Fairy Houses

I have an app on my phone called “Home.” Home is a bit like micro-transactions in an online game, only for real life. You spend a few dollars on a cute pillow, a few dollars on a neat bracelet, and soon you’ve spent $450 and you’re still not winning.

And the other day, Home, because it knows me better than I feel comfortable with, suggested a miniature tea set.


This is the face hand of impulse buying.

I’m easily enraptured by pretty girly things. Taking care of three to six boys will do that to you. But this set, especially, reminded me of the miniature tea sets my sister and I used to have when we were little. It also reminded me, in a round about way, of the “fairy houses” we used to make out in the woods.

Fairy houses are easy to make. First, you look around for building materials in nature. Then, you spend an hour carefully setting everything into place. Finally, you step back and cry a little because your creation looks like a dumpster compared to what people on Pinterest put together effortlessly. It’s very rewarding.

So as I looked at this little tea set, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be fun to take these out and build a fairy house in the park somewhere for someone to discover?”

I went to the park today.

I hadn’t made fairy houses in years, but I remembered vaguely that purely working with sticks is the devil and that finding some rocks would help weigh everything down. As it turns out, the east coast has no rocks this time of year.


Seriously, there could be diamonds under that foliage and I’d be none the wiser.

So I begrudgingly started with sticks instead. Not only sticks, mind you. There were, fortunately, quite a few pinecones around as well, and they made lovely insulation.


Pay attention, Pinterest.

I forced a few sticks into the ground, dropped some pinecones on top of each other, and did the same thing to the other side. I laid longer sticks across the roof, covered the whole thing with pine needle tufts (only the ones that were already dying, don’t look at me like that), and put in a few additional sticks for support.


And here we the trailer park home of the Welfare Fairy.

It was decidedly underwhelming, but I was running low on childlike wonder and people on the paths were starting to stare at the grown woman squatting under the tree with a bunch of pinecones in her hands.


It was something. It would be something better with miniature teacups.


The table and tablecloth came next, and I only severely injured myself on the bark once. And then…


All right, now that’s adorable.


I needed to improve my fairy house skills, but a spider moved in while I was working on it so a) it couldn’t have been that bad, and b) I wasn’t going anywhere near it again. It actually did look a little less like a heap of randomly placed sticks in real life, fortunately.


It wasn’t completely easy to spot from the path, but there’s enough foot traffic in a day that I think it won’t take somebody long to find it. Hopefully a little girl gets the tiny china.

I still have some china left over, so I’ll try again another day and maybe my building skills will improve.

Naturally soon all the building materials will be covered in leaves covered in snow, so this might be more of a spring activity.


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