Up and fluttering

Fairy House blog-1When we got home from Sunday’s opening reception for the Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit, I told Rob, “It’s so good to have the show finally up and running.” He said, “You mean “up and fluttering.”  Yes, this collection of fairy houses is causing quite a stir here at the top of Highfield Drive, with more than a thousand visitors already. The display will be set up all summer, until August 31st, 2015. I recommend visiting sooner than later, because of weather related deterioration of the houses.

The morning rain cleared by noon, creating a perfect afternoon for families and friends to stroll around the grounds, searching for the 32 fanciful dwellings. You could see groups of all ages following the tour map. And everyone was smiling! It turned out to be a social gathering, too, with neighbors and acquaintances running into each other. One woman said, “I’m so glad to live in Falmouth, where we have a wonderfully creative community that puts on events like this!” She made me feel part of something bigger than just a group of people who like to make little worlds out in the woods. In recent years, I think that the fairy house concept has entered the collective imagination, bringing a much-needed lightness and sense of wonder. I owe a big thank you to all of the house builders who contributed their time and creative genius to making this show such a success!

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I hope you enjoy this set of photos of people interacting with some of the houses. More posts with close-ups of the houses themselves will be coming soon.

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fairy houses 2015: making “Grate Hall”

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Fairy House blog-1It’s been an exciting week in the fairy neighborhood! Every day, more wee domiciles are popping up around the grounds of Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA (Cape Cod). By the time the Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit opens this Sunday, June 28th at 1:00pm, there will be 32 fairy houses installed and ready to view. Just like the previous show in 2013, this display is sure to bring in many visitors from near and far!

Last winter I invited 30 local artists and fairy aficionados to make houses for this summer’s exhibit. Each builder started the process by walking around the property and picking their favorite spot. They spent the next few months planning and working on their creations. I haven’t been privy to any finished houses until this week, and from what I’ve seen, this year’s collection is spectacular! There’s a wide variety of interpretations of the “fairy house” concept, from cozy abodes to airy perches. Building materials are as eclectic as the pieces themselves: clay, wood, mushrooms, paper, moss, felt, plants, shells, bark, stones, glass, metal, etc. Don’t worry if you live too far to see the originals — in the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing photos on this blog, Facebook and Instagram.

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The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall and Gardens will be on display until August 31, 2015. The exhibit is free, with a suggested donation. Stop by the hall to pick up a map with house locations and artists’ names. Inside the hall you can also see my fairy family. Raffle tickets for a chance to win the 5 doll set can be purchased online here. Read a post about making the fairy family here. I hope that many of you have a chance to visit this extraordinary outdoor event!

Making my fairy house….
Come along, while I make my fairy house, “Great Hall”, which is pictured at the beginning of this post. It began with a bunch of old metal graters that I saved, while cleaning out deceased relatives’ kitchens. For years I’ve been eying them for a future project and thought they’d give a solid structure to a fairy house. I drilled holes and bolted 4 of them together to make walls and a roof.

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Then, I used my felt covered wire technique to form a base and arched beams. This single glove was in a box of my grandmother’s things. She and her sisters did a lot of tatting in the early 1900’s, so perhaps one of them made it.

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I incorporated the glove into the front wall, leaving room for a door opening and curled loops of felt covered wire.

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I stitched wool tapestry yarn in a zigzag pattern to fill in some areas, while leaving some open for viewing inside the house.

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FairyHouses-1-7I tried not to get too fussy, but the door required a bit more detailed work.

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I worked on the house during the snowy winter — my favorite time to be engrossed in a project.

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The whisk was another kitchen find that I added near the end.

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I pruned some supple branches off my blueberry bushes and lashed them to the grates and wire, adding a more organic façade.

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I wanted the interior to be magical, so I draped strings of glass beads and crystals from the ceiling. Tiny blue and white LED lights (run on batteries) added a glow as well.

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In the daylight, it’s hard to see the lit interior, so I sprinkled small round Shisha mirrors on the ground inside to reflect the lights and make it sparkle.

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Fairy Family Video!

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My husband Rob and I had so much fun putting together this 2 min. video to spread the word about the Fairy Family RAFFLE for the benefit of Highfield Hall. While I worked on the dolls, I kept having to pester him about coming to film different stages of the process, from wrapping their bodies, to dressing them, to painting their faces. Make sure that you watch long enough to see these process shots, as well as the animated close-ups of the fairies.

Here’s the info about the RAFFLE:
Take a chance to win a fairy family of 5, handmade by Salley Mavor. 3 tickets for $5.00. Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA, where the fairy family is on display. The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall outdoor exhibit will be held from June 28th to August 31, 2015. The raffle drawing will be August 30, 2015. The prize will be sent to the winner anywhere in the world! Good luck!

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Fairy Family RAFFLE!

fairyfamilyraffleI am excited to introduce my newest creation — a Fairy Family! All five doll-house sized  family members, Mom, Dad, brother, sister and baby were specially made for a raffle to benefit Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth (Cape Cod) Massachusetts.The raffle will be held from now until the end of this summer’s outdoor exhibit, the Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall, which I am curating again this year. If you visit this blog regularly, you’ll know that I don’t sell one-of-a-kind dolls, so this is a rare chance to have a unique family of wee folk, all hand-stitched by yours truly. At the end of this post, you’ll find information about the fairy house exhibit and purchasing raffle tickets online. But first, I want to show you some behind the scenes photos. Fairy_Family-1765 To make the fairy dolls, I gathered faux flowers in a purple and blue color scheme. For the felt clothes, I cut out patterns from my new book Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures. FAIRYRAFFLE1 The book also has directions for adding breasts to make shapely, more womanly fairies, instead of just flat chested nymphets. fairyraffle-1755 fairyraffle3I used some unusual acorn caps that have been hanging around my studio for years. For the life of me, I can’t remember where they came from. fairyraffle2 Here are the fairies on my work table, before they were given wings. Fairy_Family-1787-2 The children are already flying around and having adventures! fairychildrenraffle It’s going to be quite the fairy summer on Cape Cod! I hope that many of you will make the trip to see the fairy houses. And everyone, near and far can take a chance at winning the fairy family. Good luck! Fairy Family Raffle: 3 tickets for $5.00. Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall, where the fairy family will soon be on display. The raffle drawing will be held August 30, 2015. June 28 – August 31, 2015 ~ Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall, Highfield Hall and Gardens, Falmouth, MA. This outdoor exhibit, curated by Salley Mavor, will feature 32 fanciful fairy houses made by local artists, architects, potters, felters, woodworkers and fairy house aficionados.

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Blueberry and Lavender notecards reprint!

 Lavender Fairy note card

Lavender Fairy note card

I am happy to bring back two note cards that I first introduced 15 years ago. Please note that the watermark will not appear on the cards. At one time, the Wee Folk Studio collection of Blossom Fairy cards included a couple dozen different depictions of fairies captured in all kinds of natural settings. While I don’t want to reprint them in that kind of scale, I thought I’d reprise two of the most popular cards, which feature blue fairies. The photos were taken as slides 15 years ago, back in the days of film cameras.

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I remember making the little basket for the Blueberry Fairy and setting her up in one of our blueberry bushes in the garden. And I found the lovely patch of lavender at a farm less than a mile from my house. The Lavender Fairy had to be balanced on the stem just right, while I snapped the picture. They were very good models who make a return appearance in my new book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures!

Blueberry and Lavender note cards are available in packs of 4 and can be purchased from my Etsy Shop. Wholesale inquiries form stores are welcome.

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Fairy skirts and wings

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Yeah, more fairies are coming into being! In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a surge in sales of fairy skirts and wings. So, I’ve been resupplying my Etsy Shop to keep up with the demand. The packages contain high quality faux flowers in varying colors that are the right size and shape to make petticoats and wings for 6 fairies. I have not found a source to buy single flower pieces, so just like everyone else, I buy flowers on stems and take them apart. I’m used to scouting them out, like I did during the years when I used to make fairy kits.

As I explain in my book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures, it’s best to use compound flowers that have multiple petals radiating from the center. Books purchased from my Etsy Shop include flowers to make 2 fairies, along with other goodies. Debbie, from A Child’s Dream let me know that many customers are coming to her shop for wool felt and there’s a lot of interest in their special  Felt Wee Folk Craft Basket of supplies. It’s so wonderful to know that people are using my book and making dolls!

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Book Trailer

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book – Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures

I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of my newest how-to book.
Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Dolls by Salley Mavor, C&T Publishing ©2015, 160 pages, 8″ x 10″.

Books may be pre-ordered from my Etsy Shop here. Your order will be sent when the book is released in late February 2015. Books ordered from my Etsy Shop will include some extra goodies; autograph, a winter scene poster (folded flat) and faux flowers to make 2 fairies.

Rob and I had such fun filming the process of making a fairy doll for this book trailer:

This long-awaited all-doll version expands the wee world introduced in the original edition of Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects (C&T Publishing 2003), with pictures, directions and patterns for making more bendable figures with a variety of hairstyles, outfits, and armatures.

Favorite doll projects from the first book, including acorn-capped blossom fairies and other fanciful wee folk make a return appearance. As requested by fans, more challenging techniques, such as wig making are added, making this book suitable for all skill levels, from the beginner who is learning the blanket stitch to the experienced embroiderer who relishes fine stitching.

The book is bursting with inspirational photographs of little characters set up in miniature worlds, from woodland scenes to doll houses, to fairy gardens. A certain type of person enjoys creating and looking into tiny, enchanting worlds and this book is for them! These dolls appeal to the child within you, no matter your age.

Take a behind the scenes look at photo shoots for the book here.

Upcoming book signing events (poster included with book purchase):
Sunday, March 8th at 3:00pm — Book Release party at Eight Cousins Bookstore, Falmouth, MA
Sunday, March 15th at 2:00 pm — Book Signing and short presentation, Return of the Wee Folk at the Sandwich Public Library, Sandwich, MA

poster - Felt Wee Folk

poster – Felt Wee Folk