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Thursday, October 18, 2012

{ That time I met John Green & JScribble Cookies}

Long rambling post, but there is a cookie/cupcake decorating tip at the end, promise!

You all know by now that I am a huge, massive, raging Harry Potter fan, right?

Well, there is another in my life. Actually two others.

Don't tell.

They are the brothers Hank and John Green. They have a little YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers. And by little, I of course mean, over 788,000 subscribers and over 258,000,000 video views. I've been watching the Vlogbrothers since 2007. The project, which started on Jan 1, 2007, was simply a year of textless communication between two brothers who lived thousands of miles apart. John, then in New York City (currently Indianapolis, Indiana), and Hank, in Missoula, Montana, were not allowed to email, instant message, or text each other for an entire year. Instead, they alternated days making YouTube videos.  It just snowballed from there.

I found the brothers Green in July 2007, when Hank's video for the day, a song called Accio Deathly Hallows, was featured on the home page of YouTube.

So, really, Harry Potter brought me to this community.

This is one of my favorite John videos. Honestly, it's NOT because he's talking about Harry Potter. haha... I love his quote about  being a nerd. It's awesome.

John Green, the older of the brothers, is a prize winning, best selling author of Young Adult literature. I'm sure it will come as no large shock to you that YA is my preferred read. John's books include: Looking For Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault In Our Stars, which is currently spending it's 40th week on the New York Time's Best Sellers list (children's chapter books section). He's also co-authored the book Will Grayson Will Grayon with David Levithan, and wrote one of the three short stories in the book Let It Snow (the other two being authored by Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle).

I love these guys. They are made of awesome. Completely crazy,  nerdy, educational and, yes, sometimes a little risque. They celebrate the power and amazingness of being a nerd. They have a foundation called "The Foundation to Decrease World Suck". They also have the educational channels Crash Course & SciShow where John teaches History & Hank teaches Science (these are often used in classrooms across the country). They have other channels too, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Hank Games, and Truth or Fail.

They are busy guys.

Oh, and Hank also founded a little something called VidCon.

Anyway, this is a really long intro to tell you that I met John Green on Monday.

He was speaking and signing a the Cincinnati Public Library.

Well, that's quite a drive, but dern it, we.were.going.

In the years since discovering the Vlogbrothers, I have made Nerdfighters 

  this video explains it all 

(what they call their followers, we don't fight nerds, we ARE nerds) out of the Bean and my two nieces. So, we gathered in the car with my sister in law behind the wheel and away we went.

It was insanely packed. The library guesses 1200 people. We got there an hour prior to John's talk and we were still WAY in the back. He was a great speaker, of course. I watch him on YouTube all the time, so I know he can string an entertaining speech together. It was so surreal to see him after nearly 6 years though! 

We are in the crowd shouting "GOOD MORNING, HANK, IT'S TUESDAY!".
We've always wanted to say that!

To us, meeting John was more exciting than meeting a movie star. I think this in the same way that if I had a chance to meet a Potter actor or J.K. Rowling, I would pick Rowling. Hands down. So, we were pretty geeked out. 

They handed letters out for the signing. We were Q. Yes. Q. I saw two girls with Y though, so I was feeling OK about the situation. In the end, we waited 3 hours to have our things signed. And it was worth it. He was engaging and polite (in the 60ish seconds you get with him), even though he'd been signing non-stop at that point for 3 hours.
The Bean & my niece with their line letters. Q. They were on E when I took this photo. 
See John in the background?

John's autograph is affectionately known as the J-Scribble. So, I decided to make some J-Scribbles* out of chocolate.

Cause, why not.

First I started by making these sugar cookies & icing them with this icing (it's so glossy and pretty!).

I made up the icing and tinted it, anyone? anyone? Bueller? Green. Yes, I tinted it green. 

I iced a couple of my cookies, then decide that, since the icing was so pretty, I should dip the cookies. 

Then I allowed them to dry.

While that was happening, I melted up some white chocolate. I had John autograph two prints I made, which I brought home and laminated. I put one of those under parchment paper so I could see his J-Scribble. I put the melted chocolate into a decorator bag and snipped off a TEENY bit off the end. You could also use Wilton Tip #1, which I planned to, but could not find. Hmph.

I allowed them to dry, then very carefully, with a spatula, I popped them off the parchment and onto the cookies.
It's a little tedious, but it was a lot of fun. In the end, here is what I got. They aren't perfect (aww shucks, my plans for a career in forgery aren't going to work out!), but I think they are pretty cool.

This is one of the prints I designed for him to sign

Yes, I have his books in ebook & hard copy. I actually own hardback copies of
Alaska & Katherines, but I couldn't find them for the photos.

The other print I made

If you think you might want to read a John Green book, I recommend The Fault In Our Stars.
It was deeply moving, but also amazingly witty. 

I own four copies. Ask me about my Harry Potter books sometime. *wink*

A warning, there is frank dialogue in some of his books. He is writing for teens about teens.
If this is something you don't like, his books may not be for you. 

So, I said there was a decorating tip at the end of this. If you've read this far and not closed the page, thanks! I know I'm a nerdy fangirl, but I can't help it. It's who I am.


The tip is the chocolate. Many people think of chocolate for dipping only. They don't realize how versatile it is. You can pipe out designs, let them harden, then add to cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream sundaes, etc. It's also EXCELLENT for gluing gingerbread houses together at Christmas!

Here are a couple examples


It's so much fun. I mostly like to do circles, stars, and hearts, but it's all fun to play with.

Try it sometime!

After all the yammering on about John, I guess I should show you the photos from the event.
He couldn't do posed pictures, we would have been there FOREVER,  but I shot these from the line.

niece 1
niece 2

The Bean & John

The Bean and John again
And again...

Thanks for letting me get nerd all over the page.

I'll be ok. Possibly.


(that's the Nerdfighter mantra: Don't Forget To Be Awesome)


*these cookies are meant as an homage to someone that I admire. I am in no way claiming that they are John's actual autograph. I'm also not trying to forge his name. These cookies are not being sold. Only eaten by myself and my son, at a rapid pace, I might add.

I love John Green and would never forge his name. Ever.


...because life should be sweet.


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