Creativity

A New Reboot

So, we are doing a grand re-boot to Tamarack Idea Factory – and what better time than during the quarantine time during COVID-19? Actually, these plans have been underway for a while. As my daughters have grown, they have been more and more excited about my creative projects and have begun to do some of their own. Now, instead of just a blog to celebrate creative ideas of people, homes, and families, we are working on some creative projects as well.

Jillian, my oldest is working on a Pop-up Bracelet Shop both as a school project, but also to earn funds for an iPad so that she can do more of her artwork. She’s also a phenomenal artist, musician, and cake baker/decorator.

Sofia, my second daughter is in a video production class at her school, is working on a novel, and is learning to knit. She is artistic, creative, an actress and is so great at creative play with younger kids. She will be posting her creative ideas on this blog.

Ruby, my youngest (pictured with some of her art) is deeply into seeing what creative concoctions she can make – imagine with me absolute quiet coming from the bathroom (so I know that something is up). When I enter, she has been mixing soap, shampoo, perfume, etc. to create a homemade brew of exotic smells. And that explosion of creativity continues with clay, chalk, paint, food, art – anything she can get her hands on. Just listen for quiet and you know that she is up to something BIG.

As for me, I have been keeping busy juggling work, family, and trying to write and create when and where I can. (More on that another time). For now, please consider supporting Jillian’s Shop. or enjoying some of these creative ideas while you are in quarantine.

Check out some of these great posts –

Homemade Books – A fun idea with old pictures, drawings etc.

Notebooks – why this worked, I can only attribute to the creativity in children, because they worked on this for HOURS!

No Budget Birthday Bash – So, a challenge from this post: you’re a creative person – create a party or a game ONLY with what you have in the house – you cannot buy anything.

When to follow and when to fly free! – another challenge from this one: do an art project with your kids and just let them do WHATEVER they want with the materials. You will be so surprised as you allow them to do this over time how honed their work and style get because of the practice!

Old Scrapbooking Items – Okay, here is a fun challenge for the quarantine that goes along with this post – what do you have that you can let your kids “go to town” on (aka be creative with)? Old sewing, crafting, knitting projects? Stamping sets? Jewelry making supplies? Come on, you haven’t done anything with those supplies in a long time, and your kids/grandkids are cooped up! Let them have something to do. Open up your treasures – they will be in HEAVEN, and you may find some peace during this really crazy time.

Please consider sharing the creative things that you have been doing while at home during this time. And enjoy the possibilities that are coming with this very unusual season!


		
Arts and Crafts, Cooking, Holidays

Homemade Easter Sugar Eggs

My husband’s amazingly creative Aunt Susan and her daughters made Easter eggs this year for my mother-in-law. Not just any Easter eggs, mind you, but the beautiful, sugar, peek inside to another world kind of egg.

I read a book about a sugar egg like that when I was little and it made such an impression on me.  The book was called, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward –

Those eggs are seriously cool!

So, Aunt Susan graciously gave permission to write about her AND sent her recipe to share. (She’s one of those women that blow you away with her abilities and talents!)

Maybe we should have a contest next Easter… 🙂

SUGAR EGG RECIPE

4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbs water
2 tsp Wilton Meringue Powder

Placed sugar in large mixing bowl. For extra strength, or if you live in an area that has high humidity, add 2 tsp meringue powder to mixture. Mix sugar so there are no lumps in it. Make a well in sugar, then add water. Rub mixture between your hands & knead for about 1 minute or until well-blended & mixture packs like wet sand. Makes 1 large egg, 2 medium eggs or 3 small eggs. (These are SOLID eggs without scooping out the sugar to hollow them.You can reuse the scooped out sugar to make more eggs so you’ll get more than what is stated.)

To tint sugar:
Add icing color to water. Add color sparingly; lightly tinted sugar makes the prettiest decorations. Mix until color & sugar are well-blended. I usually just make mine white then make it colorful by adding the decorations to it.

HOW TO MAKE HOLLOW SUGAR EGGS (Note – I use the sugar I scoop out of the eggs to make more eggs.)

*Dust mold with cornstarch to prevent sticking. Pack sugar mixture into half egg mold, pressing firmly with heel of hand.

*To remove excess sugar, hold metal spatula at 45* angle to egg mold and scrape off excess sugar.

*Unmold at once by placing cardboard circle over mold and turning mold upside down. To loosen mold, tap top of mold with spatula. Carefully lift mold off.

This is what I do – cut the narrow end of the egg of both halves about 1 – 1 1/2 inches. This is what will make your opening to see your display inside the egg. You can keep this part of the sugar to reuse – just keep it covered with a damp cloth.

*Let egg dry for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then carefully pick egg half up holding it in palm of hand. Do not squeeze or move egg while it’s in your hand or it will crack.

*Use a spoon to gently scoop out soft sugar following the contour of the egg. Smooth inside & opening of egg with your fingers. You can keep this sugar, just put it in a bowl & keep covered with a damp cloth. Then reuse it to make more sugar eggs.

*Place egg right side up (so hollowed part can dry) on cardboard to finish drying for about 24 hours.

DECORATING SUGAR EGGS

Decorate the inside of your egg putting decorations in with royal frosting. Then put top & bottom of eggs together with royal frosting carefully handling the halves. Decorate the outside with royal frosting & decorations. Let dry. To store during the year, put in a box that has no light & keep in a cool place.

ROYAL FROSTING RECIPE

3 Tbs Wilton Meringue Powder
4 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbs warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 min at low speed with a heavy duty mixer or 10-12 min at high speed with a hand-held mixer. Makes 3 cups.

NOTE: I make my own flowers by coloring the royal frosting & making drop flowers on wax paper night before until they are dry & hard. Make plenty, they do store well if not used. I have even made little chickens before but haven’t done rabbits yet.

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