Furillen

Furillen is a sim I’ve visited before, but it is constantly being reinvented.  One constant, however, is that it’s always an amazing place to take photographs, and this iteration is no exception.

It is a wintery, bleak landscape, but it is easy to lose yourself in the grandeur of the scenery.  These trees seem to touch the sky as you stand underneath.

There are a lot of places to sit and reflect in Furillen, including this eclectic collection of chairs near the edge of the water.  I can almost smell the salt on the air and feel the spray on my face.

This seemingly abandoned caravan looks so lonely underneath the bare branches of the tree, yet somehow also welcoming.

I’m always fascinated by which pieces of ‘real life’ make it into sim design.  These utility poles are a great example of things that add realism to the sim – things we see every day, but don’t even think about anymore.

Judging by the multitude of pics I’ve seen on Flickr, many other SL’ers find Furillen as fascinating as I did.

When taking photos, I often spend quite a bit of time playing around with windlights.  Not so here.  The region windlight seemed perfect for the sim, and I couldn’t find anything I thought looked better.

So if you’re ready to spend a bit of time wandering in the cold and snow, make sure to add Furillen to your travel list.

 

Exploring The Dirty Grind

The Dirty Grind is known for its music venue, but it is also a lovely place to wander around.  I’d never been before, so after seeing it blogged, I decided to head over and check it out.

Winter HideoutIt was still winter when I visited, which was a bit unexpected, since most sims are now decorated for spring.  But snow is always gorgeous in SL, so off I went!

Cocoa StandIt was a bit chilly, since I wasn’t really dressed for the weather, so I was happy to come across this adorable hot cocoa stand – just what I needed to fuel my further explorations. 😀

WindmillMy fascination with lighthouses is well-known, but my love of windmills is a close second (they remind me of home).  I’ve never seen this particular windmill in SL before – I love the look of it.

Birdcage HouseSpeaking of things I’ve never seen – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a birdcage house before.  It’s a little too open and airy for me, but it is certainly gorgeous.  I love the spiral staircase.

Grab the LM and a friend and hop over to The Dirty Grind to explore – and then when you’re done, settle in for some music to help you relax.

Winter Beauty

It’s still winter here. Funnily enough, that’s ok with me.  I’ve gone from freezing all the time to being too warm a lot of the time, so winter sounds cool. It’s also keeping my heating bill down, which is nice.    😛

I don’t like being out in the snow, but I love looking at it. It makes everything look so calm and peaceful and glittery and gorgeous.

So my visit to Springfield Wood (Winter Trace) made me a happy camper.

winter-trace-1

The rugged, snow-capped mountains in the background, the adorable and oh-so-cozy looking windmill home – it’s simply amazing. I’m always in awe of landscapers and sim designers who can make magic like this.

winter-trace-2

I don’t see many stone houses where I live (none, really), and this one with the stone path and bench outside looks so inviting. The mix of bare deciduous trees with evergreens is fantastic, and the pops of red from the berries add to the overall look.

Winter Trace SleighI stumbled upon this fabulous sleigh and couldn’t resist taking a pic of the patient horse, just waiting to haul someone through this magical wonderland of snow.

Faithful DogI’m a sucker for animals, and this faithful dog is so adorable, sitting patiently waiting for his master to return.

Snow CartA bit off topic, but I’ve been taking photography classes and learning to play around with light, shadows, and depth of field.  Still, sometimes I stumble upon something, and this photo is one of those.  I love the soft falling snow, the crispness of the wooden cart contrasted with the blurriness of the bushes in the background.  I think it’s one of my favorite photos. 🙂

Winter Trace WindmillThis adorable windmill home is somewhere I’d love to live.  Imagine being all cozy and warm inside, snuggled up by the fire, while the snow falls outside.  Heaven!

Winter Trace MountainsI was really taken with the gorgeous mountains that were the sim surround – the craggy peaks covered with snow – simply stunning.

If you love winter (and even if you don’t), you won’t regret visiting Springfield Wood – just make sure you pack your camera!

LOTD #279 – Winter Wonder

LOTD 279

Wandering alone, she found a wonder.

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My blogging has been somewhat irregular of late – RL and SL are both keeping me busy.

I’m still plugging along in my Visionaire course, though there are days where I just want to bang my head against the desk.

I’ve been meeting some great new people, though, and finding new things.  One of the students in my class is launching a new SL store, and she graciously shared one of her first creations with us.

The gorgeous book tree you see in the pic is her creation and it will be available at the next round of The Liaison Collaborative when it opens on December 7th. She will have other complementary pieces as well, so make sure you check it out.

As a bibliophile, this is possibly my most favorite SL Christmas tree ever. 😛

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Details:

Hair:  Truth – Emika

Skin:  Genesis Lab – Latte

Eyes: Genesis Lab – Green

Shape: Laqroki – Glow (modified)

Body/Hands/Feet: Maitreya – Lara

Head: Genesis Lab – Nina

Coat: Anachron – Winter Blossoms Coat – Snowball

Shoes: Rebel Hope – Jennifer Mesh Boot – White

Book Tree/Lights:  Elusive (@TLC on Dec 7th)

Pose: Elephante Poses

Location: Nouvelles Aventures

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Winter Beauty at Warm Springs

I love to visit different sims and explore the beauty that others have created in SL.

I suck at decorating, inside or outside, so I am always amazed at what people are able to create.  Many of these places are just so gorgeous I have to share!

Warm Springs 1I recently visited a place called Warm Springs.  It’s still decorated for winter, but it is breathtaking.

I love the wintery blue hues of the sim – and such a fantastic lighthouse (one of my favorite things to photograph in SL).

Warm Springs 2There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore, along with some amazing builds.

Who wouldn’t love to come home to this adorable little house?

Warm Springs 3My husband would love to live near the water, and having this deck/dock right off your living room is his idea of heaven. 🙂

Warm Springs 4I saw this fishing boat trawling off the coast and couldn’t resist taking a pic.  I am not a huge fan of seafood, but it would be a dream come true to live this close to the water.

Warm Springs 5I love this little ticket booth – buy your ticket and hop on board for a 3 hour tour. 😛

Take a few moments out of your day and make a quick trip over to Warm Springs.  You’ll be glad you did!

Winter Beauty at The Trace Too

While I was out and about wandering the other day, I ended up over at The Trace Too.

I can’t say enough about how beautiful the sim is – I spent quite a bit of time wandering around, just looking at the peaceful scenery.

The Trace Too 1

The houses look so cozy in the midst of winter, with all the snow on the rooftops.

The Trace Too 2

I love log cabins in the mountains, and the landscaping and decorating on the sim is simply spectacular.

The Trace Too 3

My husband and I hope to retire someplace exactly like this – a snug, cozy little cabin in the mountains, surrounded by peace and serenity.

The Trace Too 4

Or an A-frame like this one, which I think is absolutely gorgeous. 🙂

If you have never been to The Trace Too, I highly recommend a visit.

It is simply stunning.

Aspen Fell and Lucienne

As everyone in my house (well, almost everyone!) headed back to work/school on Monday, I found myself feeling a bit off-kilter.

It’s nice having the house back to myself and getting back on a regular schedule.  But I’m still not quite back in the swing of things.

So I thought I’d wander around SL a bit and take some photos. I’m always on the lookout for picturesque places, and there were several I’d been meaning to visit.

Aspen Fell was the first stop on my journey.

Aspen Fell 3

The sim is absolutely gorgeous. Lots of trees and little hidden nooks to explore.  It had some snow in a few places, but I was happy to see it looked more like fall.  I’m snowed out. 😦

Aspen Fell 1

I confess, I was also killing two birds with one stone.  Niran Dean has updated the Black Dragon viewer again and I wanted to try it out.

It always takes me a bit to remember where everything is since I use Firestorm most of the time.  Once I got it figured out, I was in heaven.

Black Dragon seems to be much kinder to my graphics card and processor than Firestorm when taking high-resolution photos.  I can take photos with both, but Black Dragon is just a wee bit faster when saving to disk. 🙂

After Aspen Fell, I headed over to Lucienne.

It was still decorated for the holidays.  The buildings are just so quaint and picturesque.

Lucienne 1

I love to see how other people decorate their land.  I don’t do a lot of home decor or landscaping myself, so I am always fascinated by other’s builds.

Lucienne 2

I love the look of this little cafe.  It seems a bit chilly to eat outside, but the inside looks warm and inviting.

Lucienne 3

There were lots of little nooks and crannies to explore here.  I love A-frames and this one is just adorable.  This is the kind of home I would love to have if I lived somewhere with lots of snow.

Lucienne 4

If a stately manor is more your style than a simple A-frame, Lucienne has that too.  I love the grand look of this mansion.

Be sure to click on the SLURL’s in the post so you can visit and see the wonder for yourself. 🙂

Trying Out My New Photoshop Skills

Image Source: simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

A week ago, I was lucky enough to stumble across a post on Plurk from Daeberethwen Arbenlow about a tutorial she had made for removing a green screen in Photoshop.

Though I had watched various tutorials on the same subject and attempted it numerous times, I could never get to work as cleanly as the videos showed.

It may be that I have more experience with Photoshop now, but I’m chalking it up to the terrific job Daeberethwen does of explaining in her tutorials.  😀

Since the green screen video, I have used the method with great success. Just yesterday I cajoled my husband into logging into SL so we could take a holiday photo.

I had set up all my props in front of a green screen so that I could insert a different background later in Photoshop.  We could have just gone somewhere winter-y and taken the pic, but I wanted to try out my new skill. 😛

Also, it gave me an excuse to sort through my giant folder of ‘Christmas’ items and purge some of them.  (How do I end up with so many no-copy items that are useless to me for sets?!)

Perfect Xmas 2015

This is the edited photo and what I will be using for Christmas cards. 🙂

I used several techniques I learned in videos from Daeberethwen, including the green screen removal and using the ‘screen’ layer style to add effects.

I am still amazed at how quickly and cleanly I can now add effects and fancy bits to my photos with very little effort!

I changed my ‘green screen’ to blue, since so many of the props have green in them.  I did have to lower my tolerance a bit with the background eraser, because at 100% it was erasing much of his tuxedo!

I added a background texture (the snowflake background behind the pergola), changed the hue of it a bit, and then used the ‘screen’ layer trick to add some snow as an overlay.

After adding the text, I think the total time to process this photo was maybe 20 minutes.  For comparison, here is the original photo:

Xmas Original

As you can see, I cropped it (sorry, Frosty!), removed the blue screen, and then added my other effects.

Simple!

I love playing around in Photoshop and learning new techniques.  I have a ton of pre-made filters and actions I’ve found in various places, but I get much more enjoyment out of discovering how to do something myself. 😀

If you’ve been looking for some great Photoshop tutorials, I highly recommend Daeberethwen’s videos.  You can find the tutorial on using the ‘screen’ layer here.

I can’t wait to try this out with other photos and effects!

Timeless Memories

Winter WishesNow that I finally have a Flickr account, I have been busy taking pictures all over SL.

In my efforts to pare down my inventory, I have been taking pictures of myself in old outfits.

After I have taken a pic, I have no qualms about the deleting the clothes.

Why?

Who knows?

I decided I wanted to take some pictures in my winter outfits (because the winter sims are quickly disappearing).

I had a quick peek through the Destination Guide and found a wonderful sim called Timeless Memories.

If you haven’t been, you should go.

Really.

Go!

Winter WarmthThere are lots of little areas that are decorated with chairs, cushions, animals, and all manner of cuteness. 😀

I spent quite a bit of time there exploring.

There’s an adorable pond with ice-skating penguins and a bakery shoppe.

It actually made me wish for some snow to go play in!

I can’t fit all the pictures I took on the blog, so make sure to take a peek at my Flickr feed and see the rest.

It was all just so cute and adorable and so gosh-darn pretty!

 

LOTD #13

LOTD 13I first visited Hazardous during the recent Blood Letters hunt from MadPeas.

It’s a very rustic looking sim and I thought it would be the perfect place to show off this fall/winter outfit.

Details:

Hair:  >TRUTH< – Fiona Streaked – Reds05

Outfit (coat, jeans, boots):  FK Red Winter Coat, Vintage Boots, LA Jeans

Skin: Laqroki – Martina – Mocha

Shape: Laqroki – Glow (modded)

Eyes: IKON – Utopia – Pale Cerulean

Eyelashes:  Redgrave – Classy

Nails:  Angel Rock – Capria Nails