Of Dancing with the Dam

Dear Diary,

“The Dam” came to be when I came across a screenshot from a game and I knew I wanted to build it. Or try at least.

The challenge was to build it. Allow me to give you a quick glimpse of ‘how it was made’.

It did involve me building a completely dam, slanted walls and all, in prims. But as with many things, it just was not ‘it’. After blowing up build five hundred and sixty-seven,  and about to give up, the final version finally came to be. My favourite sport in SL, using items completely different from their intended use, saved me once more. The dam was born.

The next step was finding water for the top part. Again, a challenge and after many many misfires, I settled for Alex Bader’s river water. To be specific, the end section of his magnificent River Building Packs. I had to learn a few expensive and utterly disappointing lessons before I tried that particular water and I am still angry at myself for not just going ‘back to base’ and trying it as the first option. Lesson learned.

“Dancing with the Dam” as I now call it, was the next phase of this build. Moving the dam forward, backward, sideways, up, down for a week to place it just so.

In a perfect world, there would be a splendid, slanted, concrete wall all around the dam, but SL is not a perfect world and I am not a perfect builder,  so I used boulders and cliff covers. What sim build is complete without those cliff covers right?

More frustration followed when I tried to balance out the rest of the build and friends who still are with me, are officially saints.  I want to thank those who encouraged me to finish this build and who answered my, at times totally unhinged, questions about rocks, signs, trees, windlights, where to get what and how to do this or that, with seemingly never-ending patience. THANK YOU.

Anyway, Vinefields, The Dam, is exclusively open right now for two groups and I will see about opening her up for the public at large for a bit soon-ish. Forking over 6700 lindens per week to have a sim open, is a tad much on the old budget atm. I am considering a paid group and all that, but honestly, I have not yet settled on a course of action.

Now for shameless self-promotion: I do believe I have managed perhaps to bring something new, never done before to sim building. I say this based on feedback from people who actually know sim building in SL and I have to confess that if that is the case, this concept being new, that I am rather chuffed with that. I am not sure of it, but still, the sentiment is making me giddy.

Last but not least, another shot of the Dam, just because well, I think it’s pretty.

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Dear diary, thank you for listening and see you soon. xox

Of an Open House

You are cordially invited to attend my Open House, a shameless ‘showing off’ of my Second Life Home.

First things first, the Windlight or absence thereof;

Since FS has not yet fixed the ongoing issues with EEP and the choice of multiple viewers these days, the Windlight Settings are DYI. I strongly suggest a greyish, misty one but obviously, you can do as you please.

With that said, feel free to visit but please keep in mind this build was meant to be my home and is my home. It is not a huge build with snaking alleys or towering builds, far from it. But it has grass!!

It has no ‘theme’. The inspiration for this sim was to create a place that felt good. Nature, water (always water, must have water), and to have a place that is far away from everything. I love abandoned places. Not perse of the haunted or half-destroyed kind but also those builds that are empty, dusty, and you wonder why. What made the people leave?

Themes don’t work for me I guess. I just rezz and use stuff I really really like and try to make it all work together. That is my theme. My favorite things. There you have it, I have now an official theme! My Favorite Things. Though you are hard-pressed to find Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, you might stumble on wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.

The sim will only be open to the public for a very short time, visit while you can. As always, play nice, and enjoy your visit and thank you for coming over!

Landmark

Toodles

 

Of Dreams and Wishes

It’s been a while since I was this inspired to build in SL. It all began when I decided to pack it up and move to a 1/4 homestead. Since I had a few weeks left before the next tier payment, I started to lay out what would be my house on said 1/4 homestead, trying to figure out how many prims I needed.

While doing so, I fell more and more in love with the house you see in the picture. It’s not decorated. The house on its own, IS the decor. At least in my world. But I was inspired. stories were unfolding in my head about the background of this house and the place it so proudly crowns.

Perhaps the previous owners left, quite some time ago I think, in a hurry. I like to think it was for happy reasons they left and simply left the house, the docks, the ramshackle stairs to their own devices. Grass and weeds growing everywhere, and bees and dragonflies zooming around like there is no tomorrow. Trees have fallen, died or multiplied without any control and sand has penetrated most nooks and crannies.

The pool in the sea is neglected and frogs have made it their kingdom. There is not much to see or do for those who expect spectacle or entertainment. Oh no, this place is forgotten by the world and only fit for hermits and those who seek solitude. Those who like to see horses run free and wild, those who like to sit on a deck and stare out over the endless empty seas.

While exploring and pondering, summer is reaching its end and slowly trees and shrubbery start to show their autumn colors. Rains lash the place at times while on other days a place in the shade goes at a premium.

No, it’s not a fast-paced, bustling market or a city with towering buildings and rows and rows of urban dwellings. Far from that. There is an old electricity pole with its wires hanging down, once connected to the world beyond, but now only a lonely reminder of what once probably was a hotspot.

Anyway, I can drone on and on. But why don’t you come by and see for yourself? I have it on very good authority that the owner would not mind at all. Just allow for a bit more time to get ready before you stop by. A little bit longer…

Of Light and Lighter

Making dark pictures is one of the more easy things for me to do. The darker pictures also hide flaws in the decor, especially land textures and unruly trees and/or bushes.

Light pictures are hard. They are unforgiving. They reveal everything, every flaw, every misplaced object. A badly chosen angle. You name it, darker pictures with deep shadows hide most flaws. However a ‘simple black and white’ picture is an art.

Everything of course, in the eye of the beholder.

So why the burst of light all of a sudden? There are several reasons for it, the two most important I’ll gladly share.

Mood. I am not in a post-apoc mood. Most of you know I have spent the better part of the last 2 years trying to come up with a new post-apoc and/or run-down urban build. A short while ago I wondered why I could not finish a build. I have shown people parts of it, a few friends and they all encouraged me to finish it, or even to open the sim as it was when I showed them because it was ‘unique, typical Rwah, brilliant’ you name it. The compliments and encouragement were truly heartwarming and well-meant. So why didn’t it ‘jive’?

I didn’t feel it. Let’s face it, when I am building for myself, it’s not only about building and doing the best and/or most original job I possibly can. It is also about feeling, creating a space or environment that makes you feel good. It didn’t make me feel good.

The second reason is even more simple; I want a long, lonely beach and on top of a bunch of rocks a house that has just the right amount of wear and tear. I found such a house in the Sal House from Concept and I fell in love with the impossible shape, the size, the textures and I just had to make a sim with it. So there. No grand mysteries.

And oh yes, the house, it screams for a light picture. Now there is light and there is lighter. I chose the latter.

Yes, the sim will open for the public, not for a long time, but just long enough.

Toodles.

Of Points of View

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Believe it or not, this picture was not about capturing the grass, which by the way I am mightly pleased I finally managed for a change, it was not about my left foot or even the jeans, tho as you can imagine if you know me just a little bit, are one of my all-time favorites, no, this picture was supposed to be about the house.

Well, the house IS truly marvelous, and my current favorite, but since you can hardly see it, I will save that for a later day.

When I am building, I often stumble upon angles, possible shots, near-perfect views, etc. Often I just continue building because once those building juices flow, I like to just go with it instead of pursuing other things. Last night I was done for the day and found myself trying out poses a dear friend gave me. And low and behold a picture was taken. In that picture, one could not only see the house, the stunning view of the water, a few trees and the aforementioned grass.

Then came the part of the process where most pictures go to die, the post-processing. The view so stunning in-world fell flat. Now there are numerous of tricks to give it depth and all that, but I am trying to shoot a picture that doesn’t need many tricks. One trick in the book was left. Cropping.

And here we are, the thrilling tale of this picture has been told, I am sure the story will be told many many years as it’s no doubt the most thrilling one you ever read. Or perhaps not, but that is how things go, not everything has an exciting story, some things just are the somewhat boring day to day adventures.

The grass is of course from Skye, Wild Grass Collection, and the jeans are from RKKN, “Nicole”, available at RKKN Mainstore.

The jeans, I have to mention them, are, for me, just perfection. I am so done with the paint-on jeans and these truly are a breath of fresh air combined with the stunning textures count on it that I will be wearing these for a long, long, long time to come. The belt that goes with it is also a much-needed accessory. At this point I feel that anything else I will tell you about ‘m will make you think ‘yeah yeah whatever’, so I will shut up and leave you to go check them out for yourself.

Toodles.

Of Summer and days

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When I started blogging waaaay back, just after the wheel was invented, I tried very hard to create decor scenes. Or scenes or whatever you want to call them. It meant patiently placing every single item in a precise spot, because if you labour under the illusion that those stunning decorating pictures ‘just happen’, you are sorely mistaken.

After hours of painstakingly fiddling around with 10, 20, 30 or more objects there usually was one thing missing. Or at least I used to think so, and that set me off on a hunt for that one special item that would make the picture complete and perfect.

And still, my pictures looked like crap compared to those who are in my not so humble opinion absolute masters when it comes to decor pictures. Then I discovered close-ups and a bit later I started to use and place decor items in different ways. The rest is history.

I still consider myself a mediocre ‘full scene’ photographer but today, inspired by the items you see in the above picture I figured I would at least try. I also had the good fortune to once again have a very good friend giving me the encouragement I needed not to trash the raw shot but use it.

And while I was editing the picture I started to realize something; I have not spent hours setting this up, I did not feel the need to find that last special item that would make it ‘perfect’. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes a bit of time to rez and place stuff, that is just how SL is, but it was easy! It was actually fun because as always whole stories unfolded while my scene grew. I won’t bore you to tears with the stories, but I think it is safe to say, I have finally learned to work with the things I was planning to use and leave it at that.

Well, hand me my big-girl panties!

So, in a way, I am rather proud of this picture. It is yet another marker in the SL journey and perhaps, who knows, I will eventually even become a half-decent blogger. Now that is a scary thought.

Anyhoo, enough of my introspection. The stuff you see on the picture comes from two designers. Nutmeg and Skye.

Since I have mixed and matched a few releases I urge you to go over to the Nutmeg main store where the new releases are on full display. That way you can see for yourself how bloody beautiful they are. While you are doing that, take a moment and zoom in on random details to see the quality of the textures and all the intricate little details. It is so worth it.

While at the Nutmeg main store, you will find information, per set, at what events you can buy the sets or separate items.

While you do have your walking shoes on, do not forget to hop over the Studio Skye sim(s) where you can see the beaches I used (hardly visible but what else is new lol) and the grasses and bushes.

Well, look at me in my big-girl panties. A picture, some ramblings, product information, bloody hell, I hope I am not becoming a good blogger because let’s face it, that would be so dull.

Toodles.

Of Old and Older

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‘Tis been a while, hasn’t it? Well nice to see you, see you in 3 months? Or perhaps sooner if the muses of ramblings visit me.

One of those muses came to me and left me rather speechless, as a figure of speech. The muse I am talking about came to me in the form of an old battered bicycle. Now, being Dutch I have a thing for those peddling machines. When I grew up, a lot of kids were proudly showing off their brand new shiny bicycles. But they never held any kind of sway over me. I prefer mine old and with just enough rust to make them truly special.

His and Hers Bicycles from Nutmeg are once more a perfect release. The details both in design and textures are breathtaking.

Perhaps you wonder about the lack of close-ups. Perhaps you wonder about the lack of black- and white, perhaps, perhaps. After having discarded numerous shots I taken, tore down sets for this picture that could have easily doubled as a sim build and eventually found ‘it’ in this simple scene.

A deck that has seen better times, a small boat that is barely floating with beautiful rotted wood, the right pose (part of the bicycle) and here we are. A picture.

About the deck, an item I remember waiting rather impatiently for, a release from Alex Bader – Skye (see the deck in-world here on the Skye Sim.) is yet another gem that is perfect. Low LI, high LoD and for once not the rather dull brownish colours but a happy mismatch of said colours and varieties of wear and tear. Perfect.

I suck at landscaping Mostly because I am very impatient and to properly landscape takes time. I am more of the wham, bam, thank you erm… deck? and get on with it.

Now you have your homework, do yourself a favour and check these items out. It’s worth it. Just follow the breadcrumbs (aka clickety-click on the links and off you go).

Toodles.

The Mess – an update

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As always when I am building, I start out with a vague idea. I rezz this, that and some more and remove it again. Rinse and repeat for a while, until I strike the right cord. The right cord for me this time was a waterlogged street, graced with various buildings from Schultz Bros. and Urban Jungle.

While building, I had given access to a few people and their pictures alerted Mr. Schultz to my endeavors. When he came to visit, he tempted me with his elevated train tracks. That threw me for a loop. I just HAD to use them and so my plan for the sim evolved.

train

Then, when I made my peace with how the build looked like, Mr. Schultz pulled another rabbit out of the hat; The 42 Front Street building.

An amazing build, that has just enough derelict, just enough wear and tear to be perfect. And perfect it is in my not so humble opinion. Of course, I had to use it and my already changed plan of building a wonderful waterlogged street, with overgrown builds and a dramatic water landscape surrounding it, derailed even further.

To top it off, in my enthusiasm for the said building,  it had to be photographed. Thank goodness I didn’t post it right away, as it is the exact angle Mr. Schultz used on Flickr. Great minds and all that I guess?

Schultz Bros house
The exact same angle as Mr. Schultz used

Water landscape, surrounded by majestic cliffs and trees and all that, now completely derailed and it looked more and more like a blob of builds in the middle of a sim, sprinkled liberally with greenery.

Dramatic pause here, imagine Gregory Kune singing Nessun Dorma in the background:

I know I have posted a soon picture, indicating that I would open the sim in the next days. But I won’t.

Another dramatic pause…..

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I made a mistake in gauging how much time I would need to truly finish the build. While the build as it is, is very nice, if I do say so myself, it is not a finished build. It really is a blob of builds, covered in greens. I want to finish it and for that, I need some more time.

To make matters worse I have removed access for most who had access.  Very soon all of you will have access for at least two weeks (make sure you thank Jackson for that generous amount of time as I was planning on opening for 2 days) and after that time we will see.

So there you have it. A changed plan, and with that, a changed timeframe for opening the sim.

Stay the course, there are many many beautiful sims to visit while I finish building mine.

And last but not least, there is this:

Snapshot_001
Yes, this shit really happens. Often. 

Toodles

The Mess

 

billiard

With an enormous delay, I am finally opening the sim for a few days. Few days only because even though I love the build, I have another concept in mind that I am eager to start working on.

If you are looking for a well balanced, well thought out sim, with near perfect landscaping and a theme, you probably will be disappointed.

This sim is a collection of things that I love, but they do not necessarily fit together neatly. A sim long (or wide if you wish) road with a lot of electricity poles, was a longtime wish as well as the overgrown buildings partly in the water. The skeleton towers a happy accident and the rest a mismatched bunch of things I love for some reason.

Keep in mind that the sim will only be open for a couple of days. Meaning it will be closed again, no later than Saturday morning.

I do not do this to be exclusive, or whatever.  My main reason to be in SL is to make pictures and build. I love to build. I love to try things and that simply doesn’t work with a sim that is open to the public. So hop on over and look around while you can.

Simple rules: Don’t be a douche and if you are coming over to take pictures, make bloody sure that if you take a picture of a person or persons on the sim, you have their permission to do so. Now I hear you think that that is hard to enforce. True. You have one chance to be an ass. After that, you will have a permanent ban on any sim I will open in the future.

Also keep firmly in mind that this is NOT a public sim, but my home. Enjoy!

road