Portents….

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Something alerted me.

Something alerted me today. Sometimes, the sounds in our magical forest are more than wind and birds, more than wolves and our own warriors. But it is hard to know where they come from.

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And so I scry

And so I scry. I make my way down to the scrying bowl, let the magic rise, toss in the appropriate herbs.

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Visitors will come soon.

Visitors. Visitors will come soon. Should we plan a feast? Alert the bards? Should we gather the younglings and prepare a pageant?

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Portents….

No, no. Not those kinds of visitors. How heartbreaking to foresee a dark time. So I shall prepare, and wait, and let the magic rise, and hope for a better world.

So should we all.

Enchantment‘s theme this round is Lord of the Rings! Enchantment opens today, Saturday 9 February, at noon SLT. There is so much to see, so many stories to create, so many depths to explore. It’s a massive round with some of the best creators in Second Life contributing, so if you miss it, don’t blame me! 

Style Card:
Items featured at Enchantment:
Scrying Bowl: By Nacht, Mirror of Galadriel
Jewellery: Rivendale, The Evenstar Collection (includes necklace, crown, earrings, and brooch [brooch not pictured here])
Poses: Fashiowl, The Lord of the Rings

Everything Else:
Dress: Senzafine, Alastriel Gown (at We Love Role-play)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Vera Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia Applier (All current skin lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just $L100)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Hair: No Match, No Fiction
Trees: All from Heart, Ancient Oak Forest Set
Treehouse: Death Row Designs, Elven Tree House

Enchantment ~ Lord of the Rings ~ Feb. 9. 2019

Justice

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Don’t even think about trying to escape.

Don’t even think about trying to escape….

From the Author: Yeah, I know; I’m not a one-photo-is-a-blog-post kind of girl, but sometimes an image just hits me over the head so strongly I can’t escape (see what I did there?) and the picture itself takes… um… five or six hours to composit, even with my (ha!) mad skilz.

The outfit, from Silvan Moon Designs (come on; with those colours and texturing, was there any doubt?), is the new Crystalline Warrior Dress Set. It includes the boots, the leggings, the dress, and the cape, and I have it on good authority that the cape has pockets!  This seriously scare-your-enemies outfit comes in seven vibrant colours, and it’ll be available at the February round of We Love Roleplay. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that January is about to be over and we’ll have a new round of WLRP to enjoy on the fourth of February!

I shot this at The Looking Glass, because I loved that sunset. There’s so much to see in Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen‘s beautiful region: every time I go there I find something new, some new little space to explore, and I heartily recommend you take a trip there and don’t just visit The Looking Glass‘ main store (though you should totally do that too). Stay a spell, look around, soak up the atmosphere.

Style Card:
Outfit That Makes Your Enemies Tremble: Silvan Moon Designs, Crystalline Warrior Dress Set, Sapphire (includes top, leggings (appliers) cloak and boots) —Available soon at the February Round of We Love Roleplay, opening on 4 February. That’s a Monday: set a reminder on that fancy mobile phone of yours!
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Vera Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia applier in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Gwenevere A, Light Blondes (rare)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Dark Cherry
Helm: Cubic Cherry, Valkyrie Helm
Bracelets: Empyrean Forge, Wayfare Bracelets
Sword: Empyrean Forge, Khazid’hea Sword
Scales: Death Row Designs, The Reanimator, Scales
Pose: Parking Ticket, The Stance
Location: The Looking Glass at Horizon Dream (way up high!)

Dragon Mani-Pedi!

Sometimes, you’ve gotta indulge. That’s exactly what I was thinking when one of my dearest friends in this Realm or any other, Danya, otherwise known as the irrepressible DJ Fae, pinged me to see how I was doing and if maybe I was free for lunch sometime this week.

So I said, “I think I have a better idea! There’s this amazing new salon I’ve heard about where you can have your nails done….by dragons!”

“I am so totally in,” said Danya. So I sent a Wisp and made an appointment….

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…And that’s how we found ourselves here!

And that’s how we found ourselves here, at the Pink Bar, surrounded by tiny dragons whose duty it was to pamper us from head to toe.

The little purple guy in the air in this photo seemed to be the ringleader (and actually, he also seemed to be the only one who could speak English, which meant he’d have been the master of ceremonies to me even if another dragonet was really in charge).

We each had two dragonets assigned to our feet: one to wash and one to primp and polish, one dragonet to each hand, and a couple more who seemed to be there just in case any of the others needed anything.

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How has dragon mani-pedi not always been a thing?

“How has dragon mani-pedi not always been a thing?” I asked.

The purple ringleader dragonet (pictured here on my head) replied, “Well, we only just arrived in this Realm, and you know: we’re entrepreneurs. We see a spot in the market, we take it!”

I laughed until I realised the green dragonet on my shoulder was pulling my hair. “Ow!”

“That’s a scalp massage, not a clip-and-char,” said the purple one. He followed this up with a diatribe in the hissy-chirpy sound-string that must have been their native tongue.

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Ooh, talk about a great scalp massage!

“Ooh, talk about a great scalp massage!” Danya could barely keep up her end of the Fae Club Scene (yes, there is one) gossip, she was enjoying herself so much. “But seriously: that is my champagne, wee scaly dude, and if you stick your nose in there, you’re not getting a tip!”

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“Wait. How many beds did you say are in that Chinese garden?”

Once little green what’s his name got back to massaging instead of trying to eat my hair, I had to ask: “Wait. How many beds did you say are in that Chinese garden? Like, bed-beds? Not flower beds? How many bed-beds do you need in a garden?”

It turned out that neither of us really knows how many bed-beds you need in a garden, but we figured having a garden bed-bed (not flower bed) count would be kind of fun. Next outing: Sorted!

Style Card:

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Vera Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia applier in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Hair: Tram, I0116 hair (at Uber)
Clothes: !go! all from the Lady Mary gacha Rare 2 set, including breeches, chunky heels (by the chair), tweed jacket, and collar

Danya:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lulu Bento Mesh Head
Skin: LAQ, Camille Essential Skin, Tone 2.0
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, Troll
Hair: Dura, G68, Brown
Eyeshadow: Shiny Stuffs, LAQ Stardust Eyeshadow
Lipstick: Entice, Just A Kiss Lipsticks
Clothes: !go! all from the Lady Mary gacha set, including breeches, chunky heels (tucked beneath the chair), and cardigan
Jewellery: All from Earthstones: Mystic Bracelet, Mystic Ring, Velvet Rose Choker Necklace

Environment:
Dragon Mani Pedi Salon: FoxCity, The Pink Bar (at Uber)
Dragon Nail Technicians: HEXtraordinary, Dragon Whelps (at The Epiphany until 12 February)
Pose: FoxCity, Galentine’s Day (at Uber)

Fae Paris

From the Author: I’ve been away for a bit. In fact, I’m technically taking off through the first half of February from blogging, but that’s subject to change, as you can see here! Last week, I had a lovely holiday in Penzance, and if you’re curious, you can see some photos from my trip here. It was a great chance to relax and rewind all by myself, and frankly I love the sea in the dead of winter.

On to our story….

Some of you know I’ve recently been very interested (some might say “obsessed”) with the Belle Époque, particularly with the lives of prominent women in Paris. Now, by “prominent women”, I do not mean the wives of important men. No; I mean women who did just fine on their own, thank you, sometimes with the help of an influential man (or several), but always under their own names. I’ve investigated several of these women, and probably my favourite resource is this one. It’s full of images of postcards of the era. Through this, I became fascinated with the life of Cleo de Merode, one of the most famous of these women.

Cleo never showed her ears in photographs or in public. There were wild speculations. Some gossips suggested she didn’t actually have ears at all!

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The mysterious Cleo de Merode

Ah, the mysterious Cleo de Merode: known to many, known by few. Of course, as a Fae Queen, I have a different set of resources than those available to just anyone, so when I became interested in these women and their fashions and the way they comported themselves around Paris (or even America’s Gilded Age), it was only natural for me to delve a little deeper.

And once I’d done that, the secret of Cleo de Merode’s ears was only to simple to divine:

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She was, of course, Fae

She was, of course, Fae. This is a memory picture from one of our own, transcribed from the mind of a Fae Parisian contemporary of hers. The gentlefae was quite enamoured of her, but of course Mme de Merode never took a public partner, though she was romantically linked (e.g. “gossiped about”) with many gentlemen of the day.

Famously obsessed over by Belgian King Leopold II and much beloved of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, Cleo’s profile was particularly famous.

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Of course, Klimt never had the opportunity to paint her like this.

Of course, Klimt never had the opportunity to paint her like this, with her hair brushed out of the Marcel Wave recently made popular, and her ears uncovered. One assumes that perhaps her glamouring skills were low, or maybe she just had difficulty concentrating on several things at once, as most of us learn how to glamour our ears to look human at a fairly young age.

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Mists of Paris

Pictured here on the balcony of her Paris flat, she must have felt comfortable that no human eye would catch her in the mists (possibly natural; possibly fae) as she spent time with close Fae friends and allowed herself a few moments of natural reflection.

As it’s my latest obsession, I’ll certainly be talking more about the Faeries of the Belle Époque and Fae Paris. And besides, the clothes were to die for!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Steffi Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Hair: Exile, Hana (New at the Soiree Event)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Clothes: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (gloves, trousers, shoes, and shirt) (These are available at The Epiphany until 12 February—Belle Epoque is the first place I look whenever I need something vintage-y and classy)

Environment:
Paris Flat: Minimal, Paris Views Scene (At Uber)
Poses: All from An Lar

Magic Storytime in the Book Forest

Sometimes we get guests! And by guests, I mean, people (for some definitions of people) who come into the Book Forest to read lots of lovely stories to whoever happens to be there.

Storytime is an important Book Forest tradition that continues on no matter who’s there to read or be read to, to tell or be told to.

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The Literary Tent

This evening’s special guest chose The Literary Tent, possibly because it just showed up in the Forest a couple of days ago, and possibly because it’s a mite nippy in the Forest this time of year and she felt it was cosier.

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But who was our special guest?

But who was tonight’s special guest? You probably will figure it out if you look at the title of the book she’s talking about with all our Book Forest animals. It’s the one and only Gretel of the fairy tale, all grown up and happy to share her story with the world!

She started by introducing herself and letting the animals ask a few questions.

“But why are you wearing jeans?” asked the chocolate bunny

“Because I can.”

“And how come your hair is blonde?” asked the blue-haired unicorn.

“Because it grew that way.”

“Did you really forgive your mum for all that stuff?” asked the adorable grey kitten.

“After years of therapy, sure.” She sensed the questions were going to get tougher. “But that’s all the Q&A we have time for: I want to tell you my story, and also tell you about this magical book!”

“Ooh, it’s a magical book, just like us!” The baby dragon leaned over to nuzzle the griffin sparrow.

“That’s right!” said Gretel. “This is a magic book, because, while I’m going to tell you my story today, I also want to show you how you can come back here and just touch this book, and it will read you the story and even show you pictures!”

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Wow! The actual gingerbread house!

The hedgehog in the hat piped up, “Wow! The actual gingerbread house!”

“That’s right. All the pictures in this book are of my actual story, all gathered from the events as they occurred. Don’t ask: it’s magic,” she said, only a little sternly.

“But how does the magic book work?” asked the tall hare.

“All you have to do is touch it and tell it you want to see my story in pictures and hear someone read it to you,” Gretel explained.

“So I could touch it with my horn?” asked the blue-haired unicorn.

“Sure,” said Gretel.

“How about noses?” asked the fat white squirrel.

“That will work too.”

“Antlers?” asked the gruff-voiced reindeer.

“Yep. It all works!”

Everybody was amazed—so amazed that Gretel used the book as she told her story, adding in little bits and pieces that she only tells when she’s speaking to groups in person.

The best part is, she left a copy of the book right here in the book forest, so when you visit, you can hear all about Gretel and her story too.

Do you want your own magical copy of Hansel and Gretel? You can get it on the Second Life Marketplace!

Style Card:
Amazing Magical Book: Albion Scriptworks, Hansel and Gretel Story Book Combo (Available on the Second Life Marketplace)

Literary Tent: KraftWork, The Literary Tent (Available at The Liaison Collaborative)

Gretel:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Aida Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Skinnery, Maite Lelutka Mesh Head Applier, in Snow
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Guenevere B, Light Blondes (rare!) (Available at GachaLand)
Blouse: !go! Luba Corset (4)
Trousers: Spirit, Sienna Jeans Black
Shoes: Beyond the Mists, Ribbon tie Dance Shoes
Cats on Gretel: Sweet Thing, Cabootie Cat, Head Plop and Shoulder Bud

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
Alas, Awenia has drifted back into the mists after our open month of December 2018. You can visit again sometime in May of 2019, we think!
Poses: Bang, Ground Sits
Animals: too many to mention, but if you want to know about specific ones, IM me in world and I’ll try to give you the information you need!

Thanks to the geniuses at Albion ScriptWorks for creating such a whimsical and fun product. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Another Visit to the Rainbow House

It felt good to be back. I mean, I know it’s not my house, but I think if I had a house like this, I would want it to look exactly so.

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A smile and a sigh of relief

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when I went back to the Rainbow House. Once more insulated from the beautiful but cold landscape outside, I just let myself sink into its comforting atmosphere.

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Home is where the hearth is

The kitchen was clearly a kitchen to cook and live in: no faffy china cabinets or drawers full of “good” silver that’s never used. It was dominated by a working hearth with multiple cooking surfaces and a sturdy oven. The touches of beauty and decoration were simple: flowers on the baking counter and farm table, wreaths of leaves on the walls, a couple of printed tapestries with trees. Nearly everything else had an obvious, practical use.

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Beautiful flowers—and cocoa!

I love how attuned to nature and the workings of plants so many of our Fae Folk are. Here it was the middle of a cold winter, yet on two kitchen surfaces there were beautiful flowers that looked as if they’d been plucked from a summer garden and just brought in that morning.

And, yes, as Clutie had already realised, there was a hot cocoa bar set up on the sidebar near the kitchen’s single circular window. I had just a little taste, more so I could taunt her with the fact I hadn’t brought her back with me (she was busy readying the castle for New Year’s) when I returned home.

Then, I noticed that on the kitchen table, there were two cups set out for tea, some toast, and a teapot. A quick check proved one cup of tea was still quite hot and the other hadn’t been poured yet. I suspected I’d interrupted the shy inhabitants at their breakfast.

“I’m so sorry if I’ve interrupted your breakfast,” I said, quietly but clearly. “Your home is so beautiful, and I love exploring new places. Please, if you ever get the chance to visit Awenia Faerie proper, pop round to the castle and I’ll give you a full tour of my house. I’m going to head back there now, and leave you all in peace.”

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A long, last look

And that’s what I did, but not before taking one long, last look at the Rainbow House. There’s no way to know if it’ll still be here next time I come looking: these little Realms have a way of shifting and sometimes even closing in on themselves. But I’m sure I’ll keep a lookout: you never know when (or where!) magical places will appear again.

Style Card:
Items Featured at the Winter’s Hollow Event:
Rainbow House: Dragon Magick Wares, Elemental A Frame
Gwyneth’s tunic: [QE] Designs, Daphne Sweater Dress, Winter Magic
Gwyneth’s boots: [QE] Designs, Silvan Boots, Winter Magic
Homey Hearth: Candle & Cauldron, Kitchen Witch Hearth
Beautiful flowers on the baking counter: Circa Living, Versailles Floral Vase Stand

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1 (All current skin lines are on sale for 100L at the Lumae Main Store)
Eyebrows: alaskametro, Glitter Eyebrows
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Ahji (a recent release at the Analog Dog Main Store)
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Baking Table: O.M.E.N., Messy Baking Table
Wall Tapestries: DRD, Vagabond
Kitchen Table, Chairs, & Clutter: All from Apple Fall
Hot Cocoa Bar: Peaches, A Raven’s Feast
Poses: All from An Lar

Holidays in Awenia

I should not complain. This is the sort of job any faerie should be proud to have. But there are things about it that drive me up the wall.

For example, Her Majesty did not like that I chose a yellowish skin tone when she told me I needed a more exotic skin colour in order to impress the tourists. So I’ve now gone with something darker, of which she approves. “Oh, good: they’ll think you’re a svart alfar, like TAC, only more presentable to the public and nicer.”

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I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair

I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair.

Bran decided that I should help him shoot some holiday shots in the village square. “But it’s after Christmas,” I said.

“Nonsense, Angharad: it’s only the fifth day of Christmas, traditionally speaking, and our potential guests want to see what we do in the Realm at Yule time, and you know that’s not just one day. Even though many of them are mortal and Christian, tourists who come here will likely be a little more knowledgeable about the histories of their holidays than the ones we read about so often on those web papers.”

“Web pages, Bran,” I corrected gently.

He scowled. “You and the Queen, always ready with the corrections. Can I help it if I’m ignorant of these things? I do quite like video games, you know.”

Yes, you could help it, I said to myself. “Fine; let’s take some photographs of the Square all decorated for Yule,” I said, this time out loud.

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The Carousel

“Wait,” I asked, after about five minutes of Bran snapping photos of me all over the square. “Why do I have to be in all these photos?”

“It’s for the brochure,” Bran replied, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say.

“The brochure? Nobody told me about a brochure.”

“Well, we do have to have promotional materials, and you are our hospitality co-ordinator,” Bran explained.

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This is fun, remember?

“This is fun, remember?” Bran wanted me to smile. He wanted me to smile a lot.

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Not that much fun.

“Not that much fun,” I retorted. “Do you want me to glamour some fangs or something?”

“Wrong time of the year for that, missy,” said Bran.

Missy? Seriously?

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Do faeries even need postboxes?

“Let’s get you by the postbox with all the presents,” he said.

“Faeries don’t even need postboxes, you know.”

“I know that,” said Bran, “and you know that, but this is a London postbox, and Her Majesty feels nostalgic about her home city, so we try to bring bits of it here for her from time to time.”

“You stole this postbox.”

Bran coughed. “Davey acquired the postbox. I didn’t ask questions.”

“Is that real post sticking out of it?”

“Of course: wouldn’t be authentic any other way.”

“But what about people’s letters?”

“Davey assured me he’d waited until after the last pickup for that day,” replied Bran. “If the postman was late on the pickup, the post can’t have been that important.”

I had no idea what to say to that, so I just let him move me along.

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Big finish!

“Now it’s time for the big finish! Lean back a little so I can get most of the tree in the shot, and, yes, big, big smile! Oh, that’s lovely!”

I rolled my eyes, but then I had an idea. “Can you take a close-up shot of me like this?” I asked.

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Getting in to the spirit?

“Are you finally getting into the spirit, when we’re almost finished, Angharad?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m going to send this to my parents back in Cymru. They will hate this hairstyle.”

Style Card
Lovely Town Dress: The Annex, Ingrid Dress (Available until the 18th of January at The Trunk Show)
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne in tone Chennus
Hair: Raven Bell, Chronos hair and Chronos Bento Braid
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels

Environment:
Carousel: IrrISIStible, Carousel (At SWANK until 31 December)
Christmas Trees: Half-Deer, Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Deer: Love, Fantasy deer, winter prince of the forest
Adorable Weeble Gnomes: Balderdash, Gnome (At SWANK until 31 December)
London Postbox: Love, Christmas Post Box
Festive Lamps: CJ Creations, Winter Street Lamp
Holly Garland and Sparkly Bits: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy
Village Square Buildings: SOF Designs, Tudor Building Set
Poses: An Lar