The little beetle fairies came to me from England in an interesting way, but every hour spent waiting was worth it. When you see something in a photo, you can decide whether you like it or not, but you can only connect when you hold it in your hands. We connected.. Not only did I become richer with one of the most beautiful little fairy families, but I also got to know their creator. She is the Fairies’ mother. You can read the interview with her in English.
You are strongly connected to nature, what gives you a foundation or inspiration?
If we do not feel our connection to nature how can we feel alive, what are we if we are not part of nature? For me living by the sea holds me in who I am, when I swim in her I feel oneness. I was lucky that my mother was a Waldorf kindergarten teacher before I was born and she created beautiful festivals that honoured the magical spirits of the natural world, today I try and do the same for my children and this recognition of the aliveness of the elemental beings is the foundation to my magic fairy lady work.
Could you please tell me about Slow stitching? Is this a kind of Waldorf trend?
How are fairies made?
I like your use of the term slow stitching, I hadn’t really thought about it exactly like that before. For me I am lending my hands to the elemental magical beings, I am not following a pattern or a repeated process. If I was using a sewing machine I would not be able to sew in a way that responds little by little to the inspiration around me. The fairies’ bodies become organically, they grow, each one different, a little like sculpture perhaps, without a plan.
They are made of wools and silks and other cloths, from my deliberately disorganised basket, usually I just pick up what comes to hand for their little clothing. Many of the materials that I use have had other lives, they are recycled and upcycled bits of vintage cloth and laces and felted wools, at the moment I am using old worn hand knitted socks to make tiny jackets for acorn gnomes.
What do you consider important in raising your own children? What role does nature play in their lives, what games do they have?
The most important thing for me in raising my children, has been to make space inside myself and in our days for them to be themselves. For me it is about getting out of their way, but also about affirming that their way of being is perfect for them. It is challenging though, especially now having two nearly adult children and one small one at the same time.
Humour is very very important and working hard to forgive myself for all the mistakes of every day. Children come full of wonder and reverence for the natural world, for life, all I have had to do is to confirm that their feelings are true, by being attentive to what they notice, by being full of awe for the world around us, by having a lot of time outside in quiet places, and also by not giving lots of early information or facts about nature.
My children have very rich imaginative play, the older two played a lot together, the little one plays very happily on her own, I realised when she was little that I needed to make sure that I did not take the place of a sibling playmate and so I only played with her a little bit to help her enter an imagination if she needed and then I withdrew. All my girls in their different ways have played a lot with small world and dolls house and of course magical fairy folk.
What do you think is important to say about yourself? What are the points you would
highlight? What do you do besides making fairies?
What is important to say about myself? This is an interesting and challenging question, I’m not sure how to express what I want to say, but I will try. There is something about myself that seems to underpin all that I do, my creating with the fairy folk, my parenting, and my Playwork* practice, theorising and writing. This quality is a willingness not to know, not to be the one who knows best, not to be the authority, but rather to be uncertain, or to welcome and be open to unknown ways of doing, being and understanding. Part of this is a feeling of wonder and awe that is beautifully expressed by Mary Oliver Instructions for Living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. The Magic Fairy Lady. The Magic Fairy Lady.
*Playwork is my profession. Playworkers recognise the paramount importance of play for its own sake and work for and support the child’s right to play freely.
There is something ethereal and captivating about fairies, how is that possible?
Many people say this about my fairies. I feel that they seem this way because I truly believe in fairies, and when I sew I am communicating with these magical beings. To me I am not making a product, I am lending my hands to those fairy folk who wish to be seen. To me the forms that become are a little bit alive, they hold the whispers of the fairies all around. I also create in a way that is permeable, that will become changed and more alive through
children’s play and love.