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Archive for April 28th, 2012

Words By Beq Janus
Pictures By Judith Lefevre
I noticed it early on. Monday?  Three letters  on the back of a clam shell in Sirens.  “O.F.F.”  I saw them again Wednesday, this time in Nu Orne under the cap of an enormous mushroom.  Intriguing.  And again tonight, under a dragon’s leg in Shadow.  Don’t ask.  Finally, I checked with Faireland wizard Matt Anthony. Did he know what the strange letters meant.  “What do you know, ” he asked softly, “about the Occupy the Fantasy Faire movement?” Cue lightening & music…Day 7. $16,133 US.  We are the 100% 😉
– Zander Greene, Friends Fighting Cancer
It is Day 8, and we have traveled through many lands, been captivated (and even captured) in the imaginative worlds created by the designers here at Fantasy Faire. There is a constant to this, a common background that knits these themes together. Every build is a statement of defiance, every store a prayer of hope, every visitor a whisper of unity, every dollar a blow against Cancer, the unweaver of families and lives.
 

Today we enter, Devil’s Locket, a small chain of islands that earned its name for the treacherous navigation of its waters and the amazing, but explosive, firegems that are mined from its volcanic depths.

It is the creation of Lauren Thibaud of Lauren at the landing, under the sponsorship of Maxwell Graf of Rustica.
 
This is Maxwell’s first time at the Fantasy Faire, and those that know him, will also know that he holds some strong views about the Relay For Life, they also know that he can be trusted to share them, so why is Max relaying?
I’ve lost my grandparents to cancer. My mother was the longest survivor of bone cancer in US history – 28 years. My RL partner just lost her father to cancer in February. I’ve seen so many people die from this fucking disease….I couldn’t sit and not contribute another year.
I do not like or agree with the ACS, as they refused to help my family on several occasions so I don’t really have anything positive to say about that organization on a personal level. However, I am not participating for them. I am in this for the people who have lost someone, for the people who currently suffer from this damn disease and in the hopes that we can treat and eventually stop it from killing us all. People who have this disease touching their lives need to know we are out here, thinking of them, caring, wanting to do something, trying to help. That message is sometimes the most important of all. We are here with you and for you….you are not alone.
– Maxwell Graf
At the Faire Max has launched his new range of furniture and a rather special prefab, all of which can be found in his store. But for now we will return to our own journey, and admire the work of builder Lauren.
 
Lauren has been part of the Friends Fighting Cancer team since the beginning and one of a handful of “staff” builders who perform a variety of roles at the Faire from helping with the assembly of the sims, designing props and paraphernalia to building entire sims. She had been campaigning for a steampunk sim since the beginning and was overjoyed when the Nemo build returned last year. This year, Lauren was asked to create a full steampunk sim, but with a twist, it had to be desert themed.
I liked the idea of an oasis. My ever-present theme of old and new brought me to an old mining town with a population of people living amongst ancient architectural styles now reworked in pipes and metals, and then sinking it into the water was just good fun. The name reminds me of locks in a manmade canal, but also of secrets, treasure and danger if you can withstand the tests to their discovery.
We arrived from the east, leaving Siren’s secret behind us, the hot sun quickly warming us through. The sky is a deep dark blue, the buildings glow in the desert sunlight but there is distinct smell of sulphur in the air.
 
The stores are that line the sun-baked pathway look like typical colonial period moorish dwelling, their patchy sand and clay rendering fading and cracking under the intense heat of the sun, it is not until you look a little closer that you notice the neatly pathed pipework, that connects each store, to the steamgrid that powers the region.
 
As we step forward towards the edge of the waters of the oasis, we find the source of the odour. Two smoking, volcanic cones are spewing smoke, ash and hot lava, the latter then cascading down the sides and hissing as it hits the water.
 
The mer-folk of Siren’s Secret will not be at ease with their human neighbours here.For while the surface of the oasis is beautiful and clean, the very kind of idyllic scene that the word ‘oasis’ conjures in the mind, in fact….under the water the tale is somewhat different.
‘out of sight out of mind’ goes the human saying, and beneath the surface lies the garbage and detritus of the mining activities that gave this land its wealth.
Explosives, rusting machinery, crates and barrels have all been left here to rot, the crystal clear waters covering the sins of industry.
As we walk around the edge of the oasis, following te path, we stop, jaws dropping as we set our eyes upon the most magnificent, mechanical beast.
 
The Mechaderm, as Lauren has called it, is a one-off, never to be recreated. It is inspired by the Real World “Sultan’s elephant” built by street artist Royal de Luxe and itself no longer in existence. Like it? Want it? Then your one and only chance will soon come round. The Mechaderm, this amazing, totally unique work of art, is to be auctioned at the Live Auctions on Sunday at 4pm SLT over at Fairelands Junction.
 
From the very large, to the petite. The Mechaderm stands majestically outside the sponsor’s store. Inside the store we are transported to a medieval land of green rolling hills and loose cobbled pathways.
At first, nothing seems out of the ordinary, another exquisitely textured prefab from Max. Nothing out of the ordinary that is, until you walk up to it.
 
It is then that you realise that… you’ve grown. A quick check confirms that you appear to be the same size asbefore and therefore the house itself must be small. Bending down you peer through the window to find a breathtakingly gorgeous room, set out with Max’s latest range of mesh furniture.
 
The house, Maison de Maile been carefully reduced for the petite community and all aspects from doorways and stairs to seats and poses, have been tweaked to work with the tiny mesh avatars and as I am demonstrating, not really suited for biggies!
The full size version can also be seen (and bought of course) in a special skybox high above. It’s certainly a lot more comfortable to sit down in.
And so we come to the end of another Fantasy Faire mega build. The seventh of the eight Faire lands. That means that tomorrow we must venture forth into out final region, Shifting Sands. Don’t miss it.
 
At the start of today’s acount we heard from the sponsor Maxwell Graf, it seems only fitting to have the builder of this delightful region, and the creator of the stupendous Mechaderm, Lauren Thibaud, tell us why she relays.
Why do I relay? Because my mother has a memory for dates. She was always reminding us of anniversaries -both happy and sad. We’d say a prayer for her aunt- her grandmother- a cousin to honor the day they had died. As a child I  prayed for people I’d never known, but when I grew older death became more of a reality. I lost my grandfather, my grandmother, a 7 year old cousin, then my mother’s sister-  my godmother. Next an uncle -then another. The family on my mother’s side dwindled- and always to this same enemy- Cancer. It wasn’t just one kind, either. The variety of them was unbelievable. One had lung cancer. Another had a malignant brain tumor- they developed leukemia and colon cancer. The thing about my mother’s family was that they were all dying from it- but there wasn’t one I could hold onto and claim as “my family’s cancer”. We got them all. Then my dad told us that he had leukemia- and not long after that he found out he had prostate cancer too. “Don’t worry” he said- “they are just conditions- not life threatening.” And it was true- his cancers were managed well- when he died it was his heart that failed after all; but we wondered what the stress of those conditions had added. Today I don’t look at cancer as something in my family’s history- I see it as my own and my siblings future. We have the legacy. I relay to save their lives, their children’s lives, and my own.  – Lauren Thibaud, Friends Fighting Cancer.
Good news has reach me though. For while tomorrow will be the last stop on our journey, the Fairelands will now be remaining open another day so if you have not yet had time to see something you wished to see, or perhaps you still have some lindens left to spend, now those kind Friends Fighting Cancer people have brought you that most valuable of commodities, extra time.
That is all for now, but don’t forget that the silent auction items over at the FaireLands Junction are due to finish today, so hurry, hurry, hurry to get your hands on one of the many unique and precious prizes. All the important details can be found on the Fantasy Faire website where Miss Breezy Carver has been bringing us special reports

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The Ruins of Nu Orne

The Ruins of Nu Orne

Today’s jigsaw comes again from the Fantasy Faire 2012, with a visit to the Lost Ruins of Nu Orne, the second of two regions designed by Elicio Ember of Cerridwen’s Cauldron. (The other was Siren’s Secret, which Beq Janus and Judith Lefevre have visited today).

The ruins of Nu Orne are inspired by those of south east Asia, while the vegetation is wonderfully fantastical.  See if you can find the dragon’s cave hidden here and – in your awe over the buildings, the textures and the amazing ambiance, don’t overlook the water and the soundscapes Elicio creates. The lily ponds ypou will find are well worth exploring … and there are frogs …

The Ruins of Nu Orne: photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

The Ruins of Nu Orne: photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

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Welcome to the April SUYS event! This month’s theme is ‘April Showers‘!

Our designers for this month’s SUYS are:

*Art Dummy! [SLurl]
Cheeky Pea [SLurl]
Cleo Designs [SLurl]
Funky Junk [SLurl]
Insight Designs [SLurl]
Interior Addiction [SLurl]
La’Licious Designs [SLurl]
MudHoney [SLurl]
Organica [SLurl]
Palais [SLurl]
{what next} [SLurl]

Remember – everything released for SUYS is just $150L or less, but only for this weekend!

You can see pics of all the SUYS items over on our Flickr page and be sure to join the in-world Spruce Up Your Space group to get the SUYS notices, LMs, etc!

This is our only SUYS weekend for April; it starts at 9AM SLT on April 28 and ends midnight SLT on April 29! Have fun!

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Words By Beq Janus
Pictures By Judith Lefevre & Beq Janus
Hear that?  A horde is coming. Big one. The final weekend of the Faire will bring more denizens of the Grid World to our shores than all previous days combined.  They will shop, explore, dance, and hunt in our beloved Realms. And they will depart with much more than the items they buy.  They’ll carry away seeds of Faireland magic within themselves. In the rich soil of their dreams those seeds will grow,  That’s the gift you will have given them…….We have raised $14,842 so far.  More is coming. Hear it?
– Zander Greene, Friends Fighting Cancer
My thanks to the whole RFL team, the Fantasy Faire team, sponsors, designers, patrons, shop-keepers, visitors and bloggers. Together we create one of the best events on the virtual realms. – Elicio Ember
Yesterday, on Day 6 of Fantasy Faire 2012 we marvelled at the ingenuity of mankind, in Alia Baroques homage to Atlantis, The Tides. Today, the waves lapping  about our knees (or necks for the petites amongst out merry band of travellers), we find ourselves in a region that embraces the sea, it flora, fauna and mythos, combining man and marine.
Welcome to Siren’s Secret, sponsored by Booshies who along with the petites seem to have been somewhat of a hit this Faire. The region was built by Elicio Ember of Cerridwen’s Cauldron, whose beautiful handiwork we have already encountered at the start of our tour in The Ruins of Nu Orne
 
Building two entire sims is no small undertaking and Elicio started over two months ago, well before the actual sims were available, just to make sure that he had enough time to do them justice. I think we can say, without fear of dispute, that it was two months well spent. In siren’s Secret, Elicio has been able to express his passion for the sea.
I had always had a thing for the sea…and I wondered where a water-dwelling being would retreat to. Where do Siren’s and Tritons go to when not dealing with the land-dwellers so to speak.
Siren’s Secret is very much a tale of two worlds. The one above and the one below, each has its own essential beauty and blends with the other. As someone who lives in an undersea region, I share Elicio’s passion and will be taking many inspirations from this wonderous place back home to update my aging build, however far too few Second Life residents even realise that there is an undersea.
Many places on the grid have a sea that is barely deep enough to swim in, and there are places, where magical submarine landscapes exist, far too few but they can be found.
We will begin, upon the surface where mighty steel and glass structures rise from the sea. Influenced by early 20th Century architecture, there is a distinctly Art Nouveau leaning to the architecture. This is in part because the organic forms often found in Northern European Art Nouveau in particular were influenced by the marine world.
Elicio uses the sea-horse and snail, with fish and kelp or sea weed, each wrought from brass and turned verdigris by the actions of nature.
I cannot help but see a part of the Paris metro whenever I look at the wonderful jellyfish domed gazebos that form the teleport pad and other gathering points.
Some of the store owners have taken Elicio’s lead, employing waves and spray in their store decor to great effect.
The real beauty of the sim, the secret of the Siren for which it is named, is not up here with the air-breathers. Time to take mer-form and plunge into the depths, towels will be provided at the exit.
 The undersea world of Siren’s Secret is a richly coloured coral garden, the perfect playground for Merfolk and other sea creatures. At first it may seem a little sparse, flat expanses of rippled sand cover the gaps between the reefs and rocks, but this is quite realistic and typical of many reef environments. The rippled sand is the Mermaid’s lawn, and the reefs are her flowerbeds.
 That is not to suggest that Elicio’s creations are echoing the real world. Much like the flora seen in his land-side builds, the plant-life here draws from nature but twists it to fantastical creations. Giant anemones wave their tentacles, a phosphorescence shimmering across their surface as they feed on the tiny organisms carried by the tides.
 Gargantuan Jellyfish, their deadly stinging tentacles dangling beneath them, float nonchalantly over towering sponges and sea squirts, arrayed with colourful plant life.
The man-made world is never far away. The ancient remains of a long-boat that presumably never made land fall in Shadow’s Claw has become part of the reef. Its ribs exposed and colonised by plants and fish, it has become a home for marine life and a playground for the Merchins (cheeky Merchildren).
 Elicio wanted to create a place where the Merfolk would go to when they tire of seducing sailors to their doom. If you look carefully when you visit you may see the Merfolk at play. If you visit the stores you could even join them.
The architecture from the surface extends beneath the water, integrating beautifully with the ocean. The graceful forms both alien and yet at home. Great verdigris arches stretch spectacularly up from seabed, and the mer swim slalom through the supports of the walkways above.
But not all is beauty and wonderment. Look carefull and you will find the sinister presence of the ancient god Cthulhu, reaching out ominously to grab the unaware.
I truthfully hope that many of you will think more often of the beauty of the ocean in Second Life, the largely untapped potential for creativity such as this.
And with a promise to the waves for a speedy return, we clamber back on to land, shed our scales and wade up the ramp leading to our next destination in the Faire lands. A chain of volcanic islands, known simply as the Devil’s Locket. Join us tomorrow when we see Steampunk with a desert twist.
As we prepare to leave, we spy a small group of Merchins, each folding a paper boat and giggling as they push about on the waves. It seems they have been “borrowed” from the careless humans who discarded them. I am not so sure they were discarded though, but I am sure that many more will be making paper boats this weekend
Don’t forget that the silent auction is happening and details can be found on the Fantasy Faire website where Miss Breezy Carver has been bringing us special reports

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