I think this is the cutest project I’ve ever done.
It might even be the cutest project anyone’s ever done in the history of the universe.
So you think that’s an overstatement and just a bit too self-indulgent?
Ha! Just you wait my doubting friends.
It all began a few months ago while shopping at a local nursery. There before me were the most adorable fairy garden miniatures I’d ever seen, and a mere seconds later I was toting home a gnome house, white picket fencing, a couple of chairs and a table, (which I ended up not using) a mailbox, and some stepping stones.
But that was only the beginning.
A short time later, I found myself at another nursery on the other side of town. Here’s where my vision started to take shape, but before I tell you about that, let me show you where the fairy garden is located.
I had some difficulty deciding where to place it. I had very much wanted to put it in a large, hollowed out tree stump in our back yard, but right now it’s very difficult to access (emphasis on ‘right now’). I thought about putting it right by our front door near the stone steps, and in fact started to do just that, but it just didn’t feel right. I also felt the house needed height, and realized I had just the thing, but I would need more space than available by the steps on the stone wall. You’ll see what I mean soon.
So here’s where it is. Can you see it?
See, I told you it was cute!
Getting back to my vision. As you may know, we live by a lake in a log cabin and it seemed appropriate to give the garden a rustic theme, so why not pick up some log furniture for the fire pit area?
And how about some blue crystals for a lake?
Oh, and you can’t have a lake without a fairy fishing, complete with his trusty pup, now can you? I should say not! Oops, looks like his rubber boots fell!
And, of course, every respectable lake should have a bait shop and a place to rent some boats.
Even though fairies can fly, they’re a modest bunch and don’t like to show off, so a bike and a wagon to get around the neighborhood in style, and ladders to climb, is a thoughtful touch.
And maybe a tire swing to relax on after all that exercise.
And just in case there’s a fairy that’s really tired, there must be a hammock for some leisurely, afternoon naps.
Here’s a shot of the back. Notice the solar panel on the gnome house?
Can you stand it??
So here’s the down low on how I did it (’cause I know you can’t wait to put together your own, right?). I was lucky to have this organic wooden three tiered shelf I picked up at Homegoods a few years ago but if I hadn’t, I would have built up the ground with some dirt or sand so the house could be a little higher than most everything else.
Now, while it’s a LOT of fun to shop for ready made items, the real fun is in thinking up fun accessories on your own and making them.
I cut some large twigs and hot glued them together for the tire swing, which btw is simply a round piece of plastic that I spray painted black.
For the hammock, I cut a small piece of outdoor fabric and used an owl to punch some holes in the ends and threaded some thin ribbon through the holes (a large nail would work just as well). I used the owl punch and a hammer to actually split the ends of the large twigs just enough so I could put the ribbon in the slits. There may be a far better way to put together a hammock, but this worked for me.
A while back I made a cute little button bouquet, and I used some of those as ‘flowers’ in the garden. I also picked up some flower stickers at Michael’s which I placed on twigs. I used those in the garden as well as in the tiny planters, which I covered with some moss. Cheap, easy and colorful!
I also took a wine cork, the kind that is fatter on the top, glued a plaid button to it and used it as a plant stand. I had some doorknobs I picked up at a tag sale that I used for this cabinet and used one as a base for an ornament. You can also use flat topped cabinet hardware as stools or plant stands. In fact, they don’t even have to have flat tops if you’re not putting anything on top of them.
I had extra fencing, so I cut it into three pieces and used them as ladders. To secure everything I used clear glue dots, available at any craft store.
I originally used the top of a large jar for the lake, but the round shape made it look more like a pool. I found an irregular shaped baking pan at Goodwill for $2 and glued some slate and stones around the edges and I love how it turned out.
These pictures were taken on different times and different days so if you see something (like the cute little red polka dot mushroom near the house) that wasn’t there before, it’s because every time I go shopping I come home with more stuff!
I look at things differently now, always wondering what I can use it for. Can a button be used for a bike wheel? Can a shot glass be used as a table base, maybe with lights inside? Can fabric scrapes be used on a clothesline? Yes, yes, and yes. There are no limits to what you can create!
I’m going to be really sad when it’s time to bring everything indoors. Maybe we should move to Hawaii??
In other news…
I’ve been getting my craft on lately with some fun and easy projects around the house which I’ll share next time, but one of them involves a large leaf and some cement ;).
My planters on the deck have been doing great! Last year I was very happy with how the plants looked and I didn’t think I could top that. I’m happy to say I was wrong.
This is a side view and as you can see both sides are doing equally well. Looks like ‘million bells’ is very happy on the deck!
Here’s a couple of its neighbors…
That’s it for now folks. We have the boys this weekend and will be taking part in Field Day today. Tug of war is always a perennial favorite. Wish us luck :).