Announcing the Shengri La Bird Sanctuary

Sanctuary Entrance
Sanctuary Entrance

We have completed the new bird sanctuary behind the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace, and would like to invite all to visit our newest space, full of birds and butterflies, and a special garden of roses visitors may take away with them.

The sanctuary is particularly interesting because we now have more than 35 species of birds represented throughout the Second Life Shengri La complex.  Some of the birds are easily seen – the swans and other water birds tend to be very visible, whereas the songbirds (just like in real life) aren’t as easily noticed.  We’ve included a list of our species below – please visit us, and see if you can locate all of them!

Rare White Peacock, Standard Peacock, Western Gull, Black-headed Gull
Black-Tailed Gull, Spotted Owl, Hoot Owl, Barn Owl
Common Kingfisher, Belted Kingfisher, Snow Owl (male & Female)
Raven, Green Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl, Greater Flamingo
Caribbean FLamingo, Toco Toucan, Red-headed Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker, Grey Bat, Black Bat, Brown Bat
Mute Swan, Black Swan, Cardinals (male & female), Bald Eagle
Blue bird, Robin, Black bird, Blue Jay, Starling, Mallard Duck (Male & Female)
Peking Duck, Muscovy Duck, Hummingbird – Sky, Robin
Hummingbird Pumpkin, Hummingbird Silver, Crimson Topaz Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Blue-throated Hummingbird
Violet Sabre Wing Hummingbird, Jamaican Swallowtail Hummingbird
Baltimore Oriole, and various Parrots

Fountain in the Shengri La Sanctuary

Fountain in the Shengri La Sanctuary


Sunset Falls over the Sanctuary

Sunset Falls over the Sanctuary

Overlooking the flamingoes in the pond

Overlooking the flamingoes in the pond

Looking towards the Western Gate

Looking towards the Western Gate at Moonrise


The Rose Garden Gone Wild

The Rose Garden Gone Wild


Fashion Research Institute Announces Selection of Avatar Apparel Designers in Shengri La

The Shengri La Vintage Marketplace for Emerging Avatar Apparel Designers

The Shengri La Vintage Marketplace for Emerging Avatar Apparel Designers

We are pleased to announce the acceptance of three new designers to the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace for Emerging Avatar Apparel Designers.  The three designers include Xand Nagy, Saiyge Lotus and Misteria Loon.  Xand and Misteria are apparel designers; Saiyge is a jeweler.  All three have very different styles, and we invite you to come explore these new designers, and return to see how their work evolves over the coming months.

Designer statements and images of their work follows.

Xand Nagy's Line in Second Life

Xand Nagy

Xand Nagy:  Designer’s Statement – I LOVE SL, for the creativity that so many people express here with sim design, virtual environments, sculptures, photos, AVs, and so many many things that either exist in the RL, or could NEVER exist in the RL (especially the latter).

I started designing because I was a penniless wanderer and I got tired of how freebie clothes looked. A friend staked me 200L which I used to bring in textures and I made my first dresses. I loved playing with flexis (ask me about my “dance-snakes…”) and dresses are probably the most fun thing to do with flexis, especially when you are dancing with them. All my creations are EXTENSIVELY tested for “dancability” (LOL) by ME and anyone else I can enlist.

I have a small store in the Dreamcatch Distillery in depo 10 but I am hoping that exposure here in the beautiful Shengri La Vintage Marketplace in gorgeous Shengri La will lead to bigger and better things for me and my line of clothing.

Red Chantilly Lace Dress by Xand Nagy  Photography by Callipygian Christensen

Red Chantilly Lace Dress by Xand Nagy Photography by Callipygian Christensen

Red Chantilly Lace Dress by Xand Nagy; Photography by Callipygian Christensen

Red Chantilly Lace Dress by Xand Nagy; Photography by Callipygian Christensen



Saiyge Lotus's Line in SL

Saiyge Lotus' line in Second Life

Saiyge Lotus: Designer’s Statement – My Rez Date is October 18th,  2006.   I am the creator/owner of Balderdash Jewelry.  I wouldn’t say that I got into making jewelry with alot of thought beforehand. I find the better work often channels itself in some form or fashion.  Mostly, I often start working with the main thought not of what I want the piece to be, but rather, what I -don’t- want it to be…. 

I grew up in a unique situation, surrounded with craftspeople and artisans. At an early age, I was exposed to a love of those who came before us, of having a profound respect for crafting something with your own hands, to appreciate the small things that often go unnoticed. To embrace being different.

I have never been drawn to the mass produced, cookie cutter types of jewelry…  The ultra “modern’ bits they usually sell in most upscale jewelery places.  The things I love are imperfect…they are old and tarnished with character.  I like to think that this comes out in my work here in Second Life. Here, it is all too easy to make the perfect things, the pristine things. It’s far harder to give things the feel of age, the patina of memory.  When I am making jewelry, I’m trying to infuse a general feeling of nostalgia into the prims themselves. I don’t know if I manage to do that, but I do try.

I think what I most like about Second Life is that I don’t have to focus on financial limitations in order to create something. There’s no worry about running out of paint, having the right adhesives or the correct equipment to do the work. As long as I can sit and torture prims, or create textures, I can get something done, I can go from start to finish and try to get the vision in my head out into the open where others can share it. That in itself, is worth more than I can ever possibly describe.

Saiyge Lotus Sunlight and Whiskey

Saiyge Lotus' Sunlight and Whiskey


Misteria Loon's Avatar Apprel Line in Second Life

Misteria Loon

 Misteria Loon: Designer’s Statement – Rezz Day 6/30/2007

I started designing fashion in August 2008.  That’s when I made my first dress (called Leotard) and established the ‘Pas De Deux’ line of fashion.  Pas De Deux is fantasy clothing or fashion for dancing.  I’d like to develop the line into fantastic, dreamy dresses, including some formal gowns for ballroom dancing.  My textures sometimes come from photographs of nature, flowers, trees, and even animals.  SL is a great space for creators.  We can use our imagination.  I recently made a pumpkin dress for Halloween that was written about in blog, and a Blue Fairy Dress, that was mentioned in another blog.  I also created a BonBon dress that is a bit unique with a round skirt.  The skirt is embellished with a few fun balls that are scattered on the inside.  Now, after just starting to create fashion, I am so very lucky and happy to have this opportunity to sell my creations for the next six months in the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace!

Misteria Loon

Misteria Loon

FRI Takes Part in Monarch Migration Weekend

Friday, October 17th, Shengri La is home to not just its usual Ode butterfly Hunt, but also to a Monarch Migration butterfly hunt.

Our hunts on Shengri La start at 7 am SLT and at 5 pm SLT.  The sims close to the public at 6 am and at 4 pm to allow the butterfly handlers to release the butterflies. To participate, pelase join us on any of the Shengri La sims in Second life, or just follow this link.

Over the weekend of October 17-19, 2008, there will be a massive migration of Random Calliope’s Ode Butterflies through Second Life. Commencing on Friday, October 17 from the Science Friday sim, the Ode butterflies will wind their way throughout SL to celebrate the North American Monarch Butterfly Exhibit at the Science Friday sim and in general raise awareness of the awe-inspiring real life annual North American Monarch Butterfly migration.

Random Calliope is a creator of wearable art. He is a master craftsman and the work that he does with microprims is truly breathtaking. He has been creating jewelry in SL for almost three years and while he has created pieces that have fetched some truly awe inspiring sums for charity, what may be equally impressive are the pieces he creates simply to give away.

The Science Friday Group in Second Life are fans of  National Public Radio’s Science Friday show, which is broadcast every Friday live in Second Life, from 11 AM to 1 PM SLT.    Science Friday is also broadcast live over public radio stations nationwide  as part of NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’ programming. Each week, Science Friday focuses on science topics that are in the news and tries to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. In Second Life, Science Friday listeners gather for a lively chat discussion of the program.  One of the recent segments was on the migration of monarch butterflies.

The butterfly hunts that allow one to obtain Ode jewelry are a homage to the once very popular community butterfly hunts of days gone by, but this time with a science and conservation twist. Proper gentlemen and gentlewomen would pack their picnic baskets in the spring and summer and head off to the nearest flowered field. There they would use their butterfly nets to capture prized butterflies of infinite variety. 

The Ode monarch migration hunt is a hunt to see and learn, not to capture. The community gathers in a field to look for butterflies. They may be in trees, floating around, in the grass, or anywhere a butterfly might be found. The hunts work in this way. Pieces of Ode jewelry are put in selected butterflies and then released in a pack of decoy butterflies. There is a script contained in each butterfly that allows it to fly in a random pattern around the sim. When the hunt begins the participants need to find and click on the butterflies to receive a prize.

This special monarch migration will include science elements:  a map of the monarch migration in the real world, a sculpted milkweed flower demonstrating the relationship between butterfly pollinated plants and the conservation of species, free milkweed plants so that you can learn to recognize the plants upon which these butterflies survive, an exhibit of butterflies under the microscope, and the conservation measures that you can take at home to conserve these precious insects in real life.

Monarch butterflies ARE living jewels!

Ode is an 9 piece jewelry set (hair piece, earrings, necklace, pendant, brooch, bracelet, ring, garland) which at this moment has 25 color variations. The challenge is to complete full sets of one color for your Ode butterfly collection; however, Ode pieces can only be obtained through participating in Ode Butterfly hunts and/or through trading with other collectors. New varieties of butterflies are occasionally added and some variations such as the Platinum and the Shades of Golden are extremely rare.

To stay informed of when the Ode Butterfly Hunts are beginning please join either the SL Ode Butterfly Collectors group or the Ode Butterfly Collectors Subscription group by clicking on a kiosk at either Ode Butterfly Clubhouse at Ode or the Welcome Area on Shengri La sim.

Presenting Madcow Cosmos’ The Zodiac in Shengri La Peace


The Fashion Research Institute is pleased to host Madcow Cosmos’ The Zodiac series.  The twelve hororary icons have been created in Mr. Cosmos’ illimitable style (although not, surprisingly, his prim count!) The Zodiac opens Thursday, October 16th, in Shengri La Peace and runs till November 23rd.  Artist reception on October 16th from 1-2:30 pm slt.

Artist’s Background:

Madcow Cosmos was born May 23, 1978.  A chef by trade he resides in the pacific northwest of the USA and apparantly talks in the third person. 

Initially drawn by the simple-to-use creation tools, SL soon fulfilled his life long desire to make three dimensional virtual art.  Madcow has no formal training in any 3d rendering software or other artistic skills aside from the culinary, but enjoys working with art of almost any nature at an amateur level.

The inspiration for much of his art comes from an overactive imagination and a love of fantasy and myths.  When not hopelessly distracted building, Madcow enjoys helping others build and petting the cats that are walking across his keyboard

Artist’s Statement: The Zodiac 

The artist encourages you to to play on, photograph, lick, video tape, sculpt in clay, and dance nekkid about his work if that’s your thing.  Having had his fun building them he strongly suggests you have your fun with them in any way that doesn’t bother others.    Special thanks go out to Callipygian Christensen, Shenlei Flasheart of the Fashion Research Institute for the space, and the usual crew over at Harbinger’s Haven, oh and possibly your mother.

The Installation Gallery in Shengri La Peace

The Installation Gallery in Shengri La Peace

Gypsy Moon Rave on Shengri La, October 25th


Please join us on Shengri La on Saturday, October 25th for a Gypsy Moon Rave.  DJane Qee Nishi will be laying down the sets for us  from 6-9 pm slt.  Dress is your finest interpretation of the season – Gypsy, lunar, gypsy moon and whatever you feel fits into the theme! 

Please visit Shengri La to pick up a landmark and the usual grab bag of Gypsy Moon goodies. Or, just follow this SLurl to the event. See you there!

IBM Signs Services Agreement with Fashion Research Institute

New York, October 9, 2008  —  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has signed a multi-million IBM Global Business Services agreement with the Fashion Research Institute (FRI)  to implement a first of a kind Virtual World Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Enterprise System. 

Fashion Research Institute, headquartered in New York, NY conducts research into technology-based initiatives and develops emerging technologies to overhaul traditional fashion practices and methodologies. FRI’s mission is to reduce the carbon footprint and change the environmental impact of the industry in ways that are sustainable, replicable, respectful of the practitioners, and meaningful for all stakeholders.  FRI maintains Shengri-La, a five-island complex in Second Life, and an OpenSim complex.   

“We’re proud to pioneer the first big business solution that leverages the OpenSim virtual world platform to address economies of scale.” said Shenlei Winkler, FRI. “The Fashion Research Institute understands how to design real world consumer goods using a virtual world environment, and IBM understands the scaling challenges of global enterprise. Taking on both simultaneously is a winning move.”


This virtual world enterprise solution, expressly created as a product design environment, will offer a fundamentally new work flow addressing critical issues facing the design industry, such as ensuring manufacturability of designs and decreasing substantial sample costs by two-thirds.   Users of this solution will ultimately be able to enter a virtual world, receive training on the systems, and take a design from concept to prototype – with every step short of actual manufacturing being done virtually.  


This first-of-a-kind system will allow fashion and consumer packaging designers to access and use 3-D tools with the Second Life client interface. In addition it will also connect to the OpenSim virtual world platform to create packaging and fashion products, provide efficient workflow queues, and allow groups with an interest in the product to collaborate and modify designs.  The program will also generate virtual product samples and accurate factory specifications that enable high quality product mass-manufacturing in the real world.


FRI will offer an IBM-backed and co-developed enterprise solution providing a simpler and more intuitive user interface than currently existing design-industry-oriented software including scalability for businesses of all sizes.  Users of the IBM-built technology could see product sample creation costs and time to market decrease dramatically. 


The initial proof-of-concept solution expected to go live in 2H09 will be piloted with up to 20 international design houses.  Ultimately this solution will be offered as a design service or enterprise installation, to creative industry design houses of all sizes globally.


“As the Fashion Research Institute continues to enhance the IT capabilities of the fashion and consumer packaged goods industries, IBM’s deep knowledge in product design, enterprise systems, and virtual worlds, will help FRI bring new market opportunities to the fashion world,” said Jeffrey Russell, IBM Global Business Services.  A design house implementing this solution could reduce dozens of weeks of design time, minimize the number of physical samples manufactured, and increase product manufacturing quality enough to put into development and production many additional collections”.


The initial agreement was signed in March 2008 but was expanded in August 2008 to include consumer package design.


 About the Fashion Research Institute

Fashion Research Institute conducts research into technology-based initiatives and develops emerging technologies to sweepingly overhaul traditional fashion industry practices and methodologies.  FRI’s mission is to reduce the carbon footprint and change the environmental impact of the industry in ways that are sustainable, replicable, respectful of the practitioners, and meaningful for all stakeholders.  FRI maintains Shengri-La, a five-island complex in Second Life, and an OpenSim complex.  FRI is an IBM business partner, and has been working closely with top IBM architects and researchers over the last year to develop its virtual-worlds-based product design solution. For more information, please visit


About IBM

For more information, visit


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Five-Sim Ode Hunt in Shengri La

In honor of the Monarch Butterfly migration, the Fashion Research Institute is once again pleased to host a five-sim Ode butterfly hunt on our Shengri La sims.

Ode is a lovely jewelry set created by the inestimable Random Calliope.  Ode has been created in a large number of colors (22 the last I heard) which are transferrable.  This means that both guys and girls can hunt for these babies – gentlemen, it’s a great chance to collect jewelry that you can give to lady friends.  The fact the jewelry pieces are transferrable means that you can swap pieces until you collect a full set of your desired colors.  For that matter, collect them all!

Ode-containing butterflies will be released twice on Friday, October 17th.  The first release is at 7 am SLT, and the second is at 5 pm SLT.  The five Shengri La sims will be closed to the public one hour prior to the release and opened promptly on the hour.  There will be butterflies released on all five sims.  Not all butterflies contain a piece of Ode – which is why it’s called a Hunt.  To ‘capture’ a butterfly, just right click and touch it.  If the butterfly contains a piece of Ode, it’ll give it to you, and then vanish.

Bring your friends, or hunt on your own – either way, our visitors all assure me that they have a great time at the Ode hunts.  If you’ve never experienced an Ode hunt, the five sim hunts are enormous fun.  There’s plenty of room for hunters to spread out, and lots of butterflies released throughout the hunt. 

Ode hunts are offered on the Shengri La sims on the 17th of every month.  So if you miss this one, we’lll see you next month!