The Other Side of the Forest

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Gwyneth:

This life of dreams will come to an end soon: I feel it, and I fear it.

I have wasted my summer, my power, wishing and hoping to be elsewhere, and now…

Now Mabon is upon me. I feel Autumn clutching at my heels with every step I walk. And the future looks darker still, but I must embrace it; it is all I can do.

Through dreams of magical lands and darkness, I can only hope to travel home, only hope to find myself where I belong.

Wherever that may be.

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There were lights everywhere.

There were lights everywhere, which was a blessing, for the land was dark and the pavement was uneven. I felt my way along by the soles of my shoes.

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And yet it was beautiful.

And yet it was beautiful. The lights in the darkness. The glittering wings. Is this my soul in autumn?

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A clock chimed. And someone called, “Sunset”!

A clock chimed. And someone called, “Sunset”!

I followed the voices.

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And found myself watching the most beautiful sunset.

And I found myself watching the most beautiful sunset.

I fancied for a moment it was the sunset of summer itself. My summer.

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My summer, gone in the next few moments. I couldn’t bear to look.

My summer, gone int he next few moments. I couldn’t bear to look.

And so I didn’t. I turned away.

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…and found myself, in broad daylight on top of a ruined castle.

And found myself, in broad daylight on top of a ruined castle.

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Wait! I know this place.

Wait! I know this place. This is the castle at the edge of Farthingdale. Their Mabon celebration must be in full swing.

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I descended the stairs. What might be waiting for me at that festival?

I descended the stairs. What might be waiting for me at that festival?

Briefly, I thought of the Wylds. My empty throne. Lord Mornoth. Dyisi. Nathaniel. All those who wait for me.

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No harm, I thought. No harm to go down to the festival, right? 

No harm, I thought. No harm to go down to the festival, right? No-one would recognise me there. I was without crown, largely without glamour, dressed like a tourist. No-one would recognise me. It would be all right.

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But then, it was morning.

But then, it was morning. A glorious, autumn morning, and I stepped from my house, greeted greeted my watch dragon (only a statue, but beautifully moulded and carved), and approached my favourite place of all.

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Just the thought of it made my lips curve upwards.

Just the thought of it made my lips curve upwards. In the middle of autumn, my power both waning and growing in a way I did not understand….

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My garden

My glorious garden. I have never been much of a plant-tender; I let the demifae take care of all that. But I do love to walk in it, small as it may seem against the massive forest of Farthingdale. It’s my space.

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I stretch, and let my wings stretch, too.

I stretch, and let my wings stretch, too. So what if the air is crisp? The plants still thrive, thanks to my fae gardeners.

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Does it look like rain?

Does it look like rain? No, no; a clear, crisp, late September sky greets me, the smell of woodsmoke from the nearby town, or perhaps the witch’s house, just behind me there in the woods.

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With a chuckle, I decide to play gardener for a moment.

With a chuckle, I decide to play gardener for a moment. They’ll laugh at me later, the demifae gardeners, the ones who actually know what’s going on in this garden. It occurs to me that they might actually get angry with me if I water the wrong thing… so instead of watering, I just dance around with the can for a moment. Oh, Gwyneth, are you a Fae Queen, or are you a ten-year-old?

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Oh, it doesn’t matter.

Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m here in my garden, and it’s autumn, and for just a few more weeks, perhaps I can still the darkness that stirs in my heart.

Style Cards:

Magical Landscape (The Looking Glass):
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Cheveaux, MO89H (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Posh Pixels, Garbo, Ocean (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Jewellery: Moondance Jewels, Alluring O’Hare Collection (Crown, earrings, necklace) (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Location: The Looking Glass

Outskirts of Farthingdale:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Berta
Clothes: Aleutia, Coco Camisole, Zeta Jeans (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Shoes: Reign, Kiko Flats
Ruined Castle: Ionic, RuneStone Castle
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Distant Town of Farthingdale: Death Row Designs, Andolys, Belle’s Town

Autumn Garden:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Amethyst (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Ayashi, Mami (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Avatar Bizarre, Tooth Fairy Gown (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Wings: Death Row Designs, Fairy Pinkset Wings
House: Schultz Bros., The Gardeners House
Dragon: Dragon Magick Wares, Happy Dragon Statue (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Garden: Love, Cottage Garden (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.

You still have one day to visit the  Spoonful Of Sugar Event! Two sims for fashion, a home and garden sim, beautiful decor, and a wonderful cause. What are you waiting for?

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never send Gwyneth on one last trip through dreamland (for now) without it!

h091016   final-poster-for-sos

 

The Farthingdale Landing

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The Gypsy Davey:

The lads had already set up the fortunetelling tent and card stand, and of course my vardo, before I arrived. I’ve been travelling, you see, which is a large part of what I do… well, that and wooing women, of course. We are all of us bound by our stories, and in many ways, although I am a bit of a legend, I am the same as the next guy.

You may think me arrogant. Feel free. Over the past years, and for centuries before that, I have whistled and sung, taken care of the lads and the family, and so now, at least for a little while, I’m content to let them take care of the logistics. I’d lingered too long in a lush forest land with another in a string of beautiful mortal women. Sometimes I think I find them as irresistible as they find me. But when the message came through that we were setting up for the Farthindale Mabon festival, I felt called back onto the road. Our last kiss was something to remember.

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The portal was what I’d expected.

The portal was what I’d expected: they never put these things in the middle of town. It was nice that there was a pub right nearby, though at first I questioned the lads’ decision to place the vardo right next door to it. When I saw the lay of the land, I realised they had chosen the only place that was suitable: outside Farthingdale, there’s nothing but forest and huts and some ruined castle about a quarter mile down a narrow track through thick forest.

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I took a few minutes to inspect the premises.

I took a few minutes to inspect the premises. Good, good— the lads will have to put a rug in that tent, though: don’t want the town ladies to get their dresses all mucky while they’re talking with the fortuneteller or the Aged Sage (that would be me, in a turban).

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The vardo was decently appointed.

The vardo was decently appointed: I like a spartan setup inside, just a bed and a couple of places to sit, perhaps a bookshelf, something to spend time with when I’m not working or supervising. This event goes on for a full fortnight, so it’ll be important to me to have some kind of refuge. Once again, I wished there were a place farther outside of town, but the proximity to the business could only be a good thing.

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I might be too old for this shit. And I’m certainly not dressed for it.

I might be too old for this shit, and I’m certainly not dressed for it, I thought, as I surveyed my tiny kingdom. I’d been to Farthindale before, for this festival, but it’s been years. And sometimes the grind of it all gets to me. I felt my feet itching already. While this was certainly going to be a lucrative job for us, I fancy a trip to the mountains, perhaps, someplace wild and cold. When we pack up here, we’ll look for mountains.

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Then, I realised I was being watched.

Then, I realised I was being watched. Or possibly that there was something for me to watch; these things are never clear to me, even after all these years. Across the green from me, at the sole table outside the pub, sat a woman cradling a mug of what smelled like very grotty coffee. Well. Of course I had to go over, introduce myself, that sort of thing. She wasn’t a looker, but she had the kind of hair that I wanted to put my fists into right away. Best save that for after the introductions, though.

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I always keep my distance, at first, particularly with one who looks so wary.

I always keep my distance, at first, particularly with one who looks so wary. Or possibly weary. Or possibly both. Of course I introduced myself with a smile, though I didn’t do that thing I do. Time for that later, assuming things got off to a good start.

Her name, it seems, is Diane. Or Katrina. I was confused on that detail.

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She looked tired, and cranky.

She looked tired, and cranky. She complained about the coffee. She had the jaded air of someone who’d seen a few tragedies. Still, she looked me over speculatively. She explained she was between jobs, looking for work. I countered that while we only hire family, there would be plenty of market stallholders looking for help in the days to come, and I knew there was an herbalist in town who was looking for pre-festival help, mixing poultices and such.

Her reply was that she didn’t know much about plants and she seemed far more interested in drinking than working, to be honest. I speculated (to myself, of course) that what she really wanted was some sort of position where she would have to do very little and could spend most of her time sleeping, fucking, and drinking. I say fucking only because she continued to appraise me. Her air was almost predatory, and I did wonder a bit what sorts of things she got up to when she was less sleepy.

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It finally occurred to me (I am such a genius) to ask her what she did for a living.

It finally occurred to me (I am such a genius) to ask her what she did for a living.

“I’m a fairy godmother,” she replied.

Well, that was a first. A coffee-addicted, cranky, not-a-morning-person, fairy godmother.

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She obliged me by showing off her wand a bit.

She obliged me by showing off her wand a bit. No pun intended, and if she’s got that kind of wand, we’ll have to renegotiate our budding relationship. It was impressive. She told me she could make it rain as well, and I asked her nicely not to.

I whipped the grey silk scarf out of my coat and twisted it into my fortuneteller’s turban. Women love a guy in a turban. “Why don’t we go and read your fortune?” I suggested. It wasn’t just an excuse to get her into the dark tent: I was actually curious.

She said sure, but advised me to skip the bit about the tall, dark stranger.

“Madam,” I said, “am the tall, dark stranger.” I made her laugh.

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Of course, I cannot reveal what took place at the fortunetelling table.

Of course, I cannot reveal what took place at the fortunetelling table; that would break client confidentiality. But we did speak of her future, hazy though it might be, and of her next fairy godmothering placement.

I asked her to meet me for a drink later, in the possibly misnamed “Fair Maid” pub.

Her reply was teasing. “If the drink is better than this so-called coffee,” she said, “Perhaps I might.”

I laughed, because from the smell of that coffee, it would be hard to find anything worse. I think she will meet me for a drink. Perhaps I’ll enjoy being so near the pub just outside of town. I think the pub just outside of town is where all the good stuff happens. More accurately, for the next fortnight it’ll be the pub where the Gypsy Davey makes all the good stuff happen.

Style Cards:

The Gypsy Davey:
Body: Slink
Head: Catwa, Justin
Hair: No Match, Yes!
Ears: Mandala: Steking Ears, Season 5
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Judas, Smoked (Omega and Slink appliers, all available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Clothes: LUXE Paris, Leather Jacket, Shirt, Tie & Pant (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Shoes: FATEstep, Anthony Boots v2

Diane/Katrina:
Hair: Analog Dog, Tantrum
Skin: Body & Soul, Lady Farah
Eyes: IKON, Sunrise Eyes
Shape: Atea, Marla Middle Aged Female Avatar (modded)
Dress: Floor Candy, Ava
Character Concept, Story & Dialogue: Nathaniel Ballard

Environment:
Town: Death Row Designs, Andolys—Belle’s Town
Stone Wall: Stormwood, Cobblestone Wall Kit
Tree Gate: Sweet Revolutions, Sylvan Tree Gate
Fortunetelling Tent: Ison, Fortune Tent (Purple)
Curtain: Maxi Gossamer, Shimmer Bead Curtain
Fortunetelling Sign: Sways, Fortunetelling Display Board
Fortunetelling Table: Magic Happens by Monavie, Magick Reading Table (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Vardo: Trompe Loeill, Tiena Caravan, Sylvan
Tarot Stand and Fortunetelling Machine: Kei’s, Rustic Tarot Stand; Kei’s, Fortune Teller Machine
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Pub: Death Row Designs, Dangarnan Tavern 1
Pub Sign: Lost Junction, Port Town Signs, The Fair Maid

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Gypsy Davey never takes a two-week gig in the middle of nowhere for a raucous Mabon Festival without it!

skinlogodiap   final-poster-for-sos

 

A Fortnight in Farthingdale

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The Amazing Catwoman:

My sojourn in the gorgeous forest that I may make a home in was once again interrupted by another phone call from my fixer. His name, or the name he gives me anyway, is Jeremy.

Perfect job for me, a two week guard gig at a Mabon festival in the large town of Farthingdale, in some Realm on the mediaeval side of things. No idea about the accommodation, simple portal outside of town, meet with the Chief of Guards, get your assignment, settle in, and watch for brigands, keep the townspeople from getting too crazy during the big Mabon festival they hold there on the day of the Autumnal Equinox, the 21st of September. Stick around a few days after it’s done to take care of stragglers. No problem; I like mediaeval gigs, as long as I’m not forced to drink crap lager and engage in arm wrestling matches with local ruffians who can’t seem to stomach the idea of a woman in armour that doesn’t make her look like she’s about to go subdue monsters with her baps.

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Of course I took the gig.

Of course I took the gig. Portal landed me there sometime in the late morning, but it was nearly noon by the time the Guard Chief had me all checked out. It’s surprising, really, how much bureaucracy there is in backwater mediaeval Realms: it’s almost like they’re so bored they have to create paperwork in order to give their lives some meaning.

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Guard cabins, I was told, were outside the city gates, natch, beyond the big statue of the lady harper.

Guard cabins, I was told, were outside the city gates, natch, beyond the big statue of the lady harper. So off I went. My hovel was the first one on the right. Apparently that means I’m the first of the hired help to arrive this Mabon season. I suppose I should thank Jeremy for giving me the downlow on the job early: otherwise I might be stuck in a tent in the woods. Not that I mind tent camping, mind you, but while I was ready to be in a tent for a fortnight, I do prefer someplace with a cot. Of course, the cabins looked pretty ramshackle, though the roofs were well-thatched.

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Ah, Hovel, Sweet Hovel, at least for the next couple of weeks.

Ah, Hovel, Sweet Hovel, at least for the next couple of weeks. There were only three or four more identical-looking cabins spaced evenly on the road out of town; that is, before the road dead-ended into thick forest. There are always thick forests surrounding villages like this: otherwise highwaymen would never make their cut and the local economy would flounder.

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I paused briefly before entering Hovel, Sweet Hovel.

I paused briefly before entering Hovel, Sweet Hovel. I might have said a brief prayer to Her Whom I worship, just to beg briefly for running water and decent tea-making facilities. It’s not like I can ask for more, gig like this.

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I have to say, I was stunned when I walked in.

I have to say, I was stunned when I walked in. These little places usually have a weird sense of style, and this one was no different—but it was bigger than it looked on the outside, and I don’t think it was magic: I think it might have just been good engineering and the fact that a single large room looks bigger than a bunch of smaller ones tacked together by a long corridor and a series of narrow doorways. The English could learn a bit about open plan homes by just looking at places like these. Not that they would.

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My new temporary home sported running water and decent washing facilities!

My new temporary home sported running water and decent washing facilities! And the bed, while narrow and absolutely meant for one person (no hanky panky for you guards at our revels, missy!), looked comfortable. I dumped my pack between the end of the bed and the washbasin: I’d unpack later into the cabinets in what looked to be a decently equipped washroom cabinet….even if it did have a picture of two pelicans just staring at me. Not quite as weird as The Morrigan sort of staring over my bed with her Bad Raven Self, but you learn to shut things out when you have to stay in as many weird places as I do.

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And speaking of weird…. let me tell you about the kitchen.

And speaking of weird…. let me tell you about the kitchen. So, I’m used to these out-of-the-way Realms being full of what I’d think of as anachronisms, but never before have I seen what amounted to a modern flat kitchen just sort of slapped into a stone hut with a thatched roof. Running water, glassware and crockery for four, a hob with a usable kettle, and, Oh, Thank You Goddess, decent tea! Once again, it was definitely made for one: there’s only a stool and a tiny table for eating, but fuck it; I don’t like people much anyway, particularly when I’ve already been told I have to masquerade as a lios alfar for the next fourteen days. No glamour-dropping here, though I may change up my skin just to give myself a little giggle.

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That said, aside from the two ends, the cabin was strangely bare.

That said, aside from the two ends, the cabin was strangely bare. I wonder if they repurpose it for different things throughout the year: there were some scuff marks on the floor that suggested at least one large piece of furniture had been recently removed. Again, there was no couch, just a single armchair with a huge stack of books beside it. I guess I’m definitely being told what to do with my down time, eh?

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Nope, I do not look a thing like Her Morriganness.

Nope; I do not look a thing like Her Morriganness. And once I’d had a chance to investigate, I realised the privacy screen between the bed and the rest of the cabin was, well. Not all that private.

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Still, it could be worse. I could be in a tent in the woods….

Still, it could be worse. I could be in a tent in the woods, sharing a kettle with a brace of trolls from Goddess knows where and digging latrines a ladylike distance away from aforementioned brace of trolls.

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The next two weeks might not be so bad, after all….

The next two weeks might not be so bad, after all….

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Ivy
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Maeve (Freckled), in tone Oak (Available through the Buy Now event, a Second Life Marketplace event that offers exclusive items on Marketplace. The skin comes with Omega face appliers, Omega body appliers, Slink hand and feet appliers, Tango breast appliers, and Phatazz booty appliers. Other appliers are available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store.)
Hair: Tukinowaguma, Aloisi (available at Hairology!)
Clothes: Moon Elixir, Rebel Pants & Top in Cocoa (Available at We❤ RP!)
Boots: Illi, Brown Archer Boots
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Sweet Lies, Triskel Medallion
Poses (In order):
An Lar, Marilyn Series 5
!bang, Taurus 1
!bang, Taurus 3
!bang, Taurus 4
!bang, Taurus 5
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 20
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 23
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 28
Bauhaus Movement, Luna, 31
!bang, Stand 350
Location Details:
Tree Gate: Sweet Revolutions
Town Gate: Stormwood
Town: Death Row Designs
Forest: Studio Skye
Harper Lady Statue: Death Row Designs
Guard Cabin: Khaleesi’s Shin~Anigans Store, Viking Hut (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Room Divider: Fetch
Bed: Aisling
Wash Stand with Shelf & Sink: Noble Creations
Charcoal Wash Stand: Magic Happens By Monavie (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Kitchen: Trompe Loeill
Morrigan Tapestry: The Rabbit Hole
Armchair with Books: 8f8
Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Amazing Catwoman never takes a two-week gig in the middle of nowhere for a raucous Mabon Festival without it!

skinlogodiap   final-poster-for-sos   h091016

 

 

The DRD Photo Contest!

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OK, wow! It’s being a great week for me for photos! I just found out that my photo “Dragon Sunrise” has won a second place in the Death Row Designs photo contest. I am gobsmacked, just gobsmacked. I know they must have had so many wonderful entries.

You can see all the entries at the Death Row Designs Main Store!

Drd Contest Final BLOG - 2

Dragon Sunrise

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model hands: SLink flat, SLink fist
Model head: Catwa Dyana
Model hair: Ayashi
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Rubrae
Model ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Model Eyes: Soul Sidhe Eyes, Seelie, Tera
Model clothes: DRD Ravishing Roses, white pink roses
Dragon: DRD GOT Moving Dragons, Red
Pergola: DRD Pergola Set
Furniture, Rug, Décor: DRD Boho Set
Photo Background: Katink, forest set

Spiffy photo taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never go anywhere in SL without it. And that’s the beauty of it: you can take it anywhere.🙂