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Halloween 2015

This Halloween we wanted to create a spooky haunted forest but still keep it light and playful enough that it was still warm, inviting and not too gloomy.  

Some dead tree branches from the yard were perfect for making a huge impact – and the best part is that they cost NOTHING!


When you bring lots of natural elements into the decor everything falls into place. Sea shells, leaves, branches, pine cones and any other natural element can cover your decorating schemes for all the seasons and holidays.


“Creepy Cloth” is a very loose weave gauze-like fabric that can be draped from almost any surface to create a delightfully creepy look. Here we have draped it on our picture frames (two professional artists in the house and we have EMPTY picture frames….we’re cuckoo!).


A simple branch in a flower pot with some floral foam and a centerpiece is born!


Birds perched in random places makes it feel as if they have landed there themselves, and that we are being quietly outnumbered by some spooky guests.

 


Orange and black is such a traditionally Halloween color scheme, but it can feel a bit tacky at times. With the right balance and some natural elements some Halloween elegance can be attained.

A bird and some silk leaves on each place setting helps tie the buffet decor to the table. We found our birds at Dollar Tree.

We like to bring out the ornate silver charger plates and accessories for a Halloween look because it feels like they could be right out of an old haunted mansion!


We found some lovely salad plates with a subtle embossed leaf pattern covering the entire surface of the plate. The natural leaf pattern makes them ideal for autumn decor and because they are plain white instead of fall colors they will fit in beautifully with Spring and Easter decor as well.


Here is a look back at last Halloween with our buffet in burgundy and black. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! Likes, shares, pins, follows and comments always greatly appreciated!

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potato-soup-ad

St Patricks Day – Potato Soup

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

With an Irish name like Hickey, people kind of expect us to celebrate good ole St. Patty’s Day.

After discovering that the ‘traditional’ St. Patrick’s Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage may NOT even be a traditional Irish dish, we decided to explore the alternatives.

Continue reading “St Patricks Day – Potato Soup”

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Holy Macro!


Look what I found in the snow under super magnification!

I’ve just started my very first attempt at Macro photography (without a macro lense!) and I am so addicted! Not only are the photos themselves fascinating because it provides a peek at the secret world of teeny tiny miracles and beauty, but the photos are also working as a springboard to inspire paintings!

This ice crystal seahorse painting (in progress) was inspired by a macro photo of some slushy melting snow!


From this hum-drum melting snow on the railing of our deck… 














…came the subject matter of this photo that looked to me like sparkling whimsical little ice creatures caught mid-conversation. 

I’ve been calling them my slush puppies!

These slush puppies served as the inspiration for my Ice Seahorse painting (in progress).










My hope was to catch a classic hexagonal snowflake from the big 2015 Blizzard Juno, but there didn’t seem to be any 6 sided flakes to be found. It was all tiny hair-like crystals of fluffy light and blowing blizzard snow!

Below is the closest I got to capturing a snowflake – taken the day before the big blizzard in the smaller snowfall I like to call the pre-show. 

Can you see the geometric snowflake crystal forming that thinks it is a tiny iphone? This is under super magnification and it just excites me to no end to see that there are amazing and beautiful things like this around us that we are not even aware of!

Below are a few more shots of regular ‘ole slush. It’s was quite fascinating because this captures the fluctuations in state changes as the snow was rapidly melting and re-freezing at the same time, forming fluid rounded shapes while it tried to decide if it was solid or liquid. 

Though it is not the greatest of photos, I am appreciating the subject matter – I love how kinetic it is! (Yes,I pretty much just said I enjoy watching ice melt – I may just be the most boring person alive!)

Though I am not looking forward to being snowed in again, I am looking forward to more opportunities to attempt to capture that ever elusive classic 6 sided snowflake photo!

Ice Seahorse Painting In Progress by Jennifer Hickey


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Instagram KrispieGroudhog

Groundhog Day Celebration

Happy Groundhog day!
 

This year is the first time we are attempting to ‘celebrate’ Groundhog day.

So here we go!

To start with, we made Coco Krispy Groundhogs!

It’s just the standard Rice Krispy Treat recipe only we swapped out Rice Krispies for Coco Krispies so that our groundhogs would be brown.



Here’s the recipe:
——————————————
INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) Marshmallows
OR
4 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups Coco Krispy Rice cereal

DIRECTIONS
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. 

2. Add Coco Krispy Rice cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Release your creative side and start forming groundhog shapes!
——————————–

We had some candy eyes left over from Halloween baking, and the teeth are made from mini marshmallows cut to shape and size with cooking sheers.

As you can see in the picture, we tried several approaches to the overall design of the groundhog. Let me tell you, when you look up at this motley crew of slightly deranged looking weather forecasting rodents, it makes you giggle.

We used a piece of a green plastic tablecloth for the ‘grass’ and some dry Coco Krispies around the base to simulate a dirt mound around the groundhog burrow hole.

Clearly Coco Krispies and marshmallow do not create the most cooperative sculpting medium, but this is not meant to be fine art.

Creating them was a fun and silly break from reality and they taste dee-lish!

On the absolute MUST-DO list for today is to watch Groundhog day! 

Unfortunately it’s not available for streaming on Netflix. If you don’t have the DVD, Blu Ray or digital copy, it’s on AMC several times on Groundhog Day so fire up those DVRs!

Here is the schedule:

Monday February 1st at 10:00 AM
Monday February 1st at 12:30 PM
Monday February 1st at  3:00 PM
Monday February 1st at  5:30 PM

Enjoy!

UPDATE:
I added links below for The Groundhog Day Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Download, respectively. 

I also added a link for the CUTEST stuffed groundhog! I want to buy him and put him right in the middle of our dining room table as a centerpiece next year!


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Pomegranate Perfection


Do you imagine that Pomegranate juice comes from a magical wonderland where the fluffy Pom Pom trees grow? – a place where Kale and Quinoa prance through fields of whole grains while Acai berries and Avocados frolic and giggle under the shade of dark green leafy vegetables?


No? Me Neither. That would be crazy.

I am one of those people who, until recently, had never popped open a fresh pomegranate.

When I finally gave it a try, I was amazed at how beautiful they are inside! They are chock full of sparkling rubies! –  juicy, tasty, edible rubies!

Though I am no pomegranate expert, I took some pictures of my pomegranate adventure to share with everyone who may be interested.

There are lots of different ways to open a pomegranate, but I really like the method that uses a bowl of water. 

Step by step guide below!

Step 1. Put some water in a bowl.

Step 2. Carefully cut off the top of the Pomegranate. I suggest a very shallow cut, because if you cut deeper than the skin of the fruit you’ll be popping open all the juicy little rubies inside (the seeds are actually called Arils, but I can’t stop calling them rubies).

With the top off you can see how thick the skin is and adjust your cutting depth as you score the circumference of the Pomegranate so you can pry it open.






Step 3.  Pull it open into two halves, and feast your eyes on a ruby haul that even the Seven Dwarves would envy.

Step 4. Gently massage the little rubies loose from the membrane while holding the pomegranate over the bowl of water. 

As the rubies pull away from the inner membrane, let them drop into the water. Be gentle so you don’t break the jewels – the delicious ruby red juice will escape!







Step 5. The rubies will sink to the bottom and the membrane will float to the top. Scoop the pieces of membrane off the top of the water and discard.

Step 6. Drain off the water and strain the rubies out, or scoop them out with your hands if you don’t have a strainer.







Step 7. Enjoy!

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Hot Chocolate Brownies


♫ At laaaaaast….my loooove has come along…

Is it weird that the song At Last by Etta James played in my head, time stopped and swirly twirly cartoon hearts and snowflakes floated around my head the first time I tasted these?

I also felt like Buddy the Elf declaring “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!” while throwing my elf hat in the air.





We bought this brownie mix at Aldi, just because it seemed like a nice holiday treat to have while cuddled on the couch with a warm blanket, and a great Christmas movie.

Now I am smitten, and my heart is all-a-flutter. The brownie and marshmallow together are just pure magic. I can’t even describe its ooey gooey warm deliciousness. 

Oh, one parting warning about these. The marshmallow is insanely hot when they come out of the oven, so though it may seem like torture , its a good idea to wait a bit and avoid scalding the inside of your mouth. 

That is definitely the first time I have ever had to warn anyone to avoid a marshmallow related injury!



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Disney Haunted Mansion Painting in Progress

It’s time for a peek into the artist’s studio!

Here’s what I am working on right now… It’s pretty much finished… but I need to get away from it for a while and see it with fresh eyes..

I love Disney, I love Halloween..

Put ’em both together and this is what comes out…

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Free Halloween Printable and Tutorial

Halloween is Creeping in…and creatures are stirring in the shadows…

If you would like to have some of the most well mannered mice in your house for Halloween, look no further.

  • Just print the solid black mouse printable below on card stock or other thick paper 
  • cut them out 
  • stick them to the risers on your staircase with circles  of tape on the back

or if you want to save printer ink and you have construction paper on hand, you can do what I did and print just the red outline printable on regular printer paper and use it to cut your mice out of black construction paper.

TIP! If you want to cut several sheets at a time, line them up in a stack and staple them in multiple places (outside of the mouse shapes) before cutting. Then your stack wont shift as you cut and you will get accurate cuts all the way through on detailed areas like tails and nosies and toesies!  Templates Below!


Use this template (above) if you are printing on light colored card stock!
Use this template (above) if you’ll be using black paper!
Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!!
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Confounding Confection

Candy Crush Chocolate –
Far more evil than Devils Food.
Does your cruelty know no bounds?

The game Candy Crush has caused me to utter a phrase so foreign and false that it feels like blasphemy – a phrase so profoundly opposed to everything that I have ever known to be true:
“I hate chocolate”
I don’t even know who I am anymore.
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Peachy Keen Photography

I have always wanted to be one of those artsy girls who never goes anywhere without her camera and is always digging in and snapping amazing shots of both once in a lifetime photography moments as well as quirky unique ways of looking at mundane everyday things.

I enjoy seeing photography that truly represents the inner workings of the photographer’s mind when all of the pictures are  displayed together in a body of work.

I really appreciate when a photographer is able to somehow let you look at life through a new set of eyes and communicate something to you  that just makes something in your mind click into place, and forces a miraculous shift in perception, or a deep and spiritual, life altering shift in consciousness.

I want to do this.

I realize I have set some lofty goals for myself, but I feel I am up to the challenge. I’ve already got my first finished piece done, and I am ready to share it with the world.

Prepare to have your mind blown.

Enjoy.

Yeah, so? It’s a peach that looks like a butt.

Let me tell you there is nothing like the wave of pride that washes over you when you place your name and copyright symbol on a high quality piece that really speaks to who you are as an artist and a person.

I SHURE IZ A FANCY SHMANCY FOTO-GRAFFER.

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