Quite a catch: Catfish shatters state, maybe world, record

A white catfish caught in Connecticut last month has smashed a state record and could also be a world record for the species — though the evidence has been eaten.

Ben Tomkunas, 25, caught the 21.3-pound (9.66-kilogram) fish late at night in Coventry on Aug. 21. It was longer than 3 feet (about a metre).

Connecticut Fish and Wildlife confirmed in a Facebook post that the catch was a white catfish and that it easily broke the previous state record for the species of 12.7 pounds (5.76 kilograms).

“We were just sitting back and drinking a couple of beers and next thing you know, my reel just starts screaming like I had a 30-pound striper on there,” Tomkunas, of Coventry, told the Hartford Courant.

Tomkunas’ friend, Chris Braga, had a digital scale and took a photo of the fish coming in at the record-breaking weight.

The International Game Fish Association has recorded the world record for a white catfish catch to be 19.3 pounds (8.75 kilograms) for a fish caught in 2005 in California.

Tomkunas said he intends to submit a claim to the association to secure the new world record. But he also told the newspaper that he gave the fish to his grandfather the next morning.

“It kind of got eaten,” he said.

'New' Van Gogh drawing to go on display in Amsterdam museum

AMSTERDAM —
A drawing newly attributed to Vincent van Gogh that has never been displayed publicly before is going on show at the Amsterdam museum that bears the Dutch master’s name.

The “new” Van Gogh, “Study for `Worn Out,”‘ from November 1882, is part of a Dutch private collection and was known to only a handful of people, including a few from the Van Gogh Museum.

The owner, who is remaining anonymous, asked the museum to determine if the unsigned drawing is by Van Gogh.

From the style, to the materials used — a thick carpenter’s pencil and coarse watercolour paper — it conforms to Van Gogh’s Hague drawings, Senior Researcher Teio Meedendorp said Thursday.

There are even traces of damage on the back linking it to the way Van Gogh used wads of starch to attach sheets of paper to drawing boards.

“It’s quite rare for a new work to be attributed to Van Gogh,” the museum’s director Emilie Gordenker said in a statement. “We’re proud to be able to share this early drawing and its story with our visitors.”

It comes from a time in the artist’s career when he was working to improve his skills as a painter of people and portraits by drawing them. Over and over again.

The museum already owns the almost identical drawing, “Worn Out.”

“It was quite clear that they are related,” Meedendorp said.

The study has been loaned to the museum and goes on show from Friday through Jan. 2.

It shows an elderly, balding man sitting, hunched forwards, on a wooden chair, his balding head in his hands. Even the model’s pants appear to conform to the English title — a patch is clearly visible on the right leg.

It is a far cry from the vibrant oil paintings of vases of sunflowers and French landscapes that eventually turned the tormented Van Gogh — after his death in 1890 — into one of the world’s most famous artists, whose works have garnered astronomical prices at auction.

Instead, it illustrates how as a young artist in practicing his craft in The Hague in 1882, Van Gogh had to confront an uncomfortable truth.

“He discovered that he lacked the ability to paint people. So he was already drawing them but he liked to paint,” Meedendorp said. “So in order to be able to paint people as well he went back to the drawing board.”

Van Gogh, who was famously reliant on his brother Theo’s generosity throughout his life, gave the drawings an English title in a bid to build a bit of name recognition and possibly even land a job at an illustrated magazine.

“In his mind, he had an idea that he would reach out farther than Holland in the end as an artist,” Meedendorp said.

4 Decorating Tips Everyone Can Use

Even when you are lucky enough to start with an empty room, it can be overwhelming to design an interior that you can enjoy for years to come. Following some basic interior design principles, you can transform your space into a relaxing room you will be comfortable and happy with. Decide what your focal point will be and build out from there.  For best results, keep proportion and scale in mind as you decorate as well as these tips!

 Deciding on Your Focal Point
Do you have a magnificent bay window with an incredible view?  Is there an ornate mantle that is the reason you fell in love with your home? Or is there something you absolutely MUST HAVE in the room? Situate your furniture around your chosen focal point to create balance and equilibrium. If your room does not already have an existing focal point, create one with oversized art or add an accent point like a free-standing fireplace, they come in a variety of sizes and styles. Symmetrically balance the room evenly so that both sides mirror one another.  This will help your chosen focal point stand out all the more! Use matching accent tables to flank your sofa or use different pieces of furniture to create a copacetic visual impact, like two similar armchairs to balance a sofa.
Repetition for Rhythm
Rhythm creates a flow and helps direct the eye to the differing visual elements in your room. Just as the notes of a favorite song repeat to create the rhythm, repetition in decor will create a rhythm throughout a home. Establish visual interests with a rhythm throughout your space by placing similar colours or patterns at intervals and repeat in artwork, cushions or area rugs.

Perfect Proportion and Suitable Scaling
Who doesn’t love a large, overstuffed chair? But if your room is on the smaller size it may look out of place and make your room seem even smaller than it is. Keep proportion in perspective. Proportion is the ratio between a piece of furniture and the size of a room. Scale is the size of a piece of furniture in relation to the other pieces of furniture in the room. A super large chair will overpower an apartment of loft size sofa or loveseat and create a sense of unbalance in the room.

Have your room humming harmoniously
Creating harmony will enhance how much you will continue to love your finished. Pull the room with a subdued colour palette for a pleasing, harmonious vibe.   together for a pleasing, harmonious look with a subdued color palette. You can also use a single colour for elements that vary in size and shape. Check out our blog on Doing White on White Right! for more tips!

What is the focal point in your room?  What is your best tip to find harmony and balance through your home?

5 Tips to Magnificent Mirrors

Mirrors are a handy decor tool, but did you know they also serve clever purposes? From making your space feel larger and lighter to providing an opportunity for guests to check themselves; mirrors can be found in more than just the bathroom.

You know that feeling when you finally get a chance to move into your first apartment and have total control over how it looks? The only downside is there are so many design decisions. It can actually be overwhelming! Well, fear not because we’re here with some of our favourite tips for hanging mirrors in an easy way.

I’m always getting mixed up when it comes to how high I should hang my mirrors. It’s not like they’re wall art, right? Ha! No one knows what height is best for them because everyone has different needs and preferences in their space. For example, if you have a tall piece of furniture like the chest over there (points) then 4-6 inches below that will be perfect so people can still see themselves while they walk by or look at anything on top of the chest without feeling uncomfortably close to a mirror hanging too low above them – but keep in mind this may vary depending on where most people are sitting around your room; such as with an end table next to your couch or chair.

There are two easy ways to introduce more natural light into your living room or bedroom – strategically place mirrors. Consider the angle of the sun and hang a mirror opposite south-facing windows, east-facing windows, or on both walls if you want even more sunlight shining through!
Coming or going, guests are certain to check their reflection in your mirror when they enter. Add a well-placed console table with some seating for comfort and style without sacrificing space of the entryway!

Make sure you mount hardware properly to keep mirrors safe. There’s nothing as tempting as adding wire to the back of a mirror, but each D-hook or keyhole mount on the back should attach to its own hook for safety and stability.

Finding a mirror that fits your space’s aesthetic can help you achieve the perfect cohesive design style. Whether it’s windowpane pattern in your modern farmhouse bedroom, wood frames for spaces with rustic style and organic shapes for mid-century homes or even textured glass to match an industrial loft – each one will make sure everything feels like it belongs together.

If finding the right frame is difficult consider how important light reflection is when choosing which type of mirrors are best suited to be placed on top of furniture such as dressers or side tables: if you want all reflections visible choose mirrored ones; If displaying decorative items atop then opt instead for framed options so they don’t get blocked out by glare from any nearby windows.
You don’t have to limit the use of mirrors to indoors.  Using old mirrored shower doors or adding shutters to a wood framed mirror can enhance your outdoor spaces and make your garden appear bigger and more lush!

Have you gotten creative with mirrors?  Share your ideas below!

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