Archive for January, 2023

Beaver Skull. Here we go (again.)

Tuesday, 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.

Tuesday, 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 inĀ  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.