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In the Atelier

In the Atelier

As readers of this blog will know, I don’t usually write about new releases from designers.

But occasionally, something much-longed for comes from a designer, and one definitely wants to shout about it.

Kayle Matzerath’s Dream Scenes – those wonderful interchangeable skyboxes – are always stunning in creation and detail, but sio much work goes into each and every one that new releases are few and far between. I was extremely lucky to win a full set a couple of years back in a raffle to celebrate the Garden of Dreams birthday. Since then, I have added the Library – a really sumptuous place. I use various of the Scenes for different purposes – the Piano Bar has been an actors’ hang-out, we have Golden Prim meetings in the Library – and the Library has also figured in The Blackened Mirror. I have entertained clients in the Village Cafe and the Field and the Roman Baths are my ultimate private chill-out spots.

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

Now Kayle has released a new Dream Scene – The Atelier – and as soon as I saw it, I was humming Puccini. Because this really is that Paris garret where Marcello, Rudolo, Colline and Schaunard live and work. You can see Narcello’s easel and a work in progress, as well as the (sadly) unsold canvases piled against the wall. And there are books a-plenty for Rudolfo and Colline – dramas and philosophical works piled on almost every shelf and table. There’s no sign of Schaunard’s fiddle – he must have taken it with him – but surely the wind-up gramophone belongs to him.

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

But there are other forces at work here too. In a couple of places you’ll find pressure boilers – and there’s a very workman-like work bench. Could it be that our artistshave a practical bent? And a taste for steampunk? Certainly that artist’s lay model looks a little … rusty. And there’s a telescope too – is that used for spying on the cigarette girls leaving the factory (yes, I am mixing my operas) or is it used for stargazing? And … is that an airship to be glimpsed through the upper window?

I have a suspicion that it’s New Babbage out there …

If you’d like to see more than my pictures can show, there’s a video which I’m embedding here.

Many of the elements of the Dream Scene are also on sale individually, so you can add them to your existing home.  The Atelier uses the Advanced Lighting Model with normal and specular maps so to get the full effect you need the latest Second Life or Firestorm viewer.

The team at Garden of Dreams, to celebrate this new release, have also announced a competition with a really exciting prize:

They say:

We’ve never had a Dream Scene that was so detailed and while building it we had our own story in mind that might fit to the person who lives ..lived? there and what his life must have looked like. But instead of telling you our story, we want you to tell us yours. Who ever tells us the most funny or heartbreaking or whatever story of that atelier or its inhabitants is going to WIN a complete set of all 35 Dream Scenes available worth more than 60.000 L$. If the winner wants to, we will even publish it in our next notice.
You don’t even need to buy the scene, you can just use one of the Bubbles in the Garden of Dreams.
Don’t be afraid. Not a lot of people read that far into the notice and we might get only one story. Why shouldn’t it be yours? You got time until the 14th of February! Good Luck!

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

The whole scene is designed to Kayle’s usual high standards, but what makes this really exciting to me is that Kayle’s skill with mesh means that the whole Atelier has a land impact/prim count of just 156 – including all the furniture and furnishings – which come complete with a huge variety of animations; the bed alone has 113 (and no, I haven’t checked to see if dying piteously of consumption is one of those). If you want it as a single, standalone skybox, its footage is a modest 26 x 19, and it will cost you $2000, which is very cheap for worksmanship of this detail and quality.

So why not pop over to Garden of Dreams and take a look for yourselves? And definitely enter that competition!

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Prim Perfect is sponsoring three talks today at the Auditorium at the SL10B Community Celebrations.

Nicky Ree

Firstly, at 1pm, Saffia will be talking to the well known fashion designer Nicky Ree about her work and her experiences within Second Life.

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Then, at 3pm, in the next in our series of Ekphrasis talks, Rowan Derryth will be talking to Bryn Oh, the well-known (and very popular) Second Life artist. You can see more details of that talk here.

Dr Who in Second Life

And finally at 4pm, Saffia will be talking to fans and followers of Dr Who in Second Life.

Do come and join us!

And don’t forget the special Prim Perfect contest at the Celebrations. Name the places In Our Second Lives, and you could win L$5000!

Can you name the places?

Can you name the places?

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Prim Perfect is sponsoring two talks today at the Auditorium at the SL10B Community Celebrations.

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

At 3pm, in the next in our series of Ekphrasis talks, Rowan Derryth will be talking to Ian Upton, who recently broke the virtual wall with his exhibition EXTRACT/INSERT which was shown at both the LEA and in ‘real life’ at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.. You can see more details of that talk here.

Meet the Tinies!

Meet the Tinies!

Then at 4pm SLT, Saffia Widdershins will be talking to members of fantastica;;u creative Tiny Community about their role in Second Life.

Do come and join us!

And don’t forget the special Prim Perfect contest at the Celebrations. Name the places In Our Second Lives, and you could win L$5000!

Can you name the places?

Can you name the places?

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Prim Perfect is sponsoring three talks today at the Auditorium at the SL10B Community Celebrations.

What lies ahead for the heroes of The Blackened Mirror?

What lies ahead for the heroes of The Blackened Mirror?

First of all, at 1pm, Elrik Merlin will be talking to Zander Greene and Aisling Sinclair, two of the cast of the popular Treet TV drama series The Blackened Mirror. Zander (in real life actor Scott Simpson) plays Harland Quinn, the private investigator in a big dieselpunk city who is hired by the mysterious Alais Allen (played by Aisling).  They will be talking about the show and the upcoming series but … no spoilers! The show, by the way, is written by author David Abboy, who is also travelling The Long Walk at this year’s Community Celebration.

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Ekphrasis Talks at SL10B Community Celebration

Then, at 3pm, in the next in our series of Ekphrasis talks, Rowan Derryth will be talking to the very talented film-maker Draxtor Despres , who has been drawing plaudits for his new media series, the Drax Files. You can see more details of that talk here.

Non Profit Commons at the Auditorium

Non Profit Commons at the Auditorium

And last for today, at 4pm SLT, Saffia Widdershins will be talking to several members of Nonprofit Commons about their work and about the role of nonprofits in Second Life.

Do come and join us!

And don’t forget the special Prim Perfect contest at the Celebrations.  Name the places In Our Second Lives, and you could win L$5000!

Can you name the places?

Can you name the places?

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There are exciting things going on at the Second Life Community Celebrations!

Linden Gift Vendor

Linden Gift Vendor

Firstly, in special Linden vendors set up around the sims, you’ll find exclusive limited Linden gifts (some are also available on the Marketplace), but each is only available for a limited time. We can’t tell you when an item will be ready for grabbing or even what might be offered at any given time. You’ll find one vendor near the Welcome Area on SL10B Beguile – or have fin hunting down the others – and see some very cool exhibits on the way!

Photo Contest Voting Board

Photo Contest Voting Board

Secondly, we need you to vote in our Photo Contest! You might remember that we asked you to take photographs that matched the theme: “Looking Forward, Looking Back”. We have selected the best of these and have placed them out for you to vote on. Which do YOU like best? Come and register your choice!

The Board is located near the Welcome Area in Beguile – and maybe you can pick up a free gift from the Linden vendor at the same time!

Pssst … we’ll have news of another great Photo Contest soon … so keep reading the blog!

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Magnificat By Alia Baroque Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat By Alia Baroque
Photo By Beq Janus

This year Fantasy Faire was not only a beautiful place to visit, but also a hugely evocative one, stirring the imagination and leading many of us to reflect on what stories could be told about these lovely and mysterious lands.

Once the stores were packed away and the crowds departed … what beings yook possession of the glass lantern city high in the mountains that shines in Titan’s Hollow? What languid aristocrats returned to their faded palaces along the canal of Magnificat to watch the little boats sail out eternally toward the sunset? What troglodytes or dwarves emerged, grumbling, from the lower depths of The DragonSpire to reclaim their caves? What heroes pushed their way through the blood-red roses of Crimson Fields, their eyes fixed on the looming Dark Tower ahead? And so for all the regions, each with their special tales to tell.

The Lanterns of Titans' Hollow

The Lanterns of Titans’ Hollow

We are sure that, as you visited the Faire, some of those questions occurred to you. These may be stories connected with the mythos of the Faire that the organisers suggested – but it may be that a region captured your imagination and you found yourself envisaging a very different tale. And we are sure that, like so many of us, you just wished these amazing locations could be on the grid forever so that you could have your own little piece of the Fairelands.

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

Today is the last day to enter the short story contest for the best stories written about the Fairelands of 2013. The top entries will be published in the summer issue of Prim Perfect magazine, coming out in early August 2013.

You story can focus on one region – Evensong Woods, or Lotus Valley Dream, for example – and ignore all the others. Or you might use the juxtaposition of two regions, or even draw on more of the Fairelands, as a whole vast realm, perhaps surrounding an inland sea. It’s up to you.

And your story can be sad or happy, wise or witty. It can make us laugh, cry, gasp, nod with agreement … or do all of these things by turns.

Dragon over Lumenaria

Dragon over Lumenaria

While we don’t need long passages of description, the setting of the story should be clear. If it makes us ask, “Now – is this Ravenshard or Lumenaria?” it won’t be working for us.

Your story should be between one and three thousand words in total. While we love the idea of longer works (wouldn’t it be amazing to read a fantasy novel set in the Fairelands?), for this competition we want something that stands alone and that can be read as a complete piece.

We also want something that is completely your own work and written for this competition. You will retain the copyright, but in submitting the story you give us permission to publish the story in electronic format in Prim Perfect and on websites and social media sites belonging to Prim Perfect and Fantasy Faire.

Ravenshard

Ravenshard

The deadline for submission is May 31.

Send your story in plain text or in .RTF or Word doc format to: fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com

We will acknowledge receipt (although it may take a little time).

Results (and winning entries) will appear in the August issue of Prim Perfect magazine.

The Valley of Ish’Nar

The Valley of Ish’Nar

JUDGES:
The judging panel will consist of:
Zander Greene and Elizabeth Tinsley from the Fantasy Faire
Saffia Widdershins, Honour Macmillan and Aisling Sinclair from Prim Perfect
Ceejay Writer, Editor in Chief at Penny Gaff Publications

Judi Newall, Librarian

If you want inspiration for your story once the regions have closed, we suggest you refresh your memory at the Flickr stream.

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The SL10B Community Celebration Team is thrilled to announce its first photo contest this year in celebration of Second Life’s 10th Birthday.

The Second Life community encompasses many incredibly talented people from around the world who have displayed their skills in various forms across the grid over the past ten years.

This year the SL10B Community Celebration Team thought – “What better way to involve the residents in the celebration than to hold a photo contest?” This will allow the Second Life community to be creative in expressing this year’s “Looking Forward, Looking Back” theme.

The enjoyment of photography to express yourself and to have fun is all you need to enter, with categories for photographs simply taken inworld, and photographs that have been edited out of world with software such as Photoshop, Gimp or getpaint.

PHOTO CONTEST: BEFORE the Birthday Celebrations
PHOTO CONTEST OPENS: Sunday, May 5, 2013
PHOTO CONTEST ENDS: Thursday, June 6, 2013 midnight

HOW TO ENTER:
SL10B Second Life Community Celebration Photo Contest
Theme: “Looking Forward, Looking Back” Ten Years of Second Life

Photographs submitted by the Second Life community should illustrate SL10B Community Celebration theme “Looking Forward, Looking Back” – Second Life over the past 10 years.

Deadline for the contest is June 6th 2013.

RULES:
- Submit a maximum of two photographs per avatar name
- Photos must NOT show the SL10B Community Celebration regions (we hope to have a later contest for photos of those!)
- Explore the virtual world of second life community for the perfect picture that represents the theme.
- Pictures must be posted in the flickr group “SL10B Celebration Photo Contest”: http://www.flickr.com/groups/2188135@N20/
- Competitors must indicate whether the photograph is Category A (using only the tools available within the browser) or Category B (using tools outside the viewer, such as photo editing software).
- SL10B Celebration Team reserve the rights to use photograph submissions for event advertisement.
- Photos must be PG, make it family friendly keep it clean and FUN or risk disqualification.
- Descriptive text may accompany the photograph
- Deadline of submission of picture is June 6th, 2013, midnight SLT

HAVE FUN !!!

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Magnificat By Alia Baroque Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat By Alia Baroque
Photo By Beq Janus

This year Fantasy Faire has been not only a beautiful place to visit, but also a hugely evocative one, stirring the imagination and leading many of us to reflect on what stories could be told about these lovely and mysterious lands.

Once the stores are packed away and the crowds have departed … what beings take possession of the glass lantern city high in the mountains that shines in Titan’s Hollow? What languid aristocrats return to their faded palaces along the canal of Magnificat to watch the little boats sail out eternally toward the sunset? What troglodytes or dwarves emerge, grumbling, from the lower depths of The DragonSpire to reclaim their caves? What heroes push their way through the blood-red roses of Crimson Fields, their eyes fixed on the looming Dark Tower ahead? And so for all the regions, each with their special tales to tell.

The Lanterns of Titans' Hollow

The Lanterns of Titans’ Hollow

We are sure that, as you visited the Faire, some of those questions occurred to you. These may be stories connected with the mythos of the Faire that the organisers suggested – but it may be that a region captured your imagination and you found yourself envisaging a very different tale. And we are sure that, like so many of us, you just wished these amazing locations could be on the grid forever so that you could have your own little piece of the Fairelands.

Well, the magnificent structures of the Fairelands will soon be gone, but the Fairelands team – together with Prim Perfect – have come up with a way to make the magic continue.

Lotus Valley Dream

Lotus Valley Dream

We are holding a short story contest for the best stories written about the Fairelands of 2013. The top entries will be published in the summer issue of Prim Perfect magazine, coming out in early August 2013.

You story can focus on one region – Evensong Woods, or Lotus Valley Dream, for example – and ignore all the others. Or you might use the juxtaposition of two regions, or even draw on more of the Fairelands, as a whole vast realm, perhaps surrounding an inland sea. It’s up to you.

And your story can be sad or happy, wise or witty. It can make us laugh, cry, gasp, nod with agreement … or do all of these things by turns.

Dragon over Lumenaria

Dragon over Lumenaria

While we don’t need long passages of description, the setting of the story should be clear. If it makes us ask, “Now – is this Ravenshard or Lumenaria?” it won’t be working for us.

Your story should be between one and three thousand words in total. While we love the idea of longer works (wouldn’t it be amazing to read a fantasy novel set in the Fairelands?), for this competition we want something that stands alone and that can be read as a complete piece.

We also want something that is completely your own work and written for this competition. You will retain the copyright, but in submitting the story you give us permission to publish the story in electronic format in Prim Perfect and on websites and social media sites belonging to Prim Perfect and Fantasy Faire.

Ravenshard

Ravenshard

The deadline for submission is May 31.

Send your story in plain text or in .RTF or Word doc format to: fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com

We will acknowledge receipt (although it may take a little time).

Results (and winning entries) will appear in the August issue of Prim Perfect magazine.

The Valley of Ish’Nar

The Valley of Ish’Nar

JUDGES:
The judging panel will consist of:
Zander Greene and Elizabeth Tinsley from the Fantasy Faire
Saffia Widdershins, Honour Macmillan and Aisling Sinclair from Prim Perfect
Ceejay Writer, Editor in Chief at Penny Gaff Publications

Judi Newall, Librarian

If you want inspiration for your story once the regions have closed, we suggest you refresh your memory at the Flickr stream.

Read Full Post »

Well, actually, there are several things that you could do … and some of them are related to filling out forms …

Art
Or perhaps you’d prefer to pick up your camera and enter our special competition to design a new fraphical strapline for Prim Perfect.  Our old graphic was created in 2007 – and Second Life – as well as other virtual worlds – has moved on since then!  We are offering a prize of L$5000 for the best one we receive, featuring images of Second Life (and other virtual worlds) in 2013. And Froukje Hoorenbeeke has generously matched that prize – our winner will also receive a voucher for L$5000 to spend at her gorgeous store, Dutchie!

Dutchie's Mesh Kitchen

Dutchie’s Mesh Kitchen

We are offering five further prizes of L$1000 each for people who share with us pictures of the best indivdiual style icons in homes, gardens and landscapes. So get out there and record your absolute favourites!

You’ll find full details of the competition (which closes on January 15th) here.

Romance
And don’t forget to complete our special survey of how you met (whether in Second Life, real life or somewhere else entirely!). We are planning a feature article on this for our Valentine issue, and we’ve already received some great stories – make sure that yours joins them!

Sunset on Gilmour, photograph by Honour Macmillan

Sunset on Gilmour, photograph by Honour Macmillan

Last day for sharing your story with us is January 18th.

Centre for Business Development

Centre for Business Development

Business
Finally, today (January 10th) is the last day to complete the survey being run by the Centre for Business Development who are gathering information that will be useful to use in identifying issues and provide them with what they hope will be a good basis to start developing strategies.

The Centre is is a collaborative group of business people working together to identify and improve areas that may be hindering growth in Second Life. Their aim is to be proactive in improving business growth, opening avenues of communication with Linden Lab and enriching experiences for SL residents.

So … what are you waiting for? There’s lots of things to do … and later, there may even be a jigsaw …

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Palm arrangement from the Heart Garden Center

Palm arrangement

In launching today’s competition to redesign the graphic strap for Prim Perfect, that isn’t to say that all of the original element have dated (although the photographic techniques available and windlight settings have definitely improved).  One of the elements in the original graphic is the Heart sisters’ lovely palm trees – which I wrote about as part of a series of style icons back in 2007, and which you can still see all over Second Life (and, sadly, all over Open Sim too, as the Heart Garden Center has frequently been a victim of content theft). It’s this element that forms our jigsaw today.

The Szabo Horn clock too is still a great piece of design, although the days are long gone when it was seen as a badge of taste in the well-furnished Second life home – at least a badge of taste displayed by those who could afford to house a 64 prim clock!

The hammock by Baron Grayson (shown in my exotic Gothic tower and forming yesterday’s jigsaw) is another lovely piece of work and I also love my lily bowls from Furniture by Sofia … but, let’s face it, both furniture and photographic techniques have moved on considerably since the strap image was created.

So the time has most definitely come for a new strap graphic that reflects the beauty of Second Life in 2013, and the creativity of its designers.  But we shouldn’t forget the creative route we’ve taken over the years, especially with the 10th Birthday of Second life coming up this year.

I was looking today at Second Style magazine.  That played a great part in my original decisions in setting up and developing Prim Perfect – it was then, for me, the great model of Second life magazines.  The first issue I encountered was the February 2007 one, but it stretched back to April 2006. The last issue, No.44, came out in March 2011 but it’s some of the earlier issues that are especially fascinating to look at, like studying a 1950s or 1960s magazine and marvelling at the old styles. You can browse at will here.

But first, let’s do a jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Palm Arrangement from the Heart Garden Center, photographed in 2007

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

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