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Showing posts with label Luc Fray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luc Fray. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2016

BUSY AS BEE - Luc Fray Reporting...

Bee Dumpling in her Dellhaven Sprite* clothes.

If you’ve been role-playing for a while in medieval and fantasy sims, there’s very little chance that you’ve not heard of The White Armory (TWA).

A popular store, not only because of how long it’s been on the grid but because of the quality of its products as well, TWA offers a variety of dresses and weapons in its massive building.

Bee Dumpling, TWA’s co-owner, was gracious enough to grant me an interview to offer me an insight on what it is like handling this kind of SL business aside from the RL make-up business she already has.  

Luc Fray: You have been in SL for nearly 9 years now, Ms. Dumpling. What were your early days like?

Bee Dumpling: The year 2007 was still part of the early days of Second Life. It was still a “new” thing to be a virtual person and explore a virtual environment. The commerce at that time was not like it is now. Places to visit and explore were rare, and avatar clothing and accessories were just beginning to show signs of quality. So I took advantage of what was available and explored, while defining my virtual personality.

Luc Fray: I see. And how did you first find out about Second Life?

Bee Dumpling: I had heard of SL, but it was my uncle that sent me a url and prompted me to join so we could hang out.

Luc Fray: What made you stay?

Bee Dumpling: My uncle and I have always been buddies, so SL was a way we could hang out and chat. Both of us did our own thing as well and would hit up the popular spots like Franks, Botanical Gardens, Bogarts, etc.  I started to visit Avilion regularly and thus began my passion for the medieval role-play aspects in Second Life. It was after meeting Colton and embracing the charitable aspects of Second Life and the real life impacts that could be made, even in a small way, that my involvement with Second Life became a part of my every day.

Bee Dumpling*, January 2015.

Luc Fray: How did you come up with the name Bee Dumpling?

Bee Dumpling: In the early days of SL, you were not given the option of deciding your last name. You had to choose from a list that was provided. My first name was easy. My RL name is Deborah, which means “The Bee” in Hebrew. I think I chose “Dumpling” because it sounded cute and lighthearted, which is the kind of person I am. I could have been hungry too.  *laughs*

Luc Fray: *chuckles* How did you start out with your SL business? Was it difficult?

Bee Dumpling: Colton and I decided to become business partners. We had hit it off right from the beginning and he saw in me a head for business and creativity, so he purchased a small piece of land on a sim called Emerald. We set up some affiliate kiosks, and Colton had been tinkering with making weaponry for role-play. I am a graphic artist in RL, so I would design the texturing and promotional art for the swords, and he would build and script them.
I asked Colton one day what we should call our business and he didn’t even hesitate. “How about The White Armory?”  So, The White Armory it was, and has been ever since.

Building a business in SL, just like RL, is a very incremental process. It takes time to build a brand. We started a group and got our SL friends to join. I began trying my hand at making men’s apparel.  Medieval and custom tunics with personalized colors and heraldry.  My first creations were just awful. No really, seriously just bad! If I ever want to remind myself how far I’ve come, I can pull one of them out of my inventory and wonder how anyone could have ever gave me a single Linden for them. *laughs*

Anyway, we kept growing and growing and eventually bought the entire sim.

Luc Fray: I think great achievements are usually dealt with a lot of hard work. It’s great that you guys came a long way! But who are usually your customers? Who do you cater your business to?

Bee Dumpling: You would think only role-players would come to our store to shop for their characters, but we get folks from every genre. Our creations have even been featured in the Miss Virtual World shows, as well as dozens of other high fashion and avant guarde fashion events in SL through the years. So, it’s across the board when it comes to our customer base.

Bee Dumpling in Seraphim Orion-Floral*.

Luc Fray: I noticed that your RL Business is named after your SL avatar. Tell us about Bee Dumpling Organics.
Bee Dumpling: Colton is my husband in RL, and, 2 years ago, he was having some real problems due to his diabetes. The doctor told him that if he did not modify his diet dramatically, he would lose his eyesight.  I took it upon myself to find a way to eliminate all the processed food, sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, pesticides, wheat, and dairy from our diet. During this time, I began absorbing vast amounts of information about what is in the foods we eat and the products we purchase every day. The picture that was painted was not a good one.  We had gone completely organic with our diet, but what about the other products I used? Namely, cosmetics?  The FDA takes a real “hands off” approach to the cosmetic industry. That being said, the ingredients in most cosmetics are carcinogenic. I was already very passionate about organic food and began researching how to create organic, vegan (I am a strict vegetarian) cosmetics that were void of the chemicals and carcinogens prevalent in most OTC cosmetics.

This was a lot to take on. There really is no “cook book” for cosmetics. I had to literally learn what the hundreds of ingredients in cosmetics are and what they did.  You can find books on “how to” but they only scratch the surface. It really comes down to trial and error. I’ve had a lot of failed attempts. But I learned something from each one of them. I am still learning, and always will be. But it is something I really love, and there is something pretty cool about knowing exactly what you are putting on your face!

Luc Fray: *nods* Understood. You are responsible for your body after all...How do you come up with the ingredients and the making of those cosmetics, by the way?
Bee Dumpling: This depends on the product I am making. Lipsticks use a combination of vegetable waxes and oils, and mineral products like eye shadows, foundations, blush, and highlighters use mica, iron oxide, and vegetable/mineral powder combinations. Even the slightest variation can change the entire batch!

Luc Fray: How do you usually market them and where can they be found?
Bee Dumpling: I market almost exclusively using social media. Especially, Instagram. I can be found on all social media. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter as Bee Dumpling Organics. My products are sold almost exclusively from my Etsy shop.

Bee Dumpling looking like a sorceress*.

Luc Fray: You and your RL husband run your SL and RL business together. How does that work? Is it like he’s in charge of weapons and you of clothes, or is it more like he does the meshing and you do the texturing kind of division?

Bee Dumpling: Colton and I do pretty much everything as a team. In business, you want to have people around you that you trust and are as passionate about the product and brand as yourself. Colton has always been that for me, and this goes for our RL as well.  Colton does all of the weaponry building and scripting in SL. I create his textures and promo art. I create all of the apparel. As for the Cosmetics, Colton has his own social media accounts that he promotes the new releases on so we can double up on promotion that way.

Luc Fray: Where do you guys usually find inspiration for your creations?
Bee Dumpling: We are both similar in the way we get our inspiration. Colton will focus on a shape or piece, and the sword will sort of be built using that as a center piece.  I will troll Pinterest, or just get an idea for a certain type of sleeve design, sketch it out, and then the rest just sort of builds itself.

Luc Fray: What are the newest clothes and weapons released at The White Armory?
Bee Dumpling: Colton has just released a mesh Viking sword collection called “Warriors of Odin.” I have begun collaborating with a mesh builder here in SL. She and I have been really enjoying the creative process of original design, mesh, and textures. We formed a secondary brand called Silvan Moon Designs. We enter most of the fantasy or RP-inspired events in SL. We also have a shop inside the TWA main store.

Luc Fray: Do you guys also get involved in grid hunts and events?

Bee Dumpling: Yes. Our secondary brand Silvan Moon Designs is in many of the established events in SL as well as some of the major hunts.

Colton and Bee.

Luc Fray: I saw that you and Colton met online. Tell us your story.

Bee Dumpling: Colton and I met in early 2008. Colton was looking for merchants to rent stalls in his market to help offset the cost of a ¼ sim called Majestic Heart. I had been helping a jewelry maker with his textures and marketing during that time, so I agreed to set up a shop on Colton’s sim. It was during this time that Colton and I started getting to know one another.  By the end of 2008, we were very much in love. He swept me off my feet one day in October of 2008 when he asked me if I wanted to get married (in SL). I was even more flabbergasted when he meant, like right then and there!  He had already arranged a RL pastor to officiate as well as witnesses to the union!  So we were married and began our Second Lives as husband and wife.

We Skyped every day as well. Colton is from the UK. So, we literally had a long-distance romance for many years. It helped that we could speak and interact as virtual people. We did a lot of charity work in SL, so we were very busy in those days with that. I was making good money from my White Armory Designs, and it was enough to fly Colton over here to the States where we met in RL for the first time. That was September of 2009. He was only able to stay a week. It was a tearful goodbye as he headed back to the UK again. He came back to the States in the Spring of 2010 for 2 weeks. Again, he had to return to the UK. He came back for good in February of 2011. We married in RL in June of 2011. The process was long and sometimes heartbreaking. And the immigration process was also long and frustrating. Not to mention expensive. But it was worth it!

Luc Fray: I'm in the White Armory group and I notice that there would be posts about services regarding Worship, Praise, and Fellowship to the White Cathedral, usually held by a priestess. I was curious, are you guys Wiccan? If so, do you think being Wiccan made a distinct difference on who you are now as a person both in RL and SL? [A/N: See Into the Cauldron]

Bee Dumpling: Actually, we began having the services to allow folks of every denomination and/or background to come and be encouraged or ministered to. Colton and I do not subscribe to any one religion but are both spiritual people. We believe that everyone should have a safe place where they can just come as they are and know that they can give their burdens a voice so that others can help to ease their pain or suffering through fellowship and positivity.

Luc Fray: What's next for Bee Dumpling, Colton Drechsler, and The White Armory? Any plans in the near future?
Bee Dumpling: As Colton likes to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” So we intend to carry on doing what we have been for as long as SL allows us to. Silvan Moon Designs is growing exponentially as well and I am very happy with that aspect as it allows for even more creative freedom. And, of course, Bee Dumpling Organics will continue to grow and add more products. These keep us both quite busy, but happy.

*Photos courtesy of Bee Dumpling. You can check out more of their clothes at the Marketplace here and their official website here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ADELE, RUMOR HAS IT… - Luc Fray Reporting...

It’s amazing how time can pass by quickly. Sometimes you still keep the people you meet. Often, however, you’d lose them. A busy schedule either in RL or SL can do that, but I’m happy to say Adele Bumblefoot belonged in the former rather than the latter category.

Three years ago, I first met her in one of the RP sims I frequent. It had been a very long day for me. I was already sleepy to begin with. I should have gone straight to bed and probably shouldn’t even have logged in in the first place.

I remember I accidentally fell asleep in the middle of our RP and then waking up 6 hours after to realize what just happened. I was horribly, horribly embarrassed. I apologized profusely to her and to our now-common friend, Petunia, who was in the RP too. What made it worse was that they waited, and they were still there standing next to me when I woke up. I felt like kicking myself after that.

Luckily, they took it well. More RP grew from that encounter. I didn’t mind joining plotlines with them as they were talented role-players and possibly two of the best I’ve ever encountered in the grid. They became two of my closest friends in SL. Although our interactions were mainly through IC, they taught me a lot of things OOC too. They were incredibly funny and creative and smart, and I would never forget how they showed kindness to me.

I was going through a lot that time. I was on my own and was just kind of drifting around. I didn’t really have any SL family like most of the people in the game do, but they were the closest thing I could call one.

Although I rarely talk to them these days, when I do manage to find them online, I like to chat with them just to catch up on things. Such was the case a few days back when Adele popped up in my contact list.

Stitched’s Verra Silken Coat* for Maitreya Lara.

Luc Fray: So Adele, how long have you been in Second Life? How did you first find out about it?

Adele Bumblefoot: Now this is going to sound silly but someone told me about Second Life as another game like Sims 2.

Luc Fray: And? *laughs*

Adele Bumblefoot: So I checked it out! It wasn’t Sims 2, apparently, but I explored and found out about role-play communities. Those were weird at first, but I liked medieval stories, so I remained on Second Life anyway! It is nearly 8 years now!

Luc Fray: Wow! Is this the first account you've created? How did you come up with the name?

Adele Bumblefoot: No, this is the third one I think.

Luc Fray:  What happened with the first two?

Adele Bumblefoot: My first account was a fairy; my second account was a drow; then this account was for an elf. I didn’t think of having multiple characters on one account at the time!

I was searching a name database on the internet, and I liked the sound of Adele. Then I chose Bumblefoot from the list of existing last names; I thought it was a bit funny and went with it! Never took myself too seriously, so why not? Then I said, I'll use that as a flaw for my character, so I did. I gave her the trait clumsy or something similar.

Luc Fray:  *laughs* So, you only created accounts for the RP.... Tell me, what were your newbie days like?

Adele Bumblefoot: Fun! Even as a newbie, with prim and flexi hair, it was fun. I was role-playing in a sim called Terabithia back then. People were nice and it felt like a big family.

Luc Fray: Do you still RP there?

Adele Bumblefoot: Naaah. I don’t really RP anymore to begin with. I moved on from Terabithia years ago, went to multiple sims, and expanded on the genres I role-played at. I started with medieval but I also did sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, urban, and star wars, just to name a few.

Davos Doublet* from Stitched.

Luc Fray: It was through role-playing that I met you. *laughs* How do you get ideas for your characters?

Adele Bumblefoot: The Universe. And I observe what everyone else is doing so that I can do the opposite. In a way, it’s my effort to be special, paradoxically by playing very non-special people with very usual traits. Most people go for the extraordinaire. I enjoy playing the everyday people and still getting good stories.

Luc Fray: What kind of role-player are you and what usually gets you interested in a scene?

Adele Bumblefoot: I don’t know how to label myself, but I enjoy scenes that leave me wondering. So, for the most part, I don’t want to know more than I need to know, and I want to find out more as the story progresses; otherwise it’s not too exciting, right? I think that’s the most interesting thing in a scene for me, the thrill of discovering and having all the questions the reader/player wants answered but can’t have the answers yet.

Luc Fray: I understand that some players have limits; what are yours? What usually turns you off a scene?

Adele Bumblefoot: That depends on the scene, but usually I am not okay with my character getting killedunless my character has killed some other character, of course, then that's only fair!

Luc Fray: Are you currently active in the RP world right now? And which sims are you frequenting?

Adele Bumblefoot: I am really not active in RP right now, but when I get some time, I check out sims, usually medieval ones or Game of Thrones ones.

Luc Fray: You mentioned earlier that your career in SL is on its third year. How did you start out in the business?

Adele Bumblefoot: It started out like a hobby. I first gave Blender a go 4 years ago, so around summer 2012, but I didn’t have an easy time with it. I was trying to make a mermaid tail, but it was really hard for me. Almost precisely one year after that, summer 2013, I tried Maya instead, though that time I didn’t try to make anything particular. I just dabbled and then it went on from there.

EPOS hairs in display at Adele’s main store (

Luc Fray: Tell us something about EPOS, Stitched, and Daire.

Adele Bumblefoot: EPOS is the mesh body brand and the hair brand. I created it as a separate brand from Stitched later on since it has to do with a different field. Daire is the brand of furniture (whenever I feel like making something like that!) and, of course, Stitched is my main thing, where I make clothes and shoes and accessories, mostly for medieval and fantasy! All my brandsbut primarily Stitchedare focused on creating products that are customizable and easy to mix and match. They are products that people ask for. I really love fulfilling my customers’ wishes and that’s why I often get contacted to customize some of my releases with special patterns or colors or some role-play sigil for their characters and such, which I honestly love. People being happy with what I make is my primary source of inspiration.

Luc Fray: *grins* I’m glad to hear that you’re one of those kinds of creators. Which one usually takes up most of your time? Do you do everything for your store? Like managing the financial aspect, making builds, making textures, marketing, etc.?

Adele Bumblefoot: I manage everything, yes. Each product I make is my ownfrom the mesh to the textures to the advertisement pictures (save for a few times when I have other, more talented people help me out with that!). But if you are asking which one of all these activities takes up the most time, I would say, depending on the item, it could be rigging or it could be texturing. If the item is a clothing piece for a mesh body, the rigging needs a lot of work to grow and shrink and bend like the body it is meant for. Otherwise, the texturing, I’d say. My favorite part is meshing, starting with a box and making it something different every time.

Adele’s meshing for an armor*.

Luc Fray: How do you get ideas and inspiration for your creations? Do you have like a favorite book or movie or TV series that just lights the bulb up? How do you improve your craft?

Adele Bumblefoot: I usually get inspiration from TV series, movies, books, actual history, and whatever sources for real outfits that existed in our past I can find. I collect those in a Pinterest board, so that once I find something I like, I always have it there for later use. Now for the improvement, that’s something that comes natural for me, cause I always want to make this other new shiny thing (which is usually harder than what I've done up to that point), so I have to find new ways to work, or more efficient ones, or try new software to see what it can offer me in my pipeline.

Luc Fray: Art inspiring art. What’s next then for the very wonderful Adele Bumblefoot? Any plans for the future?

Adele Bumblefoot:  Right now, I am finishing up the details of my main storewhich I’ve built all by myselfand finishing with making all the purchases easier, installing scripted vendors, gift cards, redelivery terminals, and all that but, from October 4th onwards, I’m releasing products again in some sale events, gacha events, and the like, so I’m back into production! In 2017, I have plans on expanding on another field too, but that’s a secret for now, you’ll have to wait and see!

Luc Fray: *laughs* And that concludes our interview. Thank you so much for your time, Adele! It was lovely talking to you again.

Achilles mesh body. More information can be checked on her website: .

*Images are taken from Adele’s Flickr Account with her permission.

Monday, September 19, 2016


A few weeks ago, a notice popped up in the Seeking RP group teasing a sim that would soon be coming to Second Life. Its theme was college role-play, a genre I’ve not yet tried in SL. Naturally, it piqued my interest and I couldn’t help but check out the link that came along with it.

The website was blank.

Thinking that it must be experiencing some bug or what, I contacted the person who posted the notice up, Aria Kenden, and she was kind enough to answer my questions regarding her role-play sim, Silver Leaf College. I ended up applying as one of the professors before the conversation ended.

Luc Fray: Ok, so how did you come up with the name Silver Leaf College, Ms. Kenden?

Aria Kenden: Well, My friend Devin and I pictured what type of atmosphere we wanted for the school, and we wanted a name to reflect that. We imagined a comfortable woodland feel and Silver Leaf College stuck.

Luc Fray: Devin is one of the co-creators of SLC, correct? Who else are the brains and hands behind the creation of the sim, and how hard was it putting the dream into action?

Aria Kenden: Yes, he is! Devin has been the biggest asset to SLC really. And his daughter, Lily, has helped with the landscaping. I wouldn’t say it was hard, but I will say a lot of time and money has been invested into the school already to make it what it is.

Devin Kazagumi at the Dorm’s pool area.

Luc Fray: Seems a lot of heart was poured into it. What made you guys decide to create this sim? Or rather, what gave you guys the inspiration?

Aria Kenden: We have a passion for teen role-play, in particular, the school setting. Most schools come and go or the ones that stay offer the same experiences. We wanted to create a safe but fun space for teens that is a bit out of the ordinary.

Luc Fray: Yeah, I saw on the website that Silver Leaf is a PG sim. Does that mean you guys won’t be tackling themes such as booze, drugs, sex, frat hazing, etc. as is usually prevalent in RL universities and colleges? *laughs*

Aria Kenden: Hmmm, not necessarily that they won’t be addressed, but rather we don’t encourage it. In the end, we know rules will be broken, and, from an OOC standpoint, as long as sexual RP is not performed, we are pretty lenient.

One of the classrooms.

Luc Fray: Understood. I imagine that would be a problem since the students would be in the 16 to 18 age bracket….

So you guys are already open for enrollment and classes will start on the 19th. Is there a cut-off date for enrollment like in RL? And if so, when is that?

Aria Kenden: We’ve thought about it but decided to not have a cut-off date. As we grow, we want to welcome more students and don’t want to set a restriction. So even after classes begin, we will still accept students.

Luc Fray: What are some of the classes you guys offer?

Aria Kenden: We aren’t revealing the full list yet until classes begin, but, so far, we have the potential to start with sixteen. They include Art, Creative Writing, Drama, Health and Wellness, Norse Mythology: The Gods of the Vikings, Law, Media Ethics, Japanese, and South Park & Contemporary Issues.

Luc Fray: Wow, that’s a lot! Do you guys let the students choose the classes or do you enroll them all in them?

Aria Kenden: There are no sign-ups for classes, so there is no limit of attendants. Students can come and go as they please.


Luc Fray: Ah, so you guys are focusing the RP on story than actual classroom interaction and education. I may have gotten a little bit confused on that….

Does Silver Leaf have a main central plot to which individual characters’ stories would gravitate around?

Aria Kenden: No, not really. The only plot we have set in place is we are based on UK schools. Meaning, it’s called sixth form or college, for ages 16 to 18.

Luc Fray: At the core of it all, what basically is Silver Leaf College?

Aria Kenden: I’d have to say, it’s a place for teens to come together for RP and to make new friends. Yeah, there are classes and learning, but the interaction between all participants, students and teachers, is what makes it special.

Luc Fray: On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you for this?

Aria Kenden: Ha! Oh my God, it’s off the charts! Every day, since beginning plans, I've been telling Devin how excited I am about it. So I’d say, at least a 12!

Luc Fray: *laughs* Aside from being Admin, you are playing a student here too, right? Tell us a little about your character.

Aria Kenden: Yes, I am playing a student. My character is of legal UK drinking age... eighteen. She typically grabs the seats in the back of the classroom, unless she is crushing on the teacher. She sticks to the same people she is familiar with, but she is all-around nice. Other than my character, I'd have to say the principal and counselor are the ones to watch out for. They are anything but typical, and I'll leave it at that.

Luc Fray: She sounds lovely. I look forward to interacting with you in campus then. *laughs* Would you like to invite our readers to Silver Leaf College?

Aria Kenden: Me too! And yes! To any reader who wants more information or wants to apply, the first step is visiting our website at:

Luc Fray: Thank you for that, Ms. Kenden, and here’s hoping SLC will be a huge success!

Silver Leaf College.