Saturday, April 26, 2008

Going home!

School is almost over, I can hardly believe it! Only ONE more final exam left (statistics, yuck), which will be on Monday afternoon.

So, that means I'll be going home next week and I'll be closing up shop for the move and readjustment. I can take orders in my etsy shop up until Sunday night (April 27th). Not sure how many days my shop will be closed down, but it shouldn't be more than a week.

I can't wait to start sewing again! I've got a few projects currently in the works and a dozen more ideas floating around in my head.

I can't wait to see my family, boyfriend and pets as well. My caique, Pepper, is one of my best friends:
I can assure you that once I get home much more rambling (and pictures) of my pets and the creatures in my backyard shall occur. Don't worry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Doing what I do best

So this summer isn't looking so bleak after all. Still no word from people who could throw money at me for the summer, but I'm looking at doing a research project for school that will entail going on numerous camping trips (an insect biodiversity study). Won't be paid for it, obviously, so I'm going to use craft shows and etsy as my source of income - here's to hoping it works out! (I'm getting all the legal stuff figured out too, finally). I can't wait to go home and start working on more creatures, I have SO many ideas floating in my head, as well as a pile of custom orders.

Did I mention my boyfriend has volunteered to be my research assistant and personal chef for my insect collecting excursions? I don't see how this situation could get any better. I mean, I've been practicing for this (catching bugs) my whole life :P

And I know I can't post without posting a picture, since none of you are probably paying attention to my ramblings, so here:
It's a dragonfly adult emerging from it's old skin (you can see several of them on the branch, seems to be a popular spot). Remember this guy?
Freddy here is a dragonfly nymph. They have this crazy jaw that shoots out in front of them to catch prey underwater, including insects, newts, tadpoles and even small fish. They crawl out of the water and attach themselves to a high, vertical spot when they're ready to split open their skin and take on the adult form. The wings are very soft and pliable for a while, so they need to hang out (like in the above picture) and let them dry before they can fly off.

I can't wait to go home and start hunting around for dragonfly skins! They're great for scaring people.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Summer time is nearly here and I'm going crazy trying to figure out what I'm going to be doing with myself the next couple months. I feel sort of like this guy... flailing around...I've got three more final exams, and I'm going back home on the 30th. Most of my job plans have fallen through, and I've been contacting people like crazy, with so far none of them getting back to me. I'm looking for something zoology/wildlife related; hopefully research but I'll take giving little kids nature walks, as long as I get to do something outside. Cross your fingers for me that I get something soon!

So, due to all the mystery in my life plans, I'm not sure how much I'll be keeping up with my etsy shop. For the month of May I'll definitely be around and fulfilling my pile of custom orders (yay!), but after that... whooo knooowwwwsss. So if you've got something in mind that you'd like me to make, send me a convo on etsy and I could get to it soon.

I know this much, I'm going to be at the Art on Lark street festival in Albany, NY! I just signed up: it'll be June 21st, 10am to 5pm. I'll be bringing my bugs and monsters and will likely have new goodies. I figure no matter what I end up doing, I'll be able to spare a Saturday to sit around at a sweet craft show (there will also be music and performers). More info here.

I think I'm going to go study outside in the sunshine :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just silliness

It was so nice and warm today, decided to take Cedric the Centipede outside for a stroll.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


So, I've been a member of deviantart since 2005. Mostly just my insect photography and drawings, but lately I've been posting my insect plushies.

I woke up this morning to find over 100 messages - favorites and comments. Whaaaa? I was completely baffled for a few minutes, thought I might be in a news article or something... nope.

Turns out my Sammy the Silverfish is one of today's daily deviations!!! As any of you on deviantart will know, this is a HUGE honor. Basically, a bunch of pieces are chosen every day to be featured on the front page, and they have to be absolutely fantastic.

This is Sammy! (click the picture to be taken to my deviation on DA)
I also woke up to a sale on etsy, I'm not sure how this day can get any better!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

He's finished!

The moment you've all been waiting for... here's Cedric the Centipede!
He measures in at just under 7 feet long. He makes a wonderful scarf! I'll be taking pictures of him outside once the sun decides to return, I bet he'd look creepy crawling through the grass or hanging from a tree.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Etsy featured seller - Beetlegirldesign

I'd like to introduce Becky of beetlegirldesign! She creates the most fabulous soft sculpture snails you'll ever see. They are made from wool and wool felt, with bendable eye stalks and glass eyes at the tips. The pictures really speak for themselves, just look at those cute snaily faces!
Like my own creepy crawlie plushies they are not meant for young children and would do best as decorative pieces. I'm thinking about getting one of her snails for myself! Be sure to check out her etsy shop and her blog.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Body segments everywhere

The centipede body parts are coming together... all the segments are sewn up and stuffed. I used exactly two bags of stuffing, it was getting worried towards the end, but I made it work.

The head is finished as well, what a cute face! I've been calling it a "he", so I guess he's a boy centipede. I'm stuck as far as a name though, any suggestions?
Now I've just got to put all the pieces together :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Legs legs legs and more legs

Centipedes don't have 100 legs, but while stuffing these it sure felt like it!
Going to start putting the head together next, more pictures will come as I make more progress!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Crustaceans are cool

I'd like you to meet Daisy the Daphnia:

Isn't she a cutie? Daphnia are planktonic aquatic crustaceans, usually around 0.2 to 5mm in size. They live in fresh water and can often be seen cavorting near the surfaces of ponds. They are sometimes called water fleas because they seem to "jump" through the water with their feathery appendages.

Daisy is currently for sale in my shop!

And in other news, I got my plush swap plushie today! She is a lynx named Pola, and she came all the way from Poland. Pola was created by Aloutka (lalootka on etsy), and she is simply precious. I looooove her!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hundred legs?

Contrary to their name, centipedes only have about 30 legs. They have one pair per thoratic segment, and the common rock/garden centipede (Order Lithobiomorpha) has 15 segments. These are the little flat red wiggly guys you'll often encounter when you pick up a rock in your backyard or garden. They're scavengers, making them the clean up crew of the undergrowth. They rarely bite humans, but if they do, it'll be painful but not dangerous.

I said I'd show the progress of my gigantic centipede, so here are the segments all cut out (I started sewing some parts together, like the eyes, legs, and small segments):He's gunna be CRAZY!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

No stuffing = no bugs

I need to go shopping! I'm all out of stuffing, and I have a couple creatures all finished up but they need to be stuffed. I have plenty of scrap fabric pieces I could use, but I want these guys to be fluffy and squishy.

I think I'll be able to make a trip sometime this week. I've got a custom order bee, and a cute little daphnia impatiently waiting to be listed. Daphnia aren't bugs, but teensy aquatic crustaceans.

I'm currently working on a massive sewing project that will use up a lot of my random chunks of fabric. It's a centipede. And it will be somewhere around 10 feet long. It's going to have all the correct segments and legs, and it's going to be colorful! I usually like to keep my bugs realistic looking, but the point of this one is to be silly (yet anatomically correct). I think I'll take photos of my progress, as of today all the pieces are cut out.

These caterpillar photos are just for fun. I took the shots myself and played around in photoshop.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Vanishing of the Bees

I'd like to bring a little attention to a crisis that's been hitting North America and other parts of the world the past couple years. Our honey bees are going on strike, so it seems, disappearing in alarming numbers.
This seems to be due to Colony Collapse Disorder (the title of my drawing), which isn't much of an explanation. It simply means the bees of a colony up and leave. There are so many possibilities put forward, including disease, viruses, pollution, bee keeping practices, cell phones, mites, GM crops, the list goes on. Entomologists have been doing many studies and still have not come up with a satisfacorty answer, and suggest that the problems are due to a combination of factors. I think a part of the problem is that these bees aren't native to North America, the bee used most often for commercial purposes is the European Honey Bee, Apis mellifera. Native bees (as well as other insects) may play a role in the pollination of our crops, but they can't pick up the slack created by the disappearance of the European Honey Bees.

It's a bit sobering to realize how much we depend on a single insect species. Aside from the honey and beeswax, they are the exclusive or assistant pollinators of many of our crops, click here to see a list! It's quite long.

There is an etsy seller, ossmedicinejewelry, who is raising money to create a documentary highlighting these issues. It's called Vanishing of the Bees, click here to check out the website and see the trailer:
And be sure to donate, I did!

My insect ecology class is going out next week to set up bee boxes around campus to encourage more of them to stick around and help us with our gardens.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We have a winner!

The correct answer to my contest was the OBELISK POSTURE or OBELISKING. I got a lot of correct responses describing the function of the behavior, but I was looking for the actual phrase. I know some of you looked it up using google, which is ok because hey, I made you learn something!

The winner is Melody (thewillowtree on etsy), who will be getting one of my baby monsters. Congrats!

Dragonflies and damselflies sometimes use this posture to thermoregulate. On hot days they want to minimize the surface area of their body that is contacted by the sun. To do this, they point their abdomen in the direction of the sun. When the sun is directly overhead they look quite silly, and resemble an obelisk (which is a tall pointed structure). Some males also use this posture to guard their territory, as a warning to other males.