What to do besides ice skate was a question that stumped Tai Babilonia. She and her partner Randy Gardner had performed their way to the world-champion league, but Babilonia says: "I wanted to know that there's life after skating."
She found the answer in a collection of silk chiffon butterflies her mother brought home from a swap meet. Babilonia took them on the road when she was touring and decorated them with feathers and beads she had been collecting.
Then on an opening night the butterflies were the featured attraction. Babilonia and her other partner, an artistic friend named Marina Drasnin, introduced them at the Faux jewelry boutique on Melrose Avenue as part of their new company, Crystal Vision Creations. They showed butterfly brooches, barrettes and hair combs along with decorative masks on sticks. Dresnin also displayed a "dream box" she had assembled using memorabilia from Babilonia's childhood. She takes custom orders for others.
These days, Babilonia skates for at least an hour a day and doesn't intend to let the butterfly business interfere with her life on the ice. She says, "Once you love to win at skating, it's hard to give it up."