Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Amazonian manatee

I fell in love with manatees a long, long time ago on a family holiday to Florida. They're not the most glamorous or adorable of animals but there's something about these big gentle creatures that just fascinates me. Fun fact- although they are fully aquatic, manatees are more closely related to elephants than they are to other marine mammals like whales and dolphins.

Amazonian manatee (the ones in the photo- you can tell them apart from the other two manatee species by the white splashes of colour across their bodies) have a conservation status classified as Vulnerable due to the continuing reduction in their population numbers. One of the problems with these manatees is that the cloudy, vegetation-heavy waters of the Amazon make them difficult to spot and a large proportion of their territory is challenging for conservationists to reach, so there are no accurate numbers of how many animals there actually are. Sadly manatee numbers continue to decline as they fall prey to illegal hunting, accidental capture in nets and the destruction and degradation of their habitat.

This little guy is for sale here and by weird coincidence, today is actually Manatee Appreciation Day so I'm going to spend some time just, you know, appreciating manatees. I'd like to hug one cause they look very huggable, but it's not really a good idea to hug wild animals so I'll just google some pictures of them and 'aww' to myself instead!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Playing with paper

I used to do a lot of scrapbooking and altered art, but then life happened and I drifted away from it. I've tried other crafts but there always seemed to be limits to what I could do with them, how creative I could be. Recently I started to dabble in polymer clay after being inspired by some fantastic artists, and it's a great medium to work with and no end to the things you can make with it (as long as you have the technical ability!). But I missed getting my hands covered in ink and paint, turning a piece of old junk into something amazing just by applying the right embellishments to give it a new lease of life. So I went back through my old blog reading list in search of something to kick my creative arse into gear and came across this site's Moodboard challenge:

In addition to the gorgeous colour palate, the 'Dream on' phrase really sparked something for me. I've spent the last year and a half chasing an old dream and things aren't turning out as I'd hoped. So maybe it's time to stop dreaming and awaken to the new possibilities that are out there:

Friday, 25 March 2016

Planetary horoscope determination device

The Hellenistic period of history saw the combination of the Egyptian zodiac with the Greek system of planetary Gods, sign rulership and the four elements. This device was inscribed with the zodiac symbols used during this period of history. It is available to buy here.

Antikythera-prototype ancient computational device

The Antikytheria mechanism is a fascinating piece of ancient technology- found on a shipwreck off the Greek coast in 1900, it was another 70 years before historians realised it wasn't simply a lump of corroded bronze but actually a complex computational device designed to predict astronomical postions and eclipses. If you'd like to find out more about this really amazing piece of ancient mechanism, have a look here.

This is my imagining of what a prototype Antikythera mechanism might have looked like- apparently such a prototype device might actually exist but I highly doubt this looks anything like it! If you would like to own it though, it's for sale here.

Astrolarium moon-phase pendant

This necklace has been handmade from polymer clay, swarovksi crystals, acrylic paints and die cut gears. The astrolarium piece itself measures approximately 6.5 cm across and the entire chain plus pendant measures approximately 56cm in total length. The pendant is attached to a silver style chain with a toggle fastening. If you like this piece, you can purchase it here.

Humpback whale

Humpback whales are one of the largest mammals on the planet and yet despite their size, they were once overfished to such an extent that they numbered only a few thousand individuals. Strict legal protections from whaling have resulted in the global population of humpbacks returning to healthier numbers although they are still vulnerable to the effects of climate change. To find out more info, have a look here.

This polymer clay whale has been sculpted and placed on a textured background to create the look of the deep sea. If you'd like to own this whale, visit our Etsy shop here.

Hazel dormouse

How adorable are these little dormice?! Although not classified as endangered species on a global scale, they are decreasing in number and vulnerable to extinction in the UK due to the changing of farming practices and the removal of hedgerows and wooded areas where they feed and hibernate. To find out more about hazel dormice, have a look here and here.

This polymer clay dormouse has been sculpted in his little nest, nibbling away at a blackberry before he settles down to hibernate the winter away. Here is the link to our Etsy shop if you'd like to own this cute little critter!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A messy new venture

This is my outlet for creative processes, frustration, general messiness, probably a lot of cat photos, some nature chat and just general all round waffle. It's a journey- where it's going I'm not quite sure nor if I'll actually know the end if I get there, but I guess it all needs to start somewhere!