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Products and (virtual) handiworks, and where to get them

Dandelions and firs

Land lust in autumn

There are two seasons in the year when not having a large plot stresses me: autumn and spring. That’s when I used to be more active, landscaping and gardening. Autumn brings the exquisiteness of ocher shades, while spring, you know, brings the colorful flowers. Spreading all that greenness over a considerable stretch of land is quite inspiring (for me at least). Trying to do that in a small parcel is, for the most part, discouraging, especially in autumn, when the trees take center stage. Nevertheless I decided to go the practical way, choosing mainland for my living –for the last two years– over private estates, and sticking to double prim land to take advantage of the extra land capacity. While spring has been “acceptable,” autumn hasn’t been so that much, meh.

Studio Skye birch grove set

In the first picture (above), a menagerie of autumnal trees from different creators, with a partial view of Studio Skye’s new Birch grove set, to the left. There rest of the wood dwellers has been showcased in this blog before.

Bicycle and tree

The Cube Republic has also been busy creating new trees and shrubs lately, with some outstanding new products available in two SL events. Above, an old bike has been partially “swallowed” by the growing trunk of a seasonal-enable beech tree, currently available at Shiny Shabby. The event will run until November 10th, so click HERE to teleport to buy it.


Another of Cube’s Shiny Shabby releases is this nice dandelion set, which is probably the most beautiful and realistic dandelion plant in the SL market as of now. It comes in single (pictured above) and clumps of three, with or without a charming particle effect that disperses parachuting seeds a short distance from the head. The effect is nicely done, so I assure you won’t upset your neighbors if you let it always on (yes, that means you can also turn it off).

Douglas firs

Lastly, I wasn’t able to take a really good shot of Cube’s latest product, the Douglas Fir set, available at the 6º Republic event (click HERE to teleport), due to the trees’ huge size and my parcel’s restrictive proportions. Yet, to their favor I have to say of all the mesh trees I’ve come across, I think these firs are the only ones my crappy video card is able to render wonderfully. At full size, they average 22-31 LI, but will shrink to much less  (10-12 LI in the picture) without losing any detail. They’re also season enabled (green and winter), so once planted, you can keep your Douglas fir grove up all year round if you wish.

Now I’m wondering if I should go back to renting a quarter of a homestead sim again… (sobs).


Frog-size panda on a pond


Getting ready for the coming spring, I cut SL winter pretty short and went to work on a more common setting in my backyard, when there came along Cube Republic with some nice releases early birdies should get their hands on right away. To at least maintain the yearly rhythm, let’s start with the whitish Trillium pictured above. This three-petal perennial begins to bloom in late winter, during the month of February, and depending on the “cultivar” (if we can speak of such things in SL gardening) continue to do so throughout spring. So it was a logical choice to distribute them not so sparingly among the fallen branches.


Next came the Bloodroot, another whitish flower that heralds the arrival of spring. This one is so shy that the plant will go underground when the season is over and will remain dormant until the following year.


Orchids are among the favorite flowers of many a bunch of gardeners, and though I think in the tropics there are species blooming at different times of the year, I think most, like many other plants, prefer spring to bloom. Actually, Cube released this one in December, and I was going to place a few branches full of them in a greenhouse, but because I was moving –yep, once again– I opted to wait and use them in the new parcel after melting the snow down.


What actually set me in the writing mood was this beautiful frogbit rendition, as I’m particularly fond of aquatic, or I should say “pondish” plants. The frogbit resemble a miniature water lily with more simple flowers that will also bloom mostly in the summer, so this is just a preview for you my dear readers, and as soon as I finish this they will revert to leaves, leaving the frog-size panda rowing silently on the pond until the right time comes.


Finally, here is a gorgeous flag iris, another plant suitable for wetland lovers. Like other aquatic plants (including the frogbit above), this one also prefers to bloom during the summer months.

All plants in this post are available at Cube Republic’s inworld store, so head there now and have some early gardening fun.

Cool Beans Gacha Yard Sale

Yard sales

With the recent proliferation of gacha events in SL, yard sales have become “fashionable” as a way to get rid of the surplus of common items. Both of these shopping modalities have existed for a very long time (maybe since day one, old Yadni’s Junkyard comes to mind), but for a year plus now –mostly– due to The Arcade quarterly event they have steadily increased in popularity. Initially, I thought the hype was about having such a bunch of nice items for cheap (classic gachas were usually priced as low as 1L per try, as was the case with the now defunct Gacha-Ya), but after considering all the money some folks invest in this madness (and the increasing charges per play), obviously players aren’t there exactly for the savings.

Getting the items you want out of a gacha machine depends on luck… a luck that’s determined by the machine owner (as defined by a script), rather than by mere chance. As such, the outcome is highly manipulable, and for what I can tell some merchants are not that generous, sympathetic or “polite” to their customers. During the December 2013 round of The Arcade, for example, someone in a group chat said she had spent over 5,000L trying to get a particular rare item –that would have probably cost 250L at regular store prices–, and even after all those failed attempts, luck wasn’t smiling her way; yet she was determined to go on (the hell!). I won’t mention what store it was, not to publicly shame the owner (who probably deserves it anyway), but for that lot of money she could have rented a parcel, bought a house, gotten the furnishing, attired herself with a fabulous gown (including shoes, jewelry, hair, skin and makeup), and still have some spare coins for leisure time.

Since luck is such a bitch, I prefer to put my fortune aside and hop from one yard sale to the next in search of the commodities I want (it’s less laggy too). Most resellers –turn retailers, turn scalpers– set the prices of the transferable goods the same as the original ones; others even offer them at a discount, which makes the bargain even better. The “problem” comes when you’re looking for the rare prizes: Sometimes you never find them, oftentimes they are available for a very steep price. However, when you calculate how much money you could spend trying out your luck at the gacha machine for the very same reward, chances are you’d find yourself paying approximately a similar amount (or even saving some money), now to a third party instead of the original source. That infuriates a few creators, some of which –apparently– hate to see their products go for such juicy prices… because they aren’t the ones receiving the cash for sure. Too bad for them, for setting the odds of getting a rare at outrageously low percentages.

Cool Beans Gacha Yard Sale, main street

Here’s a list of the yard sales where I regularly find what I’m after lately. As far as I know they are open all year round too, and refresh their supplies with merchandise from different gacha events constantly, so you won’t have to wait three months for the next Arcade show for signs of revival. I have organized them in alphabetical order.

Some of them are markets grouping several independent resellers, while others are personal (private) ones. In the pictures: Cool Beans Gacha Yard Sale (details).