The Urge for Going

The Gypsy Davey

The Gypsy Davey

The Gypsy Davey: A man can spend too long in Faerie. It begins to work on the senses. Time stops having any meaning. And the call of the Faire, the great Fantasy Faire, is strong. The Fae seasons align, the horses grow restless, and the vardo starts to look like a settled place. Too long in one place is not for my kind.

Then, the restlessness comes.

Then, the restlessness comes.

Then, the restlessness comes. The feeling that just one more day in this magical place will mean that a tree branch grows through the vardo spokes. The horses have had too much fae grass. And I, I have had too much faery mead and too much dancing on the green, and too much wild fiddle music in the night. And though I can never get enough of the attentions of the Seelie Queen (in truth, she is part of why I stay so long when I stay), a voice in my heart says, “It is time.”

Yea, it is time.

Yea, it is time.

Yea, it is time. Time for packing and saddling, time to plot the course, time to box the wares and remind this year’s fortuneteller how to be a better liar. She’s our charlatan; only when the people really need a future telling does she call me away from tinkering and storytelling and selling what I can.

A long journey

A long journey

A long journey it is (anywhere is a long journey from Faerie!), even when you know our Roads and Ways.

But the Faire, the Faire changes places every year: it is a movable feast of chaos and mayhem, and I love it. I love the smells and the sights. And of course, I love the populace, so wide-eyed and willing to part with their gold and their virtue.

So much to explore and see.

So much to explore and see.

So much to explore and see. You must not be precious at the Great Faire, my mother told me. You must not stick to the familiar; you must be willing to explore places where you feel like an outsider, like an unknown.

A break in work, though, a break in exploring, and suddenly you remember Faerie.

A break in work, though, a break in exploring, and suddenly you remember Faerie.

A break in work, though, a break in exploring, and suddenly you remember Faerie. It fades, that longing, I’m told. After a lifetime. The sharp, swift urge to go back there, to taste another glass of fae mead, to lie in the arms of a sweet-voiced Queen who knows what you are, knows who you are, and does not care that you’ve had more lovers than she has years to live. Her clean, white skin. Her gossamer hair. To be enfolded carried away, wrapped in wings.

Oh, but then you cannot bear it any more.

Oh, but then you cannot bear it any more.

Oh, but then you can not bear it any more. And there is a meadow and a village, and a dance going on somewhere in the near distance—you hear the sweet sound of flutes, and you know, you know, you know, that you are once again the Gypsy Davey, the whistler of women, the lips no woman can resist, and so you whistle and you sing til the green woods ring, and you win the heart of a lady. And even if only for one night, you can be content to be away from Faerie.

This is how I will live my days until the Faire is over, ever-exploring, ever-seeking, never finding, and in the end I know what I will do. I will get the urge for going, going. And I will help pack the wagons and prepare the horses, and I will tell the family I do not know where we are going.

But they all know where we are going: Back to Faerie, they will tease. Back to thee Great Seelie Forest and the Queen in the Treehouse. Not yet though: not yet. For now, I will pretend that Faerie is a distant memory and I am ready to move on. I laugh at myself.

I have been too long in Faerie.

Style Cards:

Yea, It is Time; A break in work:
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins: Damien, Smoked
Hair: No Match: No Date
Clothes: Gypsy Wolf, Tavern Keeper Thomas (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Pipe: Black Pearls: Storyteller Pipe (wood)
Horns: Oak and Elm: White Birch Horns (Available at Fantasy Faire!)

A Long Journey:
Skin: Birth: Fang Skin, tanned, maori beard
Clothes: Gauze: The Alchemist (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Hair: EMOtions: Ron (brown)
Necklace: Otherskin: Wish Necklace (Available at Fantasy Faire!)

So Much to Explore and See:
Skin:
 7 Deadly s{K}ins: GOR Gacha V5
Hair: EMOtions: Ron (brown)
Necklace: Otherskin: Wish Necklace (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Clothes: PoshTale: Siirist (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Boots: 22679: Jiki-Tabi Blue Leather

Oh, but then you cannot bear it any more:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Damien, Smoke
Hair: Argrace: Ryo
Necklace: Otherskin: Wish Necklace (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Clothes: Avatar Bizarre: Goblin King

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. Go look at the web page. Yes, I know they’re expensive. If you want to take amazing photos in SL, they’re worth every Linden.

The Create Your Own Tarot Photo Contest

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

So, my Loyal Followers (all three of you!) know that I entered the Create Your Own Tarot Photo Contest last month. When I posted about this last, I included some of the scratch images from my contest entries, but not the actual entries. I don’t know why I did that: I guess I was being precious.

I didn’t win any prizes in this contest, though I had a great time doing it and enjoyed creating all the personae for my tarot cards. I’m pretty sure I don’t have permission to post pictures of the winners here, so I’ll link you to the CYOT Tarot Card Photo Gallery. The winners are listed prominently. For the most part, I agreed with the judges’ choices. All the people I’ve met who are involved with this even, including the other contest participants, have been loads of fun and just generally great people.

The second event, based on Card 1 from the Major Arcana, The Magician, is slated to begin today. Well, it’s already 15 April in this part of the world, anyway! I don’t have any advance information about when the event will open today or even any knowledge of what will be there, but if you follow the first link above, you’ll come to the general CYOT gallery, and some creators have put photos of items that look suspiciously like they’ll be part of this event there.

Anyway, just because I feel kind of stupid about being precious last month, and also because I’m pretty proud of these, even though they were not winners, here are my entries into this photo contest. You could enter five cards using stuff from the event and one card not using stuff from the event. I found my imagination stirred up like crazy and actually invented six separate personae, which I originally intended to follow through the event’s ambitious 21-month course. I will probably change at least one of these this month.

First Fool, Gypsy Dancer.

First Fool, Gypsy Dancer.

Actually a mistake, this series of photos was taken before I’d read the rules of the event completely, and it doesn’t contain anything featured at the CYOT event. I was kind of gutted, because I love and collect harlequin-themed clothing and outfits in Second Life, so I had so many things to choose from. I finally went with this one, which was featured at Fashion For Life earlier this year. I won’t provide complete style cards for all these looks, since they’re most of a month old now and you don’t want to know about the archaeological dig that is my inventory. If you’re curious about anything, just leave me a comment and I’ll reply with details.

Second Fool, Blurry Girl

Second Fool, Blurry Girl

Created in a panic because I am terrible with deadlines and I didn’t want to screw up, Blurry Girl was not enough herself, although by this time I was entranced with the concept of having her step off a city house rooftop. She’s firmly in the tradition of The Witches Tarot, which was one of the first tarot decks I owned as a teenager: the very blunt lines and loud imagery spoke to me as a kid, though in this card I’ve used more muted colours.

Fool 3: Teenage WasteFool

Fool 3: Teenage WasteFool

Fools 2 and 3 have too much in common, so I’ll be replacing Fool 2 with another persona for the next round of this photo contest. I know you’re all dying to know who I’ll pick (yr). Teenage WasteFool is still teetering on the edge of the roof, but I’m pretty sure she’s doing it because daddy told her not to.

Fool 4: Jongleur

Fool 4: Jongleur

Jongleur might be my favourite fool out of the set. I had this idea for a village fool. Even though I’m not always attracted by Fool concepts that rely too heavily on Harlequin imagery, I like this one. I put her in a latex catsuit (because naturally she’s a contortionist), cropped her hair, and gave her a traditional cap-and-bells attitude I think, even without the cap. She may be a little bet Pierrot in this photo: I imagine she’s somewhat sad because her audience has left her and she’s not sure what to do next.

Fool 5: City Fool

Fool 5: City Fool

City Fool appeared when I discovered that someone had made some fun modern-themed clothing around The Fool idea for the event. I actually went back and bought the sneakers specifically for the photoshoot. I imagine her as having only recently come to Dublin. Maybe she’s had a bad night; maybe she’s just reckless, but she might just go into the Liffey here at any point. You can’t see it but the necklace she’s wearing is styled after a Rider-Waite  Magician.

Fool 6: Seeker

Fool 6: Seeker

Probably my second favourite of these shots. Seeker Fool was built around the concept of the Fool on a journey. I wish you could see her face: I didn’t want to pose her with her back to the camera, but the view of her looking toward this lighthouse on Frisland (told you I took a lot of pictures there!) really captured my imagination. I dug into my personal wardrobe for this one: only the hat is actually from the event.

I’m already thinking of what to do for this round of the photo contest. I’m going to be maniacally blogging Fantasy Faire after the 23rd of April, so I need to make my personal deadline a week earlier than the actual contest deadline (which I assume will be on 30 April as it was on 31 March last month).

I know my style is simplistic compared to the other entrants, and I can only assume that’s what kept my cards out of the running for any contest awards. Having judged (writing) contests before, I know how nearly impossible it is to give feedback to individual contributors when you’re the judge for a contest. Sometimes because so many people who enter contests just have no clue how far their work has to go and you don’t want to be mean, and sometimes because you aren’t sure what made you go with somebody else, and frankly, sometimes because being a judge is tiring and continuing that role after you’ve already made decisions, with somebody who might disagree with you when you tell her what’s wrong with her entry is just a conversation you don’t want to have. So I didn’t expect to get any feedback, and I haven’t asked for any. That said, if you’re dying to tell me something I could have done to make any of these photographs stupendously wonderful, please get in touch!

More details on CYOT as soon as the event opens and I’ve visited it. 🙂

The Gypsy Davey: “He is no gypsy,” her father said, “but lord of free lands all over.”

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey: Ripping up temporary roots, tying down essentials, whispered conversations with horses, and always that little pile of earth in one corner or another that asks you to remember this or that place.

And of course the (not always so tearful) goodbyes, assuming you’ve had any hellos.

This season, I’m off to the great Fantasy Faire. I’m sure I’ll meet a lot of other gypsies there, find a way to make a little money, kiss a sweet and willing partner, or two. And I like to tell a story now and then.

The Gypsy Davey

The Gypsy Davey

Hair: EMOtions
Skin: 7 Deadly S{k}ins
Body: The Mesh Project
Eyes: Poetic Colors
Clothes: ((OOC))
Necklace: Jade Dragon
Ears: Southpaw
Shoot Location: Garden of Whimsy

The Gypsy Davey, along with Gwyneth and The Amazing Catwoman, will be one of three narrators I’ll use to tell stories throughout the Second Life Fantasy Faire. As you can see, he’s getting ready. I’m not sure how much we’ll hear from him while he’s on the road to the Faire, but you never know what might be whispered on the wind or carried through the campfire smoke.

PS: Thanks a million to the great customer service at 7 Deadly S{k}ins, who helped me match the right applier to a Gacha skin that I love for Davey. Thoughtful, helpful, personable, and a real pleasure to shop there. 🙂

OOC: Why I Relay

This blog has been mostly a role playing blog, and now I’m expanding it because I’ve been selected as a Fantasy Faire blogger. That means some posts are now going to cover fantasy fashion (not that they didn’t before!), and I’ll be chronicling my experiences at the Fantasy Faire and expounding its wonders and attractions for all of you.

This post is different.

We’ve been asked to talk about why we are doing this, and so I have an important picture to share with you and a story about how cancer has affected me personally in my real life.

My beloved husband of only ten years was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma a little  more than two years ago. Although Hodgkins is meant to be one of the “easiest” cancers to deal with and has a high survival rate, his case hasn’t gone according to plan, and just a few weeks ago, we got the opinions of his doctors: they can do no more for him and are moving to palliative care. Most lymphoma patients in this situation are expected to live for about a year; however, in my husband’s case, the disease has seemed to move very fast, so doctors expect him to be on the short end of that measuring stick.

So. Although there are many good reasons to work tirelessly for cancer cure research, my personal story and my personal reason is all about the tremendous sorrow, stress, and rage I feel at the prospect of losing the centre of my life after ten wonderful years of marriage.

Why do I relay?

The Amazing Catwoman says it all: I’m too young to be a widow.

OOC: The Amazing Catwoman Gets A Makeover!

I know what you guys are thinking: "Aw, yeah! Finally some sexy photos!" Wrong!

I know what you guys are thinking: “Aw, yeah! Finally some sexy photos!” Wrong!

I know what you guys are thinking: “Aw, yeah! Finally some sexy photos!” Wrong!

I’m really just going to talk about mesh bodies and heads.

Look at those KNEES!

Look at those KNEES!

There was a lot of discussion around the Lelutka Mesh Head, which was released on the first of April, on the Skin Addiction group, which (after the Wylds OOC group and MOCK cosmetics, natch) is probably the most fun chat group I belong to on Second Life. Talk about people who know everything that’s going on! Anyway, over at A Passion for Virtual Fashion, Harper Beresford reviewed the Lelutka Mesh head before it was released, and she noted that with the head, you can change the face a little bit. Now, I’m madly in love with Gwyneth, but I had been planning to make The Amazing Catwoman over in advance of the SL Fantasy Faire, and so I brought home demos of all three heads, tried them on, and decided on “Aria”, mostly because it has smaller lips than the others, and I don’t tend to make av faces with big, pouty lips. I also picked up the Belleza Mesh Body to go with it, because I knew the Lelutka head was specifically designed with that body in mind.

And the JOINTS! OMG, the JOINTS!

And the JOINTS! OMG, the JOINTS!

I’d demoed the Maitreya body a couple of times and really liked it, but Gwyneth is already in the SLink, so I figured I should stick with what I had. And actually, though I love the SLink body, the Maitreya one is so easy to use, the alphas are more targeted, and I feel like more mesh clothing is going to fit than with the SLink one.

Did somebody say, "Hips"?

Did somebody say, “Hips”?

Now, to tell you the truth, The Amazing Catwoman started out as just a photo personality. Her shape was exactly the same as Gwyneth’s, except she had a very different skin, wore different clothes, and carried weapons from time to time. But she’s become much more than that: she’s sort of my adventurous, edgy alterego, I guess, whereas Gwyneth is really much more me in so many ways. But enough philosophising. I widened her hips, gave her a little more in the tit department, increased her leg and torso musculature, broadened her shoulders, and shortened her down to normal woman height rather than Gwyneth’s willowy Sidhe height.

Just say "yes" to curves!

Just say “yes” to curves!

Now, you’ll notice I put her in a very light, almost moon-pale, skin. I have always liked very, very pale skins, and Gwyneth is about as pale as it’s possible for a Seelie Sidhe to be. With TAC (The Amazing Catwoman), I figured I could go a little lighter than that. Glam Affair has done the basic skins for the Maitreya body and the Lelutka head, and they are gorgeous. Glam Affair has already released appliers for the Lelutka head in a variety of fun makeups, but there’s makeup in the Mesh Head’s HUD, so you don’t even need that. Even better, the basic skins are available in 10 tones from Glam Affair. If you’re wearing the Maitreya Body and the Lelutka Head, you will only ever have to buy skin appliers for the head: they should just match the skins on the body effortlessly. And they do!

Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 6 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 7 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 8 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 9 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 10 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 11 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 12 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 13 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 14 Maitreya Body & Lelutka Mesh Head Aria - 15

So without buying any skin appliers, you get ten beautiful skins with the head/body combination, in a full range of colours.

But what can you do with this head?

Lots of stuff!

Lots of stuff!

Lots of stuff! Her mouth opens, her eyes close, you can change the eyeshadow, lighten or darken lipstick…

facecollage2

Change eyelashes or tint them, remove them altogether. The last four pictures here are about playing with some of the Glam Affair appliers to give TAC a unique look. One of the things I worried about before getting a mesh head was whether my avatar would now look “the same as everybody else”. And there is a generic quality to the face that falls within the realm of what’s currently popular on SL, particularly the lips. So I thought about TAC. Who is she? Mostly, she’s a doll I dress up and take photos of, but who is she really? What’s her style? Let’s see. She has long, pointy ears with plenty of metal in them. What about facial piercings to carry that look over on to her face? She favours trousers over skirts and is often posed with a bow or other weapon. She might really be a complete badass. Which means she needs badass hair. Truth, as ever, delivered! I put her in Rogue, coloured it half purple, and voila! Instant badass!

Instant badass!

Instant badass!

I also shopped around for AOs and ended up with TUTY’s “Dangerous Girl”, which is a lot less sexed-up than your average girl AO.

So that’s my story of how you can take a mesh head and make it your own.

So, meet the New! Amazing Catwoman!

So, meet the New! Amazing Catwoman!

So, meet the New! Amazing Catwoman! She and Gwyneth will be ready to take on Fantasy Faire at the end of April, and I’m looking forward to all the stories they’re going to live, and the stories they’re going to hear and tell, as well. I hope some of you will come along for the ride.

Head: Lelutka
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Glam Affair
Ears: Gauze
Piercings: Ellabella
Necklace: The Forge
Boots: Just Design
Tunic: Mirage
Leggings: ABC (applier)

OOC: News about the Second Life Fantasy Faire 2015

Me? A Chosen One? You must have the wrong Fae Queen!

Me? A Chosen One? You must have the wrong Fae Queen!

I’m delighted to share that I’ve been invited to be an official blogger for Fantasy Faire 2015. This is my first time doing this, so I’m both super-jazzed and a little bit intimidated and daunted by some of the company I’ll be keeping.

So, my little role-play blog will be changing shape over the next few weeks. I’ve gone through and categorised posts using categories, and when I have a few minutes I’ll try to clean up my tagging as well, since I guess there’s a distinct possibility that people who aren’t in my little SL roleplaying group might actually take a look at my blog from time to time during the Fantasy Faire.

With that in mind, I’ll be posting more general SL fantasy stuff, and this blog might actually end up encompassing a few other topics. It might get a name change. It might get a theme or format update.

What it won’t do is stop talking about the ongoing adventures of Gwyneth Evans altogether! Gwyneth’s life and experiences continue to inspire me, and my roleplaying compatriots are still just the coolest bunch of people I know.

I’m sure Gwyneth will have at least one adventure at the Fantasy Faire this year, and I’m looking  forward to my personal adventures there, as well.

Find out more about the Fantasy Faire at their webpage: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com