Plants and Database Design

I’m still working on my web app, Identiflora. As I work I’m referencing both the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Both books mean a lot to me. I remember when my parents gave me the Audubon book as a teen, and it has been trekked around and loved, and dropped in water so I am probably due for a new copy. The Newcomb’s was my friend throughout Plant Taxonomy class in college (my favorite class!), and is still my favorite plant guide.

I am loosely basing my plant site on the questions proposed at the beginning of Newcomb’s key system: Flower shape (simple symmetrical petals? irregular shape? composite like a dandelion?), plant shape (leaves opposite? alternate? whorled?), leaf shape (simple or compound, toothed or divided or entire?).

In order to make an MVC MS SQL relational database of plants that a user can easily navigate, I need to consider these questions (and the answers). It will help me determine where to split up my database for data normalization. If the only options for plant shape are opposite, alternate or whorled, a table with a column of  records reading “opposite/opposite/opposite/whorled/alternate/alternate” is very redundant. This breaks the DRY principle (Don’t Repeat Yourself). Splitting that into a separate table of only those three options (opposite, alternate, whorled), makes the data integrity of the overall database much better.

I’m just a novice at database design; I’m excited to learn as I go!

What I’m Up To

(No, not a pun, to those of you who associate me with making flight puns.)

Well, I had a nice Independence day, and I am in the process of sculpting two “mech dragon” wedding cake toppers!

I will have to provide photos later.

Another thing I am working on is a Steampunk necklace incorporating a brass, oil-filled compass.

If you are interested in anything like that, well, please let me know.
Of course you would probably be more interested if I posted some pictures, but I will have to do that later.

The other thing I have been doing is watercoloring a lot on little 4×6 cards. Yet more things I will have to post later.

Finally I am going to put all of my examples of “Steampunk” art into a little gallery page on this site, once I figure out how, since I have actually had people come here and look for it. I want to accomodate you! Especially if you are considering commissioning me!

So that’s a little nutshell look at “things I ought to be doing” and “some things I am doing” and “very few work-related things” when it comes to My Day Job. Which had been rough for awhile, but God got me through, and I am extremely grateful.

PS. To the other Propagator Of Inside Jokes, no I do not do assassinations, and it will not be on the new business cards. I don’t think any version of the word mage, nor any version of balloon-wrangling will appear there either, since I need them for OddMall, and they likely will be interested in actual art skill, as opposed to hypothetical and amusing business card appellations. (Sad, huh?)

Such a Deviant

Two reasons why I have not blogged lately, one of which is a decent excuse.
First, I have not blogged lately because when I had that swell idea to write an Artisan story to go along with jewelry, well, writing is HARD WORK.

Second, I had a deviated septum (that’s the bone in your nose) and had surgery for it about a week-and-a-couple-of-days-ago. It was “pretty miserable” (but no one wants to hear how gross nose surgery is so I won’t go into details. Suffice to say I survived it, and if you also need this fairly routine surgery, you also will survive it.) but now I am doing better and should continue to see improvement over the next several weeks. Someone told me she would rather give birth to twins than have that packing in her nose. I don’t think it was THAT bad, but it did make me feel so sure that I was unable to breathe, that I went to the ER – where they explained to me that no, I was breathing fine, and I was in fact hyperventilating.

Thirdly – bonus reason – I have been trying to clean out and “destash” a lot of craft supplies (and even, gasp, books) that I will likely never use (check it out – some are up for grabs at

I will post more art/craft/jewelry, but I don’t guarantee a story like I wish I could. It still seems like it would be a good writing exercise for me, but it is kind of onerous to say “post an actual story with each piece of art, or else” – I’ll do what I can.

Rocks in my Head

Well: the cold I had in the end of November has finally run its course. I know, that was an insane amount of time, but it turned into a sinus infection. Then, somehow I got vertigo, which I at first assumed was from the sinus infection, except it didn’t clear up. So I got a CT scan, which showed nothing (this is good) and I finally saw a neurologist this week, who said it was Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (and actually, I had decided that must be it, via the art of Intense And Precise Googling, but you don’t tell a neurologist that). Basically the otoconial debris was floating around telling my inner ear I was in the wrong position, and it made me dizzy.  He performed The Epley Maneuver which I am sure I heard Captain Kirk command numerous times on Star Trek.

So the neurologist moved my head all around in this maneuver and said “Ok, the chips in your ear are moved back where they belong, don’t move your head for 48 hours!” To which I cleverly replied, “Huh?” He went on to tell me to get a cervical collar, and sleep sitting up, and was pretty cheerful about it. But I had a dentist appointment in the morning, which had been postponed since about October so I was definitely going to be moving my head in the morning. He gave me instructions on how to do the maneuver again later since I was about to go foolishly get the ear stones all out of place again before they had time to stick where they belong. Anyway… that’s that, and thank God the dizziness was nothing serious.

PS. I am actually going to post AGAIN this week. No, really! Stay Tuned!

Quick Update

I’ve been busy lately!
I have been sculpting a lot, and even trying to sketch a bit.
I promise to show you soon. Er, maybe I shouldn’t promise.
But I will definitely try.

Amazingly, the Mech Dragons are starting to catch on! I really planned to have a pile done to take to OddMall this fall, but I have to start figuring out how to make them more quickly, because I am not doing a good job keeping up at the moment. If you are interested in commissioning one, please let me know!  {Email glimmer @ is a good way}

Mech Dragon No. 3

Worserly, I am not keeping up with the Ladies Bible Study at church. But I AM keeping up with the “read through the Bible in a year” program – which I highly encourage you all to try. I have discovered some really interesting things, and it’s really helpful to read through the sweep of scripture and not just take it a verse at a time. It all fits together better this way.