I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chicks & Bunnies & Eggs! Oh! My!

Happy Pink Saturday and Welcome to my blog, A. McInnis Artworks! I'd especially like to thank Beverly for featuring this blog on How Sweet the Sound today. She is one of the nicest bloggers in Blogland. I hope you will visit her and all the bloggers who posted on her Pink Saturday.

My Give Away is announced down the page...

Make sure you "follow" so you can be eligible! The Deadline is April 12!

For 13 years, before I became a librarian, I taught a Foods & Nutrition Class at our local high school. (And yes, I am still relatively sane.) I taught approximately 150 students each semester...that's 300 a year...mercy.

Each Christmas my classes participated in a Gingerbread House Competition and each Spring we had a Spring Gingerbread House Competition. I also taught my students to make sugar bunnies and sugar panoramic eggs. Some of my sugar eggs have lasted over 35 years. Some of the gingerbread houses have lasted as long as 5 years... if they were frozen and saved in a small cardboard or plastic container in the freezer. I think you will enjoy seeing the process.

This is a dinner plate from a vintage set of china that I use at Easter.

I love the way the little sugar eggs look arranged on it. You can see how various types of Easter grass look when changed about. The top grass is iridescent green, the bottom is just iridescent.

The eggs can be bought at Cracker Barrel now days, but it's so much fun to make them. I thought I'd share some pointers.

Of course, we MUST have sugar bunnies, too!

I use a plastic two piece mold. It can be used for chocolate also. This is one side of the mold. The other side is the mirror image of it.I use a small porcelain bowl to mix my sugar and water until it is the consistency of moist sand.

This is the "mold" I use for sugar eggs. I just happened to have a tin egg that comes apart and can be used as a mold. If you don't "carve" out the middle for a scene, the egg will be rather heavy. If you do carve, do it while the egg is still damp. Once it's dried, it will crack if you try to scoop out the center. "Glue" the two halves together with icing as you did with the rabbits and then let them "set" before begin your decorative outside icing.

Your sugar should look like the above picture...you DO remember playing in the sand, don't you?

The sugar is pressed into both sides of the mold. After packing, place a cookie sheet on top of the packed bunny and flip the mold over to release the rabbit.

Turn the molded rabbits out onto a cookie sheet; place in a very low temperature oven and let the rabbits dry ... be careful that you don't over dry...just make sure the rabbit is dry all the way through. Let them cool and MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU GENTLY SAND OR SCRAPE THE BOTTOMS OF THE EGGS OR BUNNIES SO THEY WILL STAND UP STRAIGHT.

Mix your decorative icing (Royal icing recipe can easily be found on the internet) or use meringue powder to make your icing...Note: Icing that is made with raw egg whites is not safe for you to eat...Be careful there! Either use a plastic decorating bag or a Zip Loc type bag. Cut off the tip of the bag and insert your decorating tips, add the icing with a large tablespoon pushing the icing down as far into the bag as possible. Fold the bag securely so icing doesn't come out the other end. I used a small star tip for decorating these items.

For some of the larger "flowers", I used a medium star tip.

This is the side of a large panoramic egg. I tinted the sugar with a tiny bit of blue food coloring before molding.

This is the top view of the blue panoramic egg.

Inside the little yellow egg is a scene with a tiny bonneted duck. Add the scenes before you "glue" the top and bottom of the egg together.

I once tablescaped my Easter dinner table with sugar bunnies as the place cards. Everyone had a sweet memory to take home at the end of the day. When packing my mother in law's home recently, I found her bunny...it was just like the day I gave it to her.

This little basket can be done in chocolate or sugar. Inside are nestled Cadbury eggs. Oh, yum! On to other things...
I promised someone I'd do a little tutorial on the Spring Chicks I crochet each year...so I'm letting you in on my secrets here...ha! Fuzzy and fun, I received my first chicken over 30 years ago from a special little girl. Her grandmother brought her to my story hour at the library every week! That little chicken is at the bottom of the tutorial and serves as your visual for the pattern directions.

"You Are No Spring Chicken" tutorial begins here.

(These little peeps could be yours, if you win the Giveaway..their basket is shown in the picture above this one.)The second part of this tutorial is directing you in the construction of the "You Are No Spring Chicken" chicks.

If you are interested in purchasing them rather than doing them yourself, feel free to email me and I will give you cost and postage details. In case you'd like to crochet them on your own, here are the "loose" directions.

Chain 23. (I use a "J" hook.)

Chain 1 and turn.

Work a single crochet in each of the 23 chains for a total of 23 SC.

Chain 2 and turn.

*Work a double crochet in each SC. Chn 2 and turn.*

Repeat from * to * twice more for a total of 3 DC rows.

Fold the crochet piece in half and slip stitch the top together

working left to right and down the back to join. Tie off.

For the comb, work 6 single or double crochets on the top of the head & tie off.

For the beak work one double crochet and tie off on the inside.

Wrap enough rounds of yarn around your four fingers

to make a fluffy little tail.

Tie in the middle and use

that "tie" yarn to attach the tail to the ...well, the tail!

Clip the tail to make it pom pom-ish.

Glue a black bead or shaky eye to each side of the chick's "face".

Pop an egg into the chick to fluff her out!

Here's my original little chicken...I still love her best!

Wow! Did you make it from start to finish? Lots of pictures and directions. I hope I didn't bore you to death!! I'd like to hear your comments and questions. Feel free to comment and if you feel so inclined, I hope you might even "follow"!!

Please, join me for Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

May all your bunnies be sweet and all your chicks be fluffy,


Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Angela, what can I say other than you are the Easter Queen!!!

Donna K. said...

Angela, these are all so cute! I must try those sugar bunnies. Thanks for the directions. After my grandmother gave me a crocheted chick like yours over 30 years ago, I made tons of them but had lost the directions. Now I'll be making a few more this year. Thank you.

Michelle said...

Once again I am amazed but not surprised! You have the best tutorials and I LOVE your ideas. You should sell your Spring Chickens on Etsy:-)

Monica@The White Bench said...

Hi Angela,
thanks for introducing yourself on Beverly's blog! Nice to meet you...
Your Easter pretties are really lovely. And the rabbits look delicious!
Happy Pink Saturday,

Linda M. said...

Happy Pink Saturday Angela, Congratulations on being featured this week. Thanks for the great tutorials. I remember having some of those crocheted chick when I was a child. I love the new fuzzy chick you made. I'd love a chance to win one. Thanks. Have a wonderful week. Linda

xinex said...

These are so cute and so adorable! Thanks for sharing, Angela.....Christine

Marydon said...

Angela, you put me to shame for sure. They are wonderful!

And, such a drling giveaway. We are having a giveaway also.

Happy pink April lst ~


Mrs. Jinny Bailey said...

I love the sugar eggs & bunnies, they are so pretty! Of course the spring chickens are cute too. I love the way you personalize each one!

Antiques And Teacups said...

I love the sugar view eggs. I always looked forward to them at Easter. Spent many happy hours daydreaming about what was inside. Thanks for stirring a memory from long ago. Brought a smile to my heart!

Marie Arden said...

Yeah sugar eggs and bunnies. I love them. I love the crochet chicks too. These are the things we all get from time to time and just treasure.
Happy Spring

Maw Maw Julie said...

I am a newbie to blogging and crafting, I love your tutorial, and the Pink and Blue Bunnies absolutely adorable. I love them. thanks for sharing.

Shirl said...

Hi Angela, this is my first visit to your blog and I've really enjoyed my visit. I joined as a follower and I have to make those little pastel peeps. How cute. I'm featuring you on my blog this week as Beverly asked us to showcase a new blog that we visited.
Have a great week!
Shirls Rose Cottage

KarenHarveyCox said...

Congratulations on being featured for Pink Saturday. This post is wonderful. I love that recipe for bunnies. Easter is my favorite season.

Happy Pink Saturday,


Anonymous said...

Ooooh what memories those sugared treasures evoke! And those chicks...PRECIOUS! Your blog always makes me perk up. Thank you for being there for those of us who are not so creative, but enjoy your unique touch.

Libby said...

Beautiful post and great directions! I proudly display my sugar Easter basket that you made for me several years ago. It is one of my favorite Easter decorations. I also love my chicks! I might have to try my hand at making a bunny or an egg! All of your things are so pretty.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Now those really are sweeeet chicks.
Happy pink Saturday !

Lynn said...

Angela, I am in awe of your talent and patience. I loved these special eggs as a child and have never known anyone who makes them personally. It was fascinating to go through the steps with you. When my children were young, I did cake decorating and made wonderful cakes for their birthdays, school functions and such. You make it look so easy to make the inside of those eggs, but somehow I don't believe it is as easy as it looks. Think you are one very talented lady. Wonderful post. Happy PS. Oh yes, I am Lynn from Florida. I am having a give-away too, just hop over and leave a comment before midnight April 8 for a chance to win.

Wanda Metcalf said...

WOW thanks so much for the lesson o sugar bunny and egg and anything else we can think of!! guess who has big plans with sugar??

Enjoy your pink weekend =0)

Anonymous said...

Super post! Very informative. You are quite the sugar artist. I'm your newest follower.

Anonymous said...

Happy Pink Saturday &
congrats on being featured!
I'm a new follower
you have so many cute things here!
love your Easter chicks
and W.O.W. those sugar eggs
are awesome...
stop over and see me & the BEAR

Olivia said...

Hello! Your eggs are darling! Happy Pink Saturday. I am a new fan!

bj said...

Happiest Pink Saturday.
Love all your little Easter chicks and bunnies. :)

dana said...

What a terrific post!! I loved reading the instructions and looking at your sugared creations through your great photos!!! I never knew how that was done! I have a two piece rabbit mold....I hope to try making sugar one instead of the chocolate kind this year!

It was so great to meet you...Happy Pink Saturday!! dana

Ann said...

Love the sugar bunnies, how wonderful they look. I'll be you're next follower. Happy Pink Saturday. Come and visit my little corner of OZ.

Cat & Cricket said...

You brought tears to my eyes,... you are the first blog I read this morning.. and of course..the "BIG" one from ms. beverly.... Can I tell you.. my mother was a home economics teacher for 35 years... born in Eastern Europe.. so I kinda had the taste and flavor of all different sorts. But every year with her students they entered the gingerbread competition in Philadelphia.... and I remember cutting out the all the sides, roofs, etc... for gingerbread houses, churches..etc... then the icing ( my favorite part!) bc it was ever so sweet..but hardened quickly.. my father would wire parts of the house and we would get miniature Easter bunnies or mice...and little lamps/chandys would hang.. roof decorated with candied stones etc.. we would travel far and wide to find the unique small types of candies to decorate the houses and surroundings with.... it has been many many years since I have done this,.... and it's funny how as you get older you take for granted the things you learned or were taught as a child even if as you got older as a teen you resented doing them....How I wish I could be with my mom..or even you know... just to hold that memory again..
Ok... I am bawling now!
Thank you...
your post is beautiful and so are your bunnies!
Smiles~ Cricket@ gypseanurse

Cindy Lew's Studio said...

Oh my gosh!!!! everything is so beautiful. thanks for sharing and the tutorial, its awesome!

Warm Regards, CindyLew

Annesphamily said...

Happy Pink Saturday! You are an amazing woman! I love your Easter delights! Please come see me soon. Love the giveaway too! Anne

Noreen said...

Your pink and blue chickens are so sweet! I wouldn't think of those colors for chickens, but I love it.

Gracie Jewellery said...

I've never seen sugar eggs and bunnies before. These are fabulous! Happy Pink Saturday!

Jenn said...

Hi. I saw your blog/post featured on Beverly's PS. I did PS for a while, then quit blogging, then started again. I stopped by PS today just to peek. Enjoyed your post. Cute stuff. I love the chickens. I enjoyed reading what was posted on PS and in your profile. Good attitude! Thanks, Jenn

pinkim said...

Wow, everything is beautiful and you make it all sound so simple...I wonder if it really is...I, of course am a new follower...and so maybe I will win...I am Pinkim from TrulySimplyPink

paintedlady89 said...

How very cute are your peeps! Thanks for sharing such a pretty decrtion!

pinkkandy said...

Happy Pink Saturday...Ladies....another week-end traveling the pink highway....God Bless you and remember to hug someone...only if they want it!

Sarah said...

Adorable! How fun...thank you for taking the time to put up all this great information! I've bookmarked your page and become a follower...enjoy your Sunday!

HaPpY pInK sAtUrDaY!

Gail said...

Hi Angela, Happy PS. Looks like you have a great time with Easter decorations, and what a gift you gave to your students teaching them these wonderful arts, not many teachers take time to do these things. Every thing is wonderful, I love your plate and it really looks festive with the grass.
Have a blessed week

Dru said...

These are wonderful and beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. Happy Pink Saturday! Dru

Lorraine said...

Those little chickies are sooooo cute! I haven't crocheted in years, but I may try your tutorial, thanks for sharing that.

Anonymous said...

What a delightful blog!!! I so enjoyed looking at all of your Easter eggs and bunnies and chicks, and to think, YOU made them
I have always been fascinated with the panoramic eggs...I ear-marked your page to TRY to make some for myself!! Don't know that I'd ever be as successful with it as you are!
Love your vintage 1930'--40's
china..."Hostess" by Gold Castle..
I have a whole set of it that I treasure! It does look great for Easter, doesn't it!!
Thanks for the "eye-candy"...pun intended!! LOL

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, Angela. You were a wonderful featured participant, and I am so happy you enjoyed it.

I am loving your sweet eggs and bunnies, and those chicks are adorable. Now, if only I were clever.

Debbie~ said...

I've always loooved the sugar eggs since I was a kid, I haven't seen them in years though. I'd looove to try to make them sometime! Thank YOU so much for sharing this with us, yours are beautiful! xo Debbie @ Cottage Hann~Me~Downs

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The chicks are adorable! I would love to try to make one...but I'm not usually very good with small things! Thanks for sharing! ♥