Hallmark’s photo stylist, Andy N., is no stranger to Think.Make.Share. In fact, he has contributed some of our most inspiring posts to date. Andy has taught us how to make affordable floral arrangements, macrame that rocks, and we toured his gorgeous home. Today he’s helping us uncover all the magical tips and tricks of styling a fairy garden using Hallmark’s Gardenfair offering. Read on!
Huh? You want me to what? You want me to write a blog post on how to style a fairy garden. HEY, THOSE ARE FIGHTING WORDS!!! O.K., it seems that I am a little sensitive about this topic, but to be honest, I did style garden fairies for a Hallmark photo shoot and I liked it. I kinda got into it…A LOT!
(Sorry, I can tell this is going to be a blog story full of exclamation points, parenthesis, upper case words, and italics. I think fairies really like italics and they are secretly influencing me. They are prone to do that kind of thing…SCAMPS!)
O.K., I’m freaking myself out. I’ve gone from being offended that I was asked to write a fairy blog to telling everyone the grammatical preferences of fairies. WOW, what a giant leap in a really short amount of time.
Speaking of what fairies like and don’t like, the list is REALLY long! I googled fairies, and lo and behold, there are rules! Lots and lots of rules! Fairies favorite colors are red and green, they like foxglove flowers to wear as hats (that’s specific!), you don’t take food from them when they’re in a circle, and the list goes on and on. Who knew they had so many rules? I don’t want to sound any alarms, but it sounds like fairies are really high-maintenance.
Without further ado (that’s the fairies talking!), let’s get down to business and talk about some rules for styling those wily fairies.
When creating your fairy garden, be sure to think of scale. It’s great to have a giant tree as a backdrop, but the items around the tree should be in the same small scale as the fairy that lives there. In this case, I’ve used small hosta plants, mini evergreen trees, and ferns to create a green and living environment for the fairies and fairy houses. If you don’t want to put your small plants in the ground, you can put them in small containers and place them strategically on the ground.
Did I mention that fairies really like trees? Oops! Hope they like tree stumps. I don’t want to experience the wrath of a fairy. In this particular case I imagine the tree stump as a place to hold little treasures from nature like snails and precious pebbles. This also becomes a great teaching tool if you are collecting these gems from nature with a small child. What a fun way to learn!
I created a fairy garden in an old wagon because I liked the idea of the entire fairy environment as being something that could move at a moment’s notice. Hey! Fairies like a change of scenery, too! I like to compare this moveable fairy to the Elf on the Shelf™, except this fairy gets to torment kids 365 days a year!! Creating a moveable fairy garden really adds to the creative aspect that is inherent in the fairy world.
Potted plants make great homes for fairies and fairy accoutrements. This image shows a Hallmark fairy sitting on a fairy bench surrounded by message stones. What looks like a majestic old oak tree that she’s sitting under is actually a small potted boxwood shrub. The dirt in the pot has been planted with moss and succulents with little acorns tossed about.
Fairies fly. I know that’s no news flash to you, but it’s easy to overlook that when styling your own fairy garden. Branches of trees make great places to create a home for your height-defying fairy. In this scenario, I put an old bird’s nest in the fork of a tree branch, included fake eggs in the nest, and placed a little bench on the edge of the nest. You can weave little greenery or flowers into the nest and fake bird nests are available at local craft stores. What fun to take a small child outside and lift them up to see the magic fairy garden in the tree!
This isn’t really a fairy garden styling rule but I had to throw it in here because it is FREAKY!! (Yeah, I’m pulling out all of the fairy grammatical stops for this one.) Fairy photographer extraordinaire Kevin Cozad and I took this photo several weeks ago. Today I did some research online to see what fairies like and don’t like, and one of the rules I discovered…
…they LOVE MILK! Coincidence? I think not. It gives me chills to think about it now. Right next to the flying fairy is a gallon of milk and half the gallon has been consumed. I’ve got goose bumps.
Who says fairies have to stay outside? Not me, and I’m a surly, fairy photo stylist!
Have fun! Be silly! Life is too short to be uptight, rigid, and sanctimonious! Children are naturally playful, but who says grown adults can’t be? Not me! Hide a fairy in a shoe, in a sweater pocket hanging in the coat closet, or create a magic fairy kingdom by placing a fairy door in a medicine cabinet. What a great way to start or end the day by visiting your secret fairy world behind your toothbrush and hand sanitizer. Let your imagination run wild!
This last photo really shows the magic you can create by displaying your fairies and their fairy world at night. I found an old pickle jar, placed a battery-operated string of Christmas lights in the jar with elements from nature, and posed the fairies on top of and next to the jar. Pure magic, if I do say so myself.
When my mom passed away three years ago after living with Alzheimer’s for several years, I found a handwritten note while going through her things. The note was neatly folded and paper clipped to a page in a tiny three ring binder. The note read:
If humans want to see the fairies, all they have to do is put a four-leaf clover in a hat and wear it.
I don’t know when my mom wrote this down and I don’t know if she made it up or read it somewhere, but I think it is simply profound. The message to my brother and me is, if we want to see the magic in life – and yes it is there – then give a sign that you believe.
I believe mom.
Show off your own fairy gardens by tagging us on Instagram @think.make.share.
Photographer: Kevin Cozad | Stylist: Andy Newcom