In the strange land of Portland, Oregon lives a most magical place. Part museum, part art gallery, part shoppe, and ALL WHIMSY. It’s called The Fernie Brae, and I am in love.
As a young teen I was obsessed with faeries. For years my mom gifted me beautiful faerie books for Christmas, and the best one by far in my collection was Lady Cottington’s. I read it multiple times and kept it in pristine condition, day-dreaming about finding a hidden place in the woods, becoming ever convinced that faeries were hiding just out of my peripheral vision among the roots of enormous trees.
As an adult I’ve been fortunate to befriend other faerie lovers, even as my own interest has plateaued; Rachel is one, and her mom is another. So when I learned about The Fernie Brae it was obvious that a little road trip was in order!
We ate at Hawthorne Hophouse, which was freaking delicious. Best grilled cheese ever!
The stars aligned, and we decided to surprise Cheryl with a day trip for her birthday. She knew we were taking her to Portland, but she didn’t know the why, the where, or any single thing about what the day was going to hold. Spooky magic birthday fun!
After a three hour drive we found The Fernie Brae on the corner of a city intersection. It was properly magical on the outside, with a small garden, rock pathway, and large metal sculptures of fantastical creatures hanging around the porch. The building clearly used to be a home – it was a magnificent early 1900s structure – and there were welcoming chairs outside the front door.
Some of the art and decor – both on display and for sale – including a gorgeous rainbow catcher (which I ended up purchasing!)
Tons to see, touch, read, and admire
Left: skirt and sandals from Modcloth*
While the shop wasn’t large, it was quite dense. We did at least three loops through the place, and stayed for over an hour. From ceiling to floor, there was something to see; a decoration here, a piece of art there, stunning hand-sculpted masks, enormous faerie homes built with sticks and moss, tiny felted creatures, twinkle lights, polished stone, puppets, rainbow catchers, dainty sterling silver rings, a room full of books… but I don’t want to spoil everything there is to see.
The book room had a creature that we were encouraged to hug
In addition to The Fernie Brae being a space that is absolutely brimming with nature and magic, it is home to a number of original Froud family works of art. Some are display only, and many are for sale. Brian Froud is largely responsible for many of my favorite childhood things: Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and Lady Cottington’s!
Lower left: Grandpa from ‘Lessons Learned‘ by Toby Froud
Far right: Toby Froud sculpture
Never did I dream that I would see such things in person. Even though I read through the website to try and know what we were getting into, I still missed the fact that there’d be original works of art on display. I wasn’t prepared, I was mildly shocked actually; my childhood on display, close enough to touch (but I did not! Hands to yourselves.). It was an awesome afternoon.
I love you faerie ladies.
I’d do another six hour roundtrip drive to The Fernie Brae. If you live nearby then I encourage you to check it out!
x – happy beast