Here is a beauty to behold. Five years ago, I found a matriarchal society of The Wee Folk in the hills, barrows and woods near the sea in Maine and have been documenting them ever since. The Spring Maiden is seen early this year--usually found in March or April. This fairy is the reveler in the rath, with a gown of tulips to welcome the green grass and new buds on the trees.
She's made from dried tulip petals I got for Valentine's Day, a birch bodice and a sprig of moss and hydrangea flower for a corsage. Stitched up the back with purple thread for an extra pop of color.
An additional decoration is the stamens from two different colored tulips.
Seen here lounging in the snow.
After a winter storm in Maine, this fairy appeared upon a fir bough. She is a moon deity and her role in the rath involves change, intuition, magic, visions. She is a seer, and the Queen depends on The Snow Angel to read the air and earth and tell when spring will arrive so they can leave their underground quarters and emerge into the woods once again.
This dress is a hybrid of my Wee Folk dress and my literary dress styles. Ironically, I found a life-size version on this dress in Belfast, Maine at Northwoods Gourmet Girl, a home goods and food store. You can see the same birch bodice, a tulle skirt and wings.
Made from birch, tulle, and silk petals with real feather wings.
Pictured here in one of handmade open-air shadowboxes.
This is one of the elemental fairies I make, the witchy woo kind of fairy dress instead of the pretty flowery ones.
Here's her back story. I've been saving this one for a long time to be showcased in a special shadowbox.
My Tonic of the Woods other half constructed this handmade shadowbox deep enough to suspend The Faery Maiden from the top. We can even light the box up from inside with a miniature light.
The Tree Shifter has a strong connection to magic and can alter her physical appearance, using mimicry to blend into the trees when humans pass by.
The bodice is made from birch bark which I've painted to resemble the American sycamore tree, whose bark looks naturally camouflaged.
Her dress is made from moss and Usnea and she is a sister to The Fairy Healer.
The Fairy Healer is a valuable member of the rath, for she wears a dress of Usnea, an antibiotic and anti-fungal lichen. When members of the Troop get sick in the winter, they make teas from her dress.
Her bodice is made from layers of birch bark and her corsage is a hydrangea flower.
I've been making tiny fairy wreaths for a couple of years now, but here's a portal into The Otherworld.
I got the idea from this meme.
Fairy portals are found in the unlikeliest spots in nature, as this blog post describes, but they should never be entered by humans...or else you might find yourself staying for a few hundred years....
Some up-close detail using all of my favorite materials, moss, lichen, dried flowers and fronds.
Some trumpet lichen and star anise. The next one I make will be bigger, like a wreath.
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