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Paints and stuff

Treasa Lynch - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 14:50

It’s a reflection of how the last few months have been that today, I finally got around to swatching out a paintbox which I bought in London on 8 September. The paintbox is an 18 pan quarterpan box from CassArt. They don’t say what paint is in there which is a pity; it would be nice to know whose paint they do use. I’d guess Daler Rowney though as their set looks almost identical.

Anyway, I don’t know why I wanted it only Shiny, I guess. I like the idea of the little quarterpan box; it’s an enamel box and I have carefully been avoiding buying it. I also own a lot of other paint boxes and mostly use my 12 pain (with three extra added) Sennelier box lately. The fact that it was there, and was instant gratification, was probably a factor.

I haven’t done any sketches with the little Cassart box though. I did manage to make a mess of it, ironically, while cleaning it after doing the swatching but past experience has taught me that’s no big deal.

You an see the swatch that comes with the box, plus the little swatch I did as well. There are a bunch of the colours which look a little different for me – the permanent rose and the viridian green for example – but I can see use I would get out fhtme. The Prussian blue is a bit deeper than I am used to with my Senneliers. The selection of colours is not bad at all.

The palette comes in a little case (to the left of the picture above) and a small sable brush which is a bit bigger than the travel brushes which Winsor & Newton include with the sketchbox.

I’m not totally sure what I am going to do with these though. It’s only ever going to be used for small stuff because the pans are so small; so more likely than not, things into the A6 sketchbooks, or postcards, or even the artist trading cards. But it’s probably too small for most of my brushes – I already struggle with the half pans in some cases.

For comparison, here are my three main commercially available small watercolour palettes:

Clockwise from Left:

  1. Sennelier 12 half pan set with added quin gold, quin red and light yellow ochre.
  2. CassArt 18 quarter pan set, as delivered.
  3. Schmincke 8 half pan set – in fact I own this and the waterbottle version of this – colours as delivered.

The Sennelier is in my toolbox but my toolbox is causing me trouble as it has missed the original plan for being a toolbox – ie, being portable. The Schmincke is in a small travel kit with a couple of liners and pencils.

Quarter pans are not available so the question will be what I do with the 18 pan set if and when I get to use it – and the speed with which I am going through pans in the 12 pan set suggests this will not be long – the obvious answer is tubes. I own the Schmincke granulating tube set and I use tubes when I am painting with gouache. But I cannot see myself making a wholesale switch to tubes – I simply have too many paints in half pan format that I want, for environmental reasons, to start using.

The quiet waters of Lough Corrib [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 12:05

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

A short walk from Clos Na Feirme.

9AM along Carrick West [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 12:02

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

With Lough Corrib beyond the brambles.

The single shot that marks the end of another year of huddles [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 11:41

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Eoin Kennedy at #cong18

Eoin Kennedy Presents the Final Trophy [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 11:41

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

It went to Rodney.

Small pleasures

Treasa Lynch - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 16:42

I went bookshopping today. This does not automatically mean spending money although that happened today – but it is one of the few browsing pleasures left to me since all the record shops closed. I hope the pleasure is not lost to the children of the future.

I have a long book queue at the moment and I am gradually switching from twitter to books again. I have a kindle full of books and have come to the conclusion that while it’s handy to drag around 300 books with you in your handbag, the truth is, there are disadvantages. I tend to know that I am reading a book about something or other but these days, because I never see a book cover, I often might not know what the actual name of that book is, or who wrote it.

I don’t like this.

And okay, the instant gratification thing is good with the kindle but then I have three hundred books on it and I definitely have not read 300 books. The interface for managing those books sucks too. The interactive design of a bookshelf has yet to be improved on by the nice engineers at Amazon. I’d prefer the books.

Against that, I cleared a house in Dublin and books are heavy. I cleared out a lot of them – Chapters got a pile of my fantasy books, for example – and I dumped some more. It pains me to think of it. I’ve accumulated some books here but most of my books are in Cork, such as are left in my collection. I read the last Philip Pullman on my kindle; I regret not buying the physical book and probably will, when the next book in that trilogy came out. But buying books, because of the hell that was clearing out the house, is fraught with guilt. I will most definitely move house again, at some stage. I regret not having my own personal library, a lot of bookshelves and a gorgeous grand piano. But such is life.

The downside of e-readers, I think, is that it changes people’s relationships. As it happens, during the week, I received The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, and read it while doing some business travel. I have since loaned it to someone whom I hope will find it as fascinating as I did. But…the only reason I could do that was because I had the physical book. You cannot do this with ebooks. And yet, actual books can create so many conversations.

It is never just the words on the page.

I spent some time reflecting about the difference in my life now (usually stressed, too much to do) and my life 20 years ago (Saturday’s lasted a long time and the summer seemed full of weekends) and realised that when I was 25 years old, I spent my time in FNAC and Virgin, perusing books and CDs. Well one of those pleasures is gone.

Amazon cannot replace this pleasure; the smell of new books. Its recommender has been desperate lately, and the curated selections of my local booksellers fascinate me. Alinea, possibly the most dangerous of the bookshops in Luxembourg, does a sterling job. If I had shelves enough, I could have spent 1000E on books. When I might find the time to read them might be questionable. But they had many, many books I wanted, many books which tugged at my heart.

Somewhere on Facebook, I saw a comment that said that buying craft supplies and actually crafting were two separate hobbies. I could attest to that for yarn, crochet hooks, paint, paper. I think it’s true for books as well. There is something very special about wandering around a bookshop, exploring. For this reason, on the short list of things I miss from Dublin, Hodges Figgis is up there after the Pen Corner and Pichet. Bookshops cannot survive on browsers along – one bookshop in Luxembourg closed last year and one of their managers told me they needed to be selling three times as many books.

The easiest way for me not to lose the other of my simple pleasures – browsing bookshops – is for me to buy books as well as browse bookshops.

For this reason, my Christmas present to myself will probably be some more bookshelves.

Tracy Keogh is Grow Remote [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 17:09

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Teaching collaboration through clever clusters. #

Lemon Cake in My Honeycomb Cake Pan

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 14:23

When I got married, we received many wonderful gifts, many of which I still use regularly – 12 years later. One such gift was our Nordicware honeycomb cake pan. I ran across these photos and realised I need to share...

The post Lemon Cake in My Honeycomb Cake Pan appeared first on EvinOK.

Factory reset in progress [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 08:01

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

My three most commonly used screens [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Wed, 11/21/2018 - 15:57

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Dell 5480, Xperia Z5, and Moleskine Blanc.

Loaded French Toast Recipe

Caitriona Redmond - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 18:39

Breakfasts don’t have to be boring with this take on french toast that all the family will love. Guaranteed protein from the eggs, seeds, and fresh greek yoghurt, will keep you feeling fuller for longer and give essential energy for training sessions and school.

This is one of my kids’ favourite breakfasts. They pester me to make it for them every morning!

If making French Toast for more than 2 people don’t be chained to the frying pan! Grease 2 non-stick baking trays and preheat your (fan) oven to 190 degrees Celsius. After soaking the bread, place it onto the baking trays until the trays are covered and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve as normal.

Loaded French Toast

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 5 medium eggs
  • Thick slices of sourdough
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

To Serve

  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Fresh berries
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Maple Syrup


Crack the eggs into a large, wide bowl, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs lightly with a fork so that the yolks and whites are combined.

Taking 1 piece of bread at a time, soak either side in the whisked eggs, so that the bread is covered in egg. Put the egg covered bread into the frying pan. Cook for about 90 seconds on each side or until the bread turns golden brown, then remove from the frying pan and put on a plate. Continue until all the bread soaked in egg is cooked.

While the frying pan is still on, toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the pan on the heat so that they toast a little.

Top a slice of cooked eggy bread with a generous spoonful of greek yoghurt, fresh berries, toasted seeds, then drizzle a little maple syrup on top and serve.

The post Loaded French Toast Recipe appeared first on Caitriona Redmond - Wholesome Ireland.

Pin-free Bulletin Board

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 14:23

As another son begins exploring our home on two feet (not on knees and hands), we are careful to not introduce any hazards while still meeting our organizing needs. One approach I’ve found very useful is the pin-free bulletin board....

The post Pin-free Bulletin Board appeared first on EvinOK.

Using 3C Battery Monitor [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 06:09

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Trying to kill rogue processes that destroy my Sony Xperia Z5's battery life.

Disabling mobile data [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 05:13

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Trying to restore normal battery service to my 3yo Sony Xperia X5.

Deep Discharges of Android Battery [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 05:10

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Trying to determine why my 3yo Sony Xperia Z5 discharges its battery within four hours.

Descending LCGA [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 06:26

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

After a spell-binding viewing.

Problems in the Limorverse [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Sat, 11/17/2018 - 10:45

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

When Limor DMs appeared, many people couldn't leave audio comments on casts.

I Need 30 Days of Christmas

Bernie Goldbach - Sat, 11/17/2018 - 09:55

IT HAS TAKEN me more than 50 years to catch the Christmas spirit, engage, and joyfully release its energy. That's because as I was growing up, the family business worked exceptionally long and hard through the entire Christmas season, starting with Thanksgiving Week and ending with the Epiphany. I reckon I lost a lot of joy through that experience.

In 2018, something reset my view of Christmas. I think my personal mental adjustment happened partly because seven year old Dylan is visited every night by two elves and he recounts their clever adventures for us every morning. And some of the joy came back during the annual John Lewis advertisement, this time orchestrated with Elton John.

If you click on the video above, you should see and hear what rekindled my best Christmas memories. And click into my Flickr collection if you want to see a collection of 100 Christmas snaps I've shared across the years.

If you don't have the time to swipe through my Irish Christmas memories, just know that the Christmas Candle shown above is my most-viewed photograph of Christmas. More than 3800 people have viewed it when I referenced it on my 2018 blog post. Seeing it again reminds me that I need a personal DSLR more than ever--that would be an excellent Family Christmas Present, perhaps next year, when we get settled in a home we own.

Pentatonix Little Drummer Boy

[Bernie Goldbach has enjoyed Christmas since the middle of the 20th century.]