Last weekend, we headed to Tacoma for the Spring Fairy Festival – this was our third year vending at it, and our first time setting up shop outdoors. It was quite the adventure, since we arrived in a bit of a downpour of rain…the tent kept us dry, thankfully, but a persistent wind kept blowing through. That’s the glory of spring weather, I suppose – unpredictable, challenging, & nourishing, all at the same time.
Organized by Crescent Moon Gifts and now hosted at their shop on Tacoma’s bustling 6th Ave., the Spring Fairy Festival is a magical event filled with the most inspiring and diverse group of artisans and performers. Jugglers and stilt-walkers make their way through the crowds, fairies bedecked in gossamer wings flit around, haunting cello music & foot-stomping Celtic tunes fill the air, and every tent is filled with the most marvelously creative wares…handmade coats, fairy crowns, felt creatures, oils, soaps, paintings…
This was the festival’s 9th year, and it was picking up one of their flyers by chance a few years ago that inspired me to start sharing my series of whimsical paintings & drawings with the world. I’m so grateful for that, as I’ve met the most wonderful and supportive folks through this artistic journey. I always look forward to seeing familiar faces (and meeting new ones!) at the Spring Fairy Festival every year.
This year, I’ve made a commitment to bring my art to more festivals and fairs. I love getting an opportunity to chat with visitors and other artists, and it also gives me a chance to set up a little miniature Hearthstone Fables world in my booth.
My goal is to create a new coloring page for each event this year (don’t quote me on that – we’ll see how well I stick to it), which I’ve been handing out for free at the events and then making available as free downloads (here). I brought with me a “Salmonberry Faery” coloring page in celebration of the Spring Fairy Festival (I’m quite enamored with this beautiful, native Pacific Northwest berry), and I was so happy to see kids and adults alike taking pages home with them.
I was also excited to offer a Collection for the first time – a group of pieces all revolving around a single theme (in this case, Midsummer), and each created with a different medium. I set up an original painting (“Midsummer Sojourn”), along with a Vignette (“Elderflower Cordial”), and a 3-dimensional Scene (“Midsummer Celebration”). The complication, though, ended up being the wind – trying to keep the little 3D cut-out pieces from blowing over and getting damaged was a bit of a challenge.
And then there’s the wild rose crown. My friend Ashley (For A Lark on Etsy) weaves the most amazing flower crowns (using fresh flowers & leaves!) and makes a variety of other wares…pouches, purses, dresses, cuffs, etc. She’s the extraordinary woman who weaves crowns at Camlann Medieval Village, and I was so thrilled to have her flitting around the Spring Fairy Festival this year. She was a roaming vendor, carrying a basket full of delightful flower crowns, and since my booth was her home base, I got to revel in their wonderful scents. What’s more – she made this gorgeously ferny, wild rose crown for me, knowing my deep love for the rose’s wild cousins.
All of the musicians who we had the pleasure of listening to were absolutely wonderful, but I was particularly thrilled to listen to an ethereal performance by cellist Betsy Tinney. We first heard her play just a few weeks earlier, and we were completely captivated by her music and bought her stunning album. I was amazed to then find out that she would be performing at the Spring Fairy Festival – serendipitous, indeed! Betsy is such a kind, gracious person, and her CD – “Release the Cello!” – has quickly become one of my absolute favorites (her daughter did the beautiful album artwork, by the way!)
Even with the rain and the chilly weather, it was a beautiful day celebrating creativity and craftsmanship. I was thrilled that one of my personal favorite paintings (“Persephone”) found a home, as did so many prints & cards. Many thanks to Angela and her troop of staff and volunteers for putting this festival on every year – we’re grateful for their hard work, as the Spring Fairy Festival is such a marvelous gathering of the most diverse talent!
Till next year – cheers!