pet caterpillar transformation

8.23.09   10pm
rodney came home today with these two pretties, and immediately i said "let them gooo!". emma suggested we keep them and watch them turn into beautiful butterflies....
she had taken a butterfly "hatching" kit to kindergarten for her class to watch, but at 10, she's on a pet kick, and wants to have her own menagerie here at home...nature lover.
they were on a parsley plant, and he brought some home with them. we retrieved a huge pickle jar from our recycling (wal-mart, mt.olive, biiig jar less than 3 bucks!)...
you can get closer if you click on the photos - sorry if they took a while to load!

8.24.09   10pm
after a little while emma decided the caterpillars didn't like the smell of the picklejar, so she dug out a hospital tank for our fish.  i did some searching online and found a ton of info on caterpillars.  these are actually called "parsley caterpillars", or black swallowtails...i got excited as i read they are easy to care for and many people do it, so we set up the little tank and they chowed on parsley and dill.  they also love fennel, but we uh, were fresh out (?).
these caterpillars were large and sooo gorgeous, the black like velvet, very dark, and the green and yellow like blacklight colors.  they eat like crazy! and luka was amazed (he's 3.85). no wonder some people get rid of them...they plow through the stuff. well, they didn't just eat a lot, they pooped a ton!  easy enough to clean out, though, like pellets.

8.26.09   11.50am
so, as i read online, the time would come when these guys empty their gutts in preparation for chrysalis development.  see?  there in the corner? and what was so cool, it was like synchronized butt-blasting - they are doing everything together.  a few hours before this, they were both head down in the same spots - does anyone know if they make some silk for their butts to stick to as well?   they began bobbing their heads back and forth on the branch, i guess stringing themselves up.  (soo much info and so many photos can be had with a simple google search if you want to know more-like here).
then they both tucked-in their heads, separated from the branches (except for their butt), and became motionless...

8.27.09   9.25am
i was dumbstruck when i peered into the tank this morning...maybe i'm not the only one who has never seen this evolution? i don't even recall ever seeing a video, even though science has always been one of my favorite subjects...
i had to get my glasses and a glass of oj and look again - yes, they had done their thing in the 4 hours i was asleep!  dangit! they went from plump, bright green, cute callapillers to dead-looking, crusty brown chrysalis'sesss (?).
later, emma came home from school and told me she saw one of them wiggling, and a crust came off and fell...wow- she got to see it! go see some videos on youtube, really, if you've never seen it...

they looked pretty creepy.  then luka saw them and almost cried.  he said "where's my callerpillars?!"   he insisted they didn't want to be brurflies....i took him to my computer and flashed through several videos (youtube - there are many) - so he could watch what was going to happen.  he wasn't impressed til he saw one butterfly poke his antennae out, one at a time, then he was giggling and went to watch our little ones.
if you click on these, you can see that the thread WEAVES through a section of the chrysalis for stability!  how?! how do they survive storms?  most don't make it...

8.27.09   12.30pm
according to the articles i sifted through, it takes 8-12 days for this miracle to happen, OR, they might overwinter!  i hope not, it's only august, and still 90, hopefully they will come out next week!
they even LOOK like twins, don't they?  along the middle area, you can almost see a wing pattern...they say the chrysalis will become almost transparent just before the butterflies emerge...i will keep posting to this same post, hopefully get a short video of the big event!
here is one more....nature is sooo cool, huh?

UPDATE:  9.21.09
well, nothing is happening.  the darker of the two shriveled quite a bit, it doesn't look good.  the other looks the same as the above picture.  i put in wet paper towels for moisture, then this week i tried putting them outside, thinking that the warm air would make them come out (it's been upper 70's-80's and extremely rainy) but nothing still.
it looks as though (and i have noo experience here) that they might overwinter? i'm not sure that they will come out any more this year, so we will follow directions we found on butterfly info sites to keep them dark and dry and cool. any other suggestions?   :)
meanwhile, here is a card in honor of the brave ones:

and two more photos....one is a close-up of the two of them, you can kinda see the back one is shriveled.  and the second is a photo of what i thought was a set of pretty creepy-looking bats or vampirish bugs!  they have faces and necks, and emma even pointed out how the darker one has a skeleton necklace! (hit it to blow it up) is this a protection thing?  it sure would keep me away if i was their size...


jumping on the web-way

today, after blogging to myself for over a year, i decided to *officially open* my site to everyone.
there are a few real reasons why today became the day:

1. 08.20.09 = 0+8+2+0+0+9 = 1+9 = 1+0 = 1
day 1, right? are ya with me?

2. 4 OTHER people in my life are taking the plunge -oooh- not a good choice of words - today-
let's say they are landing some new experiences that will change their lives.....
doing something that they have been putting off for years...new lives begin with one step!!!

3. i cannot wait any longer to become part of a society
of the most TALENTED and AMAZING artists in the WORLD!!! HELLO!!!!

WILLKOMMEN to MY humble little place in the mosaic! THANK YOU FOR PASSING THROUGH!

and please keep coming back, as i plan to expand a lot by adding MUCH more art,
THOUSANDS of links to artists i LOVE and am INSPIRED by,
photos of my many COLLECTIONS (thrift store loooove),
and personal anecdotes (because i love to write) about stuff you will be hopefully interested in.
i am working on my own FLICKR photostream,
and have an empty ETSY storefront i hope to embellish with art pieces and stuff to inspire!

now that i have built my own huge wall of goals, i shall share one of my favorite quotes:
"blessed are those who expect NOTHING, for they shall not be disappointed".
(who knew a 100-piece puzzle of a pathetic little puppy could stick with you forever!?)
i want to enter this community to share the crazy love i have for all things beautiful and REAL, and to meet others who are just as crazy (or who LIVE with someone who IS)....



the creation of these woodburned beads kept me sane back some years ago, but i can still smell the wood burning....i will go back to do more of these when i get the energy! ...hopefully before my hands become more unsteady. i most love collecting the worn wood beads, like the small square ones that have their original wire loop in them.
i wonder if there is any interest in these for you jewelry artists? :)


more published!

i am so thrilled to share that two of my exemplars were chosen for the halloween issue of somerset!! since it's not on the shelf yet (sept 1), i wanted to share what i submitted and what they used.... what an awesomely talented group of artists i was in the company of!!!! thanks to all of you for the ongoing inspiration in each issue....
the two alphabets were included, but none of the others. i was going to add a photo of the CLUES alphabet with some side-lighting to show the shadows and lifted letters, but somerset still has my stuff :) .. i'll add it later.


putting it online

i don't know how so many of you keep up with scanning and photographing your work to post daily or even weekly! i am a project abandoner, and have tried to take chunks of time to just put stuff up here, but have really lagged -mostly due to potty training and heat. i am also still confused (or i make myself confused) about how to post different things. i love the gallery looks, love the well-organized, simple websites with big, definitive buttons that take you exactly where you want to be, and i like flickr for it's huge art crowd, but not so much for the navigation within a specific page...although i haven't tried to actually open a page of my own. i keep telling myself what i tell myself every minute of every day, 'i can change and adapt as i go, life is SHORT! just do it already!'
ok - so i will go scan -
here is a postcard-sized piece i collaged (magazine scraps), it is an art muse/goddess.


inch-batch -undesirables

we all have those pieces we ditch....crappy colors, no depth, whatever.  these are a batch of my least favorite inchies this summer.  i still have a hard time thinking these are anything more than doodles we draw while talking on the phone or waiting in a doc's office...these aren't "art", are they?  they have become an obsession, though, and a therapeutic way to pass time...so they made the grade for my blog.


not sure what was going through my head here 
- except maybe an excessive need for control!!  ")