Sunday, September 28, 2014

In the studio

My favorite line from The Grand Budapest Hotel.
My favorite quote from The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The days are getting shorter. The beaks are getting longer. Back to the birds.
The days are getting shorter. The beaks are getting longer. Back to the birds.

Miles to go.
I like to work on the fly and just let things happen spotaneously. 
Going back in with my rigger helps me articulate feathers.

Early birds.
Layering a little bit at a time. 

Early birds wip
These birds are coming along. Hope to finish this one soon.
Have a great week my friends and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Raising Monarchs II

Changes afoot. The long wait finally over!
After about 12 days I noticed the slightest change in color on the oldest chrysalis.

Only two hours later and I could see the pigmentation of the wings.

Early the next morning the chrysalis had turned dark and transparent.

By mid morning the butterfly emerged or eclosed as they say in lepidoptera talk.
It only took a minute or so. It happened very fast and I nearly missed it.

The monarch hung upside down from its chrysalis.
Busy at first, doing butterfly things and then quietly resting.
It's hard to believe that one month ago this beautiful butterfly 
was an egg the size of a pin head.

First the butterfly unfurled his proboscis, 
a tubular straw-like mouth part used to slurp up nectar,
and then extended his wet wings which takes about four hours 
to dry and harden before he can actually fly. 
This Monarch butterfly was a male. I called him King Louis XIV, the sun king.
He has two noticeable black spots on the outside of his hindwings which females don't have. 

In late afternoon I picked up Louis and set hime free near some lovely nectar plants.
He flew right up into a tree. No long goodbyes.
Louis is part of the great generation, the fourth and last generation of 
monarch butterflies for the year.  The monarch butterflies of the great generation 
travel thousands of miles to their wintering grounds in the 
Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico where millions of monarchs gather together 
by the end of October and hang like jewels from the trees in the forest 
roosting until next spring when they begin all over again.
Bon voyage, Louis!
Monarch numbers have been rapidly declining every year for the last ten years. 
Imagine that they once covered over forty acres of land in their winter roosts
and now only cover two acres or less. 
If you are interested in helping to save the Monarchs,
either by planting milkweed and nectar plants,
or raising them next season,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Raising Monarchs

It all started in late July when I spotted tiny Monarch caterpillars 
on common milkweed plants. It was an exciting find because 
I have been looking every summer and I have never been able to find them. Not one. 
In mid August I spotted my first egg and then another and another. 
My eyes were definitely open to seeing and I saw them everywhere! 
So, I decided to raise them. 

I started with six eggs which all hatched, however one did not make it past four days.
For two weeks I fed five caterpillars fresh common milkweed leaves daily.
They ate a lot, pooped a lot of frass and molted five times in that two week period. 
They grew from 1/8 inch to 3 inches! They were fat cats!

One by one they stopped eating, climbed to the top of my enclosure and made a little silk 
from which to hang. Eventually they hung upside down in a J position, 
a sign that they were starting to pupate and enter the third stage of life as a chrysalis. 
Finally, they molted one last time. Wiggling out of their old skin. 

 Over a period of several hours the shape transfomed into a pupa or chrysalis. 
If you look closely, the pupa is imprinted with the future butterfly wings. 
This phase was extraordinary to watch and I posted a video to my Facebook page. 

These tiny jade jewels are flecked with gold. Such a thing of beauty. 
We are waiting and watching now. Perhaps in seven to ten days we will have butterflies. 
Stay tuned for an update!
If you are interested in helping to save the Monarchs,
either by planting milkweed and nectar plants,
or raising them next season,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Giveaway | Twig Typography

Twig Typography
Twig type is finally here and available in my Golly Bard shop. 
I'm celebrating with a GIVEAWAY and there are three ways to win!
Write the letter of your choice in the comments below or on my instagram or Facebook page. 
 I will pick the winners on Thursday morning. Good luck!
Vivi from Hiving Out!
The letter R is coming your way soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Enormous Tiny Art Show: Autumn

 Parthenice Tiger Moth
 Anna Tiger Moth
 Arge Tiger Moth
 Great Tiger Moth
 Virginia Ctenucha Tiger Moth
St Lawrence Tiger Moth
Packing up my paintings for ETA
Six tiger moths flew up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire 
for the Enormous Tiny Art Show opening September 5th at Nahcotta Gallery. 
All of my watercolor paintings for the show are available now 
on the ETA website andteeny tiny surprise is on the back 
of each painting for GB collectors! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Studio Days

summer blues
Summer blues.
They say the eyes keep away predators.
They say the eyes keep away predators.
St. Lawrence Tiger. I'm calling him  Larry.
A St. Lawrence Tiger. I'm calling him Larry.
Tigers for or the Enormous Tiny Art Show!
Tiger Moths for the Enormous Tiny Art Show are at the framer.
More moths soon!
More soon…
If you missed my previous post, I'm having a shop sale! 
Two more days to enjoy 25% off!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Celebrating Six Years

six years
Thanks to all my wonderful customers, Golly Bard celebrates six years this month!
I'm having a SALE in my Etsy shop! Use the coupon code SIXYEARS and 
enjoy 25% off from August 1st to August 5th! 
Have a wonderful weekend all!