Monday, 29 June 2009

The Morning After

I really wish I could see this moth fly but I will have to wait until he has a mate or the next male hatches.
When I got up this morning he had obligingly moved onto the side of the container, giving me the opportunity to take a shot of his underwings. Perhaps he is saying 'I look great from any angle'.
I'm afraid the pics have no great definition but they have been taken through a plastic lid! Hopefully those I take when he is 'free' will be much better.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A Wonderful Surprise

I was just getting ready to go to bed when I saw that something special had happened. The first of my Japanese silk moths, Antheraea Yamamai, had hatched. I'm sure he wasn't there this morning or even lunch time when I was tidying in the dining room.
What a beautiful creature, yellow, golden yellow and light tan, with hairy legs and large leaf like antenae. The antenae are what tell me it's a male. His body is nearly as big as the cocoon he emerged from. It must have been a tight squeeze in there!
I have three more cocoons. Let's hope the next to hatch is a mate for him.

His wings have a span of 6 inches.
The small moth at the bottom of the picture is one of the Bombyx Mori, so small in comparison, even though there was not much difference in cocoon size.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Early Birthday Present

I asked my hubby for a Zutter Bind It All for my birthday which is next month. It came early and I was there to receive the post! So I get to play - just to make sure it works!!!:)
I have had a great time experimenting with the format of the 'books'. Decorating techniques will come later.
The red flowered cover was made by putting an Artilicious CD paper in a red backed laminating sheet and has a match book closure. I will decide how to decorate it further later.

The small green one was inspired by a bought notebook that I keep in my handbag. The closure is plaited gold elastic chord fixed on the back with a rivet. The embossed decoration may not last as it is on stiff pvc sheeting that I bought as a worksurface protection from John Lewis, sadly they no longer stock these. I was hoping to use them to make templates and screens.
The blue note book with the birds design is like the red one I made for a friend but the red one has a match book closure.

'Live Out Loud' has a second cover, rather like the ones Zutter sell, but my own version. The notebook fits into a pocket in the back of the cover, which was made using brown paper that I had used to protect my work surface when using Glimmer Sprays.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Second hatching and a pairing

I happened to be awake a 6am this morning and decided to check out the cocoons. There was a damp patch on one, indicating that a moth was ready to hatch, so I decided to take the opportunity to photograph the emergence.
It took several minutes for the moth to push an opening in the softened cocoon. I'd forgotten that it would be upside down as it emerged.

At this point the head of the moth is inside a drop of the liquid used to soften the gum.

The 'bubble' is burst.
Is it male or female? Fingers crossed for the latter as the first moth to hatch was male.

Hurray! Female. Her abdomen is fat and distended with eggs. Now she has to expand her wings to enable her to waft pheromones to attract a mate.

The male is already aware of her presence - it's not my photography - he is vibrating his wings madly with excitement.

Joined in the act, resting with wings fully expanded.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

First silkmoth of 2009

The first moth of this year has hatched, nearly 3 weeks after he started spinning. I know it's a he because of the slim body, females are usually fat with eggs that can be seen through their skin!
He hatched from the yellow cocoon on the left of the picture.
Unfortunately, although he could live for 2 weeks, he'll probably see no action because the other caterpillars didn't start spinning until several days after him.
What a boring life, no food, drink or friends to pass the time with!!
I wonder if he knows something about the contents of the cocoons he's chosen to rest on? Male or Female?
Last year caterpillars who had chosen to spin next to each other were infact one of each sex!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

GG June Challenge

Exotic, hot pink and orange are the theme for this month's Graphicus challenge. I'd like to say that my entry was inspired by the weather but unfortunately it's not!
As I work in silk I am always looking at exotic fabrics and think saris are beautiful. Thus my inspiration came from textile pattern and was helped by the fact that I love these two colours together.
The stamps I used are from EI Paisley Elephant Themeplate and Delightful Damask DL plate. I created the background by colouring the top of the card with orange and the bottom with a magenta Color Box pigment. The glittered stripes are on double sided tape. The cord and tassles I made using some of my own dyed silk weaving threads. The decorated panel is mounted, first on orange card and then on the card itself, the edge of which I coloured with the same petal point pad and brushed with mica powder.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Come on In

The weather has changed but last weekend was glorious. We paid a visit to Whipsnade Zoo and because it was a hot day we walked 'that bit further' to visit the penguins who are usually innactive on cool days, certain that they'd be doing water aerobics.
Instead they were all huddled at one end of their enclosure.

Others were lined up at the edge of the pool, as if ready for a race, but they had sent one in to test the water first. He/she seemed to be encouraging them in but to no avail. How hot does it have to get?

Sad News

Oh dear, how does one make a card for a bereavement?
During the week my cousin telephoned with the news that a family friend had died. He had been ill but his 'suffering' had not been prolonged. We would all wish for that!
I hope this card fits the bill.