Of Sim Design – Part 1

Recently I have rented a 1/4 sim and am having a ton of fun in making it my home. My idea of home is usually not what most consider a home in SL, however this first draft is pretty run-off-the-mill. 

Of course covering up the truly astounding horrendous ground textures is step one. Seriously, in what fantasy of the ideal home is poison green grass a good idea? And would it kill sim owners to actually learn to terraform so there are non-ragged parcel borders? 

Anyway… I have decided to use my soapbox as an archive and post a few snaps of aforementioned home-build. 

Just a few snaps nothing major. For posterity. 

enchanted-my-favorite-chair
My favorite chair on the best spot!
Enchanted Naughty Cat
Scratching the carpets.. Funny detail: this is the first home I made for myself that is actually fully decorated. Ie, it has chairs/sofa’s and carpets and decor. Obviously a WIP, and I do not like overly cluttered decors most of the time.
Echanted Pier
The absolute best, imho that is, feature of this build: The pier.
Enchanted Overview Pic
Last and sort of least lol a full-colour non-moody shot of my whole kingdom. Including the pines from my neighbour.

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.

186a

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.

An Update Rant

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Life is wonderfully hectic. Between bouts of allergies, waving paintbrushes around and sometimes actually hitting the canvas, long walks with the dog, cooking sprees and lazy, lazy days filled with books and music, SL has been taking the backseat for a bit.

In between all these wonderful ways to spent time, there is this pesky thing called day-to-day life. To top that one off, I had to re-install my computer and took the opportunity to make life very complicated.

Complicated, because after 15+ years I switched, just two days ago, from Photoshop to Affinity. Many reasons for that but the most important are, that I am sick and tired of paying way to much for functionality that is now available in other programs, and because in my not so humble opinion I think Adobe is losing the plot when it comes to customer service.

I actually own the program instead of paying a rather hefty lease fee of roughly 120 dollars per year. I paid a one-time 50 dollar fee and done.

On top of that I don’t have to go over my profile and settings with MI-6 worthy skills to try and avoid tons of shit I really do not want, primarily post my work in yet another cloud and finding buried deep in the fine print that Adobe now has the right to use it as they see fit.

Sim building is still going on. For those who contacted me requesting I bring back build X or build Y or do this or that, fuck off. If you want a certain style sim or have these ‘grand’ ideas here’s a novel idea in return: invest the money and f*cking realise it yourself.

Arrogant? I don’t know. Perhaps it is. And you know what? Since I pay for the whole damn enchilada, I get to choose what I do. Soon as someone else is footing the bill, they are in charge.

The Mess – an update

114 big

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

 

 

 

Fusion

103

One of the things I like so much in SL is experimenting with combinations. Be it throwing together roads, builds, trees etc that perhaps at first glance do not belong together or be it clothes and accessories. Or in this picture, all of the above.

In day to day life, I am a hardcore jeans wearer. I honestly think that a well-chosen pair of preferably vintage jeans should be considered classic wear. Pair these jeans with a well-made pair of shoes, a Hermes scarf, a classic turtleneck, understated makeup and there are not many establishments that will refuse you entrance.

The key really is in my not so honest opinion to go for quality and fit. And if you do not have a perfect figure anymore likes yours truly it can be nothing shy of torture to find those items. Oh, the things we do for fun… Let’s gently steer away from too many real-life musings and go back the wonderful world of Second Life where life often is so much easier.

Experimenting with combinations. It is what I am doing currently with my new build and with the outfit I choose. Shi’s new releases threw me for a loop. Usual Shi’s designs make me want to do close-ups, avant-garde style pictures that focus on one item or even a part of an item. But what is more fun than challenging yourself? And let’s be honest, who would not pair the clogs, who are inspired by traditional Japanese design, with the stunning handbag from Bauhaus Movement? Being me, the jeans had to be thrown in and the rest is as they say history.  And creativity is such a beautiful process. Setting this shot up, it became part of the sim build.

I don’t have to ramble on about quality for all designers who’s stuff you see in the picture. Pretty soon you can feast your eyes on the decor items in the picture on my sim, but I am pretty sure you all have seen these items countless of times.  But…

I would like to ask you to investigate for yourself the clogs from Shi and the handbag from Bauhaus Movement. No, you don’t have to go on a buying spree if these items are not your style, but do yourself a favor and simply go and look at them. The quality and design are really exquisite.

To help you on your way, should you decide to accept this mission (yes I am a hardcore MI fan):

.Shi – Clogs

Bauhaus Movement – April Purse

Toodles.