Showing posts with label faerie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faerie. Show all posts

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Wild Faerie Wands

Not all sticks are plain old twigs. Some are faerie wands hidden in plain sight! (I've mentioned this before)

I happened across a fair number of wands this weekend. I'm sure the weather has the wee folk a little more fumbly and droppity than usual.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana

With the plethora of wands scattered about, I thought I'd share some thoughts on embellishing wild faerie wands.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana

There are a number of things to consider when encouraging the wand to reveal it's magical nature. 

The type of tree the wand is from is the biggest determining factor to the type of magic that the wand will best preform. Here are some simple examples:

Locust (above): protection
Apple: fertility
Oak: truth and knowledge
Willow: emotion
Ash: wisdom
Cedar: cleansing

A quick google search for "magical properties of wood" will lead you to a wealth of information on the subject.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana

Charms can add to the magical purpose too! A key might be helpful for magic that opens the way to you. I think that acorn caps, buttons and found objects hold a great deal of magic in them. You could also sew beads and gems to those magical wands.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana

You might carve and shape your wand. Whittle a point, or carve patterns or symbols into the bark.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana

Colour can add to the magic too! Again, a little research will provide you with a lot of information on colour and magical associations... but don't neglect your intuition*. Faeries in your particular region may have a very different opinion of the colour yellow than the faeries in my back garden.

For a little more 'how-to' I've made a little video. Hop over to youtube and give it a gander...

*I have always read that faeries love milk. That leaving a small dish would be an appropriate offering. Mine HATE milk! The last time I left them some they turned all the milk in the house sour. So trust your experience over what some silly website says... even this one.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Fairy Footprints, Blessings & Curses

I am fortunate to have a good relationship with the fair folk. It is a relationship built on respect and deference. A relationship that has spanned years and across miles.

Fairy Footprints from Pixie Hill - Nichola Battilana

These little fossilised footprints appeared in my studio a while ago but I've been hesitant about posting them. 

An old fairy nudged me tonight and whispered in my ear, "When are you going to show them off? When will you show off what we have done?!" I sighed and told him that I was reluctant. I explained that I didn't want people to steal our work, our ideas, and call them their own, but that it made me sad not to share what we created together.

Fairy Footprints from Pixie Hill - Nichola Battilana

"I see." He frowned, scratched his whiskered chin, then winked at me. "We will cloak our work in fairy magic. A blessing to some, a curse to others. That is the way of the little people."

Fairy Footprints from Pixie Hill - Nichola Battilana

And so it was done, a fairy blessing and a fairy curse upon our makings.

Those who share the magic freely with their friends as gifts or tokens of affection, with respect and reverence, will be blessed with a stroke of fairy luck. 

But those with greedy hearts, filled with insolence and laziness, seeking profit which is not their due, will mark themselves with the black stoke of misfortune and fairy havoc.

Let's hope there are blessings a-plenty and few (if any!) cursed by fairy mischief.

Fairy footprint fossils are available in five different sizes ranging from 1.25" to 3" and are listed HERE.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Fairy Lantern with Tutorial

** Please read to the bottom of this post for answers to common questions. Or visit THIS PAGE**

Gina's Designs Laser Cuts has a brand new name: Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts and I have a brand new tutorial for you!

I was sort of hesitiant about using this as a design team project because it's so easy and requires just a few simple supplies... but it's soooo stinkin' cute!

Fairy Lanterns with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Fairy lanterns! Now, anyone who has experience with real fairies knows that it is not a good idea to stuff them into jars. They will pinch and nip and basically make your life unpleasant if you treat them rudely. These jars are a fairy friendly alternative. Perfectly dreamy as a little nightlight, or magical accent.

Fairy Lanterns with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts carries the Garden Fairy cutouts in three different sizes so you can create a variety of lanterns in an assortment of jars. And if fairies aren't your thing... well, there's always baby dragons from the Dragons Shape Setfloral elements, or whatever suits your fancy!

Fairy Lanterns with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

The tutorial can be found HERE on my YouTube channel (and below), but here are a few tips:

• Sticking the figures directly on the glass (generally) yields better, more detailed results
• Use two or three battery powered tea lights. More light = stronger silhouette effect.
• Take care how many layers of paper you use, how much overlap there is. (A little is ok.)
• Use thinner school glue for the paper and thicker tacky glue for the glitter
• DO NOT use real candles inside

Finally, the supply list:
Gypsy Soul Garden Fairy cutouts
• Glass jam jars with lids
• Thin tissue paper
• White school glue
• Quality white glue
• Clear glitter
• Twine
• Floral embellishments (THESE sugared blooms from Petaloo are gorgeous)
• Battery powered tealights or led string lights

NOTE: Please DO make for friends, as gifts, as a group project but remember that making them commercially (including teaching as a paid class) is not permitted.


EDIT: to answer a few questions

1. The cutouts are available here: Gypsy Soul Garden Fairy cutouts
2. YES she does ship internationally. International customers might want to try placing an order via Alpha Stamps HERE. I also have a few listed in my etsy shop HERE.
3. The size you buy would depend on the size of the jar you are using. If using a pint sized canning jar small or medium is probably a safe bet.
4. "Can I use/do/change x,y,z ?" Give it a try! Experimenting is part of the fun of making.
5. DO NOT use real candles. Safety first!
6. NO, selling replicas of this project is NOT permitted. Seriously, just be inspired, add your own style and vision, and create your own version of a fairy lantern.  If you are selling handmade you should be selling YOUR ideas and style, not mine. Think of it this way, you wouldn't copy a book word for word... don't carbon copy this project. For fun? Make as many as you like. For profit? Make your own version.

Note: I am not the owner of Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts or Alpha Stamps. They send me products, I use them in my work, that is all. If you have a question about ordering products, please direct them to the company you are ordering from.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Fairy Christmas Card Advent Calendar

Ok, I've let Halloween pass and now it's full steam ahead with the Christmas posts. I have a few projects coming up that I KNOW you're going to want to try so I'm posting nice and early to give you plenty of crafting time. Today, a totally freaking adorable advent calendar alternative.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Imagine waking up each day to find a card from the fairies helping you count down to Christmas! I've put together a Fairy Card Advent Calendar, a 2 page download that includes 25 miniature cards with vintage holiday imagery, numbered postage stamps and three envelope templates to fit the various sized cards.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Now, when I showed this project to my kiddo he said "Yeah, but what about the treat?" The wheels in my mind starting turning and I thought of all the little things that would fit in those envelopes... letters, notes, coins, buttons, glitter, jokes, stickers, charms... then the light bulb above my head lit up. 

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Every few days a charm could be included in the tiny card and your little pixie could make their own Christmas charm bracelet! The sets I've used here are the Santa Sleigh Silver Charm Set and the Silver Snowflake Charm Set from Alpha Stamps.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Cute as buttons and sugar free! Although if you do like the sweet stuff you could always give a lolly or chocolate kiss.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Don't do the advent calendar thing? No worries! You could always make these up and pass them out to the people in your life who need a little extra fairy magic around the holidays.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Now, as for decorating the outside of those envelopes, here's what I suggest:

1. Using the templates from the Fairy Cards Advent Calendar, trace the envelope shapes onto a piece of regular white paper.

2. Cut the shapes.
3. Fold the two short sides, then fold the bottom (the one with the flat edge) and glue into place. Be careful not to glue the envelope shut!

4. Sprinkle both sides with a bit of tea or coffee. I prefer tea as it doesn't leave a lingering scent. Allow to dry. NOTE: You can age your paper before creating the envelopes, but I found that doing it in this order results in a flatter, smoother finished piece. See wrinkles above.

5. Add little postage stamps and 'cancel' them using a rubber stamps. Any patterned stamp will do. Place a scrap bit of paper beneath so as not to ink your work surface.

6. Address the envelopes, personalizing them for the recipient.

7. Add the wee cards and any tiny surprises you'd like to include.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Lastly, and this is kind of important, these can NOT go through the regular postal system. Their size requires that they be handled only by Royal Faerie Post. If you want to send them to someone far away, I suggest mailing them within a larger card with a note of explanation.

Supply round up:
tea/coffee for staining*
rubber stamps*
ink pad*

Do-dads for the charm bracelet:
Chain, clasp and jump rings / or pre-made bracelet
Santa Sleigh Silver Charm Set

Silver Snowflake Charm Set

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A Pixie House Shrine

I altered this cute House Shrine Box for a colour challenge that I totally missed the deadline for. 

Pixie House Shrine - Nichola Battilana

I used to be terrified of colour but plowed through that wall. Now, I'm trying to consciously add texture to my pieces. This piece is chocked with textured elements. 

Here's the texture of the walls of this wee house. I've layered Cardstock Doily Set Intricates, painted them white and then added a smidge of colour with some ColourArte silks and H20's. I'm pretty smitten with the way it turned out.

Pixie House Shrine - Nichola Battilana

For the roof I used sturdier chipboard pieces. There are some Feathery Flourishes (quickly becoming one of my favourite embellishments!) and Steampunk Fan blades. Again I painted them white and added some colour with ColourArte products.

Pixie House Shrine - Nichola Battilana

The piece is finished off with some super cute Water Dew Drops from The Robins Nest, handmade ladybugs, a sweet winged vintage girlie and more. Here's the whole supply list kit-and-kaboodle.

White acrylic paint
Vintage image

This gal is currently listed HERE in the etsy shop.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Faerie Weaponry

Today I'll be exploring faerie weaponry. 

Faerie weapons are used for protection, to cause harm (in the case of malicious faeries like boggarts and goblins), for ceremony, and as tools. As with the other artifacts we have examined, they are made (mostly) of natural materials and difficult to uncover in the wild.

Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

1. Pixie Bow and Thorned Arrow: The Pixie Bow is a lightweight weapon used primarily for protection. The tiny thorn tipped projectile does not cause massive damage, its hit being likened to a bee sting.

Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

2. Feather Blow Dart with Sliver Points: Made from a hollowed feather shaft the blow dart is an excellent choice for faerie folk who wish to keep their distance and remain silent. Slivers of wood are often used as ammunition. Injury may not be immediately felt but may result in infection.

Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

3. Unknown Bone Staff: I readily admit that I am not absolutely certain of the origins of this object. It may, in fact, be a ceremonial artifact. That being said, it is quite possible (and rather more likely) that this claw tipped bone once belonged to a Dunter. This is a logical conclusion as the objects effectiveness as a weapon would being secondary to it's ability to intimidate.

Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

4. Faerie Pike and Pine Cone Shield: An unusual metal tipped specimen. Fair folk are usually reluctant to use steel, preferring shards of glass, stone or sharpened bone to tip their weapons. Whoever created this pike could not resist the allure of a discarded cutting blade. The shield, made from a pine cone has moss embedded between the 'cones'. The moss is likely included for it's healing properties, to pack any wounds incurred during a clash.

Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

5. Twiggy Slingshot with Dried Bean Shot: A very simple but effective weapon and tool. Commonly used to plant seeds by shooting them into the earth. A favourite weapon to protect against cats.

Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

6. Wishbone Slingshot: A stronger, larger version of the Twiggy Slingshot more likely to be used during a ruckus, rumble or rumpus than it's wooden counterpart.
Faerie Weaponry - Nichola Battilana

7. Wooden Tuck Sword: A simple point carved from wood with a woolen grip. A common accessory for many little people. It is especially useful for poking, prodding, pricking, piercing, and puncturing.

These artifacts will be on display at Pixie Hill throughout the summer. Open house dates can be found HERE

Note: Our first open house is this weekend, please be aware the garden/fairy tour is NOT yet set up. The tour will be revealed on July 4th. This Saturday is for studio snooping only.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Wand Specimens

Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Wands are often lost, misplaced or discarded by the fair folk. Their size, and the natural materials with which they are made, provide excellent camouflage making them difficult to uncover. Today we will take a look at several varieties of faerie wands found at Pixie Hill.
Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Fig.1 The 'Thorned Goblin Rod' provides all of the magical qualities of a wand and may also be used a weapon. Created from a young black locust branch, the thorns aren't just dangerous in appearance, they are poisonous. A scratch from the sharp points will cause pain that may last for several days.

Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Fig. 2: The 'House Brownie Wand' is completely utilitarian. It is free from excess embellishment or flamboyance. The wood used in its creation is maple, a good all 'round magical wood. This specimen has a handle of well worn cotton. (Note: If you find a similar wand near your home do not pick it up. Your house brownie likely put it down momentarily and will return for it.)

Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Fig. 3: This natural bone wand has a moss wrapped handle. Bone wands are far less common than wooden wands but not unheard of. Found in on the mossy ground beneath the big pines on the back lawn, it is likely that this once belonged to a forest dwelling faerie. Possibly dropped by a migratory Duwende.

Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Fig.4: This very small wooden wand has a decorative carved handle. Although it's carving suggests elf or gnome origins, its size is more indicative of imp ownership. More exploration may be warranted to see if pygmy elves are inhabiting the grounds.

Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Fig. 5: This small wand has a webbed grip indicating that it's owner was in good standing with spiders and other insects. Flower faeries are known to have an excellent relationship with arachnids, often working together to aid in the maintenance and care of gardens.

Faerie Wand Specimens - Nichola Battilana

Fig. 6: It is well known that most creatures with fae blood are repulsed by iron, steel, silver and other metals. There are a few examples to the contrary, dwarfs, ogres and some trolls, creatures who mine and forge are less affected by some metals. This delicate tiny wand seems unlikely to have been wielded by a troll so one must wonder.... to whom did it belong?

This collection of wands and other faerie artifacts will be on display at the studio throughout the summer. Please check the events page for open house dates.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Faeries, Frocks and Godmothers

With the arrival of the glorious spring weather the faeries have come out of hiding and hibernation. I thought it might be a good time to talk about them, the fair folk, and share some faerie truths.

When one thinks of faeries they often imagine tiny winged pretty ladies either scantily clad or clothed in frilly frocks.

Faerie Frocks - Nichola Battilana

While it is true that in the throes of summer many fae opt for minimal covering (they don't have air conditioning after all), I am assured they do not pose with arched backs nor push their bosom forward seductively. That said, please beware that there ARE several varieties of faerie who like to lure men into harms way. Long story short, if you happen upon a sexy faerie, tis best to run in the opposite direction.

Now, about those frilly frocks...

Faerie Frock - Nichola Battilana
Five inch frock worn by Miss Gwendoline Twinkle during the strawberry harvest festival of 1913.
Frilly frocks and pretty dresses are rarely worn by the fair folk. The little people usually prefer clothing that is comfortable and practical. The above dress and slippers fit neither category. There is an exception to this general rule: Fairy Godmothers.

Faerie Frock - Nichola Battilana
Full 6" dress, boots, hat and wand from the closet of Miss Mulberry Threadbare.
While Fairy Godmothers are soft hearted and mostly very nice and down to earth, there is a recent trend among the younger faction to wear large ornamental dresses and completely impractical footwear. The appeal seems to be gaining momentum through the ranks of Godmotherhood, extending as far as the matronly Eldermothers.

While many faerie folk believe these dresses to be ostentatious and showy (some rolling their eyes at the mere mention of them) they also know that there is no harm in it. 

The general consensus is "So long as their job is done, let them look as silly as they like."

The frocks pictured above will be on display at Pixie Hill throughout the summer. You can find the current "Open House" schedule HERE.