Fairy villages are usually hidden away from the human eye, but once in a lifetime we might be lucky to stumble across one. I was certainly lucky enough to a few weeks ago, when browsing the Facebook page of The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA.
An utterly enchanting tiny, miniature stone cottage, caught my attention, which I found out is inhabited by a mysterious fictional fairy, Whimsy, who lives in Nettlepatch cottage, who enjoys making crab-apple wine in her cider press, or knitting teeny gifts for her Fairy friends and serves violet flower petal cordial at fairy tea parties.
The Fairy with her own Facebook page
Whimsy the Fairy, whether perhaps shy, or simply mystically elusive (as fairies should be!) even has her own Facebook page! You’ll never get to meet Whimsy herself, in person, but she does allow you a permitted peep into her enchanting faerie world, where one day in your news feeds appears her delicate little lace bloomers and slip hanging on her washing line, or a glimpse of the sketchpad she has left coyly lying on the side table, letting you admire her skilful artwork. You get the distinct feeling that she’s always there somewhere in the background of Nettlepatch cottage, just keeping a watchful eye on you. She keeps safely hidden from human contact, but she doesn’t mind you enjoying a little glimpse into her world on social media from time to time. Hey, you can even purchase postcards from her!
Whimsy’s creator, Erica, explains:
Whimsy Nettlepatch is a wee little pixie, who lives in a tiny stone cottage at the edge of Oak Hollow. Her cottage is nestled snugly in a patch of nettles. She is an artist who has gained quite a following in the Faerie Realm. Although it seems like a very glamorous life, she also enjoys the simple pleasures of knitting, gathering food from nature to cook with and just sitting on her front porch enjoying the view and a cup of chamomile tea.
From where did Whimsy Nettlepatch magically appear?
Whimsy is the creation of miniaturist, Erica Mann, from Connecticut, USA.
Asked about her inspiration for Whimsy and Nettlepatch cottage Erica explains. “I have always loved dollhouses and remember making a few very simple ones from cardboard in my early teens, for my younger sister and I to play with. I have also love fairies for as long as I can remember, so last year when I was reading an article from Faerie Magazine on Colleen Moore’s famous fairy castle, it re-inspired me. I was determined to create a much smaller, more modest version of a fairy dollhouse. Early in the creation of the house, Whimsy sort of came to me and claimed the cottage as her own”
Small Town Americana shrunk down to Fairy scale
Every October the Florence Griswold Museum has a Wee Faerie Village Exhibit. Local artists create fairy buildings that are installed all throughout their extensive and beautiful grounds. There is a new theme every year, and this year’s theme is Faeriville USA. They want to create a small-town Americana feel, but shrunk down to fairy size. I am lucky enough to be creating the Charter Oak Elementary School for the exhibit. I have built a small school building from scratch as well as a fairy playground and sports field, mostly from natural materials.
From ordinary to extraordinary - The Creating of Nettlepatch Cottage
Erica found the house itself at a second-hand store and purchased it for only $40.
“From what I understand it was a Duracraft kit. It looked VERY different, but I immediately had a vision of how I wanted it to look. Like any other fixer-upper, I had to re-paint, wallpaper, rip up old carpet and take out stairs to turn it into Nettlepatch Cottage. It actually didn’t take as long as I thought it would. The building itself was finished in about two months. Then began the fun of decorating”
Looking toward the future in Faerieville
And what other projects does Erica have lined up?
Currently the school for the Florence Griswold Museum exhibit (I will share pictures on Whimsy’s page when it is done). I have also built Birch’s (Whimsy’s beau) traveling wagon from scratch. The base is cardboard that I covered it with bark and fashioned wheels from tiny grapevine wreaths. I just finished designing a Nettlepatch Cottage calendar, which will be available soon. As for future dreams, I would love to create a book someday as well as build the houses belonging to Whimsy’s other friends.
Using Natural Materials to Create Miniature Items
Erica uses branches, moss, twigs, leaves and anything else that can be found in nature to create furniture items.
“I love using natural materials. Collecting them is half the fun. I get to go on walks with my boyfriend and son and we keep our eyes open for unique items. I am most proud of Whimsy’s kitchen chairs. I love the milkweed pod back on them. I am also really happy with the way her bed came out, the little acorn cap finials and the soft mossy mattress and pillows”
I would like to encourage others to try creating Whimsical wonders. It is very addictive, takes little to no money and is so much fun! I make most of her furniture and accessories myself. When I do purchase items, I like to buy from earthntree.com. As for fairy specific decor, Pinterest has been a great place to be inspired and get ideas for how a fairy might live or what sorts of things she would use.