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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

An Ambitious Building Project

Over the years, I’ve built many fairy houses and installed them in many fairy gardens. Now the bug has bitten me once again.

But this time, it’s a little different. Last summer, I lost all three of my dear pet rats - Francie, Comet, and Cupid. They all passed within those few months from mammary tumors.

Whenever I lose an animal friend I search for a way to memorialize him or her. In this case, I’ve finally decided on a small garden representing an imaginary rat retreat.

After considering different building materials, I decided on rocks. There are a few places on my property where there are areas of gravel/rock, and the rocks are mostly quartz. Here is the work-in-progress on my kitchen table. It’s been there for several weeks now, as progress has been slow. The photo above is the back of the building.

Here’s a front view.

Once I decided on rocks, the question was how to do it. Eventually, I decided to cut the footprint from plywood then build up the rock wall around the edge.

For the doorway, I found darker rocks to outline it. I cut the doorway from a piece of wood, glued the rocks around it, then glued the door component onto the plywood floor. From there, it was a matter of adding rocks one by one and gluing them in place. There are two windows (which don’t show in these photos) of decorative glass rounds. They’re just glued in place, surrounded by stones.

It looks pretty bad at this point, but I think it will turn out OK. After I have all the rocks in place, I’ll slather more glue on the inside for more structural integrity then apply grout between the rocks on the outside for looks. I’ll probably have to add some small rocks between the large ones wherever there are large spaces.

But what about the roof?

Well, I’m still thinking about that. I’d like it to be copper. But I have several problems to solve before I can proceed!

Here’s the place it will be in the garden.

I cut a piece of plywood the same size and shape as the building floor and set it in place.

My intention is to have an all-white garden. The plants have a ways to go, but they’re pretty well started. I’d like to have something larger behind the building. The plants which are there now are annuals, so I’ll have a chance to re-think the planting next year. Maybe a white rose that doesn’t grow very big would be a good choice.

Originally, I’d wanted to put this memorial over the spot where my little friends are buried. But they’re in a raised bed with a crape myrtle and so there really isn’t enough room there. This little spot is nearby.

I may make three small stoneware rats to enjoy the retreat. We’ll see. This project will take me many more hours than I’ve already devoted to it, but it’s important to me to memorialize my dearly beloved and greatly missed little rodent friends. It’s heart-breaking that their lives are so short.

An Invitation

Join Me On a Virtual Sabbatical,

the Creative Time-Out

I’m so excited to extend an invitation to you. It’s for a free on-line event that I’m organizing, having been inspired by the sabbatical I gave myself about a month ago. In short, it’s an on-line get together for people who give themselves that same great gift I gave myself, but with one super important change. Even though we’ll each choose our own topics to work on, we’ll have each others’ company, inspiration, and encouragement through a private Facebook Group and Zoom meetings.

The event will run from Saturday, July 27, through Sunday, August 4. During that period, simply devote as much time as you can carve from your schedule and we’ll see what wonderful things happen.

To find out more, just watch the video, by clicking on the image just below of me talking!

To sign up, just go to the Facebook Group by clicking here and click the JOIN button.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. To read my past blog posts about my sabbatical, just follow the links here:


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1 Comment

Stephanie Hardy
Stephanie Hardy
Jun 18

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful house, especially in memory of Francie, Comet, and Cupid. It's already off to a gorgeous start and will look more than lovely in your chosen spot where the (plywood) foundation is already laid! Love this!

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