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Showing posts with label Dean Lawson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dean Lawson. Show all posts

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The School of WrenNoir: An in depth interview with SL Artist WrenNoir Cerise - Dean Lawson reporting

WrenNoir Cerise is a Second Life Artist who creates incredible images using her skills as a mesh designer and her exploration of Second Life. I had the good fortune to chat with WrenNoir and learn more about the process by which she creates her images.
Dean : Could you tell me about your artistic experience in Second and Real Life?
Wren : I entered SL reluctantly at the urging of a friend. The reluctance was not because I didn't think I'd like it, but rather I thought I'd like it too much.  When I eventually relented, I found my expectations to be justified and maybe even overly so. As a visual artist in RL -- I have a Master's in Art Therapy --  the beauty of this world captured me and I immediately wanted to capture it right back. I began by taking photos of my avatar and soon friends were asking for photos. Then businesses asked for photos for vendor images, eventually I was hired as a photographer for various SL magazines, and then on to exhibit at SL art galleries. Throughout, I found people were hungry to find out how to create better images, but received few answers as many talented photographers are busy honing their craft. In the Spring of 2013 together with Nariko Okawa, I started an SL photography school where we teach everything we know from how to use the SL tools, composition, lighting, and how to truly SEE. I don't see this as creating competitors, but rather as supporting future colleagues who will push me to always improve my own craft. You can find information about the school, Visionaire, here:

Dean : Could you tell me about your artistic influences in Second Life and Real Life?
Wren : I am not sure you have enough room here, Dean! There is such a huge number of creative people just in SL never mind RL. If you take a look at my Flickr stream, you will see that I follow over 500 people. But I will try to name a few for you since you asked. I love the work of Deborah Lombardo ( she has the most amazing way of using color... and that's no easy! People get Ph.D.s in RL for color theory! It's hard! Needless to say, my work is nothing like hers but I hope to one day approximate it. I think pretty much everyone also loves Anouk Anna ( She is incredible with crips clarity, lights, and shadows. A brilliant image maker. Nic Bour is another amazing image maker ( who is a genius of the use of light, as is SL Senna ( I honestly could name so many more: Laura (Mrs. S), Magissa Denver, Isa Messioptra, Lil' Frenchie elo, Nimoe Constantine. Ah, I see a pattern now, the ones I truly admire are using the SL image-making tools to the utmost to showcase the beautiful lights and shadows and colors we can achieve.
As for RL, I love Vermeer, Chagall, Magritte, even Dali. But what influences my SL image-making is not painters, but photography from the fashion industry. I love being able to represent people/avatars in a way that just grabs a viewer.

Dean : I’m impressed by the use of texture and shadows in your images. Do you use an editing software such as Photoshop? If so could you elaborate on what software you use and what types of adjustments you make to your Second Life images?
Wren : Thank you. Shadows are completely done in SL and SL gives us tremendously beautiful shadows. People don't realize just how powerful the SL tools are for image making, and I think it might be hard to believe that I use exceptionally little post-processing software in my images; however, when I do, it's Photoshop all the way. Sometimes, I just get a bug and want to push playing around with Photoshop, so those image are well worked over. My favorite things are layers. I usually take many snapshots of exactly the same image but with different lighting conditions, I layer them, and then use masking techniques and layer modes, to combine the layers. Sometimes I overlay textures for extra oomph, and those are images that I pull from the internet making sure they have the proper rights. is a great source as is Flickr. People just need to be sure to respect the usage rights of the image creators.
Dean : The avatars featured in your images have great detail as do the clothes they are dressed in. Are there avatar and mesh clothes designers you would recommend to photographers who are starting out in Second Life?
Wren : Thank you again. Yes, it really is important to choose good work from SL creators because in the end that saves you from having to 'fix' things in post processing programs. Skins in SL are a big thing if you want to photograph avatars. A cheap skin can look flat and cartoonish, but a well-crafted skin can show off skin pores, moles, highlights, and look natural. Some of my favorite skin designers are Lara Hurley, League, The Skinnery, YS&YS, Atelier Pepe, DeeTaleZ, and the very artsy Kooqla. I am enjoying the introduction of mesh heads very much too. This saves you from once again 'fixing' the SL classic avatar from showing all the triangular planes. With mesh, the curves are really curves, rather than flat small planes arranged to look like a curve. As for the clothes, that is a completely mixed bag. Since mesh bodies came about I stick strictly with mesh clothes. Applied textures are still not crisp enough for me. You will will I have lots of stuff on the avatars' heads, those flowers are from Lode and LaGyo, while the jewerly is often from Mandala.

Dean : As detailed and compelling as some of your avatars are I also find your backgrounds very interesting, do you create your own backgrounds or do you find them by exploring different sims?
Wren : I do both, Dean. Sometimes I rezz trees and objects I own around the avatar, and other times I go to a sim and pose there. I adore SL. I really do. I will never use a flat, pre-photographed background because you just can't get a realistic depth to it, in my opinion. I came to SL for the promise of visually creativity (which it delivers in spades!) and want to utilize it as much as possible. When I can completely get away from post-processing I do!

Dean : Some of your images contain more than one avatar, do you collaborate with other SL artists?
Wren : It's always a pleasure to work with other people. The only criteria I require from them is patience! hehehe.  When you have more than one avatar, the time for the work doubles as one must adjust shadows, light, objects, and poses for both. 'Night Fishing for Mermaids' and 'When Venus Rises' were collaborations with Alles Klaar who is well-known for having multiple avatars in her work, and little Quintense also makes an appearance in 'When Venus Rises.' SL is a social platform after all!
Dean : You have a lot of positive reviews from students. How could someone contact you regarding lessons? Do you charge for lessons?
Wren : I do teach in SL. Myself and Nariko Okawa founded Visionaire which is an SL photography school. We realized that there was a real thirst for people to learn how to create better images. Many amazing photographers are so busy with creating images that they just don't have time to answer questions or teach, so we decided to carve out a bit of time to be able to do so. In the end, when everyone's work improves, we all benefit. We teach everything we know and hold nothing back. However, nobody is compared to anyone else. We all start at a certain point, and what we want is for people to improve from that point. Classes are intense, though. We meet for a minimum of 2 hours (usually 3), once a week for 10 weeks, then we have a break and a graduation exhibit. It requires real commitment on the students' part as well as our own. Yes, we do charge. My philosophy is that while there is real satisfaction in making a contribution (and I have volunteered in both SL and RL), this level of commitment shouldn't be cheapened. Payment actually insures that the student will stick with it and pay attention too. As Adriel Huntress, one of our graduates said: "[17:05]: ahh i had so much fun and learned so much! i met some fantastic people and got to know you more. I have walked away with not only a better understanding of photography and art but also some very lovely friendships :) I spend money all the time here in sl lol have regretted a lot of it lol but I would have paid double knowing now what I know about your class :) You have an amazing way about you and are so positive and supportive. You really are a fantastic person and have a wonderful skill at what you do :)"
If people are interested in learning more, they can go to They can send an e-mail to or send me a NC if they have any questions or want to be put on an advisory list.  There is a new semester starting on April 23rd and we only teach 2 semesters per year (Spring and Fall).
Dean: Is there anything you would like people to know about you or your work?
Wren : I am super friendly and down to earth. I adore people who want to learn and it doesn't matter to me how far they are on their path. As long as they want to learn I have the greatest respect for them. As for my work, I just hope it resonates with people in some way and that it showcases the tremendous possibilities for beauty in Second Life.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ART DREAMS : An in depth interview with SL Artist Jolie.Lisa - Dean Lawson Reporting


Taught by Masters from the Cape School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts.... Jolie's  style and techniques blossom with color and sensuality.  Her work is post -Impressionist and Fantasy. Additionally Jolie earned a dual B.A. in Art Studio, Art History and received a state Teacher Certification in Art Education K-12.  After many rewarding years teaching Art in public schools Jolie is happily exploring new worlds in digital arts.  

Dean : Could you tell me about your experience as an artist in real life?
Jolie : My work in virtual/digital art is a new direction in a long art career.  I am classically trained in plein-air technique in real life and studied intensively to painting from life, be it portrait, still life or landscape.  I started showing in publlc shows at the age of 19 and that same year worked as a sidewalk portrait artist for Walt Disney World.  In the next few years I was often involved in instruction of drawing and painting as well.  It was then I decided to complete a university degree in Studio Art and Art History combined with a state certificate in Art K-12.  I taught many wonderful children in many schools, mostly inner city. After finding myself retired I discovered an extremely enjoyable virtual world with my new computer and became immersed in Second Life.  In this world the landscapes and tableaux available seem never ending and various;  there is always a new scene or setting to challenge me and to capture.

Dean : Could you tell me about your experience as an artist in Second Life?
Jolie : I explored first and made many noob blunders : ) learning to navigate.  As soon as I was comfortable with things I started noticing avatars in poses with light and shadow . I learned I could assess them as a figure or portrait study. That is when I started taking photographs and looking around for editing programs that would not be too complex.

Dean :  Some of your images appear to have multiple layers, including text, could you elaborate on the technical process by which you create your images?
Jolie : I work as much as possible in the same manner I would in RL.  I start with the broad composition and add general color scheme and tonal layer first.  I work up from non detailed to highly detailed things in the picture plane, balancing the tone and contrast all through.  And I "save" in between each layer.

Dean : What are your artistic influences? What inspires you?
Jolie : I studied with Elliott McMurrough and with Henry Hensche, both teachers from the Cape School of Art in Massachusetts. I will add a link where the theory and lineage of this awesome school can be learned.
Dean : Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you and your art work?
Jolie : Art work is not, first of all, a product. It is a working of the mind whose outcome improves with practice and skill.  Not trying to sound lofty but many people see a gallery as a "business" where the success is measure in number of sales.  Truly if I were to be concerned with these matters above everything I would be making products more easily sold. 
However my studies with Elliott and Henry began when I was a terribly confused yet talented adolescent who had no idea where to go or what to do.  The strength of character, the orderly thinking , the ability to qualitativeley assess art all began in my studies with these two great teachers whose names are well known in the American art world of plein-air painters.
My life took a few turns that made relying on my career as an artist impossible although I always kept painting.  I eventually earned a college degree and certificate to teach public school art which I did for 10 years.
Happily I discovered a thriving art community in SL and the option of using new techniques, the wonder of windlight settings and the ability to virtually travel to so many exceptional locations.  My personal art career revived itself and here I am learning something new and extraordinary every day.  The more I exhibit or use Flickr to share my work the more skilled I become at pushing boundaries and striving for excellence in my work.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A MODICUM OF COLOR: An in depth interview with SL Artist Ilyra Chardin - Dean Lawson Reporting


Ilyra Chardin is a real life and Second Life artist. In a previous interview I had a chance to discuss Ilyra's Second Life images, this time Ilyra treated me to a tour of her art installation “A Modicum of Color”.
Dean : Hi, thanks for taking the time to meet with me, is the name “A Modicum of Color” intended to be ironic?
Ilyra : Well, no.  there are tiny bits of color here and there … like the flowers over by the barn ... or the red or blue sailboats ... tiny bits of color here and there.  that was the intention

Dean : We both seem to be dressed for this installation, with grey clothes ... Did you build the objects in the installation or did you modify objects to reduce the color?
Ilyra : A little of both.  i uploaded tons of new textures.  and i also built some things from scratch.  I didn't do any mesh for this installation, but I am currently working on brand new - original - and I hope unique - meshes for the next installation, which is planned for sometime in March.

Dean : What inspired you to create an installation that is primarily black and white?
Ilyra : The primary reason was to create a 3 dimensional environment that highlighted pockets of color.  I thought a predominately black, white and grey build would create a dreamlike environment.  I also thought it would be soothing ... I thought, too, that anyone coming to pose here would stand out - their av and their clothing - if they wore colorful clothes
Dean : You mentioned that there was a problem with the color of the sky as seen through your viewer, for people to get the best effect of your installation is there a windlight setting they should choose incase it doesn't automatically adjust when they arrive at the installation?
Ilyra : Phototools B/W Light 02 … let me show the garden of flowers that i had mentioned … this was one of the first things that I envisioned and built - the flowers with parts of color.  I later made the flowerr painters and had them painting sections of the flowers.

Dean : It's very nice, why didn't you give color to all the flowers?
Ilyra : i really wanted to show the transition from greyscale to a colorful world ... and really highlight it by coloring just pieces of the flowers
Dean : What’s next on our tour?
Ilyra : This is Art in the Park - a gallery with other artists - some of my work - that is in theme - in tandem with A Modicum of Color … Sandi is a close friend ... she shot that on the sim as I was building it.

To find out more about Art in the Park or Ilyra Chardin you can visit her blog or visit the art installation “A Modicum Of Color"

Dean Lawson

Friday, February 17, 2017

VIKING VUE: An In Depth Interview with Second Life Artist Sapphire Viking - Dean Lawson Reporting


Sapphire Viking is an artist whose whimsical work celebrates the raw nature of mutable female emotions. Sometimes fantastical, other times dark.  Her paintings and drawings reflects personal experiences expressed through metaphors of color and femininity. I had the good fortune to interview Sapphire and talk to her about her work.
Dean : How did you first learn about Second Life and what appeals to you about living in the virtual universe?
Sapphire : I was traveling and read an article about Second Life in the in-flight magazine.  That was 10 years ago and I don't remember where I was going.  But I am glad that I remembered to go home and check out this new virtual world. The most appealing thing to me about SL is the wealth of imagination, the totally uninhibited creativity.  It is ever changing with magical surprises. I am thrilled to meet people from all over the world and see how similar we human beings are.  I love that I can go sailing in the morning, fly home in a helicopter,  work on my own art gallery,  then go dancing at 5 clubs in the same night.  I guess you could say SL appeals to my restless nature and need to explore.
Dean : A lot of your work seems to feature female forms. Does all of your work revolve around representing the female form? If so, why?
Sapphire : Much of my work is autobiographical. The females represent different events in my life or an emotional state I am trying to express.  As I was growing up, I had a difficult time verbalizing my emotions because I did not feel safe to do so.  I found sanity by getting those feelings out through visual art.  On a pragmatic level, I find the female form to have many more options for expression and use of color.
Dean : The painting "Non Sine Soleiris" reminds me of the movie "Il Casanova" by Frederico Fellini, while "CRAWLING" reminds me of Japanese Anime. Could you tell me about your artistic influences?
Sapphire : My father was an artist and my mother always made sure I had supplies. I would go to my father's studio while he worked.  I remember the smell of musty old wood and oil paint.  He would sit me down with pens and paper or clay and tools and let me go to town.  When we were at his studio it was a peaceful, happy time and I still have that feeling when I work today.  The other artists who have influenced me are many.  I admire line work so some of the early influences were; Aubrey Beardsley, Alphonse Mucha, Egon Schiele, George Grosz and the artists of Mad Magazine. I also read about the women of the surrealist movement so for me Remedios Varo, Leonor Fini & Leonora Carrington.  Frida Kahlo, her vibrant colors and the way she opened herself up so fearlessly was a big influence.  Margaret Keene, when I was a little girl I was delighted to buy small cardboard prints of her paintings at the local drug store!  I do enjoy the art of anime and am also a fan of artists Takashi Murikami and Yoshitomo Nara.  Growing up in Los Angeles I was influenced by films and enjoyed watching the old classics.  I was fascinated by the elegant yet strong women portrayed in films, stars like Betty Davis, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell. I also find new artists that I enjoy on Instagram.   These days my favorite Instagram artist is a woman named Grace Passerottti.  In SL I love the work of Cica Ghost and can't wait for her newest installation. The way she uses the SL environment to express emotion is profound. 

Dean : The painting "The Gift" portrays a woman tied up in a ribbon, from her expression she doesn't seem too thrilled about it. The painting "The Bow" portrays a woman gagged by a bow, what are your views on bondage, and sado masochistic relationships? Do you explore this lifestyle in real life or Second Life or both?
Sapphire : When I was a child my house was filled with art history books.  I remember being fascinated with the Hieronymus Bosch masterpiece the Garden of Earthly Delights. Particularly the depiction of hell.  The drama and dynamics were thrilling to me. When I was a teen I was into punk rock and that was my first real life introduction to BDSM but I was too young to understand what it was. After my first serious relationship broke up, I felt it was due to the constant power struggle that is the demise of many "vanilla" relationships.  I already had an unexplored interest in BDSM and as I tend to do, jumped in feet first.  It changed my life.  While the physical side, the whips and chains are dramatic and look good in movies they are external. In my opinion, the basis of BDSM is a method of communication and understanding of roles. My RL experiences were another form of self-exploration and inspired many of the paintings that I display in my SL gallery.  I have been active in the Los Angeles BDSM scene on and off for about 15 years.  During that time, even though I am naturally dominant, I was trained as both a Domme and a sub.  Neither role is greater or less than and can not exist without the other. In SL I have been active in the Femdom scene for about 9 years.  My RL experience helps me when I meet those who come to the Femdom simply out of curiosity or a life long desire. Because of my RL experience in both roles, I have a good understanding of the dynamics and the big picture.
Dean: Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you or your work?
One day I was perving profiles and someone wrote in theirs, "Second Life is my art".  That really struck me and I started looking at SL differently.  I wanted to make it part of my art too. I felt that the colorful world of SL was a good fit for my aesthetic. I have been taking classes at Builder's Brewery in hopes of expanding my horizons within the SL environment. As I mentioned, I am inspired by the in-world installations of Cica Ghost as well as others that I have visited.  I would eventually like to create some type of installation.  I don't know how long it will take or what it will be exactly, but it is something I am formulating in the back of my mind. Thank you Dean, for your thoughtful questions and this opportunity to reach out to the Second Life community.
To learn more about Sapphire Viking and her work click on the following link or visit her art gallery “Viking Vue” at the following SLURL

Dean Lawson

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

EXISTENCE IN BALANCE: An in depth interview with Second Life Artist JenniferMay Carlucci- Dean Lawson Reporting...

According to her press release ; "JenniferMay Carlucci is inspired by the creation of our earth and the offering of our beautiful planet into the physical Universe. 'Existence in Balance' shows Earth being created and how we humans are part of this loving process. With nothing more than this intriguing concept she starts to explore and build up her vision. Building a visual route up along a growing Planet Earth, Jenn will drag you into a breathtaking experience. 

Experience by means of motion (dance), visualization (decor), sound (special compositions of music), feelings (use of particles) - beauty and purity. The ground level of the sim is used to create an environment from the moment that earth is created. Earth in its early state, moving towards growth, awareness of existence, and completion for life to exist on. From the moment on when life is eminent, Earth is situated within the known Universe, our Universe. Gloriously balanced between stars, planets, galaxies as we know it. Feeling this theme can speak to so many, she connects with many talented residents, offering them a platform to share their ideas and feelings about “Existence in Balance”, encouraging them to travel alongside with her on this extraordinary and amazing voyage. 'Existence in Balance' is offering the visitors a serene environment where they will be submerged in a breathtaking trip around the sim.”

Much like the press release, the LEA installation "Existence in Balance” is a flood of ideas that are unconventional and Avant Guard. I had the good fortune to chat with Jennifer May Carlucci, the artist behind the design and concept, as well as Falkon Wickentower, who helped with scripts and other technical aspects of this project.
Dean : Hi Jennifer, hi Falkon, thanks for inviting me … Would you like to begin by telling me about your installation? What inspired you to create?
Jennifer : I had an idea to create a virtual world about how earth was created already many years ago … just to let people see where we originate from … to show the beauty … It is the idea of our souls being created in the non physical world, where earth is created as well … I want to offer a visual experience of the whole process … so when this is done people will be able to travel around here … go through a wormhole into the existing world … and  from there into Universe
Falk : dont forget the musical side on the experience of the sim.
Jennifer : Also I made this compilation of the music you hear now especially for this project … at the opening we will have a big show with a combination of dance, particles and music about this subject … the music will tell the tale of creation.

Dean : I see two hands holding a globe, is this a representation of God?
Jennifer : no … it is the creation of earth … this symbolises the non physical world … I do not wish to give this a religious feel … the hands are molding earth and finally releasing the world ready to be into the physical universe
Falk : earth being shaped
Jennifer : here the visitor will start his voyage … here it is all pure and serene … my way of showing this is the cold and icey underwaterworld … the hearts here below represent love … there are 4 directions … reality, fantasy, spiritualism, and emotion … this level is called truth … as we are standing here and we each see and choose our own direction
Dean Lawson : Is truth a link between the four directions?
Jennifer : exactly … as you see there are 4 platforms shaped from hearts … they are below us … those are the directions 

Dean : So truth is where the visitor to your sim begins and then they choose the path of reality, fantasy, emotion and spiritualism?
Jennifer : yes .. they come in in a small area where some information is available ... from there they come here and then they can choose a path … that will be a tour ... they just sit on a pose ball and fly around ... from the direction they choose ... first a little in this area ... then they go thru a wormhole, leaving the nonphysical world ... thats a special scripted trick ... the wormhole is a long tube with several effects and textures … depending on the direction they choose … at the end they land in the physical world … in the direction they chose ... what they will see are floating islands with themes on that subject … these floating islands are located around a large floating island this will be the centre stage.

Dean : Could Falk elaborate on some of the scripting required in constructing the tour?
Falk :  sure ... the Tour is build with a scripting language embedded inside a system that ... provides poseballs ... the program lets us use animations … TP's … Poses ... information blocks … sounds ... and spoken texts ... the tour can be started by 1 or many together …  I would like to point out that this build is so serene that by example, new visitors like the lady Mycky that just about 15 minutes ago arrived here, isn't even flying around , but nicely relaxing in the reception chairs....
According to Jennifer the installation will be officially opened in the beginning of April, 2017. For more information on Second Life Artists JenniferMay Carlucci, Falkon Wickentower and the LEA installation "Existence in Balance” you can click on the links below or visit the installation at the following SLURL

Dean Lawson

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa Claus : A menace to society? - Dean Lawson reporting

As a Second Life reporter who is concerned with human rights in the virtual world I was stunned to discover that Santa Claus has been using slave labor to manufacture and distribute his toys. That’s right, jolly old Santa has been using unpaid elf and reindeer laborers to expand his toy emporium and not one of his “employees” has declared an income for as long as Santa’s workshop has been in business.

In fact, according to his tax return, Santa Claus declares his employees as dependants and, when asked about his business practices, Kris Kringle offered no comment.

But it gets worse. Apparently this shady sweatshop mogul has been operating in the North Pole, outside the jurisdiction of any law abiding government, while using gift giving as an excuse to invade the homes of billions of families around the world. While there have been no reports of theft, I can’t imagine anything more disturbing than the thought of someone sliding down my chimney in the middle of the night, while I’m sleeping, and creeping about in search of milk and cookies.

But the truly horrific news is that jolly Saint Nick is in reality an ill tempered rage-a-holic.

When confronted about his eating habits and the bad example he sets for children, everyones beloved Papa Noel lost his cool and slugged me in the face. Now I don’t want to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, but my conscience could not allow a man of such an intemperate disposition to travel from mall to mall where he gets his jollies by allowing little children to sit on his lap.

And so it is that Santa Claus has been charged with assault and battery. For the full story I refer you to the Christmas edition of MAGE Magazine.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Second Life Christmas Sims Worth Seeing - Part 3-A review of Holiday Christmas Town - Dean Lawson reporting

Holiday Christmas Town owned by Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions, is a picturesque sim great for Second Life photographers. Upon teleporting to the sim you will arrive in front of the main store, but if you negotiate your way across a cobble stone road you will find a wintry landscape worthy of a snapshot or two.  

On either side of this cobble stone path are smaller stores with Medieval winter outfits for sale.  Past the shops is a river and an old rustic bridge that leads to a pasture where mythical beasts graze. 

Beyond this pasture is a campsite with a gazebo with a piano that can be used should you be in the mood to serenade that special someone. And when you tire of tickling the ivories you can follow a winding path to a plateau where you will find reindeer, an igloo hideaway, a merry-go-round, an ice skating rink, carolling elves and Santa’s workshop. 
This is a family friendly fantasy sim that rates 4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seven great Second Life gift ideas for the Christmas Holidays - Dean Lawson reporting

’Tis the season to be stressing about what to get your loved ones! Do you have friends and family in SL? Do you have a Secret Santa going on at your place of business? Well here are seven awesome gift ideas.
The *MCS* HolidayToyTrainSet-Tree is a nice way to decorate a home or place of business. With an animated toy train that circles a fully decorated tree with an assortment of wrapped gifts at the base, this holiday gift goes for 300L at the Winter Holiday Village sim.

The Christmas scenery - Xmas Carolers *E&M*, brought to you by Love Garden *E&M* Design, is a fun and interactive gift idea where you and a friend can sit on stage and join the carollers in performing Christmas classics. The stage is propped up by a tree truck with a multilingual sign that bids all a Merry Christmas in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. This is a large object so, while it is not ideal for smaller indoor spaces, it will surely attract the attention and is a great entrance decoration for anyone with a large sim.

Tyren’s Fantasy Fashions, located at Holiday Christmas Town, has an assortment of Medieval costumes that fit the Christmas season. My pick would be the Toy Soldier costume with designs for both men and women. For 150L this is perfect for a costume party, a stage performance of the Nutracker Suite or can be used for alts or employees to enhance a sim’s Christmas theme.

For those of you with a taste for the unusual, Never You Mind has an assortment of oddities for the Christmas season. Oh My Ears Krismischifs for 140L is a great revenge gift for someone you feel obligated to shop for but don’t really want to. Oh My Ears Krismischifs are two adorably grotesque carollers who half sing half rant their way through an assortment of Christmas classics. The recipient of this gift will surely find it amusing for the first few minutes but will inevitably be driven insane by the endless cacophony.

There are times when the commercialism of Christmas can lead to cynicism but, in remembrance of the true Christmas Spirit there are several nativity scenes that can be purchased in the marketplace, many of them are under ten lindens, however the one that appealed to me in its simplicity is the Light Box Silhouette - Nativity by Challis Products that offers a demo version so you can see for yourself if it will make a good gift before spending 200L for the full version.

While there is little doubt that Second Life vendors will be saturating the market with candy cane stripper gear, the sexiest outfit on the grid is easily THUD - Santa Avatar by Tommy Hilf Unique Designs. For 200L it’s a great gift to give yourself as it's sure to get the hotties sitting on your lap.

Now if you’re facing the Holiday season with a limited budget, Santa Claus is giving away free gifts at Christmas Decorations at The House of Avro. Everyday the old fellow gives away a free random gift and all you have to do is sit on his lap and make him smile.