Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Halloween castles created: 1 (good); No of witch brooms owned: 10 (good); No. of freebie Halloween items collected: 25 (if you count all the earrings separately)

Halloween seems to be Big Thing in SL. Can scarcely move for pumpkins. Am swept up in general hysteria and celebrate by creating Halloween Castle out of freebies. First part is Castle, which got in Freebie Corner of House of Effulgence (maker of v. good japanese dewellings inc. the one I'm using as my office). Castle looks as if made from grey cardboard and has no windows, so would be v. depressing as home, but is ideally suited for task in hand.

Have collected various pumpkins, and witches hats, including ones from the University of Guelph Library in SL, which had pleasant aspect like RL Guelph uni library. Also make liberal use of LL freebie autumn tree (puportedly an oak, but seems general Autumnal to me). Had bought gothic room as one of potential student houses (and was indeed third room to be snapped up) and whilst room was not copyable, gothic draping that came with it was, so able to use that to festoon castle.

Did invest $50 on a coffin that you can lie in (see pic) and $40 on a tombstone, but Pile of Treasure, assorted dwarf mining tools, torch and wings were found as freebies. Then created posters with landmarks to some of the most delectable freebies, vis:

- Pumpkin chair
- Witches broom with 10 poses (as seen in first pic)
- Witchy shoes
- Trick or treat bag
- Sculptie necklace
- Very strange item that you wear consisting of bird with pumpkin in beak.

Piece de resistence was perhaps large pumpkin carriage which had in fact collected weeks before an rediscovered in Inventory just in time. Is perhaps worth mentioning in passing that inventory now contains 6, 781 items, so easy to mislay the odd vehicle.

Also made it challenge to find outfit consisting entirely of freebies. Found ensemble that seemed quite elegant, although skirt was in fact not free at all but a Scripted number and in this garb I led my 2nd session with the students on Monday. Will blog more about that in due course (i.e. student activities, not sculpted skirts)

Completed free aspect by using skirt from Halloween Lolita outfit snaffled from Kiki's closet, and made brief sortie to a Halloween party at the Haunted House of Gothic Literature. However, as is often the case with these US led events in SL, by then it was 2 in the morning and so gave up rather swiftly. In any case whilst costume would have done v. well for RL event, soon realised had no chance when were other people appearing as giant pumpkins, blasted trees and the like.

Monday, 29 October 2007


Shops rented: 1 (foolish); Items for sale: 8 (good); Items sold: 0 (bad)

For lack of things to do, ahem, decided to take plunge as shopkeeper. Had visited La Reina sim in search of Halloween Freebies and decided was v. nice area with refreshing maritime feel. Looked idly at land, but already have more land than is sensible and anyway it was just for rent. However, shops v. cute and only Linden $300 a week (a snip!), so decided to set up shop with autumnal feel selling framed photos of RL autumn.

A click on the Payment Cube and 'twas done. Initial efforts at furbishment thwarted as had not been joined to Group that enabled Building on land, so placed items all disappeared into void, whence some never returned (most annoyingly, swirling autumn leaves that had only just shelled out good Lindens for), though some turned up in Lost and Found inventory.

However, landlady responded to IM, so now shop is set up with artfully placed deconstructed autumn trees, said swirling leaves, the objects of sale (pics) and a fruitbowl. Have made inevitable freebie, namely one of my best pics of sutumn leaf, with part of Keats poem in attractive yet subtly illegible typeface.

Is doubtless whimsical folly, but, hey! am already planning next set of unsaleable pics on Australian Spring theme. Address is: La Reina (185, 170,24).

Water garden

Water gardens created: 1 (good); Visitors to water garden: 1 (good); No of creatures in water garden: 8 (good)

Have spent some time finding right seating for water garden and this seems to be it. Plump cushions with exotic feel and straightforward poses that would not give Wrong Impression to colleagues (e.g. by animating them in dubious fashion).

Water garden inspired by mangrove swamp area of Brisbane (Australia) Botanical gardens, though obviously v. different not least through fact that that is real and this garden isn't. Have good swathe of Decking plus variety of plants including two actual Mangroves which appear to be New Line at Heart Garden Centre (and one mangrove has dreaded Large Prim so may be confiscated by irate Lindens).
Also bought v. nice marble wall fountain which have installed on own property, what with there being a lack of water features (not).

Had gratifying visit from fellow educator/research North Lamar who liked island so could bask in appreciation for short while before returning to rigours of Academic Life.

Have been shamed by jolly blog recounting progress of educational island, at This gives all manner of useful info. However, they do not seem to have had to create whole island quickly like self, so have excuse. Have decided that was unconsciously striving for (non existent) prize of Prettiest Sim Created By One Person in Under 3 Weeks.

BTW: creatures in water garden are: frog (croaks); heron (stands enigmatically still); 3 butterflies (flutter); Duck (moves to and fro, to and fro); 2 small birds of indeterminate breed (swoop about and twitter).

Catching up

Islands prepared: 1 (good)

As mentioned in previous post, have been so busy in SL that have had no spare time to blog same.
In next few entries will try to cover key points, but probably more pics than words. At present am still mulling over session earlier in day when students had second session on island. Excitement! But more anon.

Have blogged discussion sessions on Eduserv Island on serious Information Literacy blog. Basically last 2 talks did not suffer fate of previous i.e. people did actually turn up. Also only crashed out once and was able to upload chat history successfully to Leeds Met's useful widget thingy. Here are some nice pics of island, in particular Marsha11, in tree house with Bubble Wand. Also see here the underwater doughnut seating and the cafeteria.

Am so please dwith tree house have demolished large white house on own land and replaced with said tree dwelling, which is fortunately Copy, so could have whole forest of them had I prims enough and time.

Also have added twee fairy bridge to tree house since when was visited by North Lamar found self scrambling in graceless fashion across tree house base. Have been looking for excuse ever since could not decide between twee oak bridge and twee fairy bridge to span river & finally opted for Twee Oak (with Cushion Pose). Have now managed to notch up over 6000 prims. Oh dear.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Island, Island, Island

Buildings placed on island: 19 (bad); Buildings left on island after mature consideration: 13 (oh dear, unlucky for some); Visitors to the island: 5 (good)

Short entry as too busy making island into place fit to take first year undergraduates. Would emphasise that buildings count includes:

- hot tub on platform
- small house in shape of insect
- small house in shape of apple
- small house in shape of strawberry
- shelter containing vending machines near student residences.

Or perhaps that doesn't make it sound any better.
Today Maggie and Violette from the library here saw island for first time and were first passengers to take the Balloon Guided Tour. This was bought in after I took the Guided Tour on the new international island (vehicle moves round specified route and chats commentary to you), however decided to pay extra for Balloon option since .... balloons just seem rather cool. First attempt to script tour ended in disaster since had omitted to set start point properly and balloon merely dragged along ground emptying passengers (me) from basket. 2nd attempt more successful although discovered that is intrinsic feature of the tour that at the end balloon vanishes and passengers tumble to ground.

Was also joined in balloon by colleague Yuxuan (it is a 2 person ballon). Maggie and Violette will be setting up things in the island's Library and Yuxuan will have an office here so it's all happening.

Previously Ishbel and Marsha11 had teleported in and had been particularly impressed with the tree house, which certainly hasn't palled yet. Have decided to put one on my personal land as well.

Pics show Ishbel and I in the tree house; Violette, Maggie, Yuxuan and me in my office; Me suffering from a Drunkeness animation

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Before and after

Following on from the last entry, here you can see part of the island as it was delivered, compared with how it is now. Unfortunately as the number of prims goes up, so the ability of my graphics card to cope with the whole scene decreases so you don't get all the detail.

You can see that the mountain on the right is pretty similar, but there is now a river pass cut through - in the middle of the picture. The land has been extended a bit on the right and left banks of the river, flattened out somewhat to accommodate the buildings, and I've fiddled with the water's edge to make it more interesting.

This is the area for offices: on the left the Centre and the Department in a white building, then CILASS, on the right a conference room and my office nearest the camera, and the library further back. Next to the library is a cafeteria area in the open and my head is obscuring a small landing stage. The thing poking in on the top left is the bottom of a skybox that will be the largest conference area.

15000 prims

Islands delivered: 1 (v.v. good); Prims to use: 15,000 (v.v. good); Hours spent on new island: countless (v. bad)

Had refrained from giving ongoing story of Lindens' lack of response to emails, chat, online tickets etc etc as regards delivery of island. It turns out that answer is to email Claudia Linden with tale of woe as after (literally) weeks of inaction, island was delivered within hours of whining email being delivered to her.

As consequence have spent so much time terraforming, planting, buying yet more houses etc etc that have had little time for blogging, sleeping and so forth.

The island (shape 4) comes terraformed but have altered it a good deal, wlthough mountain peaks are still roughly where they started. Also took pic of Object tab showing 15000 out of 15000 prims available for use. The first prim(s) were a stone lantern that I planted on a little outcrop I created at one corner of the island.

Now there are are a good deal less than 15000 prims, namely 11000 and something. Will feature various aspects of island in due course.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Identity, meetings, acorns

No of time in last 2 days people tried to chat up S Yoshikawa: 0 (good); No of times in last 2 days people tried to chat up Dimitrova Shostakovich: 4 (bad); People admiring skybox: 1 (good); Pictures taken of Dimitrova with windmill through nose: 1 (amusing, and not just because it's her that people try to chat up, obviously); No of mentions of this blog in Information World Review: 1 (v. good); Misspellings of "Sheila" in headlines of IWR: 1 (v. bad) ;Squirrels bought: 1 (cute, and appears to generate own acorns)

Have made interesting observation, namely that more people try to engage Dimitrova in idle chat than do me, Sheila Yoshikawa. Is this because DS gets about more? Think not, since SY is ever flitting hither and thither adding to her inventory. Is this because Sheila Yoshikawa is comely but faintly whimsical, what with blue hair etc. etc. and lack of matchstick thin legs, whilst alternative avatar (Dimitrova Shostakovich) has no bottom to speak of, waterfalls of dark hair, classic features and a Russian name which presumably some people (who do not know the work of Dmitry Shostakovich) might take to mean An Invitation To Fun and Frolics (rather than an invitation to meditate on death and the futility of human aspiration).

Could be whole PhD-s worth of research in people's reaction to 2 avatars and indeed think people have already got higher degrees from less. Anyway, both avatars took a turn in a splended new sim, Gion (after the Gion quarter in Kyoto, where the geisha are) which is v. lush and atmospheric. There were free fans and windmills, v. cute but all no transfer, and had decided that both avatars would benefit from having them in inventory. Dimitrova took Orange windmill to start with, but decided Red was improvement, when, alack, hair disappeared and 2nd windmill gave bone-through-nose effect (see pic).

This was comedy highlight of day, so can tell rest of day rather lacking on amusement front.

Last night met up briefly with Ishbel, who expressed liking of self-made sky box. Is definitely something v.weird going on when flexi or scultped prims in box, since prim skirt became transparent. Not good. Or perhaps could pretend was deliberate effect of immersive art.

Was taking photos of new animated grey squirrel in office this evening, when saw that Art was creating cool Giant Tree In Globe at other end of complex. After batting around globe, found way in and admired. Had good talk about possible education meetings.

Must also modestly note that this blog features (with information literacy one) in Information World Review, that esteemed organ, where Sheila Webber is featured blogger. Or, in fact is evidently another alt since Shelia Webber is mentioned in article title. Honestly (sighs).

Final pic. shows Art earlier in evening when had spotted him on Eduserv Island but discovered he was, in fact, Away. Would like, BTW, to emphasise have not taken up stalking to compensate for fact that unknown SL idiots prefer slim brunette avatar. In fact had better drop whole topic forthwith.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


New houses acquired: 4 (but one was free); Skyboxes built: 1 (good); Skyboxes bought: 1 (bad, except it is v. nice); Relaxed time with friends: 1 (good)
Have spent too much time in SL and not enough blogging. Or even working. New semester has interfered a little with SL activity, ahem.

Am snapping up houses that might come in useful on the island. In particular feel triumphant that have been trying to find Japanese builder that visited early on and didn't bookmark. Today stumbled across shop (Minoru) when searching for something else (coincidentally, today gave out paper on information encountering for students to read). Bought:
1) v. nice open structure in pale wood that will do for offices or shop,
2) v. pretty skybox in teahouse style, and
3) pack of infinitely copyable bits of raised walkway, stair and bridge, v. good quality though also alas rather high prim.

Also bought rather more disappointing but cheap house (it looked better in the picture, must really only buy when have viewed). And did I mention the Victorian Steampunk skybox from SCM industries? Can't remember now. There was also a v.v. cheap 9 prim house and a free pod from some other builder, but frankly can do better than latter myself. Inventory now so stuffed with houses that have difficulty remembering which is which and will certainly not have room for all of them on island if wish to leave scope for Creativity.
Have created arty skybox out of squares and squashed sculpted prims. Am rather proud but fear others don't like it as much as me. One problem is that because of squished and sculpted nature of prims, sometimes bits of prim seem to be in different places, which might make one queasy.

Will be interested to know what Citril and Ishbel think, though suppose they will be polite. Invited them round the other evening and had v. nice time trying out spa-in-a-teacup in fairy glen part of property (Citril looked v. pretty), and also floating in rubber rings in front of larger Japanese home. Was also amusing moment when Citril changed clothes and whilst to her eyes she was modestly clad as far as rest of world was concerned she was wearing only bikini top.
Maggie Kohime (shown here in my skybox( visited today and was able to show her some possibles for the library's home on the island. She may go with another SCM Industries item: also basically a box but v. nicely made and with adjustable tinting in windows, and lighting.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.