August’s End

It was a Hot Summer Night.

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On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

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Will he offer me his mouth?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his teeth?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his jaws?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his hunger?

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Yes.

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Again, will he offer me his hunger?

 

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Yes!

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And does he love me?

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Yes.

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Yes.

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On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

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Yes.

 

Style Cards:
Formal photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Pink Hustler, 8134 (Available for a few more days ONLY at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Skye Eyes
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Cecily (all-in-one Omega applier!) (Cecily is the September Group gift, COMING SOON to the 7 Deadly s[K]ins Main Store!)
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Pennies From Heaven Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: SlackGirl, Bling Shoes

Tree Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: EMO-Tions, Marlee (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Eyes: Mesange, Aspen Eyes (Available NOW at The Hidden Chapter!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Miriam (Catwa face applier)
Headpiece: Venge (Formerly Vengeful Threads), Anisah Head Adornment (Available NOW at Genre!)
Dress: Petite Mort, Royal Serene Lace Dress
Tree Top: .shi, Tree Of Life Creepers Top (and floating leaves)
Gloves: Drastic, Walnut Moss Maitreya Hand Branches
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Rhude, Jhani

Many thanks to Lord Nyza Stillwater, who indulged me by posing with me in these photographs. And no, I wouldn’t say yes to all the boys. But I would say it to Him.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never tell a love story through 70s iconic pop songs without it!

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

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Under the Lantern Tree

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Sometimes, things just appear in the garden, and I don’t know what they’re for.

Sometimes, things just appear in the garden, and I don’t know what they’re for. Take that weird house opposite the gallery, for example. I mean, I guess we’ll hold dances there or something, but at the moment it’s just sitting there. But when this Lantern Tree appeared, with its comfortable seating and characteristic beautiful touches (how could it be from anywhere but The Looking Glass?), I knew exactly what it was for, and I had a use for it right away. Obviously, it’s for late night discussions of things that matter. So I asked Arahaelon to come along, and we began to discuss the situation with Saoirse.

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“I might have vented a bit,” I said.

“I might have vented a bit, I said, “when I found out that my vision was of her being abducted as a seal. The penny dropped when Dyisi asked her who had her skin; then I realised what was happening.”

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“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said.

“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said. So this we did. Dyisi arrived with Rire, and we went on with the conversation.

I summarised what we’d already talked about for Dyisi, and Arahaelon asked if Dy could shed a little more light on Saoirse’s state of mind.

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Dyisi shrugged.

Dyisi shrugged. “Is story as old as time,” she said. “She fell for someone who, in turn, used her and took her skin, Ah, forced her to do such deeds that she has done. Though she does noht with to harm anyone… just get her skin back and be free of those who control her. Is why she picked simple boat. Is why when ordered to do more … drastic … measures she picked empty house. Well, empty as that none of people who lived within were there at time. Also, she needs to be within water soon, or she will noht make it.”

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I felt that anger rise within me again.

I felt that anger rise within me again. “Unbelievable arseholes,” I said. “Did she tell you who has her skin? Where they are? I’m just so pissed off about this. Obviously, I’m angry about the graffiti and the boat and my house—I’ll never get that little bed with the iron birdies on it back—but it really appears she was not acting of her own free will. That said, I would hope she’d have come to one of us before all that had to happen.”

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“That would fit…”

“That would fit,” Arahaelon said, “with the story I’m getting from these messages on her phone.” He passed the phone to me so I could take a look. “If her skin has been taken, then we must get it back.”

Dyisi applied her usual calm to the situation. “When faced with death… as it is… I understand why she had noht come to any of us. Such mortality places you within a different mindset. But, nai, her skin must be returned to her.

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“Those who are using her…”

“Those who are using her to further their goals… they must face a higher court than what is on the Island. Especially since it is not just island they are attacking.”

I agreed. “Nathaniel might have some contacts on the mainland, “but he’s away in Mysthaven and won’t be back until next week, I think? We’ll have to give it some thought ourselves.” I smirked. “I could always check with Cherish Gelato. She’s sure to know some wild rumours, at least.” And I nodded to Arahaelon. “Certainly, we must retrieve her skin; she will survive without it, but there is the matter of how well the skin is being kept, of course.

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“Let’s hope they don’t see her as expendable.”

“I hope whoever’s done this doesn’t see her as expendable: the idea of a selkie’s skin being destroyed—well, we’d have to talk to the selkies themselves about that one.”

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Arahaelon brooded for a bit.

Arahaelon brooded for a bit. I noticed his eyes: they looked like storm clouds. “What if we use her as bait to draw these people out? I’m sure the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs would be happy to help us hunt them down. It would go a long way towards shortening her sentence. Despite how much I understand her plight, she must still serve time for what she has done. Had she come to us earlier, much destruction and pain could have been avoided. And as Dyisi points out, she will also have to answer for parts she might have played elsewhere.”

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Dyisi looked to Rire.

Dyisi looked to Rire. He just gave the satyr a shrug; he was dutifully doing his job at standing guard. “It is your call on what to do,” she said finally. “I have no say in such a matter. However, I will also speak to may own contacts over there, as our reach tends to be … deep.” She left it there, not going in to specifics as to what exactly this group she was affiliated with did.

 

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The night air developed a chill.

The night air developed a chill, so I shrugged my wings back on. “I worry about using this girl as bait. She seems … Volatile? Scared. And scared people do stupid things. I’m on the fence. I see how she could help us catch these criminals, but I’m not happy about putting her in a position where the only decision she might make would be a wrong one.”

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Arahaelon closed his eyes.

Arahaelon closed his eyes for a moment before continuing. “She would be closely supervised bait, but I do see your point. She will always be bound to the one who has her skin.” He considered for a moment, rotated his head to the side. “We may not have to, though. We could simply text them back and lure them out ourselves.”

Dyisi sniffed, gave a half-shrug. “Perhaps, paidi mou, you should bring this up to this, ah, Bureau before doing such things. So that they can be at ready. Nai?”

 

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“A good idea.”

“A good idea—who’s our Bureau contact, Arahaelon? Or is that safely with Nate in Mysthaven, as well?” I sighed. “I don’t relish going back there, but I could make a special trip if it were important. I reserve the right to be a complete bitch to everybody, though.”

“Yes, of course they will be notified,” Arahaelon said. “I have a close relationship with our contact: there is no need to be a bitch to anyone, unless you really want to, Dear Queen.” He winked at me in that way that he does. If I were mortal, I’d have been flushing beet red and offering to bear his children. “I will see if I can replicate Saoirse’s style in these messages,” he continued.

“Then if that is all, nai?” Dyisi seemed to have someplace to go.

I nodded. “Yeah; that probably about does it for this evening. I’m glad you were both able to join me. It might be time for me to see what Bran is up to in the treehouse: he was talking about decorating my office.” I winced. “I don’t really want an office.”

Arahaelon actually laughed at me, not that I was surprised. “How will you ever cope?”

I just stuck my tongue out at him. “You know where to find me if you need me,” I said.

Dyisi and Rire disappeared, presumably back to her beach house on the Island, and Arahaelon also disappeared, presumably back to his house on the Island. And me? I walked back to the treehouse, through the magic flower meadow. When I got to the path, I turned around for one more look at the beautiful Lantern Tree. And it seemed I saw myself and Arahaelon sitting there, and the people we sat with varied, and they kept changing. I think we will be using this tree as a meeting place for a long time to come.

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The Lantern Tree

Style Card:
The Lantern Tree, from The Looking Glass, will be available as a gacha for the upcoming round of Enchantment, which opens on 12 August.

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Alanis (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes (Available NOW at Lost and Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Full face and body Omega applier)
Makeup: VENGE (formerly Vengeful Threads), Catwa Luna Makeup (Available NOW at THE COVEN!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Necklace: VENGE (formerly Vengeful Threads), Evening Lord Necklace (Available NOW at THE COVEN!)
Top: Facepalm, Play the Game (Available NOW at Fable!)
Leggings: The Muses, Ariane Legging (Omega Applier)
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Style cards for Arahaelon and Dyisi are coming soon!

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

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Nightswimming

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Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night…..

I’ve been singing this song to myself for days. And like all earworms, even though it’s beautiful the repetition can get to you after a while. So I went to a Realm of Water to sing to myself and hopefully get it out of my system.

Don’t forget: the Midsummer Enchantment event closes tomorrow, so you only have one more day to pick up this beautiful tunic from Arcadia, or these gorgeous Bento wings from PsychoByts, or these lovely Dark Passions nails!

Something about this song has caught me. It was always beautiful, always a picture of reminiscence and longing. Why do I need this song right now?

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The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago

The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse

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Still it’s so much clearer

Still it’s so much clearer
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge

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The moon is low tonight

The moon is low tonight
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

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I’m not sure all these people understand

I’m not sure all these people understand
It’s not like years ago
The fear of getting caught

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Of recklessness and water

Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things they go away
Replaced by everyday

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Nightswimming, remembering that night

Nightswimming, remembering that night
September’s coming soon

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I’m pining for the moon

I’m pining for the moon
And what if there were two

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Side by side in orbit, around the fairest sun?

Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, white, forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming

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You, I thought I knew you

You, I thought I knew you
You I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath
Nightswimming

The photograph reflects, every streetlight a reminder

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Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night

 

“Nightswimming”, Music and lyrics by Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry. REM, from Automatic for the people, Mike Mills on piano, Michael Stipe singing.

 

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Dessia (Available NOW at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Fiery Eyes (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Omega all-in-one applier) (COMING SOON to Mesh Body Addicts!)
Wings: PsychoByts, Pixie Bento Wings (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at the Midsummer Enchantment event!)
Tunic: Arcadia, Iona Summer Cincher (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at the Midsummer Enchantment event!)
Jewellery: Emo-Tions, Aurora Necklace and Forehead
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Poses: All from Bauhaus Movement, Into the Deep, Immerse Yourself (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Location: Phabolaois Stran. I had to go back there. You should visit, too!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never basically sit here and sing an REM song to you without it!

HF 2017 logo - 1   Midsummer Enchantment - Event Poster 2017 V3   MESANGE LOGO 2017   7ds

 

 

 

Summer Dreams

A new month, and here we are just past Midsummer. Because I have a lot on my RL plate right now with work, I thought I’d just tell you about some of the amazing things I found at Hair Fair, with the promise that there’s plenty more to come from that quarter. Throughout the month of July, I’m going to try and take one photo every day with a different Hair Fair hair; however, this is a goal and not a promise. I know I’ve been far too sporadic with blogging over the last few months, and I’m doing my best to get back into the swing.

To start things off, I also have this gorgeous new dress to show you from Silvan Moon Designs. This dress will be at We ❤ Roleplay, which in July starts on the 5th of the month and not the 4th, to accommodate Americans celebrating the July 4 holiday over there.

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Silvan Moon Designs for We ❤ Roleplay: Le Carnivale Baroque Gown, in Periwinkle

You know, there’s plenty of mediaeval stuff floating around the grid, but even though I almost never have a chance to wear or roleplay in stuff like this, I absolutely love a well put together baroque gown. First off, it’s something I would never wear in real life—all that faffing about! The detailing here is stunning, and I am as usual in awe of Silvan Moon and the two designers who make it all work. The hair here is one of Emo-Tions‘ Hair Fair releases, Calania, which comes with flowers in different colours to complement whatever you might want to wear with it. I thought about finding a more baroque hairstyle, but there aren’t very many out there, and this one works in spirit if not in letter. I also love the chance to show off the long strands that float down behind the head on this one. Gwyneth is wearing the Maitreya mesh body, the Catwa Lona mesh head, Lumae Ruby Skin, Swallow High Definition Elf Ears, and her eyes are the Iskander eyes from Mesange, which may be my favourite of Jadis Ashland‘s beautiful eyes … yet!

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Emo-Tions Calania hair and Mesange Iskander eyes

Here’s a close-up so you can see some of the detailing on the hair and get an idea of the depth of these eyes.

These photographs were taken in White Owl Island’s Faerie, in Queen Gwyneth’s garden.

If I wrote a story about these photos, it would be Gwyneth just wandering in her own garden, thinking about the timelessness of summer, that part in the middle of summer when everything might as well be a dream.

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Little Bones Naomi Hair for Hair Fair 2017

Naomi is a great classic super long (below the waist length) style. I love the perfect, flat, “ironed” look it has, while still retaining those great Little Bones textures. This outfit is from Uber; I don’t often find great casual clothes that Gwyneth could wear in character, but there were several great things this month. Because Gwyneth is now a fixture on White Owl Island, she doesn’t always have to dress like a Queen. This, once again, is the Ruby skin from Lumae, one of my favourites she’s released this year. The clothes are from Azuchi, the Kara cargo pants and top; they come in a lot of great colours, but this deep red really worked for me when I shot these photographs. The sandals are from Mutresse, the Vaska flat sandals, which again come in about a million colours via a HUD.

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Mesange eyes and Forehead Jewels by Lumae!

In this close-up, you can see the forehead jewels Gwyneth is wearing: these are available at the Midsummer Enchantment event. Lumae released four of these for the event; this one is Aaina. The eyes, of course, are from Mesange. They’re the Era eyes, which will be available at We Love Roleplay in a few days.

If I were writing a story about these photographs, Gwyneth would be waiting for someone who either never arrives or who arrives late. In an unfamiliar place, she has nowhere to go but here, so she sits on the steps, finally, possibly for hours.

All the poses in the photos above are from An Lar, the Radi and Nell series.

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A friend saw an early version of this photo and said, “Of course you bought that dress.”

Well, duh. Of course I bought this dress! I generally love Moon Amore‘s work, and all I could think when I first saw this Dark Moon Queen dress on Seraphim was how I would photograph it. I think I may come back to it a few more times, because I want to show some of the other colours you can get with the fatpack HUD, and also because I would love to see the dress photographed in some other locations. The dress is available at the Crystal Heart Festival. The hair is another great find from Hair Fair: it’s from Exile, and it’s called Lovefool. Gwyneth is back in the Iskander eyes, though I have some others to show you over the next few days. The necklace is a new favourite from The Plastik, the Grolda NecklaceAs usual with offerings from the fabulous Vae, it comes with loads of colour and metal choices, and her gem textures never fail to make me happy.

There’s not really a story for this photograph. I just thought of Gwyneth, ageless, on a windy day, in front of a door to … well, Somewhere. Somewhere Else; Somewhere Other. 

The backdrops in the Little Bones and Exile photos are both from Exposeur; they are the rares from their Gacha Guardians release for this round.

The pose in the Exile/Moon Amore photo is from Roquai, who never fails to be innovative with her great static poses. This is the Mouse from the Chinese Zodiac set.

Because all the information you might want to know about the clothes and hair and stuff is in the text, I’m not going to do formal style cards tonight. I hope you’ll visit Hair Fair and have a great time looking at all the wonderful offerings from great hair designers who come together every summer to benefit Wigs For Kids, a great cause. Don’t forget to pick up some bandanas while you’re there!

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The 2017 Hair Fair Photo Contest!

I’ve been busy over the past few days, while recovering from this annoying injured thumb on my left (dominant) hand, working on some photographs for the 2017 Hair Fair Photo Contest.

Hair Fair is one of my favourite events of the year. Because duh! Hair! And I’m lucky enough to have early blogger access again this year, so I’ll spend lots of money and show you super cool hairs!

Every year, Hair Fair sponsors a photo contest, and I often enter it. This year I’ve done five photos, and that’s the limit. I’m sorry, judges.

The link above is to the official notice about the contest; the theme was “Wild”, and the idea was to picture hair colours that aren’t in the usual, naturally available human range. This post has been half written for two days in hopes I could get it done ahead of the contest deadline, but I’m afraid I haven’t managed it, and I’ll just have to do a better job next year.

Here’s the first of my Hair Fair Photo Contest entries for this year.

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Joy!

Hairstyle—Corumel (Summer Hair Play)
Hair Store—Tableau Vivant
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Lona
Skin: Lumae Adore Ianthe
Eyes: Mesange Iskander
Ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Silks: Axix, Heaven Silks Purple
Butterflies: Nantra
Location: White Owl Island

I initially wanted to photograph Gwyneth scrying something, with her hair all over the place, but the minute I put this hair on I knew I wanted her in the water somehow. There were numerous false starts with this photograph, because I kept wanting her to be attacked by a sea monster– but things kept going wrong. And we just won’t talk about that time the giant undulating tentacle ended up off the shores of White Owl Island….

Here’s number two:

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Who Shall I Be Tomorrow?

Hairstyle—Joga
Hair Store—Analog Dog
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah
Body Glitter: Izzies, Rainbow body glitter
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Dress: This Is Wrong, Owls Dress
Wings: BareRose, Black B Wings
Jewellery: EMO-tions, Falcon Earrings and Necklace

So, most of you guys know I love Analog Dog Hair. I knew I wanted to showcase at least one of Queue Marlowe‘s beautiful hair designs in these photographs. I picked this one, Joga, because it’s relatively new, and because it’s whimsical without being silly, and because I loved the way the green and red work together in this colour. Beloved took me on a date to Calas Galadhon, and I remembered having taken some photographs there yonks ago. I came back there for this one, and I was so pleased with the light (and the fact that “The Owls are not what they seem” shows up pretty well in the photograph on this photo. Of course, after I’d taken it through the whole editing process, I discovered that the hair is clipping the wing. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed that… I’d already entered the photograph when I suddenly saw the imperfection, and now I can’t unsee it. So it stays, because otherwise it’s a good photo, and I love so many things about it.

Miles Away

This third photo features hair from another one of my favourite designers, Wasabi Pills. Raven was released for this years’ Fantasy Faire, and I’ve worn it a lot. I wanted to do something like a portrait for one of the entries, and I wanted to investigate a region I hadn’t shot in before. So off I went to Phabolaois Stran. I love water sims, rain sims, and this one did not disappoint. I will be back again, I’m sure. I spent a lot of time waiting for this group of birds to un-clump so I could photograph them recognisably, which is probably why I left them in, rather than cropping them out to yield a stronger photograph. I still like the way the hair colour looks against the landscape.

Hairstyle—Raven
Hair Store—Wasabi Pills
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Ruby
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Clothes: Yasum, Boho Skirt and Top
Necklace: The Plastik, The Grolda Necklace
Circlet, Cae, Lasa Circlet

Pink

Pink, like most of these, is not the photograph I started out trying to take at all. Elikatira‘s Lalora, don’t get me wrong, is every bit as gorgeous today as when it was released last year. I did want to take at least one photo in White Owl’s Faerie, but the original plan was for this shot to have some softness to it, and I’m not sure it does, in the end. She looks determined, maybe even angry. Her hand is tense. The sunset lighting makes her look if anything more like she’s just made a battle plan. That said, while I know a lot of SL people who do not like these wings, I absolutely love them, I have them in every colour they were released in, and I do not get the chance to photograph them very often. I love how perfectly they match the pink of her hair, how they echo the makeup. And I like the way she really does pop against the landscape.

Hairstyle—Lalora
Hair Store—Elikatira
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Ruby
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Wings: Alegria, Wings of Cotton Pink
Dress: MoonAmore, Sugar Branches Dress
Makeup: Picchi, Sweet Fairy Makeup

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Take Off

Some things I cannot resist, and one of those things is going back and hoping to fix my mistakes. The thing is, Calas Galadhon doesn’t allow object rezzing and I couldn’t find a group to join that would let me do that, so placement wasn’t and couldn’t be perfect. And, you know, there’s only so much time in the day, and so I decided to go with something different. I love that this shot gives you the whole scope of the wings, and I did at least remember the windlight I used, which is a far sight better than I usually do here in Chaos-land. There were some birds around, as in previous shots, but I didn’t worry about them overmuch as they were a long way away and the focal bird would be the one wearing these beautiful wings from BareRose.

Hairstyle—Joga
Hair Store—Analog Dog
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah
Body Glitter: Izzies, Rainbow body glitter
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Dress: This Is Wrong, Owls Dress
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Gypsy Boots

Style cards are above in the text. Farrah is available at Vintage Fair!

 

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Shadow Play

I looked for songs about shadows to illustrate this post, but they all seem to be about being fooled by bad relationships or psychotic ex-lovers, and that’s not really what I wanted to talk about, so despite the fact that the chorus for Fish‘s song Shadowplay keeps going through my head as I write this, I won’t inflict it on you guys. You’ve probably never heard of Fish anyway. He was with a band called Marillion, and you’ve probably never heard of them, either.

Anyway. I haven’t spoken a lot about my experience with the Visionaire photography class here, but you’ve seen the results, changes, and experimentation in my photographs. Or at least I hope you have. Friday was our last class before graduation (February 19— I’ll just go ahead and invite all of you to the party now!), and we had a guest teacher, Senna Coronet. Now, the only thing I knew about Senna before this class was something one of our instructors had told me: he photographs in complete darkness, using only projectors. But the fact is, Senna is a genius at explaining very complex things in a simple way. And, I’m convinced now that not only can Senna photograph in complete darkness, using only projectors—so can I!

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Shadowplay 1

Shadowplay 1: Here, Gwyneth is lit by a projector and three prim lights, the usual LumiPro setup. She is in a constructed prim box, which in retrospect I probably should have made totally white in colour/no texture; however, I knew I would be shooting in Phototools No Light windlight, so I didn’t bother. I may go back and reshoot some of these for my Visionaire graduation portfolio and see how the texture of the box might change the photographs. Anyway, I wanted her to be mostly black and white, so I chose Lumae‘s Eirtae Nimbus fantasy skin: it’s very white with subtle shading, and I’ve used it before when I turned Gwyneth into a Bain Sidhe for a post several months ago. This outfit is one I’ve seen photographed a lot: it’s Blueberry‘s Angelberry set from the current (and half over!) round of The Epiphany. This hair is special, as well: it’s from Emo-Tions, and it’s at Hairology for another few days: it’s Anik, and I loved it so much I’ve already used it in a blog this month, but I love Emo-Tions’ silver textures so much that I put it on again for this one. Gwyneth is wearing eyeshadow from ArteSmoky Eyeshadow, but it’s also called Gwen, so of course I had to buy it! The red lipstick is one of the Catwa choices for the Catya mesh head, which Gwyneth is in almost all the time these days. The lipstick and the eyes (from Avi-GlamElysian Eyes, colour Ghost) are the only things with colour on Gwyneth.

In order to get the projector to appear in a perfect circle, I chose LumiPro‘s wide spotlight bulb for the projector, then moved the projector so that it was centred on Gwyneth’s middle. I pulled it back so that the spotlight appeared to be in a perfect circle around her. This pose, and all the poses in this post, come from An Lar‘s new Flutter Series, which you can find at this month’s SaNaRae. The prim lights are arranged so that Gwyneth’s face and hair are highlighted, and the third (LumiPro standard) prim light is on her body below the waist, on her upper legs. She’s rotated so that there is just a bit of sharp shadow behind her and so that you can see the fluffy wings make a shadow as well. I used some tips I got from William Weaver in the class he taught us at Visionaire about using Phototools to best advantage to make sure my shadows were sharp and visible behind her.

I shot a couple of photos with this lighting setup, and I was so pleased with myself that I sent a Gyazo link to Senna, proudly noting that I had been listening in class. At the same time, the creative and delightful Lola Key suggested that I try a Gobo, so I started playing with some of the LumiPro gobos to see what I could come up with.

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Shadowplay 2: Gobo

Here is a double experiment: a gobo, plus a single blue coloured prim light behind her to colour the shadows and set a different tone for the floor area. In retrospect, I’d like to try this with her floating against the wall so that the shadows don’t bend, but the wall/floor dichotomy also makes her appear to be on a stage somewhere, so perhaps it’s a good thing. Notice how the blue prim light affects the colours of the shadows behind her legs and the bottom part of the wing? This was Senna’s suggestion when I sent him the Gyazo link, and after that I just went crazy, putting differently coloured prim lights behind her and experimenting with different placements!

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Shadowplay 3: Different Gobo, different lights!

Here, there are two more prim lights placed behind Gwyneth so that you get a different colour both on her body and wing shadows, and also one off to the side so that the gobo changes colour on the right side of the photograph. Ordinarily in a blog photo I’d have turned her so her face is visible, but here I was concentrating more on the shadows of her hand against the wall. The Vista Bento Hands do such great things with their random movements, even with static poses, that I left this option on and just shot when I liked the position her hands were in.

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Shadowplay 4: Close-up

For this photograph, I turned off the gobo option and moved the spotlight very close to Gwyneth so that the spotlight circle would appear smaller behind her. I left the purple and teal prim lights in place to create some interest around the edges of the spotlight. For those of you in the UK who are familiar with Charlie Brucker, I’m concerned that Gwyneth looks a little too much like Philomena Cunk in this photograph, but I’ll overlook that for now. Note that all the LumiPro lights were set to a grey colour and I turned the intensity and falloff down so that Gwyneth’s white skin would not be blown out by such a close placement of lights here.

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Shadowplay 5: Symmetry/Asymmetry

Here, I intentionally kept the spotlight fairly small, while panning out so that the single prim light behind Gwyneth’s ankles shows you that she’s standing on a surface somewhere, possibly a stage (which the spotlight sort of implies). I carefully positioned the camera so that her shadow was roughly equidistant from her on all sides, even though she wasn’t perfectly centred in the spotlight.

So many thanks to the whole Visionaire crew for this amazing class. Wren and Nariko have created a wonderful thing. If you want to get your mind blown on a weekly basis and learn more about SL photography than you could possibly absorb in a single second lifetime, check out the Visionaire Website for more information and to see when applications will open for the next class. If you’re super keen, you can always IM WrenNoire Cerise in-world and talk to her: she is approachable, warm, and a great teacher. I cannot say enough about how enlightening and empowering the Visionaire experience is. Do not think about the money. It is not about the money. I am thankful every day that I splashed out for this class. It has been worth every Linden and much, much more. It’s worth it for the critiques alone, but the lessons will blow your mind, and the guest speakers are amazing, and the opportunities for learning more about your own work, developing your own style, and finding out how the pros do it? Just wow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Anika (Available for a few more days at Hairology!)
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysium Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, Nimbus Fantasy Skin (Available at The Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Outfit: Blueberry, Angelberry, in colour Slayer (Available until February 15 at The Epiphany!) —all the colours are beautiful, but I particularly wanted the black for this series of photos.
Makeup: Arte, Gwen Eyeshadow (Smokey Eyeshadow) (Lipstick is included with the Catya head)
Poses: An Lar, The Flutter Series (Available NOW at SaNaRae!)

Setting: A Box!

Learn more about Visionaire at The Visionaire Website!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never talk about lighting Second Life photography without it!

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ERROR: Out Of Cheese

Our first weekend away in I don’t know how long. Oh, it was going to be glorious! Clutie had gone ahead of us to the little cabin by the river and stocked the fridge, but other than that, we’d have no contact with Faerie unless there was an emergency of epic proportion. That was the plan.

Nathaniel was stuck in some meeting with some Mysthaven people, or something. I don’t know. That bunch can’t seem to buckle their own trousers without his assistance, not that I’m one to talk.

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Everything looked beautiful!

Everything looked beautiful! I couldn’t get over what a lovely kitchen someone had painstakingly and perfectly put into this house. The views out the windows were of frost-coloured trees, and on the rear side, the boat dock and the ice-cold but clear river water. Clutie had left out bread for sandwiches, bread with butter, and a little bit of cheese with some crackers. Which is a good thing, because of course Nathaniel is originally Victorian. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but Victorians love cheese. Cheese for starters, cheese on the main, cheese for afters; forget dessert, bring on the cheese board.

And then.

And then I looked in the refrigerator.

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Oh, my gods! The horror!

Oh, my gods! The horror! There was no cheese. That’s right. No cheese in the fridge. Well. I did the only sane thing. I broke down in tears.

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Nathaniel, because his timing is perfect, chose this moment to arrive.

Nathaniel, because his timing is perfect, chose this moment to arrive. “Gwyn? Honey?”

“There’s no cheese!” I was practically hysterical by this point.

“Gwyn, there’s some cheese right here.” I heard the sound of Nathaniel picking up the cheese knife. “And it’s not bad either, nice and nutty, little bland. Don’t know what these weird salty crackers are for: you don’t want something that salty with cheese. Cheese is already salty enough.”

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“You don’t understand! That was it! That was all the cheese!”

“You don’t understand! That was it! That was all the cheese!” I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate.

“That was all of it?” I could tell he still had some in his mouth. Fucking enhanced fae senses meant I could hear him swallow, too.

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“I don’t see that this is the end of the world,” he said.

“I don’t see that this is the end of the world,” he said. “We do have a mirror. They can summon us; we can summon them. Just tell Clutie to bring some more cheese. And tell her to get something with a little more age on it this time.” He sniffed critically. “And some soda bread.”

I hiccupped. “You mean you’re not angry?” I turned to face him.

He sighed. “No, Gwyneth. I’m not angry. Do you think that running Mysthaven will turn me into Maric? I’m unlikely to have his level of temper about anything, particularly not something like cheese.”

“But…But Victorians! They love cheese!”

Nathaniel cleared his throat. “A lot of people love cheese.” He walked toward me and put his arms around me. “Just calm down, love.”

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Luckily for everyone involved, Nathaniel knows the best way to calm me down.

Luckily for everyone involved, Nathaniel knows the best way to calm me down.

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He even rubbed noses with me.

He even rubbed noses with me. I used to think that was so adorable when we first kissed. Well, after the first disastrous kiss, of course. That one doesn’t bear thinking about.

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“So… everything’s going to be all right?”

“So, everything’s going to be all right?”

“Yes, Gwyneth, everything is going to be all right. I’ll send out a ping for Clutie or Bran to pick up some more cheese, and then we will be all set to enjoy our…” finally, he looked up to see that the bed was up a ladder-like flight of steps and on a platform suspended by chains from the ceiling. “Hey, any chance we could get them to bring, I don’t know, a cot or some blankets or something, so we could sleep down here near the fire? So much more romantic.”

I smirked against his chest. “We’re not going to break the house, sweetheart.”

“You never know,” he replied. “You just never know.”

Style Cards:
First of all, this whole post was inspired by the delightful and beautiful kitchen Death Row Designs have created for Shiny Shabby. It’s called the Rustic Kitchen, and it comes in both Adult and PG versions. You can buy it in pieces or as a full set. The pose where Gwyneth is crying at the refrigerator really is called No Cheese. I must have gone through five houses trying to find one where it would fit perfectly, and I came upon the Fisher Point Cottage from Trompe Loeil. It had just the right mixture of class and rustic charm, and the wood textures of the kitchen fit really well with its walls. The only complaint I have is there’s not quite enough wall space to display the extra shelves and spice rack that also come with this beautiful kitchen. Remember, the Death Row Designs Rustic Kitchen is available NOW at Shiny Shabby

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions,  Anik (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Ruby in T1 (Available NOW at The Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Ears (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Jacket: E-Clipse Design, Nemo Coat, Brown
Jeans: Petite Mort, Rawwashed Distressed Skinny Jeans
Shoes: The Plastik, Filivina Heels (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!) (Note that these shoes are unrigged and you will have to adjust them to your feet, no matter what version of the shoe you are wearing.)

Nathaniel:
Body: SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Hair: No Match
Jacket: Ducknipple Codine Jacket
Jeans: Ducknipple Jeans

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