Monday, September 29, 2008

Bugs everywhere!!!

I spent several hours this weekend making a big pile of little bug cozies (holding my business cards) to use as promos.

There are many people on etsy who ask for promo materials to give away in their packages or at craft shows, and I'm taking up a few on their offers.

I used to make my own stickers, but the material costs added up quickly and it was really time consuming. These little bugs are also time consuming, but they're using up my scrap materials and are pretty easy to make. Also - they don't just hold my business cards, they would be great to use as a cozy for a cell phone, ipod, or for cash/credit cards.

Some are made with fleece, some with patterned material, a few even with chenile (but damn does that stuff make a fuzzy mess everywhere!).

***UPDATE*** I'm starting to offer these in my shop for $3 each, free shipping!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Three little friends

Not sure how long they'll be staying with me, depends if they'll eat well. The dirt already has worms and lots of little bugs, and I found someone selling mealworms, so we'll see.

Introducing the three most adorable blue spotted salamanders you'll ever see:
Ambystoma laterale

(Don't mind my dirty hands... I was just setting up their tank)

What's awesome about these salamanders is that they hybridize with another very similar looking salamander: the Jefferson's salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) . I have several of them (I think) as pets that I've had for nearly 11 years now.

The Jefferson's salamander is overall duller black/blueish/gray, and spots only appear lightly splattered along the sides and belly. They are also larger/longer than the blue spotted.

However, the hybrid version may be quite similar to either species and unable to be correctly identified without genetic testing. They're a very unusual type of animal, being triploid (sets of three chromosomes, instead of just two). They can either have two Jefferson's and one blue spotted chromosome, or two blue spotted and one Jefferson's chromosome for each set (one individual will have only one of the two combinations). Therefore there are hybrids that have lots of blue spots, and hybrids that have less spots, and of course they all vary in size.

So... my best guess is that these are blue spotteds, however, there's always the possibility that they're hybrid, as I've caught what appeared to be Jefferson's salamanders in the same area before. The salamanders I caught back home that still live with my parents look more like the Jefferson's, but I'm inclined to think they're hybrids.

I'd love to find someone at my university that could help me do genetic tests on them to look at the chromosomes and cell sizes, I'll let you know if that ever works out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You can't see me

Because I'm too busy!Even more homework, even MORE custom orders, and starting my beetle project for school.

I swear I'll write something intelligent and witty when I'm able to gasp for air.

This is fun though... I thrive on being insanely busy, as long as I don't fall behind. Here's hoping I keep my head up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Isn't that a great feeling?

Of course, my dad ALWAYS uses it in the wrong context, on purpose, just to annoy me. But anyway.

For those that don't know:

So yeah, today I've been feeling energetic and silly, got my homework done, got a bunch of sewing done, head was spinning over so many custom orders and trading conversations on etsy...

Got to take some time out to talk to my boyfriend though. It's been tough catching each other online lately, but we snagged a few minutes to be silly together and remind me why our long distance relationship works...

Some people are worth the wait.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I've been neglectful

So sorry, that's what happens when school work and sickness get in the way of blogging!

Been busy busy busy with classes, homework, and ornithology field trips this week. And I've been sick the past few days, finally slowly recovering.

So here I'll share some photos that I took on one of our trips...

First up, a little goldfinch:
This cute little pied-billed grebe caught a fish and struggled with it quite a bit... and another grebe kept chasing after him! It was quite funny, the chase went on and off for several minutes.
The bird of the day turned out to be a least bittern. We even saw two of them! This little guy was really close to the walk way, and stayed perfectly still, even though there was a crowd of students all trying to take pictures.
At first due to the size and body shape we thought this was a raptor, but it was in fact a turkey vulture. It was really neat getting to look at it through the high power scopes our professors had.
I took lots of photos of the various waterfowl, and I like this one the best. The common moorhen is really neat looking, and I had never seen one before.
And of course being the herp lover I am, I couldn't help but notice all the painted turtles in the water.

Even though it's fall, one male had it in mind to seduce a female! He was doing the mating wiggle dance and everything! We were bird watching for about two hours and he was chasing after her the entire time.
The male is the smaller one, on the right. I wish I had gotten a video, the males do a hilarious waving and gesturing of the front feet/claws.

The female was totally not into it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I love custom orders!

I think it's so fabulous when people ask me to create things I otherwise wouldn't think to make, or things that I've been planning but just haven't gotten around to yet.

I recently created a praying mantis for TotusMel on etsy, and let me tell you it'll be tough to part with my favorite insect!It's so soft and cuddly and cute and *squeals*

I think I'll have to make one for myself... however, since I don't use any patterns and just made it up as I went along, it won't be the same. Perhaps I'll make myself a smaller one. Actually, what I REALLY want to make is an ambush bug. That one will be for me and only me, hehe.

Oh, and I went through my sold items on Etsy (wow, up to 90!) and it turns out that about 28% of the items were custom orders! And many of the orders were for multiple creatures, which I didn't take into account.

Thanks so much to everyone who comes to me with their ideas, I love being able to make them a reality. As the college year is underway I'm busy with classes but still taking more custom orders. You can contact me on Etsy, or by email: buggirl4ever (at)

Now to move onto the rest of my growing pile of orders, including leopard geckos and a shark. Woo!

Thanks so much to Michelle Kempner of the Craft Zine blog for featuring my mantis!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Feels like I could eat these things for all three meals... that is, if I didn't get sick from all the oil.

What are these mysterious delicious things?Vegetable balls! All sorts of fabulous veggies chopped up, smothered in some sort of gooey batter and deep fried to delicious perfection. From what I can tell they include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and... lots of other stuff, hehe.

I got them from the local Farmers' Market, they always have such fabulous goodies it's tough to limit myself to what I can eat in one week. Last week I got normal and red onions, eggplant, a tomato, and some sourdough bread (they had sold out of the veggie balls!). This week I got 6 veggie balls, more sourdough bread, a few apples and some golden/yellow raspberries. I ate all the raspberries quite quickly, so they're not in the following photo.


Oh how I love the thrift store in my town! It's a fabulous little place that I visit at every opportunity.

They have one room with clothing, shoes, toys and SEWING SUPPLIES, and another room of dishes, glassware, and other little delicate trinkets.

Notice... I said... sewing supplies! From them I've gotten yards upon yards of fabulous fabrics, piles of zippers, buttons, ribbons, scraps, snaps and other goodies.

Here is what I've picked up most recently: three large pieces of beautiful green/red fabric that I just washed and ironed, a few bags of felt, about 20 zippers (not shown), and an adorable little red purse:You can't beat thrift store prices with a stick, either. I've also gotten clothing, cups, dishes, escargot dishes, and tote bags in the past. The best part is the fabrics though... they always have an eclectic assortment to dig through and I always find something to take home.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the green/red fabric. I'm thinking it could be good for christmas-y type things, but the green areas are large enough to be used on their own. I'm thinking tote bags and zipper pouches, any other ideas?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I can haz lolcats?

Ok, I really despise "netspeak", especially that stupid lolcat speak, but darnit, those pictures and silly captions are funny! I love icanhascheezburger!

So... I made a few of my own today, with my own photos.
I have several more here. Hehehe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It's the sad-eyed, goodbye, yesterday moments I remember
It's the bleak street, weak-kneed partings I recall
It's the mistier mist
The hazier days
The brighter sun
And the easier lays
There's all the more reason for laughing and crying
When you're younger and life isn't too hard at all
-Drowse, by Queen

Summer seems to be slowly slipping away. And nothing embodies the feeling of summer's departure like a cicada that's sung it's last song. Or heard it's last song, in the case of this cicada (female, note the ovipositor).

A subject my friend found and my attempts to artfully photograph it:
It's still fairly hot in the middle of the day, but it's getting chilly around the edges.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Where did it all go? I feel so free!

My hair... is about 6" shorter now, perhaps more, hard to tell. My roommate kindly obliged to do the task. It took a while to get it all even - my hair is straight and fine but still thick enough to be tricky.

Keep in mind, in a ponytail my hair, previously, went almost halfway down my back.It feels so great to have that extra weight gone, and to move around without always worrying about my long hair getting in the way. Going to (temporarily) dye it purple soon! Did it before and it really only gave it a slight purplish red gloss, but it looked really pretty.

In other news, my shop is overstuffed with new listings, things I made over the summer I'm finally getting around to putting in the shop. Lots of zipper pouches, and an assortment of small, reasonably priced animals (including reptiles, amphibians, and mammals). The sorts of things you might have as a pet. Check them out!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just for fun

Made this sleeveless hoody yesterday... totally made it up as I went along, looking at another hoody I have.

It's so soft and cuddly!You can't really see the pockets, but they're purple like the hood. And you can see my sewing machine behind me, hehe.

And in other news, I need a hair cut.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ok, I lied

This post does relate to St. Croix... again... sorry :-P

I did a drawing loosely based on one of the photos in the previous post. I took a photo of it, which doesn't do it justice. There is a lot of time consuming detail on those tires.The mood just seemed to strike me to draw today. It's always fun when things like that happen... now if only I'd get a feeling of what I should make for dinner.

Here fishy fishy fishy...

This shall be my last St. Croix post... some more of my underwater photos! Some of the best ones I actually took with my disposable cameras and are hanging on my wall, but I don't have time to scan and edit them, so here are just a few goodies... these were taken at the conglomeration of sunken tires a short swim from our beach.

French angelfish have a nasty habit of turning away as soon as you try to take a picture, and digital cameras have about a half second delay, but I finally managed to get a good one.This is a most entertaining fish, the dusky damselfish. They are extremely territorial! As you can see, this one got right in my face. They like to feign attacks, and sometimes they actually bite. Once I dove down and felt something pinch my butt - I whirled around to see one of these fish hovering over me as if to say "This is my space! How dare you!"And of course, the adorable little juvenile blue tang (yet bright yellow!). Very hard to photograph as they're quick and shy.Two little blue tangs looking cute swimming together.A nice collection of fish around a part of the tires - I see seargent majors, butterfly fish, blue tangs, goatfish? and a slippery dick (the skinny one in the back, with a horizontal stripe). I swear that's what they're called.And there you have it - part of the underwater scene at my favorite place in the world. The reef half a mile out from our beach is even better, but I didn't get a chance to bring the digital camera out there.


Congrats to PoisonousPorkipine of etsy! Her name was randomly chosen by my room mate out of a box with the names of all who entered.

Hope you enjoy the sea glass!

Thanks to all of you who played along :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In celebration of classes starting - SEA GLASS GIVEAWAY!

My college classes start today and I'm excited, it's looking to be a great year. So, I thought I'd do a little giveaway!

While visiting St. Croix, my mother and I combed the beaches for sea glass. I kept my favorite pieces, but I'm willing to give up the rest! They mostly look like beer bottle glass but who knows... greens, ambers, clear, and lots of light blue, even two dark blue pieces.
I don't know much about sea glass but I do know that these are REAL (picked them off the beach/in the water myself), and the pieces have differing qualities (some are more perfectly rounded than others). I know that somebody would be able to do wonderful crafts or jewelry with these pieces (hoping to get a few of the ones I kept made into pendants someday). Here's your chance to get ahold of some St. Croix sea glass.

So now...
It's a simple "pay attention to me" thing:
1. Check out my shop: WeirdBugLady
2. Tell me what your favorite thing in my shop is!
3. Tell me what you'll do with the sea glass
4. Leave me a way to get into contact with you (either etsy name or email)

*The giveaway will end Friday, September 5th*

I will then put all the names into a hat, and have my roommate randomly choose the winner.

Good luck :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

I love stingrays!

(yes, another St. Croix post)
They're my favorite animals to photograph underwater. Not only do they usually sit still on the bottom and let me get really close, but when they're swimming they look so majestic and beautiful.

I have some photos I took with disposable underwater cameras and so they're displayed on my wall, but I also got a chance to use my mom's digital camera with underwater case. Only used photoshop to play with the levels a little bit.
These are all shots of the same stingray, a Southern stingray (Dasyatis americana). They can get used to people and will even be friendly in approaching them for food, but only in certain areas. I wouldn't dare touch a wild stingray simply sitting on the bottom of the ocean, no matter how tempting and how close I can get. I *have* gotten extremely close though, down to a matter of only two or three feet for a photo.

This is a picture of my favorite photo on my wall... perhaps later I'll scan it along with some others.
I also have some fishy photos I'll post later :)

Oh and I forgot to mention - in the above pics, that ray was at least four feet across.