Faux flowers Giveaway winners!

fairy_asterWM

Congratulations to the 3 Giveaway winners; Susan Fiebig, Retro Sandy and Lena Frost! They will each be notified and sent a set of faux flower petals to make skirts and wings for 6 fairies. Thank you to the 100+ contestants who entered!

Many of you wrote such sweet messages about how much you enjoy making these fairies. Some of you also plan to teach your grandchildren how to make them. It warms my heart to hear this. Over the past few years, since I started the blog, I am sometimes so touched by your comments that I get teary. Can it really be that making a simple little doll can make a difference in someones life? Your personal stories and warm messages are very much appreciated, even if I don’t answer every one!

The fairies started as a spontaneous afterthought, when an article about my work was getting ready to go to press for the March 1999 issue of Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Magazine. I was asked if I had any items or projects that readers could send away for. I quickly put together a Blossom Fairy Kit and figured out a price. After the magazine came out, I was inundated with orders. The only way people could see what the fairy looked like was to search one of the photos of my studio through a magnifying glass! One thing led to another and before I knew it, Wee Folk Studio became a kit business, with new designs added every year. Eventually, there were 10 doll designs and 10 felt purse kits. At this point, the wee folk were ready to be introduced to a wider audience through my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects. The fairies have been good to me, but after about 8 years, I was ready to give up the kits in order to work on the illustrations for Pocketful of Posies full time.

Reading your comments on my posts made me keenly aware of the need for a revised edition of my how-to book, even though I’d convinced myself that one was enough. It took some time for me to get on board, but in less than year from now, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be published. See posts about it here. I’ll be selling the original book in my Etsy Shop until then. I’m not sure if it will disappear or not when the new one comes out, but C&T is planning on offering the non-doll projects on-line.

fairykits

4000 Facebook Likes Giveaway!

fairy_bayberryWM

The Wee Folk Studio Facebook page has just reached 4000 Likes! To show my appreciation, I’m offering a Giveaway. Since many of you have made or want to make fairies from my Felt Wee Folk book, the prize is something you can put to use ~ Faux Flowers for outfitting your wee folk dolls. Assorted packs of flower skirts and wings are also available from my Etsy Shop.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a message on this blog post and 3 winners will be selected at random on April 28th. People from all around the world are welcome to try for the prize.

fairy making supplies

fairy making supplies

Fairy petticoats and wings for sale!

fairy flower petalsI’ve been cleaning up my studio, going through boxes and bags left over from my kit making days. Even after I discontinued the kits, I would buy flowers out of habit, so I have a lot in my stash. Now, I’d like to clear space for the post-fairy phase of my artistic career. I know that some people who make fairy dolls from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk have trouble finding the right kind of petals for skirts and wings. So, I’ve decide to offer them for sale in my Etsy Shop. I’ve put a variety of colors and sizes in packages with enough petals to make skirts and wings for 6 fairies.

Also, for each purchase of Felt Wee Folk, I’m including a bonus bag with enough petals to dress 2 fairies. You still have to find acorn caps and the other parts yourself, but there are enough petals to get started. That is, until you get hooked on making them and have to go in search of more supplies!

fairy girls in the studio

bronwynsclass1

Last week, I had a delightful visit with Bronwyn Malicoat and a carload of girls, who drove to my studio in Falmouth, from Provincetown, which is at least a 1 1/2 hour ride from the other end of Cape Cod. It’s common knowledge that people from our different poles rarely visit each other (especially in the summer), because there is no direct route and the traffic can be a pain. But, I’m really glad that they came, bursting out of the car with their little fairies in hand. The girls are enrolled in Bronwyn’s summer craft program, which includes a good dose of fairy projects.

When they arrived, Rob and I were just finishing a photo shoot out on our patio.

woodlandphotoshoot

Here, the girls are looking at the scene, which includes some of my doll projects. They’ll be in the 2nd edition of my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. Sorry, but I can’t show any details until the book is published in 2015.

bronwynsclass5

They were so proud of their fairies that they made earlier in the week.

bronwynsclass3

They played with them the whole time they were outside.

bronwynsclass4

They ate what was left of the blueberry crop and took photos of their fairies in the blueberry bushes.

bronwynsclass7

Then, they looked around my studio and took more pictures.

bronwynsclass8

It was a treat to spend time with Bronwyn and her students. Being the mother of sons, I have not been around young girls very much and being in their company brought back childhood memories of playing with my sister and friends. We would spend hours making things and setting up scenes to play with. Come to think of it, I still do that now!

bronwynsclass2

Fairy House Raffle

fairyhouse1WM I want to let everyone know about the opportunity to win this fairy house. In conjunction with the Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods Exhibit (which ends on July 21st), Highfield Hall is holding a raffle for my driftwood and felt covered wire hanging doorway. It’s intended for indoor display because the glue isn’t water proof. Tickets (3 for $5.00) can be purchased online here. The winner will be announced on July 31st. You do not have to be present to win the raffle and shipment within the United States can be arranged. Good Luck!

We were lucky enough to snap a picture of this blue fairy as she was peaking out of the doorway, but she flew away, so she won’t be coming along with the house.

fairyhouseraffleWM

Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods #3

fairyhouse13

“Home of the Tooth Fairy” by Sue Beardsley

People are still flocking to see The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, which will be in and around the grounds of Highfield Hall until July 21st. Stop by the building to get a tour map during their open hours (M – F, 10 – 4, S – S 10 – 2) or print out your own from this pdf file.

fairyhouse13b

detail from “Home of the Tooth Fairy” by Sue Beardsley

My husband, Rob took these “house portraits” of the dwellings in the morning or evening light, depending on their orientation. As you can see, each artist has interpreted the Fairy House theme in a vastly different way. More photographs of other houses can be seen on posts #1 and #2.

fairyhouse15a

“Beech House” by Bobbi Bailin

fairyhouse15

detail from “Beech House” by Bobbi Bailin

fairyhouse5

“Casa de Hadas” by Anne Halpin

fairyhouse9

“Low Living High Flying” by Molly Bang

fairyhouse19

“Fire Flye Hollow” by Amy Wilson Sanger

fairyhouse11

“The Ministry of Metamorphosis & Faerie Hatchery” by Angela Tanner

fairyhouse10

“Sea Shanty” by Rebecca Edwards

fairyhouse21

“Solvagen” by Jane Parhiala

fairyhouse12

“Wild Cherry Village” by Skee Houghton

fairyhouse7a

“Sentinel” by Andrea Moore

fairyhouse20

“Chippikomuk” by Jenny Junker

Fairy House Exhibit: installations underway!

fairyhouseamywilsonsangerWith opening day looming for the Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, (Thursday, June 20th at Highfield Hall and Gardens) several of the 23 participating artists have been seen working on their creations around the property. This past weekend, I met up with a few of them. Children’s book creator Amy Wilson Sanger is building “Fire Flye Hollow”, a wondrous shelter of moss, bark, driftwood and orange beach stones around a sapling on a hillside behind Highfield Hall. My house, “Lichen Lookout” is going up in a copper beech tree, so I needed a ladder.Fairyhouses1

fairyhousesalley

To provide a base for the house, I put some beach stones in a fishing net, making a kind of beanbag chair that could be plopped in a hole in the crook of the tree. I then attached the base to the fishing net with wire, thereby keeping it from toppling out of the tree.

fairyhousesalley2

Julie Child brought her lovely “Hidden House”, which includes lots of domestic details to admire up close.fairyhousejuliechild2

fairyhousejuliechild3

Helen Koehler has been working all winter, knitting and felting her amazing creation, “Enchanted Tree – Fairy Condominiums”

HelenKoehlerblog

Alfie Glover was there, too, installing his whimsical ladder piece, “Birds and Fairies Collaborate”. He has written a story to go with it about how fairies make ladders which help birds learn to fly.

fairyhousealfieglover

I arrived just in time to see Glen Carliss returning from a scavenging trip in the woods nearby. His fairy house is situated on a low tree stump in a choice corner spot. Glen and his assistant, Susan Cannavo were busy landscaping around the beautifully constructed “Stonehedge”.fairyhouseglencarliss

I’ve felt from the beginning that this was going to be a fun show! And now that it’s progressed from an idea into something real, I am seeing that it has grown into a happening, with a wonderful cooperate energy and spirit! I hope that many of you have a chance to see the exhibit, which will be on display from June 20 to July 21. The Artists Reception will be held on Sunday, June 23rd from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth Massachusetts. Being an outdoor show, the houses will be subject to weather conditions and curious humans, so don’t wait too long to see it!

fairyhouseglencarliss1

Lichen Lookout

salleyfairyhouse

The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit will open in 2 weeks, so in addition to my duties as curator, I’ve been finishing up my house. Last winter, I invited 23 artists to create their own interpretation of a fairy house. They’ve spent the last few months picking locations around Highfield, naming their houses and fingering out how they’re going to make their imaginings. I’ve seen a few partially constructed ones and they are extraordinary! All are invited to the Artist Reception for the outdoor exhibit at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA on Sunday, June 23rd, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The exhibit will run from June 20 to July 21, 2013. Maps will be available to help discover the specially made habitats, which are situated on the property’s lush grounds and gardens.

My house, “Lichen Lookout” is an open, double storied affair, which will be installed up in a beech tree. I started by cutting out two plywood platforms. To hide the wood and make it more homey looking, I covered the floors with old woven raffia place mats. I then screwed tree branches to the plywood, making a main floor and an upper lookout.

fairyhouse11

I used my felt covered wire technique to make a curly cue railing. As in nature, there are no straight lines in fairy houses! The plywood edges were covered with embroidered felt, which I attached with staples that are hidden inside. Don’t ask how that was done–it was fairy magic!

fairyhouse9

Trumpet vine pods came in handy for a roof. Needle and thread couldn’t hold them in place well enough, so I used the dreaded glue gun to attach the pods to a wire form. I put up with the glue strings and globs, knowing that it would be strong and waterproof.

fairyhouse3

fairyhouselichenroof

I later covered the unsightly glue with lichen, hence the house name of “Lichen Lookout”. My collection of glass leaf beads were useful for embellishing the front gate and railings.

fairyhouselichenlookout1

We carried the house outside and took its picture. Here, it’s lost in all of the vegetation, but I like the lilies of the valley out front. You can kind of see the milkweed pod swing. It will look very different when it is installed in the gray beech tree.

I hope that lots of people come see the show, which promises to be an engaging display of architectural whimsy!

fairyhouselichenlookout2

Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit

You may wonder, “Where is this Beebe Woods that keeps popping up in titles on my blog”? It’s a gem of a property (pronounced Bee-bee) in the center of my home town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, right on the edge of Historic Highfield Hall, which was built in 1878 for the Beebe family, who were prominent summer people. My Birds of Beebe Woods piece was made for last year’s exhibit celebrating the forest. Also, Highfield is hosting the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2013.

This summer, the grounds and gardens of Highfield will be magically transformed into a “fairy” neighborhood, with small-scale habitats hidden throughout the property. Highfield has given me the exciting opportunity to curate The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, which promises to be a popular event during the height of the season.

I got the idea from the Florence Griswold Museum in Lyme, CT, which has hosted several Fairy house events. See my posts about last fall’s exhibit here and here.

fairyhouse1WM

I’ve invited 2 dozen local artists to participate in the event and they’ve spent the last few months picking building spots, gathering natural construction materials and thinking about what to make and how to make it. Everyone will bring their own vision and sensibility to their structure, creating a wildly varied display full of architectural whimsy. The outdoor exhibit will be open June 20th – July 21, 2013.

fairyhouse1aWM

This past winter, I made and photographed 2 models that could be used for advance publicity purposes. Since I didn’t use a glue suitable for outdoors, these won’t be in the exhibit, but I will have another house to show. I’m in the process of constructing a more weather resistant cottage that will be perched in a magnificent copper beech tree. I hope that many of you will have a chance to visit the exhibit this summer and for those of you who live far away, I’ll post pictures.

Fairyhouse2WM

fairyhouseinteriorWM

working on Felt Wee Folk – 2nd edition

blueberryfairyWM

I really can’t believe that 10 years have gone by since  Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects was published! I’m grateful that it has had such a good run and is still in print. I’ve said repeatedly that I won’t be writing another how-to book and that I want to focus on exploring my art form. I still want to continue on that path, but the practical side of me has decided to take some time this year to update Felt Wee Folk. I want to do what I can to keep the book in print for at least another 10 years.

In the 2nd edition, the popular projects, like the fairies and dolls will remain and the non-doll felt projects will be replaced with new varieties of wee folk characters and more doll-making tips. This all doll version will have a new cover and about 30 more pages than the first edition. The second edition will feature many new projects for seasoned wee folk makers as well as yet-to-be converts, who are just beginning to learn how to wrap pipe-cleaner limbs. We don’t have a definite date for publication, but with the work I still have to do, combined with C&T’s production time, the book should be on the shelves sometime in 2015. And because the information is propitiatory,  I won’t be able to show the new projects I’m designing until the book comes out. Sorry, but that’s how these things work.

For now, Amazon is selling print-on-demand copies of Felt Wee Folk. They don’t mention that it’s print-on-demand, but it is. They also have a  Kindle version. The book’s publisher, C&T sells an e-book version, too. Downloading the book may be the easiest way for people from around the world to obtain the information without paying for overseas postage

feltweefolksI have a limited number of the high quality original edition in my Etsy Shop and will switch over to selling the print-on-demand version when those run out. Don’t worry, the felt purses, pins, etc. will not disappear - they’ll be available separately as downloads from C&T’s Pattern Spot, when the new edition is published. So, please be patient and enjoy the first edition for another couple of years!

Debbie from A Child’s Dream Come True just sent some beautiful wool felt samples for me to use in the new projects. This is going to be fun!

openfeltweefolkJPG

Have you seen my new prints, which feature projects from Felt Wee Folk? “Humankind” and “Adopt the pace of nature” are available in my Etsy Shop.