Home for Christmas?

Well, at least back to blogging! November was a tough month, and thanks to everybody for your unwavering support. I appreciate it so much. My life has been such a maelstrom over the past few years, I’m truly grateful for everyone who supports me, no matter what part of my life you visit.

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Silvan Moon Designs, Brightwood Myst Gown for We Love Roleplay

Here’s a beautiful dress from Silvan Moon Designs, the Brightwood Myst Gown. You can find it at We Love Roleplay.

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These textures are gorgeous, aren’t they? 

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I particularly like the detailing on the bodice and sleeves.

The head Gwyneth is in in these shots is the new Vista Bento mesh head, which I am absolutely loving. Omega compatible out of the box and with 7 Deadly s{K}ins bases built in: what’s not to love? The sliders are super responsive, and, I don’t know. Even with settings closest to Gwyneth’s usual look, she just seems so much more regal and ageless now. The hair is Truth‘s Farryn, which you can still pick up at Uber through the end of this month. The lovely crown is from Abrasive; it was featured at the recent Snow White round of Enchantment, which I’m sorry I missed out on blogging before it closed at the end of November. It was a spectacular round, and I bought a lot of stuff there, even though for most of November I couldn’t bring myself to log in much.

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Yes. Yes, we are.

One of the weirdest things about depression and anxiety, at least for me, is that these photographs were taken almost two weeks ago. They were edited almost two weeks ago. So they’ve been ready for all that time and I haven’t been able to sit down and write this. Even now, I’m finding myself sort of longing to go to bed with a book, so I guess I’m not out of the woods yet.

This dress is a gorgeous piece from The Annex, also featured at December’s We Love RoleplayThe Aria Dress comes in an array of subtle colours, and the satin textures on the fabric are to die for. The hair in this photo is from Tableau Vivant, one of their amazing windblown styles, Whispers in the Wind. It was featured at November’s round of Collabor88. The roses on Gwyneth’s head are a group gift from The Muses, and again, she’s in that amazing Vista mesh head, which I don’t think I’ll be trading in anytime soon.

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Here’s a closer shot of the dress bodice, so you can see those lovely satin textures.

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And one where you get a view of the whole garment.

The hair is from Truth, an old favourite recently re-issued with his new textures. It’s Cinnamon. And the stockings are from Senzafine. They have the amusing name of Damasked Bandit, and they come in multiple colours to match her dress palette.

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Portrait junkie!

And because I couldn’t resist it, here’s a very close shot of Gwyneth in this head. I do really love just about everything about it, except for the fact that I can’t quite get that pookie-upturned-button-nose thing I like. I guess I’ll just have to keep on working at the sliders and see if I can figure it out eventually.

Thanks for reading. I know this isn’t my usual fare, but my fond wish is to get back to story blogging soon. I have a tale of a faerie tourist trap to tell you, I hope before the year is done. And there’s the daunting and wonderful task of decorating my new castle from Rivendale for Christmas, but I’ll just tease you with that one.

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Still true. 

Style Card:

Silvan Moon Designs Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Brightwood Myst Gown (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Hair: Truth, Farryn (Available at Uber!)
Crown: Abrasive, Jeweled Crown, Silver
Locations: Somewhere in Awenia
Poses: An Lar

The Annex Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: The Annex, The Aria Dress (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Hair:
Tableau Vivant, Whispers in the Wind
Truth, Cinnamon
Argrace, Kohaku
Headpiece, The Muses, Rose Crown and Diadem
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels
Poses: An Lar, Roquai
Location: Awenia, The Box

The 2017 Hair Fair Photo Contest!

I’ve been busy over the past few days, while recovering from this annoying injured thumb on my left (dominant) hand, working on some photographs for the 2017 Hair Fair Photo Contest.

Hair Fair is one of my favourite events of the year. Because duh! Hair! And I’m lucky enough to have early blogger access again this year, so I’ll spend lots of money and show you super cool hairs!

Every year, Hair Fair sponsors a photo contest, and I often enter it. This year I’ve done five photos, and that’s the limit. I’m sorry, judges.

The link above is to the official notice about the contest; the theme was “Wild”, and the idea was to picture hair colours that aren’t in the usual, naturally available human range. This post has been half written for two days in hopes I could get it done ahead of the contest deadline, but I’m afraid I haven’t managed it, and I’ll just have to do a better job next year.

Here’s the first of my Hair Fair Photo Contest entries for this year.

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Joy!

Hairstyle—Corumel (Summer Hair Play)
Hair Store—Tableau Vivant
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Lona
Skin: Lumae Adore Ianthe
Eyes: Mesange Iskander
Ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Silks: Axix, Heaven Silks Purple
Butterflies: Nantra
Location: White Owl Island

I initially wanted to photograph Gwyneth scrying something, with her hair all over the place, but the minute I put this hair on I knew I wanted her in the water somehow. There were numerous false starts with this photograph, because I kept wanting her to be attacked by a sea monster– but things kept going wrong. And we just won’t talk about that time the giant undulating tentacle ended up off the shores of White Owl Island….

Here’s number two:

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Who Shall I Be Tomorrow?

Hairstyle—Joga
Hair Store—Analog Dog
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah
Body Glitter: Izzies, Rainbow body glitter
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Dress: This Is Wrong, Owls Dress
Wings: BareRose, Black B Wings
Jewellery: EMO-tions, Falcon Earrings and Necklace

So, most of you guys know I love Analog Dog Hair. I knew I wanted to showcase at least one of Queue Marlowe‘s beautiful hair designs in these photographs. I picked this one, Joga, because it’s relatively new, and because it’s whimsical without being silly, and because I loved the way the green and red work together in this colour. Beloved took me on a date to Calas Galadhon, and I remembered having taken some photographs there yonks ago. I came back there for this one, and I was so pleased with the light (and the fact that “The Owls are not what they seem” shows up pretty well in the photograph on this photo. Of course, after I’d taken it through the whole editing process, I discovered that the hair is clipping the wing. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed that… I’d already entered the photograph when I suddenly saw the imperfection, and now I can’t unsee it. So it stays, because otherwise it’s a good photo, and I love so many things about it.

Miles Away

This third photo features hair from another one of my favourite designers, Wasabi Pills. Raven was released for this years’ Fantasy Faire, and I’ve worn it a lot. I wanted to do something like a portrait for one of the entries, and I wanted to investigate a region I hadn’t shot in before. So off I went to Phabolaois Stran. I love water sims, rain sims, and this one did not disappoint. I will be back again, I’m sure. I spent a lot of time waiting for this group of birds to un-clump so I could photograph them recognisably, which is probably why I left them in, rather than cropping them out to yield a stronger photograph. I still like the way the hair colour looks against the landscape.

Hairstyle—Raven
Hair Store—Wasabi Pills
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Ruby
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Clothes: Yasum, Boho Skirt and Top
Necklace: The Plastik, The Grolda Necklace
Circlet, Cae, Lasa Circlet

Pink

Pink, like most of these, is not the photograph I started out trying to take at all. Elikatira‘s Lalora, don’t get me wrong, is every bit as gorgeous today as when it was released last year. I did want to take at least one photo in White Owl’s Faerie, but the original plan was for this shot to have some softness to it, and I’m not sure it does, in the end. She looks determined, maybe even angry. Her hand is tense. The sunset lighting makes her look if anything more like she’s just made a battle plan. That said, while I know a lot of SL people who do not like these wings, I absolutely love them, I have them in every colour they were released in, and I do not get the chance to photograph them very often. I love how perfectly they match the pink of her hair, how they echo the makeup. And I like the way she really does pop against the landscape.

Hairstyle—Lalora
Hair Store—Elikatira
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Ruby
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Wings: Alegria, Wings of Cotton Pink
Dress: MoonAmore, Sugar Branches Dress
Makeup: Picchi, Sweet Fairy Makeup

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Take Off

Some things I cannot resist, and one of those things is going back and hoping to fix my mistakes. The thing is, Calas Galadhon doesn’t allow object rezzing and I couldn’t find a group to join that would let me do that, so placement wasn’t and couldn’t be perfect. And, you know, there’s only so much time in the day, and so I decided to go with something different. I love that this shot gives you the whole scope of the wings, and I did at least remember the windlight I used, which is a far sight better than I usually do here in Chaos-land. There were some birds around, as in previous shots, but I didn’t worry about them overmuch as they were a long way away and the focal bird would be the one wearing these beautiful wings from BareRose.

Hairstyle—Joga
Hair Store—Analog Dog
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah
Body Glitter: Izzies, Rainbow body glitter
Eyes: Mesange, Iskander
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Dress: This Is Wrong, Owls Dress
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Gypsy Boots

Style cards are above in the text. Farrah is available at Vintage Fair!

 

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A Home in Raven’s Perch

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

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The Lady of Roses in Raven’s Perch

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

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

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

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

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The roofs of Raven’s Perch

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

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Sim Landing Point

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

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The Lady of Roses

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

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Path to the Lady of Roses’ ruby resting place

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

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

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

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Beautiful, she was.

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

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

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Why I Relay

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

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The Lady of Roses at the memorial stones

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

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Why I Relay

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

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

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

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Another view of the Rooftops of Raven’s Perch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bringing Back the Light

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Gwyneth:

These Dark Days will segue soon enough into light. So much work to do, before they’re done. And of course it falls to us magical beings to set the wheels of the Cosmos into motion, because we are the Beings who see those wheels.

From the lonely strands of Winter, we weave the roots of Spring. Into human suffering and shortages, we bring a Festival of Light. Many Festivals of Light. Remember that we do not see the metaverse as you mortals do: for us it is an ebb and flow of energy that rises far above the singular moments which create it.

And I am young, so young, in my calling.

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But I have learned enough to know that my part, however small, is essential.

But I have learned enough to know that my part, however small, is essential. We are assigned to different places, you see, in various Realms, and we do the work of the cosmos, reminding our Beloved Sun that it is his time to return. Some of us do this by making a great noise, whether musical or not. Some of us do this with poetry. Some create works of art, or help mortals create them.

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But I do not have these skills yet. One day I shall do more.

But I do not have these skills yet. One day, I shall do more.

My simple task may confound you, and it might surprise you to know how many of us are assigned to it, in different Realms, throughout the Multiverse, throughout the Universe, at our appointed places and times.

I am given directions to a specific place, which I must reveal to no-one. Many of us Fae Royals are part of this: it is why you will find us slipping away from our revels and festivals before the bell-strike, before the dawn breaks.

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Two Minutes to Midnight.

Two minutes to midnight. Wait, breathe, gather myself. And when the time comes, make sure the clocks don’t stop. It needs a Queen’s touch, this twisted Realm, this twisted Cosmos. It needs a breath of Spring, powered by darkest Winter.

Really, you ask? Make sure the clocks don’t stop? Isn’t that as simple as a little winding, a new battery, making sure the power doesn’t go out… oh.

Yes, it’s like that. It’s why I am so often tired after the Great Festivals. I give all my energy to this work, and it leaves me drained. But for now, one minute to midnight. I am not alone. I feel my cosmic community around me: sisters, brothers, some who are neither or both. Isolated as I am, I feel them breathe with me, and I breathe. I feel them reach with me, and I reach, and then, with an impossible push, a starlit spell, the lights of a thousand candles, then comes the stroke of midnight. And the second after. And the minute after. And the infinitesimally small movement of darkness to light in the midst of winter. We are all harbingers. Light is returning. Light will come again.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone 2.0 Bento Head (NEW at the Lelutka Main Store!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Gaia (NEW at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (only for Lelutka heads) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Makeup: Izzie’s, Lelutka Silver Glitter Makeup
Particle Effects: Cole’s Corner, Ice Queen (halo, wisps, aura)
Dress: SenzaFine, Catriona, Winter Sky
Crown: Muse, Rose Brooch Crown
Shoulders: Muse, Rose Brooch Jewellery Wrap

Scene:
Background: Glam Affair & Tableau Vivant, Light LootBox (rare) (Available NOW at The Fantasy Collective!)
Tree: Death Row Designs, Mechanical Christmas Tree (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Hanging Light: Death Row Designs, Mechanical Hanging Light (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Clock: Death Row Designs, Mechanical Clock (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Globe: Hideki, Steampunk Moon

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make Gwyneth help start the engine of the cosmos again without it!

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The Other Side of the Forest

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Gwyneth:

This life of dreams will come to an end soon: I feel it, and I fear it.

I have wasted my summer, my power, wishing and hoping to be elsewhere, and now…

Now Mabon is upon me. I feel Autumn clutching at my heels with every step I walk. And the future looks darker still, but I must embrace it; it is all I can do.

Through dreams of magical lands and darkness, I can only hope to travel home, only hope to find myself where I belong.

Wherever that may be.

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There were lights everywhere.

There were lights everywhere, which was a blessing, for the land was dark and the pavement was uneven. I felt my way along by the soles of my shoes.

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And yet it was beautiful.

And yet it was beautiful. The lights in the darkness. The glittering wings. Is this my soul in autumn?

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A clock chimed. And someone called, “Sunset”!

A clock chimed. And someone called, “Sunset”!

I followed the voices.

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And found myself watching the most beautiful sunset.

And I found myself watching the most beautiful sunset.

I fancied for a moment it was the sunset of summer itself. My summer.

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My summer, gone in the next few moments. I couldn’t bear to look.

My summer, gone int he next few moments. I couldn’t bear to look.

And so I didn’t. I turned away.

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…and found myself, in broad daylight on top of a ruined castle.

And found myself, in broad daylight on top of a ruined castle.

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Wait! I know this place.

Wait! I know this place. This is the castle at the edge of Farthingdale. Their Mabon celebration must be in full swing.

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I descended the stairs. What might be waiting for me at that festival?

I descended the stairs. What might be waiting for me at that festival?

Briefly, I thought of the Wylds. My empty throne. Lord Mornoth. Dyisi. Nathaniel. All those who wait for me.

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No harm, I thought. No harm to go down to the festival, right? 

No harm, I thought. No harm to go down to the festival, right? No-one would recognise me there. I was without crown, largely without glamour, dressed like a tourist. No-one would recognise me. It would be all right.

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But then, it was morning.

But then, it was morning. A glorious, autumn morning, and I stepped from my house, greeted greeted my watch dragon (only a statue, but beautifully moulded and carved), and approached my favourite place of all.

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Just the thought of it made my lips curve upwards.

Just the thought of it made my lips curve upwards. In the middle of autumn, my power both waning and growing in a way I did not understand….

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My garden

My glorious garden. I have never been much of a plant-tender; I let the demifae take care of all that. But I do love to walk in it, small as it may seem against the massive forest of Farthingdale. It’s my space.

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I stretch, and let my wings stretch, too.

I stretch, and let my wings stretch, too. So what if the air is crisp? The plants still thrive, thanks to my fae gardeners.

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Does it look like rain?

Does it look like rain? No, no; a clear, crisp, late September sky greets me, the smell of woodsmoke from the nearby town, or perhaps the witch’s house, just behind me there in the woods.

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With a chuckle, I decide to play gardener for a moment.

With a chuckle, I decide to play gardener for a moment. They’ll laugh at me later, the demifae gardeners, the ones who actually know what’s going on in this garden. It occurs to me that they might actually get angry with me if I water the wrong thing… so instead of watering, I just dance around with the can for a moment. Oh, Gwyneth, are you a Fae Queen, or are you a ten-year-old?

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Oh, it doesn’t matter.

Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m here in my garden, and it’s autumn, and for just a few more weeks, perhaps I can still the darkness that stirs in my heart.

Style Cards:

Magical Landscape (The Looking Glass):
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Cheveaux, MO89H (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Posh Pixels, Garbo, Ocean (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Jewellery: Moondance Jewels, Alluring O’Hare Collection (Crown, earrings, necklace) (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Location: The Looking Glass

Outskirts of Farthingdale:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Berta
Clothes: Aleutia, Coco Camisole, Zeta Jeans (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Shoes: Reign, Kiko Flats
Ruined Castle: Ionic, RuneStone Castle
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Distant Town of Farthingdale: Death Row Designs, Andolys, Belle’s Town

Autumn Garden:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD (Available at Shiny Shabby!)
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Amethyst (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: Ayashi, Mami (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Avatar Bizarre, Tooth Fairy Gown (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Wings: Death Row Designs, Fairy Pinkset Wings
House: Schultz Bros., The Gardeners House
Dragon: Dragon Magick Wares, Happy Dragon Statue (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Garden: Love, Cottage Garden (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.

You still have one day to visit the  Spoonful Of Sugar Event! Two sims for fashion, a home and garden sim, beautiful decor, and a wonderful cause. What are you waiting for?

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never send Gwyneth on one last trip through dreamland (for now) without it!

h091016   final-poster-for-sos

 

Another Photo Contest? Really?

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I can’t seem to resist them. This one is sponsored by Death Row Designs, the geniuses who made my beautiful Last Hope statue, and the creative minds behind some of the gorgeous Fantasy Faire sims I’ve loved over the years, including this year’s masterful Dangarnon and the 2015 piece of gorgeousness that was Andolys. From whimsy to post-apocalyptic fantasy, their designs never fail to captivate and inspire me. So, when I heard they were sponsoring a photo contest, I decided to put my best foot forward, and that’s why this blog was so quiet for nearly a week there: I was busy putting the following three photographs together.

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Deep in the Woods….

Deep in the Woods. This faerie is none to happy to be caught on camera. Those eyes! They say the deeper into the mythical forest one goes, the more primal the denizens become. We hope we haven’t angered her.

You guys know I can’t resist making everything into a story. So it was important to me that each photograph have a story attached to it. One of my favourite books of all time is Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood. If you haven’t read it, you probably should. It’s a book about a forest inhabited by all manner of mythical creatures. Anyway, the farther one ventures into the forest, the more primitive the “mythagos” become, until you end up with pure archetypes somewhere in the deepest part of the forest. I envisioned this faerie as one possibly on the very edge of that deepest place. The backdrop of this photo is from a DRD gacha, a forest backdrop that I was really happy to play with. The model is wearing another DRD gacha, the Fairy Outfit, in Pink, although you can barely see the top. I chose this colour because I wanted the wings to pop both against the background and the stunning DRD Darkforest Horns. 

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model hands: SLink elegant
Model head: LAQ Trinity
Model hair: Tableau Vivant Miranda
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Fantasy Storm
Model ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Model eyes A.D.D. Andel! Siren Eyes Pink
Model clothes: DRD fairy outfit pink, fairy wings pinkset, fairy headdress pinkset (she’s wearing the socks too,, but you can’t see ’em!)
Model horns: DRD Darkforest horns, Ash
Photo background: DRD studios set forest

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Dark Goddess Rising

Dark Goddess Rising. 

When we noticed a disturbance in an otherwise calm sea just off the coast of White Owl Island, we began filming and were rewarded with the emergence of this exquisite but terrifying creature. What might she be doing here? Well, we don’t ask questions on White Owl. She rose, hovered for a moment as if waiting for the seat to calm, then flew into the forest.

This being started out as a fallen angel concept, but once I got the headdress and the wings on her, I knew she had to be a goddess rising from the depths. Argrace does such a good job with wet-look hair, and I was dying to photograph this new one, so I used that here as well. The headdress is the central feature of the photograph, and I chose the “faded” version because it provided some visual contrast between the mostly cool feeling of the rest of the photo. She’s also wearing Lumiya Rae’s gorgeous new Isciira imagining of the Eirtae skin, which I love. The DRD Devine Wings have long been a favourite of mine, and they just seemed perfect in this photograph, with they veins crossing them like lightning. I guess I sort of channeled David Attenborough for the text here: I was thinking of being an observer and “spotter” of Fae folk and other paranormal beings, and that informed the text for the next photograph as well. 

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model head: LAQ Trinity
Model hair: Argrace Chizuru
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Isciira
Model eyes Soul Sidhe Eyes Seelie Pepper
Model clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Elowen bra and thong
Model wings: DRD Devine Wings, Specials, veins
Model headdress: DRD Dead Religion Headdress, faded
Photo Background: Landscapes Unlimited, Patagonia Sim Surround

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Dragon Sunrise

Dragon Sunrise. 

Does this dragon bear a message, or are we just witnessing a visit from a friend? Either way, this Sidhe lady was so enthralled by her visitor we were able to photograph her without her even knowing. We think.

I think of all the photographs, this is the one with which I’m most pleased. It took a long time to get the windlight just right so that her body seemed dappled with sunlight. The LumiPro let me adjust the lighting precisely, so that the body lights, while not 100% natural looking, still managed to approximate the sunlight. DRD’s gorgeous Ravishing Roses outfit was completely inspiring to me, as my primary role-play character is of course the Queen of the Faeries, and Fae Queens are associated with roses in balladry and folklore. The little dragon, also a DRD creation (a gacha from a past Fantasy Gacha Carnival, I think), was actually an afterthought: I needed her to be doing something, holding something, and he seemed the perfect complement. The Ayashi hair (and doesn’t Ayashi have amazing silver textures?) completes the look of her as an ethereal Sidhe, relaxing in the morning light. A combination of the Catwa head’s animations and the absolute control the LumiPro gives me over the model’s eyes created her rapt expression, and don’t those Soul Sidhe eyes just pop? They’re my absolute favourite eyes at the moment, partially because they are *ahem*ing gorgeous, and partially because they’re Omega eye appliers, which means I don’t have to adjust mesh eyes every time I change her eye colour! Yay! Soul makes a great variety of eyes, most of which come as Omega appliers, and as I’ve said before, I hope more designers get into making Omega appliers for eyes, because they’re so easy to use. The background of the photo is a combination of DRD’s Pergola Set and their Boho furniture, both of which were (and are, in the case of the Boho set) featured at Shiny Shabby. This was shot inside an Image Photography Meshudio, mostly so I could texture a backdrop that went seamlessly around three sides of a square. Thanks are due to my friend Ben Bold, who taught me a few things about Photoshop I didn’t know when some details of this image presented a problem.

Image credits:
Model body: Maitreya Lara
Model hands: SLink flat, SLink fist
Model head: Catwa Dyana
Model hair: Ayashi
Model skin: Lumae Eirtae Rubrae
Model ears: Lumae Leevi Long Ears
Model Eyes: Soul Sidhe Eyes, Seelie, Tera
Model clothes: DRD Ravishing Roses, white pink roses
Dragon: DRD GOT Moving Dragons, Red
Pergola: DRD Pergola Set
Furniture, Rug, Décor: DRD Boho Set
Photo Background: Katink, forest set

I should tell yo more about the Death Row Designs photo contest: the rules are outlined in this Flickr post, and the deadline isn’t until 10 August, so you still have time to enter if you want to.

I’ve enjoyed putting together the entries for this contest, and I think they represent my best work. I might even have stretched myself a little. So thanks also to DRD for sponsoring a contest that I’ve really enjoyed preparing for. And now comes the hard bit: I just have to sit back and wait.

Thanks for reading, if you’ve reached the end of this post, which is mostly a photography geek. I don’t say it often enough, but I appreciate everybody who reads this blog, and I hope you may find some inspiration from it, as it is after all an expression of how the creative powerhouses that are SL’s content creators inspire me.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never go anywhere in SL without it. And that’s the beauty of it: you can take it anywhere. 🙂

 

Bad Moon Rising

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Meanwhile on White Owl Island….

You think you’re safe, don’t you? You think your haven is a sanctuary. It’s our sanctuary too, you know: you just don’t see us.

I, for example, arrived only last night. I was running from something out of a nightmare. Since I’m usually the thing out of the nightmare, it was a bit of turnabout. But of course, every child of the Wild knows how you find haven, when the time comes. You leap, and you close your eyes, and you beg for haven.

It’s a fairy story for fairies, or that’s what many of us say. Because so few of us have ever been in a situation we couldn’t get out of.

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But, despite the fairy story angle, here I am.

But, despite the fairy story angle, here I am.

Twilight. How cliché. A high wind. I probably caused that. And the wind, as winds do, spoke to me. It told me a story, a story of waking the mundane pigs of this world to that which they cannot see. I think this is the best idea I’ve ever heard. Imagine, all the sleepers in that big city—what’s it called? Oh, yes; Seattle—just a ferry trip away from a nearby pier, waking up one morning and discovering their doorman is a dryad. Their barista is a banshee. The taxi driver is a troll. Obviously we are not all so alliterative.

There is, for example, no name for what I am. I am of the deep wood, the bits you don’t ever go in. The ones caught about with brambles and hiding nothing of interest, the ones so far in that it’s not worth going there. That’s where I am.

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Once the wind died down, I shortened my hair.

Once the wind died down, I shortened my hair. Glamour is such a useful thing. Because I don’t know this wood well yet, I wouldn’t want to get all tangled up. Better to get rid of all that hair before some creature uses it against me.

Yes, where was I… glamour. Such a useful thing. A funny, glowing light, just at the edge of that dark thicket. Wouldn’t you like to know what that is? It pulses, almost as if it’s alive. Maybe it makes a sound. Maybe it sounds like your friend laughing.

I notice there’s a canoe hitch at the front of this pier.

That’s a very good thing. Children love canoes.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Bibi
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Ghost
Skin: Deluxe Body Factory, Aerwen Skin with Tattoos (Exclusive at the Fable event, which is NOW OPEN!)
Hair: (long) Tableau Vivant, Editorial Hair, Eastern Wind; (shorter) Tableau Vivant, Starry Night, Blowing – Pack 2 (RARE)
Clothes: EVE, Venus In She (Available at the Totally Top Shelf event!)
Pose: Frolic, Harbinger Series

Sorry to make things less than easy, but for some reason my browser isn’t letting me put URLs into text tonight.
The Fable event is at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Brewery/126/145/29
Totally Top Shelf is here

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create possibly evil entities and stick them on a nice, peaceful role-play sim without it!

FABLE