Monday, June 22, 2009

Where do faeries live?

One of my favorite things about writing the Dreamdark books is envisioning our world, our Earth, as inhabited by faeries. A deep, ancient, mossy forest teeming with life and community that human eyes never behold: the houses tucked among the roots and hollows, the castles. The tiny cliffside cities in the Himalayas, where thatches of wild orchids bend over the rooftops like trees. Secret, carpet-draped caves in the limestone islands of Vietnam's Halong Bay. And so much more!

Well, here's a Portland artist who also likes to envision faerie dwellings, and she actually goes so far as to construct them. And furnish them too. They're magical miniatures with names like "Dragonfly House" and "Wizard House." There's even a guardhouse for the Faery Queen's protectors! Love. It. Her name is Rachel Pace and she collects odd bits of wood and interesting branches on her forest property and transforms them into tiny magical places. Looky:

I'm loving this one because it's called the "Magpie House" and is full of a faery's stash of shiny, pilfered things:

(More detail photos at Rachel's etsy shop.)

The "Majestic Wild & Woodsy Two-Level Faery House" (with working lights and resident faery):

She also sells faery furniture, if you happen to have just the right nook, or a population of resident faeries you think might appreciate a cozy new bed:

There's so much to look at in Rachel's etsy shop. I've been drooling over there, and have decided that next time I have a good reason to "reward myself" with an art treasure, it will be a faery house. I hope it's soon! I can't wait to see these in person. I won't be able to go to the Faerieworlds Festival in Eugene, Oregon, because it falls right on my due date, but if you go, you can see these in person. Lucky you!

Go to Rachel's website or etsy shop for many more wonderful photos.

She also makes faery doors. Are you familiar with the phenomenon of faery doors? These are miniature doors to be found tucked away in our own urban landscapes -- on library shelves, in gardens, alongside human-size doors . . .

I first heard about this a year or two ago on a blog . . . I want to say it was Fuse #8 but I'm not positive. Anyway, apparently, a lot of urban faeries dwell in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Who knew? This is at the library, in (of course) the Folktales & Fairy Tales section:

I'm guessing this faerie likes to read!

This shop called Red Shoes has its own faerie entrance:

Too cute. The rest of the Ann Arbor faery doors can be seen HERE.

You can also put faery doors on trees around your garden, to add a touch of magic:

Isn't that just FUN? I think I want some faery doors in my house. Hm. I'll have to think about that a little. I bet I can find the perfect spot in Professor's room, which is still under construction.

I love miniatures and dollhouses. I have a wonderful Victorian dollhouse my dad built for me when I was eleven. It lived in a crate for YEARS and now lives in the garage, looking forlorn and unloved. Now it needs to be lovingly rescued and repainted and finished. I can imagine getting very immersed in a project like that (I think it wants to be pink), but I have time: it'll be years before Professor can be let loose on all the fragile goodies I collected years ago (and who knows, maybe she'll be a tomboy and not interested). There was a company called The Enchanted Dollhouse that I don't think is around any more; they had a mail-order catalog that was a serious "wish book" filled with the most wonderful miniatures. Sigh. Well, I'm sure there are plenty of amazing sources for miniatures out there. It was fun when we traveled to collect tiny things. You could usually find tiny versions of things, like in Venice, there were likely to be tiny glass vases, and in Delft, tiny ceramics. In Turkey I got some tiny carpets; I wonder what I did with those? They must be in one of the boxes of clutter in the studio. Oy.

Goodness, look at the cottage I just discovered on this blog:
And egad! There's a dollhouse museum in Kentucky!
I'd love to go there some day.

Oh dear. Okay, that's enough for today. I'd better get to work :-)


Lady Arin said...

Those houses are amazing!! It makes me want to go and build my own and place them in and around my home! They seem to hold the very escence of faery in them!

Alysa Stewart said...

Along similar lines, you could LIVE in a faery house! I watched the video at the bottom of this page. Fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Oh how fun! I especially like the faerie doors. When I was little, there was a tree at my daycare center with a door-shaped knot; all us kids were so convinced a little somebody lived inside.

Thanks for the great post! Every time I stop by your blog I learn something new and interesting :D

Heather said...

Well every time I think you've shown us the coolest thing, you go one step further! Combining faeries AND dollhouses? I know not what to think! And as soon as my cherry tree is big enough I am putting a faerie door on it! You'd love the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam - they have a whole dollhouse section that had me so enchanted that I banged my head on the glass trying to get closer!

debsfreckles said...

I was recently given my sister-in-laws doll house from when she was young because she has all older boys and it needs some fixing up and she knew I would do it. This post gave me lots of ideas and lots of inspiration. My little girl is almost 2 but maybe I can give it to her for christmas...or maybe next. It seems like a big project!

Esme Raji Codell said...

Dollhouse museum?! LET'S GO, LAINI!!! This was so inspiring, thanks for sharing. I definitely think I need to make more real estate available to fairies at the bookroom.

Cuppa Jolie said...

So cool!

I'm going to have to take a picture some time of the fairy houses that are across the street from my niece and nephew's house here in PT. They are nestled into the neighbor's garden (along the sidewalk) and for those who pay attention when walking by, they might find a glass bead left by the fairies to pick up and slip in a pocket.

Lexi said...

Ohmy! I want one! These remind me of the tiny entrance for kids in this old grocery store. They used to have tiny kid-sized carts, too.

Fuse #8 said...

Yep! I posted the fairy doors link a year or two ago. Glad you reminded me of them, though. So lovely.

MotherReader said...

I love the little fairy houses, and I heart dollhouses too.

kendalee said...

Oh yes, magical in every way! I went to a creative retreat once where there were several fairy doors to be seen around the house (didn't spot any fairies but am sure they were there too) and also a pet art gallery - little pics hung at cat and pup eye level - I've wanted to do that ever since and this just reminded me... :)

Katie Anderson said...

Wow. what a fun post! I LOVE looking at stuff like that. Too cute :)