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September 27, 2023
In this fun and easy tutorial, we'll show you how to create an adorable Halloween garland with Moth & Myth paper bat specimens! This project takes under an hour to complete, is appropriate for all ages, and requires just a few supplies!
Follow along with the video and written steps below!
Start by making holes in the wings of the bats for the rope to go through. You can do this with either the hole-punch or Exacto knife. We recommend placing the hole on the vein on the paper bat wings - this doesn't need to be exact!
Next, we're going to cut three pieces of the rope. The first one will be 6' long - this one will be used as the main part of the garland. The other two will be 24" long - these will be the tassel ends.
We'll work with the shorter lengths first! We'll string 6 beads on each of the shorter lengths of rope. We lightly singed the ends of rope first, to make threading the beads a little easier.
Once we've threaded all the beads, we'll tie one tassel on each end of the shorter ropes with a simple knot.
Fold the shorter lengths of rope at the middle point and separate the beads (3 on each end).
Now that we've completed the shorter ropes, we'll move on to the 6' long one! We'll start by threading 3 beads on one end, and adding one tassel with a knot.
With one end complete, it's time to start threading the bats! We'll thread them from the opposite end of the rope. You can play around with how you would like your bats to be positioned, and remember that they can alternate between facing forwards and backwards if you'd like!
Once all the bats are strung on the garland, it's time to complete the other end of the long rope. Add three more beads and one tassel.
Next, we'll tie our shorter lengths of rope onto the long rope to complete the tassel ends. We like these to be at varying lengths to make the tassel ends more dynamic, so play around with how you like it and then tie the shorter ropes onto the longer one with a knot.
All that's left now is to style the bats to make them appear even more life-like! We'll gently curl their wings & ears around our fingers to give them a bit of shape and really bring them to life.
And that's all there is to it! The bat garland is a fun an easy piece of decor that's perfect for the Halloween season. You can pack it away and use it again in future years!
We can't wait to see how you'll decorate for Halloween with Moth & Myth paper specimens, and hope you've enjoyed this tutorial!
September 18, 2023
Today we're thrilled to guide you through creating beautiful Apothecary Jar decorations with specimens from our 'Wunderkammer' Collection! These jars make for unique and sophisticated Halloween decor, and look wonderful on a bookshelf or curiosity case year round. It's a simple project with few materials, and best of all you don't harm the paper specimens in any way when creating these jars! We've written out the steps below to three different jars, and you can also follow along on Youtube!
The materials you'll need are really simple and easy to come by! In this project we use:
Glass Apothecary Jar: We sourced ours online at Amazon - they were sold as a set of three for under $50. You can find many different shapes, sizes, and styles, and you really can't go wrong.
Moss and Natural Materials: For some styles of jars, you'll want to use moss and other types of natural materials to add texture and visual interest. In our Seahorse Apothecary Jar, we use two different types of moss (which you can often find at a floral shop) and a bit of dried seaweed we collected from the beach!
Paper Specimens: The double-sided paper skeletons and specimens in our Wunderkammer Relics Collection are perfect for these Jars. In this tutorial, we are working with the 'Seafoam' Seahorse, 'Temptress' Snake, and limited 'Weaver' Spider & Spiderweb sets.
Optional Adhesive: You can create this Apothecary Jars without using any glue or adhesive, but we use a small amount of Museum Putty in the snake jar.
We sourced moss from a florist, and collected dried seaweed from a local beach.
Glass Apothecary Jars are easily sourced online. Ours came as a set of 3 with different silhouettes.
The first Apothecary Jar we'll create features the largest seahorse from our 'Seafoam' Wunderkammer Collection. We chose the longest jar for this, because it complements the shape of the paper specimen.
Begin by placing a bit of moss in the bottom of the jar. We started with Spanish Moss, which we gently placed in the bottom (there's no need to smush it down!), and continued layering with a different type of moss to add more texture.
Continue layering with your natural materials. We used a darker piece of dried seaweed next, so that the light coloration of the seahorse pops out against it. Once you're happy with the natural materials, it's time to gently pop in the paper specimen!
All that's left now is to put the glass top on the Apothecary Jar! We decorated ours with a small moth from the 'Witching Hour' Collection, which we attached with a small amount of Museum Putty.
Next, we'll create the Spider & Spiderweb Apothecary Jar. This is one is very simple, but also very stunning, and features the 'Weaver' Set. This soft-spun Spiderweb is also sold individually in the 'Gossamer' Set or, as a Multi-Pack, but it's only here until October 31st!
Begin by gently placing the spiderweb into the jar. We chose a slightly wider Apothecary Jar for this specimen, to show off the details of the web.
When you're happy with how the web is positioned, it's time to add the spider. Gently bend the legs around your fingers to give them a bit of shape. There's no need for glue to attach it - just work two or three of the little legs into the gaps of the spiderweb, and it will stay in place!
Next, put the glass lid on the jar, and enjoy this spooky seasonal creation!
Finally, we'll create an Apothecary Jar with our 'Temptress' Snake Skeleton. For this jar, we use two snake skeletons. The first step is to gently bend the ribs of the snake around your fingers, to give them a bit of natural shape. We also break the few ribs where the paper snake is connected, to make it more flexible.
We take the first shaped snake, and work it into the bottom of the Apothecary Jar. You can play with the positioning, but the first snake is mostly there to add shape and volume.
When the first snake is in place, it's time for the second one! We work the tail and a few of the coils into the jar, but leave the head out, wrapping around the outside of the jar. This gives a really interesting dimensional look to this Apothecary Jar!
If you're having a hard time getting the snake's head to stay positioned how you'd like it, a bit of Museum Putty will help keep it in place.
This project takes under an hour, but you can take your time collecting natural materials and playing with the placement of the specimens. We hope you're enjoyed this tutorial, and are inspired to work with our paper specimens for yourself!
July 06, 2023
Today we'll cover how to use the Passion Flower Kit & Passion Flower Poster in a shadowbox! This is a fun and easy project, and a wonderful way to make a beautiful piece of decor from start to finish!
Materials you'll need for this project:
Passion Flower Kit & Poster
Shadowbox - We're using an 11" x 14" Shadowbox that fits the poster perfectly! This shadowbox is available from Amazon
Putty or adhesive of your choice! We're using Museum Putty, but hot glue or glue dots would also work!
Before you begin putting together your shadowbox, remember to assemble your Passion Flower! We have another tutorial that goes over all of the necessary steps!
1. Take off the frame and glass of your shadowbox so you can work with the backing
2. Flip over the Passion Flower Poster and put a little bit of Museum Putty (or other adhesive) in each corner to attach it to the Shadowbox backing
3. With the poster attached to the backing, it's time to start placing your flower and butterflies! There's no wrong place to put these, so play around and find what looks good to you before adding adhesive!
4. We're adding a little bit of adhesive on each tendril to give more dimension to the flower.
5. Style your butterflies by gently bending the wings where they meet the body, and curling the wing-tips. Then play around with placement and attach them to the poster!
6. When you're happy with where the elements are placed and everything is adhered to the poster, all that's left is to put the shadowbox frame back together!
7. Fasten all of the clamps on the back of the frame, and you're done!
That's all there is to it! Once you're finished, you'll have a beautiful multi-dimensional shadowbox to display your Passionflower and butterflies!
May 31, 2023
What's a better pairing than butterflies and flowers? In this fun & easy tutorial, we'll cover how to add Moth & Myth paper butterflies and moths to a floral arrangement! Follow along as Kari-Lise styles and adds specimens to a beautiful bouquet!
All you need to create a beautiful butterfly bouquet of your own is:
Once you're finished, your butterflies will really look like they're flying out of the bouquet! We hope you enjoy this project, and can't wait to see what you'll create!
May 25, 2023
Welcome to Moth & Myth 101! We wanted to put together a guide for how to style our butterflies to make them appear even more life-like, and talk about which adhesives work best for a variety of projects! Follow along as Kari-Lise decorates a glass terrarium using three different adhesives in the video below!
As mentioned in the video, our favorite adhesives are:
Museum Putty - which holds our specimens in place without damaging the specimen or the item it is being attached to. Museum Putty is fantastic for many projects, but it is not permanent, and can move around over time, especially when exposed to changing temperatures.
Double-Sided Tape - there are many options for double-sided tape, and most of them work quite well! In the video, we are using a heavy-duty tape, that needs to be cut down to the desired size. In our experience, this tape can damage the specimen if you choose to remove it, but does not damage the wall or other item you are attaching the specimen to.
Hot Glue - which is fantastic for projects where you wish to permanently attach our specimens!
We hope that this little guide helps give some ideas about how to use our specimens in a variety of different projects!
May 10, 2023
She clutched the tattered invitation tightly, stained and crumpled from hours of turning it over with sweaty fingers while waiting on the train for the miles to slip by. It had been such an unexpected summoning from her childhood friend Rose — no word for years, and now out of the blue, an invitation to a tea party.
Rose had suddenly moved away from the town they grew up in, where they had shared golden afternoons in gardens, invented games to which no one else knew the rules. It had been like a great dark void at first when Rose moved to the North, but over the years the ache grew less and less, until she barely thought of it these days. When the letter had arrived, with its sudden invitation to the mist-enveloped countryside where Rose now resided, she was uncertain if she would even go. Yet curiosity tugged at her, and she gathered a beaded party-gown, fine lace gloves, and a small gift for her friend as a token of goodwill.
“Teatime. Tuesday. The First of Spring.” Was all the delicately printed card had specified.
An old taxi dropped her at the huge wrought iron garden gates, and she stood for a moment gathering her thoughts, then slowly pushing open the creaking doors to the garden. The air was chill despite the spring light, and she gathered her shawl a bit tighter to her shoulders. A narrow vaulted tunnel of thick hedges led into the grounds, tangled and overgrown in a thick tapestry of branches and vines. The path turned this way and that, maze-like, and she felt a wave of dizziness overtake her like vertigo, following the small trail deeper into the garden. What an unusual place — she could not picture the young Rose she remembered living here. A thick blanket of leaves covered the pathway undisturbed by footfalls, the deeper she walked into the garden.
It felt like an age had passed by the time she came upon the clearing. There, a small table stood between flowers and vines, catching the faint rays of light that penetrated from the tangled roof far above. The space was filled with a hushed velvet silence, only broken by the occasional sigh of the wind scraping over branches and leaves, and the soft hum of wings from the myriad of butterflies crawling over the blanket of moss and vines. The table was set for an opulent afternoon tea, fruits and cakes, luscious honeycomb, and two tea settings, yet this too had fallen into a state of decay. It appeared as if it had been waiting years for her arrival, and slowly time and nature had reclaimed it along with the rest of the estate. There was no sign of Rose, no sign any human had entered this place in many years. She brushed aside some of the plants overtaking one of the chairs, and sat down to ponder this odd situation.
Suddenly it struck her — the mysterious invitation did not actually specify a time, or a year. When had Rose sent it? Had it been delayed, perhaps even a decade, and only now mysteriously arrived?
A hushed sound like the brushing of long skirts over the forest floor pulled her back from her reverie. At the edge of the clearing, a woman was walking towards the little table. Only it was not a woman, but more of a glimmer and then a shadow, like light dancing on leaves, in the shape of a person. A breath was trapped in her throat in anticipation, what would this apparition do? When the vines wrapped themselves around her wrist, and then her ankle, rooting her to the wooden chair, she barely felt their soft embrace.
May 01, 2023 2 Comments
March 23, 2023
We wanted to share a creative tutorial with you for your everyday curio cabinet and that fits nicely into the Easter season! We had a lot of fun creating this display piece for our Seattle studio, and hope you'll enjoy following along and creating your own gorgeous Egg Dome!
The materials you’ll need for this project are:
2. The paint
We went a bit wild with the selection of spray paints - you certainly don't need this many! For a fun springtime Egg Dome, we suggest a few pastels with some darker shades for contrast. We use spray paint for a smooth even finish, but you can use acrylic paint as well.
3. Drill a hole in the eggs
Using your drill & 1/4" drill bit, drill a hole in the wooden eggs to match the size of your dowels. You don't need a deep hole just one that the dowel will fit comfortably in. We recommend doing this before painting the egg (unlike our photo)!
4. Paint the dowels
To paint them, make sure your work area is covered, and spray the dowels evenly while rotating. We use a gold/brass color for the dowels. To dry stick them upright in Styrofoam.
5. Paint the eggs
Once the dowels are dry use a bit of hot glue in the hole of the eggs to firmly keep the dowels held to the eggs. Once glue has dried mask the dowel with painters tape. Then spray paint and rotate the egg for an even finish putting them back in the styrofoam to dry or for heavier eggs a water glass w/out water making sure the egg doesn't touch the edges. Don't cut the dowels yet.
7. Assemble and Arrange the Egg Dome
To assemble the egg dome, we drilled 1/4" holes about a 1/4" down in the wooden base of our cloche to fit the dowels. We start drilling with the focal point egg. At this point you're not gluing the eggs in the drilled holes just planing. Ours is the large green egg.
Once you decide where your focal point is map out around your center egg. To create a dynamic display make sure no two eggs are the same height. After you're happy with where the focal point egg is next find where your tallest egg will go and drill the hole for that egg.
Now you're on a roll! Continue to place your next eggs cutting the dowels to size (alway check twice that the length is what you want before cutting) with the wire cutters and drilling a 1/4" hole to place in base. Make sure they all fit inside your glass cloche! Do not glue the dowels to the base until you're happy with the arrangement. Once you are happy, lift dowels out put a pea size drop of hot glue in the holes in the base and place the dowels back holding in place while the glue dries.
9. Enjoy the finished product!
We love the is project and think it's a great fit for any time of year. Inspired by natural bird eggs we added our own twist on them to make them extra special.
Following the steps above, it's fun and relatively easy to create a beautiful glass cloche egg dome that's perfect for spring and Easter time! We hope you've enjoyed this tutorial!
April 26, 2022
With backgrounds in fine art and literature, Seattle FlowerLab's Katie Ellison values the true aesthetics of design, as well as human inspiration behind every arrangement. Flowers can express many things, and there's good reason we choose flowers to celebrate our bright moments and mourn our dark ones. Katie's unique appreciation for visually-pleasing arrangements and the human impetus behind them has given her a distinct voice and aesthetic. For 15 years she has worked as a florist in Montana and Washington, collaborating with many event florists in the Seattle area. Her work celebrates a rich array of design styles and a deep appreciation of the varied ways in which people approach floral design.
We are delighted to host two masterclasses in floristry with Katie Ellison of Seattle FlowerLab at Moth & Myth! Katie will be teaching an evening workshop on June 24th, and a daytime workshop on June 25th. To give you a better idea of Katie's creative process, and what will be covered in the classes, we conducted a little interview below!
How did you get started working in the floral industry?
When I was attending the University of Montana, I needed part-time work to make rent. I lived a block away from Bitterroot Flower Shop, a large retail and full-service florist right off the “hip strip” in the downtown area of Missoula. I basically squeaky-wheeled my way into a position doing customer service, refreshing the display cooler, helping with wraps, checking on plants and general upkeep at the shop - it seemed to me a perfect, convenient job during my studies toward my English degree.
I did this for about a year until a design position opened up. I have always been artistic and I’d been doing the chalkboard and window displays consistently so I was offered a tryout to get the spot. The lead designer Linda was absolutely incredible and she quickly picked up that I could copy her designs and had a knack for designing. This shop was big, and walked a line between pretty traditional “Teleflora” designs, along with some of the freedoms of “designer choice” bouquets. I learned every fundamental skill I have there, and I learned how to design confidently and quickly — a necessary trait for any busy flower shop designer.
Do you have a favorite part of your creative process?
The creative process at Flower Lab starts with a request from a client. I love this challenge of expectation mixed with my own skill and desire to impress. That said, I have a rather vast supply of colors, design forms and flower combinations that circle around in my head. I love to see a color palette expressed in nature, and then pull a selection of flowers and foliage that mimic it. I do this with color palettes I see in fashion, in home decor shows on tv, in other peoples’ floral designs, and on instagram of course! Greening a vase and pulling flowers that can express some beautiful image in my brain — self realized or inspired — is so formative and keeps things fresh and ever-evolving for me.
How do you feel your background in fine art and literature influence your designs?
The designs I love the most are balanced, textural, and definitely colorful. As a painter, I’ve always loved line movement, seeing the brushstroke, and having punchy, effective color, and I love to have a project to work on — these tendencies are perfectly suited for floral design. I initially struggled to view my floral design in the same special light as my painting (it was my paycheck and painting was my passion), but I now realize how limiting that is to my experience as a whole artist. My love of books and story and humanity (literature!) is completely suited for floral artistry. 99% of my designs are linked directly to a person and their unique human experience — the client, the birthday girl, my mother, a stranger in mourning. Storytelling and developing connections with another human is inherent in this craft. Additionally, my language skills help greatly with my communication. Being able to describe a bouquet concept or give a sense of my design vision to someone over the phone or through my consistent email communication is a daily occurrence. Years of writing prose and analysis in papers helps me confidently express myself on the daily, and these skills have helped me establish trust and mutual passion for flowers for many years.
Are there themes or ideas you think floral design is more suited to expressing than other art forms?
This is such a great question. While I’m generally someone who struggles to place art forms in competition with each other, I also cannot help but find floral design to be so vastly effective in a broad range of areas. The beautiful yet fleeting nature of a cut flower is something that powerfully reminds us of life itself. When we use flowers to celebrate big moments in time, they are really granting a two-fold gift for that moment — the pleasing feast for the eye that creates a special, thoughtful experience and, in its grandeur, the hidden reminder that this experience is transient and worthy of our reverent attention.
I’m always reminded that flowers are indeed a luxury good that we’ve chosen to embrace because of their essential presence. As with any art form, the creation of a floral design must have meaning and skill behind it to justify its presence. Being there for people from birth to birthday, parties to marriage, and then perhaps most importantly in those moments of death, is a gift for any florist. In those moments of life that are beautiful, fun, difficult, shattering — the peaceful meaning of cut flowers designed expertly is both powerful and essential to my mind.
April 12, 2022
We are delighted to host Emma SanCartier, owner and creator of OddFauna, for two in-person workshops at our Seattle headquarters this June!
While illustrating for a diverse range of clients, she has also participated in conventions and gallery shows all over the country. She is currently art directing an indie game based on her OddFauna creatures where each character in the game is hand sculpted.
Emma will be teaching how to create whimsical plants & flowers in 'A Garden in Miniature,' June 3rd & 4th, and fantastical creatures in the class 'Finding Your Familiar' on June 4th & 5th. To give you an inside look into Emma's inspirations, and a taste of what you'll learn in the workshops, we conducted a little interview below.
How did you first form the world of OddFauna?
I started making little one of a kind creature sculptures over 10 years ago to sell alongside my illustration work at shows. A friend of mine showed me how to make a simple one-part mold, and things kind of took off from there. I taught myself different mold-making and casting techniques and, through lots of trial and error and playing around with different materials, I was able to expand what this little one person shop was capable of creating.
Inspired and influenced by many things that I’ve loved since childhood, I feel like the seed of OddFauna has existed in one way or another for as long as I can remember. This beastly world grew organically over the years as I painted and sculpted different characters and stories. Often playing with opposites, this strange world of mischievous beasts can be dark and funny, beautiful and unusual.
When creating your fantastical creatures & flora, do you draw inspiration from the natural world?
Definitely! I’m kind of obsessed with watching nature documentaries and find a lot of inspiration in the natural world. There are so many strange creatures that exist, and bizarre animal behaviors to draw from. A new creature idea can stem from some widely unknown animal or plant, or can simply be inspired by a leaf or lichen that I come across on a forest walk in my neighborhood. The OddFauna world that I’ve been creating is really a mixture of all the things that I love. I also find a lot of inspiration in mythological creatures and cryptids, often combining elements of different creatures (real and imaginary) to come up with something that is unique in itself.
Do you have a favorite part of your creative process?
Oh boy, that’s hard to say! I kind of love all the stages, but it depends what sort of mood I’m in. It’s always exciting to start a new big creature sculpture. I love the challenge of translating my 2D work into 3D, especially when an image has a lot of flowy movement to it. It’s kind of like a puzzle to solve. Trying to bring the lightness and energy of a watercolor painting to a solid form is tricky, and I am always playing around with different techniques to try to achieve the right balance which keeps things interesting.
Painting a sculpture is a little more meditative for me which I love in a different way. I like to throw on a podcast and just get lost in the details.
Without giving too much away, what are you most excited to share in your upcoming in-person workshops at Moth & Myth?
Besides sharing some of my favorite techniques, (and hopefully without sounding too cheesy) I think that just sharing the joy of sculpting with others is going to be a real treat. One of the reasons I love sculpting is that a part of me feels like a little kid who gets to play with clay all day. No matter what your skill level is, making things is fun, and I’m so excited to see what adorable tiny things everyone in class comes up with.
December 15, 2021
The winter holidays are almost here! With the pre-Christmas shipping cut-off fast approaching, we wanted to share a few of our favorite sets for perfect holiday gift ideas. Below is selection of our favorite three-packs, Collection Sets, and Minis for holiday gifting!
Embellished with shiny teal foil, the new 'Aurora' Gemstone Morpho Butterfly Set embraces the marriage of cutting-edge printing technology with old-world fine-paper finishing techniques, making an eye-catching gift. Use these colorful butterflies to decorate a wreath, or give the set as a gift to inspire the receiver!
With vibrant blue wings, the Morpho butterfly makes a statement. The 'Morpho and Monarch' 5-Pack features three styles of blue Morpho butterfly, one Pearl Morpho butterfly, and one Monarch butterfly. Of all the species of butterflies, we find that these inspire the most nostalgia!
Don't be fooled by the name - the 'Spring' Luna Moth Set is perfect for every season! Featuring two versions of the distinctive Luna moth (Actias luna), and a Pearl Morpho Butterfly, this three-pack is a timeless favorite, and a wonderful introduction to the beauty of moths and butterflies. These life-sized specimens make gorgeous additions to gift-wrap as well!
With soft frosty tones, the 'Pearl' Mini Moth Set makes a wonderful holiday gift. Gift it as a set for the lucky receiver to get creative with, or make ornaments to give as presents!
The stunning 'Moon Glimmer' Butterfly Set is based on real specimens that have had the prismatic-scales on their wings removed, leaving only the delicate structure beneath. Their pastel tones are perfect for the holiday season, shimmering on pearlescent paper.
The 'Faerie-Tails' Collection is one of the most beautiful sets we carry. Featuring 8 of the most lovely tailed moths all of whom come in a wonderful vintage inspired booklet. This is a unique and wonder gift to keep for yourself or to give someone who has that spark of Faé in them!
Another of our favorite collection sets, the 'Antiquarian' Collection includes ten pearlescent specimens, perfect for the season of snow. Their pallor gives them an ethereal beauty, and their cream and rust colored wings shine brilliantly in any specimen case. Packaged in a gorgeous booklet, perfect for safe keeping or as a lovely gift!
We hope that this gift guide has been helpful, and that you and your loved ones are inspired by the beauty of nature this holiday season!