About the Picsees

Hello everyone, we are the Picsees, we are the wee ones who make all the art and also we like to play and look for bugs in the park. you must come say hello to us on the twitters and facebook ok, just go here: www.twitter.com/thePicsees www.facebook.com/thePicsees

THE FERRYMAN OF AMSTERDAM

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We would like to introduce you to a new friend we recently made. He’s a gnome named O’Hans but most of the weefolk around here call him veerman (which means ferryman in Dutch) because of the wee boat that he sails around the canals of Amsterdam.
At night it’s a houseboat, of which he is the sole resident and during the day it becomes a ferryboat, of which he is the captain. It also happens to be the only ferry for the weefolk of the city.

He carved the boat himself when he was just a wee boy. The body of the boat has darkened with age and the hand carved patterns of interwoven waves and vines, once decorating the sides, were all but completely worn off.
The sail was made from an old piece of canvas which doubles as a roof at night. On one side of the sail is a painting of a sunflower and on the other is a hand drawn map of all the canals. Growing on the hull, just above the waterline is a large mushroom, which he says he’s saving for a winter stew. Other than that, there’s a book underneath his seat, a pencil which is sharpened at both ends and an empty pickle jar tied to the back of the boat with an old shoe string, which is there for passengers to store their luggage during their journey.

And that was it. There is nothing more in or around the boat and as far as we could see there were no other nooks or crannies to keep things. And since the boat was also his house it got us wondering…where did he keep all his belongings?

When we asked him he laughed wholeheartedly for a while before pointing to his head and saying “everything I need fits in here just fine”.

We laughed along with him although we didn’t quite understand why and we were still wondering where he kept all his important things. There was that one book under his seat, but where did he keep all his other books, where were his treasured keepsakes, his shiny things and his sweets? We thought he probably misunderstood our question so we decided to make our questions a wee bit more specific…

“But where do you keep all your books?” we asked.
“All the stories I have read are up here” he said once again pointing to his head.
“The books themselves I passed on. But the stories, those I kept.”
He reached down and pulled out the book he kept under his seat.
“This book was given to me a moon ago by a passing passenger from up north and once I’m done reading it, I will pass it on again. I’ll probably give this one to Atook the little cobbler elf from Van Baerle Steet. It’s a story about a magic pair of boots, I think he would like it.”
He reached for his pencil and wrote “Atook” inside the cover and returned the book to its place under his seat.

“But then you have no books” we all said at once.
Yes, that is true.” he said. “But I could close my eyes anywhere I am and recall all the stories I’ve ever read, and if there are any I forgot I have a great reason to go visit whoever I gave that story’s book to, and we can recall it all over a nice hot brew. And who knows…before long someone might pass another book on to me which they have read and thought I might like*.

We never thought about it like that before, but it’s true…that’s the magic of books isn’t it? You always get to keep the story. Even if the book itself was no longer around.
But what about his treasured keepsakes? Surely he had to have a few mementos around to remember his most special moments?

He nodded when we asked him about these.
“I did have a few of those when I was younger” he admitted. “but more often than not, the thing itself replaced the actual memory. So these days I prefer to carry just the memories with me…which is best because there would be no way this boat could fit them all.”
He gave a short chuckle and got up to adjust the sail.
“But I have to admit…” he whispered as he tied the sail into place, “…I don’t keep all of those in my mind, some of those I keep in my heart.”
He smiled to himself as he sat down again. We did not know what treasured memory he recalled in that moment, but we could tell it was a special one.

We were starting to see that his boat is not as empty as we first though. In fact, we were starting to worry that the boat might sink if we let him recall much more…but there was still something we were unsure about. His shiny things and sweets! All weefolk have some sort of shiny trinket and a bag of sweets hidden somewhere…and gnomes were no different.

“Well, I do sometimes keep a candy or two in my pocket, but those are not for me” he said.
“You see…almost everyone who comes on board brings a little something to eat on route, and everyone who does always shares. That’s what makes this such a special place. You’ve just shared one of your cookies with me, and earlier this afternoon I took some Elderfaeries down the canal who gave me a whole handful of sugar candies. I ate one of the candies and kept the rest right here in my pocket, because somewhere down the line someone will get on board who didn’t bring something to eat…and then it will be my turn to share.
And as for shiny things…Oh, I have more than anyone could ever imagine. Tonight, after I’ve taken everyone where they needed to go, I will steer my little boat down the Prinsengracht canal and be surrounded by the shine of the city. Lights from the people folk’s houses, flickering candles from the faeriehollows, lanterns on cafe tables and faerielights in trees, streetlights, bicycle lights, the moon..all filled with life, and each one of these glistening on the water around me. Not even kings and queens could ever wish for that many shiny things.
You see wee ones” he said, “for me, belonging, is so much more important than belongings.

That evening he invited us to sail with, and it was true. All the gold trinkets in the world could never shine that way. It was one of the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. We shared the rest of our cookies along the way and gave the last one to a wee river troll catching a lift back to his bridge.
Many more stories were also shared that day, he told us a few, and we told some too…we even told him about you! We’ll be sharing some of those stories with our friends in the park tomorrow but he asked us to pass this one on to you…we hope you like it, and if you do, don’t forget to pass it on too.

 

* He was quite right, the very next day we went to give him one of our favourite books. It’s a story about a captain who sailed the seven seas, we think he would like it.

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the wee dragon pup in the park…

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Hello everyone, it’s us…the Picsees and guess what? It’s summertime! yHay! It’s been nice and sunny for a while now but this week was officially the start of summer. Of course we do know that it’s not summertime everywhere and some of you might be missing out…so we thought we could maybe share a wee bit of our summer with everyone, and we decided a good way to do this is to draw you a wee picture of some lovely summer flowers. We packed our best pencils and went down to the park. It didn’t take us long to find some good drawing flowers and we were scribbling away in no time…but like always we got a wee bit lost in the details…so much so that we didn’t really pay attention to the “big picture” and the something rather interesting appearing in it. It was actually only after Mika pointed our that one of the flowers we were drawing had a lovely smile when we noticed we were drawing more than just flowers…and if we didn’t have this picture as proof you probably wouldn’t have believed us, but there he was! A wee dragon pup playing among the very flowers that we were drawing for you! This was an exciting discovery…it’s not everyday that you get to meet a dragon pup! We went over to talk to him, but cause he’s still a wee baby he couldn’t really speak, he only made some clicky noises and then he got distracted by a bumble bee and chased after it, disappearing between the flowers. We ran after them but couldn’t find him or the bumble.
We went back to the exact same spot and sat there the whole day hoping to see him again and maybe make friends if we do, but there was no sign of him. We even did some clicky noises like he did but it didn’t help. So today we are are going to paint some yellow and black bumble bee stripes on Eric and have him run around the flowers to see if that will make him come out to play cause we know for sure that he likes to chase bumble bees…

The Elderfaerie at the lake.

Last night we went down to the lake and found one of the Elderfaeries sitting there. He invited us to sit with him and said we can ask him one question. The Elderfaeries are very wise. They’re probably the wisest of all the wee faeryfolk living in these realms. It’s because they’ve been living here for so long. For thousands and thousands of years in fact, which is why we decided to ask him about just that…these realms.

He didn’t answer us right away. Instead he sat quietly for a while, while trying on a few different frowns and when he finally found one that fitted, he looked down at something he was holding in his hand. Something that wasn’t quite there. Something only he could see.

“Aye…reality” he said eventually. He repeated the word a few more times to himself as if to see if that might change its meaning, and once he was quite sure it wouldn’t, he went on…
“It’s a pretty peculiar place, isn’t it. I don’t think it was ever intended for anyone to live here, but here we all are nonetheless.”
He nodded his head slowly, eyes still fixed on the unseen object in his hand, giving the worlds he just spoke a moment to find their place among us.

“Reality” he said once more. “The real-realms we used to call it back home. The strange fringes of the dreamworlds, where the seemingly endless possibilities of dreams finally lose their momentum and settle into their final from for all of time. Becomes…real, as the locals might say.
That’s is the definition of reality you know…when a thing is a thing and can nevermore be another thing. It’s just that one thing. Nae more. Nae less. Always and forever. The exact opposite of a dream in a way…or at least that’s what they say…”

For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, he stopped looking at his hand and turned his gaze up at us, his frown slowly relaxing.
“But it’s not as bad as it might sound” he said. “Because you see…”
He stopped talking and held out his hand as the object that was never there slowly began to take shape. It was becoming more and more…real. For just a moment it could have been (and probably was) absolutely anything, and then it settled into the form of a small grey pebble.

Without a word he turned his gaze towards the lake, it’s surface was smooth and dark. The moon was slowly rising over it and painted a thin white line across the entire surface, all the way to the edge of the water where we were sitting. Then, just before the moonlight touched our toes the Elderfaerie threw the pebble out across the lake. It skipped on the surface three times and disappeared, but it left a wee ripple every time it touched the water. These ripples grew into wee waves, weaving the most intricate patterns across the entire surface as they travelled to and fro, bringing the lake to life. The moonlight joined in and danced between the lines, scattering its light across the forest canopy. Water touched our toes as the waves reached the shore with a soft rhythmic murmur. It lasted a mere moment but it was beautiful.

We all sat there staring at the lake as it settled back into silence. Into its reality. The Elderfaerie turned back to us and spoke once more.
” ..there’s also that” he said and smiled.

Nalu, the Firefly Faerie.

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We are so excited to show you our new art picture. We made it to introduce you to quite an extraordinary wee faerie that we recently met. Her name is Nalu. She spends most days collecting wee bits of strings, tiny treads and even small snippets of yarn and ribbons, which is not a strange thing for faeriefolk to do, most of us love collecting strings and things…but it’s what she does with these that’s quite amazing.

You see...She’ll keep gathering these until she has just enough (we asked her exactly how much enough is, to which she just smiled and said “enough is not a number, enough is knowing”) and then carefully tie each one into a wee little bow. They look similar to shoelaces, but we tried to make one and it’s a lot more complicated to do than a lace of a shoe.

Making these can take her anything from a few hours to a few weeks depending on how many bits of string she has…but she always has just enough which means it will take her exactly the right amount of time to do. When the very last one is tied, a full moon should be just about halfway through its climb up into the evening sky, under which she’ll sit and wait. She will whistle for the wind and wait some more…her hands like a wee cocoon around the bowties. And then, as the breeze arrives she slowly opens her hands like a flower in bloom, letting them drift off with the wind into the night skies…and one by one, with a wee bit of magic and a whole lot of moonlight they turn into fireflies…

Happy Halloween!

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Tomorrow is Halloween and as you probably know that’s one of our favourite days of the year! It’s the one time when faeryfolk, human beans and monsters all get along. No one runs away screaming, No angry mobs…just some tricks and some treats ~:)

If you go out tomorrow after the sun’s gone down you are sure to see every creature and critter imaginable roaming the streets, looking for sweets and having a good old time! Well…actually not every creature and critter…you probably won’t see the wee vampires (not to be confused with big vampires like Dracula). They can’t come cause they are babysitting bat pups.  You see, this is the time of year that most bats fly off to go find a place to hibernate for the winter. The legend says if a bat is seen flying around after the break of dawn on the day after Halloween they will turn into birds, and if there’s one thing a bat does not want to be it’s a bird! Now, while most of the wee baby bat pups can fly off with their parents to their winter homes, there’s always one or two little late bloomers that can’t even flap their wings yet. This would be a very problematic time for these wee pups since all the other bats has to leave…but lucky for them there’s the Vampires. For as long as anyone can remember the Vampires has been looking after these wee bat pups during the winter months until their family wakes up around march the next year.  This is why Vampires and bats are such good friends. Many of them were raised by the Vampires so they are actually more like family.

But raising a bat pup is not an easy job. Luckily, the legend that turns bats into birds only last until the new year, but until then none of the wee pups can be taught to fly* and if you know bats you will know they are useless at walking. This means that they have to be carried everywhere they want to go, and they want to go all the time! So the poor vampires doesn’t get much sleep (Most people think wee vampires are nocturnal, but they actually love to sleep at night…it’s the pups that keeps them up all night.)

This means if you do happen to see one they’re most likely to be very tired and quite grumpy…so it’s best to avoid them! Even though they are little they do bite! But don’t worry though…it’s  not as bad as when a big vampire bites you. It’s usually a bit itchy like a mosquito bite. Also you might get a mild case of the wakeys (or sleeplessness) and you probably won’t be able to eat garlic for a week but after that you’ll be ok. but still….best to avoid them ~:)

*from the very first day of the new year bats can fly again without the fear of becoming a bird so from then they will all go to Lady Rosafae’s flying school for her special “midnight flight with batnav” classes (you can read about her school in the post below) so that they can be expert flyers by the time the other bats return.

PS…please click on the picture to see it nice and big!

LADY ROSAFAE’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG FLYERS.

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We recently helped Lady Rosafae to make some posters for her school where she teaches the wee faeries and flutterbugs of the forest to fly. We also promised her that we’ll put one of these posters up on our WordPress page with the all details of her upcoming flying lessons in case anyone here wants to go, and here it is!

There is a beginners course starting this Satyrday. These lessons are tailor made for faerie babies, wee butterflies and little ladybugs (but all little flyers are welcome). There will also be a special night class for baby moths (this will include a half-hour introduction course on avoiding candles and other bright lights). There is no need to pre-book for these courses, just be at the tall oak tree at dawn (or at dusk for the night class).

There’s also an intermediate class for little birds next week but we forgot what day that is so we’ll do a twitter tweet with the details for that a bit later.

And then last, but most certainly not least…good news for all the non-flyers! We know that quite a few of our friends on here aren’t  faeryfolk and some of you might not even have wings…but don’t worry! Lady Rosafae is working on a very special class for all of you too! This will be a series of evening classes taking place just after bed time in dreamland, because as you probably know – in dreams everyone can fly ~:D These classes will be open to anyone including human beans!

We’ll let you know when and where you can enrol for these very soon. If you want to start practicing in the meantime Lady Rosafae recommends reading some bedtime book that has flyers in them…we think “Peter Pan” should be a perfect start ~:)

PLEASE DON’T FEED THE GOBLINS!

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We got into a bit of trouble so now we have to put up little signs everywhere (including this one here on our WordPress page) to remind everyone that they should not be feeding the goblins…not even if it’s just one wee little goblin with the most adorable (yet slightly odd looking) grin. Never-ever-ever feed them anything…especially not cookies!

You see…we recently moved to a new country (called the Nether Netherlands) and most of our friends came along on this big adventure of ours. Obviously this also include our very good friend and honorary Picsee; Eric the goblin. Now, on his own Eric can be quite a handful and gets into a lot of trouble with almost no effort…so when he asked us if he could invite one of his wee goblin friends along, we should have known this could only lead to more trouble than usual…But we didn’t.

We said “of course you can! The more the merrier!” But sayings like that should always come with terms and conditions, cause Eric’s friend also invited a friend…and so did that friend and that friend’s friend invite a few friends too, and so on, and so on, and so forth…which is how we ended up with a few hundred goblins living with us in our new home….But this is not exactly the reason we are in trouble and putting up wee signs everywhere…

We were always friends with the goblins and there’s always been hundreds of them around, but back in Scotland they all lived in the woods where they mostly just ate some roots and got up to some minor mischief. But because they now lived in the house with us, and because we were taught sharing is always a good we gave them some of our cookies last night.

It turns out none of those roots they ate in the forest had any sugar in them…but the cookies certainly did…and suddenly so did all the goblins!

They…went…crazy! absolutely bonkers! they started running about, eating every single sugary snack they could find! And when they couldn’t find any more snacks they started eating anything they thought might have some snacks inside. By now they ate so much sugar that they could not taste it anymore so they started eating absolutely everything! In the end there was nothing left except for the walls, an old shoe and a few vegetables. They basically ate the whole house!

And then they went to the neighbours and asked them if they had some cookies…which they did, so the goblins ate all their cookies and then they ate their whole house too! And then they ate the house next door to them, and then the one next to that…and so on, and so on, and so forth…

They kept going until their tummies got so full that they couldn’t move anymore. The sugar eventually worn off and they all fell asleep in the streets. We went to get them all and brought them back home, one by one with our wee little wagon. Luckily they had the sugar crazies so bad that they couldn’t remember anything when they woke up…including the lovely taste of cookies…and we are certainly not going to tell them or share any of our cookies with them ever again…and neither should you, cause they’ll eat your house too! So please, please, please…do not feed the goblins!

PS…you can still leave some cookies out for us at night…we’ll be good! we promise ~:)

De Kabouters…

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It’s us..the Picsees! We’ve been away collecting some good old days but we’re back now! Well…..actually it’s not just us who’s back and also we’re not really back where we used to be. You see…once upon a time, about two months ago we got a special letter from our friends the Kabouters.

Have we told you about them before?

The Kabouters are wee folk (but not quite as wee as we are) that lives in magical place called the Nether Netherlands. They are sort of like gnomes, but in the same way a meerkat is sort of like a kittycat. They all wear big pointy hats under which they keep all sorts of useful things like string and spare cheese. Every lady kabouter has lovely long braided hair and all the kabouter men have big bushy beards. Most of their time is spent helping the wee animals of the woods. A very very long time ago they also helped people but then some bad people came and scared the Kabouters away. Most people thought they left this world but they are still here, they just live underground now. They still come out to look after the wee animals but only when there’s no human beans around…which brings us back to the letter…

You see, the Kabouters knew that not all human beans are bad. Actually they believe that most of them are good, and they’ve always wanted to help the good ones again…maybe even become their friends. But because they haven’t seen a single human bean for such a long time, they don’t know anything about them anymore…And that is why they wrote us the letter. The letter invited us to come and live with them in the Netherlands for a while so that we can tell them all about the lovely human beans we’ve met, and in turn, the will teach us all about their way of life so we can tell those lovely human beans all about them too…and those lovely human beans are of course you ~:D

So we’re back…but not back in Scotland. We packed up all our things (this includes the 2 human beans we live with) and moved all the way to the Netherlands. We now live in a lovely city called Amsterdam, and we can’t wait to tell you about our adventures and all our wonderful new friends…. de Kabouters ~:D

THE STORY OF THE LAZY GNOME.

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Once there was a wee little gnome named Galagasco.
Now, if you had to choose just one word to describe him you would probably use the word ‘lazy’. And if you did you’d be right. The thing about lazy folk is that they usually end up with lots and lots of things to do that never gets done. This was also true in the case of Galagasco. One day it got so bad that he decided it was time to do something about it. Many lazy folk make this decision, but he went a step further than most of them…He actually did something.
He made a list.
At first he titled it ‘Things To Do Today’, but since it was already afternoon he decided to change it to ‘Things To Do Tomorrow’. And credit given where credit is due, he did write down quite a lot of things to do. It took some time, but it was a good list and he was rather proud of it. When he was done he read through it once more and thought that with so many things to do tomorrow, he should probably spend the rest of today resting.

He folded up the list and placed it on the wee table next to his bed where he snuggled up and found his way to dreamland in no time. He slept like a log and woke up well rested the next morning.
“What a lovely day” he thought as he got out of bed, until he remembered about the list and all those things that needed to be done. His heart sank into his little boots. He sighed as he picked up the list, but as he began to read, a smile appeared on his face. He re-read it few more times, just to be sure and gave another big sigh, only this time it was a sigh of relief.
“I was a little worried for a while” he said to himself, “but there was no need, for this is a list of things to do tomorrow…not today”.
He folded up the list and put it back onto the wee table next to his bed.
“And since I have so many things to do tomorrow” he thought aloud, “I should probably spend the rest of today resting”. and got back into bed.