I am experimenting with gesso. Different types, and different alternatives. Not a quick job. I read somewhere that you can spray a gessoed surface with formaldehyde to chemically harden it. Won't be trying that, thank you.
The dog has taken to carrying her ball from one end of the beach to the other. I throw it for her once, and that's it. It is as if she is saying "You can't be trusted. I bring the ball back for you and you keep throwing it away again. I think it best if I look after it."