Welcome Spring: Ode (and owed) to Fairies

The Fairy Queen
(anonymous)
Come, follow, follow me,
You, fairy elves that be;
Which circle on the greene,
Come follow Mab, your queene,
Hand in hand let’s dance around,
For this place is fairy ground.

(Download a free 1-page printable  Fairy Poems PDF )

Happy May Day Beautiful Creative Monkeys!

The English celebrate the first day of May through many beautiful traditions like dancing around a may pole with ribbons and flowers, and watching Morris dancers in colorful outfits bang sticks together as they dance.

I am from England and when I was a wee one, I remember celebrating May Day in a parade with my dear Dad, who was wearing a funny Morris dancing outfit. I made tissue paper flowers with my beautiful Mum to decorate our parade float. Thus began my passion for tissue flowers, and may have been the seed that led me to use these flowers in Monkey Chi Monkey Do table decorations and our packaging.

May Day is a special day to celebrate the flowers of Spring and the forthcoming fruits of Summer. It makes me think of my sweet Granny, my beloved maternal grandmother who parted our earth on this day; whenever I think of her I think of Fairies.

You see, when I was about 6 years old, Granny told me all about the fairies who lived in her garden. I remember walking with her through seemingly endless rows of flowers, as she showed me exactly where they lived and how they helped us. I have only ever seen one fairy in all my life, and that radiant sprite has kept me on a quest to find another one ever since!

I told my daughters all about fairies and of course we have numerous books detailing fairy likes/dislikes, and what they do exactly and how they help all things in nature, principally caring for the flowers and small wild animals. Fairy Magic orchestrates so many things in our beautiful world, and as an Ode to Fairies and the beautiful magic they do on our behalf, we share this Togetherness Project: a Magic Fairy Garden.

(For those just joining us, togetherness projects are projects that you do completely connected with someone you love, and disconnected from phones/handheld devices and basically anything that could pull your mind, body and spirit away from the person you are with. Click here for a more thorough description.)

Supplies needed for a fairy garden. (Not pictured: your imagination.)

Supplies
♥ flower pot (we used a long planter so we could put lots of goodies inside for fairy joy)
♥ potting soil
♥ your choice of flower seeds (we used forget-me-knots, sweet Williams & sweet peas)
♥ a few flowers already in bloom like pansies, phlox and marigolds
♥ assorted rocks, crystals, shells, pebbles, beads, and bits of wood–anything that you think will attract the fairies, as fairies simply cannot resist sparkly pretty things!
♥ Chia seeds, like from chia pets. These little seeds are nutritious to eat like flax seed–and can be found in most natural food stores– but they also sprout and grow quickly, creating beautiful radiant grass, perfect for fairy circles. If you can’t find Chia, you can use regular grass seeds, or skip altogether, but it’s good to use especially if you or your partner are eager fairy gardeners.
♥ Optional: paint and brush to decorate bits of wood, doll house furniture, silk flowers, marbles, whatever your fairies desire.

Fill your flower pot with soil. Plant 1 or 2 flowers, sprinkle some flower seeds and cover lightly with soil. The girls wanted to mark where the flower seeds were and used some rocks and little wood fences we found at a craft store. Emma included a teeny clay doll house chair and table, and a little doggie for the fairies to play with. Abbey filled a large seashell with water, and dropped a crystal quartz stone into the pool so fairies could have  a little pool.

After we set up the fairy gardens, we determined where best to put the fairy grass (Chia seeds). This was messy and mucky and fun (and I’m still finding chia seeds in my hair and dried on my legs, hahahah!. I filled a glass jar with about a cup of chia seeds and then added some water to make a mucky paste.

Let's hope these seeds grow!

Watch it … the seeds expand and get very slimey.  The girls loved it and took the seedy mix and spread it over the areas free from other flower seeds.

One word: MAGIC!!!!

In one hour we had such fun making our Fairy gardens. I read a few poems about fairies ( here’s a free printable I made just for you Fairy Poems PDF), to get us in the mood and to attract any other fairies in our general vacinity. (Fairies have exceptional hearing!)

Abbey told me a fairy has already visited her garden tonight, as the little seat she made out of cardboard was wet- a fairy had danced in her seashell water pool and then sat down to take a rest.

Wishing you many magical creative togetherness moments!

Becky and the Monks (and the fairies too)
 

P.S. For readers who may not (gasp) believe … I can’t even finish that sentence! Well, let me rephrase: For those who may need more evidence of Fairies: Have you ever noticed picture frames or wall hangings in your home are straight one day and then somehow crooked the next? How do you think that happens? Well, I absolutely know! Your house is blessed by Fairies! There you have it. Need I say more?!

P.P.S. I’ll post pictures when the flowers and grass are in bloom, and of course if we see any fairies!

P.P.S. Are you a Monkey Musings subscriber? If not, please sign up at the top right-hand side of the page and click “I LOVE Monkeys”. EeEeEe!

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Upcycle your old crayons and go treerubbing

Hiya Beautiful Creative Monkeys!

Maybe you’ve hugged a tree, but have you ever rubbed one? This togetherness idea combines Upcycling with an inside favorite –crayons— and an outdoor creation … tree rubbing wrapping paper.

Upcycling is a new term–not yet mainstream–that Webster’s Dictionary should consider as a new word for their next edition. Purposeful alike recycling, upcycling is a way to take something used or broken and transform it into something new and useful. This concept appeals to the creative monkeys at our house as I constantly find cut up tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls and other assorted would-be-recyclables, stashed under my daughters’ beds.

This week’s projects can be done in two parts, or combined for a nice full afternoon of togetherness. Upcycle some old crayons into new colorful ones, and then get out in your garden and rub your trees and you’ll end up with some really pretty wrapping paper. 

Supplies

♥ old crayons

♥ aluminium tinfoil baking cups

♥ Exacto or sharp knife (or you could skip this step and peel the wrappers by hand)

♥ baking tray

♥ preheat oven to 250° F/120° C

♥ paper for tree rubbings

As we constantly make crayons at our house for our craft fairs, we’ve got crayon prep down to an art, so I’ll share some special Monkey Chi Monkey Do secrets that will make your crayons turn out magnificently.

Ready? Ok, Turn off ALL mobile and electronic devices, ignore your home phone, and BE completely present with your loved one(s). Your full presence and undivided attention is a true gift to yourself and your monkeys, a present you all deserve.

Shhhh, here’s Monkey Secret #1: Put your crayons in the refrigerator for a couple hours ahead of project time. This will shrink the crayons a little and simplify wrapper removal.

When you’re ready to peel the crayons, preheat your oven to 250° F/120° C.

Using an Exacto knife, er wait, what’s that noise? EeEeEeEe—(Cue the announcer.)

WE INTERRUPT THIS TUTORIAL TO BRING YOU AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SAFETY MONKEY.

Safety Monkey says, “EeEeEe … Safety First! Be careful and pLEeEeEeze… ADULTS ONLY should use Exacto knives! Monkey Chi Monkey Do projects should never wind up in the EeEeEemergency Room. EeEeEe, thanks.”

Got that? Ok, back to the fun stuff.

BeEeEe careful!Using an Exacto knife, CAREFULLY cut a straight line along the crayon wrapper seam. Pass crayons to your buddy to remove the wrappers. (Oooh and SAVE THE WRAPPERS! We have a future upcycling project that will transform these colorful little bitsies of paper into something beautiful.)

When the crayons are shivering, arrange several tinfoil cups on a baking sheet. Snap crayons in pieces and cover the entire bottom of cup–at least two crayon widths deep–to make nice chunky-sized crayons.

We sometimes sort by color, all greens in one cup, making one swirlywhirly green crayon. Experiment and have fun. Lay out an entire rainbow in one cup cover with another layer of color on top for a surprise crayon.

Monkey Secret #2: Preheat your oven and then SWITCH IT OFF when your crayons go in. This helps to reduce color and paraffin separation. (Sometimes when crayons melt, the color pigment and wax separate and you end up with a white film across the top of the crayon … a film that will not color. If you let too much heat out, you may need to turn the oven on again, but don’t leave it on above 200 otherwise crayons may smoke. (If you end up with a little film, not to worry, just take a veggie peeler and peel the edges down to the colorful part.)

Old crayon friends ready for melting? Okeydoke, now quickly place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven (250° F/120° C) and TURN OFF THE OVEN. This is more fun than watching grass grown, so stay near your crayons and watch them melt. It will take just a few minutes depending on your oven’s heat intensity, but do not leave them longer than necessary otherwise they may smoke. Once the crayons have melted and you no longer see any of the original shapes, carefully remove from oven and place somewhere away from oven to cool. If the monkeys are getting restless, you can place them in the fridge once they’re not burning hot to cool them faster (Abbey asked me to clarify  after posting this …. put the crayons in the fridge NOT the monkeys). Once cooled completely, they will easily pop out of the cups.

Dump them out and admire the new precious jewels YOU JUST CREATED! Good for you, you Upcyclers!

Here’s part 2. Grab some paper and head outside to start the treerubbing part. Place paper against tree trunk, grab crayon and rub the flat side against the tree. We also recommend hugging the tree too, it adds good Chi (energy) to the whole experience! When we went tree rubbing, we didn’t stop at trees. I think everything except our Jackson, our dog, was rubbed in our back yard, the picnic table, swing set, trees, leaves, toys.

We ended up not only with a gorgeous batch of colorful crayons, but a stack of beautiful paper that can be used as wrapping paper or source material for our next batch of thank you cards.

Next time, we’ll try colored paper, larger sheets, and also paper that’s already been used on one side—oh again with the UPCYCLING. We are so trendy!

What do you think of these ideas? Don’t you have a stash of old crayon friends just begging to be reborn as jewels? Are you going to use the word Upcycling in your everyday conversation? How bout tree rubbing … gonna give it a try? Come back or e-mail let us know how it goes.

Oh, and if you just found our blog, you can receive new ideas in your Inbox by entering your e-mail addy in the box at the top right-hand side of this page, then check your e-mail to confirm. We send one Monkey Musing per week, and –Monkey Promise– we won’t spam and will never give your e-mail to anyone else!

Sending you LOVE and wishes for a wonderful happy CREATIVE togetherness experience!

Becky and the Monks

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