtures are further enhanced by a golden gleam courtesy of the metal colour deployed across the range which is applied to pipework, door-knobs and other fittings.  The star of the show has to be the tub. It’s a huge, claw-footed tub ideal for two to relax in and is brimming with options. For a start, you can choose soapy water, romantic rose-petals or even a fabulous bubble-bath to luxuriate in. Not only that but you can rez a bath rack that has everything you need for your perfect bath-time experience. Choose from a book, carefully propped so that you won’t get the pages damp, a bottle of wine or a shaving mirror with bath-time creams and unguents to enjoy. There’s a menu teeming with animations for single males or females, and there are couple poses too, which I really enjoyed. These are perfect for romantic moments with your significant other, and all the poses can be easily adjusted. I really like the option to rez candles around the tub; add the rose petal option and you’re all set to take advantage of the Adult only options that are available..

Floria bathroom 2

It’s not just the tub that is full of animations either; the sink units have options such as brushing and drying your hair or having a shave, each one rezzing the right appliance for the job. And if you need to use the loo, you can do so in comfort whilst reading a magazine. A novel and very amusing touch indeed! To finish the set there’s a side table brimming with towels and bath treats as well as a beautiful candelabra with four flickering candles to add a touch of opulence to proceedings. There’s even a lovely screen to help protect your modesty too.

Bathtime fun

The Floria Bathroom is a wonderful addition to all of the ‘Floria’ range from Bazar, but will work in any virtual abode or skybox where luxury and low-prim count are key.

 And don’t forget, there are no tide-marks or mess to clean up after all the fun, and you’ll have LOTS of soapy fun with this, I promise…*ahem*


Kitty & JezCLICK HERE to visit BAZAR in-world. 

NEW RELEASE: The Toronto Kitchen from Bazar

Feast your eyes on this bad boy; and yes, feast is perhaps the most appropriate term of phrase because this, boys and girls, is the totally scrummy delicious Toronto kitchen from Ria Bazar. 

kitchen_001

When Ria kindly sent me this package, I opened it and this is precisely what I did:

1459657_10202063896093504_489421509_n

(Click on the picture above for a larger version and you’ll see why)

Once I had finished wiping the drool from my monitor and keyboard I got to playing about with the items included.  The Toronto Kitchen is a modern, modular set-up that you build using the components included in the package, so you have tons of freedom to design your dream kitchen to  fit perfectly in your given space.  Like everything in the Bazar Toronto range, the kitchen is predominately wood that can be  colour-changed to light, medium and dark at the click of a button.   The open-plan styling means that you can add pots and pans and accessories to your hearts content, but the units do come complete with some lovely accessories already included, such as stainless steel kitchenware, utensils and plates.

A particularly groovy touch is the blackboard surround. This comes with a chalk-layer that you can add to the ensemble, and I’m sure you could make your own alpha-layers and write messages on them to really add the personal touch!  (Kitty-fact: I have a wall painted in black-board paint in my kitchen. I draw cats on it, rude messages for my beloved and occasionally the odd shopping list…) You’ll find shelves included in the package, as well as a light-fitting (different to the one in the main picture but equally fabulous) and a kitchen island .  There’s also a stainless-steel cooker and air-vent which adds a funky, industrial feeling to the collection.

This is a 100% original mesh production, and you can choose from either a PG OR an Adult version of the kitchen.  Of course, like all Bazar products, there are some excellent quality animations included in the package. The poses  are fantastic and will enable you to have some brilliant encounters with your loved one (although it’s a bit unhygienic being so intimate in the kitchen, don’t you think? No? Just me then.) I guess you can’t help it when feelings of desire overcome you as your chap stirs soup sensuously!  The oven  is pretty nifty and has multiple cooking modes so you can pose as a cook par excellence and ‘prepare’ soup, meat and fish, my favourite dish.  You can also wash dishes and clean the kitchen should you wish. Everything that you need to bring your virtual kitchen to life has been thoughtfully included by Ria.

Another inspired addition is that the collection includes a quick-rez version of the kitchen.  This is really useful, because it can be pretty daunting when starting a layout from scratch. Of course you can remove and replace pieces should you so wish.  This is what the quick-rez version looks like:

nom_003 nom_005

Something that’s missing from these shots but features in the main image is a fridge, but Ria has that covered.   She has just added a couple of fridges to her range, and they’re just as excellent as you would expect. In my kitchen I have the Retro Fridge (Exclusive) on display. It’s a bit of a corker. For starters, it’s texture change and you can select from ten options to suit your every mood.  (I especially like the retro, lace and cat print textures.) It’s stocked with food and drink items, as well as single and couples poses too.  Some of the poses are great fun, and pretty true to life:

nom_001

Well, true-to-life if you’re the kind of girl who raids the fridge on a frequent basis. The fridge also dispenses a vast array of food and drinks through a menu, and you can wear all of them.  It’s a pretty essential item to add to your kitchen and one that offers substantial options for the very silly price of L$199. You’d be daft not to buy one. 

I’ve had great fun styling my Toronto kitchen and I’ve incorporated pieces from other elements of the Toronto range (such as the Dining Set and Toronto Study).  I have also added multiple Arcade winnings and some of my favourite kitchenware to create my dream kitchen. Isn’t it pigging divine? 

I know I harp on about Ria Bazar on these pages guys, but like I say every time, she creates items that really do make such a difference to your Second Life.  Her work is exemplary, it really is, and I wouldn’t be such a fan of it if it wasn’t.  This is going to sound daft,  but this kitchen makes me want to invite friends over for virtual dinner parties.  But I’m sure sat at my keyboard with some nibbles and a bottle of wine they’ll feel like the real thing, especially when I get very, very drunk!  Oh, and a final note, this kitchen is priced so reasonably considering the content that it’s practically a scandal. The PG version is just L$635, and the Adult version is just L$685. The retro (and modern) fridges are just L$199 each. and   The whole lot are a must buy, and you can pick them up via the marketplace or in-world at Ria’s store.

Main image includes items from the Toronto Kitchen and Dining rooms, as well as various accessories sourced from different stores across the grid. The lighting is from Trompe L’Oeil and is available at C88.