Second Contest of 2011!

It occurred to me that I promised to have another contest in April.  Seeing as I only have a few hours of April left, I’d better get on it!

cards

block printed cards

Up for grabs this time is another item made by yours truly: a set of 5 note cards printed with insect block prints.  They’ll arrived bundled together with envelopes and a set of 6 hand printed bee stickers to act as seals.  The winner can choose 5 images they’d like from those in my collection of insect linoleum blocks (damselfly, ground beetle, tiger beetle, scarab, ant, dragonfly, giant water bug, predaceous diving beetle, or wasp – and I’m working on some new ones too!).  The image to the left is a set of cards I made for a grad student who let me stay in her house when I was doing some research in another city and are an example of what the cards will look like and the style of the prints.

Want a shot at winning these?  There are three ways to enter, so you can enter up to three times if you wish:

  • Method 1) Leave a comment below with the answer to this question: if you were to eat an insect, which one would it be?  (Or if you’ve already eaten insects, tell me which one was your favorite!)
  • Method 2) Follow me on Twitter (I’m @dragonflywoman2), then leave a comment below to let me know you are a follower.  I use Twitter to share news about insects, aquatic biology (including some marine), and other interesting bits of biology.  News about bats creeps in from time to time too because I love bats and I can’t help myself.  I tweet about 15 times a day on weekdays, less on weekend.
  • Method 3) “Like” my Dragonfly Woman page on Facebook, then leave a comment below to let me know you’ve done so (or that you already “like” me).  I created the page so that I could post notices about new blog posts, the occasional interesting news tidbit, and photos related to my blog separately from my regular Facebook account.  I promise to resist the urge to bombard you with status updates and other things that will clog your Facebook news feed.

I’ll accept entries for one week, then I’ll write all the entries on slips of paper and have my husband draw one.  I’ll announce the winner here and contact him/her by e-mail to make arrangements for shipping the cards.  Easy, right?  Just make sure you send me a valid e-mail address or I won’t be able to notify you if you win!

Good luck!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © 2011 DragonflyWoman.wordpress.com

Insect Mug Contest Winner

aquatics montage 1

Aquatics montage 1 (This is the prize if you take option #1)

Thank you to everyone who entered my contest last week!  I got more entries than I expected and that makes me very happy.  However, I could only pick one winner.  Thanks to a handy online random number generator (my husband is sick so I didn’t have him draw as planned – I’m trying to avoid him so I don’t get sick too!), the winner is George Sims! Congratulations!  I will contact you by e mail to figure out the details.

I appreciate all of your continued support and your interest in the things I write about.  Look for another reader appreciation contest in April!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © 2011 DragonflyWoman.wordpress.com

First contest of 2011!

aquatics montage 1
Aquatics montage 1 (This is the prize if you choose option #1)

As promised, it’s time to have a contest!  Up for grabs: an insect coffee mug hand drawn by The Dragonfly Woman.  I’ll even give the winner a choice!  1) You can have the aquatic insect mug I featured on my blog a while back (pictured at left), which depicts a stonefly nymph, dragonfly nymph, crawling water beetle, water boatman, predaceous diving beetle, mosquito pupa, blackfly larva, mayfly adult, caddisfly larva (out of its case), and a hellgrammite.  Or 2) if aquatic insects aren’t your cup o’ tea, I’ll make you a custom mug!  You can choose up to 3 insects and I’ll create an entirely new mug just for you.  My only restriction: no dragonflies!  I know, I know.  It’s ironic The Dragonfly Woman won’t do dragonflies, but the paint pens I use aren’t fine tipped enough to allow me to put in all those teeny tiny little wing veins – and if I’m honest with myself I’ll admit that I don’t have the patience to put them all in anyway.  If you can’t live without an odonate, I can do a damselfly or any immature odonate easily enough.  And whether you go with option 1 or 2, the mug will be white with a black design because that’s how I roll.  I’ve posted a few photos of other mugs I’ve done to give you a more complete idea of my style and how a mug with only a single insect on it might look.

hellgrammite mug

Hellgrammite mug

The mugs I make are microwave safe and dishwasher resistant.  However, due to the fact that the paint is on top of the glaze, you can extend the life of your mug by hand washing it as needed.  Scouring the outside repeatedly will wear the paint out, so don’t go scrubbing the outside with steel wool or anything.  Of course, if you’re me and you wash your tea mug at work, oh, every 6 months or so (i.e. only when you can no longer see any white on the inside), then by all means stick the mug in the dishwasher.  It can definitely withstand the 20 washes it will get before you accidentally drop it on your tile floor and it ends up in 100 pieces…  :)

aquatic montage 2

Aquatics montage 2

So, just how does one go about winning a mug?  There are 3 ways to enter and you can enter up to three times if you wish:

  • Method 1) Leave a comment below with the name of your favorite insect.  If you’re not an entomologist, common names or even the name of a group of insects (e.g. dragonflies) will do!
  • Method 2) Follow me on Twitter (I’m @dragonflywoman2), then leave a comment below to let me know you are now a follower.  (I kinda sound like a cult leader phrasing it like that…)  Just so you know what you’re getting yourself into by following me, I use Twitter to share news about insects, aquatic biology (including some marine), and other interesting bits of biology.  News about bats creeps in from time to time too because I love bats and I can’t help myself.  I tweet about 15 times a day.
  • Method 3) “Like” my new Dragonfly Woman page on Facebook, then leave a comment below to let me know you’ve done so.  I created the page so that I could post notices about new blog posts, the occasional interesting news tidbit, and photos related to my blog separately from my regular Facebook account.  I would also love for other people to post insect photos and interesting news there!  I promise I will resist the urge to bombard you with status updates and other things that will clog your Facebook news feed.

I’ll accept entries for one week, then I’ll write all the entries on slips of paper and have my husband draw one.  I’ll announce the winner here and contact him/her by e-mail to make arrangements for shipping the mug.  Easy, right?  Just make sure you send me a valid e-mail address or I won’t be able to notify you if you win!

Good luck!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © 2011 DragonflyWoman.wordpress.com

The Dragonfly Woman is 1 Year Old!

It’s official – today marks one whole year of my writing The Dragonfly Woman!  I have to say that this has been a very rewarding experience for me.  It’s been great fun interacting with the other insect bloggers around the world and I love getting questions from readers.  It’s been a much more interactive adventure than I would have anticipated when I first started this blog and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Although the fellowship that prompted the creation of this blog is now over (and honestly, I never would have gotten this blog off the ground if I hadn’t gotten the fellowship – thanks Biosphere 2!), I intend to keep blogging.  I really love doing this and feel like I’m doing some good,spreading some good insect vibes to those who read my posts, so why not?  And now that I’ve been doing this for a year, I know what I’m doing, I’m motivated to do it, and I feel like I’m really getting something out of it personally and professionally.  Hopefully you, my readers, are getting something out of it too!

Because I’m anal, I have plans to make my blog better in the coming year.  Not that I think I’m doing anything wrong now, but there is always room for improvement.  So, I intend to make some changes and/or additions to my blog this year.  These include:

1) Posting more often. This might not happen right away as I’m in the middle of writing my dissertation, but my goal is to start posting 3-4 times a week rather than once a week like I have been.  I can’t make all of my posts long and detailed if I do this, so I plan to keep doing one detailed post a week as I’ve been doing and make the other 2-3 posts shorter pieces.  This way I can share information I find interesting right away rather than simply adding it to my ever growing list of things to talk about in my blog.  Aquatic insects rock and I want to share them with the world!

2) Getting my gallery up and running.  I have a page for it, but I haven’t had the time to go back and plop my photos into the gallery.  It’s going to take some time and effort, but I think it will be worth it in the end.  I’ll have a table of contents as well as a gallery of thumbnails so that readers can find images easily.

3) Provide more educational materials. I love developing curriculum.  I even had a job to do just that at an extension office in Colorado once.  It was great!  Teaching people about insects is the goal of my blog, so why not make some formal activities available?

4) Making my blog more interactive.  The best part of my blog is the information, questions, and comments I receive from my readers, all of the fabulous interactions I have with the people for whom I write this blog.  Through my blog, I have gleaned several new outreach opportunities, from providing dragonfly photos to an Audubon educational facility in the Phoenix area to being asked to provide some giant water bug footage for an upcoming program on Animal Planet.  I have already added a contact form so that people can send me e mails to ask me questions or get more information about topics I’ve blogged about.  Please feel free to start using it to contact me!  I would also like to start posing questions and creating polls on my blog that people may respond to.  Improving the interactive capacity of my blog also ties into my last idea…

5) Hold contests. Who doesn’t like to get free stuff?  And free insect stuff is even better!  (Well, it is if you’re an entomologist or insect enthusiast at least…)  To that end, I now announce my first contest:

I’m curious how many people actually read my new posts each week.  I’d like for everyone who reads this post to leave a comment.  If you have any suggestions for how I might improve my blog or topics you would like to see me write about over the next year, feel free to include those in your comment, but a simple “hi” will suffice.  I will randomly select a winner from all of the comments received over the next week – you have until June 4th to respond.  I’ll post name of the winner on my blog and contact him or her to get a mailing address.  The winner will then receive a matted, frame-ready Dragonfly Woman original insect block print in the mail!  The print will be hand printed in black ink on white acid-free watercolor paper by me, the Dragonfly Woman, using a hand carved linoleum block of my own design.  And, you even have a choice of insects: damselfly (Argia sp.), caterpillar hunter beetle (Calisoma sp.), scarab beetle, ant (Polyrachis sp.), or giant water bug (Lethocerus medius).  Good luck to everyone who chooses to enter!

Next week I’m going to do a post with an update on how the pond I built at the Biosphere 2 is doing a month after it’s installation.  The following week I will be going to a conference in Santa Fe, the joint meeting of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and the North American Benthological Society.  While I’m there, I will write a new post daily to highlight my favorite talk or poster of the day.

Thank you all for making my first year at The Dragonfly Woman blog so thoroughly enjoyable!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © 2010 DragonflyWoman.wordpress.com.