Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Second Life Winter Memories

A Winter Scene in Second Life

Spring is finally here. I must say that I am glad to see this particular long, hard winter come to an end. I don't always feel this way about winter. I remember when I first came to the Northeast from Hawaii to attend college. I was eager to see my first snow as I had never seen falling snow. So my first ever snowfall was a memorable moment for me. I became absolutely giddy looking up and watching the snowflakes fall. They were landing softly on my eyelashes. And I was soon trying to catch them on the tip of my tongue. People stared and kept their distance. Anyway, my friends taught me how to make snow angels in the fresh snow, and I was quickly drawn into a raucous snowball fight. They thoroughly pelted me with snow. But I gave as good as I got.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Winter in Second Life has all the magic of the season's first snowfall.  Our residents are so creative. One of the pleasures of winter in Second Life is visiting the winter builds and discovering those magnificent snowy scenes that capture the wonder and beauty of the season. The winter season has long drawn to a close here, and we are now celebrating spring. But, I want to preserve some some memories of this winter in Second Life in this post. I especially want to highlight three fabulous sims decked out in winter wonderment.

Winter in Marina Del Mar

It is my honor to know some of the finest sim designers in this virtual world. At the top of that list is my friend Kaja Lurra, owner and designer of Marina Del Mar. Kaja's designs are noted for their artistry and creative details And there is always an element of fun and whimsy. She designs for herself and for others. Her homestead sim, Marina Del Mar, undergoes episodic transformations, whenever the urge to create falls on Kaja. I always look forward to her winter design. This winter, Kaja recreated the snowy countryside of her native Sweden. I've opened this post with three pictures of wintry Marina Del Mar at night. The dark snow covered vastness with its isolated farm houses evokes a solitude that I found tranquil and spiritual.  This fabulous revolving night sky is Kaja's creation. It utilizes a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope of the Pleiades Star Cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters, the brightest open star cluster in the night sky.

Ice Skating with Jaysun at Cap Estel

For me, the winter experience in Second Life reaches its peak when winter comes to Cap Estel, and Jaysun takes me there to frolic amidst the grandeur of the sim's snow clad forest. Cap Estel is owned by Jaysun's good friend, Maurice Messme. Like Kaja, Maurice regularly tears down Cap Estel and replaces the old with something fabulous. His most recent redesign of Cap Estel, an African safari, has been nominated for the BOSL award for the best sim in Second Life.   

What's an old fashioned country winter without a horse-drawn sleigh.  Add a snowman, and the scene becomes as nostalgic as a Currier & Ives lithograph.

Awwww .. Aren't we sweet?

This colorful amusement park is a wonderful surprise. 

This is a re-post of a picture that appeared in my fashion post, Russian Snow Princess Encore, one of my more popular blog posts. The picture was taken at Cap Estel. I love the drama created by the dense detail of the background scenery. You simply must click on this picture to enlarge it and see how beautiful is the detailing created by Maurice this winter at Cap Estel.

Winter at Old Europe

Old Europe is an imagined vision of the romantic Old World. It's a delight to wander about and shop at the rustic village and visit the castle and its park-like grounds. And when you visit, be sure to take the aerial and water tours. Old Europe always schedules sensational seasonal events, so you'll be sure to visit often.   

The village square at Old Europe is charming and made even more so by freshly fallen snow.

I really enjoy guided aerial tours of sims, and this is one of the most enjoyable. The tour ride is heart shaped and designed for romance and cuddling. But, I'm touring alone today.  **sigh**  Any volunteers to sit with me? 

I hope that you enjoyed the glimpses of these exceptional sims in winter. Let me end this post with some odds-and-ends pictures from my winter in Second Life.

I woke up one morning and found that Sashi, my pug dog, had invited a friend to spend the holiday season with us. Hmmm ...

This beautiful Snow Princess is my friend Stevie. The picture was taken at Jaysun's residence.

Christmas at Jaysun's house. Jaysun's Christmas tree was featured in my fashion post - A Classic Christmas Rose.

Song Goddess, ArorA Chadborne, performing at a holiday charity fund raiser.

Stevie and I were in attendence at ArorA's event. There is no better live performer in Second Life, except maybe Shantu Selene. And that's a close call.

Shantu Selene's Christmas Performance

Relaxing at the Cafe Bruges in my home community of Ocelot Valley.

Marina Del Mar (the latest design evokes the Red Desert of the American southwest)

Cap Estel (the sim now features an African safari)

Old Europe

Monday, March 14, 2011

Support the Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Relief Effort of the American Red Cross

The videos and pictures coming out of Japan of the tsunami and its aftermath are some of the most horrifying scenes that I have ever seen. And the individual stories that we have been hearing of personal loss are too painfully heartbreaking. We are reminded what fragile mortals we really are in the face of nature's power. For my family, it's a tense time of vigil and prayer as we await word of relatives and friends in Japan. And I also pray for the safety of my Japanese friends in Second Life. We are truly a global community in this virtual world.

Linden Lab is selling special edition teddy bears wearing the Japanese flag. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Relief of the American Red Cross. The bears can be purchased in the Marketplace for L$300, L$1000, and L$3000. Please find it in your hearts to make a donation. The direct link for purchasing the bears is provided below.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mariko Magic: Fashion from Miss Virtual World - Miss Philippines by AlaFolie

View of Venice from the Ponte di Rialto - Dressed in Miss Philippines by AlaFolie

Miss Virtual World is the premiere beauty contest in Second Life. The finalists in the contest all have sterling pedigrees in the Second Life fashion industry - all are popular models in the top agencies and are graduates of the prestigious modeling academies. The pageant that crowns the new Miss Virtual World is a feast for connoisseurs of fashion. Some of the finest designers in Second Life create the outfits worn by the finalists in the pageant, and their creations are eye-popping fabulous. One that especially caught my eye this year was designed by Pixivor Allen of AlaFolie for Fuzz Lennie, Miss Philippines, 2011. Naturally, this stunning fashion creation is called Miss Philippines in her honor.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Silvery sequined Miss Philippines is shimmering excitement. And Fuzz Lennie was absolutely breathtaking in this outfit; indeed, as any girl would be. I love how its low cut and form fitting elegance grace my curves and combine with strands of sequins to conjure irresistible magic. Delighted would be that special someone that falls under its spell. Miss Philippines comes in three versions: Club (version 1), Formal (version 2), and Mini (version 3). I am wearing and featuring the Club version of Miss Philippines. Each version sells at AlaFolie for L$1000. All three are available for L$2000. Group members get a discount.

Midnight Rendezvous

The hair that I am wearing is from DrLife and is called BaoChai. BaoChai was designed by dear friend Leena Ying and sells for L$350. The skin that I am wearing is also from DrLife. Leena creates the absolute Best Skins in Second Life. Their artistry and details are unsurpassed by any other skin designer. I wear DrLife skins exclusively.

Fascination in Venice

I have already attended a number of events dressed in Miss Philippines. Let me tell you, you'll make a grand entrance in Miss Philippines. I am so thrilled to have this outfit in my wardrobe, and I know that you will be too.


DrLife Skins and Hair are available at Mariko in Mont Saint Michel

The pictures were taken at Venice Venezia and Villas de Revello. Venice Venezia is an astonishing recreation of the city of Venice that is amazing in its details. These photos are windlight free.

Venice Venezia Showcase City

Villas de Revello