Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Word "Wish"

The word wish is a powerful one, more so than I think any other word I know. It represents a want, a need, a desire, a dream. Something you hope for or something you don't. To me, the word itself can run the gamut from the mundane (I wish I had a cheese sandwich) to wishing for the extraordinary and the magical.

Making wishes gives us all, the very  young to the very old, the ability to not give up dreaming.It gives us the drive to hope for something more and to strive for it. Making wishes, dreaming and allowing yourself to imagine are not only crucial for allowing to hope but it allows us to strive for better things. 

There are many resources out there that discuss the power of visualization and writing down goals in order to help aspire them. The same can be said for wishes. While I am sure people expect the literal definition of their wants come to fruition, that is not always the case. Not everything is cut an dry, literal and realistic in that fashion. Sometimes the results are more abstract. However, the results are not the true end goal. Allowing yourself to have thoughts and feelings of wanting more, to make extraordinary wishes and allowing yourself to dream. 

Go out and pick yourself a blank journal, sketchbook, notebook, scrapbook etc. You can do this either alone, with kids or both! Fill the books with things that inspire you, things  you love. It can be pictures, words, drawings whatever your heart desires. Keeping your inspirations close helps to keep you inspired. You can also use it to write down or even illustrate your wishes. It is always a good idea when you are feeling down or just want to look back to go back to the journal. It shows you where you've been, where you are going and helps you to refocus when you have gone through a rough time. It is a wonderful project to do with kids. Going through magazines finding pictures they like, or even going out and taking pictures of nature and things of wonder and beauty with them. They can also use this as a place to write down dreams and wishes or draw them out.

It is also vitally important to allow children to dream. Too often we put limitations on them; limits defined by society and values of our predecessors. Also in this day and age kids are overstimulated.. TV, Video Games, and an overabundance of toys really deter a childs imagination rather than stimulate it. This to me is sad, because some of our best ideas and inspiration come from an abundance of imagination. Do I think children should be cut off from TV and Video games? Absolutely not; but I do think that too often we don't nurture their creativity. You will be amazed when you look back on the book and see all of the wonders you have created!

See you all next time, and in the meantime, keep wishing and keep dreaming!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Faerie Holidays

I love Holidays, and not just the present giving kind. I love the idea of taking a day and making something unique and special about it. Too often these days Holidays and celebrations have become these mass marketed machines created by greeting card companies and big business. While I love walking around stores during  Christmas season just for ambiance, the holidays themselves have really lost their magic for me. 

I try to take current popular holidays and make them my own. Adding something a little more special and unique into the mix. On Halloween I like to do "The Great Pumpkin" with my nephews; I get them to carve pumpkins and if the Great Pumpkin likes their work they are rewarded Halloween  morning with little treats inside the pumpkin. Not only does this give us time to spend together to do something fun and creative, but it is fun for me because I get to play my version of Santa to them. 

Every year pretty much without fail for 7 years or so, I purchased a Brian Froud artwork calendar of some sort. Hands down he is one of my favorite artists but also along with the traditional holidays, he lists some "Faerie Holidays" which I do my best to observe. Some examples of these holidays include:

January 2nd: Snowflake Matching day (also known as Fairy frustration day)
January 11th: All Mornings Eve: Breakfast is eaten at Midnight and Midnight snack is eaten at breakfast.
Febuary 10th: Elbow kissing day. A very difficult assignment so dome faeries chat and kiss each others elbows.
March 30th: Balderdash Day: Ridiculous games are played and all bald fairies run about without their moss and braken wigs.

You get the idea. 

Making up your own holidays is  your assignment for this post. Create your own Faerie type holidays. You can leave little notes on the day of the holiday describing its purpose (or lack thereof) in your tree mail box, or you can simply share with the children and people around you. 

One example I have personally and I celebrate to this day is Saint Edwards day, named after Edward Scissorhands. This was the brainchild of my friends Cindy and Tara. on the first snow of the season you run about outside in the snow. Simple, effective, and no hallmark card needed. 

I am going to attempt to sit down within the next week or two and list all of the Holidays on the Froud Faerie Calendar. Hopefully it will help inspire you. I would also like to find a nice public calendar type page where I can help to list all of the holiday ideas you come up with.

See you all next week, and in the meantime, keep wishing and keep dreaming!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Craft Project 1: Tree Mail!

I thought it was about high time I post an actual craft project. This is for a hanging container for notes, trinkets or just about any kind of Faerie messages you want to pass on. I like to call it the tree mail box.

Supplies include:

  • A clear container (I used an Archer Farms butter crunch cashews from Target, because they are just darn tasty). It is plastic so it is light weight and non breakable. 
  • Glue or some form of adhesive. Depending on your situation there are a multitude of adhesives out there. If you are going to do this with kids you may want to look for non toxic or tacky glue. You can also use Hot Glue (if you are doing this on your own) or Fabric glue (this contains acitate so if you have a manicure you may want to avoid it). If this is an outdoor tree mail, you may want to use something more weather resistant like the fabric glue or the hot glue, and it works well with plastics.
  • Ribbon of all sorts. For mine, I used some organdy ribbon and thin satin ribbon.
  • Fake leaves, silk flowers, feathers, beads, bells or whatever tickles your fancy.

Step 1: I took a strip of the organdy ribbon just slightly longer than the circumference of your container. Of your satin ribbon cut 7 24 inch strips.Fold the satin ribbon half way and knot them equally and evenly on your organdy ribbon. 

 Step 2: Take 2 strips of ribbon from 2 knots and tie them together. this will create a V shape. Continue this with the other 7 knots.You may want to put a dab of glue on each knot not only to keep them in place and to attach them to the container.

Step 3: Create a new row with the ribbon, knotting the ribbon with its mate from the knot. You should get a basic diamond shame and should look like this when you are done.

Step 4: With the remaining ribbon knot it all at the bottom. Add some extra organdy ribbon or anything else you like at this point to the tassel.

Step 5: With the lid, I wrapped the side with ribbon and covered the top with leaves. The open mouth of the lid wrap some satin ribbon and secure it around the base of the mouth. Make it long (I would say about 36 inches) so you can use it as the hanger. 

Step 6: On with the ribbon tassel I like to tie charms, bells, buttons, leaves, feathers or any other little things to add interest. You can also collect things with your child and tie items on the ribbons together. It may also be a fun idea to occasionally leave items in the tree mail for your child to add to the ribbons. 

And there you have it. Simple, easy and pretty. I like the idea of a clear container so they can see that there is something inside for them. What you put inside is entirely up to you. Like I mentioned before, charms, bells little trinkets with a note attached is fun. You can also leave them notes or assignments for them. Hopefully there will be plenty of ideas coming in the near future. 

That is all for this week! See you all next week, and in the meantime, keep wishing and keep dreaming!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Faeries and Gender.

When venturing into the world of faerie god parenting the issue of gender inevitably will pop up. Those who are unfamiliar with the faerie world and the world of storytelling tend to think of a spritely female with wings. This is common but just one of many many forms.  Because of the word Faerie and its heavily feminine connotation people tend to be uneasy when it comes to having Faerie GodSons.

We live in a very gender defined culture where  girls play with dolls and boys play with trucks. Even still it seems more socially acceptable for girls to play with trucks than it is for boys to play with dolls. That being said this project is not about changing your or anyones concept of gender. Those are issues best addressed elsewhere.What this post is primarily about is alleviating some concerns about the male role in these ventures.

In history and folklore almost every culture has had their stories of "little people" or faeries. They come in all shapes and sizes, genders and forms. Some are human in character, some have animal traits.  All you need to do is simply google faerie folklore or even read Shakespeares a Midsummer Nights Dream to see otherwise. Robin Goodfellow (or Puck) is one of my favorite characters of all time!

A good reference when looking for inspiration with boys is Peter Pan. He and the Lost Boys went on so many adventures, and had the help of Tinkerbell. Slaying dragons, going on adventures, playing pirate or showing them magic tricks. Inspiration and imagination is a gender free concept. Every child regardless of whether they are a boy or girl is going to be different. They like different things and different things fascinate them. You need to know what motivates your child and go with it. Whatever their key to the other world is, hand to it them and help them open the door. That ultimately is your job as their Faerie Godparent. 

This also brings up the question about male Faerie Godparents. It may make some guys uncomfortable with calling themselves a Faerie, but I hope if nothing else the above has helped to shed some light and changed some perceptions. If being called a Faerie Godparent or Faerie Godfather still puts you off, you can give yourself an awesome new title like, "Magical Mentor". Nevertheless, the concept is still the same.

Disney movies and modern day fairy tales depict the Faerie Godmother as an older woman who helps a lost girl become a princess. I think it is about high time that changes, don't you? A Faerie Godparent can be anyone you want them to be, and a Faeire GodChild can be anyone you want them to be as well. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. 

That is all for this week my fellow Faerie GodParents! Until next week, keep wishing and keep dreaming!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Follow up to Mondays post.

After Mondays post I received some feedback regarding the post. Mainly it involves your relationship with the parents.  Upon posting, I had the concept in mind that most of the children you will be working with you would already have an established relationship with (your own children, nieces and nephews, children of very close friends, etc). That was an error on my part. While I am sure that will in fact that be the case in a lot of your circumstances it will not always be. 

Something you will need to be cognizant of when becoming a Faerie Godparent is not only the magic but also the safety of yourself as well as the child. With such a focus on "Online Predators" and other people out looking to harm children you want to make sure there are safeguards in place.

Communication with the parents is key. You don't want to give the wrong impression to anyone or cause any issues. It was suggested that a parental consent form be generated and filled out. If you feel that your circumstances deem that necessary, then by all means do so. I will try to generate something to make available for you to download and print up at some point. 

If you are an educator or work with children, then you can use this blog for ideas for your children. Feel free to use some of these projects in your lesson plans. Again this is about taking your individual circumstances and making this your own.  

This also brings us to the point of if you do not have the ability to communicate with the parents or have specific children you can adopt.. There are still things you can do. You can take some of the ideas coming up and simply use them in your every day life. Don't limit yourself. I am going to dedicate an entire post to just that. 

I love hearing your feedback. This, like life, is like a work in process.  Everyones experiences are going to be different. Feel free to post comments on the blog, or become a fan on facebook and start discussions.

Which means you have to keep reading!!!!! 

Until next week.. Keep wishing, and keep dreaming!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Faerie Godchild adoption process.

As promised this week I discuss the actual introduction of Faerie God-parenting.

First things first: your name. It is not mandatory to give yourself a Faerie God-name, but it never hurts. It can help you get into character or alter ego. Kind of like a Magical Pen name as it were.  Just as long as you aren't revealing to the child it is you or using your real name. It is all about perpetuating illusion and belief. You can think of a simple or elaborate name, or merely go by "Your Faerie God Mother/Father". The choice is entirely up to you.

Finding children around us to adopt should not be that difficult: they are all around us. The optimal age is 3-7. This is when kids are at their most imaginative and understanding. You can start younger, even from birth as the story books do.

First (if possible) consult with the parents. You may need their assistance in some of the magic. If you can't that is okay too, but it would help if they were on board. With Being a Faerie God-Parent there are two distinctive roles you must play: that of the seen and that of the unseen. Think of it like Santa Claus or the Tooth Faerie. You need to instill the belief and then act upon it. Unlike Santa or the Tooth Faerie, being a Faerie Godparent Can happen at any time, or any place. no matter how you do it, you may require assistance from the parents in question. It can happen in their room, in their home, or in your home, outside. Anywhere. If you have nature around you that helps, but even if you don't there are things you can do (i'll get to that at a later time).

Now that you have found a child (or children) you need to introduce them to their Faerie Godparent. The best way to do this is with an "adoption certificate". I use the term lightly as to not cause any issues of legality or misunderstanding of the term. It is merely a phrase I use to define the actual induction itself. To create a certificate, simply put it is a piece of paper/leaf or some item that can be written on and used as a keepsake. On it you can scroll something small and simple like:

Dearest (Childs Name),
This letter is to inform you that you have your very own Faerie God Parent!
Please accept this gift (charm) as a Welcome into the Faerie World and to remind you that Faeries are all around you, and magic exists.
~Your Faerie GodMother/Father (Insert optional FGP name here)

If the child is of a walking/talking/understanding type age leaving a magical little treasure addressed to them including the certificate is optimal. This is where having parental assistance comes in handy, because it is best to put it in a common hiding spot of the child "hidden in plain sight" so to speak. Someplace in their room, inside a toy, in the closet or in their favorite pair of shoes. All are good ideas. If you are unable to get to the childs room, any outside place they frequent that is somewhat weatherproof will do.

Another option is to premeditate with the child about the adoption. Talk to the child about how you yourself have a Faerie Godparent, and how it is this magical thing. You can get together and make a "Faerie Godparent Mailbox" And leave it in a place the child can get to or even someplace outside (tree mail!). Don't forget if you do choose to do this, to make a with that child on something like a flower and leave it in the box.. It can be a gift for the Faerie Godparent or their helpers (i.e. you or the childs parents) to collect while the child is asleep and replace it with the certificate.

If the child is a newborn (or not yet born!) You can use that time to make a little something special for their crib or baby room. A little charm or something to dangle from the window. Make sure you include a tag that reads "from your Faerie Godparent". 

As with all of this, these are all just vague guide lines to help inspire you. Be as creative as possible. Use this time to think up stories of Faerie Godparents to share with the kids. Use legends from your own cultures and backgrounds and tie it into the story telling. Use it to have craft time with them. This is just about inspiring you as it is them. Have fun with it!

I would love to hear about your adventures into Faerie God Parenting. Share you stories via replies to this blog, or by emailing me.

Have a wonderful day and remember to keep wishing and keep dreaming!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome welcome one and all to the inaugural post of Project Faerie Godmother. Hopefully this will be the beginning of something wonderful for all of you, as well as me. Coming soon, weekly ideas on being the best Faerie God Parent you can be.

But first, answering the all encompassing question:

What is Project Faerie Godmother??

12 years ago I became an Aunt for the first time. I knew it would be my job as the resident creative of the family to inspire and nurture the creativity of my Nephew, and to allow them to believe in the unseen. Children are the greatest untapped resource for imagination, and too often it gets left unchecked. I want to make sure that as these children grow up to be adults the don't forget how to dream.

Being a Faerie Godparent isn't about granting wishes and helping girls to find Prince Charming; it is about allowing them to believe in magic and things that we are told as adults are impossible. It is allowing them to make their own stories, to create their own magic and to have their own happily ever afters. Too often people lose sight of this; we get so caught up in the every day dealings of the world we forget to stop and just let our minds wander. And because we as adults deny ourselves that we tend to stifle the imaginations of the children around us.

You do not also need to be female to be a Faerie God Parent. Yes, I call this blog Project Faerie Godmother, but it is just a name. Being a Faerie Godparent is not gender specific. While many children have traditional Godparents to see that they adhere to the religious teachings of their parents faith, it is the job of the Faerie Godparent to make sure that the child has the room to imagine and dream. Hopefully with giving inspiration to children you yourself will become inspired. It is a two way street.

The first step of this is simple: Find a child to become your Faerie Godchild. It can be your own children, a niece or nephew, your neighbors kid. Any child will do. You can take on a multitude of kids if you wish. Do not reveal yourself to the child; the first step is to just find where you want to start.

Next week I will talk about how to introduce the nominated child to your Faerie Godself.

In the meantime, keep dreaming, keep wishing.