The Story of Returning

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Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it?

Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it? I remember being in university, long ago now it seems, and suddenly noticing a tree one morning. Richard and I were walking to class, and I swear, I tugged him by the sleeve and wanted to know when that tree had appeared.

“Gwyneth,” he replied, “It’s been here all along. You just never saw it before.”

How peculiar, I thought. What force of mind, memory, or nature could make me just not notice a tree? And it wasn’t a small tree, either. It was massive. People were having their lunch in its shade, sunbathing in the shadows of its branches.

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Like a place I’ve been, so many times.

Like a place I’ve been, so many times, this street should hold no mystery for me. It’s a place I go from time to time. There are shops here I like to visit, a good Turkish restaurant. Just down there, there’s a boutique that sells glorious faux fur stoles.

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I pause, sometimes, near this street corner.

I pause, sometimes, near this street corner. Sometimes, I pause to look back, wonder if I’ve missed something, shrug, move on. Sometimes, I stand here for several minutes, watching the people, the buses. It isn’t as if I have any great mysteries of life to contemplate, but I feel the need to contemplate, anyway. It might be about the dress I find myself in today, a glorious and gorgeous gown from Silvan Moon Designs. I came across a marvellous Vintage Fair, and then, softly, I found myself feeling the echoes of a different era.

I’m just starting my life on White Owl Island, and a new beginning always makes me ponder the “what ifs” of my life. It’s an exercise, I know, that leads only to dissatisfaction.

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But what have I, really, to be dissatisfied about?

But what have I, really, to be dissatisfied about? I have made my change. I have left the Wylds, and war, and mad demifae queens, and the judging eyes of the Unseelie Court.

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The future. The future is … uncertain.

The future. The future is … uncertain. But it is something I can create. Something I am creating.

And at this moment, I’m taken, as I used to be, by visions. Two visions. One is terrible: screaming people, fires, smoke. Refugees. The other….

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The other is sweet.

The other is sweet.

Style Card:
Gwyneth—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Dream (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Thaisa Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Wings: (Photos 1-5) Lassitude & Ennui, Seraphim Wings
Wings: (Photo 6) Evolved Creatures, Fae Bento Wings
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Vintage in Vogue (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Shoes: The Plastik, Filivina Heels

Gentleman in Photo 6; Nyza Stillwater

 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create a fantasy street for a single photoshoot without it!

silvan-moon-designs-logo-full   MESANGE LOGO 2017   7ds

 

Faerie By Night

I should have mentioned I’d be away. I had a lot of travel planned for May, and coming off the heels of Fantasy Faire, I had a lack of energy for most things that kept me from doing much besides sleeping when I wasn’t working. Anyway, I’m sorry. I never expected my absence to be so long.

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The Fox Gate

One of the things I’ve been working hard on over the last six weeks or so is the creation of Faerie for White Owl Island. To me, Faerie is an outpouring of the Queen’s imagination, culminating in her own personal Realm, her own Faerie. Over the next few blog posts, assuming I can stay awake and am not too exhausted from being the only White Owl Island admin who is also holding down a full time job, I will do my best to give you a sense of what this Faerie looks like, and maybe why it’s so different.

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Tower Meadow

There’s more than one Tower in the Tower Meadow. I might have a collection of them.

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The hair is from Wasabi Pills, the eyes are from Mesange, the crown is from Junbug, the necklace is from Empyrean Forge, and the wings are from Evolved Creatures.

The skin Gwyneth is wearing is from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. It’s Naomi, currently at the EBento event, which will be open for at least another week. The hair, crown and necklace are all available at Fameshed.

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Fantastic Dress is from Silvan Moon Designs!

Silvan Moon Designs never ceases to please with their lovely texturing and great original mesh. This whole outfit was put together for the White Owl Island opening beach party, which was a big success. Thanks to everyone who came out, and additional thanks to Zander Greene for giving us an amazing night full of music and fun. My fellow admins, Moxy Macbeth, Dyisi Oppewall, Kitori Unplugged, Dickensian Dreamer, and Benbold Resident have done a great job of putting things together, and I’m excited at the number of applications that have been coming in!

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Of course, with the good sometimes comes the bad….

….and it appears that FaeWatch has set up an office in Faerie. Well, if nothing else, this means Cherish Gelato will be on the trail of all your favourite Fae celebrities and scandals! Gwyneth may not like it much on an IC level, but personally, I’m looking forward to all the embarrassing things Cherish may do both to herself and others.

I’m hoping to have some more cool stuff to show you in the near future, and I’ll do my best not to be a stranger. Exhaustion is a crazy thing to feel.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Strawberry (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sheba Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Naomi, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at eBento!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Summersong (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Crown, Junbug, Crown Diadem Amethyst/Silver (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Rohanna of the Moors (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Shoes: Friday, Koko Wraps

Location: White Owl Island, Faerie.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never come back from an unscheduled blog-cation without it!

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A letter to my mother….

April 2, 2017
Last Hope House
White Owl Island

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This is White Owl Island Pier.

Dear Mother,

I’m not even sure if it’s OK for me to call you that. But never mind; I’m doing it, and I may be done with doing what everybody else wants me to do, at least for a little while.

You may have heard that I stepped down from being Queen in the Wylds. Yes, I can do that. Well, I did it, so I guess that means I can do it, yes? 

I don’t know where you are, so I’m going to send this off via the Wisp network and hope it reaches you, wherever you are. I don’t know if you’re still on the run, or if you ever really were on the run. But if you are, even if you think you’re in a place of relative safety right now, I want you to think about relocating. Or at least coming to visit one of the safest places I’ve ever seen.

I know I don’t have any hold over you and what you do, as you have had no hold over me and what I do. But I’d like to talk about our relationship. You know, the one we never had. All that time I was growing up thinking I was a regular mortal kid, you were doing Gods-know-what-all in Faerie, and I can accept that. But what I can’t accept is the fact that we got to know one another so briefly, and not as our true selves. I don’t think you could have had any idea that I was actually your daughter when we met, but I have a feeling Father must have told you about it at some point? Anyway, perhaps this letter will come as a shock to you, but it seems that you and I are related by more than a common, brief past.

But talking about that right now would stir up too many things, so I shall just let you know that I have walked away from the Wylds and I am now living in a place called White Owl Island. The photograph above is of me on the pier at White Owl. This is where the ferry transport lands that carries residents and tourists to the island. It may be that wherever you are, you’ve heard rumours of White Owl as a place of sanctuary, and that it is. 

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The Boardwalk.

Here is a photograph of me on the Boardwalk. You can see the bicycle rental station just behind me, and on a sunny day, you’ll find lots of people eating their lunches at these tables. It’s almost normal looking—except that everyone in White Owl is either part of the world of non-humans living among or near mortals, or a mortal who is happy to live among non-humans. 

White Owl exists in a Realm where we are not common knowledge, but the island is cloaked by strong magical redirectors that keep ships from arriving here unless we want them to. It cloaks us entirely to the non-magical population. We are in the American Pacific Northwest, a short ferry trip from Seattle, Washington, and we strive to be a place where non-humans can live together in relative peace.

It probably seems strange, with me coming straight from being a bit player in the unholy love story between Faermorn and Gwythyr Gwynn (no bitterness here, I promise!), but I do desire and have always desired to live in peace, preferably with Nathaniel, preferably near the sea.

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Closer-in to the town square.

Does that make me selfish? Probably. Maybe I’m finally manifesting enough of my Fae nature to take selfishness in stride as I always should have done. 

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My bookstore!

And I know it will come as only a small surprise to you that my mundane “job” here on the island is owning and operating a small bookstore! It’s called “Codex”. I got a giggle out of making up that name for it when I acquired the building. It’s on the high street, between a restaurant and a coffee shop, across from the greengrocers. Upstairs, I have a little office and a place to chat with people about important matters like how to glamour glittery eyeliner. 

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This is my house!

This is my house! I’ll send you more photographs as soon as we have it all decorated. The back wall is all windows and looks out over our bay; you can even see across to the forest on the adjacent island. The house on the beach that you can see in the distance belongs to Dyisi; I’m not sure if you remember her, but she’s been a constant friend and confidante since I met her shortly before you and Blaise and Lady R disappeared from Ashmourne-that-was. 

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Here’s a closer look at Dy’s house.

Here’s a closer look at Dy’s house; she has more surfboards than anybody I know. Then again, growing up in London, I didn’t really meet a lot of surfers. Perhaps we’ll change that here. 

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Our lighthouse.

On the other side of the island, there’s a lighthouse on a nice, craggy rock. Local kids assure me it’s haunted. 

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And here is our town at sunrise.

And here is our town at sunrise. You can see the bookstore in this photograph, as well. 

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An aerial shot of the whole island….

Here’s an aerial shot of the whole island, which should give you some idea of the geography of the place. It really is beautiful. There is more than this, of course—the forest is lovely and deep and full of dangers you might find in a forest, and of course there is a Faerie here, though it’s growing organically and hasn’t sprung up in a day like the Wylds did.

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Reading and re-reading

It’s late now, and I’ve been up here in the bookshop office reading and re-reading this letter. I know it doesn’t say anything much. But I hope you will take it as an invitation, and maybe think about coming to visit us here in White Owl. Perhaps you might make your way to the Great Faire? It should be starting soon. We could meet there and I could help you find your way to the Island. 

With love,
Your daughter,
Gwyneth

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Paige (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Nan Madol Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available as part of the Men Only Hunt!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Ruby, for Catwa Mesh Head (Available NOW at The Avenue!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Top: Baiastice, Aziry Leather Tank Top (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Jeans: Swear, Laponte & Bathschild, Dita Jeans
Shoes: Reign, Skye Flats (Available NOW at Shoetopia!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never try to put the family back together without it!

Rage Quit?

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The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned.

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned. I wanted it that way, or that’s what I thought. I was surprised to see four tiny unicorns—well, three alicorns and one unicorn, but who’s counting? I had a lot to think about.

See, I think I mentioned I was planning on leaving the Wylds. And I know myself well enough to know that if I spend too much time dithering over something, I just won’t do it. So… I mean, it wasn’t even a plan. I had to show up at the Mallorn Tree in the Wylds to facilitate the transfer of power, even if it was weirdly from Winter Queen Gwyneth to Summer Queen Gwyneth.

But everything about being back there made my stomach hurt. Clutie was bugging the shit out of me. Bran was openly hostile that he couldn’t have his new Nintendo Switch with him: I made him leave it on White Owl because I’ve seen an iPhone disintegrate inside of a day in the Wylds, and I really didn’t want to deal with trying to replace that. Seriously, his Zelda addiction is becoming a bit of a problem. And Wulfrich? He was armed to the teeth and had half a dozen Knights stationed in strategic places around the edge of the Mallorn dais. It was like he expected someone to attack us.

I did tell them what I was going to do.

Well, I suggested I might decide to retire from Queening. I decided a clean, fast break would be the way to go, because frankly, I could see Mornoth becoming more and more dependent on me. And you know, the sex might be great, but I’d far rather have a quiet night on the couch with Nathaniel than some dramatic otherworldly encounter at this point in my life. Maybe it’ll change later, but to be honest, being Queen is a little piece of hell, especially in a world where it’s all drama, all day, all night. I mean, seriously. It’s like a Mexican soap opera up in here. I had no idea how long it was going to take, or whether I’d have to go through some crazy sex ritual with Mornoth (not that I’d complain about that) in order to cut myself loose. I just figured I’d declare him King and get the fuck out of Dodge before the Seelie Nobility decided to fry me in butter.

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I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours.

I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours. Confused. Some residual anger. But beneath it all, I feel free.

Residual anger, yes. Because nobody saw fit to tell me that my daughter Bronwyn was apparently imbued with the spirit of the former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn. Which of course would be why the former Unseelier King, Gwythyr, kept following her all over the fucking universe. What a disgusting pair, those two. I mean, of course it was impossible to dislike Faermorn, blah, blah, blah, so seductive, blah, blah, blah, forget about any male fae  (or mortal for that matter) attention when she was within a hundred mile radius, blah, blah, blah, so wise, blah, blah, blah, such a grand and lovely goddess, blah, blah, blah, couldn’t fucking stay dead.

So basically, I said to Mornoth, “Ah, my friend, my Unseelie Seneschal. I come not to command you, but to abdicate. Surely you all know how to bring spring to the land without my ineffectual leadership and assistance?” Once he let me in on the truth about Faermorn possessing my daughter, I just lost it. “The spirits of Gwythyr and Faermorn have never wished to know peace. Their marriage wasn’t cursed enough: they had to curse everybody else—including my daughter? If it weren’t for those two, I’d blame myself: after all, I created this Realm, at least half of it. But every single time I’ve tried to smooth the way, every single time I’ve reached for even a season of peace, it’s war this and mayhem that and curses this and bad magic that and mad demifae queens—and I’m sure the Undying Gwythyr must have had something to do with that, aren’t you?—and I. Am. Done.”

I clapped my hands and brought down power from the Mallorn tree, and I pronounced Mornoth King of Faerie, and I kissed the fuck out of him, and then I just disappeared.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m going to miss all that drama. Seriously, if, years from now, you hear the words, “I’m so bored and I wish I were back in the Wylds fighting yet another pointless war,” you (all of you, anybody who’s reading this) have my permission to burn me alive. That at least won’t be boring.

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Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

“Bran!” I shouted. “Why the fuck is there a feast laid out on my dining room table? Do not even tell me I am expecting visitors!”

There was no response.

“I am not kidding around here! I will put on a pair of stilettos just to put 1,500 psi onto that fucking Gameboy of yours!”

Oh, that got his attention. “It’s a Nintendo Switch, Your Majesty!” he called, presumably from the guest quarters. “I’m having a bit of a break in the hoovering and just trying to level up.”

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I gritted my teeth.

I gritted my teeth. “Why, Oh Seneschal Mine, do the guest room floors need hoovering?” Butter wouldn’t fucking melt, I promise.

Bran emitted a high-pitched squeal of glee; he must have got his level. Either that, or it was a shrewd ploy so he could put me off for a few more minutes.

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I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered.

I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered. “It’s not like this decision can in any way be changed or reversed, Bran!” I shouted back to him. “We are staying in White Owl where there are hot showers and microwaves and espresso machines and Nintendo Switches and the Internet!”

Just then, I hear the familiar chime that indicated someone was about to invade my space by appearing in the mirror that hangs over the feast table. Well, that was just great. Who the fuck could possibly be foolish enough to want to get in touch with me now?

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“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

Oh, this was shaping up to be a great night.

Style Card:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Blake (Available NOW at Uber!)
Eyes: Mesange, Manderley Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at Lost & Found!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Crown: Olive, The Joanna Crown (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Clothes: Pink Rayne, Esmerelda Skirt and Top (Available NOW at Inspiration SL!)
Belt: Sweet Poison, Alanna Belt
Shoes: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Scenes:
Portal/Throne Room:
Tiny Alicorns/Unicorn: Jian, My Lil’ Equine (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Grass: Garden of Dreams, Grass Type A
Bench: Elysium, Fridtjof fantasy bench
Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain

Lounge:
Feasting Table: Noble Creations, Antique Dining Table and Chairs (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candle Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance
Hearth: {e}lusive design, Fireplace
Knicknacks: O.M.E.N., Fairytale Villains
Tree Artwork: Lybra, Quasi-The Tree
Magic Mirror: Black Light Studios, Star Mirror
Photo of Nathaniel Ballard: Nathaniel Ballard, Portrait at Desk

Atrium: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never rage-quit (I mean abdicate!) without it!

elusive-logo lumae-logo    mesange-logo-noir    [NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO

Vagabond: Or,The Coming of the King

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Enticing the Gypsy Davey to set up a residence in Faerie again won’t be easy.

Enticing the Gypsy Davey to set up a residence in Faerie again wouldn’t be easy. You’d need a special place, for an erstwhile Rom Baro. You’d need a place like Vagabond.

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I hesitated at the door.

I hesitated at the door. The boys had spent the last couple of days putting together what they promised would be a vardo fit for a baro, but you can never be too sure. Still, as I contemplated the exterior art, and the general placement of the caravan (as far away from Her Perniciousnes as possible), it seemed like something The Davey might like. It’s not like I’ve ever met him or anything. I think he’s my step great-uncle or something, but I wouldn’t want to presume.

I’m An. That’s short for Annwn, which is a Welsh word that means the land of the dead. It’s an unlucky name, but my granny thought my green eyes could withstand the force of the land of the dead, so that’s what she named me. My mum isn’t fond of the name; she always wanted me to go by Ann when I went to school that time, but I thought it was silly to have two ‘n’s when it’d be pronounced the same with only one; plus, easier to write. Job done.

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Speaking of jobs, my job that day was to clean and decorate the baro’s vardo.

Speaking of jobs, my job that way was to clean and decorate the baro’s vardo. Quite a lot of his chete got sent on ahead; I never saw so much stuff belonging to a travelling Rom. Must take a dozen boys to heft his cases, and I’ll bet his travel vardo is just filled to the brim with boxes. That’s what comes of not having a wife, my mum would say.

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But of course, the Gypsy Davey is more than just an errant Gypsy Baro.

But of course, the Gypsy Davey is more than just an errant Gypsy Baro. That’s what I was thinking as I carefully directed the boys to put the stencilled hutch in just so and made sure the lamps gave the dark corners a good wash. The boys had placed the vardo so that the back windows caught water off the lake, so there would be lots of daylight. But, you know, we are not just a daylight people. I grabbed a box of tiles I’d been collecting for some purpose or other and grouted them together after carefully spacing them in a pattern haphazard enough to look as if it was thrown together, just to give the back wall a bit more colour.

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I hung beads and lace and a couple of printed hangings in the back corner.

I hung beads and lace and a couple of printed hangings in the back corner. That’s also where I placed the candlatch, because I thought it would be a good spot for meditating on an evening, looking over the water like that. You could almost get jealous of such a place, if you didn’t know the kind of bullshit anybody chosen “baro” would have to go through with us lot. Especially living as we do in Faerie, slipping in and out of the mists and that. Not a lot of Fae Rom around these days; most Romany are human, but we’re brothers and sisters to the human Rom even as we are to one another, and sometimes we intermarry, but if your family is in Faerie, hm. Not so much. You want to preserve the Fae magic, you know? Not that it gets diluted when a girl beds a mortal Rom, but there’s a lessening. Yeah, OK; it gets diluted, but that sounds dirty and racist and I’m no racist even though I’d never marry a Gaje boy.

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My eyes mean I don’t have many prospects among the Rom.

My eyes mean I don’t have many prospects among the Rom. My granny thought of themas a good omen. “Fae eyes,” she called them. “You have the Seelie eyes, girl.” Over and over again when I was a kid. Other people have not been so kind, and the eyes, coupled with the unlucky name, well. I’ve heard myself referred to as “that demon girl” on more than one occasion, and once I even got in a fistfight about it.

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I took a break once the sun shifted and I’d got the bulk of the living space done.

I took a break once the sun shifted and I’d got the bulk of the living space done. Grabbed a beer out of the cooler and drank it furtively, since I don’t want to sully what reputation I’ve got drinking during daylight. Even in February the boys chose to go off for a rabbit hunt once they’d got all the big stuff in place; they left the fiddly bits for me.

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And then, there was only one little bit to go.

And then, there was only one little bit to go. I hummed as I carefully arranged silk flowers, along with some real ones, mostly to test if what they say about Davey’s virility is true. (If it is, when I come back in a month, those real flowers will still be blooming bright along with the silk ones, filling the whole vardo with the scent of springtime and sex and other things a good Romany girl pretends she doesn’t know about.

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There was a certain mischievous (bordering on naughty) rush to relaxing on The Davey’s own bed.

That said, there was a certain mischievous (bordering on naughty) rush to relaxing on The Davey’s own bed. I wriggled my hips into the duvet and made sure my boots were clean before I lay down there, “just to test the mattress, see if it’s fit,” I whispered to myself. It’s OK if you tell a lie, if you know it’s a lie. It’s the lies people tell when they don’t know they’re lies; those are the bad ones. Anyway, it wouldn’t matter in a few days: Davey would come back, or he wouldn’t come back; I’d meet him, or I wouldn’t; he’d see something more than a demoness in my eyes—or he wouldn’t. I swung my legs off the bed and monkey-swung down to the living area (there’s a ladder, but who needs it when it’s so easy to fall).

And then, you know, I went back to my mum and dad’s vardo, not so far away but without such a view of the water, and I did not think of the scents that lingered on the clothes I unpacked into the hutch, the drifting mist of him everywhere through his possessions. An, you’re a dreamer, I said to myself. The land of the dead does not unite with the spark of life. But then, you know. The wind came through the window, and it smelt of the sea and I thought I could smell his sheets, sheets I’d lain upon. And, I confess, I sinned.

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An is wearing a set of beautiful pigtails from Pink Hustler; the style is called PH 8169. Her tunic is from the February Treasure Box; it’s Rogue from Unrepentant, and it comes in a beautiful variety of colours. Those amazing eyes are Omega eye appliers from Out of Orbit, and they really are called Seelie Eyes. Her skin is the new Cashew tone from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, which will be released at the upcoming Skin Fair. The stunning vardo in these photographs is Death Row Designs’ beautiful Vagabond collection, which is coming soon to The Arcade GachaThe Arcade opens on the first of March, so prepare your pocketbooks, because this is a huge gacha collection, and ever little piece of it is beautiful. The gacha key is available on the Arcade Shopping Guide, but it’s also below for your viewing pleasure.

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DRD Vagabond Gacha Key

Style Card:

Setting: Awenia
Vardo: Death Row Designs, Vagabond RARE Trailer
All the decorations in the vardo are from the Death Row Designs Vagabond gacha.

Annwn:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Mesh Bento Head
Hair: Pink Hustler, PH 8169 (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Out of Orbit, Seelie Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Cashew (New colour COMING SOON to the Skin Fair!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Nepthune Ears (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at Fetish Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Tunic and belt: Unrepentant: Rogue, (Part of the February Treasure Chest!)
Leggings: Lassitude & Ennui, Handstitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya appliers)
Boots: Paper Moon, Huck Boots

Special thanks are due to Nathaniel Ballard (BenBold Resident), who created my new watermark for Enchanted Photography. Thanks, Nate!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create a new Romany character just to decorate the Gypsy Davey’s new vardo without it!

h021017   1deathrownewlogo   7ds

IC Office Decoration!

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Nope, this is not an IC post about decorating.

Nope, this is not an IC post about decorating. It is an OOC post about decorating an IC space. Clear as mud? Great! 

I also thought I’d answer a couple of questions here that I keep getting asked about my blog.

So basically, don’t expect great art here; we’re mostly talking presentation. And of course, there are a couple of amazing things I want to show you!

First off, the blog has been quiet for a couple of days because I’m finally going back to work after my knee surgery and it’s been a bit tiring, as you might imagine. But enough about my petty life….

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There’s nothing like an empty room to get you feeling creative!

So, there’s nothing like an empty room to get you feeling creative! This is the upstairs of the truly lovely Trompe Loeil Josette Boutique. There are four of these in different colours on the White Owl Island High Street, and as shops for rp, they’re some of the nicest SL has to offer. Like most two-level SL structures, the upstairs can seem a bit small and cramped. However, the upstairs at Codex, the White Owl Island (sometimes abbreviated as WOI) book shop, is meant to be sort of an occult study group spot, so I needed to make the space both work-space for Gwyneth and cosy space for others.

If you’re using Phototools in Firestorm, you know how I’m making it possible for you to see most of this room. I’m doing it by widening the view angle in the Depth of Field (DOF/Glow) tab in Phototools. This is really useful, particularly if you’ve already got your focus set but you realise there’s more you need to show.

Gwyneth’s wearing things I picked up at The Forest. If you don’t know about The Forest, it’s a members-only event that you join by paying a fee to join an in-world group. Then, when all the designers are ready, you head over to an absolutely beautiful sim and just pick up all the loot! I’ve done this for the last couple of months, and it’s a really lovely event. Anyway, the dress is from u.f.o (ur.favorite.one), the Ruffle Blouse & Denim Skirt. The shoes are from Breathe, the Amely Flats, which come in a good array of colours.

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This skin is from DeeTaleZ, featured at Enchantment.

This skin is from DeeTaleZ, the Dorothy skin. It’s featured at this months’ Enchantment. And I can’t talk enough about how much I love this round of Enchantment: It is full of Wizard Of Oz goodness! DeeTaleZ also did a special edition of this skin, but I wanted the lighter tone on Gwyneth, and the special edition isn’t available in their Celtic tone, which is my favourite for her.

And this hair! It’s from the current round of Hairology, from Stealthic. It’s called Sanctuary. I discovered Stealthic at an event a few months back, and they burst on the scene at this years’ Hair Fair; people couldn’t stop talking about them. I like this style because it’s long but also controlled, a bit out of character for Gwyneth, but hey. She’s the Faery Queen; she can wear what she likes!

Right! On to talking about decorating this room IC.

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Every room needs a corner accent table somewhere, right?

Every room needs a corner accent table somewhere, right? This one is from Pastiche, part of the lovely set of stuff they have at the Fable event this month. I particularly like the hourglass, but I would like that. You can also see some more details of Gwyneth’s outfit in this picture, particularly the lovely texturing on the socks from Breathe.

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Another Pastiche offering!

Another Pastiche offering! This is the Woodlands Shelf, which I like both because of the cool decor on it and the fact that it’s obviously made out of a tree! Gwyneth loves stuff made out of trees, because duh, Seelie Fae and all. The beautiful shelf above it is from On A Lark, the Remembrance Shelf, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire. I think it’s still available at their main store. Again, the Woodlands Shelf is available at Fable.

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Fae Queens are like cats….

Fae Queens are like cats. They have quirky little traits that might seem really weird and possibly a bit amoral to other people. One of Gwyneth’s quirky traits is that she loves to keep demifae (tiny little faeries) as pets. Or in a collection. She deludes herself into thinking they want to be there, and they of course are too scared of their Queen to say, “Gosh, I’d really rather not be caged up like this”. Once on a rp sim I had a collection of faeries in little terrariums in Gwyneth’s kitchen. This prompted interesting questions from visitors. Once again, this adorable little thing is from Pastiche, who really hit it out of the park for the Fable event. This is Seasons of the Fairy—Mother Nature, and it has some fun effects: you can make it rain or snow in the cage, which is amusing but difficult to catch properly on camera.

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Here’s a view of the fireplace end of the room.

Here’s a view of the fireplace end of the room, again shot with a wide angle using Phototools. On the mantelpiece are two of Hextraordinary‘s gorgeous Pegasus Ponies, Buttercream and Amethyst. These came from an Arcade or two ago, but the dacha machine is probably up at their Main Store if you, like me, are totally in love with things that are so cute they make other people want to cry. The fireplace is built in to Trompe Loeil‘s Josette Boutique.

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Coffee? Pick your flavour!

Coffee? Pick your flavour! Gwyneth could not survive in a world without coffee. I can’t remember which Arcade this was at, but it’s one of my favourite things, from Standby Inc, and it’s called Instant Coffee, but I prefer to pretend that it’s proper ground coffee, because Gwyneth would never drink Instant, and I think instant coffee is illegal in the Pacific Northwest or something. The shelf is one of the rates, the Sunrise Shelf.

One of the great things that decorating an office or personal space gives me a chance to do is show off some of the cool things I’ve collected over years of gacha (I’m not addicted!) shopping.

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Here’s a corner of Gwyneth’s desk!

Here’s a corner of Gwyneth’s desk, adorned by Pastiche‘s other Seasons of the Fairy from Fable, Fire/Summer. The effect on this one is a glowing hot rock that gives off little sparks. And the little faery’s eyes glow red. The desk is also from On A Lark, the Velazquez Desk. The shelf behind the desk is the companion Rare to the Instant Coffee set, the Midnight Shelf.

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And there you have it!

And there you have it! Gwyneth seems pretty proud of her space. Behind her is an offering from 22769 from an event that centred around Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, the Book of Accurate Prophecies.

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Another wide-angle shot, this time so you can see the comfy couch!

Here’s a final wide-angle shot: this time you can see the comfy couch, from Trompe Loeil, the Chesterfield Couch that’s available at the current Liaison Collaborative. And of course the whole space is watched over by those beautiful Pegasus Ponies. Because Ponies!

I’m often asked how I get my pictures so big. It’s because I take them at a 6016 width, which you can set in the “custom” settings of the SL snapshot camera. I like to take the photos at a much greater size than my display is showing, mostly so that when I go back to edit details I can focus in on even the smallest thing. This makes for very large images, but they can be cropped down, which is great for photo composition and balance. 

As usual, Gwyneth is in the Maitreya Lara body. The mesh head is from Catwa; it’s the Destiny head. Ears are Lumae‘s Leevi Long Ears, and the glasses are from EarthstonesThe Countess.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble on about SL Decorating without it!

hairology-Poster August   FABLE

“Why So Blue, Mary Sue?”

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Yes, it’s true.

Yes, it’s true. My name is Mary Sue. Mary Sue Volandu. Because my parents are freaking sadists. And that up there? Is what kids used to yell at me in elementary school. I am eighteen years old, and I am a Svart Alfar, a Dark Elf. That doesn’t mean I’m evil. It just means I … find beauty in things that other people might not. Yeah. We’ll go with that. I live in the completely boring town of White Owl, which is on White Owl Island, which you’ve probably heard of, because it is a Haven. That means I don’t have to glamour my skin and hide my ears when I go out in public, because everybody else on White Owl Island is just as weird as I am. Some are even weirder.

Nothing interesting ever happens on White Owl. And there are no interesting places to go, because I’ve been to them all before.

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This is the Park.

This is the Park. We only have one, so it’s just called The Park. Stupid gargoyle fountain. Stupid apple trees. And that house you can see outside the park belongs to Arahalon, who’s like a million years old and founded the town after he came here and, I don’t know, fell in love with the rainforest or something. Or maybe it was ley lines. We had it in school, but who cares. Across the Sound is Seattle, and I’m not allowed to go there, though mum and dad go there sometimes. The only reason I ever go through the park is — can you see that gazebo through the trees? Yeah. The only reason I ever go through the park is to get to what’s behind that gazebo.

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Maybe you can see it better here.

Maybe you can see it better here. Yeah: there it is, right behind me, beyond the sickeningly picturesque wishing well. There’s only one wishing well in town, so it’s just called The Wishing Well. Because we are the most creative island ever in the history of islands.

Do you like my shirt? I got it from this travelling merchant who said he’d picked up at a place called Fable. I like it because it’s got a guy turning in to a wolf on it. And because it’s purple. Well, pinky-purple. And it matches my shoes. Anyway.

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Blah, blah, blah, gazebo

Blah, blah, blah, gazebo, blah, blah, blah, how romantic, blah, blah, blah every couple should come here, blah, blah, blah, whatevs. It’s the only gazebo in town, so (say it with me now), it’s just called The Gazebo. Anyway, can you see where I’m going now? Yeah. There’s an easy path up to that building you can see behind the gazebo just here. No, there aren’t any steps. Yes, it’s a little tricky to get to: that’s what makes it cool.

Yep, here we go. Now, there are steps. You wait here for a minute; I have to get ready, because I am the oldest kid (right!) in the village: everyone else has fled. That makes me the leader here. So I have to get my hat.

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Let me just tuck this ponytail up. There.

Let me just tuck this ponytail up. There. Hats look stupid if you’ve got a ponytail, so I just bunch it all up and stuff it into the pointy bit.

Right! Welcome to the club! It’s the only clubhouse in the village for kids, so we just call it The Clubhouse.

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Oh! You want to know about the hat?

Oh! You want to know about the hat? This hat is a super special hat. I would tell you it’s been handed down from generation to generation of children on White Owl, but that would be a freaking lie, so I won’t do it. I actually won it playing a game of chance at a place called the Fantasy Gacha Carnival. My parents actually took me to another realm last week, and I won it, and it’s my favourite thing ever, so I keep it here at the clubhouse, because it’s special, and it gives me powers when I wear it. It gives me the power of being the leader of the clubhouse. It has special crystals that can turn different colour if you know the right magic to glamour them.

No, you can’t try it on. It’s mine.

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Before I show you the rest of the clubhouse, I have to do something.

Before I show you the rest of the clubhouse, I have to do something. I have to cast the evil spirits out of the clubhouse by standing on the bridge and saying a spell. With my hat on. It doesn’t work unless I’ve got my hat on. I won’t teach you the spell: you’ll learn it when you’re older. Believe it or not, there are two bridges in town. So this one is called the ropey bridge. The other one is called the beach bridge, but you’d never know you were on it if you crossed it, and if you crossed it, you’d be at the Faerie Queen’s house, and she is a Lios Alfar, a Light Elf, so I think she’s meant to hate my guts, but she also runs the bookstore, which isn’t just called The Bookstore; it’s called Codex, which means something old and ancient, and anyway, she is super nice and I think she is much nicer than my mum and dad and one day she is going to take me to a big city and let me buy high heeled shoes. I’m sure she told me that once.

So anyway, I have to stand on the ropey bridge and repeat the spell three times — no, you stay back there; you can’t hear this — and then it will be safe for you to go inside the clubhouse or cross the bridge or whatever.

Of course there are evil spirits here. Look: you can see the haunted lighthouse from here, and if you turn around and squint you can see the great forest, and that place is full of scary stuff and you should never go there without an adult; do you hear me? Never. Well, of course I could go there by myself if I wanted: you just take a rowboat and you row across and then there’s a dock and you go into the forest and then you get lost and probably eaten by dragons. Of course I’ve been there. Shut up and let me concentrate.

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I always feel a little dizzy after I do magic; don’t you?

I always feel a little dizzy after I do magic; don’t you? Oh. Well, you will, when you start doing real magic. It’s not hard, but it will give you a headache when you first try it, but then when you get it right, it feels wonderful. I swear.

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I love looking down, too! Because that makes me feel even dizzier!

I love looking down, too! Because that makes me feel even dizzier! Sure, you can come on to the bridge now. No; you shouldn’t spin. Because then if you fall off the bridge, your mum and dad will roast me over an open fire and eat me for dinner. Yep. I read it somewhere.

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One day soon, I’ll get off this island.

One day soon, I’ll get off this island. And then I’ll find out what everybody here is running from. Everybody here is running from something, my dad says. They all have some kind of demon in their pasts. No, not like Charlie at the grocery store. He’s a nice demon. Of course there are nice demons. I mean, they’re not like Faery Queen Nice. But they’re not going to chop you up and use you for dark magic: they have to live here same as everybody else.

What? Oh, yeah. Come on in and I’ll show you the rest of the clubhouse.

Welcome to the island, kid.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Hands: SLink Elegant
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Soul Uni Ears, High Elf
Eyes: Soul, Flock Eyes (berries) (Coming soon to Enchantment!)
Skin: Soul, Emma, Generation 2, SE Midnight (Coming soon to Enchantment!)
Hair: Pr!tty, Taylor (available at Hairology. Hairology is NOW OPEN!)
Hat: Soul, Mystic Hat (Ultrarare) (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Top: Vindiktive, Wolf Tank (Available at Fable!)
Shorts: Gee, High Waisted Shorts (Available at Pretty Things Showroom Event!)
Sandals: Reign, Sophia Sandals
Poses: Photos 1-4: Nantra, High Society (Available at Collabor88!)
Photos 5-9, !bang, from the Good and Evil sets; 10, !bang, from the Intuition set
Setting: White Owl Island (almost ready!)

Thanks and credit are due to Moxy Macbeth and Dyisi Oppewall, who have been busily building White Owl over the past few months.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create characters out of whole cloth because of blue skins and amazing hats (Thank you, Charlie!) without it! 

2016 ._Soul_. Sign 256X256         hairology-Poster August       FABLE