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?

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