Midwinter Ball?

Well, you have to have one. And I’ve been remiss, because there wasn’t one last year; there was so much going on with intrigue and all the mess over at White Owl. 

But, of course there’s planning to be done. And because Nathaniel is busy doing all that bureaucratic bs I abhor, I have taken on the heavy mantle of planning the Winter Ball. 

And that means choosing a venue. Now, unlike ordinary balls, we Fae get to just magically erect an impressive building anywhere we like. It makes for fewer lost guests, better entertainment, and many more starry-eyed mortals by the time the night is over. Much better than going someplace and picking a building over which I don’t have total control.

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The Looking Glass’ Basilica is my first choice for this year

The Looking Glass’ Basilica is my first choice for this year’s ball. Awenia has to open with a huge party, of course, and I’ve already lined up the impressive DJ Fae to handle the entertainment: now I just have to inspect the building and make sure it’s exactly what we need. I decided to try out one of the likely candidates for this year’s Winter Ball Gown as well, because seeing how the dress looks in the hall is so important, don’t you find?

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A Winter Gown

I liked this gown so much I decided to wear it all day. It’s a major contender, I think. It’s from Silvan Moon Designs, which of course means it fits impeccably and the style details cannot be beat: just look at the snowflake motifs on the bodice! The diaphanous drapes only add to the sensation that you may actually be wearing a very well-behaved snowstorm. 

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A really good gown requires little accessorising

A really good gown, of course, requires little accessorising. I was glad for the simplicity of this circlet and matching necklace, which speak both to the power of the winter stag god and the triumph of the moon. These pieces are from Supernatural, and to be honest, I’ve had them for a while and I’m not sure where I picked them up. They’ve proven to be versatile and suitable for many occasions. I think white gloves are just plain necessary for a gown like this, certainly in the wintertime. For a touch of formality, you can’t ever go wrong getting your hair done by the wonderful people at Truth; this style is called Makena, and they do several different versions of it. 

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The real test

Of course, the real test of a ball gown is how well it moves, and this one seemed to glide across the Basilica’s highly polished floors with ease. Perhaps before I make the final decision, I’ll ask Nathaniel to take a few hours off and come dance with me, just a little, in the main atrium. 

I’m so impressed with the interior of this as a potential ballroom. The combination of pillars, stonework, and stained glass is remarkable. 

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Only one question remains

Only one question remains: is it perhaps too big?

How will we ever fill it?

And then— then, I think of all the many families and houses who are connected to us in some way. All we have to do is not plan the ball directly on Midwinter, as that’s when all the regional and family balls will be held. Maybe we’ll do it a wee bit later, after mortal Christmas but before the calendrical New Year. 

I’ll just send out Save the Date cards. Bran can handle all the arrangements. And we? We will fill this hall.

Style Card:
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Snow Queen Gown (Available at Enchantment!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Arte, Hayat Eyes
Circlet and Necklace: Supernatural, Hyun Headpiece and Necklace
Hair: Truth, Makena

Glorious Building: The Looking Glass, The Basilica (Also available at Enchantment; you can see some more photographs about the building in this entry 

I am consistently blown away by the creative minds of our Second Life content creators. Bee and Solas, thank you so much for this gown and all the other beautiful things you’ve made this year. I hope as we move into the holiday season that both of you and everyone else associated with Silvan Moon can take the time to look upon your creations and recognise the beauty and blessing you bring to this scrumptious table I sometimes get to set.

 

Dancing Under the Lantern Tree

From Gwen Enchanted: Some of you know that my real life is very busy. This has been one of those weeks with work, and I’m sorry not to have been blogging more. I’m going to try to up my pace in the weeks to come, but things are very busy where I work, and I can’t promise my post-work exhaustion level is going to improve any time soon. I remain hopeful, though. On to today’s post!

It’s been a quiet week in Lake White Owl Island… wait. 😉 No, really; things have been very quiet. Arahaelon has been away, presumably talking with our Bureau of Supernatural Affairs contact. I haven’t been to visit Saoirse in a few days, but I do feel sorry for her. I know selkies can survive for whole lifetimes without their skins, but it has got to be annoying not to have it and be able to just splash down and hang out with all the other selkies.

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I can’t seem to stay away from the Lantern Tree.

I can’t seem to stay away from the Lantern Tree. It’s such a beautiful spot, and I love the oasis feel it has to it, especially with the river of faerie there in the background. At dusk, or just past, when everything is starting to blend down into blues and purples, is my favourite time to be there.

At the same Enchantment event, I found this beautiful dance ensemble from Silvan Moon Designs. It comes in an array of bright colours, so of course you know I had to go with the red. Glamoured my hair (a new style from Queue Marlowe, the genius behind Analog Dog Hair) and my eyes (painted by Jadis Ashland of Mesange) brown and just played in the lamplight for hours last night.

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Even as an “adult” (hahaha!) I never stop playing “let’s pretend”.

Even as an “adult” (hahaha!) I never stop playing “let’s pretend”. Of course, at the moment I can’t get the captive faeries out of my head, so I was thinking what if you had a racket like that going in some quasi-Gorean world where there was this idea that all women, be they faeries or amazons or goblins, are meant to be slaves. What would happen to someone like me in a place like that?

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How do we get the idea that we’re not beings of power?

How do we get the idea that we’re not beings of power? I mean, I get the concept; I do. I did sociology in secondary school, and I recognise the classic signs of abuse, and I know why abused people don’t “just leave”. But there’s something intriguing about stories of entire races, groups of people, people who were formerly empowered, being enslaved or overcome by another group of people (where “people” is really “any kind of sentient being” here; we could even be talking about an alien invasion, I guess). I guess as a much younger woman I read stories like The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and was intrigued by them, but in my life, I keep ending up being the person who has to make the decisions. Maybe it’s like that line from The Handmaid’s Tale: “There are two kinds of freedom, ladies: freedom to and freedom from. You are now being offered freedom from. Don’t underestimate it.”

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Whom do I trust?

I wonder now. Whom do I trust? Who could I give away my decisions to? Not Nathaniel: He is burdened enough, and he overthinks everything, which means that things seldom get done on his watch.

Arahaelon? Well, he’s great to look at, but he’s a bit of an egomaniacal arse, and he and Skel seem to have something going. I can certainly ask him for help with Island things: he’s pretty much in charge there, anyway.

Dyisi? Gods, no. She hands back any responsibility you give her with a smile.

Memories of the past? Janus. I could have given everything to Janus, but he left us, and I haven’t heard from him since the children were born. Mornoth. If I hadn’t been so soured on the Wylds by the time he came along, maybe we could have had something. I don’t even think about people like Richard any more, unless someone asks to be told the story of how I ended up away from the Realm where I was raised, anyway. Side note: must really look up Fen/Tac and apologise to her at some point. There are rumours that she’s in the Forest somewhere, but they are just rumours, I’m sure.

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Nevertheless, I’m in this life now, and I suppose I have to live with it.

Nevertheless, I’m in this life now, and I suppose I have to live it. No matter how weird that sounds to say out loud. Dyisi says I always run away. Well, I’m trying not to run away, but the prospect of Great Adventures elsewhere (not to mention shopping) usually takes me at least a bit farther afield than most of the White Owl Island residents.

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Still, the whole question of how someone like Saoirse could be so badly used by another is haunting.

Still, the whole question of how someone like Saoirse could be so badly used by another is haunting. And, frankly, depressing. What kind of person uses another’s very nature to enslave and subdue them against their will? I suppose all those stories that titillated me as a kid were about people who chose their fate, or at least found that once they’d been placed in the situation they were in, they found it satisfying. The real story of someone stealing Saoirse’s skin and then blackmailing her with it is significantly less romantic.

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We must get Saoirse’s skin back.

So, I shall set myself a task. While Arahaelon is working on the legal ins and outs, I will talk with Dyisi— and we, we will get Saoirse’s skin back.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Theory (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Dandy Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Studio Elf Ears Dior
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Destiny (Full face and body Omega applier)
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Parizade Dhoti, (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Supernatural, Opulent Anklet

The Lantern Tree, from The Looking Glass, is available as a gacha NOW at Enchantment!

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

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Rebuilding

Well, I’m sure everyone knows what happened on White Owl Island at Lughnasadh. I’m surprised that Gelato woman hasn’t spread her tabloid photographs all over the state of Washington and Realms Beyond at this point.

If you don’t know, some terrorist, and we suspect Saoirse, blew up my house. That’s right. She blew up my house. We were right in the middle of a romantic dance, Nathaniel and I, and the night couldn’t have been nicer. The crowd was small but friendly, and then up on the hill, an explosion, and our home was nothing more than rubble.

I just can’t even think about it or talk about it now, so I am spending a lot of time decorating the treehouse, since Nathaniel and I will now be making that our primary home.

I’d already done the salon, and our bedroom is in progress, so I went Realm-hopping again and found some beautiful things at a shopping faire called Fable to decorate our ground floor guest suite with.

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Now, an empty room just bothers me.

Now, an empty room just bothers me, so I got Bran in to help me with the wallpaper right away. Sometimes his glamouring skill is better than mine, mostly because I don’t do a lot of that at the moment and he has been busy getting this and the Queen’s Garden ready.

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I do love this lilac colour he chose, and the sleeping bench looks great here on this wall.

I do love this lilac colour he chose, and the sleeping bench looks great here on this wall. I found some great furniture and so many more wonderful things at the Fable shopping faire, and I’m sure more of it will feature. We’re furnishing this room in furniture and décor from Adorably Strange Wares, a name that makes me giggle, because they are adorable and yet a little strange as well. Bran was lovely; he never once asked me if the room wasn’t stately enough.

And, oh! I should mention: I received the loveliest package from those talented people at Silvan Moon Designs. They wanted to let me know that the Fantasy Gacha Carnival is coming up, and they sent me a sample of this beautiful Psalm of Soraya gown. It comes in many colours, all mix and match, and the fit is perfect.

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This beautiful bed is what sold me on the décor.

This beautiful bed is what sold me on the décor. I love the banners and bunting. I’ve still got a little work to do in here, but for the most part I’m satisfied. I suspect Nathaniel will worry about practical matters like wardrobes and water closets, but I just can’t be bothered right now. Bran did argue that the silhouettes might make it look too much like a children’s room, but I’m sure everyone likes silhouettes. Don’t they? I mean, I do.

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It will be all right.

It will be all right. We will find out whether Saoirse was working alone, or I guess even if she did it at all: Arahaelon made it very clear that he wanted Nathaniel and me as far from the explosion site as possible and that he would be conducting the investigation himself. I am glad we have the place in Faerie, even if Nathaniel wants to be more involved with the folk “on the ground” as he says. Arahaelon and I have put a simple portal in that leads from the green in Faerie to the White Owl Island village park, which will make commuting easier for him.

Clutie is furious about the Faewatch article: she always lets Cherish get to her. Me, I figure it’s just one of the repercussions of being a bit of a celebrity, not that I really like the attention. I’ll probably scan it and pop it onto the blog just to keep a record, though I do think the photo of the house actually blowing up was in very poor taste.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Mina, Indy
Eyes: Mesange, Borealis Eyes (Available NOW at Genre!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Olivia (Full face and body Omega applier, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Psalm of Soraya Gown (Available SOON at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Circlet: Supernatural, Hymn (Silver)

Bed, Bench, Silhouettes, and Banners: Adorably Strange Wares, The Briar Rose Set. Sold separately in light and dark versions. (Available NOW at Fable!)

Poses: All from An LarThe Crest Series, except “Now, an empty room just bothers me”, which is Where is the Pool Bar, from Gem Poses, and available at Fable.

House: LAQ Decor: Serene Tree & Windmill Home.

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never redecorate the Tree House Yet Again without it!

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What Does It Mean…

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Mabon has come and gone, and with it the passage of the Realm’s power from the Summer Queen to the Winter King. My personal dislike and distrust for Maric notwithstanding, I believe he will do his best to keep our realm safe and secure. The ceremony was short and intense: I felt the power pour out of me as if all my breath was stolen, and I’m afraid the King must have had to carry me to my bed. Much as he might have wanted more, the physical exchange of power was an almost ritualised kiss, which I worked in to the ceremony itself. Funny how naturally being a priestess comes to me, now that I’ve been on My throne for more than a year. And what a year it’s been.

I’ve promised myself and the Fae Folk that I’ll not sleep through the winter months this year as I felt compelled to do last year. So much happened while I was hibernating in my beautiful garden, holding on to the spring.

But still, I wonder…

What does it mean to be a Winter Queen?

What does it mean to be a Winter Queen?

What does it mean to be a Winter Queen?

Turn again, Year, and Turn the Queen to Winter
Sing again, Wind, a bring her dancing centre
Call the tales of Mabon, let the power flow
Queen to King and Light to Dark and so the Seasons go.

The Queen is in her Bower, dressed in crimson gold

The Queen is in her Bower, dressed in crimson gold

The Queen is in her Bower, dressed in crimson gold
The Wind has blown the Spring away and left her leaves to hold.

Am I irrelevant? Am I a beautiful figurehead with nothing to do but plan parties and try to teach my children how to interact in our world?

Am I merely the memory of  spring?

Am I merely the memory of spring?

Am I merely the memory of spring?

The King waits in the Shadows, cloaked with smoke and horn
We count the Summer down with him and see him rise, reborn

Oh, darkness cloaks the Lady's Bower: watch her wear the Spring

Oh, darkness cloaks the Lady’s Bower: watch her wear the Spring

Oh, darkness cloaks the Lady’s Bower: watch her wear the Spring

Then cast it off like Autumn rags as all the Faery sing

Then cast it off like Autumn rags as all the Faery sing

Then cast it off like Autumn rags as all the Faery sing.

Will I become cold and arrogant?

Will I become cold and arrogant?

Shall I turn dark with the season?

Shall I turn dark with the season?

How do I behave? Does my soul turn cold with October?

How do I behave? Does my soul go cold with October?

How do I behave? Does my soul go cold with October?

Now bring her wings of gold and white, and cast her face like stone

Now bring her wings of gold and white, and cast her face like stone

Now bring her wings of gold and white, and cast her face like stone

Even with the season's turning, I can still feel the warmth of summer inside me.

Even with the season’s turning, I can still feel the warmth of summer inside me.

Even with the seasons’ turning, I can still feel the warmth of summer inside me.

What does that mean? I know I am the spirit of summer, the light of the realm, but….

But there is also the cold. The wind. The dark promise of long nights and short days.

And turn her Widdershins with Wind to make her Winter Throne

And turn her Widdershins with Wind to make her Winter Throne

But there is also the cold. The wind. The dark promise of long nights and short days.

The closing doors of Time will take her into Autumn’s breast
And weave with Wind her Harvest gown, and never, never rest.

Can I see myself, a Winter Queen on a Winter Throne?

Can I see myself, a Winter Queen on a Winter Throne?

Can I see myself, a Winter Queen on a Winter Throne?

Come Mabon, come Samhain, come Harvest, come Hunter
Bring Apples, bring Cider, bring cakes against hunger
Come Winter, come Darkness, come fierce Winter King
And guard well this Lady til Imbolg brings Spring.

Cold, cold, cold.

Cold, cold, cold.

Cold, cold, cold.

Cold.

Style Cards:

Crimson Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Makeup: Eyes, Blacklace Beauty. Lips, Izzy’s
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Catwa, Princess Bun
Dress: PoshTale, Deiphe Gown & Train*
Crown: NSP Florals, Lady Gwynevere (Nobility)
Shoes: Aisling, Enchanted Rose Heels
Necklace: Illusions, Silumira Necklace
Tattoos: Things, Aigneis and Airell (Available at The Secret Affair!)

Blue and Gold Gown Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Truth, Nayeli
Makeup: Slackgirl, Drama Eyes; Izzy’s, Free Natural Lips
Dress: Mistique, Mydaiel Blue*
Cloak: Junbug, Hilda’s Black Cloak
Tiara and Earrings: Supernatural, Ophelia
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Aglaea’s Splendor

Lavender Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Catwa, Mia
Dress: Spyralle, Esyld Skirt and Top, Dusk*
Necklace: Cae, Cernunnos
Belly Crystal: Earthstones, Amethyst
Crown: Kibitz, Flower Crown, Lights, Ultra Rare
Shoes: Muka: Feetwrap
Tattoos: Things, Aigneis and Airell (Available at The Secret Affair!)

Brown Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Mudskin, Reina Pale
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Hair: Exile, Memory Bliss
Dress: Belle Epoque, Enchanted Princess, Brown (Available at Jackpot Gacha!)
Jewellery: The Plastik, Autumnus (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Wings: ClaVv Gatotkaka, Golden Rustic Wide Wings
Shoes: Slink Margot Ballet Slippers
Tattoos: Things, Aigneis and Airell (Available at The Secret Affair!)

White Dress Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Niska Bare
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Borealis
Makeup: White Widow, Face Tattoo Arctica
Hair: EMO-tions, Jewel (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Iseult Gown
Crown and Collar: Aisling, Sumiana, Gold
Shoes: TumbleTwig & Skjern, Pearls of Muse, White
Throne: Boudoir, Wearable Winter Queen Throne

*These three beautiful dresses were featured at September’s Fair Play: Second Life is a Game event, and I meant to get this blog entry out before the event closed; unfortunately, RL got in the way. I hope to be more on top of October’s great Fair Play offerings!

I am deeply grateful to Nathaniel Ballard (benbold) for some Photoshop tweaking on the Winter Throne photographs.

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