Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Building a Fairy House

Building a Fairy House

I can't even give a reasonable explanation for my extended absence this spring and summer. You always think you'll have plenty of time to blog and I always think that magically, I'll have all of this extra time to do what I want to do in the summer despite working full time plus, three children, etc., etc.. I have been working on some mini's, somehow signed up for several swaps and have piddled with the witch's cottage, my little planting shed/shop and Jerry built a framework for my fairy house from chicken wire. And I've been pretty active in many of the mini Yahoo Groups and CDHM, Custom Dollhouses and Miniatures. There have been a few upheavals professionally speaking but so far, we have all survived the summer intact and two of my dibs have been registered for school once more, Ben in the 11th and Joanna in the 4th grades. Maggie moves into Wofford College August 26th and I'm just crossing that 'she's out of here forever' bridge when I get to it. So, I hope to be back to this blog on a more consistent basis.

I would love to take credit for this gorgeous fairy house but unfortunately, I did not make this. You can see more information on it at

This is Moss Haven and it's exactly like what I want to do with the fairy house I am attempting to build.

This is a pix of some fairy furniture I got from the web but I can't think from where just now so sorry to the maker. I'll try to find you and give you credit. I think you are on Webshots.
Moss Haven lit up:
Now this I did make. It's a quilted fairy house made from batiks, yarn, poly, rayon and metallic threads, lots of interfacing and batting and beads.
One reason that compelled me to get back to my blog is that I hope to exhibit the big fairy house when it is completed. On my 'day off' Monday, after carting my Dad around to get his car fixed, I did manage to get some paper mache on the chicken wire structure and now plan to reinforce that with wide masking tape before putting Creative Paperclay on the sides and inside as the walls. Every time Hobby Lobby and Michael's have a sale, I go in and dutifully buy another package of Creative Paperclay. I'm just hoping and praying that having put a layer of batting between the two layers of chicken wire, covering all of that with paper mache consisting of strips of newspaper soaked in glue, water and cornstarch and then coverd liberally with masking tape will make a sturdy enough base for the Paperclay which can get a bit heavy.

Anyway, I'm envisioning encasing the whole kit and caboodle under a plexiglass box and on a framework base. I've collected various things including oyster and other shells from Myrtle Beach where we went on spring break, pine cones from around our upstate SC home, pebbles, glass pebbles, twigs, and various 'found' objects. So, in my elaborate plans for this as-yet-unbuilt fairy abode, I would love to offer it for exhibit at our local county library and/or the Gibbs Cultural Arts Museum and/or the Spartanburg Art Council building or, frankly, anywhere remotely interested in showing it for a while--not that I'm normally given to visions of grandiosity where my creative endeavors are concerned but I figure if it turns out half decently after putting all the work in it that it will require, somebody besides my poor long-suffering husband and family are going to by gosh look at it! And in that spirit and toward that end, I also thought it would be great to publish a little booklet telling about it and include some poetry about fairies. So, I went searching all over the web for historical fairy poems. None quite fit the exact look and elements I want to include so, not exactly being a poet laureate of our region, I wrote my own. And I have shared it with two groups. And not that it is the greatest piece of poetry ever penned but we all know how things get 'borrowed' and then others take credit for things--and you know what I be talkin' about.

So, I'm posting it here and declaring while only mediocre, at least original and my own piece of work:

I was walking in the woods one day

Along a newfound path

When I stumbled upon a grey tree stump

Almost hidden amongst trees and tall grass.

The thing that caught my eye that day

Was a little flash of blue

And not the blue of Robin’s eggs

But a darker, more vibrant hue.

Under the evergreen bough

On this little door of blue

Was a tiny little gold door knob

And miniscule latches, too.

With unbelieving eyes, I took

Just a few steps more

And then discerned among the ivy

That it was indeed a little door!

And windows there were there as well

Along the stump’s curved side

But moss, leaves, stones and flowers

Cleverly hid the mystery inside.

Crouching ever nearer to peer

Inside this magical bower

I saw small chairs of twigs

And branch beds under canopied flowers.

Oyster shells formed tiny steps;

Walnut hulls were swings,

Acorn cups made tiny bowls

That held small edible things.

A bird’s nest was a soft day bed;

And holding a bit of water,

A small dried gourd served just as well

As the vessel of a potter.

Throughout this hidden magic house

From the top floor to the ground

Was sprinkled glittering fairy dust,

Sparkling, shimmering all around.

But possibly most astonishing

Of all the things I spied

Was a cache of all the lost human things

The inhabitants could hope to hide.

Spilling out of a small open box

In the deepest recess of this home

Was an amazing array of treasures,

Buttons, coins, papers. . . and even a jeweled comb.

There was a ring someone had forever lost

And a silver skeleton key;

Brooches, hair clasps and hatpins

Amid feathers and shells from the deepest sea.

A doily made a fine floor cloth and

There was a baby’s shoe

Scuffed with the marks of first steps,

The shoe strings all askew.

This could only be a fairy’s house,

I thought in my wondering mind

And I glanced about in fervent hopes of

Seeing their magical kind.

But all I could see was the woods all around

And hear bees and the trickling streams

And I knew I would only ever see fairies

While dreaming pleasant dreams.

Because the fairies stay hidden by day

Among the flowers, mushrooms and leaves

Deep in the dusky, magical forests

Under canopies and eaves.

They ride on the backs of field mice

Through the meadow grass

And lasso dragonflies with spiders web

As they try to quickly pass.

They emerge from hiding at dusk and fly

Gathering lost treasures and casting spells

Of protection, health and good fortune

Far from their forest dells.

I’ve been into the woods many times since

In search of the fairy house

I’ve cut through the thickest vines and growth and

Chased after bird, fox and mouse.

And once I thought I had found it again,

The winding magical trail.

But the tiny blue door alluded me

And I searched to no avail.

One day I will find the fairy house

While out on a walk in the woods

And I plan to leave a little gift

To add to their bounty of goods.

I think I’ll take a brooch

More beautiful than they could have ever seen

And leave it at the little blue door

Under the evergreen.

Jody Raines

copyright, 2008

No title yet but it conveys the image I have in my mind. Now to make a polymer clay blue fairy door!


Heather Cutting-Rayl said...

Your poem is lovely! Keep looking! You are sure to find that house some day! In the mean time, why make a clay door when a wood plank door painted blue would be so easy? Just an idea! I can't wait to see your fairy house!

Amy H. said...

I want to live in the fairy stump house. It's wonderful.

Marcie said...

I love your Fairy houses. Please have a look at my website about the Magical Teddies who have sent stories,songs and poems down to Earth for children to remind them how special, unique and lovely they are.

Kind regards,


Anonymous said...

Hi Jody.
Your poem is wonderful! My daughter and I are planning to make a fairy dwelling this summer. She especially loved the little bed... and the little "hamster" pet on your page. I'm not computer savvy. Could you tell us how to get one?
Best regards

The Carolina Quilter said...

To 'Anonymous': Thank you for your kind comments. I'm not sure what you're asking. If you're asking how I built my fairy house, it was basically chicken wire, newspaper wet with glue and water and lots of masking tape, then painted with acrylics. I sculpted Seymore Mouse from Sculpey and then furred him. The fairy house is still sitting in my basement awaiting its furnishings and various collected items! Write me at if you have specific questions. You can find fairy furniture on various websites. Thank you again.


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Lyndsey said...

Wow I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog! I love your fairy poem! Thank you for sharing it with us. =) I really really enjoyed it and will read it again.