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Home and Garden Expo - Lanterns Release, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Home and Garden Expo – Lanterns Release, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 5th June, for the new episode of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams as we pay the second of two visits to the Home and Garden Expo, held annually in support of Relay for Life.

In this episode, we explore the amazing Hunt that was created by the Meeroos and Be You (as well as talking to one of the organisers behind the Be You project); take a look at some of the displays and designers at the Expo, including the work of Alia Baroque, Garvie Garzo, Kaerri Rae and we reveal the identity behind the designer known as Akahata, the creator of the new store “also Known as”.

Home and Garden Expo, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Home and Garden Expo, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Then we talk to some of the people who make the tools that designers use in creating the wonderful things we love to buy and use: full perm mesh template creator Lyrical Bizarre, texture maker Gerard Tunwarm, popularly known as Uncle Gerry, soundscape creator Meriadne Merlin and scripter Torgon Woodget.

Finally we end, of course, with shots of the tradional daily lantern release.

Home and Garden Expo - Lanterns Release, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Home and Garden Expo – Lanterns Release, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Expo is now officially closed, but for the next few days, you can still visit the region for exploration and, of course, shopping!

Hope 1 | Hope 2 | Hope 3

Hope 4 | Hope 5 | Hope 6

Hope 7 | Hope 8 | Hope 9

It’s a great show – so join us at 2pm SLT in the studio.

Home and Garden Expo, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Home and Garden Expo, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on SLartist – or catch it later in the week on the SLArtist.com channel, the Aview TV Designing Worlds channel – or on the Designing Worlds blog.

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The latest episode of Designing Worlds – when we visit two places – the MadPea International Food Fair, and the amazing cause it is supporting – Feed a Smile, a project of Leben und Lernen in Kenia, Live and Learn in Kenya International – is now on the web!

We visit the Feed a Smile region and talk to Brique Topaz – Brique Zeiner in real life, who is the the Founder and Chairwoman of the German charity Leben und Lernen in Kenia, Live and Learn in Kenya International, whose project Feed a Smile is, and which is based on the shores of Lake Nakuru in Kenya, where they are building a school for local children, through sponsorship of individual children, and through events in Second Life, such as the International Food Fair.

Feed A Smile Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Feed A Smile Island, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Brique shows us around areas that are re-creations of the work being done on the ground in Africa, and explains how the Food Fair will be supporting the vital work of building a new kitchen for the school, and we’ll be seeing some films of the work as well.

MadPea International Food Fair, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

MadPea International Food Fair, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Then we travel to the International Food Fair and join the organiser, Kestrel Keiroz, to learn what is going on there, with stores, an art gallery and regular music events, and we see some of the amazing food-related items you can purchase (with the money going to Feed a Smile).

 

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RFL 2014 - Opening Ceremony, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

RFL 2014 – Opening Ceremony, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Today, at 10am, the fantastic weekend of events that marks the climax of the 2014 season starts.

Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and has been active, and continually growing, now in Second Life for 10 years.

  • In 2005, the first Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) was attended by a few hundred avatars and raised almost $5,000 US dollars for the American Cancer Society.
  • In 2009 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $270,000. US dollars and was attended by thousands of avatars.
  • In 2011 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over US$375,000 and ran right past the US$1,000,000 mark during the 2011 campaign!
  • In 2012 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over US$375,000, taking the total raised since 2005 to over US$1,600,000 by the end of our 2012 fundraising season.
  • And in 2013, Relay for Life of Second Life, in a thrilling climax to the Relay weekend, crossed the 2,000,000 mark!

This year the plan is to raise US$401,000 – i.e. 401K. That figure represents a huge task – we started the weekend at 382,000.  The significance of the number is that 401 is the tax form that mark retirement in the United States – the plan is to RETIRE CANCER!

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe (and in Second Life) a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, to remember loved ones lost, and to fight back against the disease.

Relay Weekend  is a fun-filled, overnight event that unites SL individuals throughout the world to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones and raise money for the fight against cancer.

The RFL Telethon Studios, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The RFL Telethon Studios, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And the TV channels of Second Life are coming together to produce a twenty-four telethon to cover this event, which you can watch on slartist.com.

  • The Telethon is covering the 24 hours of Relay. Live coverage is from 9am – 10pm (including the Luminaria ceremony at 9pm) on Saturday 19th, and from 6.00am till 11am on Sunday 20th, plus  on Saturday.
  • During that time, we’ll bring you news of the Relay from our studio – with information about all the events that are going on, together with trackside interviews with teams and sim designers.
  • And when we’re not live, we’ll be showing interviews with Chairs from the RFL Committee, classic clips from RFL history, and TV shows from Treet TV that have featured Relay for Life.

 

 

 

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Hope Ball Poster

Hope Ball Poster

Hope Haven Heroes and Two Moon Paradise are delighted to invite you to the Hope Ball  in the Zen Garden, Two Moon Paradise, to celebrate survivors and caregivers on National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday June 1st.

The Hope Ball will feature music chosen by DJ Aryon Dagger who is herself a two-time cancer survivor. Aryon will spin the discs from 1.30pm-3pm, and then there will be a live performance from SL musician Voodoo Shilton from 3pm to 4pm.

On Sunday, June 1, 2014, cancer survivors across the globe will unite to show the world what life after cancer looks like. This unique celebration will mark the 27th annual National Cancer Survivors Day. Thousands of people in hundreds of communities across the U.S. and abroad – and in Second Life – will hold celebrations on this day to honour cancer survivors and to show that there is life after a cancer diagnosis – and it’s something to celebrate.

Hope Haven at the American Cancer Society Island

Hope Haven at the American Cancer Society Island

National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life. It is the one day each year that we come together to honour everyone who is living with a history of cancer. A ‘survivor’ is defined by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, administrator for the celebration as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.

NCSD provides an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate milestones, and recognize the healthcare providers, family, and friends who have supported them along the way. It is a day for cancer survivors to stand together and show the world what life after cancer looks like.

NCSD is recognized by the American Cancer Society. See here for more information. And you can also visit the American Cancer Society island, which has been especially decorated for the day.

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Fantasy Photo Contest

Fantasy Photo Contest

Fantasy Faire “Dream of a lifetime” Photography Contest Benefiting Relay for Life of Second Life

Fantasy Faire is looking for the photographs that best capture the spirit of each of the eleven sims – and the winners will be included in a calendar (with credits for the photographers) that will be created in real life using Cafe Presse and sold to raise money for Relay for Life. So this year, people really will be able to take the Faire home with them – and share it with their friends and family too!

But … eleven sims … eleven months. What of the twelfth? That one will be the photograph that – in the opinions of the judges – best encapsulates the spirit of the Faire. Not only will it be the image for the twelfth month – it will also appear on the cover of the calendar.

Contest Date
Open from May 1st 2014 thru May 11th

Contest Rules

  • Photographs are to be taken at your choice of eleven individually themed Sims for this year’s Fantasy Faire (Read sim information notecard for more details)
  • Pictures must be posted in flickr group Fantasy Faire [Photography Contest]
  • Twelve photo entries will be allowed per person.
  • Photos may be edited with any photo software of your choosing.
  • Photos must be PG! We will immediately disqualify any nude or distasteful photo(s).
  • Reminder, no text on photos
  • Fantasy Faire & Relay for Life reserve the rights to use photograph submissions for event advertisement and publication
  • Deadline for submission of photos is May 11th, 2014, midnight SLT
  • Enjoy the Fantasy Faire Sims and have FUN!

Winners

  • Top 12 selected photographs will be published in “real life” Relay for Life Official Calendar
  • 1St Prize winner photo will be on the cover of the calendar.
  • Contest winners will be required to provide their winning photography with the following dimensions: minimum 1800 pixels high by 2300 pixels wide at 200dpi

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The auction for various Second Life personalities, going on for Feed a Smile, organised by the Mad Pea group is coming to a highly successful end at the Mad City.

Feed a Smile Auction

Feed a Smile Auction

What’s up for auction? Some people are offering their company – but many of whom are offering their skill sets (as Saffia and Logan Ellsmere – better known as Mr Biggins- are doing) to those fortunate to win them.  For example, you could have a portrait taken by Strawberry Singh, a pair of boots by Cutea Benelli, or work on a collaborative 2D artwork with Taralyn Gravois.

The aim is to raise L$1.2 million and at the time of writing, over 870,000 has been raised (as you can see from the picture). With luck the target should be met as the auction will end with a Live Auction event running all today!

The schedule is as follows:

7:00 AM Pre-event Party Live Entertainer: Sunshine Szavanna
8:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Milk Chan (kattington resident)
8:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Pooky Amsterdam
8:30 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Draxtor Despres
8:45 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Arduenn Schwartzman
9:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Abramelin Wolfe
9:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Aeonix Aeon (Will Burns)
9:30 AM Live Entertainer: Starrfish Ohmai
10:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Harter Fall

Auction Poster

Auction Poster

10:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Saffia Widdershins
11:30 AM Live Entertainer: Shannon Oherlihy
11:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Flufee McFluff
11:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Mr. Biggins (Logan Ellsmere)
11:30 AM Live Entertainer: KatRose Serendipity and Denny Mac
12:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Kiana Writer
12:30 PM Live Entertainer: Kess Crystal
1:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Kess Crystal
1:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Bryn Oh
1:30 PM Live Entertainer: Jean Munro
2:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Victor1st Mornington
2:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Betty Tureaud
2:30 PM Live Entertainer: Twostep Spiritweaver
3:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Sean (bluesean yiyuan)
3:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Noma Falta
3:30 PM Live Entertainer: Chandra Deed
4:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: naxosloon
4:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Jaimy Hancroft
4:30 PM Live Entertainer: Marky Helstein
5:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: TBA
5:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Kehl Razor
5:30 PM Live Entertainer: TerryLynn Melody
6:00 PM Live Entertainer: NeoMaximus Brandenburg
6:30 PM Live Entertainer: OneSummer Oh
7:00 PM Live Entertainer: Grace McDunnough

Feed a Smile
You can see more about the Live and Learn in Kenya International charity here (the charity behind Feed a Smile) – and there is a Drax Files show all about the charity here. You can also visit the Feed a Smile region in Second Life.

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Home and Garden Expo 2014

Home and Garden Expo 2014

It’s been announced that the Home and Garden Expo will be moving to September this year – the announcement appeared yesterday on the website:

Due to some unforeseeable circumstances and misunderstandings, the staff of the 7th Annual Second Life Home and Garden Expo deems it prudent to reschedule the event.

It’s very clear from the announcement that this decision was undertaken only with the utmost reluctance by Kat Alderson, the very hard-working organiser of the event, and it’s brave of her to have made such a radical decision, which won’t come without costs.

We had decided to be a Platinum Sponsor for this event (as we have been for the past five years), and we have confirmed our sponsorship of the September event.

The view from the Prim Perfect taverna at the Home and Garden Expo

The view from the Prim Perfect taverna at the Home and Garden Expo in 2013

I would be interested to hear what readers of this blog feel about this change. Speaking personally, I can see advantages and disadvantages.

1) The “Event Season” is very overcrowded. Starting (well, from my perspective) with One Billion Rising in February, we move to the Start-Up for Relay for Life, Fashion for Life, the Home Show, the Fantasy Faire, the Home and Garden Expo, the Breedables Fair, Halfway There Fair, Paint SL Purple, Second Life Birthday, Relay for Life Weekend and the Hair Fair – and that takes us to the end of July. That’s six months and twelve major events, some lasting ten days to two weeks.

Add in smaller Fairs and Expos, regular but popular events like the Gatcha and Collaborate (I can never remember the damn spelling) to say nothing of all the team events by which the 200+ RFL teams raise their contributions, and that’s a pretty over0crowded six months not just for attendees but for creators. And for most of those creatives, they are juggling keeping businesses going and balancing real lives as well (summer exams anyone?).

So moving a major event (a mega-event) to outside this crowded season on one level makes a lot of sense.

Robin Wood's lovely mesh quilt and stand - sold for Relay for Life

Robin Sojourner’s lovely mesh quilt and stand – sold for Relay for Life at the Expo in 2013

2) This is going to be problematic for a lot of creators. I know some had long term plans for the Home and Garden Expo (in one case, 18 months of planning a very major new release!).  The Home and Garden Expo has become seen as the place to launch new products. It’s not just the attendees – it’s also a great opportunity for creatives to meet each other, to share ideas, to discuss plans. And to say a quiet but very smug, “Ta Da!” as they raise the curtian on their latest gorgeous project.

How will a delay affect them?  To put back a planned release by four months could stack up to a lot of lost revenue. Or it could be a bonus – some extra time for tweaking.

For creatives looking to release sooner than September, an alternative might be something like the commercial Home Show.  But this may be too limited for some of the grander launches that would fit better with the Expo – unless the Home Show itself expanded.

The new Maven Home at the Home and Garden Expo

Cain Maven’s gorgeous Casa Anantine, released at the 2012 Home and Garden Expo

For the Home and Garden Expo is perhaps unique among the mega-events in that Home and Garden creators will often be working on large-scale projects that can take several months to complete. These may not be their only releases during this time, but they will probably be the most important.

It would certainly be a shame if the Home and Garden Expo lost its reputation as the annual event at which to launch major new projects. At all events, this might be the case this year but – if September becomes a new month for the Expo, the ever-flexible creatives will doubtless adapt – just look at the way they have survived myriad changes from the Lab.  But I suspect that the thing that is going to decide this is certainty. If September does become the new month for the Expo, then designers can factor that into their planning. If it becomes a moveable feast … less so.

The Linden Home pavilion on the Prim Perfect area at the Home and Garden Expo: Photo by PJ Trenton

The Linden Home pavilion on the Prim Perfect area at the Home and Garden Expo 2011: Photo by PJ Trenton

3) I think there could be inherent problems with siting an RFL event outside the conventional RFL season.

In the past, the theory has been that there is a five month RFL season stretching from mid-February to mid-July. Outside that, people have a chance to rest, relax and rebuild energies. Over the last few years, there has also been the Christmas Expo. By and large, that has attracted enthusiastic support. It filled a void left by Linden Lab’s decision not to continue with Winterfair, and it was the occasion for events that have become increasingly popular in themselves – such as the Avi Choice Awards and the Race for the Bells.

Is setting a second mega event outside the Relay for Life Season going to prove detrimental to the cause that RFL is supporting?

Cancer is an issue that touches all of us. Finding not just “a cure for cancer” but cures – and prevention – for the full spectrum of diseases that are given the name of cancer is one of the core issues of our time. Alleviating the suffering that cancer causes – both to people diagnosed with one of the diseases and the people who support, care for and love them – is a vitally important task.

Prim Perfect at the Home and Garden Expo 2010010

Prim Perfect at the Home and Garden Expo 2010010

But RFL is raising money for one nationally-based cancer charity (the American Cancer Society). It is not news that people have expressed concerns about the dominant role it plays in fundraising on the grid – although on the flipside it is a very positive demonstration of what virtual worlds can achieve. Let’s just say that the whole issue is not without controversy.

And, of course, there are other people fundraising too who might feel – well, a little squashed by the RFL juggernaut. There are, after all, other people fundraising for different causes -a huge number of causes. There are also other people fundraising for different cancer charities, such as the Boobiethon held every October. To take a personal example, Dousa Dragonash and I both organised events in support of the British cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support last September – with our own virtual versions of the Macmillan Coffee Morning.

So will this further expansion of the RFL season be seen positively or negatively by the grid inhabitants? Or are they less interested in the cause than the event itself? Could you (for example) tell me without googling which charities are supported by the Hair Fair, Shoetopia and the Boobiethon? Does it, in the end, make little difference as long as some good cause is supported – or even if it’s a completely commercial event but with really good content and entertainment?

Prim Perfect Pavilion at the Expo

Prim Perfect Pavilion at the Expo 2008 – – our first appearance!

As for the Home and Garden Expo, Prim Perfect will certainly be there, and as a Platinum Sponsor. On the one hand, we will be grateful for a little more leeway in our support season as we move from OBR to Fantasy Faire to SL11B to Relay Weekend. On the other, we’ll be deep in production for The Blackened Mirror and staging our second Cake for Cancer event for Macmillan Cancer Support. We hope to stage our regular Talks with Designers at the Expo this year and to film the Expo for Designing Worlds too, as we usually do. And – fingers crossed – we’ll also be doing our daily lantern release at 4pm (which has come to be very special to many people). That’s a time to set aside all the commercial considerations and fuss, and spend a little time in peaceful thought and sharing, and we’d hate to give that up.

Watching the lanterns rise

Watching the lanterns rise on the Prim Perfect Stage at the 2012 Expo

So – how will the change affect you? Are you pleased, annoyed, or feel it really doesn’t matter? We’re interested in hearing in comments below!

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