… beauty, by Peter Paul Rubens
Plus, a bit of bonus music today because this is the song that introduced me to Beardsley, way back in (gulp) 1977. That was in the pre-internet world, and it wasn’t easy to find Beardsley prints. Our local library didn’t carry anything, and neither did our only book store. I finally found a book at UWO with a compilation of his work. I think it was simply called Aubrey Beardsley, and it was a thrilling discovery.
You may remember these resin pieces that resemble areal views of coastlines. At the time I mentioned that while I love the pieces, they are a bit too small to make an impactful necklace on their own, so I had to figure out how to combine them. One issue here was colouring. How do I get a consistent blue colour if I used different batches of resin? Now, one opportunity would be to very, very carefully weigh the resin every time and very carefully count the drops of colour I pour in. Yeah, I can’t see me do that either. Also, the risk of just squeezing the tiny paint bottle a bit too much is pretty high, so I tried something else: “Normal” resin is two components, the resin and the hardener, that react with one another and cure over time. I just mixed the resin part with the blue colour in an old marmalade jar and then took out 12 grams whenever I did a batch of “islands” and added the hardener to the already coloured part. I only did this for the blue resin, because the metallic pigment isn’t that sensitive to small differences in the amount of colour.
That little trick turned out really well and I must remember it for other projects. That way I ended up with a handful of fairly similar pieces in terms of colouring. I selected the ones I wanted to use, drilled holes on them and somehow messed up the surface. Not much, but the shine was gone on some pieces so I polished them a little and then added some more resin on top. Quite often that’s easiest way to get a really shiny surface again. Also it created a concave surface which breaks the light differently, taking away the sharp edges on the land mass, and I really like that because it creates a more “natural” look since coasts are rarely terraced.
Once I had all the pieces ready I needed to assemble them and of course I have enough beads to stock a small shop but none that were a good match for these pieces. Luckily I found the perfect fit on Etsy, it just meant waiting a couple more days before I could finish. It’s the closest I’ll get to the sea this year and I absolutely love the result.
The one thing I don’t like are the dull drill holes in the outer pieces. I think I’ll try to carefully add s tiny bit of resin. This would also fix the to the wire and thus prevent the fastening from sliding to the front over the course of time. I still have some rectangle pieces that await assembly and some earrings to finish.
It’s been a while since Jack and I shared photos of the spring wildflowers. In part, that’s because our favourite trail has been closed due to the pandemic, and in part due to bad weather. It’s been cold and damp, with bursts of snow and freezing rain, and neither Jack nor I have felt much like going out. We did make it to a different forest a few days ago, though, and that’s when these photos were taken. We didn’t find as many flowers as we do on our usual trail, but our usual trail is through a wildflower preserve, so I’m not sure if it’s because of the weather or just the normal condition of this forest. Even though we didn’t find lots of flowers, we did find most of our favourites. The one flower I couldn’t find was the red trillium.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with the story of Oma Troutchen’s homecoming, accompanied by a wonderful picture of Oma sent to us by someone special.
Companies want to sell you things. And of course, to run a business that isn’t money laundering, what you get from your customers needs to be more than what you pay for goods and services yourself. But of course they don’t just want to make some profit, they want to make as much profit as they want to and that’s where brands come into play, where they tell you stories to justify a much higher price, where a certain label means the shirt costs 150 bucks while still being made in the same sweat shop by the same people who make the 15 bucks shirts. Another trick is evoking that something is rare and exotic and therefore expensive.
Yesterday we went to the wholesale supermarket and one thing I needed was allspice. I absolutely love allspice, I was running low on allspice and I wanted to make some Jamaican jerk anyway, so I went to the spice section where I was presented with two options: the normal supermarket size packet with 19g of allspice, which would probably have been enough to make a small batch of jerk, and the restaurant wholesale packet, by the same company, with 500g.
The price difference? 2.80 vs 7.50. That’s a difference of 15 vs 150 € per kilogram for the same fucking allspice.
I think we’ll have a lot of Jamaican jerk this summer…