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.

 

 

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

Find Here Serenity

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Gwyneth:

So much of my life seems to be occurring in dreams right now. It may just be that I’m not as willing to go out and make a new land as I was last time. I miss My King Janus more than I admit. But I must accept that he, like Maric, like so many others, is lost to me. I hope all these losses I’m experiencing will make me very wise and worthy of my office when I grow older. I hope they will.

I have been spending a lot of time in my little garden with the swans. Nathaniel has been busy with Mysthaven Business, which I try not to get involved in, since we mash things up enough as it is.

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I remember walking through a sparse wood.

I remember walking through a sparse wood. I had a snow-covered track to walk on, an day feet didn’t feel cold at all. Eventually, I realised the trees must be growing out of some kind of ice: everything reflected blue and smooth around them.

Then, I saw colours other than white, blue, and the green and silver of the birches: up ahead was what might have been a church ruin perhaps? I imagined I could learns something there, find something out.

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And there were flowers, summer flowers. How odd.

And there were flowers, summer flowers. How odd. When I reached the intersection, I debated whether or not to ascend either of the two flights of stairs, but opted to go straight on after a little bit of thought.

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A series of beautiful lamps—or I assume they were lamps, for they were unlit—lined the side paths.

A series of beautiful lamps—or I assume they were lamps, for they were unlit—lined the side paths. I touched one of them, and the crystal was warm against my skin, but I could find no way to illuminate it. Perhaps they were just decorative.

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I made my way to the centre of the structure, where candles burned.

I made my way to the centre of the structure, where candles burned. Over my head were a series of small lamps shaped like cathedrals. The flowers felt alive and warm against my ankles.

And I read the inscription:

Here is a place of serenity
The lights below flicker with love
For those who fight
And for those who have faded into night
Find here amenity
The lights flicker below
And twinkle above

So it was some kind of memorial. And I did feel peaceful, calm.

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I began to notice little details.

I began to notice little details: the marbling of the granite, the texture and pattern of the window-panels. Even then, the snow didn’t feel cold against my exposed toes. Even as close as three years ago, I’d have stopped to sketch at least some of this, but now I’m confident enough in my memory, and its ability to impress images onto the little tablet computer I keep locked up in a YWCA locker in a land more convinced that magic and technology coincide a bit than Our Wylds.

I turned and ascended the stairs behind me, and almost immediately felt that dizzying sense of transformation that accompanies a scene change in dreams.

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When I reached the top, I held a hand out to catch the staff that seemed to be thrown at me.

When I reached the top, I held a hand out to catch the staff that seemed to have been thrown at me. I felt lighter, felt my hair fall down my back, felt the tightness of a dress I might have worn during my I’m a fairy, so what? phase (or at least that’s what I call that phase).

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And then, I felt inclined to dance.

And then, I felt inclined to dance.

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And dance…

And dance…

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And dance.

And dance.

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When I’d finished, I felt … empty.

When I’d finished, I felt empty. Like weeping. As if this were a safe place for me to let all my tears and sorrow and longings out in tears.

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I admit it: I fell to the floor in a sobbing heap.

I admit it: I fell to the floor in a sobbing heap.

I’m not sure how long after that I woke, in my own bed, feeling more refreshed from a night of sleep than I have in ages.

Style Cards:

Lower Level Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 1
Hair: Doe, Emerson, Essentials (Rare!) (Available at Whimsical!)
Circlet: Secrets, Daydreams Flower Tiara, Lavender (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Dress: Kaithleen’s, Linen Dress, Smoke (Maitreya) (Available at Whimsical!)
Wings: Aii The Ugly And Beautiful, Pixie Wings, Tintable (Available at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Bubble, Mithril Sandals, Lavender (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Upper Level Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: Lumae Eirtae, Tone 1
Hair: Moon, Barracuda (Available at Whimsical!)
Clothes: Belle Epoque, Find Your Tribe Gacha (Belt, Bodysuit (rare!), Bracers, Feet Piece, Headband, Necklace, Staff) (Available at Whimsical!)

Landscape:
Memorial/Cathedral Wall: Find Here Amenity, by Kaelis Ember, a Fantasy Faire Auction Item, one-of-a-kind
Paths: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Flowers: The Looking Glass, Dream Fields
Trees: The Little Branch, Mystic Birches
Crystal Lamps: Air, Lacrima Ligmo, Silver (Available at Whimsical!)
Cathedral Lamps, Striped Mocha, Petite Shrine Lantern, Light (Available at Whimsical!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never have cool dreams without it!

What Does It Mean…

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Mabon has come and gone, and with it the passage of the Realm’s power from the Summer Queen to the Winter King. My personal dislike and distrust for Maric notwithstanding, I believe he will do his best to keep our realm safe and secure. The ceremony was short and intense: I felt the power pour out of me as if all my breath was stolen, and I’m afraid the King must have had to carry me to my bed. Much as he might have wanted more, the physical exchange of power was an almost ritualised kiss, which I worked in to the ceremony itself. Funny how naturally being a priestess comes to me, now that I’ve been on My throne for more than a year. And what a year it’s been.

I’ve promised myself and the Fae Folk that I’ll not sleep through the winter months this year as I felt compelled to do last year. So much happened while I was hibernating in my beautiful garden, holding on to the spring.

But still, I wonder…

What does it mean to be a Winter Queen?

What does it mean to be a Winter Queen?

What does it mean to be a Winter Queen?

Turn again, Year, and Turn the Queen to Winter
Sing again, Wind, a bring her dancing centre
Call the tales of Mabon, let the power flow
Queen to King and Light to Dark and so the Seasons go.

The Queen is in her Bower, dressed in crimson gold

The Queen is in her Bower, dressed in crimson gold

The Queen is in her Bower, dressed in crimson gold
The Wind has blown the Spring away and left her leaves to hold.

Am I irrelevant? Am I a beautiful figurehead with nothing to do but plan parties and try to teach my children how to interact in our world?

Am I merely the memory of  spring?

Am I merely the memory of spring?

Am I merely the memory of spring?

The King waits in the Shadows, cloaked with smoke and horn
We count the Summer down with him and see him rise, reborn

Oh, darkness cloaks the Lady's Bower: watch her wear the Spring

Oh, darkness cloaks the Lady’s Bower: watch her wear the Spring

Oh, darkness cloaks the Lady’s Bower: watch her wear the Spring

Then cast it off like Autumn rags as all the Faery sing

Then cast it off like Autumn rags as all the Faery sing

Then cast it off like Autumn rags as all the Faery sing.

Will I become cold and arrogant?

Will I become cold and arrogant?

Shall I turn dark with the season?

Shall I turn dark with the season?

How do I behave? Does my soul turn cold with October?

How do I behave? Does my soul go cold with October?

How do I behave? Does my soul go cold with October?

Now bring her wings of gold and white, and cast her face like stone

Now bring her wings of gold and white, and cast her face like stone

Now bring her wings of gold and white, and cast her face like stone

Even with the season's turning, I can still feel the warmth of summer inside me.

Even with the season’s turning, I can still feel the warmth of summer inside me.

Even with the seasons’ turning, I can still feel the warmth of summer inside me.

What does that mean? I know I am the spirit of summer, the light of the realm, but….

But there is also the cold. The wind. The dark promise of long nights and short days.

And turn her Widdershins with Wind to make her Winter Throne

And turn her Widdershins with Wind to make her Winter Throne

But there is also the cold. The wind. The dark promise of long nights and short days.

The closing doors of Time will take her into Autumn’s breast
And weave with Wind her Harvest gown, and never, never rest.

Can I see myself, a Winter Queen on a Winter Throne?

Can I see myself, a Winter Queen on a Winter Throne?

Can I see myself, a Winter Queen on a Winter Throne?

Come Mabon, come Samhain, come Harvest, come Hunter
Bring Apples, bring Cider, bring cakes against hunger
Come Winter, come Darkness, come fierce Winter King
And guard well this Lady til Imbolg brings Spring.

Cold, cold, cold.

Cold, cold, cold.

Cold, cold, cold.

Cold.

Style Cards:

Crimson Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Makeup: Eyes, Blacklace Beauty. Lips, Izzy’s
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Catwa, Princess Bun
Dress: PoshTale, Deiphe Gown & Train*
Crown: NSP Florals, Lady Gwynevere (Nobility)
Shoes: Aisling, Enchanted Rose Heels
Necklace: Illusions, Silumira Necklace
Tattoos: Things, Aigneis and Airell (Available at The Secret Affair!)

Blue and Gold Gown Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Truth, Nayeli
Makeup: Slackgirl, Drama Eyes; Izzy’s, Free Natural Lips
Dress: Mistique, Mydaiel Blue*
Cloak: Junbug, Hilda’s Black Cloak
Tiara and Earrings: Supernatural, Ophelia
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Aglaea’s Splendor

Lavender Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Catwa, Mia
Dress: Spyralle, Esyld Skirt and Top, Dusk*
Necklace: Cae, Cernunnos
Belly Crystal: Earthstones, Amethyst
Crown: Kibitz, Flower Crown, Lights, Ultra Rare
Shoes: Muka: Feetwrap
Tattoos: Things, Aigneis and Airell (Available at The Secret Affair!)

Brown Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Mudskin, Reina Pale
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Exile, Memory Bliss
Dress: Belle Epoque, Enchanted Princess, Brown (Available at Jackpot Gacha!)
Jewellery: The Plastik, Autumnus (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Wings: ClaVv Gatotkaka, Golden Rustic Wide Wings
Shoes: Slink Margot Ballet Slippers
Tattoos: Things, Aigneis and Airell (Available at The Secret Affair!)

White Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Makeup: White Widow, Face Tattoo Arctica
Hair: EMO-tions, Jewel (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Iseult Gown
Crown and Collar: Aisling, Sumiana, Gold
Shoes: TumbleTwig & Skjern, Pearls of Muse, White
Throne: Boudoir, Wearable Winter Queen Throne

*These three beautiful dresses were featured at September’s Fair Play: Second Life is a Game event, and I meant to get this blog entry out before the event closed; unfortunately, RL got in the way. I hope to be more on top of October’s great Fair Play offerings!

I am deeply grateful to Nathaniel Ballard (benbold) for some Photoshop tweaking on the Winter Throne photographs.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!