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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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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