20 Personal SL Questions Meme: Portent Or Tedium?

1 Labrynth Library

Here she goes again; Ms Berry loves to get us to bare our souls. Sometimes it is a bit daunting to share what might be personal information. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but I have come to see this as a challenge to confront my fears and open up a bit more than I would normally.

She has enlisted a mystery consultant to come up with a list of 20 questions to get us to open up. Some were easy, some were a bit more tricky but all were thought-provoking.

Here is what she has asked us to do:

Meme instructions: Answer the following 20 personal questions about your Second Life. Don’t forget to share a link to your post in the comments (of this post)!

I’m just going to look into my crystal ball and see what I can discover…

1. When and how did you discover Second Life? – My ex-husband introduced me to Second Life back in 2007, I think. I’m not too sure about the year and I didn’t join until late in 2008 but he had a couple of avatars and showed me a bit of SL.

2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? – Yes, I came to Second Life after being in another virtual world for a couple of years.

3. Has Second Life met your expectations? – When I first joined Second Life I’m not sure what expectations I had. It was a way to socialise and have a bit of fun. The developments over the past five plus years are beyond what I ever imagined, so I guess they have exceeded my expectations.

4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? – Read ALL of the information so you can get off this bloody island! It took me several attempts over a period of about three months to be able to get out into the world. Thankfully, a friend had joined and tp’d me away or I might never have started my Second Life journey.

5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? – I didn’t do too badly with flying, although I didn’t realise I could use the Page Down button to gracefully land for a couple of years, so I always came crashing down to land. Driving vehicles? Is it even possible to master THAT?

6. Do you have a mystery alt? – Maaayyyyyybeeee 😛 lol I have a couple of alts that I don’t publicise and are actually rather dusty, but there are people in world who know they are me.

7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? – Peep is definitely who I would like to be. Her personality is me, but her look and fashion sense are totally different.

8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? – More than one. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? – In some ways it is easier to connect with someone in a virtual space since you don’t have the physical attraction factor involved. I met my ex-husband online (although not in Second Life) so I know that those strong bonds are possible. He told me on numerous occasions after we met that if we had been at a dinner party or club he probably wouldn’t have given me a second look. Yet because we had connected on an emotional level before meeting physically we had a base to work from and build our relationship.

10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? – Considering my previous answer, of course I do.

11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – In Second Life, an actual date is less stressful. It is easier to dress and experience anything you want. You can have a quiet, private date or go clubbing, horseback riding, climb the Eiffel Tower, fly an airplane, sail the Blake Sea…the possibilities are endless. In real life there are so many restraints for the average person. But cuddling an avatar and worrying about adjusting poseballs so that arms aren’t poking through chests (and other things poking where they don’t belong 😉 ) are definite drawbacks to dating in Second Life.

12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – I can’t say that it has. I’ve always worked in Second Life but never made a living at it. I admire those people with the talent to do so.

13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. – Friends, music and always wishing I could be a bit better at whatever I do.

14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) – If it meant I lived on an island, got to buy most things I want and share what I do with others as I do on this blog I would be all for it.

15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? – While the first inclination might be that people can bully from behind the keyboard I think the real and important difference is that it allows quiet, shy people to blossom. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the wallflower open up and become the charming, engaging belle that was just looking for the opportunity to shine.

16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? – I am not a huge consumer in real life. I am not a clothes horse or a shoe collector. My one weakness is electronics, but even then I am usually a step or two behind the current “best.” I think Second Life has allowed me to be cutting edge without breaking the Real Life bank. I have always been a bit of a bargain shopper in Real Life and that has carried over into SL. That is why I love shopping events so much (like Serafilms); I can keep current without having to pinch a penny until it screams.

17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? – If it weren’t for virtuality, I would surely still be living in the US and would probably never have had relationships (romantic or friendly) with anyone from overseas. I have met more than one person I have met online and even moved to Australia because of the the relationships I developed online. These weren’t through Second Life directly, but it is just one such vehicle for expanding my experience of the wonderful people all over the world.

18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? – I think that emotion can be expressed through words, through pictures and through music. However, if I had the ability to share my happiness, my joy, even my frustration and fears directly it would definitely enhance the experience. Or maybe it would just be too scary…I can be fierce when I get angry and even more fierce when I love.

19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. – Photoshop, photography and being social.

20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? – I would hope they would be intrigued and proud, but they would probably be a bit shocked that Nana could be so cool 😉

I don’t think I divined anything earth-shattering or shocking. I hope it wasn’t boring. But I do think I gave a bit more of a glimpse of the woman behind the blog.

Pretty stuff I’m showing off:

*Dress: ~The Library~ Sarah Dress S-Green by DreamFantasia Nightfire (available at Serafilms May 2014)
*Crown: Frogstar – #14 Sarah’s Homemade Crown (Gold) by Ravenna Rossini (gacha prize at Serafilms May 2014)
*Necklace: Cae :: Labyrinth :: Necklace (Short) by Caelan Hancroft (available at Serafilms May 2014)
*Earrings: Cae :: Labyrinth :: Earrings by Caelan Hancroft (available at Serafilms May 2014)
Shoes: fri.day – fri. – Lizzie.Slippers (Antique) by Darling Monday
Hair: *ARGRACE* KOTO – True Red by rika Oyen
*Nails: {Wicked} Peach -Goblin King Nail Appliers by Autumn Amaranth (available at Serafilms May 2014)
Skin: [PXL] Creations [PXL] JADE NAT Terre MEB C2 (FR) by Hart Larsson
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Hand appliers:[PXL] Creations – [ PXL ] Slink Hand Appliers NAT by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Plants and trees by *Happy Mood*

*Pose: .mien. [ only forever ] 05 – mirror by Connie Stratten (available at Serafilms May 2014)

Project EveryBody Blogger Challenge #2: Raw Evil

1 Raw

Honestly, I thought this challenge would be a breeze. Pop into Second Life, take a quick photo and write the post. No PhotoShop, no PicMonkey, no liquifying, dodging & burning, layers, painting or cloning. Simply one happy snap and BOOM! Instant blog post.

How wrong could I have been. Over four hours later, I finally have the picture. I didn’t even crop it; all I did was resize it so it wouldn’t take forever to load. Why would I put myself through such an ordeal? Because I am following through on keeping up with the Project EveryBody blogger Challenge. And this one is a doozy!

Take an SL picture of your avatar and don’t edit it. You can crop it, but other than that rely only on a natural, realistic WL and your own beautiful, unique avatar to tell a beautiful story. A raw story told with a raw photograph.

That’s it. Nothing but a raw shot to tell a story.

Actually, I kind of forgot about the second part of the challenge – letting the picture tell the tale. Looking at it, you see me in a trench coat. ZZZZZZZZZ. Not very exciting, I know. But there IS a story behind the photo, and yes, I’m going to tell it.

Taking a photo in Second Life that shows the avatar and the products (skin, hair, clothes, jewelry, etc.) in its best light is a real challenge. I originally had on a halter top that I loved. But one of the biggest issues with photographing SL avatars is that it produces squared-off shoulders, knobby elbows and knees and angular planes on the face. This normally isn’t an issue; I just use the Liquify filter in PhotoShop (or Nip Tuck in PicMonkey) to soften and round those out. But with a raw shot, those are not only exposed, but to my eye, exaggerated. So, back into my closet I ran, trying to find something that hid those pesky bits. I had recently bought a beautiful sweater, but pose after pose, a tiny bit of my neck showed through. That is normally something I wouldn’t worry about; one or two clicks with my clone stamp and it’s covered. Argggghhhh! It took me about ten minutes to remember I couldn’t do that! So once again I delved deeper into the recesses of my closet and pulled out a lovely long-sleeved dress. However, no matter what pose I tried, the elbows looked like they had been cut with pinking shears, which just wouldn’t do.

Finally, I settled on this coat. I have had it for a few months, but had never used it in a photo. I eventually found a pose I liked, but after taking a test shot I realised that the belt was poking through my hand. Only slightly, and something that ordinarily I could fix easily, but since this was a raw shot, I had to either change my clothes again or switch poses. Since I was getting a bit frustrated with my bulging wardrobe, I changed the pose. All good and ready to shoot!

But then came the Windlight dilemma. I ordinarily take a lot of different photos using different Windlight settings and then pick my favourite as a base to process. This often leaves uneven shadows or alpha halos that don’t look good raw, but can be remedied with a few steps. Dozens and dozens of WL settings later, I was about to give up. It didn’t help that my net kept crashing and I had to keep rebooting my modem and eventually swap it out for a different one to stay logged in. I had gone through my standard repertoire of light settings and I had only taken three shots, which I didn’t like. Frustration was at its peak.

I use the Firestorm viewer, which has literally hundreds of Windlight settings pre-loaded. Most of the time I actually think there are too many, making it slow to navigate to the section I want. But since my go-to settings weren’t working, I decided to try the PhotoTools series. I cycled through a few until I came to the PhotoTools – Me Love Light. And I did love it. By tweaking the time of day and east angle I came up with a light that was soft on my face, gave a bit of highlight to my hair and a beautiful glow to the leather of the coat. I sighed happily and clicked the shutter. I was done.

I have to say that I couldn’t have done this without my LUMIPro HUD . By using the lighting system I was able to enhance the Windlight, giving more definition to my face and hair. Without it I would have been forced to use a studio light which wouldn’t allow me to select such a dramatic light setting. There is depth to this photo that is thanks to my LUMIPro.

Is this photo perfect? Nope. Am I dying to liquify and smudge around my nose and jawline? You betcha. Am I aching to dodge and burn the highlights and shadows? Absolutely. But I learned something with this exercise. It made me rethink so many things I normally take for granted when shooting a fashion shot: what I am wearing, how the pose affects the clothing, how important it is to look for those tiny flaws in the shot. It made me carefully check my camera and lighting angles. Heck, it even made me toss out about 300 items in my inventory that I came across while I was searching for the perfect outfit! It was a valuable lesson, and I will remember them when I go back to shooting pictures, even knowing I will be doing post-processing.

But…this challenge is still raw evil!

Pretty stuff I’m showing off:

Jacket: erratic / chloe – trenchcoat / chocolate by Erratic Rain
Earrings: Cae :: Promise :: Earring by Caelan Hancroft
Ring: Cae :: Promise :: Ring by Caelan Hancroft
Hair: ^;^CaTwA^;^ Sandy V2 Hair by Catwa Clip
*Nail appliers: {Wicked Peach} – Nails – Starlight by Autumn Amaranth (available at The Theme Park May 2014)
Skin: [PXL] Creations [PXL] JADE NAT Terre MEB C2 (FR) by Hart Larsson
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Hand appliers:[PXL] Creations – [ PXL ] Slink Hand Appliers NAT by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Pose: oOo Studios oOo elizabeta_five by Olaenka Chesnokov

Photo taken using the LumiPro HUD

The Colour Meme: Yellow, Pink & The Dreaded Teal

1 Berry's Colour Meme

I seem to be doing a lot of blog challenges lately. It’s not that I can’t come up with my own ideas, although it does make it easier to have a ready-made theme. The reason I like challenges is that it brings me together with other bloggers. It gives me a sense of camaraderie with what is a largely solitary hobby. I know a lot of bloggers tend to keep to themselves, myself included. This gives me an opportunity to mix and mingle indirectly.

I am running behind on getting the Monday Meme done, but I try not to miss it. This week is a fun and simple concept: blog about our favourite colour or colour combination. Here is the skinny on what to do:

Meme instructions: Blog a picture of your favorite color or a variety of colors that you like. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments (of this post) and share your picture in the Blog Memes Flickr Group.

My favourite colour combination is yellow, pink and teal (don’t hate me, Berry, but I couldn’t cheat and leave out the teal!). It is a very happy combo and I always feel quite chipper and springy when I wear it. You will find this combination throughout my home, as well.

I actually would have preferred a softer shade of yellow, but I vowed to stick to what I had in my inventory. I have a ton of yellow clothing items, but finding something to work with the top presented a challenge in its own right. All in all, though, I was pleased with the final result.

Maybe it has something to do with being in Australia; I’m going to blame Mr Jefferson for influencing my choice 😉

Pretty stuff I’m showing off:

Top: …Mutresse… Jana Cardigan by Eeky Cioc
Shorts: ur.favorite.one – ::{u.f.o}::give it to me – lemon by charming Meiler
Shoes: ::HH:: Hucci Talasea Sandal – 21 Shoe by Eboni Khan (colour NLA)
Necklace: (Magpie*) Cassana Necklace Silver/Pink by Mag Tennen
Earrings: (Magpie*) Cassana Earrings Silver/Pink by Mag Tennen
Hair: *ARGRACE* SHIORI – True Red [B] (upper part) by rika Oyen (New release)
Skin: [PXL] Creations [PXL] JADE NAT PetalPink MEB C2 (FR) by Hart Larsson
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Feet: Slink Mesh Feet (Av) High by Siddean Munro
Hand & Feet appliers:[PXL] Creations – [ PXL ] Slink Hand & Feet Appliers NAT by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Pose: ..::Vibe::.. – Free Spirit 09_mirror by Journey Lorakeet