Sunday, February 22, 2015

My First Fairy House

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(Artwork: Ida Rentoul Outhwaite)

"A lady, with whom I was riding in the forest, said to me that the woods always seemed to her to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the wayfarer has passed onward: a thought which poetry has celebrated in the dance of the fairies, which breaks off on the approach of human feet."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


It's official. I have faeries on the brain!!!

Some call them Fae, some call them pixies or sprites or fairy folk...but I call them an amusing fascination.

And maybe (at times) even a bit of a nuisance, because ever since I built my first fairy house the other day my mind has not stop racing with ideas for more houses.

In lieu of reading Highland romance novels, or watching classic black-and-white movies like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir every night, instead I find myself hunched over the kitchen table with a glue gun in my hand and glitter pixie dust in my hair. While at the grocery store, I look at all the products lined up on the shelves in a whole new light.

That Quaker Oats box isn't just for housing oatmeal. Why, it's faerie-sized. Can't anyone else see that? The bristles on that broom aren't there merely for sweeping floors. I mean, come on! Clearly, it's thatching for a little roof. And what of these battery operated tea lights? Why am I picturing fairies dancing around the flickering flame?  photo scratch_zps3adfc319.gif

Ooh, campfire!

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I plan on making outdoor houses, too, but this one is for the indoors. Currently, I have it displayed inside the guest room. The guest room which, coincidentally, already has two little Flower Fairy decals on the walls.

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Because what's your first fairy house without a magic wand, and a frog prince needing a fairy's magical services?

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Is that a fairy flying past? Photobucket

By the way, making this house introduced me to "Happy Accidents." See that tiny droplet of glue over the doorway? I decided not to get rid of it because it reminded me of a dew drop.

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It took days for me to find that little bird. I knew it was inside one of the bins in the barn, but I was so petrified of a snake(s) being in there that it took several attempts for me to gather the courage to look through the bins really well.

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I do wish it was visible in the photos, but I sprayed a small amount of "fairy dust" on the log bench. (It's a sparkle spray).

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Another fairy caught on film? Photobucket

I hope she doesn't mind the house not being furnished.

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I was so happy to find those little tinkling bells! My grandmother gave those to me, along with a few other miniatures a while back. All I did to them was paint them silver. Easy peasy!

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Because when in a hurry fairies prefer to just fly inside key holes.

Not to mention Fairy Fact No. 1: Closing a door can be tricky when you have gossamer wings to protect!

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I didn't like the brightness of the sign, so I tried to make it look a little more natural by dry brushing some 'Burnt Umber' paint over it.

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I tried using natural materials whenever I could. Luckily, that isn't much of a problem where I live.

The only man-made items I used were: flooring, frog prince, welcome sign, keyhole, the tiny star for the wand, and flowers. (And the flowers I used I wanted to look as natural as possible).

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The campfire is made from a flickering tea light. Here's a quick video that I took of it:

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Yep, I'm saying it's a fairy! Photobucket

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And that's it. My very first fairy house, which I'm surprised to say I'm actually pretty proud of. I do wish I had decorated the inside... (all I put in was the floor)... but other than that I'm content.

I learned a few things in the process of building it, but most importantly I learned that with fairy houses the term "mistake" doesn't apply. When something isn't going as planned, it's time to discard that plan and just go with the flow. (Psst, I have the sneaking suspicion that if you take it all too seriously, the end result of your fairy house won't be anything that a fairy would want to be a part of anyway. I think the ENERGY you put into it is the main draw). If you're not having fun, you might as well walk away.

What I loved the most about this project - and I cannot stress this enough - was the fact that a fairy house is supposed to be a reflection of the natural world. There are no right angles or perfect lines in nature. There's color, and texture, and even character... so whenever I hit a roadblock in the building of my house, I just tossed some moss or over it and moved on.

Okay, I think that's enough rambling from me. BUT--

Word has it that in wintertime the fairies like to curl up inside the heart of a tree and fall into a calming sleep. Winter will be over in no time (insert crying jag), so if you believe in those legends you might want to keep an eye out for them in the forests. They should be waking up soon.

And watch where you step!


Linking to these lovely memes:

DIY Show Off / Brag About It / Inspire Me Monday / Show and Share Tuesday / Wow Us Wednesday / What to Do Weekends / Craftberry Bush / Show and Tell Friday / Flaunt It Friday / Show and Tell Saturday / Shabby Art Boutique / French Country Cottage

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wuv, Tru Wuv

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(Artwork: Tasha Tudor)

"And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv."

- The Impressive Clergyman; The Princess Bride


Hello! I trust everyone had a nice Valentine's Day?

This Valentine's Day I visited the "Vintage Marketplace" over in Round Top. The drive there is so beautiful! Since I'm so used to hearing the traffic on the road a few acres over.... lots of big rigs... it's really easy to forget that we're nestled inside miles and miles of rolling hills and lots of trees.

During the drive we saw a lot of new baby calves. It's that time of year, ya know. (Only the day before, while driving past this one pasture on the same road, I swear I saw a newly born calf. Newly born, as in having been born that day. I also saw a road runner fly up into a tree. It was a little thing, too. It had to have been a baby).
And of course there were birds and squirrels and lots... and lots... and lots of cows.  photo cow_zpscf581b99.gif I swear the cattle outnumber the people around here.

But back to the antique store....

The Vintage Marketplace is one of my favorite venues, and I just found out that The Junk Gypsies visited there a few weeks ago.

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I found the above pic on the store's Facebook page. It looks like Junk Gypsies is still filming their tv series.

I'm still bummed that we don't get that television station. Our cable provider pulled it without warning, so we only got to see the one episode. It's upsetting because on their show they're visiting places where I live. It's frustrating!

But enough crying about that. The last time I was at the Vintage Marketplace I fell in love with a painting there.

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When I returned on Valentine's Day my father pointed out the same painting to my mother. Luckily for me, my mother bought it for me!

Isn't it sweet? Written on the back, it says it was painted on March 18, 1963. They titled it "Goodnite."

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Initially, I was thinking of hanging it in the craft building, but I'm afraid it's just too hot in there. I don't want to ruin it.

I really need to find a frame for it because the edges of the picture are really rough. (Hence cropping the photo of it). I can only imagine how many years it's been wasting away inside attics and antique stores. I'm really happy it has a home now!

I also fell in love with the most adorable Children's Reader from 1957.

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Alas, I think it was a little overpriced because at least 10 pages of it were massacred with a pair of scissors. Sections of pages were completely cut out. It's a shame because the illustrations looked really sweet.

Sharing with Rubbish Tuesday


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My poor dogs are feeling under the weather. All three of them.

My brother and his wife visited us last weekend, and brought their dogs with them as they always do. It seems that the dog they fostered for a couple days ("Klondike") gave his dogs a cold. They didn't have the symptoms yet when they were at our house, but this week my brother's dogs, and ours, are sneezing like you would not believe. This can't be a coincidence.

My poor babies are really needing a lot of TLC. Of the three dogs, Abby is sneezing the most.

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Over the weekend my uncle was quite the shutterbug. He took a lot of nice photos on his phone. He now lives in his dream place, Colorado.

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Isn't it pretty how the lake is frozen over? I've never seen a frozen lake in person before. The closest I've been to that is seeing ice in the bird bath.

It's sad how excited I get when that happens.

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My mother says the picture above reminds her of "Gone With The Wind". Lol! I have to agree.

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"Cue the Deer." (A la the Chevy Chase movie, "Funny Farm").

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Cue the aliens and the tractor beam from their mother ship.  photo ufo.gif

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I do believe this deer thinks it's superpower is invisibility.

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Next are some pics I've taken recently:

I wish they were of better quality, but I still haven't mastered the correct settings for really sunny days.

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Yep... our neighbor's dog, which we named "Buddy" because we don't yet know his real name, is still talking to us. If we go outside, he asks us to come over. If we go walking, he follows us along the fence line.

I wish I could get real close to him, but I haven't even met his owners yet and I'm afraid of him hurting himself on the barbed wire.

That dog would crawl through that fence if he could, and he does try!

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I've always wanted to build a fairy house, and the other day I finally made my very first one! (Boy do I wish I had heard of fairy houses when my niece and nephew were little).

I have to say it turned out really well. I'm actually pretty proud of it, and that's saying something because I'm a perfectionist and I'm always falling short when it comes to any creative endeavors.

Before I built my fairy house - all made from natural materials found along the roads behind our house, as well as on my grandmother's property in the woods - I also tried my hand at building a fairy tree. My mother and I both worked on that one together, but I don't think I'll be doing it again. It's too labor intensive and incredibly messy. You also have to wait a few days for it to dry.

I haven't painted it yet, but most likely will within the next couple days. I'm a little nervous about how it's going to turn out. I would have painted it the other day, but the weather FINALLY turned cold again and it was raining and very windy outside. You're supposed to use stain on it, which has to be done outdoors, so... I'll get to it eventually.

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(Artwork: Richard Scarry)

I also made my first fairy door. It turned out really cute! I just don't know if I'm going to place it in our craft building or incorporate it into a new fairy house.

What I wish to do is to start making one's to sell, but I'm nervous about shipping them so I'll likely get a booth somewhere here and start from there. I'm still in the experimenting stage... especially with testing the different kinds of glues... and so far they're all fairy houses to be kept indoors. I definitely want to start making some outdoor ones, too.

In a few days I'll start sharing photos of what I've made.