Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blue Morpho Butterfly Craft

I bought a fabric butterfly decoration at Marden's a few of summers ago for a couple of bucks, and I have gotten a lot of compliments on it. When I looked at it closely I realized how easy it would be to make one!! Recently, we took a trip to the Boston Museum of Science and we got a chance to go into the Butterfly House. What a cool experience!! You are surrounded by so many different butterflies in this greenhouse environment....with beautiful lush greenery and sturdy benches for lounging and hoping to inspire a butterfly to land on you. I happened to catch one of the Morpho's with it's wings layed out (a rare treat, as they are usual tucked up, the attendant told me). Here is my picture:
Well, I endeavored to make my own Blue Morpho. If you'd like to make one of your own here's what you'll need:

3 White Metal Coat Hangars
1 Q-Size White Waist Nylons
White Thread + Sewing Machine
Polyester Filling for Body
Blue Fabric Paint
Black Paint
White 3/d fabric paint
Spray Bottle
Floral Wire
Blow Dryer

I took the three metal hangars and formed two into the shape of the larger wings and the last one into the two smaller wings:
Then I used the pliers and squeezed/twisted them all together with the sharp ends turned in as best as I could:
Time to get the nylon. I trimmed off the very end of the stockings and sewed my own ends, rounding them a bit more to make them fit the shape of the wing. Cut off enough fabric up the leg so that it will cover one large wing entirely. Remember it will stretch (and you're going to want it to). You should have a tube that's sealed up on one side. Make another one for the larger wing and turn them both right-side out. For the smaller bottom wings you need to make a shorter tube with both ends sewed shut and a hole sliced in the center of the edge. Turn this one inside out too.
Fit all the nylon tubes onto their corresponding wings and quickly tie them together to make them stay. You'll sew them to the main body in a few steps. To make the main body, get one long flat piece of nylon, and fold it length-wise in half. Then sew in an elongated crescent shape to make the top of the head and the tail.

Sew Along the dotted lines in the picture above. Make sure to leave a large opening on the sides so that you can squeeze wings through it. Fit the piece (turned rightside out) on the middle of the butterfly and stuff some polyester filling into the head and tail. Start sewing the piece together....attaching the body shape to the wings on the front and back of the body. Leave enough of a hole to fill the rest of it entirely with the batting. Then, sew it shut.
Once that is finished, use a running stich with the white thread and sew circles around the filled body, making it look like segments. Do that to the entire body.
Time to paint!! Grab your spray bottle and add some blue fabric paint. Mix in some water as well and lay your butterfly down on some newspaper. Spray that bug!!
Forget about the glue dots you see in this picture.....I had this grand idea....and it didn't pan out. I used a blow dryer to speed up the dryer process and help set the fabric paint. Then, it was time for the black.
You might want to use some foam to cushion between the wings while you're painting. I just used my own image of a Morpho and one picture I found through google to paint the butterfly. I used the blow dryer again to dry this paint.....mostly because I was impatient. Now add some white dots (I used watered down 3d white paint to give it a little more oomph) to the wings. 

You can add some antennae.  I used floral wire,  painted it black, threaded it through the head of the Morpho and curled the tips. I squeezed the head with the wire in there and tried to make it an unusal shape on the inside so that it wouldn't slip out easily. 

And then, you are DONE!!!! Whew, that was a long tutorial. I love the effect of this Butterfly on the wall of my Munchkins room. You really could do so many things with this style of craft!!!! 
Here are some Parties I linked up to, check them out....they are so inspiring!!!!
Make It Yours Day

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Okay, it's not as bad as the title makes it sound. These Bunnies are not being thrown willy-nilly with their fur afluff in a wild wind....they are merely part of a decoration made to mimic a hurricane glass. But, I got your attention!! Right??
My munchkin and I went on a walk in the woods recently and collected some random beauty in the form of dropped leaves and birch bark. I found this great cylindrical piece of bark, entirely intact. I love it. I also got some great strips of the soft birch paper as well. I sketched some bunnies on the back of the paper, trimmed them out, pasted them onto the cylinder and voila!! The perfect surrounding for a vase. A bunny HURRICANE!!!! AHHHH!!!! (A little drama never hurt anyone.)
Pretty cute, huh?? I get a little overwhelmed by all the cutesy pastel colors that are traditionally used to celebrate Easter/Spring. I like my palette a tad calmer. Not that my house isn't full of muted "tender" me, this place has seen more pastel than a maternity ward. But, I don't necessarily always express myself in pinks and yellows. I love the colors of nature as well.

Speaking of pastels......

Check out my latest curling project. You can see the bunny right?? *fingers crossed*. It's not actually that simple to make a bunny out of paper curls. I had fun with this project too. If you didn't check out my previous Curling attempt go see it here, I have included directions. 
This bunny was pretty straight forward. I used my Marbelized Paper as a background and the only thing that I did different was add some fine glitter to the finished product. I WISH I hadn't put on the green glitter, but, c'est la vie. I do like the gold glitter on the inside of the ears. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter Eostre Bunny Burrow

Fieldes have eies and woods have eares.  ~John Heywood, 1565

This little bit of wood does seem to have ears. But, those ears belong to the bunny who lives inside the wood. This is a our Eostre/Easter bunny!! He works hard in his little felt home, making eggs and preparing to hide them. 
He lives in the crook of the roots of this friendly tree. There are even some hiding spots for eggs on the trunk, and there is enough room in his burrow to gather them as well. 
The eggs he's made may look familiar. They are the wild bird eggs I made back in January. 

We are not a religious family but we are spiritual. We love nature and we love bunnies that bring candy.... and sure, we even love bunnies that don't.  Sooooooooooo........I settled on calling this our Easter/Eostre Bunny. Fun fact: The origins of the word Easter comes from Eostre, the name of the saxon goddess of spring. Her name is dervived from the ancient word for spring: eastre. It was believed that every year after the long winter Eostre would return and bring with her the warmth and growth of spring. Pagan festivals were held to celebrate the onset of spring and the rejeuvination of the natural world.

This whole project took me about a day!! I took a whole bunch of brown felt that I found, you guessed it, at Goodwill. I cut out the shape of a tree trunk and some roots with room for a burrow hole. I attached pieces of an angora wool scarf to be the moss/grass and I sewed on a stone colored piece of felt for the burrow opening. The burrow opening does actually go into the trunk....I made it a pocket because my munchkin loves to tuck her toys away. To make it 3d I cut out a piece of brown felt to fit the bottom of the tree and a piece for the top. I placed a piece of heavy duty cardboard on the floor of the inside of the trunk and then stuffed it all up and sewed it up. After the fact I added little hidey-pouches for eggs. I also embroidered the doors and around the top of the trunk. Mr. Eostre was needle felted the very same day. 

 Some Linky Parties I joined, check them out....I promise you'll find inpiration!!!!
Penny Pinching Party 
Trash To Treasure Tuesday 
Talented Tuesday 
Get Your Craft On 
Do It Yourself Day 
Show and Tell 

 A Little Craft Therapy
Make It Yours Day 
Strut Your Stuff 
Spring/Easter Party 
Get Your Craft On Thursday 
Spring Has Sprung 
Creative Cats 
Feature Yourself Friday 
Craft Concoction Friday 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fabric Flowers For A Song

I found some really great fabric at my local Goodwill. That is essentially why I visit the store with such never know what you might find when it comes to crafting and art supplies. I have been addicted to making pillow case dresses recently and the pink gingham cloth in the picture above is in the process of being the next dress I finish. For now, the scraps left over from my first trimmings were used to make this fun little fabric flower. The green striped linen came from Goodwill as well....and I am actually going to use it to make pillows for my munchkins closet (to match the mural I made). I found the hat at the Family Dollar for 3 bucks. I am a sucker for a floppy sun hat. 
Yeah, it's cute....but it could be cuter. So, I've been meaning to try out making some of these flowers. I seem to see the tutorials everywhere. All you really need to do is trim some flower shapes of various sizes out of fabric ( I like to alternate the colors a bit). You sew all the layers together through the center. You could use a felt ball like I did and attach it to the middle of the flower. Then all you need to do is attach the center of the flower to the object you want it on. Simple, right?? I like simple. 
Inexpensive and cute. My kind of fashion.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheap Chicks

UPDATE (I added seeds) :-)
Looks better, right?? They were getting really hungry. 

I had the urge for a little improptu sculpture over the past couple of days.... And, I am such a farm girl. Sooooooooooo, yeah, a cheap CHICK!!  A little bailing twine, glue, some paint, some peppercorns, chicken wire and a pretty cute modernistic sculpture is the result. 
Okay, CHICKS!! I couldn't help myself.  I loosely based these chicks on the one of the funkiest books in our house by Cathy Maclennan,  Chicky Chicky Chook Chook. 
 It's such a blast to read and repeat, dance and chant to. Most importantly, the illustrations are hilarious!! Those little chicks zipping around crack me right up. The story is simply about a farm, a thunderstorm, and some very cooky animals and their reactions to it. Read it to your Munchkin, please. 
Looking at the pictures I took I see that I need to add a few things (am I the only artist out their who is *never* satisfied with their work?!?!), I'm sure you'll see some updates. :-)
Here's the chicken coop I made with some hemp rope and paint and a picture of a chicken coop someone had made and named "Hennebunkport". The builders must be from Maine (I am guessing from the title) and are making a little comparison to the city of Kennebunkport. I laughed a bit about that too. 
I need to add some seeds for sure. Maybe couscous?? And, maybe some wings for those little chickies too. We'll see. Hmmmmm.
Some Blog Parties I linked up to:


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Marbelized Paper Easter Egg Tutorial

I had that Marbelizing urge last night. It was spurred on by the fact that I found (at my local Renys) a great deal on some fancy cotton paper. Before the holidays I did a tutorial on marbelized paper.... check it out here. 
I took a few more pictures this time of the paint on the liquid starch, the paper, and rinsing off the paper after it has set. 
I really like the color combination's this time. I went with a spring theme. Something else I should mention: I am not your traditional marbeliz-er (er?)....I don't like to make designs as much as I like to *PLOP*, *SPLAT*, and *SLOSH* paint in the pan. I really like the look of water drops and air bubbles (the kind a professional would be horrified to see) and I think the whole lack-of-technique thing I have going one is actually just the way I want it to be. It is intentional. :-) 
I didn't have any plans too make Easter eggs out of my paper , but this morning when I woke up and looked at the paper I could just see those little eggs waiting to be formed. So, I trimmed away and voila!!





 I love them!!!!

Here are some of the link parties I joined:
The Thrifty Home
Feature Yourself Friday
Favorite Things Friday
Spring Has Sprung
Craft Concoction Friday
Spring/Easter Party
Weekend Wrap Up Party