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A Little Historical Inspiration

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Although I posted these to Flickr several days ago, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite pictures from a photo shoot I worked on for a few days on SL.  My mom has talked about Bonnie & Clyde and that time frame in America throughout my life, and although they were not romanticized thankfully, I’ve been intrigued by that time frame and went with a little Bonnie & Clyde inspiration when I saw that Nantra had come out with a car with some built in poses for the theme.  I just couldn’t resist.  Although they did horrible things and I don’t condone those, I know that they loved one another in their own way, and decided to focus more on that part instead of what they decided to dedicate their lives to.  I went with the idea of them parked in some woods outside of Joplin, towards the end of their lives/spree, and stuck with a Sepia based tone to help with the historical feeling.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy a couple of my favorite shots from this shoot.

 

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Former California Girl Hit the SL Beaches

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“I been all around this great big world
And I seen all kinds of girls
Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the states
Back to the cutest girls in the world
” © The Beach Boys

 

 

One of my favorite blogs has been using some lyrics and song names lately for their posts, and since I love Oldies and had the ocean on my mind, The Beach Boys seemed like a perfect way to follow in their footprints.  In the last round of pics from my pre-surgery beach photo shoots you’ll find them a little sexier than I usually go for.  First off, I was testing some new technology that hit the grid that totally tickled me that I discussed earlier – the water reactive tee.  Well, I also found the Sandra hair by Mina that was made in collaboration with Salt & Pepper, who did the tee, and decided to try them out.  It was during the tee shoot I learned about the clashing between applied clothing and the new wet technology, but I tried to keep it pretty modest, while showing off how brilliant the designer’s creativity is.  If I say so myself I think a couple could work in a pixel version of SI™.  *grin*  So, let’s show off this former Californian avi’s beach bod off!  (And if you follow me on Flickr, then hopefully you don’t mind the repeat viewing, since I’m finally getting things caught up and the timing is all sorts of wonky right now.  *laugh*)

 

So, I honestly just walked her right to the ocean floor and then came up to pose, to show off the reactive nature of the new Mina hair.  With time, or a handy little blow dryer packed with the hair, the hair dries into a beautiful style you can wear anytime.  **As of 6/24/18 Mina sent out an updated HUD so that you can manipulate the hair even more, such as keeping it wet, etc.**

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I decided to wander in the waves for a bit, along the coast of one of the Destination Guide’s beaches, and tried out some poses I found in my inventory.  Whoa!  I think these would make Tyra Banks proud of my avi, even.  *laugh*

 

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Now, the following are a little more daring than I would normally show on here, but after the glitching, I figured the distance, poses, and the medium dryness of the shirt would keep these acceptable.  I kept the pictures that show that the shirt goes to a really neat translucence with little spots of discoloration, as little places start to dry.  When I added the hair dryer for the Mina hair I discovered it also sped up the drying time on the shirt, so yet another multi use item.  Money well spent!  And although you can’t see in these shots unless you enlarge them, the hair and the shirt cause little water droplets to drip, too, while wet. 

 

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Seriously, I am always amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of people in SL.  This amazing mind is someone’s neighbor that they just give a head nod to if they happen to see one another, probably, yet in world they are so brilliant.  It it makes the world a little more interesting to think about the strangers behind these avatars that do such creative things and you might sit next to them tomorrow on the bus, wait in line behind them for coffee, or whatever.  It adds just a little more magic to life.  Hopefully you enjoyed my beach adventures and take a moment to appreciate the possibilities around you today.  That elbow that bumps you and the person that apologizes could be that of a wildly creative person!  They could be lost in ideas of how to add more magic to other lives.  That idea helps me be a little more patient and forgiving.  🙂

Evening Beach Retreat

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Before my surgery I had a lot of fun hitting the beaches and on one of my adventures Luke tagged along, so I convinced him to try out some poses with me and think they came out so neat.  They’re evening shots, so I warn you, they’re a bit dark, but it kind of adds to the beauty, to me.  Not much story behind them, other than just having some fun goofing around with poses and the beautiful stormy beach at Gale Retreat.  I am having trouble picking between day shots from the other beach photo shoots, so here’s just some cute pictures to hopefully make you smile and remember a special moment you treasure from your own beach adventures.

 

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“Come on (surfin’) baby”©

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One of my awesome friends sent me a surfboard from the latest round at Arcade (thanks Derek!!) and I decided to explore some beaches.  I found a lot of neat spots and surprisingly got what I think are some massively improved shots, so expect a few beach posts.  If you’ve been on my flickr, you’ve seen a few of the pictures, but I’m behind on everything since life came to a screeching stand still after surgery, so I have a few surprises for you still that I haven’t gotten uploaded over there yet.  Today though is all about that surfboard.  *grin*

 

 

 

I wish I could remember where this was, but I found it in the Destination Guide after going to about 8 other places and post surgery my mind is an absolute blank.  It had some neat areas though, so I’ll have more shots of it and I’ll figure out (and credit) the sim later.  I considered matching the surfboard, but honestly, I don’t know that I own a pastel bathing suit in either life.  *laugh*  The black shirt in the top left picture is from the recent Arcade also, by Salt & Pepper, and when SL water hits it, it becomes a wet tee, and then slowly dries.  I found a hair designer, Mina’s Sandra style, that worked with the shirt designer to have the same effect, which I love, because I am all about the multi style hair ever since Truth Hair created his Stylist HUD.  The shirt gets a little more focus in another post, as I tested if applied clothing would work under this mesh shirt (in case you’re wondering, nope, so if you’re modest, find a secluded beach like I did and watch for cross hairs.  *laugh*  I had my Dr. Who Tardis applier bikini from Nerdy Girl (oh how I miss that store!) on under the shirt for testing the modesty theory and it is so me I stuck with it for the rest of time at this beach.  *grin*  I mean, I’m going to utilize any moment that I can justify wearing something Tardis related.  The two poses are built right into the surfboard, which I thought was pretty awesome, although the overhead one would be very dangerous for someone as accident prone as me.  *laugh*

 

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I couldn’t resist one more with it overhead while at the other beach, while playing with the windlights and the LeLutka moods.  Whimsy had the perfect expression come up in time with that wave, in my opinion, so I had to share this, although I managed a few gorgeous shots back at my favorite, Gale Storm Retreat.  

 

The next day I hit Gale Storm Retreat and tried the different sunset WLs with the Whimsy and Natural moods, although I couldn’t resist the new Truth hair that had come out, so no more wet hair for the surf board.  *grin*  The following turned out to be some of the best shots I think I’ve taken so far and I’m not sure how I did so well, especially without filters.  *laugh*

 

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After the fact I realized I should have utilized the shine factor on the Lara HUD, but I’ve honestly never done that before, so it didn’t occur to me.  I still think they’re beautiful and actually am using them on my computer and phone for backgrounds, even without shine or droplets.  *grin* And notice, I got closer to matching this time, since I went with a mesh swimsuit this time (a good investment over at Foxes last year…wowzer!).  So, you’ll recognize a few of the details, but the other posts won’t include the surf board.  I was so touched to receive it that I wanted to dedicate a post just to the successful board pictures.  I hope your week has started off well and send best wishes while I dream of visiting the ocean.  🙂

Second Life 15 Birthday

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I’ve had a rough recovery from my surgery, but finally felt comfortable sitting at the laptop for a while and got on SL for a while.  I had been missing it and needed the distraction, and actually it was the perfect day, because I was able to get into Second Life’s various anniversary events yesterday.  It’s hard to believe, but SL is actually fifteen now, and after the obligatory shopping of the anniversary sales I hit the art and event installments.  The difference in just 15 years is mind blowing and kind of fun to see for anyone following that’s a second lifer (remember the old AFK Noob?), so I’m going to share some of my adventure with you.

 

First, I had to stop at KittyCats to pick up the birthday cat.  One of my current KittyCats, Niamh (pronounced Neve), is a free gift from their birthday a few years ago, and it’s about time to have a new pretty fur ball running around the house.  🙂  Plus, they always make the cutest scenes at any event they participate in or host (I have spent over an hour just admiring their shop before, I’ll admit, especially when there is a holiday *laugh*).  You can’t tell with the picture I took, because I had draw distance so low that if I showed the top you wouldn’t have seen the main activity at the bottom, but there’s a big cat behind all of these champagne glasses, with the smaller (not regular sized) ones in different poses playing in the glasses or rolling around.  I haven’t rezzed mine yet, but I think the gorgeous Kitty in the front by the cake is how this year’s gift looks.  So pretty!!  (Yep, sucker for an animal in any life I lead.  *grin*)

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A few of the artistic designs were kind of cool to me, so I thought I’d share those for that reason alone.  *laugh* I am not familiar with the designers, didn’t think to grab the names of the areas since I was panning about instead of trying to walk, and just snapped pics.

The above was an ice fortress with various particle bursts when you flew (broom provided out front, although I panned, so I wouldn’t have to push through the molasses of lag) up into the top of the fortress.  I don’t really have an explanation for why I found this neat enough for two pictures, but maybe it’s the starkness that appeals so much to me, plus it’s in with the crystal theme of this year’s event.  I might have had a little “Let it Go” streaming going on while watching the particle bursts, too.  Blame it on the complications from the surgery.  *wink*

In this mosaic the top left has a half orb in the same colors as the KittyCat.  That is actually one of the little rides you can catch to travel the event, although lag can still hit those fun little carts too unfortunately.  Usually they’re solid and more old school robotic-looking, so I couldn’t help getting a picture.  At the right top is just an example of what I find so incredibly cool about SL.  This was a medical display for Cystic Fibrosis actually, but there are areas (especially like Wellness Island and other themed lands available year round, instead of just a display) for raising awareness, finding help, and some have incredible resources or support group meetings in world.  I think it’s just awesome to have medical displays at a celebratory event that can raise awareness without making people uncomfortable, as a lot are when it comes to being faced with the hard parts of real life.  Ahem, moving on before I get all choked up…middle left is actually an area for playing D&D!  There had been players earlier, because there were stats up, but it was an American midday in the beginning of the event and laggy as all get out, so no surprise that it was empty while I was there.  I guarantee there’ll be some new friendships made over this tiny area over the duration of the event.  Beside that is an example of one of the Roleplay (RP) spots, which shouldn’t surprise you after I just posted a pic of D&D.  *laugh* There were a lot of awesome RP groups participating in the event actually, including the 1920s Berlin in the bottom picture.  I’m not good at thinking responses up on the fly in order to RP or staying in character, especially since I’m such a sarcastic person *laugh*, but I find them fascinating and was amazed by the variety of RP I ran into just in panning in one little area.  Not just your regular RP that everyone thinks nerds would be involved in.  The Roaring ’20s?  I would never have thought to put myself into a time frame and place to create an RP like that.  I just had to showcase the creativity of the Lifers across the grid.  *smile*

 

From there I spent quite a while reading the different displays designers made about the evolution of SL, with a few being a little more simple and highlighting the really big event of the year, and one that had quite detailed descriptions of that year’s changes.  I try to stay in the know for what’s coming down the pipeline in SL, since I love the innovation and especially better meshy bits for my avatar as technology improves, but had no clue that some of my favorite technical parts of it went into beta a few years before I even knew about them, like mesh and bento.  I couldn’t resist a few about the start of SL for those of you that are curious, but aren’t actually on SL, so here are some interesting little stat pics for you.

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Lots of land, gaming, and avatar enhancements occur in the brief time between these and then my rez year, which I couldn’t resist highlighting, since I’m considered an old fart in SL.  *laugh*   Just as the board describes, I saw a very fake version of SL on an episode of CSI:NY and registered that night, like so many others.  Thankfully I was interested because of the creativity they had shown and not for the relationships and adult stuff that quite a bit jumped on board for; which thankfully allowed me to get to experience this continually changing world of creativity while a lot of people left when the shine wore off of the other part (some stayed and even got married, I’m SO not knocking it, so please don’t take that wrong.  It’s just realistic that a lot of people go through relationships and adult interactions quickly in world, and if you don’t have other interests to draw you to other areas of the grid, some have no reason to stay).

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I didn’t take pictures of the other ones I read, talking about when mesh, bento, and Sansar all went into Beta, and what is currently in the works, but being me I was fascinated.  *laugh* Although the population varied quite a bit, they’re up and holding pretty darn well nowadays, thankfully, and are planning to keep a world going for users to create in (with another confirmation that Sansar is not going to cause SL to phase out; it’s just another project of Linden Labs, so you’ll be able to get your money’s worth out of the mesh head you have been eyeing if you were worried).

 

I couldn’t help but take pictures of one designer’s display demonstrating the differences of “yesteryear” and nowadays in world.  You’ve seen my usual pics, so you know how awesome SL can look, even with a video card that needs some serious upgrading.  If you haven’t been a resident for long though, you may not remember the good ole prims and standard Noob, so I had to share pictures.  *laugh*

The guy there on the left is the stereotypical Noob, bless his heart.  For those that don’t know, Noob is short for newbie, and basically you knew when you saw someone walking with that avatar they either haven’t learned how to change their avatar or get the “new resident” freebies to change into, or they created a log in just to ask for sex.  Although occasionally some have the newer version of the Noob and log in just for sex, it’s not nearly as common anymore thankfully.  (And yes, there are adult areas, animations, whatever you can think up to design can be made pretty much.  So it can be visual or just over IM or voice.  I have horrible memories of one Noob with a horrific looking detachable *ahem* that walked up, tried to open voice with me, and spammed my IM asking, many years ago.  I explore more carefully now and partnering with Luke shows in my profile, so if someone is familiar with SL and checks, they know not to ask me.  Three cheers for practical partnering!  *laugh*) Anyway, the house and the stools are prime examples of what we used to live in and use.  Things can still be made with prims, like that wood grain floor or wall you see, and I immediately carpet my mesh house floors in prims so I can rez mesh without interference (although I make them invisible or into flooring, instead of being the original wood, of course).  Back in the day everything was made in prim and it was basically like using Legos™.  They just fit together.  Mesh is built in programs outside of SL and imported, and can then be manipulated if permitted by the designer.  However, those three shots are legacy residents’ “back in my day” memories.  *grin* 

 

One last set of pictures I couldn’t resist were amusing ones involving the evolution of the avatar.  The first one that says it’s a fossil is showing that Noob I took a picture of before, in profile.  The second is a “cave drawing” showing the stooped AFK avis and “Furries”, which are avatars that are animal instead of human analogs, with some dressing or embellishing their human-like moving animal avatars.  When people leave their avatars unattended (either they leave their computer [go AFK], are looking at a web page, chatting in IM exclusively, or otherwise not involved in the world aspect of SL0, the avatar goes into “away” mode and stoops over (although thankfully there have been updates to the settings that allow us to change that and even animations that make our avatar keep moving around restlessly in place, instead of the dreaded AFK stoop.  *laugh*  There are a lot of “griefers” and “trolls” out there, who are basically just people looking to mess with other avatars, and an AFK avi is a prime target for griefing.  You can make policies and try to stop behaviors, but a world that users create will include abilities and traits of every type of user, so now it’s thankfully a little less likely that you’ll get trolled when you run to the restroom.  *grin*

 

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And just so that you remember how beautiful SL can be, after seeing some of the origin story, here’s one of my favorite reminders.  In the meantime, I wish you health and joy until I can keep my focus away from my throat for this long again.  *grin*

 

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Final Landscaping Post

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I’m sure I’ll do a few more tweaks as time goes by, since I never leave things be, but here’s our ‘finished’ landscaping.  🙂

 

Back up to the plateau on the top cliff, with two gaming tables (yep, that one is the Daisies applier from K. R. Engineering), plus some seating that I need to maneuver around.

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I couldn’t resist adding a picture of these little cuties.  Jian had the chipmunk collection for fifty linden Friday and I just had to get them.  Most are wanderers, but their log is under the tree on the right side, with two fidgeting ones over there.  Unfortunately the viewer’s camera doesn’t include names, because we came up with some amusing names for these little chipmunks.  “Phantom McMunk” is a favorite, of course.  *grin*

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These are some shots of the cliffs and coming down them.  It gives a feeling of nature’s interesting landscaping and feels more realistic, so we call these a big win.

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This is a bit more complete of a shot from the previous post.  The rock arch that leads into the lively cave room, plus cliff stairways leading down on each side.  For some reason I love how it looks with the dark, growth covered rocks, flanked by the stairs.  

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And a much better view of the final pond section with a little bit of the tree’s draped lights.

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Toward the bottom right of the property, where I have the larger rezzing zone, is my fairy circle with my Celtic Cross and glowing orbs among the butterflies at the edge of the fairy circle.  I absolutely love using this WL when I use the fairy circle.  Impending storms while lazing among the fairies.   *smile*

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The larger rezzing area and then the back of the house.  There are some fun little seating spots, plus my yoga mat, and I have to say that the retaining wall with the fence is really growing on me.  It also perfectly hides the differences between mesh landscaping pieces and actual SL land edges.  *laugh*

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I hope that those that like the SL posts find some inspiration in this post.  If you want credits on any items, so you can use them too, I’m happy to share.  Just drop me an email.  Now that my SL house is in order I need to do a little more work to get my RL house in order before the meeting with our new Social Worker tomorrow.

Our Caves

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When we discovered we had accidentally made a little room during our first step of landscaping, I decided that we really needed some caves.  Thankfully Fanatik has a super easy Cave Kit.  I went a bit nuts and had about a quarter of the sim filled with caves, but didn’t really want to mess with the landscaping of the SL land (one roommate is the actual land owner, so only he can do the SL landscaping, whereas I can do all of the mesh fun).  I scaled back and there are just four full cave rooms and then the exit.  I need to add more decorative features, especially to the first and fourth rooms, but at the moment, I’m good.

 

As you saw before, this is the “down the ladder” access point, which we typically use as the entrance, but there are technically two ways, since the other is a rock archway down by the pond.  We usually start here and leave by the rock path.  A little more Alice in Wonderland© this way.

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When you go down the ladder (or fall if you’re as uncoordinated as me) you enter a pretty barren room at the moment, but there’s a full bed of twinkling lights that fade in and out on the floor, with torches lighting all of the walls.  There’s a little rock path near the white eyeball flower (which is now gone), which leads to the pathway to go to the second cave room.

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I continued the torches through the rock tunnel, although the lighting doesn’t match the natural lighting in the tunnel.  I wanted lights and didn’t give a patootie if I put some in dark spots.  LOL

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The second room, at the end of the rock tunnel path.  This is my absolute favorite room.  Unfortunately a static picture doesn’t capture the absolute beauty of this room.  The water has built in animations, plus I have meditation pose balls out for people to enjoy since it is so serene.  There’s a star archway as you enter, then rotating sections of colored stars all inset from the walls of stationary colored stars.  All twinkle and switch color schemes randomly.  I also added some luminescent plants I found at The Looking Glass.  When you set WL to midnight it is pure beauty.

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So I took advantage of the built in animations.  Apparently I really needed to wash my legs, according to the first anim that kicked in.  *grin*  This gave a nice picture of the background of star lights, though, plus a dim hint of one of the luminescent fronds.  This room is an additive at Fanatik, so the water is not SL water and has the most gorgeous texturing.

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The third room became an Aught gaming room, but was too blah, so I went to E.V.E. Studios and got their luminescent and waving colored fungi.  I first started out with the whole room covered in them, honestly just to disturb one of my roommates since the fungi weirded him out at the store.  *laugh*  Then I scaled it back and it is kind of fascinating to watch them wave around with the color fluctuating slightly.  For some reason it reminds me of the “poor, unfortunate souls” from Little Mermaid©.  *grin*

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This I included just in case you get the Cave Kit.  It’s full mesh, so if you want to rez a mesh item (like all of my belongings LOL), make sure to build a prim to rez onto, and then move things into position.  Otherwise you’ll lose any no copy items and you’ll get that lovely “…does not allow…” message.

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And the final room, leading to the exit.  I decided to go a little more lively, since it leads to the outdoor sunlight, plus I then got to find a use for some cool finds I picked up in the past few years.  I need to add some additional items, especially to work with the overgrown piano that I totally love, but for now, it works.

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And this is one of the sloped entry pieces of the kit that is attached to the last room with most of the slope behind this shot.  I love the inside of the rock archway we used though and how it works with the growth from the last room, so I chose to skip up a little.  You can just slightly see the pond with the HPMD lit tree just outside the exit.

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If you want any caves, I can’t recommend Fanatik’s kit enough, although it’s an investment, since it’s not super cheap.  For the quality and ease of use, it’s well worth it.  And there are TONS of pieces I didn’t use or show.  Some of the tunnel creases are covered up with the included tunnel rocks and collapsed rock piles and you could even use them to give a lot more craggy details to the walls/rooms.  This was a long part of the landscaping process, but I’m so glad that I held out through three attempts in order to find the kit that worked perfectly.  Now excuse me, because I’m off to meditate in the glowing grotto…

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