Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Getting brain into gear, and lingerie distractions

Look what I found in my inventory! Ah, smart, chic and just the right colour for "liver".

Except I also found this, which...

...seemed a bit more fun.

More fun than fixing texture offsets which I screwed up on an unsaved version of a build (way to go, Ari - how long have you been building now?).

But hey... not life threatening (just tedious to fix). So I played a little longer.

I did, however, fix all the textures. Well... I think I did. Will check again.

Sneak peek of the build in question, hm? Dammit I have to get a plug for Vent du Sud in here somewhere (and it's NEW and on sale soon). I just need to go make signs, notecards, and find a catchy name for it.

And to close, another of these.

Reasonable desires Lianna lingerie
Zaara top and skirt
Klavdiya hair, Damselfly (so gloriously MESSY, I love it)
Miel ring
Enkythings Talyna stilettos (get them from Vent du Sud)
House at Vent du Sud if I ever get my brain into gear.

Monday, 29 August 2011

All about Insight (in which Ari fangirls her favourite source of textures)

My name is Ariadne Korda and I'm a texture addict.

So today, I'm going to ramble on about textures (and my favourite place for them). Read on!

Glass textures (and forthcoming new line from Vent du Sud) (yes bad photo, sorry)

Texturing is the bit of building I like best of all, to the point I have to force myself not to start tweaking offsets or even applying them until a build is (well, nearly) finished. 

Striped textures, with shading (Vent du Sud curved settee, texture change, 1L)
My inventory is bursting with them. I picked up so many cheap or free ones in the early days, only to start worrying, later, whether they were obtained legally... so those ended up in trash and I started looking at merchants who clearly stated they made their own. 

And I found one. Insight Designs.

And I was hooked. This is somewhere that  really understands what builders need. Packs with great options, sharp, varied, and most of all different.

And boy, I hammer those textures to death because they are just so versatile. Wood, plexiglass, cement, stucco, and gorgeous fabrics. So something for fashion designers too (I keep sending my designer friends there and the response is usually "WOW").
Vent du Sud beach cabin,  50L with superb wood panelling textures

My first direct contact with Amisha March and Insight Designs was when a set I wanted had been, y'know, inexplicably detained by the Marketplace. She sent them right away, we had a great chat, and I went away and drooled over stucco... as you do. 

If you are me. I drool over concrete and wood and fabrics too, I admit it.
Then she turned up on Plurk (or rather I turned up on Plurk and cheered happily over her new releases). And Lubo too, her parner in crime was there too!

To my utter amazement, she has sent me a couple of new packs as a gift (to some embarrassment because I had been whining about being broke somewhat down on funds, which is an ongoing theme that my poor Plurk people have to suffer).
Vent du Sud Tree Haven, 50L, and LOOK AT THAT WOOD!
So, with apologies for taking my time to get around to it, here's a public thanks and a huge pat on the back to INSIGHT DESIGNS for making this texture-addicted builder extremely happy. 

(And it is so NOT a subtle hint for more freebies because I have two enormous sets I still have to play extensively with yet.)

Baskets from Vent du Sud, 1L each, again fabulous textures (ooops the deck texture didn't rez but it's not from Insight!)
Advice to all builders and fashion creators, though... go check them out. You won't be disappointed.

Oh, and a PS: go look at her blog too, including free texture grabs regularly.  Marketplace? Find her here.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Tales of the easily distracted - Chartreuse

The idea was great. Woman in black tuxedo with chartreuse band on a top hat, perched on a stool and sipping a glass of the green stuff.

Then the Marketplace struck (and RL struck but it often does).

And I am in a building phase in SL as witnessed by the junkyard that is my work platform above Vent du Sud and needed a few supplies. As you do. So tuxedos gave way to searching for textures and sculpts, as they do (if you are me). 

 (One very bad photo or I could claim dark and cryptic sneak peek?)

Yes, I will be tweaking things and finishing them off any time soon but it would help if the Marketplace had deigned to, you know, actually DELIVER the five things I ordered (and which it cheerfully stated as "delivered").

So, more distractions occurred.

Notecards to creators (so far, one - one item received but OK, everybody is allowed a vacation but dammit I spent hours looking for exactly the window textures I wanted).

And while perusing tuxedos and top hats, more builder-type ideas emerged so I ended up back in my inventory digging up some fabulous textures... (but no appropriate window textures).

But back to Chartreuse. A quick search of "green" yielded this great dress (see credits), which was perfect. 

So, photo time but that reminded me of a texture I needed to fiddle with on Photoshop (well OK Pixlr, because I got distracted when I was going to reload Photoshop onto this PC. Many times).

And when I got into Pixlr (very useful thing, that), I got distracted by this...

 (Guess who found the vignetting button, but hey - Vent du Sud is pretty and ... OK. Back to Chartreuse)

There we go. Cropped out the clunky elbow as I haven't quite mastered certain other buttons yet. But I am getting there. Slowly. Ever tried mastering software in one language and tutorials in another? It does add a certain masochistic element to it all.

So now, back to finishing off a dozen builds... unless of course I get distracted by some terraforming I want to do at Vent du Sud.

Note to self: first, dig lake, finish and put out new house (and the rest), play more with shadow-enabled viewer, reinstall Photoshop and look at buttons and attempt to make own windows, send reminders re. missing marketplace items. Oh, and remodel the store, and do new colour ranges for some sets. And Marketplace listings.

Oh, and liver. Hm.

Loretta gown, Jada Humby (I think free gift but nicely made... must go back)
Green II hair, Maitreya (go-to hairstyle, but also popped up in the 'green' rummage of inventory)
Enkythings Talyna stilettos (Enkythings at Vent du Sud)
Messy building site and pretty olive tree, also courtesy of Vent du Sud (plug where decor is 1L plug and builds 50L plug).

Sunday, 21 August 2011

A little thing (and trying not to rant)

I think I had one of my worst ever days in nearly 5 years of SL yesterday.

We won't go into it, but so much for trying to Do The Right Thing.

Tried some building today (at 38°, too hot to be outside) but that didn't improve matters much either, as SL refused to co-operate and I was too bad-tempered to achieve anything.

But, um... here's a little newness.

It's a a wall decoration. I called it an Heirloom, because... well... it looks like one.

However, it is a wall decoration that even lights up and is intended to be classy.

I had ideas of doing more in the same vein, thanks to a hugely generous content creator who makes the wonderful sculpted pieces. We'll see.

Right now, I feel more like wiping Vent du Sud off the face of SL.

But I won't. I just need to get over stuff a bit.

Should you wish to obtain one of these things, do hop on over to Vent du Sud. It's on the wall in the mainstore.

1L, 6 prims, mod/copy. I would have made it free but if I log in now, I may strangle somebody.

If you want one and can't spare a Linden, just yell (well, IM).

Maybe another glass of wine would help.

Or two.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

With a little help from a friend - Jazzberry

Seriously, I was starting to despair over jazzberry.

And then the lovely Eclectic Wingtips of Electic Apparel stepped in.

We were gossiping yesterday and I thought I'd pop over and see what she had (having explained I needed something in 'sort of deep fuchsia'), but this landed in my inventory before I'd even got there.

And it's PERFECT. It's also a superbly made minidress that has two sizes for the skirt piece, making adjusting a cinch.

Seriously, quality shows. I have a couple of her other dresses and really need to go there more often (her prices are great, her stuff is beautifully made, and she's lots of fun - what's not to love?).

So I'm a happy little builder right now (I admit it - I've been too busy building, ripping stuff apart and starting again, and then building some more, so shopping hasn't been a priority).

I did, however, buy new lashes which I just HAVE to show off.

Humour me. I am lash-challenged but fitting these was a cinch thanks to the interface that comes with them.

Skin: Lelutka IFE (group gift) and MOCK raspberry cordial lipstick
Hair: I love Olive, Cora
Lashes: FTL
Necklace: Zaara, Parnini
Shoes: Enkythings Talyna (find them at Vent du Sud)
Dress: Eclectic Apparel Eartha in fuchsia
Location: Vent du Sud (dammit have to get a plug in here somewhere)

Once again, thank you Ec!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I don't like square boxes - builds for store, café, club or gallery

Vent du Sud Gallery store, 35 prims, mod/ copy, 50L
When I first set up Vent du Sud I knew I wanted airy stores, simple but Mediterranean style, in pale stucco with stone arches and bays.

I wanted them to show off what was inside without being too fussy, and most of all I didn't want SQUARE BOXES. And I wanted fabulous textures.

Oh, and I wanted them to be low-prim. 

A couple (yes, yes, more than one!) person asked if they could buy them, so here they are, available at Vent du Sud (find the "buy the build" signs on them) or at the Marketplace.

The gallery (because it's great as a gallery or a store or a café or even a club) even comes with some free fittings thrown in - seating, shelves and 2 different tables, and this being Vent du Sud, the usual 50L.

The MAINSTORE is similar and 38 prims, and like the gallery it's mod / copy (meaning you can add or move extra walls for more display space).
The mainstore, but also good for a café, club or gallery: 38 prims

Again, fabulously roomy but not clunky and oversized. And not square.

Footprint for both 40 x 20 m.

Easy to nagivate, but lots of character despite their simplicity.
 Last look at some of the details and textures (here on the gallery).
 And last: life is temporarily quieter so I'm (gasp) getting things done, so ALL the Vent du Sud builds are now up on the marketplace, together with some decor sets at a tiny 6L (more to come). Check them out here!

(now go and do Jazzberry for the 52 weeks of colour, Ari, even if it means buying something).

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Frustration, thy name is SL (and new mini tree house and GIVEAWAYS)

Ah gotta love the place no?

So I made a small version of the Tree Haven (which, says she proudly, is my best seller).  So far, so good.

Plonked it down here, at Vent du Sud, and then had the great idea of putting it on the Marketplace (hey, I can be organised. Sometimes).

So here it is. 33 prims, retractable ladders, big french windows. Cute. 50L.

But oh the adventures.

- two crashes taking photos
- textures refused to rezz on the third try
- fourth try lucky. Onwards, to the Marketplace!
- Marketplace is down
- Marketplace is up but photos won't load
- Have more coffee
- Photos load. Even put up some more stuff
- Attempt to log into SL to put out TP back to the square from the new cabin
- Crash. So if you want to TP back pls fly thx. It's not far. Thank you.


And here, with thanks to the lovely Sawa, a pic of the cabin at her place

Ah yes, the giveaways. The first two people to send me an IM inworld (Ariadne Korda) get the small tree haven for free. The three people after that get a Geo set of their choice (here it is in mustard, but black and white also available on the Marketplace) or, of course, see them at Vent du Sud.

Tell me your choice of colour in case (hah!) the tree havens are gone.

(Set includes the couch (singles and couples poses, colour change cushions), armchair, cushions (with LOTS of poses, singles/couples/friends), rug, coffee table, glassware. 27 prims in all, and a massive 6L on the marketplace).

Next: Jazzberry for the 52 weeks challenge. I have nothing that colour in my inventory, so please, SL and Marketplace, I would be grateful if you could just co-operate a little this lunchtime.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Time out, with digression on new skin, nicotine, and apricot

Deep philosophical thoughts, lately - probably because work is slightly less insane.

You know - things like "what am I doing here" or "is it time to make big changes" rather than "I have to meet this deadline, we're low on wine, the ironing mountain is getting out of hand and the cats need their annual shots".

Thing is, it never seems like a good time to make changes. Well that, or I'm a coward. But a little thinking time isn't a bad thing.

Ah, enough of all that. Life is good, basically and counting blessings is not such a bad thing. And I did buy wine, did the ironing, and the cats were dragged screaming to the vet. And I met my deadlines.

And what, pray, has this to do with Vent du Sud?

Well, not a lot (but hey, APRICOT).

But one last Deep Thought. Among other things, it's not only my creative outlet, a place where I can enjoy my friends, but it's where I can sometimes lean against an old stone wall and watch the stars, watch the waves, sneak a cigarette, and ponder on whether I need a new skin or what to build next.

Do I need a new skin?
 Shallow? Stupid?

My Second Life has been described as both but I disagree, which is why I'm still here. And why I intend to stay here for the foreseeable future, rambling on as I do (oh you noticed?) .

Taking myself away now, with the credits (and motivating myself to get some new things out, which no doubt will be extolled in a future, shallow, "buy my stuff" post). Without philosophy and nicotine.

Maitreya Green II hair
Tuli Audrey skin (dammit she discontinued it and can't find anything I like better)
Decoy top
Corset part of Armidi shorts (happy accident when changing, once)
Skirt from an old, old gacha (cheapskate Ari strikes again)
Necklace from Leezu (free, see "cheapskate" above)
Yay Wedges from HOC (colour change, beautifully done)
Poses from my Taisaya AO and some PRICKLE smoking freebies (get them at Vent du Sud)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Melon, tai chi, lighthouses and stealing the limelight (52 weeks of color)

Melon, and only a little late?

You know they tell actors to avoid roles with kids and animals, as both tend to steal the limelight?

Well, I'll take the risk with Harold, because what would Vent du Sud be without the various birds (OK and the manta ray, and my (non-breedable cat)? 

Besides, he seemed a natural at tai chi.

(Mind, George the seagull was singularly unimpressed).

Amazingly, this post is not plugging anything at Vent du Sud... except to extend an invitation to come visit. 

(You could treat yourself to a lighthouse, however, for the usual 50L?)

Note: there are three different lighthouses at Vent du Sud, all below 25 prims. 

I like lighthouses. 

I even found a melon-y windlight setting while I was taking photos.

Vent du Sud for the setting (say hello to Harold!)
Oyakin group gift dress (say hello to cheapskate Ari but her stuff is lovely)
SLink Frederique hair (love it love it love it)
Miel shoes (lots of colour changes and so CUTE)

PS: I like melons, too... this photo taken at our local market.