Glittery red, primal evergreen, snowy white—these are my winter fairies and they’re meant to adorn pine trees, because that’s where the fairies visit in the colder months when they’re above ground.
The red and green Yule Fairies are handmade with birch and various colored mosses.
My book fairies made from pages with feathers are called Fairy Angels and they are also beautiful on a holiday tree. You can find them at Bonnie’s Place in Rockport and later this month I’ll be making more for Good Natured store in Liberty. If you want one custom made, I’m doing a holiday discount of $20 per fairy. Email me for more info.
The Reindeer Muse.
I’m making more small-batch fairy dresses for Maine Micro Artisans: we’ll soon have space in a shop in Bangor.
The Cranberry Fairy-dried white petals
It all starts with this.
To spend an hour gathering flower petals to make something I love, then photograph it, then write a fairy story about it and post it, is one of my biggest joys in the summer. I feel like my entire personality lightens up about seven shades.
I collect white, pink, and dark pink beach rose petals and other wildflowers and let them dry. Then I bring my fairy down to the beach and photograph her among the lupine and beach rose bushes.
There was a time when belief in the fairies, also known as "The Wee Folk" was not very strong. The Beach Rose Fairy is a symbol of summer, of the Summer Solstice, particularly of Litha, an ancient Festival, a Celtic version of Mid-Summer, celebrated by the pagans.
Among rituals of Litha which includes celebrating life and living things, Nature and its spirits, it is a special time to recognize the Fairy Realm, through folklore and fantasy, poetry, and creativity.
With each Beach Fairy I create, I try to incorporate this reverence for Nature and the Fairy Realm.
"In The Witch Hare, a witch’s familiar--a curious young hare--goes on a globe-hopping journey to help her sad companion learn to live life to the fullest again. As the hare ventures out to seek adventure, she shows the witch that everyone deserves love and that the wonders of the world are not just without, but within. "-Story courtesy CraftLiterary.com describing the story "The Witch Hare" by AJ Strosahl
This is my take on the fairy Witch Hare, a shapeshifting fairy that is a green witch, one close to the sea and earth, who uses magic for good. This one-of-a-kind "Wee Folk" fairy dress can only be handmade once a year from cattails that I gather once they've gone to seed. It comes perched on a round birch disc. A real beauty.
And here she is in her natural habitat, the forest.
I'm lucky to live five minutes from the sea. I collect beach rose petals that have fallen to the ground to make these lovely fairy dresses, which smell so good!
My Summer Beauties, I call them. The bodice is made from birch and the dress is made from dried beach roses and leaves. Adorned with the tiny bud of a beach rose.
This is the Reindeer Muse, the Queen's own poet. Every day, she alights to a sunny spot to collect the sun and her thoughts for a new verse she'll take back to the Queen and court for the evening.
This lovely "Wee Folk" handmade fairy is made from a birch bodice and white reindeer moss.
I use a "miniaturized" setting on my camera to get that blurry, ethereal look, which works so well for the wildflowers in the background.
This is one of my most popular "Wee Folk" handmade fairy dresses. The Queen's Handmaiden comes up from the rath to sun herself on a bed of purple, pink, and white wildflowers. It's nearing the time of Solstice, when they sing for the Goddess of Cold Darkness.
Her bodice is made from birch and her dress from hydrangea, adorned with a bit of moss for a sash.
For spring, I've started a new literary miniature dress series: the Paper Pixies, based on a middle grade fairy book. Unlike my natural, forest "Wee Folk" dresses, these are virtually unbreakable. Great for kids and for adults who love fairy tales! If you want it custom made for you, simply message me on Etsy.
When I was traveling through Ireland, I went to a storytelling museum and became fascinated by the folktale of The Changeling. So, I set out to make a fairy terrarium that depicted an empty stroller at the top of a fairy rath, with stepping stones leading up to it. This terrarium tells the story of a stolen baby. This is not a sweet little scene; it’s actually quite sinister, once you know the back story. You wonder what happened to the baby…
Here’s a quick TikTok video showing how I made it.
Fairy wreaths are very much a symbol of Beltane and I’ve begun making kits so you can craft one yourself.
Each kit comes with a variety of natural materials such as moss, dried flowers, berries, ferns, usnea, and lichen.
I provide the red birch bare wreath, a handmade hanger, and a packet of clear glue stapled to my business card, so you can use your imagination and make one the way you want.
Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook page for announcements of where I’ll be selling these at craft fairs in Maine this summer. $15 each. Soon to be available through my Etsy store.
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations
Photos, stories and concept ©Kay Stephens
Look up the story behind a fairy dress by clicking on the name below