Posts Tagged 'flowers'

Time out to smell the flowers

mermaid sprinkler

red canna lilyI’m finding life a bit stressful these days. There is a lot happening, and a lot of it is not always positive. As a “small” example – there’s another borderline Category 4/5 hurricane aimed at the US Virgin Islands. Why is this of interest to me, you may ask. Long before the term “bff” was in vogue, I had a bff from 1st grade on. She moved to St Croix and made her life there. I’m not sure that we are BFF anymore but I am sure that I still care about her and her family greatly. I remember when Hurricane Hugo hit St Croix in 1989 and she and her daughter had to come back to NJ to live for several weeks. There was no power, no water, just disaster all over the island. Her husband stayed there and was part of all the cleanup efforts. St Croix was spared the worst of Irma, and Jose, but now the reports sound as if it may be Hugo all over again.

We here in NJ were supposed to be side-swiped by Jose today. large dahliasI decided to work from home instead of trying to drive to Corporate amid winds and rain. As it happens, it’s lovely here today. Although it’s overcast, it’s warm, and there is that lovely pre-storm moist breeze blowing through all the open windows, and the air smells of open sky. I’m loving it but it does make it a tad difficult to concentrate on the strategy plan I am supposed to be composing. The breeze evokes memories of summer days down the shore before a storm rolled in – birds perched on the wires a la Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and bike riding in the cool air and sitting in the kitchen emailing to my St Croix friend as my young son read on the living room floor.

orange canna lilyI was sure that we were going to have lots of rain, and that my flowers would be washed away. I took some more photos of the garden because I wasn’t sure there’d be much left. If you’d told me years ago that I’d spend my time taking pictures of flowers, I’d have thought you were crazy. Because taking pictures of flowers is crazy, no? Many many MANY years ago we went out to California to visit my aunt and uncle. I have always felt extremely close to my aunt even though I almost never see her, but I didn’t have much of a relationship with my uncle. Again – didn’t see much of him, what was important to him was not important to me. For instance – he loved photography. He loved to take close-up pictures of flowers. I mean REALLY CLOSE UP. CLOSER. Weird, right? And he had them framed and hung about the house. Pink mandevillaI just didn’t ‘get it’ at all.

Well, here I am, taking pictures of flowers, cropping them, enlarging them, sharing them. *smile* I guess I’m weird, too, yes? I find such peace and joy when I look at flowers and plants and water and rocks. Nature. Nature brings me joy and peace. I know it can be violent and deadly, but it’s those moments of serenity that heal my soul.

So much to do, and so much happening that is out of my control. I’m not very good at accepting that there are things out of my control. *smile* But tomorrow is Erev Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year (well, one of FOUR Jewish new years) and thank goodness that is one of the absolute stops I give myself. No data loads, no strategy plans, no bills, no rushing here, being there. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m looking at flowers.

butterfly in flower

I’m not the only one enjoying the flowers

dual pic tree and hibiscus

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Fleur de Calli


I spent a LOT of time this weekend in my garden – cleaning the beds, weeding, pruning bushes, pruning an ailing Japanese maple, planting perennials. I came inworld in the evening for friends and music. Calli fits the bill for both friends AND music – she is one of my favorite DJs, spinning tunes at Tribeca and Fogbound regularly, as well as other locales. But with gardening on my mind, I remembered that I never mentioned Calli’s OTHER venture – besides her fantastic photography and DJing. We can now enjoy Fleur de Calli, a lovely little flower shop in Puli.

It was early March when the shop opened. Still too gray and cold and miserable to be in my organic garden. Calli tp’d me into the shop and immediately I felt more relaxed and cheerful. FLOWERS!!!! 🙂 Beautiful orchids in graceful pots. You can change the color of the pots to suit your decor or mood.

I found the white flower in the corner to be extremely striking. I asked Calli about it and she told me that it was the result of a mis-click when creating. Quite a fortuitous misclick, I would say!

So the next time you need a hostess gift, or a little pick-me-up for yourself, or even just a visit to a clean, well-built space, drop by Fleur de Calli for your flower power.

Defiance

In MY gardenI’m going to buy a sim.
I’m going to fill it with flowers, trees, bushes, grass.
All the textures are going to be 1024 x 1024.
Every plant will be made of flexi prims.
The colors will be warm. Not a gray wall in sight.
There will be beaches.
There will be meditative gardens with sculptures.
It will be crammed with things pleasing to my eye.
Bamboo and I will sit amid the flowers and be happy.
I don’t care if you lag.
I don’t care if you can’t move.
It’s my sim.
And we’re doing it my way.

Puttering in the Garden

trees in planters
flowers for the tableI just can’t stay out of my garden. I think about the landscaping all the time, wondering what I could change, what might make a better atmosphere. I go there when I am stressed or upset. I try out new ideas. I’m learning so much about building and textures. Building new planters, mixing flower textures calms me.

planters edging the seating areaI have not been satisfied with the look of those columns. They are still so stark, imposing. I love the climbing roses but I still needed a little more softness in the view. I decided to try adding trees again, but this time soften the trees with flowers at the roots. Just a smattering of trees – nothing too regular. I went back to the weeping cherry, graceful, light, airy, but continuing with the overall vertical theme of the meeting area.

pink clematis on trellisI wanted more color, more softness closer to the seats as well. My original thought was for large trellises covered with flowers, but I did not want to block sight lines to the speakers. So I created a small trellis with pink clematis. I brought my trial-size planter over to see how it looked. As I moved it about to check color and shape, I realized that I actually liked it as it was. I decided to bring the outer circle into the seating area by using the outer flower boxes to flank the new trellis planters. That added something new and different in both shape and color but pulled the outside in, connecting them.

new flowers for podiumI’ve also made several different planters so that I can put “fresh” flowers at the podium each week. *grin* I know, I am hopelessly out of control. I need to get some flowers and take some pictures so I can make textures so I can make MORE flowers for the podium planter. Yeah, it’s an addiction for sure. Someone has created a monster…… 🙂

My Day Job: Grounds Crew

birds' eye view

flower box and tree2Sigh. I don’t seem to have much luck with gardening for work. J gives with one hand, takes with the other. A few weeks ago I mentioned she gave me a sandbox, flowers, plants, EVERYTHING and told me to go plant. And I did. I will make this painful and sad story very short: J told me she had to take pillars2down that sim. In other words – bye, bye garden. LOL. Can you believe it????? Okay, J was totally apologetic and sorry. But still – yet another garden bit the virtual dust. This is a bit better than the first time – at least if she brings back the sim my garden will come back too.

lecternDo you read Charles Schultz’s comic strip “Peanuts”? Do you remember how Lucy will hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick? How she always PROMISES that THIS time she won’t pull the ball away? But she does. Every time. Yet Charlie Brown falls for it everytime. J went and found me a landscaping job in our virtual world. *grin* Yep, she volunteered me out to another group to landscape THEIR sim. Oh my goodness – I fell for it. They said they would love to have me landscape, I was delighted to have the opportunity. I said yes. Start the betting pool NOW, folks. How many weeks til J comes to me and says regretfully – Um, Ahuva, I’m so sorry to tell you this, but, your gardens have to go. LOL. I’m starting the betting at 4 weeks. 🙂

pillars and plantersAnyway, I have been landscaping a sim where technical meetings are held. It is a monumental build: huge 20 meter columns. Very formal – marble, columns, stark. I started off just putting some flowers at the lectern and trying to get some flower boxes and greenery up. I wanted to get something done quickly so that my client would know that I was serious about working on her sim. (The picture at the top of this blog is how the build looks at the end of today. The next 3 pictures are the first pass at landscaping.) The first flower box has something I called fire tulips (when I was given them they were called “object”, so I figure “fire tulips” is an improvement. *grin*) and yellow lilies. I used red lilies at the lectern.

close upI knew that those columns were crying out for climbing vines, however. At first I thought that I would create a texture that combined the marble and roses and I would re-texture the columns. There were a few problems with that idea. First, the columns were locked – I needed J to give me the column and she was busy. Secondly, the roses would have been flat against the pillars. Both Honour and Hell suggested building a cylinder to encase the existing columns and to put the roses on that cylinder. I did one pass that way but I used too many repeats of the texture. On further discussion with Honour, I redid the cylinder – only one vertical and horizontal repeat. The encasing cylinder is actually 3 linked cylinders. As I placed the climbing roses, I could rotate the cylinder vertically so that the texture would vary. I also rotated the cylinder horizontally so that each pillar has a different look. I’m quite pleased with the final result. I hope you are also.

peering thru the pillarThe pillars have signs on them. I wanted flowers there as well. Now one thing I learned from J was that it’s not really the quantity of prims that I use – it’s more that fact that I use so many different textures. So I have tried to use the same textures in this build, but modify them so that they look somewhat different. This is probably totally obvious to all you REAL builders out there but I was pleasantly surprised to “think up” the idea of copying and stretching the textures in a given plant and so changing the look that way: number of prims, rotation, size. I was a little stumped at first about the hanging baskets – I couldn’t figure out how to drape the flowers over the top and down the front. Honour to the rescue again. She pointed out that I should use a different style basket and the plants could grow from the basket itself. So the hanging baskets are more cascading roses, daisies and bacopa.

hanging basketI was having a very stressful day at work last week. *grin* Nothing awful – just LOTS of it. So at lunch I retreated to my virtual garden and created a second flower box. It was so amazingly soothing and fun to do. 🙂 I made this one larger than the first. I felt more yellow was needed. I love yellow in a garden – so bright and cheerful. So this flowerbox is yellow lilies and daisies.

Guest lecturerOnce the climbing roses were up, I didn’t like the look of the trees between the columns. The green was too dull. And there was too much vertical-ity, if there is such a word. So I consulted with Honour, my landscaping mentor, and pulled the trees and moved the flower boxes. I think that tomorrow I will send a note to my client, asking her to take a look. I’ll be happy to add more flowers – I’d love to stuff the whole platform with multitudes of different colored flowers. But I figure my purpose here was to enhance the meeting area, not steal attention from the presenters. I’m very interested in my client’s feedback.

Oh, and of course….. I’m waiting to hear when I lose THIS garden!! *grin*

Ahuva, Lead Gardener

In my sandbox nurseryThey gave me a sandbox. And plants: trees, flowers, bushes, fountains, planters, picnic benches, rocks. 🙂 They don’t know how that goes to my head – excites me. I LOVE gardening. This year RL gardening was a total wash – literally. Rained every day but one in June. I never even cleared and planted my 2 side gardens. I discovered some cosmos sitting in a pot still in the little porch garden – I never planted them because the weather has been so uncooperative. Then they gave me my own sandbox behind the firewall and they gave me plants and they said – Have fun! OMG. *grin*

For those of you who were here with me way back in October 2008, with my first round of landscaping, you remember the tragic end. Where J made me pull out my gorgeous gardens. The ones over which I labored for days and days and days. Some nonsense about how avs couldn’t move about because my flowers were sucking up all the fps. /me shakes head. WHY would they NEED to move about? They could have simply tp’d in and looked at my gorgeous gardens, no? The irony today is that it is J who gave me the plants and said “Have fun!” LOL. Foolish J.

it really needs more flowersI unpacked all the flowers and bushes and fountains and all into my sandbox. Set up a little nursery so anyone else could also come and take everything and play as well. The flower beds from last October are behind the firewall as well. Or ones that are the same size and shape. A few days ago I couldn’t stand the lure anymore. I went and planted. 🙂 I TRIED to limit myself. I really did TRY. But…. Two plants simply are not enough for me. I want to stuff the entire flower bed FULL of a riot of color – flowers crowding each other, vibrant colors everywhere. That’s how I do my RL gardens. Garish? Perhaps. But I find the colors and shapes and life pleasing to the eye. I planted with only 3 bushes. Stepped back, said “Okay, not too bad.” Then I couldn’t stop. It simply was too bare. I had to add some rocks. Maybe a few plants among the rocks. *grin* Before I could stop myself – I was up to 5 different plants and many rocks. 🙂 I liked it. (By the way – ignore the wood walls – I threw them there quickly to block all the other stuff in that site.)

enjoying my gardenSo I decided that maybe before I got too carried away, I should warn J that I was on the loose. Undoubtedly destroying response time again. I sent an email. This morning I woke up, still no response from J. I’m on vacation today. What do I want to do on my day off? Play. What constitutes playing on a humid, humid day in August? Virtual gardening. *grin* Now I KNOW I shouldn’t be planting before getting the go-ahead. But my manager always taught me it’s better to ask forgiveness than get permission. Which is how I got him to agree to work in virtual worlds, LOL. Anyway, I got up this morning and attacked the second flower bed. With trees. Two flowering dogwood type trees – a pink and a white. Only 6 trees. They really need some rocks, a few ground covers. 🙂 I sent off another message to J, admitting that I’d been adding yet more prims to the entryway.

Every garden needs a touch of yellowFinally J responded. Not a useful response, of course. Just a “we need to talk” response. LOL. Uh oh. Anyway, I’m not really sure what J wants to discuss. Someone else mentioned to me that I may be planting in a world scheduled for destruction. (I wonder if I should be thinking Deathstar from Star Wars or thinking of Project Genesis from Star Trek? *grin*) So maybe I should stop planting for awhile. But it was such fun while it lasted. And if it endures – great! If not – I get to play all over again! Even better!! Think GREEN! And pink, red, white, orange, yellow, blue, lavender, rose, peach……

I’ll Never Be a Builder

If Crap Mariner is correct, I am constitutionally unable to be a builder. Oh, I may indeed build and enjoy it. But Crap froze my soul today in his “Prim Waste” post:

The Law Of Building: Each prim has to carry its own weight or it’s GONE.

after-is-betterThere is NO way that I can follow that maxim the way I think Crap means it.   If he means that each prim must be functional, I’m jumping off that bandwagon.   I am motivated by appearances, not functionality.  (Oh my, does that make me sound totally shallow or what?)   I have been playing with my office in SL.  I was given a maximum prim count and then told it would be best if I kept way below that. every-flower-necessary I keep adding things.  They aren’t things that I NEED. They are things that LOOK good to me. I added an armillary. It seemed appropriate somehow. I’ve added flowers to my desk and credenza. They don’t DO anything but please me. I like to have flowers in my RL office too. I suppose you could argue that their function is to lighten my spirits and to provide a pleasant and therefore productive work environment. Is that carrying “its own weight”?

every-rock-is-necessaryI still mourn the loss of my gardens. I know, they weren’t that good. But to me – they were beautiful. They were really the first thing that I felt I created, that were “mine”, that were “me”. I lavished so much time and effort on planting each flower just so. A tree here, some rocks. I spent so much time arranging the pile of rocks at the base of the bridge. Placing the reeds and the grasses. Building trellises to climb the wall. For no reason other than to make it pleasing to the eye. I understood why they had to go. I felt the lag. But. /me shakes head – frustrated. I want a world where I DON’T have to count prims!!!!! I want as many flowers and shrubs and rocks and ducks in my virtual world as I have in my RL. (Okay, I don’t have ducks in my RL, but you KNOW what I mean.)

I have a friend who is recreating a lighthouse in opensim. He COULD do this faster with prims that are textured to LOOK like many prims. But he is actually using individual prims for each piece of siding, each link in the fence. Using individual prims changes how the build looks – how light reflects, the feel of the build. I’ll be taking pictures and posting more about the lighthouse. In his case, I suspect that every prim DOES pull its weight. But for me – well, my RL garden is crammed full of flowers too. (cuts down on the weeds! *grin*) Thank goodness there is no prim limit in RL.


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