Brambles in Belfast is the perfect place for our fairy dresses, which have all been staged hanging off willow branches and anchored by their beautiful stone vases. We've already sold quite a few and they going fast.
Next time you are in Belfast, check them out at 2 Cross Street.
Here is a lovely shot of their exterior by Arline Smart Lamarche
Here is a rare glimpse of a Dryad, a shape shifting fairy that can take the form of a tree. These are the Watchers of the Forest, and since the Sidhe rely on the cover of the woods to keep their troops hidden and safe, the Dryads are not to be trifled with. They are not well-disposed to humans given Mankind's abuse of the earth and its resources.
They play a tricks on tree cutters, distracting them away from their tasks. If a lumberjack should cut down a tree in Sidhe territory, it is said in folklore the Dryad will shape shift into a woman and then disappear into tree form when the man give chase. There, alone in the wilderness and cut off, he will meet his fate.
I made this one specifically from an image in my mind after hiking in Rangeley. I'd seen these brilliant greens striations on this kind of stump (I have to link to it because I don't have permission to post it). So, I set out to paint the birch bodice with the same kinds of kelly and dark greens.
The neckline of the bodice is adorned with moss I'd picked from dead stumps in the forest (never from a live tree) and a closed bud of green and white.
The upper part of the skirt is adorned with Lobaria pulmonaria, a lichen known as "lung moss" thought to be a medicinal remedy for lung diseases. The underskirt is made from green reindeer moss with tufts of Old Man's Beard.
This one-of-a-kind fairy dress now lives at Brambles, in Belfast. Be sure to go see their display of all my fairy dresses.
Another spotting of a sweet beach rose fairy as summer turns to fall.
Her underskirt is perfumed by the rose petals gathered by the sea and the adornments are dried bramble and flowers; she is the sweetest smelling fairy, long after the flowers have gone by. She is a close ally to the Merrow, the sea fairies who communicate with their counterparts on land.
More details up close.
Her bodice is stitched up the back with hot pink thread. Find out more on how to win a Wee Folk fairy through our Instagram page!
While the human world is preoccupied with mid-September mundane thoughts such as: "Time to go back to school; time to get the wood delivery for the winter; time to uproot the garden and fix the driveway before the first frost heaves," the Wee Folk are in their autumnal rejoicing mode. In time for Alban Elved, the Autumnal Equinox, the troop I've been observing for more than two years now, built their queen a majestic throne.
The throne is typical of their elemental architecture. It is constructed with the seat of a mossy alder, the back built like a destroyed spider web with a woven Pentagram for the Queen's protection. As she is the balance between light and dark at this time of year, she is vulnerable to the lower realms and the throne is her seat of safety.
She is the Queen of the Harvest, the giver of prosperity. And all summer, the troop has been hunting and gathering vole, elvers, fish, berries, chokecherries, honey, and acorn bread, and storing it away for their Winter Underground. The Full Corn Moon is coming up and they will be rejoicing all week with feasts and laughter, joy and dancing.
Apart from the mossy and lichen-covered limbs, the throne was built as a tribute to the Queen's loveliness with touches of dried yellow flowers to reflect her own golden hair and curlicues of grape vine to symbolize the change of the grape as it turns to wine when she lifts up her chalice each night to ask the Ancient Ones to bless her troop for another winter season.
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