Monday, November 30, 2020

Still More Christmas Shopping Places

By Gemma Cleanslate

The Christmas Fair at Ancient Life is absolutely delightful. The streets and Lanes are a wonderful place to walk and shop. If you are looking for old time characters for your region decor there are so many here along with old fashioned sleighs. elves, carolers and so much more. I even saw some thin ribbon candy! I am pretty sure I saw Scrooge checking into the hotel.

Take a look at this milkman with his wares and truck too . Some of the figures are animated and so adorable. Santa is waiting there for you when you arrive.

I sat down with Santa for dinner at a sumptuous table that would look great in a region dining area. One shop  had some beautiful carpets that I may go back for but not sure they are suitable for a houseboat . I found a very pretty chickadee outfit and did indulge myself! If you have some decor for sale I did see some empty shops along the way.  Visit and get that old fashioned feeling of this holiday centuries ago.

I love to visit this region every year I think mostly because I like the name Snuggles! This shopping area has many very well defined larger shops full of a special item... Gnomes,  Floral, Indoor decor etc, so it is easy to locate exactly what you are looking for  in case you need something in a hurry.  It is always beautifully decorated for the season.

 I went into the indoor decor and found a whole rack of really nice holiday cards. Sets for special friends, honey, kids, and some with songs are available. Some allow you to add your own messages. 

I also love the flying sleighs led by reindeer. Some nice chubby Santas hang around here .

When I visited Erotic Shores Christmas region a few weeks ago it was billed as "Stores ready for rent." Well now it is ready for shoppers as “Christmas Shopping at its Best.”  I found several mens shops there with good holiday outfits. This is something I usually hear complaints about , that men cannot find clothes. .So visit here if you are having trouble. Of course there are many women's shops to check out too. One or the shops had some Christmas books and wrapping for sale.  

If you have some wares for sale there is still room for a few in shops and also market tables on the street for rent . While you are there look for both skiing and skating behind the shopping.

One more place I visit every year is the Christmas Store at Dench Designs. Amanda Dench always has wonderful free gifts for members and non members in her shop.
Outside there are cute little outdoor scenes that would fit well on small properties as well as large areas. Inside the shop are many items from trees, reindeer, animated characters and my favorite, those you can dance with !

It is great fun to choose the one you want and try out the dancing before you buy one for your own. Jump on , choose your dance and go.Try it! Go upstairs for the gifts!

I will be finding more winter venues  for you to visit mostly scenic but some with shopping and perhaps with some winter fun!

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 23, 2020

More Christmas Shopping Places

By Gemma Cleanslate

My tour of Christmas markets and sales of decor and outfits continues. Some of these venues have gifts around so keep an eye out. Also check the windlight settings and be sure to check the Music media . There is lovely music playing at most sites and it adds to the experience .

If you are looking for a ‘Special‘ Santa. a working Santa, a fire fighting Santa, a carpenter Santa, etc., you need to stop off at Christmas at the North Pole. There is such a gathering of them just waiting to go to work for you  where ever you need them/ Perhaps your water region needs  a Santa to deliver gifts in a boat. Well, he is here waiting for you . If there is a fire possibility get a fire truck with Santa. There are also loads of toys for sale here too in the elf’s store.

There is also a rezz zone where you can rezz the scenes to see what they look like before you buy. I had some fun there, looking at the various scenes.

Some people will be having fun gatherings for the holidays. If you are looking for some really goofy decor for the area or the house check out this place, Never You Mind.  It is a delight to visit and  if one really wants to buy some of the critters to roam around and just keep you company by sitting on your shoulder. There are singing elves, walking cupcakes, Angels and so much more. Most are singing holiday songs in their strange little voices. There is a little tipjar at the entrance where you can get a little shoulder pet for a small tip. I got a couple.

Clematis Island is hosting a Christmas Market that is so chuck full of decor, clothing, globes, toys and on and on. Everything is either on a snow laden stand or in a  shop on the roadside. Stop off at the Roasted chestnuts cart in the road. It is really a teleport area that will take you up to a lovely skating rink. I saw more little stands there waiting to be filled with more goodies. Also at one of the stands I picked up an invitation to The Nutcracker that the RIPA will be presenting on numerous dates in  December. I will be going!

Another venue where you can shop and skate right in the same market is over at Serena Little Inagua .This is a typical German winter market with stalls holding offerings from candles, wreathes, globes, Nativity scenes, cookies and other food. Watch for the red gift boxes near the stalls.

I almost bought a great looking ski outfit from Almut Brunswick Fashion but remembered I had better check my packed away ski outfits first. I think I got one last year. One stand had some cute ugly sweaters too but I do have those for sure .I stopped over at the wine bar before I left since it was my last stop of the day but discovered it was for sale. It was very busy while I was there .Around the perimeter look for the lovely scenes for your region or outside your home.

Gemma Cleanslate

Note: The wrong SURL was given out for Serena Little Inagua originally. It has since been corrected. - Hat tip: Annie Brightstar

Monday, November 16, 2020

Early Christmas Shopping Places

By Gemma Cleanslate

Time passes so quickly . It seems like a week ago I took down my Christmas decorations in sl and here I am getting ready to at least think about this year’s decor and activities though it is still a month and days away. 

I love to visit the sweet little Christmas markets with their little stalls housing goods from many creators that are around the grid . The snow covered trees and ground add to the festivity of the season. I am leaving my pocketbook home and just taking my camera along ( That won’t work for long).

The Winter Wonderland Christmas Bazaar is always  pleasure to visit. The walkways are lined with oversized snow globes that are  so lovely. ωɨԃgεт (Sahirah Hauptmann)  of Sahi Designs creates the decor found here. There is a skating pond near by and you can rezz a zippy little sled to scoot round on the ice or put on your skates and take a spin.

The next stop was at Dina LaVega (Dinahel Resident) ‘s ChristKindl and Advent Calendar. This quaint market with stalls  circling a large skating pond has large and small decor for your house or  larger area to decorate . It had snow globes in several different sizes and out came my purse! The market was busy while I was there because of the lovely wares that are offered. Stop by just to admire if not shop.

Around the back of the market area there are more goodies for sale to decorate your region for the winter. Charming winter settings for very good prices.

Christmas Lane by Bee Caudron of Bee Designs is another wonderful market to visit. Inside the market area and outside the sights are so cheery. She describes it as “A big  mall full of Christmas decor items in a magic place where you will feel the real Christmas spirit wherever you go.” and it is.

Many artists presents their creations in the little shops. I did succumb to trying the gachas near the entrance. Watch out for all the cute critters running around.  This is another site where you must roam both outside inside the market area to see the enticing offers of winter decor and, if not shopping just to enjoy the lovely need a bridge ,  of a camping site or a small pavilion? Go take a long walk inside and outside this market . It is well worth it.

“3D Republic's  Annual Christmas and Winter Market. Bringing together many creators from various backgrounds to bring you the joy and creation they have brought to SL. You need to take a walk outside the building  to get to the market itself over the bridge.  Explore the market. Many little shops filled with goodies. Be sure to stop at the gift tree for your gifts!”

This is a lovely market to roam through. They will be open until January 6 in case you forget anything.  

Here is 3D:

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 2, 2020

Cooper's Coffeehouse

By Bixyl Shuftan

Among the places one can relax in Second Life, one recently had a major makover: Cooper's Coffeehouse. Located in Lionheart Nala, people can enjoy games such as 7Seas and checkers, live music events, books to read, and of course a chat with other residents. Last month not long after it's reopening, I interviewed with the owner, Cooper Udimom about the location.

Cooper, like a number of other residents, had gotten his start at The Shelter, which had only recently closed. "I heard! I was so sad (frown). That was literally my first hangout spot in SL. I was just recounting in a chat how when someone gave me an object to wear on my first day and I wore it. Well turns out it was a giant prim penis that stuck on my forehead and I had no idea how to get it off. Made for an interesting time. Gosh its crazy to think I've been in SL ... over 15 years! My first avi was in 2004."

Cooper explained when he first joined, it was under a different account, "Long since gone (chuckle). I don't even remember that accounts name. But I started using my Alex1 Richardson avatar I believe in 2006. That's the avatar I created The Lighthouse Restaurant with. I still have all of the old products, notecards and textures. All from nearly 10 years ago. Quite the trip down memory lane." And how was running a restaurant in a place where people didn't need to eat? He actually did very well, "Honestly it was so much fun and super challenging - because there wasn't anything like it in SL. We were one of the first, so it exploded kind of rapidly. We had 1,000 plus people in our group and booked out reservations two to three weeks in advance. I had an amazing general manager, who basically ran the place after a few months. I am so sad she is no longer playing SL. We even kept touch in real life for awhile, but she's since disappeared (frown)." Checking his notes, the place had been running from October 2008 to January 2010, "We had an average of 100 unique visitors a day, 18,000 in the first 8 months."

He would take an extended break from Second Life, "I actually joined the Navy in real life. So that was why I took such a long hiatus from SL. I lived and traveled all over the world for a good eight years." Needless to say, things were different upon his return, "I came back in around 2017. I think mesh had just started to take off. I was on very intermittently until about April of this year when COVID happened. That was the biggest change. Logging in in 2020 and finding literally 99% of avatars were totally different, and you had to buy a specific'"shape' just to find clothes that would fit you. It was a massive learning curve. I really felt like for probably a month just like I had back in 2004 when  I first got into SL." When I asked how intermittently he was on, he answered, "I was on SL maybe once or twice a month from 2017 until 2020. (I) had a lot of real-life things going on."

Also in 2017 was when he first started The Coffeehouse, "That started on a tiny plot here in Lionheart, a sim or two over. ... It quickly became too small, so we moved to a very large property over in Second Norway. That was our biggest location in terms of space." He would later move a third time in June this year back to where it is now, "Definitely lots of moving around (chuckle)." Of when he first opened it, "The first few days it was very relaxed. I think we had a few live music acts. But there wasn't really anything *big.* I didn't really have the time nor the funds to pour in, moreso just wanted just a place people could come to to relax and unwind. But we developed a fairly decent group after about six months. And that was with no advertising other than the 30$L places ad, and the occasional post in a live music group or something." As mentioned, he didn't have much time, "I really only came on to pay tier and to ocassionally do some live events. ... Now that I have more time and a little bit more RL funds, I'm hoping to put some more effort into getting the word out."

Things changed in 2020 with the Pandemic, "Which was, morbidly enough, beneficial for me in the sense that I now worked from home. So I could really put more effort into SL. Granted, I went back to college also in January of 2020 so I still didn't have *too* much time. But definitely more than before. And now my schedule is really starting to mellow out as I approach graduation."

The Coffeehouse has recently gotten an overhaul. In an notecard, it was described as taking "over 20,000$L in renovations spanning three weeks ... with 1,000 combined prims." There are several games people can play with each other, "Chess, Checkers, Hangman, Memory games, Connect-4" and others, as well as 7Seas fishing contests. There are occasional chess and checkers tournaments. It is billed as a "Certified 'safe space' and child/family friendly." I asked what sparked his decision to spend the time and money. He answered, "I had much more time to devote to SL. The build before this that was here was very rapidly done. I think I put everything together in half a day. So I really wanted to take my time, get a new logo, develop my own drinks and menu, and really design the place thoughtfully and methodically. This all took me probably three weeks of four to six hours a day either on SL, researching things online, or looking up products in Marketplace. And then the obvious building, which all took place off-site very slowly."

The place had it's grand reopening on Friday October 2, " It was a very very soft reopening ... And by very very soft I mean I sent out group notices and subscriber IMs, and that was it. I'm hoping the renovation and some renewed effort in terms of advertising helps build up a better base and we can have some well attended events here in the near future. So I reached out to a few writers groups and individual artists in SL, only a few got back to me. I think we have maybe four or five SL books or publications thus far. Not much. Again, hoping to change that with renewed vigor and resources. We have a panel on our sign 'Be a Featured Artist.' We offer free exhibition space for photographers and artists and of course space in the reading nook for anything people would like to contribute." For those interested in contributing short stories, "That's okay. My plan is to in the next week or so add some sort of 'filing system' where people can contribute notecards with short stories, poems, etc."

There were people around, so I asked if the reception to the changes to the place were very good. Cooper answered, "Yes! So far very good I think we've had about 10-15 people in the first day.  Zero advertising thus far, other than our group notices. I truly think the renovation is going to be very good in terms of word of mouth advertising."

Of his plans for the near future, Cooper had this to say, "The plan is to add some small things like the filing system in the reading nook, and whatever other suggestions we may get from visitors, and then devoting time to reaching out to media outlets such as yourself to start advertising. I think after maybe two to three weeks we will start working on live music events, maybe try our bingo night again. Some of that buffer time is for mental recovery as well as financial (chuckle). I'm actively trying to hire some people right now as well to hold events so it doesn't all fall to me."

For later on, "I think long term the plan is really to just build up a good following, where there will always be people here so if someone just wanted to come here to meet new people or make friends they could. Of course I have a bunch of 'dreams' you could say. I'd love to hold charity events here, maybe an art exhibition or writers conference. Definitely a regular open-mic kind of event." Two possible charities were the Relay for Life and Homes For Our Troops.

Cooper makes no money from the Coffeehouse, though does accept donations to help pay the tier. One can check out the location's online calendar of planned events at , though there will likely be plenty of unplanned ones.

Cooper's Coffeehouse is located at:

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Return to Darkwood

By Gemma Cleanslate

Darkwood is one of Truck (Truck Meredith) and Ty Tenk (Tymus Tenk) special regions for a holiday. This one began in 2014 and is perfect for a different sort of Halloween from many others. There are yearly changes but as the owners say, ”We are happy to bring back a part of it this year. Though different, its spirit remains (smile).”  

I picked up my group hat and backpack, set the region windlight, turned on the music,  grabbed a flashlight. and headed in for the new treats, or tricks.


The first thing I did was take the Elven Boat Ride .This ride takes one through the swamp which is filled with marvels . It also takes off into the air and high over the mountains and hanging sky islands. It is a long ride so plan time .

Touring Darkwood on foot is easy if you follow the torches places along the way. But, some of the signs are iffy and getting lost is not bad either. There are places to sit by a fire and relax.

The Pavilion where many parties take place is on one of the sky islands and it spectacular as always. There are events there every few days at 7pm SL time  until Halloween and the calendar is there to view. During your tour you will find donation ghouls in the forest, swamp and Pavilion.

Ty and Truck do not have any commercial activities on their Calas Galadhon regions. Their main objective in Second Life is to provide enjoyment and entertainment for their members and visitors. You are invited to join the group .

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, October 26, 2020

Halloween Across Second Life

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that my work at the Burn2 has come to an end I will be exploring the Halloween sites that are scattered around the grid . There are many!! Some provide a place to shop for Halloween outfits and decor for you region or home.

I visited a new location this year to check for decor. It is called Spookydoo Halloween Market.  It is loaded!!  Scenes for your home like this Witches Snackbar. I found room with absolutely delightful music boxes and could not stop my self from buying the Pumpkin man. Stop by :

 After that visit I  stopped over at the Spooktakulum Event on Long Beach. They have a great cemetary. This event will run until late November and includes much more than Halloween.This is a good stop for Gacha lovers.

I was greeted at the next stop by spooky sounds. Trick or Treat Lane is in Spectacle. It is another little village setting just filled with Halloween decor and outfits and there are gifts hidden in the little shops so look carefully!!! I have already collected some really cute gifts! It is a great place to walk around. GO!

I made a stop over at Scare Me Silly where I always find items I like.  If you want to shop and also donate to Team Diabetes this is the place to go. 

A myriad of tiny shops line the roads of this desolate little village near the Galleries. Clothing, decor, jewelry and so much more for your Halloween season. Look for gifts in the shops too, little pumpkins for only 10L each. Parties happen here too, and you can check for the times here  and also find out more information about Team Diabetes in their 5th year of this Halloween event.    Slurl:

Want a gruesome, gory. and definitely grisly, experience?? Make your way to the Linden Halloween. At arrival it does not look too bad, another haunted house on a hill. But, as you hop into your coffin for the ride through you have no idea how what it is going to be like. Just ride along and be happy you are in Second Life and it is not real! This is tour 1.

Some grisly scenes from the Lindens!!

Happy Halloween!

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Emerald Crystal Golf Course

By Gemma Cleanslate

 About 8 or 9 years go in Second Life, I started to learn how to play golf with my friend Alarice. Not miniature golf but full golf on a course of 18 holes. I cannot recall why we stopped, perhaps the course closed. But I let it go and never restarted. I think I liked it at the time  but did not have time to get very good at it.

 However, my friend, Bergie is an expert and has played in SL for years and offered to teach me to play again so off we went. I met her and two other friends, Beertje and Particle and our philosophy teacher Herman Bergson (also and expert, at the Emerald  Crystal Golf Course.  We picked up our clubs  and went over to figure out the playing hud at the putting green. I was terrible! It took ages for me to figure out the hud (not reading all the directions of course ) but finally got enough practice  to say “lets try the real holes” and off we went.

 The first time we played was a disaster. It took a while . At one point I got twisted around and ended up driving the ball at the wrong hole!  Practice is the  answer. The following day  I found the driving range and spent time there so that I would improve. Finally I read the manual and tips to doing well was able to get the hang of it. I played 9 holes by myself , took my time and did beautifully. The hud helps choose the trail of the ball and marking it, showing the wind, making it much easier to play better.

 After a few games I decided to buy my own clubs with the hud and a score card. I had been using the very inexpensive rental clubs. I believe these clubs that I purchases can be used at other courses too. There are many others in SL but my friends were members here so this is where they play. It is now ready for Halloween!!

The course is very well laid out with 18 holes. There are lovely greens, beautiful trees and shrubs around the course.  Water surrounds many of the greens ( it is a good thing we have a derender option in SL, it comes in handy).  There are horses grazing, deer standing not afraid of us at all and other wildlife to be seen. Halloween has arrived already!

Not only is this a golf course but the owners have a skeet shooting area and some other interesting activities. They also have events at the  19th Hole club so it is a busy region. Try it if you are looking for something different to do in Second Life.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Blue Lagoon

By Bixyl Shuftan

A friend recently told me about a place in Second Life she thought was worth mentioning, Blue Lagoon. "It is a gorgeous sim." she told me. The place was at the Isle of Blessings sim, so I headed over.

Arriving and looking around, I was under a thatch roof with a few signs of the sim owner, Bolera Rau, and moderators, some pictures of activities and a parachute giver. Looking around, I saw a number of small tropical islands. Going about, I saw a boat dock with a rezzer for a hang glider which could be flown about. There was another craft there that I would later hear was a kind of hovercopter that was available for anyone to fly (I never asked about the red and white helicopter).

One small island had a teepee and some drums. Another had a lighthouse with a small building and a dock with a sailboat. In the distance from that was what looked like castle ruins. In the middle of the sim was a small island with two hot-tubs, the smaller on a structure over the larger one with some stairs leading to it. There I would find the sim owner Bolera. She and I had a few words. I asked her where she got the idea for the place, and she answered, "Overnight in my mind. ... ideas come in my head."

Bolera offered to show me around. She took me to a small boathouse in a place far above the sim that looked like it was for a couple to relax for a while. Next was her "Winterland" area, also far above the sim, "For ice skating. Also, club here." This area had five islands, one circlular central one, one with an ice club on it with laser lights, a third with a cabin with a cozy bed and fireplace. She would remind me one could ice skate across the surface, and say she would hold private parties at the club. A third skybox had a small cave. A fourth had a beachhouse and a smaller building, also for couples to relax for a while, the house having a sauna.

Back on the surface, she showed me a submarine under the water, one with a bedroom. She would also show me the castle ruins. She pointed out the sim next door, Blue Marine (Awesome Land), saying it was hers as well. There were a number of boats and docks, and boat races were held there. Bolera would say the white building on ground level at Blue Lagoon was off limits as people were residing there, "Private villa." The rest of the place was open to the public, including the smaller heli-craft and glider.

She would say that the sim took a "very long" time to build, "I rebuilt (a) couple times. Now I like it, and leave it as is. ... I did build all alone, had no help. ... I never leave to go in other sims. Not wanna build my sim like others, so I not look, just from my own mind. ... I stay only here in lagoon. I only leave it when I must, or check things out." Bolero would also say she has her own Flickr account where she has a few pictures:

A picturesque sim with plenty to see, and some fun things to do.

Bixyl Shuftan