LEA22 – Funky Junk

Whenever I’m looking for a good place to take photographs, I know I can count on the LEA sims.

This trip I ended up at LEA22 – Funky Junk.  The description says it’s still under construction, but there is a ton to see and explore.

LEA 22 1The sim is full of art pieces and vignettes made of recycled junk.  I was having so much fun exploring that I was snapping pics like mad. Of course, I couldn’t resist playing around a bit with some of the great filters in Firestorm.

LEA 22 2I was a little lost and confused at first, but still having a blast wandering around and looking at everything.  (I always forget to read the land description until after I’ve wandered around a bit – or a lot!)

LEA 22 3I loved these little worker ants – heading down into the whirlpool of discarded junk, and then trundling back up the hill to their home.

LEA 22 4It really does make you stop and think about how much junk we humans through away (into landfills, the ocean, etc.) every day.

LEA 22 5There were some whimsical vignettes placed here and there around the sim.  I’m not quite sure what species these birds (?) are, but their babies are cute as the dickens. 😛

LEA 22 6This scene struck me as particularly funny and poignant. The little worker is making trees out of the trash lumber, and then painting it green to make the trees you see in the background.

Ironic, yes?

LEA 22 7As I was pondering the irony of the Forestry Department scene, I stumbled into this forest of book trees.

The sim was amazing and chock full of things to see and do.  The land description also says to wear your headset and click stuff (something I neglected to do).

Head on over and try it out!  Or, if you don’t have much time in-world, you can visit the Funky Junk blog and see what it’s all about.

Linden Endowment for the Arts: OCTOBERVILLE 2015 : Now Open on LEA 9

I’m not generally a fan of creepy and spooky, but this Halloween event sounds like a lot of fun!

I’ll be checking it out soon. 🙂

Source: Linden Endowment for the Arts: OCTOBERVILLE 2015 : Opening Oct. 1st at 2 PM SLT on LEA 9

Watercolors In The Rain – LEA29

Yesterday, while wandering around looking for good photography locations, I landed at LEA29.

Titled ‘Watercolors in the Rain,’ the sim is an homage to the book of the same name by David Lavigne.

According to the information at the landing point, the team of artists worked closely with Mr. Lavigne in designing the sim.

The sim has specific areas that are designed to look like places described in the novel, denoted by the presence of ‘Storybook Trees.’

As a literature fan, I was intrigued.

I’ve not read the novel, but I was curious and decided to have a peek.

At the beginning of the walk-through, I discovered there was a hunt – find all the white ravens in the various areas.

A hunt AND photographs?

Yes, please. 😀

So while I wandered around taking photos of the gorgeously decorated sim, I was also busy hunting ravens.

The first area is decorated as a small historical town.

Watercolors 1There’s a chemist, a photography studio, a sidewalk cafe, and various sidewalk vendors set up along the street.

There are a lot of details and it creates a wonderful atmosphere.

Flying is not enabled, so you have to meander through the town.

After resting my feet a bit at the sidewalk cafe, I wandered on.

I found a gorgeous pavilion and a cute little pie stand.

Just the thing for a cool fall afternoon – a slice of pie and something warm to drink. 🙂

Watercolors 2I was also delighted to discover as I wandered around that the little town included a bookseller.

After all, what’s a town without a bookstore?

After seeing all the sights (and finding all the ravens), I walked up the trail to the next section, the vacant mountaintop saloon.

As you wander up the hill, the landscape changes from crisp autumn to winter, with snow drifts appearing as you rise higher.

Watercolors 3The clues from the hunt direct you into the abandoned saloon.

After finishing this section, you take the hot air balloon ride to the next area.

I’ve never ridden in a hot air balloon in SL before, so it was a fun experience.

You are deposited at the next area, Aubrey’s Mansion.

The exterior of the mansion includes a lovely garden with a beautiful courtyard.

Watercolors 5You’re directed into the house to find the next raven, so I spent a few minutes peeking into all the rooms.

I love how mesh statues can add to the realism of decorations, but boy howdy, do they give me a fright sometimes!

After searching through the house and finding all the ravens, I was directed back outside.

A teleporter takes you to the next area – Angel’s Grove.

All the areas are really beautifully done, but Angel’s Grove was my favorite.

Watercolors 6Not only was the landscape beautiful, there was a game inside the hotel.

A word game!

My favorite!

I spent a few minutes trying my skills at unscrambling words, and then decided I’d better get on with the hunt.

Next up on the travel agenda was the Dark Forest.


Watercolors 7Everything had been so beautiful up to this point, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I was a bit taken aback when I landed, as it was indeed a Dark Forest.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend too much time in it.

You enter a castle and after a long trek up some steep stairs, there is a lovely little winter area, complete with a carousel, a skating rink, and a cozy little seating area with a roaring fire.

I wandered through the rest of the areas, finally reaching the end.

I found all the ravens but one, and some of the gifts you receive look quite interesting. 🙂

It’s worth the walking just to see the beautiful landscaping and decorating.

I’m not sure how long the installation will be up, so stop by before it disappears.

Failure to Thrive by Storm Septimus @ LEA15

A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit LEA15, where Storm Septimus has created the installation titled ‘Failure to Thrive.’

I wandered around taking photos, struck by the raw beauty of the build.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Cage

I must admit, I did not get the info card from the artist when I landed, so I just used the windlight of the sim.

I was engrossed in taking pics and playing around with the various filters now available for snapshots.

However, there were several points where I was taken aback by the dark turn the build had taken.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Birds

The beautiful birds have been pierced by scissors.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Dolls

I was concentrating on the cute dolls in the cage.

After taking the photo, I was unnerved by the red glare of the doll in the background.

Then I realized what the ‘tea party’ actually was.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Plate

Notice the fork stuck in the back of this hapless doll.

After my first wander-through, I went searching for an explanation or some insight into the artist’s thought process.

According to the artist, “If I were to use one word to sum it all up, well that’s easy, its simply about depression. I have been fighting with depression for almost as long as I can remember. Though I think it would take an idiot not to see that with the style of builds I install within SL. I find it very easy to indulge that side of me, and the results are usually bleak yet rather beautiful.  Originally the sim was to be just called The Gray Child as that was the title of my self indulgent mini ramble on a particularly woeful day. []In later thoughts I realised that’s what depression is … it is a failure to thrive .. emotionally.”  (via LEA blog)

After reading the explanation, I visited the build again, this time paying more attention to some of the underlying pieces I had missed or passed over on the first exploration.

Underneath the ‘tea party,’ I found strange creatures holding up the building.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Creature

A creature like this is surely the stuff of nightmares.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Creature 2

Or this one.

The build is certainly much darker than it originally appeared.

Discussing the build, Storm also said, “Alot (sic) of it looks perfectly acceptable from a distance… then when you get closer less desirable things come into focus. Agin a classic thing with people who suffer depression , on the outside we can quite easily appear like we are doing okay , get closer you see the cracks.” ( via LEA blog)

I took many more pictures than I can show here, so head on over to my KoinUp page to see additional (raw) photos.

I think I took somewhere around 50 photos, playing around with various filters and effects.

Failure to Thrive LEA15 Diver

I highly recommend taking some time to wander around the build – it was definitely time well spent.

Impressions by Inara Pey

I’ve been a busy bee in SL lately, and I made it to Inara Pey’s current LEA exhibit, called ‘Impressions.’

What is ‘Impressions’?

According to Inara, it’s a combination of three things:  “The first is a display of my more recent images and videos of places I’ve visited around Second Life – the impressions they’ve given me, if you will.  The second is the setting itself, an interpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous “Fallingwater,” the house he built for Edgar J. Kaufmann and his family – a house that has made an enormous impression on me over the years.  The third is the 2D and (particularly) 3D work of a talented Italian student, CioTToLiNa Xue – work that made quiet an impression on me when I happened across it in July, and have wanted to share with a wider audience.”

After having a bit of time to wander around the sim, I can tell you that it definitely makes an impression.  The build of the house (one of my favorite FLW buildings), is fabulous.  And the surrounding setting is just lovely.  Interspersed around the house you’ll find Inara’s photography displayed, as well as the works of CioTToLiNa Xue.  Though I love Fallingwater, I found myself taking more pictures of the surrounding areas, as it is just incredibly picturesque.

Impressions 1

Impressions 2

Impressions 3

Impressions 4

Impressions 5

Take a few moments out of your busy SL, and visit ‘Impressions.’

Let the beauty of the area, the build, and the art feed your soul.

Dreamers – LEA24

I had the opportunity over the weekend to visit the ‘Dreamers’ art installation by Cica Ghost.

Located on LEA24, visitors find themselves “in a surreal world canopied by a magical sky,” where “sixteen figures look upward to dream, and eight eagerly share their visions with visiting explorers.”

I always enjoy visiting the LEA sims and seeing what magical and amazing things others have created.  Then I get busy snapping pictures. In the past, I have played with various windlight settings, trying to put my own spin on what I’m seeing.

However, after spending a bit of time fussing around, I decided that the region windlight was perfect.  I plan to go back and visit again – it truly is a place for dreamers. 🙂

Dreamers 1

I loved the two butterfly trees on the beach.

Dreamers 2

A bird’s eye view of the dreamers.

Dreamers 3

The surreal wash of colors in the background is stunning.

Dreamers 4

The soft hues and the playful decor are impressive.

If you have some time to spare, do your soul a favor and visit Dreamers.

Love, Henry?

Love Henry 1A few days ago I had the chance to visit LEA8, the “Love, Henry” installation by Tahita Rae.

My initial interest was because I have long been fascinated by Henry VIII and his multiple wives.

So much so that I used to teach a whole unit on Henry and his wives in my British Literature class. 😀

There’s just so much surrounding Henry VIII – death, divorce, adultery, intrigue, romance, royalty – you name it, it’s in there.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Anne Boleyn – probably because her daughter, Elizabeth I, is also an interest of mine.

When you explore the sim (and you absolutely must – it is jaw-droppingly gorgeous!), the main castle has some interactive displays and information on the love affair between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Love Henry 2One of the most interesting things was the purported letter written (or more probably dictated) by Anne to Henry VIII while she was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

The provenance of the letter is disputed by historians, so we’re left to wonder whether it was truly written/dictated by Anne, or whether it is a fabrication of some sort.

(I happen to have a family member who has a degree in medieval history, so I will certainly be bending their ear about it!)

It’s an interesting question – whether Anne truly committed adultery (I don’t think so) and whether Henry was duped by Anne’s enemies, or whether Henry himself was behind it.

And whether Henry, at the end of his own life, regretted having Anne beheaded.

Love Henry 6While the history is certainly thought-provoking, it pales in comparison to the beauty of the sim itself.

I had a wonderful time exploring the grounds.

There are lots of hidden nooks and crannies to explore, along with some amazing buildings and architecture.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing around with windlights and angles and I think I got some nice shots.

It’s an interesting subject, and an even more interesting sim.

Happy exploring!

University of The Arts

Univ of Scenic Arts_001
University of Scenic Arts Campus

Carla Ives (lacocinelle) has been awarded an LEA grant and the ‘University of The Scenic Arts’ is underway.

You can read the original blog post here.

According to the student information, “The University of Scenic Arts is a place to share knowledge, learn or teach; the lessons given are related to theater dance show.”

If you’ve always wanted to take (or teach) a class about choreography, mover systems, particles, or the like, you will have a chance in September.

For students, you will need to fill out a student application and then drop it in the mailbox in the Arts office.

There is a different application for teachers, so if you have dance/theatre knowledge you want to share, fill it out and drop it off.

UOSA Schedule
UOSA September Schedule

The sim is decorated very prettily, as you can see above.

This is the schedule posted near the classroom.

The first class is scheduled for September 4.

(Click on the picture to make it bigger, if you have old eyes like mine!)

I wandered about the sim, and there are also some art exhibits on display.

I’m not sure how you get exhibition space, as that wasn’t mentioned in the blog post.

Nor could I find information about them during my visit to the sim.

Univ of Scenic Arts_002
UOSA Theater

There is a large amphitheater on the sim as well.

Presumably that is where the performances will be held.

Mark your calendars so you don’t forget!

Giant Snails?

VintageSnailOne of my goals this year has been to do more exploring in Second Life.

It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut, even in SL.

So after coming across a post about giant snails and giant snail races, I had to go check it out.

I must say, the snails were adorable.

They were decorated in various themes (like parade floats!) and were very well done.

There was a Tinkerbell, a Dorothy (complete with a flying witch), a hula snail, and even a Star Trek snail. 😛

Apparently there are giant snail races every Saturday at 11am SLT here.

If I have time this weekend, I’ll have to go check it out.

The vintage snail in the pic above was my favorite – especially when I realized that there were adorable baby snails in the pram!

VintageBabySnailsAren’t they just darling?!!!

Trying to get a good pic proved interesting and a tad difficult, because the snail’s eyes follow you around.

A bit disconcerting, but cute.

The snails are currently on display at LEA4, so if you like snails, head on over and check them out.


Playing Around

For most of my SL, I’ve been dancing.

So I’m always working on something.  A dance, a set, emotes, whatever.

But since I have been able to bump up my settings to Ultra, I am having a total blast running around everywhere and playing with my camera and phototools.

I was especially excited when I learned Whiskey Monday got an LEA sim and would be setting up places for photogs to come and play around.

What do you think?

Mermaid1The mermaid costume is called Undine by !deviousMind.

I love her designs.

Mermaid2One of the things I had never been able to do before was really see water reflections.

So when I saw a house filled with water and floating birds, I had to snap a few pics.

I can’t wait to see what she sets up next.