A Little Gratitude & Insanity

FFL Is going so well and I couldn’t be happier.  So, I decided to do something to celebrate how far we’ve come and hope to push a little further.

Everything in my store location on Bourke White has been marked down to 100L.  Fatpacks are marked down to 100L per outfit included in the pack.  Yeah no seriously, I meant everything.  Including RFL Items.

This Discount Remains in Place until FFL Closes on March 22nd, so don’t waste anymore time!

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On the Architecture of Friendship

Whatever good things we build end up building us. -Jim Rohn-

I love walking around the Helmut Newton sim at FFL.  It’s wide inviting entryways to the stores, the delightful little bends and turns that always seem to be eager to reveal some secret wisdom and above all the fragmented personal thoughtful emotional touches you’ll find if you look, but may not notice right away.

Helmut Newton is a lot like the man who built it.  I didn’t know Raven Haalan before the build started.  But he has a wide inviting manner.  His mind twists and bends in ways that have you eagerly chasing after the things he may not say right away; and he is just full of personality, emotion and thoughtfulness.

It’s almost unsettling how this free yet earthy spirit seems to know precisely the exact moment to send me an IM with a couple of words of encouragement.  Never so heavily applied as to seem insincere, and yet never so light as to seem flippant.  He’s the kind of wise that doesn’t have to say it is; the kind of intuitive that isn’t forced; and the kind of creative that inspires those around him to push a little harder.

And yet, when I grabbed him for the picture above, he said “I feel like this should be the other way around.”  We tried that:

My Shoulders were.. and are way too small.

I am so very very glad that his are not.

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So I’m Not Irish

But hey why not?

Pop in to the Fashion for Life Sims and look for Green Things that may be on sale for St. Patrick’s Day!

My rule of thumb for Sakinah?  If it’s green and on Bourke White, It’s 99L.

That includes the following:

See you on Bourke White!  Hopefully in LOTS of Green!

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Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.
-Marlene Dietrich-

I picked that quote for this post because, it fits.  Because Frederick Lancaster has, in fact, called me up at 4 a.m.

Fred and I have known each other for years.  Bickering like an old married couple, I honestly learned most of what I know about building from him.  But you don’t bicker like that with just anyone.  You bicker like that with someone you care about deeply, who means a great deal to you and whose opinion truly matters to you.

Fred has always, whether he intends to or not, raised the bar for me.  He’s an absolutely brilliant builder with a fantastic aesthetic.  He’s a smart, funny charming man.  I’ve been at hand when he proposed to his wife.  And while I couldn’t make the trip to his wedding (I was kind of in the wrong country at the time), I made sure to send him a little luxurious irony. (Hot pink bath towels from Egypt)

We jokingly refer to ourselves as Peanut Butter & Jelly; though we’ve never managed to figure out which one of us is which.  Fact of the matter is, where one of us is, the other is within easy reach.

I didn’t really edit that shot much.  I couldn’t.  I was laughing too hard.   He usually knows how to make me laugh, and most importantly?  WHEN to make me laugh.  All the same we’re just as comfortable saying nothing at all but pushing prims together to make some magic.

I have to admit, it felt weird taking on sim builds without him.  Though I couldn’t be more thrilled with how he put Ansel Adams together.  It’s typical Fred.  Bringing the Fabulous.

You know, I think every designer in SL has one or two people they can tolerate working with.  I think Fred is overall who I prefer to work with.  Which still amazes me since we started out fighting.  But it works.  We work.

And Fred’s the kind of Giant who’s shadow isn’t a cold dark unfeeling place.  It’s warm, because he really does shine just that brightly.

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On Being Honored

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Sir Isaac Newton-

Fashion for Life opened to a rousing start, and has held pretty steady over the past couple of days.  As both Harper and I are flush with compliments and praise; I find myself looking around at the shoulders of the giants I’m standing on; and am truly humbled.

I think that there are few things a content creator can do for someone that mean more than allowing that person to be a creative inspiration.  I know that it’s something I do rarely, if ever.  That would be, for me at least, because it would be an impossible task.  If I created something for every person who inspired me?  Well, I’d never get everything done.

So I think it’s difficult really for me to express my surprise when not just one, but two content creators participating in Fashion for Life honored me like this. I’d like to tell both stories, not just to share with readers, but so that I have them written down, and that way I know I’ll never forget.

Part of plotting out the look and feel for Fashion for Life, was deciding how each sim would actually look beyond the vague concept of simply grayscale.  Each sim is a reflection of its sponsor, matched to the style and mode that sponsor expresses in their work.  I made these decisions by walking around in each Sim Sponsor’s mainstore, since I like to think that would be the venue they had most freedom to express themselves in.

When you walk around in LaPointe & Bastchild; it’s very clean and bright.  There’s a LOT of things to see, and they’ve arranged it so things don’t seem as cluttered as they could be.  But as I look at the style, my mind kept turning toward the French Quarter in New Orleans.  I have no real idea why.  Maybe the Fleur de Lis in their logo, maybe just kismet.

When Paul LaPointe and Bastchild Lotus came to see the sim for the first time, before I had finished it out all the way, and before the designers were setting up their stores, I learned that I had accidentally or through fate, hit a touchstone for both of them.  A loving and funny couple, I learned that New Orleans held a lot of significance for them.  They were touched that I’d picked up that theme and ran with it.

And then they took it and went a step further.  Their FFL Releases are New Orleans inspired.  And when Paul sent me these boots, and told me I’d inspired them, I was humbled.  Shoulders of Giants, indeed.  http://lapointebastchild.blogspot.com/2011/03/fashion-for-life-2011.html

These Orleans Tartan Boots are texture change through a HUD, and so can match just about anything you could wear.  There’s a Version in Black and White Lace as well.

Ikon Innovia was like a dirty little secret Harper kept from me.  And if you talk to him, you learn why. The Creator of Fashism, he’s been making Harper’s avatar eyes for a while.  I’ll get into how stunning they are in a bit.

It’s the person that’s the kind of warm, funny engaging and genuine that inspires the selfish bits of you that want to keep them away from anything that might taint such a lovely spirit.

Usually when someone tells me they’re a graphic designer, it tends to mean to me that they do logos or edit photos.  Both of which are very different tasks from working in a 3-D environment like Second Life. Ikon’s graphic design is in video games, so he understands how to color and dress gamespaces.  And those conversations with him are some of my favorites, bantering about how to use texturing to enhance 3-D effects.

So when I logged in Saturday, I had a gift from him.  

My picture does not do these justice.  The eyes, which he named “Egyptian Blue,” play upon the rich lapis and gold colors, and oddly enough make me think of afternoons in Marina.

I think the picture he sent to go with them speaks far better to his skill, his talent and a whole lot of other things I want to gush all over but don’t have the words for.  And sometimes it’s hard to tell if I am on the shoulders of the giants, or in the shadow of them.

Either way, I’m humbled, and honored.

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Fashion for Life

Holy Cow!  I have a ton to write about and the only way I can think to do it sensibly is to break it up into a series of posts.

First, I don’t think I’ve had this much fun on a project in a while.  The Team has been absolutely stellar.  And yes, that’s Team with a capital T.  They deserve their own Thank You post.

Second.  I was just blown away, not just by the artistry of the build, but the artistry and personalities of the designers involved.   They too deserve their own post.

So I’m left with the smartest way to start.  To let you know what Sakinah has produced for RFL.  I know RFL is usually my big release for the year, but between building two of the sims, and the work and communication needed as one of the Co-Leads, I came up a little short in the Newness department.  But I did get one brand new historical costume done and it’s available at my store on the Bourke White sim of Fashion for Life.

Nefertiti is one of those “I want something to go on my head” that becomes a whole outfit. I modeled this after the famous bust of Nefertiti currently on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany. (Though I, like every Egyptian hopes someday to see all of our missing artifacts come home someday.)

I recolored two of my most recent Halal Outfits: Latika and Rasha into shades of purple in honor of the Relay.

And lastly, being that pressed for time, I did something I’ve never done.  I re-released an RFL item.  If you shop with me regularly, you know I don’t do this.  And It’s an indicator of just how much time and effort I have put into the event overall.

I have had a wonderful, exhausting time working on Fashion for Life, and I hope all of you will come out and show support for such a great cause!

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Do Not Adjust Your Screen!

If anyone asks why I’m not as responsive as I usually am.  This is why.

I covered last post that I’m one of the leads for the Fashion for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  You probably knew this as Clothing Fair in years previous.  This year the scope and size of the event has expanded to cover anything used to enhance avatar appearance including Clothes, Skin, Shoes, Eyes and Hair!  The bulk of my job is not only coordinating the rest of an incredibly awesome build team; but I’m building two of the sims myself.

And I couldn’t help it.  I had to bring in a little piece of home.  When I started?  I started building the Corniche from Alex, the area at Romle Square.  But then I said “Wait a second.  Porto Marina is basically a big mall, and totally fits Elikatira (The Sim’s Sponsor) so much better!”

Now.  Do not Adjust your screen.  It’s supposed to look like this.

Yes.  It’s in Grayscale.  There’s a reason for that that I’ll cover in another post, but the short version is that the theme this year is “Beyond Black and White.”  Cancer isn’t a black and white issue.  And thanks to the efforts of organizations like ACS, options for treatment, and chances of survival are broadened.

I am so thrilled year to really have my hands in a cause I’ve been a participant in for years. And I’ve been both deeply honored and greatly privileged to work with some fantastic people.

Fashion for Life opens March 12th and will continue through March 22nd.  And what you guys are getting with this shot here is just a teeny taste of what to expect.  I can’t wait for you guys to come and shop your hearts out for a great cause at such a huge event!

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