The Other Side of the Forest

New Blog Headers - 9

Gwyneth:

This life of dreams will come to an end soon: I feel it, and I fear it.

I have wasted my summer, my power, wishing and hoping to be elsewhere, and now…

Now Mabon is upon me. I feel Autumn clutching at my heels with every step I walk. And the future looks darker still, but I must embrace it; it is all I can do.

Through dreams of magical lands and darkness, I can only hope to travel home, only hope to find myself where I belong.

Wherever that may be.

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There were lights everywhere.

There were lights everywhere, which was a blessing, for the land was dark and the pavement was uneven. I felt my way along by the soles of my shoes.

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And yet it was beautiful.

And yet it was beautiful. The lights in the darkness. The glittering wings. Is this my soul in autumn?

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A clock chimed. And someone called, “Sunset”!

A clock chimed. And someone called, “Sunset”!

I followed the voices.

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And found myself watching the most beautiful sunset.

And I found myself watching the most beautiful sunset.

I fancied for a moment it was the sunset of summer itself. My summer.

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My summer, gone in the next few moments. I couldn’t bear to look.

My summer, gone int he next few moments. I couldn’t bear to look.

And so I didn’t. I turned away.

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…and found myself, in broad daylight on top of a ruined castle.

And found myself, in broad daylight on top of a ruined castle.

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Wait! I know this place.

Wait! I know this place. This is the castle at the edge of Farthingdale. Their Mabon celebration must be in full swing.

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I descended the stairs. What might be waiting for me at that festival?

I descended the stairs. What might be waiting for me at that festival?

Briefly, I thought of the Wylds. My empty throne. Lord Mornoth. Dyisi. Nathaniel. All those who wait for me.

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No harm, I thought. No harm to go down to the festival, right? 

No harm, I thought. No harm to go down to the festival, right? No-one would recognise me there. I was without crown, largely without glamour, dressed like a tourist. No-one would recognise me. It would be all right.

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But then, it was morning.

But then, it was morning. A glorious, autumn morning, and I stepped from my house, greeted greeted my watch dragon (only a statue, but beautifully moulded and carved), and approached my favourite place of all.

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Just the thought of it made my lips curve upwards.

Just the thought of it made my lips curve upwards. In the middle of autumn, my power both waning and growing in a way I did not understand….

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My garden

My glorious garden. I have never been much of a plant-tender; I let the demifae take care of all that. But I do love to walk in it, small as it may seem against the massive forest of Farthingdale. It’s my space.

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I stretch, and let my wings stretch, too.

I stretch, and let my wings stretch, too. So what if the air is crisp? The plants still thrive, thanks to my fae gardeners.

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Does it look like rain?

Does it look like rain? No, no; a clear, crisp, late September sky greets me, the smell of woodsmoke from the nearby town, or perhaps the witch’s house, just behind me there in the woods.

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With a chuckle, I decide to play gardener for a moment.

With a chuckle, I decide to play gardener for a moment. They’ll laugh at me later, the demifae gardeners, the ones who actually know what’s going on in this garden. It occurs to me that they might actually get angry with me if I water the wrong thing… so instead of watering, I just dance around with the can for a moment. Oh, Gwyneth, are you a Fae Queen, or are you a ten-year-old?

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Oh, it doesn’t matter.

Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m here in my garden, and it’s autumn, and for just a few more weeks, perhaps I can still the darkness that stirs in my heart.

Style Cards:

Magical Landscape (The Looking Glass):
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Cheveaux, MO89H (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Posh Pixels, Garbo, Ocean (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Jewellery: Moondance Jewels, Alluring O’Hare Collection (Crown, earrings, necklace) (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Location: The Looking Glass

Outskirts of Farthingdale:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Berta
Clothes: Aleutia, Coco Camisole, Zeta Jeans (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Shoes: Reign, Kiko Flats
Ruined Castle: Ionic, RuneStone Castle
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Distant Town of Farthingdale: Death Row Designs, Andolys, Belle’s Town

Autumn Garden:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Amethyst (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Ayashi, Mami (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Avatar Bizarre, Tooth Fairy Gown (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Wings: Death Row Designs, Fairy Pinkset Wings
House: Schultz Bros., The Gardeners House
Dragon: Dragon Magick Wares, Happy Dragon Statue (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Garden: Love, Cottage Garden (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.

You still have one day to visit the  Spoonful Of Sugar Event! Two sims for fashion, a home and garden sim, beautiful decor, and a wonderful cause. What are you waiting for?

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never send Gwyneth on one last trip through dreamland (for now) without it!

h091016   final-poster-for-sos

 

The Amazing Catwoman: A History

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

So I had this chat with Dyisi, who is a Satyr. I’d never met a Satyr before, let alone a female one: I don’t think they really tell you about female Satyrs in school mythology, although I guess there have to be some, else where do the baby Satyrs come from? Not that you ever hear about baby Satyrs either, come to think of it.

Anyway, Dyisi had obviously been conscripted by her to tell me what a bad little elf I’d been. I listened less than patiently while she explained to me about paradoxes and some shit like that. She caught me at a bad time: after the whole ‘guard this event’ business, I’d wandered off as far into the Unseelie part of the forest as I possibly could, because I was having a problem.

See, I spend most of my life glamoured to the hilt. And all through that event, my glamour kept wavering, and it didn’t seem like there was much of anything I could do about it. After the event, I couldn’t hold it at all, so I ran off because I didn’t want anyone who was at that event, certainly not the Queen’s Consort of the Captain of her Guard, to see me as I was … as I am.

As I am. What a funny phrase that is. “As I am” has changed so much over the last three years.

My birth name is Astrid Fenella Tacey Wallin.

My birth name is Astrid Fenella Tacey Wallin.

My birth name is Astrid Fenella Tacey Wallin. My dad’s Swedish and my mum’s English. I have an older sister, Fiona. I have three  first names because each member of the family gave me one when I was born. Astrid from my dad, Fenella from my mum, and Tacey from my sister, who was three at the time and might have been trying to say “Stacey”, but nobody’s sure. Anyway, my mum  looked “Tacey” up: it is a real name, just really uncommon, and it means “quiet”. Fuck that.

This picture here was taken on the best night of my life, two weeks before everything changed. My fiancée, Kevin, took the picture. It was right after he became my fiancée. You can’t see the rock in this picture, but never mind that: he took rock pictures after we got back to his place that night.

In rock picture number one, he made me laugh.

In rock picture number one, he made me laugh.

In rock picture number one, he made me laugh. “What? I said. “You want me to just point to the ring and smile or something?” I hate it when he catches me laughing, because I don’t like how small and squinty my eyes get when I laugh, so I asked him to take another one, same pose, without me laughing.

Here's that one. I like it a little better.

Here’s that one. I like it a little better.

He is a really good photographer: he is … was … studying it in uni. I don’t know where he is now. After what’s happened to me, I can’t imagine he’s dead. But maybe he is. There was a lot of blood.

Even though it doesn't show the rock, this is my favourite picture anybody has ever taken of me, ever.

Even though it doesn’t show the rock, this is my favourite picture anybody has ever taken of me, ever.

Even though it doesn’t show the rock, this is my favourite picture anybody has ever taken of me, ever. In some pictures, you have to pretend you look good. But I think he made me beautiful in this one.

And these photos, plus my beautiful engagement ring with the amethyst and the zirconia, are the only things I have left of my old life.

It was Gwyneth convinced me to get into LARPing, and I’m glad she did, because without the LARP, I’d never have met Kevin. And I liked the dressing up bits of it. I was never into the fighting stuff: I mean, they taught me some archery once and I was rubbish, so I just never went any further with it. I was happy to be  Kevin’s wench and dress up in cute fantasy clothes that made me look prettier than I am. Sometimes I got to dress up as his slave girl: he always liked that. It was only a game, though: I’m much too cheeky to be a slave, really. And I had one useful talent: I was in massage school at the time, so I could offer massages for goods and services, which usually went over well with the kind of people you sometimes meet at LARPs—computer guys who spend their weekends pretending they’re in a fantasy novel. I know it’s a cliché, but I’m sure some of them didn’t know many girls, I guess, would be the polite way to put it.

But anyway. Gwyneth and I grew up across the street from one another, and we’ve been … we were … best friends for as long as I can remember. We went to the same school, but in secondary school we went to different places. I always knew she was way smarter than me, but when everything changed, she was in the process of becoming a university professor like her parents. And I was in massage school. I guess it was an unlikely friendship.

Enough about that, though. We were on our way home from this big LARP, the last event of the summer, put on by this huge LARP conglomerate called Shining Lands. It’s basically like a big campout, only we hate camping so we stay in the lodge, with lots of role-play and a pretend war, and lots of guys in armour they made themselves. The costumes are brill. Last big party of the event is this big charity auction to benefit Shining Lands and enable them to rent spaces and put on other events. Gwyneth always made something for it—she’s a keen knitter—and Kevin would auction off a photoshoot in character or something. Richard, I don’t know what Richard did. Emma was kind of new to LARPing and just along with us for the ride. Anyway, I’d dressed up in this metal bikini getup with a collar and armbands, and I’d got a good price for a series of massage treatments over the next six months, as long as the winner was based in London. That poor guy who spent £300 to get massages from me must have been pretty pissed off when he heard the news. And why am I even worried about him? I don’t even remember his name.

I remember being pissed off because as we got into the car Gwyneth whispered to me that Richard had (finally) kissed her. I was like, “Why didn’t you let me take a picture of it?” I was always doing that: taking candid shots of people doing what they do. I used to get lectured about bringing my iPhone into events, but fuck them. It’s play. I play with my iPhone. I didn’t have time to bitch at her, because we had to leave the carpark in a hurry or get charged more. So I pulled a pair of jeans and a t-shirt over the metal bikini and played car boot Tetris for as long as I could stand it, then just told them to throw shit in the back of the MPV and we’d sort it later. I was right pissed off that they hadn’t done the packing earlier, but blah blah blah. Nobody listens to Fen.

We were heading for the M11. We got to the merge and everything was fine. Richard and Gwyn were arguing about who got the best stuff at the rialto, Emma was reading a book, and Kevin was handling the satnav. I don’t know how I didn’t see the lorry, but we must have been in each other blind spots or something, because he barrelled in to us at full speed just as I was about to complete the merge. The MPV went over on its head and there was a shitload of glass. Kevin wasn’t moving, and I was having trouble breathing, and there was some sort of a scuffle in the back seat: I don’t know what that was about. I was trying to get the damn window down so I could crawl out, but then, I don’t know. It was like my lungs were filling up with water, and I couldn’t breathe, and then everything went dark. The last things I remember hearing were loads of car noises, honking, some sirens in the distance, and Richard screaming Gwyneth’s name over and over, telling her not to get out of the car. Then, everything went black and I felt really floaty, and I heard this voice, like in the movies when Jesus calls people to heaven or something, only it didn’t say, “Welcome my child,” or any such bullshit as that.

It just said, “Svart Alfar”.

I remember pain, like I fell on something spiky, but only bruised myself. And I don’t know how long I was out.

When I came to, I was on some kind of camp bed in a bright room—the light hurt my eyes, I remember.

When I came to, I was on some kind of camp bed in a bright room—the light hurt my eyes, I remember.

When I came to, I was on some kind of camp bed in a bright room—the light hurt my eyes, I remember.

“I think she’s coming around.” A deep voice, an unfamiliar accent.

“Pity. I was hoping she’d bought it during the night.”

“Shari, it’s a big room. We all have to share. You’re sharing it, full stop.”

There was a sigh from the other end of the room. I uncurled slowly—everything hurt—and opened my eyes.

Shari was a tiny thing.

Shari was a tiny thing.

Shari was a tiny thing—I thought even I could take her in a fight—and her room looked like some boarding school princess bedroom, with the fancy computer and the pretty pictures and the loft bed with fairy lights.

I squinted and tried to focus a little more clearly on Shari.

I squinted and tried to focus a little more clearly on Shari.

I squinted and tried to focus a little more clearly on Shari. Was she… her eyes were funny. And her head seemed too big. And she had ear cuffs on that made her ears look pointy, and her hair was half blue and half blonde. Wow, talk about your fantasists. She’d have been a big hit in LARP-land, I thought.

“Your name, Svart. What’s your name, and who do you work for?”

“What?” I continued to squint toward Shari.

“OK, let’s get some things straight, right off the bat,” Shari said.

“OK, let’s get some things straight, right off the bat,” Shari said. “This is my room. You are here because I am a nice person and I am letting you share it. That is your corner. The rest of the room belongs to me.”

I ignored the guy’s question and nodded at Shari; she seemed to have the authority, at least in this room.

“Your name, Svart.

I tried to speak. My mouth was so dry. It came out “Mumble, mumble, Tacey Willan mumble, London, United Kingdom.” My voice was getting clearer with each word. “And what the living fuck is a Svart?”

“You are, you lying sack of shit, and we need to know who you work for and how you found our safe house.”

I blinked a couple of times. The only thing in my limited field of vision was Shari and her fairy bed.

“She’s got no idea,” Shari said.

“She’s got no idea,” Shari said. She hopped off the stool and stood beneath the fairy lights. “Great, we’re in some kind of fucking soap opera where beautiful dark elf chick comes to us with no memory and ends up being the saviour of the world or something.”

A sigh from somewhere to my left. The guy again. “Shari, shut up.” He cleared his throat. “Tacey,” he said, testing the name. I never use that name, but fuck it. “Tacey, what happened? Did someone drop you here? And if you don’t mind my asking, are you a runaway slave or something?”

I actually laughed at that—my first post-wakeup laugh. “Costume,” I said. “For a charity auction.” I didn’t think he needed to know more than that. “There was an accident. I need to get back to my friends.”

“No sign of an accident anywhere around here,” said the guy. “Look, my name’s David, so now you know that. I’m the security guy here.”

I stood up weakly.

I stood up weakly.

I stood up weakly, nearly lost my balance a couple of times. “Steady there,” David said. He held out a hand for me, but I refused to take it as an afterthought: reflexively though, my hand shot out. And then I saw my skin.

“What the fuck happened?” I asked. “Am I covered head to toe in bruises?” I started looking at my legs, my feet. All this silvered grey colour, with dappling in spots, almost iridescent in the light.

“You’re a Svart Alfar, idiot,” Shari said derisively. “A dark elf.” She smirked. “And you’re illegal.”

“Illegal?” I repeated. “How can I be illegal?”

“Simple,” David said. “Svart Alfar are against the law. Too magical. All deported to Faerie sixteen years ago. Any who manage to stay here are smart enough to glamour themselves to the nines and not get caught. So how’d you do it?”

“How’d I do what?”

“How’d you find our safe house?”

I sighed. “Look, arsehole,” I said. “I don’t even know what a Svart Alfar is, and the last thing I remember was a lorry barrelling into my MPV at full speed.” I didn’t see any need to tell them the whole story.

“You know what?” Shari tilted her head, and I could sort of see some mist around her. “She’s telling the truth. She’s got no idea.”

“You know what?” Shari tilted her head, and I could sort of see some mist around her. “She’s telling the truth. She’s got no idea.”

I eyed Shari. “What are you?”

“I’m an elf, like you, only I’m a Lios Alfar, a light elf. We’re not illegal.”

I looked at Shari. I looked at myself. “So I’m fucked,” I said flatly.

“Not necessarily,” David, who looked human from what I could see under his hat, replied. “Svart have incredible glamouring powers, and we could use another fighter.”

“A fighter? I’m no fighter,” I said. “I’m a massage student.”

Once I'd stretched a bit, I realised something: I felt stronger.

Once I’d stretched a bit, I realised something: I felt stronger.

Once I’d stretched a bit, I realised something: I felt stronger. “So Svart are fighters with incredible glamouring powers.”

“That’s right,” David said. “And we’re going to get in a shitload of trouble if we do anything other than report you to the authorities, so….”

“You’re fucking kidding me,” Shari said. “You want to take in this stray?”

“Can’t hurt, might help,” David replied. “Besides, how are we going to explain we have a Svart?”

“I don’t know,” Shari retorted. “We found it in our front garden, waited overnight, then rang the authorities when the offices opened?”

“And then they’ll send her to Faerie at best,” David said. “At worst they’ll decide she’s some kind of criminal and incarcerate her.”

“I’m not looking forward to either of those options,” I said quietly. “What do I need to do to learn what I have to learn in order to survive and then get out of your hair as quickly as I can?”

And that, minus a few details, is how I became associated with House Geasan. They taught me how to hide, how to fit in, how to fight. Of course, they also sold the metal bikini for money and made me wear secondhand rubbish for a year until I got to the point where I could steal my own. I came up with the alias of The Amazing Catwoman when I first looked in the mirror and saw my eyes. It must have been that evening, or maybe even that afternoon; I don’t remember too well.

To make a long story longer, that’s why I was so worried when my glamour stopped working in Faerie.

I admit it, I became a bit paranoid, wandering around the Unseelie Forest.

I admit it, I became a bit paranoid, wandering around the Unseelie Forest.

I admit it, I became a bit paranoid, wandering around the Unseelie Forest. I kept waiting for other Svart Alfar to jump out of the woods and claim me or take me hostage, or something.

Let's just say I didn't let go of that awesome spear Wulfrich issued me with.

Let’s just say I didn’t let go of that awesome spear Captain Wulfrich issued me with.

Let’s just say I didn’t let go of that awesome spear Captain Wulfrich issued me with.

And after my talk with Dyisi, I don't think I wanted to see anybody, not for a few days at least.

And after my talk with Dyisi, I don’t think I wanted to see anybody, not for a few days at least.

And after my talk with Dyisi, I don’t think I wanted to see anybody, not for a few days at least. So I spent my time in the forest, hunting and fishing, avoiding contact with various Fae, none of whom looked much like me or reminded me of any of the stories David and Shari and the other eight people (eight!) who lived at House Geasan told me. The one thing they did tell me was to avoid the Sidhe at all costs. And this Realm of Faerie? Is lousy with Sidhe. Half the people at that dinner were Sidhe, and I barely got a glimpse of Queen Gwyneth. How odd that a Fae Queen would have the same name as my former best friend who is probably dead or God knows where right now. What I do know is that Sidhe, particularly Royal Sidhe, are not to be trusted as their stock in trade is using other Fae races for their pleasure. Despite the fact that we Alfar have been around for much longer than the Sidhe, they seem to have made it to the top of the Fae food chain and are the unquestioned leaders of Faerie. Probably, I’ve heard it said, by stepping on the backs of the Lios Alfar. 

And of course I'm stuck in this realm because *she* detected something out of whack when I landed on her altar.

And of course I’m stuck in this realm because *she* detected something out of whack when I landed on her altar.

And of course I’m stuck in this realm because she detected something out of whack when I landed on her altar. Which means that sooner or later she’ll want to meet me and probably question me, and mark me as an Enemy of the State or something.

In the three years I’ve been doing jobs for and with House Geasan, I’ve never met another Svart Alfar. At this point, I think I’d probably drop dead if I did meet one.

So after three days in the Unseelie Forest, I returned to Captain Wulfrich. I expected punishment; instead I got a hearty clap on the back and a “welcome back”, and a “hope you enjoyed your time off hunting; we’ve got a new job for you.”

It seems there is some trouble with the Goblin Kingdom, so they have me guarding this bridge between their Mallorn Tree and the Seelie Lands.

It seems there is some trouble with the Goblin Kingdom, so they have me guarding this bridge between their Mallorn Tree and the Seelie Lands.

It seems there’s some trouble with the Goblin Kingdom, so they have me guarding the bridge between their Mallorn Tree, which even in Alfar lore is the centre of a Faerie Realm’s power, and the Seelie Lands. I’m swapping off with six other guards, all of whom are men, all of whom are taller and lighter than I am. Four of them make fun of my ears constantly; the other two are afraid of me. I don’t even know their names.

I'm spending my days doing battle exercises and getting used to the very weird concept of swordplay in a skirt.

I’m spending my days doing battle exercises and getting used to the very weird concept of swordplay in a skirt.

I’m spending my days doing battle exercises and getting used to the very weird concept of swordplay in a skirt.

I’m a little bummed about not being able to carry my spear while guarding, but Wulfrich says it’s safer to have a sword and a shield, so he’s the captain.

And no more of that gold and blue velvet nonsense: I’m in good battle armour, not the kind I used to wear in LARPs, which basically said, “Come at me, monsters! I shall vanquish you with my baps!” with the stag insignia of Queen Gwyneth’s Guards.

Sooner or later, I'll have to meet the Queen.

Sooner or later, I’ll have to meet the Queen.

Sooner or later, I’ll have to meet the Queen. And of course they all talk about her as if they’re in love with her: the rumour is that Sidhe Queens have this almost hypnotic influence over their subjects. I hope very much that one of the great unknown powers of the Svart Alfar is that we are immune to such tricks, but I somehow doubt it: if that were true, we’d be at the top of the Fae food chain, and not the Sidhe. Of course, they also say this Queen is different from other Sidhe Queens in that she accepts everybody on their own terms, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Every brush I’ve ever had with Fay Royalty over the last three years has led me to believe that none of them can be trusted, no matter what they tell you.

I can’t decide if I want to meet the Queen and get sprung from this Realm as quickly as possible, or if I want to put it off for as long as possible. I guess til that day comes, I’ll just stay here on this bridge, where nothing seems to be happening, squinting against that goddamn blinding tree, and thanking all the gods that leather, at the end of the day, is pretty good at absorbing perspiration.

Style Cards:

Fenella in London/Rock Shots
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Michelle (Exclusive for The Lexi Project!)
Hair: Exile, Under The Sun
Eyes: Dulce Secrets, Terra Firma Eyes, Hydrangea (Available at Designer Showcase!)
Lipstick: Dulce Secrets, Bee Stung Lipstick (Available at The Makeover Room!)
Dress and Shoes: Posh Pixels, Punkette (Available at Marvelous Monthly!)
Bracelet: Earthstones, Mesh Squared Bangles
Necklace: Maxi Gossamer, Clockwork Steampunk Heart
Necklace: Tantalum, Ultra Rare Steampunk Book Necklace
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Fenella Waking Up at House Geason
Body: SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth
Hair: Exile, Letters And Lipstick
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Metal Bikini, Collar & Bracelets: Una Medieval, Irelia Silver
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Shari at House Geason
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Michelle (Exclusive for The Lexi Project!)
Ears: Mandela, Steking Ears, Season 5
Hair: Elikatira, Gia
Eyes: Boudoir, Fairy Eyes
Necklace: Ellabella, Magi Necklace
Top: Serendipity, Secrets of the Ancient Dragon (Available at the Hidden Sanctuary Event, The Ancient Ones Return)
Jeans: Evilkyoot, Express Jeans
Boots: Ison, Cult Riding Boots, Black

The Amazing Catwoman in the Unseelie Forest
Body: 
SLink
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Hair: Calico, Quinn
Clothes: Blue Moon enterprise, Celtic Breeze (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Spear: MacMoragh & Muse, Obara’s Spear
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

The Amazing Catwoman Guarding the Bridge
Body: SLink
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth
Eyes: 
Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Hair: Calico, Quinn
Outfit: Phunk, Princess Warrior Armor, Sword, Shield & Boots
Brooch: Miamai, Game of Thrones House Emblems, Baratheon (rare)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

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

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A Day (Off) in the Life of Queen Gwyneth

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I got a good night’s sleep. In  the Treehouse, I’m protected from a lot of the things that go on down in the Great Seelie Forest and farther away in the Fae Realm, but still sometimes my dreams are plagued, whether by my busy mind trying to wind itself down, some portent or other, or memories of Gwythyr, I do not know. But last night, everything was fine.

I can make my own coffee, thank you...

I can make my own coffee, thank you…

“I can make my own coffee, thank you,” I said to the ever-present Bran, my long-standing friend and the Steward of my House. He actually seemed a little disappointed. “It’s all good,” I said. “I promise you can make it tomorrow; it’s just that today I do not have very much to do, and I’m planning on a long, lazy morning.”

He smiled then, made his own cup, and sat down to enjoy the morning sunlight in our beautiful kitchen with me. We talked of nothing much; topics seem to ebb and flow when I talk with my old friends, even if they seem to be servants to the outside world, they’re my household, my roots, the branches upon which I build my world.

Once the mist had burned off and the day became warm, I thought I’d go down into the ballroom and do some dancing in the sun: Kern’s timely words have reminded me of the joy I take in dancing, and so this morning I took full advantage of my time and stole away down into the forest, into our beautiful dancing grove.

I don't remember being a dancer in my old life.

I don’t remember being a dancer in my old life.

I don’t remember being a dancer in my old life. I mean, there were dances at LARPs, called dances with a band and sets of four or six or eight, usually bumbling twenty-somethings who’d had too much to drink. Ah, listen to the way I talk about them now, as if they’re children. I was a child then, too. And of course there are those here who say I am still a child and not fit to rule this Realm I made with Janus, My King. How I miss him. How I miss the energy between us. When I am dancing, that’s when I think of him most. How we danced, that night that seems a lifetime ago. How we moved with the earth and the earth moved with us. How the trees sprang up around us to create our forests and fields and rivers. Yes, I miss him. So much.

“You’re a fine sight.” And there was Clutie, interrupting my reverie.

“You’re a fine sight.” And there was Clutie, interrupting my reverie.

I stopped in mid-twirl. “What do you mean by that?” I admit that I am not always the kindest person when interrupted.

“Here you are, dressed up like one of us, dancing your feet off in the middle of the morning,” she replied with no little touch of scorn. “I think you long for a simpler life. I think you want to give up the crown sometimes, stop being a Sidhe, and come into the True Magic.”

The True Magic is how the demifae sometimes describe their world. It’s true, they are the most powerful glamourers of all of us: the way they can twist and change things with mere thought or touch has always fascinated me, and I wish I had that level of magic. “But how,” I said, “would I do such a thing?”

“You couldn’t,” she said dismissively. “But you want to. Sometimes I think you just want to play all the time.”

“Doesn’t everyone?” I started into another stretch.

“No,” she said flatly. “Most of your kind, they take their responsibilities seriously. You just hand it all off to Wulfrich, or Bran, or even me. So you can play.”

I was, I admit, affronted. “Fine,” I said. “I’m irresponsible. Got any other sage advice for me, Miss Clutie?”

She was quick to apologise. “I did not mean to offend, My Queen. It’s just that sometimes…” she sighed. “Sometimes I miss Saone’s brilliance, her implacability. You have so much growing to do yet.”

I suppose it is an illustration of my immaturity that I didn’t take her words very well. “Fine,” I said again, and it was one of those woman-style ‘fine’s, the sort of word that dismisses everything. “Fine, I’ll go do something grownup.”

I heard her giggling after me. It felt like a reproach.

In fact, I didn't do something grownup. Well, not very grownup.

In fact, I didn’t do something grownup. Well, not very grownup.

In fact, I didn’t do something grownup. Well, not very grownup. I glamoured myself into a human shape and went to New York City. Because walking around the City makes me feel free and untethered. Yeah, not very grownup at all.

And where did I end up? Well, it's a place I always go, eventually.

And where did I end up? Well, it’s a place I always go, eventually.

And where did I end up? Well, it’s a place I always go, eventually. There is a gallery in New York where many glamoured Fae show their artwork, and sometimes they even sell a few pictures to the people. I stood outside the gallery, as i always do, wondering if I”d have the courage to go in today, speak to the docent, see what I’d have to do to maybe get one of my pictures onto one of those walls.

Everyone says I should do it.. Would today be the day I'd finally go in?

Everyone says I should do it.. Would today be the day I’d finally go in?

Everyone says I should do it. Would today be the day I’d finally go in?

I mean, what am I really afraid of? That someone will say ‘no’ and I’ll realise my pictures are just pictures and not really art at all? Or that someone will say ‘yes’ and then there’ll be that terrible waiting feeling, wondering if anyone will buy a picture, wondering if anyone will review my work and find it wonderful or wanting? In the greater scheme of things, how can it affect me, a rejection or an acceptance, from my protected Treehouse all the way in the Wylds, the heart and soul and back forty of Faerie?

No, not today.

No, not today.

No, not today. I sighed as I turned, looked into the gallery’s bright window one more time, spent an hour or so dithering over jewellery and buying nothing; the necklace and earrings I was wearing garnered more interest from the sales clerk than anything I ran my hands over in this or that 5th Avenue shop.

By the time I got home, it was early evening and the servants were preparing for the now-traditional evening meal that Nathaniel and I take with all four of the children.

But I called him home early, sent a will o’ the wisp to Mysthaven, said I needed him, could he please come? I knew he would.

“No, no, Bran; I’ll get the door when he arrives.”

“No, no, Bran; I’ll get the door when he arrives.”

Bran lifted a brow at my outfit. “I see Her Majesty has some plans for the early evening. Shall I tell the children that dinner’s a little late this evening?”

I smiled; Bran always knows what I’m thinking even when I don’t take the time to make it obvious as I did today. “Yes; tell them eight o’clock,” I said as I checked the big hallway clock; it was barely four. “I think that’ll give us plenty of time. And don’t let Eilian at the wine, please.”

“Goes without saying, Your Majesty,” Bran replied smoothly. “Ah—I hear footsteps on the bridge. Shall I leave you to it?”

“Yes, please,” I replied.

“Yes, please,” I replied. And there, the sound of the door opening and my beloved’s booted footsteps in the foyer. “Hello, my love.”

Style Cards:

Making Coffee:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hair: No Match, No Trouble
Lingerie: Morea Style, Adley White
Kitchen: DDD, Olde Cottage Hearth

Dancing Fae:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hair: No Match, No Trouble
Dress, Wings, Circlet: Posh Pixels, Moondance Fae, Lexi Project Exclusive (Available at The Lexi Project—100% of purchase price goes to a very good cause!)
Ballroom: The Looking Glass, Enchanted Ballroom

New York City:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hair: Doe, Summer, Seed of Inspiration (Available at the Gacha Garden Event!)
Shirt: Milk Tea, Love Bunnies (the dark touch) (Available at The Lexi Project—100% of purchase price goes to a very good cause!)
Jewellery: Glint, Sleeping Love, Arctic (Available at Sneak Peek!)
Jeans: Like Design, LaLa Cuffed Jeans, Black
Location: Hotel Chelsea Sim, New York Cit

Burlesque Queen:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), K’leesish
Clothes, Shoes, Posh Pixels, Burlesque Collection, Amore (Available at Sneak Peek)

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

This is my first post for We Love To Blog! I’m excited and honoured to be included in this group, and I look forward to bringing you many, many beautiful looks and styles from the great creators who are part of We Love To Blog!

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