Saturday, July 25, 2009


I love butterflies.

Just looking at them not touching them, as theres something a teensie bit creepy for me about their furry little bodies and their tap-tapping of their little legs. Something a little alien perhaps. I think my facination of them is the whole transformation thing from chubby little caterpillar destined to munch his way through life to then turn into the most delicate of insects being able to actually take off and fly.

What a life.

I like that quote
The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity. ~Attributed to George Carlin

Here's a photo I took of a butterfly the other week when I was wandering around the garden. Not the best photo in the world, but you can still make out the amazing detail of the wing formation. Look at those pleated wings. Incredible. Its a Gatekeeper butterfly, not one I'd actually heard of before until I did a search on ID of various butterflies to go with the write up with my photo.

I named the house Papillon (French for butterfly) when I moved into the village some years ago. All the houses here only have names not numbers unlike previous places I'd lived and as it was a new house back then I was the one left with the task of finding a name. It's such a difficult job, naming a house, that when we moved to the other end of the village recently we took the house name with us and renamed the old place. It was less stressful although a little confusing for the postman.
Even the tables at our wedding were all various butterfly names too with centrepieces and individual name plates that I made with a butterfly theme.
Heres the house name sign for our gate that my Dad made for us...made it freehand, just drew the letters and painted them in once he'd chisled the wood away.Took him no time at all. My Dads where I get all my arty side from, well, Dad and my Grandma I think.

So, like I said, I have a 'thing' for butterfiles lol.

Which takes me to a challenge I spotted this weekend. Over on Stamp Something there's a theme 'Bugs, Butterflies and Other Winged Somethings' :0) I thought that I'd have a go at decorating a chip board butterfly based around the quote "Butterflies are self propelled flowers" with the latest stamps from Paperbag Studios.

After all the natural beauty of the real butterfly, this one is very much a butterfly with bags full of artistic licence lol.Infact, more than bags...perhaps suitcases full with an excess baggage charge lol

Along with that I spotted that this weeks One Powerful Hour is Favourite colour. Now I have two types of favourite I live with in the house or that I wear, and then a favourite colour to create with. Both totally different. I wear and live with muted tones, greens, soft sea colours etc...where as my fave colours to work with perhaps have more clarity and vibrance. I LOVE creating bits and pieces using turquoises/weathered wood as it has so many fantastic contrasting colours. Here I teamed it up with purple but also love it with all the 'hot' colours to create an impact or with more cool colours ie greens/ blues for a softer piece.
I also tore the page from the phone book which lists company names that begin with the word 'Colour' lol....hard to make out under the stamping layers but its there.

I have a few more of these massive chipboard shapes. Each butterfly wing is about the size of a hand so if you place your hands together side by side thats how big they are

(I bet you are doing the hands together thing, you are arent you lol)

....anyway, next attempt I think I shall alter the shape of the wings some how. I dont really like the smooth stream lined curves on this one that much- a bit 'safe', but was fun to play at the effects I got with various inks, paint, utee and watercolours.

The stamps are all available from Paperbag Studios in the States or from The Stamp Attic here in the UK. made it to the end of the post lol...sorry for the waffle, can you tell I had a bit of free time this morning (unusual for me)so I sat chatting. Wishing you all a happy sunny weekend. Its gorgeous here on the south coast of the UK.


Marilyn Rock said...

Terrific post! Butterflies are neat and every time I do spot one, I just have to stare at it for as long as I can. Kind of makes me enjoy the moments; that, I feel, is the message of the butterfly. They are so beautiful and I love your chipboard butterfly! Your colors and the whole composition is lovely. Brilliant use of the telephone book pages! Have a wonderful weekend! Best always - Marilyn

Lottie said...

I adore butterflies too - and they have such a 'mystic' aura about them I always think. A friend of mine in Australia said she would come and visit me as a butterfly when she died. Each year in spring a butterfly - peacock variety - appears inside my garage on the window - very strange - especially as it is on the window of one of the doors we do not open.

So now, when a Peacock butterfly visits me in spring - and on other occasions - like yesterday when my little grandson came to visit and one 'appeared' in the lounge and my grandson squealed with delight - I just said 'Hello Maxine' opened the door and it majestically flew outside and stayed for a while before flying off. She never made it to visit me in England when she was alive - but I like to think that she visits me often now - and is often seen on 'Maxine's Garden' here in the summer.

Yes - I know I am dopey - but I am allowed to be at my age.

Your butterfly is wonderfully stylistic - and I love it - those colours are my favourite! You have your own style which no one can replicate - magic

Godelieve said...

What a wonderful "Butterfly" post Jo! Are you having lots of butterflies too this summer? We have a lot more than last year.
Beautiful sign, and fabulous stamping.

Claireabelle said...

What a lovely post and what a lovley comment from lottie! I love your butterfly Jo and WOW! what a dad! Looks like you have a very talented family

Linda Elbourne said...

A fabulous butterfly ... Love it! I am struggling to type with my hands still together though.

I was also told that a butterfly is a spirit from the past that visits for a short while and a cabbage white butterfly is the spirit of a child. So I don't think your mad Lottie because whenever I see a cabbage white I say "Hello Tia" and I feel comforted that she still visits!

Sandy said...

Oh wow your butterfly is awesome.
Really lovely stamping. Fantastic work.

Lottie said...

Sorry to 'hijack' your comments Jo. Just wanted to say that I visited Maxine in Oz several times - she had a wonderful life in the theatre industry - had wonderful stories to tell, lived to a good age - and travelled the world 'through my eyes' as she used to say, with my photos, emails, and letters.

Paula said...

Fabulous butterfly & I like that you put your thoughts down as to how you like but dislike them. Makes pefect sense to me!
I have a friend who only ever owns Papillon dogs (The Butterfly Dog)the ears are adorable.
And, Im glad what you said about favourtie colours because I thought I was the only one who could not name one individual colour. I only ever seen to wear shades of blue, green or cream with the odd pink garment, while love to create with blues & lilacs (but training myself to use the rest of the ink box lol) & have to have green & cream in my home!!! That said mind, you know I'm as mad as a box of!

Lyn said...

Fab butterfly Jo and yes, I did the "hands thing" LOL ! Loving the colours you've used.

Kim Piggott said...

Jo love your story of your fascination with butterflies. Such a beautiful name for your house.
Your creation is amazing! Such wonderful colours and stunning detail!
yes I did the hand thing!
Going to watch Kung fu Panda tonight!
kim x

joanne wardle said...

yeah yeah yeah, it's a butterfly, it's largely purple, so I guess it's okay! ;)

Sid said...

Gorgeous butterfly, as a child I was addicted to the real thing and had all sorts of eggs, caterpillars, larvae & the final thing (imago) in my room at home. This little creation makes all my childhood ideas come to life !!

Katie Renz said...

What a beautiful butterfly! I love them as well and am also very fascinated by hummingbirds. So glad you could play along with Stamp Something.

penibear said...

Fabulous arty piece, Jo, yes I did the hands thing, as well! Great name for a house,too.

AngelaC said...

I love the way you have used the stamps Jo - absolutely gorgeous! I know what you mean about butterflies, I like to see them but would not want to touch one either!

Karina said...

Dear Jo, I occasionally landed on your blog and like what I see here. You do wonderful artwork! And so I will make a visit again on your place from time to time to see what's new.
Love from Switzerland,

LiveArt said...

Wonderful butterfly!!!


Audrey said...

Fantasic choice of colours - such vibrancy! Great artwork, love the butterfly shape you've chosen, and the detail is wonderful! Such a happy piece

Karin said...

What a wonderful butterfly. They're so beautiful to watch, I love to spot the first one in spring and to see which is bravest to appear first!

Amy said...

Your stamping and coloring of the images is magical!!!