Bragging on my Kids: The Adventures of Ordinary Rachel (by Sunny)

Sunny loves comic books and strips and graphic novels so much that she’s decided to create her own.

Okay, that and because I challenged her older sister the Math Class Chibi Doodler to draw a weekly comic strip with me this summer, and there’s no way Sunny was going to be left behind.

“Ordinary Rachel” about an eight year old girl whose uncle is a superhero who takes her on adventures, even though she doesn’t have any powers of her own (she thinks).  She knows about her uncle’s secret life, but her parents don’t.

Rachel also has a talking ball for a pet.  Presumably, her parents DO know about that, but Sunny is a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan, so maybe not.

She–Sunny, not Rachel—drew these freehand with MS paint all by herself. She spent hours on it and I only helped with technical stuff, like panel size, file options, and getting the tails of the speech balloons to point in the right directions.

These panels are black and white, in case you’re wondering, because she plans to color them last, “like they do with REAL comic books, Mommy.”  She further states that it has nothing to do (Mommy) with the difficulties in using the “Color Fill” tool when your lines don’t touch much.  Really.

I can tell you that the pet ball will be purple. Or pink.

I’m campaigning to call him “Plinkle”, but I don’t get a vote.

   Slide OneI love how you know exactly what this character is doing,
even if you might be a little worried
that she’s taking a nap after laying a ginormous egg.

This confusion will clear up once the egg ball starts talking in panel eight.
Or no, actually it won’t. Never mind.

slide 2

The item to the left is a dresser, which is recognized
because Sunny never closes her drawers, either.

I like Rachel’s nightgown, here.  Very post-modern.

slide 3

 Sunny is always a little miffed that her swimsuit isn’t where she wants to find it,
so she’s just writing what she knows at this point.

This includes the parental nagging, I’m afraid . . .

Notice the reaction lines?  I’m so proud!

slide 4

I love the way she drew this character,
and also that she’s wearing her swimsuit to go hang with superheroes.
Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

And see how spiffy that right hand word balloon looks (ahem)?

Her style probably owes a bit to Patrick McDonnell at this point (especially his Doozie), but that’s not a bad thing at all—in fact, I think it’s pretty good for a not-quite third grader.

Seriously, how cool is this?

That’s right:  pretty darned cool.

Random Thursday: Recycled, Repurposed, and Reused Randomness

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

In belated honor of Earth Day, which probably shouldn’t be a random thing.

I’d apologize for all the puns, but y’all know I’d be lying.

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Delftly Done

The Architectural Library of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands
suffered a terrible fire a while ago.

The university rebuilt the library and replaced all the books.

This is what they did with the old ones:

Book desk

How cool is that?

(Thanks, Watson . . . or Dee . . . Or caitlin?)

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Not Eggsactly Recycling . . .

or  repurposing, either, since eggs are supposed to make chickens.

Which Came First

But it is a revolutionary method for getting MORE chicken out of one’s eggs.

(Thanks, Patricia!)

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Encyclopedic Art

Brian Dettmer is an artist
whose art is books
and whose books are art.

New Books of Knowledge Sculpture

This one is made of a set of the New Books of Knowledge.

Go look at his other stuff.

Right now.

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Musical Vegetarianism

Jane saw this and told me she wants to learn how to make spinach whistles.

It’s the first time she’s volunteered to get “that weird green stuff” that close to her digestive system.

 I’ve shown this before, so it’s a recycled video about repurposing.

Because I’m just that lazy good.

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Bitten by the Chapell Bug(s)

Julie Alice Chappell makes beautiful insects out of recycled electronics.

This one was made from bits of old gaming console.

Nintendo Bug

Ms. Chapell has an Etsy shop,
DewLeaf,
which I visited in hopes of finding the above
(or one of his siblings)
for Janie,
who was bitten by the Nintendo bug years ago.

Unfortunately, at the posting of this,
it looks like she’s sold out of all her stock.

I’m disappointed, but not surprised—
look at the stunning detail!

Board Beetle

(Thanks, liligriff!)

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Prelude for Boomwhackers

Part Bach, part Bojutsu, part rainbow.

All good.

 

(My husband found this—you’re right, it’s randomly perfect.)

Purple Carrots at the Dinner Table

Last week, Sunny came home from school with an art project wrapped in newspaper and a plastic grocery bag of indeterminate origin.

The bundle sat on the counter as I threw dinner together, until my MIL, with her usual tact,  asked me if it was trash that someone should put in the garbage. I rescued it and opened it while she went to call the others.

Purple Carrot Fish1

I looked at the sculpture for a while in wonder, and put it in the center of the table, for a conversation piece.

It worked.

“What is that?”  My MIL asked.

“It’s my purple carrot,” Sunny said, scooping the center out of her dinner roll.

“That’s not a purple carrot,” Jane said.  “It’s a . . . squished snake?  That isn’t really purple?”

“It’s a fish,” Sunny said.  “And his name is Purple Carrot. See?  I painted him purple, except the . . . the hot oven thing made it too light.”

“The kiln?” I said.

“Yeah.  And Gail said it looked like a carrot, before I made it flat.”

Gail is Sunny’s very best friend and co-conspirator.  Everyone needs a Gail, who gives hugs to everyone she meets and may very well be the limitless energy source that will save the world, if anyone can figure out how to keep her still long enough to harness it.

Gail is often quoted around here—or evoked as authoritative approval.

“A screaming purple carrot?” Jane said.

“He’s not screaming.  He’s trying to breathe.  Gail says—”

“Why is a fish trying to breathe?”

“He’s evolving, Janie!  Duh!”

“So,” my husband said.  “He’s a lungfish?”

“Yes,” Sunny said.  “He’s trying really hard to get them.”Purple Carot Fish3

“Get what?” my MIL asked.

Lungs.

“Does evolution even work like that?” Jane asked.

“Maybe he’s a Pokémon,” I said.

“Or a Kirby-fish,” Jane said. “He looks like one of those cleaner fish—what’s that called?”

“Plecostomus?” I asked.

“Yeah. That.”

“He’s a Purple. Carrot. Fish,” Sunny said, stabbing at her green beans with her fork.  “Gail likes him.”

“He’s fantastic, honey,” I said.  “I like him very much, too.  His scales are really good and his expression is perfect.”

“Thanks, Mommy.”

“And I think Screaming Purple Carrot is a great name for a rock band,” I said, pushing my luck.

She beamed.  “That’s what Gail said!”

Purple Carrot Fish2

 

 

 

GNOME!!

Mike Allegra, children’s author, blogger, artist, keeper of houses, teller of hilarious family stories, and all around good guy, recently held one of his ever-popular doodle contests—and I won!

And even though he is suffering a debilitating injury to his drawing hand, he sent me this:

jitteryThis is Jittery–my very own Caffeine Gnome!

Just look at him!  Those eyes, those slippers, that clear sense of involuntary vibration!

He’s a lot more cheerful than I usually imagine them, but my experiences are generally affected by caffeine withdrawal, which tends to elevate even the figments of my imagination to DefCon-2 Cranky and has them looking around for drums, bagpipes, and ice picks with which to express their displeasure, until I offer suitable apologies and double their rightful tribute in the form of Americanos, mochas, diet Pepsis, and or straight up chocolate-covered beans.

But Jittery is clearly one Gnome who has consumed perhaps a little more than his fair share and is planning to ride the coffee train until the inevitable crash.

I like that in a metaphor.  And I adore this drawing.

Thanks, Mike!

Random Thursday: Literary Trompe Romps and Well-Read Street Art

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I had a lot of fun with this one—turns out when you work with, for, around, and at books approximately 17/6 (I do parent and sleep when truly necessary) and ask your friends for cool stuff to post on Thursdays, you get a lot of cool book-related stuff.

Who knew?

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Alice on the Runway at Watership Down

Alice in London

No, not really. It’s in London.

My alternative title was Reason #768,987 to visit England.

(Downith and Vonnie, you’re tied for #1)

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Faux Distractions

Artist Don Gray gave a garage door a library look for Lee Dembert,
a former book reviewer for the LA Times.

Awesome.

Garage Door Bookcase

True Confessions:

I knew what this was before I opened the attachment, because my friend Siobhan likes to use subject lines that are nearly as long as her e-mail messages.

So instead of “Cool art!” or “Want that!” my first thought when I saw this image was “Whoa!  That’s a really clean garage!”

And my second was, “Is that track lighting? What on earth needs to be directly lit in a garage?”

His rare, first edition Chilton’s Manuals?

And does he know the damage direct lighting can do to those schematics?

Sheesh.

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For all the DIYers

 Roger Light shows you how to paint a trompe l’oeil bookcase very, very quickly.

I love how the time lapse makes the books pop into 3-D like magic.

Which, in a way, I guess they did.

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Little Prince Sighting

Little Prince Graffiti

Not sure where this is, but that it exists somewhere is good enough for me.

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It’s Always Literate in Portland

Even the parking garages.

Portalnd Parking Garage

If this isn’t awesome enough,
The stairwells  give you something to read
while you’re looking for your car.

Book Stairs Portland

(first photo by Michael R. Allen)

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Melbourne Timequake

Vonnegut Timequake

Hey, Lyra!  Wanna go to Australia?

We can put Sherry in charge of the plane tickets and Laura in charge of the map.

Or we could stay here and start a band called the Melborne Timequakes.

Let me know.

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Trompe Librarians

Entirely wrong and yet so remarkably realistic . . .

(Dee? Kev? Did you send me this?)