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Sunday
Nov062011

Punching Butterflies

Seriously, I'm looking at my Pinterest Challenge project in a whole new light.  Partly because my hands are cramping up, and partly because I'm nowhere near being done. 

Be advised, if you're a butterfly it's probably best you stay away from me right now...

Yep, I've been punching butterflies all day long!  Correction...all weekend long...and I still have many more butterflies to punch before I meet my quota.  Consider me a lean-mean-butterfly-punching-machine!

Spoiler alert!  Just in case you like surprises and would prefer to wait until the project is officially done, you should know that I'm about to give away the details on the project I've been working on.  I guess we'll just call this a status report since I have yet again underestimated the time commitment this project would involve.  (I really need to work on that, don't I??)

Alright, so a few weeks ago I shared some photos of the 1-Year birthday party of my friend's daughter, Brin...but what you don't know is that this project was meant to be my gift for the birthday girl.  Well, due to my hectic schedule, I wasn't really able to dive in and get er' done...so I moved to the tutu as a backup plan.

So when the second Pinterest Challenge rolled out from Young House Love, Bower Power, Ana White, and House of Earnest, I knew it was time clear off the dining table for another project (bye, bye, pumpkins, hello butterflies)!

I had every intention of getting the project done in time to post it on the Wednesday deadline, but then I got some unexpected news and took a quick trip up to Utah to visit some family.  For a three day trip, it packed quite the punch!  An enjoyable drive from one state to another, some good family time, and a nearly missed flight back home...can't complain!  You probably didn't even know I was gone, huh?  

But back to the butterflies...

I thought it would be fun to make a mobile for the little Brinster, and so I started pinning some ideas...

Based on the examples, I got an idea for how I wanted to approach the project, and made a quick trip down to Michaels for a few supplies.

A wreath form (medium size) for $2.39, a 5 inch diameter cross-stitch form for $.79, two strands of chain (on clearance for $2.49 each), and some more of the Findings Jewelry Essentials for $2.99 each.

Before I started punching, I thought it would be good to spray paint my frame so the paint could dry while I was occupied with the butterflies...but before I could paint, I needed to make a few adjustments to the chain that I bought.

Basically, I needed to turn two long strands into three short strands...

...so I took both strands apart...

...and rearranged the links to what I needed...

Then I was ready to paint...

While the paint was drying & in between coats, I got to work on the wax paper butterflies.  I used the same method that I used for my chandelier project (you can see a video tutorial of this process, here).

Once the paper was made, I cut it down into 1.5 inch strips...

...and then punched me some butterflies...

...but then this happened...

...and though I was finally able to remove the jammed paper, the punch was never the same.  We'll just call it a vegetable, because it really lost all function.

Thankfully, I was able to bring in a spare punch (courtesy of my friend Jennifer, the scrapbooking queen)!

...and so I moved on to the next phase--making the strands--but I didn't want the mobile to just be plain-white wax paper.  I wanted it to have a little more girly flair, so I punched some holes in some pink flowers so I could add them to the strands.

For the strands, I didn't really have any structure at first.  I pictured the mobile in my mind like a little rain cloud.  I didn't want it to be perfect, but rather just a giant grouping of butterflies and flowers with strands at random lengths.

Then came the time to attach the strands to the cross-stitch form, but first I used a sharpie to mark which rows I wanted to hang the strands from...

After a long few days, here's what my dining table looks like...

Notice that the laptop is right there in the mix?  That's because Hulu is a must on this one!  In fact, auto play came in quite handy since I didn't even need to pause the project to move on to the next episode. And yes, I am now all caught up with The Office, watched a few of the new show Happily Ever After, and even dabbled in some Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Ramsey!

But this is as far as I got...

...kinda looks like a jellyfish, huh?  A really pretty butterfly jellyfish!

But as you can see, there are still many strands that need to be made.  The plan is to hang strands from the entire frame...

...yep, the entire frame...

...I think there's a little part of me that wants to cry when I say that...

But then again, there's that part of me that remembers feeling that same way about my chandelier project, but I can't even tell you how exciting it was to see the whole thing once it all was finished.  I guess I just need to hold onto that inspiration, and remember that it will all be worth it in the end--even though I'm not quite sure when the end will be!  Ha!

Has anyone else taken on a time-consuming project lately?

 

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