Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First Attempt


Years ago, my great friend Carol introduced me to something I had never heard of before:
 
The Fairy Garden!
 

 
I was visiting her in Maine and we had an outing to the lovely Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. (Nice to be a member of the Chicago Botanic Gardens which allowed me free entry to this garden as well!)
 
We walked past the Pinecone Sculpture trail and along the Shoreland Trail and there, tucked away in the woods, were little fairy houses made completely from the findings
of the forest floor.  Who made these?  Folks wee and small and those with imaginations that never quite grew up...and I vowed that someday I would make a fairy house, too.
 
See?  Smack dab in the middle of this map?
This vow was made even before Grandchildren entered the picture.  And last week, it was time to gather up Miss E and Miss M, head out to the woods near our cabin in the North Woods and summon that imagination and create an inviting home for a Yooper Fairy!
Easy to find fairy fixin's in the woods:  birch bark, moss, twigs and rocks.
We decided to make a little camp for our fairies between two tree trunks...and of course we needed to make a path so these fairies could go back and forth for regular visits.




Miss M found her calling as a rock gatherer.
Here is my fairy house.  A little hole in the ground was carved out with a stick, and a flat-top rock was placed over that hole.  On top of the rock were bark pieces and five shells -
Miss E, the scavenger, raided them from our neighbor's sand supply (Sorry, Nordlunds and Anderson's).  Pine cones and moss were added as landscaping.




A couple of tiny purple and yellow flowers were added to the shrubbery.
Meanwhile, the neighborhood was expanding...



 
Miss E was creating her own world as well.  She stacked rocks on top of rocks
to create her tiny dwelling, then placed rotting forest bark as a roof on top of these rocks.
Because of its larger-than-mine size, I think this is going to be the pace for larger
groups to gather to socialize - more fluttering wing room!!
 


 
 
We ended up with a lot of extra birch bark and pine cones, so we did some
additional landscaping and added a "barking" lot - ha!

 
 

It's funny how these fairies work...both of us were just sure things were happening in this
little clearing that we made for our little winged sprites as we stepped away.
Like a rock that was white turning into a rounded gray stone....like a flower that was moved to a doorway from a moss bush...like a piece of bark shifting its position...like a pine cone
separating from its group.
 
Let us never forget the magic of childhood.  Or fairy power!








 



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Very Hairy Birthday to You!

 











Kari, John, Wes, Anne, Jed

Yes, it's that time of year once again.  The five adults (not me) in our family all celebrate their birthdays within about a three week time span. Our usual routine is to celebrate them all together while on vacation at our cabin in the North Woods of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  I come up with a goofy theme, prepare accordingly and then we have our bash.
 
But this year we had a couple of twists in the celebrating: the births of two more kiddos and the passing of our Patriarch who also liked to celebrate with us.  The time to have the party was uncertain...but certainly our time together would be more "hairy" in the jargon of past years referring to chaotic times.  This got me to thinking of the theme
"It's Getting Hairy Around Here!"
and I was off and running with the use of moustaches to represent the hairy part.
 



Moustaches, headbands, treat bags, stamps, stickers, head coverings..
So I headed out to Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, thrift stores and my own supply cabinet and got busy.  I packed a bag full of these items and waited.  And waited. And waited a bit more until we headed up North with the family as we gathered to have a graveside service for Elder. If the
opportunity came, I was set to do the first EVER combined birthday party as a
Surprise Party!
And for the first time, it would include most of the siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews!
The food would be the dinner planned by Renee - our family "Foodie" who makes everything
soooo good.

With the moustache gift wrap and napkins from my bag, the table d├ęcor took on a party feel!.
Two cakes for 23 people seemed about right.  One was for the younger kids "UnBirthday" Party
and the other I brought along with candy and popcorn.
We lucked out with weather that allowed us dining el fresco!

Once the eating was taken care of, it was time for the group to come on over to the
Woodsy Photo Booth.
All those props came out of my pre-packed party bag.  I hung a blue table cloth from a clothesline, pulled up a bench and we were ready to go.  I used my cell phone to take the pictures...it was a snap!


Miss E and Papa
 
MeMo with the Grands
Who is this Moustached Miss? Our youngest party goer, Miss H!
Two birthday celebrants with three googly-eyed girls!
Two more birthday celebrants with a uni-browed baby and a son who's lookin' for gold!
Oldest Sister and F
Younger Brother and family

 Youngest Sister and family


Every party could use a blindfold and challenge, right? Miss M and cousin L made this
"Melody" person for us to "pin" moustaches on her face. (They named her.)
Miss E and Miss M loved this game!


Finished the game with all 23 moustaches in place.  Poor Melody!

 
 
Here's our gang no longer in disguise.  Thanks, one and all, for going along with this party-planner --- I know you were good sports!
 
And, Happy Birthday to EVERYBODY!!