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!

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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!

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