I saw Butterflies in the garden this week. A Peacock, some Brimstone and a small brightly coloured one that I could not identify. The Peacock nearly landed on me while I stood and admired it. Then it was gone, off over the houses towards the fields of wildfowers and grasses. Last year our village was full of so many Butterflies of all size and colour that we were inspired to fill in an online survey to count them in the United Kingdom.
I love all of them, even the Brimstone and whites which are considered common and somewhat of a pest as their caterpillars will devour brassicas in no time at all. Really there is nothing common about a Brimstone these days, even they are threatened and in decline. Their wing colour can vary greatly from very pale, almost silver to a bright rich yellow. Their caterpillars decimated the brussel sprouts we were growing, but I forgave them.
We had a fairy like lodger over winter. She arrived one cool Autumn day and nestled herself in our garden greenhouse at the back of a shelf inside an empty terracotta pot. There she settled into a deep sleep to wait for Spring. I noticed her before winter came and all through the snows and storms I continued to check on her and ensure no frost came near, no fungus tarnished those soft wings and no spider wound a stealthy web over her.
My Sleeping Beauty rewarded me come the first sun. Out she flew and perched upon the red brick wall. Her wing edges were in tatters, wear and tear from her year as a Butterfly. Now all she had to do was find a bed of nettles, preferably in a wood where they will not be cut down until next Spring, lay the eggs she had carried within her, and die. She had slept all winter just to provide her young with a future. Still cold from her deep sleep and exposed to the winds where she was sitting, she was in danger of failing in her mission. I took her and gently cupped her in my hands where she sat quietly for a few minutes. Suddenly she flapped those jeweled Peacock wings - and flew away. On that day, in the sun that was shining I felt sure that her offspring would be born and thrive. Now I am not so full of hope for her or the other Butterflies. I've seen almost none this year.
|BBC Homes & Antiques August 2012 issue|
Being a vintage dealer in England I like to watch the BBC Antiques Roadshow and read the magazine that they produce, BBC Homes & Antiques. The magazine has a balance of real antiques and vintage, and a very useful diary of events. It is filled with beautiful, real homes from all walks of life. I love the way it runs pieces on large and small antiques dealers, artists and home workers.
This month they have run a feature on Butterfly brooches. Long out of fashion they have now become quite collectable. There are some wonderful examples available, from the ornate and intricately made victorian jewel encrusted to simple enammelled, finely twisted silver and delicate gold. In all price ranges.
I remember as a little girl how fascinated I was by the giant brooches that my Grandmother liked to wear. I love them and often wear 2 or 3 together on a coat or a wool hat or scarf. Some are so beautiful that they can even be used to decorate a room, on a curtain tieback or a lampshade.
These are available on ebay now, and I am very tempted.
|Sterling silver & filigree enamel|
|great example of Czechoslovakian glass and gilt|
|I love this one, glass and daisies! |
From the 1930s/40s
|Perhaps the most beautiful one of all,|
a tiny Millefiori from Italy
Earlier this month the Wiltshire illustrator, artist, sculptor and jewelry maker Joanne May (she is a multi tasking much talented lady) and I were wandering on one of our 'treasure quests' and we found ourselves in a most amazing antiques shop in Hungerford called Great Grooms. It is housed in a large red brick victorian house, of the grand design, and every room and staircase is decked in Objects of Desire. We came across some works and jewels which we would not have expected to see outside of a museum. Joanne often paints the Fairy Realm in her work and always has an eye for a beautiful example of this art. This is what she found!
A photo really does not do this justice, we felt very privileged to have seen it in person and hope someone buys this who will share it with the public. The painting has a long and interesting history which should be preserved. Look closely and you will the frog and dragonfly. It is really stunning, Aerial's wings are as delicate as can be, you can see through them. We were both delighted to find art which paid a small tribute to the beautiful wings of Butterflies.
Joanne is inspired by them in her own work where she sometimes gives her Fairies such wings. This is a detail from one of her paintings called Fairy Thief. We have a print of this for sale in Mrs Black's This n That at The Emporium in Hungerford.
Joanne is currently busy with work and is taking a summer break from blogger but this is her own site: Willow Treefox