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Archive for February, 2009

Hello, Reader,

No longer a newbie to Second Life, I am certainly new to building here.  My primary interests when I first arrived were relationships and exploring . . . and that last included every store I ran across in the blogs.  I am a daily blog reader and turn to them for information, humor, and inspiration of the personal adornment kind.  Translated:  I love shopping in Second Life.  The creativity has been  a never-ending source of delight to me.

And then, as fate would have it, I met Ando in one of those fluke meetings that happen all the time in Second Life.  Thomas Wolfe likened such chance meetings of disparate and far flung individuals to making “new magic in a dusty world.”  And so it is.

At the time of our meeting, I hadn’t been a content creator in Second Life, except to make the occasional gift for a friend.  Ando made building seem effortless and within the reach of anyone.  Much like a champion figure skater makes you cart your bod over to the local rink with visions of flying camels and layback spins.  As easy as he makes building seem, Ando is the consummate master of the tools of this world and the consummate perfectionist in the execution of their end products.  Long practice and hours of intense concentration and discipline led to that apparent ease.  Ando made building seem both doable and worth doing to me.  And so, my apprenticeship began. 

I soon discovered that I was not comfortable with the scale of some of Ando’s builds.  Whole sims in size, they seemed rather like moving mountains, way too daunting for this novice builder!  My preference is to work small.   I enjoy working with tiny prims and pieces I can see in their entirety up close and personal.  My focus is on jewelry and decorative items for the home.  Just as the minuet is one movement of a classical symphony, my work will be one part of the Symphony line.  That is how Minuet Designs was born. 

Acacia's Carpentry Shop

Acacia's Studio Space

A dear friend in Second Life has a poem by Emily Dickinson in her profile.  It begins, “I dwell in possibility.”  Joint dwellers in possibility, Ando and I invite you to journey with us, master and apprentice, as we navigate this place of wonder. 

~Cacie

 

 

 

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I seem to have a difficult time explaining to friends and family just what it is about Second Life that draws me in and keeps me there. Maybe if I explain it here, I’ll develop a better sense of how to explain it out there.

One thing people ask, both in and out of world, is “what brought you to Second Life in the first place. It wasn’t any one thing in particular, but a number of elements all coming into focus at roughly the same time – reading Neuromancer by William Gibson; my ongoing love of Photoshop, 3D graphics and animation, and an idea for an animated short; and an article in the Wall Street Journal about a virtual world and economy known as Second Life. Once in world, I learned quickly the craft of building – crudely at first, playing with a friend making mazes in the sky, but from that, I learned the basic tools of SL. My technique improved with each successive house I built, and friends started to ask me to build for them. Sadly, as it does for many, SL got “dramatic,” RL demanded my focused attention, and for a couple months I was largely absent from the grid.

When I returned to SL, I made a conscious decision to not jump back into the same social scene with the same bad actors, or even the same friends, but to start fresh and re-focus on what I truly loved about SL – creating imaginative and interesting structures.

I bought a small parcel high on a hill in Avendale Ruins, one of Mystical Cookie’s wonderful sims, and built what one builds on the highest hills. An observatory, with an antique telescope!

Avendale Observatory

Avendale Observatory

Of course, such a thing used up my prim count, and so, the next parcel over was bought, and a pavilion was raised, overlooking the gorge. It was ideal for dancing on a moonlit night, or wandering among the wildflowers and trees, perhaps taking an afternoon nap surrounded by the sounds of nature. Before long, my prim count was looking pretty low, so the next two adjoining parcels were purchased. As I built first the telescope, and then the pavilion, I began developing a history to match the builds. The pavilion had been erected on the site of the cistern that had provided for the needs of the observatory. That cistern was made obsolete by the waterworks I built on the furthest parcel.

Avendale Waterworks

Avendale Waterworks

The waterworks drew water in from the river, filtered it in 3 large tanks, and provided water for drinking and the hydraulics used to power the movement of the telescope. Note: the texture below for the wall of the intake pipes came from a photo I took of an old cistern in Portland Oregon. Art imitates life!

Intake Pipes

Intake Pipes

Water Treatment Tanks

Water Treatment Tanks

Waterworks Control Desk

Waterworks Control Desk

The space between the Waterworks and the Observatory I devoted to Waterworks Park. Here was a pond surrounded by lush autumn trees, with leaves drifting down and romantic dancing poseballs strewn about for my partner and me, and our guests.

Waterworks Park

Waterworks Park

I began to notice a curious thing as my little slice of SL was born – people started visiting it. Not just friends or family, but people wandering the grid. I’d frequently find people at the pond, or at one of the many dancing locations scattered about the sim, slow dancing with their honey. Avendale is a friendly bunch of sims, and so I took no steps to boot them or even prevent anybody from enjoying that build. What I did do is run out of prims again! This prompted me take that big leap of faith – buying my first sim – Symphony.

More on that later, though. It’s late and time to post. Stay tuned for more as the story continues!

-AJ

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