🧚‍♀️Happy International Fairy Day🧚‍♀️ / by Janine Fron

“Do you believe in fairies? Say quick that you believe.”
James M. Barrie
(author of Peter and Wendy & creator of Peter Pan)

Today we celebrate International Fairy Day. Jens Jensen, Carl Sandburg, May T. Watts, and Marion Mahony Griffin of the Prairie School Era all believed in fairies, and included them in their creative works.

Jens Jensen would orchestrate Fairy Festivals attended by thousands in Chicago’s at risk parks and endangered landscapes he worked so hard to conserve, including the Indiana Dunes. Carl Sandburg, who rallied for the environment with Jensen, wrote a children’s story in 1922 called “How to Tell Corn Fairies If You See ’Em.” May T. Watts also revealed in a short story called ‘Dune Magic’: “I knew there were fairies in Duneland . . . I saw one.”

Historic photograph of a fairy ring dance performance at the Indiana Dunes, from the Jens Jensen Archive, used with permission from the Sterling Morton Library, The Morton Arboretum. Jens Jensen organized ‘The Pageant of the Year and Play Festival’ (1915) located in Chicago’s legendary Garfield Park that was among the many outdoor festivals he often orchestrated to create awareness of endangered regional landscapes. At one event, nearly 1,400 costumed children and adults participated in telling a story of the changing seasons of the year for an outdoor audience of 25,000 people.

Historic photograph of a fairy ring dance performance at the Indiana Dunes, from the Jens Jensen Archive, used with permission from the Sterling Morton Library, The Morton Arboretum. Jens Jensen organized ‘The Pageant of the Year and Play Festival’ (1915) located in Chicago’s legendary Garfield Park that was among the many outdoor festivals he often orchestrated to create awareness of endangered regional landscapes. At one event, nearly 1,400 costumed children and adults participated in telling a story of the changing seasons of the year for an outdoor audience of 25,000 people.

Marion Mahony Griffin was commissioned to paint an enchanting mural that illuminates a day in the life of the fairies for the George B. Armstrong School of International Studies in Chicago. She created drawings for children's readers of poems and fairy tales with her cousin Lucy Fitch Perkins, whose popular ‘Twins’ series was made into paper dolls.

Details from Marion Mahony Griffin’s commissioned mural for the George B. Armstrong School of International Studies in Chicago, photographed by Janine Fron. Used with permission.

Details from Marion Mahony Griffin’s commissioned mural for the George B. Armstrong School of International Studies in Chicago, photographed by Janine Fron. Used with permission.

In his Rootabaga Stories for children Carl Sandburg wrote: “All corn fairies wear overalls. They work hard, the corn fairies, and they are proud. The reason they are proud is because they work so hard. And the reason they work so hard is because they have overalls.”

The Prairie Fairies cooperative game experience was made in appreciation for everyone who makes our clothes. I was inspired by children’s stories, including ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker,’ Louisa May Alcott ’s Flower Fables and Jen’s Jensen’s dramatic masques that were performed long ago in the Midwest to protect endangered native landscapes.

Prairie inspired bespoke flora fashions for Celeste, Mai, Yasmine, Harmony and Rose: the   Prairie Fairies   game set includes unique fashion cards made from pressed flower petals and leaves, silk and locally raised organic wool along with a hand-painted prairie meadow muslin play mat and matching drawstring storage bag.

Prairie inspired bespoke flora fashions for Celeste, Mai, Yasmine, Harmony and Rose: the Prairie Fairies game set includes unique fashion cards made from pressed flower petals and leaves, silk and locally raised organic wool along with a hand-painted prairie meadow muslin play mat and matching drawstring storage bag.

The moonlight fades from
flower and tree,
And the stars dim one by one;
The tale is told, the song is sung,
And the fairy feast is done.

‘Fairy Song’ in Flower Fables
-Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott also enjoyed designing her own doll clothes for friends during her youth while Jane Austen told her own fairyland stories to her nieces and let them play dress-up with her wardrobe when they visited. What we wear, what we eat, how it is made, and where it comes from all connect us to the earth and each other in the fabric of life.

Scenes from a   Prairie Fairies   Game Day: Players exchange flora fashions and plant seeds in the garden in   Prairie Fairies ,  while enjoying tea on location at a local treasure– All Chocolate Kitchen  in Geneva, Illinois.

Scenes from a Prairie Fairies Game Day: Players exchange flora fashions and plant seeds in the garden in Prairie Fairies, while enjoying tea on location at a local treasure–All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva, Illinois.

May luck stars be over you!

[a Sandburg family saying]

Please enjoy!

-JF

🧚‍♂️🧚‍♀️