fairies

So recently K found this note that our neighbor kids wrote to the fairies, and I sort of fell in love with it!

How adorbs is that?! I decided almost immediately that I wanted to put together a basket for these kids and deliver it to their house as from the fairies.

Fairy basket

K and I went to Target and found all the things they were looking for! We had a few moments of quick googling when we realized we had no idea what sizes were appropriate for the shirts, but got it sorted. We also felt like Total Olds while trying to determine what the exact type of Shopkins requested were. We finally just picked a couple that looked different from each other and called it good.

Fairy basket

I put it all together with some natural-looking raffia and a basket from Goodwill, and wrote up a letter from the fairies. I bet fairies would use Gwen Frostic stationery, wouldn’t they? I wish I would have had some more variety in the flowers I had at hand, but you know, I also bet fairies would not be judgmental about dandelions. I snuck it over early in the morning on Sunday and waited, checking the window to see if it had been picked up yet. Mid-morning it was gone! I had a sudden series of fears that the parents would be upset with it – maybe they don’t want to encourage a belief in fairies! Maybe they would just take the stuff out of the basket and give it to the kids without the letter! Maybe they would be annoyed that their kids’ every whim was indulged by an unidentified person and donate it all to Goodwill! Later in the afternoon, though, I saw one of the kids running around outside wearing the TMNT shirt! And it looked like it fit perfectly! So perhaps it all turned out just fine. 🙂 Regardless, it was a fun thing to do and I hope the kids all enjoy their goodies.

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Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show

Last weekend we went to the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival to check out the syrup, arts and crafts, and quilt show. I had considered entering a quilt myself, but didn’t get to it in time to make the deadline. Next year!

Odd as it seems, despite having lived in the area for close to 15 years in the 90s and 00s, this was my first time attending this festival. We got some syrup, of course, but skipped the really, really, really long lines for the all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage meal.

The quilt show was small but a nice mix of types of quilts by a few different quilters (some quilters had multiple pieces on display). As usual, I was most interested in the original quilts, but those made from commercial patterns were also very nicely made.

Some of the quilts had been made long ago, in some cases by older or now-deceased relatives of the person who entered the quilt in the show.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

This one, which was one of the largest on display (96×68″), was hand-pieced by the owner’s mother, who used fabrics from the owner’s childhood. The dimensional quality of this design is really impressive.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

I liked the nature/fantasy subject of this quilt (62×46″) by Carol Griffin. It is called Flower Belles and I suppose one could see the women as just that, but I thought they seemed to be flower fairies. I’ve been reading the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series by Susan Wittig Albert, which has probably put fairies at the forefront of my mind.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

I’m interested in portraits and depictions of figures in quilts and this was a nice example of a relatively simple approach that is realistic but still fun.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

Another one of my favorites was this dog quilt, titled Moochas Pooches (57×46″).

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

While of course I would’ve liked it even more if it had included a Boston Terrier, this pug was cute enough to almost make up for it.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

The smallest piece (10×8″) on display was this framed fabric art, titled Lake Michigan and made by Carrie Dunn. To make it, she used raw edge applique, a technique that I have been reading a lot about since seeing it used on some of the art quilts in Lenore Crawford’s exhibit at Art Reach in February.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

One of my favorites of the day was this horse wall hanging (36×47.5″), pieced by Carol Griffin. I’m not particularly interested in horses as a subject, but the piecing and construction of the quilt caught my eye.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

I like the combination of fabrics the artist used, as well as the variety of stitch techniques she used to create the impression of texture and movement.

One thing I found notable was that, with the exception of the tied and vintage or antique quilts, very few of the pieces on display had been quilted by the same person who pieced them. I suppose that most of the folks doing the piecing take their quilt sandwich to a professional machine quilter and pay them to do the machine quilting. I’m not opposed to this on principle, but I definitely feel like, for me, it would take something away from the overall achievement of having completed a quilt. The same is true for using pre-made quilt patterns, as I prefer to make it up myself, or at least make up most of it in the cases where I might use a well-known quilt block design as inspiration. I want to do it all myself! (This is probably why it takes me ages to finish anything.)

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show

One of the things that I was excited to see was the chance to participate in a contest in next year’s show! The challenge is called Spring Fling 15. It cost $1 to sign up, which provided a small piece of fabric that should be incorporated into the entry. The finished piece can be any shape and size as long as the perimeter is between 60 and 100″ total. All the entries will be displayed in next year’s festival and awards will be given for the best representation of the theme, best use of color, and best workmanship in piecing and/or applique. I’m excited to plan my piece.

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How to Ditch Your Fairy

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Justine Larbalestier (how I love just saying her name!)’s latest is How to Ditch Your Fairy, a story about a girl named Charlie who is (as she sees it) cursed with the lamest fairy ever, a parking fairy. In the world Charlie lives in, most people have a fairy which gives them a certain kind of luck. Charlie’s is to always be able to find a parking spot, but since she’s only 14, this only ever benefits those she’s riding with, and those people sometimes use her for her parking luck, leaving Charlie wishing she could ditch her fairy. Charlie isn’t the only person who doesn’t love her fairy, and when she discovers that, she ends up finding friendship in unlikely places.

I’m a bit over the whole headless girl cover design (hello, publishers, there are other options! lots of ’em) (and, noted, this one is only half-headless) but the sassy way the gal is flicking that fairy away makes up for it. Last packaging nitpick: this book is a great read for anyone, and the cover is definitely very girly. Hopefully the lads will overlook that or cover up the jacket while they read it.

This book is packed with so much good stuff! Charlie is a gifted athlete who attends a sports-focused school where she struggles with not being the best of the best, as well as with the usual social stuff. I’m not sporty in the least, but Larbalestier is so skilled in her descriptions that I was captured and could totally identify with Charlie despite not having much of anything concrete in common. I also LOVE the concept of having a personal fairy. I think we all feel lucky in some way or another, and the concept of it being due to a fairy is so enticing.

This book is definitely recommended for all readers (teen through adult).

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