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.