Saturday, 7 September 2013

Fairy garden sign!

First of all I asked Chris to cut me out a sign from some old wood we had, he sanded it down too so it was smooth.

Then I found a font I liked and printed it checking the size on the bit of wood.
My first brain wave re. tracing the letters was to make a print by damping the back of the paper so the ink would transfer to the wood. I reversed the lettering on the computer and placed it face down on the wood.

It worked really well, painting over it would have been easy, except for 2 things I hadn't thought through! 1) when it was painted it wouldn't transfer the ink anymore as not porous and 2) the lettering paint I used was quite thin so it needed a few coats, over the black ink might have been even worse.

Here you can see the painted version, not sure if I preferred it before au natural but at least it should be more weatherproof as it was a wood stain I used on the garden shed. I had to cut out the letters, bit fiddly. I didn't do them individually as wanted to keep them in a straight line when drawing around them so just did the tops and bottoms of the letters!  

After I was able to fill in some of the missing lines free hand as they were easy but I cut out some of fancier letters individually to finish off my outline.

Here's finished outline before paint. 

I used a gold leaf paint and small paint brush! Couple of coats!

I then decided to outline the letters as they didn't stand out well.  Not finished yet of course! Still need the upright stick to put it in the ground.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Gwen loves the fairy garden already.

Gwen knows about the fairies - yay! and she toddles her way over and points to them when I say 'where are the fairies?' I now have even more plans for it, more fairy houses, a small rockery garden, and a sign!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Progress at last!

After a pretty miserable winter we have finally made progress on the fairy Garden, our excuse is that Gwen is still a bit young to appreciate it! However her cousins have had a bit of fun in there even when there wasn't much going on so it's more for them at the moment!

They played for ages with just a few bits and pieces, making things for the fairies out of twine and twigs.

Here they are making bridges and washing lines, ladders out of wood and twine. 

A fairy washing line!

I asked Chris to make a fairy door, so he managed to find all sorts of bits and pieces around the place. he used some of the top layer of some old furniture to be the z shaped bits,  and used a screw for a door knob. and a bit of wood stain!!

the finished door

It was too big to sit in the side of the hobbit hill which was the original plan. Pah, so it sat around in the shed for quite a while.  

One sunny day I decided I'd had enough thinking about it and just started improvising a house to make use of the door. I cut a hole out of an upside down plastic plant pot

I put a circle of the pond liner plastic on top as it had holes and thought I wouldn't want the rain pouring through. Then I started covering it with earth. 

I had a little play around with some old bits of wood

I'd cut some turf bits up while making a bit more space in the fairy garden so plonked that on top.

I asked Chris to make up some concrete to make some fairy paths. He pushed in some pebbles too. 

From top view, while it was setting.

The following day when concrete had set. It looked so cute!! 

Chris had a rejig with the wood and made it look loads better! A fairy turned up a couple of days after this, imagine that!!! 

Here is a stump we dug out of the garden last year that was still lurking behind the greenhouse so we cemented it in, I plan to make a little path up to it. 

... and whaddaya know, another fairy turned up and sat on it! 

Here's the current state of the fairy garden. 

Here I am digging out another section for the path to carry on round the bend. 

A new section cleared for some more plants, and path next to the waterfall. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Making fairy furniture - from mistakes to improved!

I went walking one day and picked up some twigs, they sat waiting for a while for me to do something with them for a while.  So one evening recently while baby was asleep and the other half was out, I started trying to glue some of the twigs together. It wasn't very light and I got very glue happy and ended up with some furniture but didn't realise until the next day that it was awful! TUrns out you can;t just throw glue at it to stick it together. So I looked on the internet for tips on how to glue twig furniture together better but couldn't really find anything in detail, I came up with the ideas below and it works well so thought I'd put some of the things I discovered for others who may also be looking. 

Here is the bad glueing! underside of a bench. (still to be redone!)

A badly glued chair.

So here is how I improved it, I broke the twigs apart again. Chose 5 twigs that were similar widths, and using a craft knife I dug out a groove that another twig could sit in. (shown below)

A rusty craft knife is fine! 

I sanded down the twig to get as much of a clean surface. Using a minimal/yet enough amount of glue from the hot glue gun and get that twig in there quick before it sets. 

I did the same on the other side and the seat for the chair is done

Turned over, you can see the 'seat' .The extra bits sticking out top and bottom are handy for slotting in the uprights/legs.

Here is upright twig in relation to the seat, it slotted in that top left corner of the seat square, I will try to show this better when I next make something. I used glue again. 

To make the two back uprights/back legs I chose two thicker pieces of twig. I dug out two grooves that matched up with where it would meet the seat. this was a bit fiddly, I kept trying/ marrying it up to the seat and digging out more, until it fitted well. Below picture is the two knotches cut out with craft knife, one slightly above the other. 

Here is the chair when finished, (note all the chipped bits lying around.) This one is wonky as the uprights were curved outwards but I like it's quirkiness.

I added a bar across the back of the chair, I cut little half moons out of the main uprights and rounded off the ends of the piece I chose to go across. It fitted in quite snugly, but again keep checking back to make sure you don't sand too much off. 
The front legs were done in the same way as the back uprights

To make it stand up, you have to do a bit of sanding,  trimming the feet to get it even. 

The waterfall / hobbit hill!

We marked out a kidney shape with pebbles. 

Chris cut around the edge

  Then he carefully cut out the turf as we want to reuse it. 

We started to fill up wheelbarrows full of earth (which was previously dug out from the decking area and piled up behind the music room) this is the only bit I was able to help with really, he was too good at the rest) that and stamping in the earth to make it solid 

Lots of wheel barrows later

The mound was still suprisingly small! 

Next stage, bit of turf

Trial waterfall with bin liner and pilfered from a beach stones! 

The solar powered water pump in background, waterfall with the proper pond liner and reservoir (I didn't want a pond with a toddler!)

Gwen, looking on

Front on view of pondless waterfall, the grid part at the bottom will be covered with stones or something.

to be continued.....