Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Few Must Have's for the Fairy House

There are a Few Must Have's for the Fairy Tree Stump House I was able to find some sources for dried and unmounted insects and butterflies on the web like this beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. This photo is by Momba on Flickr and a beautiful photo indeed with this particular Swallowtail on cherry blossoms.
This Blue Skimmer dragonfly, as photographed by macropoulos on Flickr, is another commonly seen insect in our area. I think the fairy house needs a butterfly or two and in my poem, the fairies lasso dragonflies so we need a blue skimmer as well. Now, I could capture these two with a net and something called a 'killing jar' but I don't have the heart for it. And just like I had pet chickens but wouldn't have slaughtered them for the world, I do like to eat chicken and I do want dragonflies and butterflies for my fairy house. I won't personally kill the insects around me but I will purchase them freeze dried, or however they preserve them, from someone who is a professional in that field. I found a site in Arkansas,, owned by Paul in Little Rock. For a mere $20, I can get a blue skimmer and an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail sent to me via the US Post. I was admittedly dazzled by the various exotic butterflies and insects and may yet decide that the remains of Mr. Swallowtail and Mr. Skimmer need to spend their preserved eternities with the remains of some shimmery opalescent blue beauty from Peru or the Phillipines but since this fairy house is theoretically to be found in my own native woodlands, I don't guess that would be quite in keeping with 'reality' (pardon the irony), would it?
I also would love to add in a field mouse, a bird and maybe another little woodland critter. This is not a real field mouse if you can believe it. He is a mouse who sprung from the imagination and immense talent of Michelle Bradshaw of He is Cinderella's mouse and is made from polymer clay with real fur of some sort. Having attempted several small critters in polymer clay and having fallen far short of the mark in every regard, I looked all over the web for taxidermy mounts of mice and small birds. It seems everyone wants big game and noble birds of prey. And fearing that this, yet another flight of fancy of mine, would end up costing more than our meager budget for such things allows, Jerry suggested I try to sculpt them. Then, too, there is the question of whether preserved real songbirds (which may even be illegal to stuff and mount??) and mice would both scare and repulse small children and bring the wrath of PETA down on my head. All I want is a beautiful, fantastical fairy house with a critter tableau--not to create a political ruckus and I myself love animals. As a child, I used to cry when the theme song of Lassie came on knowing that soon that accident-prone Timmy would fall into a well or into the path of an oncoming car or get lost in the woods or something and poor Lassie would have to risk life and limb yet again to save the little towhead.

So, now I have to try to sculpt a mouse that looks mouse-like and not like a mouse who may have been smushed under a vehicle and put back together by Dr. Frankenstein. And then I have to try to fur it without it looking like it found itself over a subway grate or was half-drowned in a bucket of carwash solution. And let's not even go to my attempting a bird???? Hmmmmm.........

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