Maggie’s Shire – Creating A Pandemic Fairy Land

Do you believe in fairies, love creative re-purposing, or like positive stories about how people spend their time? You might be interested in what my fellow third culture friend Miriam Lusk Berry has been up to during this pandemic. In addition to being a nurse, Miriam is a Mom, a daughter who gets to live with her own Mother (rather than be separated) and has a beautiful Grand Pyrenees mix named Maggie. Maggie deserves some credit, for it is her walks that produce the treasures used in creating her “shire.”


I love a good re-purposing story and I love people who pick up trash when out walking. In the case of Miriam, she not only picks up after Maggie, but picks up natural and man made debris to use in constructing fairy houses. I also enjoy learning how people spend their time and find joy during difficult times. Look at this fairy house made of bark, beads, twigs, moss and hand painted styrofoam!

Miriam, a Scotch/Welsh American, was actually raised in Hong Kong and Macau. She remembers studying examples of Chinese cork art as a child and was drawn to the life of miniatures. Her idea was to build some miniature homes similar to the Hobbit Houses of the J.R.R. Tolkien stories. The result was beautiful little fairy houses and bonsai like art. You can buy fairy garden houses and other accessories, but they are ugly and often made of plastic. It’s much more creative to clean up the trails around your house and use the bits and pieces to make your own. Miriam has a love of bead making, and and those are also integrated into the designs.

After constructing the tiny houses, Miriam sprays them with a clear water-proofing treatment and “plants” them in her garden. They are said to bring good luck. So far, they have lasted several weeks through several rain storms. Behold Maggie’s Shire:

Next up on “Project Shire” will be a couple of cairns, some miniature tree swings and stacks of cut logs. Have you repurposed anything lately? What have you been doing to bring new life to old things in your life?

14 thoughts on “Maggie’s Shire – Creating A Pandemic Fairy Land

  1. Maggie’s work is beautiful!!
    Not being crafty, I can’t say that I repurpose many materials.
    But I do repurpose food all of the time. I have an ongoing contest with myself to see how little composting and food waste I can produce.


  2. So lovely and creative!
    I do find alternate uses for things around my house, like the kitschy planters I use to hold my cotton swabs and makeup remover pads in the bathroom. A little pink elephant and a little blue lamb. Given to me holding an arrangement when each of my kids were born. Over 30 years old now, and I wouldn’t part with them for the world.



  3. My creative outlet during the pandemic is to edit and complete a book Ralph and I started writing out of boredom one rainy weekend over six years ago. I am enjoying the read and finding many opportunities to reword and change up the story. When we started writing it I had not yet been to Twin Lakes, Colorado, the setting of our plot. A few years ago we took a road trip and spent time in the area. I now have better perspective concerning our the over-all story.


  4. These are so cool! It’s great to see how folks are using creativity during these unprecedented times. Thanks for putting some good news out there! Someone send this to John Krasinski! 🙂


  5. Oh, my… how much do I love these! I agree about the silly, fakey, store-bought fairy houses. These are soooo much better. Any self-respecting fairy would absolutely chose one of Miriam’s houses to live in. I’ve added a few pieces of art to our garden… maybe I need to add a fairy house (or two) as well (who wouldn’t benefit from having a few fairies living in their yard?). Thanks for sharing.


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