The SL Parade Becomes An ABC Horse Breeding Site

Though The SL Parade has been relatively quiet on the literary front, I have still been quite busy! For starters, I recently purchased a sim that functions as The SL Parade Headquarters, and have designed it in such a way that is welcoming to the SL Community! Purchasing this land has really broadened my perspective in terms of how important it is to explore different ways that The SL Parade can remain a staple in the SL Community.

With this in mind, one of many things The SL Parade has created is an inworld horse stable. The horse stable was created as a way for me to alleviate stress in my real life…all while still presenting one of my many products to the SL community. Based on a recommendation from a good friend of mine, The SL Parade Stable primarily breeds and sells Awesome Breeding Creations (ABC) horses and ponies.

To be honest, I have found that breeding ABC horses and ponies are not only therapeutic, but very informative. This is because ABC features breedables that reflect real life horse and pony breeds. Breeds like Clydesdale, the Drum Horse, and Criollo are breeds that also exist in real life, and this allows an ABC breeder to learn more about how specific breeds are used in the real world, as well as about additional physical characteristics they have. As such, those interested in learning more about a specific breed can do so by not only researching online and/or at your local library, but by interacting with others that choose to breed ABC horses, too.

To get a better feel of what The SL Parade sim has to offer, I have all the horses and ponies displayed atop of “For Sale” boxes. These displays are positioned all over the sim to encourage exploration. In addition, I have also included areas to view whales, as well as fish or even rez up a paddle boat, jet ski, or kayak. This is because I strongly believe in creating a community that is welcoming to all who enjoy nature and breeding horses. I also want to create a safe space for those interested in relaxing in an atmosphere that encourages positive interaction and learning.

In addition to breeding ABC horses and ponies, The SL Parade also is a Chop Zuey Affiliate. This affiliation, along with assisting in the promotion of both Amanda Slavik’s Magick Thoughts and Bella Drakon Ivanovic’s The Couture Pursuit blogs, allow me to interact with the SL community in additional ways that are rewarding and fulfilling all at once.

Outside of breeding ABC horses, ponies and functioning as an affiliate of various vendors like Chop Zuey, I am slowly gearing myself up to resume writing again. My RL has drastically changed, and I am still trying to create a space for myself to write about all things SL and RL. I am juggling two very important things:  caring for my father and raising my six year old son.

Between the flurry of all this RL responsibility, I am still trying to find a quiet space to not only breathe, but to concentrate and write.  It is hard because I am doing this with limited support.  However, I am confident that things will work out for the better…

ABC Horses and ponies are on sale now at The SL Parade SIM!  Please take a look at the slide show below to get a first hand look at our selection:

 

To visit The SL Parade SIM, please click here:  Check out The SL Parade sim

 

 

 

 

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Sex and Other Reasons to “Break” Into YOUR SL Home

photo from Second Life Home Inva sion (Trolling) video (https://viyoutube.com/channel/UCBwKWOA5oo_vXEHQtCr1SAQ/ripahar)

Even in Second Life, we need to create a peaceful surrounding for ourselves.  One way this is accomplished is by either renting or buying land inworld, and creating a virtual habitat that offers privacy, a space to dress, as well as a space to entertain friends and family.

However, there are people out there that do not think paying real life cash inworld is worth it.  In fact, the idea of creating a private, peaceful surrounding for oneself, is viewed as neither justified nor fair.  These people–rather one calls them griefers or protestors–not only believe that Linden Labs should not have any financial prowess in world nor in Real Life, but that those that buy virtual land enable Linden Labs to continually oppress the Second Life masses.  These individuals, along with those who believe that too many SL community members take Second Life too seriously, deliberately encroach upon the land of another in the name of personal freedom and belief.

In fact, one of many methods of protests employed involves teleporting into an unsuspecting avatar’s home.  Upon arrival, the protestor(s) find the most sexually explicit furniture in the dwelling, and (either with a partner in tow or even sexually parlaying on another’s property solo) proceed to have sex right then and there.  Jeanne Anne Decosta echoes this sentiment by saying, “I think there is a whole subculture of people who [go into other people’s virtual homes and have pixel sex] because there are tons of people who spend Lindens in SL….and there’s kind of a thrill in it…[the] risk of being caught while doing it… it’s kind of a way of making fun of people who spend a lot of money on things others get for free…and it’s also an anti-capitalist gesture…”

II.  Breaking and Virtually Entering SL Dwellings:  Decosta is One of Many

Jeanne Decosta (photo courtesy of Decosta’s Facebook page)

Jeanne Anne Decosta is one of perhaps many who think that Linden Labs should not charge SL community members money for land purchases, and that the buying SL public takes land ownership too seriously.  She says, “…when I was all into SL and ‘married’ to a Scottish guy I’d never met in RL…him and I used to go into houses ‘owned’ by people who were offline and have virtual sex on their sex beds & in their hot tubs…I don’t think we were ever ‘caught’ at it but really don’t remember…[I do remember that] we never left a mess…”

Gleefully smiling in her IM’s, she continues, “…it’s all just pixelated code in a leased server, [anyway]…getting all proprietary about those pixels is stupid [because] Linden Labs just [laughs] as they rake in your money :D!”

When asked if SL consumers had a right to respect, more so if they are business owners that feel the need to establish virtual sex boundaries on parcels they have bought and invested in, Decosta dismisses this question by saying, “…it’s ridiculous to become all territorial and possessive over cartoons you know?”

III.  Alluding to Capitalism In SL To Show A Bigger Point

While some may deliberately go onto the virtual property of another as a form of protest, there are others out there that go because they want to capitalize on a story.  One instance of this happening is in the “RPS In Second Life:  An Orgasmic Bellowing” article.  Written by Quintin Smith in February 2010, the article discusses the role sex plays in generating a profit for Linden Labs.  Yet, unknowingly Smith mentions an incident that happened to him while visiting SL Land.

Smith says, “….my friend and I were poking around SL on Monday [and] we stumbled across this charming pair:

Photo from https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/02/01/rps-second-life-an-orgasmic-bellowing/

Once Smith refers to the picture above, he continues:  “My friend and I cordially introduced ourselves as Quinns Raymation and Snaps Tremor, [and] chose to politely ignore [the couple’s]  discourteous mention that we were on private land…and promptly found ourselves rudely catapulted into space.”

The SL Parade poses the following question in relation to the above quote, “Why is it rude to tell someone that they are trespassing on land that is privately owned, and why is it considered rude to be kicked off of said land and ‘sent into space’?”  This question, though rhetorical in nature, reflects an ongoing discourse that shows how fine of a line is regularly drawn between protesting the capitalism inherent in Second Life versus the invasion of virtual privacy.

IV.  Virtual Home Invasion:  Protesting Those That Take Second Life Too Seriously

Another reason to enter a virtual home without permission is to rattle those that take Second Life a little too seriously.  This could easily be categorized as griefing, but many may say otherwise.  And, while there are many documented forms of media that highlight in world home invasion, one example that truly shows the reasoning behind invading a person’s virtual home can be seen in the video below.  Be mindful that though this video is four years old, it is one of many reminders related to the reason how virtual home invasion can be used as a way to protest…rather the protests centers around challenging the financial capitalism allegedly inherent in Second Life, to question the notion of privacy, or to simply annoy Second Life players that “take the game too seriously.”

After watching the video below, please tell us your thoughts on using virtual home invasion as a means of protesting…

More second life home invasions (people who take a game too seriously) from cringe

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When A Dream Can No Longer Be Deferred…

 

A year and some months ago today, my mother died after a long battle with substance abuse and ill health.  Her death broke me down in more ways than one:  I no longer had any desire to write and even worst, I had no desire to play Second Life.

In terms of the latter, I would log on as a habit, but I would never leave my parcel…I simply came up with new ways to decorate it.  Yet, no matter how many times I decorated and redecorated my surroundings, I was still unhappy.  I was unhappy not only because my mom had passed away, but also because I felt that inworld, I was surrounded by  toxicity.

The toxicity was so problematic for me that I became afraid to interact inworld with others.  Though my sl brother is the only person I often feel that I can trust inworld, he had went on a hiatus to tend to his real life.  It seems that, just like me, he was also tired of the toxicity surrounding us inworld.

Yet, despite my Second Life world appearing to crumble around me, I realized I had a dream.  I had always dreamed of purchasing my own sim and raising horses to sell to the SL community.  With this idea in mind, I also had a dream that with the purchase of this sim, I could also share it with the SL community in such a way that it would enrich and benefit Second Life, too.

The dream I had offered a glimmer of hope in an often problematic real life and second life world.  However, that glimmer of hope would dampen a bit because like many dreams, there seemed to be so many obstacles in the way.  Money was one of many challenges, more so because I didn’t have much of that.  Motivation was another challenge, because whenever I thought of really creating–rather it be a new sim, or even writing–I would think about my mother.  I knew that despite my mom and I’s differences, I missed her–and would continue to miss her everyday.  In fact it was a sadness that would not (and won’t) ever leave me…a sadness that further contributed to my isolation not only in Real Life, but in Second Life too.

I was not only battling a dream deferred, but I was battling depression and self destruction.

Then, about six months after my mom passed, my life had changed again.  My dad needed a place to stay, and he needed me to help care for him.  See, three days after my mom passed, my dad was robbed and beaten in his own home.  He refused to go to the hospital, but he knew he had to find some way out in order to survive.  So, when he called me and told me what happened, I quickly told my father that if he could get out to where I live, he can stay as long as he wanted and I would be there for him.  Before I knew it, my dad had purchased a plane ticket to Boston, and was here; he has only flown on an airplane once in his life, so this was a big step for him.  Yet, the best thing about my dad’s arrival in Boston was that he was the first family member to stay longer than three days in my newly adopted town.  He was also the first family member that wholly trusted me to care for him, too.

When dad moved in with my son and I, there were so many changes!  My father has never been a disciplinarian type of parent, and that method of parenting seemed to extend to my five year old son.  My dad would buy my son whatever he wanted, spoiling him rotten in the process.  All the while, I had to play the “no nonsense parent” by establishing firm boundaries and keeping my son busy as needed; this “no nonsense parenting” is still an intrinsic part of our household, so for this reason, I decided to step away from my Second Life to wholly focus on my Real Life.  In the meantime, my dad and son are like two kids that I have to care for, but it has given me strength that I never knew I had.

This resilience surrounding the ability to withstand this new living arrangement encouraged me to take another look at the Second Life dream I had.  Though I would often come up with all kinds of excuses not to pursue it, the excuses merely added fuel to the dream I repeatedly deferred.  I began to itch for an opportunity to fulfill my dream deferred, but was at a loss as to how to accomplish it.

An opportunity presented itself in August for me to finally fulfill my dream.  I was blessed with some extra money, and had enough to not only take care of my real life, but fulfill my dreams in Second Life, too.  The extra money, compounded by Second Life’s 15th anniversary land purchase deal were both blessings that enabled me to realize a dream that has laid dormant for so long.

I am on a new journey now…to keep this dream alive and in motion, SL Parade readers will see a lot more writing from me now.  Some of this writing will center around the horses, other works will focus on the new SL Parade land and the business opportunities available for other Second Life business owners, but all of the writing will focus on articles that balance Real Life with Second Life.

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the new SL Parade Adult Rated sim!  All who visit can take a ride on the horses, as well as take a look at the 24/7 dolphin show that happens in various corners of the sim.  And remember, if you are a business owner, the SL Parade sim has stores available for rent…these stores were created by Elin Egoyen.  According to Egoyen’s note card, the design of these lovely shops are based on a mixture of a Victorian, Edwardian and Southern US style houses and shops, and was also inspired by the famous Rainbow Row located in Charleston, South Carolina USA.

Take your ride here:  SL Parade has a NEW SIM!!!

Take a look at the slide show that features all activities available at the SL Parade sim:

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Krystali Rabeni: When LOVE Is All You Need

 

The embodiment of love is more than just a feeling; sometimes it is an action that is expressed in our daily dealings with others.  And while love can sometimes be seen as an elusive thing that runs through the hands like water, Krystali Rabeni is a reminder that love is not only tangible, but something that can be held and savored.  In this sense, it is safe to say that Krystali Rabeni’s LOVE business emulates love on the daily…rather its in her daily dealings with customers or embodied in the products she lovingly creates.

The name LOVE, according to Rabeni, is an acronym for Life’s Only Valuable Emotion.  In operation for over a decade, LOVE specializes in creating home and garden items, as well as hair products.  In terms of the latter, LOVE introduced hair products in late 2017.

Krystali Rabeni, creator of LOVE Home and Garden and Hair

Krystali Rabeni explains how she decided to break into the hair business by outlining her previous SL history of creating products for role playing sims.  She says, “I tend to touch right across the board from creating half to full sims, villages and towns for role play, creating for my store and customers, and I also take part in lots of fairs supporting charities across the grid…”

Elaborating, Rabeni continues, “[Because of my involvement in all of these things, I decided in 2017 to break] into the Hair industry, purely on the back of headdresses that I create for popular fairs, [because I found that]…people [often] ask if I have hair to go with the headdresses and crowns, so this is a new and exciting venture…of course I will be following my brand and [incorporating the name] LOVE HAIR….”

Prior to creating LOVE HAIR, Rabeni was pretty similar to many budding business owners. “Before I began creating seriously…” Rabeni explains, “I did what a lot of people do and I opened a store full of affiliate vendors. But if a customer had a complaint I quickly realized there was absolutely nothing I could do to help them. I wasn’t the creator and it resulted in both them and me getting a little disillusioned so I began learning and creating items on a more serious scale rather than just for myself. People began IM’ing me asking where they could buy the items and then LOVE was born.”

LOVE Strawberry Headdress (https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/LOVE-Strawberry-Headdress/5629271)

Besides creating products that emulate LOVE, Rabeni also credits her family as a huge support when it comes to running LOVE.  “I have a wonderful, very understanding and supportive family who also play in SL…” Yet, in the midst of their support, she still relies on herself to create the products featured in her LOVE line.  As quickly as she says this however, she adds: “I would say that the SL residents play a huge part in helping me run my business. They promote LOVE through blogging, passing out landmarks and bringing their friends to the store. It’s amazing how much help you can receive just by being there for your customers and helping if they need it, in return, they help you and their kindness is touching and humbling.”

This customer-based support is what makes Krystali Rabeni work harder to address the needs of her clientele.  Specifically, Rabeni also relies on the element of surprise when it comes to creating her products.  She explains, “I tend to specialize in creating items that people didn’t know they wanted such as props, scene sets and items that mix fantasy with reality. [In fact,] one of my most popular sets is the Fantasy Deer range.”  Please take a look at the slide show below:

LOVE’s Fantasy Deer range are deer that not only feature blossoms and/or other foilage that grow from their antlers, but also features deer that has antlers entangled in fairy lights.  LOVE also features animated mesh deer that seemingly gallop around a parcel in what appears to be a perpetual state of happiness.

Rabeni, in keeping with her mixture of fantasy, reality, and the creation of items many did not realize they wanted in the first place says, “Who knew anyone would want deer with summer blossom and fairy lights as antlers? But they do, and it opens a gateway to the more unusual which is well received across the grid…”

II.  Who are LOVE’s customers?

When Rabeni is asked about the kinds of customers she creates for, she explains:  “I have clients across the grid, from role play sim owners to club owners, to people starting out with their own stores right down to the guy next door who just wants a nice garden. Every one is special and whether the clients spend 10L$ or 100,000L$ they are all treated with the same respect and quality of service…

Yet there is also another important quality that distinguishes her from other creators.  Rabeni says, “SL is about equality, and we are all equal regardless.”  In this sense, Rabeni’s notion of equality is noticeable by how she interacts with customers.

If you join LOVE’s inworld group for instance, Rabeni creates an online atmosphere that is whimsical, fun and loving.  She makes a point to personally inquire about her customers’ well being, and often shares monthly gifts that are filled with detail and depth.  Like her LOVE line, Rabeni encompasses warmth and personalization that not only makes a customer feel a part of somethinDiscuss her incorporation of love and personalization, particularly in terms of being my friend….

III.  Recycling, As Featured in LOVE

Besides the creation of all things fantasy, Rabeni’s LOVE business also believes in showcasing the beauty of reusing and recycling.  For instance, LOVE has a Garden Bike available on Marketplace for $175L.  This bike is not for riding though; it is meant as a garden area that showcases planted flowers and other foilage–all of which are planted on a bike that is no longer useful for riding.  The bike not only features a basket full of flowers, it also has foliage that grows at the base of its tires.  And while many of us may never dream of using a bike to showcase flowers and other foilage, there are many in RL and in SL that would.  Specifically, there are many RL gardening enthusiasts who rely on things that are no longer used.  Items like old tires, cars that no longer work, and even abandoned furniture can be incorporated in landscaping to not only bring beauty to an area, but to make use of something that is otherwise difficult to dispose of.  LOVE, in this sense, encompasses giving and reusing, all in an effort to create something totally unique and new.  It also reflects RL, because right now recycling plays an imperative role in saving our planet and the species that inhabit it.

To better understand how LOVE products reflect real life recycling efforts, please look at the slideshow below:

IV.  The Creative Force Behind LOVE

When asked what prompted her to create the LOVE business inworld, Rabeni explains, “I have always been a creative [person,] and SL opened doors to a new medium…couple that with a life time of self-employment, and the two went together naturally….I had toyed with the idea that it might be possible to create a successful business in a VR (Virtual Reality) environment and [have found that] it is….more than possible…and I recommend everyone to give it a try.”

LOVE, as Rabeni passionately believes, continues to be successful because of the growth and technological advancement in Second Life.  “….[LOVE] continues to go from strength to strength as SL improves. I remember back in 2007 chatting with a good friend in SL and laughing about where we would be in ten years time. I had no idea LOVE would be so well received and I appreciate the support I have had and continue to have from every SL resident that visits the store. I prefer to say THE store rather than MY store as I feel the success of LOVE belongs to the SL community.”

When asked what she liked best about creating merchandise inworld, Rabeni first establishes the struggle inherent in learning how to create in a Virtual World.  “Creating in SL is a steep learning curve…” says Rabeni, “…but once you get to the top, the rewards are endless…and every day you learn more.  Once you find your niche, you just can’t stop. The drive to create more and to improve outweighs the business side…”

V.  Real Life Reflected in SL, According to LOVE

Logo from Imagineer Development CiC (https://localgiving.org/charity/imagineer/)

Functioning as a Real Life business owner, Rabeni is not only an author, but also an Imagineer.  For those unfamiliar with the term Imagineer, Dictionary.com defines it as follows: a person who devises and implements a new or highly imaginative concept or technology, in particular one who devises the attractions in Walt Disney theme parks.  An Imagineer can also be responsible for devising and implementing new attractions, concepts or technology in a theme park based setting (Dictionary.com).

As an author and an Imagineer, Rabeni is accustomed to wearing different occupational hats when it comes to working in Real Life. When asked how, in her opinion, Real Life is often reflected in Second Life, Rabeni says:”I find skills used in RL translate well to SL and vice versa and, as with any work of fiction there is always an element of reality which draws the reader in and gives them something to relate to, hence in SL I find this is the same. I mix elements of fantasy with the odd touch of reality and a twist of the unusual and take each resident that sees the store, by the hand and guide them on to a path they may never have walked.”

…a memorial tribute that features LOVE products.

The idea of leading SL community members down the road less traveled has also proven to be therapeutic for many inworld.  In fact, Rabeni told me that she has had residents tell her that they come to the LOVE SIM for therapeutic reasons…specifically because it is so relaxing.  Many of these residents suffer from real life disabilities and injuries, and often look to the LOVE sim as an aid to help them better manage their illnesses.  The beauty featured on the SIM seemingly freezes nature, allowing patrons to observe and partake in the beauty around them.

Rabeni reiterates this realization by describing how those that visit the LOVE sim also benefit her.  She explains,  “… the best part is how inspiring SL residents are and how supportive they are when they enjoy a creator’s ideas. It’s something I have never found anywhere else in any creative industry. It’s unique and SL residents created that.”

In addition to creating an atmosphere that supports the creative industry, Rabeni also contends that this support encourages her to create merchandise that is not only detailed, but often challenging.  For this reason, Rabeni says that if a product is not a challenge to create, then it tends to not get released either.  “So many items have gone to ‘Room 101,’ never to return….” Rabeni continues, “The finest part though is sometimes I release a new item and someone will ask me to change or add to it, even tailor it to their needs. This is great…I never shy away from a challenge and it becomes a collaboration between customer and creator and both of us appreciate each other. We usually go on to become friends and, if that person owns an SL business, I am more than happy to promote it in my groups and maybe introduce group members to new things. SL is a place full of challenges and help, friends and ideas and I say ‘Challenge accepted!'”

When asked if she would like to add any concluding statements, Rabeni said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank YOU for including me in your wonderful magazine, and I would like to stand up and give the residents of Second Life a huge round of applause because without them there would be no LOVE and love is Life’s Only Valuable Emotion.”

To purchase LOVE products, please check out Rabeni’s products in Marketplace via this link:  LOVE Home and Garden + Hair

Customers can also visit LOVE Home and Garden inworld here:  LOVE Home and Garden Sim Wide Store.

 

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Club Lion Celebrates 10 Years!!!

I gotta say that I am excited…

Though I have been gone for some time, being a witness to Nita Wunderlich’s accomplishment does nothing but encourage me.  This is because Club Lion, a club she has created and allowed to flourish, is celebrating its 10 Year anniversary!  In an SL world where many clubs come and go, this is not only an accomplishment, but an important milestone!

Nita Wunderlich, Club Lion Founder (Photo by Rofina Bronet)

Nita is excited about this milestone too, and is well aware of just how awesome this accomplishment is.  With this in mind, Nita has been working around the clock to bring the best celebration possible.  Incorporating the theme of “Life is a Circus,” Nita has recreated an atmosphere of fun, joy and excitement that features a rideable lion, as well as encourages all patrons to dress in their circus best.

Club Lion is an awesome venue, and it is a thrill to be a witness to this awesome milestone.  Though this article is a brief one, it is my hope that it acts as a warm embrace to Nita Wunderlich’s major accomplishment.  In the meantime, come by and celebrate this important Club Lion milestone!  Here is the LM, and be sure to come in your circus best:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Egret%20Key/185/63/2183

Please take a look at the slide show below :)!

 

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Pay A Visit to the 3rd Annual Kultivate Spring Art Show!!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3rd Annual Kultivate Spring Art Show

Dates: April 6 to 14, 2018

Website:
https://kultivatemagazine.com/3rd-annual-spring-art-show/

Landmark:  

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%20Haven/142/136/22

The 3rd Annual Kultivate Spring Art Show will take place April 6 to 14, 2018 and as in previous years, the art show will featured both juried and non juried exhibitions, live performers, two hunts, and free learning opportunities! The 3rd Annual Kultivate Spring Art Show is curated and managed by Kultivate Magazine.

Participating juried artists include: AJ, Aquarius Lowtide, Avalon Chrome, Bellissa Dion, Bri Graycloud, CalystiaMoonShadow, Carly Afterthought, Chanasitsayo, DAKOTA LAVAROCK, Elle Thorkveld,Erkek DeCuir, Eucalyptus Carroll, FiordiligiDaPonte Resident, FreeDom Voix, Gwen Enchanted, Jamee Sandalwood, KodyMeyers Resident, Lala Lightfoot, Lucia Tophat, M8ty Resident, Maaddi, Myra Wildmist, Pipit Peacedream, Sabine Mortenwold, SecondHandTutti Resident, Sheba Blitz, Silverwind Tzedek, Slatan Dryke, Syphera Inaka, wild Alchemi, wintergeist.

Participating non juried artists include: aht1981 resident, Bellissa Dion, Catalina Staheli, Eleseren Brianna, Eviana Robbiani (La Robbiani ), GlitterPrincess Destiny, Hana Hoobinoo, iSkye Silverweb, Jasmin Currier, Johannes1977 Resident, Kimblecoles Resident, M8ty Resident, Mangrovejane Resident, Slatan Dryke, & Veruca Tammas.

The following live performers and instructors will provide entertainment throughout the art show: Parker Static, Nina Bing, Wolfie Starfire, Lark Bowen, Melenda Mikael, & Dimivan Ludwig. Learning opportunities will exist in the form of one hour art, photography, and storytelling sessions. These free sessions will be provided by Veruca Tammas, Kaijah Chrome, John Brianna, Eleseren Brianna, and The Seanchai Library.

About Kultivate Magazine:
Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life. The goal of Kultivate Magazine is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. Kultivate Magazine consists of the magazine, The Edge and The Edge Gallery of Black and White Imagery, The Windlight Art Gallery, The Kandis Gallery of real life imagery, The Kultivate Select Gallery, Ristorante Ivanna, & The Tribute and Crown Pub. Kultivate Magazine is proud to be the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team for The American Diabetes Association.

For More Information:
https://kultivatemagazine.com/3rd-annual-spring-art-show/

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The SL Parade and Blog Veridical Work Together as Sponsors

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new blog available that discusses all things SL!

Called Blog Veridical, this up and coming blog site has been active since May 2017.  Offering the SL public vivid first person accounts on all things relevant to SL, Blog Veridical is an excellent source to turn to if you are interested in reading about SL related controversial topics.

The SL Parade is proud to act as a sponsor for this awesome website, and we are also proud to be actively cross promoting our writings to better serve the SL Public.

Please take a look at one of their many articles here:  when a ban Muddy’s the situation by cocunuteater,

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Press Release: Kultivate Magazine & Rock Your Rack’s Charity Art Show & Auction

Kultivate Magazine & Rock Your Rack’s Charity Art Show & Auction

Dates: September 30, 2017 to October 14, 2017

Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Aftershock/68/129/23

Website: https://rockyourrack.wordpress.com/about/art-show-and-auction-by-kultivate-magazine/

Kultivate Magazine is pleased to have partnered with Rock Your Rack to create a special charity art show and auction! Rock Your Rack is the signature charity of the in world group, Model’s Giving Back. Rock Your Rack benefits The National Breast Cancer Foundation, which sponsors mammograms and breast cancer screenings for women and men.

The art show will feature the following artists: angyel Resident, artandsoul constantine, Astrid Zhangsun, Beth Pentewyn, Booyakashaka Resident, CalystiaMoonShadow, captainofmysoul, chanasitsayo, Daruma Boa, DrusillaGwind Resident, Eleseren Brianna, Elle Thorkveld, emberdearheart Resident, Eucalyptus Carroll, FreeDom Voix, ilyra chardin, Inquisitor Titanium, Jamee Sandalwood, John Brianna, Karma Weymann, Kerry Streeter, M8ty Resident, Meishagirl Resident, Myra Wildmist, NaTaS Janus, retroye resident, Sandi Benelli, Sheba Blitz, tisephone resident. Veruca Tammas, Vivienne Darcy, & wintergeist.

Events will include the return of the Pink Art Ball with live performer SaraMarie Philly, a special gift card raffle, and a special art auction bundle, featuring work by Cica Ghost and Bryn Oh. The art show will participate in the Rock Your Rack hunt, where hunt goers can search for hangers throughout the art area and the rest of the sim.

About Kultivate Magazine:
Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life. The goal of Kultivate Magazine is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. Kultivate Magazine consists of the magazine, The Edge and The Edge Gallery, The Windlight Art Gallery, The Red Gallery, The Kultivate Bailywick Gallery, The Kultivate Select Gallery, Ristorante Ivanna, & The Tribute and Crown Pub. Kultivate Magazine is proud to be the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team for The American Diabetes Association.

About Rock Your Rack & Model’s Giving Back:
Rock Your Rack is the annual fundraiser started in October of 2012 by Jamee Sandalwood and the team at Models Giving Back. MGB is the grid leader in trusted charity events. We do it all and have for several years now with one person responsible for the entire event. Jamee takes care of everything from Designers, to bloggers, to musicians, to models. This way any confusion is avoided and no one has to wait to check with anyone else before things are getting done. Jamee’s vision leads the event to success year after year with many of the designers coming back with us due to the smooth, efficient way things are run and reported. With 100% transparency, all of our documentation from screenshot totals, to Lindex transactions, to donation receipts account for every penny that was earned and donated all being posted right here for all to see.

About The National Breast Cancer Foundation:
The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail. NBCF’s mission is to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. That’s why NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through our network of hospitals. They are now joining hands with people around the world to provide breast cancer education.

For More Information:
https://rockyourrack.wordpress.com/
www.kultivatemagazine.com
https://fundraise.nbcf.org/fundraise?fcid=851628 (official Rock Your Rack & Model’s Giving Back page at The National Breast Cancer Foundation website)

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Bee Designs Prove That SL Can Empower RL Moms!

Bee Caudron Law, Founder and Creator of Bee Designs… (photo taken by Bee Caudron Law)

For Bee Caudron Law, her business started with a feature story on the news and a dream…

Specifically, her desire to create her own Second Life business started in 2007; at the time, she was tending to her newborn daughter when she unintentionally spotted a program that was centered on the Second Life video game.  She explains to The SL Parade that it was while watching that program that she realized she could make money in world.  She continues, “…as I was at home with a newborn baby, I thought it was a great idea to try to work [in Second Life as a creator] and raise [my daughter while] working at home…”

Bee Designs Logo…

It was from there, according to Law, that the creation of Bee Designs was born.

II.  Bee Designs:  Focus and Specialization

Bee Designs specializes in the creation of homes, as well as furniture and other decor.  Law explains, “…my goal is to create products that give a ‘home feeling’ for those who buy my creations…”

When prodded further on how her products invoke a “home feeling” within her customers, Bee Caudron Law explains that she often relies on a combination of her own imagination and real life photos.  She continues, “…sometimes, I  start by making floor ad walls, then the idea starts to build inside my mind…other times, I look at an RL picture I like and start making a product that looks just like it…”

Collage taken from the Second Life Marketplace….

Yet in addition to relying on her own imagination, as well as on RL photos for inspiration; it is imperative to note that the textures, foliage and other materials used also create a realistic (and hence, homey) feel in all of Bee Designs products.  This homey feel is also reminiscent of the reason why Law decided to pursue her SL business in the first place:  To stay at home to raise and support her family.

With Bee Caudron Law being the sole owner, proprietor and creator of Bee Designs, she confesses that creating can often be difficult work.  Law continues, “….takes a lot of time and effort to learn and to create each new set…”

Yet with her store being in operation since 2009, it is a challenge Law readily accepts with each creation she designs. Law recently added Halloween store at Bee Designs.  “I love it over there…” she warmly affirms, then continues, “…I had a few other for full perm items (I created) on older avatars, but have stuck with Bee Design and exclusively create under my Bee Caudron Law account…”  If you would like to pay a visit to Bee Design’s Halloween store, please click here:  Bee Design’s Halloweentown

In addition to the Halloween store, Bee Designs has an array of Gatcha products for the discerning customer.  The products, ranging from bedroom furniture to exclusively decorated buildings, are featured in the Bee Designs Gatcha machines located all over the Bee Designs sim.  To see some of the Gatcha items featured at Bee Designs, please look at the slide show featured at the end of this article.

…from SL Marketplace

III.  Bee Designs Empowers Bee Caudron Law To Be An Awesome Mom

Besides creating exciting and visually appealing products, Law contends that the best thing about Bee Designs is that it reflects her RL goals and aspirations.  Law explains, “…I didn’t know a thing when I started Bee Designs…but now, Bee Designs is my RL job, so it reflects in my whole life…most importantly, it allows me to raise my girl and earn money…

Bee Caudron Law shared this awesome photo with The SL Parade…

Bee Caudron Law has relied on Bee Designs as her sole source of income since her daughter was a newborn.  Now that her daughter is 11 years old, Law continues to be by her side to watch her grow up.  Law continues, “…thanks to SL, my daughter studies at the best schools….SL has also given us the finances needed to travel, live in a very nice apartment….all I have always wanted to give to my daughter…”

Besides relying and loving what she does in Bee Designs, Bee Caudron Law loves being a mother.  “Being a mom…” Law contends, “…is amazing…you learn more about yourself while raising your young ones, and you see a part of yourself flourishing too…”

…taken from SL Marketplace…

The love for her daughter is not only demonstrated with the fabulous creations featured in Bee’s Creation, but in Bee Caudron Law’s avatar as well.  With dark, flowing hair and flawless skin…complete with a look of wonder in her eyes, Bee Caudron Law looks just like her RL daughter…

Law continues, “My daughter physically looks a lot like me, and personality wise, she acts like me in every way, too…and thanks to SL, I get to be by my daughters side as she grows and matures…”

In addition to seeing Bee Designs products at the store, The SL Parade has installed Bee Designs’ Flower and Ice Cream Shop on its sim.  This installation, in addition to this article, is our way of saying thank you to Bee Caudron Law for creating such wonderful products for the SL community…

To visit the Bee Designs sim, please click here:  Bee Designs.  To purchase Bee Designs products at the Second Life Marketplace, please click here:  Bee Designs at SL Marketplace.

Also, please take a look at the slide show below; the slide show features Bee Designs Gatcha products (as marked) and a few photos taken by The SL Parade:

 

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Spring Into Fall With Azalea Bluebell’s Full Permission Creations!

With Fall fastidiously approaching, many SL patrons are scrambling to buy foliage that reflects the approaching season.  Well, one place to turn to is the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell.

Azalea Bluebell, innovative owner of Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell products

Specializing in all things floral and ornamental, the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell sim is ran by Azalea Bluebell.  She, along with her trusty bot side kick Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) have created a seasonal-based atmosphere that truly highlights how and where Bluebell’s creations can be used on virtually any sim in SL. Complete with a barn, plants and other foliage representative of the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall seasons, Bluebell has created an environment that looks and feels like a nursery and crafts store.  Her products–ranging from hollyhocks sprinkled throughout the sim, to mushrooms planted in rich soil that is comfortably surrounded by stones to better separate them from other plants and wildlife–are featured in a way similar to the way they would be seen in an RL business.  As if being blessed with a thriving business and side kick is not enough, Azalea Bluebell has recently been nominated for the Rezzie Awards’ Best Full Perm Landscaping Meshes category…demonstrating that she is being recognized for her contributions in SL.  To vote for Bluebell, as well as other creators, please click on the following link:  Rezzie Awards Ballot.

When asked how she came about naming her business, Bluebell explains, “I wasn’t very original with my business name, so I just kept it at Azalea Bluebell…I used to have ~AB~ Creations before and I still use the ~AB~ in my items, but in general you can find me best by just searching my name…My business as Azalea has been around for just over 2 years, but my business in total for over 5-6 years, but I don’t know exactly.”

Rhododendron loderi with bluebells, taken by Andy McIndoe (https://www.learningwithexperts.com/gardening/blog/how-to-grow-rhododendrons-the-chelsea-flower-show-shrubs)

To shed more light on the name of her business, please note that Azalea Bluebell’s name reflects two types of flowers: the azalea and the Hyacinthoides (nicknamed the Bluebell for its blue, bell-shaped blossoms).  Azalea Bluebell’s name echoes her creative specialization in all things decorative and floral, while also highlighting the fact that she additional creates food, stuffed animals and even moving chickens and chicks.

Wikipedia, though unintentional, best clarifies the connection Azalea Bluebell has to her creations.  According to Wikipedia, Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron, particularly the former sections Tsutsuji (evergreen) and Pentanthera (deciduous).  Azaleas, like many of the foliage featured at Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell sim, bloom in spring, and their flowers often last for several weeks, and are part of the Ericaceae family (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea).

As a creator, Azalea Bluebell says that she has been actively creating for the SL community for over 10 years.  Bluebell continues, “[and I] was always fascinated with trees and plants…I just found the typical 3-way prim shapes a bit boring so when mesh was announced I just had to give it a go. First I started with my other account but over time I switched over to Azalea and made her especially for that purpose (hence the name being two flowers).”

Bluebell further contends that she specializes in the creation and selling of full permission items, and that in the midst of creating and distributing these items to the SL public, anything (nature or otherwise) is capable of inspiring her.  She explains:  “…but a majority of the items are based on home and landscaping [merchandise] such as flowers, plants, trees, etc.  I have some food items too and for the kids around SL, I have plush animals and other children related objects…”

Besides creating full permission items, Bluebell specializes in creating full permission items that are also low in prim.  To accomplish this feat, Bluebell relies on strong Level of Detail (LOD’s) that is complimented by a low prim count.  Bluebell explains how she does this by saying, “Creating items can be extremely nerve wrecking haha…When I first started making mesh items, I always bumped into errors when uploading, some of them made sense but most were a shot in the dark for me. It was a matter of time till I understood them though…and meanwhile, I haven’t had any uploading errors in ages. [Yet,] the tricky part of making meshes is that you always have to keep the polygons (triangles on a mesh) in mind. The more polygons an object has, the higher it will end in LI (land impact) too….so to make the LOD (level of detail) strong too, you need to keep a model as low in polygons as possible so you can keep the impact down, while still retaining the quality of the item for when they are viewed from a distance…”

Though Bluebell would never admit this to The SL Parade readers, it is imperative to note that she has a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a way that is easy to understand.  This further distinguishes her as a unique and approachable creator…one capable of teaching others in such a way where they do not feel alienated or ostracized.

II.  The Key to Low Prim:  LOD’s and Low Lag

When asked to explain what Level of Detail (LOD’s) were, Bluebell describes the term as the ability to see a creation as you either walk toward it or away from it.  She continues, “LOD stands for level of detail and it’s important for SL because they – as the name already says – handle the level of details over distance. I’m sure you have noticed items suddenly disappearing when you walk away for a small distance, and when you walk back they pop back in again, that’s one of the LODs. Second Life knows 4 LOD steps, being lowest, low, medium and high. It comes pretty much down to the creators choice, in that creators can choose what models they would like to use at what distance…some will use the default SL uploading system, while others will use different files per step…”

photo taken from SL Marketplace (https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Mesh-LOD-Indicator-Tool-for-meshers-builders-Level-of-Detail-Gpu-optimizer-DEMO/6819041)

“This last option…” Bluebell contents, “…gives you better control over the details…but requires more work too. Strong LODs are important because without them, the items would fade away too fast. The size of a mesh will affect this too….”

As a promise to herself, as well as to customers, Azalea Bluebell strives to keep all items she creates at a low lag level.  She continues, “I always try to keep the lag low for my items…I noticed that some creators use several 1024 maps on a single item, even if they are super small., and those textures will take a lot longer to rez when you have an optimized mesh that is using a single texture. Of course, you won’t notice the difference in an empty sim, but if the sim is built with lots of textures and objects, this, along with the area potentially having a lot of visitors frequenting the sim, will likely lead to having items take forever to load (or rezz)…I have found that when optimized textures and models are incorporated in creations, it reduces that loading time significantly…this, in my opinion is one of the battles creators face…”

Besides battling to balance high LOD’s with low lag, Bluebell is also in the midst of training her Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) bot.  As he is her right hand man for all things related to the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell business,  Bluebell relies on Gardening Bear to tend to the sim, as well as monitor her in-world group.

Azalea Bluebell hangs out with Gardening Bear…

Because Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) works so hard at the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell business, he is often mistaken for a real avatar.  In fact, many patrons have had whole conversations with him without even realizing that he can only give one-dimensional, bot-based responses.  These limited responses, according to Azalea Bluebell, is one of the key challenges with Gardening Bear (HelpingElf).  Bluebell says that prior to this challenge, Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) was initially equipped with a special self learning AI brain. Sighing, Bluebell says, “I use to have engaging conversations with him, but he can’t even hold a conversation now…”

It is for this reason that Bluebell is aiming to better socialize her bear and make him more adaptable to complex interactions.  Besides potentially accomplishing that goal, Bluebell also wants to teach him how to perform additional domestic duties.  She says, “It’s just me and the gardening bear…he takes care of the plants by watering them and keeping the weeds out. I still have to teach him how to mow the grass but that should be done in time…”

Nonetheless, if you are still interested in talking to him as he is, Bluebell will look over the conversations and get back to you as soon as possible.

III. Azalea Bluebell Wants Creators to Use Her Products to Further Explore Their Own Creativity

All Gardening Bear bot challenges aside, Azalea Bluebell contends that what she does in Second Life reflects her Real Life interests.  She explains, “I absolutely love gardening in RL and often take pictures from flowers to reproduce in Second Life or other grids like InWorldz or the Hypergrid using Kitely Market. One day I hope to have a huge garden and get all the flowers I love along with a big veggie garden. Oh, and chickens! And I always want a cow lol…”

Though her clientele are too extensive to mention, Bluebell clarified that though she started building for various companies and universities,  she initially had no desire to make a profit off of her creations.  “I wasn’t here to make money like some of us do,” she explains.  “…instead, I find it more important to help others where I can and I figured that with my items, I can help people create new items too while stimulating their creativity.”

Specifically, Bluebell encourages other creators to use her products when they create merchandise for the SL public.  For instance, if a creator is interested in creating an engaging gazebo with vines and flowers, Bluebell wants the use of her products to better define a person’s creative vision.  She supports this claim by saying, “I’m amazed with what people make out of other items…and I love seeing that….”

To help customers better understand how to use her creations, she continues, “I always compared my items as Lego bricks. Lego allows you to make wonderful things…and my items are one of the building blocks for many around SL.”

In keeping with Azalea Bluebell’s request, The SL Parade Headquarters features her products all over the sim…all of which are in keeping to the permanency of Spring theme discussed in The SL Parade Offers Spring To All Patrons article.  This, along with fully supporting Azalea Bluebell in her endeavors, is our way of saying thank you for creating such wonderful products.

If you are interested in purchasing Azalea Bluebell’s products inworld, please click on the following link:  Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell

To purchase her items on Marketplace, please click on the link included here:  Azalea Bluebell’s Marketplace.

Take a look at some additional Azalea Bluebell creation photos here:

 

References

McIndoe, Andy. “Rhododendron loderi with bluebells” Photo.  Taken from www.learningwithexperts.com (https://www.learningwithexperts.com/gardening/blog/how-to-grow-rhododendrons-the-chelsea-flower-show-shrubs)

Wikipedia. “Azalea” from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea.

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