fairy houses 2015, cont.

Fairy House blog-1This year’s Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit is larger than the 2013 show and it will be on display longer, too. The houses are holding up quite well and we’re confidant that most structures will stay intact until the closing on August 31st.There have been some instances of eroding moss and hot glue not holding parts together well enough, which backs up my personal bias against glue guns! But, the fairies have made repairs and are doing their best to keep up the neighborhood.

Each fairy house has a number, so visitors can identify the 32 locations around the Highfield property. Maps, with a list of house names and their makers are available inside during open hours. I hope that more of you can come see the show during its last month. A printable pdf file of the map is here.

Highfield Hall Open Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Grounds are accessible from dawn to dusk, except during private functions Fairy House map FNL-2a  For this year’s collection, I painted 10 more markers to make a total of 32.  IMG_20150424_155230Earlier this summer, I took pictures of some house builders setting up their creations.


Cynthia Rose – Eilonwy’s Stan

Cynthia Rose’s house is surrounded by a growing landscape.


Cynthia Rose – Eilonwy’s Stand

Kim Sheerin’s ceramic houses have stained glass windows, with lights flickering inside.


Kimberly Sheerin – Kimberland

Nicole St. Pierre felted her house and devised a paper canopy roof.


Nicole St. Pierre – Enchanted Baa Baa Hollow Cottage

She also planted miniature succulents around the base.


Nicole St. Pierre – Enchanted Baa Baa Hollow Cottage

The fairy family raffle for the benefit of Highfield Hall will continue until August 30th, so there’s still a chance to win! You can buy 3 tickets for $5.00 online here. fairyfamilyraffle

even more fairy houses 2015

Fairy House blog-1

The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit is well underway, with many visitors coming to see it daily. I run into people around town, from the supermarket to my Zumba class, who tell me how much they enjoyed seeing the fairy houses. The other day I saw a grandmother come into Highfield, accompanied by a fully outfitted pair — a little girl fairy and a boy with dragon wings.

When I see everyone’s smiling faces, all of the preparation and planning that went into organizing the exhibit seems totally worth it. And then there’s the time and dedication that each builder put into dreaming up and creating their houses! More than one of them admitted having symptoms of fairy fever, lying awake at night, conjuring up how they were going to make their dwelling. See the map with house locations here. This tour isn’t over yet, with even more photos to come in future posts!


Glendell Towers by Glen and Susan Carliss


Cordelia Butterdragon’s School for Magical Creatures by Angela Tanner

My fairy house, “Grate Hall” (shown below) has battery powered LED lights, which add a shimmer to the glass and mirrors inside. Read a post about how I made it here.


Grate Hall by Salley Mavor


Grate Hall by Salley Mavor

A few house are inside the building, including “Lichen Lookout”, my house from the 2013 fairy house exhibit.

Lichen Lookout by Salley Mavor

Lichen Lookout by Salley Mavor

The houses on display were made by 30 people and are all very different from one another. Their construction of materials include wood, bark, stones, shells and moss.


Sparrow’s Post by Sheila Payne and Sally Egan


Glittering Glen #1 by Becky Deptula


Glittering Glen #2


Beech Front Cottage by Julie Child


Beech Front Cottage by Julie Chil


Le Petit Maison by Ramune Jauniskis

more fairy houses 2015

FairyHouses-1-14Please come along on a tour of the Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit. Since the popularity of the previous show 2 years ago, there has been much anticipation of this year’s display. The fairy house phenomenon has grown since then, so more people are familiar with the idea and it hasn’t taken as much explanation this time.

The houses will be set up all summer, but I suggest visiting sooner than later. Although most dwellings are quite sturdy and are holding up to the wind and rain, some are beginning to show their ephemeral nature.

Here are some of the many types of places where fairies live. Future posts with photos of more houses are coming…


Lone Star Postal by Barbara Whitehead and Bruce Safley

An old mailbox, mirrors and deer antlers…


Lone Star Postal by Barbara Whitehead and Bruce Safley

Vines and string webs…


Spiral Hallow by Bobbi Bailin

Believerton’s fairy community must follow neighborhood covenants.


Believerton by Sheila Payne and Sally Egan


Believerton by Sheila Payne and Sally Egan

A roof and stairway made of old books…


Hole in the Woods Library by Nancy Porter and Kellie Porte


Hole in the Woods Library by Nancy Porter and Kellie Porter

seaweed and sea glass.


Just Lobsta by Deb Coulombe and friends

tree trunks and bark…


The Oak Inn by Matt Inman

bittersweet vines…


Wood Hole by Lauren and Sadie Leveque

metal, glass and wood found objects.


Fairy House-Boat by Sue Beardsley and Tehva Baumflek

fairy houses 2015: ceramic abodes

Fairy House blog-1For this year’s Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit, I invited some new builders with fresh interpretations of the fairy house concept. I’ve always thought that ceramic artists could bring a unique perspective, so I asked 3 local potters to take part.

They were all thrilled and excited to make something for the show and each artist spent a good part of the winter and spring experimenting, constructing, glazing and firing their clay pieces. Each potter made multiple dwellings, creating a neighborhood, with many parts. Perhaps it’s because they are used to production work and couldn’t stop at just one! Ron Geering, Teesa Morgan and Kim Sheerin have all outdone themselves and in many respects, their houses are the stars of the show!

I’m encouraging everyone I see to go up to Highfield to experience the display. So many people assume that the exhibit is just for children and picture fairy crazy little girls flitting about, but it’s really an art show for all ages, men and women, boys and girls. If you live near enough to visit, please pick up a map inside (it’s free, but donations are appreciated) and start your search! I will be showing more pictures in the weeks to come, so that everyone can get a glimpse at these extraordinary dwellings.



Rhodo’s Rocky Roost by Tessa Morgan


Tessa Morgan


Tessa Morgan


Tessa Morgan


Tessa Morgan


Tessa Morgan


Kimberland by Kim Sheerin


Kim Sheerin


Kim Sheerin

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!


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.













fairy houses 2015: making “Grate Hall”


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


fairy girls in the studio


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.


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.


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


They played with them the whole time they were outside.


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


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


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!