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Welcome! This is Trilby Minotaur's blog about art and fashion in the virtual world of Second Life.



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Homage to Caitlin Tobias

As a blogger, I hope that people will be excited about something I blog, whether it's an accessory, a place to visit, or just some fun new thing. Most of the time, I never know, so I thought this blog would be about taking another blogger's blog and showing them what I did with the information. I first became aware of Caitlin Tobias when I joined the SL Blogger Support group. At the time, she was the manager, and what a great group it was! Her latest posts have been about interesting places in SL, so I visited them.

The first is Mother Road, a recreation of a section of Route 66. This famous highway linked the US, stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica. It was opened in 1926, and was a big deal. People could drive long distances in their huge comfortable cars on a nice highway for the first time. It was celebrated in music, on tv, and was an inspiration to Jack Kerouac and other writers. Caitlin blogged it here: https://caitlintobias.com/2017/11/02/mother-road/

It is indeed a lovely sim, beautifully desolate. In real life, I've taken Route 66 from Arizona to Chicago, and can say the sim does evoke the feeling of that famous highway. In real life, we stopped at a diner at one point and the waitress told us that most of the people who come there are from Europe. Americans are taking the newer freeways. Here's sunset, on the road:


Another sim Caitlin blogged was Holiday Trace. This is a charming snow covered country sim, and the perfect place to try out my new stag which is a modification of the Water Horse Draft horse. The sim is detailed, with a train station, cottages, and a barn with Christmas trees. There are also lots of animals around. Here I am in the woods, on my stag, enjoying the shadows and light snowfall.


Later I found my stag trying to make friends with the local reindeer by offering them a candy cane:


Caitlin blogged it here: https://caitlintobias.com/2017/11/23/holiday-trace/

My final visit is to Greenland. It's another sim with lots of detail and interesting nuances, including this Christmas tree in a Fiat:


Greenland has lots of places to sit and enjoy the sim. My final photo is up in the mountains looking down on the town:


Caitlin's post is here: https://caitlintobias.com/2017/11/18/white/

I'm always amazed by the creativity in SL. Now I'd like to offer many thanks to Caitlin for blogging these places. I would never have known about them otherwise.

Happy Holidays to all!

Credits:

Mother Road

Dress and hatbox were freebies from 1920s New York City
Hair is Jisu from Monso
Shoes are Oksana from Ingenue
Pose and guitar are in the bench on the sim

Holiday Trace

The stag is from Jinx and is a mod of the Water Horse Riding Clydesdale
White stag coat mod is from The Painted pony
Dress is Holiday 2015 from alpha.tribe
Hat is Sweet Pixie Cap, a gacha prize from Junbug
Hair is Daenerys from Monso

Greenland

Outfit is autumn coat with skirt, a gacha prize from Go!
Hair/beret is also a gacha prize from Go!
Cozy tights are from Izzie's
Chucks by Logan Porterfield (LoPo)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Horse Evolution in Second Life


Trilby was created almost 10 years ago, in 2008. She reincarnates periodically and starts fresh. Trilby 1 was pre-mesh. Trilby 2 had a mesh body. Trilby 3 added a mesh head, and Trilby 4 is bento. Her horses have changed quite a bit too.

At the far left is Trilby 1 on her Friesian, Virgil, from AKK. Pre-mesh, this horse was state of the art, with 16 or so legs that lit up in a series to give the impression of movement. It was brilliantly done, like a film or a flip book. Trilby won the Steelhead Horse Race on this horse, sidesaddle. The size could be changed, which made it very popular during the petite craze.

Next over is Trilby 2 on her horse, Calliope, from KOT. One of its creators was in Trilby's riding club, the Mount Caledon Troopers. Trilby 2 went wild over this horse. It actually had 4 legs that moved, and had very realistic animations. One could change the color with a hud. Sidesaddle was not available, and because of the way the mesh was rigged, you couldn't wear your own shape. Still, it was a thrilling advance.

Let's skip to the far right where Trilby 3 is on her horse Dante, which is the first mesh horse from AKK. This horse was rigged so that you could wear your own shape. It was modifiable, and the color and size could be changed. Sidesaddle was also available.

Second from the right is the current Trilby on her horse, Hopkins. This horse is from Water Horse. They started out making horse avatars, and this riding horse is just as beautiful. Everything can be modified, and tons of accessories are available, including a sidesaddle AO and different gaits.

Trilby 5, not yet introduced, is already looking forward to the next innovation.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back in the Sidesaddle Again


Since I am generally a Victorian lady in Second Life, being able to ride sidesaddle is important to me. As you know, I've devoted several blogs to this topic as methods became available. Now there's a sidesaddle set for the Water Horse Riding Horse. It's made by Mythril. To use, you switch out the animations in the custom tack AO, just like you would change animations in your own AO. The Mythril animations have the same name as the default animations, so you don't have to change the notecard. More animations are supposed to follow in updates, but it's fine for general riding now.

And what to wear? Mesh riding skirts just don't drape as well as some of the old flexi skirts, not to mention the lack of movement. Most of the old outfits with flexi skirts have not been updated for mesh bodies. To get the best of both worlds, I'm wearing a mash up here: a flexi side saddle skirt, a jacket with cravat, and a hat from still another outfit. I'm mashing up the centuries as well, with 18th-century skirt and hat and a steampunk jacket. The skirt is available in a variety of colors, and the jacket has a color change hud. The hat comes in many colors as well. This is an expensive option if you go out and buy three outfits, but I already had two of them. The 18th-century outfit comes with a tricorn hat as well as a walking skirt and a skirt for riding astride. I'm wearing a different hat because it has flowers, and I liked it with the mane.


I'm riding through Caledon Moors in the photo. My horse is wearing a third party mane and tail, as well as alternate tack. The mane and tail are color change and come with a hud. His coat and eyes have also been modified. Which brings us to the credits....

Credits:

Jacket and cravat: Tainted Love from RaMp
Skirt: Brotherhood from Wunderlich (comes in other colors)
Hat: Antoinette from Ladies Pleasure (comes in other colors)
Hair: Kiara 2 from VolutptasVirtalis
Mesh body is Maitreya
Mesh head is Catya from Catwa
Khaly Skin from YS&YS

Warmblood riding horse from Water Horse (there is also a quarter horse)
Flanders mane and tail from Jinx, now at WLRP
Aerith Tack from Jinx (comes in other colors)
Coat: Almost White from Painted Pony
Eye: my own texture
Side Saddle Set from Mythril

Pose set 1from Mythril

Windlights:

Places Wiccan
Phototools Jessica light 4

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Lots of new products have come out for the Water Horse Riding Horse. Almost everything about the horse is mod, and creators are making all kinds of things for it. I love retexturing things, so I enjoy being able to change the horse's color to compliment my riding habit. The horse can also change into a unicorn, a dragon, or a carousel horse in just a few clicks.


The carousel pattern is kind of like a tattoo. Your horse can be any color underneath, and the carousel pattern comes in 4 colors, and includes sequined hooves.


The tack can also change. One option is the Arabian set pictured above. It comes with a hud that changes the colors. One can even buy replacement AO animations from Mythril, and add them to the tack just like changing the animations in an avatar's AO. These allow the horse to perform a racking gait, among other things.


In addition there are specially made static animations available that pose both horse and rider. The first and last photos show two of them.

Credits:

First photo

Trilby: Outfit is Amelka from Go!
Sylvan elf ears are from BentBox
Hair is No.Fiction from No.Match

Horse: Aerith Bridle and Saddle are from Jinx
Summer Flower mane and tail are from Jinx
Mane plaits are from jinx's Unicorn set
Pose is Cute Photo from Mythril's photo pose set 1

Second photo

Trilby: Dress is Charlotte from Hapi Rabi (gacha prize)
Hair is Pixie from Besom (gacha prize from Pocket Gacha)
Shoes are MaryJane from ClarityMoon

Horse: Country mane from Jinx
Summer flower tail from Jinx
Tack is standard with White English applier from The Texture Barn
Carousel applier is from The Painted Pony

Third photo

Trilby: Outfit is Jaya from Ala Folie
Hair is Cozy Cutie from Clawtooth

Horse: Arabian tack is from Jinx
Same mane and tail as photo #1

Fourth photo

Same as photo #2
Pose is Spanish Walk from Mythril's photo pose set 1

All photos

Trilby: Body is Maitreya Lara
Head is Catya by Catwa
Sidesaddle pose by Tapple Gao

Horse: Warmblood from Water Horse

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sidesaddle!


The Water Horse riding horse is lovely, but the only way to ride it is astride. Consequently, many Victorian ladies were afraid they would scandalize the neighborhood if they bought one. An official sidesaddle is being worked on, but now there's a hud that puts you in the right position. The actual saddle doesn't change, but no one will notice if you wear a big enough skirt.

It works for both the warmblood and the quarter horse. The right stirrup seems to be rigged to the right leg, and it stays with the leg as it crosses over the horse. You can edit the stirrup to make it transparent, which makes both stirrups disappear. Then, if you want a side saddle stirrup, you can get one that attaches to your foot, so it's always in the right place.


Why would you buy this hud and an extra stirrup when an official sidesaddle is on the way? When you're impatient and these add ons are cheap! You can get both for $57L.

Credits:

Water Horse warmblood
Gaslight riding habit in red from Ladies Pleasure

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mesh musings


Imagine finding an old photograph album in the attic. The pictures are old and a bit faded, or are they hand colored? Is that an ancestor, or is it you in another life, or you in a second life? How does mesh grass feel anyway?


If you could taste the cake, would you remember it? Do pixels have a flavor? How long have you been on this picnic? Were ants there? Did the camera make a sound?


Could you really smell the rose? And did it have thorns?

Credits:

Constance Stanbury Gown and hat from Sylvan Moon Designs, now at Fantasy Gacha Carnival
Jade jewelry set by Malik's Dark Creations
The grassy furniture is from Boudoir
Gothic ruins are from Sweet Revolutions
Summer picnic is from Dust Bunny
Climbing rose is by Reid Parkin
Animated fan by CTK

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Faire Tale

The ship creaked as it sailed into the harbor at Caledon Moors. The raid had been a success and the hold was stuffed with waffles. The little panda pirate stood on deck waiting her turn to disembark. A seagull had told her that there there was a faire going on, and she was determined to see it.



She walked and walked through the forest. She wasn't afraid because she was a fearsome pirate, armed with a big sword. 


The valley was beautiful, and she kept walking along, humming a happy tune about Ramsey the waffle snatcher, who was a famous pirate hero. In mid verse, she almost collided with a very tall bunneh.


"Uh excuse me," The little panda pirate muttered as she scurried away, manners not being a necessary skill for a pirate. 

"But wait!" called the bunneh. "Wouldn't you like a magical cookie? I stand here and give them to travelers." 


The little panda pirate took two steps forward and one step back, until finally, she came within snatching distance of the cookie. She grabbed it and ran. And she ran and she ran across the bridge to the edge of the forest.


Soon she could see the city ahead of her. She walked and walked, imagining all the food that might be at the faire. Blueberry waffles maybe, and donuts with frosting, and maybe even bacon on a stick.


By the time she got to the faire, the sun had gone down, and everything was closed. Her big goth panda eyes were sad, but little panda pirates never cried, so she turned around and started back to the ship.


She wasn't sure which way to go, so she headed across a bridge that looked familiar. And she walked and walked until she came to a dark thorny forest. Suddenly a bright figure stood in her path.


"W-w-who are you?" squeaked the little panda pirate. 
"I am the Lady of the Thorn Forest," the figure replied. "Would you like a magic cookie?"
"Yes," the little panda pirate said in a small voice. Then she grabbed the cookie and ran.


The little panda pirate ran until she found a safe spot in the roots of an old tree. She curled up to rest and she ate the first magic cookie. Then she took a nap.


When she woke up, she made her way through the dark forest. She could smell the sea, and knew her ship must be close by.


She began nibbling on the second cookie and it was gone by the time she reached the ship.


That night as she lay in her hammock, she wondered what might have happened if she'd kept going in the forest. Maybe she would have found a third cookie. Those things always happened in threes in stories. Who knows what magical powers she might have by now if she hadn't eaten the cookies. "Oh well," she shrugged, "They were good!" And she drifted off to sleep.


The End


Credits:

The photos were taken in Caledon Moors and at the Fantasy Faire in the following sims: Dawn's Promise, The Hill, Raven's Perch, Chaddul Ro, Fairelands Junction, and Morbus. 

The little panda pirate was played by Trilby Minotaur
She is wearing the Necromancer Outfit and Cleocatra Hair by Designs by Isaura, and the
Build-your-own-Dinkie body with the Apelez Ice-cream bunny head. Panda mod and eyes by Puppy
Pirate Hat by Solo Carrasco
Cookies by Ninety

The Bunneh was played by Poe North
She is wearing the Fairelands Traveller Dress and Cloak.
 The "Saint Patrick Shamrock Wreath" from Boudoir
DSD Rabbit with Jenny Black Pony Tail
She created her own accessories

The Lady of the Thorn Forest was played by Skye McLeod
Details for Skye's outfit can be found here

This story was written for the Blogger Challenge: Faire Folk

Friday, April 21, 2017

Avatar Blindness

Avatar blindness: we get something just right and think we look fabulous, when we actually don't. This is especially true for non mesh system avatars. I'm not saying there are no truly beautiful system avatars, there are. It's just that system avatars have some inherent issues.

Here's what I mean by avatar blindness:


This is me in 2008. I thought I looked great, and very cool with the beret. I liked the deep crease in the eye shadow, thought it gave depth to my eyes. The eyes look dead to me now, with no reflections. Back then it was almost impossible to get blonde eyebrows on a skin, and there were no tattoo layers. Also notice the nose, how you can see the seam where it joins the face.

A little later, I looked like this:


I must admit, I still like this look, and this photo. Skins have gotten better. Eyes are reflective. There are blonde eyebrows. The lips look more natural. Before, I'd made my own shape. This shape came with a skin I tried and made me say 'Ahhh' when I put it on. Then I modified it a bit. The nose seam is still there though, and system hands look terrible. The texture is just too small to get any detail and make system hands look good. The same goes for feet. Here's a photo of a system foot:


Even with a nice skin and shape, system avatars have some problems. There were sculpted nails, sculpted feet, and then mesh hands and feet aimed at system avatars. They helped but it was time consuming and tedious trying to make the skin match.

So now there are mesh heads, mesh bodies, and mesh eyes. You can even change your shape with bento mesh. That's one of the best things about system avatars. You could mod the shape all you wanted. Early mesh did not respond to the sliders, but bento mesh does.

Let's look at a Bento head:


No nose seams! It's animated too, and you can choose the animations it plays. You can change skins, modify the shape, and change the ears. My pupils dilate, and I can change the eye texture easily. Just add a hud and click the one you want.

Here's a close up of the nose. Can you tell that seam really bothered me?   :)


And a three quarter view of the head:


Here's a mesh foot. It came with this body.


There's lots of detail, and nice texture. The nails even reflect.

Here are the mesh hands that came with the body:


They look nice, you can change the shape and texture of the nails, and they are animated. I wore the Vista Pro Hands until Maitreya's update which added Bento hands. I like both sets of hands, but the Maitreya goes on with the body, and uses the same skins that the body uses. That helps me get dressed fast. After all, there's a big, wide, virtual world out there to explore.

What do you think? Does the mesh look better, or do I have avatar blindness?

Credits:

There are many mesh heads and bodies, which have different features. I'm wearing my current favorites, the Maitreya Lara body, and the Catwa Catya mesh head.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Magic and love!

I'm posing at Totally Top Shelf today. Their theme is Magic March. I do feel as if I time travelled into a medieval village, to the market where the magical beings shop. Here you can find glowing eyes, crystal balls, and lots of outfits, including the dress I'm wearing.


It's decorated with moons and stars and a silver studded belt, and comes in several colors. I paired it with these fantastic moon boots from the current Steam Hunt, and sparkling celestial jewelry. Details follow in the credits.

I've blogged before about the free Oracul animation pack. This morning, I went to Kuso, and found it had been updated. As if all this wasn't exciting enough, in the Oracul package was something called Kuso Phone V. I put it on to see what it was, and it's a typing AO. It's wonderful. Here's a photo of what it does:


It gives you a cute pink phone with a heart on the back. The phone only appears when you type in local chat. There are two animation included with it. One is the typing or dialing animation in the above photo. The second animation is a talking on the phone animation (below). Both animations have a talking animation that runs at the same time. Particle hearts come out while you use the phone! I just love it.


 I know you'll want to run over and grab one now, so I'll stop talking and give you the credits. :D

Credits:

Phone typer is from Kuso/Oracul (Go in the side that says AX. Click on the blue arrow on the pillar by the door)
Onyx Morgana Dress from Oubliette is now at Totally Top Shelf
Steamy Moon Boots are from Rainy Fae Creations and are prize #070 in Steam XII
Galatea Collection jewelry is from J&W Jewelers
Pichi.Hair is from Nani and is now at Whimsical in a gacha
As usual, I'm wearing the Maitreya mesh body
Vista pro hands
Catwa mesh head, Catya
Catwa mesh eyes with applier from Avi-Glam
Skin from Lara Hurley
Candy Lipstick from Insol
Caledon Tartan nail appliers are here

Windlight: Naminaeko Fairies Sleeping

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

More Art!

My adventures as part of the Art Study Group continued last Monday. We saw two exhibits about computers. The first one is called 'Laptop', and is a giant laptop that you can tour on a segway. Here are some photos:


 
This exhibit was fun, and quite involved as you travel around the mother board, go around the hard drive, etc. 

The second show was called, 'Big Data Goes to Bonestedt'. It was a bit darker, more about disconnecting from real life. Fragments of people and voices surround you. Some of the voices reminded me of NASA moon walk recordings, which added to the feeling of isolation. 



You could ride on some of the spheres, and leave behind a trail of your distorted profile picture. Occasionally, your profile might cross someone else's, but most of the time you just go around in a figurative circle. The large figures were tossing a heart made of light from hand to hand. There's a lot of bright and shiny stuff around to play with, but the people are fragmented. In the bottom photo, you can see class members and get a sense of scale.

Credits:


 You can see the details of my outfit on my flickr page

Windlight: Naminaeko series

Friday, January 20, 2017

Harp Nouveau

I've been wanting to do something with the gorgeous scroll head harp from DRD for a long time. It's just hard to get the harp and the harpist in the same frame. Then Virtual Diva had a sale, and I got their Ole pose pack, among other things. The poses seemed to work well with the harp, and with an art nouveau theme.


Another inspiration for this photo shoot is the kimono jacket I'm wearing. I was trying out a new bento AO, and the woman next to me was wearing this jacket. It perfectly suits my bohemian taste. I love to add shawls, scarves, anything with fringe. This jacket has color change fringe. It seemed like the perfect thing to throw on over one's ball gown on a chilly morning.


This wonderful flower crown was in a gacha at Shiny Shabby. It reminded me of a Mucha painting, so I got it in several colors. The long hair reminded me of Mucha too. Here's an example in case you're not familiar with this artist:


He also did the famous Job cigarette paper ad in 1898.


Here's another hairstyle for that Mucha look:


This hair is from Nani, and it's quite long. I also took off the kimono jacket so you could see the gown and jewelry. The gown is mesh, and the train is flexi. It also has appliers for the bit of sheer netting on the chest and back. The necklace and earrings have a hud to change the metal color.

Credits:

Floral crown by Lode. Now at Shiny Shabby
The first hair is Ocean Hair from Letituier. Now at The Secret Affair
Gown is Nouveau from Siss Boom
Kimono jacket is from Addams
Necklace/earring set is Dreamcatcher from Bowtique
Bangles are from Sahova, but may not be available anymore
The second hair is Nehelenia from Nani
Harp is from The Victorian Musicroom collection from DRD
Poses from Virtual Diva
As usual, I'm wearing the Maitreya mesh body
Vista pro hands
Catwa mesh head, Catya
Skin by Insol