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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wacky Wednesday #15--Butterflies!


My artistic challenge this week was to create an outfit that showcases butterflies. It’s hard not to like butterflies. They help pollinate our gardens, they are pretty to look at, and in some ways they are big mysteries disguised inside tiny bodies. I still don’t quite understand how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. (I’ve read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar dozens of times and I’m still stumped). These mystifying, colorful creatures bouncing through the air intrigue me, which is always a good qualification for costume inspiration. So with no further ado, here’s my butterfly-inspired outfit:

This shows my hat in an early stage of development:



And here it is once I’ve finished it:



Bird’s eye view (or would that be butterfly’s view?):



A better view of the back:

 

And the front:
 
 
Are you curious about my hat? I thought so. (We won’t quibble about whether it’s a hat. No, it doesn’t fully cover my head as hats generally do, but I’m wearing it on my head so for now it’s a hat.) It’s constructed from flexible plastic needlepoint mesh. I love this stuff, and I’ve used it on a number of my costumes because it has the wonderful quality of being somewhat rigid but also flexible and lightweight. (The trifecta!) I covered the mesh in orange batik fabric. (May I mention how much I adore batik? It’s the gorgeous effect you get when you use wax on a fabric, sometimes in a design, sometimes in a random way, to produce a mottled result. I have made my own batik but this fabric came from a local store.) Then I added black and white fabric in order to create a Monarch butterfly. I wanted the hat to be big but not heavy and I wanted the wings to move a little bit, as though it could take flight at any moment. I’m delighted with the result.

The butterflies on my shirt also include batik as well as other fabric pieces from my sewing stash. I think clothes deserve to be visually interesting on the front as well as the back, so I did a butterfly on each side. The front side has buttons as the spots. (I heart buttons.) This costume was really fun to make because I appliqued pieces together and it was a little like quilting, which I’ve started to learn in the last couple of years.

The necklace is something I made a year ago—not as a necklace, actually—using broken mirror pieces. I found it yesterday by accident, which proved to be perfect timing, and it demanded to be part of the effect today.

Monarch butterflies live only a few weeks, and for me, seeing one feels like I’ve been gifted with a happy surprise. A butterfly encounter is ephemeral, so I appreciate the few seconds when they are nearby. Then they’re off, bouncing through the air on those beautiful wings—which somehow are both strong and delicate at the same time—seeking another garden to dazzle.    

And now, like the butterfly, I am off. But I’ll come visit again soon. Let’s plan to meet right back here, next Wednesday…

12 comments:

  1. I was just thinking--would you ever consider selling these pieces? You are a gifted artist, and if you keep this up you will have so many! At the very least they should be showcased somewhere!!

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    1. Hi Kimmy,

      Thanks so much! Yes, I have thought of selling my creations. I'd be open to it. And I'm brainstorming ways to showcase them so I'll keep you posted!

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  2. Very beautiful! I love all your different butterflies.
    Roxanne

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  3. I love butterflies. Wanted to reply to your message but very late in time. Hi to you and Lil one.

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  4. I love butterflies. Wanted to reply to your message but very late in time. Hi to you and Lil one.

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  5. I love butterflies. Wanted to reply to your message but very late in time. Hi to you and Lil one.

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    1. Thanks, Ally! I figure almost everyone likes butterflies and it was a really fun costume to make...

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  6. This is so pretty. I wish this had existed when I went threw my butterfly phase. Us teenagers are such fickle creatures. That is so cool that you made that necklace out of mirrors. I totally want one.

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  7. Thanks, Ky! Hey, teens can try on different phases every week, if they like. Nothing wrong with that. I like that you listen to your own compass, rather than being a slave to trends...

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  8. This is really beautiful! I love that you keep up the Wacky Wednesdays!

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  9. Thanks, Adri! Yes, the ideas keep a'comin' so I keep a'makin' them....

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