f the butterfly collector: July 2006

the butterfly collector

A Collection of Fashionable Finds,Jewel Box Treasures,Exotic Art and Decadent Decor! Handmade Delights, Luxurious Shopping, Wonders from the China Cabinet and Secrets from behind the Wardrobe Door, Dramatic Books and Delicious Treats!. Read on to find out more...

Monday, July 31, 2006

A tale from my writing desk... A Twist in the Tale

...Once upon a time there was a girl who was so busy she didn't know what to do! She spent a lot of time writing lovely stories for her Blog, but not enough time on her paintings or running her business that was about to launch! She also had a gorgeous little boy to look after and missed sewing and reading enthralling books! So she called on her fairy godmother who waved her Golden wand in the air and said" Why don't we just sprinkle a little magic on your blog and change it a little bit, make it more exciting and include all your talented art and craft friends?" And she said " wow, what a great idea!!!"...

So the Butterfly Collector is about to change it's mantra a little bit! There will still be some lovely little stories and my paint brush twirling and pencil scribbling feats will still be displayed regularly. And now a Drum roll please.... I will also be including some great articles on how to promote,market and present your art or craft. And showcasing some of the fabulous fashion, decor, jewellery, art, people, books and handcrafted wonderfulness that I continually find and only ever tell my sister about and will now bring to share with my blog friends!

And pictured above is the first one! Tea for Two by the fabulous and incredibly talented Emily Martin, otherwise known as The Black Apple. Emily loves to draw lovely girls with gorgeous names like Enid and Isobel complete with alice bands and stripey knee high socks, is known for her Hedgies ( hedgehogs in fun poses!) and has wonderful art prints ( including the one above), paper doll kits and handsewn toys in her shop. She is a full time artist and lives in the Big Apple, New York where she goes on wonderful shopping adventures!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Whispers from the nursery wall ... Three owl's !!!

...They flew in from the dark overgrown forest and landed quietly in nearby trees. The moon was shining silver and full in the pitch black sky. "Whoooo, Whoooo", each one in turn let all the creatures in the clearing know the wise ones had arrived. Tonight's meeting would be a celebration that a newborn had arrived, the chosen one they had been waiting for for 100 years. She would be their leader, the one they would call Queen,the one with the crescent moon shape birthmark on her neck, the one who would save them all had began her life and would finally fulfill the prophecy and bring peace to the forest at last...

Owl Memory Board, by Shae, the Butterfly Collector.

Today we had a wonderful afternoon celebrating the coming birth of my niece or nephew! My sister only has four weeks of her pregnancy to go and then my bub will have a wonderful new cousin to play with! Today's baby shower was lots of fun, a traditional Afternoon Tea with teapots, an array of beautiful Vintage tea cups and lots of yummy cake, cupcakes, cookies,pink champayne and old English roses to decorate the table! She got some fantastic presents too. Mine is above, My husband and I made a memory board for the nursery. The idea is to hang it on the wall and slide notes, cards etc under the braiding like a noticeboard. We also added handmade felt OWLS with pegs on their backs to hold things and brightly coloured doorknobs to hang things from and vintage buttons from my Grandma's collection around the outside!!! They have created the most wonderful nursery for the baby with a forest theme, take a look inside!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Whispers from the walls... Torn magnolia

...Everyday he would leave something on her doorstep and in the sunshine he would wait for her in the treetops and watch as she stepped outside, all ready to go on her way to work or on her errands or to visit her friends. And each day Alyssa would bend down and pick up the precious object and look all around her to see where it had come from.He would whistle and call to her in a lovely bird song and he would always wonder if she would ever realize it was him bestowing all the presents on her. He brought her some pretty things, buttons, ribbons and leaves. Sometimes stamps,jewels, candy wrappers ,scribbled letters, notes and even pink paper with fluffy clouds. She had treasured it all, kept it in a little pale blue worn wooden box and took it out to admire the little collection often. Her favorite was a piece torn spring magnolia painting and she hoped to one day meet her secret admirer...

torn magnolia, a painting by Shae, the butterfly collector

I have a lot of fun making collage scrapbooks with things that I find, beautiful papers and pictures from magazines. I love to collect things that inspire me and then arrange them on pages so they compliment each other and become a little mood board to help me create new paintings and sketches. They are also becoming a diary of my life because I like to include brochures, postcards and tickets from places I've visited, movie tickets, invitations, special cards and also letters from friends. I have found some wonderful collage artists online and often admire their work including Chrysti, Hope and Marieke. They always amaze me with the creations they come up with and the whimsical things they use in their Art. There's even a Collage Museum too, make sure you take a tour through it's halls! And happy birthday my friend Alyssa!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

a confession from my desk... the latest post!

Hello my pretties, I the Butterfly Collector have a confession to make! I started writng my latest post yesterday and have just published it not realising I could not change the date, so it's down there, below yesterday's my little porcelain fairytale, it's a Dramatic thrilling tale so don't miss it!
Oh, and if anyone out their in wonderful blogland does know how to change the date, please let me know, thanks, hope you enjoy my latest post. "And remember a tale a day keeps the writers/artists block away!"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Confessions from the dressing table... A little porcelain fairytale

...Once upon a Time, there was a little Chinese girl, who worked in the emperor's palace. Her family was very poor, but she had been fortunate enough to find a job cleaning and dusting all the grand and fanciful rooms each day and return home to her mother, father and brothers once a week and give them her meager wages so they could buy food. One day as she was dusting the emperor's throne room, she discovered she was all alone, all the other maids had gone to other rooms to do their daily chores and she found herself admiring the many Ming vases adorning the room, she ran her fingers over the beautiful paint work and daydreamed that she might one day own something so beautiful. Suddenly she heard, "what are you doing, you silly little girl, your head is always in the clouds, get back to work" boomed the head maid's voice behind her. She was so started that she accidently knocked over one of the vases and it smashed into tiny pieces all over the stone floor. At just that moment the Emperor walked into the room with his advisors, she cowered and started to cry at the thought of what might happen to her. She was amazed when he walked over to her and kindly lifted her chin with his hand and said, "Don't you worry, little one, What's done is done and it was an accident, so we will make this which was once a beautiful vase into something else that is beautiful also. The Emperor called his master artisans and they took all the pieces of the vase and made each of them into beautiful necklaces and the little girl was presented with this one to wear and the Emperor was was so impressed by her admiration of the gift, that he sent her and her brothers to live with the great artists as apprentices and learn to craft beautiful things for him and his family. And of course she lived happily ever after...

Chinese porcelain necklace from the personal collection of the butterfly collector.

When I bought this lovely piece, three years ago (as a present to myself when we moved to a new town, I thought it might bring me good fortune! ) it came with a little certificate saying it had been made from a broken Chinese ming vase and was about 400 years old. I thought what a wonderful history it had and now I've given it a little story too! I always get compliments on it and asked what it is! And I have had good fortune here too, a beautiful baby, new friends, nice neighbours and a great place to live!

Confessions from the dressing table... a cheating heart

... Whispers had been circulating about them for months, now she would find out if the rumours were really true. She had put on her long cashmere overcoat with the hood and tied it around her slim waist, put on her red heels and followed him on foot to the little secluded piano bar in this busy city they lived in and he had not noticed her at all. He had dressed well, put on aftershave that morning, cufflinks and a neatly pressed tie and told her he had a late business meeting with the boys after work. She felt sick to her stomach and her heart was in her mouth, she knew she might not like what she found. When he had been inside for a few minutes, she anxiously walked to the window and peeked around it's frame inside. She stared at her worst nightmare, he was in their at a table with another woman, a typist from his office. She could not control the rage inside her and stormed in to confront him. His eyes rose to her face in horror as she slapped him across the face. She did not say a word but glared at them both and in anger ripped me from her wrist and threw me at him hard. I had been a present for their fourth anniversary. I was left on the floor, all alone and she walked out into the night with her head held high and vowing to start a new wonderful life without him...

Vintage Style Silver Sparkle bracelet, from the personal collection of the Butterfly Collector

I love to go a venturing into vintage stores, looking for that perfect something that no one else has,
and it's great when you get lovely compliments on the jewellery, accessories and clothes that you find! This elegant bracelet was a bargain find and I love to wear it with black! Recently I've discovered wonderful places on the net to go shopping vintage style and here's some secret and gorgeous stores I'd love to share with you my lovely blog friends. Step back in time here, here and definitely here !!! Plus one more great one for us Aussies here !!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

From the gallery wall...mietta the mermaid

...Mietta the Mermaid put on her sparkling gown. She was ready for a wonderful night out at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. It was held annually and attracted creatures from all over the ocean floor. It was a big event on the Mermaid calendar and she knew all her kind would arrive in style tonight. Some in seahorse drawn carriages and some coral limousines. She picked up her glittering handbag and made sure she had her lipstick and blush and then adornred herself with jewels she had bought especially from the Treasure Chest, her favorite vintage store. A special seashell necklace, a gold and ruby ring and pretty coral and pearl beaded bracelets. She was planning on making the grandest of entrances' and hoping she would be crowned with the prestigious best dressed award of Enchantress Under the Sea ...

Mietta the Mermaid on her way to the Enchantment under the Sea Dance, a new painting by Shae, the butterfly collector

Mietta is the first in the series of new paintings which have been influenced by a little girl character called Eve I have been scribbling for about a year now, I intended for her to be a children's story book character, still working on perfecting the story and I'm yet to paint little Eve in colour, but a grown up version of her just appeared ...The lovely Mietta and I'm on a roll and the next one is nearly complete too! ( will post soon). Whilst we're on the subject of cute kid things, all of you must take a visit to the most wonderful online kid's gift store... Mahar Drygoods, the excellent Mr Robert has put together the most whimsical and handcrafted collection of children's toys, art and clothing all made by some of my favorite crafters and artists! It's the perfect place to step back into your inner child's fantasy land!

Monday, July 24, 2006

A confession from the Jewell box ... Sparkling diamonds

...She watched and waited until the guard turned down the opposite hallway and then silently tip-toed across the parquet wooden floors to our glass cabinet. Her long sleek black hair was pushed aside and with her adrenalin buzzing she got to work quickly at dismantling our alarm system. We sparkled in the moonlight coming down from the glass skylights above. She reached in and grabbed us all greedily and shoved us in the front zip pocket of her black jumpsuit. She whispered in to the tiny headset, "mission accomplished" and he gave her the all clear to leave via the exit they had already obscured the security cameras on. If all went to plan, soon they would be on a tropical island, dancing the night away at the cocktail bar and rich beyond their wildest dreams...

antique reproduction glass and diamond choker and bracelet from the personal collection of the butterfly collector

These gorgeous jewels are actually my wedding jewellery ( the big day was nearly five years ago now). I saved and saved for these and admired them constantly in the jewellers' cabinet until they were mine. Although they are only costume jewels ( ssshhhh, that's a secret between you and me!), everyone always thinks they are real when I have a special occasion to wear them to. At the time I was obsessed with Baz Luhrmann's movie Moulin Rouge ( bought the book, the movie and the CD) and set out to find some jewels of the kind that Satine would be wearing. Found them and then went looking for that Perfect dress. Does anyone else have an outfit or jewels they love inspired by some great cinematic event?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A tale from the toy box ... A chocolate mouse!!!

...Once upon a time there was a little cuddly and cute chocolate mouse! His name was EEK!!!, because the lady in the house that he lived in always called this out and jumped on top of the kitchen table whenever he decided to poke his head out from his little house in the skirting boards under the china cabinet. He would come out to see what the family was up to and collect anything delicious they may have dropped on the floor after their evening meal and then scurry back before any of them had a chance to catch him. He would take the little morsels home, have a lovely feast and them snuggle up in his chocolate and marshmallow striped blanket and dream of climbing a mountain of cheese.Oh and he lived happily ever after too!

EEk! The chocolate mouse and matching beautiful baby blankets will be available very soon in the Boutique of the Madame Butterfly Gallery!

We've had a fun family day today, a walk along the water, Drew's first ride on the old carousel we have in our town which has been restored to it's former glory. He loved riding the horse, saying NEIGH, and watching for Daddy and waving every time we made a full circle and then fish and chips on the pier for lunch. This afternoon all lazy on the couch with cups of tea we watched The Producers, which was fabulous and like watching a really old musical movie, it had it all, great songs, sets, actors, dancers and costumes. I really wish I had of gone to see it at the theatre now. Did anyone else go?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

whispers from the walls...baking day!

...she loved her early morning sunday walks into the village. Along the water, through the park with all the lovely flowers. Dressed in her red tights and black shiny headband she wandered happily along carrying the little checked shopping basket. She would stop at the little gift store's window and stare in wonder and delight at all the goodies inside. A wave and a smile to her neighbour walking his dog on the other side of the road and then a skip into the newsagent to find the latest wonderful magazine that she would read with her afternoon tea that day. Crossing the road and collecting some pears and apples from the grumpy grocer (she would smile at him every time she visited to try and cheer him up, sometimes it worked!) and then a step up to the old bakery window, full of delectable, delicious and sugary delights. What a sight to see!, icing sugar, chocolatety treats, cup cakes,round fat warm bread and her favorite to take home, a gingerbread man with coloured chocolate buttons, yum...

baking day, a painting by shae, the butterfly collector.

I really enjoyed painting this one and it's a great treat for me to visit the bakery. We also try to make our own cookies often and have two favorite recipes... honey nougat and almond cookies and chocolate cherry cookies ( will post the recipes soon in the Madame Butterfly Gallery, so everyone can taste how YUM they are!) I've never been very good at cooking when it comes to making real food, my husband is the chef in our family. In fact he thinks I'm totally a domestic comedian in this dept., he loves to laugh at the way I do things in the kitchen and thinks it's wildly hilarious that I have to follow a recipe to the letter and not stray from instructions and improvise like he does ( if I do it will all go wrong for sure!), but I love to bake cakes and cookies, all the things that are naughty to eat and I think I'm quite good at that! And besides he has total domestic blindness when it comes to the rest of the house! And all the Gingerbead Men in the world would agree with me.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A confession from the dressing table...Pancakes and maple syrup

...He would take her there on her birthday each year. It started out as a surprise, but then grew into a fun tradition. They would get dressed up, and sit in the little booth with the padded coffee coloured seats that he had reserved in advance. Then they would read through the menu together and consider each delicious meal smiling like little kids and then order pretty much what they always ordered anyway. For her a potato and cheese pancake with cream butter and salad on the side , for him a pancake stack with fresh mixed berries, cream and maple syrup of course, and for both of them Swiss mountain malt milkshakes with the chocolate flakes sprinkled on top. Then for dessert they would have icecream balls drowned in hot chocolate fudge, nuts and crumbly wafers on the side and cuppucinos. Then they would walk hand in hand across to the cinema for a film of her choice. She would remember these birthday dates all year and look forward to the next one!...

maple syrup bangle, which will be found in the boutique of the Madame Butterfly Gallery very soon.

This little tale is actually a true story, we do this most years for my birthday! Sometimes we ask family and friends to join us and sometimes it's a little date just on our own. We go off to the Pancake Parlour ( somewhere I've been eating at since I was small, the first time I can remember was with my dad and sister and we went to see ET at the cinema afterwards, I was five! ) , devour delicious pancakes and stare at the wonderful Alice in Wonderland illustrations and old Melbourne photographs on the walls !!! It's a nice little tradition and I've started one for my husband too, each year he picks a restaurant he really wants to eat out ( usually Italian) and I ask all our closest friends to join us for a feast!. Lots of memorable fun!!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

whispers from the walls...ice-cream harbour

...today she went for a wander along the waterfront. The water sparkled under the mid-morning sun and the boats tied up along the marina rocked gently in the cold wind. She snuggled into her warm coat and pulled her long lilac scarf even tighter around her neck to keep out the drafts. She enjoyed watching the children on the old carosel for a few moments and then went back to her thoughts of what direction her life would take next, what exciting things would await her in this new town and where could she get a warm cup of hot chocolate and a cosy place to watch the water from...

ice-cream harbour, a painting by the butterfly collector. Another panoramic one, I've shown two parts of it here!

My lovely Sister has undertaken a "50 questions about herself" challenge in the last post on her blog and IS NOW CHALLENGING OTHERS TO STEAL IT ! It's funny reading through it as I actually found out a couple of things about her I didn't know! Here's my own fun mini version, I made up myself with lots of lovely links...

1. words I like today... roccoco, charming, venetian, raspberry, parade and ruby

2. places I love to visit... apollo bay, queenscliff, barwon heads ( all of these are on the water), daylesford ( gorgeous country town),the wintergarden cafe ( they have wonderful apple pie and cake, great coffee, an antique store, a gallery, a garden nursery and gift store,great cosy seating, everything you could want in a relaxing afternoon tea time!) and royal arcade in Melbourne (for fabulous shopping)!

3. Silly and wonderful things I like .... over the knee socks, mary jane style shoes, paint charts ( for the glorious paint names ie... seashell lagoon, jilted jade, queensberry, melted mocha),chocolate mousse, vintage buttons and my watercolour pencils.

4. walks I like to go on ...through our local botanical gardens, through cemetaries to find the oldest, historical and most interesting graves , along our local beaches, and around our neighbourhood which has some beautiful character homes, gorgeous gardens and I always find something to inspire me!

5. Shops I love to visit... gorgeous jewellery ( a local treasure trove of new and vintage), Plumo, Mirror Mirror, Jellybean Bonanza ( quirky original clothes and shoes in my town) and Bookstores, all kinds big and small!

Now it's your turn!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A fairytale from the garden...vintage rose

...Once Upon a Time there was a girl who loved to wander through the rose garden just beyond the grand old castle gates. She loved to stop and admire all the big open flowers and inhale their lovely scents. Often she would watch Prince Alexander ride past in all his finery on his white stallion. He was very handsome and she daydreamed that one day he would see her and stop and pick her a beautiful old fashioned rose and fall in love with her and they would live happily ever after...

old white vintage rose captured by the Butterfly Collector on her walk through her town's lovely public rose garden!

Once upon a time there was a girl right here who had a thing for fairy tales and kids book illustrations and fantastical movies. Her modern day hero of these fantasies and fairytales is director extraordinare Tim Burton.
I love his style, it's a feast for the eyes, it's dark, gothic,romantic, whimsical and wonderful! I'm usually the first to the cinema to see anything new he has produced, but for some reason ( a bub maybe) we missed The Corpse Bride and I finally got to see it on dvd this past weekend! It was everything I had hoped for and I love watching all the extra bonus bits too where they show you how everything was made! And an Extra bonus, Johnny Depp! Burton masterpieces I love ,here's a taste... edward scissorhands, sleepy hollow, big fish, the nightmare before christmas, ed wood, james and the giant peach,charlie and the chocolate factory and beetlejuice just to name a few of my favorites!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

whspers from the walls...midnight swim

...it was a gorgeous summer night, the air was warm and there was a lovely breeze floating past her open window. Charlotte threw open the white french doors of her bedroom and stood looking out at the ocean entranced by the movement and noise of the waves. The moon was full and she could see it's silver sparkle on her wine glass as she set it down on the balcony. She let the straps of her party dress loose and stepped out of it, leaving it draped over the stair rail. She ran naked toward the cool water, it was time for a midnight swim...

Midnight Swim by the butterfly collector. This painting is long and panoramic, so it was hard to photograph as one piece, here it is in three!

I'm really enjoying my painting time at the moment, usually in the afternoons when Drew is asleep and I've been making a point of not just sitting and watching all those shows we're addicted to ( desperate housewives and lost especially), but sitting at the kitchen table, watching, drinking tea and painting! I've been playing lots of great music during the afternoon too whilst whipping paint into a frenzy and rediscovering my love of some favorite girls like Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega and Tori Amos...she is amazing, I have nearly every album, what a voice, what a musician, what fabulous eccentric lyrics that sometimes make no sense at all, and what a fantastic website !!!! All this and she always inspires my artwork too.
Now off to read some Dr Seuss to my bub in bed, coz he is a little sleepy head!

Monday, July 17, 2006

a confession from inside the wardrobe door...summer days...the photo for below!

here's my photo for the post below, for the second time in a week the blogarama, has not let me upload a photo where I would like it! How dare they, how rude! Oh well, that's life and I'm not a computer whiz, so I can't fix it, so let's just pretend it's attached to the post below lovely readers shall we, thanks!

A confession from inside the wardrobe door...Summer days

...Justine spied us hiding in the back of the wardrobe, our satin sheen standing out from all the heavy black shoes. She lent in and pulled us out from the pile. She held us to her chest for a moment and closed her eyes and dreamed of the warm spring days she had to look forward to very soon! The walks along the waterfront, the first sight of blossom on her daily walks, surf days at the local beach and stops for all the delicious and wonderful flavors at the icecream truck on the way home. Summer dresses, t-shirts,swimsuits, flowing fabric and these shoes. She opened her eyes and peeked out the slatted wooden blind on the window, it was pouring with rain, falling heavily on the deck and the garden. It was foggy and freezy, dismayed she put us back, neatly, front and centre and then pulled out her long black boots instead, sat down on the edge of the bed and put them on over her thick black tights. "Soon",she whispered to us...

my pretty chinese silk thongs ( or flip flops for my overseas guests) from the personal collection of
the butterfly collector

the day I've described above ( the cold one) was exactly the weather of my home town today! So we stayed home with the heater in the cosy and warm, watched the Wiggles ( for the umpteenth time,they are great but I have to get some new kid videos!) and Andrew and I had a big crayon and pencil session on the kitchen table, which was great fun! I also nearly completed the Mermaid painting I've been working on when he was asleep and perused some fabulous shoes on the net thanks to Miss Emily! What's really strange at the moment when we are out on walks is that it seems three seasons have merged here, it's winter most of the trees are starkers, but a few still have autumn leaves and I can't believe it but I've seen blossom two months early! What's going on? And hurry up spring, I want to wear something pretty with polka dots!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

a fable from my writing desk...madame butterfly's gift cards

...we're all ready to fly away to our new homes. They might be far away, they might be so close to home! We can't wait to find out whose lap we will land in and with a flutter of surprise they will open the present we are attached to inside! We come with messages of thanks and love and joy and we hope we will be kept and treasured for a long time to come...

butterfly gift cards from the madame butterfly gallery.
made and designed by the butterfly collector.

I had a lot of fun making these cards, things have been quite crazy around here getting ready to launch the Madame Butterfly website. It won't be long now I hope and I also hope lots of wonderful souls like you come to visit and enjoy it too! Every spare minute I have around my little one has been spent getting everything ready for this venture, an online boutique filled with jewellery, art, gifts, decor and treasures. We have included lots of fun pages to read too, like a magazine! You can read your fortune, make or bake something special, get the latest fashion and shopping tips plus lots more! Can't wait til' it's go live day!!!, will let you all know! I'll be nervous, excited and everything else in between! It's always been my dream to open my own store ( I've been working in retail and merchandising for others since I left uni), up until six months ago I never would have believed it would be in cyberspace! This way has been a blessing as it means I get to spend more time at home with my bub instead of sending him off to childcare for the day! Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

a tale from my sketchbook...butterfly euphemia

...she loves to rip and tear us and put us just in the right spot! A morning spent in the art store at the very tempting long wall of us, picking the most beautiful of us at that very moment. An afternoon of rummaging through her paper box, finding just the right colours, shapes and textures that all go together. Sometimes she even pulls out the box of feathers, the box of buttons and the box of miscellaneous fun junk to create with. Out come the stamps next, some paint and some polish and then here we all are, arranged and we become the latest of her creations, her mood and frame of mind for that moment in time...

Madame Butterfly Collage by Shae, the butterfly Collector.

I love my local art store, they have this great big wall of paper that is just too tempting to believe. Each time I visit I come home with a pile of papers that I really probably didn't need, but are just too beautiful to leave behind! I love to use all different kinds though in my collage and have quite a few boxes devoted to paper and a lot of vintage wallpapers too! Some sites I love to visit for drooling over beautiful papers are atomic boom ( for vintage, they have retro fabric too for all you crazy crafters out there!), Cristina Re for delicious new designs and annie p, for papers good enough to eat! Are you a paper freak like me? Let me know of any secret stores you know of that I need to visit!

Friday, July 14, 2006

A fable from inside the wardrobe door...My very own shoe boutique

...She wore us all, some more than others but we all enjoyed living together in the wardrobe. Some of us she wore only occasionally, some of us sparkly, shiny ones to a party or a wedding, some of us flats, heels and boots were out and about a few times a week! We came home with great stories of the places we'd been, the sights we saw and the other fabulous shoes that we had met on our travels. We loved to share the gossip about her days and nights on the town. Each of us as pairs were given a home each, a gorgeous box to live in, some all stacked on top of each other and sideways too, like living in a busy apartment building that changed neighbor's from floor to floor all the time, we hoped that every time she came to visit us a grand outing would be in store...

My Very Own Shoe Boutique, a new painting by Shae, the butterfly collector.

I often feel sorry for my shoes, living in their cramped quarters in the wardrobe I share with my husband. At least most of the prized, lovely, gorgeous ones are in a hanging shoe tree. I look forward to the day in the future when I finally get a wonderful, huge walk in wardrobe, which is all miraculous and organised and all my shoes are stored in these brilliant boxes. I dream on...something to aspire to!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

a tale from the dressing table...antique girl hand mirror

...she giggled and slid open the decorated screened door. The girls spilled out in to the beautifully manicured gardens. They were dressed in their finest silk costumes and waving small fans across their perfectly made up faces they were all in an excited state and chatted intensly about what might happen that evening. The success of the new teahouse was dependant on the outcome of tonight's festival to which they had invited all their usual patrons and more. She picked me up and looked into me to make sure her dark hair was still piled all in place upon her head and no wisps had escaped. She hoped that her admirer would attend tonight and that she would be able to entertain him, sit with him and serve him ...

Antique Girl hand held mirror from the personal collection of the butterfly collector

I've got a bit of a thing for Japanese and Chinese prints, lanterns and fans! This lovely little piece came to me as a gift from my sister's travels to China. She bought it off some little old man who had a blanket laid out on the side of the road covered in treasures! She also went a travelling with peacock green coloured hair ( she was a haidresser's model at the time) and everyone followed her around like she was a rock star! I also love to visit chinese supermarkets and chinatown because you never know what suprises you might find there! Past visits have found such treasures as teacups and pots, fantastic papers, decorative plates and fabulous lanterns. Would you believe I found one online in Sydney, check this out!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

whispers from the walls...my little fire bird!

...Isabel sat in the corner deep in thought, her head down concentrating on the french toast and coffee she had ordered, it was getting cold and didn't taste as great now! Every few minutes she would look up at me on the wall. "Hey, my little Fire Bird, help me figure out what to do?"she whispered to me. I saw her every few days, she came in quite often with her boyfriend,but not today! Today was decision day, today was the day when she would decide whether their two year relationship was going to continue. It had become boring and stale and it seemed they were going nowhere fast. She was also remembering how good it had been at the start, how much in love they were. Was it too late to repair the damage, would she miss him if he was gone, would she ever meet someone else?. What if he did?, would she be jealous and want him back? So many questions to wonder about, "What would you do, little Fire Bird?" she pleaded in a whisper. But I just stared back and knew she would make the right decision and the next time she came to sit with me she would smile up at me instead...

My Little Fire Bird, a new painting on canvas by Shae, the Butterfly Collector . A fun little piece using acrylics and vintage buttons.

I love it when I find a new online art gallery and get to look through other artists amazing creations! It's so inspiring and interesting to see how others work and why they come up with their creations and what inspires them. Today I came across Audrey Kawasaki's blog , her amazing paintings and illustrations are almost otherwordly, you must visit! I found her through AshleyG's blog. ( more great art in here!). Ashley posted a link to another great blog called we heart prints filled with art prints that can be bought on the net! And last but not least is
Martine Emdur's Gallery, she's a Sydney artist who loves to paint water and underwater swimmers, magical!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A tale from the Jewell box...Emerald brooch

...I saw him staring at her from the moment we stepped onto the train station. He could not tear his eyes away from her long dark locks with curls framing her face, that rose red pout on her lips and her startling emerald green eyes, a match for me pinned to her small felt green day hat. Trying not to be obvious he followed her up the platform as she struggled with and cursed the large heavy red suitcase that looked as though it had seen better days. He stood a short distance away and continued to enjoy watching her as she checked the shine on her patent heeled shoes and adjusted her stockings and he admired her legs under her black Dior full calf length skirt. The steam engine pulled up to the station and announced itself with a loud whistle and a puff of smoke billowed into the air. She bent to pick up the suitcase and started to drag it toward the carriage door. Here was his opportunity to meet this beauty and he stepped up beside her and enquired " May I help you with that ,Miss ?"...

Emerald Green Glass Brooch from the personal collection of the butterfly collector

Today I had a lot of fun browsing the Wheels and Dollbaby website, they have beautiful nostalgic movie star clothes named after the stars themselves, very expensive, but it's nice to dream! I am enchanted by one of their recent cover girls too, one Miss Dita Von Teese, she is curvy, gorgeous, glamourous, elegant and a new fashion icon, ironic as she is a burlesque dancer! She has recently become the favorite for all the fashion and celebrity set, they book her for their parties and she performs her striptease on a grand scale sometimes using a giant martini glass and merry go round horses! She dresses to the nines each day in vintage glam and is married to the infamous Marilyn Manson. Raise your glasses to glamorous women from all eras'.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A confession from the dressing table...Aqua addiction

...She searched us all out one by one,with a keen eye at first, but then it became unconscious,subconscious, a ritual, an obsession. Secondhand stores, Antique stores, Thrift stores, Gift stores, any store, she would spy us out of the corner of her eye and gravitate immediately towards us. Then she would reach for us, examine us and if we were wonderful ,if we were just right,then she would justify us in her head no matter the cost and take us to the counter to make us hers. Now we all sit together and live on her dressing table, mostly in harmony, sometimes a squabble erupts if one of us is favored more over another, but we are family now and we think we look quite good together, don't you?...

some of my beautiful Aqua things from the personal collection of the Butterfly Collector

Quite some years ago now, when I was still a teenager in fact, my father gave me a beautiful antique bracelet for one of my birthday's. It was a very elaborate and had a large round turquoise stone as it's centerpiece with coral beads surrounding it! I loved it, I still have it,( it is now a necklace though, I will blog about it one day with a picture). It started off an obsession with finding beautiful old things and a serious love of Aqua. Our house is virtually a shrine to the colour, we live near the water (and some beautiful turquoise seas too) and it has a very eclectic beachy feel with some shabby chic French country thrown in! We love it ! My friends and family also know of my addiction and every time Christmas and my birthday rolls around I receive lovely new Aqua things to add to my collection! I create art with this colour constantly for our home and have some of my favourite artists paintings in aqua too! I have gone off track a little recently though and just made myself a studio/office for my new business which is starting to be taken over by fushia pink stationary, folders, storage boxes and all kids of lovely office products, oh no another colour is infiltrating the house, help!!!! What colour are you addicted to?

my new shoes

Read their romantic tale below!!!! Having a few technical difficuties, the lovely blogger will not let me upload my gorgeous shoes to the post below,so here it is up here!!! Hopefully next post all will be back to normal!!!!

my new shoes
Originally uploaded by
the butterfly collector.
Stay Tuned,for the next installment of the Butterfly Collector, hopefully with no hiccups! What will she write about next? She wonders herself?!!!
Here's a little space and oppotunity to say thanks to everyone who has been visiting and commenting and it's been great to meet some new friends in Blog Land! Some are near and some are far and all are interesting and creative souls who are very inspiring to me!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

from inside the wardrobe door...coffee shop romance

...Laura read the last line of the magazine article and licked her lips to taste the last of the delicious Cafe'Latte she had just enjoyed with a danish for her morning tea. The door to the coffee shop opened and closed with a creak and the jingle of a bell behind her. Another customer for Lily she thought. Laura picked up her handbag and stood, brushing the crumbs from her lap down past us to the floor. She looked down to admire us, one of her new purchases from the weekends' shopping splurge and turned toward the door. One step and she had walked straight into the stranger who had just entered and stood on his lovely polished black shoes. She stared straight into his eyes, a little longer than she intended and blushed, "I'm so sorry "she exclaimed. He was so handsome it was hard to look away. "No harm done" he replied with a smile and a laugh,"it's nice to be bumped into by a beautiful woman". She blushed once again, but this time smiled back.
"See you tomorrow, same time" She called out to Lily, who gave her a wink and a knowing smile. She hoped she would bump into him tomorrow again too!

wine coloured soft suede crocodile ballet shoes from the personal collection
of the Butterfly Collector

it's not very often now my husband and I get to enjoy a night out alone, but every few months we call on our parents for babysitting duty and head off for a night of indulgence which starts at our favorite Italian restaurant, we then head to a giant bookstore for an hour of fun browsing, then we take in a movie at our favorite little independent cinema and finish off in leather wingback chairs in a corner of the fabulous KOKO Black.We order delicious coffee and rich chocolate mousse in martini glasses. Then upon leaving buy some Belgian chocolate selections from the tantalizing array in the jewellers case they have for a counter to take home! A Chocolate and Coffee romantic night on the town!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

whispers from the wall...beltane moon

..."tonight I will rule them all"she whispered to herself with delight , tonight I will be Queen and they will all bow down to me, if anyone of them dares to defy me, accursed they will be,always". Rhionarch silently took the key to the castle gate, turned it clockwise and stepped through to the path to the forest. She could hear their celebrations in the clearing beyond the trees, excited sqeauls ,singing, instruments and dancing. The sky was ablaze from the pit fires they had lit to keep them warm and dry , they were observing the traditional ceremonies of the Beltane moon. She pulled her cape aside to reveal a magnificent wand, thrusting it in the air she called all her loyal followers with a chanted spell, the golbins, trolls and pixies, an army to overthrow the humans and fairies."It won't be long now" she thought and she was impatient as they came, forming lines in front of her, grovelling at her feet, praising her and urgently waitng for her orders...

Beltane Moon, an Original Painting by the Butterfly Collector
This painting I completed a few years ago, I can't bear to part with her, she sits next to my desk so I can see her each day! She was created when I was going through a phase with and obssesion for fantasy art and books. I fell in love with Caisel Mor, an Irish/Aussie writer whose book The Harp at MIdnight was the inspiration for this painting and with Linda and Roger Garland whose wonderful paintings have been featured on book covers galore. Their Gallery in Cornwell featuring Linda's Astrological and Arthurian Legend paintings and Roger's famous Lord of the Rings Series is open to the public, I would love to visit there one day!!! I hope some fairies come to visit you this weekend!!! We are off with some friends to the Winter Gathering Festival in a town in the forest not far from here.A day of art,music,poetry,market wares and great food await us!

Friday, July 07, 2006

dressing table fable...a carnival in the park

...Rosie picked all three of us up from her pretty lilac dressing table and cupped us in her little hand. She took us into the bathroom where she took her mother's wrist, turned her hand and pressed us all into her palm. "These ones mum!"she exclaimed and beamed a toothy grin! She sat down on the side of the bath and let her mother brush her shining brunette hair and place us all in a row down one side. Today she was wearing her pink polka dot dress, long stripey socks and little black mary jane's that were polished brightly especially for today! They were off to the carnival in the park for her birthday and her mother assured her she would see clowns, ponies, eat fairy floss and go on a ride. She would remember this day always...

My Little Scottie Dog Hairclips are part of the kids collection in the Boutique of the
Madame Butterfly Gallery ( opening soon!)

This week I have lost a stone from my favourite pair of earrings, lost another one at a restaurant ( which thankfully I got back, another fave pair I blogged about here), and lost yet another one of a gorgeous purple pair I had on today! It got me to thinking about that old superstition of the rule of three's. The idea is that there is some sort of force in our universe which causes things to happen in three's, bad luck , some good luck and deaths. I'm not one to be overly superstitious, some of them are crazy..
BAD...broken mirrors, walking under ladders, black cats, crossed knives, owls hooting three times,
umbrellas inside, stepping on cracks in the footpath
GOOD... meeting three sheep, four leaf clovers, cutting your hair during a storm, picking up a pencil in the street ,seeing three butterflies together, four leaf clovers
... but I still think about them when they happen, some things get stuck in your head for good from when you're a kid! It made me wonder where some of these ideas came from, so I had a great read on this site (If you observed all of the rules in here, you would end up in a mental institution!). I'm off to bed now, apparently if I sleep facing south it's good luck!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

tales from the jewell box...time flies

...Christina strung me around her neck on a gold chain,had a quick glance at my time piece, picked up her handbag and keys and rushed out the front door to her car. She was meeting up with the girls for coffee and an afternoon of serious shopping! They were getting together on a shopping strip known for it's great food, people watching and fabulous vintage stores. She was excited about what she might bring home tonight to feather her nest and I was looking forward to a little flutter about town!...

Golden Lady Bug Pendant time piece from the collection of the butterfly collector. A vintage find given to me by my mum!

My fun shopping trips seem to be few and far between lately, but two stores I love to visit are both Melbourne institutions known for the fabulous vintage wares and treasure troves that just have to be explored, with something special from every era! Chapel Street Bazaar in Prahran is spectacular, you could spend the whole day browsing and the wonderful Empire Vintage in Albert Park, owned by vintage and style queen extrodonaire, Lyn Gardener. I am in awe and admiration of her fashion, decorating and interior style and flair! Her website is also a feast for the eyes! Have you found any secret Vintage treasure stores on the net?, make sure you let me know, I'd love to visit!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

confessions from the dressing table...the red carpet

...It's opening night, he'll be here in a moment in his immaculate suit, he'll take my am and whisper sweet words into my ear and tell me how fabulous I look, he'll open the door for me and usher me into his limousine. We will travel in it's plush seats and drink champayne from crystal glasses. When we arrive we will be blinded by camera flashes from the papparazzi. I must continue to smile through this, hold my head up,stand up tall, not mess up my makeup and keep my dress perfect whilst walking the longest red carpet of them all, then sit through three hours of meet and greets, sign autographs and have TV cameras shoved in our faces. I can't wait to get home, so we can curl up on the couch, eat dessert and I can take these damn stilettos off...

An illustration by the butterfly collector, it will be featured in my online store, the Madame Butterfly Gallery on the Dressing Table Page. Not long now until the grand opening!!!
I've been dabbling a lot lately in different styles art wise, a bit of watercolour, some black and white ink illustrations, acrylic paint and collage, I've come to a bit of a fork in the road, not sure which path to take next? I'll keep playing and see what comes out, see what inspires me most! Lately I've been inspired by the lovely Miss Norma Valentine and her beautiful collection of vintage art deco style illustrations and prints! Who is inspiring you?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

china cabinet tales...roses are pink, tea cups are pretty!

...It's nearly time for me to get cosy and warm, I've been sitting out on the cold counter all morning on a little doily that my owner Marji made me. The transistor radio is on and I've been listening to a new band called the Beatles, they have quite catchy tunes. I can hear the kettle boiling on the old enamel stove top it's whistling very merrily, it won't be long now! Marji walks past in her black rimmed spectacles and her beehive hairdo and pale blue twin set, she is busy in the kitchen preparing for her grandchildren to call for afternoon tea. The green linoleum squeaks as she rushes back and forth to the table, placing delicious cookies and cakes down beside me, I hope I get dipped into so I can taste one! She rushes past me to answer the ringing door bell...

pretty rose tea cup from the personal collection of the butterfly collector. A beautiful gift handed down to me, a treasure to use forever.

Today has been highlighted with some fabulous fruit and afternoon tea of course! First their was homemade marmalade on crumpets, then lemon delicious pudding , it was great , a mouth watering pear I shared with my little one, a fashion visit to high tea with Mrs Woo and then art inspiration from Miss Emily over at the Black Apple ( if you haven't visited her yet, it's a must! )
What do you have for afternoon tea?

Monday, July 03, 2006

a tale from the nest...golden ring

...I found this precious ring on the forest floor amongst the leaves and sticks, I saw the pretty girl who dropped it, I flapped my little wings as fast as I could, but she was running so fast I couldn't keep up. She had a lovely face, as white as snow, lips as red as blood, rosy cheeks and ebony coloured hair. I was scared for her, she looked as though she was running for her life! So I've put her beautiful jewel in my nest for safe keeping. Maybe one day she'll come back this way and I will be able to meet her and give it back to her...
Golden Pearl Costume Ring from the personal collection of the butterfly collector. An heirloom passed down to me by my Grandma.
I've been reading lots of childrens stories lately to my son and rediscovering some classic fairytales too! I love spending time in bookstores, especially in the children's section (I've always bought kids books and have a great collection, but now I have an real excuse to buy them ).A few years ago I did a fantastic course in kids book illustration too and it was fascinating to learn how much detail goes into a simple published story! There are some fantastic authors and illustrators at the moment creating the most fabulous stories.These are some we have discovered lately... charlie and lola, what the sky knows, the ravenous beast, yummy yucky and the stinky cheese man!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

From inside the wardrobe door... Desert adventure

...Louisa was dirty, dusty and thirsty, she had just arrived in the souq after a very trying camel ride. All eyes descended on her as she was helped down from her transport by the grinning bearded man with the large white turban who had led her through the desert .He held out his hand for payment and she obliged from her small purse. She wrapped her pale blue veil about her ,covered her face and walked directly into the busy and crowded marketplace. She would find food and lodging here for the night. She spotted us from the corner of her eye, saw the glint of our sparkling sequins in the sun and knew we would be perfect and comfortable and a gorgeous souvenir from her travels through Morocco...

Aqua Moroccan Slippers from the personal collection of the butterfly collector. A gift from my sister and her partner Peter from their travels to the Atlas Mountains. I wear them a lot in summer and they have also hung on the wall as decoration at one stage in my home, which is decorated with lots of gorgeous aqua things!!! Every time I go out shopping or thrifting I seem to spy aqua things out of the corner of my eye! Does anyone else have something they are addicted to buying?