Have you ever wondered
where the little things go?
When you lose a button,
or a needle to sew?
Have you ever been playing a game
of Scrabble at night,
and “lost” the “E” tile
which causes a fight?
Have you ever been fixing
a squeaky old door,
and the screw you were needing
vanished into thin air from the floor?
Has your coin purse gone missing?
Your postage stamp AWOL?
The house key is hidden,
Where’s the clasp for my shawl?!
Grandma’s pearl earring,
the clock-winding key,
a thumb tack…
….a pink crystal bead.
The odds and the ends,
…all gone astray.
Right under your nose,
in the light of the day.
If you haven’t guessed,
Or have a faint clue.
There’s more to the story
I swear, it is true!
It’s the wee little folk
Who live in your walls.
They hide all your tooth picks
and the shoes for your dolls.
They pilfer, they spy and they sneak…
…they hide bobby pins,
even now as I speak!
The wee ones are clever,
They scamper like mice,
They abscond with game markers…
…even the dice!
If you listen real careful,
In the dark of the night,
You’ll ear a wee voice
Mocking your plight.
The wee ones that hoard all the things that you “lose”,
Chant a wee phrase with vague little clues.
If you guess where they’re hiding,
And take back what is “theirs”…
…they will humbly serve you;
and learn how to share.
Erin R. Hogan © 2013
Last year I started a project in my side yard next to our herb/veggie garden with my children. Since we have such a tiny back yard, there is minimal room and I wanted to have a special place where my small children can play outside. We had an unsightly sloped ‘dead space’ along side the patio and I was tired of having mini mud slides each time it rained. With a shovel in hand, I began ‘carving’ the dirt and sculpting the foundation for a fairy castle, complete with double streams leading into mosaic tiled pools. I didn’t have a ‘blue print’ per se, but an idea in my mind. Since the whole fairy house concept is based upon an organic and natural flow, it is perfect for small children not accustomed to measuring and precise lines.
I made buckets of quick dry cement and hand applied thin layers of cement and mini river rocks to create a ‘natural’ landscape and rock formations. We had left-over stone tiles from our remodel and I utilized cheap cement stepping stones to make the foundation of multi-elevation castle wings. An ornate wrought iron plant trellis was transformed into the center tower and open-air throne room and purple, solar-powered twinkle lights were woven to the top.
We spent months adding little sea shell mosaics with the bits and pieces we collected along the beach and sea glass treasures for stained glass windows. Every time we go to the park to play, or find stray twigs along the road they go into the ‘fairy castle’ building collection. I enjoy this process of bonding, exploration and upcycling found objects around the house.
For example: a cardboard mailer tube is the turret of a castle, a beer cap is a platter for the fairy banquet, a nut shell a bowl, bird feathers the roofing thatch, etc. My children and I find so many items every where we go and it helps them ‘see’ the world in a different way. I grew-up in nature playing outside building fairy houses, sculpting in the dirt and natural clay on our property, weaving baskets out of vines; and just taking the time to ‘be.’
I will be doing a conceptual break-down of my castle over the next few months, but wanted to share pictures of our troll bridge that I made out of Sculpey clay, rocks, sticks and cork. The troll is still being sculpted and will sit under the bridge. The picture on the top is one of the small gnome cottages along side the castle I made from the cardboard mailer tube and rocks.
Playing with my children is the best part of being a mommy. I have been blessed with this gift of time with them and the memories they are making…priceless!
The hardest part of painting watercolor is the concept of “letting-go” and surrendering to the fates of pigment, technique and plain luck. As I approached the next stage in my latest painting; I felt the familiar butterflies in my stomach and dizzy/surreal spiritual morphine seep into my body. My paint brush began to create a sunset, and my mind simply “let go”. It is difficult to explain this physiological phenomena to an individual that isn’t an artist; however, that is my interpretation. No two sun sets, or sun rises will ever be the same. Thus, there are no expectations to create the “perfect” or “ideal” depiction of this daily miracle. Letting-go one’s expectations of such is the secret of capturing the beauty.
Well, it’s been a few weeks since I had the opportunity to get into painting ‘mode’ and actually paint. Between fighting the end of that vicious sinus infection/cootie crud from Christmas (yeah, it was that prolonged), doing the work widow thing for two weeks solo, kidlet concussion, more cootie cold crud and that thing called housework; I was passing-out with my kidlets each night.
I am finally getting back into my groove and working on my current commission piece. It is hard to really “see” the changes due to the minute detail work and slight layers of watercolor paint/shadowing. I hope to get the sunset in the background completed tonight (pending approval from my client on the other specifics).
Almost Spring….my favorite season!