A Stroll through the 2013 RFL Christmas Expo – Part Two

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This was another splendid day for strolling at the 2013 Christmas Expo Sims, benefitting Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society.  You could almost feel the crispness of the chilled air and hear the rustling of the last autumn leaves, clinging for life to the ice covered tree branches.  The Victorian setting was, and continues to be, perfect for walking along, peaking into windows that almost frost with your breath, then slipping inside for warmth and some pleasant shopping experiences. Today I visited the Hope sim, starting with the anchor store and sim sponsor, LivGlam.  Glam is so appropriate for this venue.  The Expo shop for LivGlam is stylish and overflowing with product.  So packed, in fact, that I had to step gingerly to avoid bumping into things, but it was worth the visit.  Beautiful items to chose from, including the dress that was offered in the Relay vendors….Breath Again.  Superbly continental.

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As I mentioned in my earlier article, proceeds from all items sold in the Relay vendors go directly to the American Cancer Society for their continued research and aiding individuals diagnosed with cancer and their families.  Thank you so much for your generosity LivGlam. Just a door down from LivGlam I found Libby’s Holiday Store.  The shop featured many bright and cheery Christmas themed craft items, most with a sparkling hue.  Libby’s has a fantasy feel to it, because of the shimmer she paints with.  No drab colors here.  Even the balloons sparkle.  In fact, one of Libby’s RFL vendors contains balloons with a hugable teddy  bear and the other has a sled pulled by the jolly old elf himself.  So, if you like your decorations with sparkle, make a point to visit this shop.

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Down the street was one of my favorite shops in SL, Botanica.  I first found Botanica while doing hunts in Second Life. Botanica specializes in plants, trees and gardening supplies/decorations.  In her Expo store, designer Cara Cali shows us her crafty side, and brings out her Christmas items with flair.  I wandered through the store, wide-eyed as any child could be.  Musical instruments, sleds, Santas, wreaths, plants and trees.  Quite a few trees in fact, decked out and ready to put presents under. For the Relay vendors, Botanica chose three of her Christmas trees.  While my spouse favored the pink flocked fir which begged to be associated with breast cancer research, we compromised (i.e. I got my way) and purchased the gold ribbon tree, which will be placed in our meditation area.  Bontanica also has trees available in the Expo Christmas Tree lot.

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House of Avro advertises itself as quality gothica.  I didn’t see much which suggested gothica in her Expo store.  The shop was done in darker reds and appeared quite cheerful.  It contained many well made items which I would find well-suited for a modern or vintage home setting. The shop contained elves, snowglobes, trees, a cute Santa with a naughty/nice list and many of the other usual holiday decoration items.   I was very impressed with the two-seater upright piano.  The animations were very good and the textures well done.   HofA also has several free gifts for visitors. The only item which I really didn’t care for was the poinsettia in an urn offered in the Relay vendor.  The texture just seemed off, for some reason.  Maybe it was the size of the blooms with relation to the urn and avatars standing near it.

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Overall, I enjoyed my visit to House of Avro, and went away with a winter mailbox. My avatar doesn’t have any tattoos, so I can’t speak with any authority on body art in Second Life.  I have seen some wonderful renderings on the grid, and if this is your thing, please stop by Body Canvas.  What really impressed me about Body Canvas was their support of RFL.  Every item in the store is in a Relay for Life vendor…..thirty-nine of them.  I found nothing for sale for their own profit.  All relayers who are interested in new ink for their skin should take a landmark and support this generous store in the future.

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K-Code was my last stop on this day’s tour.  If you are not familiar with K-Code, then you should introduce yourself to this stylish clothing store, especially if you like casual mesh clothing.  K-Code is known for their mix-and-match outfits in very wearable colors.  I have always loved their look, but my chunky avatar wasn’t designed for mesh.  It was designed to look like my real self, so I had never really spent much time considering this store a retail choice for me. My husband was with me during this excursion and was totally impressed with K-Code’s store layout and marketing technique of having panels which show how the outfit is put together.  He remarked that this would be great for new comers to SL because, at one glance, they could know how to get an outfit that would totally transform them from noob to natural.  New comers probably won’t be able to afford K-Code’s clothing, as she appears a bit pricey, but the quality of the clothing seems worth it.  And K-Code has some of the cutest hiking boots I’ve seen on the grid.  Several of these boots are in Relay for Life vendors. K-Code also has some sweet ripped jeans in a RFL vendor.

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I live in casual clothing, most of the time, so decided to try a demo of one sweater and slacks combination that I really liked.  I had to blink because no *parts* poked through and the alpha/outfit didn’t distort my form too badly.  Way to go, K-Code!

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We finished the stroll at the merry-go-round, tired but very happy with what we had seen.  Santa also lives at Hope, so be sure and visit his ice throne room (lovely build) and share a cup of cocoa and candy cane with him.



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