Harper's Big Closet Includes a Pendant Box Ceiling Lamp From Mission Home Store

Monday, February 15, 2016

MHS Booth @ Home and Garden Expo 2013 in Second Life

Friday, May 24, 2013
Home and Garden Expo in Second Life that benefits Relay for Life for American Cancer Socienty has opened its door today on April 24th 2013!.

Please visit the expo, explore, shop and donate. It is all for a great cause!

This year I wanted to participate but did not want to phrase my participating in the form of a store or sales booth. Instead I created a conceptual build. This is my own personal choice and no better than what others did with their lots. At the Expo we all do our thing and enjoy sharing and working for a good cause.

My building is called Post-Architecture. I tried to envision what might happen to architecture if we no longer needed shelter, we no longer needed the typical rooms in our homes (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen etc.), in a world where gravity did not really pull objects down, a life where people could fly and never slept or exercised. When architecture loses all the functions it serves, what does it become? A vanity? A whim? Or perhaps an entity that never materializes or takes solid concrete shape...

In a way, I wanted to communicate that perhaps the building would be stuck in a state of flux between the blueprint and the reality -- it would perhaps fold in on itself like an accordion. Or perhaps build and rebuild itself creating wrinkles and folds.

The concept is undoubtedly influenced by some of the ideas of Jorn Utson, the architect of the Sydney Opera House and Lebbeus Wood whose work I first encountered as a teen and to this stay plays a strong influence in my artwork. I also wanted to depart from my usual very traditional style builds and explore and share the results.

In the midst of my excitement to do something new, I forgot that our theme this year was Greek Villages from the Mediterranean. When it came time to install my booth, I felt it was my duty to tie my area to the rest of the theme. So you will notice a little Greek neighborhood and a little outside living area as a part of my build. In the end I think it all fit well together.

Please visit the Home Expo and make donations or purchases. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

If you would like to visit my booth, specifically, the slurl is:

MHS Stall at Home And Garden Expo 2013

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Monday, August 27, 2012
Hello everyone.

After doing several events back to back between March and July, I needed to take some time off and rest and spend some time away from SL.

I also used to this time to think what the next steps are for me as a creator in SL. Do I want to continue running the Mission Home Store? I actually keep it open these days more as a public service than a profit generator as the sales do not really warrant such a large store. I do not however feel comfortable abandoning my followers and leave them without a source for great furniture.

I am currently working on creating a classroom simulation for a client. It is going to take most of my time during September. If it all goes as planned, look for a link to the project here on this blog at the end of September.

Until then I will be back to being quiet and working on my own.

Thanks for staying with me. Let's see what interesting projects the rest of this year and 2013 will bring -- that is if the universe does not end :-)

RFL Designer Sim Award

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I am a much humbled recipient of the Designer Sim Award at this year's Relay for Life. What a treat it's been working on this project with such wonderful organizers and participants.

I am speechless but much honored and thankful that my build came out well and it was well received.

Go Relay!

Relay for Life Exhibit: July 14-July 18th 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

My latest contribution to the Second Life community comes in the form of a half simulator build for Relay for Life 2012.

The Concept of the Build:

I have a half sim exhibit that's dedicated to my grandmother and her fight with cancer in the early eighties. This year is the thirtieth anniversary of her passing. I wanted to build an exhibit that not only was a monument of sorts but a storytelling device that builds awareness of what cancer patients and families of cancer patients go through.

The story is told from the point of view of a child, an 8 year old who probably was younger still at heart when he lost his grandmother.

The eight vignettes are enveloped in Greco Roman Columns and niches that provide a noble frame for what's going on inside each vignette. This signifies the demi god like characteristics of cancer patients -- fighting forces of nature, time and pain.

The vignettes also elevate and separate what's happening in each vignette from the surroundings without completely disconnecting it all from each other. This signifies the basic truth of how we lead these insular lives and experiences as individuals and families but we are all in this together and no matter what happens in that vignette (life), it all fits into something bigger and beautiful.

The larger build in red signifies this bigger world around us, the universe, an envelope, a cache, it ends where it begins and thefore is endless. It could be tiled on forever and so is the nature of my design.

The two globes with light shining out from them signify this world and the nonphysical world spinning to their own beat but mirroring each other perhaps in reverence much like two dancers sharing the same dance floor.

The central tower signifies, eternal light, the singularity of spirit and the majestic perseverance of the soul knowing no boundaries limits or heights in this case as seen by the tower that seems to go forever into the sky and finally explodes out in rings in all directions defying ascent in a single axis and spread in all three instead.

To visit my exhibit, please teleport to the following slurl: 

Be a Part of the Exhibit & Share!
All vignettes except for one, invite the visitors to participate by posing in the display, taking photographs and e mailing them to me at steelskyblue at-sign gmail.com. I will be posting them to the flickr set I dedicated to this event at:

Here's the Slideshow for the Relay for Life Troy Vogel Exhibit Snapshots:
I went ahead and took a few myself to get things started.

It's time to RELAY FOR LIFE!

SL9B: Virtual Learning Spaces @ TXSTATE Booth

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I am proud to announce that my team at Texas State University - San Marcos has been once again invited to join the Second Life birthday celebrations in 2012! This year it is SL9B -- 9th birthday of Second Life. And what a great time it is to celebrate!

Second Life never looked better, performed better. Lindens chose not to host the event this year. This move sent a mixed message at first but it gave us, the community in SL, a chance to organize our own event and show the world that the residents of SL have a socially sound and strong community -- one robust enough to organize an event of this magnitude.

I must say the organization committee (Doctor Gascoigne. KT Syakumi. Diana Renoir. Honour Macmillan. Marianne McCann. Rails Bailey. Crap Mariner.) and Saffia Widdershins from the Prim Perfect magazine rallied the troops and pulled it all together in perfect timing and harmony. The celebrations exceed 20 sims and the entertainment schedule is jampacked!

The resident exhibits are a beautiful quilt of various backgrounds, artistic points of view and all walks of life that march on in Second Life. The exhibits show us the variety of ways SL can serve its users and how ultimately it is all about connecting and building community.

Here's a clip of the opening ceremony featuring Saffia's address to the SL9B community:

Below are some of the exhibits I have photographed during my explorations.(I am not done yet taking pictures, I will be adding to this set during this week)

Our exhibit features a 3D chart of sorts documenting how our team at Texas State University - San Marcos developed a simulation of a historically significant yet geographically remote village in New Mexico in Google Earth, Second Life, OpenSim and Unity Engine over the course of last few years.
The simulations created were used as a part of a hybrid online course taught at our university and the Second Life sim (txstate ii) was used as the main classroom where students and instructor met for lectures and class activities asynchronously and synchronously.

Below are some screen shots from our exhibit at the SL9B.

To teleport to our display please use the following slurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/DreamSeeker%20SL9B%20Devet/143/30/22

Presented at TXDLA and USLA Conference in April 2012

It's been a long time since my last post I apologize. I have been very busy in real life as well second life.

First off I got to present at two conferences in April in TXDLA and USDLA about our virtual learning spaces initiative. It was very exciting and stimulating and we received pretty good feedback on our presentation. Below is a copy of our presentation.

After that storm blew over, I had to work on getting ready for the Home & Garden Expo benefiting Relay for Life 2012.  Most of the work I did involved taking old designs and re-implementing them so they were less resource intensive. The effort paid off, most of my chairs went from 26 land impact to 7 or sometimes even less. Most light fixtures of mine are now 2-3 land impact max and they still look as good as ever.

I sculpted to the degree I considered to be still faithful to the original. I refuse to bend my creations beyond recognition just so that people can cram too many of them on their land. It is good to have houses with few furnishings, I do not want to see over-crowded mission homes.

The Home Expo gave me a chance to have a real deadline to get this work done by and also I was very lucky to get invited to the Prim Perfect Sim at the Expo. Prim Perfect crew were the perfect host and I felt very welcomed and walked away very happy.

This year the Home Expo had an insane number of sims and creators. The amount of content available was astounding and I must admit I did not get to see all of it due to my SL client crashing every 5 minutes ever since mesh was deployed and the last two updates to the Release Client seem to have introduced an infinite loop that maxes out the CPU on Macs and causes a crash. I guess I am going back to Imprudence Client.

Well that's not all. There's more, I will post about it in the next post.

Fashion for Life 2012: It's time!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I am proud to tell you all that I participated in this year's Fashion for Life event by building the sim named Volta hosted by the wonderful designer Sonatta Morales. Harper Beresford was the host and organizer of Fashion for Life in 2012 and she relied on a team of many others who made this event possible. Please look for a list of the organizers at the bottom of this post and links to the Fashion for Life Event Blog and Info pages.

First off, I was a little scared by the size of the project, a whole sim build that needs to be completed in less than two weeks and a space that will house a big store and twenty four other smaller stores all built according to pre-determined standards and specs. It all seemed too limiting and stressful at first. However I believe it is good to challenge one's self from time to time and see what you're made off. So I jumped in and accepted Harper's kind invitation.

They placed me on the Future wing of the 9 sims arranged in the shape of a plus sign. Sonatta Morales with her vintage fashions seemed a strange pick for the future and I think she too wondered when she found out... until I saw her work and she saw mine. I do believe that Sonatta and I are a match made in heaven. I rezzed my heart out to make her the fashion temple she was worthy of and she did an incredible job adapting to the building and bringing her own flair, details, props and of course brand new designs for Fashion for Life 2012. I have never worked with another creative soul with so much happy cooperation and mutual understanding and respect. She is wonderful.

Now the other designers were also wonderful. I never had one designer complain. They all moved in quietly, set up their own presence in the shells I created for them and the outcomes -- the stores are just lovely. I will post the stores with designers moved in onto my flickr account shortly and have them displayed here. For today, I am only posting the slideshow with the empty stores ready for designers.

The concept of the sim was future as I said above. However I did not imagine an all metal, sterile or worse dirty and post apocalyptic future. I imagined a neo deco future ripe with details, proportions -- a medley of everything I consider to be good from the past.

The moon in the background is the planet Melancholia veering close to our planet but we never know whether it just grazed past us giving us wonderful views or if it is going to collide with this world of beauty. The earth's crust has become unstable, revealing ashes, magma glowing through under the walkways and around the edges of the sim. Who knows what the future of this planet will be but in the meantime it's a lovely place to be. That's what I had in my mind when I built Volta.

Fashion for life is about Fashion so ultimately this event is not about my build, it is about the stores within the build and the wonderful creative designers that give us the purpose for the build. So with no further ado here's the sim layout and designer list:

Dream Seeker Volta for Fashion For Life 2012 Designer List:
1. Virtual Impressions
2. Madison’s Creations
3. SIGMA Jewels
4. Sascha’s Designs
5. Kunglers
6. Eclectica
7. G Field
8. My Precious Fashion House
9. Mohna Lisa Couture
10. Akeruka
12. Miamai
13. Sonatta Morales
14. Kakia Designs
15. Styles of Edo
16. EarthStones
17. Orage Creations
18. Xen’s Hats
19. Felicia’s Fashions
20. Blacklace Lingerie
21. Donna Flora
22. ::je suis…::
23. J.H. Couture
24. Alpha Auer
25. Jador Fashion

Here is the slurl to teleport to Volta:

Here's a slideshow of the Volta sim in FLickr:

Here's a youtube clip of me flying around in Volta just before designers moved in:

Finally here's the credits for all the wonderful people that worked on this project:

Harper Beresford (harperberesford at gmail.com)

Designer Liaison:
Bonadea Avedon
Designer Liaison and Raffle Coordinator:
Anne Daumig

Building Lead:
Syngen Sohmers (syngensohmers at gmail.com)

Cory Edo
DB Bailey
Grace Loudon
Anoron Hanson
Frederick Lancaster
Cierra Anatine
Nigel Riel
Rathmeous Dagger
Roscko Cobalt
Troy Vogel

Cameron69 Resident
Dream Seeker Estates Liaison:
Samantha Ohrberg

ACS/RFL liaison:
Stingray9798 Raymaker (stingray9798 at gmail.com)

Harper Beresford (harperberesford at gmail.com)
Efforts and funds committed to FFL go to support American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.  We are entirely volunteer driven and 100% of the funds raised are presented as a charitable donation to ACS from the residents of Second Life.

Full information about Fashion for Life 2012 can be accessed at:

Nepenthe House at Dunes of Costa Del Mar Estate is Complete

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A few months back Farris Fargis, a good friend of mine, approached me for building him a large house on his new island. I was honored that he thought of me though he had owned a copy of my Odaesan House and used it as his estate house for some time before packing it up and selling his island in 2010.

I accepted the project with some reservation as I find it more and more difficult to build large homes in SL, due to the fact that I think it's hard to make these large scale projects look real and/or sensible to the eye.

To some degree what I did with Odaesan House was in my mind a fluke, as in I got lucky back in 2006 when I built it. It somehow worked despite it's rambling size and the length of its front and rear facades.

This time Farris wanted something of a cross between the general style I build and the Hearst Castle. I started the project by first defining the outline of the landscape and topography as no one house can stand on its own without the land and setting it reciprocates. Once the island was better defined, it was time to "mass" the house into place. This is an exercise where I estimate the size, placement and volume of main living areas of the building using simple blocks. This allows me to get the sense of scale and helps me establish a balanced relationship with the setting I am working in -- namely the island.

After the massing stage, I started building small components of the house. At first I was a little stifled by all the freedom given to me by Farris as he pretty much had said, "oh do the fab job you always do, be creative, there are no boundaries". Any creative person that's worked on a big project knows that utmost freedom brings utmost pain as the project becomes a battle of wills with one's own creative side. On one hand you want to finish and hand over the project to the owner, on the other, your creative side wants to explore further and see if there's a better solution to the problem at hand.

As part of the house started to take shape, I rolled back the project at least once if not more times to remove some of the elements. My fear always was that due to the large size of the house, the building would look like a mosque or temple. I did not want to build a mausoleum, I wanted to build a house.

Finally in November and December the house started to move forward at a pretty steady pace and I worked about 1-2 hours a day on it slowly chipping at the problem from various angles. In late December and early January I completed the house and handed it to the owner -- furnished and decorated.

Farris wanted to use his own furniture as well as the furnishings I placed in the house. It was an interesting exercise in design as I had to let go off of having absolute control over everything. Nevertheless, we worked together seamlessly and got along great and I would like to think that the end result is to Farris' liking.

Below are some snapshots of the house. The house is open to the public for visiting but if you do visit please remember that this is someone else's house and be courteous please.

The SLURL for the house is: