I’ve had questions on the actual size of the Dragonfly Fancifulls. Each is slightly different from the next because I handcraft them all. However, all are approximately 3-1/2″ X 3-1/2″ (9cm X 9cm). Size can vary as much as 1/4″ (6mm) either way.
The dragonfly itself is made from pure sheet copper, (copper foil, for those who know more about it than I do), that arrives to me from the United States. I’m told by Carolyn, my go-to person at my vendor, that it is domestically sourced and is as pure as possible – 99.9%. I source the aluminum used for L’Ange from the same vendor and again am assured that it is at least 99% pure aluminum with the grade being 1100-O.
That being said, unless you choose to use a UV resistant clear-coat on your Fancifull, the copper versions will develop a life-like (for a dragonfly) colouring over time. Aluminum oxidizes with a white powdery patina, which will enable L’Ange, French for “The Angel” to better represent her namesake. Time-frames for both materials oxidizing will vary dependening on the amount of exposure to outdoor elements. Update Dec 9, 2019 – I have learned that due to the high grade of aluminum I purchase, it will take quite some time for the oxidization process to occur on L’Ange, possibly years. My prototype has been outdoors in the elements for almost 5 months now. Still twinkling bright.
As of August 20th 2019, I’ve been testing a product for clearcoating. It is a Krylon® product, readily available in your local craft store and many hardware type stores as well. UV and Moisture Resistant I’m hoping it will lengthen the shiny, new look of your copper or aluminum Fancifull but eventually, each will oxidize with the patina natural to them. I hope to use it on the entire Butterfly Collection I will be producing for Spring if my 6-month testing proves to be successful. Update December 9th. Krylon testing does protect to some extent and with 5 months testing, it is noticable but not to a degree that would be benificial to continue the process. I have limited stock of both Dinah and Daphne with a clear coat added. When requested, these will be made available.
The minimal number of Butterflies available this Christmas will not have a clear coat as I have no facilities for spraying in colder months.
With handling, as in a Daphne (Hair Comb) or Dinah (Brooch) the patina will remain a dark bronze shade and not gain the green verdigris. To get to the dark bronze state, unless you prefer to stand in the pouring rain, will take years of wear. They technically could be polished back to bright copper but would be difficult with the stitching. Hmm – another idea is forming. Gotta go. 🙂
Many of the attachment methods incorporated into The Fancifulls are also pure copper – Alligator Clip (Dixie), Jump Ring (Delta) and Craft Wire (Dirk). Others are Steel with plating – Comb (Daphne), Brooch Pin (Dinah) or Steel with garden-green cloth sheathing – Stem (Darby). Finally PVC plastic or Neoprene (depending on stock) -Suction Cup – (Dexter)
Tips and Tricks to add character to your new Fancifull
I had a thought, while I was packaging Darby, he and his friends are not presenting their best selves direct from their packaging. I keep them relatively flat and “un-fluttered” to aid in the packaging process and for storage purposes in my humble abode. Here are some tips to add life and character to your Fancifull.
DARBY – When you remove the packaging, you can bend his wings and body to give him character. Don’t worry about breaking him. Although they seem delicate, Fancifulls are surprisingly durable and can easily withstand some tugging and twisting to get them into a pose of your choosing. For a resiliency reference, refer to my post titled, “It happens to everyone eventually… July 8th.” Poor Dixie and Delta had a full-cycle swim in my washing machine and survived to chastise me as I was helping them re-flutter.
The wings can be re-positioned and the body can be ever-so-slowly bent down, up or to either side, using the wire twisted around the abdomen to act as a stabilizing support. This maneuver takes practice. Know that you may crease the copper by using too much force and it cannot be un-creased… but will add individual character to your dragonfly.
As I am trying to produce my products without the aid of power tools and electricity, I’ve attached Darby’s stem by wrapped wire and no hot glue. An added bonus of this assembly method is that it allows you to twist and turn him on the stem until his pose is suited to your display. Another benefit of not using an adhesive, you can change out the stem for a branch or a different stake on a whim. You are even able to turn ‘Darby’ in to a ‘Delta’ with a jump ring that you’d supply. Darby will be none-too-pleased if you turn him into a likeness of his cousin, Delta… but it is possible.
DELTA – Learning the correct balance is tricky but you’ll get the hang of it. Did I just type that?? First, be assured that each Delta is inspected by me for proper balance before packaging – also by me. If, however, she is not perfect when you first suspend her from her hanger, lowering her wings on her port side will level her out when she’s listing to her starboard and vice versa. If her head is dipping too much for your liking, nudge the single coil of wire that holds the jump ring forward towards her thorax about 1/16″ – 1/8″. If she’s still not leveled, lengthen the full length of wire around the abdomen towards her tail end. If her tail is lower, reverse the procedure, thereby redistributing her weight. (Oh if that could also work on humans, I’d be a happy woman!)
FLUTTER 2.0 – Her personality is strong, however her physical manifestation is a tad more fragile. I have learned that a new wiring technique will enable her to retain her balance to a much greater degree but the same steps apply for correcting her. Keep in mind that the jump ring is to be situated straight up from the body. If it is not, gently loosen/tug the ring to situate perpendicular. Her 4 large wings can each be raised, lowered and twisted until you are pleased with her orientation. Required tools to have for this process – Tea, Coffee, or wine, sadly, not supplied.
DIXIE – Pretty much takes care of herself. If her clip becomes skewed, adjust it back to the centre, so it’s relatively obscured from above by her body. Gently press on the wire surrounding it with your fingernail or similar small tool to lock it back into place. The same techniques will also help should DAPHNE and BELLA, DIRK and BONNIE, or DINAH and BRIANNA require assistance. Who’s DINAH? Ahhhh, the dragonfly’s out of the bag. Dinah will be my newest dragonfly with a stylized, rose gold safety pin Brooch clip. Clips are due to arrive tomorrow according to DHL. Fingers crossed. ***Update July 29th 2019 Dinah and all her flair has arrived and she’d be the first to tell you how “Darling” she is! A character likened to Zsa Zsa Gabor.)
DEXTER and BUTTERCUP – Did you know that temperature and humidity variations may make a suction cup lose its grip? If attached to your window glass when it is above 40⁰ F/5⁰ C, you can expect your suction cup to remain in place during temperatures ranging between -22⁰ to 120⁰ F/-30⁰ to 49⁰ C. These little suction cups are very good at what they do. For removal, without damaging Dex or Buttercup, peel the edge of the cup away from the glass allowing air to seep under the cup, thereby breaking the seal.
*** Oct 11, 2019 UPDATE A test has now been completed using the industrial dishwasher in the Kichesippi Brewery Tap Room with internal water temperature set at 149⁰ F/65⁰ C. Although poor Dex got a soaking, and fell off the glass, he survived, fresh and ready to re-attach to the next glass available! I can’t recommend it as an everyday cleaning yet, but if placed in the dishwasher after a night of festivities, Dexter will survive to cling another day.
Please don’t hesitate to email me through the site if you have any problems with your Fancifull. I’ll help you however I’m able.
Sue, Axie, and the Fancifulls