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No more chicken feathers!

shakers

FOR NOW…

I picked these up this week: a pair of dark blue glass salt and pepper shakers with metal frames. I thought they were silver plate under all that corrosion (thanks, salt!), but now I have them cleaned up, I believe they’re base metal. Eh, never mind. They’re still kind of pretty and I paid nothin’.

I’m going to put powdered graphite in one and…I’m not sure about the other. Something art supplies-y. I like to use pretty things for painting equipment; it puts me in the moooood.

Here’s a thing. I need a brush rest – it’s a little wooden or ceramic thing with notches in it, to raise the bristles off the table and keep your brushes from rolling around. The best (that is, cheapest) online art shop here is Jackson’s and they have one listed for £3.80.

I go to eBay and search ‘brush rest’ and somebody’s selling the exact same one — he even says it’s Jackson’s — for £4.37. And he’s sold 13 of them.

Do people do that? Buy shit and turn around and sell it for 50p profit?

And, by the way, that’s the cheapest one listed. Similar if not identical plain ceramic brush rests are going from £8 to £13. Screw it, I’m’a get one of the pretty blue-ware ones (Chinese and Japanse use them for those big-ass calligraphy brushes).

Good weekend, everyone!

p.s. Go get Skandia Recluse’s latest book for free. If you like his universe, there’s a lot more.

October 20, 2017 — 9:18 pm
Comments: 15

The varieties of mille fleur

feathers

Bloody hell, is she still on about this?

More feathers. The red ones are Rosie (“Rosie is red…”) and the paler ones are Ginny. The proportion of red, black and white determines the overall ‘tone’ of a mille fleur.

Lucia was even whiter than Ginny (when she was a chick, she was practically all white). I do have Lucia feathers. A whole bag of them. But as Lucia was such an awesome chicken, I believe her feathers must have powerful juju.

I’m probably kidding.

Why yes, of course you can have a large color photograph of a bunch of chicken feathers.

October 19, 2017 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 12

Mille fleur is *hard*

speckledy

Mille fleur. ‘Thousand flowers’. I’ve had three chooks of this variety, and lovely fat hens they’ve all been. But I’ve dreaded trying to paint them.

Working hard on my chicken portfolio just now, you see.

They aren’t just speckledy. When you see an individual feather — particularly a long feather — there’s at least something of a pattern. It’s a brown feather with a black stripe before a white tip. But jumbled onto a chicken…it’s hard.

Let’s see that in color, with this lovely picture of Lucia the Mille Fleur and Mapp the Ginger having a dust bath in the onion bed.

October 18, 2017 — 9:34 pm
Comments: 4

Not that, you bastards! Anything but that!

bacon

Food is one of the hardest things for an immigrant to cope with. This immigrant, anyhow. It’s one thing to visit a country and immerse yourself in the local cuisine; it’s another when, five years later, not love nor money can buy you a freaking saltine cracker for your freaking soup.

Bacon. Bacon is the cruellest food. British bacon is even weirder than the Canadian stuff. I mean, it’s pretty nice in its own way, but it’s some kind of salty country ham thing. It ain’t bacon. Nome sane?

For years, there was one supermarket (not a chain, a single supermarket) that sold Oscar Mayer bacon. Sure, it was made in Spain, but somebody from OM must have overseen the process, because it was what I call proper bacon.

Then, a couple of years ago, they dropped the “Oscar Mayer” branding and relabeled it “American style” bacon. That’s an actual packet of it in the picture. Well, fair enough – the name was probably costing them a lot of money and didn’t mean diddly to Brits. It was the same true blue American bacon.

And then the quality began to slip. First the packet wouldn’t peel open properly and had to be cut up the side. Then the bacon stuck together and wouldn’t come off in cohesive strips. It was more like baconfloss. That comes from losing the American quality control, I guess.

And today? Gone from the shelf. Nowhere to be found. Not even the thin comfort of bacon strings for weasel.

It’ll have to be pancetta. Dammit.

October 17, 2017 — 7:40 pm
Comments: 41

Apocalypse Soon

ophelia

I pinched the map from the Daily Mail. The swirly thing just West of Ireland is Hurricane Ophelia. We don’t expect to see much of it here.

What the arrows show is the attending wind currents, which have sucked up huge amounts of sand from the Sahara and smoke from wildfires in Spain and made our skies weird and orange (‘Donald Trump colored’ as someone described it). The sun is (was, it’s gone down now) distinctly red-rubber-ball-ish. Very spooky. Do follow the link above and look at some color pictures.

The chickens were having none of it.

This has happened before. If experience serves, we should wake up tomorrow and find a very fine dusting of desert sand all over everything.

October 16, 2017 — 5:33 pm
Comments: 14

Wish you were here

postcard

So, ya, I took a train up the coast for a work seminar today. Archivists and the law, mainly copyright law. It turned out to be not very applicable, not least because most of the documents we handle are very, very old.

And also because my main interest was working out if we could reuse some of our old photos and artwork as postcards. And since the time I started wondering, the bottom has totally fallen out of the postcard trade.

Seriously, we can’t give them away. Britain’s oldest postcard manufacturer has just gone tits up. And the murderer is: the selfie.

Well, the selfie, plus Instagram plus the cost of postage. Thanks, Royal Mail. We still sell some folding cards — you can tuck a fiver in there and a note and it’s nice and private in an envelope and it doesn’t cost any more in postage. But only the terribly old buy postcards, and they mostly buy them for souvenirs.

And that’s it for a tuckered weasel tonight. Have a good weekend, all!

October 13, 2017 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 15

In praise of the messy

thekeep

I went to a lecture tonight. It revolved around a cache of hundreds of 18th Century personal letters that turned up in the back of a closet.

Think of this, O ye tidy folk — all the history we have comes from someone in the past who couldn’t bear to throw something away. However hard it is for us to believe it, everything you can see in the room where you are sitting will be interesting in a hundred years, fascinating in two hundred and a priceless antique in three.

The picture is from the About page of The Keep — the repository of the East Sussex Record Office where these letters (and thousands of other interesting documents) live. You probably don’t have any specific connection to East Sussex, but you can spend a merry hour or more plugging words into the search box and seeing where it takes you.

As promised, I shall be lame tonight, and even lamer tomorrow night. I’ve got an all-day seminar to go to, far away.

October 12, 2017 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 11

Enter title here

honkboy
 

Boy swallows toy horn, makes hilarious party favor sound when he inhales.

No, seriously, go watch the video. It’s ten seconds of mild amusement.

As a side note, that’s the exact sound Mapp Chicken makes when she sneezes. Cracks me up.

Yes, it’s another lazy, low-effort post from Weasel, and it’ll only get worse this week. I have a lecture to go to tomorrow night, and an all day work-related field trip on Friday. I’m dreading both more than I can say.

Oh, I’ll undoubtedly enjoy myself, but it is in my nature to dread unusual activities. I don’t think people realize what a debilitating handicap it is to be temperamentally low energy and bone idle.

I shoulda been aristocracy. Or one of those maiden aunties who took to her bed with a chill and never got out again.

Perhaps I’ll apply for benefits.
 

 

October 11, 2017 — 9:25 pm
Comments: 12

Cats! Sitting like people!

catsit

reddit

Not my photo. Not my cat. There’s more!

I’ve seen the quote at right differently worded and differently sourced, but I love it.

Anyhoo, I need some time tonight in what we call the “little weasel’s room”. Some arty friends may be putting together a group painting show in a few months, and I have to see if I have anything for it.

Well, no. I lie. I know what I’ve got. I’ve got nothing ready to go. But I need to shuffle through my sketches and see what I’ve got going on for ideas.

You might think to yourself, “ideas? Geez, lady, you paint chickens. What ideas?”

Well, that’s just the sort of ignorant thing I expect to hear from someone who doesn’t paint chickens, to be honest.

October 10, 2017 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 17

Bye, Roundy

poundcoin

Six days. That’s how far I made it into Inktober. See, there was somewhere we had to be Friday and after that…screw it. Now you know why I’m a shitposter on the internet and not a famous artiste.

So. Anyhoo. They’re comin’ for the pound coin. Well, they’re phasing out the old “round pound” in favor of a new, harder-to-manufacture coin.

The old one was super easy to counterfeit. They think there might have been 30 million fakes in circulation, around 3% of the total.

The new one is twelve-sided, bi-metal and has a ‘hologram’ – faint ridges in the metal that spell out the £ symbol when viewed from a certain angle. They are said to be unfakable.

They, of course, have been faked already. Because, you know, you don’t need to reproduce that super-fancy hologram for a slug to pass painlessly into circulation. Still, it is harder.

In theory, shopkeepers will stop accepting them in a week. In practice, I’m still getting them in my change and lots of people think the deadline will mostly be ignored. Still, if you’ve got some coins lying around from your last trip to Old Blighty, you might want to dash over and spend ’em right quick.

October 9, 2017 — 9:25 pm
Comments: 11