Hello, World!!

Kat Profile July 2016I’m back!! It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything – sometimes I just need a break to recharge and refresh.

I took a much needed mini-vacation with the spousal unit, did some writing, and, of course, caught some Pokémon!! 😛

In SL, I’ve been working on sets, taking classes, and shopping.  Now it’s time to jump back in – I’ve got some great location pics to share, and lots of other goodies.

One thing I’m hoping to do is make some short how-to videos about some of the new skills/tools I’ve learned.  I like both teaching and attending classes, but sometimes being able to ‘watch’ someone do something is easier than having them explain it.

Tools and techniques in dance are getting more and more complicated, so it’s always a good idea to add to your skill set.  I think sometimes that people make more work for themselves – me, I’m lazy.  Show me the easiest way and I’ll do that. 😛

In case you missed it, Shadow, Martin, and Yummy are teaming up to present the Silly Awards.  It sounds like a lot of fun (who doesn’t like the chance to laugh at themselves?!), so check it out – details are on the DQ blog.

See you soon!!!

Time Flies

Time-Flies
Image Source: empower-u-academy.com

Time flies when you’re having fun, according to the expression.

And indeed it does!

I received a notice today that I have been blogging here for 3 years!  I can’t believe it’s been that long already.

The blog has gone through several changes, and will likely go through several more before I am through.

I had actually been considering whether to continue blogging or not.  Over the years, I’ve tried a few different directions – some worked, some didn’t.

And I think all bloggers reach a point where they wonder if they have anything left to say.  I think I do, so for now, I’ll keep blogging. 😛

I’m having a lot of fun exploring SL and taking landscape photos, so you will definitely continue to see that in the blog.

Dance and LOTD posts may take a bit of a back seat to the photography, but I’m sure they will sneak back in here and there. 😀

For now, I’m off for a drink to celebrate my 3 year anniversary!

Fantastic Second Life Lighting Tutorial

Image Source:  facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu
Image Source: facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu

I came across this tutorial video from Brookston Holiday about creating lights in Second Life.

Graphic resources are always an issue with Second Life – some are lucky to have super-computers that can handle anything SL throws at them.  Some are not so lucky and can find themselves slogging through mud (lag) sometimes.

The tutorial shows a great way to create fabulous lighting effects while minimizing the graphics resources needed to see the effects.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here for the link.

He does a terrific job of explaining how the different light settings work and the affect they have on your lighting in-world.

The tutorial is only 20 minutes long, and it will have you itching to try your own hand at creating better lighting!

I know I will be trying out some of this when creating my sets for dances, and making sure that my set lighting is exactly how I want it. 😀

Best of all, there is he provides a link to his Marketplace store, where you can pick up some of the scene lights he shows for FREE!!

Go watch it now!!! 😀

Thinking Out Loud

Busy Bee
Me this week!
Image Source: http://www.clipartpanda.com

It’s been a very hectic week for me, and I have found myself without much time (or inclination) to blog.  😦

I used to post every day, sometimes twice a day – one written post and then one LOTD post.

I’ve taken on some additional projects and it’s taking me a bit to get used to the lack of free time to write and take photos.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would stop posting every day and see what happened.  As expected, my traffic fell.  Which is disappointing, but totally understandable.  I don’t read every single post every single day of the blogs I follow, so I don’t expect that from my readers either.

However, finding a happy medium has so far been elusive.  I’ve considered changing the direction of the blog (that dreaded ‘niche’ word), but I like writing about many different things.

I love taking photos of fantastic sims and sharing those, and those posts tend be popular.  I love taking my LOTD photos, though those are probably more for me than anyone else. 😀

I also love writing about dance – which is the reason I started this blog.  I am still involved in dancing in SL, and enjoy it very much.  However, I’m not sure that many readers actually enjoy reading about it.

I’ve also become very involved with learning the Artiste tools, and many of my posts have been about that.  Certainly a niche group for those posts! 😛

So, if I post less often, please be assured that I am still here, and I do intend to continue to write (and dance, and take photos).

Enjoy your Thursday!

“If you just build it, they might not come”: promoting events in SL (2) | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Image Source:  facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu
Image Source: facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu

This is the second article in a series by Caledonia Skytower for Inara Pey’s blog.

As many of us know, promoting and marketing your events, whether RL or SL, can be a huge challenge.

Caledonia is sharing her years of experience with us, and it’s definitely worth a read. 🙂

This post covers the basics of marketing materials – what you should include, what you shouldn’t, and how you should always be open to change.

I can’t wait for the next article!

Source: “If you just build it, they might not come”: promoting events in SL (2) | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Progress, Not Perfection

This phrase has become my mantra for 2016.

I’m not one for setting New Year’s resolutions, but I am trying to make some changes in my life.

Since childhood, I’ve been one of those people who wanted to do everything I did perfectly.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, as my father would always say.

Trouble is, I began to believe that if I couldn’t do it right, I shouldn’t do it at all.  This line of thinking made it incredibly easy to procrastinate.

I can’t do it yet, I don’t know enough. 

I can’t do it yet, I’m not ready. 

I can’t do it yet, I might fail.

Sound familiar?

I am trying to focus on being less of a perfectionist and trying to train myself to see progress rather than imperfections.

I’ve been trying for the last year or so to improve my photography and Photoshop skills. I still have a long way to go, but I wondered if I’d made any actual progress.

So I went back to Flickr and looked at my very first LOTD post.

LOTD 1

It’s not terrible, but I can certainly see where I made some mistakes and how I could have done things differently. 🙂

My last LOTD post was this one:

LOTD 248 - Be Still

A lot different, to be sure. 🙂  Of course, I can still see mistakes and things I could have done differently, but I can definitely see progress and that makes me happy. 😀

Grow Your Audience – 8 Tricks Efficient Writers Use On Twitter | Sacha Black

TwitterCardsI found this an interesting post, especially since a friend and I were just discussing this weekend how effective Twitter actually is at growing blog traffic.

SL blogs are niche, of course, but I personally haven’t found that using Twitter leads to much in the way of blog traffic.

I used to schedule tweets in advance, but haven’t done that for a while.  Perhaps I should go back and try again using some of the tips in the article.

Which social media platform leads to the most blog traffic for you?

Source: Grow Your Audience – 8 Tricks Efficient Writers Use On Twitter | Sacha Black

Inventory Bloat

MessyBoxes
Image Source: cutelypoisoned.com

If you know me, you know that I hate having a bloated inventory.

I work pretty diligently to keep it around 30K items.

Once I get over that 30K mark, I will start sorting, boxing, and deleting.

Some things have sentimental value, like pics of friends that are no longer in SL, or items given to me by my loving husband.

I used to hate deleting things, which is crazy, because I am pretty ruthless when it comes to de-cluttering in RL.  If you don’t use it, out it goes – usually to a charity so that someone else can get use out of it.

A year or so ago, I quit boxing up extra sizes of mesh items.  I have no idea why I did this in the first place – I’m not going to suddenly change my avatar shape enough that I would need them. 😛

Now, when I buy something that comes with the standard sizes, I save the fitmesh (if there is one), I save two sizes (in case my boobs or butt poke through in one) and the rest get deleted.

I am guilty of saving fitmesh for bodies I don’t own, I confess.  I’ve considered buying either the Slink body or the Belleza one, so I hang on to those items ‘just in case.’ 😀

I don’t own much system clothing anymore, except for costumes for dancing.  Working out how to dance with a mesh body (which can be done) is sometimes tricky with layers, so I will often just opt for my system avatar when I dance.

I am currently sitting at around 35K in inventory, which is driving me bonkers.  I need to sort and box up some stuff, which I hope to get around to sometime next week.

A lot of the bloat has come from blogging events.  I know that many people think that bloggers only blog to get free stuff, but that’s far from true.  Some do, of course, but not the majority.

I blogged for some events because I genuinely like the events and designers, not because I wanted free stuff.  Free stuff was nice, of course, but not necessary for me.

I don’t generally buy fatpacks of anything (even shoes!).  Mostly because I’m cheap. 😛   But also because I try to pick colors that will provide a variety of options, the same as I do in RL.

I don’t own 14 colors of the same sweater in RL, and the same is true in SL.  So when I started blogging for a few events and I got fatpacks of everything, the inventory got overwhelming pretty quickly.

I understand why the designers do it that way – they have no idea what other items you’re going to blog, and giving you a variety of options means more chances that you’ll choose to include one of their items.

But I have no idea how fashion bloggers keep track of their massive inventories.  Hats off to them, because I couldn’t do it. 😀

These days, I buy what I like (an in & out shopper, that’s me!) and I delete what I don’t want or need.

I do wish there was some sort of ‘Goodwill’ in SL for transfer items.  I have plenty of quality items that I could get rid of, but no one to give them to.  😦

If I could just box them up and drop them off somewhere, so that someone would get some use out of them, that would be amazing!

Sure, I could sell them on MP, but that’s a lot of work for not much return.  I don’t need L$ for them, I just hate to delete them if someone else could use them.

Oh, I know it would never work.  Set up a ‘thrift shop,’ where people could drop items set for sale to $0L, restrict to avatars who are less than 30 days old.  But then people would just make new avis, get all the stuff for free, and then sell it on MP for a profit.

Do I sound cynical? 😛

I guess there’s nothing to do but start deleting.

*Dives into the pile of boxes and starts sorting*

The truth about events… [NSFW] – Mesh Body Addicts

Group of event related 3D words. Part of a series.
Events

This is an interesting post from Daria over at Mesh Body Addicts.

Some of the pics are NSFW, so be careful before you click over to the full post.

I have to say, as someone who has frequented many of these shopping events, I’ve become much more selective about where I shop.

I do sometimes get early access to events through my blogging group, which is fabulous, because the lag is generally pretty low.

My computer is fairly high-end, however, so I don’t experience many of the issues mentioned here.

I do agree with the issue of people who seem to get into an event and then just ‘park’ there.  I’ve also often wondered why most events are ‘full’ at 35-40 avatars, when I’ve been to many shows where there are double that amount of people.

When I shop, I do try to be a polite shopper – I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, I don’t wear a lot of attachments (soo many people walking around with pets attached – very annoying), and I often don’t even wear my mesh body.

I confess, I don’t demo a lot of things.  I can’t think of something I’ve bought that I couldn’t make work.  I know there have probably been a couple of things, but it’s few and far between for me.

I look at the event catalogues (or on Seraphim) to see what I might want before I go to the event, so I can get in, buy, and leave.

If there’s nothing I really want, then I’ve saved myself a trip, a lot of hassle, and probably a lot of L$. 😛

I haven’t event tried to get into Collabor88 yet, and I’m still seeing notices all over that people can’t get in.

I’d much rather shop an event like Mix, where you get a HUD with LM’s to all the stores and you’re not fighting every fashionista in SL to get in. :-/

The post is an interesting read – make sure you read through the comments as well. 🙂

Source: The truth about events… [NSFW] – Mesh Body Addicts

Happy New Year Everybody!

Image Source:  newyeargreetings2016.com
Image Source: newyeargreetings2016.com

It’s been a crazy couple of days at my house.

Two trips to the dentist in two days (neither were for me, thank goodness).

I still need to get out and pick up a few things for the party tonight, but I spent yesterday baking, so all the desserts are done. 😀

2015 has been a wonderful year, and I am looking forward to all the challenges and good times coming in 2016.

May your 2016 be filled with dance, love, laughter, and all the happiness you can stand!

Happy New Year!