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    Posted December 16, 2011 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stories from Second Life

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    The Making of Christmas at Jamaica Inn - Part 1


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JaneyBracken is an iReporter in the virtual world of Second Life.
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    I started building my Christmas sim a couple of months ago, I thought I would need plenty of time to get it ready, and with only 937 prims (Second Life building blocks, out of which everything is made) available on my quarter of the homestead, it was going to take some planning to get all my stuff out with prims to spare; luckily I have made a lot of my Christmas decs with just one or two prims, which I guess other people would appreciate too if they bought my items, as prim laden objects are a problem if you live somewhere where prims are restricted. I share the homestead with fellow writer and friend Hibiscus Hastings, good friends Drax Ember, Whisper Fearne and Cliff Chesnokov. Hib had started to decorate her part of the sim just after me and we asked the others if they minded having snow on the ground early in December. Cliff kindly changed the texture for us to a crisp white landscape and magically it felt just like Christmas was really here!

    I’d greatly admired the Old Europe sim over the years and loved the street lighting Up4 Daws and Rux Anatra had there, so I went over to Hearts Garden Centre and bought some similar lights to put in our Jamaica Inn sim. The yellow glow of the stringed lights really adds to the Christmas feel. Our friends in the New London Village sim, which also looks astounding, use the lights too, well done to Lilith and Dolly Heart for their beautiful designs of lighting and plants all year round! By the way, Up4 has a novelty in one of his shops in Old Europe, a wonderful pottery wheel where your avatar can sit and make pots. Not only that, but you can give the pots to your friends as presents, a wow of an idea! He and Rux have also invented a Christmas tree that has a box of baubles with it. You pick a bauble and then you can dress the tree, a clever bit of scripting if ever I saw one! My Christmas trees aren’t so exciting, but hopefully they are pretty enough for people to want to take them home!

    I got my little Christmas shop organised in Jamaica Inn, with my own designs and some freebies too to pick up in other parts of the sim. Hib busily set up a wonderland in her own parcel, including a tall snowy hill where you can rez a bobsleigh and ride all around the sim at great speed, either alone or with a partner, it’s such fun! I crashed the bobsleigh the same as I do driving a car in SL, I’m definitely not a good virtual driver! I did hop on board with Drax and he managed the sleigh a lot better than me! Hib also put a nice slow ride out with a horse-drawn sleigh where couples can explore at a gentler pace. Hibiscus has enjoyed this all as much as me, we were like a couple of kids looking for things to put out that we hoped would delight our visitors.

    Drax, whose land backs onto mine, kindly let me decorate his parcel as well. I couldn’t rez Linden trees on his land, maybe it can be done and maybe we needed to set something, but I couldn’t manage it, so I asked him to rez some trees for me so I could copy them and move them to where I wanted them. I stayed up late with lots of tree moving and I was really pleased with the effect when I’d finished, a virtual snowy pine forest to make the area look natural. Unfortunately, when I logged in the next day, the trees had vanished! Oh well, I’ll never understand the science of SL! I took myself over to Botanicals, a wow of a place for trees and plants, and bought some bare winter trees as well as a couple of their magnificent Christmas pines with sparkling fairy lights which I just love! Coming back I replanted Drax’s parcel with the trees and sectioned his house off with a giant Mega-prim to make a hill, turning it on its side and texturing it with snow, just to give his house a little privacy from the callers. (continued in part 2….thanks to CNN’s new limit on 4000 characters)
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