Sunday, April 11, 2010

Barefoot Homes at the Home Garden & Patio Exhibition

The Relay All-Stars Home Garden & Patio Exhibition opened yesterday! That's right, yesterday. OK, I'm a day late. I had been preparing for this event this last month and thought I'd be all ready to go. I had the size of my space, how many prims I could use, and had even set up a mock up so I'd be set to go. Sounds great, doesn't it? The day the exhibit opens to the exhibitors to set up (that would be me) one of my computers decides it does not like life anymore and totally locks up on me. This of course had to be the one that had all of my files on it for this project. To make this short, I had to spend all day figuring out the problem and getting the thing back on line. Turns out, when I was cleaning out my email of spam, I accidentally opened an email that had malware in it. I caught my mistake and quickly closed it, but that is all it took. I picked up some malware trojan called 'SASS.exe'. It took a day to get rid of it and kill it off, but luckily I was able to repair the damage. So, I got a late start and...if it could go wrong, it did. So, I'm a day late, and I'm happy to announce that Barefoot Homes is now set up in Sim 7 at space 75.

Here is the poster for the Home Garden & Patio Exhibition.


Barefoot Homes is in Sim 7 at space 75. I have a double sized lot this year and am happy with the location of my site.

Barefoot Homes is excited to announce the premier of two new model homes at the exhibition this year. The 'Snoqualmie 'A' Frame Lodge' and the 'Michigan Rancher'. Both are set up and on display at the site. I want to give a special thanks to Dellybean North of True North Designs who provided the furniture for both displays. Cinders Vale of Nexus Arts also provided some lamps and stone pottery. True North Designs main store is located in Goun and Nexus Arts main store is located in Broken Creek.

The Snoqualmie is a unique design in that it was inspired by the 'A' frame homes located in the Pacific Northwest. Many are used as ski lodges, by the lake, stores, and sometimes in some urban environments. The design is classic and has been around for some time. Not many designs like this are available in Second Life and that is why I decided to give this project a go. It took a month to produce this design and I think it is one of the most beautiful builds that Barefoot has ever made. New custom wood textures were made and a lot of thought went into the design. Getting the angles to work out took a lot of time. The is an all prim design, very little in the way of alpha textures. Because of this, the Snoqualmie is a tad bit heavy on the prims, but the details that come through make it worth it. This home is large enough that it produces it's own shadow lines for added depth and realism.
The end result is a virtual home that is warm, cozy and is a pleasure to simply look at. It is very much a 'barefoot' home for sure, well suited for the name of Barefoot Homes. The Snoqualmie has a large living room area with the high vaulted ceiling and has a loft bedroom with a deck on the second floor. Here are the specifications.
Footprint: 24 X 32 Meters
Prims: 254 fully equipped
recommended parcel: 4096 minimum
Huge prims are used in this design.

Here are a few pictures of the Snoqualmie Lodge.

Snoqualmie front view with the lights on.

Snoqualmie Living Room with large fireplace and high vaulted ceiling.

Rear view of the Snoqualmie with loft area and deck.

And here are the Snoqualmie and the Michigan Rancher on display at the exhibit site.


This design happened quite by accident. A customer had contacted me and told me that she loved my designs, but, could not find what she really wanted. When I asked what she was looking for she told me that she wanted a 'rancher' style home, something with an early sixties look, one of those 'cookie cutter' homes so popular when the building boom was going on way back when. She told me that she was sick at looking at homes by then and she was tired of every home she looked using alpha textures. I, of course was delighted to hear this because Barefoot Homes does not rely on alpha textures for it's designs. She knew that alpha textures look flat, no depth to the build and the problems that exists using alpha textures. This is one reason why Barefoot Homes does not produce huge or large scale homes. To have detail and depth to a design, you have to use prims to do it. Alpha textures have their use to be sure, but not for an entire house. Detail costs prims and Barefoot is very aware of this.

I told her I'd see what I could come up with, but it might take some time as I was already getting ready for the Home and Garden Expo. That night, I started my research on the 'rancher style homes' from the late fifties to mid-sixties.

The Michigan Rancher from start to finish took one week, research, drawing up a design, a rough build and then finalizing the design to a master build and finished home. One week! not too bad considering how busy I was at the time. Here a a couple of pictures of the Michigan.

The Michigan offers an exterior color change feature operated by menu. You have the choice of twelve authentic colors from that era. This home offers a garage, locking front door, and one feature that may be a first, working double sash windows in the bedroom. All windows have working shades operated by touch as you can see in the pictures. There are many other little details that I am sure many will appreciate. Why did I pick the name of 'Michigan'? This is where the gal is from and she wanted that mid-eastern look to it. From what she has since told me and some others who saw the design as I was building it, I nailed the design and style down pretty good.

The Michigan will bring back memories for many of us. I remember seeing this style of home many times when I was growing up and there are many still around today. Here are the specifications for the Michigan.

Footprint: 15 X 30 Meters
Prims: 140 fully equipped

Huge prims are used in the design.

A special thanks to Billington Chaffe for providing one prim sculptie flowers for the Michigan display and to The Tastery owned by Tasia Tonic for her sculptie flowers at the Snoqualmie display.

Please stop by the Home Expo and look at everything. I am quite excited at the release of the Snoqualmie and the Michigan. Both are furnished and for sale at the site. I will be setting up the displays at Barefoot Homes main display area in Snafu and the secondary display site located in Zeord.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Barefoot Designs, a brief tour

Click on pictures for larger view...

Two posts in one day! imagine that! I was working on the Homes Display Platform when a lady showed up and wanted to see the Oak Park Mansion. I of course was happy to show her and lead her to the display. Most customers do not want the owner hovering over them whispering..'buy, buy..' so I left her there to take a look. A short time later she came back to me and told me that while she liked the design and features, it wasn't big enough. She wanted a 'grand house' (her words) and the Oak Park (apparently) wasn't grand enough. OK, I guess size does matter, be that as it may, she proceeded to tell me that in the whole time she had been in world, she had never heard of Barefoot Designs and was surprised to find 'Barefoot Homes'. Looking at her profile, she was an old timer just as I was. We had an interesting conversation and the gist of the conversation was, she said I needed to get my own sim and have the entire operation on it, rather then be spread across two continents.

Point taken, but it isn't that easy. Hence this second post. I had to think about this and have to admit, having my own sim might make things easier, but it is also more expensive. Now granted, starting out a business in a sim named 'Snafu' probably wasn't the smartest move on my part, but that is the way things turned out and here we are. This all started with my first 1024 parcel four years ago in Snafu. Some months later, and another land purchase, Barefoot Apparel opened its doors and the rest is history.

Barefoot Designs is the parent company and under that is three divisions. Barefoot Apparel, now located in Zeord on prime (and very expensive) beach front property, Barefoot Homes & Designs which sells office and home furnishings located in Snafu at ground level, and lastly, Barefoot Homes located on the Homes Display Platform at 500 meters above.

Barefoot Apparel is the mainstay of Barefoot Designs. I focus on this more then the rest because the clothing or fashions pays the bills for the most part. Geared for the guys, Barefoot Apparel has a unique look in beach, or casual wear for the guys. Much too my surprise, the gals love it too and we are now offering unisex fashions.

This ad was the last ad to appear in the last issue of Runway Magazine and was declared as one of my 'hottest' ads. This was for the new 'Footy Camo' line of men's swimwear.

Barefoot Homes & Designs offers home and office furnishings such as lighting, office desks, chairs, ceiling fans, and more.

Jeremey's Cove is more of a little hideaway that is used for Seven Seas Fishing events, a micro Barefoot Apparel store and is one of my favorites places to just relax and unwind. The Cove is my way of bringing back something of my past when I was growing up around the lakes. I love the water, and my boats. I get a lot of pleasure when I see other folks drop in and just sit on the dock or dancing . The light house is a landmark in Snafu and has been part of the landscape for almost four years. It was given to me by a neighbor who bought his land the same day I bought my first parcel in Snafu. I knew Niki for about a year and one day he just stopped coming in. A year later his land was declared abandoned and I bought his parcel at auction. Niki had told me that he was a young Asian student and had serious health issues, but never told me anymore then that. I fear the worst for Niki, and the light house stands to honor him and my early memories in Snafu.

Barefoot Homes offers a variety of mid-size homes suited for smaller parcels and commercial builds. One of the reasons I don't offer 'grand' homes is, I simply don't have the room or prims for it. That may change, but not any time soon. The homes that are offered are innovative in design and offer high detail with low prim. I have been actively marketing Barefoot Homes in a variety of ways and I am seeing an increase in traffic and Barefoot Homes is starting to be well known. Anyone knows that there are many home builders out there, some are well known and some, frankly, should not be known at all. I firmly believe that the very name, 'Barefoot Homes' says it all, and is already known for quality and outstanding customer service.

Barefoot Homes Display Platform

Barefoot Homes is more known for the commission work during the last few years. High profile work that most are probably not aware of. Barefoot Homes designed and built the studios for the 'Designing Worlds' TV show on Treet TV. It has been an active build for two years now and is still being used. Barefoot Homes built the SL5B gallery for Prim Perfect Magazine, and before that, the Prim Perfect Publications Headquarters, still in use. Most notably is the former Runway Productions Headquarters Building which became an over night icon in the fashion industry. Sadly, it lasted only six months after the building was dedicated and is no more. Barefoot Designs now once again owns that build and will make it available to the market later.

Designing Worlds Studios (formerly know as Meta Makeover) at dusk.

Too see more pics of this build click on the link below.

Runway Productions poster for the new headquarters building. Runway closed without notice much to every one's surprise. Read the story further down on this blog. Barefoot Designs created all logos and art work such as the poster above for the project.

To see more pictures of the Runway Headquarters Building, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Tillie Ariantho, former Runway Photographer. Thanks Tillie!

And here is a link to the article about the Runway Headquarters by Runway Magazine.

And you can read my blog on my thoughts about the sudden closing down below "Doesn't Make Sense'.

Barefoot Designs is spread out on two continents and for now, it works. In time, I do see a private sim in the future, but that is a ways down the road. Barefoot is known in the SL universe, the little foot print logo is almost iconic in its own way, everyone knows what those foot prints mean and know where that item, be it clothing, furniture, or home came from.

After the conversation with the lady looking for that 'grand' house, I though it might be a good thing to say something on this subject. I am, Jeremey Ryan, proud owner of Barefoot Designs.

For that lady out there looking for that grand home, I hope you find it, but it isn't a Barefoot Home...

All Stars Home, Garden and Patio Expo 2010

Barefoot Homes will be at the All Stars Home, Garden and Patio Expo 2010. Barefoot will have a double sized lot this year and will have three homes on display. A new design will make it's premier at the show. What is it? Not going to say, but it is unique and one of a kind. The other homes that will be on display will be the recently released 'Cascades' Lakeside Cabin and the 'Bayview' Cottage. All homes will be furnished for viewing. Dellybean North, owner of True North Designs will have some of her furniture on display in the Barefoot Homes. Delly, a long time friend and colleague will also have her own display at the Home Expo.

The Home Expo is sponsored by the All Stars Relay for Life Team. The Home, Garden and Patio Expo will open April 10th and run through April 17th, 2010.

Cascades Lakeside Cabin

Bayview Cottage

The location of the Home expo has not been announced yet, so I'll update that information when it is announced. Barefoot Homes is looking forward to another exciting time at the Home and Garden Expo 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cleaning House

Hi all. Things have been busy at Barefoot Designs. I am cleaning up this blog and have removed a lot of old content and revising the blog. I must apologize for not updating as often as I should, but there is only one person behind the avatar and as anyone knows, blogs take a fair amount of time. My thanks to all of you who have politely reminded me about my blog in world. So...once again, we'll get things back on track here.

I backed up to my post regarding the Home Expo from last year and am happy to announce that once again, Barefoot Homes will be there. This year Barefoot will have a double sized parcel and will be releasing a new design. I'll be posting more on that soon.

I felt that it was important to leave my post on the old 'Runway Productions' debacle. It is now going on one year since that event happened. Runway is gone forever, but the old Runway Headquarters build lives on. Barefoot Designs now owns that design once again and is in the process of making minor changes on the design and will release the build sometime soon. Barefoot Designs now has license to the design per the original agreement with Runway Productions from last year when the build was commissioned.

The former 'Runway' headquarters build has now been renamed the 'Phoenix Nouveau' Building. I felt that this was an appropriate name for the design, rising from the ashes and all that. Thanks to an old friend, I have been able to set this build up on their land and start making the changes on the design. I had forgotten how large this build is and I must admit that removing all of the Runway logos and such was hard to do. A lot of wonderful memories with this build and certainly a landmark project for Barefoot. The new Phoenix Nouveau is now available for viewing by appointment only. More on that later.

I do have more news and will be posting that soon.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Barefoot Homes at All Stars Home Expo 2009

Barefoot Homes is excited to be part of the 'All Stars Home Expo 2009' which benefits the Relay for Life Campaign. Barefoot has two homes on site in 'Iridium at site 51' which I call 'Area 51'. The Home Expo is located on four sims this year, just over the hill (as it were) from my home base in Snafu. Including Iridium, there is Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium. Barefoot Homes has the 'Shorline Cottage' and the newly released 'Pend Oreille Lake Cottage' (pronounced POND A-ray) at the Expo this year. Both home offer features that are not common on homes in Second Life (TM). These homes feature exterior color changes by the owner and functional blinds on the windows and doors. Not an easy trick. My good friend and colleague Dellybean North of True North Designs managed the scripting and I then tweaked them to fit the needs of each house. I am not a scripter and only work with scripts if I have too.

CLICK on pics to see full image

The Shorline Cottage is a two story design that has crisp clean lines and inspired by the contemporary look of the late sixties. Rolled glass textures, large windows, and wood floors. The Shoreline can change to eleven different colors by using the 'Control panel' located on the main floor.

The Shorline offers functional blinds on both floors and each door on the second floor has blinds that can close too. I have been accused at times for using photographs for some of my textures, not here. The blinds are designed and created using Illustrator and Photoshop. I rarely use actual photos for textures. Both homes offer custom textures created by Barefoot, no photos were used.

The Pend Oreille Lake Cottage was inspired by some of the cottages I have seen at Lake Pend Oreille (POND A-ray). Many are built right on floating docks. They are small, compact yet have character and are warm. Many are used only during the summer months while some are lived in year around. This design was actually a re-vamp of a two year old design I had created for the Relay for Life Home Auction. That didn't go off quite right and I simply put it away. I found it again two months ago in my ever growing inventory and decided to work it over. One of the things I noticed about my designs was they all had flat roofs. I decided it was time to get away from that and started work on a cathedral ceiling. Not as easy as it sounds. Basic geometry doesn't always work in world so working with angles is a real challenge. But, after some work and lots of math, we did it.

Building the Pend Orielle using 'Skidz Primz' tool

I went on-line and did some research on different types of ceilings and came up with this, inspired by some beach shacks located on the east coast of the USA. Large over hangs and medium pitch. The design came off nicely, bit heavy on the prims, but acceptable. The new roof design gave the look of a warm lake side cottage that could be used anywhere. The foot print of the cottage itself is only 20 X 20 meters and will fit on a 1024 parcel comfortably.

Pend Oreille Lake Cottage ad. Now in the current issue of Prim Perfect Magazine

The Pend Oreille offers a color choice of twelve colors and functional blinds on all windows and doors. I am very happy with the final design. Both the Pend Oreille and the Shorline are located at the Expo site. Both homes are furnished by True North Designs and the wall art is provided by Nexus Arts owned by Cinders Vale, C.E.O of Barefoot Designs. This will be a great time for Barefoot Homes.

Coming soon from Barefoot Homes is the new 'Oak Park Mansion' and at the other end of the prim spectrum, the new 'Redondo Beach Shack'. The Redondo is a low prim starter home for the small 512 parcels, great for the first home. Only 32 prims and will feature functional blinds on the windows and locking slider door. Ok, its a box, but a classy box. It is now available for viewing at the Barefoot Homes Display Platform, will be ready for the market soon.

The Pend Oreille Lake Cottage on display at the Home Expo

Another day, another Linden, another cup of coffee. I love my job!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Barefoot Homes is Open!

After a lot of planning and work, Barefoot Homes Display Platform is now open. Still some work in progress but there are now model homes to look at and purchase. Barefoot is pleased to welcome True North Designs owned by Dellybean North with two houses to show located on 'Snafu Avenue'.

Barefoot gives a big welcome to 'Darkstone Gallery' of fine ph
otography owned by Erron Darkstone. Erron is a bit of a new comer to business and is still learning the ropes, but, his work is unique and special. Erron has a keen eye with his camera. The Darkstone Gallery is located on 'Commercial Avenue' in the Modular Commercial Building.

Nexus Arts is a new business owned by Cinders Vale. Nexus Arts has contemporary pieces of art work for sale in the 'Small Town Store' located at Barefoot Plaza. Cinders has a gifted talent of working prims into unique pieces of art. Cinders is just getting started, but I'm sure will do well once she gets the hang of being a business owner. I might ad that Cinders Vale is also C.E.O of Barefoot Designs.

When you arrive at the Barefoot Homes Display Platform you will arrive in 'Barefoot Plaza'. This is the starting point and intersection for Barefoot Plaza, Commercial Avenue, and Residential Lane. Barefoot Plaza is where all the information and maps will be located for the site. Commercial Avenue is where all of the commercial builds will be located. Residential Lane is where all of the model homes are located and available for view. At the end of Residential lane is 'Snafu Avenue'. Sanfu Avenue is where the low prim homes will be located.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but one has to start some where. Right now, you can see the new and updated homes just released by Barefoot.

All of the homes offer
unique features. You can now choose the color of your house by using the Control Panel mounted in each house. You can also close and open the blinds in all homes using the same Control Panel.

The updated San Juan Round House offers 11 colors to choose from and blinds that work.

The Shorline Cottage is
a two story design with a retro sixties look. The Shoreline offers 11 colors, and functional blinds. Teleport system is included but will have to be set up by the new owner. Details instructions are included.

The newest addition to the Barefoot line is the 'Pend Oreille Lake Cottage'. Pronounced, "POND A-ray". The Pend Oreille offers a selection of 12 colors and functional blinds, plus the blinds on the doors are functional too.

Coming soon is the 'Oak Park Mansion' which is on display but not yet ready for sale.

This is an exciting time for Barefoot. We invite everyone to come up to the Barefoot Homes Display Platform and just explore. It is a nice place to visit if nothing else. There are three 'Barefoot' Golf Carts available for the public to use, great fun, just be respectful of others and at least return them to the starting point.

As you look at the homes you will see furnishings from True North Designs. All of the furnishings are available either on site at each model home for sale or at the 'Metropole Building' located at Barefoot Plaza.

Don't hesitate to ask for help or questions. As the name implies, bare feet are welcome, be casual, and have a good look around. There is some good music to listen too while you explore.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Doesn't Make Sense

Runway Headquarters Designed and Built by Barefoot Homes & Designs


It has been one week since the news came out that Runway Magazine/Runway Productions closed it's doors. I read the news on Runways Blog that morning and could not believe what I was reading, nor could anyone else. This has turned into a real debacle and shook the fashion sector of SL to it's core. Maggie Mahoney announced the morning of April 8, 2009 that she and her partner Ocean Bates were passing into 'real life' and that Runway was closing it's doors. That day turned into a nightmare for many, especially the Staff who worked at Runway. Confusion ensued, finger pointing, rumors, and even a (kinda sorta) hostile take over of Runway? Who knows? I'm not sure anyone really does or ever will. The only one that does is the (former) owner of Runway and that is Maggie, and she isn't talking.

I'm not going to go into speculation as to the reasons why Maggie and Ocean did what they did, nor will I express my personal opinion of this debacle. I think enough of that has occurred and it is still going on. After all the reading I have done on many different blogs, no one really said anything on one point that has been bothering me since this thing started. I started 'Barefoot' almost three years ago. 'Barefoot Designs' now has a name, a reputation for quality, customer care, and is now starting to grow. I have spent many hours learning, designing, creating, building, and honing my skills to produce unique textures, clothing, and builds. It is a never ending process, but I do enjoy it and in time will actually make a real world living from it. I am proud of my work, and will stand by it and protect it if I have too. Now let me back up a bit here...

I met Maggie and Ocean back in September of 2008. They had seen my build for the new SLCN / Meta Makeover studio and asked if I would be interested in doing a custom build for them. They wanted me to design and build the new headquarters for 'Runway Magazine'. Until that day, I had never heard of Runway. That was the start of a wonderful working relationship. I accepted the project and started my research. Maggie, Ocean and myself had meetings everyday. I would present concepts, ideas, and we would discuss them, make changes, and the process continued. Long story short, I designed and built the new Headquarters for Runway Magazine / Runway Productions. This project took five weeks to complete and finally the day came when I handed over ownership of the build to Maggie. The build was paid in full and I was done. During the course of this project, I made friends of both Maggie and Ocean. We had many chats about everything and anything. Things got busy for us, but even then, Maggie or Ocean and I would get together for a good visit. I learned a lot from both of them. Maggie gave me critique on my clothing designs and photography, Ocean was always helpful on marketing. I can say that from what I learned from them has certainly helped 'Barefoot' grow.

My point is this. I know what kind of work and dedication is required to make any business work, be it virtual or real life. Maggie and Ocean both worked hard, and had a dedicated staff to make Runway grow and in time, be the number one fashion magazine of SL. They built a solid reputation for quality, integrity, reliability and professionalism. Almost two years of hard work...

A few strokes of the keyboard...

and its all gone...


I seriously don't get it.

I will never understand this. I am deeply disappointed by what transpired this last week. Many lessons have been learned. I for one will be much more cautious in making any new friends and how I do business. There is much more to this story, but my point has been made. There is no excuse (in my opinion) for what ever reason, for this to happen. If you are going to shut the doors on your business, that's fine, but wind down, finish your projects for your clients and don't burn those bridges. Take the time to leave your reputation intact and give everyone time to make the changes that need to be made. This applies to both the real world and in-world business.

Runway is gone, Barefoot is still here. If I have anything to
say about it, Barefoot will be around for a long time to come.

This is the last time I saw the Runway Headquarters.
It will never been seen again.

I will be posting pictures of the Runway Build as soon as I can get them together. The Runway build is gone now, never to be seen as it was, will rise again, just a bit different sometime in the future.

My Best Wishes to the (former) Runway Staff.