First, the obvious:

Folk and Fairy has been languishing for awhile now, and I think it may be time to close this chapter of my blogging life. The fact is that I’m very interested in saying “Look! Pretty!” and well.. Pinterest is pretty good for that! It’s much faster and requires less thought and writing. And while I like writing and can gush about the things I love, I just don’t always have the time.

The less obvious:

I do have another idea for a blog that requires more writing and thought, and is still in the vein of fairy tales. I am not sure how soon I will be able to impliment it but when I do, you will know! I will make a post here and probably on my Twitter account as well: @aureoloriel. It will likely be hosted at

The least obvious but most exciting:

I’m pregnant!
Yes all, I’m due to have a baby dragon or something in early November of this year. I’m hoping for a Halloween baby though! If you are interested in my little thoughts (and I mean, they are shorty-short posts) and what’s going on with my baby, you can subscribe to my Tumblr (or follow it, if you’re on; I usually subscribe to Tumblrs rather than follow because I want ALL of my blogs to come to my feed reader, so I won’t feel sad if you subscribe and don’t follow). It is called Unicorn Pony and can be found at

Pin to the terest

elfcampPinterest totally has my soul, and like the many others it has sucked down into its depths, my soul is totally happy to be there. We’re all a-pinning, breaking the surface every once in awhile for a lungful of air so we can shout to others to come on down. We’re like…the sirens… of the internet.


If you like what you’ve seen on Folk and Fairy, you may want to follow one of my boards, Folk, Fairy, and Middle-earth. I’ve been pinning all my faves to it, like this sweet setup. Who wants to go elf-camping? You cook.


You sure are looking good.

This is from Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2007 collection, and I’m pretty sure I could pull this off. I hope hope hope she’s got some awesome thigh-high boots on under there, or leather pants. So cute.

So I left you high and dry after telling you how Tolkien changed my life. Here’s how it happened: January? Work work work. February: Oh no, my contract finished up earlier than expected, what will I do? I am still in the midst of that but working through it.

By that I mean that I need my dream job to fall into my lap. Anytime, universe! My lap is ready!

Before I get off topic here, I have to admit that while I have yet to see Red Riding Hood, I do have a sort of guilty love of Amanda Seyfried’s version of Sam the Sham and the Pharoah’s L’il Red Riding Hood. The violins in the background are a bit much for me. I sort of wish it was just a nice acoustic thing, but I still do like it. Have a listen.

Looking back into my childhood, there are glints – like shining stones on a path – of Faerie. I’ve washed my face in the dew of the first May morning, discovered a hidden woodland stream, and played with old coins of unknown origin. These precious moments notwithstanding, I had little overt fantasy in my upbringing, and I didn’t truly find Faerie until I found Lord of the Rings.

To say that a book changed one’s life is banal, but there it is: Lord of the Rings changed my life.

When The Fellowship of the Ring came out, I was twenty. I had just finished my first British Lit class (on a lark – I was undecided on a major after leaving Biology) and I was in love with it. That was the winter that I became a Tolkien fan, the winter that I found my subculture, the winter that I found – at least in part – myself.

Until that point I had never had much of a solid identity. I liked things – cheerleading, music, science – because I wanted to be like the people who liked them, not because of genuine interest. Tolkien enchanted me entirely. I could see things now, simple things, and see their magic. Wax candles, the stars, woolen blankets, the campus lawn: all became sacred. They were holy in their ordinariness. I was overcome.


To my mind, the most important thing that Tolkien’s writing imparted to my views is what C.S. Lewis calls the True myth. As one of those Jesus types, I found myself at last face to face with the fact that I am living the true myth, and that all of the sacredness I first saw is mine to delight in, to keep forever, in a way. My favorite passage in the whole series is the exchange between Aragorn and one of Eomer’s riders. The rider scoffs at the notion of halflings, and asks, “Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?” Aragorn replies:

“Not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day.”

These stories have shaped me so much, and have given birth to much that is good in my life, (including Folk and Fairy, though that is a story for another time) that I felt that with Tolkien’s birthday coming up (3 January) and all of the fervor from The Hobbit teaser, it was a fitting time to share. If you have read this far, thank you. If you would blog about your own experience with Tolkien (if you have one) link in the comments – I’d love to read it.

It was back in 2007(!) when I blogged about these incredible mermaid gloves that I had discovered on the internets. That was back when you had to crank a handle to connect your modem to the operator and put in a ha’penny for every half-hour you wanted to spend online.

I point out how long ago this was because it was in the winter of 2010 that I completed the first of my own mermaid gloves. They languished for a year and now I have two! They are magical! Behold:


The main difference between these and the original is that I didn’t make half-fingers, they’re just fingerless entirely. Also I chose a yarn that is bluey-green, threaded with silver, and subtly shaded.

Now I wear these every day and wait til the creeks are warm enough to touch again.

So the high tea has gotten me thinking about, of course, about fairy tale tea times and cozy little parties that could be had in the winter, and well, I’m daydreaming again…


Glacier Teaspoon Set from Leif





Now, I’m more of a hot chocolate kind of girl, and probably always will be. But I’m sure you wouldn’t hold it against me if I served up a giant pot of chocolatey goodness instead of tea, right? You can still stir it with those amazing tea spoons because there will be marshmallows and whipped cream and anything else you like at my theoretical hot chocolate party.

High Tea

Over Thanksgiving I was able to attend a High Tea with my mom and younger sister at House of Clarendon, where we had SUCH a good time. I wanted to share a bit of it with you.

Now, please be aware that none of us had been to any sort of tea before, and that I, as a rule, dislike tea in all of its weird incarnations. Cold and sweet or hot and healing, it consistently tastes like the contents of the lawnmower bag to me. And as I am always desperate to like tea, because so many decent people seem to enjoy it – unless you’re all pulling one over on me, it’s possible – you can imagine that I saw this as an opportunity to really experience tea at its very best. Plus, there were seven savories and seven sweets promised, so even if I didn’t like the tea, I was bound to find something delicious.

House of Clarendon

House of Clarendon

High Tea was scheduled for noon on Saturday, and as we arrived about twenty minutes early, we were able to stand and look for a few minutes in the front of the store where many of their award-winning cakes were on display. No photos were allowed of this part of the store, but resourceful people can find photos elsewhere on the internet.


Do you see that peacock cake? I wanted to marry it. Their cakes, in person, are just SO pretty. And elegant! And some are glittery! And did I mention the peacock? I mean COME ON. Have a gander at the gallery of wedding cakes on their website and tell me you don’t need a cake each day for the rest of your life from them.


The owner Martine seated us and once the other parties arrived, we were treated to a little film about the history of high tea as given by the (I assume) previous owner, a plump British woman who implored us to hold our plates high lest we spill hot tea or crumbs down our cleavage.

We all dressed appropriately, and did not have this problem. Not pictured: moi.

We all dressed appropriately, and did not have this problem. Not pictured: moi.

Now, it was time for tea. First, milk was poured into the cups, then the hot tea was added. I stirred my tea with a tea spoon and drank it. You may be wondering what kind of tea it was, and I can only tell you that it had the word “Piccadilly” in its name. Aren’t I awful? Yes, I am, especially because I actually enjoyed it! I mean yes, I added several sugar cubes to my tea, but I justified this after hearing that Princess Catherine de Braganza would have done much the same thing.

We were then served the seven savories, one after the other: spinach pinwheel sandwiches, peanut-sauce chicken on a skewer, bourbon-and-honey baked meatballs, sausage rolls, hot mushroom duxelles, spanakopita quiche, and I believe little crab rolls.

Then we switched teas for dessert. We chose a vanilla tea, which I didn’t like as much and really didn’t drink. I was getting very thirsty for water by this time, too, though I didn’t think it would be polite to ask for it. So next came the seven sweets! Let’s see if I can remember these: vanilla pinwheels, kahlua creampuffs, lemon meringue bouches, an apricot tart of some sort, and I’ll be honest – I was fading. I was SO full and the only other sweet I can promise to remember is mint ice cream tea in the most magical thing: a little. edible. chocolate cup.


Willy Wonka for grown-ups? Willy Wonka for grown-ups.
And so, my first tea, high or otherwise, was a success. I recommend a visit to House of Clarendon for anyone who’s near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whether for tea or no, as you can simply walk in and purchase a selection of petit fours. Yum.

(I apologize for the quality of the photos; the ones from inside the tea room are the only ones that are mine, and they were taken on the sly, as we were unsure whether photography was allowed. Sneaky tea!)