The Story of Returning

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Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it?

Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it? I remember being in university, long ago now it seems, and suddenly noticing a tree one morning. Richard and I were walking to class, and I swear, I tugged him by the sleeve and wanted to know when that tree had appeared.

“Gwyneth,” he replied, “It’s been here all along. You just never saw it before.”

How peculiar, I thought. What force of mind, memory, or nature could make me just not notice a tree? And it wasn’t a small tree, either. It was massive. People were having their lunch in its shade, sunbathing in the shadows of its branches.

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Like a place I’ve been, so many times.

Like a place I’ve been, so many times, this street should hold no mystery for me. It’s a place I go from time to time. There are shops here I like to visit, a good Turkish restaurant. Just down there, there’s a boutique that sells glorious faux fur stoles.

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I pause, sometimes, near this street corner.

I pause, sometimes, near this street corner. Sometimes, I pause to look back, wonder if I’ve missed something, shrug, move on. Sometimes, I stand here for several minutes, watching the people, the buses. It isn’t as if I have any great mysteries of life to contemplate, but I feel the need to contemplate, anyway. It might be about the dress I find myself in today, a glorious and gorgeous gown from Silvan Moon Designs. I came across a marvellous Vintage Fair, and then, softly, I found myself feeling the echoes of a different era.

I’m just starting my life on White Owl Island, and a new beginning always makes me ponder the “what ifs” of my life. It’s an exercise, I know, that leads only to dissatisfaction.

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But what have I, really, to be dissatisfied about?

But what have I, really, to be dissatisfied about? I have made my change. I have left the Wylds, and war, and mad demifae queens, and the judging eyes of the Unseelie Court.

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The future. The future is … uncertain.

The future. The future is … uncertain. But it is something I can create. Something I am creating.

And at this moment, I’m taken, as I used to be, by visions. Two visions. One is terrible: screaming people, fires, smoke. Refugees. The other….

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The other is sweet.

The other is sweet.

Style Card:
Gwyneth—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Dream (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Thaisa Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Wings: (Photos 1-5) Lassitude & Ennui, Seraphim Wings
Wings: (Photo 6) Evolved Creatures, Fae Bento Wings
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Vintage in Vogue (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Shoes: The Plastik, Filivina Heels

Gentleman in Photo 6; Nyza Stillwater

 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create a fantasy street for a single photoshoot without it!

silvan-moon-designs-logo-full   MESANGE LOGO 2017   7ds

 

Faerie By Night

I should have mentioned I’d be away. I had a lot of travel planned for May, and coming off the heels of Fantasy Faire, I had a lack of energy for most things that kept me from doing much besides sleeping when I wasn’t working. Anyway, I’m sorry. I never expected my absence to be so long.

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The Fox Gate

One of the things I’ve been working hard on over the last six weeks or so is the creation of Faerie for White Owl Island. To me, Faerie is an outpouring of the Queen’s imagination, culminating in her own personal Realm, her own Faerie. Over the next few blog posts, assuming I can stay awake and am not too exhausted from being the only White Owl Island admin who is also holding down a full time job, I will do my best to give you a sense of what this Faerie looks like, and maybe why it’s so different.

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Tower Meadow

There’s more than one Tower in the Tower Meadow. I might have a collection of them.

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The hair is from Wasabi Pills, the eyes are from Mesange, the crown is from Junbug, the necklace is from Empyrean Forge, and the wings are from Evolved Creatures.

The skin Gwyneth is wearing is from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. It’s Naomi, currently at the EBento event, which will be open for at least another week. The hair, crown and necklace are all available at Fameshed.

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Fantastic Dress is from Silvan Moon Designs!

Silvan Moon Designs never ceases to please with their lovely texturing and great original mesh. This whole outfit was put together for the White Owl Island opening beach party, which was a big success. Thanks to everyone who came out, and additional thanks to Zander Greene for giving us an amazing night full of music and fun. My fellow admins, Moxy Macbeth, Dyisi Oppewall, Kitori Unplugged, Dickensian Dreamer, and Benbold Resident have done a great job of putting things together, and I’m excited at the number of applications that have been coming in!

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Of course, with the good sometimes comes the bad….

….and it appears that FaeWatch has set up an office in Faerie. Well, if nothing else, this means Cherish Gelato will be on the trail of all your favourite Fae celebrities and scandals! Gwyneth may not like it much on an IC level, but personally, I’m looking forward to all the embarrassing things Cherish may do both to herself and others.

I’m hoping to have some more cool stuff to show you in the near future, and I’ll do my best not to be a stranger. Exhaustion is a crazy thing to feel.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Strawberry (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sheba Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Naomi, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at eBento!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Summersong (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Crown, Junbug, Crown Diadem Amethyst/Silver (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Rohanna of the Moors (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Shoes: Friday, Koko Wraps

Location: White Owl Island, Faerie.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never come back from an unscheduled blog-cation without it!

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Why I Relay

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I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction.

I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction for our special time together at the Great Faire. I wanted to show her how beautiful the memories of all the Fairelanders were when placed into a special cove. The air was alight with candles, and the roots of the trees went deep, down into the river, symbolising the depth of caring Fairelanders have for their loved ones who are suffering and memorialising those who have gone before.

This year, I have not been as present at the Faire as I have in previous years. The boys are taking over most of the merchanting duties for me now, and I admit I’ve settled nicely in the Faerie Haven at White Owl Island. It feels good to sit back and let work be done by others. But I knew I’d have to visit the Faire at least once this year, to connect with my long-time friend Dyisi and to marvel at the way the Realms shine when they are chosen to be part of the Faire.

I thought Dyisi would love this memorial spot, but instead she grew melancholy.

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“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.

“I guess I probably should,” she said, and she followed it up with some of those Greek terms of endearment she uses. I persist in thinking they are complimentary.

I said, “See how quiet it is here, but for the water, the birds. Let there be peace. You know you can tell me anything.”

“What about,” Dyisi said, “If we just break the fourth wall for a moment?”

I lifted a brow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know how you’re a character from Gwen Enchanted’s imagination?”

I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not something I usually think about.”

“Yeah, I know,” Dyisi replied. “She gets Queen Gwyneth to be her mouthpiece most of the time.”

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She put her arm around me.

She put her arm around me. “Well…” and here she paused to look up in to my eyes, above her glasses. Briefly, I glimpsed the galaxies within before she looked down again. “I, too, am a character from someone’s imagination.”

I blinked. “Not Gwen Enchanted’s imagination, I hope; that’d be… well, slightly creepy and incestuous.”

“Oh, like your desperate love for Her Majesty isn’t creepy?” Dyisi allowed herself a little laugh. “No, no; I am a character from someone else’s imagination, and she is a very good friend to Gwen Enchanted.

I rubbed my chin, shook my head. “Confusing.”

“That it is, Davey,” said Dyisi, with a sigh. “This place makes me think of the imagination from which I spring, and I’d like to tell you a story from her perspective.”

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“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

A few words from the mind behind the satyr..

First off, let me thank Gwen.. who has been an amazingly dear friend to me for years now.. for allowing me to say a few words.  Her blog has been a great source of entertainment and touching stories that is more than just a labor of love.  But an outlet for her beautiful and talented soul.  So I thank her from the bottom of my heart to be apart of not just her stories, but her life.  As well as her dear husband Joe, who also touched my life in a very remarkable way.  He is missed deeply.

There is also another woman who has been an influential part of my life, as well as having been my rock.  My mother.  She passed in June of 2013 after a short battle with lung cancer. Her diagnosis was in March of that same year.  So we did not have a lot of time in the end, and even though I am told not to have regrets, I do.  It’s hard not to, especially when her life ended so quickly.  Things I wish I could have said, wishing I could have been there at her side when she finally passed.  While I still hold to these regrets, I also look back at the life we lived.  She was an amazing woman, strength in the face of all adversities..  Be it her time spent in the Marines during Vietnam, or the life our family lived.  Her sense of humor never wavered and in that taught me to laugh when things feel hopeless.  For that, I will forever be thankful.  She also did her best to try and protect me from death, even though it’s inevitable.  This does include her own death as she insisted I stay home… three thousand miles away.  Despite my better judgement, I listened to her, because she is my mother..

Cancer is not new to my family, as it has claimed so many on my mother’s side.  Her father passing from leukemia, while lung cancer claimed her mother, aunt, and a year after mom died, one of her sisters.  Even my cousin’s little girl fought leukemia, which I can happily say she is in full remission.  At the beginning of this year, a close childhood friend had lost her battle with cervical cancer.   This monster is all too familiar to me, and so this is why Fantasy Faire has become important to me ever since I discovered it. I thank the creators and participants.. vendors and supporters..   for all that they do for the American Cancer Society.  Helping those who work tirelessly to defeat this monster so that no one else.. no more of our loved ones and own selves..  will fall into it’s clutches.

Thank you.

I’d never seen tears from Dyisi before, but now I did. And I confess I buried my face in her hair to staunch my own.

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I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together.

I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together; I shall only say that the unlikely friendship between Gypsy and Satyr—and the unlikely friendship between American expat and Seattle dilettante—continues to be a force for good in the world.

Let all your stories out. Let all your tears flow. Recognise that together, we are stronger than cancer, stronger than the losses we have sustained because of it, strong enough to go on. Those candles burn for every beloved person who has passed to the other side of the Veil, for every beloved person who wakes up to fight another day, for all of us who contribute, with our time and our money and the love in our hearts (which knows no end). 

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Catalina Staheli’s “Why Do You Relay” photo of The Amazing Catwoman, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire.

Catalina Staheli took this photograph of The Amazing Catwoman at the beginning of the 2015 Fantasy Faire, my (Gwen Enchanted’s) first year as a Fantasy Faire blogger as part of her “Why Do You Relay” series. That was the year my husband, Joe Raftery, was moved from curative to palliative care. My heart was on my sleeve then, and it is now, as well. Eight months after this photograph was taken, I became a widow. Fairelanders, one of my SL tribes, supported me through his illness. My roleplaying tribe, which includes Dyisi, whose beautiful words are above, were with me constantly. My real life family stayed by my side and have never left me. I am rich, rich in friends and rich in family. I am also rich in memories. Why do I relay? I relay because, at fifty-one years of age, I am still too young to be a widow. 

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Style Cards:
The Gypsy Davey:
Head: Catwa, Justin
Body: Signature
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bo (Guys Group Gift for April, Available NOW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Outfit: Silvan Moon Designs, The Fairelands Traveler Tunic Set (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5

Dyisi:
Body- Maitreya Laura
Hair – little bones. Chel
Ears – [][]Trap[][] Gelf Ears
Eyes – Plastik Galaxie Eyes, Arc
Hooves – Gauze
Tail – Leo Tail v5
Skin – Plastik Briane Freckled
Horns – Plastik Swyrl Horns, Ray
Top – !gO! Spring lace top 1 (Now at this month’s round of Shiny Shabby)
Shorts – L&B Swear Denim Shorts
Lip ring – .:ellabella:. Blowing Bubbles
Belly chain – .Charm. Moon
Necklace – .Eldritch. Bog Cailleach Vial
Necklace – Plastik Twiggled Necklace, silver
Arm chains – Zaara Rasksha
Thigh chains -Zaara Rasksha
Septum Ring – Zaara [Goa Party]: Baga nosering
Bracelets – Zaara [Goa Party]: Friendship bracelets
Glasses – Zaara [Goa Party]: Retro sunglasses
Bindi – ~Soedara~ Pearl Berjuang Tari

Location: Fairelands Junction, Sponsored by Ruins of Xenark Roleplay Community and designed by Saiyge Lotus.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!

A Home in Raven’s Perch

The Great Faire has opened, finally. For the next fortnight (well, nine days), I shall only be nipping home to grab important things or add new furniture to the Treehouse (there is so much to find here!). I shall tell you stories, and I shall be so many people. But today, I will let the puppeteer speak: she has some things to say to you.

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The Lady of Roses in Raven’s Perch

The Second Life Fantasy Faire is my favourite event of the year. It comes round only once, and for ten days appears like a mesh Brigadoon out of the mists, and then disappears, never to be seen again in that one incarnation. This is my fourth year of being involved with Fantasy Faire, my third year as a FF blogger, my second year as a Litfest volunteer and co-coordinator. And for the first time this year, I watched as two of the most talented people I’ve ever met, Kae Ember and LRriven, built the serene marvel that is Raven’s Perch. Kae was already a friend, but getting to know Riven has been such a joy.

I’m also fortunate to blog for the amazing and talented Bee Dumpling, who is the co-creator of the Light of Sarin gown that the Lady of Roses is wearing in this photograph. The Opal skin is by another creator I’m so honoured to blog for, 7 Deadly s{K}ins. The stunning necklace, which I’ll give you a closer look at a few photographs down the line, is from Otherskin, created by another amazing friend, Kaleidos Hope. I’ve applied a Glam Affair lipstick and eyeshadow to Izara‘s beautiful skin, but later posts will show it to you with no appliers, as it’s so beautiful on its own: I just felt the Lady of Roses needed a bit of colour in her lips particularly. This hair is from Tableau Vivant, and it’s the only thing I’m wearing that isn’t a new release for the Fantasy Faire. I will be showing you some gorgeous hair from other creators later on in this year’s FF blog series that are exclusively available at the Faire, as well.

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Here is the path into Raven’s Perch from The Hill, the hobbit sim next door (more on that later!)

Riven’s exquisite gothic cathedral-like buildings make for some beautiful skylines.

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The roofs of Raven’s Perch

And indeed, when I was first photographing the sim, a couple of days before the Faire opened, I became fascinated with the roof spires and the silhouette they created in this beautiful windlight. I’m probably not supposed to tell you this, but I was there when Riven accidentally created this windlight, and there were many oohs and ahhs and giggles and “Don’t lose that!”s. Kae and Riven have this amazing, madcap dynamic that belies the serenity of the sim itself.

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Sim Landing Point

This is the centre of the sim, the landing point, before all the signage was added. This is where you’ll land if you take this teleport to Raven’s Perch. These glowing lanterns are part of the story of Raven’s Perch, which I got to write. You can find the story in chapters if you participate in the sim hunt and find all the beautiful spaces along the way. The story of the Raven Queen and the Lady of Roses is not a happy one, but so many of the stories we tell during the Faire are not happy: we are raising money for cancer research, and all the people involved with the Faire have stories to tell, sometimes personal, heart wrenching stories, about their loved ones’—or their own—battles with cancer. Many of the things you can buy at the Fantasy Faire are full or partial donations to the American Cancer Society, and we, all of us, although we are having a great time and building and experiencing such wonderful things, are serious about raising money to fight cancer.

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The Lady of Roses

Riven’s concept for the lady of Roses was that she began as a very normal mortal girl, who befriended an extraordinary Raven Queen. The whole sim is their story. Oh! And here you can see Otherskin‘s gorgeous Trinity necklace, here pictured in gold with red jewels, The Mesange Iram eyes stand out so beautifully against the Opal skin, don’t they? And OMG, Izara! Those eyebrows! I love them!

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Path to the Lady of Roses’ ruby resting place

You’ll find this mysterious pathway somewhere on Raven’s Perch; to tell you where would spoil the joy of your exploration.

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As you approach, you can see the beautiful bower of the Lady of Roses.

Beyond her, there seems to be only the sea. You can almost feel the forest silencing around you as you enter the grove to pay your respects to the Lady.

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Beautiful, she was.

Why is the Lady of Roses memorialised in this way? You’ll have to do the hunt and read the story to find out! If Riven gives her permission, I might post the story later on in the Faire or after the Faire closes.

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Beyond the Lady’s bower, a path leads to the sea.

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Why I Relay

The day Kae showed me a photo of this memorial space on the sim, I cried. The placement of the stones, the candles, her words beneath (you’ll have to visit the sim to read that part!), such a poignant combination. Poignant not least because she added my late husband, Joe Raftery, to the memorial stone. I already felt at home in Raven’s Perch: that was the day I knew I’d keep coming back throughout the faire, no matter how beautiful everything else was, to stand here and think on the sea and the boat and the many times I played and sang “Into the West” for Joe before he died in January of 2016. His death is still so fresh in my mind, and his loss will always be a hole in my heart and my life. I cannot bring him back from the dead. But I can tell you that every Linden you donate at the Fantasy Faire could help someone like Joe. Could help someone like me. Because no one should be a widow at 49, as I was.

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The Lady of Roses at the memorial stones

The Lady of Roses also knows a little something about loss, as does her longtime friend, the Raven Queen.

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Why I Relay

We are the cure. All of us, faeries, demons, dragons, were beasts, pixies, sprites, tinies, giants, satyrs, elves, warriors, unicorns, mermaids and mermen, post-apocalyptic princesses, cait sidhe, seelie and unseelie, orcs, and dozens of others I can’t possibly list here because there are so, so many—we are all the cure. You can make a difference. I can make a difference. Our words, our pictures, the money we donate, the spirit we create, the atmosphere of inclusion and caring you will find throughout the Fantasy Faire, these are beautiful things.

Four years ago, I came to a huge shopping event with a lot of fantasy items and some beautiful, beautiful sims, and I wrote stories about Gwyneth’s rise to the throne of Faerie throughout that Faire experience. I met some beautiful people, and the next year, I got involved. Joe was right there by my side the whole time—he was even on the Skype call where Her Immortal and Glorious Fairneness, Elizabeth Tinsley, interviewed me about helping with store check-in my first year. He loved the spirit we created, and he looked forward to sharing the next year with me. But last year, he passed away, and when the Faire came round again, I experienced it as a widow, with all the memories of Joe’s vicarious enjoyment of it there in my head.

This year, the LitFest promises to be amazing. We’ve got Seanan McGuire as our Guest of Honour, and so many great writers and workshops and sim tours to be had over the course of the Faire. Seanan‘s first event will be an interview with Saffia Widdershins, on Monday, 24 April, at 1pm SLT (that’s Pacific time, so do your own maths!). We’ve also got Tales from the Fairelands being broadcast on Fantasy Faire Radio. You can hear them every four hours; they’re randomly programmed in. I was privileged to compose and record the music for these stories; the tune is called the “Storytime Waltz”. I hope you enjoy it if you hear it.

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Another view of the Rooftops of Raven’s Perch

As you can see, I really did get fixated on those rooftops!

Don’t worry: There will be plenty of the usual story posts from me as we move throughout the Fantasy Faire. I’ll have litfest news, tales from the points of view of The Amazing Catwoman and of course the Gypsy Davey, and I’m sure Gwyneth will pop her head in from time to time.

Come. Stay. Enjoy the Fairelands. Make friends. Be beautiful. Be free. Be whoever you want to be.

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Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Lenoir
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Opal, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Gown and Headpiece: Silvan Moon Designs, The Light of Sarin Gown  (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Otherskin, Trinity (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, Raven’s Perch, Sponsored by Rivendale.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!

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Some Enchanted Evening

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No matter where you are, you can make magic.

No matter where you are, you can make magic. You can be magic. Especially if you’re wearing a stunning new dress from Silvan Moon Designs (at We ❤ Roleplay), beautiful new hair from Wasabi Pills (at Fameshed), a magical headdress from Glam Affair (also at Fameshed), and this amazing Lelutka applier from Lumae (Yulia, available at The Avenue).

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This backdrop is from WetCat and Lemon.

This backdrop is from WetCat and Lemon, and you can get it at FameshedI vacillate about using backdrops in my photography, but this one has a lot of depth, and the poses are a lot of fun, though not all of them are appropriate for sexy gowns. And some of you know I might have a bit of a love affair going with lamp posts, so it only makes sense that I’d like the lamp post poses.

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I love it when designers successfully combine flexi with mesh.

I love it when designers successfully combine flexi with mesh: it means that garments move and flow. Silvan Moon Designs do such a great job with things like this. The filmy contrast of the flexi arm pieces with the close-fitting mesh design on this dress is just divine.

I did worry over what, if anything, I should put on Gwyneth’s head for this series of photographs, but then I decided that she needed something non-intrusive, something that might make one think of both winter and spring, since we’re on the cusp of those two seasons, and of course it had to be beautiful and not interfere with her hair or ears. Enter KasyaGlam Affair‘s lovely headpiece comes in three colours, and it makes me think of both roots branching out and shoots branching up.

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Here, you can get a closer look at the Lumae skin. And oh! Those eyes, from Mesange.

Here, you can get a closer look at the Lumae skin. And oh! Those eyes, from Mesange. The skin is Yulia, which is a Lelutka applier that Lumiya Rae made a while back. It’s now on offer at The Avenue at a much-reduced price, definitely worth checking out. The eyes are from Mesange‘s Mercury series, still available at Lost & Found.

I don’t know why, but even though the WetCat and Lemon Backdrop Number 1 is about as far from a posh ballroom you can imagine, I just couldn’t stop singing “Some Enchanted Evening” as I shot these photographs. So that’s why the post has such an unlikely name. And that’s what made me think to remind you that yes, magic is everywhere; and yes, you are magic; and yes, even on the coldest night of the year, you may see a stranger across a crowded room, or a parking lot. And somehow you’ll know.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Skyler (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Mercury Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at Lost & Found!)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Available NOW at The Avenue!)
Ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Indira’s Light Gown, Blue (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Headpiece: Glam Affair, Kasya (Available NOW at Fameshed!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never photograph Gwyneth in a dark back lot while singing songs from South Pacific without it!

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Once Upon a Fairy Tale…

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Yesterday, I took the Gypsy Davey to Once Upon a Fairy Tale.

Yesterday, I took the Gypsy Davey to Once Upon a Fairy Tale.

The sim, which is currently in the SL Destinations Guide, is a whimsical smorgasbord of several floating islands depicting various bits and pieces of fairy tales.

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Davey, of course, went straight for the Elven Pavilion.

Davey, of course, went straight for the Elven Pavilion, to pay his respects to the goddess and to have a photo snapped with her earthly depiction.

We then spent some time just roaming around the sim. There’s a lot to see, and no way to capture all of it in a series of photographs.

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I was reminded of all the time I spent in 2007 searching out SL Stonehenges.

I was reminded of all the time I spent in 2007 searching out SL Stonehenges. That entry is somewhere on LiveJournal, but suffice it to say I used to love finding stone circles in odd places (people’s living rooms, pubs, the backs of trucks….). It was a fun hobby, particularly back when wearing the wrong pair of shoes could result in, um. Teleportation fail ring a bell, anyone?

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Above this particular stone circle, two dragons are locked in eternal battle.

Above this particular stone circle, two dragons are locked in eternal battle. In the distance, you can see the topmost point of the Elven Pavilion. Davey thought we should at least try to scry out who would be the winner, but I, because I may be slightly more versed in Arthurian myth than he is, told him we should let it go and move on to explore other parts of the sim.

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Selfie with the Buddha?

Selfie with the Buddha? …Yeah. We arrived at an Asian corner of the sim, and Davey insisted on having his photograph taken with this statue of the Buddha. Cheesy grin, “come at me bro” pose, and all. Sometimes I don’t know what I’ll do with him: he manages to be charming throughout these juvenile flights of fancy, so it’s impossible to be angry with him, but still. I’m not sure the Buddha was all that impressed, though bless him, Davey did not try to rub the statue’s belly for luck on the way out.

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Eventually, we came upon Davey’s own people.

Eventually, we came upon Davey’s own people, in the form of a Gypsy Fortuneteller. Davey was properly respectful and asked me to hang back while he talked to the woman. Later, he explained that while business was slow for her, he didn’t want to alarm her: it isn’t every day that the presumptive King of the Gypsies, albeit from another Realm, shows up at your fortunetelling tent, you know?

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“Davey, what are you doing with that spyglass?” I asked.

“Davey, what are you doing with that spyglass?” I asked. “You aren’t even holding it right.”

He turned to me with an elongated sigh. “There are beautiful women around here,” he said. “I just know it.”

“I am not spending the day as your wing man,” I said.

“I don’t need a wing man,” he replied.

OK, that may be true, but I didn’t want him to start wooing women and getting the whole sim in an uproar. “Why don’t we go and look at the unicorns?” I suggested.

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“Look at this tiny house!” Davey shouted.

“Look at this tiny house!” Davey shouted. “Even I’m too tall for it!”

I just shook my head. At least he wasn’t horndogging.

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“You should call this one, ‘Even Unicorns Love Me!'” Davey suggested.

“You should call this one, Even Unicorns Love Me!” Davey suggested.

“Do you have to plaster on that cheesy grin every time I take your photograph?”

“Yep. Makes me look seductively sinister.”

I may have actually face-palmed.

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Airship ride

But all Davey’s bravado and silliness were knocked aside when we discovered the airship. He was silent and fascinated. And probably trying to read over this poor guy’s shoulder, but that’s a skill you learn when you spend a lot of time realm-hopping. It’s a good way to figure out where (and when!) you are.

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We loved our visit to Once Upon a Fairytale.

We loved our visit to Once Upon a Fairy Tale. It’s a great destination, and a great way to spend some time in Second Life. Of course, if you want the outfit Davey’s wearing, you’re going to have to go to We

Style Card:
Body: Slink
Head: Catwa, Justin
Hair: No Match, No Toy
Ears: Mandala: Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Don’t Speak Eyes (Omega Eye Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ivar, Earth (Available NOW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store as the GROUP GIFT for guys in February!)
Outfit: Silvan Moon Designs, Ranger of Islavare Tunic Set, Red (Available NOW at We )

Location: Once Upon a Fairy Tale.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never take The Gypsy Davey on a field trip without it!

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In the Belly

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The moment of Spring

There is a moment, no matter where I am in the Realm, a moment when I can feel the world begin to wake from dark to light. Today I was walking from the frozen lake, over the frozen ground, toward a little tea shop I like, and I saw, for the first time, grass growing through the snow. And I felt a flutter in my belly, the sure sign of Imbolg: Spring is in the belly of the world now, growing as a child grows inside its mother. Almost a secret. Almost.

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A wonder, and a secret.

A wonder, and a secret. I wonder if this is what it would have felt like, if I’d grown the children in my own belly, those first flutterings of life. I sigh at the thought of my children, all so far away from me, all so removed from my life, and all so young still. Am I wistful that I did not carry three children in my belly? Honestly, no: I am a selfish Queen. And I can say that now and not feel even the shadow of guilt: my mortal past is fading from me more quickly now that I have spent a season truly embracing winter. Why did I not do that before? I don’t know. But spring. Spring, and the promise of new life. Quiet joy, that’s what it is.

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Quiet joy, quiet wonder.

Quiet joy, quiet wonder. Just from a few blades of bare, sunlit grass. The trees springing in to life do not fill me with as much joy as this little patch of green. Because look how it has grown through the snow. Which reminds me, there will be snowdrops soon, and bluebells. And the Equinox, and the shift of power, and then, oh, then. Beltainne and two years of being handiest to Nathaniel will feel gone in an instant.

For this moment, I am content. Imbolg. In the belly. Spring in the Land’s belly, hope and warmth in my belly.

Gwyneth’s dress is the stunning new design from Silvan Moon Designs, the Lily of Hollowdell dress. It’ll be on sale soon at the upcoming Fantasy Gacha Carnival. And this amazing new skin is from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, the beautiful Zora, who will make her public debut at the upcoming Fetish Fair

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Stealthic, Summer Haze (From last month’s Hairology, probably available at their main store soon!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Zora, Cotton Candy (COMING SOON to the Fetish Fair!)
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Lily of Hollowdell in Red (COMING SOON to the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Shoes: Have Unequal, Betty Boots in White
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Fortuna Necklace (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Headchain: Lumae, Vaeri Headchain, (Available NOW on Marketplace as part of the February Buy Now Event!)
Poses: Glamrus, all from the Eletha Series.

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