Originally posted on Canary Beck:
Since first joining Second Life nearly (gasp!) 8 years ago, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, and designing, virtual places. These places have ranged from the micro-level of a particular room within a building, to the meso-level consisting of multiple buildings and public spaces within a region. I’ve yet to venture into the macro-level (which I define to be multiple regions as part of an estate).
Designing anything, whether it’s a printed piece, a website, or a sim, is a process of making choices. I’ve found that making choices works best under the guidance of a model – meaning, a way of thinking about things that helps you when making decisions.
I began thinking about my model for designing virtual places when I read Kaya Angel’s comments on the outstanding video that New World Notes said “everyone was talking about”. As I commented on Inara Pey’s blog post…
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Kaya had mentioned that the new west wing solarium was finally finished. It had been a wonderful day, albeit a bit exhausting. Kylie changed from the 40’s-style dress she’d worn for her Fashion for Life performance and slipped into a simple pantsuit. She enjoyed a cat-like stretch and decided to check out the new space. The sun had long ago set and a full moon was peeking through pale blue clouds. The manor had settled into a calm quietude, which served to amplify the clicking of her heels upon the marble floors. Soon enough she changed the staccato of marble for the less-jarring sound of concrete as she let herself out the side door and made her way toward the west wing. She figured she would disturb far few people if she went outside, rather than clattering throughout the entire building. The spring night was far cooler than she’d imagined. She wrapped her arms tightly about herself and set off at a brisk clip.
Kylie pushed open the door to the new room–her nose pricked by a cacophony of scents: Varnish and paint slathered with the dusky, organic smells of soil, moss and tropical plants. She released her hold upon herself as soon as she closed the door behind her. The room was fully 20 degrees warmer than outside. Her eyes were immediately captured by the moonbeams cascading from the rotunda above.
She sensed another presence and her eyes sought the source. She relaxed when she saw Lord Lefevre seated quietly by the fountain. Not wishing to disturb his reverie, she took a chair on the other side and sat quietly. There is something about sitting in silence with another person. A door opens and thoughts are shared in whispered voices. An intimacy ensues that draws the two closer together.
“Let me know, Lord Marcus, if I am disturbing your peace,” she said.
“Not at all, Lady Kylie, I was working on the next steps for Miss SL.” He rose and handed her a notebook in which he had neatly printed in his concise handwriting.
She knew him to be meticulous in his dealings and was not surprised at the structure of the document. Even visually it was orderly. She handed it back after reading it and took a seat at his side. “You have quite a bright future planned for Miss SL, Lord Marcus. I have no doubt you will achieve your goals.”
“I heard you are performing for Fashion for Life. I want to be sure to attend. When is it?”
Kylie smiled at him. “It was today at 1:00 pm.”
“Oh dear. I have missed it.” His face reddened slightly.
She patted his hand and smiled. “It’s just fine.” She winked at him. “I have a barn on my property and I’ll be singing there–just for friends and family. I believe that includes you.” She sat back in her chair and once again let herself be taken in by her surroundings. “It’s a beautiful room. No wonder Kaya is so proud of it.”
Story by Kylie Sabra
Photography by Kylie Sabra
Tales from the Manor are roleplay based insights into the life of Angel Manor, which is built and owned by Kaya Angel and operated by the Angel Family: Kaya Angel, Kylie Sabra Angel and Lisa Valentino.
Jeeves waved as the Silver Cloud Rolls Royce headed out the circular drive that fed guests and family to Angel Manor. The setting sun cast a riot of color on the vast expanse of windows, each capturing and tossing back the reflections with their own unique signatures. Just before he entered the manor, he adjusted his bow tie until it sat a perfect 90 degree angle to his stiffly starched collar. With a click of his heels he pushed open the door.
Kaya caught his eye as he entered the music room, noting the carefully, but barely concealed mirth. “I take it the ladies are underway?”
“The Duchesses and the Countess are indeed on their a way to an evening of frivolity, your grace.” Jeeves gave a slight bow that echoed the reverence in the title. It was, at this late stage of his life, an ingrained habit he could no more break than he would endeavor to stop breathing–regardless that modern society frowned upon such old-world formalities. “I see we are ready to start.”
Kaya held out the wooden flute, known as a recorder, and waited while Jeeves pulled up his white gloves, tightening them about his fingers. Jeeves wiped it down with his gloved hands and took his place in the ensemble.
“Now we are ready,” Kaya said with a smile. “After all, we could hardly begin without our flutist now could we? So we shall start with you favorite, Jeeves–Motzart’s Flute Quartet in D Major K.V. 285?
Butler Jeeves, Footman Carter, Duke Kaya Angel, Footman Kean
Jeeves swayed as the music played and his beloved recorder carried the melody of the piece. His eyes closed as he escalated to a state of pure bliss. While to some he may have appeared much in his own world, he never overshadowed or forgot his fellow musicians. To him they were one. The piece is not terribly long and the quartet folded into their next piece, Emmanuel Pahud’s Motzart’s Flute Quartet in D 1/2, with scarcely a drop of a beat.
At the end of the 2nd piece, the men set their instruments aside and gave Jeeves a round of applause; Kean yelling maybe a tad too loudly, “Bravo! Bravo!” Jeeves red cheeks set in stark contrast to his white shirt. “There, there. It is nothing” The usually unflappable man, suddenly embarrassed by such attention.
“Jazz! A bit of jazz now, your grace?” Kean looked to the Duke, his eyes dancing with excitement at the prospect.
Carter shook his head. “I should think that given your fascination with the American jazz, you would have taken up the cello rather than I. Or should I rather say the ‘bass?”
Kean jealously eyed the beautiful cello resting in Carter’s embrace. “Would it that I’d been given such a choice,” he said. Bitterness flattened his normally cheerful voice.
Kaya picked up the decanter of Courvoisier L’Esprit and poured two fingers in each of four crystal snifters–giving them a swirl to release the brandy’s bouquet. Jeeves cocked his brow with unspoken disapproval that such an expensive liquor would be spent upon them. It just wasn’t done in days past. The Duke watched the changing expressions upon the elderly man’s face. He grew up with this man watching over him, and he knew his every thought. He smiled and placed the fine brandy in Jeeves hand and whispered, “Some changes are good. If you don’t believe me, have a sip.”
Jeeves smiled in spite of himself. “Indeed, your grace.”
The four men seated themselves in the deep leather sofas about the fire, warming the brandies in their hands. Jeeves sat back in his chair and contemplated the small group of musicians–an unlikely ensemble composed of a butler, two footmen and a duke. Yes. Times have certainly changed. He gazed through the amber liquid at the man before him that by all rights could consider himself far above association with the serving class, yet he seemed as comfortable as if he were one of them.
“Where did their ladyships go tonight? If I may be so bold as to ask,” Carter said tentatively.
“Mum, the Dowager Duchess, has taken Duchess Kylie and Countess Lisa to the opera to celebrate Lisa’s return home. Lisa is fond of opera and her favorite has arrived in London. Mum wanted to do something special for her. She was so pleased to get our box for The Magic Flute.” He chuckled. “Of course, Kylie is not so impressed. I think her tastes in music more closely resemble yours Kean. She’s delighted Lisa is back home though. We’ve missed so many years of sharing our lives with her.”
Kaya looked about at the men gathered in the room. “I wonder what Mum would think about our little secreted musical endeavors?”
Jeeves cleared his throat and took a sip. “Not so secreted.”
They all looked up suddenly.
Jeeves smiled. “Don’t look at me that way. I did not divulge our secret. You surely do not suspect that there is anything that goes on in this house that the Her Grace is not utterly aware of.”
Kaya laughed. “Many people believe the manor is haunted. I suspect they just see Mum flitting about the place at all hours and assume she is some ethereal spectre.”
The four of them shared a hearty laugh and finished their brandies before picking up their instruments.
“About that jazz, Kean . . ..” Kaya passed out crisp new sheet music. “Let’s try this one. I picked it up with you in mind, young Kean. From that King of Swing, they call him, Benny Goodman. Not quite sure we can pull it off as we’ll have to have a recorder fill in for Mr. Goodman’s clarinet, but let’s give it a go anyway. Here’s a little Minnie’s in the Money.”
Kean broke out in an ear-to-ear grin and Jeeves tapped his foot getting himself into the rhythm.
Kaya laughed. “I think you’ve got it, Jeeves. There may be a future for The Four Kingsmen yet. Assuming this Duke gig doesn’t pan out.”
Story by Kylie Sabra Angel
Photos by Kaya Angel
The Character of Miss Belua (belua.broadfoot)
On Sunday I had tea with Belua. Even in the wake of a migraine, Belua is positive and enthusiastic. She remarks,” I like SL, these cups are always full”. And so is her work; full of life and hidden depths,even her black and whites. Eclectic and colorful, in her work and in personality; it’s a mixture of lighthearted surrealism and notions of darkness.
Belua says being, “Brought up by artistic parents, Belua has always used her eye in different ‘ways of seeing’ looking beyond the surface of things, often using the memories of places she visited, the unexpected and the unusual found there in conjuring up startling new images associated from her dreams or memories giving the viewer an element of surprise in unexpected juxtapositions.”
Belua finds inspiration in her partner’s music (Elsie Wonder – Quarkstar),a huge emotional driving force behind her art, who in turn is inspired by Belua’s artwork. Often listening to Elsie’s music while capturing and coaxing her pieces.
Miss Belua will be with us at The Rose until April 20th and is planning a Japanese Tea Serving reception.
Diverse in his subjects, Altarn Damon-Bach is an edgy, passionate artist that manipulates and abstracts images from the endless impressions of life. With this collection he presents to you the female form in his own modus operandi. “Abstracts on the Edge” is a divergent yet harmonious collection of exotic black & whites with splashes of colour; both brave and subdued. Like the oxidizing of metal and the melting of elements, fire and desire bring the richness to the top. Edges jagged and smooth, bleed colour into the monochrome palette.
Altarn has been a real life photographer for many years. He explains that he photographs ‘everything from commercial industrial to wildlife. From photo manipulations to abstracts, from human form to nature’s beauty, all genres of creativity are covered. Landscapes and impressions of life are captured with my own twist on reality.’ In SL, though, Altarn is new to the art scene. With the assistance and support of his partner, Raven, he is cutting right in, obtaining Gallery 1 at The Rose for his first show in SL. Check his profile to find more of his work at his gallery.
Playing guitar and music lover in general, it makes sense that music will be a central part of his reception. A living art and light show is in the works for their visitors. Pop in to see this unique show Saturday, the 14th of March at 12PM SLT. He is also generously donating 100% of the proceeds of a featured piece to Relay For Life Charity.
Flickr content: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130594917@N04/
Pebbles and Driftwood
Reminiscent of spring romance
Fading memories of summers past
Summer days washed away at the shore
Something of pebbles and driftwood
Canapes,cocktails and Bach.
This little ditty glued itself together from my conversation with Em Larsson and a study of her work. Em was known to me as an architectural photographer. I have collected a couple of her pieces in the past. Her gallery at Healy, Gallery M, she has maintained for a couple of years, which is where I discovered her in the past.
Em has evolved as an artist in RL and SL in significant ways. This is exciting news for me as an artist and a curator. For those familiar with my past work at Angelwood Bay Arts Center they may remember that it was my aim to assist artist to make the connection to from SL to RL and vice versa. When I asked Em how she did it,she explains, “As a matter of fact, I got my start in here, but branched out successfully into RL — isn’t that amazing.” With the encouragement of her SL mentors and peers, Em finally entered a photo contest at a local gallery and won. After a few more, the gallery invited her to do a solo show. She says,“I was amazed at how much a rl art show resembled SL. I felt right at home. The show was successful and I became a regular artist there. Sadly it closed after a couple of years, but I have got into various shows in the area since. I just took down one today.”
Em maintains a line between her SL work and RL work now. A decision she made from her feelings about the TOS put in place by Linden Labs. In 2012, Em’s work evolved into abstract impressions using SL photography as a backdrop and continues to evolve. Her current works at The Rose, she created specifically for this show. They are based on SL photographs from Pinoy Hideout and from Timeless memories.She has used the same background texture in all of them as a sort of unifying factor and noted the location where she took the photo on each image. Her favorite is Tulips and Teatime for Two, but she says she is happy with them all.
We have created a lovely show together with Em. It is open now, but we invite you to her reception on the 22nd of March as well for canapes,cocktails and Bach. Em has a special challenge for our visitors. Please the artist with your prose and you will win one of her works. Submit a poem about the piece you wish to Em Larsson. They will be read by her and typed in local chat during the reception.
“dreaming of you, what we promised, each day watching and waiting but you, and feel the hole in my heart grow, too long apart” – From Longing by Em Larsson at Pinoy Hideout.
A caregiver’s role is a difficult one. Not all of us are natural caregivers; but when cancer knocks at your door, it doesn’t ask for a resume to ascertain if you are up to the task. It is a demanding and often lonely role. More and more are surviving cancer and going forward to live full lives; a blessing that adds a bright beam of hope to the caregivers’ lives. For this and many reasons, The Angel family was delighted to be the host venue for The 2015 RFL of SL Survivors and Caregiver’s Ball this past Sunday, March 8th 2015.
Relay For Life of Second Life championed the event and worked closely with Lisa Valentino of Angel Manor Charities to throw a ball in the grandest of style. Attendance at the ball was at 102. The Manor opened the adjoining Angel Manor Estate sim to the event after The Rose Theatre sim hit its capacity with more trying to enter. People were overflowing onto the Rose Ballroom stage as the dance floor simply would hold no more. The event was a huge success.
I had a chance to speak with some of the attendees as well as members of the event team. Gem Sunkiller found herself moved by the event. “It’s wonderful to have the chance to honor our Survivors, they are my heroes, the real reason we all Relay. I have been a caregiver many times, and I will admit to a few tears for those brave people I’ve lost. But also the gathering gives me hope for those who are still fighting.”
Random Darrow, the Event Chair said, “With over 130 teams bringing in 2.5 Million US Dollars, RFL of SL is the largest group in SL supporting the American Cancer Society. Thank you to Angel Manor for hosting our annual Survivors and Caregivers ball where we honor the true heroes!”
This was an event for both survivors and caregivers Poppy is a cancer survivor. “As a cancer survivor I feel very honored that the Relay For Life committee has put survivors and caregivers at the heart of Relay by holding this special ball on the first day of the new Relay season. Special thanks to the Survivor/Caregiver leads TS Darrow and Randy Firebrand for all they have done.”
Randy Firebrand had a fine time at the dance and expressed that joyful kind of exhaustion you feel as a great task is completed. He looks forward to this RFL season. “It has been a wild and crazy day and I am so excited for the 2015 Relay season. We will do amazing things”
John (johannes1977) said,”Survivors and caregivers are why we relay and this ball is our tribute to these great people. Angel Manor, as the name suggests is a manor. What more can you expect but a realistic, formal and grand venue with some awesome people behind the scenes. Support places like these in SL, they are one of a kind.”
Lisa Valentino, sister to Kaya and Kylie Angel, manages Angel Manor Charities. She is passionate about her role and genuinely cares for others. TS Darrow said, “I am so glad I found Angel Manor to hold the survivor/caregiver ball. It’s a beautiful venue that does the meaning of the ball justice. Lisa Valentino couldn’t have been more helpful.”
“The toughest thing anyone will ever have to hear is, ‘You have cancer.” or your child, your spouse, parent or dear friend. The moment you hear those words ‘You have cancer.’, you become a survivor and the person closest to you becomes a caregiver. They need to know they have all the support they need. We need to honor and support them to make sure they know they are not alone.” Dianna Wycliffe
Lisa Valentino, Angel Manor Charities
I love to walk about the grounds in the solitude of night; most especially in the light of a full moon. This evening began much as any other. The Estate residents were tucked into their beds. The tours were finished for the day. The family settled into their apartments after evening sherry. Yes. This is my favorite time of night. Perhaps because of the pure mass of the estate, or the muted chatter of guests as they roam the great halls, and the staff as they go about their tasks; the sudden cessation of this ambient soundtrack to Angel Manor life makes the silence even more pronounced–palpable. Even Jeeves is long gone to bed when I set out for my walk. I passed through the library and paused, taken in by the moon’s silvery light as it streamed through the massive, leaded glass panes.
I winced as the hinges gave what seemed a great screech as I opened the heavy double doors leading out to the wide veranda. I started my usual turn about the grounds, but something caught my attention. I felt rather than saw it. goose-flesh crept down the back of my neck and settled over my arms. I shivered, though the night was unseasonably warm. I somehow knew I should move slowly so as not to disturb that presence that quite disturbed me.
I’m not much taken to flights of fancy but I stifled a gasp as my eyes came to rest on a presence hovering just off the ground. I blinked several times. Surely my eyes were mistaken, for peering into one of the rooms that is my brother Kaya’s favorite place to sit in quiet contemplation, was an . . . angel? Could it possibly be?
I know this room well as it ever remains one of my favorites, Had I not seen this visage myself, I would have been loathe to believe a tale of such a sighting. I always have my camera with me and quietly took a hopeful shot before she looked at me straight on. I’d never felt such peace. She smiled and flew away with such graceful beauty. I realized when she was beyond my sight that I had stopped breathing, and took in a slow drink of cool night air, which was perfumed with a scent that tugged at my memories–fleeting, unnamable.
I walked to the window where she stood and peered inside. I was enveloped by an inexplicable sense of well-being. My Great Gran Vanessa’s and my sister Lisa’s portraits gazed back at me. I could have sworn both wore knowing smiles. Perhaps we are not alone after all.
Tales from Angel Manor are an ongoing series of stories, giving a glimpse into palace life and the Angel Manor family.
The beautiful sorrow of Sabbian Paine is portrayed on the walls of The Rose Art Gallery. Magical and sublime I find these renditions of anguish. Ungraceful surrender is seen in the still conflicted but succumbed soul. This collection of work focuses on solitude, loneliness, pain and the battle to overcome melancholy. Each piece in this collection is a very personal reflection of the artist. It is intended to view with the music each piece was inspired by and shares the title or lyrics with .
( I listened to IAMX – Sorrow, while viewing, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giniZbb6ZSM )
Sabbian’s bio says that he ‘has been capturing the world of Second Life through his lens since early 2009 when he was introduced to the world of Second Life photography. What started out as a hobby for this real life artist soon became a big passion for Sabbian. SL quickly became a new platform of self-expression allowing a limitless source of atmospheres and backdrops to his work which he often refers to being submersed in a world filled with three-dimensional art.’
Sabbian is a veteran photographer and his skill is clear to be seen. He has exhibited at myriad of galleries in SL; has been published in SL and RL magazines. His success is reaped from the sowing of good work and professionalism.
Make your pilgrimage to