In our garden is a huge rose cypress tree. Under it lies a fairy ring and in the winter hosts a fairy village. All summer long during the long warm nights, we can hear ever so slightly the dancing music playing, the joyous laughter of fairy’s voices ringing out like silver bells, and the buzzing of wings.
Have you ever wondered why it is that we can see and hear the evidence of fairies but we can’t actually see them?
One night the children and I set out to answer this very question. We chose to sleep on the screen porch to be silent and observe the fairy tree for any activity. As we waited, the hour got long and eyelids became heavy. Soon everyone was fast asleep. In the time between midnight and dawn, when the world is especially quiet, I heard a little chattering voice. What was it saying? Could I make out the words?
“Have you thought of the consequences of losing your cloak?” said a stern voice. “What if a mortal catches sight of you?”
And with that my eyes flew open. Being careful not to move a muscle but still wondering if the children were asleep, I quickly looked to the left. As I caught a glimpse of them, I noticed their eyes were wide open too. They had heard it. Mouthing the words, little “O” said, “Did you hear that?”
Nodding in unison, we made the decision to leave the screen porch through the kitchen, and sneak down to the fairy tree. Could it be true that we had just discovered the invisible secret of the fairy world?
Hiding behind our magnolia tree, we watched as the fairy queen commanded one and all to approach the loom. Quickly the fairies went to fastening the warp. Another group of fairies started tossing down a collection of dew from the trees which was quickly woven into a gossamer web fabric. Oh how it shimmered in the moonlight.
“Hurry! There isn’t time to waste!” encouraged the Queen.
As the cloak finished, all of the fairies regarded their work with great satisfaction and pride.
“Quickly put on your cloaks! Someone is coming!” said one of the fairies in the tree.
Just then the joyful gathering we had been witnessing disappeared. We all gasped in surprise and then we saw a shadow under the fairy tree. What was it? It was then that I noticed that I was missing a child.
“Mom! Look I caught it!” Mimi called out.
“What?” I yelled in a whisper.
There stood Mimi with the loom in her hand and the beautiful nearly invisible cloak still on its warp. As Mimi stood facing us a little glow of light landed on the branches behind her. We stood there in awe. Could it be true that we were actually seeing a fairy right there next to us?
With that there was no time to wonder. Thwap! went something against Mimi’s head. Soon her hair was flying in all directions.
“Give it to me!” the tiniest voice yelled.
As Mimi swatted at the flying buzzing chaos around her head, an argument began. “I will not give it back to you. I caught it fair and square.”
“Haven’t you heard of the trouble which comes to mortals who see fairies? Give me back my cloak and I will cause you no more incidents.”
“What if I kept the cloak on this loom for myself, would I be invisible too? Would I be able to see and play with fairies?”
“Yes,” came the answer, “but only the parts of you the cloak could cover. You are very big and the cloak wouldn’t cover any of you.”
“I suppose you’re right. I can’t just give it back to you. How will I prove that I saw you and that you live in my garden? How can I ever see you again once you are invisible? Nobody will believe me. Well, except for them,” she said, as she pointed to us standing in front of her.
Just then the brightest light came down from the tallest point in the tree. We just stood there and stared as it slowly descended. It came into sight. It was a very beautiful fairy wearing a crown of gold and a green velvet dress which had been greatly embroidered. Her hair shimmered red in the moonlight.
“Greetings, I am Eleanor, Queen of the Fairies. I have seen over these many years how you have built and cared for us here in this tree. How you have always believed in us, even though you could not see us. I have a truce to make with you. Give back the loom with the cloak on it and as your reward let us teach you how to make your own loom to weave in. You can place flowers and vines, yarn and thread, beads and pearls and messages to us in it. Let it hang from the trees or rest in the fields. In return we promise to leave you little reminders that we are still here as a sign of our gratitude in return for the care you give us and as proof that we exist.”
“Can I show my friends how to make them too?”
“Tell as many as you wish and make beauty in your gardens,” said the queen. “For that is what truly attracts fairies.”
“Ok, I agree,” Mimi said. And with that, Mimi handed over the magic loom to the queen.
“Much thanks,” said the Queen, “and now to teach you how to make your own loom and have windows to our world.”
“Gather 5 sticks to make a window with a sash.
Glue them and bind them tight so they will last.
Add string or some twine to warp it together.
Now your fairy loom is ready to receive the gifts of the garden.
“Collect the lovely flowers of Summer and Spring. Climbing vines and blossomed branches, shells, yarn and ribbons. Gently weave them over and under to make a garden cloak fit for a fairy queen. Look for the messages between mortals and fairies as proof that such friendships do exist.
Handing Mimi the newly made garden loom, the fairy queen began to ascend back up the tree with the little fairy that had lost her cloak. Slowly they moved up and up until finally they disappeared.
Since that time our garden has always had several fairy looms hanging from the trees or sitting in the garden. Always we weave the most beautiful flowers and things in them and always they leave a little something for us in return.
How To Make A Fairy Loom
Find five sticks. Two long ones for the sides and three smaller ones to fit in between the long sticks.
Glue the sticks in place with wood glue. Wait until the glue has dried before going onto step three.
Take yarn or string and wrap it around each place that you have glued to make sure the sticks stay secure.
Now your loom is ready to warp.
How to Warp your Fairy Loom
Take jute string and measure it starting from the second stick at the top of the loom to the bottom stick of the loom. Now make that length again to double it. For small looms you will need about 10 of these warp strings. Medium size looms take 12 and larger looms can take as many as 15 to 20 strings.
Bring the ends of your strings together to form a loop.
Place the loop behind the cross stick.
Bring the ends up through the loop to embrace the cross stick. Put the slip knot into the position you would like it.
Divide the jute string: one part goes behind the bottom cross stick and the other in front. Pull the strings so that it is tight and tie strings into a square knot. Do this for all of your warp strings until your loom is ready for weaving.
Weaving on your Fairy Loom
Go out to your garden and pick a collection of blossoms, vines, branches from herb plants, flowers from your gardens.
Take things that you found such as little bells or shells, little nuts, yarn, bits of ripped fabric, paper. Anything that you’ve found that can fit on the loom works.
I always like to start with a vine or branch to give the special things a base to hold them. Weave under and over. When starting the next row, start over then under.
From here, it’s your very own creation. You can lightly place your lovely plants and objects or you can tightly weave a plant based mat, carpet, cloak. Don’t forget to tie in a little message for your fairies and see if they leave something in return.
Happy creating. May your garden be filled with the beauty of fairies.
Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book, derives the greatest pleasure from taking the books she reads and helping them come alive with her family, book club, friends, and workshops. An advocate for literacy, Valarie spends many quality hours helping at risk readers. She spends her days with her husband, three creative children, and one adored cat. Together they live in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. You can also visit Valerie on her blog, A Place Like This.