Homeless Awareness Hunt and Exhibition

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There is a Homeless Awareness Hunt and Exhibition going on in Second Life© from August 15 to September 15, 2013. It is organized by Joshuan Banx and Marissa Greene, sponsored by AMERICAN BAZAAR, ..:HC Creations:.., cStar Limited and :Sugar:. There was a notice sent out via the group SL Arts today, which was the first time I heard of this eye-opening event. Once I arrived on the site, I noticed this rather evoking quote, taken from a a note card: There are no hints for this hunt. Hunters might feel some feelings like homeless people do. Anxiety, worry, frustration, eagerness, and even anger while trying to find the object. Head over to take a look, and perhaps make a contribution, supporting this important cause. Also, as a side note and very cool, most of the builds seem to be by Arcadia Asylum.

Location: Homeless Awareness Hunt and Exhibition.

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The Foot Dilemma or Why Gospel Voom Rocks

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Many of us with female avatars in Second Life© can relate to the frustrating problem of finding a beautiful sandal and the ensuing struggle with matching the skin tone of the foot and ankle. There have been times when I have decided against purchasing a sling-back or peep-toe simply because I did not want to engage in the arduous and time-consuming affair of matching skins. I am not particularly technically inclined and not very patient. While I love the high quality and incredibly gorgeous shoes created by Onyx Leshelle (Maitreya), I have no problem admitting that I struggle with the Maitreya Skin Blender HUD as well as the more recent Blender Socks. And for you barefoot lovers out there, I know many of you swear by the Mesh Feet (and Hands) created by the talented Siddean Munro (Slink). Honestly, I couldn’t even be bothered reading the instructions in each and every one of the four note cards included in the Slink Mesh Rigged folder and gave up. Let me now bring your attention (as if you didn’t already know) to the work of Gospel Voom (Gos). Not only does he produce some of the most well-crafted and alluring footwear and feet on the grid, he also offers us a skin matching system that is incredibly user-friendly. This One Time Skin Matching System is nothing short of revolutionary in the world of the virtual foot! It is so straight-forward that a five-year-old could use it; simply position the HUD on your screen in-world and click Configure, which then takes you to the Gos webpage. Here you can choose skin options from all major skin makers in Second Life; the skins are updated as soon as there is a new release. Once you have located and chosen the skin you want to wear, you return in-world and simply click Sync on the HUD. You are done and the proud wearer of perfectly matched skin! I think Gospel Voom deserves a medal.

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→ Object: Gos One Time Skin Matching System
→ Creator: Gospel Voom
→ Store Location: Gos Boutique
→ SL Marketplace: Gos

Photography by Kate Bergdorf. Location : Scribbled Hearts. Skin: Summer (America) by Glam Affair. Feet: Barefeet Arched by Gos. Hair: Candy (Light Browns Fade) by Truth Hair. Dress: Mesh Cul-De-Sac (Blue) by Maitreya.

Best Rain Ever

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rain_003I thought I was done blogging for today, but no, here is another post. It turns out that there is another part to the Grey November Gallery that I have mentioned to you in the two previous posts! I had a conversation with the owner, Rodriguez Munro, and he offered me a tour of the forest area; you can teleport there from the gallery shop below. It rains heavily at the Grey November Gallery forest. In fact, I have never seen such rain in Second Life; the density of the raindrops almost feel like fog, hitting the ground in many small puddles. Large groups of black crows hover above thick clusters of dark trees and, in front of me, an old, metal gate has broken into two parts. The sound of the rain and the crows come together here and add to the general feeling of being in a dark and forsaken place. Once you enter this intriguing parcel, you will find a small house that contains a gallery with beautiful photographs by Rodriguez Munro himself. In one of the note cards provided by Rodriguez we find a poem by Hermann Hesse that appears to have been part of what inspired him to create this intriguing spot:

In the Mists
by Hermann Hesse

Wondrous to wander through mists!
Parted are bush and stone:
None to the other exists,
Each stands alone.

Many my friends came calling
then, when I lived in the light;
Now that the fogs are falling,
None is in sight.

Truly, only the sages
Fathom the darkness to fall,
Which, as silent as cages,
Separates all.

Strange to walk in the mists!
Life has to solitude grown.
None for the other exists:
Each is alone.

The gallery in the house is of course a big part of the overall experience here. In it, you will not only find shelter from the raging storm outside, you also find yourself in the midst of Rodriguez’s photography. His images are rather small, cleverly displayed in two clusters on walls, adding to the sense of intimacy that already exists in the house. The photos are all taken in Second Life©, often depicting things like landscapes and crows. Rodriguez’s work is both subtle and fine, clearly reflecting the fact that he has mastered the complexities of the art of photography.  For more information on the work of Rodriguez Munro, check out Suede Magazine Volume 13. This is a special place, go and take a look.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf.

Valentina, again

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One of the photos I took for the post Valentina yesterday brought about quite a bit of enthusiasm from people. Thank you for the positive feedback, everyone. The first photo in that post is part of a series and, due to popular demand, I will post a few other photos from that set here. All images are raw, meaning they have not been manipulated in any way. I took these photos on the sim Calabaza Island, they were shot on the very rainy outside location of the Grey November Gallery.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf. Location : Grey November Gallery. All Poses: by Del May. Skin: Romance (Pale) by Ava Lu. Hair: Slicked Parted Hair Bun (blonde) by Ava Lu. Jewelry: Merriwheather Diamonds by Ava Lu. Dress: Valentina by Ava Lu. All objects by Ava Lu are from the Paper Couture Fall/Winter 2013 Romance Collection.

Photos can also be seen in Second Life at The Bergdorf Reports Photography.

Addendum: Since this post was written I have relocated within Second Life and the Bergdorf Reports Photography space no longer exists. If you are interested in my photography, please let me know and I am happy to give you the picture you like.

Fall 2013: Valentina

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Ava Lu of Paper Couture introduced to us this week Forever Romance, her new Fall 2013 collection. For the first time, some of her items now consist of rigged mesh. The jewelry, head pieces and gowns are gorgeous and of the same high quality that we have come to expect of this talented creator. Included in the new collection you will also find new skin, hair and nails. In addition, the interior of the Paper Couture Flagship store itself has been updated. Initially, I was disappointed, I quite liked the way it used to look, but the new design grew on me;  cream colors, some lingering vegetation, soap bubbles all around. Very dreamy.

The gown Valentina consists of partial rigged mesh and is no transfer. It comes in white with a soft lavender belt. This is a strapless evening gown; below the corset-like top, layers of finely constructed valances are fitted around the waist, the bottom part of the dress flows into a long train that gently covers the ground.

→ Object: Valentina
→ Creator: Ava Lu
→ Store Location: Paper Couture Flagship
→ SL Marketplace: Paper Couture

Photography by Kate Bergdorf. Location : Grey November Gallery. Poses: Driftwood (variant) by Del May. Skin: Romance (Pale) by Ava Lu. Hair: Slicked Parted Hair Bun (blonde) by Ava Lu.

Sky Tower

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I completely fell in love with this build, purchased it and made it my home in Second Life©. The attraction had to do with it providing a sense of the unknown. Let me explain. With the introduction of mesh, we have, for the past year or so, seen an influx of gorgeous and incredibly realistic-looking architecture and interior design. While I am impressed with mesh, and all in favor of beautiful architecture and design that mimic Real Life, I also fear that the concept of a beautiful Real Life build in Second Life now seems rather mundane. The notion of living in an incredibly well-crafted, realistic-looking modern luxury home has lost some of its appeal. The Sky Tower, even though not original per se since inspired by an existing futuristic fantasy building, provides an exciting new Second Life home and living alternative.

The Sky Tower is a 28×55 m, 199 prim, copy/mod build inspired by a building in the movie Oblivion. It basically consists of four levels: the top part is a small room with a wall of windows; the main floor is an expansive space consisting of large, ceiling to floor windows on three sides; below it is a smaller enclosed submarine-like space without windows and, finally, on the bottom is a small unenclosed sitting area. All rooms are connected by stairs. The textures used depict metal, cement and glass. Shadows are used throughout. The doors make an incredible “swish” sound, both when opening and closing.

→ Object: Sky Tower
→ Creator: Kendra Zaurak
→ Store Location: FANATIC
→ SL Marketplace: Fanatic Architecture

Photography by Kate Bergdorf. Location: Home of Kate Bergdorf.