Tuesday, January 6, 2009

paper butterfly mobiles



This year for Christmas I experienced a BIG dissapointment (some of my Missoula friends know about!). I love making gifts for my side of the family for Christmas and I tried making "silly monster" puppets for my nieces and nephews....but it went from bad to worse when I came down with the flu. SO, instead I got books for all of them! I have shelved that project for now, but have all the awesome furry material for later! Maybe it will be for next year's Christmas gifts...shhhhh.

Anyway, I can finally share the handmade success I had this year with one of my gifts(now that everyone has opened their gifts!):

Paper Butterfly Mobiles

My friend Ann and I each bought a long 14-Butterfly Mobile at the Getty Museum when I was there visiting her in October. I decided I would sort of copy and refine this idea to make some simple gifts for the ladies in my life. Instead of the 5 foot version we bought at the Getty I made them 5-butterfly long(lots shorter) and I even learned how to felt a ball to weight the bottom (thanks to Sharon!).

This was the perfect project since I had almost all the materials at my house already. Tons and tons of pretty papers (from other projects) stashed under the bed, silvery string, needles, etc. The only part I had to purchase were the felting materials. My friend Jennifer and I went in on some raw wool, and felting needles and I scrounged around the garage for a sponge.

I mass produced this gift, as you can see. I folded several pieces of each type of paper at a time and traced half of each size butterfly I wanted on the mobile...then mixed and matched the colors depending on who I was giving it to.

I love this picture of lots of them hanging with an orb hanging from the bottom. They looked so pretty together I found it difficult to part with them... I gave Astrid one for her room, though....the one at the beginning of this entry...BRIGHT BRIGHT colors to match the other things in her room.
Stacking them in different color combinations that worked nice together...ready to be stitched together.

Here are some of them packaged up - complete with my "Made in Montana" stickers. I think they look delicious...
The felting was so much fun! It was probably the most time consuming of all the steps - but the most rewarding. I didn't do wet-felting - but I worked the dry wool with a felting needle....you roll it into a loose ball then stab it like a voodoo doll - over and over and over again - to condense and shape the ball. I used white for the main ball....then added other colors to the top. I loved the sound of the needle going through the sponge...

2 comments:

Philigry said...

oh, they all look awesome! maybe we can make some when you guys come this summer! i love them.

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