‘Heatwave’ Cart sale at Fab Free

Another cart wash is currently running at Fab Free. I love these events! A series of carts with some cheap, but always high quality, items for sale from a variety of designers. The current Cart Sale has items limited to L$10 in cost, so nothing you see here cost over L$10! Bargain! And with summer just around the corner, and certainly my own holidays a little more than a month away, I decided to head to Fab Free HQ and see what I could pick up for my ‘naturist wardrobe’. There are hundreds of things for sale, so these are just a selection, and all with ‘summer’ firmly in mind.

ibiza beach set front_001b

ibiza beach set side_001b

First up is the ‘Ibiza’ pareo set. I’ve not seen anything in RL that resembles the top, essentially cloth left hanging -not tied at the back- to cover (or not 🙂 ) the boobs. I have to say that if I saw something similar to this in RL, I’d buy it!

indian skirt_001b

An ‘Indian Summer’ skirt. There’s a matching top, but I didn’t buy it because I adore ‘boho’ type skirts and would often pop something like this on when heading away from the beach.

jade dress_001b


Night-time means going out for dinner. So something cool to wear, yet looks classy and almost formal, this ‘Jade dress’ would certainly be something I’d think of for evening wear.






And finally, in this tranche of Cart Sale items, a beach towel with a ‘revolving’ tanning pose.

Later, I’m hoping Pookes will deliver a series of items that catch her eye from the cart sale and we can post those too.



Newbie Special Part 1.

So…you’ve clicked on the Second Life link, chosen an avatar, filled in a user name, your email address, date of birth, your memorable question and you’re good to go.

Like your new avatar look? No, me neither. 😉 You look…new!

sl join


And these avatars are a marked improvement on the previous ones. I joined as a pony-tailed, pink polka dot dressed girl who walked like she had a stick jammed down the back of her dress. More experienced avatars will know exactly the look I mean!

Fortunately, as it says on the page, ‘you can customise your appearance later’. Which is what we’re about to do!

The reason why I’m offering up this newb special is because, as I’ve already said on the blog, we appear to be ‘breaking out’ of being just an SL naturist blog and crossing over into the RL naturist blogosphere. It’s not something I planned, it has just happened. I know why it has happened; it’s because we’ve blogged on RL naturist events, they’ve been picked up by search engines and thuse we’ve ‘broken out’ a bit.

And I guess that it means there may be people whose interests lie elsewhere maybe ‘breaking in’ to SL. If this is you, maybe you’d never heard of it before. It’s a virtual online world, limited only by your imagination. Want to play ‘Game of Thrones’ virtually? You’ll almost certainly find a sim (a sim being an area of SL designed with suitable architecture and geography) catering for it. In my time I’ve seen several fads in SL. When I began, vampires were all the rage, and there was a game within a game whereby a ‘Bloodlines’ system operated and vampires had to encourage people -particularly newbs like me- to accept bites in order to survive. It was a pain in the ass, from my perspective, fending off uninvited requests to suck my blood. Thankfully, vampires seem much less prevalent now. Nekos were also in abundance at the time, they being humanoid shapes with cat’s tails and ears. They were harmless, and again seem to be much less prevalent

Gor was, and remained, a popular role-play game within the game. Based on the books of John Norman, they were like a parallel universe that had become strangely disconnected from how we understand the real world in the 21st century, but vaguely familiar from the perspective of, say, Tolkein’s Middle Earth fused to medieval attitudes to power and sexual identity. Shades of, say, Cleopatra as a powerful woman running up against Julius Caesar. Who, in a manner of speaking, was wearing the trousers? I observed Gor for a while, but I couldn’t really warm to an overwhelming sense of women as very much the second sex (although supporters of Gor will suggest that some Gorean roles present women as the superior sex). And Gor probably remains popular, although it has fallen off my radar entirely, while being partially supplanted by a similar vein in ‘Game of Thrones’ styled sims.

You see? Second Life will subtly change to reflect RL popular culture.

It also has developed amazingly in the time I’ve been playing it. ‘Mesh’ clothing is now pretty much standard. Two years ago it was a rarity. I’m not a clothes designer, or the builder of anything in SL, but ‘mesh’ certainly pushed forward the boundaries of what was achievable in clothes design. Ditto ‘mesh hair’, and before it ‘flexi hair’ -hair that flowed and moved in a more believable sense- which made the SL experience more real.

‘Furries’, living life as a giant rabbit (shades of ‘Harvey’ here) or other form of animal, was also briefly popular. I once tp’ed into a sim to watch a rabbit and a badger in the middle of a discussion on Foucault. An interesting, to say the least, experience.

I’ve walked on the surface of the moon (and had a fight there with a ‘griefer’), scuba dived, undertaken naked sky-diving, climbed the Eiffel Tower and sat in the trenches of World War 1 in SL. And loads more besides!

But it all comes back to me having these experiences on the journey as a side-show to my original intent in coming into SL. As a RL naturist, I thought it might be somewhere I could meet other RL naturists in a virtual naturist setting and we’d discuss RL restaurants in RL naturist locations, for example, and swap hints and tips for our next naturist holiday. That’s not to say I’ve not had those conversations. It’s just that that’s not the main thrust of SL naturism. But the weather’s wet, windy, dark and miserable tonight. My thoughts of RL naturism are months away. So why not enjoy naturism of a virtual kind? And that’s why I’m here, as are many fellow RL naturists (and non-naturists in RL who explore a different facet of their personality inworld. And whatever lifestyle we explore in SL is often exploration of different aspects of our personalities, not just in the context of naturism.

While I’m going to use this newbie guide as a way of turning out a great looking avatar, for naturist purposes, much of this post -part 1- is equally applicable to non naturists. You’ll still want to have a great looking avatar, even if you keep your clothes on. So don’t go away! If you have strayed here and wish to explore Second Life, I hope you’ll find some of the following advice invaluable.



Meet one of the ‘out of the box’ avatars you can have. Let’s call her ‘Novavivo’, the Esperanto for ‘New Life’. Foxy, eh?

Novavivo is, in the first instance, going to check out the Fab Free blog, and bookmark it. Why? It’s pretty much darned-essential daily reading, as it will update several times a day with a focus on many items available for free! Now, I’m going to utilise free items to give Novavivo a total makeover, and use Fab Free as a starting place. I’m writing this in late February, 2014, so if you chance upon this post in May, or September of 2014, my makeover of Novavivo won’t apply at all, but you’ll certainly find equivalent types of freebies on the Fab Free blog to makeover your own avatar.

From the FAQS & TUTORIALS tab at Fab Free, you’ll also find their ‘30 days list‘. Many designers recognise that you want a terrific looking avatar without a huge spend. After all, you may decide SL isn’t for you at all, so there’s no point in pumping RL money into it to begin with. Indeed, this is exactly what I did in my early SL days. Would I like SL? Was it a brief phase? Over half a decade later, I’m still here, enjoying it more than ever. But that might not be you. Still, while you discover the virtual world, you might as well look good doing it, yes?

And guys, while I’m focussing on Novavivo, the same links and blogs are equally applicable. Guys may also wish to check out the Fashions and Freebies for Men blog, with an emphasis on making a guy avatar look great. Indeed, whatever your chosen SL sex, I’d recommend adding bookmarks for all of these places. After all, a girl can look great in a guy shirt, or a blazer. A guy can look great in a pair of jeans ostensibly designed for girls.

So let’s strip Novavivo down to her bare essentials. Not because it’s a naturist blog…but because you will want to do this anyway and build from the ground up. Ditto for the guys.

My first stop was the Al Vulo skin store. They’ve been around a long time, and do great group gifts. You can join their group for nothing (just explore the sim until you see the ‘group joiner’ point, click it, then grab the current group gift. (Note, SL changes quickly, so they may not be in the same location in some months time. Use the ‘search’ tab to look for them, or any other links, if they’ve moved).

novavivo stripped_001b

Okay. I’ve now stripped Novavivo completely of her clothes. ‘Hang on’, I hear you say, ‘I can clearly see her underwear!’ That’s right. You can. In the wonderful world of Second Life, because there was a historical PG element to the game, which under 18s could play before progressing to the adult version, no ‘out of the box’ avatar is ever nude. You’ll need to apply a ‘bought’ (in this case ‘bought for free’) skin to her before she will appear naked. Male avatars are similarly stuck with a pair of underpants until you undertake the same application of a new skin.

So, let’s apply a new skin, the one we’ve picked up from Al Vulo, to Novavivo and see how she looks.

novavivo stripped2_001b

Better? I think so. An immediately prettier face, as well as realistic nipples and genitals. Guys, please note that new SL male avatars are born without male genitalia, which in the course of the dressing/undressing process need to be added and subtracted depending on whether you want your ‘package’ on display or not 🙂 I’ll show you fellas, later on, where to pick up a properly realistic penis, for no cost (albeit a unit that is ‘non functioning’, i.e. you can’t make it erect as with the genitalia you can buy. Still, if you’re wandering around naturist sims, a realistic looking penis is probably a must).

What do you think about Novavivo, shape wise? She looks OK, I think, but we can adjust many elements of her look in the ‘appearance’ tabs on your controls. This isn’t something I think you need to overly concern yourselves with, as newbies, right now. As such, I’ll leave that element of changing her look to the last, and stick with her ‘out of the box’ shape for now. Ultimately, I’m going to make her taller, with slimmer hips, and probably with breasts that sit lower on her chest, but for now, she’s fine.

One thing you are, as a newbie -or even experienced grid-crawler- going to struggle with is great looking free hair. While free skins are in abundance via the likes of Fab Free, or various group gifts at stores, hair is a different matter. Finding a style you like can define an avatar. Finding it free is almost impossible! That’s not to put you off though. There are still great free gifts around. Maybe not in your intended colour or style, but out there, if you know where to look.

novavivo hair_001b

I’ve popped some clothes onto Novavivo while I took her shopping, and picked up the Subscribo gift at Truth Hair (you don’t join a group as such, but subscribe to group notices being sent to you, which includes news of new store items, and occasional gifts. The style above was available in February 2014, but may have changed by the time you read this). Her clothes, incidentally, are ‘female average jeans’ and ‘designer shirt’ you’ll find in the inventory we all receive at SL birth. I don’t think much of the shirt, myself, but I still think the jeans look more than fine.

OK. That should give you enough food for thought for one evening. Remember…you can pick up many further free skins, clothes, hair and so on via the Fab Free ’30 days’ link (for males and females).

I’ll pick this up again tomorrow evening, firstly by quickly doing a similar process with a male avatar (including add-on genitals) before we let things ‘simmer’ for a little while.

Tomorrow, too, we’ll examine AO’s (animation over-riders) which can give you a sexier walk, and some sense of animated standing too, before digging into the wonderful world of freebie stores (which while providing many outfits that now look a little ‘dated’ in their design, can usefully help fill your inventory -which is essentially your ‘wardrobe’.

See you then! 🙂


PS If I’ve not explained anything clearly, check the Fab Free links, which essentially walk you through the process of getting a new avatar up and running, or ask a question in the box below. I’ll try to answer any queries prior to moving on.

The Fabulously Free Photo Challenge

Read the Fab Free blog? You should.

It’s an essential daily stop-over for me -and I’m a guy!- because of the ideas it provides. Yes, I will freely admit that I regularly steal their linked locations, I bombard Ella for cash so that the models can buy poses, I contribute my own money to models’ poses, and send the girls who write for the blog landmarks constantly.

Fab Free does a ‘photo challenge’ twice a month, and the current one (until the end of February) is to ‘take an SL vacation and show us the results’.

I don’t want to make my comment ‘and I’m a guy’ sound like Fab Free is uniquely female orientated. Fab Free does more than its fair share of male items although, to be honest, I don’t buy a lot of clothes. I’m a staff photographer for a naturist blog, after all. Still, I do get to reluctantly drag on a pair of shorts now and again, wriggle into a tank top and slide my feet into sandals for a photo session in the odd ‘textile’ location. Why? Well, I do get asked to do the odd photo session -profiles, portfolios- for non naturist avatars.

Well, with a new model to encourage and photograph, our very own Daphne, I dragged her off to a session in order to, initially at least, take some ‘vacation’ orientated photos. And then after she went offline to write one of her blog entries I continued to take a few photos with a vague notion of entering them into the competition. There’s time yet! I might still do it!

Anyway, here they are…an example of what I do with SL photography when I’m not photography beautiful naturist avatars in SL.

daphne bike2_001b daphne bike5_001c daphne table2_001c daphne table3_001b

Of course, a few photographs of bicycles aren’t really what you check into SLN to see, so with the same vague ‘vacation’ theme in mind, I reverted to type 🙂

Sadly, while being pleased with the following photos, Fab Free have a ‘no naughty bits’ rule, so my usual type of photos aren’t generally suitable for their competitions.

Never mind. Here’s one of my usual type of photos to finish off with. Despite that, I still kind of like the bicycles 🙂 AND the type of photos I usually take (below)




Fab Free and the rain in Spain

I do love the Fabulously Free blog, a goldmine for newbs and experienced avis alike, with a dedicated team of top notch writers bringing news from around the grid, mostly on clothing, daily. So if it’s mostly about clothing, why would a naturist be checking it out each day? Well…even naturists need clothes sometimes. You’ll always need a sarong, a bikini sometimes for that trip to and from the beach, there’ll be a plethora of accessories stuffed in your bag. And I know we’ve used Fab Free as a valuable resource in researching this type of thing.

Equally important are the fact that Fab Free blog poses and also reference locations. Again,those are essential components for ours, and any other ‘textile’ (i.e. non naturist) avatar. So I was delighted to read Love Trill’s posting ‘The Rain in Spain‘. Yes, it does rain in Spain. Sometimes violently so, as Love references in her post. Now, Spain is wonderfully sunny a lot of the time (my friends report the Mediterranean coast is currently in the mid-teens, temperature wise, which in my part of the world sometimes passes as a summer’s day!) and there’s no greater thing than to be in the sun, naturist or not, eating al fresco, swimming, sunbathing, relaxing with the kindle. And yes, it looks like I’ll still be on my Game of Thrones kick on the Kindle by the time my first naturist holiday or 2014, booked yesterday, rolls around. But when it rains….oh, boy…Spain can be dreary, simply because it’s all geared to outdoors living. In fact, it can be duller than Scunthorpe on a wet bank holiday!

Thankfully, these are rare, but I do recall us sitting on the beach a couple of years ago when a few drops of rain fell out of a blue sky. And, almost as one, the entire beach (apart from myself and Mr. Keng) gor up and left. The tiny, tiny cloud that crossed the face of the sun had passed in about two minutes, and quite frankly I’d have got more of a soaking if Mr. Keng had poured the last of his bottle of water over me. But there we were, alone. For well over an hour!

On another occasion I recall, it did tip down for most of the day, from around 1000am until mid-afternoon. There was nothing else to do put put some clothes on and shelter in our apartment with our books. But these are rare moments.

Still, Love has managed to capture the spirit of a Spanish downpour in her post. Yes, quite violent thunderstorms develop in the Med, and thunder and lightning can accompany heavy downpours. It’s possibly worse in the Balearic Islands, as you’re set in the middle of the Med there, and there’s zero land between you and Africa, but the lightning out at sea is sometimes spectacular, and a holiday experience in itself.

Love’s post comes from Puerto Banus Beach, nominally set at Marbella, and if the sim builders are from that part of the world, then they’ve insinctively added rain, thunder and lightning as part of the gig. They just know how accurate that element of the weather is. Indeed, I’m always impressed where sims do have changeable weather. Occasional rain adds a bit of realism, as opposed to relentless sunshine.


Setting the light to ‘midnight’ brings out the rain in its fullest effect


Whoo-hoo! I managed to capture a bolt of lightning come to earth behind me! Looks great!


On the basis that you’ll all be sick of looking at me, constantly, in recent posts, and no-one else was available to pose or photograph on this Thursday morning, I’ve opted to utilise my rarely used alt ‘Eve’ and had to take the photos myself, so they aren’t as spectacular as Harry’s, Diane’s or Love Trill’s are. But I hope they do capture a feeling of a Spanish downpour, and the run to reach shelter when these thankfully rare downpours take place.



Thanks to Love Trill for her original posting. No infringement on copyright is intended.


Reader Diana writes…

‘Hi Ella and the team!

I’m not a naturist in real life or in Second Life, but I am drawn to your blog on a regular basis. I was particularly inspired by your re-invention of your ‘Eve’ alt to undertake a bit of a 2014 re-invention of my own, starting and finishing at the Fab Free Headquarters. You’re aware of them I guess?

And I thought I’d send you a couple of photos of me starting in my 2013 version at one end of the store, and ending up at the far end of the store in my 2014 incarnation.

I can’t say how inspiring I find Fab Free, and SLN, to be. Thanks for the inspiration to reinvent myself. I love my new look! 🙂 ‘

Diana Rookstown.

Ella says: Thanks Diana. Wow! That was a quick response to a posting made not two hours ago! While we’re primarily a naturist blog, and clothes don’t figure much, I’m delighted that you found SLN to be enough of an inspiration to reinvent your look. I personally find a bit of a tweak now and then keeps SL fresh, current and new, so I’m pleased that you’ve been inspired by the blog. I assume that it was the ‘Eve’ reinvention posts that inspired you to make that journey, and I’m delighted that you, even as a non-naturist, have found some inspiration from SLN. I also hope that other non naturists might find that there’s something about SLN that they enjoy, and can benefit from. That’s the aim. Use us as a springboard and discover (or rediscover) yourself for 2014. A Happy New Year to you, and I’m glad we’ve helped to refocus your SL for a New Year. Yes, we’re aware of Fab Free…their blog is an essential stop off every day I log in, even for naturists!, and we’d regard it as one of the prime SL blog sites in existence. Even as naturists there’s always something we like…skins, hair, poses…at Fab Free which we can use too. My assessment would be that it’s one of the ‘must have’ landmarks and bookmarks for those of us who love SL!’.

diana 2013_001b

Diana goes shopping at one end of the Fab Free HQ

diana 2014_001b

…and emerges at the other end, reinvented!

nb: Diana’s raw photographs were edited down for this blog posting.