The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 1

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“Take my portrait, Bran.”

“Take my portrait, Bran.” It was a simple enough suggestion. We were walking through what I can only describe as the New Awenia. We’d reached a lovely town square, graced by my beautiful Last Hope statue: for all my riches and advantage, it’s my most treasured posession, and it’s everywhere that I am. For me, it’s a symbol of Faerie and Fae sovereignty. For the Author, it’s something more, but this is my story.

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It might see odd that I would walk through Awenia wearing… this.

It might seem odd to you that I, a fairly modest Queen as Faery Queens go, would wander my Realm dressed in such a way. But it’s high summer, I’m in the height of my power, and frankly, the Realm itself is almost deserted except for some support staff (and the cats, of course). And Bran loved this little number I picked up at the We Love Roleplay faire last week: it’s from The Annex, and honestly, most of the thing I wear that people would consider sexy come from The Annex. The designers there just have a way of making things look both fetching and classy, which I know I’ve said before, but anyway. It’s called Astrid, in case you’re curious.

Bran has become quite a shutterbug and has got himself a DSLR. He swears it takes better photographs than the iPhone, but I don’t see much difference. This, apparently, is because I am a Philistine. He loves to follow me out wherever I go and take photographs, which is fine with me, but I think he has some kind of aspiration to be a fashion photographer. He’s been following me to modelling shoots as well. Sometimes I have to order him to stop asking the photographers and directors questions.

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I don’t think he’s quite there, though.

I don’t think he’s quite there, though. This is his idea of a sexy pose! When I looked at this photograph I laughed out loud. “I look like I’m about to fall over and hit my head on the wishing well,” I said.

To his credit, he didn’t pout. “Perhaps next time,” he said, “I shall just push you in.”

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It was clear the town had been restructuring.

It was clear the town had been restructuring since Midsummer’s fires blazed just a few weeks ago. No wonder I have been feeling so tired recently! All my magic’s been going to the Land, and the Land wants a complete refurbishment before we open Awenia to the public, paperwork willing, in the autumn.

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Imagine you’re home.

“Just look toward the castle,” Bran said before snapping this photograph, “and imagine that you are already there, that you’re already home.”

As it turned out, I really did want to go home after that. “Let’s just sit up on the tower,” I said, “outside mine and Nathaniel’s private apartments, and watch the changes from there.” Already I could feel wings straining against my shoulder blades. “It’ll be all misty up there, so I’ll have to put something on my legs,” I continued.

“Ooh!” Bran said as his own wings stretched out behind both of us. “Why don’t you get into that new Senzafine we got at the same faire?”

“That is a very good idea, my darling,” I said. And then we were airborne and I had no more time to consider my wardrobe. I’ll have so much to tell Nathaniel when he pops back in from wherever he’s been this week!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega)
Clothes: The Annex, Astrid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Monso, Sua (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand
Leg Wraps: Una, Sakura Leg Belts
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Town Buildings: Tudor City Builder Kit, by SOF Designs, designed by Firstleviathan Resident. There will be more photographs of what we’ve done with this kit to make Awenia even more special as it already is in the days and weeks to come.

The Last Hope statue is a one of a kind (well, two of a kind!) work of art from the amazing minds and hands of Death Row Designs. I had the good fortune one year to have enough money to spend a crazy amount on this item in the Fantasy Faire live auction. It really is my most prized possession in Second Life. 

 

 

February Fashion Show!

Sometimes, we find beautiful things in the unlikeliest of places. I think cities like Nu Jyorck excel at this kind of thing. Great artwork on the sides of tenements, sculptures made out of rubbish, and of course the annual February Fae Fashion Show, which takes place in a different abandoned building every year. And while I’m certain my ongoing friendship with Arahaelon is behind many things that happen to me in Nu Jyorck, it still gave me a thrill when the FFS (best initials ever!) crew got in touch to say they’d like me to be in the show this year!

All the models are Fae, though the audience is a mix: Nu Jyorck has such a fae-worshipping vibe that tickets are pretty hot, even for the most expensive city in most Realms. Of course, official photos of the show itself can only be distributed by the FFS corporation and its official publicist, but when you’re a participant, they give you promotional rehearsal photos to share!

So, here are the outfits I’m modelling at the best fashion ticket in Nu Jyorck!

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The Annex: Larkin Gown, for The Trunk Show, Purple

The Annex has such a way with things that are both sexy and simple. The cut of this gown may seem to leave little to the imagination, but it’s flared enough that it moves well on the dance floor, too. And the colours! Such an intense purple here, but the fabric is reflective enough that it appears to be several different shades. The lovely people at No Match handled the hair for this gown: it’s their No Promise style. The necklace is by Vae of The Plastik fame: it’s called Sawola. Zibska, such a deft hand with pastels, did the makeup; their Adelia line works perfectly here. Underneath the eyeshadow and lipstick, the skin painting was accomplished by the amazing folks over at 7 Deadly s{K}ins. Where would I be without them?

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Here’s a closer view, mostly so you can get an idea of how the bodice on the gown falls.

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The collaboration that is Silvan Moon Designs never fails to amaze and delight, and this classy gown is no exception. The pearl collar and neckline are the only adornments on a dress that is just perfectly cut with a great tulip shape. The delicate brocade fabric really sets off the dress, and once again No Match did some magic on my hair for this style: the look is called No Halo, even though I kind of felt as if I were wearing a halo because of this gorgeous Avaway Diadem the organisers put me in.

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Avaway Diadem

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Ghee: Overblown Lace Pashmina, for Sense.

I love it when I get to play with more modern, “casual” clothing styles, even though I think you could wear this pashmina a lot of different ways. Here, it’s paired with an old pair of jeans from my personal wardrobe and some great boots from Empire, the Nelumbo Boots. The hair is by TruthAstra.

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Yummy Truth Hair!

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Silvery K: Soiree Beil Dress and Gloves

Such a fun dress from Silvery K! It comes with matching gloves as well. The shoes are from Pure Poison, the Aurora Sandals, and they might as well have been made for this dress. Hair by MonsoJunghwa. The FootPaw Industries necklace is from my personal collection.

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Cazimi did an amazing job on my nails, don’t you think?

And mm, sexy lace detailing on the bodice and gloves from Silvery K.

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Shanghai: Bella Gown, Rose (for Enchantment)

Now, I’ve seen this before at big Nu Jyorck events. Somehow, they think you’re “more fae” if you come from a “fae realm”. That is, if you come from the Metaverse equivalent of a cultural backwater, you’re somehow more legit as a fae. Which means that they’re always going to try and put you in fairytale gowns and wings and pretty headdresses because they think you’re somehow more honest in those outfits than a Nu Jyorck native would be. Well, that’s poppycock, of course, but I do love a great ballgown, and this is definitely one. The meticulously crafted petals set the whole dress off beautifully, and that skirt is so reflective you feel like you’re wearing liquid gold. Magika provided the hairstyle, Talk Like That, with the headdress by Elise (Silvia) and choker by Empyrean Forge (Majesty) that look like they were made for each other.

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I think this is just a zoom of the same shot, but I like that you can see more of the headdress here. 

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Liz: Abrielle Dress, for Sense

Now, this is a dress I could wear almost anywhere, particularly as the hope of spring is alive in most places. Liz‘s Abrielle Dress has such fun lines, and I love the pearl embellishments. The shoes are from Like DesignDoll Shoes. They are also a lot of fun, and Nani did this incredible Kenna thing with my hair!

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This dress just makes me smile!

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Salt: Belle Gown, for Enchantment

Salt did a beautiful Belle Gown, and of course you know they had to put me in some legit wings sometime! These were crafted by Drastic, and are called Butterfly WingsDeLa did the hair for this outfit: the style is called Melora, which makes me think of that series of fantasy novels I loved as a little kid, the ones with all the dragons.

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Here, you can see the great Cazimi Nails, but the necklace is obscured by my hand, I’m afraid.

I hope the necklace will be visible in some of the official Show photos: it’s from Bliensen & Maitai, and I’ve always liked their work.

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Alter: Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, for Sense

I wouldn’t necessarily wear this dress to get married in, but I’d wear it just about anywhere else. It’s from Alter, the Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, and I love the high-low effect and the loveliness of the bodice here. The BareRose Lace Wings fit beautifully with it, and the jewellery is from Adorsy, the Emily necklace and armbands. These stunning shoes are from Cult: they’re the Desire HeelsExile created this hairstyle, called Jemma.

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A closer look at wings, hair, and necklace? Yes!

So, that’s all eight outfits I was asked to model for this badly-kept-secret fashion show in the steamy underbelly of Nu Jyorck! It was a great experience. I hope they’ll ask me again sometime.

Style Cards:
Most details are in individual descriptions; however:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Nena (Available at the BRAND NEW 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! —don’t forget to update your landmarks!)
Eyes: AzDesign, Mandala Blue Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Nails: Cazimi
Venue: Trompe Loeil, Cathedral Catwalk Skybox
Poses: All from An Lar; Various Series

 

A Month Of Hair With Gwen! Or: Why my SL Partner hates the word “fatpack”

It may have come to the attention of some people that I am into SL hair. OK, it may have come to the attention to some people that I might well one day find myself on a virtual street corner with a sign reading Will Work For Hair. I mean, it’s not like, an addiction or anything. I can quit any time! I mean, it’s not like I spent all my money at the annual Truth sale (mostly because I already had everything I could ever want up to that point) and I really don’t mind if Queue Marlowe sends more than one reminder that she has new styles at the Analog Dog Main Store, because it’s a super good thing when I can just go there the minute I log in and not be spending the next X hours wondering when I’ll be free of Y obligation so I can go and shop! And so what if I can tell many brands of SL hair from a distance, just because I know the textures/style/whathaveyou.

So, yeah. I am, in the vernacular, a hair ho. I blog Hair Fair. I blog Hairology. I blog for Analog Dog even when I buy the hair myself. I blog a lot of hair I buy myself, to be honest. I won’t list hair creators I love in any kind of order, because there’s always something new, and hair creators like everybody else go through different style phases: what I like one month might not be the same as what I like the next month either, so I don’t let it worry me too much.

So, because I just got back from Germany and I’m way backed up on a lot of things, here is a run-down of all the hair I acquired in the last 30 days or so….

First, a trio of hair you can get for yourself at Hairology, which opens on the 10th of October!

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Kokolores, “Toril”

Here’s a quick updo from KokoloresToril, which I imagine is one of those hairstyles we’re all familiar with. You have to go out, you’re in a hurry, and there’s nothing more pleasing than a little messy bun action!

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Tukinowaguma, “Kist”

Tukinowaguma has for Hairology this fun ponytail, Kist. Because everybody needs a ponytail. Or five. Or a dozen… yeah, you know how that goes.

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No Match, “No Return”

Finally, No Match has this great long style that looks almost wet, No Return. I’m always impressed by their textures, but this is one of those styles I predict Gwyneth will be wearing a lot over the next couple of months: it’s dressy enough to look a little glamours and casual enough not to have caused those poor little demifae servants of hers too much trouble.

Obviously, there’s a lot more hair coming to Hairology this month: I will be showing you some of it in the weeks to come!

Second on the list: there’s no way you can write a hair roundup without mentioning TruthTruth Hawks has been making SL hair for mumble years, and when it comes to sheer variety of style and number of releases that still look good, nobody does it better.

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Truth ,”Apple”

This is Apple, which you can still pick up at Uber until the 23rd of October. As often of late, this style includes a Hairstyle HUD that lets you show the long hair in the front or back, changes the fringe (bangs, Americans!), or get rid of the long hair altogether and just make it into a neat bun.

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Truth, Pollila

Polilla isn’t a new Truth hair; you can buy it at the Truth Main Store, and the moths are optional and colour-change with a HUD. I like this style on Gwyneth, because it’s both fairly dressy and (with the moths) shows a bit of her whimsical side as well.

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Truth, Ophelia

Ophelia. Wow. I love this hair. It comes in a windblown and plain version, changeable with the hairstyle HUD, and you can also have it fall completely to the back, to either side, or with both sides in front. Because it is an October release for the Salem event, you can turn each side of the hair a different colour, which is kinda fun if you’re into all that Gothy witchy supernatural stuff. 😉

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Truth, Athena

Finally, here’s Athena, which was the Truth VIP Group gift for October. If you love hair and you’re not a member of the Truth VIP Group, you really ought to be. Yes, there is a L$300 charge to join the group. But you get a new fatpack of hair every month, which you might pay just a little more than L$300 for if you bought it in the store, and you also get to interact with a great group of people if you enjoy meeting tons of strangers who are great conversationalists and probably just as addicted to hair as you are. Athena can be worn with or without the wavy wisps in front (yes, I know Truth spells it “whisp”, but I just can’t), changeable via the hairstyle HUD.

Third, you also can’t have a SL hair roundup post without spending generous amounts of time (and money) on Analog Dog. Well, or I couldn’t. Queue Marlowe is a genius with curls, and she knows just how to add a bit of Flexi to mesh hair to make it look real and wonderful and alive. My first proto-fashion-blog post was made in something like 2009 or 2010, on my old LiveJournal, about Analog Dog Hair, and it was entitled, “Hairgasm”. Need I say more?

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Analog Dog, “Kaye”

Kaye is an easy ponytail with that characteristic Analog Dog Flexi swing. It’s not over the top (though Queue would certainly argue that there is nothing wrong with over the top if you know how to do it!), and although it’s a simple style, the ease of the front makes it look so classy. It’s new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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Analog Dog, “Radius”

Also new at the Analog Dog Main Store is Radius, a straight-chopped wavy style that, while it’s blunt on the ends, has a lot of wavy-curly swing to it. It’s just long enough to warm your shoulders without getting caught underneath your coat collar!

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Analog Dog, “Ulna”

 

Ulna is self described by Queue as a messy bun, and that’s exactly what you get here. It’s lovely and high, so you can wear it with a variety of different styles. Also new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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Analog Dog, “Sigma”

Now, not everybody is a genius with braids, but Queue Marlowe definitely is. This is Sigma, created for the Lootbox event, and it’s a gacha. This style is actually one of the commons, and it’s perfect for Faerie Queens whose demifae helpers love to braid their hair and cause all sorts of crown-like havoc on top of their heads. The Lootbox event is open until the 20th of October, so you still have eleven days to go and play for this hair (L$75/pull).

The rest of this post is hair I’ve picked up at various events or bought at main stores over the last 30 days. I did buy more hair than this, but the rest of it was for The Amazing Catwoman, and she refuses to be part of a hair roundup because she is independent and fierce and stuff.

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Limerance, “Mermaid”

Limerance‘s Mermaid is so long you can see my shoes! I love super long hairs, and I’m so glad they seem to be coming back into style: I’ve seen a number of them around the grid lately and it makes me so happy! This is once again a gacha hair from Lootboxit’s $L75/pull, and you can play for it until the 20th of October. This is the common style; the rare has a pulled-back front.

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Foxy, “Bella”

Foxy‘s Bella hair was at Kustom9 last month, but I suspect it’ll be up in their main store soon. This is another super-long hair, and it has a hairstyle HUD so you can put bits of it to the front, also. You can’t ever have too many long, straight styles. Can you?

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Monso, “Daenarys”

A few years ago, there were a million Game of Thrones hairs out there, but this one from Monso is one of my favourites: Daenarys does a good job with both the front and the back (I should have photographed the back!), and the front wisps add quite a lot to the look. It was released for the October round of FaMeshed, so you can still get it easily.

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Exile, “Just Another Night”

Exile‘s Just Another Night is again not a new hairstyle. But I wanted it in their great greyscale colours because we are heading into winter now and Gwyneth will need to silver herself up at some point. You can get it at the Exile Main Store, which has recently had the first store refurbishment I can remember, and this is a Bento hair: it come in both a gently waving Bento version and a plain (non-moving) one.

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Mina, “Harper”

Also available at the October round of FaMeshed is Mina‘s Harper, a long, loose braid with a lot of wispy extra hair poking out around it. It’s a great style for Gwyneth, and I imagine she’ll be in it a lot this autumn.

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Moon, “Solstice”

Oh gods yes! Another super-long, this one from MoonSolstice was also at last month’s Kustom9, but should be available in their main store soon. Solstice is so cool, I was in it for days! It even has extra strands you can hold in your hand, with an embedded pose that does not (and I can state this firmly) interfere with dancing!

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Nani, “Cora Crow”

Nani‘s Cora Crow, also available at the Salem event, is a whimsical little number that you can wear with or without the crow’s nest on top. He’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but there is a crow in the nest!

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Ayashi, “Janko”

This is Janko, by Ayashi. It’s not a new hair, but I picked it up at The Secret Hideout a couple of days ago. I love the fringe (bangs, Americans!) and the long curls. 🙂

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Phoenix, “Cassandra”

And finally (thank you for getting this far!), Cassandra, by Phoenix. Wow, there is a lot of great hair at the Salem event! Another very long straight style, Cassandra comes in the usual huge number of Phoenix colours, and don’t forget that if you’re part of their in-world group, there’s a special VIP HUD you can access when the group is active that gives you loads of rainbow colours!

Whew! That’s a lot of hair, Gwen! And just think, I have so much more to show you as the month goes on! Look for some more amazing Hairology styles, to name just a little bit, and I might have a surprise in store for you before the end of the month, but I can’t tell you what it is because then it wouldn’t be a surprise!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Byzsntium Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Rood
Sweater: Riot, Sansa Sweater (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Leggings: Riot, Sophie Leggings (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Boots: Baiastice, Haan Shoes (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries, Celtic Filligree Amythest + Aelean Ruby

Hair: 20 different hairs; see individual photos above.

Backdrop: D.U.S.T., Dreams caught in bubble

skinlogodiap   ad-logo-5   hairology-October

All Other Things Being Equal…

Sometimes, a great use of colour can make something plain appear extraordinary.

My return to full-time work in the Real World has left little time for blogging, and for this I’m sorry. Much of my SL time is slated for the Visionaire course, which I heartily recommend if you have a burning desire to improve your SL photography and learn many amazing and cool things about taking photographs in Second Life.

Even though I am not around as much for roleplaying or blogging, the Second Life timeline marches on! Which means that yesterday, the 4th of November, there was a brand-new round of We

Evangeline Miles, the marvel who has captured and enraptured us all with her designs at Evie’s Closet for many years now, has taken a relatively simple dress and made of it a colour feast.

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And the thing is, Evie can make *brown* look good.

And the thing is, Evie can make brown look good. I paired the Anghared dress in brown with Wasabi Pills’ recent Fifty Linden Fridays release of the lovely Dakota braid and added something also fairly recent from The Plastik, the Hallow choker, which make me think of last spring’s trip to Glastonbury.  This pose is from Bauhaus Movement, from their The Way You Like It series.

On the left, we have the purple colour with Wasabi Pills’ Nahia hair, recently released at The Crossroads event. On the right, you can see the red colour; here Gwyneth is wearing Monso‘s Momo updo, new at Fameshed this month. Both poses are from an lar, the Citrine Series, also available at this month’s We .

Here are the grey and blue colours. Gwyneth in grey is wearing No Match No Word; in blue, she’s in Tukinowaguma‘s Edfeldt, which you can still pick up at The Liaison Collaborative. The pose on the left is from an lar‘s Ava series, available at the new Coven event, and on the right, the pose is from !bang, one of the Ice Queen poses.

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Finally, here’s the pink colour.

Finally, here’s the pink colour. Hair and jewellery are from Emo-tions, the Arosa set, which includes the tiara and necklace pictured here. The hair is also available at this month’s We , as is the pose, which again is from the an lar Citrine series.

In all these photos, Gwyneth is wearing the Maitreya mesh body, the Catwa Destiny head, the Mandala Steking Season 5 Ears, SLink Pointe feet, ChicChica Fairy shoes, and my favourite new DeeTaleZ Catwa applier evah, Gwendoline! Because, duh; I’ll buy anything named “Gwen”. The background structure is Exposeur‘s Stone Arch, which I’ve had for absolutely ages.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never write straight-up fashion blog posts about a single dress at We

Where’s she gone now?

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From the player:

Going back into full time work has affected my blogging schedule more than I’d like it to, which probably isn’t a surprise for those of you who know me. Today I’m home sick with something that feels more flu-like as the hours go on (and I just got a flu shot last week—oh, the humanity!), but in an ordinary week, I’m now working five days.

Because my job is retail, I rarely have two days off together, and because I haven’t been at my job for some time, getting my stamina back up to being away from home for 11 hours out of my day, with nine scheduled in at the shop (one of those is a lunch hour), has been tough. I felt less exhausted last week, though I still spent a goodly portion of my day off sleeping. I’m slow at waking up in the morning, plus those of you who know me in RL know that my brand of makeup takes a little longer than the average person’s, so the rest of my waking time is often spent getting ready before work rather than having time to play after, I’m afraid.

I know, I know; it’s one excuse after the other from me. Trust me: my roleplaying group have been saying this for over a year now.

On top of it all, I’m enrolled in the Visionaire course this term, so a large proportion of my SL time will be spent doing assignments and improving my photography, which I think will be all to the best.

This time, instead of asking blogging sponsors just to bear with me, I’m going to be backing away from blogging for sponsors, with two exceptions. I’ll continue to blog Lumae skins, because the commitment is low-stress, and I’ll continue to blog for The White Armory & Silvan Moon Designs, because again, the commitment is low-stress. For everyone else, I’ll move aside to make room for other bloggers, because I cannot promise x number of posts per month/week/whatever. I’m committed to only the highest-quality photographs I can take, the best stories I can write, and I can’t promise that in the limited time I have. There are plenty of SL bloggers out there who take a great photograph and tag it, credit it, then post it as their blog entry for the day or the hour, and I know loads of them who do a great job and post as many as 5-6 photographs a day. That’s not what I want to do with my blog, though I enjoy reading many blogs that do that very thing. Without the time to craft a story, my blog doesn’t feel like my blog.

For those of you who are interested in such things, here’s my first Visionaire homework: it’s a photo of Gwyneth returning from some Realm or other, greeted by deer in the Great Seelie Forest.

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Visionaire homework 1: Self-Portrait

The deer are from Half Deer; they are a gacha at Kustom 9 this round. Nothing else is current, but the portal is SPELL’s Portals to Other Worlds, from a Chapter 4 Gacha, and the woods are the Enchanted Woods from Studio Skye.

Gwyneth is wearing:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, Elanil
Hair: Monso My Hair, Somi
Clothes: RealEvil Industries, Avery Jeans & Avery Jacket
Shoes: Roped Passions, Leaf Lullabye
Pose: An Lar, The Carrie Series

Spiffy photo taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make enrol in a SL photography course while simultaneously starting a PhD and going back in to full-time work without it….