Interview feature article: They hid the glue in my underwear drawer


“Lots of people like rainbows; children make wishes on them, artists paint them, dreamers chase them, but I live on one. What’s more I’ve taken it apart and examined it piece by piece, colour by colour and I still believe in it.”

Leaf Fairy first got into faeries around 2000, when she met the folk of Fairylove at Glastonbury Festival, while dressed as a black fairy with one of her friends. They came across the Fairylove stall during their wanderings. Leaf enjoyed the feeling of wandering around dressed as a fairy, throwing glitter and spraying people with water pistols. “I loved that no one gave us hassle; everyone greeted us with smiles and I enjoyed the feeling of spreading happiness. No one looks at faeries —young or old— and frowns.”

Twenty-nine year old Leaf has always had a keen pagan outlook on life and following the experience with Fairylove, researched faeries in more depth. “I felt there had to be more to it because of the vibe and the feelings of love, how it makes you feel inside. I felt there had to be a spiritual side to it as well.”

One of her first ports of call was the Fairylove website, on which she found their philosophy. “This really struck a chord, and I knew that Iwanted them to make me a pair of wings,” shes says. “I was kept very involved in the design process and the colour scheme is based on the colours of the large tattoo of wings I have on my back, which was started on Samhain (that’s Hallowe’en) 2004.” Her ongoing relationship with Fairylove started with getting this pair of custom-made wings. Since then she has been on weekend breaks and workshops with them, been invited to work with the Fairylove family at festivals and headquarters in spare time from her day job. Another source of inspiration was the faery artist Brian Froud.  “I learnt a lot from his books and his Faery Oracle cards, which I use to help me in my day-to-day life.”

Her research showed that “there is a strong link to spirits or sprites of nature and the whole Pagan belief system. There are different types of faeries, linked to the different elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. I feel that there is no reason to not believe in Faeries when there is apparently no reason to not believe in God” and decided she wanted to become a faery herself.

“There is a belief that some people are faeries born as human (although not changelings), but they don’t realise it until they die themselves. They are put here to spread love and happiness.” Leaf believes that she has faery blood in her because, as she puts it, “there have been too many weird coincidences.” For example, Glastonbury Tor  (one of the most famous gateways to the faery world) has always had resonance with Leaf because she has always felt a great connection with the earth when she is there, as if she is being pulled towards it. She feels “peaceful, but powerful and energised. Very drawn to get to the top. At the summit, looking out across the landscape, I feel part of it all and the feeling of spiritual refreshment after climbing that mini-mountain lasts for several days after I leave.”

Other instances centre on a fact we all know about faeries; their magic and mischievousness. Leaf has found that in certain elements of her life when she had lost all hope and she asked the faeries for help, her wishes —against all odds— came true. Case in point was getting her dream job at Lush Cosmetics after originally it going to someone else. “Months down the line I got a phone call and I was given the job.” As for their mischief, things get moved around her abode quite often or go missing entirely for days. Leaf is a very organised and meticulous person and does not misplace things. When she tells the faeries that she knows they’ve taken something she finds it again— although not immediately. “The faeries like you to laugh along, not get cross. They want you to share the fun of their mischief.” Leaf recalls one particular time fondly; the glue she lost while making her faery wings (a regular hobby now along with making tutus for friends and family) she put down next to her work area… several weeks later she found it in her underwear drawer!

Nowadays, Leaf has become much more a part of the subculture and is heavily involved in the Fairylove family. She shares a close-knit bond with them now and views them among an ever-increasing circle of like-minded friends, to whom she feels more akin in many ways than to her biological family. “I love the ethos of ‘let your inner light shine as bright as you can for all others to see and not be afraid.’ I had body-consciousness issues before but now I have the confidence to walk into a pub dressed in a tutu and a pair of wings and not be afraid. In fact people seem to love it.”

“I have gotten a few of my friends into it and we all go out dressed as faeries; I am a fully fledged faery now.” She also met a lot of people through the social networking websites, Facebook and Myspace, who are also interested in faeries. Leaf keeps in touch with them through these means and meets up with them on things like the 21stSeptember World Peace Day marches in London.

One of her favourite faery times was meeting Brian Froud, her favourite artist, at the Fairy Festival in Cornwall where two of her friends had got married. She says it was an amazing experience. “He was lovely. I saw him a couple of times on the Saturday night and on Sunday morning, while getting breakfast, I wandered over to him. He commented on my wings and I asked if I could be cheeky and have my photo taken with him. He was a bit like a gnome – really earthy, really friendly and happily let us take pictures with him even though it was really early on a Sunday morning and he’d just woken up in a tent.”

So what does the future have in store for Leaf Fairy? “To carry on chasing rainbows, to always believe and forever to keep dreaming as one day my fairy tale will come true.”

For more information on faeries, visit Leaf’s website www.fairyfootprints.com.

For more information on Fairylove, visit their website at www.fairylove.com.

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