Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody!

It's a cold, rainy day here - bummer for all the kids who go trick-or-treating door to door! 

My sisters and the other dolls in the basement are planning to have a Halloween party in the basement. We'll all dress up, eat popcorn and candy, and then watch something not-so-scary - probably Monsters, Inc if no movies on TV inspire us. 

No HI2 news to report, but enjoy these 13 photos of some fun equine Halloween costumes.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

More October Treats

October has been a bountiful month for us on HI2 when it comes to really nice wild horses. First, Julie and Hazel found a 6/6 Andalusian on 10/2, and then Bethany and Quasar found a 5/6 Mangalarga Marchador on 10/15.
Bethany claimed him and has named him Edoras.
He's Lily's. She's still deciding on a name.
 This week, HI2 treated us to not just one but two more great horses.

On Monday the 19th, Lily and Wintergreen found our 29th 6/6 wild horse, a palomino sabino Racking Horse mare, on Windy Pines Isle. 
She and her buddy, a 1/6 Thoroughbred stallion, tried to hide from them. XD
Even though she has no negative stats, her stats for her breed add up to a not-so-impressive +49, the lowest for-breed stat total of any 6/6 wild we've ever captured. Before now, last place was a tie between our first two 6/6 captures, Pepsi the Shetland Pony and Kestrel the Australian Brumby, who are both +64. She and her avatar are so pretty, though, and Yoshi (Bethany's Racking Horse stallion) would love to have her in the herd, I'm sure. It's tempting to keep her anyway.

Bethany and Groovy fluted our 4th noteworthy October horse on Brown Isle. He is - are you ready for this? - a 5/6 NEZ PERCE!
It's too bad I wasn't playing Pepsi when this happened!
I have been hoping we'd catch a nice Nez Perce ever since the breed was added to the game, and here he is at long last! He may not be exactly like the dream Nez I posted about, but he is surprisingly similar, wouldn't you say? 
My dream Nez
Dun, red dun, why quibble? It's all good. Even better, since it took so long for him to grace us with his presence, I get to have 2 other Nez Perce Horses in my entourage, Aspen and Herbie. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lily's Birthday Horse

Well, obviously this isn't the post about our favorite ArtPrize pieces. We're still working on it. In the meantime, I wanted to make a quick post about what's been going on for us on HI2.

First, the bad news. You may recall that club contest we entered in with Kudos? Well, even though we followed the rules to a T and promptly sent a letter to the player in charge of the contest with Kudos's final numbers, we somehow were forgotten. Our letter to the player after the fact politely inquiring what happened was never answered, so maybe it's an issue with HI2's mail? (Or maybe we're being ignored. This is Felicity's theory.) We haven't seen the player online at all since - I know she's super busy with school, so we've decided to drop it.

With his 4101 experience points, Kudos would've taken 4th place and won a nice chunk of change for all our efforts. Drat. I guess if we ever enter a contest in the future, we will be sure to talk to the contest holder directly and not rely on HI2's postal system, whatever the directions seem to indicate.
As we've said before, we are very proud of Kudos anyway. I guess he wasn't quite as lucky as we'd hoped, but it's not like he could help that.

Now for the good news!

My birthday was on Thursday, October 15th. Nothing noteworthy happened while I was playing, but later on, Bethany and Quasar fluted this lovely pinto on Dumbbell Isle for me. :)

Not just any pinto, but a blue-eyed, brown silver dapple tobiano Mangalarga Marchador stallion! Whoa, talk about fancy!
He's 5/6 and +60, which makes him the highest-stat Manga we've caught thus far. Even though Bethany caught him and Julie is the biggest Manga fan, all my sisters are insisting I have first dibs on him. How could I say no to such a special birthday horse? You're the best, guys. <3

Saturday, October 10, 2015

ArtPrize Seven

ArtPrize Seven has been going on for the past 3 weeks, and it's been tons of fun as always. ArtPrize is an international art competition that takes place each fall in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, and ovbiously, this is its 7th year. During ArtPrize, the entrants compete for $500k in cash prizes: half decided by public vote and half decided by a jury of "art experts." This year, 1,550 entries were scattered in various venues spanning 3 square miles - all free for everybody to view.

The public gets to vote on its favorites in 4 categories (2D, 3D, Time-Based, and Installation), as does the jury of "art experts." Here are the public vote winners!

2-D Winner and Grand Prize Winner:
Northwoods Awakening by Loveless PhotoFiber
It is a huge forest panorama that starts out as a photograph on the left and gradually morphs into a textile quilt on the right. It took over 1,000 hrs to complete.

Our opinion: the finished product looks great, and tons of work went into it. I think it would've been more impressive if less photo-printed-on-cloth was involved - this seems a little like taking the easy way out to us. The artist also won the public vote back in 2013 with a similar quilted work of a sunset over sand dunes. We would've liked to see some other artist - with something new and different - shine this year.

3-D Winner:
Greatest Generation/Beta Team/November by Fred Cogelow
This piece features a Belgian horse and 2 "friends" carved out of a 4" slab of butternut wood. We were blown away! It's incredible how realistic and detailed this thing is, and we're thrilled that an entry with a horse in it pulled out a win! Our only issue: why the three titles?

Time-Based Winner:
Whisper by Emily Kennerk

Whisper in the microphone, and the tablewear vibrates and clinks, apparently sometimes so much that pieces fall off the table. As is the nature of this category, I think you had to be there to fully appreciate it. We don't really get what makes this such a great work of art, but then, we weren't there. If you want to see it in action, you can follow this link to a short YouTube video, but we weren't especially impressed. Whisper in Action

Installation Winner:
REACH and SPLASH by Andy Sacksteder
These two bronze statues were set up in a large fountain outside a museum. 
The girl about to swing out on the rope is "REACH"

 And the guy who is already on his way in is "SPLASH."

We were quite pleased that this entry won! We think they fit their location very well. The only thing we'd change it to make the girl's rope longer - it was sort of awkward how it just ended about a foot above her head.

Here's what the artist had to say about them:
"I've named my two bronze statues 'REACH and SPLASH' and they are my tribute to youth and spontaneity. The story they tell is of two teen aged kids who took a hike on an unknown path. When they came upon a rope swing dangling out over the water, they kicked off their shoes, reached for the rope, and took the plunge. NO plan, no preparation, no hesitation. No swimsuits, no towels, no lifeguard, no worries! ... I hope that 'Reach and Splash' will make you smile, and remind you to enjoy the moment that you are in."

Well, that's it for the public vote winners! We aren't going to bother commenting on the juried winners - today, anyway. Like "Whisper," we didn't appreciate any of them all that much. We guess that means none of us are cut out to be professional art critics...

Our next post will be about our favorite pieces from this year. Any fellow animal lovers out there will probably appreciate lots of our picks!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Return of Shadowfax

In case anyone was wondering, that club contest we were in with Kudos ended this past Monday, the 28th. He ended up with 4,101 experience points by then (I took the screenshot below on the 29th, after he'd gotten 20 more points from our ranch). 4,101 exp points, 372 trainings, and 17 wins for a horse that started with all 0's three weeks before... wow! Yay, Kudos! The results of the contest still haven't been posted, so we're patiently waiting to see if he placed. Whether he does or doesn't, he's a winner to us. I think it's safe to say that he and his companion entourage aren't going anywhere. <3

And now to get to the piece of news the post title refers to...

Back in June, Bethany posted about finding this pale Andalusian stallion in the desert:
Even though he had good stats (5/6 and +74) and even though he reminded us of Shadowfax, Gandalf's mount in The Lord of the Rings, we didn't keep him - mostly because of his dictator personality and that one negative stat.

The dramatic change in the weather here, with temps falling from highs in the 80's to highs only in the upper 50's, inspired us to visit HI2's desert isles this week. The horse I fluted early Friday morning was - you guessed it - another light gray Andalusian stallion. 
I think the beautiful Hazel had something to do with luring him in too. ;^)
This one is 6/6 and... yeah, +74. No kidding. And if you look at his personality, it's pretty much the reverse of the first Andalusian's. I think this is HI2's not-so-subtle way of telling us we really ought to have a white gray Andalusian stallion in the herd. =)

The previous four 6/6 wild horses we've captured have also had stat totals in the +70's. (Murphy with +71, the POA with +79, Brushfire with +72, and Galena with +72.) This Andalusian brings the streak of +70's 6/6ers to 5!

We're not sure which of us will get to keep him yet, but somebody definitely will! The name "Shadowfax" isn't a great fit for him though, since he's so small (the minimum height and weight for his breed, in fact) and so lazy. We'll keep brainstorming for something else Middle Earth inspired.

Before I go, I will leave you with screenshots of a beautiful wild Mustang that Lily and Icing found this morning:
<3 Wow, if I didn't have my wonderful black Mustang, Nightshade, I'd be begging Lily to keep her. Whoever takes her home from the livery is really going to luck out!