Tuesday, January 29, 2013


What a lovely day this was! Rocking my new haircut, my new favorite vintage sweater, and exploring this beautiful architecture...

Now I'm stuck at home staring down two days of double shifts and pouring rain, but at least I have these photos to remind me of how much fun we had.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Little Things

Just the small things I've been up to lately...

Hanging some old art of mine...

Rearranging my curios on my bookshelf...

Trying to find a place to hang this beautiful new butterfly I acquired at an  estate sale...

 Feeling lucky that I have a husband who brings me flowers...

Painting a champagne cork that reminded me of a mushroom....

Marzipan fruits and vintage sweaters in the same colors.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Insect Adventures Part 1 :: Meet the Butterflies

I've been so excited about starting my insect collection for such a long time. I had lots of questions at first. What type of insect/arachnid? Should I have a theme? Should I stick to one geographic region? Since I've already got a few butterfly items I finally decided to begin my insect collecting with an exploration of the order Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths!

That presented all sorts of new problems. There is an amazing number of members of this order, most of which are beautiful and interesting and totally worth adding to a collection. I spent hours and hours trying to decide which specimens to begin with. In the end I settled on three different butterflies and the vendor I ordered from was kind enough to throw in a fourth! So let's meet the Lepidopterans, shall we? They're all still folded up as they arrived in their envelopes, so if you want a peek ahead at how they'll look in their wings-open glory, go ahead and click through to their wikipedia pages. Or if you want, keep it a little surprise!

This is Salamis parhassus or Protogoniomorpha parhassus. This is one of the very first specimens I saw. Their common names, one of which is Forest Mother-of-Pearl, stems from their gorgeous iridescent wings. I cannot wait to get a look at them!

Lyropteryx apollonia. I was totally taken in, I think as most people are, at the flashier butterflies with the crazy beautiful colors and patterns. But I also found myself really fascinated by the more subtle ones, such as L. apollonia. I love the stark contrast of black and white against just one really bright color, such as the pink on the underside here.

Another subtle (on the underside at least) beauty. Inachis io, who I purchased just because I love his name. A silly reason maybe, but I've always had a soft spot for Greek mythology. The river god Inachus was the father of Io, a priestess of Hera. They have a very long story associated with them. Plus the name just sounds cool!

And this is my bonus specimen! Honestly I'm not quite sure which he is yet. I'm working on figuring it out. Hopefully it will be easier once I can peek at the tops of his wings.

So if you're not familiar with the process, to pin these guys for display you first have to relax them so their wings can be opened without breaking. To do this, you create a relaxing chamber. Most are made from jars with a layer of some sort of wet media in the bottom and a separator on which you can rest the insect. When you seal the container, the humidity rises thus rehydrating and relaxing the insect. 

Here is my chamber:

I didn't have any jars so I used a tupperware. Added bonus was that I could relax two specimens at once because it has more surface area. The specimens can't touch inside the chamber. Mine is made of a layer of damp paper towels with a spray of Lysol to inhibit mold growth and a layer of bubble wrap.

 There they've been for the past few days! I've been checking up regularly to make sure there's no mold growth and the humidity is optimal.

In case all of this intrigues you and you'd like to get some butterflies of your own, here are the supplies I'm using. All were purchased from Home Training Tools, which I found to have good prices and very fast shipping. They also have all sorts of wet specimens and dissection kits...Ooh!

I have here an insect spreading board (the white foam), some black enamel pins, and an 8" x 12" exhibit case. I think for the price and with me being a beginner these are all spot on.

So I hope you enjoyed the little intro to my latest project! I can't wait to be able to pin these guys and place them in my case. Hopefully it will be just a day or two more!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013



Monday being one of our first full days off together in quite a while, my husband and I made the totally crazy decision to go on an hours-long hike in the 20 degree weather. Cold as we were, I was so glad we did. We ended up checking out some gorgeous local caves.


 Both caves were beautiful and the darkness gave us quite a challenge to shoot in. I could have probably spent all day hanging out in the dark there, listening to the sounds of underground waterways. The water in the main area had frozen into beautiful star-like formations with dagger points crisscrossing in all directions. It was certainly the most unique nature walk yet.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rock Steady

  Outfit Details
Hat \\ Old Navy
Blouse \\ Vintage, Estate Sale
Belt \\ Vintage, Estate Sale
Skirt \\ Target
Tights \\ Sock Dreams
Shoes \\ Modcloth
Glasses \\ Coastal

Yesterday Michael and I discovered a new park which turned out to be the most amazing place we've yet found. It has everything you could want! High, rocky cliffs to explore, both at the top and the bottom, a river, forests, and lovely walking bridges! We just happened to stop there for some outfit pictures and ended up exploring for almost an hour and a half, up until it became too dark. We loved it so much we're planning to spend the whole day exploring there today.

I've had a very lucky streak lately, actually. These glasses arrived from Coastal (I got them as a part of their first-pair-free deal) and looked so much cuter than my other glasses! I just couldn't get used to those big round frames, they didn't quite feel like me. These however fit me perfectly. I followed that lucky buy up with a chance stop at an estate sale that yielded this gorgeous blouse as well as this perfectly mod looking velvet belt. I also scored one in my current obsession color, forest green! I hope by reading this some of my luck will rub off on you! <3

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Banner!

I'm so excited to get to debut my new banner and accents created by Kathryn of Kitsune-kun!

 How gorgeous did they turn out?! She was a joy to work with and managed to totally nail what I was looking for and incorporated all the elements I wanted. I've admired her blog for a very long time so when I found out she did blog design I was thrilled! In case I haven't convinced you yet, here are some more of her lovely illustrations.
 From Kitsune-kun

So again, thank you so much Kathryn!

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