Skip to main content

Theme of the Month-Insects

Over at Art Elements Diana chose Insects for the June theme challenge. I was excited about this because I have a small collection of butterfly wings that I was determined to use for some jewelry components. And I also found the most beautiful INTACT Eastern Black Swallowtail that I wanted to display or use in a work of art.
My Collection of butterfly wings and the intact Swallowtail

Well, this is as far as I got making a pendant with one of the butterfly wings....So stay tuned for some resin/butterfly pendants sometime in the future.
Wire for butterfly wing
BECAUSE once I started sketching (luna moth, dragonfly and butterfly) all kinds of projects started popping up in my head. I decided to take an alternate route away from jewelry for this project.
Sketches
This beautiful piece of green fabric was in my stash and was begging to be used for a dragonfly. So for the first 'insect' piece I beaded a multi-hued green dragonfly.
Beaded Dragonfly
I fused the fabric to a piece of stiff interfacing and drew my dragonfly directly onto the fabric. Originally, I attempted to use tracing paper and a transfer pencil but the pencil DID NOT transfer very well onto this fabric, which is a rayon blend linen. I used a large enough piece of fabric so that I could mount this on a stretched canvas. Finished size is 8 x 10. My plan is to frame her in a floating frame.
Finished Dragonfly
This fabric also reminded me of the color of a luna moth so I just had to use this fabric to create one of those as well. Just wasn't sure what/how I wanted to create the moth--beaded, embroidered, felted, or a combination of all of these. Well, I decided to go back to my 'roots' and make a soft sculpture luna moth.  (I used to make stuffed animals and soft sculpture dolls YEARS ago)

First problem-I didn't create a pattern.. I just drew out some wings on the green fabric, backed it with quilt batting and started machine embroidering. Well, my luna moth is now a mutant luna. Her wings
are not proportional to her body and the aspect ratio of the wings is all wrong. Oh well, artistic license to change things, right?
The upper wings should be wider than the bottom wings but I liked the bottom wings and didn't want to remake them nor did I want to re-do the top wings plus I was running out of that beautiful green fabric. Her body is quite plump (and a tad too big for the wings) but I like the fuzziness. After sewing & stuffing it, I needle-felted some pale yellow/cream wool over it to resemble a moth's body and even gave her antennae with the felt. I used a bit of wax to twist the antennae and keep the fibers stuck together.
Fuzzy Luna Moth Body
After I machine quilted the wings I backed them with more green fabric and satin stitched the edges. I was originally thinking I would stuff the wings with poylfil but then decided they needed to be 'floppy' not fluffed up. And anyway, the quilt batting gave them enough substance that they didn't need to be stuffed.
Soft Sculpture Mutant Luna Moth

Earlier this month I was cleaning/organizing my studio when I came upon a package of  Shrinky Dinks plastic that I have had for years. So I thought I would make some butterflies to possibly use in other projects. I just drew the butterflies onto the plastic with a Sharpie pen and then colored in the areas with Derwent Inktense Color Pencils.
I had forgotten just how much the plastic shrinks when heated so I did a really large one and a smaller one. I found out it shrinks almost 50%.
Shrinky Dink Butterflies BEFORE baking
Brilliant Butterflies after baking
As the plastic shrinks the colors become 'concentrated' and transform into deep, brilliant colors.
The larger butterly was approximately 6 inces across before baking, now it is about 3 inches from wing tip to wing tip. Smaller one was about 3" and now about and inch and a half.
Now I just need to figure out a way to use them in another project. I could always bead around them!

I can't wait to see all the wonderful insects that the other team members and guest participants have created for this month's challenge. You can click on the links below to check out all the bugs!

Guests

Art Elements Team

Comments

Karen Totten said…
Wow I love your creations. I especially love the quilted moth!
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thanks Karen! It is fun to take a break from tedious beading and hand stitching and work with my machine:-)
Diana P. said…
OMG I love what you did. That huge luna moth is my favorite though! Doesn't matter that the proportions are off, it's wonderful!
SueBeads said…
I LOVE what you did as well, that quilted moth is amazing! I was going to bead a butterfly didn't even have time to start! Thanks for showing us what you made, I always love to see your creations!
Niky Sayers said…
Oh these are wonderful! I really love the beaded dragonfly, and that luna moth is so cool and I adore Shrinky Dinks!
Saraccino said…
I just love all your creations but especially the luna moth! I also can't wait to see what you create with the butterfly wings.They are so gorgeous!
Caroline said…
I love all of your work, but the fabric luna moth is just stunning! And I like the proportions :)
Bijoux Gems Joy said…
What a creative adventure you went on with this challenge. It's fun to make a variation of something and give it your own touch, like with the moth
Mona
Sarajo Wentling said…
I love that Luna Moth! So majestic... and those fuzzy antennae! You clearly had fun with this one.
Lindsay said…
LOVE LOVE LOVE! I have wanted to do soft sculpture moths for SO LONG, I love your mutant luna! Also, the I wish I had thought to add texture to my own project with seed stitches - the depth that it adds to your dragonfly is fantastic.
Thanks so much everyone! This was a fun theme to work on.
Jenny said…
Stop! you are killing me. I want to do ALL these things! I have a secret stash of shrinks dinks too. The Luna moth is amazing, even tho a little wonky. I am glad you showed us regardless. I think its interesting that we both beaded dragonflies but I kept mine all plain and orderly and you went fab/fun/patterns/green. I may need to loosen up a bit! All gorgeous. All inspiring me.
Lesley said…
ALl beautiful pieces but I do love that dragonfly in my favourite colour green.
Laney said…
Those inktense pencils really worked on the shrink plastic, wow!! LOVE that fabric doll/sculpture, I don't mind wonky at all ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Art Elements Component of the Month for April

Over at Art Elements Jen hosted the Component of the Month for April. She is a glass artist and made some amazing lampwork glass beads with texture. I just love the colors especially when the light hits it. She said she had the 'northern lights in mind' when she created these beauties.
She planted the 'northern lights' in my mind as well. Immediately I thought about freeform peyote and creating some sort of movement of light and color streaking through the sky. I have to confess I do a LOT of bead embroidery and some peyote bezeling BUT I don't do a lot of bead weaving. But I thought this was my chance to do some practicing!
I attempted to created lots of movement/texture with the beading. I left some open spaces and also created lots of waving/rippling with changing up the bead size periodically. AND I had no idea what I was doing. Just picking up beads and trying them out. I think it worked okay.
Once I got the slightly irregular piece beaded, I needed to figure …

Component of the Month Design Challenge

Over at Art Elements Caroline created the most beautiful starry bead sets for August's Component of the Month Design Challenge.
Below is the bed set that I received. The photo doesn't do them justice. The lustrous finish is just gorgeous and those stars on the central bead are brilliant.

I received these beads while I was working on a tuturial for etching brass bullet casings (you can see the dirty fingers in the above photo). As soon as my bullets were etched I knew the brass would look really good with these beads!
So I created a tassel of brass chains and seed beads to dangle from the bullet shell then added the starry bead at the top.
Once I create a pendant whether it's bead embroidered or a tassel type pendant, I am always torn about how to finish the necklace portion off... Of course I knew I would use the other 2 beads but I didn't know whether to use chain or more beads or leather etc etc etc.... Too many choices.
I ended up creating just a short beaded porti…

Art Elements' Component of the Month for February

Jenny hosted this month's Component of the Month over at Art Elements. She created lovely polymer clay hearts that she sculpted with cracks/breaks and then used wire to 'suture' the broken heart back together. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them.  The green one really spoke to me so I requested a green heart cabochon (below).

 I decided to pair the beautiful green heart with one of Jenny's dryad pendants (below). They are created with ceramic clay and then she adds leaves/berries with polymer clay. I took the liberty of clipping off the wire for hanging (sorry Jenny) so I could use it as a cabochon.
 I already knew that I would create some sort of mixed media background to attach them to once I beaded around them. And of course I fortgot to photograph the cabochons by themselves once they were beaded.
So here they are fully beaded and already attached to my background.
I just love the heart on the tree...Reminiscent of hearts carved into tree trunks with lov…