• Gachas Going Bye-Bye



    This is probably the biggest SL news in almost a decade.  Gachas will no longer be legal on the grid as of September 1. You can read the new Second Life official gacha policy here. 

    Now I of course have lots of thoughts on this, so many that it got me writing  a brief-for-me comment on the forums which I have been avoiding of late.  So let's start off with what "I" thought was the most import part of the discussion (you can see the long long long forum post here). 




    From my comment on the forums. (Sorry I can't make this text smaller ^^ ) :


    So this thread is WAY too long and I will put my personal thoughts "elsewhere",

    *********BUT BUT BUT **********

     

    This really needs to be said and in all the post I read (not all as it made me tired) I didn't see this comment.


    While Linden Lab may give you the right to resell your no-copy gacha items as regular items ----- IF you were in some of the top gacha events, you (as a creator) agreed to NEVER SELL THEM ANY OTHER WAY BUT GACHAS.

    Shall I repeat? Nope. You got the idea.


    So that mean for those of us that are honest and keep our word (I have LOTS of gachas made in the past) those items will be discontinued. There is no other way to comply. SOME events let you sell items as both no-copy gachas and fatpacks in the same event. So those fatpacks could still be sold of course.


    BUT (again that BUT thing) -- EVEN if you only made a gacha set for YOUR store and never sold it as a fatpack --- you pretty much PROMISED your customers that it would always "just" be in gacha form. That is how the gacha resellers stay in business.


    Heading off to type elsewhere.


    As the original official blog post states there will SOON (tm) be a FAQ page with questions answered but honestly I didn't have any. I thought the announcement was quiet clear. 

    Personally I am both happy and sad about the decision.   

    I am sad because I know a lot of events and creators will close or at least walk away for awhile. If you have been around during any other major decisions that shook the grid, you know the outcome of these things.  I realize a lot of creators make a ton of money off of their gacha sets -- I certainly did. It is mind-boggling; and that in itself is a reason for sadness of another type. That money came from real people.  I watched one gal play a machine of mine at an event for thousands of lindens just trying to get a lamp she loved. Eventually I wrote her (I have show inworld sales turned on) and asked her what she was after. I told her she had played enough and sent her the lamp.   

    As a consumer I have never loved gachas -- mostly because they are no-copy and fairly easily lost in our boxing ring matches with the database.  I am HOPING that some of the outstanding skills that our gachas creators use on their sets will translate over to some more creative and better REGULAR products, which most of us have noted and commented on have been steadily going downhilll (overall) for more than a year or two. 

    So two conflicting feelings, both relevant to me anyway. 

    On a store owner level I will be heading over to my gacha building and marking down my gachas 60 percent  along with "some" fatpacks.  They have had a good run and I am not particularly sad to see them go.  That area could use a really pretty park come September.   

    May we live in interesting times --- 


  • Working Hard – Hardly Working


    When I quit processing credits to Paypal (I wasn't happy with the small print in the  Tilia TOS and US Privacy Policy) I pretty much stopped creating for my store.  One release this year and I made the house for myself, a recreation of my first mesh house almost ten years ago. And yep, I am a better mesher then when I started -- thank goodness. 

    But creating is pretty much a part of who I am in all worlds, so just STOPPING was not an option.  To that end I have been keeping up my skillset in Blender and other programs by working on things that I need and can't find.   These will all be Advent gifts this winter.  I have three boxes left to fill and most of the completed days are stuffed full of items.  So expect one hellava Advent when December comes around.  

    And here's the rest of the story ---

    A recent gacha event had a very cute bench made from  cinderblocks and boards.  I liked it but there were also a ton of things in the gacha that I DIDN'T want so playing wasn't in the cards. In the end  and a couple of months later I decided to make my own bench.  I turned out quite differently of course and I am happy with my rendition.  I plunked it down in the construction area of my store sim but it needed more clutter.  I wanted an old fashioned construction worker's lunch pail.  

    Long story cut short -- I didn't find one. I did get a mention that a thermos might be good, and ended up making that and it looks great. And I was also gifted this backdrop. It is simple but lots of fun and low land impact as much of what you see is a sharp graphic and not actual mesh.   


     A great value in a hard hat became part of the story also.  

    Credits:  

    .:Floyd:.Hard Work Backdrop
    The Black Forest- TBF Hard Hat (marketplace)
    Crates: ChiC buildings

    tiar maitreya (this was a prize in an Easter instore hunt if I remember correctly and most likely not available)

    Toolbelt: home made and one of my first complex mesh projects
    Hammer: home made from long ago

    Hair: also ancient




    Pose by: aDORKable
  • Party Pad – Weekend Sales


    It was a very busy shopping day for me. I traveled far and wide and checked out many more items than I usually do; all good.   Most of the products in the liking column of my scoresheet this week were "primmy" so this isn't going to be a post for those in the land impact challenge arena.  

    Here are my personal picks:

    My cute little party top is from vagrant  The Nova Top comes in a variety of colors with this being named black.   This pretty much looks like silver to me but perhaps without materials it actually IS black :D.   It has matching skimpy shorts  but nothing I would ever wear. Still, I am pretty sure I have something this will work with in my fairly voluptuous wardrobe closet. 

    If you are in the market for  "noIamnotreallynakedIamwearingapostagestampbikini" attire -- this is your week. I am guessing there were at least 25 versions of the theme, some REALLY postage stamp size LOL. 


     
    I have a lot of bars but this Aurum Luxury PORTHOLE BAR Gold from Black Sand is definitely unique. It comes in a light gray version also.  Note that this is fairly heavy mesh with a hefty land impact -- but packed full of details and style. I enlarged it a bit so that it fit nicely over one of the porholes in the Trompe Loeil Jocosa Modern Houseboat (COLLABOR88).  



    This BackBone Patio Sofa - PG - Light also comes in a dark wood with more neutral fabrics.  I opted for the grayscale driftwood tone which goes perfectly in the houseboat.   The couch is 13 li and the table is 1 li.  

    There is also a fun gift (two actually) in the demo area for this couch.



    The boat you can see through the expanse of windows isn't a neighbor's, it is the offering available this weekend from Build Works : Mesh Sailboat LowDaP.  This is  a prop, not a vehicle and weighs in at 60 li -- more for the high LOD version.  

    It will be fun decorating my houseboat. I always liked the IDEA of a houseboat but the Belli models never excited me much, this one is very classy!

    Have fun shopping this weekend. 


    Poses by: Belle Poses
  • An Artist Retreat FLF


    Out for FLF this super cute romper from [Aleutia]  with a hud that let's you choose from various colorful floral prints. The Harlow Romper comes in both Maitreya and Legacy fits including petite sizings. 

     

    This is my art studio at Bermuda Triangle (lovely sim - great houses - free rent).   I have more land impact to spend but taking it slowly.  My new find this week was a set of baskets for the wall (3li).  These are nicely made an a good shift from paintings -- especially if you have lots of painting leaning around and in progress.  

    Find them at Cosmopolitan at the [IK] Wabi-Sabi Corner - Wicker Plates at the [InsurreKtion] display.



    Hair (new): no.match_ ~ NO_SYMPHONY   at Cosmopolitan
  • Virtual Creativity


    I don't know about you but a lot of my friends and I are having trouble finding  excitement in shopping these days.  It seems more like work than play -- and that ain't good.  Now all of us are virtual teenagers in that  "old-timers" designation. We all have lots of stuff so finding something new that is different from something old can be a challenge.  

    Enter The Black Forest Maasai Chess Game and Décor available at the new round of Cosmopolitan.  

    This is a playable game for two. It is detailed with good LODs.  It weighs in at 10 land impact because of all the movable parts so it will not work for everyone.  It CAN be resized somewhat larger and still retain the 10 li cost.  I am guessing it would be mightily impressive as full size (no I didn't test the li at that size :D). 

    A notecard that explains game play can be retrieved by clicking the poster.  


  • 52 Colors – Week 37 Fired Brick


    It took awhile to put this outfit together, there are so many possible versions and colors as well as shoe options -- oh my -- in the Abigale gacha from deviousMind. But I had my pose and I had my location and I learned long ago how to get redressed without getting undressed. So deep in the heart of Babbage Canals where I had a shop for a time, I put myself together a piece at a time. 

    I was glad I made the effort. 



    Not quite brown. Not quite red. Deep and saturated. I give you FIRED BRICK:




    Credits:


    Hair:  *Soonsiki~ Treasure



    This is the official path to the challenge.





    Poses by:
  • Out Of This World – 25L Tuesday


    Ittttttt's Tuesday!   And happily there is another super fun outfit over at Belle Époque. Black, white, pink, and blue color choices -- this is a three piece set sold separately.  There is also a ray gun AND a gift rocketship that you can ride and use as a pose prop. Maitreya and Legacy fits.   

    My backdrop is from MEVA long ago -- Meva Photo Box Spheres RARE and comes with a very cool texture change stand. 

    Hair: TUKINOWAGUMA Tapia



    Pose by: Poise
  • Zuo Oceanside Ranch



    Just out at Uber, the Trompe Loeil - Zuo Oceanside Ranch.  If you are one of those folks who thrives on impressing the neighbors, this house is for you.  Fitting nicely on a 2048 lot  (or larger of course if you need those land impact points for decorating) this roomy home has a unique eclectic feel. 



    Lots of halls, lots and LOTS of doors and windows, there is still plenty of  personal privacy.  




    While "oceanside" is in its official moniker this home obviously fits well into other landscapes.  Outdoor areas offer places for entertaining or relaxing and of course there is both a pool and a fireplace.



    With large entry areas on both sides of the building it could easily fit into a large landscaped parcel and feel right at home.   

    Landscaping  item from the LOVE - MILLWOOD  set.

  • Weekend Sales – Thinking of Fall



    A new heat bubble is heading across the US; it appears it will bypass my corner of the world this time --happy I am.   Autumn isn't all to likely on our minds these days; the air conditioner is on and I admit to ice cubes in my wine (what can I say; it's refreshing).  But in less than two months there will be a shift in climate. Shorts may still be you choice of attire but not so much the skimpy bandeau tops and such.  


    Which brings us to this weekend and my personal picks. 

    In the clothing arena we have both shorts and layered jacket (sold separately) from Fashionably Dead.   Both "layered camp shirt" and "cozy shorts" come with huds. The shirt lets you change the solid color trim and hoodie as well as the cropped tee underneath.  The shorts hud let you change the belt.  With lots of plaids to choose from and a big selection of secondary and tertiary hues to coordinate with, picking your favorites might be tricky.  It took me awhile but I ended up with the "faded purple shirt" (with no purple in evidence :D) and charcoal shorts. 

    The shorts demo is great and has the names of the colors superimposed over the color swatches so you can see exactly what color is what name.  The shirts are more tricky but the screenshot vendors pretty much lead you to your choices.   

    Both shorts and jacket fit Moonlight with eBody free.  The shorts that fit are the Legacy brand, the jacket was Maitreya.  Now I am not sure what the issue is but lots of clothes fit Moonlight strangely in the abdomen area; Basically they fit as if she was about eight months pregnant -- which she is not.  It may be the shape I made for her or it may be something intrinsic with the eBody brand mesh body.  But if you love this outfit and have eBody or eBody free, give the demos a try. I got the fatpack of shorts for her since fitting IS very much an issue.  


    The truck which comes in two versions, one as a pose prop is a gacha out at Tropix.  I have no idea what the original gacha price was or even if this is in fact on sale. The gacha machine charges $69L per  play. There are two RARES (this is one and happily my favorite).   There are many plain trucks in various colors as commons. I won the Harvest Truck 02 on my second pull.   These have very good LODs for long distance viewing, hence my playing.  You can't really go wrong as you get some kind of truck each pull.  The harvest truck comes packed full of animations for both inside the cab and outside the truck -- a great bonus that I didn't expect. 




    While everything so far was welcome additions to my inventory the  "LOVE - MILLWOOD WODDLAND SCENE KIT trees bushes grasses ferns"  wins the prize for value.  This is a big big set and could fill the need for landscaping  for many folks.  Four grasses, plenty of ferns and shrubs and trees.  Really,  a great set.  I bought the "LOVE - DANDELION DREAMS PACK" also. It comes with a variety of shapes of dandelion fields (smallish) as well as some with lights.  These come with floating stationary particles that are perhaps meant to be floating seed.   They are pretty but I opted to select just the face of those prims (all one material) and make them transparent.  Another time with a mood with more romance and fantasy I may opt to leave them.   


    So ends the report on this week's weekend shopping. It was fruitful!



    Hair:  *barberyumyum*S15(03) from a recent Fifty Linden Friday

    Poses by: the truck, Hera, Exposure
  • A Gardeners Life



    Gardening has been part of my summer -- well since I was 20. And it is most often a part of my virtual homesteading also.  City or country -- doesn't matter. I love watching things grow.  Sometimes it has been an acre garden, sometimes a few pots outside the front door; I apparently need to have things to "tend".  

    The Machinima Open Studio Project had a variety of growing areas, farm stands and the like. I can't seem to build an installation or create a home styling that includes land and not have the earth being of use. 

    I was thinking about my ties with the earth today (and yes, this IS a filler post -- better than an empty date I think and hope you agree) because for the first time EVER,  I have a gardener!!!  I feel very posh of course and my front and side yards look like  parks so that's good too.   I still have all my pots and planters and rail boxes with flowers herbs and lots of potatoes (seemingly the crop of the year and doing very well).  I have plenty to personally tend and enjoy.

    So, if you are wondering what to do with that empty space in your back yard ----- 


  • Morning Sauna


    I am not a huge fan of sweating. That being said there were a few years when I spent a fair amount of evenings in my friend's sauna. It was a comradery thing, not a health thing. Eight or so friends crammed into a homemade sauna steaming away. I have to admit I was usually the first one out *wink*.   

    Salt & Pepper has a new group gift -- BOM panties.  "Thrilled" was an appropriate term for my feelings when I heard. I love BOM and there really aren't all that many clothes made for this very useful addition to our current wardrobe choices.  The panties come in a large variety of colors and are also tintable -- so you can have any color needed to go under those oftentimes SUPER short skirts.  These are thongs in the back so really not all that helpful with modesty, but having SOMETHING on while you rez makes sense to me.   

    This is a paid group with a hefty fee, but I am guessing a lot of you joined last December for the Advent event. If so, switch on that group tag and get over there.  There are about 30 other past group gifts available near the wall vendor in the group gift area. 

    My backdrop is the group gift for July from MINIMAL (also a paid group). 



    Pose by: aDORKable
  • Just For Fun


    If you feeling "stuck" these days and want a change of pace, the Amelia dress from Belle Époque offers dramatic thrills and photo ops for a mere 25 Tuesday price.  Several colors are available. Maitreya only. 

    Backdrop by MEVA (old gacha item)
    Hair: {Letituier} Samba Hair


    Pose by: Helamiyo and the Amacci neck pose hud
  • Havana Bay


    Lazy days of summer.  Time for some exploring.  

    I ventured over to Havana Bay -- a well-known spot for boat people. Quaint and picturesque it is a fun way to shop as many buildings are for sale.  Water and sailboats make up much of the vista but this rustic build caught my eye. 

    My dad built boats later in life.  A captain on a small vessel  he was out a week - home a week so there was plenty of time to work on personal projects.  The ocean was never far away during my formative years so my early morning visit was in one sense nostalgic. The many "islands" are connected by water in this large landscape. There is a feeling of endlessness. 

    Come Explore the varied lands of Second Norway!



  • What I Bought This Weekend



    Lots of sales shopping this weekend; I decided on these two items as my top picks.

    Girlie? You got me!

    From The Bearded Guy -- Ladies Bath Backdrop 

    There is an open stall with toilet plus lots of other details not shown in the  screenshot.  I really appreciate the attention to detail including the reflection of the stalls in the mirrors.  69 li.

    1 Hundred. On A Whim. Pink  -- top and skirt are separate and many mesh fits are in the pack. Four colors of flowers to choose from in the print. The super short mini doesn't cover much in back so I will most likely use the top with some white jeans :D.  You could also add your own panties to cover some skin back there *wink*.  Very good fit -- on Maitreya anyway!


    Other credits:

    MOVEMENT- Cute notepad w/eyeglasses
    Truth - Curious (current VIP group gift)




    Nutmeg has a very popular set out for Happy Weekend. AND -- happily the set is the offering, not individual pieces.  LODs are good and triangle count is reasonable on table, chairs and centerpiece.  The draped service set is fairly heavy, so keep that in mind.  This whole set as shown is 426,000 triangles.  



    Pose by: Helamiyo and the book prop
  • La Rosearie


    The tiny but lovely French Village of La Rosearie is picture perfect and picture perfect calls for art. 


    I ventured over in the wee small hours of the morning for a quiet and peaceful stroll.


    These virtual painting are now available at the Free Art Gallery.


     
  • Getting Beachy


    Hot days, cool pools, ocean breezes -- it must be summer in Second Life.  

    Credits:  

    Bens Boutique - Zigane Dress Pattern  FREE on The Free Dove Hunt.  You need to join Ben's Beauty (free) to claim this dress.  Other garments, shoes and jewelry at in the hunt. Ten items in all from Ben's with five being at The Free Dove.  Wellmade is the partner for this round but their items were black and leopard prints which were not working well for my "summer" frame of mind. If it is winter in your world though, hop on over and take a look at those.   You are looking for mesh sea creatures like starfish. Five prizes at the main stores, five at The Free Dove.  




    Super fun and with a definite playful vibe, the Deep Static :: DS :: Savage Glasses come in lots of multicolor versions as well as some single color. Perfect for spicing up styling featuring prints. COMING SOON AT EVOLVE !!!   

    My hair is the new VIP (paid group) hair from Truth.   Curious comes with a styling hud


    Poses by: Diesel Works, aDORKable
  • 52 Colors – Week 35 Azelea


    Support. It comes in all shapes, sizes, sexes and species. We can all use some now and then.  


    The original challenge had a week for "pink" but somehow Pantone seems to have given up on those generic names, so I piked a nice medium hot pink that was different than the others in our list.   This is AZELEA.



    Credits:

    {MYNX} Chevron Romper - Maitreya Pink
    *Mon Cheri* Shelly Necklace
    Hair: Sintiklia - Hair Will


    *HEXtraordinary* Alpaca - Emotional Support Companion (ADD!)


    This is the official path to the challenge.





    Pose by: ChiC buildings
  • Raw Shots



    Those of you that are photographers may have noticed that I am a facelight gal. I know; I know!  Long, long LONG ago I adjusted the most popular model on the grid and I am still using my "dim" version.  But now and then natural lighting is a lovely thing -- a present from Mother Nature and the Windlight creators. 

    That resistance is futile time is coming soon and my version of Firestorm will be retired. I am going to see if the Opensim version will work well enough for me and if so I will likely stick with Windlight; if not I imagine I will grapple with EEP.  But TODAY -- it was just me and the early morning light. 

    It's MONDAY and that means you have a fifty fifty chance that it is a new round of Cosmopolitan. You are in luck; it is!   Out from Kunglers, the Sayuri earrings with texture change hud.  These lovelies can work with both casual and dressy attire -- perfect for summer on-the-go  days. 



    Pose by: aDORKable
  • If I Knew Then

    M A R I A - Natalia Gustafson - Chris - Geena Carminucci - Trouble Dethly 


    The theme of yesterday's Blogger Experience Discussion  at SeraSim  was "if I knew then what I know now" with tips and philosophy of what each blogger has learned over time. If this is of interest to you, check out the Blogger & Vlogger Network



    From the group description: 

    Our mission at Blogger & Vlogger Network is to improve the accessibility to helpful information and to provide a platform for unrivaled networking and mutual support with a strong focus on improving the impact of Second Life blogs and vlogs.  Visit our website at http://www.bvnsl.com/



    Addendum:

    No one asked and likely no one cares but I am going to add to this post with what "I" would have said if queried.  I am going to  think of it as a meme from Berry if that was still going on :D.


    • My primary advice would be to be true to yourself.  Make sure you are featuring brands and items that you admire, that are made well, that you would BUY if they weren't passed to you.  If you are starting a blog, don't worry much about the number of views -- whether they are 6 or 600 or 60,000  a month. Do the work FOR YOURSELF ...

    • And of course for the creators you are featuring.  Personally I hate those blog photos that are so filled with clutter that you can't actually see any of the items that are supposed to be in the spotlight.  I have had folks send photos to my store Flickr (this long ago when I was doing lots of events) that "featured" my new releases.  Yep, the item was there in the photo ---  in the background, over on the left and about an inch high when the photo was seen full sized.  Is this really doing a good job of blogging? 

    • Recognize that blogging takes a big hunk of time. If you can only blog once a month, then most likely you should just make a Flickr account or a personal diary blog for yourself.  The typical blog reader wants to visit your blog and see new items or hear about yesterday's adventures, not visit six times hoping that there is a change on the page. 

    • Decide what you are willing to do and what you are not.  Most of the folks I blog for have been with me (or I with them) for well over a decade.  I am not a fan of  "blogger corrals" and only worked in that type of system if I was grandfathered in and didn't have to fill out forms and complete quotas.  Still, I would get the nasty group messages from blogger managers yelling at folks who took the goods and failed to fulfill their part of the agreement.  It was NOT fun.   So decide  if you really want to be in those situations -- and if not, leave.  

    • Understand that it takes awhile for your blog to take off, and these days playing the game is called for much more than in the past. So Flickr, social media et al are part of the package -- most of the time.  I never jumped on the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. bandwagon and still, I am here. So it is possible; but that choice is the harder choice and most folks don't have 13 years of history  to buffer the hole opting out of social leaves.  

    • And MOST OF ALL --- have fun!