The other day, Sister-in-Lu emailed me about TWCN’s birthday–which is in the spring:
There’s this store [nearby]
that has pricey craft projects for kids. I like to stop in, because if I had time to be creative in such ways, I’d try to emulate some of the things they do, but not pay them the big bucks for organization and materials. They have a lot of fairy house crafts/projects that look really fun. But I’m not really into buying natural pieces (acorn tops, branches—seriously?!) to show TWCN how to make a fairy house. I think she might have fun just playing that way in our backyard. So I was thinking, maybe for her birthday, I might consider getting her something like this.
And then play outside with her and make little fairy people and houses in the backyard. But then I thought, if Auntie Jenn is coming to visit in the spring, maybe that’s something she’d like to do with TWCN. So, before I decide whether or not I might get this book for TWCN for Christmas, or for her birthday, I thought I’d pass that along to you, just in case you might be interested.
To which I replied,
Um YES. I made a fairy house once (we’ll just forget the part where I was in high school) and I still have, locked away somewhere, the little maple-leaf outfit I made for the fairy. 🙂
Sadly, I’m having a little trouble forgetting the part that I said to forget, because it’s true. I was kind of a loner as a child . . . and then as a teenager . . . and until I discovered a whole new group of people who were just as geeky as I was in college, I used to wander around in the woods behind the house where I grew up and imagine stuff. Mostly I imagined I was captive to an evil enchantress, seeking an escape and a way to save the kingdom from her clutches.
But there was some evidence that the woods behind the house had once been some kind of granite quarry; there was a big tumble of rocks back there that looked like it should have caves in it. In spite of years of searching, I never found one, but there was a little indentation in one of the rocks near the top of the pile, and one day it occurred to me that for a very very small person, it could be a cave, so I decorated it as a house for a fairy. I didn’t really believe in fairies, but I kind of wanted them to be true because I was so lonely most of the time, and plus this was like having a doll house made out of “nature.” I had a dollhouse which was fun to decorate, but, not being an ambitiously materialistic young person, neither were the dolls, and their house was not going to improve much from the point at which I had it when I was fourteen. So I created a new one.
I ripped some moss off of some other rocks and laid it at the bottom of the fairy cave for carpet. Actually . . . I don’t really remember what else I put in there, but I’m sure acorn caps were involved (Sister-in-Lu is right–purchasing acorns is absurd . . . unless, of course, you wanted to buy some, and then I’d be happy to sell you a bagful), and also that it took multiple trips on multiple days to complete the miniature dwelling. Then I picked four maple leaves–two tiny ones and two medium ones. I sewed the small ones together down the sides, with a hole in the top for a head, and the bottom for a torso. Then I did the same with the larger pair, and I had a blouse and a skirt for the fairy.
I left them in the fairy house for a little while. Then, because no fairy had moved in, I brought them back to my house, and locked them away in my little box of “treasures.”