Archive for the ‘Loot’ Category

Visiting a Christmas market with my mother I made another find. A local business, RöRiNTERiöR (Facebook link), makes candleholders and other things from copper pipes. The pipes have a lovely raw, mottled surface. Design: Johanna Alamattila, design and production: Nils-Erik Keikkala.

My candleholder:

Equipped with candles:

The painting in the background is made in 1901, by my grandfathers mother. I have three of her very beautiful watercolour paintings.

An example of one of the larger candleholder, which makes me want to get somewhere permanent to live soon, with laaarge windows with room for one of these (the following images from the Facebook page, with permission):

Image with permission

Image with permission

And last but not least, one of the small, peculiar candleholders that first caught my eye:


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I love my fathers candles. Next year we are probably going to make another batch. He mixes old candlestubs with wax from cheeses and beeswax. The candles are incredibly drippy, sparkly, horribly unpractical and as much the epitome of candleness as you could ever imagine.

In the background is one of my ensouled creatures, Lillnos. The name is a compund of “little” and “snout” in Swedish. In 2011 we were visiting Kew Gardens in London, as we do every year (well, since -09, anyway). On the 50% off-table I see this bulky little creature. The only one of his kind there. I stare at him, for some reason. We make our (hours long) tour of the garden, have our usual picknick. On our way out we take another tour of the gift-shop. I decide to buy him, for rather expensive 8 pounds. The woman at the check-out informs me that he is a book-end, that all the other bookends sold in pairs. That his mate somehow got lost, making Lillnos the odd one out and only one left. Outside of the shop, I unexpectedly burst into tears. I felt like I had saved him. At home, he quickly made friends with an as yet unnamed little creature who now resides on his shoulders at all times.

Happy holidays, whichever one you are celebrating!

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Sometimes I do deserve my finds. Sometimes I am just lucky.


In a big lot of writing equipment (the same I got this pen in), I aquired these pencil sharpeners. One Faber “Janus” and one Faber “Minfix”, both in heavy brass. A quick check on Ebay reveals that the different “Janus”-models are quite collectible and has sold for between 20 and 100 US dollars and the “Minfix” has sold for between 13-30 US dollars. Not bad! I find both of them practical as well as pretty (fine design AND functionality, great!). I will probably not sell them, since I need them if I am going to draw more in pencil, something that I have planned for the not so immediate future. I bought the book “Drawing realistic textures in pencil” by J.D Hillberry a while ago. It stares at me from my bookcase. Looking forward to explore it, at a glance it seems really good.

At first I thought that the works of the fantastic Travis Louie was made in pencil, but they seem to actually be in acrylic. I strongly recommend his stories and drawings. The blog hasn’t been updated for a while, but I have seen one of his drawings on a book cover recently. I especially like the “unusual pets”-series. You probably do not have to ask me why if you take a look at them.

More pictures after the cut: (more…)

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I had doubts using the word “loot” as a category, since I am aware that it can have negative connotations. Sometimes, making finds on Tradera and Ebay, I almost feel like a looter, getting amazing stuff for next to nothing. Just almost, though. I am content with the fact that I buy to use and that I take care of my things according to their proper value (e g not letting them rot away somewhere dark and dusty).

This is from my latest netlooting:

Ink: Burma Road Brown (same as the blog header, BTW. The header is scanned and the above image is obviously a photograph. BRB is a chamelon ink!). My penmanship is a bit shaky since I spent about 10 minutes trying to separate the section from the barrel before making the text sample.
Pen: Mabie-Todd Blackbird Self Filling pen. The cap, the section, the feed and the barrel are all marked “blackbird” with a fine imprint. The black hard rubber parts are faded, but nicely coloured still, I think. No clip. Lever not gold, I think this is the original furniture. Sac perished, of course.
Nib: Nib 14ct, not numbered. Seems to be a medium with some flex. Standard (but oh, so wonderful) fare for these pens (just like the Moore L-92 I wrote about earlier this year).
Spectacles: one of my other obsessions that has not appeared on this blog before. I collect them. These were a good find. They are genuine, in very good shape and will do nicely in the spring. I have another similar pair but I like having a second pair in reserve.
Shameless boasting: I paid about 6 dollars for the pince-nez and 15 dollars for the lot containing the Blackbird (an enourmous lot with, among other things, Caran D’Ache leads, two antique lead sharpeners (pics a-coming) and eight (8!) old drafting compasses). Making finds like this is obviously one of my greatest talents.

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Travelling to Venice off-season had several advantages. Even though I still found the amount of tourists to be slightly overwhelming, I appreciated that it was very possible to sneak away somewhere quiet with ease. Also, ice-cream in november! Thankfully the fiancé is fluent in “waving-arms-around-and-sounding-very-insistent” (a very uncommon skill among Swedes) which helped us just as much as his very basic Italian. I promised feverently to work on my french to make up for him doing most of the communication during this trip. We also practised a simplified version of Swedish sign language and I am now fluent in the alphabet and some basic signs.

I went from this (3rd of November)

To this (Murano, 6th of November)

I got inspired to droll this in the margins of a nontebook. It is unfortunately made with fiber-tipped pens (Artline 0.05) since the tip of my beloved Parker 51 got bent and unfortunately broke during repair. It now has a much broader nib that I don’t draw with (yet). I am waiting for a new EF Parker 51 from Ebay though. I hope it is as good as the old “Birger” (the pen that broke had a personalized barrel…).

Steampunky masked ladies

We were lucky staying at Hotel Mignon. Tiny and cosy room, very clean and nice bathroom and a small terrace. Very nice personnel. If I go to Venice again, I book a room there.

Although many of the more touristy souvenirs clearly were shipped directly from countries where labor is cheap, we managed to get to look at several craftsmen (and women) at work. Below is a very life-like spider by an artisan who made insects from a scientific book. I would have liked to get one of the Stag Beetles (“Ekoxe” in Swedish, family Lucanidae) but an albino frog caught my eye, and there you go…

I loved the canals and alleys, ubiquitous (I also love having an excuse for using that word) in Venice. I liked not having to bother with cars or bikes. Relaxing. The air was good as well, scent of the sea and nothing else (except a stray whiff of seafood). Living smack dab in the middle of fell-and-bog-country, I miss the sea of my childhood home.

I believe marbling paper, binding books and making masks were the biggest inspirations I got from this trip. Also, lots of nice mental images from lurking around in a place which with a little fantastic application was very reminiscent to the faboulous Gentleman bastard sequence by Scott Lynch, famously started with “The Lies of Locke Lamora”. I might write more about that book when I start my planned category “Recently Read”, which have been brewing in my mind for some time now.

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…and in the darkness find it.

(Yes, bad joke. I blame the late hour. Most of you won’t get it anyway, which might be a good thing)

My father found this cabinet in an antiques shop. He vacillated. I had to have it. I got it. As soon as I find somewhere to live (yep, still undecided) and work (yep, still undecided) I’ll get to use it. Meanwhile, my father will “lend” it for a while. I have to get my own place, q u i c k!

This cabinet is simply perfect for storing my many different projects. At the moment these (the type of cabinet, not my projects) are quite popular in Sweden (also, elsewhere, I think) and I seldom see ones this old for sale, let alone at an affordable price (YMMV). Some people paint them white and write encouraging things on them. I think it is perfect and encouraging enough as it is.

Note also that I have a father who keeps a huge clamp in his cellar. Cool clamp. Awesome father.

Upcoming: Venice-report, Drolldragons, steampunk and much more. I have been in a creative mood lately!

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My view is so incredibly beautiful! One of the things I am sure I am going to miss the most, when I move. I have been offered a position here though. If my professional intrests hadn’t lain in the (almost completely) opposite direction and my family and friends had been closer… Given that I get any of the (admittedly rather few) positions I have applied for down south. If I don’t, I am not yet sure what to do. There are several enticing possibilities.

For the longest time I have been planning to post more about all the pretty things I have aquired from Etsy in the previous couple of years. I especially am fond of lampwork (would love to try it). A couple of years ago I bought this little mushroom pendant, quickly realized that it is too big for me to wear around my neck (for my taste) and promptly hung it up by a thread in my window instead. I think it is beautiful there, like a miniature glasshouse.

The Etsy shop is GlassPeace, it is run by Allison and Amir and I bought it along with another pendant the 3rd of October last year.

The apparent haziness in the glass at the top of the pendant is actually dust, not impurities!

How it looks in daylight!

Stay tuned for another sockbird, the Green Spy! Also, an idea about Kiva, the microloan organization, at the end of november.

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Going 3D…

Exactly a month since my last entry. Bad blogger! I have kept busy looking at pretty waterfalls…

…and learning how to use a sewing awl…

I am not sure what the glass-thingy is called, but it needed a pouch. I use it to look at small details in drawings and etchings. I have recently become interested in sewing my own canvas bags, rucksacks, pouches, etc. Lots of inspiration on Etsy.com.

In other news I am still Planning for the Future. Still not knowing which country I am going to end up in, let alone which city. Apart from that, things are trudging along. Visiting Norway (Tromsö) next week. Enjoying the recent snowfalls. The sockbirds have been muchly appriciated and there is several left to be presented to you in the upcoming weeks.

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A (very long) while ago I promised to make some posts about great things made by other artists. I had just discovered Etsy, and although it gets harder to get to the good pieces amongst everything else, they are most definitely still there.

For the longest time I admired Jewels Wine and now Embryo Drop, Test Tube and a little alien-faced hitchhiker have arrived, all the way from New Zealand to northernmost Sweden. I like his retrofuturistic and dreamish (sic) design and of course the fact that I haven’t seen anything like it before. The little creatures he makes are somehow expressive, which is important to me. I seldom wear much jewelry, so when I do I want it to suit me perfectly.

These critters are not easy to take pictures of. I regret leaving my analogue camera with a special close-up lens when moving up here. In the picture above they are hanging around an old chemistry-bottle which used to contain ammonium carbonate, but now serves as a vase for cuttings. The picture below I had to include, despite the bad quality. They are trying to use my old Swedish pencil sharpener (from “AB Cryptoteknik, Stockholm” no less) as some sort of flying apparatus. Maybe they succeed when I am asleep?

They are exquisite. Immediately after recieving them I put them around my neck. That night, I dreamt more dreams than I have done in weeks and weeks. So, I choose to believe that these little guys are some sort of dreamlings. I plan to expand the little family soon. Perhaps to celebrate getting my dream job and passing my professional exam in august? One can always hope.

Today it is exceptionally foggy and rainy. I love it. This is my favourite kind of weather. Since I uploaded the image it has become even better.

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Ever since starting this blog I have hinted on a post focusing on me finding a grail pen in the wild. I have never seen one of these on Ebay and never really anywhere else either. I have seen some similar Watermans and Mabie Todds. But never an Edward Todd BHR clipless, silver overlay pen. I am going to make a post about this pen on FPN as well, so we’ll see if I get any interesting comments or more information (please comment if you have any information!).

I found this pen in a truly sumgai way, maybe not technically in the wild since it was on the Swedish equivalent of Ebay. The main item of the auction was an extremely ugly and broken (!) ceramic pen stand glazed in a hideous beige-light brown-grey colour, “some pens included”. The pens were huddled in a miserable heap in the shadow of the monstrous pen stand. I took a chance and made a bid. I won the whole lot for less than 20 dollars (shipping included). Amazing, I can hardly believe it myself.

The metal is slightly discoloured at the breathing holes (two in the cap) resistant to polish. The BHR has become brown/olive with age. I did polish the silver (marked sterling on the cap). The pen is not marked except for STERLING printed on the barrel.

Here is a writing sample in my own bastardized Spencerian/Copperplate/nonsense scribble…

Yes! I misspelled “whiskey’s”, due to making a jumble of the last three letters…

Pen: Edward Todd silver overlay pen. Nib no 2. I dare claim this is a wet noodle. It does railroad sometimes, but not in writing the sample above. It is (of course) an eyedropper.
Computer manipulation: Exposure +0.25. Removal of stuff from left hand corner and top middle (not engaging the text).
Ink: J Herbin Cacao du Bresil. I love the shading.
Room for Improvement: I could still use some practise to perfect the readability and the flourish detailing. I would also like to have more continuity in my lines and lettering, making the end result more orderly. On the other hand, I do like a little irregularity and whimsiness as well.
Verdict: Instant feeling of I-am-not-worthy-ness and joy.

Close-up on the nib (click on the image to see it REALLY big).

One more pic (just because it is so wonderfully gorgeous) (more…)

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