Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Homemade Easter Candy

My family is fortunate to have some wonderful neighbors. For example, one family always picks up our mail and even shovels our walk if it snows when we out of town. Another family welcomed us home from an extended trip with a huge homemade banner and a balloon bouquet, and also by filling our refrigerator with food.

This year, I decided to say "thank you" to those special neighbors by giving them some homemade Easter candy. I found some plastic egg cartons at a dollar store which I will have my kids decorate with Easter-themed stickers. Inside, I will fill the box with some delectable homemade candies.

If you would like to do something similar for a special person in your life, you might try your hand at some of these recipes:

This blog has a recipe for white chocolate birds' nests filled with jelly beans.

This blog gives step-by-step directions for making adorable bunny-shaped boxes made with white chocolate melts. Yes, the box is edible!

This isn't exactly candy -- but it is very creative! Chocolate cupcakes reminscent of those wonderful Cadbury chocolate eggs.

Here is a recipe for homemade candy corn. I can picture it in pastel colors for Easter. Or take the basic recipe and instead of forming it into candy corn, form it into Easter eggs.

I found this recipe for Crunchy Easter eggs. It is made with graham crackers, coconut and peanut butter, shaped like an egg and then dipped in chocolate.

These Fruit and Nut Eggs sound delicious! Their ingredient list includes maraschino cherries, chopped pecans and coconut.

I love Salted Nut Rolls and plan to try this recipe for a homemade version.

I will be making some of these candies in the next few days. Please check back on this log, as I will post updates on the candy-making process and photos.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Holy Week Banner

I've added another project to the Diary of the Sower blog -- a Holy Week banner. This would be a quick and simple project that you could whip up today and begin using tomorrow. Check it out here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Our Lenten Jesus Tree

I thought some of you might be interested in the project that I just posted on my other blog: Diary of a Sower. It's about a new tradition we have started this year -- we are using a Jesus Tree to mark the days of Lent. (See the photo.) For more information check out at the blog at this link.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Make your own heirloom Easter Basket

As I mentioned in the current edition of the CreativeGiftGiver website, when I was a child my mom made our Easter baskets from an old beach bottle that was cut into a bunny shape and crocheted on the edges with colored yarn. As an adult looking back, I now realize the uniqueness of that homemade basket. I still have it (although it has aged and worn a bit). But I can still feel my mom's love when I look at it, knowing she took the time to make a special basket for each of us kids.

On the website, I give links and suggestions for making your own heirloom Easter basket. Most of the baskets are made with recycled items found around the home, or inexpensive items you can pick up from the craft store.

I also promised to share information on how to make the Duck and Bunny cannisters pictured on the website. These adorable cannisters would make perfect baskets that could be reused year after year. So, let's get started!

Duck and Bunny cannisters

1. Small potato chip or nut can 
2. Fun foam in your choice of colors 
(we used orange and yellow for our duck and 
white, pink and black for our bunny) 
3. Chenille stems (also known as pipe cleaners)
4. Hot glue or tacky glue
5. Cotton ball (for bunny's tail)
6. Scissors
7. Permanent marker
1. Measure the length and width of the can and cut out a piece of fun foam to fit around the can.  Glue it onto the can, lapping ends in the back and leaving two gaps at the top for the basket handles.
2. Hand draw (or use a coloring book pattern) the wings, beak, eyes and webbed feet for the duck;  or ears, eyes, 4 paws (two for "hands" and two for "feet") and a nose for the bunny.   
3. Trace each piece on fun foam and cut out with scissors.  If desired, trace an outline of the wings and webbed feet, or the paws, with a black permanent marker onto the fun foam.  Allow ink to dry completely
4. Glue each piece of fun foam onto the can.  (For the bunny, make whiskers out of black chenille stems and glue them behind the bunny's fun foam nose.) Allow to dry completely. 
To make the bunny's tale, glue a cotton ball on the backside of the can. 
5. If desired, use a permanent marker to draw additional details on the face. 
6. Take two or three chenille stems and twist them around each other, then shape them into a handle.  Place each end of the handle on different sides of the basket, anchoring the handle between the fun foam and the can.  Secure in place with glue. 
7. Fill with shred or Easter grass and add candy or small trinkets.