Inspiration Challenge: January {New Year/ New You}

Good morning everyone! I hope you spent your New Years Eve doing exactly what you wanted to be doing! As for us, I know no matter how late I go to bed, my kids will still be up around 7am. So I’ll save the partying til 2AM thing until Ben is either potty trained or I can teach Ellie to change his diaper and pour them both a bowl of cereal. And let me sleep in!

January’s challenge wasn’t really about finding inspiration in something around you. It was more about finding the inspiration in yourself. Trying something new. Not caring if it actually worked or not, just crossing something off of your list.

With the week off, and no obligations, I found myself trying a few new things, other than the one I had planned for this post. Of course, I didn’t bother photographing them, so I don’t have any evidence. But I can tell you- the apple cider caramels (from The Smitten Kitchen) were a big success. The pink macarons- big opposite of success. Then again I wasn’t expecting much when I got the recipe I used by Googling “easy french macaron recipe”. Chances are if it’s “easy”, it’s not going to turn into a french macaron. They tasted good though, and in the end, that’s what matters.

For my challenge cookie, I decided to try a stained glass cookie. It’s something I have seen many times, but had never thought to make. I bought a bag of Jolly Ranchers (I think it was Wild Berry Fruit Flavors) and sorted the candies by color. Then I pulverized the candy in a food processor. I rolled out the cookies, cutting out a shape in the middle and sprinkled some of the pulverized candy into the hole in the cookie. Then I baked and decorated as usual.

New Years 2013 (Ellie's Bites)

Using the blue candy, I kept thinking how much it looked like the surface of a pool, and another idea evolved.

Koi Pond Collage (Ellie's Bites)

I baked an oval and base coated it in white icing. When that dried, I painted a bunch of blue and green swirls and some vaguely fishy shapes in yellow, orange, and a bit of gold disco dust. I also baked two oval rings and filled one with the melted candy. The other I iced in a white stone patter, then painted with shades of grey and piped on green vines. The flowers are flower shaped sprinkles with orange centers painted on. When all three components were dry, I stacked them.

Koi Pond (Ellie's Bites)

So now go check out Melissa’s post over at Simply Sweets by Honeybee and see how much fun she had trying a new technique. And don’t forget to link up your own experience there. Then next month, in honor of Valentines Day, we’ll be finding inspiration in romance and famous couples. Who will you choose for your inspiration?