The Butterfly Tattoo – Which One is Right For You?

The butterfly tattoo has to be one of the best loved of inks. You may already know that the word for indelible figures inked on your body came from tatau, which is both Tahitian and Samoan. Nearly everyone in Polynesian society was tattooed, as it was an indicator of rank, social function, accomplishments and family. Although you see “tattoo” written in the dictionary, many people prefer to write this design style as “butterfly tattoo”, maybe in tribute to the exotic origins of the word.

The butterfly tattoo is used by men and women alike. This beautiful, light-as-a-feather insect has a full set of symbolism in every part of the world, although it means different things to different people. But whether you are from China, Ireland, Zaire or New Zealand, the lepidopteran is associated with the soul. It’s something we all have in common, and probably a major reason for the picturesque design’s universal appeal.

Butterfly tattoo design is nearly as varied as the insect itself, of which five hundred sixty-one varieties are known! That would be like a whole book if I wrote about them all, so I thought maybe to write about just one of the most popular designs that I’ve seen around.

Maybe you’ve heard of it: the tribal butterfly tattoo. It’s a stylized type of artwork that is not strictly photo-realistic. This is kind of nice, because realistic butterflies can never quite look like the real thing anyway. So why not go with your imagination and have your own unique tribal lepidopteran design?

Black lepidopteran designs are the ones seen most often – when they’re tribal, anyway. There might be lots of reasons for this, but two that come immediately to mind are highlighting the actual design over the color, and the color schemes of your ink clashing with your clothes.

There are so many great ideas to choose from when selecting the butterfly tattoo of your dreams. Some of the most common ink styles I’ve seen around include the semi-realistic line drawing, the gothic, the Asian-themed, and of course the always popular tribal ink.

Japanese family crests regularly feature butterflies. While most people probably don’t want someone else’s family crest tattooed on them, these family crests do have lots of great tribal butterfly tattoo ideas, and some of the design parts could be borrowed. Potential for black Monarch designs can also be found in Celtic designs. There are some beautiful and intricate inkworks combining a tribal design and Celtic knot work, for example.

A butterfly tattoo seems to work best at about actual size or less. That’s just my opinion, naturally, but this also gives you the option of adding to your lepidopteran collection over time, eventually collecting an entire garden of butterflies if you see fit.

In addition to the beautiful winged insect’s image itself, a secondary decorative image is often placed beside or intertwined with the first. A butterfly tattoo design can be in band form, with a Monarch falling in the middle of your band of intricate knot work or some other such design. A more modern look is the tribal butterfly tattoo placed within an art deco-style decorative design. I’ve seen secondary designs as simple as a row of gradated circles or dots. Beautifully simple and elegant.

As an example of more complex secondary designs, there are combinations of designs that could stand on their own such as a Japanese or Chinese character, or even part of a poem, entwined with your Monarch as calligraphy. So much has been written about butterflies that there is no lack of ideas for text to accompany your butterfly tattoo. If you are out of ideas, you could always consult my first article on this design style of ink, which covers a lot of general history and literary references to this charming winged creature.

Butterfly tattoo, anyone? That’s all for now about tribal and black tribal butterfly tattoo designs. In the next article, we’ll look at the possibilities for colored butterfly tattoo design. One last thing: your exquisite lepidopteran will be with you for the rest of your life, so please choose a skilled tattooist to ink the design, and maybe even more importantly, choose the design itself very carefully. You can find tens of thousands of designs on the Internet, and the better websites have an easy search interface, so take time to find what you want. Now enjoy your new ink!

The Photo Safari

The photo safari is above all else an opportunity take photographs. It can come in many forms. A vacation to Thailand or Jamaica. A cruise to the Bahamas. Taking the dog for a walk. Any of these become a photo safari if you have a camera with you. South Florida is a beautiful place to live. Hollywood, has beautiful houses and great looking seascapes near the water. Riding around Hollywood on a motor scooter taking pictures was one of my favorite pastimes. Then I had an idea. All these beautiful scenes and houses could become a Photographic essay that a local newspaper might publish. It became a project. I spent many afternoons riding through the neighborhood searching for beautiful photographs.

We moved to a house 17 miles from Hollywood. The Woodlands had beautiful landscaping throughout the development. I rode the motor scooter around and started photographing foliage and tropical flora. There was even a waterfall a mile and a half away. I started tweaking these photos and some of them are extraordinarily beautiful. These safaris were spontaneous. I put a camera and a bottle of water and a tripod in my pack and out the door I went. You could do it differently. Plan a sightseeing excursion and involve the family. They would love it. How about a trip to Butterfly World or a picnic by the lake.

Any adventure is an opportunity to find interesting subject matter. It could be people working, the street you are walking down, or any of a thousand things you find visually exciting at any given moment. Always keep in your mind the elements of a good picture. Composition, color balance, repetition of form is good design. Does your eye follow a natural path viewing the picture?

Is the photo safari a good idea that will improve our skills make us better photographers? Yes it certainly will improve your skills. I will even tell you how and why it works. Artists and photographers are visually oriented. After they learn color and design, composition and color balance. They start using these elements in their work. Every photo we take, or picture we paint adds to our body of experience. I learn something from every picture I paint and every photo I take.

The painter is criticizing the painting all the while he paints it. What does it need? What should I do now? Sometimes he will just look at a painting for half an hour or so. Eventually, the painting tells him what should be done. The photographer works a little differently. He works while setting up the shot. He is moving around, looking for the right place to shoot, set his composition by zoom, camera height, angle, and optimal setting for exposure.

Then he pushes the button and it is done. He does the same thing for every picture he takes. The photographer goes back to his studio, and uploads his photos to his photographic software. Then he will criticize and tweak every shot he took. This self criticism by both the painter and photographer provides a new learning experience with each new work. Your body of experience and knowledge grow with every work you complete. How could you possibly do anything but improve your skills and results.

Butterfly Garden Theme Bedrooms – Girl’s Room Design Tips

What little girl wouldn’t adore a pretty room filled with magical butterflies? A butterfly bedroom theme is simple to create and the possibilities are endless. It’s a perfect theme for a room to dream, play and grow in, inspiring little imaginations through the use of color, shape and form. This design of room very much appeals to me, as I believe that it is a soothing and relaxing environment, filled with meadows, soft colors, grass, butterflies, flowers, and whimsical objects. Although this is how I envision a butterfly room to be, there are many variations that can be created.

Before beginning a butterfly theme bedroom, it is a good idea to choose the bedding prior to the color of paint and accessories that will be incorporated. There are many butterfly quilts, comforters and bedding sets available in a wide variety of patterns. Most butterfly bedding is generally in soft pastels such as pale pink, yellow, purple or meadow green. Another option is to purchase a solid comforter or quilt set and add giant butterfly pillows, sheets and shams in butterfly print. Butterfly bedding is also available in brighter red, orange and yellow tones.

Once the bedding has been chosen, it’s time to select a wall paint color. I suggest bringing a pillow sham into the paint store with you when viewing samples. This ensures that the right shade of color will be used. Once the walls are painted, a butterfly theme wallpaper border can be added. Other options include butterfly wall stencils, murals, or hand-painted garden scenes with butterflies, bees, flowers, and a picket fence. For those not wanting to paint, you can also purchase stick on wall decals or wallpaper murals. A creative idea is to paint or apply a purchased mural of a beautiful garden scene and add a wood frame with shutters around it to depict a window.

Creative Design Ideas:

A picket fence really compliments the butterfly theme and helps to create a garden inspired feel to the room. There are several options available in creating a picket fence. You can use real fence posts painted white, hand paint a picket fence onto the wall, or apply a pasted vinyl cut-out of a fence. Silk vines and flowers can be incorporated. A trellis with soft arches can be used to run the length of a wall. One of the most compelling butterfly theme bedrooms that I have viewed had walls that were painted a sunny yellow color, where the yellow graduated in shade. A darker yellow paint was applied at the base of the wall, and became lighter in shade as it reached the ceiling. Real fence posts were painted white and attached section by section to the wall. A soft rose color wall paint was then applied behind the fence section only. Large paper flowers were wound around the posts. Faux-painted grass, butterflies and ladybugs were painted randomly throughout the scene. It created a very whimsical and soft look to the room.

There is a wide range of butterfly and garden theme art work and prints available. It is also very simple to create your own. You can cut out images from magazines or books, place them in frames and hang them on the wall or arrange in small groups on dressers and bookcases. There are many photo stock images that can be purchased for a minimal price online. Artists create vector images of all kinds of butterflies. They can be printed and framed. If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop or a similar program, you can add your child’s name to the image, adjust colors, or simply combine several images. Dragonflies, butterflies, flowers, bumblebees and ladybugs are a great addition.

Nylon hanging butterflies can be attached to the ceiling or wall. You can purchase butterfly switch plates, lamps and stools. Little butterflies can be glued to an existing lampshade. Hang a clothesline and use clothespins to secure tiny doll dresses in pretty fabrics against a wall.

Classic white furniture looks wonderful with this theme. Be sure to choose dainty pieces that don’t compete with the delicate butterflies. Canopy beds or white metal beds are a wonderful feature. A sheer canopy can have butterflies randomly glued in place. Replace handles and knobs of furniture with butterfly theme hardware such as dainty porcelain with hand painted butterflies. You can decoupage butterflies onto a dresser or border around a mirror. Try hand painting a dresser, with the first drawer having a soft yellow background with roses applied, the second drawer background painted a soft pink with purple polka dots, and the third bottom drawer having a purple background with yellow butterflies painted on. Let fabrics, artwork and bedding inspire you.

A carpet in a soft grass green color or rosy pink that compliments the walls and bedding is a nice touch. A neutral color also blends in well and won’t detract from wall art and other decor.

You can purchase butterfly curtains, and butterfly tie-backs. I think that sheer white curtains fluttering in the breeze teamed with a gingham valence provides a stunning effect. You can purchase organza ribbon and glue small nylon butterflies where it ties, or randomly glue butterflies throughout the curtain. Floral patterns can also be incorporated.

I hope you have found these tips inspiring. Good luck creating your butterfly theme room!

Introverts – More of a Transparent Than Social Butterfly

Did you know there is such a thing as a transparent butterfly? Recently a friend emailed me some photos of this beautiful insect that comes from Central America. A quick internet search will find you many photos of this beautiful butterfly. The transparent butterfly is more of a metaphor for an introvert than you might first think. No, not a social butterfly but more like the transparent creature.

Butterflies are fragile to touch. If you ever tried to catch one, just like a dragon fly, you know that their wings are ultra thin to touch. An introvert may or may not be a highly sensitive person, research differs on that. But an introvert knows that their energy is fragile. It needs to be paid attention to, cared for and replenished. Fragile in an energetic way.

Specifically the transparent butterfly’s transparency serves as camouflage. Even though they appear fragile, their transparent design serves to protect them. While the most empowering and energizing thing for an introvert is to use their strengths in personal relationships and conversations, sometimes, we have to take on those extrovert tendencies. It is at those times we want to remember to where our camouflage, use those extrovert skills we’ve learned.

When bred in captivity the glasswing, another name for the transparent butterfly is quite resilient. At work and in our personal lives, situations of all magnitudes happen to us. It is at those times it is more healthy to respond instead of react. This allows for more resilience. The typical introvert thinks through such situation and inevitably, finds they too are resilient.

The butterfly’s transparent appearance is also a reminder about finding clarity. For an introvert, who enjoys thinking before speaking and planning before doing,

Forced to be a social butterfly, an introvert will lose their strength. But as has been said about the transparent butterfly, it can also be said about the introvert: “All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed: in life that which is unnoticed has the most power.” And isn’t this encouraging for introverts?

What do you think?