Insects and Antlers

Oh hey! I’m still here. Due to some good old fashioned personal chaos I don’t have much in the way of renovation progress to report, but the Port Richmond Museum of Printmaking and Natural Sciences continues to make acquisitions, and I wanted to show you a few of them.

I figured April was as good a time as any to finally get around to hanging my 2012 calendar.

I never intended to use a wall calendar in any functional way, so I suppose I don’t have to feel too badly for hanging it this late. I’m just a sucker for a beautiful print. And this one, featuring the constellations of the northern hemisphere in silver ink on blueprint blue, certainly qualifies. It’s from the Etsy store littlebrightstudio.

Next to it is an admittedly quirky piece by Grow House Grow, a studio that wound up in my bookmarks folder when it was featured on Design*Sponge a few years back. This is a cropped sample of their Ms. Ward wallpaper, inspired by the 19th century Irish illustrator and entomologist Mary Ward.

I latched on to this particular print because it reminds me so much of my mother, who loved nothing more than to be outdoors photographing and collecting samples of the local creepy crawlies. When my siblings and I were young, she catalog ordered a few praying mantis oothecae — an appropriately icky-sounding word for their egg cases — and from then on, searching for baby mantids in the bushes was a normal family pastime. We named them. We caught yellow jackets and fed them to the adults. We squealed when we spotted one eating another. When the weather got chilly, we took in a big green female we named Lady and kept her as a pet.

As nightmarish as they appear, I’ll always have a soft spot for praying mantids.

But there are mammals here, too. I won this cute little woodcut print at a raffle:

He’s from local artist Kristen Solecki. I like his attitude.

I also spent the winter being mildly obsessed with antlers, after reading that deer shed them in January and regrow them in the spring. I was determined to find some sheds on our weekly family hikes. The weather has been so warm that we have indeed hiked all winter, but sheds proved elusive. I did get this guy, though:

If you can’t find the real thing, get a laser-cut cardboard approximation! This is a buck from Cardboard Safari. He came flatpacked and my brother and assembled him.

But wait, what is this on the cabinet beneath him?

Finally, after three months of keeping my eyes glued to the ground, my (I think endearing, others probably disagree) obsessiveness paid off and I spotted this little shed hidden in some dead undergrowth. It’s a bit gnawed on since it had been sitting around; rodents use these things as sources of calcium in the lean months. But I don’t mind, of course. Nothing is too strange for the Port Richmond Museum of Printmaking and Natural Sciences. And nothing is too dirty for me to pick it up off the ground.

Also, this is happening:

It would be difficult to be down in the dumps when the view out of your bedroom window is this candy-colored explosion. Here’s to spring.