The Hazards of Contemporary Life, According to The Amazing Catwoman

First of all, they always put you up in a place with a name that only sounds good. “423 Windsor Terrace, LakeView, Limenós” sounds pretty posh, doesn’t it?

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Yeah. Only the view was posh.

Yeah. Only the view was posh.

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The rest was Neo-Modern Flophouse, but I was only there for one night, so.

The rest was Neo-Modern Flophouse, but I was only there for one night. At least there were no bugs in the bed, and it’s not like it was dirty. Everything was reasonable, just not as nice as the view. Well, the armchair was pretty good.

I was only there for a quick job, and then it was onto a train to a ferry port and out to Awenia, where I was still mostly hiding out in the big forest and keeping far away from her up in Faerie. One of those “What Could Possibly Go Wrong” moments could have happened right then, except I was too smart for it. Totes McGoats.

All I had to do was show up at the Limenós main train station, cast a spell on a couple of marks, and then slip down into the station to head for the Dragonstar, and then home, or as close as I get to it these days. Simples. I didn’t even have to work too hard on the glamour, though of course it’s still not OK to be Svart Alfar no matter what Stupid Event Or Other has convinced people it’s OK to be Elfy in public or whatever.

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Gotcha! Spell went off without a hitch.

Gotcha! Spell went off without a hitch; these two marks couldn’t see Elfin magic for whatever reason, and I didn’t stick around to find out what the premixed spell was actually going to do to them; that’s above my pay grade most of the time. I was just happy they were parked on a side street and about to engage in the time-honoured tradition of pre-trip snogging to notice a shady elf in leather lurking around behind them. I do like it when they give me these jobs within walking distance of the getaway train, though. Makes for better reading, less indigestion, you get the picture. With an hour to go before my train left, I had enough time to get a good seat, maybe even upgrade a class and put my feet up for the ten-hour trek to the ferry port.

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There is no escape.

And although I was sure I wasn’t followed down into the subway that led to the Dragonstar platform, there is at least one entity I can’t get away from, and that’s her. Ever since it became socially acceptable across multiple Realms to be supernatural, She has been getting work as a model for some perfume company, and this fucking “We’re All Mad Here” advert has been everywhere. You can’t open a fucking magazine or in this case walk down a set of fucking steps without being fucking bombarded.

Yeah. This was all I needed. I should be steeled to it by now, but I just can’t move beyond being angry with regard to that little situation where she kept me prisoner for half a year and then didn’t even bother to talk to me. And then her house got blown up and she had other things to worry about. Bleah. I was going to need chocolate on the train, and lots of it. Luckily, Limenós is famous for very good chocolate, and I knew just the place to get some of the hot, liquid variety before I boarded the train and probably some of the dark, melt-in-your mouth type as well.

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Of course, then things got a little more complicated.

Of course, then things got a little more complicated.

Great. Of all the entities to run into at the bottom of a subway, I have to meet quite possibly the most attractive dark unicorn I’ve ever seen.

Now, if you’ve ever played the The Amazing Catwoman Home Game, you know that I once had to dress up as a fantasy novel cover and tag unicorns at some stupid unicorn preserve. And let’s just say that not very much has changed in the last three years since I had to do that gig.

So that’s why the unicorn looked at me and said, in a voice that brushed soft like feathers against my mind, because they don’t usually speak out loud, “Well met, elf maiden. Why must you cover your beautiful skin?”

I sighed. “You’re not long off the preserve, are you?”

“Long enough to know that companions such as you are a rarity here,” he replied smoothly.

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I tried to find a way to blame this on her.

I tried to find a way to blame this on her. Clearly the advert had summoned the worst possible encounter possible for me.

“Look, I’m sure you’re very nice and all….”

“You couldn’t pronounce it,” he said.

“Do you think I don’t know that? I’m sure you’re very nice and all, but I’ve got a train to catch.”

“Are you on the Dragonstar? That’s my destination as well. These Limenóans aren’t very good at recognising magical needs though, are they? They keep trying to give me apples. I mean, apples are OK….”

“…but chocolate is better.” I couldn’t resist.

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“You are so right!”

“You are so right!” He brought himself up to his full height, which was considerably taller than me.

“I don’t suppose, if you’re heading for the Dragonstar as well, that you’d mind getting a friendly mythical beast a bit of the old bitter cacao?”

I rolled my eyes. “I could trouble myself, but I’m in rather a hurry.”

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He struck a gait.

He struck a gait. “Not to brag, but I’ve got a first class ticket and unicorns are always allowed a female travelling companion.” He snorted. “It’s meant to keep us calm.”

Suddenly this was all looking a bit more attractive. And besides, assuming someone did decide to come looking for me, who looks more innocent than an elfin maid (yes, fine!) accompanying a majestic unicorn? “Well, since you’ve appealed to my higher nature,” I said….

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And that’s how I found myself on the back of a dark unicorn.

And that’s how I found myself on the back of a dark unicorn, buying chocolate at the poshest chocolate shop in the Limenós Main Station (and that’s pretty posh), and getting a quarter car to myself in first class with stable space for a unicorn and a bed three times as comfortable as the one I slept in last night.

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I have no idea how long I’ll stay the travelling companion of a dark unicorn.

I have no idea how long I’ll stay the travelling companion of a dark unicorn, but things will rarely be dull. And who knows? It could be the start of a beautiful relationship. I can’t believe I actually just said that.

Sometimes, while my life is never exactly straightforward, it does not suck to be me.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lulu Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Argrace, Kazuha
Eyes: Anatomy, Meow Eyes
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Story, Walnut (Available NOW at Designer Showcase!)
Tunic: Senzafine, Meilikki (Available NOW at We ❤ Role-play!)
Boots: Senzafine, Telcontar Boots
Bracers: Lakrya, Yasha Mesh Bracers (Available NOW at We ❤ Role-play!)
Necklace: Bliensen & Maitai, Celtic Collar (Available NOW at We ❤ Role-play!)

Unicorn: Water Horse, Riding Unicorn
Unicorn Skin: Wren Works, Black Opal
Unicorn Mane and Tail: Flying Horse Head Studios, Glitterati
Unicorn Hooves: Cinnamon, Elven Unicorn Hooves

Short Stories

Fog and the Garden

Some mornings are just full of possibility. You rise, you dress (And what a dress! Those miracle workers at Silvan Moon Designs have done it again!), you meet an owl along the substantial walk from the castle to the Garden, and you consider.

“Do you think I should move the Garden closer to the castle?” I mused. “It seems an awfully long walk to come here every morning to pay my respects, and Court days will feel interminable.”

“I think that’s a foolish idea, Your Majesty.” Oh, great. That talking cat was back in the Garden. Where was Dyisi when I needed her? The owl was no help (they never are), and I’m pretty sure the cat just wanted a piece of the dress (but who wouldn’t?) There were two bunny rabbits and a faunicorn wandering around with me as well. I”m pretty sure the dogs were just planning on sleeping til the cat came down from its perch (which was of course never going to happen).

I sighed. “Why’s that, Your Cheshireness?” I tried to sound distantly pleasant.

“Because this way you have to look at everything—well, most everything—at least once a day, sometimes twice,” it reasoned. “And you wouldn’t want to miss anything, would you?”

“No, I suppose not,” I said with a frown.

“Smart lady,” said the cat, but just then his scruffier ginger relative finally jumped up to get a piece of that dress. I’m lucky it comes in an assortment of colours.

Late Journey

Coming home so late, you’d think I would be more worried about stalkers and drunkards than I would be about the decision I’m currently making. And despite the relative wittiness of London tube adverts, I really do have more important things on my mind.

Escalator, or steps? Hm… The thing is, if I lost this costume, I’d have to reimburse the club. And the club, conveniently, had nowhere to store it that seemed safe. And I, not-so-conveniently, didn’t exactly carry peacock-costume-sized garment bags with me when I left home for rehearsal this afternoon.

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I’m so tired. All the dancing, fifteen girls just like me in identical costumes, struggling to make sure our feathers don’t touch. So much easier to take the moving steps. But the tail feathers and the train…. it was hard enough knowing I couldn’t sit down on the Tube. But now, two long flights of stairs, and then more stairs to my second floor flat, seems almost more than I can bear.

But I’m young, and I know I can bear it. I will bear it. I do bear it.

With a last look at the train-eating escalator, I turn to walk slowly down the stairs and into the dark.

The Awakening of Silence

No light except the Lantern Tree, and far above, the moon. I am here again, helping the organic growth of Awenia along, suggesting a house, a tree, a path, a fountain.

There was a time when I’d have said, “This is too much for one person.” I’d have been glad of Faermorn, of Saone. Now, I welcome this stillness, the silent waiting that is January, secure in the knowledge of Imbolg, so soon now, and the promise of spring in the womb of the world.

Oh, great mother, guide my hands; guide my heart. Help me see what the Land wants to be.

I used to wonder, are you there? I used to wonder about a lot of things.

Now, I stare in wonder at the moon, the dark sky sparked with flickers from the Lantern Tree, and I watch as fragrant blue flowers spring from my fingers.

There are few times in our little or long lives when we are not waiting for something. Now, I sink into the silence. I think of my Land, Awenia, and how lucky I am to have this influence I do, this ability to shape it.

A long winter’s night. An incandescent moon. Silence is the womb of the world.

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Style Cards:

“Fog and the Garden”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Daphne of Mistborn Gown (Available on 4th February at We ❤ RP!)
Hair: Truth, Teanna (January 2018 VIP Group Gift! Why aren’t you a member of the Truth VIP Group?)

Location: Awenia, Faerie Garden
Cheshire Cat Tree: HEXtraordinary, The Cat’s Favourite Tree
Sleeping Huskies: Jian, Sleeping Husky Gift
Norwegian Forest Cat: Jian, Forest Cat Static—Catch
White and Brown Bunny Rabbits: UnRepentant, Twitchy Bun
Owl: HEXtraordinary, Snowy Owl, Flying
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 3
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Blue Flowers
Birch Trees: The Little Branch, White Birch Cluster, Mystic Birch Cluster

“Late Journey”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Mesange, Argos Eyes
Clothes: The Annex, Shake Your Tail Feather (Available at Pocket Gacha! [link is to HUD on SL Marketplace])
Hair: Truth, Apple

Photo Set: Mesh India, Mi Bon Voyage Escalator Background (Available NOW at Limit8!)

“The Awakening of Silence”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes
Hair: Argrace, Sayo (NEW at the Argrace Main Store!)
Jacket and Sweater: Fame Femme, Leather Jacket and Sweater, Brown
Trousers: The Muses, Ariane Legging Pant
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Gypsy Boots
Circlet: Lightstar, Celtic Trinity Knot Silver

Location: Awenia, Faerie Dwellings
The Lantern Tree: The Looking Glass, The Lantern Tree
Poses: Argrace, Sayo (NEW at the Argrace Main Store!)

SaveSave

Modern (Royal Fae) Living!

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I first saw it from the Treehouse.

I first saw it from the treehouse. The morning sun split one tower away from the others. I guess Nathaniel had been out doing something at Mysthaven, because he wasn’t with me. There were so many things going on in Awenia, in my Faerie, just then: I was busy adding some things in to the book forest and making enough spaces for the Fae who would one day call Awenia home to live. I suppose I hadn’t thought of the need for a castle… until I saw this one.

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As soon as I was reasonably put together, I ventured out to explore.

As soon as I was reasonably put together, I ventured out to explore. By that time, there were already flowers and trees springing up around the edges of the castle lands.

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And what better way to explore a newly arrived, majestic, obviously empty castle than on stag back?

And what better way to explore a newly arrived, majestic, obviously empty castle than on stag-back? I couldn’t think of one, so that’s the way I chose to do it.

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There followed some serious rumination on my part.

There followed some serious rumination on my part: namely a quick trot round the perimeter and a text message to Nathaniel: We’re Moving. Obviously Yule Decorations Will Come First. Because I knew Nathaniel would be fine with that. I mean, it’s not like I gave him no warning at all. I think last time I decided we were moving, I probably just — no, wait. Last time I decided we were moving, it was because somebody blew our house up. Right. But I think there was at least one time where he walked up to me on the street and said, “Love, where’s our house gone?” That’s probably just what he gets for marrying me. I should come with a Caveat Emptor clause.

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Nevertheless, he showed up that evening just as I was putting the candles in the reception.

Nevertheless, he showed up that evening just as I was putting the candles in the reception. He looked kind of uncomfortable. “Should a Queen—I mean, former Queen—really do her own decorating and furniture moving, even if it’s with magic?” he wondered.

“One. I am not a former anything. I am still a Queen: I abdicated Wylds, not Queendom altogether,” I said. Perhaps I was a bit snappish, but he keeps on pretending I’m no longer a Queen at all. Seriously, who does that? “And two: Bran has been helping with the furniture, and magic is more fun and more cost effective than minions.”

“Clearly,” was his reply. He still looked uncomfortable.

“These candles are pretty tall,” I said.

“I remember when I used to call you ‘shorty’,” he replied. Oh, boy. It was going to be one of those nights.

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“Look! Holiday treats for our guests!”

“Look! Holiday treats for our guests!” I said.

“We don’t have any guests,” Nathaniel replied. “Therefore, they are for us. Nice gingerbread.”

I sighed and moved the gingerbread men around so it wouldn’t look like My Beloved Consort had taken one. “Clutie made these, you know,” I said.

Nathaniel might have choked. Or it could have been a cough.

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“What do you think of our tree?” I asked.

“What do you think of our tree?” I asked. “I found it at one of those holiday markets. It’s from The Looking Glass.”

“So, Clutie didn’t make it.”

“No, Clutie didn’t make it.”

“What’s Bran doing?”

“Eterior decorations. He says he has never decorated a place with electricity before.”

“That should be interesting,” Nathaniel said.

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“Hey, is that mistletoe?” he asked.

“Hey, is that mistletoe?” he asked.

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“Of course it’s mistletoe,” I replied.

“Of course it’s mistletoe,” I replied. “You don’t really think I’d put up Yule decorations without mistletoe somewhere, do you?”

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He didn’t answer, but then it didn’t really matter. I do still love him so.

He didn’t answer, but then it didn’t really matter. I do still love him so. I know our relationship probably looks a little weird, but it’s still the best relationship a Fae Queen could hope for.

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“Do you think our relationship looks kind of weird?” I asked.

“Do you think our relationship looks kind of weird?” I asked.

“Don’t be silly: we’re perfectly normal, darling,” Nathaniel said.

Just then a shout came up from outside. “Your Majesty! Come and see the outdoor lights!” Bran sounded as excited as I’d ever heard him.

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“Gosh, Bran—that’s a lot of lights,” I said.

“Gosh, Bran—that’s a lot of lights,” I said.

“I know! Aren’t they amazing?”

I winced. “They are breathtaking,” I replied.

Nathaniel winked and kissed me on the cheek. “I’ve got to get back to Mysthaven, but only for a few hours, love. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done to the place by morning.”

And then he was gone. And I, well. I let myself think, as I wandered around the still mostly empty castle, how it should look. I added a few pieces here and there.

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I wondered if one day I’d be “that crazy old fae lady in the castle who lives all alone and feeds the birds.”

I wondered if one day I’d be “that crazy old fae lady in the castle who lives all alone and feeds the birds.” I could see it.

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I could see myself walking the battlements, alone.

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Alone up close, alone from afar.

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Ever-hopeful at the front entrance….

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And ever-disappointed.

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By the time the sun was high in the sky the next day, I’d done our bedroom (in Early Modern Noble Creations, of course!)

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And I’d added some outdoor seating.

And I’d added some outdoor seating. There is an entire roof terrace and balcony that’s just for our private apartments, so I can make it as comfortable and modern as I like.

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A more casual and quiet family eating space.

A more casual and quiet family eating space is up here as well, with room for Wren and Drysi should they care to visit, or maybe even more intimate friends, though I can’t think of whom I’d put in that place except Dyisi, at least for now.

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I’ll miss the treehouse. But you can see it from here.

I’ll miss the treehouse. But you can see it from here. We’ll turn it into a community centre, as Bran and Clutie expressed strong opposition to its disappearing altogether.

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And who can say what tomorrow will bring?

Style Cards:

Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle. What a gorgeous and adaptable build this is! It’s a castle that feels like a home and not a fortress or a box, and I can’t wait to finish decorating it. How fortunate I am to know such genius and amazing creators. Riven, thank you so much for making such a wonderful and perfect castle. 

Gwyneth:
Blue Outfit:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Clothes:
Sweatshirt: Emery, Contemplation Sweatshirt
Trousers: The Muses, Anane Legging Pant
Scarf and Leggings: The Annex, Knitted Scarf, Blue Legwarmers (Available NOW at the Pay It Forward Event!)
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots, Blue
Hair: Truth, Apple
Headpiece, Krystal, Celt Circlet
Poses: An Lar
Location: Awenia, Faerie

Red Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: The Annex, Olivia Gown (Available NOW at Genre!)
Hair: Sintiklia, Sheba (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Headpiece, Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Necklace and Ring: The Plastik, Anais Jewelery Set
Poses: An Lar
Location: Awenia, Faerie

Nathaniel:
Hair: Argrace Shirogane Reds hair
Eyes: Ikon Sunrise Eyes, Verdigris
Body: Slink Physique Male
Head: Labyrinth Head Shape D
Clothing:
Jacket A&D Clothing Paolo Blazer
Pants – AB Deacon Jeans
Shoes – YMCA boots from Ducknipple

Decor:

Castle Exterior
Garland over front door: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Wreath: CJ, Winter Wreath Helleborus
Column Trees: Tarte, Twinkle Trees
Crystal Trees: Hayabusa
Ground Cover:
The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Flower Fields, Dream Fields
{anc} Sugar Rose Fields
Christmas Tree: Swallow, Christmas Tree
Bare trees with Crystals: {anc}, Tears Tree
Wildflowers:
Foxgloves, Heart
Secret Garden Flowers, keke
Forest patch: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Birds:
{anc} Forget Swallow, No Limits Flock of Flying Doves
String Lights: Vespertine, Twinkle Fairylight Curtains

Castle Interior:

Lounge/Living Room:
Couch and assorted decor: Libertine, Justine
Tapestries: Prema, Laurin DeVinna
Sweets Table: Noble Creations, Christmas Table (Available NOW at Genre!)

Library:
Christmas Decorations: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candelabrae: Spyralle, Cathedral Candelabra
Books: StormWood, Literati Book Set

Tower Bedroom:
Bed: Noble Creations, Adult Reflections Bed (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Vanity: Noble Creations, Vanity Set
Curtains: Noble Creations, Classic Curtains
Unicorn Tapestry: MeadowWorks
Rug: Atelier Visconti, Helena Carpet

Tower Exterior Terrace:
Living Furniture: Artisan Fantasy, Gazebo Gacha (Available NOW at The Imaginarium!)
Dining Arch: Noble Creations, Magical Arch (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Dining Table: Indulge, Home Dining

 

Home for Christmas?

Well, at least back to blogging! November was a tough month, and thanks to everybody for your unwavering support. I appreciate it so much. My life has been such a maelstrom over the past few years, I’m truly grateful for everyone who supports me, no matter what part of my life you visit.

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Silvan Moon Designs, Brightwood Myst Gown for We Love Roleplay

Here’s a beautiful dress from Silvan Moon Designs, the Brightwood Myst Gown. You can find it at We Love Roleplay.

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These textures are gorgeous, aren’t they? 

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I particularly like the detailing on the bodice and sleeves.

The head Gwyneth is in in these shots is the new Vista Bento mesh head, which I am absolutely loving. Omega compatible out of the box and with 7 Deadly s{K}ins bases built in: what’s not to love? The sliders are super responsive, and, I don’t know. Even with settings closest to Gwyneth’s usual look, she just seems so much more regal and ageless now. The hair is Truth‘s Farryn, which you can still pick up at Uber through the end of this month. The lovely crown is from Abrasive; it was featured at the recent Snow White round of Enchantment, which I’m sorry I missed out on blogging before it closed at the end of November. It was a spectacular round, and I bought a lot of stuff there, even though for most of November I couldn’t bring myself to log in much.

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Yes. Yes, we are.

One of the weirdest things about depression and anxiety, at least for me, is that these photographs were taken almost two weeks ago. They were edited almost two weeks ago. So they’ve been ready for all that time and I haven’t been able to sit down and write this. Even now, I’m finding myself sort of longing to go to bed with a book, so I guess I’m not out of the woods yet.

This dress is a gorgeous piece from The Annex, also featured at December’s We Love RoleplayThe Aria Dress comes in an array of subtle colours, and the satin textures on the fabric are to die for. The hair in this photo is from Tableau Vivant, one of their amazing windblown styles, Whispers in the Wind. It was featured at November’s round of Collabor88. The roses on Gwyneth’s head are a group gift from The Muses, and again, she’s in that amazing Vista mesh head, which I don’t think I’ll be trading in anytime soon.

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Here’s a closer shot of the dress bodice, so you can see those lovely satin textures.

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And one where you get a view of the whole garment.

The hair is from Truth, an old favourite recently re-issued with his new textures. It’s Cinnamon. And the stockings are from Senzafine. They have the amusing name of Damasked Bandit, and they come in multiple colours to match her dress palette.

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Portrait junkie!

And because I couldn’t resist it, here’s a very close shot of Gwyneth in this head. I do really love just about everything about it, except for the fact that I can’t quite get that pookie-upturned-button-nose thing I like. I guess I’ll just have to keep on working at the sliders and see if I can figure it out eventually.

Thanks for reading. I know this isn’t my usual fare, but my fond wish is to get back to story blogging soon. I have a tale of a faerie tourist trap to tell you, I hope before the year is done. And there’s the daunting and wonderful task of decorating my new castle from Rivendale for Christmas, but I’ll just tease you with that one.

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Still true. 

Style Card:

Silvan Moon Designs Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Brightwood Myst Gown (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Hair: Truth, Farryn (Available at Uber!)
Crown: Abrasive, Jeweled Crown, Silver
Locations: Somewhere in Awenia
Poses: An Lar

The Annex Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: The Annex, The Aria Dress (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Hair:
Tableau Vivant, Whispers in the Wind
Truth, Cinnamon
Argrace, Kohaku
Headpiece, The Muses, Rose Crown and Diadem
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels
Poses: An Lar, Roquai
Location: Awenia, The Box

The Stolen Child

 

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Where dips the rocky highland….

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuthwood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our fairy vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.

 

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Come away, O Human child!

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Where the wave of moonlight glosses

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;

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To and fro we leap

To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.

Come away, O human child!

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To the waters and the wild

To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Where the wandering water gushes

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild

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With a faery, hand in hand,

With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Away with us he’s going, The solemn-eyed:

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breath
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.

For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,

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For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Poem, of course, is “The Stolen Child” by the immortal WB Yeats, a native of Sligo, where my late husband’s family were from and where many of them still reside.

All thanks go to Noah, who agreed on fairly short notice to find some schoolboy clothes and come be my Stolen Child for an evening. Noah’s player is among my favourite people in SL, and their portrayal of children as real kids taught me not to be completely dismissive of child avatars when I was new to SL roleplaying several years ago and we ended up on a sim together. Noah is an amazing kid, and is that not the most adorable child you have ever seen? Here, he is seven years old, and I thought he brought me the perfect Stolen Child.

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The amazing and adorable Noah!

When Astralia came up with the stunning Ivy Elf Set for The Gacha Garden, I knew I had to do something special with it. Once I dressed Gwyneth in the outfit, I could only think of the wild faeries of Irish folklore, and of course Yeats’ poem came to mind as something accessible, and short, that I could use as a springboard. With very little preparation, I decided to use the beautiful forest Dyisi Oppewall created on my sim, Awenia, as a setting. Raindale‘s beautiful boat, Meriel, provided the simple stage we used to take these photographs. I am grateful to Lumiya Rae, who created this lovely skin, Aurora, which is coming soon to The Coven: it got me to streamline my Lelutka Simone Bento head-shape to give Gwyneth this stern and otherworldly face. ColeMarie Soleil, the creative force behind Cole’s Creations, created the glimmering bits of gold that are sometimes visible around Gwyneth’s body and head and also the beautiful moonbeams that illuminate her Faery form as she appears to Noah. This photoshoot took nearly three hours, possibly a bit longer, and I could not have done it as well or efficiently without my experience in the Visionaire class or our masterclass with Senna Coronet on lighting. Nearly all the moonbeams on the water are made with projectors I created, and the projector on Noah dimmed out the lamp on the boat, so I had to create projectors to simulate that, as well. This was shot in various Phototools Moonlight wind lights, with the exception of the last photograph, which I shot in Phototools No Light so that I could bring all focus to Noah’s adorable and pinchable little face! (Noah is going to barf when he reads this!)

Style Cards:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Mesh Head
Hair: Mina, Ava Lin (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Aurora, Hexed (COMING SOON to The Coven!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Clothes (bra, headdress, body leaves, neck leaves, necklace, leaf tattoo, leggings, armbands, corset, and necklace): Astralia, Ivy Elf Set (Available NOW at The Gacha Garden!)
Wings: Zyn, Woodland Tree Wings
Moonbeams and Gold Sparkles: Cole’s Corner, Fairy Gold Dust and Illuminated Lightbeams (Moonbeam Aura)

Noah:
Hair: *ARGRACE* GAKU
Socks: EB Atelier – Mesh_Socks Grey
Necklace: MeshMerized – Pan
Sweater: Loki Mesh – V4 Timerascal – Top
Shorts: Loki Mesh – V4 Timerascal Shorts
Boots: Loki Mesh – V4 Workboots – Brown
Mesh Body: #SMB Mesh Body 2.2
Skin: [Lee] Yang Skin Child Version
Eyes: [Icy Winter EYE] by Lubellia

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never re-enact a Yeats poem in SL without it!

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When She Comes, She Brings The Moon With Her

When She Comes, She Brings The Moon With Her BLOG - 1 (1).pngThis is an entry for the Lost Unicorn Gallery Let It Snow photo contest. There’s not much to say about it; the title really says it all.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Catya Bento Head
Antlers: E.V.E, Moon Snow on Branches Antlers, White
Hair: Argrace, Kohaku
Eyes: Mesange, Sekhmet Eyes (At this month’s Chapter 4)
Skin: The Plastik: Taryn, Au Lait
Face Tattoo: Stardust, Amelina Gold & Silver (At this month’s Chapter 4)
Face Jewels: Bauhaus Movement, Rayne, Celeste
Cloak: Ever An’ Angel, Midwinter Travel Long Cloak, Frosted River
Dress: Ever An Angel Midwinter’s Gown, River

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never enter photo contests without it. Ever.

 

Another Photo Contest? Really?

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I can’t seem to resist them. This one is sponsored by Death Row Designs, the geniuses who made my beautiful Last Hope statue, and the creative minds behind some of the gorgeous Fantasy Faire sims I’ve loved over the years, including this year’s masterful Dangarnon and the 2015 piece of gorgeousness that was Andolys. From whimsy to post-apocalyptic fantasy, their designs never fail to captivate and inspire me. So, when I heard they were sponsoring a photo contest, I decided to put my best foot forward, and that’s why this blog was so quiet for nearly a week there: I was busy putting the following three photographs together.

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Deep in the Woods….

Deep in the Woods. This faerie is none to happy to be caught on camera. Those eyes! They say the deeper into the mythical forest one goes, the more primal the denizens become. We hope we haven’t angered her.

You guys know I can’t resist making everything into a story. So it was important to me that each photograph have a story attached to it. One of my favourite books of all time is Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood. If you haven’t read it, you probably should. It’s a book about a forest inhabited by all manner of mythical creatures. Anyway, the farther one ventures into the forest, the more primitive the “mythagos” become, until you end up with pure archetypes somewhere in the deepest part of the forest. I envisioned this faerie as one possibly on the very edge of that deepest place. The backdrop of this photo is from a DRD gacha, a forest backdrop that I was really happy to play with. The model is wearing another DRD gacha, the Fairy Outfit, in Pink, although you can barely see the top. I chose this colour because I wanted the wings to pop both against the background and the stunning DRD Darkforest Horns. 

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model hands: SLink elegant
Model head: LAQ Trinity
Model hair: Tableau Vivant Miranda
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Fantasy Storm
Model ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Model eyes A.D.D. Andel! Siren Eyes Pink
Model clothes: DRD fairy outfit pink, fairy wings pinkset, fairy headdress pinkset (she’s wearing the socks too,, but you can’t see ’em!)
Model horns: DRD Darkforest horns, Ash
Photo background: DRD studios set forest

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Dark Goddess Rising

Dark Goddess Rising. 

When we noticed a disturbance in an otherwise calm sea just off the coast of White Owl Island, we began filming and were rewarded with the emergence of this exquisite but terrifying creature. What might she be doing here? Well, we don’t ask questions on White Owl. She rose, hovered for a moment as if waiting for the seat to calm, then flew into the forest.

This being started out as a fallen angel concept, but once I got the headdress and the wings on her, I knew she had to be a goddess rising from the depths. Argrace does such a good job with wet-look hair, and I was dying to photograph this new one, so I used that here as well. The headdress is the central feature of the photograph, and I chose the “faded” version because it provided some visual contrast between the mostly cool feeling of the rest of the photo. She’s also wearing Lumiya Rae’s gorgeous new Isciira imagining of the Eirtae skin, which I love. The DRD Devine Wings have long been a favourite of mine, and they just seemed perfect in this photograph, with they veins crossing them like lightning. I guess I sort of channeled David Attenborough for the text here: I was thinking of being an observer and “spotter” of Fae folk and other paranormal beings, and that informed the text for the next photograph as well. 

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model head: LAQ Trinity
Model hair: Argrace Chizuru
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Isciira
Model eyes Soul Sidhe Eyes Seelie Pepper
Model clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Elowen bra and thong
Model wings: DRD Devine Wings, Specials, veins
Model headdress: DRD Dead Religion Headdress, faded
Photo Background: Landscapes Unlimited, Patagonia Sim Surround

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Dragon Sunrise

Dragon Sunrise. 

Does this dragon bear a message, or are we just witnessing a visit from a friend? Either way, this Sidhe lady was so enthralled by her visitor we were able to photograph her without her even knowing. We think.

I think of all the photographs, this is the one with which I’m most pleased. It took a long time to get the windlight just right so that her body seemed dappled with sunlight. The LumiPro let me adjust the lighting precisely, so that the body lights, while not 100% natural looking, still managed to approximate the sunlight. DRD’s gorgeous Ravishing Roses outfit was completely inspiring to me, as my primary role-play character is of course the Queen of the Faeries, and Fae Queens are associated with roses in balladry and folklore. The little dragon, also a DRD creation (a gacha from a past Fantasy Gacha Carnival, I think), was actually an afterthought: I needed her to be doing something, holding something, and he seemed the perfect complement. The Ayashi hair (and doesn’t Ayashi have amazing silver textures?) completes the look of her as an ethereal Sidhe, relaxing in the morning light. A combination of the Catwa head’s animations and the absolute control the LumiPro gives me over the model’s eyes created her rapt expression, and don’t those Soul Sidhe eyes just pop? They’re my absolute favourite eyes at the moment, partially because they are *ahem*ing gorgeous, and partially because they’re Omega eye appliers, which means I don’t have to adjust mesh eyes every time I change her eye colour! Yay! Soul makes a great variety of eyes, most of which come as Omega appliers, and as I’ve said before, I hope more designers get into making Omega appliers for eyes, because they’re so easy to use. The background of the photo is a combination of DRD’s Pergola Set and their Boho furniture, both of which were (and are, in the case of the Boho set) featured at Shiny Shabby. This was shot inside an Image Photography Meshudio, mostly so I could texture a backdrop that went seamlessly around three sides of a square. Thanks are due to my friend Ben Bold, who taught me a few things about Photoshop I didn’t know when some details of this image presented a problem.

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model hands: SLink flat, SLink fist
Model head: Catwa Dyana
Model hair: Ayashi
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Rubrae
Model ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Model Eyes: Soul Sidhe Eyes, Seelie, Tera
Model clothes: DRD Ravishing Roses, white pink roses
Dragon: DRD GOT Moving Dragons, Red
Pergola: DRD Pergola Set
Furniture, Rug, Décor: DRD Boho Set
Photo Background: Katink, forest set

I should tell yo more about the Death Row Designs photo contest: the rules are outlined in this Flickr post, and the deadline isn’t until 10 August, so you still have time to enter if you want to.

I’ve enjoyed putting together the entries for this contest, and I think they represent my best work. I might even have stretched myself a little. So thanks also to DRD for sponsoring a contest that I’ve really enjoyed preparing for. And now comes the hard bit: I just have to sit back and wait.

Thanks for reading, if you’ve reached the end of this post, which is mostly a photography geek. I don’t say it often enough, but I appreciate everybody who reads this blog, and I hope you may find some inspiration from it, as it is after all an expression of how the creative powerhouses that are SL’s content creators inspire me.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never go anywhere in SL without it. And that’s the beauty of it: you can take it anywhere. 🙂