Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What a year!


April 15, 2007, Lan and I swore our vows amongst family and friends. A year! Still amazes me. So many things have happened and changed since then. We've accomplished so much and yet there are many things yet to do. We have had quite the rollercoaster ride but through it all we are still together, a couple, a team. We've enjoyed such joys, like when we 'adopted' our SL bevy of children. We've suffered loss when we had to remove our association from one of them. We've enjoyed great friends. And we've mourned the loss of some friendships and ties. But all in all we are still the Lan and Olivia team.

It's funny. SL kinda speeds up time. A month in SL is like I dunno, 6 months it seems. Part of the phenomenon I think is the fact somethings are instantaneous. Look at how travel works in SL. You can teleport anywhere at anytime. And it's free. No saving for airfare. No planning trip wardrobe. It's 'Let's go' and boom you are there. So yeah what I'm saying is it feels more like 5-6 yrs together instead of one. And for my little brother Arcadian, I mean that in a good way! *chuckles*

Love ya Lan honey! Thanks for your love and patience, but most of all for the wonderful ride so far!! Oh honey, by the way, I need to do somemore shopping *pats him down for his wallet*

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I LOVE my new studio!

I must admit initially I didn't understand all the hoopla over photo studios and their benefits. And I certainly couldn't understand spending so many lindens on such a device. I mean some fo these things go for upwards of $L5000. Do you realize how many hairs, dresses, or even textures (mmmm textures) that could buy? I mean to spend that for something SL already provides and so many beautiful backdrops from so many sims? Well I broke down and found a studio for $L300 and thought "Eh why not? Think of it as a gadget test." And besides they offered a trade in for when an update was completed. It was a bit clunky to use and it took 41 prim. But it was a bit cool. Went at one point to take the update, but I couldn't get it to work and never could get the creator to respond to messages I left so I chalked it up to a learning experience.

Well time went by and I shutterbugged my way around SL. But sometimes my pictures looked flat or just not 'sparky'. I never gave a studio much thought until I took a class to learn how to make textures, and in process learned a bit on how to work with photos and image manipulaton software, like adobe photoshop pro, GIMP and the like. Well the studio bug hit again for the ability to enhance the base picture in order to manipulate it further.

About 2 weeks ago or so, I was discussing with my SL husband my new 'itch' for a studio and he was so sweet and while I was using SL's search engine, he was using SLexchange, aka slex in our house, to give me some ideas where to go. At almost the same time we found one called SERENADE Photo Studio. Well I went to look at the store in world. Let me just say I was quite impressed. The pose stand was separate purchase but even together, their price was well under some of the other high end makers and did you notice that 13 prim? Oh let me add that the pose stand is 4 prim. So overall it's 17 prim. Prim are almost as tasty as textures and I value every one of mine. I hate to have something of 80+ prim taking up decorating prim or prim available for me to build. I was sold. I even bought a couple of background packs of some great shots around SL to save on 'gas' getting there. Ok fine, cause I wanted to try this baby out and all it's cool stuff, and it was a lame attempt to be funny, but I digress.

I have to say as far as gadgets or tools, it is one of the easiest, coolest ones I've used yet. The options are customizable for the shot and the HUD's make short work of setting up. Instructions are clear and concise and we were taking pictures almost immediately.

This was well worth the investment even if I was once a 'smirker' at the idea of such an item.

PS... It appears the creator of SERENADE has moved his listings to OnRez if you wish to browse his items on the web.

And since I am such a shortcut taker, let me paste here what it advertises its features to be:


Designed from the beginning for Windlight!
Studio and HUD are COPY/MODIFY.
Automatic, FREE UPDATES for life!
Photograph your subject alone or in GROUPS!
6 Lights for total lighting control.
12 Lighting Presets for inspiration.
Fog, Steam, Rain, Snow, and Bubbles particle effects.
7 Backgrounds Included, add your own.
Separate colors for the Background, Ceiling, and Floor.
Full featured HUD doubles as a status indicator.
Transfer version of the HUD for friends included.
Communication channels are notecard configurable,
Major functions accessible via chat commands.
Only 13 prims.

Found one of my all-time-favorite designer's blogs today!

If you have never been to Nicky Ree's then let me just say you are missing some fabulous designs. I had the honor of meeting her, now on several occasions, and she is just the nicest and most talented clothing designers I have had the pleasure of meeting. And out of the blue I have found her blog. I never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the box ya'know. I will try to attach the link as a link this time. I believe the last time I mentioned a blog here, aka my wovwy widdle brudder's to be exact, blogspot thought perhaps I was spamming.

Nicky Ree is also very involved during Relay for Life and this year I was fortunate enough that my sweet darling SL husband helped me obtain one of her limited edition 'Mara' dresses. It is absolutely lovely, as are all my pieces from her different lines. Her custom textures are fabulous and her clothing templates are some of the best, bar none.

When I went to her blog today, I noticed that once again, her design elements and textures have been illegally swiped, AGAIN. By the same person! All the more reason NOT to patronize the works of Annejoy Paine of aDiva. And to be honest what I have seen of this artist, wait she is not an artist, no, of this thief's work, it is clearly cut rate in comparison to Nicky's. Why wear something that is clearly a copy? Some would say cost, but honestly, even with some of Nicky's complete collections, which give you sometimes 6-8 different ways to wear something, you are looking at about $L1600? or the equivalent of $7 usd? Remember this is for a collection. Why buy something substandard or a copycat version (which when translated to SL looks like a Megalomart rip off) when the original is so much nicer? And when the original designer is so customer service oriented and gives so much to charities like Relay for Life, I say support the original! Sometimes in real life we have to go for the bargain, but why cheat your second life? Double jeers to aDiva for lack of originality and blatant theft. (And where is Linden Labs during all this? Nicky has now filed 2 DMCA's through all this. What is up with that? I guess another rant for another time.)

Ok so maybe this was a rave turned to rant but I really can't say enough on Nicky Ree. She is truly an amazing lady, a savvy business woman and a great designer. And I say bravo to her and all her works.