Through Ishtar’s Gate

Through Ishtar’s Gate, the streets of Midas beckon us:
We venture in to Babylon Unfallen.

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Why not dance upon a lion?

Gold sunlight fills the squares, and the shadows
Are complements, and not for hidden things.

Here, walking is flying; why not dance upon a lion?
Why not worship with mosaics for a day?

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Why not become a statue?

And if the mood should take you, why not now become a statue
On a pedestal that seems reserved for you?

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See through the glass of marble

O Babylon, we see you through the glass
Of marble, ancient tells, made-over tales

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O Babylon

But sing Inanna’s scion consecrate
And watch: The myths return through Ishtar’s Gate.

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Through Ishtar’s Gate

Style Card:
Items Featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Fallen Gods, Blessed by Ishtar, the 2019 limited edition Awakening skin (Fallen Gods on Midas!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, The Feyre Fairy Dress (Evie’s Closet on Midas!)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails: Butterfly Fantasy Nails (Dark Passions on Twilight Spring)
Other Stuff:
Stealthic’s Dawn Hair
Izzy’s Sparkle Eyes, Lipstick and Makeup
Egosumaii’s Fae Wings
Hope’s Creations Arran Tootsie Bows
Musu’s Glitter Bomb Maitreya Body Glitter
Maitreya Lara Mesh Body
Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Slink Pointe Mesh Feet (People should make more shoes for pointes!)

Midas is one of the sixteen regions that form the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, sponsored by Fallen Gods and designed by Alia Baroque. Step into ancient Babylon and visit Midas before the fifth of May, 2019!

The Stained Glass Grove

I love winter time. I know as a (mostly) Seelie Queen I may not be meant to say that. But it’s true. Being Queen in winter used to scare me: I spent my first winter as Queen asleep (I kid you not). Now that I’ve settled in to my role, or, I suppose, created it, I am more used to the changes that happen to me in the autumn and winter, particularly as the Wheel winds down after Samhain. In years past, the changes have mostly been to mood and attitude: this year my appearance and most notably my hair colour has changed with the seasons. I have been a dark brunette since sometime in November, and just today when I awoke, I noticed a few strands of grey. Who knows what will happen to me over the next few weeks?

Faerie, as you may already know, is made of magic. You may turn a corner one day and find yourself in a massive library; the same turned corner just hours later might bring you into a grove of dancing demifae who … may not have your best interests in mind. Particularly as the year grows old, it is wise to be cautious.

Yesterday I turned one of those corners and found a portal almost identical to the one that stood in the White Owl Island city park and served as a quick coming and going tool for those who could use it. I glanced around to make sure nobody was watching, and I simply stepped through.

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I stepped through the portal

Now, I know I’ve just got done telling you to be cautious in Faerie in the wintertime, but there’s a certain lack of fear that comes with being Queen. Now that I am no longer pursued by him who was once the Unseelie King of the Wylds, I feel more confident about almost everything, and if I’m honest, not much surprises me any more.

The little pocket Realm I found myself in was completely bare of Fae, Mortals, magical creatures of any kind. I saw a horse and a couple of deer, but the moment I entered the Realm, I felt that unwavering sense of quiet that comes after a heavy snowfall. Have you ever been in a forest after a snowfall? It’s as if the whole world is covered with a blanket. Sound is muffled. What you do pick up on are details: your breath, water dripping, leaves shifting. Oh, it was wonderful to feel utterly and completely alone: I am rarely alone, particularly now that Awenia is coming alive with holiday tourists, Fae and mortal alike. Angharad does a good job, but she’s young and needs guidance. Luckily, I don’t have much to worry about, security-wise: Tac, Wulfrich, and Davey need no supervision, even if Tac still kind of hates reporting to me. But there are always questions and plans and events at which I must put in an appearance.

You see? I can’t even describe a quiet haven without thinking about all the things I have left behind in Awenia. But looking out into this simple and beautiful Realm made me want to forget it all, and it was all about the trees. I was glad that I’d worn a suitable winter gown: its high neck and fitted sleeves kept me comfortable even though it must have been cold. Even though I could warm myself with magic, I am reluctant to use too much energy changing the environment.

I love trees: we know that. Trees of all descriptions and sizes. But the copse of trees I saw when I came through that portal made me catch my breath.

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Stained Glass Trees

There were other trees in the tiny Realm, of course, but nothing I’ve ever seen compared to these. Their plain, straight trunks weave into twisted branches reminiscent of wrought iron. And the leaves. They were like perfect, translucent stained glass cutouts of leaves, even when some of them fell from the branches.

One wonderful thing about living in a Realm that’s not deathly afraid of technology is I always have my iPhone with me, and it’s got a great camera on it. (Bran would disagree, but he’s so far down the DSLR rabbit hole I have to pull him out forcibly to get my tea sometimes.) I did get some photographs of the trees, but I’m sure I did not do them justice.

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Look at those perfect leaves

Look at those perfect leaves: I’d never seen anything like it. Perhaps next time I come to this Realm (I marked it so I can make it back), I will ask the trees if they mind me taking just a little cutting from each of the different colour varieties, because I would love to have these in Awenia for the springtime—and all the other seasons as well.

And of course, you know by now that I can’t ever just stand back and watch anything: I have to go into it, experience it. So that’s exactly what I did.

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Magical Grove

This place brought new meaning to the term, “Magical Grove”, where we of the druidic persuasion worship the old gods and make new magic.

As I walked into the silver grass that filled the tree meadow, it began to snow softly. All I wanted to do was look up at those leaves against the nearly-white overcast sky, and even though I got a little snow on my eyelashes, it was all right. It was more than all right; it was bliss.

Next time I come here I’ll bring along a nice thermos of tea, and maybe one of our Fae horses so she can enjoy the meadow as well.

Style Card:
Beautiful Winter Gown: Antaya, The Lamia Gown (Now at the Winter’s Hollow event.)
Crazy Gorgeous Stained Glass Trees: Rivendale, Stained Glass Trees (in three colourways, also at Winter’s Hollow.)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Crown and Antlers: Purple Moon, Ice Queen Crown and Antlers
Hair: Stealthic, Summer Haze
Skybox Environment: IrrISIStible, Never-ending Winter Mesh Skybox
Portal: Spell, Portals to other dimensions
Poses: An Lar

Thinking of a Place

Sometimes, thought is everything.

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Light = Dark

I’m moving through the dark
Of a long black night
Just moving with the moon
And the light it shines
And I’m thinking of a place
And it feels so very real
Just moving through the dark

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Once I had a dream

I’m moving through the dark
Of a long black night
And I’m looking at the moon
And the light it shines
But I’m thinking of a place
And it feels so very real
Oh, it was so full of love!

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See it through my eyes

Lead me through the light
Pull me from the water
Hold my hand and something turns to me
Turns me into you
Just see it through my eyes
Love me like no other
Hold my hand and something turns to me
Turns me into you
Turn in me
Into you

Lyrics excerpted from The War on Drugs, “Thinking of a Place”. (YouTube link follows credits)

The dress and necklace in this post are both items featured at The Spoonful of Sugar Festival,a charity event benefiting Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders provides medical aid to vulnerable people and in crisis situations. There’s a lot to see over the six regions of the Festival, but you have until the 30th of September to see everything. So pace yourself, and don’t forget to bring enough L$, because there are many places along the way to give your support to Doctors Without Borders, including five shopping regions.

Spoonful of Sugar Featured Items:
Necklace: DCKM, Sugar Spoon Necklace
Dress: Mishmash Fusion, Starry Night Beach Dress

Full Credits:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Cate Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Friday (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Eyeshadow and Lip colour: Izzie’s, Glitter Makeup
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Hair: Stealthic, Fleeting (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Headpiece, Lode, Marigold Wreath, Dark Berries
Nails: Cazimi, August VIP Nails
Photo Box: FoxCity, Cloud 9 (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

 

Don’t Go Into the Basement!

I vaguely remember this phrase as something we used to yell as primary school kids when we were watching one of those ridiculous horror movies where the characters do all the stupid things, like split up, follow the scary sound, and of course, go into the basement.

If only I had thought of that bit of wisdom before I got it into my head that I should explore the Castle’s basement yesterday.

Of course, it’s my castle, but I haven’t bothered to enter every single room: that would take me a month! I’m much too busy with realm building right now, anyway, but yesterday I had a few quiet hours, and so I went down into the basement, marvelled at the glorious kitchen that Bran has put together, and began checking what all was in the various basement rooms. One was empty—maybe I can convince Nathaniel to us that one as a workshop so I don’t have to build him a man-cave as an outbuilding. Another was clearly a pantry, stocked floor to ceiling with stuff that is apparently very important for the smooth running of a castle.

But it was the third room I entered that gave me a bit of a turn.

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I entered some kind of a workshop.

It was some kind of a workshop. Only the weird kind, not the kind Nathaniel would have. It was full of things that resembled robotic body parts.

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Wing models?

If I had to guess, I’d say these were models of some kind of steampunk-y wingcraft. But I didn’t have to guess, and besides, that wasn’t the weirdest thing in the room.

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The walls were covered with weird prints.

The walls were covered with weird prints, some disturbingly of human anatomy. But it was the shelf full of various body parts made of metal that really got me. Arms, legs, even a face. Where was I?

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Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!

“Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!” Not that I usually talk to wall paintings, mind. The room was just creepy enough that I thought she might answer. But, no luck.

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I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf.

I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf. Well, if you didn’t count the body parts, that is.

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Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working.

Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working, including a glowing hand made of metal. Did I even want to know? I certainly didn’t go delving into the little mini-file that was on the desk. I had no desire to know what someone who had a shelf of metal body parts might consider “odds” and “ends”.

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This mechanical heart was pretty despite its creepiness.

There was one thing that was pretty despite its creepiness. On the back of the desk was some kind of mechanical heart. And although I couldn’t see any way for it to be turned on or off, the gears were all moving. It also had an eerie blue glow about it. I wondered how it was made, and indeed, why anybody would make such a thing.

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Extra gears?

At least one of my questions was partially answered: there was a sheet of parchment upon which had been placed a variety of metal gears. I guessed that at least some of these would find their way into other hearts at some point? I glanced back at steampunk brain girl. Maybe they would find their way into some metal steampunk robot person’s brain? I shuddered.

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Finally something that didn’t creep me out!

Well, hello! As I turned from the desk, suppressing a shudder at the anatomical charts on the wall—one of them was just a bunch of surgical instruments. I mean, really? Who wants that on their wall?—I saw something I’d only ever seen before in pictures. An original Macintosh computer, complete with cheery hello screen. An ancient Mac, still running. At least whoever put together this macabre little workshop had some good taste inside them. It was rather odd, I thought, that there was absolutely nothing else on the computer desk. Almost like whoever hangs out here really didn’t spend much time at the computer. Then again, we’re talking about a machine with 128K of RAM that shipped with only a 3.5″ floppy drive for storage. Can you imagine?

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I thought, briefly, about just taking it.

I thought, briefly, about just taking it. After all, it is my castle, and whoever put all this stuff in here obviously did not go through Bran or me for permission. Perhaps Nathaniel authorised this? Of course, anybody who collects and presumably tinkers with stuff like mechanical hearts and glowing metal hands might not be kindly disposed to someone liberating their stuff, even if someone is the Queen.

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Well bloody shaken

I was well bloody shaken by the whole experience, even though I doubt I was in that room for more than five minutes. And I didn’t look back when I left: I’ll have nightmares for a week about that disembodied metal hand.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bloom (Bloom is this month’s group gift at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Clothes: Sorumin, Modern Princess Gacha (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Reign, Ballet Flats, Thigh High
Hair: Stealthic, Haven (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Necklace and Armlets: RealEvil Industries, Anabella Set (Available NOW at Fameshed!)

Location: The Castle, Awenia
Building: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available at the Rivendale Main Store!)
Everything in the workshop that is not a print, a chalkboard, or a Macintosh: Rivendale, Tinkertopia Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!) See below for specifics of the gacha pieces.
Lonely Little Macintosh: Insurrektion, Back to the 80s Gacha

Tinkertopia SL

 

 

A walk in the Garden at Storybrooke

My disturbing dreams continue.

I am so angry with Father I could just spit!

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So Very Angry.

So very angry. He has all this land, all this Land of Ronaofa, and I am his only child, biology notwithstanding. He has adopted no one else, and I am old enough now to take a husband and begin a household of my own.

Father’s dislike for Nathaniel has softened over the years but never completely gone away, even though he has come to respect my intended more and more as a scholar. So his decision to purchase a home for us in a faraway Realm, in some huge city, feels like a slap in the face. There is no political advantage to this move. We could do so much good work here in the libraries.

I couldn’t look at him after this pronouncement. It was so unfair! As if my own father doesn’t want me near him any more. So instead of staying to fight with him, because I’m not a bloody teenager any more, I went off for a walk in Storybooke Gardens.

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The perfect house

Of course, it was just my luck that I came upon the perfect house about ten minutes in to my walk. I was just beginning to feel better, too.

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Heart on the door

It even has a heart on the door! When I think of a place like this, and then compare it to some dingy high rise in a city I’ve never even been to? I just want to scream. Right. Right. Breathe, Gwyneth; Breathe.

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Storybrooke Gardens

I walked away from the beautiful house to view it better from a distance. Storybrooke Gardens is one of my favourite places to spend time when I need to clear my head. Valene brought me here many years ago with some of the kittens, and I’ve always loved it.

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I won’t dwell on my anger.

I won’t dwell on my anger. I’ll just enjoy this day, this walk, the way this new Silvan Moon Designs gown floats around my ankles, and I’ll find some beautiful things to look at.

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I asked a friendly-looking mushroom where I should go.

I asked a friendly-looking mushroom where I should go. Well, I mean, he was smiling. That’s friendly, right? Right?

His voice was whispery and wispy, and the only word I could make out was “Alice”. That was a good shout: I remembered there was a part of the Gardens dedicated to Alice in Wonderland, and who doesn’t love Alice? I thanked him and moved on.

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What a beautiful, whimsical place!

What a beautiful, whimsical place! There were little statues of frogs and bunnies and playing cards—something new everywhere I looked. I could stay here for a while, I think.

So I did. I sat down at the table and pretended to have tea with the Queen of Hearts, possibly to convince her to cut off Father’s head. That was satisfying.

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Eventually, it was time to return.

Even so, I knew I’d have to go back to Ronaofa and either speak to Father or ignore him until dinner time.

I chose the latter. It’s summer: dinner won’t be for hours.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Focus (Available NOW at Cosmetic Fair!)
Eyebrows: Ottilie, Tomie Brow (Available on 5 August at The Floating Market Event!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Arte, Reborn Eyes
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Penelope Gown (Available on 7 August at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Necklace: Baiastice, Boudicca
Circlet: Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Hair: Stealthic, Cadence

Location: Storybrooke Gardens

Quiet Night

Sometimes, I just want to look at things, you know?

And that REM song, Nightswimming, has been going through my head, for hours.

I’m thinking of all those refugees, of the threat against us from Homines Soli. It seems even the quietest Haven has its periods of unrest. And I feel we may be heading in to one of those.

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Just when I didn’t want to be a Queen any more.

Just when I didn’t want to be a Queen any more. Luckily, my duties on White Owl are largely ceremonial– or at least they have been up to now.

And while I know my magic works here, I have not tested it. And there’s just something about the Island that is making me feel … hm, unsettled, I guess? now. I am spending a lot of time in Faerie, watching it build up around me. Must let Teri know that laboratory seems to have appeared up on the western pathway, see if she still wants to test her inventions against Fae energy.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
Still it’s so much clearer….

I remember wandering around Gram’s place in Aberystwyth singing that to myself when I was a kid. The words mean a lot more to me now. Contemplation, reflection, readiness.

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But what’s it all for?

But what’s all for? For what am I readying myself now? And my quiet life, my quiet night. I love it, but I fear it will not last.

Here’s another great Hair Fair 2017 hair, this time from Stealthic. More information in the style card below!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Stealthic, Genesis (Available NOW at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Era Eyes (Available NOW at  We ❤Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (Catwa applier)
Wings: BareRose, Lace B Wings (Bento!)
Dress: Junbug, Belle (Available NOW at  We ❤Roleplay!)
Crown: ChicChica, Temperance Coronet
Backdrop: Death Row Designs, Studio Set Gacha, Castle

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never post vague dire omens about White Owl Island without it!

HF 2017 logo - 1   lumae-logo   MESANGE LOGO 2017

 

Blink, and you could miss it….

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This month’s GENRE theme is Victorian!

There is always so much going on! If you’re not careful, you could miss stuff. For example, this month’s GENRE theme is Victorian! Genre is one of those events that has been going on for a few years and has had a few spikes and dips, but the last couple of months have been amazing. Last month was Viking, and I forgot to tell you about it, or I had too much other stuff to talk about, or my work schedule got out of hand (likely), so I didn’t get around to that. This time around, I promised myself I’d talk about Genre. I also haven’t got a chance to talk very much about what’s happening at Hairology this month, so I want to show you three different outfits in this post. Don’t worry: I do have an epic story post coming, hopefully tomorrow! But tonight is all about Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion!

This dress is Senzafine‘s Zenobia gown, and her textures are really striking, no matter what colour you choose. I can never choose, so I tend to fatpack her gowns, but that’s because I have a hard time with, you know, choices.

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Here, you can see a glimpse of the bodice detailing.

Here, you can see the glimpse of the bodice detailing; I love the smocking on the front. The skin I’m wearing is another of the new offerings from 7 Deadly s{K}insIzara has really hit it out of the park for the SL Skin FairMaliThe skin is built around 7 Deadly s{K}ins’ new body appliers, and they are so easy to use. Mali is a Lelutka face applier. I kept Gwyneth a redhead for this post, because I love the red eyebrows on this skin. The freckles are also great.

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Stealthic hair from Hairology!

The hair here is Stealthic, for Hairology, which closes in a few days. The hairlines and textures on Stealthic‘s hair have been impressing me since I first discovered them at the 2015 Hair Fair, and this is one of my favourites to date: Cadence. This is Lelutka’s new Cate Bento mesh head, which is a little softer than the Simone. The ears are Swallow‘s Elf Ears High Definition, the eyes are from Mesange: the Bering eyes are available for a few more days at We ❤ Roleplay. I found the Earthstones Velvet Rose Choker at The Liaison Collaborative.

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Another great hair from Hairology!

This next outfit features another great hair from Hairology, Runaway’s Jasmin. The skin is another of 7 Deadly s{K}ins‘ releases for Skin FairWednesday. These are the same eyes from Mesange: I just loved the purple colour with this dress, and I kept the rose choker on her as well.

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Beautiful furniture from Raindale adorns this set for the whole shoot.

Beautiful furniture from Raindale adorns this set for the whole shoot: these items are from the Birdside gacha. It was at the February Crossroads events, but you can find it at Raindale’s main store now. The gown is from BareRoseTasha in purple. The gown comes in sections, and it’s beautifully shaped. it comes with boots, but here Gwyneth is wearing the Harriet Booties from Wicca’s Wardrobe, which are also available at Genre, along with the dress.

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No shoot featuring this dress would be complete without a picture of the amazing BOW.

No shoot featuring this dress would be complete without a picture of the amazing BOW. When I tried this dress on, the first thing I noticed was that I had a huge bow on mah butt! And I kind of love it!

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Not everything at Genre is formal Victorian.

Not everything at this month’s Genre is formal Victorian: this is Poeme‘s Neo-Victorian in Damasque, here worn with some black legging appliers and the Wicca’s Wardrobe boots.

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This is the new Catwa Lona head.

This is the new Catwa Lona head. One of my favourite styles from the March Hairology is from Iconic; this is Esme, and I’ve been wearing it around just casually for weeks now. This is a Lumae freckled applier for Catwa, Ella, also available at Skin Fair. The eyes are once again Mesange; these are the Capriccio Eyes, which you can get for a few more days at The Chapter 4. The necklace is from Empyrean ForgeBreccia.

So, yeah; not a lot of my usual scintillating content here, but do take a trip to Genre. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to visit the Skin Fair before it closes!

No style cards for this post: everything’s in the text, and I’m kinda tired, and it’s Dyisi’s RL birthday, so I have to think of her right now. 🙂