For the little people

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So what do you do when you have planned a couple of work days in the garden but the rain keeps pouring down and all you want to do is stay warm by the fire? Spring rain is a wonderful thing, soaking all the roots of our newly planted specimens and setting everything in the garden up for a season of immense growth. It is not always wonderful to spend long periods of time in it though.

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So we decided to have some fun inside while still creating a beautiful space in the garden. At the back of our house we have a wonderful legacy from previous owners. There are beautiful bluebells forming a carpet in front of a couple of big ash trees. The scene is framed by an old stonewall. The trees are old and hollow at the bottom and there is a natural triangular door frame in one of them. Ever since we moved in we have wanted to add a door to it, for the little people that might want to live in our garden.

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We used a plank of ash for our door and started by scoring the wood with diagonal lines so as to resemble planks. This is quite easy to do with a small screwdriver.

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We painted the “planks” in chalk paint and all the rest of the wood in linseed oil. For a magical feel we twisted up some hinges and a door handle from copper wire. Working with wire is quite easy but you need good pliers to make tight spirals. If you are thinking of making anything small and intricate from wire, we can highly recommend the book, Bead on a wire by Sharilyn Miller. It is great for making wire jewellery but also small things like these door decorations.

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We left some long ends on the wires and drilled matching holes in the door. We used a little bit of glue to attach the hinges and door handles securely. To finish it off we used wax as a sealant on the front of the door, one layer of clear and one layer of brown.

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Because it does not rain all the time and it is possible on rare occasions to get washing dry outside, we decided to add a clothes line and make some clothes. We choose fabrics with small floral prints, as they will blend into the surroundings well and disguise any small creature from prying eyes.

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You can see the shapes we cut out of the fabric here. It is best to keep it simple as otherwise it can be a bit fiddly to sew. All the dresses and the coat are folded and connected at the top. We used a zig-sag stitch around all our pieces and sewed them together with a straight stitch before turning the right way out.

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We brewed some strong tea and soaked the finished garments for a few minutes. This dulled the colours and made them perfect for a day in the garden.

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Clothes pegs were fashioned from a twig of Ash, wound with some thread around one end and then split from the other. The clothes line was created from some lovely twisted hazel stems and garden twine.

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Now the tree house is all ready to move into. It even has a tiny doormat woven from green twine. Who would not wish to live in a lovely place like this?

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You are welcome anytime.

céad míle fáilte

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