Tag Archives: christmas

A Tale of Two Fairies – Part 2, A Guest Post.

30 Dec

Keen followers might remember a post a few weeks ago entitled ‘A Tale of Two Fairies’, in which I told the story of my mum’s 25-year-old Christmas fairy, and the new one I commissioned for her from Curious Pip to allow the old fairy to retire. Mum was thrilled with her new fairy and put her straight up in pride of place on the tree, while the old one was lovingly taken down and wrapped up in her box to be cherished. 

My mum works in a primary school and told some of the kids all about the fairies. They were amazed at how old the original one was, (25 years is an absolute age to an eight-year old!), and that £4.95 was such a lot of money back in the 80′s when we bought her from our local John Lewis. They were so inspired by the tale that she decided to take both the fairies in to school for the kids to see, which sparked off some project work for them to do. Allow me to share with you, my mum’s own account of the kids encounter with our festive, family fairies!

Now that the festive season is over for another year, I just had to let everyone know about my joy at receiving a new fairy for the tree.

My lovely daughter, Jennifer (aka Mistress of Monsters) delighted me with a home crafted, personally commissioned, brand new fairy courtesy of Curious Pip. You have probably already read about it in the blog and have seen the pictures but so much more has happened since then.

I work in a primary school and recounted the story of the fairies to a small group of year 5 children that I work with every day. In order to inspire them, I took the old and new fairies in to school.

They handled the fairies with due reverence and such care for children of that age. I think they really believed the fairies had genuine feelings (which of course they do).

We spent  a long time discussing the fairies and they had lots of things to say about them. They sympathised with the old fairy and suggested other jobs for her to do, so she would not feel neglected. The final decision was that the old fairy could be ‘Official Present Protector’.

I wish I‘d had a camera with me, because they all sat open-mouthed when I produced the new fairy from a tissue lined box.  Curious Pip has a new group of very young fans.

I am sure this will not be the last time that I use the fairies to inspire something in the children.

A Big thank you to Jennifer and of course, a BIG THANK YOU to Curious Pip.

The kids even wrote a poem about the pretty pair, and did some drawings too, fabulous!

She used to be the one on top

And now she’s down the bottom.

Someone else has muscled in

Don’t you think that’s rotten?

But if you think, she is quite old,

She needed to retire.

The bottom of the tree is best for her

‘cause it’s nearer to the fire.

The new fairy looks resplendent

Atop the Christmas tree,

But we’ll never forget the old one

She was very special you see.

Santa will think it very strange

But we’ll make it understood

That he’ll just have to get used to it

‘cause she’s here to stay for good.

 

Christmas Commissions

18 Dec

I had a lot of fun recently making up a couple of commissions for a chap who’d seen my work at a craft fair in the summer and very kindly kept one of my cards in case he ever found himself in need of a monster!

Without further ado, meet Scarlett Sullivan and the ‘Abominable’ Bartholemew Cox (along with Tilly who’s just sniffing them out to see if she likes them)

Scarlett and Bartholemew

Scarlett Sullivan has an unhealthy addiction to strawberries. Doctors have told her she must cut back or else risk turning red and developing a pointy bottom. She’s tried electronic strawberries, strawberry patches, and even hypnosis in an attempt to kick the habit. Unfortunately the latter just resulted in Scarlett making chicken noises whenever anyone said the word ‘Collywobbles’. She can usually be found wearing her trusty headphones listening to her beloved hip hop music, however it does make her quite unaware of her surroundings and she can often be found bumping into lamp-posts and ignoring advances from handsome strangers.

Scarlett SullivanScarlett SullivanScarlett Sullivan

Needle-felted Strawberries

Needle-felted Strawberries

 

Scarlett Sullivan

The ‘Abominable’ Bartholemew Cox hails from Nevada. His father was a cowboy, as was his father’s father before him. Bartholemew longs to carry on the family tradition but much to his parent’s disappointment, is scared of horses and gets tangled up in his lasso. His passion is skiing, and he ROCKS the slopes! Decked out in his signature cowboy hat and scarf, he’s won every competition in the state. Now, having earned himself the nickname ‘The Abominable Snowman’, he has his eyes set on global domination of the skiing world.

Bartholemew CoxBartholemew CoxBartholemew Cox

Lino Loveliness

3 Dec

I’ve been spending a few days in the bosom of the Monster family as we enjoy an early Christmas. My brother and his girlfriend will be in Oz over Christmas so we decided to bring it all forward by a few weeks, more on that another time…

Today my Dad and I had the day to ourselves as everyone else headed home last night, so I took the opportunity to pick his arty brain and learn a bit about lino-printing. He’s been print-making for many years but recently started getting serious and has been creating some fabulous images.

I love to learn new things, so over a mince-pie and a cup of tea he showed me the basics. One minor injury and some dramatic bleeding later, I had produced my first lino-printed image. Drawing has never been my strong point, but I managed to sketch a design I was reasonably happy with onto the lino as a starting point.

Lino printThe process of carving out the design was both totally confusing and thoroughly absorbing. I found it pretty tricky to work out what I should leave and what I should take away, but once I got going I started to get the hang of it.

Lino printThe time slipped by un-noticed and three hours later I was ready to get inky.

Lino printExciting! I find that so much in the world now is instant, that I enjoy the anticipation of waiting to see how something will turn out. Carefully placing the paper, giving it a good old rub with a wooden spoon, and then the reveal…

Lino printYay! For a first attempt I’m pretty happy with that. Any new skill is a learning curve and were I to do it again I would have left some fur detail in on the fox. All in all though, I enjoyed the process and am being packed off home with some basic supplies to do some more when I get home, so watch this space!

 

A monster is for life, not just for Christmas

13 Nov

My house is full of monsters. It’s about time that some of them went off to their forever homes so I’m putting some of them up for adoption. They make excellent christmas gifts for that person who has everything, and are a great discussion piece on display on a shelf or windowsill.

I’m running a bit of an informal auction, with a suggested adoption fee for each monster (postage and packing will be a little extra), and am accepting bids for each little creature over on my facebook page. Remember that they are much bigger than they look in photos and each one is totally handmade with love and attention to detail. They are made as child-safe as possible but do contain small parts so are not intended as toys.

So if you fancy owning any of this motley crew head on over to my Mistress of Monsters page on facebook and let the bidding commence!

Festive Fairies

3 Nov

Mr Monster and I had a most enjoyable and productive day today. I’ve been wanting to get some mini-Christmas fairy monster tree toppers done after the success of the star toppers last year, and the Mr wanted to get a fancy dress costume made. We shared the craft room and over copious cups of tea, we got creating. A succesful day was had by all. He is currently squeezing into a rather spectacular AT-ST costume (Star Wars roboty thing for the uninitiated!) and I have some lovely little fairy folk to show you.

I’ve discovered the joys of Jellyrolls. Bundles of coordinating fabric intended for patchwork, but the perfect size for making mini-monsters. I got a great roll yesterday of home-spun patterns in muted colours which I felt would be perfect for some tree-topping darlings. I managed two today and I am extremely proud of them. Take a little look

Perfect to tie on to the top of your tree!

I love the direction my work is taking at the moment. The mini-monsters are allowing me to create more rapidly and keep a coherent flow through my work. The collection is starting to look really good and I can’t wait to get them out there at a fair to see how people respond to them.

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