Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:41 PM

Last chance to see my watercolors at the library

There are only a few days left to get to the Westfield Memorial Library and see some fairies up close and personal! I'll be taking down all the artwork this weekend to let some other lucky artist hang her work up.

For those of you not in the area, the lovely people at the library graciously recorded a short movie so you can pretend you're there, having a walkthrough. Grab a book and settle in a comfy chair for the full effect.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:17 PM

Now at your library: lots of fairies, coffee, and glitter.

Oh hi. I didn't notice you there, I was so busy reading this book about Cezanne and sitting under MY PAINTINGS!!!

It's been quite an exciting day! I will post more photos soon, (and larger) but in the meantime, can you recognize any paintings that are up there? Every one of them has been on this site.

Meanwhile, if you're in the area: Westfield Memorial Library.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:32 AM

leafy art

On the day I made my leafy hat illo, the kids were creating some leaf fairies of their own:

Note the copy of Faerie-ality open for inspiration.

Sophie's fairy.

Angela's fairy. There were two others, one with a flying "V" leaf guitar.

Peter's leafy friend.

Now, looking at these photos, would you even know that there was a two-and-a-half-hour complete off-the-wall temper tantrum going on before this? I was so upset from the aftermath that I couldn't even make dinner and we had to order out. This was an act of trying to make peace after the storm...

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Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:25 AM

leaf lady

I love Fairie-ality. I would so happily wear anything from that book. And sadly, I spend most of my days in jeans and a big soft grey sweater! This leaf lady clearly doesn't have to do anything as mundane as pick the kids up at school, though. There must be a happy medium...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 9:20 PM

a house for fairies

Keeping in line with the creativity running through our summer, we crafted a fairy house in our backyard.

{Meaning I really wanted one there.}

We went along the lines of this school of thought and tried to use things only found in nature, though I couldn't resist recreating this acorn-marble lantern - you all know I would totally have one in our house in a heartbeat.

The fairies haven't had a chance to leave a thank you note yet as it's been sooooo rainy! Maybe a couple of them got to take refuge from the grey and drippy weather and sit out a storm while they wonder if their furnishings would fit inside. It's small, but cozy, with a lovely front lawn:

More resources to build your own fairy dwellings:
* Drool over the amazing furnishings here. I so totally would live in a house that looked like this.
* Make over a dollhouse as a fairy house
* Sweet! I love the bed.
* Or put "fairy house" into Google image search and get some great ideas!

* Bookmark this now: Notes from Halfland. I've been a longtime reader and admirer of Shelley's work as she crafts an entire miniature world for her stop-motion animation film. I am in awe of her creativity and stick-to-it-ness. She is the real deal.

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Monday, May 25, 2009 8:54 PM

every day in may: twenty-five

Done! I wasn't finished for Christmas, but the girl who requested this turns 6 tomorrow and I'm going to try to see if I can make a special delivery. :)

XFCO (extreme faery closeup):

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Friday, May 22, 2009 8:33 PM

every day in may: twenty-two

Today was Peter and Angela's last day at St. Paul's. They are kindergartners now! Where in the world did the time go?!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009 2:37 PM

magic wands for flower fairies

Sophie's birthday party was fairy themed this year! All the fairy friends took home a magic wand (and heck yes, I made lots of extras. I was a wand-making fool). As requested, here are some wand pictures (birthday girl with Mama to the left, Angela to the right with a bouquet) to share.

Here's how to make magic flower wands yourself:
  • Get a bunch of dowels (wider is better!) and cut them to about 16" long. Sand them well.
  • Paint the wands with watercolor. Try to make them all different!
  • If you want to add glitter or gold paint, now would be a good time after your watercolor paint dries.
  • You'll need LOTS of flowers, the bigger the better. Cut them close to the flower head and hot glue them to the top of the dowel. Hold them on tight while the glue sets and don't burn yourself!
  • Cut a big leaf from your flowers and write the name of the lucky recipient on it with a paint pen.
  • Punch a hole in the leaf and tie it close to the top of the wand, right under the flower, with ribbon. Use contrasting ribbon, different widths or lengths - make it bright and interesting! I even made one with a sunflower tied with brown ribbon with white polka-dots. The more colorful, the better.
  • You could also add tendrils of ivy, a pipe-cleaner bumblebee, or a butterfly to your wand for even more waveability.
  • Then go out and make some magic!
More fairy party ideas:
♥ Pair this with making clothespin fairies, as we did. The kids really enjoyed this craft!

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009 6:33 PM

What do you want to know?

I know I have been posting more on the sporadic side - I look at all the paintings I was doing this time last year and want to sigh - but here is a quick list of things going on in just about the past month or so, and maybe you'll forgive a slowness to post:
  • family member in and out of hospitals since before Christmas
  • dear friend and boss of 15 years passed away and I still miss him every day
  • my sister's getting married: I made her wedding invitations
  • and secondary invitations for the reception for people at work
  • and invitations for her bridal shower
  • which I also hosted at my house
  • wedding at end of this month and I am in the wedding party
  • Sophie's 6th birthday was this past Thursday
  • Sophie's incredibly awesome fairy-themed birthday party this past weekend
  • and I made hand-painted magic wands for each party-goer to take home after
  • Peter and Angela's 5th birthday is today
  • their safari party is next Saturday
  • did I mention I have a day job
  • and have been helping with my husband's paperwork to try to lighten his load
  • this weekend is the super-fantastic mother's retreat
  • and of course I am hand-lettering the poster for it
  • ...there's more, but don't you think that's enough for now?
While a few of the things on this list are stressful, the majority of them are joyous, and for that I am truly thankful. But they all take time! Whenever I think, "Ooh, I should post that!", by the time I get the pictures in the computer, or sit down to write, I think it's all old news, and then I don't bother. So I'll throw it out to you: what do you want to hear about? Do you want to see the magic wands? Do you want to hear about the Mother's Retreat? Or none of the above, go paint something already?

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008 6:54 PM

on paint, and learning more

A new painting, another learning experience!

I've been trying (and not too successfully) to paint every day, and so I've been using photos from my idea folder to work with. That way, I don't think "I don't know what to paint," I think, "Okay, let's do this one today." I'm trying to not overthink it, just to get messy and just jump in. So... here's the original photo of Miss Sophie out in the yard, and yes, there is a story there, and you will all hear it one day, and I did make the wings myself and will try to post instructions when I get around to it, I promise:

Trying to be faithful to the photo, I did a pretty tight sketch and started to do some watercolour washes. But the spirit of it just eluded me... every time I would put down a color, I'd blot it back up. I was being really timid about paint, which just ain't me.

It was starting to be pretty, but that wasn't what I was going for. So I put it aside, and thought about it, and realized what I was doing wrong. Like this painting, I was trying to do watercolor "right" and try new techniques out I wasn't comfortable with, but it instead was losing the whole spirit. Remember when I did the painting of Angela in the grass and I said, "I did the background first, next time I'll do the subject first"? Well, that's what was missing. The point of the whole painting is Sophie, the fairy girl.

And more about that - I'd decided early on that I didn't want this to look like a little girl in a costume in her backyard, but that's what it was turning into. So I stopped thinking of her as Sophie. And that helped immensely. I didn't worry if her coloring looked right, or her hair, or if she looked age-appropriate blah blah blah. I was painting a fairy, and that meant I could get as wild as I wanted!

Before... I'm trying too hard to make her look natural and as lovely as she is.

After... while it may not look precisely like Sophie, it captures her spirit so much more vividly (and accurately).

I wound up erasing all the pencil I could, leaving just what I needed for the barest guidelines, and went to town, splashing color all over the place. You all have no idea how much I had to fight myself NOT to go in and do perfectly rendered veins on the wings, to do her eyelashes and hair perfectly, and to make the lines in the watercolour set perfectly straight. LESS IS MORE, remember? I'm so proud that I refrained from overworking it all.

Take this down: It doesn't have to be perfect.

The last thing I'm really proud of is the background. All those trees, and the path, and all that stuff - not necessary! And it was pulling my attention away from my fairy. So instead I erased everything, and wet my background area with water and a brush, being verrrry careful to only put it where I wanted paint to go. And then I color-bombed it (ala this one). I lifted up the paper and let the color find its path, staying only where the paper was wet. (Mind you, you only want to try this when everything else on the page is dry.)

I am just so happy with those edges where one color bumps up against the other - back in the day, I would get that kind of contrast with a very sharp pencil or fine pen. Now it's nothing but pure color. (Ooh, I'm getting shivers about it again.) And the hair, I'm quite pleased with that. And especially the edges of those wings becoming organic and leaf-edged - I couldn't have made that happen if I tried.

(Petey wants to know, when is it my turn to have a painting?)

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Monday, August 25, 2008 8:39 PM

The truth about the Tooth Fairy

...according to my children. I doodled this and took notes while the kids were expounding upon their theories, which went something like this:

When you eat a tomato, the fairy takes your tooth and puts it in the tomato to keep it healthy. Then they pass it on.

There is also a lamb in the tomato (who is also a fairy). The tooth fairy brings the teeth to the lamb. It's the lamb fairy that makes you healthy.

(I asked how they get out, do you eat the fairies when you eat the tomato?)

The fairy cuts a little hole, then it gets out with the lamb and then they close the hole. Then they go to another house, where someone else has a loose tooth. It takes a very short time flying.

Imagine tons of giggling going on, and you've just about got the picture. I hope they never lose that sense of wonder and creativity.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008 10:01 AM

Earth Day wishes from the fairies

Iris and Lily, the woodland fairies (and their brother) wish you a glorious EARTH DAY!

(There's a story behind these photos, which will hopefully be shared before long. And yes, I made the wings.)

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:24 PM

Go ahead, make a fairy!

Angela checks out some fairies having some downtime at Sophie's birthday party.

I haven't had a chance to write about the birthdays (Sophie's, and Peter and Angela's), the RAINBOW birthday party with giggly 5-year-olds, or the twins' birthday party coming up. So here's a start: the craft we did at Sophie's birthday. We made clothespin fairies! Totally fun, doesn't have to make a mess, and easy for little hands to make. And after you've made your fairy, you can go have an adventure together!

You need:
* wooden clothespins (not the kind with the spring!)
* pipe cleaners
* crepe paper (we used streamers, they're the perfect size for dresses)
* waxed paper to cut out for wings
* markers/crayons/paints
* yarn or a toothpick for a wand
* any other fun details - sequins, glitter, flowers

Here are the instructions - and note - Petey's fairy had no dress, and a wand that shot flames! This does not have to be a girly craft, and naturally you can adopt this to make anything your kids want. Print this out and send it with extra supplies to a friend who's home sick from school or lives far away. So go! Have fun! And please, if you make fairies, send me the pictures or post a link to them, we want to see them!

*Note: I have to confess, we had another round of fairy-making this afternoon, and I started two (uh, for me!) with glitter-watercolours. When they're finished we'll take all of them in the backyard and have a photo shoot!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 8:52 PM

flower girl

I did this one with the kids sitting at the dining room table after school one day. Sophie had a hard day and I wanted to cheer her up, so I sat her down and sketched her sweet face. The kids told me I should make her a fairy, what color to paint the petals, and when I said I wanted to try tea instead of coffee this time, they cheered me on. The bizarre part is that the tea went on pink (Red Zinger), dried a gorgeous slate-greyish-green, and has now over time settled into a more warmish grey. Again... the scan doesn't do it justice, but the detail helps a bit.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007 8:34 PM


Last post about art for sale! :) $3 each, $.50 for s&h. Business-card sized, they look loverly on a fridge.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:02 PM

Prints, in frames! Lots of them!

I have been trying for at least two weeks to put the framed prints I have up online. In a perfect world, they'd be up on Esty, or better yet, in my own store. Rather than have everyone wait until January when I have time to figure it all out, I'm taking the easy way out and posting them all here for now. You want one? Email me (take the spaces out of the address) and let me know, or leave me a comment below. All prints are with long-lasting inks on bright glossy paper. Shipping is currently to the US only. Stands shown in picture are not included. And once they're gone.... that's it! And please note: all the images in the frames are bright, vivid, and clear, regardless of how they photographed. :)

The sets: three matted prints in a white wooden frame with glass. Images measure 4.675" x 6.675". Entire piece measures 10" x 20". Each piece is $40 (+ $10 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail, Insurance, and Signature Confirmation. )

Framed and matted prints in black wooden frames with plexiglass. Images measure 5" x 7". Each is $15 (+ $5 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail.)

Framed prints in wooden frames with plexiglass. Image area is 5" x 7". Each is $10 + ($5 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail.)


Framed prints in hand-painted wooden frames with plexiglass. Image area is 4" x 6". Each is $8 + ($5 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail.)


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Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:24 AM

In which I go for a walk

I was walking under an bright blue open sky, on top of a hill. My hand rested on the back of a unicorn who walked along at my side. With a flourish and a swirl of color, a dragon uncurled himself from the sky and invited me for a ride. Naturally, I climbed on and we whirled around in the clouds, looking down at the green hills below us.

He touched down and I slid off his back, thanking him with a pat and a hug. The unicorn had left, and he did too. I continued my walk alone down the hill into the woods, where the trees grew thick and it was dark between them. I saw small, wild faces among the branches, and soon felt fingers clutching at my dress. Folk of all shapes and sizes, some winged, some green, some bark-colored, soon surrounded me and laughing, urged me to follow them. We walked down the hill through the woods, where it grew ever darker, but something (will-o-wisps? lightning bugs?) lit our way and danced in front of us. We made a very joyful bunch.

As we walked, worries came to mind, and then actually formed themselves into my hands. One trouble was rough and wooly and tied with red yarn. I let it go from me, and dropped it away from the path. Others crumbled into dust when I let them go. One in particular was a shining heavy ball, a trouble that has been weighing on me for almost a year now. "I'm sorry," I said to it wordlessly, "But you really have to go now." I tossed it away and it rolled off quickly under its own steam off into the darkness of the woods.

Finally, we came to what passed for a table: a huge flat rock ringed with smaller boulders and stumps. I sat down and was presented with tea in a bowl carved from stone, rough to the touch, and heavy. It was filled with steaming tea of some sort, reddish-colored and smelling strongly of mint and fennel and lemon. I drank it all. Tiny cakes and nuts were brought out for everyone. What they were exactly I don't recall, only that they were light and incredibly delicious. The fairy folk and I never spoke words to each other, but communicated with gestures and smiles.

Tea done, they pulled me to my feet, and clearly it was time to move on. It was fully night now, and a full moon lit our path. We walked a short way through the woods to a clearing where a pond of water reflected the moon shining overhead. Everyone jumped into the pool; I got out of my dress and jumped in for a swim too, hearing the splashing of the water and the night sounds of insects and forest animals around me.

And then the yoga instructor told us it was time to start coming out of our meditation, and that we had been laying still for FIFTY MINUTES. I have never been able to stay still and quiet for that long before, and I most definitely had not been sleeping. If that was a meditation, it was the most alive and joyous meditation I've ever experienced (and one I didn't particularly want to leave!) I thanked God for giving me my overabundant imagination, and prepared myself to join the rest of the world again.

(Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting every day for NaPoBloMo. See you then!)

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Saturday, September 08, 2007 4:36 PM


It's been a really long time since I've done this, but I have my tiara on and my wand out. I'm granting wishes! Leave me a wish in the comments and I'll write back.

Thanks to all who made wishes... wish time is done for now. REALLY.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:40 AM

Fairies aplenty

I realized I never posted final versions of that EDiM fairy reading a book - she was meant for a banner for the awesome Notes On Design blog. Here she is atop the newsletter:

And here's a closeup of the finished piece, which, by the way, you can get a print of! (Currently, I'll only be doing prints in the US, but I'm looking into overseas as well, so fear not.)

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Sunday, May 20, 2007 10:39 PM

every day in may: twenty

Rethought the wings. :) I get a lot of questions to answer about how I work and the materials I use; I'll do my best to write whatever I can... but now, off to bed. Tonight was the first night of five recitals, and after taking the kids out of the house for 6 hours, getting them home and off to bed, painting tonight and then knowing that I will be doing this for 4 more nights in a row after work... what was it I said? Oh yes, bed.

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