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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.

People spend hours at Faerieworlds just entertaining others.

People spend hours at Faerieworlds just entertaining others.

Bubbles, beaming smiles, and beauty spreads across the faery fields of Oregon.

Bubbles, beaming smiles, and beauty spreads across the faery fields of Oregon.

Tara and I went to Eugene, Oregon over the weekend to find the realm of faeries. We have attended since 2007 and it remains a premier summer event for us. We actually have a section of the garage where our “faery gear” is stored. Wings, masks, scarves, bags, leather cords, feathers, antennae, and all manner of possible accessories fill bins and hang from racks. Our latest wings acquisition must hang from the ceiling for protection, since the wings are stiff and don’t fold up.

Please click any photo for a larger version. And see my posts from previous years. 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

The festival began in Veneta, Oregon at the lovely little Secret House Winery in 2005. Tapping into that love of magic and love of the creatures dwelling in the realm of faerie that apparently resides in many of us, it quickly became an enormous draw, pulling in people from around the world. Who knew that so many of us still cling to those ancient stories? In 2009 Faerieworlds moved to Mt. Pisgah to accommodate what grew to 5000 people each day of the three-day festival.

Tara, me, and the Leader of the Rebellion (at least that's how she explained it).

Tara, me, and the Leader of the Rebellion (at least that’s how she explained it).

solemn green

solemn green

perched in purple

perched in purple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy in large ears and small hat.

Happy in large ears and small hat.

Resting her horns in the shade.

Resting her horns in the shade.

It’s a tribal gathering fiercely driven to provide a family-friendly, planet-cherishing environment in which all expressions are appreciated and even praised. Except for illegal substances, that is. Drug use is prohibited, smoking is severely restricted, alcohol is kept behind fences, and bad attitudes are scorned. Imagine: a gathering of thousands in which foul language and crankiness is disparaged! People stop to pick up trash, and interrupt their conversations to praise a stranger’s garb. If a child cries, a dozen heads turn to make sure he is not alone. All ages and all beings find delight in such a safe environment.

If faeries are not what inspires you, there is no rule about what form your personal expression must take. Elderly faeries and witches and sorcerers walk beside young fauns and pirates and superheroes. Pixies in wheelchairs roll among clusters of land-based jellyfish. There are valiant steampunk adventurers and bawdy wenches. There are mermaids with their own pool and horned mermen whose tail transforms to legs when it’s time to explore. We’ve seen unicorns, dragons, Na’vi, storm troopers and Darth Vader. This year there was a panda in a kimono, and Totoro.

Visions of loveliness are in every view.

Visions of loveliness are in every view.

green man

green man

black bird

black bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This winged creature is particularly fierce.

This winged creature is particularly fierce.

Every year I find a particular delight in the variety of materials that make up wings. There are fabric wings and metallic wings of shimmering tinsel or welded steel. There are steampunk wings of wooden slats and canvas and rotating gears. There were wings of embroidery hoops, of leafy branches, of black lace, and even of feathers. Mine were made of lacquered paper over wire, and Tara’s were gauzy black fabric, waving in the wind like cobwebs. Sometimes the wings light up, so the scene at night is brand new.

There are multiple music stages, and a puppet stage in the children’s area, nestled in the trees. There is also a simple stage of a cleared area that is commandeered by young actors who write and perform their own plays for fun. (Two young men advertising an upcoming show walked around selling rotten tomatoes to anyone who wanted to hurl tomatoes at a man in the stocks.) The musicians suit the theme of the event, always adorned to fit the setting, and sending their otherworldly sounds across the fields and into the vendors tents. Artists come from Australia, Norway, England, the U.S., and even mix it up among themselves like the band Delhi 2 Dublin.

Sadly, this was the last year at Mt. Pisgah. Due to the very unfaerylike behavior of attendees to a different Eugene festival, local residents complained about trash and noise and disrespect for neighboring properties, and a lawsuit shut all festivals down for good. Next year the fae folk will gather in a new location. Rumor was that it will be in Hillsboro, Oregon in 2015. Anyone who knows faery lore will understand that the realm follows no scientific laws that predict when or where it will appear again. Like the floating market in Neverwhere, we will wait for word, and then we’ll go to whereever the portal between practical life and fantasy is thin enough to walk through.

fungus hips

fungus hips

enormous wings

enormous wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tribe of friends share stories and acceptance.

A tribe of friends share stories and acceptance.

I watched this small faery as she investigated the mannequin. The little one held her hand and talked to her awhile.

I watched this small faery as she investigated the mannequin. The little one held her hand and talked to her awhile.

This tailor can handle wing repairs.

This tailor can handle all of your wing repairs.

A bone woman turned out to be less creepy than she looks.

A bone woman turned out to be less creepy than she looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pirate and witch team up.

Pirate and witch team up.

fox and faun

wolf and faun

sunset faery

sunset faery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each side of the embroidery hoop told a part of a faery story.

Four sides of the embroidery hoop told a part of a faery story.

Tara throws rotten tomatoes.

Tara throws rotten tomatoes.

Characters teach each other juggling tricks.

Characters teach each other juggling tricks.

The fae folk are famous for being tricksters.

The fae folk are famous for being tricksters.

Oh, gosh, I just can’t stop! I took photos and photos and photos. If you’d like to scroll through more, I’ll just add my flickr link. There, you can see Malificent, Totoro, a battle between a black-winged skull demon and a 3-year-old avenger, pirates, angels, revelers, hoola-hoopers, dancers, a member of OMNIA playing a digeridoo, and more.

Tempting in their beauty, but will you be safe if you follow them?

Alluringly beautiful, but will you be safe if you follow them?

I took my little faery south on our annual pilgrimage to the world of fae in the last days of July. It’s a three-day festival, but we usually only show up for one of them. Saturday morning we dug through our collections of lace & leather, wings, glitter, leather bags, silken scarves, horns, antennae and other adornment till we were satisfied with our costumes. Then we left for Mt. Pisgah in Buford Park, just outside of Eugene, Oregon.DSC_0528DSC_0517

This year the Froud family did not come, which is a little sad, because in my mind they are a link to the faery world that I love. Amy Brown was there, but I do prefer the wicked & mischievous faeries from Brian Froud and the mysterious otherworldly creatures of Wendy Froud, and the simple presence of Toby Froud, because he is also their creation. {yes, I’m a fangirl like that.}

Tara walks through the entrance sporting fabulous wings

Tara walks through the entrance sporting fabulous wings

My new headdress, modeled after a buckeye butterfly

My new headdress, modeled after a buckeye butterfly

My Tara girl

My Tara girl

Faery with attitude

Faery with attitude

she means

she means no harm…

These were probably my favourite wings of the day

my favourite wings of the day

Faerieworlds is a HUGE operation these days, much progressed from the intimate gatherings at the winery in Veneta, where it all began. There are three stages, a large and well-organized vendors village, a food village, and the wonderful Neverland for kids.

The Neverworld puppet stage is right above the pirate's hat

The Neverland puppet stage is right above the pirate’s hat

Neverland is built in the shade (so wise to do that for the small faeries), and is themed of course, of pirates and mermaids. There is a puppet stage (a fourth stage!) and the mermaid lagoon with actual swimming mermaids with fish tails. They had a lovely area for tea, where children sit on toadstools around a low table. There are small groups like minstrels that perform for any group of people sitting on a shaded slope.

Fewer pure faeries seemed to be about, and many more wildly creative magical creatures were there, like unicorns and jellyfish and wicked dark beings with teeth and spikes and horns. Fauns abound, and wizards, and dragons. Lots of pirates and mermaids. There were steampunk faeries, flower faeries, bird faeries, tree faeries, and the variety of wings never ceases to astonish and delight me. Tara said she loves how, when something shows up that does not fit the theme at all, everyone loves them just as much. Darth Vader? We love you too!

Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper and ...unicorns?

Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper and …unicorns?

Why, Elphaba, so glad you could make it!

Why, Elphaba, so glad you could make it!

Camp, Faery, Steampunk

Camp, Faery, Steampunk

The music is so wonderful. Who would have thought there were so many bands that would suit this gathering? An old favourite of ours showed up: The Wicker Men, with a resonant haunting reverberating sound that hums through your veins and touches something deeply tribal. Delhi 2 Dublin is by far our favourite of all because their irresistible world beat triggers muscles so that you can’t help but dance.

Check out the amazing insect wings, and that crazy steampunk contraption on the ground.

Check out the amazing insect wings, and that crazy steampunk contraption on the ground.

tea anyone?

tea anyone?

Prior to our arrival, Tara and I stopped finally at a Portland shop on Belmont we’ve been meaning to visit for the longest time. At Belfry, the proprietress makes delicious leathery wings and masks, and we each spotted something to bring to Faerieworlds. Our treasures were a hit, and we both received compliments all day long on our faery finery: Tara’s remarkable wings, and my butterfly headdress. I must stop back in at Belfry and let her know how successfully her wares would sell if she could get some to the next festival. The appeal being mainly that they are unlike anything else available, and so many people arrive with intent to outfit themselves from the vendors village.

Faerieworlds organizers make a concerted effort to encourage vendors to dress up their kiosks so that they do not appear as a simple white nylon tent. It adds so much to the mood of the place, and walking through it’s easy to be drawn into fantasy and make believe over and over.

Faerie Catchers! Things are looking bad for Tara. Look at the BEAR head!

Faerie Catchers! Things are looking bad for Tara. Look at the BEAR head!

Dressed up kiosk

Dressed up kiosk

A faery mists us in the hot afternoon

A faery mists us in the hot afternoon

Every year since 2007 we have entered the realm – except for 2012 when I was in Japan. It suits our magical spirits, our willingness to suspend disbelief, our yearning for ever more stories to weave through our daily life. I like to believe that if there were magical creatures among us, this is where they would appear. So maybe, just maybe, we really were amongst faeries that day.

a wild couple

a wild couple

faun

faun

mermaid

mermaid

red horns

red horns

invitation

invitation

Ring of Stones.

Ring of Stones in the center of Faerieworlds. See the elf perched on the stone on the right.

shimmering

shimmering

pirate

pirate

info tree

info tree

pouty faery

pouty faery

a map of the realm

a map of the realm

This is me, at the end of the day, as Miss T and I prepare to find a bed.

This is me, at the end of the day, as Miss T and I prepare to find a bed.

black leather

black leather

dancing

dancing

Fantastic wings! Will they even work?

Fantastic wings! Will they even work?

One of my many guises

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