Like an Orb

What am I known for? Tonight, I am putting apple-orbs in trees. Tomorrow I will put books on stumps. Sometime soon, there will be a remaking, inasmuch as there is ever a remaking.

I
The essential poem at the center of things,
The arias that spiritual fiddlings make,
Have gorged the cast-iron of our lives with good
And the cast-iron of our works. But it is, dear sirs,
A difficult apperception, this gorging good,
Fetched by such slick-eyed nymphs, this essential gold,
This fortune’s finding, disposed and re-disposed
By such slight genii in such pale air.

II
We do not prove the existence of the poem.
It is something seen and known in lesser poems.
It is the huge, high harmony that sounds
A little and a little, suddenly,
By means of a separate sense.
It is and it Is not and, therefore, is. In the instant of speech,
The breadth of an accelerando moves,
Captives the being, widens–and was there.

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The breath of an accelerando moves

What magical things are hands. What magical things are apples. We learn they are a forbidden fruit. We learn they keep the doctor away. We know that inside them there are five points. We know they may grant immortality. We know wands made from apple wood are superior. But these hands, my hands, now turn to the enrichment of places already established, the growing, the fruitfulness of it all.

And I, like so many magical beings, am full of surprises. Of course, you may see me as an apple-giver, and you will think, ‘O, it is too early for apples’, but this is Faery and I like apples. Summer at its height is the first breath of autumn, after all, and why then not be ready?

III
What milk there is in such captivity,
What wheaten bread and oaten cake and kind,
Green guests and table in the woods and songs
At heart, within an instant’s motion, within
A space grown wide, the inevitable blue
Of secluded thunder, an illusion, as it was,
Oh as, always too heavy for the sense
To seize, the obscurest as, the distant was…

IV
One poem proves another and the whole,
For the clairvoyant men that need no proof:
The lover, the believer and the poet,
Their words are chosen out of their desire,
The joy of language, when it is themselves.
With these they celebrate the central poem,
The fulfillment of fulfillments, in opulent,
Las terms, the largest, bulging still with more,

With growth comes distance; this is a lesson I have learned and taught, a lesson I am always learning, always teaching. And so today I have said goodbye to some things once and still beloved but no longer well-used, no longer well-useful.

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The distant was

You will miss the treehouse, and so will I. But in its place there will be something glorious; I can feel it growing in my spirit much like these very early, very ripe apples. You will wonder why the music shop is no longer visible: don’t worry; there will always be music in Awenia. What will you find in its place? Only the most beautiful and desperate longing for music itself, singing through the heartbeat of the world and of our Realm.

V
Until the used-to earth and sky, and the tree
And cloud, the used-to tree and used-to cloud,
Lose the old uses that they made of them,
And they: these men, and earth and sky, inform
Each other by sharp informations, sharp,
Free knowledges, secreted until then,
Breaches of that which held them fast.
It is As if the central poem became the world,

VI
And the world the central poem, each one the mate
Of the other, as if summer was a spouse,
Espoused each morning, each long afternoon,
And the mate of summer: her mirror and her look,
Her only place and person, a self of her
That speaks, denouncing separate selves, both one.
The essential poem begets the others. The light
Of it is not a light apart, up-hill.

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The light of it

But do not be overly concerned: creation is change and flux, and I am a creatrix. I am never tearing down but always rebuilding. I am watching the light reflecting from the great oak in the book meadow and seeing how it slants through the door to the fairytale forest. And beyond that, I am watching as the deeper myths weave a path and a pattern so much deeper and more twisted. Like these boughs, they harden and twist, they grow stories, and magic is in them at their very core.

VII
The central poem is the poem of the whole,
The poem of the composition of the whole,
The composition of blue sea and of green,
Of blue light and of green, as lesser poems,
And the miraculous multiplex of lesser poems,
Not merely into a whole, but a poem of
The whole, the essential compact of the parts,
The roundness that pulls tight the final ring

VIII
And that which in an altitude would soar,
A vis, a principle or, it may be,
The meditation of a principle,
Or else an inherent order active to be
Itself, a nature to its natives all
Beneficence, a repose, utmost repose,
The muscles of a magnet aptly felt,
A giant, on the horizon, glistening,

IX
And in bright excellence adorned, crested
With every prodigal, familiar fire,
And unfamiliar escapades: whirroos
And scintillant sizzlings such as children like,
Vested in the serious folds of majesty,
Moving around and behind, a following,
A source of trumpeting seraphs in the eye,
A source of pleasant outbursts on the ear.

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A Source

Please, take an apple. They’re delicious. And sustaining. And they came from my meadow. They are created of only love, which is the most beautiful and twisted thing ever made and lived. I am no evil stepmother, and so there is no poison here, only story, and story never ends. Like stories, they are immortal. Like stories, I am immortal. And who knows—after just one taste, you may never be hungry again. Or, you may always be hungry. These two things are the same, after all.

X
It is a giant, always, that is evolved,
To be in scale, unless virtue cuts him, snips
Both size and solitude or thinks it does,
As in a signed photograph on a mantelpiece.
But the virtuoso never leaves his shape,
Still on the horizon elongates his cuts,
And still angelic and still plenteous,
Imposes power by the power of his form.

The sun is rising over the Book Forest as I give these words to you, words heard once and then forgotten but never forgotten.

XI
Here, then, is an abstraction given head,
A giant on the horizon, given arms,
A massive body and long legs, stretched out,
A definition with an illustration, not
Too exactly labeled, a large among the smalls
Of it, a close, parental magnitude,
At the center of the horizon, concentrum, grave
And prodigious person, patron of origins.

The sun is rising over the Book Forest as I offer you these apples, apples made from love and grown from the infinite well of story. Both these things, love and story, are without beginning and without end.

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Ever Changing

XII
That’s it. The lover writes, the believer hears,
The poet mumbles and the painter sees,
Each one, his fated eccentricity,
As a part, but part, but tenacious particle,
Of the skeleton of the ether, the total
Of letters, prophecies, perceptions, clods
Of color, the giant of nothingness, each one
And the giant ever changing, living in change.

—Wallace Stevens, ‘A Primitive Like an Orb’

Notes & Credits
Poem: Wallace Stevens, ‘A Primitive Like an Orb’. Modern poetry may not be your bag, but go back and read it anyway. Really. Read it like prose, out loud, don’t pause at the end of a line unless you feel it’s necessary; this is iambic, in the rhythm of human speech, and read it again. Wallace Stevens was an attorney and a business executive. He worked in the American insurance industry. And he got into a fistfight with Ernest Hemingway once. There’s a story that might be apocryphal— the year he died, Stevens was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. And at his funeral, it’s widely believed that one of the men he worked with was heard to say, “Really? I didn’t even know Wally wrote poetry.”

Avatar—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Lake Evolution Mesh Head
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 1 (Get it at the Ritual Main Store!)
Tattoo Overlay: Izzie’s, Mermaid Scales (body and makeup)
Wings: Lovely Alien, Shimmer Fairy Wings
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
Hair: Exile, Yvette
Lips, theMARS, Sanity
Eyes: S0ng, Marina Eyes
Clothes: Les sucreries de Fairy, Eve, Red Apple Crown, Red Apple Dress, Red Apple Garter
Leg Wraps: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Ella Wraps (At the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store, but 1313 also has a shop at the SL17B Shop & Hop event!)
Necklace: Kunst, Hummingbird
Environment—
Location: Awenia Faerie (not currently open to visitors, but things are in the works!)
Atmosphere: Fecund
Stuff: happening

Storm’s Coming

Dear Richard,

I got your email. I mean, obviously I got it; else I wouldn’t be replying to it. You can probably see your email at the bottom of my email or something. I don’t know. I guess it depends on your client and your preferences, but yeah. Hi.

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It’s morning here

It’s morning here, or I guess it is since I haven’t been up all that long and I’m still in my jammies. My jammies have unicorns. I have matching slippers. If I had to do all this myself, I’d never be organised enough to find my jammies, much less matching slippers, but there you have it. You say you’re lucky. I certainly have had a lot of luck over the past several years. Sometimes good luck, sometimes bad luck, but luck I have had.

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The family balcony

This is the family residence balcony, though I do have guests here from time to time: everywhere else is so formal. It’s comfortable this time of year, even though that sky’s beginning to darken somewhat so I’ll have to keep a look out for Weather. I’m a lot less bothered about weather than I used to be, though. There’s a daytime moon here, because I like the moon so I put one there. It just makes me smile.

Two paragraphs in and I’m rambling already. I don’t know what to say to you, if I’m honest. The answer is no; I haven’t Googled you. At first, it was because I was afraid to. If you can see back to the very beginning of the blog, when I first came away, you’ll see that I went to a place where I was discouraged from checking anything about my own potentially contemporary life out. So I left it, and so much was happening it just seemed the right thing to do, to let it all happen as it happened. I didn’t want to see my own funeral notices. I didn’t want to know if that life had ended completely, and where I was there seemed such a lot going on. The more I talk, the more I realise there’s no excused. I should have tried to find you.

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You are welcome

Of course, you are welcome to come to Awenia. If you coordinate with me ahead of time, I can offer you a place to stay. There’s space for guests in the Residence, but I don’t know if you’d like it. I’m thinking of one of the floating guesthouses; we have a few that are broken up into nice flats. I can’t put you in the Treehouse, because visiting Fae dignitaries get all puffy if they think that residence isn’t reserved for them.

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Floating

Yes, I think the sky is definitely darkening. Behind me here you can see the steps to the Treehouse, and just the edge of one of the floating guesthouses. They’re quite nice.  I can’t concentrate on my book. I don’t know why I brought it out here. Something about floating in the lagoon on a nice day, even if there’s a storm coming, makes me feel peaceful and I need a bit of peace right now. You’ve probably seen the statue on some of our literature: lots of people are referring to it as the Awenia Statue, but really he’s called The Last Hope. He’s a symbol of our Realm, I guess, even though he came from somewhere very far away.

You seem very far away, even though I’m looking at photographs of you now on my iPad, and thank you for the link to your author site: I’ll start reading the first one tonight.

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Dabbling

I’m so pleased you embraced writing. I’ve always been such a dabbler in things I never could choose a path to follow that wasn’t the one I stumbled on to while dabbling. And you’ve had a journey that I hope we can talk about when you come to visit Awenia.

“When” is such a funny word, isn’t it? You will have heard that time flows differently in different Realms, but it’s an odd concept until it smacks you in the face, I think. And there’s no easy way to say this, so I’m going to smack you in the face, I reckon. You say it’s been thirty years, where you are. For me, by my counting anyway, it’s just coming up on eight years since the last time we saw one another. That sounds like dancing about. It’s just coming up on eight years since the accident that led me to cross the river into Jasper and begin to discover myself as I was born and not as I was made. As for why I didn’t reveal my Fae nature back then, the truth is I didn’t know it, and that’s a conversation we can have over dinner or coffee or whatever you fancy, but it’s not something I can write down because it will make no sense written down.

Now, I am going to pop off the Rosé floatie and get myself a cup of coffee at the portal café before the rain comes. Then, I think I’ll settle down with a nice ebook I’ve just downloaded. After all, it’s nearly sundown and I’m still in my jammies.

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A hope

Our statue is called The Last Hope, but I have many hopes. One of them is that when you cross through our portal and into Awenia that you’ll find many things to like here, and that you and I will find many things to talk about. Probably I’ll wear something a bit more presentable than pyjamas, though.

Notes & Credits:
My jammies: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Flannels & Halter (Get them at the 1313 Mockinbird Lane Main Store!)
My slippers: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Flannel Slippers (Get them at the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store!)
My Hair: Wasabi, Summer (Get it at Summerfest!)
My Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1 (Because NOBODY does pale and luminous like Ritual! You can get this and other Ritual skins at the Ritual Main Store. Elspeth comes in a host of tones, including some beautiful fantasy colours.)
My Eyes: S0ng, Marina Eyes
My Eyelashes: Shiny Stuffs, Bouquet Of Lashes
My Lipstick: theMARS, Sanity Lip
My Body: Maitreya
My Head: Lelutka, Lake Evolution Mesh Head
My Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition

Other Cool Stuff in these photos:
My Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (best contemporary faerie castle on the grid)
My Deck Furniture: Artisan Fantasy, Gazebo
The Visible Floating Guest House: 22769 / bauwerk, Somewhere Only We Know House
The Awenia Statue: Death Row Designs, Last Hope Statue
Lotus Flowers and Lily Pads: Rivendale
Partially Visible Treehouse: LAQ, Serene Tree & Windmill Home
Rosé Floatie: Granola, Salt Water Rosé Float (At Summerfest!)

Top of the City

“Top of the City” by Kate Bush; YouTube link below.

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One More Step

One more step to the top of the city
Where just a couple of pigeons are living
Up on the angel’s shoulders
I don’t know if I’m closer to Heaven but
It looks like Hell down there
These streets have never been paved with gold
Welcome to the loneliest city in the world
It’s no good for you baby
It’s no good for you now
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Keep Looking Up

Keep looking up for the ladder

I don’t know if you’ll love me for it
But I don’t think we should suffer this
There’s just one thing we can do about it
Take me up to the top of the city
Take me up to the top of the city
Take me up to the top of the city
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The Angel’s Shoulders

And put me up on the angel’s shoulders

See how that building there is nearly built
There’s a big fire over on the north of the city
I see you walking down the street with her
I see your lights going on and off
She’s no good for you baby
She’s no good for you now
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Here With The Ladder

Look I’m here with the ladder

I don’t know if you love me or not
But I don’t think we should ever suffer
There’s just one thing we can do about this
Take me up to the top of the city
Take me up to the top of the city
Up to the highest point of the city
One more step to the top of the city
Put me up on the angel’s shoulders
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I Don’t Mind If It’s Dangerous; I Don’t Mind If It’s Raining

And I don’t mind if it’s dangerous
I don’t mind if it’s raining
Take me to the top of the city
And put me up on the angel’s shoulders
Take me to the top of the city
Mmm yes, one more step to the top of the city
And put me up on the angel’s shoulders
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Mm, Yes

 

Notes & Credits:
Clothes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Flora (Get it at Lootbox!)—outfit includes white bodysuit, white body braids, white arm bands, white braided belt, and white thigh braids
Sandals: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Le Fleur Sandals (Get them at We Love Roleplay!)
Wings: BentBox Feathered Wings with Barn Owl mod by Birchteeth
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle
Hair: Argrace, Haruka II
Skin: Fallen Gods, Frost in Pearl
Feather Tattoo: Fallen Gods, Feathers, Dove
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
Eyes: Madame Noir, Feline Eyes
Environment: Milk Motion, The Roofs Of Paris

Calling The Moon

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The moon wanted more of my night

The moon wanted more of my night
I turned off the engine and the headlights
The trees appeared as they’d never been gone
I promised the fields I’d return from now on
And the moon kept on rising
I had no more to say
I put my road maps away
And surrendered the day

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And I know you’ll be calling me soon

And I know you’ll be calling me soon
And if I don’t answer I’m calling the moon
Calling the moon
I was calling her then
I’m wondering will she take me again
Oh, I am calling the moon
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When I called the moon back to me

When I called the moon back to me
I thought she wanted my beauty
I shone in the best that vanity buys
I covered the path where my life turned to lies
And the moon kept on rising
But I felt nothing at all
She comes when the empire falls
And shines on crumbling walls
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Calling the moon By the name that she chose

Calling the moon
By the name that she chose
As Tennessee wandered in moth-eaten robes
Oh, I am calling the moon
Calling the moon
Oh I’m calling the moon
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Oh, make sense of me, night

Oh, make sense of me, night
I can see so much from this cold height
The moon said oh darkness my work is done
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I’ve poured out this bottle of light from the sun

I’ve poured this bottle of light from the sun
But their anger keeps on rising
And they don’t understand
I’ve shown them all that I can
That the world is at hand

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This one’s going out to the moon tonight

And I know they’ll be calling me soon
And if I don’t answer I’m only the moon
I can see by her light
This one’s going out to the moon tonight
Oh, I am calling the moon
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To tug at the seas and illume the earth

Calling the moon
Cause I know what it’s worth
To tug at the seas and illumine the earth
Oh, I am calling the moon
Oh, I am calling the moon
—Dar Williams
Style Card:
The whimsical, yet gothy-for-October dress: Senzafine, Yueliang Dress (Available now at Trick Or Treat Lane)
The always appropriate spiky Mary Janes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Luna Mary Janes (Available now at Trick Or Treat Lane)
The perfectly painted skin: Ritual, Elspeth, T3, Huffle makeup (Available now at Magik Event)
The pointy eyelashes: Evermore, Jiao Lashes
The Whimsical Hair: YumYum, Ghost
The Really Cool Shadowbox Backdrop, Spyralle, Little Shadowbox Theatre, Halloween (at La Vie En Pose)

Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya Lara Body and a Genus Project Baby Face Head. Today’s ears are Eclipse Art Studio, Dior Ears. Eyes: The Face, Clarity Eyes for Genus Project

Short Story Roundup

From The Author: Lately, I’ve not been inspired to write a lot of longish stories and have been sticking to single photographs. So here is a bit of a roundup of the last week or so in photographs. These have, except for one, already appeared on my Flickr feed, so they might seem familiar.

The Moth, or “Capture” and “Escape”

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Moth Working Shot

I knew Ritual was going to release a green skin for the Trick or Treat Lane event, but I didn’t have the skin yet. Now, green is not my favourite colour, and I only very rarely (like only when I want to blog one) wear green skin, so I wanted to find a concept that worked for me with a green skin. Luckily, I’d just been to the Lootbox event, where Devious Minds had this gorgeous moth outfit gacha. So, here is the dry-run shot that I took and edited before the eventual photograph with the skin itself. I’m including it here because it was fun to shoot and also because the character changed a bit in my head between concept and finished photo.

Quick credits: moth set is from the Devious Mind “Falena” gacha, at Lootbox. Hair is Magika, “Irene”. Avatar styled on LAQ Noelle Bento Mesh Head and a Maitreya body, with SLink Pointe feet.

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Capture

With the addition of the new skin (Ritual, Elspeth in tone Rheia for Trick or Treat Lane ), plus some brighter eyes (Cerebrus Xing, Uni Eyes), and dark lipstick (Pink Fuel, Dazzle Me-Haunted), and a change in hair (Tram, 0314), this character became, for me, a dark fairy captured, perhaps because she committed some crime or perhaps because of who she was. This is possibly her mug shot, although it might be a self-reflection from wherever she is incarcerated.

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Escape

Here is how the final photograph with the darker skin turned out. Whether she is re-captured, I do not know, but the story is somewhere in there! Even though I’d saved camera angles and lighting settings, things weren’t exactly the same, as you can see, and in order to soften the shadows I added an overlay in Affinity Photo to soften them. The Flickr version is cropped differently and I think more effectively.

I’d mentioned to the lovely Wren of Visionaire that I have been unsatisfied with a lot of the bloggy photography lately and felt like I was sliding in to some old habits (over-lighting, boring subject focus, and also over-lighting). Funny how when you talk about something, it suddenly seems to come clear to you? A lot of these pictures are partly influenced by that conversation.

Credits: Same as for the test shot, with the additions noted above. This great pose is from Le Poppycock‘s new Fairy Winds set.

Dignigoff

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Dignigoff

I’m still crazy in love with HEXtraordinary‘s adorable Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton; isn’t everybody? I’d just finished the blog story about his visit to and planned takeover of Awenia, but I really wanted to put him in every photograph ever at the time, so here he is as Gwyneth’s travelling companion to some important Nu Jyorck function or other. This dress is 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s beautiful (and versatile!) Delirium Dress, which will officially debut at The Black Fair on the 5th of October, and the shoes are also from 1313 Mockingbird Lane. They’re the Luna Mary Janes, and you can get them at Trick or Treat Lane , where there are many other amazing things, as well!

Credits from the Flickr Post:
The Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Delirium (out soon at The Black Fair!)
The Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Luna Mary Janes (at Trick or Treat Lane !)
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in Tone 1 (at the Ritual Main Store)
The Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Zuna (Available at Lootbox)
The Bracelets: The Plastik, Phaen Cuffs (At Salem)
The Kitty: HEXtraordinary, Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton, Esq. (At The Engine Rom)
The Headpiece: Zibska, Sammy (At Shiny Shabby)
The Backdrop: FoxCity, Grand Entrance (At Kustom9)
The Pose: An Lar, The Candi Series, 5m
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme

Glamour Shot!

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Glamour Shot

This is an unapologetic fashion red carpet style photograph of 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s Delirium Dress, which will be available at The Black Fair. It’s not often I like a dress so much I want to photograph it twice, but something about the fall of the skirt and the fact that there was a cherry print for it made me wonder what would happen if you put a Goth girl into a 1950’s sitcom. So here she is, probably ready to go out for blood burgers and zombie shakes with all her friends from school! I’d also been wanting to photograph these Marcelina shoes from Bliensen + Maitai for ages, so long I don’t even remember where I got them, though the properties tab says I acquired them on the 5th of May this year, which probably means the May round of We Love Roleplay. Regardless, they’re gorgeous little witchy pumps, made for SLink kitten feet. I wish more people would design for kitten and pointe feet, but I’m weird. I searched far and wide for this cherry-themed jewellery and finally found it on the SL MP from Petit Chat. Searching for anything with the word “cherry” in the description on MP is…. yeah. We suffer for art, y’all. We really do.

Quick Credits for everything not. above: Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1. Body: Maitreya. Head: Catwa Keme. Ears: Swallow Elf Ears HD. Stockings: Sweet Tea. Backdrop Wearh0ouse, Drapes

I Woke Up Like This

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I Woke Up Like This

I’ll be honest: I didn’t mean to take this photograph. I was testing hairstyles for the moth photograph, and I came across this one from Tram (H0414) and considered it as a possibility. Then, when I was cam zoomed in on the avatar face, it struck me that this would make a really nice portrait, so I adjusted her expression and shot it. It ended up showing Ritual‘s beautiful Elspeth applier really well, so I decided to share it. And, really, don’t we all love living in SL where we really can wake up like this?

Quick credits: Eyes: ProFect, Moon Eyes; Head: Catwa Keme; Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD; Brows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn soft arch; Hair: Tram H0414; Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1.

The News

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The News

Sometimes, a creation just inspires me on sight. That’s what happened with this evocative skin from Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles. I knew it had to go with clothes from the Belle Epoque Undimmed Eyes set; I didn’t even consider any other outfits to photograph this. I wore this outfit for like three days, I liked it so much, and trust me when I say my Second Life is mostly full of costume changes! Once I had the avatar dressed, the character that emerged was an investigative reporter for the Nu Jyorck Ganger, a big daily newspaper. This is her byline photo. As for the rest of the story, I don’t know it yet. Maybe I never will. Some characters are ephemeral.

Here’s the text from the Flickr post:

Look at this quirky, whimsical, downright glorious skin from Jeanette’s Joint! If you’re feeling significant (and, indeed, topical!) and you want to take this baby for a spin, you can pick it up for L$249 at the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event. And this isn’t the only super cool thing there! Not only is there great shopping, but this event also promises great parties, cool chances to find your One True Soulmate (and win a limited edition skin!), and the Zodiac Hunt.

  • The Amazing Skin: Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles Skin. Comes with Catwa, Maitreya, and Omega appliers. At the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event.
  • The Exactly Right Outfit: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (this was at a Lootbox event, I think, but it’s sure to be in the Belle Epoque Main Store now).
  • The Understated But Fetching Hair: Exile, Lily (I think I got this at Hair Fair, but my brain is catnipped at the moment; anyway, it’s in the Exile Main Store).
  • The Thoughtful, Yet Appealing Eyes: Heaux, Glaze Eyes (fatpack light), for Genus
  • The Ears Of Hopefulness And Newshounding: Lumae, Leevi Short Ears. (At the Lumae/Ritual Main Store)
  • The Fae-Means-Business Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn, High Arch. (At the SimpleBloom Main Store)
  • The Flirtatious Yet Forward Thinking Eyelashes: Michan, Cheryl Lashes (from the September 2019 Genus Project Powder Pack).

Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya mesh body and a Genus Project Baby Face Bento Mesh Head.

I would say she never reveals her sources, but that would, verifiably, be what we call irony.

So, I guess that’s the news from this week.

Surgical recovery is finally done, so I go back to work on Sunday, 6 October. I will do my best to keep up the bloggity blogs.

 

 

Domus Novus

by Lord Bartleby von Tinkleton, Esq., Guest Columnist.

Of course there have been rumours that I’ve recently chosen to spend time in the Fae Realm of Awenia.

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I admit, I had lunch there.

I admit, I had lunch there. And in fact, I have grown quite fond of the Realm, which was first brought to my attention when an acquaintance suggested I consider interring my Grandsire, Lord Muffin von Tinkleton, in the delightful Cat Heaven that seems to have appeared there when The Author’s beloved cat passed away.

So, yes. I have been spending time in the Fae Realm of Awenia.

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And Her Majesty Queen Gwyneth gave me a lovely tour

And Her (more gothly than I expected) Fae Majesty, Queen Gwyneth, gave me a lovely tour.

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She was solicitous.

In fact, she was solicitous. Strangely solicitous. So solicitous, in fact, that I briefly wondered if she might be a collector of exotic, noble felines with a great deal of power and influence. Obviously, this has proven to be completely untrue.

However, the time I’ve spent in the Realm has convinced me that it’s a good place for me to be.

There. I’ve admitted it. Are you satisfied now, fae paparazzi? Are you satisfied now, FaeWatch? You and your cronies, always poking into my business. Cecilia, scratch this paragraph when you edit this, please? I don’t want to look like a raging lunatic; just a delightful eccentric. Thank you.

Yes, yes, and it was a convivial lunch with Her Majesty that convinced me.

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The Realm, she explained, could always use more cats.

The Realm, she explained, could always use more cats.

You do have some cats already, I said. You have many cats experiencing the joys of the afterlife, for example. And there are some… (I admit I held my nose) of those Forest-y cats in the island with all the book stuff.

The book forest, she said by way of correction.

Whatever, I said. You need someone like me. I will bring a level of jauntiness and sophistication to your Realm.

My mobile pinged. I ignored it.

Have you thought about where you’d like to live? asked Her Majesty.

Clearly, I explained, I must have the highest possible domicile. A place wherein I could look down on everyone, pouncing optional.

She pointed out what she described as the lovely little guesthouses they make available to some visiting dignitaries.

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You could have the top flat

You could have the top flat, she promised.

For at least half the year? I wondered.

Of course.

And that’s the highest point.

The highest point that’s really available as a domicile.

What, I asked, about that lovely treehouse there?

You mean the designated Residence For Foreign Royals? she asked.

I adjusted my hat.

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A few accommodations were made.

In the end, I agreed that I would live there, for at least six months out of the year, with a few small accommodations. The Salon now has a piano where a poor, shorthaired cat can sing the songs of our people.

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I have a proper cat tree, of course.

I must have a proper cat tree, of course.

And, after I only had to request it once, Her Majesty had her personal photographer, Bran, create this portrait of me that now hangs above the salon fireplace.

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Don’t I look dapper?

Don’t I look dapper? All in all, I am quite happy with how things are progressing, and I am sure we will continue in our mutually satisfying relationship, Her Majesty and I.

Cecilia, once you have transcribed this, would you please change my pesking phone number? I am very tired of those calls I keep getting from that fellow I hired to sort out the finances. He seems very predisposed to panicking over small things. I did tell him at the time that I didn’t care what happened to Mummy’s house as long as I had the patent on those catnip strains. How much more clear could I have been? And send up that boy who gives the nice chin scratches. Thank you.

Style Card:
Lord Bartleby von Tinkleton himself: HEXtraordinary, Lord Bartleby von Tinkleton, animesh cat available at The Engine Room until 20 October

The Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Black Magic Woman, available at Salem
The Boots: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Riveter Boots, available at Salem
The Stockings: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Drusilla Stockings, available at Lootbox

The Skin: Ritual, Nimue, available at the Ritual Main Store
The Hair: Wasabi Pills, Astra, which is available now at Uber
The Eyeshadow: Veechi, Evil Queen Eyeshadow
The Lipstick, Pink Fuel, Silky Shine True Red
The Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
The Eyes: Tone 2, Autumn Mist Eyes (at Uber)
The Tattoo: Stardust, Misty (Night) (at Uber)
The Location: Awenia Faerie, Landing Point, Bridge to Remembrance, The Treehouse
The Poses: Bauhaus Movement, NoiseBastardZ series
The Body: Maitreya
The Head: Genus Project, Baby Face

Much of the decor is from The Looking Glass, including the bridges, the gazebo, lots of the trees, the furniture in the salon. The coffee cart is from Atomic, the Witches Brew Gacha. The treehouse itself is from LAQ.

 

Ghost

I watched through the window, I did. I watched clouds through the window, and below. It looked like a dance, like you were dancing with me and I was watching us but with us and then sometimes it was as if there was no separation between us, and I thought that was because we must have loved one another very much.

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Like a dance

What other things are like dances? I wasn’t thinking of those other things. But now, days later and from this void, I recall there was only one shadow. My shadow. Who was that little spark of light behind me, I now wonder.

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The tangle

When it replays like a film in my head, the not-a-dance, the whatever-it-was with that being, that light, that you behind me, it is clearer, even though we think of memories as hazy things, in retrospect. Or I am cloudier.

But look how it—how you — stand behind me. Are you a dancer, or are you an aggressor? I’m making theories after the fact, of course. I’ll probably never know who you are, or were, now.

I do remember the feeling, though, of being in those steps, and that’s from even another perspective, the perspective of the participant on the ground, on the rooftop, spinning in space, captivated by that light. What a little moth I was. What a little moth I may still be.

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The turn

And you. When I turn to confront you, fragile, cornered, trapped and angry, there are Words. And I am not yet angry enough, not yet, to say many Words, but just this once, I tthink maybe I will say a few.

The clouds make us look so beautiful don’t they? But look at how I turn away from you, from this light being, this — are you a partner? Are you a ghost? — other, and I know that in this moment, I am changing something. Something big. Something fateful.

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The confrontation

Something fateful. Yes, that’s it. I cannot be inside it now. Looking at it from the window is possible, but only for a moment.

I said No.

I said I cannot do that.

I said Now is not a good time.

And in that moment, in those eyes that were even then barely eyes but only flashes of light, the flash I saw was envy.

And then, the lights went out.

The lights never came back on.

You set me asunder, in the dark, and here I am in this cloud, looking through windows, through mist and memory, onto that scene, and it is the only scene I see, because I am severed and shattered and cast upon the wind while you, you have your distance and the empty space where I once was is only a little light you have put out, a little fragile thing that you think you have now happily rid yourself of.

But then I look at that scene again, and I see again that there is only one shadow.

I am the shadow.

You are the ghost.

I have the heartbeat, though for days at a time I do not want it.

And you?

You just turned off the light and left me in the dark, to remember that moment, over and over again.

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To remember that moment.

From the Author: Do us all a favour. Don’t fuck with my friends.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in Fantasy Tone Phyrra (This skin is a group gift at the Ritual Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Tuesday (At the Spoonful of Sugar Festival)
Makeup
Eyebrows & Eyelashes: Adored, Adorabundle, September 2019 Edition (in the September Genus Powder Pack)
Eyeshadow: Velour, Deborah Eyeshadow (in the September Genus Powder Pack)
Lipstick: Velour, Talitha Lipstick (in the September Genus Powder Pack)
Eyes: Tone 2, Strong Presence Eyes (At the Spoonful of Sugar Festival)
Tears: LAQ, Falling Tears
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Alugim
Dress: Belle Epoque, Vera
Foot Ribbons: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Giselle Leg Wraps (at the 1313 Mockingbird Lane Main Store)
Wand: Elemental, Spirit Magic Wand (At the Spoonful of Sugar Festival)

Environment:
Photo setting: K&S, On The Rooftop
Poses: Nantra, Illuminati

Arrival

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A Small Place

“I know this must look like a small place to you. You see what you can perceive with whatever perceptions were given you by the gods. I cannot convey to you the vastness of it, not really; you’re not equipped to handle it. That’s not meant to be patronising, or belittling, I promise: it’s just an explanation.

“Fine, Fine. This is your dream, and I’m not required to explain it to you, but your dream form and level of consciousness suggests human. You beings usually like an explanation.

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Hello? Ears?

“Ah. of course. My apologies. Humans and fae look very much alike to us here, and I hope you’ll understand that’s not intended to be any sort of slight, either.

“Why don’t we start over? Let’s take it as a tour, shall we? There are two Watchers here, the winged cat on the tree root, and the big sleepy cat.

“Yes, I know, both of them have their eyes closed. If you don’t want human-style explanations, stop making human-style observations.

“Are we good? Good.

 

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The Spirit Summoners

“Each cat is specially called here by the Spirit Summoners; they build a unique calling altar for each cat, and depending on the cat, they may meditate at this altar for different periods of time. Not all cats are able to come away in good time. We’ve been summoning this particular cat, your cat, for a good long while, but she was very worried about you and wanted to make sure you were in a safe place before she came to us. The visual representation isn’t important to them, but when one of you gets chosen to experience an arrival, we place it there so you feel connected in your own way.

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Elsewhere

“What you observe elsewhere is a representation of what happens here simultaneously in each overlapping moment.

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So there is playing, and flying

“So there is playing and flying and cuddling and napping. There’s play-fighting and stalking and more than a little hilarity.

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Taking the wings

“Cats arrive here as kittens, and some of us choose to stay that way. Some of us like our old world forms. Eventually, most of us decide to take the wings and help other cats. Giving back is important here, and while it may come as a shock, one cannot simply chase butterflies in perpetuity.

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You are not alone in your sadness.

“You are not alone in your sadness. As I told you, the cat we are awaiting stayed overlong in her physical life with you. It takes some time, especially when a relationship between human, er, fae, and cat is as long as yours was in cat lifetimes, for a cat to separate from their earthly family. In special circumstances like these, we arrange for you to be here to dream-see your cat’s arrival to our shore. Familiar smells, as you will know, are very helpful to us.

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Their Own Boat

“Each cat travels in their own boat, piloted by a winged cat used to traversing whatever afterlife river will bring them here according to their belief systems.

“Ah! I think I see them. Yes, she will be a kitten, maybe younger than you remember her. But she will remember you.

“Yes, that’s why you’re here. You’ve been summoned to dream-see this cat’s arrival into the next life.

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The Catcher

“No, no; don’t mind me. I like my perch here. The cat waiting to grab the light rope is our Catcher, and of course it’s OK if you run. She needs to know how important it is that she join us here.

“Of course, you can stay a little while. And if you’re good at dream-walking, you might visit us again. But we do change. She will change. And— no, I cannot tell you what happens after this Realm for us. It is not permitted to tell, and it is not permitted to know.”

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Goodnight, Minerva.

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Minerva

From The Author: Minerva, most beautiful kitty of kittiness, was adopted from the Battersea Dogs and Cats’ Home, the world’s oldest animal shelter, in November of 2005 by me, my late husband Joe, and my then-13-year-old son, Gavin. On Sunday, 8 September, she left this life. All cats go to heaven. She gets a special one.

Credits:
Special thanks to the beautiful people at The Looking Glass, who created The Shrine Tree. I won this region build in an auction at the 2019 Fantasy Faire, and as it takes a while to place these perfect things in world, I was not sure where The Shrine Tree itself belonged. Turned out, it belongs as the focal point of the Cat Summerlands. The trees, the grass, the butterfly flowers, and importantly, Minerva’s Summoning Altar, were all designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen of The Looking Glass. 

The Cats:
Narrator Cat: Pixicat, Bastet Sphinx Cat (Sit)
Spirit Summoners: Left, Half+Deer Winged Cat, Crouch. Right, Jian, Forest Cat, Static-Stare.
Winged Cats: All by Half+Deer, Half Deer Wing Cats (various)
Big Sleepy Watcher Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat (at Collabor88 and another inspiration for this post; thank you Halogen Magic for the beauty you have brought to my world.
Kitten who looks a bit like Minerva (in the boat): Jian, Kitten Collection.
Catcher Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12 – Curious
Boat: Raindale, Ethemelle Boat
Bridges: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Bridges

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth (freckled) T1
Eye Makeup & Tears: Amis, Ali’s Sorrow
Eyelashes: auNaturel, Crybaby Lashes
Ears: Ritual, Fae Ears
Hair: Exile, Lily
Ear Adornments: Axix, Angelic Whisper
Hair Adornment: Bauhaus Movement, Amanda Headband (1)
Clothes: Una, Bloom (Jacket, Shirt, & Skirt)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Kammira Sandals (available at We Love Roleplay, and why I picked this outfit– because I wanted to photograph these shoes!)

Location: Awenia Haven. Awenia isn’t currently open to the public, but if you want to PM me in-world, I’ll let you come visit Minerva’s Cat Summerlands if you like.

 

 

Glow Baths and Dragon Dances in The Shrine Tree

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As Quiet As the Night Is

As Quiet As the Night Is, That’s how The Shrine Tree light is

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Come In

And you know you will come in, you will; you will

If we invite you in, you will, you will

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To see your sense of wonder

To see you sense of wonder, we will lift you to the lanterns;

We will let you taste our sweetest cakes

But only if you dare

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Do you dare?

Do you dare, do you dare, slip beside us for a glow-bathing?

Do you dare, do you dare, do you dare?

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We are watching from the lanterns

We are laughing just beyond you

We are watching from the lanterns

Do you dare, do you dare, do you dare?

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And if you venture past the lanterns….

And if you venture past the lanterns

We will let you dance with dragons

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Round the fire shrine

Round the fire shrine we’ll let you taste our mead

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It will make you dance ’til morning

It’ll make you dance ’til morning, but your feet won’t even feel it:

Not until you stumble home in seven years.

You’ll be ragged as a bean sidhe, but your memories will sustain you,

Won’t they?

Never mind: we’ll visit soon, to drink your tears.

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Fire Shrine Dance

Style Card:
Featured items from the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: The Plastik, Amathela, in RFL colour Aleatrice (The Plastik at Fantasy Faire!)
Clothes: Evie’s Closet, Aelinor Skirt & Top, Blue (Evie’s Closet at Fantasy Faire!)
Circlet & Bracelets: Kotolier, Folium Bracelet & Circlet in Water (Kotolier at Fantasy Faire!)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Evie Sandals (1313 Mockingbird Lane at Fantasy Faire!)
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Hair: Doe, Silva
Body Glitter: Musa, Glitter Bomb Maitreya
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, Luin
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings

The Shrine Tree, sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen, is one of sixteen Realms in the Fairelands this year. Give yourself a gift and visit this gorgeous place before the Faire closes on the fifth of May! The Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire is the largest virtual charity event in the world, and we help fight cancer with our stories and songs and flights of fancy. Everything you buy, everything you donate, helps a great cause.

 

 

Huntress

I’m going to be shooting in The Shrine Tree today, but if you know anything at all about me, you know that it takes forever for me to put together an outfit. This is something of a joke in my role-play group. I put together a couple of test shots with this outfit, because it’s special. And yeah; that means I’m going to talk about an outfit. Don’t worry: I promise there will be stories this Faire. I promise!

When you blog a Fantasy Faire, you get to sample some wonderful items. You get some amazing things from some of the best and best known creators in Second Life. Sometimes creators you’ve never come across before come into your life, and sometimes beloved creators you despaired of ever seeing anything new from rain beauty down upon you and wonderfulness happens. This is one of those times.

Now, you guys know my heart belongs to Lumae Skins— but there is no one, absolutely no one, better at creating glorious hand-painted skins than Vae of The PlastikThis year, she has released a line of skins with markings that might be mer, might be fae, can be anything, and as usual, they come in an astounding array of colours. The skin line is called Amathela, and this is the special RFL colour, Aleatrice.

The Plastik makes some of the most beautiful fantasy skins on the grid, so they’re in the ‘best and best known creators’ slot in this sentence. Magika hair rebranded not long ago and their new textures are absolutely to die for, particularly if you like things that are glittery and iridescent. I’ve been wearing the Genus Project heads off and on since they were in beta, but this is the first time I’ve photographed the Baby Face head. These stunning purple eyes are from Musaalso an RFL item; they are the Amla Eyes. The creator I’d never encountered before here is Kotolierand I’ve already blogged one of their beautiful, simple circlet and bracelet sets in a previous blog post. Against the complexity of the skin, against some of the complicated hairstyles and dresses Gwyneth wears, these stunning little circlets particularly will be part of my Second Life wardrobe for a long time to come. The wings are from Evolved Creatures, a gift from the glorious Dyisi from a couple of Fantasy Faires back, when we discovered them being used as part of the costumes for the Fairelands Players’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These lovely, whimsical shoes are the Evie Sandals (and you’ll get why that’s so cool, if you haven’t already, in a minute!) from 1313 Mockingbird Lane, who always manage to create the most fun, quirky, whimsical-goth-ignited loveliness you’ve ever seen. But oh, oh, oh, my darlings! And Oh! again. You may remember that a few years back, I joyfully and enthusiastically blogged every single new Evie’s Closet release that I could, given time constraints and the fact that, well, you just can’t always take as many pictures as she has colours. Real Life has taken the talented (and downright niceEvangeline Miles away from Second Life for some time, and my thought was that she was so so busy she was unlikely to come back. Well, you may already know this, but Evie has a Fantasy Faire store up on the Midas region, and there are some absolutely gorgeous things there! In fact, discovering that Evie had new things will be making changes in my blog plans for the rest of the Faire, because every single release in her store is glorious and gorgeous, and I bought all of them. I absolutely did, and I’d do it again.

Gwyneth has never been a racy dresser. It comes from a background in academia, plus the pressures of being a Queen, plus my strong believe that an avatar doesn’t have to bare a lot of skin to be beautiful or desirable. So believe me when I say that I thought this was the dress I wouldn’t blog from Evie’s Closet this time around.

I was wrong.

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Huntress

Honestly, I have no idea what came over me! I suspect this came out of a conversation between the glorious Riven of RivendaleDyisi of Dyisiwood, and me. Riven is updating her avatar look and was looking for a skin or tattoo that would give her an iridescent glow. So I wanted to try the Plastik skin anyway, and the Genus Project heads have some great glow settings. I was trying to create a look that both shimmered and was interesting to look at for reasons other than the shimmeriness, and I think I did all right. I chose the Soul Uni Ears—Luin because The Plastik makes appliers specifically for them, and their shape works interestingly with the skin itself. Vae offers two versions of this ear applier: this is the non-Mer one.

This backdrop, Little Red, is from the clever minds at Adorably Strange Wares, another of those gloriously whimsical, kinda gothy but also sparkly creators I love so much. It’s one of their RFL items, and there are three more of these in their Faire store! Interestingly, the whole thing is an enclosure with sides that are alpha from the outside. The back of this side is the Deep Dark Forest, but the other side shows a fairytale castle. It’s a fun and versatile backdrop that I’ll probably use many times, maybe even before the Faire is over!

Later today, I’ll shoot some story blog photos in The Shrine Tree, and I think this outfit will really shine there.

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Close-up

Here is a shot of Gwyneth’s face, same pose (from Poseidon, by the way, also at the Faire!), just a slightly different camera angle. Poseidon is an old favourite of mine, and their fantasy poses are always smooth and come with great attention to detail (and in this case, a pretty spiffy dagger!)

I shot this in a flat, straight windlight, on Awenia, and the soft pink lights of the LumiPro area the only additional colour that’s been added to the photograph. Both photos were edited in Affinity Photo for the Mac; they have had a tiny touch of diffuse glow (at about 5% opacity), a lens blur of 1 pixel applied, and a matte filter with the desaturation effect stripped away.

Thanks for listening to me yammer on and basically fangirl this outfit for like four paragraphs. I appreciate your making it to the end of the post, and if you were here, I’d give you a cookie.