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  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

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:

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