Where did all this fairy garden nonsense come from anyway?

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I was poking around in Google Trends the other day doing some keyword trend research and discovered a few interesting tid bits of information. I was looking at the historical popularity  or the two search terms’ fairy garden’ and ‘miniature garden’ and here’s what I found.

The data starts in 2004 and of the 6 most interested nations in the term fairy garden only the United States shows enough interest to have data ranging back to 2004. however the US comes in at only fourth in over all interest.The other five in order of most interest shown in fairy garden and miniature garden and when it started to show is shown below. I all cases fairy garden was a more popular term than miniature garden.

‘Fairy Garden’                                               ‘Miniature Garden’

Australia 2007                                                 2011

South Africa 2007                                            not enough interest for data                                           

UK  2006                                                         2007

(US 2004 and beyond)                                    2004

Malaysia 2012                                                 not enough interest for data

Canada 2012                                                  2012

So now we know ..all this fairy garden nonsense came from the good ol’ US of A.

What does this data mean? I’m not sure. But I  was surprised that fairy gardening seems to be an enduring American interest rather than a trend or fad.  I had suspected that I would find that the UK showed a more historical interest. I also hope it means that Canada is just getting started and that this interest will endure:) That would be good news for fairygarden.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fairy Garden Shabby Chandalier

Fish Hook Chandelier

Fish Hook Chandelier

Inspired by an image on Pinterest of a miniature chandelier made out of a fish hook I gathered up some supplies and decided to give it a go.

First off – who knew fish hooks came in such an array of sizes. I decided to buy several sizes but settled on one about 1 1/2″ high for my experiment.

Step one -squeeze those nasty little barbs on the fish hooks until they are good and flat ( pliers) and nip the pointy ends from the hooks with a a little wire cutter.

gathered-supplies -fish-hook-chandalier  I picked up some clear seed beads and some larger clear beads as well as some even larger colorful beads. For the larger beads I looked for ones with a bead cap that could be used as a candle drip catcher.  reconfigure -beads      Step Two – I pre-assembled a few items. The largest bead was dismantled, reassembled and embellished with a small clear teardrop bead to form the part that would attach to the top of each hook and eventually hold the candle.  The hole in the tear drop bead fit over the hook a little making that part easy to glue. get-some-peieces-ready

A few strands of beading wire with curled ends were used to make the three pieces that would attach to the middle of the fish hook where beads would later hang. More beading wire pieces with a tear drop and several seed beads were made ready for hanging as well.

Step 3 – Assemble. Easier said than done 🙂 I painted the fish hook first. Much of the paint rubbed off during the assembly – and I’m going with the “I meant to do that story” and calling it shabby chic!

I started in the middle with the three pieces of twisted wire with curls at the ends, poisitioning them evenly around the middle post as best I could. Then I twisted a bit of wire around the bottom and top of the group.  I pulled and poked and eventually shaped the twisted wire into a shape I found pleasing and that would allow me to hang beads out away from the post, and then tightened the wire I had placed at the  top and bottom.

making-the-candlesAfter the bead chains were hung and the larger beads glued to the hooks it was time to make the candles.

Premo translucent clay was used  for making the candles. I just rolled out a thin snake, cut a few little pieces, poked a tiny bit of wire in the end and popped them in the toaster oven. Glue.

Fussy but fun. Keep crafting and, as always, have a fairy good time. Marthe

Fairy Garden Wire Crafts

wire-and-nail-polish-flower2Never fear to experiment. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe a less than satisfactory result. Even then, chances are you will have learned something from your effort that can be used to improve on the present experiment or be useful to another wire-crafts-for-fairy-gardenscraft project.

Like most of my ideas, I borrowed this one and adapted it to my purposes. I saw a Pin displaying twisted wire flower crafts for making  wearable art and decided to adapt the idea to making a fairy wand. That went ok so I tried a few other things… flowers, a butterfly, and a set of fairy wings.

wire-tree-and-cardinalThen, having seen and admired twisted wire trees and leafy wire garlands on a fairy garden supplies website I went ahead and tried making my own. leafy-garland-wire-craftAnd learned a few things along the way.

If you try this tree start with an even number of wire pieces (I used 19 gauge black craft wire), at least eight to have sufficient wire for making the ‘legs’ or roots at the bottom and a good number of branches. For the leaves a thin beading wire is easy to work with and comes in many colors. I made a leafy wire garland  and added it to the tree .

loop-wire-techniqueThe basic technique for all of these projects is a simple loop. After you have a loop give  it a couple of twists to keep its shape. To make the loop shape more leaf like insert a round object  into the loop and then pinch the outer end of the loop with a pair of pliers.

Brush the leaf or flower petal area with nail polish. This works somewhat the way bubbles on a bubble wand works. If the area to be painted is small enough try to spread the brush out to cover the whole area and gently let the polish fill the hole. For larger areas start the polish in the tightest area holding the piece so that the polish clan flow down across the rest of the area. For the flower in the first picture I used a bit of acrylic paint for the flower center.

Go ahead and experiment with other shapes, paints and wires and as always, have a fairy good time. Marthe

 

 

 

 

Fairy Garden House from Bird House

Sometimes the best things come from just starting a little experiment and letting it take you where it will.

fairy-houses-from-bird-house-croppedI often see cute plain wood bird houses in the dollar store ready for decorating and think there must be a way to turn that into a fairy house. I’ve brought a few home and today I decided to tackle one and see what would unfold. I also had some pine cones stashed away so I started by getting out my garden sheers and tearing it apart into pieces for a roof covering.

While doing so I was eying up the bird house and wondering how I could get rid of the perch sticking out . I took my garden sheers to it and sure enough , that worked. The wood seemed quite soft so I then used a box cutter to cut the bird hole into a doorway shape.fairy-house-from-bird-house-3

I added a little artificial moss to the roof and was thinking I wanted something twiggy to happen next. Then a lovely woman from PEI called and asked If I could paint some fairy houses with some lively colors for some young children coming into her life and suddenly I wanted color. I also had a notion to incorporate some twisted wire and nail polish ideas I had played with lately.

The result was a somewhat disjointed looking mess but I did not despair. I liked the happy color and decided to white wash the pine cone roof..add a poly clay door frame and a window. The thought came that it was getting a bit of a beach hut look so I went with it and made the window a fish shape.  From no where really, I thought I could make the funny wire nail polish thing in the doorway fit in by adding a ‘bead curtain’ of wire and clay.  The brown moss got touches of preserved brighter green moss to color it up. A final touch was some clay flowers hanging from the roof like patio lanterns.

And there it was..my experiment had morphed itself into some kind of beach hippy love hut fairy house. Not at all what  I started out to do!

hippy beach

So experiment..and as always , have a fairy good time, Marthe  And thank you to Mary from PEI for coloring my day!

Fairy Garden Patio

Here’s a little fairy garden patio that you can make in just a few minutes for under 3$fairy-garden-patioThis little patio is made of polymer clay. It does not require any fancy clay tools so even if you are not into clay you can do this. I used Copper Sculpey Premo. I like Premo because even after it’s baked it retains a little bit of flexibility. This means it can expand and contract in the heat and cold making it suitable for outdoor use as well as indoor.

You can buy a little 2 ounce brick of clay at a craft store for under 3$. Soften by kneading and then roll into a ball. Flatten the ball a bit with your hands and then roll it out with a rolling pin or glass bottle. Mine is about 2/8ths of an inch thick.

I use a straight edge to make the lines first and a then a pointy toothpick by hand to give it a bit of an irregular line. While the clay is still soft you can poke something decorative into it before baking at 275 degrees for about twenty minutes on a cookie sheet.  I put little beach pebbles arranged in a flower pattern. Done!

Keep crafting..and..as always..have a fairy good time, Marthe