The Trace Too – Summer Trace

The Trace has long been a go-to destination for photographers and beauty lovers.  There have been some changes, so I decided to head back for another look.

What I discovered is that there are now three (3!) Traces – decorated for Summer, Fall, and Winter.  The Trace Too is the Summer Trace, and it was absolutely gorgeous.

beach buoy

This was my view upon landing – simply stunning. I love the soft pinks and purples in the horizon. The waves and water are so realistic – I just stood and listened and looked for a while.

beach house at The Trace Too

There are several beach houses dotted around the sim, all superbly staged.  They looked so comfy and cozy, it was hard to resist plopping down onto one of the swinging chairs and lazing the day away.

chair at The Trace Too

There were also little vignettes here and there, like this adorable sun chair, tucked in under a sheltering tree branch.

Fountain at The Trace Too

I love fountains, and this lovely maiden with her fishy companion was just too cute.  Something about the sound of running water is so soothing.

beach house at The Trace Too

All the beach houses were lovely, surrounded by the water and gorgeous fields of colorful flowers.

vintage car at The Trace Too

My favorite find was this vintage car.  I can just imagine driving around, top down, the wind blowing through my hair, taking in all the gorgeous sights.

The Trace Too is a must-visit!

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African Beauty at Devin

I saw some pictures of Devin from other photographers, and I just had to go take a look for myself.

Devin Landscape

The sim is gorgeous.  This was taken near the landing point – the sun shining down on the water, the elephants at play – I couldn’t resist snapping a shot.

I’m a sucker for animals, so I had an absolute blast wandering the sim and taking photos.

devin-2

I mean, how adorable is this tiny elephant?! There were animals of various kinds all around the sim, along with various areas where you could sit and just enjoy the scenery.

giraffe taking a drink

As I zoomed around with my camera, I found these giraffes taking a short siesta. Such magnificent creatures!

vintage rusty car

There were other things to look at besides the animals, including this rusty vintage car, probably for use as some sort of cobbled together shelter from all the animals.  It doesn’t look very comfortable, though.

zebras

This was one of my favorite areas  – who doesn’t love baby zebras?!  Mama was a tad overprotective of her little one, so I kept a respectful distance.

Devin landscape

The sim was so beautiful I wanted a wide-angle shot of everything.  The river running through it, all the animals, the sand, and the sun – a fantastic and wonderful place to spend a few hours and soak in the beauty of nature.

An Uncertain Destiny

The last several days I have spent some time traveling around to new places, trying to ease my soul with beauty.

One of the places I found is ‘An Uncertain Destiny.’

gargoyle fountain

I found myself drawn to objects on the sim, like this gargoyle fountain. I love the play of light and shadows on him, the duality of it – is he as adorable as he appears? Or will he eat your face off?  Hard to know, isn’t it?

The sim is a rather rainy destination, so an umbrella is probably in order if you visit.

dragon light

This little creature caught my eye as well.  The detailing of the textures is simply stunning.  The lantern bathes him in soft light, bringing out the amazing patina.

vintage tricycle

I found this little gem just as I was getting ready to leave the sim.  A reminder of a time when life was simpler.

The Gates of Melancholy

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit The Gates of Melancholy. According to the land information, the sim is inspired by the life and work of famous American painter Andrew Wyeth.

Gates of Melancholy 1

I’d seen pictures of the sim taken by several different SL photographers, so I was curious to head over and see it for myself.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Gates of Melancholy 2

There are tons of areas to explore and the windlight is simply amazing. Sometimes I will find myself playing around with the windlight on sims to get different effects for my pics.  But I loved the windlight on this sim. 😀

Gates of Melancholy 3

I think one of the reasons the sim is so appealing to me is that it reminds me of 1) home, and 2) simpler times.  No reminders of things that are ubiquitous today – cell phones, TVs, cars, etc. Just peace and quiet.

Gates of Melancholy 4

I would love to live somewhere like this – near the shore, where I could listen to the waves crash on the beach, but high enough to be protected from most storms, sheltered by huge old trees.

Gates of Melancholy 5

I’ve never lived near the water, so I am fascinated by places like this.  Being that close to so much water seems like it would be amazing.  Of course, I’m sure I wouldn’t appreciate the storms and hurricanes, but it’d be worth it, right? 😛

The sim is absolutely gorgeous, so hop on over and check it out.

Amazing Art at 30/31 Event

We are about halfway through the current round of Kultivate Magazine’s 30/31 event.  There are some fantastic artists and designers featured, including this fabulous piece:

Aug 3031 Emma

This gorgeous watercolor is by Emmalena Damour.  Titled “Abstract Lilac Watercolor,” this amazing piece was created from a photograph of a lilac branch, and then manipulated in a graphics program to produce the end result.

Simply stunning. I love abstract art, and this piece is definitely going to hang on my wall. 🙂

Priced at $331L, you can get your copy here.  The 30/31 event only runs through August 7, so don’t wait to get yours!

August Round of 30/31 Event

The newest round of the Kultivate Magazine’s 30/31 event is now open.  Kultivate (formerly Windlight Magazine) has some amazing artists and designers participating in this round.

Aug 3031 Brie Dress

One of the items you can purchase is this amazing dress from Prism.   The Brie Urban Leather Dress comes with a color change HUD and the texturing on the dress is stunning.  It’s only $331L and you can pick it up here.  It comes with fitted options for Standard, Hourglass, Slink, TMP, and Maitreya bodies.  I paired it here with a great necklace from Meva and some strappy shoes from R.icielli.

Of course, there is also some fantastic art in this round.

Aug 3031 Journey Art

I love this piece – it speaks to contrasts.  The area looks isolated, with huge rocky mountains looming in the background, but then you have this lovely little area with its well-worn chairs and table, and an unfinished game just waiting for them to return.

I’ve spent many a long hour playing games with family and friends and this picture evokes all those lovely memories. 🙂

Should you desire a copy for your own home, you can find it here.  It is copy-only, but it is a fabulous piece that would add to any home.

Both pieces (the dress and the art) were created by Journey McLaglen.  I took a quick peek at her Flickr, and she is amazing.  After you finish drooling over her photostream, don’t forget to head over and pick up these amazing items – the round only lasts until August 7!

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Practice Makes Perfect

Summer is a relaxing time for many people.  Sadly, not for me.  I am eagerly awaiting the start of school in the fall already.  Why?  I have a child who is involved in 3 different activities this summer, and playing chauffeur has gotten a bit old. :-/

Getting up before the sun has never been on my to-do list, and I like it even less during the summer.  However, I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons, so I’ve been using the extra time to work improving my skills – in dance, in photography, in photoshop – I even tried some melted crayon art projects! 😛

I’ve been collecting a number of outfits and items with an eye towards doing photos with them.  So I finally unpacked all the items I got from the June round of The Arcade, including Sweet Thing’s ballerina costume.

I did have a time figuring out the new Slink Pointe feet.  I got the feet on and figured out the HUD pretty easily, but when I added the shoes, they were too small.  I tried changing the size of the feet with the HUD, but that really only affected the ankle area.  I tried to see if I could modify/enlarge the shoes, but they are mesh and it wouldn’t work.

So, I finally contacted a CSR – turns out the shoes are rigged mesh, so I had to change the size of my feet by altering my shape.  My feet are generally set to 0 – a holdover habit from invisiprim shoes, I guess.  Anyhow, I set my feet to 34 in the appearance editor and voilá! – the shoes fit perfectly!

Now I’ll know for next time when my shoes don’t fit. 😛

I decided that since I was dressed as a ballerina, I would do some ballet dances and use the slo-motion animation trick to try and snap some pics.  I have a ton of static ballet poses, but sometimes I can’t find just what I want.

I love watching ballet anyway, so I just set my HUD to play and started snapping.  I took way more photos than I used, but that’s part of the fun.  Then I decided to make a collage of some of the better snaps.  Here’s the result:

Dreaming

I used ballet dance animations from Abranimations and MyANIMATIONS for the pictures.  I turned on slo-motion for the animations (read about that here if you’re interested) and had a blast.  Once I had a series of pics, I headed into Photoshop and started working.  I made a basic background, added a simple light effect and then copied the dance pics onto it.

Then, because I like playing around, I started trying out various actions and effects.  I ended up using one from the Nik Collection – I should really use it more often, there are some great options in it!

 

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