Showing posts with label rocks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rocks. Show all posts

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.




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!




 


Fairy Houses - Clay Pottery

I have a vision of creating a fairy village in our backyard. I already have the perfect parcel of land in mind. But, before I start clearing the land, I need a few fairy houses for the neighborhood's residents. There are plenty of pre-made fairy houses available. Some can be quite expensive and they just don't have that handmade charm that I think is important for a project like this.

I set off to create a few little homes for my magical residents. My goal is to make each home as unique as it's future resident. I also want to add a little extra fairy magic and make the village light up at night. I'm no electrician, but I have a couple easy ideas in mind.

My first house is made from a clay pot. I have bunches of these in the garage, so I gave one a new life as a charming cottage for my future residents. This is a fun project that even the kids may enjoy.

Materials


  • 10-15 clear flattened glass marbles
  • glow in the dark paint
  • small clay pot
  • wide rubberband
  • pre-mixed grout
  • spoon or large popsicle stick
  • crushed shells, pebbles or sand
  • fairy wish door charm by Darice
  • silicon adhesive
  • tiny shells

Directions


You'll be starting with the windows. I used 10 flattened glass marbles. You can typically find these in the floral department of your local craft store.






Apply a drop of glow in the dark paint to the flat side of each gem. Let the paint dry completely before you move on to the next step.







Once the paint on the windows is dry, it's time to create the rest of the house.

Wash and dry your clay pot. Wrap a wide rubber band about an 1 - 1 1/2 inches above the rim of the pot. This is where you want the bottom edge of the grout to be.



Pour your crushed shells, pebbles or sand into a shallow dish.








My pot had a bit of an indentation where the roof is going to be so I decided to fill it. I placed a bit of the pre-mixed grout onto the roof.







Then I smoothed it out with a popsicle stick.








Next, I turned the pot over and pressed it into the dish of crushed shells.








When I turned the pot back over, there was a nice layer of crushed shells covering the roof.






The next part is a little messy so you may want to work outside or protect your work surface.

Apply the grout, about 1/4 inch thick, around the outside of the pot from the roof down to the rubber band.




Now it's time to add the windows around the house. Press the flat side of the gems into the grout.







Once all of the windows are placed, gently roll the house in the dish of crushed shells.







You may need to use a spoon or your hands to fill in areas where the crushed shells don't stick.







Press the shells into the grout.

Carefully remove the rubber band.

Let the grout dry overnight.




Once the grout is dry, you can add some finishing details to the house.

One of my favorite features of this cottage is the tiny door. It's actually a necklace charm by Darice. I found it in the beading and jewelry section of my local Joann's. The door actually opens up. How cool is that?

Attach the door to the cottage with silicon adhesive.


Use silicon adhesive to attach some tiny shells around the door.








Finally, use silicon adhesive to decorate other parts of the house with shells.

I attached a ring of shells around the roof and one around the house at the same level as the door.

Once the glue is dry, your fairy house is ready to go out to the garden and wait for some magical residents to move in.


For now, my shell cottage will be inside while I finish up the other dwellings for my fairy village.




Fairy Village Inspiration

There are aspects of home ownership that aren't always enjoyable, yard maintenance for example. Lucky for me, my fabulous husband takes care of almost everything outside (and quite a bit inside, too.) So, instead of pulling weeds, I can focus on doing fun stuff in the yard like gardening and adding a little bit of whimsy.

A few months ago, on a trip to the nursery, I was inspired by a display of fairy gardens. They were absolutely adorable. I ended up making my own little fairy house and creating my own charming little garden that sits next to our front door to welcomes guests.

As I was looking for ideas about how to make my own fairy garden, I ran across some "pinable" pictures.


The picture here that really captured my imagination is the fairy village with little trees and streets connecting the miniature houses. How fun would it be to create an entire fairy village?

With fall just around the corner, I've decided to do exactly that. I have already have the perfect piece of property in mind for my mini-development. It's a rock flower bed in our back yard that could use a little TLC. The tricky part is going to be removing that huge, spiny plant on the right side without severing an artery. The leaves are like serrated knives.



And I'll need to create some fairy houses. Clearly every fairy family would need a different kind of house. And I'd like to add a bit of extra magic by figuring out a way to light my little village at night. Hmm...

So, I'm off to my studio to start designing my enchanting little sub-division.





Tie Dye July - Found Objects

I have been practicing different dyeing techniques all month in search of the perfect method for dyeing a summer maxi skirt I created. I ended up using marbles and rubber bands to create a nifty, geometric pattern that kind of looked like bubbles.

After dyeing the skirt, I started thinking about what other objects could be used for dyeing in the same way. I decided to try a sample piece with a few objects that we have around the house - rocks, small plastic word tiles, poker chips, dominoes, jacks, and monkeys from a barrel of monkeys.

The results were not quite what I expected, but kind of interesting.


When I used marbles to dye my "Don't Lose Your Marbles" skirt, I put the marbles on the wrong side of the fabric, draped a small section of material over each one, secured the fabric with rubber bands and applied the dye. It yielded lovely circles.








I used the same process with my found objects and produced more random outlines where the rubber bands were secured. Then I flipped the fabric over to discover that the wrong side of the fabric actually had a more intricate design than the right side. Here's a close-up look at the wrong side patterns made by the different objects.



The monkeys didn't work great, but I thought all of the other objects were project-worthy. Some other objects that may be worth experimenting with - Scrabble tiles, Legos, shells, checkers, wine corks, buttons, bobbins, thread spools, small tiles... The possibilities are limitless.





Gem and Mineral Show

February is a great month in Tucson! The weather is typically mild compared to the rest of the nation and there are tons of cool events happening. There's Vail Pride Day, where one of our local school districts celebrates all of the great learning and experiences that happen at school . It's a fun way for our community to come together. Then, there's Fiesta de los Vaqueros. For you gringos, that's the rodeo. Tucson kids get two days off of school so they can see the famous rodeo parade (it's the longest running, non-mechanized parade in the nation) or go to the rodeo. It's also the time for those who of us who have experienced the rodeo enough times to escape to Disneyland for a couple days. And then, there's the Gem and Mineral Show.

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show lasts most of the month of February and is held at numerous locations across town. We usually end up at the one by Kino Stadium. It's free and there are tons of interesting things to look at.

Of course there are plenty of gems and minerals.









If you are a beader, this place is like heaven. You can find just about any shape, size or color of bead imaginable and you can't beat the prices. Long strands of beads usually cost less than $5.







The array of colors and styles is breathtaking.









If you aren't into beads, you can check out the fossils. We saw planty of trilobites, fish, starfish, crocodiles and dinosaurs.








And there are other natural products. I found this set of bathroom sinks made from petrified wood. They were absolutely gorgeous. My photo hardly does them justice.








But, the Gem Show isn't just about the rocks, minerals, fossils and natural wonders. It's filled with amazing items you just won't see anywhere else. Some of my favorite sights this year...

the giant Buddah statue,












a dinosaur,









a scrap metal sculpture of Optimus Prime that was over 3 feet tall,












and a 6-7 foot tall Alien sculpture.

I didn't think our HOA would approve of me displaying this creature in my front yard so I left the Gem Show empty handed, unless you count the warm bag of freshly popped kettle corn.

I love February!