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Archive for December, 2008

Responding to M

In case you can’t find it, buried away on the Forums, this was a response to M.Linden’s New Year blog piece that Saffia posted to the Forums (it’s on Page 10):

Current Issue

Prim Perfect: Current Issue

Because of Prim Perfect (homes and gardens magazine – I’m the editor) and Meta Makeover (SLCN TV programme – I’m the producer and, for my sins, the presenter), I get to see a lot of cool places – so many that it’s hard for me to pick a few, without seeming to ignore others.

Poppet, much earlier, mentioned Wunderbar.  I was out there yesterday, trying out the skiing (she’s been advised by Alpinists on its creation, and it’s a lot of fun).  I also swung by the Princeton Voids (the Quiet, Dyna Fleur and Liquid Light were still up), on the grounds that it was the last chance to see them before they’re gone as part of the Open Space debacle.  It seems to sum up the positive and negative of Second Life at the end of the year: Creativity – and co-operation.  And loss.

One of the things that does worry me – and that hasn’t been commented on much is the decline of the ‘print’ media in Second Life.  It may seem ironic when there are dozens of blogs out there to speak of a decline … but the fact is that these are largely individual voices.

Meta Makeover

Meta Makeover

I believe there should be the possibility of a serious, engaged and active ‘print’ media in the Metaverse.  Instead we are seeing real life media companies withdraw their support and their inworld presence.  Ironically, although I’m running a lifestyle magazine, we are finding ourselves developing the serious commentary (such as input on IP issues and the Content Creators Association) more and more to ensure it gets a voice out there.

Initiatives like Mal Burns and Tara Yates’ Metaverse Week in Review show what can be done by independents and SLCN maintain steady support through programmes such as Metanomics.  So the internal visual media is good – although it would be nice to see awareness of it growing in 2009.  And it would be good to see more use being made of the Second Life Media Consortium.  Very nice to be asked to join that – and there was an interesting Press Conference on the Linden Prize.  Since then … nothing.  Not even a bar where hacks can meet and (virtually) drink.

The Primgraph

The Primgraph

The thing that, of course, continues to impress is the people.  One of the highlights of the year was the Grand Tour of vintage and steampunk sims organised by Fogwoman Gray in a deliberate attempt to show solidarity in communities badly hit (as who wasn’t?) by the Open Space.  A series of events and parties in seventeen different locations over two days, it showed the creativity of places and people.

Another event I enjoyed – although I know that, on a wider scale, it had its problems, was SL5B, where the Prim Perfect and Meta Makeover teams had two gorgeous exhibition halls.  Jeremey Ryan of Barefoot Designs and Dellybean North of True North Designs put together a GREAT build for us, with Kittie Munroe of Kitstar Designs doing sterling work on the graphics and interiors.  Then there was the cafe, complete with Maar Auer dances – that amazing Charleston!  For two weeks, it was a very cool place to be, complete with a TARDIS on the front patio (and we had M Linden visit too).

So … in 2009?
My wishlist:

Prim Perfect

Prim Perfect

Not too late to salvage something from the Open Space debacle.  January increases will happen.  But something needs to be done about July.  And that doesn’t mean just picking off the most vociferous communities and setting individual deals.  The quiet sim owners, the small businesses, the small nonprofits – their goodwill is probably easier to attain – and their disillusionment, in the end, more dangerous to the longterm health of Second Life.

Even the large, prestigious  organisations have taken a hit.  Princeton didn’t make a large fuss, didn’t scream and shout, but quietly packed up its voids and retired them.  If one of the primary goals is education, this is worrying.

Stability – yes, I’ll tick that box.  Communication – that one too.

And perhaps being less bleeding edge with the viewers.  Come on, guys – you want to be in the business of pushing Second Life, not flogging hardware by default – i.e. making it essential for your poor users to have to upgrade their computers every six months just to see what’s in front of their faces!  I cling doggedly to my Nicholaz viewer – it may no longer show me all the pretties, but it shows me enough, and my one year old machine can handle it.

Premium accounts.  I’d LOVE to see my Premium account being about something more than buying me mainland that I a) don’t want and b) can’t afford.  Well, I suppose it gives me $300 Linden a week and, more importantly, support.

Media.  A serious, viable SL magazine that draws together the best and most challenging writers – and heaven knows there’s a lot of them.  One that can set up a real world presence as well as an inworld one.  One that can critique in a diversity of voices.  Is that impossible?

Let’s see what 2009 brings.

(Hopefully a couple of bears for this marathon piece!)

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Saffia in Seasonal Dorothea

Saffia in Seasonal Dorothea

You could say that Saffia Widdershins and Neferia Abel (of Ivalde) believe in saving the best till last – for the gown that Saffia wore for the final show of the season – our seasonal visit to Caledon – was quite spectacular, in a series of shows that have already seen some spectacular outfits!

As soon as I knew what this show would be,” says Saffia, “I talked to Nerferia and asked if it would be possible to have a Victorian gown in seasonal colours.”

More than that – Saffia had a gown in mind.

Saffia in Seasonal Dorothea

Saffia in Seasonal Dorothea

“I wore the Dorothea gown in an earlier episode, when we visited the Victorian home belonging to Bracken Back and Samaria Arai,” Saffia explains.  “That was in blue, and it was lovely and elegant.  There’s an olive green version of the dress too which is delightful, but not very festive.”

So Saffia asked Nferia if she could make a festive version of the gown – and Neferai delivered this lovely version is red reds and greens – perfect for a show in the snow in Caledon!

Saffia in Seasonal Dorothea

Saffia in Seasonal Dorothea

“I love this because it’s elegant and festive at the same time,” says Saffia.  “And it’s festive not just in the colours, but in little details too.  For example, the flower in the boduce has become a very appropriate Christmas poinsetta, while the fastenings on the skirt are now little spigs of holly!  It’s that sort of attention to detail that makes me love Nerferia’s clothes so much!”

In addition to the Dorothea dress, Saffia wore accessories from ~Ztique~.

Saffia in ~Ztique~s All Wrapped Up hat and jewel set

Saffia in ~Ztique~'s All Wrapped Up hat and jewel set

“Zasa has produced a lovely Christmas set,” says Saffia.  “There’s adorable shoes – although, under a Victorian dress, you only get the merest glimpses of them!  But there’s a gorgeous hat the slips perfectly over my hair, soft warm red velvet with the softest of black fur trims*, and then Zasa has amde a jewellery set to go with it, a poinsetta neckklace and ear-rings that match the stupendous hatpin, and the buckles on the shoes.”

All in all, it made for a spectacular outfit to bring our second season to a close!

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* No animals were harmed in the making of this hat.

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Summer Gildeas Home in Caledon

Summer Gildea's Home in Caledon

The latest episode of Meta Makeover is now available on the Meta Makeover website at SLCN – and can also be downloaded free of charge from iTunes.

In this show we visited the gorgeous Victorian sim of Caledon Cay, to see how Caledon celebrates Christmas.

Join us as we visit Miss Summer Gildea’s beautiful home and see how she has decorated her dining room and living room for Christmas in rich Victorian style – and even learn a few tricks and tips for saving prims!

Dining Room in Summer Gildeas home

Dining Room in Summer Gildea's home

Then, after the break, Elrik Merlin and Saffia Widdershins join a group of Caledonians to sing some traditional carols.

At least, Elrik sings … But why not Saffia?

“I think my production team, realise my limitations,” answers Saffia, with a laugh.  “When I saw the order of singing, I realised they had very tactfully left me off – they have clearly heard my caterwauling before!”

Living room in Summer Gildeas home

Living room in Summer Gildea's home

There’s also a chance to see the full Prim Perfect production crew in front of the camera for once: Darleez de Cuir, Matelisse Criss and Davon Westland.  See if you can spot them all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would you like your home to feature on Meta Makeover? Send an email to us at metamakeover@gmail.com with three or four pictures of your home attached, and stating your reasons why you would like a makeover. Every two weeks, we shall select one lucky owner from our postbag and invite them to be our next Meta Makeover.

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Ingebjorg by Ivalde

Ingebjorg by Ivalde

In the last Meta Makeover, Saffia wore a rather special outfit (as she told viewers during the show).

It was, as usual, produced by Neferia Abel of Ivalde, but this time it was actually a freebie.  The Ingebjorg is rather special as it’s a bunad, a traditional Norwegian costume, typically of rural origin.  The designs are typically elaborate, with embroidery, scarves, shawls and hand-made silver or gold jewellery. There are bunads both for men and women, although women’s bunads are more diverse and popular.  The interest in bunads dates back to Norwegian romantic nationalism and gained increasing interest with the folk-dance movement at the beginning of the 20th century.

“I loved the idea of wearing a traditional folk costume in this programme,” says Saffia, “as it was a rather special show with children, toys and Santa Claus!  A costume from a country close to the Arctic Circle seemed very appropriate.  And it is also stunning pretty, showing the detail that Neferia puts even into freebies!”

But the costume is also a prize as part of a very special, grid-wide Treasure Hunt called Peace on Earth, organised by Sequoia Nightfire, Beulah Mills and Eileen Villiers, three of Ivalde’s models, and Katlene Niven from Mode Rage.  There are over  400 stores taking part in the Hunt, all offering free gifts – if you can find the globes.  You can find out more by going to http://gridwidehunt.blogspot.com/ – and have a happy, peaceful hunt!

Gigi by ~Ztique~

Gigi by ~Ztique~

Saffia’s shoes were also rather striking – coming from the new store belonging to Zasa Rossini – ~Ztique~.  The many fans of Zasa’s furniture who were saddened when she gave up La Belle Vie are delighted that she is now back and producing some of the prettiest and most girly shoes on the grid.

Jori Boots by ~Ztique~

Jori Boots by ~Ztique~

“I’m wearing Gigi on the programme,” says Saffia.  “So sweet with the lace trimming and the little sparkly Eiffel Tower on the heel!  But just as we went on air, Zasa sent me her newest creation – the gorgeous Jori booots in softest suede.  I didn’t have chance to try them on, sadly – but look how perfectly they would have gone with the outfit too!”

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Would you like your home to feature on Meta Makeover? Send an email to us at metamakeover@gmail.com with three or four pictures of your home attached, and stating your reasons why you would like a makeover. Every two weeks, we shall select one lucky owner from our postbag and invite them to be our next Meta Makeover.

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Christmas Decorations on Tonight Live

Christmas Decorations on Tonight Live

Saffia appeared on the SLCN show Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe, talking about Christmas decorations – and there were many on display on the stage!  People asked for locations – and Saffia promised to put them on the blog.

So here they are!

Dinky World
Dancing reindeer, flying Santa’s etc: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dinky%20World/110/155/25

Winterland Classic Christmas:
Wonderful Christmas movies, old cafes and a great shovel ride: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Winterland%20Classic%20Christmas/123/187/33

Sand snowman & snowoman from Winterland Classic Christmas
Decorated Cactus: Winterland Classic Christmas

Alternative Christmas Decorations on Tonight Live

Alternative Christmas Decorations on Tonight Live

Decorated palm tree by Soliel Snook: Snook’s Garden Centre: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Giggleford/166/211/23

Modern Particle Christmas tree: from Klyk Klees’ Basic Elements: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eastfield/158/75/21

Traditional tree – from a range at KX Designs by Keith Extraordinaire: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Serenite/150/230/33

Garlands from Lunata Lupino at Lunata Lupino Design at Darkwood Gardens: http://slurl.com/secondlife/DarkWood/212/150/0

Sleigh by Omicron Llewellyn from Snook’s Garden Centre: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Giggleford/166/211/23

Unicorn globe (on the coffee table) by Dellybean North at True North Designs: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Goun/186/62/37

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We take Toys for Tots literally ... or virtually

We take Toys for Tots literally ... or virtually

The latest episode of Meta Makeover is now available on the Meta Makeover website at SLCN – and can also be downloaded free of charge from iTunes.

The show is all about toys – and we filled our exhibition hall with toys especially for the occasion.  Plus there was a huge Christmas tree outside with presents for all the good boys and girls that come to the show.  And we even had Santa to find out if our young guests had been naughty or nice through the year!

There was a candy stick for every kid attending the show to suck during the first half – and they were incredibly well behaved!  In the second half, they joined Saffia as she explored and tested some of the toys arranged around the exhibition hall – and tried very hard not to trample any of the children!

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots

But there was a serious purpose to the show too; we looked at the charity Toys for Tots, a charity set up by US marines to ensure that poor and needy children receive toys for Christmas.

We talked to Xandi Mars and Random Cole about the charity – and about the very special Winterland Classic sim that they create every year which raises money for Toys for Tots and UNICEF.

Winterland Classic

Winterland Classic

This wonderful build pays tribute to Christmas classics such as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life!’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ – and offers lots of seasonal activities.  And you’ll be able to read more about it in the Christmas issue of Prim Perfect (published shortly) where Winterland will be Landscape of the Month.

And we’ll also talked to Ceeara Dreamscape of Kids’ Kingdom, who told us all about the fun of being an SL Kid, and about her own sim which is specially created to provide fun for child-orientated activities and family days out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would you like your home to feature on Meta Makeover? Send an email to us at metamakeover@gmail.com with three or four pictures of your home attached, and stating your reasons why you would like a makeover. Every two weeks, we shall select one lucky owner from our postbag and invite them to be our next Meta Makeover.

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Our Christmas tree at Meta Makeover

Our Christmas tree at Meta Makeover

SL Kids are invited to today’s Meta Makeover!

That’s right – we’re filming a rather special Meta Makeover show today, Tuesday 9th December in our Northpoint studio – at 2pm SLT.

The show is all about toys – and we have filled our exhibition hall with toys especially for the occasion.  Plus there’s a huge Christmas tree outside with presents for all the good boys and girls that come to the show.  And we even have Santa to find out if you have been naughty or nice through the year!

There’ll be a candy stick for every kid attending the show to suck during the first half, and in the second half, you’ll be able to join Saffia as she explores and tests some of the toys arranged around the exhibition hall – and attempts to catch running gingerbread men.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots

But there’s a serious purpose to our show too; we will be looking at the charity Toys for Tots, a charity set up by US marines to ensure that poor and needy children receive toys for Christmas.

We’ll talking to Xandi Mars and Random Cole about the charity – and about the very special Winterland Classic sim that they create every year which raises money for Toys for Tots and UNICEF.

Winterland Classic

Winterland Classic

This wonderful build pays tribute to Christmas classics such as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life!’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ – and offers lots of seasonal activities; Xandi and Random will be telling us all about that.  And you’ll be able to read more about it in the Christmas issue of Prim Perfect (published shortly) where Winterland will be Landscape of the Month.

And we’ll also be talking to Ceeara Dreamscape of Kids’ Kingdom, who’ll be telling us all about the fun of being an SL Kid, and about her own sim which is specially created to provide fun for child-orientated activities and family days out.

So join us for our special Toys fot Tots show at the Meta Makeover studios on Northpoint – and remember, there’s special gifts for everyone who comes to the studio!

Toys from Winterland and Kids Kingdom in the Meta Makeover studio

Toys from Winterland and Kids' Kingdom in the Meta Makeover studio

The show starts at 2pm SLT, but you should be there by 1.30pm to make sure of getting a set – and a candy stick!

We’ll see you there!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would you like your home to feature on Meta Makeover? Send an email to us at metamakeover@gmail.com with three or four pictures of your home attached, and stating your reasons why you would like a makeover. Every two weeks, we shall select one lucky owner from our postbag and invite them to be our next Meta Makeover.

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