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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fairy Garden Festival - Redlands, 2016

On May 14, 2016, I attended a Fairy Garden Festival in Redlands. This was the second annual show which cut me to the bone; how did I not know about it the first year!? There were so many vendors with such beautiful and creative things; there was a raffle, there was a fairy garden contest and even a class where participants were taken step by step through creating their own fairy garden. I took so many pictures and put together a slideshow of them, but I'd like to feature a few below.
Grace Bagwell, Potter from Diamond Bar, displays her ceramic creations.

Grace, creator of A Glazin' Grace, had a slew of adorable, hand-crafted ceramic fairy houses and I was able to get my hands on a one-of-a-kind piece, seen here on the left. If you'd like to contact Grace,  her email is gbagwell318@gmail.com and her phone number is 909-576-3894.


This artist offered some woodwork houses, some metal work accessories and some even more impressive metal artwork which I failed to photograph (you can't blame Grandma for being focused on fairy-sized things). Unfortunately I forgot to grab a business card from this vendor, but you can see them on display here. I purchased these two metal decorations that are currently in my garden.




www.etsy.com/shop/WillyWimbles

Willy Wimbles is a business venture headed by local artist Denise Brown. Their booth had so many fairy items for sale, including houses, furniture, fairies and even jewelry that features fairies. One thing that made this vendor stand out was a sign that informed customers that every purchase made would add a donation to a charity. Her etsy store boasts a few different charities they donate to, including "New Day Foster Homes, and Love Without Boundaries, both of which are geared specifically toward Special Needs kids in China. We also donate to The Drop Box in Seoul, South Korea and Half The Sky in China." I purchased a bed to use in my future gardens at home and noticed a few of her items being used during the fairy garden class that day.



Lois Jones had a booth with an assortment of small ceramic containers. On the very far right you can see a sea foam green cone-shaped ceramic container which was used by a participant in the fairy garden class (and which I don't think I was able to capture a picture of and am very upset about it but felt it needed to be mentioned). If you'd like to contact Lois her contact numbers are 714-534-5681 and 949-463-3013.



This booth was hidden at the end of a row of vendors but I'm glad I made sure to check it out. Not only are these hand-made houses tiny and adorable, they were extremely affordable! I purchased two of the smaller ones to use during the fairy garden class for my granddaughter and I and only spent $5. There were larger houses and some with decorative silverware wind chimes but all were well priced. Unfortunately, I was unable to get contact information from this artist.



Miss Dorothy's Glass Garden Art was another local artist with a wonderfully unique craft on display. In this particular piece she used a porcelain fairy garden decoration as the focus and if I had seen it just a little sooner, my husband would have been upset with the money I spent. Unfortunately, someone else bought it before me and my husband remains the normal amount of grumpy. If you'd like to contact Dorothy Lewis, her phone number is 909-793-2725 and email is missdorothys@msn.com.


Pixie Village Cottages by Dennis Patterson

I was absolutely smitten with the large display of hand-crafted fairy houses created by Dennis Patterson from Hemet. They are advertised as Pixie Village Cottages and for the artwork they sell, the value is astonishing. I've seen similar pieces online for twice the price so I'm happy to know that Mr. Patterson is local (because I can't imagine what shipping would cost on something like this). I know what my next large purchase for my garden will be but it's quite some time away. If you'd like to view the cottages they offer, visit their website at pixievillagecottages.com, or contact them via email at pixievillagecottages@gmail.com or by phone at 951-440-2731. I could have taken a million pictures of this booth alone, but the handful I did take are in the slideshow below.


Finally, after exploring all the booths outside, I discovered some wonderful pieces inside the lovely building, including this First Place fairy garden display. I really like this piece, especially because it shows that you can repurpose a broken pot (which I've seen quite a bit of online and intend to try myself at some point) and has a nice array of colors.

I took many pictures, of course, so here are the rest, presented to you as a slideshow.




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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fairy Garden Class - Garden Under $10, Part 4

For my fourth and final "Garden Under $10" class series this month, I wanted to round it out with an honest to goodness, from the ground up account of cost. In many of my other classes, I typically will use a container I already have or decorations I've used in past gardens and I realize that not all of you have these type of things on hand. The total cost of this garden is actually $11, but if you're going to be picky about going one dollar over... I don't know what to tell you. The point of this class is to prove that you can create something beautiful and living with very little money.


My shopping list consists of:

Two bags potting soil - $2
container - $2
Two bags of decorative sand - $2
Decorative rocks - $1
(the above were all purchased at the .99 cent store)
Two plants from Home Depot - $4
TOTAL = $11

The total could have been lower if the .99 cent store had plants, which they sometimes do, but this wasn't the case.


Because of the large size of the container and the limited amount of soil I had, I first placed a small pot upside down with a saucer on top to fill in some empty space. The saucer allowed a level base to place the soil on and get this project started.


Here I've planted the two chives purchased from Home Depot. Chives are hearty plants, give a unique look to your garden and if you don't mind the smell of onion, it's a good option (I love using them in my Ocean scenes). I've placed an old T-shirt over the potting mix which allows water to reach the soil yet keeps the decorative sand from sinking (saving money because you don't have to keep replacing it).


I chose fine blue sand to represent water and a tan sand to represent, well, sand to create a shoreline scene. I placed the rocks in clumps around the plants and the large rock in the middle was from my yard. A few simple finger strokes make the illusion of motion in the "water."


The large pods I added were plucked from the ground near my place of business and add the illusion of sea creatures.


 Finally, I had some very small shells from a previous project that I spread throughout the scene to give it a pop of color. Colorful pebbles can be found almost anywhere if you take a good look. And you could even save yourself that $1 on small rocks if you took a morning to go for a hike and collect some out in the wild. Wild rocks are free and that will be one more thing to mention when someone comments on how nice your garden looks.



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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fairy Garden Class - Garden Under $10, Part 3


Continuing with our Garden Under $10 series, Week 3 begins as many spruce-up projects do. This container was a themed-garden I did back in February that lost it's flair. I removed all the decorations and pulled the scruffy-looking annual plants up front and kept the two perennials in the back. Annual flowers are very good at adding a pop of color to your garden but only last for a few months.

My shopping list for this garden was:

3 small annual flowers $1.25
1 English Moss $4.95
1 small Fern $2.95
TOTAL: $9.15



After all the dead and discolored plants were cleaned out, I put a fresh layer of soil and arranged my new plants around the existing perennials (the pink flowers and the large green leaf). I finished it off with the saucer base, fairy house, a white picket fence and pebble coverage. This Spring garden turned out so cute, I think I'll keep it this way for a while, and because there is no holiday theme attached to it, as long as these plants are alive, it can remain in my yard.

You may also notice a black tubular item between the fairy house and fern. I recently had sprinklers installed in my yard and decided to also create a drip system for all my fairy gardens. Sprinklers keep my yard green but may not be able to reach all of the containers I have. A drip system is a reliable way to keep your containers watered but initially they need to be monitored to make sure your garden isn't getting too much water. It's been about a month and I love them. My gardens are noticeably more vibrant already.




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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Gifts for Grandma on Mother's Day


Here is my haul this year! My family knows how much I love my fairy gardens and beautifying my yard so their gifts never disappoint. And with a large family, the holiday cannot be contained to one day and lasts the whole weekend. This Mother's Day I was gifted these lovely items.


This hydrangea plant was given to me by my youngest son. He took me out to breakfast and his daughter also gifted me the plant below.


This container has an array of pink flowers which includes petunias, which my granddaughter knows is one of my favorite flowers.


My eldest son gifted these adorable fairy-sized items that include a mailbox, wheel barrel, arch gate (with a working latch!) and table with matching chairs. He probably didn't know but I've been having trouble with fairies not fitting in chairs that I currently have due to the fairy wings and chair arms. These chairs have no arms so the fairies are free to spread their wings! These items were purchased at Big Lots.


My daughter gifted this beautiful photo to me. She and her brothers went on a cruise recently and had this great picture taken. The frame is unique and pretty heavy duty. I'm so glad that I was able to spend time with each one of my children over Mother's Day weekend.

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Fairy Garden Class - Garden Under $10, Part 2

For this week's "Garden Under $10" segment, I had some help from my youngest granddaughter, Lily. Among other projects we've been working on (which I will reveal later this year), we decided to choose this existing container garden as the base for a new spruce up project.


As you can see, it's pretty disheveled but the Dusty Miller and Viola have survived quite nicely. Accents include a white picket fence and a saucer (it's under all the rubble, I promise). All of this and the terra cotta pot are not factored into the final cost of this spruce up.


With all the junk out of the way, I put a small layer of new soil. When sprucing up any container garden, it isn't necessary to replace all the soil but it is a good idea to put a fresh top layer. This will allow fresh nutrients to permeate down through the existing soil. I began to place some new flowers from Home Depot that I got as part of a six pack.


My shopping list includes: 
Six pack of flowers - $2.50
English Moss  - $4.95
Three Garden Gnomes - $1.00
Mushroom House - $1.00

The gnomes and mushroom house were from the Dollar Tree and the flowers and moss were from Home Depot. The ground cover (green pebbles) was gifted to me and can be found at any pet store because they're aquarium pebbles. If you know of any friends who are getting rid of an aquarium, tell them to re-home the pebbles to you!

Once all the flowers and moss were planted, the saucer was placed and then the house on top of that. The pebbles were spread out and then the gnomes were placed. Fairy gardens are a great, low-cost way to spend time with children. It allows them to be creative and get involved with hands-on projects while at the same time teaching them a little bit about the living world around us.


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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fairy Garden Class - Garden Under $10, Part 1

This month I'll be doing something a little different with the fairy garden class. Not only is the theme "Garden Under $10" (which is a loose definition because they're made with items I already have from previous fairy gardens that simply need a spruce up), but I'm also going to spread them out to four different posts so I can focus on one garden each week. My granddaughter thinks this is just a ploy to allow me to post more pictures of each fairy garden. I neither confirm or deny this.


This is what I started with; a container garden that I used as a Winter scene.  I redo most of my fairy gardens once or twice a year to try and stay in season and, if the scene calls for it, to replace dead plants or ones that have become "too big for their britches." Since it's not Winter anymore and the spider plants are getting too big to be managed, I am going to relocate them and remove the white "snow" pebbles to start.


I took out the mushroom house as well and put an overturned saucer that will offer a flat, raised platform.


I nestled in a cluster of white and lavender alyssum in place of the spider plant here to add some more color that the Winter scene was lacking.


Irish Moss is a much better option for ground coverage than "snow" pebbles for a lively Spring or Summer scene.


The Dollar Tree is a great store and if there isn't one in your area, try thrift stores. I found these three fairies for a total of $1 and the house was $1 (the gate was something I got at a yard sale years ago which I ended up using behind the house to prop up the plant behind it). The Irish moss was $4.95 and the alyssum was .80, bringing the total spruce up cost to $7.75.


I borrowed pebbles and small rocks from other fairy gardens around my yard to fill in the space the moss does not cover and I think it turned out very cute. It only takes a few dollars to liven up an out-of-season fairy garden.



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Celebrating Mother's Day


Mother's Day this year is May 8th. To all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers and anyone else who has had a hand in raising a child; here's to recognizing your efforts in supporting our futures. Pictured above is my most recent picture of Princess Jezelle and Queen AmberLynn.

Happy Mother's Day.



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Happy Cinco De Mayo



Happy Cinco De Mayo to all My Fairy Folks. This doll and the small statue of two playful Chihuahuas were purchased while I was on a Mexican Riviera cruise earlier this year.


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