Butterflies at the Natural History Museum…

I went to London last Tuesday, all on my own, complete with book to read on the train (well Kindle…on my phone actually, Robert Harris ‘Enigma’ which I loved) to see the Wedding Dress exhibition at the V&A.  It was great, not just the exhibition itself, but sitting on the train reading, having lunch in the museum and wandering around the galleries without bored kids in tow.


But it made me feel guilty, as we rarely take the kids ‘into town’ and it’s only a 40 min train ride into Victoria, so I decided to take advantage of an inset day on the Friday and I took them to see the Butterflies at The Natural History Museum.  M was away for his IronMan in Austria (he did it – hurrah!) so it was just me and the munchkins and it was good fun.  They became a bit tired and whiny by the afternoon and we ran out of steam and didn’t get around even half of the Museum, we’ve been before and will, no doubt, go again so this wasn’t a problem.


The butterflies were great, it was quiet, there was certainly no need to have pre-booked our tickets, in fact we were allowed to go in early as there was no queue.  Of course, like everyone else, I had my phone out the entire time attempting to snap photos of the ever moving beauties, but I made lots of time to just watch them and it was fascinating seeing the long, curled tongues sipping nectar.  I’d have loved a shot of the chrysalis, all lined up, as they really were fascinating, but that area was quite busy and I don’t like to take photos at the expense of blocking other people’s views.


Charlie was keen to get his phone/camera out too and if you’re wondering why F has his hoodie up, it’s because the very first thing that happened when we stepped inside the tent, was a butterfly landed on his head and he instinctively tried to swat it only to have me yell at him in horror.  Luckily it flew off before he smacked his own head, but he thought it best to put his hood up just in case it happened again.  I think killing the exhibits might be frowned upon 😉


They loved both my frock and newly dyed hair.  My top tip?  Go through the side entrance to the museum (the butterfly tent is outside so you don’t enter from the museum anyway) as the queue was ridiculous, it was very, very long and I got totally confused why no-one was using another entrances, apparently it was simply because they don’t know to, or so the guard told me.


Back home, I struggled to get going this morning.  My attempt to re-arrange the studio and shoehorn all my ‘stuff’ in has got out of hand.  I had hit the stage when it felt like I’ve been working for days but with no obvious results so I woke determined to sort things out.  It hasn’t helped that I’ve not been sleeping very well, largely down to the humid weather we’ve been having.  I waited patiently for the forecast rain all weekend, but it never arrived, we had the odd spot, but not the stormy showers I was expecting and certainly not enough to clear the air.  Not only does it make our bedroom (built into the original loft) hot but the studio and kitchen, with all its glass is like working in a sauna.


Today, I finally feel like I made it over the hump, as it were, and I can step into my workroom without tripping up on piles of boxes.  Again, I’ve made myself crack on with unfinished jobs.  The old office chair, kindly given to me by my bosses at The Imperial War Museum (it was out by the bins ready for collection but is, apparently, a designer classic, clearly no-one knew that or I’m sure they’d have never have let me scavenge it!!) has been re-covered ready to go into F’s new room.  Phew, another unnecessary thing removed from ‘my’ space (I use M’s Aeron chair, which is much better for my back and currently has no home…it’s a bit like his old camera, I figure if I borrow it long enough it just becomes mine…no?  Have I got that wrong ;)).


It’s the second time I’ve re-covered it, the first was done in the nice vintage gold linen, but that had worn through, so I’ve gone for a super heavy blue tweed.  It doesn’t feel that nice to touch (it really is very weighty, when I sewed the Weekender Bag above, which I originally bought the fabric for, I nearly cried trying to get the side seams stitched together, with their multiple layers!) but it’s tough and should cope with a little boy mistreating it.

Nearly forgot to mention the lovely cushion came from Felicity at Eclectic Handmade.

DSC_0259 2

I’ve also finally glued and waxed a rocking horse I’ve had since I was a kid.  Yet more of the typical ‘junk’ I hoard.  This has followed me around for years, I stripped it back in 2009, and sadly I can see from the photo I took at the time (as above) that storing it in the roof alcove, directly in front of a glass window, has done it no good and has left me with cracked paint to deal with.


Oh well, it’s glued back together and waxed, maybe I’ll find time in another 5 years to give the head a coat of varnish to stop it flaking even more 😉

I need to get back to sewing now, I am very aware how quickly this school term is flying.  Tick tock and all that!

21 thoughts on “Butterflies at the Natural History Museum…

  1. Aren’t butterflies just so beautiful, so glad you got round the exhibition without killing any!!! 😉 They certainly like yellow!
    I’m sure the wedding dress exhibition was wonderful too!
    Good job on the chair, it looks great.
    Well done to M!
    V x

    • I love butterflies V, although we have lots of moths in the bathroom at the moment (we’ve had the window open and the light on at night, so there is some light source for the boys if they wake at night) and I keep trying to sell their beauty, to the boys too. Funny how butterflies are seen in such a positive way and moths much less so….it must just be the bright colours but some of the moths have the most amazing leaf like wings. Hope you are enjoying this wonderful sun, I bet your garden is looking lovely. Bethx

  2. Hello Beth,

    Happy to see and the boys having great time (and the hoodie saved the day), and your new dress seems to be a success among the butterflies too! And so pretty it is!

    I know exactly how you feel, I have tackled my studio over the past a few months bits here and another there – it will never be finished is the current status – I can’t believe how much stuff I have hoarded over the years! Congrats for the chair and the horse, both jobs well done!

    Have a great July, may it be less humid at yours and less rainy here!


    • Hello Mia,

      It feels good to have a decent tidy doesn’t it? Mine is still ongoing, but I’m pleased to be able to see the floor and to have all the big pieces of furniture in the right places now. I could do with a few rainy days to really get down to the last bits, perhaps we can swap weather for a bit 😉 Bxx

  3. Hi Beth,
    How lovely to take your boys to London for the day, I bet they had a great time 🙂 I went to that butterfly tent years ago at the Natural History Museum, its so stunning, all the colours of the butterflies and there cocoons. They defiantly approved of your dress 😉 Lovely for you to go alone to the V&A as well, I love it there, so many pretty fabrics and patterns!
    Brilliant to make progress with your studio, it sounds like you are nearly there with it all. I love F’s newly covered chair, fab fabric. Also that pillow is gorgeous! Also love your old rocking horse, makes me nostalgic for my childhood, we had a rocking chair but don’t know what happened to it in the end 🙂 I know what you mean as well about the humid weather, I have had enough of it too, was waiting for the supposed storm on Saturday but to no avail and its just been too hot lately. Does give sleepless nights, such a pain.
    Good luck with your sewing, I wish I was on a creative streak like you, need to pull my sleeves up and do some crafting! Have a wonderful week, love Safxxx

    • I loved the butterfly tent Saf, made me wonder why we’ve never been before, I really do need to take the boys into town more. I’ve had enough of the weather, I’d love a proper thunder storm too, we have had some overnight rain here, but it’s not been enough to make any difference. I’m glad it was good for the Tour De Yorkshire though, I watched it eagerly on the TV wishing we were there what with it going through my home town and village etc. I hear it’s due to rain tomorrow, I’m off to Hampton Court with my Sister and Aunts, saying I’d like rain, I hope it doesn’t tip it down all day!! Bxx PS, hope your creative mojo returns, I tend to find mine comes back once the seasons change, I am always very inspired by Autumn. Bxx

  4. You have been busy. The butterflies are amazing, did they have to check peoples clothing on the way out for stow away insects? Thankyou for the mention Beth, and keep going on the studio, clearing those jobs/ things to do can, I think, be helpful in moving on to new things.
    I have accumulated yet more stuff from a local auction. It was such good fun, but now I have to find places for my bits, so I can empathize with your sorting out! Flissx

    • Funny you asked that Fliss, I was right by the exit door when they all landed on me and kept asking the boys to double check me before we went out as I was so worried I might take a few outside. It was generally quite relaxed in the tent, they do make a point of asking you not to touch the butterflies before you go in, but that’s about it. I’m getting there with the house sorting, at least I feel the furniture is all in the right rooms now, I just need to get rid of some things, to make sure everything fits in. I fear it’s a forever ongoing job though! Bxx

  5. Hi Beth, What a treat for you and the boys to see all of those butterflies. Your dress is a “magnet” for them. 0-: Loved seeing the covered chair and the rocking horse. It is very humid here too. Not enjoyable at all. Good luck with all of the sorting. Happy almost July…..
    Anne xx

  6. Those butterflies are so pretty, I can see why you just wanted to stop and stare!
    You seem to be very busy and getting lots done, I am willing the next three weeks to fly by so I can break up fro school!

    • I can see why, these last few weeks are always odd. The kids are very tired and there seems to be a lot of stuff on (sports day, disco, charity day etc) I imagine everyone is just waiting for it to be over now. I’m really looking forward to the holidays, the boys are more fun, in a way, now they are older, I hope to take them into London and also use the National Trust card a bit. Roll on the next couple of weeks! Bxx

  7. Oh my goodness, I have the same rocking horse!! How weird is that? I seem to remember there was a window of about a week when my daughter both fitted it and enjoyed it… It was mine when I was little. Am very impressed with those fab weekender bags 🙂

    • Oddly, I viewed a house in the village, just before we bought our current one and she also had the same rocking horse chair! I wonder where they came from that they were so popular?! We also had a tiny window of use for the boys, but I can’t bare to part with it…..I hope to rock my grandkids in it one day 😉 Bx oh the weekender bags are wonderful, such a great pattern, I use mine loads but refuse to ever make another one as stitching the sides on in heavy tweed makes me want to scream and throw the bag out the window!

  8. What great treats you have had Beth. The butterflies are gorgeous and I had to laugh at Charlie swotting his head ;0) Your bags and chair covering look brilliant and with years of wear ahead of them. Great work. Enjoy the last few weeks before the long school hols. I went to the seaside today with M and Daisy…and Daisy went in a swing (with us holding her under the arms)…such fun xx

    • It’s been lovely and I have Hampton Court Flower Show tomorrow, so the treats continue! I’m glad you had a great time at the seaside, so many lovely ‘firsts’ to have with Daisy, she’ll be spoilt rotten, as she should be, by her grandparents. We saw both my Aunts (Mum’s sisters) yesterday and Felix wouldn’t stop cuddling them, I guess he is missing his grandma, it’s such a special relationship for children, I think. Enjoy this lovely sun we’re getting! Bxx

  9. The chair looks brilliant… what a rescue! And that looks like such a fun day. What taste in dresses the butterflies at the Natural History Museum have. Like the fact that you didn’t stand there obscuring the sights for others while taking photos – that can be such a pain for the person trying to look. Mr R took me to Chelsea flower show for my birthday this year and it was surprising how much I couldn’t see because others were getting a photo. Maybe also because I am shortish!

    • I was so grumpy in the wedding dress exhibition as I tried to stand back a bit from the cases when reading the blurb and looking at the dresses, so other people could still see, but people kept then standing directly in front of me and not moving, totally unaware that they had done so. I’m off to Hampton Court tomorrow….I wonder if it’ll be like your experience of Chelsea…we’ll see! (or not, as the case might be 😉 ). Bxx

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