Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pepper's Christmas

Pepper the caique got some of his presents early this year... there are still more under the tree though. Figured it would be good to spread them out.

Here he is unwrapping!

And some photos...
His hatred of paper finally has a use, haha. Can't wait to see him unwrap his newest shredder - the one I gave him two weeks ago is already thoroughly demolished.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Plush Swap!

I'm a member of the Plush Team on etsy, and for the holidays we did another plush swap! We were each randomly assigned a team member to make a plush for, and given a short survey on things such as their favorite colors and favorite holiday themes.

I got my plushie in the mail from Electric Daisy, and it's so cute! I said I love reindeer... here it is perched in our tree:I'm always thrilled to add new plushies to my collection, especially from Etsy.

My recipient was Needlings, and since she likes candy canes I made her a cockroach with a santa hat, and a candy cane in its mouth. Sneaky little cockroach... (actually, BIG cockroach, haha it's about 15" long)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Home for the holidays

The lack of updates here has been due to a variety of factors: final exams, taking a trip back home and being super busy with chores, playing with animals, and getting ready for christmas.

Final exams went well, starting to get some grades back already and so far so good! And having my car with me up at college for two weeks was really helpful for getting groceries, and for the drive back home. Thankfully, I missed the bad snow storm by a day. Driving the past two days has been horrendous. I had to go out for a job interview and nearly didn't make it, and it took twice as long as usual. Hoping I've got a summer job lined up now though :)

As for being at home... it's great being with my family and my animals. My parrot Pepper has an insatiable appetite for my attention as usual. I've been busy getting my business things in order, which has meant making more business cards. I'm almost completely out, so I decided to sit down and make a big pile of them... there are 210 in this stack:
All are cut out by me, and hand stamped on each side. The side you can see involves three separate stamps, and the other side with my info is one big stamp (all hand carved by myself). I decided to start going with colorful cards, as they match the colorful theme of my creatures. I'm not sure how long it took me, but it was several hours spread out through the day.

I've also been working on new promo materials. I recently discovered that #6 plastic acts just like shrinky-dink plastic. So I've been having lots of fun with that making keychains. It was part of my relaxation between studying for final exams. Once I got home, I carved a new stamp and put them together into packages:
A close-up of a keychain:
They are all different sizes, made from plastic I've salvaged from my own recycling bin and the giant recycling bins of our apartment complex. I drew on them with sharpie markers, and they're painted with a seal so that the designs don't get scratched off.

Thought it'd be a fun way to recycle and make promo materials that people are more likely to keep. I've been considering making pins as well.

I'll try to keep posting as I'm here at home, but family obligations will of course come first. I think right now I'm going to go play in the snow!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A few baby pictures

While creating my last post, I got to thinking about how much some of my babies have grown... so I thought I'd post a few then and now pictures :)

When I got Bijou, she could curl up in my hands. I'll never forget the day she came in the mail, which is when this photo was taken.Four and a half years later, I can only barely hold her with one hand if she's curled up in a ball, which she doesn't do often, she likes to explore. She's one heavy snake full of muscle, she gives good neck massages. I love her to death <3
Next up is Monty, my pink snow corn snake (meaning: amelanystic and anerythristic, not albino). He was my first pet store snake, got him from Petco in January 2004. He had a bad case of mites and scale rot, which both took a lot of time and perseverence to cure. Here he is going after a pinky mouse.
And now... eating a small rat.

And now for Tiger the kenyan sand boa. Was the definition of cuteness when I picked him up at a pet store spur of the moment a few years ago (I had done my research, though).
And while the orange coloring has faded a bit, he's certainly plumped up.

And how about Ninja the crested gecko... what a sweet little baby. I picked her out while I was working at a pet store, I couldn't resist taking one home with me. She had the best temperment and prettiest patterns.
Now a big fat happy gecko.
There's more I could share but those were some of the best shots.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time to get down to business

I took a quick break to go home between the end of classes and the start of final exams - time for me to get my ass in gear and study (yuck).

However, I should show some photos of how much fun I had at home. Did a craft show (giveHANDMADE!, in Troy NY) two days and sadly don't have any photos, but you can see the blog here, should have photos up soon. I did pretty well and it was a lot of fun. My boyfriend Josh helped out one day, wish I had gotten pics of him with my giant centipede Cedric, they looked adorable together.

And of course I got to play with my animals - I miss them so much while I'm here at school.

Monty the monster is still growing like a weed:
Got to hang out with Buddy the bearded dragon, he's grown quite a lot the past few months. The rest of my family doesn't play with him enough, but I got him to fall asleep on me :)
Ok, and the size of Tiger the kenyan sand boa can be mysterious, as he has a small head and rarely comes up out of the shavings. My parents only ever see his head poking out, and at feeding time he just drags the mouse under the substrate. Well WOW he's gotten fat!
Misty the pacific tree boa had fun at feeding time... she kept striking and missing, and I was getting impatient. Finally the mouse slipped from my tongs... and she dove down and caught it right above the bottom of the tank! Caught it by one foot, no less. It was quite impressive. It took her a while to coil back up around it, but she managed.
Tip Toe is looking gorgeous as ever with her shiny blue fuzz and cute pink feet.
And of course, there's Pepper. He got a new toy from wyspurcreations on etsy, it's his favorite.
And he's really taken to the cup-head thing.
I should add that isn't *ALL* of our animals, there's still more I didn't take pics of, and some are staying with my boyfriend, hehe. And with that... I really need to get studying!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Crafting in Color

I'm a member of the Crafting in Color street team on etsy, and it's quite a fun group! One of the best features is the creation of colorful team treasuries. So far I haven't been able to snag one of my own, but here is one created by AlwaysAmy that has one of my plushies in it:

Be sure to check out the Crafting in Color blog for more goodies sure to brighten your day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The procrastination progression of a drawing

I thrive on challenges - and since doing laundry doesn't feel like much of a challenge, I put it off in order to work on a pencil drawing.

I've attempted to start drawing from this photo before, but it didn't work out, I wasn't inspired enough.

Today, though, I gave it a try. It's a photo of my boyfriend Josh and I, with my ball python Bijou wrapped around my neck.

The start: sketched out some basics
Working on Josh:Me looking a bit goofy:
And all done!
It's not that great, especially compared to the original photo and you can see all the proportions I got wrong... but it felt good!

Sometimes when you get artistic urges you've just got to let them out or you'll explode.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Avoid the shopping rush...

Shop online! I already did all my christmas shopping on etsy (or made things myself), so no black friday shopping for me. Already there are stories cropping up about stampedes (and even deaths) in Walmarts... I think I'd get a panic attack from the crowds.

However I'm still tempted by sales on etsy that will likely be lasting now through "Cyber Monday".

I'm having a sale too!

My "Black Friday" section in my shop is marked down 20%, and I'll probably be adding more things to it as the weekend progresses.

And yesterday (Happy Thanksgiving!) was a fabulous etsy day for me. Several sales, and I was on the front page! Top and center, too. It was tough to calculate my increase in views on Majaba because people kept buying things.... guess that's an acceptable problem ;)
Have fun everyone and stay safe :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

School craft fair

Fun times! Every year at the end of November my university has a "Fair Trade and Locally Made" craft fair. I've participated the past two years, this year was a bit slow but fun. And it was free, so can't complain!

My table:I also had a table with some of my friends, that are in my Desert Ecology class. We've been making tote bags to raise money for our trip (three weeks of camping in the desert of the southwest US). We found recycled and donated materials, had other classmates cut out pieces, and my friend and I did all the sewing. We did ok at the show, looking for more opportunities to sell the bags on campus.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day three: No etsy forums

On thursday I decided I needed a break. I'm addicted and I know it. And I keep getting sucked into heated discussions that make me far too aggravated.

So that evening I vowed for the rest of the weekend - no more forums.

My automatic reflexes are tough to control - I keep automatically scrolling to and clicking on the community tab without even thinking, and get really close to clicking on the forums link.

I'm getting quite a bit more done, however I still have distractions through flickr, deviantart and twitter. They're not the same, though, and get boring after a while. Not like the forums that could suck me in all day long.

I'm feeling empowered but tomorrow morning I'm letting myself back in. Less than usual, though. I still have a lot of work to do.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

And now for something completely different

So I was flipping through some of my current notebooks and realized I do a lot of crazy drawings during my classes. Most of them are pretty mindless, as I'm paying attention in class but my hands need something to do. I have a pile of notebooks from last year as well, and decided I should cut out the drawings and do something with them.

But what?

Thanks to etsy I've seen lots of people with their own zines... I thought I'd put some together and see what happens. No words, just my doodles.

I've got two made up so far. I glued the drawings onto a paper booklet I made, and spent a while figuring out how to make photocopies line up front and back. Oh yeah, and the title: "I swear I'm paying attention in class..."

Here's one with an animal theme (remember, I'm a zoology student):
And a plain doodle theme:

It's a little peek into my mind, perhaps someone would find interesting enough to buy. Both 10 pages long. They're both for sale in my etsy shop for $3 each! ANIMALS and DOODLES.

An interesting theme I noticed was "butterflies grabbing people with their proboscis" as you can see in the second photo. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do you ever get those urges

Where you have to drop EVERYTHING because of the best idea ever that just popped into your head? Like it can't even wait another minute?

I usually try to suppress them when I've got homework to do, but today I simply couldn't resist.

I knew if I did, my brain and hands would revolt anyway, or maybe just start twitching.

So I spent over an hour goofing off making something.

Sorry, I'm not going to tell you what it is, it's not finished yet so it's a secret.

And I've managed to get my paper halfway finished (due on Friday) so it's all good!

Friday, November 14, 2008

An eco-friendly Christmas

I've been buying all my Christmas presents on Etsy, or making them myself. It's been fun knowing my family and friends will be getting really special, unique gifts.

However, the problem came up of wrapping paper. As much fun as it is to rip open gifts with that satisfying tearing sound, it's really incredibly wasteful (Unless you're like some members of my family who open gifts very carefully and re-use the paper for years and years and years).

So I decided to make my own little drawstring bags for presents! I found some fabulous fabric at the thrift store a while ago and thought the red stripes with green grasshoppers were sufficiently in the holiday cheer.They were incredibly simple and easy to make, and I feel good knowing the bags will be a gift in themselves and be re-usable. I'm even keeping a few for myself because the fabric is just too cute.

Hoping this post may serve as some inspiration :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm never quite sure...

...How to look at an octopus.

We all instinctively look for the face of an animal in order to satisfy our brains and properly orient ourselves.

But ever since I was little and had a plastic purple octopus bath toy, they've had me puzzled.

I made this as part of a custom order and I'm still not satisfied with which way to look at it.

Now, I *know* which end faces front when they move, but then again, they swim backwards, which makes it strange again.

Part of me always wants the big blobby body to be the head/nose, no matter how much I tell myself otherwise.

I'm not the only one that has pondered this, right?

Bowerbirds are crazy

So, one of the papers I need to write this semester is for my ornithology class. They gave us a bunch of topics, and we got to choose which one to write about and which bird species to focus on.

I chose the satin bowerbird, Ptilonorhynchus violaceus. They live in Australia and make these crazy bowers that they decorate with blue objects to impress the ladies:Now, I'm not going to go over my entire paper about the origins, evolution and strategies involved in the construction of bower nests and object collection, as well as the power of female choice in driving male decision making... but I found this tidbit fascinating:

When the males are courting females, the females sit inside his bower to observe his collection of blue objects and watch his display. The males have particularly aggressive displays involving feather fluffing, running around, buzzing sounds and sudden movements. This is very similar to male-male aggressive displays, and so might frighten an inexperienced female.

To solve this problem, males and females communicate. A study was done using robotic females to test this communication - when females crouch down (the mating position) it shows she's interested in the male's display. When she stays upright, that means she's less interested. Robots were used to see if males would change the intensity of their display depending on how the female was acting. It turns out - the males DO take into account female cues. If she's crouching, he takes it up a notch, but if she shows disinterest, he calms it down. This has also been shown to hold true in the wild, but the robotic female was needed to show a controlled situation.

I found a youtube video of the robot and male in action (you HAVE to see the ending)

Friday, November 7, 2008


Wow! 10,000 visitors to my blog as of today!

Thanks to everyone who follows me and takes the time to read a little about my life and ramblings.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Ok, I didn't really want to get political here but yay for Obama! *dances*

Being a person enjoying my own education and from a family in which higher education is valued as essential, it's inspiring to have a sexy intelligent well spoken man as the leader of our country in a couple months.

Of course he won't be magical and our country is still dealing with a lot of crap, and he'll mostly be running damage control... but at least maybe he can inspire enough people to get off their butts and work towards digging ourselves out of this mess.

And he seems like a sciencey tree hugger at heart, I can see it, and I hope that gets through in his policy changes.

In other news I've got one research paper finished, another is halfway done, with two more yet to be tackled.

Working on custom orders... speaking of which!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR CUSTOM ORDERS TO BE MADE IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!!! If you want a custom order as a christmas present, you have until NOVEMBER 10th. That's my cut off and I'm sticking to it.

I'm also doing a craft show at school on the 25th, and the giveHandmade show in Troy and Albany on December 6th and 7th. Going home for the weekend before final exams, should be a blast :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I've been crazy busy but had enough time for the school halloween party! It's always a fabulous affair, and everyone had great costumes as usual.

I went as a tree, since I already had the leafy looking dress. Got leaf hair clips made for me by theurbangarden on etsy, along with a few extras that I sewed onto armwarmers I made.

I didn't think it would turn out very interesting, but I ended up liking it.
I'll be back again if anything interesting happens in my life :-P So far it's still just homework and sewing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My brain hurts

Midterm exams, school projects, essays, presentations, my beetle project, joining the photo club, an award ceremony coming up (scholorship, woo!)... not to mention all the custom orders I'm working on.

I just finished what I'd consider one of my best pieces, but as it's a custom order christmas gift, I can't show any pics yet! So you'll all just have to wait :-P

I probably won't be blogging much for a while until my life gets a bit less hectic.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Home for the weekend

Yay for long weekends! Heading home to see my family, boyfriend, and pets... will be back monday evening.

Don't miss me too much.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eating machines

That's what my little salamanders are!

As you may recall in a previous post, I have found three adorable blue spotted salamanders. They're each only about two inches long.

Found a girl on campus selling mealworms and crickets, and boy do these guys love to eat! At this rate, they'll be staying with me through the winter.

Yay! Also, the dirt is nice and moist to the point where some plants are starting to sprout in it. I wonder what they are... guess I'll find out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I've got the coolest hats

Got these from QuteWear on etsy... and they're fabulous! So snuggly and soft and they fit me perfectly.

*rawr*I needed something that covers my ears (they get cold and then I start whining), and looks totally awesome. You can't see it but the purple one also has a little purple heart on the other side. The black and red one will match when I wear my black jacket and black/red striped scarf when it gets colder.

Now I just need to wait for it to get colder outside to wear them. For now it's just muggy and rainy. Yesterday it was really hot and sunny. Oh fall, you are so fickle.