One day, browsing through an antique store, I came upon this enchanting hard-bound book published in 1906. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady had such beautiful hand-drawn paintings of botanicals with observations on her daily walks about Nature, that I had to create some kind of diorama around it. I didn't bind the book, but let it sit freely, so it can be read, and the pages re-positioned to reflect the different months of the diary. The rocking chair and coffee table are not my own, a Scandanavian design, so to complete the look, I made a similar bookshelf by hand to complement the brown edging of the furniture. This is a cozy book nook with pages for the "walls" and just a lovely, outdoorsy, folkloric vibe to it.
Make four dollhouse-sized jars for around $20.00
It took me a ridiculous amount of time to figure out how to make miniature canning jars after searches on Etsy for these little items were proving too expensive to buy. I'm making a root cellar with a dozen jars and here's how you can do it too. I've included the materials, cost breakdown and how-to instructions below.
OK, start by assembling your materials. You can get these at any big box or craft store, and I'll include where I got mine. To make these 1/4-inch jars, you'll need:
Waverly mini bolt fabric, (Sewing Section) Walmart, $1.47, scissors, Elmer's clear glue, Dollar Store, $3.99
I started off making green beans out of tiny pieces of green foam, then placed them in jar with a toothpick. Then, squeezing the Elmer's into the jar, I used the toothpick to swirl around. Finally, I used the tip of the toothpick to pick up the tiniest dot of green food dye and swirled it in.
The fabric top took some trial and error (and here above was my first attempt) but the easiest way to do it is cut 1/4 x 1/4 inch of the fabric into a square. Set aside.
Then, use a pair of pliers to pull the split rings just far apart enough and cut the extra wire off so that you have one open ring. I used a pencil to hold it while my pliers shaped it.
Then, simply place the fabric over the top of the jar. (I used a dot of glue to keep it secure) and use your pliers to open up the ring just enough to slide over the top, where it will sit snug. You can trim the fabric at this point to desired length. The foam pieces in varied colors can make carrots, string beans, green beans, tomatoes, etc.
I then tried making another jar, this time: stewed apples. So, first, I snipped off a tiny piece of the polymer clay, but found that it was too wide to stick into the jar. So, I had to cut it in half.
Following the same process as above, there are the apples in the middle. They all fit nice and snug on my cellar standing shelf and were very easy to make. Assuming you already have a pair of scissors, toothpicks and pliers in your craft supplies, the total amount for four jars was $20.58. The best part is you now have the supplies to make many more.
By now, you know that solitary fairies have no interest in cavorting with other members of their troop; nor do they want any human attention.
Here is a little scene set in Merryspring Nature Garden by a natural spring. Tea for one, at a tiny handcrafted mossy table with chair, a vase of flowers and an oversized cup of nectar.
This fairy furniture has been set inside a shadow box measuring 6 x6 inches.
Inside the shadow box, the fairy furniture is set in the woods on a mossy floor with tiny mushrooms spouting up.
This one of a kind fairy shadowbox will be available soon. Stay tuned for more like it!
I love making Wee Folk fairy dresses. I love making tiny shadowboxes. Like cookies in cream, I combined them both. This is The Witch Hare, a fragile dress made from dried grass and cattail fluff perched in a shadowbox on a bed of dark green moss with two sprouting mushrooms. Watch.
Here she is.
The Hare Witching Hour.
Behind The Curtain. Had to learn how to learn miniature wiring.
Here is the Witch Hare in her natural element.
I live in Maine, which inspires so many writers and artists, and here, made in a cigar box, is a miniature 5 inch x 4 inch "Studio of One's Own" for the artist in your life or for yourself. A two-inch watercolor portrait of where the mountains meet the sea sits on a tiny wooden easel.
This postage stamp view, comes from the imagination of local Mainer Justin Stephens. He also handcrafted the little easel that holds it, along with the palette (the size of a fingernail) and minuscule brush. On the studio's wall hangs a portrait of Mt. Katahdin (which is actually a vintage postcard).
This beautiful, one-of-a-kind keepsake is a reminder of unsurpassed beauty in Maine. We only make these one at a time, so check out our Etsy page to see if there's one still available.
Here we go...a new one! In 1929, Virginia Woolf's essay "A Room of One's Own" imagined a literal and figurative space for women writers. As a writer myself, I made this miniature room out of a vintage cigar box that imagines that space.
The tiny furniture is handmade: a rustic ladder back chair and a simple Shaker writing desk, as well as a tiny cork board and a "picture window" made from a vintage postcard of a lighthouse on Pemaquid Point in Maine. When you have a room like this, you need a beautiful view. On the desk is a little blotter with inkwell and pad of paper, a stack of mail, a marked up manuscript, a pot of sunflowers and a bottle of wine with a glass.
I only make these one at at a time so check out our Etsy page to see if one is still available.
The Irish believe that the fairies are the fallen angels who were cast down by the Lord God out of heaven for their sinful pride. And some fell into the sea, and some on the dry land, and some fell deep down into hell. But the fairies of the earth and the sea are mostly gentle and beautiful creatures, who will do no harm if they are let alone, and allowed to dance on the fairy raths in the moonlight to their own sweet music, undisturbed by the presence of mortals. (Story origin)
This little fairy dress was made from dried grasses, dried hydrangea and adorned with tufts of field flowers. Each dress is one of a kind and some, like this one, are so fragile, they need to be mounted into a custom shadowbox and protected behind glass.
The Fallen Angel is encased in a vintage wooden cigar box as its shadowbox. It comes with mounting hardware on the back to hang upon a wall or to sit upon a shelf.
In 1929, Virginia Woolf's essay "A Room of One's Own" imagined a literal and figurative space for women writers. As a writer myself, I made this miniature room out of a vintage cigar box that imagines that space.
I made the furniture myself, a rustic ladder back chair and a simple writing desk, as well as a tiny cork board and a "picture window" made from a vintage postcard of the Camden Harbor. When you have a room like this, you need a beautiful view.
The feminine space includes a blotter, a calendar, a letter opener,a blank note pad, a pot of white tulips and a bottle of wine.
The cigar box can even close so you can take it with you. Normally these custom made shadow boxes go for $75 (not including shipping or tax). There is one more that can be found at Beyond The Sea in Lincolnville. It is an ideal, one-of-a-kind gift for the writer in your life. I can also do custom work where your favorite miniature book is included on the desk. Contact me for more info.
Midsummer is a powerful time for The Wee Folk. To discover the portal to their world, you must walk nine times around a suspected place on a full moon night. They can make themselves visible or invisible and can change their shapes and sizes but May Day, Midsummer’s Eve, and Halloween are good times to see them.
Here is the Pine Nymph caught in one of my custom cigar shadowboxes. Some are so fragile they need to be protected behind glass.
Here, The Fairy Nurse is cradled in a picture frame shadowbox. This was a custom made shadowbox crafted by a Maine woodworker. Each one of my Wee Folk dresses come with a back story, which you can simply look up on my website Journal by viewing the right hand column.
A trio of custom one-of-a-kind fairy dresses and shadowboxes ($55-$65).
This fairy dress, made from red and white birch bark, with a reindeer moss cummerbund and bramble skirt is encased within a vintage box behind glass. It has mounting hardware on the back to hang upon the wall or can just sit on a shelf. One of a kind. $65. Contact me if you want more info.
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations
Photos, stories and concept ©Kay Stephens
Look up the story behind a fairy dress by clicking on the name below