I’m a month late, but I have TWO wonderful free sites to showcase for July. Only one is getting my donation money for the month, because the other doesn’t have a donation button. But they’re both awesome and deserving of praise!
The Strawberry Patch
This is like one-stop-shopping for kids’ clothing. The site’s sole owner and creator, Purplepaws, released a huge update in June with everything from toddler outerwear to lovely formal dresses for girls. She also has a few hairstyles for kids, teddy bears wearing tie-dyes, and cute child models for download. Another cool thing is that if you donate to her site, it goes straight to her webhost, so you know that your moolah is being put to good use. Start your back-to-school shopping early and head over to The Strawberry Patch!
Moune is a member of the Juniper Sun forum (where you can also find tons of cool stuff) who has started up her own site. She has exotic furniture and loads of deco items in colorful textures. I love her Le Morvan shelf collection, the Nyemo deco items, and her paintings. It’s like shopping at Pier One Imports, except for Sims…and it’s all free!
My free site for this month is Parsimonious. (And since I missed April and May, they are getting three months’ worth of my donation money — they deserve it.)
I can’t say enough good things about this site. Aside from having a ton of great, imaginative downloads, the owners of the site are some of the nicest, most generous people in the Sims 2 community. I had the pleasure of creating houses for them for a short time (before my game went belly up), so I’m probably a little biased, but it was awesome to see how their staff works together to create such a unique and creative site. The whole thing is worth exploring, but here are some of the highlights:
- The huge array of walls and floors (some of which I could not live without in my Victorian homes)
- Kate’s Eponymous Garden (so beautiful and useful!)
- Christine’s lots (so inspiring)
- The “Theme” pages — content sorted by several different time periods and themes
- The Community Finds pages — I have found some great free sites through these pages!
I’m donating to Parsimonious this month because I would hate to see them disappear (and from the sound of it, running that site is quite expensive). I’d also hate to see them start charging for items, but I doubt they’ll go that route. I would love to see them stick around and stay free for everyone.
Also, they just had their 4-year anniversary (and offered 400+ items to celebrate it), so…Happy Anniversary, Parsimonious!
Ever since I started waving my “free sites!” flag around, I’ve been wanting to do a feature on a free site every month. I kind of missed the boat on January and February, so I’m kicking this off by honoring THREE completely free sites. I’ve donated money to each of them as a thank you for everything they’ve contributed to the community (and to my downloads folder, naturally). The first two are pretty obvious, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them right off the bat. The third is a small site which is lovely and free, and I threw some moolah at them in hopes that they remain so.
- Mod the Sims 2 – The premier site of the Simming community. Home of the CEP, countless hacks, mods, helpful tutorials, and of course, custom content. When I have a Sims-related question I need answered, I go here first, whether my game is crashing or I need to find that really cool couch I saw in a picture somewhere. Many of the game’s most popular creators got their start at MTS2 and have benefitted from its atmosphere of teaching and sharing. What I find most amazing is that, as the most popular Sims 2 site, it manages to remain completely free. If MTS2 weren’t around, my downloads folder would be half the size, but my game would be a lot less fun.
- Insimenator.net – Another thriving and generous Sims 2 community offering awesome goodies for your game. There’s so much nifty stuff here, and I’ve barely skimmed the surface of what’s available. But I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t live without Eric’s Insimenator object — it makes telling stories sooo much easier by giving us easy ways to manipulate our Sims. For that alone, I decided to donate to this site. They’re having a donation drive right now, so if you like and use this site, and you can spare a few bucks, consider tossing ‘em their way.
- Siluettasims – This is a tiny site compared to the two above, but it contains some lovely clothing and objects, and most importantly, REALLY NICE EYES. I love her 9-color eye set so much that I’m using it on most of the Sims in my new ‘hood. It’s a great middle ground between the very blah Maxis-eyes and the overly realistic ones which are so popular at the moment. If Siluettasims started offering donation sets, I’d have to give up those eyes, and I don’t want to! So I donated. Please stay free, Siluettasims!
Ooh, and this is cool — both simsbaby at Insimenator and fanseelamb at MTS2 have released mods that enable the appropriate pre-Seasons clothing to be used as outerwear. I don’t know why Maxis didn’t do that in the first place, but that’s why we’re lucky to have such wonderful modders in this community. And hey, now my Sim dudes can wear the long winter coats outdoors and not freeze to death! Excellent.