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Monday, October 27, 2008

Over the Rainbow - Posted in Prim Perfect Issue 13

What if you could create anything you wanted, shape your environment at whim, be your dream self ...even fly? Oh can! It's called Second Life. The limits we have are the ones we place on ourselves and our own creativity. Why would we do that? (laughs) Second Life is full of possibilities. All we need to do is open ourselves to those possibilities and explore! We don't need to limit ourselves to our Real Life existence. Take the brakes off of your imagination and soar. Real life has it's place. Second Life is not meant to replace “real life”. It isn't an imitation of “real life”. Second Life stands alone on it's own merit as a separate dimension, rich in dreams and beauty.When I first got into world in May of 2006, I was amazed at the color and texture around me. Sure, I walked into walls for a while, in my default skin and hair, and wore boxes on my head at the shoe store. Newbie concerns aside, I fell in love with the freedom of imagination!

My first in world experience was on the island of Serenite owned by Keith Extraordinaire. Sereine Bard, showed me around. I felt like I'd landed over the rainbow! (smiles) I was asked (dragged in was more like it) to try Second Life, by my “real life” friend Robin Sojourner (Wood). She had been trying to get me into world for about two years! I would look at the web site and say..."na...what do I need with a virtual world. I'm not into computer games." and I'd shelve the idea. Then came the day I didn't. Wow. This was no computer game. How could I have known? The first thing I did was redecorate Robin's cabin. I almost ruined her existing furniture! (laughing) I started building almost immediately. I couldn't wait to create things. I bought a nice piece of land in Nitida and my friend Keith Extraordinaire gave me a cottage to "live in". I was in heaven. *smiles* My friend and then neighbor, Twome Rutledge, helped me to shop and she explained the nuances of SL. My friend Morse Dillon explained the basics of building. I found “busy mode” and used it a lot! My first couch, was the ugliest thing imaginable. I loved it.(grins) I made it. It was mine. I kept building. My friend Sereine said, "You should sell this stuff!" I rented a booth in an "outdoor market". By July of 2006 I had enough inventory to open up a store. I love Elements In Design. It's been a labor of love and a constant source of joy, from the start.

I had kind of an “aha” moment recently. I realized that Second Life cannot ever be like the physical world that our computers reside in. Unlike the “real world”, where politics and bureaucracy abide, Second Life is run entirely by creatives! No wonder it's magical! We make it that way! No matter how tough things get here with grid issues and IP theft, we need to remember the tremendous opportunities that Second Life has afforded us. Think about this: We can create without limits, we can work, doing what we love and we can immerse ourselves in a community that makes art a priority! We are Second Life. Creating art in Second Life has renewed my art in “real life”. Two and a half years later, I still can't believe that this world has absorbed me so completely. Yet...I found bits of myself, that I didn't know existed. I opened to this experience and this experience opened me. I found friends that speak to my soul. I found creativity without boundaries. Nothing for me will ever be the same.

IP theft is a huge thorn that needs to be dealt with. We all agree that there are steps that need to be taken to get the rampant piracy under control. One Linden Lab employee, in particular is making a difference. Blue Linden, With the help of some of his collegues, has drafted and submitted a proposal, for a Creators Registry. That registry would help to highlight legitimate businesses and help consumers to weed out the shops stocked with pirated goods. Contact Linden Lab and ask for the Creators Registry to be implemented. You can read more about this registry on the CCA blog. We, as creatives, can either decide to be proactive and better our world or we can sit back and complain about Linden Lab not doing it for us. At some point , it falls to us, to step up and take responsibility for the direction this world takes. We are not powerless, unless we choose to be. Get involved. Help others become more aware of Intellectual Property ethics and issues. Mentor new builders and encourage creative exploration. Last but not least...No matter what happens, keep creating. It is the magic that breathes life into our world. We are the magic!

**Some additional thoughts...Panic about IP theft does us no good. Instead put that energy into helping the community to find more ways to make IP theft in Second Life less profitable. For thieves, it's about the *easy money*. CCA is focused on making it more difficult for thieves to remain comfy. We visit sites where pirated goods are being sold. We alert creators immediately. We stay proactive within the community and encourage awareness of IP rights. (And on a personal note...I did NOT spend all that time in the trenches and writing to Linden Lab, ignoring my own business, just to give up, roll over and play dead! Neither did Arwen Eusebio or Tigerlily Koi!) Challenge: Join this effort and give back to the community. Get involved in practical ways. Offer to blog, offer to mentor for CCA, volunteer to write letters, help in the trenches by going to shops selling pirated goods and taking photos and info to pass to the creators that were victimized. In other words, skip the noise and DO SOMETHING!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Off the Deep End

As you know, I am a dedicated advocate for Intellectual Property rights. It has been a trying time for creators of digital art, both web wide and in Second Life. Piracy has been rampant and theft notices seem to be an every day occurrence. Having said this, I'd like to address the issue of proof. Has the current theft epidemic finally driven some of us over the edge into paranoia? It's one thing to have your work duplicated and resold without your permission. It is quite another to think you own a popular concept. In the past two days I have seen two talented creators, both strong proponents of IP rights, Delora Starbrook and Laynie Link, accused of content theft. One because she dared to make adorned hair styles with ponytails and the other because she used glow on an outfit! Oh-My-God! What is this driving us to? In plain English...that is just nuts. Folks, I cannot stress this strongly enough: Please be certain (with proof) that theft has occurred. Ponytails and glow prims are not enough to accuse another member of our community of theft. At what point will we realize that all chairs have a seat to place your rear in. That is the nature of chairs. I make chairs. My friend Arwen makes chairs, Maxwell makes chairs, Su makes chairs...and so on. Should we all accuse one another of content theft, because they all have a place to park our butts? I am so upset at the rashness of these unfounded accusations! I'm beginning to think that some creators are throwing around the label of "content theft" and accusing their colleagues of thievery, to nix the competition. Before you accuse someone of theft , you'd best be damn certain it is theft! It is not only unethical , it is reprehensible to attempt to destroy another creator's reputation, solely because you feel slighted or threatened in some way by their work. This is about as close to a rant as I've ever gotten.

We have not worked this long and this hard to let insecurity and paranoia lead us into a panicked feeding frenzy, with our colleagues labeled "lunch"! Enough already! Let caution, reason and respect be your guides.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The G-Crew ,The Elements Family & The Crosstime Pub

Photo:Wed Night at Fibber Magees, Dublin3

How do you thank over a hundred people for being wonderful? With a blog post! *laughs* When I first started Elements Family two years ago, I had know idea how much it would grow. Since then, I've grown to depend on The Fam for smiles , jokes and moral support. You have stuck by me through it all and I thank you with all my heart.

A couple of months ago I started the G-Crew group for updates on my DJ events. Ha! I didn't really start it...The G-Crew was a group already formed and connected by friendship. All I did was name it. They have quickly become not only my good friends, but an integral part of the Elements Family. Just seeing everyone at a gig with their G-Crew tags on, gives me a feeling of home wherever I'm playing. I can always count on AC, Dave, or Min to make me laugh just before I go up on the mic! It never fails! *laughs* (I'm sure they know and do it on purpose.)If someone doesn't show up at a set, we miss them (and track them down, like we did with Star!! I'm very glad that the Family has welcomed the Crew so completely. Thanks Ali (my sis in all but blood), Johnnie, Mondo, Ash, Sel, Buttons, Nu, Jean, Baer, JP and all of you!

When the time came to rebuild my sim, I decided to build the Family / Crew, a pub to call home. That's how The Crosstime Pub was born. ( I owe that name to Minerva Breda. Thanks, Min! ) The Crosstime Pub will play host to a variety of Live performers and will include many different musical genres. The main theme will be comfort, fun and friendship. The build is almost done. I hope to have it completed in 2 days.

Thank you Con, StarZ, Min, Taro, BB, Ken, Yank, Ota -the awesome staff of The Crosstime Pub!
A special thank you to Yankee Lockjaw(G-Crew Mgr & Pub Mgr), Minerva Breda and Tarogue Albatros, the G-Crew officers for keeping things running!
Thank you, Family! Thank you, Crew! All I ask, is that you keep dancing!
I love you guys!

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's Also About Getting There

I'm sure that you have heard the saying "It isn't about the destination. It's about the journey." Well, I'll agree with that a degree. You see, in some cases it is about getting there. And sometimes, however you can get there, is OK.

We stumble through life as best we can. We have successes and we make mistakes. Both sides of the coin are part and parcel of life. I am not ashamed of my mistakes, because I know that they have helped me to grow. (And believe me , I've made some really stupid choices this past year!) The thing is, I was concentrating on the journey and ignoring the direction and the destination. That is just as silly as doing it the other way and focusing only on the destination. I was doing this day to day thing and ignoring where it was leading, which was down a dark hole. At some point, I woke up and took a good look around at my surroundings and said "Dang! How the hell did I get here?" That's when I pulled out my trusty map. We all have one. It's a built in standard feature in all humans. Anytime we get turned around and feel lost, we can whip out "the map" and get our bearings. So, I looked at my map and realized I was slightly off course. I was headed in the right general direction, but I needed to do a slight course correction.

As is often the case with me, I create a sculpture and then grow into it. I think that these sculptures may be my way of manifesting points to follow on my map. (Hey...whatever works. Right? If you know me, then you know that I am directionally challenged. I get lost turning around.) A few weeks ago, I created a sculpture that I called, "Soul's Journey". In essence, I built a beacon of hope to follow.

Life is messy, unpredictable and full of imperfection. We are human and so by our very nature flawed. Yet in our flaws and vulnerability, we are beautiful and strong. I have finally grown into "Rebirth" and "Soul's Journey". I have looked at my map, corrected my course and found hope. No, I don't have all the answers, nor even many of the questions. *laughs* However, what I have found inside myself this week is far more valuable. Me. The rest is just down the road.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Hi again. Taking a nice stroll through my brain. Want to tag along? Don't mind the mess. I haven't cleaned up in a while. Oh look! There's last decade's baggage still sitting in the suitcase, unpacked and taking up space. Just walk around it. I do. See the sticky notes I've left all over the place? That's to remind me of important things, like...who I am. *laughs*

Let me dust off this old chair for you. Have a seat, and we can have a nice chat about life. It's bizarre isn't it? (Life, that is) We think we've run away from something in our lives, only to find ourselves running toward it instead. There are things in our lives that help us to flourish and there are things that will kill us eventually, like a slow acting poison. Some relationships are like that. We can convince ourselves that if it feels good at the time, we can overlook the long term affects. That doesn't mean that it won't eventually kill us. It just means we chose to turn a blind eye on reality. We haven't had enough self destruction, so we take another swig from the bottle marked with the skull and crossed bones! After all, it's just an interesting design on a label, right?

Why do we choose things that we know will hurt us? I don't have an answer to that one. It isn't on a sticky note. I can tell you, that as of this month, I chose to toss away the poison, in favor of a nice cup of self esteem. It wasn't easy. A part of me still kept insisting that poison tastes good. That's when I shored myself up and said no.

Rebirth is more than a statement of being. It is hope held out, that I'll reach the antidote in time and be OK. We are more than we give ourselves credit for. We carry the entire universe within us. So, how can we know that and not feel empowered? It's not about the mistakes the we've made. It's about what we have learned from those mistakes. It's not about love turned sour. It's about knowing we can love. When we come to the realization that we can love and honor ourselves, that's when true Rebirth occurs. Once we know and love ourselves for who we are, nobody and nothing can break us.

Rebirth doesn't just happen. We choose it. We must allow it...embrace It. No one can do it for us. Once we choose that path of self acceptance and growth, the way opens and we start to feel better. I can't say that I'm at that point yet, but I feel like I can be. I'm open to the possibilities. I am open to love as well, but only the kind that heals- not the toxic kind. I want to spread my arms wide and let the stars flood in. Maybe then, I can ditch the unpacked baggage and take down the sticky notes, cause being myself is reminder enough.

Thank you Jeff, Ali, Julia, Twome, Arwen, Zazen, AJ, Johnnie, Jean and the rest of my wonderful friends for never letting me give up. I love you all. Thank you also to my children, Marin and Max, who remind me every day of what love is. The rest of you reading this may be thinking that I've been rather candid about my life in this blog. Well...yes I have. But, so what. *grins* It's not like we don't all have our own demons. It's those of us that don't admit to weakness that are ultimately frail. The rest of us learn to bend without breaking. *smiles*

**On the descriptive side, Rebirth is interactive , thanks to Keystone Bouchard and October Brotherhood, who provided some of the scripting. The Elements Family came over and we all had a nice time dancing in the universe. Rebirth premiered at my Dances of Life exhibit on Cedar Island. A special thank you to Jon Seattle and Kate Miranda, for honoring me with that show. You can experience Rebirth at Dreamscapes Gallery of Art, at the Dances of Life exhibit on Cedar Island, at The Tech and at Anandra Gallery.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


What inspires your soul? It's different for each of us. Some find career to be the *it* for them. For me it's always been love..... The kind of love that circulates through my system like blood. Love feeds my art, which in turn feeds back into the system. It inspires me and sends me flying in all sorts of creative directions.

We do not exist in a bubble. Everything we do affects others just as everything they do affect us. What happens when the source of our inspiration is cut off? Well, I thought the answer was .."uh starve?" It's not. The answer is that the source of inspiration cannot be *cut off*. I recently went through a difficult time, emotionally. I was very upset, angry, sad name it. This is what I learned. Only you can cut yourself off from your muse. I did. I told myself I was so sad I couldn't build. I told myself that my creative side had "run dry". I was so distraught, that I needed a way to vent the sadness. So, standing on my Skyland, crying, I saw the piece that I needed to my head. I began rezzing prims. I was blind to my surroundings. I ignored IM's. I poured every ounce of anguish into that sculpture, as I watched it form in front of me. When I was at the point where I saw a double in my head and one in front of me...I knew it was finished. I named it "Betrayal". I felt a poison was lanced from a septic wound. Then... I felt better. I learned that nothing could stop me from being me. I create. That act of creating is love. Creativity is something that lives within each us. No one can cut us off from that flow, although the source is harder to reach for at times, it never gets cut off. If you reach for your creative side during times of sadness and stress, not only will it be still there, but the act of creating can actually help you to heal. "Betrayal" is not a pleasant sculpture to view. How could it be? "Betrayal" is the embodiment of all that anguish that lived inside of me. I even find it hard to look at. But it also stands as a testament to love and proof that I am still me. We are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for. That wellspring is in each of us, nestled within our own unique spirits and talents. So next time you are in a room that is too dark, reach out to turn on the dang light! *laughs* Don't accept that it has to be dark. You'll just end up stubbing your toe or worse. *smiles*

A hell of a Valentine's Day post to put up, but hey's real. lol

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Side Trip to Dublin

Although my main focus in Second Life is creating content, there is something to be said for creating a good time. I am now spinning tunes in Dublin, as Fibber Magees' Wednesday night DJ! It's not a far stretch for me, since I used to spin at clubs in "real life".

I was speaking with my friend Cher Harrington (DJ extraordinaire), a few weeks ago and telling her how much I love being a DJ. She said...Dublin! (Cher! lol) Next thing I knew, I was in IM with Otawan Fouquet and putting Wednesday Nights at Fibber Magees together. *laughs* It has been a real high for me. The Dublin staff have been wonderful to work with. They have made me feel right at home. Otawan is very encouraging and supportive of the talent at Dublin. I am impressed with the way she juggles the schedules and events and still has time to chat and lend an ear. Ajay McDowwll is a hostess for Dublin, my Wednesday night teammate and "Danger Twin". She's not only an excellent hostess, she's a genius at keeping track of chat! (I can't follow chat to save my life.) I don't think Wednesdays at Fibber's would go half as well without her. Her positive energy just fills the place! Then there's Spook Maroon, the shift manager of Fibber Magees, who calmly keeps the night going smoothly. Thanks to Spook, my sets run like clockwork. *smiles* If we run into a real issue with the stream or the sim's performance, Sitearm Madonna, Dublin's Sim Manager goes to work and gets it taken care of. All clubs should run this well! If I sound as if I'm gushing...I am. (I still love It's been a great experience for me. I look forward to my Wednesday night breaks and meeting new people. I'm more relaxed and ready to build, when Thursday rolls around. *smiles*

A warning to my EID Customers: If you IM me about a product on Wednesday night, while I'm DJ'ing, chances are more than likely that I'll send you a teleport to Fibbers. *grins*

There's a great deal to be said for the art of entertainment. It's immediate, high energy, rewarding and very -very addictive! *laughs*

What's New???

I have been hard at work! Na...I just like to say that! I love building, so it's not really work. *smiles*
At Dreamscapes Gallery:

The Grande Mahogany Throne

Filigree in sculpted primwork in honey colored mahogany, accents this truly royal throne. Avalaible as a limited edition, each throne is numbered 1-5. Soft, sensual lines grace deep rich woods. The nightstands open and close by touch. The vanity has an opening drawer with sleek, gold lipstick and compact.

At Elements in Design:

The Ahava Bedroom Set
Soft, sensual lines grace deep rich woods. The nightstands open and close by touch. The vanity has an opening drawer with sleek, gold lipstick and compact. I will be adding a dresser, armoir, lingerie chest and blanket chest.

A special new item...."My Snuggle Sleep Pillow"These body pillows are sculpted and textured to look like feather pillows. They aren't sort of like pillows...they ARE pillows! Best part? They are sold separately and have a snuggly pose by Craig Altman!

At Elemental Muse:

Dark Dreams Necklace & Earrings

A romantic cascade of deep, rich, blood red pyrope garnets in aged silver, flowing to just above the decolletage. A dream as dark as midnight and as sensual as a rose.
A special thanks you to sachi Vixen of Adam & Eve, for the lovely dress and hair! ...sach, your timing couldn't have been better! lol

Midnight Fire

Necklace , Earrings & Bracelets

Midnight Fire combines the radiance of Flame Aura Crystal and Aqua Aura Crystal with the soft glow of Copper.

Primmy? You could say that, at 253 prims on the necklace alone! LOL- I love it though and I hope you will too!

Friday, January 18, 2008

CCA Statement

I am content creator. I create things that others can use in Second Life to enhance their "in world" experience. In my case, I make furniture, jewelry and art. There are many content creators in Second Life, all filling a niche. Some of us work in Second Life full time. This is how we provide for our families. We love what we do and take pride in our hard work. We also enjoy the pleasure that other Second Life users get when using what we have created. This is the art of content creation.

Like any other art, a creation surfaces in the mind of the creator prior to manifestation in world. Once that creation is manifested it is the same as if it were made in real life. It is part of the creator and always will be. According to copyright law, a creator owns this creation from the moment it is made, regardless of whether a copyright was registered. This addition to copyright law was included in 1971, and is called "intent to copyright". therefore, taking a creator's texture or other creation without the permission of that creator is considered a criminal act.

Due to recent events, such as piracy of our creations, many creators have chosen to tighten security. We have also formed an organization called the CCA (Content Creators Association). No amount of security will prevent theft of our work. We know this. We are asking that residents recognize the hard work that goes into each creation and respect our ownership of our creations. We need your help. Please do not buy goods from vendors without checking to make sure that the vendor is the legitimate owner of what he or she is selling. Many places in Second Life have "deals" that seem to good to be true. This is because many of these "deals" result from stolen creations. It will be helpful to you, the consumer as well, since a vendor that sells stolen merchandise can't or won't service it. If the product breaks, you are out of luck. I do not want to encourage paranoia or accuse unjustly. My aim is to help with awareness on this subject. Creators and consumers are a team. It wouldn't be as much fun to create something if no one enjoyed it.

Even though Second Life is a virtual world, the laws that pertain to copyrights are very real. The growth of pirated content in Second Life has forced many creators to consider stronger measures to insure protection of our work, including filing a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and if necessary filing a law suit. Many thieves believe that they are immune...anonymous. This is not the case. If a resident steals and a creator files a DMCA, that resident will have to provide real life contact information in order to contest the charge. That contact information is then provided to the creator that filed, for use in any legal actions he or she may take.

This may sound harsh to you. You may be thinking, "it's only a game!" Real life laws apply in virtual worlds too. Help us stop piracy, by supporting and respecting creator rights. Avoid purchasing stolen goods. We, in turn will work hard for you, to insure you get the best of us!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Content Creators Association

Well, I just got back from an amazing vacation (first in a long time) to find that my store was hit by texture and design thieves. What a welcome home. *sigh* I couldn't believe my eyes. There, in a stranger's store on Deneb, I saw my stolen textures on badly copied furnishings. I was in shock. I was fuming! How could someone do this? Geez Louise-Why would they? Can't they use their own imaginations? Don't they know that it's theft? As these thoughts stormed through my mind, I realized that I didn't know the first thing about protecting myself from thieves beyond the "where's my lawyer?!" reaction. The first thing I did was to contact friends who were also content creators to let them know. I didn't want this happening to them as well. Then I got busy doing research. My friend Craig Altman, owner of Bits and Bobs, is not only a positive influence in my life but also a very well organized wellspring of information! He took me through the step by step process of filing a DMCA. Thank you, Craig! I also contacted my friend Robin Sojourner, who in real life, is the professional artist Robin Wood. She gave me lots of good advice and information on what to do and what not to do. Through it all, I was in constant IM with my friend Arwen Eusebio, owner of AE Industries. Arwen was also a victim of IP (Intellectual Property) theft in Second Life. Her original Tree House design was stolen -textures and all! Arwen's ordeal is still ongoing without resolution. As I shared the information I had gleaned from Craig and Robin with Arwen, we both realized that many creators do not know that their original content is protected by copyright though the 1971 addition of copyright law of "intent to copyright". Your creation is yours from the moment it is made. Many are unsure of the legal route to take and are intimidated by the process. Many creators also do not realize that they may be entitled to civil damages. It also became more clear to Arwen and me, that content creators needed to do more to protect our work from theft. That's when we decided to form the CCA (Content Creators Association). Only through the united support of others and the sharing of information could we make a dent in IP crime. We need to join together and support one another. We need to share anti theft techniques. We need to help guide others through the legal process and encourage them not to give up and give in. All competition aside, we need to help ourselves by helping each other.

The CCA has been picking up steam as more content creators pick up the banner. We are not limiting membership to those who sell content. Any who create original content are in need of support and protection from IP theft. I will be posting helpful info links in the next few days as I weed through the information I have gathered.

To learn more about CCA, please contact Arwen Eusebio or me. We do not have to be victims. We have rights to our work. Stay positive by helping one another. If you have experienced IP theft, don't give up creating or let frustration get the better of you. File a DMCA and follow up on it. Stay proactive. If it's worth creating , it's worth protecting!