Reuse Roundup: Flower Sword

This post has been in my draft folder for at least two months now but while I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy I lacked any sort of energy to finish it. It’s saying something that now, sleep deprived from caring from a newborn and recovering from major surgery, I have more energy I currently have more energy than I did back then.

Anthony and many of our friends engage in a sport we’ve always referred to as “piping” but is widely known as fighting with homemade swords called “boffers.” Anthony used to be really involved in organizing a leading a local group of people who met in the park on Saturday mornings for the express purpose of hitting each other with lightly-padded PVC pipe until his injured shoulder forced him to stop. Our friend John (also known as Funky Jesus) has since become very active in the piping community down in Fresno and still fights regularly, so a few months ago he came by our house with another friend to work on making weapons with Anthony.

┬áIsobel had spent the earlier part of the day with Ama and when my mom’s car pulled up to the house Isobel burst out, ran up to Caleb and John and said, “I want a flower sword! I’ll go get the materials for you.” Fortunately John is a kind soul with a generous heart because he immediately took time off from making his own weapon to craft this amazing flower sword out of items from our yard. The blade of the sword is make from a long stick covered in iris leaves, the handle is made from a branch of our giant succulent plant, and it’s adorned with a rose and some snapdragon blooms.

Almost the instant it was done Isobel further requested a “nature shield” and John, ever obliging her imagination, set to work. He constructed it out of the blue foam used to shape and reinforce the boffer swords and addeda sturdy handle in the back. It is adorned with leaves from our rosebushes and Mexican sage plants. The berries come from a flowering shrub in our front flower bed (no idea what they are) and at its center is a rosebud so perfect it looks like it was created in a bakery out of frosting.

Isobel immediately wanted to pose for pictures.

I don’t think John has ever created weapons like this before, which makes it all the more amazing he whipped them up so fast out of virtually nothing. Even more amazing is that although the sword leaves aren’t as vibrantly green anymore and the snapdragons and pink rose fell off, the sword is still firmly intact and usable, and so is the shield.

I don’t know if it was intentional or not, as John is a big gaming nerd, but the shield looks like something straight out of Zelda, and the sword would be right at home in a Final Fantasy game.

Perfect weapons for our little Flower Guardian Princess Warrior.

Reuse Roundup: Isobel’s Fairy House

Isobel’s greatest obsession these days is faeries. It’s sort of my fault. When I was a kid I was obsessed with faeries myself and as soon as she showed even the slightest hint of interest I started sharing all of my Cecily Mary Barker books with her. These books were written in the early 1900s and reflect the fashion of the times. I just love them and through this book Isobel has learned quite a bit about different flowers and plants which never fails to impress garden store workers. After each time reading through Flower Fairies we follow it up with reading Fairy Island, a book by a nature crating artist who created five or so different imagined homes for fairies. Add this to repeated viewings of Miyazaki’s Borrower’s-inspired movie The Secret World of Arrietty, and Isobel wants nothing more than to make faerie houses all day every day.

This one is her current favorite because unlike most of them it is contained in a decorated shoebox that once held running shoes belonging to her father. We painted it together (she instructed me where to paint hearts but the rest is all her), and she’s added crayon, stickers, and other ornamentation herself. Grandma and Grandpa, ever sympathetic to her wishes, bought her the little pink metal bench and white chair at a garden store, and the set of dressers used to a picture frame from their living room collection. The rest of the items have been gathered (borrowed, you know, not stolen) from around the house. The gold ornament hanging from the top of the box is supposed to be the sun and the white moon sticker on the dresser is supposed to appease but sun and moon fairies.

One time Anthony put some of her plastic fairy toys in the fairy house but that mistake was swiftly corrected. This house is for real fairies, Dada. Not toys. Real fairies.

Despite our honest answers to the question she remains convinced fairies are real. They are just very small and very fast and know how to hide from adults. Little girls can see them, however, and she can’t wait until a real fairy decides to take up residence in this fully furnished apartment.

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