Friday, May 30, 2014

Six-Legged Babies

These last couple of springs, while working in the greenhouse, I acquired my first mortal enemy: green aphids. They're tiny little guys, hardly visible at all in their natural environment (on green leaves). At first they seem rather innocuous. That's how they trick you into letting them live. You've probably all heard the silly stories about things "multiplying like rabbits." Well, rabbits have nothing on green aphids. Give those miniscule insects a couple of weeks to breed, and before you know it, your beautiful greenhouse plants are covered and vibrating with the movement of the aphids. To top that all off, they leave behind unsightly white skins, and a sticky, sickly honey-dew residue. Leave them alone even longer, and they'll suck the juices right out of your plants leaving behind a trail of sad, shriveled leaves in their wake. Thus, making them a greenhouse owner's mortal enemy. And so, the aphids must die.

Unfortunately, they're not easy to kill. I started my attack with good intentions and herbal remedies. First, I set them outside in the wind to scare them off, but they're excellent hiders, and simply crawled inside unopened blossoms and buds. Secondly, I tried spraying the plants with tomato water. I read from many sources that aphids don't like tomatoes. This is complete silliness. A few days later they were living and feeding on my tomato plants. Thirdly, I attempted to pick them off of the plants by hand. This extremely painstaking process made me temporarily nearsighted and insane. It did not, however, stop the aphid infestation. Then, I brought out the big guns: chemical insecticide. Apparently these critters are immune, although the fumes nearly killed me. There seemed to be only one option left: full scale warfare.

So we ordered an army. You can order armies on the internet now. I mean, as long as you're looking for the right type of army. A ladybug army. We released approximately 1500 troops, and they ate the enemy alive. They're pretty brutal bugs when you think about it that way. Just when it seemed like we had the upper hand, though, the ladybugs' numbers seemed to dwindle. I spent the last week in a fit of despair, missing my pretty little ladybugs. Today, though, when I checked on my pepper plants, I noticed some wriggly new arrivals.

Behold! Ladybug larvae!

And so the second generation of warriors are born. I've never been so happy to see a six-legged critter in my entire life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nautical Necklaces

I'm super excited to show you guys my latest seashell jewelry. I was inspired by a package of faux pearl beads that I recently picked up. The snail shells on all of these necklaces were hand drilled and wire wrapped. The pearl beads were hand wire wrapped as well. And just for good measure (and to make these guys a little more seaworthy) I gave some of them a helm charm.

The necklace is made with cotton cord, and a really simple adjustable clasp, so they're super comfortable. You just slip the necklace over your head and adjust to whatever length you'd like! I've been wearing a silver one for about two weeks now with everything I own. Being able to make the necklace longer or shorter adds to its versatility. (Maximum length is 28")

I have some available in my etsy shop now for just $15. AND if you can't decide which color you like better; there's even a mystery option in which I'll choose the color for you, eliminating an unnecessary difficult decision!

Friday, May 16, 2014


I think I might have a slight obsession with painting and researching bugs. Learning about bugs is like going to a haunted house, I know there's no real danger of physically interacting with a bug involved, but I'm still a little scared. While finishing the wings on my latest cedar slice paintings, I even gave my self a little bit of the creepy-crawlies. Bugs are so strange, and you never know where they're hiding. There's probably a bug within 10 inches of me right now while I'm typing, and I don't even know it!

While I'm on the topic, I thought I'd share my favorite bug blog with you: Average folks like you and me send in photos and descriptions of critters they've seen, and the blog writers do their best to identify  the bugs. The best posts feature drawings instead of photos, and letters written in all caps by a crazed individual who thinks they have a killer-bug infestation. I go through something like that about once a month, but I never write it down and send it to a blog for all the world to see!

Anyways, here are my depictions of dragonflies on sustainably harvested cedar slice, coming soon to a craft show near you:

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Trinket Trays

I've been in a very pastel mood lately. I'm not sure if you're technically allowed to be "in a pastel mood," but I definitely have been. It led me to create this whole new set of trinket trays from some of my heavy-duty seashells (seriously, these things seem almost unbreakable!) I've posted a few for sale in my etsy shop, but the rest will be taken to summer craft shows. Each shell is hand painted with acrylics and given a thick coat of varnish to protect the image from sun and water. They would give your bathroom or kitchen a happy, beachy touch when placed next to the sink for easy ring storage!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weather Systems

My latest log slice painting designs were created with spring and summer in mind. Although, when I was finished painting a few, I realized that the sun still rises and the moon still shines in every season. I suppose they ended up being a little more versatile than I realized.

I've gone slightly more abstract with these than I have in the past, and I think that made the paintings extra exciting. As always, no two paintings will ever be exactly alike, so you can be sure that you're getting a one-of-a-kind work of art!

A sunset, a moonrise, and a rainy day cloud