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!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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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!