Friday, 22 February 2013

My Butterfly Bell Jar

Hmmm… how to start this post? Have you ever tried to express your feelings about something that’s very close to your heart? It’s not so easy, is it? Like trying to write wedding vows; they come our sounding so cheesy, so flat. Words can be quite inconsequential when compared to your true, passionate and overwhelming feelings!
That’s why I don’t know what to write here. You see, this post, this post is about bell jars. Glass Domes. Cloches. Call them what you will. I love them. I LOVE bell jars. I love the way they give immediate importance to anything you put in them. I love that they are dainty and fine and reminiscent of another era. I love their curves and gentle lines. I even love that they are tricky to find; one might say that they’re elusive… I just reeeeally love them, okay?
So, anyway, Chris and I were out junk-shopping (yes, that's a verb) one day when I spotted this one…

What a great shape. Tall and not too wide. And it was only $25! We purchased it immediately.
Now the question: what to do with my fancy new bell jar?


A quick look around the ol’ internet and you’ll find hundreds of photos depicting all sorts of fun uses for bell jars. As I said, they have a wonderful ability to make anything that you put inside them feel immediately special and interesting.    
I decided to try something with butterflies. A delicate subject for my delicate glass dome! (Also, I had purchased a pretty little butterfly made out of feathers while I was visiting Calgary last winter and I still hadn’t found a way to use for it. So I felt that the time had come!)

I started by painting the base white (using latex paint). When the paint was completely dry I sanded the base with a 60 grit sand paper to distress it.

I gathered some branches from the woods and glued them together to form a little 'tree'. (This step was not as simple as I am letting on; the forest just didn't yield the type of cute little branches that I was looking for, but eventually I found something workable, as you see here).

The next step: using a glue gun I glued the branches together and glued ‘tree’ in place at the centre of the base. I found it was helpful to make the 'tree' first, let the glue dry, and then glue the entire piece to the centre of the base. 

Here is the tree before I attached the butterflies.
(It is a good idea to test the fit and look of the tree inside the glass as you go along.) 

I collected a number of butterflies, some made of paper, some made of feathers. (You can usually purchase butterflies at flower shops or craft stores -like Michaels- in the floral section, since they’re meant as floral decor). I used the glue gun to attach the butterflies and then simply put the dome back in place. Finis!

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