Monday, September 28, 2009
The curl-crested Aracari, that is! This relative of the toucan has a headful of tightly curled feathers, giving it a decidedly eccentric look and it's popular name.
Properly know as Pteroglossus beauharnaesii, this little guy hails originally from the damp lowland forests of the Amazon. In the wild they forage for fruits and the occasional nestling of another species, but here in Los Angeles they make do with chopped papaya, banana, and a special pelleted diet made just for birds like them.
They are said to be hard to spot in the wild, despite their bright colors, and are considered to be rare throughout their range. When our pair first showed up they were hard to spot too, but they have gradually lost their shyness. After a lot of work they
will now eat from my hand, a real treat for me since they are among my very favorite birds! All that color and curly feathers too. What more could you want in a bird?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Well, it is true that we went to the Flea this time looking for furniture for the new house. But unlike the last time there was no furniture to be had in our price range. Or that matched our taste, for that matter. But did that mean that we came away empty-handed? Of course not!
Not when there were ceramic toads to be had! This one is a small replica of one that sat in my yard when I was a kid. I'm not sure where my mother found hers, but I always liked the way it seemed to welcome amphibians to our yard. I'm thrilled that there is now one welcoming amphibians to our yard.
Unfortunately, we live in a desert, but that didn't stop us from buying a huge jungle plant to keep the toad company. This orchid, apparently a V. coerulea, is supposed to produce a large purplish bloom. I don't expect that I will ever get it to do that. Right now I'm just concentrating on not killing it.
So, no new old furniture for us this time. But there's always next month!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I didn't think I'd ever get there, but this month it finally happened: 100 items are now available in my etsy shop!
I've had The Frog Bag up and running since September of 2007. I was haphazard about it at first, but lately I've been doing a lot more work. It's an eclectic mix, to say the least. Lots of beadwork, like the big focal bead on the left, takes hours to complete.
Earrings and bracelets are faster to make, but not by much. And of course the shop hasn't been static; keeping up with orders while adding to current inventory sometimes seems like a second full-time job.
Then there are the cat toys, which are a real labor of love.
I'm thrilled when I look back over my records and see just how many of those have made their way to felines around the world since 2007!
But in the end, what is it all for? Sure, having a little shop on etsy is fun, and I love to buy beads which would otherwise sit idle in my studio, but what's the point of all this work?
The answer is easy: tapir conservation! Tapirs as a group are probably the most endangered, yet overlooked, megafauna in the world. So 20% of the proceeds from The Frog Bag go to the Tapir Preservation Fund. Because I for one don't want to live in a world without tapirs!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
A while back I posted news about an infant squirrel monkey that was being hand-raised where I work. Holiday was incredibly tiny and needy, not to mention cute and very fragile! Well, I am happy to report that she is now four months old, still tiny and needy and cute, but decidedly less fragile! In fact, she is a ball of fire, jumping around so fast that I took about 30 photos before I got one where she didn't look blurry.
Unfortunately, she is also extremely habituated to humans and so can't go back to her troop. She will become an outreach monkey, kind of an ambassador for her kind. And for anyone who thinks that her cuteness translates into her becoming a pet, all I can say is: Don't try this at home! Just imagine having an infant so tiny that she could be eaten by a passing cat, get her hand inside an electrical outlet, or literally climb the walls. Oh, and did I mention the tiny razor-sharp teeth? Or the fact that, smart as she is, she is incapable of ever being potty trained? Thank goodness that one of our co-workers was able to put most of her life on hold for the last 4 months to raise her properly!
In the mean time we have had another baby squirrel monkey born. And
this one is getting even better care... from her monkey mom.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I don't know about you, but I spend way too much time searching for trilobite merchandise on the internet. It can be a futile and lonely pursuit. If you're persistent though, it can pay off in spades! So here is a gallery of some of my favorite trilobite finds; a guide post of sorts for any other poor trilobite-hungry souls out there in cyberspace.
First up is this fabulous sharpie drawing of an Oryctocephalus
trilobite, done by weirdbuglady and bought on etsy. I love this piece! Check out her shop, it contains some
of the most brilliant soft sculptures imaginable.
Next we have this "quiet trilobite", also bought on etsy, this time from ArtYes
who also does lovely depictions of diatoms.
Need a trilobite that's a little more water proof? Try The Tapir Preservations Fund's extinct animal collection
Or maybe you want to wear your trilobite? I got this great design printed on a hoodie from Trilobitten's Cafepress shop
Now when the weather is cool I'm able to flash my trilobite pride all day at work.
Still not convinced? Go on your own search. But be sure to tell me if you find anything cool. I'm always in the mood for trilobites.