7th May 2010

Jim Has Serious Pancake Mojo

Jim is making fancy pancakes for his little girl, inspired by fancy pancakes his dad made for him when he was little.

Jim's Bee Pancake

Jim’s getting a little carried away, though.
Jim's Crane Pancake

Don’t miss the giraffe!

Jim’s Pancakes

[Via Laughing Squid]

posted in Crafts, Food | 1 Comment

10th September 2008

All The Way To Banana Splitsville!

I recently discovered a few cool things.

1. There’s a Hard Rock theme park.

2. In said theme park is a section called Banana Splitsville.

Sadly there’s not much info or photos of it on the web yet, but apparently the Splits themselves perform there several times a day. Can anyone help me out?

Banana Splitsvile

3. The Ben & Jerry’s Banana Split ice cream changed their logo to something that does not infringe on the Splits. Hopefully photos will be coming soon. (thanks Humu for the tip!).

And perhaps a little less cool:

4. The Banana Splits have updated their website, and recorded new videos and songs, which are on sale on iTunes, if you’re so inclined!. Sadly, they sound nothing like their old selves.

Check out JYC’s other Banana Splits posts:

Ben & Jerry’s Steals Banana Split’s Logo
Rare Banana Splits Stuff

posted in Animation, Crafts, Midcentury, Music, Television | 1 Comment

20th April 2008

No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas

It was a struggle identifying which of the plentiful bounty of misnomered “salads” from the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook I should make first, but the No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas (submitted by Betty Rayner) kept calling to me.

No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas close-up
No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas close-up

It made sense to make this one first, because it’s relatively simple, and yet still horrifying — never have two words been less interested in sitting next to each other at the dinner table as “Coke” and “Salad.” And yet, here we are.

No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas
No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas
This is the "froth"
This is the "froth"

Making the “salad” (pictures here) required a bit of interpretation: are the “2 Cokes” 12 oz. cans, or the 10 oz. bottles that were possibly still kicking around in 1979? Is the “1 pkg” of Jello the small or large package? Or were the package sizes totally different in 1979? The recipe says that the 2 Cokes won’t quite make a “full 2 cups of liquid,” which tells me that we’re working with the small pack of Jello, but a cup is only 8 oz., and I can’t imagine a Coke so small that 2 of them won’t make 2 cups. I finally settled on the small pack of Jello (after all, I don’t think the demand for my “salad” will be high), and used one and a half cans of Coke.

The next sticky spot was the instruction to add the Jello to “hot Cokes” — I like to think that in Texas, this is just what they do when they accidentally leave their Cokes out in the sun… “Betty, darlin’, Bobbie-Jo left these Cokes out and now they’re hotter’n a whore in Hades — guess we’re having salad with dinner tonight!” I just microwaved mine.

I got to use my ring mold!
I got to use my ring mold!

Now, your ordinary batch of Jello already has a crapload of sugar in it, but Betty thinks it needs more, so water won’t do, it’s gotta be Coke. And what else does this need? How about some syrupy, not-at-all-cherry-like Maraschino cherries? Plus, some pecans, which actually turn out to be a critical part of the recipe. I considered leaving them out, but trust me — they are a welcome respite from the sugar, sugar and sugar provided by the other ingredients.

The final result is actually rather lovely, I must say. And it tastes about like you’d expect: like one great big, sugary cherry Coke. By now you may have noticed that I skipped one suggestion in the recipe… I did not opt to serve this with a dish of mayonnaise in the center. Perhaps I’m betraying my rookie status at this “salad”-making business, but I just was not able to wrap my head around that one.

If you haven’t already, you simply must take a look at the other recipes in the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook. So far I have a request to make Watergate Salad, and a request to stay away from the Spinach Salad, but there’s still plenty of room for discussion.

posted in Crafts, Food | 8 Comments

28th March 2008

Paper Wallet Update

So I’ve been pestered by a few friends, and some strangers (Hi Books Inc!) to post my paper wallets. See, I make these wallets, out of paper, then use them till they almost fall apart, and then make new ones. For over 10 years now. And I’ve been meaning to post them here when they’re all shiny and new; before they slowly get dinged up and torn; before they conform to the shape of my ass. But the problem is when I make a new one, I almost always forget to take photos. And when I remember to take photos, I get so picky about the lighting and background and the angles that the photos never get taken.

But in the spirit of getting shit done and moving on, I present to you crappy photos of my previous two paper wallets, taken today, on my desk under the yellow light of my K’nex lamp, with the bare minimum effort put into setting up the shots.

Today we have two paper wallets.

60s Legs Paper Wallet

NOTE: At the time these photos were taken, the wallet’s seen a few months of wear and tear, and is looking a little weathered not unlike an off-the-strip Vegas cocktail waitress (Sorry mom! No offense!), but when it was new it looked fly.

This wallet was made out of two extra-long postcards I found in some gift store. I thought legs would make a great theme. I was wrong. Still I like how it turned out, and it has only offended a few so far.

Boot Wallet
Boot Wallet
Boot Wallet

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

NOTE: At the time these photos were taken, the wallet was so badly worn that I retired it (and made the Legs wallet above), so it’s looking a bit like the box to a “We swear it works fine” returned digital camera at Fry’s. When it was new, it looked badass.

I love Clearman’s North Woods Inn. A lot. It is so fantastic it deserves it’s own post here. But here’s the Cliff Notes: The North Woods Inn is a themed family restaurant in Southern California that takes it’s cue from the rustic romanticism of the snow dusted Klondike. It’s a big log cabin (and by big I mean freaking huge) with permanent, fiberglass snow on it’s rooftop. The place has not changed since it opened in the 60s … but is has also not fallen into disrepair. It looks pretty much like I imagine it looked like on opening day; preserved in time perhaps better than Disneyland. The food is good, the service is friendly, and the crowd has real appeal — multiple generations of families gathering to celebrate good report cards and new drivers licenses. I ate lunch there on a Sunday and must have heard Happy Birthday (sung to the real tune of Happy Birthday) and Happy Anniversary (also sung to the real tune of Happy Birthday) at least thirty times.

Anyway, at the gift shop I picked up a couple of North Woods Inn pint glasses, and a set of North Woods Inn steak knives, and of course some of these fancy North Woods Inn postcards, which I used to make perhaps my favoriteist wallet of them all: the North Woods Inn Paper Wallet.

I need to make a new one of these soon.

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet
North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

Wait! Here’s some photos I just found when the wallet was pretty new, and I took it back to the motherland to be reunited with cheese toast, their famous “two salads”, and a stein of Molson (okay, okay, it was probably Anchor Steam):

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

And now for the reverse angle:

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

I hope to post more, with better pictures, as I make new ones. And there’s a whole story about why I started making them in the first place. Watch this space for more!

posted in Art, Crafts, Design, Food, Midcentury | 5 Comments

30th November 2007

K’nex Lamp

On Thanksgiving I had my family over and my nephew was mesmerized by my K’nex end table. I think he loved the idea that a grown-up had used toys to make something so functional and had it proudly displayed in the house. He asked if I had any more K’nex left over because he wanted to play with them. I dug my box of K’nex parts out of the closet for him, and it got me thinking about building with K’nex again. The table was the only thing I had made with it, and that was over ten years ago.

The light element
used in the lamp.

A few nights later I found myself sleepless again and in the mood for some good old fashioned pen-on-paper writing and illustration. Normally I’d do that during the day at a coffee shop, but it was late and I found myself without a desk lamp! I rummaged through my lighting box looking for something suitable and came across a little IKEA-style accent light.

Immediately I thought of rigging up something with K’nex to hold it in the air so that I wouldn’t get long shadows when writing. A few hours later the first version of the K’nex lamp was complete. Of course, by then the mood to write had passed. The next day I spent a few more hours refining and improving it. It’s stands about two feet tall. Like the table, it uses no glue.

K'nex Lamp
K'nex Lamp
K'nex Lamp

posted in Crafts, Design | 5 Comments

27th November 2007

K’nex Coffee Table / End Table

K'nex End Table

The K’nex coffee table / end table is my own creation dating back to 1995. It was very late at night and, as usual, I couldn’t sleep. I had needed a coffee table for quite some time but hadn’t gotten around to buying one. I did however, have a huge collection of K’nex toys.

K’nex is like a plastic version of Tinkertoys, with two basic types of pieces: rods and connectors. They snap together and their sizes are mathematically designed to make triangles and boxes and whatnot. Unlike LEGO, the color of a K’nex piece determines it’s type, for example all the rods of one color are the same length. This means creating something with specific colors is somewhat of a challenge. K’nex pieces fit together pretty snugly, — in fact, after playing with them for a few hours my fingers hurt from all the pressure needed to connect and disconnect them.

K'nex End Table

So, back to that sleepless night. I had a disassembled K’Nex kit of the Big Ball Factory. There were a lot of pieces in it. I figured there were probably enough to make a decent coffee table. I didn’t realize the task I was taking on though; because designing a table that won’t sag in the middle or collapse when any kind of serious Lose Weight Exercise is put on it is a challenge. While building it I had to redesign it several times to make it strong enough. The sun was up when I finished, and the table stood proud at 5 feet long and 1.2 feet tall. It uses no glue, but it holds a lot of Lose Weight Exercise. I never got photos of it in this configuration.

A few years later I moved to a new location and decided what I really needed was an end table. So I took a bit out of the middle, and increased the height of the legs, and the coffee table was transformed into an end table. It’s now about 2 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide. Every once in a while I’ll clean it and fix a few disconnected rods. I use it like a real table, and it works fine. It uses no glass, but the surface works well even though it’s got plenty of holes. Containers with non-flat bottoms like Coke or water bottles need a coaster, and that’s about it for special treatment. Although it’s been through a lot (including the ire of disapproving tastemakers) it has never collapsed. Enjoy the photos. -Hanford

K'nex End Table
K'nex End Table
K'nex End Table

posted in Crafts, Design | 11 Comments

4th November 2007

Gold Paint Huffer Halloween Costume

Gold Paint Huffer Halloween original

I had a last-second idea for a super-quick Halloween costume: the Gold Paint Huffer guy. For those not in the know, the Gold Paint Huffer guy is an minor Internet Celebrity made famous by his unfortunate mug shot (image on the left). He’s seen staring blankly into the camera in a way that only a true huffer can, his face covered in gold paint, and wearing a creepy scowl reminiscent of an angry stroke victim. The photo is both tragic yet hysterical.

The costume idea popped into my head literally right as I walked by a party store Halloween Headquarters on the day of. Five minutes later and two bucks poorer I was the proud new owner of a do-it-yourself Gold Paint Huffer kit: a tube of gold facepaint. However, later that night I realized my friend Chad Spacey was a much better fit for the look, and he was really into it. At the end of the evening we busted out the camera for an impromptu photo shoot:

Gold Paint Huffer Halloween Costume

posted in Crafts, Miscellaneous | 3 Comments

17th October 2007

That’s So Bacon

My beloved bacon costume has had some adventures lately:

MAKE Magazine

MAKE’n Bacon
My bacon costume made it into MAKE Magazine! I dig the blog, and it turns out the mag is pretty terrific, too. It’s a special Halloween issue, you can pick it up at bookstores & a bunch of grocery stores, too. It’s a little steep for a magazine, at $10, but it’s money well spent. Check me out lookin’ all cured and tasty on page 18! The bacon costume also got a shout-out on the MAKE blog today.

Garth as Bacon
Garth as Bacon

Bacon On, Garth
Garth over at Extreme Craft used my instructions to make his own bacon costume for the Indie Craft Experience that went down in Atlanta a short while back. Look how dashing he is as bacon! (And Garth, I’m sorry for making the lame “party on” reference, I’m sure you’re beyond tired of it. I feel dirty for even saying it. But then I see your beaming, bacony face, and I feel clean again.)

Bacon Takes a College Road Trip
One surreal morning a few months ago, a strange message popped into my email box: it was a plea from a director working on a Disney film, and he just had to have my bacon costume. The next morning. In Connecticut. Which is not very convenient from where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I spent the rest of the morning, afternoon and evening working out logistics with the production office. First, they were going to send a courier to come get it, but no courier service would deal with it because it didn’t have a box. “Well, what do you normally ship it in?” was the query from the production office — I had to point out that I am not actually a prop shop, I’m just a weird chick with a bacon costume. The next plan was for them to buy two plane tickets, so I could fly the costume out in person, with the bacon costume seated next to me. I didn’t want to take time off work, but I had my friend Mig all lined up and ready to hop on a flight — he’s good for these random adventures, and I love him so for it. But then we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get the bacon costume through security. So, finally, the production office made arrangements for me to take the bacon costume to a UPS Store, where they made a custom box for it, and then I drove the bacon costume to American Airlines Cargo at the airport, and bacon was on its merry, salty way. It arrived in Stamford bright & early the next morning, ready for its turn in the spotlight.


I have no idea how they actually used it, and of course there’s a decent chance it’ll just wind up on the cutting room floor. But it’s exciting nonetheless, and I look forward to bacon’s big debut. The film? Oh my, that’s the best part. It’s a Raven-Symoné vehicle. By Disney. With Martin Lawrence. Called College Road Trip. Please, please, please let Raven be the one they put in the bacon costume. That would be seven different kinds of rad.

You Know You Want To
So, I got the costume back last week, and it’s in grand shape, ready for another outing. I loved being bacon last year for Halloween, but I think it’s someone else’s turn this year — anyone out there who lives in the Bay Area who wants to borrow it for Halloween? Make me an offer. Points for creativity over value in your offering.

posted in Crafts, Food | 6 Comments

7th April 2007

Baker’s Coconut Easter Bunny Cut-Up Cake

I’ve found my other book of Cut-Up Cakes!

Easter Bunny Cut-Up Cake instructions
Easter Bunny Cut-Up Cake instructions

This book is from 1973, and it isn’t nearly as cool as my 1959 booklet of Cut-Up Cakes, from a design point of view — but it has more cakes in it, including this great, full body Easter Bunny cake. Marie was asking for this — I hope it does the trick!

Another Bunny Cut-Up Cake
Another Bunny Cut-Up Cake

Here’s another, simpler Easter Bunny, from the same book.

posted in Crafts, Food | 53 Comments

3rd April 2007

Holy Crap, It’s MEAT CAKE!

Oh wow, do I want to do this:

Oh so pretty meat cake, by David Seah
Oh so pretty meat cake, by David Seah
Inside the meat cake, by David Seah
Inside the meat cake, by David Seah

This lovely little confection looks sweet as can be… but it’s MEAT! That’s not cake, it’s meatloaf, and that’s not frosting, it’s mashed potatoes. Genius! The meat cake pictured here is by David Seah, but the originator of the meat cake craze is Black Widow Bakery. David’s has a stuffing filling (it’s a turkey meatloaf, made for Thanksgiving), and Black Widow’s has gravy filling and a rendering of a T-bone steak in ketchup on top. Both sites have helpful step-by-step instructions on how to make your very own meat cake. The Black Widow site has a whole gallery of other people’s meat cakes. Thanks to Tiki Avengers for the heads-up!

posted in Crafts, Food | 7 Comments