Saturday, January 31, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: Oil Pastels of Four Gorgeous Second Life Winter Destinations using Fotosketcher Software


I made these watercolors using free Fotosketcher software. You can choose watercolor, oil, pastel, or pencil drawing, among other effects, to transform your photographic software. You can also frame your images with a wide variety of simple and realistic frames.

You can download Fotosketcher here:  You then must upload your images to the Fotosketcher web site to complete your transformation effects.

Links to full reviews, and additional photography from each destination are included, as are the SLurl's to each destination. A framed version of each oil pastel is given as an alternative for you to download.

To see more landscape conversions into paintings:


To see my full review of Lisipark, a realistic and beautifully situated Homestead sim that reminded me of Southern California:

To visit:

Lisipark Framed Oil Pastel

Story Brooke Garden

To see my full review of Story Brooke Garden, a very well done fantasy world of faeries, sunrays, sculptures, and gorgeous plantings:

To visit:



To see my full review of Philomenaville, a charming American small town set in the Edwardian era:

To visit


Timeless Memories
To see my full review of Timeless Memories, a destination of  the pale blue light and gentle falling snow:

To Visit:



To see my full review of Frisland, a virtualization of a mythical island in the north Atlantic:

To visit:


Frisland Doorway

See the photograph above for more information on Frisland. I liked this view through a doorway so much I decided to do a second oil pastel conversion from this destination.

We Are Thinking of Bock McMillan On The Passing Of His Father

Our thoughts are with our good friend and fellow Second Life blogger Bock McMillan who unexpectedly lost his father in Sweden earlier this week.  Benja and I offer Bock and his family our sincere condolences.

If you would like to leave Bock a message, please do so directly in a comment in his blog here.

You Are Invited to A Celebration of the Life of Avacar Bluestar -- on Saturday, February 7 2015

Avacar Bluestar

The plans for the celebration of the life of Avacar Bluestar, who left us last November, are now in place. Ricogenu, Avacar's partner, and Avacar's Second Life family hope that you will come to the event.

The date of the event is next Saturday, February 7.

Avacar loved music, and we will celebrate his life with this in mind.

From 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM SLT,  Phemie Alcott, one of Second Life's best loved  R&B performers, will be singing at a special memorial concert for Avacar.

Phemie Alcott

Immediately following the concert, From 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM SLT, DJ Thorn Andel and Host Esme Capelo will be hosting a dance party and club event celebrating Avacar's love of dance and club music at the same location. This event will be broadcast around the grid on SL Live Radio.

with DJ Thorn Andel and Host Esme Capelo

Ricogenu and I will be taking a collection at the event in Avacar's name for the American Heart Association, for a special donation to be made in his memory.

The location of the event will be at the Rose Garden at Greymist Estates. I will be posting a landmark to the location later this week.

We are working on the poster for the event now and will be distributing it in Second Life.

But please hold the date for a celebration of the life of a very special person who brought joy to many of us in Second Life. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: London's St. Paul's Cathedral, The Masterwork of Sir Christopher Wren

Earlier this morning, I wrote about today being the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's great funeral in London at St. Paul's Cathedral.  I thought it was time to review the virtualization of St. Paul's in Second Life.

St. Paul's cathedral in London is the most famous and best example of English Baroque architecture by the great architect, Sir Christopher Wren. A great fire destroyed London in 1666, the the original St. Pauls, a gothic masterpiece, was destroyed. Sir Christopher Wren, the great architect who supervised the rebuilding of London, designed a masterpiece to replace it -- one that appears to be unreal, and sublimely beautiful, on the London skyline. The iconic dome  dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, the second biggest church in the world behind St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, is unworldly. It as if some great flying saucer touched down on the roof of a cathedral and decided not to leave.

Second Life St. Paul's makes usage of two-dimensional shapes and textures, and is not the most technology-savvy nor the best built. It is state of art technology for the Second Life of 2008, not 2015. However, the effect of this building, especially of the gorgeous interiors, makes it a highly worthwhile place to visit as a classic Second Life structure, and one that you should visit if you like great art and architecture in Second Life. Highly recommended.

To visit:

To find our more about St. Paul's Cathedral:

All photography in the posting uses Windlight sky setting !!JUICYBOMB.COM - Gogo Hearts SL, which gives a nice warm grey tone to both interior and exterior shots. You can download all 5 Juicybomb windlight sky settings here:

View looking up at the great dome
View from Inside the great dome looking down

On This Day 50 Years Ago in London: The World Pays Homage to Sir Winston Churchill With A Massive and Inspiring State Funeral

On this day in 1965, the greatest funeral of the 20th Century, the State Funeral of former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), occurred in London.  It would be the largest event of its kind ever held, matched only in size and number of world leaders in attendance by the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005. Over 350 million people watched the State Funeral on television around the world.

Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 - 1945, and 1951 - 1955, is widely recognized as the saviour of his nation for leading The British Commonwealth to victory over the forces of Naziism in the Second World War. His power of oratory remains unmatched in the English speaking world. He galvanizing the spirit of the British peoples in the darkest days of British history in 1940 - when Britain alone stood up to Hitler after the fall of France and Western Europe. You can hear his inspiring oratory below in two of his radio addresses below.

Churchill played a crucial role in the history of The United Kingdom all through the first half of the 20th Century but is best remembered as one of the Big Three leaders of the Allied Nations during World War 2, together with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the U.S.A. and Marshall Joseph Stalin of the U.S.S.R..

In a particularly touching memorial, the cranes along the Thames River in London would lower as a sign of respect for Churchill's funeral barge as it made its way up from St. Pauls Cathedral to Waterloo Station in London before he made his way to his final resting place in Bladon, England.

The Cranes Along the Thames Lower in Respect

I regard Sir Winston Churchill is the greatest single individual who has lived in the world in modern times. The entire world owes Churchill a debt of gratitude for providing the inspiration to defeat Adolf Hitler and Naziism at a time when this ultimate evil appeared to be unstoppable. The United Kingdom could have agreed to an armistice with Hitler on very good terms in May 1940 -- which Churchill, and the British peoples and her Commonwealth of Nations, refused to do.  They would have to wait until December, 1941 to be ultimately assured of victory after the United States of America joined the Second World War after being attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan. And, if Britain made peace with Hitler's Germany in 1940, and the Nazis prevailed in victory, the world would be a much more evil and unrecognizable place today.

To find our more about Winston Churchill and his majestic funeral:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: Winter Scenes from the Victorian Steampunk Metropolis of New Babbage

Winter Street View - Brunel Hall is on the Left

New Babbage is Second Life's 10-sim Steampunk vision of an alternative Victorian-era Metropolis, and a favorite location of mine for photography over the six years of this blog's publishing history. Nothing is static in New Babbage, many changes to structures and additions to the region make it a source of new photographic subject matter.

The Academy of Industry Region, the location that I used for coming around New Babbage and taking these street and interior views,  is one of the newest areas and has some of the best designed Victorian era structures anywhere in Second Life. I stood directly outside the recently renovated Brunel Hall Hotel and Entertainment Complex when I photographed these images. Brunel Hall is quite impressive, make sure to tour the interior when you visit.

Brunel Hall Hotel and Entertainment Complex

New Babbage is roleplay optional, you will not need to change to period clothes or talk like a victorian to walk around. The Academy of Industry region of New Babbage is one of the newer areas and has some of the best designed Victorian era structures anywhere on the grid.

The best way to explore New Babbage is simply to go there and explore the interiors of any building which catches your interest. There is simply too much to take in at one visit-- this is one of the most content-rich areas of Second Life. Except for the top 3 images of Brunel Hall,  I am not labeling images since I simply photographed anything that was of interest over the course an hour one evening.

The following SLURL takes you in front of Brunel Hall, which is an excellent location for starting your exploration of New Babbage:

Interior of Brunel Hall

To find our more about New Babbage and the concept of Steampunk, check out this machimina I did a while ago explaining the concept. I did a second machinima of New Babbage concentrating on Steampunk airships and the airport outside the city walls.

All photography, except for the top image, uses Windlight sky setting !!JUICYBOMB.COM - Gogo Hearts SL, which gives a nice warm grey tone to both interior and exterior shots. You can download all 5 Juicybomb windlight sky settings here:

To view my other recent photography from New Babbage:


Steampunk Animated Construction Scene:

Brunel Hall Hotel and Entertainment Complex:

(note:  Brunel Hall (shown above) has recently been renovated and redesigned: these photographs show Brunel Hall one year ago before recent changes):

Club Photography: The Danger Club on Wednesday Night with DJ Vaan and Host Frklbear

For mature photography from the event head over to Ryce's blog: