Jan 062017
 

Hi, peeps!

Today I’m trialling something new on the blog. I’ve been debating how to handle the mesh body vs classic avatar conundrum, and I’ve come up with what I hope will be a good solution. Tags are all well and good, but I don’t have a visible tag cloud on the blog, so I thought it would be a good idea to put the requirements for each post in coloured text or images at the top of the post. I’ll put both in this post, so you can see how it looks. Let me know which you prefer!

The text-only version –

– No mesh body or body parts required. This one works for classic avatars!
– No spend look. Completely free!

The image version (I may change these to be smaller and less obtrusive) –

Now that’s out of the way…

Today we’re going Goth, because I like to choose a theme sometimes and see what I can do with it. We’re visiting three places:

The Free Dove
Shop FreeStyle
[email protected] mainstore

First up: The Free Dove. Mar picked up this cute little velvet dress and tights set by Stellar in the women’s clothing section there. And in the women’s footwear section, she found these colour-change (soles and straps) boots by [email protected] The bracelets (also by [email protected]) are at Shop FreeStyle.

The awesome (and a bit scary; no picking your nose or scratching your bum with these on!) nails are by Gorgeous Dolls, and are in the accessories section of The Free Dove. The ring can be found in the ‘freebie TV’ in front of the freebie wall at the [email protected] mainstore. (I tinted the gemstone a bit more purple, to match the outfit.)

As well as being scarily sharp and long, the nails also come with an amazing HUD. You can colour each nail individually by clicking it on the HUD, and there are tons of options to choose from. Here’s a screenshot of the HUD itself:

The necklace is a freebie from Edenia on Marketplace. It’s tintable (it’s black when you buy it, but edit it and you can change it to any colour) and really easy to resize using the manual sizing tools. The lipstick is from a huge pack of freebie lippies by 7 Deadly s{K}ins at The Free Dove.

You’ll find the curly lashes (by BKB) on the second floor at Shop FreeStyle. Look for the orange upward-pointing arrow just inside the door to teleport to the second floor! The hair by Adoness is also there (although I didn’t make a note of which floor that was on – oops!)

Finally, the skin is by Avi-Glam and can be found in the skins section at The Free Dove. Please note that the purple eyeshadow is not included with this skin! I’d originally planned to blog that, too, since I picked it up in a hunt gift at The Free Dove, but when I went back there – just hours later! – the hunt items had been removed. It turned out that was a leftover from the December hunt!

Total spend: Nothing! This look is completely free :)

Dec 222016
 

It will happen to all of us eventually, especially those of us who hunt for bargains. We’ll find a fabulous cheapie on Marketplace, and the ridiculously-small amount of money the creator is charging for it will leave our virtual wallet so fast you won’t see that cash for dust. The item arrives in our inventory, and… whoops.

We’ve just paid for stolen goods.

It happened to me last night. I was just looking through the latest cheapies and freebies on Marketplace, and a lovely blonde hair popped up for just L$32. Since I’d already picked up a few cheap hair gifts (and since it was among a load of other results for other things) I thought “Bargain!” and threw it into my cart. I was on a freebie/cheapie binge, and I just didn’t think. Just glossed right over it.

As soon as I unpacked it, I realised that I’d unwittingly purchased copybotted (stolen) hair. The clues were simple to follow:

  • The hair description began ‘LeLutka’ – a well-known designer in SL
  • It was full-permission (always a HUGE sign that something’s amiss, especially if the Marketplace description says otherwise)
  • Checking the creator properties of the hair took me to the profile of an avatar with an angry disclaimer about not coming to her about stuff you’d purchased from other people

The first thing I did was to check whether LeLutka did indeed have a hair of that name on Marketplace. They do (a demo only), and it’s identical to the hair that I had purchased. Also, the hair that I purchased is full-permission and the Marketplace description where I purchased it from states that it’s no-transfer (a lie calculated to throw off the possibility of it being stolen). So I immediately contacted the CS representative for LeLutka to alert them to the possibility of copybotted versions of their hair on Marketplace. Back came the reply that yes, it was stolen. The CS representative also told me that LeLutka don’t even sell full-priced hair on Marketplace; they only have a ‘demo store’. Their full-priced hair has to be purchased at their in-world location.

She also gave me a useful tip to help spot a store full of stolen hair: if the store features lots of different hairstyles in the same colour, then it’s very likely that it’s all stolen.

To that, I’ll also add a couple more tips of my own: things that I’ve learned from this:

  • If the hair is a dollarbie (L$1) then it’s most likely a genuine gift from a hair store. However, if it’s an unusual (but still low) price – such as L$32 – then you should investigate further.
  • Check out the full store. You do this by clicking on ‘visit the store’ on the right-hand side of the page, between the store name and store-owner name (underneath the orange purchase buttons).

Things to look out for, and be especially wary if more than one of these applies to a single store:

  • Lots of hairstyles, all the same ridiculously-cheap price. A few dollarbies in an otherwise genuine-looking hair store are not going to be stolen, but 50 hairstyles (all at strange prices like L$32) probably are.
  • No typical signs of a genuine hair creator: demos, full-price packs (L$150+), no multiple-colour packs (all blondes, all browns, etc).
  • Lots of hairstyles, all in the same colour (or, at most, two or three colours). Be aware that some genuine hair designers use the same image for different hair colours, and just change the item name to denote which hair colour it is, so check the item names as well.
  • No hair colours listed, just the name of the hair itself. Or, if a colour is listed, it may simply say “[style name] black hair”.
  • Lots of hairstyles, all with different types of design. Most hair designers have a ‘signature style’. If you can see a few long blonde styles with wispy fly-away strands and a few more that are more solid and chunky then you’re possibly looking at hair stolen from different designers.
  • Lots of styles in the same hair colour but with different textures. Maybe the roots look longer in one blonde than they do in another, or the shine is different. Maybe one black hair is a solid black and another has a lot of highlighted-shine. While some designers do create new hair texture sets occasionally, they’ll be clumped together because the designer will swap to using the new style of texture at a specific point in time. Sort the store by ‘recent first’ to see if the different textures are all located together.
  • Styles that look very familiar, because you could have sworn you saw them in Truth, or another hair store, last week! (If you actually own those styles, try them on and then angle your camera to the same way the advert is angled. You’ll soon see if the hair is identical or not.)
  • Very professionally-made hair with very simple ads. I’ve blurred out all identifying information in the ad at the top of this post, purely because I don’t want to publicise this seller of stolen merchandise, but all of her hair ads are set against that white background with no store logo, just a simple name in a black font.
  • Personal items being sold alongside lots of cheap hair. In this case, I found gacha resale items being sold at the end of the listings.

What to do if you’ve spotted (or unwittingly purchased) stolen hair:

  • First, verify as much as you can that it is stolen. The above hints will help you, and if you’ve actually purchased the hair, look for clues such as:
    • The item name including a well-known store name, but the creator name not being associated with that store (either its owner or a store alt).
    • Defensive words in the creator’s or seller’s profile about their items.
    • Different permissions on the item you’ve purchased (usually they will be full-permission) than the permissions listed on the Marketplace page.
    • No store group listed in the creator’s (or seller’s) profile, and no store or contact info in their picks or main profile.
  • Contact the genuine store owner/item creator (or their CS representative; check their profile for their preferred point of contact). Send them a notecard titled something like “Possible copybotted [store name] hair on Marketplace” and give as much info in that notecard as you can. Make sure you include a Marketplace link to the stolen hair..
  • If you receive confirmation that the hair is, indeed, stolen, ask the creator (or their CS representative) if they want you to leave a review stating as much. If they say that’s fine, then go ahead and leave a review. You’ll have to give at least one star in order for the review to be posted, but you can state that it’s a no-star review in either the review title or the main review text. Simply state that it’s copybotted (stolen) hair and advise others not to purchase it.
  • If you unwittingly bought it, then trash it. Don’t walk around wearing hair that someone else (who likes it!) can inspect and then purchase from a thief.

What will happen next:

  • The genuine creator will file a DMCA request, to have that specific hair taken down (and any other stolen copies of their hair on that Marketplace store). Only the original creator (the owner of the Intellectual Property, or IP) of an item can file a DMCA request.
  • The genuine creator will probably post a link to the store in one or more large designer groups, so that other designers can check it for their hair that may have been stolen. In my case, the store had hair from Truth and Lamb, and very likely several other stores. Those designers will also file DMCAs.

Eventually (with a bit of luck) the store will be removed entirely by Linden Lab. Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t usually stop the worst culprits. Most copybotters will have a new store set up under a new alt account within a few days. DMCAs are a way of life for many creators, both in the virtual and real worlds. All we can do is to help out where we can, by letting them know when we’ve spotted thieves selling their work for a quick (Linden) buck.

Dec 212016
 

Hi, peeps!

It’s time for some Ho! Ho! Ho! on the blog. I never seem to get into the full spirit of Christmas until about a week before the event, but once my tree is up at home, I’m as tinselly as anyone, wishing people a Merry Christmas and all that stuff. So I’ve hunted through Marketplace to bring you some festive bargains, and I came away with three cute-as-a-bauble hairstyles, and a complete outfit, all for just L$1 each!

We’ll start with the outfit, because this is fabby. You get the coat dress, the boots, pantyhose, and gloves, all for one measly Linden dollar. It’s the Autumn Style Complete Outfit by Katyenka. And, while it’s called ‘Autumn Style’ the bright red colour fits the whole traditional Christmas theme perfectly. The coat comes in fitted mesh and standard sizing, and you get both clothing layers and appliers (Omega, Maitreya, and Slink) for the gloves and pantyhose. The boots are unrigged, so you can move them around if they don’t quite fit. (Mar’s wearing her Slink Physique body, and that has a slight tilt to the shins, so being able to move boots around is a plus!) If you have the Catwa ‘Jessica’ mesh head, there’s also a makeup applier for that included.

Moving onto the hair, and I am SO IN LOVE WITH THIS! (It needs all-caps; I love it that much!) This is the 2016 Christmas dollarbie hair by eXxEsS, and it comes with a massive customisation HUD. You can customise loads of things about the baubles, and you get two versions of the hair, each with a huge colour HUD: version A (solid colours) and version b (dipped/tints). There’s also a ‘breeze’ version, which moves gently around your face, plus versions with materials. Wowza!

And, when I say the customisation HUDs are massive I really mean it. The two for the hair colours absolutely filled my viewer, from top to bottom! Here they are together:

And here’s the HUD for the baubles:

But that’s not the only cute Christmas hair that eXxEsS has on Marketplace! Here’s their Christmas 2015 dollarbie, with the same colour HUDs as shown above:

You can customise the antlers and baubles on this one, and – as before – there’s more than one version included in the pack.

And here’s their Christmas 2014 dollarbie. Again, same hair customisation HUDs!

Lastly, Mar found some lovely mesh eyes, which are featured in all of these pics: the Human Eyes by Lambda.

 

Dec 042016
 

Hi, peeps!

Those of you who have been following SL4Nowt for a long time will remember that I often blogged about footwear from HoC (aka: House of Curios, aka: HoC Industries). Creator Guu Nishi hopped on the prim footed-shoe bandwagon early on, and made some fantastic heels for incredibly affordable prices. She also made great shoes for the guys, too. But she eventually shut up shop and moved on.

So, imagine my delight when, on a drive-by trip a couple of days ago to the Stillman Bazaar (a Linden-owned freebie bazaar where anyone can place free – and mostly full-permission – items for other residents to take, I discovered a box with this hovertext on it:

I grabbed it and took it back home to unpack. Another box was inside this box, but when I unpacked that box, I was seal-clapping like crazy, because it contains just about every single thing that Guu Nishi put out for sale at HoC. And it’s all free and full-permission!

Included is a notecard from Guu herself, which reads as follows:

This pack contains every (everything I can cleanly package up) release from HOC Industries over the past 9 years. I always said that when I closed up shop I’d make everything available for free with full permissions and well, here we are!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty rules and stuff:

You can give, sell, modify, or do anything you like with the stuff in this box. Enjoy it!

Basically, don’t use any of this stuff for evil and we’re cool.

That’s pretty much everything! There will be no support given for anything in this box, it’s all full mod so you can sort it out if you need to :) Everything should work as expected though.

Have fun! If you feel this has been useful for you, a couple of lindens in my hat would be a lovely gesture! Not a requirement though so only if you want to.

Until we meet again,

Guu Nishi

HOC Industries (2007 – 2016)

This is such a generous act. Thank you so much, Guu! It’s going to enable me to put together an updated newbie avatar box, and I’m going to pack up some of the clothing items (especially the ones for the guys!) to put out as freebies in the Del Mar Store. I’m so happy to finally have some great, always-there free footwear to point newbie guys towards!

Inside the box, you’ll find tons of items, from female clothing and footwear to male clothing and footwear, plus some furniture, accessories (such as watches, glasses, and sunglasses for both genders), and a couple of buildings. Some of it is older clothing layer items, some of the footwear makes use of the old ‘invisiprims’ (so it may or may not work, depending on the viewer you’re using, but since it’s all full-permission, you can edit it to remove the invisiprims and use some of the freely-available alpha layers on Marketplace instead; see the end of this post for some links for those), some of the clothing and footwear contains sculpts, and then there’s some mesh clothing (in standard sizing) and even  a pair of gorgeous colour-change heels that fit Slink High and Maitreya feet!

All-in-all it’s a fabulous haul of goodies! I’m going to stop blethering on about it now, and show you some of the items. But first, you’re probably going to want to know where to find this thing, right?

Here’s the SLurl for Stillman Bazaar. As per the screenshot below, you’ll land high up, and you need to head towards the red beam. You’ll find the plain dark grey box on the floor at the back, just behind a little white particle cloud:

As for the rest of this post, hop behind the cut :)

Continue reading »

Dec 032016
 

Hi, peeps!

I figured it was about time I dug back into my inventory-sorting tips, because we now have a new inventory-bloater to deal with: the extra sizes of mesh that we don’t wear, as well as the extra options fitted for mesh bodies and feet etc that we don’t own!

There will be lots of screenshots for this post, so hop behind the cut :)

Continue reading »

Dec 032016
 

Hi, peeps!

Today’s bargainous gifty is a lovely skin from Al Vulo!

You’ll need to join the Al Vulo! group (it’s free-to-join) and have your group tag active. Once you’re at the store, turn away from it and walk through the garden to the little wooden hut. You’ll find the gift inside there on the back wall.

I’m not sure how old this skin is, because it doesn’t have Omega appliers, and the appliers that it does have are old ones: Wowmeh, Lolas Tango, and Phat Azz. However, it also contains a system skin, plus appliers for Slink hands and feet.

I fell in love with this cute little butterfly fascinator when I was at the Swallow store. It’s a group gift (L$30 to join, and several group gifts on the wall) and it comes in eight colours.

Mar’s hair is a great dollarbie from FABIA on Marketplace. You get a 30-colour ‘naturals’ HUD with this, so you have all the basic blondes, browns, reds, and monochromes.

As for the dress, oh my goodness it’s a pretty one. It’s from AnaLee Balut, and you’ll find it as a group gift (with two colour options) in the ALB store. Be warned, though: the group does cost a lot – L$500 – to join. However, I love AnaLee’s textures and designs, and if you hover your cursor over most of the outfit sets in the store, you’ll find absolutely tons of group gifts and wearable demos. So, if you can scrape up the cash, I recommend it!

Lastly, the shoes. I was so happy to find these heels. They’re a L$65 bargain (ignore the mistake I made in the price on the image – oops!) from Ben’s Boutique on Marketplace, and they’re for Slink High feet only. You get a 16-colour HUD, plus options for the chains, so you can match them with lots of outfits.

Nov 292016
 

Hi, peeps!

Today’s look comes courtesy of the plethora of free group gifts at Gizza. And when I say ‘plethora’ I really mean it! There’s a huge area at Gizza’s landing point, dedicated to free gifts both for men and women. Everything from formal wear to high couture, to everyday stuff.

Firstly, you’ll need to be a member of the Gizza VIP group (it’s free-to-join). Copy this link and paste it into local chat in Second Life, then click the link that pops up in chat history. It will take you to the group page, where you can join. Make sure you have your group tag active before you start clicking the gifts! Ladies, make sure to take your menfolk with you, because they’ll find some great free stuff there, too!

Here, Mar is wearing the November 2016 group gift for women, which is a cutie-pie pink top with floofy cuffs and a flared short grey plaid skirt:

The skirt section comes in fits for Belleza Freya, Isis, and Venus, Maitreya Lara, and Slink Physique and Hourglass, as well as standard sizing. The top comes in a clothing layer, as well as an all-in-one applier for Slink, Belleza, and Maitreya.

Her shoes are from the (still-ongoing) L$15-per-item Halloween hunt at Ricielli. You’ll find them in pumpkin #20. They are fitted for Slink High, Belleza, Maitreya, and TMP, and they come in four colours: blood, midnight, potion, and pumpkin.

Mar’s hair is ‘Save the Queen’ from Rezology at The Free Dove (it’s also available for L$1 here on Marketplace). You’ll get a single style with a ‘naturals’ colour HUD. Her makeup is the freebie ‘Party All Night/Indifference’ eyeshadow from Mock Cosmetics at the Free*Style location (you’ll need to take the teleporter up to the second floor to find it!)

I’ve not included the earrings in the full cost of this look, because you can’t really see them too well under the hair. I’ll feature them separately in a different post, but for reference here, they’re group gifts from Swallow. That group costs L$30 to join (group link) and there are several lovely gifts on the wall. (The store also has a L$99 room, which is out of the main financial remit of this blog, but contains some absolutely gorgeous stuff, if you want to splurge a teeny bit more!) These ‘Deco’ group gift earrings have a colour-change HUD for both the metals and the fabric strips.

(In case you’re wondering what Mar’s skin is, that’s also by Swallow! I was teleporting around the latest Skin Addiction event and discovered Swallow’s beautiful skins that way. Since the event gives you 50% off, I picked up some demos and went back for this lovely ‘Roberta’ skin. Not cheap or free, I’m afraid – although it was only L$350 in the event – but one good skin with a set of appliers is all I need for the blog!)

Nov 282016
 

Hi, peeps!

Have you been to The Free Dove lately? If not, then it’s time you hopped in that limo-link, because there’s some fabby new things out. The Free Dove has always been one of the places I’ve sent newbies to, and while it’s sadly lacking in quantity of content for male avatars (the poor guys always seem to get short shrift when it comes to good freebies anywhere) it still has a few gems for the menfolk. But I’m here to show you one of the female items, and it’s this simply gorge frock by Purplemoon!

It comes in standard sizing, so you don’t need a mesh body to wear it (although Mar’s wearing it with her Slink Physique body, after a bit of clicking through the alpha-hiding HUD for the body). The included gloves come with a standard glove clothing layer and an Omega applier for the mesh body peeps.

The jewellery is one of two sets available at The Free Dove, by Lazuri. I love this to bits! It’s so elegant and classy, and it’s massively customisable. Just click each item to choose from lots of different gem, metal, and pearl colours. The pack includes earrings, a necklace, and two bracelets.

Mar’s hair is also from The Free Dove. I did say there was a lot of fabby stuff there now, didn’t I?! This pretty up-do is by Rezology (and they also have another style available, which I’ll show in another post). You get a HUD for several different colours (although do be warned that there’s a bit of subtle glow to the hair, which shows more with the lighter blondes, but it still looks gorgeous!)

Mar is wearing the pretty Star Bliss nail appliers (for Slink/Omega and Maitreya; Omega will work on Belleza mesh bodies) from LIVIA. They’re available for L$10 on Marketplace, and come with several pink and lilac mixed options.

The finishing touch is the makeup. Mar picked up these eyeshadows in a previous Ricielli treasure hunt for just L$15, but they’re now available on Marketplace for L$50 for seven shades. I love these, as they’re so striking and they really make your eyes look sparkly! So, while L$50 might be a bit of a high price for this blog to recommend for some eyeshadows, I think it’s worth it :)

Nov 272016
 

Arr!

(Two posts in a row. That looks promising, doesn’t it?)

Hi, peeps! Today’s gifty comes from Purplemoon Creations. The group costs L$50 to join, and you get a fabulous group gift in the store each month. (Copy this link and paste it into chat for the group info.)

This is a gorgeous outfit! I’ve never been disappointed with Purplemoon’s group gift’s, and this is no exception. You’ll get this white dress, hat, gloves, and cutlass in the gift. The dress comes in: Belleza Venus, Isis, and Freya, Slink Physique and Hourglass, plus standard sizing (XXS-L, with an alpha layer) for standard (non-mesh) avatars. The gloves come in fitted mesh and standard sizing (XXS-L). You also get a little HUD to change the lace edging from sheer to opaque.

No footwear is included, so Mar went on a Marketplace hunt for some. The perfectly-named Cutlass Heels are by Blackburns, and they’re just L$29. You’ll get one each of black and white pairs in the folder (my white pair rezzed as pink, but those ones are recolourable!) and you’ll get a colour HUD so you can make them match any outfit. The Marketplace ad states they’re “made to be worn with av feet for high heels” and they fitted Mar’s Slink High feet perfectly.

Since Mar’s all-white for this ghostly outfit, she needed some white hair! [email protected] to the rescue with this group gifty hair in a faboo 12-colour ‘naturals’ HUD. The [email protected] group costs L$100 to join, but it’s well worth it, especially if you like to fish for the bi-weekly outfits (a lot of people trade pieces of the outfits in the group). There’s also an Advent calendar every year at [email protected], for group members, so join up now to get ready for that!

Nov 262016
 

*taps blog*

Is this thing still on? It is? Oh, good!

HI, PEEPS! 

I can’t promise that I’m back for good, but let’s see how things go, shall we? This will be a little bit of an adminny sort of post to begin with, but I have some bargains for you, too.

First up: When I logged on and saw how much my weekly stipend had added up to, I realised that Mar could afford a mesh body bit or two. So that’s one positive change around here: I can blog about cheapies (and freebies, although I think those might be a bit thinner on the ground!) that are specifically fitted for mesh bodies and mesh body parts, as well as non-mesh body stuff. That also means (wheee!) nail appliers, of which there’s a plethora of cheap-n-free options out there on Ye Olde Marketplace.

The financial focus of the blog will therefore shift a wee bit. I’ll try to stick as much to the old ethos of a L$75 maximum spend, but when it comes to things like skins with appliers and whatnot, I’ll probably do some special posts with a L$500 limit (or something thereabouts; I’ll feel it out as I go along).

The mesh bodies and body parts that Mar now has and will be blogging things for are:

  • Slink Physique Body
  • Maitreya Lara Body
  • Slink hands
  • Slink feet (flat, mid, and high – and I may get the kitten feet at some point, but those will do for now)

OK, so with that out of the way, onto the bargainage! I’m going to yoink you back into Halloween mode, because Ricielli’s Halloween Hunt items are still out in the store, and there are some scrummy bits to be found there. Here’s the look Mar put together for a paltry L$30 total:

The blouse and skirt are together in pumpkin #13 (which costs L$15) and only come in the colours shown. The heels are in pumpkin #8 (which also costs L$15) and those come in blood, midnight, potion, and pumpkin colours. The fit options are as follows (lordy, this bit’s going to be a tedious addition to the blog, I can tell!) –

Blouse & Skirt

  • Belleza Freya and Isis
  • Slink Physique and Hourglass
  • Maitreya Lara

Heels

  • Slink
  • Belleza
  • Maitreya
  • TMP

Here’s your limo to Ricielli. Make it snappy, because I don’t know how much longer those pumpkins will be out for!

Oh, and here’s Ricielli’s image for all the hunt items. Each one costs L$15: