Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Two Dollar Insect Art

You are just going to have to ignore the old Restoration Spring watermark on these photos. I am so out of energy today. I'm revisiting these fun pieces because I am finally getting close to being able to hang them up in the guest cottage.

Remember these two hideous chicken shadow boxes I picked up for ninety-nine cents apiece at Goodwill? Please note the stunning insect displays above. When I'm talking really cheap or nearly free decorating I'm not kidding you. On a couple of walks last year at the park I found these two specimens, dead on the path. I probably looked like a crazy woman carefully walking a mile and a half to my car with my hands carefully cupped in front of me. But these things are fragile as you will see.

I began by dismantling these tiny shadowboxes, and removing those pathetic plastic chickens. I don't know where these things had been hanging but the glass was really dirty.

 My first thought was to use the pages from the dictionary with the words butterfly and dragon fly on them as background but I decided to hold them up to this gray burlap first. They looked beautiful so I'll use the dictionary for something else.

 I had a moment where I thought this moss ball in the upstairs hall would look fantastical with insects pinned to it. I still think that but for heaven's sake, how would I clean it?

So I mentioned these things were fragile and let's just say I am not a delicate person. I decapitated this poor dragonfly. Actually his head just had the nerve to fall off after a year and a half. I used my glue gun to attach his head and glue him to the burlap. I didn't have my glasses on and his head is on backwards.

But really if I hadn't told you that his head was on backwards would you have known? I'll have to avoid inviting entomologists to visit my guest cottage. I think that is where these will end up.

I gave the glass a good cleaning and painted the hunter green frames a sleek metallic black. I cut a piece of burlap the appropriate size and used a bit of spray adhesive to attach it to the background. Hot glue was  used to attach the insects to the burlap. In the before pic you can see that there were small spacers to allow the chickens to stand out from the back of the box. I just put the burlap right over those using what was already there for a cool 3-D effect. 

Compared to what I started with I am kind of proud of my two dollar works of art. Don't forget to look all around you for beautiful things to bring into your home. Even if it's a decapitated dragon fly.

Remember, it's not what you've got; it's what you do with it.