Rainforest Butterflies: Polyalthia Michaelii Crochet Pattern

Each design I create is as unique as each flower, fruit, leaf and butterfly is different than any other I can find a pattern for. Thankfully, I do not need to completely reinvent the wheel. From my first days of learning to crochet, Lesley Stanfield’s 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet has been by my side.

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Heavily modifying Lesley Stansfield’s Fig pattern, I’m able to recreate Polyalthia Michaelii near it’s life size and color.  A Far North Queensland plant that is a favorite of both the Green Spotted Triangle Butterfly caterpillar and the fruit is eaten by the Casawary. Continuing the same process as I have been working, using the grid patterned paper in my Evernote Moleskine.

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I was gifted Lesley Stanfield’s 75 Birds, Butterflies & little beasts to knit and crochet and it has been the perfect addition. I’ve picked up a couple other crochet design books but I consistently return to Lesley Stanfield’s books.

To follow my day to day progress via Instagram: Studio Deanna

Rainforest Butterflies: Flight Prep – Rug Hooking Elements

This week I’ll be exploring the various textile techniques in yarns and metals that I’m utilizing to create the Rainforest Butterflies art installation. There’s great fun for me in building this immersive piece, I love the multiple aspects; the different materials, all the different parts and all the different pieces that make it possible to build. It provides the possibility to take a break from one area and move to another when I get stuck. I get time to think through a design problem in one area while still moving forward in another.

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The Rainforest installation needs a comfortable forest floor for us to sit and I found a surprising option; Rug Hooking! Using a Locker Hook style crochet hook, about 6″ long and about US$4 to purchase, it’s an easy tool to obtain and an easy technique to jump right in. I’ve started the area that will be under the Spur Mahogany tree.

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The white rug canvas doesn’t look very nice so I wanted to dye it a darker forest floor color. Unfortunately the rug canvas is 50/50 cotton/polyester so a basic dye bath wouldn’t provide good coloring. I remembered a big, fat, brown permanent marker I bought from the local 100yen store and it has provided the dark look I wanted.

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As the rug will be seen through the wire crocheted Spur Mahogany trunk, I am creating a simple tree ring design using only a couple of different yarns. One skein of a boucle and one ball of deep fall colored stash yarn.

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Thought it would be a great idea to start in the middle and work my way around and around and out towards the edges. No, this was a very bad idea. The rug canvas area is so large it is very cumbersome to work with at 36″ x 60″ (92cm x 153).

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In the center of the above photo, wire crochet work done large in 16 and 20 gauge brown colored copper wire. A big start to a Spur Mahogany to show the initial effects of the forest floor and the wire crochet work.

My next post will explore patten designing necessary for yarn details such as the Polyalthia michaelii…

To see my day to day progress, follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna

Heavy Metal Crochet Work – Tip #1

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16 Gauge Colored Copper Wire moving into 20 Gauge. Heavy Metal start to the Spur Mahogany tree trunk. Using a USK/10.5 crochet hook, 6.5MM.

Wire Crochet Tip #1 – Take several breaks as you work the wire to reduce the chance of stress injuries!

Drawing Momiji at Yutenji Temple

Went to an impromptu drawing class with a friend on Sunday in the Yutenji area of Tokyo. I need all the practice I can get as I have great difficulties creating 2D artwork.

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While it was a warm sunny day for December here, it was still cold! December, people!! We went as a group to Yutenji Temple and had two drawing sessions of about 25 minutes each with each followed by a critique. The group consisted of about 50% Internationals, 50% Japanese and while the other artists seemed very nice and a wide range of final drawings, I really, really didn’t like the facilitator.

His critiques reminded me of my professor in the first drawing class I ever took in college. Just plain rude. Thankfully I’m past worrying about what others think of my 2D work, but I did feel bad for younger attendees who might feel as bad as I did during that class I took in college.  Although, considering neither English nor Japanese are his first language I’ll cut him a break for now.

There was to be a third drawing session but as the sun was setting and we were already cold as popsicles my friend and I left in search of hot drinks.

This is as far I got on the first drawing session, inspired by the momiji in the temple, just needs a bit of color:

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Maybe someday I’ll add in the beautiful burgundy…in the meantime, back to my regularly scheduled wire crochet design work.

Purple Fade: Weather Vessel Update 1

It’s been almost a month since I created the experiment, Weather Vessel, to watch the effects the outdoors would have on various colored wire crochet work.

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I had high hopes the color would last for at least 6 months or so before there was   fading. Unfortunately, some changes are quite noticeable already! The Dark Purple colored aluminum has already faded to a lovely lavender. In another month I expect it to be completely silver.

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The warm burgundy base rows of the vessel were once a bright magenta colored copper wire. The areas the original magenta color chipped off and are now bare copper did patina a dark brown as expected. Now I’m curious as to how long it will be before it turns green.

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So far it looks like the other colors are holding up well. I’m watching that row of brown colored copper wire closely as it looks like it may be the next one to fade away.

To see the day to day progress of my wire crochet art work, follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna

Calabao Construction

The Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants website has been extremely helpful for obtaining scientific accuracy in my creation of the crocheted Calabao. The Calabao is a preferred food plant for the larvae of the Green Spotted Triangle Butterfly.

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Prototypes, mistakes, and final designs for the Calabao flower emerging from the ends.

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Each flower is approximately 40 – 50mm when in full bloom.



Leaves and Flowers. Copyright CSIRO
 Photo from the Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants website.

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Leaves grow to a length of 7 – 25 cm, width of 3.5 – 9cm with ruffled edges.

Follow my day to day design work and building of the Butterfly Flight Prep art installation on Instagram: Studio Deanna

Colorful Malaysia!

Just had a wonderful time in Malaysia over Thanksgiving and found a lot of inspiration. The sights are colorful, the food options are colorful, the sounds are colorful and even the smells are colorful!

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Batu Caves

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