Bringing Back the Light

New Blog Headers - 9

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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A Beautiful Day for Fair Play

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I talk a lot about getting out of the Great Seelie Forest. It would probably be easy to get the impression that I don’t actually like my realm very much, but that would be a wrong impression. What you don’t hear about here in my little ‘blog’ (I love that word!) are the day-to-day activities that make life as Queen of Faerie a bit of a grind. Meetings, negotiations, handling wars—all that stuff is frankly very boring to me and I would rather pass it off to advisors and people who know more about these things than I do. But I do love the magic of my Realm. That’s why even when I do get out of Faerie, I tend to present most things from within Faerie, if that makes any sense.

And of course, being Queen has its advantages. My friend Kaleidos, who is a jewellery designer and a skin painter, organises a great shopping faire (you know how I love shopping faires!) that actually has a gaming theme, called Fair PlayGetting to go in to an event like this early is such a treat, because you don’t have to navigate narrow streets full of shoppers with the full power of the Shining Throng behind you. (People stare, seriously. It’s embarrassing.)

I think it’s a Fae Queen’s job to keep on top of fashion, and of course as Queen it’s not like I can wear the same dress to this month’s masked ball as I did to last month’s masked ball: people would talk. So without further ado, here are some of the beautiful things I found at Fair Play.

Sometimes, I want to be a Dark Queen.

Sometimes, I want to be a Dark Queen.

Sometimes, I want to be a Dark Queen. The Seelie have such a snooty, xenophobic reputation, and there is the obvious misunderstanding that we are beings of Good while the Unseelie are beings of Evil. That’s simply not true: I have met some truly evil Seelie Royalty in my time, and you could never, ever convince me that our former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn, was a creature of evil. My children are born of both courts, and while I see darkness in them all three, I do not see evil. Perhaps that’s because I am their mother. Or maybe I’m just an optimist. Stop laughing.

This dress is from Vengeful Threads.

This dress is from Vengeful Threads.

This dress is from Vengeful Threads, and it’s called Queen of Tides. There’s even a necklace that comes with it, built along the same theme. Now of course my fae element is water, so much of my power comes from the sea. Tides are a powerful force. As the summer begins just barely to wane, I begin to think about how I will get us through the autumn, and remembering that the sea isn’t just a summer place is a good way to start. When I find a dress like this that makes me imagine myself in some future role, or even some role I may never have but would long to have, I love finding just the right things to go with it. And lo! and behold, a mask maker called Chimeric Fashions had such a beautiful mask at this event, and it seemed to be made for this dress. It’s their Butterfly Domino mask and it’s available at the Fair Play faire in three different colours. Of course, no Fae Queen’s wardrobe would be complete without an array of wings, and these are from masterful winemaker Deviance. Amusingly, they’re called Unseelie Wings. I know I got them at a shopping faire years ago, but I think you could still find them if you wen to the Deviance store. Clutie helped me braid my hair into this beautiful style I learned from Analog Dog called Ever, and there I was, the Queen of Tides, ready to survey my realm’s rocky beaches and bleak coastlines. It’s enough to make a girl forget she’s landlocked.

Queen Of Tides

Queen Of Tides

Oh, but who is the Queen of Tides? Is she an explorer? A warrior? A sorceress? Only time will tell.

Sometimes, I feel the Wyld coursing through me.

Sometimes, I feel the Wyld coursing through me.

Sometimes, I feel the Wyld coursing through me, and that’s when I need to let my hair down (all the way down) and not worry about whether it’s just come out of a long braid and is curling in unmanageable wildness everywhere. I used to work so hard to control my hair, but now I only do this for special occasions, and letting it down is definitely my preferred method. Possibly because I’m lazy, and possibly because I love the oils Clutie finds to dress my hair. This dress, from Blue Moon enterprise, makes me want to leave my hair down, take my shoes off, and dance. I love all the names designers pick for their dresses, and this one has a personality: it’s called Asiza, and again it comes in an array of colours. This dark purple, called grape, is my favourite, and since we’re peeking in to the dark time of the year, I can tell you that it makes me think of harvest, of singing through hard decisions, of preparation but not overcompensation. In September, when the nights are still warm, I will put on this dress and go among my people with a bottle of mead and a song in my heart.

There are of course problems unique to Royalty.

There are of course problems unique to Royalty.

There are of course problems unique to Royalty. I nearly laughed my head off one afternoon when Aoibheann and I were getting ready for some event or other and I was taking hours choosing a circlet to wear. I finally settled on one, and I said, “This is a very versatile crown.” She burst out laughing at me. I’m not kidding: she pointed and everything. “Do you realise what you just said?” she asked. “Some people make these kinds of decisions about a belt, or a ring, but you have to make them about crowns.” And then she laughed some more. When I find a good circlet, I snap it up because I’m always looking for circlets and crowns that will go with a variety of gowns and levels of dressing-up or -down. Independent Objects has a booth at Fair Playand they’re offering this lovely circlet called Mearwen. It is beautifully designed, serious enough to be Queenly without being overpowering (I mean, really, you don’t want to go out without your crown if you’re a Queen, but you also don’t want to wear an intimidating mass of metal on your head if you’re just going out to water the flowers, right?). Even better, it is enchanted so you can change the colours of the jewels, and that means it will go with almost anything. I honestly had a hard time taking it off.

Speaking of different moods, sometimes I miss wearing trousers!

Speaking of different moods, sometimes I miss wearing trousers!

Speaking of different moods, sometimes I miss wearing trousers! I remember when I first came to the Lucky Leaf, all those years ago, Aoibheann being completely scandalised that a woman had shown up in the pub wearing trousers. Nathaniel loves to relate that story when he’s telling people about the mortal girl I once thought I was. Jinx makes such beautiful dresses, but I fell in love with this trouser ensemble, because these are trousers I can realistically wear in Faerie. It comes with a matching pair of shoes, but the thing I really love about it, and this is probably my long-lost LARP background talking, are all the laces! Now, if I had to dress myself every morning, they might be a bit of a pain, but my fae attendants love being able to lace me into things, and I love the luxury of being laced into things as well. It’s called Kessick and comes in six colours that could be realistically mixed and matched, since they’re all complementary. Once again, the circlet from Independent Objects is a perfect accessory for the outfit, since it’s so very versatile. Oh! And the wings! These wings don’t come from Fair Playbut they’re so whimsical and fun, don’t you think? I found them at The Fantasy Collective and had such a lovely chat with the wingmaker, La Biche, but she would not reveal to me the magical secret for making the little stars inside the wing membranes actually move! Then again, if great artisans like her revealed all their secrets, everyone would be making wings as beautiful as these. She named them, appropriately, Galaxy.

Longing for flight...

Longing for flight…

Even though I need no wings to fly, wearing wings makes me feel like more of a flyer, if that makes any sense. And our Court Skin Painter (yes, I have a Court Skin Painter!) found this beautiful design from Fallen Gods that I have asked him to paint on me again and again. It’s called Persephone. 

Kern made me choose this dress.

Kern made me choose this dress.

Kern made me choose this dress, and I’m so glad he did. At the time as we were looking over the beautiful things in the Mistique stall, I almost passed it by. But he kept pointing it out and pointing it out. “Don’t you think,” I asked, “it’ll make me look like a dancing girl?”

His reply surprised me. He took my hand (and that man’s glamour just makes a woman shiver all over!) and said softly, “My Queen, you used to dance. I used to watch you, in the mornings, dancing in the bower, every morning. Your Court duties make you forget sometimes that you are a dancer, always. And this dress will help you remember that.” So in the end I chose the Silver colour of this, Mistique’s beautiful Samina dress.

I love the detailing on the bodice, or bra, or whatever you want to call the top bit.

I love the detailing on the bodice, or bra, or whatever you want to call the top bit.

I love the detailing on the bodice, or bra, or whatever you want to call the top bit, and the little appliqué motif matches the belt beautifully. Such a lovely thing to wear, with all the hanging beaded fringes moving as I move, turning as I turn, dancing as I dance.

The dress called for a hairstyle that moved as well.

The dress called for a hairstyle that moved as well.

The dress called for a hairstyle that moved as well, and this long ponytail from EMO-tions is a favourite of mine. It’s called Mystery, and I’ve had it for some time. I come back to it again and again, and my Court hairdresser and I have several little jokes about it being that one old ponytail I just can’t seem to stop wearing. The headpiece is also from EMO-tions, a new item in their shop, and it’s called Genesis. It’s meant to go with another of their hair styles, but I think it works beautifully with this one as well. The lavender beads swing freely round my head and remind me of those long earrings I used to wear as a teenager in London.

So we came home from the Faire.

So we came home from the Faire.

So we came home from Fair Play, and we arrived back in the Great Seelie Forest just as dawn was beginning to break. I had worn the Samina dress home from the outing, and Kern was right: wearing it made me remember I was a dancer again, and so I danced the dawn in on one of our exotic Trumpet Mushrooms from the amazing home and garden designs of Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

“O sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on earth.” —Roman Paine

O sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on earth. —Roman Paine

So yes, I danced the sun up before we retired back to the treehouse for a much-desired full English breakfast (Bran does these things because he loves me!), coffee, tea, and all the promise of today. And today is a great day for Fair Play.

The Fair Play event opened today, August 1, at midnight SLT. There are so many more beautiful things there than I could possibly show off in just this one post, so expect some more goodies from Fair Play to be showcased here over the next few days (or weeks!). 

Style Card for items not specifically mentioned and linked above:
Body
: Maitreya, Lara
Skin: Pink Fuel, Sora Alabaster
Ears: Lumae, Leeve Long Ears
Ring: JCNY, Forever
The Genesis headdress is NEW from EMO-tions and available at the EMO-tions Main Store.

Location: The Great Seelie Forest, Wicked Wylds.

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

See all the photos on Flickr?

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The Fantasy Collective for July

From the player:

From the player:

If you’ve been looking for me (all two of you!) you haven’t found me. I’ve been appearing to idle on SL a lot, unresponsive to messages, no flickr or  blog posts for days; in short it seems as if nothing’s going on with me. And of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve been in hospital here in London receiving and beginning to recover from a full knee replacement. I’ve talked before on this blog about my husband’s cancer and why helping with Fantasy Faire and events like that is so important to me. My own disease, the one you can see anyway, is arthritis. Arthritis doesn’t just strike super-old people, although I’m hardly what would be described as young. On Wednesday, I had my right knee replaced and depending on my recovery speed, the left one will follow in its own time.

As it happens, the full knee replacement is apparently one of the most painful surgeries you can go through, and I can now vouch for this. I don’t have the energy or concentration level to role-play or write the stories about my narrators that people have begun to expect here, but I’m still taking photographs and finding cool stuff. These photos have mostly been hanging around for four days, waiting for me to have the energy and wherewithal to put them into a blog post.

So here’s the stuff Gwyneth really fell in love with at the July Fantasy Collective. The Fantasy Collective is open until the 15th of August, so you still have time to check out some of these lovely things. I’ll present the style cards with the photographs.

Sweet Lies, Tauriel Gacha

Sweet Lies, Tauriel Gacha

The Sweet Lies Tauriel Gacha has a beautiful array of dresses, and you will get a dress on every play, not just pieces and parts. This one is Box 11 (rare), and I love the detailing on the sleeves and the over skirting. Gwyneth is also wearing the Deviance Erulisse Circlet (The Priestess, Rare), Analog Dog (natch!) ‘s new(ish) updo, Sambuca. The stunning necklace is an event find from I don’t know how long ago, The Mithrind Necklace from Storybook, which is a staple of Gwyneth’s wardrobe. Here, I love how it picks up on the lattice pattern in the dress’ arm texture. The skin is 7 Deadly s{K}ins stunning Baukje, which started out life at the first July Designer’s Circle and is now available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store. She’s in the Maitreya Mesh Body with SLink hands and feet.

Les Encantades Ivy Dress, Azur

Les Encantades Ivy Dress, Azur

Here is another beautiful dress from The Fantasy Collective, Les Encantades Ivy Dress. This is the Azur colourway. I did mention Gwyneth likes blue, right? 😉 The hair is from Ayashi, which is doing such a great job with superlong mesh hair right now; it’s called Sirena and is available at The Fantasy Collective. Necklace is once again the Storybook Mithrind Necklace, and the mask is from Spyralle, who’s long been one of my favourite SL designers. It’s called Forest Edge Mask, and you can get it from the Illusion Point event, which I’ll talk a little more about farther down. Skin is of course Baukje from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Senzafine Beriawen

SenzaFine Beriawen

The dress here is the SenzaFine Beriawen ensemble. SF really hit it out of the park on this one. The stuff is always good, but this style just makes me so happy, and additionally the tunic is completely wearable without the skirt and vice versa. The matching shoes are from The Illusion Point event, and they come in the same colourways as the clothing ensemble. You want to go to Illusion point, btw, and saying you’re just going for these shoes is a pretty good rationalisation!

Senzafine Beriawen, tunic detail

Senzafine Beriawen, tunic detail

Gwyneth is wearing SenzaFine Beriawen tunic and skirt in Pack 4, which includes the metallic colours, so Gwyneth really likes it. I also picked up the blues, greens and purples for her; those are Pack 2.You get a choice between gold and silver trims on each piece, as well. The necklace is Aegon from Le Forme and is still available at The Epiphany: this one is “eclipse” in silver. The tiara is also from Le Forme‘s Epiphany offerings; this one is the Aegon Tiara in Silver Sapphire (rare). The hair is, naturally, Analog Dog, the new(ish) Sambuca updo, and the skin is still the stunning Baukje from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. I just can’t get enough of this skin. Gwyneth’s eyes in these photos are actually new to her: I’d been using my own tweaked CustomEyes for her for so long I’d stopped crediting the eyes. These are from Mayfly, Luminous Mesh Eyes in Borealis. Ears are as always the Leevi Long Ears from Lumae. This is the Maitreya Lara Mesh Body with SLink hands and feet, and the shoes are SenzaFine‘s Aesbrennil Velvet-Lined Slippers, in colourways that cleverly match the ones for the Beriawen Tunic. This is pack 4, of course. They are available at the Illusion Point event: you should go there “just to buy the shoes”…. 🙂

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Blues

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Blues

I know I’ve rhapsodised at length about the Faida/Fallen Gods collaboration, but I’m going to do it again! They seem to have a gorgeous new dress for every event that comes along these days, and since I can’t resist a gorgeous new dress, here is Berenice. No fatpack was available, so I bought the blue ones to get the gorgeous Royale colourway, and as ever, it does not disappoint. HUD options are included as well, and you’ll see some of those later. The hair is Pepe, Athena, a gacha you can play at The Fantasy Collective. This is the rare light blonde colourway, and you don’t even want to know how much I spent to get Gwyneth’s colour in this hair. But, you know, if you want some of this hair and you don’t feel like leaving your house, just IM me in world and we can work something out. 😉 That said, if you’re not bothered about colours, the gacha is L$100 per play and the textures are all really nice. I’m always looking for ponytails and braids that work with Gwyneth’s ears, since I’m not giving those up, and that’s why I spent so much to get the colour I wanted in this one: it works with the ears! The circlet and crown combination are from ieQED, the Arwen crown (rare) and circlet (common) from the most recent Fantasy Gacha Carnival. Shoes are Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, from a longer-ago Fantasy Gacha Carnival. The ring is from JCNY. Body is Maitreya Lara Mesh Body, and hands and feet are SLink.

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Detail

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice, Detail

I’m presenting so many of these dresses with close-up photos so you can see the detailing on the dresses, it’s true, but also so you can get a closer look at this skin I’m currently raving about: Baukje from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. As with all of the 7DS skins, the detailing and subtle makeup on the face is worth taking a second-57th look at, and this skin has something that I really love personally, which is pronounced and visible eyeliner that does not take away from the eyes or the rest of the face. It’s eyeliner I might wear in real life if I wanted to be subtle. Yes, really.

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice

Faida and Fallen Gods, Berenice

One of the things you can do with the Berenice dress HUD is hide the bodice altogether. I quite like this look, but as Fae Queens go, Gwyneth is actually frightfully modest. So, I thought of this necklace from Zibska, called Aisling, which I haven’t had much of an opportunity to wear, immediately. I don’t remember where I got it, but you can score it at their main store, and they have a special one available in the dark rose colourway at The Lexi Project, another great event for a great cause that you should run not walk to as it has loads of worthy stuff.

Faida and Fallen Gods Berenice, plus Zibska Aisling, a closer look

Faida and Fallen Gods Berenice, plus Zibska Aisling, a closer look

And even closer. Irresistible skin from 7 Deadly s{K}ins.

And even closer. Irresistible skin from 7 Deadly s{K}ins.

This close-up photo is a good way to see how the Baukje skin employs such beautiful subtle highlighting, and you can also get a better look at the Mayfly eyes this way. I love the way the falling petals on the Zibska necklace seem to cup and enhance the breasts; as a Sidhe, Gwyneth is a bit of a titless wonder, so she needs all the help she can get in that department!

Now, I have to go get ready for physical therapy, which is the reality of my life for the next several weeks. I’m hoping to step up the blog posts for later today and later in the week, since so much is happening on the grid, but I can’t promise narrator stories or rp blogs for the foreseeable, as this post literally took three days to put together because my concentration is shot due to surgery, hospital, pain, heavy drugs, etc.

Thanks for reading.