Free Comic Book Day 2014

I love comic books.  You wouldn’t think so.
My parents wouldn’t let me get comic books when I was younger.  We didn’t have the grocery store rack.  And we lived 25 minutes from the nearest comic book store.  Even when in “the city”, my Mom was not supportive of getting comic books…bad part of town, unsavory behavior, etc.

But I love them.
I’m not into any specific canon.  Or character.  I can pick up most graphic novels and read them, cover to cover.
I’m especially a fan of 70’s and 80’s graphic art.

This year the kids were old enough to both appreciate Free Comic Book Day.
It’s the first Saturday in May.  We went with our usual sidekicks, and visited the nearest store.  We picked up a whole lot of loot.

A got a Transformers book, Pokemon & Ironman Novels, and recent (age-appropriate) Avengers books.
C got a Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, My Little Pony books, and a Donald Duck novel.
I got a Guardians of the Galaxy book, a 70’s compilation, and a couple of old Xmen comics.
I’m very supportive of the comic book habit.  Good stories, good art, and literacy all rolled into one.

I’m thinking I might want to now get “into” a series.  Too bad there are too many to choose from, and my brain is full of other stuff, making it hard to make decisions.  If you’re into that sort of thing — leave some suggestions in the comments; I might take you up on it!!

P.S.  To finish off the day, we took the kids to a local pizza place/video arcade.  If it had a roller rink and a pool hall, we would have called this a Throwback weekend…all the stuff Momma loved to do as an 80’s kid that was off-limits.  🙂

Crayons

A few weeks ago, the boys were upstairs sorting Legos.
(Aside:  My son A has tons of legos.  We got him a shelving unit and Mr. Sq and A — and me — helped him sort his legos into a display; President Business-style).

I hung out with C downstairs.  And she was very into coloring.  So I thought this would be a good time to clean out the crayon bin.  So we did.

We put crayons into silicone muffin tins, baked them at about 220 for 40 minutes…and VOILA!  New crayons.

In the oven they go:

DSC03437

And the finished disks.  Very purdy!DSC03441

(Technically, this is baking, but I’m not putting it in that category!)

Sneak Peek…Wild Ones Part 2

A couple of photos from my latest project.  And a bad pun.

“Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave!…From a box of scraps!…”
Pretty much.  In this case, I’m Iron Man, working in a craft cave, from my stash.  And I made these scraps…

They were so pretty in a pile, I had to take a picture!

DSC03569

 

And here’s a sneak peek of what these trimmings were cut off of…

 

 

 

 

 

DSC03570

 

Easter Part 2

So I have quite a few things to update on.  My hope is to do that over the week.

In the meantime, more pictures from Easter.

First — we turned haystacks into birds’ nests.  Yum.
DSC03443DSC03446

Then we decorated eggs.  I used some really cheap crayons and had the kids color on them.  Then we dyed them.  That worked out really well.  They had a great time, and the eggs came out wonderfully.

DSC03450

Happy Easter!

We have become not-so-fans of our local egg hunt.

Most of the candy is not stuff we like, and my geek-like tendencies make some social situations uncomfortable, and downright frustrating.  I have limited patience for some parenting styles…and — oh, dear.

So for the last 3 years, we’ve done our own egg hunts.  I have the eggs, and buy the candy.  And can dole out the type — and the amount — that I think is reasonable.  If I don’t want jolly ranchers; they don’t get purchased.  Or those cruddy generic malted milk things.  Icky.

This is the 2nd year we invited our friends over.  This time, we added a little extra scavenger hunt at the end of the egg hunt.

Materials:

  • 300+ plastic eggs filled with rolo, snickers, m&m’s and starburst jelly beans.
  • 4 clues.  Handwritten by the Easter Bunny himself.
  • 3 kids.  Excited about everything.  Lured by the promises of outside and candy.

Here are the eggs, and the 3 buckets in the background. Hello Kitty plush toys for C; and Avengers & Transformers for X & A.

DSC03456

The 4 clues from Mr. Bunny.DSC03457 DSC03458
Mr. Bunny wasn’t terribly creative with the clues.  Handwritten, but personalized font and colors by clue.  Materials:

  • Orange copier paper (standard 8.5×11 grade/weight), cut into the shape of carrots, with the top end as the fold.
  • White scrapbook paper sized to fit with a margin around the inside.  It looked like he eyeballed it, since each carrot was slightly different in height and girth.
  • Green reversible scrapbook paper for the fringy leaves.  I have on good authority that the Easter bunny stockpiled scrapbook paper from Costco a few years’ back, and hasn’t seen the reversible paper since.  And since then, he’s been doling it out on only special occasions.

 

The first clue was hung on the swingset.  C found it before the egg hunt was over.  It was comical watching her convince the boys she found “some-ting”.DSC03471

The bird bathDSC03472

 

The Mailbox…DSC03473

 

The Shed…DSC03474

The Final Hideout…our fire pit (that hasn’t been used).  Each one individually bagged to ensure that squirrels or mice wouldn’t eat anything while we were hunting eggs.

DSC03469

 

March Birthdays…Part 1

I love my friends and family.

I don’t love the fact that about 30% of my friends are born in a 40-day timespan.  It’s a lot of baking.  It’s a confectionary March Madness; I tell you.

This is the 4th (maybe 5th; I’m losing track) year in a row I’ve made my son’s BFF his birthday cake.  I remember Thomas, Spiderman, Ninjago, and this year…

This year X specifically asked (again!) for Ninjago.  Not surprising, as he LOVES Ninjago Legos.  I couldn’t do a repeat of last year.  So onto something different.  Since the birthday boy is turning 7, I also gave him a few more options.  He picked a funfetti cake, with cookies & creme filling (instead of the regular frosting).  Originally, it was only supposed to be Kai, the red ninja.  The weekend before his birthday party, he asked if it could be all the ninjas.  And some legos or something, because he loved the lego movie.  Of course it can!  I just had to change the design a bit.

So…5 Ninjas.  Legos.  Here’s the approach.

  • (2) Cake mixes.
  • (12) cupcakes.  Various lego colored wrappers, and white speckled rainbow frosting with a lego on top.
  • (2) 9×13 layers with the rest of the batter.  Cookies & Creme filling.  Frosted, then white fondant.  Then edged with legos.  Top fondant Ninajago characters.

Cookies and Creme filling:
1)  Step 1 – Make some frosting.  For this particular cake, I made a metric whackton of frosting because I was icing a 9×13 and putting a filling in between and doing a dozen cupcakes.

DSC02981
2)  Step 2 – Crush some Oreos.  I splurged, but only ’cause I love the kid.
3)  Mix 1 and 2 together.  You get this:

DSC02982

Assembly:
Next, layer onto the cooled cake.  DSC02984And frost…All sins hidden, and ready for fondant.

DSC02989

And don’t forget the cupcakes!!

DSC02985

Decorating:  Icing, Frosting, and Fondant
I will spare you the tedium of the decorating.  LOTS of little dots to make fondant legos.  A LOT of toothpick work to line and make the ninjago faces just so.

Here’s my process for placing little dots on the fondant.  Lots of dots, made by the top of an icing tip.  Glued on with “clear” writing gel.

DSC02990

 

The Finished Cake DSC02991 DSC02992

The finished cupcakes…DSC02995

And a cross-section.  I seriously love frosting.  This cake had little actual baked good…and was mostly sugar.  My adopted 7YO said it was the best cake he’s ever eaten.

DSC03038

 

One Year Blog-iversary…

WordPress just informed me today was my blog birthday.

I didn’t post as much as I expected, and not about the things I originally set out to share.  But it’s become a decent way to share my hobbies, and interests semi-anonymously.  There were periods of frequent posts, and some dry spells.  But I’m still here, taking up bandwidth.  🙂

Thank you to those who visit often, those who peek in from time to time, and those who randomly stumble by.

Let’s see what 2014 has in store…