Nika’s Grotto

As I’ve mentioned before, Keeme and I share a parcel on Corona Cay that we use to try out different builds and ideas. Sometimes together, and sometimes seperately. But we both contribute to one anothers builds, at least to some extent. I have to say, its a LOT of fun doing it this way. Back when we lived on Nowhereville, we were using the same prefab house the whole time we were there. And yes, it was great. I totally love that house. But I’m beginning to find out that changing things up and taking turns trying out new ideas is a thousand times more fun, and more interesting than just leaving things the same.

The first build we had on our parcel was mine. It was that house from Nicky Patterson that I altered to add some rooms and do a little bit of retexturing. Nothing spectacular, and I didn’t even bother doing anything to the outside of the house or yard. When it was Keeme’s turn, he did an amazing job with his Japanese style bungalow and garden. I felt kind of embarrased at the half hearted effort I put into my build with the house, after seeing what all he had done. It really looked great, and we got a lot of compliments from the other residents on Corona Cay. So I decided when it was my turn again, I was going to really step up my game, and do something different. I had an idea in mind of what I wanted to do, and spent a few weeks scouring the grid and XStreet SL for what I was looking for. I kept it pretty hush-hush, and let everyone assume I was going to put up another prefab house. But secretly, I had other plans. Keeme came in and we cleared out the parcel so I had a clean slate to work with.

I waited until the island had cleared out a little bit and I had some privacy, and then rezzed the build I had been planning for a few weeks.

This waterfall grotto is HUGE, and I absolutely love it. Its called Kirina’s Great Waterfall Grotto, by Kirina Drake. This particular model is the biggest one she has. It was $2500L, 210 prims and WELL worth it. The grotto includes 18 animated poseballs, which is part of why I picked this one over another I had been looking at. I wanted to have a grotto that a group of people could use and enjoy. Most of the animations are in the natural pool at the base of the waterfalls. There are several for floating, bathing, sitting on the rocks, and a couple of cuddle poses.

Beyond the waterfall, the cave opens up into two fairly large spaces. The first has another couple of single and couple poses on the rocks.

The rocky ceiling forms an archway draped with ivy that leads into the other ‘room’, further back.

This cave is absolutely perfect for Keeme’s pet bear, Tony. So I put him in the section of the cave further back, where he happily roams around. Such a BIG cave, for such a tiny little bear. 😀

Once I got the grotto situated on our land the best it was going to get, I saw that I had a lot more room leftover for plants than I thought I would. Great! I had a certain vibe in mind, when it came to the landscaping. I didn’t want your typical trees and flowers that you might find in someone’s yard. I was looking for something more wild, like you would see in a forest, perhaps. One good place for that style of plants is Nirvana Homes and Gardens, so I went over there and did some serious shopping. Now, I’m not very good at all with landscaping, and I wasn’t sure where to put things. At first I thought it came out a little bit sloppy. But on the other hand, I think the scattered look to the plants I put down does give it a more natural feel, so it works out. I got several different kinds of trees, bushes and flowers.. as well as some rainbow beams.

There are still a lot of open spots that I want to eventually fill in with more plants. But I was running out of money and it seemed like a good stopping point for now. I can always add more and do some tweaking later on. But the neatest effect is when you set to midnight. Some of the plants are light sources, and it looks so pretty in the dark.

I loved how this was looking. But I still wasn’t done. Recently, I was doing the Vain gridwide hunt and ended up at LuNi Designs. They had some really nice firefly particles that floated up from the ground, and as soon as I saw them, I knew that would be perfect for the grotto. I asked Nimil on plurk where she got them and she told me they came from Straylight. So that was my next stop. I got the fireflies and added them to the ‘pool’ section of the grotto. Its a little hard to see them in the picture, but they slowly float upward from the water.

The effect is wonderful! I love them to death, and I’m going to get some more pretty soon to add to the landscaping. I did find some free particle fireflies on XStreet that I put with the plants, for now. They aren’t nearly as bright so they don’t show up in the picture, but they do look pretty nice. Rather than yellow, they are different colors like blue and I think green or pink. I can’t remember for sure because they are kind of hard to see. But for free, they are well worth it.

There were a few other things I did to customize the grotto a bit. I found a rock with cricket and bird sounds, that I put inside the back of the cave. Also, it was a little bit dark back there, so I made a sphere and turned it to a light source, changed it to mostly transparent and raised it up towards the ceiling. It makes a big difference, and its a lot easier to see in there, now. The rainbow beams were kind of dim, and it was hard to see the one that I had by the entrance to the grotto, in front of the waterfall. I noticed it was modify, so I changed the transparency from 80 to 62, and its much better now.

For the final touch, I set the music on the parcel media stream. I didn’t want to have just any music. Again, there is a certain vibe to the grotto build, and I didn’t want just regular music. It wouldn’t fit. My favorite sim in Second Life is the Lost Gardens of Apollo. I usually keep the music in SL turned off. But whenever I go there, I turn on the music because the music they use is so ethereal.. its very peaceful and relaxing. I knew that would be just perfect for the grotto, so I went and got the stream URL and set our parcel to that. I love it! I am so happy with how this all turned out. I was dying all day yesterday for Keeme to come in, so I could show him. I hadn’t told him what I was going to be doing, because I wanted it to be a surprise. When he IM’d me last night, I told him the build was finished and that I wanted him to come see. When he rezzed in, he landed where he had logged out earlier that day, after he had cleared the land for me. As it turned out, his landing spot ended up being halfway buried in the side of the grotto. He was like, “WOMAN! Did you just drop a giant rock on my head?” That cracked me up, lol. 🙂 But once he saw everything I had done, he loved it. Which completely made my day. I was so thrilled that he liked it so much. 🙂

As I mentioned before, I picked out this grotto because it has so many poses with it. I thought this is something other people can explore, and feel free to use and enjoy. I WANT people to explore and use it. So please- anyone thats reading this is invited to stop by anytime and check out the grotto. Bring your friends or partners, and enjoy it. Anyone is welcome. 🙂

SLurl to Keeme and Nika’s Home:


SLurl to Kirina’s Creations :


~ by Nika Dreamscape on February 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “Nika’s Grotto”

  1. […] […]

  2. It’s beautiful Nika 🙂

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