fairy girls in the studio

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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.

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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.

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

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They played with them the whole time they were outside.

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

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

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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!

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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.

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Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods #3

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“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.

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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.

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“Beech House” by Bobbi Bailin

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detail from “Beech House” by Bobbi Bailin

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“Casa de Hadas” by Anne Halpin

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“Low Living High Flying” by Molly Bang

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“Fire Flye Hollow” by Amy Wilson Sanger

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

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“Sea Shanty” by Rebecca Edwards

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“Solvagen” by Jane Parhiala

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“Wild Cherry Village” by Skee Houghton

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“Sentinel” by Andrea Moore

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“Chippikomuk” by Jenny Junker

Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods #2

fairyhouse8bThe Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit continues to draw visitors, rain or shine. One of the structures that has held up well through the thunder storms of the past week is Basia Goszczynska’s extraordinary “Golden Dwelling”. She constructed her cozy house out of saplings, moss and lichen on site, between the roots of a giant beech tree

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Take a look at Basia’s website and be wowed by her work in stop-motion animation.fairyhouse8c

Here’s a shot of the mossy living space far inside. One person commented that Basia’s house looked to be most comfortable and inviting.

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Inspired by the wooden cut-out wings we saw at the Florence Griswold Museum last fall, Highfield’s Annie Dean painted some for our exhibit. I was hoping to find some children to pose in front, but they were all roaming the property, looking for fairy houses.

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Sheila Payne was the first person I thought of when making a list of artists for the exhibit, way back in the winter. She has been making little abodes around her own house for decades and puts on the best fairy tea parties. When asked what she would make for this show, she replied, “Oh, just a standard fairy house.” I have known Sheila for 50 years and there is nothing standard about her!

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Sheila Payne’s “Pipsissewa Place”.

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And another remarkable miniature world made by Wendy Bagley. “Woodland House of Wonder” stretches along a stone wall on the edge of the path into Beebe Woods.

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Here’s a photo from the opening reception on June 23rd. From left to right, my husband Rob Goldsborough (who look many of the photos), Wendy and Sheila. They’re wearing bead necklaces with leaf name tags that I made for the artists. The houses will be on display until July 21st at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA. You can print out your own map from this PDF file.  More pictures to come!

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Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods #1

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We had the most glorious day for the opening of The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit at Highfield on Sunday. All 23 habitats were installed and ready for the hundreds of visitors who showed up for the event. This past week, one of the artists, Jenny Junker brought her children along while she constructed “Chippikomuk” at her site (below). Her daughter Ursula made her own “Pine Cone Cottage” (above).jennyjunkerWM

To help celebrate, I had Jo Ann from Cape Cod Henna decorate my hand. The design has gotten darker since the weekend and people think it’s a real tattoo, which makes me feel quite daring! It’s supposed to last for a few weeks, so I’m going to have fun with it. I also wore a brocade vest I made a few years ago.

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People really enjoyed following the fairy house tour map which brought them to parts of the property that they may not have seen before. I made a colored pencil drawing of Highfield with the house locations. A graphic designer added my curator’s note, the list of fairy house names and their makers to the finished printed map, which is available in the building. You can also print out your own from this PDF file. As you can see, the houses are situated in a wide scope, throughout the gardens and walkways of the property. The exhibit will be open until July 21, M – F 10am – 4pm, Sat. and Sun. 10am – 2pm.

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“Hidden House”, made by artist Julie Child invites close inspection.

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Barbara Whitehead and Bruce Safley constructed “Texas Redbud Cottage” this past winter in Texas. They brought it with them on their yearly drive north to their summer place in Woods Hole. It looks so good standing high above the boxwood hedge in the sunken garden.

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Pippa Ryan brought her delightful creation outside during the opening. “Pippa’s House” was her high school senior project last year. Her house and another one are protected from the weather inside the building.

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Glen Carliss’s remarkable house, “Stonehedge” is being called a lighthouse by children who see it. Word about the exhibit is spreading fast and I can imagine many cell phone photos are being shared far and wide. For those who live too far away to visit, I will post more pictures of the other houses soon.

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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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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!

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Lichen Lookout

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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