Names: Juli, Abby (9), Jack Grayson (6) and Kit (2)
Location: Richmond, VA
This is Fairy-Wood, created by my kids and I with most of the work done by the Great Creator, Himself!My 9 yr old daughter has a fascination with fairies and we have always made impromptu fairy houses in parks and along our hikes. She has been known to exclaim when seeing a particularly ethereal spot in nature, "This place must be fairy infested!"
Since we received news that our local tooth fairy lives near our old oak tree, we set about making a home for her. It started one dreary February morning with scraps down in our basement. Since I wanted it to appear slightly wonky and fairy-ish, I didn't measure! The basic form took shape from there. Over the next several months, we collected natural materials from every place we visited.
The roof was constructed of shells that we found in a big bucket at the curb. We live in a neighborhood of little old ladies who are always throwing out cool stuff. These were the relics of her's & her siblings' days at the beach 50-60 years ago. The back is a piece of copper, leftover from an art project years ago. The cedar shake sides are wood shims that were trimmed and applied with a nail gun. The front eve is covered in Mica which the kids and I went to a local gem mine and gathered ourselves.
Above, is a loft apartment for her feathered friends. It is constructed of a hollow pine limb, bark still attached. It's roofing is of the same shells and it is perched on a crepe myrtle limb that got broken off of our tree during a storm one night. The "treehouse" which is hung on the tree is actually a tacky straw swan basket (nabbed at a thrift store!), hung vertically. Not so tacky, anymore! It is filled with soft moss so they can kick back comfortably.
The base that the house is perched on are cedar chunks that my Father-in-law donated to our cause when his tree has to come down. The fairy's "canopy bed" is a rootball from a boxwood bush that died. I dug it up and was serendipitously surprised-an instant fairy bed when turned upside down after a little sawing!
Underneath the house sits a little stage. This is where they hold tiny Bluegrass Festivals when we're all asleep, of course. Bet you didn't know that fairies love Bluegrass, did you? Well, it's true. (at least for Virginia fairies)
All the pieces of wood were gathered out in the woods, at the beach or found curbside (including the scraps of lumber that comprise the actual structure) All of the furniture/accessories is either natural or created from dollhouse furniture purchased at a yard sale for $.25 and made fairy-ish with twigs. The wallpaper is bark peeled off in sheets from dead fallen trees. Moss & cattail (the marsh plant) fuzz make a fairy bed comfy.
There are abandoned birds nests flattened into rugs, a shell made into a bathtub and yet another, a little larger, as a swimming pool outside... All of the shells & rocks used inside and that decorate their garden were/are discovered by my kids down by the Chesapeake Bay when we go to visit their Grandparents. The only non-natural items are the wind chime (my daughter loves sparkly stuff and apparently, so do fairies) and the 2 faux mushrooms contributed by friends.
The fairies are honestly not the best housekeepers (perhaps I need to make them a broom!) but my kids have so much fun with this ongoing project. It is rare for us to go hiking or to the beach without bringing something home to their fairy friends. My oldest loves leaving tiny notes for the fairies there (she often gets a reply back).
We live in the city and are blessed with a relatively nice size yard and old oak trees but mostly our view is of the street, neighbors' houses and the local library. I love that I could bring a little bit of nature into my city kids' yard (oh, and give the tooth fairy a place to cozy up, of course!)
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