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 Points of View

150

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.

Cliffs

Cliffs

(raw in-world shot, only resized)

Alex Bader, owner, and designer of Studio Skye is spoiling us with a brand new set of cliffs. I had the good fortune to be given a few to toy around with and oh boy.

Let’s ignore my status as a noob when it comes to working with items like this and focus on the important stuff.

The cliffs are shaped more angular,  yet completely natural, something that yours truly loves. They have sharp, bold, fierce shapes that almost without effort mesh together. I think that the possibilities to create soring cliff-scapes (is that even a word?) will be really almost endless. Due to their form, and the way you can easily match them with other cliffs and rocks from Studio Skye, your own fantasy will be the limit.

They will not only serve those who love to create life-like landscapes but also those who build fantasy worlds will be pleasantly surprised I think.

I can imagine you looking at the picture above and think ‘yeah right, ramble on toots, that doesn’t look impressive at all’ and you would be right. It does not. The set up I made is suitable for my build, and as always I have spent more time licking textures then trying to create a landscape.

The back of the bigger sized cliffs are flat, and there are a few cliff tops that are flat. This makes them not only perfect to cover up coastal area’s or use as ground cover, but they can easily be used to make your own sim-surround. For those who are in the homestead rental business, I can only imagine these puppies are a welcome new addition to create parcel borders.

I can not say much yet about the final land impact but so far it looks like this release will be a winner in that department too.

The textures are amazing. I often say that about textures but let’s be honest. In the wonderful world that is SL, textures are extremely important. Sadly there are still tons of new releases coming out with overstretched and generally badly made textures. But I digress.

Textures. They are bloody awesome. They hold up under the harshest light I could throw at them. I am very chuffed with the coloring as well.

Any and all other information and news on when and where they will be released, please check out Alex Bader’s Flickr page.  If you wish to see the prototypes in all their glory in-world hop over to Neist Point.

Toodles.