IT SNOWED OMFG!! (Fairy Furniture Snow Pictures)

Making of this furniture: previous post
Favorite post this month: TARDIS in space painting
Favorite fail this month: (More Doctor Who!) Fail Gallifreyan plates

Fairy Furniture (kind of fail. Lots of fails this year.)

Our traditions at home are pretty much like other peoples' non-religious Christmas traditions, but we use some different terminology. Growing up without any religion in the house per se, Christmas was kind of about Santa and cookies with some classic religious songs in the background that we didn't think much about. I knew the Christian aspects to Christmas and respected what that time of the year meant to Christians, but it wasn't what we did. However, as a teenager I became Pagan and continued to celebrate Christmas the way we always did without much of a deal. But now, as an adult trying to explain things to my kid, have to figure out how to put the Yule back in... Uh... Saturnalia that became Yule that became Christmas! You know how people are always all, 'oh, we need to put the Christ back in Christmas'? I'm like, 'I need to put the Yule back in ChristYulemas..?' But I'm used to calling it Christmas. Christmas lights, Christmas trees... And everyone else calls it that too.

I'm not out trying to change the way everyone else does things, but I wanted some changes in my own family. So now we call the entire month "Yule Time", and part of Yule time is all the things you might do surrounding Christmas. Baking, parties, tree getting, crafting, snow angels. Christmas day is Christmas. As always, it's not just Santa up at the North Pole, but Santa and his wife, Gillian (Gilly!) and as Flora's interest in engineering grows, Gilly's role at the North Pole has shifted from making gifts with Santa to being the engineer who builds the machines that the elves use to manufacture Santa's designs. I think our Santa is a little more Rise of the Guardians than Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. "Mrs. Claus" (who deserves her own name, for crap's sake!) is not commonly animated or drawn places Flora sees Santa showing up, which is why (when we don't see a bland old lady smiling mindlessly in an apron and holding cookies, but instead, no one at all!) I say the reason she's not there is because she's too busy fixing the machines and being an engineer. That always gets Flora pretty excited.

Gilly's machines these year must have been pretty boss because Santa's designs were ridiculous. They made Flora fairy furniture!

For Flora's first year, S&G made her a sort of "my first ballerina music box" with pink felt lining and flat back pearls and lime green glitter. Also some shadow boxes with Le Fleurs Animees by Grandville and an etched daisy locket tooth fairy charm with a freshwater pearl and monogram charm and.... if any of you know the way my kid turned out, you'd be like OMG. If I knew what her personality would be now at that time, Santa and Gilly would never have made her that as a gift for her first Yul-Christmas. But, as it was, I thought I'd give my kid the BEST princess fairy mermaid unicorn magical fantasyland existence that EVER there was, and we could start year one with really special keepsakes from her very first holiday.  ....... LOL.

I would have been the best fairy mom ever. So if anyone has a kid that loves fairies and needs adopting, Flora can have a little brother or sister. Just saying. : )

The next year, Santa and Gilly drafted their first sewing pattern ever and embroidered a dress for her in the like of a piece of vintage Norwegian fabric that had been passed down through my family.  (Links should open in a new window so you won't lose this page!)

The year after, it was matching hats and a basket for her and her dolly, Ruby.

(Yup. It's the face, more than the dress, that's more the kind of kid she is.)

The next year she wanted Play Doh. This year she asked me for a "Ball that is round and I can go on my belly and bounce up high in the sky", which means she wants a Rody. Also, a Dora game and "a candy cane with a bow on it." I told her Santa and Gilly don't really make video games, but maybe someone else in the family could get that as a gift. In our tradition, Santa and Gilly only provide things that are handmade or look as though they could have been handmade (such as when I ran out of time and bought natural play dough instead of made it. >.>) Because... you know. Handmade toys up in the factory! I was going to get her the Rody she wanted, but I thought maybe Santa and Gilly could give her the candy cane and some fairy furniture. She may still be a bit of a wild beast, but she's taken to elves and tiny things and likes playing with the leftover furniture from the tiny garden I made for my gran. She even spent a really long time making a fairy house outside so I figured that even though she hadn't asked for it, that she'd like some fairy furniture and it was something S&G would totally have made up North and she would be delighted by.

(I fully confess to sinking to a low and letting her watch Tinkerbell movies to try to get her psyched about fairies so she could be a fairy flower girl at my brother's wedding. Oh... wedding! I should put up those pics! Anywho, those movies COULD be worse. Especially for Disney. At least Tinkerbell's a Tinker, which is probably why Flora digs it.)

So Nico and I began!

I had this collection of bits from the woods to use in art boxes and the like.

I used a little pipe cleaner to hold some pieces while I tied them. Originally Nico was going to make some of his own furniture alongside me, but we ended up needing four hands to tie these damn tiny things!

This is so much more work than it looks like!

I totally cheated and used some hot glue. Not on any of the wood joints, but some on some of the knots to hold them tight and I did on the little add on bits of fungus and such. I mean... did you expect me to sew those on, I guess? XD THEY ARE STUCK ON WITH ELF MAGIC.

The table was tricky. It's two different thicknesses of tree ring that were cut in half that was found laying on the ground, glued together and a couple sticks bound and glued to the underside with a ring of bark over the top.

I fashioned something like a cake (because Flora LOVES FUCKING LOVES OMFG birthdays.) out of a cap from a juice carton, some bits, and birthday candles. Maybe it's not a cake. I don't know what it is. But it's on a tray and she'll like it.

... and a tiny fork made of the twisted wire that came from a pipe cleaner once I pulled the fluff out! ... I didn't have anything else and necessity is the mother of all invention! : D

This was all turning out to be rather a lot of work and I loathed the idea of making another chair. (Santa and Gilly even have their limits.) Plus I was honestly afraid it wouldn't work right and would fall over and I'd be stuck with a chair and a half. I opted for a bed. Or I thought it'd be a bed, but then the back headboard was standing on its own and I thought maybe screen...? No. Bed.

I sort of faux 'felted' together some mossy fungus and trimmed the sides to make a mattress.

There's a bark throw blanket

Some pine, bark, aspen park, dried clover, and white sage with a tiny bit of fungus as decoration on the headboard.

The footboard has some fungus, white sage, and drippy candles. MOOD LIGHTING. Maybe the fairies will make babies and they'll grow up and all work together to make me some more damn furniture.

The bed has aspen bark 'pillows' which kinda suck, but honestly I didn't know how else to do it and I'm probably only being more critical of myself cause I made it and I'm closer to the project.

Sorry for this terrible overview shot. You can't see anything against that granite counter, but it was fucking 2 in the morning and TIRED. Oh... bark rug!

There is a funky woodstuffs deer-thing ornament from Pier 1 in there too and some little Pier 1 elves to chillax on the furniture and make it look cute the morning of.

(That leg leaning in on the right really bothers me but I must remember: perspective. The goddamn thing stands and doesn't wobble and that's a miracle by itself!)

The reason I think this is kind of a failure though is that... what was I thinking?
If I'd made some really durable, basic, sticks tied together kind of fairy furniture, sure. Maybe it would have been cool. But this is delicate, pretty, froofed up with all kinds of crap stuff which is just what I do. I GET IT. That's the kind of artist I am. But is this something a four year old is going to play with ...? She's a REALLY careful girl who's been drinking out of teacups since she was a year old. She's very delicate. But even I'm like... dude... I dunno. I don't want these out in the rain! I don't want mud on them. What was I thinking...? I think she'll be gentle, but my heart would skip a beat if one of these got smashed by accident.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't give them to her and should just bring them home and put them in a display in a super rad terrarium and just put a big red and green bow around the Rody's neck and say Santa and Gilly have begun experimenting in rubber dipping.

(photos in the snow)

Sharpie Tie Dye

Another Pinterest gift find... (I'm actually terrible at Pinterest. I get so overwhelmed! My boards are small and pathetic. : \ ) ... Using Sharpies to make a tie dye shirt. (ORIGINAL SOURCE) I did a few things wrong on this- like I forgot to pre-wash my shirt and I didn't have a dropper for the alcohol and just patted it on with a really damp Q-tip. I actually don't know how this shirt will wash. Maybe... hand wash or cold/gentle? I think that it might have resulted in more muted colors. Or maybe my primary color pens aren't as bright as the ones she used on her tutorial...?

Well... it's the thought that counts!

This is a small doll t-shirt and pants to give as a gift, along with the stuff in a bigger size for the gift receiver to make one for herself. -I- would have shat myself over a gift like this when I was a kid, so I hope my niece likes it!

Flora, Nico, and I each made color circles on the doll shirt, so it's truly a gift from us all... not like where one person does it all and everyone signs it. Ehem. More challenging to complete with a ton of hands involved or not, I force crafting on my family when it comes to group gifts!

I think that, whatever design you make, you have to just get a lot of ink on it. The pink-y one was a circle with a circle around it and some colored points alternating out the sides. The blue one was a bunch of circles surrounding each other in rings. You can see some little bits of their original pattern when they spread.

We were using a hair dye bottle lid as a 'cup', but the image still spread a little beyond the cup size. I think the cup being banded on is more about having a taut space to work than actually containing the color spread. So after it started to spread, we just took the band off and let it do what it did.

There wasn't enough wetness and ink to spill from the top layer onto the back off the shirt, but if there was, there should be a board or something to separate the two sides in the middle of the shirt.

We took some fluffy notion ribbon stuff and cut off the fluffs and glued them to the shirt with some puffballs and grosgrain ribbon to make accents. I hope the pants and top aren't too matchy-matchy. My cousin and her daughter are pretty posh and have way better fashion sense than me. n...n!

This is the best part! A niece-sized t-shirt, a bottle of alcohol, notions, pens, a cup, and a rubber band all put together along with instructions for how to do it herself! I'm hoping, if it's a hit, that the other kids can use the stuff and make their own too.


Ahhh, the Pinterest sand bowl, beloved by many... but attempted by many?

There were no instructions on this bowl besides "sand and adhesive, dribbled on a bowl". Lots of people were like, sweet, *pin*, but I don't think anybody's actually really MADE it so much as it's one of those projects everyone figures will be easy and they'll keep in the back pocket to do some other time. Maybe a slow craft day with the kids or after a memorable beach trip they've been meaning to get to, but they have no idea the confusing terror that awaits them to rip out their passion for crafting and encase it in a weak shell of tenuously bonded Elmer's glue.

Anyway, this one is still in progress. I thought the glue should be runnier, rather than thicker, cause it has to... you know. Run? But I don't think that's right after all...


Omg, yay! At this point I think it looked right- only (of course!) despite my best attempts to keep the glue from being overly runny, it still ran. It also bubbled a lot.

I recommend, if you try this, to mix it, then tap it and let it sit a bit and gently stir the bubbles out before pouring or this will end up the surface of your bowl.

DAMNIT! But in retrospect, this even looks better than attempt number two...

After an hour it was dry to the touch, but still very pliable. Of course it would need a good 24 hours to really fully set up, but this layer is SO super thin...


(more glue is not the answer)

Thin strings that settled back into the surface quickly.

Used a toothpick to draw out some rivulets to start it going.

"Maybe it will look right once the layers build up?"

"No, it won't."

Nico, who was helping, pointed out how thick the first layer was on the original bowl so we need to try it again, though now with way less glue. 


A note on the materials if you're trying it yourself: 

BOWL SHAPE: I've tried two bowls for pouring now. Neither shaped seemed better than the other.

PLASTIC WRAP: One I used plastic wrap over the bowl alone. I thought it might be a little tricky to remove the sand bowl from (without knowing yet how firm the bowl might get after setting) so the second time I tried spraying the bowl with that spray oil stuff in hopes it would help release. This was a total pain and got my plastic wrap shifting everywhere. It was really messing up the texture of the sand. IF the bowl had actually worked, shifting plastic wrap may had actually screwed it up.

SAND: I used reptile sand because it was very affordable and it's a budget year. I know people suggest not removing sand from beaches, so there's that too. It's not super attractive, as sand goes, but it works for this project and is cheaper than craft sand.

GLUE: Using straight up white glue. I worried that I'd need a ton and a got a quart. Two bowls (4 layers) in and I've barely used any. Probably somewhere between a 1/4 and a 1/3.