Grasslings Form a Butterfly Bower

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         Faeries, elves, small human children, some human adults and at least one species of Australian bird all love bowers.

         A bower is a sweet little hiding place, sometimes outdoors and sometimes indoors (in Medieval times a bower might have been inside of the castle for m'lady's privacy). It is a sheltering yet fragile veil from the everyday where you can while away your time exploring whimsical thoughts, smile mysteriously and often, talking and singing to yourself and sipping the nectar of inspiration from nasturtium petals. Peeking mischievously out at the world from within a bower is also perfectly acceptable and expected behavior, at least by those whose wisdom comes from experience.

Butterfly and the Faery

"Just because its not a real butterfly in your world
doesn't mean its not real in mine ..."

         A bower may seem like a tent or a sunshade except for one important difference. A bower is beautiful. It is adorned with diaphanous draperies, butterflies, flowers and petals entwined in ivy, bright flowing ribbons and colorful banners or panels.

         A bower is meant to intrigue, invite and enchant. It beckons to you to play, to indulge your creativity, gain a new perspective.

Green Butterfly Bower

         A bower can be large enough for friends or so small you must crawl in and curl up like a baby bird. It can be as easy or as hard to build, as you are willing to exert the effort. Here are some ideas and a template for making butterflies.

Structural: A tree bough (no nails in the tree, please), an old sunshade or umbrella. A table, a large bush (if you are not planning on leaving the materials on it for too long). A large embroidery hoop (for hanging from the ceiling above a bed for a bed bower), sculpted arches and chambers out of chicken wire (more advanced knowledge, talk to an Australian Bower Bird about his techniques). Garden arches, bamboo, trellis, cut branches.

Phee the Spider and the Bower Web

"Sigmund Grimspinner, I ordered the pink cob web with flower petals and tiny leaves in it, not fly wings and insect antennae! This stuff looks like Halloween!"

Drapery: Cob Webs, Chiffon, Tulle, Gauze or Cheesecloth (check your yardage store, however cob webs will probably be difficult for humans to find in large quantities), old lace tablecloths or old sheer curtains from a swap meet or garage sale. Old sheets, garden netting or shade screen. Some papers, such as crepe paper in sheets.

Adornment: A colorful assortment of 1/4" satin ribbons by the yard (also available at a yardage store). Bright material for flying triangular pennants and hanging panels (these can be made out of paper too). You can also use spool of curling ribbon or roll of crepe paper instead of satin ribbons. Flowers, fresh cut or dried, ivy vines in long lengths (preferably part of thinning an ivy patch and most certainly apologize and/or show your gratitude when doing it). Paper or silk flowers. Paper cutouts of flowers, butterflies, faeries, birds, and hearts.

Craft and Handy Supplies (These supplies will all depend on where and how you decide to build your bower): Clothespins, hot glue gun, scissors, felt tip pens, sponges and paint, string and/or wire, packing tape, staple gun, garden clippers.

Butterfly Bouquet

         This butterfly can be used for a number of different projects. Use card stock, either bright colored or pastel or plain white and color. Three ButterfliesIf you wish, you can print it and cut it out, then trace it onto a heavier card stock, such as a manila folder, cut it out and print the word 'template' on it. Use the templates to trace off as many butterflies as you want. Keep it for future use. You can also make templates of other designs and start a collection.

         For my butterfly I have lightly sponge painted pastel cardstock with a contrasting color and then made tiny bouquets of dried flowers and tied them with florist wire and then a 1/4" satin ribbon bow. The butterfly antennae are made from 26 gauge gold wire wrapped around a pencil. The antennae and long streamers of satin ribbons are hot glued onto the center front of the butterfly. The antennae at the top head area, the ribbons at the middle hanging downward. The bouquet is then hot glued over the antennae and the ribbon. I have hot glued a clothespin to center backs of my butterflies. This way I can attach them to almost anything that pleases my eye.


Butterfly TemplatesButterfly Templates

The Elf and Butterfly Parade

Phee McFaddell

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