Monday, April 21, 2014

Chocolate Easter Bunnies and Chicks

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and it was a a beautiful sunny day for a picnic. I had been planning on contributing an edible item to the potluck that my friends were planning on having in a park. I didn't have much time though because last week I was super busy with job hunting related activities. So, I took out my trusty silicon mold that contains shapes of bunnies, chicks, and egg shapes. I melted Nestles chocolate chips in a bowl (1 cup for 1 minute) and used a pastry bag along with a bigger tip, like a 5, to pour the chocolate in the mold (One cup of chips is a perfect quantity for one mold). Of course you can also just cut off a small piece of the tip of a pastry bag and that works too. But I like to use the metal tip to poke around in the chocolate to pop any  that the air bubbles that may be hidden at the bottom. 

For these chocolate pieces I used good quality white chocolate and for the design I used dark chocolate. The eyes were piped on carefully with a no. 1 tip using the dark chocolate. It takes a little practice to get little round dots that don't have a pointy tip on top. You can use a pointed tool to push down the tip if necessary. The bunny noses are just sprinkles that I attached with a little powdered sugar+water.The orange beaks were made with powdered sugar, a little water, and orange food coloring, and a small brush.  I used gel food coloring thinking that it would stick to the smooth surface better but it kept pulling back together into a ball. So, after one coating, let it dry a little and then paint on a little more. Eventually the surface will be covered. Another trick that helps is to roughen the surface a little bit by making a few scratches with a needle. 

If you're not into piping on decorations or just don't have time to deal with it, then these chocolates look nice without any designs on them as well! My friends really liked the taste and the kids kept coming back for more.

If you want more colorful pieces, you could use candy melts. Or, you can make colorful designs on top of the white chocolate pieces using candy melts.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Glass Fused Dish - Colorful Weave Pattern

In this blog, I make suggestions about creative projects and I provide tutorials as well. My main goal is to spark ideas in others so that they can then go out there and do something creative themselves. I'm a firm believer in that each person should have at least one hobby because it helps to balance out your life. Anyway, I enjoy making glass fused plates, thanks to my significant other who talked me into taking on yet one more hobby : ) A couple of years ago I went to an exhibit about textiles at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I was inspired by pieces that were not made of cloth and yet they had a woven pattern and texture so the objects looked like material. So, I started to experiment with a mold in my glass fusion class which allowed me to bend strips of glass and to weave then into each other. My second attempt is shown below and I'm happy with the way it turned out. 


Etsy Shop - Sparked Ideas Art

This plate fits into the dessert decorating theme that I've been focusing on in this blog so far because it kind of looks like strips and strings of taffy.  In case you're interested in purchasing this item for yourself or as a gift then please visit my Etsy shop which is called Sparked Ideas Art (see link the above). 




Monday, April 14, 2014

French Macaron Class

Here's an idea of a class that you can take along with a friend or family member. It also makes a great gift! I recently went to this macaron making class in San Francisco and it was great. Our instructor Thip demonstrated how to make French macarons. The process is a little trickier than with Italian macarons but if you receive good instructions, then it's easy breezy. See the link below.

Here's more information about Thip and her classes: 


The lesson takes place at her home in her professional kitchen which is very nice. It's a treat to be able to spend a couple of hours there. Thip does a great job of explaining all of the steps that are involved in making yummy macarons.