Showing posts with label fairy gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fairy gardens. Show all posts

Product Review: Glu6 and Recycled School Glue

Product Review: Glu 6 and Recycled School Glue by Nine Lives ProductsIf you've been hanging around here for long, you already know that I enjoy upcycling projects. Turning something that could be considered trash into something useful or pretty is a fantastic achievement! That's why I was very curious when I received an e-mail from Nine Lives Products asking me if I would like to sample their product. It's glue made from styrofoam. I loved the idea, so I was excited to give the glue a try.

Glu6 is made from those big blocks of styrofoam, like the ones packed around TV's and small appliances. Then it's mixed with plant-based ingredients that dissolve and shrink the styrofoam. The result, a gooey glue that dries clear and it smells like citrus. Science is awesome!

I received three types of glue: craft paste, non-porous glue and recycled school glue and couldn't wait to start crafting.

Crafts I have made with Glu6 recycled styrofoam glue

First, I used the craft paste to create paper beads that turned out lovely. I was even able to give them a shiny finish by coating them with a layer of the non-porous glue.

I also used the craft paste to make Christmas card ornaments. Again, I was very pleased with how the paste worked on paper.

I used the non-porous glue to create bottle cap magnets. I previously used hot glue when making bottle cap magnets and always end up singeing my fingers. Ouch! Then, over time, the hot glue usually peels away from the bottle cap, adding insult to injury. My Glu6 magnets, however, have held up for months and not separated.

Another project I now use the non-porous glue for is fairy garden houses. In the past I used silicone glue to stick the little metal doors to the clay houses, which works fine, but smells terrible when you apply it. Instead, I tried the Glu6 when I made the prototype for a class I am teaching in a few weeks. It worked perfectly and my students won't get headaches from the silicone fumes when we make them.

Recently, I used the recycled school glue to make paper flowers and a paper flower ornament out of magazine pages. They are a lovely way to celebrate Earth Day later this month.

Overall, I was very happy with all three varieties of Glu6. All of them have held my projects together well. I also like that all three dry clear so you don't have to worry if you are a little sloppy. You should know that a little of this glue goes a long way. I'm also happy that the craft paste and non-porous glue are now available on Amazon as well as the Nine Lives Products site.

I would recommend using the craft paste for big paper projects and the recycled school glue for more delicate ones. The craft paste's wooden applicator made it easy to evenly cover a large surface with glue. Whereas the nozzle on the school glue made it easier to apply more precisely to small areas.

How to clean the nozzle of Glu6 non-porous glue

The one concern I had about the non-porous craft was that the tip clogged up. I'll admit, it could have been user error. I didn't close the tip after using the glue and everything got gunked up. Fortunately, I discovered that the clear outer lid actually pops off if you pull it a bit. Then you can just use a pin or toothpick to remove any dried glue from the inner portion of the tip.

Many thanks to the folks at Nine Lives Products for the samples and for creating an effective and useful product that reduces waste in the landfills!

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Seven Lucky Fairy Gardens

Container Garden: Create a magical fairy garden with a teapot house and some pixie dustOver the last year I have become slightly addicted to miniature gardening. It all started when I created a small fairy garden with a teapot-like house in a container by our front door. That led me to create an entire fairy village in the back yard. Now, I seem to have little fairy gardens popping up all over the place.

I recently noticed that some of my older gardens needed sprucing up. So, I cleaned out the leaves and debris that had accumulated over the winter and planted a few new flowers to replace ones that didn't survive.

Let me take you on a tour of my newly remodeled miniature and magical communities.

We'll start at the base of my terraced fairy village. This area actually fared pretty well over the winter. The solar lights still glow each night along the path in my tiny neighborhood.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a re-purposed glass bottle

This is the bottle house and was created with a Baileys Irish Cream bottle and some glass paint.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a painted mason jar

Next door is the mason jar house. You may notice this house has changed colors dramatically since it's creation. I'll admit, I didn't follow the most important step in the tutorial I wrote. "Let the paint dry completely before you place the lid on the jar." After a few days outside, all of the paint slid off the sides of the glass and formed a wet, globby clump at the bottom. So, I had the pleasure of repainting the jar and testing my patience.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a re-purposed paint can

Just up the hill is the paint can house.  This is one of the areas that got a new plant, a Petite Licorice. I love the silvery leaves.

Fairy Garden: Create a rustic fairy house with a log and moss

Further up the hill is the rustic log house. One of the Angel's Hair plants got a trim, the other got transplanted and was replaced by a Deep Pink Verbena. I think the flowers add a nice touch to the area.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a clay pot, crushed shells and grout

The shell house used to be a part of the main fairy village. Unfortunately it became overrun by the Gopher Plant jungle this spring so the house was relocated to create a new beach garden from a vacant, tipped clay pot. My own tiny beach oasis in the middle of the desert.

Fairy Garden: Create an alpine fairy house with a painted syrup bottle

Finally, my Alpine garden made with a syrup bottle house and a little Italian Stone Pine that I received for Christmas. I think they make a lovely pairing.

For now, I'll try to refrain from creating any more miniature landscapes. My family says there's no more room in the yard for fairy gardens, but there's always room for a little bit of magic!

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Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to Make a Fairy Garden Beach

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make a miniature beach themed fairy garden. Surf's up!A few years ago I re-purposed a large piece of clay pottery that  was cracked on one side. I dug a slight hole, tipped the pot on it's side and filled it with some desert plants. Sadly, my plants pretty much died out last summer and I haven't had a chance to do anything with the area.

I also recently noticed that the plant located by the shell fairy house I created last year had pretty much swallowed up my previous beach scene.

So, I decided to create a miniature seashore inside of my tipped clay container.


  • large clay pot
  • blue paint
  • paintbrush
  • beach inspired fairy house
  • glass marbles
  • plastic wrap (optional)
  • crushed shells
  • dirt or sand
  • lupinus hybrids


First, you will need to partially submerge a large piece of clay pottery on it's side. I used an old pot that had a crack on one side. The cracked section is buried so you don't even see it.
Since this piece has been in our yard for years, I needed to move the dirt out of the pot before I could paint the inside.
Next, paint the inside of the pot. I like to use materials that I already have available when I can. Instead of purchasing new paint, I used leftover latex paint to coat the inside of the pot. Interestingly, the name of the color was Azure Sky. It seemed like a perfect match for this project.
Once the inside of the pot was painted, I pushed the dirt back in and leveled it out.
Next, you’ll create the ocean with flattened blue, glass marbles.
I placed a piece of plastic wrap under the marbles. It made them easier to spread out and they won't get lost in the dirt.

Once the marbles are spread out the way you like, you can trim the plastic wrap.
Next, place your fairy house. I made this one with a small clay pot, grout and crushed shells. Here's how.

If you don't want to make a fairy house, look at the pet store in the aquarium section. You're sure to find some beach themed decor.
Next, create the beach with some dirt or sand.

Now it's time for the finishing touches. I planted a hybrid variety of lupine because they look like tiny palm trees. Eventually they will make purple flowers that have a kind of tropical look so they will still fit in with the beach theme. I also sprinkled some crushed shells around my miniature seashore and added a larger shell, a few rocks and a couple pieces of bark to look like driftwood. Be creative!

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make a miniature beach themed fairy garden. Surf's up!

I have my own miniature beach landscape right here in the desert. Surf's up!

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Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden with a repurposed glass maple syrup bottle and an Italian Stone Pine treeDuring the holidays I received two gifts that I knew would be great for creating a new fairy garden. The first was a miniature Italian Stone Pine tree (which I may have over-watered a bit because I have a bad habit of thinking water = love with plants). The second was a bottle of maple syrup. Even though I received these gifts from different people, they seemed like a perfect pairing for an Alpine themed fairy garden.

I've been scouting my yard for the perfect spot to create my miniature landscape and finally settled on a large clay pot near our fire pit.



I was lucky enough to get a maple leaf bottle filled with syrup and it was delicious! If you can't find syrup in a bottle like this at the market, you can get the glass bottles on Amazon (one of my affiliates) from the link above.

Tutorial: painted glass maple syrup bottle Start with a clean, dry bottle and fill it with a bit of acrylic paint in your favorite color. I used a red-orange color. Put the lid on the bottle then swirl the paint around until the inside is covered. It's a little tricky because of all the jagged edges on the leaf. You can add more paint if necessary.
Remove the lid and turn the bottle upside down onto a protected work surface like a paper plate. Let all of the excess paint drain from the bottle.
Tutorial: painted glass maple syrup bottle Let the paint dry completely. This is the step I always want to rush, but it's really important that the paint is thoroughly dry before you put the lid back on so I'll say it again.

Let the paint dry completely!

Once the paint is dry you can put the lid back on.
Sometimes you can find these fairy wish doors in the beads and jewelry making section at the craft store. I like them because the doors actually open up.
They are meant to be used as necklaces so there is a loop at the top that you may want to remove with a pair of wire cutters.
Once the loop is removed...
...add a spot of silicon adhesive to the back of the door.
Tutorial: Create a fairy house with a painted maple syrup bottle Then affix the door to your painted bottle. Make sure to leave space between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the bottle because you will want to submerge a little of the bottle when you create your garden.

Let the bottle lay on it's side until the glue is dry or the door will slide off the glass.

Once the silicon is dry, you can head outside to set-up your garden. I used the miniature Italian Stone Pine that was given to me, bought a Fine Gold Leaf Sedum and transplanted some Angel's hair from another one of my gardens. Of course you can use other varieties of plants in your garden. I made a bark path in front of the fairy house and added a medium sized rock from the yard as an accent.

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden with a repurposed glass maple syrup bottle and an Italian Stone Pine tree

Welcome woodland fairies! In my next post we'll head to the seashore and I'll show you how to make a miniature beach themed garden.

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Inspirations - Anne Schellman

Introducing Anne Schellman from the gardening website Anne of Green Gardens. She's a horticulturalist.

It was actually a picture on Anne's website that inspired me to create my own fairy village. I can also relate to her gardening philosophy, "If you’ve never killed a plant, you’re not trying hard enough!" because I have definitely killed a few plants in my day.

In addition to her website, Anne is pursuing a dream and trying to get her book about miniature gardening published through her Kickstarter project. Take a minute to learn more about her project.

Please note, all of the beautiful photos in this post were taken by Anne's friend, Holly Guenther.

What do you create? 

I write blogs about how to garden, and recently became fascinated with miniature gardens. I met my friend Nancy who has a huge backyard fairy and gnome garden. It inspired me to make my own miniature gardens and to write a book about it.


What or who inspires you in your gardening and/or your life? 

My grandfather was a big influence. His name was Ferdinando and he was first generation Italian. He had an amazing garden full of flowers, nuts and fruits. As a little girl I visited him every weekend and helped him pick boysenberries, shell peas or crack walnuts. This made me want to grow my own food and flowers at home, so I saved up nickels and dimes and asked my mom to help me send away for seeds. I was so excited when they arrived!

What’s your philosophy about gardening and/or life? 

One of my first jobs was at a garden center where I made a friend who taught me a lot about gardening and life. One day I confessed to her “Sometimes I kill my plants.” To which she replied, “If you’ve never killed a plant, you’re not trying hard enough!” This has become my gardening philosophy.

Why do you create? 

I started my blog in 2011 because I missed talking about plants (at the time my job was in another field.

What other interests do you have? 

At 18 years old I didn’t know “who” I wanted to be so I took an aptitude test. It had over 100 random questions and I had to wait for 2 weeks to find out my destiny. When the envelope arrived I was shocked to read my top job recommendation was “mortician.”

Several years later I developed a keen interest in insects and started a collection. To get an insect to look just right, I freeze them (considered the most humane way to kill them) and as they thaw, I reposition their wings and legs. One day it occurred to me in retrospect that the test had been right; I was a bug mortician! I use my collection to teach both children and adults about insects.

Is gardening and writing a hobby, business, or something in between? 

Right now writing is a hobby. I have a “day” job but dream of being an author, speaker and having a television show. I had a local television show for about a year, but it was really difficult to continue with a 40 hour job. The shows are now online at,

Right now, with my Kickstarter project in the works, I’m very close to my dream of being an author! My Kickstarter is about miniature gardens and features a cameo by my friend Nancy’s very cute bunny named Coconut.

Stay connected with Anne:


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My Fairy Village

Welcome to my fairy village on the first day of autumn!

There are five houses in the village along with tiny cement stepping stones, a wooden stairway up one of the steep slopes, a reflecting pool, glowing flowers and even solar path lighting.

I can see the village through the sliding glass doors in our living room. As crazy as it sounds, I pause briefly whenever I pass them to see if there's any activity in the village. So far all I have seen are some lizards that like to visit the village during the day.

Join me for a 3 minute video tour of the village:

Or take the walking tour:

The lower village is home to the glass houses as well as the solar light charging station. Growing in the lower village, a Rudolph Euphorbia, Royal Pinwheel and some Silver Mist Helichrysum.

If you feel adventurous, climb the green stairway to the upper levels of the village.

The paint can luminaria house is centrally located and has a Breathless Blush Euphorbia in the back yard as well as a Dragon's Blood Sedum in the front.

A short trip through a narrow crevice leads to the next house.

The log house is nestled behind the Angel Hair Artemisia just past the Zebra Plant in the mini desert.

Be careful as you travel to the next house. It lies just beyond the main village's lighting system.

The shell cottage is located in the upper level of the village overlooking a deep blue reflecting pool.

 Whenever you need a little magical adventure, stop by for a visit and see if you can spot the fairies.

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Finishing the Fairy Village

A few months ago I was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest. It was this charming little fairy village. For months I have thought of this picture and have returned to look at it frequently. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to create my own fairy village.

The picture intimidated me a little bit, too. The neatly manicured rows of plants are so perfect and the houses look like real little houses. It makes me feel like I am going for a walk in the English countryside. I love it, but lets just say my style is a bit more eclectic and the desert landscaping in our area is a bit more... prickly.

I have been hesitant about starting this project because I was afraid that my fairy village wouldn't be as perfect as this one. Then I realized just how silly that was. Part of the charm of a fairy village is that it is unique and magical, not necessarily perfectly manicured. And so I began.

First, I found the perfect piece of real estate for my village.

It was an unloved little rock bed with some wild, unruly and terribly sharp plants. This area could be so much more with a little bit of TLC.

I began trimming up what I could salvage and removing anything that could cause bodily harm. The process was quite an adventure. Not only did I nearly slice my arm off with that big spiny plant on the right, I also discovered a mound of angry ants as well as an abandoned burrow of some sort. Ewww!

Once all the land was cleared, I started creating the houses. Not only did I want each house to be unique, I also wanted each one to come alive at night with some glow in the dark features.

I made five houses. The first was a piece of old pottery.

The second was a paint can.

The third, a Baileys Irish Cream bottle.

The fourth, my favorite, is a piece of a log.

And the last house was a mason jar that I pained with acrylic paint.
After the houses came the plants: Angel Hair, Breathless Blush, Silver Mist, and a Royal Pinwheel. My favorite fairy garden plant, though, was the Dragon's Blood.

Finally, a few finishing details. I made some glow in the dark flowers with perler beads and bamboo skewers. I'm going to tuck these into some of the plants when they are not flowering on their own.

I used the bottom of an old wine bottle to create a little reflecting pool. There's a swirl of glow paint on the underside so it glows a bit an night, too.

Remember all the perfect pathways from the fairy garden I pinned? I am going to create my pathways with the 72 tiny cement stepping stones I made with some Wilton candy molds.

All the individual pieces of the garden are ready. Now it's time to head outside and make a little magic!


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