March 22, 2014

Flickr Favourites: March 22, 2014

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{The Fairy and The Child ~ Wendy}

{Bluebells ~ yossarian6}

{Fairy Godmother ~ Crafty Dogma}

{Fairy wand cookies ~ Bubble and Sweet}

{The child and the fairies ~ saltycotton}

{Bunny by Sharon Montrose ~ blackeiffel}

{Fairies of the Garden ~ redrickshaw}

{Freshness of dew ~ Vicktor}

{Mushroom Cha Cha ~ Kristin L}

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{Around Fairyland with Alice ~ Tania Covo}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on its title to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

Most of us, when we look back over our childhoods, have deeply fond memories of certain books that our parents (and/or other family members) read to us aloud each night before bed.

There are quite a few titles that fall into this camp for me (interestingly, though probably not overly surprisingly, several are timeless vintage classics such as Blueberries for Sal, Goodnight Moon, and Bread and Jam for Frances), one of which I think of at least a few times a year: Come Follow Me by Gyo Fujikawa (whose wonderful illustrations are, to my mind, amongst the most darling even created for children's books).

This book, whose complete title is Come Follow Me to the Secret World of Elves and Fairies and Gnomes and Trolls, is not a tome of fairy tales of the Hans Christian Andersen variety, but instead is an exquisitely illustrated collection of stories about fairies (and other similar wee folk) themselves.

It's probably eighteen or twenty years since I last turned the pages of this book, but I can still picture it with vivid clarity and find that as spring returns once more to nature's realm, my mind becomes enchanted with the idea of tiny fairies prancing through the garden, convening under toadstools, working industriously inside (hollowed out) fallen logs, and dancing in the moonlight.

People from countless cultures the world over have thought that fairies, sprites, pixies, gnomes, trolls, leprechauns, elves, and similar itty-bitty beings shared the earth with us for thousands of years now, though it's a belief that has all but disappeared from many in more recent times. That said, it's not entirely unheard of for wee folk to make the news still, with the Cottingly Fairies case being one of the best known in the last hundred years.

Much as I may have as a small child, I can't claim that as a scientifically minded adult, I think there's much of a likelihood that fairies and the charming ilk are real (awesome as that would be!), but that doesn't mean one can't daydream about such being the case and if it were, what kind of enchanting world they would call their own.

As we slowly thaw out from another bone chilling winter and the first beautiful signs of verdant life return, part of me feels like I'm four or five years old again, peering under fairy rings on our lawn, watching ever so closely between the crocuses and rhododendrons in the garden for signs of minuscule winged beings, and frolicking in the first gloriously warm rays of sunlight in several months, imagining all the while that I'm holding hands with a party of pixies.

Spring's return itself, though perhaps not quite as much so as it was for our ancestors in centuries past, remains a bit magical unto itself. Life starts anew in so many ways, the world is draped not in ice any longer, but in delicate dew. Suddenly the palette of the day is filled with soft pastels and vivid hues alike. Newborn animals step into their place in the circle of life, rain replaces snow, only to both vanish under the golden light of the glistening springtime sun.

It is a lively time, one of happiness and renewed hope, and where - swept up in the profound beauty of it - one cannot help but think how resplendent it would be if they were a fairy, down at grass blade height, to see this amazing changing of the seasons quite literally at ground level. As that's not possible, I'm more than happy to just get outdoors and soak up all the loveliness of this crisp, sweet, gorgeous season.

Perhaps I'll buy a copy of this book that I still love dearly all these years later, tuck it under my arm, and head out to meadow of wildflowers for an afternoon of carefree fairy filled stories of the sort that helped bring an extra dose of imagination fuelled joy to my earliest days. Care to come follow me?


  1. I'm so longing for spring. Feeling the first sunshine on your skin, the smell of nature all the animals who seem to be awake again. Only part i don't like about spring is my hay fever.

  2. I am not familiar with Come Follow Me, but I will have to look for a copy, I'm sure my daughter would love it. We do have a copy of A Child's Garden of Verses illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa, and it is one of our favorites.

  3. Beautifulllllllllllllllllllllll

  4. oh you definitely made me remembering the days when i lived daydreaming of escaping with my fairy friends as a kid, i loved all the pictures, the sweet white rabbit, the flowers, the charming lady fairy ;) oh yes i definitely can feel the magic of spring now ;)

  5. I enjoyed this post very much, because I totally believed in fairies as a child and your illustrations brought back happy memories!

  6. strangely there were no fairies in my childhood. we had grimm´s tales, stories about animals and indians (native americans today) and children from around the world. i discovered the little folks as an adult at gift shops....
    now living in the woods it´s easy to believe in fairies and dwarfs and such :-)
    happy sunday to you my dear!

  7. A happy start of spring to you, my friend! The delightful array of fairy images you chose, especially "The Child and the Fairies" poem, has me grinning from ear to ear! A digging out of my copy of 'Come Follow Me..." might soon be in order .

  8. Such a whimsical post! You've put me in mind of the Magic Faraway Tree books or The Secret Garden, two of my childhood favourites. I used to (well, still do) love Enid Blyton and all her fairies and pixies and talking animals. Let's go sit in a fairy toadstool with our favourite spring time books! By the way have you ever read the Pookie the rabbit books? They are just delightful.

  9. Some beautiful images. Any book by Enid Blyton used to have me mesmerized when I was young with Enid having a good grasp of the fairy folk. I'm lucky enough to be able to revisit Enid's magical landscapes with my children now. XXX

  10. Oh those fairies...I love it. Today felt very springy but now they say snow is coming. Awww come on now LOL Well it should come soon hehe Lovely photos mama. xox

  11. I love the fairy godmother! I was so pleased that it was nice and warm this weekend, and Im quite sad that its going to be cold again I hope its a brief cold

    retro rover

  12. There is just something so special and magical about seeing images of fairies from a time gone by. I very much wanted an original copy of Cecily Barker's Flower Fairy book originally printed in 1927 for quite a long time. I grew up with tales and illustrations from this book. So, I set out to find a copy (which would most likely source from the UK). There is no publication date on the book so it is difficult to find "true" copies from 1927. I bought one from a UK seller and when it arrived it had an inscription of 1933 date not mentioned in the description. I confronted the seller on this and they said this means nothing. This had happened to be the second book I had to get from them as the first they sent me the completely wrong book (not the book pictured and from the 50s and all scribbled on). I didn't want to battle the seller further and pay all these shipping costs so I ended up keeping this second book I have and although not a very first original it is still quite lovely and treasured. I actually find that I do like to see inscriptions from previous owners in the book, it's quite touching.
    I also find Arthur Rackham's fairies quite fascinating. But, Cecily Barker's will always hold a special place in my heart very much like your lovely book "Come Follow Me". :) A wonderful post and I one day hope I can see a bluebell wood just like the one you shared!

  13. You should absolutely buy a copy! I have a little nook of my bookshelf that is home to select books from my childhood, and it makes me so happy to pull one out and flip through it every once in a while. A lot of them are books that are somewhat unique -- Saturday Morning Lasts Forever, I Can Choose My Bedtime Story, All Around Us, Making Half Whole. They're not very popular books, and not books that I see on other folks' shelves, but for some reason, I particularly liked them, and I'm so glad I was a young book hoarder and still have them!

  14. How very sweet and whimsical. I love the many images that makes me wish I could find a fairy of my own.

  15. A book of tales which brings you sweet memories from the past ... childhood is a magic age, and children really can live in a fantastic world populated of fairies!
    When I was a child , one of my favourite books was Pinocchio ( by Collodi ) : an adorable book, whose teachings I still remember...

  16. Faries! I can't wait for spring either, but it always seems kind of bittersweet to me, i just love winter and don't care for the extreme Kansas heat. Alas, spring isn't that long here and i always feel as though each spring day is slipping out of my grasp, plummeting toward stifling, uncomfortable days,
    What a delightful story. I love all the descriptive and colorful words.

  17. Do buy a copy, Jessica. It's probably good for us, mind & soul, to revisit these happy times and places and bring them back to life. There are quite a few of my husband's and my own childhood favourites in our library, from Lewis & Tolkien (mutual loves!) to L.M. Montgomery, Anna Sewell, Walter Farley, and my treasured copy of "Heroic Horses", beautifully illustrated by Sam Savitt and a book I loved so much as a girl that when Mom accidentally threw out my copy, I spent a rather insane ($40!) amount of money to purchase upon finding it again.

    There's something wonderful about those long-loved gems, and really, I think we can still learn from them even—especially?—as adults. Also: There is NEVER anything wrong with bringing a little more beauty and loveliness into our lives! I'm a big proponent of that.

  18. This post is spring-tastic!
    From darling flowers, to fairies and bluebells - each and every one a magnificent wonder of Spring. There's nothing wrong with what you believe (this comes from a person who's a firm believer in Gnomes-come-to-life-after-sunset theory). :D
    Thank you for sharing this images, they have brighten my day - since this morning I woke up to see grey sky and pouring rain.

    Many hugs

  19. I adore Cicely Mary Bakers Flower Fairies, they are so incredibly beautiful, and I've bought several books on Amazon. You know Lego, I'm sure. And we also have a Legoland in which they have the very famous Palace of the Flower Fairy Queen. It is fabulous. Full of teeny tiny beautiful things. Cartier have made her wedding ring. Picasso has painted some paintings for her, and so on. I can visit Legoland just to look at the Palace. You walk around it and peek into the windows. I will try to find something about it on the Internet and show you if I succeed. Very charming post, you are never too old to believe in fairies. :)

  20. I used to believe passionately in fairies as a child. I used to be convinced they lived in the rockery ) which was a kind of little world of it's own), and I would leave them treats regularly which always disappeared ( could have been kind parents or hungry birds!). Thank you for reminding me of a happy and innocent time. And the little rabbit made me think of Easter...and chocolate!

  21. Thank you each very much for your splendidly lovely comments and for regaling me with some of your own special fairy related memories.

    The last few days have been uber busy, as I suspect much of this month will be, but in case I haven't been able to make it to your own blog and thank you personally for your comment, I wanted to do so here before another fast paced day gets underway.

    Many hugs & joyful Tuesday wishes to each of you,
    ♥ Jessica

  22. Wildflower meadows and fairy stories sound wonderful. I very much like vintage fairy illustrations, especially flower related ones.