Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Builder's Brewery

If you ever decided to join Second Life and you wanted to build things or buy things or you wanted a place to open up some boxes or learn how to take a photograph or you just wanted a nice sim filled with friendly people to sit at for awhile and you were to ask me what is the one place I would go to or the one group I would join....I would immediately, without hesitation point you in the direction of The Builder's Brewery.

I know I have mentioned them before in posts, but I thought I should actually dedicate a WHOLE post to this group and this Sim because it is so darn WORTHY. And yes, I realise that the majority of my posts gush about the great things I find in Second Life, but honestly...it IS that great. (and if you are getting all judgey and snarky because you want me to be a biatch and point out crappy things, what the heck is WRONG with YOU???????) OK...so now we have that out of the way, BUILDER'S BREWERY!!!!!

Since I first stepped into this world, this group has been an incredible source of information about anything from how to deal with griefers and trolls (report, block, evict and ban by the way....or if you are quick, drop a box over their head!) to Scripting and Blender. No question has ever been too stupid or asked too many times. No wonder they were voted....
Pssttt...I was one of the ones who voted for them!!!

Some of the builds in one of the sandboxes today. 
I pop into the brewery almost daily and can quite often be found building in a sandbox there.  Even though I probably have enough prim allowance and space at my own place now, I still prefer to build at the Brewery for a few reasons...1. There are ALWAYS other builders there making stuff and it can be really fun, inspirational and educational just to watch them. 2.  I have met some really lovely people at the Brewery, ones that just wandered up to see what I was making or building, and as a result, we got to talking. 3.  The brewery not only has a ground platform on which you can rezz things or build things, but they have MULTIPLE sky platforms as well which are really useful if you have a big build or just want a bit of space to tinker and think.

When I was new and had no place of my own, I used to use their free and private dressing rooms all of which are beautifully appointed and have everything you need. You can stay in these for up to 3 hours at a time and set who is allowed to enter while you are in there. They have pose stands and lots of space so you can cam all around your avatar to check out how fabulous you look from any angle and in different poses.

Dressing Room!

Southside Classroom
The Brewery holds classes in their classrooms regularly,  The calendar can be found on their website or on the boards located all over the Brewery. The classes can be on anything from in game photography to making mesh. They use both text and voice and they are highly practical in that you will be making something as you are being taught. The classes also cater for a wide variety of levels from beginners right through to advanced, some classes are one offs and others are part of a series. It's a really good way to learn.

Creators Village Shops

Located on the grounds is also a whole village of shops selling high quality items that are mostly full permissions.  You can find textures, scripts, furniture, building components and so much more at really reasonable prices.

Yeah...I can go on ALL day about this place and this group. So I will stop and post some pretty pictures for you after I say this last thing...
In the big world that is Second Life, this group and this place is a haven for creators that are and creators that would be. It is a place of respect, where ideas are shared freely with good humour and boundless patience. I have never heard an unkind word be spoken or a request for help unanswered. 

So, my friend, if you are looking for me in world, you know where you will find me. Hop in the group, or take the SLurl down below to Builder's Brewery and let me show you around and introduce you to some people.

Everyone deserves a rest after a hard day's creating right???
Many thanks to Sensuous Maximus for permissions for this post. :) 

Builder's Brewery Website

Builder's Brewery SLurl

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Sunday Afternoon Walk in Walden Pond

Well, it's Sunday afternoon and I have a little time to just take a wander and explore a little, so I opened up my destination guide and searched in the Nature and Parks category and came across Walden Pond. The description read, "This virtual recreation of Walden Pond provides a relaxing and inspiring walk amidst autumn trees no matter the weather or season." So I thought to myself, Well...Why NOT? So...

For those of you not in the know, On the shores 
of Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau lived for two years in a self-built house in order to focus on his writing. This area is based on that experience. The landscape is lovely but at times a little mis-aligned (some of the trees and leaves are floating significantly above ground level) and outdated, which plays with your immersion a bit. The falling autumn leaves and ambient music set the mood of the place beautifully though. And considering the notecards had a a date of 2008, the place isn't doing so badly really :) 

As you walk around the path, you touch the rocks and each one gives your quotes. Find all 11 landmarks and you get a prize (NO SPOILERS! Go do it yourself!) One of my favourite quotes I received while touching the landmarks along the path was this one...
"Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world. From the chapter "Economy" in Walden"

All in all, a pleasant way to spend a little time on a Sunday afternoon. 

Walden Pond SLurl

Thursday, 26 January 2017



It's Chinese New Year's Eve and as someone who has some Asian heritage, this becomes a HUGE celebration for my family. So I sort of combined my (terrible) GIMP skills with my (equally terrible) in game photo skills and did a photo shoot at one of the most beautiful Sims I know, The Shinzen Japanese Garden at the Yosemite Sim made by the incredibly talented Jadyn Firehawk. Now I understand that TECHNICALLY this is a Japanese Garden and not a Chinese garden but...well...tough...work with me a little here you critical people!!!!!

I honestly didn't think this in world photography business was going to be so...time consuming and...demanding of my time and resources. When I first had the thought to just take a photo, I simply assumed I would pop into a place, whack off a couple of shots...DONE! I did not take into account that BEFORE I actually took ANY photos, I had to:
1.  Choose a location
2. Ask permission from the owner to be able to take photos there
3.  Get together an outfit
4.  Have a meltdown about outfit at least 5 times before just choosing one...any one.
5.  Accessorize. SERIOUSLY!!! What is going ON here?!?!?!?
6.  Have another meltdown because it all looks ridiculous
7.  Give up in exasperation at my complete lack of fashion skills and just teleport to the location already.
8. Trample all around the location in aforementioned ridiculous outfit (as there are no change rooms onsite, it was a case of wearing what I was going to be photographed in) seeking out picturesque locations

...and THEN....I spent AGES setting up each shot, waiting for the right pose to kick in, waiting for my facial animations to kick in, fiddling with lighting, putting the lighting settings back to what they originally were before taking MULTIPLE PHOTOS of which I would eventually only pick about a dozen. And of that dozen, I whittled them down to the four you see here. <deep breath>

So... I was first introduced to the Yosemite Sim through a member of the group, Ch'Know. I was looking for scenic Sims to wander around in and am so glad I was pointed in the direction of this Sim. Jadyn has not only left a plethora of gorgeous gifts EVERYWHERE for people to enjoy free of charge, but also has made some truly beautiful areas as well as some really fun places to visit. I have been base jumping off sky high platforms (don't ask...there was a lot of screaming involved...there may have been tears...I am a sook about heights even in virtual reality), I have gone galloping through fields on horseback, I I wandered trails up mountains and down valleys and have also sat quietly in peaceful places.  There is information about the RL Yosemite National Park in the visitors centre as well as more free gifts, prints and even a 3D map of the sim. If you are looking for a little holiday spot in beautiful surrounds with lots to do, there are even some gorgeous little cabins at really reasonable prices or homes in the Japanese village for rent. 

On top of all this, Jadyn runs a non-profit foundation. The mission statement reads, "The Pixel To Pixel Foundation's mission is to assist people in Second Life who are on disability. By granting them weekly Linden-dollar stipends, we help to make it possible for them to have homes, buy things, and pursue creative interests in SL that they might not otherwise be able to afford."

A truly worthy cause, a wonderfully talented and creative woman and a breathtakingly gorgeous Sim with so much to give, mentally, spiritually, virtually and really.  Thank you Jadyn, for your vision. And on that note...onto the pics! 
(Please note that all of the following pictures have not been altered with a third party program, Only the very first photo at the top was altered using GIMP to include text. The following photos are taken using the in Second Life camera tools.) 

Head: CATWA head - Cami from the Mainstore
Hair:  CATWA hair - Leah Bounce from the Mainstore
Headpiece: Tribal Tiara Ember v.2 by MadMacit in the Marketplace
Body: Maitreya Lara from the Mainstore
Dress: Ex-Cheongasm Oriental Style Dress - Black with red and gold detailing by EXTAL in the Marketplace
Armband: Saturn Brass Bangles by TwosistersTreasureGirl in the Marketplace
Earrings: Saturn Brass Earrings by TwosistersTreasureGirl in the Marketplace
Shoes: .:KC:. KENDRA in the Marketplace