even more fairy houses 2015

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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!

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Glendell Towers by Glen and Susan Carliss

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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.

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Grate Hall by Salley Mavor

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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.

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Sparrow’s Post by Sheila Payne and Sally Egan

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Glittering Glen #1 by Becky Deptula

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Glittering Glen #2

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Beech Front Cottage by Julie Child

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Beech Front Cottage by Julie Chil

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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…

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Lone Star Postal by Barbara Whitehead and Bruce Safley

An old mailbox, mirrors and deer antlers…

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Lone Star Postal by Barbara Whitehead and Bruce Safley

Vines and string webs…

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Spiral Hallow by Bobbi Bailin

Believerton’s fairy community must follow neighborhood covenants.

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Believerton by Sheila Payne and Sally Egan

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Believerton by Sheila Payne and Sally Egan

A roof and stairway made of old books…

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Hole in the Woods Library by Nancy Porter and Kellie Porte

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Hole in the Woods Library by Nancy Porter and Kellie Porter

seaweed and sea glass.

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Just Lobsta by Deb Coulombe and friends

tree trunks and bark…

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The Oak Inn by Matt Inman

bittersweet vines…

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Wood Hole by Lauren and Sadie Leveque

metal, glass and wood found objects.

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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.

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Rhodo’s Rocky Roost by Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Kimberland by Kim Sheerin

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Kim Sheerin

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Kim Sheerin

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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Polly’s packed and ready

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Polly’s going on another adventure tomorrow! It took the better part of a week for her to figure out what to wear on this trip. She’ll only have one outfit, so it has to work for everything. Polly looked through her clothes from Antarctica, Ireland, California, China Town (San Francisco) and Cuba, but they were not right for this trip.

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Polly decided to get something new that was a little more practical and nautical; a simple blue skirt and striped top. An acorn cap beret fits nicely on top of her head, too. Among other things, she’ll be helping navigate a barge along the Canal du Midi in southern France. There will be so much to share when she returns in a couple of weeks!Pollyhousefrancedetail

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Hither and Yon travels 99 miles

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Earlier this week, we tied Hither and Yon onto the truck and drove 99 miles northwest to its next location in Harvard, MA. To make sure it made the trip in one piece, I wrapped the more delicate, dangling parts with fabric and duct tape. Linda Hoffman, Old Frog Pond Farm’s owner and exhibit coordinator had selected a tree to install my piece. It was at the beginning of a fork in the wooded path, making a natural spot to entice people to walk in the direction of Hither and Yon.

Linda took Rob and me around her amazing property, which includes acres of lovely lily pad ponds, orchards and woods. Her annual sculpture walk at Old Frog Pond Farm was the inspiration for this summer’s Portals and Passageways exhibit at Highfield Hall in Falmouth. Linda and I both had pieces in the show and met at the opening in June. That’s when she asked if I’d like to be a part of her event this fall. I told her that I’d love to and offered Hither and Yon, if the schedule worked out.  Well, it couldn’t have worked out better. We took it down one day and installed it in its new location the next day. Despite being outside all summer, the piece is in very good shape. You can see a video about the making of Hither and Yon here.

I encourage everyone in the Boston area to make the trip out to beau-colic Harvard (the town, not the college) to see this show! I hope to meet some of you at the Opening Artist Reception on the 21st.

Around the Pond and Through the Woods ~ Sculpture Walk at Old Frog Pond Farm, Harvard, MA. Opening Artist Reception, Sept. 21, 2014, 1- 5 pm. (I’ll be there!), Open weekends, 1 – 5 pm until Oct. 5.

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“Hither and Yon” Video!

I’m excited to share this new Hither and Yon video that my husband Rob made. It documents the making and installation of my sculpture, which is part of this summer’s “Portals and Passageways” exhibit at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA. The show will be there through Sept. 7th, so there’s still time to roam the beautiful grounds and see all of the varied interpretations of the theme.

Over the spring, Rob filmed the making of the piece, starting with a scene of me cutting down the naturally bowed tree I found in the snowy woods. During the next few weeks, I called him into my studio periodically to record different stages of the process; drawing out the lettering, wrapping wire with felt, stitching and forming the words. The film ends with a time lapse sequence showing the installation of the piece at Highfield Hall. Rob and I had so much fun working on this video. I hope that you enjoy it!

I’ve really liked being involved with the exhibit and connecting with some of the other artists. I met Linda Hoffman, who invited me to bring Hither and Yon to her Frog Pond Farm in Harvard, MA for her annual sculpture walk, Around the Pond and Through the Woods. It looks like a beautiful property and she’s picked out a couple of trees for me choose from. We’ll be transporting the sculpture on top of my car and installing it soon after the Falmouth show ends. The exhibit opens Sept. 14th, 1-5 pm and there’s an artist reception on Sun., Sept 21, which I hope to attend.