Shaggy Cat Story

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Baby, take off your coat…

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Real slow….

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Baby, let down your hair…

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Just let it all hang down there….

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Baby, take off your dress…

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Yes, yes, yes….

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You can leave your CAT on…

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You can leave your CAT on…

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You can leave your CAT on!

With apologies to the monstrous and daunting songwriting talent of Randy Newman, of course. I changed only a few lines in the song, but I think it kinda works!

I don’t know what came over me: must be these Crazy and Cute Cat Slippers from Death Row Designs. They’re at The Crossroads

YouTube: Original Randy Newman recording of “You Can Leave Your Hat On”

Style Card:
Baby, take off your CoatRebel HopeCharlize Mesh Coat, Red
Baby, take down your Hair: TruthIvanaTruthTyne
Baby, take off your Dress: MimikriJouJou Feather Trim Dress, Black
You can leave your CAT on: Death Row DesignsCrazy and Cute Cat Slippers (Available NOW at The Crossroads!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin:  Pink FuelSabine, Catwa Bento face applier in Porcelain (NEW at the Pink Fuel Main Store!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Lingerie:
Top Half: Big, Beautiful DollMiriam Lingerie Set, Black
Stockings: F’N’HawtXHigh Net Stockings Cat
Nails: ZOZ, New Year’s Nails (Dark) (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Flying Cats: Half Deer: Winged Cats
Armchair: Death Row DesignsSoft Pink Moods Chair
Home Cloud, Moon, Stars: 8f8Dreamer’s Cloudland
Cloud and ladder, extra small clouds, InfinitiStairway to Heaven

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make terrible song puns involving lots of flying cats without it!

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Works in Progress….

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Gwyneth:

So, yeah. You know how it is. The seasons turn, Yule comes and goes, the mortal world is celebrating the beginning of a new year, and you’re pacing around on your sim platform, trying to think of a series of evocative photographs that’ll get you through Certain Things Yet To Be Announced, not to mention your Visionaire graduation, which is coming up sooner than you’d like to admit. And you look around yourself, and you go, ‘Well, sweet goddess; why am I building and tearing down all these photo sets on a temporary looking platform? I have a whole effing sim to play with!’

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Well, OK, maybe it’s not exactly that story for everybody.

Well, OK, maybe it’s not exactly that story for everybody. But we’ve all had that revelation when we realise we’d been making something more complicated than it had to be, yeah? Some of the best things in the world are simple. Take this new hair from Wasabi Pills. It’s called Isla, and it’ll be at Fameshed on the first of January, unless they open late because of the holiday. I love it, because it is marvellously, stunningly, simple. Like the solution to my problem.

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And so, my lovelies, I present to you some works in progress.

And so, my lovelies, I present to you some works in progress. First of all, I’m still experimenting with finding the perfect shape for Gwyneth’s Catwa Catya Bento mesh head, which I still love to pieces. Just the eye animations keep me rapt, because Gwyneth’s eyes seem to move naturally in their sockets, rather than kind of sliding beneath the sockets on a static mesh head. In fact, I’ve changed her face shape slightly since shooting these photographs; I became unhappy with a detail about the way her cheek met the hollows beneath her eyes and spent a while playing with that this morning before starting this post. I’ll shoot a couple of special photos so you can see what I mean before I finish this post, so please don’t mind me if I yammer on for a bit here.

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Out of the mist…

But getting back to what I was talking about before I got distracted by my hair…. I began thinking, even though the ground area of my sim is covered by the beautiful Pacific Northwest Rainforest that Dyisi Oppewall has created for our roleplaying group, there are still all these (extra!) prims left over, and so why didn’t I just make a sim-sized sky platform with a great surround so that it felt like there was a horizon?

And thus, out of the mist, was this idea born. It doesn’t have a name yet. What you see in the photo above are the bare beginnings of it; there’s a rez platform over on the left, even. As with most of my changing SL homes since the 2016 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, the first and central object placed is my glorious Last Hope statue, a one-of-a-kind (well, two-of-a-kind!) item created by the geniuses at Death Row Designs. Some of you know I lost my beloved husband to cancer at the beginning of 2016. Some of you also know that in another life, I’m a semiprofessional harper. To me, this statue is me playing a lament for my beloved. The dove is hope itself, or possibly Joe’s immortal spirit, come to listen. I knew at the time I wanted a circular path around the statue and four of Elicio Ember (the personable, nice, and downright sexy mastermind behind Cerridwen’s Cauldron)’s stunning Fae Waystones placed at cardinal points round the statue. I wanted paths running toward the surround edge in all four directions.

The skybox surround is from Landscapes Unlimited, and aside from having to build an invisible floor underneath it, I am 100% satisfied with it, as I can change it to many different looks depending on the season of the year or whether or not I want to live on Mars. 😉

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A few more things have now been added….

A few more things have now been added in this photo, but importantly you can see Gwyneth’s whole outfit, so I can talk about the clothes! The dress and boots are both from Zenith, the Autumn Sweater with Skirt in Rose, and the Leather Boots with Lace Socks, also in Rose. You can get the boots at Uber. If you noticed the necklace and earrings, they’re from Empyrean Forge, the Levity necklace and earrings.

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Ohh, but that skin!

Ohh, but that skin! It’s a new Catwa applier from Pink FuelSabine, formerly available only as a Lelutka applier. This was just released yesterday, and yes, I was part of the yammering glom-mob that descended on the Pink Fuel Main Store to pick it up, both in my favourite shades (Porcelain and Crystal—you see Porcelain above) and in their yummy new shade Brulée, which is available at a special price for now. Pink Fuel has long been one of my favourite skin creators, up there with Lumae7 Deadly s{K}ins, and DeeTaleZ (though, yes, my heart will also belong to Curio if she comes back to us) as some of the most beautiful skins you can get in Second Life, in my opinion. Pink Fuel also distinguishes itself by offering a dizzying array of body styles, particularly suited to those of us on the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. These are the Lionsong eyes from Mesange. I’m wearing Mesange eyes almost exclusively these days because they’re available as Omega appliers and I simply can’t be arsed with correctly positioning dozens of different mesh eyes to suit whatever head I’m wearing. And seriously, I’m a bit of a perfectionist about these things. I even tell other people when they’re posing for me and wearing mesh eyes to fix that cross-eyed thing right now; I’ll help you; no, really, it’s important; I’ll wait.The ears are the Swallow High Definition Elf Ears, and Gwyneth, as almost always, is wearing the Maitreya Lara body. Behind her, you can see more of Cerridwen’s Cauldron‘s lovely plants, including the Challis Flower, which is just about my favourite thing ever at the moment, and some of Elicio‘s beautiful Fungal Undergrowth. You can pick up both these and the Fae Waystones referenced above at the Cerridwen’s Cauldron Main Store in world or on the SL Marketplace if you fancy shopping from your couch.

So, what follows are some fairly rough shots of the still-unfinished and in the very beginning stages of my new home in Awenia.

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First, an aerial view, so you can get your bearings.

First, an aerial view, so you can get your bearings.

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8f8’s Cottage Cairn and Windmill

The first two buildings I put down were 8f8‘s lovely Cottage Cairn and Windmill, both from the New Beginnings set, from a past Arcade Gacha. One of the best things about having a sim-sized place to decorate is getting to put out all these beautiful buildings I’ve acquired at this or that gacha event over the years.

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Then, I decided I wanted a little commercial district.

Then, I decided I wanted a little commercial district. So here we have from right to left Ex Machina‘s Chelsea, which reminds Gwyneth enough of London that she won’t have to visit too often, then Death Row Designs‘ The Joint coffeeshop, followed by The Magick Shoppe, also by Death Row Designs. These shops border what will become a park/village green of sorts, across which you’ll find some nice places to eat.

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Across the park.

Across the park, from left to right, there’s the lovely Hideki Bakery, next door to which is another Vintage Bakery by Dustbunny, though I’ll probably turn it into a pastry shop or a restaurant, and then there’s the whimsical Tea Shop from Tentacio. Then you have Tarte‘s Grinder’s Cafe, which might or might not stay where it is; I’m not sure.

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Just so you can have a sense of the space I’m allowing for the park.

Just so you can have a sense of the space I’m allowing for the park/village green, here’s a more zoomed-out shot where both shop rows are visible.

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Rez Platform Number One.

Here’s Rez Platform Number One, where you can see some tasty things that might or might not make it onto the finished build; and

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Rez Platform Number Two, plus buildings I’m holding out for consideration.

Rez Platform Number Two, plus buildings I’m holding out for consideration. And I have some amazing new ideas that just came into my head today!

All this is going to keep me busy on what promises to be a long and lonely New Year’s Eve, the first I’ve spent without Joe since New Year’s Eve 2003/04, which was the night we met.

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I guess now everybody knows I’m a tree-hugger!

On another note, The Guardians opens tomorrow, the first of January, 2017 (!), and there is much, much cool stuff to be had there.  BananaN has done a book gacha that I’m so so very fond of: you can see several pieces of it in the background of this photo. The tree I’m hugging is the Young Maple from The Little Branch, and I’m wearing the Fame Femme Amelli Sweater, which is turning out to be a real favourite for casual wear this season. The boots are the Gypsy Boots from Wicca’s Wardrobe, and the hair! Oh, yes, the hair!

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Amazing hair from Analog Dog (as if AD made anything other than amazing hair, right?)

This is amazing hair from Analog Dog, as if Queue Marlowe ever made anything other than amazing hair, right? It’s called Lei, and it’s the Gift of the Guardians that you’ll receive if you play Analog Dog‘s gacha fifteen times at The Guardians event. I should mention the necklace, now that you can see it: it’s Minimal‘s Camera Necklace, and I bought one for myself and two friends at The Project Se7en today. And the rings are from  Absolut Vendetta, the Hydra Rings for Vista Bento Hands. Yes, I now have Bento hands, and I’m so glad I got them! I’ll tell you more about them anon.

The Lei hairstyle is an obvious tribute to the gargantuan talent that was Carrie Fisher, and it seems a fitting note on which to end this, my last big blog post of 2016. I might shoot you a couple of teasers as it’s going to be a long night for me, but this is the wordiest I’ll get, I promise. Carrie Fisher was only 60 years old. That’s the same age my husband Joe was when he died on the 29th of January, 2016. Star Wars was the last film I saw with my father in the cinema before he died at the age of 46. I was twelve. When I took my primary-school-aged son to see it during the ramp up to the second trilogy of Star Wars films, it was all I could do not to weep through the film as I remembered sitting in the cinema with my dad: I would have been eleven.

Tonight, wherever you are, somebody is going to go down a list of the people who’ve died this year, and it’s a long one. That somebody might even be you. If you can, I want you to consider doing two things. One of them is for yourself. The other, selfishly, is for me. Remember that on the worst day of your life, someone else is having the best day of theirs. That one’s for you. No matter how bad a day you’re having, someone else is experiencing the greatest joy ever. Imagine that. Now here’s the one for me. When the somebody (who might be you) is going down that list of people who’ve left us this year, please, for me, whisper, or shout, or say, ‘James Joseph Raftery’. Let my beloved’s name be spoken on the same wind as all those other names, and let his bright, love-giving, life-saving spirit be woven into that song. Say it: ‘James Joseph Raftery’. He hung the moon. He lit the stars. He took my broken heart and put it back together, and even though my heart has been breaking every single day of this long, long year, it’ll never be as broken as it was before Joe, because Joe knew how to mend things. He hugged me and loved me and believed in me so hard he made me Real. ‘James Joseph Raftery’. Say his name for me.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never build new homes without it!

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Faewatch: The Goblin War!

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Presented by Cherish Gelato

The Goblin War

[Theme Music, Fade up, and….]

Voiceover: Welcome to the Faewatch radio programme, with your presenter, Cherish Gelato!

[Glissando]

CG: Good morning, all you Faewatch listeners! As you know, we’ve had a lot of secondhand news lately about a war being fought between the combined courts of the Wylds and what we estimated to be an immense goblin force, tens of thousands of them.

CG: Of course, we hear so much about what happens in the Wylds of Faerie secondhand that we sometimes don’t know what’s true and what’s a fabrication. But you know Faewatch always tries to give quality information, the best quality we can get, so we’ve gathered together four individuals who were actually involved in the war and put them in to the same room to give us a run-down of what occurred from several points of view. On my left here, we have The Gypsy Davey, who helped prepare the Queen’s Bower to receive the all-important Sithen Rose. On my right, we have Tac, who is an archer in the Seelie forces and was present at the battle. Next to Tac, here’s Princess Drysi, one of the three Royal Children, and the first time we’ve had the chance to interview one of these enigmatic Fae. Next to The Gypsy Davey is seated Dyisi, Seer to the Wylds. And of course, seated just down at the end of the table, Seelie Queen Gwyneth herself. Thank you all for coming.

CG: Your Majesty, you’re looking radiant today. Your beauty eclipses the sun. I’m honoured to be in your presence. Can you tell us a little bit about the conflict and how it all played out.

SQG: For most of the major battle, I was in our makeshift infirmary, tending to the wounded. We were unprepared for the number of wounded we’d have during the first wave of the battle. However, some of the other people here were there, so I’d like to direct this question to Dyisi, who has been invaluable in the war effort. I also understand you have one of my archers here as well, so she might be able to answer a little better than I could.

Gwyneth in the infirmary

Gwyneth in the infirmary

CG: Thank you, Your Majesty. Let’s redirect that question to Dyisi, and Tac, if you feel the need to put in any details, just let me know.

D: It was a war, nai.  Noht unlike other wars that I have seen.  Though I can noht say that I had as much of a hand as others may choose to see it.  There was those who sought to bring such unbalance, and thus I lent what I could to correct such being a thing.  Ah.. nai..  But it was just as any other war that has existed as long as such unbalances are too exist.

CG: I understand all wars have similarities. Can you give us an idea of whether the goblins were vanquished? My listeners are very interested in how the Fae of the Wylds are faring.

D: I would guess they had been, nai..  we are still here are we noht?  I would think that had a different outcome have been met, this ah.. interview.. would noht be within this parallel.  Though had this been another parallel, I would noht be here.   As for Fae, I would think asking they who are fae would be.. ah as they say..  better down payment?

T: If I can answer that, at least partly, I can tell you that at the end of the battle the goblins retreated back into their hold, their numbers much diminished. Commander Wulfrich did a good job of making sure that our forces were where they needed to be at the right times.

Here's a reference photograph of Tac, dressed for archery.

Here’s a reference photograph of Tac, dressed for archery.

CG: That’s excellent news. Thank you, Dyisi, and thank you as well, Tac. Princess Drysi, what was your role in the conflict?

PD: Due to my youth and inexperience, and so as to not put myself or anyone else in danger, I was not able to participate  in the battle. I instead worked to hone my fighting skills so I may be better prepared  for any future attack on my people.

CG: You show a real flair for leadership, Your Highness. I hope I’ll be able to speak with you and your siblings at length sometime soon! But let’s get back to the conflict. Your Majesty, you said there were many wounded. Can you give us an idea of numbers?

SQG: I’m afraid I can’t at this time. We have only a few beds in our infirmary, so it was reserved for the more serious cases, while those who could be moved were patched up and sent back to their families for convalescence. Our healers will be looking in on all the wounded over the days and weeks to come. Numbers in Faerie, as you know Cherish, are always subject to change.

CG: I understand there were some fantastic beasts helping out during the battles. Oracle Dyisi, can you tell us a little bit about the Jabberwock?

D: Aahh nai nai..  One who I have summoned from Tulgey Woods.  I had sent him to help Maric and those of his command.  I have been told that Jabberwock had ..mn..  what was said.. melted faces?  Nai…  Did as he would.  From what had others also gave told of, he frightened goblins to flee.  Which, according to many.. is hard to do. He has returned though to his home.

SQG: I didn’t see the Jabberwock, but Dyisi nearly scared me to death when she showed up in my Bower with the Bandersnatch.

Gwyneth reacts to the Bandersnatch.

Gwyneth reacts to the Bandersnatch.

CG: The Bandersnatch? Dyisi, are you in command of every character from Wonderland?

D: Last I was aware, two beasts do noht an entire land of Wonder.  Mmmn..  excuse.. three.  However, Bandersnatch and Jabberwock were given to me as summons to help during another.. war.  One I shall noht go within details of.  If that is of mind to you.  Nai?  But, they protect White Bishop and who I ask of them to.

CG: Of course; my journalistic integrity is impeccable, and I shall never question you about things you don’t want to talk about. Well, listeners, it seems that even Satyrs have secrets they’d rather not reveal, and Dyisi’s revolve around a little girl named Alice! Now, let’s take a quick break and I’ll see you all back here in a moment.

[Glissando]

CG: And welcome back to the Faewatch Radio Programme, a very special panel interview with key players in the Goblin War: Seelie Queen Gwyneth, her daughter Princess Drysi, the Seer of the Wylds, Dyisi, Tac, an archer in the Seelie forces, and The Gypsy Davey, who has been preparing the way for the Sithen Rose to be replanted in the Queen’s Bower.

CG: It looks like most of the major players on the side of the Seelie Forces have survived the war. Your Majesty, how is King Maric faring?

SQG: My Lord King has retired to another realm to rest and recuperate.

CG: That sounds ominous. Let’s move on.

CG: Tac, you’re the only foot soldier here: can you give us a glimpse of your view of the battle?

Tac: Well, it was like most other wars I’ve been in: I guess I agree with Dyisi on this point. As an archer, I wasn’t in the midst of the fray, but rather above watching it. There were some beautiful moments, like when Princess Thalia threw this massive ball of water at the goblin forces with her trident, and then the Jabberwock just came and mowed them all down and the rest of them went running. We were picking them off like rabbits at that point. [she laughs] Honestly, unless it had been a complete rout with the goblins winning, there was no way any of our forces could have been overrun. We had too much protection on the ground with warriors like King Maric and Arahaelon and Commander Wulfrich fighting for all they were worth, and the little guys like me up in the trees taking care of oncoming onslaughts.

CG: Tac, thank you for a brief and informative overview. How is it a clever girl like you is stuck in the archery forces and not commanding a regiment of your own?

PD: Good question.

Tac: [after a brief pause] Well, I’m sort of not from the Wylds. I landed here and have been held here against my will, for something I have no idea about what I did, and I can’t go home until I have a conversation with Her Majesty, and she never has time for me. They’re not about to let me command a regiment, even if I’m smarter than half their section commanders. They don’t want anybody who can realm-walk getting out of their realm. All I want to do is go home to my house and get started on my work again.

[A strangled chuckle can be heard]

CG: Princess Drysi, did you have something add to that? And, Your Majesty, we try to have an open forum here; perhaps you could have your conversation with Tac right here on our radio programme!

[Audible laughter and an air of amusement permeate the room]

PD: No, no thank you; I’m all right.

SQG: While it’s true that I did intend to have a conversation with Tac, I’m afraid my schedule has been very full and….

Tac: Your Majesty, I’ve been here since Midsummer, and it’s now past Samhain and heading toward Yule. I would really like to get the hell out of this backwater realm and get back home.

SQG: I’m sure we can arrange a meeting very soon. [a brief pause] You know, you look very familiar. Are you sure we haven’t met face to face before?

Tac: Your Majesty, if we’d ever met face to face, I would already have asked you about my incarceration in your Realm and I would have asked you to let me go home.

CG: Well! It seems you two have a lot to talk about, but that’s not really the subject of our discussion today. I am sure, Tac, that Her Majesty will meet with you just as soon as she has a little time in her schedule. Princess Drysi, your hair keeps changing colour! Is that something that happens to you when you get anxious?

PD: I, well… on top of the combat training my mother has also taken a moment to teach me a little about glamouring; so far i’ve only really figured out how to change my hair.  I guess I’m so used to it now it just happens without me thinking.

CG: That’s a good trick and a great skill! No doubt many of our mortal ladies would love to be able to accomplish this. Your Majesty, how easy is for a fae to change your hair colour with a glamour?

SQG: Due to a curse I sustained years ago, I’m unable to change my hair colour. But the concept is very simple for the Fae. As we are made of magic, magic course through us. And Drysi, I remember when I first learned how to glamour clothes and nail colours and things like that: for several weeks I just kept changing them, but there was a point where it became so normal to me that stuff just kept changing on its own.

Tac: I had to learn glamour in a hurry, because when I left my home Realm, I ended up as a being who was illegal in that world, and my housemates had to teach me very quickly how to become anybody I wanted to be. [she laughs] Can you believe I went from being a massage therapy student to an archer in the Seelie Army?

SQG: Wait. A massage therapy student?

Tac: Yeah.

[There are 5 seconds of complete silence.]

CG: Davey, what can you tell us about the Sithen Rose?

TGD: The Sithen Rose is traditionally the heart of any Fae Sithin that exists within a larger Realm. The Wylds Sithen Rose needs some tender loving care, so I was summoned by Dyisi to come and create a place for it, then help get it planted in the ground.

Davey with the Sithen Rose

Davey with the Sithen Rose

SQG: Fenella. Fenella Wallin.

Tac: How the *censored* do you know that?

CG: Why don’t we take a quick break, and we’ll be back in a moment.

[Glissando]

CG: Welcome back, listeners! Well, it seems we have a few revelations today! I will look forward to getting you all back on to the show to answer some more questions and talk more about your lives in the Wylds. But for now, that’s all the time we have! Thanks so much to our guests, especially Her Majesty Seelie Queen Gwyneth, who was so kind as to come across to our studios today and bring these lovely people with her.

[Theme music]

Style Cards:

Gwyneth in the Infirmary:
Head:
Catwa Jessica
Skin: Pink Fuel Morgana Catwa Applier in Porcelain, Maitreya and SLink appliers for body and hands
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Nymph
Corset: Cila, Shara Elf of Luna, Silver *rare* (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival)
Hair: Emo-tions, Tariel
Crown: The Annex, Snow Queen Crown *rare*
Necklace: Aisling, Lavi Necklace
Wings: Remarkable Oblivion, Eternity Wings, Innocence
Boots: Schadenfreude, Amargosa Boots
Tattoo: Things, Airell
Apothecary Cupboard & Contents: Artisan Fantasy Apothecary Gacha (Available at the Artisan Fantasy Main Store)
Apothecary Chest of Drawers: PPK, Healer Small Cabinet
Apothecary Box: Artisan Fantasy, Portable Apothecary
Infirmary Beds: PPK, Healer Exam Bed

Gwyneth Meeting Dyisi and the Bandersnatch in the Bower:
Head: Catwa Jessica
Skin: Izzie’s, Catwa Taleah Applier, Frost, Maitreya and SLink appliers, Frost
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Nymph
Circlet: Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Hair: Analog Dog, Gwen
Necklace, Cae, Cernunnos
Leggings and Sweater: M.BIRDIEstory, Loozy (Available at Uber)
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Red Leather
Flower Circle: The Looking Glass, Dream Fields Circle (New from The Looking Glass)
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

The Amazing Catwoman:
Body, Hands, & Feet
: SLink Physique (original)
Hair: Elikatira, Brenna
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, November Girls’ Group Gift (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, SLink and other appliers also available there)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Mesh Eye, Deep Paris
Necklace, Otherskin, Selene
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Blue Leather
Clothing: Azuchi Archer, Shirt Pants and Vest (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Bow: Gauze, Huntsman Bow & Quiver
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

The Gypsy Davey:
Body, Hands, & Feet: SLink Physique (original)
Hair: EMO-tions, Michael
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Damien Box 5, Smoked (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, SLink and other appliers also available there)
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Eyes: IKON, Sovereign Eyes, Electric
Sweater: Body Factory, Schott Sweater, (Available at Sad November)
Jeans: Ar2 Style, Biker Jeans
Necklace: Earthstones Celtic Claddagh Necklace
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Black Leather
Rose Wall: Artisan Fantasy Wall Building Kit
Sithen Rose: The Looking Glass, Hearts Like China Roses
Surrounding Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field

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

7ds

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! 

After the First Death

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

After they left, I stood in the reception room for a long time. Just stood there. The silence that settled over the room after I gave the order seemed inescapable, as if even my breath might disrupt the quiet, the heaviness, of that moment.

He attacked Drysi. A goblin attacked my daughter. Galyanna and her Talon, Dakkon, brought the half-dead creature to me, to ask me for justice, to ask for a decision on whether he should live or die.

I asked Galyanna to tell me the circumstances under which she'd found the creature.

I asked Galyanna to tell me the circumstances under which she’d found the creature.

I asked Galyanna to tell me the circumstances under which she’d found the creature.

It seemed he had happened upon Drysi and Mikachu and had done considerable damage to poor Mika before Galyanna had arrived, attacking Drysi also in the process.

They’d tried to get some information out of him, but he knew little and when they brought him to me, he was half dead. I called for Wulfrich.

Dyisi was there, probably canoodling with Kern before this business began, but she swiftly came into the reception room to act as witness.

I heard the story. I thought, only for a second, and I looked to Wulfrich for advice. He saw my unspoken question (he always does), and he nodded.

I told them to kill him, but not to spill his blood in Faerie. I could have declared war on all the Goblin Kingdom for this breach, but I didn’t.

I ordered the taking of a life.

I ordered the taking of a life.

I ordered the taking of a life.

I ordered the taking of a life.

I can’t stop saying it, thinking it, going over it in my head. There was no other way. Had we returned him to his people, his life would have been worth only what information he could give them, and who knows what he’d know or remember in his distressed state. Better, I rationalised, that Dakkon kill him now than he be subjected to the tortures of his kith back in the Goblin holds.

I ordered the taking of a life. A life.

I ordered the taking of a life. A life.

I ordered the taking of a life. A life. A being once living is now dead because of my words, my order, my power.

A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child’s death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London’s daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

—Dylan Thomas

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Hair: EMO-tions, Genesis (new at the EMO-tions Main Store)
Skin: Pink Fuel, Sora Alabaster
Dress: Faida + Fallen Gods, Nuit Reveur Azure, Nuit Reveur Silver
Necklace: Empyrean Forge
Bracelets: Wimey
Ring: JCNY
Treehouse: LAQ
Couch: Libertine, Justine

A Beautiful Day for Fair Play

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I talk a lot about getting out of the Great Seelie Forest. It would probably be easy to get the impression that I don’t actually like my realm very much, but that would be a wrong impression. What you don’t hear about here in my little ‘blog’ (I love that word!) are the day-to-day activities that make life as Queen of Faerie a bit of a grind. Meetings, negotiations, handling wars—all that stuff is frankly very boring to me and I would rather pass it off to advisors and people who know more about these things than I do. But I do love the magic of my Realm. That’s why even when I do get out of Faerie, I tend to present most things from within Faerie, if that makes any sense.

And of course, being Queen has its advantages. My friend Kaleidos, who is a jewellery designer and a skin painter, organises a great shopping faire (you know how I love shopping faires!) that actually has a gaming theme, called Fair PlayGetting to go in to an event like this early is such a treat, because you don’t have to navigate narrow streets full of shoppers with the full power of the Shining Throng behind you. (People stare, seriously. It’s embarrassing.)

I think it’s a Fae Queen’s job to keep on top of fashion, and of course as Queen it’s not like I can wear the same dress to this month’s masked ball as I did to last month’s masked ball: people would talk. So without further ado, here are some of the beautiful things I found at Fair Play.

Sometimes, I want to be a Dark Queen.

Sometimes, I want to be a Dark Queen.

Sometimes, I want to be a Dark Queen. The Seelie have such a snooty, xenophobic reputation, and there is the obvious misunderstanding that we are beings of Good while the Unseelie are beings of Evil. That’s simply not true: I have met some truly evil Seelie Royalty in my time, and you could never, ever convince me that our former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn, was a creature of evil. My children are born of both courts, and while I see darkness in them all three, I do not see evil. Perhaps that’s because I am their mother. Or maybe I’m just an optimist. Stop laughing.

This dress is from Vengeful Threads.

This dress is from Vengeful Threads.

This dress is from Vengeful Threads, and it’s called Queen of Tides. There’s even a necklace that comes with it, built along the same theme. Now of course my fae element is water, so much of my power comes from the sea. Tides are a powerful force. As the summer begins just barely to wane, I begin to think about how I will get us through the autumn, and remembering that the sea isn’t just a summer place is a good way to start. When I find a dress like this that makes me imagine myself in some future role, or even some role I may never have but would long to have, I love finding just the right things to go with it. And lo! and behold, a mask maker called Chimeric Fashions had such a beautiful mask at this event, and it seemed to be made for this dress. It’s their Butterfly Domino mask and it’s available at the Fair Play faire in three different colours. Of course, no Fae Queen’s wardrobe would be complete without an array of wings, and these are from masterful winemaker Deviance. Amusingly, they’re called Unseelie Wings. I know I got them at a shopping faire years ago, but I think you could still find them if you wen to the Deviance store. Clutie helped me braid my hair into this beautiful style I learned from Analog Dog called Ever, and there I was, the Queen of Tides, ready to survey my realm’s rocky beaches and bleak coastlines. It’s enough to make a girl forget she’s landlocked.

Queen Of Tides

Queen Of Tides

Oh, but who is the Queen of Tides? Is she an explorer? A warrior? A sorceress? Only time will tell.

Sometimes, I feel the Wyld coursing through me.

Sometimes, I feel the Wyld coursing through me.

Sometimes, I feel the Wyld coursing through me, and that’s when I need to let my hair down (all the way down) and not worry about whether it’s just come out of a long braid and is curling in unmanageable wildness everywhere. I used to work so hard to control my hair, but now I only do this for special occasions, and letting it down is definitely my preferred method. Possibly because I’m lazy, and possibly because I love the oils Clutie finds to dress my hair. This dress, from Blue Moon enterprise, makes me want to leave my hair down, take my shoes off, and dance. I love all the names designers pick for their dresses, and this one has a personality: it’s called Asiza, and again it comes in an array of colours. This dark purple, called grape, is my favourite, and since we’re peeking in to the dark time of the year, I can tell you that it makes me think of harvest, of singing through hard decisions, of preparation but not overcompensation. In September, when the nights are still warm, I will put on this dress and go among my people with a bottle of mead and a song in my heart.

There are of course problems unique to Royalty.

There are of course problems unique to Royalty.

There are of course problems unique to Royalty. I nearly laughed my head off one afternoon when Aoibheann and I were getting ready for some event or other and I was taking hours choosing a circlet to wear. I finally settled on one, and I said, “This is a very versatile crown.” She burst out laughing at me. I’m not kidding: she pointed and everything. “Do you realise what you just said?” she asked. “Some people make these kinds of decisions about a belt, or a ring, but you have to make them about crowns.” And then she laughed some more. When I find a good circlet, I snap it up because I’m always looking for circlets and crowns that will go with a variety of gowns and levels of dressing-up or -down. Independent Objects has a booth at Fair Playand they’re offering this lovely circlet called Mearwen. It is beautifully designed, serious enough to be Queenly without being overpowering (I mean, really, you don’t want to go out without your crown if you’re a Queen, but you also don’t want to wear an intimidating mass of metal on your head if you’re just going out to water the flowers, right?). Even better, it is enchanted so you can change the colours of the jewels, and that means it will go with almost anything. I honestly had a hard time taking it off.

Speaking of different moods, sometimes I miss wearing trousers!

Speaking of different moods, sometimes I miss wearing trousers!

Speaking of different moods, sometimes I miss wearing trousers! I remember when I first came to the Lucky Leaf, all those years ago, Aoibheann being completely scandalised that a woman had shown up in the pub wearing trousers. Nathaniel loves to relate that story when he’s telling people about the mortal girl I once thought I was. Jinx makes such beautiful dresses, but I fell in love with this trouser ensemble, because these are trousers I can realistically wear in Faerie. It comes with a matching pair of shoes, but the thing I really love about it, and this is probably my long-lost LARP background talking, are all the laces! Now, if I had to dress myself every morning, they might be a bit of a pain, but my fae attendants love being able to lace me into things, and I love the luxury of being laced into things as well. It’s called Kessick and comes in six colours that could be realistically mixed and matched, since they’re all complementary. Once again, the circlet from Independent Objects is a perfect accessory for the outfit, since it’s so very versatile. Oh! And the wings! These wings don’t come from Fair Playbut they’re so whimsical and fun, don’t you think? I found them at The Fantasy Collective and had such a lovely chat with the wingmaker, La Biche, but she would not reveal to me the magical secret for making the little stars inside the wing membranes actually move! Then again, if great artisans like her revealed all their secrets, everyone would be making wings as beautiful as these. She named them, appropriately, Galaxy.

Longing for flight...

Longing for flight…

Even though I need no wings to fly, wearing wings makes me feel like more of a flyer, if that makes any sense. And our Court Skin Painter (yes, I have a Court Skin Painter!) found this beautiful design from Fallen Gods that I have asked him to paint on me again and again. It’s called Persephone. 

Kern made me choose this dress.

Kern made me choose this dress.

Kern made me choose this dress, and I’m so glad he did. At the time as we were looking over the beautiful things in the Mistique stall, I almost passed it by. But he kept pointing it out and pointing it out. “Don’t you think,” I asked, “it’ll make me look like a dancing girl?”

His reply surprised me. He took my hand (and that man’s glamour just makes a woman shiver all over!) and said softly, “My Queen, you used to dance. I used to watch you, in the mornings, dancing in the bower, every morning. Your Court duties make you forget sometimes that you are a dancer, always. And this dress will help you remember that.” So in the end I chose the Silver colour of this, Mistique’s beautiful Samina dress.

I love the detailing on the bodice, or bra, or whatever you want to call the top bit.

I love the detailing on the bodice, or bra, or whatever you want to call the top bit.

I love the detailing on the bodice, or bra, or whatever you want to call the top bit, and the little appliqué motif matches the belt beautifully. Such a lovely thing to wear, with all the hanging beaded fringes moving as I move, turning as I turn, dancing as I dance.

The dress called for a hairstyle that moved as well.

The dress called for a hairstyle that moved as well.

The dress called for a hairstyle that moved as well, and this long ponytail from EMO-tions is a favourite of mine. It’s called Mystery, and I’ve had it for some time. I come back to it again and again, and my Court hairdresser and I have several little jokes about it being that one old ponytail I just can’t seem to stop wearing. The headpiece is also from EMO-tions, a new item in their shop, and it’s called Genesis. It’s meant to go with another of their hair styles, but I think it works beautifully with this one as well. The lavender beads swing freely round my head and remind me of those long earrings I used to wear as a teenager in London.

So we came home from the Faire.

So we came home from the Faire.

So we came home from Fair Play, and we arrived back in the Great Seelie Forest just as dawn was beginning to break. I had worn the Samina dress home from the outing, and Kern was right: wearing it made me remember I was a dancer again, and so I danced the dawn in on one of our exotic Trumpet Mushrooms from the amazing home and garden designs of Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

“O sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on earth.” —Roman Paine

O sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on earth. —Roman Paine

So yes, I danced the sun up before we retired back to the treehouse for a much-desired full English breakfast (Bran does these things because he loves me!), coffee, tea, and all the promise of today. And today is a great day for Fair Play.

The Fair Play event opened today, August 1, at midnight SLT. There are so many more beautiful things there than I could possibly show off in just this one post, so expect some more goodies from Fair Play to be showcased here over the next few days (or weeks!). 

Style Card for items not specifically mentioned and linked above:
Body
: Maitreya, Lara
Skin: Pink Fuel, Sora Alabaster
Ears: Lumae, Leeve Long Ears
Ring: JCNY, Forever
The Genesis headdress is NEW from EMO-tions and available at the EMO-tions Main Store.

Location: The Great Seelie Forest, Wicked Wylds.

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

See all the photos on Flickr?

Fair Play Logo

What If….

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My children have emerged. That sounds more accurate than saying they are born, since I did not give birth to them. I merely gave life. Merely.

The night was such a blessing. Eilian and Drysi arrived talking up a storm to one another, but Bronwen was quiet and new as dew. I won’t go in to more now, because I want to believe my children are possibilities and not the shadow that pass over them from the past. I won’t.

Three Parents

Three Parents

Janus couldn’t stay away. I hope he will decide not to stay away on a regular basis. I miss him so.

After what probably seemed like a short meet and greet, Bronwen grew tired and the others were pretending not to be, so I whisked us all, the family (Nathaniel, me, Wren, Eilian, Drysi, and Bronwen) off to the tree house, where Bran made hot chocolate for everyone and we got the children settled into their bedrooms.

Poor Nathaniel was so tired out he just crashed.

Janus left through the tree roads, but I hope, I know, he will be back.

In a few days, mine and Nathaniel’s handfasting will take place.

Bran brought me a second mug of hot chocolate, and I just, I don’t know. I started thinking about my life.

“No one is ever allowed to know what might have been,” said Aslan. But it doesn’t stop me speculating about it.

What if I'd grown into one of those sassy Croyden party girls?

What if I’d grown into one of those sassy Croydon party girls?

What if I’d grown in to one of those sassy Croydon party girls? The sort of girl who doesn’t think she’s dressed without a pair of 4-inch heels and shows as much skin as possible, particularly when it’s 0°C outside.

What would she have thought about my house? “Great staircase, but you really ought to get some colour in here. You should redo this kitchen in avocado, mate.”

That.. doesn’t bear thinking about.

But assuming my life followed the same path, the path where the four of us were in that accident and only I woke up on the shores of the river…

What if I’d not grown into the person I’ve become now?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?I imagine my house-proudness, how I’d turn my magic, what little there might be of it, to the growing of herbs in the counter garden, the height of the fire.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The kind of woman who has one unbelievably beautiful necklace, given to her by a lover who left her, a thing she can’t bear to put away, ever.

A woman who remembers her old life a lot more clearly than I do now. A woman who reads in her spare time and might be instructing the children in literature, since none of them will ever be interested in cooking.

But what if the whole thing had never happened?

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I'm at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house.

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I’m at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house.

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I’m at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house. Fen is probably taking this photograph, maybe with my iPhone. I can tell because I’m laughing. Fen, Fenella, always knew how to make me laugh. And I don’t have to think about the last time I saw her, my best friend, so much blood.

I’m imagining this photo the way I used to look. So short. With my Welsh granny’s face and my professor dad’s hair, and my professor mum’s broad shoulders, and my euphemistically “child bearing” hips.

In this picture I’m happy because we are in a big, beautiful house, and oh what weird things there are on the mantelpiece, and here we are in this house, and we pretend to live here, what fun!

The next picture changes.

I am longing, all the time we're here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true.

I am longing, all the time we’re here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true.

I am longing, all the time we’re here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true. Only I know it can’t be, but what if it is? That’s how I walked through the world, before. Knowing, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was no magic. And yet not believing it.

I wonder if my children will grow up and wish for a world in which they are not magical. I wonder if that will happen.

Style Cards:

Three Parents:
Janus’ Clothes & Ears: Gauze
Nathaniel’s Clothes: Junbug
Nathaniel’s HairWasabi Pills
Gwyneth:
Body: SLink
Skin: Pink Fuel
Hair: EMO-Tions, Cersei (available at The Instruments)
Dress: Jumo: Mother Of Dragons, Gold (Available at The Instruments)
Wings: Falln, Rose Vine Wings (Orange)
Crown: Lode: Head accessory, Vesna, yellow (Rare)
Halo Headpiece: Zyn
Arm Vines: RFyre
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Lipstick: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Greedy Oranges (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Face Makeup: Madrid Solo, The Vow
Neck Corset: Silvery K

What If…
Body: SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Inu
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress and Shoes: Jinx, Gweneth, Royal Purple (Available at Fair Play!)
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

Would I… and The Sort Of…
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Motive Braid, Bangers Bang 3
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Mistique, Aurora, Red (1); and Green (2) (Available at Fair Play!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

And Into My Head… and I Am Longing…
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Bangers (with Bang 3)
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress: BMe, Fishwife Dress (Available at Fair Play!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

Location:
Gwyneth’s Treehouse in The Great Seelie Forest

Notable Props:
Treehouse: LAQ
Kitchen Decor: DDD
Mewnicorn: Quirk & Co.
Andolyls Rapunzel Tower: DRD
Wall Planeterium: Nomad

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

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