Saris

The faeries in my garden and Stevie Nicks…

12 September 2010

Well my goodness…  I didn’t mean to take such a long break but I guess thats what I did!  Lots of weddings this summer and lots of other things going on too!

First I have to tell you I am deep in faerie heaven!

“Faerie Head Quarters”

There is a huge fund raiser for the local Santa Barbara Community Environmental council in October and they hired me as the designer of the event.  Now some may not realize this but when people ask me for a “green” party that means something a bit different to me.  Not only will the party be as environmentally friendly as possible but green to me brings in the mythological forest beings as well.  Soooo…  This party will be a beautiful celtic themed forest complete with hundreds of trees and a faerie queen and the green man and loads of faeries and elves.  Therefore I have been buried in making costumes and fantastical table top “trees” as centerpieces.  Lots and lots of fun.  Here are some of our lovely actors being fitted for their magical transformation.

“Indigo”   

“Moss”

“Moss’s” wings

Details of “Indigo” and “Moss”

The Birch Faerie Queen who rides in on a Unicorn.

Detail of a set of wings made from Indian saris.

In the center where the wings meet I tucked in a birds nest.

Here are some of the mossy eclectic “trees” that will be some of the centerpieces.  They will have hanging candles and lots of small ferns and plants at the base with the addition of mushrooms and more moss.

I love putting in lots of details, here is a birds nest along side a pine cone.

All the while we have been working on the faerie party the house was being re-plastered and painted (it looks a bit like it snowed around here what with the plaster dust and overspray).  This meant that I had to rip off all the beautiful flowers on the front of the house and then in the process of the men working on the house the remaining garden was pretty much trampled.  Now I love an overgrown packed full garden so everything only looked lovely and complete to me in this last year having planted from scratch 4 years ago.   Well I guess I get to have a “do-over” on the garden.  The men just finished last week so I went out and splurged on several large plants (I am impatient and do not want to wait another 4 years!).

I got the most lovely trailing rose called “Flutterby”  with the most beautiful yellow and salmon 4 petal roses.  I also got all my favorites like sage, lavender, rosemary, scented geranium, penstemon, jasmine and a few other goodies.

This is the most wonderful smelling flower called snail flower (I think).  I placed it right next to the front door so every time you come in and out the scent wafts into the room.  I will take more pictures as the garden progresses.

Well if the outside of the house was having a makeover I felt like I needed to address the inside.  I mean if you wash the outside of the car you kind of need to clean out the inside too or it just doesn’t feel right.  Soooo on top of everything else I started overhauling the interiors.

2 years ago we had to evacuate in one of California’s crazy wildfires.  We had enough notice so we literally packed it all up!  It went into storage and I have only just started puling things out bit by bit.  Reworking the interiors meant that I got to pull out tons of stuff and redecorate.  It has felt like Christmas as I open box upon box of my precious goodies that I haven’t seen for 2 years!

My vintage suitcases and fun trunks.  I hung lots of saris and a beautiful Indian lamp.

More saris,  a vintage lamp and one of my pastel and charcoal drawings.  I tried copping one of Brian Frouds art pieces…  boy is that man an artist!!

I also made a Birch branch garland with twinkle lights woven in.  I also tucked in a few hanging crystals and a faerie or two (of course!). It casts the most beautiful glow.

Yea my dragonfly lamp is back!!!!

I hung the Faerie Brides wings from my faerie and elf wedding photo shoot over a lovely cabinet my husband got me for my birthday which is sitting on a vintage trunk.

My Indian Lion chair…

Or should I say Cat chair…

As with the garden the house isn’t finished yet so I will share more pictures as I finish each room.

I have also had the pleasure of creating several fun weddings that I will share pictures of when the photographers give me copies.  Mostly they were wonderful eclectic vintage affairs (my favorite!).

Lastly I will leave you with a picture my girlfriend took of one of my all time favorite rock goddesses, Stevie Nicks.

Remember a post I wrote a while back about wanting more magic in my life?  Well I got it in spades.

I got to go to a Stevie Nicks concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl.  We had sixth row seats but spent most of the evening dancing right in front of the stage.  Very soon I will tell you the full story which involves a set of faerie wings that lead to another set of faerie wings for a very special girl and tons of amazing serendipitous moments.  For now enjoy this picture, this is how close we were able to get!  Can you believe she is 62?  What an amazing woman!

Wedding Wings

7 June 2010
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Remember when I wrote a while back about the wings I was making for a lovely bride?  Well I have finally finished them along with a beautiful cloak and wreath to complete her wedding ensemble.

I am so pleased with the results, and I can say that as they are now in the bride’s hands and she seems thrilled too.  I had my friend Nancy Little Moon come over and try everything on for me so I could take a few pictures.  She is so beautiful inside and out.  I just love to have her model for me (she was the high priestess in the faerie wedding photo shoot on my web site). By the way she is also a wedding officiant who preforms the most beautiful and meaning full ceremonies. You can visit her web site Blessings in Paradise.com for more info.

(above) detail of the beading on the cloak.

I split the cloak up the back so it flows around the wings.  The wings are on a padded metal brace that slides between the skin and the corset.  They are remarkably light weight for being so large.

(above right)  detail of the wreath

I used a vintage Indian Sari and then glued to the edges moss, beads, jewels, bugs and all manor of magical things

My bride wanted it to evoke not just faeries but mermaids as well so I gave it a bit of a fish tale look.

(above) detail of the wing root.  (above right) a lovely dragon fly just for fun!

What a magical way to start a marriage!

Leslie Clark

30 April 2010
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I wanted to show you an incredible artist whose work I just revisited.  Her name is Leslie Clark and I love her paintings!  I went to Ojai the other day for a beautiful photo shoot with Elizabeth Messina (I will show you those photos a bit later) and afterwards I stopped in Leslie’s gallery.  I had first seen her work several years ago and admired it then but have not had an occasion to go back to Ojai.  It was such a treat to see her gorgeous work again!  She spends half of the year in Africa painting the people she lives among, capturing their beautiful faces and traditions with her magic.  She particularly focuses on the Sahara and the Niger regions but has traveled all over Africa.  She also has the Nomad Foundation, a non profit foundation that “… seeks to blend cultural preservation with economic opportunity”.  Feast your eyes on these amaizing paintings.

… and of course one of my favorite things, saris!

wedding wings

21 April 2010

I have been working on some fun projects of late…  I had my first “faerie” bride comission me to make her a set of wings for her wedding.  She bought the most beautiful amber color wedding dress that I am matching with vintage sari material for the wings.  She also loves mermaids so we are making it a bit of a cross between wings and fish tails.

I am not done yet but here they are mid way…

I will be adding shells, bugs and all manor of fun things.  Here is a close up of the embroidery on the sari…

more deails…

Anyway I will post a picture of the completed wings later and hopefully I will show you the bride with her magic wings on her wedding day!!

Add a bit of faerie dust to your wedding

31 March 2010
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I had the great fortune to indulge in a faerie dream that was swimming around in my imagination and create a beautiful and fastastical faerie and elf wedding.  I wallowed in making wings and costumes, and setting a beautiful stage on the magical ranch my husband and I live on.  I went a little crazy with it and the results have been published I am happy to say in Faerie Magazine  (summer 09) and is currently in Santa Barbara Magazine and is coming out in Elle mag in China in May as well as on numerous bolgs.  The most excellent photographer Elizabeth Messina captured the magic on film beautifully.  This was my faerie bride and groom and their magical owl,

To see the whole wedding go to the faerie gallery on my web site.

I know that most people would not go to quite these lengths in a muggle (non-magic folks) wedding so I have taken some of the faerie pictures and suggested what you could incorporate from them in your wedding,

Hold the ceremony outside at the base of an ancient tree.  Possibly add a garland around the trunk or hang a chandeliere from one of the branches.  You could easily purchase an old funky chandeliere from a thrift store and then cover it with moss or bark.  The day of the wedding add fresh greenery like Ferns and Ivy.  You can hang ribbons from the branches and then pin wishes to the ribbons or tie flowers to the end of the ribbons.  You could hang a big beautiful flowering basket from the branches off to one side of where you will be standing.  Keep in mind what the camera sees and make sure that nothing looks like it is coming out of your head in the photos.   You could place around the base of the tree trailing potted plants and flowers like Ferns, Petunias or Impatients for added lushness and color.  Hanging colorful lanterns looks very festive even if the ceremony is in the day time.

Bring natural elements into the ceremony such as having the rings brought forth on a moss pillow or on a lovely piece of bark.  Nestling rings in large shells or birds nests look beautiful as well.  Set a feasting table outside in the middle of a field/park/forest/glade/orchard/wherever natural.  Hang lanterns all around for twinkling light as the evenings draws near.  Use any type of lanterns or even a hodg podg of different styles.  If cold evenings are a factor you can rent mushroom heaters from a party rental company to scatter about or have some outdoor fire pits for a wonderful effect as well as heat.

Bring natural elements to your table such as plants (both green and flowering), cover any plastic pots with moss and tuck in lots of goodies like fruit, mushrooms, feathers, bark, branches, driftwood, shells, etc.  You can also add in sparlkey elements like beaded bits, crystals, personal momentos, pictures,  and lots of pretty glass containers for candles.

Make chargers for the plates out of feathers, moss, large green leaves or bark or other natural elements.  Add a bit of sparkle with gliter or colorful glass beads.

Set you cake outside near a tree or other beautiful vista.  Go a bit crazy with a lushious display of gorgeous candies, fruit and flowers.  It becomes a lovely focal point throughout the evening as well as makes for beautiful pictures.

I also created another wedding for a photo shoot with a magical/mid-summer-nights-dream feeling.   Christine Arnold took the following great pictures.  Most of what I created muggles could do.  I used lots of plants and natural material like tree branches and trunks, moss, mushrooms and bark.  I also used lots of outdoorsy items like garden figurines, old fashioned hurricane lamps, and mixed them with more elegant pieces like candelabras, Indian saris, beautiful goblets, and absolutely loads of candles and twinkle lights.  I really think almost anything can look beautiful in candle light and twinkle lights come as close to candle light as any electric light available.

Use large leafs as chargers, have short sections of tree trunks as risors.  Tuck in bits like pine cones and fun fruit and vegiatbles.

Make a green wrap or head wreath for some of the statues in the garden.  They should be decked out for the festivities too!

Use lots of candle elements like lanterns and pretty glasses with votives in them.

Even bottles with tall grasses in them look cool.  Go and trim your yard and tuck in the bits of branches, ferns, and succulents on the table.

Use lots of layers of mismatched fabrics for great texture.  Stay within a color story of 2 or 3 colors so it doesn’t get too messy and then use lots of variations of those colors.  Rent a simple inexpensive base linen for all the tables in the same color and then layer on lots of other fabrics.  I also like to include a natural fabric like burlap or gauze to reiterate the outdoor feeling.

Use lots of lanterns, it doesn’t matter if they match.  One way to keep things from looking too eclectic is to keep each table with like items on it.  So have one table with hurricane lanterns and then another table with more exotic lanterns.  Do not mix the two different styles on the same table.

Here I have used a vintage Indian sari that had wonderful gold thread woven throughout.  The colors for this event were browns and greens.

Here I use my own green sequened shawl over a long strip of brown velvet which was layed over the base brown linen.  I also swirled around the candle holders more fabric.

Hanging all over were large tree branches with the leaves still on them and curtains of twigs with Spanish Moss all interwoven with lots of twinkle lights.  Wrapped on several of the beams was dried Honeysuckle vine, again mixed with twinkle lights.

I also created a mini lounge with tree trunks with cushions on them and a brass table again on a small tree trunk. On the table were lots of river rocks and moss which would also look good on the dinning tables.

Just remember to bring outside items in and add a bit of sparkle.  It is the combination of rustic or natural elements with sophisticated glamour that is so alluring and beautiful.

Saris, India & color!

28 February 2010
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Saris amaze and delight me.  Their colors and patterns are endless yet all express unfettered happiness.  Most Indian women, even the very poorest working in the fields, wear them .  No drab khakis or blue jeans for laboring but instead sunshine yellow, cheery pinks and fuchsia, vibrant reds, turquoise blues and teal greens.  Most of these beautiful creations have incredible detail woven into the fabric.  Some are shot through with metallic thread and some have elaborate embroidery.

I have recently been helping some friends open their Indian store in Santa Barbara and have had the tremendous pleasure of playing with all their gorgeous merchandise.  I am continually struck by how beautiful even the most simple items are.  Everything is embellished and most everything is created in a riot of colors.  Every little thing seems to celebrate life!  The senses are under a constant barrage of beauty, whether it’s your eyes delighting in all the color and patterns or your nose taking in the aroma of pungent incense and spices that your taste buds are also savoring.  Even the music has an incessant celebratory beat.

I have a couple of books that express well the vibrant sights and art that is India.

“Rajasthan” by Pauline van Lynden

Above: An Indian wedding                   The women wear stacks and stacks of bangles!

Sari detail

Always the clothes are a mixture of beautiful colors,

no mater what they are doing.

Another great book “India in word and Image” by Eric Meola

Beautiful architectural detail!                           An entirely blue city!   Jodhpur

Working in a sari

I never tire of looking through these books, they are wonderful!

I also know I will never tire of beautiful saris…  I hope my friends need my help at their store often.