Alice in Wonderland by Lisa Mitchell

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Friday, January 14, 2011

'Giveaway' in an Enchanted Forest

"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
cardboard box.

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 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....
can you?

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."

As the Enchanted Forest began to grow,
my beguiling enthusiasm had become infectious. 
 My Knight, poor unsuspecting soul,
found there was no escaping the
senseless foolishness
that was running rampant. 

"You're only given a little spark of madness.
You mustn't lose it."
- Robin Williams

Before he could stop himself, he was knee deep
in staticly-charged styrofoam, and string.
Having a wildly merry old time of it in this madhouse, 
busily carving and creating
mushrooms and toadstools
as well as a
suspension bridge
...for the 'little people' who were soon to inhabit
this incredible forest. 

The mushrooms needed somewhere to 'grow',
so a Fairy Ring was needed.
As I happened to know of a few faeries
who had beautiful blue tipped wings,
I thought I'd paint the mushrooms in the dell,
to compliment them.

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.


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,
imagining himself
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.


  1. hi! i'd love to join your givaway! all the things you make are fantastic!!! i'm also a follower! thanks!!!

  2. OMG! You and your husband should be making movie sets. Your work is so meticulous and perfect in every way. Thank you for this detailed look into your enchanted room. You are so gifted. Have you ever thought about painting children's hospital rooms? I wish more people could see what amazing talent you have! Bravo!!

  3. This was "MAGICAL"! I am so impressed and in awe! I can't wait to share this with my friends....I felt like I just visited a whimsical and magical land! Good Job! Pam

  4. Thanks ladies, for your kind comments.
    Yes, Caroline, the thought about children's hospital walls had indeed crossed my mind. Maybe one day in the future. Over the years I have left my mark on many church (mainly creche) walls and stage backdrops.As well as numerous other projects for church and schools. Now, it is 'me' time...hence the Enchanted Forest.

  5. Dear talented incredible Victoria,

    I am in total awe!! My mouth is dropped open and sounds like "Awwww", "Ooooooo" and "Woahhhh" keep oozing out of my throat! Your creativity and artwork astound me... Wow!

    Ok, I'm coming back to earth now. And YES... I would LOVE to enter your giveaway!!! I've posted your giveaway button on my sidebar to advertise you and I'm already a follower. Thank you for the opportunity to win the darling crown you've designed!!

    Big hugs, Sherry (still in awe)

  6. Wow...such a magical place for your grandchildren to play. They are so lucky. I think more couples should share a hobby and spend time together doing something they both can enjoy. It makes for a better marriage. I would love to enter your giveaway and I will post it on my sidebar.

  7. My goodness Victoria.. you are so creative.. that mural is amazing!!! I sincerely hope it escaped the flooding this week.. It's been so sad to hear about the extent and scale of sadness on the news.. although heart warming to hear all the stories of people .. strangers pitching in to help..

    Thanks so much for popping by.. glad you enjoyed those aerial shots.. I love flying!! hehe... I hope to come back up that way soon... Take care.. and sorry once again for all going on up your way.. ciao xxx Julie

  8. VICTORIA!!! I AM IN...I AM IN....I AM A FOLLOWER, but let me verify that.....I know that I have you on my blog roll!OH DEAR, I cannot tell you how enchanting this are so much like me in chasing those dreams and ideas. Your husband is SO LIKE MINE! This was A MAGICAL POST INDEED and I need to talk to you further about this incredible project. Please email me:

    I also am telling my soulmate friend Jackie about this post. She will have to see this as she is a lover as well of gnomes, MAGICAL COTTAGES and the like. She is gonna need to see this. WE LOVE THIS WORLD! I cannot tell you in this small space how you just lifted me up and exploded my imagination.

    Please visit my email when you can and I will inform Jackie to come and see you. Blessings, Anita

  9. This is just amazing, I am lost for words. What child(adult) wouldn't love this.
    I have become a follower.
    Lyn, from now sunny but still wet Brisbane

  10. Wow! Amazing!
    Such wonderful memories your grandkids will have!

  11. Darling people, you have me in tears of joy. I know I sat in wonder and then when I got to the fireplace and the paintings and as it all came together, tears were just plopping down at how marvelous you, two are. I have decided to know you always, hee hee. For what you are is pure magic. I feel blessed for seeing this room you created for your little grand babies and for you. I marvel. Thank goodness for fairies and artists like you. Blessings and light, Amy

  12. May I come live in your enchanted forest, please? Such amazing, beautiful work...what lucky grandkids you have!

  13. Thank you for visiting me the other day..your blog is magical....your creations amazing! xo

  14. This is absolutely beyond words! What an incredible creation! Thank you for this enchanted tour. (coming over from Amy's place)


  15. This is SO much better than a doll house. My younger daughter and granddaughter love fairies. I've made wall hangings and some small paintings, but nothing like this. Absolutely wonderful!

  16. Thanks so much for following my blog! Your Etsy store is darling and I would love to do a post on it, if you are okay with me doing so. Beautiful work!

  17. I have been oohing and aahing over every picture you've shown on this post, what a fascinating room you've made for your grandchildren!! I've transformed one of my spare bedrooms into a faerie room but it's nothing like yours, I need some of your creativity! lol I love anything to do with faeries, even have a faerie garden in the summer time:-) I would so love to win your perfect little crown!! xo

  18. I've now posted your giveaway button on my sidebar:-) xo

  19. I'm now a follower and so looking forward to getting to know you better:-) xo

  20. Thank you for visiting me.I was so "blown out of the water" by the two of you and what you created I forgot to join the giveaway.I became a follower and went to once upon a fairytale to tell my friend Jacqueline about you.It's really beyond words what you created.I have lived in that world in my day dreams for years.What blessed Grandchildren you have.

  21. I would put your button on my sidebar but I only know how to do the ones with the boxes under them.I've been trying for while to do the ones without the boxes with no luck.

  22. You have such a great creative mind! I bet your grandkids have a blast with it. :) Very awesome!!

  23. I"m not sure how I found my way here ... but I'm so glad that somebody's breadcrumbs led me! What a delightful blog! I am totally enthralled with your enchanted forest! I want to do that in my bedroom!!!

    And what a perfect time to find your blog - a giveaway in process! AND not just ANY giveaway - a crown giveaway! I collect crowns - but I've never seen on so lovely or so wee - I love it! Please throw my name into your cyber hat!

    Thanks so much.


  24. Wow, how very magical!..... Good for you for letting your creativity soar and transforming a special space in your home into something so enchanting... Your grand daughter is one lucky little girl! Thanks for stopping by my blog & Giveaway to share a bit about yourself too....

    ~ Johanna

  25. Victoria, I am amazed and a little speechless! Your enchanted forest is so beautiful and built with so much love by two special people. I love nothing more than seeing adults love children the way that you do. I believe that creating positive memories for children is vital. They can draw so much strength from them throughout their life. A big well done to you! Rachaelxx

  26. it is very privileged we feel to have been invited to see this magical room and play with the faeries! its absolutely stunning and every single one of your creations is so filled with love, anyone who sees them cannot help but marvel at the magic! thankyou xx

  27. What an absolute inspiration! The room is beautiful & magical, and oh so very, very clever! I am so pleased that you stopped by my blog, and in turn, I found yours x

  28. Lovely encouragement for you Vicki!! who knew that little seed would grow so big!

  29. Oh my gosh! What a beautiful fairytale...what an amazing dream come true! I want to come over and play!!!!

    This is just so inspiring!

    Love it,

  30. I followed a link from my friend Pea's page and I was so amazed at the creativity that you poured into your fairy room. I hope you submit this room to a magazine if you haven't already.
    Thanks for sharing your unique room and 'inhabitants'.

  31. VICTORIA!!

    WHAT AN UNDERTAKING!!!!!!!!!! That is every little girl's dream come true! Oh my goodness...I can't help but think of all the hours I would have LOVED to have played in your forest as a child...well, lets be honest, that I'd still enjoy playing in!

    (Also, I "follow" you, and I added you to my Google Reader)


  32. Your artwork is simply...amazing. I want to come live at your house so I can be in a fairytale all the time:D I am going to add your link and I just became a friend but I will give you the other two posts as requested. Gosh I am glad i found you - I love being around such a creative mind!
    Beth P

  33. Hi Victoria, I put your giveaway button on my blog sidebar at
    Beth P

  34. Me again, I am your newest follower, and glad to be. See you again soon,
    Beth P

  35. Victoria!
    GASP!!!! How amazing and TOO wonderful for words! Your creations and paintings on the walls are fabulous!!!! What an enchanting room.
    Your grandchildren, oh the memories they will have! I am swooning....

    Am becoming a folower also. What a lovely little crown, sign me up for the give-away, and I'm glad you entered mine!

    ~ Violet

  36. OH MY! What a fantastic room! I would have given my eye teeth to have such a playroom when I was small. Okay, okay, I secretly want to play in it NOW! Absolutely COOL! You are incredibly talented and I LOVE you blog. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog so I could find yours. You have a new follower for sure!

  37. a very late comment on this entry I know, but I have only just discovered your blog and searched it for more pictures of the intriguing tree at the top of the page - wow am I glad I did, this room has left me gobsmacked! I want to secretly play in it too! wondering just where in my house I could do something like this....

  38. Wow..Its so amazing..I am a big fan of yours right now...
    Thanks for sharing it..
    Miami Wood Floors



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