happy movember!


Happy Movember!

I am quite excited for December 1st for more than one reason....one of these may or may not be all of the clean shaven men that I expect to see tomorrow!  Movember's great, but not all of the moustaches that result from it are....

Looking back at the last couple of months, it appears as though we have a healthy love for facial hair...it just seems to pop up everywhere!

Back in Summer, we showed you how to throw a moustache party.  And we crafted moustache photobooth props and cake toppers.  We also baked moustache cookies....and more moustache cookies. We even made magnificent moustache mugs!  So, yeah, we're kind of in love with it.

We hope you are enjoying our obsession, and that you've been able to support a man growing a moustache this month!

p.s. ♥ kelsey (& jordyn and clara)

Christmas baking: north pole cupcakes


Now, I'm really hoping this post doesn't freak too many people out since it's still November, but I for one am definitely already getting in the Christmas spirit.  My apartment is decked out in pretty lights, snowflakes, Christmas bunting...and we even have a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree!  I'm even getting ready to make some yummy triple chocolate shortbread for a Christmas banquet I'm attending tomorrow night!

So, starting today, and for the next few weeks, we'll be sharing some of our favorite, classic Christmas recipes, as well as some fun new ones!  

(For those of you who followed my beyond the cookie jar blog, a few of these might be familiar!)

First up are these simple north pole cupcakes!

-batch of cupcakes (here are our recipes for chocolate or mocha cupcakes!)
-candy canes (red and white work great, but any will do!)
-red smarties/m&ms/skittles
-buttercream icing 
-sprinkles (optional)
-small north pole signs  (you can make your own, or I made a printable version HERE!)

1) First, pipe or spread your buttercream onto each cupcake (here's our recipe if you need one!).  I chose to decorate all of mine with coarse white sprinkles, to make it look like snow!
2) Then, break off the hook of each candy can, and carefully insert into the middle of your cupcake.
3)  Dab a bit of icing on the top of the candy cane, and place a red smartie on top.
4)  Next, dab a bit of icing on the candy candy pole, and gently press your north pole sign in place...and you're done!

I absolutely love how simple, yet adorable these cupcakes are!  I know Christmas is a time where my family likes to break out fussy (and amazing) recipes....but sometimes simple works too!

p.s. ♥ kelsey

Book Review: “I Say, I Say…Son” Visual biography of the McKimson Brothers

One of the nicest things about the long Thanksgiving weekend was having the time to catch up on my reading. I had the pleasure of reading the new book about cartoonists Bob McKimson, Tom McKimson and Chuck McKimson. The book is called, "I Say, I Say . . . Son!" after the familiar favorite phrase of Looney Tunes star Foghorn Leghorn. The subtitle reads: "A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson."

I Say Son Tom Bob Chuck McKimson Brothers Book Cover

I didn't know very much at all about the McKimsons before reading this "art-o-biography." Looney Tunes directors Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones have been profiled in depth many times, but I confess to being pretty clueless about McKimson's contributions...until now.

Bob McKimson reviewing a pencil test with his animation unit 1952

According to this book (which focuses primarily on Bob McKimson's work, less so on brothers Tom and Chuck), Bob McKimson was something of a solid guiding rock among the Looney Tunes crew. John K wrote the introduction, and he sums up Bob McKimson's contributions by stating,

"He was the strongest draftsman at Warner Bros. (and maybe even in the whole industry), played the part of teacher in the studio, and was the anchor of the animation department."

Porky Pig Animation drawing by Bob McKimson

There are a lot of memorable stories and anecdotes that really shed light on the behind-the-scenes world of WB animation -- I especially enjoyed reading about the early days of the animation business when the brothers (like many animators) played musical chairs with the different studios -- from Walt Disney Studio in 1929 to the mysterious Romer Gray Pictures, to Harman-Ising and then to Leon Schlesinger's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Brothers. In later years the brothers went on to work for Western Publishing's Dell comics (and Gold Key and Whitman) and Golden books, too!

Mel Blanc and Bob McKimson 1952

The stories include the lifetime consequences and wild effects of Bob McKimson's car crash in 1932, and the story of how a plumber in Pasadena unearthed some long-forgotten historical animation treasures.

Old Gray Hare Elmer Fudd Model Sheet drawn by Tom McKimson

Like many of the colorful Looney Tunes art books like "That's All Folks,", "I Say, I Say . . . Son!" is profusely illustrated with rare sketches, photographs and production art. Although most of the images are shot or scanned from vintage production artwork, there are also many modern "gallery-style" reproductions (the kind of fake animation cels they used to sell at the WB Store) mixed in. There are also a few low-resolution images included (with jaggy edges and JPEG-artifacts), but the author must have found them important enough to include them anyway. The great majority of the illustrations are excellent quality.

The main thing I enjoyed about the book was the opportunity to follow the cartooning careers of three Golden Age animation professionals from the art form’s infancy in the 1920’s to its demise in the late 1950’s to the TV-afterlife of the 1970’s and ‘80’s. Their life stories are about so much more than the glory years of animation...we get to see the excitement of the “anything goes” early years of the business, and also follow their lives after the movie biz turned its back on them -- to see how talented cartoonists continue to make a life after their livelihood has disappeared. For devoted fans of animation history, this book is a winner.

Link: "I Say, I Say . . . Son!" at Amazon.com

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