The world has become something of a dark faerie tale one would never know the telling of if casting their gaze upon my home in the Pacific Northwest awash with spring’s flush of green. Though quiet are our surroundings of human interaction, our lives are still filled with days where the very air vibrates with the drone of bees and the beat of hummingbirds who fight for the nectar of the especially sweet honeysuckle that rambles up the side of our home. Evenings still belong to the magical ones who ride upon the silky streams of moonlight as twilight settles in shades of indigo and I wonder, as I watch toads lumber from beneath mossy logs and bats flit and flitter above a river that ripples obsidian, if the spirits of nature are aware of what is happening in our mundane lives- if they understand the anxiety, loneliness or loss so many are feeling at this time. Then I feel the breath of wind as it caresses my cheek and calms my spirit and reminds me to linger in the quiet days and to enjoy the little enchantments life has to offer, and I know that they are aware and are telling me everything will be alright.
I find solace in the garden- and have used my extra time to rediscover the beauty that is in my very own backyard. A recent project included making an old back yard swing into a mossy faerie bed that I entwined with grape vine clippings and a yellow flowering vine. The moss used for the bedding was gathered from a tree that had fallen in a storm.
With a little imagination we can add enchantment to our lives simply and inexpensively. My love of faerie creatures and midsummer magical masquerade balls inspired another project- Papier Mache masks. Easy enough to involve the kids, creating these masks definitely turns a mundane day into something enchanting and you might be surprised to find you have all, or most, of the ingredients on hand.
Magical Papier Mache Masks
5-6 sheets of plain white copy paper
2 cups hot water
White glue (such as Elmer’s)
Plasticine (or modeling) clay
Discarded 2 lb jug or other rounded container
Acrylic craft paint
Modge Podge or other sealer
Ribbon for tying
1. Tear paper into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Pour hot water over the top and let sit until water is cooled. Place mixture into a blender or food processor and liquefy into a slurry.
2. Use a cheese cloth (or your hands) to squeeze water from pulp. Put back into mixing bowl and a few tablespoons of white glue to mixture until slightly sticky but holds it shape. Set aside in a plastic storage bag.
3. Lay jug on its side. Form plasticine clay (as it stays pliable and can be used to create many molds) and create a mask mold. Don’t forget to cut out eyes and leave room for your nose. Be creative. Add ears for a rabbit or fox mask or a beak if it’s a bird mask. Lay the clay of on the curve of the jug.
4. Now take piece of your Papier Mache pulp and press it onto your mold. When you are done, let dry for up to 48 hours.
5. When dry, carefully peel your mask from clay mold. Use scissors or an exacto knife to trim around eyes and edges if needed.
6. This is the time to add feathers, fur, flowers or other pieces that will give your mask dimension. (If you do not want to add dimension to your mask move on to step 7). Take pieces of Papier Mache and form them as best you can into leaves, flowers, feathers etc. and press onto your mask. Allow to dry up to 24 hours.
Use acrylic craft paint to decorate your mask. Have fun and be creative. When paint is dry, add a layer of sealer. When dry, hot glue ribbons onto inside corners of mask.
Wear your masks for a magical tea party on the balcony, for twilight picnics with the kids in the backyard or for an impromptu dance under moonlit skies.
For more ideas about Raising a magickal family in a mundane world- check out my book, "The Magickal Family, Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature," available wherever books are sold.