Fluttering Butterfly

This is the 3rd and final piece for the same family who ordered the pieces featured on the Family Fun and on Flowering Tree posts.  I have received very positive feedback from the family on all 3 pieces, which always does my heart good.

This piece was for the youngest daughter in the family and it was surprisingly difficult because I didn’t want it to look too much like her mom’s.  I wanted it to be unique, just for her.  I can’t tell you how many flowers got scrapped in the process.  And drawings of layouts.  Finally, however, I did decide to go with something similar, but using different flowers.  Of course, there is only one butterfly (representing the little girl) instead of a whole family of winged creatures so I was able to slightly dramatize the butterfly fluttering delightfully among the flowers with just a few dots of a fine-tipped Sharpie.  What fun!  🙂

Something kind of fun about the pieces for the 2 daughters is that they will be displayed next to each other on a wall.  So I was careful to use the same color for the background and the same font and color for the text.  I also wanted the colors of the quilled elements to go well together.  I started out using all the colors in this piece that I used in the “flowering tree” piece.  Yikes.  That did NOT work.  The red, orange, and gold colors looked hideous and those were the flowers that got scrapped (as did at least one of the shades of blue I tried0.  Once I paired down the colors to pink, purple, yellow, and blue–with some white in there too–it came together very quickly and, I think, nicely.

I’ll share some photos of the piece on it’s own and also one next to the flowering tree since they’ll be wall buddies.

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Flowering Tree

I hadn’t quilled trees in a long time before this project and had missed them very much.  That’s why there are a zillion photos with this post.  Enthusiasm.

This order was for the same family who ordered the “Family Fun” piece.  That piece was for the mother and this piece if for her oldest daughter.  The request was for a tree and a butterfly (to represent the daughter).  The tree, it was suggested, could be inspired from Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.  And it was… kind of.  All the same, I was very pleased with how it turned out.  It has a very simple look to it, and I really like the color added by the blossoms.  There is quite a bit more open space (I can’t remember what the “artistic” term for that is) than usual, which was intentional.

The trunk is basically a bunch of marquee rolls all squished together.  I line the sides of the trunk with a single strip of paper just to smooth out the appearance.  The leaves are also marquee rolls, I think they were mostly 4″ strips, 1/8″ wide.  I used 3 shades of green for the leaves and 2 shades of brown for the trunk.  The blossoms were mostly 1″ tight coils.  Honestly, this is a piece a beginner could make… the shapes are very basic and the creative options (i.e., the shape of the tree, how to place leaves, blossoms, bluebirds, etc.) are endless.  This was a very fun piece to quill and I look forward to doing more trees in the future.

The photos show the piece from just about every angle.  I blurred out some of the birthday for the sake of privacy.

Family Fun

This request was for a 8.5″x11″ piece featuring a “Mommy” butterfly leading her 7 children… 2 daughters, represented by butterflies; 5 sons, represented by dragonflies.

I originally arranged the “children” to follow in a line directly behind Mom, but thought I’d try more of a sweeping upward arrangement, which I really liked.  It allowed more movement in the piece and for more of a purpose for the flowers since it seems as though they are emerging from fluttering among the flowers.

The recipient’s name and birthdate were requested to be featured on the piece as well, I’ve blurred the birthdate for the sake of privacy.

Over the next month or so, I’ll be working on a piece for each of the two daughters as well.  3 pieces for one family—what fun!

Celebrating Life

It is typical for me to want to quill during happy times in the lives of my friends and family… to add to a celebration or honor a special day.  Recently, however, the urge to quill struck upon hearing the news that a college friend of mine had lost her dear mother to a terminal illness.  My initial thought was that I wanted to quill a beautiful monarch butterfly to frame next to a photo of her mother along with a lovely quote printed along the bottom of the photo.  This task proved to be much too heavy… partially because I had never met my friend’s mother and so had a very difficult time finding just the right quote, and partially because I like to think that my quilled pieces will be enjoyed by the recipients for many years and it occurred to me that the finished product might reflect too much on the mother’s passing and not so much her life.  In the meantime, my friend had chosen a photo for me to use in the piece—it was an outdoor photo of her mother with her adorable little daughter, both of them smiling brightly, and all seemed right with the world. Once I saw that precious photo, I immediately decided to go with a theme that highlighted the happy moment for what it was.  I decided on a garden theme with a variety of colorful flowers with grassy stems, and, of course, bluebirds, a ladybug, and a butterfly.  The only symbolic measure I took was to make the butterfly all in white and fluttering near her mother… the symbolism is fairly open-ended.  In my mind, it has to do with the glorious transformation from the earthly to the heavenly.

I was happy with the way it turned out and have also received a lovely thank you card from my friend… she said the style of piece fit her mother very well.  Reading that was a blessing for my heart.

I’ve included photos of the quilling, but I’ve purposely cropped out the images of the photo’s subjects to protect the family’s privacy.

Gift Tag for a Friend

I have been so blessed since moving to our new community, especially by my next door neighbor-friend. Wanting to do something special for her for Mother’s Day, and wanting it to be more of a simple gesture than overly “gifty,” I decided on a yummy, organic treat I know she enjoys—gummy bears!  For a gift tag, I arranged a few of my quilled flowers on a store-bought tag and, of course, brought it “to life” by adding a happily-singing bluebird and a wandering ladybug.  (In hindsight, I gave the ladybug more of a butterfly trail, but it’s OK… some ladybugs occasionally wander in circles, right?)  I was so pleased by how much the tag dressed up the gift; in fact, I started to feel like the tag was the gift!  In light of that development, I decided to use only her name on the front and used the back of the tag to write a short message—that is, I didn’t want to mess up some lovely quilling with my messy handwriting.  🙂

All the components I used were quilled weeks or months ago… I keep a supply of flowers and “cute critters” (butterflies, ladybugs, bluebirds, etc.) with my quilling supplies for this very reason.

Jeremiah 29:11

This piece was recently custom ordered for a Mother’s Day gift.  I am a Christian and this is a verse with which I am quite familiar; however, it struck me as I was placing my quilled touches around the print that this is an extraordinarily appropriate text to use for Mother’s Day because there is so much hope and optimism in this one sentence.  All the fantastic mothers I know, including my own, thrive on imparting a sense of hope and optimism to their children and work tirelessly to make their children’s futures bright.  These powerful words were spoken by God to His people who were in exile and experiencing much hardship, but there is a universality to this statement that make it a welcome encouragement to God’s people today as well.

And that’s my sermon for today!  Now, back to the quilling.  The request was for this verse to be surrounded by colorful flowers.  I started out with just the blossoming vine, using small flowers in bright blue, purple, yellow, pink and orange; however, when I did a “test run” with just the vines and small flowers, I wasn’t satisfied.  It needed a PUNCH of some sort, so that’s when I added the 3 larger flowers, which I designed to be just slightly funky, but still sweet and feminine.  After adding 2 small butterflies (the universal symbol of hope, among other things), this project told me it was complete.

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