“You Are About to go on a Long Journey….”

Well, all the fortunetellers say that, don’t they? And obviously, the Great Faire is coming up soon, so we will be taking a long journey there, and then the long journey of days itself so that we can enjoy the all-too-short wonders of the greatest gathering of folk in all the wide Realms.

But that chance meeting with the fortuneteller at the art gallery opening just made me think, and you know what happens when I think.

(Not that! Keep quiet, you cretins!)

What happens when I think is, I dream.

And I did in fact dream about going on a journey.

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A journey that required a boat.

A journey that required a boat.

I wasn’t quite myself on this journey.

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And I had the certain knowledge that this was the most important journey I’d ever taken.

And I had the certain knowledge that this was the most important journey I had ever taken.

It’s funny, a dream like that, where you’re someone else. I could feel the knowledge of having navigated a small craft around into a closed harbour, the careful manoeuvring to get it up against the shore properly, the movement of the rudder. Before me, a great tree rose out of the grassy bank, and as I looked up into her branches, I could have sworn she wore the face of a woman.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Spring (Available NOW at the Spring Flair Event!)
Eyes: Astrae, The Elder Eyes (Available NOW at The Makeover Room!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Sparrow Lightheart Gown (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings v 2
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Selene
Headpiece: Nanika, Lesya Crown

Mysterious Blond Man:
Body: Signature Gianni
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brent
Head: Catwa, Skell Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Lightstar, Baldur
Eyes: Anatomy, Emilio Eyes, Blue
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Knight of Ravensgate Tunic (COMING SOON to the 2018 Second Life Relay for Life Fantasy Faire!)

Adorbs Fairy Boat: JTD Leaf Boat, textured and scripted by the amazing Kitori Unplugged, AKA Skeleton
Manly Viking-Style Boat, Hopscotch, I See The Light

Female Pose: An Lar, from the Jupiter Series
Male Pose: Exposeur, from the That Boy Series

Setting: Pacific Northwest Forest on Awenia, designed by Dyisi.

Why Haven’t You Been to Ostara’s Altar Yet?

Because I’m recovering from cataract surgery and under multiple deadlines at the same time, here’s a straight-up blog post from me. These photos were taken last weekend and should have been posted on Friday, but my eyes were one day out of surgery and I’ve not been looking at computers much because they are bright and full of colour! (My new cyber-eyes are amazing, btw.)

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There’s so much to embrace about the coming of Spring.

There’s so much to embrace about the coming of Spring, and Ostara’s Altar has a lot of it! Gwyneth is frolicking in a field of flowers, my favourite flowers ever, the Ichi Fields from The Looking Glass. The ruins in the background are an amazing set from Delirium, called Ancient Temple. This is permanently on Awenia (well, as permanently as anything is on Awenia!), and I love the gothic arches and the atmosphere of the place. I put lime trees from The Little Branch all around the temple, but you can’t see them in this photograph: check the ones below!

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But let’s get on to the important stuff! What is Gwyneth wearing?

But let’s get on to the important stuff! What is Gwyneth wearing? The dress is from Oubliette, and you can get it at Ostara’s Altar until 1pm SLT today, so hurry it up! It’s called Maia, and it comes in an amazing array of ombre colours, something for everyone, and the textures are fantastic! This hair is from Limerence, called Lamiya, and it’s still available at Lootbox. The amazing nails are from Dark Passions (natch!), and they’re the Odin’s Pride set, also available at Lootbox. The skin is Lumae‘s wonderful new Neoma Catwa applier, here on the Catwa Lona head, and the extra makeup is from Adored; it’s the Unicute Shadows, which you can pick up at The Secret Hideout. I went crazy at that event this time around. Unicorn theme. You guys know how I am! Eyes are the Gem Eyes from Amara Beauty. Gwyneth’s ears are these great new ones from Swallow, the Noldor Elf Ears. I love the jewellery on these ears; I just wish they took Omega appliers (hint, hint, Swallow!). 🙂 The boots are from Luas, the Skadi boots, which are at Lootbox. Trousers are a standby from The Muses, the Laced Leather Pant. Body as always is the Maitreya mesh body, though I’ve been experimenting with the Tonic body lately and may do some photos with that one soon.

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Leaping!

Leaping! Gwyneth loves Spring, because as a natural Summer Queen, Spring is the beginning of her rise to power, which peaks at Midsummer. These poses are all from Grafica, by the way; they did some amazing dance poses a couple of years ago that I still use frequently. That said, I have been to Pose Fair, so be expecting some new ones in the weeks to come!

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Happy!

This pose is from the Hela-Miyo Happy series, which is just a lot of fun. But look at the textures on that Oubliette dress. Yum, yum. I love it when things just look perfect and I don’t have to work too hard to make them perfect.

I’m not including a style card with this post, as everything is described under the photos, but I will tell you this: Ostara’s Altar is closing at 1pm SLT today, so get yourself down there and do some last-minute shopping, because some of these exclusives are discounted and you don’t want to miss that!

Cleansing The Altar

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Our Ostara altar was beautiful as always.

Our Ostara altar was beautiful as always. This one came from Lore, who create many lovely pagan garden items; this one we found at the Ostara’s Altar event that we enjoyed so much.

I love this dress from Senzafine, of course. The tights and dress are both available at the event, but you may have to hunt for the tights!

Beusy did my hair up with glorious sunflowers. A little early in the season for sunflowers, but spring is the promise of summer, so I felt it was a good choice.

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Cleansing the altar with love

Cleansing the altar with love is only part of a post-Ostara tradition that goes back for as long as anyone in the village can remember.

I love that phrase, “for as long as anyone … can remember”. It allows plausible deniability for all kinds of things, like short memories, faulty memories, things that never actually happened before, or Incidents such as the thing we don’t talk about that is allowing me to turn my little Realm into the Fae equivalent of the London Dungeon, except with more content and less screaming.

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It involves a lot of twirling.

It involves a lot of twirling. I am really good at twirling.

I am so good at twirling I should think of some other things that incite twirling.

Maybe I will put a little unicorn garden near the castle so I can see mortal girls of all ages, and of course any boys that would like to, twirling. That sounds like fun.

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Handling Spring energy

Handling Spring energy is a delicate manoeuvre: it can get inside your head and make you wear nothing but flowers for a whole season. Trust me on this. I have been told off for having too much Spring energy more times than you want to know.

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But in the end, all is well.

But in the end, all is well, even for the little demifae who are soaking up as much of the spring as they can get this beautiful late morning.

Our Spring altar can stay, for now, I think.

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We’ll need a Summer altar soon enough.

We’ll need a Summer altar soon enough.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Bento Mesh Head, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Neoma Catwa Applier (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Eyes: The Little Bat, Andromeda Eyes (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears (at Kustom9)
Clothes: Senzafine, Lexa Dress and Ostara’s Grace stockings (hunt gift) (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Shoes: Zaara, Padme Mojari Shoes
Hair: Beusy, Citrus (At Kustom9)
Altar and Statuary: Lore, Altar of Spring and Pagan Garden Statues (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Location: Awenia, Queen’s Garden
Poses: All from Belle Poses, Nina, except pose with Hearts, from Luanne’s World, Love Will Remember

Preparing for Ostara!

There’s no better place to get everything you need for your Ostara celebration than Dark Passions Events’ Ostara’s Altar event. I am loving so many things here there will probably be more than one blog post featuring items from this event: this post will show only a few of them! Ostara’s Altar opens today!

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Lumae comes back from a hiatus with this beautiful Neoma Catwa applier!

Lumae comes back from a hiatus with this beautiful Neoma Catwa applier! I particularly love the lavender shades of makeup on this applier, and of course Lumiya Rae‘s painting and shading is always so beautiful. Just look at those lips! Look at those beautiful eye sockets! The eyes themselves are ones I’ve been in for a couple of weeks now: S0ng finally made Omega eye appliers, and I’ve been taking advantage of the chance to wear these lovely, liquid eyes. The hair is from Kuni, called Thaiza, and you can get it at the Sense Event.

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Of course, there’s more to Ostara prep than just the right face! You also have to have amazing clothes.

Of course, there’s more to Ostara preparation than just the right face. You also have to have amazing clothes, and these don’t disappoint. They’re from Dreaming Thicket. The Butterfly top is their hunt gift for the event, and the Lotus skirt is available for sale at the event. The top comes in a load of great colours, all of which go nicely with the skirt.

Behind me you can see a bit of the beautiful altar made by Moondrops. The Ostara Altar set has everything you need for a beautiful altar, all in spring colours. It includes an athame, wand, pentacle, rose candle, water bowl, a tarot card box, a major arcana tarot card spread, and of course the altar itself and a lovely altar cloth.

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As a practicing pagan, I can never have enough cauldrons!

As a practicing pagan, I can never have enough cauldrons! This one, made by Deadly Nightshade, is the Spring Cauldron in lilac. The cauldron comes in a bunch of other colours, as well.

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Whew! All this setup can make a girl tired.

Whew! All this setup can make a girl tired– you have no idea how hard it was to climb up that ladder and hang this beautiful Wheel Calendar from Candle and Cauldron — and I’m not close to done! There’s lots of springtime things coming to Awenia very soon!

But you? Need to head out to Ostara’s Altar. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Bento Mesh Head, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Neoma Catwa Applier (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears (New at Kustom9)
Clothes: Dreaming Thicket, Butterfly Top (hunt gift) and Lotus Skirt (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Lea Flats (At Collabor88)
Hair: Kuni, Thaiza (At Sense)
Backdrop: Serenity Stle, ChoiBoi, Cloudy
Altar, Altar Cloth, Athame, Wand, Water Bowl, Tarot Box, Major Arcana Spread, Pentacle, and Rose Candle: Moondrops, Ostara Altar (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Cauldron: Deadly Nightshade, Spring Cauldron (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Wheel Calendar: Candle & Cauldron, Wheel Calendar, Iridescent (Available NOW at Ostara’s Altar!)
Poses: All from An Lar, Simpli Series V

Autumn Dance

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Isn’t there just something about autumn?

Isn’t there just something about autumn that makes you want to dance?

Whether it’s the crisp air, the scent of woodsmoke, the glorious colours of leaves as they prepare for their flight to earth, autumn always makes me feel that little, measurable bit more awake and alive.

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And nothing moves better than a great Flexi skirt when you’re dancing.

And nothing moves better than a great Flexi skirt when you’re dancing. If you’ve been in Second Life more than five minutes, you know it’s mesh for modelling, Flexi for dancing. So when I saw the GSC Linear Confusion Gown by G Sloane, I knew I had to photograph it in motion. And the texturing! If anybody had told me, “Gwen, one day you will fall in love with a dress that is pink and orange,” I would have laughed and laughed. But then I saw this dress.

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It had to have special hair, a special skin, and a special place.

It had to have special hair, a special skin, and a special place. So I went back in my Lumae folder and found the freckled version of the Ruby Catwa applier, in a light tone that worked perfectly for the redhead I knew I’d have to be to pull off this dress. And for hair, well, I didn’t have to look very far, because Queue Marlowe made this amazing updo for Hairology, UlnaThere was also a colourway that incorporated just the right shades of red and pink, and off we went! Add to that glorious green eyes from Mesange, perfect nail colour from Cazimi and Persefona‘s beautiful Floating Leaves accessories, and you have a great outfit. All it was missing were wings! Luckily for me, Lassitude & Ennui made a great set of Bento fairy wings, and the red was the perfect colour for the outfit.

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So imagine, if you will, the perfect autumn day.

So imagine, if you will, the perfect autumn day. For me, it would be windy but not freezing, and I’d be in a place with glorious autumn trees, like the Fairy Garden on Awenia. Somewhere, you’d hear music, and it wouldn’t matter that you were alone with the trees: the wind itself would dance with you.

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The ground would glow with anticipation.

The ground would glow with anticipation. And you’d step once, twice, three times, and be unable to stop.

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You’d twirl with the leaves, let the wind lead you.

You’d twirl with the leaves, let the wind lead you.

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You’d bless the dusky day, bless the wood, bless the autumn.

You’d bless the dusky day, bless the wood, bless the autumn. And when you stopped…

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Oh, when you stopped, you’d bless the very air.

Oh, when you stopped, you’d bless the very air.

And then you’d turn, leaves still wheeling around you, and seek the stability of the nearest oak.

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And there you’d find a prize much greater than a little golden apple.

And there you’d find a prize much greater than a little golden apple.

You’d find serenity. Peace, The good kind of tired.

And maybe, tomorrow, when the wind picks up again, you’d think, I’ll come and do this again.

And maybe, maybe you would.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Ruby in T1, Milk
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Ulna (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Gown: G Sloane, GSC Linear Confusion Gown (Available on November 1 at Fashion Dazzle!)
Floating leaves: Persefona, Floating Leaves
Nails: Cazimi, Whimsy
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Bento Fairy Wings Silver/Red
Golden Apple: EVE
Oak Tree: Cube Republic, Pan’s Oak
Glowing Flowers: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Poses: All from Abraminations Ballet Dances

Setting: Awenia, the Fae Village

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A Dream of Wings

Why would I dream about wings, you might ask? You might think that since I’m Sidhe, I can have wings whenever I want, so I have no need of flying dreams.

You’d be wrong: everyone has flying dreams. But this one, I think, was more about the wings themselves than about flying.

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Encased in glass…

Encased in glass, my only companion a rose. It might have been watching that live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast the other night. There was something disconcertingly dark about the whole thing, but we are coming into that time of the year, aren’t we?

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Just me and a rose. Where have I heard this story before?

Just me and a rose. Where have I heard this story before? Then again, I was always the only person not afraid of the Sithen Rose. Possibly that was unwise on my part, but I’d rather not be afraid of things if I don’t have to be.

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Of course, there is always the chance that I am slightly more intelligent than the rose.

Of course, there is always the chance that I am slightly more intelligent than the rose. Of course, if that’s the case, why am I in this glass case? I do, after all, have wings.

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Wings, and wings upon wings.

Wings, and wings upon wings. Like most flying dreams, this one ended with me falling, falling into nowhere, and awakening with a start.

There is nothing lovelier, though, than having wings. No matter the colour, size, or number of spiderwebs. Wings are wings.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Golha (Amethyst) (Available NOW at Season of the Witch!)
Hair: Ayashi, Janko Hair
Headpiece: Bliensen & MaiTai, Kira Tiara/Crown
Dress: Purple Moon, Goth Bride Gown (Available NOW at  The Trunk Show!)

Photo Backdrops: D.U.S.T., Forgotten Door; and
Inspire Pose, Studio Street 07

Rose Prop: WetCat, “A Single Rose”

Confined Spaces and the Consilium Arcanum

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Meditate, Breathe, Centre.

Meditate, Breathe, Centre. It may be that I am nervous. My contact is Arcturus Treem, who’s a Consilium Arcanum …. would you call him a civil servant? I guess he is. We’re to meet later today at his magic shop, Cave of Wonders, to discuss the opening of Awenia up to humans and other magical beings. The townsfolk have been pretty open to it so far; they want to encourage passage between beings, and now that the walls are down, we can do this. I’ve done some research on the few other Realms that have taken this course of action, and they’re mostly coming from the other direction: human Realms who want to open themselves to other beings. I can’t help but wonder about their reasons, but I suppose that’s what Treem wants to talk to me about as well.

I’ve been here since last night, in a Seattle where I used to have to travel glamoured— but when I arrived, no one batted an eye at my obvious differences. The staff at the hotel were very nice, but the room is very small, which I suppose I should have expected. It’s not like this is a diplomatic visit from a Queenly sort of viewpoint. One plus for the staff: the moment the concierge saw me, he asked if I’d like a large mirror put in my room. Of course I said yes: if Nathaniel or Wren or even (gods help me) Drysi want to get in touch, the mirror is the easiest way for them to reach me when I’m so far away. Will O’ the Wisps get… well, they get distracted sometimes. I am so happy I met up with the talented Queue Marlowe and got her to braid my hair over at Analog Dog before I hopped back here and boarded a ferry to Seattle, because they still don’t have great Fae portal service here.

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The truth is, I’m impatient.

The truth is, I’m inpatient. You never would have guessed that about me, I’m sure. Our meeting is set for two o’clock this afternoon, and here I am, awake at barely ten, already full of a dazzling hotel breakfast that included Belgian waffles and syrup and so much whipped cream. It’s a good thing my body can function completely off carbs and fat!

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I know what I have to do.

I know what I have to do. Basically, I have to convince this guy that I’m opening up the Realm for positive and legal reasons, namely better communication among different types of beings, and of course the tourism dollars won’t hurt. And I need not to go off on tangents about love and light and all that stuff. I need to speak as a town representative and not a Fae Queen.

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Barely ten minutes after I embark on this train of thought, there’s a chime from the mirror.

Barely ten minutes after I embark on this train of thought, there’s a chime from the mirror.  I stand up, compose myself.

“Who?”

“Arcturus Treem, Miss…. I’m sorry; I don’t know your last name.”

“I don’t really have one any more, Mr Treem. Most people who address me formally use “Your Majesty”, but I’m not coming to you as a Queen. Gwyneth is fine.”

“In that case, it’s Arcturus or Art if you prefer.” He is an older gentleman, with crinkles around his blue eyes and the weathered look of a man who’s seen many seasons. “I only wanted to check in with you and see if we were on track for our meeting this afternoon. I see you’re settled in nicely. Is that the Abbot House?”

I smile. He’s not difficult to talk to, which is a good thing. “Yes; that’s right. They’ve been lovely here. Such a surprise after…”

He raises a brow. “Have you had bad experiences elsewhere, Gwyneth?”

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“Um…”

“Um…” I swallow. Not everyone has the same set of memories as I do now, but I expected the magician might be a little more informed. Then again, he is human. Maybe I need to put Skeleton or Nathaniel on research which folk have two different sets of memories, and which folk do not.

There’s that eye-crinkling smile again. “You remember the Cataclysm. Good. Not all Fae do, of course: those who are confined to their own realms mostly, but it’s important to make sure before we begin any conversation.” He nods as if I’ve passed a test.

I exhale. And I smile. “Great. We’re on the same page. So yes, walking into Seattle last night, unglamoured, was very interesting. And while I recognise that whoever perpetrated the Cataclysm has been a very bad boy or girl, I can’t say I’m altogether displeased with the result.”

He laughs outright at that. “Very diplomatic, Your Majesty. I begin to see some of that Sidhe charm I was expecting from someone like you. Did you know, the flowers on the paintings in your room look as if they’re alive?”

I glance back to the now super-saturated paintings. “I have that effect on things. It’s part of being what the Fae call a Life-Bringer, but I don’t claim that title. I believe just about anything can be accomplished if the challenges are met with love, rather than trickery, greed, violence…. That’s one reason why I want Awenia to be a Fae town open to everyone: I want different beings to see the good in each other, learn about their differences, learn to co-exist. Because even if they think they have co-existed for a long time, there are bound to be problems.”

“No need to launch into your sales pitch right away,” replies Art with another one of those smiles. “I can’t keep the mirror communication up for long: for me, it requires a rather difficult spell. One thing I’d love to acquire from you in Awenia, as a Fae town where trade will be encouraged, is a proper magic mirror. Do you have a mirror smith?”

“Of course we do, and a good one too,” I reply. “I think we can make that happen for you.”

“All paid for, of course,” he is quick to reply. “I could not accept a gift from you, for many reasons.” He meets my eyes. “But before we sit down in the shop to do business this afternoon, I was wondering if you’d like to have lunch with me, just so we can get to know one another a little better, lay some ground rules for future interactions, if you will.”

I smile. “That sounds like a great idea.”

“Wonderful. I’ll pick you up at your hotel around eleven thirty, and then we’ll have a while to natter about whatever we like before we get down to business. Now I’ll bid you good morning, and thank you very much for your time.”

I don’t wrinkle my nose at the ‘thank you’; I know it’s a human custom and I used to do it myself. But I’ll have to make sure Mr Treem knows what’s meant by ‘thank you’ to one of us. “It is nothing,” I reply. “I’m happy and honoured to be here, and I look forward to our meeting later.”

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I even blow him a little kiss before I dismiss the mirror communication. Can’t hurt.

I even blow him a little kiss before I dismiss the mirror communication. Can’t hurt.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Golha (Amethyst) (Available NOW at Season of the Witch!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Moira A (Available NOW at The Epiphany!)
Headpiece: Cae, Lasa Circlet
Bracelets: The Plastik, The Aeliora Cuffs (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Dress: Oubliette, Royal Vega Dress (Available NOW at  Season of the Witch!)
Boots: !go, Fae Boots Brown

Photo Backdrop: Mary Etc., After Hour Background (Available NOW at Designer Circle!)

Thanks are always due to the incredibly talented Queue Marlowe of Analog Dog who created such.a lovely set of hairs for The Epiphany. I’ll be showing you the other versions soon!

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