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Topic: Insect Vivarium  (Read 1834 times)
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« on: January 12, 2014 05:06:59 PM »

Before Christmas I was looking for good insect related presents for our toddler. I'm an insect nut and so far she's really enjoyed interacting with ladybugs, earthworms and beetles. Browsing through Amazon I came across this Ladybug Land toy http://www.amazon.com/Insect-Lore-2100-Ladybug-Land/dp/B000099Z8H/ref=pd_sim_t_3 but it's all plastic and yuck. I have very fond memories while young of catching insects and having a bug zoo during the afternoon before letting everything go at dark and I want to pass this fun on. We have a few of those basic bug houses with the mesh, but they're rather boring and hard to see through the mesh. Plus, I think it must be a horrible experience for the insect!

At any rate I decided to make something myself for insects to crawl around in while we could watch them. A trip to the thrift store turned up this large, glass container and I had an idea of what to do with it. I was inspired by this book I stumbled upon called 'The Butterfly Vivarium'. It has some beautiful illustrations (which I used for another project!) and was inspired to make something nice. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/66051#/summary

It was so simple to put together I almost feel silly posting it! First I layered some potting soil in the bottom followed by some large gravel. I dug up a bit of moss from our front yard (we live in Seattle, moss is plentiful!) to give some color and texture. I also found a great, small branch and a little bit of wood which looks like a miniature log. The white is a bottle cap which we'll fill with water. I think I'll paint it brown or maybe blue. The final step is to make a mesh lid. It turned out like a miniature scene from Lord of the Rings.

Much better than the plastic one! I can't wait until it gets warmer and we can find some insects to try this out. I'm certainly going to try finding some more good, glass containers and make some more!

Links to my photos since I'm not to 10 posts yet!

« Last Edit: January 13, 2014 07:54:29 PM by LimeRiot - Reason: edited to expose photos for new member. welcome to craftster!! » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014 07:55:36 PM »

In addition to being fun and educational for a toddler, it's also really lovely to look at!

« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014 07:58:47 PM »

This is really neat and welcome to Craftster!
What type of opening does the jar have? Is it a wide mouth or a narrow bottle style? 

Keep crafting!
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014 02:49:12 PM »

Thank you both!

You're right LimeRiot, it is really nice to look at! I have it still sitting on my desk and I found during the day I keep staring at it more and more.

The bottle has a wide neck fortunately, it would have been a huge challenge getting that branch in otherwise. Although I wouldn't rule out one with a narrow neck, I could tip it on its side and add things to it like building one of those ships.
Killam Creative
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014 07:32:06 AM »

This is gorgeous! I could stare at for hours, with or without insects! That branch has so much character.

You don't make it with your hands.
You form it with your hands.
You make it with your mind.
                Edgar Tolson, 1971

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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014 12:59:00 PM »

Fantastic! It's beautiful and a piece of art in itself...with or without the bugs. Love it!

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