Dirt Under Fingernails is a sure cure for Cabin Fever Cobwebs. Whether you’ve been stuck inside because of rain or blizzards, a long winter settles dismally in souls. Fresh air, sunshine, and dirt are all components for the cure.
This strange urge to dig in dirt is often accompanied by another strange desire to pull weeds. That is generally followed by the more understandable desire to create beauty in the yard with plants, flowers, and yard art.
My husband has offered to hire a gardener, but then I tell him he’d have to pay for my therapy. Gardening relieves stress, and also inspires my writing. I love creating areas in the yard to fulfill various needs. A fire pit, dubbed the Redneck Grill, is out outdoor kitchen. A couch with cozy cushions is off by one garden for quiet reading. But, humans aren’t the only ones needing their own corner of the yard.
On this fine spring day, my daughter, Rebekah, and I both needed some Dirt Therapy and decided to help a homeless fairy.
We began with a planter that was a gift from a neighbor. OK, is was a cast off, but it was a gift to us! We didn’t know at the time what we’d use it for, but it was too good to pass up.
We dug around for a creative home for our fairy, and this is what Beka came up with. We’d been oohing and aahing over a garden the Pink and Green Mama had created with a Wizard of Oz theme. Last summer I found a garage sale with damaged vintage items for $.50 and $1.00, including this Fiesta pitcher. It was too beautiful to throw away, so I waited for inspiration. It sat for awhile, but inspiration finally came. We set a vintage yellow desert plate behind to create a colored wall.
Saving money is always a great option, and so is not running a bajillion errands to finish a project, so when I remembered this low “weed” covering a patch in my yard we dug it up and moved it in.
Imagine our surprise that our “weed” was actually ground cover that cost $5 in a little container because now Fairy Gardens are all the rage. I’m usually not a Follow the Crowd kinda’ person, but this rage fits all my loves – dolls, miniatures, and gardening.
The layout was planned by Beka, as well as the planting. I answered questions and gave some instruction about gardening, but gave her liberty.
The fairy’s corner garden was created from purple alyssums, a flower my mom always planted in her flower beds. I called them Barbie Flowers because I was always allowed to pick tiny bundles for my doll’s wedding bouquet or home décor. Tiny chicks were picked from my succulent garden to line the edge. The stepping stones are glass hearts from the Dollar Store.
Using bright cord, Beka crafted a twig trellis. I found another weed in my garden with a tiny bloom that she planted and guided up the rungs.
The bottom of the broken pitcher became a Fairy Pond. A table was made from an old ink bottle and an ornate piece of wood from our craft stash.
This beautiful doll is a Mooshka Fairy named Taria purchased at Target. Of course, she has to hide inside of her home during rain, but she finds it quite cozy. She’s enjoying a cup of herbal tea, probably from herbs she grew in her garden.
In front of the playhouse, the Fairy Garden provides color, inspiration, and fun in our back yard. Plus, one less fairy is homeless. However, since she is lonely, we might have to purchase her friend, Ina.
But, then, we might have to build another Fairy Garden ….
…but then, the Cabin Fever Cobwebs will surely be cured.
Crafting with Kids:
To successfully craft and garden with kids follow some simple guidelines. You want it to be a positive and inspirational experience that spurs on further personal creations.
1. Attention Span.
There are three parts to a project, prepping, crafting, and clean-up. They should help with all three, but if they are young and/or have a short attention span, let them spend the majority of their time crafting and creating.
2. Creativity Sometimes Trumps Rules
Save following an exact pattern for learning to sew or crotchet. They need the skill of following instructions, but they also need a time and a place to produce own ideas, experiment, and create.
3. Mistakes Happen
Sometimes an OOPS is a more powerful lesson than Mom stepping in and micromanaging. Keep them safe, but allow them to learn from their experiments and their mistakes. Use inexpensive materials when experimenting to relieve pressure. Assure them that mistakes can always be fixed and guide them to a happy solution. (Remember, we’re teaching life lessons, not just craft lessons.)
4. Use What Have
You can spend a lot of money on craft and garden items, especially for Fairy Gardens. A more valuable lesson to learn is to use what you have or substitute. Some day they might be creating a home for their own family, not just a homeless Fairy doll names Taria.
Still have winter cobwebs in your brain? A little seasonal depression?
Remember – Dirt Under Fingernails.
It’s a sure cure.