Ever wondered where fairies spend a penny?

Too funny…  the thought of fairies piddling and pooping is generally not uppermost in one’s mind. Not ever, when writing 90 odd pages of The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen, over several months, did I even once consider it.

Yet on my insomnomaniacal trawling through interesting fairy-related stuff on Instagram I found that some incredibly innovative person – Denise of  Dingley Dwellings – had come up with exactly that… a lovely little loo for the fairies.

Had to muffle my face in the pillow to avoid waking up the entire house – because my first reaction was to snort out laughing and my second was OMG! That is beyond cute! Did you ever?

Of course thereafter I could easily imagine Marigold, Bella Dew and Winona Wurm flushing stardust down that beautiful little bog in some leafy corner of Faerie Glen Nature Reserve.  I could even imagine the mischievous little worms peeking into those heart-shaped windows. Although I reckon Madame Shews would insist on having her own “powder room” – the snooty old baggage.

Dingley Dwellings have many other delicious little (and not so little) morsels of fairy stuff that you absolutely have to go and look at. They have a  website and are happy to undertake commissions as well.  You can also follow them on Facebook.

Their delightful dwellings get used for all sorts of interesting things, like water features and solar lights – but I pilfered this paragraph from the tips and suggestions section of their website because it simply tickled me pink!

“We weren’t aware of this, but a lady customer with small children who had owned a dwelling for several years said that when her little ones lose their first teeth, instead of placing them under the pillow as is customary, the teeth are now placed beneath the dwelling. IT WORKS! In the morning the tooth is gone and in its place – a fairy payment! We’ve tried it with our grandchildren and can confirm this is the case – and it is so much easier for the fairies! (None of that fishing around beneath a pillow in the middle of the night!) Another top tip – thanks again!”

When I was growing up we had a mouse and our teeth were lovingly placed in a slipper at the foot of our bed. I continued the same tradition with my own children. Just the other day I had the mouse vs fairy conversation with two of my sister’s-in-law. I lost.

Who would you vote for – Tooth Fairy or the Tooth Mouse?



Whimsical Hollow

I was trawling around Instagram in the middle of the night – as I often do when I can’t sleep – and I came across the most delightful collection of fairy houses. Little magical gems that you want to dive into, open the door, stroll around the inside of the house and meet the occupants.

Judge for yourself…

Turns out Haley started making these little creations around nine months ago.  She works full time and back then she was also planning a wedding and studying part time for a degree in business management. She really needed something to do that wasn’t any of those things, something stress free.

Says Haley, “I’ve always loved anything whimsical so I thought I would try making my own fairy house and now I’m addicted! I wasn’t planning on making them to sell as I get attached to everyone that I make, but I’m running out of room now so I had to have to start selling them.”

She’s also looking at starting tutorials on how she makes them. Everyone she makes is unique and special to her so it’s really hard to see them go! Her attention to detail is absolutely amazing.

Haley is going to read The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen when she gets some time and she’s going to think about possibly creating a fairy house for one of the characters from the Glen. Maybe a birds nest fairy house for Proffy… or something for Granny Catty?

You can follow Haley and her fairy houses on Instagram .  She’s based in Germany – so if anybody out there wants to invest in a Christmas present that will totally delight somebody – young or old – contact her.

Marigold… the sunshine-flavoured fairy.

By now you all know that my daughter Igz is illustrating the print version of The Imaginaeries of Faerie Glen!

When I say illustrating, I mean little sketches – what we really want is for you to use your imagination and magic up your own version of the fairies.

Slowly but surely this really is happening. Really… it is. Or it had better be.

She brings them to me one by one. Usually I have to beg for the latest masterpiece.

Unless it is a Sunday morning and then she’s hovering around outside our bedroom window, sending whats apps with beggy hands saying “When OH WHEN are you getting up you lazy baggage!!???”.

(In case you are wondering, Igz lives in a flatlet on the property – she has keys to the house, obviously, and sometimes leaves little illustrated presents for me on my laptop.)

We are breaking the mold of fairies. There are no cute little fluffy dresses and sparkly bows. Instead, the Imaginaeries roam quietly around the Glen in spotted sneekers and comfy snugs. They wear trendy leggings and jeans with little cropped tops. They have wing-piercings, tattoos and all sorts of other fabulously jazzy stuff. They are free-spirited and outspoken.

Judge for yourself…

This is the final version of Marigold.


About the illustrator

Igz is a creative dabbler of note!

Her first love is sewing, preferably renovating previously loved articles into something innovative and dashing.

She’s been doing this since she was a little girl – her mother would find neatly cut up articles of clothing, often new clothing, stashed in various places. At the age of three she would make pictures on the floor with her clothes in the morning, add a scarf or a belt, and then when she was happy with what it all looked like, she would climb into the picture.

She went to extra art classes when she was in primary school. Her gran had given the classes to her as a gift. When the series of classes came to an end, the art teacher told her gran that she would prefer it if Igz did not return. The reason – she wanted to do her own thing. She refused to follow orders and make the same stuff that everybody else was making.  She broke the box at a very early age.

She makes one-off dolls to die for. Fabulously quirky creatures.

Imaginaeries – the dolls

These are the original Imaginaeries – complete with tattoos, piercings and trendy clothes. (They sell for R350 if you are interested in having a one-off designer doll!)

When she’s not sewing, she can be found drawing – on paper, material or any surface that she fancies. Fabulous ink blot drawings, mushrooms, mandalas or more quirky little creatures.

When she’s not drawing or sewing she’s rather fond of hula hooping and is a pro. She spent a year supporting herself by giving hula hoop lessons via skype to ladies in the USA! Not to mention being imported to KZN do hula hoop workshops for kids and adults at a science festival.

At one stage of her young life Igz was a drummer in a band. At another… a tattoo artist.

Like a true artist, she gets bored easily and moves on to the next thing.

Various versions of the Imaginaeries have been circling in her head (and on paper) for the last few years and it’s only now, with her mom available to put her thoughts into words, that the story has fully materialized.