Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Learning Curve

As many of you know, there is a learning curve to being a resident of Second Life. You have to learn how to walk, talk, get from point A to point B via Teleports, search, buy things, make money and build, among many other things. Of all the items listed above, my biggest hurdle thus far has been building.

I did my level best to avoid doing building of any kind for the longest time. Mr. Wakka Weeks attempted to teach me to build, but his words of wisdom fell upon deaf ears and I would find other things to do, like shopping. My dear brother Lunar attempted to teach me to build, but with me having my mental block that it was far too difficult, I didn't learn much, not from his trying. Mr. Gnarlihotep Abel tried to teach me to build as well, but again, the student was not yet ready.

So, for the longest time, the best thing that I could build looked like this:

The beautiful plywood box. Notice the perfectly square corners, the smoothness of the wood. Yes, it was a simple box, but I was very particular about them.

Finally, the day arrived that Steelhead needed a notecard dispenser. I gathered up my courage and made my first practical item that wasn't plywood nor a perfectly square box. Behold the notecard dispenser in awe:

You must admit, dear reader, that it is a fine notecard dispenser indeed....and it remained the pinnacle of my building abilities for some time. As a testament to it's solid construction and durability, I will tell you that it still stands today, out in the elements, happily distributing notecards to those who ask.

As time progressed, I decided to try my hand at baked goods. By this time Sir Edward and I were rather close and he was helping me with my building. While my other teachers are all very talented too, the combination of Sir Edward's patience and my readiness finally allowed me to absorb some of the lessons I was having. After much work (and cursing and pulling my hair out) I finally completed my first cake, which I presented to Her Grace, the Duchess of Carntaigh for her Rez Day Party.

I was very impressed with myself at the time and while I do think it is still a lovely cake, I am happy that I've learned to cut down on the prims used. That cake required 40 prim! Suitable for a grand lady such as her Grace but a tad rich for the average person's plot.

I practiced on my bakery items, Sir Edward making suggestions as I went about textures, shapes to use, etc, all of which helped me greatly. I felt my skills were growing and that I was ready to tackle a much larger project. Which brought me to my latest project: A New Bakery.

While there was nothing wrong with my old bakery, in fact, it was rather cute, I became inspired by the bakery in Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For those of you who don't know, Heritage Park is made up of buildings from all over Alberta and is an open air museum, covering the Fur Trade all the way up to pre-WWI. They are currently expanding to include a 1920's area, but that is not there as of yet. Heritage Park is one of my favorite places in the world and I do love visiting. While there a few weeks ago, I took a good, long look at the bakery and thought that I would like one similar for my own bakery in Steelhead. Here is a picture of the building that inspired me to try my hand at construction:

It is a very typical small town construction for Alberta in the early 1900's. So, with many of Miss Persephone Gallindo's textures in hand (which, if you haven't gotten any of her textures, may I ask what are you waiting for!?!?!?!?!) and my beloved at my side to offer his advice, I began building.

All in all, I rather enjoyed the process. It took me a few days (SL was up to it's usual tricks and wouldn't allow me to link one day) but finally, it was finished. I present to you Rosehaven Recipes building in Steelhead:

I am very pleased with how it all turned out. I think it is a fair copy of the original, with a few changes. It has two floors, which gives me plenty of room for expansion or perhaps allowing others to use space for projects as well. I also made front display shelves to show off my baked goods in the front window.

Looking back, I've come a long way from my early days of plywood boxes. I am eager to try my hand at a few other ideas I have floating about in my head. Of course, keeping the bakery stocked with new goods keeps me busy as well. I have to put out my Strawberry Shortcake and new assortment of pies (pumpkin, lemon merangue, strawberry, cherry, etc) soon! Feel free to stop by the bakery and examine it yourself and then help yourself to either a cup of tea or coffee and a cookie before you rest for a bit on the chairs provided at the side of the shop.


Hermoine Pennyfeather said...

Bravo for you, Miss McAllister! As a non-SL builder myself I am in awe of your historical recreation. Now if only you could construct some low-prim baked goods to go with your lovely bakery.

Christine McAllister said...

As a matter of fact, I do have low prim items now. I have 7 prim, fully decorated cakes which dispense a slice (on a plate with a fork....none of this face smashing nonsense!! *grins*) along with cookies, muffins, cupcakes, pie (2 prim) and other odds and ends. I've learned to spare the prim a bit from my 40 prim cake days! :-D

Eladrienne Laval said...

You did a very good job indeed! Your bakery looks fantastic!


emillyorr said...

I am thoroughly charmed by your strawberry shortcake, I must admit. And while I did and do know you are Steelhead's premiere baker, you do understand that it was rather daunting, contemplating going to you and explaining, " see...I want the cake to scream..."

Had I need for more traditional fare? (And it could happen...) I will most assuredly come to you. There's still the matter of the Mexican wedding cookies to be discussed... :)

Christine McAllister said...

Yes...the Mexican Wedding cookies...called "snowballs" where I live (now, I wonder why that would be...hmmm???) They're slated to be made as soon as this ruddy heat wave does for a long walk. I'm not baking in 34 degree C heat.

And yes, I dont' mind that you had Fawkes make a screaming cake. I don't want to know what he put into it for ingredients to make it do that! *Grins*

Amber_Palowakski said...

Very lovely, Lady Christine. Well done! Bravo! And congratulations to your elevation of Countess!