Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #3: The Cursed Sisters, Part 2

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Linnetta, having refused several offers to dance, was catching up on society gossip. A young man–unfamiliar and handsome–approached. His exquisite demon costume, if cliche in concept, was marvelous in execution. Linnetta looked into his mesmerizing, dark eyes. He was grand, effortlessly aristocratic, putting everyone who had asked her for a dance to shame. She accepted his offer without even considering any of her stock phrases of polite refusal.

Unsurprisingly, he was a marvelous dancer; but Linnetta was quite out of practice, and her feet hurt, and she felt grateful when the first song ended. But the man’s grasp stayed tight around her waist, and when she looked at him with alarm, he only shook his head and said, “I insist. After all, you have been isolated for so long…”

There was a rush of whispering behind them, and the pair turned to see a new arrival to the ball: a woman who wore a spangled gown too dark for the occasion, quite out of place with the bright colors of the masquerade. She did not speak, but prowled the edges of the dance
floor. Linnetta’s partner followed her gaze.

“I don’t believe I’ve met her,” he asked. “Have you?”

“I’m afraid not,” Linnetta answered. He made no further conversation, and she put the sparkling dress out of her mind and returned her concentration to her aching feet.


No one’s guessed the singer/group I learned to draw gold from yet… At this point the idea of not having to color that black and white gown seems like mercy, because, ow, my hand. Put up a new poll for next week – put in a couple new suggestions, dropped the bottom three from last week.

Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #2: The Cursed Sisters, Part 1

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After three years of black and purple mourning clothes, Linnetta’s gown for the masquerade ball — a playful representation of a demon princess — was a blaze of glory. She felt as if its crimson lining was burning her skin, and her cheeks glowed with, if not perfect good health, a fair imitation of it considering all she had gone through. Even after so many near brushes with death and grief, no one was as beautiful as she was tonight: such thoughts consoled her on such a difficult evening. Linnetta bowed her head demurely as she made her entrance at her father’s side, ignoring the buzz of voices. It was distasteful to hear people placing bets on when she was going to die, but she had gotten used to it.

Linnetta found herself trapped in polite conversations with Lady Someone-or-another, and then Duchess So-and-so, and (so it seemed, in the rush of masks and spangles) every woman at the ball; in her absence from society, Linetta had forgotten most of the titles she ever knew, but she’d lost none of her charm. She didn’t really want to talk about her sisters, but whenever a conversation partner made sympathetic noises about her unfortunate loss — five sisters, and so young! — she made grateful noises in return, so each nosy woman could leave feeling like they had comforted poor bereaved Linnetta without actually sharing in her tragedy.

The cursed sisters all should have been there that night, and Linnetta felt their absence keenly, as if she saw them from the corner of her eye. The masked faces were all focused on her, trying to predict the manner by which the youngest and fairest daughter would meet her end, and wondering if it might even be tonight. Linetta ignored them, taking refuge in a cluster of acquaintances. She couldn’t even lose herself in the dance, for it’d be unseemly to be too carefree at her first appearance after her long illness, and the period of mourning.


… Don’t worry, I’ve written the whole story out in advance this time. In terms of site news, no one has guessed the correct singer / group that I learned to draw gold from. (Hint: look at my about this page link for an idea of possible dates – this isn’t a trick I picked up recently). Also, I’m going to put up a poll tomorrow for week 3 of costumes: please post any suggestions in the comments.

Black and Blue Heavens Masquerade Gown with Jupiter-Inspired Underskirt and Gold Curls

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So, I hope you all out there are having good luck with your New Years resolutions, because I, oh, TOTALLY failed mine already. (“Draw more,” of course.) Yeah, sad, I know. I have no excuse, and I offer a fancy dress in penance.

I designed this one when drawing Diana’s masquerade gown, but I thought it would be a poor spy who would wear something so dramatic, so I drew the blue gown instead. But I did like the design, and so it didn’t get tossed with the rest of my sketches.

Blue Watery Masquerade Ball Gown with Satin Blue Underskirt and Crystals

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So recently, I got an e-mail from Diana asking if I could draw a dress for a roleplay she was taking part in. I went through and read the scenario, and Diana’s character Leslie is a human spy in a magical world who has to infiltrate a masquerade ball attended by aristocrats. So I thought this was a fun challenge: what sort of thing might a spy wear to such a ball? It’s dead easy to make a gown that says “hey everyone, look at me!” or one that says “I am a Woman of Mystery” but one that looks expensive and magical enough that no one questions its wearer’s right to be there, yet isn’t so noticeable that everyone winds up talking about her… fun. I ended up going with blue, a rich but soothing color, and an overskirt with fabric like shimmering water and seafoam, studded with crystals — although I don’t really think the crystals worked out too well. Oh well. Diana, I hope you like it anyways, and I look forward to seeing where the story goes!

The poll is yet ongoing…