Thursday, April 11, 2013

Miniature Riker Mounts

More progress on my entry for Undersized Urbanite, but first a bit of a context;

Nathan, my little brother (he's been taller than me for years, but still) is really into 'Creepy Crawlies'. I have no idea what his online rep. for this is, but I know that people with doctorate degrees sometimes ask him questions, so it would not surprised to hear a lot of people know him. Anyway, he's been obsessed with Entomology (the study of insects) long before he could even correctly pronounce the word, "Entomology". To be fair, he is also really into spiders and reptiles, and small mammals. When alive, these creatures tend to be pets, but when they eventually die, well, he has a lot of display cases full of preserved specimens. And it's not surprising to see him recieve dead animals as gifts. Yes, he is an odd one.

How odd exactly? Several years ago, he had a Praying Mantis egg sack (an "Ootheca", btw) in a little container, which he carried around everywhere for weeks until the eggs hatched (he even hand braided a strap to keep the container attached to his arm), WHICH I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT until he brought it up the other day, because in the years after this egg hatching venture of his, there have been soooo may other weird experiences that my brain decided it wasn't so strange that it has to stick in my memories.

I have a couple of friends who are shocked by how calm my family and I are about all this, my parents have always been encouraging when it comes to our interests, and honestly after years of babysitting Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, getting in to arguments that started with, "I told you to keep you Scorpions away from my Laptop", and a parade of strange creatures handed to me over the years- I think I'm just used to it. Btw, I've seen, that weird spider thing from Harry Potter, in person.(completely harmless)

And putting up with it all, does have it's benefits. Like say, I decide that my Steampunk dollhouse's observatory room really could use some Riker Mounts along the back wall;

(still WIP, but already pretty awesome)

Not only do I know what they are called and how they should look when they're done (these still need some acetate and paint), but I also have free access to several perfectly displayed bugs to photograph and scale down. And since they were already the dead ones I didn't even have to touch any of them. (woohoo!)

Well, my brother did tell me that the size ratio isn't quite 100% (it's close enough though), one was a gift that hadn't been properly pinned (made a point of saying that wasn't his fault), but otherwise I didn't do a terrible job.

I can name about half of these...

I cut out the photos and folded their legs/wings before gluing them in place, so that they'd look more like real bugs. To make my life easier, I stuck with the bigger bugs. How big? I roughly measured the larger ones at around 5 in.

Told you so.

And to give you an idea of how small my little cut outs are;

Real butterfly vs. My mini version.
And while I was looking through my brother's bugs, I found an Egyptian clay Scarab Beetle bead that I had loaned him for a project (it had gotten lost in the shuffle), which reminded me that I had a mummy bead that might look good in this house;
 I also found a broken metal flower pin that might work as decor, 
and did I show off the new skull beads yet?

I bought/found all of those at a rock & gem show that my family goes to/volunteers at thanks to one of my other brothers.

So for future reference, weird family = awesome resources, and one more thing crossed off my Steampunk house to-do list.

Which is good because while I was working on the roof this week, I heard a small *Thud*, which turned out to be the basement ceiling;

It's not even that heavy. Looks like I need to re-glue it, and remember to leave the clamps on overnight his time (I knew I rushed through it last time).


  1. Hello Kyle,
    That is such a great art project to hnag in your house. you could not ask for better reference material.
    You did an excellent job.
    Big hug,

    1. Thank you Giac! Yep, my brother's hobby does come in handy. :)

  2. Hi Kyle! I LOVE your bugs! My Brother and my Uncles all collected bugs... mostly butterflies and moths and some beetles. My Uncle loved snakes... nobody was a spider collector... but they don't scare me the way they do some folks! I think your collection of fascinating objects is really excellent... love the Egyptian pieces! Sorry your ceiling keeps falling down... I am having a similar problem with the ceiling trim in my Cupboard House.... I am thinking it is because the wood the ceiling is made from expands and contracts a large amount with the seasonal change in moisture... and the wood of the trim doesn't change at the same rate! I am going to try attaching the trim to the walls rather than the ceiling... just let the ceiling expand on it's own! Good luck finding the right glue!

    1. Good to hear from some one who knows what it's like to be surrounded b bugs. :)

      Hmmm, The ceiling decided to fall after a 3 day rain. I wonder if the rainy season did me in too...

  3. love the creepy crawlies. :)

    I have an award for you if you'd like to pick it up on my blog?

    1. Hello Wendy!

      I have to apologize, when you first started following my blog, I looked for a blog link in your profile, but could not find one. Still haven't found it. You're welcome to post or send me a link to fix this issue. I would like to visit your blog. :)