Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Fairy Tale

Sepia Saturday this week has a 1920s ‘Health Fairy’ as a creative prompt, and I was reminded how popular fairies are in arts and crafts. In the Victorian era the paintings of Richard Dadd suggested rather sinister fairy folk, but artists such as Cicely Mary Barker and Arthur Rackham painted much more attractive creatures. Fairy ‘stories’ and books about fairies are still popular today and little girls love to dress up in layers of net with clip-on wings, holding a fairy wand. There are dozens of patterns available for soft-toy making and cross -stitch design too.

Here’s one I stitched over thirty years ago (not quite sepia) for my daughter’s tooth-fairy cushion. It’s a ‘Gloria and Pat’ design from 1977, and the original verse said:

Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy,
Please be kind.
In this pocket my
Tooth you’ll find.
Take it out and leave for me,
A nickle, a dime,
Or maybe three.
As decimal currency was still a fairly recent arrival in Britain (the one pence was a called a ‘P’ ), it was easy to change the rhyme. I understand that these days children expect rather more than twenty pence per tooth! My son’s cushion had a cheeky - looking elf, and the following rhyme:
When at night you rest your head,
Place this pillow on your bed,
With your tooth tucked just inside
For the fairy’s nice surprise.  
This was more open to interpretation, and left it to to the Tooth Fairy’s discretion as to how much the tooth would fetch. My son tried to get the better of the fairy by hiding his tooth and was surprised to find a note from her tucked in the pocket of the cushion next morning wondering where her promised tooth was. He still has the cushion but for some reason I don’t have a picture of it. I still have both patterns too.

And here are a couple more of my fairy friends in cross-stitch.

If you believe in fairies it would be worth flying over to Sepia Saturday to see what contributors have made of the picture prompt below.

Over at my other blog you can meet some real sepia fairy folk.

Also linking to Lakota's Ta Dah Tuesday.


  1. You're so talented, I wish I was able to make half as many things for my children. The tooth fairy leaves 50p in this house, but is apparently stupidly generous in some households!

    I was (still am really) always a big fan of the Flower Fairies, so beautifully drawn and a good way to learn about trees and plants too.

  2. Well shoot - now I'm remembering the cross-stitch I did for both my girls at their birth. It's a fairy along with the name, date and weight.

  3. The Flower Fairy books were in our house when we were children too.

  4. Beautiful work, Nell. It conjured up memories of scrounging around for money and waiting up until the kids were fast asleep to exchange the money for the tooth tucked under their pillow. When my daughter Kristin was 5, she lost her tooth. We gave her fifty cents. She was so mad about the low pay that she loosened another tooth and lost it the next day! My ex said, well, anybody who works that hard deserves a raise. She woke up to a dollar the next morning, lol.

  5. So nice to see the design by Gloria and Pat. Being in the needlework business, I knew them both. Gloria died several years ago, but Pat is still around and still creating cross stitch designs.
    Great post.

  6. Adorable fairies! (abbieandeveline.com)

  7. Of course the toothfairy is number one still on my list! Extremely charming artwork as well! Somebody knows her fairy stuff!

  8. Does the tooth fairy still call when you are old and grey. I have got to the stage in my life when a tooth fell out the other day without warning or cause. It would be rather nice if I could trade it in for a decent bottle of single malt.

  9. pretty. I embroidered a tooth fairy pillow for my children when they were small. Hope to pass it on to a new generation some day.

  10. I've never seen a tooth fairy cushion before, what a pretty design yours is.

  11. Wonderful stitching. As I never had a tooth fairy pillow, I'm hoping for someone to stitch me a pillow for the senior stage of life health landmarks - the surgery pillow, the arthritis pillow and so on.

  12. What fun pillows to use in anticipation of the tooth fairy. When I was a kid we put our tooth under the pillow and by morning it magically disappeared with a few coins in its place. The pillows look like great fun and add to the experience of losing a tooth.

  13. In Australia, we have an advertisement where a little boy in his pajamas takes his grandparents false teeth out of the jar and puts under his pillow for the tooth fairy. I can't remember what the ad is even for (maybe financial planning or banks) but it is cute.

  14. So sweet! I used to do loads of cross stitch and tapestry but I don't think my eyes are up to it nowadays!
    The tooth fairy actually forgot to come for my daughters 2nd tooth loss. Oh, the howls of outrage in the morning! Shame on me! But I said it was because I hadn't emailed her to tell her to come. Because she doesn't just swing by every night on the off chance!

  15. These are so cute! How awesome and talented you are.:) I learned to cross-stitch in HS and I have not done any in a very long time. I should try again.

  16. You are such a thoughtful and talented Mum! I bet your son and daughter were thrilled with those beautiful creations! x

  17. I remember being so sad when younger that fairies were way out of fashion. There are rather too many of them these days for little girls to enjoy though. My favourite are the Cicely Mary Barker flower fairies and if you can still find the original books and illustrations they are truly lovely. The modern spin offs have of course cheapened them...

  18. You're quite good with these!!

  19. Hi hope I am doing this correctly, it is my first time replying to a blog. The above tooth fairy pillows were THE EXACT pillows my brother and I had as children, I was born in 1974, he in 1976. My brother now has a 3 and 5 year old and wants to have my mother make them pillows from the patterns which are missing :( . Is there any way I can get a copy of these patterns from you? I would gladly pay you to copy them and for postage. I can even send you the picture to show you the exact replicas we have as proof--my tooth fairy pillow was in shades of green instead of lavender, though. Thank you in advance for your consideration! Tonya in South Carolina