Revisiting the Book Forest

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Would you go?

Would you go? Would you walk into the wardrobe and take your winter coat and travel to Narnia in winter?

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Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself.

Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself. It is a place where there are no limits to the imagination. As small as it is, it seems dense and immense when you’re inside it. And it brings so many lovely things back into my head. Although my duties in Faerie are many, particularly now that we are having such an influx of people who are a bit afraid of being on the Island. I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t try to separate it from the contemporary Realm it lies in and try to rewrite history.

Then again, rewriting history is a dangerous practice. Dyisi would surely warn against it.

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Is it running away, if you are recreating?

Is it running away, if you are recreating? Again, Dyisi would probably say yes. But then she thinks I run from everything.

And, OK, maybe I’ve been prone to do that… in the past. But I love this Realm, this little town, these whimsical shops and pathways. And the Book Forest, more than anything, is the centre of the whole idea. You can put anything together. Everything can be juxtaposed. You can have a bakery next door to a magic shop. You can have an Amsterdam canal front in sight of a princess tower. You get what I mean.

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I was always fascinated by juxtaposition.

Even in London, I was always fascinated by juxtaposition. And I guess it’s no surprise: London’s sense of history rams gracefully (yes, really!) up against its boldness, its newness. The reflection of society and history, the calling-out of the ages, many ages all together, is nowhere more apparent than in London.

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And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest.

And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest. But there are books about London here, I’m sure of it. Somewhere along the book paths or in the book stacks. They must be here, because there’s always a book about London.

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It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm.

It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm. That mindset, that life, that me seems so far away now. As far away as a story. As far away as a book. A character. Something I just read about. Even my (adoptive) parents are a faded memory now. It’s so much like a store that I wonder if I should write it one day, get it published in a mundane Realm without obvious magic, where people long for stories like mine. But there are many stories to live, I think, before it’s time to tell mine properly.

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And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book.

And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book. Should I return them? Or are they going somewhere special?

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I decide to follow.

I decide to follow them, and they lead me past the book hourglass as if they’re searching for something.

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Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is.

Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is, which is to say it isn’t fun at all, unless you like chasing things. Now would be a good time to have a dog, I guess. We run past a replica of the Doors of During that appeared here last week, and the pages pause, as if considering whether to enter. I hope they don’t: I haven’t been through that door myself yet.

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They pause and turn toward the book steps.

They pause and turn toward the book steps. There are other fluttering pages here: maybe they long to be with their own kind? Oh, great; I’m now ascribing sentience to a bunch of floating pages. Perhaps Faerie has finally driven me mad? That bitchy little Demifae queen would be so happy.

Make up your minds little pages!

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Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere.

Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere. Stand here, juggle them a bit, look cool. I look cool, right? I mean, here I am juggling papers. Because that’s a cool thing to do on a Friday night. It’s not like there could ever be anything better to do. I’ll bet they just want to stay here. I take a deep breath and try to give in to the pages, stay still with them.

But then, they’re off again, and of course I’m compelled to chase them.

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They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree.

They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree. Wait– when did that appear? Faerie changes so rapidly. I know it’s a mirror of my mind, but am I so flighty? Maybe I am.

Under the door of the house they all go, but there’s a light on in the window, and I swear I smell pipe smoke. I don’t think now’s a good time. Hopefully the inhabitant, if there is one, will be able to find a place for the pages.

As for me, I wander back toward the front of the forest.

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And there I find… a wardrobe.

And there I find… a wardrobe. Again. And it brings us full circle. I’ve been so many places, but will I go here? will I just walk through?

It’s a portal like any other.

All I have to do is step through.

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But… not today.

But… not today. Today I’ll just curl up with a book and a kitten. Books and kittens. There’s no better way to end a day in the book forest. And maybe tomorrow I’ll see what’s behind those doors. Both of them.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Again (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Circlet: Venge, Anisa Head Adornment
Eyes: Mesange, Artic Eyes (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Vyra, in a NEW SKIN TONE, Dew, which is lovely on Gwyneth! Poster with more information below!
Tattoo: Misschievous, Chandelier Tattoo (faded)
Nails: Cazimi, Whimsy Nails (Maitreya Appliers)
Dress: The Muses, Daphne (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Boots: !go!, Fay Brown Boots

Props:
Wishing Well and Bridge: Raindale/Maplemoor
Paper Books with cardboard pop-ups: Sepia book with castle: BananaN, Story Book Gacha
Paradise Lost Statue: by Nacht: Paradise Lost (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
House made from a Tree Trunk: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House
Book with Floating Letters: Violatility, La Literature Surrealiste Light
Hourglass and Book with Steps and Pages: Disorderly, Timed Literary
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins
Doors of Durin: Spell, Lord of the Rings Gacha, Doors of Durin (Chap4)
Book Paths: Book Forest Door, Una, Book Gacha
Wardrobe: 22769, Imaginarium (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Poses:
Poses with Pages: Elephante, Story of Love (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Pic with Cat: Le Poppycock, Book Lovers (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Standing Poses: An Lar, the Bronte Series (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Many of the new Book Forest items are from the current round of The Liaison Collaborative, which has a literary theme! The wardrobe in particular is worth a mention: it’s 22769‘s Imaginarium

As always, thanks for reading. I love you guys.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never visit the Book Forest without it!

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Queen of Summer

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Coming through the portal from Faerie….

Coming through the portal from Faerie, I felt the shortness of the night. My full power, now concentrated at two times of the year instead of just one, welled up inside me, and I remembered all the previous years, the push and pull of two Courts, so much drama. But this night, this night, I just felt good, positive, secure within my power.

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Lifting to Fly

Lifting myself to fly, I felt the connection with the Earth of White Owl Island as surely as I ever felt it in the Wylds. I reached out and touched Arahaelon’s wards, warmed them with my energy. Felt the influx of refugees from the apartment house fire in Seattle, all those people, so sorrowful and so afraid.

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Can we show them a better life?

Can we show them a better life? I think we can. I think our Island is ready. And as we welcome them all in, the spirit of love falls over us like the Mists of Faerie, always there an always above and beneath us.

Sky, Land, and Sea are so close together here. One has only to stand on the forest shore, or the beach, and there are all three Realms come together. A sunrise of fire, Three Realms so beautiful together, and a troubled population that needs lovingkindness and strength of spirit.

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I am ready.

I am ready.


Much of what Gwyneth is wearing in these photographs is from the Midsummer Enchantment Event, which if you haven’t been to is full of amazing stuff! I love this dress from Senzafine; it’s the Melianthe Gown, in Green for the Summer Queen. The Psycho:Byts Pixie Bento Wings come in an array of colours; this is Black. Gwyneth is wearing Zibska‘s beautiful Lethia headpiece: roses and antlers together; what’s not to like? The makeup is also from Zibska. The Vengeful Threads Arcana Necklace rounds things out nicely; the colour change HUD makes it easy for you to customise it to go with just about anything. The forehead jewels are from Lumae; the ever-creative Lumiya Rae has released several of them for Midsummer Enchantment; this one is Leena, in Emerald. These eyes are from Mesange (natch!); they’re at On9 until the beginning of July! Gwyneth is wearing Analog Dog‘s Eliza hair, which you can pick up at the Analog Dog Main Store. As usual, she is wearing the Maitreya mesh body and the Catwa Lona mesh head.


I know I’ve not been blogging much recently. Work has been brutal, opening up a new roleplaying sim takes up a lot of time, and of course some of you know that I Met A Boy in SL who just might be taking up a little bit of time, as well. Thank you so much for bearing with me, and I’m so grateful and happy for all the people who follow and support this blog. I’ll do my best to keep fun things coming! And of course HAIR FAIR is coming up!

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Putting it all together 

Gwyneth:

Today, I began working on my throne room for White Owl. I know: I’ll probably never get to use it, but it’s a good exercise in decorating, and I was bored.

Below is a photo of my new throne — the demifae are enjoying it, as you can see. I’ve also acquired two new kittens—not CaitSidhe, but honest-to-Goddess kittens! The one on my lap is called Skein, and the black one is Urðr. Of course, this means I’ll have to get two more kittens, since I can’t overlook the other principal Norns.

The throne itself is grown from a special spell provided by the Master Wizards at Hextraordinary. I found them at that most excellent shopping faire, We , and they delivered it for free! Of course, tree thrones are a bit hard and somewhat scratchy, and the Royal Bum cannot deal with that for long periods of time, so I added a bunch of throw pillows I picked up from a gypsy at a gacha Faire some years ago.


Of course, I had to call Nathaniel for his approval (he always approves, does my Beloved Consort), so I summoned a will o’ the wisp to get him there quickly. The will o’ the wisps seem to like me much better now; I can communicate with them easily. Then, I got sentimental and summoned Drysi as well—she’s the only one of my children who reliably comes when called—and she surprised me by showing up in a very fetching dress! Of course, she’ll be back to jeans and t-shirts as soon as she’s out of my presence, not that I mind her dressing up to please her Mother.


I thanked the will o’ the wisp when it returned, of course. And what a lovely feeling of oneness I had with it! I must investigate the Unseelie connection to wisps more carefully at some point.

I have more work to do here, of course, but what a joy it was to write this from my office, in another of my realms, and not have to appease the Luddite Goddess by hopping off to another Realm to access the internet!

Now, of course I have to decorate both the Residence and this official Receiving Area—I think we’ll call it The Atrium—for Yule. Which will keep me busy at least for a couple of hours. I do have the perfect tree in mind for Nathaniel. I hope he loves it.

Style Card:

Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Vanessa (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Atomic, Elf Gacha (Catwa Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone Porcelain) (Available NOW at the Arcade Gacha)
Clothes: Mimikri, Vega Tank Top and Shiny Leggings (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Jewellery: Emo-Tions, Aurora Necklace and Forehead (Available NOW at On9!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Heels

The Scene:
Throne: Hextraordinary, Elven Throne (Available NOW at We❤ RP
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Acorn Fairy Companion
Other Demifae: Ohmai, Bumblebee Fairy Companion, Ladybug Fairy Companion, and Horn Beetle Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox
Skein: Jian, Christmas Cats, Grey Kitten
Urðr: Pixicat, Sphynx Cat Sitting

Poses:
Throne Pose: PoseIt, Glam Sit
Will O’ The Wisp Poses: Nantra, Charmed, I’m Sure (Available NOW at Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create new throne rooms without it!

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Hairology!

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Gwyneth:

I’m still not feeling creative enough to work on the story-blogging, so you get two posts in a row that are mostly straight-up fashion blogs for me. Sorry about that, and I do promise to get back to the story blogging as soon as I can.

I’ve been blogging Hairology for a few months now, because it’s one of my favourite events. This would be because I’m a complete SL hair addict (I hear my friends going, “No!”). This month, Hairology gave the designers a month to rest, because Hair Fair is just around the corner (OH YES!), so the Hairology designers have put some of their favourite styles out at a discount this month. So there’s great hair there at discounts of between 25 and 50%, not to mention many of the creators have little cakes in front of their stalls, which contain (YES!) free hair! There’s so much good stuff at this event I can’t possibly show you all of it, so I’ve picked just six styles to highlight.

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First up, Wasabi Pills!

First up, Wasabi Pills! Wasabi Pills has been a staple of Second Life hair since I started coming back to SL to role-play about five years ago, and I used to pretty much live in Wasabi Pills hair. This is one of my favourite styles she’s done in some time, and it’s called Ocean. It’s available at Hairology for 50% off for the duration of the event. Now, because I can never highlight just one thing, I’m also playing with some different skins in this post, and of course I’ll tell you all about the clothes as well. I’ve also indulged in a little SL tourism in this post, so I hope you’ll enjoy the great photo locations and maybe  visit a few of them yourself.Gwyneth is wearing a Glam Affair skin here; I picked up the Viktoria Catwa applier at this month’s Collabor88, and of course the Maitreya body is loaded with Glam Affair skins, so I didn’t have to worry about body appliers for this one. I wanted to keep all the skins in the same shade range that Gwyneth normally wears: as a Sidhe, she is naturally pale but healthy looking; this is tone “Europa”. The dress is from Tres Blah; it was in the May Luxe Box. Body is Maitreya, Head is Catwa Helena, eyes are Soul Sidhe Eyes, ears are BentBox Sylvan Ears.

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This location is The Yorkshire Dales.

This location is The Yorkshire Dales. It’s in the SL Destination Guide Editor’s Picks at the moment, and it’s well worth a visit. The poses here are from the Bauhaus Movement Luna Beam series, which I picked up at this month’s Liaison Collaborative.

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And here we have hair from Phoenix!

And here we have hair from Phoenix! The style is called Kathy, and it’s 25% off at Hairology this month. The skin here is one I’ve already showcased in the last blog entry, but it’s worth an extra mention: it’s 7 Deadly s[K]ins Leslie head applier in new colourway Sand. The crown is the Kibitz Mynerva Circlet, and the necklace is Serena Teardropby Maxi Gossamer.

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The dress Gwyneth is wearing here is very special.

The dress Gwyneth is wearing here is very special. It’s the Callista Rain Wedding Gown Set from Silvan Moon Designs. Who are Silvan Moon Designs, you ask? They’re a collaboration between The White Armory and Blue Moon Enterprises, and as you can see, this style is just stunning. It comes in a variety of colours and has that amazing flowing-but-fitted look that Bee Dumpling manages to put across with so many of her designs for The White Armory. Body is Maitreya, Head is Catwa Helena, eyes are Soul Sidhe Eyes, ears are BentBox Sylvan Ears. The first pose is from !bang, number 562. The second one is again from Bauhaus Movement’s Luna Beam series. The location is The Balladwood, which is part of my sim.

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Mina Hair always has something to offer

Mina hair always has something to offer; this style is Juliet, available at Hairology for 50% off this month. Mina’s textures are so lush! I wanted to take Gwyneth somewhere hot to shoot this photograph, so I picked New Brighton Beach Pier, which is one of those places that’s been around in Second Life for ages and still manages to be a fun location to visit and great for photography. You can even rez stuff there, so it’s easy to get your poses exactly the way you want them to be. The clothes are from the current round of Cosmopolitan: they’re from Asteria, part of a mix-and-match collection of sleeveless blouses and short-short skirts called Taylor. The shoes are Empire, the Erica flats from the most recent Enchantment round. Body is Maitreya, Head is Catwa Helena, eyes are Soul Sidhe Eyes, ears are BentBox Sylvan Ears.

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Here’s a closer shot of this beautiful Mina hair.

Here’s a closer shot of this beautiful Mina hair. The skin in these photos is from LeForme, and it’s my first LeForme skin. Well, second, really. See, I liked the LeForme skin that was on sale at this month’s We ❤ RP, but it was too dark and freckled for Gwyneth, so I went to their main store and picked up this one as well, Luna, in their Pale shade. I about tripped myself up looking for body appliers in their main store before I realised they were all right there in the skin package! Both these poses are from the An Lar Kildare series.

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Pr!tty!

Pr!tty! I travelled back to White Owl Island for these next two photographs. White Owl isn’t ready to open yet, but we have kitted out the book store, as you can see! Now, I don’t buy a lot of Pr!tty hair, mostly because the styles are a bit too sleek for Gwyneth. But this style, NaviI think I first bought at The Chapter 4 a while ago, and I love it—and not just for the sparkly headband that comes with it! It’s at Hairology for 25% off, so I fatpacked it since I only had one colour previously. Because, you know. One day I might want pink ombre hair. (What? I really might! Stop looking at me like that!) Are these jeans not amazing, by the way? They’re from Purple Moon, and they’re at this month’s On9 event. The shirt is from The Vintage Fair, which really must visit if you haven’t yet; it’s made by Gawk, the Anthracite Favourite Sloppy Sweater. I picked it up because ICly, Gwyneth is originally from London and she feels a bit nostalgic about it from time to time. These shoes are Reign‘s Kiko Flats from this month’s FaMeshed. The base remains the same: Body is Maitreya, Head is Catwa Helena, eyes are Soul Sidhe Eyes, ears are BentBox Sylvan Ears.

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Still Pr!tty!

Still Pr!tty In this photo, you can see the light-uppy headband better. Gwyneth loves crowns, being a Queen, and she also loves things that light up, being Gwyneth, so those two things stuck together make her a very happy Fae Queen. This skin is from The Skinnery, another kind of skin I’ve not worn in ages. I really liked the Magali Catwa applier (in tone Milk) they had at Collabor88, though, so I took the plunge and invested. And, boo-yah! When I went to the Skinnery main store to pick up body appliers, I found that they make appliers for my beloved BentBox ears! Happy, happy day! These poses are from the InMotion Summertime set, which is available at this month’s round of The Instruments.

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Mithril Apothecary’s Taproot

Next, we move from White Owl to Everlong. I know I’ve shot in Everlong before, but I think a few things have changed since I’ve been there. I discovered this fun stage, and I liked the sentiment expressed on the white board, even if it is an old General Foods’ International Coffee slogan. I also love anything that has to do with swans. Anyway, Taproot is another hair I’d bought in only one colour previously, but the 50% off price at Hairology enabled me to buy the fatpack! The clothes are the Spirit Sianna Jeans and Shirt, available at this month’s Collabor88. The shoes are also available at Collabor88: they’re the Schadenfreude Flannery Loafers. As always, Body is Maitreya, Head is Catwa Helena, eyes are Soul Sidhe Eyes, ears are BentBox Sylvan Ears. This and the pose in the photo that follow are both from the An Lar Hollow series.

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More Taproot

Here, you can see the texture on the Mithril Apothecary Taproot hair a bit better. The necklace Gwyneth is wearing is the Bellona Necklace from a Tia gacha, though I couldn’t tell you which event I got it from. As for the skin, it’s from DeeTaleZ. I have long been a fan of DeeTaleZ skins; this is one of their recent Catwa faces, Fable, in their lightest shade, Celtic.

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And finally, No Match

And finally, here is No Match‘s No Answer, which is at 25% off for Hairology. Once again, the clothes come from Collabor88: the Addams Rocker Zipper Jeans and Tina Classic Shirt and Bra. Gwyneth’s basic construction remains the same: Body is Maitreya, Head is Catwa Helena, eyes are Soul Sidhe Eyes, ears are BentBox Sylvan Ears. Now, this location is a place I just found out about today through Ziki Questi’s BlogThe Gates of Melancholy. You have got to visit this place. It’s stunning. Designed after the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, I could not get enough of this sim. In fact, if I hadn’t already shot all those photos in other locations and this had been my first location, I would almost certainly have shot the whole set in The Gates of Melancholy. But I’m too lazy to reshoot ten photographs, so you get The Gates of Melancholy as a sort of “last but not least”, even though that might be a cliché. Might be. Anyway, not since I discovered Windwept have I been so utterly enamoured of a SL location, and you can bet I’ll be back here to shoot some more. In fact, I can almost feel a story coming on, just looking at this place. And isn’t that what the best places in SL do, anyway? They inspire us. They make us want to create, ourselves.

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Now for a closer look at Gwyneth at The Gates of Melancholy

Now for a closer look at Gwyneth at The Gates of Melancholy. This time, the skin is one anybody who reads my blog (all two of you! Thanks!) will find very familiar: it’s Lumae’s Eirtae, in her lightest Tone 1Lumiya Rae also makes appliers for my beloved BentBox Sylvan Ears, which is only one of the many reasons why I love her and her skins and why I’m so proud to be a Lumae blogger. I’m really chuffed to say that just today, she updated this skin. Of course, I’d already taken these photographs, and we know from above that I just can’t be bothered to go back and reshoot photos. However, the next time you see Gwyneth in Eirtae, it’ll certainly be the updated and repainted version! By the way, if you own the Bare  version of Eirtae and you haven’t received an update yet, Lumiya says there are thousands to be sent out and you might get them quicker by popping by the Lumae Main Store and hitting the redelivery terminal there.

So just to wrap up, this month’s Hairology  is worth a visit for so many reasons, not just these six. There are so many more great discounted hairstyles waiting for you there, not to mention the freebies inside the cake pieces! And don’t forget that the most exciting thing about all this is the reason why Hairology is offering discounted hair this month: the designers are being given time to prepare their wares for Hair Fair, which opens on the 16th of July! I can’t wait!

No Style Cards today; they’re all embedded in the text. 

I’m making a concerted effort to credit the great pose creators whose work I use in my blog posts. I haven’t been doing that, mostly because I use an Ani-Mate Pose Hud most of the time, and so I cycle through poses very quickly. From here on out, I’m going to try and make sure all poses are credited, not only so that folks know where they might find them, but so I myself can remember which ones I used!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble for hours about hair and skins without it!