Three days before Samhain, and my insomnia was growing worse every night, for a Blue Moon was getting fuller and fuller. Even the air felt super charged.
After hearing coyotes screech and howl last night, I decided to take a walk on the wooded path behind our house. This path (I later found out from an archeologist studying stone ruins in the area) was actually a corridor used by Native Americans and early Maine settlers to get down to a river stocked with salmon. I picked up some acorns idly and rattled them in my palm as I walked.
I don't know what I'd been looking for; my mind was on other things, but I got the shock of my life when straight in front of me, I spied a Wee Thing in a tangle of downed wood.
For at least three years now I'd been observing a rath of Wee Folk in and around our woods, but after all the books I could get my hands on, I knew exactly what this sidhe was and I was instantly chilled.
When the Witch Hare appears on a full moon and before the Veil thins between Their world and Ours, she is stronger, and more powerful than either the Sentinel or the Huntress in the rath. She is a shapeshifter, a pet of the witch, a devotee to the Snow Queen and can be either a rabbit or even an astral projection between matter and spirit. In any case, upon seeing her I began to shake, for I knew she could force me down to the fort to live for thousands of years, imprisoned.
I kept a careful distance and set down the acorns as a gift. I said: "I know you are both spirit and shadow. I know you can do me harm, so I wish to leave you alone. And tonight, I will lay some cake and wine in by the fire pit by our home for your rath."
A slight breeze ruffled her skirt fashioned from cattail fluff, but she made no move.
At last she turned around and descended back into that dark tangle of downed branches and disappeared.
This is another commissioned art piece, the fairy that shifts into part of the tree when a predator is near. She is like the octopus in how well she blends with her surroundings and exudes the magic of practical creativity.
Her bodice is made of birch, the symbol of white, meaning change. I hand-painted her colors of a tree I once found in western Maine, swirling with forest and spring greens and yellows. Her corsage is a bit of tree lichen that looks like mini trumpets.
Her skirt is made with different clumps of reindeer moss and adorned with a spidery Spanish moss.
I can custom make these for $25 and they are easy to ship anywhere in the U.S. Contact me if interested.
I have a customer who wants a few customized fairies. Here's one I just made from the leaves of a Dragon Plant. This fairy is very old. In Greek mythology, these “dragon trees” were believed to have emerged from blood flowing upon the land from the slain hundred-headed dragon Ladon. (source: daily.jstor.org)
Her skirt is made with three different kinds of green mosses.
Stitched up the back with green thread.
Be very careful if you come across this fay. She is one of the Queen's keepers of rituals and magic and is integral in keeping the rath safe from enemies.
It was pretty good day in Fairfield. Here, on the drive over, some beautiful fall foliage.
My booth set up against the rusty trees outside with about 20 other vendors.
My Fairy Tree holds mini Wee Folk Dresses.
A cool display I found is perfect for hanging more of my literary dresses. Sculptures below that.
This sweet "Tea for One" shadowbox was sold to a good friend.
The drive home.
This wee fairy only comes out in the fall, when the rath is preparing to harvest before they go underground for the winter. She likes to hide in the damp forests and forest edges.
The bodice is made from dried grass and birchand the lovely variagated skirt is the natural changing colors of the high cranberry bush in Autumn. She is one of a kind and I think, one of the prettiest fairies I can make this time of year.
Here is some up close detail of the bodice and skirt.
I will have this fairy and other handcrafted ones for sale for Maine Craft Weekend Oct. 2-3. Stay tuned for details.
This is for my $5 and under basket. Tiny handmade fairy portraits.
And a little fairy lamp. [SOLD]
And some antique bottles....
Coming up Sunday, Sept. 20, Tonic of The Woods is going to be at the Vista of Maine vineyard and cider tasting room, outdoors--in Greene, Maine. Here's the event. So, we've been busy making Wee Folk fairy dresses, handmade fairy furniture and fairy wreaths.
[SOLD] And here's a little handmade wire chair I found at an antique store that I've made into a Fairy Throne for the Queen
With a soft cushion of moss. So sweet. More to come!
This fairy, found in the Tanglewood troop, is a valuable member of the rath, for she wears a dress of Usnea, an antibiotic and antifungal lichen.
As the troop's Hunters and Gathers prepare for the autumn Equinox, The Fairy Healer is on stand by with the little cuts and injuries they receive in a day's work. She uses her powers for pain relief, fever control and and wound healing.
She's not only wise, but beautiful, with her bodice tinged with the last green of summer and adorned with purple wildflowers.
Oh look what else I discovered. Just like last year, the Wee Folk have been busy planting their rows and pots for a bountiful summer.
This sweet miniature fairy potting bench was made by hand. The top shelf was carved and faux painted; the sides are covered in birch and tiny dots of moss and fungi adorn the bench.
Like this one? See the one I made last year. I can custom make one of these for the gardener in your life.
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