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Author Archives: cathyldeckert
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I adore combing antique stores for vintage items as a base for my fairy houses. In the spirit of handmade, I hate to purchase wood or framing from craft stores that buy in bulk overseas. It seems like the wrong way to start a project. One glorious Saturday I happened to stop by one of my favorite haunts, Carriage House Antiques, as they happened to be having a garden sale. Sitting in front of all these glorious flower pots, sections of fencing, and various baskets was a lonely, faded, unopened box housing a vintage Duracraft dollhouse. The box was pathetic and looked like it may have seen some water, so no one would touch it. It looked like this…I saw an opportunity, and snatched it up right away. I told one of the owners I was going to go home and assemble it today, and I believe she sort of snickered. Rightly so, because there was a lot of sanding and trimming involved. But the wood was in perfect condition, and was of a higher quality than any of the other dollhouses I had worked with.
I started thinking about the ideal fairy mansion, rich with detail and warm in color. I painted the outside a lovely chocolate, and papered the ground floor in brown leather. This awesome kit came with an unexpected bay window, a flower box, front steps, and detailed windows. These are things I didn’t even notice on the box, and was delighted to find! I deconstructed a vintage basket to replace some of the trim with (to give it a more authentic, woodland feel.
The result is something I am extremely proud of! It was painstakingly time consuming, but hopefully will be well loved and become a family heirloom. I know that my daughter was eyeing it, but is a little to young to keep this fairy dream house. Whomever gets to choose the furnishings will be in for a treat:)
This home is for sale in my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/listing/242610307/cottage
My business started because of my daughter, but my first few customers were undeniably granny’s, purchasing for themselves. I have had a lot of eighty year olds tell me stories about childhood fairy villages, memories and feelings of childhood magic, and having troubles with their computer:) I assumed this was my target market, and it wasn’t until the first Christmas season that I discovered parents, aunts, and uncles buying for girl’s. Girl’s that love dollhouses, fairies, Coraline, and all things Tim Burton. Girl’s with rich imaginations, ripe for something other that the usual Toy R Us fare.. Here are two items pandering specifically to that audience…
This box was made for the light sleeper/true believer in mind! And because I’ve worried about how I will ever slip anything under my own poor sleeper’s pillow:) The box is first painted lavender, then brushed with purple glitter, and adorned with a fairy cameo and flowers. The shell within is secured to the lining, and is where a tiny tooth may be placed. https://www.etsy.com/listing/241618972/tooth
This surprise fairy dwelling looks like a pretty, feminine box that any girl would love to own. But the real gift is the detailed fairy home within, with three levels on the left hand side, and four on the left. I imagine a girl of six or seven displaying this creation in her bedroom, and then folding it like a suitcase and taking it to Grandma’s for the weekend. https://www.etsy.com/listing/241689453/box
Hopefully I have my finger on the pulse of every little girl’s dream…
There is a veritable feast of merchandise online, yet, rarely actually handmade, and wading through it all to find something truly unique can be a challenge. Clearly I’m going through some kind of spiritual change, tunneling through grief, motherhood, and a hell of a milestone birthday. So my eyes are trained to find items that evoke a strong emotional reaction, as well as true, detailed perfection. Here are the pieces I’m currently coveting…
I am obsessed with miniature worlds. I think it can be attributed to a combination of factors, the charm and orderliness of the tiny, that small spaces can be extremely ornate without appearing ostentatious, and that themes look totally plausible when they are small enough. I also adore the fact that small spaces are almost impossible to “mess up”, a battle that is constantly being fought in my home between my daughter, husband, and I. Here are some of the rooms I spent painstaking hours on. I hope their appearance soothes your soul in the same way the do to mine:)
So, I’ve briefly touched on the fact that someone I love is very ill. And while it is slowly breaking my heart, life actually, maddeningly goes on. And I find myself looking for sparks of inspiration and light in the darkness, a way to reframe everything that is happening and assign meaning rather than blame. So we are holding a birthday party for her, an combo last-blast/swan-song. Except my three year old is helping plan it. So it looks something like this…
There will be a huge bouncy house, and not just a plain non-descript bouncer that pretty much would ensure hours of shenanigans, but a Frozen themed bouncy house. With Frozen party favors, hats, and an ice blue three-tiered cake. And a water table, and a miniature swimming pool. And catered sandwiches, and snacks, and juice, and balloons! Lots of balloons. And plenty of booze as well, for the adults, of course. It is an open house, come as you are, free for all, and friends and family will hopefully surround us.
It sounds strange, but as we proposed the idea to sicky she became extremely excited. Gleeful almost, and this has become a huge event in her life to look forward to. So I got to wondering, why the hell do we play down our birthdays as we get older? Why does it suddenly become gauche to have themed, huge celebrations of our life? Because our journey is short and precious. So we’re going to party like three year olds.
I have become a little obsessed with vintage teacups, their daintiness, fragility, and beauty. I like how I feel when I hold them in my hand, a little more delicate, more whimsical, perhaps more mysterious. I’ve discovered the most charming antique store in my town, Carriage House Antiques, with the most amazing selection of vintage garden art, porcelain shoes, and… teacups. There is a ton of inspiration in that shop, and the chatty owners are some of the nicest ladies I’ve met. Here is and example of how vintage, mismatched or lonely teacups can be up cycled into fairy art:)
A friend of mine write books in his rarely found spare time at his new gig, Mr. Mom. They are all children’s books, and I imagine they are the kind of humorous fare he wishes was readily available to his two gorgeous girls. Recently, he asked me to participate in the creation of one of these gems, using pictures of my fairy homes as illustrations.
The book is about a young fairy girl with a bum wing, a subtle disability with a difficult side effect. She is a fairy that just can’t fly. Throughout the book this fairy girl is teased and excluded, until one of her fairy “friends” walks a mile in her shoes. Literally. Then things change dramatically for her.
I’m very excited to possibly become part of this project, but also a bit nervous because I’ve never been involved in anything like this. And although heavy, the subject matter is important and I’d want the book to be engaging visually as well as through the storyline. Here is one of the fairy houses that may be featured. Critiques are welcome!