(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
Here is The Fairy Nurse, encased in a Maine-made pine shadowbox, lightly stained. <SOLD>
The Fall Fairies, all in dusky purples and ruby reds, have been delivered to Brambles, the home and garden store in Belfast. There are only a few of these one-of-a-kind tiny dresses (along with some literary dresses) before I start making my Yuletide series.
Whereas the Queen's Handmaidens are busy this time of year attending to her needs, the Warriors, those small, lithe and hidden Wee Folk, are scouting the forest for any signs of human encroachment.
The Warriors protect the rath from danger while the Hunters and Gatherers roam the forest floor for acorns and other nutrients to bring back down below for a long winter underground.
This one was crafted from dried grasses, lichen, and adorned with flowers and hydrangea with just a hint of Usnea.
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.
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