Fairies

Happy Christmas!

We send happy, sparkling wishes for peace and joy to everyone today. Whether you celebrate Christmas or other holidays, we hope today finds you with family, good health, and delightful laughter.

I love creating fairies all year. Christmas gives me a lovely chance to create glittering decorations.

I adore Fairyland during the holidays :)




Wishing peace, abundance, and love to all :)



Happy Celebrating :)

Child-Made Fairies for Christmas

One of my favorite things about the holidays is making fairies with children. Every student in my class (20 in all) makes a fairy. The boys (and a few girls) are not inspired by fairies, so they make elves. Or angels. Whatever the fairies are called, they bring joy to the season.

Our book was inspired by projects like these fairies. Because families sometimes wonder how their five, six, or seven year old made such treasures. Every little fairy/elf/angel is unique. Reflecting the unique voice of the child.

How does it work?

The directions, with many photographs, are all in our book. What the child makes and what I make depends on time and the child. Some children show great independence and want a lot of creative freedom. Other children enjoy having my attention for each little step. I do have a plan for creating twenty child-made fairies. I am working on a post for sewing fairies with groups of children. For now, though, I want to share my secrets for working with one child at a time. Because I get to make these with family, too.

What the child does:

  • chooses felt and pipe cleaner colors, yarn, sequins, wings
  • sews the decorating felt band on the hat, adds sequins and decorations galore
  • sews up the back of the hat
  • adds beads and bells to the top of the hat
  • winds thread (pants or tunic)
  • chooses petal skirts
  • tries hat on to see how it all looks together

What the adult does:

  • makes the body
  • draws the face
  • cuts the felt
  • threads the needle and ties knots
  • demonstates (models) the first couple of stitches and how to add sequins
  • lets go of expectations :)
  • folds hat in half when decorating is done, sews an anchor stitch at the bottom
  • models sewing up to the top of the hat (one stitch)
  • knots thread for clothing
  • models first steps for winding thread (pants or over-shoulder, under arm)
  • holds wings until they are attached with winding thread
  • clips tiny amount so petal skirts can scoot up the legs
  • glues hair and hat on fairy/elf/angel

Of course, this all changes depending on the age and personality of the child. And it doesn't have to be done on the same day. Take breaks. See the little bits of felt and thread come together to create a magical keepsake. 

One of our favorite things at the recent craft fair was hearing from families whose students left us five or even ten years ago. "We still have our fairies," they said. On the tree or the table or the mantle. 

We still love our fairies :)

Happy Holidays with Angels

We are so excited to share the season with all of you. And we are dancing-sparkly excited about wonderful news! We love the magical dolls that Margaret creates in her book, Making Peg Dolls, and on her blog, We Bloom Here. I adore her whimsical, fun peg worlds. I counted the days to her book's release. I tried to be at a signing, but my kids were running a fever...

So my friends bought me the book and we were all enchanted. Margaret's projects have a sweetness and wonder that had my very-young son asking me to make that one for him, and that one, Mom, please? While my girl asks for more felt and supplies to make her own tiny flower people and baby chicks.

Peg People and Baby Birds by Margaret Bloom

I sent Margaret a little note thanking her for the pretty book. I wished that I could have met her in person.

We haven't managed to meet in person yet, but, sure enough, our shared love of all things glittery inspired friendship. As we talked about the holidays, we thought that a giveaway swap would be fun. 

"Let's make angels," we said.

And what inspiration!

She is giving away my angel so head on over to We Bloom Here to enter. I get to give away one of her darling angels. 

We didn't share our design ideas before creating the angels. I think it's fun that we chose the same iridescent pipe clearners. And stars. Great minds think alike :)

I am so fortunate to share this gift with one of you this holiday season.

Angels are appreciated around here all year-round. They bring us peace and hope. They are symbols of light and love. We keep them hanging in little nooks or sitting on shelves by a candle. You can enter to win these angels. You can also make a few of your own! Our books have directions for both of these treasures (and plenty more). 

We are delighted to share our angels. All that you need to do is write a comment below and include your email so we can get the winner's address. To enter this give away, please leave a comment below this post, and be sure I have your email so I can get in touch if you are one of the winners.  For added fun, you may tell me about your favorite holiday magical tradition. For us, the holidays are full of magic. We love St. Mikulas visiting on December 5. We put a sock behind the curtain. He leaves little sweets on our windowsill. My father was Czech and this is how he held the tradition with us. Each year, finding goodies on a windowsill is simple magic.

Comments for the give away will close at 12:00 noon, Pacific Standard Time, on December 9, 2013. A winner for one peg doll angel will be chosen via random drawing and announced at that time. To enter for the Fairy Angel, head on over to We Bloom Here. Happy Holidays!

Thankful

This year brings so much gratitude. We are thankful for our book and sharing our book.

We are thankful for seeing our crafts made around the world.

We are thankful for the photos of fairies and owls and critters sewn by children (and adults).

We are thankful for activities. We loved hearing about the scavenger hunt with hidden fairies.

And giveaways. We are thankful for great reviews (so many!). Thank you thank you!

We are thankful for supportive friends. And family. And new friends! We meet so many lovely people into the forest. We appreciate you.

We are thankful for creative children. And creative grown-ups.

We are thankful for our agent and the wonderful people at C&T Publishing who helped make our ideas into a beautiful book.

We are thankful for the bloggers who post reviews and projects. We love the photos of your crafts!

We are grateful for our community.

We are so grateful for our children. Thank you, Anika, for staging these scenes with me yesterday with the fairies!

We are thankful for dreams, because the Forest started as a dream. We are thankful for dreamers.

And we are thankful for magic. The magic of turning felt and ribbons into little treasured stories. The magic of spending time together making cute things.

The magic that makes me smile. Every time. Every time the glue dries, I hold the finished craft. And I smile. So thankful.

We are grateful for good health. Asia and I have both had challenges in our families this year (better now) that remind us how this time together is so very precious. We are grateful for good mornings. And afternoons. And evenings.

I asked my girl and her first answer was Family. Grateful for family. Love and acceptance and growing together.

And of course we are grateful for you. For your reading. And your crafting. And your support of our little journey. You make this possible. And we appreciate you each and every day.

Thank you!

Wishing you a delightful day!


Christmas Card Giveaway

I just took photos for this year's holiday card and I can't help but share :)

Introducing the Christmas Tree Fairy! She shines in the forest.

Last year, I made special peppermint fairies in honor of my daughter dancing as a peppermint in the Nutcracker.

They appeared on a forest-fairy holiday card. 

This year I chose a Christmas Tree Fairy. Just because.

Now I need to get busy making the cards :)

I would love to send one to you or a child in your world! These good wishes from the forest will be fun to open in the mail!The fairies love to share happy cheer!

I will pick two comments from below to receive a limited edition holiday card from the forest. We can send to your address or a different address of your choosing. The contest closes on December 1. We have a super-fancy surpise planned for December 2 so check back Tuesday. We love giving magic!

I will contact you through email, so be sure to leave that for me. I hope this week finds you enjoying family and the sparkle of the season!

Terms and conditions: Entries are free. International entries are accepted. Contest ends on December 1 at midnight Pacific Time. All comments are appreciated :) Peace and joy!

Autumn in the Forest

Hurrah for changing leaves and crisp mornings. We love the bright colors of fall, the blazing oranges and reds. We also love the shadowy colors of fall, the dusky purples and deep burgundies. 

We haven't been able to post that much because we are busy creating these days. We have a few craft fairs booked for December (more on that soon). And the book is selling well! (thank you!) But the fun needs to be shared. 

So happy October!

We have new things in the Forest. The first is that we now offer custom greeting cards with our images. When you go here, you can choose an image and design it however you like. You can order one, or a box of ten or more. I am excited to try them. I will be adding more holiday images as we get closer to the season.

We have also been selling kits locally and in our Etsy shop. The response is an overwhelming, "Thank You!" And as I prep for our own holiday crafting around here, I appreciate the effort the kit will save a lot of families. The kits do not include directions (they are meant as a companion to our book). They have supplies to make at least four different projects. If you are crafty, most of the supplies are probably in your stash, but if you are traveling, or just starting to craft, these kits save a lot of time.

My current challenge is choosing colors! I want to keep our inventory simple (pastels, woodland, seasonal) but they we go to the store and find turquoise and magenta. And what about angels? And winter? 

Oh, the ideas are endless. The last special one for this month is the Spooky Crafty Kit with purples and black. Perfect for zombies and witches. I only have one left in our Etsy Shop.

I am adding petals to the kits, too, because the petal fairies are so much fun!

Speaking of petal fairies, I have too much fun making my own fairies :)

They're even harder to offer for sale. I fall in love with each and every one of them. Especially her...

She has this little smirk that makes me happy. Every single time I see her :)

I don't really want to send her off to a new home, but she is available here.

I wanted to make a pink and black fairy. And she kept adding details. She wanted sparkles. Gold thread in her hair. A wide-brim hat. And she has this sweet and sly look about her that reminds me why I craft. We can make magic :)

Speaking of magic, my girl has inspired me to create a little for her and her friends. This year, the big new thing at school is animal tails. And this is before the Fox song :).  They wear tails to school almost every day. They asked me for cat tails. And Ian asked for an orange cat tail. Their friends want more, so I made a few extras.

And the more realistic, faux fur cat-tail...

I am getting the cat-tail posted (hopefully soon). The orange tail in is our shop :)

And we have exciting plans for the holidays. It's a secret for now, but I am working with one of my favorite magical artists... Lucky me :) 

Time to enjoy this fantastic autumn! I am sending great fun and spooky-sparkles your way :)

The Fairy Road

This little fairy has a big job. His job is to comfort a young girl through a very difficult goodbye. Life is lovely and treasured moments. Life is also sad and lost moments. We want to hold on, especially when letting go breaks our hearts.

We don't always have a choice. And perhaps these little tokens, these handmade fairies, gnomes, and felt stuffies, perhaps they can help our journey. Perhaps they can help our children through the dark patches of forest that comes along with living.

When my children were young, I felt the connection that we all share. I felt that we are bigger than ourselves. We are made of the same stardust. I want my children to know, for always, that I was with them. Even if they are at school or in their own bedroom or away travelling.

I made up this story for my daughter. We tell it again for all separations. Whether it's an overnight adventure, or the loss of a loved one. We use the Fairy Road to share our connection.

I hope this little fairy, and the story, might help a friend's family who is saying the worst goodbye. My heart aches for all of the children and families in stressful, dark circumstances today. I know these tokens cannot erase heartache, but perhaps they might give a little peace. 

The Fairy Road is a story of finding hope. It is a story that brings us together. I am happy to share it. A downloadable, printable version is here

I send so much along with this little fairy. Light and love. And believing :)

The Fairy Road

By Lenka

When my daughter was young, she didn’t want to sleep in her own room. 

I’m too far away, she said. What if I can’t find you?

And I said that I would be in her heart, that she could feel me close even if she couldn’t see me right there. 

She shook her head. No, she said, no. I need to find you.

She challenged me to look beyond the obvious answers. I thought deep and creative and new thoughts. 

Our world is not the only world, I said. Our world is one of many worlds. And those worlds are just as real and true as our world. We visit them in our imaginations and in our dreams. We are more than these hands and feet and faces. We are energy. Pure, light, beautiful energy. And we can travel from world to world. When we close our eyes. When we dream. When we drift into peaceful thoughts...

Between your room and my room is magic. There is a path, a fairy road, covered in sparkles, that connects you and me for always. We don’t need shoes to travel this road. We just need to believe.

Close your eyes and let go. We will find each other. We will be in a place with shimmering lights and tea-cakes and an orchestra playing lovely music. We will dance. We will play. We will be together. 

Can you see?

She snuggled under the covers, not quite sure about my plan. And can I find you for always?

Always.

Our world is not the only world. And we may be far from each other, but we are connected forever. I believe. Being apart is the toughest thing in the world- saying goodbye is heartbreaking. But I know that we go on; we visit with tokens and dreams. We stay even when we are gone. We are together. Forever. Meeting on the Fairy Road.

peace, love, and light,

Lenka

The First Fairy Mobile

Last month, I wanted to create a gift with our class of kindergarten and first grade students. Our beloved teacher was going to have a baby! What a perfect chance for me to try a long-time idea. How could I make the fairies into a mobile?

 

This was the perfect gift. Each student helped with one of the six fairies. We didn't know if the baby would be a boy or a girl, so we kept neutral colors. I chose the felt and cut the pieces before we sat down to sew- orange, blue, yellow, and green. The children helped sew hats and sequins so we had three girls and three boys.

I also kept the thread choices blue or green. This way, the fairies looked similar with their unique personalities. Children also chose the beads for the hat that would end up matching the beads I used to connect the wires (I didn't plan that ahead of time, but it worked out perfect).

Once I had the six fairies, I used floral wire and the heaviest beading wire that I could find in our local craft shop. The beading wire was pretty, shiny, and soft. The floral wire was thin, but strong.  I ended up using both wires. I liked the 'character' of the softer wire. The uneven bends here and there just added to the charm. I used beading pliers to make simple loops at the ends and the center. Each wire balanced with a girl and a boy. I attached these together with short pieces of wire. I felt like the middle sections needed a little something, and the beads were a perfect solution!

I could make a tutorial if people are interested in all the details of putting the mobile together. My magic was seeing how each child contributed to a collaborative gift. I have wanted to make a fairy mobile for ages! I am glad that I got the perfect opportunity. I have also seen lovely mobiles using a hoop. I would love to try sticks, too, for the natural elements.  

I loved creating this fairy mobile with the children. We hope the baby loves our hanging Fairyland!

Giveaway: Summer Fairy

We decided to celebrate our book all summer with a series of giveaways! We love to share our crafts and kits. 

This week is a blossom fairy with Waldorf inpiration. This girl has a flower-hat with long green braids. She is sweet and calming. She hopes to join your home. 

We are happy to send her as a gift to a special child in your life. We contact the winner and you give us a shipping address. 

We are open to entries from the USA and Canada. If you are international, email me and we can talk about shipping costs (I can ship internationally if you can help cover the difference). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! We would love to send her to your home soon!

*Please note: Fairies are not for very young children who taste their toys (though fairies do love hanging above cribs or near windows safely out of reach). Fairies have small decorations. Fairies love gentle, creative play but do not enjoy rough pulling :)

Thank you for sharing the Forest with your friends!

Fairy Crafts at Book Expo America

We are featured giveaways with C&T Publishing this year at Book Expo America! We have been busy creating a collection that is on its way to New York. I hope our crafts share with everyone how fun and magical they are in person :)

Asia sewed favorite Treasure Keepers. Little cats and owls have pockets for keepsakes... 

A moon is a favorite beginner sewing project- the heart and sun are beautiful too (I still want to make a mobile with these one day :))

She also sewed five Animal Treasure Keepers. These sweet little bags can have a handle, or not, and they are become friendly companions. 

I added ten fairies to the collection- five girls and five bumblebee boys.

The girls together~

And the boys~

I love how each fairy gets a personality. Even the bumblebees had their own quirks that made them uniqiue. I love the discovery of creating them!

I had fun with the girls, getting to give them a personal style. I knew they would be displayed as a group, so I laid the felt out to see the palatte working together. I also wanted to show how the fairies can be gentle and softly colored, or vibrant and bright. I had a good time coordinating the different outfits to be a stand-alone while working within the group. I also used the same varigated pastel crochet-thread to keep them similar.

I did add a decorative ribbon with pom-poms for one girl~

And played with the hair and crown designs for the rest. They were an absolute delight to create :)

This fairy has cotton chenille stems from A Child's Dream Come True. I love the different texture they offer. And they are soft, too!

I play with many different materials for fairy-crafting. Pinking shears made the little ruffles on the bottom of her crown. The effect is super-simple to create!

For this girl, I sewed a little star on her hat. Simple is sweet :)

And she is my jewel-tone girl. Her bright colors make me smile :)

I couldn't get the entire collection in a photo- so much together! Asia and I are excited that they get to go to New York and inspire all the book-lovers at BEA. Unfortuantely, you need to be at BEA to win one of these treasures. Happy trails, fairies and critters!

We are planning a few online chances to win our crafts, too! We want everyone to join the fun :)

PS- We saw that our book is shipping now! All of these projects are shared in Forest Fairy Crafts. Enjoy :)

 

Classes and Workshops for Spring and Summer

I am so, so busy putting magic together in the forest. We are constantly asked about coming to stores or events. So I put together a few favorite activities with different ages. If you would like us to visit your area, take a look at our spring and summer classes to download the PDF. 

Please remember that travel expenses are not included in these descriptions. I am planning a trip to the San Diego area this summer, though. Stay tuned! Our calendar is filling up, so if you are interested in us visiting, please email me soon.  

Meanwhile, I am working on those extra hat patterns. I better hurry off to Fairyland!

Bees Love Fairies

Yesterday was busy preparing the bonus hat ideas for our new pattern collection. I take the fairies to photograph outside whenever possible, because fairies love nature.

It turns out that bees love fairies! Look who came to visit :)

Now, if only I could let the fairies live in my garden forever... I need scupture versions that are weatherproof. Hmm...

Until then, visiting nature is lovely. Wishing you magical encounters today!

Acorn Boy

Magic doesn't have to be complicated. I find simple fairies so charming. This boy is exactly that. I started him with one idea and finished him a few weeks later when I found just the right size acorn cap. We live in an area with many, many trees (the forest :)) and I collect acorn caps whenever I see them. Finding great caps is tricky, though. Many times they are already softened from wet ground, or covered with pollen, or too small... So when I find ones that are just right, I am delighted.

His hat is just right :)

When I first started creating fairies, I made girls, girls, girls. Until I brought the project to school and I had to create a simple way for the boys to have their boy fairy. After I perfected the technique, the boys became as popular as the girls. In fact, at our school auction, the boy fairies often receive more bids than the girl fairies. Imagine that!

Speaking of, I should make on for the auction next week. Our school needs all of the fundraising help that we can get. This year I've been so busy with the book, I've neglected to make my usual donation. Eek. I know what I'll be busy creating today :)

We show how to make the boys step by step in our book, of course. The book went to the printer last week, so we are on target for the May/June release, hurrah!

He will probably go to our Etsy shop if I don't donate him to the school auction- I will update if he is in the shop soon. He's a charming little fellow!

Enjoy your day! 

Love Fairy

 

Happy Valentine's from the Forest! I used hearts for her, of course. Her wings and hat are both heart-shaped, and she needed a little heart button on her hat. She also wears sparkly beads and a bell, because every fairy needs to sparkle and chime :)

I was going to post her in our Etsy shop, but I don't think my daughter will let her leave our seasonal table-display. So I suppose I should visit the Forest again and find more Love Fairies to bring back for you :)

The disigns that inspired her will soon be available in our book (I love writing that :)). The Love Fairy is part of our collection. We received hard copies of book pages this week to proofread and they look beautiful. So exciting to see our little ideas looking so lovely :).

Here she is sitting down amongst the flowers and butterflies. 

Wishing you a lovely week!

 

Alexandria's Fairy

I recently enjoyed a treat. My niece visited and we sewed a fairy together. The needle, thread, and sequins fascinated her. "Look, Mom," she said, "I don't need glue!"

After showing my niece the basics of the running stitch and adding sequins (which will soon be shared in our book), she took off and made it mostly by herself.

The beauty of sewing together was that I planned to make a fairy for her a few months ago. I would use pink, black, and maybe red because those are colors she wears often. Yet, yet she chose all blues and greens! She chose colors I would never have selected for her. And they inspired me!

She especially liked the star on the fairy's hat.

I liked the long stitches to attach sequins. They gave nice texture and decoration.

We both decided that this fairy would wear short skirts instead of a long, full petal skirts. Better for dancing (my niece is a dancer). 

A parting image of her fairy looking thoughtful.

I am so grateful that we got to make her together. Wonderful sewing, Alex! She also reminded why I sew with children (again) which I posted about here. Magic is best shared :)

Peppermint Fairies

Every year I like to create a fancy fairy. I want to inspire myself. This year, my daughter is dancing in the Nutcracker. She is a peppermint. What a perfect theme for a fairy! And of course I had to make two, one with white on red and the other with red on white.

I planned to keep one and sell one to share the joy, but my girl will have none of that. They are sisters, you see, and cannot be seperated. So our home now has two new sparkly sweet-fairies!

I must admit, I don't mind. I couldn't choose one, either.

To make these fairies, I collected lots of red and white goodies since fall. Beads, baker's twine, sparkly ribbon... I bought the chenille stems (pipe cleaners) already twisted red and white. And the candy canes were with the Christmas Miniatures in the craft store.

I am not planning on making anymore for this year. She was a puzzle! I rarely use glue except to put the hair and hat on their heads. For these ones, though, I glued the ribbon onto their hats after a few attempts to sew with tiny-tiny stitches. It was a lot of work! Then the ribbon slipped anyway and the spiral wasn't matching... The fun of crafting, the labrynth with lots of false-ends where you turn around with another way, there must be another way. :)

My girl adores them. And they will remind me of this year and her dancing in the land of sweets. A happy holiday season indeed! 

Spooky Fairies and Gnomes

Happy spooky season! I love sewing fairies and gnomes with children. I also love sewing them all by myself! This season, especially, I get to have fun with make-believe! This is one of my favorite fairies to craft- the zombie fairy! Although she also reminds me of witch. In our fairy forest, zombies watch over the night-animals. They love tea parties under skeletal trees. They are playful and fun to sew.

We don't have tutorials for these fairies, yet, but the fairies are currently for sale in our Etsy shop. Tutorials will be available one day (stay tuned). And this week, we have a sale in the forest- 20% off with the code SPOOKY12. I know it's too late for this Halloween, but these little fairies are keepsakes that will stay with your family for years.

I also give these fairies as tree ornaments for my friends! ...just an idea for you :)

So, without further delay, here's my witch this year!

She makes me smile! I was distracted when I glued her hair, which happens in a house with young children :). So, when I tried to braid, I counted way too many strands of yarn. I could cut them, or... fishtail braids! I hadn't tried them before, but they are perfect for her. I especially love the purple and green together.  She also chose the purple shirt. I orginally had black felt cut, but got my pieces mixed up with the zombie girl. This witch wanted to be sweet this year!

I also made a few witch gnomes.  

They were so fun! We will get to share their hat-tutorial with you in the coming months because I do have a little trick for them :). One has found her forever-home, but the other two are still available.

So the spooky corners of the forest are getting ready for their favorite time of year! We wish you a happy, fun, safe holiday! 

Fairies and gnomes are waiting for you here.

Oh, and we have a Pumpkin Fairy Craft Kit. You can leave the face pieces off for a harvest-season fairy. Or save it for next year. Fun stuff!

Happy Halloween!

Angel Collection

The angels are home for Christmas.  I made these with our early-kindergarten students.  Since I only see them once a week, we sewed the hats together and I assembled the rest.  Their hats give them personality.  

This little boy showed me that sequins with very long stitches are charming.

While this boy's fairy used many different stitches with lots of decorations.  Each one became unique. 

This girl put three beads on most stitches (look at the left side of the hat).  She was very careful to choose a green, white, and red bead.

I hope that they will bring magic to the families who get to open them as gifts.

Sweet Angels :)

Christmas Fairies

These faires were created by our kindergarten and first grade students at the Nevada City School of the Arts.  We provide guidance, but they provide the magic :).  Each fairy becomes a sweet reflection of the child who created her (or him).  We made seventeen over the past three days.  We hope you enjoy this glimpse of Fairyland.

Using the Waldorf tradtion of allowing children to imagine the faces . . . this boy liked his fairy to keep his fairy whimsical.  I used to leave all of the faces blank, but students walked away and drew a face with the nearest pencil, then came to me crying when it wasn't what they imagined.  So we compromise and I draw faces for most students.  

And one Christmas Goblin (my student's words as he wanted red eyes)

Happy Holidays!  

The tutorial to make the girl versions of these fairies is available in our Etsy shop.  If you're interested in the boy version, send me a conversation through Etsy and we can figure out a way to help you (I haven't created his tutorial yet :)).  

Many thanks to Miss Becky, Miss Marin, and Asia for helping make Fairyland possible!