My Wee Folk Fairy Dresses have found a new home in Belfast, just in time for the last Friday Art Walk of the summer tonight, August 24. Brambles, at 69 Main Street, is the coolest store for garden and home stuff with lots of earthy offerings.
If you weren't able to catch our Alder & Vine show this past month, you will now be able to view and buy these tiny fairy dresses made from forest materials at Brambles in Belfast.
Usually, I stage my miniature altered book dresses indoors and my fairy dresses outdoors, but when I went for a trail run a few days ago, I came upon the most beautiful patch of Indian Pipes in the woods. Normally they are white, but these are pinkish.
A perfect stand for one of my earliest creations, a dress made from the pages of a manga comic that had been washed in watercolor of pink and purple.
Detail up close
The Banshee plays a special role in the Other Crowd, and usually, she is a benign, if forbidding fairy, in the business of death warnings and the like...
But, as many folk tales from the small rural villages of Ireland can attest, people would do good to remember there is another side to her. Treat her with disrespect or interfere with her duties and she will retaliate.
This is a dark fairy and her pallor is grey. She is made from dried grass and birch with a dried bulb of Queen Anne's Lace as her underskirt, adorned with dead flowers. She is a portal from Man's world at the moment of death to The Other Side.
She may turn her back to you, but do not turn your back to her.
There once was a lad named Connla who lived close to the sea and he came upon a tiny maiden clad in strange attire nestled in a hollowed out branch of driftwood. No bigger than his hand, she wore a bodice of red and white birch, and an underskirt of bramble with dried hydrangea that made it look as though she were part of the underbrush. A spider sat next to her, sunning itself. Startled, he asked "Whence comest thou Maiden?"
"I come from the Plains of the Ever Living," replied she. "Where there is neither death nor sin."
"The ocean is not so strong as the waves of my longing," she continued. "Oh mighty Conn, fighter of a thousand fights. Come with me in my curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. Only wives and maidens live there. If thou wilt, we can seek it and live there alone together in joy."
"Tis hard upon me," then said Connla: "I love my own folk above all thing; but yet a longing seizes me for the maiden."
She turned, exposing the red silk sash that held together her fragile shift and with her, turned the spider, crawling away toward the sea. Connla could resist no more. Away and away, till eye could see no longer, and Connla and Faery Maiden went their way on the sea, and were no more seen, nor did anyone know where they came.
This microstory was adapted from Celtic Fairy Tales, the story of Connla and the Fairy Maiden. (First published in 1892. This edition was published in 1994 by Senate, an imprint of Studio Editions Ltd, England).
These one of a kind miniature fairy dresses are all fashioned by hand in Maine with materials from the woods. Available in select boutiques and on Etsy.
I'm making a few more miniature Flapper Dresses for our first art show, coming up July 27.
This one is from my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby. Like the others in my miniature Flapper series, this is a one-of-a-kind literary art piece from the pages of that salvaged novel.
The pearl appliqué at the top of the bodice mirrors the fabric ribbon at the dropped hem of the skirt, which is further elongated by fringe.
The back of the dress is stitched up with silver thread which complements the overall silver theme. Perhaps I should have made it gold for the Gilded Age? Each dress also comes with its own custom mini hanger. if you love the 1920s and The Great Gatsby, this is a perfect keepsake. If you happen to be in Maine, check out our upcoming show.
BELFAST — In July, the Wee Folk, or the Otherworld of Irish fairies will be captured in one place for an evening.
In conjunction with Belfast's Fourth Friday Artwalk on July 27, Alder & Vine, Belfast's only spot for artisan goods, oddities and the occult, features the artists of Tonic of the Woods, which specializes in "Wee Folk" fairy dresses, miniature literary paper dresses and custom shadowboxes.
Tonic of the Woods is a cross between eco art and folk art with the dominant theme of Nature reclaiming its rightful place back from human interference.
Tonic's miniature sculptural works of "Wee Folk" fairy dresses are all one-of-a-kind, made from birch and dried grasses, flowers, brambles, weeds and mosses, measuring only six inches with a handcrafted hanger. Each has a backstory of Irish fairies, that diminutive supernatural race on "the Other Side" driven down underground by human beings since "the start o' the world." As beautiful and ethereal as they are, the Wee Folk can also be vicious and vindictive.
Tonic of the Woods will also feature miniature literary sculptural dresses made from iconic short stories or novels, as well as miniature shadowboxes made from upcycled frames.
Join us for the opening reception on Friday, July 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served and the artists of Tonic of the Woods will be on hand to talk about individual pieces for sale.
For more information visit: www.tonicofthewoods.com and www.alderandvine.com
I found the perfect shadowbox while out hunting vintage stores for materials.
Inside it sits the Beach Rose Red fairy, made from birch and dried beach roses for a skirt. I then affixed mounting hardware to the back so it can hang on the wall.
These are sociable fairies and they hide in the beach roses lining the ocean during the day. On a full moon, during the summer solstice, they come out to watch the seals in the cove as they dart around and flank the translucent squid for their evening meal. The Beach Rose Red fairies then sit "in the grove of great rose-trees, with the moon shining on it as bright as day, and thousands of nightingales singing in the branches."
This one-of-a-kind shadowbox is only available in our newest location, Herbal Revolution, a tonic-and-elixir store in Rockport, Maine on Route 90. $50. Grand Opening is June 22.
Today, when the sun rises, it is the longest day of the year. And tonight, according to Celtic lore, elves and fairies abound in great numbers. Here is a little gallery of who is out today.
The Reindeer Muse is out collecting flowering sage, a powerful herb on this day.
Two of the Queen's Handmaidens lay amongst the wildflowers.
The Queen Anne's Lace fairy is a sociable fairy, whose amusements--dance, music and games--entertain the Queen on these summer days.
The bodice is made from birch and the skirt is made from a dried curled bell of Queen Anne's Lace and some dried purple flowers I got from a farm in Maine.
It is laced up the back with purple thread and adorned on the front with more dried purple flowers.
There are two apple trees in a meadow I go to every spring...
I make it a point to get done with work early, around noon and take the afternoon off by myself.
I get a bottle of champagne (in this case prosecco) and a picnic lunch and just hang out under this apple tree for several hours.
In the meadow, there is view of a small mountain range. I just look and listen for awhile....to the birds and crickets.
Bring some books.....some snacks.
Pop open the bubbly...and climb the apple tree.
Joseph Campbell: "You must have a room or certain hour for so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something will eventually happen."
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations