Trashy Fae

On Saturday 25th November you’ll find us, and these flower folk, at the Boeremark in Silverton, Pretoria.

And every Saturday thereafter, hopefully.

If you’re in the area and feel like an excellent cup of very early morning coffee, come and browse. We were there last weekend to choose a stall and there were all sorts of lovely goodies on offer. You could get your Xmas shopping done without setting foot in a mall.

Please do also come and visit us at Trashy Fae – stall number 237.  It’s easy to find, just walk in the middle entrance gate, hang a right on the third little street (Van Wykshoutlaan) and we’re a few stalls up on the left hand side.

Trashy Fae, prime real estate for the fairies, gnomes, goblins or elves. But, if you don’t believe in any of this magic stuff, just consider them cosy spots for bugs to hang out in and make your garden pretty. There’s lots of other stuff, too.

But Gin, I hear you say, you’re a writer. You’re not a maker of fairy accommodation. What are you doing getting up at the crack of dawn to go and sell stuff that you’ve made from trash?

Indeed, I am, but I’ve also been making teensy little fairy huts and gnome homes for years. Ever since the gardening bug bit me and I started dabbling with cement art, but I’d never really done anything small and intricate.  The fence might look intricate, but it’s still huge, compared.

Then, earlier this year, I decided to make our granddaughter, Isabella, something different for her birthday.

Something seriously cute and interactive.

I settled on a fairy tea garden and really went to town on all the little details. Tables, chairs, menus, notice boards, teensy mugs, and donuts or slices of cake on plates.

Though I say it myself, it was adorable.

Everything was garden proof. The sun couldn’t melt it and the termites would not be enjoying a single bite. Best of all, it parcelled up into a bit of a weird looking container (pre-loved milk bottles covered in cementy cloth) that doubled up as the actual tea garden shop.

To digress a little, I’d dabbled with making fae accommodation when we first moved into our house. Everybody kept saying that the back yard looked like a fairy garden, so I thought, well, why not make some houses to complete the picture. Back then, I didn’t know about the cementy stuff. So I glue-gunned some sticks together and hacked up a dogfood tin to use bits of it as a base. The end result was okay. I made three, put one in our garden and took one to the French school in Pretoria, where I’d been invited to participate in their literary week. The kids were also making a veggie garden, so I thought it would look cute in there. It was February, and I was mortified to go out during recess and see that the glue had melted and there was now a puddle of icky stuff instead of a fairy dwelling. Was equally devastated to discover that the one I’d put in our garden had met the same fate, except the termites had devoured all the twigs, too. The third little house, that I’d made as a gift for somebody else, has remained on my shelf ever since.

Back to Bella’s gift…

I was super excited with the end product, called my daughter, and babbled like an idiot.

Lauren brought me down to earth with a bump when she casually remarked.

“Mom! Bells is turning eleven this year, I’m not sure she’s still into all that fairy stuff.”

I gulped. The whole kaboodel had already been packaged up and entrusted to Postnet to get it to Cape Town. Not that I was worried that it could break, my cement stuff is almost indestructible. And, anyway, I’d made large inroads into our stash of recycled bubbled wrap. It was too late to include a cool crop top that would delight Bella’s soul and irritate the pants off her mother.

Of course, I should have included pictures of how to set the whole thing up. My neurospicy brain always assumes that things are obvious, when, in fact, they’re not.

Lauren sent live videos of Bella unwrapping the parcel. She hauled out piece after little piece. Holding them up, exclaiming with either wonderment or total confusion.

It took ages. I never realised how tightly packed the container was.

Eventually, it was empty and Lauren and Bella began to assemble the tea garden. Some pieces were used in ways that I’d never imagined (which is great – that’s the whole point of interactive presents).

I’d included a few bits and pieces for Lauren’s fairy garden at school, and the two of them swapped and bartered, until they were satisfied with their loot. My carefully coordinated tables and chairs were now a mishmash of other styles and colours.

Apparently the tea garden hogged their kitchen counter for a good couple of days before it was relocated to a pot in their garden.

A while later, I was telling Lauren how I was planning on running holiday make-a-fairy-garden workshops, and showing her some of the other stuff I was playing with.

“You know it would be great,” she said in passing, “if you could make Bella’s friend something that looks a bit like Wednesday’s house. You know, paint it black and add a few bits.” She gestured casually, “But I’d need it here in Cape Town for her birthday party next weekend.”

“Send me a picture,” was my reply.

A few minutes later a couple of versions of Wednesday’s house came flying in via WhatsApp.

Holy moly! My stuff looked nothing remotely like any of those pictures. My daughter had clearly lost the plot.

But I’m always up for a challenge. So I sat down with a bunch of old boxes and swathes of my trusty weed cloth – aka Kaytech bidim. I snipped and sewed and stuck and swore until I had a dwelling that looked reasonable. Then, heart in mouth, dipped all the bits into cement and stuck them together.

The end result was pleasing, to say the very least.

Lauren had unleashed a beast.

And so many more… decorations to hang on your tree, little flying witches, pickled witches, teensy gnome homes, tables and chairs, garden hangers etc.

Come and see!


2 responses to “Trashy Fae”

  1. Cuzzie you such a creative and talented crafting lady. Keep going and you making lotsa hearts happy with new fairy bits and pieces 🤗💕

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