MY Favorite Elf
By, Rebecca DiNolfi
It was a beautiful fall day in October. My girlfriends ,Julia , Cathy and I had finely arrived at the first ever Faerie Convention held in Philadelphia , PA.
My girlfriends had reluctantly agreed to go with me to this amazing event that I had been waiting for all year. I'm more of a faerie lover than they are and I have been planning this trip since I first heard about it in Jan of 2007. The actual convention was not until Oct of 2007, and here we were.
As I looked around the large room in the Convention Center I could see all the wonderful artisans of the faerie realm in front of me spread out like the beautiful petals of a magical flower.
I immediately noticed something I had not expected. Walking all around us were beautiful fauns and dragons ,a wizard with his dragon familiar on his shoulder, Pan playing his flute. There were Faeries and Elves and big burly Green Men with leaves in their hair.. a few gorgeous Unicorns pranced around ,and there was glitter of every color imaginable sprinkled everywhere.
Brightly colored tents were set up as booths filled with magic and art of every kind for sale. There were things you could only hope to dream of in your fondest dreams everywhere you looked.
There were mystics, minstrels, Merlin's of every size. Trolls and goblins galore walked the floor..
I was in awe to see all the leather waist coats and brocade jackets. The faerie gowns were breath taking. Their wings were vivid colors as they flowed through the crowd like magic. There were children and grand parents , mothers and fathers all decked out in their mystical faerie tale costumes. I was mesmerized by the enchantment I was feeling all around me. I felt like I had just stepped into another dimension. I knew that I had just arrived in the magical land of the Fae.
We walked through the crowd looking in amazement at the costumes, and the different fantasy artists I recognized because of their wonderful works of art that were on display to be sold. Oh my did I wish I had more money to spend here today.
After finally coming back down from my cloud to earth, I spotted the man I came here to meet.
Brian Froud was in the middle of the room surrounded by every kind of magical being you could imagine standing in a very long line holding books, pictures and anything you could get a signature on.
I walked to the back of the line to await my turn. Brian was the reason I wanted to be here, I wanted to meet my favorite Elf , who was at the other end of this very long line.
After I had been in line for what seemed like an eternity , I finally got a glimpse of the man I so wanted to meet. I could see the top of his bushy hair, and a peek of his Dutchman blue shirt. I kept inching closer with all the others that were in line for the same reason.
Brian Froud is one of the most famous faerie artist in the world. His wife Wendy is also famous in her own right as a faerie doll maker and faerie artist. They have both worked with the late Jim Henson making puppets for the movie "Dark Crystal," as well as many other things in the faerie world to their credit.
As we inched closer I could make out his elf like features. To me he looked just like some of the amazing characters he drew so well for so long. He had rather long wild looking brown hair and dark rimmed glasses. A walrus mustache sat under his nose. His smile was mischievous, and his eyes twinkled as if he knew something we didn't, and should.
He was signing books, pictures ,and anything we had brought with us just for this special occasion.
His face was beaming with pride as he looked at all of us waiting in this long line to meet him, and share a few minutes of his precious time to discuss his famous works. He was aglow with a special aura that just shouted, I have arrived, and I did it all for fun.
He greeted me with joy, and a hug so warm and friendly I felt I had known him all my life. Well, I guess I actually have, because I have followed his famous works for many years.
He was a little shorter than I had pictured in my mind's eye, but elves are rather small you know. He shook my hand as he took my book and signed it.
After that Cathy tried to take a picture of me and Brian together and my camera wouldn't work. The batteries were dead. I couldn't believe it. I was crushed.
He shot me a mesmerizing smile ,and just hugged me. He could see in my eyes how disappointed I was. I took my book from him ,and turned to leave.
He told me to come back for my picture if I was able to get my camera working .
I said, "thanks," as I walked away looking back over my shoulder just in time to see his big wide smile and that famous twinkle in his eyes one last time..
I was so disappointed, I smiled back and walked away with the book he had just signed for me. I knew I would never see him again, because we had to return to our hotel room to change into our Faerie costumes so we could go to the Bad Faerie Ball at the Trokadara Theater that night after the convention .
Julia , Cathy ,and I returned to our hotel room to changed into our faerie garb complete with crowns of flowers for our heads and beautiful flowing faerie wings of gossamer. We even had faerie dust for our hair. I was the only one that had pointed elf ears and a beautiful painted face mask of magenta with purple glitter.
I never imagined that I would ever see Brian again, but as we walked up stairs to the balcony at the Troc., guess who was standing at the top of the steps? Yes, it was Brian dressed like a Hobbit. I can't believe it, but we did meet again that night at The Bad Faerie ball .
He posed with his arm around me in a handsome silk brocade jacket that made him look more like a Hobbit than an elf. I was in my Faerie wings, and gown. We were a sight to behold, and I treasure that moment and our picture together with all my heart.
All in all it was one of the most exciting experiences I have had in a very long time, and one I can tell my grand kids and great grand kids .. Thank you Brian.