And The Winner Is…

The drawing for the fairy wings.
Drumroll please!

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Congratulations, Whitney!

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Hey – Remember the Giveaway!

As a Karmic balancing for the strength that has been given to me during a rather difficult period in my life, I want to give away a pair of wings.  We are about halfway through the “competition” at this point – you have until the 28th of February to enter this randomized drawing to win this fabulous set of wings:

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If you haven’t entered yet, you definitely should.  Once again, here are the ways of being entered; you can do one or all of the options for additional chances:

1) Follow this blog

2) Reblog this post

3) Share this post via a social media site (Facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.)

It is important that, once you complete something – LEAVE A COMMENT!  I noticed there were some facebook shares that weren’t recorded.  If you have done something but don’t tell me, I have no way of knowing!  If you are already following this blog and would like to be entered, leave a comment in the original blog post (follow that link).

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I don’t know how many times I have linked the original post, but you should definitely do something and leave a comment there to be entered!

Seriosuly, handmade deep blue fairy wings with purple organza and ribbon galore.  You know you want them!

Learning to Fly Giveaway

So, things have been a little dark around here.  Literally, figuratively, metaphorically.  All of my energy has been going into taking care of my family and trying to keep a smile on my face.  Let me be perfectly honest, it’s hard.  It’s really, really hard.

But, there have been a number of people – friends, family, and readers, that have put out a hand for me – no questions asked – and done what they could to help.  And to show my gratitude, I would like to give a pair of wings.

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These wings are called Callypso, and they were an early fabric pair for me.  I love the way the purple chiffon shows through and is picked up by the purple ribbon-wrapped spirals in the center.

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The fabric is heavy, so it flutters nicely but won’t end up in odd positions as you move through the crowd.  They are light and comfy, yet eye-catching and versatile.

I am giving you three chances to make them yours.  Each action is an additional entry into the random drawing.

1) Follow this blog

2) Reblog this post

3) Share this post via a social media site (Facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.)

Then, leave me a comment saying that you did one (or all) of these entry requirements and your name will be added to the hat.

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Drawing will be held on February 28th.  Good luck!

Unrelated

Completely unrelated to the yarny endeavours of late, I have been cleaning up the studio area in preparation for people moving in.  This means I have been organizing, cataloging, photographing, and uploading fairy wings.

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Not your typical, store-bought wings – these are individually handcrafted, one-of-a-kind creations by yours truly.  They use different mediums, from fabrics to papers to other weird things like monofilament and ribbon and moss.

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They are lightweight and durable, with heavy gauge wire threaded through key parts of the wings to offer firm structure while still allowing the wings to flutter beautiful as you move. 

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The paper ones are made from recycled materials, are then hand-painted and coated with a polymer resin to make them water and UV resistant.

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They are now on Etsy for purchase, along with a slow progression of more as the week continues.

Want to make them yours?  Follow this link!

The Thing About Wings

I started making wings when I was 15.  I went to a performing arts high school in Milwaukee which fed the flame for not only my creativity, but also my expression of rebellion.  I can see you scratching your head at the connection.

My school had strict regulations for dress code.  Skirts had to reach a certain length, shoulder straps had to be a certain width.  Anything on your head was subject to scrutiny.  No midriff, no bare backs, no offensive tees (and that’s a very subjective phrase).

However, there was nothing in the codes saying fairy wings were prohibited.  So, on several occasions, I wore my handmade wings to school.  That was my rebellion.

I did that a lot – rebelled through logical stand points.  I did nothing “wrong” per say, just pushed the envelope for what was “acceptable.”  My rebellion was backed up by carefully researched facts and plotted arguments.  I can do this because…  That is incorrect because…

And that is how my venture into fairy costumes came about.

Fast forward to college; I started exploring different methods beyond the nylon-coat hanger style and people started showing an interest in pairs for themselves.  I opened up shop, figuratively.  Most of what I did was by word of mouth.  I kept sketchbooks close by for ideas throughout the day.  My early work was interesting, vague, and some of it a little sloppy.

Two years later, I started doing shows and travelling with the shop.  It’s a hard gig to have because there is so much stress involved in travelling, maintaining expenses, and staying ahead of the trend.

That brings me to the nature of this post.  The trend has passed me by.  I wish I could blame something in particular (**couch**DisneyFairies**cough**) but that’s not quite right.  The fairy market has been stretched thin, and it has been a hard realization for me to make this year.  Really, I noticed it happening two years ago, but hoped that if I found a way to produce better quality items at a better price, I could stay in the game.  What I have been hearing a lot of lately is “She already has three pairs of fairy wings” and “Honey, you already have five tutus at home.  You don’t need another one.”

What does that mean for me?  Well, the fairy wing business is essentially shutting down.  I will not be “mass producing” my items.  I will still take custom orders, and the higher quality, one-of-a-kind items will still be in production – but the small, inexpensive, child-oriented wings are out.  Also, I will not be selling at live venues.  Everything from now on will be virtual markets (i.e. ETSY) and consignment.

That being said, I have a load of wings that I would like to move out of the house, and I’m willing to part with them at a pretty sweet deal to you guys.  Use this code WINGS2012 at checkout to get 50% any pair of wings in the shop, with the exception of made-to-order items.  I think there’s only one of those.  And wings will be uploaded as I have time, so keep checking back to see if there is anything new listed.

So, what happens to Little Green Pixie?

I will still do face painting and private/corporate gigs.  The wings and tutus will do one live show a year (Custer Street).

I am going to focus on the design aspect of the business.  There are so many designs stuck in my head that I simply haven’t had time to put to paper.  I really want to put them all out in the world for you.  I am working on a book (or two, or three…and maybe a small ebook somewhere in there, too).

Also, since I began teaching aerial, my perspective has changed.  It is so much fun and I love helping others share my passions.  The girls I teach are so excited about what they are learning, and that excitement and sense of possibility is infectious.  I have been looking at outlets for doing this more in-depth – intensive training and extra programs and whatnot.  The circus outlets in my life have been a prevalent source of inspiration for my knitwear designs, so I want to keep the two linked as much as possible.

This is a rather bittersweet post to mark my second blogversary.  It has been a fairly interesting and difficult year.  We are signing our lease for year three, and have begun serious discussion for what happens after that.  What are our plans for next summer?  I’m tossing around the ideas of different cities and looking into better programs and venues for my creative talents.  Odin is looking at his own future prospects and we are actively trying to bring our goals in line with each other.

In the end, I have a good feeling about this new path.  I think it will prove itself in the long run.

Tuesday

Monday saw the completion of the steampunk wings:

I do really like them and will definitely be making more.  If you are interested – I do custom orders, but these pre-made ones will only be available online if, by chance, they do not sell by June 20th.  The only way to get them is to come to one of my shows.

I also finished making coordinating bias tape for the Celeste wings so that I could complete the sewing (not complete yet) and I began framing the wings.

By midnight, I had completed two full pairs of wings, minus the finishing at the very edges – that’s kind of time consuming and my lighters were all dead.  Today, however, I picked up several more lighters and set to work.  Unfortunately, tea lights (which I have plenty of) do not offer the same amount of control that lighters do.

The ribbon is the most tedious part.  Once started, it is near impossible to stop wrapping until the wings are done.  I always dribble glue on my fingers which is never fun.  The Celeste wings are especially difficult because the center spirals flop around – and metal is kind of sharp.  I have several cuts on my forearms and am very grateful to my glasses for protecting my eyes.

Today, Tuesday, has seen the gathering of supplies that I had run low on so that I can finish some things – such as one of the custom orders.

These have been fun to make and explored a new technique – which I will most definitely be utilizing in the future.  They are cute and dynamic.  The moss is fun and adds an extra dimension to the look.  I have used moss in the past, but my experience has been that it dries out and becomes brittle, or gets so saturated with humidity that it starts falling off.  This is a faux moss and a new glue – a higher quality model train glue – that should lend more durability to the wings.  The only problem is the wings are porous and the moss isn’t sticking.  I must find a new glue.  This is a back step I was really trying to avoid.

 

*groan*

Monday

Brought to you by Hell Week.
No, seriously.  This week is going to be icnredible if we all make it through in one piece.  The lineup?
Monday – crafting
Tuesday – crafting, Ellette has gymnastics after school
Wednesday – Crafting, aerial rehearsal 7:30pm until my arms fall off pm (around 10)
Thursday – crafting, possible sanity saver knit night
Friday – load car, 7-10pm circus rehearsal, 1 hr drive to Waukegan to follow
Saturday – Awake at crack of dawn, drive pregnant lady with me to the Janesville Renaissance Festival, set up tent, run through sales and problem solving, leave pregnant lady to manage fairy shop, drive 3 hrs to Evanston, 4:30 and 7:30 circus show, pizza and beer following, sleep in own bed (maybe).
Sunday – Awake at crack of dawn, 3 hr drive to Janesville, 12 hr day in 83* fair (at least I hope it is 83*), pack up shop, drive 3 hrs to Evanston, pass out for an undetermined length of time.
The following week: Take inventory, scramble to restock.  That following weekend, 1 party, 1 face painting gig, Memorial day breather, spend the next week restocking, Witchy Wearbles’ Fairy Day Event follows to be succeeded immediately by a much needed vacay to Hawaii and then one week to finish restocking in preparation for Custer Street Fair.
And really, the rest of my summer follows in similar order – but you will find out about that as it comes.
The crafting, you ask – what could I have left to do?
Well, this week I have around 50 pairs of Celeste wings that need to be sewn and framed.  Celeste wings are a great design – lightweight, fabric, and small – they stand out in a crowd without bonking people in the shoulders.  Manouverability is important in large festivals.  They are made of fabric, sewn and reinforced, and held sturdy with heavy steel wire.  They sit just between the shoulder blades, with satin ribbon to secure around the shoulders or the “U” shape to slide down a bodice.  The loose fabric around the bottom flutters beautifully through movement, and what I call the “underside” of the wing – the part that people would see if they were looking directly at you – is made of sheer organza dotted with silver beads.  They glint magnificently in the sunlight.
The best thing about these is that it is a relatively simple design that I can produce quickly and consistently in a variety of colors at relatively low cost, which means that you – the fairy-to-be – can get high quality wings for relatively cheap.  50 pairs of these wings may last me the summer, but they will at least get me through Custer Street.
I also have some of my stock nylon wings that need the finishing touches and a couple pairs of steampunk paper wings that need ribbons attached.
I have not yet needle-felted the fairy houses, which, when I get down to it, shouldn’t take too long.
I have several more tiny top hats and tiny witch hats that need decorating and headbands.  Some still need to be felted, but I have been doing so much felting lately that finding “dirty” clothes  to warrant the washer hogging is becoming increasingly difficult.
Aside from the stock crafting, I have to make signs and displays for my new items.  I wrote a very detailed list for Odin of the things I need from Home Depot and Joanns, along with encouragement to grab anything that might look useful or attention grabbing (which has it’s own uses).  This will be a big help.
I have two pairs of custom wings in various stages of completion that I really need to buckle down and finish.
Not to mention the every day things like some level of sanitary cleanliness, personal hygeine maintanence, and food.  I have a few things I need to do involving finances and some things to prep for Hawaii.
After this week I take stock of all of the wings and wands and hats and decide what needs to be restocked – and chances are I’m going to have to churn out another 50 or so wands and a couple dozen pink and purple wings.
Just thinking about this is making the adrenaline pump.  I have been having really bad dreams brought on by the anxiety over my season starting.  This is normal.  Mostly.  I think I have some worries this year that I didn’t last year, and the drama that is happening in my personal life is only making the stress levels rise.
Deep breath.
It seems like I’m crazy, and I probably am.  If I denied it, I’m sure someone out there would find a way to lock me up for my own safety.
That being said – I know my roommate and a few friends do read this regularly – so this message is for you:  I would not mind your company.  Make the work load seem lighter.  Know that if you do want to sit down and chat or watch a movie – I will more than likely hand you something that needs ot be done.  Here’s a spool of ribbon – cut 100 2 foot lengths and singe the edges with this lighter.  Here’s my bag of scrap fabric, start cutting circles of all sizes.  Here’s the wand template and a pair of scissors and a tracing pencil – get to it.  Anything you can do, you will do.

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