Works in Progress….

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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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Midnight at the Fair Maiden

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Gwyneth:

I continue to be plagued by strange dreams, dreams in which I am someone else, in a completely different world, with a completely different life.

I remember as a child reading a series of books by Diana Wynne Jones, about a series (well, several series, actually) of worlds in which there were varying degrees of magic and tolerance for magic. In every world, there were different versions of oneself, the only exception being in the case of special nine-lived enchanters, who had no cognates in other worlds. This, apparently, was how they got these nine lives. Anyway, I became fascinated with the books at first because there was a character named Gwendolyn, a name close enough to Gwyneth to spark my imagination. As I continue to dream my way through to whatever lesson these experiences are going to give me, I suspect I am getting glimpses of my lives in other worlds. Or maybe I just read too much speculative fiction as a child.

This dream was memorable, mostly because it included Dyisi, and “I” had no idea who or what she was! And oh, the things I thought about her, about Fae, about the world! I can’t imagine being raised in such a society, where a difference like pointed ears or a pair of horns means you’d be treated differently by everyone. No, wait. I can imagine that. I was raised in such a place. Even my own history becomes mutable, what with all these alternatives to consider.

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She came in right at midnight.

She came in right at midnight. I was cleaning off the bar, just about ready to head home.

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“We’re closed”, I said, without looking up.

“We’re closed”, I said, without looking up.

“Ah, but I have come so far”, replied a heavily accented voice, and I didn’t recognise the accent.

When I looked up, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“I am just needing a few things”, she continued. Her glasses obscured her eyes, but there seemed to be a light glowing behind the lenses. And she had glowing horns. And a tail, and… yes, hooves. And for some absurd reason, there was a white crow perched on one of the horns.

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I took a step back. “You’re not allowed”, I said.

I took a step back. “You’re not allowed”, I said. I lowered my voice: someone could be listening. “You can’t be here, if you’re not human. You’re illegal”.

“Illegal, am I?” she asked. “Why’s that?”

“Because of the Betrayal”, I said.

She shook her head. “Never heard of him”, she replied. “I am called Dyisi”.

“Gwyneth”, I said. This prompted a sharp laugh from the horned woman. “The betrayal. You know. When the Faerie said she’d keep us safe, but she broke her promise and so was turned to stone?”

“Was she now”. The woman—Dyisi—didn’t seem very impressed. “I’m no Fae; I’m a Satyr”.

“Doesn’t matter; you’re still illegal”, I said.

“Ah, well”. She tilter her head up to me. “I wonder if you’re not illegal, too?”

I shushed her with a gesture. And I could feel her reaching out with some internal power, to get at me, disturb my glamour, take me down with her. “You need to go”. I’m afraid I used my overbearing barmaid voice, the one I have to use on the old men, every night at half eleven, to get them all out of the door before twelve, so I can clean the place and get home before night workers’ curfew, one o’clock in the morning.

“So be it”, she said. And then, I kid you not, she just became more and more transparent until finally she disappeared.

So I finished what I was doing and locked up. Couldn’t stop thinking of her, though.

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You have to bash the pub door with your hip. I give it an extra push with my elbow.

You have to bash the pub door with your hip to close it properly; I like to give it an extra push with my elbow, just to make sure it’s locked. It’s a good thing the village has a curfew: the prince is afraid we’ll all be eaten by vampires, because of the betrayal, so nobody is allowed out on the streets after pub closing. Nobody but the barmaids ever see the ridiculous dance we have to do to close the pub door. I think the curfew’s funny for two reasons: first of all, if he were really serious about the vampire thing, why not make it sundown? And second, why make the only people in the village who have permission to be out after pub closing the pub girls? Aren’t we the most vulnerable? Anyway.

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Who was this “Dyisi”?

Who and what was this “Dyisi”? She had no fear of walking as a … different sort of person. She seemed surprised that anybody would.

How is that even possible?

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I mean, people everywhere know of the Betrayal.

I mean, people everywhere know of the Betrayal. We just happen to be the lucky (and by lucky I mean not) village on the edge of nowhere where the legend actually happened. People don’t visit us much because they fear they’ll be tainted with the stink of the Betrayal. All my uncles and aunts moved away long ago, and none of them can understand why my mum and dad stayed here to raise me, being what we are. Mum and Dad say it’s so I have to stare at her every day and learn my place in the world, since our kind are given to hubris.

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And they’re right.

And they’re right: having to look at that, day in and day out, would give any Fae (I feel funny even to say it: I’m meant to say “girl” whenever I mean “fae”. Or “boy”) cause to worry. See how her back is turned on the village’s High Street? That signifies how she failed to protect us when the Dark Fae came to steal our children, a century ago now. She is the only place in the world where we see an actual depiction of a Fae. They (we) are prohibited in every city, every town, illegal in artwork, and of course the penalty for being one, or being any member of a race not human, is death. I look at her pointed ears and remember how mine sometimes used to show, back when I was young enough not to keep the glamour up in my sleep. I can still feel the bruises on my bottom: Dad takes glamour very seriously, even if we’re not meant to know other things can be done with magic.

I walked down the lamp-lit street, mindful of every dark corner: who knows what could be lurking there, Mum says; I don’t know why you work in that place, she says, when we have a perfectly good toy shop that any girl would love to work in. The money, Mum, I say. It’s the money. She can’t think why I need money, but I can: Soon as I can afford transport, I’m getting out of here. Somewhere far away.

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I was still thinking of Dyisi when I reached our house.

I was still thinking of Dyisi when I reached our house. It’s at the other end of the village, even though that means about a five-minute walk. Mum thinks it’s the end of the earth, and she’s always waiting up for me, and she’s scared because the pub is on the edge of the forest, “and you have no idea what horrific things take place in there,” she’ll say. One day I’m going to walk all the way past the forest to the ruined castle and see if it’s really haunted. When I’m twenty-eight. By that time, I’ll have saved all the money I need to get out of here, and I’ll carry it all with me when I walk to the castle, just in case, as the stories say, there are other, less human, ways of getting out of the village.

For a moment, I wondered what kind of creature Dyisi was, but I knew it would be pointless to ask: I’d be up against the court of Mum and Dad, and I’d have to wait ’til I’m thirty to get out of here, because they would make me quit my job at the pub tomorrow if they knew a creature with glowing horns had walked in, presumably out of the forest, and just fucking disappeared from inside a well-lit pub. Maybe that’s how Fae get around. Maybe they can just think themselves anywhere. Tomorrow I’ll try thinking myself into the  bathing chamber before Michaela. She thinks she’s so special, dating the son of the mayor. Wait til their wedding night, I think, and it makes me smile. I bet she loses her glamour when he puts it in her, and that’ll be the shortest marriage in the history of the village. Mum and Dad will say they didn’t know, she must be a changeling, and the whole village will go onto alert, and we’ll have martial law for a few months like the last changeling scare, but after she’s executed, everybody will forget.

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And so, into our house I went.

And so, into our house I finally went, after checking to make sure Dyisi wasn’t following me. Maybe she is some kind of evil spirit, and I only thought I saw her. Maybe she is some piece of me that I didn’t know existed because Mum and Dad don’t tell good little girls these things. Maybe Mum doesn’t have pointy ears beneath her glamour: maybe she has big glowy horns and a twitching tail!

I had to put my hand over my mouth to stop myself giggling when I came in and saw Mum.

“You’re home late,” she remarked.

“Nelson puked on the doorstep again,” I explained.

“That old arse. Well, he’ll die soon enough.”

So will we all, I guess. But I’m not going to die here.

Style Cards:
Dyisi (full style card will come eventually)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: No Match, No Lime (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Maren, Powder (Available at Mesh Body Addicts, open until 29 July!)
Hair: Barberyumyum, 78AHF  (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)
Clothes: Faida and Fallen Gods, Mythiara Rogue, Royale (Available at The Epiphany!)
Necklace: glYph, Miraculous Necklace, Purple
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Bernadette Boots, Grey (Available at We❤ RP!)
Poses: PosESion, from the 100 poses for $399 set currently on sale at their Main Store

Setting:
Sim: Private Sim
Buildings, pub, village, doors, streetlamps: Death Row Designs, Dangarnon, from the 2016 Fantasy Faire sim of the same name.
Statue: Death Row Designs, The Last Hope, a two-of-a-kind item offered for auction at the 2016 Fantasy Faire
Village Paths: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods

Pub Decor:
Bar: Fetch, Lyla Bar
Elk Head: Medieval Fantasy, Elk Trophy
Deer Head: Medieval Fantasy, Deer Hunting Trophy
Cider Bottles: Jian, Hillside Orchard
XXX Barrels: Jian, Hillside Orchard
Unicorn Head: Nomad, Unicorn Taxidermy
Shelves Behind Bar: Serenity Style, Five Minutes Shelf
Wine Bottles Atop Bar Shelves: Aphrodite, Wine bottle collection
Purple Bottle on Bar: Morgan Sim Designs, Stowaway Fae’s Shot o’ Rum Bottle
Artwork Behind Bar: Lilith’s Den: Yrdrasil Axis Mundi
Bar Torches: Death Row Designs, Dangarnon Torches

It is such a pity Dy and I didn’t play a longer scene in the pub, but it was bedtime for her! I’ve kept the pub intact up on the platform where I create such things, so you may see more of No-Fae-Allowed Village Gwyneth’s life in the future, if only so I can show you things like the amazing polar bear statue in one of the corners and the beautiful tables sourced from Noble Creations and Tia.

Yes, I am one of the two people who won the DRD Last Hope Auction at the 2016 Fantasy Faire, and every time I look at that statue, I think of the Fantasy Faire, my beloved husband (whom I lost to cancer in January), and my hope that one day little donations like mine will help to make a real change in the way we treat cancer, leading to a complete cure, for everyone. I am deeply in awe of the amazing DRD team, who created one of the most inspiring objects I’ve ever seen in Second Life or any other life, and one that I’m proud to say graces and will grace my every living space in SL, be it RP, creative office, or OOC hangout. Unlike its purpose in this work of fiction, in reality this statue represents hope, the hope we can give and the hope that goes on before us, hope’s everlastingness, its raw power, and sometimes, its sadness. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create entire villages on a 1/4 sim sky platform for, um, one photo shoot, without it….

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Not Cheating!

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This is just how Faeries surf!

This is my entry for the June On9 Photo Competition.

In-World Name: Gwen Enchanted

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Helena
Ears: BentBox Sylvan Ears
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Wings: Soul, Oree Wings
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae Dolce Summer Sky, T5 (this month’s Group Gift at Lumae!)
Feet: SLink Pointe
Dress: Lakshmi Raffia, Color Pack 3 (featured at this month’s On9 event)
Hair: No Match, No Fooling (featured at this month’s On9 event)
Necklace: Baubles! by Phe, Peacock Necklace (featured at this month’s On9 event)
Anklet: Alaskametro, Jess Fringed Anklet, Color Pack Jungle (featured at this month’s On9 Event)
Surfboard: Bad Unicorn, “Rocket” Summah Surfboard
Recognisable forest tree in background: Jian, Dryad Hideaway
Forest Sim Design: Dyisi Oppewall
Pose: Infiniti, Dust In the Wind, 1
Lighting: Windlight: TOR Sunset, Barcelona; Model lighting: LumiPro

I’m making a concerted effort to credit the great pose creators whose work I use in my blog posts. I haven’t been doing that, mostly because I use an Ani-Mate Pose Hud most of the time, and so I cycle through poses very quickly. From here on out, I’m going to try and make sure all poses are credited, not only so that folks know where they might find them, but so I myself can remember which ones I used!

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

I do promise to get back to story-blogging soon! I just wanted to show off this photo; I think I did a pretty good job. 🙂

Ramblings about We <3 RP, Skins, and More!

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Gwyneth:

There’s not really a story today. Mostly, I’m just going to be talking about some of the fun stuff that’s available at We ❤ RP this month, and also about a new direction I’m taking.

actually bought a sim! Yes, that’s right. As it turns out, we need a little more space for a forest bit in our upcoming role-play sim, so I took the plunge. While the Amazing Dyisi Oppewall is down designing us a Pacific Northwest-style rainforest, I’ve been putting together an OOC office and home in the clouds. I’m going to need a space to myself while I’m working on my PhD in the upcoming months and years, so it seemed like as good a time as any to fashion a real just-for-me, OOC home. I’ve also got new skins to show you from 7 Deadly s[K]ins and (YES!) Curio!

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So, here’s a view of my OOC office.

So, here’s a view of my OOC office. I self-indulgently put some of my favourite photos from past blog posts up on the wall, because they make me feel happy. The cool lamp is from Epic Toy Factory, a hunt gift from the 2016 Fantasy Faire and a memento of their sim, Tinker’s Hollow. The table is from Thor, and I’m pretty sure I got it at a Love To Decorate event a while ago, but I couldn’t promise that. The skybox itself is one of RageWorks‘ beautiful designs, the Classical White. Great camera angles, plenty of space for stuff, and a crisp design that makes me feel like working on stuff.

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What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

What’s Gwyneth Wearing? The outfit is comprised of two of my favourite things that are at We ❤ RP this month, Emo-Tions beautiful Linea bra, and the Leather Pants from Yasum, in Metallic. The shoes are from Reign, the Kiko Flats, and they’re available at FaMeshed. The hair is Analog Dog (natch!), one of her Fantasy Faire releases, Omega. I picked the light brown colour way to go with this fabulous new skin from  7 Deadly s[K]ins, which you can see more closely in the photo below. Body is Maitreya, feet are SLink, ears are Lumae‘s Leevi Long Ears, and the eyes are the Soul Sidhe Eyes. The head is the new Helena head from Catwa, which I bought because it looks a little older than the Jessica Gwyneth had been in, and it reflects Gwyneth’s IC maturation into an ageless Sidhe.

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New Skin Colours at 7 Deadly s[K]ins!

And (yay!) there are new skin colours at  7 Deadly s[K]ins! This is the Sand shade, and the face is Leslie. Izara is now making Omega appliers, which work beautifully on my Catwa head. This is Leslie version 2, which I chose because I love that eyeliner. In this photo you can also see the beautiful detailing on the Emo-Tions bra; it looks even better in world.

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Here’s a view of the (faux!) fireplace wall in the skybox.

Here’s a view of the (faux!) fireplace wall in the skybox. I’m having such fun decorating this place, but you know I’ll change it all around in 3 months when we move from summer into autumn. That said, decorating is fun! The cats on the rug are from Mutresse; they’re a common from the Witty Cats gacha at the current Arcade Gacha. I love this one because they’re all animated: here, one cat is giving another a massage! The two baby pegasi, also at the Arcade Gacha, are from Hextraordinary; they never seem to stop having great ideas for beautiful collectibles and gorgeous things to put in your home. These two beauties are the rares, the Nesting Crystal and the Nesting MidnightThe Pegasus Pony Hatchling is on the left bookcase, and I’m not ashamed to say I played this gacha 50 times. The ponies are all so beautiful; I only wish I could display them all… Wait, I can  display them all, because I have my own sim! OMG THE PRIMS.

Right! Also on the bookcase is another one of the 50-pull prizes from the Arcade Gacha, the Princess of the Swans, from OMEN. The books on both shelves are the product of Stormwood‘s really cool Literati Book Set, which has add-on HUDs that let you customise books to various genres and types. I have Fantasy, Children’s, Crime, and I think some Library books up there. The fighting hedgehog is from Loki, a memento of the 2016 Fantasy Faire Echtra sim, and it was a hunt gift. On the mantelpiece is another lovely memento of FF 2016, the Lucentia music box from The Looking Glass, whose creations never cease to delight and amaze. The mirror is from Mushilu.

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The Amazing Catwoman in Rosemoor

Now, there are often things at We ❤ RP that aren’t Gwyneth’s style, but luckily The Amazing Catwoman is always here to help me out if I need someone else to look great in things that are a bit too, hm, badass for Gwyneth. Here, she’s wearing the Wicca’s Wardrobe Eileen outfit. Her hair is also from We ❤ RP; made by Emo-Tions, it’s Warlord, which comes in sizes for both men and women Her skin is, as often, from  7 Deadly s[K]insit’s the very beautiful Ymke in Faun. I just love the spots, which you can see more clearly in the next photo.

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This skin was released for the 2016 Fantasy Faire.

This skin was released for the 2016 Fantasy Faire, but should now be available in the  7 Deadly s[K]ins Main Store. If ever you’re looking for something specific and you can’t find it in the main store, by the way, you can always IM Izara Allen, and she will be able to tell you where you can find it or source it for you. The 7DS group is also a great resource; most of the time it costs a (small!) fee to join, but she does make it free for special occasions. You can find all the group links in her profile. These eyes are from Gauze; they’re the Paradox Cat Eyes. The ears are also from Gauze; they’re the High Elf Ears, in the Drow colourway. The body is Maitreya, and the mesh head is the Catwa Gwen, because I’ll buy anything called “Gwen”! No, seriously; try me. 😉

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Rosemoor.

I found Rosemoor through Ziki Questi’s Blog, which is where I find a lot of great places to photograph. This is only one view of this gorgeous sim; you can see more in Ziki’s blog post, or why not visit the sim and see for yourself? It’s gorgeous, and the windlight the sim designer has chosen just gives the whole place a slow, relaxed, almost nostalgic feel. I loved visiting and photographing there. The above photographs of The Amazing Catwoman were all taken in Rosemoor. Such a yummy and beautiful place.

Now, I had so many beautiful things to show for this blog entry that I decided to take just some quick editorials of outfits I put together and loved. So bear with me, because I’m just going to give the style cards under the photos.

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Senzafine and Aisling!

Senzafine always hits the ball out the park with her beautiful designs, and this one is no exception; it’s the Ysmay gown in the blue from colour pack 2. I love that her colourways are so consistent; the gowns always go perfectly with the Aesbrenni slippers she released a while back. I always wear those slippers with her gowns.

And yay! Aisling has made another beautiful crown! I love jewellery from Aisling. The crown is called Nealane, and it, along with the Senzafine gown, is available at this month’s We ❤ RP. The crown is great because it comes with a colour-change HUD that gives you a lot of options for both metals and gems. The hair is from Damselfly, also a We ❤ RP release; it’s called Cedar.

Body is Maitreya, head is Catwa Helena, ears are Lumae Leevi Long Ears, feet are SLink, and the skin is Leslie in Sand from  7 Deadly s[K]ins.

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And then there’s this fun, sexy design from !go!.

And then there’s this fun, sexy design from !go!. It’s the Lottia dress and panties, also available at We ❤ RP. For this outfit, I changed Gwyneth back in to one of the Lumae skins she commonly wears; this one is the Eirtae skin in colour way Shell, released for a Genre event a while back. I love that Lumiya Rae has made appliers for the BentBox Sylvan Ears; you can pick those up, along with the skin, at the Lumae Main Store. Body is Maitreya, head is Catwa Helena, feet are SLink, and the foot jewellery is from Carrie’s Lingerie, the Silver Sandals. They come with a gem change HUD so you can match them to whatever you’re wearing. This hair, by the way, is from Magika. The style name is Love Song, and it’s available at the Magika Main Store.

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Last, but not least…

Last, but definitely not least, here is a beautiful new outfit from The White Armory, just released in The White Armory Main Store. This is the Guardians of Mirkwood dress set, in Hunter. Now, Bee Dumpling has been designing clothes in Second Life for a long time, and I, like every other fantasy fashion junkie, have been buying her stuff for as long as I’ve been in SL. She is always right on the trend with designing things for mesh bodies, and this is a Maitreya fitted garment that works beautifully. The trousers (thank the gods!) are both system and applier, so The Amazing Catwoman can wear these beautiful Moccasin Boots from Maitreya over them with no problem. Like all the shady hunter/ranger types out there, Tac is always frustrated when she can’t fit boots over a pair of mesh trousers, and her poor player spends hours (I am not making this up!) searching on the SL Marketplace for boots that will actually work with ranger-style outfits, because Tac lives in these when she’s working in a fantasy environment, and there’s nothing worse than suddenly discovering your trousers are peeking through your boots at an inopportune moment. Throws you right off your stride when pickpocketing in the better parts of town. 😉

The other amazing thing about this outfit for TAC is that she is in a Curio skin! Gala Phoenix has amazingly released all her original skin tones as appliers for mesh bodies! And they look beautiful. Along with this, she’s also released three new faces. This one is Pout. There aren’t any Omega appliers or mesh head appliers yet, but I shall keep hoping. Some of you know that before Gala had to take a break from SL, I pretty much wore nothing but Curio skins, and now that she’s releasing more, I just go to her shop every time I get a notice and fatpack that shit. Gwyneth absolutely adores her lighter tones and hopes desperately for Catwa or Omega head appliers in the near future! This is the Bean Light colourway. I think it looks great on TAC, and I can’t wait to try some of the others. Body is Maitreya, hair is Tableau Vivant, Luminay, from last month’s Collabor88, the necklace is Miamai‘s Rise In The Sun, and the ring is Aisling‘s The Good Wife. Eyes and ears are Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes and High Elf Ears (Drow).

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Just one more photo!

Just one more photo! Now, the thing about Guardians of Mirkwood is that you have to look at the back! I love this beautiful design on the back of the jacket, so I had to show it to you. It’s one reason why I put TAC in such a short cropped hairstyle for this photoshoot; I wanted you to be able to see the beautiful line of this jacket from the back.

Whew! Such a long info dump; thank you if you’ve read this far. I’ll get back to my regular story-blogging later in the week. I’m about to have exciting stuff to show you from Hairology, and The Vintage Fair is just around the corner, as well. Collabor88 opens in just a few days, too: I can feel my Linden Balance slipping even as we speak…

No Style Cards today; everything’s noted below the photographs themselves.

I am instructed to thank Dyisi Oppewall for something, so I shall thank her for helping me have what was for me a very difficult conversation with a friend last night. Thanks for holding my virtual hand, and I shall continue to butter your biscuits for the foreseeable future.

General thanks also go to Moxy Macbeth for being awesome, and to Lanella Little for restoring my faith in youth. Dickensian Dreamer also helps keep me sane, and my life would not be complete without the inimitable (and occasionally snoring) Benbold. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble for hours about clothes and skins without it!

 

 

 

 

 

When The Gypsy Davey Calls Out to the Universe…

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

No shit, there I was. That’s how stories like this are meant to start, aren’t they? It’s right up there with “Hold my beer and watch this,” which is a phrase I learned from a fellow who came from the American Southeast.

I’d been in the forest for weeks. I saw no other man, and no other woman. Just me and a forest full of animals, a small stream, and a campfire that looked as if it were well-used. Perhaps it’s a glade between worlds for folks like me who get lost on their way from one realm to another.

In a way, I had resigned myself to being here forever.

In a way, I had resigned myself to being here forever.

In a way, I had resigned myself to being here forever. Something went wrong. Something I caused, or forgot, or didn’t do, or did do.

And besides, the place was peaceful.

And besides, the place was peaceful.

And besides, I rationalised, the place was peaceful. A man could have total peace and quiet, nobody bugging him for anything, no one nagging him. He could strip off his worn clothes and bathe in a cool, clear (OK, freezing and slightly muddy) stream, then uncover an amazing shirt with a dragon on it from his backpack that he doesn’t even remember purchasing but that makes him feel comfortable and at home. He could dress however he wanted, run around naked if he wanted, have rabbit for dinner every night and never have to eat his vegetables….

He could feel, utterly and completely, alone.

He could feel, utterly and completely, alone.

He could feel, utterly and completely, alone. After a week, I was feeling resigned to the whole thing. After two, rabbit began to make me feel ill and I started hunting birds. After three, well. If there’d been walls, I’d have been climbing them. “Right, Universe,” I finally said. “I don’t know what I’ve done or who I’ve pissed off, but I’m ready to fight them with my bare hands now.” Great. I’m not just talking to myself now, I’m talking to the Universe, as if it could hear me. “Look,” I said. “I know you’re probably busy with other things, but I’d really like to get the fuck out of here now.”

Then, incredibly, I heard a voice. Great. This is the part where I start to tear off my own skin, I thought.

“And to which universe is it you wish to demand?  As there are many.. infinite..  more than there are thoughts within your head..  Boreíte anói̱to tsingáno̱n.

“Any Universe that will get me out of here?” I replied, all the while wondering why I’d reply to a disembodied voice anyway.

She appeared. Just like that.

She appeared. Just like that.

She appeared. Just like that.

“Dyisi!” I exclaimed.

Dyes canted her head to the side while giving the wayward Roma a once over..  “Nai, that is what I am known as.  However you seem to be in a rather stuck place.”  She paused for a moment to look the place over while curiosity filtered out into the air around her. “Did you forget your way, akribos mou?”

“I was dreaming,” I explained. “And I wanted to wake up. When I woke up, I was here. There doesn’t seem to be anybody else here. I’ve been here for weeks. I’m….” I scratched my head. “I think I’m beginning to go a little mad.”

Dyes snickered out while shaking her head at that, the curiosity turned into amusement with in an instant.  “Ah, I see akribos mou.  You have somehow fell into Dreaming rift?  Curiouser and curiouser..  But I guess if one who pushes through realms in manner that you perchance to, it would stand to reason that there is higher risk of such to happen.  Question is, why is it you can noht leave…”  Once more the currents around her shift and this more working curiosity began to filter out into the air around them.

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“I think it’s because I lost track of the others.”

“I think it’s because I lost track of the others,” I explained, “We ordinarily travel between realms effortlessly, as if we were on a road together, if you see what I mean. But because I was dreaming, and then just sort of wished myself out of the dream, I came without my kin.” I shrugged. “I’ve never questioned how we do it: we just do it.” I admit it: her calm and casual and possibly somewhat patronising air was beginning to irritate me. I tried not to show it. “The question is,” I said, believing I knew the answer, “can you get me out of here, back to some realm where I can find my way back to the others? They are probably missing me about now.”

Dyisi listened to the hapless Roma explain his situation. In truth she did have some concern to this seemingly case of entrapment.  The curiosity was still there, along with now that concern, though she said nothing more until he asked his question of her.  That granted him this warm smile and a bow of her head.  “Of course I can deliver you to a realm in which you may be free of here.  Nai, nai..  it will be easy.”  With that, she held out her hand for him to take, her lips twitching into more of a wry smirk.  “Just hold your breath, akribos mou.. and do noht let go..”  As it is, the satyr had her own means to traversing the strands of the multiverse.

So I reached out, and I did not let go....

So I reached out, and I did not let go….

So I reached out, and I did not let go, and it was as if the Universe shifted around us, though I knew it was Dyisi’s magic making this happen. In truth, I’ve rarely met a being so strong with the talent or skill for realm-hopping as the Satyr.

And of course, for her it probably was easy, I realised. For me, moving between realms happens with the support of the clan, the band, of travellers I call family. For her… well, I don’t really even know if she has a family. I’ve never asked.

We landed outside the familiar surfer's shack with its rolling sea and little river.

We landed outside the familiar surfer’s shack with its rolling sea and little river.

“So,” I said, “I like what you’ve done with the place.”

The sileni’s way of moving from place to place was quite different.  The moment Davey took hold, what he felt were her surface emotions.  Not that tingly sensation followed by the full force of her passion.  Not this time.  And what her surface emotions made him know was that he must hold on for his very existence.  Because if he let go, he would be lost in eternity.  The vastness of the Inbetween was her path..  Her path was one she knew all too well as it led them to one of her “hidey hole” spots in some random strand that looked to be quite modern in placement.  Once they both just.. appeared within it.. the satyr moved to take up a seat on one of the wicker chairs.  The soft looking pillows spoke of her eclectic taste of often bright hippie patterns.  “I thank you for such, akribos mou.  Though work upon it is seldom done, nai?”  That wide coy smirk playing over her lips.  If he was privy to her surface emotions, the likelihood that she had picked up on his was quite high.

I blushed: I couldn’t help it. I was remembering the last time we’d been here together, when she’d cured me of the Fae Curse. Well, partly. We won’t speak of my dreams of the Faerie Queen here.

Eventually I settled into one of the chairs, stretched. “I haven’t felt a cushion in weeks,” I admitted. Sure, there was that dingy pillow atop one of the logs in the forest, but… well, it was nicer after I washed it, but it took three days for the thing to dry in that shady, windless clearing.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about life,” I explained to Dyisi. “In between worrying about how the hell I was going to get home and trying to have anything besides rabbit for dinner. I don’t suppose you have … do they deliver pizza in this realm?”

The satyr watched him take a seat as she jabbed her staff into the ground.  From the soil, little tendrils of roots coiled upwards to attach themselves to it.  She crossed her arms while kicking her legs up to rest on the thin armrest to make herself comfortable.  It became apparent that she was more relaxed in her own spaces than in other places.   “You are, of course, welcomed to stay as long as you need, akribos mou.  It is a place of rest..” she offered to him while canting her head once more to give him this study.  The satyr rather enjoyed these visits with Davey: he was a different face.  However, when he asked about food, she just sighed out while shaking her head..  “For that, you may need to find another place..  as you can see.. there is no road here.  However, I am sure there are fish within water that you might like..”  Again that wide coy smirk tugged at her lips.  “Might need to remove your shirt first though..”

Style Cards:

The Gypsy Davey:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift, Men (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Calico, Caden
Eyes: Poetic Colors, Pearl, Aurora, Medium Bright
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Shirt: Serendipity, Hidden Dragon Tee, Gold (Available at the Hidden Sanctuary Event, The Ancient Ones Return)
Trousers: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Ares Pants Male
Shoes: FateStep, Anthony Boots

Dyisi:
Body
:
Hair – little bones. Rude
Skin – :[P]: Astrali Raverie
Slink Enhancement Hands Casual
Clothes:
Top – Tee*fy Laura Unbuttoned Knotted Shirt in Olive
Pants – <Squish> Ladies Cargo in Mixed
Accessories:
RO – Hipster Bag Coffee
Earthstones – Belly Crystal Turquoise
Tumble Stone Necklace Rasta
EF – Mohio Necklace
Zaara – [Goa Party] Retro Sunglasses *silver-blue*
[Goa Party] Friendship Bracelets
[Goa Party] Baga Nosering
Schadenfreude – Water Digital Alchemy Necklace
Earth Digital Alchemy Necklace
~Soedara~ – Pearl Berjuag Tari Bindi
Kibitz – Tulip Nose Chain
Tattoos: .ARISE. – Maori Facetattoo
Tiki Tattoo – Bora
:[P]: – Asaia Markings
Jalwa – Khaleeji Swirl 3
Satyr Parts:
[Gauze] Faun Hooves
Illusions – Runed Horns: Nivicola
Ears + Tail unknown (I seriously don’t think you can even find them anymore)
Shape and Staff of Doom are self made.

Special thanks to my SL BFF, Dyisi Oppewall, who rped the end of this scene with me to perfection because I didn’t want to write her character for her!

The Hidden Sanctuary event The Ancient Ones Return, opens on August 8. I know I’ve only shown you one item here, but there will be more to come! There is so much great stuff to be seen there, and wait til you see the list of upcoming events! You can pick one up when you tp into the event: there’s plenty of information there.

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

Midsummer’s Night

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

So many things rising. This week, my week, the week of Midsummer.

I flew to check the children and remind them they must come out of the crystals soon, and I happened upon Dyisi and Aoibheann.

There is a mystery to be sorted there. Not one I have time to figure out now. A birth, a handfasting, a demifae uprising, Goblins making trouble, and of course Dyisi’s plan to contain Gwythyr, which Aoibheann seemed to dismiss last night; I’m sure that was unhappily received by Dyisi.

How long the twilight lasts.

How long the twilight lasts.

How long the twilight lasts. Once Dyisi and Aoibheann disappeared (and I do mean disappeared), I counselled Wren to go back to the village, for I could hear the revels starting.

For myself, I headed downstream, away from the tree and the meadows and the rising music.

So many things there were, to think about.

So many things there were, to think about.

So many things there were, to think about.

But first, the children. With my back to the tree, I positioned the crystals again, imagining myself as the tree, tapping in to Ardan’s considerable resources and adding my own, heightened of course at this time of year. Now, a cloud beneath them to ease the passage. Then, a softening of the crystals themselves. And all ready for tomorrow.

Then of course there was the matter of the handfasting.

Then of course there was the matter of the handfasting.

The of course there was the matter of the handfasting, and a prayer to the Goddess that it go smoothly and joyfully. And that after everything, Nathaniel still wants me.

A quick searching after Aoibheann's mystery: what happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

A quick searching after Aoibheann’s mystery: what happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

A quick searching after Aoibheann’s mystery revealed no easy answers, but I think there will be more to this. What happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire.

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire.

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire. A turn, to make sure I was mirroring the tree properly, but I must keep my back to it, for already the revels were distracting me. My muscles and my spirit told me I wanted to be on the green, dancing, but so much work to be done: dancing later. I’d get no sleep this night, anyway.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers ... I just felt tired.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers … I just felt tired.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers … I just felt tired.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

One of the mortal musicians, a ginger bastard, tried to shove his tongue down my throat when I kissed him in payment for his services. I bit him. Perhaps he’ll remember not to be so free with the Fae Queen in future.

Why did thinking of that make me suddenly want to dance, to spin in front of him and remind him, and anyone who hears his tales once he returns to the world of day and night, that one does not shove one’s tongue into the mouth of the Faerie Queen. And I think of him as I might think of an insect. And now I want to dance.

So much to do.

So much to do.

So much to do.

But now, let there be revels.

But now, let there be revels.

But now, let there be revels.

Fae Queen dances on the green,
Fae King nowhere to be seen.
Flame, she dances with the faeries,
Skirts red as midsummer berries.
Crowned with roses, crowned with pearls,
Envy of the mortal girls
Love her, hate her, can’t ignore her
Never free of gossip’s murmur
Sing her summer passions flown
Know she walks each day alone.

Style Card:
Skin: Pink Fuel: Sora V2 Alabaster
Body: SLink
Lipstick: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: “Greedy Oranges” (New and available at 7 Deadly s{K}ins Mainstore!)
Face Tattoo: Madrid Solo, The Vow
Neck Corset: Silvery K, Silver, Red Rose Option
HairEmo*Tions: Cersei (New and available at The Instruments)
Dress: Jumo: Mother of Dragons (New and available at Teleport to The Instruments)
Wings: Falln: Rose Vine Wings Silver
Headpiece: Noctis: Briar Rose, Blooddrop
Halo: Zyn: Morning Song Halo, Summer Kiss

This round of The Instruments is amazing, by the way. If you haven’t been there, you should go. I don’t blog for them: I just really, really loved the stuff they have available this month. 

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

Checkmate

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

We heard of a vineyard looking for hands, so we travelled west, to the island of Checkmate.

We arrived to a morning rainstorm.

We arrived to a morning rainstorm.

We arrived to a morning rainstorm, and took our time exploring the island before searching out the vineyard owner and seeing what work he might need from we realm-hoppers. The boys were on me all morning about the length of my hair: Dyisi’s magic has given me more than my colour back, and my hair seems to be growing inches every day. I have to keep it braided or pulled back, or it gets everywhere.

The boys discovered this folley on one end of the island, high above everything else.

The boys discovered this folly on one end of the island, high above everything else.

The boys discovered this folly on one end of the island, high above everything else. It wasn’t in poor repair and in fact looked like someone had been there recently: there were candles lit in the windows and the divan inside looked as if someone might have slept in it the night before. “We could sleep here Uncle,” one of the little ones said. I reminded him that we have cosy vardos and that we’d need to check the horses before we went much further, but then we took a walk a little further on.

Once the sky cleared, I thought I'd give the boys a little lesson in perspective.

Once the sky cleared, I thought I’d give the boys a little lesson in perspective.

Once the sky cleared, I thought I’d give the boys a little lesson in perspective. There were crows wheeling about everywhere: the creatures seem to follow me. “So,” I asked them. “Am I taller than this lighthouse?”

“No, Uncle,” said one of the big ones; I think he’s called Michael, but I forget these things. They’re just the boys. “The lighthouse is far away, and you only look bigger than it is.”

“Now, why is that?” I asked, and we had a lively discussion of how things could be the size of your thumb when you’re miles away but dwarf you when you got up close.

Then, of course, we checked the horse and saw to the wagons.

Then, of course, we checked the horses and saw to the wagons.

Then, of course, we checked the horses and saw to the wagons. The morning was beginning to wear, so I wanted to get in touch with the vineyard owner, who was sure to know that there were travelling folk on his land already.

He turned out to be an all right fellow, and his wife offered us tea, which we accepted.

He turned out to be an all right fellow, and his wife offered us tea, which we accepted.

He turned out to be an all right fellow, and his wife offered us tea, which we accepted. We found vines in need of a little tender loving care. The vineyard owner looked us over in the way they do, sniffed, said, “Well, you’ll do! I can use you for a week or so.” This life, you’ve got to be glad of what work you can get, but by the time the sun was higher in the sky, the day began to grow hazy, the way a day does after a morning rain. I figured I’d best go back to the vardo and exchange my raincoat and boots for something a little more forgiving of hard work and sweat.

I tied my hair up, and when I got back, the boys had already tended a third of the little vineyard.

I tied my hair up, and when I got back, the boys had already tended a third of the little vineyard.

I tied my hair up, changed my clothes, and when I got back, the boys had already tended a third of the little vineyard. “Good work boys, but you know there’s a bigger one back beyond those trees.” There was groaning: they’d been working full-out in hopes this was the whole of the vineyard. “A man doesn’t plant a whole island with grapes and have only this little space to show for it,” I said. “It’s another lesson in perspective, boys.” More groans. Everything is a lesson, Uncle. Why can’t we go back to Faery, Uncle. How come your hair is so long, Uncle. What does that tattoo mean, Uncle. Shut up and be careful with the pruning shears, boys.

Finally we were done for the day, and the boys wanted to go exploring.

Finally we were done for the day, and the boys wanted to go exploring.

Finally we were done for the day, and the boys wanted to go exploring. Again. Our time wasn’t wasted: we found this beautiful little place, again, high up on a hill above everything else, and it looked like someone had taken a posh man’s living room and just arranged it on top of a mountain. Little lanterns hung as if by magic. “Sky’s going pink, boys,” I said. “We’ll have to get home.”

“But Uncle,” they said. “Uncle, there’s a beach! You can see it from here!” I sighed and let them lead me down a ways.

The way to the beach was down the same flight of steep stone steps we’d come up to find this place.

It was nice to look out over the vineyard we'd tended that day, think of a good day's work, and consider the next day as well.

It was nice to look out over the vineyard we’d tended that day, think of a good day’s work, and consider the next day as well.

It was nice to look out over the vineyard we’d tended that day, think of a good day’s work, and consider the next day as well. Almost, I could imagine myself the master of such a place. That is, until the urge for going got me. Then, well. The road.

Finally, we reached the beach, and the boys made me tired with all their running about, and that after a hard day’s work from all of them. Oh, to have that kind of energy again.

How eight boys who can't agree on the time of day managed to make a sand castle together is beyond me.

How eight boys who can’t agree on the time of day managed to make a sand castle together is beyond me.

How eight boys who can’t agree on the time of day managed to make a sand castle is beyond me. But there it is, just about to be washed away by the tide. The little ones didn’t even make a fuss about it. “We’ll build another one tomorrow, just like this one,” they said. Of course they will.

Home then, to the vardo and the farmhands coming round for a bit of music and dancing and seeing what it’s like to step and turn with a gypsy lady. And there will be farmer’s daughters and some posh girl who’s a niece of somebody who’ll wander round, but they will come later, after I’ve had my supper and a pint of something and perhaps a wee nap.

Style Cards:

Photos in Coat & Boots:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Ziggy (The Menstuff Hunt Prize, at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: EMO*Tions: Michael (A new release from EMO*Tions!)
Clothes: Equinox: King’s Guard Tunic, Pants and Boots (At The Conquest event!)
Brooch: Miamai: Game Of Thrones House Emblem Brooch: Baratheon (Rare!) (Gacha, at the Conquest event!)
Ears: Mandala: Steking Ears

Photos in Shorts:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Ziggy (The Menstuff Hunt Prize, at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Besom: Derek (At The Mens Department)
Shorts: Trashed: Denim Shorts Smile (Menstuff Hunt gift)
Shoes: 2Real Footwear: Emotion LMT Limited Edition Shoes (The Mens Department)
Tattoo: Reckless: Bronx (The Mens Department)
Necklace: Otherskin: Wish

Location:
The Vineyard at Checkmate, a sim designed by Amae Moriarty, is a gorgeous place to visit and photograph. We enjoyed continuing our story there, and we hope you’ll go to visit too. Don’t forget to give at least a little donation if you stay a while: places like this need to stay up and running so we have beautiful spaces to visit in Second Life for a long time to come.

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news….

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

Oh, the things that run through my head! Realm-hopping as we do, we discover a wide variety of music and art, dance and culture if we want it, classy or seedy, take your pick.

After a week of satisfying and physical work in Eclectica, we were ready for a change, so we moved on to a little town in a mountainous area. Good, crisp air, the sort of town where you can get anything, a shipping port, and a lot of things that need fixing. Towns like this, they love it when we come through: the boys and I have plenty of carpentry skills and we’re not afraid of back-breaking work, and then of course there’s the evenings back at the camp. It’s funny, all the people who come through.

Nearly a month away from Faerie, and I began to admit it was getting to me. I had the shakes. I couldn’t hold my liquor, and food tasted like ashes in my mouth. By this point everybody had stopped teasing me about going back to Faerie, and I’d begun to notice some worried glances and whispers as I went about my business.

Finally, I went to see Auntie Cher, one of our healers, the sort of lady who keeps to the vardo and only comes out when there’s a need. Her wagon is full of potions and poultices, and she once took a splinter out of my leg the size of a lion’s claw. Hurt like hell, but she sewed it up with a bit of linen and you can’t even see the scar any more.

“Uncle,” she said to me, “I’ve got nothing for you. Far as I know, there’s no cure for the Faerie sickness. And you’ve got it bad.” She handed me a mirror, and it’s true: I was a pale shadow of myself. Now, I didn’t feel sick. But I was starting to get tired earlier in the day, and the real trouble surfaced as we spoke: my relations with women have not been as usual. When we arrived in town, I whistled and I sang til the dark streets rang, but I won no hearts.

“Listen,” she said. “There’s a man in town I’ve heard of, says he can cure the Faerie sickness, but I’m not sure I believe him.” Still, when I pressed her, she gave me the address.

It turned out to be a fortuneteller's shop.

It turned out to be a fortuneteller’s shop.

It turned out to be a fortuneteller’s shop. Now, we are in the business of fortunetelling, but there’s always new stuff to be learned, people who have a different take on things, so I figured I’d check it out. Still, with my city clothes on and my hair bound up, I felt out of place.

I was just about to knock on the door when I heard a familiar voice behind me.

I was just about to knock on the door when I heard a familiar voice behind me.

I was just about to knock on the door when I heard a familiar voice behind me. “You’re never going in there.”

I stopped and turned. “Dyisi?” It was the Satyr, a friend of the Faerie Queen and her frequent companion.

“I come when there’s need of me,” she said, as if it were just a normal occurrence. She called me some sort of friendly diminutive in Greek; that language just slips through my ears, in and out, and I never remember what she says when she talks Greek. “And you have need of me, not that fellow.”

I folded my arms across my chest. “Really,” I said, not believing her. “Tell me, what can you do for me?” Her glasses caught the light, and the satyr horns seemed to glimmer with some magical energy. I think my senses must have been dulled: she always seemed much brighter and more powerful in Faerie and I couldn’t imagine her light dimmed when she left there: her magic, like all the ancient folk, lives in her and does not wax or wane with the seasons: It just is.

“Come now, sit down with me. You look like you could use something to eat, Davey.”

So instead of knocking on the fortuneteller's door, we went down the street to a café.

So instead of knocking on the fortuneteller’s door, we went down the street to a café.

So instead of knocking on the fortuneteller’s door, I let her lead me down the street to a café, where they brought food and drink but she touched nothing. I made myself eat something, even though nothing tasted right.

“We’ve missed you in Faerie,” she said, “though I understand why you wander so far away. “And though you look good, you don’t look yourself. Tell me, how does the food taste?”

I stared at the street.

I stared at the street. “It doesn’t taste,” I admitted.

I stared at the street. “It doesn’t taste,” I admitted. “And I know it should. I can tell it’s good; I can tell the wine is excellent, but nothing tastes right to me.”

“And you’re pale,” she said. “Pale and wan. You know what will happen if you go on this way. You’ll waste away, lose your way. And your folk will lose their leader.”

“I’m no leader,” I protested.

“Bah. They follow you,” she said. “You’re a leader. But you’ll fade, if you keep on like this. “And that fellow, in the shop, you know what he does? He says he has a cure for the Faerie sickness, but what he does is slip a little Fae mead into the potion he gives. And then instead of having to go back to Faerie, you’ll have to go back to him. It’ll sustain you, but it won’t cure you.”

I folded my arms, leaned forward on my elbows. “And I suppose you have a cure?”

I could see sparks coming from one of her eyes, behind the glasses, I swear. “Aye,” she said. “That I do. And a good one. “But I can’t give it to you here. We’ll have to go to my domain, and the trip’s a long and dizzy one. Drink up,” she said. “Even if you can’t taste it, you’ll need it for the journey.

I killed the bottle.

She was careful not to touch me: I don't know how she brought me in to her realm walking without touch, but somehow she did.

She was careful not to touch me: I don’t know how she brought me in to her realm walking without touch, but somehow she did.

She was careful not to touch me: I don’t know how she brought me in to her realm walking without touch, but somehow she did. And the place we went! It was as far from the pastoral hills I imagined she inhabited as one could get: it looked like nothing more than a surfer’s shack from the outside.

Inside, she had a confusing array of clutter.

Inside, she had a confusing array of clutter.

Inside, she had a confusing array of clutter, but she brought me to an apothecary shelf, asked for a strand of my hair, and began mixing something up. It smelled like some tropical concoction, which I guess wasn’t out of place for a surfer shack.

“Strip.”

“What?”

“You heard me. Get out of those clothes. I can’t heal you in that suit. Sexy turban, though.”

In the end, I talked her into letting me wear a pair of men’s trousers she had hanging around for some reason.

“Now lie down and let me spray this on your chest.”

She knelt over me and began spraying the coconut-scented concoction on my chest and shoulders.

She knelt over me and began spraying the coconut-scented concoction on my chest and shoulders.

She knelt over me and began spraying the coconut-scented concoction on my chest and shoulders. “You’ll have to rub it in,” she said. “It needs to soak into your skin. Faerie’s a physical place, and there’s no cure but a physical one.”

I felt something almost immediately. My skin began to tingle, and something I’d not felt for weeks stirred inside me. “Surely,” I said, “surely it will be more effective if you rub it in with your hands.”

Her lips curved into a smile. “Oh, now, that’s a road I don’t often go down any more,” she said. And she looked me over: I could tell, even though her eyes were hidden. “You’re ashen,” she said softly. “Fading. But still a feast for the eyes, Oh, I see what she saw in you.”

“Don’t mention her,” I said. I reached forward and put my hands on her legs, without permission.

Somewhere in my memory, there is a fragment of a story about how a satyr’s touch leads a person to bliss or madness. I think touching Dyisi led me to both bliss and madness, a beautiful madness, and I did not resist this madness, nor did I surface from this bliss for, it must have been, it felt like hours. She was my world. I was the canvas upon which she painted, and every nerve in me was alive beneath her touch, and I believed, I know, that every nerve in her was alive for me.

The more the poultice she gave me sinks into my skin, the more alive and like myself I feel. Today, one of the boys gave me a little flat of strawberries from one of our box gardens. They were tart, and sweet, like Dyisi.

There are no words for what she's given me.

There are no words for what she’s given me.

There are no words for what she’s given me. I can already feel the colour blending back into my skin. I will thank her again and again.

Style Card:

At The Looking Glass, First shots at Dyisi’s:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ragnar T3
Suit: Zaara: Nehru Suit in Grey (at Uber!)
Turban: Zaara: Aahil Turban in Red (at Uber!)
Shoes: FATEstep: Anthony Boots

At Dyisi’s:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ragnar T3
Shorts: Magnus Male Outfit FashioNatic
Hair: Damselfly: Gustov, Onyx

Dyisi:

Hair – little bones. Shaaswat w/scarf (from this round of Uber)
Skin – Plastik Astrali Skin (Vaaliarah)
Tats – Tiki Tattoo, Bora (dude seriously needs to make tats again)
:(SH): Face tat, Solaris 50%
Plastik, Asaia Markings
Eyes: Plastik Galaxie eyes (R- Plura L: Arc)
Hooves: [Gauze] Faun Naturals
Horns: Illusion Nivicola Runed Horns

Top: ::Rush:: Peace! Knotted Top
Pants: *FH* Bali Pants Navy

Body Jewelery:
. aisling. Darshana Hand jewelery
(Yummy) True Believer Charm Necklace
Earthstones Belly Crystal: Lapis
RO – Hipster Bag, Coffee
[Since 1975] Minigoggles
Earthstones Bikini Beads, Moonlight
Kibitz Aela Body Chain, Silver
Earthstones Katya Bangles, Garden
Kibitz Tulip Nose Chain
~Soedara~ Pearl Berjuang Tari Bindi
Schadenfreude Long2 Earth Digital Alchemy Necklace
Schadenfreude Long1 Water Digital Alchemy Necklace

Shape: Self Made
Staff: Self Made

 

Locations:
The Looking Glass
Dyisi’s Home

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

So, Your Majesty, What did you do at the Faire today? (My New Shiny Blog Challenge)

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Seriously: Why do you keep asking me that question?shopped, of course! I shopped like a Queen!

Oh!

The Penguins! Remember the penguins?

Well, just as I turned the corner from the penguins, I ran into this amazing artisan. Her name is Willow Brandybuck, and I’d bought her wares once before, at a Tolkein Fair somewhere outside of Faerie.

I was amazed to see she has a modest little stall in one of the Fairelands Realms.

I was amazed to see she has a modest little stall in one of the Fairelands Realms.

I was amazed to see she has a modest little stall in one of the Fairelands Realms! And in the Land of Winter, Aurora. Go and visit her shop: you won’t be disappointed! And she has cookies and hot chocolate on tap!

In the middle of winter, I of course create Spring.

In the middle of winter, I of course create Spring.

In the middle of Winter, I of course created Spring, just to show off some of her beautiful wares. I am wearing her gorgeous Mystic Dreams Tiara and Necklace here, and the wearable couch is from Boudoir. I think the penguins were impressed!

I don't know how long I sat there enjoying Spring in Winter.

I don’t know how long I sat there enjoying Spring in Winter.

I don’t know how long I sat there, enjoying Spring in Winter. But before I move on, I should tell you about the beautiful dress from Evangeline Miles. I am not a brown Queen. I do not particularly even like Brown. But Evie’s Closet can make brown look amazing! Just look at the beautiful wings she designed to go with the dress.

Snapshot_003

Willow’s beautiful jewellery complements this dress so well!

But since my rediscovery of Willow is My New Shiny, let’s get back to the jewellery! Not only is Willow a lovely person, she has generously given a beautiful gift which you can win if you complete the Fairelands Hunt, along with a load of other swag. Just remember not to lose Willow’s acorn, and all will be well.

Later, I relaxed at home at the Treehouse, on my new couch, still wearing Willow's lovely ensemble.

Later, I relaxed at home at the Treehouse, on my new couch, still wearing Willow’s lovely ensemble.

All of Willow’s designs have this ethereal, Elvish quality to them: I’ll always associate her with Tolkein since I first met her at the Tolkein Fair. But my rediscovery of her this week was such a joyful moment.

The couch, by the way, is called Justine. She is made by Alia Baroque of Fallen Gods fame, under the company name of Libertine. She was expensive, but I think she will be worth it—she seats up to 12 avatars at once, and she has many, many animations and wonderfulnesses inside her that I have yet to explore.

I even invited my mom over for a group photo with Dyisi!

I even invited my mom over for a group photo with Dyisi!

I even invited my mom over for a group photo on Justine with Dyisi. Kind of funny, since Gwyneth and her mom haven’t been reunited since Gwyneth discovered that Lady Siansa was her mom. But a fun way to showcase the versatility of this couch. Sia promises a style card for me, and I will get that to you eventually.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth, throughout:
Jewellery: Willow Brandybuck (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Collar: The Forge
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!): Kleesich, (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Skin: Curio
Makeup: MOCK (natch!)
Dress, Slippers, Wings: Evie’s Closet: Caoimhe Dress, Brown (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)

Dyisi, Siansa: Coming soon

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. Go look at the web page. Yes, I know they’re expensive. If you want to take amazing photos in SL, they’re worth every Linden.

Lord of Free Lands All Over

The Gypsy Davey

The Gypsy Davey

The Faire stretches for miles. For miles and realms. So much to do, and people might say of my kind (and they’d be wrong!), to steal. I prefer to steal only hearts, but that is my way.

Today, I took in the sights of Odyssey. A day off from the bustle of the selling tent and the green fortuneteller we brought to this year’s Faire. She’ll be better next year, or we’ll find another.

As I say, I prefer to steal only hearts.

As I say, I prefer to steal only hearts.

As I say, I prefer to steal only hearts. It serves me very well: I love women, and women love me back, sometimes rather too much.

I have taken the day off, dressed for heart-stealing, and I’ve come to the most beautiful place.

Here, there are fountains and statues, mermaids and waves, for as far as the eye can see.

Here, there are fountains and statues, mermaids and waves, for as far as the eye can see.

Here, there are fountains and statues, mermaids and waves, for as far as the eye can see. I think this mermaid likes me.

In fact, I know she likes me.

In fact, I know she likes me.

In fact, I know she likes me. See how her face is transformed in ecstasy. This is why I love women.

From a high vantage point, I can see the people below, enjoying the Faire for only its shopping.

From a high vantage point, I can see the people below, enjoying the Faire for only its shopping.

From a high vantage point, I can see the people below, enjoying the Faire only for its shopping. How many of them, I wonder, take the time to climb into the stratosphere and experience it all from above.

Not that I have anything bad to say about the shoppers: No; I like shoppers very much, from the point of view of the perpetual merchant that I am.

But sometimes, sometimes, looking down at them all, I feel a sense of smugness. I’m here; you’re there; you can’t see me… and then.

Then, I look down, at possibly the wrong time, possibly the right time.

Then, I look down, at possibly the wrong time, possibly the right time.

And I see her, the Faerie Queen. I should have known she’d be here at the Faire. Something tugs at me. Tugs at my soul. But I am her lover, not her consort; her fantasy, not her King.

In brown wings, like an ethereal moth she flutters on the ground with her friend, the satyr.

And for a moment, I am sure they are looking up at me. Sure she will call to me, call my name, and my nature will be unravelled, once again, as it was for so many nights in Faerie.

But then—maybe they didn’t see me. They are gone, into a shop, doing what two women do, I suppose, when they are together. Though a part of me smiles and thinks their shopping styles and preferences must be very different. I imagine Her Majesty, the Queen of Love and sometimes the Queen of my heart, oohing and ahhing over gowns and jewels, with the satyr there behind her smirking and scowling and inserting the sorts of snarky comments I’d insert if she were any other woman.

And then, suddenly, I have to leave. I can’t be on this ledge any longer. Find me something, Goddess of Wandering. Find me something even more beautiful to look at.

And the Goddess laughs in my heart. More beautiful than the Seelie Queen? she asks. And I reply, Well, find me two things nearly as beautiful and we will put them together. 

Then I am dizzy, and I find myself in a higher place, farther away from the shoppers below, looking in a different direction.

And then, I remember.

And then, I remember.

He is no gypsy, her father said, but lord of free lands all over. And I whistle, and I sing. But for now, only the birds come to me. They are just like me, the crows. Lords of free lands all over. Wanderers, we are.

And if I am so free, the lord of free lands, then why does this verse come back to me when I see her?

lady, I am a figment
I am a blight, I am an ember
one mirror for all memory
that steals what is true
and a voice buried in my heart is crying
I am the risk and purchase of the world
carry me with you

A winter song sung in spring for a summer queen. I am lost.

Style Card:
Clothes: Decadent Courtesan: The Longest Night (red) (from a gacha; available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Damien, Smoked
Hair: No Match: No Date
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Otherskin: Wish Necklace (Available at Fantasy Faire!)

Lyrics from Robin Williamson’s “Song of Mabon”.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. Go look at the web page. Yes, I know they’re expensive. If you want to take amazing photos in SL, they’re worth every Linden.