International Fairy Day

It is late in the evening as I write this, at the close of International Fairy Day, our favorite obscure holiday. We built no fairy houses this year, nor did we make a fairy garden. No parties, although we did have a lovely tea party with a college friend's tiny daughter, which was quite awesome. But wings were donned for fun, and books were read, and we enjoyed the bit of crafty decor we made last week.

We have more books to share, but here are two of our favorites from today. First up:

Fairyopolis: A Flower Fairies Journal by Cicely Mary Barker.
Warne, 2005.

I posted about this beautiful activity book two years ago, but today, Big Sis took much better pictures of it. It's truly one of our favorites. We also love How To Find Flower Fairies, which I blogged about that same week. Big Sis and I would love the whole collection of Flower Fairies books. Cicely Mary Barker makes us very, very happy.

I have also been in a Froudian sort of mood - as in Brian Froud. He and his wife, Wendy, are the most amazing artists. This year, I checked out Brian Froud's Faeries' Tales, which came out last year. It's pretty spectacular.

Brian Froud's Faeries' Tales by Brian and Wendy Froud. Abrams Books, 2014.

I was first introduced to the World of Froud as a small child, but I didn't even know it. Brian Froud was the conceptual artist and costume designer for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, the Jim Henson fantasy films. I'm both a Muppet / Henson nerd and fantasy film nerd, so both of these movies are special to me. I'll have some more Dark Crystal-related stuff for you soon, but the girls and I did make a little craft inspired by Labyrinth. You see, we found this book at the library:

The Muppets Big Book of Crafts by The Muppet Workshop, with Stephanie St. Pierre.
Workman, 1999.

There are two mask-making crafts in the book. First is a "Mexican Festival Masks" craft, which involves papier-mache. They are very cool, but more complicated. In a sidebox, there is a picture of two masks from Labyrinth: "These masks were specially made for the masked ball scene in Jim Henson's film Labyrinth. Using a process that's similar to the one in this project, each mask was cast to fit a particular actor's face." 

We thought it would be cool to make masks, too. When we turned the page, there was another project, "Mysterious Masks," which were pretty simple to do. Basically, buy some blank masks from a craft store and go to town! We used paint, feathers, sequins, and glitter to decorate ours.

Here are the girls playing dress-up in the backyard today:

Here are our masks in their current place of honor on the fireplace blower, Also present is the wooden castle Little Sis got at the craft store and painted. She even decorated little peg people!

We worked on one more craft project last week. We made new flower fairy dolls! Four years ago (pre-blog), using instructions found in the old Disney-owned version of FamilyFun magazine, we made little flower fairies. They were cute, and we still have a few of them floating around the girls' rooms, looking rather worse for the wear.

This is what they looked like the day we made them:

I wanted to make something to hang from our little stick tree, now that Easter is long over and our eggs are down. I went hunting on the internet for fairy craft ideas, and found a flower fairy tutorial over at The Magic Onions. (LOVE that blog.) It was similar to the one I used previously, but the larger heads, yarn, and embroidery thread bodies made them look much sturdier and, frankly, more attractive. We found some larger wooden beads, pipe cleaners, and a bargain-priced flower garland (to dismantle) at the craft store, and used embroidery floss, yarn, small plastic beads, and markers from home.

Our new flower fairies look so cheerful on our branch tree!

Whew. This was a long post. I'll leave you with one last thing. While I was looking for that Labyrinth clip, I came across the official music video for "As The World Falls Down." Ah, '80s David Bowie. Enjoy!

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Baby Margaret at the Park (Little Sis Tuesday)

It's time for Little Sis Tuesday, when I let my 7-year-old daughter take over the blog. This time, she had me take the photos for her, but she edited them on my phone, with help from me. I added the links when she was done. - Danzel

This is Baby Margaret. She is from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. My grandpa gave it to me. 

She is very cute. I took her for a walk in a stroller, then Mommy took us to the park.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is a show on PBS Kids. It's also on Netflix. [And Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant, for that matter. - Danzel] It's my favorite little kid show, next to Sesame Street.

I've been playing with her ever since I got her. Down there are pictures that I drew.

I hope you like them! 

by Little Sis, age 7 1/2

Tomorrow is International Fairy Day! I have a couple of books and crafts to share. - Danzel

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More Fairy Tale Love

It is officially summer. And here in south-central Kansas, it certainly feels like it.

Today is miserably hot and humid, and the mosquitoes and biting flies will not leave us alone.

As You Like It has closed. We had a good run, despite the bugs and the heat, and I had fun with my parts. I wish more of my friends would have made an effort to come see it, but I should be used to that. I'm grateful for the ones that did.

How negative I sound, right? Let me get all the negative out of the way: Friday, we were supposed to see Pinkalicious: The Musical at the children's theatre - it was the pizza show, so it was lunch, too - and I forgot all about the tickets until today. Oops. Saturday's trip to Lindsborg ended abruptly when one of my daughters got car sick, all over herself and the car, just as we were about to arrive in town. No Midsummer pictures to share. I got sick (for unrelated reasons) during the play Saturday night, which led to me spending most of Father's Day on the couch, trying to refuel for last night's show.

Boo hoo. There. I'm done. Let's move on to happier subjects now, shall we? Like the fact that in two days, the fairies will be back for International Fairy Day! And while we don't have a fairy house yet, we can certainly enjoy the day week!

I found three vintage copies of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books on the library website last week. They were in storage, but I was able to retrieve them and check them out!

The books we checked out were first published by David McKay Company, Inc., in 1948, although these are reprints from the 1960s. What caught my eye in the first place was the name listed as illustrator of The Red Fairy Book: Marc Simont! Seeing that made me hunt for any other copies published by David McKay Company. I located two more in the system. Each has a different illustrator, although they were clearly published together. The Blue Fairy Book was illustrated by Ben Kutcher, about whom I could find little information. The Yellow Fairy Book has some beautiful illustrations by Janice Holland. I know nothing about her, either, although she seems to have illustrated quite a few mid-century children's books. even lists a few prints by Janice Holland.

Here are some pretty pictures for you to enjoy!

From The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, illustrated by Ben Kutcher. David McKay Company, Inc., 1948:

From The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, illustrated by Marc Simont.

From The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, illustrated by Janice Holland.

Now if you'd like to see a fairy tale movie (or two, or three) that you've never seen before, I have a few to share. This morning, Big Sis and I watched the 1947 Soviet version of Cinderella. It was quite charming and theatrical, with songs and dances, a hilariously awful stepmother, and a pretty transformation scene. (And a few drops of Marxism in the dialogue, which definitely makes it a product of its time.) We watched the black and white version on YouTube, with the English subtitles turned on. There is a colorized version, too, which doesn't look too bad, considering the sets look very stylized and artificial anyway. That isn't meant to be an insult. I like the artifice.

For an older, made-in-America Cinderella, here is the 1914 silent film version starring Mary Pickford. Her husband at the time, Owen Moore, appears as Prince Charming.

Two years later, Famous Players-Lasky released another fairy tale film, Snow White, starring Marguerite Clark.

Little Sis is working on her post for tomorrow. Come back to see what she has to share!

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Happy Father's Day!

Our weekend hasn't exactly gone as planned. I have no Midsummer photos to share (see Instagram), I got sick during my play last night (the show must go on!), and today has been the laziest of Father's Days.

But Looney Tunes makes things better.

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