Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Real Knitting, Virtual Gardening, And An Upcoming Book Review

Filed under: Books,Knitting,Second Life — folkcat at 4:19 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Finally, here I am with pictures of the current Scarf In Progress!

Linked Rib Scarf

Pattern: Linked Rib, from the book Knitting New Scarves
Yarn: Plymouth Boku, Color #7
Needles: Bryspun dpns, size 8 (6 needed for project)

My best advice to anyone who wants to knit from Knitting New Scarves – follow the instructions carefully, and have faith in them! When in doubt, don’t be afraid to frog back to the beginning and start over. Ultimately, just trust in the pattern and your intuition.

The first trick to the Linked Rib is that you’re knitting a three-lobed shape, but knitting flat. Trust me, it works. Just pay attention to the photos in the book, and the instructions, and you’ll get there.

Linked Rib Scarf - Needle End
Detail of working end at beginning of transition back to three lobes

The second trick is that you then take those three lobes that you’re knitting flat, and convert them to a tube that you’re knitting around. Then, several rows later, you switch the stitches back to knitting three lobes flat. But now, your lobes are offset to sit between the lobes of the previous section.

It seems like magic, until you’ve done it once or twice, and then you go A-HA! and don’t need to refer to the instructions again.

Linked Rib Scarf - Cast On End
A look at the cast-on end

I am loving the process, and the yarn is very nice to knit with. Plymouth Boku is 97% wool, 3% silk. It’s fairly soft, and the colors are nice. I think it’s meant to compete with yarns like Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden. The Noro colors are better, but at only $5.99 for a 50 gram ball, I have to confess the Plymouth Boku is a reasonable substitute.

I don’t know how many balls I’ll be using, or how long I’ll knit the scarf. I bought four in the same color, and feel I should have enough to make a useful neck wrap. What I’ve knit so far – what’s in the top picture – is about 15 1/2 inches long, and I still have enough of the first ball of yarn to get a few more lobe sections. I’m guessing 3 balls of Boku would give me maybe 60 inches – 5 feet – of scarf.

Second Life Gardening

I went in and took an aerial shot of our land in Second Life today.

Landscaping in SL

Just out of sight at the bottom of the screen is a canal. At the left, you see a little woodlot – that’s wild mountain pine and birch. The pale gray blob in the middle is what’s visible of a Native American sweat lodge.

On the far right, there’s a gray line – that’s the fence at the edge of our neighbor’s property. I expect to plant more trees along our property line there. The row of structures you see before that are a tiny one-room Japanese house, a cherry tree in bloom, a Turkish-style tent, and finally, a small pavilion. Each is considered the “home” of one of my or Gryphon’s avatars.

There’s a lot more landscaping to do. The woodlot needs underbrush – I’ve got wildflowers and grasses to plant. I need a firepit of some sort for the tents. The Japanese house needs a little bit of a garden, and maybe a koi pond again.

I also need to decide if I’m going to do anything along the shore of the canal. I could cut into the land a tiny bit, make a little inlet, and perhaps have ducks there or something. Haven’t decided yet.

Best thing of all – there’s no dirt under my fingernails, it’s perpetually temperate weather, and I can plant the tallest of trees without any assistance!

Coming Soon

I’m hoping to have my review up this week of the new book, The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand Dyeing. The quick take – generally, it’s very good, but I’ve found something I consider a glaring oversight, and I’ve contacted the publisher for their input before I post. Hopefully, we’ll have a good resolution to the matter!

Out of Focus

Filed under: Knitting,Rats!,Second Life — folkcat at 4:26 pm on Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wow…haven’t blogged yet today. Let’s see what I’ve got to say…

Ratties

All is still peaceful on the Rattie front. Lola and Sable are still getting along. This is the longest we’ve been worry-free about that matter, so I think I can confidently say that it’s sticking this time. Yay!

Knitting

My knitting is in a restless phase. As the Rusty Entrelac Bag creeps to a conclusion, I’m trying to think of the next project to cast on for, and finding myself unable to focus. I did swatch about 6 inches of one of the scarves from Knitting New Scarves, by which time I had readily grasped the unusual topology of the process.

I then decided that I had picked a random yarn in an idle moment that I didn’t really want to use for a scarf, even if I knitted that particular pattern, which I was no longer sure I wanted to. So it’s been frogged.

I don’t know what will take its place. I do have a remaining supply of assorted feltable yarns, maybe it’ll be another random entrelac bag.

Or maybe not.

Second Life

Regan Blackburn spent something like two hours in Second Life yesterday. He started by shopping for textures (the graphic images you can put on the surface of an object you build, so that it will look like something). Then he built an easel, suitable for displaying art.

In real life, you’d grab a few pre-cut pieces of wood, some bolts and screws, and whip the thing together in no time. In Second Life, I had to build my own pieces of wood from scratch, choose a texture to map onto the surfaces, then take the pieces of wood and painstakingly manipulate them until they all came together at the right angles.

The end result is crude, but not bad for my first multiple part build. Sorry there isn’t a picture yet – by the time I was done, I didn’t have a chance to set them up in the shop so you could see how they look and function. Soon.

Lookie There – She’s Been Knitting!

Filed under: Books,Knitting,Second Life — folkcat at 7:38 pm on Wednesday, November 7, 2007

First things first – over on Shopping Jen today, there’s a new review of the Veronica Mars: The Complete Third Season DVD set.

Told you the crafting wouldn’t stop! Here’s how far I’ve gotten on the Rusty Entrelac Bag.

Rusty Bag, Ran Out of Black

I had hoped to continue the bottom in solid black from this point on, but I ran out after the third round that used that color. So the bottom of the bag will be red. Which means the straps will probably have to be in the yellow color. That even works – the top of the bag is where the yellow is anyhow.

This bag, then, is winding down to a finish. I think I need to decide which of the scarves in Knitting New Scarves I need to cast on for next!

Speaking of Knitting New Scarves, I actually heard from a couple of the editors at the publisher, including Melanie Falick herself. They pointed me towards the new Stewart, Tabori, & Chang blog, both for up to date news about their books, and a link to a knitalong for Knitting New Scarves. It’s at www.melaniefalickbooks.com – check it out! These are also the folks who published such titles as Loop-d-loop, AlterKnits, and Knitting Nature, so I have a feeling they bear close watching!

Virtual Crafting

I’ve been very, very busy in Second Life. Here’s what I’ve created:

Probably Art Gallery

Yup, that’s the gallery I’m calling Probably Art, located in the sim known as VLS. (A sim is a geographic unit in Second Life.) There are photographs by Genna Lunasea; paintings by her twin sister, Probably Perhaps, who is also the proprietor of the gallery; and graphic art by their cousin, Regan Blackburn.

The floor looks a little empty – I expect to add more items as I create them. I have plans to make easels that I can display additional art on (as well as selling the easels). And Regan wants to put some of his art on t-shirts.

If you are in Second Life, and would like to visit the gallery for a closer look at my art, just click this link: Probably Art Gallery.

Life Shifting, Times Two

Filed under: Daily Life,Second Life — folkcat at 4:16 pm on Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Things are changing, and I’m not entirely sure where they’re going. Second Life is becoming more and more important to me. It’s taking time away from crafting and writing reviews for Shopping Jen.

And you know what? I’m loving every minute of it!

My apologies right now to those of you who come here for the knitting, beadwork, quilting, and such. This blog is not turning into an All Second Life blog. But this is going to be a Second Life heavy post. I promise, I’m still doing the Real World crafts, too. There just isn’t enough progress since the last time I shared them to bother showing.

Second Life Shifts

Gryphon and I had a major shift in our Second Life reality this weekend. We are now landowners. We had been renting land on a nice island, but then an opportunity came up suddenly to purchase – outright own – a plot of land twice the size of our combined rented parcels, and almost next door to our best friend in-world.

This involved Real World cash to come up with the Second Life currency to make the purchase, and it was a stretch for the budget. But we were able to do it, and bought the property yesterday morning. Now, we have a very nice, large property to call home. Gryphon will be setting up a meditation center – whether in the form of a Buddhist sangha, or a Native American sweat lodge, we’re not sure yet. And I’ll be building a nice house and putting a garden around it.

Becoming a Virtual Artist (Times Three!)

At the same time, I’ve taken the next step in creating an artistic Second Life. Each of my three avatars – yes, I have three now – is representing a distinctly different style of art that I can present.

Genna Lunasea, my second avatar, but the one I consider my main persona, is the photographer, and also does drawings at times.

Probably Perhaps, my oldest avatar, does paintings (painterly effects carefully applied to photographs to create what looks like Impressionist art).

My newest alt (short for alternate avatar), Regan Blackburn, is a graphic artist with something of a psychedelic style. He (yes, he) is presented as the cousin of Probably and Genna, who are identical twins with distinctly different personalities.

These three personae are creating 2-dimensional artworks that I can sell in Second Life. Such art is actually in pretty good demand to decorate people’s homes. It can also extend into sidelines, like putting original designs on t-shirts and other clothing items, or creating “textures” – samples of images, whether photographic, drawn, or computer-generated, that people can apply to the surfaces of objects they create.

On Sunday night, Probably Perhaps, after much studying of the options available, decided to rent a storefront in a place called VLS. VLS stands for Virtual Light Studios. A large portion of the area is taken up with soundstages on which virtual movies, called Machinima, are filmed. There’s also a theater where live performances are held, a talent agency’s office (representing in-world musicians and DJ’s performing, well, in-world), and two streets of nicely-designed stores.

So now, that’s where you’ll find the Probably Art gallery. It’s still in the process of being set up, but Genna painted the walls with a nice plaster effect, and re-tiled the floor. Regan has his psychedelic art in place. Probably and Genna need to get in there and put up their paintings and photographs. And one of the three needs to build an easel they can use for displaying still more art. In fact, they’ll probably sell the easel as well – there is a market for such items.

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of any of this, but I’ve been so busy purchasing land, making lease agreements, and all those things that I haven’t gotten around to taking any good photos yet. Not that there’s much to show – the land is still bare except for one house plopped down on one end, and the gallery isn’t done yet.

Real World Impact

I’m not going to give up crafting – don’t worry about that. I do need downtime from Second Life, if only to give my rear end a break from the desk chair’s wimpy cushioned seat. And that’s a perfect time for a little knitting and television.

But I have to admit, I am getting a great deal of satisfaction from Second Life. And it costs so little to do, aside from one time expenses such as land purchases. Renting the space for the art gallery is only costing about $1 per week. Creating the artwork itself – there’s a one time cost of about half a penny to upload the image, but you can do whatever you want with it, make any object using it, for free.

As indulgences go, this is fairly cheap. And it makes me so happy, I think I’m justified in spending more time at it. And who knows? If I have any success at this gallery, and sell enough art, it could actually pay for itself.

What About The Blogs?

That’s a good question. Crafting Jen, there’s no problem with me writing posts five days a week as I’ve always done. This is a more conversational blog, talking about what’s going on in my life.

I’ll continue with the Freebie Fridays, too. Spending more time in Second Life doesn’t reduce the amount of crafty stuff I’ve got around the house that I can give away, and I have a lot of fun with Freebie Fridays.

The blog that I’ll have the hardest time with is Shopping Jen. It takes a fair bit of time, evaluating products, then writing a carefully crafted review of them. I have already pulled back to posting only once or twice a week. Maybe I need to also start limiting my reviews – maybe not do the grocery and snack items, for instance, but only the books and DVDs I receive as review copies. It probably would be good to have a more defined focus, anyhow. And certainly, the book reviews have generated the best response from you, my readers.

I may, however, start posting them only at Shopping Jen. I’ll give you a head’s up here when there’s a new one, but for the full content, I’ll ask you to visit Shopping Jen. That will also mean that, on book review days, you’ll get a regular Crafting Jen post, instead of me copping out and just putting up the review on both blogs. Fair enough?

So?

That’s it, I think, in a very large nutshell. I’m not sure how coherently this post reads. And I know not all of you are interested in the virtual world aspect of things.

I’m going to spend more Second Life time. But the biggest impact will be, not on Crafting Jen, but on Shopping Jen. I’ll post less often to Shopping Jen, but it will hopefully be more meaningful reviews of craft books and such.

As for Crafting Jen, I’m not going to slow down posting here. Freebie Fridays already give me almost pre-written posts for Fridays and Mondays, and I think I can come up with enough crafting progress and Rattie Tales to cover at least three days a week.

It’s a change, I know, and change can be scary. But it’s been a while since I was as enthusiastic about anything as I am about Second Life, and I have to give it the space it demands. I promise, though, I won’t forget the crafting. And, after all, this blog is as much about crafting the person I am – both on- and off-line – as it is about knitting and other handcrafts.

Too Many Disconnected Things For Me To Come Up With A Good Title – And No, I’m Not Going To Settle For Random Wednesday

Filed under: Holidays,Knitting,Rats!,Second Life — folkcat at 3:22 pm on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

With the Rattie Sisters living more peacefully together, I have more time that I can spend doing other things. One of those has been knitting on the Rusty Entrelac Bag.

I’m now into the 8th round of squares. I started using black a couple of rounds ago. Imagine a black iron pot getting rusty from the top down.

Rusty Entrelac Bag, Round 8

At this point, I’ll be using black through the rest of the bottom of the bag. Then I’ll probably use one of the reds for the handles, maybe with some yellow here and there for an accent.

Mind you, the Rattie Sisters are still getting adequate time out of the cage, and all the attention they ask for. Something is changed, though. Lola, last night, sat under a blanket on my lap for 15 to 20 minutes. Not running around like there’s too much to see and do and she has to try to see and do it all in the next 15 seconds or she’s going to just die. Just sat quietly under there, enjoying my lap as a different, warm nesting spot.

My personal theory? Sable has gotten strong enough now, emotionally, to give Lola the attitude adjustment she needed to divert herself from her bullying ways. Fingers crossed, anyhow. We’ll see how things proceed in the days to come, but so far, so good.

Another thing I’ve been spending time on is Second Life. In a recent and interesting turn of events, I’m becoming a 2-d artist. That means I’m creating posters, paintings, and photographs to sell, for people to hang on their walls.

I’m currently setting up a small shop in the marketplace on Ex Nihilo, the sim where I rent my home parcels. And I have some photographs in an art show up in Yule, too. I’m afraid I don’t have landmarks handy for either of those locations, but you can use the map in-world to search for either sim, and the places in question aren’t hard to find once you get there.

I won’t be sharing the images I’ve turned into art here, but once the shop looks presentable, I’ll post a picture of it. Imagine – me, running an art gallery! Way cool!

Other than that, today is, of course, Halloween. If it were a weekend, we’d be waiting for the hundred or so trick-or-treaters that we normally get – we’re in a downtown residential neighborhood within a couple blocks of the elementary school. But it’s a weeknight, and Gryphon is at work, and I just don’t have it in me to be up and down to the door all night long. (Nor is there a convenient way to keep a chair at the door to sit in.)

So my evening, at least during the official town trick-or-treat hours from 6 to 8, will be spent with most of the lights in the house off, curled up on the bed and watching some good tv. And eating a few treats myself.

Which works quite well for me. I hope you’re having a good Halloween, whatever that may mean for you!

Looking Up, Making Over

Filed under: Knitting,Rats!,Second Life — folkcat at 1:54 pm on Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sable and Lola spent at least four hours together in a single cage yesterday. Yes, Lola tried to exert her dominance a few times. But Sable stayed, held her ground, and didn’t run. Eventually, Lola and Sable even snoozed curled up together in the nest corner.

We’re not leaving them together overnight yet, but we’ll certainly be expanding the time they get together during the day.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this turn of events. We were considering withdrawing our names from the waiting list for a new pair of babies, because of not being able to keep Lola and Sable together. Now, we think it might still be feasible to add them.

Still no word on when that will be. The Rattery hasn’t listed the birth of the litters yet. I know they’re pretty busy, though – this summer, one of the partners moved to a full house from an apartment, and had a (human) baby as well. That’s okay – this is one of those situations where I like to use the phrase “in the fullness of time.” As in, the right pair of Rattie babies will come to us “in the fullness of time”.

I finished knitting the body of the desert-themed entrelac bag last night. It looks much like it did yesterday, just closed up at the bottom now. The variegated blue Malabrigo for the handles just got wound into a cake. Once I weave in all the yarn ends in the bag, I’ll get started on knitting the i-cord handles.

Sorry, no pictures, of either knitting or Ratties. I tried to get one of Sable and Lola snuggling together, but the act of opening the cage door to get a clear shot made them both wake up and come over to see what was going on.

What was I doing while the Rattie Sisters got cozy? Probably Perhaps was in Second Life, giving herself a personal makeover!

As a reminder, here’s the old Probably:

The Old Probably

Still wearing newbie flipflops for shoes, still wearing big, unnatural looking hair. Still wearing basic jeans and tie-dye.

Which is all well and good – especially the tie-dye shirt, my friend Arondelle made that. But Probably decided there was more to life. And she had this backpack full of clothes that she’d picked up for free, here, there and everywhere, and had never even looked at.

So she popped into her sister Genna’s house, and started trying things on. And came up with a look that she rather liked!

The New Probably

New look demanded new hair, so she popped over to Calico Creations and picked up the same, 10 Linden Heather hairstyle that Genna bought. Makes sense – they’re twins, after all! And with the hair coming in 80 different color combinations, Probably is free to choose a look with more attitude than her boring homebody of a younger sister, Genna.

Meanwhile, Probably is standing in front of the koi pond that Genna built in her garden. Not bad, huh? Although she’s proud of her sister’s accomplishments, Probably isn’t the type to settle down and build a house the way Genna is. Though she might consider renting a cool, modern condo or beachhouse somewhere. So long as someone else is responsible for the upkeep, so she can party all night!

I Think I’m Turning Japanese

Filed under: Daily Life,Knitting,Ravelry,Second Life — folkcat at 5:20 pm on Monday, October 1, 2007

Many thanks to everyone who offered their good wishes for my migraine recovery. I hope you’ll understand why I didn’t respond to everyone individually. It wasn’t for lack of appreciation of your thoughts, that’s for sure, because I truly am grateful that you all care.

As I said, I really don’t get much of a headache – mostly the visual symptoms and some mental fogginess, along with fatigue and some nausea. Recovery from this doesn’t require a very dark room and silence as much as it does for other migraine sufferers – it can be enough to reduce my mental input by not trying to do too many different things in a given day. That gives me the rest I need to get over the neurological symptoms and clear my vision.

So, I spent the weekend watching television, and playing on Second Life. More of the latter than the former, actually. And it was good, I got a lot of things done in SL, and enjoyed the time I spent there.

In fact, I made significant advances – Genna Lunasea now rents a nice piece of land on the island of Ex Nihilo. I’ve got an ocean-front, corner-of-the-sim lot, so I’ve only got neighbors on two sides. I’ve put up a house, and am starting to work on the garden. Lots of my weekend was actually spent shopping – trying to find the perfect garden plants, an appropriate new outfit, and more.

Japanese Genna
Genna in the Garden

Yes, Genna is turning Japanese. Sort of. I actually like how her very non-Japanese hair looks here. Long time readers will remember that I have a fondness for all things Japanese. That turns out to be a craving that’s easy to satisfy in Second Life. There are many Japanophiles – and actual Japanese – in this virtual world, and they’ve created gorgeous Japanese objects for every purpose you can imagine.

That’s my house you see behind me. It’s a two-story bushido style dwelling, with decorated screens, and a balcony. I’ll get some pictures of the interior once I’ve furnished the place.

In this photo, I’m standing in the zen garden that I installed for Gryphon. I went to a lot of trouble to terraform the yard to fit, lay out the stones and cushions, and do a little planting around the other side. Then Gryphon decided he need property of his own, and bought the two lots on the other side of my house! He’s now setting up a nice little zendo with a meditation garden there.

So, all that work for naught, but then, now I get to have the garden the way I want it. Which so far, includes the first object I’ve built for myself – a koi pond, complete with animated fish swimming around under the water lilies.

Second Life is down for what they call “rolling restarts” today, so pictures of some of these things will have to wait until I have a chance to go in again. I’ll be sure to share some images when I can, though!

Knitting?

Not a stitch since Thursday night. The migraine Friday, plus all the Second Life activity this weekend, kept me away from the needles.

Luckily, I did make progress on Thursday night that’s worth showing!

WIP - Desert-themed Entrelac Bag for Christmas 2007, Side 1WIP - Desert-themed Entrelac Bag for Christmas 2007, Side 2

For the first time, it seemed worth showing the bag with the top edge at the top, the way it will be viewed in the final, felted piece. And now that I’ve gotten this far, you can really start to see this abstract desert landscape come together.

I’m currently on the ever-decreasing rounds of squares that make up the bottom of the bag. Then I need to knit the two long I-cords for the handles. I think I need to get more yarn for that, though. I used every scrap (well, except for a 14 inch piece) of the blue, and I think that’s the color the handles must be.

Ravelry

I got a message on Ravelry from a reader who had stumbled across me there while looking for patterns, and it made me realize that I haven’t mentioned my Ravelry account here on the blog since, well…practically since getting it.

Yes, I’m on Ravelry – you can find me there as CraftingJen (That link will only work if you’re a Ravelry member). I’m not logging my stash there, but I am occasionally queuing something for future knitting. And I am tracking progress on current projects. Don’t worry that you’re missing anything if you’re not on Ravelry, though – except for one or two gifts for people who read this blog, there’s nothing shown at Ravelry that you aren’t seeing here.

Other than that, I’ve wound up joining 10 different groups, from entrelac fans to rat lovers to Panera Bread knitters. There’s even one for knitters who play Second Life – and I think we may be snagging a few new SL’ers there.

My one big disappointment is that it isn’t easier yet to add books to the library section of my notebook. I see organizing my knitting books as one of the biggest advantages I’ll get from Ravelry, but so far, you can’t add a book unless it’s already in the system. And it seems to be very hit or miss whether, even if the book is in the system, you’ll strike on the exact version of the title or the author that will call it up. I look forward to this feature getting some attention down the road.

If you’re not on Ravelry yet, but want to be, do go sign up – www.ravelry.com . They’ve got their new servers up and running, and they’re adding new members at record speeds, so it shouldn’t take terribly long now. And once you’re in, be sure to look me up!

Coming Tomorrow to both Crafting and Shopping Jen:

My review of the new Fiona Ellis book, Inspired Fair Isle Knits.

New Hair, Same Old Bag

Filed under: Knitting,Second Life — folkcat at 5:37 pm on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Genna went and bought herself a new hairdo!

Genna's New Hair

It’s called Heather, and it comes in 80 different colors, including many that are two-toned. The designer is Amanda, of Calico Creations. I took this snapshot at the Calico Creations store, immediately after putting the hair on. Behind me, you can see the display selling the hairstyle.

Normally Amanda’s hair is very pricey – though deservedly so, because she’s a true artist, and the hair is all drop-dead gorgeous. But this particular style was available for only 10 Lindens, and that included all 80 colors in one package! Amanda is offering us this deal to celebrate that Heather, as well as a male hairstyle called Jet, are the first designs she created using a special type of prim (a Second Life building unit) called a sculpty.

If you want to know more about the designer, you can read her blog at Calico Creations.

If you’re in Second Life, and want to pick up Heather for yourself, you can find it at Calico Creation’s Main Shop. Caution to non-SLers – the shop link is a connection to a location in Second Life itself. You’ll stop first at a website with an SL world map, and there you’ll find a link that will actually teleport your character to the shop.

I’ve also been spending time looking at properties for sale and rent in Second Life. It’s turning out to be very much like househunting in the real world. One cute little mansion was quite affordable, but surrounded by large, commercial developments. Another was a condo that was also within my price range – but it had a very boxy, condo-living look, and no balcony or piece of yard attached. There are developments with covenants that restrict what sort of house you can build, as well as neighborhoods with no restrictions at all – so you could wind up living next door to a rowdy nightclub.

There’s no rush, so I’ll keep looking. Luckily, homelessness isn’t a problem in Second Life!

Real World

I did more knitting! The sixth tier of the desert-themed entrelac bag is finished, and I’ve begun on the seventh.

Desert Entrelac, Side OneDesert Entrelac, Side Two

At this point, each round will be smaller than the one before, until the squares get down to a mere three stitches across at the center bottom. Beginning with round eight, I’ll be working exclusively with the multi-green/brown yarn for the desert floor and scrubbrush.

I don’t know if I’ll make much more progress today – I need to write a book review, which is a lot more work than reviewing a snack is! So that will take a bit of time I’d otherwise be knitting.

Or househunting. I definitely need to go househunting later!

Third Life?

Filed under: Second Life — folkcat at 4:21 pm on Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I have a new identity, and a question. If you create a second avatar in Second Life, is that actually your Third Life? Or is it just Second Life V2.0?

Meet Genna Lunasea!

Genna Portrait

She’s wearing the same t-shirt that Probably Perhaps wears, at least until I find something I like better. It was created by a friend, and is a free giveaway at her shop on DarkStar – look for Arondelle’s Dreamworlds in the parking lot at the Mars Hotel to get your own.

As you can see, I’m getting better at controlling the camera’s point of view, too. It might be that there’s a future for me as a photographer in Second Life. I’ll probably want to invest in some poses eventually. The avatar’s eyes tend to follow the mouse cursor, which means that it’s hard to get an image where she’s not looking in the direction of the “Create Snapshot” button. I got lucky on this image.

I can’t guarantee that Genna will look like this in the future. She’s wearing a new skin and hair to replace those she was born with, and I imagine that I’ll make further tweaks to her appearance as my in-game resources improve. Meanwhile, though, I think she’s looking pretty good. And I like that hair.

Genna will be my primary avatar in SL, but I’ll continue to be active with Probably as well. Oh, and I’ve found knitting in SL! There’s a shop called Knit This that sells knitting needles, complete with a knitting animation and a scarf – or lace – project that you can actually color and everything. They also have balls of yarn and other knitting related items as decorative touches for your home. Once I have a place to live, I’ll probably create a nice little knitting nook!

Images On Your Screen Are Not As They Appear

Filed under: Games,Second Life — folkcat at 4:59 pm on Friday, September 21, 2007

Cameras Lie About Color

You know, this desert-themed entrelac has been a pain to photograph from day one. It wasn’t so bad when it was simply the blue yarn and it photographed overly intense. But then I started into the yellow, which always came out so red that it looked like vivid orange. And now that I’ve got actual rusty red yarn in there, I can’t get anything but a muddy looking brown from that!

I’ve tried tweaking the photos in PhotoPaint, even, and can’t seem to get the colors to balance correctly. The best I can do is this:

WIP Christmas 2007 - desert-themed bag, 5th tier

So it takes a lot of imagination to look at this photo and see what it really looks like in real life. The blue isn’t quite that intense; the yellow is more golden than orange; the rusty red is redder; and the brown I’m currently knitting with is more red as well.

As you can see, I’m making somewhat better progress than I had been. Now that I’ve got a chart, it’s a quick matter to whip out a few squares here and there.

Yes, That’s Me

Probably and Arondelle Dancing

I’m the one with the purple hair, my friend Arondelle is the blonde on the right. Last night we went to a live concert in Second Life, and hung out dancing to the music for a while.

My avatar doesn’t look a thing like me, as much as I wanted her to. It’s hard to make an overweight female in SL that doesn’t look like Frankenstein parts glued together. Since I can’t look just like me, we’re going for a fantasy life here. Which is, I suppose, the whole point of SL anyhow, right?

Now that the weekend is here, I imagine I’ll be online a fair bit. I think I may create a second avatar as well – Probably Perhaps was created nearly two years ago, after all, when I had no clue what I was doing and no one to guide me as I do now. A second avatar will give me a chance to make a better start.

If you’re in Second Life, Probably will still be around, so feel free to IM her or offer friendship. And I’ll let you know who I am in the new avatar, too, once she’s created.

Have a great weekend, everyone!