What The Fairies Have Been Up To In 2011

A Visitor

This was a year of making “Fairyariums” for others, revitalizing a forest, establishing The International Fairy Historical Society, and working on The Autobiography of A Fairy.  Much more to come on all of those activities in 2012!  Happy New Year!

Fairy Tribes

Many cultures in many different countries are known to believe in tiny, invisible (or partly visible), beings widely known as fairies. In each land you will find that there are various types or tribes of fairies.  In general, fairies can be categorized  as spirit beings belonging to one of the four elements of nature:  Earth, Air, Water, & Fire.  According to W.Y. Evans-Wentz (fairy expert and author of The Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries), Gnomes, pixies, leprechauns and other rock dwelling elves are all Earth fairies.  Fairies of the air are those that inhabit the sky, such as Sylphs, Gentry, and the flittering fairies of Shakespeare’s dramas.  Water fairies, or Undines, are sea, lake, river, stream, pond and puddle dwellers.  Fire fairies are often called Salamanders – those ethereal, hovering sprites who linger near the flickering flames of candle, fire, and sunlight.  Whatever you call them, if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of their sparkling wings, or hear the quiet melody of their music, you will be forever enchanted by their magic.

Invisible Hands!

Here’s a fun link to some wonderful stop-motion animation done by an up and coming young animator, very magical! http://www.youtube.com/user/boogiebird95#p/a/u/0/lmP9qvOZpyk

A School For Dream Makers

Last week, The Fairy Lady had the pleasure of visiting a wonderful school for young creative minds in Portland, Oregon.  Currently located at the Northwest Children’s Theater (1819 NW Everett St.), A Renaissance School of Arts & Sciences is a magical place to learn (see photos below).   I was completely enchanted as I walked into a classroom full of children who were happily focused on projects ranging from building fairy houses, to creating electrical connections from batteries for lighting  their constructions, to planting, observing, and recording the growth of plants.  The school is a combination art studio, exploratorium, and design technology workshop.  It is a year-round school, with a month-long break in August. Students use projects in art, design, engineering, and the sciences to explore the K-8 curriculum.  I have worked at, and visited, many schools as an author and teacher and have never seen the focus, joy, collaborative spirit, and independence that I witnessed at the Renaissance School.  If you have school age children, I encourage you to find out more about the Renaissance School.  Fairyosity Guaranteed!

More Fairy Hearts

Stone Heart

Rock Heart on Moss

Huge Heart - Bigger than a beach ball.

The Fairy Lady was at the beach last weekend and found several fairy hearts.  The beach is a wonderful place to look for heart shaped rocks.  Keep an eye out and send me pictures of the fairy hearts you find.

Bark Heart

Fairy laundry hanging to dry

Look, but don't touch!

Friends of Fairies – an interview with Annette Emms

The Fairy Lady recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of our British friends.  Annette Emms is a textile artist living in England.  I recently made a shoe  from a pattern designed by Annette  http://www.etsy.com/shop/annetteemms.  The pattern arrived so beautifully packaged, it was a treat to open.  There was a simple pattern enclosed along with lovely fabrics and embellishments (I used different fabric for my shoe, as I wanted to save what she sent)!  This is a great project for children 10 and up.  Annette writes about her projects and her beautiful country home at  http://rowanspatch.blogspot.com/

Do go to her sites to see her amazing shoes.  They are truly gorgeous, beautifully sewn and embellished.  Here’s what she had to say:

The Fairy Lady:  When did you first discover fairies?

Annette: Now let me think. . .

I’ve always known that there were ‘little people’ !

I think I was about 4 years old when I first encountered ‘magic’.. . that was when an elderly uncle showed me the places where fairies hid in an old Oak tree near my home, they had even left me a  silver sixpence (That’s a now defunct silver coin) for being a good girl!

The Fairy Lady:  How did you come up with the idea for a fairy shoe?

Annette: I belong to a group of textile artists and some years ago we held an exhibition of our work, the title was ‘Midsummer Madness’.

I live near Stratford on Avon,( Shakespeares birthplace), and I love the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ so . . . .

I decided to make a pair of shoes for each of the fairies in the play.

I worked hard to get the pattern just right to fit the average fairy , then designed each pair to suit the character of Cobweb, Mustard Seed, Moth etc.etc.

Each pair of shoes was mounted in a box frame with a textile background and a verse from the play.

What fun I had!

The Fairy Lady:  What is your background in textile art?

Annette:  I’ve always loved to play with threads and shiny things, grew up sewing and conjuring up all manner of fantastical creatures to tell stories about.

I went to college as a mature student to do my City and Guilds in Creative Embroidery.

Four years of bliss! I loved it all.

I then did my City and Guilds Teaching Certificate and Hey Presto! . .  well almost , I began giving talks and teaching workshops, for now  around the UK, but I’d love to travel further afield!

I’ve taken part in lots of exhibitions which is hard work but great fun.

At the moment I’m working on some new books, large format this time, about the Celtic Guardians of the Holy Wells near my home. They’re going to contain pockets and hiding places for all the ‘guardian’s’ things.

I love to weave stories around legends and places , then translate them into textile art.

The Fairy Lady:  Tell us a little bit about where you live and your daily life.

Annette: I live in the Vale of Evesham, just on the edge of the Cotswold hills. It’s a lovely area , famous for growing fruit and vegetables, especially Asparagus! Yum!

I live with my husband, Mike. We’ve been married for 36 years! Oh, and I mustn’t forget Rowan, my Flatcoated Retriever dog.

Like many women, I seem to wear many hats. That is to say, I’m wife, grandma, part time library assistant, storyteller, artist and general daydreamer!

I love my life and I think I am so lucky that I get to do so many things. Just think. . .  people pay me to come and tell them my textile stories! How wonderful is that!

The Fairy Lady:  Do you have a favorite fairy book you’d like to recommend?

Annette: Fairy books, I think I like the traditional Fairy Stories best! Although they can be a bit frightening for small humans.

There is a really wonderful book about the old Cornish stories, past down the centuries by word of mouth, then recorded by Robert Hunt in 1865 (I think) , It’s called ‘The Popular Romances of the West of England’.

I made a textile book about one of the stories ‘Skillywidden’, and wrote about it on my blog.

The Fairy Lady:  Have you ever seen a fairy?

Annette:   Have I seen a Fairy? Well, the truth is no, I haven’t. . .but, I can tell you exactly where they dance amongst the Bluebells, in some woods near here. . .

Bless you for reading this and may you always believe in magic, for if you don’t, you’ll never find it!

The Fairy Lady:   Thank you so much, Annette.  You can find Annette’s fairy shoe pattern at her etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/annetteemms

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