A Conspiracy in Elemaria?

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Elemaria From Afar

From a Distance, the Fairelands Realm of Elemaria looks stately, doesn’t it? I suppose that’s why I, Your Fae Queen, was drawn to it. I do love castles. And as I’ve been absent from my own Realm for some months now, I was looking forward, when I first arrived at the Great Faire (regrettably late this year for reasons beyond my control), to walking the stately halls and pathways of a good, old-fashioned castle.

And it’s true, the pathways are stately, and the bridges are divine, and the views out over the sea are spectacular. And I don’t even need to mention the shopping to you: if you’re here are the Faire, you know that there is nothing better than Fairelands shopping. A balm to soothe the soul, I think, is shopping. If I ever get to the point where I’m tired of ball gowns and flowing skirts, just take me back to Awenia Faerie and turn me into a statue.

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The thing is, it was sunny!

It was indeed sunny, a perfect day in early May, and so close to The Author’s birthday. I spent only a little while exploring the bridges and pathways (and possibly buying an entirely new spring wardrobe), but then the seemingly endless gardens called, and so that’s where I found myself, just at midmorning.

Some of you may have already heard from Fen, who I suppose you know better as The Amazing Catwoman. She’s been filling in for Wulfrich as my chief of security. He has gone on a long quest, and if I’m honest I don’t know if he’ll ever be back. The position’s as good as hers, and even though she still seems uneasy with me, I’m glad we’ve resumed our friendship. She’d been here ahead of me, scouting the Fairelands, and when we met my first morning here, she delivered some news that I must confess shook me slightly:

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There are bunnies. Everywhere.

“Gwennie,” she said. “There are bunnies. They are everywhere.” She paused for effect, or maybe because she’s never been super articulate, poor dear. “I am not making this up. I have only seen one or two Realms without bunnies, and I think they might just have been hiding out or something. I suspect a conspiracy.”

I considered. “Is it that thing where that huge drill in Auxentios’ Pass is meant to cause magical ailments and all manner of temporal anomalies?” I wondered.

“I think that’s a rumour,” she said. “I suspect that weird globe in Zodiac. Or, maybe…. maybe….” and she drew a finger across her lips, “I think maybe Sonya has something to do with it.”

And wouldn’t you know it; as soon as I started exploring the Realm’s generous and lush grounds, there they were. Bunnies.

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This would require rumination.

This, I decided, would require rumination, and so I searched around for an out-of-the-way spot. Luckily, Elemaria boasts many of these: you could spend weeks here and never end up in the same quiet space to think.

The first such place I found had only half as many bunnies as the place before, so I settled in.

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Thinky Thoughts

What possible significance, I wondered, could a large number of bunnies in the Fairelands have? Beings who’ve seen less of the magical world than I have might just think it had to do with spring, but I was not convinced. Also, there was a bunny, just over there. Just staring at me.

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I ducked into the nearby cave

I ducked into the nearby cave to avoid the bunny’s disconcerting gaze. Another time, if I visited here, I might wonder who might have made this place, explore the nooks and crannies, but if I’m honest, I was just relieved not to find any errant rabbits within.

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A Conspiracy Of Bunnies?

Now, everyone knows that the collective term for rabbits is a nest, or that’s what my human granny told me back before all this crap started. But something tells me these rabbits are in fact a conspiracy.

And it all started to roll around in my head. Huge steampunk drills that may be shrunk down and worn as hats. Weirdly glowing blue zodiac balls. No double-entendre intended, I swear. Spring. Propogation. The possibility of poems with an acrostic spelling out S O N Y A  M A R M U R E K hidden away in some dusty corner of the Heliodor Library.

My therapist tells me I may overthink things. She says instead of letting a thing roll around in my head for hours, sometimes years, I could, if I thought about it, expend much less energy and simply confront the source of my worry, let fate take its course (though I have heard recently that fate does not in fact exist), and just move on with my life.

Fine.

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Rabitterrogation

I decided I might as well confront the closest bunny and ask what was up with all this.

Unfortunately for me, the bunny wasn’t interested in talking. But it was a nice rock and a lovely day, so I had a bit of a sun before moving on.

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They’re everywhere!

Everywhere I went, there were more and more bunnies. Finally, I found a set of steps that led up to a secluded spot that I imagined must be just right for some meditation. And there was food on the table, so I had some lunch. Might as well, right?

Luckily, we Fae Royals are not encumbered by the rule that one must wait an hour after eating before swimming.

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I might have said, “Cowabunga!”

I might have said “Cowabunga!” but I’ll deny it if you ask me. Ah, but what a lovely end to a day’s exploration of Elemaria. It was sure to be the first of many forays there: you all know how much I love a beautiful garden, and Elemaria, I decided, is really not a stately palace after all: It is a stunning garden, a forest, a stream system, and apparently a bunny sanctuary, all conveniently housed within the walls of a stately palace.

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And the views are to die for.

And the views are to die for.

More on the bunny conspiracy as my research continues over the final week of the Faire.

Credits and Notes:
Location: Elemaria is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire. The region is sponsored by Silvan Moon Designs and designed by Bee Dumpling and Solas Enchantment. You too can visit Elemaria, but be sure to do it before the 10th of May, when the Fairelands will, as every year, dissolve back into the Mists.

Items featured at this year’s Faire:
Items featured at the 2020 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Trivialis (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Water Nymph Dress in Sunset (Find it at the Silvan Moon Designs store in Elemaria!)
Headpiece, Acios, Tamesis Headpiece (Find it at the Acios Store in Cassiopeia!)
Wings: MishMash Fusion, Cracked Wings in Chartreuse (Find them at the MishMash Fusion Store in Lamented Fens!)

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Stealthic, Verge

 

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. 🙂

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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IC Office Decoration!

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Nope, this is not an IC post about decorating.

Nope, this is not an IC post about decorating. It is an OOC post about decorating an IC space. Clear as mud? Great! 

I also thought I’d answer a couple of questions here that I keep getting asked about my blog.

So basically, don’t expect great art here; we’re mostly talking presentation. And of course, there are a couple of amazing things I want to show you!

First off, the blog has been quiet for a couple of days because I’m finally going back to work after my knee surgery and it’s been a bit tiring, as you might imagine. But enough about my petty life….

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There’s nothing like an empty room to get you feeling creative!

So, there’s nothing like an empty room to get you feeling creative! This is the upstairs of the truly lovely Trompe Loeil Josette Boutique. There are four of these in different colours on the White Owl Island High Street, and as shops for rp, they’re some of the nicest SL has to offer. Like most two-level SL structures, the upstairs can seem a bit small and cramped. However, the upstairs at Codex, the White Owl Island (sometimes abbreviated as WOI) book shop, is meant to be sort of an occult study group spot, so I needed to make the space both work-space for Gwyneth and cosy space for others.

If you’re using Phototools in Firestorm, you know how I’m making it possible for you to see most of this room. I’m doing it by widening the view angle in the Depth of Field (DOF/Glow) tab in Phototools. This is really useful, particularly if you’ve already got your focus set but you realise there’s more you need to show.

Gwyneth’s wearing things I picked up at The Forest. If you don’t know about The Forest, it’s a members-only event that you join by paying a fee to join an in-world group. Then, when all the designers are ready, you head over to an absolutely beautiful sim and just pick up all the loot! I’ve done this for the last couple of months, and it’s a really lovely event. Anyway, the dress is from u.f.o (ur.favorite.one), the Ruffle Blouse & Denim Skirt. The shoes are from Breathe, the Amely Flats, which come in a good array of colours.

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This skin is from DeeTaleZ, featured at Enchantment.

This skin is from DeeTaleZ, the Dorothy skin. It’s featured at this months’ Enchantment. And I can’t talk enough about how much I love this round of Enchantment: It is full of Wizard Of Oz goodness! DeeTaleZ also did a special edition of this skin, but I wanted the lighter tone on Gwyneth, and the special edition isn’t available in their Celtic tone, which is my favourite for her.

And this hair! It’s from the current round of Hairology, from Stealthic. It’s called Sanctuary. I discovered Stealthic at an event a few months back, and they burst on the scene at this years’ Hair Fair; people couldn’t stop talking about them. I like this style because it’s long but also controlled, a bit out of character for Gwyneth, but hey. She’s the Faery Queen; she can wear what she likes!

Right! On to talking about decorating this room IC.

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Every room needs a corner accent table somewhere, right?

Every room needs a corner accent table somewhere, right? This one is from Pastiche, part of the lovely set of stuff they have at the Fable event this month. I particularly like the hourglass, but I would like that. You can also see some more details of Gwyneth’s outfit in this picture, particularly the lovely texturing on the socks from Breathe.

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Another Pastiche offering!

Another Pastiche offering! This is the Woodlands Shelf, which I like both because of the cool decor on it and the fact that it’s obviously made out of a tree! Gwyneth loves stuff made out of trees, because duh, Seelie Fae and all. The beautiful shelf above it is from On A Lark, the Remembrance Shelf, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire. I think it’s still available at their main store. Again, the Woodlands Shelf is available at Fable.

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Fae Queens are like cats….

Fae Queens are like cats. They have quirky little traits that might seem really weird and possibly a bit amoral to other people. One of Gwyneth’s quirky traits is that she loves to keep demifae (tiny little faeries) as pets. Or in a collection. She deludes herself into thinking they want to be there, and they of course are too scared of their Queen to say, “Gosh, I’d really rather not be caged up like this”. Once on a rp sim I had a collection of faeries in little terrariums in Gwyneth’s kitchen. This prompted interesting questions from visitors. Once again, this adorable little thing is from Pastiche, who really hit it out of the park for the Fable event. This is Seasons of the Fairy—Mother Nature, and it has some fun effects: you can make it rain or snow in the cage, which is amusing but difficult to catch properly on camera.

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Here’s a view of the fireplace end of the room.

Here’s a view of the fireplace end of the room, again shot with a wide angle using Phototools. On the mantelpiece are two of Hextraordinary‘s gorgeous Pegasus Ponies, Buttercream and Amethyst. These came from an Arcade or two ago, but the dacha machine is probably up at their Main Store if you, like me, are totally in love with things that are so cute they make other people want to cry. The fireplace is built in to Trompe Loeil‘s Josette Boutique.

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Coffee? Pick your flavour!

Coffee? Pick your flavour! Gwyneth could not survive in a world without coffee. I can’t remember which Arcade this was at, but it’s one of my favourite things, from Standby Inc, and it’s called Instant Coffee, but I prefer to pretend that it’s proper ground coffee, because Gwyneth would never drink Instant, and I think instant coffee is illegal in the Pacific Northwest or something. The shelf is one of the rates, the Sunrise Shelf.

One of the great things that decorating an office or personal space gives me a chance to do is show off some of the cool things I’ve collected over years of gacha (I’m not addicted!) shopping.

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Here’s a corner of Gwyneth’s desk!

Here’s a corner of Gwyneth’s desk, adorned by Pastiche‘s other Seasons of the Fairy from Fable, Fire/Summer. The effect on this one is a glowing hot rock that gives off little sparks. And the little faery’s eyes glow red. The desk is also from On A Lark, the Velazquez Desk. The shelf behind the desk is the companion Rare to the Instant Coffee set, the Midnight Shelf.

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And there you have it!

And there you have it! Gwyneth seems pretty proud of her space. Behind her is an offering from 22769 from an event that centred around Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, the Book of Accurate Prophecies.

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Another wide-angle shot, this time so you can see the comfy couch!

Here’s a final wide-angle shot: this time you can see the comfy couch, from Trompe Loeil, the Chesterfield Couch that’s available at the current Liaison Collaborative. And of course the whole space is watched over by those beautiful Pegasus Ponies. Because Ponies!

I’m often asked how I get my pictures so big. It’s because I take them at a 6016 width, which you can set in the “custom” settings of the SL snapshot camera. I like to take the photos at a much greater size than my display is showing, mostly so that when I go back to edit details I can focus in on even the smallest thing. This makes for very large images, but they can be cropped down, which is great for photo composition and balance. 

As usual, Gwyneth is in the Maitreya Lara body. The mesh head is from Catwa; it’s the Destiny head. Ears are Lumae‘s Leevi Long Ears, and the glasses are from EarthstonesThe Countess.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble on about SL Decorating without it!

hairology-Poster August   FABLE