Thursday, 8 August 2013

The gift of a name, becoming the magic fairy lady

a silk veil house hung from the bunting so that my daughter's  fairies
 could join a festival procession 
I have always created spaces and things for my children’s play, this has been an instinctive honouring of the importance of their play. When stitching and painting I too am playing, and the small beings that come about in my hands start to come alive and seem then to hold an open invitation to children to get to know them and so create their characters whilst playing.

As my children have grown, I have found time, alongside our home educating, to create small beings for others. In the playful mood of responding to inspirations I have found myself able to draw on a sense of the person who I am creating for. This open listening that my fingers and heart seem to do, hears not only the wishes of the human players, but also the essences of nature’s beings.

a garden gnome's sunflower seed babies
This autumn we decided to create a gnome and fairy glen in our wendy-house outside, for children round about to come and visit. Even as I suggested the idea to my children I was bemused about why I was doing so; to spend so much time creating something for who knows who? However they took hold wholeheartedly,  and so we began. I stitched and followed the forms of small beings, directed initially by the scenes that my children wanted to include, a gnome’s garden, a bakery, a lake and river, a snowy land; later, gradually, different inspirations also began to have their say. Often we begin without knowing why…

two acorn rascals 

conversations of growing crystals 
Five months later, in our garden, a cocooning began, rust and blue velvet curtains covered ledges of different heights, yew branches softened the floor and curved the overhead space, hung with pale gauze silks, grey lichen branches did their part, mossy logs borrowed from the forest and pots of disorganized parsley and vetch made spaces to hold the gnomes and fairies. A small land with a garden, dim lit lakes, crystal caves, a little school with transperancy windows, pathways, a mushroom house, the old broken French garden teapot café, a living weaving seed pod, grew in the space. Then for a week children and adults came, few by few, to be in that small place visiting the more than 50 visible wee beings and the countless others hidden.

wonder glen school

a summer born boy's fairy
a fairy queen dances over the gold
After this, both the inspirations and the requests kept coming. One was for three boy fairies for a momma who wanted to create her own mobile for her baby boy. However when her eldest saw the three little fairies he said, ‘but momma you should be here too.’ and so in her image and by the grace of magic a fairy queen came to be. As far as I know the mobile has not yet come about, but the fairy family is tenderly loved, and that little boy calls me ‘the magic fairy lady’ which seems to me a wonderful name to be given and to grow into.
three brothers full of magic

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