Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

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?


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.


Comment by Carrie K

November 6, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

I think you should do whatever makes you happy. I have my nose stuck in a book when I’m not knitting (or gainfully employed).

Comment by Elspeth

November 6, 2007 @ 9:37 pm

It’s interesting to hear about your SL life. I don’t know much about it. I like your reviews, though, so maybe try to do a review on a set time, once a month or once a week?

Comment by Carol

November 6, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

“Gor no like change!” “Gor say orghhh” Okay, maybe not, I’m pretty sure I am a bit more sophisticated than Gor and can handle some variety in blogginess!

Comment by Valerie in San Diego

November 7, 2007 @ 1:11 am

You know I’m in favor of any venue in which you can be your creative self!

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