"Blessed be the hand that prepares a pleasure for a child, for there is no saying when and where it may bloom forth." - unknown
A tiny seed of an idea took root.
It started to protude from it's small outer shell
and send out a tenuous first little root
on the day we had a new TV delivered to our house,
back in 2005.
The TV came packaged in a large
As I looked at the box,
my mind started to wander into
a strange place filled with enchantment.
I said to My Knight,
" Do not throw
away this box just yet...
I think I might turn it into a tree.
If I haven't done so within two weeks
...then, by all means, throw it in the trash."
(Typically, my dear husband did not question such a comment, he is somewhat used to me coming out with strange requests.)
That left me with a breather space of two weeks, to gather my peculiar thoughts.
As a small child of about 3 years of age,
I had been given the chance to play with the lady next door's dolls house for an hour or so. It had tiny plastic dolls, one inch in size.
This was in Warwick, as I was being babysat by my Aunty Beryl.
above: Aunty Beryl
The actual moment of this memory was so fleeting...but it left a profound impression on me.
Now with grand daughters of my own, I wondered how I could enhance their childhood memories.
A doll's house just seemed a bit lame...
so I pondered
some more on the subject.
Having only a vague idea what I was getting myself into,
I just knew I had to start on this venture.
Our Family Room was soon adorned
with numerous bits and pieces of
cardboard and newspapers, stickytape and glue, as an odd looking 'thing' slowly took shape in the middle of the room.
I'm afraid it stayed looking that way
for over a month!
Visitors to our house,
just looked on perplexed,
with slightly raised eyebrows.
As well as a creative mind,
I really am so fortunate to have a very
understanding and supportive husband.
He actually thinks it's kinda cool to have a crazy wife, who is always coming up with funny,weird ideas.
My Knight says it makes life interesting.
Still not really sure what I was doing,
I just kept on at it...determined, until it was finished.
One night, there was a frightful disaster
in the wee hours of the morning.
I was so tired, that I just rolled over
after I heard the loud crash,
and went back to sleep.
But My Knight, being the brave and chivalrous,
not only got out of bed
to see what all the commotion was about,
he also salvaged my tree.
Quietly, through the night, he gallantly managed to
get my poor soggy, saturated papier mache tree upright again,
and reinforce it with screws and pieces of timber.
Filled with consideration and courtesy,
he didn't want me to see it in such a sorry state.
I am so grateful for this kindness...as I possibly may have just given up on the whole thing, had I seen the mess that my tree was in.
As 'the tree' was nearing completion,
our grand-kitty, 'Lilly'
thought it was a curious cubby to play in...
with it's secret internal chambers to explore.
There is a hidden Ballroom,
complete with an ornate silver mirror,
and mirrored floor tiles.
Once 'the tree' was completed,
I was happy with how it turned out,
but the thought occured to me
that it now needed a neighbour...or two.
Well... you can't have a
'Secret Enchanted Forest'
with just one single tree....
If My Knight had thought that the
Family Room would once again return
to a tidy state, free of clutter and disruption...
boy was he sure in for a surprise.
Another tree was soon started.
(This one would be free from the
mistakes and disasters suffered by the original.)
This second tree would also have a
and a patio as well as a porch with staircase.
As we then had the two finished trees,
living in our Family Room,
it became paramount that
we needed a forest
for them to dwell in.
Our children had both moved out and
started families of their own,
so we had a spare room or two.
Our son's old bedroom would became the canvas
onto which the forest would grow.
Still not really knowing if I could really pull this off...
I had to keep plodding on.
I banished My Knight from this room
as I started to cover the walls with colour...
just incase the shock was too much for him to take in.
All he knew, was that his loony wife spent many hours each day, holed up in our son's old bedroom engaged in
'secret artist's business'
...with acrylic paint smells wafting out each time the door was opened.
A coat of paint in varying shades of blue and pink, took away the intimidating hugeness of 'blank paper'
and made it a little easier to get some ideas scrawled on the walls.
All the while, telling myself..."Not to worry, you can always just paint over it again if it doesn't work out."
I love how My Knight's mushrooms
and 'rope' bridge turned out and
I told him we make a good team.
(I think he was pretty chuffed with himself)
After hunting and gathering
ideas and pictures from library books
and the interweb, I painted some final details onto the walls.
When the walls were finished, I gave the whole thing a couple of coats of matt sealer, followed by splashes of glittery fairydust in appropriate places.
The inspiration for the snoozing blue dragon (below)
was born during a trip to Geelong, in Victoria, just down from Melbourne.
I took a snapshot of some of the artwork
painted on a replica 1898
Gavioli Band organ
housed beside 'The Carousel',
beautifully restored and located in
the pavilion on the Geelong waterfront.
(can you see the tiny blue dragon at the tip of the pink arrow??)
Above: My version of the said blue dragon,
with some more of Cicely Mary Barker's (1930-1950) Flower Fairies added.
A few final touches with added faux foliage, wildlife, faerie folk (and the magic of electricity)...and it was time to rest,
sit back and ponder at what sort of reaction
all this would get
from our little grandies.
I have since, created another two
enchanted trees for the 'Faerie Room'.
One, photo below, (called 'Porchlight Pixies') has a glowing purple lantern and a petite swinging sign with tiny lamp, as well as a kitchen with pantry and internal staircase.
and another, photo below, (called 'Sleepy Hollow' ) also has a petite swinging sign with tiny lamp, an internal bedroom, as well as a birdhouse with hanging 'kerosene lantern'.
Many people have commented that we are mad.
But we didn't create the 'Secret Enchanted Forest' for 'many people'...just a 'select few'.
And those few happen to think it is the most wonderful
place to play.
AND NOW TO THE
My little green amphibian friend
was only too happy to model the 'giveaway'.
The little green frog did a spot of daydreaming
as he sat looking into the pond,
as the handsome Prince that he felt he could be...
For your chance to own this very charming little gold crown
embellished, bejeweled and gilded,
measuring just one and a half inches in height,
and hand made by me...
Just leave a comment.
It's that simple.
The winner will be drawn randomly, after 14th February 2011.
For an extra chance to win,
grab my giveaway logo
in the sidebar of my blog and post it to your blog with a link back.
(and let me know you have done so with another comment)
Here's another if it's easier to grab:
For a third chance to win,
become a follower
(and let me know you have done so with another comment)
I will be announcing the lucky owner of the Frog Prince's little golden crown, the following day after the draw.