The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. is a non-profit, incorporated organization whose mandate is to improve the user experience in Second Life and other virtual worlds by providing an advanced open source viewer with greater features, options and interface flexibility than the standard offering by Linden Lab. The project has approximately 80 volunteers working for it and are managed through departments divided up as Development, Support, Quality Assurance and Gateway. We provide live support 24/7 in nine different languages inside of Second Life through our support groups and on the web via our issue tracker.
And to celebrate its 12 anniversary, Firestorm threw a big party yesterday, Saturday, September 3rd. And in a circle around the four-sim event stage are free gifts from Firestorm and other Second Life vendors for you! All gifts are free and you do not need to join a group to pick them up.
The present from Firelight Hair is a new unisex fatpack of hair called Glen/Gwyn, which comes in both male and female versions, rigged and unrigged, plus a HUD with 32 different textures:
Firelight is also generously giving out the same gift to SL users that it put out a year ago, for Firestorm’s 11th anniversary! This shorter unisex hairstyle is called David/Davina, and also comes in male and female versions, both rigged and unrigged, with a texture HUD as shown below:
Next up we have a casual outfit featuring three more free gifts:
The T-shirt is the present from Addams, and it comes in a wide variety of sizes to fit most female mesh bodies, and in two colours: white as shown above, and black. (Note that there is also a men’s T-shirt gift, which also comes in black and white!)
The gift from Firestorm is a fatpack of this unisex baseball cap featuring the distinctive Firestorm phoenix logo, with comes the the HUD shown below, where you can mix and match the colours of the cap and the logo as you please. There are two versions of the baseball cap, one for smaller heads and one for larger heads, and both can be resized simply by clicking on them, which pulls up a menu. It’s the perfect accessory for any fan of the Firestorm viewer as your avatar strolls the grid!
Finally, there’s a very nice gift from virtual shoemaker Versov, these wonderfully detailed sneakers, which comes in sizes to fit men and women! These special-edition Firestov sneakers come in sizes to fit feet for the following mesh bodies: Maitreya Lara, Signature Gianni and Geralt, Legacy (male and female), Belleza (male and female), and Slink (male and female). There’s also an unrigged pair in the folder, which you can adjust and resize to fit other brands of feet. They are a keeper!
Since the big party was yesterday, you could choose any of these SLURLs and you shouldn’t have any problem getting in! I wouldn’t wait too long to pick these wonderful presents up, though.
PRO TIP: Did you know that you can pick up many other free gifts at the VERSOV main store, including three fatpacks of high-quality unisex sneakers of various designs and colours? Join the VERSOV group for free to pick up the fabulous freebies, which are located on panels at the front counter of the store…here’s your taxi!
This year, 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).
I know some of you might feel a bit cheated that I am not listing all the items on this blogpost, as I have done in previous years, but there are so many high-quality gifts this year that it was impossible to select just a few to show you! The notecard lists dozens and dozens and dozens of my picks for the best fashion and home/garden decor.
Also, I do want to earn a little bit of in-world income, so I can call myself a professional Second Life freebie fashionista…and I hope you understand, thanks! If you don’t want to spend L$50 to join my group, you can use the other methods I have outlined in this blogpost to find the best gifts for yourself.
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 a lot of locations which stick you behind store walls!)
At the moment, this notecard is version 1.0, but I have no doubt there will be updates as I learn about more fabulous freebies! (UPDATE: THE FINAL VERSION 6.0 HAS BEEN POSTED TO THE GROUP! Please see the notice at the tail end of this blogpost.)
So please join the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group, and stay in the group for news about sales, giveaways, and events. The quite reasonable group join fee also helps feed Vanity Fair’s shopping addiction…thank you! 😉
I do apologize for not keeping my SL group as updated as I should have been over these past few months, and I promise to be more assiduous in posting the fabulous freebies I do find in my travels across the grid, from now on! In fact, I will be posting more and more such finds to the SL group instead of the RyanSchultz.com blog.
I will show you one free gift that absolutely tickled my fancy, from a store that was new to me, called Key Style. My favourite movie of all time is the 1964 musical My Fair Lady, with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, and this wonderful Mademoiselle historical ensemble looks like it leapt into SL straight from that classic movie!
The blouse and skirt are two separate pieces, and the outfit includes pink flats (not shown under the skirt), the gloriously over-the-top wide-brimmed floral hat, and even the delightful touch of the matching parasol! The Mademoiselle outfit comes in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Slink Physique, and Slink Hourglass mesh bodies, and you can find it in a gift box on the counter at the Key Style store at the SL19B Shop and Hop.
I’m not the only one who is overwhelmed by the bounty of gifts this year! It’s still so early, and there are so many gifts this year, that even the ever-reliable Naria Panthar has not yet done her usual thorough unpacking video yet! (Let’s face it; twenty sims is A LOT to get through!!!) Naria did take a quick first stab at it, though:
The only place that has pictures and descriptions of most of the SL19B Shop and Hop gifts at this early date is the little-known-about SL Free and Inexpensive Items Russian-language group on Vkontakte, the Russian version of Facebook, which often lists items I don’t see on other SL freebie blogs. Use the Russian-to-English translator in your Chrome web browser, or if that doesn’t load, then just open up Google Translate in a separate browser tab and copy and paste the text as needed.
Note that you do not need to have an account on VKontakte to use this resource! Whenever you are prompted to sign up/in, just click the little “x” to bypass it:
Just look for the posts tagged #SL19B (there’s one for each of the 20 sims), and click on the timestamp to see the enlarged images of each of the gifts:
Dreamer’s Virtual World blog is also working on posts of gifts from each of the sims—you can find them all here (she’s not done yet!).
Happy freebie shopping!
UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: I have updated my notecard to version 2.0, adding many new freebies which I think are the best gifts at the Shop and Hop—including many new gifts for male avatars! It would appear to be a conscious design choice, that all the male gifts are located on one sim (Lavendar), which should save you men from wandering around all 20 sims, aimlessly looking for freebies amidst the overwhelming majority of female gifts! Thank you, Linden Lab!
UPDATE July 17th, 2:50 p.m.: Naria Panthar has just posted her two-hour unpacking video to YouTube, for the first half (10) of the 20 SL19B Shop and Hop sims (pro tip: watch the video at 2 times regular speed, and keep a notepad and pen handy to take notes as to which stores have gifts you want to pick up!).
Stay tuned for a second video covering the second half of the 20 sims!
UPDATE July 17th, 4:03 p.m.: I have now posted version 3.0 of my notecard of my best picks for gifts, free store credit, and free giftcards available at the SL19B Shop and Hop event to the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals, and Freebies group! I have to say, that I have never seen such a bonanza of high-quality freebies at a single shopping event like this before! Again, my notecard includes the exact SLURLs to take you directly to the gift, and all Ryan’s recommended freebies are sorted by sim name.
UPDATE July 19th: My notecard is now up to version 5.0, with dozens more goodies for you! I have also double-checked all the SLURLs in the notecard, so they should take you directly to the freebie in each booth at the SL19B Shop and Hop event.
Please note that I have posted a separate notecard to my SL group, RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies, which outlines my picks for the best gifts from the Tapestry of Time Gift Area on the Second Life 19th Birthday fairgrounds, which is separate from the SL19B Shop and Hop event sims (and I’ve also included a link to it in the FINAL version 6.0 of my SL19B Shop and Hop gifts notecard).
There’s some really nice gifts there, too, so don’t skip it this year!
Also, Cat Pink has posted three new videos on YouTube, where she shows you many of the Shop and Hop gifts (again, watch them at 2 times speed, and take notes!).
And Naria Panthar has just posted her YouTube video where she unpacks and tries on gifts from the second half (10 sims) of the SL19B Shop and Hop! Watch it on twice the speed and take notes as to which stores have the freebies you want, then use the SL19B Shop and Hop Store Guide to teleport in and scoop them up!
Aaand, adding in a few more fabulous freebies from Naria’s second video, I have now posted VERSION 6.0 of my notecard with Ryan’s picks for the best gifts from the Second Life 19th Birthday Shop and Hop event! As somebody who has been diligently freebie shopping in SL for over 15 years, I can assure you that this is the single biggest haul of freebies at one event that I have ever encountered!
In the final version 6.0 of my notecard, I have also added one very generous gift which I had somehow forgotten to include in the previous versions! (Not surprising, since there’s so many gifts to keep track of!!!) It’s a long hairstyle by ADE, called Baby, which comes in a complete fatpack of colours and with a styling HUD. You can find it here:
The avatar in the following picture is wearing the Baby hair, swept back, along with another must-get SL19B Shop and Hop gift from the Belle Epoque booth: this cool, lovely Lara strapless minidress, which comes with a HUD with ten different, high-quality tropical textures (sizes: Maitreya/Petite, and Legacy/Perky):
So you owe it to yourself to head down here before it all closes on July 10th, 2022, and vacuum up some fabulous free fashion and home/garden decor for your avatars! Again, the easiest way to navigate would be to join the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group for only L$50 and pick up my notecards with the exact SLURL for each gift, but you can also use the VKontake group posts and Naria Panthar’s and Cat Pink’s YouTube videos if you don’t want to spend that L$50… 😉
Happy freebie shopping!
P.S. I have encountered some problems embedding the notecard for the Tapestry of Time Gift Area into the main notecard, and I have also noticed that some of the SLURLs I have put in the notecard will stubbornly refuse to load! So I have added information about how to get around those problems to version 6.1 of the notecard, and I do apologize. If all else fails, open up both versions 6.0 and 6.1 of that notecard, and if a SLURL refuses to load on one, try it on the other (for some bizarre reason, that seems to work!)
HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: The RyanSchultz.com blog will be on an indefinite hiatus (with brief exceptions), as I am working on a brand new project: writing up a proposal for a VR lab for my university library system! More details here. I’ll be back as soon as I can, folks!
Catalina Staheli (the owner of Aleutia) has posted a video as part of her new series called Exploring Second Life: A Creator’s Perspective, where she unboxes all the items she receives as an official blogger for the various shopping events in Second Life.
Her most recent video is all about the 1950’s retro, rockabilly theme of the current iteration of the Anthem shopping event, and you can watch it here:
I quite like Catalina’s new series, and after watching this video, she made me do something that this avowed SL freebie fashionista rarely does: she made me pay (gasp!) FULL PRICE for something! Truly a momentous occasion… 😉
Here, Vanity Fair is wearing a new retro, romantic hairstyle from WINGS called ER0326, which cost me L$299 for a brown fatpack with a styling HUD. It’s available in several colour fatpacks from their booth (here’s the exact SLURL):
The camellia flower shown below is a separate, adjustable attachment, and it comes with its own HUD to tint it one of six different colours.
But what I REALLY wanted to show you were these absolutely delightful animated birds from TARDFISH, available at the WARETA x TARDFISH collaboration booth at the Anthem event for only L$199! Here’s the exact SLURL. Check out the video below:
In a virtual world where you can be anybody (or anything) you want, Halloween is a bigger holiday than Christmas in Second Life! Today I will be giving a quick rundown of many of the events taking place across the grid.
There’s also numerous Halloween-and-fall-themed hunts! You can get further information on seasonal hunts posted on the HuntSL and SL Hunts websites (two places with all the latest up-to-date information on hunts in Second Life).
SL’s Top Haunted Places Tour and Hunt is something I try to go and do every year! Starting at Shady Manor, click on the large sign to receive a folder containing five notecards with SLURLs to no less than 83 different scary and spooky places to explore! Many have at least one free gift for you to find, several spots have several, and some of them are quite nice!
For example, among the free gifts from the Crazy Cajun Hallowe’en Hangout is a mini-cauldron Mystery Brew drink, complete with a Bento drinking animation!
Second Life has posted a blogpost listing a number of official Halloween events you might be interested in. Among them are: