It took me years to realize that everyone creates differently. I admire designers that can sketch an idea, and then make it come to life. I tend to work in reverse. Ideas rattle around in my head where they’re examined and discarded. These ideas simmer in my brain before a usable plan comes together.
My first fairy garden miniature library started with a small box. I thought I would do the same with this one, but none of the boxes in my stash seemed right. I visited a craft store, put a couple of items in my cart, then put them all back. Eventually I left the store with a small container of blue paint and a receipt for seventy-five cents.
Back home, using a photo of Carrie’s library as a guide, I cut pieces from a thin piece of cardboard. I wanted the library to have a working door, so I cut a small rectangle in the body of the library. I cut a cardboard frame for the door, and backed it with clear packaging from a packet of batteries.
It took three coats of paint to cover the glossy white cardboard, but after two days the color looked even.
If I had it to do over again, I would install the door first, and then assemble the library. It would have been handy to have fairy-sized hands that day. I persevered.
After taping the plastic to the door, I glued a tiny hinge in place. On the library itself, I poked two small holes into the opening, then used tiny brads to hold the hinge in place.
On the opposite side of the door I attached a “doodad” from my stash, holding that in place with another brad. This allows the door to open and close.
Since the opening is small, I made a removable roof so adding books is a breeze.
Carrie’s library sits on a wooden post surrounded by a circle of stones. To replicate the look, I used a cinnamon stick, a small metal lid and a handful of pebbles from my fairy garden stash. I hot-glued the cinnamon stick to the inside of the lid, and then glued rocks into and around it. This gives it weight and stability. I downloaded a copy of Carrie’s library, and photo-copy reduced the two signs to scale. Then I headed to the kitchen, tore off a corner of a box of cat food cans, and used the cardboard to mount the signs.
Then on to the books. Again, lots of ideas tried and discarded before I came up with a plan. I used the binding from a couple of paper sample books passed on to me years ago. I cut through all the layers of the sample booklets, and then cut sections down to size.
Each tiny book has a unique cover with a small story to go with it. (The actual books are blank inside, so you have to use your imagination.)
I wrote a six-word story to go with each book, something meaningful to me or to Carrie. Here they are:
Trust, betrayed. Rescued dog’s love, restored.
Flowers. Achingly beautiful. Harbingers of spring.
Magic. How we see the world.
Wanted child. Your new family awaits.
The Wonderland of Alys in miniature.**
Daddy’s stamps lovingly travel the world.
Dragon Folklore. Escape inside a book.
**The Wonderland of Alys is a collage art piece by Pauline King, a friend and fellow blogger. The original hangs in our home. The tiny replica of this piece is a sticker, sent to me at Christmas by Julia of Defeat Despair. I couldn’t resist turning one of those art stickers in to a tiny, make-believe book.