New store location

I’ve moved the store due to some exceedingly poor treatment from my previous estate managers at Azure Islands.   I’d been a tenant there for 24 weeks and never been late with a payment.  Having turned up to pay my rent with half a day to run on my meter, I was surprised to find that the meter was paid up for a month!  After checking with Aeon to make sure she hadn’t topped it up, I assumed I had an angel looking after me.

About four hours later, my entire store was returned to me with no warning!  Even though if someone hadn’t topped up the meter, it would have still had about eight hours to run (I know, I looked at the L$ transaction history to make sure).

I immediately TPed to discover Candy and Billing Azure there, and not only had they returned my store, but also a huge art gallery next to me!  When I asked what was going on, after waiting nearly 30 minutes for them to respond to my repeated queries, I was told that “(resident name) had paid my meter with fraud [sic] lindens and we had to reclaim the land”.  I didn’t know there was such a thing as “fraud lindens”.  I can only assume that the named resident had participated in some form of phishing and dumped their profits on my meter and the art gallery’s next door.

Okay, so I can understand that they needed to reset the meter to wipe the credit, but couldn’t they have done it in a way that would have made everyone happy?  For example, transferred the payment to the meter on an available parcel and cleared that?  Failing that, why not be considerate and IM me, and tell me what’s going on?  I was obviously online, there was an online indicator in the store!  Then I could have come and picked up the store, they clear the meter, sell the land back to me for L$0, and I put the store back, and I remain a happy tenant.  But no, just boom, return with no warning.  Result, one extremely upset tenant.

After receiving basically only the information I’ve laid out above after repeatedly asking for further clarification and being ignored, I TPed back home very upset, sans land.  Of course, I could have repurchased the parcel, but after treatment like that, I really didn’t want to deal with them any more, and I sure didn’t want to give them any more L$.  So I moved.

After nearly two days of searching for a new place, I settled on a store right at the landing point of MyntBox, a supervised adult sandbox.  This place is pretty cool, and I knew about it from some early builds I did there.  Why don’t you come and visit, browse the store, and maybe stay awhile and build something of your own in the sandbox!

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Darktable

After my post about my Wacom tablet and mediocre drawing skills, I thought I’d show you two more pics that I did just for my Flickr account.  Both of them were intended to teach myself about a wonderful piece of freeware called Darktable.  This is a photo processing program for Linux and Mac OS X (and vague Windows support), and it’s a rather marvelous piece of software.  You can do all types of interesting post-processing with it.  I’ve barely scratched the surface with the possibilities it opens up.

This first photo was taken when I got very interested with what you can do with point lights and the shadows that can be generated in SL with them.  Now, of course, I use point lighting all the time in my photos.  I even wrote up a very basic tutorial on how to set up lighting for a shoot.  I used Darktables to play around with the contrast to get the shadows to pop more and to add even more light coming through the window that I got with the photo I took in SL.

In the second photo, I used Darktable to desaturate the image and add photo grain, and again played around with lighting curves to get the look that I wanted and to darken the shadows.  I’m pretty proud of both results, even though they’re so different and similar at the same time (did someone mention “bum”)!

 

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Drawing skills

Sometimes I take photos for my Flickr account without any intension of turning them into blog posts.  Mostly, I do it when we have huge events in Eden and Nandi wants someone to take pics so we can post them to the club’s Facebook page.  But sometimes, I take them just for myself.  Or to challenge myself to do something new.

Late last year, I bought myself a Wacom tablet for drawing in Gimp.  My main focus was better photo retouching with the pressure sensitivity a tablet brings.  But one of the first things I found myself doing with it was drawing hair, as I’d been inspired to give it a go by the work of one of SL’s best post-shoot artists, Angi Manners (warning, NSFW).

Here’s my first ever attempt.

I’m not a great artist, but I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!

For a list of clothing, you can see a previous post on the blog.

P.S. Did anyone notice that this was a lazy way of not doing a photo shoot today? 🙂

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In world store and sale!

Hello gentle reader!  I have some exciting news for you today, we have reopened our in-world store!  You’ll find a lot of Blue’s Fantasy products available for viewing and interaction in the new store.  Stop by and try out our wonderful Newtonian Telescope or our best selling Word Scrambles game.

For the first week, all of our products will be marked 10% off, but only at the store!  Stop by and have a look!

Location: Blue’s Fantasy Main Store – Jonesford Heights

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Avatar Complexity

The big thing with the new version of the SL Viewer and the new release of Firestorm is Avatar Complexity.  Linden Labs have an article and video on it.  I thought I’d find out just how complex some of the usual items I wear are.

A naked avatar (and I mean completely naked with no hair, no nothing, gawd I look weird bald!) has a render weight of 1000.

System layer clothing, and foot shapers seem to have no effect on render weight.  I added multiple layers and the render weight didn’t change.  Alphas, as you would expect, drop render weight (but they seem to have to be a big alpha to much affect the number.  Wearing the Slink hands and feet alpha has no effect.  A full body alpha drops you to zero, but I suppose hands and feet on a standard systems avi are so simplified… *grin*).

Now, to get to my “base” naked avatar that I use to build outfits that force me to use system layers (by which I mean, I can’t use Maitreya Lara), we have:

  • Mayfly Deep Sky mesh eyes x 2: 2350
  • Slink Casual hands 2.5 x 2: 4552
  • WoW Skins Lashes: 3046
  • Alli & Ali Serafine Hair Fire: 34231
  • Slink High Feet 3.1 x 2: 5136
  • Slink Flat Feet 3.1 x 2: 4752

So, if I am wearing Slink Highs, my render weight is 50315 or 49931 for Slink Flat feet.

*Gulp* now for Maitreya Lara:

  • Maitreya Lara Alpha: -400
  • Maitreya Lara 3.5 body: 7338

Adding all this up, Lara in addition to the above, we have 57253 in Slink Highs and 56869 in Slink Flats.  Whew!

So, the really big contributor is my hair.  Serafine is a short bob, so let’s see what a rigged mesh short bob (very similar to Serafine) weighs.

  • ICONIC COCO: 44351

!!!!

And let’s see what a long rigged mesh hair is:

  • Exile Stone Cold Seduction: 1277

!!!!

This last number makes it abundantly clear that it doesn’t matter how complex the object appears to be, but in reality the software is directly measuring how well designers are making their meshes (be it prim or imported mesh via DAE).

I predict that we will see serious designers start to list the render weight on their market place listings to try and differentiate themselves from others with similar products.  We sure live in interesting (Second Life) times!

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Eden’s Winter Queen

Or in this case, Winter Queens!

As the seasons turn, our favourite club holds contests for the (dubious) honour of being the season’s queen.  I was most flattered to be chosen winter queen back in 2014, and Aeon was chosen spring queen just before me!

On the weekend, we had this year’s winter queen event, and for some reason, our DJ set the contest board to shared instead of 1, 2, 3.  Oh my, what if we have a draw?  And that’s  exactly what happened!  My friends Jen and Annie tied for first place!

So two winter queens this year!

Here are some pics I took after the event.

her majesty jen 2

her majesty annie

annie and jen

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Purrs

Blue does neko.  I was just at an event and thought that my tail would work really well with what I was wearing, and sure enough I got a bunch of comments as soon as I put it on 🙂  But it made me realize I haven’t posted a neko shot on the blog yet, so here you go 🙂

lotd neko_003

The outfit is created by a whole bunch of people that I won’t detail at the moment (translation: I can’t remember where I got them and am too lazy to investigate right now!), but the tail is the Extreme Neko Tail Corset by Psychotic Neko.  It’s not cheap at L$250, but if you buy this tail, you’ll never need to buy another one!  It has so many  texture, color, glow, and other options, it’s truly amazing!

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Fresh bread! Buy my bread!

Exhausted after a day of baking and taking her bread around the streets of Paris, Blue stops for a rest in a little café near the Arc de Triomphe.

lotd paris_003

I wore this to an event over the weekend and you guessed it, the theme was French!  This top is system and was only L$1 on the marketplace, and it was literally the only thing I needed to complete my outfit, everything else coming from existing inventory!

I wanted to go as a French Resistance girl and take my machine gun 🙂 but Aeon talked me into going as a bread seller.  I think she shouted “Bagaettes!” about five times 🙂

 

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A&A Photo Contests

I’m an Alli and Ali fan, no doubt about it 🙂  Their Fire colour is my favourite, can you tell?

Every so often, A&A do a photo contest, generally themed on the seasons.  The 10 best photos selected win a L$2000 gift card to the store.

Last contest, I was honoured to have not one but two photos selected in the top 10, one of me and one of Aeon!  But even more pleasing is that the picture on A&A’s landmark at the moment is of yours truly!

alli_and_ali bookmark

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