Azalea – Ltd. Edition fairy

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Please meet AZALEA, the newest Blossom Fairy! She is 3 3/4″ tall, with long crimped auburn hair, acorn cap hat, embroidered wool felt tunic and petal skirt. Even though I’ve said that I don’t sell them, every once in a while I offer a ltd. edition of dolls similar to the ones in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. You see, I only work on them while traveling, so it’s an ongoing project that takes time. This year I made a set of 25 look-alike Azalea fairies while riding in cars and on vacation. I like to keep my hands busy, so this is a way of producing something, as well as keeping contented while sitting.

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Some of the finish work that’s not as portable, I did while on vacation. I have to limit the time I spend working on these because otherwise I would spend every minute in fairy land, constructing dolls, night and day. That isn’t such a bad thing, but then, I would be less inclined to make new, more involved pieces.

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In an effort to be fair to everyone, I am announcing on this blog, Facebook and Instgram that 25 “Azalea” fairies will be for sale in my Etsy Shop on Saturday, August 13th at 10 AM, eastern US time. That gives more of you a chance to read about it in advance, so you can plan on being ready to shop. I’m sorry if this hour isn’t convenient for other time zones around the globe, but I can’t figure out how to accommodate everyone. Last year’s dolls sold out very quickly, so if you really want one, act fast! Sorry, no reservations ahead of time. The dolls will be sold on a first come first served basis.

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wee folk sprouting up all over

Weefolk-1-18I can’t remember a more glorious spring here on Cape Cod! The days are clear and warm, but not too hot, with zero humidity. And the yard is full of perfectly scaled vegetation and flowers for wee folk to ramble through, including bugle weed, forget-me-nots and buttercups. Here’s a selection of characters who escaped from my studio into the outdoors, some from my how-to book,  Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures.

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How about a lattice topped pie in an acorn cap?

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Weefolk-1-19Poppies are ready to pop.

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Little Red Riding Hood makes her way across the bugle weed forest…

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And a fairy bride and groom dance through a field of buttercups!

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Fiona – new ltd. edition fairy

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feltweefolknewcoverblogEven though I’ve said that I don’t sell them, every once in a while I offer a ltd. edition of dolls similar to the ones in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. You see, I only work on them while traveling, so it’s an ongoing project that takes time. This year I made a set of 25 fairy dolls while waiting in airports, flying in planes and riding in trains. I like to keep my hands busy, so this is a way of producing something, as well as keeping contented while sitting.

Update 10/17/15 ~ The fairy dolls sold out very quickly. Thank you to all of you who were ready at 10 am, logged into my Etsy Shop. Will there be more opportunities to buy dolls in the future? Perhaps, but it depends on how much time I spend traveling.

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Some of the finish work that’s not as portable, I do in my studio. I have to limit the time I spend working on these because otherwise I would spend all of my time in fairy land, constructing dolls, night and day. That isn’t such a bad thing, but then, I would never take on making new, more involved pieces.

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In an effort to be fair to everyone, I am announcing on this blog and Facebook that 25 “Fiona” fairies will be for sale in my Etsy Shop on Saturday, Oct. 17th at 10am, eastern US time. That gives more people a chance to read about it in advance, so they can plan on being ready to shop. Last year’s dolls sold out very quickly, so if you really want one, act fast! Sorry, no reservations ahead of time. The dolls will be sold on a first come first served basis. Update 10/17/15 2:00pm ~ The Fiona fairies are all sold.

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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.

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Cynthia Rose – Eilonwy’s Stan

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

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Cynthia Rose – Eilonwy’s Stand

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

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Kimberly Sheerin – Kimberland

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

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Nicole St. Pierre – Enchanted Baa Baa Hollow Cottage

She also planted miniature succulents around the base.

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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

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!

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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.

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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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Fairy Family Video!

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My husband Rob and I had so much fun putting together this 2 min. video to spread the word about the Fairy Family RAFFLE for the benefit of Highfield Hall. While I worked on the dolls, I kept having to pester him about coming to film different stages of the process, from wrapping their bodies, to dressing them, to painting their faces. Make sure that you watch long enough to see these process shots, as well as the animated close-ups of the fairies.

Here’s the info about the RAFFLE:
Take a chance to win a fairy family of 5, handmade by Salley Mavor. 3 tickets for $5.00. Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA, where the fairy family is on display. The Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall outdoor exhibit will be held from June 28th to August 31, 2015. The raffle drawing will be August 30, 2015. The prize will be sent to the winner anywhere in the world! Good luck!

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