Star Wars Rebels and the “Shiny” Force


Disney X-D’s Star Wars Rebels: unintentionally helping fill that Firefly void. Image: Lisa Kay Tate.

When Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season One was released September 1, we received a review copy for our family blog.

I hadn’t gotten a chance to get into the series yet, and although I was expecting to enjoy it, I didn’t expect it to help fill a little aching sci-fi void that has been lurking around since 2003.

Star Wars Rebels, at least the first season so far, has helped to satisfy that little craving for new episodes of Joss Whedon’s Firefly  (which we all know aren’t coming).

Okay, okay, hold on a second; bear with me on this one.

For those who are either hardcore Firefly Browncoats or longtime Star Wars aficionados, please hear me out. I’m not saying Whedon’s television masterpiece has been replaced by an animated series. Neither am I saying the premise of the original series Star Wars Rebels was based in any way on Firefly. No, these two series are standouts in their own right.

What I am saying is, for me, Star Wars Rebels brought back to television the edgy, rebellious “space western” spirit that has been long missing in the genre since Fox’s “sudden but inevitable betrayal” of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew.

Here’s why:

There’s great interaction between crew members. Part of what made Firefly so much fun was the grab bag of personalities bouncing off each other on a regular basis. There was bickering, bantering, flirting, and insult flinging, as well as some really great dinner table conversations. Rebels brings us the same. There’s such a casual, natural way they interact that makes the crew as much fun to watch, especially for an animated series. There’s the obvious blooming bromance between Ezra and Zeb, but there are also those little subtle actions, like Kanan bringing Hera coffee (or whatever that world’s equivalent is) before a conversation. It just makes this crew more laid back and believable.

There’s the “outlaw” appeal. This is the most obvious comparison. We loved Firefly because they were a wild bunch, worthy of any spaghetti western, lookin’ for justice (sometimes), but mostly for trouble. Yes, Jedi are elegant, honorable, and fantastic warriors, but rebels are the bad boys and girls of the galaxy. Think of the image conjured when one says “Luke Skywalker” versus “Han Solo.” I’m going out on a limb that the latter conjured more sly grins and metal thumbs up. That’s how the outlaw effect works. That’s how the Rebels effect works, too. Kanan certainly fits that bill. He was even billed as the “cowboy Jedi” before the series was released. You’ll want to hold on for the ride in this series and maybe steal a TIE Fighter or two in the process.

There’s Kaylee and Sabine. It’s not a stretch to see a resemblance in the leadership skills between Firefly’s Zoë and Rebels’ Hera, but on the surface Kaylee seems like an innocent school kid compared to Sabine’s more street-savvy attitude. Look a little closer and there’s a wonderful connection between them. Their knowledge of mechanics and technology is inspiring, and they each have this absolute free-thinking artistic edge that gives them color and vibrancy from their personal appearance to their personal space amidst a sea of brown and battleship grey. These are my kind of independent-minded, artsy girls.


The crews of Firefly’s Serenity and Star Wars Rebels’ Ghost would either make a great team or worthy foes. Image: Lisa Kay Tate.

They have places to go, people to see. Firefly always had a “road movie” appeal to it, with a new adventure (sometimes an ill-fated one) around each turn. Star Wars’ animated predecessor, The Clone Wars, did its share of visiting other places and introducing new characters, but the story was more linear, heading towards an end game we all knew wouldn’t be too happy. In Rebels, not only do we know there’s a brighter future ahead for the rebels and Jedi someday, this is an entirely new bunch of characters whose fate isn’t quite as set. This means there’s still a wide galaxy of adventure ahead, and we want to go there.

There’s the “repeat-viewer” factor. Firefly may have only lasted one season (not counting the movie Serenity), but it’s a frequently watched one. Viewers return again and again to their favorite episode, often quoting the lines along with the characters. We’re already quoting some of the dialogue from Rebels:

“What does that even mean? How can I do something if I don’t try to do it?”

Ezra, questioning the classic logic of Yoda.

These are episodes we know we already want to watch again, just for fun and excitement.

However, one of the things I really enjoyed about Star Wars Rebels, unlike Firefly, it was more geared towards family viewing. I have no problem with my 13-year-old rewatching old Firefly episodes with me, but there are a few risqué or scary moments I’m not ready to share with my 6-year-old. Star Wars Rebels, however, has taken the entire family by the collar and roped us into an adventure we can all travel on without worrying about any cringe-worth moments.

Honestly, I still miss Firefly, even with the comics, online universe, and cult culture that makes a fair attempt at keeping the series’ spirit alive, but nothing has come as close to bringing back that excitement of adventuring to new places with a rebellious band of assorted heroes and outlaws as Star Wars Rebels.

Firefly might never return to the airwaves, but at least with Star Wars Rebels, the world of science fiction seems, once again, a little more, well, “Shiny!”

Originally ran in GeekMom Sept. 23, 2015.

Halloween Can be A Time for Giving, Too


charityoneOctober is here, and that means the Halloween preps are beginning. Costume pop-up stores are open, party suppliers are amping up their advertising, and spooky movies and programming are hitting the cinemas and television.

It seems each year, the tendency be more extreme and get more from this day increases, be it tricks or treats.

However, there are those to take the opportunity mix philanthropy and giving with their happenings and haunts. Here are three Halloween-centric charitable efforts whose work is anything but frightening:

Zombie Pumpkins charity donations: Zombie Pumpkins has been one of the best sources for unique printable pumpkin carving patterns for all skill levels for more than 10 years, but they have also shared their wealth with various charities each year since 2005. The first recipient was American Red Cross in 2005, shortly after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and each year they donate a portion of their proceeds from their online memberships to a different charity, including Make-A-Wish, My Stuff Bags Foundation, Free Arts and Heart Hope. Those who join can not only get the latest on carving the best pumpkins, but help to carve out a better future for others.

Spirit Halloween’s Spirit of Children: Spirit Halloween is known for some pretty terrifying props, but they don’t want children to have to face the real scary challenges of life alone. This includes the all-too-frightening experience of being hospitalized during the Halloween season. Since 2006, Spirit of Children, in partnership with Child Life Departments within children’s hospitals, has raised more than $22 million to help bring a little fun to children in more than 130 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. This, of course, includes Halloween parties and goodie bags, but also financial support for other Child Life programs from music therapy to training specialists to work with family support. Their goal for 2015 is $6.735 million. Spirit also strives to make sure donations from a particular area remain local, helping one of the spookiest seasonal stores create a less-scary environment for children.

Haunts Against Hunger: Haunts Against Hunger began in 2010 as a way to encourage haunted attractions and events organize food drives in their area. Celebrity spokesperson for the non-profit is former horror queen Linda Blair, who today runs the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which rescues neglected and bused animals. As a result of Blair’s involvement, Haunts Against Hunger now encouraged donations for both people and pets. There are currently drop-off locations in nine U.S. states, but everyone is encouraged to help host a Haunts Against Hunger food drive in their area. They’ll even help participants determine a deserving local food pantry, so that participants can do their part in helping feed the hungry long after the season of “treats” has passed.charitytwo-300x272

Looking for more reasons to give? Here are some ways to make harvest and haunts season one of giving, as well:

  • Collect nonperishable goods for a local food bank in addition to or — or instead of — candy while making the trick-or-treat rounds.
  • Many schools, organizations and places of worship host fundraising “Trunk or Treat” events. Attend one near you, and help have fun while helping them reach their fundraising goals.
  • Trick-or-treat at a participating nursing home, as suggested by GeekMom contributor Judy Berna.
  • Organize a safe neighborhood block party for families and children, and make the price of “admission” a blanket, toiletry or other needed item for a local rescue mission.
  • Promote literacy by leaving age-appropriate scary books around as part of the fantastic All Hallows Read campaign. Neil Gaiman will approve.
  • If your school or organization is hosting a haunted house or similar attraction, talk to United Blood Services in your area about partnering with them to set up a blood drive during the event. What better place to give blood?
  • Remember those little Unicef Boxes you can carry with you on Halloween? They still have them! Unicef has been doing its Trick-or-Treat for Unicef campaign with graded K-12 since 1950, and has raised millions for its charitable causes. This year’s campaign celebrates The Peanuts Movie.

Halloween is supposed to be spooky sometimes, but this year, make sure no one, especially children, have to face the real monsters of life alone. Use this spooky season to help create a safer and less scary world the rest of the year.

Originally ran on Oct. 3, 2015,

Artist-inspired Projects: Leroy Neiman


“Gogo on the Grid” by Lisa Kay Tate.

The Artist: LeRoy Neiman

He was born in 1921 in St. Paul, Minnesota. His father abandoned his family at an early age, and he was raised by his mother, whom he had described as “spirited” and “ahead of her time.” He grew up in a working class neighborhood, and had even referred to himself as a “street kid,” but that didn’t stop his artistic cravings. In school, he painted signs for school assemblies (as well as tattoos on his friends during lunch). In the Armed Forces, he painted backgrounds for Red Cross shows.

Later in life, he continued several successful commercial art and fine art ventures, for everything from magazines to sports program covers.

His signature painting style came about in the 1950s, when he discovered that “free-flowing paint” produced fast-moving strokes and therefore, fast-moving action.

In terms of his art, Neiman was prolific. He could produce a couple dozen paintings a year, and was constantly sketching images he used for his painting ideas.

According to his biography on his official website, Neiman often painted on “Masonsite or Upson (a board made with ground wood and recycled paper products), and used a sheer coat of polymer ground (a type of primer)” on the surfaces. Then he laid on the color. He painted large brushed areas with oil paints, combined opaque and transparent materials to compliment each other, and made the most use of both positive and negative space as he could. There were often two or more media in each painting, including watercolor, ink, graphite, gouache, or felt-tip marker to achieve the look he wanted.

He said in a 1961 issue of American Artist he would use colors, painted outlines, and space to help him “describe whatever is emotionally necessary for its intended function in the picture.”

He is best known for sports paintings, and drew action-filled scenes of Olympic games, horse racing, Super Bowl bouts, and most every other kind of team or individual sport. His images also covered a spectrum of pop culture icons of hundreds of celebrities from Sylvester Stallone to Liza Minnelli. He even created 40-foot-high murals for dancer and choreographer Tommy Tune for a New York City theater. He also painted landscapes, animals, and images that inspired him on his travels to exotic locations.

Neiman’s own look of a New York-style “man about town” was recognizable as well, as he was always seen with his large handlebar mustache and, most the time, with his trademark cigar.

Neiman painted nearly his entire life. In 2010, he had a medical problem that resulted in the amputation of his right leg, but he continued to paint. He died at age 91 in 2012 in the New York home he and his wife shared for more than 50 years.

Even through his paintings weren’t always perfectly in tune with the natural color schemes of the actual subject, he said he remained true to the subject in his own way.


Put in motion your favorite “fictional” sports . Image: “Slytherin vs. Griffindor” by Lisa Kay Tate

“I do not depart from the colors borrowed from life,” he said in VIP Magazine in 1962, “but I use color to emphasize the scent, the spirit, and the feeling of the thing I’ve experienced.”

The Project: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Sports Scenes

I’m ending this year’s Be the Artist projects with something fun, colorful, and easy to explain…but not so easy to achieve that it doesn’t pose a good challenge.

In celebration of Neiman’s colorful spirit, as well as the start of many school and professional sports, let’s paint an action image of a favorite “fictional” sport.

One of the reasons Neiman’s work was so popular was that sports and fine art had never really come together before to a great extent. He had tapped onto a new and vibrant genre with this artistic marriage. Even those who prefer books or movies over playing fields and arenas have to admit, fantasy is filled with sports like Quidditch, Hunger Games, or Pod Racing. It’s out there, and it’s exciting.


Paint quickly but neatly.

Look at screen shots from favorite movies or comic book pages for a favorite “sports” or “recreational” image and paint it. Sounds easy, but can you capture that action? How far are they leaning on their brooms or ostriches? How far back is that throwing arm? Examine these pictures and see what clues make our eyes realize this static picture is actually full of movement?

Now, can you capture it with without “sketching” it or drawing it out first? Okay, I’ll go easy on beginners. Go ahead and sketch out your idea lightly, or take advantage of the method used in the Roy Lichtenstein project with just broad brush strokes. Don’t worry about facial details. Novices can even try tracing just the outlines like the Alphose Mucha art project, but only use these “cheats” to get started if you have trouble.

With Neiman, the key was in strokes and color. Neiman did do some portraits and figure drawings, but he was the king of energy and movement. Put your art in motion, by adding color along the figures edges, splashes or splotches in the background, and other touches of color overlaid through the entire picture.

Try some splatters and bold strokes, or use a sponge and pat down the background with layers. Also, remember Neiman liked to combine media, so go ahead and use watercolor with acrylic, or colored pencil with pastels or crayons. If it looks good and works for the sport, then that’s the only rule you need to follow.

Whatever you pick, be bold! Be bright! Stand out! Whether it was his art or his own persona, quiet subtlety wasn’t what Neiman was often known for, as he said in a 1984 article in Esquire:


“Joust” by the Tates.

“I like being outrageous,” he said.

The Incredible Mind of James May


How much do I relate to James May? For starters I will be forever bothered by the typo in this photo’s “goal list.” All images by Lisa Kay Tate

I had to fire a Time Lord.

I’ve had a little cut out picture of actor David Tennant on the base of computer screen for a few years, now. He seems like a likable guy, and he is a great actor, but he’s never been my favorite. I don’t even particularly find him physically attractive (don’t tell my daughter this, please, I might get tarred and feathered), but I’ve looked the little speck square in the eye every day for several days on end.

You see, he was my “muse.” When my writing work load became increasingly larger, I found myself getting distracted by everything from the temperature of my tea to Facebook, which was where I ran across a meme of a judgmental little Tennant in full Tenth Doctor gear standing next to the text “YOU Should be Writing.” He was right. I should have been, so I got distracted again, printed out the picture and stuck it to my computer as motivation.

I talked a little about the importance of getting a muse a couple of years ago in my To-Do List post to help keep me in tune with my goals.

Well, I’m at the point in my life right now where I’m tired of the criticism and need some full-on sympathetic, and empathetic, encouragement. I’m tired of little snips of inadequacy from a former Time Lord, so I “retired” the image to my daughter’s bedside bulletin board of wiry British actors. For a short time, I was “muse-less,” guided only by deadlines, guilt, Chinese gunpowder tea, and Monster Energy drinks. Not a good mix, nor really a tasty one at 3 a.m.

Then I “discovered” James May.

I’ve known who May is for some time, everyone who watched the first 22 seasons of Top Gear UK does. I begin to delve into his work more and more of recent, when I begin mainlining the show, as I mentioned in a my Father’s Day Top Gear article. I got hooked on his Toy Stories, his Man Lab, his Big Ideas, his 20th Century specials, Things You Need to Know, and even his and wine expert Oz Clarke’s slightly buzzed road movies. I kept on a steady stream of his mind-filling online Head Squeeze web videos, now reborn sans May as BritLab, while working on otherwise mind-numbing computer jobs.

Somewhere in this video muddle, I found a kindred spirit. My husband holds the title as my “soul mate,” but May’s mind comes closer to my way of thinking than anyone else’s. Is it possible to have a “brain mate?”

This isn’t to say I don’t have plenty of role models and influences in my life. No one person can take up that mantle. My family, friends, educators, pastors, and a cadre of writers, musicians, and great thinkers help fill those hefty shoes.

However, I’ve resolved myself to only have one actual “muse” and May now claims that title with absolutely no competition.

I’m not planning on giving a laundry list of May’s professional achievements. Instead, I want to touch on the very nature of this man, from what I’ve casually noticed, that makes him so uniquely appealing to everyone and anyone with a maker’s mind.

Therefore, here are my main reasons May is my new, and I suspect permanent, muse:

I get him! And, whether he knows it or not, he gets me. Watching his Toy Stories achievements in particular, I completely felt for his failures and setbacks. I’ve personally teared up in frustration when some grand scheme of mine didn’t work, no matter how insignificant it seemed to the world around me. There’s still a rocket out there in the West Texas desert with a roll of undeveloped Kodachrome, likely with a picture of three idiots looking up at it from the Sul Ross Range Animal Science parking lot wondering, “where the hell did it go?”

I’m not trying to speak for all GeekMoms, but I’m reasonably sure we all share a fondness for Lego bricks. Fellow GeekMom Maryann Goldman has written some great pieces on them, and Judy Berna even wrote about May’s own Lego house project in 2011. Seeing how May has brought people together to achieve projects like this house was, and still is, inspiring.

He did this with his plasticine garden, and his 1:1 scale model of the Spitfire model. I loved seeing these teenagers get into these projects. I’ve already built models with both my daughters, as my father did with me as a young girl. We even tried…and failed…to get one to run on salt water. Don’t ask.


We’ve been gardening in Play-doh for years, now I feel a plasticine bouquet is in the cards.

One of my earliest creative memories was collecting broken glass in the arroyo (desert) and wanting to glue them together to make house-shaped votives. My dad let me fill my pockets, but knew full well this was going to crash and burn after multiple attempts at trying to use Elmer’s school glue as adhesive. I was three. It just got worse from there. Backyard haunted houses, Millennium Falcon mock-ups, and re-creations of all most of Indiana Jones’s artifacts as home decor (did I mention the latter is a current project)?

He strives to keep kids off electronic devices. No, he’s not saying get rid of all things electronic. He even did a great piece on how digital cameras work. He has repeatedly said on Toy Stories, and at other times, how today’s youth, and adults, need to get their faces away from living in their smart phones and hand-held video games, and explore more creative venues.

Again, I get this. I don’t want to rip these conveniences out of people’s hands, but I don’t—and will not—own a smart phone. My children do not need, nor own, cell phones yet, either. My oldest does have a Nook reader, and I allot an hour a couple of times a week for my youngest to play on the iPad, but we don’t keep these things permanently embedded in our hands as a primary form of entertainment. Believe it or not, we are doing quite well, thank you, and we still love technology. Don’t tell me how much I would love my smart phone and would use it all the time. Yes, everyone who tells me this is right. I would use it all the time. Ergo, I’m not getting one. I don’t need that extra distraction.

His parents, especially his father, are big influences in his life. May has not only had his parents on Top Gear and other shows, he has said numerous times how much they have influenced him. His father got him into model building, and influenced his design for the perfect paper airplane. He’s even joked about his mother’s aggressive driving prompting his moniker as the careful driving “Captain Slow,” by means of “childhood trauma.”

I hope I inherited a lot from my mother. Her creativity, her ability to do anything for her children at a moment’s notice, and her compassion for others’ well-being. I didn’t inherit her ability to talk to anyone and make friends. I’m actually consistently afraid to be around people I don’t know, except on a professional level, and sometimes I’m shy to the point where I come across pompous. I’m not, I promise, I just need to get to know you, first.


I’ve added a May-inspired “Get Excited and Make Things” reminder to one of my project areas….here’s hoping it works.

My father, however, influences me to this day. An in-flight refueler in the U.S. Air Force, he gave me an appreciation of both planes, and of those who serve in the military. Having put himself through college as a mechanic and a motorcycle racer, I spent a lot of time with my dad, brother, and his friends in the garage watching him work on our cars. This grew a love of all things that go. As an educator, he showed me the importance of a passion for learning. He was also my influence in spiritual matters, morals, and a strong work-ethic. I feel both privileged and proud to be my parents’ weird kid.

He has to constantly be doing something. Anything! Plus, his interests seem to be all over the place. I’m not saying he’s scatter-brained, he can focus for hours on creating a Mechano erector set motorcycle chain or re-build a model train engine, but I wouldn’t let him go too long with no project to pursue.

When the “Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson vs. producer’s face” fiasco surfaced, he and fellow presenter Richard Hammond demonstrated loyalty to their long-time friend and left the show after his dismissal. The trio has since been picked up to do a similar show on Amazon Prime, but in the interim May created “JM’s umemployment tube” YouTube channel, where he made Shepherd’s pie and poached eggs in his kitchen, and filmed Hammond’s inability to hit a golf ball.

My long-suffering husband understands this part of my own nature too well. There’s a box of plastic water bottle pieces in my garage waiting to be made into to hot rod-inspired flowers (I’m planning on selling these, I swear). There’s always some project-centered mess awaiting completion, books to be read stacked on my nightstand like a Jenga game, and ideas for other things buzzing in my head like bees. In short…keep me busy or I might explode.

Finally, there’s that little detail that he is actually a music major, and plays piano well enough to “go pro,” in my opinion (and I have written plenty about chamber music in my day job). Instead, he’s incorporated this talent into his other work, and even used his appreciation of Beethoven to discuss how electronically mixed music just doesn’t hold up to capturing the creative essence of the human mind. YES!

But, why do I need a muse?

When I go through bouts of middle-aged self-pity, one of the things I lament about consistently is somewhere “I took the wrong path in life.” This has been happening more and more….and I’m still about a decade away from menopause. (Won’t that one be fun?)

“Where, oh, where did I go wrong,” I agonize like an overgrown toddler to my husband, who is always compelled to ask, “Well, what exactly is it you want to do?” Honestly, I never knew, until I saw what May was doing with his talents, and the pooled talents of those close to him.

That’s it! I want to celebrate creativity, ingenuity, the human mind, spirit, and soul with playful abandon. I want to mature in my interests, responsibility, and intellect, but I by no means whatsoever want to “grow up!”

I might not be able to live that dream, but May is, and I hope he wakes up every morning unabashedly thankful he is able to do this very thing.

As much as a dreamer as I can be, I’m a realist as well. I’m not writing a fan letter hoping it will one day reach May’s awareness, but I can still give him my appreciation.

Thank you, May, for helping me find my true muse, who now occupies the front of my computer with attractive and calm encouragement. Thank you for doing what so many of us wish we could, but don’t have the means, funds, or opportunity. Thank you for representing the collective creative minds of the childlike…but not childish…adult.

I only ask you one thing. Don’t stop.

Originally posted in September 4, 2015.


Muse or no muse, please try out May’s paper airplane design. It is well worth the short time it takes to make.

Artist-inspired Projects: Jackson Pollock


Pollock-tribute cookies are a fun way to introduce kids to art and cooking projects.

The Artist: Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock was a an American abstract expressionist artist best known for his drip painting, a form of abstract art created by paint dripped or poured onto a canvas or other surface.


Even books about Pollock feature his drip painting method on their covers.

Pollock was born in 1912 in Wyoming. He always possessed an independent and aggressive nature, and was expelled from two high schools as a teenager. He later moved to New York to study at Art Students League, and later found work during the Great Depression for the WPA Federal Art Project. Soon after, he received a commission to create a mural on the townhouse of renowned art collector Peggy Guggenheim, and people begin taking notice of his talent.

It was in 1936, when he first discovered the use of liquid paint for drip painting method. He not only preferred this style, he used whatever he could to create his images, from resin-based paints to household paints. He became so well known for this style, a 1956 Time Magazine article dubbed him “Jack the Dripper.”

Although some critics regarded his style as nothing more than random, “meaningless images,” he went on to become one of the Twentieth Century’s most respected artists.

One thing about his style, is it very satisfying and energetic to try out, and there are even online sites that allow people to try out his method. The site (not to be mistaken with the actual biography site), will take art lovers right to a page where they can create their own drip painting.


My little image made on

Pollock died in a car accident in 1956 at age 44, and was given a memorial retrospective exhibit of his work at New York City’s Museum of Modern art a few months later.

Pollock didn’t always care what these critics thought, as he knew what he wanted to say and how to say it. That was what mattered.

“Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you,” he said in a 1950 interview in New Yorker. “There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was. It was a fine compliment. Only he didn’t know it.”


Pollock liked to use unconventional means for his drip painting style. Why not decorative icing?

The Project: Pollock Cookies!

Pollock used a number of less conventional tools in his works, such as sticks and basting syringes, so this project will utilize a medium that is both unconventional and tasty… decorative icing!

Since this is an art project more than an actual cooking project, use commercial pre-made, plain sugar cookie dough, like the type that is almost too tempting not to eat raw.

Use regular commercial cake decorating icing or gel icing, or use a basic powdered sugar glaze recipe found in pretty much every baking cookbook there is. Different colored glazes can be made with just one drop of food coloring in each batch, and a small medicine dropper, syringe, or teaspoon can be used to create the drip pattern.

Like the Be the Artist project for Josef Albers, this project is primarily about identifying at theme through color. Find a favorite group of characters… Justice League, the characters of Inside Out or cast of Orphan Black, X-Men, the band Gwar…whatever you want to represent, and convey it, via drizzling color schemes on plain, cooked, sugar cookies in icing.

For example, the family really enjoyed Cookie Monster’s “Shower Thoughts” at with musings from New York City museums (including cookie-related comments like “cookie dough is sushi for desserts!”). We thought a nice cookie homage to him and other Monster muppets would be in order.


Cookie Monster and Elmo cookies…Pollock style!

Use two, three, or four colors that represent that character. Drizzle them on the already baked and cooled cookies in icing, but not just all over the place. Think about how much of each color this character would best be represented by, as well as the placement. Let them dry and arrange them, not stacked, onto a serving dish.

Once finished, you can serve this little tasty gallery as part of an art-themed party, or just as a way to make dessert or snack time a little more colorful. To make it more interactive, have everyone guess which theme or characters the cookies represent, before eating them.

These may not be works in traditional paint on canvas, but the according to the book, Abstract Expressionism: Creators and Critics by Clifford Ross, Pollock expressed what he felt the important source of modern art is…and it wasn’t merely in the medium, or even in the subject:

“Most modern painters work from a different source, they work from within,” he said.

Originally ran in GeekMom July 30, 2015.


Fozzy Bear and Kermit cookies, by two 12 and younger artists!