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.
Fairies are a nature spirits and make their home in the woods. They have a strong connection to magic and can alter their physical appearance, like this one, the Tree Shifter, a fey who uses mimicry to blend into the trees when humans pass by. Like the chameleon and the octopus, the Tree Shifter uses her natural ability to hide within plain sight. As a Watcher for the Troop, she relies on this gift to protect The Wee Folk from human interference.
This dress was made from birch bark that was painted to resemble the American sycamore tree, which has bark that looks naturally camouflaged.
Her corsage is a bit of moss and Trumpet Lichen.
The skirt is made from reindeer moss and bits of usnea.
The dress is stitched up the back with green thread.
Summer is the busy time for The Wee Folk. They are gathering and hunting in preparation for the Summer Solstice and sometimes in the midst of their activities, they get hurt with scrapes, cuts, and burns. The Fairy Healer is the nurse of the Troop. She is the herbalist, the medicine fae.
Her dress is made from Usnea, a lichen, which is antimicrobial, antibacterial, vulnerary, and antifungal.
A close up shows a sash made from lichen and fungi, which also contain medicinal benefits.
Her birch bodice is stitched up the back with moss green thread.
There she is...only 3 inches high, sitting in a tree, hanging by a bejeweled fiddlehead hanger.
There, in the early morning light, one was spotted on rain-dampened ferns.
Her skirt 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.
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.
This is a fairy beautifully ethereal and reclusive. She is the Queen's poet and spends her days observing the woodlands for an amusing verse to tell the court later. Here she is spotted among Love Lies Bleeding.
This one-of-a-kind miniature fairy dress is made from dried grass, birch bark and reindeer moss adorned with an applique of birch and dandelion fluff. The bodice is stitched up the back with white thread.
This dress measures 2 inches by 4 inches and comes with its own custom hanger. It can be purchased through our 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