Very Fancy Lions and Tigers and Bears{6}

fancy lions and tigers and bears

Best-Dressed Critters on Vashon Island

Dressed poorly for the inclement weather (as is the norm), I dropped into Snapdragon Bakery to buck the chill with hot coffee, fresh pastry, and a fireside chat with some unsuspecting, non-morning person. Truth be told, I also had an ulterior motive. I could have dispensed with the caffeine, calories and camaraderie, and still been warmed by the whimsy, beauty and imagination manifested in the cafe’s December gallery show, Fable.


I kept waiting for this snow leopard to join in our conversation.

Initially, I raised an eyebrow when I heard the show centered around felted animals. My lesser self, wrongly imagined rows of wooly forms of beanie babies or tableaus of beds buckling under the weight of pastel, stuffed animals. When I heard felting, I saw dryer lint. (Bad Tom, bad.) What I witnessed instead was a cast of fantastic, soulful characters perched on old mossy split logs, ready to share their stories, or in this case their fables —each one brought to life by gifted hands and fanciful fiber.

fable mouse

I think this mouse is friends with Betsey Johnson.

Artist Monica Gripman surprised and delighted us all with her detailed and dandy creatures, sporting fashions reserved for royalty, Edwardians, sultans, ballerinas, and a pirate or two. When Monica told me her artful journey began when she picked up a felting kit at the island pharmacy,  my mouth pretty much dropped. Her lush creations belie any hobby-kit heritage, for each character seems fashioned to tease our imagination and put our own wardrobe to shame. Critter couture never looked so good.

Ruh row, here comes trouble...

Uh oh, here comes trouble…

The show is up through the end of December; should you need a good dose of delight, I recommend you drop by to spin your own tales with these lovely creatures, and also warm up a bit with coffee, croissants and conversation.

A little self-timer shenanigans

Some self-timed shenanigans at Snapdragon Bakery and Cafe

Monica's fair ladies

Monica’s fair ladies

felted fiber arts giraffe

Harriet, prima ballerina giraffe, bids you, adieu. (The names on the board are those of the contributing sheep and alpaca.)

Fable Collections