Saturday, 2 February 2013

Butterfly's Butterflies by Alison Bomber

Hello all!  Alison here... no, this is Butterfly, not Craftytrog!  I'm absolutely thrilled and honoured to be Guest Designing for The Artistic Stamper this month... you could have knocked me down with a feather when the email pinged into my inbox before Christmas, and it took all of about a second to say "yes, please"!

But then, of course, your brain starts to buzz with all the possibilities of the amazing stamps on offer - what to do, what to do?   Well, here's my starter for ten... a mobile, and possibly one of the trickiest things to photograph that I've ever made!  So I'm afraid there are quite a few pictures, trying to capture its essence... and it's well worth clicking on them for a larger view occasionally!
Now my "crafty" name of Butterfly was pretty much an accident - I've never really been much of a lepidopterist, but having adopted the name, I do seem to be drawn to them, craftily at least, quite often.
I'd seen quite a few "specimen cabinet" projects on my travels, and when I decided to work with the amazing Insects and Butterflies plate that was sort of what I was thinking of trying.
But in the end, I couldn't bear to pin them down, and so I decided to try to find a way to let them fly free - why do we create these difficulties for ourselves?!
It all started with a little floristry frame I bought in the Czech Republic.  I got three of them at the time, and last time I used one it gave me headaches, so I knew the chances were it would go that way again!
I experimented with stamping the butterflies and dragonflies and colouring them in various ways, but it wasn't really taking off for me, so I decided to try it the other way up and create my colours first.  I did lots of wrinkle free distress technique with a mixture of Distress Stains in blues, greens and turquoises.
I also added some Perfect Pearls Mist both to the craft mat and onto the paper as I was drying it so that I could create lots of iridescence within the colours.
Then I got busy stamping...  I used Archival inks, mainly in Cobalt, Olive and Library Green - either individually or blending them on the stamp - but occasionally I also zhuzhed it up with a bit of Aquamarine!

Then there was lots of fussy-cutting - absolutely NOT my favourite thing to do!  Some of the images are virtually symmetrical, so those I was planning to glue back to back and colour any edges that were still showing.
But others were too asymmetrical for that.  I toyed with stamping on tissue and using the reverse, but in the end I decided to go for something more abstract.  I used my Viva metallic paints - one in Turquoise and one in Golden Green - to paint the backs of the asymmetrical insects.  These are some of the most beautiful iridescent paints I've ever seen!
Then I used one of the lovely Calligraphic Mats stamped in either Library Green or Cobalt Archival to provide some decoration across the gleaming paint.
Then it was UTEE time!  And this was where I had one of my accidental brainwaves.  As I was adding the UTEE - great for protecting vulnerable antennae, and adding beautiful glossiness, as well as having the effect of intensifying the colours - I realised that it made the wings mouldable. So once everything was safely coated on both sides, I went through again, heating lightly and shaping the wings for flight.

Let's skip over the part where I tried all sorts of ways to string'em up - raffia, twine, gold wire - and go straight to the elegantly simple solution: ribbon.  Not only easier to thread onto than most of those others, but also they were all far more prepared to sit nice and perkily with just the folded ribbon holding them in flight... no need for knots beneath each insect, or glue. 


Still fiddly - don't get me wrong! - to get them all threaded in the right order, the right way up, balancing the different insects and heights.  But eventually I was pretty happy...

Once the "flying" insects were sorted, I needed to have some perching ones, some who'd just alighted for a moment on top of the mobile.
Cue lots of fun and swearing as I attempted to glue minute portions of glossy butterfly to a single twig within the frame at exactly the angle required.
And then a couple just balancing on the upright tower part at the centre... more angling, more bad words, and a bit of cheating by tucking bits of dragonfly into the weave of the twigs!
Thank you for sticking with me through one of my trademark lengthy posts. I've tried to give you some idea of the journey and some idea of the finished piece... Of course the real joy lies in the movement as the butterflies and dragonflies flutter in the breeze.  (Not when you're trying to take photographs of it in a biting wind, though!)  I'll have some more projects to share with you through the course of the month, but for now I'll wish you very happy crafting.

Alison Bomber 

                  Viva Metallic Paints: Turquoise, Golden Green
                  Clear UTEE

50 comments:

mark gould said...

Holy crap, what a stunning ,make,totally inspiring

May said...

Stunning work Alison, Those butterflies & dragonflies are Beautiful... What a great idea to create a mobile.. Love it!! Hugs May x x x

Brenda Brown said...

Wow Alison, this is just beautiful and incredible so worth all the time it must have taken you to create. Love it.
hugs {brenda} x0x

Samantha Elliott said...

Wow! Want it!! Gotta try and do one!!
xx

janet chappell said...

An amazing piece of art !

Janet

Dots Dabbles said...

Hi Alison...so well worth every effort you have put into this! I had never considered moulding things while heating UTEE, so thankyou for sharing that clever idea. A stunning creation!!!
Dot x

Minxy said...

Totally gorgeous

Yvonne Garner said...

Hi Alison! Be will my heart! Just breathtaking. Have a fab weekend. Best, Yvonne

Sarah said...

OMGoodness!! You have really spread you wings on this glorious creation. Fabulous images and colors and mechanics. Wow!

liberal sprinkles said...

Alison, this is simply amazing! I can't believe the fussy cutting you did but the result sure is gorgeous.
grace

Carol said...

Congratulations on the guest dt place -looking forward to seeing your creations. This piece is gorgeous x

Mrs O crafty blog said...

What a great project Px

Buttons said...

Superb Alison. You never fail to amaze with the different types of projects you tackle as well as the way you complete them. No boundaries for you methinks! This must look incredible fluttering in the wind (especially at a warmer time of year) and inspires all sorts of creative ideas. Looking forward to your next project already. Hugs, Jenny x

Helen said...

Blimey, what a labour of love - it looks stunning, you must have the patience of a saint..

Well done and thank you for sharing...can't wait to see what you do next!!!

Nan G said...

Oh my! Stunning absolutely knock down gorgeous! What a fab idea! What patience you have to all the fussy cutting and fussy attaching. You're amazing, Alison!

craftytrog said...

What an amazing project Alison (Butterfly! Lol!), so much work cutting out, you're a braver woman than me! Well worth all that effort though! The colours are beautiful, my favourites!
Great to have you here with us this month,
Alison xxx

Deborah said...

Congrats on being chosen as guest designer, Alison (although of us who marvel at your blog are not *at all* surprised). Your butterfly piece is absolately gobsmacking - not only for how it looks but for the patience it obviously took. Bravo!

Redanne said...

Hi Alison, this is a lepidopterist's (me) dream come true! Wonderful, inspiring, stunning, gorgeous piece...... so glad you persevered with this one. A x

Cestina said...

I am sitting looking at this now as it hangs from the lampshade, glowing and glistening in the sunshine. The pictures simply can't do it justice - how could they?

Everyone who comes into the room is drawn to it - it's fabulous.

Bonnie Irvine said...

Congratulations on the Guest Designing spot. Not only do you deserve it but you have totally aced it with this amazing project. Those stamps look incredible on the mottled background. Love that the UTEE made them able to be shaped. It adds so much realism and whimsy. Thanks for the step by step explanation. Just a delightful work of art!

craftimamma said...

What a stunning project for your first spot as Guest Designer this month. Love the blues and greens (who said they should never be seen?) and the finished project is absolutely beautiful. I would love to see it moving in a 'gentle, warm breeze' and not a freezing gale, lol!

Hugs
Lesley Xx

Dorthe said...

Congratulation on being guest designer, to you, and to Artistic Stamper, for having you! - your first project is gorgeous, with all the flying ,shimmering and lovely butter flyes and dragonflyes.
Hugs,Dorthe

Carol Q said...

a mammoth cutting session Alison but oh what a wonderful result!

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

So inventive, so creative and so much work to create this Alison.
But: it is amazing...as usual!!!

Good luck, greetings, Alie :-)

Sue C said...

Absolutely stunning Alison ! The colours, the UTEE moulded wings and then the fact that they fly too ! Fabulous !! Sue C x

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

Stunnig work Alison.

Greetings Janny

Artyjen said...

What a beautiful way to display those stamped butterflies.
xoxo Sioux

Paper Profusion said...

Absolutely love this Alison. Congrats on Guest Design spot - I bet you have really lived up to The Artistic Stampers expectations. You have great patience! Stunning project. Nicola x

Jennie Atkinson said...

A stunning project Alison - amazing way to use all those butterflies! And the colours are wonderful.

Astrid Maclean said...

Alison, I had to work today, hence my lateness in commenting on this amazing project.... and amazing it is! Fantastic in so many different ways: stunning use of the stamps and such a fab idea. It must have taken you hours and hours! I hope it will survive the imminent move, I know from experience how tricky it can be to move mobiles without them getting into a tangle, and this is a piece that is worth keeping for ever, it is just stunning!!

Andrea Small said...

I simply cannot imagine the work that went into this. Well, I can, but I can't imagine DOING it! You are a true genius - inspiration plus perspiration! Breathtaking.

Andrea Small said...

I simply cannot imagine the work that went into this. Well, I can, but I can't imagine DOING it! You are a true genius - inspiration plus perspiration! Breathtaking.

Kelly Foster said...

Wow, what an amazing work of art!!! This is so beautiful!!!

Cinderella Moments said...

Gorgeous!

Jennie -The Artistic Stamper said...

A stunning piece ! Thank you for being our guest designer this month
xx

Kezzy said...

Wow wow what a fabulous creation gorgeous. Kezzy xxx

Chris said...

What a wonderful idea, I love it!

Terry said...

What a gorgeous and unique project! Alison, this is a most fabulous butterfly and dragonfly garden! Love the UTEE embossing! How did your poor hands feel after all that fussy cutting??? Have a great weekend and what a beautiful share! Hugs!

Annie said...

Wow Alison. This is a stunning creation and you can see that you have put a lot of time in to this make with fabulous results.

Congrats on your guest designer spot too...an amazing honour

Lisa S. said...

Brilliant, love the post start to finish Alison. This is an amazing project and I'm so excited you were featured here as a guest designer. It is well deserved!!!

toni said...

AMAZING! totally fabulous project, brilliant creativity. like everyone else I'd love to see this in real life. Gorgeous work Alison x

Marlies said...

What a wonderful project. Love the colors. Fabulous butterflies and dragonflies. Hope to see more of your work.

Marlies

Anita Houston said...

You rock Alison! These fluttery friends are amazing! The detail and the many flying about is impressive to say the least! A real wow!

Bärbel said...

Eine großartige Idee und ein wunderbares Projekt, liebe Alison!

Ascension said...

Enhorabuena por ese fantastico y precioso trabajo.
besitos ascension

Kim Price said...

What an amazing project this is, Alison you really have outdone yourself. Absolutely gobsmacked!

Kim Price said...

What an amazing project this is, Alison you really have outdone yourself. Absolutely gobsmacked!

Marjie Kemper said...

What a creative mind! This is just gorgeous and what a showcase for those butterfly stamps. Love it!!

Julia S-W said...

This is one of my most favourite stamp plates (and one I return to time and time again!) so I love your mobile Alison.
Juliax

CreativSpirit said...

Wow, this is amazing and inspiring. I can see that it is a lot of work, but anything worthwhile usually is. Love it.