Dwarfed by a forest of white stalked flora and purple wildflowers, The Queen's Handmaiden is dressed up and ready to serve on a hot spring morning.
This Wee Folk Fairy is made with white birch bodice and a sun bleached hydrangea skirt and adorned with a sash of dried wildflower.
May is when they come above ground and I found this one sunning near a fairy rath in a cemetery.
Among carpets of purple, pink and white on a hot spring morning, the sounds of birds trilling nearby.
This one was made with a bodice of white and red birch, a skirt of dried rose petals and hydrangea and adorned with a sash of spring wildflowers.
Make four dollhouse-sized jars for around $20.00
It took me a ridiculous amount of time to figure out how to make miniature canning jars after searches on Etsy for these little items were proving too expensive to buy. I'm making a root cellar with a dozen jars and here's how you can do it too. I've included the materials, cost breakdown and how-to instructions below.
OK, start by assembling your materials. You can get these at any big box or craft store, and I'll include where I got mine. To make these 1/4-inch jars, you'll need:
Waverly mini bolt fabric, (Sewing Section) Walmart, $1.47, scissors, Elmer's clear glue, Dollar Store, $3.99
I started off making green beans out of tiny pieces of green foam, then placed them in jar with a toothpick. Then, squeezing the Elmer's into the jar, I used the toothpick to swirl around. Finally, I used the tip of the toothpick to pick up the tiniest dot of green food dye and swirled it in.
The fabric top took some trial and error (and here above was my first attempt) but the easiest way to do it is cut 1/4 x 1/4 inch of the fabric into a square. Set aside.
Then, use a pair of pliers to pull the split rings just far apart enough and cut the extra wire off so that you have one open ring. I used a pencil to hold it while my pliers shaped it.
Then, simply place the fabric over the top of the jar. (I used a dot of glue to keep it secure) and use your pliers to open up the ring just enough to slide over the top, where it will sit snug. You can trim the fabric at this point to desired length. The foam pieces in varied colors can make carrots, string beans, green beans, tomatoes, etc.
I then tried making another jar, this time: stewed apples. So, first, I snipped off a tiny piece of the polymer clay, but found that it was too wide to stick into the jar. So, I had to cut it in half.
Following the same process as above, there are the apples in the middle. They all fit nice and snug on my cellar standing shelf and were very easy to make. Assuming you already have a pair of scissors, toothpicks and pliers in your craft supplies, the total amount for four jars was $20.58. The best part is you now have the supplies to make many more.
(Dried manna grass bodice, hobblebush skirt)
Sentinels are, like the Amazons, a tribe of warrior females who protect the raths or "forts," the ancient fortifications in fields encircled by ditches. The Sentinels are always watching for human interference. They are most keen to keep Man away from the sacred fairy dens, so beware.
I'm going back to my roots on this creation as it is more earthy than the other prettier ones. But these are the true fairies, the elemental ones.
Adorned with hydrangea and a bit of bleached out tree lichen and Usnea.
Sitting pretty here on a frozen clump of evergreen.
I'm experimenting with lovely two-toned dried rose petals. This one was photographed the day after an ice storm turned all branches into brilliant icicles.
The bodice is made from several layers of birch bark, the outer and inner layers.
The applique is a dried petal adorned with a purple bud.
These are so fragile that I'm looking into special deep shadowboxes to contain them.
Wreaths are associated with the pagan rituals of the changing seasons and here are a few tiny fairy wreaths to hold you over until spring.
These ones are handmade from pine branches, dried fern, flowers and berries.
These are also from dried and pressed fern from our property and dressed up with flowers and buds and usnea
I shot these days after an ice storm which made all of the iced over branches sound like tinkling chandeliers.
This is a busy time for the Wee Folk; they are hunting, gathering and building in preparation for their retreat underground for the winter, down to the fairy forts. Here: a tiny sled led by a team of white mice to take provisions to a neighboring rath of the The Snow Queen.
Adorned with tiny ferns, moss, lichen and bittersweet. Handmade with a real birch veneer on the seat.
Only one available at Brambles in Belfast.
I got the idea from making round fairy doors. Why not make them even smaller and add botanicals?
Each comes with a custom "fiddlehead" fairy hanger. Perfect ornaments for a pagan tree!
This shows how small they are: about two inches wide.
I only had enough materials to make five of them. They can be found at Brambles in Belfast, Maine.
These are the Sociable fairies, the Sidheog, who reside in the forest, in their ancient fortifications, or "royalties" as they are known. For they have one true Queen, whom they are devoted to and serve. In three years I've been secretly observing these Wee Folk, I've never seen the Queen.
They come out this time of year dressed in their pagan colors, of wine, green and white.
They know I'm there, but they allow me access because I admire them and they aren't so different from us; they preen when they dance. They look over their shoulders to see if I'm still watching.....
And here are two tree toppers, my Flapper Angels.
I have a new collection of fairies color-coordinated with the pagan season of Yuletide: all white, red and green. Each is, by its handmade construction, one of a kind.
White moss, red rose, green moss. Each one has a back story.
The Yule Fairy is adorned with dried fern and bright red tiny berries with a plume of green feather. The birch bodice sparkles with a glaze of festive glitter.
The Fairy Mistress is made of red rose petals and dried autumn leaf with a hint of Baby's Breath.
The Queen's Muse is made from dried grass, birch bark and reindeer moss adorned with an applique of birch and dried Hydrangea. The bodice is stitched up the back with white thread.
More are being made in various white, green and red colors and soon will be available at the quirky garden and home goods store, Brambles in Belfast. All concepts and photos © Kay Stephens
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