Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Silk Road VII: The Conclusion

Mad dash to the finish line here.

Tali was still resting on that An Lema furniture set when I got back.  "I won't disturb her," I thought.  "I will just open this  Centaur Pavilion from stop 51, House of ACCentaury, very quietly and discreetly, so she won't notice."

I wasn't wholly successful.

The centaur statues in the middle revolve, by the way, because of course they do.

More centaurs and genies, from the same stop.  I don't know what I'd use them for, but by gum they're impressive.

Room Divider from number 52, Little Scamp Designs.  We are low on screens, this Hunt.  And nary a small octagonal table to be seen!  Anyway, this counts towards the screens quota, and it is a very nice one.

This is a Suona, from stop 53, Mikki Miles Musical Instruments.  It plays a tune when you click on it.  Mikki Miles does a lot of instruments like that - I really must go back and look for a dulcimer, you know.  I did pick up a set of bagpipes there, and even persuaded Tali to listen to them.  She was very tactful, especially when you consider that I could have got much the same effect just by tucking her under my arm and biting her tail.

M. Pierre Ceriano at stop 54 provided this Rosery of Xanadu, which may not be strictly useful, but is quite spectacular, and right in tune with the theme of the Hunt.  Unlike me on the bagpipes.

Here's a Scribe's Chair, and a Scribe's Desk and a Scribe's Board to go with it, from number 55, E-Mesh.  Neat.  Very high-efficiency mesh design, and high-quality textures.  Tali and I were wondering what those big documents actually say, but we were handicapped by not being able to read Chinese.  We weren't handicapped by blurry letters or anything - as I said, this is high-quality stuff.

So is this Xanadu Garden from stop 56, Salome Designs.  It impressed us both, in fact, enough that it may well become a permanent fixture at our new home.  Not scripted or anything, just a gorgeous garden to wander around in.

A Cake Fox Decor Candlestick On Sidetable from number 57, Cake Fox.  As is usual, it's a nice-looking piece from a skilled designer.  It's not an octagonal table, though.  I mourn for the glory days of the small octagonal tables.

Also typically high-quality, this Office Chair and Rolltop Desk from number 58, Steaming Ahead.  They will spoil us rotten with all this nice furniture, you know.

Ah.  Hm.  Yes.  This is the Hara outfit from number 59, Independent Objects, and I have had to edit that image, slightly.  Technically, it comes with two small silvery cones that make it just barely decent, provided I don't move about or breathe too heavily.  It appears to be a unisex outfit... frankly, I don't think there's enough of it to be gender-specific.  Nicely made, though.  And Tali, inexplicably enough, had no complaints.

Strategic areas are obscured, here, by the selfless aid of a willing catlady.  This is the Khan's Lounger and separate Canopy from stop 60, Coveted, and it is a piece of work, indeed.  It would look very nice, properly adjusted and on top of something that wasn't plywood.  Tali and I had fun disporting ourselves on it.  (That particular sit animation needs some fiddling with, I think, though.  I'm sure Tali isn't meant to be sideways.  Or I'm not.  One of us is.)

More disporting, this time on the Peacock Blue Couch from stop 61, ZYN.  It's more sedate sorts of disporting.  Also, by this time I had put a top on.  It was getting chilly.  ZYN was another place where I went berserk and bought some decorative features.  I think this shop is new to the Hunt, and I rather liked it, though the Gothic and spidery stuff there wasn't quite to my taste.

Yet more disporting, on the Xanadu Carpet Corner from number 62, Cog & Fleur.  The rug has scripted sit (and disport) animations, and so do some of the pillows and things you can scatter on it.  It's all rather a nice set, in fact.
Outfit from stop  63, Adelle Arts.  I'm wearing the female version, and I was glad to be slightly more heavily dressed at this point.... You can see the gentlemen's outfit on the box, if you look.  (Actually, it probably looks better than that in reality.  Dunno why, but I never feel Adelle Arts's pack shots do the outfits themselves justice.  One way or another, I've got quite a lot of stuff from that particular shop.)
 Texture pack from stop 64, Virtual Textures.

This is not an excuse to look down my top, it is an excuse to study the Jade Necklace - Rose Gold from number 65, Willow.  Rather hastily positioned, and it would look nicer if I'd spent more time getting it right! - which is my fault, and not the fault of the item.

We have screen!  Actually, we have a screen with animated textures, courtesy of stop 66, SANNA Science and Art.  This is just one example, provided with the gift, of how to use the animated textures.  I have deliberately photographed this at an angle which foreshortens the panel in the middle, as the picture there is a little on the spicy side, and this is still Not That Sort Of Blog.

By now night had fallen, which turned out to be all for the best, as it showed up the particle and glow effects on this  Xanadu Gate from number 67, Rainy Fey Creations.  ObDisclaimer about creator Nyree Rain being a personal friend... but this is really quite a spectacular piece.  There is also an unscripted version, without the lighting effects, but if you have room for it, I say go with the lighting effects.  Splendid stuff.

And so we reach the end, and the little bonus gifts thrown in once we arrive at stop 68, the Chinese Tea House back in Mieville, and submit our Hunt notecards and all that.  Here are two nice pictures - I turned the lighting back to "midday" so you could see the details - of a spring and a waterfall.  Says TD on them - TD, that's Timeless Decor, isn't it?  In any case, these are nice.  They liven up that big plywood square no end.

And so we reach the end! - and, once again, it's been a lot of fun, and that is down to the merchants who make these nice things and conceal them so artfully... and my fellow hunters who provide support and comradeship... and the organizers, under the very splendid Mr. Perryn Peterson as always.  Thanks to everyone, and see you on the next one!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Silk Road VII: Next selection

A relatively small bunch this time, because RL is being RL.  Still, I persevere.

It is an Abyssinian maid, though I don't have a dulcimer... I messaged Tali to say I needed one, and caused her some confusion.  Anyway.  I know where I can lay my hands on a dulcimer if I want one.  I will have more to say on that topic later.  In the meantime, this is an Abyssinian Woman outfit from stop 41, Tayren's Fantasy Fashions, and I think it's pretty nice, even though there are a few clipping issues with my non-standard shape.  There's a pretty similar outfit for an Abyssinian Bloke in that box by my feet.

Four Elements Stones, a decorative piece from number 42, United InshCon.  I picked up a couple of other things at this particular shop, whose name will be familiar to, for example, people who've frequented Fantasy Faire on occasion.  I need romantic haunted ruins and old temples and things, I have a chunk of a sim to furnish.  There is a reason I'm standing around on a big piece of plywood, you know.
Another animation, with props, from number 43, Razmataz.  This is a hoeing animation, complete with a hoe to hoe with, and a patch of dirt to hoe.  It's not particularly difficult, so it's not a tough row to hoe.  Still, nice work on the animation and the props.  I dig it.  (Tee hee.  Or, even, ho ho ho.  All right, I'll stop.)

I'm going to abandon my usual custom of putting the descriptive paragraph under the picture, here, on account of Blogger choked on the picture after it, and I can't prise the two apart for some reason.  Never mind.  The picture below shows a Genie Lamp from stop 44, Panda Panda, but does not show it playing a sprightly tune, because it is only a picture.  I like Panda Panda's whimsical stuff.  I went to the lengths of also buying a wind-up musical camel there, which I did not strictly need.  And the proprietor noticed me doing this, and was kind enough to give me an additional gift, whose nature is... not convenient to describe.  So, all in all, I did jolly well at this stop.  And it is a lot of fun.

The picture above, which is stuck to the one above it for reasons known only to Blogger's software, is of a  Chinese Cabinet from number 45, Casa de Bebe.  This thing is well-made, efficient mesh design, opening and closing doors, and it comes in two versions.  One of them, seen here, has those rolls of silk inside, and the other is empty, so you can put whatever you like inside it.  I tried to rez both, for comparison purposes, and wound up with two of the ones with silk in, so I deleted one of them.  This is not down to any problem with the item itself, it's just that I'd had a really rough day.

Peacock Garden Bench from number 46, Botanica.  Comes with animations menu and props, like the little book I'm reading there.  Nice thing, but a bit of normal mapping on those elaborate carvings, and it could have been an outstandingly nice thing.  Just a suggestion, guys.

Texture pack from number 47, LilArt Creations.  The contents are cool, I promise you.

This is a bit of fun.  It's from stop 48, Imagine Flowers and Garden, and it's just called "The Silk Road Hunt Gift", so I really didn't know what to expect.  In the event, it turned out to be this rather nice statue with a flaming thingy.  Pretty neat.

"Stranger in Paradise" furniture set from number 49, An Lema.  I always have trouble finding their Hunt object, and always have to forgive them because the stuff inside it is really good.  This is typically excellent quality.  That folding screen is only the second one we've seen in this Hunt so far... come to think of it, where are the small octagonal tables, this year, too?

 Finally, I have a camel on my head, courtesy of stop 50, the Ferret and Hedgie Shoppee.  Tasteful headgear of this kind is always welcome.  (Actually, it's quite restrained by their usual standards.)

That's all for now.  With luck, I am on course to have everything unpacked and described before the Hunt ends on June 30th.  Act now, and you too could have a camel on your head!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Silk Road VII: Continuing

And we carry on....

 Stop 21 is Timeless Decor, and provides this Xanadu Altar Cabinet and a Lily Arrangement to stand on it.  Or to put wherever you'd like a Lily Arrangement, really.  All I can say is, if you want to suggest where I should put my Lily Arrangement, keep it clean, that's all.

An assortment of decorative... things... from stop 22, Caramba.  A picture of the Lady of Shalott, a "Hamsa Home Blessings" hand, and a rose in a vase.  Very, um, assorted.  Which, I suppose, is kind of in keeping with the theme, really.  You found all sorts of things on the Silk Road.

 Mandarin fan and matching doll key from 23, Jinxed Toys and Magic.  The fan is animated so you can fan yourself.  Makes sense to me.

Rather nice Dragonfly Meditation Temple from 24, Tanelorn Manor Designs.  If you're going to meditate on dragonflies, do it in style, that's what I say.

 Mesh gown from number 25, Inara's Fantasy Couture.  Dramatic, but fairly modest.  Did no one show any skin in mediaeval Mongolia?  Perhaps not.  Perhaps they were sensible.

Number 26 is Zoe's Garden, and gives us a pair of  Mixed Silk Road Arrangements, one of them in a Dragon Pot, one in just a pot, I guess.  Look, I don't know about plants, all right?

Texture pack from 27, All Things Beautiful.  Contents are interesting, conical thing is less so.  Sorry about that. 
Here's something more visually exciting, a Silk Road Samovar from stop 28, Kittycat's Creations.  This not only looks the business, it dispenses twelve different kinds of tea.  If I was properly English, instead of being hopelessly corrupted into coffee-drinking, I would really appreciate that.

Gift set - fan,  "Dancing Fountain" (those vase things) and cuddle bench - from stop 29, XM Designs. Nice set.  Note catlady in bikini lurking in the background, in case I urgently needed to try out those cuddle animations.

 Turkish Prayer Rug from stop 30, Where Worlds Collide.

 Stop 31 is Frolic Poses, and posed - ha! see what I did there? - a couple of minor problems.  Firstly, there's the matter of demonstrating poses in a static image.  Well, there I am, posing.  (They provided a couple of nice props, too, including that mesh rug I'm posing on.)  Secondly, they put these things in a box with a semi-transparent texture, and I clicked on a bit of the box that wasn't there, and accidentally deleted the thing I was standing on instead of the box, because I can be a dumb Glorf sometimes.  So I'm now on a boring plywood thing instead of the boring grey thing in the preceding photos.  If you were wondering, which you probably weren't, and after all, why should you?

Stop 32 is Les Arts de Saint Bruno, and - as usual - they provide a whole pile of in-theme artworks, some of which I have rezzed here.  The matronly lady on the right of the picture is Mrs. Kublai Khan.  No, seriously, she is.  We'll be seeing more of her later.

Texture pack from number 33, McMinnar's Oddments.

Mesh slippers - for large and small gentlemen and ladies - from number 34, MTD Designs.  I suppose I could have put them on, but there's no way you'd have been able to see them under that gown.  I suppose I could have changed outfits, but I was still shaken after dropping myself 400 metres onto a glacier.

 This is kind of nice - chair and desk from number 35, Emma's at Blue Moose.  (That "at" should be an @ sign, but this thing always tries to turn it into an email address when I do that.)  Anyway, this is "Emma's Dreaming of Xanadu", and it's pretty nifty, all things considered.

Number 36 is The Rug Shop, and they have provided us with... oh, you guessed.  It's a nice one.  It's a texture changer, with quite a wide range of high-resolution designs built in.

"Lady of the Pearl" and "Captain of the Pearl" from an old Hunt favourite, Suki's Silken Fashions, at number 37.  I think they've been in these Hunts since they started.  Certainly they've been in a lot of them.

Number 38 is Lunar Seasonal Designs, and they give us this "On the Way to Xanadu" lantern.  It's scripted with a number of options.  If I was standing near it or something, you could see what size it was.  It's not particularly big.  It's pretty nice, anyway.

Number 39 is Illumination Library, and they have their own go-to style for gifts in the Hunts - they do these little books that recite poetry at you.  In this case, the person reciting is Kublai Khan himself, and he recites, at first, in Chinese, which rather baffled me.  Click on him repeatedly, though - which I am nervous about doing to the Great Khan, but he didn't have me bowstrung this time - and he goes into an English translation, in which, among other things, he talks of meeting a  "Pure Golden Face" upon a hill.  Clearly, this is a reference to his missus, so I dragged her portrait out of inventory again.  Don't they make a fetching couple?

Finally, for this stretch at least, here's a Tabriz Chaise and matching mesh Rug, from number 40, Park Place Home Decor.  They do not provide the catlady in the pink bikini, though.  She just pitched in, selflessly, to help me check out the couples animations.  And I have no complaints!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Silk Road VII: Beginning

Ahem.  Excuse my dust.  There have been many developments, a fair number of them in RL, so I have not been around much.  I have, however, been around long enough to do the Silk Road VII Hunt, and even to reach the end and start unpacking, and so here I am, unpacking loot and displaying the contents.
 Starting as ever with the Hunt bracelet from 001, Mieville's Imperial Palace, seen here gracing my wrist while my wrist disgraces it.

Stop 2 is Lantian/Flox, and they provide this very nifty Xanadu Fortune Telling Mirror which says something mystic whenever you click on it.  It doesn't actually reflect you or anything, but that's down to SL, not the makers.

Stop 3 is Mountain Rose Village, and they have - as seems to be usual! - put on a fair-sized mini-hunt, in which (in keeping with the Xanadu theme of this hunt) they provide us with a royal palace and a bunch of furnishings and decorations to put in it.  Starting with this Koi Carp Pond.

They give you ways to dress appropriately, too, and here I am as a Mongolian Warrior.  (Standing next to me, Tali as her own furry and wonderful self.)

Palace coup!  Here I am on the Khan's Throne, with various other items of court furniture scattered about.

This is a little Glass Rose Perfume Bottle for decoration.  There's also a variant that you can wear round your neck as a pendant.

 Here I am as a Yiji or Mongolian Pleasure Slave.  They seem to be more warmly dressed than most pleasure slaves you see in SL.  I don't know how those Goreans don't catch their death of colds, I really don't.  Ahem.  I digress.

Mongolian Banners.  Suitable for advancing under, putting all to the sword, hearing the lamentations of their womenfolk, etc. etc.

This is described as a Long Horn, and they ain't kidding.  It makes a pleasing low toot when you play it.

Mongolian Empress outfit.  The Emperor is a bit more butch, naturally enough.

 The Khan's bedroom furniture.  There are supposed to be animations for performing bedroom antics, but SL wasn't playing nice when I unpacked this one, so I didn't get to check them out.

Xanadu flying vessel.  Most of this stuff has been pretty much historical, to date, but this one is, as it were, a flight of fantasy.  Ho ho.  I'm here all week folks.

 The Great Khan's Palace.  Three storeys.  Throne room at the bottom, bedroom on top, and in the middle....

... a dining room.  With all the appurtenances for some Mongolian banqueting.  (Well, some of them.  I went to a Mongolian barbecue once, they have this enormous hotplate thing, about eight feet across, where they just cook everything at once.  It was quite nifty, actually.)

Anyway.  That is it from Mountain Rose, and enough there to keep any reasonable person busy!
 Who said I was a reasonable person?  This is Xanadu, or possibly Xanadu??? itself, from number 4, Designs by Sebastian.  It's one of those where it just says something anonymous on the box and it's not until you open it that you hit yourself over the head with a building.  Perfectly nice building.  There are plants and things inside, as well as a surprised Glorf and Tali.

Stop 5, Timeless Textures... well, that looks like a texture pack to me.  And they're probably pretty timeless, too.

Stop 6, Lindy Modern & Retro Shoes, and these pretty neat "Aliaa Violet" slippers.  There's an "Ali Ruby" pair for the gents.

"Ancient in Ruins" scenic prop from stop 7, Fairey Angel Creations.  Or "Ozymandias in a slightly better mood" as I described it to Tali.  Neat, well-made thing.

 Various outfits from Thistle Moon designs at stop 8.  I'm wearing the Tibetan Zen Kimono.  It's really quite modest.

 So is this "La Route de la Soie" kimono from stop 9, Miss Darcy.  Modest kimonos, warm pleasure slave outfits... am I to be denied any opportunity to look like a cheap slut on this Hunt?

 That's a bit more like it.  Show some leg, Glorf! - Actually, this Sylvanah Rose fairy outfit from Feyline Fashions (stop 10) is pretty nice, really.  Flapping wings and all.  You can see the male Sylvan equivalent on the pack shot.

Representative selection of decorative "Regency Buckingham" vases and display columns provided by stop 11, Jacon Cortes.  Classy mesh design here.

 "Silk Road Necklace" from stop 12, !Never Ever!.  Sometime I must get round to taking that amusing tattoo off.  It distracts from necklaces, does that.

"Oriental Basics" Turkish outfits from stop 13, Peterman Ltd.  I'm breaking with custom and not modelling the female version, here, as when I tried it on, the server - to use a technical term - crapped itself sideways and left me with a persistent bake fail that turned my upper torso to concrete.  I had to clear my cache and run Character Test to turn myself into a noob before it cleared up.  I'm sure it's nothing to do with the outfit, which is a perfectly nice piece of old-school system-layer-and-flexi-prim work.  Just SL being the peculiar thing SL sometimes is.

It let me wear this  Chabi Court Dress from number 14, Sparrow by Design, without any trouble.  Nice mesh thing.  No accompanying alpha layer, though, so I had to dig one out of my inventory, and if my hands weren't behind my back you could see that my wrists have disappeared.  Never mind!

Here's a bit of fun from number 15, Buccaneer's Restorations.  A Mongolian Envoy Role-Play pack.  If you are RPing an official in Yuan Dynasty China, obviously you want paperwork and paper money, and those various bits and pieces include an official safe-conduct pass, piles of paper cash, and a little printing-plaque thing that lets you run off some more.  And some nice pictures of Mongolian scenes, because Buccaneer's Restorations do that sort of thing.  They're good.  I wish I could remember how to spell Buccaneer, though.  I get to the point where every way I spell it, it looks wrong.

First screen of the Hunt!  This is a  Shoji Screen from stop 16, Shame, which is a shop that's new to me.  It was also the first place where I bought something else along the way.  For reasons which are not currently apparent, I'm in the market for short skirts and short pants, and they had some rather nice mesh capris, so I bought a pair.

 Stop 17, an old favourite, Hermione's Heavenly Sweet Boutique, and this Belly Dancer Bear with adorable yashmak.

 Stop 18 is Spyralle, of which I have raved before.  The gift is this Pavilion Lantern For Xanadu, and it would look pretty good in Xanadu, I do believe.  Or here.  I treated myself to a new necklace at Spyralle, too.  I like Spyralle.

Stop 19 had to pull out.  The only no-show of the Hunt, I believe.  So, on to Black Magnolia Imports at 20, and a boring picture of a texture pack.  The pack itself is "Temple Garden Stones", and includes specular and normal maps so you can have more realistic looking stones in your Temple Garden.  So it's not nearly as boring as that picture would suggest.  Sorry about that, Black Magnolia!  Love your stuff really.

That seems as good a place as any to pause for breath.  I will return with the rest of it, ideally before the end of the month so people can go and get this stuff if they like it.