Let's talk about creating for a little bit. I run a little tiny store on my alt, and sometimes I consider giving it up because I seem to always run into one problem or another. Learning mesh is a difficult process! It's a complete nightmare, and there isn't very many tutorials, or information about how creators create. I've said it before... creating in SL is a VERY closely guarded secret. And that makes me sad. I've picked up the bits of programs that I know from various random tutorials and guides out there. I would really love to start doing informational posts on how to create things, but I really feel like I don't know enough to do it. One day, right?

Anyway, for my alt's little store, I have been working on a gacha item - a pouf. I struggled for days with this thing, got so upset with it at times that I found myself unable to sleep. I've decided to write this post, to kind of give insight into the creative process that is mesh. If you guys like these "creating" posts, please let me know in the comments! I will try to do more of them!


First, I start off designing in Marvelous Designer. It gives me the basic shapes I need to work with, a very solid foundation for the mesh. This step is usually one of the easiest, but this time it gave me so many fits, I don't know why! Every single change I made to this design, it took up to 45 minutes to sync the pattern, it was so frustrating! Anyway, the above photo is what my final design looked like in Marvelous Designer. It wasn't really how I envisioned it in my head, but it was okay.


Next step, I take it into ZBrush. This is how it looks before anything else happens to it. I originally started the ZBrush stage because I like the ZRemesher tool in it. Marvelous Designer exports as triangle mesh, and I want quadrangles. ZRemesher turns the tris into quads. Now I have Marvelous Designer 4, which has quads now, I still find that I like how ZRemesher lowers the amount of faces on the mesh. So I still use it.


After running ZRemesher, this is where I lose a lot of the Marvelous Designer folds and such. It's disappointing sometimes because they are very beautiful - but the geometry numbers on them is HUGE. Anyway! We lost a bit of detail here - but I'll still take it!


Next - Blender. My husband went to RL schooling to learn 3ds Max. He tried to teach me what he knew, but I was intimidated, and couldn't find many other tutorials on it. I got frustrated and gave up. Blender, however is a free resource, and I found has MUCH more information on it. Getting off track now... Blender is where the majority of the rest of the work is done. In here, I added the button in the middle, I clean the meshes up in here. Also, if I'm doing clothing, I'll size them and rig them, fit them to the Slink mesh body, and try to do my best at weighting. I'll also delete some faces that you won't see, like the bottom of the pouf, or the inside of clothing. To save on geometry.

After I took the above screenshot, I uploaded it to SL, the land impact of that was 26! No thanks! I used the "decimate" modifier to bring the geometry down a bit, uploaded it again to SL, it was down to 2.


Next, I upload to SL, see how it looks, check land impact. If I'm making clothing, I'll wear it, see what weights or modifications I need to do. Then take it back into Blender, fix things, and re-upload. The Beta grid is wonderful for this - you get to see exactly how it looks on the avatar, but not get broke by the cost of upload fees. Also, I check the ambient occlusion map, see if it looks okay!

After everything looks great, I go to Photoshop to texture the ambient  occlusion map,and smooth out any part of it that needs smoothing. In the pouf's case, there was some jagged looking edges on the map that needed a little blur. Finish texturing and upload to SL.


And here we have our finished pouf. It looks quite a bit different than when I started, but it still looks great!


Last post, I showed the blog the outside of my home, today, we'll explore the inside! Yay! Keep in mind that I have a small-ish prim budget, so I don't have as many decorations as I'd like, but really, who does? Anyway, on to the inside!


My living room. I'm slowly replacing things and adding new things constantly, my inventory is pretty outdated, from being out of SL for so long. But as I hit more sales, and events, the bigger it grows, and more possibilities I have. I LOVE the french doors leading into this room, they really do open like real french doors!

The wall has a bunch of pictures, detailing various bits of our SL journey together.


Next, we move into my dining room. I had a smallish set from LAQ to match the bookshelves, but when I went to the Trompe Loeil sale earlier in the week, I fell absolutely in love with this dining room. Honestly, I probably would have been fine with my old set, but once I saw the paisley tablecloth.... it was mine. There is never enough paisley in the world for me. And naturally, I had to get the matching chairs, right? Currently looking for a beautiful set of mesh flowers to finish this room out.


Kitchen. Yes, yes. It's small, sad and uneventful. However, why waste prims when I don't cook in the first place? It's functional for heating up leftover prim takeout, that's all I need! Again, another sale purchase.


The staircase that leads upstairs. Every girl needs a washer and dryer, right!? These are very old cube versions, I'm holding out until I find some fabulous mesh ones to replace these!


Upstairs is a series of 3 rooms. When I first rezzed the house, I gave Jeffry an option to pick a room. He is scripting in world now, and doesn't like to pick up his prims. No one like random plywood cubes scattered around their land! So, as long as he's in his room, I won't complain. And that's what he does. Rezzes prims. Soon, there will be so many boxes on the floor, I wont be able to open the door.


Across the hall from his mancave, is the bedroom. Lots of seating, for lots of photo taking. I like this room!


And as for the last room upstairs, another work in progress! This is the bathroom, still adding to this room as well!


As the early history of my blog shows, I love to blog about the recent homes that I live in. When I go back and look into the archives of this blog, one of my favorite parts of it is looking at the different houses I had. It says a lot about what is popular on the grid at that time, and how I feel at that time. It's really a snapshot of that time for me! And I enjoy reading back on these type of posts.

I rent a sky dome from Bella Pointe. They offer spacious domes, with a reasonable prim allowance. When it was just me, I rented the smallest dome, which covers a 1/4 of a sim. You don't get the prims of a 1/4 sim, obviously, but the space is really nice. When Jeffry also decided to come back to SL, the prim allowance that they gave me wasn't really sufficient anymore. So we upgraded to the 1/2 sim size. And honestly, it is much more space than I know what to do with!


I mean, it's huge! Each dome has it's own lake/lagoon, which is nice, but I never use it. It makes the dome look better than just a platform of grass, however. Our current dome even comes with 2 waterfalls and a cave (the 1/4 sim had only 1 waterfall). Sometimes I really miss having the real linden water, but, I figure if I really need it for photos or something, there's tons of beach sims out there.


I have a little beach area as well, onto which I put out some beach chairs. I'm not missing out on anything other than the real water by being in a skybox.


I have a lot of open space, mainly because the whole reason I have this place is for my breedables. My horses need room to roam and graze, right? I put down a bunch of grass because I don't like the look of just a flat prim. 

My dome I had before this one was a beach themed, so I had palm trees, sand, the works. However, I really prefer the meadow-y type of  land, so this time I chose the mountain style. It works wonderfully, because I love the dimension that the grass gives, and it doesn't look too terribly out of place, like it would on a beach. I had some beach grass, but it looked a bit weird with the whole ground covered in it.


This house! Let me just stop and talk about how much I love this house. I wanted a mesh house that would not take up a ton of prims, because we have a huge space and a smallish prim limit. I was searching the marketplace, and was finding all kinds of beautiful (yet extremely expensive) homes, then this one came up in the listings.... Just when I was thinking it might be more cost effective to make my own, now that I'm comfortable in Blender. Anyway, I immediately went to the location to see it in world. Once it rezzed, I was blown away at how beautiful, detailed and cheap it was. I mean, only L$99, and 68 land impact? Sold. This picture is actually the front doorway.


And a quick photo of the back door, which joins to the kitchen, and comes off onto a little balcony. So cute!


On the other side of my dome, I have my gorgeous Country Pavilion that I picked up from the Trompe Loeil sale a couple days ago! The amount of love I have for this beauty... I can't even say. It's a little more land impact than I originally waned to spend, but, I love this so much that I really don't care anymore. I knew I wanted some kind of gazebo, or something in this space, so the sale came at such a wonderful time for me!


When I'm not hosting, I spend a lot of my in-world time in here, laying on the outdoor daybed. I have firefly particles throughout my open area as well. One of the most beautiful parts of my RL moving in with Jeffry is the fireflies where we live. I wanted a little piece of them in my SL, too!

Unfortunately, I had purchased a set of really gorgeous fireflies, which rezzed temporary prims to operate. My land policies notecard states I am prohibited from having any object that rezzes temp prims. I was very disappointed. Since the fireflies were no copy/transfer, I sent the creator a notecard, inquiring about a refund. No word from him yet, so I guess we'll see. :(

Part two will be coming next - the inside of the house!


My inventory has been a constant battle pretty much ever since I first rezzed in SL. It got worse and worse, until I started fashion blogging and creating poses. Then it completely exploded. There was a point when I tried to keep it under control, tried to organize. I realized that it was futile, and then completely gave up. There was one point where I remember it being over 60,000 items. That's a HUGE number!

Every time I tried to come back to SL, I'd sit and clear some stuff out, organize, try to get it manageable. It's sooo difficult, so time consuming. With the addition of mesh, I've put a really effort into my inventory lately. I've been looking at things differently, literally asking myself... "Will I ever wear this flexi skirt again?" If I think about it, it's moved to the trash. I did, however, have a REALLY hard time deleting my Last Call items (Last Call closed way back in 2008). I think because they were my first "real" clothes I purchased, they were so ahead of their time, and it was probably the first real sale that I experienced, and camped out on the edge of the sim for. But, I finally had the courage to delete them.


I can finally say that my inventory is 100% organized. I never thought I would say that. I have my items down to 17,380 items, most of which are full permissions textures that I have purchased over the years. I have no objects in my object folder, no stray categorized folders. Everything has a place now in my inventory, and there is nothing I don't want in there. I am so incredibly proud of myself for accomplishing this. It was a mountain of a feat, and so relieving to get done with it!

I've also been pretty good at keeping it managed as well. Rez something to unpack it? Delete the object from objects folder. Just buy something? Rename the folder and put it in it's category right away. Of course, this helps without fashion blogging anymore, I don't have to keep separate folders filled with the stuff that is waiting to be blogged. I can just put things right away now.

Now I find myself in my skybox, looking around and wondering what to do. LOL!


I mentioned in a couple of posts recently, that I was going to begin hosting in a club! I have been very nervous and anxious about it, as I have never hosted in a club before. And to be completely honest, I've never been very social in SL in general. So, I was terrified! However, my host training started last night, and all things considered, I did quite well! The person training me surprisingly felt comfortable enough to log off halfway through my shift, and told me that I didn't even need a second training day. I'm not sure if that's a good thing? Or bad? Whatever it is, I'll take it!


I actually had a good time, and I feel like I did a pretty good job there. It's a nice feeling to get out of my skybox land and have a purpose. It forces me to talk to people, hopefully make new friends. I'll be working there at nights, 5 days a week for now. (Hey, I have horses that need to be fed, and shopping that needs to be fueled!)


Trompe Loeil is having a huge 50% off sale on everything for the next few days, and I went yesterday as soon as I heard about it. When the news came to me, the only words that came out of my mouth was... "Oh, no." Being out of SL for so long, the one thing you notice is that your inventory is extremely outdated, including furniture. Decorating a house is terrible when all you have is sculpted prims. Now there's mesh, and everything is so low prim. I feel like all my furniture now is a waste of prims. This sale was awesome, and well timed for me!

I spent way too much linden. My husband kept telling me to leave that place, but I couldn't help it! It did not help the situation that we had just gotten a new mesh house, and I needed things to fill it.


One of the most awesome things I bought from the sale was this incredible hanging outdoor bed. I love it! However, one of the best buys that I got, was that the Country Pavillion was set to $150L, and with the sale, it was still half off of that! So incredible, I am so happy with what I bought, and I feel like my new prefab is a little more up to date then what it was! Even Jeffry took a break from scripting to try out the new outdoor bed with me.

A blog post on my new home is coming soon!


So, as I mentioned before, I have a little alt that I run a very small mesh clothing store with. Mesh has been a huge learning experience that I still battle with on a daily basis. My items are not perfect, but I'm learning more each day. I feel like creating in SL is some closely guarded secret, and everything I have learned is a little bit picked from here, more bits picked from there, and the majority of it being trial and error on my part. It is a struggle. Releases are few and far between, because I'm always trying to fix an issue or two that has popped up. But when I have some kind of progress, I feel like it's worth celebrating.

Last night, I got closer to releasing my new micro mini skirt. I finally got the Physique mesh to be somewhat how I liked it, and this afternoon, I took it out to take vendor photos! I "hired" my husband to do some scripting for me, so he created a texture change HUD, so customers will have many choices of colors to choose from. It will be a new feature, one that I'll see how it works out.


I am kind of bummed though, I applied to create for the Maitreya Lara body mesh, and did not hear back from them in time. I was hoping to have both the Slink body and Maitreya in this release. I'm going to try to hold off on it a few more days, to see if I hear back from Maitreya, but it's not looking good. If I was declined, they would tell me, right?


Let's talk about mesh bodies! So, hands and feet have been in SL for a couple years. I love mine and wear them all the time. During the time that I was in and out of Secondlife, Slink released a mesh body. I ran out and purchased it as soon as I saw it was available, then went and got appliers to match my current skin. It was okay, however, unless clothing is made specifically for the Physique body, I can't wear most of my inventory. I find that the alpha layers do not hide what I need hidden on my body.

Now that my husband and I are coming back into SL and starting over, for the most part - he started looking at men's mesh bodies. Once we decided on and purchased his mesh body, I started exploring other options for female mesh bodies. Boy, have they changed since I first got mine! There's a whole handful of body creators, which makes it even more difficult to decide (I hear even the Avastar creators are planning on releasing an open source mesh body!). After running through the pros and cons, I decided on the Maitreya Lara. Mainly because I wanted to stay with a brand that I know and am familiar with. Mesh Body Addicts was a HUGE resource in deciding which body I wanted. I'm trying to familiarize myself with all the new tools, like the Omega, which Slink Physique will not seem to support. Bonus that Maitreya will support Omega. I feel like if I'm going to wear a mesh body, I need it to be as versatile as it can possibly be.


That being said, I went and purchased the almost L$2800 (plus an extra L$300 for skin appliers) Lara body, and I think I am quite happy with it! The body is absolutely gorgeous! Hands and feet come with it, and although I prefer my Slink feet for now because all my shoes only work with them, I adore the hands! I do not really care that they only come in one position because that's all I need. I've officially swapped out my Slink hands for the Lara ones.


The one downside that I have noticed, however, is when certain shadows cast on the neck join, you can see a visible seam. It's not a "squint and you might see it" kind of seam, it is a blaring you right in the face kind of seam. However, there's updates often with this body it seems, and I'm confident it will probably be fixed sometime soon, or I'll figure out which graphic setting is causing it. I've also gotten the updated version of my skin and appliers, but I still see the seam. But it's not enough to stop me from wearing the body! I love it!


My in world profile has been so outdated! I took some time today to take a good photo to add to my profile. I have also updated the old photos on this blog to reflect the newer photos of me. It had been so long since they were updated, it was long past time!


I mentioned previously that on my return to SecondLife, Sai will not be creating anymore. However, I need something to get me out of my skybox and in the world. I have decided to get a job - a hosting job, specifically. All my talk about SL lately has also gotten my RL/SL husband considering coming back to it as well. When I told him I was considering a hosting job, he started contemplating DJ'ing again. So we'll see how that pans out.

I, however, had applied at a couple of clubs in SL, and arranged an interview today. It went well, and they had decided to hire me, yay! So, I'll be officially hosting in a club from now on. I am actually excited for it, excited to have a reason to come off of my land, and socialize with people. Even before I left SL, I never really talked to people, and was really in my own little world. I'm hoping to change that now. The fact that I'll be making enough money to feed my horses and pay my tier is definitely a bonus!

Be on the lookout for photos from the club I'll be working at soon!


I say often in this blog, I love breedables! My obsessions with them started with the sionChickens, moved on to sionCorn, Ozimals, KittyCatS, and also Meeroos at one time. I tried them all, but I wanted something... I don't know... Bigger, I guess? I toyed with the idea of Biobreeds, but I could not find that they had a golden retriever (BTW, how can you not have a golden retriever, they are one of the top breeds!). I started to explore the option of Amaretto horses. Could not find a single one that looked nice to me. Then! While on a sim where people sell their breedables, I found a different style of a horse for sale. It was not an Amaretto. After inspecting it, I was determined to find where to get it. Turns out, they are created by Awesome Breed Creations... and I needed them in my life.

These horses are gorgeous, and very real looking. Instant love for me! The downside to these, is that the documentation leaves much to be desired. It gives you basics, but other than that, it's pretty much a figure it out as you go type of thing. Also, like some other breedables, they are expensive! Ugh. Perhaps it is because there is not that many people that have them, it's still kind of monopolized? I don't know! I was coming from KittyCatS, where I just liked the basic ones - I don't need any fancy ones anymore, I paid maybe L$150-$300 on one.

Okay. Let's meet my horses!


Meet Amelia and Rory! (Any Doctor Who fans out there?) I searched sim by sim for a "cheaper" set of horses. And sadly, this is what I found, and still liked them. Each was L$699. But, I wanted them, so I clicked Buy. They are beautiful, and my current favorites.

It was not long until that I wanted the actual "Starter Horses". The difference between Amelia and Rory versus the starter horses, is that the babies of the starters can pull ANY traits from the gene pool. It's not just specific to the traits that mom and dad have. However, they were even more expensive, and you can't just buy two. You have to buy four. I had a small war with myself for a little while, and decided to do it. I got the 4-Pack of starter horses.


First, meet Elena and Damon (Vampire Diaries, I know. It was actually my husband's idea). They definitely are not the most attractive horses ever, but I can not wait to see what foals they will produce! The babies should not look like them, they could be vastly different.


The other two horses that came from my starter pack are Stefan and Caroline. These horses are even less attractive, but again, they are only starter horses. The babies should be adorable.

Also, what makes these horses special, is the fact that you can actually train them! Depending on what food you are feeding, you can train them to pull, stamina, speed, and sprinting. You can ride them, and the creators also hold races! They are so much fun, and gorgeous too!


A few months ago, I got a brand new laptop, it is a very powerful thing, much more powerful than my desktop. I adore it. To be honest, the reason why I wanted it, was so it can play SecondLife, and also World of Warcraft. I specifically sought out a laptop that was powerful enough for SL. Words can not express how much I miss it. Owning land, exploring beautiful worlds, people creating things I will never see in my real life. However, this being my first laptop, I could not figure out for the life of me - how to keep the computer from using the onboard graphics card, and switch to the dedicated card. Well, all geekery aside, I have figured it out, my laptop now runs SecondLife smooth as butter, with shadows even enabled. It is an incredible feeling.

After that was situated, I started looking back to the beginnings of this blog. Waaay back when I first started. It was amazing, I was almost in tears, looking at both the evolution of the Sai Pennell avatar, and also my store, ImpEle. It struck something in me, and I could not believe this longing I felt for my blog at it's very beginnings. I missed it. SL was a huge part of my life, it was there for me during a difficult time in my real life, and I also met my RL husband there.

Let me first say... I joined SL for the purpose to explore Buddhism as a philosophy. I wanted to tour the shrines, also other religions, such as Shinto. I wanted to read everything about them! My blogging experience started that way, but then, somehow.... It became revolved around fashion. I started the fashion blog, and began to hate blogging, also began to dislike SL. It was not the same feelings I had early on. Every picture became a battle of "I can't wear this, because I already wore this outfit/hair in the last photo", which eventually turned into... "Why even go at all?" Fashion blogging became a nightmare for me too, always trying to buy the newest things, the best things, just to keep up with the ever-changing style.  In essence, I believe these combined is what drove me out of SecondLife.


I'll be coming back, and reblogging here. However, I am giving myself limitations, to keep blogging, and SL in general, a fun experience for me:

  • I will not blog about fashion. For my sanity, I can not get back into the fashion scene.
  • It appears the majority of my friends in SL has left, or moved on to other things. I need to keep getting out of my skybox and try to make new friends. Somehow. (This is a huge one for me, because believe it or not - I'm an introvert!)
  • I am going to look for some form of a job in SL, that does not require creation. I'm currently dabbling in mesh clothing on an alt, but Sai won't be creating anymore! Anyone have an need for a customer service person for their store? Hah.
  • Explore! One of the amazing feelings that I got when going through my early posts was the wonder of how beautiful SL is. Even pre-windlight. I will need to find that wonder again.
  • I will not fear the fact that I CAN go two days without changing clothing items. I will not worry about which hair, or clothes I previously wore. Because in SL, I can get away with that.
  • Lastly, I will not fear the silly-ness of SL. I will wear onigokko occasionally, and wear my crazy dancing cow attachment often.

So, all that being said, I hope you all are not too angry at me for re-opening Sai's Random Bloggage. And I hope you all will join me on this new quest of re-discovery! I hope to explore new, beautiful and fun sims, while also blogging about little bits of my life (and my obsession still with breedables) in SecondLife!

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