Friday, August 29, 2008

When a guy gets married ............

I have a good friend named Mingus - love him but he's a real guy. So when he decided to get married he gave his fiance a whole 24 hours to arrange it. He also sent me a message asking me to officiate. (huh? me? gack!) I got the message this morning - the wedding was at 7:00 this evening.

Somehow his new bride Charley managed to pull it all together and it actually went very smoothly. It was a beautiful wedding and they are a truly handsome couple.

So congratulations and best wishes to Charley and Mingus. And now I have something to add to my resume. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bits n Pieces

I haven't updated in a while - so here are a few notes:

  • The waterfall workshop went really well - although there were too many people. Partly because I overestimated how many should be in it and partly because people just drop in. So I wound up giving it 3 times just to handle the volume. But I had fun and they told me they really liked it. :)
  • I think I'll have to formalize the whole thing - set up a mini curriculum and set a schedule for the workshops.
  • I started using the land I still own on the mainland to run the workshop. Much easier to focus on the participants and there's lots of room for people to build.
  • I've been using the land for building as well - might as well just accept that it's a much needed sandbox and set it up for that.
  • I forgot how ugly it can get - see the ads in the pic above? I'm spoiled on the islands.

The benefit yesterday for Phoenix Psaltery and family was a lot of fun. That's a pic of Rav, Go and I early on in the day. I lasted about 7 hours and spent a lot of money - all in a good cause. :) Met some very interesting people - made me wish again that I had joined Second Life in the really early days. I don't know what the final total was - and have no idea when it actually ended. I'm guessing well after midnight - but it seemed to be doing well. Congratulations to all the people who worked so hard setting it up and then running it. I'm betting they'll sleep for days.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Help needed from Blogosphere!

Message from Zorena Deckard:

Note: Fundraising Moxie is the AV set up to accept donations. :)

Bloggers, SL Music Fans, and Friends you can help us make a difference in someone's Real Life!

Phoenix Psaltery and his SL/RL wife Sansarya Caligari are both long-time, well known residents in SL. He owns part of one of the oldest SL newspapers, The Metaverse Messenger, and Sans blogs about her passionate love for SL fashion. They are both very supportive of the Live music scene in SL as well.

Just a few days ago, Phoenix went into complete renal failure and has ended up in intensive care at a hospital away from his home town, with a shunt for dialysis. Unfortunately, there are other complications as well, including pneumonia. Finances have gotten dire for them as Sans has to stay at a hotel while he's in ICU, not to mention other expenses that are incurred and with children left at home in the care of relatives.

So their SL friends have joined together to help them! We are putting on an all day auction and live DJ event. Many people have donated items such as transferable Dazzle dresses, and merchants such as myself have made limited editions for sale at this auction only. (there will be an Aintree Weeping Willow Tree - like the one pictured above - included in the auction)

Here's the LM to the event as well as some details : Phoenix Psaltery Benefit , William (206, 220, 22)

The event starts Saturday August 23 at 10AM SLT, with a fabulous DJ line up.

Cylindrian Rutabaga performing live 9-10 AM

10 AM till Noon Siggy Romulus

Noon till 2 PM aEoLuS Waves

2 PM till 4 PM Esma/Io

4 PM till 6 PM Lucifer Baphomet

6 PM till 8 PM Lecktor Hannibal

8 PM till 10 PM Vivianne Draper

10 pm till Midnight Augustus Bainbridge

And here's a taste of what's for auction:

* Limited Edition Purple Latex Kimono by Zorena Deckard (Ookami Ningen) 􀀂 * RL original oil painting by Jen (from Jen) SL name Schechinah Enoch (title: Currents Oil on Canvas 2004 20"x24") Free shipping is included if it gets a price of $250USD or more. This is a minimum so the auction should start at that price for this item. The pic can be seen here: * 1k gift card to Blaze (from Susanne Pascale) * 2 years of ad rotation in SLTrivia (from FlipperPA Peregrine) * 1/2 black & white page ad in special print SLCC edition (worth $467 USD) (from Katt Kongo) * Metric ton of clothing from Dazzle and Last Call (from various donators) * Original one of a kind outfit from A2NZ "P2" Rubber cloak * A lot of stuff from Aeolous' store. I have never been to his store so I'm not sure what that is but whatever it is the auction gets five of everything. * Limited release outfit from 2006 from Pixel Dolls (donated by a buyer not Neph) * Fat pack of Full line of Elegance hats (from Morrigan) * Full set Fat Little Sofa, Fat Little Chair, and Fat Little Ottoman from Relic * Not yet released AMBIANCE Henna Collection Living Room Set by Desiree * 'Very Large Domed Tent - Brown- Gypsy Tent from Osprey Therian * 'Very Large Domed Tent - Buff - Gypsy Tent from Osprey Therian * 'Very Large Domed Tent - Purple - Gypsy Tent from Osprey Therian * 'Giant Potato on flatcar with sign' by Osprey Therian I'm also setting out a special edition dress for sale during the event at both the auction and my store.􀀀

Zorena Deckard (Ookami Ningen Fur Cloaks and Japanese Fashion)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rowan Tree (aka Mountain Ash)

I've been wanting to do a Rowan Tree in Secondlife for a long time. I think it's an attractive tree - but the primary reason has to do with the mythology around the Rowan:

The density of the rowan wood makes it very usable for walking sticks and magicians' staves. This is why druid staffs, for example, have traditionally been made out of rowan wood, and its branches were often used in dowsing rods and magic wands. Rowan was carried on vessels to avoid storms, kept in houses to guard against lightning, and even planted on graves to keep the deceased from haunting. It was also used to protect one from witches.

Note that the reference to witches involves protecting you from magic directed at you - not from the whole population of mostly benevolent individuals. :)

It would seem like SL is a logical place to have a Rowan Tree. So I've been trying. I did a not very good one last year - its only use is as one of the fillers when I create a forest. In my recent work to build sculpty trees I've had the Rowan on the list. And I've been trying.

I have, for the past few weeks, taken dozens and dozens of photos of Rowans and their foliage. I've taken them at different times of day, from different angles, in different weather and with different camera settings. Dozens and dozens of photos. And. not. one. of. them. is. in. focus. All of the other photos done at the same time are in focus. Just. not. the. Rowan. sigh

Coincidence? I think not.

I have a plan though - it involves embarassing the hell out of anybody who knows/sees me - no, I'm not going to dance naked although that's a thought. I am, however, going to open a dialogue with a Rowan Tree. Explain what I'm trying to do. Show her that I'm not doing it for the wrong reasons. Ask her for permission. Maybe that will work.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Idle musings ........

I'm in the process of editing an image I hope will be a good weeping willow foliage texture (and by the way, just whose idea was it for me to do a willow? do you have any idea how many tiny leaves I have to outline with a 1 pixel brush?). Anyway - it's taking a while and that means an extended period of the proverbial stream of consciousness.

I've been watching as much of the Olympics as I can (which is a lot given the CBC/TSN/BOLD are broadcasting everything live and then repeating a lot of stuff while they're sleeping in China) - I'm a big believer in the Olympic ideals and I love the romance/emotion/ etc. of the competitions/spectacles. Was watching the swimming and saw a senior politician in the audience - one who will be out of a job soon. That led me to start thinking about legacies. And that led me to the following:

  • I'm guessing that in 200 years if there isn't a SecondLife there will be a descendant of SecondLife.
  • Resident profiles of SecondLife seem to stay in the database even when the resident's rl incarnation has died.
  • Storage is becoming cheaper and cheaper so it wouldn't be a huge burden to keep all of us in the database.
  • So it's possible that the profiles of Honour McMillan and all of you will still be accessible in 200 years.
  • Maybe rather than just dropping off of the grid I should set up a "going away message" in my will. (gruesome I know, but think about it - there are some interesting possibilities there)
  • Somebody would actually have to look up the profile to see the message - why would they do that?
  • I make things - hopefully I get better and better at making things. These things aren't really tied to fads or fashion. I mean classic textures and plants could be used forever. Right?
  • So is it possible that in 200 years there will be a Museum of Oddities with one of my trees in it? ("um quaint, not bad considering the technology they had back then").
  • Is it possible that something I've made will be handed down and treated as an antique by some future resident? ("a genuine Honour McMillan? Wow! Have you read her profile?")
  • Is it possible that I will have a legacy on the internet? I don't expect to have one in rl. Can it be that our av's will give us that kind of immortality?
  • Cool!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My first workshop (gack!).

Hard to believe but I get a lot of compliments and questions about the waterfall - how to build it? being the most prevalent. I didn't invent these techniques - I got them from friends and adapted them. So it would seem the natural thing to do would be to pass them on. I've done that on an individual basis a couple of times now.
I've been thinking about giving workshops on Aintree and this would seem the logical one to start with. So I took a deep breath and listed it in Events. I'll give people all the things they need to build one and then I expect them to use their own imagination and do wonderful things. :)

Now I just have to survive the nervous anticipation. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

End of the day .....

I ended my day on Gibson Island listening to Picker Apogee. We are sooooo lucky in SL!

And another one .............

I got the Chestnut finished today. It's bigger than the oak but has fewer prims. I don't know what the logic is - just seemed right some how. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Do you suppose .......

Is it possible that the whole making sculpty trees and then having to move all the flowers is just an elaborate way for me to justify unpacking the terraformer again?


Sculpty Trees

I tweak/fuss/whatever you want to call it. I think Wrath is too much of a gentleman to say that it drives him crazy when I give him a tree and then an hour later send him an "improved" version of it. He's lucky if there aren't 4 or 5 "improved" versions.

I've been tweaking the oak - did a much better oak bark texture. Moved a lot of the leaves around. Cut down the number of prims a tad. I think it looks better but I probably won't stop until I box it and it becomes too much hassle to make any more changes.

It's all an iterative process - continuous improvement. One of the reasons it took me days to make is that I made 3 different oak leaf textures. I thought mixing them would be good - but having built it that way decided using only one would be better.

Maybe if I knew what I was doing it wouldn't feel quite so haphazard. :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Aintree Oak

People (not just Wrath) like trees. A lot! I've been getting requests for trees and most of them are the type that need to be constructed. In other words - sculpty trees. The typical 3 or 4 prim version just isn't going to work. So I've been taking photo's and I now have a queue of textures I need to finish in order to make the following:

  • Weeping Willow
  • Rowan Tree (aka Mountain Ash)
  • Cottonwood Tree
  • Chestnut Tree
  • various Evergreens
  • and the Oak

Introducing the Aintree Oak! :) It has taken me the past few days but she's mostly done. And yes she's big - that small white thing at the base of the trunk is me. Wrath isn't here to vet her so I'm not sure yet if she's finished. I am going to put her in one of those auto align/rezz boxes that people use for houses. And I'll make her copiable just in case something goes wrong. I'm not going to do falling leaves - sorry, a little too "cute" for me. I might do shade though.

And, speaking from experience, just in case it comes up ........ typing the following into any search engine - "you know that box thingie that people use for houses" - does NOT produce the desired result.