Thoughts on my Day Off

Its Monday. The day I spend “blind for tax purposes”. I’m extremely myopic, and have worn contact lenses for more than 40 years. I’d like to wear them for the rest of my life, so one day a week I let my eyes rest, and go without them.

My glasses are heavy and uncomfortable, and don’t come anywhere near correcting my vision, so mostly I just walk around my house with my eyeballs all nekkid. Which means anything I can’t do on my phone, (which I can hold the necessary two inches from my eyes,) I simply can’t do.

So I take the day off.

Which is the only thing that keeps me from working seven days a week, since I’m self employed.

Last week I finished the Texture Tutorials in Second Life, and put them  out for people to use on my sim, Livingtree. I also got set up for Trunk or Treat, which is open now. And put the annual Halloween Cauldron with freebies in it out for the SL Kids.

Next week, I start to work intensively on the things I’m making for the Arcade, which will open December first.

But today is the day between, when I rest, and read, and study, and do a lot of thinking.

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about how to become … I’m not sure what to call it. Someone filled with kindness, compassion, joy, passion, curiosity, humor, common sense, intelligence, wisdom, perspective, and patience, all laced through with love and honesty.

I’ve been working at this for most of my life, really. I think a lot of us have, but that might be “the usual error.” (The one where you think other people are more like you than they really are.

Right now, I’m doing a lot of thinking and reading about body acceptance, and about bias in general. About how people treat other people, and about intersectionality. (More than one thing that causes people to be marginalized in this society. Like being both black and trans, or being both poor and gay, or being three or four or even more things all at once, like a fat lesbian trans-woman of color, and how they all add up to make life more and more difficult, even when none of them are anything anyone has any control over.)

When I’ve thought about it enough, I’ll probably write something here about it.

Anyway, that’s the kind of thing I’m doing on this gorgeous October day.  What are you doing?


Crystal Ball…

So, I was working on the Texture Tutorial in Second Life, as I’ve been doing for the last few weeks. I was finishing up the Shininess (specular) station. As part of it, I was explaining a whole lot of stuff that hadn’t gotten into the Shininess course I taught for a while at Builder’s Brewery (and hopefully will teach again) because I hadn’t known about it at the time.

In fact, it was CubeRepublic who asked me why I had left out the stuff, and so alerted me to the fact that there was a whole ‘nother channel that the Lindens had apparently added when I wasn’t looking.

It seems that you can now have different glossiness levels, on a per-pixel basis, by using the alpha channel of the Normal Map. Which… we won’t talk about how I feel about the Lindens putting it there. But there it is, so I need to let people know.

As part of that, I had to make some example objects, and so for no particular reason, I made a crystal ball, using the specular levels from the Normal Map.

I liked it so much that I decided to script it and sell it. Since it’s going to be Halloween soon, this seemed like the perfect time.

All of which is a very long winded way of saying, “Hey, new gizmo for sale!”

You can find it, along with all its ad copy and so on, in the SL Marketplace.

Besides that, I’ve been doing a lot of work on the Texture Tutorial, and some on the other things I do for a living. The fever that’s been plaguing me for the last month seems to be abating (finally) and I’ve been thinking a whole lot about non-work stuff that I want to put in this blog!

Maybe someday, I’ll have time to write some of it up. Lots of stuff about accepting people for who they are, believing what they tell you when they talk about their experiences, and honoring them even if you don’t understand or agree with them. Lots about speaking up for people, but not speaking for them.

But all of that takes more time to write than this, so… later. I hope. (Let me know in the comments if you would like me to take the time to write about all of that.)

And now.. back to work!

New Halloween Quilts In Second Life

It’s October! (I’m sure you would never have guessed that if I hadn’t told you) and that means that Halloween is coming up.

I’ve been looking at Halloween quilts, trying to decide what to make, and came across one with a candy corn border designed by Elizabeth Cecchettini for Babylock several years ago. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was the one I wanted to do. And I knew I wanted to put my Halloween Jack Cat in the center panel. I whipped it up in Electric Quilt, and decided it was too pretty not to bring into Second Life®.

So that’s what I did. I put it on two things: the Rail Quilt, and the Draped Bench.

Halloween Jack Cat - Draped Bench
The Halloween Jack quilt I made, on a draped Bench in SL

The draped bench required a couple of pillows, so I designed them, too. The one on the left is original, the one on the right is one of the block designs that comes with Electric Quilt.

The bench has all kinds of poses, including one that lets you pretend you are drawing. In the original bench, that one had a drawing I made of a lily. But that didn’t seem right for Halloween. (Even though I had a friend point out that lilies are often found on graves. But yeah… no.) So I reinterpreted an old image I’d done on the computer years ago, Boo!, so it looks like you’re drawing that, with colored pencils.

I was quite pleased with the way they came out.

Halloween Jack Cat quilt on Rail, for SL Marketplace
Halloween Jack Cat quilt on the porch rail.

The rail quilt is mostly just the quilt, and the central panel is mostly hidden on that one, but oh well. it still looks nice and bright, and it still has that wonderful candy corn border! (I used that on one of the pillows, too. It’s a pieced border that looks so simple I’m sure I could make it in Real Life, even. Which I can’t say about some of the quilts I’ve designed for SL!)

If you are a resident of SL, and you’re interested in the particulars for either of these, you can find both the Draped Bench and the Rail Quilt on the SL Marketplace.

Other than that, I’m still working on the Texture Tutorials, and doing other fall type things.

I’ve decided, in my old age, that I’m tired of working every waking moment. So now I’m stopping after dinner, and playing around with other things, sewing, taking tutorials, and other fun stuff. Time off. What a concept!

(I think I like it!)