That Wasn’t the Test

We all know that events that occur in our childhood can have lasting effects throughout our lives. My mother loves the theater, art, museums and galleries. Her home has always been filled with art and music. I took many of the pictures for granted given that they were there before I was. *grin* But as she acquired new works of art, I formed my own opinions. Mostly I liked her choices. Until she bought what I call “that apple picture”. I HATED this picture. Hated it. She LOVED it. My good friend Sarah is also an artist. She was an artist even then. Sarah liked that picture too. Now comes the “scar”. My mother turned to me and said (in my opinion very smugly and condescendingly) “THIS picture separates the TRUE artists.” *blink* There was no doubt in my mind that I had been weighed, judged and deemed inferior. I HATE that picture.

Why do I hate it? Because you can’t FIX all those pieces of fruit. They don’t match up. Check the number of seeds. The shape. The picture was pointless (the fruit wasn’t DOING anything). It was unbalanced (not visually, but conceptually). Not only that – one of the apples had littered seeds – messy. I looked at that picture and what I saw was the equivalent of Humpty Dumpty. And I was frustrated and thwarted.

I’ve acquired a new mentor at work. She is helping me to focus on what I do, what I can do better, what I might like to do in the future. So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about who I am, what I am, how I work and think. I saw an article about “how to find your passion”. It described personality types and what people with those traits like to do. I realized that I think of myself as someone who fixes things. (Which, in a side note, is how my father defined himself. He said “I’m an engineer. I solve problems.” *grin* I love and miss you Daddy.) And then, the clouds parted, the sun came out, I had an epiphany.

That picture is NOT about identifying the artists. Oh my NO. That picture is about identifying the “engineers” – the ones who SOLVE PROBLEMS, FIX THINGS.

You know, that picture’s not half bad. *grin* Have a good day all! Keep adjusting your perspective! 🙂

Coming Into Focus

I try to pretend I’m not, but I am. Superstitious. Like Hamlet, I believe there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in Horatio’s philosophy. I see connections that may or may not be there. I see causal events that might not have been the catalyst. I believe in karma. The past year was perhaps one of the most difficult of my life. I couldn’t seem to reach my inner energy, to see where I was going, to see clearly.

Somewhere in the last year, my portrait in SL blurred. It’s my profile picture, taken by the inimitable Callipygian Christensen. I have had it hanging on my bedroom wall for a few years. You know how it is with things you see daily – you stop “seeing” them at some point. I began having a vague notion that the photo was blurred, but I thought it was a matter of impatience on my part – not waiting for it to rez all the way before moving on. Then I realized that no, it NEVER rezzed clearly anymore. I thought about it, did nothing. Finally several weeks ago I mentioned it to Calli. She thought it sounded very odd indeed. But we never got around to going to look at the picture together. Time passed and it was Chanukah. Lalo came to light candles and he said yes, your portrait is definitely blurred. More time.

Finally came a moment when we were all inworld with time to decipher the situation. Calli, Lalo, Oura and I stood in the room and saw a blurred photo. We couldn’t fix it. We were using 3 different viewers. All blurred. I think it was Calli who figured out that if she rezzed the texture of the photo (which she still had) that the photo came into focus. I think Lalo called up my profile and when THAT rezzed, the photo on the wall came into focus as well. Calli gave me the texture, I rezzed it. When it rezzed, the portrait came into focus. No, we don’t know why. I will tell you that I can still go into the room and the portrait is blurred. But now I have my magic charm. I rez the texture and the portrait rezzes too.

I don’t think that I have a magic charm for my day-to-day world. But that portrait has also come back into focus in the last few weeks. The energy is back, the clarity. The inner and outer Ahuva are aligned and focused. And I like what I see. 🙂

A Horse of My Own

Shenlei has been a good friend of mine since I was only 6 weeks old. She took me under her metaphorical wing and helped me navigate fashion, fun and friends in SL. She still spoils me outrageously, giving me wonderful gifts. Shen and I share a love of horses and things associated with horses. I love to hang out at Carriage Trade with her and the horses (and the barn cats) and the other folk. But I can’t always get over there and Shenlei gave me a way to assuage my horse-deficiency all on my own.

I am now the proud possessor of the @CT@ Riding Horse (wear me). I confess that it’s not quite as much fun as riding out with one of the CT horses, but for a quiet outing by myself, it’s lovely. I introduced my horse, who I am naming Shamrock, by the way, to the ducks. As usual, they were pleased to see me enjoying myself, but didn’t really understand the need for 4 legs. 🙂 Bamboo liked Shamrock and had a good time riding about the property with me.

Shamrock and I have headed out a few times now, to check out the neighborhood. I do see a good bit more astride Shamrock than I do in one of AnnMarie’s crazy vehicles or on my Snowmobile Reindeer. I had no idea there was an amusement park so close to home – a simple ride away. 🙂 There is more coming on THAT topic!

Kerry Streeter

Look at this. The new year is less than 2 weeks old, and I’ve made it to TWO art shows in SL PLUS a museum in my atomic life. Could I be joining the educated art elite??? Naw. I have family and friends with excellent taste. Calli gets the SL credit again (my husband managed the atomic world maneuver). Calli was DJ’ing for Kerry Streeter, who has opened a new gallery, Second Looks, on Zeno Ochs’ wonderful art sim Gemini Elysia, with the wonderful Vertex Gallery.

This is Kerry’s own gallery, so I expect this work to be on display for awhile 🙂 Kerry loves to travel about and take photos of what she sees. A lot of her work focuses on interesting and unusual signs and graffiti, and commercial venues. But she also tucks in some GLORIOUS nature scenes. The gallery has several floors, so be SURE to get upstairs and see MY two favorites – the landscapes. Kerry describes her work:

I take photos when I’m traveling on vacation or on business, and sometimes while wandering for hours on walkabout through the city where I live. What catches my eye are juxtapositions and incongruities, things that make me do a double take and go “wow, can this really be?” Rarely do I have any idea what I’m going to encounter, which is why I’ve always referred to my photography shows as “Second Looks.”
I’ve come to see RL photos as something “monstrous” in SL, maybe alien pods invading from another world. They just don’t really belong here. But SL provides a wonderful space for an amateur artist like me to gain exposure and feedback.
The Twilight Musem has a permanent retrospective show of much of my RL work. The photos aren’t for sale there, but if you see anything you like, send me a notecard with the details. I’m happy to sell them directly at 300L apiece.

A good number of my atomic world foibles have followed me into SL. One of those is the need for solidity under my feet. I remember a fashion show several years ago that had a nearly invisible ramp. Attendees had to wander up and down this see-through invisible ramp. I ended up nauseated and with a major headache. Not my avatar – my biological body. I really WANT and NEED something solid beneath my feet (why I will never be able to ski). I did enjoy Kerry’s art, but you can see that the floors and the stair are somewhat transparent. Once I’m fully rezzed, it’s not too disconcerting since the space is otherwise confined and defined. But I was very disoriented as I rezzed, since I was looking THROUGH the floor. 🙂 You’ll notice that after a bit, I joined the cat on the couch and used my camera to view. Yes, I admit it – I’m a wimp.

The cat is an avatar, one of my good friends trying out a new look. It’s a great av, wonderful built-in movement and gestures, right down to the twitching tail and paws that knead.

Be sure to stop by Kerry’s Second Looks Gallery in Gemini Elysia. There is something for everyone at this exhibit.

One Prim. Really.

I’m not good with change. If things are going to change, I’d prefer a lot of lead time, a lot of information, a measure of control, a schedule, detailed instructions. I’m not one of those women who use a different purse for each outfit. I don’t look at my house and decide “let’s repaint this room”. I hate shopping for furniture, wall-paper, paint, accessories. “If it’s not broke – don’t fix it” works for me. But every now and then, even I realize that a bit of change might do some good.

That notion first began to creep into my head when I was reading Inara Pey’s blog way back in November. She reviewed the PrimPossible line of furniture by Ample Clarity. Ample uses sculpties to build furniture – and does it all with a single prim. Not just A chair in a prim. But Ample can do a pack of char/sofa/rug/table/plant/etc for ONE prim. Not only a single prim – but with animations. I run out of prim space repeatedly. One prim furniture? That would gain me a LOT of room.

I wandered over to PrimPossible to see what was there. The furniture is more modern and streamlined than my usual taste, but it looks so good all put together. The sets are out on display and you can bounce about trying them all. There are more chairs and sofas upstairs as well.

I went there several times – alone, with Lalo, with Oura. Everytime I was there, Ample Clarity IM’d us, greetings us warmly, offering to answer any questions. He’s NOT pushy – he’s warm, friendly and properly attentive. I began chatting with him about the line, explaining that while in one sense I didn’t NEED any furniture, I was intrigued by his one-prim creations. I think that had I not recently spent time adjusting all the poses in my hot tub, I’d have ditched it and gone home with the one-prim version from Ample. That may still happen. 🙂 I explained to Ample that what I really wanted at the moment was a chair with poses (most of his sofas have multiple poses but the chairs have a pose). Ample told me that he was in the process of coming out with a new item – sofas that could be retextured. I thought that was great and asked about the possibility of his adding poses to chairs. Ample doesn’t do custom work, but my timing was perfect. He was still in the early stages and could add poses. He decided that the concept had merit and so he told me to come back in a week for chairs with poses and the retexture feature. I thanked him for his help and said I’d be back. I think Lalo was with me that time. As we said our goodbyes, Ample gifted us both with a free one-prim piano. It’s extremely attractive! It has multiple poses, allowing for a single pianist or duets. The piano plays songs as well – pick from Bach, Brahms, Couperin, Grieg, Mendelssohn or Saint-Saens.

I went back with Oura in a week. The new chairs are more rounded and padded than the previous style and that works better for my tastes. There are many textures you can choose. There are single poses (guy, girl, unisex, and silly) and couple poses too. In other words, the chairs are a delight. One-prim, reasonably priced. Again, Ample gifted both Oura and I with freebies.

I have both my chairs tucked into the corner of my bedroom. I find during the winter I spend more time there than in the sky box or by the pool. I LOVE the chairs. They are perfect for sitting and shmoozing. I love doing business with Ample. He is gracious, attentive, he listens, he has a sense of humor and he does great work. I see that he is now doing kitchens as well as lounge and bedroom suites. Were my bed not a gift from my dear friend Bailey Longcloth, I would be over there at PrimPossible getting a new bed, too. Go check it out for yourself.

A New Addition to the Cales

My good friend Hunter took a break from SL for a bit, but he returned this past fall. YAY!!!! SO glad to have you back in town, Hunter! And Hunter looks better than ever because he is accompanied by the lovely Catarina. Hunter and Cate expanded my life by introducing me to the Vroom Vroom Reindeer. *grin* But they expanded THEIR lives by having an SL baby! So the Cales are now THREE: Hunter, Cate and Quakenado James. 🙂 Isn’t he adorable? And so well-behaved too – no fussing or complaining even though we were hanging out at lucky boards chatting.

I have to mention these lucky boards and the lovely lovely jewelry you can buy and win. yoona Mayo is the creator of ::Cocoon:: jewelry. I LOVE her work. I first encountered yoona’s jewelry when I was modeling for Shenlei Flasheart. Shen often paired her outfits with yoona’s jewelry and I had some great necklaces from then. Shen had another fashion show in January (Auld Acquaintance) and sent me the Look-Book for it. Her dresses were gorgeous and paired again with yoona’s jewelry. I fell in love with one of the necklaces and KNEW it would be perfect for my Erev New Year’s Eve dress. I contacted yoona to confirm the style name (Isis). yoona not only gave me that information, but also clued me in to her shop *PDD* Pas De Deux Annex in Juliet with all the lucky boards. *grin* Of course, she’s very clever besides generous. You can’t win BOTH the earrings and the necklace of a style. You’ll end up buying one of them. But her prices are soooooo reasonable and the pieces are well worth the L$s.

So Cate and I were hanging out at the lucky boards, chatting, when Hunter and Quake showed up. We got to talking about past events, and dress up affairs, and ball gowns, and lucky chairs. I remembered one store that I adored. It had a lucky chair and the most gorgeous outfits. Several of the clothes I’ve been wearing this winter season were from Haute Couture Sim Fashion by Moxie Polano. Several months ago I’d gone looking for HC, but I must have used the wrong LM and didn’t use search and so I didn’t find them. While we were talking, Hunter and I both searched and found Moxie and the store. So we tp’d there to look at the fashions. Still stunning, but no more lucky chair. *laughing* That lucky chair was SOOOOO popular, there was a velvet rope put up so we wouldn’t crowd the chair, and we had to wait behind the rope, hoping for our letter. The dress I wore for Erev New Year’s Eve was Moxie’s from Haute Couture. I staked out that chair for DAYS to get that dress. 🙂 I’m so glad Moxie and HC are both still here.

I think it speaks very well of Quake AND his parents that he shopped and tp’d with no fuss and no, ahem, accidents. *grin* Maybe next time we get together I will even nerve myself sufficiently to hold him. *grin* Congratulations Cate and Hunter!!!! I wish you much joy and happiness! *HUGS*

Sledding at Atrum Complexo

Back in December most people were blogging about great winter scenes and holiday exhibits and fantastical snow scenes. I made notes of places to visit when I had the time. January has been spent catching up on the sight-seeing. *grin* Or would that be “site-seeing”? One of the posts showed a North Pole Sleigh Ride. I did save that link, but either my timing was off or the picture didn’t actually match that slurl. I dragged Lalo with me to explore the North Pole. We were greeted quite warmly for such a snowy place: North Pole Greeter V2: “Psssst! Over here! It’s me, Santa’s favorite elf! Welcome to Atrum Complexo! Hop on a sleigh, cuddle up in your blanket. North Pole Greeter V2 gave you ‘Hot Cocoa’ We didn’t find a SLEIGH ride, but we DID find a SLED!

I jumped on first so I got to drive. Lalo seemed a bit perturbed when I took us THROUGH the tree instead of around it. Pfffft. One tree, what’s the big deal? But it’s very hard to take pictures AND drive, so I agreed to let Lalo steer instead. I admit, he did better than I. At first…..

*grin* Anyway, we had a lovely time sledding. There are some not-nice-neighbors who have a security system with a faulty timer. I got a message that I had 20 seconds to evacuate. I’d not even finished reading that when it kicked me home. No, it didn’t take me 20 seconds to read. Other than those neighbors and our dunk in the water (I REALLY don’t want to hear about the tree anymore), we had fun and hot cocoa! I’d suggest checking it out soon, as I don’t know how long it may be there.

Bonafide Aries

I’m not much for museums. I’m very bad at sight seeing. I usually have a good time when I go, but my attention span is limited. On the other hand, I DO like seeing new things: pictures, art, places, buildings. It’s a matter of duration, I suppose. So SL plays wonderfully for me in that respect. Many of my friends are very artistic, very into art and building and creating. They participate in art shows both as artist and public. That’s how I get MY education – they bring me along with them. It’s easy for me to get there, I don’t have to do the planning, and I can leave when my mind wanders. More often than NOT, however, I tend to stay longer that I would have guessed.

As you already know from reading this blog, I will follow Callipygian Christensen just about anywhere she is DJ’ing. So when she sent out a notice that she was DJ’ing an opening at the wonderful DNA Art and Music Fusion gallery in Captive Oasis, I was there. Once there, I discovered she was spinning…. *gasp*….*horror*… JAZZ! /me clears throat, determined not to elaborate. You might have thought that I’d immediately tp out. But this was the opening for Bonafide Aries’ exhibit.

Bonafide Aries makes wonderful pictures. You can see some of them in these photos, but I urge you to visit the gallery and view them in more detail. You can pick up Bona’s bio card, too:

Primary to all Bonafide Aries 2D and 3D creations is a story, an inquiry, or a statement. The stories vary and may change through the devolpment of a work. Behind the story is a goal of complete creation from scuplty to skin. Currently Bona’s works are a blending of developing skills. The poses sculpts and textures are original creations. The works begin as freehand sketches, and where necessary augmented shapshots. Graphic editors: gimp, photoshop. are used to enhance the work and give it RL textures for Secondlife display.
The RL Bona was taught the fundamentals of art in RL by a mother who painted, a father who was a graphic designer, and a tribe of wild bohemians who desecrated country barns and refurbed condemned houses (Bona carried the crowbars) of course bonafide’s RL grown up career has nothing to do with art. It is Secondlife, and graphic editors gimp and photoshop that have reborn his artistic interests.

I believe that Bonafide’s work is showcased through the month of January, but it may be closing after the 3rd week of January. So even though I was slow to post, you should be prompt in stopping by.

I love the DNA Art and Musica Fusion gallery. I’ve been there before for exhibits. There are many levels and it’s a lovely space for exhibitions. The owners, Dyce Underwood and Armany Thursday, are gracious and warm hosts. They showcase both visual and musical artists. They state their goal thusly:

DNA Art and Music Fusion is a live music and art exhibition/gallery space featuring SL’s finest artists and musicians.The primary vision for our project “DNA” is to raise awareness, appreciation, and patronage of fine art and live music here in Second Life and to strengthen the arts community as a whole as our artists and patrons get to know one another finding common interests in the arts and ways to collaborate with each other on ideas and projects of their own.**Where Art and Music come to life**

Again – time is running out. This exhibit is over in the next week or two. It’s well worth a visit.

Introducing: The Fogettes

From the smallest beginnings, incredible acts are born. *grin* It was a typical night at the Fogbound. DJ Evanrude Anton was spinning a FANTASTIC mix of blues for us. Lately Evan has been bringing his dance HUD with him for those who are not in the mood for the club’s dance balls. I was perched on a bar stool, lost in thought, when I realized that I was being nudged. It was Aubrey, I believe, who was inviting me to join in the other dancers. It looked like great fun so I accepted an invite from Evan.

It did take us a moment or two to get synchronized, but we soon had the hang of it. *grin* Synchronized dancing is one of the cheap easy pleasures of SL. For those of us who grew up watching Motown dancers, chorus lines on Broadway, the Rockettes, getting to dance in synch with others is having childhood dreams come true.

Women joined the group, left the group. Notice that the only man dancing was DJ Evan himself, although the bar stools filled with avid viewers of the floor show. 🙂 It’s funny how even when they don’t have to do anything, some guys STILL won’t dance. 🙂 You are missing out, boys. Women love men who dance.

I took lots and lots of photos – they are all up on my Flickr stream. So now I’ve been a Vonette and a Fogette. Can my career as backup singer/dancer be far behind????