I had an image in my head as to how The Black Crow Queen looked, she wasn’t pretty and without giving too much away she represents all things bad. See image below.

I also had to learn to bend with the wind as I so wanted to put the crow on my head but it seemed impossible, as it kept falling off. 

So I had to drop the crow, it ended up on a long staff and Anthony had to drop the idea of a long beard. Long beards are really hard to make look real. I also thought I had a great idea for the fairies and I taught myself to make trousers from some second hand fabric I had found. Once the trousers were on the girls we agreed they weren’t ethereal enough, in fact they were pretty dull. I had to accept that my efforts in this instant were for nothing.

So we had to rethink the girls costumes. Then the idea of the Guardian of Nature was in Anthony’s head and he expressed how he would like him to look (beard and all). All this was fine but we didn’t have a seamstress to make this a reality and my skills are super basic.

Then magic happened. I met a 70 year old Italian woman called Graziella, she couldn’t speak a word of English but I can speak Italian so we could communicate. She had come to visit at the community where we live, she had come to do a stint of ‘Workaway-ing’ with her son and she was an amazing seamstress. I had a duvet cover, which I had dyed black and the idea for the Black Crow Queen Costume but not the ability to do it. WIthin a few evenings she had knocked up my stilt skirt and it was great. Then sadly she had to leave and carry on with her travels. I had no idea how we were going to get the other costumes made but knew that we would figure it out.

Miracle number two in the form of an amazing woman Finnish called Venla, who came to do ‘Workaway’ with us, not only was she an aerial teacher and performer but also a costume maker. I couldn’t believe it. She was fantastic and helped us make the costume for The Guardian of Nature, she was also amazing at props and teaching and performing but a week before the show she twisted her ankle and couldn’t perform. It was very frustrating for her and sad for us all as she was a fantastic animal fairy but that was what happened and we had to make another plan. Life sometimes throws curve balls and that was one of them.

The other costumes were borrowed, or made out of things we already had, we only bought two silver costumes as there was no way I could thrift silver material. But it all worked out brilliantly and it just goes to show you can make a lot out of a little and other than the basics you do not need to buy loads of things if you are making a show, it is just a question of using your resources, your network and your imagination. The most beautiful thing about it was that when we started talking about what we needed people were amazing and we found that so many people wanted to be involved and help out it was great and very heartening. We want to carry on in that spirit as then the shows in a way belong to everybody and it is a collective journey and experience. Also we are doing our best to not to buy stuff but rather to use what is already out there and once you start looking you might be pleasantly surprised.

So from drawings to a reality we did it, even though when we started out we didn’t even have a sewing machine but I do think if you keep your eye on the goal and have an eye for finding stuff you can do more than you think.



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