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!

FairyHouses-1-13

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.

FairyHouses-1-16

FairyHouses-1-19

FairyHouse21

FairyHouses-1-20

FairyHouse23

FairyHouse22

FairyHouse24

FairyHouse25

FairyHouse20

FairyHouse28

FairyHouse26

FairyHouse27

fairy houses 2015: making “Grate Hall”

GrateHall-2

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.

fairyfamilyraffle

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.

FairyHouses-1-2

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.

FairyHouses-1-3

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

FairyHouses-1-14

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

FairyHouses-1-4

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

FairyHouses-1-6

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

FairyHouses-1-8

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

FairyHouses-1-10

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

FairyHouses-1-11

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.

FairyHouses-1-13

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.

GrateHall-1

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 21, 2013), 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.

We were lucky enough to snap a picture of this blue fairy as she was peaking out of the door.

fairyfamilyraffleOther Fairy House News
(added May 30, 2015)
The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall outdoor exhibit will be held from June 28th to August 31, 2015 at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. In addition to curating the exhibit, Salley Mavor has made a fairy family of 5, which is being raffled (3 tickets for $5.00). Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall, where the fairy family is on display. The raffle drawing will be August 30, 2015. The prize will be sent to the winner anywhere in the world! Good luck!rway, 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.

fairyfamilyraffleOther Fairy House News
(added May 30, 2015)
The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall outdoor exhibit will be held from June 28th to August 31, 2015 at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. In addition to curating the exhibit, Salley Mavor has made a fairy family of 5, which is being raffled (3 tickets for $5.00). Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall, where the fairy family is on display. The raffle drawing will be August 30, 2015. The prize will be sent to the winner anywhere in the world! Good luck!

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 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.

fairyfamilyraffleOther Fairy House News
(added May 30, 2015)
The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall outdoor exhibit will be held from June 28th to August 31, 2015 at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. In addition to curating the exhibit, Salley Mavor has made a fairy family of 5, which is being raffled (3 tickets for $5.00). Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall, where the fairy family is on display. The raffle drawing will be August 30, 2015. The prize will be sent to the winner anywhere in the world! Good luck!

fairyhouse8detail

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.

fairyhouse8a

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.

fairywings

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!

sheilashouse

Sheila Payne’s “Pipsissewa Place”.

fairyhouse14

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.

fairyhouse17

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!

wendysheila

Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods #1

ursulaWM 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).

fairyfamilyraffleOther Fairy House News
(added May 30, 2015)
The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall outdoor exhibit will be held from June 28th to August 31, 2015 at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. In addition to curating the exhibit, Salley Mavor has made a fairy family of 5, which is being raffled (3 tickets for $5.00). Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall, where the fairy family is on display. The raffle drawing will be August 30, 2015. The prize will be sent to the winner anywhere in the world! Good luck!

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. hennahandWM 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. The houses are situated in a wide scope, throughout the gardens and walkways of the property. The exhibit will be open until July 21, 2013, M – F 10am – 4pm, Sat. and Sun. 10am – 2pm. fairy tour map blog openhouse “Hidden House”, made by artist Julie Child invites close inspection. juliechildWM 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. bwhiteheadsfairyhouse 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. pipashouse 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. fairyhouse16