Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Beautiful Free Gowns from Poet’s Heart

One of the things that amazes me about Second Life is that, even after fourteen years of exploration, I still come across stores that I have never visited, or even heard about before.

And such is the case with Poet’s Heart, a store which specializes in full-length gowns (designed for Maitreya Lara mesh bodies only, although most of these gowns will also work with other models of mesh avatar bodies, like Altamura, if you make use of the alpha sections on the HUD that comes with the body).

You can join the Poet’s Heart group for free, and pick up some lovely free gowns and historical roleplay outfits from their group gift wall in-store:

Here my medieval roleplay avatar, Scarborough Fair, will model a few of these group gifts.

The Aerin gown in green has a clear elven influence, and it comes with a separate belt, overskirt, and sleeves that you can mix and match as you like:

The Happy Holidays 2019 gift from Poet’s Heart is the romantic Niniane gown with long, flowing sleeves, and a HUD with lots of options to change the colours and fabrics on various parts of the dress, including the trim:

Finally, this stunning silvery white ballgown is the Happy Holidays gift from 2017. This beautiful gown could easily be turned into a wedding dress with the right accessories:

In this final picture Scarborough Fair is wearing:

Mesh Head: Lulu Bento mesh head by Akeruka  (previous group gift; group costs L$150 to join)

Mesh Body: Maitreya Lara

Hair: Magdalen by LeLutka

Gown: Happy Holidays 2017 gown by Poet’s Heart (free group gift; group is free to join)

Jewelry: Antigone silver and diamond earrings and necklace (a long-ago free gift from Kouse’s Sanctum, a store which has now closed)

Shoes (not seen): Sonnet suede pumps by Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)

Animation Override: The Gown AO by Kamilah Hauptmann (available for L$1,000 on the SL Marketplace, it is adjustable to accommodate various sizes of gowns, including bustle gowns and Mantua gowns)

Animated Fan: scripted geisha fan by Tuty (which I retextured with a white lace pattern; it randomly switches between five different fanning animations and is available for only L$50 on the SL Marketplace)

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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Sonatta Morales

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I don’t usually bother writing up a Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies blogpost for just one item, but I am making an exception for this beautiful ballgown:

Sonatta Morales is a women’s clothing store which specializes in fashion from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. This gown is the free group gift by Sonatta Morales to celebrate their 11th anniversary, and the group is free to join!

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body: Altamura Estephania (a former free hunt gift from Altamura; no longer available for free)
  • Gown: Eleven gown by Sonatta Morales (free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Jewelry: Arthuriana gold pearls necklace and earrings (a former free Advent calendar gift from JUMO)
  • Shoes (Not Shown): nude flats (part of a free sample pack of Slink-compatible shoes from Garbaggio, available on the SL Marketplace; Altamura mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet)
  • Hair: the hair is the Pulled Back Bun (black) from the Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder in your existing Second Lofe inventory—free, adjustable, tintable, uncomplicated.
  • Animation Override: Tuty’s Southern Belle & Woman in Ballgown Bento AO—hands down, the very best AO for ballgowns with voluminous skirts! I have not yet found another one that can compare to it. You can buy it from Tuty’s store in-world or from the SL Marketplace for L$650.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$650 (for the animation override)

Picture taken at the bar on the closing night at Bogart’s club.

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Twisted Fall Hunt

The Twisted semi-annual hunts are renowned for being the hardest hunts in Second Life. While last spring’s Twisted Hunt had a theme of white and gold, the new fall Twisted Hunt has a theme of black and red.

Don’t expect any helpful hints from the Twisted Hunt website; all you’ll get is a list of participating stores. After that, you’re on your own. Many stores deliberately put multiple false hunt cubes throughout the store to make it even more impossible to find the prize you are seeking!

Here is a look at one of the Twisted Hunt prizes: this gorgeous black-and-red ballgown with gold accents by C!L Boutique:

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Eyes: Cleo by Akeruka (a previous dollarbie group gift; the Akeruka group costs L$150 to join; the Cleo head comes with matching Omega body skin appliers; more details here)
  • Mesh Body: Juliet by Altamura (Juliet was a free Valentine’s Day group gift; the Altamura group costs L$50 to join, and you can obtain the Omega system kit for Altamura mesh bodies for only L$99 available at this exact SLURL; more details about the Juliet body here)
  • Hair: Winks by LIQUIDMOON (free gift from a previous Hair Fair)
  • Dress: Morticia ballgown by C!L Boutique (free Twisted Hunt prize)
  • Jewlery: Sacre Coeur earrings and necklace by CODEX (free gift from a previous eBento event)
  • Fan with Animation: Scripted fan for geisha by Tuty’s Animations (free gift from years ago; tinted red to match the Morticia gown)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$300

Pictures were taken at the Twisted Hunt headquarters.

UPDATE Sept. 13th: Melyna Foxclaw left the following helpful message using the Contact form on my blog:

Hi! I am writing about the recent Twisted Hunt post. I noticed you mention you were mostly on your own on this hunt. But there is an inworld hunt group too. There are no hints on the website, but if you join the free Twisted Hunt Inworld group, you can ask for hints there. That is the only place you can get the hints. They are not published anywhere because they can change very often during the hunt at various stores in the hunt. And the group can be quite helpful at times when you get stuck. Usually, there will be someone willing to help you out. Or someone who knows the hint. Some stores have an easel that might have the hint and more information about extra side hunts at their stores. Just FYI, since it was left out. Thanks!

Thanks, Melyna!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free EXMACHINA Male Full-Body Avatar

UPDATE March 13th: EXMACHINA has completely redone their store, and the new demo version 5.03 of the Davide mesh body has a large logo attached to the head, making it unusable. Also, the free tanning beds to change the skintone of this body are no longer available. Sorry!

PLEASE NOTE: For a current, up-to-date list of free and inexpensive options for male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost

There are three options for male avatars who are looking for a free/inexpensive mesh head and body, all from Altamura:

  • The two versions of the free Altamura Max avatars at the freebie stores at UniHispana Crea and Ajuda SL Brasil (see here for more details). Note that you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
  • The free Altamura Robert avatar from the Freebie Megastore at London City (see here for more details). One advantage of this body is that you can remove the head to use another mesh head with it (like the recent freebie mesh head from Akeruka).
  • The free Altamura Tommy avatar at the Altamura mainstore (you do need to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get this freebie; see here for more details). Again, you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.

Well, EXMACHINA has just released version 4 of their full-body Davide male mesh avatar, and you can pick up a free demo version at their store. You do have to join the EXMACHINA group for free to use the vendor.

One drawback is that the included shape that comes with it is NO modify, which is a real pain in the ass. However, there are a couple of ways around this limitation. You can click on the Giorgio and Andrew skin and shape panels located on the wall to the right of the demo version vendor, and buy those for L$0 (you must be in the EXMACHINA group). While you cannot use the skin appliers with the free demo version of the EXMACHINA mesh body, you can use the modifiable shapes. Also, there is a L$10 Diego shape available on the SL Marketplace which you can use with this body, and you can modify it as you like. I bought the Diego shape and used it for the pictures below.

Here’s what my avatar looks like with the slightly adjusted Diego shape (I had to play around with the eyes, mouth, nose, torso muscles and arm length a bit):

Exmachina 1 16 Sept 2018Exmachina 2 16 Sept 2018

The avatar comes with the mesh eyes you see here. It also comes in two versions: nude, or with the blue bathing suit you see here. It’s actually quite a nice-looking avatar! Please note that you cannot change the skin colour (remember, this is a demo, not the full version).

The hair is Minato by Argrace, a free group gift (the group is free to join). The AO I used is the Daily sLife free Bento male AO (available free from Tuty’s). The total cost of this avatar is FREE! You can’t beat that!

Another serious limitation with the free EXMACHINA body is that it does not come with alpha sections on the HUD (in fact, there’s no HUD at all!). So, basically, you’re going to have problems getting clothing and shoes to fit, unless they are designed for this body. Note that there are a few clothes for sale, designed to fit the EXMACHINA mesh body without the need for alphas, so you can try those. I did spend another L$250 on a muscle shirt and a pair of jeans, both of which fit this mesh body perfectly!

UPDATE Oct. 19th: I paid a second visit to the EXMACHINA store and discovered a few changes. The panel to get the freebie version of the Davide body is now at this SLURL, located in the Freebies section.

And the default skin tone is quite pale, as you can see (this is the slightly modified free Giorgio shape):

Pale Exmachina 19 Oct 2018.png

BUT, there are now two tanning chairs just outside the store, where you can “tan” your freebie avatar to any shade you desire! (Here’s the SLURL.) The longer you sit, the deeper the tan!

Tanning Chairs 19 Oct 2018.png

Here’s the same avatar, after using the tanning chair for about 15 minutes:

Tanned Exmachina 19 Oct 2018.png

I tested it out, and it appears that the tan you get is permanent on the freebie Davide avatar, even if you sign out and sign in again. In other words, you can’t “untan” him. However, if you make a mistake and get too dark a tan for your liking, you can always pick up another freebie version of the avatar and start over.

The ability to pick your own skin tone sets the Davide mesh avatar body by EXMACHINA apart from the other freebie male mesh avatar bodies. It’s a great option if you just want a good-looking avatar for the beach, or you can dress him up in clothing sold at the same sim, designed for the Davide body.