What’s the Best time of the Year for Gowns?

It’s a trick question! Every time of the year is the best time for gowns! I really do not know why we don’t all just traipse around our Second Lives in ballgowns, 24/7. But then, I’m probably one of the “gowniest” photographers/bloggers on the grid, and my idea of fun is to see how many crowns I have that actually match this dress….

It’s possible I have no life.

But really. There are some great gown makers in Second Life, and I’m pleased to show you an absolutely gorgeous fear this dress kind of ballgown, from the overflowing creative cup of Silvan Moon Designs, right now. And I do mean fear this dress as a compliment! This dress repels zombies. This dress will actually make the children of the night shut up. But be careful, because this dress also knows how to correctly pronounce Cthulhu. So roll your sanity check, and then check out this dress!

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Fills a whole portal!

The “Love’s Pure Light” Bridal Gown Set, from Silvan Moon Designs fills an entire portal with its voluminous skirt. It fears no evil. It takes no prisoners (although it would be happy to move refugees across formal borders).

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The “Love’s Pure Light” Bridal Gown Set from Silvan Moon Designs

The gown features a lovely fitted bodice, shoulders bedecked with roses, and a skirt into which one could successfully hide seventeen extra crowns, at least. Not that I checked or anything. Really, I didn’t: I promise. Nor did I try on seventeen crowns before settling on this one. It was more like twenty. OK, twenty-five, tops. The crown is actually an old favourite from Evie’s Closet.

As an aside, this dress also looks gorgeous (Well, really; when does it not look gorgeous? I’ll help you: the answer is never! This gown never looks less than gorgeous) in front of Rivendale‘s lovely Dreamy Castle, which a little royal birdie told me was on sale for 50% off at Winter’s Hollow…. just sayin’….

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Crown Cam!

Here’s a shot that shows the crown a little closer: it and the necklace are both from Evie’s Closet, the Alateriel II crown and collar. And of course there’s a gratuitous shot of Awenia Faerie, featuring the castle all decorated for Christmas and the twinkly fairy path to the ruined tower.

You can get the Love’s Pure Light gown at The Trunk Show, which opens later today, 17 December. Even if a winter wedding is not in store for you, I’m sure there are lots of end-of-year balls that really need to have someone wearing this dress present. You know. Just in case of zombies.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Original Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Juniper for Genus Project, T1 (All current Lumae skin lines are at the Lumae Main Store.)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Lips: Suicidal Unborn, Matte Lip Essentials, Genus
Hair: Truth, Makena
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Love’s Pure Light Bridal Gown Set (Available later today, 17 December, at The Trunk Show.)
Crown and Necklace: Evie’s Closet, Alateriel II Crown, Alateriel II Collar (Evie’s Closet has closed its main store for now, but you may be able to find some things on their Marketplace Store.)

 

 

 

Truth VIP Group “Class Photo” Contest

So, you know I’m always telling you guys that if you haven’t already, and you like and wear Truth Hair, you need to join the Truth VIP Group. Yes, it’s a L$350 join fee. But for that, you get 12 exclusive VIP fatpacks of hair every year, plus extra gifties from time to time. You get to do fun photo contests like this one, which are only open to the members of the VIP group. Best of all, you get to be part of what’s become a really lovely community of people, many of whom I’m happy to call friends.

The rules for this contest were pretty simple: Find your oldest Truth hair, meaning the one that was released the earliest, not the one you bought first. Wear the hair, and style your avatar according to the era the hair looks like it’s from. Put it in a frame as you would a class photo or a Polaroid, with your name and “Truth Hair Class Of ….” as photo caption text.

My oldest Truth hair (that’s still in my inventory: I occasionally purge, believe it or not!) is Lila, from 2010. Lila comes from when Truth often put both a plain and a streaked version of the hair, and you had the opportunity to add streaks of whatever colour you wanted.

The hair looked to me like it belonged on an 80s rock chick, so I styled this avatar accordingly. I’ll post a complete style card below the photo.

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Truth “Lila” Hair, from way back in 2010!

These contests are so much fun to enter, and more fun than the fact that prizes do actually get awarded is that you get to see what your fellow Truthies do when their creativity is unleashed. We’ve seen some gorgeous photographs over the past year or so.

You can take a look at the contest pool on Flickr if you like: all the photos that have been entered so far are there, but the contest is open for several more days, and loads of people wait ’til the last minute.

Anyway, there’s my 80s rock chick, and here are your credits:

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Pink Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Truth, Lila
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma skin applier in T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store)
Ramones Tank: Fused Designs, Ladies Ramones Tank
Ankh: Maxi Gossamer, Ankh
All the makeup is straight off the Catwa head HUD, and the nails are straight from the Maitreya Body HUD, as well. Sometimes, simplest is easiest!

Backdrop: I made this myself, after a photo of some schoolyard graffiti I saw. If you want the whole quote, IM me in world (I promise it’s not obscene!)
Pose: An Lar

Out of Legend

You think we come from some fairy story?

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You think we trip down the pages?

You think we trip down the pages, as if they were steps from one of your fantasy castles? I assure you, we are there. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stories?

But the stories! you say. You think we are the stories? Oh, of course, we are in your stories. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stuff of legend?

Are we the stuff of legend? You think we are elements of your myths. We are in your myths and legends. But that is not where we come from.

It is easy to blur the borders: we are in a forest made of books, after all. A forest made of stories, legends, myths.

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You will find us in the shallow forest.

You will find us in the shallow forest, to be sure. On the edges, in the stories, in the tales handed down from your grandma and her grandma before her; you will find us there. But that is not where we come from.

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But what happens in the deeper forest?

But what happens in the deeper forest, beyond your simple paths, the house too small to live in but perfectly decorated with the plates set out for tea? What happens when you go so far in that stories begin to tell themselves? Well, we say. Well, then—you are closer.

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And what’s that behind you?

And what’s that behind you? Surely it’s only a shadow. Light filtering through cut paper, light bleeding out from twinkle trees, obscured by a solid object. You tell yourself that’s what shadow is. That’s what shadows do. Isn’t it?

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You think we are tragic creatures? 

You think we are tragic creatures? You think we are sad? No, no: we are watching. We are waiting. We are thinking.

We are waiting for those words that echo all throughout the forest, all throughout legend and myth and fairy tale.

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Oh! Here they are.

Oh! Here they are. Those words that bring our souls out into the moonlight, that let us give you just enough of us to want more, and more always.

Listen: in the stillness of the snow, the words whisper from every tree, every book, every bough, every light:

Once upon a time.

That is where you will find us.

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And here is the secret.

And here is the secret. Listen: I will only tell it once. You may revisit it in a hundred stories, but this is the only time you will hear it from my, from our, lips.

There is no difference between the copse of trees at the bottom of your garden and the ancient forests you wander when you can. It is only that in those ancient forests we rise wilder, and you can take a journey on foot to a place where you can believe in us.

There is no difference between the oldest story ever told and the story that springs into your mind now, fully formed. They are the same, and we are in both of them.

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All forests are one forest.

All forests are one forest. All legends are one legend. Each forest is new. Each story is new.

But I did not tell you where we come from, you will say. I have been telling you all along. We come from the breath between the lifting of the pen and the word on the paper. We come from the shoot of green that struggles up through the snow. We come from the deepest forest, the oldest story, and we are as present in the three trees in the schoolyard and the library book as we are, as we ever were, there.

Don’t fight it. Come in. I have more stories to tell you. So many more.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (All current skin lines are in the Lumae Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Sassafras
Eyes: ADD Andel, The Three Forest Eyes
Gown: Senzafine, Emmeline Gown (Available now at We Love Roleplay)
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Fortuna
Circlet: A&A, Winter’s Malice Circlet
Antlers: Attic, Long Antler White
Nails: Cazimi, Winter Ombre Nails

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things in the book forest that I cannot begin to list them all. But Awenia is open to the public throughout the month of December: Please come and experience it for yourself!

 

 

 

Winter Glimpses of Awenia

That feeling of accomplishment, accompanied by multiple days of hard napping, is what I’m feeling right now.

Here are some glimpses of Awenia.

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The Ruined Garden

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Town to Tower

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Royal Residence

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The Book Forest

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Warm Pub on a Cold Night

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Post Card

Finally, Awenia Faerie is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

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Haven’s Creation

I finally did it.

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Gwyneth handled the wand-waving

Gwyneth handled the wand-waving, but I, The Author, finally took a bit of Awenia and wove it in to my own personal dimension, which, like the rest of AweniaThe Great Awenia Forest and Awenia Faerie— will be open to everyone for the month of December.

Haven is a place to hang out with friends, maybe see some pretty things, and a nice quiet spot somewhere in Awenia’s uncharted space just to be.

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A little pocket Realm

A little pocket Realm, tucked somewhere within Awenia, Haven is a little like a house museum, in that it’s my home, but I’m opening it to people this month. The sparkly glowing dance floor might even have some events going on; I’ll try to post these as and when they happen, and of course if you’re a member of the Awenia Friends group in-world, you’ll receive updates anyway.

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The House Island

Awenia is built inside a so-simple-it’s-brilliant skybox from Landscapes Unlimited. It’s called a Mirrorbox. It doesn’t show up all that well in these photographs since they’re mostly of buildings, but as new photos of Awenia are released, you might begin to see what I think is so cool about this skybox. I used too many wonderful things even to begin listing all of them for this post, but at some point I’ll make an inventory for you and codify everything that’s here, at least in Haven. All the buildings are from Trompe Loeill, the big birch trees are from Balderdash, the Illuminated Oak is from Heart (front left) and Rivendale made the lovely Juniper Tree (front centre, green foliage). That covers all the trees you can see in this photo except the swing, which is from Dictatorshop.

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Take a peek?

Here’s a little peek inside my front window; again, too many things to detail them all here, but the porch furniture is from Trompe Loeill, and I did much of this decorating around the time that Apple Fall had that amazing 75% off sale…. yeah.

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A bridge and a barn

The three islands are linked via these bridges from The Looking Glass, the Dawn’s Promise Bridges that were released at the 2017 Fantasy Faire. The barn holds my personal vanity gallery of my favourite photos and pictures I’ve made since getting serious about SL photography a few years ago.

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Sparkly dance floor!

I put the sparkly dance floor together so my favourite tame DJs, DJ Fae and of course Nyza Stillwater, could spin to their hearts’ content. Tiny Gwyneth is there to show you that you don’t fall into the water, even if you do not have wings!

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This is Gwyneth’s tired face

Above you can see Gwyneth’s actual tired face! This is how she feels when she’s been dealing with me creating my own little thing in the middle of her Realm.

She would like me to let you know that the stunning headdress she is wearing is from Noble Creations. It’s called the Nymph Crown and you can get it at Whimsical, any time before December 18.

Don’t forget to visit Awenia. I hope you will like it.

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Awenia’s First Winter

It is finally here: December in Awenia Faerie. There is so much more to do, but we are ready for our midwinter gatherings, snow lies thick on the ground, and there are beautiful things to see wherever you look.

As Queen, I get the privilege of showing some of the highlights to you for the first time. And, you know me. I have to have a great gown to add a little sprinkle to the frosty cupcakes, and so…

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Silvan Moon Designs’ Selenia of Galacia Gown

This is a new gown from Silvan Moon Designs, Selenia of Galacia. It’s not only festive enough to walk around on an ice rink, but it has a nice, warm fur collar (not that Fae Queens feel the cold, you understand), and delightful pearly baubles strung so as to appear to be floating around it.

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Of course, skating is thirsty work, so Witches’ Brew provides coffee, cocoa, and cupcakes!

Of course, skating is thirsty work, so Witches’ Brew provides coffee, cocoa, and cupcakes, among other delights. Even with so much in place, though: there is so much left to do. I fear tonight’s quick tour will be just that: a quick tour.

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The Dark of the Year

The Dark of the Year settles soft upon us now, and even when we have a clear day, there is often a hint of snow on the horizon. Mists rise up, obscuring even those things in the near distance into near-silhouette, and all light is magical. Behind the Realm’s iconic Last Hope statue, the Book Forest glimmers enticingly. and I cannot help but smile at the thought of our first holiday tourists arriving to see these shimmers and twinkles.

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The Land itself is a reflection of lights and shadows

The Land itself is a reflection of lights and shadows, and I think we will have to have some sort of festive dance or party, sometime soon, to celebrate Darkness flowing into the Return of Light. And, you know, nobody throws a shindig like the Sidhe.

If you’re curious, you can purchase the Selenia of Galacia Gown from Silvan Moon Designs at the We Love Roleplay holiday faire, which I think opens in just about fourteen hours. I plan to be there, with fur and pearls on!

Let me leave you with just one of the views you may see if you decide to visit Awenia Faerie.

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Awenia Faerie on a Winter’s Night

Style Card:
Perfect Winter Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Selenia of Galacia Gown (Available on 4 December at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Truth, Zoya
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Eyes: Go&See, Anona
Crown and Collar: Aisling, Sumiana Crown, Sumiana Collar (Ice)

Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Poses: All from Hera, Seraph Bento Pose Set
Environment Details: too many to list: you’ll just have to come and see for yourself!

Finally, Awenia Faerie is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

 

The Spirit of the Juniper Tree

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They should know we’re watching.

They should know we’re watching. And in hindsight, many of them will say they do, they did. And yet.

And yet.

And yet we still bear witness to all the secrets and horrors that mortal lives suffer, and even welcome. Is it any wonder we dryads have no great love nor devotion to humanity? Better to stay hidden, lest we be drawn into their drama, we say. Unlike our treacherous and arguably royal cousins, the Sidhe, we gain no pleasure from tricking an unarmed enemy. But over and over, we’re forced to witness every imaginable betrayal.

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How do we bear it?

How do we bear it? By remembering that we are souls of wood, that we do not have to be soft, that only the laws of the wild magic, such as they are, apply to us, and we need not be bound by mortal folly.

Even so, even so. Even so, there are happenings that will move even the slow and steadfast heart of a dryad. Most of us have a story: this one is mine.

I have lived as the spirit of many trees, moving from seedling to sapling, slipping away when death comes near, and many years ago, I lived in a juniper tree that was sat in the forecourt of a wealthy man and his wife.

The wife had a liking for trees, and she believed in many things it was not seemly to believe in for a woman of her age and time. She wanted a child, badly, and she came out and sat beneath my tree every single day. She told her husband she was praying. And she was, after a fashion: she was beseeching the faeries to bring her a child, whether it be her own or a changeling she did not mind.

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She left me gifts

She left me gifts, apples mostly. That always made me laugh. Could I not walk over to one of the apple trees and pick my own? Is a gift a gift, if one can get it oneself with so little trouble? I am sometimes plagued by these philosophical questions. But suffice it to say that apples did not interest me overmuch.

No, it was the day she cut her finger peeling one of those apples that she got my attention. She gave herself a good nick, and blood dropped onto the snow. That’s when I started listening, because while human drama doesn’t interest us, human blood, even to a tree spirit, is a lovely, lovely treat.

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I went away and conferred with the Council.

I went away and conferred with the Dryad Council. And bicker, bicker bicker, back and forth, but finally I was allowed to place a magical juniper berry into the woman that would certainly cause her to bear a child. It had to be done while she was asleep beneath the tree, which was a bit of a faff, but I’m perseverant (most of us are).

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And there follows the tale you may know.

And there follows the tale you may know, of this beautiful lady finally conceiving and bearing a child, and of her being so pleased with the baby boy that she died of happiness on the spot, once she had looked upon him.

Mortals. What are they thinking? What was she thinking, dying of happiness because she’d borne a child, with no consideration of its future, its welfare? I cursed myself for my softness in helping this lady’s wish to be granted, because while I’m not the oldest dryad in the forest, I’m old enough to know how these tales go.

Child born, mother dies, father remarries evil stepmother.

It’s drilled into us. This is how the stories go. And even if the second wife wasn’t evil to begin with, fairy stories will twist her to evil, and that’s exactly what happened here.

After a long mourning period, the man of course remarried, and his new wife gave him a daughter, and that’s about the time the story twisted her to evil.

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She became obsessed with her daughter’s future.

She became obsessed with her daughter’s future and decided that the best way to ensure house and lands for the girl would be to kill her older brother. Of course, it took her years to come up with this plan, by which time her daughter and the boy were beautifully bonded as siblings, despite the fact that the stepmother did nothing but abuse the boy. No-one ever called her out on this behaviour, not even her husband (also known as the boy’s father). So by the time she got around to killing him, he was something like ten years old and the girl was perhaps seven. I do not know: time goes by so quickly for mortals; for trees it is a bit more slow.

But you know the next bit of the story too, don’t you? You know that she killed her stepson by decapitating him, and then to cover up what she’d done, she placed him in a position where his sister would surely find him and knock his head off, effectively making the girl believe she was the murderess and not her mother.

I think, mortals, that there should be rules about this sort of thing. There really should be. First of all, it is not acceptable to die of happiness on the day of your child’s birth. That opens the child up to a future of torment over which you, happy mother, will have no power.  Secondly, if you’re going to murder your child, evil stepmother, it should not be acceptable to pin the blame on the surviving child whom you mean the death to benefit. Think of the psychological scars!

Luckily for the boy, the sister knew quite a bit about fairy tales, and after having seen her mother cook the boy up into blood puddings, which her mother and father ate happily at a dinner where she could only cry, she had enough wits still about her (a miracle, considering her day: oh, it makes me fume even now to think of it!) to gather up the boy’s bones and bury them beneath my branches.

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I sang with the wind all night.

I sang with the wind all night, and in the morning, because of the girl’s quick thinking and my not inconsiderable talents, there rose from the branches a beautiful tufted bird with snapping black eyes and a voice that could make a Sidhe queen’s frozen heart melt.

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We conferred briefly.

We conferred briefly, the boy and I, and then he went off to collect the things you know from the rest of the story: the gold chain, the red shoes, the mill stone. Chain to the father, shoes to the sister, mill stone to crush the stepmother. Magically, the bird becomes the little boy all alive again, and seemingly regardless of the stepmother’s corpse out there somewhere in the forecourt, the man and his two children go inside and have their dinner. Which, I just have to hope, did not include any leftover puddings from the last meal served at that table.

And that’s my story of that one time I softened my heart and tried to improve a mortal’s life. I’m so glad this is a fairy tale and not a fable. If it were a fable, I’d have to come up with a pithy moral, like, The family that kills together, chills together, or something equally macabre.

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Juniper Tree and Juniper Bird, from Rivendale.

Style Card:
The Juniper Tree: Rivendale, Juniper Tree (At Enchantment until November 30th)
The Juniper Bird: Rivendale, Juniper Bird (At Enchantment until November 30th)

The Dryad:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lisa Bento Mesh Head (New at Uber)
Hair: Raven Bell, Willow (At Enchantment until November 30th)
Skin: Fallen Gods, Wood Nymph, Spring
Ears: Eclectica Elf Ear, Creature Version
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings
Eyes: Seydr, Hallows Eyes, Grave
Leather catsuit: !go! Findis Overalls, Brown
Wrapped Tree Top: Shi, Tree of Life Creepers Top
Boots: Illi, Medieval Archer Boots

Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Apple Trees: The Little Branch, Apple Tree
Wishing Well: Hextraordinary, Wishing Well (At Enchantment until November 30th)
Basket of Apples: Finishing Touches, Basket of Apples
Stone Wall: Artisan Fantasy, Maiden Tor Stone Wall
All poses, except tree sits (included with the tree) are from Frolic Poses (Beseeching, Harbinger, and Fairy)