We just made some great guacamole from a very simple recipe. I chose the easiest recipe that I could find online because I needed to throw it together very quickly. At first I was a bit leery of trying this because it calls for garlic powder and salsa instead of the traditional, whole ingredients. That being said, it was done and on the table in a few short minutes and everyone was happy with the results. Even my just-turned-two-year-old liked it. Another nice thing about this recipe is that it is easily adaptable to any number of avocados that you may have on hand, so you can make it with as little as one avocado.
Most importantly, we saved the seeds in order to attempt to grow our own avocado houseplants. We found information on how to grow and care for an avocado plant on the California Avocado Commission (CAC) website. A glass of filtered water and three toothpicks later and our seeds were prepped and ready to grow. Now all there is to do is sit back and wait. Let’s hope these babies sprout!
Today we have an old toy toaster and a broken kiddie cup. The toaster is solid upper body material, while the cup lid looks like it may make a good helmet. The kitty is already wary of this whole situation, which, on a side note, reminds me of a fun game that we play on the iPad called Robot Wants Kitty.
Robot Part Roundup #2
Robot Part Roundup #1
Is it weird that I started saving toilet paper and paper towel tubes without having the slightest idea what to do with them? I guess that must make me either a brilliant artist, a hoarder, or an impoverished Martha Stewart. Or, perhaps, all of the above.
While gathering materials for my previous post, my kids and I made a really important discovery: conjoined bananas. We had been going through all the bananas at the supermarket trying to find just the right ones for our tattoos. A nearby employee was stocking fruit, and I couldn’t help but notice that he looked like he was having a miserable day. The sight of my daughter and I rifling through the neatly stocked bananas clearly irritated him further, so I made an effort to stay out of his way.
When we discovered the conjoined bananas, the disgruntled employee overheard our oooh’s and ahhh’s and came right over to see what all the fuss was about. He immediately perked right up. Like us, he’d never seen a such a thing in real life before. Surprising, actually, since he works around fruit all day.
We were pondering whether it would be two separate bananas on the inside, when he said, “Maybe we should open it up to find out,” to which I responded, “Yeah, man, go for it dude!” It wasn’t. It looked pretty much the same on the inside, which didn’t really matter because it was just so just exciting to see him open that sucker. Once peeled, he didn’t know what to do with it, so he offered it to us for free, and my banana-loving son happily ate it all before we were out of the produce section.
The employee ended up being a real nice guy, and I’m glad I was there for what was surely the highlight of his shift. After that, we didn’t have much else to say to each other, so my kids and I went on our way. It was an interesting and memorable interaction between a few strangers in a grocery store, momentarily brought together by a freak piece of fruit.
I found this Tattoo a Banana video by multimedia artist Phil Hansen, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. All you really need to do this is a banana, a thumb tack, and some imagination. My daughter did some ABC’s and stars on a large banana and also chose to tattoo a butterfly on a cute little baby banana.
I waited until the kids were in bed to start on my C3PO banana tattoo. That way I could work uninterrupted. I made the mistake of trying to work on the backside of the banana, which meant I had to constantly turn it and also hold it steady for an eternity with my left hand. As I should have guessed, my hand started cramping up after a short while. Then my phone (which I was using as my time-lapse camera) began ringing, so I conveniently took this as I sign to bail on C3PO and start fresh.
For my second attempt, I made sure to lay the banana down flat on its side and I picked something less complicated: Curious George peeling a banana with a tattoo of himself holding a banana, and on that banana….uh, you get the idea.
Here’s the time-lapse video:
This is the first of many projects in Phil Hansen’s book, Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything Into Art. It sounds awesome and you can bet that I’ll be picking up a copy!
The Doctor Who scarf project from Knits for Nerds is finished! Seven hundred and seventy-four rows of knitting later!
It is roughly ten feet, or, a four-year old girl, plus a two-year old boy, plus a medium-sized beagle/boxer doggy long.
It feels great to have finished this project, and I’m so glad that I tackled it, even though It was pretty a serious project for a first-time knitter. Now I have a new skill in my arsenal, not to mention a very warm neck, or even a makeshift rope in case of an emergency. While I don’t have any other knitting projects on the horizon, I’m certain that I will knit something else at some point in the future. In the meantime, I have the rest of winter to wear my handmade Doctor Who scarf as a badge of pride.
Knits for Nerds: Update #3
Knits for Nerds: Update #2
Knits for Nerds: Update #1
Knits for Nerds: The Prequel
I always thought it would be really neat to commission a piece of art, and while I strolled through Artist Alley at the New York Comic Con, I realized that an incredible opportunity to do just that was literally right in front of me.
The only problem was that I hadn’t given any thought to what I wanted to have done. Nonetheless, I made sure to scope out some different artists and grab their business cards as we made our way through the HUGE and very crowded exhibit hall.
One artist that stood out in particular was Mike Dolce, creator of The Sire comic book. When I approached his booth, he greeted me warmly even though he was in the middle of a very detailed and great looking sketch.
Mike was very friendly and approachable, and his comic book looked awesome! After speaking with him for a few minutes, I decided to ask him about whether he took on commissioned projects. It turns out that he did accept commissions, and he sounded very accommodating and excited about working with me.
A few weeks later I was sitting at my desk, looking at my dull-looking blog, pondering potential logo ideas, when I recalled my meeting with Mike Dolce. A few emails and a phone call later, it was a done deal!
I’m thrilled with the result and would like to thank Mike for doing such a great job and for being so awesome to work with! Don’t forget to check out his comic, The Sire, at his website www.mikedolce.com
The final issue of Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire, hits the store shelves today. Sweet Tooth became my favorite monthly comic since I started getting back into them again as an adult over the last year or so. Last October I attended my very first convention, the New York Comic Con (NYCC), and there I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Lemire and get his autograph on my mighty wallet! I had previously promised to post a picture, so here it is. Isn’t he cute?
Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, when I had heard that the Sweet Tooth adventure would be wrapping up, I fashioned some fan art from leftover Halloween candy as a small tribute. The kids loved it, of course, because they got to eat him. Here it is again.
Click here to read more on my Sweet Tooth candy art. The next project on the horizon for Lemire is a sci-fi love story called Trillium, which looks and sounds awesome. I’m excited to be on board from issue number one for a change, since I’ve been late to the game for a bunch of other great comics. In the meantime, I plan to catch up on Lemire’s collected Essex County comics, which I received as a Christmas present this year.
Farewell, Sweet Tooth! It’s been a great ride!
I keep a supply of nuts and a container of Sunsweet Ones (individually wrapped prunes) on my desk for grazing throughout the day. I know how this sounds, and to give you a balanced picture, let it also be known that I have been on a quest for the perfect hot dog and hamburger for quite a few years now. I like to balance working out with pigging out.
Anyway, I recently finished off the last prune and found myself staring at the empty canister, wondering what I could use it for. It had definite potential to be repurposed for something else… Robot part? Shaker? Drumstick holder? All viable uses. What about a look and find tube? Bingo! It would make a perfect look and find tube! Really, you can use any plastic container that you wish, such as a soda bottle.
I consulted with my wife about dying rice for the filler, sine she had recently died pasta for another project. I used her technique and it worked out great.
The tube held two cups of rice with a little room to spare, so I divided that into five ziploc bags, adding about a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and about four drops of food coloring to each bag. Then I let my daughter shake them to her heart’s content. We spread out the rice on a foil lined pan and left it out to dry while we played outside in the snow.
Later that day, I looked around for tiny items to hide in te tube. I thought about putting little miniature people and animals in it, but I didn’t want to have run out and purchase anything since I had already made everything else from what was readily available. My list of found treasures is below. I mixed them with the rice and dumped it all into the tube, using super-glued to seal it. I’d also recommend some packing tape on the lid. This is one toy we do not want to break in the car!
- Saxophone lapel pin
- Pink Pez
- Blue M&M
- Brown M&M
- Mini green M&M
- Flintstone vitamin
- Cocoa dusted almond
- Broken red crayon
- Goldfish cracker
- Red bead
- Pair of googly eyes
- Pencil eraser
- Black pen cap
- Red paperclip
- Drywall screw
- Match stick
- Yellow paperclip
- Hair clip
- Large nut
- Small nut
- Dog treat
- Pen spring
- Tiny yellow hair band
- Blue gem
When my kids get board of finding item from this lists I’ll cut open the container, throw in some different tiny treasures, and seal it back up in a new container. You can also take a picture of all the items so your kids can know exactly what they are searching for (I wish I would have thought of the BEFORE I sealed the lid).
E.T. was spotted by my family outside of a Sweet Frog frozen yogurt, in the back seat of a Subaru Outback. It made for some lively family discussion:
“WHAT THE!?” -Mommy
“The windows are up. He’s all alone. Should we call Alien Protective Services?” -Daddy
“Mommy, why can’t E.T. have ice cream, too?” -Daughter
“I bet there is an app for phoning home.” –Daddy
“I’m glad to see that he is buckled in, at least.” -Mommy
“Is this foreshadowing of a reboot?” -Daddy
Points and stares but is rendered speechless. -Son
We’ll never know the full story. In any case, it made our day!