the-party-beginsI love dancing. I really love waltzing. The waltz is a difficult dance to do well. In RL I used to do competitive dancing. /me smiles at happy memories. Oh yeah, I love dancing. My teacher Emilio was the best. The man could move like water. Like wind. Like the sexiest creature in the world. He had a grip that would not allow a woman to set one foot wrong. We competed in all the dances. Our rhumba steamed. We did a great hustle dancing-amidst-the-roses(my husband and I still hustle and burn the floor). Emilio and I did dirty dancing that had me bent backwards with my hair sweeping the floor. *grin* Ah yes, those were the days. We pulled in golds in nearly all our dances. Except waltz. I never once did better than silver. Waltz is hard. You need to hit your lines just so. Every move needs to be smooth, elegant, elongated, fluid. Watching a room full of waltzers is as soothing and mesmerizing as watching the ocean waves.

lul-and-ahuvaIn SL – I hit all my waltz lines. 🙂 Nothing like a good pose ball , is there? Shenlei hosted the Cupid’s Dream formal ball at Victoriana the other day. It was a lovely weekend afternoon, extending the Valentine’s Day celebration. I needed a break from all I’d been doing and thinking. So when the reminder came popping up, I knew it was just what I needed. I changed into my beautiful Debutante gown: Louisa in red. I put up my hair, slipped on my dancing shoes and hailed the taxi to Victoriana.

I had the great good fortune music-by-victrolato arrive at Victoriana Carnivale at the same time as my friend Lul. Yes, you’ve seen Lul here before. Go check out Santa’s sleigh and the opensim/SL chatbridge. I can report that not only is Lul smart, witty and sweet, he is also a wonderful dancer. 🙂 We followed the rose path to the party site. Shen had outdone herself with the decorations. Music was provided by Benton Wunderlich.

view-from-aboveLul and I slipped onto a pair of dance balls and began waltzing. Ah, it’s so wonderful to dance in SL. I’ve had so many wonderful times dancing in SL. I don’t know why it works. I would have thought that since I really DO love to dance, that dancing in SL would be hollow. But it’s not. For some reason, watching myself dance feels internally as if I am dancing. rez-and-shenleiI hear the music. I feel the arms of my partner. My brain shifts gears and once again I am twirling and spinning and gliding across the floor, in harmony with my partner and the music. I am as happy dancing in SL as I am in RL. And it’s easier on my poor knees (which are hurting as i write this because, sigh, I started pushing the running again – upped the treadmill this week). So Lul and I danced and chatted and waltzed away the afternoon.

Victoriana is growing on me, no question about it. I’m very glad that they are not a role-playing sim as such. I can go and visit and hang out without having to “be” Victorian. I enjoy putting on a ball gown every so often and being an elegant lady. I also like hanging out in my mayor-littleblackduck-lindsayjeans and enjoying all the amenities that Victoriana has to offer. I was there again today and was amused by the sight of the Seapot Racers. Too funny for words. Now that I know that there are formal balls every month, I just may have to get there on a regular basis and dance. I’m looking for a partner for the ball in March, if you’re interested in joining me!

Victoriana Afternoon

shens-carousel-horse-3Maybe I don’t really want to be a scripter. I know, all I post here lately is how busy I am, how much work I have to get done, how I love scripting. It’s all true, too. Except…. Somehow days have slipped by and I’ve not gotten any work done on my favorite scripting project. I made notes about what the next piece needs to be, but I’ve yet to sit down and actually get anything done on it. I’ve been spending WAY too much time in RL this week. 🙂 Totally getting in the way of living my fantasy life. When I AM inworld, I am co-ordinating the effort for my RL projects.

And apparently I am easily distracted. punting-in-victorianaI logged on this morning to hunt for work-out clothes. Yes, I am fairly determined to buy a treadmill for Ahuva’s Place. I got off my RL treadmill and knew that I needed one inworld too. Except I got lasso’d into tp’ing off to sit on lucky chairs for my Lucky Chair group. I won THREE outfits in a row. I really won 4, but there is NO WAY I will ever use that 4th prize. Ick. Perhaps one of my photographer friends would like that skin for some sort of shot. Ick. So I logged back in this afternoon DETERMINED to script and… got a notice from the Victoriana community that there was a butterfly hunt today. I haven’t hunted butterflies in a long time. I im’d Shen to see if she would be going. We agreed to meet there.

open-sesameWhen I tp’d into Victoriana, Shenlei was there on the most amazing carousel horse. Kudos and acclaim to Michele Hyacinth who gave this horse to Shen as a gift. The horse is amazing and the gift is perfect for Shen and Michele is utterly brilliant. The horse has sound effects and motion. Bright lights on the front. The structure is marvelous – engineering art. LOL. My husband came by, watched the horse rising and falling and pronounced: “Hovercraft”. Okay. How engineer-ish can you get? The horse is beautiful, fantastical, brilliant. I’m totally envious of Shen for having it and for Michele in being so clever to find it.

After snapping picture after picture navigating-under-the-bridgeof the horse, I finally tore myself away to wander about and look for butterflies. I’d not been in this part of Victoriana before. Or if I had, it had been winter and looked different. I ended up at the lake. There was a canoe just waiting there for me. So I climbed aboard and set off. I confess – it took me a moment or two to figure out how to “set off”. I was looking for a menu. Or some AO associated with the paddle. Clicked here, clicked there. Nothing. Saw a butterfly going by and starting playing with the camera and arrows to catch it and – HEY! I was moving! LOL. Too simple for words. The arrow keys made the boat go. 🙂 Nothing like overlooking the obvious.

duck-friendsI paddled about the lake. I steered my way under the railroad bridge, headed farther out. Discovered the drawbridge at the far end. The sign said to click to raise the bridge, so I did. I learned the hard way that the boat and bridge were both fairly solid when I steered the one into the other. I was also slow getting through the opening and the bridge came down on my head. Ouch!!! I re-clicked the sign so I could extricate myself and move on. All the while I was catching butterflies and enjoying the sights of Victoriana. Before I stepped back ashore I hung out with the ducks for a bit. Of course. 🙂 I think I may have to bring Mallory, Drake and Bill over here to visit.

Victoriana is truly a lovely build. I find myself smiling at the buildings and the scenery. There are so many clever little touches to make it more attractive and realistic. I had a fantastic time in Insilico – I want to go back there. But in Insilico I need to be alert, watchful. It’s a much more tense experience. In Victoriana I slow down and smile. I can feel myself relaxing. Paddling about the lake, listening to the water, watching the ducks swimming – all my RL stress and pressure slipped away. I could hear the Victoriana train in the distance, evoking thoughts of trips to friends and fun places. I used to head to Shengri La and the horses when I needed a bit of calm and meditation. I think I may have to add boating on the lake in Victoriana to my list of “relaxing places”. I put all the unedited pictures up on Flickr – you may see something in them that appeals to you that I cropped out for purposes of this blog.

Perhaps now I can get back to scripting. 🙂 Really, I WANT to script. There simply are not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want to do. *laugh* I guess that’s true for most of us, isn’t it? But even as I type this last paragraph, my front doorbell rings and my RL friends arrive. Ah yes, it’s friends that make my worlds. Scripting will have to wait.

The Grand Opening

Debutante and Calli’s at Victoriana held their grand openings Saturday night. I believe they were quite successful. I know that the sim was full within 10 minutes of the starting time. I’m glad I got there just BEFORE it started.

modelling-shenleis-beautiful-new-louisa-gownShenlei had given me a copy of one of her new dresses the night before the opening – the Louisa gown in red. ZOMG – it is stupendous. I love most of Shen’s dresses, but this one is incredible. I love the open bodice, the styling, the colors, the lines. I was twirling and modelling it for myself while I was scripting. If I’m scripting down by the beach, I like to sit on the sand. If I’m scripting in my room, I like to sit on my bed. In any case – I like to sit while I script. But it’s not that comfortable to sit with all those skirts. So I left on the bodice and slipped into jeans. Took off the sleeve decorations as well. And LOVED the look.

So that’s how I showed up at the opening – jeans, boots, bodice. I walked into Debutante and there was Shenlei talking to another visitor. They both looked gorgeous in their Victoriana outfits. The Mayor came in just after I. Elegant and gracious as always, he bowed to us ladies. Well. I tried to curtsy back. A bit difficult in jeans. All the others were in proper outfits for the sim, having refined, polite conversation. I was ashamed of myself. Sigh. I don’t know WHY I love wearing jeans so much. I certainly like dressing up. So I slunk upstairs, out of sight. (Ha ha – that’s a joke. You are NEVER out of sight in SL.) I put on the entire Lousia outfit. Smile. I left on my boots. No one could SEE my boots under all those skirts. And I descended the stairs to rejoin the group and be a gracious lady also.

natalya-and-i-at-the-opening-of-callis-in-victorianaThere were sooooo many people pouring into Victoriana. The lag was ferocious. The vast majority of people were in period costume and acting in period. But many people came in their every-day outfits as well. Certainly all were welcome. For me, the whole experience was enhanced because so many of my friends showed up. I often IM with them but don’t always get to be in the same location. So it was great to actually see them all. Natalya came and joined me to look at Calli’s art. I love looking at art with another person, especially one with an eye as good as Nat’s. I like sharing critiques and observations on the art. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of us together. I am standing in front of Calli’s photo called “How Much?”. That is a photo of Shen and I in the Debutante store. Shen is behind the counter and I am the customer. 🙂 To the left of Nat in the picture is a bit of my favorite picture in the store – Timeless Passion. Timeless Passion now hangs on the wall of my room. I have to laugh – sooooo many people purchased copies of Timeless Passion that night. See – I told you it was sensational. So I decided I needed to start a new group – Owners of Timeless Passion. 🙂

timeless-victorianaAlthough the opening was officially for 2 hours, we were there for nearly 3. Afterwards we tp’d to a party where Kyle Beltran was performing. I’d first heard and met Kyle at Calli’s rez day party. He is a pianist and extremely talented. Not only does he play and sing well, but he has witty and amusing conversation to accompany the singing. You can catch Kyle in just a few days when he performs on Jan 25. I took advantage of the tp lag to slip back into “modern Victoriana”. I simply love this Louisa bodice. Now I NEED the proper jewelry to do it justice. 🙂

Calli’s at Victoriana

victoriana-openingI knew already that I love Victoriana. Even if Shenlei Flasheart had not opened a Debutante store there, I would be going back to ride the train and play at the Carnivale. Now I have even more reason to be there. Callipygian Christensen is opening an art gallery there. I’ve posted about Calli before (back on Oct 7 of this year and many references in other posts). She is an extremely talented and gifted photographer who uses SL for inspiration. Her new gallery, #8 Jermyn Street, is opening right next door to Shenlei’s Debutante store, #4 Jermyn Street in Victoriana. So go shop and tour Victoriana. Whatever the season.

But if you want to be in on the “happening”, the opening for BOTH stores is Saturday, January 10th, from 4-6pm SLT. Please note – it STARTS at 4pm SLT. LOL. People complained that my starting time announcement was unclear back in Dec for the CRY fundraiser. STARTS 4pm SLT!!! I also heard (because I listen at keyholes of closed doors) that there were going to be fabulous free and almost free gifts in the vendors in Debutante. And whereas the opening itself is from 4-6 pm SLT, the vendors will remain fully stocked all weekend from 10 am SLT Saturday to 6 pm SLT Sunday.

If you look very carefully in the photo 8-jermyn-streetannouncing the gallery opening, you can see me. 🙂 You won’t recognize me, but that is me in the dark red dress with the reddish hair on top of my head. I don’t want to discuss the hair. They told me that if I wanted to be included I had to act like a big girl and put my hair up Victorian style. Well OF COURSE I wanted to play too. And I’m glad I did because it was so much fun!!! Nothing like watching an artist at work and having a pose stand put you through your paces. LOL. I’d experienced this peeking-in-the-windows-of-8-jermyn-streetonce before when Bailey took my picture for a beauty contest (okay – you SO don’t want to go there, alright????). But still – it’s very funny to watch yourself being manipulated into a variety of poses. (Don’t go there either.) We were not allowed to move but the chat and IMs went through the entire shoot. We even had the Mayor of Victoriana drop by to welcome us and say hello! It was really quite fun and interesting. Even if I did have to wear the “wrong” hair.

So when Calli IM’d me today and1st-floor-8-jermyn-street offered me a sneak peak at the new gallery and exhibit, I jumped (tp’d) at the opportunity. I LOVE getting to discuss Calli’s work with her. I learn so much about art – techniques, textures, themes. In my RL family, I am the art ignoramus. That is comparatively. I do know a little. I have been a potter in my own right. But somehow I missed out on all the education that everyone else had. So learning from Calli is both fun and stimulating. She is very kind and never makes fun of the large gaps in my a-touch-of-spring-amid-the-winter-snowknowledge. I really enjoy and appreciate most of her work. For the few that don’t necessarily appeal to me on an emotional level, I am still able to appreciate the technique and message. Calli is yet another of the incredibly generous and talented people I have encountered in SL. One of the people who make SL the stimulating, positive experience it can be.

So in this post I’m not only letting you peek through timeless-passionthe windows into the gallery, I had permission to actually take some shots inside. That raised a little dilemma for me. I WANT to show you her pictures, especially my favorites. But I also want you to go and see them for yourself because she has many different styles. You may like something that I didn’t choose to post. So. I took a long-angled shot down the length of the 1st floor. 🙂 You can see a part of one of my favorites, “Secret Pleasure”. This is a lovely period piece but a modern sentiment as well. Not surprising, given the model. You can also see most of one of her portrait shots. There are some great landscapes at the end of the room.

On the second floor is my absolute favorite picture. I might even like it more than my Geisha (you may remember me posting about how I fell in love with the Geisha and had to have her, so she was my first art purchase for my new house). I have given you only the merest hint of this picture. You MUST go see it. (Look – for those of you who have told me you don’t like my other pictures – this is nothing like them.) This picture is called “Timeless Passion”. I used to think that I was a romantic. I know better now. I am a hard-headed realist. But “Timeless Passion” – oh my, I melted inside. I felt all warm and debutante-gownsromantic and feminine and in love and cherished. It’s a kiss. It’s a wonderful beautiful evocative kiss. It’s in sepia tones. My words fail to do it justice. Go see it.

On the third floor there are several period pieces (including all of us in the Debutante gowns) and shots of Victoriana. I had to laugh. Calli has a picture of the roadsign. You know, *I* have a picture of the roadsign as well. But somehow – I just don’t quite understand this – hers looks interesting, artistic, attractive and mine, well, mine looks like a road sign. 🙂 So go and take a look. Certainly come to the opening on Saturday if you can. But if you can’t be there, or even if you can, be sure to come back and browse and enjoy the pictures another time. And leave time to shop at Debutante and go to the Carnivale and ride the train. Oh wow!! If you’re going – IM me and invite me to join you!!!! I love ALL those things!!!

4 Jermyn Place, Victoriana

4-jermyn-street1While some of us (that would be me) have done nothing productive for the last week or so, some people (that would be Shenlei) have been working. She is either the most productive person I know or the least productive person I know because she is ALWAYS working. welcome-to-victoriana 🙂 Teasing – I know she always has several ongoing projects, ranging all over the world. And STILL finds time to get to Rez day parties. (Hey – *I* made the rez day parties TOO! Hmmm, but I missed the “work” part of the week.) So while I was busy being the grasshopper and making music, Shen was setting up her newest Debutante location – 4 Jermyn Place in Victoriana Harbour.

shenleis-orangeryNow I know that Shenlei has always had an interest in the period sims but I never quite understood the fascination. Of course, I’d never been to one, so I wasn’t evaluating from much data. So when Shen invited me to come see her new store in Victoriana Harbour I decided it was time. We talked shop for a bit (and I picked up a strand of pearls) and then Shen took me on a tour of Victoriana Harbour and Lakeside (where she already has an Orangery). Strolling between the two properties was simply lovely. even-the-manhole-covers-are-beautiful The Victorian theme is so well done and so complete. I was, of course, dressed completely inappropriately theme-wise, but I had finally picked up a winter jacket so I wasn’t too chilled as we strolled through the sims. The Orangery is a wonderful peaceful spot. I wanted to settle in for tea and cookies and watch the snow fall.

the-carouselI walked Shen back to the store and she pointed me on the path to the Carnivale. I strolled through the center of town, passed the railroad tracks, on my way to the Lake and the Carnivale. Along the way I admired the scenery and the buildings. Even the manhole covers are beautiful in Victoriana. I found the Carnivale with no trouble (obviously a tourist-friendly town).

i-love-a-carouselThere was a carousel. I LOVE carousels. I smile writing the word. So of course I had to jump on and start the ride. It was great. 🙂 Went ’round and ’round, faster and faster! Played music and everything.

After a time, even I tired of the carousel. you-cant-miss-the-ferris-wheelI got off and went roaming about the Carnivale. It was a bit lonely there, in the midst of a winter evening but still interesting. There were concession stands and booths. I did see someone else flit by me but we didn’t chat. Despite how impressive it looked – tall and stark in the falling snow – I decided to pass on the ferris wheel (next time for sure).

all-aboardI wandered into a tent that turned out to be a drinking hall with bear musicians who played polkas. 🙂 Also next time. I decided it was time to head back to town so I went and waited for the train. The train took me through the snowy countryside, making appropriate train sounds the entire way. It stopped at the town square station and I disembarked.

Across from the Welcome now-for-the-sleigh-ride Center in the town square there is a horse-drawn sleigh, which tours through Victoriana. It is charming, wonderful, delightful, fun. A brilliant concept. Although the pose ball appears to be made for two, I had no problem managing the horse and sleigh on my own.

dashing-through-the-snowWe went through Harbour and Lakeside, up hill and under bridges, past the lake, crossing the railroad tracks. I saw the fishing hole and Tinytoriana. The tour gives a wonderful view of the houses, shops, roads, bridges and scenery. I snapped dozens of pictures because each new turn was prettier than the last. As usual, I have uploaded the entire Victoriana stream to my Flickr account.

The sleigh ride ends at the church, the-ride-ends-by-the-churchwhich is just a few steps to Debutante. So I strolled back to 4 Jermyn and thanked Shenlei for yet another wonderful SL adventure. It’s good to have friends. And I think I must have the best friends an SL gal can have.