Friday, December 31, 2010

41 of 365

I spent almost my entire week off from work in a car.  An unexpected road trip came up which took up two days of time that I had planned to use to chill out at home.  So, if anyone was wondering where I've been, I was either in a car on the highway or sitting in a crappy Holiday Inn with no internet access.  I can't believe that any major chain hotel nowadays would not have internet access in their rooms.  

I took the above picture at a place called Leroy a few days ago.  I don't have an SLurl right now, but it can be found in the Destination Guide.

Today is New Year's Eve and I have no plans to go out tonight.  After the week I've had, staying home and watching movies will be a treat.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

40 of 365: Thinking of warmer climates

At this time last year, my family and I were on a warm, sunny vacation in Costa Rica.  We went for 3.5 weeks and it was a memorable and adventurous vacation.  

I was going through our vacation photos and came across this one:

I remember that day so vividly when my two kids and I decided to hike to the waterfalls in the town we were staying at.  When I say hike, I mean like hardcore hiking, where you are practically scaling the sides of steep rocks.   I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to go for a hike to these waterfalls, just me and my eight year old daughter and three year old son.  My husband had to fix our car that day so I was on my own with the kids.  I've been going to Costa Rica in the winter for several years and the last time I did the waterfalls hike was before I got pregnant with my daughter.  I guess I was determined to share this beautiful little spot in paradise with my kids.  

It was hard work, and lots of sweat and some tears were shed, but we made it to the waterfalls with the help of a very nice American man we met on the trail.  He actually carried my son on his back a couple of times on the really difficult parts of the trail.  

The waterfall pictured above is part one of the falls.  Part two requires heavy duty scaling up the side of a steep cliff, where the trail takes you to a larger and even more beautiful waterfall.  I will save part two of the waterfalls for when my kids are teenagers.  

I'm really missing Costa Rica right about now, so I decided to go have a look at the Costa Rica Sims in SL.  Direct link to the Costa Rica Sims welcome area here. Upon arrival, you will receive a notecard that contains a handy Taxi Hud so you can easily TP around the sim.  There's a lot to see.  It's a really well done and realistic virtual representation of Costa Rica in SL, I highly recommend a visit.  Of course, if you can get to Costa Rica in RL, even better.  

I miss the dry heat of the pacific coast of Costa Rica and the white sand beaches.  I'm hoping that next winter we'll be able to enjoy another memorable family vacation in paradise.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

39 of 365: Finally crawled out of bed this afternoon

I missed the last two days of my 365 not because I am away from home and visiting family (which I am), but because I have been extremely ill since Christmas Eve.  I just finally crawled out of bed this afternoon after my dad went to town to get me some Sudafed because it turns out that I am allergic to cats.  My parents have seven cats.  SEVEN!

Don't get me wrong, I love cats, but I have developed allergies in my late thirties and cats seem to be a huge trigger for sinus pain and headaches.  Honestly, I think I would be okay with one or two cats, which is the amount of cats my parents have always had and what I grew up with, but seven cats is too much for my senses I guess.

I managed to pull myself together for Christmas morning for the kids, but after breakfast I headed straight for my old bedroom where I have been sleeping since.  It seriously felt like my head was going to explode.  I woke up this afternoon to drool on my pillow, but with some of the pressure in my sinuses relieved. 

With the help of some medicine, a cool mist vaporizer and lots of hot showers, I'm feeling almost normal again and I can breath through my nose!  My ears are still a little plugged, but my headache is subsiding.

So that's the tale of my Christmas 2010.  I didn't take my kids out skating or watch for the Northern Lights, but I did catch up on several hours of sleep - enough to make up for months  of not enough sleep! 

I think one of my New Year's resolutions is to take better care of my health.  I've been sick way too much in 2010.  

Anyway, I hope you all are having a nice holiday with your family and loved ones.  Peace and love... :))

Thursday, December 23, 2010

38 of 365: Time to rest

Tomorrow my family and I are going on a road trip up north to my parent's home where we will spend Christmas. 

I'm bringing my laptop, and I'm going to try my best to keep up with my daily photos.  It's hard to say if I will get time for SL, or if I will be too busy visiting family.  My family is big and crazy so I may get swept up in some celebrations that will keep me busy...or maybe not.  I won't know until I get there.  

If I do happen to miss a day or two, I'll just pick up where I left off.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

37 of 365: One more day

One more day of work and I'm off until the new year.  

I'm so ready for a break from my job.  I can't wait to sleep in until noon, and lounge around in my pj's all day long and not have to worry about being late for the next appointment.  My day is way too filled with appointments and tasks to complete.

I need time to do absolutely nothing.  Time where I can just be still and calm and not have to look at my watch worrying if I'm going to be late for something.

I'm almost there.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

36 of 365: Show Me Yours...Best in Blogs Exhibit

Last week I received a notecard inviting me to submit one of my blog photos to the Show me Yours Inworld Photography Exhibit Hall.  Their latest exhibit, entitled Best in Blogs, is showcasing SL photography from bloggers.  I was tickled pink to have been sent the information from exhibit owner Lyrilen Moonshadow.  

From the notecard:

"We celebrate all inworld photography, and we are extremely excited about the depth of talent and diversity of subjects included in this exhibit.  Fashion blogs, Hunt blogs, Commercial blogs, Personal blogs - we have examples from all of them."

The Best in Blogs exhibit runs from December 20th to January 2nd. 

Show Me Yours Inworld Photography Exhibit Hall

Monday, December 20, 2010

35 of 365: Sick Day

I'm using up a sick day for my 365 project...I missed my daily photo yesterday because I spent pretty much the entire day sleeping.  And when I wasn't in my bed, I was stretched out on my sofa looking and feeling like something the cat dragged in.  I don't have the flu, no fever, I just have a bad case of exhaustion or something.  

But even though I called in sick for my 365, I still had to drag my ass out of bed to go to work today.  The last week before Christmas is kind of crazy at my office - Winter Solstice celebration tomorrow, and the big toy giveaway on Wednesday, and a bunch of reports to get submitted before I go on holidays.  

I'm not complaining though.  Four more sleeps and I'll be warm and cozy at my parents home sipping hot apple cider and taking my kids skating at the outdoor rink across the road.  

I got them new ice skates for Christmas.  They are going to be so excited! 

ETA:  If you're looking for a pair of figure skates, I got these skates from the Marketplace and I love them!  The figure skating animations are really nice.  I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried them out.  The box comes with male and female skates.  I haven't tried out the men's skates, but the female ao is great.  I've been going skating in SL everyday since I got them :))

Sunday, December 19, 2010

34 of 365: From Limitations to Possibilities

Expressing myself in the written word comes pretty naturally to me.  I'm not the best writer when it comes to grammar or that kind of stuff.  What I mean is that I feel competent and comfortable with sitting down to express myself and my thoughts/ideas in writing.

What I am not comfortable with is expressing myself visually.  I just never had the or learned the skills to do anything visually creative.

Until now.  

In committing myself to post a photo/image here everyday for the next year, I'm stretching myself creatively and stepping outside of my comfort zone.  I'm learning new skills about capturing images in SL and what I can do with them in post processing to express a feeling, mood or concept.  What I'm doing here with my daily photos is far from what I would consider "real art" and maybe not even that interesting to anyone else but me, but it's new and I am having fun with it.

I was feeling a little bad because already, because already I feel like I have less and less to say here.  It seems like more often, I open Microsoft Word to write and I sit there staring at a blank page struggling to talk to it.  I keep thinking this shouldn't be happening because I am right in the middle of a 12 week creative recovery program (Artist's Way).  Shouldn't I be feeling more inspired and be writing more?

Today while I was sitting on the subway, I realized that maybe I am unblocking or discovering a new way of expressing myself.  I may not have a lot to say in writing these days, but I think this new way of creative visual expression is making some kind of statement.

What that statement is, I'm not quite sure yet. 

Perhaps it's okay to not put it all into words all the time, and maybe it's possible that I can "say" something more or different visually than I ever could in any lengthy blog post.  Maybe.

I have another 331 days to find out :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

33 of 365: The spirit of giving

I didn't know Delinda Dryssen.  I do know that she was a huge supporter and promoter of live music in SL and that she was loved dearly by many.  

In the spirit of Delinda, an entire community came together tonight to support SL musician Cylindrian Rutabaga so that she could continue to make her music and share it with the world.  

I'm reminded of what it means to be part of a community and what it means to really give.  

I'm honoured that I had the opportunity to be a part of it. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

31 of 365: Northern Lights

We don't ever get to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, where I live.  But just a few hours drive north, we can see them clear and bright on a winter's night.  

Growing up we were always told that if you shuffled your feet on the ground when the Northern Lights were out, they would dance across the sky...and they really did.  I remember as a child thinking it was magic.  I don't know the full scientific explanation for it except that it's something to do with static electricity.

I'm looking forward to heading north next week to my parent's home and watching the lights dance across the sky with my children.  

Just nine more sleeps to go.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

30 of 365

Today's photo is courtesy of Aubree.  I was having too much fun playing with the tricks in my figure skates to take any photos :))

Sunday, December 12, 2010

28 of 365

Today's photo is straight out of SL, no enhancements, no cropping, just windlight.  I did import the photo to PSE, but I decided I liked it just the way it was.  So there you have it :))

I know it's far too early in my 365 project to make any definite conclusions about where it will lead me, but one thing I am learning as a result of doing a SL photo everyday, is windlight.  I use windlight presets a lot, however, I have never made my own settings.  I'm learning that it's not hard at all to do, and it can dramatically change the scene of a photo.

I also have a thing for silhouettes/shadows and animal avatars.  Right now, I happen to be interested in wolves.  I wonder what other kind of winter animal avatars I can get my hands on?

Friday, December 10, 2010

26 of 365

Experimenting with windlight settings, canvas textures in PhotoShop and a wolf avatar.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

25 of 365: Quackerstone Duck Races

I think I've started to make myself a little too seriously, so when Aubree i.m'd asking if I wanted to go race ducks, I was more than happy to accept her tp.  

We had some good laughs as we struggled to steer our giant rubber duckies, lol.  It was hilarious!  

Good times.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

24 of 365: Floating through Space

I went to Inspire Space Park this evening for some inspiration for today's photo.  I'm not really happy with the above snapshot.  I'm actually not feeling too happy about my 365 project because my time in SL is so limited and I'm feeling like I'm not putting much effort into my photos, or it is feeling like too much work when I am already stretched too thin. 

Maybe it's just this time of year.  There's always a lot going on and today was a very full day with work, dentist appointment for my daughter and then a consultation with an orthodontist, then rushing across town during rush hour to pick up my son, followed by a mad dash to my kids school for their winter concert.  We made it just in time.  I was literally taking their jackets off and straightening hair as they were lining up to walk on stage.  

The concert was great, very cute.  

Maybe once the holiday season is over, I will have more time to relax.  For now, I'm gonna cut myself some slack and just go to bed.  Goodnight. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

23 of 365: Family Portrait

I'll admit that for a long time I never really understood the concept of family in SL...until I met Aubree, and Jersey, Crysta and Logan and TayTay...and others who couldn't make it for the photo. 

What else can I say?  They are what keep me coming back to SL again and again.  Good times.  It really is that simple :))

Monday, December 6, 2010

22 of 365: There's no room for perfection

I went exploring Vegetal Planet tonight looking for some inspiration for today's photo.  I discovered a new addition to Vegetal called Alaqua which is where I took the above photo.  I had a heck of a time getting a good photo because although the scene looked great on my screen once I chose a windlight setting, all my photos came out blurry.  Every one of them except the one above.  I mean really blurry.  

I feel kind of bad for Aubree who posed with me for the photos, but they were so blurry that I couldn't use them.  

Too bad, because those photos would have been so great.  But you can't be perfect all the time, if ever.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

21 of 365: Lock out

It must be one of those nights in SL.  I had an epic crash while trying to take some figure skating pics and I haven't been able to log back in since.  My friends might be having the time of their lives doing trick skating with their scripted freebie skates, and here I am locked out of SL.  Hrmph.  

Try again tomorrow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

19 of 365

I would like to write a really entertaining and interesting post here for you today, but unfortnunately my night in SL hasn't been all that exciting.  Unless you want to hear about how many times I crashed trying to enable shadows and trying to get 'depth of field' to work. 

It's Friday and I'm far too tired to complain.  Instead I'll leave you with a snapshot of myself and my two friends Aubree and Jersey. 

I suspect you will be seeing a lot of photos of us three in the coming year :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

18 0f 365: One Prim Wonders

So I read today on Chestnut's last "Chestnut's Choices" on New World Notes about a building class at New Citizens Inc.  The time was good for me so I headed over to learn about building simple one prim pieces of furniture. 

I know they don't look all that interesting (and my snapshot is not the greatest) but it was great to be guided through steps to manipulate single prims to make simple furniture shapes.  

It was fun to watch how a single cylinder could turn into a sofa, table, lamp or carpet.

If you're at all interested in learning about building in SL, go check out a class at New Citizens Inc.  You can search NCI in the events listing under 'education' for their class listings.

I'm going back for another building class next week.  Maybe I will see you there :))

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

17 of 365: SheBear: An avatar self portrait in two parts

In Indigenous cultures in North America (or Turtle Island as we call it), the Bear is known as the keeper of the dreamtime, entering it’s Dream Lodge each Fall to hibernate. It is in the Dream Lodge that the bear leaves our physical plane of existence to enter the spiritual realm, where everything is an infinite supply of pure energy and is our Source. After a long and deep slumber, the Bear reawakens in the Spring. The Bear represents solitude, introspection, rebirth and renewal.

I consider the Bear to be my personal Spirit Guide. She resides in me and is a source of comfort and strength. She is my connection to the earth and reminds me that all the answers I am looking for can be found within.