Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Lepidopterist Explorer

Through the greenest jungles and the deepest rain forests, the butterfly scholar braves snakes, spiders and all manner of icky critters for a glimpse of the beautiful and elusive Ornithoptera goliath, or the Goliath Birdwing Butterfly, the second largest butterfly in the world.
Though our intrepid Lepidopterist is an avid collector of butterflies, she much prefers them without the pins and glass frames. Working with the old adage you get more flies with honey, she has charmed the butterflies into keeping company with her as she sketches and writes about their habits.
They have even volunteered to pilot and fly her balloon and supplies around.
Amazing...

































Her steamer trunk has seen better days, but it sure is a useful thing to have when you're in the middle of the rainforest in  New Guinea!




























Here she has made camp for the night and you can see all the interesting things she has brought with her and found on her travels.

































The camp stool was made from 12 gauge electrical wire and a bit of scrap from a flour sack towel. The bed roll and pillow from the same towel scrap. The butterfly net was fashioned with some tulle and copper wire and a bit of glue. The 'cargo net' is a bronze colored hair net I found at the local drug store.
All the wonderful little bits and pieces have come from Alpha Stamps.

Here's the trunk all packed up and ready to go....
























 For links to all the awesome supplies I used from Alpha Stamps, click HERE.

SUPPLIES:

Chipboard Steamer Trunk

Time Keeper Papers:
Marchant
Tinker
Cogs & Gears
Portfolio
(all of these papers were used on the balloon)

G45 Society Page Scrapbook Paper (the diamond pattern strips down the seams of the balloon, tinted with copic marker)
Copic #YG05 Salad
Distress Ink Pad-Vintage Photo
Brilliance Pigment Ink Pad-Galaxy Gold

Serengeti 6x6 Paper Pad (for the outside of the trunk and all the wee stamps 'stamped' on the lid)
Vintage Dot Scrapbook Paper-Wasabi (inside the trunk)
G45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe Scrapbook Paper (butterflies)
Prima Forever Green 6x6 Pad (butterflies)
Faux Suede Sheets (for the straps on the steamer trunk)
Bronze Binocular Charm
Junkyard Findings-Steampunk Air (goggles)
Little Library Collage Sheet (books)
Fluted Ring Pull (drawers and cabinets in trunk)
Tiny Faux Ring Handles (outside of trunk)
Small Compasses
3D Bronze Tea Time Teapot Charm
Miniature Hurricane Lamp

Additional:
Tulle (butterfly net)
22g copper wire (for the butterfly net
12g black wire (camp stool)
flour sack towel (camp stool, bed roll and pillow)
tiny wooden flower pot
hair net (cargo net for the trunk)























A note on the balloon and butterflies....
There are a bazillion online tutes on how to construct a paper balloon, and for that reason I did not post one. I did make up my own template mainly because I wanted a larger balloon, but you can easily enlarge or reduce any template you use on your printer.
I stuck the six panels together with self adhesive linen hinging tape. (I taped the balloon together panel by panel from the inside) I found it much easier to use than glue or regular tape. I think medical tape would also work well.
To hide the seams on the outside, I cut thin strips of paper and glued them down the sides.

There are seventy four butterflies on this piece. Most of them I wired individually with 22 gauge wire, which doesn't really show when photographing, so it gives the butterflies the illusion of weightlessness or of really flying.

Thank you for stopping by!

7 comments:

Artifice said...

I love this piece!!!!!!!!! I bet you had a ball creating it. Thanks for sharing! Linda

Katie Zoey Ho said...

I love this idea!! Nice balloon....

Deb Moon said...

Wow,this project is awesome! You did an amazing job on both the trunk and the hot air balloon. You have many hours of work in this - a true labor of love. Amazing and beautifully detailed!

barbara macaskill said...

What a heavenly creation!! LOVE the bevy of butterflies on the balloon and your steamer trunk is filled with so many magical little goodies!! TFS!

barbara macaskill said...

Is there any chance that I could get a copy of your balloon template? Thanks in advance for your help!

Patricia Paul said...

Fabulous! I love miniatures, make them myself and just adore these pieces. How wonderful that we have this crossover in scrapbooking to miniaturing. Lovely.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Lora, saw your wonderful project over at Alpha Stamps and had to come and see it in more detail. Absolutely amazing, the balloon and myriad of butterflies make it so magical! Thanks for sharing your beautiful lepidopterist's trunk.