Saturday, July 30, 2011

LIfecycle Papercraft Step 5 and 6

My graphic artist came over today for a consultation. We got several issues worked out. She made the butterfly smaller and added crosshatching to indicate where the sections go together. But then when I cut it out and put it together, the butterfly didn't flop, but the egg and caterpillar overlapped. So she put in a mirror image of the caterpillar and that worked better. She also put the word "liftcycle" on the arrow, which I like much better. I just need a couple of minor tweaks and it will be done.

Friday, July 29, 2011

LIfecycle Papercraft Step 4

I got the first draft of the Lifecycle Papercraft back from the graphic artist yesterday. All the drawings look good. But the butterfly is too big and flops over unless I put a crease in it. I think I will ask her to make it smaller. I also need other changes. I don't like the placement of the word "lifecycle." If it can't go on the arrow, I think I will take it out. I think the catepillar head should not be black. Also, I need some indication of how to attach the two halves. Making progress.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Butterfly Walk

I had over twenty people sign up for the butterfly walk I did yesterday. This is only a few of them; not everybody wanted to be in my blog. It was a nice sunny afternoon. The usual Berkeley summer weather. Not like the day of my butterfly walk last month when we got 1.5 inches of rain!

First, everyone got a chance to look at immatures. I had a gulf fritillary egg and first instar. Also several instars of anise swallowtails. Then I left the caterpillars in the shop when we started on our walk.

Someone found a Satyr Anglewing right away. I hadn't seen one of those in awhile, so that was a very nice one. It was also very accommodating, sticking around on the gooseneck flowers while everyone got a good look at it.

Continuing on the walk, we also saw Anise Swallowtails, cabbage whites, and umber skippers. Not a lot of species, but more than last time.

It was a pleasant afternoon at the UC Botanical Garden.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sick Caterpillars

My friend has been raising pipevine swallowtails. He has done this many times in the past with no problems. But this batch is getting sick and dying. He says their rear claspers stop working. Anybody know what this is? I know the pics are lousy. I am hoping to get some better ones from him.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Working on LIfecycle Papercraft.

This is the third iteration of my lifecycle papercraft. I found some photos of different stages on the internet and used those to make drawings. The drawings are all a little big, and therefore hard to fit on one piece of paper. More problematic, the "ears" that stick up may fall over if they are only one sheet thick. The drawings shown here were taped to the page, before being cut out, so they are two pages thick. I really thing I need to make them smaller for this craft to work well. I think my graphic designer can take care of this problem. I am sending the photos to her to see what she says.

Lifecycle Papercraft Step 2

The second iteration of the lifecycle craft is a little more refined. The bands at the bottom are the same size, the cutouts at the top are shaped like the different stages, and text has been added. This craft still has a long ways to go, but it is getting better. I am debating whether I need some kind of indication where to tape the two parts together. It seems obvious to me. But I think it is better if it is foolproof. So I think I will use crosshatching and dots or letters of the alphabet to indicate how they are taped so that all the stages point up and the finished product can sit on a table.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lifecycle Papercraft

Okay, I'm changing gears here. I decided to try blogging about the papercrafts I do for Butterfly Gardener magazine. They have a section called "Instars" in which they publish kids activities. I have done about a dozen papercrafts for them. I keep worrying that I will run out of ideas, but so far so good.

For the next issue, I am trying to do a lifecycle papercraft. I like to keep the crafts simple and just use things most people have around the house. In this case, just paper, scissors and tape will be needed to complete the craft. For me to create it, I will also need a pencil.

My first prototype is very simple. Just two strips of paper with ears sticking up. Then I drew the four stages of the life cycle on on the ears: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, adult. When taped together, the whole lifecyle makes a sort of crown that can sit on a table. This is all very crude, but I think the idea is a good one. The hard part is going to be making pretty drawings.

Usually I get a two page spread in the magazine. That means I get one page for the pattern, and one page to explain how to put it together and to show a photo of the finished product. My pattern, therefor, has to fit on a single page. I was thought the "ears" might not be big enough if both strips had to be on one page, but I think the size of the strips and ears is fine. In fact, I think the proportions work out very nicely.