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Live Butterfly Garden

My go-to gift for kids this summer has been Insect Lore’s Live Butterfly Garden. After about the third gift, and hearing rave reviews, I finally ordered one for myself Chloe. Basically, the kit comes with a mesh “habitat” container in which to place the caterpillars once they become chrysalides. Before that happens, you have to order the caterpillars online or by mail using the code from the kit. Ours came in about a week. It included 5 tiny caterpillars in a clear plastic cup, complete with food. We’ve been watching them grow daily, and now they are huge! Just this morning we found the first one attached to the roof, within its chrysalis. How exciting!

When I looked at them again around lunch time, I noticed the chrysalide was shaking like a leaf. I took a video of it below. According to the pamplet the shaking was “a natural instinct to ward of predators.” Huh. The other caterpillar attached to the roof looks like it’s praying, utterly still with its head reverently bent. If I become fanciful, I can imagine it in a medatative state, gathering its focus and praying for strength for the miraculous metamorphosis to come.

5 Crazy Painted Lady Butterfly Facts:

  • She tastes with her feet.
  • She has 10,000 eyes.
  • She breathes through her abdomen.
  • She can lay up to 500 eggs.
  • She may travel 1,000 miles in her lifetime.

Anyway, it has been interesting, and I really hope to see them transform. When I was in grade school we did a similar project, except almost all of the class insects failed. Majorly disappointing. It is nice to have this opportunity again, and to share it as a family. Hopefully this time it will be a success and we’ll have beautiful butterflies to release in a couple weeks!

Update: See photos of our emerged butterflies here!


Run River Cover

A while back, my husband showed me this video he saw on youtube that he thought I’d like. Jon Swift’s original version is good, but I like how AmiKay22 has sweetly made it her own. While not perfect, I watch it every once in a while. On road trips, David will sing along with Jon Swift, and I’ll sing a little bit of Ami’s version.

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Fortress of Solitude comes to mind

Have you heard about the Cueva de los Cristales in Mexico? David showed me a video on the BBC’s site, and I was awestruck. This cave holds unbelievably massive gypsum crystal formations, unlike any ever seen. I took a few screen captures, but you should just watch the video. I mean, imagine, being a worker with the Naica Silver mine, breaking through a cavern and being greeted by the site of your life! Like Indiana Jones or (due to it’s killer conditions) Superman. At a boiling 135 degrees and 100% humidity, it may look like heaven, but feels like Hell. I guess they won’t be selling tickets.


Laughter and Swings

My dad recorded this little video. Although I would say that Chloe is  generally a happy baby, she is not given to fits of laughter. This was one of the first times Chloe was placed in a swing. At the beginning she seemed rather undecided if it was fun or not, so she was given a little help from mom.

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Chloe "Productivity" Lecture

I thought I posted this a while back, but now I can’t seem to find it. Anyway, when Chloe was about 5 months old I was busy trying to juggle some freelance design work and the baby at the same time. Not easy or fun, especially with a deadline looming. I was working at my computer when I heard David say “Mama, turn around.” When I finally did, I saw Chloe sitting up on her Dad’s office chair looking cute as can be (she was just starting to sit up with support). I grabbed my camera to take a photo, but the camera was set to video, which was how I was able to capture this precious “productivity” lecture by Chloe (with help from Dad). Side note: Although I’m from Virginia, I do not talk with an accent, despite what you hear me say in this video. I have no idea why I decided to respond with a drawl.


Resin Jewelry Video Tutorial

Resin and Silver-Plated Rings and Pewter Pendants by John W. Golden

I have always wanted to try making resin jewelry. It seems like it could be such a unique and versatile medium, but every time I try and search for the supplies, like the pendant casings, I never seem to have much luck. I’ve also searched many times for a resin jewelry class here in Portland, but either it my usually superb google skills let me down, or classes like this just aren’t offered in my area. Has anyone else had any luck? Anyway, my interest has once again been renewed by this 3-part Resin Jewelry Making Video Tutorial. It is a little drawn out, but the artist does a great job explaining his processs. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 found on craftstylish.com.

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