Beaver Skull. Here we go (again.)

January 17th, 2023

Back in 2021 I started decorating a beaver skull. I painted it dark blue, covered it with dark blue felt (in case I wanted to impale some pins in it), and started making beaded components. Refer to this post for my first attempt(s). I was heartily displeased by how clompy the glue looked so I was like “Enough trying to salvage. We’re ripping it all off and starting over in 2023.” And that’s what I did.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What the hell is with these colors??? The colors looked washed out as hell here. These are the colors in real life.

You seein’ those? You see this? This has all those colors. Where are they??

When I’m done I’ll take pictures outside in the sunlight, maybe that will help. Something I did that really helped was pull the lower jaw off of the primary part of the skull. It was hot-glued on by the teeth so it wasn’t that hard to remove. I must have shook one of the bottom teeth loose because it slid out and OMG do you know how much of the beaver skull is tooth? Whatever you’re thinking, it’s more than that.

It’s all tooth in there! Absolutely bananas.

I was going to try to salvage any of the pieces that I had removed but I decided starting fresh had to be totally fresh. I painted the skull that dark blue but didn’t add felt because I don’t anticipate putting pins anywhere. That reduces the bulkiness as well. I building everything off the skull for the first layer because I find it easier to stick on plaques of beads rather than individually. They drop off less if they’re a mass threaded together.

I’m aggressively procrastinating on the sides of the lower jaw. It’s going to be an odd shape, there’s going to be a full color transition from blue-black to gold and back AND I have to make two symmetrical versions. Ugghhhh. I’ll do it, I’ll do it, but I won’t be happy about it.

 

More Oakland Zoo figures. this time during the day.

January 3rd, 2023

Ness-Ness, her daughter and I returned to the Oakland Zoo to see the actual animals as well as the lit-up animals in their diurnal form. This was the entrance.

I saw many beasts but I’m only going to share a few. Starting with a bunch of ravens chillin’ on a net. Not part of the zoo at all. I got really excited about seeing them. Ness-Ness was like “…We’re at the zoo with many exotic creatures from all over the world and you’re psyched about… local birds?” The answer is yes. Ravens are awesome and I am not ashamed.

Nor-alive big ole flying grasshopper!

Alive jaguar sleeping mere feet from me! I wanted to touch. The glass was strong.

The queen ant and her massive egg-laying butt tunnel of love. It’s great during the day as well.

As is the centipede.

This bug is still confusing. The black part, that’s the face, right? And the two twiddly bits, that’s the butt? Those are fangs on the black flat face? I rarely don’t know which end is up (heh).

Jumping spider:

The flies with the corpse flower:

The (I think) cicadas scratching their 17-year-itch with an ant that clearly didn’t consent to being adjacent to this sexual act:

Back to live animals. If you read my recent Kenya and Tanzania posts I referenced birds I called “sentient mangoes.” There were some of them in a massive enclosure with other African fauna.

A Sacred Ibis! Love them. Black featherless heads and poofy white bodies? I am here for that. Also please note the antelope in  the background. We’re going to get into him in a moment.

A Klipspringer is a wee African antelope that lives its life on its tippy-toes because it hops from rock to rock. I’ve never seen one in person so I was delighted when I was right next to one! So small. So precious.

The keeper was in the enclosure because the zoo would be closing in twenty minutes and the Klipspringer was hanging right next to her. I was envious.

Hyena. Very large. Larger than I had originally thought.

Some kind of monkey with an absurdly long tail.

Back to the sculptures. The porcupine:

The bearded dragon:

These were referred to as wolves. I do not get wolves from them. I get coyote, maybe. Perhaps they’re a rare type of wolf that I’m unfamiliar with.

Really well-designed snake:

And a traumatized frog.

If you’re near Oakland during the holiday season and you can get tickets I highly recommend checking this out. It’s awesome and different every year.

Japan? You okay?

November 23rd, 2022

I keep getting ads for this Japanese company, Sugoi Mart. They sell mostly food and mostly that food is the thing of nightmares. I can’t tell if it’s being sold as a joke or it is legit food for consumption with your mouth. I’m really hoping for the former.

Addendum: Still very concerned.

Drones! But like, not scary. Happy drones.

October 26th, 2022

I remember, a long time ago, when ten drones doing anything in synchronicity was wildly impressive. Now, a gazillion drones are doing all manner of delightful things and I for one am here for it. For example, there’s a company where the drones are filling in the negative areas of Greek ruins.

Awesome. Awesome stuff. Their website is amazing too. Really well-designed. AND you can find out how much it costs to rent them! It starts at $20,000 so I’m out, but maybe someday, after I win the lottery. Get ready to see extremely odd stuff in your night sky if I win.

https://www.cyberdrone.com/

I left the house! (Last year! But let’s not judge!)

October 11th, 2022

For the last few years (ignoring the suckfest that was Covid) I would go to San Francisco to visit my friend Ness-Ness. She usually takes me around and introduces me to things that aren’t a television or a computer or my bedroom. It’s very good for my mental health and well-being. Last Christmas she took me to the Oakland Zoo for their Christmas lights, they call it “Glowfari.” I was delighted by how many light-up animals were represented, specifically ones that were of great interest to me. It’s not often you get flies circling a corpse flower at a children’s event.

First, Bug Tunnel! I think it’s the queen ant and her giant egg-laying rump. I would want to use it as a chuppah for my wedding because I’m a romantic.

There were praying mantises (mantiiiiii):

And a rhinoceros beetle:

And this Tim Burton fella:

And the aforementioned flies with a corpse flower:

Plus two insects, I think they’re cicadas, in flagrante delicto:

Some of the figures had moving parts. There was the jumping spider:

And a centipede which was creepy as hell but I can’t hold it against the sculpture, centipedes give me the heebie-jeebies all the time.

*shudders*

A gathering of gastropods. We’re clearly taking some artistic liberties with the shell colors, but that’s fine. I can’t imagine any scientists are picketing outside.

Boneyard with porcupine adjacent.

Bearded dragons.

Dancing cranes. I loved the way these were set up. Very ethereal.

Bamboo forest complete with pandas. Note the pandas are not in flagrante delicto, in keeping with their character. They are notorious for not banging it out when given the opportunity.

African hornbills, nice to see birds I know all too well showing up.

Monkeys designed with eyes that know too much. The only major complaint with these animals are the eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul and a lot of these animals sold their soul to our Dark Lord Satan.

Here is a picture of Ness-Ness’ husband to give you a sense of scale. These figures are all really big.

The African plains were by far the most impressive of the tableaus. There were massive crocodiles with jaws that opened and closed:

A boar with the ultimate blasé expression:

And both kinds of baobabs. There are the ones found on the mainland and the ones only found in Madagascar.

Gorgeous flower tunnel with animal heads. I think that baboon has lascivious thoughts. He has intentions. #HelloLadies

And this moose is going to straight-up kill this other moose. We have entered into a soon-to-be violent moose interaction and I felt compelled to back away slowly.

It gave me this kind of energy:

We went back the next day during daylight hours and the next post with have those pictures.

 

Charty McChartface. Get ready, there’s a lot.

September 18th, 2022

Useless Farm.

August 13th, 2022

There’s a farm in Canada that takes in animals and they live out the rest of their lives doing nothing for humans, just being the best type of animal they are. Nothing unique about that. The difference at Useless Farm, however, is the social media is run by one of the owners, Amanda, and she might be the greatest at social media ever. First of all, she looks like she would never sully her hands working at a farm. She has salon nails and eyelash inserts and I think Botox in her forehead. She clearly takes care of her hair. But Amanda gets right in there and shovels sh*t with the rest of them. Second, she has a phenomenal sense of humor. And finally, Amanda won the lottery by adopting a very ornery emu named Karen. Karen haaaaaaates Amanda and tries to kill her all day every day. It’s gold.

Useless Farm is all videos but I can explain to you who the main characters are.

1. Amanda. She and her husband and her two kids own the farm. She is the only person you see.

2. The three alpacas: Keith, Craig and Michael. Craig is Michael’s father. Keith has anxiety. Michael is really really stupid.

3. Brad. He’s a silky chicken. He screams and attacks everyone. No one likes him. It’s on their website.

4. The PEN 15 club. I think those are the geese. It includes Gary Gusey. Get it? Like Gary Busey, but goose.

5. The HR Department. I think those are the ducks. This group contains Pencil, the cutest duck, and Paul, a baby duckie (<3). They chirp and make plap-plap-plap noises with their feet when they walk, they might be my favorites.

6. Stanley the emu. He is a treasure, a sweet and kind boy. He likes to dance and is not averse to wearing festive hats and wigs.

7. And then there’s Karen. She wakes up every day and chooses violence.

If you want to watch all their videos you can go to TikTok or YouTube.

https://www.tiktok.com/@useless_farm?lang=en

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8kXMDswCOEELpd1NYS4Mg

But I made a curated selection of videos that I think really capture the oeuvre of the farm. I chose them from both the YouTube page and the TikTok page because I’m fond of old school but not close-minded to new technology.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/a7qDVzxK4dQ

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Flnug7gy3hg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnDnnFvSTjw

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/P1fM1eS3tYw

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/VzGadaKOVc8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmbDSOrxNHg

https://www.tiktok.com/@useless_farm/video/7108416894431956230?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en

https://www.tiktok.com/@useless_farm/video/7101756183001828613?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en

Enjoy.

 

Addendum: You might want to subscribe to their YouTube page because then you get suggestions like this:

The Tale of Sharon and The Pie of Thanksgiving.

August 3rd, 2022

This is a year old already which in Internet Years is four billion but it’s still worth sharing. Here’s the deal: This was the image that got all the attention.

The Internet went ape.

Then Phyllis showed up.

And The Internet (which I have made a large globular sentient being and that’s fine) was like “The Green Bean Incident??? Tell us everything!!”

The whole thing is magnificent and the only people I feel sorry for are the people also named Sharon Weiss who woke up one morning with a ton of unwarranted comments. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

Oceanic library stickers. I made ’em.

July 24th, 2022

The most hectic time for librarians is during summer reading because every child in the nation has to read a variety of books they don’t want to (whattup, A Tale of Two Cities). Snorth, who is a children’s librarian and is therefore caught in the hurricane, wanted stickers to give to the kids to encourage them. The theme all over the country is “Ocean of Possibilities.”

I saw that and was like “Aawww yisss, Imma design sea stuff” and indeed I did. I did eight designs based on ocean creatures. I tried to cover all the bases – I had typical fish and a crustacean and a mammal and a coral, etc. I thought it would be cool to make it all geometric using a small amount of polygons.

Each one got its own palette of three colors. I then I put them on a spotty swirly background that mimics the ocean, added Snorth’s library logo and boom! Bespoke stickers.

If I was a kid I would lose my mind with these. Hell, I might print a whole batch for myself and slap them all over. There is no reason I can’t. I shall.

 

Some artists I am feelin’ right now.

June 27th, 2022

Warning: Strong language in some images. If your work is cool with that, go ahead. If not, don’t.

Alchememeist.

This person makes art that looks like it’s from a video game or D&D and then puts statements of importance, often of a political bent and often in the style of Lisa Frank. I find this artist delightful. The first one I saw was this one:

As a rock, stone, mineral and fossil collector, I adored it. The second one I saw:

As someone who does not bring their cups to the kitchen in a timely manner, this was also a big hit for me. Then the third one:

That’s it. I was on board with the Alchememeist hard. I joined the Facebook group and I was awash in the riches of the designs. Please, enjoy. And make sure the read the small text on the images. They are totally worth it.

Sometimes there is a category called “Gender of The Week” and I really get a kick out of the choices of items.

Because I like to support artists, I bought this shirt and wore it to the Mermaid Parade where it totally fit in.

 

 

Jeremy Fish. Yes, yes, I’ve talked about him before. Several times. But Jeremy Fish keeps making art so I have to keep posting. This is his latest series with the original sketches which is unusual, he doesn’t normally share those.

 

 

And finally, drag queens. I don’t like game shows so I don’t watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, but I watch everything around it and in that way I get to see the makeup and outfits these people come up with. Often, it is stellar. Check it out.