Simploring 2020 (6) Kindred Spirit

For my simploring trip on Tuesday, January 7th, I picked Kindred Spirit from SL Destinations. Kindred Spirit is an andult homestead owned and created by Bart Bader, a builder and photographer.

Kindred Spirit is a wonderful fantasy world, full of romantic spots to sit, dream and cuddle, full of beautiful kitschy backgrounds as well as just amazingly beautiful backgrounds – well, Kitsch is something quite subjective and it also depends on our mood how we see things. In addition you find some art objects, in particular from Mistero Hifeng.

Kindred Spirit – overiew

Kindred Spirit consists of 2 islands and a white fantasy world a bit offshore. The landing is at the end of one of the two islands and you can follow a path from there over the 2 islands to the white fantasy world. You should look left and right of the path to see all the hidden spots to enjoy. I gave some of it names just to mark them in the overview.

At the landing spot is a board with the adress of the flickr group. Right now, in January Bart started a photo contest. You just have to join the group (for free) and to post your pictures in the Kindred Spirit flickr group. And right at the landing point I found some lovely spots to take pictures. I didn’t play a lot with the windlicht setting but I can imagine that the moon sculpture can will make a great object as a backgroud at night. The glowing flowers, the unicorns, the trees with their illumination and the deers also fit nicely into a fantasy background. The gazebo suits for a lovely bed surrounded by the pillars of the gazebo and tall trees.

Impressions of Kindred Spirit (1) – aorund the landing point, flowers and unicorns (upper left), the moon sculpture (upper right), the fountain (lower left) and the gazebo (lower right)

After crossing the bridge and entering the second island you reach the pear house which stands out with it yellow colour. The pear house is furnished inside and is furnished very romantic inside. I personally like the swing seat in the bedroom upstairs.

Impressions of Kindred Spirit (2) – pear house

Close to the pear house is a pier where you can sit and enjoy the environment and watch some swans swimming. The old ballroom building is a bit hidden under big trees. Inside it offers places to sit and a bathtube.

Impressions of Kindred Spirit (3) – pier and ballroom

I continued my simploring tour at Kindred Spirit and came to a ruin with a sculpture that I easily recognized as being created by Mistero Hifeng (it’s named Bella – che ci importa del mondo). The ruins are another great spot for taking pictures. And looking around I noticed another spot to sit and cuddle up in a tree.

Impressions of Kindred Spirit (4) – around the piano

If you further follow the path you get to the “White Fantasy”. You find yourself admist white illumiated trees, fantasy flowers, benches and beds to cuddle, art pieces of Mistero Hifeng. You literally walk over the water following a path made of white stones. At the corner is a treehouse from where you overlook the white fantasy and the 2 islands. But you can also decide to enjoy the “Wedding bed”. I named it wedding bed as I can imagine the Kindred Spirit would be a perfect place for a wedding.

Impressions of Kindred Spirit (5) – White fantasy , upper right is Mistero Hifeng’s “Dream V2”, lower left is Mistero Hifeng’s “E rubero’ per te la Luna”

Impressions of Kindred Spirit (6) – White Fantasy, tree house, wedding bed and balloon with swing seat

Kindred Spirit is a very well made fantasy sim, very romantic and a perfect place to sit and dream or to spend some time of togetherness with your loved one. And of course it is a great place for those who like taking pictures (like myself). Thank you Bart Bader for creating this beautiful spot and in particular for sharing it publicly.

Landmark to Kindred Spirit
Flickr page Bart Bader
Kindred Spirit grou Flickr page (also for the January Photo challenge)

Simploring 2020 (3) Soul of Dreams

For my simploring tour on Monday, January 30th, I picked Soul of Dreams from SL Destinations. Soul of Dreams is a moderate homestead owned by Xana Ligati (xana newall). Xana is the blog manager of GOOSE – Home & Garden.
The sim was designed by Busta (badboyhi).

Soul of Dreams – overview

Soul of Dreams consists of three islands, one main island and 2 smaller islands. They are connected by bridges. The landing is close to the brigde to one of the smaller islands, with is occupied by a huge lighthouse. I first had a look around at the landing point. Some seals and birds are there and the spot already offers nice opportunites to take pictures. The sim is surrounded by snow covered mountains, Soul of Dreams is covered with less snow.

Impressions of Soul of Dreams (1) – around the landing point

I first went to the lighthouse. Inside 2 coal ovens heat the house with is empty otherwise. You can climb up to the top of the tower from where you have a great view of Soul of Dreams.

Impressions of Soul of Dreams (2) – the lighthouse

Back on the main island I went to the residential house there. It is fully furnished, well, a bit messy but it looks quite inviting nonetheless. Everything is placed and designed with great love for details inside and outsode of the house. Together with the tall bald trees and the snow the place is really picturesque. Close by you’ll find a small zip line that I tried out.

Impressions of Soul of Dreams (3) – the residential house

I continued my simploring tour walking along the road, came to the barn and a single hut and to two places on the shore, where you could gather for a small event or simply enjoy some valuable time with friends sitting around a campfire.

Impressions of Soul of Dreams (4) – the barn, gathering spots and a bus stop

At the end of the main island and close to the bridge of the other small island is a small shed. From there you can great views on Soul of Dreams and it is a perfect spot to take pictures. The scenery looks very natural, winterly and peaceful. I sat down on the bridge where you could also fish and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Impressions of Soul of Dreams (5) – around the bridge to the island with the ruins

Finally I went to the second small island that is occupied by ruins of a church like building. The roofs have been closed provisionially, Everything is decorated for romonatic scenes. I found leftovers from Halloween (a scary monk at the entrance of one ruin). One ruin is used as a ballroom with a piano and that one is decorated quite outstanding. I recommend to go to the beach of this island as it also offers spectacular views on Soul of Dreams.

Impressions of Soul of Dreams (6) – the ruins

Soul of Dreams is a romantic place. The vegetation looks very natural and you can find countless spots to take really nice pictures. But you can also find nice places to just sit and enjoy the atmsophere or to be with your loved one. It is a very well made sim. I just enjoy the creativity of people in Second Life. Thank you very much, Xana, for sharing your place publicly and thank you Busta (badboyhi) for designing it. I enjoyed my visit!

Landmark to Soul of Dreams

Art in Second Life 2020 (2) Shui Mo Gallery

Saturday, January 4th, I visited Shui Mo Gallery, a gallery a came across following SL Destinations.

Shiu Mo Gallery is owned by FionaFei and features her unique art. Right next to the landing spot you can grab a notecard with information about the place, the presented art and about FionaFei herself.

In addition I got information in main chat and a welcome:
This space is an art installation created in the style of Chinese ink brush (ShuǐMò) painting by FionaFei.  Initially designed as a stand-alone art installation is now also used to house Fiona’s other artworks.  Follow the scrolls to the giant red double doors to head inside!  Please feel free to roam around the space and sit on the artwork.

Shui Mo Gallery – A walk into FionaFei’s art

Shui Mo, meaning ”ink” in Chinese, is an art gallery and a series of installations called the ”Shui Mo Series” that I have created in the style of Chinese ink brush painting, depicting a common theme or landscape seen in many traditional Chinese paintings.
The Shui Mo Gallery hovers over Dreams, a sim dedicated to helping and supporting stroke survivors and people with autism by means of regular group meetings, classes, games, and creative building contests. The goal of the Shui Mo Gallery is to give the visitors and the Dreams community the feel of being fully immersed inside a 2D drawing as well as an escape from even ”virtual” reality, where the 3D space melts away into the mind of the artist.

I was impressed right when I saw the first 6 art objocts present in the hall where you land. You can’t really capture the flowers, trees, butterflies and blossoms in a 2D picture. They are 3D and look different from every angle. My first picture shows the landing hall with the 6 art objects. I made some close-up pictures to provide an idea about these objects.

Impressions of Shui Mo Gallery – the landing hall

The center piece of the Shiu Mo Gallery is behind the giant red double doors. You literally enter the art of FionaFei. Fiona uses the possibilities of Second Life to provide a new perspective on this traditional Chinese art style by adding depth. She makes what has always been portrayed as 2D paintings into 3D scuptures, trees, birds, fish and other familiar structures commonly seen in traditional Chinese paintings. When the viewer looks into the art, they are looking into a 3D space and depending on the angle they are viewing it from, the art changes.

Impressions of Shui Mo Gallery – entering FionaFei’s art

I walked into the art, I crossed bridges and walked stairs and I sat on Fiona’s art as she invited me to. That is fun on on side, you dance and balance and you become a living colourful spot in a black and white environment. There’s also the opportunity for couple dances, something very particular with this background. It’s not really possible to capture the 3D experience in pictures although I tried that of course.

Impressions of Shui Mo Gallery – within FionaFei’s art (1)

The notecard, which I got at the entrance also contains information about FionaFei herself:
As a Chinese American, the Shui Mo series is my way of not only connecting with my ancestry, but it’s also a way for me to celebrate centuries of art and old masters who painted in this beautiful art style. I am classically trained in oil painting and electronic media.  Much of my early years were spent painting landscapes and portraits using oil paint on canvas.  However, I developed a love for non-photorealism over the years as an artist. In continuation with my love of non-photorealism, I now produce Chinese ink-brush art in Second Life and exhibit my work around the grid.

Impressions of Shui Mo Gallery – within FionaFei’s art (2)

FionaFei has her own website and you might want to get more information and background about her and her art there. Visiting the Shui Mo Gallery was a great experience. It perfectly shows the opportunities that a virtual platform like Second Life provides for artisits and Fiona found another unique way to take advantage of it.

Thank you very much for your art, Fiona. I’m pretty sure that I will come across it again in Second Life – and I will visit the Shui Mo Gallery again.

Landmark to Shui Mo Gallery
Read more about the inspiration behind the gallery here:
FionaFei’s website

Simploring 2020 (2) Butter – You Butter Come Back!

I went on another short simploring tour on Christmas Day at night and visited Butter, a sim that I found once again at SL Destinations.

Butter is a moderate homestead owned by Mona Molinaxil. Butter has it’s own homepage which contains some more information about it. Butter can offer a little bit of everything and there are no private areas.

Butter – overview

The most picturesque spot is “the docks”, a great place to take pictures and close by is a nice farmer market. Quite in the center of Butter is a large Bistro and Bar with seating both inside and outside the building.

Impressions of Butter (1) – The docks, Famers market, Bar and Bistro

The beach is nice and offers a lot of places to lay in the sun, to chill and hangout. You will find a selection of beachy furniture, a beach bar, a dance deck and even some floats and other places to sit out in the water.

Impressions of Butter (2) – The beach, Camping and Trailer park, Diomita climbing the rope

Up on the high plateau above the beach, there’s a camping site and a trailer park and if you walk a bit further you get to a farm with livestock and to a wind mill. There’s more, like a rope that you can use to get from the main island to a small island with at residential home. And certainly you will find way more nooks and spots to hang out and chill. Unfortunately my time for this simploring tour was limited to see more.

Impressions of Butter (3) – Farm with livestock, Wind mill, Residential home and Diomita chilling at a nook

Butter is a nice sim and as mentioned above it offers a bit of everything. Thank you, Mona for sharing your place publicly. I enjoyed my short visit!

Landmark to Butter
Butter homepage

Simploring 2020 (1) Northern Shore – Skärgården

For my Christmas simploring tour I picked Northern Shore from SL Destinations. Northern Shore is a moderate full region, created and owned by Elvira Kytori. It is inspired by the place where Elvira is living in RL, the Swedish archipelago coast also known as Skärgården. Look up pictures of these little islands, these skerris in Sweden and compare it with Northern Shore in Second Life – these picturesque, neat and peaceful places do exist! It’s not just a fantasy.

Elvira Kytori is the creator of the “Trace-sims”, places I explored in 2016/2017 (read here about Summer Trace, Fall Trace, Winter Trace and Holiday Trace). Northern Shore fits into this series of places. It is just amazingly beautiful.

Impressions of Northern Shore – Skärgården (1): Around the landing point

It is great fun to wander around, to explore all the little detail of this idyll. I spent almost half an hour at the landing point as there’s so much to see. Elvira made most of the boards and signs in Swedish to capture the atmosphere and make it feel like her home. Look at the Skärgårdshandlarn. Shandlarn is Swedish for shop and you should go inside. I also recommend to have a look at the little café right opposed to the landing point. It is quite cosy inside.

Impressions of Northern Shore – Skärgården (2)

Most of the many houses at Northern Shore are decorated for the holiday season and most are furnished. It is worth to have a look inside. You can’t go inside some of the houses though. You need to ask Elvira for a group tag to do that. But it might also be that these houses are rented out, as Elvira told me after I published this post. Hence if you look for a vacation home at Skärgården  – ask her.

There are some boats at Northern Shore, they lay at piers and you can’t use them to get from one island to the other. And the other smaller boats are on the island, stored away for the Winter. But in Second Life you can fly (flying is allowed) or you can walk (like I did) or you consider the sea being frozen and can skate. Whatever you do, exploring is fun.

Impressions of Northern Shore – Skärgården (3)

Some houses look very comfortable and cosy admist the snow, a paradise for those who love to take pictures in Second Life. Also some outdoor spots invite to sit and watch. I made some pictures using the provided windlight setting. It makes Northern Shore cold and you almost begin to freeze just by the visual impression. It is snowing and you can’t look far. For other pictures I used a brighter windlight setting – Annan Adored Realisitic ambient.

Impressions of Northern Shore – Skärgården (4)

I enjoyed my visit to Nothern Shore a lot and took many pictures. Thank you Elvira for creating this peaceful sim and for sharing it publicly.

Landmark to Northern Shore

Simploring 2019 (130) Aradia

Inspired by some pictures I saw at SL Destinations I picked “Aradia” for my simploring tour on Thursday, November 21st. Aradia is a moderate homestead owned by Drakonia Aradia (ladyonia).

Aradia – overview

The landmark description is quite romantic:

Open up your wings, and fly
to me, you better watch the
currents, open up your heart
and come to me, theres
a river,theres a steam and plenty
of air to breath. Open up your
mind, and take hold of me,
ill be the bed that you lay on,
and the food you eat

At least the first line is from a song from Mariah Carey called “Butterfly”. And there are butterflies in Aradia, butterflies that carry laterns.
At the landing point you are welcomed by a parakeet, who talks permanently wishing you a good visit and inviting you to explore the place – which I did. Aradia consists of 10 islands (if I counted right). The islands are mostly flat and green with some single trees. The landing is on the largest island, which consists of a flat part and, opposed to the others islands, also of a large rock with a green high plateau. On the high plateau is a quite large round house and a chapel overlooking Aradia. On this island you find also a beach.

Impressions of Aradia (1) around the landing point, the beach, one of the latern butterflies, the round house

Aradia offers quite some places to relax, to enjoy some nature or peace or to chill with friends. You will come across many birds, there’re deers, squirrels, sheep, peacocks and other animals who liven up the scenery.

Impressions of Aradia (2)

Quite outstanding is a big stony hand. You can make yourself comfy in the palm and take a rest. On the center island you find a large open air dance area under trees.

Impressions of Aradia (3) One of several gazebos, the palm rest, and the dance area under trees

The village consists of a few houses, which are for rent. They are partly furnished and all arranged around a center fountain. And they look just cute. It is a world of it’s own, friendly and peaceful and to some extent pure fantasy – like the butterflies carrying laterns.

Impressions of Aradia (4) the village

I ended my exploring tour on the island with the stonehedge circle of stones. Sheeps are running around on this island and admist the stones is a harp (of course I tried it out). From there I returned to the landing point.

Impressions of Aradia (5)

Aradia is a picturesque peaceful fantasy. The houses look a bit like from a Walt Disney movie for me, simply cute. The whole atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful. Aradia is a nice place to chill or to meet with a friend or loved one. Thank you Drakonia Aradia (ladyonia) for providing your sim to the public.

P.S.: Aradia has changed now – it’s Winter 🙂

Landmark to Aradia
Flickr group for Aradia

Simploring 2019 (128) .:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland

For my simploring tour on Sunday, December 1st, I picked “.:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland” from SL Destinations.
.:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland, furtheron also shorter just Winterland, is an adult homestead owned by Phil Conners (philconners) and OdetteBK and it is their private home.

.:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland – overview

The landing point at Winterland is a bar waggon of an old train at Mt. Conners Station – although there’s no station. When you step out of the waggon you are in a Winter wonderland. Polar bears, deers and other animals liven up the white world.

Impressions of .:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland (1) – around the landing point

Winterland is an island embedded in a fitting sim surround. It offers a lot of nice places to cuddle and watch. There’re games and places to dance. In the center is a large cage with a huge Christmas tree inside. On my simploring tour I saw a place for the Thanksgiving dinner, I came across an ice scating area, I saw a carousel and a frozen waterfall. The castle right next to the landing point is not really accessible and not furnished. The large and the small gazebo are particular romantic for dancing or for enjyoing togetherness.

Impressions of .:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland (2) – the Christmas tree in the Cage / small ice Skating / Thanksgiving dinner / the carousel

Winterland is not overdone. It’s playful and peaceful and there’re some nice spots to simply enjoy or to have fun. The private residence of Phil and Odette is seperated from the public part of the sim by some hills and you don’t see it if you don’t zoom out. It goes without saying that you should respect the privacy.

Impressions of .:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland (3) – ice Skating area, the small and the large gazebo / the frozen waterfall

For photographers the train with the steam engine is a great background but there’re more spots for taking pictures. If you seek a smaller, more private and not overcrowded place, Winterland is the place for you to visit. I enjoyed my visit to .:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland. Thank you Phil Conners (philconners) and OdetteBK for sharing most of your sim with the public.

Landmark to .:Mt. Conners Station:.Winterland

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