Fantasy Faire: ease the waiting

There is now a little over two weeks to go before the largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life opens its gates once more, for ten days of commerce, special events, live music concerts and more, all to help raise funds for Relay for Life of Second Life.

Thursday, April 23rd 2015 and will run through until Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 inclusive, the Faire will welcome everyone with a love of fantasy the creators the performers, the designers, the enthusiasts and curious. Across ten themed regions, there will be much to explore, to see and do – but it is still some two weeks away before we can all do so.

So how can the time be made to pass a little easier as the anticipation mounts? The Faire’s organisers have offered a 5-point plan to Faire Happiness:

1. Follow the Fantasy Faire blog

As much as bloggers across the community try to keep pace with news and updates, the best place to get the latest information really is from the Faire’s own blog pages. So if you’ve not bookmarked it or are not following it for updates – now is a good time to start: there’s going to be lots of news and information flowing through it in the coming weeks.

2. Follow Fantasy Faire on Social Media

Fantasy Faire has its own Facebook page –  and the organisers would love to get at least 500 likes on the page before the Faire opens, and you can keep up with news by checking on it.

Don’t forget as well that Fantasy Faire is also active on Twitter, Plurk, Pinterest and Flickr!

3. Take the Why I Relay Challenges

contact Catalina Staheli and become a part of the Why I relay portrait challenge - and perhaps feature in a special exhibition at the Faire!
contact Catalina Staheli and become a part of the Why I relay portrait challenge – and perhaps feature in a special exhibition at the Faire!

We all have our reasons for Relaying, and the Faire already has a challenge open to bloggers  – whether they apply to be an official blogger or not – to write about why they Relay.

However, if you feel the words escaping, you, but still wish to express why you Relay in a picture, Fantasy Faire volunteer blogger Catalina Staheli is offering a challenge of her own. She’s offering anyone who contacts her in-world to arrange an appointment with them and then take their photo as they hold a card expressing their personal reason on why they Relay.  Catalina says of the idea:

This past month, Fashion 4 Life jumped in and all of the Miss SL candidates offered their most couture looks incorporated into the reasons why they relay. I’m going to issue a challenge! I wanna see Fantasy Faire blow them out of the water with amazing looks, outfits, and designs as you show why you relay for life. Let’s see what you can do to showcase just how amazing, imaginative, vivid, and colourful Second Life can be!

Those portraits taken so far can be seen on Catalina’s Flickr stream, and she’s offering the service free of charge, and all participants will receive full perm copies of the their own portraits to use howsoever they wish.

What’s more at least some of the pictures might very well make an appearance in the Fairelands themselves. A possible exhibition of portraits is being planned – but if you’d like your own image to be included, be sure to drop Catalina a line sooner rather than later; April 20th has been mentioned as the deadline for the pictures that want to make it into an exhibition.

4. Sign-up To Help with the Faire’s Literary Festival

Deep within the 2015 Fairelands will lie an enchanted glade, the home to a series of literary activities. Stage readings, workshops, story-telling sessions, discussions groups and more, all focused on the theme of fantasy will be found here. But, in order for it to be found, it needs bards and poets, speakers of words, tellers of tales and weavers of verbal magic.

There is an open invitation to all who enjoy spinning a yarn, telling a tale, reading a story, reciting poetry and more, to join in this literary event, a new feature for Fantasy Faire. If you would be interested in doing so, please complete this simple form, and the Storytellers of the Faire will be in contact with you.

5. Nominate Your Choice for the King, Queen and Chancellor  of the Faire!

When it comes to Fantasy, we all have our favorite characters. Some may be good – Gandalf or Harry Potter, Belle or Menolly.  Or maybe we love the dark side – Maleficent or Steerpike. Or maybe we enjoy the conflicted – Jaime Lannister or Mrs Coulter. Now is your chance to nominate those you most enjoy, good, bad, conflicted or others, to be the Faire’s King and Queen.

And there’s an election for Chancellor as well, for characters from fantasy who have no elements of human appearance. So nominate your choice today, be it Archimedes the Owl, or Ratty, or Pegasus or perhaps even Smaug himself. The choice is yours!

The winning human characters will be crowned King and Queen of the Faire during the fabulous Fantasy Faire Ball, which will take place on Friday, May 1st, between 17:00 – 19:00 SLT, and will also see the announcement of the Faire’s Chancellor!

Find out more and complete the nomination form on the Fantasy Faire blog.

Further Information and Related Links

2015 viewer release summaries: week 14

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, April 5th, 2015

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version updated to version on March 24th (formerly the Avatar Hover Height viewer) download page, release notes, wiki page, AHH overview
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • HeatWave RC viewer version, released on April 3rd – core updates: the same fixes and improvements as the Maintenance release, with an additional fix for a URI parsing issue (download and release notes)
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version .7.27.300323 on March 31 – core updates: multiple fixes and improvements (download and release notes)
    • Tools Update project viewer version updated on March 30th – core updates: builds Windows and Mac viewers using the new tool chain and autobuild process and also incorporates the revised viewer log-in screen (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Attachment fixes project viewer (Project BigBird), version, released on April 1 – core updates: a number of fixes for various attachment issues (download and release notes)
    • Avatar Layer limits project viewer updated to version – allows users towear up to 60 wearable layers (jackets, shirts, tattoo, alpha, etc.) in any combination  (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers



  • Cool VL Viewer Stable branch updated to version, Experimental to version and Legacy branch to, all on April 4th (release notes)

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

The art of Masquerades and Spirals

Shifting Waves Gallery - Masquerade Snowbear
Shifting Waves Gallery – Masquerade Snowbear

I recently had the opportunity to visiting a couple of galleries within Second Life  which are owned and operated by two talented individuals who use them to display their own unique artwork.

The Shifting Waves Gallery is operated by Masquerade Snowbear, and comprises two linked skyboxes. The first of these presents Masquerade’s work over two levels – the lower “ground” level, and an upper mezzanine reached by a single open frame wooden stair case; the second is a large single level space around the walls of which Masquerade’s more recent work is displayed.

Shifting Waves Gallery - Masquerade Snowbear
Shifting Waves Gallery – Masquerade Snowbear

“I make my art for everyone, not a particular age or clique,” Masquerade says of his work, “I want everyone to enjoy some aspect of my art and hope its seen by everyone.”

His art very much reflects this view, covering as it does a wide range of subjects and styles, rather than focusing on one or two particular areas. This means that as you wander through the gallery, you’ll come across landscapes, portraits, still life pieces, ocean front pictures, indoor studies, and so on, each one of them beautifully finished and presented in a way that not only catches the eye, but draws the observer right into it.

Shifting Waves Gallery - Masquerade Snowbear
Shifting Waves Gallery – Masquerade Snowbear

Post-processing features large in Masquerade’s work, and to good effect. The pictures here have all be variously worked on such that each one is truly unique; some retain much of the look and feel of a photograph – in some cases perhaps an ageing photo – while others have the look and feel of a painting, be it watercolour or oil. All of them are enticing, and some are quite haunting in their beauty; during my visit, I found it hard to pull myself away from Shadopan Monastery, such is the ethereal beauty within it.

All of the pieces in the gallery are available to buy, and are very modestly priced; any one of them would be sure to grace any home.

The Spiral Art Gallery - Spiral Silverstar
The Spiral Art Gallery – Spiral Silverstar

Spiral Silverstar’s art is altogether of a different kind, although no less captivating than Masquerades, and he presents it within his own art space, The Spiral Art Gallery. A long-term Second Life resident, Spiral’s work encompasses 2D and 3 D art and machinima, and he often participates in art competitions and challenges in all three mediums.

For those who, like me, enjoy fractal art, his gallery space offers a special treat, as within it one can find traditional fractal art, fractal kaleidoscope art, moving, layered fractal art, 3D fractals and more, all presented in a light, airy space, utilising a building design by Yumok Latte which is popular among gallery owners.

The Spiral Art Gallery - Spiral Silverstar
The Spiral Art Gallery – Spiral Silverstar

All of the pieces on display here have their individual beauty, and most feature some form of motion, be it pattern-based, layered, or both. Unsurprisingly, but nonetheless quite beautifully, some of the pieces take you deep into traditional Mandelbrot forms, their patterns at times taking a hypnotic hold over the observer. Other pieces offer Droste effects which are again quite amazing in their complexity and execution, while still others offer quite marvellous scenes which verge on the surreal or the abstract in the most amazing ways.

Spiral offers his pieces for sale, again at very modest prices; so much so that those with a deep passion for fractal art could well find themselves repeatedly dipping into their account balances!

In addition, just across the plaza from the main gallery, Spiral has his “Freebies and Bargains” gallery. This offers a number of Spiral’s fractal pieces for sale at – as the name suggests – bargain prices, and a series of animated GIFs which are free to people wishing to take one home.

The Spiral Art Gallery - Spiral Silverstar
The Spiral Art Gallery – Spiral Silverstar

All told, both Shifting Waves Gallery and The Spiral Art Gallery offer visitors the opportunity to see (and purchase) pieces by two of SL’s finest artists, and both made for an enjoyable and eye-catching visit, so be sure to add them to your list!

Related Links