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A magnificent ocean-dweller, on land for a time.

Yesterday I showed scenes of Faerieworlds 2019 so that I could try to bring you with me. Now that you have a sense of the setting, let me introduce you to some of the citizens. If you want to see all of my photos and get a real sense of it all, please visit my Flickr page.

The festival is three days long and I have never attended more than one day. Most people camp on site, and live fully in the realm. Friday used to be a work day for me, and Sunday used to be a half day, so Saturday was always my top choice. This year when I do not have work on Friday and Sunday was a full festival day, I found that I was still only able to make it on Saturday. The fae folk often have new outfits on each day, so imagine how much more there is to see if one is there three days in a row.

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In the following photos, you’ll see Toby Froud. He is fantasy royalty, and one of my favourite celebrities. I’ve spoken with him a little in previous years, even included his photo once before. Toby is the son of Brian and Wendy Froud, of whom I am also a huge fan. Brian Froud’s faery art is what made me realize I am in love with faeries. Wendy Froud’s puppets in the movie The Dark Crystal are something I’ll never forget. I spotted him this year when he paused to talk to some folks outside the beer garden, where I was sitting with a pint and chatting with a wizard. I gasped, “Is that Toby Froud?” The wizard turned to look and then confirmed for me, “Yes, it is.” It did occur to me that I was in my element when not only did I not have to explain who Toby Froud was, but the total stranger sitting next to me also recognized Toby Froud on sight. Nerds of the world, Unite!

I had seen something in an article about Toby living in Portland, and when I left the beer garden to go talk to him, I asked him when he lived there. “I’m still there!” he said. “I’ve lived in Portland for ten years!” I am astonished. He’s been here all along, and now I am even more delighted. He said he moved here from England for work, and listed off some of the places he has lent his talents (including Laika), where he worked on the movie the Box Trolls and the TV series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and then talked up his next project. If I was a better fan, I would remember what it was. Instead, I was proud of myself just for not passing out.

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I am happy to have finally been forced to figure out how to use the Word Press gallery option. It’s a good way to smash entirely too many photos into a single post.

Frozen faery to take home

Historically, Faerieworlds in Eugene, Oregon has always been in August. In 2009 the venue moved to a very exposed location during the same year that a heat wave hit on Faerieworlds weekend. There were many sunburns and unhappy people. The following year event planners tried to remedy the situation with a greater amount of constructed shade areas. This year, the event was changed to the second week in June.

I wonder if the new date was a result of trying to make conditions better for festival attendees. June sounded to me at once like a poor choice because in Portland June is consistently cold and wet. Eugene may have better weather, but I was doubtful. My prediction came true, and this year, for the first time ever, Faerieworlds was cold and wet. The grounds were muddy, our wings filled with water droplets, damp dead grass clung to us. *sigh!* Why would they take my favourite holiday and move it into my least favourite weather?

raindrops on sunbeams

raindrops on sunbeams

Brian Froud kindly stands with me for a photo

But I suppose faeries are creatures of nature and thus should gracefully accept raindrops as easily as sunshine.

We got a very late start to our day. Miss T had stayed the previous night with friends on the other side of the river (so FAR away, ha ha), and so I had to retrieve her. When she got home she had to pack for summer at dad’s. We’ve been so busy I had completely forgotten to have her pack earlier. We finally set off for the two and a half hour drive, arriving late afternoon, which is totally out of character for me. I’ve had a drastically full two weeks, and I simply couldn’t pull it all together to get there at the moment the gates open, like usual. Besides, as Tara kindly reminded me, the festival carries on till well into the night, so arriving late is really no loss. It’s Solstice time anyway, so the sun remains up as long as possible for our benefit.

Grey skies and wet faeries. An avenue through the vendors. You can see the mast of the pirate ship in the background.

Puppet theatre in the pirates area. A stage for musical acts is partially visible to the side. This is in addition to the Faerieworlds main stage.

Tara left my side immediately once we entered the faery realm, which was fine with me. Thus, I was alone when I wandered past Brian Froud, one of my favourite artists of all time (cherish the Pressed Fairy Book). I interrupted his talk with another man to gush a little at him, and make my best (albeit poor) attempt at a compliment/request for photo op. Mr. Froud graciously acquiesced, and I am terribly grateful. His wife, Wendy, is an equally talented artist. However, I prefer his work because he tends more often toward the grotesque and bizarre, which somehow is more beautiful to me. Does that make any kind of sense?

Main stage at Faerieworlds. The center of the magical realm.

steampunk glasses

I browsed the tents of wares quickly, mindful of the gathering gloom. Steampunk faeries have a burgeoning population in the past two years, and now have their own kisosks. Despite the rain, the ubiquitous faery children ran rampant, leaping and shrieking with joy amongst the creature children who joined them. I never tire of the variety of characters who attend. Many creatures I cannot describe: only that they are otherworldly. There are fae folk, and dragons, a surprising number of pirates! There are fauns and dark, creepy souls, as well as wizards and angels.

What a character!

What a character!

Check out that nose.

Check out that nose.

Perhaps also because of past years’ complaints of the heat, this year the faire reached farther into the forest than before…and it was the pirate’s realm. There was a life-sized ship constructed (but only from the deck up, using the grass as the deck – it was cool), and trails (if you dare!) into the trees, as well as a second stage and a puppet theatre. Back in the trees was a shrine constructed by the Lost Boys.

Miss T occasionally found me and begged for money, but otherwise, I barely saw her. She made friends in a hair-braiding tent, and ended up spending a huge amount of time there. A bored friend in the tent paid for her to get braid after braid, and she was thrilled with all of it.

A butterfly adds more braid art to Tara's hair.

A butterfly adds more braid art to Tara’s hair.

pirate faery

pirate faery

Do your faeries need a home?

Do your faeries need a home?

Periodically I brought her food while she repeatedly had her hair done.  I wandered and smiled and shared pleasantries with the fae folk, even though I was dressed rather devilishly due to it being Bad Faeries Day. (no one passed judgement :o) I got to talk to Toby Froud a little. Talked to him more last year. He’s a super sweet guy, very pleasant. Love that British accent. This year his costume was to die for! The BEST faun legs I’ve ever, ever seen.

Toby Froud, the babe with the power. That's his wife to the left.

Toby Froud, the babe with the power.

Tara got a shot of me, devily faery.

Tara got a shot of me, devily faery.

Tall and Short

Tall and Short have a little chat.

T was a water faery, in honor of the weather.

T was a water faery, in honor of the weather.

Ahhh, it’s a scrumptious tradition. This was our fifth year and I hope the habit doesn’t fade. From what I can tell, the festival grows larger every year. I will still cross my fingers for more sun and less rain at faery gatherings in the future.

 

One of my many guises

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