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ursulav

The Earl of Oregano

Today was as perfect a day as you get in summer around here—breezy, not particularly hot, not particularly humid. Pleasant. So I finished this painting (most of which was done in a crazed fit yesterday) with the window next to my desk open, hearing the crows harass a red-shouldered hawk that had wandered by, and watching the various little birds flit around the feeder. (Black and white warbler! Woohoo! I hold out hope it may actually be nesting here!) And the air smells of—well, mulch, mostly, since I took advantage of the cool morning to put down a few loads in the back, and also of oregano, because I pulled some to use for reference material, and now my fingers smell like oregano. And the fireflies are just now filling up the garden, and I can hear the frogs discussing whether or not to hold an orgy tonight.

And we had Anaheim peppers from the garden stuffed with cream cheese with dinner, and I have a nice Crispin cider and I cannot really imagine a better way to work on a painting, although I did have to stop partway through to pull off a wandering tick, and Angus the little orange cat cannot get it through his little orange skull that oregano does not equal catnip—it’s a LEAF! In the HOUSE!—and keeps eating my reference material and then spitting it all over the desk and giving me an accusing look when he doesn’t get high.

Sigh.

oreganobadger

Digitally digital. Also digital.

The badger earls of Oregano live in a dry sunny climate, densely planted with the herb from which they take their name. The sixth Earl of Oregano, ruler of the walled town known as Oreganum, successfully stood off the Mongol hordes for over three months, until the Mongols got bored and went looking for easier prey. (Being nomadic horsemen does not make one terribly good at long sieges.) As it is nearly impossible to dig out a badger that doesn’t want to come out of its den, Oreganum never fell into the hands of either enemy or ostensibly friendly forces. (Attempts to use the town as a friendly base of operations were met with polite refusal and later boiling oil.)

Many of the most beloved cultivars of oregano still emerge from this region, often from striped and surly gardeners.

I learned a great deal from the garlic painting, most notably how not to waste four hours of my life inking the bloody thing when I’m just gonna paint over it anyway, and changed up the labeling for something more Art Nouveau. The banner thing was nifty, I know, but a stone bitch to paint, and if I ultimately make spice labels out of these, which I think I might—or at least stickers sized in that general range, to be used as such if desired—I wanted a consistent and easily read label, so that people don’t have to stop and stare at the art in the middle of frantic cookery. Also, this way I get to sneak a tiny Red Wombat logo in. (Should I wind up doing a spice label set, I’ll probably have to adapt the Prince of Garlic to fit. If this actually happens and you already bought a Garlic and want prints that all match, let me know and we can work something out.)

He is wildly out of scale to the oregano, but feh, sez I.

You can order prints at the usual place, and I’ll keep y’all posted if the label thing ever happens.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

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This is awesome.

(I don't suppose you've considered doing bookmarks with these on for conventions? It only comes to mind because I was in the Mucha Museum in Prague a few months ago, and they had some very gorgeous bookmarks of some of his prints, which -- judging by the number of them on the shelves in the gift shop -- seemed to be quite a good seller.)

I'm not sure how this format would work for bookmarks--I might be able cut it down a bit, mind you, but it's an awfully wide format.

It occurs to me that these might make good book PLATES, though, if I did "This Book Belongs To" in the label area and a line underneath.

SPICE LABELS. I will so be buying them if they eventuate.

(As it is I am pondering prints after a couple paychecks, but... LABELS.)


I think I'll wait to see how many of these you do...
Get the entire set for my kitchen!

Try J. K. Scrumpy's Hard Cider. A fantastic scrumpy cider. (Hard/rough cider)

OMG YES J.K. SCRUMPY CIDER IS TEH NOM.

Ahem.

Yes, it's quite nice. I think I need to get some and have it with bangers and mash.

"The label thing" would totally, TOTALLY awesome. I've even got nice, square bottles to put 'em on (Target's store-brand spices come in them - and are actually palatable).

I think it's the pig I like best.

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Yeah, I'm likin' the grumpy minion-fly, but it looks like a flying tadpole and leaves me perplexed...

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Book plates, post cards, spice labels, custom usps.com stamps, T-shirts, aprons or hot pads or tea towels all sound keen.

And thank you for the bonus Corvid!

Tea towels! I would buy dozens of these in tea towels!

Spice labels, yes. I would buy new spice containers if I had to, just to fit these on them.

... You are aware that there are a LOT of different spices, right? I can give you a list of the ones I've got. ;-)

There's... a critter in his beltpouch...?? Sorry, got distracted there. And obviously it's a cultivar of GIANT oregano, very rare, scarcely ever seen outside its native habitat and practically priceless, but for you, Sahib, I can make a deal... Anyway, bookplates would be lovely. I used to have some wonderful ones that showed medieval torture scenes from old woodcuts and threatened anybody stealing the book with pain and terror.

Oh, I want the set in labels when you finish them. These are sublime.

I just have to say I adore the wombat in the corner. It looks so utterly pleased with itself.

He is wildly out of scale to the oregano, but feh, sez I.

Dude, it's a talking badger. Who can say what size a talking animal ought to be?

Also, it's Ursula, so who knows how big oregano would grow if she got her hands on it?

OMG. It's a voodoo doll. It really is. :D

But... of course the garlic container is larger than the oregano jar - one uses far more garlic than oregano. Or *I* do anyway!