This post and the following 2 posts are dedicated to my beautiful friend Don who allowed me to hold this magical event in his grounds, a nature haven for wildlife.


The Butterfly Girls of Summer Charity Event 2010 (Biggest Fairy House – Kelowna 2010)

These days, a typical child spends only 4 to 7 minutes outside each day. Compare that to the 7½ hours daily the average kid uses electronic
media, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. I want to help reverse these statistics.

So I decided to hold a nature event…….based around my book characters The Little Humbugs. The Humbugs live their lives not dissimilar to how we all used to live,
just like indigenous people who respect and live in harmony with Mother

Preparation for the event…

First I cleared an area for my tree stump stools around an existing stump that was just the perfect size for a Little Humbugs table.

The Little Humbugs seating area. An area in the shade for crafts and picnicking.


We evolved in nature – if we become disconnected from the natural world we lose something magical, something so precious.

Then I started on the construction of a tepee structure for the Butterfly Girl (fairy) house

Marghanita bw

For the last couple of weeks I have been foraging, collecting pine beetle infested logs, stripping them, cutting back any large branches
and finally on Friday I got to raise the logs with the help from Don
(the owner of the grounds) and my eldest son into a tepee like

Next, I started to add the frame work. (Older children can be involved in this process).


A spiritual experience.

There was something very magical about building such a structure, I enjoyed the solitude, it gave me time to let go, to feel the connection
with the earth, the wonderful surface, patterns and textures of the
rustic wood, the dry, dusty soil. My days of working on the land,
getting dirty, smelling the forest, feeling the warm summer breeze kiss
me and make the long, dry native grasses toss and dance were special.
Finally seeing the structures come together as damselflies and
dragonflies entertained me with their magnificent acrobatic displays,
it reinforced my mission to start a nature facility (school) for kids
sometime in the not too distant future. To share the joy and wonder
Mother Nature gifts us every day and to feel connected to our
incredibly beautiful yet fragile planet.


Keeping it environmentally friendly, I used pine beetle damaged branches


and biodegradable twine.


A welcoming heart (made from willow, handmade felt beads, a pine cone threaded on twine) for the entrance.


A whopping 8ft structure stood in front of me.

Now it was time to invite the children to hunt for foliage, decorate and let them weave their magic into my tepee structure, making it their
very own…Butterfly Girl (Fairy) House.

Find out how the children bring their enthusiasm and energy to breathe life into the Little Humbugs charity event and fill my heart
with joy and laughter in my next blog post…………

The more I work with children in nature the stronger my passion grows to spread the word about the importance of nature in a child’s
life. This event is raising funds to help kids with cancer. We hope to
raise enough funds to allow several cancer patients the opportunity to
have a fun day in nature.

If you would like to get involved helping to raise awreness of such an important cause please contact me: or why not become a Little Humbugs Ambassador.

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Comment by Marghanita Hughes on September 7, 2010 at 10:30pm
Thanks Suz. I can't think of anything more enjoyable, inspiring and rewarding than working with children in nature.
Comment by Suz Lipman on September 5, 2010 at 11:07am
Hi Marghanita! As you know, I think this is one of the most magical and heartwarming projects I've ever seen. Your pictures and descriptions are so wonderful. The fact that you’re doing this lovely work for charity only increases its beauty. Thank you, as always, for your inspiration, and for sharing with us.

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