Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Spires of Andolys sponsored by Dwarfins

Spires of Andolys is sponsored by Dwarfins and was created by Jaimy Hancroft and Eowyn Swords. It contains 18 stores. Jaime Hancroft, the designer for Death Row Designs, one of the designers for Dwarfins, and one of the builders for Spires of Andolys spoke with Sonya Marmurek about sponsoring the Fantasy Faire for a second year, coloborating with Eowyn Swords when creating Spires of Andolys, and what makes her happy about building in Second Life.
Crooked little fantasy styled houses inspired by the fairytales of your childhood. Centered around a magnificent castle that would be the envy of Sleeping Beauty. Careful though, the castle guards a secret dungeon hidden deep within its bowels where the darkest villains are forever forgotten.
The Origins of Sanctuary are being revealed at the Spires of Andolys. The imprisoned tyrant Lut has been imprisoned and is now on trial - did he act in the interests of his people, or was he driven by his own twisted desires? The trial will take place in segments throughout the faire.

Spires of Andolys 1

Fantasy Faire: The Lost Land Hunt - Part Two

 The Sea of Mists

This is the second part of my walkthrough - the first part is here. Like all of my walkthroughs of this sort - my text will be included in italics, with the Hunt text standard. I will add notes for things I found particularly challenging, and try to give a basic tips for how to start and what to do.  Make sure your media is on for the videos, and then we can get started!


Chapter IV: Find the Princess

The entirety of this part of the hunt takes place on Ravenshold.

This is very straightforward at first! Once on Ravenshold, go into the nearby tower (sit on the door to enter) and go up the stairs. You've found the princess!

Chapter IV: Find the Princess

Fantasy Faire: Poppetsborough Up Close

Spinning Inside

I went with medieval fashion in Poppetsborough, and it fits a world of words very well! My look is a magical combination of three stores, beginning with this layered gown from FANTAVATAR & MOONSTRUCK (Fantasy Faire Location). The included invisilayer comes really in handy and is well-made so you can take pictures from a lot of angles, even with the open lacing of the bodice. The skirt is loosely rigged to the legs, so it can flow with a variety of poses in fun ways. On my brow is a fun, twisted metal crown from Fujiwara's World (Fantasy Faire Location). There are several available with gems twisted in, but this heart design is a Fantasy Faire exclusive so make sure to swing by and pick it up! Finally, I took a neat forehead decoration from Lilith's Den (Fantasy Faire Location) and turned it into a chest decoration; I think it turned out really well!

On the Front Stoop

The building - a Hobbit Hole - kitchen set, and book furniture is all from Wishbringer (Fantasy Faire Location), and there are more pieces I'm not showing - like a second stove set to go with the other kitchen things. The brighter colored things, like the stones with a triad design on them in gold, and the brilliantly blue chair peeking out from behind the tree, are from Lilith's Den (Fantasy Faire Location) as well. I love the brilliant colors and the shine of them, and all of them are modify-ok, which means you can mix things up as you want. The glowing rainbow rug is also from Lilith's Den (Fantasy Faire Location) and in addition to shining in a beautiful manner, it also moves and spins hypnotically.

Living Space

For poses, I'm pulling forma whole slew of offerings from Eternal Dream (Fantasy Faire Location), some of which include props - like the bows and arrows or the flame and a book - and others of which don't. The selections are widely variable and really fantastic; I particularly like the props, as they're all well made and well-set; I didn't have to edit the bow at all, for example!

Fantasy Faire is going until this Sunday, so you have plenty of time to swing by Poppetsborough and pick up these fun fantasy fabrications!

Practice Makes Perfect

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Poppetsborough sponsored by Dandelion Daydreams Factory

Poppetsborough is sponsered by Dandelion Daydreams Factory  and was created by Luna Barak, Alrunia Ahn, and Kyra Reiter. It contains 18 stores. Alrunia Ahn, Luna Barak and Kyra Reiter spoke with Sonya Marmurek about building Poppetsborough, how they collaborate to make things, and what inspired Poppetsborough.

Enter a storybook world with the emphasis on the book. Have your favorite stories pop to life as you walk into the book and become the characters of your favorite fairytales.

The Rickey Weasels are up against tears and holes in the books of Poppetsborough, trying to combat the Unweaver. Join Beryl Strifeclaw and Avariel Falcon in a Fantasy Faire roleplay to help Jack figure out how best to save this fragile, beautiful world. Tears of Poppetsborough chronicles the roleplay throughout the fair.

One other thing you can do there is place memorial letters up on the laundry line; go here for more details!

Poppetsborough 10

Shenai Orionite and her partner Angelon of Onorite spoke with Sonya Marmurek about why they're sponsoring Fantasy Faire for the first time, what inspires their creativity, and show off some of the clothing they're selling on Poppetsborough this year.

Fantasy Faire: Aurora Up Close

Arising from Icy Death

Once again, I find myself in contrast with my surroundings! This time, spring is come to winter; this gorgeous dress from DressMe Designs (Fantasy Faire Location) - complete with three dimensional butterflies - is a Fantasy Faire Exclusive item. It is a lovely conceit - a simple gown with a butterfly-shaped top and really, glowing butterflies landing on large, semi-artistic flowers. I especially love how it pushes the edge of what's possible; the butterflies are perched on the fabric as if they were separate. They are full-bright ad the dress is no-modify, which means that lighting for pictures needs to be chosen with care. The back is wonderful - realistic bands across the back which support the front, and a plunging back which hangs out a little from the flesh of my back. The fabric itself uses materials to add a bit of luster to the butterfly patterns in the dress; I've really been enjoying seeing how clothing makers have used materials in a variety of ways, and this one is particularly subtle. The formality of the gown really called for a crown, and this delicate mesh surrounding the face from
Attitude is an Artform (Fantasy Faire location) was particularly nice. I tucked it into my Calico updo, and the spikes both frame my cheeks beautifully, and peeks up through the curves of the hair in a wonderful way. There are a lot of meshwork metal accessories on the grid, and I look forward to pairing this with others as time goes on! It comes with a HUD that texture changes it between twelve different colors, and on top of that it's modifiable, which means you can get close to the color you want, then finish it with some tinting as I did here, to get a darker gold. Another wonderful touch is that each side can be texture changed independently, so if you have a two-tone look it can be modified to match! Incredibly versatile.

Looking for the Sun

The dark gold came from the jewelry set I'm wearing, a jewelry set from Alegria (Fantasy Faire Location). The earrings are actually a series of hoops fit for a human ear; I angled them slightly so that the smaller rings vanished behind my much larger ears! The heavy bangles are one of the best sets I've seen on the grid - floating over the skin in a wonderful manner and covering nearly the entire forearm. The collar, in a similar color but different design, looks like a beaten metal base and fits well around my neck. All of the pieces are size-changeable via a blue menu, one of the scripts which allows for resizing along a single axis as well as multiple. It's available both in the gold I'm showing here, and in silver, and there are gorgeous matching boots that you sadly can't see under the froth of my spring gown. I layered on top of the beaten metal collar a fun necklace from Empyrean Forge (Fantasy Faire Location) on a thin cord with a few feathers hanging down from it. I love the symbol wrought in mesh, and the addition of subtle beads along the strand of leather; when I saw this, I simply couldn't resist!

A Persephone unluckily released to the surface in winter, it was simply too fun to return to Aurora to take these shots along the various icebergs! Certainly, this is a year of high contrasts.

Long Alleyways

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Poseidon's Abyss

Poseidon's Abyss was created by Haveit Neox and is sponsored by Orionite, Boudoir, Curious Kitties, Azul, AviewTV, L'Uomo / Animations Rising, Stitched, Lorin's Sound Effects Shack, and the Sanctuary RP.

Sonya Marmurek spoke with Neox about his second year building for the Faire, his inspiration for building down into the depths of the sim, and the many people he collaborated with to create the sim.

Poseidon's Abyss 8

Fantasy Faire: Tangleshimmer Grove Up Close

Shimmer Sweet

I had a lot of fun building a set from what Tanglewood has available - all of it sweet and brightly colored. I built the set out of things from two different stores, Eccentric Ephemeria (Fantasy Faire Location), which offered up brightly colored columns with yellow flowers, and Petite Plunder and Immortal Inspirations (Fantasy Faire Location), which made pretty much everything else - and astonishingly sized both for standard avatars and small ones! I pulled out my petite alt, Deoridhe, to show off some of the available poses in the set. The furniture has bunches of seats, and you can also bathe in the little bowl in the bottom of the trellis - which is an adorable addition! The entire Petite Plunder and Immortal Inspirations is modify-ok, which really came in handy when I resized and lowered one of the end tables to make a coffee table large enough to mirror the full sized furniture in miniature. The cookies are part of the end table, but since it is modify-ok, you can hide them underneath the top to clear some space or offer up some different options.

This is why I love mod-ok; I was able to augment an already impressive seating area with my own addition! Included are, as you can see, a flower bedecked bird house, a matching flower planter, an end table, a lounge, and a deck chair all in both sizes. The trellis only comes large, but as it has seating for tiny avatars, that makes a certain amount of sense! The bluebells up front are also from Petite Plunder and Immortal Inspirations, but rather than be available for purchase, it's one of the prizes for the Lost Land Hunt which is currently going on across the Fairelands. Framing the Petite Plunder and Immortal Inspirations set is the gorgeous flower planters from Eccentric Ephemeria which offer up rich colors. I only wish I had a full set,s o I could make walls of flowery rainbows all over the place! I love the textures on these in particular; the color remains powerful without losing the shadows and edges of the column and urn themselves.

Petite Perfection

Petite Deoridhe is entirely bedecked in an old outfit from Bare Rose, but full sized Deoridhe is almost completely transformed by Tangleshimmer Grove. I was really tickled by how the furniture fit the aesthetic of Tangleshimmer perfectly, but my final look was much more evil queen than shiny, happy, shimmery Deo! I finally decided I must have taken a wrong turn, only to get lost in a world of light and rainbows! Poor evil queen; she's so distressed!

The look started from the top down with these fun antlers from :{Oak & Elm}: (Fantasy Faire Location), available in a couple colors; I'm showing off the rich purple here. I love how easily they tucked into my Analog Dog (Fantasy Faire Location) hair. The updo parts are solid mesh with the braids sticking out stiffly and loose flexi curls hanging down almost to my waist. The style is such fun, and the included hairbase smooths the connection between skin and prim. Speaking of skins - I'm rocking a rich green from LURE (Fantasy Faire Location). This is one of five skintones available at the faire; each comes with three brow options, two body types, and a ton of appliers - TheMeshProject, Azz, Baby Bump, Belleza, Brazilia, Lena, Loud Mouth, Maitreya, Omega, Slink, Tango, and Wowmeh. It didn't come with an applier for my .:Soul:. ears, but I was able to tint one of the fantasy shades to match - and I think I did rather well, if I don't say so myself! The skin has some nicely subtle shading and really looks lovely - you can even check out a bit of my decolletage below!

Stressful Sparkles

My outfit is awesome darkness that worked together surprisingly well! My wings are a fun recolorable set from That Chick (Fantasy Faire Location). These are available for full sized and petite avatars, and can be color changeable via a truly impressive HUD. There are three textures available, twenty-five colors for the wing sections, and twenty-four orb textures - from the rather simple red shown here to a couple full on rainbows! They are also resizable, though I found the default size to be perfect. The low-hanging necklace I'm wearing is also from That Chick; no color change this time, but a fantastic heavy weight and I really love the textures. The bulk of my look is made up of this single gown from The Muses (Fantasy Faire Location) which manages to combine sexy and formal. The length, both of the skirt and the sleeves, offer up a rich heaviness - especially with the addition of the large patterns and sparkle fade. The low cut of the front is a fantastic framing device, though, and makes the That Chick necklace really stand out! I wanted to finish with an almost martial edge and the collar from [CONQUEST] (Fantasy Faire Location) is simply perfect. It's modify-ok, so I was able to size it down to fit my neck and frame my face, and I think it takes a style which could almost be too revealing and amps up the severe edge. I was playing with a lot of contrasts overall, and I think the result is unusual and striking.

Which Way Is Out?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Aurora sponsored by NeoVictoria

Aurora is sponsored by NeoVictoria and was created by Beq Janus. It contains 20 stores.

On a world plunged into ice age, men of science seek answers in the ethereal shimmering of the planets energy field. Meanwhile the Mystics tell tales of the unweaver at whose feet they lay the blame for their ice-age, their hopes for salvation lie in legends of heroes, ancient tales of lands across the dimensions, their faith hangs on finding the lost knowledge that can bring forth the confluence. The two factions, poles apart in their beliefs are about come together as myth and machine meet beneath the Northern Lights.

Aurora 5

Fantasy Faire: The Lost Land Hunt - Part One

The Bard Queen has returned with another quest for intrepid  fair folk and their allies, calling everyone to cross a road less taken and embark on a quest to awaken the Ten Champions of a Lost Princess and inspire them to battle the Unweaver and the Winter King. The week before the Faire there was a second trailer and Cinder Vale interviewed Aisling Sinclair about the hunt.

As a bonus, AviewTV,'s Chief Operating Officer, Secret Rage, talks to Sonya Marmurek about the organization's founder LaPiscean Liberty, why they are sponsoring Fantasy Faire for the first time this year, about why they wanted to sponsor the Hunt in particular, and the many plates Rage keeps spinning in Second Life.  

Your Intrepid Hunters!

Like all of my hunts of this sort - my text will be included in italics, with the Hunt text standard. I will add notes for things I found particularly challenging, and try to give a basic walkthrough for how to start and what to do.  One of the first things to do is to turn on your media if you can - as this hunt includes videos; if you can't run video, there will be links to the videos on YouTube, and I'll include those as well. The included text is the same as spoken text.

Above the fold, I want to say this was an extremely fun hunt. The story was cute, the technical aspect was flawless, and the puzzles were both really fun and not the bottleneck they've been in the past because they are HUD based. I love how smoothly the HUD works and how it helps you keep track of what you're doing. It is fun without being frustrating, and gives you a reason to check out the lovely places in the Fantasy Faire. I also adore the diversity amongst the Champions, and the bits of humor along the way in what they say - this Hunt definitely rewards checking everything out.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Squee: Fantasy Faire

The Sunday Squee is when I can talk about things that make me happy and excited. The main focus will be on different things people created, from books to movies to television shows to podcasts, and my effort will be to highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me so I can enjoy what you love!

Looking Up to Heaven

I love the Fantasy Faire. In many ways, it is the heart of what I love about Second Life - one of the few places where individuals of all descriptions come together for a single cause to create something beautiful together. People do outrageous amounts of work - building sims, building exclusive items, organizing sponsorship, wrangling entertainers - all for a shockingly swift ten days of the Fairlands being open. There's always a hunt - a story of creation or redemption, of saving others and coming together - and this year looks to be no different.

Every year I shoot to do more, to experience more, to try to help more. Every year I don't manage as much as I wish I could, but I always come back because there is a light in the heart of Fantasy Faire that I love and want to be a part of more than I can possibly say. I look forward to adding 2015 to my list of past events, and looking back on it fondly in years to come.

From Light to Dark

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Sylvan of Spells Up Close


Although I centered this post around Sylvan of Spells, Odyssey is getting a tiny call-out for this really fun hair from Wasabi Pills, called Jasmine. It has Wasabi Pills' standard awesome curls and tendrils, with an added dose of her fun 50$L Friday colors. I tucked into it's waves a wonderful lily circlet from Talevin's Designs (Fantasy Faire Location), the first of a long selection of items you can find on the sim Sylvan of Spells. The sparkling staff in my hands is from the same store, along with a whole slew of other accessories and weapons - definitely more than I could show here! I love the sparkled on it and the shape is mesh and editable - I made it a bit smaller, to fit my hand, then lengthened it out with complete ease. Thank you editable mesh!!! My accessories are actually a combination of two sets, both of them RFL Donation items, from Plastik (Fantasy Faire Location). They sport gems of official Fantasy Faire purple, and in addition to the necklace and earrings I'm showing here there are circlets and rings and second necklace styles galore. Each sign states exactly what comes in the set. which includes the gold metal I show here, silver, and black.

A Fun Find!

My outfit is a fun recolor of one of my favorite fluffy mesh dresses from Tayren's Fantasy Fashions (Fantasy Faire Location), and the purchase actually includes an entire avatar, including skin, shape, and shoes. I love the sparkles, which catch the similar sparkles in my Talevin's Designs (Fantasy Faire Location) staff - above you can see the striking pinecone top which made me fall in love with it. I couldn't resist the pink-to-yellow fade even though wasn't immediately obvious it went with the rest of my accoutrements! I think everyone has one of those days they want to combine sparkles and combat boots, though, and clearly this was my day. And finally, said combat boots come from FDD Stories (Fantasy Faire Location) and are part of another full outfit. I'm showing off the dark brown, but there's also a lovely antique blue. I fell in love with the design of these, from the button up the front, to the added knee pads, to the band over the ankle to hold everything in place. They're fitted mesh, which means they fit out of the box, and I had to increase my foot size to bring myself into proportion - definitely a first, and a welcome one at that.

All in all, my look may be unconventional, but I rather like it!

Lovely Entrance

The building in this and the one after the next are from Independent Objects (Fantasy Faire Location), a pair of fascinating Moroccan style houses with open entrances or roofs. I really like the shape of them, and the included door hangings and sun shade are  festively patterned. I had fun placing a bunch of other things around them, like this rose bush from Fantasy China (Fantasy Faire Location), a full mesh rose bush inside of a simple stone urn. The lanterns - which are lighting this whole scene - are both from Gypsy Wolf (Fantasy Faire Location) and come in five different colors - more of them shown below. They have a lovely shape and pattern on them, and light up an area prodigiously. Finally, the welcome sign up front is a free gift from Kaerri (Fantasy Faire Location), and set to match the other floral and fairy themed offering from her at the Fantasy Faire. I love the little animals perched all over it; such fun!

Surreal Cafe

I filled this Moroccan style building from Independent Objects with a bunch of offerings from Kaerri (Fantasy Faire Location), all with a floral and cafe theme. The relay for life offerings are the piano and clock, both of them sweet additions to any set. I really love how the flowers are woven in and how the grass sprouts up from the ground - even on this stone floor it looks surreal and soft.I'm definitely keeping these for the next time I want to plan a real garden party!

I Can Balance my Staff!

I hope you enjoyed brief peek at some of the lovely things available on Sylvan of Spells at the Fantasy Faire. Please drop by to see the rest - there's more than I could cover in a month of Sundays!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fantasy Faire: Tangleshimmer Grove sponsored by Roawenwood

Tangleshimmer Grove is sponsored by Roawenwood and was created by Searlait Nitschke. It contains 18 stores. Nitschke spoke with Sonya Marmurek about both sponsoring and building a sim, the inspirations for her sims - including Tangleshimmer Grove, and her memories of prior Faires.
Deep in the heart of the wood is the secret place of Fairies. Golden light bathes the lush green as flowers dance and the early morning dew lays a glistening shimmer over the world.
Tangleshimmer 2

Fantasy Faire: Sylvan of Spells sponsored by Merchants of Dreams

Sylvan of Spells is sponsored by Merchants of Dreams and was created by Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Eldowyn Inshan. It contains 19 stores.
Enchanted grove where our stories are collected and nurtured by mystic librarians. Books, scrolls and parchment litter the ground, the debris of the Forest of Enlightenment.
2015-04-22 Sylvan of Spells_003

One of the central events to Fantasy Faire is the Literary Festival, with an impressive calender of events! It begins in the evening of the 23rd at 5PM with an open mic event, which will be reproduced if it proves to be popular. After that, there are at least two or three events a day, and some days as many as eight or nine! It ends on Saturday at 8am with a discussion of the stories of the Hunt taking place during the Faire! Make sure to check them out.

2015-04-22 Sylvan of Spells_010

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Death is Before Me Today

Into the Garden

Death is before me today:
Like the recovery of a sick man,
Like going forth into a garden after sickness.

Under a Sail

Death is before me today:
Like the odor of myrrh,
Like sitting under a sail in a good wind.

Return of a Woman

Death is before me today:
Like the course of a stream,
Like the return of a man from the war-galley to his house.

Longing for Home

Death is before me today:
Like the home that a man longs to see,
After years spent as a captive.

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
Adaptation of "Dispute between a Man and his Ba"

Monday, April 20, 2015

21 Shoe: Kokoia

21 Shoe: Kokoia

Cross strap heels are the name of the game for Kokoia's monthly deal, heavy black counter, heel, and vamp for both of the shoes. The vamp is lined with the pattern for the shoe, a pattern which is echoed in the thick bands which form the cross strap and flat strap along the bridge of the foot, holding it to almost impossible heights. Animal print makes up these patterns, one pair a lovely leopard spot and the other a striking zebra stripe. I love that the very heavy bands are echoed more narrowly on the vamp - it adds a lovely elegance to the shoe. I also like the zipper up the heel in silver, and the silver flaps holding the elastic on the inside of the foot. The shoes are fitted for Maitreya, SLink, and The Mesh Project, giving you a lot of options!

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Kokoia and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: N-Core

21 Shoe: N-Core

Every now and then, shoes made almost entirely of lace are needed, and this month N-Core is offering up not only a pair of black lace shoes, but a second pair of starkest white! Both of them are sling-back, open-toed shoes with a moderate platform and a nicely high heel of a solid color. The shape is particularly nice, with a heavy ribbon edge that outlines smooth curves from the widest point at the toe, to the narrow thread at the heel. The heel has a tiny cap at the base in the contrasting color of the sole and the insole - both the black and the white have the same base. The shoes are made for the highest feet of Belleza, Maitreya, N-core, SLink, and The Mesh Project; a fantastic variety!

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by N-Core and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: Ingenue

21 Shoe: Ingenue

Ingenue is getting in touch with the sweet side of shoes with this pair of charming, fruit decorated pumps in two tones - a simple color on the toe, counter and heel, and a pattern on the body. The pattern is a playful pattern of stylized fruit over a polka dot background, giving them a young and playful air which contrasts nicely with the otherwise sleek, adult shape of the shoe. The polka dots continue on the insole, under the logo for the store. I love the addition of thread marks along the edges, making these shoes seem highly realistic even up close and enlarged! They fit for the high version of Belleza, Maitreya, and SLink and are editable, so you may be able to fit them even for other feet. These are perfect for sweet and fresh summer looks in the clear pastels so common on the grid.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Ingenue and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: Bliensen + MaiTai

21 Shoe: Bliensen + MaiTai

This month, Bliensen + MaiTai is offering up a pair of open-toed pumps, each with their own specific styling against a sleek form. The shoes themselves are reassuringly heavy and slick, with the vamp stretched down over the slight platform of the sole and the rich red of the interior stretched just a little around the edges of the shoe to create a narrow, distinctive edge. The heel is quite high - they are built for the highest foot shape for Belleza, Maitreya, The Mesh Project, and SLink. The Belleza version are even unrigged, so you can see if you can fit them for other feet as well! The shoes on the left are the Marina version, and in addition to a jaunty combination of blue and red they also sport an anchor detail that hangs in it's silver glory over the side of the foot. The option on the right is call Stingray and has a lovely sheen to it over the gold, bumpy texture of the shoe.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Bliensen + MaiTai and pick up a pair!

Fantasy Faire: I Remember

The Fairelands are stirring, taking new shapes, woven from dreams and imagination to shift closer to our reality. It is time to remember the past forms, the six Fairelands before the ones that will emerge in two weeks. Time to remember the forms you have taken, the adventures you’ve had, the moments that took your breath away.
I've been blogging Fantasy Faire since 2011, and each year the amount I've wanted to do has increased simply because I love the Fairelands and the spirit everyone brings to it so much. It was literally my first experience blogging anything official, the first time I applied to anything, and I was an extreme neophyte - but I had such fun! 2011 also started my trend of making a post for every sim in the Fairelands, something which I've continued to this day, and I wanted to highlight some of my favorite sims over the years, forcing myself to pick just one a year! Such torment!

Man On Fire!

2011 was the beginning, and the sim which took my breath away the first time - the one which cemented my desire to cover the whole event - was Dark Mirage.The style was 1001 Arabian Nights rendered in shades of red and gray, and it simply took my breath away. Believe me when I say my pictures captured only the barest hint of the full effect - I was much more of a neophyte photographer, and it still manages to leap off of the page. One of the amazing things about this build was how it combined enormous, overwhelming builds like the centerpiece with much smaller builds, like the floating rooms which I only discovered had places to relax inside of them as the Faire was ending! Truly and astonishing world created for visitors and vendors alike, and one of my favorite builds from The Looking Glass of all time.

Floating Islands

2012 I began to feel like I had my sea legs; I knew what to expect and what to do, but the sims retained their powers to delight. It was also the beginnings of petites and the first year I blogged with bodies not my own. Nu Orne was the sim which took my breath away, with it's combination of glowing, changing lights and dark shadows. I had known of Cerridwen's Cauldron before seeing Nu Orne, but this sim really brought home to me how powerful and magical her creations were on an epic scale.

2013-05-01 Landscaping_007

2013 brought me real comfort in the Fairelands - which if you know anything of fairy tales is the time when darkness comes. I felt for the first time as if I really belonged, as if I were a welcome member even if I was a very minor fae in the way of things. It also introduced me to one of Fallen Gods' most subtle builds, Magnificat. Alia always does romantic styles, in the original sense of the word, and Magificat combined that build sense with water and land in a way which took my breath away. I spent long periods of time absently watching the boats come and go through the city, dreaming of Venice. The build itself inspired a short story I wrote for Fantasy Faire, which won the PrimPerfect contest and left me entirely verklempt - The Red Sail. I loved this sim with a depth and fervor I'm not sure I can express, and I was grieved when it vanished into the mists.

2013 was also the year which cemented my love for MadPea through the hunt that they did for the Faire that year, The Key of Hope (part 1, part 2). Charming, inspirational, and a whole lot of fun, it also helped to settle me into the style of blogging I use for MadPea hunts - the up close shots of hunt objects, for example, and the inclusion of the full story for posterity.

Steps in Half Circles

In utter irony after 2013, 2014 was the first year I wasn't a member of the Fantasy Faire official team, which limited my access to the Fairlands. By now I felt dedicated, though, and I was determined to do as much as I could! Medhir Woods stands out to me as one of my favorite sims this year, especially the central build in front of Solarium, with the gathering-spot leading out onto water, and the Gazebo with the glorious view. For the first time, I told a story as I went from sim to sim - the story of a lost fae in an ever-changing world. Medhir Woods was the solemn conjunction of many different types of autumn, and it exemplifies to me the inevitable changes which occur as we grow in knowledge and experience.

There was another hunt this year telling a story of the Fairlands which will continue this year! Called the Palace of Tears (part 1, part 2), it added audio and video to the mix, which was a lot of fun. The first part was literally about proving your worth to Old Fimbleby, while the second involved similar levels of puzzle madness! Based on reports from AviewTV's interview with Sonia Marmurek, the technical issues which plagued me that year have been more than addressed, an excellent example of how the Fantasy Faire becomes better every year!

Taunting the Pigeons

And now I'm back at the Faire! With all my strengths and weaknesses, all my foibles and fancies, I'm hoping to bring all of me into the Fairlands again to explore and be delighted. I hope you'll join me!

21 Shoe: Essenz

21 Shoe: Essenz

Essenz has created a much more buckled down riff on the t-strap heel, starting with a high platform base and then combining a quite thick band at the ankle with a very narrow one mid foot, and holding them all together with an intermediately sized upper that is in a single piece with the ankle strap. I especially like how the shoe is designed with grommets and a supporting band for the secondary strap at the arch of the foot. The profile form the side is nicely curved with an elegant feel to it, and the vamp is bat-winged and tucked inside the sides of the shoe, leaving a nice open toe. The colors, a muted yellow and a soft peach, are exclusive for this event. They're rigged and uneditable, set up for both the SLink and Maitreya high feet. Also include is a HUD to change the colors of the hardwear between gold and silver, and the sole between peach and black.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available - two for the price of one. I encourage you to swing by Essenz and pick up a pair!

21 Shoe: YS & YS

21 Shoe: YS & YS

YS & YS offer up some deliciously strappy shoes this month, a combination of a t-strap and a vamp made up of more, even thinner straps that have been fanned out from the center point along the edge of the shoe, caught between the sole and the platform.  The pale shade has a delicate fabric texture up close, realistic enough that one feels one could reach out to the screen and feel it. At a distance, it offers a lovely softness to the edges of shadow and light. The other shoe has a platform is wooden instead of covered, a pale shade that works very well with the white or patterned white and black shoes. I particularly appreciate how uneven the pattern is - reminiscent of  polka dots but without the hard edges - jumping the straps and giving a sensation of movement on a static form. Both shoes are shaped for the SLink high feet, shown here, or the Maitreya high feet; they're rigged and uneditable.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes will be available for the price of a single pair of shoes. I encourage you to swing by YS & YS and pick up a pair!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

21 Shoe: Eclectica

21 Shoe: Eclectica

Eclectica has a glorious pair of strappy heels ready for 21 Shoe this month, full of sparkles and life. Fit for the SLink High Foot, they're a simple design - slim ankle straps gathering at a medallion above the Achilles tendon and echoed in bat wing vamps with a peep toe, also surmounted by a medallion. And because she loves us, Tiffy has also included the medallion in a ring that can be worn on either hand, and resized as needed. It's a simple eight sided figure of a star inside of an octagon, the points of the star creating wide sided arrows pointing to their heart. I also quite like the layers of the shoe, how the straps slip out from between sole and the insole. The verisimilitude is continued in the buckle of the strap and the belt tip, both of them simple but well made. The heel part has a subtle taper inward then a flaring base - one of my favorite heel designs offline. The shine is the most fun of this design, though, catching the light beautifully through judicious use of materials. I love seeing how materials can bring glitter to life in Second Life, and I look forward to sparkling my way around the grid in these gorgeous shoes.

On the 21st of this month, both of these shoes and matching rings will be available - all for the price of a single pair of shoes. I encourage you to swing by Eclectica and pick up a pair!

Sunday Squee: Good Eats

The Sunday Squee is when I can talk about things that make me happy and excited. The main focus will be on different things people created, from books to movies to television shows to podcasts, and my effort will be to highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me so I can enjoy what you love!

Single Frame Stories: Pot

Alton Brown's Good Eats is one of my favorite shows, especially now that more and more of it is making it's way onto Netflix so I can enjoy food geekery in the comfort of my own home.For everyone who hasn't run across it, Brown serves up not just recipes but lectures on the history of food, theories about how different dishes or drinks came about, and explanations of the science of different food practices. He's opinionated, entertaining, and won my heart when he said McGuyver was his Patron Saint. The show is no longer in production, but there are sixteen seasons of episodes and they remain useful and fun.

Each show is centered around some sort of theme - often a type of food, like popcorn or coffee or peanuts, but sometimes a theme like his cocktail episodes, which often jump from drink to drink without much of a thru-line. One of the hallmarks of his style is the use of simple props and the roping in of his staff to play various roles - like his poor, put upon camera man who keeps ending up being a dentist. The end result is not only some recipes to try, but a real improvement in knowledge about food, what cooking does, and what good practices are in the kitchen. Plus, he's just a lot of fun too look - and what other cooking show has a cultural anthropologist stop by semi-regularly?

Deoridhe of the Silver Hand

The Genre theme this month is Rockabilly, and the creators have gone all out. Please believe than I can only show a fraction of the wonders available to you; there is more than I could possibly show off, though I'm going to do my very best. Rockabilly is not my typical style, but I'm quite enjoying the blast from the past and dressing it up in my own indomitable manner!

Called from Behind

For this first look, I started with this fun overall dress from Distorted Dreams in black and gray - setting the color palette and the style early. It is very slim cut in the waist and hips with a wide flowing hem edge that is rigged to the legs. I especially like the large folds of fabric, which means the skirt has a natural effect no matter how you're posed. The shirt has a plunging v neckline with tiny buttons along one side of it; it's cut low enough that the faintest hint of bra can be seen through, which I thought was a really sexy effect. The suspenders, ended with tiny bows, are separate from the shirt, which means in profile you get the lovely curve of them a short ways from the curve of the shirt. To continue the dense black styling, I added a set of cat's eye sunglasses from BluPrintz, finished with a lovely curve of pale gems. The reflections in the glass are particularly fun, light and dark capturing the effect of reflections in a world without them. They inspired me in a musical direction, which made the microphone-topped headband from Sad Harlequin particularly apropos. I'm wearing the genre-exclusive set with the black and white polka dots, but there are also bows and headbands in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and microphones in silver, copper, and gold in addition to the black I chose.

Crystal Lights

The plunging neckline of my Distorted Dreams dress highlights the lovely scattering of freckles on the Lumae skin I'm wearing. There are more freckles on my cheeks and limbs, and the skin itself has well defined lights and shadows, especially along the collarbone.  The red lips are also included in the skin - and you can get the skin in a variety of shades from the quite pale I chose here to a quite dark brown. It comes with a ton of appliers, Omega - including for petites, The Mesh Project, SLink, and Maitreya for the whole bodies, and then add-ons including AMD Bump, Loud Mouth, Nyam Nyam, Sweetlips, and Kissers. It's available with and without the freckles, too, but I quite like them in this case - they're well placed and add a nice counterpoint to my pale skin and very red lips. The red lips defined the accent color I chose - I had considered going with a strictly black and gray effect, but the splash of red inspired me to select black and red accessories like the cherry-drenched shoes and nails from Bliensen + MaiTai. The nails themselves are simple, a single pair of cherries on a dense background, and the shoes are a charming pair of bowed heels reminiscent of the fifties, though the contrasting colors and the wide swath of fabric from the sole to the top of the foot give them a lovely elegance.

Cherry Stones

Once I was mostly settled on my look, pulling largely from Genre offerings, I added a couple of rares I lucked into from the TAG event. A combination gacha event and grid-wide journey, you can pick up the TAG Hud for free in front of the big top - you'll have to walk along a wall to get there, but once you know what you're looking for, it's pretty easy to find. Once you are wearing the HUD (click the menu permissions to let it teleport you), walk into the big top and up to the stage to trigger your HUD to populate with all of the stops across the grid, and then click "spin"to start your journey. You'll be taken on a random tramp to different stores where you can click the sign and check out the gachas - in this case I poured Linden into C L A Vv and .aisling. - and try to land some wonders.

C L A Vv has a gacha full of mechanical, glowing things and quite unexpectedly I landed the rare coupon which can be turned in once the Coupon Room is unlocked by visiting all of the stores. To my complete glee, it was a set of mechanical wings to match with the mechanical insect and arachnid pets I'd already collected! .aisling. was somewhat more straightforward, offering a bunch of metal feet in lots of colors, including everything from flat to on one's toes. The rare coupon in this case - I have to admit I spent more than I should have to get it, but oh how I wanted them - brings a matching set of metal gloves. They are all wearable on a single limb, and I was reminded when I put the hand on of the story of Nuada of the Silver Hand. He lost his Kingdom when he was no longer perfect, and returned again to rule when his hand was restored from silver to flesh. This hand is color changeable by HUD, so I was able to make hand and roses a rich silver while echoing my outfit in black chains and red berries. I don't often manage .aisling. rares, but I'm very glad I did in this case - I think it really adds something to the overall look!

Out of Sight of the Maddening Crowds

Friday, April 17, 2015

21 Shoe: KC Couture

21 Shoe: KC Couture

These gorgeous shoes that I'm trying to fly off with are from KC Couture, and they are simply too much shoe for little fae hands! KC is giving us two very different styles for 21 Shoe, which is always a lot of fun! Both shoes come equipped for just about every foot on the grid - Belleza, Maitreya, SLink, and The Mesh Project.

On the left are some fun, grommet highlighted heels called Destiny, with an open weave design over the feet and incredibly pointed toes. One amazing touch is that each grommet has a bare heart, just like grommets usually do - if you look closely, you can see little fae fingers through the top right hole! I love attention to detail like that. The spacing of the bands is particularly nice, two groups of two which make a pleasant set of triangles over the skin when you wear them, or against the wall when the light is shining on them as they tumble down through the air.

On the right are a pair of sleek, diagonally wrapped shoes called Sinsual. They are made in black and gold with some delicate patterning on the gold to give it a sense of depth. I also quite like the gold stitches along the edges of the black, setting it apart from a simple black shoe. The heel is a great deal narrower than Destiny, and overall the profile is sleeker and more formal.Once again, the way the bands are put together is interesting - with two wider bands of black and gold flanking a much narrower one with a lovely curving effect over the top of the foot.

Both shoes combine space and leather in fantastic ways and they are excellent addition to any formal wardrobe. Make sure to swing by KC Couture on the 21st to pick these up, two for the price of one.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fantasy Faire Teaser

Words To Live By

A dear friend of mine is really going all out for Fantasy Faire, and I got a glorious peek! I can't say categorically I'm responsible for the rainbows included, but really... having known me, who can resist adding rainbows to everything? :)

Fantasy Faire opens on April 23rd, and while we're waiting for the wonderful, the Fantasy Faire Blog is introducing everyone to the official sponsors, giving teasers for the sims, and asking for votes for the Faire King and Queen! Make sure to swing by for a taste of what's to come!

( 2015 Fantasy Faire )