Faery Design Challenge Reveal & Blog Hop

If you follow us on Social Media, you know that I (Al) came home to France in September for about 1 month + for daughter & son-in-law's wedding reception and visits with family and friends. Not to mention cuddle time with Cannelle my Sweet Cat and some various Dr. visits. Plus garage, shed, garden clean up .... In short, reconnecting with my Life!! As of this post though, I only have a couple of days before flying out. Read on for Faery News ....

Above, the only Faery encountered while working in the garden ...
From 'The Faeryland Companion' by Beatrice Phillpotts
In spite of my possible drastically reduced creative time, when I discovered the September Design Challenge topic "Faery" hosted by Art Elements & Caroline Dewison I just couldn't say 'No'!!  I love faeries/fairies, gnomes and their Worlds and even have a few illustrated books about them.
I looked forward to thumbing through my book about Fées & Korrigans, acquired years ago in Brittany while on a visit to Brocéliande Forest with Peggy, and subsequently designing something around one of the creatures but alas, couldn't find the book nor my little Korrigan statue. (There's been some re-arranging, re-decorating, re-locating going on at my house in my 1.8 year absence). Perhaps the faeries?!

While cleaning up and out, it became evident that I wouldn't have time to play with wire, so I came up with another idea. Inspired by my small collection of Garden Gnomes or Nains de Jardin (en français, s'il vous plaît) and other decor, I decided to spin a little tale accompanied by photos.
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Ahem! .... Once upon a time, an American found herself dropped into the Paris suburbs with 2 toddlers and smack in the midst of a newly-constructed house with a yard to re-invent from almost scratch. We'll refer to her as the Garden Faery/GF). She threw herself happily into the decoration of the house and when Winter came, proceeded to design her garden on paper with the aid of her Sunset Western Garden Book, which she called her plant bible. Being a Southern Californian, she had no idea what climate region she was in, except that the Winters were long, cold, grey, rainy/snowy and not at all what she was used to!!!
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Fast forward 20 years and the garden had hardscape, beautiful lilac trees, roses (chosen for their year, name, scent & in honor of family far away), assorted perennials and annuals, plenty of cute & fun statues & decoration and a much-needed drip watering system installed. (Garden Faery spent 4-6 weeks every Summer in the States with her small ones, and after coming home one year to dried up hydrangeas, roses and various other plant losses, she decided to react so her plants would never be thirsty again).

Anyway, still 20 years later .... Shortly thereafter, GF was summoned to the bedside of her ailing mother in a far-away land and decided to leave her job, garden, children (young adults by now) and Sweet Cannelle to help care for her Mom. Weeks turned into months...and almost 2 years later, she returned to find her garden overgrown and terribly thirsty after an unusually hot and dry Summer. Daughter and Son-in-Law had done their best to cut, water and tidy up throughout this time, but the plants still felt neglected and sad since GF's absence. And the new resident dog had gnawed on several watering sysem connectors so the poor plants were left to sate themselves on the spare Summer rainstorms.

She immediately started pruning and cleaning and in the process, was pleasantly surprised by visits from furtive gnomes. She was able to photograph some of them unawares ....
Gnome garding a Faery Mound entrance
A changeling? 
Painted rocks by young Faeries (years ago)
These two guys below were definitely not furtive nor shy.
Hamming it up for the camera!
Methinks that they scared the giant right out of his shoes! And the cats came to play ...

Another Secret Faery Friends Entrance?
Trolling the Faery Lands on a snail
Et Voilà!
I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of this month's Faery theme. Comments are much appreciated. And please blog hop along with the links below to discover other participating artists and their creations.
Alysen

Guest Artists   Vic - Divya - Alysen (you're here) - Kathy - Tammy - Kimberly -  Hope - Alison - Cat - Sarah 

Art Elements Team   Jen - Jenny - Niky - Laney - Claire - Cathy - Marsha - Caroline 

Comments

  1. What a wonderful idea for this challenge! Your story made me instantly smile :)

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    1. Thanks Claire! It's always good to have a plan B, or C ....

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  2. A lovely story! As someone completely untalented when it comes to plants I admire those people who are able to care for a whole garden.

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    1. Cat, thx. but I cannot keep a plant living inside this house!! Maybe too cold, too hot or not enough light? Anyway, I gave up long ago and concentrated on the outside ;))

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  3. Love your idea for the theme, what a wonderful story! I'd love to see your garden during summer. I hope you'll post again when it's blooming.

    Thank you for joining me for the challenge.

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    1. Caroline, thank YOU for the great theme! It might take a year or two to get it back to normal, have to leave again tomorrow & won't be back for at least 6 months. Then I'll see what survived Winter!!

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  4. Your garden is beautiful, even over grown! I really enjoyed your woven tale of the Garden Faerie and her life living between two countries. Now what I 'need' to know is how did the Garden Faerie end up on the other side of the world 20 years ago? Did she follow the Red Necked Grebes as they flew to Europe for the winter? Or did the Hobgoblins play a trick on Garden Faerie to entice her from her warm and sunny home.... ;)

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    1. Laney, thank you and actually your choice of medium for August's challenge gave me the idea! Yes, you could say a certain French Hobgoblin convinced her to leave her beach home and sun. She went back and forth for 4 years. He couldn't hack the relaxed, casual life at the beach!! And GF looked forward to the challenge, and what a challenge it was, full of little trickeries, I might add!!!

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  5. I love the treasures in the garden and the story...

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    1. Thank you Marsha! I'm a sentimental (as you've probably gathered...)

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  6. Such a perfectly creative interpretation of the theme. I hate to hear that GF's garden was in such a state, but it looks and sounds like she's working to get it back in order along. Wishing her luck in this endeavor.

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    1. Yes, she'll be asking Mother Nature for a mild Winter ... and hoping the garden gnomes will do a little work while she's gone.

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  7. I love the fun and imaginative way you interpreted this months theme! Perfect.

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    1. Thank you Alison. A great compliment coming from such an imaginative soul herself!!

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  8. A fun story and great photos. As an apartment dweller for all of my adult life, I admit to garden envy. Especially because no garden means no place for garden gnomes. Your gnomes and garden are wonderful.

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    1. Thx Tammy. I do have little fairies and gnomes inside too! Hanging off of pots (of dried flowers) or scattered among books & mementos on shelves.

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  9. What a beautiful story and a wonderful interpretation of the theme!

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  10. Very cute story and garden treasures--perfect for the challenge.

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  11. SO much fun! Glad you could participate in a different form and let the faeries, and the muse play in the garden!

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    1. Jenny, Since doing the AE Challenges, I try to employ a new technique and/or use what I have on hand, so this was definitely both!

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  12. Loved your take on the challenge, and I suspect the pixies may be responsible for the missing book, they are quite naughty sometimes. ;)

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    1. Yes Victoria, methinks the pixies have a hand in it somehow. I hope they'll surprise me next time I go home and release their Korrigan hostage along with the book!

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