The Dragonfly Woman Turns 2! (And another contest)

Happy blogoversary to me!
Happy blogoversary to me!
Happy blogoversary to DW!
Happy blogoversary to me!

The Dragonfly Woman is two years old today!  Crazy to think that I’ve kept this little blog o’ mine going for two whole years.  When I started my blog back in 2009, I posted once a week and struggled to post that often.  Thankfully, it was a requirement for an academic  fellowship I had at the time, so I stuck it out.  Thank you Biosphere 2 for not only helping me get a blog started (I had always wanted to write a blog), but forcing me to stick with it long enough to create something worthwhile!

Now blogging has become completely routine.  I walk around thinking, “Ooh!  This would make a good blog post!” when I see something interesting.  I notice things in a way I never did before.  I carry my P&S camera with me everywhere, just in case I see something I want to photograph for my blog.  I’ve vastly improved as a photographer with both my DSLR and my P&S and I’m finally getting bug shots that I’m proud of.  In the past year, I’ve also expanded from posting once a week to posting thrice a week.  (Yes, I worded that specifically so I could use the word “thrice” for the first time ever.  What a glorious word!)  I’ve built up a regular following of fantastic people who apparently enjoy the same sorts of bizarre things that I do.  And, last weekend, I topped 100, 000 views!  Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about where my blog is now and where it’s headed in the future.  What a fabulous experience!

My main goal for the coming year is to move my blog over onto my own  website.  I just can’t do some things that I would like to using WordPress.com.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love WordPress, and I heartily recommend it to other bloggers.  Still, I am feeling limited by the system. on WordPress.com  None of the templates make me entirely happy and why pay for a custom CSS upgrade when I can pay for my own site?  I also need to streamline my dragonfly swarm data collection.  Can’t do that on WordPress.com.  Need my own site.

Otherwise, I hope to keep things going as they are now!  I enjoy mixing science, education, and random entomology topics together, so I’ll keep on doing things as I always have.  It seems to be working okay so far!

mug

My aquatic insects mug.

Because I love you all for supporting my blogging habit and I’m in the mood to celebrate my blogoversary, I’m going finish up here with another contest!  Lots of people wanted a mug last time I offered one, so I’m offering another one.  No need to follow me on Facebook or on Twitter this time!  Just leave a comment below and I’ll enter you in a drawing for an aquatic insect mug hand painted by me.  Same rules apply as last time: if you win, you can have the mug pictured at left or you can choose up to 3 aquatic insects of your choice for a custom mug – black ink on a white mug in the style you see in the photo.  I’ll collect entries for one week and announce the winner next weekend!

Thank you all for sticking with me and supporting what I do here!  The very best part of the blogging experience has been forming online relationships with other bloggers and my readers.  I used to scoff at my computer science geek friends in high school and college for forming online “friendships” and swore I wasn’t ever going to stoop to doing it myself.  Yeah…  Sorry high school and college friends!  I clearly didn’t know what I was talking about.  I love feeling like part of a community, even if I haven’t met the majority of the people in my community offline – and I look forward to the day that I get to meet some of you in person!

Now excuse me, but I need to work on my post for Monday.  :)

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

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

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