Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lunar Eclipse April 14 2014

There are some truly spectacular photos of the eclipse out there from last night but I was kind of impressed that my camera took even these...




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter Egg Diorama Class April 2014

Yesterday was our Easter Egg decorating class! I had a lot of fun and I think everyone else did too. The eggs all turned out so different from each other. I love the way everyone did their own thing. I was so impressed because none here today had ever made one of these eggs and no one broke theirs! Here are a few pictures from our day. I hope you enjoy




















 These two I made for my sister in Colorado she is so sweet! She lives so far away but wanted one for mom and her best friend so I made them for her and will make sure they get where they need to go!
Last but not least when it was all said and done here is what was left over! "Where is the wrecking ball lol!"




Thank you for stopping by if you have any questions please comment and I will get back to you.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Easter Egg Diorama Part 3

So here is the last part of decorating your Easter egg diorama's and the most fun by far. Part 1 here and part 2 here. You can decorate any way you want there are no rules! First if you want to add grass just take some coconut and add some food color drops and mix. I added ten drops to a cup of coconut. As I mixed it the coconut fell out of the bowl all over the place lol... Maybe you could mix it in a zip lock baggie to keep the mess small but make sure to add color drops two at a time until desired color.
Prepare your icing bag with tip and coupler like so. This way you can change your tips as needed, if you have any questions about this let me know. Now make your icing
Royal Icing
3 cups powder sugar
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 egg whites
Beat the egg whites until foamy peaks form. Next add sifted sugar and tartar and mix until peaks are stiff and stand without falling over. You may have to add water (if you add water add it one drop at a time) or more sugar depending on the weather and humidity level in your home. Today I had to add another 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp tartar. If you want colored icing then add drops of food color to the egg whites as you beat them. I added one drop of green.
This icing drys out fast so you need to keep unused portion covered with a damp towel but all mine fit into the icing bag so no worries there.
Now fill your bag. If you have never filled a bag before just take the bag and turn it halfway inside out and add the icing and then twist the top so that the icing does not come back out as you squeeze it.
See the tight twist I have on the top of the bag? I never let this go as I am squeezing the bag. It takes two hands for this size bag until it gets smaller. 
Before you glue your egg half's together take a pastry brush and remove all loose sugar so that the sides sticks together better
 Spread royal icing on inside of the egg of the back one then press coconut grass to icing to make it stick
Make sure not to get any coconut in the way of the edges so that it makes a good seal. Add grass to the front half if desired. Now you can add any decorations at this point it is much easier than later but I've been sick for two days and my mind was sluggish lol. It can still be done as you will see.
 Run a bead of icing around the rim and press sides together.
 If some runs outside the edge then just rub it off
Now run a line of icing from one end to the other using what ever kind of design you want. Wilton has ideas in their cake books if you have one with the different tips and how they come out. Next if you did not already add your decorations inside now is the time before you add icing to the front hole.
When you have finished decorating inside (unless you have already) add the outside line decoration. Now at this point your egg is done. Or....... You can continue forward and do more like below
Dots are fun, or little swirls or paisleys I even made one with a grid across the top like I said you are only limited by your imagination
The back side usually does not show so you do not have to decorate it but I threw some decorations there any way.
And there you go... Not to clever but it's decorated and i'm done. Now I am going to my sick bed for some R&R
I hope you try this at least once. It is a lot of fun and so easy that the children can make them on there own.
If anyone has any questions then please ask I will happily answer them.

Update April 13th 2014: Hello everyone, I wanted to update to this post with things to watch for thru my setbacks. So to start with the picture below is what happens when you do not pack the sugar good enough into the egg mold, it will crumble in your hands
As I gently scraped the inside of this egg it crumbled into four pieces. When you turn your egg over and see the tiny cracks or pore looking spots like in the picture below then immediately scope it back into the mold and re-pack the sugar tighter so this doesn't happen to you
Now as shown in the picture below if you do not mix the sugar and colored water well enough then you will get these dark spots in your eggs. You may or may not like it but it does make for a unstable egg especially if the spot goes all the way thru, so I would avoid it if possible. If the dots are small you can just scrape them out or re-mix and then re-mold the egg again. 
This next picture is my son's idea. When I asked what color egg he wanted he said "make me a tie die egg" Well I told him that I cannot do that so he asked for blue. While I was scraping all the eggs I used the same bowl to hold the discarded sugar and when I looked down I saw... not tie die but a mixed color egg. So I thought okay I will make him one so here is his egg 
I was really happy with it and thought it would be great until I stared to carve it. Here is what I discovered, first because of mixing all the colors separately you have different moisture content in each batch. Those batches do not stick together consistently through the entire egg when making it this way. So I had other places where a crack developed exactly where the two different colors met. Second it was most definitely not as firm or stable as the single color ones. But it is still possible to make these eggs and decorate them just use extreme care.
The egg below is what you get if you do not make sure that when you pack the egg mold and scrape off the top before you flip it for drying. If it is not level it WILL crack. This egg although looks okay will not stand up to decorating so I would discard it because the crack goes all the way through.
When you get your egg all cleared out and dried.... if you want to try and fix a out line edge because you do not like it... I would say to you "If you can hide it with icing then do!" because this is what will happen below if you want to make it perfect. I made a total of 16 eggs and five broke or were unusable. Nine were decorated in class and two were left over just in case some one broke theirs. 
 In my tutorial I said to use eight drops of color and it made a pretty soft color of yellow but if you want a darker color like the green above I used much more. I used sixteen drops to make the green but adding more liquid will off set the recipe so just make sure to adjust the sugar to liquid ratio or proportion to get the recipe just right. There is a lot of forgiveness here but you may have to work with it a little
The best thing to remember here is to have fun! That's what this is all about but after two days of making a sugar egg and the third it breaks then you are done! That's it.... so always have an extra egg on hand so your experience is not ruined. And you can always make someones day by giving them a egg if yours doesn't break.