Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why Faeries? Why Flora?

Pink Fairy with Blossom -
Elizabeth Moore Golding
Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by the diminutive. Miniature villages, models, dollhouses, and...yes...fairies, always drew my full attention which, if you knew me, you would know that is difficult to do. There was something so, might I say, magical about a world so small and all the little people, or creatures, that may live in it. Perhaps it was too many episodes of The Friendly Giant that I watched as a toddler (although I really don't think you can watch too many episodes of this sweet show) that influenced me. Or maybe it's just that small is often overlooked in a fast-paced world and if we stop to look, we find all sorts of delightful things.

A fairy, according to folklore, is a magical spirit who exists in likeness to a flower, insect, or other small creature. She is a problem solver, helper, fixer, and protector of nature.1  In some stories fairies were known to interfere in human lives by using their magic, but in most instances, they are benign creatures. They seem particularly delicate in comparison to elves or nymphs and the concept of gnomes holds no allure to me at all. I think, likely, that it is the fairy's association with flowers and my affinity to the garden that connects us on the level of imagination and creativity.

Flora Goddess of Spring - Jay DePalma
Flora is a botanical term we use to describe all plant life indigenous to a particular area. The word was, however, derived from the name of an ancient goddess of the Sabines. In their mythology, Flora is the goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bear fruit. She is a fertility goddess and was invoked by the Sabines to ensure a fruitful harvest and to drive away any diseases that might cause their crops to fail. Later she was adopted by the Romans and she became known, simply, as Flora, Goddess of Flowers and Springtime.
Her powers gave charm to youth, sweetness to honey, and fragrance to flowers. Flora in her generous nature gave mankind countless varieties of flowers, honey, and seeds.2
Every year, even by some to this day, Flora is celebrated during the festival of Floralia - a feast which coincides with the blossoming of spring flowers.

In my fairies I try to combine the feminine - the goddess, the diminutive, the flowers. A little of the Flora and a little of the Faery. I hope that their recipients will derive from them a positive energy and a connection to nature. They might even view their fairy as a talisman or charm. At the very least, they can appreciate it as a decorative piece. But however they are perceived,  it will not change my enthusiasm toward creating them. I look forward to further developing them and making them unique and well crafted. I think it is a project which will hold my attention and enjoyment for quite some time to come.

So why faeries and why flora? I say...why not?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

flora - my first fairy creation

First of all, welcome to my new blog. It will be completely dedicated to my new fairy and mermaid creations. Stay tuned for more posts. Now about flora...


Sometimes you just want to give a gift that is different, original and has meaning. A friend of mine who is creative and artistic had a birthday coming up and I wanted to give her something that would suit her personality; something whimsical, beautiful and magical. I decided that a fairy would be perfect but I hadn't any clue how to make one. I spent the better part of an afternoon searching for ideas online. I never quite found exactly what I wanted to make but was able to combine various elements in my head and thought I would give them a try.

Then it was off to the craft store. The thing about craft stores is that I can spend hours in them, mulling over a 1000 ideas at once. Sometimes it can get so overwhelming I'll leave without buying a thing, but doing the research had benefited me greatly. I knew, approximately, what I needed for my fairy and went about gathering the materials. My 7-year-old daughter had joined me in the venture, determined that she, too, would make a fairy (or 10). I thought, why not, a day of crafting with one's daughter can be very rewarding.

One thing that I had never found satisfactory during my web search was how to make a head and face for my fairy. I decided to try something completely of my own creation. It involved molding the head out of clay...making fine features that could later be painted with detail. The only trouble was that the head needed drying time so I had to be patient and the work on my fairy extended to several days. Not that I minded. I couldn't wait to find some quiet time to get back to her.

So, in the end, after much ado, my first fairy came to be. I was so pleased by the way she turned out, I decided to make some more. But you will see the others another day. For now, let me introduce you to Flora, who now resides in the window of my friend's, Colleen's, bedroom.


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of flora.