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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Unprepared

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You know that feeling when you’re transported to another Realm in your dream, and you’re pretty sure it’s not an ordinary dream?

You know that feeling when you’re transported to another Realm in your dream, and you’re pretty sure it’s not an ordinary dream? As in, pretty sure you’ve been dream-napped b some super-important spirit or Elder Fae, or perhaps a deity, either to get told off or given something, which is mostly just cryptic advice?

No?

Well, anyway. I found myself in a dark realm. The floor looked like marbled clouds. And of course there was a voice from out of nowhere.

You are unprepared, said the voice.

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“Unprepared for what?” I asked.

“Unprepared for what?” I asked. I could not see anything beyond the circle of the light that shone pretty much directly into my eyes.

You will certainly find out when the time comes. The voice held a hint of laughter. Stupid self-important messengers of Fate (or whatever).

“That is not really helpful,” I replied. “How am I meant to know what I’m unprepared for if nobody tells me?”

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Maybe, said the voice, you’re just meant to be aware you’re unprepared.

Maybe, said the voice, you’re just meant to be aware you’re unprepared. 

I sighed audibly, and I think there was some noise from far away.

I can take you to a place where you might learn more, the voice said, relenting.

Then, there was a noise like insects, like maybe locusts…..

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And I found myself in a grove, deep in some forest, crackling with magical energy.

And I found myself in a grove, deep in some forest, a grove crackling with magical energy. “Well,” I said to myself, (but out loud so whatever generated the voice could hear me), “this is certainly different from the last drop point.”

As well it should be, hissed the voice. This is the primordial druid’s grove. See how time is stopped here. Only the magic itself, and magic within magic, can move or think. Or perhaps it is just that everything else moves and thinks with such slowness that even I cannot comprehend it. 

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Absolutely nothing looked familiar.

Absolutely nothing looked familiar, unless you count that trees and logs and structures themselves look familiar, at least to an extent.

I’ll leave you now, said the voice. And I wager you will find some answers here. Take care to stay inside the magic circle—but of course you know that rule already. Then there was a ripple of laughter on the wind, and that presence was gone.

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“Well, great. What do I do now?”

“Well, great,” I said. “What do I do now?”

“You could always try listening,” said a voice that could almost have been the wind, or maybe the wind through leaves.

I turned toward the dryad. “I didn’t think you could be frozen,” I said. “You’re made of magic, like the Sidhe.”

“We often appear frozen, to other beings,” replied the Dryad. “When we move at the pace of trees, well. We are simply slower than others.”

“So what should I be listening for?”

“I don’t know. But I would like to see you dance. Would you mind dancing for me?”

Oh, great, I thought. This is no ordinary dryad. She is some sort of elder spirit, and I won’t get anything until I give her exactly what she wants. So, I said, “Very well,” and imagined music in my head until I could find the feet to dance.

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I started slowly, as I always do.

 

I started slowly, as I always do, and oddly I could feel the candles flickering in rhythm with my movements.

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The dryad squealed with delight when I leapt into the air.

 

The dryad squealed with delight when I leapt into the air. “Oh, what a pair of legs!” she gushed. “Why, you might almost have propelled yourself outside of that protected circle, where I could really talk to you….”

“Not going to happen,” I replied flatly.

“I could give you a great gift,” she said slyly.

“And what might that be?”

“My embrace,” she replied. “Imagine, living forever, calm in the forest, with none of your petty little worries to bring you down. ”

“I’ve danced for you,” I said.

“So you have,” replied the dryad. “I suppose you think I owe you something now.” If I didn’t know better, I’d say the voice sounded sad.

“That’s the way these things usually work, isn’t it?”

“Very well.”

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And then, the wind rose….

 

And then the wind rose, so strongly I thought I might fall over. In front of me there seemed to be a wall of sand, or something fluctuating.

I could not look away.

And on that wall, I saw an image of a beautiful, playful, brown-spotted seal, swimming without a care. She flops up to sun on a rock and falls asleep. And then, a quiet boat cuts across the water from behind her; she only wakes up when the net is dragging her into the boat.

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And then, I was back int he druid’s grove.

 

And then, I was back in the druid’s grove.

“Did you see it? Did it help?” wondered the dryad.

“I did see it, and I’m not sure,” I replied. “But I honour your rank and age, and I will be honoured likewise if we should meet again, beautiful sister of the wood.”

“One day you will ask to embrace me,” said the dryad.

“Perhaps,” I replied.

And then I woke up to sunlight streaming through the curtains in the treehouse, and Bran coming in with fresh coffee and fruit. On the whole, I think I far prefer living in a tree to actually being one.

Style Card:

Dark World:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Dabour (Available on 10 August 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)
Dress: AdoreZ, Dream Dress (Available NOW at Fable!)
Shoes: SlackGirl, Bling Shoes (Available NOW at Fable!)
Necklace: The Little Bat, Goddess Necklace (Available NOW at Fable!)

Druid’s Grove:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Sintiklia, Bloom
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)
Clothes: Noble Creations, Ancient Persian (Bracers, Greaves, Pauldrons, Tiara, and Veil) (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Setting:
Daisy fields, tree tunnels, stump, three small trees, scrying pool, candles, and the Dryad Herself, all from Rivendale, the Druid’s Grove Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Large Tree & Grass Surround: Hayabusa, Elegant Tree Plane
Ruin: 22769 [bauwerk], Ruins
Deer: All from the Half Deer Fallow Deer set; pictured are Nostalgia, Leap, Watchful, Graze, and Walk
Wolves: Jian, Grey Wolf Set; pictured are Sleeping and Static Look L
Foxes: Kite, Foxy Pups; pictured are We’re Cute and Sleeping
Fairy: Boudoir, Enchanted Flying Fairy

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never give Gwyneth vague dream premonitions without it!

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Rebuilding

Well, I’m sure everyone knows what happened on White Owl Island at Lughnasadh. I’m surprised that Gelato woman hasn’t spread her tabloid photographs all over the state of Washington and Realms Beyond at this point.

If you don’t know, some terrorist, and we suspect Saoirse, blew up my house. That’s right. She blew up my house. We were right in the middle of a romantic dance, Nathaniel and I, and the night couldn’t have been nicer. The crowd was small but friendly, and then up on the hill, an explosion, and our home was nothing more than rubble.

I just can’t even think about it or talk about it now, so I am spending a lot of time decorating the treehouse, since Nathaniel and I will now be making that our primary home.

I’d already done the salon, and our bedroom is in progress, so I went Realm-hopping again and found some beautiful things at a shopping faire called Fable to decorate our ground floor guest suite with.

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Now, an empty room just bothers me.

Now, an empty room just bothers me, so I got Bran in to help me with the wallpaper right away. Sometimes his glamouring skill is better than mine, mostly because I don’t do a lot of that at the moment and he has been busy getting this and the Queen’s Garden ready.

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I do love this lilac colour he chose, and the sleeping bench looks great here on this wall.

I do love this lilac colour he chose, and the sleeping bench looks great here on this wall. I found some great furniture and so many more wonderful things at the Fable shopping faire, and I’m sure more of it will feature. We’re furnishing this room in furniture and décor from Adorably Strange Wares, a name that makes me giggle, because they are adorable and yet a little strange as well. Bran was lovely; he never once asked me if the room wasn’t stately enough.

And, oh! I should mention: I received the loveliest package from those talented people at Silvan Moon Designs. They wanted to let me know that the Fantasy Gacha Carnival is coming up, and they sent me a sample of this beautiful Psalm of Soraya gown. It comes in many colours, all mix and match, and the fit is perfect.

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This beautiful bed is what sold me on the décor.

This beautiful bed is what sold me on the décor. I love the banners and bunting. I’ve still got a little work to do in here, but for the most part I’m satisfied. I suspect Nathaniel will worry about practical matters like wardrobes and water closets, but I just can’t be bothered right now. Bran did argue that the silhouettes might make it look too much like a children’s room, but I’m sure everyone likes silhouettes. Don’t they? I mean, I do.

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It will be all right.

It will be all right. We will find out whether Saoirse was working alone, or I guess even if she did it at all: Arahaelon made it very clear that he wanted Nathaniel and me as far from the explosion site as possible and that he would be conducting the investigation himself. I am glad we have the place in Faerie, even if Nathaniel wants to be more involved with the folk “on the ground” as he says. Arahaelon and I have put a simple portal in that leads from the green in Faerie to the White Owl Island village park, which will make commuting easier for him.

Clutie is furious about the Faewatch article: she always lets Cherish get to her. Me, I figure it’s just one of the repercussions of being a bit of a celebrity, not that I really like the attention. I’ll probably scan it and pop it onto the blog just to keep a record, though I do think the photo of the house actually blowing up was in very poor taste.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Mina, Indy
Eyes: Mesange, Borealis Eyes (Available NOW at Genre!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Olivia (Full face and body Omega applier, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Psalm of Soraya Gown (Available SOON at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Circlet: Supernatural, Hymn (Silver)

Bed, Bench, Silhouettes, and Banners: Adorably Strange Wares, The Briar Rose Set. Sold separately in light and dark versions. (Available NOW at Fable!)

Poses: All from An LarThe Crest Series, except “Now, an empty room just bothers me”, which is Where is the Pool Bar, from Gem Poses, and available at Fable.

House: LAQ Decor: Serene Tree & Windmill Home.

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.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never redecorate the Tree House Yet Again without it!

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IC Office Decoration!

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Nope, this is not an IC post about decorating.

Nope, this is not an IC post about decorating. It is an OOC post about decorating an IC space. Clear as mud? Great! 

I also thought I’d answer a couple of questions here that I keep getting asked about my blog.

So basically, don’t expect great art here; we’re mostly talking presentation. And of course, there are a couple of amazing things I want to show you!

First off, the blog has been quiet for a couple of days because I’m finally going back to work after my knee surgery and it’s been a bit tiring, as you might imagine. But enough about my petty life….

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There’s nothing like an empty room to get you feeling creative!

So, there’s nothing like an empty room to get you feeling creative! This is the upstairs of the truly lovely Trompe Loeil Josette Boutique. There are four of these in different colours on the White Owl Island High Street, and as shops for rp, they’re some of the nicest SL has to offer. Like most two-level SL structures, the upstairs can seem a bit small and cramped. However, the upstairs at Codex, the White Owl Island (sometimes abbreviated as WOI) book shop, is meant to be sort of an occult study group spot, so I needed to make the space both work-space for Gwyneth and cosy space for others.

If you’re using Phototools in Firestorm, you know how I’m making it possible for you to see most of this room. I’m doing it by widening the view angle in the Depth of Field (DOF/Glow) tab in Phototools. This is really useful, particularly if you’ve already got your focus set but you realise there’s more you need to show.

Gwyneth’s wearing things I picked up at The Forest. If you don’t know about The Forest, it’s a members-only event that you join by paying a fee to join an in-world group. Then, when all the designers are ready, you head over to an absolutely beautiful sim and just pick up all the loot! I’ve done this for the last couple of months, and it’s a really lovely event. Anyway, the dress is from u.f.o (ur.favorite.one), the Ruffle Blouse & Denim Skirt. The shoes are from Breathe, the Amely Flats, which come in a good array of colours.

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This skin is from DeeTaleZ, featured at Enchantment.

This skin is from DeeTaleZ, the Dorothy skin. It’s featured at this months’ Enchantment. And I can’t talk enough about how much I love this round of Enchantment: It is full of Wizard Of Oz goodness! DeeTaleZ also did a special edition of this skin, but I wanted the lighter tone on Gwyneth, and the special edition isn’t available in their Celtic tone, which is my favourite for her.

And this hair! It’s from the current round of Hairology, from Stealthic. It’s called Sanctuary. I discovered Stealthic at an event a few months back, and they burst on the scene at this years’ Hair Fair; people couldn’t stop talking about them. I like this style because it’s long but also controlled, a bit out of character for Gwyneth, but hey. She’s the Faery Queen; she can wear what she likes!

Right! On to talking about decorating this room IC.

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Every room needs a corner accent table somewhere, right?

Every room needs a corner accent table somewhere, right? This one is from Pastiche, part of the lovely set of stuff they have at the Fable event this month. I particularly like the hourglass, but I would like that. You can also see some more details of Gwyneth’s outfit in this picture, particularly the lovely texturing on the socks from Breathe.

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Another Pastiche offering!

Another Pastiche offering! This is the Woodlands Shelf, which I like both because of the cool decor on it and the fact that it’s obviously made out of a tree! Gwyneth loves stuff made out of trees, because duh, Seelie Fae and all. The beautiful shelf above it is from On A Lark, the Remembrance Shelf, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire. I think it’s still available at their main store. Again, the Woodlands Shelf is available at Fable.

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Fae Queens are like cats….

Fae Queens are like cats. They have quirky little traits that might seem really weird and possibly a bit amoral to other people. One of Gwyneth’s quirky traits is that she loves to keep demifae (tiny little faeries) as pets. Or in a collection. She deludes herself into thinking they want to be there, and they of course are too scared of their Queen to say, “Gosh, I’d really rather not be caged up like this”. Once on a rp sim I had a collection of faeries in little terrariums in Gwyneth’s kitchen. This prompted interesting questions from visitors. Once again, this adorable little thing is from Pastiche, who really hit it out of the park for the Fable event. This is Seasons of the Fairy—Mother Nature, and it has some fun effects: you can make it rain or snow in the cage, which is amusing but difficult to catch properly on camera.

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Here’s a view of the fireplace end of the room.

Here’s a view of the fireplace end of the room, again shot with a wide angle using Phototools. On the mantelpiece are two of Hextraordinary‘s gorgeous Pegasus Ponies, Buttercream and Amethyst. These came from an Arcade or two ago, but the dacha machine is probably up at their Main Store if you, like me, are totally in love with things that are so cute they make other people want to cry. The fireplace is built in to Trompe Loeil‘s Josette Boutique.

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Coffee? Pick your flavour!

Coffee? Pick your flavour! Gwyneth could not survive in a world without coffee. I can’t remember which Arcade this was at, but it’s one of my favourite things, from Standby Inc, and it’s called Instant Coffee, but I prefer to pretend that it’s proper ground coffee, because Gwyneth would never drink Instant, and I think instant coffee is illegal in the Pacific Northwest or something. The shelf is one of the rates, the Sunrise Shelf.

One of the great things that decorating an office or personal space gives me a chance to do is show off some of the cool things I’ve collected over years of gacha (I’m not addicted!) shopping.

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Here’s a corner of Gwyneth’s desk!

Here’s a corner of Gwyneth’s desk, adorned by Pastiche‘s other Seasons of the Fairy from Fable, Fire/Summer. The effect on this one is a glowing hot rock that gives off little sparks. And the little faery’s eyes glow red. The desk is also from On A Lark, the Velazquez Desk. The shelf behind the desk is the companion Rare to the Instant Coffee set, the Midnight Shelf.

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And there you have it!

And there you have it! Gwyneth seems pretty proud of her space. Behind her is an offering from 22769 from an event that centred around Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, the Book of Accurate Prophecies.

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Another wide-angle shot, this time so you can see the comfy couch!

Here’s a final wide-angle shot: this time you can see the comfy couch, from Trompe Loeil, the Chesterfield Couch that’s available at the current Liaison Collaborative. And of course the whole space is watched over by those beautiful Pegasus Ponies. Because Ponies!

I’m often asked how I get my pictures so big. It’s because I take them at a 6016 width, which you can set in the “custom” settings of the SL snapshot camera. I like to take the photos at a much greater size than my display is showing, mostly so that when I go back to edit details I can focus in on even the smallest thing. This makes for very large images, but they can be cropped down, which is great for photo composition and balance. 

As usual, Gwyneth is in the Maitreya Lara body. The mesh head is from Catwa; it’s the Destiny head. Ears are Lumae‘s Leevi Long Ears, and the glasses are from EarthstonesThe Countess.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble on about SL Decorating without it!

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A Dream of Winter

New Blog Headers - 9

Gwyneth:

My Welsh Granny thought Dr Zhivago was the most romantic film ever made. I have to admit, when she made me watch it with her (I was like 9), I fell asleep. Because it was a 3-hour film about some weird relationships and romances and wars in Russia, and I was nine.

When I had to see it again for a screenwriting class in uni, I could see a few more merits, though I confess I never read the Boris Pasternak novel upon which it is based.

But still, when I find myself in an odd place, and it must be a dream, because this would never happen in real life, getting dressed for some kind of a ball, and the landscape is all wintry and the trees are covered with ice but I’m not really feeling the cold, I can’t help but hum “Lara’s Theme” in my head, and maybe even out loud, as it wouldn’t matter, because this is a dream.

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I have a happy feeling.

I have a happy feeling, as I explain about my grandmother and Dr Zhivago to the two adorable tiny people helping me dress. They’re not wearing those furry hats, so we must not really be in Russia. I used to know what those hats were called. Then again, the weird steps held up by balloons would prove to anybody this isn’t actually Russia and is obviously a dream. Never mind that there are chandeliers hanging from the trees.

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What? What’s wrong?

“What? What’s wrong?” I ask, as one of them turns to the other and they share a concerned bit of tutting. “Thank you for helping with the dress; I feel amazing, and I’m sure it’s going to be a wonderful ball.” It’s always a ball, isn’t it, in a dream?

“My lady,” says the little blonde one cautiously, “you really must come back to us and come back to yourself. We need you tonight. The Realm needs you.”

Well, that’s a bit dramatic, isn’t it? I look around for what might be causing such trouble, and then I notice a latge, black cat sitting perhaps two metres away from me. Just staring.

“Oh,” I say. “Oh, of course.”

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And there I am.

And there I am, no longer brunette, my countenance restored. I feel the familiar brush of pointed ears beneath the formal but comfortable hairstyle. “I wish I knew why I keep doing that,” I say.

Clutie looks at Kern again. He shrugs. “We’ve not got any idea, but Kern’s theory is you don’t want to be Queen so much that you’re willing to pretend you’re back in your old mortal life to get away from it.” She clears her throat. “But, My Lady, that doesn’t matter right now. We’re in the Royal Suite prepared for you at the Winter Court, and you’re due to speak about the importance of unity in the combined Courts after dinner, which will be starting soon. Obviously, they can’t start without you, but the gong’s gone, and keeping the Fae from a feast is never a good plan.

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Right. Winter court. Better have some wings, then.

“Right,” I say. “Winter court. Speaking after dinner. Better have some wings, then.”

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Much better.

“Much better; I feel more imposing and Royal already,” I mutter, then turn to Clutie who is standing by with a makeup wand. “I take it there’s more?”

“A little colour on your face will make you more visible to spectators,” Clutie suggests. “It’s why we started with the twig eyebrows, to give a more naturalistic look.”

I  feel the smirk before I start talking. “Fine; paint me up, Clute.”

“She hates when you call her that,” Kern says. It’s the first time he’s spoken, which is unusual for him. I must ask him what’s wrong later.

“I know.”

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Now, I’m ready.

Now, I’m ready. Time to address the Unseelie in their own Halls. Or forest, as the case may be.

And that, of course, is when I wake in the Bower. It is late summer and I won’t be in the Winter Court proper for some time, not as a leader, anyway. And let’s just not think about Kern’s diagnosis of me: it’s too early in the afternoon to even consider that.

The Wisp comes before I’ve even finished my breakfast. Dyisi has found Bronwyn, and she’s on that island, White Owl. “Clute, can you find me some blue jeans?”

“If I must!” comes the reply.

“She hates when you call her that,” Kern says. It’s the first time he’s spoken, which is unusual for him. I must ask him what’s wrong later.

“I know.”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny (Available at the Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skins:
Brunette photos: 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store7 Deadly s{K}ins, Miracle, Snow Catwa applier (Available in LIMITED EDITIONS at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! Body appliers also available at the Main Store.)
Blonde photos: Lumae, Eirtae, Emryll (Available at the Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Hair: Calico Luna II (Available at Hairology!)
Gown & Necklace: Beyond Persuasion Designs, Someday We Will Meet Again   (Available at Fable!)
Makeup and Twig Eyebrows: SlackGirl, Faye Makeup and Add-on for Catwa Mesh Heads  (Available at Fable!)
Poses:PoESioN, the Throne Series; GlamRus, Bianca
Setting: Vintage Romance. I found this gorgeous sim through Strawberry Singh’s must-read blog.

My American mother thought Dr Zhivago was the most romantic film ever made. I didn’t fall asleep watching it as a kid: I actually loved it.

Here’s a video of Connie Francis’ rendition of it, with lyrics. The Beyond Persuasion Dessigns’ dress name just made me think of it, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never suggest that my primary roleplay character is completely losing her mind without it!

7ds  hairology-Poster August  FABLE

“Why So Blue, Mary Sue?”

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Yes, it’s true.

Yes, it’s true. My name is Mary Sue. Mary Sue Volandu. Because my parents are freaking sadists. And that up there? Is what kids used to yell at me in elementary school. I am eighteen years old, and I am a Svart Alfar, a Dark Elf. That doesn’t mean I’m evil. It just means I … find beauty in things that other people might not. Yeah. We’ll go with that. I live in the completely boring town of White Owl, which is on White Owl Island, which you’ve probably heard of, because it is a Haven. That means I don’t have to glamour my skin and hide my ears when I go out in public, because everybody else on White Owl Island is just as weird as I am. Some are even weirder.

Nothing interesting ever happens on White Owl. And there are no interesting places to go, because I’ve been to them all before.

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This is the Park.

This is the Park. We only have one, so it’s just called The Park. Stupid gargoyle fountain. Stupid apple trees. And that house you can see outside the park belongs to Arahalon, who’s like a million years old and founded the town after he came here and, I don’t know, fell in love with the rainforest or something. Or maybe it was ley lines. We had it in school, but who cares. Across the Sound is Seattle, and I’m not allowed to go there, though mum and dad go there sometimes. The only reason I ever go through the park is — can you see that gazebo through the trees? Yeah. The only reason I ever go through the park is to get to what’s behind that gazebo.

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Maybe you can see it better here.

Maybe you can see it better here. Yeah: there it is, right behind me, beyond the sickeningly picturesque wishing well. There’s only one wishing well in town, so it’s just called The Wishing Well. Because we are the most creative island ever in the history of islands.

Do you like my shirt? I got it from this travelling merchant who said he’d picked up at a place called Fable. I like it because it’s got a guy turning in to a wolf on it. And because it’s purple. Well, pinky-purple. And it matches my shoes. Anyway.

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Blah, blah, blah, gazebo

Blah, blah, blah, gazebo, blah, blah, blah, how romantic, blah, blah, blah every couple should come here, blah, blah, blah, whatevs. It’s the only gazebo in town, so (say it with me now), it’s just called The Gazebo. Anyway, can you see where I’m going now? Yeah. There’s an easy path up to that building you can see behind the gazebo just here. No, there aren’t any steps. Yes, it’s a little tricky to get to: that’s what makes it cool.

Yep, here we go. Now, there are steps. You wait here for a minute; I have to get ready, because I am the oldest kid (right!) in the village: everyone else has fled. That makes me the leader here. So I have to get my hat.

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Let me just tuck this ponytail up. There.

Let me just tuck this ponytail up. There. Hats look stupid if you’ve got a ponytail, so I just bunch it all up and stuff it into the pointy bit.

Right! Welcome to the club! It’s the only clubhouse in the village for kids, so we just call it The Clubhouse.

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Oh! You want to know about the hat?

Oh! You want to know about the hat? This hat is a super special hat. I would tell you it’s been handed down from generation to generation of children on White Owl, but that would be a freaking lie, so I won’t do it. I actually won it playing a game of chance at a place called the Fantasy Gacha Carnival. My parents actually took me to another realm last week, and I won it, and it’s my favourite thing ever, so I keep it here at the clubhouse, because it’s special, and it gives me powers when I wear it. It gives me the power of being the leader of the clubhouse. It has special crystals that can turn different colour if you know the right magic to glamour them.

No, you can’t try it on. It’s mine.

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Before I show you the rest of the clubhouse, I have to do something.

Before I show you the rest of the clubhouse, I have to do something. I have to cast the evil spirits out of the clubhouse by standing on the bridge and saying a spell. With my hat on. It doesn’t work unless I’ve got my hat on. I won’t teach you the spell: you’ll learn it when you’re older. Believe it or not, there are two bridges in town. So this one is called the ropey bridge. The other one is called the beach bridge, but you’d never know you were on it if you crossed it, and if you crossed it, you’d be at the Faerie Queen’s house, and she is a Lios Alfar, a Light Elf, so I think she’s meant to hate my guts, but she also runs the bookstore, which isn’t just called The Bookstore; it’s called Codex, which means something old and ancient, and anyway, she is super nice and I think she is much nicer than my mum and dad and one day she is going to take me to a big city and let me buy high heeled shoes. I’m sure she told me that once.

So anyway, I have to stand on the ropey bridge and repeat the spell three times — no, you stay back there; you can’t hear this — and then it will be safe for you to go inside the clubhouse or cross the bridge or whatever.

Of course there are evil spirits here. Look: you can see the haunted lighthouse from here, and if you turn around and squint you can see the great forest, and that place is full of scary stuff and you should never go there without an adult; do you hear me? Never. Well, of course I could go there by myself if I wanted: you just take a rowboat and you row across and then there’s a dock and you go into the forest and then you get lost and probably eaten by dragons. Of course I’ve been there. Shut up and let me concentrate.

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I always feel a little dizzy after I do magic; don’t you?

I always feel a little dizzy after I do magic; don’t you? Oh. Well, you will, when you start doing real magic. It’s not hard, but it will give you a headache when you first try it, but then when you get it right, it feels wonderful. I swear.

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I love looking down, too! Because that makes me feel even dizzier!

I love looking down, too! Because that makes me feel even dizzier! Sure, you can come on to the bridge now. No; you shouldn’t spin. Because then if you fall off the bridge, your mum and dad will roast me over an open fire and eat me for dinner. Yep. I read it somewhere.

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One day soon, I’ll get off this island.

One day soon, I’ll get off this island. And then I’ll find out what everybody here is running from. Everybody here is running from something, my dad says. They all have some kind of demon in their pasts. No, not like Charlie at the grocery store. He’s a nice demon. Of course there are nice demons. I mean, they’re not like Faery Queen Nice. But they’re not going to chop you up and use you for dark magic: they have to live here same as everybody else.

What? Oh, yeah. Come on in and I’ll show you the rest of the clubhouse.

Welcome to the island, kid.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Hands: SLink Elegant
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Soul Uni Ears, High Elf
Eyes: Soul, Flock Eyes (berries) (Coming soon to Enchantment!)
Skin: Soul, Emma, Generation 2, SE Midnight (Coming soon to Enchantment!)
Hair: Pr!tty, Taylor (available at Hairology. Hairology is NOW OPEN!)
Hat: Soul, Mystic Hat (Ultrarare) (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Top: Vindiktive, Wolf Tank (Available at Fable!)
Shorts: Gee, High Waisted Shorts (Available at Pretty Things Showroom Event!)
Sandals: Reign, Sophia Sandals
Poses: Photos 1-4: Nantra, High Society (Available at Collabor88!)
Photos 5-9, !bang, from the Good and Evil sets; 10, !bang, from the Intuition set
Setting: White Owl Island (almost ready!)

Thanks and credit are due to Moxy Macbeth and Dyisi Oppewall, who have been busily building White Owl over the past few months.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create characters out of whole cloth because of blue skins and amazing hats (Thank you, Charlie!) without it! 

2016 ._Soul_. Sign 256X256         hairology-Poster August       FABLE