Freedom in the Pools of Ethuil

The Pools of Ethuil are one of the Realms in this year’s Faire that I come back to again and again. There is a serene and restful vibe there that I crave.

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So many beautiful places to relax in the Pools!

There are so many beautiful places to relax in the Pools! But of course, I can never stay in one place for very long: if I linger, the local demifae start coming round and asking me when Awenia is going to be ready for residents. I’m tired of explaining the whole legal kerfuffle to everybody, particularly tiny fae who get bored after the first sentence and ask questions in the way I imagine toddlers do. “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” And then they never stick around to hear the explanation, little flibbertigibbets!

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Thinking about all that makes my head hurt.

Ach, thinking about all that makes my head hurt. I wonder, though, as I wander round all these beautiful Realms, open to everyone for just these few magical days of the Great Faire, how we’ll put it all together. I mean, we want a town, a magical town, with links to or gates right into a little piece of Faerie. I think with our skills that’ll be possible to create.

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The what-ifs

It’s hard not to get mired down in the what-ifs, particularly when so much of me is the culmination of dozens of odd what-ifs. The need to explain it all has fallen away from me now, after so many years away from the life I thought was my only one. Turns out we can have several different lives in one lifetime. And as I’m going to have a very long lifetime, being prepared for my life to change with no notice has just become not a shocking possibility but a resigned probability.

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The feeling of peace

Still, as I roam the beautiful paths of Pools of Ethuil, it’s hard to let anything break through and bother me, because here is a place so much like the one I want to build for our people back in Awenia.

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Why not dance?

And so, why not dance while the soft skies give us warmth from the distant sun?

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Why not run?

Why not run, with no destination and no desire but the ecstatic wind against our skin?

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Why not leap?

Why not leap, because everything is a leap: life, love, learning, trust, laughter, hope— it’s all a leap. Why not leap without fear?

Why not leap?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1/Neutral (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Pools of Ethuil!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar
Bracelets: The Plastik, Aeliora Bracelet
Antlers: Static, Andouiller, Vintage Key (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Sanoria!)
Clothes and Headpiece: Azul, Rafa, Sapphire (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in The Bazaar Dungeon!)
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings
Hair: Wasabi, Mayra Windblown (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Aetherea!)
Shoes: Astralia, Queen’s Leg Jewels

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Realm of Pools of Ethuil, Sponsored by Roawenwood and designed by Searlait Nitschke

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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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Faerie By Night

I should have mentioned I’d be away. I had a lot of travel planned for May, and coming off the heels of Fantasy Faire, I had a lack of energy for most things that kept me from doing much besides sleeping when I wasn’t working. Anyway, I’m sorry. I never expected my absence to be so long.

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The Fox Gate

One of the things I’ve been working hard on over the last six weeks or so is the creation of Faerie for White Owl Island. To me, Faerie is an outpouring of the Queen’s imagination, culminating in her own personal Realm, her own Faerie. Over the next few blog posts, assuming I can stay awake and am not too exhausted from being the only White Owl Island admin who is also holding down a full time job, I will do my best to give you a sense of what this Faerie looks like, and maybe why it’s so different.

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Tower Meadow

There’s more than one Tower in the Tower Meadow. I might have a collection of them.

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The hair is from Wasabi Pills, the eyes are from Mesange, the crown is from Junbug, the necklace is from Empyrean Forge, and the wings are from Evolved Creatures.

The skin Gwyneth is wearing is from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. It’s Naomi, currently at the EBento event, which will be open for at least another week. The hair, crown and necklace are all available at Fameshed.

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Fantastic Dress is from Silvan Moon Designs!

Silvan Moon Designs never ceases to please with their lovely texturing and great original mesh. This whole outfit was put together for the White Owl Island opening beach party, which was a big success. Thanks to everyone who came out, and additional thanks to Zander Greene for giving us an amazing night full of music and fun. My fellow admins, Moxy Macbeth, Dyisi Oppewall, Kitori Unplugged, Dickensian Dreamer, and Benbold Resident have done a great job of putting things together, and I’m excited at the number of applications that have been coming in!

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Of course, with the good sometimes comes the bad….

….and it appears that FaeWatch has set up an office in Faerie. Well, if nothing else, this means Cherish Gelato will be on the trail of all your favourite Fae celebrities and scandals! Gwyneth may not like it much on an IC level, but personally, I’m looking forward to all the embarrassing things Cherish may do both to herself and others.

I’m hoping to have some more cool stuff to show you in the near future, and I’ll do my best not to be a stranger. Exhaustion is a crazy thing to feel.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Strawberry (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sheba Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Naomi, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at eBento!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Summersong (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Crown, Junbug, Crown Diadem Amethyst/Silver (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Rohanna of the Moors (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Shoes: Friday, Koko Wraps

Location: White Owl Island, Faerie.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never come back from an unscheduled blog-cation without it!

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Why I Relay

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I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction.

I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction for our special time together at the Great Faire. I wanted to show her how beautiful the memories of all the Fairelanders were when placed into a special cove. The air was alight with candles, and the roots of the trees went deep, down into the river, symbolising the depth of caring Fairelanders have for their loved ones who are suffering and memorialising those who have gone before.

This year, I have not been as present at the Faire as I have in previous years. The boys are taking over most of the merchanting duties for me now, and I admit I’ve settled nicely in the Faerie Haven at White Owl Island. It feels good to sit back and let work be done by others. But I knew I’d have to visit the Faire at least once this year, to connect with my long-time friend Dyisi and to marvel at the way the Realms shine when they are chosen to be part of the Faire.

I thought Dyisi would love this memorial spot, but instead she grew melancholy.

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“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.

“I guess I probably should,” she said, and she followed it up with some of those Greek terms of endearment she uses. I persist in thinking they are complimentary.

I said, “See how quiet it is here, but for the water, the birds. Let there be peace. You know you can tell me anything.”

“What about,” Dyisi said, “If we just break the fourth wall for a moment?”

I lifted a brow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know how you’re a character from Gwen Enchanted’s imagination?”

I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not something I usually think about.”

“Yeah, I know,” Dyisi replied. “She gets Queen Gwyneth to be her mouthpiece most of the time.”

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She put her arm around me.

She put her arm around me. “Well…” and here she paused to look up in to my eyes, above her glasses. Briefly, I glimpsed the galaxies within before she looked down again. “I, too, am a character from someone’s imagination.”

I blinked. “Not Gwen Enchanted’s imagination, I hope; that’d be… well, slightly creepy and incestuous.”

“Oh, like your desperate love for Her Majesty isn’t creepy?” Dyisi allowed herself a little laugh. “No, no; I am a character from someone else’s imagination, and she is a very good friend to Gwen Enchanted.

I rubbed my chin, shook my head. “Confusing.”

“That it is, Davey,” said Dyisi, with a sigh. “This place makes me think of the imagination from which I spring, and I’d like to tell you a story from her perspective.”

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“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

A few words from the mind behind the satyr..

First off, let me thank Gwen.. who has been an amazingly dear friend to me for years now.. for allowing me to say a few words.  Her blog has been a great source of entertainment and touching stories that is more than just a labor of love.  But an outlet for her beautiful and talented soul.  So I thank her from the bottom of my heart to be apart of not just her stories, but her life.  As well as her dear husband Joe, who also touched my life in a very remarkable way.  He is missed deeply.

There is also another woman who has been an influential part of my life, as well as having been my rock.  My mother.  She passed in June of 2013 after a short battle with lung cancer. Her diagnosis was in March of that same year.  So we did not have a lot of time in the end, and even though I am told not to have regrets, I do.  It’s hard not to, especially when her life ended so quickly.  Things I wish I could have said, wishing I could have been there at her side when she finally passed.  While I still hold to these regrets, I also look back at the life we lived.  She was an amazing woman, strength in the face of all adversities..  Be it her time spent in the Marines during Vietnam, or the life our family lived.  Her sense of humor never wavered and in that taught me to laugh when things feel hopeless.  For that, I will forever be thankful.  She also did her best to try and protect me from death, even though it’s inevitable.  This does include her own death as she insisted I stay home… three thousand miles away.  Despite my better judgement, I listened to her, because she is my mother..

Cancer is not new to my family, as it has claimed so many on my mother’s side.  Her father passing from leukemia, while lung cancer claimed her mother, aunt, and a year after mom died, one of her sisters.  Even my cousin’s little girl fought leukemia, which I can happily say she is in full remission.  At the beginning of this year, a close childhood friend had lost her battle with cervical cancer.   This monster is all too familiar to me, and so this is why Fantasy Faire has become important to me ever since I discovered it. I thank the creators and participants.. vendors and supporters..   for all that they do for the American Cancer Society.  Helping those who work tirelessly to defeat this monster so that no one else.. no more of our loved ones and own selves..  will fall into it’s clutches.

Thank you.

I’d never seen tears from Dyisi before, but now I did. And I confess I buried my face in her hair to staunch my own.

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I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together.

I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together; I shall only say that the unlikely friendship between Gypsy and Satyr—and the unlikely friendship between American expat and Seattle dilettante—continues to be a force for good in the world.

Let all your stories out. Let all your tears flow. Recognise that together, we are stronger than cancer, stronger than the losses we have sustained because of it, strong enough to go on. Those candles burn for every beloved person who has passed to the other side of the Veil, for every beloved person who wakes up to fight another day, for all of us who contribute, with our time and our money and the love in our hearts (which knows no end). 

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Catalina Staheli’s “Why Do You Relay” photo of The Amazing Catwoman, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire.

Catalina Staheli took this photograph of The Amazing Catwoman at the beginning of the 2015 Fantasy Faire, my (Gwen Enchanted’s) first year as a Fantasy Faire blogger as part of her “Why Do You Relay” series. That was the year my husband, Joe Raftery, was moved from curative to palliative care. My heart was on my sleeve then, and it is now, as well. Eight months after this photograph was taken, I became a widow. Fairelanders, one of my SL tribes, supported me through his illness. My roleplaying tribe, which includes Dyisi, whose beautiful words are above, were with me constantly. My real life family stayed by my side and have never left me. I am rich, rich in friends and rich in family. I am also rich in memories. Why do I relay? I relay because, at fifty-one years of age, I am still too young to be a widow. 

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Style Cards:
The Gypsy Davey:
Head: Catwa, Justin
Body: Signature
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bo (Guys Group Gift for April, Available NOW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Outfit: Silvan Moon Designs, The Fairelands Traveler Tunic Set (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5

Dyisi:
Body- Maitreya Laura
Hair – little bones. Chel
Ears – [][]Trap[][] Gelf Ears
Eyes – Plastik Galaxie Eyes, Arc
Hooves – Gauze
Tail – Leo Tail v5
Skin – Plastik Briane Freckled
Horns – Plastik Swyrl Horns, Ray
Top – !gO! Spring lace top 1 (Now at this month’s round of Shiny Shabby)
Shorts – L&B Swear Denim Shorts
Lip ring – .:ellabella:. Blowing Bubbles
Belly chain – .Charm. Moon
Necklace – .Eldritch. Bog Cailleach Vial
Necklace – Plastik Twiggled Necklace, silver
Arm chains – Zaara Rasksha
Thigh chains -Zaara Rasksha
Septum Ring – Zaara [Goa Party]: Baga nosering
Bracelets – Zaara [Goa Party]: Friendship bracelets
Glasses – Zaara [Goa Party]: Retro sunglasses
Bindi – ~Soedara~ Pearl Berjuang Tari

Location: Fairelands Junction, Sponsored by Ruins of Xenark Roleplay Community and designed by Saiyge Lotus.

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

An Oracle in The Rose

Funny thing about the Great Faire: you never know what will happen to you when you cross into a new Realm. I found myself in The Rose, for example, blindfolded.

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I held a pendulum in my hand; around my neck was another.

I held a pendulum in my hand; around my neck was another. And I knew, somehow, that I was up high. It might have had to do with the combination of bright sunlight I could feel and sense, and the wind that left me chilled despite what felt like direct sunlight.

When I toed my way to the edge of the platform I was on, I realised that there was a sheer drop all around. And me without my wings.

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All hail the power of thought, for then I found myself in a darker place, and I could feel warm tiles beneath my barely-shod feet.

All hail the power of thought, for then I found myself in a darker place, and I could feel warm tiles beneath my feet.

I stilled and placed one hand on the necklace, then let the pendulum dangle between my fingers. I stilled myself, and as my breathing became quiet and regular, I felt, ever so slightly, the pendulum tug against my fingers.

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I turned. What else could I do?

I turned. What else could I do? And I began to walk in the direction the pendulum seemed to want me to go.

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I felt I’d climbed hundreds of steps when the pendulum finally stilled again.

I felt I’d climbed hundreds of steps when the pendulum finally stilled again.

And what did it have to show me? A formal garden, beautiful in its way, full of statues. It seemed to be all right then to take the blindfold off. Of course, I had no time to look at myself; I was too occupied with looking at The Rose itself.

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There were roses, of course.

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There were lions.

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More than one lion, in fact.

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A dome view that spanned several realms.

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I might have mentioned the lions….

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Oh, and rose petals. Rose petals everywhere.

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Inside, scattered lights and archways. And more roses.

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Did I mention the roses?

In the end, I was exhausted. All the steps, all the walking. At the end of my day, I still had no idea what the pendulum had been trying to show me, not until I had left the Realm for other spaces.

And then I looked back, and suddenly the answer seemed obvious.

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It was The Rose, herself.

Of course! It was The Rose, herself. Why did I have to be blindfolded to discover her? Do we look more closely when we cannot see? How else can I experience the Realms differently as I spend the last few days of the Great Faire wandering the wondrous Fairelands?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Tattoos: Even~Tide, Magical, Gold Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Opal, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace and Pendulum: Otherskin, Home  (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress and Pauldron: Luas, Ashe, Maitreya Purple (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Feet: SLink, Pointe Feet
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, The Rose, Sponsored by Fallen Gods and designed by Alia Baroque.

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

 

Dawn’s Promise is a Dance

I have danced so much at the Faire this year. Recently, I told you of my experiences dancing on The Hill. But it struck me, as I landed on a little outcrop of luxury outside the town proper: Dawn’s Promise is, itself, a dance.

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Meet your partner:

Meet your partner: The Land itself. You may wish to bow.

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And does it bow back? It doesn’t matter.

And does it bow back? It doesn’t matter, for soon you’ll be swept into a waltz of bridges and water, the sashay of moss, the clear, beating heart of brick and stone.

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You may feel a sense of anticipation before you offer your hand.

You may feel a sense of anticipation before you offer your hand. As the sun rises, seemingly all around you, everything is anticipation.

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What begins?

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You begin. Step forward.

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More than a blinding haze, the town is an explosion of nature reclaiming her own.

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There are little nooks to discover everywhere.

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Different ways to see.

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A sky in which to fly.

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A new adventure beneath every bridge.

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Toe to chimney, hands to clouds, next set, line up, choose a new partner, dance again.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Adamaris (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: The Plastik, Taryn, Catwa, Maitreya, and SLink appliers, in Creme
Necklace: The Plastik, Grolda (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Tiara: Ashbourne & Co., Empress Marie Tiara (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Hairpiece: Air, Mistletoe Silver (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress: The Annex, Blossom
Feet: SLink, Pointe Feet
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, Dawn’s Promise, Sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee.

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

 

 

Dancing on The Hill

Oh, The Hill. Colours just seem brighter there. Light seems to come from all directions. Animals and tiny creature frolic. It made me want to frolic, too. And then, of course, there is the music. At the Great Faire, music comes from all directions. Sometimes it’s contemplative and thoughtful, but last night, there was dance music. As I walked into The Hill to prepare for the Great Fae Parade, I could not contain the desire to dance.

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I felt saturated with colour and sound!

I felt saturated with colour and sound! And suddenly, I forgot all the things that made me unhappy. I forgot about leaving the Wylds. I forgot about everything but my body, the rhythm, the desire to move.

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It felt so good to be completely aware of my body.

It felt so good to be completely aware of my body. Too often, I think, I live in my head; it’s probably my academic background, my distance from my own emotions (I think that’s the Sidhe influence).

This year, I have been having fun at the Faire. I know every year I have fun shopping, but I’ve spent a lot of time finding myself at these Faires. I remember experiencing my development from my mortal shell into the Sidhe I was born to be, four years ago at my first Faire. And then there was the process of becoming a Queen during that Faire as well. My second Faire was fraught with relationship difficulties, hiding from the Gypsy Davey, avoiding The Amazing Catwoman. I still need to discuss our share history with her. It’s so hard to believe that she was once my best friend. Now, we seem to circle one another with distrust. I think she is afraid I will hate her. Or maybe she just doesn’t care any more. I wonder if she is at this Faire. She has been a guard at the Faire for events; it may be that she has found work here again.

Dancing on the Hill BLOG - 1

It was even fun to lose my balance!

It was even fun to lose my balance! I fell, laughing, to the grass, then danced my way to another of the rooftops, closer to the sea. The sky was impossibly blue. The grass was impossibly green. My skin, covered with bright festival paint, seemed to glow in the sunlight. And suddenly, I felt a sharp knife of desire in my belly.

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For just a moment, I was lonely, sharply, horribly, lonely.

For just a moment, I was lonely. Sharply, horribly, lonely. It isn’t that my love for Nathaniel has dimmed. It’s just that my Sidhe self, my sensual body, has the touch hunger, all the time, and I, I push it down because my mortal background says love is more important than sensuality and sex. But there I was, in the happy sunshine of The Hill, desiring nothing more than a lover, a beautiful Sidhe lover. A faery man with the ability to engage my body and my emotions and my mind at the same time. A soft and beautiful interlude. A woman with soft lips. Skin on skin. The smell of sweat and hair, long hair, falling around my face in a curtain.

Nathaniel, of course, knows that I have had other lovers. These have often been matters of the Land; they’ve often felt like obligations. Every time I gave myself to Maric, I knew that deep down, we did not really even like each other, that when it was all over, the night, the festival, the need to recreate the magic of the land, all that would remain—but between Maric and me, there was nothing. He was impenetrable as a soul, impossible for me to understand. I was shocked when I mourned him, shocked when his loss was the catalyst that made me just not want to be Queen any more.

I could have loved Mornoth, but he entered my life when I was already halfway gone from the Wylds. The war drained me, drained us all, and I didn’t want to live in a world of war.

That’s why the Faire, The Hill, is so wonderful. The spirit of love and camaraderie fills me with joy and desire. Joy and desire. That’s what’s been missing, missing from my life. Joy and desire.

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And as I stood on The Hill, waiting for my fellow Faire Fae, I made a decision.

And as I stood on The Hill, waiting for my fellow Faire Fae, I made a decision.

This year, this year. This year I’ll be open to love.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: The Plastik, Koie, Catwa, Maitreya, and SLink appliers, in the RFL Hope shade (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress: Paper Moon, Honeysuckle Fairy  (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Feet: SLink, Pointe Feet
Shoes: Candy Crunchers, Dreamer Wraps

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, The Hill, Sponsored Solarium/Titans.

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

Inspiration Zero

04.2017 WP-S-C4 BLOG - 3

Feels Like Rain

I can remember that just a few days ago, I was excited about the organically growing Faerie around me. And I had a lively conversation with Dyisi about whether or not she hates me. And some other things. And I can remember that just a few days ago, I was excited about redecorating my beautiful treehouse and making the house on the island a beautiful place for Nathaniel and me to live. I can muster a little bit of excitement about the Great Faire, but there’s some fear in there as well. What if Mother replies and doesn’t want to see me? I don’t think I could bear it. Of course I’ve heard nothing from her as yet. But we live in hope? Not always.

04.2017 WP-S-C4 BLOG - 1

Springtime.

I’m remembering that kind of feeling I used to get when we’d have a rainy spring in London. Don’t get me wrong: English spring is a beautiful season—if it’s not constantly grey and raining. And while it’s not constantly grey and raining here, it is often raining. I was told to expect this when I decided to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Faerie’s weather, of course, doesn’t have to adhere to the island’s—but if I don’t consciously change it, here it seems to want to be just like White Owl. It’s beautiful, truly. And the greens are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. But it may be a little more work than I was expecting.

What would help me feel better, I wonder? Ice cream? Music? Great sex? Learning something new? Some combination of the above?

04.2017 WP-S-C4 BLOG - 2

Only the Faire to look forward to.

Right now, it feels like I have only the Faire to look forward to. But that’s something. And I can’t get this idea out of my head; it’s a story about a raven Fae, nowhere near as vicious as Nemaine, and a little girl. And it has something to do with roses. I’ll figure it out. Maybe I’ll figure it out as soon as it stops raining.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Shizuko (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Eyes: Mesange, Roseland Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Maureen, Omega face/body combined HUD (Available NOW at The Black Fair!)
Top: Mimikri, Nina Azure Knit Top (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Skirt: Mimikri, Nina Ruffled Denim Skirt Azure (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Shoes: KC Couture, Alexa Sneaker Boots (Available NOW at Shoetopia!)
Stockings: Avenge, Sweet Cat Stockings Omega Appliers (Available NOW at The Black Fair!)
Choker: ChicChicA, Nora Choker Noir  (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Moon Necklace: A*S, Moon Necklace Silver  (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Book Necklace: Avaway, Julie Necklace  (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Tattoo: Carol G, Roses Strewn (Available NOW at The Black Fair!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never try to put the family back together without it!

7ds   mesange-logo-noir   wasabi_logo_2012_512x512

A letter to my mother….

April 2, 2017
Last Hope House
White Owl Island

Letter to Sia -- BLOG - 1

This is White Owl Island Pier.

Dear Mother,

I’m not even sure if it’s OK for me to call you that. But never mind; I’m doing it, and I may be done with doing what everybody else wants me to do, at least for a little while.

You may have heard that I stepped down from being Queen in the Wylds. Yes, I can do that. Well, I did it, so I guess that means I can do it, yes? 

I don’t know where you are, so I’m going to send this off via the Wisp network and hope it reaches you, wherever you are. I don’t know if you’re still on the run, or if you ever really were on the run. But if you are, even if you think you’re in a place of relative safety right now, I want you to think about relocating. Or at least coming to visit one of the safest places I’ve ever seen.

I know I don’t have any hold over you and what you do, as you have had no hold over me and what I do. But I’d like to talk about our relationship. You know, the one we never had. All that time I was growing up thinking I was a regular mortal kid, you were doing Gods-know-what-all in Faerie, and I can accept that. But what I can’t accept is the fact that we got to know one another so briefly, and not as our true selves. I don’t think you could have had any idea that I was actually your daughter when we met, but I have a feeling Father must have told you about it at some point? Anyway, perhaps this letter will come as a shock to you, but it seems that you and I are related by more than a common, brief past.

But talking about that right now would stir up too many things, so I shall just let you know that I have walked away from the Wylds and I am now living in a place called White Owl Island. The photograph above is of me on the pier at White Owl. This is where the ferry transport lands that carries residents and tourists to the island. It may be that wherever you are, you’ve heard rumours of White Owl as a place of sanctuary, and that it is. 

Letter to Sia -- BLOG - 2

The Boardwalk.

Here is a photograph of me on the Boardwalk. You can see the bicycle rental station just behind me, and on a sunny day, you’ll find lots of people eating their lunches at these tables. It’s almost normal looking—except that everyone in White Owl is either part of the world of non-humans living among or near mortals, or a mortal who is happy to live among non-humans. 

White Owl exists in a Realm where we are not common knowledge, but the island is cloaked by strong magical redirectors that keep ships from arriving here unless we want them to. It cloaks us entirely to the non-magical population. We are in the American Pacific Northwest, a short ferry trip from Seattle, Washington, and we strive to be a place where non-humans can live together in relative peace.

It probably seems strange, with me coming straight from being a bit player in the unholy love story between Faermorn and Gwythyr Gwynn (no bitterness here, I promise!), but I do desire and have always desired to live in peace, preferably with Nathaniel, preferably near the sea.

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Closer-in to the town square.

Does that make me selfish? Probably. Maybe I’m finally manifesting enough of my Fae nature to take selfishness in stride as I always should have done. 

Letter to Sia -- BLOG - 4

My bookstore!

And I know it will come as only a small surprise to you that my mundane “job” here on the island is owning and operating a small bookstore! It’s called “Codex”. I got a giggle out of making up that name for it when I acquired the building. It’s on the high street, between a restaurant and a coffee shop, across from the greengrocers. Upstairs, I have a little office and a place to chat with people about important matters like how to glamour glittery eyeliner. 

Letter to Sia -- BLOG - 5

This is my house!

This is my house! I’ll send you more photographs as soon as we have it all decorated. The back wall is all windows and looks out over our bay; you can even see across to the forest on the adjacent island. The house on the beach that you can see in the distance belongs to Dyisi; I’m not sure if you remember her, but she’s been a constant friend and confidante since I met her shortly before you and Blaise and Lady R disappeared from Ashmourne-that-was. 

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Here’s a closer look at Dy’s house.

Here’s a closer look at Dy’s house; she has more surfboards than anybody I know. Then again, growing up in London, I didn’t really meet a lot of surfers. Perhaps we’ll change that here. 

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Our lighthouse.

On the other side of the island, there’s a lighthouse on a nice, craggy rock. Local kids assure me it’s haunted. 

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And here is our town at sunrise.

And here is our town at sunrise. You can see the bookstore in this photograph, as well. 

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An aerial shot of the whole island….

Here’s an aerial shot of the whole island, which should give you some idea of the geography of the place. It really is beautiful. There is more than this, of course—the forest is lovely and deep and full of dangers you might find in a forest, and of course there is a Faerie here, though it’s growing organically and hasn’t sprung up in a day like the Wylds did.

Letter to Sia -- BLOG - 9

Reading and re-reading

It’s late now, and I’ve been up here in the bookshop office reading and re-reading this letter. I know it doesn’t say anything much. But I hope you will take it as an invitation, and maybe think about coming to visit us here in White Owl. Perhaps you might make your way to the Great Faire? It should be starting soon. We could meet there and I could help you find your way to the Island. 

With love,
Your daughter,
Gwyneth

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Paige (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Nan Madol Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available as part of the Men Only Hunt!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Ruby, for Catwa Mesh Head (Available NOW at The Avenue!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Top: Baiastice, Aziry Leather Tank Top (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Jeans: Swear, Laponte & Bathschild, Dita Jeans
Shoes: Reign, Skye Flats (Available NOW at Shoetopia!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never try to put the family back together without it!

Rage Quit?

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 1

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned.

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned. I wanted it that way, or that’s what I thought. I was surprised to see four tiny unicorns—well, three alicorns and one unicorn, but who’s counting? I had a lot to think about.

See, I think I mentioned I was planning on leaving the Wylds. And I know myself well enough to know that if I spend too much time dithering over something, I just won’t do it. So… I mean, it wasn’t even a plan. I had to show up at the Mallorn Tree in the Wylds to facilitate the transfer of power, even if it was weirdly from Winter Queen Gwyneth to Summer Queen Gwyneth.

But everything about being back there made my stomach hurt. Clutie was bugging the shit out of me. Bran was openly hostile that he couldn’t have his new Nintendo Switch with him: I made him leave it on White Owl because I’ve seen an iPhone disintegrate inside of a day in the Wylds, and I really didn’t want to deal with trying to replace that. Seriously, his Zelda addiction is becoming a bit of a problem. And Wulfrich? He was armed to the teeth and had half a dozen Knights stationed in strategic places around the edge of the Mallorn dais. It was like he expected someone to attack us.

I did tell them what I was going to do.

Well, I suggested I might decide to retire from Queening. I decided a clean, fast break would be the way to go, because frankly, I could see Mornoth becoming more and more dependent on me. And you know, the sex might be great, but I’d far rather have a quiet night on the couch with Nathaniel than some dramatic otherworldly encounter at this point in my life. Maybe it’ll change later, but to be honest, being Queen is a little piece of hell, especially in a world where it’s all drama, all day, all night. I mean, seriously. It’s like a Mexican soap opera up in here. I had no idea how long it was going to take, or whether I’d have to go through some crazy sex ritual with Mornoth (not that I’d complain about that) in order to cut myself loose. I just figured I’d declare him King and get the fuck out of Dodge before the Seelie Nobility decided to fry me in butter.

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 2

I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours.

I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours. Confused. Some residual anger. But beneath it all, I feel free.

Residual anger, yes. Because nobody saw fit to tell me that my daughter Bronwyn was apparently imbued with the spirit of the former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn. Which of course would be why the former Unseelier King, Gwythyr, kept following her all over the fucking universe. What a disgusting pair, those two. I mean, of course it was impossible to dislike Faermorn, blah, blah, blah, so seductive, blah, blah, blah, forget about any male fae  (or mortal for that matter) attention when she was within a hundred mile radius, blah, blah, blah, so wise, blah, blah, blah, such a grand and lovely goddess, blah, blah, blah, couldn’t fucking stay dead.

So basically, I said to Mornoth, “Ah, my friend, my Unseelie Seneschal. I come not to command you, but to abdicate. Surely you all know how to bring spring to the land without my ineffectual leadership and assistance?” Once he let me in on the truth about Faermorn possessing my daughter, I just lost it. “The spirits of Gwythyr and Faermorn have never wished to know peace. Their marriage wasn’t cursed enough: they had to curse everybody else—including my daughter? If it weren’t for those two, I’d blame myself: after all, I created this Realm, at least half of it. But every single time I’ve tried to smooth the way, every single time I’ve reached for even a season of peace, it’s war this and mayhem that and curses this and bad magic that and mad demifae queens—and I’m sure the Undying Gwythyr must have had something to do with that, aren’t you?—and I. Am. Done.”

I clapped my hands and brought down power from the Mallorn tree, and I pronounced Mornoth King of Faerie, and I kissed the fuck out of him, and then I just disappeared.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m going to miss all that drama. Seriously, if, years from now, you hear the words, “I’m so bored and I wish I were back in the Wylds fighting yet another pointless war,” you (all of you, anybody who’s reading this) have my permission to burn me alive. That at least won’t be boring.

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 3

Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

“Bran!” I shouted. “Why the fuck is there a feast laid out on my dining room table? Do not even tell me I am expecting visitors!”

There was no response.

“I am not kidding around here! I will put on a pair of stilettos just to put 1,500 psi onto that fucking Gameboy of yours!”

Oh, that got his attention. “It’s a Nintendo Switch, Your Majesty!” he called, presumably from the guest quarters. “I’m having a bit of a break in the hoovering and just trying to level up.”

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 4

I gritted my teeth.

I gritted my teeth. “Why, Oh Seneschal Mine, do the guest room floors need hoovering?” Butter wouldn’t fucking melt, I promise.

Bran emitted a high-pitched squeal of glee; he must have got his level. Either that, or it was a shrewd ploy so he could put me off for a few more minutes.

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 5

I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered.

I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered. “It’s not like this decision can in any way be changed or reversed, Bran!” I shouted back to him. “We are staying in White Owl where there are hot showers and microwaves and espresso machines and Nintendo Switches and the Internet!”

Just then, I hear the familiar chime that indicated someone was about to invade my space by appearing in the mirror that hangs over the feast table. Well, that was just great. Who the fuck could possibly be foolish enough to want to get in touch with me now?

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 6

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

Oh, this was shaping up to be a great night.

Style Card:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Blake (Available NOW at Uber!)
Eyes: Mesange, Manderley Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at Lost & Found!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Crown: Olive, The Joanna Crown (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Clothes: Pink Rayne, Esmerelda Skirt and Top (Available NOW at Inspiration SL!)
Belt: Sweet Poison, Alanna Belt
Shoes: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Scenes:
Portal/Throne Room:
Tiny Alicorns/Unicorn: Jian, My Lil’ Equine (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Grass: Garden of Dreams, Grass Type A
Bench: Elysium, Fridtjof fantasy bench
Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain

Lounge:
Feasting Table: Noble Creations, Antique Dining Table and Chairs (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candle Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance
Hearth: {e}lusive design, Fireplace
Knicknacks: O.M.E.N., Fairytale Villains
Tree Artwork: Lybra, Quasi-The Tree
Magic Mirror: Black Light Studios, Star Mirror
Photo of Nathaniel Ballard: Nathaniel Ballard, Portrait at Desk

Atrium: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never rage-quit (I mean abdicate!) without it!

elusive-logo lumae-logo    mesange-logo-noir    [NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO