Monday, November 29, 2010

15 of 365: Less is More



This morning I visited World's End Garden, by Lucia Genesis.  The sim is mysterious and beautiful and  is one of my personal favourite spots in SL.  The dress and hat I am wearing are group gifts.  You can find them by the landing point. 

I try to set up my shots as best as I can in-world because I'm not a post-processing genius.  I think my strategy is working out well for me because I'm learning that less really is more when it comes to making a nice photograph.  

For post-processing, I did basically two things: I blurred the edges just slightly in iPhoto, and then I added the frame using PhotoShop Elements.  I didn't crop it or do anything else, and I think it turned out quite nice.   

I love windlight.

14 of 365: The sun sets on another weekend


Sunday, November 28, 2010

13 of 365: I'm not exactly a winter person...

...and never have been, which may be weird because I am Canadian, and from Northern Ontario.  Growing up, when all my friends were excited about playing in the snow and enjoying winter sports, I was happy to stay indoors and retreat to my room to read a book and write in my journal.

I always thought that I should have been born in a tropical climate.  I wouldn't say that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder or anything like that.  I don't feel depressed during the winter, I just find that I need way more sleep and I prefer to stay home...where it is warm and cozy.  With that in mind, I guess it's no surprise that I have a special affinity for bears.  Perhaps I have my own way of hibernating through the winter.

I missed my photo for my 365 project yesterday because I fell asleep with my son at 9pm.  I was tucking him and I thought I was going to snuggle with him for a few minutes before going back downstairs to log in and take a photo.  I woke at at 7:45am this morning.  I seem to do that every once in awhile. 

I took a pretty winter photo at Clocktree Park this morning.  And to make up for yesterday's missed post, I'll be back later with another photo.  

Looking at this photo, winter doesn't look so bad at all. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 of 365: Why did I sign up to do this again?



I'm into week two of my 365 project and I'm already asking myself why...I think I'm mostly worried about boring anyone who reads my blog.  

The above photo is myself and my good friend Aubree.  I met her quite randomly on her second day in SL over a year ago, and although she doesn't know it, she changed my SLife in so many ways.  It's one of those things where you feel like it was just meant to be.

She's a sweetheart and I love her :))

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

10 of 365: Friends


This is my friend Jersey posing with a Canadian 10 dollar bill in her mouth.  We have colourful money up here.  


I'm still finding my way around PhotoShop Elements and seeing what I can do.  I'm no professional, so I think PSE will meet my needs and purposes just fine.  


That's all for tonight :))

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

9 of 365: Sometimes all you need is a good laugh




I attended Lauren Weyland's stand up comedy show tonight in Cookie.  It was just the thing I needed to snap me out of a dull mood after a long day at the office.  Laughter is good medicine indeed.  Oh it feels so good to laugh. 


I swear it wasn't me reading that Penthouse magazine on the table.  Is that Lauren on the cover?




You can see Lauren's show every Tuesday at 5pm slt in Cookie.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

8 of 365: New Profile Pic



Tonight was the first time in months that I opened PhotoShop Elements and used it.  It's kind of fun to play around with. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

7 of 365: Crazy busy day



I'm cheating today and posting an old photo I made earlier this year.  




I took this photo when I was missing a close friend that disappeared from SL, and who is probably never coming back.  I remember the day I took this photo, it felt like such a loss and I thought I would never get over it.  Tonight when I was digging through my iPhoto looking for something to post for my 365, I came across the photo and I was struck by how far and distant that time in my SLife feels to me.  I guess I did get over it.  


Time really does heal.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

6 of 365: Morning Muddle




The main reason why I wanted to do this 365 project (aside from keeping myself busy) is because I want an opportunity to flex my creative muscles. I believe that we are al creative beings at our spiritual cores, however most of us spend our lives caught up in the daily rat race just trying to survive, that we forget about our inherent creativity. I think I might be guilty of believing that creativity is a luxury that I either can't afford to have or have the time for. The truth is, I can't afford not to have it.

I don't think I would have ever used the word "creative" to describe myself, and that feels like such a shame and a disrespect for my creative inner being. I feel like since I started the Artist's Way in-world group last month, that I am angry for not giving myself the nurturing that I need. The exercises in the book, the discussion and the ritual of keeping morning pages has really got me thinking about what being creative is and what it means to live a creative life.

I'm realizing that on the rare occasions when I do tap in my creative spirit (like writing a short story for example), it comes from someplace beyond me. The flow of creativity is like a surge of energy that rather than coming from inside me, comes from some place else and flows through me, filtering through my unique life experience and world view. My creative expresson is just as much a reflection of me as it is a reflection of the world we live in.

I don't know if this making any sense.

I want to get out of this emotional place I am in, of wanting so badly to be creative and create something. It is my very wanting that is blocking me. I know where to go, to a place of inner peace and allowing. If I could drop all my negative self-talk that tells me "I am not a creative person", and just allow the creative energy that is my birth right to flow, I know I can create something worthwhile.

I had kind of an epiphany today about all of this. I have lots of ideas and inspiration for creative projects in SL. I can see ideas and concepts in my head for 3D sculptures. The trouble is, I have no technical skills to execute any of it.

The silver lining in all of my muddle, is that with some time, effort and a healthy dose of stubbornness (I have an over abundance of that), learning new skills is something that is within my reach.

Thanks for reading my rambles :))

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 of 365: Cultural Appropriation 101



I had another blog post and photo planned for today, but then this came up, so here I am.  


I don't know who organized this hunt and what the thinking is behind this.  With American Thanksgiving coming up, I think it's an understatement to say that this Gatherer's Pow Wow Hunt is in pretty bad taste.  Bad, bad idea.


Oh how do I count the ways in which the images portrayed in this poster are offensive?  As a Native American person, I am deeply offended and highly annoyed to know that these kinds of stereotypical images are still being perpetuated. 


I'm not averse to sharing my culture for those who are genuinely interested.  I am not another angry native woman.  I am a person who has worked very hard to overcome stereotypes that have negatively IMPACTED  my life and I will speak up about that when the need arises.  


I'm not going to get angry about this.  This only makes me want to contribute content to SL that expresses authentic Indigenous culture and art, because we have something meaningful to contribute to the world - not just tipi's and tomahawks and fake rocks blessed by "Shamans".


Maybe this is a kick in the pants for me to start building and creating.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4 of 365: A long day...


...and it's finally over.  I spent my whole day talking at meetings.  I'm all talked out and I have nothing left to say except GOODNIGHT :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 3 of 365: Artist's Way



Artist's Way group tonight with Skylar. 

I've been struggling to keep up with my daily morning pages for the group.  I managed to get three days of morning pages in, but they were more like afternoon, evening and wherever I could squeeze in the time pages.  

Better than nothing right?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 2 of 365: Bear Aware

There have been confirmed bear sightings in Nowhereville and Edloe, and evidence of bear activity in Piper Point as well.  

Be careful when you are roaming these parts of the grid as it is bear season and you may just run into a hungry bear looking to feed in preparation for it's impending winter hibernation.



Worse, I think it's a female bear and you know what they say...the SheBear is the fiercest and most dangerous, so watch out!  Don't leave any food out and put your summer picnic baskets away.


If you happen to be in the Five Islands community and you cross the path of this vicious creature, here is my best advice:  don't make any sudden movements, back away very slowly...and then RUN LIKE HELL!

Or, you could throw her a cheeseburger or something and she might decide to keep you around so she can get tasty snacks...but don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day One: Project 365

I'm trying to get this post out before I change my mind!  I'm embarking on a 365 Project, inspired by my friend Chestnut.  

My plan for this project?  I will post a daily photograph from SL for the next 365 days.  I've been thinking a lot about a focus for my project, but I think I will leave it open for just about anything and see what kind of themes emerge.  Maybe I will even post some RL photos...maybe. 

I've been feeling a little flat about SL lately, and I've been looking for a project to keep me busy and creative.  Updating my blog every day for the next year feels like a big stretch, but I really want an opportunity to improve my SL photos and finally learn how to use PhotoShop Elements, which has been sitting unused on my desktop for months.  A project like this will definitely give me motivation to accomplish that.  I can't promise that I will have something interesting and profound to say everyday, but I will at least have a daily photo :)

You can expect to see lots of avatar self portraits, places to explore, photos of friends, and whatever else suits my fancy.  We'll see how it goes and where it takes me. 

Hitting 'publish' now before I change my mind...

Urban Warrior Princess

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cranky

I moved to Five Islands over a month ago, so this weekend I figured it was about time to put my parcel together so it looks at least kind of finished.  I was going for a pine forest kind of feeling, and I'm happy with how it's coming along.  I still have some edges to smooth out on the land, but if I don't have success with that, I'll just throw some sculpted rocks down to cover up my terraforming mistakes.  That always works.  Crap has assured me that he has the sim backed up, so if I blow the place up, all won't be lost.  Let's hope things don't resort to that.




It looks pretty good I think.  I named my parcel Asilomar, which means "refuge by the sea".  It's also the name of a hotel/conference facility in northern California.  So much for being original.  Oh well.




Of course I will have to change it all again come December when winter arrives in Piper Point.  That's okay though, it gives me another project to keep busy with.


I've been low on inspiration for SL projects these days.  I don't know why.  I have a whole list of things I could do, and some ideas for creative projects, but without inspiration, all those great ideas seem rather lifeless.  


I'm probably feeling this way because I am exhausted from my RL work.  Even though this is the first time in forever that I am caught up with my paper work, I am feeling emotionally, mentally and even spiritually depleted.  I'm a social worker in the urban Aboriginal community, which I normally love, but in the last couple of months or so, I have been feeling like I am fighting a losing battle.  So many problems, not enough solutions. 


Add to that a sick child who I took the hospital the other day, and being scolded by the attending doctor for not being up to date on my son's immunizations.  Up to date?  We never started to begin with.  Sorry doc, I made an informed choice not to immunize my children because I don't trust what is in those vaccines.  "What, did you google that information?"


/me flips the doctor the middle finger...(not really, but I sure felt like it)


My son is fine, btw, just a minor skin infection that is not uncommon in young children.  Nothing a course of anti-biotics won't take care of.  I'm not against mainstream medicine.  I'm pro taking your health and wellness into your own hands, and making informed choices - that may include choosing an alternative approach to wellness, the allopathic approach, or both.  As I said to my mother, who often questions me, "if I ever break my arm, don't take me to the Naturopath.  The emergency department please!"  I'm tired of people questioning my decisions because they are different to the norm.


I don't know why I'm complaining about this here.  I should be grateful for living in a country where I don't have to stop and think about whether or not I can afford a trip to the hospital.  I'm appreciative, really I am.  That doctor just freakin' pissed me off and I'm still fuming about it.


Do I have any good news?  


My friend Magician, who I met quite randomly a few weeks ago, made me this awesome 3D sign:




Isn't it cool?!  It rotates and it's textured with photos we took at Burn2.  It's awesome and it totally made my day when I rezzed it.  Big smiles all around.  It actually kinda makes me want to build and create cool in-world content too...there we go, a little piece of inspiration that I should act on, soon.  The only question that's left is, what am I going to build?


Okay, I should get to work on that, or something to get me out of this mood.  Let's hope that next time I have anything to report here, I won't be so damn cranky.  


Later...