I want adventure in the great wide somewhere….

I admit it. Even I love when Disney gets it right. And, I guess I’m the right age for this….

I love Beauty and the Beast.

I love Beauty and the Beast. I very nearly wrote my thesis on it, but got talked out of it because there were so many novels and stories on the same topic coming out at the time.

I know this, of course. I know it because, duh, I read them all! I don’t care if the writer has subject verb agreement problems and an ongoing love affair with the apostrophe, if it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I’ll give it a shot.

So when Bran popped in one morning this week to tell me that one of the lovely people from Silvan Moon Designs had dropped by with a dress for me to try on approval, for the recently opened Enchantment Faire, let’s just say…. there was squeeing. In fact, I jumped up and down with glee.

“Your Majesty?” He was bemused, but then that’s Bran’s normal state. He’s somewhat like my beloved Nathaniel in this. “I don’t understand.” He stared at the dress. “You do not wear a lot of yellow,” he said.

“But it’s Belle’s gown!” I said.

He stared at me.

“Oh, for goodness’ sake!” I fired up the Apple TV and downloaded a copy of the animated Beauty and the Beast. I downloaded the live action version for good measure. And made Bran sit down and watch them both, plus the Lindsey Stirling video where she does like half the score on solo fiddle.

It is not often that you see a grown Sidhe cry. I admit I was smug.

After four hours of straight-up Beauty and the Beast, I was incapable of waiting any longer. “I have to put on this dress right now.” I said.

Bran didn’t protest, except to note that we had no ball planned. I retorted that I didn’t care, and I made him and Clutie follow me out with an iPhone and a gimbal, because I wanted pictures. Clutie just rolled her eyes, bless her. Then again, she’s seen the films.

Of course, we couldn’t escape the pixies.

.

Of course, it being always summer here in Faerie, we couldn’t escape the pixies. They are kin to us, but they’re also pests, and they love nothing more than the iridescent meadow that is my grove garden. So of course we had to deal with them: they certainly weren’t going to leave us alone.

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Look at those little photo-bombers!

I tried to strike some romantic and dramatic poses, but look at those little photo bombers!

“Try turning the other way, Your Majesty,” Clutie suggested. She’d enlisted the help of a couple other demifae, because Bran was impossible. He just kept looking at me and sniffling.

“Gwneth, you look so….so….” he’d say, and then start sniffling.

One of the pixies was particularly problematic: he(?) kept getting right up in my face and trying to land on my nose or something. To be honest, the other ones weren’t much of a problem, as pixies go: I think they just wanted to be near us while we worked, and of course they spend more time in the garden than I do. This one little guy was really getting on my nerves, though.

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At one point, I admit I lost my temper.

At one point, I admit I lost my temper. “Look, you little so-and-so,” I said. OK, I might have been slightly more profane than that. “If you don’t keep getting in my face, I’m going to call the redcaps. You hear me?” He was unfazed. He might have known we don’t really see a lot of redcaps in this little island of Faerie.

“Best just let him have what he wants, Your Majesty,” one of Clutie’s helpers said.

I scowled. “And what exactly is that?”

“He just wants to be in the pictures,” Clutie said. “They like attention, and because we’re not in a …technological wasteland, they pick up on the fact that you’ll probably post these photographs on social media so other people can enjoy them.”

I raised a brow: Clutie was using my own description of the Wylds against me.

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“If that’s what it takes,” I reasoned. “Go ahead, little guy: grab your moment of fame.”

“If that’s what it takes,” I reasoned. “Go ahead, little guy: grab your moment of fame.” I told him to smile, but I’m not sure pixies know how to smile, really. Or maybe they are always smiling: it’s hard to tell. Mostly they just buzz around little big fae bees and try to land on your nose, but when organised they can get pretty destructive. I remember my Gran blaming them for everything from spoiled milk in the fridge to that time one of her cats came back from the Great Welsh Outdoors inexplicably covered with gooseberry jam.

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After that, we just decided that as long as they weren’t causing trouble, we’d pretend they were part of the plan all along.

After that, we just decided that as long as they weren’t causing trouble, we’d pretend they were part of the plan all along. This seemed to please them, and I admit they put themselves into mostly pleasing configurations for the rest of the time Clutie and the three other demifae it took to handle the camera were taking pictures.

“Your Majesty, we should all go to the Enchantment Faire tomorrow,” Clutie prodded. “Who knows what else they’ve got there besides this gown? We might find some beautiful things for the castle. I’ve always wanted a talking candlestick.”

“Really?” I was convinced about going to Enchantment, but not about the candlestick. “Always?”

“Always,” she persisted.

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“I suppose we could take a day for a Faire based around Beauty and the Beast,” I said.

“I suppose we could take a day for a Faire based around Beauty and the Beast, I said. It didn’t take much convincing. “But I am not filling the castle with dancing cutlery, and no way are we bringing home a harpsichord.”

Clutie giggled, and we fell into a nice rhythm of singing songs from the musical as we shot more photos with our pixie hangers-on.

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Here’s my favourite one.

This one is my favourite, though after we spend tomorrow at the Faire who knows what lovely things we’ll have to do more creative play in the Bower. I could even get used to a tribe of dancing pixies wanting to be in most of the photographs.

If those little pests try to cover me with gooseberry jam though, all bets are off.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Venua (Available at the BRAND NEW 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! —don’t forget to update your landmarks!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes (fantasy)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Belle’s Enchanted Ball Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Truth, Caralisa
Jewellery: Baiastice, Boudicca Crown, Bangles, Earrings and Necklace (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Wings: Bitter Heart Boutique, Skylar Wings
Pixies: Hextraordinary, Pesky Pixies (Available NOW at The Gacha Garden!)
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Background Trees: Various; the big one is Pan’s Oak from Cube Republic
Poses: from Musa and Apple Spice’s range of gown poses

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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Changes and Accomplishments

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Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and say, “Hey; I want to be a redhead!”?

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and say, “Hey, I want to be a redhead!”? Well, I mean, unless you’re a redhead already, in which case the point is kind of moot. But that’s how I woke up this morning. The mist was thick on the ground as I made my way through the book forest. I noticed a few new things there, but I didn’t have time to investigate. I had a sense of purpose.

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Somehow, I knew the bower would be there.

Somehow, I knew the bower would be there. Of course, it looks different here from the Wylds. It’s bigger. But here’s bigger, you know? The trees are bigger. They feel older. Maybe it’s because I’m older. And the structure that’s defined my bower for the last several seasons is here, too. It’s comforting, like a church, but for someone like me, whose windows look out into eternity and whose walls don’t shut out the world, the wood, the flowers.

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I took a deep breath. And for a moment, I found serenity.

I took a deep breath. And for a moment, I found serenity. But my new Realm wasn’t out of surprises for me yet: I knew there was yet more for me to discover.

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I took a moment to centre myself.

I took a moment to centre myself and take in the ambiance of the oak tree. I could feel the growing forest behind me: DI felt no need to turn and look, but of course I wanted to turn and look. Then, I rounded the oak tree to come closer to the Green, and I gasped at what I saw.

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Tucked beneath that giant oak tree was a little boho paradise.

Tucked beneath that giant oak tree was a little boho paradise. Pink ivy leaves covered the trunk and roots of the tree, set into which was a shelf with a beautiful clock. And floating parasols!

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Who could resist sitting here for a while? Not me.

Who could resist sitting here for a while? Not me. I found the morning drifting in to noon. As always in a magical Realm, time moves differently here. I recalled how the raven tower had made me think of my bower in the Wylds, and I smiled as I thought of those gorgeous windows, open to the sky, behind me. I longed for a book, a good book, to appear, and I found myself holding a book by Neil Gaiman I didn’t know existed. Apparently he’s retelling Norse myths now! Well, that ate up a few hours, as you might imagine.

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Eventually, as the sun moved into afternoon, I wandered back in to the flower meadow.

Eventually, as the sun moved into afternoon, I wandered back in to the flower meadow. How large it seemed, how open. So different from how it had been almost completely enclosed by forest in the Wylds. I wonder if this is my new mindset: an open-ness to things, a receiving, an acceptance. The flowers glowed with their own light as the hazy noon wore into afternoon, and I took some pleasure in feeling small inside my bower. A bower that will be open to everyone, a place for all to visit.

Oh, and then I felt tired—as if I’d done some act of creation just by walking through the flower field. I made my way back toward the beautiful couch and that book of Norse myths. Suddenly I was struck by a thought, and `I nearly laughed aloud.

What would that ludicrous reporter, Cherish Gelato, think of this place? I imagined her poking around, putting her nose into places it doesn’t belong, wondering why there were unfinished places that just look like vast fields of grass, and my explaining to her that this was not a Realm that came in to being overnight; that it must grow like a garden.

And then she’d ask me: “Are you proud of what you’re creating here?”

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Am I proud? “You bet your sweet arse I am.”

Am I proud? 

“You bet your sweet arse I am.”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), V (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Hiraeth Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Wednesday, snow (Full body skin and head applier, Available NOW at Skin Fair! These are 7 Deadly s{K}ins’ NEW. body appliers, and they are amazing and easy to use, and so fast!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Necklace: Earthstones, Flight of Fancy Necklace (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Peaches and Cream Dress, Blue (Available SOON at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Gretchen Flats, Dove (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Scenes:
Book Path: Una, Book Path
Book with trees: BananaN, Story Book Gacha Scene 3
Table and Chairs, Wishing Well: Raindale, Maplemoor Set
Grass: Alirium, Downy Grass
Birch Trees: The Little Branch, White Birch Cluster
Windowed Structure: Kaelis Ember, Find Here Amenity
Big Tree: Cube Republic, Auchmore Oak
Magical Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Boho Hangout Spot: The Looking Glass, In My Boho Garden (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Background Trees: Various trees by Studio Skye, The Little Branch, Happy Mood, Heart, Trompe Loeil
SimSurround: Landscapes Unlimited, Rolling Hills Large Skybox Environment

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create an organic magical realm without it!

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