I will be talking to the manager.

I answered them all. All the questions. I was truthful. I was clear. I did not mince words or skip things or dance around subjects. And it seemed pretty straightforward. You apply to be in a fairy tale, and you tell them what kind of fairy tale you want to be in, and you pay the deposit, and then they put you in the fairy tale.

Does this look like a castle to you?

Does this look like a castle to you? No? That’s right! It’s not a castle. I was very very clear about that. I said I wanted to live in a castle. Not once did I use the word cottage. Not once did I use the word hovel.

And yet, here I am.

And yet, here I am. It’s been a week. My notes go unanswered, even though I put them in the post box as indicated. The three women who live here and take care of me insist that I call them my Aunties. They call me “Little Fair One” to my face, and “Little Smart Mouth” when they think I can’t hear them.

At least something about this place is smart, hm?

At least something about this place is smart, hm? I mean, obviously, Sleeping Beauty at least in a couple of versions, lived with three transformed fairies who took care of her until she pricked her finger anyway, but that is not what I signed up for; it’s not what I paid a deposit for, and no-one seems to be responding to my strongly-worded notes. I don’t know how these people expect to keep a fairytale tourism business running if they offer such poor service.

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home!

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home! And I do mean humble. Here is the entry foyer; as you can see, there are no footmen, no servants, not even a mouse to take my cape. There is a hall stand, a stairway, and that’s pretty much it.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen, which means I spend as little time here as possible. Would you believe they tried to get me to peel potatoes my first night? Potatoes? I explained to them that carbs are really bad for me. Auntie One (I have no idea what their names are) said, “Oh, well, I guess we can substitute with carrots.” Wow.

Their lounge is full of kitsch

Their lounge is full of kitsch and mementos from their pasts, maybe? Or maybe they’re just props. Pictures and silhouettes of former residents, Half a tonne of music boxes. I asked about some of them. “Oh, that was one of our favourite Little Fair Ones,” they said, about the blonde cherub on the wall there. “She went on to do great things.” Then One clucked at Three and Two gave them both a dark look and they all three shut up. At least there are books there, and at least they don’t bother me too much. Funny they haven’t even asked me about any balls or anything. I’ve been here a week. Maybe management has already contacted them about the mistake and they’re just waiting for the fix. Yesterday, a spinning wheel appeared by the lounge front window. I think they’re just torturing me now.

My little room might as well be for a servant!

And speaking of torture— my little room might as well be for a servant! It doesn’t even have a proper door. I mean, sure, it’s got some castle décor and there’s a pillow with a crown on it, but other than that, I’m experiencing the top of the wattle-and-daub line, here. And that’s not a compliment. I’m taking a lot of snapshots to make my eventual complaint more colourful when I finally make it back home.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands, don’t we. I’m going upstairs with a pair of scissors, I am. And I’m ripping that crown off the pillow. That’s what I’m going to do.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day. They were gone ’til nearly midnight last time, and they came back with hardly any shopping. The market must be a long way away and it must not have very much, is all I’m saying.

Out in the front garden, there’s a statue of a dragon guardian, and I’m sure he can help me out. Dragons always know what to do.

C’mon, help me out here!

C’mon, help me out here! I paid good money for this, and I know you must have a direct line to whomever’s in charge. Anybody with a big glowing orb is important; at least that’s what my GM always says. You don’t want to be named in my official complaint, do you? Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for.

Notes & Credits:

Enchantment’s Sleeping Beauty round closes on the 31st of August! That’s in just a few days. So you only have a few days to rush down there and fulfil all your fairytale needs! This is a great round, full of beautiful story-inspired items for your home, great clothes, beautiful hair, accessories, and some surprises that you didn’t know you needed until now.

Pictured items featured at Enchantment:

  • Hair & Crown: Love, Rose Hair
  • House: Hisa, Merrywether Cottage
  • Porch Dragons: Banana Peel: Dragons O De Moors
  • Princess Bedroom: StarSugar, Sleeping Beauty Gacha Items, including: Bed, Side Table, Crown Pillow, & Pink Rug
  • Dragon Statue: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Nifty Stuff
(Avatar):

  • Skin: Wyrd, Saga, T2
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Catwa, Blueberry
  • Eyes: Avi-Glam, Siren Eyes
  • Ears: Andore, Delfiya Ears
  • Necklace: Rise Design, Cap d’Agde Necklace
  • Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Buttercup Gown

Other Nifty Stuff
(Environment):

  • Hall Stand: Second Spaces, Coven Hall Stand
  • Hall Desk: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Desk
  • Hall Desk Knicknacks, 3rd Eye Twisted Fables, Fairy Gifts
  • Living Room
    • Light: Petrichor, Triin Celestial Lamp
    • Couch: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Couch
    • End Tables: Petrichor, Clarus Table (short)
    • Lamps: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Old Lamp
    • Table Under Window: Petrichor, Clarus Table (long, cloth)
    • Wand Stand: Petrichor, Rinik Wandholder
    • Book: The Plastik, Anthophilia Book
    • Hourglass: Ohmai, 100 Years Of Waiting Hourglass*
    • Spinning Wheel: HopScotch, 100 Years Of Sleep*
    • Book Stack: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Grimm Storys book 1
    • Bookshelf: Moonlight Shadow, Old Bookshelf A Iron
    • Music Boxes: Various, from The Looking Glass, 3rd Eye Perceptions, Aine Marie Flanagan (I collect SL music boxes; contact me for details)
  • Kitchen
    • All kitchen fixtures: Artisan Fantasy, fantasy kitchen
    • Table: Apple Fall, Pottery Dining Table
    • Chairs: Apple Fall, Steadfast Dining Chairs
    • Chandelier: Di’Cor, Jacqueline Chandelier
    • Wall Art: The Looking Glass, Live, Love, Laugh Succulents

All poses: An Lar
Photographic lighting: LumiPro & Nifty Windlights
Post Editing: Affinity Photo on a 16″ MacBook Pro

* Way back in the long-ago, there was another kind of Enchantment event. These two items are from the Sleeping Beauty round of that event. I was, no pun intended, enchanted to find that I still had a few things from that event in my inventory, and it was fun to use them in photos for this one.

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.

 

 

Hedy Lamarr’s Attic

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It’s my refuge.

My attic’s my refuge. Now, you might think, “Hedy, what are you doing in your attic wearing a spectacular gown?

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The truth is, I had a Thing earlier tonight.

The truth is, I had a Thing earlier tonight. Sure, a girl can walk away from her mortal life and retire somewhat quietly into Faerie, but celebrity never dies. There is apparently no Nu Jyorck fashion opening without Hedy Lamarr on the red carpet. And of course when there’s a new Trunk Show and Silvan Moon Designs has a new dress, it’d just be wrong for me not to show up, because who could argue with Bee Dumpling and Solas Na Gelai? These are two fashion sorceresses not to be trifled with. In fact, I should probably hesitate before naming them as sorceresses: their wrath could be epic!

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I even smiled at the folk.

I even smiled at the folk. And that’s not my milieu. But I did it anyway. It was easier being a star when I didn’t have to smile so much

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And it’s even easier being alone in my beautiful attic.

And it’s even easier being alone in my beautiful attic. My servants won’t come up here because it’s full of cobwebs and old things.

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And me.

And me. It’s full of me. Full of things like furniture I got from Spencer Tracey and a signed poster from Samson and Delilah. Cecil B DeMille. Not a fae, but randy as a satyr in June.

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There’s Spencer Tracey’s furniture.

There’s Spencer Tracey’s furniture. I should stack those chairs more efficiently, but I can’t be bothered. It also pleases me that none of the clocks up here work, and they’re all set to different times. And the telephone? It doesn’t work. Ha!

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A Bust Of Me

Here I am with a bust of me! Just kidding: I have no idea who the bust is meant to represent. It’s one of my favourite things in the attic, though.

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I love dressing up.

I love dressing up. It’s the people, human, fae, and otherwise, that I don’t like. When I had to live as an older woman during the last twenty or so years of my life on Earth, I never saw anyone. I’d spend hours on the phone, though. It’s not as if I’m a misanthrope: I just hated the lie of ageing. It’s too bad humans don’t understand eternal youth.

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Nothing beats a stunning gown.

I don’t know when I’ll be out and about again, but nothing beats a stunning gown. If you’re visiting Second Life, you can get this glorious dress at The Trunk Show, up until the 18th of September. Tell them Hedy Lamarr sent you.

Thank you, Bee & Solas, for inspiring me to create a Hedy Lamarr avatar! Those of you who know me know I love to create specific avatars around historical and fictional figures; it’s my way of SL cosplaying, and I have great fun doing it. I’m sure this won’t be the last avatar Silvan Moon Designs inspires me to make!

 

Style Card
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Dinner at Eight (Available at The Trunk Show!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Baby Face
Hair: Beusy, Athene
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 2 (Available at the Ritual Main Store!)
Ears: Ritual Elven Ears
Necklace and Earrings: Cae, Flourish
Eyelashes: Izzie’s, Genus Glossed Up Makeup Set (Powder Pack)
Eyes: The Face, Genus Unique Eyes Palette (Powder Pack)
Eyebrows: Adored, Tish Brows, Blackout Baby Edition
Shoes (Even though you can’t see them!) SlackGirl, Janice

Environment:
Poses:
In the attic: An Lar, The Spoiled Princess Series
On the Runway: Nantry, Who Are You Wearing?

Set:
Backdrop: WeArHOuSE, Attic Backdrop (also comes as a skybox)
Decor: Too much to mention, most things from Nutmeg, 8f8, Scarlet Creative, and DustBunny. If you want to know about something specific, ping me in world.
Bust: Nutmeg, Forgotten Library Bust
Backdrop for red carpet shots: Madras, Royal Entrance

Wrapped In Light

We keep our darkness wrapped in light
Enough to help us chart a course
Through every obstacle in sight
With all the courage we can force
We keep our darkness wrapped in light.

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We keep our darkness wrapped in light

Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one wants to know the demons in your heart
Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one listens to you when you fall apart

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No-one listens to you when you fall apart

We keep our fears in jars capped tight
Stacked up on shelves a hundred high
Make sure they’re hidden: that’s polite
While all that life goes floating by
We keep our darkness wrapped in light

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Wrapped in light, wrapped in light

Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one wants to know the demons in your heart
Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one listens to you when you fall apart

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Keep all those treasures out of sight
The memories, the de ja vu
And though sometimes it won’t seem right
Sing songs so you can travel through
We keep our darkness wrapped in light

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Sing songs so you can travel through

Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one wants to know the demons in your heart
Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one listens to you when you fall apart

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Keep your darkness wrapped in light

Keep all that darkness wrapped in light
Through every obstacle in sight
Make sure it’s hidden: that’s polite
And though sometimes it won’t seem right
Keep all that darkness wrapped in light.

Through every obstacle….
Make sure it’s hidden…
And though sometimes…
Keep all that darkness…

Style Card:
Many of the items in this post are featured in the current round of Enchantmentwhich is open til 7 March.

Enchantment Items:
Clothes: Hot Dog, Elven Robe
Hair: De La, Legolas
Face Jewels: Shiny Stuffs, Catwa LOTR Jewel
Lips: Shiny Stuffs, Catwa LOTR Kisses
Throne: Titans, The Woodland Throne
Statue: Titans, The Lady of Light Statue
Lamps: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Elven Standing Lamps
Willow Tree: Organica, Weeping Willow
Poses: An Lar, The Arwen Series

Other Items:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma Applier (All current skin lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just $L100)
Shoes: !go!, Fay Ankle Boots, Brown
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Trees: All (except the willow) from Heart, Ancient Oak Forest Set

Once again, I’m astounded by the beauty and breadth of Enchantment. This round’s theme is Lord of the Rings, and there are so many beautiful things to see! I wish I had more time for blogging right now, because I want to show you everything!

 

Fae Paris

From the Author: I’ve been away for a bit. In fact, I’m technically taking off through the first half of February from blogging, but that’s subject to change, as you can see here! Last week, I had a lovely holiday in Penzance, and if you’re curious, you can see some photos from my trip here. It was a great chance to relax and rewind all by myself, and frankly I love the sea in the dead of winter.

On to our story….

Some of you know I’ve recently been very interested (some might say “obsessed”) with the Belle Époque, particularly with the lives of prominent women in Paris. Now, by “prominent women”, I do not mean the wives of important men. No; I mean women who did just fine on their own, thank you, sometimes with the help of an influential man (or several), but always under their own names. I’ve investigated several of these women, and probably my favourite resource is this one. It’s full of images of postcards of the era. Through this, I became fascinated with the life of Cleo de Merode, one of the most famous of these women.

Cleo never showed her ears in photographs or in public. There were wild speculations. Some gossips suggested she didn’t actually have ears at all!

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The mysterious Cleo de Merode

Ah, the mysterious Cleo de Merode: known to many, known by few. Of course, as a Fae Queen, I have a different set of resources than those available to just anyone, so when I became interested in these women and their fashions and the way they comported themselves around Paris (or even America’s Gilded Age), it was only natural for me to delve a little deeper.

And once I’d done that, the secret of Cleo de Merode’s ears was only to simple to divine:

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She was, of course, Fae

She was, of course, Fae. This is a memory picture from one of our own, transcribed from the mind of a Fae Parisian contemporary of hers. The gentlefae was quite enamoured of her, but of course Mme de Merode never took a public partner, though she was romantically linked (e.g. “gossiped about”) with many gentlemen of the day.

Famously obsessed over by Belgian King Leopold II and much beloved of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, Cleo’s profile was particularly famous.

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Of course, Klimt never had the opportunity to paint her like this.

Of course, Klimt never had the opportunity to paint her like this, with her hair brushed out of the Marcel Wave recently made popular, and her ears uncovered. One assumes that perhaps her glamouring skills were low, or maybe she just had difficulty concentrating on several things at once, as most of us learn how to glamour our ears to look human at a fairly young age.

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Mists of Paris

Pictured here on the balcony of her Paris flat, she must have felt comfortable that no human eye would catch her in the mists (possibly natural; possibly fae) as she spent time with close Fae friends and allowed herself a few moments of natural reflection.

As it’s my latest obsession, I’ll certainly be talking more about the Faeries of the Belle Époque and Fae Paris. And besides, the clothes were to die for!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Steffi Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Hair: Exile, Hana (New at the Soiree Event)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Clothes: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (gloves, trousers, shoes, and shirt) (These are available at The Epiphany until 12 February—Belle Epoque is the first place I look whenever I need something vintage-y and classy)

Environment:
Paris Flat: Minimal, Paris Views Scene (At Uber)
Poses: All from An Lar

Another Visit to the Rainbow House

It felt good to be back. I mean, I know it’s not my house, but I think if I had a house like this, I would want it to look exactly so.

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A smile and a sigh of relief

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when I went back to the Rainbow House. Once more insulated from the beautiful but cold landscape outside, I just let myself sink into its comforting atmosphere.

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Home is where the hearth is

The kitchen was clearly a kitchen to cook and live in: no faffy china cabinets or drawers full of “good” silver that’s never used. It was dominated by a working hearth with multiple cooking surfaces and a sturdy oven. The touches of beauty and decoration were simple: flowers on the baking counter and farm table, wreaths of leaves on the walls, a couple of printed tapestries with trees. Nearly everything else had an obvious, practical use.

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Beautiful flowers—and cocoa!

I love how attuned to nature and the workings of plants so many of our Fae Folk are. Here it was the middle of a cold winter, yet on two kitchen surfaces there were beautiful flowers that looked as if they’d been plucked from a summer garden and just brought in that morning.

And, yes, as Clutie had already realised, there was a hot cocoa bar set up on the sidebar near the kitchen’s single circular window. I had just a little taste, more so I could taunt her with the fact I hadn’t brought her back with me (she was busy readying the castle for New Year’s) when I returned home.

Then, I noticed that on the kitchen table, there were two cups set out for tea, some toast, and a teapot. A quick check proved one cup of tea was still quite hot and the other hadn’t been poured yet. I suspected I’d interrupted the shy inhabitants at their breakfast.

“I’m so sorry if I’ve interrupted your breakfast,” I said, quietly but clearly. “Your home is so beautiful, and I love exploring new places. Please, if you ever get the chance to visit Awenia Faerie proper, pop round to the castle and I’ll give you a full tour of my house. I’m going to head back there now, and leave you all in peace.”

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A long, last look

And that’s what I did, but not before taking one long, last look at the Rainbow House. There’s no way to know if it’ll still be here next time I come looking: these little Realms have a way of shifting and sometimes even closing in on themselves. But I’m sure I’ll keep a lookout: you never know when (or where!) magical places will appear again.

Style Card:
Items Featured at the Winter’s Hollow Event:
Rainbow House: Dragon Magick Wares, Elemental A Frame
Gwyneth’s tunic: [QE] Designs, Daphne Sweater Dress, Winter Magic
Gwyneth’s boots: [QE] Designs, Silvan Boots, Winter Magic
Homey Hearth: Candle & Cauldron, Kitchen Witch Hearth
Beautiful flowers on the baking counter: Circa Living, Versailles Floral Vase Stand

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1 (All current skin lines are on sale for 100L at the Lumae Main Store)
Eyebrows: alaskametro, Glitter Eyebrows
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Ahji (a recent release at the Analog Dog Main Store)
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Baking Table: O.M.E.N., Messy Baking Table
Wall Tapestries: DRD, Vagabond
Kitchen Table, Chairs, & Clutter: All from Apple Fall
Hot Cocoa Bar: Peaches, A Raven’s Feast
Poses: All from An Lar

Holidays in Awenia

I should not complain. This is the sort of job any faerie should be proud to have. But there are things about it that drive me up the wall.

For example, Her Majesty did not like that I chose a yellowish skin tone when she told me I needed a more exotic skin colour in order to impress the tourists. So I’ve now gone with something darker, of which she approves. “Oh, good: they’ll think you’re a svart alfar, like TAC, only more presentable to the public and nicer.”

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I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair

I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair.

Bran decided that I should help him shoot some holiday shots in the village square. “But it’s after Christmas,” I said.

“Nonsense, Angharad: it’s only the fifth day of Christmas, traditionally speaking, and our potential guests want to see what we do in the Realm at Yule time, and you know that’s not just one day. Even though many of them are mortal and Christian, tourists who come here will likely be a little more knowledgeable about the histories of their holidays than the ones we read about so often on those web papers.”

“Web pages, Bran,” I corrected gently.

He scowled. “You and the Queen, always ready with the corrections. Can I help it if I’m ignorant of these things? I do quite like video games, you know.”

Yes, you could help it, I said to myself. “Fine; let’s take some photographs of the Square all decorated for Yule,” I said, this time out loud.

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The Carousel

“Wait,” I asked, after about five minutes of Bran snapping photos of me all over the square. “Why do I have to be in all these photos?”

“It’s for the brochure,” Bran replied, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say.

“The brochure? Nobody told me about a brochure.”

“Well, we do have to have promotional materials, and you are our hospitality co-ordinator,” Bran explained.

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This is fun, remember?

“This is fun, remember?” Bran wanted me to smile. He wanted me to smile a lot.

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Not that much fun.

“Not that much fun,” I retorted. “Do you want me to glamour some fangs or something?”

“Wrong time of the year for that, missy,” said Bran.

Missy? Seriously?

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Do faeries even need postboxes?

“Let’s get you by the postbox with all the presents,” he said.

“Faeries don’t even need postboxes, you know.”

“I know that,” said Bran, “and you know that, but this is a London postbox, and Her Majesty feels nostalgic about her home city, so we try to bring bits of it here for her from time to time.”

“You stole this postbox.”

Bran coughed. “Davey acquired the postbox. I didn’t ask questions.”

“Is that real post sticking out of it?”

“Of course: wouldn’t be authentic any other way.”

“But what about people’s letters?”

“Davey assured me he’d waited until after the last pickup for that day,” replied Bran. “If the postman was late on the pickup, the post can’t have been that important.”

I had no idea what to say to that, so I just let him move me along.

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Big finish!

“Now it’s time for the big finish! Lean back a little so I can get most of the tree in the shot, and, yes, big, big smile! Oh, that’s lovely!”

I rolled my eyes, but then I had an idea. “Can you take a close-up shot of me like this?” I asked.

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Getting in to the spirit?

“Are you finally getting into the spirit, when we’re almost finished, Angharad?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m going to send this to my parents back in Cymru. They will hate this hairstyle.”

Style Card
Lovely Town Dress: The Annex, Ingrid Dress (Available until the 18th of January at The Trunk Show)
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne in tone Chennus
Hair: Raven Bell, Chronos hair and Chronos Bento Braid
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels

Environment:
Carousel: IrrISIStible, Carousel (At SWANK until 31 December)
Christmas Trees: Half-Deer, Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Deer: Love, Fantasy deer, winter prince of the forest
Adorable Weeble Gnomes: Balderdash, Gnome (At SWANK until 31 December)
London Postbox: Love, Christmas Post Box
Festive Lamps: CJ Creations, Winter Street Lamp
Holly Garland and Sparkly Bits: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy
Village Square Buildings: SOF Designs, Tudor Building Set
Poses: An Lar

 

The Stained Glass Grove

I love winter time. I know as a (mostly) Seelie Queen I may not be meant to say that. But it’s true. Being Queen in winter used to scare me: I spent my first winter as Queen asleep (I kid you not). Now that I’ve settled in to my role, or, I suppose, created it, I am more used to the changes that happen to me in the autumn and winter, particularly as the Wheel winds down after Samhain. In years past, the changes have mostly been to mood and attitude: this year my appearance and most notably my hair colour has changed with the seasons. I have been a dark brunette since sometime in November, and just today when I awoke, I noticed a few strands of grey. Who knows what will happen to me over the next few weeks?

Faerie, as you may already know, is made of magic. You may turn a corner one day and find yourself in a massive library; the same turned corner just hours later might bring you into a grove of dancing demifae who … may not have your best interests in mind. Particularly as the year grows old, it is wise to be cautious.

Yesterday I turned one of those corners and found a portal almost identical to the one that stood in the White Owl Island city park and served as a quick coming and going tool for those who could use it. I glanced around to make sure nobody was watching, and I simply stepped through.

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I stepped through the portal

Now, I know I’ve just got done telling you to be cautious in Faerie in the wintertime, but there’s a certain lack of fear that comes with being Queen. Now that I am no longer pursued by him who was once the Unseelie King of the Wylds, I feel more confident about almost everything, and if I’m honest, not much surprises me any more.

The little pocket Realm I found myself in was completely bare of Fae, Mortals, magical creatures of any kind. I saw a horse and a couple of deer, but the moment I entered the Realm, I felt that unwavering sense of quiet that comes after a heavy snowfall. Have you ever been in a forest after a snowfall? It’s as if the whole world is covered with a blanket. Sound is muffled. What you do pick up on are details: your breath, water dripping, leaves shifting. Oh, it was wonderful to feel utterly and completely alone: I am rarely alone, particularly now that Awenia is coming alive with holiday tourists, Fae and mortal alike. Angharad does a good job, but she’s young and needs guidance. Luckily, I don’t have much to worry about, security-wise: Tac, Wulfrich, and Davey need no supervision, even if Tac still kind of hates reporting to me. But there are always questions and plans and events at which I must put in an appearance.

You see? I can’t even describe a quiet haven without thinking about all the things I have left behind in Awenia. But looking out into this simple and beautiful Realm made me want to forget it all, and it was all about the trees. I was glad that I’d worn a suitable winter gown: its high neck and fitted sleeves kept me comfortable even though it must have been cold. Even though I could warm myself with magic, I am reluctant to use too much energy changing the environment.

I love trees: we know that. Trees of all descriptions and sizes. But the copse of trees I saw when I came through that portal made me catch my breath.

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Stained Glass Trees

There were other trees in the tiny Realm, of course, but nothing I’ve ever seen compared to these. Their plain, straight trunks weave into twisted branches reminiscent of wrought iron. And the leaves. They were like perfect, translucent stained glass cutouts of leaves, even when some of them fell from the branches.

One wonderful thing about living in a Realm that’s not deathly afraid of technology is I always have my iPhone with me, and it’s got a great camera on it. (Bran would disagree, but he’s so far down the DSLR rabbit hole I have to pull him out forcibly to get my tea sometimes.) I did get some photographs of the trees, but I’m sure I did not do them justice.

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Look at those perfect leaves

Look at those perfect leaves: I’d never seen anything like it. Perhaps next time I come to this Realm (I marked it so I can make it back), I will ask the trees if they mind me taking just a little cutting from each of the different colour varieties, because I would love to have these in Awenia for the springtime—and all the other seasons as well.

And of course, you know by now that I can’t ever just stand back and watch anything: I have to go into it, experience it. So that’s exactly what I did.

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Magical Grove

This place brought new meaning to the term, “Magical Grove”, where we of the druidic persuasion worship the old gods and make new magic.

As I walked into the silver grass that filled the tree meadow, it began to snow softly. All I wanted to do was look up at those leaves against the nearly-white overcast sky, and even though I got a little snow on my eyelashes, it was all right. It was more than all right; it was bliss.

Next time I come here I’ll bring along a nice thermos of tea, and maybe one of our Fae horses so she can enjoy the meadow as well.

Style Card:
Beautiful Winter Gown: Antaya, The Lamia Gown (Now at the Winter’s Hollow event.)
Crazy Gorgeous Stained Glass Trees: Rivendale, Stained Glass Trees (in three colourways, also at Winter’s Hollow.)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Crown and Antlers: Purple Moon, Ice Queen Crown and Antlers
Hair: Stealthic, Summer Haze
Skybox Environment: IrrISIStible, Never-ending Winter Mesh Skybox
Portal: Spell, Portals to other dimensions
Poses: An Lar

Fitcher’s Bird (in her own words)

I am not weak. Now I have brought my sisters back, alerted my brothers, and made myself a creature of legend, there remains only the long, long walk that will trap the monster who intends me to be his bride.

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See how I glitter.

See how I glitter? He will never know me. Am I clever? Oh, yes; yes, I am clever. I don’t even feel guilty about it, burning this man who wronged me and all his associates and posessions to the ground.

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His precious castle

Only a shell of his precious castle will be left. My brothers are thorough.

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But I feel beautiful, and strong

But I feel beautiful, and strong, like the bird I am emulating. This bird is a beautiful fantasy, a vengeful warrior, an irresistible decoy. I wonder, when he sees me, will he want the bird, too? Of course, he can lure me no longer with his worn-out ruse.

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Sure as the Spirit Maiden

Sure as the Spirit Maiden who watches over his courtyard (and I’m not above seeing the irony in that, by the way), I know my path, down from the steps, away from the carnage to come, down to the forest, where I will await him and his broken form as he returns from returning my own sisters to our home, as he greets my brothers’ hunting party (he does not know they are hunting him), as he begs for a scrap of bread and a cup of wine before he goes. How I would laugh if I could watch him.

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O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?

Oh, and all the guests, they greet me in my glory as they pass:

O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?
I come from Fitcher’s house quite near.
And what may the young bride be doing?
From cellar to garret, she’s swept all clean
And now from the window she’s peeping, I wean.

I have accomplished this by arranging a clean, white skull with a crude wig and placing it in one of the castle’s side windows. He’ll never know the difference.

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It was never me he saw

It was never me he saw, anyway. He saw only a woman who appeared to exhibit total obedience to him. My ruse. My trick. My pretence. I do not even shiver in the bitter cold; my rage and triumph warms me as I wait, wait, here at the crossroads, for my nasty little bridegroom with his bent back and his bathtub full of bodies up in the tower.

Oh, look: here he comes now.

This stunning dress, complete with wings and headpiece, comes from The Looking Glass‘ Sharni Azalee. Its inspiration is the Grimm Brothers tale Fitcher’s Bird. When I opened this box and saw the photo for this dress, I gasped, for real. It is absolutely stunning, properly fitted, easy to wear. Thank you, Sharni, for such an amazing dress. It felt as if it were made just for me, and I know loads of other fantasy fashion fiends will feel the same way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Ciara (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Stunning Gown, Wings, Headpiece, Snake Belt & Wrap: The Looking Glass, Fitcher’s Bird (Available Saturday, 10 November at Enchantment‘s Brothers Grimm round!)

Environment:
Castle: By Nacht, Forfax Castle
Statue: Titans, Spirit Maiden
Trees:
Birches, The Little Branch, Mystic Birch
Candle Cage Trees: The Roawenwood, Winter White Wedding Trees
Forest Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
All Poses from An Lar

 

The Re-invention of Saga Silverman

It started last Saturday. My father had another of those never-ending receptions, and in the absence of my mother, I got to be the one parading around the mirrored hall, greeting guests and keeping a smile plastered on to my face.

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Of course, the dress was stunning.

Of course, the dress was stunning, a Senzafine. I’m sure someone on Father’s staff knew who my favourite designers were and took care of it properly. And I knew I looked lovely, like a mediaeval princess in a modern palace. At least, that was the impression I was trying to give.

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Someone Else in the Mirror

But the truth was, every time I caught a glimpse of my face in the tall mirror at the end of the hall, I saw myself more as a prisoner than as myself, if that makes any sense. It was like watching a stranger’s face, like seeing someone I didn’t recognise.

That’s when I decided that I, desperate rebel against my father by day, dutiful daughter by night, was going to make a change. I couldn’t do this any more.

I did make it to the end of the night.

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The last time….

But, once all the guests were gone, as I made my way back to the dressing room where Father’s PA waited to help me out of the dress, I knew this would be the last time. And as I walked out of the mirrored hall, I did not look back.

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Staring at the city

Once I got home and into my pyjamas and slippers, I stood for a while at the window, just staring out onto the city. I instructed the autophone to connect me to my mentor—let’s just call him Sampa. Of course that’s not his real name, but it sounds good next to Saga, which is my real name.

“You’ve got to get me out of here,” I said.

“What do I look like, the relocation squad?” He laughed at his own joke.

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I was serious.

“I’m serious, Sampa,” I replied. “I can’t do another one of Father’s functions. I’m starting to think I’ll lose it. Brandon von Oslo was almost attractive to me.”

“That does sound like an emergency.” Sampa didn’t sound as if he understood the urgency of the situation.

“Did you know that if you look out on the city in exactly the right way, it’s like a forest of will o’ the wisps?” I asked. I was squinting and looking out the window. “But I can’t see them at my father’s house. I get headaches there. Something heavy is on my head when I am there.”

“Ohhh,” said Sampa. “OK, let’s think about this. Do you have enough to live for a month or two without income?”

“Oh, I don’t worry about that,” I said. “You can always get work as a tattoo artist, pretty much anywhere you go. Do you know any tattooists who are really far away from New York? You have to: you know everyone, don’t you?”

Sampa cleared his throat. I heard pages turning in his obsolete little book of names and numbers and compromising information. “I have… hm. Four or five friends here in New York, even one upstate, but that’s not far enough away for you, is it?”

“Not remotely,” I said. “Ooh, a shooting star! I’m going to make a wish right now!”

Sampa chuckled. “Let me get back to you,” he said. “I may have a friend of a friend, but I’m not sure where he’s located these days.”

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I started taking pictures off the wall.

I started taking pictures off the wall. Really, I wouldn’t need to pack much. And I should remove the “odd” body paint, as Father had called it when he looked at me earlier that evening. And get my hair bleached and dyed. The apartment is one of Father’s: I would just leave all my shit, except the art stuff and the pictures and clothes that would work with the New Me… who would she be? I thought of kittens and unicorns.

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I liked thinking of kittens and unicorns.

I liked thinking of kittens and unicorns. I’d barely sunk onto the couch when the autophone rang again. “Answer,” I said sharply.

“Saga, I’ve got something for you, but it’s a little weird.” It was Sampa.

“Since when is anything we’ve done together not been weird?”

“Point. Anyway, yes; I do have a friend of a friend, but he’s,” Sampa coughed. “He’s in Alexandria, of all places.”

“Alexandria as in Egypt?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Well, that’s definitely far enough away.” I considered it for a few seconds. “Maybe I can visit the pyramids and meet some ancient gods and learn all about mummies?”

“Or maybe you could work part time in this tattoo shop until clients see what you can do and your business starts to explode.”

“Also a plan,” I said. “I’m pretty sure people like me.”

“They won’t like you down at Dragon in the morning,” Sampa warned. “Shop has got an opening, but my friend can only hold it for you for one week. I suggest you get your affairs in order.”

I laughed outright at this. “Order?” I laughed again.” Order is the enemy, Sampa.”

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That didn’t make it any better.

That laughter didn’t make it any better or any more fun to close the security gate at Dragon for the last time, just a couple of days later. They’d begged me to stay just a few more days, but I said I had to run off and play with the fairies for a while. They laughed at that. I really don’t think I’m all that funny. I really did mean I had to run off and play with the fairies for a while.

I got my hair bleached and pastel rainbowed, packed two bags and a bulging carry-on loaded with my laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. I locked the door of my apartment and shoved the single key underneath. Father—or one of his assistants—could find it when they came around looking.

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And that’s how I found myself on a plane to Alexandria.

And that’s how I found myself on a plane to Alexandria. Once the in-air wifi kicked in, I sent goodbye notes to all my social networking accounts and then locked myself out of them.

Everything is going to be different now. I have pink suitcases full of frilly clothes for fun and work clothes for work. I have holographic body paint. I have my portfolio. I have my own delicate needlework on my thighs, of course, and other people’s in other places. Every picture is a story, every window is a picture, and there are little sprites that come out when the stewards dim the lights on the plane so all these people can sleep.

Style Card:
In all photos:
Body: Belleza, Isis
Head: Genus Project:
Eyes: Go&See, Anona Eyes
Choker: Spell, Branch Choker
Poses: all from An Lar

In the mirrored hall:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Gown: Senzafine, Varhendis (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Necklace: Kunglers, Adele Necklace
Hair, Magika, Love
Environment:
Photo Box: D.U.S.T., Mirrored Hall Photobox, 3D

In Saga’s Apartment:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Hair, Magika, Love
Dress: Les Sucreries de Fairy, Kimberly Long Dress
Slippers: The Dark Fairy, Unicorn Dreams
Environment:
Apartment: Focus Poses, Hello New York
Chair: Ison, Wooden Chair
Couch and Chair: Dreamscapes Decor, Fairy Tale Couch, Fairy Tale Chair
Coffee Table: Bazar, Toronto Coffee Table
Blue Tapestry: Consignment, Stardust
Other tapestries: DRD, Vagabond

At the Tattoo Shop:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Hair: Magika, No Tears
Jeans: Semller, 25 Point Jeans
Top: Goth1c0, Kath Loose Dress
Boots: DRD, Dirty Combats
Environment:
Shop: Focus Poses, Guetto Background
Tattoo Sign: Daniel Fettuccio, Neon Dragon Tattoo Sign

On the Plane:
Skin: The Plastik, Draziele, Alabarus
Hair: Magika, Solace
Clothes: Giz Seorn, Montana Outfit
Lipstick: Cazimi, Tinted Lipgloss, Natural
Environment:
Plane: FoxCity, Flight Club (Day Travel)