Calas Galadhon Park reopens tomorrow ! Jan 31, 2015

In our last post of Jan 21st we gave you some idea on the changes you will find in your exploration of  ‘Calas’ on your return as well as our plans for the next few months.  In case you didn’t go beyond the ‘comic relief ‘ :-) we shared at its beginning here is a brief recap:

  •  After thinking hard about it and looking over the Park (best balloon ride in SL ) during the quiet time of our break we both came to the conclusion that if support from our visitors this year is anywhere near that of 2014, it would be worth taking a chance and keep all of the regions in place for now.
  •   In addition, we felt that adding another less expensive ‘open space’ region was manageable for both of us, bringing us back up to 12 regions. The new sim is called LONG LAKE and will be a water / land bridge between Misty Mountains and the new Armenelos once complete. In March of last year we announced that starting that May we’d have to limit ourselves to carrying 40% of the total cost in fees to Linden Lab and still keep all sims in place.  Our supporters, friends and members rallied together in an effort to keep Calas and came through with an average over the next ten months of 67% of fees covered! As we mentioned in the last post it ‘may’  be that once we are done with the new woodland build on Armenelos we will need to convert down Misty Mountains to an openspace region to keep finances in check.  We’ll wait and see.  As we’ve said a number of times, no one knows what the future will bring in SL or RL, but we feel we are in a good place right now.
Stairway to the Stars ; Kerena Zhangsun

Stairway to the Stars by Kerena Zhangsun

  •   Other than seeing that spring has once again returned to the sims … you will find that most of the bigger changes are on the ‘mother sim’ of Calas Galadhon and the farm sim of Glanduin.  We hope you will love the changes made there.  Be sure to walk up the hill south of Main St.  Whether you turn right or left at the top of the hill, new areas wait  to be discovered including a new venue … The Garden Terrace … very romantic! We’ll be using it for special events in the future.  We may also hold The Dolphin Café shows there until the new Armenelos is complete. Of course it will always be open for dancing to our stream :-)
  • Construction of the new ARMENELOS (and the adjacent LONG LAKE) has been started and will hopefully be done by early March.  The sim will be closed to the public except for our OZ Nightclub high above and a new observation platform we have set up for you to  relax a bit and watch us work over the next month.  We even moved some of the goats from GLANDUIN there to keep the grass down :-) The only way we could effectively close a sim without keeping the entire park closed for the period, was to put in a security orb … so … if you want to look at what’s going on over there … its best to stick to the observation deck to avoid bodily harm :P  Even though we will be working on LONG LAKE at the same time , we have kept it open to the public to keep the Balloon Ride running. Because terraforming and landscaping can be a challenge we do ask that if you see either of us working on Long Lake, that you observe from a distance. Note:  your old LM for Armenelos won’t work. From the teleport boards on each sim, you will be able to teleport to the observation platform on ARMENELOS.
  • Finally, you will find new and more attractive Donation Kiosks on each sim.  Rather than giving you a total by sim (one could never be sure how the Park was doing as a whole) the new ones are connected via a web server to reflect the ‘monthly’ total for the ENTIRE park.  At the 1st of each month the kiosks will reset on their own. We feel this makes it much less confusing and easier for all.  Romie will set up a link on this website where you can also check how the donations are doing in reaching their monthly Target total.
New Park Donation Kiosk

New Park Donation Kiosk

As you have come to know, Truck and I  love to place prims in a way that will inspire, bring a smile … and give one a sense of peace and ‘place’ as they explore the parks, woodlands, farms and marshlands that are Calas Galadhon Park Sims.  We hope to continue to do that in the year ahead.

See you tomorrow morning (SLT)!  We’ll open soon after Truck gets up and moving. :-)

Affectionately,

Ty & Truck

Looking forward into Spring …

Here we are … full circle for the 6th time … a Calas spring !

Before I start Truck and I wanted to show that at least not all of our ‘rest’ was spent working to improve Calas for you :-)

Be sure read beyond these thumbnails first or come back and read the bottom of this long post after you’re done with the comic relief…because there’s more and more pics, too:)

Getting Ready … 

As we get ready to open the old park gate … hopefully polished a bit … and we now have a good idea on how the Park will start out in 2015,  we wanted to give you an update on the changes being made as well as those planned in the next couple of months.

As always we’d like you to explore on your own to discover the changes … grand and minute. That said, here are a few ‘peeks’ of what has been accomplished so far this month.

Most of the changes you will see are on the Calas Galadhon and Glanduin sims.   We’ve not had time yet to even touch the northern sims other than to remove the Santorini build on Armenelos.  It has been packed up safely … like the Glass Pavilion we had on the Bay of Belfalas sim in 2013. Truck took care to put all in a Rez Faux box for easy rezzing should we do so again in the future.

Appreciation for our ‘Calas family’ and visitors

Last year as we prepared to reopen from our winter break on Valentines Day we announced that because of RL responsibilities in both finances and time, it seemed likely we’d need to cut back on the number of sims.

Our group members and visitors rallied around the cause to keep the park sims intact for the remainder of 2014. Everyone was so very supportive. Considering that Truck and I had to cut back our finances by more than half at the time, it was an amazing accomplishment to say the least. Although because of summer vacations, the holidays, etc., some months were higher than others, the ten month average of total cost covered from donations from March through December was an  amazing 67% !   I’m guessing there are few public sims or estates that can claim they are supported by their visitors to this extent. We can never express enough how very grateful we are for the support of those who were able to participate and keep the park sims of Calas Galadhon together through 2014.

The Calas Galadhon Park Sims in 2015

During the last couple of months Truck and I have thought a great deal on how to approach our work with ‘Calas’ this year.  Funding the park continues to be a big concern for both of us, but for me in particular, its also the amount of time we spend keeping the sims looking their best while creating our special seasonal builds like this year’s DARKWOOD and NOEL.  At times I seemed to be running in place to get things done in time. Poor Truck , Kerena, Alicia and Romie had to put up with me stressing out at times … lol  Don’t get me wrong … Truck and I love what we do here … it is certainly a lot of work, but it also brings joy and personal satisfaction when we see how much others appreciate and enjoy Calas.

Although part of the solution to my ‘stressing’ is an adjustment of attitude, I believe we have made and are still making changes in the Park that, once in place, should reduce the time we spend ‘working’ rather than just enjoying the creative process … at least we can hope :-)

Good news: If you have looked at the World Map recently, you will notice that for now we felt we could keep ALL of the sims.  We have filled out a perfect rectangle on the grid once more … 12 sims again … with a new ‘openspace sim called ‘LONG LAKE’ (named for still another location in the works of J.R.R Tolkein).

ARMENELOS has been moved to the far NW corner of the Park with LONG LAKE placed between it and MISTY MOUNTAINS.

Although we won’t know for sure until we start to work on these northern sims in February / March, we envision LONG LAKE to be a mostly water sim (added space for boating & vistas) but also as a land bridge in between ‘MISTY’ and ARMENELOS. Once completed,one should be able to walk (or ride) around the entire park.

As I mentioned in a previous post our plans for ARMENELOS (possibly renamed at a later date) is to create a new wooded sim … basically MISTY MOUNTAINS on steroids ;-) I’m excited to get started.  We have learned so much since first building MIRROMERE & ‘Misty’.

Once the new wooded sim is complete it may be that we will need to ‘convert down’ the existing Misty Mountains to another ‘openspace’ region to keep the cost of the park close to what we were paying for it in 2014.  If donations continue to go well, there is also a possibility we could keep ‘Misty’ as a ‘homestead’ region. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Again, no work has been started on these two regions yet. When you return you will only see The Dolphin Café (which will be remodeled to fit the theme of the new build and work signs surrounding all.

We have kept our beautiful OZ Nighclub above Armenelos. For now your Landmark for OZ Nightclub will work.  While we hope to start back up our live music schedule in March, you are still welcome to use ‘OZ’ for dancing.  If The Dolphin Café’s facelift is not complete by March, we may be holding it’s shows at another location until all is done.

New Donation system and Kiosks

Below you will find a snapshot of the new Donation kiosk placed around all sims.

New Park Donation Kiosk

The new system has been simplified to show the monthly Park total …rather than the total donated at each sim as the old kiosks displayed. I think they also look a lot nicer than the old black ones ;-)  This new system is much easier for you ( and for us ) to keep track of how the total Monthly support for the entire Park is doing.  In addition, because the new system is now web based, you will be able to check the monthly donation totals via our website .  Romie will put the link in place when we reopen.

Opening Day

Because I had some RL downtime for a few days which put us behind a bit, it may be that we won’t reopen until Saturday, Feb 7th. I say that only as a possibility. We will do our best to open before then. We’ll update you again next week.

As we are all too familiar … in RL and SL … nothing is for sure … or forever … but we can look forward with some hope and optimism about the possibilities ahead.

With gratitude and affection,

Ty Tenk & Truck Meredith, Owners

 

 

Saturday favorite memories of Calas Christmas are posted…

Kerena Zhangsun's Calas Christmas on the Lake

Kerena Zhangsun’s Calas Christmas on the Lake

The Saturday Favorite Memories for this week are posted – take a look and enjoy!

We are all looking forward to Spring now, so stay tuned for some peeks at what’s coming up for Calas in 2015;)

A hint of a Glanduin spring …

A day comes in the springtime
When Earth puts forth her powers,
Casts off the bonds of winter
And lights him hence with flowers…

 ~Dora Read Goodale, “The Chorus,” in Country Life in America: A Magazine for the Home-maker, the Vacation-seeker, the Gardener, the Farmer, the Nature-teacher, the Naturalist, April 1902a

Glanduin Spring 2015b

GREEN !!!

Glanduin Spring 2014

PICNIC

Yes, I know it’s only February :) … but we are fortunate enough to take in the warmth of the sun and dip our feet into the cool water early on Calas. It’s a time of renewal and new discoveries at the Park !

We know that some of you were saddened to hear of the passing of the village on Armenelos. No one more than Truck and I.  It was time for a change. As we work our way around the Park in the next few months, we hope to create an even more enriching experience when you choose to enter the Park gates..

Some of these changes will be complete when you return in February, some, like the creation of a new wooded sim which we are currently referring to it as the ‘new’ Misty Mountains, will still be in the works.  We’ll keep our Calas Announcement Group members and the website updated.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

wishing our ‘Calas’ folk the very best!

Ty & Truck