Monday, July 14, 2014

Fairy Houses

I am desperately trying to buck-up and get some other projects done before the LoLa Art Crawl next month! Money is a little tight (because I am a broke-ass ho) so I'm just scrounging up found scrap materials, waiving my magic wand and praying for the best.  But fear not, I am the absolute High Priest of turning lemons into lemonade. BTW, thank you, Jesus, for giving me my unique ability to work miracles with nothing but Scotch Tape and sequins! Amen.

Here's my first fairy house, under construction. I'm going to have to break down and buy some snappy exterior-grade paint to finish the job.

Ages ago, I used to make similar-type bird houses and peddle them around town and beyond, and fairy houses seemed like a natural, no-brainer progression, right?  I'm going to whip up a whole mess of them and set them up around the little pond in the back yard.  That is --I mean-- where the 'new, improved' pond is going to be...

The beginnings of my waterfront fairy ghetto grotto
There is an ambitious, new project underway whereby the lovely, already-existing backyard pond is being expanded. Why settle for a perfectly adorable, little pond (with an attendant, amusing bronze frog that spits a delightful stream of water from its lips) when you can have two ponds separated by a sham waterfall? 

I fear if nobody buys the fairy houses, I could quite possibly end up homeless --but at least the damn fairies won't be! (P.S. Jesus: I know You were a carpenter, so please forgive me for providing housing to pagan woodland creatures. Amen).
A page from the Fall, 1998 Legacy catalog

Way back in the day, I ended up selling my birdhouses through a catalog, which meant that I had to sort of mass-produce the things. Ugh! I may as well been sentenced to hell because the only thing I like better than reproducing the same item over and over and over again is chewing on wads of tinfoil.

I still have the original prototype from --ahem-- 1997-98. OMG, how old is that? ...Well, you do the math.  Fast-forward to today and it looks rather spooky in all its forlorn decay. It's held together by a miraculous blend of squirrel poop and spiderwebs, a concoction that gives Krazy Glue a run for its money.  Still, I'm afraid to touch the thing, lest it completely fall to dust and ruin.

My vintage bird cabin --like its builder--has seen its better days
In other exciting news: I had a blogger friend from Spain drop by to see Merriman Park and share a spot of lunch last Saturday. Young Rosell from Madrid is here in town on a summer internship through the University of Minnesota, where I myself attended school as a mere young slip of a boy. We both simply gorged ourselves on chocolate-covered strawberries and other nibble-y things and talked smack about all yous other miniature bloggers.

Rosell & the Giant Floating Head of yours truly snap a selfie in front of Merriman Park
Rosell is a very talented miniaturist who doesn't have a blog per se but what she does have is a fabulous YouTube video, (featuring the splendid Georgian mansion and garden built by her and her father). It was very delightful to meet you, Rosell! I hope to see you again before your internship is over.

Enjoy Rosell's gorgeous dollhouse, coming up next!


Gee said...[Reply]

I can tell by the looks on your faces you both had a good time :)
I knew it was just a matter of time... soon you will be giving tours to visitors who desperately want to see your Merriman Park with their own eyes... mark my words!

And fairyhouses... doesn't everyone
just loves them? I don't believe in dragons or smurfs but with fairies you just never know... ;)

Good to hear from you, John, and succes at Lola's!

John said...[Reply]

Hi Gee,

We did have a good time, thanks! I hope that you will one day drop by for a visit, too!


Catherine said...[Reply]

I also had no doubt the world would come looking for you and Merriman Park. How fun is that!!!

I love your pond and look forward to seeing the new addition. I have always loved fairy houses. I have no doubt yours are going to be fantastic!!!!!!

I have always wanted to make one using river rocks and assorted other stuff that won't rot. I think I am going to need lots of epoxy putty for what I have in mind. That stuff (if you haven't tried it) is tough as rock once it hardens. You have about three hours to sculpt with it. It takes texture very well and can also be smoothed with water. Once you play with it you get a feel for what you can accomplish during the curing time. PHEW! i didn't mean to rattle on so long.

Love the video! Thank you for posting it. Glad you had a good time,

John said...[Reply]

Thanks for the tip re: the epoxy, Catherine. I'd also love to try that sometime.


The grandmommy said...[Reply]

I love the idea of using your pond with your fairy houses.

I think if you can keep it from falling apart your old birdhouse can give character to the whole scene. I mean does Boo Radley live there or who?

Rosell's house is really dreamy. Perhaps one day...

Lola's sounds like such a exciting event!

The Old Maid said...[Reply]

It looks like you both had a good time enjoying Merriman Park tour. :)
Thank you for sharing the vidoe, John. And good luck with your waterfall and fairy houses!
Big hug

AM Minnaard said...[Reply]

Uhm... John? Don't you think there is a small possibility the universe will implode with so much Fairy houses, glitter, sequince, scotch tape and Fabulousness in one place... ;p
Hugs AM

Giac said...[Reply]

Hello John,
What you got against broke-ass hos? The fairy house is lovely and I can't wait to see it painted. I'm sure you will be able to sell it...just look at it! Your ideas for the yard sound great! There is nothing more southing then the sound of water, even when coming out of a frogs mouth! Hang in there John. It might be lemons now, but I'll bet you'll transform them into lemon meringue pie before you know it.
Thanks for the great video. It is a beautiful house and I'm glad you were able to meet and have a good time.
Big hug,

John said...[Reply]

@ Giac: Mmmm...Lemon meringue pie!

@ AM: I fell into a Scotch Tape and sequins vortex once at a wasn't pretty.

@ Ewa: Thanks, yes it was fun!

@ Grandmommy: I wouldn't recommend setting up a fairy village by a pond if you have grand kids visiting, unless you're looking for a quick way to bathe the little nippers. My friend Tom can't seem to NOT fall into it when he's visiting and he's a grown-up...well, sort of.

burygardeners said...[Reply]

Hi John,
I love the idea of fairy houses especially round the village pond - what lucky little people. Serve you right if they move in - can be very pesky. Have you ever seen Melissa Chaple's work? - I can send you photos.... Did a piece on her for DH&MS. Have you seen fairy doors? - lovely for any garden room - I know you have a summerhouse in your garden. Keep on keeping on.


John said...[Reply]

I will definitely look up Melissa Chaple, thanks, Marilyn!

Marisa said...[Reply]

OMG John I didn't know you used poo for glue *remind me not to go into your workroom without face mask* I think I may steal your pond idea a friend gave me her old one but Rich hasnt dug the hole for it which means I have to do it :( ya know Im used to sitting in the corner and looking pretty..these hillbillys have ruined me

Marisa :)

John said...[Reply]

Hi Marisa,

A dab on the corner of the eye will INSTANTLY remove crows feet.(I know they call them 'laugh-lines' --but who's laughing)?


Ray Whitledge-Burgess said...[Reply]

Hello John!
I bow to the High Priest of Lemons, Scotch Tape and Sequins!
Love the "Fairy House" plan for your expanding pond.
Your garden is beautiful! You will be the Star of the tour!
Hug from Ray

Ilona said...[Reply]

Hi John! What a great idea to make those fairy houses around your pond and as that won't be enough, you also can put a fairy door at the bottom of the tree ;). I love your old bird/squirrel house with lots of poop and spiderwebs ;o!!
Thank you for sharing the video, John. I am glad to hear that you both had a good time enjoying Merriman Park tour :D!
Hugs, Ilona

John said...[Reply]

@ Ilona: Fairy door at bottom of tree! What a great idea!

@ Ray: What happened to your blog? I tried to post a 'good bye' but it is down for good? Hope you start a new one! Thanks for dropping by.

Simon said...[Reply]

Sorry I'm late. The fairy house is divooone!! So cute!! I can just imagine them selling like hot cakes and you working in your sweat shop in the basement trying to fulfil the orders! Bless you - what ever happened to the quiet life? ;-)
Ps, love the pond too. Can we see more of your lovely garden please? I remember a few years ago we used to get a tour/update on how it was going in the summer....

John said...[Reply]

No WAY I'm going back to my old sweat shop days! The Big Dig has taken up most of the gardening hours, I'm afraid. Earlier this summer I scratched out all the old sand between the cobblestones of the patio and replaced it with Weed-B-Gone sand. (Yes, Si, there is a right sort and a wrong sort of sand)! I'll show pics, later...

Plushpussycat said...[Reply]

Hi John, I love visiting your blog--you always make me laugh and show me something new and fun. I just wish that I could attend the LoLa Art Crawl and see what you've done in person! The fairy houses are a great idea. Good luck selling them, and please show us some finished photos of them when you get a chance, OK? :-) xo Jennifer

Vivian Fox said...[Reply]

Hi John,
Little fairy houses....ah
I'm sure you will do a fabulous job with them...and then you will want to keep them..:)
I wish you all the best with Lola, and how lucky was that little lady to get a personal tour of Merriman Park! Jealous or what!
All the best

afairytalecometruewyrna said...[Reply]

It seems like both of you are enjoying each other's company. So nice for you.
Thank you for sharing the vidoe, And good luck with your fairy houses! Let's see more of them.

Gee said...[Reply]

Whenever I'm in the neighbourhood I'll give you a call!

fairydoors: I promised myself if I ever get to be a grandma (take your time, kids, a longggg time. ... ;))
I'm going to make a fairydoor & living room behind it in the plinth of my kitchen.
When my kids were small I told them we had leprechauns living in the basement and they believed me which of course is hilarious if it wasn't so sad so why not play the same trick using fairies ;D

miraclechicken said...[Reply]

Hi John,
A fairy house, how fun! Thanks for making me laugh, your writing is awesome :)

Catherine said...[Reply]


Daydreamer said...[Reply]

Hi John! I hope you attract the kind of Fairies who are Helpful!!! You have to put out treats and let them decide where they want the houses to go....;)!
I think the expanded pond sounds Delightful! I would love to see more of your garden.... (mine is awash in day lilies and Queen Anne's Lace at the moment) Like the others, I wish I could come for a tour myself! I am not at all surprised that you are having International attention with Merriman Park!
I really look forward to seeing more of your fairy houses... and the garden.... and all the projects you are pulling together for the tour!

Philip said...[Reply]

Dear John,
The best of luck with your Fairy houses, I am sure,
Like all your projects they will be a great success !

minifleur said...[Reply]

HI John,
It is so nice to see your latest creations and will look forward to seeing the Fairy Houses around your pond.
Great fun to meet other bloggers and thanks for sharing the video! Chocolate covered strawberries are a definite favourite of mine! And lemonade!
Take care,

Andy said...[Reply]

Love that little fairy house! The project for a new super-sized pond complete with cascade and dancing water (so Liberace!!) sounds very exciting too! The bird house looks good in is run-down, weathered form, I'm sure the Blue Tits love it (do you actually get Blue Tits over there!?)

It sucks having no money, I know the feeling, over-indulgence and an unreliable car have SO much to answer for!! I wish you luck and many golden sales in your fairy house venture, just don't go production line again and take all the joy out of it! I and funding my own financial strait by flogging some old tat on ebay, maybe you could try that too to raise a few coins!?

Andy x

MiniLover said...[Reply]

Hi John-

I love your idea of surrounding your pond with fairy houses. You are so clever.

Maybe next April I will hand over the darling birdhouse I bought at least 5 years ago -- which is still sitting in the same place in my family room. Better you than me!



PS Well done on the article. Too bad the US mags got scooped.