Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peeps Anyone?

Wondering what I've been up to all week?

A confession: I've always been a bit addicted to Marshmallow Peeps. Though they're terribly sweet and often stale, there's just something about them that makes me keep buying them every spring. (Perhaps it's the twisted joy of biting off their heads?) This year, after racking my brain for Easter gifts I just couldn't shake the idea of making them myself. I was starting to think it wasn't possible. Then I found the perfect recipe:


1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
1 cup sugar


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; wipe sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately.

4. Pipe an oval shape onto sugar, about 1 inch wide, tapering the end and pulling upward to finish with the tail. For the head, pipe a mound on the end opposite the tail, about the width of the body, pushing toward the tail and up. Pull away from the head to form the beak.

5. Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the chick. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set.

6. Mix Cocoa Powder with a little bit of water. Use a tooth pick to dot on the eyes.

The difference in texture between homemade and store-bought is incredible. The ones we made just melt in your mouth - little pillowy clouds of sweetness. Truth be told, I probably still won't be able to stay away from the convenient appeal of slightly chewy yellow chicks straight from the store. But there's also no way we'll last all the way until next Easter before making them again. Homemade marshmallow Santa Clauses, anyone?

My boyfriend thought the homemade ones were so cute he almost don't want to bite their little heads off!

Well, almost.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Feature of the Week

Wow Week 3 already? Every Friday I will showcase one of my follower's so we can find out more about them and their art. This is the third lucky person to be featured on my blog. BEWARE: there are tons of pictures this week, I couldn't bare to choose:

I’m Dotti Berry and this is my work. I'm a professional artist who has been pleasantly obsessed with vibrant colors and quirky design for years. Since I was very young, I’ve painted and drawn continuously. I am a trained artist. Few people appreciate disobedient artists wandering around freely. (I'm just sayin'...)

My paintings are of things which bring me joy in our beautiful environment. My craft is more whimsical and made to share gentle humor and laughter. I may be in the minority of artists when I say, “I hope my work makes you laugh!” I like to smile and share my offbeat sense of humor in my craft in particular.

Nature is my main inspiration so when I can I find somewhere to walk, hike, or get in, on, or near the water. My sketchbook and paints are always with me! I've been known to paint or sketch craft designs on a trail, from the water, in a car perched in ridiculously unlikely spots...I'll even paint outdoors at night. I get design
ideas from our beautiful and lush environment, and I hope you sense joy in my whimsical interpretation of it in my crafts.

I particularly enjoy working with others in life and in art, and teaching art to students. I have worked extensively with underserved students in inner city schools, and presently I teach art in a museum to students visiting from all over my state.

I have a B.F.A. and a B.S. (in design). I have attended Silvermine School of Art and Brookfield Craft Center in Connecticut, and Louisiana State University, where I was awarded the Dean's Medal for the School of Art, College of Design. My work has won many awards and is in private collections across the U.S. and beyond, and is in shops and art festivals in my region.

If you want to read a little more about me, you can visit My Linkedint

And check out more of my work at My Etsy Shops here and here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Busy little bee

This week is flying by, I feel like a hamster in a wheel who isn't getting anywhere! I just found out that I am 15 classes away from graduating college with my Bachelors, it kind of makes all these tests and research papers almost worth it.

I spent this week creating two treasuries on here's a quick peak of some of the items inside:

April Showers Bring Mayflowers:

Birds of a Feather Flock Together:

I reached 100 fans on Facebook today thanks from a little help from Mommy Haven, she has a great following of Mothers and Mothers-to-be reading her reviews on all different types of child items. Here's a link to her blog if you want to check it out:
As a thank you I'm offering a 20% discount for my entire shop, just add the coupon code FACEBOOK1 to the end of your order.

I gotta run, dinner is almost ready, but I'll be back tomorrow, with the new recipe I'm trying.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Feature of the Week

Every Friday I will showcase one of my follower's so we can find out more about them and their art. This is the second lucky person to be featured on my blog:

My name is Corrie and I'm a mother, wife, and administrator living in Pittsburgh, PA. Having worked in the field of child welfare for the last 10 years, and having
a husband and a four year old son to love and care for, I didn't have much time for myself for years. I've only just in the past few months begun working artistically again and it is has been so wonderful to have a creative outlet!

I love discovering overlooked beauty in everyday things. By emphasizing upcycled materials for my items and packaging, I feel like I can use my sense of style and creative energy to bring out that beauty for everyone to see. My store name, In Metal Jewelry, speaks to my desire to capture and share that sense of awe in material form. The name also alludes to a song that reminds me of my son, so it already had its own little place in my heart!

My etsy site: InMetalJewelry Shop
I'm also on Facebook:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cute How-To Project

It is finally starting to feel like spring, the flowers are beginning to bloom and I can finally downsize from my overly bulky winter jacket to a still pretty warm one. If the weather man isn't lying to me again it might hit 60 degrees this weekend!

Any-hoo. I've finally caught up with my school work enough to take a break for a night. This whole week involved test after essay after test, but tonight is my night off. I don't know about any of you, but it's one of my biggest pet peeves when someone uses the excuse "my computer crashed" or "my printer was out of ink" to try to get an extended deadline for their work. If I could pull my life together to complete an assignment you should too! I've barely had time to complete my latest project I've been working on the last 2 weeks.

I spent approximately 5 hours creating a 1 foot tall owl out of nothing but plastic bags (they began piling up underneath my sink, so I needed to do something with them). Why use yarn when you can have plarn? Inspired by eco-friendly crafts, I decided to make my first ball of “plarn”. Plarn is plastic yarn. You can use plarn to crochet just about anything. To make plarn, all you need is a bunch of old plastic bags and a pair of scissors. Here is how I made it:

I'm going to be working on a whole line of plastic bag items, I'm going to attempt a tote bag next to help advertise my new work. If you have any suggestions on what you want me to make next feel free to leave a comment.

Until next time,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feature of the Week

Every Friday I will showcase one of my follower's so we can find out more about them and their art. This is our first lucky person to be featured on my blog:

Hello, my name is Brienna (“Brie” like the cheese, though ironically I’m lactose intolerant). I'm a surrealist painter and I live in England with my husband. My acrylic work is a “curious” world where birds have human faces and tulips wear dresses. I use our animal and plant counterparts as symbols in order to examine human social structures and complex relationships. I want us to appreciate other living beings and empathize with their struggles just as we would our own.

Animals and plants have always been dear to me, having grown up in the woods of Virginia with an assortment of pets.
I find that we relate to human narratives more deeply when told through our animal and plant counterparts and so I paint them to help us understand ourselves. I received my MFA in Painting at Savannah College of Art and Design and my BFA in Studio Art and Creative Writing from Sweet Briar College. I met my wonderful husband and best friend when we were both studying abroad at the University of Oxford. I also trained with a Grand Master in Vietnamese Powerful King Yoga and have been practicing yoga for over fifteen years. I had the pleasure of teaching college art courses in Virginia and currently work as an artist in Cambridge, UK.

Come on over and visit me at my Etsy Mini:

Or see my latest projects on Facebook: