Friday, January 30, 2009

Thrift store love

Yes yes I haven't blogged in a while, hush. I've been busy! Went home for the weekend, several exams in my classes... I won't bore you with the details. Anything exciting will appear here, I promise.

Yesterday I went shopping and I thought I'd share some of my thrift store finds with you. I LOVE the little thrift store in town, I always find fabulous things.

I got so much great fabric that I have no idea what to do with... I was thinking of making myself some clothes, maybe a dress, but I would need to find a pattern. Been looking at some free patterns online, not sure I'm ready to take the plunge yet though. Either way, I have the fabric just in case.
The bag of buttons - who knows why I got it, it was only $1, they shouldn't tempt me like that! I need to think of a creature that I could cover with buttons.

The little black purse is the PERFECT party purse, I brought it to the Casino Night party on campus last night (got dressed up all fancy but it ended up being lousy, I'm just not a party person). The books, well, the one about animal sex I just couldn't pass up, haha! The one on tennis I got for my dad, and the snake book...

Oooohhhh the snake book.
It was written in the 1960s and has gorgeous drool-inducing photos.
I feel like I have far too many pack-rat tendencies and don't need even MORE stuff... but this summer I'm going to really crack down on my belongings. Garage sales and ebay to clear out all the things I don't want or need, to make room in my life for the things that really matter. Like nature books, and lots and lots of fabric :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Labor of love

Thanks to etsy (and instructions I came across on stumbleupon) I discovered a deep need to learn how to crochet with plastic bags. I started with a small purse for my cell phone, then a larger day to day purse. And then I needed an even bigger challenge - and I remembered I needed a laptop bag.

I don't carry my laptop around much, but now that I have a wireless USB attachment (my laptop is *supposed* to have its own wireless capabilities but they died) I can take it places, like when I'm working on my project at the Lyman entomological collection on campus.

It took me at least 10 hours to complete, I'm not really sure. Through estimation I tried to make it the right size, and tried to find as many colorful plastic bags as I could. I like making a ribbed pattern, which I get by crocheting only through the back loops. I then made a lining out of some adorable frog print fabric and added a zipper.

I really should have taken some "in progress" photos, perhaps I will for the next crochet adventure I embark upon.

If you want to learn how to crochet plastic bags, this is the link I used with great instructions:
Plastic bag crochet

Oh, and here it is along with the other lil purses I made:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Custom Order Info

After a lot of prodding, I decided to write up my policies on custom orders for my deviantART site, and I figured I'd post them here too. If you'd like to contact me about a custom order, email me at buggirl4ever(at) or send me a convo at my Etsy shop

My prices depend on the size and complexity of the species in question. Therefore it can be quite difficult to give general price ranges.

However, these are my general minimum prices:
Small (6" to 9"): $35
Medium (10" to 15"): $50
Large (16"+): $80

The prices go up from there depending on how many body parts and details there are, especially if it requires a lot of hand sewing. However there is also some flexibility, like if you just want a big long worm, it'll be less than $80.

I take requests for most types of animals, but please, no mammals! Unless they're really quite fascinatingly strange. I do NOT do puppies, kittens, bunnies, etc.

Fair game are insects, arachnids, other invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, fish, aquatic invertebrates, and extinct creatures.

***How it works***
I prefer to sell through my shop on
It's very easy to sign up (you just need an email address), and the checkout system takes you to payment through paypal. If you absolutely don't want to use Etsy, I can send paypal email requests.

I ONLY ACCEPT PAYPAL AS PAYMENT. For custom orders I require half payment up front, and the rest upon completion. However for orders under $50 only one payment is necessary, either before or after completion.

Shipping may either be from Canada (where I am at college) or from the US (if I have a chance to visit home and bring your order with me). I will be sure to let you know which shipping methods are available, as shipping from Canada costs more.

New York State residents! There is sales tax! It depends on your county, so if you place an order please alert me if you're in NY and give me your address so I can calculate sales tax.

There you have it - I can't wait for some more challenges :)

Friday, January 16, 2009


So a little while ago I was feeling a void - I realized I hadn't bought anything on etsy for a while! And as I was browsing around I came to one of my favorite shops: Spidercamp. I've ordered a bunny from her before, and saw that she had some fabulous stickers in her shop.

How could I possibly pass this up?
The stickers, along with spidercamp's awesome business card, which long ago inspired me to handmake my own cards.

So of course I put a sticker on the salamanders' cage. So cute and harmless looking, right? WRONG. These things are vicious little eating machines. I tried holding them together in one hand and it turned into a big wriggling fight with the flailing of tails and gnashing of miniscule teeth (they get along fine in the cage, though). When devouring a mealworm they first have to beat it into submission by thrashing their head side to side and against the ground.

So yeah... maybe the sticker isn't so ironic after all - it's pretty accurate actually.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some new creatures

I don't think I'm going to put these in my etsy shop, at least not yet. I have possible other plans for them to be sold in a store, we'll see if it pans out.

My train of thought for the crab spider went something like this:

I want to make a spider
What kind of spider?
Black widows are cool
Yeah, maybe I'll make a black widow
No, I don't have a lot of black fleece left
What other spider could I make
I have lots of white fabric
White spider?
Aha - crab spider!
It's got a legspan of about 16" - there are wires in the legs so it can stand up.

As for the spittlebug - I started off wanting to make an ichneumon wasp (it will happen someday), but I wasn't quite in the mood- I was scanning through one of my insect books with my roommate and she suggested the spittlebug. So of course I dug through all my bags and boxes of pompoms and scrounged for every single white pompom.
Here's to hoping I won't come up with another project that requires white pompoms, because I'm all out! And believe it or not, the twig and everything manages to stand up on its own. I put some polybeads in the bottom and if you position it just right, it'll stay up.

I'm currently working on a potentially HUGE project - a wasp nest. So far I'm making the hexagonal cells, each about 4" wide and taking a long time to make. There are going to be eggs, larvae, adults, and I envision the whole thing being able to be hung on a wall. It won't be an entire nest, but like the beginning of one, with about 25 chambers or so. I currently have only 9 chambers and already ran out of that color fabric, haha. This will surely take me a while.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Plush Team Challenge

"The new Plush Team challenge for January and February is all about New Year resolutions. Plushies make resolutions too – and we want to see what yours are giving up or starting in 2009!"

This is my entry - 20% of the sale will go towards the Plush Team.

My resolution is to keep working out - so I made a plush set of weights. Here is the bar being lifted by my cow (given to me by my boyfriend Josh)The bar has removable weights of two sizes, and even has workable clamps! There's wire inside so they are like the real thing. Obviously the bar is smaller than its real size, but the dumbbells are just right for pretending you're working out.
My roommate and I thought it would be pretty funny if we'd take the plushie dumbbells to the gym, pretend to work out with them for a while, and then suddenly toss one across the room at someone we know! I wouldn't actually do it, but you have to admit the thought is hilarious.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Craft explosion

Oh it's happened - that winter break I took caused all my artistic and creative tendencies to build up and up - until the past few days, and I've been creating things nonstop!

First up, I organized all my supplies. Here's part of my desk:Notice all the sharpies - the box on the right are all brand new! I decorated some cans (not mine, I don't drink soda) to make some fun holders... you can see my small bag made of crocheted plastic bags (I've since made a larger purse, and I'm working on a laptop bag). I even put some ric-rac on my dissection kit, haha.

Oh and my fabric - I WANT TO SWIM IN IT. Does that make sense? If you have piles of fuzzy fabric in your possession you'll understand. This is only a small section of the shelves.
The other day (they're all blending together) I spent FOUR HOURS crocheting plastic bags... first of all, it took several hours the day before just to cut them out into strips and make the giant ball of "yarn". But then I though, hey, I'll start with a few rows. And kept going... and going... and going. I found episodes of "Are you being served" online, which I watched for those four hours straight. It was a good time but I sure got some callouses.

And the SEWING.... I've finished a custom order for a trade, first off:
I love these centipede scarves, I really hope more people custom order them. I'm thinking of making a listing for one... they take up a lot of fabric but they turn out so awesome and cuddly.

I've been working on a few other custom orders as well (check this out - I'm making a fouling community), and finished up my entry for the Plush Team Jan/Feb contest. I'll take photos tomorrow.

And I've been drawing! A cockchafer beetle (Melolontha melolontha) I felt inspired to recreate with sharpies:
And some nudibranchs, Chromodoris annae:
This is based on the photo by David Doubilet, as seen in National Geographic
I've actually sold some of my plush nudibranchs to him, how cool is that! I absolutely love his photography, and well nudibranchs are just so awesome and colorful they're perfect subjects for my sewing and drawing. I don't think I'll be selling any drawings in my shop, for now they're just for fun.

As always I'm looking forward to more custom orders - figure it'll be good to get in some serious sewing before I start having to do assignments for classes and study for exams.

Can't wait to see what inspires me tomorrow!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm back!

The holidays and the start of this semester really threw me off my blogging groove - so much to do and so little time! So now I'm going to try to catch up with the interesting happenings of my life...

First of all, back home. I just have to share this photo with you all, it's my cat Skyler. She's gotten really attention needy in her old age (17 years old), and once she realized I was home to stay for a while she followed me around everywhere. She always has to be either on my lap or my brother's lap (and she whines really loudly in the process). My laptop was kept in the basement near my brother's computer, and she'd often be found sitting right next to it, waiting for me.

Well, one day sitting *next to* the laptop wasn't good enough.Just look at that face. All "Yeah what do YOU want? I'm not doing anything wrong. Pffffft". Keep in mind, the screen was halfway closed when I left it there, meaning she really had to make an effort to get comfortable. Silly kitty.

It really was great to be home with my family and pets, and to spend some time with my boyfriend Josh. Now that I have my car up here at school, I can hopefully drive back to visit more often.