Monthly Archives: February 2012

Random Modeling Encounter in the Garden

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The Songbird Garden, before the re-modeling grand opening at the beginning of December 2011.

Owning my garden shop in Second Life, which has flourished so much from being just a mere flower-ridden cottage at the bottom floor of our Balu Island residence to being revised and raised up in the sky as some astral space observatory-themed shop and now finally transforming into the sky garden I’d always dreamed of, but never had the resources to develop, we find a plentiful amount of walks of life strolling through the Songbird Garden. Our garden was complete at the end of November 2011 and ever since, some bystanders come to glance at a shop that has more than just general department store-like windows and life-sized photographs of products but an actual garden beyond it to further demonstrate why it’s indeed the Songbird Garden.

I’m proud of this store conjured from my own dreams because it’s indeed something I created all on my own and am so happy to share this vision with the rest of Second Life, and even my parents who can feel my love for nature through this platform. The shop had gone through so many incarnations and this final version represents achieving my dream of having the willpower and resources to build it, and I’m grateful for the positivity I was given every step of the way. My friend encouraged me and sat with me through the many, many days of building this sky garden, one grass strand at a time and made me feel empowered enough to pull off such a tedious task.

In Songbird Garden, you can meander through our garden houses, one offering sound products and the other avatar shapes, which are named after various plants, trees, and flowers and inspired by the lore of each. Even in the back of the semi-greenhouse you can spot new shapes sprouting from beyond. Our shop has bloomed into an ideal place for hunt events to take place, hosts of such hunts love to see gifts hidden beneath the flowers we plant in our garden as part of the hunt itself. If you find the hunt item beneath this particular clued flower, you receive a gift from our shop and it’s brought in quite a crowd.
From Neko girls crawling on all fours sniffing around from the hunt item beneath the trees – we currently have a “Hollywood Walk of Fame Hunt” going on right now where we chose Snow White (Yes, she has her own star!) and hide the object under a lush apple tree to “The Penitent Hunt“, celebrated through the purple heart gift box under the towering lily of the valleys, a flower relevant to religious repentance- to child avatars browsing the free monthly goodies on our table, we’ve literally seen every type of avatar there is in Second Life.


As for activities though? While developing a new product for our shop in our cottage at the edge of the garden, our manager and I spoke over voice chat until we noticed a dark-haired man lingering beneath the tree. We could hear the shots of his camera and thought perhaps he was only taking photographs of our garden, flattering in itself. Shortly enough, he brought a few models with him, girls who sported outfits from wedding gowns to light-hearted, pin-up dresses, one model even wore an avatar shape she’d purchased at our shop previously.

I’d only been to the bigger gardens such as Alirium where people took any sorts of pictures (most photographers enjoy using a green screen and making a backdrop in Adobe Photoshop) but only few places in Second Life are so impeccably worthy to receive actual attention from a photographer with models and I felt honored to be one of them. Our store manager, and real life friend, asked me how it made me feel and I could say, “Nothing short of proud, I’m so glad we built this garden that everyone enjoys spending time in, whether to listen to the gentle Cecile Corbel’s harp over our self-made radio station, to shop around, or to explore beyond the store deep into the garden and perhaps take a picture. Our shop should feel honored now.”

I never thought I’d have any professional photographer or long-time models for various Second Life products meander in and sit amongst our purple and pink-peppered wildflowers nor rest near the lofty tree and pose, but I think it’s safe by this point to say I’ve seen every sort of activity here at the Songbird Garden and will eagerly search every store and blog to discover our garden photographed that evening. Second Life is the only platform in which I could develop something from my dreams and overall imagination and transform it into a complete reality to share with everyone who wishes to traipse through my garden reverie while listening to the fairy-like sounds of Studio Ghibli films, and I’m grateful for this.

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

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Fat KittyCats at Mardi Gras

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With the hints dropped to each breeder through the KittyCats Addicts group notices hinting at a special event of some sort occurring this week as the Valentine’s Day event wraps up, KittyCats continues its Mardi Gras-themed celebrations by surprising breeders who receive KittyCat boxes between 12AM on February 21st to February 23rd. With the in-world Mardi Gras Fashion Parade hosted by BOSL on Sunday featuring a Love Leopard – Ambrosia float made by KittyCats Artist Callie Cline, the special “costume” hinted at by Equinox Pinion seemed so apparent yet no one in the KittyCats community could figure out what the specialty awaiting breeders at midnight was yet each eagerly awaited and the suspense peaked when breeder and Too Adorable auctioneer Ifoni Kembla received the first special female box of the event.

KittyCats is only a few minutes into this event, and a few KittyCats boxes have popped up with names alluding to Mardi Gras yet no boxes have been opened at this time as it takes 30 minutes for a box to open. As the day approaches, KittyCats users hope to be able to obtain one of these gifts, which is chosen by random when breeding the KittyCats in this time frame. The special KittyCats are nothing more than costumes, decked out in what should be a very festive green, yellow, and purple display of Mardi Gras spirit. If a breeder wishes to remove the costume due to finally attaining their dream KittyCat, he or she must submit a support ticket and they’ll gladly remove the colorful wardrobe.

The second part of the Mardi Gras Fashion Parade in-world will be hosted by Opium at 4pm SLT.

  • Update 11:32AM SLT: Kitten Longmeadow on the KittyCats forum with the following text regarding the Mardi Gras KittyCats: ” They will have a costume over their real stats, which means if you have a Siamese Blue born it will still have the Siamese Blue trait as the first trait, it will just wear the special costume from the “special” KittyCatS. So you will not loose any traits you would have get with a normal born KittyCatS.”

One year with KittyCats (And with Callie Cline!)

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KittyCats Developer and Artist Callie Cline can only begin to describe the last year of KittyCats as “wow,” as the community has grown from 300 people at the grand opening to several thousands now partaking in KittyCats and its one-year birthday event, adorning KittyCats and supporting their hobby through daily KittyCats auctions, forum activities, and get-togethers. With the gradual growth of the KittyCats group transforming this once small breedable community into one of the most populated and active in Second Life, Callie adores those who enjoy the feline breedable, stating that the KittyCats community continues to flourish with generosity, support, and kindness toward other breeders’ endeavors no matter how large the user base expands, and has demonstrated this throughout the last year.

The one-year anniversary of KittyCats epitomizes not only the vision to create the most aesthetically alluring line of breedables in Second Life from Callie Cline’s imagination (and by the way, her favorite KittyCats’ face is the American Shorthair Silver Tabby, further revealed by the KittyCats homepage banner) come to reality, but the growing friendship of three individuals who entered this business endeavor, Artist Callie, Scripter Dennis, and Web Equinox. Callie added, reflecting on this past year of KittyCats, “I’m super happy to have met Equinox and Dennis through this virtual platform, people that I’d never have met in my real life any other way can now share a dream and make it happy through SL, and through it, have an opportunity to express our innermost goals and dreams through KittyCats, it’s pretty awesome and have met so many precious people along the way.”

Despite the abundant amount of KittyCats breeders who loyally remain active in this community over the year, even the eldest breeders sincerely welcome those intrigued by their hobby, rediscovering KittyCats through the fresh eyes of the newcomers. I can vouch for this too, as I begun collecting KittyCats in August of last year but had neither bred nor entered the community until October (I literally kept my army of seven boy kitties with breed off, for display in my in-world shop), where I stumbled upon an auction at Catnip or GTFO (Now known as Catnip at the Borough) while exploring the sim for yet another kitty to add to my all-boy shop collection. Almost immediately, I  was greeted by both the auctioneer and the audience of both interested bidders and seasoned breeders and was captivated by the amount of energy they evoked for KittyCats. Watching the auctioneer elaborate on the genetics and breeding tactics used on each KittyCat panel and the bidders communicating with her over their shared passion brought me into this tight-knit community and I haven’t looked back, that night the most senior of breeders openly shared a wealth of warmth and knowledge with me. I’m sure there are a prevalent amount of stories of other avatars pursuing KittyCats not just for the striking aesthetics given to each KittyCat by Callie but for the community’s apparent love for both the breedables and the community.

“I LOVE our community. Truly it was our goal from day one to foster a community which would be kind, our goal for a strong community was as high as having a well-working cat. That was our dream, truly,” Callie urges newcomers to get involved in the community that has blossomed so much from the beginning, a first priority of the KittyCats team who too likes to partake in community discussions and activities rather than seem like a separate, invisible body, “Anyone new to KittyCats should join our groups and jump in, our cats love water and we love to answer questions and have fun!”

(Courtesy of Callie Cline)(Courtesy of Callie Cline)Callie Cline, listed by Maxim magazine as #95 of the 100 Hottest Women in 2007 (And first Second Life avatar to ever hold this honor!) and former spokes-avatar for Pontiac, deems the KittyCats community the most wonderful group she’s partaken in and awaits this next year of KittyCats, beginning with the Love Leopards – her favorite collection thus far – and Birthday kitties in celebration of KittyCats’ first anniversary.

Bestowing excitement upon the KittyCats party celebrating the first year hosted by Developer Equinox Pinion, Callie Cline continues to unite the community through her unending enthusiasm, lively personality, and kindness, inspiring KittyCats fans whether through this birthday celebration, the KittyCats forum, or the KittyCats Addicts chat. Callie embraces that the group’s connection is on a deeper level to each KittyCats collector, a unification that Callie cherishes, “Over the last year, I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that we all want love and we all want a connection with others and our world, and that no matter what, we’re so alike in our basic desires for that. When we love and hope for the best in each other we get way more than we could ever imagine, and the fact that this can happen in a virtual world through pixelated cats is thrilling.”

Beyond the ever-growing community that holds this breedable strong, KittyCats has redefined the term ‘breedable’ across the grid with its advanced, cutting-edge mechanics and an overall sophisticated breeding system. The site for KittyCats too expands from more than just a site to garner general information about the available traits to the curious, but automatically hosts a free pedigree for each KittyCat born. The pedigree reveals a family tree for the KittyCat, stemming back to the select kitty’s grandparents and showing each one’s traits and owner. KittyCats owners can further customize their kitties perusing the main store with their kitty of choice and selecting from a wide array of collars, hats, and the very newly-introduced vests after your KittyCat has pounced onto your shoulder or into your arms to be cuddled, ready to travel with you. Even those don’t have their own KittyCat can pet and play with the kitties, interacting with others besides their owner. Over the year, KittyCats has undergone plenty of upgrades to both enhance and expand their abilities and interactions with others, each of these features scripted by the talented Dennis, who maintains all of the coding for these unconventional breedables.

With a plethora of diverse, beautifully-designed cat breedable offerings, a development team focused on uniting the community and promoting kindness, and plenty of breeders celebrating the one-year anniversary of KittyCats beneath an outdoor woodland canvas dotted with colorful balloons, live music, and kitties offering birthday hats, I hope that KittyCats continues to flourish throughout Second Life and experience plenty more birthdays in the future!

Residing in my in-world cottage with my new siamese flame kitten adoption perched on my shoulder, Rainbow Brite, named for her recessive yet startling rainbow prism eyes.

Stay tuned for future KittyCats features, including a glance at KittyCats’ ingenious scripter behind this breedable!

KittyCats One-Year Anniversary & Valentine Event

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With teasers released hours before unmasking some of the mysteries of the KittyCats launch event, players partaking in this Second Life breedable community flocked to their KittyCats group chats to hype up the release even more, still puzzled about what KittyCats Lead Designer Callie Cline had in store for them at 12AM PST. It seemed almost like a virtual camping out in pajamas with your friends party within this large community, waiting for the main store to re-open with the surprises that KittyCats support staff continued to tease members with through their main group chatroom, followed by plenty of wink faces, hinting at different guesses residents proposed to the staff about the event yet to come. 😉

What makes the KittyCats breedable community so lucrative is that it’s not only a tightly-knit yet populated community but the breedable cats themselves are aesthetically beautiful, with an enthusiastic development and design team actively working constantly and partaking in community events with guest appearances. There are auctions at all hours of the day, with auctioneers selling off KittyCats in a dozen panels in two hours per auctioning session, and people willing to offer a bountiful amount of money for the dream cat of their choice. Money seems an afterthought in this community as just the other day at an auction, an avid collector spent the equivalent of $400 USD on a ‘dud’ cat bred with a recessive fur. This was only a dud and it shocked the rest of the audience hanging on the edge of their virtual lilypad seats, watching a bidding war unfold over two girls desiring this dud KittyCat in hopes of breeding out the recessive fur hiding beneath it.

12:11AM PST struck and the KittyCats Main Store opened its e-doors, I attempted to flock in with a friend, eager to get a taste of what the KittyCats team had been hyping all day. We discovered a wide array of pastel-colored kitties called “Love Leprecats,” spotted in white and black lip vector art and in bright colors, the rare cats were the rainbow-colored ones in the center, their colors called “ambrosia.” Each KittyCat went for $750L (About the equivalent of $3 USD) and people bought them by the dozens in hopes of garnering the full collection, as every Love Leprecat purchased was given in a random color and the ambrosia ones appeared a rarer odd than the others, naturally the KittyCats chat flooded with people asking to trade duplicates or offering to buy the ambrosia cat for extreme prices from other players.

Chaotic at best, the KittyCats Main Store lagged and the region filled up, closing due the overpopulation of people within the zone. A few moments later, Callie Cline sent an invitation to a second, much quieter location, she had been able to put down a small KittyCats vendor on the boardwalk of the Mango Yacht Club. I quickly headed over there, unwilling to tolerate the lag of the main store anymore as my avatar floated around uncontrollably due to the severe population issues in the store that KittyCats wasn’t ready for.

Within moments I’d purchased my very own Love Leprecat, nearly lag-free, and acknowledged some of the familiar faces nearby – I saw an auctioneer from Juice Berry Farms and the lucky girl who went home with the jaw-droppingly expensive dud from the other night, among others. Callie was also there to greet KittyCats lovers traveling to the yacht club in search of Leprecats and a lag-free zone. Both zones quieted down soon though as people successfully purchased their boxes of breedables and retreated back to their Second Life homes. The chat spam turned from “OMG!!” to “Does anyone want to trade a Lemon Leprecat for an Apple Leprecat?” and the chat continued to scroll, beyond anyone’s capability to read everything at once being said in the KittyCats Addicts group.

Despite retrieving my Love Leprecat easy at this satellite location, I sauntered around the Mango Yacht Club, located on mainland – meaning it’s on an actual continent created by Linden Labs versus an island in the vast expanse. I viewed the boats of all varieties from wealthy users fortunate enough to obtain a spot for their boat, a wide array of yachts dotted the sea’s canvas and a country club, resort house, and swimming pool resided not too far away. With my two KittyCats breedables acquired earlier held by my avatar, I explored the club that Callie Cline belongs to while in the background witnessing the spam of chat from people complimenting the KittyCats team, wishing the breedable community a happy one-year anniversary, and others avidly trying to trade Leprecats with others. A hyped launch that exceeded its crowd’s expectations and a rainbow matrimony of KittyCats resulted from this event with an abundant turnout despite the late hour, no hour appears too late for Second Life breedable members to camp out KittyCats with friends they’ve met through the hobby and eagerly trade with others throughout the night.