As before, I am NOT going to cover the Shop and Hop event in detail here on the blog. Instead, I have compiled a notecard of my picks for the best and most fabulous freebies, free store credit offers, and gift cards, and posted it to the Second Life group I maintain, called the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group (the group costs L$50 to join; more information here). My notecard includes the exact SLURL for each freebie, for you to pop in, pick up your gift, and move on to the next score, for the most efficient freebie shopping experience! (Note that SL’s list of stores in the paragraph above has several SLURLs which stick you behind store walls!)
As always, there are many offers of free store credit and gift cards; here are my picks:
Addams – L$300 (group join fee L$5)
Blackstone – L$300
GGVG – L$500
Luna Chelsea – L$500
MALified – L$400
Mirage (home decor) – L$500
Nuve – L$300 (expires Oct. 31st, 2022)
Poison Rouge – L$350
Paper Sparrow – L$500 (join group for free; credit expires on Dec. 1st, 2022)
PRO TIP: Grab that L$500 gift card for Luna Chelsea and head over to the footwear section in their main store (exact SLURL), where you can pick up five L$99 fatpacks (over 70 colours!) of a wide variety of women’s shoes and boots, like these Destiny classic leather pumps (which also come in patent leather and suede versions):
Here’s a completely free vampire outfit I was able to pull together, using a combination of free gifts and free store credit, and taking advantage of discounted prices at the Hallowe’en Shop and Hop:
the Blood Vamp outfit is the gift from the Be Bold booth, and it includes the boots (there’s also a L$250 gift card if you join the Be Bold store group for L$50);
the red-lined black high-collared Bento animated cape I purchased on sale using the free credits from the MALified booth; and
the perfect finishing touch of the Sweet Death Crown, which I bought on sale using the free credits from the Poison Rouge booth.
Happy freebie shopping! Obviously, most of the gifts this round are Halloween-themed, with ghosts, bats, witches, and pumpkins galore. Boo!
First: My faculty union at the university where I work went through a five-week strike which ended in early December, and we are now in a rapidly worsening Omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic. I am STRESSED and UTTERLY EXHAUSTED and I need to take a break. Second Life is my happy place, and my preferred way of dealing (or, perhaps more accurately, not dealing) with messy, painful, chaotic, dumpster-fire reality these days. I am therefore taking December as a vacation from this blog (with a few exceptions, such as this blogpost).
Second: As I have often said before, Second Life is the perfect example of a mature, fully-evolved metaverse, which the newer social VR platforms would be wise to study and emulate. Do not be so quick to dismiss Second Life as quaint and outdated! At a time when the concept of the metaverse is suddenly very popular again, you can learn many lessons from studying SL. For example, merchandizing avatar fashion (such as that profiled in this blogpost) is now a very hot topic in the blockchain/crypto/NFT space; Second Life content creators have been earning full or side incomes by creating and selling avatar fashion for over 18 years now!
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I do expect to return full-throttle to blogging about any and all aspects of social VR, virtual worlds and the metaverse in January 2022!
Every December, the Cosmopolitan shopping event (SLURL) has a large Christmas tree placed between the entrance doors, which is a sort of Advent calendar, but in a different form. Every day, more and more stockings are added to the tree as decorations, and each stocking is a free gift from a participating vendor. Join the !!Cosmopolitan Club & Lounge!! group for free to pick up these gifts.
However, because the stockings all look alike and are attached to all sides of a three-dimensional, cone-shaped object, and therefore it can be very hard to keep track of what you have already taken and what you haven’t! Here’s a useful tip, from a previous year’s blogpost, on how to tackle the tree:
If you insist on visiting every day, the layout of the stockings around the tree can be somewhat confusing compared to traditional Advent calendars, and you might land up collecting the same gifts multiple times. You might want to use this tip provided by SL blogger Chic Aeon: once you have clicked on a stocking and received its gift, right click on it, Select More from the pie menu, select More again, then select Derender, then Blacklist. You will no longer be able to see that stocking on return visits! (These are the instructions for the Firestorm viewer; I do not know what the equivalent is for the standard Second Life viewer.) This is a genius tip! Thanks, Chic!
Another tip: derender the Christmas tree first; then the stockings will appear to be floating in mid-air, and they are much easier to find and click on! 😉
Today my avatar Moesha Heartsong (the Naomi Campbell supermodel of Second Life!) models some of my favourite gifts from the Cosmopolitan stockings. I do apologize for using a pose stand for these images; I can work much faster this way, and therefore get this blogpost out to you more quickly! I do not know how long the Christmas tree will be up at the Cosmopolitan event, so don’t delay in picking up these fabulous freebies!
First up is the Mei jewelry set from Supernatural, a choker and two necklaces (three separate pieces which you can wear together as shown, or separately as you wish). The Mei set comes in gold and silver versions, and each version comes in four different colours: black, red, pink, and white.
From AVALE comes the Gorra party dress with a dark silver skirt and a colour-changeable top (the included HUD gives you 11 colours). Sizes: Maitreya, Legacy, Freya, Isis, Hourglass, and Kupra.
ZVI’s gift is this cropped top with a choice of 20 colours via a HUD (sizes: Maitreya Lara, Meshbody Legacy, INITHIUM Kupra, eBody Reborn, Kalhene Erika).
Blossom&Seeds offers you this Costa Rica dress in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya, and Meshbody Legacy bodies:
From Shybird comes the Mina party dress, which comes in a fatpack with a whopping 64 options (32 colours in silk and 32 colours in suede!). This dress comes in sizes to fit Maitreya, Legacy, Kupra, and eBody Reborn.
The Eliza outfit (in the stocking from Meva) consists of a red dress and a white jacket with a belt. The dress and jacket can be worn together as shown, or you can mix and match with other items from your avatar’s wardrobe.
Off-Line’s present is this Nali dress in salmon, which comes in opaque and sheer versions (sizes: Maitreya, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass, and Kupra).
The present from Amias is this delightful grey Deer Sweater! There are versions for both male and female avatars: Maitreya Lara & Petite and Legacy & Perky for the women; and Belleza Jake, Signature Gianni, and Legacy for the men.
Seniha very generously gives you a complete fatpack of the Rosse outfit, consisting of a bodysuit and boa/fur stole, each of which comes with a HUD with a dizzying array of colours and textures to choose from! You can tint the top, belt, and bottom of the bodysuit separately via the HUD, for even more options!
From Little Fox comes the Darling set of top and matching panties in cherry red (Maitreya, Legacy, Freya, Kupra sizes).
The gift from Masoom is this pink Minerva gown (which comes in both regular and windblown versions). The gown comes with a gems HUD and a separate package of tintable panties to wear underneath. The Minerva gown comes in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya, and Slink Hourglass mesh bodies.
The stocking from Poison Rouge contains this haute couture Alma de Rosa hat in coral pink:
This is the Makina pigtail hairstyle from Ayashi, which comes with the HUD as shown, with eight different anime colours and a tinting feature to make your hair any colour under the sun!
Petite Maison offers a lovely selection of home decor (seven separate objects):
And finally, for something completely different, we have this set of unisex Bakes on Mesh cosmetics from Poema, the Editorial makeup pack! You’re all set for your next Vogue fashion shoot!
Again, I don’t know how long the Christmas tree will be up, so go TODAY.
This is the simple but elegant Dress Gown Black, which comes with an optional flexiprim jacket:
Gown #2: Romantic
The romantic Niellys dress in a soft pink colour consists of an applier top and a matching mesh skirt with optional flexiprims:
Gown #3: Dramatic
And if you are looking to turn heads, look no further than this stunning mesh gown, the Dress Dreams Charms in red! This is truly a gown that makes a statement. Something with such a wide, sweeping skirt would be completely impractical in real life, but you can certainly rock this look at your next big function in Second Life!
This beautiful golden Nefert choker in the bottom picture is a free group gift from Poison Rouge at the current round of the Très Chic shopping event (you can join the Très Chic group for free). Note that this choker is also a simple but elegant fix if you happen to have an avatar with a slight skin tone mismatch between the head and body!
Mermaid and merman role-play in Second Life is perennially popular (sometimes combined with pirate role-play). I have had a mermaid avatar in Second Life for as long as I can remember, although I must confess that I do not pull her out that often nowadays.
Here is what my mermaid avatar looked like before her makeover, a system-layers-and-flexiprims look cobbled together from various freebie mermaid outfits I picked up over the years (the lovely mesh tail was a recent free hunt gift from Solas NaGealai of BlueMoon Enterprise):
Well, I decided to give my mermaid one of my patented fifteen-minute avatar makeovers today, to move from a classic, system avatar to 100% mesh!
Here is what she looks like now:
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: the Freya Bento mesh head from Catwa (free group gift; the Catwa group is free to join; more information here). TODAY IS THE LAST DAY YOU CAN PICK UP THIS FABULOUS FREEBIE!
Lipstick: HD Lipstick (part of the Freya package, this comes in a wide variety of colours).
Hair: this absolutely perfect mermaid hair is called Spring Briar Fae Hair, which I picked up for free at a Crazy Hair Hunt many years ago now. I combined it with a hairbase from the Catwa Master HUD, tinting both it and the eyebrows on the Freya head to match.
Choker: This beautiful golden Nefert choker is a free group gift from Poison Rouge at the current round of the Très Chic shopping event (you can join the Très Chic group for free). It hides the slight mismatch between the skin tones on the Freya head and Classic body perfectly!
Mermaid Bra and Tail: This is a freebie, too! Just join the Arata Shouten group for free, and check the group notices for this lovely gift (which was my impetus for making this blogpost). You’ll need to alpha out your legs, of course, using the included Classic Meshbody HUD.
Mermaid Animation Override: I picked up this mermaid AO as part of a free hunt gift at FallnAngel Creations many years ago. (If you hunt around at the various mermaid role-play areas in SL, you might find a freebie mermaid/merman AO.)
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: ONLY L$1! (for the Classic mesh body from Meshbody). Everything else was free!