The Story Of The Season

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The problem with September is a VERY skint Kitty. Why? Well this is because there are way too many wonderful events going on in world at the moment. It’s driving me mad, but in a GOOD way.

The Arcade is still busy and bustling, but there’s also the fantastic latest Collabor88 collection and a new kid on the block, The Seasons Story.

The Seasons Story was incredibly busy upon the first few days of opening so that I couldn’t actually get in, but when I did I realised why it had been so popular. This is a real quality event, the theme being Autumn (of course)and each stall is arranged around a beautifully decorated sim featuring trees, fruits and flowers of the, erm, season.  It’s delicious to look at and walk around. You can practically smell pumpkin soup and warmed cider as you meander down the pathways investigating  each vendor.

There’s a vast array of fashion, hair, skins and furnishings on show for the fall-addicted avatar. I confess that I was like a kid in a sweet-shop once I managed to get in, because there’s some truly wonderful shopping to be had here.

In the photograph I am sporting the fabulous flannel shirt from SHEEP DOOR, and I really like it,  although I do wish the demo had included examples of the textures rather than it being a demo for fit. Still, as you can see it looks perfectly snug and wears really well.  Ripe for layering in this cool September sun.

I also really fell in love with this glorious hair and beret combo from  INK.  It’s a great unisex style, available in a limited selection of colours but an absolute bargain at L$150 a pop.  Not only that, each style comes replete with hud for beret colour-change happy, and includes a couple of hairbases, one of which is specifically aimed at the male avvie and includes a beard.  I love thoughtful touches like that!

I combined my choices from The Seasons Story with some quality purchases from Collabor 88.   I cannot get enough of this Belleza ‘Leila’ skin which is the perfect choice for the season. I’m wearing combo 3 ,which features a winged eyeliner against a palette of golden hues and a lovely warm red lip. The colours are just breathtaking, and I’ve realised now that Belleza probably draw my favourite brow in SL; it’s *perfect* and frames the face beautifully. I can’t get enough of it.

I’m also sporting this delicious jumper from TEE*FY  in  ‘Pumpkin’ shade. I’m really loving this brand at the moment.  This is a brilliant example of a wardrobe staple being perfectly re-created in Second Life. It features a generous roll-neck collar and comes with both a no-sleeves (for wearing under jackets) and long sleeved versions plus  alphas layers to suit. Another example of a designer actually giving thought to how something will be worn, and again it’s a touch that’s truly appreciated.

What do you think to my foxy tail? This beautiful brush is  available at Collabor88 from AUXILIARY, and even better no beautiful foxes were harmed in the making of it! You can purchase it pre-attached to a denim skirt, or you can buy separately to add to your own items.  It’s available in a variety of shades and is a really unusual enhancement to your wardrobe.  I really love it!

The Seasons Story is a perfect environment for taking photos.  The backdrop above is actually comprised of the Gacha items that virtual design Goddess Sienia Trevellion (the name behind the LARK label) has at The Arcade this round. The books have been enlarged to create a really effective display, and they demonstrate the awesome imagination and skill that Sienia possesses. She is one of those people in-world who is a constant source of wonder to me and I cannot praise her work enough. In fact, all the designers I’ve featured here today are an absolute joy, and one of the reasons why I love my Second Life so much.

And finally let me tell you about the pose.  This is from a pose maker that I discovered at The Seasons Story called MODEL POSESand I am really impressed!  There are two packs available of five poses for L$60 each, and they’re excellent quality with a natural grace and finish to each movement.  I’ll certainly be keeping an eye for this brand in future! (The pose in the photo is number four from the ‘Martina’ collection)

Have I wet your shopping appetite? Good, I am pleased to hear it! CLICK HERE to visit The Seasons Story, and HERE to visit Collabor88.  Enjoy!

 

 

Kitty Goes To Gachatopia!

With September welcoming another round of the ever popular Arcade, it’s both an exciting time and a depressing one too.

Exciting because, in my opinion, it’s the BEST round of The Arcade yet. Depressing? Well, you try to get in; there are more green spots on the map than there were on my chops when I was a spotty teenager!

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See what I mean?

Fortunately there are plenty of ways to get your Arcade fix in-world without having to deal with Linden Lag. There are yard sales and flea markets galore, and each time a round of The Arcade arrives it seems that more are added to the ever growing list of places to visit when seeking a particular Gacha item.

The majority are private, meaning that they’re a personal collection of items to be found for sale at someone’s home, but some are public. These are a business enterprise all of their own; patrons rent tables and place their arcade winnings out for perusal and purchase. It’s a great idea and the majority of my collectibles  are sourced at these sales because you can usually find exactly what you’re looking for. 

Sometimes that elusive prize can come at a steep price. There’s always a lot of debate around whether or not rare items should be sold at an increased cost. Some argue that it isn’t fair, and that items won should be sold at the price listed on the Gacha machine that they came from, nothing more, nothing less. Others say that once you’ve considered how much was spent on the machine to win the item in the first place then what’s wrong with trying to recoup some of the money spent? You can spend a small fortune gambling on Gacha and may never win what you’re after, so why not just pay upfront to get it?

Of course there’s no hard and fast rule on this. Some creators object to their items being sold at higher prices, some don’t. But Gacha is addictive.  You become obsessed and yearn for a complete collection of items and it seems as though your Second Life isn’t complete without that one last piece.  The trick is to take a step back and evaluate how much something is worth to you.  A small increase on the cost price isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but paying thousands of Lindens for something that could disappear from your inventory in a heartbeat? That’s a big decision to make.

Browsing the stalls at Gacha markets  is a fun task, and it’s made even more entertaining  when those markets really make the effort to look  fun and enticing too. Sure, you can rez a few trestle tables in a skybox for your wares,  but it’s a LOT more enjoyable visiting somewhere a bit special to make up for the fact that you can’t get into the main event..

One such place is GACHATOPIA.

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I’ve completely fallen in love with this amazing build. It’s a brilliant 1950’s style sim dedicated to all things Gacha. There are shops to explore and trailers bursting with common and rare Gacha winnings.   The central area features a museum and the first dedicated Gacha auction house in Second Life, as well as gig space for live events.  To the sides of the sim there are retro style dwellings just begging to have their photographs taken.

It’s colourful, vibrant and makes shopping for prizes an absolute joy.

I caught up with the team behind Gachatopia, Morbid Deceit and Lucius Templar, to ask them why they had brought this mad, crazy retro vision in-world and what they had planned for it!

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What inspired you to create Gachatopia?

I think we were most inspired by the Gacha community. We had run the Trailerpark Yardsale on our home region since December 2012 and it was a total pleasure. We loved the people, we loved the vibe and we loved the machines! We had a vision for a bigger, better Gacha destination and since we had the extra sim we just went for it!

How many people are involved in the project?

It was just another one of our “couple” projects with Morbid taking the helm for concept, structure and layout. Lucius designed some of the main builds. Since opening we have added people along the way in different capacities – all of whom are Gacha fans like us.

Why did you choose the vintage feel? ( I love the way the sim looks, it’s beautifully constructed!)

We both love Googie art and architecture, mainly it just makes us smile. We wanted the sim to feel like the Trailerpark but in a bigger more epic way. Luke’s build, the Atomic Spire, was built very early on and set the tone. We will always be working on the sim design but that kooky retro vibe will always prevail.

With The Arcade beginning on Sunday, you’re sure to be busy here! What is your view on re-selling of rare items, especially at inflated prices? Some people really disagree with it, what are your thoughts?

First and foremost we believe that the creators permissions and terms of use are what should prevail and Gacha creators typically understand what it means to offer no copy , trans items to their customers. A rare item in a machine is set to a certain level of difficulty for two reasons. One, is to increase the pleasure of playing the machine. And the other is to make more Lindens by selling more items to people who are digging for rares.

The creator has been paid for every item that was won from the machine and has given the player permission to do what they want with the items they have won. Rares are resold at a higher price because it takes more Linden to get them and there are fewer of them around. Rares being sold at “inflated” prices is typically because the person selling it has no grip on what the market value is.

At Gachatopia we try to help people as much as we can, to better understand market value and to keep things “in the spirit of Gacha” which is ultimately about playing the machine. At the end of the day, no one should be in disagreement about re-sale. It is part of Gacha culture. There will be people who push resale price boundaries and there will be creators who push the rare percentage boundaries but as with most things in life, the best people and creators will fall somewhere down the middle.

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 As well as Gacha items there is a fantastic auction house and museum here too. I really loved the museum, are the exhibits from your own personal collections or have you approached designers?

Right now the collections are our own items. We do hope to have exhibits up that are curated, mainly because it will take more than one person to complete them but also because it can be fun to have your things out on display. When the Googieheim (a play on the style of architecture we love called Googie and the Guggenheim Museum) is complete, we will have plaques set out naming the people that contributed to the displays from their personal collections, as well as information about the creators and their landmarks.

Are there any content creators that have voiced their support to you regarding this project?

Gachatopia is year round exposure for content creators. We have had awesome feedback from creators and you never know who you will see here on the Sim enjoying themselves. That’s all the support we need.

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I’m so thankful to  Lucius and Morbid for their brilliant answers to my questions, and strongly suggest that you zoom over to the sim to check out what is available. I really do get a very positive feeling from this place; it’s being run by people who clearly have a passion for the Gacha movement and I really hope it will be a great success.  It’s a great place to while away a few hours (while you’re watching the green dots on the map at the main event!) and while I was there I saw a lot of traffic to the sim.  If you’re tempted to rent your own space at this location I’m afraid you’ll be lucky, all the tables were taken when I visited. I think that is in part to their incredibly reasonable rates; a table costs just L$150 per month for 25 prims, a trailer L$300 for 50 prims and so on.  Renters can also use bid boards and participate in the auctions too; bid-boards cost L$50 per day, and auction podiums are L$75 a pop.

Here’s wishing a heap load of Kitty-luck to Morbid and Lucius and everyone at Gachatopia.  

I can’t wait to see what the forthcoming holiday seasons will bring for us Gacha-addicts at this astonishing location! 

Like what you see and want to go visit? CLICK HERE! 

**Note: The next Gachatopia LIVE auction will be held on Sunday September 8th at 1pm**

The Arcade Is Coming!

September is my favourite month.

Why? Well, it’s my birthday month for a start, and this year is going to be a special one, it’s my 40th. But what has made it even more ruddy fabulous is that The  Arcade gacha event will be hitting the grid again,  and if you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks then you’ll have missed the teaser images featured on Plurk and on various Flickr pages.

To be perfectly honest, it would have probably been more beneficial to my health if I had been living under a rock, that way I wouldn’t have seen any previews of what this round has in store for us. The last round was amazing enough, but bloody hell, when I first saw some of the pictures of what this round had in store for us, well, I am embarrassed to admit that I actually cried!

Seriously dear reader, I blubbed. 

I confess that I am cringing as I write this, but my emotional response to the goodies on offer was nothing short of visceral. I sobbed when I saw the collections of critters, furniture items and accessories that have been promised to us for this round.

Why? Well, I could say it’s hormones seeing as I officially hit middle-age in a few weeks, so you could forgive me if I was feeling a little mid-life crisis like. But I actually don’t have an excuse, other than I was totally moved and completely blown-away out of the park astonished by the creations that I saw.

Bear in mind I’ve only seen these on the official ad posters, too, so goodness knows what condition I will be in when I actually hit the machines!   Unfortunately, I have no doubt that this round will be jam-packed 24/7 for days on end, which will drive me round the twist. I’ll be one of those poor dots that you see on the map hovering pathetically at sim borders, pleading at my monitor for someone to leave so that I can get in!

So what am I especially looking forward to?  I’ll post some of my favourites over the next few days, but first of all I want to tell you about some of the fantastic animal-themed items that I have seen and simply MUST have. 

The first images that made me misty-eyed were the pictures of the INTRIGUE CO. Puppy Pals….

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..see what I mean?

Why did I blub? Well, first of all, PUPPIES! But also because I’m a big fan of the INTRIGUE CO. plushies collections, and these are without a doubt in my mind the best examples yet. I love the way that these guys are crafted.   Not only do they look like the breeds that they are representing, they are perfectly coloured and feature irresistible breed-unique detailing, like the bow on the Yorkie’s hair. It must have taken ages to make these, but what an absolute joy they all are to behold.

Do I have a favourite?  I do have a few to be honest, but I’m going to try my hardest to win all of them!

Now, let me introduce you to the SILENT SPARROW ‘Pwnies!’

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Now, if you know me in real-life (unlucky!) then you’ll know that I have a bit of a thing about a little show called ‘My Little Pony-Friendship is Magic’.

Yes readers, Kitty is a Brony, with no fucks given.

I have a collection of ponies on my desk, as well as an ever-expanding  (like my waistline) family of plushies courtesy of my local ‘Build-A-Bear Workshop’.  You could say therefore that I’m a bit of a fan, and I’d barely finished wiping  my eyes when I saw the poster image of the pwnies, and started blarting all over again! I mean JUST LOOK AT THEM! They are utterly perfect; a multitude of poses and colours and patterns and you would have to have a heart made of the coldest steel to not fall into a messy puddle of happiness at the sight of these.

They are just so much fun, and I am especially taken by Dash (for obvious reasons) and of course, Matt and David (seeing as I’m a bit of a Whovian as well!) To be honest, yes I want all of these as well, and I’m already starting to panic about how many prims I’m going to need to free up to accommodate all of this Gacha awesome. (My house is pretty darn near perfect for me in-world, but I’m going to have some epic rearranging to do to accommodate all of these wonderful things!)

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But let’s not stop there! It looks as though I am going to have to find the room for an aquarium too, because YUMMY! have created a piano-shaped aquarium and a collection of fish to inhabit it and boy are they are super-cute.

I don’t have the space or time for a  fish tank anymore so this will be the next best thing for me.  I’m looking forward to seeing how these fish work too,  because apparently each one is animated with unique movements so I’m anticipating something very special indeed. I haven’t really selected a favourite fishy, but I am very taken by the ‘Spotted Weirdo’, as I feel that I have a lot in common with it. (I fear that the acquisition of this tank will lead me into ridiculous games of ‘Find The Fish’, which is sure to drive everyone around me bonkers, but no shits given!)

Not only that, but the packaging for this particular Gacha prize is pretty special too!

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Last but not least are my absolute critter must-haves from this collection. They are, of course, cats, and this is when my tears REALLY fell. Because just LOOK AT THEM:

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Now, a fact that you possibly don’t know about me, apart from my obviously being cat obsessed, is that I collect Maneki Neko and images of the Egyptian Goddess Bast.  In fact, I am completely Bast-obsessed.  I have statues, jewellery and books about the cult of the cat in Ancient Egypt, and I also like to make trips down to London to see the Gayer-Anderson cat in the British Museum. (Mine in a previous life, obviously 😉

So you can imagine that when I saw this collection and  spotted ‘Isis’ the Egyptian puss, as well as not one but three Maneki-Neko, I almost had a heart attack from excitement.  But there’s more; there’s a chibi-cat for everyone in this set; for example there’s ‘Pumpkin’, who obviously appeals due to my Witchy persuasions (and also because I had an amazing cat called Pumpkin too!) and ‘Sweetie’  is another Whovian reference and an absolute must for my in-world Doctor Who collection. There are so many fabulous felines here to adore, and then there is ‘Fatman’, who reminds me of my much-missed ginger lad (for whom I confess I am still mourning).

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Allegory, if by chance you’re reading this, I thought your ‘Voubou’ collection was outstanding and have them proudly displayed in my home, but these are on a whole different level. Every one of these cats is perfection.  They’re shaped so sweetly and decorated so perfectly. I cannot wait to get my paws on them; I just hope that I don’t have to wait too long because I know EXACTLY where I’m putting them. Well, I *think* that I do…GAH!

The Arcade opens on September 1st (that’ll be Sunday then) and I shall be clawing my way into that sim with all the strength and power I can muster so that I can get my mitts on all of these wonderful  creations, and I expect that you will be doing exactly the same!  I fear it will be a battle, but so long as I can get my critter-fix within a reasonable time frame I’m sure I’ll be fine!

Do check out the official blog and Flickr groups for updates on this event, and tune in tomorrow when I’ll be sharing some other favourite picks of mine. (These didn’t make me cry, but they are just as outstanding!)

 

Kitty pops into the Whore Couture Fair..and likes it!(Very much actually!)

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ll be aware that March 1st saw some quality shopping events launch upon the grid; The Arcade Gacha Festival and the Whore Couture Fair.

Having spent three days trying to get into the Arcade event, I gave up and have gotten most of  my winnings thus far from the second hand markets.  Fortunately the event itself is running until the end of March, so I’ve still got plenty of time to  go in and actually experience it, but I’d had enough of lurking on the edge unable to get in and go play Gacha. (I did get to explore The Grove Country Club though while I was waiting; what an utterly wonderful location!)

However I was delighted when I attempted the Whore Couture Fair and got in first try. Even though the event is mad busy, I was able to move around pretty freely because I was wearing an alpha, which meant I was completely invisible and not guilty of carrying any avatar pollution like lag-inducing scripts. (That said, there were plenty of people there who were guilty of it.)

Be warned that Whore Couture Fair is MASSIVE, with 206 participating stores listed on the map. It’s split into two locations, Ambon and Borderlands.  I have no sense of direction in real life and it’s even worse in my Second so navigating the stores could have been a challenge, but the layout is neat and easy to negotiate, which is a relief for the less spatially aware like myself:)   In fact it’s a really well- produced event, looks great and has been finished with professionalism and polish by the bucket load. It’s a thrill investigating each store and I warn you now you’ll spend some serious Linden!

I’ve not finished exploring yet; I’ve barely covered Ambon because I like to take my time and enjoy these events  so I’ve not visited every store,  but I am certainly enjoying what I’ve already encountered.  The content quality is second to none. There are some huge names exhibiting here, but there are also lots of stores that I’ve never seen before and am delighted to have discovered. This is why events like this are so important, you find so many new creators and designers, and it’s always exciting finding a new store that you can add to your list of favourites.

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In fact because of the WCF I’ve discovered something bloody wonderful. Mesh legwarmers with sneakers built-in! OK, these aren’t brand new to the grid, but they’re very new to me and so is ‘Blueberry’ (#15) where I discovered these gorgeous ruddy things. I’ll be investigating Blueberry in-depth at some point because judging by the quality of these the store is sure to be right up my street. Don’t they look wonderful? The woolen texture and mesh-wrinkles are just perfect, and they ‘hang’ brilliantly over the sneakers.  Blueberry is selling a range of them in plain and patterned varieties. I went for the black option because I can use them with more items in my wardrobe that way, but I think I’ll be investing in a job lot of them because they look so blinking brilliant! L$199 a pop too, not bad value if you ask me!

Another new brand that I discovered is ‘{PSYCHO:Byts}’ and that’s where this fantastic feline cross motif mesh jumper and also my denim skirt are from.  They have a small booth and the content just leaps out at you, inviting you in to take a closer look. (It’s store #118) I like the jumper very much. I love the long sleeve with thumb-holes, and it looks especially good if you’re wearing nails. As recent posts have shown I’ve adapted my shape to wear Tango breasts, so I had to take them off to wear this jumper because it doesn’t have appliers.  Fortunately the jumper is shaped perfectly and I didn’t need to change my shape to accommodate.  I felt a bit odd without my mesh-bewbs but not everyone is designing for them, and that’s fair enough. Wearing mesh jumpers of this quality more than makes up for my lack of Tangos, and I’ll be returning to the main-store to purchase the other jumpers in this range. I’ll probably do the same for the skirt too.  I don’t wear many skirts in-world  but that’s about to change I think, because  these denim skirts are available in a selection box of colours and designs, and it would be just plain wrong to not have them all.

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Finally Belleza are one of the sponsors of this event and have a number of skins at the event. I’m wearing a variation of Ava  available at the fair (#3)that has luscious matt red lips and blue eyeshadow detail. However I’ve become attached to wearing lots of eyeliner on Kitty, so I dropped lucky by discovering the range of fantastic eyeliner tattoos that Mons (#165) produces. I’m really starting to get into the world of Second Life cosmetics because they can really add an extra dimension to your favourite skin, without having to fork out loads of Lindens.   I think this eyeliner is astonishing worn with this skin, and it makes me want MORE!

I need to go back to Whore Couture Fair, but I think I’ll leave it for today as I expect it’s going to get really busy as the day progresses and more time zones start to log-on.  It seems the trick with these events is to hit them early in the morning when the US is asleep.   But  I must go back because I have a feeling that there are more goodies waiting for me to discover, and of course when I do I’ll share them with you here.

If you’ve found anything amazing at the event feel free to write a comment here and tell us all about it!