Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rudolph and Santa Take on the Snow Goons with Menorah Machine Guns

Holiday Team-up:
A belated Merry Christmas and a happy final day of #hanukkah2016

My kids are pleased to reap the benefits of both holidays. 
This one was a specific request, and, alas, is not drawn on a napkin. We were out of town and I was napkinless and markerless. I did have some watercolor paper and a little boxed paint set and was able to work on this rather muddy image.
I was asked to make Santa and Rudolph super buff (not my sons' term) and using menorah shaped machine guns. I added the Calvin and Hobbes style Snow Goons since it seemed like an enemy was in order.
My kids are of "mixed background" ie, as we like to say, some of us are Jewish by birth and some of us are "not." (Although those of us who are not might be able to say the entire Hanukkah blessing in Hebrew, while those of us who are might not...) At any rate, we celebrate any holiday which might involve the giving of gifts to children. Mercifully, the two holidays coincided this year.
Can you believe that no one else has used the hashtag #menorahmachinegun on Instagram ?!! Or even #machinegunmenorah
Yet another unfilled niche on the web.

You can see our other holiday (Christmas and Hanukkah) images at these links:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Catastrophon with Space Unicorn

These two seemed to go together well...horns, big eyes, excessive cuteness...

Of course the Catastrophon is the ultimate destructive evil (ok, one of several ultimate destructive evils) in Skottie Young's "I Hate Fairyland" volume 2, and the Space Unicorn is the insipid, rainbow spreading, happy deliverer of mail from Parry Gripp's ear worm song and video.... 

But otherwise, they have a lot in common.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Paleo Gingerbread Men

I baked some "Paleo" Gingerbread Men: 

We're pretty confused about diet around here, but definitely sure the holidays are coming soon.

(For those not wasting their time fixating on diet: "Paleo" in this case meant "grain-free" and "dairy-free."  Or Premodern hunter/gatherers who did not get diabetes or autoimmune disorders. Take your pick.)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ninja Gingerbread Men

My younger son has been wanting to make gingerbread cookies for a while now. I was stalling as his descriptions of the qualities he was looking for in a gingerbread cookie were daunting: detailed and very recognizably ninja shaped, yet simultaneously very soft, squishy and delicious.

I have always been a better frosting spreader than a baker. And recently due to my various health fixations, I have more or less purged any actual grains out of my baking rotation which makes things even more complicated. I have made many things with coconut flour, or almond....or tigernut flour... or cassava flour...the list goes on and on... that no one in the house wants to eat.

When it came time to finally make ninja gingerbread men this evening I was ready to make gluten-full regular gingerbread. But sadly, I discovered that we didn't even have any real flour in the house and I had to use "Paleo flour." And I resorted to blackstrap molasses as we did not have any of the regular stuff there either. So the gingerbread people will be perhaps a little too alternative and a little too nutritious for their own good....or at least a little too nutritious for my kids.

My older son tasted the gingerbread and told me it would be better if they were just "breadmen" without the ginger (and the other ingredients)

Oh well. As you can tell by the napkin, my perspective skills could use a bit of work as well as my baking skills. I will keep trying.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Monster Calls in the Classroom

I picked up a copy of "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd to read to my son on the train during our daily commute to school without giving the plot of the book much thought.  It features a monster visiting a young boy, and I was pretty sure that would make for compelling reading on packed subway cars.  I did not pay too much attention to the fact that the the boy's mother is slowly dying from cancer throughout the story.

And I didn't count on my son identifying with the protagonist quite so thoroughly and deeply. As my son's not actively dying mother, I found this a little bit disturbing, although I recognized that it was perhaps unintentionally (on my part anyway) therapeutic, and certainly provided a compelling distraction during trying  subway rides. "A Monster Calls"  is not just about loss so much as overwhelming anger and guilt in the face of loss, and this is perhaps what made it so relevant to my son.  Although my son did helpfully point out to me that my brief and totally non life threatening health issues earlier this year made him feel like he has a lot in common with the kid in the story. Oh dear.

We just discovered that this book that I had initially thought was maybe  a little obscure is a huge bestseller (#1 in "Teen and Young Adult Monster Fiction" on Amazon...did you know that was a category?) and has been made into a movie supposedly opening later this year.

My son is very enthusiastic about seeing the movie.

Having managed to read long weepy maternal death scenes out loud to a subway car full of strangers without overtly crying, I am cautiously optimistic about taking him to see it.

(The kid in the classroom on the napkin is more my son than Conor O'Malley, if that needs to be pointed out)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Inks

Some small silly holiday themed sketches for donation to a holiday fund raiser.
Pretty sure that I am going to get them back after the fundraiser.
Not on napkins, if that needs to be said.  I donated a napkin last year, and that was also rather unpopular.