A note to readers, with BONUS Gwen in Gwen!

From the player:

From the player:

So, life is busy, and stressful, and full of many things. So I offer you a couple of images today, because life is busy and stressful and full of many things.

First of all, I posted this photo note in Flickr a couple of days ago, and I wanted to let you all know, as well: my posting frequency is going to go down.

A Note

A Note

Second, I made a thing that made me smile.

We are all stories.

We are all stories.

Third, but by no means least important, because it made me squee much more than the first two: last week on the Skin Addiction group, Queue Marlowe of Analog Dog Hair said, “Gwen, I will have something for you next week.”

I thought she was going to send me a blog box, which she does from time to time since we’re friendly acquaintances and often have  laugh together when we chat.

Imagine my gobsmacked surprise when I logged in this morning to find this image on a note from Analog Dog Hair:

Gwen!

Gwen!

So I thought I’d leave you with this image:

Gwen in Gwen

Gwen in Gwen

Style Card, Gwen in Gwen
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa
Eyes: Prima petite, DayDream Eyes
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Dress: Junbug, Ulyana
Circlet: Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Hand Tattoos: Things, Aigneis
Hair: Analog Dog, Gwen (new! from Analog Dog!)

Dear Queue: You are amazing. This hair is amazing. 

Dear everyone who reads my blog: Queue Marlowe is amazing. Analog Dog Hair is amazing. Go to the Analog Dog Main Store in SL and FATPACK THIS SHIT RIGHT NOW! 😀

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

Off on an Adventure? And, A Tree Grows in the Treehouse…. That’s not weird, is it?

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I woke up in the middle of the night to do the sorts of things that even Fae Queens must do in the middle of the night, and there was… well.

There was a tree. In my bedroom. Like, right at the foot of my bed. It wasn’t the sort of thing I could miss, especially as there was a large lantern hanging off a branch positioned directly above my pillow.

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom?

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom?

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom? I mean, obviously I live in a treehouse. But a whole extra tree? And this one comes with books, all written in a foreign language. I don’t even recognise the text. Dyisi took a look at them earlier, and she just sort of ‘meh’ed and then we moved on to talking about boys and clothes. Yes, Dyisi and I talk about boys and clothes. Stop laughing.

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go....

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go….

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go… after the moonlight had clothed me in autumn, I did what any sane Queen would do upon realising there’s a strange tree full of books growing in her bedroom.

Because, duh. That’s what trees are for, right? You climb the tree, you have a think, you climb down off the tree, and it disappears from your bedroom, yes?

No.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find an invitation. To a ball.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find an invitation. To a ball.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find and invitation. To a ball. In a far-off realm.

Apparently some relative of Father’s needs a Royal Sidhe on his arm for some charity event. He needs someone who’s unknown and a bit exotic. Of course, the invitation doesn’t say this, but I picked it up from touching the scroll.

It’s a more contemporary Realm than ours, much more contemporary. And it has an openly Fae upper class. Should be an interesting trip. I think I’m going to go: Father wouldn’t have given my name to anyone if he thought there’d be trouble. Certainly he wouldn’t do a thing like that.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though. Should I, or shouldn’t I?

There is so much going on in our Realm. A plague we don’t understand. Demifae uprisings. Goblin wars. But– a chance to ride in a limousine, have my nails done for real instead of just glamoured, check some email, post to my ‘blog’ openly instead of hiding out in an Internet Cafe in a nearby realm where they don’t like Fae at all.

And I could use the break. I think I really could.

Getting Dressed

Getting Dressed

Clutie and Dani are all excited about the trip: they want to dress me once beforehand so we can see what I’ll look like on the night. They’re hard to refuse, those two.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm; : we’ll take this one, though I reserve the right to buy something new if it catches my eye! I do like what they did with the beads and the braid, though. They’re the best hairdressers ever, these two. I’m taking Clutie with me, for sure.

Should I worry about the children? About the plague? About the war? I know I should, but I want to get away. I need to get away. Does that make me a runner? Am I a running runner? Maybe I am. But I’m going. Going to have a nice time with a guy I don’t know at a party in a Realm where I’ve never been before, and the Court is just going to have to deal with it, because I’m the Queen and I say I’m going, so there.

I will be gone IRL from Friday-Monday, at a music conference with friends in Darkest Somerset. So while Gwyneth is away dancing her feet off, I’ll be singing my head off with friends old and new. Enjoy the long weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you when I get back!

Style Cards:

Seriously, Universe?
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Undies: Erratic, Fiona, Nude
Tree: HarshLands, Fantasy Book Tree

Autumn Fae Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: 
Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Outfit: Flippant: Cicada Fall Fae (This was the August Group Gift at Flippant’s Main Store,so you only have a few more days to get it: after that, it goes up to 179L.)
Tree: HarshLands, Fantasy Book Tree

Getting Dressed:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Undies: Erratic, Fiona, Nude
Shoes: Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, Sapphire
Dressing Table: Aisling, Coquette (Available at Festival of Sin!)

Hairdressing with Clutie and Dani:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) ((Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: No Match, No Siren (Available at Enchantment!)
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Dress: Mistique: Elora Gown, Blue (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Shoes: Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, Sapphire

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

WLTB 500x500

The Fantasy Collective for July

From the player:

From the player:

If you’ve been looking for me (all two of you!) you haven’t found me. I’ve been appearing to idle on SL a lot, unresponsive to messages, no flickr or  blog posts for days; in short it seems as if nothing’s going on with me. And of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve been in hospital here in London receiving and beginning to recover from a full knee replacement. I’ve talked before on this blog about my husband’s cancer and why helping with Fantasy Faire and events like that is so important to me. My own disease, the one you can see anyway, is arthritis. Arthritis doesn’t just strike super-old people, although I’m hardly what would be described as young. On Wednesday, I had my right knee replaced and depending on my recovery speed, the left one will follow in its own time.

As it happens, the full knee replacement is apparently one of the most painful surgeries you can go through, and I can now vouch for this. I don’t have the energy or concentration level to role-play or write the stories about my narrators that people have begun to expect here, but I’m still taking photographs and finding cool stuff. These photos have mostly been hanging around for four days, waiting for me to have the energy and wherewithal to put them into a blog post.

So here’s the stuff Gwyneth really fell in love with at the July Fantasy Collective. The Fantasy Collective is open until the 15th of August, so you still have time to check out some of these lovely things. I’ll present the style cards with the photographs.

Sweet Lies, Tauriel Gacha

Sweet Lies, Tauriel Gacha

The Sweet Lies Tauriel Gacha has a beautiful array of dresses, and you will get a dress on every play, not just pieces and parts. This one is Box 11 (rare), and I love the detailing on the sleeves and the over skirting. Gwyneth is also wearing the Deviance Erulisse Circlet (The Priestess, Rare), Analog Dog (natch!) ‘s new(ish) updo, Sambuca. The stunning necklace is an event find from I don’t know how long ago, The Mithrind Necklace from Storybook, which is a staple of Gwyneth’s wardrobe. Here, I love how it picks up on the lattice pattern in the dress’ arm texture. The skin is 7 Deadly s{K}ins stunning Baukje, which started out life at the first July Designer’s Circle and is now available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store. She’s in the Maitreya Mesh Body with SLink hands and feet.

Les Encantades Ivy Dress, Azur

Les Encantades Ivy Dress, Azur

Here is another beautiful dress from The Fantasy Collective, Les Encantades Ivy Dress. This is the Azur colourway. I did mention Gwyneth likes blue, right? 😉 The hair is from Ayashi, which is doing such a great job with superlong mesh hair right now; it’s called Sirena and is available at The Fantasy Collective. Necklace is once again the Storybook Mithrind Necklace, and the mask is from Spyralle, who’s long been one of my favourite SL designers. It’s called Forest Edge Mask, and you can get it from the Illusion Point event, which I’ll talk a little more about farther down. Skin is of course Baukje from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Senzafine Beriawen

SenzaFine Beriawen

The dress here is the SenzaFine Beriawen ensemble. SF really hit it out of the park on this one. The stuff is always good, but this style just makes me so happy, and additionally the tunic is completely wearable without the skirt and vice versa. The matching shoes are from The Illusion Point event, and they come in the same colourways as the clothing ensemble. You want to go to Illusion point, btw, and saying you’re just going for these shoes is a pretty good rationalisation!

Senzafine Beriawen, tunic detail

Senzafine Beriawen, tunic detail

Gwyneth is wearing SenzaFine Beriawen tunic and skirt in Pack 4, which includes the metallic colours, so Gwyneth really likes it. I also picked up the blues, greens and purples for her; those are Pack 2.You get a choice between gold and silver trims on each piece, as well. The necklace is Aegon from Le Forme and is still available at The Epiphany: this one is “eclipse” in silver. The tiara is also from Le Forme‘s Epiphany offerings; this one is the Aegon Tiara in Silver Sapphire (rare). The hair is, naturally, Analog Dog, the new(ish) Sambuca updo, and the skin is still the stunning Baukje from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. I just can’t get enough of this skin. Gwyneth’s eyes in these photos are actually new to her: I’d been using my own tweaked CustomEyes for her for so long I’d stopped crediting the eyes. These are from Mayfly, Luminous Mesh Eyes in Borealis. Ears are as always the Leevi Long Ears from Lumae. This is the Maitreya Lara Mesh Body with SLink hands and feet, and the shoes are SenzaFine‘s Aesbrennil Velvet-Lined Slippers, in colourways that cleverly match the ones for the Beriawen Tunic. This is pack 4, of course. They are available at the Illusion Point event: you should go there “just to buy the shoes”…. 🙂

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Blues

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Blues

I know I’ve rhapsodised at length about the Faida/Fallen Gods collaboration, but I’m going to do it again! They seem to have a gorgeous new dress for every event that comes along these days, and since I can’t resist a gorgeous new dress, here is Berenice. No fatpack was available, so I bought the blue ones to get the gorgeous Royale colourway, and as ever, it does not disappoint. HUD options are included as well, and you’ll see some of those later. The hair is Pepe, Athena, a gacha you can play at The Fantasy Collective. This is the rare light blonde colourway, and you don’t even want to know how much I spent to get Gwyneth’s colour in this hair. But, you know, if you want some of this hair and you don’t feel like leaving your house, just IM me in world and we can work something out. 😉 That said, if you’re not bothered about colours, the gacha is L$100 per play and the textures are all really nice. I’m always looking for ponytails and braids that work with Gwyneth’s ears, since I’m not giving those up, and that’s why I spent so much to get the colour I wanted in this one: it works with the ears! The circlet and crown combination are from ieQED, the Arwen crown (rare) and circlet (common) from the most recent Fantasy Gacha Carnival. Shoes are Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, from a longer-ago Fantasy Gacha Carnival. The ring is from JCNY. Body is Maitreya Lara Mesh Body, and hands and feet are SLink.

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Detail

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Detail

I’m presenting so many of these dresses with close-up photos so you can see the detailing on the dresses, it’s true, but also so you can get a closer look at this skin I’m currently raving about: Baukje from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. As with all of the 7DS skins, the detailing and subtle makeup on the face is worth taking a second-57th look at, and this skin has something that I really love personally, which is pronounced and visible eyeliner that does not take away from the eyes or the rest of the face. It’s eyeliner I might wear in real life if I wanted to be subtle. Yes, really.

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice

One of the things you can do with the Berenice dress HUD is hide the bodice altogether. I quite like this look, but as Fae Queens go, Gwyneth is actually frightfully modest. So, I thought of this necklace from Zibska, called Aisling, which I haven’t had much of an opportunity to wear, immediately. I don’t remember where I got it, but you can score it at their main store, and they have a special one available in the dark rose colourway at The Lexi Project, another great event for a great cause that you should run not walk to as it has loads of worthy stuff.

Faida and Fallen Gods Berenice, plus Zibska Aisling, a closer look

Faida and Fallen Gods Berenice, plus Zibska Aisling, a closer look

And even closer. Irresistible skin from 7 Deadly s{K}ins.

And even closer. Irresistible skin from 7 Deadly s{K}ins.

This close-up photo is a good way to see how the Baukje skin employs such beautiful subtle highlighting, and you can also get a better look at the Mayfly eyes this way. I love the way the falling petals on the Zibska necklace seem to cup and enhance the breasts; as a Sidhe, Gwyneth is a bit of a titless wonder, so she needs all the help she can get in that department!

Now, I have to go get ready for physical therapy, which is the reality of my life for the next several weeks. I’m hoping to step up the blog posts for later today and later in the week, since so much is happening on the grid, but I can’t promise narrator stories or rp blogs for the foreseeable, as this post literally took three days to put together because my concentration is shot due to surgery, hospital, pain, heavy drugs, etc.

Thanks for reading.

Fallen Gods and Faida Dresses from The Epiphany Event!

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

The Epiphany Event bills itself as “a new kind of gacha event,” and it certainly is. The literature is a little bit confusing, but essentially, the concept is this:

You go to a gacha event, and you spend loads of money. You get two things you really want, and 25 things you don’t really want. Now you have a bunch of stuff you don’t want clogging up your inventory. You could sell them or give them away to friends, but there will always be a few items you can’t get rid of, but you paid good money for these items, and there they are in your inventory, and your inventory is going to eat you. At The Epiphany, you can take all the items home, rez them, and then you get a choice of keeping them or redeeming them for points. The points enable you to buy special exclusive items made by the content creators who have made things for the event. So for example, you get 25 items you don’t want, and these you can turn into points for one exclusive copy-only item that you’ll never be able to get anywhere else, ever again. What a great deal, and a great way to get rid of extra gacha items you don’t want! For 200 points, you can get a transfer item, which you can give to somebody else. But I am a selfish girl, so I only got copy items, because I am a grabby grabber!

Commons

Reveur Nuit Beige

Nuit Reveur Beige

Because there are so many colours of this dress, I’m going to present them in alphabetical order, and I’ll do a combined style card at the end. As always, the Fallen Gods/Faida collaboration creates a garment that’s easy to wear, exquisitely detailed, and textured so beautifully. If you wanted to, you could collect this whole line and not have to wear anything else for months, because the combinations (which we’ll get to in a minute) are endless.

Nuit Reveur Black

Nuit Reveur Brown

I remember mentioning once in a blog post featuring Evie’s Closet that she can make even brown look good! The same is definitely true for the FG/Faida collaboration: just look at how the gold detailing contrasts with the brown of this dress. I love it.

Nuit Reveur Black

Nuit Reveur Black

Nuit Reveur Green

Nuit Reveur Green

Nuit Reveur Jade

Nuit Reveur Jade

Now, Gwyneth doesn’t wear a lot of black, or really even a lot of green. But I think I’ll have her in these dresses, because as I said above you could make a whole wardrobe out of these dresses. I am well known in my roleplaying group for saying, “Let me just get her dressed,” and then an hour later, Gwyneth finally looks the way I want her to look for that night’s rp. I think I now have what I think of as a ‘base dress’ for Gwyneth, and it’s definitely one of these, in any colour of the rainbow!

Nuit Reveur Mustard

Nuit Reveur Mustard

I love this ‘mustard’ colour: it has such a lovely gold tone, and the detailing on the overskirt really works, even though the colours are similar.

Nuit Reveur Pink

Nuit Reveur Pink

One thing Gwyneth does wear a lot of is pink. This dress is going to get a lot of use!

Nuit Reveur Azure

Nuit Reveur Azure

Slightly out of alphabetical order (because I’m going from the gacha key and it’s presented large and on the right) is this dusty blue ‘azure’. Again, the gold detailing on the overdress works so beautifully with this colour. And because Gwyneth’s court colours are blue and gold, this is a good every day sort of admin dress for when she has to negotiate with nasty Unseelie Lords & Such. 😉

Nuit Reveur Purple

Nuit Reveur Purple

Is there anybody out there who doesn’t like purple? Actually, don’t tell me. That’s like saying you don’t like The Princess Bride or you thought Harry Potter was just for children.

Nuit Reveur Red

Nuit Reveur Red

This subtle red is not at all what I was expecting! In fact, it’s the colour I managed to lose somehow before I started photographing these dresses. So I had to go back to The Epiphany and buy like 700 dresses (not really, but a lot!) before I finally got a red one so I could have a complete collection. I might be a bit … OCD about all this. 😉

Nuit Reveur Rose

Nuit Reveur Rose

This deep salmon-y rose colour is again not at all what I was expecting. Yes, I know, but you see the photo and you’re never sure how exactly it’s going to look on your avatar, even if you have a good eye for colour. In the end, I love that all the main colours are sort of subdued and subtle. There’s so much you can do with these dark colours—and just wait til you see some of the photos below!

Nuit Reveur Royale

Nuit Reveur Royale

The FG/Faida Royale is a favourite of mine. Whenever I buy one of their dresses, if I don’t have the money for the fatpack (and usually I find it!) the Royale is the colour I’ll buy first. It’s a favourite both of mine and of Gwyneth’s, and this one particularly, with the gold detailing, works perfectly for a rp dress.

Nuit Reveur Silver

Nuit Reveur Silver

Again, a subtle and beautifully rendered colour, against which the gold detailing works perfectly. Yum!

Nuit Reveur White

Nuit Reveur Teal

And this dark teal surprised me again by being a perfect foil to Gwyneth’s skin. So beautiful.

Nuit Reveur White

Nuit Reveur White

And at last, here is the white one. Gwyneth does wear a lot of white, and this is going in to her regular wardrobe as we speak.

All in all, there are fifteen colours, and these are the commons. You could go to this gacha, spend your last $L75, and you’re going to come away with a gorgeous dress you’ll probably wear forever.

Quality wise, these dresses work beautifully over the Maitreya mesh body, which is how they’re pictured above. I didn’t try them with the SLink or the EVE, but experimentation is good, and I think this dress is going to work over just about anything.

Basic Style Cards for Dresses Above:
The dress of course is all the colours of Nuit Reveur, from Fallen Gods and Faida, available at The Epiphany. Gwyneth is also wearing a necklace and tiara from Le Forme, also at The Epiphany. The skin is Fallen Gods Pure Eden, which I got at the Wayward Carnival, the hair is Analog Dog (natch!), from Hair Fair, and the foot jewellery is Pearls of the Muse, from a Tales of Fantasy event yonks ago. Gwyneth is standing in The Looking Glass‘ stunning Enchanted Ballroom, and the furniture you can see in some of the pics is from Ionic, the Lothlorian Table, Chair and Stool. Some of the photographs have visible little moons and stars above, and this is part of the Nightly Netting, from Refined Wild. Gwyneth is wearing the Maitreya mesh body and SLink hands and feet.

Now… imagine what you could do if you combined some of these dresses, because I haven’t told you the best part yet!

Each common dress comes with a HUD like this one.

Each common dress comes with a HUD like this one.

Each common dress comes with a HUD like this one. so you can wear two or even three dresses at once and make layers transparent or hide them altogether. Below are some of the combinations I tried. But you can go mad, I tell you! MAD with colour mixing and combinations of this gorgeous dress.

Nuit Reveur, Red Over White

Nuit Reveur, Red Over White

Nuite Reveur, White over Royale

Nuit Reveur, White over Royale

Nuit Reveur, Black Over White

Nuit Reveur, Black Over White

Nuit Reveur, Royale Over Mustard

Nuit Reveur, Royale Over Mustard

There are so many possibilities!

And… we haven’t even got to the rares and exclusives yet!

Rares

When I started this blog entry, I thought I’d make it into a big story about how Gwyneth found this amazing dress. But the fact is, there are so many dresses I couldn’t find the time to blog them all this way, and for that I’m a little sorry. But RL is going to hit me big time tomorrow (major surgery!), and I had guests last weekend, so I’m working against the clock to get this and a couple more blog posts out because my week is about to go crazy.

Anyway, Rares. These are the Jour Reveur dresses, presented in doux and intense colours, and each rare comes with three different colours, which you can mix and match.

Jeux Reveur Azure

Jeux Reveur Azure

Some of these photographs are from the story I was thinking of building, so you can see that here Gwyneth is holding a pomegranate. The jewellery is also quite different for each photo, as is the hair. Here, she’s wearing EMO-tions lovely Cersei hair, which I found at The Instruments last month. The jewellery is from The Plastik, finds from the Fantasy Faire back in May. Foot jewellery is the same.

Jour Reveur Beige

Jour Reveur Beige

This is the Beige colour. Jewellery is from Cae (Guinevere Necklace) and the circlet is from Deviance, the Erulisse circlet in Princess (rare). It’s from the second Fantasy Gacha Carnival I visited, can’t remember how long ago. The hair is Analog Dog (Natch!); it’s the Enja updo.

Jour Reveur Rose

Jour Reveur Rose

Azure, Beige and Rose are the three colours of the doux rare. Jewellery and hair here is the same as above, but you can see the ring, which is from JCNY.

And of course, colour-mixing is possible with these as with the commons!

Jour Reveur Beige and Rose

Jour Reveur Beige and Rose

One jewellery change: This is the Deviance circlet from that long-ago Fantasy Gacha Carnival, Priestess.

The intense colourway is going to be a favourite, because I love intense, saturated colours.

Jour Reveur Royale, with Bliensen and Maitai rare and exclusive

Jour Reveur Royale, with Lassitude and Ennui rare and exclusive

A hair and jewellery change here; the hair is Analog Dog (natch!) The staff is one of the rares from Lassitude and Ennui, the Staff of Light. The crown is the exclusive from Lassitude and Ennui—both of these things are available at The Epiphany. 

Jour Reveur Jade

Jour Reveur Jade

Hair on this one is Analog Dog (natch!) Megan.

Jour Reveur Red

Jour Reveur Red

Here is the Red one, with the Le Forme tiara and necklace, and the Analog Dog (natch!) Molly hair from Hair Fair.

And you can switch these up as well!

Jour Reveur, Royale and Black

Jour Reveur, Royale and Black

Again with the Deviance circlet and the Le Forme necklace.

Jour Reveur, Rose and Red

Jour Reveur, Rose and Red

This hair is Analog Dog (natch!) Fiona. The crown is from NSP Floral, one of the Guinevere crowns. Necklace is from EMO-tions.

Detail of Jour Reveur Royale, with a closer look at the Lassitude and Ennui crown.

Detail of Jour Reveur Royale, with a closer look at the Lassitude and Ennui crown.

Hair is again Analog Dog (natch!) from Hair Fair, and the necklace is from EMO-tions.

And OMG THE EXCLUSIVES!

Fallen Gods and Faida made two gorgeous Exclusives for The Epiphany; they created black and white versions of the Jour dress, called Angelique and Diabolique. 

Angelique

Angelique

Diabolique

Diabolique

And by now, you can imagine the mixing and matching possible!

Well, wow. I’m exhausted, and you probably are too, but  hope you aren’t too exhausted to head off to The Epiphany and get some of these gorgeous dresses.

Create Your Own Tarot: The Empress

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

The Create Your Own Tarot: Empress round opened on the 15th of June, and I’m a couple of days late talking about it, because Real Life hit me in the gut when we returned from Germany and hasn’t really let up.

The Empress is the fourth card of the Major Arcana, numbered 3 (We start at 0, with The Fool, remember). I know when we think of the word “Empress” we think about a regal and powerful woman, and don’t get me wrong: the Tarot Empress is powerful. She’s an earth mother who’s often depicted as being pregnant, often shown with children, animals, harvest vegetables and fruits, often apples, corn, wheat.

Empress in the garden.

Empress in the garden.

Once again, Apollo Scribe has assembled a great bunch of creators for this month’s tarot round. The dress above is from BLOKC, simply called “Empress”. The colour is Blue Ombre, but the dress comes in several other good colours: I just really like Gwyneth in blue. The crown and necklace are both from BLOKC as well. I love the line of this dress, and the blue stretching down into teal really says “summer” to me.

Another great dress from the event.

Another great dress from the event.

This dress is from Byrne, called “The Empress Soon”, and again it comes in a variety of colours. The crown is from Naminoke, available from a gacha at the event. The Byrne dress recalls other floral dresses worn by Empresses in tarot cards, and the Naminoke crown depicts the 12 stars that are often pictured with the Empress.

Here's another view of this terrific dress.

Here’s another view of this terrific dress.

Here’s another view of this terrific dress. I particularly like the way the collar/cowl works with the body of the dress to bring the whole design together.

Don’t forget that along with the event, there’s a photo contest! It’s inspiring to me to make my own tarot cards, and I’ve enjoyed every round so far. You can find out more about the contest, and see past winners at the Create Your Own Tarot Flickr Group, and each month there’s a separate contest Flickr group as well that will give you an indication of the great variety among photographers and tarot card fans who’ve been enjoying this contest so far.

Here's another look at the cowl.

Here’s another look at the cowl.

Here’s another look at the cowl.

Style Cards:

First Photo:
Dress: BLOKC: Empress, Blue Ombre (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Necklace: BLOKC: Crystal Necklace, Turquoise and Gold (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Crown: BLOKC: Crown in Gold (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Sceptre: Zuri: Scepter Of the Mist
Hair: Entwined: Elektra
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Daisey V1 (a gacha now available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Shoes: Muka: Feetwrap Rosa Dark
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears

All Other Photos:
Dress: Byrne: Empress Soon, Violet (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Crown: Naminoke, Empress Crown S4 (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Hair: D!va: Judy
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Daisey V1 (a gacha now available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Shoes: Muka: Feetwrap Rosa Dark
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears

Props:
Arch: Artisan Fantasy: Maiden Tor Stone Arch
White Deer: Alyxen Designs, Silver Deer
Brown Deer: JA: Deer Pack
Brown Bear: Sweet Revolutions
Rabbit: Raya Jonson
Goat: JA: Young Goat
Baskets of Fruits & Vegetables: Dysfunctional Designs [DDD]
Chair: Artisan Fantasy: Renaissance Faire Chair

Location:
The Great Seelie Forest

Wicked Wylds: Where The Magic Is Real

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Once upon a time, there was a collection of people, people whose imaginations were bigger than their back gardens, people whose desire to tell stories and live more than one life captured their thoughts and dreams.

A couple of those people created a place where those thoughts and dreams could come to life, and they called it Wicked Wylds.

This is where I spend my Second Life roleplaying time. WW is not the sort of place you go if you just want to kill some monsters or have lighthearted intimate relations with pointy-eared elves. I mean, you could do those things, but there is a much, much larger story of which your actions can be a small part, or a large part.

In WW you can have come from anywhere. Maybe you were about to go into the shop to buy some milk and suddenly felt dizzy. You might wake up on an idyllic hillside and wonder if you’ve had some kind of stroke or maybe just dropped dead. Maybe you are a realm-walker, and the Wylds is just a convenient stopover between Asgard and Wonderland.

Maybe you are a demon who longs to role-play in a meticulously detailed Hell with a rich cast of characters who will engage you.

Maybe you are a changeling who has lived as a human for so long, and one day, one day, you open the door to Faerie.

Maybe you are an ordinary (ha!) person who dreams of interacting with so many different kinds of beings than you encounter at your day job in the bank.

Maybe you just want to be taken to where the magic is real.

You can’t find Wicked Wylds through a Second Life search. But you can take a look at the Tumblr to see what’s going on Read the histories, the rules, all that admin stuff there, or you can request it from one of the admins in-world. You can seek out members of the admin staff on SL and IM us. Tell us your story and we’ll talk about how it might fit into ours.

There is so much room for growth and there is no end to the stories we might write together.

Some of the people who live in or are frequently found in Mysthaven: L-R: (back row) Gwyneth, Seelie Queen in Faerie; Nathanial, Mysthaven Steward and Queen's Consort; Aoibheann, Lost Rabbit and Lord Maric's Consort; Lord Maric, Lord of Mysthaven and by a strange twist of fate the current Unseelie King; (front row) Wren Darling, Fae Teen and Nathaniel's adopted daughter; Dyisi, Elder Satyr, Realm-Walker, teller of tales and talker of riddles.

Some of the people who live in or are frequently found in Mysthaven:
L-R: (back row) Gwyneth, Seelie Queen in Faerie; Nathanial, Mysthaven Steward and Queen’s Consort; Aoibheann, Lost Rabbit and Lord Maric’s Consort; Lord Maric, Lord of Mysthaven and by a strange twist of fate the current Unseelie King; (front row) Wren Darling, Fae Teen and Nathaniel’s adopted daughter; Dyisi, Elder Satyr, Realm-Walker, teller of tales and talker of riddles.

Admins to IM: Vedis Seid (sim owner and the architect of hell); Faermorn Violet (plot spinner and the architect of Faerie); Suboki Paine (RP and Tech Admin); Benbold (RP Admin); Dickensiandreamer (RP Admin); Dyisi Oppewall (Rp Admin); Gwen Enchanted (RP Admin, Welcome Wagon, Fae Dreamer, and the Blogger of Record).

Spiffy photo taken with the indispensible aid of a 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. 🙂

Like a Bird

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth: Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.

My human father listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen. I think there was something about doing uni in the 70s that made guys like Leonard Cohen. Anyway, I was thinking about that the other day. After I fled Dyisi and still felt her everywhere, I just closed my eyes and turned another corner. And I found myself, as I often do, in a very odd place: Balloons.

What a strange world.

What a strange world.

I was on a bare patch of ground, surrounded by yellow flowers that might have been sunflowers, which I’ve only ever seen in pictures.

The light was oddly flat, dark, dusty, reddish. Frankly, it was oppressive. But then I thought of another song, one my mother used to sing:

Be like a bird, who pausing in her flight on a limb too slight feels it give way beneath her, yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings, yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings.

And of course I did have wings. I do have wings:

Wings on my back, wings round my neck.

Wings on my back, wings round my neck.

wings on my back, wings round my neck. Wings I have.

So I stood. Then I flew.

So I stood. Then I flew.

So I stood, and then I flew.

Eventually I found myself watching other beings trying, in their way, to be free.

Trying, in their way, to be free.

Trying, in their way, to be free.

It was about the balloons.

Suddenly, more than anything, I wanted a balloon of my own.

I wanted a balloon of my own.

I wanted a balloon of my own.

I wanted a balloon of my own. Why couldn’t I have a balloon? Forget the cobwebs, the city in disarray, the blank faces of the searchers: I wanted a balloon!

I chased and chased, but never caught.

I chased and chased, but never caught.

I chased and chased, but never caught, even though my wings lifted me.

And then I thought, how long have these beings been here, chasing balloons? Why chase balloons, when I have wings of my own?

So I flew back.

So I flew back.

So I flew back to the flowers that might have been sunflowers, which I have only ever seen in pictures.

I ended as I began.

I ended as I began.

I ended as I began, surrounded by flowers that might be sunflowers, which I have only ever seen in pictures. And I had that moment of wondering if I’d get back from this one, and then that instant of certainty, and then there was a corner to turn, a knot to untie, and I was back in the Great Seelie Forest, back in my grove of choice.

Landing.

Landing.

I landed as ever on the altarstone. I let myself grow quiet, took a breath.

I took a breath.

I took a breath.

I took a breath and thanked my goddess for bringing me home safely once again.

Safe, once again.

Safe, once again.

Oh, Lady. Your blessings are as abundant as the stars that fell to earth and became the dust that built our Faerie. I honour you with every breath.

This post is about wings both literal and figurative.

This post is about wings both literal and figurative.

This post is about wings, both literal and figurative. The literal wings are in the style card, below. The figurative wings, oh, yes; let’s discuss those.

I got a LumiPro. This is a SL photography tool that gives me complete control over light. Or it will, once I have begun to master it! For those who might read this who have one: I’ll bet you can tell the photograph at which I began to realise how to control the floodlight, for example! Anyway, I’ve had this for less than 24 hours, and I cannot stop playing with it. They offer a fully functional trial at their studio, and if you’re like me you’ll want to buy in like ten minutes. Maybe less if you know what you’re doing! Their team is helpful, efficient, and willing to talk. The videos on their website are concise and easy to understand.

To give you an idea, the shot titled, “I ended as I began” is actually my very first LumiPro shot in the field. The shot titled “This post is about wings….” was taken about ten hours later, with a sleep in the middle. I may be in love.

Style Card:
The beautiful new wings Gwyneth is wearing are the newest from Faeline. They’re called Sayuri, and they come in five colours. This is Apple. Faeline were the first SL wings I ever spent money on, and I recommend them and enjoy them and go back to them again and again.
The stunning necklace is from Empyrean Forge, called The Dreamer. It’s available in several different kinds. The white colour is called Barn, and there is a Brown colour as well. This one is Serenity-Barn-Vibrant. It’s an exclusive for The 100 Block; I actually went there just to buy this necklace. There was an awful lot of pink there. I’m just sayin’.
The dress is a gacha item from The Seasons Story, Vintage Rose from Zenith (You don’t even want to know. Let’s just say it might have been in the ballpark of what you’d expect to pay for, I don’t know. A treehouse. Or maybe a LumiPro.).
Body: SLink
Skin: Curio
Hair: Tableau Vivant
Circlet: On A Lark
Shoes: SLink
Locations: Balloons, The Great Seelie Forest
Poses: Musa, Hopscotch, Black Tulip, MaVie, Axix

 

 

Dream-Stepping and Wind Singing (in which I actually blog a dress)

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth: Did I mention I step in dreams? The realm walking lark is fun to begin with but gets old unless you close your eyes, some days, and just turn a corner. A turning, a knot, another path to travel, another way through the woods. Inspiration takes many forms. A place. The light. A set of words that trips a memory. And sometimes, it’s a dress.

There Will Be No Miracles Here.

There Will Be No Miracles Here.

There will be no miracles here. And yet the ground is lit with fairy lights. And there are fireflies. And the dress, the dress, the dress. O Sign, I beg to differ. There are miracles. This one is called WindSong, and it’s from Evie’s Closet, featured at We ❤ RP this month. I couldn’t help myself: I bought it in every colour. This is Violet. Please click through to see the full size picture. I hope you’ll be glad you did. Photo location here is the spectacular L’Arc en Ciel, which I discovered, as I do so many amazing places, through Ziki Questi’s Blog.

This one's more about the dress than the photo.

This one’s more about the dress than the photo.

Here’s a daylight photograph, taken in Frisland. Btw, if you haven’t been to Frisland, you should go and visit. I take a lot of photographs there: the terrain is gorgeous, everything always looks wonderful, and the light is spectacular.

WindSong in Pink

WindSong in Pink

When I first saw this colour, I was surprised: I’m used to those pastel pinks or hot pinks, but this one is more of a salmon, and I quite like it. The photo above was taken at Pandora Box of Dreams.

WindSong in Gold

WindSong in Gold

This photo was also taken at Pandora. I had a lovely time trekking through the sim, and the group join fee for rez rights is only L$50, so of course I joined the group.

Our Friend Bambi

Our Friend Bambi

Joining the group meant I got to photograph Gwyneth, at a great location, in an amazing dress, with Our Friend Bambi, AKA Axix’s Forest Deer. But, you know. He has birds on his antlers that kind of match the dress. That makes it fashion-topical, right? Besides, you can see the gorgeous leaves on the translucent overdress really well in this picture, since it’s a close-up. Also, Bambi’s nose was itchy. He has such allergies in the spring.

WindSong in Green

WindSong in Green

I almost went back and reshot this photograph, because I thought Gwyneth looked, well, a little mad in it (English mad, not American mad, natch). But Dorina said, “No, no! I love that she looks a little mad! You should make her look more mad!” Honestly, could you pose with these two creepy owls at noob-riddled Eclectica and not look mad? Eclectica is actually gorgeous: it’s just in the Destination Guide, so loads of people, including guys who desperately want to share their freenises, go there. (Brief IM conversation: Hi, UR so pritty! Get out of my fucking light. Block User)

WindSong in Grey

WindSong in Grey

This photo was also taken at Eclectica, but I wanted a dramatic sky, so I ditched the region windlight (I usually do anyway) and went for Torley Linden’s Pleasantrie, which offers a fast-moving sky in an unreal blue. I’ve saved the grey dress for last, because this is my favourite colour of this dress. It’s so nearly blue. And the gold leaves, which were the first thing that caught my eye about WindSong, show up beautifully both against the opaque parts of the gown and in the translucent lace. The dress itself has a look both realistic and whimsical, the kind of look that would make my costuming friends swoon with envy. And I like making my costuming friends swoon with envy; I do.

I should also tell you that I didn’t actually discover this dress for myself: Luna discovered it and showed it to me. We are both big Evie’s Closet groupies, so I wasn’t surprised she wanted me to see the dress. There then followed That Conversation. The one we have about Really Good Dresses, or Perfect Hair. The one where Luna says, “OK, if I get this colour, you won’t get it, right?” and I nod solemnly and buy it anyway and then just don’t wear it to rp in on the sim where we both rp…. Yes, that conversation.

Dear Luna: I am really sorry about the gold dress. But I promise I will never wear it in the Wylds and, um, the photograph is OOC because Gwyneth would never make friends with Bambi like that. Oh, wait, she would.

I am in so much trouble.

Style Cards

Violet
Dress: 
Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Truth, Daniela
Hair Flowers: Liquence
Necklace: (L’Arc en Ciel) Evie’s Closet, Briar Rose
Necklace: (Frisland) tea.s, Eden
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Amethyst
Skin: Curio, Simone, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

Pink
Dress: 
Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Analog Dog, Chance
Jewellery: Evie’s Closet, Briar Rose
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Melon
Skin: Curio, Kai, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

Gold
Dress: Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Exile, Dream of Paradise
Jewellery: Krystal, Candace, at We ❤ RP this month
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Butter
Skin: Curio, Isabelle, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Our Friend Bambi was played by Axix, Forest Deer

Green
Dress: Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: D!va, Asami
Jewellery: Krystal, Candace, at We ❤ RP this month
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Emerald
Skin: Curio, Kai, Moondrop

Grey
Dress: Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Calico, Helenia
Jewellery: Evie’s Closet, Briar Rose
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Onyx
Skin: Curio, Simone, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

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. 🙂