Third time well, honestly fourth time is a Charm!

Papa's Brew Stein

I love creating gifts for my family. My husband is often the recipient of my efforts. So around Christmas, I had this idea… I’d create a modern stein. My husband makes his own beer, he loves coffee, the cup could do double duty. Perfect. Um…except, I had no idea how hard it would be to hand build a modern beer stein.

The first attempt, was way too big, short, and the appliqués were sloppy and the composition way off. But, it got done right before Christmas- so I gave it to him anyway. He loves me understand, so he’d overlook the wonky design. But I felt horrible. I promised I would make him a new one.

wonky beer stein

So in January, I made another one. Well this one was again too big. I couldn’t reach the bottom to seal it well enough, and the handle was way too thin and weird. Ok, not that one. Late January, this one shape is better, lost wonky decorations, simplified and kept the wood texture. The handle was getting there, but again bottom too thin, not well sealed and it leaked. Ok, not that one.

Finally! Just before Valentine’s Day, I figured it out! Right size, holds liquids, cool texture, personalized, nice handle, and just enough wonkiness so it’s obviously handmade, but not so wonky that it looks like I have no clue as to what I’m doing.

Perfect ‘ish! Merry Christmas and Happy Valentines Sweetie!

(yes it took me 3 months to create your gift)

Three Tries Beer Stein

Morals of the story:

If at first you don’t succeed try try again!

Some things are worth waiting for .

But most importantly:     Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Check out the new design- custom made for the man in your life for sale in the shop. I promise- it won’t take three months!

http://www.happiestdaysdesigns.com/products/modern-beer-stein-personalized

 

Xo Shawn – Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

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Mississppi Mud Pie – Recipe from Baked-Brooklyn, NY

Happy Pi(e) day!  I love with three sweet Math Geeks and they take Pi(e) Day seriously! Below is the recipe for a pretty seriously awesome Mississippi Mud Pie. They’re are many steps to this amazing pie- but they are worth every last minute! Take your time, listen to some music, grab some help to tackle some of the steps, and then EAT YOUR PIE🙂

Demolished Mississippi Mud Pie

Mississippi Mud Pie

Ingredients:

 Step 1 – Cookie Crust

1lb of chocolate sandwich cookies

5tbs of melted butter

Step 2 – Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter

4tbs butter

6 oz. chocolate chopped

2 tbs plus 1 tsp instant espresso powder

1/4 cup strong brew coffee

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

6 large eggs, separated (room temperature)

1 cup sugar

Step 3 – Pudding

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp kosher salt

4 large egg yolks

2 1/2 cups whole milk

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 oz. chocolate chopped

Step 4 – Whipped Cream Topping

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 tbsp sugar

chocolate shavings

Step 1 -Crust

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan with no stick spray. Line pan with parchment paper and spray the paper. Smash cookie crumbs and toss with the melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Bake until the crust is dry to the touch about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cookie Crust

Step 2 – Flourless Chocolate Cake

Melt Butter and chocolate in heat proof bowl set over simmering water ( not touching). Remove from the heat and whisk until smooth. Let cool. In s small bowl, whisk togethr the espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar on medium high speed until the mixture is light and has almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.

Siobhan Double Boiler

Add the chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the coffee mixture, and beat until just combined. In a clean bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium high speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to high, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Scoop 1 cup of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold in using a rubber spatula. After about 30 seconds of folding add the remaining egg whites and fold until almost combined. Take care not to over mix. Pour into the partially baked cookie crust. Bake until the cake is set but still jiggles slightly. , 38-42 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. As it cools, cake will deflate in the center and look a bit sunken. Tightly wrap the cake and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or up to overnight).

Step 3 – Pudding

To make the pudding, in a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and, salt. Add the egg yolks and half of the milk and whisk until combined. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the rest of the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent from burning. Cook for 30 seconds, then strain into a heat proof bowl.

eggs

Add the butter, vanilla, and chocolate and whisk until combined. Continue to whisk to cool the mixture slightly. Let the pudding stand for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, 2-3 hours. Stir the chilled pudding to loosen it, then pour on top of the cake, making sure to stay inside the crust. Spread the pudding in an even layer. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4- Whipped Cream Topping

Whip the cream with sugar to medium peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the pudding. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Remove sides of the springform pan and transfer onto Hull’s Happiest Days Designs’ cake plate with dome. Cut the pie and enoy! Oh, yeah and do some math…Keys with dome  and dessert plates

Hull’s Happiest Days Designs Cake Plate, Dome, and Dessert Plates- Skeleton Key Set

xoxo Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve got a Secret Message

Secret Message Board

Secret Message Board

I have been busy working on new products for Hull’s Happiest Days Designs. As I mentioned in earlier posts- Valentine’s Day is big around our household- and some of my best designs started out as gifts I created for my family members. Well, the secret message board is just one of those designs. What do you do if you have tween children – who love Valentine’s Day- but are hugely embarassed at getting love notes from their parents? A Secret Message Board of course! On one side of the board – it’s a sweet little wall hanging perfect for any tween’s room. The other side of just one heart however, has a happy message from Mom and Dad. Genius! Now my daughter’s can relish in parental love and approval without losing respect from their friends.

This darling board would be a great wedding, anniversary, or birthday present- for anyone you want to tell a secret. Shhhh… we’ll never tell.

Secret Message Board heart detail

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Wedding Bells in our Future…

Bridal Bouqet Cake Plate and Dome

Hull’s Happiest Days Designs is preparing to offer Wedding Planning! Over the next few months we are readying ourselves to grow and expand into Wedding and Event planning. This progression is a very exciting new offering that dovetails perfectly with Hull’s Happiest Days Designs’ mission: to create art, artifacts, and experiences for people who are celebrating love and other milestone moments. We create – happy to hold on to!

I will keep you in the loop as we get closer to launching this new area. Right now, we are developing new Custom Bridal China Dinnerware Patterns, new cake toppers, new candle holders, luminarias, and other lovely accessories to complete your wedding decor & grace your home for years to come.

Previously, as a theatre director, ( Shawn) I have the opportunity to produce numerous plays, arts festivals, and gallery showings. My artistic and organizational expertise combined with Hull’s Happiest Days Designs meaningful wedding pieces, customer collaboration, and attention to detail is a perfect marriage for the couple who wants a wedding tailored to their vision, their budget, and their love.

We plan to offer wedding & event planning and design in the Greater Philadelphia area. Don’t worry we are not going to stop creating the lovely personalized, and customized gifts and accessories we are known for- we will be expanding our design lines and offering this new service. Sweetheart single dessert plate close up

xo Shawn – Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

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Show em’ you are all HEART!

Love Notes Guest Book hearts with hand built bowl

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you are having a happy day – snuggling up with your sweetie and celebrating LOVE with family and friends! In honor of this day, I am gathering up all our Hull’s Happiest Days Designs’ work that features HEARTS! You may find all these beauties at Hull’s Happiest Days Designs .

Sweetheart single dessert plate close up

Something Sweet

 

Apple tree fine dessert set for 2

The Family Tree

Story of us Heart

A Love Story

Personalized Heart and Key Bridal Bouquet Charm

Poetry, Your Heart, and Its Key

Happy Valentines Day! xoxo Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

 

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Sneak Peek into Spring Designs

Lake Platter inside

One of our family dreams is to own a lake house. We used to own the sweetest little cottage in the woods, complete with apple tree, deer, wild turkeys, and a lovely calm lake close by. We had to give it up a couple of years ago, and I have pining ever since …

So our this Spring I am inspired by dreams, moving towards what my heart years for and creating beauty and hope for the future in our work. This sweet little porcelain platter (11″ diameter) is a lovely multi-functional piece- perfect in the kitchen as serve-ware, the dining room on a buffet as a drink tray, or a centerpiece of your tabletop decor to coral candles.

Lake Platter with props

Lake Platter Listing

We will be following up this lovely water color styled abstracted lake and the woods design with mugs, plates, and other dining pieces. This is our first sneak peek. It is completely hand made from my hand rolling out the porcelain with a vintage rolling pin. Hand cutting the slab, joining the pieces with slip, drying, bisque-ing, hand glazing, and twice kiln firing. We’ve also added a sweet little vine and leaf applique to the outside.

Lake Platter side with detail

This lovely piece is food safe, dish washer safe, and meant to loved and used for years to come. Each piece is signed by the artist, and we can personalize the sides with a special date or message as well. Click the link below to take you to Lake platter in our shop.

A little piece of happy to hold onto…

xo Happiest Days Designs

 

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Crafty Valentine Embroidery

Hugs & Kisses Pink 1

Shower the ones you love with hugs and kisses they can snuggle up to all year through! This easy DIY craft is perfect for husbands, beaus, snuggle buddies, and kids. Hand embroidery is a simple craft that can embellish easy to find blank pillow cases and duvets.

Things you will need:

Embroidery Needle

Embroidery Floss

Standard Hoop

Fabric you want to embroider (pillow case, cloth napkin, duvet cover, etc.)

pencil

Once you have pulled together your supplies- iron your fabric- and using the pencil decide on placement and write (cursive is easier to stitch) the words or phrase onto the fabric. The lines should be light, but clear enough for you to follow. I chose: Hugs & Kisses and xxx ooo – other options work like Love, Hunny Bunny, Handsome, etc.

Then using a simple back split stitch – you begin to write with thread. View the below video for a demonstration:

The more you practice, the easier it gets. It does take some time- especially if your words and designs are large. I’d give yourself at least two weeks to complete this project in your spare time. If you want it ready by Valentine’s Day- I’d start no later than early February.

Once you feel comfortable you can start to experiment with words and simple little details- below is another duvet cover I did- at the foot of our bed.

Love Embroidery Design

Jenny Hart is a well know embroidery artist and teacher. She has written several books and has a website for supplies and embroidery patterns. I started with the book Sublime Stitching- author Jenny Hart and photos Alexandra Grablewski. I love cuddling up with my embroidery hoop, some pretty floss, and a good movie. Definitely a happy day!

xo Happiest Days Designs

 

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