AUGUSTA — Laura Foster needed money to get into a Society for Creative Anachronism event so she could assume the persona of an 11th-century, low-ranking Irish noblewoman named Gormlaith an Malagenteach. So she put out the call:
Anyone want to buy a dragon?
And they did.
“Suddenly, I got 16 orders,” said Foster, 43. “So I showed up at Crown Tournament (in Raymond) with this Hannaford bag full of stuffed toy dragons, ‘Get your dragons here!'”
The launch of her new company, My Wee Dragon, followed.
In just over a year, she’s hand-stitched nearly 100 whimsical felt beasts. Each comes from her Mystical Orphanage and has a unique back story.
An Imperial Purple Dragon “likes the sound of coins and the taste of fish sauce.”
A Lavender Moon Dragon “loves shojo anime, floral smells, fireflies and romantic poems.”
Descriptions are complemented with pitches such as “Lucky Green Dragon is looking for a Forever Lair …”
Coming up in 2018: Felt unicorns and a mythical Norse eight-legged horse.
Foster, who spent six months hand-sewing her olive-colored period Gormlaith an Malagenteach dress, was known among friends to be talented with a needle. Her first dragon came from a friend’s request to sew one for her child.
Wee Dragons are 5 inches tall and 9 inches long in a rudimentary shape with wings, ears, a tale and exposed thread along each seam. Each takes three to four hours to sew. Prices start at $40.
“I like experimenting with different shades of felt,” Foster said. “I really like the rustic-looking simplicity with the contrasting stitching, not getting too complicated because you want them to be cuddly, too, and to not take a week to make one.”
Society for Creative Anachronism members have been regular customers. She’s been involved with the group off and on for 20 years.
Ideas for the Mythical Orphanage and the Mommy of Dragons, which is how she refers to herself within the company, kind of grew organically from that, Foster said. “The Mommy of Dragons, not the Mother of Dragons — don’t want to get sued.”
For the dragon greenhorn: Daenerys Targaryen from the cable show “Game of Thrones” is the Mother of Dragons.
Foster, who works as a temp doing data entry through Bonney Staffing, would like to craft full-time, eventually. She’s just started hitting events such as the Nor’geekster Geek Holiday Fair in early December in South Portland.
She imagines dragons’ attributes as she sews. This one likes “good books and hot tea,” that one “Sriracha sauce, habanero peppers and Atomic Fireballs”
“I don’t want to write too much of the dragon’s story for them,” Foster said. “I want the person who adopts them to really connect in their own way.”
Weird, Wicked Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, unexplained and intriguing in Maine. Send photos and ideas to [email protected]
Laura Foster of Augusta kisses one of her hand-stitched dragons. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Examples of Laura Foster’s My Wee Dragons are displayed. She launched her company just over a year ago. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Laura Foster poses with a wee dragon on her shoulder. She launched her company, My Wee Dragon, just over a year ago and calls herself the Mommy of Dragons, a nod to the “Game of Thrones” character Mother of Dragons. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Laura Foster displays one of the other projects she is working on: affirmation bat key chains. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Laura Foster poses in her full 11th-century, low-ranking Irish noblewoman outfit, which she hand-sewed. She’s been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism off and on for 20 years. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)