pantheon of fails (pt. 1)

For every dozen donut ideas I've executed successfully at this point, there is one more that was a total failure. The current score is successes = 36/fails = 3. I photographed these three projects from start to finish, only realizing at the very end of each that they weren't going to work. One of them I even made two ways, both with abysmal results. This is why every time I pull out the old pans and dig into a new project my heart starts to race; I never know how much precious time I will have spent on something I can't use.

I am actually hoping someone out there reading this can help me out. If you have a great recipe or solution to any of these three ideas, please let me know! I really want to add them to my collection. I am particularly in love with the chia donuts, and was really bummed they didn't work out....yet.


Candy was an idea I'd been kicking around in the back of my mind since last summer, but got really excited to do in late September, so that maybe they could be used for Halloween somehow. A new friend (Rhea, who write this fantastic blog) also suggested this idea to me around that time, so I gave it a whirl, twice. Using successful recipes I had found online for a much smaller scale candy necklace and for those candy dots you peel off of paper and eat, I spent several days both working on these, shooting them, and then waiting and waiting. They never set up, because in actuality the recipes were basically royal icing recipes, and the candy was so deep in the pans I don't know if it ever would've dried out. 

I'm looking for a chalkier candy recipe, something drier like Smarties. Amazing I can't find a Smarties-type recipe anywhere! I have found a Valentine conversation heart recipe or two online that I am considering, but I'm a little nervous about spending more time on this one without it being a success!


This particular recipe is a contender, my lack of pizza dough handling skills just blew it. They were SO thick-walled, even though I pressed the dough between two pans, clamped them together and froze them before I filled them. I need to find a local friend that can sling pizza dough and make this one a reality. I would appreciate any pizza dough handling advice you can give me! If not, I might need to try this concept again a slightly different way like this lovely lady did.


I started with four pounds of oven bake clay, some clay tools and an idea I really loved. I thought these would be just lovely, little rings of greenery growing in your kitchen window or sunny space around your house. I loved working different patterns into the clay for the chia seeds to grab onto. 

I baked the clay rings and soaked the seeds overnight per directions I found online. Then when it was time to soak the rings themselves, imagine my disappointment when they disintegrated into mud!

Looks like they needed to be sealed. But sealing them would've kept them from absorbing and transferring the water the seeds need to keep moist. It's a bit of a pickle!

I was able to salvage a few of the clay rings and coat them with the soaked seeds. Within an hour the clay had sucked all the water out of the seeds and they were as dry as a bone. Boo!

I set them up in Stella's room on the window sill and we spritzed them four or five times a day, but they just wouldn't stay wet. There is a wall thickness problem here as well as the clay issue. I need an oven bake clay that won't fall apart in water but that wicks water through to keep the seeds wet. 

Thoughts? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  1. Oh my! These really are pickles! I'll ponder them, meanwhile.. I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Ooh! Those Chia rings are so beautiful. I wonder if you don't need a kiln to get the clay hard enough?
    My thought for the candy necklace ones is that you could dip or coat the backs of the pans to make a thinner candy with the recipe you already have. They would be much thinner rings, of course, but you could "glue" two together with royal icing to make nice, fat 3-D ones.
    And even though the pizzas aren't pretty, they look so tasty! I would totally eat that. Sometimes whole wheat flour makes pizza dough harder to work with in the usual pizza circumstances, maybe that's the case with the doughnut ones, too?

    I am continually amazed by your creativity and determination and patience in doing these projects.

    1. Thank you for your tips, TangledLou! Maybe that is part of the problem, the whole wheat. They were SO thick. I just had a thought about wonton wrappers as I was writing this....wonder if that would work. And, yes to the kiln idea! I'm gong to try to have my friend in Austin give them a whirl.

      I love doing them! Although I am for the first time in almost a year stretched so thin right now that I can't even think of making them right now...will get back on the job soon! xo

  3. I think the failures show an incredible amount of creativity.

    Chia donuts idea kinda blew mah mind! Well played, lady!

    1. Thank you, Miss Dottie! Those are one of my favorites, which vexes me greatly that I can't figure them out. I'll get there!

  4. I have nothing to add but when you perfect the smarties type one, please send to me immediately for testing. They are my number one fave.

    1. I will send you some as soon as I figure them out, then, my dear! xoxo


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