Mid-October. Can you feel the energy getting stronger?
The Queen and her rath have had a long, luxurious summer, but now they are busy preparing for their retreat underground. The Queen's Handmaidens are unusually busy, moving her things. Here's one, found taking a rest upon the changing maple leaves.
Here she is, close up. Her skirt is a blush of hydrangea; adorned by brambles and dried roses.
Her bodice is crafted from red birch and white birch collected on our property.
They're tricksy. Look at this one camouflaged next to a pot of white tulips.
Made with the dried buds of spring blooms. And here's another one made from a bodice of birch and beech leaf with hydrangea for a skirt.
Each is stitched up the back with thread and comes with a custom bejeweled hanger.
Here are two new iterations of Lady of the White Thorn and The Queen's Handmaiden
It's several days before the Winter Solstice and they are above ground catching the dawn light, which melds with their creamy, tawny colors.
Each one I make of a certain series is completely unique. It may have the same materials, but each is crafted with a slight variation. This dress has a fern sash, a sepal applique and the back of the bodice is layered with poplar leaf.
And here, you have another version of The Queen's Handmaiden.
Here, I found the perfect curlicue to augment the dress for The Queen's Handmaiden.
All of these new dresses will soon be available at Brambles in Belfast and we will soon be working on an art series of dresses and photos for a gallery. Note: all designs and photographs © Kay Stephens
Another of the Queen's Handmaidens comes up from the rath to sun herself on an evergreen. It's nearing the time of Solstice, when they cling to the branches of pines and sing for the Goddess of Cold Darkness.
This one is made from grass and birch bodice and an underskirt from the palest pink/tawny petals of dried Hydrangea.
"Green is for the newborn Lord of the Forests, the Divine Sun Child who comes once more for the World."
You don't see them; but they live among the summer wildflowers keeping the Queen amused. This is another of the Queen's Handmaidens adorned in a birch bodice, a dried hydrangea skirt and a ruffle of Silverrod at the throat.
In Tanglewood, the Musk Mallow is a sign that the Queen resides nearby. They pluck the fruits and one-seeded nutlets for her meals.
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