Four Little Handmade Halloween Witches

Fall is already here in Seattle, Halloween is just around the corner, and I’ve been whipping up some miniature little witch dolls to celebrate!

a group of four handmade miniature witches for halloween decorations

If you’ve been following my blog, it may come as no surprise that my favorite holiday is absolutely, 100 percent Halloween. Crafting these spooky little witches was the perfect way to get me into the holiday spirit. These are all based on my miniature Paperclay art doll pattern (a tutorial for which can be found here), though each one is one of a kind and completely unique! They have jointed limbs and black felt witch hats, with different faces, hairstyles, tiny outfits, and little handcrafted accessories. They even each have their own little rhyming poem, written to describe the personality of each doll!

Morwenna: Marvelous Morwenna / stirs her brew. / In goes a salamander, / a frog, a newt.

miniature handmade halloween witch carrying a bottle of witch's brew and a broom

Morwenna carries her own miniature bottle of handmade witch’s brew in one hand, and her broom in the other. She wears a traditional black witch dress with a striped corset secured with tiny red ribbons.

Amanita: Amanita, with her broom / sweeps the stardust from the moon.

Grumpy little Amanita is probably my favorite of the group! She has long, black, Wednesday Adams – style braids, a striped skirt, and carries her own little hand crafted witch’s broom.

Stella: Elegant Stella, in her hat / hexes a little of this and that.

No one wears a witch hat quite like Stella. Stella has a thick black braid and a stylish over-sized witch hat, and wears an elegant Victorian-inspired velvet and lace dress. Perhaps she’s going to a fancy Halloween ball!

Penny: “Pish,” said my mother, “Don’t worry dear / Tis naught but Penny the Pumpkin Witch / and a pumpkin is nothing to fear!”

Poor Penny; no one is afraid of a Pumpkin! Little Penny wears a patched orange wool skirt and matching scarf with a green sweater. Her curly black hair is free and wild, and she carries a miniature jack o’ lantern pumpkin.

Penny and Morwenna are already sold and on their way to their new homes, but Amanita and Stella are still available in my Etsy shop.

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The Free Folk was Featured in a Beautiful Blog Article

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I’m so honored to have been featured in a beautiful article by fellow blogger The Wild Juniper! The Wild Juniper posts weekly artist features in the Lifestyles section of her blog, and looking back over her past posts, she’s picked some fantastic artists and makers that I can’t wait to check out!

Leah, head of The Wild Juniper, is an incredible writer who perfectly captured the way that I work and how stories shape and inspire every aspect of my art – and the rest of my everyday life! I hope you’ll take the time to read the full feature here, and to view more of my dolls in my Etsy shop!

New Fairy Tale Shadowbox Art: “The Key in the Forest”

A key shimmers in the forest, hanging from the bough of a tree. What is it to? Where does it lead?

miniature diorama of a magical fairytale forest

For “The Key in the Forest” I was able to try out a new art medium combining painting and miniatures: creating a magical fairy tale shadowbox!

magical forest diorama art by The Free Folk

I created the magic-mirror-style sliding lid I used with this wooden box and the tiny clay mushrooms which peep up from the moss several months ago, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to use them. Later, after a tree was cut down in my neighborhood, I came across a bundle of sticks that looked remarkably like slender dark trees, and found an interesting miniature key hidden at the bottom of my drawer of charms and beads. I began to imagine a dark forest growing behind a mirror, a tiny forest which could fit in the palm of my hand, and a magic key hidden there…

“The Key in the Forest” is created in a wooden box about 7 inches high by 5 inches wide by 4 inches deep. The cardboard sliding lid was made by me and painted with watercolors and gilt. Inside, all four sides of the box are painted to resemble a fairy tale forest. Sticks form the forest’s dark trees, and moss carpets the forest floor and creates the trees’ canopy. Handmade clay mushrooms peep out from the forest floor, and in the center of the scene hangs a shimmering miniature key.

The piece is signed and dated on the back, where its name is also written. It is available for purchase now in my Etsy shop here.

My Etsy Shop is Reopening

vintage art doll with spring flowers and the free folk logo

The Free Folk has made it across the US and we’re settling into our new home in Seattle! As of today, my Etsy shop is officially open and we’re ready to begin taking orders again. I’ve got it all dressed up for spring with new art! Our road trip was both exhausting and wonderful, and I’ll be sharing some photos of the journey on my blog over the course of this week. Happy shopping!

Mason Jar Snow Globes are Available in my Etsy Shop

handmade mason jar snow globes for christmas

Every year around Christmas, I make a batch of special mason jar snow globes to offer in my Etsy shop. This year’s batch is now up and currently available for sale, just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Christmas gift shopping sprees!

handmade christmas snow globes in mason jars
Personalized snow globes

I’m currently offering several options that can be customized with a special banner, including a single tree, a set of trees, and my special large “shower of stars” snow globes. I also usually make an extra-special, one of a kind Narnia snow globe each year, featuring the story’s iconic lamp post. This year’s has just been listed along with my other snow globes.

handmade narnia lamp post snow globe in a mason jar
This year’s Narnia snow globe

If you’re looking for a fun Christmas craft that you can make yourself, or are interested in whipping up a batch of these to use as decorations or give as gifts, last year I blogged my tutorial detailing how these are made. Try it out, and let me know how you personalized your own globes!

“Little Mouse-Skin,” the Miniature Hand-Bound Fairy Tale

miniature hand-bound fairy tale book

“Once upon a time, there lived a tiny girl on whom had been placed an enchantment, so that in her sleep each night she became a small white mouse…”

In the process of creating my very special “Little Mouse-Skin” art doll project, I began to imagine a story for my doll, a tiny fairy tale to fit the scale I was working on. Thus the short tale “Little Mouse-Skin: A Fairy Tale of Miniature Proportions” was born.

miniature hand-bound paper book of a fairy tale

“When the girl dreamed, her delicate tail curled around herself, she dreamed of her nose twitching in the morning air, of the brush of soft fur, of the smell of the earth and the warm winter sleep in her underground lair. Because of this enchantment, the girl was known to the other inhabitants of the forest as Little Mouse-Skin…”

miniature hand-bound illustrated fairy tale book

Though my art doll set includes a professionally printed copy of the tale, I also dreamed of creating a little miniature version entirely on my own. The story – one of enchantment and surprising transformations, written in traditional fairy tale language – I felt needed a beautiful and unique binding to match. I began painting and photographing my own watercolor illustrations to go along with the story, and spent a long time figuring out how best to scale, paginate, and print my own little book.

"once upon a time" page in an illustrated miniature fairy tale book

“Though the other creatures of the forest came in pairs, from the blind moles underground to the singing birds of the air, Little Mouse-Skin found that there was no creature who made a pair to herself…”

The finished hand-bound miniature book is approximately 2×4 inches and printed on silky heavy-weight paper, the story accented with my own printed watercolor illustrations. The first edition is hand-bound with moss green wax thread and a pink crystal bead, and features unique end papers, hand torn antiqued pages, and decorated covers.

miniature illustrated fairy tale book with flowers and vines

The first edition is currently available in my Etsy shop. If it sells, my plan is to continue to make the miniature books to order, with each one being a little different and truly one of a kind.