We <3 Roleplay In November

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

So, here’s an unusual straight-up fashion blog from me.

I’m trying to get back into the swing of blogging, so I thought I’d take a look around this month’s We Love Roleplay to see if I felt inspired.

This round is low on fabulous dresses, but I did find a couple. I wanted to showcase a few more of the home and garden items, but perhaps I’ll get a chance to do that in a post later this month.

Will you look at these ears!

Will you look at these ears!

The one thing I was absolutely itching to get my hands on from the preview were these new ears from BentBox. They are flexible, animated, come with a load of jewellery and colour options (and are fully tintable if the colour match isn’t right), and they fit very naturally with Gwyneth’s style. In addition to the ears being animated, they offer several idle styles, so you can change your ears to suit your mood, or just keep them in the perfect place for your avatar. One thing I do wish they had is a way to halt animations altogether, but you can’t have everything, and they’re absolutely gorgeous just as they are. I’ll talk more about this dress in a minute, but note that these are my New Favourite Ears and Gwyneth will probably be in them from now ’til I find a new Favourite.

EMO-tions corset and hair

EMO-tions corset and hair

Now, anybody who knows me knows that my hair heart belongs to Analog Dog. But I’m polyhairamorous. 🙂 And the fact is, nobody who’s making mesh hair has as beautiful a silver as Emo-tions. The style is called Jolene, and the headband is attached to the hair, so it fits perfectly. The Sylvana corset is also from Emo-tions, with great wood texturing and ivy vines for shoulder straps that have bee cleverly designed so they don’t quite meet, meaning that if shoulder straps don’t always fit you, you don’t have anything to worry about. The skin Gwynth is wearing is from Pumens, called Fairy Skin; this is the Light version. Now, since I got my Catwa mesh head (Jessica), I have gone mad for anything that’s offering Catwa or Omega head appliers, so I’ve been demoing and buying them like crazy. The skin has a nice, satiny texture, and I love that the designer didn’t puff up the lips and give poor Gwyneth a duck face.

Another view of the Emo-tions hair and corset and the Pumens skin.

Another view of the Emo-tions hair and corset and the Pumens skin.

In this photo you can get a better idea of the skin definition. Eyes are from Ikon, and the tattoos are the ones Gwyneth has been wearing since the most recent Secret Affair event, the Aigneis & Airell tattoos from Things. Bonus: Pumens includes all the major appliers in simple-to-use HUDs, one for the head and another for the body, so it is super easy to apply. The field of flowers, by the way, is the amazing Ichi Fields from The Looking Glass, which I fell in love with at the 2015 Fantasy Faire; it’s been a staple in every iteration of Gwyneth’s Seelie Bower since it became available at the Faire. The stone circle is from Gor Con and again has been a staple of every build; it was an ultra-rare at the Age of Vikings event from yonks ago. Background trees are the Enchanted Wood from Studio Skye.

Ah, Gwyneth, such a faerie fae in this dress from Moon Amore!

Ah, Gwyneth, such a faerie fae in this dress from Moon Amore!

Here is another stand-out from this month’s We Love Roleplay, the Baroque dress from Moon Amore. With each dress pack you get two colours; I chose the blue and white pack, because blue and gold are Gwyneth’s court colours. The stunning wings were an ultra-rare from the Gacha Garden, the Astralia Warrior Fairy Wings. These wings are so beautifully textured, and there are four texturing options to choose from for the wing membrane and two for the veins. Really lovely work. Gwyneth is still wearing those BentBox wings, and because of their length and the anims on them, you can see them even under fluffy hair, like the stunning Gwen hair from Analog Dog. Yes, yes, I know, but it’s still my favourite hair in all the world, for obvious reasons. I still love everything about this hair, and it’s become the basic hair I put Gwyneth in for just about everything except photoshoots where I’m talking about other hair.

A little closer in, and you can see more detail!

A little closer in, and you can see more detail!

The circlet is one of the beautiful rares from an old Deviance gacha at one of the first Fantasy Gacha Carnivals I ever attended; this is the Erulisse Maiden Circlet. The necklace is from Empyrean Forge: it’s The Dreamer, Barn, Serenity. Again, it’s an all-time favourite and I photograph Gwyneth in it a lot. The skin is Lumae Niska PetalsLumiya Rae is one of my favourite skin designers, and an all-around nice person. And if you didn’t know if already, she’s getting ready to make a fresh start on her skin lines, so everything in her main store is being retired and it’s all 50% off. She also has fantastic group gifts if you want to join her in-world group, and she’s one of the most accessible designers I’ve ever spoken with.

Here's Gwyneth in the Shadow Temptress gown from The White Armory.

Here’s Gwyneth in the Shadow Temptress gown from The White Armory.

This White Armory gown, The Shadow Temptress, definitely tempted me! (I apologise for the bad word humour.) The colour way again I chose to represent Gwyneth’s court colours, blue and gold, because I think of this very much as a court gown. My favourite part of it is the fur detailing at the bottom of the skirt. The arch in the foreground of this studio photo is from Solarium; it’s the Medhir Woods Archway, created by Rynn Verwood for her beautiful sim at the 2015 Fantasy Faire. 

A little closer....

A little closer….

Here, you can see the bodice detailing a little better.

Will you look at these ears!

I should dock myself ten points for using the same photo twice in one blog entry, but you have to get close to see the jewellery from Cae. 

There are a couple of reasons I chose to put this photo in twice. First of all, take a look at the beautiful jewellery Gwyneth is wearing. This is from Cae, called Isabelle; the necklace and tiara are from the same set. It’s not new; it’s a staple of Gwyneth’s wardrobe. The tiara works beautifully with one of my favourite Analog Dog updos, Molly. I got this at the 2015 Hair Fair, but it’s now available at the Analog Dog Main Store. The face jewellery is from Spyralle, called the Forest Edge Mask, and it comes with quite a lot of texturing options. I picked up the mask at an event that I don’t think is happening any more, Illusion Point, but it’s now available in the Spyralle Main Store. Now, remember I said I was really loving playing with Catwa head appliers? This is yet another one, this time Morgana from Pink Fuel. Pink Fuel has been one of my favourite skin designers for years; I lived in Harley for most of Gwyneth’s life as a Princess in the Ashmourne Seelie Sithen. The lips on this skin are so beautiful, not over-puffy, and wide enough so that Gwyneth’s mouth looks realistic; Pink Fuel also does an amazing job with makeups, and there are several choices on the Morgana applier, which comes with a version for both the Jessica and the Annie mesh heads from Catwa. These appliers weren’t at We Love Roleplay; they’re available at the Pink Fuel Main Store. The stunning eyes are from Ikon, natch; they are Triumph Eyes in colour Electric.

Now for some more fun and relaxed shots: Gwyneth with lots of animals, on the Leaf Chair from Ginger Line.

Now for some more fun and relaxed shots: Gwyneth with lots of animals, on the Leaf Chair from Ginger Line.

The Leaf Chairs from Ginger Line come in two different colours; this is Version 2. Version 1 has a green cushion and accents. Gwyneth is wearing the Beatrix gown from Les Encantades, available at We Love Roleplay. I love the sleeve accents on this gown, and Les Encantades has such a deft hand with texturing. So many animals! The Greyhound is from last month’s Chapter 4; he is from meadowWorks. The Winged Cat is from Half Deer, a gacha from a past Kustom9. The Curious Cat was a gacha from Fashionably Dead, and I found him at a past Arcade Gacha event. The Corgi and the Dragon were supplied by Dyisi Oppewall, who helped me set up this shot, and I forgot to ask her where she got them, but I’ll add them in later. The banner hanging behind Gwyneth is custom heraldry created by Nathaniel Ballard, Gwyneth’s IC Consort and one of the wonderful Wicked Wylds storytellers.

Come a little closer!

Come a little closer!

Here, you can see a little more of the dress detailing, and also the lovely Amelie Deux necklace from Zibska (at We Love Roleplay). The headpiece is from a past We Love Roleplay, it’s from Distorted Dreams and is called Aila. This is the Rose Gold version. The hair is Oak Leaf Hair‘s lovely Khaleesi, and I got it on Marketplace.

The minute I saw this gorgeous Mainstay Fireplace from Tia, I knew it belonged in Gwyneth's house.

The minute I saw the gorgeous Mainstay Fireplace from Tia, I knew it belonged in Gwyneth’s house.

The Mainstay Fireplace has spaces for your own photographs, and I love how it looks in Gwyneth’s house.

This is yet another Catwa applier, this time from Izzy's.

This is yet another Catwa applier, this time from Izzie’s.

You can also see some of the beautiful ear jewellery a little better in this photograph. Izzy’s Taleah applier, in tone Frost, is a lovely, fresh face with a lot of depth and great shading. Izzy Button also provides terrific customer service: when I purchased the appliers for the Maitreya body and my SLink hands and feet, there wasn’t an applier for the Frost shade, so I sent Izzy a notecard about it, and she came back to me with an explanation that the SLink appliers for that shad hadn’t been added to the hands and feet applier and were only on the SLink whole body appliers, and she kindly sent me the applier so I wouldn’t have to go back to her store and make a duplicate purchase.

So, partly because of the inspiration chain from knowing wonderful people who create beautiful things, and partly because I miss the side of me that loves to take photos and share beautiful things with the world, I’m going to try and be a little more of an active blogger now.

Later, this week, expect some posts about great stuff available at the Fair Play and Hidden Sanctuary events, plus some lovely skins from 7 Deadly s{K]ins. And I have an amazing bunch of stuff from the community at We Love To Blog, as well. So many things to show you, so little time.

Thanks to everyone who spends even a little time reading my little blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed my yammering on. I’ll make the next one a story, I promise.

No style cards today: everything’s credited in the text.

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

My Trip to Nu Jyorck!

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I know, I know, it was ages ago. But so much has happened. Now that Mabon has come and gone and I have some free time, I’m sneaking cross-world to share the memories of my trip to the alternate New York City with anybody who might be reading this. I know it seems ridiculous, my need to share all this. I guess it comes out of my former life. I mean, if I were going to write a novel. If I were. It would be like this.

So, Father set me up with this very eligible Fae bachelor for a date to a charity ball in an alternate version of New York City. He needed someone on his arm who was a Royal Fae but not connected to any of his political affiliations. I think I only accepted this invitation because there was so much going on at home: goblins, witches, rabid Cwn…. yeah.

Clutie and Dani were only a little upset that I didn’t go with the blue gown they’d chosen previously. Once they saw the kind of shopping there is in Nu Jyorck– which is this amazingly interesting version of New York with an alternate history I’ll get in to later, they aren’t upset at all.

My date, David, turned out to be a total dud. All he wanted to talk about was financial planning. I was bored at “Hello.” Luckily, there were a lot of interesting people to be met at this party! In this version of New York, Fae are an out class, and some of them are upper-class. Mortals love mixing at Fae parties, and some of them will do, well, wow. Just about anything to get invited to a Fae party. It was quite an education, and totally different from the mortal versions of New York I’ve seen on other world hops. But, the politics are brutal, according to what little of David’s prattle I listened to.

The high point of the night was meeting Arahaelon. Wow. Talk about your Nordic elf hotties! This guy, whoa. He knew how to dress, he knew how to dance, he could talk literature and movies, and we started in on alternate universes and the differences between his world and mine. I was completely captivated by this guy. If we’d been in Faerie, I’d have … well. I’d have asked him to be part of my family, if you know what I mean. A Queen is only as powerful as her Consorts, or so they say. But, sigh, I was at this event with David, so I had to spend the evening with him. I figured I’d never see Ara again. And no matter how hard I tried to ditch David, he was always there to take my arm and lead me into another dance.

Before I had a chance to get a phone number or an email address for Ara, we all went back to an acquaintance of David’s for an after-party. But, you know. Fortune was on my side— it was Ara’s place! Apparently he and David have some kind of familial or political connection.

Here's a photo of five of us at the after-party.

Here’s a photo of five of us at the after-party.

Here’s a photo of five of us at the after-party. That’s Arahaelon on my left. Isn’t he gorgeous? The other guy is David, and the woman next to him is his sister Gael. The woman in the front is a mortal: she was all decked out in Fae-fan fashion, an implanted unicorn horn that can apparently be removed very easily, and some beautiful silver sylph ears. I don’t remember her name, but she was funny, very funny, and I could understand what they all saw in her. Everything she did was hysterical: she was the life of the party, even if it was Ara’s house.

The photographer didn't like the first pose and made us all re-pose for a second one.

The photographer didn’t like the first pose and made us all re-pose for a second one.

The photographer didn’t like the first pose and made us all re-pose for a second one. I’m afraid he took me a little off guard: Ara and I were deep in conversation about something, as we were for most of the night, and once the event was over, David wasn’t nearly as omnipresent. Apparently, he expected me to be a firebrand like my adoptive father and not my intellectual, imaginative self. I think he … well, I think he thought we’d end up in the sack. And while David was certainly attractive, ih. I’m much more interested in guys who are smart and excite my imagination than, yeah. David is richer than god, which I guess makes him feel like women are more of a commodity than a necessity in life.

Eventually, it was like nobody else was there. Ara and I just spent the rest of the evening, well, talking. He never once made a move on me, but I got the feeling he was interested. We did end up exchanging contact information.

Just before I went back to my hotel, he made a suggestion.

Just before I went back to my hotel, he made a suggestion.

Just before I went back to my hotel, he made a suggestion.

“Listen,” he said. “I’m thinking about heading down to the Ericksson Pier tomorrow morning, check out the street market. I’ll be there around ten, if you want to come. Leave the sparkle brigade at home; if you want, we can make a day of it, have some lunch, make a memory or two before you head back to your Realm.”

I took down the address.

You know how, sometimes, when you meet someone important, the world just kind of collapses?

You know how, sometimes, when you meet someone important, the world just kind of collapses?

You know how, sometimes, when you meet someone important, the world just kind of collapses around you? Colours seem brighter, stuff slows down? Yeah. This was one of those moments. I knew in a day I’d be on my way back to Faerie though, and I can’t imagine cosmopolitan Arahaelon wanting to come spend time in a Faerie Realm which is at the back end of nowhere.

But I showed up at the Eriksson Pier the next morning at ten o'clock sharp.

But I showed up at the Eriksson Pier the next morning at ten o’clock sharp.

But I showed up at the Eriksson Pier the next morning at ten o’clock sharp. And no Arahaelon. Oh, well: I could enjoy the Pier all by myself, and — oh, no; there he was!

Here we are trying to decide what to do with our day!

Here we are trying to decide what to do with our day!

Here we are trying to decide what to do with our day! We ended up buying stuff for a picnic lunch and then heading over to the Offentlig Eng, the public meadow, which is in about the same place and about as big as most New York’s Central Parks.

So we had a wonderful day, one of those days that gets stuck in your memory and won’t go away. He’s not contacted me since, but you know. Time works differently in different realms. Maybe it’s only been a day in Nu Jyorck.

Style Cards:

Group Shots:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa
Skin: Lumae, Adore Tulips
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: PurpleMoon, Elwing Gown in Pearl
Shoes: Aisling, Enchanted Rose Heels
Wings and Crown: Muse, Miss TWA Wings and Crown in Gold, Warm (NEW at the Muse Main Store!)

Arahaelon:
Jacket:
::: B@R::: White Norblood Top & White tie 
Pants & Boots:
TURB – The Rogue – Assassin boots & pants (available in mainstore gacha)
Hair:
NO.MATCH – NO HUNT (blacks and whites)
Headdress:
.aisling. Savage Winter Horns {Snow}
Skin:
-NIVARO- Ichero Skin – Ghost Tone
Eyes:
IKON Sovereight Eyes – Ghost
Ears:
[MANDALA] Steking ears (Season 5)
Body:
SLink Physique Male Mesh Body

Eriksson Pier Shots:

Gwyneth:
Body: 
Maitreya
Head: 
Catwa
Skin: 
Lumae, Adore Tulips
Hair: Olive the Sharni Hair
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Zenith, Autumn Long Dress, Blue
Bag: Zenith, Debris Bag, Blue (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Pandora Sandals (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, The Dreamer, Barn

Arahaelon:
Jeans:
Slink Physique mens Stovepipe Jeans (black)
Jacket:
GizzA – Moto Jacket [Black]
Hair:
Tableau Vivant Summer wind Hair  – Gents
Shoes:
REDGRAVE – Benito Sneaker – Black
Skin:
-NIVARO- Ichero Skin – Ghost Tone
Eyes:
IKON Sovereight Eyes – Ghost
Ears:
[MANDALA] Steking ears (Season 5)
Body:
SLink Physique Male Mesh Body

Many thanks to Moxy Macbeth, PrinceEilian, and Dyisi Oppewall for lending their avatars to be extras in the group shots! Also thanks to Moxy for finding the right skybox to take the after-party shots in.

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

Remembering Shining Lands

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My first LARP, I guess I was eighteen or nineteen years old. It was my first year at uni, and some of the people from the science fiction society got me into a tabletop gaming group and then suggested I come to this LARP with them. They had some stuff I could use for a costume and I didn’t need much of a character description, just something I could work with for the weekend. OK, I said, I’d go, on the condition that we stay in the lodge and not in the campground, because I hated camping. My parents sent me on an adventure holiday once when I was a kid and I was camping with three other girls in a tent, and there were spiders, and I think a badger tried to eat us. Anyway, I don’t camp. I said I’d pay the lodge fee for the three of us, and they were sold. I mean, who wouldn’t choose running water and a bed, no matter how narrow and uncomfortable, over being attacked by badgers in the middle of the night. Right?

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto. We arrived early, and not all the merchants were set up: this was one corner where everyone seemed t have their wares out but they were all in the business of loading and unloading and none of them were open for trading yet.

As I was weaving my way in and out of the stalls, a guy asked if he could take my picture; I said sure, because I didn’t mind being photographed even back then. I was always a bit of a ham, to be honest. So he snapped a couple of pictures and I thought nothing more of it. Later in the weekend, it turned out he was the court photographer: this picture made it into the LARP newsletter. And that’s how I met Kevin, who ended up being Fen’s fiancée.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared. She was amazingly costumed and had painted her face and body with the most amazing designs. I remember asking about them and she was only too happy to show them to me. She was more interested in showing me her jewellery, of course, and all of it was lovely. I wished I could buy one of everything, but I’d spent most of my pocket money on the lodge fee, so I didn’t have much left for extra food, much less jewellery. That’s when she slyly told me that even though it was a LARP of course she took credit cards….

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earrings then and there, and over the two years I played LARP with this group, I’m sure I bought a dozen more pieces from her. She had excellent taste and just knew where to find the best stuff. She didn’t make it herself; said she didn’t have the talents or skills it took, but once I saw her working on a beading project that made me think otherwise. I never said anything to her about it, though now I kind of wish I had. It’s funny, when I think of my past, I always think of how I’d interact with the people from my past as I am now. Gwyneth the Fae Queen could tell Elayne from My Pretties to take a year off the jewellery cart circuit and take a course in metal casting or something, help her turn into the artist she wanted to be. Gwyneth the uni LARPer just made supportive noises and kind of wished she could help more people.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARP rialto as well, though I didn’t meet the guy who ran it til much later: half the time he parked next to Elayne and asked her to run his stall. I don’t think he made much money except on the swords, but Richard said he made quite a bit; I just didn’t see all the people who bought swords from him.

I’m laughing at myself now because you know how when you get into memories, you start remember this or that and then your brain goes all chatty with the things you remember and the details, even insignificant ones like whether or not that guy sold lots of swords, keep coming back to you?

To be honest, I don’t even know why I’m thinking of Shining Lands today. I’ve been thinking about my past a lot over the past couple of months, and today I suppose it’s just al coming out. For the last couple of weeks, if I’m honest, I’ve had this disconcerting feeling that things from my past are just going to pop up anywhere and everywhere I turn, as if my past is just around the corner. Even things that I’ve not thought about in ages, like the time those photographs of Richard suddenly appeared in my chamber at the old Seelie sithen. I remember being convinced at the time that he was going to somehow re-enter my life and that things would get very complicated. It never happened though, and that thread of my history remains unexplored.

At the end of the weekend, there's always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball. Doesn’t matter which weekend it is or what the theme of the LARP is, the ball gives everybody a chance to dress up and not be crossing swords with the other side, even if just for one night. Everyone had to come down this staircase to get in to the event, and they positioned a photographer (Kevin, of course) at the bottom of the stairs who’d take your photograph if you wanted.

This is my ver first “Nerd Descending a Staircase” photo. Kevin laughed at that when I told him that was my immediate name for these pictures.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time. I wanted him to take the close-up so I would remember that it was at this event where I bought this wonderful necklace. I don’t know where Elayne found it, but the tag by the clasp says, “Cae”.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a Vampire: the Masquerade party on campus. I was never much into vampires or vampire games, even though they were all the rage at the time what with the backlash against the Twilight books.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable, as if there might be real vampires lurking somewhere there. At the time I thought I was just being paranoid, but now…. well, now I don’t know. Now I think maybe there might really have been vampires there.

And why do I even think of that? Oh! I know: I’m thinking of that because it was the very first time Fenella came to visit me at my digs in Cambridge, and she came along to the party. Unlike me, she had great time. But unlike me, she met Kevin and he immediately asked her out on a date. From that night, they were together. Those two, wow. I always wanted to have someone like that in my life. And now I guess I do, and of course the great irony is that Nathaniel actually is a vampire, while Kevin was just pretending to be one.

Memories are such weird things. Anyway, after my first LARP, I decided to get serious about costuming.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit. This photo was taken a couple of years after my first LARP, probably just a few months before everything changed. I didn’t make any of this stuff, of course, but I met this guy from Reading, Peter, and he and his fiancée did a lot of custom costuming work for LARP people. He really liked working with leather, so I got him to make this for me. It took ages, but I loved it so much. I was wearing one like it in brown when I got dumped in to Jasper Cove, so this black one I think is lost forever.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely about “when everything changed” or “getting dumped into Jasper Cove.” It’s been three years now, and Alec and the Boatman are a distant memory. I believe I must have died in the accident and then moved into another life here, wherever “here” is. I know enough of realm-hopping that I know it’s also possible there’s a version of me back in London, recovering from the accident, going on to live a good life, or dead, or in a coma—but I don’t believe I am that person any more. I remember thinking when I first arrived in Jasper Cove that I must be in a coma back home and this weird place was my coma dream. I don’t think that any more, because a coma dream wouldn’t go on for as long as this one has: my parents would have pulled the plug on me in deference to my lost quality of life. And then I’d have died in two worlds. I just don’t think that’s possible.

No: I think my life line split.

No: I think my life line split.

No; I think my life line split, somehow, when the accident happened, and my consciousness flew into Jasper Cove and created this me. I’ll have to ask Dyisi if such a thing is possible, but I can hear her already telling me that everything is possible and she doesn’t know everything and blah blah blah Dyisi talk, but how I love her anyway.

Well, that got maudlin and reflective all of a sudden, didn’t it?

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead, my favourite Court dress. Peter and Katy didn’t make this, but they did introduce me to the seamstress who did. And I loved this antler headband so much I think I wore it to class a couple of times!

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress' arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms. Even though my body’s different since my Quickening ages ago at the old Seelie sithen, I can imagine myself now wearing a dress like this (not the antlers, natch, or not at the moment anyway). I shall have one of the Court tailors look into recreating it for me.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin. He really did like those sleeves.

But now the clock is striking 5:00. I’ve spent too long lingering over old memories today, and I’m still not sure why: I haven’t thought of these things in so long. I have a strategy meeting with Bran and Wulfrich over dinner, and I have to get dressed and ready for that. I’d better put my old life back in the drawer and remember that in my present life I have duties and responsibilities that can’t be avoided.

But I can’t stop thinking of the moment I introduced Fenella to Kevin and what happened when their eyes met. I wonder what happened to them. They were in the front of the MPV when it flipped. I hope they’re recovered, happy, married, expecting a baby. I wish that for them.

Yes, yes, yes. 5:00. I’m late. Strategy and tactics, not eyes across a room a lifetime ago.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth’s First LARP Costume Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Lelutka, Kayla
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Dress: Whymsical Marketplace, Wiccan Maiden Medieval Dress (Available now at the Whymsical Marketplace Main Store!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Necklace: Aisling, Wilow Necklace
Eyes: IKON

Elayne of “My Pretties”:
Skin: 
Fallen Gods
Body: Belleza
Dress: Sweet Lies
Tattood: Fallen Gods
Collar: DeSSion
Hair: Moon

Gwyneth’s First LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Hair: Elikatira, Piper
Gown: Mistique, Beitris Dark

Gwyneth’s Elf Clan Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: No Match, No Flowers
Clothes (dress, skirt, jacket, boots, bracers): Fashionably Dead Designs Stories, Amaelle

Vampire Party Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: Truth, Freya
Necklace: Le Forme, Aegon Necklace Lover Gold
Clothes (boots, jacket, pants): Yasum, Vintage (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Gwyneth’s Experienced LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Fly to the Angels (Available at Collabor88!)
Hair: Exile, Come What May (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Dress: Junbug, Aria Azure (Rare) (Available at The Gacha Garden!)
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Necklace: Cae, Hedera
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes

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

skinlogodiap

WLTB 500x500

What I Did After My Summer Holiday, by The Amazing Catwoman

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Well, first of all, those fuckers in New Brighton fired me after one night on the job without so much as a “fuck you very much, TAC.” Fucking vamps. I mean, at least you’d think a crowd like that would be up to date on whether or not women could be badasses, but no; I was too small, not intimidating enough, why on earth would anybody hire a little girl like me as a bouncer, blah, blah, blah, she’ll be somebody’s ghoul by tomorrow midnight, blah-ti-blah. Fuck you, vampires of New Brighton.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem. I mean, seriously. Ghosts? Fine, fine, fine. I loaded up with anti-ghost herbs and took the notes from the fixer. It was a weird realm jump: I materialised outside a fucking cemetery over a sewer drain, and the steam was godawful. Well, fine. I’m not one to be a complete idiot, as I’m sure you know by now, so instead of heading immediately into the cemetery, I got suited up, then made my way into town to find out what was going on from the locals.

Town, wouldn't you know it, was deserted.

Town, wouldn’t you know it, was deserted.

Town, wouldn’t you know it, was deserted. It was a ghost town. (See what I did there?) So I sat on the steps with an abandoned teddy bear and planned my next move.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters. Of course, everything was fine until I actually did hear a loud moaning sound coming from…. well, from everywhere, really.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

These things always have a source. That moaning continued, though, from just fucking everywhere. It was unnerving. It would stop, then start again, like a crazy sentient wind. Once I got further into town, I noticed signs for a carnival. Oh, great. Carnivals are hotbeds for weirdness, so I figured it’d be worth checking out as a possible source of the trouble.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked. It was half full of water, there were crows everyfuckingwhere, all this stuff looked like it had been dilapidated for decades, as did the rest of the town, really, and you don’t even want to know about the creepy dolls: those little things are seriously unnerving.

Then, a freaky thing happened: a rift opened in the sky, I kid you not. And I fucking froze. My heart rate went up, there was a pounding in my head and my ears rang and all my nerves started to tingle, and I knew, just knew, that I had to get away from there, and fast. Fuck my fee, fuck the job: there was no saving Ironwood Hills. As a realm, it is a goner, there is nobody here except creepy dolls and a strange brigade of little children playing in the refuse, and just forget the whole thing, I was running. Out of there. Fast.

Then, everything went dark.

Then, everything went dark.

Then, everything went dark. Only I was still frozen in place. Fucking paralysed. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before; what the fucking fuck. I know, I know, I’m cursing too much. Blame her: She made me a potty mouth.

Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, and then blackness.

And I woke up on a fucking beach.

And I woke up on a fucking beach.

And I woke up on a fucking beach. On a beautiful day. With my heart still pounding. I wasn’t wearing my same clothes, and something had gone crazy with my hair, and there was one of those floaty planes—what are those things called, anyway—over the sea.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again. Great. This was just fucking great.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow. Take me, take me, out of this place. Take me away, lady goddess.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle. There were lutes playing. Servants quietly scurried around with their eyes on the floor. Nobody remarked on my sudden appearance: they just all said, “My Lady” whenever I passed them. “My Lady” would like a fucking dirty martini with extra olive juice, thank you very much.

I did not much like this world.

I did not much like this world.

I did not much like this world. It seemed to me that if this was some alternate life for me, I would be a very bored “Lady”. And half a dozen people explained to me that the purple of my dress complimented the red of my hair, which had been bound up in some admittedly impressive braid thing. The one thing I’d have loved to take away from this existence, which frankly reminded me all too much of her, was the necklace I found around my neck when I materialised. Such a beautiful thing. Perhaps I’ll see if… no. I am not taking any more favours from her than I have to. And why was I here, anyway? What possible impulse could have lead my shadow to bring me to such a place, unless it was just looking for something as far away as possible from a beach? I did note, when I looked out this window, that we were absurdly high, on some impossible peak. The castle seemed accessible only by a bridge that it would have been impossible to cross even on horseback. I did not waste much time wondering how supplies got in: enough of the servants were sporting pointy ears for me to imagine this must be some sort of an elfin or faerie kingdom. Still, it was terrifying to be on a beach one minute and then trussed up in a corseted dress the next. Ugh. I reached for my shadow again.

OMG, that day was so horrible.

OMG, that day was so horrible.

OMG, this day is so horrible. Late night / early morning mist, and my dad shouting from the doorway and my mum looking out the kitchen window and crying, but fuck them. Rusty and I are going to Cornwall to surf and live a life like God intended people to live, free and not tied down to stupid parents.

And my dad yelling,

And my dad yelling, “I knew that little arse was trouble from the first time he came driving up here in that hippie van!”

And my dad yelling, “I knew that little arse was trouble from the first time he came driving up here in that hippie van!” And the fight going on and on and the mist burning off and Rusty just lying down to sleep in the back of the VW because he didn’t want to deal with my parents, and me fighting my way into the house again to grab a few things: I mean, how is a girl meant to survive without an iPhone, anyway?

And my dad stormed out of the house to work, and my mum just stood there crying, and all of a sudden all I could think of was being a little girl again.

And my dad stormed out of the house to work, and my mum just stood there crying, and all of a sudden all I could think of was being a little girl again.

And my dad storms out of the house to work, and my mum just stands there crying, and all of a sudden all I can think of is being a little girl again.

And I’m overwhelmed by this sense of loss, and Rusty finally gets fed up with waiting and starts the engine, and so I turn to get in…

And everything starts spinning.

And everything starts spinning.

And everything starts spinning, and nothing makes sense, and I see stars and have to grab for the van’s open window so I won’t fall over….

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me.

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me.

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me. I land with a thump on her fucking altar, in the middle of the Great Seelie Forest, surrounded by giggling demifae and gossipy little will o’ the wisps, and it’s late morning and I’m stark fucking naked, not that it matters here, but what the fuck just happened to me?

I stretch and try to stand.

I stretch and try to stand.

I stretch and try to stand. “Don’t do that, Tacey,” says Clutie—you’d guess she’d be around, it being her domain and all. “You’ve had quite a shock. We’ll get a healer to you soon as we can: we think you’ve had a panic attack and spun yourself round several realms on your way back home.”

“This is not my home,” I snap, and it’s “Tac, not Tacey.” I fucking hate that name. “Tacey” means “quiet”. I mean, seriously. I am not Tacey. I am The Amazing Catwoman. Tac.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards. “Whose crap is this on the altar, anyway?” I mutter as I fall. But when you’re in the Magnificent Fae Queen’s back garden, there are always demifae ready to catch you when you fall over, even if they pull the shit out of your hair.

“Fine,” Clutie says, and there’s a hiss in her breath. “Tac, then, and it might not be home but we think you ought to stay for a little while, just until you get your realm-walking feet back. We’ll take you to see Dyisi if you want, though our healers can repair most of the damage.” Her voice softens as they settle me back down onto the altar. “It’s leftovers, by the way, from the Queen’s handfasting. It was just last week.”

“Oh, great,” I groan. “All this and I have to put up with her married bliss on top of everything else?”

“Oh, do calm down, Tacey—Tac,” she corrects herself before I can correct her. “So you don’t like Faerie. Well, you’re going to stay here for a little while, so shut your gob and get used to it.” Wow, she’s as bad as my dad back in…. what was the name of that town again?

“I was somebody else,” I say quietly.

“Probably several somebodies,” Clutie replies as if I’ve done the universe some great harm. “Now settle yourself, ground and centre, and let us help you.”

What happened to me?

What happened to me?

What happened to me? I rise up on my toes, breathe in the (admittedly) sweet air of Faerie, and let my feet feel the altar, the altar to the Earth, the earth to the Water, the water to the Sky, the sky to the sun, the sun to the great initiator, Fire. The sun of Faerie is like nowhere else, and I bathe in it, breathe it in, let myself go calm. I was a savage on a beach. I was a queen in a castle. I was a teenage girl running away from home. And for just a moment, goddess knows how long it’ll last, this does feel like home. I just hope I don’t have to deal too much with her.H

Style Cards

Hair Fair is opening as I write this, and the sensational Queue Marlow has outdone herself with this year’s offerings from Analog DogThe Amazing Catwoman is wearing all the new Hair Fair styles, plus one style that’s new in the Analog Dog Main Store, in this post. There’s also some great stuff from The Season’s Story and Oh My Gacha as well: check out the detail style cards below for lists and links!

Ironwood Hills, first photo:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Theresa (New at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Clothes: Faida, Jeanne, Brown
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Hellebore Boots, Brown
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Ironwood Hills, Subsequent Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Theresa (New at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black
Clothes: Fashionably Dead Designs, Cirilla (blouse, boots, corset, and pants)

Timeless Memories (beach) Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Sassafras (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene, Black
Clothes: 
Fashionably Dead Designs, Cheeky Ranger (Tunic, Boots)
Tights: Izzie’s Cozy Tights
Tattoo: White Widow, Tombstone (At AnyBody)

Castle Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Molly (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Salvation (At Fair Play!)
Dress: Les Encantades, Grace (At the Medieval Faire!)

Suburban England Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Psylocibin (New at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: IKON, Destiny Eyes, Moor
Skirt: Wimey, Dark Denim Skirt RARE (At The Season’s Story!)
Tops: Wimey, Summer of Fandom Gacha commons (At The Season’s Story!)
Minivan: Bad Unicorn Clothing, “Prop” Summah Minivan RARE (At The Season’s Story!)
House: Breno, The Smith House (At The Fantasy Collective!)

Great Seelie Forest Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Sassafras (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene, Black
Stone Circle: Artisan Fantasy, Maiden Tor Stone Circle
Trumpet Mushrooms: Cerridwen’s Cauldron
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Locations:
Ironwood Hills, a beautifully creepy sim with open rez-rights, is a fantastic location for photography and just to explore. There’s loads to see, so go back often, and pass a few Lindens their way: it costs money to keep a sim open of course, and making it available to the public like this is such a beautiful gift.
Timeless Memories, fairly recently redesigned with a Mediterranean flair, is a gorgeous place both to visit and to photograph. I’m sure I’ll be back and grab more than just a few beach photos to scare TAC with sharks!
Skye Neist Point, part of the Studio Skye sims, is one of my favourite places to go when I need gorgeous landscapes and beautiful buildings. Studio Skye will also make you long to design your own forests and gardens with their meticulously and elegantly designed landscapes.

Other Locations: The suburban street was built in a sandbox, because I couldn’t find anything out in the Wide Second World that met my needs for this part of The Amazing Catwoman’s journey, and of course the Great Seelie Forest is part of Wicked Wylds, a private, invite-only roleplaying sim that invites good writers who want to create great characters.

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