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!

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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

Fairy Garden Containers

The ingenuity of fairy gardeners in choosing containers for their gardens never ceases to amaze me. Wheelbarrows, logs, crates, shoes…just about anything goes. It’s all part of the fun.

pink-vintage-tub-gardenThis week at The Fairy Garden I’ve been very busy getting ready for an arts and craft show. My first. I’ve been rushing about gathering items to help me prepare. I spent a whole day scouring the second hand shops for likely containers for my fairy gardens. I poked through  my own collection of things I’ve dragged home – including one item that I filched from someones garbage – yes I’m one of those.  A pink enamelware wash tub.

Ihandcrafted -fairy-garden-in-a-chestAt the shops I found a little chest, a miniature suitcase, an attractive wooden salad bowl and various pieces of glassware suitable for miniature garden terrariums. My rule is to pay no more than five dollars.

The hunt  is all part of the fun of fairy gardening and it allows me to make some little gardens with attractively low prices. My goal was to have at least two miniature gardens that I could sell for under twenty five dollars. By using my re-purposed containers and decorating with  handcrafted items I manged to accomplish this.

mini-suitcase-fairy-gardenNow if only that snow storm that’s threatening to arrive will just hold it’s horses –

Happy hunting…and, as always…have a fairy good time.

Marthe

Moss in the Fairy Garden ( for beginners)

moss-garden-kyoto-japanI think the moss garden in Kyoto Japan is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Someday I hope I to visit …but for now I have contented myself by building a little moss garden of my very own. A fairy moss garden of course.

First I needed to learn a little about moss and how to care for it properly. What a delight it was to find that it so easy to nurture.

moss-outdoors-on-rockI discovered that moss is not like other plants. It does not have roots or a what is called a vascular system which other plants need to gather nutrients and moisture. Instead it absorbs everything it needs through its leaves. Indoor or out it never requires fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. Out doors and in terrariums, once established, it doesn’t even require watering! In a planter indoors misting regularly is recommended to keep it nice and colorful.

The main requirements for moss to be happy are: to place the moss firmly upon its substrate or host – it does not like air under it;  plant moss  in shady areas outdoors and indoors place it where it does not receive direct sunlight – a few hours of morning light is all it needs; make sure it has good drainage – moss does not like to be kept wet. And that seems to be just about it. As it is not the first two seeks of August, it is still winter here in Canada :), and so I am going to make my DIY moss gardens indoor ones. To start ..being the seriously tiny lover that I am I just had make a little micro moss terrarium with the tiniest gravel ever and a bit of colored sand.

tiny-glass-teapot-with-sand-and-moss

For a more thorough moss education and some other optional suggestions for moss terrariums I found this article from the Eugene Daily News very helpful.

As always, have a fairy good time!

Itsy Bitsy Fairy Garden Stuff

Pill Bottle Fairy House

Pill Bottle Fairy House

I’m just nuts about seriously tiny fairy garden stuff. Micro things.

One day I happened upon an open tub of drywall compound (not at all unusual in our house) on my way to toss out an empty prescription bottle. The urge hit, and I quickly had the top half inch and the cap sawed off the bottle and dunked into the muck.

There’s always some buckets of pebbles and stone on hand where ever I am, so I poked a few into the muck – chopped up a bit of bark –  pinched a tad of artificial moss from my fairy garden supplies – a bit of glue -a drop of  paint – voila! A miniature fairy house.

It’s not fancy, and it’s not going to sell on Etsy …or anywhere else for that matter. But the few minutes taken out of a busy day to follow my whim was sheer delight.

Now, the teensy weensy miniature garden pebble chairs and table? That’s another fairy garden story. Now go make a 15 minute fairy garden story of your own!

As always, have a fairy good time! Marthe

FB Group Rescues the Stone Fairy House

In December 2013, along with picture below, I wrote a post on building a stone fairy house for your fairy garden. The instructions included using a technique for the main part of the house that I described in another post. Well , the main part of the house has worked out fabulous. Not so the roof!

I admit I am a little clumsy and I dropped it on a cement patio stone – the first time – and it hit the edge of a counter the second time. Still, I like to be able to put my fairy houses outdoors. I worried that the roof being on a different kind of plastic base than the bottom, was more brittle and determined that I would find a fix.

DIY Stone Fairy

DIY Stone Fairy House

After trying some silicone suggested in an online article and not being happy with the mess and difficulty of working with it, I decided to turn to the experts. People who do these kinds of crafts all the time. Namely, the members of a great group on Facebook called Miniature and Fairy Garden Chat. I posted my pic, expressed my frustrations and not very long afterwards I had a wealth of great tips, suggestions and information.

Nanci Z-S thought I was on the right track with the silicone and offered a great tip to make it easier to work with. She says she squeezes her silicone into a dish of water with plenty of dish soap and pulls out what she needs with soapy hands. The silicone will not stick to your hands but will stick to everything else. I’ll bet this extends the working time too.

Several people suggested using a sealant of some sort and Melinda T said she uses mortar after gluing the stone down. She added  that using cheese cloth to wipe the excess mortar away does a good job of cleaning all the residue from the stone. Gluing something to the plastic before the stone was also suggested, such as plastic mesh…I tried burlap and it does seem to be helping make the stone adhere easier.

The first suggestion made was jewelery glue, and the discussion came full circle back to this when  Debbie G mentioned E6000 and Jill A-H and Colleen F started to sing the praises of this apparently very useful adhesiveE6000-adhesive- product.

The product description found on Home Depot says  “Amazing E6000 Craft is a unique adhesive formulated to meet high performance industrial requirements, thus making it an excellent crafting tool. Amazing E6000 has exceptional adhesion to wood, metal, glass, fiberglass, ceramics, and concrete. It also adheres strongly to leather, rubber, vinyl and many plastics. Amazing E6000 dries clear and once cured, it’s waterproof, washer/dryer safe, can be painted and is safe for photographs.”

Sounds like ‘amazing’ stuff. What do you use for difficult fastening jobs?

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

Marthe