Monday, February 25, 2008

Fairy House - Part 2

I put in some more time on the fairy house project today, while watching a movie with the kids. Now the 4 walls are done, and a bit of the roof. I'm still thinking that if I get a shell of a roof together, then we should be able to collect enough grasses to cover it. That will look pretty cool, like a tropical hut. Here it is tonight:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fairy House - Part 1

My daughter has been asking me to help her build a fairy house for a while now. I have resisted, feeling that I don't have the time or know-how to make anything worth cluttering the garden with. But today, while taking advantage of the absolutely gorgeous weather to clean up the garden, she noticed the butterfly bush (Buddleia Davidii) twigs I was tossing in the wheelbarrow, and asked for them, to make a fairy house.

Suddenly, I realized that this was our answer. The twigs from the butterfly bush are quite woody, and very plentiful. My bush was probably close to 10' tall & 8' wide, and I was cutting it back to about 6', so there were lots of twigs available.

We started by tying the branches with string, but I knew that wire was the real answer, so we made a quick run to Rona before it closed at 6PM, and picked up a reel of gauge 24 galvanized steel. This turned out to be the best lineal price of their various wire options (even better than the black steel wire), easy to bend (the gauge 20 would have been too much of a fight, and likely would have broken the twigs while tightening), but still quite strong, that I should hold up outdoors for quite a while.

Anyhow, here is the house (just the outline) after maybe an hour of work, just before the kids went to bed:
Twiggy outline of the fairy houseAfter that, I kept working for a couple more hours, and filled in two of the walls, one with a window:
Fairy house with two walls and window finishedThe house will have a front door, two side windows, and solid back wall. Even though I've thinned my blue oat grasses a couple of times (now I wish I hadn't sent a large bag of it to the city compost last week), I think we can get enough grasses to even cover the roof.

Part of me is screaming that I really don't have time for this project. But the other part of me (which I'm glad I'm listening to this time) is calmly saying that if I don't have the time now, then when will I? After all, at 9 years old, and with 2 fairy birthday parties, dozens of fairy books, fairy toys, and a half dozen fairy movies behind her, how long will my daughter continue her interest in fairies? So if it isn't this summer, then when?

By the way, I had a perverse gardening thought... Since the buddleia branches were just clipped today, and knowing how reliably these grow from cuttings, if I pushed the house in the soil in the next couple days, there would be a good chance that some of the branches would take root. That would be a sight to behold, wouldn't it?

I've left the mess of branches and clippers and wire on the kitchen table, so we can hopefully continue again tomorrow evening. We'll eat at the island for now, if we have to, to keep our momentum on the project.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pink Green Forest Fairies

I found this photo, I believe it was of a mountain azalea. Anyhow, it looked like a lovely spot for some flower fairies. First, a pink and a green one (click photo for larger image):
Flower fairies in mountain azalea
I think this looks even better, their dresses match the pink and green colours of the foliage:
Pink and green flower fairies in mountain azalea

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Weird cakes and weird creatures

We are coming to the end of birthday season. My kids have birthdays 3 weeks apart, so for a period of about 4 weeks, it is birthday season.

My daughter had a fairy birthday with her friends, where they decorated fairy wings and wands, and gave themselves fairy names. Since she also had a fairy birthday last year, and the Fairytopia cake, we didn't want to choose the same cake, so I Photoshopped an image for her, and had it put on the cake. Save-On-Foods offers this service, using sugar paper to add the image to the cake. The result is pretty neat.

Here is the photo I altered (the original was lifted from the site, to insert my daughter's face:

Beautiful Purple Fairy
I'll post the photo of the resulting cake once we develop it - I took it on the SLR camera.

On the weekend, we had the combined birthday party with the family, and a combined cake, too. Encouraged by my Photoshop experiment, I decided to try out my DAZ 3D skills, and create my own image, which I did, and then I Photoshopped the kids' faces onto it. Here is the image, which I entitled "Mythical Meeting in the Forest":

Mythical Meeting in the Forest - Dragon Rider and Fairy
I'll try to post the resulting cake also, once the photo is ready.

Every week, DAZ seems to come out with another free item. Fortunately last week it was the dragon, just in time for the birthday cake. This week it is a weird looking creature called "Xerr". I think he's a little too scary for a birthday cake!:
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