Thursday, December 17, 2009

Festive Faerie Houses

Here at last is the collection of Festive Faerie Houses! All are made from Birch Bark branches that had fallen naturally to the forest floor and had been there long enough for the wood inside to become soft and begin to decompose. I cleaned all the old wood out and dried the bark tubes over the summer and gave them a final cleaning out in the fall.

Each house has a sweet little doorway treatment and all houses have a blue glass bead doorknob. The doors do not open. Each
house also has a lovely window with silky curtains in purple and sparkly green on the inside... Faeries like their privacy too ! Each house is fully enclosed and is signed and numbered. Now to the individual houses !

This house is house #5 and features silk Mistletoe leaves and pearly pink blossoms, also silk. There are also some glass-bead berries for additional mauve accents. It has a Red Pine cone finial on the bottom of the house so it can only be used as a hanging house. It is approximately 8 inches tall.

This is house #6 and is the tallest of the grouping at nearly 9 inches including the glass-beaded fringe with the leaf bead ends. I felt the glass bead fringe looked a bit like dewy grass sparkling in the morning sun. This house has a faux purple gemstone on the door. It looks more blue in the photo but it is purple. The roof is edged with a wine coloured silk organza ribbon and is topped with clear green leaf beads. I think they may be made of acrylic but I'm not sure. This house has its window facing the front. Silk Ivy leaves circle the base of the house and it too has a Red Pine cone on its base so it can only hang, not sit on a table, like a few of the other houses can.

This is house #7 which is the largest in diameter of this collection. It too is graced with the glass bead fringe but it has a flat bottom so if needed it can be perched on a flat surface, but with all that beautiful fringe, who would want to? The roof of this house is made from silk grape leaves fixed onto a birch bark base. The window is on the right side of the house as you are looking at it (the far side in this photo). Pretty purple transparent leaf beads go up each side of the door and all the way around the back of the house.

House number 8 is a little cutie. It is about 7 inches tall and has a roof made from the bark fragments of a Red Pine tree that is outside my studio. The birds like to flick the bark fragments off with their bills looking for bugs hiding under the natural "shingles". I collected the fragments this autumn before the snows covered them up. Sprouting up thru cracks in the roof are a few silk Ivy leaves. Arching over the doorway are two strands of the green glass beaded trim we see on the other fringe decorated houses. Also there is a faux crystal heart on the doorway. A silk flower and crystal leaves finish the doorway decorations.

House #9 has a deep indigo faux crystal jewel on the door. It also has silk Mistletoe leaves circling the house with little tiny glittering jewels tucked into the leaves for added sparkle and flash, which Faeries just love. The roof is made from the bark of the Alpine Golden birch found up in the mountains, I found this bark on one of my hiking trips searching for building sites, it was an especially old and large tree that had probably been crushed by an avalanche several winters ago as it was at the base of a vertical cliff that gets covered with ice in the winter. It was a rare find. Golden birch does not usually get too large but this one was over a foot in diameter... but it had died many years ago so I gratefully collected the large sheets of bark and brought them home. This house also has the glass bead fringe and Red Pine cone finishing off the bottom.

House # 10 has a flat bottom and can sit very happily on a bookshelf or mantle. All around the base is a lovely silk velvet ribbon. The roof is a very labour intensive construction. I took several large White Pine cones and snipped off the individual scales. Then I arranged them on the birch bark roof and glued them on to look like shingles. They are just the right size for this technique and this is the first house I've completed with this method. It is a very tidy look. A few silk Ivy leaves add a touch of greenery and the large red faux jewel in the shape of a heart completes the welcoming simplicity of this sweet little abode.

This last house is #11 and it too can stand up but because the original Birch branch had a bit of a curve to it, the whole house has a tipsy lean to it, which gives it an extra playful charm. This house also has the White Pine cone shingle roof treatment but this cone had a very reddish colour to it. It was the only one I found like that. This house also has silk Mistletoe leaves and sweet pearly pink and lilac coloured silk flowers decorating the entrance. A deep fuchsia faux jewel in the shape of a heart welcomes all Faeries and friends who come to visit.

I've realized that I shot all the houses from the straight on perspective so you have not seen the windows... here is an example of how most of the windows look. This is house #9. Almost all of them have a lattice look made from either cedar or willow twigs. The purple curtains are closest to the outside and the shimmery green ones are behind those giving a layered look. Each house has one window made like this. A few of the houses have tiny peep hole made by woodpeckers or other sharp-billed birds looking for some lunch!

So there you have the entire line-up of wee Festive Faerie Houses. I will be putting them up for sale on Ebay in the next day or so. Unfortunately I am probably getting them up too late to be able to have them delivered in time for Christmas. But if you see one of these houses and just HAVE to have one for that day, email me and I will let you know what my reserve price will be and perhaps we can arrange a sale directly and ship it out by Saturday.


Joy said...

My gosh your houses are magical!

geni said...

What sweet wee houses!!
I am the lucky one who purchased
#10, and it brings me joy every day. It transports me to a land of magic where I can fly and live in beautiful mossy forest homes!

Sally, thank you for sharing your incredible talent and passion with us!

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.