Saturday, July 14, 2018

The 2018 Sunbeamer Campsite

The Relay Weekend is the high point of the Relay for Life fundraiser season. A large number of sims are opened for the month and with the permanent American Cancer Society sim are made into a circular track, with a few sims to the side for activities such as boating, racing, DJ events, and more. The track sims are noted for their builds. Some are special "designer sims." But most are divided up into campsites for the various Relay teams.

Among them in North America Hope is that of the Sunbeamer team. Since their first year in 2013, the team has made a number of builds, in 2014, 2015, 2016 which won an award, and 2017. Now, once again they have a build that represents the fight against cancer and honoring those lost.

I had a few words with Cynthia Farshore, whom with Shockwave Yareach did the majority of work on the campsite, "Shocky helped with the furniture and the coffee house. Rita and Snowy the memorial garden and trees and plants." When I came over, the place was mostly done, but there was still a little to do, "I feel there are more info panels needed on a couple sections but otherwise (it's done)."

Talking about the campsite, Cynthia told me, "When time came that I was going to be the builder I had no idea what to build. How the design came about was in pieces. I just developed it with knowing that I needed to connect the different aspects of cancer fight to one point, the point I chose to be the Relay. So I went to the ACS website and looked at the different areas and came up with the doctors and nurses, transportation provided, the hospital and treatment centers, research and all came to the Relay. At this point I choose to set them in sections around a walkway and each section a mode of transportation assigned that represents the different areas of cancer fight traveling to the same goal to be united in the fight."

The entrance led to a path that led beside a brick wall, with information about cancer beside the path. "With this one you start on the ground and go up as it says the sky's the limit."

"My own thought." Cynthia spoke of this particular display panel.

The end of the path led to a wagon and car, next to a coffeehouse area.

"As we come to be united in relay there the common area is the place all merge in a union of fellowship. Coffee houses are today's general meeting places, much as the taverns were of old."

 The coffeehouse had a copy of the steampunk coffee brewer at Club Cutlass.

Behind the coffeehouse was a memorial garden, with numerous pictures of personalities whom met their end due to the disease, "Along with this we can reflect on the ones we lost in the battle against cancer."

"and sometimes you're surprised."

Sunweaver campsites have always had a pink fox statue in honor of Artistic Fimicloud, a member of the Sumweaver community and Passionate Redheads team, the precursors of the Sunbeamers, who passed away ten years ago. Clicking on the statue gets you a notecard explaining who she was.

Fimi was a good friend and renter on one of my sims for many years.  She lived in her treehouse and had it decorated with artwork, she created.  Fimi was a talented artist and had a gallery here on SL, where she sold her artwork. She also sold her art in RL, and her favorite subject was her beloved Hudson Valley. Each painting also included a hidden pink ribbon, as a reminder of her fight.

Fimi was fun to be around and always up for a good laugh or joke. She was friend to many.

She was a Breast Cancer Survivor, but it came back and the second bout had spread, and was the one that finally took her life. She is sorely missed. Before Fimi passed, over 70 of her SL friends posed for a photo and we sent it to her, so show our LOVE and that she was in our PRAYERS. It is her courage and never give up spirit that drives our team today.

WE RELAY FOR FIMI!  The Pink Fox is her avatar.

The past few campsites have had a prayer tower. Originally created by Becky "Sha" Shamen, this year had a different one by Shockwave, "Shocky changed the design a bit for this year. It spirals."

As in Becky's tower, people can name someone they wish to honor. Then the name floats upward towards Heaven.

Trotting about not far from the coffeehouse near the car was a skunk, "don't get sprayed."

At the end of the tour was the Hope Lodge, "Hope Lodge and lodging program info in here."

The "dummies" were from both Cynthia and Rita, "Even while I was at work this week, I was shopping Marketplace during lunch for the dummy avs. Rita will put out some of hers and that should be enough."

There were more information boards inside, as well as a few vendors for products. Someone had already bought one of the lights, "People are checking out the place already ... well, that's good."

There were also a couple seats next to a fireplace one could sit and chat, or just sit. I noticed the fireplace had Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs on it. Cynthia told me that was Shockwave's doing, "Looks rather old too. Shocky's so can be."

Cynthia would say, "This one was tough cause I had to make a cross-country trip right in the middle of the build time. I worked a few hours a night in motel rooms, using a laptop. I'm used to doing big camp builds on two monitors and a strong computer. (pause) Actually, two computers and four monitors, setup from DJing days. And the final night in a motel the laptop died, must of took a hit somewhere ..."

"I'm happy with how it's worked out. Oh, when I started I was nervous. But I am a bit of an artist, and have stood looking at a blank canvas a couple of times. I don't know it just comes to me. ..."

The Sunweaver campsite is at North America Hope (125/80/23).

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Interview with Silvia Ametza

By Deaflegacy

Silvia Ametza

I recently met up with Silvia Ametza, the builder of the Newser's exhibit at the Second Life Birthday. She invited me to her sim, and we met at the meeting place there. Silvia then started showing me her work. Starting with a copy of the Newser tower.

“This is (the) tower – original as intended. All works – all floors available.” said Silvia, “But due to script restrictions, floors between ground and top were closed.” We got on the elevator,. “All is automatic, like a real elevator. We planned with Bixyl to put on every level something from SL history – 15 levels – 15 years. Unfortunately, our plan was halted by script restrictions.”

My next question was, “What were your first few days on Second Life like before you become good at building.” According to Silvia , it was confusing, “I logged in and spent maybe 30 minutes in and then – logged out for a looong time.” She still had an account and after some time, just logged in without any goal – just logged in and started to explore. “Exploring was actually my first activity in Second Life,” said Silvia,

I asked Silvia Ametza where she got her first start in building. According to her, some years ago, not that long as at the beginning, Silvia didn't enter Second Life much. “I find SL fascinating with all that options available to residents – socializing, finding new friends regardless of where they are from, builds, clubs, various activities, etc and I decided I will learn how to shape prim. (smile),” replied Silvia, “You know – brick – one simple brick and you can build cathedrals with them. I do see in simple prim – simplest shape – cube as a brick. I can shape it. I can use many of them and give them some meaning. Later I learned some scripts and now, meshes.”

“I do still prefer using simple prims shaped and made from the mesh," Silvia Ametza continued to say, "It is very rewarding to see your build appreciated by people. This tower was built by two of us, Aimeelou Destiny and me. Aimee gave life to this tower, and to many builds we did together, with her elegant highly efficient scripts and as well builds. She corrected me many times what and how something should look. I do love building, showing it, and often give to people – I am very poor as (a) seller. I do prefer build for my friends and as a gift. Their happiness satisfies me a lot and it is a good pay for me.”
The next question is if Silva took school in learning how to build. “No,” she replied, “My first prim rezzed – cube – and I played with one single prim to see what can be done. Then I rezzed other default shapes like cylinders, etc and straight away, my imagination busted out – woooooow this is material I could build probably anything. So, no school, self teaching (smile)."

Silvia wanted to show me her biggest build. “It was difficult and it was done for joined sims called Cumberland City – they used this build but sadly, sims are gone now.” Before Silvia Ametza showed me her biggest build, I asked her how many times she had built for the SL Newser on the Second Life anniversary date. “Three times,” replied Silvia, “I did enjoy all of them.”

I was curious about if Silvia had any inspiration when it comes to building something. “It is various," replied Silvia, "Depends on mode or for an example, my best friend, Aimee shows me something – some pictures on Google and just says 'we can buld that.' And – we jump to work and just build, rebulid, fix. Often when I am exploring Second Life (many nice sims and builds) I get motivation there – plants, builds, vehicles, a lot of motivations and trying to check my abilities what I can do. As well – friends often ask- We would like to have this or that – is it possible for you to build something? Or in case of my friend< Gee – I see her build – gallery and have idea how to rebuild and make it better."

I asked Silva if she would continue to build for a long time. “Yes, I like building and will continue,” she replied. We then went to an exhibit by Kim. “Kim was able to accumulate to small parcel a lot of information," Silvia told me, "She even created voting stations to see what people think. In my opinion as builder, this is one of the best exhibits I have ever seen. Weather prediction and giving information on demand fast in case of some emergencies like was for example Catrina Storm in the USA requires a lot of education and deep knowledge. It is her world. Kim is now on stage in China, having the meeting with Chinese scientists, she inspires me a lot as well, she is motivating me to build something special, not just to please eyes.”

Silva went on to show me her biggest build. “Increase draw distance to – maybe 400 to see it all," she told me, "This bridge with realistic design. It has lights as well and all bridge needs.” She showed me the other side of the bridge. We went on maintenance carriage. “It goes back automatically – Aimee and me – we made this bridge together. What's more, Aimee scripted it all (smile).” Silvia then offered to show me their airship. I accepted, and she brought me to it, telling me, “Fully functional air ship with moving parts. Airship made by Aimeelou Destiny and me. Scripted by Aimee.” Unfortunately I found out a bit too late that I have forgotten to take a picture of the airship but it was amazing.

In my opinion, Silvia Ametza is a really good builder. She had built a 15-floors building for the SL Newser for the SL15B. I have gone on the building and would end up being impressed. I look forward to seeing her new buildings in the years to come.


Monday, June 25, 2018

More SL15B Exhibits

By Gemma Cleanslate

I always look for Ginger Lorakeet’s installation at the birthdays. On her parcel you can enter into the pictures and become part of them.

This year she has wonderful fantasy creatures in her pictures so I hopped right in.

Nearby is the Bay City exhibit . Bay City is also celebrating the 10th anniversary and Marianne McCann is illustrating Points of Interest in her build. I spend some time there so was glad to see this . Their events are always such fun... parades... car washes... parties .

Take a look. Pick up the city directory and booster pack, flag, postcard for your future city to the City.

I ran into Draxtor Despres  on the Bay City Bridge and we stopped to discuss the whole 15 years LOL. He was getting ready to stream the birthday into Sansar at 11:00 slt

Close to the Palace is the Great Snail Races parcel. Lovely crystal snail caught my attention. Pick up your own tiny snail that is lovely!

You can see who is involved in this Second Life fun activity that has races all over the grid .They are such fun to watch!... or join!

Caro Fayray has a bubbly Crystal Bowl here .”A Gentlemen's Club for Mer Monsters. Take the Bubble Taxi provided.  A world reversed and roles reversed. Anything is possible in virtual. This build is also an experiment in physics optimisation. See notecard” 

The bubble taxi takes you up to the club , inhabited by large wiggling sea creatures and shifting crystals. Very lovely and you actually got to take the bowl with you as a gift! Look for it.

This is the week to really get to enjoy the parcels with less lag. The parties are over...the pods are running... the gifts are waiting. Do not let this opportunity pass. Get over to Bear Island and collect those bears!! Visit the Cornfield. Enjoy the beauty of the builds! So much work for such a short period of time. I applaud all who were involved in this special time. I wonder what the 20th will bring! Start from any of the above sites and head out!

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, June 22, 2018

The RFL DSD Rabbit V2 Mod

By Deaflegacy

To help raise money for the Relay for Life, some people are making items for sale in which the money goes to charity. Among them, an avatar mod made by Astra Noctura (Silverskyranch) called the "RFL Rabbit V2." It was made for bunnies from the Dark Spot Designs avatar maker, often called DSD for short, but can fit another called PAWs, giving them a purple coat of fur.

I heard Astra was at the Farshore Field Air show. When I arrived to meet Astra when she was with some of the Relay Sunbeamer team, they were already talking about the bunny avatar for the RFL. I asked how was a "mod" different from regular avatars. I was told mods are not complete avs in themselves, but are modifications of a complete one, which must be bought separately.

"Mods kits require you to own the base avatar,"  Destiny (Dusk Griswold) told me. Kylee Gracemount nodded,  "Mine was like that." "Then you buy the mod kit made for that avatar," spoke Destiny. "In this case the Mod is custom textures Deaf," spoke Kylee,  "Others can have different parts you have to add. or replace from the original." "This was a fancier mod, in that it included a head and tail," Destiny told me.

"Where can I get the mod?" I asked, "I can use that on my existing bunny avatar." "Which brand of bunny avatar do you have?" asked Astra. I answered "AX. I have the AX brand." Bixyl Shuftan would later tell me it was short for "AnthroXtacy," an older brand from earlier days in Second Life. "Oh, the mod is only for the PAWs rabbit head, or the DSD," informed Astra, "AX is pretty old." "AX is an old one," spoke Destiny, "This av is based on a specific head that is sold." I then asked how much the DSD bunny was. "V2 is 1500," answered Snowy Sugar Blossom (Skylark Lefavre). I was surprised, thinking that was a bit steep. "Do they still sell the v1?" asked Destiny, "Likely cheaper. And still good." "Yes, the V1 is still on the Marketplace,"answered Astra. Kylee gave me the landmark to Astra's store where the mod was. We would find the DSD V1 bunny on Marketplace.

The question about clothes came up, I realizing I didn't have clothes for a mesh avatar. When asked if regular clothes would fit, "If you use the SL body, then yes," answered Astra, "The mod is made for Maitryea, but can be used on SL body or any omega-compatible one." "Some of my stuff is still SL Body.  I switch back and forth," spoke Kylee Gracemount, who was wearing the Maitreya Variant. I thought I should be able to find some outfits for bunnies at Furry Fashion, and spoke so, "I need to rez the DSD Rabbit White, and the dual pack, too." "This rabbit wasn't specifically for RFL," Astra told me, "but the color design of it was."

I was told a little of how modifying the bunny tail went. "Copied from the instructions," Kylee Gracemount was saying, "Tail - This part is a bit tricky.  There are 3 parts that need to be retextured seperately using Select Face.  The first two are pretty easy, and use the tail texture with the included Alpha. (simply called 'Tail').  Apply this to the first two faces you grab.  For the third layer, you will need to cam inside of the tail to see it.  This layer, when you click Select Face on it, you will notice has Alpha set to 'None'.  This is the one that you apply the Solid Tail texture to.  Like with the Ears, you might need to re-set the Scripts after you wear it."

There was a little trouble when someone changed out of a small Manticore avatar, but it was soon resolved. I invited Astra to be on my friends list so we could contact each other later about the article. I then gave personal reasons for wanting to do this, "I understand about losing a family member to cancer.  I lost my Uncle and Mom to cancer." "Mom had breast cancer that spread to her bones," Astra would tell me. I asked if it was okay to write about this, and was told I could.

I talked with some people about the Relay Rabbit. I asked them one question, to please tell me in their own words about the Relay Bunny. Bixyl Shuftan, the Newser editor, answered, "Well, I haven't gotten it yet, but I have a few friends who have, and they're impressed with it. It's Bento-enabled, so it's able to take advantage of those features. For those looking for a good purple bunny,  a way to support the Relay, or both, it's a good choice."

"Astra made it as a way to raise money for her team Meli's Maniacs. But to me it means much more." Snowy told me, "I want people to know I relay for a cure for cancer because I have lost so many friends and family to cancer.  My color is pink, but I proudly wear this.  My colonoscopy put a scare into me. Was a super close call. I am wearing it also to tell people I am not going down without a fight." 

When asked about the Relay Rabbit, Snowy spoke, "The creator sells them at The Happy Vixen vendor section. They are for the DSD Rabbit v2 but she has some for the DSD Rabbit v1 as well. She has a store on SL Marketplace.  I might very well be wearing this Relay Weekend as well.  I want to know the best cure for cancer is prevention.   Get tested and often. I like to see others wear the bunny in honor of those they relay for as well.  It is a symbol of hope. (smile)"

"It is an applier for the DSD Rabbit, either V1 or v2," Kylee told me, " Easy to apply if you have use DSD or Omega compatible parts.: I have a quite a few of Astra's mods. The V2 Mod I have has multiple textures you can use.  It has appliers for the Omega and the DSD parts included. I enjoy supporting Astra and The Relay itself."

"Since loosing my mother to cancer six years ago, the RFL has been something that I have been far more passionate about," Astra would tell me, " Since I began making furry avatar mods in Second Life, I have always tried to make at least 1-2 per year that was a special Purple and/or Pink Ribbon avatar mod, with all proceeds of it's sale going to RFL.  Over the past year, my modding skills have greatly improved, and I have really gotten into making various bunny mods. So this year, I felt that the perfect release would be a Purple Ribbon bunny, especially since I knew so many bunny furries in SL.  I made three different variations of it for different avatars, and so far it has been the best selling yet of my RFL mods.  I may not be able to do much in real-life to help in the fight against cancer, but this Purple Ribbon Bunny is my own way of doing what I can, however little, to help in that fight."

I do know that I will be wearing Relay Bunny this weekend to support the RFL.  That's what I will do this weekend.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Raglan Shire Art Walk Does it Again

For a Lucky 13th Round

By Klaus Bereznyak

Open to be enjoyed until June 17th, The 13th Annual Raglan Shire Art Walk serves up an impressive cross-sectional variety of artwork for all tastes sprawled and nestled across four sims: Raglan Shire, Heron Shire, Morning Shire, and Athen Shire.

This is one of the highlights of the year hosted by the Raglan Shire tinies community who just entered their 11th year together. For five weeks, their home territory is inundated with biggies, stomping all over the place, and we are grateful they continue to host this event. Somehow Artwalk Director Karmagirl Avro, and her assistants Kayak Kuu and Shadow Marlin, ensure that the work of over a hundred artists is seen to be enjoyed. It's a "walk" so take your time.

Anyone can sign up and display their work: all levels of artists may show their works, and the only thing that seems to be excluded is photographs of real-life crafts. Artists arrive early on May the 11th to grab some hedge space and set up.

The variety of styles and subjects to be seen all at once is therefore one of the most striking things about this event. Here real-life photography by SimiXiamara1 faces SL photography by Lo. Coeur.

It would be rare in this world to see digital and real photographic work side by side along with real-life watercolours and manipulated Second Life pictures. This picture shows adapted SL photography by Free Dawn Voix and fractal work by Kraven Klees.

Several tinies have contributed exhibits to the mix. This picture shows 'My Tiny Life', a series by Kitty Huang, along with a watercolor by SkyBlue Earthboy.

Visitors can wander from sim to sim through the maze of levels, travel on a slow-moving 'hedgiepillar', or use the teleport boards provided to hop to the different areas, but it's easy to miss something. Each time I have been back in the last week, I have spotted something new. Most of the art displayed is for sale at prices fixed by the artists and ranging from 5L$ up into the thousands. There's something for all tastes and income levels.

The 2D work is concentrated on the network of hedge walls on the Raglan Shire Sim. Wild animals keep an eye on things. Here, a giraffe gazes hungrily at Tea Gupte's vegetable paintings.The 3D work is found mostly in the woods and along the water in Heron Shire, where it brings a magical aspect to the landscape.

Through the trees here can be seen the glitching triangles of Gravity by Elle Thorkveld, Stillpink's (pink) Memorial Tree, and Head + Brain by Otcoc.

Further along, with their feet in the water, can be found a build by Asmita Duranjaya, housing reliefs of carved Bactrian figures, alongside Terra Merhyem's Constellation of the Shaman.

Crossing over into Morning Shire, the visitor walks a path flanked by the canvasses of Kayly Iali and works by Giovanna Cerise before it opens out into parkland with more 3D installations such as the sculptures of Alander Starostin and SkyBlue Earthboy's immersive Healing Color Temple.

More 3D spills over into Athen Shire, where the eye is greeted by kienetic light sculpture by Slatan Dryke and iSkye Silverweb's Marble Dancers and purpose-built ArtWalk 2018 ColoursTower.

With so much on offer, it would be very hard for me to pick favourites. I blew my stipend pretty quickly, favouring affordable work by artists who were new to me and perhaps not seen every day on the grid. Filtered SL photography is probably represented more than any other approaches. However, close to where I first landed, I am glad I did not miss the portrait treatments by Caissa Amat.

The 13th Raglan Shire Art Walk is open until 17th June.


Raglan Shire Art Area #1 -
Raglan Shire Art Area #2  -
Heron Shire Sculptures -
Morning Shire Sculptures -
Raglan Shire Art Area #4 -
Athen Shire Sculptures -
Raglan Tree Art Gallery -

Klaus Bereznyak

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Philosophy of Furniture

By Gemma Cleanslate

I found a gem at the LEA 18 for you to visit. It is called The Philosophy of Furniture, and is based on an essay by Edgar Allen Poe written in 1840. Poe is well known for several of his novels and of course his poems. ‘The Ravens” is one that most people have had contact with around the world in one form or another. Since Poe relied on his writings for income, he did many essays and articles for varied magazines over his too short life. . Evidently Poe was very critical of America’s decor in homes, and possibly the homes themselves.  He wrote with a certain disdain of them. Actually as you go through the entire essay there is criticism of almost every decor in many lands.

When you arrive in the region at the entrance there are posts that will link you to the essay itself and to a analysis of the essay. Or if you would like to listen to it there is an audio for you .A large events board is set up for coming events.As you look around in the distance there are many homes with posters behind them . Now you can teleport to a house and begin your tour there or just start walking.

At the entrance of each house  is an easel that holds a pithy saying about the particular home you are entering and its interior.

Each home is meticulously adorned with furniture of the day mid 1800‘s. It is fun to read the description then view the room. I walked most of the sim entering each home and chuckling at the posters.

I took a walk on the roadways and came across a  penny-farthing bicycle with a large front wheel of the time. Then I took a ride around the sim. It is easy to maneuver so don’t miss that thrill. The ravens fly and caw throughout the sim  listen to their call.

This wonderful exhibit was put together by three Second Life artists, Daark Gothly, Mazie Halpern, and Cienega Soon. The opening was at a ball of the 1800‘s held on May 19th and I am sorry I missed it. It is an amazing installation when one considers the essay on which it is based. It took an abundance of decorations from all over the world that would fit the essay. I applaud all the work here and really enjoyed my visit. Don’t miss it.

 If you are a poet or in one of the poetry groups and would like to bring your poetry to the sim check out the poetry corner information at the entrance too. It seemed to me that Poe was being satirical at times in the essay. But I am not that familiar with many of his essays, so perhaps that is just me.  It might be fun for you to listen to the audio reading of the essay as you explore the homes. 

.Take a look at the stages as you pass by. I believe one is the poetry corner, on the main party stage and the other I am not sure. I will be going back for more visits to check out more .This exhibit will be here until June 29. Daark has been having internet issues, but said to watch the events board at the end of the first week of June for events.  Here you go!

Gemma Cleanslate