Journal Entry ~ June 18, 2017 + Blog Updates

It is a lovely summer evening. There is a breeze blowing and we are having a light rain shower, and our wind chimes are gently ringing. 

Some big changes will be happening this summer. Two weeks from now Kevin and I will be flying back home to visit family and to find ourselves a car! We have been without a car for so long. Then we are taking a road trip back to where we currently live. Kevin’s parents will be traveling with us, too, and then flying back home themselves. We haven’t seen our family in two years. We are going to take our time driving back so that we can enjoy the time with them and see the country. We have been working so hard these past few years, it will be amazingly wonderful to go on this adventure together and have many new exciting opportunities available to us.

I find it hard to actually sit down and write my thoughts, so here I am making myself do it. 

I have been waiting for this moment for so long. Patience is not my forte, but Kevin is steadfast in patience, a master in the art. I am so very thankful for it because he keeps me grounded. I find that these types of things are worth waiting for, too. Something can be said for perseverance, despite the fact that it is so hard to do. . .

(As I was writing this a female ruby-throated hummingbird flew up to me, only inches away from my face, having a curious look around. I could hear her hum, see her eyes, her wingbeats, and all of her silky soft feathers. ❤ ).

. . . I have been learning the lesson of not only trusting in, but being able to see and identify, God’s goodness and loving care. There’s more I wish I could say but I don’t yet have the words for it. But with every day healing happens in my soul, and my eyes become more awake to it.

I am grateful for the misty rain showers, the cool breeze, Kevin, and all the beauty of nature that surrounds me. I have been given so much.

~*~*~*~

These are a few pixie perfect pictures I’ve taken recently.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

~*~*~*~

Changing topic, I’ve been working to tidy up my blog as of late. Just a little pixie dusting and polishing here and there. Most notably, I have my new & improved “About Me” section completed! My “About Me” section has been “under construction” for ages upon ages, with no information in it whatsoever. Of course I will continue to tinker with it a little, I always tinker with things around my blog 😉.

I have also been playing around with blending images together. I made this photo using two images for the quotes section of my About Me page. You can see that it is a combination of a canvas background and the image of Tinker Bell from my first Pixie Poetry Challenge:

Secret of the Wings Movie Quote Edit 3

This is another try at image blending, this time using a photo of the Pixie Dust Tree and Disney’s Cinderella Castle:

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 8.12.22 PM

~*~*~*~

Wishing you all a glowtastic day/night,

Faith Fancypuff

~*~ An Introduction to DIY Braiding + Beginner’s Tutorial ~*~

Braiding has become a passion of mine. I revel in the endless hairstyle possibilities. And I do mean endless. I’m constantly discovering that there are new types of braids I’ve never heard of or seen, not to mention combinations. I honestly think that one of the reasons I am so drawn to braiding is because it allows me to create fairytale looks. I love looking like a real-life pixie or princess. 

In this post I hope to share a bit of what I have learned over the past few years that I’ve been braiding. For each type of braid I have chosen more than one picture in order that you might get an idea of the different ways each braid can be worn, as well as their versatility among different hair lengths and textures.

~*~ Helpful Tips to Remember ~*~ 

  1. The style oftentimes looks more complicated and hard to do than it actually is!
  2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s all part of the learning process 😉
  3. Don’t be afraid to develop your own technique. That is, it really doesn’t matter how you hold the strands of hair in your fingers. As long as you get one strand crossed over to the other side, it doesn’t really matter how you got it there. 😜
  4. Patience and practice are your best friends. If you are struggling with braiding or with learning a particular type of braid, go ahead and give it a go, and then take a break from it. Your mind is slowly learning the technique and movements even if you’re not consciously working at it. You’re also developing muscle memory in your hands and fingers.
  5. Know that even for the most accomplished and talented braiders, there are certain braids that give them trouble! (And we’re talking basic braids, here). Yes, it’s true! Everyone has that one type of braid that is such a pain in the rear end to do. 
  6. Your braid may look a little different from the photo or tutorial you’re looking at. For example, it may be a little puffier or a little sleeker depending on if you have wavy/curly or straight hair. Your braids will be unique, just as you are unique.
  7. A lot of braiders out there on social media wear hair extensions to make their braids look fuller, thicker, and longer. Just be aware of this, and don’t compare yourself negatively. Hair extensions are a wonderful option if you’re going for that look, but you certainly don’t need them.
  8. Once you have your braid made you have the option of gently pulling on the edges of each stitch. This will make your braid voluminous and give it even more aesthetic beauty. For an example see here.
  9. Have fun!! If you love a style that you see, go for it! Even if it’s more challenging than what you’re use to.
  10. Last, be sure to keep a comb, small elastics, and good bobby pins handy (good means that they feel comfortable in your hair and are able to maintain a firm hold).

 

~*~ Types of Braids ~*~

✨  The Basic Three-Strand Braid ✨

The three-strand braid is the foundation of most braids. 

 

 

✨  The Basic Fishtail Braid ✨

The fishtail braid uses only two strands of hair, and can be transformed by using either the french or dutch braiding technique. (Bottom right photo is my own).

 

✨  The French Braid ✨  

The french braid is a three-strand braid in which additional strands of hair are incorporated into the three strands from both sides.

(Photos 1 & 2 are my own renderings)

 

 The Dutch Braid ✨ 

The dutch braid is exactly the same as the french braid, save for one small detail – the strands of hair are crossed underneath one another instead of over one another. Dutch braids are also called inverted french braids or upside down french braids.

(Photo 1 is my own)

 

✨ The Waterfall Braid ✨

A waterfall braid is a french braid with a slight variation. The variation isn’t hard to do, and it’s actually fun.

 

 

✨  The Lace Braid 

Lace Braids are simply half french braids, that is, hair is incorporated into the main braid from one side only. 

 

✨  The Basic Four-Strand Braid 

The basic four-strand braid uses four strands of hair to create a braid (instead of three or two). As with three-strand and fishtail braids, it can be transformed by using french or dutch braiding techniques.

Though not often included in introductions to braiding, I’ve chosen to include it in mine just to give you a glimpse into what lies beyond your traditional braids (and because they are so pretty!) Photo 1 is my own. 

 

~*~ Beginner’s Tutorial “DIY Fishtail Braid” ~*~

Now that you are familiar with seven different types of braids are you ready for your very first braiding lesson? I hope you are as excited as I am!! For this tutorial I have chosen the fishtail braid, as it is one of the very easiest braids to learn (on par with the basic three-strand braid) and is so pretty & very popular. I want you to feel confident in your braiding abilities and proud of your lovely creation. You can do this! 😀 (By the way, this is the very same tutorial that I learned from a few years back). Simply click the link below to begin watching.

 💖 🐠 How to Fishtail Braid 🐠 💖

Please let me know in the comments your thoughts on this introduction, especially on the braiding tutorial. Was the tutorial easy to follow? Were you able to create your very own fishtail braid? If so, I’d love to see a photo! You can email me a photo or share it on your blog 🙂

~*~ 

Faith Fancypuff

 

Journal Entry ~ June 10, 2017 ~ What is magic?

I’ve been thinking about what magic means lately. Magic is holding optimism and wonder dearly in your heart. It is curiosity, wonder, mystery, optimism, reverie, and timelessness all wrapped up and contained in a single beating heart. Some might say – but isn’t magic having supernatural powers? Like flying? Or making something out of nothing? In movies and books, sure. That’s one way of considering it. But it doesn’t have to be so; and it can be so much more. Let’s face it – if that were the only definition of magic we would all be excluded from being magical. 

Magic happens every time you refuse to abandon hope, and persevere.

Magic is a healthy mix of love and humility with regards to oneself. 

Magic happens every time you choose to listen to your heart.

Magic happens every time you dare to be who you really are, or to do that one thing you really want to try out, no matter what anyone else might think.

An important part of magic is also connection. When something magical happens we connect…with another person, a memory, something happening around us, a dream, a plant or animal… 

In a sense, magic really is bringing something unseen to life. But to truly understand magic I think we need to broaden our imaginations a little and think outside of the box…beyond the rabbit in the hat. Magic can take the form of a blossoming friendship, or the joy of two soulmates having a good time together. Magic can take the form of a painting, or a photograph, or a new “look” you’ve been going for. Magic can be simply beholding the pale shimmery moon in the sky or serenely watching a butterfly flutter about. And, I think magic happens any time that you experience healing, forgiveness, and/or belonging.

Usually images of wands and wizards’ hats evoke the idea of magic. But what evokes magic for you?

 

Poem for a Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Good evening pixies,

I’ve written a little poem about a ruby-throated hummingbird that visited me on my porch yesterday afternoon. I was sitting on my porch reading a book when he flew up close to my face to have a look at me. I treasure my hummingbird friends, so I wrote this haiku to remember him by.

ruby throat haiku #2

I used the Keep Calm O’Matic to make this image. 

Thank you for reading

Yours in Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust,

Faith Fancypuff

Journal Entry ~ May 27, 2017 (with pictures)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hi pixies! I’m back with a journal entry. This one is a bit more personal than what I normally share. I’m trying to make sense of some things going on around me. There are some people I interact with regularly who I know just don’t get me, who think they know better, who are judgmental… this journal piece is my own reflection in response.

🍀

It’s hard for some to understand why I had to do what I did. Stories like mine aren’t often heard, because they don’t often happen. For those of us who have them the pain is so vivid ~ what can we really say? It’s like trying to describe the craziest of tales. No one can believe it because it really shouldn’t be true. That’s how I feel when I think about my past. I can only relay it to others inadequately, and hope that they don’t think I’m making it up or over-exaggerating. 

For me, putting on makeup and creating pretty hairstyles on myself is rebellion. It is rebellion from the toxic way of life in which I was raised. An abuser only has to work so hard at what they do – eventually their victim will come to do the work for them – they will become self-abusers. This is what my mother (and others) did to me; what she still would do, if she could.

Every time I put on lipstick I work to undo a bit of the pain, the neglect, the trauma. Six years have passed. I’m not close to full healing, not nearly, though I have come such a long way. Some might see my embrace of my femininity as superficiality, misguided in many ways. But as someone who never received a warm hug from their mother, who internalized fear, distrust, and self-contempt because of their mother, every stroke of the mascara brush over my eyelashes, every time I do something that I enjoy such as calligraphy, every time I draw up a warm, fragrant bath in the evening, it is not only rebellious…but liberating. It is saying “no” to everything that just shouldn’t have been; and saying “yes” to peace, tranquility, hope, and joy. (And let’s not forget — to magic! 🌈)

🍀

These are some photos I’ve taken recently.

IMG_7935
Fresh raindrops on a rose
IMG_7908
Me today showing off my cute fishtail braid
IMG_7907
Well you have to see it from this angle too, of course!
IMG_7906
And of course you can’t miss out on the back view! (I wrapped two fishtail braids into a fishtail braided bun so I’m really proud of this hairstyle ;P)
IMG_7934
Roses from today’s walk
IMG_7933
Have to experience the rose from this angle, too ^^
IMG_7929
A pixie’s eye-view of mushrooms growing near my apartment
IMG_7914
Doesn’t this mushroom look like a bird bath?
IMG_7928
I love the colors in this leaf (also from today’s walk)
IMG_7688
This is me on an early morning walk the day after I submitted my last final of the school year. (So relieved)
IMG_7931
I took this photo during finals week. I stepped away from paper-writing to get some fresh air.
IMG_7930
This photo I took yesterday. It’s a view looking under a log into the stream below. Kevin & I were sitting together discussing a good book.
IMG_7927
I don’t know what type of flowers (or bush) we have here, but the blooms look like miniature cherry blossoms.
IMG_7926
Another pixie’s eye-view
IMG_7859
I captured this photo of a super fluffy house finch on the window ledge yesterday evening.
IMG_7774
One of my very favorite animals – a chipmunk!
IMG_7863
A chipmunk came to visit me yesterday evening while I was reading a book on my porch

🍀

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this journal entry.

Yours in Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust,

Faith Fancypuff

Candied Wildflowers (with pictures)

Good afternoon! 

How’s everyone? It’s good to be back writing on my pixie blog again. I finished up my second year of graduate school on Friday. Just one more year to go. 

I got an amazing opportunity in the final weeks of the semester to try my hand at something new. I especially like this creative project because it lends itself seamlessly into my love of the outdoors, and anything fairy-like.

What’s the project, you ask? — I took a class on a medieval Catholic mystic and part of the requirement was to participate in a small group in which we research and share with the class our findings on a particular topic from that era. My group chose to go the culinary route. 

Since I love to bake I volunteered to prepare a couple 14th century desserts for the whole class. The recipes I chose were fruit & almond cream pie and cherry pudding. There are two additional recipes hidden within the main two: the almond cream and candied wildflowers.

I took a few pictures so I could share with the class a bit of the process of what goes into making a 14th century dessert.

(For the record – the mini pies turned out amazing, and the cherry pudding I did not like one bit. Thankfully, however, about half the class had the right palates for the pudding and really liked it. No, it wasn’t the fault of the cherries – I love cherries…it was the breadcrumbs! :S).

The part that I most enjoyed was learning how to make candied flowers. As long as you have edible flowers you are good to go to try your hand at it, too! It was so fun to incorporate this natural element into my cooking. I will absolutely be using candied flowers again, likely as a topping for homemade cookies. 

Below I’m sharing with you the pictures I shared with my class, along with the recipes for the candied wildflowers. If you’d like the recipe for any of my other desserts, just leave a comment below or send me an email 🙂

IMG_7516
Here I am picking wildflowers. I’m not sick, I have a mask on because of allergies. 😉
IMG_7517
Wildflower collection – we’ve got wild violets & phlox (the edible variety!)
IMG_7514
Bath-time for the delicate blossoms
IMG_7515
There’s a sparkly bubble right in the center of this phlox blossom
IMG_7513
Allowing the wildflowers to air dry
IMG_7527
A tray of candied wildflowers
IMG_7550
Preparing almond cream (Step #2)
IMG_7553
Homemade mini pie crusts. 
IMG_7560
Cherry pudding (minus the candied flowers on top because of cooling)
IMG_7567
Mini fruit & almond cream pies

 

These are the two recipes I used to help me make the candied flowers: Recipe #1 Recipe #2 .

I also learned something else utterly amazing from these two recipes. Both of them mention the option of using flavored sugar – lemon, lavender, or rose in Recipe #1 and vanilla sugar in Recipe #2. I had no idea that such a thing even exists! Have you ever heard of it? Naturally I had to discover what this was all about. I was very happy to find out that you can make these types of flavored sugars homemade. I will definitely be doing so one day in the future – maybe over the summer.

~*~

I hope you enjoyed my post.

Faith Fancypuff

 

Journal Entry ~ American Goldfinch

Good afternoon sunflowers 🌻 🌻 🌻

Just taking a quick break from paper-writing to share a photo with you. I captured this picture of an American Goldfinch at my feeder. I had to pull back the curtains gently so as not to scare him. This little guy has shed most of his winter feathers. I’m so happy that the goldfinches are regular visitors. They are absolutely adorable, and brilliantly yellow. I’m sharing a link below so you can learn more about these amazing birds and hear their songs. Hope you enjoy.

🎶  Goldfinch Songs

American Goldfinch May 7th, 2017

Yours in Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust,

Faith Fancypuff