The Basilica

So, you guys know I love beautiful things. And that I’m always building stories around beautiful things made by some of the genius creators in Second Life. Sometimes, something comes along that’s so stunning it’s impossible to write a story about it except inasumuch as I can tell you about it objectively. I shot a lot of pictures of Gwyneth inside the building, and if there’s a story, it’ll be there. But for now, I’m basically going to fangirl a building. You’re welcome.

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The Basilica

Created by Marcus Inkpen of The Looking Glass for this round of Enchantment, here is a glorious nod to classical architecture. I created a piazza around it because of course it needed one, but don’t worry: there are some uninterrupted shots of the exterior later on in our journey.

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The gods are in the details

I think you have only to look at the beautiful detail touches on the building to recognise what a great design this is.

And sometimes, when something is really great, it prompts us to learn stuff. So I’ve spent a couple of days (probably way less time than Marcus took!) researching this stuff and finding out a lot about basilicas and what they are, what they stand for, that kind of thing. I had only heard of basilica in reference to a church, but it also refers to ancient Roman public buildings, the sorts of places you might use for an official function, like a big court meeting or maybe a huge party that couldn’t be contained in your generously sized, rich Roman citizen type building.

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Rear doors and windows from inside

The Basilica Of Marcus Inkpen (I think that’s a nice official name; don’t you?) also owes a debt to the Christian adaptations of the style; stained glass windows are a feature throughout, with larger ones at either closed end of the building and above both doors.

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Exterior front glass detail

As the only sources of bright colour in the building, these windows stand out and draw the eye, whether seen from inside or outside.

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Rear doors and windows

The lamps set off the rear doors perfectly. Here as well, you can see a smaller version of the front facade, with windows on either side instead of the columns that define the front.

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Avatar For Scale!

Still, when you look at a photo of the building itself, you might get the sense that it’s enormous, but not quite how enormous, so here is a shot of Gwyneth about halfway up the steps at the front of the building. I promise there’ll only be one more photo of her in the rest of this post. (But just so you know, she’s wearing a beautiful gown from Silvan Moon Designs!)

The interior of the building can be imagined as three “rooms”, although there are no interior doors. There is a central square area and two identical areas that branch off on either side. Any of them would be large enough to hold a coronation ball for your favourite King or Queen, or even a fanciful Faerie masquerade. Not that I have any, um, plans for this building, nopenope.

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Don’t forget to look up!

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to look up when you’re in the central chamber. The dome encloses a moving heliotropic sculpture of a central sun (that’s what heliotropic means — ooh, check out my big vocabulary!) with three planets in simple orbits, against a field of stars. I was mesmerised, and I remember actually squeeing to the friend I was with at the time, something along the not-very-intellectual lines of “OMG LOOK UUUUUP!” Yeah. I get caught up in stuff sometimes: you might have noticed.

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And speaking of domes….

Here is a clear shot of the detail on top of the basilica dome. And, OK, it’s not hard to make something perfectly cylindrical in Second Life, but it is hard to texture it so perfectly that you can imagine how the stone would feel if you touched it. That’s what this building is like.

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More domeage

Is domeage even a word? My spellchecker isn’t sure, but I think that if it isn’t it really ought to be. Here is a view of the dome from the side; it should give you an idea of how some of the statuary looks when viewed from this height.

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From a different perspective

I know this photograph appears somewhat dark in blogpost land; but once they’re up on Flickr, I hope you’ll see why I chose it: namely, to give a sense of perspective and how many different layers and levels make up the outside.

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As for the inside…

As for the inside, well, you really have to experience it. Marcus has masterfully created a floor that looks polished to a perfect shine by inserting an upside-down build beneath the main one. I’ve seen this done a few times before, but with shadows placed in exactly the right, um, places, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest, and not just because it is seriously tall.

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Full Disclosure & Stuff

So, I’m not going to lie to you guys—I would never!—The Basilica of Marcus Inkpen comes with a hefty price both in L$ and LI. Land Impact for the full build is a whopping 977, and the price at Enchantment is L$15,000. But. If you have ever wanted a glorious Roman building somewhere in your Second World, if you want in your Collection Of Buildings (I know you have one!) a near-perfect example of classical architecture, even if it’s just to show your friends from time to time, and you’d like to help support one of the best artisans in Second Life, here’s your chance.

Bodacious Building: The Looking Glass, The Basilica (Available at Enchantment)
(The following items are only visible in the first photo)
Piazza: Created from the Mad Pea Roads and Walls Kit
Piazza Trees: The Little Branch, Olive Tree v2
Piazza Fountain: Atelier Visconti, Frozen Fountain
Piazza Market Stalls: Wishbringer, Market Stall Large
Bounding Buildings: Tarte, Temple Pergola
Avatar: (in two photographs) Gwyneth, but more on that (and the beautiful Silvan Moon Designs gown!) later.

Fitcher’s Bird (in her own words)

I am not weak. Now I have brought my sisters back, alerted my brothers, and made myself a creature of legend, there remains only the long, long walk that will trap the monster who intends me to be his bride.

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See how I glitter.

See how I glitter? He will never know me. Am I clever? Oh, yes; yes, I am clever. I don’t even feel guilty about it, burning this man who wronged me and all his associates and posessions to the ground.

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His precious castle

Only a shell of his precious castle will be left. My brothers are thorough.

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But I feel beautiful, and strong

But I feel beautiful, and strong, like the bird I am emulating. This bird is a beautiful fantasy, a vengeful warrior, an irresistible decoy. I wonder, when he sees me, will he want the bird, too? Of course, he can lure me no longer with his worn-out ruse.

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Sure as the Spirit Maiden

Sure as the Spirit Maiden who watches over his courtyard (and I’m not above seeing the irony in that, by the way), I know my path, down from the steps, away from the carnage to come, down to the forest, where I will await him and his broken form as he returns from returning my own sisters to our home, as he greets my brothers’ hunting party (he does not know they are hunting him), as he begs for a scrap of bread and a cup of wine before he goes. How I would laugh if I could watch him.

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O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?

Oh, and all the guests, they greet me in my glory as they pass:

O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?
I come from Fitcher’s house quite near.
And what may the young bride be doing?
From cellar to garret, she’s swept all clean
And now from the window she’s peeping, I wean.

I have accomplished this by arranging a clean, white skull with a crude wig and placing it in one of the castle’s side windows. He’ll never know the difference.

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It was never me he saw

It was never me he saw, anyway. He saw only a woman who appeared to exhibit total obedience to him. My ruse. My trick. My pretence. I do not even shiver in the bitter cold; my rage and triumph warms me as I wait, wait, here at the crossroads, for my nasty little bridegroom with his bent back and his bathtub full of bodies up in the tower.

Oh, look: here he comes now.

This stunning dress, complete with wings and headpiece, comes from The Looking Glass‘ Sharni Azalee. Its inspiration is the Grimm Brothers tale Fitcher’s Bird. When I opened this box and saw the photo for this dress, I gasped, for real. It is absolutely stunning, properly fitted, easy to wear. Thank you, Sharni, for such an amazing dress. It felt as if it were made just for me, and I know loads of other fantasy fashion fiends will feel the same way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Style Card:
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!)
Hair: Truth, Ciara (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Stunning Gown, Wings, Headpiece, Snake Belt & Wrap: The Looking Glass, Fitcher’s Bird (Available Saturday, 10 November at Enchantment‘s Brothers Grimm round!)

Environment:
Castle: By Nacht, Forfax Castle
Statue: Titans, Spirit Maiden
Trees:
Birches, The Little Branch, Mystic Birch
Candle Cage Trees: The Roawenwood, Winter White Wedding Trees
Forest Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
All Poses from An Lar

 

Why Haven’t You Been to Ostara’s Altar Yet?

Because I’m recovering from cataract surgery and under multiple deadlines at the same time, here’s a straight-up blog post from me. These photos were taken last weekend and should have been posted on Friday, but my eyes were one day out of surgery and I’ve not been looking at computers much because they are bright and full of colour! (My new cyber-eyes are amazing, btw.)

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There’s so much to embrace about the coming of Spring.

There’s so much to embrace about the coming of Spring, and Ostara’s Altar has a lot of it! Gwyneth is frolicking in a field of flowers, my favourite flowers ever, the Ichi Fields from The Looking Glass. The ruins in the background are an amazing set from Delirium, called Ancient Temple. This is permanently on Awenia (well, as permanently as anything is on Awenia!), and I love the gothic arches and the atmosphere of the place. I put lime trees from The Little Branch all around the temple, but you can’t see them in this photograph: check the ones below!

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But let’s get on to the important stuff! What is Gwyneth wearing?

But let’s get on to the important stuff! What is Gwyneth wearing? The dress is from Oubliette, and you can get it at Ostara’s Altar until 1pm SLT today, so hurry it up! It’s called Maia, and it comes in an amazing array of ombre colours, something for everyone, and the textures are fantastic! This hair is from Limerence, called Lamiya, and it’s still available at Lootbox. The amazing nails are from Dark Passions (natch!), and they’re the Odin’s Pride set, also available at Lootbox. The skin is Lumae‘s wonderful new Neoma Catwa applier, here on the Catwa Lona head, and the extra makeup is from Adored; it’s the Unicute Shadows, which you can pick up at The Secret Hideout. I went crazy at that event this time around. Unicorn theme. You guys know how I am! Eyes are the Gem Eyes from Amara Beauty. Gwyneth’s ears are these great new ones from Swallow, the Noldor Elf Ears. I love the jewellery on these ears; I just wish they took Omega appliers (hint, hint, Swallow!). 🙂 The boots are from Luas, the Skadi boots, which are at Lootbox. Trousers are a standby from The Muses, the Laced Leather Pant. Body as always is the Maitreya mesh body, though I’ve been experimenting with the Tonic body lately and may do some photos with that one soon.

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Leaping!

Leaping! Gwyneth loves Spring, because as a natural Summer Queen, Spring is the beginning of her rise to power, which peaks at Midsummer. These poses are all from Grafica, by the way; they did some amazing dance poses a couple of years ago that I still use frequently. That said, I have been to Pose Fair, so be expecting some new ones in the weeks to come!

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Happy!

This pose is from the Hela-Miyo Happy series, which is just a lot of fun. But look at the textures on that Oubliette dress. Yum, yum. I love it when things just look perfect and I don’t have to work too hard to make them perfect.

I’m not including a style card with this post, as everything is described under the photos, but I will tell you this: Ostara’s Altar is closing at 1pm SLT today, so get yourself down there and do some last-minute shopping, because some of these exclusives are discounted and you don’t want to miss that!

Short Stories

Fog and the Garden

Some mornings are just full of possibility. You rise, you dress (And what a dress! Those miracle workers at Silvan Moon Designs have done it again!), you meet an owl along the substantial walk from the castle to the Garden, and you consider.

“Do you think I should move the Garden closer to the castle?” I mused. “It seems an awfully long walk to come here every morning to pay my respects, and Court days will feel interminable.”

“I think that’s a foolish idea, Your Majesty.” Oh, great. That talking cat was back in the Garden. Where was Dyisi when I needed her? The owl was no help (they never are), and I’m pretty sure the cat just wanted a piece of the dress (but who wouldn’t?) There were two bunny rabbits and a faunicorn wandering around with me as well. I”m pretty sure the dogs were just planning on sleeping til the cat came down from its perch (which was of course never going to happen).

I sighed. “Why’s that, Your Cheshireness?” I tried to sound distantly pleasant.

“Because this way you have to look at everything—well, most everything—at least once a day, sometimes twice,” it reasoned. “And you wouldn’t want to miss anything, would you?”

“No, I suppose not,” I said with a frown.

“Smart lady,” said the cat, but just then his scruffier ginger relative finally jumped up to get a piece of that dress. I’m lucky it comes in an assortment of colours.

Late Journey

Coming home so late, you’d think I would be more worried about stalkers and drunkards than I would be about the decision I’m currently making. And despite the relative wittiness of London tube adverts, I really do have more important things on my mind.

Escalator, or steps? Hm… The thing is, if I lost this costume, I’d have to reimburse the club. And the club, conveniently, had nowhere to store it that seemed safe. And I, not-so-conveniently, didn’t exactly carry peacock-costume-sized garment bags with me when I left home for rehearsal this afternoon.

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I’m so tired. All the dancing, fifteen girls just like me in identical costumes, struggling to make sure our feathers don’t touch. So much easier to take the moving steps. But the tail feathers and the train…. it was hard enough knowing I couldn’t sit down on the Tube. But now, two long flights of stairs, and then more stairs to my second floor flat, seems almost more than I can bear.

But I’m young, and I know I can bear it. I will bear it. I do bear it.

With a last look at the train-eating escalator, I turn to walk slowly down the stairs and into the dark.

The Awakening of Silence

No light except the Lantern Tree, and far above, the moon. I am here again, helping the organic growth of Awenia along, suggesting a house, a tree, a path, a fountain.

There was a time when I’d have said, “This is too much for one person.” I’d have been glad of Faermorn, of Saone. Now, I welcome this stillness, the silent waiting that is January, secure in the knowledge of Imbolg, so soon now, and the promise of spring in the womb of the world.

Oh, great mother, guide my hands; guide my heart. Help me see what the Land wants to be.

I used to wonder, are you there? I used to wonder about a lot of things.

Now, I stare in wonder at the moon, the dark sky sparked with flickers from the Lantern Tree, and I watch as fragrant blue flowers spring from my fingers.

There are few times in our little or long lives when we are not waiting for something. Now, I sink into the silence. I think of my Land, Awenia, and how lucky I am to have this influence I do, this ability to shape it.

A long winter’s night. An incandescent moon. Silence is the womb of the world.

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Style Cards:

“Fog and the Garden”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Daphne of Mistborn Gown (Available on 4th February at We ❤ RP!)
Hair: Truth, Teanna (January 2018 VIP Group Gift! Why aren’t you a member of the Truth VIP Group?)

Location: Awenia, Faerie Garden
Cheshire Cat Tree: HEXtraordinary, The Cat’s Favourite Tree
Sleeping Huskies: Jian, Sleeping Husky Gift
Norwegian Forest Cat: Jian, Forest Cat Static—Catch
White and Brown Bunny Rabbits: UnRepentant, Twitchy Bun
Owl: HEXtraordinary, Snowy Owl, Flying
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 3
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Blue Flowers
Birch Trees: The Little Branch, White Birch Cluster, Mystic Birch Cluster

“Late Journey”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Mesange, Argos Eyes
Clothes: The Annex, Shake Your Tail Feather (Available at Pocket Gacha! [link is to HUD on SL Marketplace])
Hair: Truth, Apple

Photo Set: Mesh India, Mi Bon Voyage Escalator Background (Available NOW at Limit8!)

“The Awakening of Silence”
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Clarity (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes
Hair: Argrace, Sayo (NEW at the Argrace Main Store!)
Jacket and Sweater: Fame Femme, Leather Jacket and Sweater, Brown
Trousers: The Muses, Ariane Legging Pant
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Gypsy Boots
Circlet: Lightstar, Celtic Trinity Knot Silver

Location: Awenia, Faerie Dwellings
The Lantern Tree: The Looking Glass, The Lantern Tree
Poses: Argrace, Sayo (NEW at the Argrace Main Store!)

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Thoughts Are Things

So I took a walk down to the other side of my small Realm, because I had this idea in my head that perhaps the Gypsy Davey had listened to the boys and the other Rom who live here and decided to take up residence in the special (and it is pretty amazing) vardo they have set up especially for him. I haven’t asked them what they’ll do if he says no, though I think I might talk Dyisi into moving up here if I let her live in that.

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The mist was just about to burn off when I got near the vardo site.

The mist was just about to burn off when I got near the vardo site. And there, sitting next to the amazing Rom Castle, which is what some of the neighbours are calling the place, was a vardo I’ve seen him travel in before. So. I could walk up and just knock on the door, I guessed….

Or I could notice that suddenly, a greenhouse with a flower shop has appeared not too far from there, across from the red cottage; just the kind of flowers I like, and a greenhouse filled with roses. I remember once as a young woman I wrote a series of stories for a guy I loved more than I thought I could ever love anyone, about a house where things only had to be wished to be brought into reality. I haven’t thought about those stories in so long. But now, it got me thinking. Thinking about the way things spring in to being. I wonder if I wasn’t somehow foreshadowing my life now, all those years ago. All those years ago. It wasn’t all that long ago. And if I think of that guy, I still miss him. And I wish he could see all this. But then, flowers.

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I just sat there and thought, for a long time.

I just sat there and thought, for a long time. About how things manifest. About why there was an Oxford Circus tube station sign on the front of this greenhouse. I thought a lot.

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I thought about getting up and marching over to that vardo.

I thought about getting up and marching over to that vardo and just knocking until somebody came to the door, and if it was him, great, and if it was some little Rom girl, also great, and welcoming them to the Realm, and maybe offering to treat them to dinner down the pub or at one of the little cafés on the green. I thought about that a lot. And the roses smelled wonderful, and the sunlight shifted and shifted.

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And then, do you know what I did?

And then, do you know what I did?

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I turned right the fuck around and skipped all the way home.

I turned right the fuck around and skipped all the way home. Davey, and whatever (and whoever!) he’s doing—can wait for another day.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Danielle (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Eyes: Mesange, Tikal Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Top: The Muses, Blackwork Top, Ivory (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Jeans, Spirit, Paola Jeans, Light Blue
Shoes: Ingenue, Gretchen Flats, Noir (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Scene:
Fresh Flowers Gate: Hive, Fresh Flowers Gate, Light
Sunflowers: Botanical
Birches: The Little Branch, Mystic Birch Cluster
Flowers Behind Gate: Heart: Wild Flowers, Campion, pink, white, blue, lilac
Boxes on Greenhouse: BlackJack, Neighborhood Gacha, Wall Flower Boxes
Geeky Direction Sign: HopScotch, Which Way?
Greenhouse: Keke, Old Garden Greenhouse (part of the March 2017 DecoCrate)
Davey’s Vardo: Trompe Loeil, Tiena Caravan, Sylvan
Tall Pink Tree: Hayabusa Design, Sakura Tsyu Kosade
Fairytale Sign: Hive, Her Own Fairytale Sign
This Way Sign: {anc} This Way Sign
Nope Sign: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Signs (gift available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Oxford Circus Sign: Boudoir, Oxford Circus Sign
Wheelbarrow Flower Display: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Decor, Wheelbarrow Display (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Steps Flower Display: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Decor, Step Display (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Roses Inside Greenhouse: LovedWarrior Quan, Mesh Rose Bush Planter (various colours)
Background House with Bay Window: Scarlet Creative, Mockingbird Nook

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never have Gwyneth be typically Gwyneth without it!

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On a Misty Morning….

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Mm, coffee!

So the best thing about being up in the actual morning is coffee. Or at least it is from my perspective. And building my own weird little world requires caffeine. Today I decided to give Gwyneth a bit of a casual look, because she’s working after all, and it’s not always practical to order your minions around while wearing ballgowns, right? This hair is new from Wasabi Pills: it’s the Bianca hair, and you can find it in a gacha at this month’s Chapter Four. The outfit is also a gacha, from the currently-running (and nearly done!) Kustom 9; it’s Zenith‘s Fur Scarf Sweater and Winter Leather Fur Boots. The Fur Scarf Sweater is a rare item, but all the sweaters are lovely, and they come with the cup of coffee and tintable hands that are easy to colour to whatever shade you want. The tattoos on Gwyneth’s legs and face are from Stardust, whose wonderful work I have only just discovered. The leg tattoo is called Ami, and the face tattoo (which you an see more clearly in the next photo) is Amelina. There is a matching body tattoo called Amelia that you can’t see in this photograph. They’re available as single purchases or as a fatpack at The Chapter 4.

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A little closer

If we come a little closer, you can see the hair, the face tattoo, the skin, and the fur scarf a little more clearly. First of all, the Wasabi Pills hair comes in two different styles: this is the one where both sides are tucked behind the ear. The other style has one side falling over the ear and one side tucked. I like the tucked style because it doesn’t interfere with Gwyneth’s ears. The ears are from Swallow; they’re the High Definition Elf Ears that were offered for the first time at Shiny Shabby a few months back. Once again, Gwyneth is in the Taryn Omega mesh head applier from The Plastik. I can’t say enough about how much I love this skin, so I’ll just shut up about it already, except to say that this is a darker colourway, Au Lait, and that my favourite part about it are the lips, which seem to capture the constantly-evolving Gwyneth Bento head shape perfectly. I’m wearing a lot of Mesange eyes recently; I think I’ve mentioned I like them because they’re Omega appliers (Genesis appliers as well) and I can’t be bothered with re-situating a different pair of mesh eyes every day! These are the Sekhmet Eyes, and they’re also at The Chapter 4 this month. As almost always, Gwyneth is in the Maitreya Lara mesh body, and this is the Catwa Catya Bento mesh head.

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More Book Forest details!

Here are some more book forest details We’ve moved a little deeper into the forest; you can see the Cerridwen’s Cauldron Fae Waystone from here as well as the Book Door, though it’s obscured by the mist that will probably cover everything in this space quite a lot of the time once it’s done. Well, in my windlight at least: I’m not going to put down mist because it makes the lag-beast happy! (In case you’re curious, the windlight is Alchemy Immortals Foggy Morning.) Next to Gwyneth is one of the lovely pieces from that amazing Storybook Gacha by BananaN that started this whole “Book Forest” thing. It’s the Scene 3 item. I love the tree with the little ladder. In the distance and partly obscured by trees, you can see one of the most beautiful bits of the Raindale Maplemoor Gacha, the Maplemoor Bridge. I’ll put up a more close-up photo of it once I get that side of the Book Forest detailed; for now imagine that the mist comes right up to the edge of the bridge and obscures everything beyond it. Luckily, the windlight does that pretty well! You can get all the beautiful Maplemoor items at this month’s The Crossroads event.

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Mist, and a lamppost.

I like the idea of the mist obscuring all areas of the sim platform that haven’t been built yet. It gives me both plausible deniability and the ability to procrastinate, as I have a lot of other projects coming due shortly and I won’t be able to get back to building for a week or so, probably. But of course, a good lamppost can see you through (or at least to the edge of) the mist, and this one is another one of the beautiful Raindale items, the Maplemoor Lantern. I love discovering new things in SL. The book paths, again, are from Una, part of the Book Road set, and the trees are The Little Branch‘s White Birch Cluster.

No style card today, as it’s all in the text; links appear above as necessary.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never build Book Forests without it!

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Beginning a Book Forest

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Gwyneth:

I’m building a book forest. Yes, that’s right: a book forest. I got inspired by this gacha at The Guardians, the Storybook Gacha by BananaN. One of the rares is a Book Door! And I was thinking, what would you find if you walked through a Book Door? I’d come across this great set from Una, the Book Road, after I played an Una gacha at a past Fantasy Gacha Carnival, and I’ve been  meaning to use it and blog it every since, but life and my kitchen (don’t even ask!) and sickness got in the way, so it’s been on a shelf in my inventory for months now. I also have this great Book Tree from HarshLands that I’ve used in other places before and photographed on a couple of occasions.

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Building a Book Forest

Building a book forest, as it turns out, takes some time. I designated a portion of the sim platform to put it on and then began laying out paths. Now, I love to shop (tell us something we don’t know, Gwen!), and so when I got to check out some pre-release items that’ll be at The Crossroads, which opens today, 3 January, I discovered the magical work of Keira RaindaleRaindale has an absolutely gorgeous gacha coming out at The CrossroadsMaplemoor. It includes, among other gorgeous things which I’ll show you as I continue to build and photograph the Book Forest, the gorgeous lamp and wishing well you can see in this photograph.

So, what do you need, really, to build a Book Forest?

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You need a head full of stories.

You need a head full of stories, first of all. You must love, really love, story. I as a writer, blogger, songwriter, student, and investigator of all things mystical, love nothing better than a good story, and Gwyneth the character reflects this. Like me, her background is in literature and books; unlike me, her concentration is much more on poetry and high literature than mine is, though I have studied those bits and pieces and have read widely. Behind Gwyneth you can see both the Raindale Wishing Well and the HarshLands BookTree. Gwyneth’s skin is part of a stunning new set from The Plastik. Vae really hit this one out of the park, and this skin, Taryn, in colourway Creme, is available at The Plastik Main StoreThe hair is Carrie, new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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You need a good lamppost.

You need a good lamppost. Possibly several of them. Because there is never a place in the forest where you’ll feel alone if you have something to guide your steps along the Book Road. All of the bits of the Book Road, by the way, are from Una, as are the large books that ring the forest. The trees surrounding the books are the Mystical Birches from The Little Branch. I’ll include a style card below the post, but Gwyneth is wearing a stunning new gown from JunbugLittle Bird. You can pick up the gown at this month’s Fameshed event; this is the Ruby Silk, but it comes, as you’d expect from Junbug, in a fabulous array of colours. I fell in love with this crown at the recently-closed Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms event; it’s by Muse, the Rose Brooch Crown. This one wasn’t available at the event; I hunted it down at the Muse Main Store.

So, let’s see. You need a head full of stories. You need a good lamppost.

And, oh, yes.

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You need to not be afraid of the dark.

You need to not be afraid of the dark.

There’s more to come: I’m in love with my book forest, and I will show you all of it, once it’s done.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!),  Carrie (NEW at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: The Plastik, Taryn in Creme (NEW at The Plastik Main Store!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Nails: ZOZ, New Year’s Nails (Dark) (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Gown: Junbug, Little Bird (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Crown: Muse, Rose Brooch Crown
Shoes (even though you can’t see ’em!): Illi, Rosalynn Heels

Scene:
Book Door: BananaN, Book Doorway, from the Storybook Gacha (Available NOW at The Guardians,!)
Book Road: Una, Book Road, Small
Flanking Books: Una, Book Road, Book 5, Book 6, Book 2
Lamppost: Raindale, Maplemoor Lantern, from the Maplemoor Gacha (Coming Soon to The Crossroads, which opens TODAY, 3 January 2017)
Wishing Well: Raindale, Maplemoor Well, from the Maplemoor Gacha (Coming Soon to The Crossroads, which opens TODAY, 3 January 2017)
Forked Tree: The Little Branch, Green Ash
Mushroom Circle: The Roawenwood, Tangleshimmer Grove Fairy Ring (Purple)
Book Tree: HarshLands, Book Tree
Grasses: all from Alirium, Puffy Grass and Downy Grass
Glowing Undergrowth: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Gaia Undergrowth
Poses: An Lar, all from the Ava Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never build Book Forests without it!

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