Sunday, August 31, 2008

Balancing the Scales - Fashion vs. Land

Cen's post on freebies, took me in another direction. It's why I don't spend as much on fashion

After I logged on for the first time, I spent a couple of months homeless. Trying to find a quiet spot to change clothing and edit appearance was not comfortable for me. I finally ended up at the bottom of a small lake (less lag-crashing a lot in those days). Occasionally a boat would go overhead - probably wondering "what the __?".

I then rented a skybox for the next seven months. I liked my place, had a wonderful time furnishing it, and decorating for the holidays was a blast. I did a LOT of shopping both for my home and my wardrobe. Every change of seasons would reveal wardrobe needs.

Then on New Year's Eve I came home from work to discover that while I was away Santa paid a late visit and I had land!! Absolutely perfect land - a beach lot with a view of both the sunset and sunrise over water!! Whoot!! WindLight equals a double WHOOOT!!

My carefully selected oriental decor for the skybox just didn't work at all in a old fashioned beach house. So I went shopping again. My major problem is that I am 5'8" in game (my RL height), so most of what is available is way too big for me! I look like a child sitting at a table. It took me months to decorate and I'm still waiting for my living room furniture to magically appear. Cas has always been on a budget, and land required a larger linden purchase each month. I cut her spending money to half causing her fashion belt to be tightened.

One major difference in my SL life is that I now feel much more grounded. It's not just that I know more people, have wonderful friends, new activities and challenges. I own land! I didn't realize that part of why I spent so much time shopping wasn't that quest for the perfect jeans and hair that looks like mine. It's because as much as I liked my skybox, it wasn't really a home. I have to have land to have a home!! Maybe it's because I'm an uprooted farm girl. Not the typical one you might think of, dad didn't farm. But I grew up walking the land, listening to the coyotes every night, staring at the milky way, loving the wide open skies and the sunset. In RL/FL I'm displaced. I'm in a metro and although the beach is a mile away and I go there frequently for a walk, it's not a beach I'm comfortable hanging out at.

I now have my sunset back. I don't hang around the house as perfect as it is, I hang around the land! I spend my time outdoors on the private deck or sitting on the side of the hot tub, or lying on Sai's platform bed under the palm trees gazing at the stars.

He's never said anything about it, but although my SL boy friend certainly visited me in the skybox, he is really comfortable hanging out at the place on the beach.

Me? I'm off to the beach...mustn't forget the sun screen!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Air Dancing

Just a few favorite pictures of a recent Fae Fest. Two hours of dancing held at Gamilia every Monday from 7:00-9:00pm SLT. Please join us. You don't have to be fae! All races are welcome!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things I Did When I Started Second Life

Laleeta tagged everyone to answer "Things I Did When I Started SL"'s only been a year and a half, let me think........

My RL husband was already in, I was just waiting for my computer to be upgraded. I used to sit nearby some of the time and look at the fascinating things avatars could do and the wondrous scenery and objects that had been created by people more talented than myself. Animations had me mesmerized; I stared at everyone for months, just fascinated.

February 27, 2007 I sat at his computer while I created my account. He sat beside me and got me started on Orientation Island. He helped me get a startup AO, my smile, a skin, and gave me land marks for Free Dove, good places for clothing and shoes. That particular day was chosen because he had heard about Simone’s Yard Sale and didn’t want me to miss out! He transferred 13,000 lindens for the purpose of going to the sale and picking up clothing, shoes and hair. I shopped until I dropped for two days straight and had lindens left over.

I found Linden Lifestyles before I ever logged on the first time. And like so many others read it faithfully. Salome’s wonderful writing style and taste had me out there spending my lindens faster than anyone else ever has.

Second Life is my first experience with arrow driven movement. My former addiction – Diablo II, Lord of Destruction’s expansion set – is click and move. I spent weeks just wandering around SL, looking at things and trying to walk without running into everyone in sight! Stairs were a huge challenge; they still are if I’m a victim of lag. I felt off of stairs yesterday in front of a couple I was trying to talk to.

I decided before I ever logged on the first time to be me. Why not see myself having fun in SL? I’m pretty happy with myself, so Casandra is me – height, shape, hair (usually shortish red when I’m not role playing), even eyes that look like my own created by my SL boyfriend. I always wanted to see what blonde was like. So I started as a blonde. Lol. That lasted maybe two days! It looked so strange.

I spent tons of time looking at individual animations to put into my ZHAO, trying to find the ones that really say Casandra is me.

I took classes through the NCI – New Citizens Institute.

A couple of months later, I was tired of trying to find a quiet place to change clothing and decided I needed a place to call home. I followed through on a reference, and rented a skybox from a wonderful landlady. I will definitely pass along her name to anyone who would like it. It's the best use of 350 lindens a week I know of. Amazing what having your own little bit of SL does for your spirits!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here a Fae? There a Fae?

Anywhere a Fae, Fae?

When Fae King Creag of Gamilia set the challenge to locate fae of other lands and take a picture with them, I thought, “This will be easy and fun!”

I did a search and made a list of kingdoms that welcome fae. For a few days whenever I had both time and the discipline to do it, I went down the list hitting several locations.

I was surprised at how time consuming and sometimes frustrating it was!

- Open the landmark

- View on map

- Go down the list until one of the kingdoms has someone show up on the map

If there aren’t any life signs:

- Wrong time of day?

- What about early morning, or late at night?

- Wrong day?

- Would this weekend have better results?

If there are life signs:

- Change from everyday clothing into fairy outfits (see the first post for this challenge on August 19)

- Teleport in

- Wear observer tag

- Home in on signs of life

Even that can be complicated!

- What level are they on? Entry ports for kingdoms are sometimes in the sky and then a TP is necessary to reach the ground

- This one?

- The Heavens?

- Caves?

- Oh, there’s a mountain between us! Or a ______! How do I get around/through/under it?

- There they are!!! (finally)

Only then does race enter into the equation:

- Human?

- Dragon?

- Elf?

- Another race altogether?

- Or am I really lucky and they are fae!!! Whoot!! Success!!

And then I try to be sensitive to the activities going on:

- That looks like a really serious conversation (standing facing each other, but no small talk in chat)

- Oh, they are in the middle of a scenario!

- Am I interrupting?

- Do I have time (before I have to do something else) to wait around?

- Should I leave?

- Oops, they’re cuddling behind that bush!

What I found is that some lands never have anyone there at all whenever I look, regardless of the time of day or day of the week. Hopefully I’m just timing it wrong and they are successful, thriving kingdoms.

Since it’s role play, almost none of them permit flying if you are not of their people. It takes a long time for a fae unused to walking to trudge the dusty roads constantly looking for her cousins of distant lands. I saw humans, elves; a wonderful gathering of six dragons of different sizes and types. I viewed a scene with two opponents with daggers advancing and retreating as though choreographed (Renaissance rather than medieval times). I saw a demon taunting people to venture out of the safe confines of their village to where they would be vulnerable.

I searched morning, afternoon and evening with very little result. In all but two kingdoms, I found very few fae. I finally went to those kingdoms several times, and was able to take pictures with them, and be satisfied with the results of my efforts. We chatted about our kingdoms and all kinds of things including the best shops for wings. I played drums with one, danced with another; one changed her clothes after her sister called her in so that she was “regulation fairy” and not 21st century. I even received a hug from a very small fae!

And since I've already had one question on the word "fae" :) The state of enchantment is fayerie, which became fairy and faerie for the ones who wielded the power of illusion.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tym's Rez Day Party

Tymmerie Thorne’s First Rez Day party was last night. Many guests took up the theme “Tymmerie’s Blog” by dressing as one of her blog features. She writes wonderful articles for her blog with full costume, accessories and just the right setting for the accompanying photographs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Clothing and Jewels for a Journey

This is going to sound vain and silly, and I suppose it is. Most of us want to dress not necessarily like everyone around us, but to fulfill our sense of what is appropriate for what we are doing.

I don’t have a role play background. Gamilia is a new kingdom, and my first experience. I had a couple of fairy outfits courtesy of Rose at Rose Petal Creations. I began my life as a fae by wearing those (I still do) and gradually I’m discovering what my “style” is: short to mid-calf skirts without tatters, but petals are nice, fabric that drapes well, wings that compliment, but don’t match the gown. I now have a very small wardrobe in white, gold and pastels. As reflected by my choices I am a light to neutral fae, rather than a neutral to dark fae.

Creag, the Fae King of Gamilia set us a challenge that required us to visit with fae in other lands. I came away feeling under dressed! I wanted to feel confident on my journey.

The challenge had a deadline and I spent precious time finding the right look - rummaging through my clothes chest for something between my usually light floaty chiffon and the full skirted long gowns I saw on most of the fae of other lands (the ones whose profile doesn’t call for a little skimpy something).

In my chest, I found a nicely draped dress from Miriel. The way the trim is applied lends a touch of fantasy. Since my usual hair is rather waif-like, I donned hair in a style I wore for historical re-creation before I cut it all off! Then I added one of my favorite jewelry sets “diamonds and pearls”, from Kesseret at Kess Kreations.

Just then Faery Stola, Studio Sidhe released a gown and wings for fae. I rushed over immediately. That evening when I saw my friend Emy, I gave her the details. She “actually wanted to go shopping!” and immediately left in the middle of the dance (she lives to dance) and fell in love with the “fire” gown. Going through my jewelry box, I added the finishing touch – one of Miriel’s newly released jewelry sets “Orbit”. The color-change feature allows me to match my gown. After taking pictures I discovered that Miriel's exquisite "Fleur" with amethyst stones does beautifully too!

And I was set to hit the road on my quest to find fae of other lands with two totally different, but delight outfits!

OMG! It's Hevy!!! Taking Cen's Challenge

I refer to Hevy in the Funky Feats dance group tab of “my picks”. He was the rock of the group – caring, encouraging, welcoming, supportive, always ready to try new dance steps. And then months and months ago he stepped back from SL to concentrate on RL. I knew he had been on occasionally. But hadn’t seen him and although I considered him a friend, we weren’t friended so I couldn’t just IM him with a “Hi!! How’ve you been?”

A few days ago he appeared right in front of me at a Funky Feats dance!!. I was so surprised! My reaction was much the same as Emy’s except I wasn’t on stage responsible for anything. It was basically the same as Cen’s to Crap Mariner coming to the Hump Day Party last Wednesday.

As soon as I closed my gaping mouth, tears started rolling down my cheeks!!! Hevy was FF’s leader when I joined and the group has diminished in his absence even with LuLu’s valiant efforts. It was as though the spirit of the group departed with him.

Recently someone in their blog talked about the place, the first people that really made you feel welcome in SL, that place you call home (badly paraphrased). The FF was that to me, and Hevy was a big part of it. I lived to dance for a long time. Then I started developing other interests and other friends. But FF was and is very close to my heart.

After my initial “Hi Hevy!!” in open chat, I pounded out five or six questions on the keyboard in private IM, plus an apology for bombarding him with questions, before he opened the window and started responding.

When Cen issued her challenge to send a friend request to someone, I had thought, I could turn right around and offer friend to her *grin*.

I thought of the challenge again, and I knew I really wanted Hevy on my list. I wasn’t a choreographer, and we had seen each other regularly, so there hadn’t been any need to friend each other.

Now I felt that need, that desire, so I took up Cen’s challenge. I told him I would like to invite him. He said “sure, please” and beat me to it. *huge face splitting grin*

Challenge fulfilled, Cen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mixing It Up at Hump Day - Fae and Doctor

When it was time for the weekly Hump Day Party at the Viper Pit, I was deep in an elven forest. By the time I left 30 minutes later, I was in such a rush that I TP'd home, changed in a flash to my scrubs and lab coat, and TP'd to the dance floor. I should looked in the mirror. I forgot to switch my my fair skin with the stars to my light summer tan, wore a silver circlet most of the evening, and my stethoscope was up around my ears! Such a sloppy job of dressing. lol

Either no one pays that much attention to what I'm wearing, or they don't feel comfortable enough with me to say something! Or I missed in it open chat - easy to do, it's such a talk fest :) IM's are the only way you're guaranteed I'll see something.

Pictures: Techs, doctors and nurses having some much deserved relaxation
after work, Dyami as the patient needing the most attention, Meara as a futuristic medic.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cat Naps

Do you ever wish you were a cat? My cat doesn't just take naps, he can sleep for hours and then eating wears him out so much, he has to nap for a while. He looks sooo comfortable sleeping on my bed - and - I have to go to work :(

Friday, August 8, 2008

Surprise Attack

The medieval role play Kingdom of Gamilia was hit by someone petty early this morn. The terraforming is just about the only thing that let's you know you are in the right place! The first LM attempt had me falling through the atmosphere!

I never will understand people who enjoy hurting other people, destroying all they have worked to create, pulling down their hopes and dreams and trampling them.

Five Things You Didn't Know About Me

Cen posted this meme and tagged everyone who reads her blog. So...

RL -

I am detail-oriented

I make garb (period clothing) for others and myself in a re-enactment group

I weave - inkle, tablet weaving: threaded in

I have worked in several fine art mediums – oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen & ink w/wo washes

We listen to the “right” radio station for the demographics for our customers all day at work. TV & radio have become the noise I turn off when I get home.

SL –

Still detail-oriented - tweak that skirt or hair - prim by prim

Love to dance - choreographed and ballroom (would like to do more ballroom)

Want to design historical clothing, but PhotoShop is the bane of my existence. Soooo hard for me to wrap 2D around the 3D AV. (I need to cut back on the fun and work harder)

I live in the house of my RL dreams (ck picks); just need more prims for decorating

I am impressed by the creative mind showcased in SL. What people imagine and bring to SL is amazing and wondrous!

And finally -

I am a nobody (who are you? are you a nobody too? then there’s pair of us – don’t tell!!! Emily Dickinson) Course you knew that already – I just had to

Okay, so everyone who reads my blog (and not hers) all what? seven of you?? May consider yourself tagged. Please either post your answers here or comment telling me you have them on your blog, so I can learn more about you :D


I do intend to answer Cen's "Break from SL" questions within the next couple of days.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

House Zephirus Triumphs!!!

King Creag, guardian and protector of the fae of Gamilia, issued a challenge. Find a teleporter somewhere on the medieval role play isle of Gamilia, that takes you somewhere, take pictures of yourself with a non-fae, and be the first to deliver them to the High King.

Lady Emy and I got right on it. We spent hours one day searching the entire island including the village, forest, beach and graveyard, the market (elevated landing point), the heavens (without setting foot in it), even a building platform! We flew, we walked. We did not crawl under tables only because it's not in our AO's! We went over the same territory the other had already covered. We conferred in the wonderful cavern. The cavern is truly difficult to explore. There are several levels leading both up and down with nooks and crannies galore. It is easy to get turned around. Especially because as you walk, you can fall through the sculptie rock to lower levels (sometimes all the way to the ground). Getting back to where you think you were takes time and makes it even easier to miss something. If you fly, it is easy to go too fast and get gored with spikes. Emy took out her spell book to heal me after I had been injured the third time and was afraid to move for fear I'd hit another trap. Then she made me rest. Thank goodness she keeps an eye on my stats!!

We had a good time, we learned even more about each other's strengths, and began building team dynamics. We were successful in the end and discovered the teleporter, which led us to a secret garden. The next hurdle was finding a man online at the same time who was available for pictures. She managed to take several during the day and I finished up that evening after work.

We were the first to complete the task set before us! After review by the appropriate parties, House Zephirus became the premier fae house of the kingdom of Gamilia!! WhoOOot!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Silly July Holidays Party

I realized lately that I have never mentioned the parties that my friend Rose hosts and DJ's on Sunday! Each event is themed. Some examples are PJ's, beach, silly AVs, Victorian, and of course the holidays - Christmas, Valentines, silly July Holidays. Oh, you didn't know there was a whole list of holidays in July that no one celebrates? Check out That was last Sunday's theme. Represented were: ice cream (strawberry - and - vanilla!!), Geeks, moon day (man landed on), music, rat catcher, Amelia Earhart, I forgot Day, walk your plant (yes, really!).

There is trivia written around the theme.
Dancing on rotating cubes in the air was fun! During the beach party the guests tossed beach balls at each other. Rez and Rose go all out decorating, for the beach theme the floor was sand and a wave was breaking through the windows onto the beach! For the PJ party the whole room was made up as a giant bed and with enough teddy bears for everyone to cuddle.

P.S. We can bring friends

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sittting in a Tree - Yay!!

I sooo love this picture of my good friend Emy and I sitting in a Pillow Talk apple tree in the medieval kingdom of Gamilia. One of my personal requirements for happiness in Gamilia is trees and other stuff I can sit on!

As a child, I climbed trees (my favorite was a 100 yr old Chinese Elm), roofs and fences. The tall stacks of hay bales in our barn turned into castles and fortresses for my brother and I to scale or defend! I still climb fences back home, and ladders at work!

This one of me swinging on the branch is so very reminiscent of my childhood. Dad made our swing set. I loved that it was larger than the ones you could buy and my favorite part was the trapez!! This is so me!