Spring Feed

EGGcellent!

For your Easter table centerpiece, try this twist on the traditional Easter egg tree.  Your children will love it!  Bonus:  this would also be cute for a "Mama Bird/Baby Bird" or "Nesting" baby shower.

Swinging Birdie Egg Tree

Rock-a-bye-birdies-easter-craft-photo-180-FF0409EGGSA17 

First find a branch in your backyard and set in sand or pebbles.  You will also need:

 

Egg carton
Hole punch
1/4-inch-wide ribbon
Colored tissue paper
Pinking shears or decorative-edge craft scissors
Blown eggs
Glue stick
Colored feathers
Colored card stock
Marker

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours

Rock-a-bye Birdies - Step 1 1. For each, cut a cup from the egg carton and punch 3 holes as shown.

2. Cut 3 pieces of ribbon, each about 9 inches long. Thread an end of each piece through a hole in the carton and knot it, then tie the other ends of the ribbons together.

3. Cut two 2- by 6-inch rectangles of tissue paper, one with the pinking shears. Lay the pinked rectangle on top of the other. Wrap the papers around a blown egg so that the pinked edge peeks out from behind the straight edge. Secure with the glue stick.

4. Place the wrapped egg in the cradle. Use the glue stick to attach a small tuft of feather and a card stock beak and eyes to the egg. Make pupils on the eyes with the marker.

(photo from familyfun.com)


Easter Table Inspiration

I love love this table setting!  The colors are bright instead of pastel.  Not to take anything away from the pastels but I love the brights.

Decorate-easter-255 

It looks simple to duplicate also.  You could purchase a turquoise tablecloth and hot glue ribbons down the center.  Fill a basket with tulips or your favorite spring flower.  Coordinating plates and napkins and you're set.

Here is how to make the adorable glitter eggs in the baskets:

Easter-basket 

  • Large bowl
  • Sewing needle
  • 24 raw eggs (keep cartons to use later)
  • Rubber ear syringe (available at pharmacies) or egg-blowing tool
  • Fine craft glitter in assorted colors and spray paint in matching colors (available at craft stores, Martha has some very nice glitter at Wal-mart)
  • Small bowls
  • Thin wooden skewers
  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spoons
  • Waxed paper

1. Working over a large bowl, use a sewing needle to carefully pierce both ends of an egg. Make hole at wider end of egg slightly bigger by chipping away at shell with needle. Puncture yolk with needle.

2. Gently insert a rubber ear syringe into smaller hole and blow contents of egg out through larger hole. Rinse egg shell with water. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining eggs.

3. Allow eggs to dry completely. Pour glitter into separate bowls and set aside.

4. Slide an egg shell onto a wooden skewer and spray paint in a well-ventilated area while wearing a face mask and gloves. Hold spray can at least 6 inches away from egg to coat it evenly; rotate egg as you work.

5. Working quickly, place painted egg in a bowl containing glitter that is same color as paint. Gently roll egg in glitter before paint has dried completely. Use a spoon to sprinkle glitter over sparse spots.

6. Place eggs on waxed paper to dry (about 20 minutes). Store eggs in cartons until ready to use.

Wouldn't these be great as place card holders or favors for your Easter gathering?  You could buy letter stickers at your local craft store to use as initials on the eggs.  Or for favors you could place them in wrapped candy baskets instead of grass. These are also seen in the top picture in egg cups.  You could use them as little bud vases too.

(photos from allyou.com)


Peep Show

Check out these adorable Peeps cupcakes from Fancy Flours!

Easter Peeps Cupcakes

Peepsrecipe 

You will need:
• Assorted Solid Colored Muffin Cups
• Assorted Colors of store bought peeps (at your local grocer)
• Cupcake recipe of your choice
• Icing or frosting recipe of your choice


Instructions:
• Make cupcake recipe. Bake and cool as directed in colored muffin cups. Frost as desired.
• Place all of the cupcake on a tray (or wherever they will be stored) Adhere a peep to the corresponding color of muffin cup by slightly sticking it into the frosting to hold it in place.
• Store in an airtight container. 


So Cute

Welcome Spring with the cake of your choice decorated with these pretty colorful flowers!  It's easy to do and your kids will have fun helping you make the flowers and leaves.

This would also be great for a wedding shower or baby shower.

Gumdrop Cake 

Gumdrop-cake-200 

You'll need:

Shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Spice drops

Mini M&Ms

1.Place coconut in a ziplock bag; add a few drops of food coloring. Seal bag; mix until coconut is tinted. Pat coconut on sides of cake and sprinkle on top.

2.Make flowers: Dust a counter top with sugar (to prevent sticking), then use a small rolling pin to flatten spice drops one at a time. Use small cookie cutters to cut out flower shapes. Pipe a drop of frosting in the center of each flower and attach a mini M&M.

3. Make leaves: Cut rolled-out green spice drops into teardrop shapes, score veins down centers with a paring knife and pinch one end of each to create leaf shape.

4.For stems, tint frosting green, put into ziplock bag, snip off a corner and pipe lines

(photo from allyou.com)


It's Strawberry Season!

Here in the South strawberries are coming into season and there are so many delicious strawberry recipes out there!  Here is one I saw this morning on our local news.  It is gorgeous!

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry589MBS 

Ingredients

  1. 1 recipe Old-Fashioned Pie Dough (or store bought)
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  4. 1 cup boiling water
  5. 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin
  8. 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line bottom and sides of prepared pie shell with parchment paper. Place pie weights on parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper.
  4. Bake until golden, approximately 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before adding filling.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, whisking well. Add boiling water and extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, whisking often. Remove from heat. Add gelatin, stirring until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  6. Arrange strawberries in baked pie shell. Pour cooled filling over strawberries, coating completely. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Here are some tips for buying and storing strawberries:

When buying strawberries:

Look for firm, plump, glossy berries that are free of mold.

Strawberries should be deep red in color with bright green leaves.

Check the bottom of the container for stains or moisture—these are signs of possible spoilage.

Strawberries won't ripen any further after they're picked, so avoid yellow or green berries.

When you get your purchase home:

Sort through the container and throw away any strawberries that are moldy or damaged so they won't have an opportunity to contaminate the others.

Store strawberries in the original container or place them in a plastic bag.

It's best to eat fresh strawberries the day you buy them, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

One important thing to remember: Strawberries are perishable, so don't wash them until you're ready to eat them. Gently wash whole berries under cold, running water and pat them dry. Then remove the leafy green top, known as the calyx, with a paring knife or a strawberry huller. For the best flavor, let the strawberries come to room temperature before you eat them.

To freeze strawberries:

Arrange whole berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. (We recommend that you wait to wash and hull the strawberries until after they have thawed.) Once the berries have frozen, transfer them to a heavy freezer bag and return them to the freezer. They should keep for up to a year.

(photo and recipe from Taste of the South)


Unexpected Arrangements

For your Spring or Easter arrangements try using jelly bean centerpieces.  All you have to do is get two similarly shaped vases, one 3 inches narrower than the other.  Fill the space between with layered jelly beans.  These look great with tulips or daisies.  I've also seen this done with a row of bunny peeps and jelly beans. They just scream SPRING!


Tulips and Jelly Beans 

April_cover 


Modern Arrangement

Try grouping different sized cylinders filled with various colored jelly beans without the flowers:

FloralVase 

The possibilities are endless and FUN!


(top photo from allyou.com, bottom from jellybelly.com)


Dazzling Discovery: Shamrocks

Did you know you could plant shamrocks?  I didn't, but what a great touch of green (or purple!) to add indoors.  I also didn't know there were different varieties!  How great would these be on your table or sitting around the room for a St. Patrick's Day party?

2124_craft_shamrocks_xl 

Here is a link to a video where Martha tells you more about them.  Their history is as interesting as they are pretty!

You can purchase your own bulbs here.  Maybe they will bring you good luck!


Easy Spring Craft

I'm so ready for Spring!  How about you?  Here is an easy wreath to get your home ready for the the season.  I got my original inspiration from my friends at No Fuss Fabulous with their Yarn Wreaths that I absolutely love.  Here are mine and my mom's versions!

Supplies: wreaths, butterflies, bugs, nests and some of the birds from Hobby Lobby (the rest I ordered from a wholesaler).  Ribbon, moss and "Family" from Michaels.  Glue gun and lots of glue!

Grapevine Wreaths

Hostessjo 007 

Various butterflies and bugs.  I used bees and lady bugs.

Hostessjo 008 

Birds and nests.

Hostessjo 010 

Moss and "Family".  I found the "Family" in the scrapbooking section at Michaels.  I was looking for "Welcome" but had no luck.

Hostessjo 009 

The results: Mine

Hostessjo 003 

Hostessjo 004 

Hostessjo 006 

My mom's:

Hostessjo 001 

Hostessjo 002 

I am thrilled with how they turned out!  What do you think?  I love my mom's little bird with the nest.  We wrapped them in ribbon first then placed everything where we wanted it then started gluing.  Both only took about an hour and a half.  Be careful, they are very fragile!  Do you decorate your house for the different seasons?  Hope this inspires you to!


Fresh Idea

We are getting closer to our "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree..." wedding shower.  I've shown you our ideas for the centerpieces.  Since then, I've found so many great ideas for using green apples in your wedding or shower decor on the web.  Below is another beautiful way to show off your apples.  We are serving Green Apple Martinis and this is perfect!

Apple-martini-jar-ENTERT0505-de-87312868   

Isn't this lovely?  You could even use this as the centerpiece.  This would be great for a Spring or Summer party too, it doesn't have to be just for showers.  Get creative, try serving lemonade or limeade this way!  How refreshing...

(photo from countryliving.com)