Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Gig's Up!

I had KnitNight with my best and oldest quilty friends and one of them said, "I have a confession to make." I've had a bet running with myself about how long it would be until this confession, so, I knew it was coming when she said..."I found your blog." !!! So, it's very fun and I must say Welcome! to my bestest friends! (Isabelle, I'm sorry for my improper grammar, I'm cheating in excitement.)

My friends and I have been together since we started our friendship quilting group almost twenty years ago and we've had some wonderful times together. They've been a great source of inspiration to me over the years. Sometimes it will be months between our visits, but when we get together, it's like we just saw each other yesterday. The really good part about having them join us here at Thimbleanna's, is that occasionally maybe they'll let me sneak some of their inspiring projects in here (that is until they all start blogs of their own) but the bad part is, that if I make something for them, I won't be able to show you until after the fact. It's a sacrifice I'm more than happy to make!

Now, Shropshire Girl asked me to explain how I make my little Easter ducks. Unfortunately, I didn't take any "in progress" pictures when I was making them, but I'll try to give you a rough idea of how they're made.

You'll need:
Egg shaped plastic molds that are split lengthwise (like those pictured at right.) You can find some here.
Circle shaped molds for the heads. I've never had good molds for the heads. I use a plastic ball christmas ornament that is cut in half for the big head (the one I have is really too big) and for the heads on the little ducks, I used a melon baller to scoop the circle halves. When they are released from the scoop, they're a little loose, so I press on them a little to "tighten" them up.
Sugar Recipe (recipe below)
Royal Icing(recipe below)
Orange and/or yellow feathers
Orange felt -- cut duck bills and feet. Just be free and wing it!
Wiggly Eyes

Make sugar recipe. One recipe should make at least 2 small ducks.
Press sugar mixture firmly into sugar molds. Unmold onto cookie sheets. Bake egg halves in 200 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. When done, let cool for a minute or two, then pick egg half up and hold in palm with flat side up. Gently run a knife around the edge of the egg, approximately 1/8 inch in from the edge. Scoop all the sugar out of the middle of the egg. If the egg breaks, just crumble it up and add it back to the moist sugar mixture and do over. For each duck, you'll need two egg halves (one half should have a flat side to make the bottom of the duck) and two half spheres for the head.

Let the egg halves dry out for a day or two so they'll harden and not be so fragile. Mix the icing:Put it into a frosting bag fitted with a star tip like 4B or 6B. Squeeze a little icing onto one half sphere and attach the other half sphere to it. Squeeze a little icing on top of the duck body toward the front of the duck where the surface starts to drop off. This will create a little icing shelf for the head to rest on. Pipe decorative trim around the edge of the top half of the duck. Let the top of the duck dry for 20 or 30 minutes.

After the icing has set up a little, pipe a decorative trim around the seam on the duck's head, then attach the head to the top of the duck body. Gently press two little duck bills into the decorative piping around the head. Pipe decorative icing around the neck seam. Pipe little stars of icing for the eyes and feathers, then press eyes and feathers into the icing. (Refer to picture below for placement.) Hold your breath for 3 hours while the duck head dries in hopes that it doesn't fall off. (Just kidding!) Attach two little duck feet to the bottom half of the duck. Let duck dry overnight.

Repeat for as many ducks as you want and fill with candy. This is a fun project to do with older kids, but they do have to have some patience as the eggs can be a little delicate and the icing takes time to dry. Making these is somewhat like making the sugar Easter panorama molds. These instructions might explain the process of hollowing out the eggs more clearly.

I hope you try these -- if not this year, maybe next year!


KBG said...

Next up - your husband and kids!

Shropshire Girl said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. It is too late for this Easter but I will definitely source the moulds and have a go for next year, they would make great presents for my nieces.
Have a wonderful Easter.
Sandra. x.

Gypsy Purple said...

Wishing you and your family a happy and blessed Easter

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks for the lovely comments! What a lovely site you have. Those ducks look gorgeous. Hope you all enjoy the weekend.

joyce said...

Your ducks are just too cute! And I must try some of those covered tacks for my bulletin board.