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Art Deco digital wallpapers make everything new

Welcome to a new month, readers! We’re in full May mode here: throwing all windows open, gushing about The Weather, skipping around like happy idiots and even spring cleaning. Yep, we’re proponents of a good seasonal scrub-down and nothing is safe from our scouring quest…including the Hallmark art archives. For this month’s digital wallpapers, our Trends Studio team freshened up some long-lost designs from a long-past era with new color palettes and attitudes. These Art Deco digital wallpapers make the old new again and are ready to grace your screens all May long.

MAY-ARCHIVAL-WALLPAPER_SERPENT MAY-ARCHIVAL-WALLPAPER_PATTERN MAY-ARCHIVAL-WALLPAPER_SPLATTER MAY-ARCHIVAL-WALLPAPER_FLEUR

Download ARCHIVAL SERPENT for your desktop.

Download ARCHIVAL PATTERN for your desktop.

Download ARCHIVAL SPLATTER for your desktop.

Download ARCHIVAL FLEUR for your desktop.

You can actually purchase these designs for your own use—design projects, print your own art-deco fabric, whatever you can imagine—at the brand new Gillham Studios. Just request an invite to get creating!

Decorated Cakes from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.Share

DIY cake painting for Mother’s Day

Since we can probably all agree that dessert is a universally appreciated gift idea, we decided that Monday’s strawberry pie just wasn’t enough. You’d be surprised how easy it is to treat Mom to a hand-painted cake this Mother’s Day! All you need is a plain white fondant-covered cake, edible cake paints (we chose Wilton brand), and some great inspiration (which we are happy to provide right here!).

Decorated Cakes from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.Share

To make it look like you’re a master cake decorator, consider the following tips:

  1. Fondant is much easier to paint than buttercream frosting. If you don’t have experience with fondant, put in a call to your local grocery store. They can get your base ready, so all you have to do is focus on the fun.
  2. Mix your gel paints with vodka to thin them and prevent clumping and streaking. The alcohol will evaporate in no time and helps to keep the fondant firm as you do your work.
  3. Be sure to use soft brushes that are either new or reserved only for paints of the edible variety.
  4. If you’re uncomfortable with a detailed design, go with a simple, classic pattern like polka dots or stripes. Plus signs and varied brush strokes are quite trendy right now as well. Pinterest is full of pattern inspiration!
  5. For an intricate design or lettered message, consider tracing a light outline with a food coloring marker first.
  6. Plan ahead and paint the lightest colors first (this is where your outline comes in handy). Mix plenty of each color in the beginning so you’re not forced to match them later.
  7. Don’t forget the final presentation! Find a beautiful cake stand in a style Mom loves that can be used again and again.

Decorated Cakes from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.Share

As for the final products from our afternoon of cake painting exploration…

Decorated Cakes from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.ShareDecorated Cakes from Hallmark artists | Think.Make.Share blogDecorated Cake from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.Share blogDecorated Cake from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.Share blogDecorated Cake from Hallmark Artists | Think.Make.Share blog

Cakes (in order of appearance) decorated by Hallmark artists Amber Goodvin, Mirna Stubbs, Amy Kligman, Samantha Lewis and Ashley Westhoff. Big thanks to Ashley Westhoff and Bernard Shondell for flawlessly prepping the cakes for this post. Final cake photography by Kevin Hosley.

making strawberry pie for Mom with Hallmarker Stephanie Young

Make your own Mother’s Day strawberry pie

Stephanie Young is an innovation leader at Hallmark and a baker who spends her free time making the lives of everyone around her more delicious. This pie expert has some tips for us today! 

making strawberry pie for Mom with Hallmarker Stephanie Young

Crust is everything. I love pie crust. Since I was a kid, I have been known to lick pie pans to get the last crumb…that’s just the kind of girl I am.

The first pie I made as a grown-up cook was a chocolate mousse pie. It wasn’t perfect. The mousse was runny. The crust was crumbly. But baking that one pie awakened in me a deep, true love for making pies and—more importantly—my own pie crust.

After my happy mousse experience, I cooked up a pie every week. As our waist-lines expanded, I started to give them away to people I knew for any reason at all.

Without even thinking about it, I used my crust to decorate the tops of the pies too. I made pie dough cookies especially for each person getting a pie. I even added them to pies that didn’t call for a top crust.

Why? My pie was an act of love from me to the person receiving it. Adding cookie-cutter bird shapes for an expectant mother or cutting the word M-O-M out of dough for a Mother’s Day pie was so worth it. The way their faces lit up when they saw their design matched the way my heart felt when I was making it. (Download my strawberry pie recipe here.)

The most amazing thing is that putting love into your food takes no extra time or supplies. Whether the food you’re making comes from a box, from scratch, or from your grandma’s recipe—love is love. All it takes is thoughtfulness, or piefulness, in my case.

So the next time you’re cooking up a treat for someone, think about why you’re cooking it for them and tuck that love inside. I promise they’ll taste it in the crumbs.

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Pie Dough Tips:

Pie crust is notoriously finicky. Here are some tips for better pie-crust making.

  • Make sure all refrigerated ingredients (like butter, shortening, and cream) are well-chilled before use.
  • Watch your measurements! Avoid total dough failure by paying close attention to your tablespoons and cups.
  • Use your fingers to mix shortening or butter into the dough. You will get a better feel for if it’s truly incorporated into the flour.
  • Don’t add all your liquid at once. Add a little, blend it into the flour and then add a little more. Baby steps with your liquids will help you avoid tough or soggy dough.
  • All pie dough is happier if it’s cold. While your making your filling, stick the dough in the freezer to give it a good chill!
Put Your Heart to Paper with Hallmark Stationery

Our favorite stationery for National Card and Letter Writing Month

Did you know that April is National Card and Letter Writing Month? Yep, with a little help from the government, the thoughtful people at the USPS are turning April attentions from showers to stationery—all to encourage heartfelt communication, or as Hallmarkers like to call it, “Putting your heart to paper.”

National Card and Letter Writing Month is a movement we at Think.Make.Share can really get behind, especially because so many of us are compulsive card-senders anyway. (Surprising, right?) In honor of April—and getting things other than bills in the mail—we’ve put together a collection of our favorite stationery multipacks out in Hallmark stores right now. These notes are the ones that inspire us to break out our good pens and write meaningful missives to our favorite people.

Put Your Heart to Paper with Hallmark Stationery

Get anything good in the mail lately? Share it with us on Instagram: @think.make.share

For more tips on sending great letters or cards, see this guest post about note-writing we did for one of our favorite blogs, Gimme Some Oven.

DIY clay pinch pots with Hallmark artists

Making DIY pinch pots with Crayola air-dry clay

Hallmark Designer Melissa Powlas loves to do small-scale crafts out of easy-to-find, kid-friendly materials. Today, she’s teaching us how to make clay pinch pots. 

DIY clay pinch pots with Hallmark artists

Tiny pinch pots are easy to create and make a fun gift for Mother’s Day. This is a great project for kids and adults to do together.

Using a small ball of Crayola Air-Dry Clay, poke a hole in the middle with your thumb and shape into a little pot or dish. Once the clay is dry, which takes about 24 hours, lightly sand it to smooth out any rough spots. Decorate your pot using acrylic paints and/or permanent markers. Finish it off with a coat of matte or gloss medium.

DIY Crayola clay pinch pots with Hallmark artists
These little pots are the perfect home for air plants and small jewelry.  It’s fun to line a bunch of them up on a shelf or put them in a little rope hanger to display. My favorite thing about pinch pots are all the little imperfections and quirks that give them so much personality and charm.

DIY clay pinch pots with Hallmark artistsDIY pinch pot workshop with Hallmark artists

Pssst…Find more great Mother’s Day ideas here. And show us what you’re giving Mom on Instagram @Think.Make.Share!

Photos by Jane Kortright.