Works in Progress….

New Blog Headers - 9

Gwyneth:

So, yeah. You know how it is. The seasons turn, Yule comes and goes, the mortal world is celebrating the beginning of a new year, and you’re pacing around on your sim platform, trying to think of a series of evocative photographs that’ll get you through Certain Things Yet To Be Announced, not to mention your Visionaire graduation, which is coming up sooner than you’d like to admit. And you look around yourself, and you go, ‘Well, sweet goddess; why am I building and tearing down all these photo sets on a temporary looking platform? I have a whole effing sim to play with!’

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Well, OK, maybe it’s not exactly that story for everybody.

Well, OK, maybe it’s not exactly that story for everybody. But we’ve all had that revelation when we realise we’d been making something more complicated than it had to be, yeah? Some of the best things in the world are simple. Take this new hair from Wasabi Pills. It’s called Isla, and it’ll be at Fameshed on the first of January, unless they open late because of the holiday. I love it, because it is marvellously, stunningly, simple. Like the solution to my problem.

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And so, my lovelies, I present to you some works in progress.

And so, my lovelies, I present to you some works in progress. First of all, I’m still experimenting with finding the perfect shape for Gwyneth’s Catwa Catya Bento mesh head, which I still love to pieces. Just the eye animations keep me rapt, because Gwyneth’s eyes seem to move naturally in their sockets, rather than kind of sliding beneath the sockets on a static mesh head. In fact, I’ve changed her face shape slightly since shooting these photographs; I became unhappy with a detail about the way her cheek met the hollows beneath her eyes and spent a while playing with that this morning before starting this post. I’ll shoot a couple of special photos so you can see what I mean before I finish this post, so please don’t mind me if I yammer on for a bit here.

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Out of the mist…

But getting back to what I was talking about before I got distracted by my hair…. I began thinking, even though the ground area of my sim is covered by the beautiful Pacific Northwest Rainforest that Dyisi Oppewall has created for our roleplaying group, there are still all these (extra!) prims left over, and so why didn’t I just make a sim-sized sky platform with a great surround so that it felt like there was a horizon?

And thus, out of the mist, was this idea born. It doesn’t have a name yet. What you see in the photo above are the bare beginnings of it; there’s a rez platform over on the left, even. As with most of my changing SL homes since the 2016 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, the first and central object placed is my glorious Last Hope statue, a one-of-a-kind (well, two-of-a-kind!) item created by the geniuses at Death Row Designs. Some of you know I lost my beloved husband to cancer at the beginning of 2016. Some of you also know that in another life, I’m a semiprofessional harper. To me, this statue is me playing a lament for my beloved. The dove is hope itself, or possibly Joe’s immortal spirit, come to listen. I knew at the time I wanted a circular path around the statue and four of Elicio Ember (the personable, nice, and downright sexy mastermind behind Cerridwen’s Cauldron)’s stunning Fae Waystones placed at cardinal points round the statue. I wanted paths running toward the surround edge in all four directions.

The skybox surround is from Landscapes Unlimited, and aside from having to build an invisible floor underneath it, I am 100% satisfied with it, as I can change it to many different looks depending on the season of the year or whether or not I want to live on Mars. 😉

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A few more things have now been added….

A few more things have now been added in this photo, but importantly you can see Gwyneth’s whole outfit, so I can talk about the clothes! The dress and boots are both from Zenith, the Autumn Sweater with Skirt in Rose, and the Leather Boots with Lace Socks, also in Rose. You can get the boots at Uber. If you noticed the necklace and earrings, they’re from Empyrean Forge, the Levity necklace and earrings.

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Ohh, but that skin!

Ohh, but that skin! It’s a new Catwa applier from Pink FuelSabine, formerly available only as a Lelutka applier. This was just released yesterday, and yes, I was part of the yammering glom-mob that descended on the Pink Fuel Main Store to pick it up, both in my favourite shades (Porcelain and Crystal—you see Porcelain above) and in their yummy new shade Brulée, which is available at a special price for now. Pink Fuel has long been one of my favourite skin creators, up there with Lumae7 Deadly s{K}ins, and DeeTaleZ (though, yes, my heart will also belong to Curio if she comes back to us) as some of the most beautiful skins you can get in Second Life, in my opinion. Pink Fuel also distinguishes itself by offering a dizzying array of body styles, particularly suited to those of us on the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. These are the Lionsong eyes from Mesange. I’m wearing Mesange eyes almost exclusively these days because they’re available as Omega appliers and I simply can’t be arsed with correctly positioning dozens of different mesh eyes to suit whatever head I’m wearing. And seriously, I’m a bit of a perfectionist about these things. I even tell other people when they’re posing for me and wearing mesh eyes to fix that cross-eyed thing right now; I’ll help you; no, really, it’s important; I’ll wait.The ears are the Swallow High Definition Elf Ears, and Gwyneth, as almost always, is wearing the Maitreya Lara body. Behind her, you can see more of Cerridwen’s Cauldron‘s lovely plants, including the Challis Flower, which is just about my favourite thing ever at the moment, and some of Elicio‘s beautiful Fungal Undergrowth. You can pick up both these and the Fae Waystones referenced above at the Cerridwen’s Cauldron Main Store in world or on the SL Marketplace if you fancy shopping from your couch.

So, what follows are some fairly rough shots of the still-unfinished and in the very beginning stages of my new home in Awenia.

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First, an aerial view, so you can get your bearings.

First, an aerial view, so you can get your bearings.

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8f8’s Cottage Cairn and Windmill

The first two buildings I put down were 8f8‘s lovely Cottage Cairn and Windmill, both from the New Beginnings set, from a past Arcade Gacha. One of the best things about having a sim-sized place to decorate is getting to put out all these beautiful buildings I’ve acquired at this or that gacha event over the years.

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Then, I decided I wanted a little commercial district.

Then, I decided I wanted a little commercial district. So here we have from right to left Ex Machina‘s Chelsea, which reminds Gwyneth enough of London that she won’t have to visit too often, then Death Row Designs‘ The Joint coffeeshop, followed by The Magick Shoppe, also by Death Row Designs. These shops border what will become a park/village green of sorts, across which you’ll find some nice places to eat.

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Across the park.

Across the park, from left to right, there’s the lovely Hideki Bakery, next door to which is another Vintage Bakery by Dustbunny, though I’ll probably turn it into a pastry shop or a restaurant, and then there’s the whimsical Tea Shop from Tentacio. Then you have Tarte‘s Grinder’s Cafe, which might or might not stay where it is; I’m not sure.

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Just so you can have a sense of the space I’m allowing for the park.

Just so you can have a sense of the space I’m allowing for the park/village green, here’s a more zoomed-out shot where both shop rows are visible.

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Rez Platform Number One.

Here’s Rez Platform Number One, where you can see some tasty things that might or might not make it onto the finished build; and

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Rez Platform Number Two, plus buildings I’m holding out for consideration.

Rez Platform Number Two, plus buildings I’m holding out for consideration. And I have some amazing new ideas that just came into my head today!

All this is going to keep me busy on what promises to be a long and lonely New Year’s Eve, the first I’ve spent without Joe since New Year’s Eve 2003/04, which was the night we met.

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I guess now everybody knows I’m a tree-hugger!

On another note, The Guardians opens tomorrow, the first of January, 2017 (!), and there is much, much cool stuff to be had there.  BananaN has done a book gacha that I’m so so very fond of: you can see several pieces of it in the background of this photo. The tree I’m hugging is the Young Maple from The Little Branch, and I’m wearing the Fame Femme Amelli Sweater, which is turning out to be a real favourite for casual wear this season. The boots are the Gypsy Boots from Wicca’s Wardrobe, and the hair! Oh, yes, the hair!

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Amazing hair from Analog Dog (as if AD made anything other than amazing hair, right?)

This is amazing hair from Analog Dog, as if Queue Marlowe ever made anything other than amazing hair, right? It’s called Lei, and it’s the Gift of the Guardians that you’ll receive if you play Analog Dog‘s gacha fifteen times at The Guardians event. I should mention the necklace, now that you can see it: it’s Minimal‘s Camera Necklace, and I bought one for myself and two friends at The Project Se7en today. And the rings are from  Absolut Vendetta, the Hydra Rings for Vista Bento Hands. Yes, I now have Bento hands, and I’m so glad I got them! I’ll tell you more about them anon.

The Lei hairstyle is an obvious tribute to the gargantuan talent that was Carrie Fisher, and it seems a fitting note on which to end this, my last big blog post of 2016. I might shoot you a couple of teasers as it’s going to be a long night for me, but this is the wordiest I’ll get, I promise. Carrie Fisher was only 60 years old. That’s the same age my husband Joe was when he died on the 29th of January, 2016. Star Wars was the last film I saw with my father in the cinema before he died at the age of 46. I was twelve. When I took my primary-school-aged son to see it during the ramp up to the second trilogy of Star Wars films, it was all I could do not to weep through the film as I remembered sitting in the cinema with my dad: I would have been eleven.

Tonight, wherever you are, somebody is going to go down a list of the people who’ve died this year, and it’s a long one. That somebody might even be you. If you can, I want you to consider doing two things. One of them is for yourself. The other, selfishly, is for me. Remember that on the worst day of your life, someone else is having the best day of theirs. That one’s for you. No matter how bad a day you’re having, someone else is experiencing the greatest joy ever. Imagine that. Now here’s the one for me. When the somebody (who might be you) is going down that list of people who’ve left us this year, please, for me, whisper, or shout, or say, ‘James Joseph Raftery’. Let my beloved’s name be spoken on the same wind as all those other names, and let his bright, love-giving, life-saving spirit be woven into that song. Say it: ‘James Joseph Raftery’. He hung the moon. He lit the stars. He took my broken heart and put it back together, and even though my heart has been breaking every single day of this long, long year, it’ll never be as broken as it was before Joe, because Joe knew how to mend things. He hugged me and loved me and believed in me so hard he made me Real. ‘James Joseph Raftery’. Say his name for me.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never build new homes without it!

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My New Life as a Wedding Model?

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

The boys and I have spent the last three weeks working in an apple orchard in one of the Enchanted realms. Sure, we’re probably working for the Wicked Witch, but the pay is good and we get to take apples back to camp, where some of the men are making cider and all of the women are making pies and tarts. Apple season is a wondrous time. And as we’re heading in to the dark half of the year, many of us on the Old Paths are about to celebrate the year’s turning. At this time of the year, everyone seems to want a little Romany spice in their wine, if you know what I mean, so I haven’t been surprised at the number of invitations that have been coming to the early autumn campfires. We throw many of them away, as they seem to be thinly-veiled attempts to lure our virgins away for this or that nefarious purpose. And of course we Gypsies don’t really have a lot of ignorant women in our midst: these requests make us laugh.

But one came through a few days ago that intrigued me:

Wanted: Male Model for Wedding Suits. Must be Medium Sized and Irresistible To Women.

There was some laughter when the boy handed me that one. They knew I wouldn’t be able to, well, resist that invitation.

It was signed, Opelia DeRouen, Clothier, Armand Road

Well. I had the boy prepare a response to tell her I’d be round the following morning. Who could resist an invitation like that?

The house looked like it had been plucked out of a Louisiana town.

The house looked like it had been plucked out of a Louisiana town.

The house looked like it had been plucked out of a Louisiana town, though its forested grounds reminded me more of New England.

The sign on the door read,

The sign on the door read, “Clothier”, so I guessed I’d come to the right place.

The sign on the door read Clothier, so I guessed I’d come to the right place.

Mais, don’t linger in doorways, cher,” Ophelia opened the door before I knocked. “Folks’ll think you a vampire.” She was a tiny little woman, dressed conservatively, all smiles. “Let me get you some tea, oui? And you try on that suit on the blue dress form, the black one, while I’m out.”

OK, no pleasantries, just the offer of a cup of tea and a request to get started. Clearly, I passed muster. I smiled to myself as I tried on the first suit. It felt as if it fitted perfectly.

“What do you think, cher?” she called from the kitchen.

“What do you think, cher?” she called from the kitchen.

“I like it!” I called back. I adjusted my celtic cross so it fitted over the shirt. People are always giving me celtic crosses; I’m not sure why. I looked around at the other suits: one was a deep purple, so deep it was almost black, and there was a shocking pink one on a rack.

“What are all these for?”

“What are all these for?” I asked.

“Goth wedding,” she replied. “Bride’s worried the men won’t come in proper attire, so she wants a bunch of these made up in standard sizes for guests to change in to when they arrive.” She laughed from the kitchen; I could hear the old-fashioned stovetop kettle begin to boil, but she was back in the parlour, measuring my inseam and that, before the tea could have been poured up. “Ah, there we go. Just a couple of alterations and it should be perfect.” She eyed me from top to bottom. “I knew I’d find the right size man down the gypsy camp. Now you try on this next one and I’ll get back to that tea.”

“Do you need several different styles?” I wondered.

“Do you need several different styles?” I wondered. “I like the tails on this one!”

“I do love me a good tail coat,” she called back from the kitchen. “Lady ain’t sure which one she’s going to pick; I think money will be a consideration here, of course; she wants five each in five different sizes, so these are the models. This one is most versatile: boys could choose cummerbund and tie colours as they pleased. Do take that beautiful hair down, cher.”

I smiled to myself.

I pulled my hair down out of what the boys laughingly call my

I pulled my hair down out of what the boys laughingly call my “man bun”.

I pulled my hair down out of what the boys laughingly call my “man bun”. So she wanted to see the Gypsy with his hair unbound. Perhaps there was more to this little meet and greet than a quick modelling session, after all.

“What’s the pink one for?” I wondered as I shook my hair out and combed it with my fingers.

“Oh, now I don’t think this one needs any alteration at all,” she said as she returned to the parlour with two cups of what smelled like good black tea. She set them both down on the one uncluttered surface in the room, the old-fashioned treadle sewing machine. “I know, I know, cher,” she said when she caught me looking at it. “It’s old, but nothing sews as straight or as pretty a seam, and tailoring’s loving work: everything’s got to look perfect, at least to me it does.”

I nodded. The tea was still too hot to drink. “Have you got milk?”

Oui, cher;” she said. “Just let me pin this quick: now don’t move or you’ll stick yourself.”

I stayed still. “What’s the pink suit for?” I asked again, but she was already off to the kitchen again.

“You want sugar, cher?”

“You want sugar, cher?”

“Sure!” I called back. I shifted carefully and took a long look at the pink suit. “No but really, what’s the pink suit for?”

She laughed. “You done asked me three times, so I’ll tell you,” she replied.

Ah, the Enchanted Lands. Everything goes by the Rule of Three here.

“It’s a commission, for the King of the Bean. He’s won his throne at Lughnasadh, you know, and he reigns until Samhain, when we dress him up and bring in the Winter King for the season.”

I nodded. “That’s some suit.”

She laughed. “Why don’t you try it on? I think it’ll fit you,” she called from the kitchen. “I’m just digging around for the sugar.”

So I put it on, complete with a set of pink boots. Everything fit perfectly.

So I put it on, complete with a set of pink boots. Everything fit perfectly.

So I put it on, complete with a set of pink boots. Everything fit perfectly.

“Fits like a glove!” I exclaimed.

She returned from the kitchen, eyed me critically. “You sure do look good with your hair unbound, cher,” she said.

“No, really; it fits perfectly,” I said. “Is your Bean King the same size as me?”

“Nope; he’s quite a bit taller than you, and somewhat more towheaded,” she said with a laugh. “Suit’s magic.”

Of course. I turned toward Ophelia. “You have a remarkable talent,” I said.

Her brown eyes sparked up at me. “How much sugar you want in that tea, cher?”

“Two spoonfuls,”I replied. “And a splash of milk.”

“Just a splash?” She was flirting with me, of course. “Let’s give you a sploosh instead.”

I laughed. “Whatever you say, my lady,” I said. “You have the most remarkable eyes, Ophelia.”

“Call me Ophie,” she replied. “All my friends do.”

Despite the loveliness of the other suits, I couldn't get over the fit of the pink one.

Despite the loveliness of the other suits, I couldn’t get over the fit of the pink one.

Despite the loveliness of the other suits, I couldn’t get over the fit of the pink one.

“I don’t know why I like this so much,” I said with a little laugh. “I never imagined myself wearing so much pink at one time before.”

She smiled up at me. “That’s the magic in the suit, cher.” She winked. “You like it now, but you learn to love it later.”

Definitely flirting. I chuckled. “Oh!” I looked across the room. “Do you do cakes as well?”

"Oh, no; the cakes are just there for the bride to look over," she said.

“Oh, no; the cakes are just there for the bride to look over,” she said.

“Oh, no; the cakes are just there for the bride to look over,” she said. “My fried Page does them. Gorgeous, aren’t they?”

I couldn’t take my eyes off the captured raven. “How do you do that?”

“She does it,” she reminded me. “Magic. The rose too.” She patted the seat beside her on the single couch in the parlour. “Why don’t you sit down next to me and enjoy that tea?”

“Don’t you want me to take the suit off first?” I asked.

Her smile broadened. “Oh, no, cher,” she said. “I like you so much in that suit. We’ll take it off together later.”

I could get to like modelling wedding clothes for seamstresses.

Style Cards:

First Suit:
Body: 
SLink
Head: My own
Ears: Mandala Steking Ears Season 5
Hair: Argrace, Takeshi
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Limited Skin (Available now at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Appliers for SLink Male body also NOW AVAILABLE!
Suit and Shoes: Beyond Persuasion Designs, Midnight Gardens Principality Suit (Available now at Everlasting Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Affair!)
Necklace: Glint, Celtic Cross Necklace (a Glint MegaHunt Gift!)

Second Suit:
Body: 
SLink
Head: 
My own
Ears: 
Mandala Steking Ears Season 5
Hair: 
Argrace, Takeshi
Hair
(down): Calico, Caden
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Limited Skin (Available now at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Appliers for SLink Male body also NOW AVAILABLE!
Suit and Shoes: 
Avatar Bizarre, Dante Tux & Crowley Boots (Available now at Everlasting Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Affair!)
Necklace: 
Glint, Celtic Cross Necklace (a Glint MegaHunt Gift!)

Third Suit (Yes, the pink one!):
Body: SLink
Head: 
My own
Ears: 
Mandala Steking Ears Season 5
Hair (down): Calico, Caden
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Limited Skin (Available now at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Appliers for SLink Male body also NOW AVAILABLE!
Suit: 
Brocade Tiger, Flamingo Tux (A Femboy Hunt Gift!)
Shoes: FateStep, Anthony Boots
Necklace: 
Glint, Celtic Cross Necklace (a Glint MegaHunt Gift!)

Cakes: Page Creations, (L-R), Captured Raven Fantasy Cake, Black and White Lotus Cake, Captured Rose Fantasy Cake (Available now at Everlasting Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Affair!)

House: DustBunny, WildRose Manor (Available at Collabor88!)

Autumn Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Forest

Sign: Lost Junction, Port Town Signs, Clothier (from a past Fantasy Gacha Carnival)

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

Special thanks to Deva Westland, who lent me a vital prop for this scene!

Also thank you to FabFree blogger WHC Riler, who blogged about the Brocade Tiger suit and had me entranced from sentence number 1!

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