Contractual Obligation

It’s not like I just sit around eating bonbons, you know. Not like some faeries. No, I have to work for a living. And occasionally that means doing stuff I don’t like, even if I kind of do like it in the end. That probably made no sense, but I can clarify by telling you that I just got done doing an ushering gig for some events at The Looking Glass. Now, The Looking Glass is one of those pocket Realms created by someone who has an amazing sense of design. Sharni is one of those creating wizards who just makes everything look so beautiful. I love visiting her Realm, and it’s almost impossible for me not to bring some of her beautiful creations home with me when I visit.

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So, this event had a steampunk theme.

So, this event had a steampunk theme. And I don’t mind steampunk, but there was of course a uniform involved. Obviously, there was a “no leggings” rule. And high heels. I mean, it wasn’t as bad as that time I had to get gussied up like the cover of a bad fantasy novel and tag unicorns… And I kind of like the hat. Luckily, the folks at The Looking Glass are accepting enough of my kind that I didn’t have to change my skin. In honour o that, I got a beautiful new skin painting from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, and I can’t even say how much I love the amazing work that Izara does. Nothing like being at home in my own Svart Alfar skin with a great skin painting.

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As I walked down the steps, I had to be careful of the heels.

As i walked down the steps, I had to be careful of the heels. Azoury makes beautiful shoes, but I did nearly lose my balance on the second step. They always say the first one is a doozy, but I think I must have got overconfident.

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I’d better be more careful.

I’d better be more careful, I thought to myself. Nothing like an usherette who can’t even stand up on her own two feet. I adjusted the hat from Wicca’s Wardrobe. I love this hat. I’ll probably wear it even after I’m done with this short-term gig. I got my hair done by the talented Truth Hawks for the occasion: I wanted something that, I don’t know, softened my look a bit. And it was nice to go back to the natural silver of my race. And then I thought about softening. I was in this mostly-prim steampunk outfit—and I was really pleased the uniform they chose was from Silvan Moon Designs, by the way. I know they mostly make girly gowns, but there was just something a bit snarky and spirited about this little dress. And I’m nothing if not snarky and spirited.

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I took the next step much more carefully.

I took the next step much more carefully. And although I wasn’t really looking forward to the job, I was sure the music would be great. How could it not be, in such a place? Briefly, I wondered about the audience, who might be there, what potential problems I might have to manage.

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As it turned out, there weren’t any problems.

As it turned out, there weren’t any problems. The event went off without a hitch, I enjoyed listening to the music even if I only got to sit down for an hour or so in the middle of the show. If it weren’t for the natural stealth-glamour of the Svart Alfar, I am sure my feet would be hurting like a bitch right now.

So why did I tell you all this? Well, I guess it’s because I want you to know that at least I’m working again and not hiding in the forest, as I have been for the last month or so. And also, I was looking for some news from the outside world. You see, yesterday, when I looked out from the forest dock, I found that there was nothing but mist across the Sound. It was as if White Owl Island never existed. And where does that leave me? I can camp, I can hunt, I can work with whatever creatures I find in the wood, but I know this little Realm is built upon pure Faerie. It’s over there somewhere, probably through the mists. I felt sure someone at The Looking Glass would know what was going on—there are some powerful magicians who frequent the place—but the folk who would converse with me either didn’t know or wouldn’t say.

Disconcertingly, when I arrived back at my camp in the forest, there was…. something. Something different. Some change in the air, and I’m not talking about the onset of the dark half of the year. Something that just smelled like change, but not a dying change. It may be that Little Miss Queeniepoo has got herself all powered up for winter and is somewhere in Faerie chanting and dancing her heart out, or whatever it is that they do, and who knows. Maybe I’ll wake up in a clearing of pink pumpkins. All this time, she’s known about me and hasn’t spoken to me, not one word. It’s not surprising: Gwyneth when I knew her was always a bit avoidant (and I mean “a bit” in the English sense, which is to say she avoids anything that puts her off balance) around personal conflict issues. Still… if this Realm that feels like home really is Gwyneth’s Realm, I know I must confront her sooner or later. Of course, I’ll pick sooner; she’ll pick later. We might get it done by Midwinter.

Style Card:
Body: 
Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lulu
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Arnica, Drow Version (Available NOW as part of the Trick Or Treat Hunt, or for sale at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Whymsical Marketplace, Fantasy Eyes in Werewolf Amber
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Belladonna Ravenwood Dress Set (Available NOW at the Fallen Gods Tenth Anniversary Event!)
Hair: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Rumor (At the Truth Main Store!)
Hat: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Wellington Hat (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Boots: Azoury, Atlantis Boots
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Collar: Footpaws, Celtic Filigree Garnet Collar

Poses: An Lar, The Zelena Series (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)

Location: The Looking Glass

Revisiting the Book Forest

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Would you go?

Would you go? Would you walk into the wardrobe and take your winter coat and travel to Narnia in winter?

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Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself.

Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself. It is a place where there are no limits to the imagination. As small as it is, it seems dense and immense when you’re inside it. And it brings so many lovely things back into my head. Although my duties in Faerie are many, particularly now that we are having such an influx of people who are a bit afraid of being on the Island. I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t try to separate it from the contemporary Realm it lies in and try to rewrite history.

Then again, rewriting history is a dangerous practice. Dyisi would surely warn against it.

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Is it running away, if you are recreating?

Is it running away, if you are recreating? Again, Dyisi would probably say yes. But then she thinks I run from everything.

And, OK, maybe I’ve been prone to do that… in the past. But I love this Realm, this little town, these whimsical shops and pathways. And the Book Forest, more than anything, is the centre of the whole idea. You can put anything together. Everything can be juxtaposed. You can have a bakery next door to a magic shop. You can have an Amsterdam canal front in sight of a princess tower. You get what I mean.

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I was always fascinated by juxtaposition.

Even in London, I was always fascinated by juxtaposition. And I guess it’s no surprise: London’s sense of history rams gracefully (yes, really!) up against its boldness, its newness. The reflection of society and history, the calling-out of the ages, many ages all together, is nowhere more apparent than in London.

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And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest.

And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest. But there are books about London here, I’m sure of it. Somewhere along the book paths or in the book stacks. They must be here, because there’s always a book about London.

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It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm.

It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm. That mindset, that life, that me seems so far away now. As far away as a story. As far away as a book. A character. Something I just read about. Even my (adoptive) parents are a faded memory now. It’s so much like a store that I wonder if I should write it one day, get it published in a mundane Realm without obvious magic, where people long for stories like mine. But there are many stories to live, I think, before it’s time to tell mine properly.

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And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book.

And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book. Should I return them? Or are they going somewhere special?

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I decide to follow.

I decide to follow them, and they lead me past the book hourglass as if they’re searching for something.

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Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is.

Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is, which is to say it isn’t fun at all, unless you like chasing things. Now would be a good time to have a dog, I guess. We run past a replica of the Doors of During that appeared here last week, and the pages pause, as if considering whether to enter. I hope they don’t: I haven’t been through that door myself yet.

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They pause and turn toward the book steps.

They pause and turn toward the book steps. There are other fluttering pages here: maybe they long to be with their own kind? Oh, great; I’m now ascribing sentience to a bunch of floating pages. Perhaps Faerie has finally driven me mad? That bitchy little Demifae queen would be so happy.

Make up your minds little pages!

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Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere.

Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere. Stand here, juggle them a bit, look cool. I look cool, right? I mean, here I am juggling papers. Because that’s a cool thing to do on a Friday night. It’s not like there could ever be anything better to do. I’ll bet they just want to stay here. I take a deep breath and try to give in to the pages, stay still with them.

But then, they’re off again, and of course I’m compelled to chase them.

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They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree.

They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree. Wait– when did that appear? Faerie changes so rapidly. I know it’s a mirror of my mind, but am I so flighty? Maybe I am.

Under the door of the house they all go, but there’s a light on in the window, and I swear I smell pipe smoke. I don’t think now’s a good time. Hopefully the inhabitant, if there is one, will be able to find a place for the pages.

As for me, I wander back toward the front of the forest.

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And there I find… a wardrobe.

And there I find… a wardrobe. Again. And it brings us full circle. I’ve been so many places, but will I go here? will I just walk through?

It’s a portal like any other.

All I have to do is step through.

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But… not today.

But… not today. Today I’ll just curl up with a book and a kitten. Books and kittens. There’s no better way to end a day in the book forest. And maybe tomorrow I’ll see what’s behind those doors. Both of them.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Again (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Circlet: Venge, Anisa Head Adornment
Eyes: Mesange, Artic Eyes (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Vyra, in a NEW SKIN TONE, Dew, which is lovely on Gwyneth! Poster with more information below!
Tattoo: Misschievous, Chandelier Tattoo (faded)
Nails: Cazimi, Whimsy Nails (Maitreya Appliers)
Dress: The Muses, Daphne (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Boots: !go!, Fay Brown Boots

Props:
Wishing Well and Bridge: Raindale/Maplemoor
Paper Books with cardboard pop-ups: Sepia book with castle: BananaN, Story Book Gacha
Paradise Lost Statue: by Nacht: Paradise Lost (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
House made from a Tree Trunk: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House
Book with Floating Letters: Violatility, La Literature Surrealiste Light
Hourglass and Book with Steps and Pages: Disorderly, Timed Literary
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins
Doors of Durin: Spell, Lord of the Rings Gacha, Doors of Durin (Chap4)
Book Paths: Book Forest Door, Una, Book Gacha
Wardrobe: 22769, Imaginarium (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Poses:
Poses with Pages: Elephante, Story of Love (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Pic with Cat: Le Poppycock, Book Lovers (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Standing Poses: An Lar, the Bronte Series (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Many of the new Book Forest items are from the current round of The Liaison Collaborative, which has a literary theme! The wardrobe in particular is worth a mention: it’s 22769‘s Imaginarium

As always, thanks for reading. I love you guys.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never visit the Book Forest without it!

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Summer Dreams

A new month, and here we are just past Midsummer. Because I have a lot on my RL plate right now with work, I thought I’d just tell you about some of the amazing things I found at Hair Fair, with the promise that there’s plenty more to come from that quarter. Throughout the month of July, I’m going to try and take one photo every day with a different Hair Fair hair; however, this is a goal and not a promise. I know I’ve been far too sporadic with blogging over the last few months, and I’m doing my best to get back into the swing.

To start things off, I also have this gorgeous new dress to show you from Silvan Moon Designs. This dress will be at We ❤ Roleplay, which in July starts on the 5th of the month and not the 4th, to accommodate Americans celebrating the July 4 holiday over there.

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Silvan Moon Designs for We ❤ Roleplay: Le Carnivale Baroque Gown, in Periwinkle

You know, there’s plenty of mediaeval stuff floating around the grid, but even though I almost never have a chance to wear or roleplay in stuff like this, I absolutely love a well put together baroque gown. First off, it’s something I would never wear in real life—all that faffing about! The detailing here is stunning, and I am as usual in awe of Silvan Moon and the two designers who make it all work. The hair here is one of Emo-Tions‘ Hair Fair releases, Calania, which comes with flowers in different colours to complement whatever you might want to wear with it. I thought about finding a more baroque hairstyle, but there aren’t very many out there, and this one works in spirit if not in letter. I also love the chance to show off the long strands that float down behind the head on this one. Gwyneth is wearing the Maitreya mesh body, the Catwa Lona mesh head, Lumae Ruby Skin, Swallow High Definition Elf Ears, and her eyes are the Iskander eyes from Mesange, which may be my favourite of Jadis Ashland‘s beautiful eyes … yet!

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Emo-Tions Calania hair and Mesange Iskander eyes

Here’s a close-up so you can see some of the detailing on the hair and get an idea of the depth of these eyes.

These photographs were taken in White Owl Island’s Faerie, in Queen Gwyneth’s garden.

If I wrote a story about these photos, it would be Gwyneth just wandering in her own garden, thinking about the timelessness of summer, that part in the middle of summer when everything might as well be a dream.

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Little Bones Naomi Hair for Hair Fair 2017

Naomi is a great classic super long (below the waist length) style. I love the perfect, flat, “ironed” look it has, while still retaining those great Little Bones textures. This outfit is from Uber; I don’t often find great casual clothes that Gwyneth could wear in character, but there were several great things this month. Because Gwyneth is now a fixture on White Owl Island, she doesn’t always have to dress like a Queen. This, once again, is the Ruby skin from Lumae, one of my favourites she’s released this year. The clothes are from Azuchi, the Kara cargo pants and top; they come in a lot of great colours, but this deep red really worked for me when I shot these photographs. The sandals are from Mutresse, the Vaska flat sandals, which again come in about a million colours via a HUD.

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Mesange eyes and Forehead Jewels by Lumae!

In this close-up, you can see the forehead jewels Gwyneth is wearing: these are available at the Midsummer Enchantment event. Lumae released four of these for the event; this one is Aaina. The eyes, of course, are from Mesange. They’re the Era eyes, which will be available at We Love Roleplay in a few days.

If I were writing a story about these photographs, Gwyneth would be waiting for someone who either never arrives or who arrives late. In an unfamiliar place, she has nowhere to go but here, so she sits on the steps, finally, possibly for hours.

All the poses in the photos above are from An Lar, the Radi and Nell series.

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A friend saw an early version of this photo and said, “Of course you bought that dress.”

Well, duh. Of course I bought this dress! I generally love Moon Amore‘s work, and all I could think when I first saw this Dark Moon Queen dress on Seraphim was how I would photograph it. I think I may come back to it a few more times, because I want to show some of the other colours you can get with the fatpack HUD, and also because I would love to see the dress photographed in some other locations. The dress is available at the Crystal Heart Festival. The hair is another great find from Hair Fair: it’s from Exile, and it’s called Lovefool. Gwyneth is back in the Iskander eyes, though I have some others to show you over the next few days. The necklace is a new favourite from The Plastik, the Grolda NecklaceAs usual with offerings from the fabulous Vae, it comes with loads of colour and metal choices, and her gem textures never fail to make me happy.

There’s not really a story for this photograph. I just thought of Gwyneth, ageless, on a windy day, in front of a door to … well, Somewhere. Somewhere Else; Somewhere Other. 

The backdrops in the Little Bones and Exile photos are both from Exposeur; they are the rares from their Gacha Guardians release for this round.

The pose in the Exile/Moon Amore photo is from Roquai, who never fails to be innovative with her great static poses. This is the Mouse from the Chinese Zodiac set.

Because all the information you might want to know about the clothes and hair and stuff is in the text, I’m not going to do formal style cards tonight. I hope you’ll visit Hair Fair and have a great time looking at all the wonderful offerings from great hair designers who come together every summer to benefit Wigs For Kids, a great cause. Don’t forget to pick up some bandanas while you’re there!

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Evil Fairy Academy Graduation!

So it seems the Powers That Be (whoever they are, may their Names be praised!) heard my cry! Just after I lamented about what a drag it is to be a Good Fairy Godmother, I was contacted by a Shadowy Force, who took me away to Evil Fairy Godmother Academy! It was just like all those fantasies I had as a little kid about being taken away to some mystical place where I could learn all about Science and Maths and other mythical things I kept reading about in those silly mortal books I snuck in past Nurse.

As you know, time works differently in Faerie. I have no idea how long I was at the Academy, but I made lots of friends and had sleepovers, and played pranks on other Faeries and stayed up past my bedtime and broke all the rules, but because it’s Evil Fairy Academy, I didn’t get in trouble for any of this!

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Here I am at Evil Fairy Godmother Academy Graduation!

Here I am at Evil Fairy Godmother Academy Graduation! The graduation exercise was simple: create a creepy environment in which you could cook up a bunch of nasty things to do to some unsuspecting Princess who just happened along. As you can see, there is a lot of mist in my environment, which should be a warning but which Naive Princesses and other fantasy victims find irresistible. I included a couple of big flowers: again, sweet little Princesses find things like this irresistible, and some glowing orbs. My Fairy Godmentor said it was perfect!

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I am looking forward to all the things I can do as an Evil Fairy Godmother!

Just thinking about all the things I can do as an Evil Fairy Godmother makes me smile. In fact, I’m thinking of that little Princess I gifted with eternal beauty just days before I began my studies. Sixteen years from now…. Oh, it just makes me laugh, to think of all the ways I can twist that gift once that little idiot is old enough to attract men.

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Of course, there are always questions….

Of course, there are always questions. Will I be good enough? Will my curses be truly fairytale worthy? There is an art to creating a perfect curse: it has to look, on the surface, as though it could be a good thing. And, to be fair, it always has to be breakable. Because we’re not all bad, really. We know that as the Bad Girls of fairytales, we have to be prepared to lose. And we have to teach a lesson. I think it’s much easier to just hate the little twerps if you’re a Good Fairy Godmother, because then you’re just giving gifts and assistance without any reason. As Bad Fairy Godmothers, we give… hm. We give challenges. Yes, that’s a good word. Challenges.

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I think I will be fine.

And you know, now that I think about it, now that I realised I’ve internalised the idea about curses being challenges rather than just straight-up bad, I’m sure I’ll be OK with this. Over the next few months, my Evil Fairy Godmentor and I will be working together, tormenting a village full of entitled little snits. I can’t wait!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Phoenix, Adriana (Available for a few more days at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Davina, Sand (Available NOW at the Fashion Dazzle Event!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Evil Fairy Godmother Dress: Junbug, Roslyn in Crimson
Evil Fairy Godmother Headdress: Noctis, Briar Rose Headpiece, blood drop
Wings: FatePlay Custom Bento Wings; Wing Appliers, Blushed, Pleated Wings

Set:
Pillars: Ionic, Forgotten Pillars
Red Roses: The Looking Glass, Hearts Like China Roses (Ruby)
Floor Mist: E.V.E, Flowers of the Mist
Big Flowers: AiShA, Munchkin Fairy Flower Blue, White
Ivy against back wall: E.V.E, Ivy Tree (no leaves)
Bush with luminous globe: E.V.E, Moon Snow on Branches Winter Bush White
Red floor roses: Aisling, Floor Roses

Poses:
All from An Lar, The Dottie Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never make up stories out of whole cloth about the Evil Fairy Godmother Academy without it!

Shadow Play

I looked for songs about shadows to illustrate this post, but they all seem to be about being fooled by bad relationships or psychotic ex-lovers, and that’s not really what I wanted to talk about, so despite the fact that the chorus for Fish‘s song Shadowplay keeps going through my head as I write this, I won’t inflict it on you guys. You’ve probably never heard of Fish anyway. He was with a band called Marillion, and you’ve probably never heard of them, either.

Anyway. I haven’t spoken a lot about my experience with the Visionaire photography class here, but you’ve seen the results, changes, and experimentation in my photographs. Or at least I hope you have. Friday was our last class before graduation (February 19— I’ll just go ahead and invite all of you to the party now!), and we had a guest teacher, Senna Coronet. Now, the only thing I knew about Senna before this class was something one of our instructors had told me: he photographs in complete darkness, using only projectors. But the fact is, Senna is a genius at explaining very complex things in a simple way. And, I’m convinced now that not only can Senna photograph in complete darkness, using only projectors—so can I!

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Shadowplay 1

Shadowplay 1: Here, Gwyneth is lit by a projector and three prim lights, the usual LumiPro setup. She is in a constructed prim box, which in retrospect I probably should have made totally white in colour/no texture; however, I knew I would be shooting in Phototools No Light windlight, so I didn’t bother. I may go back and reshoot some of these for my Visionaire graduation portfolio and see how the texture of the box might change the photographs. Anyway, I wanted her to be mostly black and white, so I chose Lumae‘s Eirtae Nimbus fantasy skin: it’s very white with subtle shading, and I’ve used it before when I turned Gwyneth into a Bain Sidhe for a post several months ago. This outfit is one I’ve seen photographed a lot: it’s Blueberry‘s Angelberry set from the current (and half over!) round of The Epiphany. This hair is special, as well: it’s from Emo-Tions, and it’s at Hairology for another few days: it’s Anik, and I loved it so much I’ve already used it in a blog this month, but I love Emo-Tions’ silver textures so much that I put it on again for this one. Gwyneth is wearing eyeshadow from ArteSmoky Eyeshadow, but it’s also called Gwen, so of course I had to buy it! The red lipstick is one of the Catwa choices for the Catya mesh head, which Gwyneth is in almost all the time these days. The lipstick and the eyes (from Avi-GlamElysian Eyes, colour Ghost) are the only things with colour on Gwyneth.

In order to get the projector to appear in a perfect circle, I chose LumiPro‘s wide spotlight bulb for the projector, then moved the projector so that it was centred on Gwyneth’s middle. I pulled it back so that the spotlight appeared to be in a perfect circle around her. This pose, and all the poses in this post, come from An Lar‘s new Flutter Series, which you can find at this month’s SaNaRae. The prim lights are arranged so that Gwyneth’s face and hair are highlighted, and the third (LumiPro standard) prim light is on her body below the waist, on her upper legs. She’s rotated so that there is just a bit of sharp shadow behind her and so that you can see the fluffy wings make a shadow as well. I used some tips I got from William Weaver in the class he taught us at Visionaire about using Phototools to best advantage to make sure my shadows were sharp and visible behind her.

I shot a couple of photos with this lighting setup, and I was so pleased with myself that I sent a Gyazo link to Senna, proudly noting that I had been listening in class. At the same time, the creative and delightful Lola Key suggested that I try a Gobo, so I started playing with some of the LumiPro gobos to see what I could come up with.

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Shadowplay 2: Gobo

Here is a double experiment: a gobo, plus a single blue coloured prim light behind her to colour the shadows and set a different tone for the floor area. In retrospect, I’d like to try this with her floating against the wall so that the shadows don’t bend, but the wall/floor dichotomy also makes her appear to be on a stage somewhere, so perhaps it’s a good thing. Notice how the blue prim light affects the colours of the shadows behind her legs and the bottom part of the wing? This was Senna’s suggestion when I sent him the Gyazo link, and after that I just went crazy, putting differently coloured prim lights behind her and experimenting with different placements!

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Shadowplay 3: Different Gobo, different lights!

Here, there are two more prim lights placed behind Gwyneth so that you get a different colour both on her body and wing shadows, and also one off to the side so that the gobo changes colour on the right side of the photograph. Ordinarily in a blog photo I’d have turned her so her face is visible, but here I was concentrating more on the shadows of her hand against the wall. The Vista Bento Hands do such great things with their random movements, even with static poses, that I left this option on and just shot when I liked the position her hands were in.

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Shadowplay 4: Close-up

For this photograph, I turned off the gobo option and moved the spotlight very close to Gwyneth so that the spotlight circle would appear smaller behind her. I left the purple and teal prim lights in place to create some interest around the edges of the spotlight. For those of you in the UK who are familiar with Charlie Brucker, I’m concerned that Gwyneth looks a little too much like Philomena Cunk in this photograph, but I’ll overlook that for now. Note that all the LumiPro lights were set to a grey colour and I turned the intensity and falloff down so that Gwyneth’s white skin would not be blown out by such a close placement of lights here.

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Shadowplay 5: Symmetry/Asymmetry

Here, I intentionally kept the spotlight fairly small, while panning out so that the single prim light behind Gwyneth’s ankles shows you that she’s standing on a surface somewhere, possibly a stage (which the spotlight sort of implies). I carefully positioned the camera so that her shadow was roughly equidistant from her on all sides, even though she wasn’t perfectly centred in the spotlight.

So many thanks to the whole Visionaire crew for this amazing class. Wren and Nariko have created a wonderful thing. If you want to get your mind blown on a weekly basis and learn more about SL photography than you could possibly absorb in a single second lifetime, check out the Visionaire Website for more information and to see when applications will open for the next class. If you’re super keen, you can always IM WrenNoire Cerise in-world and talk to her: she is approachable, warm, and a great teacher. I cannot say enough about how enlightening and empowering the Visionaire experience is. Do not think about the money. It is not about the money. I am thankful every day that I splashed out for this class. It has been worth every Linden and much, much more. It’s worth it for the critiques alone, but the lessons will blow your mind, and the guest speakers are amazing, and the opportunities for learning more about your own work, developing your own style, and finding out how the pros do it? Just wow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Anika (Available for a few more days at Hairology!)
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysium Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, Nimbus Fantasy Skin (Available at The Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Outfit: Blueberry, Angelberry, in colour Slayer (Available until February 15 at The Epiphany!) —all the colours are beautiful, but I particularly wanted the black for this series of photos.
Makeup: Arte, Gwen Eyeshadow (Smokey Eyeshadow) (Lipstick is included with the Catya head)
Poses: An Lar, The Flutter Series (Available NOW at SaNaRae!)

Setting: A Box!

Learn more about Visionaire at The Visionaire Website!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never talk about lighting Second Life photography without it!

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Air and Darkness

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I braved the sea.

I braved the sea today. Out on the edge of the Realm, where the water flows (always) round the now-frozen landscape, there is a fragment of an old temple, lovingly preserved by the demifae. And a lighthouse. There is little else in this corner of the Realm, save the lighthousekeeper’s house, which is just far enough from the lighthouse to make it an uncomfortable walk at this time of year.

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How quickly it gets dark!

How quickly it gets dark! Even though I know to expect it, darkness catches me sometimes, catches my breath and my spirit, and takes them on flights, farther away than I could go even with wings and my ability to move between Realms so easily.

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I thought, as the moon rose, about darkness.

I thought, as the moon rose, about darkness. And as the winds blew up and I could sense a storm coming, I thought also about air. If I am the Queen of Winter now, I am also Queen of Air and Darkness, or so the legends and songs say.

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If I am Queen of Air and Darkness, I shall not rush to meet Spring.

If I am Queen of Air and Darkness, I shall not rush to meet spring. I shall stand, and say to the Air, “blow through me”, and I shall say to the Darkness, “be one with me”. And I shall call the cold in, and befriend it, though I shall not scorn the sun.

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On the beach, it was harder to let the Air blow through me.

On the frozen beach, it was harder to let the Air blow through me: it threatened to blow me over. And so I bent, and let it come, and I remembered a song I learned back in my days of folk-club hopping:

I shall bow and be simple
I shall bow and be free
I shall bow and be humble
Yea, bend like the willow tree

I shall bow; this is the token
I shall wear the easy yoke
I shall bow and be broken
Yea, I’ll fall upon the rock

I’ve always heard this described as a Shaker hymn, although the only explicit references to the Christian teachings I can see there are the phrases, “I shall wear the easy yoke”, which comes from the Gospel of Matthew (“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”), and “I’ll fall upon the rock [and be broken]”, also from the Gospel of Matthew. But I digress into academic explication, a habit that’s mostly worthless to me now.

Bending my body and letting the wind take me, however, was not worthless to me.

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I found strength in bending.

I found strength in bending. And then, it was as if the wind blew through my body effortlessly, and I became an instrument of the wind.

And, as darkness fell, I also became an instrument of the darkness. What kind of instrument I will be, well. That remains to be seen.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Phoenix,  Kiara (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: The Plastik, Taryn in Creme (Available NOW at The Plastik Main Store!)
Makeup: Arte, Frost Mask (blue)
Ears: Swallow, High Definition Elf Ears
Wings: Material Squirrel, Thethys Wings (light coloured)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Nails: The Plastik, Veez (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Necklaces: both from The Plastik; short: The Skein Necklace; long: The Hallow necklace
Gown: Junbug, Ice Maiden (in Ice) (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Crown: E.V.E, Valindra’s Crown
Shoes (even though you can’t see ’em!): Violatility, Fairy Heels, in Bubble

Scene:
Stairs: {anc}, Stairs for Moonlight
Lighthouse: Hideki, Lighthouse
Poses: An Lar, all from the Marta Series (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make Gwyneth wander frozen shores and contemplate her existence without it!

 

Sixteenth Night?

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I know there’s something I’ve forgotten to do.

I know there’s something I’ve forgotten to do. The days go by so fast in this season, as if we’re hurrying Winter out the door. Which I guess, in a way, is what we’re doing, what with all the bell-ringing, sun-waking, clock-starting traditions.

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Oh, yeah!

And of course: that’s what it is. My human mother always, without fail, took “Christmas” decorations down on Twelfth Night, the sixth of January. And here we are, four days late, and I still have a Yule Tree and all these beautiful cards tacked up over the hearth. Right. Needless to say, those traditions don’t matter as much to me now as they did when I was a kid in school, but it would do the reception room good to have a bit of a clear-out, and it’ll help potential visitors to think I’m on top of things (ha!).

Trouble is, Clutie and Danae have buggered off somewhere for the day, and Bran is in a meeting, and Kern, well. Gods know where he’s got to, so I’m all alone in the Atrium this evening.

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But I am mighty!

But I am mighty! Just because, as Queen, I let other beings do lovely things for me because they are my devoted subjects does not mean I cannot do them for myself when duty calls. And so…

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Ah! Just like that.

Ah! Just like that. I’m lucky Fae magic doesn’t have a lot of reagents and spell components, unless it’s something super-important: if everything required equipment, I’d never get anything done. But here we have no cards on the hearth and no book tree.

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Now, I just have to figure out what to put in this space.

Now, I just have to figure out what to put in this space. Not a clock. Not a posh lamp. Oh! I have just the thing!

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There. Table, decor, candles, whoosh!

There! Table, décor, candles, whoosh! Ah, I’m not half bad, for a lazy old Queen, am I?

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And yes, let’s update the chandelier to this one.

And yes; let’s update the chandelier to this one. Many twinkling lights, fewer little birdies.

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And now, I’d say my work here is done….

And now, I’d say my work here is done….

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Until Imbolg, that is.

Until Imbolg, that is. The advent of Spring will require a major redecoration on my part. I might even change houses. Move everything two feet in one direction or another: won’t that please Nathaniel! Or maybe… maybe I’ll just colour everything pink.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Alexa (COMING SOON to The Season’s Story, which opens TODAY, 10 January, 2017)
Eyes: Mesange, Sekhmet Eyes (Omega eye appliers) (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Ears: Bent Box Elf Ears (with appliers by the amazing Lumiya Rae)
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (for Catwa heads), Tone 1 (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Necklace: Minimal, Camera Necklace (Available NOW at The Project Se7en!)
Dress: Baiastice, Lya Slip Dress (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Poses: Most from An Lar, the Rory Series (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Hand Poses: All from Nantra, Show of Hands (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Scene:

Book Tree and Hearth: Book Tree: {e}lusive designs, Book Tree
Tree Art: Lybra, Quasi- The Tree
New Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance Table (Available as part of the January DecoCrate!)
New Chandelier: Hextraordinary, Winter Chandelier (Available as part of the January DecoCrate!)
Sofa: Libertine, Justine
Paintings: All by Erin Wylde (Available on Marketplace)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never give Gwyneth a day off without it!

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